About Overalls and Fat Knots

blog.rockthefatknot.com is the personal blog of Brian S. Corbin. It's mainly a spot where my ideas and thoughts that require more text than a series of emojis go to live in a S3 bucket. Other folks have much better blogs. They also write better than I do.


The rockthefatknot.com domain was registered in 2006 after noticing athletes and celebrites that were sporting a double windsor knot (literally a "fat knot") with their neck ties during interviews. The domain was originally used to host photos of different neck ties I wore to different events. Later, it became a test project hosted on Google AppEngine where anyone could go to post a photo where they were "Rocking a Fat Knot." That project later was retired and things were dormant for a good while as I tried to navigate more important things in life. The blog part was revived at the beginning of 2019 in order to better communicate some of the things I've been thinking about related to the South, Rural Computing, and building stronger communities.

What's up with the overalls and fat knot profile photo?

As I've grown older, I've developed a better understanding of who I am and what I'm supposed to be doing. That's probably familiar to a lot of folks. I grew up in an old textile mill village in South Carolina. I still live there. A lot of the folks in this area wore (and still wear) overalls. Liberty overalls are my go to for daily wear because of the top zipper pocket that's perfect for storing today's oversized phones. The carhartt overalls in the photo are my "dress overalls." I just like the comfort and utility of overalls. I think they also represent my personality better than other clothing. I'm here to help and put in work. I don't really like to talk too much outside of tech meet ups and conferences. The "Fat Knot" part is included because I hope to help give other folks growing up in rural areas a humble confidence to help them apply their problem solving skills in computing. That same humble confidence that many of those athletes have doing post game interviews rocking a "Fat Knot." I'm specifically focused on rural computing but the basic ideas should translate to most anything. I've found that a lot of the really talented folks in rural areas won't pursue the commercialization of their ideas or technology from side projects because they don't see anyone around them doing it. I want to be a person championing those folks so they can become leaders in their communities and lift other folks up along with them. So the profile photo is basically saying "I'm like you and I've been able to hang with top computing folks outside of my small town - you can too" The photo is cropped at the neck (even though it really is me in the photo) because I want folks to realize that could be anyone from a rural area that's attempting to bring their practicality and creativity to problem domains and enterprises that could really use a good shot of it.