I signed into blogger.com and was surprised to find I have five blogs there! This post is from one of those blogs, originally posted on April 29, 2006.
Silly title, and not a real serious post – but I just left a friends house after fixing their Wireless Router. It was a simple fix (changed the channel away from 6, which is where three of his neighbors WLAN routers were sitting). But they thought I was a genius – partially because I fixed it, but more so because I “knew enough to fix it so fast”.
Knowing the “secret handshake” always helps. From 1995-1998 I was lucky enough to live in Honolulu, Hawaii. I had many palm trees in my yard, and the first time a coconut fell in the yard I decided to open it up. Turns out it wasn’t so easy. I ended up using my Makita electric saw and just cut the damn thing in half. Of course all of the milk was lost, and the meat wasn’t very tasty looking with metal saw blade marks all over it.
Two or three weeks later a truck pulled up in the front yard with a bunch of native Hawaiians in it. They had been hired by the US Army (I lived on an Army base then) to come and cut the coconuts down so they wouldn’t fall on a kid, or car, or whatever.
These guys knew the secret handshake. They climbed the tree, sans any equipment, cut down the coconuts, then settled down for a snack and drink of coconut. With nothing but a machete one of the guys opened a coconut with just three whacks, and did so in such a fashion that the first two whacks sliced off an angular slice of coconut shell that was later used as a tool to extract and eat the coconut meat.
I was, to say the least, totally f*cking amazed! What took me 20 minutes with a sledge hammer and power saw took this guy 30 seconds with a little chunk of sharp steel. He knew the code.
So, being who I am, I brought out a 12 pack of beer and started learning the handshake. Amazingly, it only took a few minutes to learn the trick, and for the next couple of years I amazed both visitors from the mainland, as well as Islanders with my coconut opening skill.
So if you meet someone that knows the “secret handshake” – no matter what it’s for (magic, Active Directory, using WordPress, getting Ruby on Rails working under Apache with FastCGI), ask them to show it to you. Most people that know the secrets love sharing them (well, maybe not the Magicians!)