Welcome to

The Plinth

The Home Base for Robert G. Ferrell

My computer geek score is greater than 97% of all people in the world! How do you compare? Click here to find out!
9.11.2001 STS-107
Not sure I should admit this
My Vote: a sort of first-person political manifesto for my ideal Presidential candidate for 2008.
Tech Humor: The success of my column /dev/random in ;Login: has encouraged me to branch out to other tech humor venues. If your publication is in need of good (i.e., not lame) tech humor, write me.
Goblinopolis | Grammatical Curmudgeon | Short Fiction/Essays/Poetry | Chasing the Wind
Restless Wind | Tangent | Percussion Collection | Spacecraft Incident Database
Humor Columns | Impromptu | Ambience
The Grammatical Curmudgeon
The Grammatical Curmudgeon is my pseudo-blog chronicling the decline of English as an instrument of communication. Read it and weep.
Goblinopolis is a serialized annotated humorous fantasy novel I'm creating online as an experiment in stream-of-consciousness writing. I have no particular plot in mind, no characters, no idea where I'm going. I post comments along with the latest installment.

You can also follow Goblinopolis without the daily commentary at my LiveJournal site.

Short Fiction/Essays/Poetry
A Moment of Joy, A Moment of Pain A Texas Short Story
Infinity or Bust A Novella about Divinity and Cold Toes
The Kekulé Factor A Science Fiction Short Story
Romance is an Island A Romantic Short Story
The Stranger A Literary Short Story
2050: An Echo from the Future A Speculative Essay
The Price A Parable on Freedom of Information
The Case for Thurber In Defense of Literary Humor
Essays on Diverse Topics
Cyberterrorism: Facts, Myths, and Possibilities
Patriot's Lament--A Call to Arms Catharsis for the loony bin this country has become since 9/11
An Open Letter to World Legislators A satirical response to our insane tendency to shoot the messenger.
If Computer Security is your bag, check out Chasing the Wind at Security Focus. You can read my other articles there; just search on my name in the Incidents area.
For those of you who are Chasing the Wind fans, I've published a novel called Tangent that explores the further fate of Project Bellatrix.

There are also a few articles of mine available at the online site of Information SecurityMagazine.

My latest piece, called "How to hire an IT security consultant," is up at InfoWorld.

I'm now a regular columnist (/dev/random) at ;Login: Magazine. USENIX rocks!

While we're on the subjects of books and information security, I highly encourage you to check out my friend Richard Forno's book, Weapons of Mass Delusion.
The national emergency facing America today isnít terrorism or rogue nations, but the daily illusions and mass delusions that make up what passes for reality in American society.
This book will open your eyes. Buy it. Read it.

I heartily encourage anyone with an interest in information security and/or simple truth to vist Attrition and spend some time there. Jericho's speciality is cutting through the hype surrounding the three-ring circus that is the infosec industry, and he does it exceedingly well. Definitely worth your time.
I admit it. I'm addicted to The Aviation Safety Network. After many hours of reading accident descriptions, I started wondering what this thing might look like several hundred years in the future, long after mere terrestrial air travel is hopelessly passé. As a mental exercise, I created the Beta Triangulum Spacecraft Incident Database. I add to it whenever I feel like procrastinating on another project. Feel free to contribute.
I play bass in a Folk/Rock/Country band called Restless Wind. Check us out.
Want a peek at my fairly decent percussion collection? It's always growing...
For the finest in embroidery, costuming, and creative sewing visit Ambience
Got Perl? Want to know what to do with it? Visit my San Antonio Perl Mongers site.
Humor Columns
Quantum Vadis?
The scientific paper review process elucidated.
Mingling for Misanthropes
Pretty much self-explanatory.
Modern Games for Girls
An update of the old classic activities book Games for Girl Scouts.
With your first breath of air at birth, you agreed to abide by the terms of this license. Don't you think it's time you read it?
The Mind is a Terrible Thing
For most of my adult life, I've wanted to write a script for the old "Star Trek" (the previous generation) series. Now you have the opportunity to suff...I mean, observe while I try to get this literary monkey off my back.
A Guide to Flower Writing
Before the telegraph, before the Pony Express, yeah verily, even before the cell phone, there was floragraphy. Maybe this is what Marshall McLuhan meant with that crack about the medium and the message.
Weird Gods for All Occasions
You never can tell what you might run across rooting around in an old chest. I'm sure thoracic surgeons know what I'm talking about...
Another long-lost fragment of Medieval Anglo-Danish literature recently come to light.
The Social Perspective Vortex
Feeling smug? Feeling superior? Hop into the Vortex for a little fine-tuning of your attitude. Ego controlled or your money back. Apologies to Douglas Adams. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Really.
Wonderland: The Real Story
Even as a child, I found Alice's demure acceptance of the crap she encountered in Wonderland a little hard to swallow. Not at all like any of the girls I knew, who would have punched the caterpillar's lights out.
Modular Fairy Tales
Amaze your friends and wow the critics by creating your own pithy fairy tale. No literary talent necessary. Some parts not available.
A Field Guide to Unusual Herbs
An exploration of some herbs that you'd never see Emeril sprinkling on his pork fat surprise.
Road Rage
If you've ever considered driving an automobile in or around the Washington, D.C. area, for God's sake, read this first.
Le Cuque du Duque
A Shakespearean stew of nobles, courtiers, ministers, and heavily armored vegetables.
A Hard Knight's Day
The amorous exploits of Sir Hirundo, that magnificent monument to masculinity.
Hello, Bali!
Herein I relate a folktale that increases the overall weirdness index of the universe by several notches.
Astrology My Way
The stars and planets affect your life with one one-millionth the force of a ripe kumquat held at arm's length. If they really did matter, however, here's what they would do to you.
Thinking Greek
Ogle the nutty antics of some of history's greatest cogitators.
Food of our Fathers
They say you are what you eat. Of course, they also said that the Titanic was unsinkable. What do they know?
'Tis a Living
It's 1450, and Samuel de Spayde has a tough case to solve. As usual, it involves a dame.
Breaking Wind, er, News
All the news that's fit to fabricate.
Fletching: A History
Time flies like an arrow. Fruitflies like a banana. Where would they be without fletching?
Genesis Revisted
Are Human Beings God's darlings, or just something He threw together while watching Oprah?

If you'd like to see some of the other Net Wits in action, this might be a good place to click.