Diary of a Network Geek

The trials and tribulations of a Certified Novell Engineer who's been stranded in Houston, Texas.

3/29/2003

Further Plumbing Adventures

Filed under: Personal — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Sheep which is in the early afternoon or 2:19 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Crescent

Does it never end?

No, I guess not. Thursday night, at about 10:00pm, my wife and I were working in front of the kitchen sink and stepped onto a wet throw rug at the same time. We both figured that the puppy had wet the rug, until my wife went to pick it up and saw water running out from under the sink! Well, at this point I figured it was the disposal. So, I start cursing and go change into old shorts that I don’t mind getting wet. Then, I start pulling things out from under the sink.
Well, I check around the disposal and, wonder of wonders, it’s not that. But, there is a good amount of water under the sink and I can see water dripping from the sink. I start feeling around and find that the in-sink water filter the previous owner installed has sprung a leak. So, I try to tighten it by hand, but since that only makes it worse I try to turn off the cold-water valve. By this point, the valve has gotten wet and I can’t get a good enough grip on the handle to get it shut off, so I try to tighten the water filter again. Now, I’ve got water spraying at me under the sink and I don’t know where my wife is in the house!
I freak and head out the front door at a run to try and shut off the water main only to find that I need a special wrench, which I don’t have. Now, I’m really freaking out. So, I go back to the water filter to try and tighten it yet again. This time the plastic nut breaks off in my hand and I have water spraying under pressure at me! So, I put a kink in the plastic hose and cut off the water completely. Only, now I’m stuck holding it. What to do….
I send my wife looking for a clamp of some kind, any kind, to hold the hose while I got the shut off closed. Well, the binder clip that I was sure was in my desk, wasn’t, so I had to have her hold the hose, while I went to find something. Finally, in our kitchen “junk” drawer, I find a screw-clamp left over from a craft project. Hooray! And, about 15 frustrating minutes later, I get the damn thing on the hose.
After a brief rest to try and get feeling back into my hands, I try to get the shut off valve closed and, this time, I can finally do it. Now, I have an opportunity to look at what was wrong, and how to temporarily by-pass it. A few seconds later, I’ve removed the filter and have the nozzle connected directly to the cold water. After getting my hand un-cramped, I start to turn the cold water back on. My luck held and nothing started leaking again.

Later, after I calmed down, I remembered that we had a replacement filter that I can put into place, which I’ll get to Monday night.
Also, when I ran outside, one of the cats followed me and I had to go find “Mr. Adventure”. From the look of it, he’d wandered all of three feet from the front door before getting scared and hunkering down in a bush. When I opened the door, he ran to get inside. So much for Mr. Adventure!
And, I’m left with the horrible fear that I’ll replace every last plumbing fixture in this house before we move out. Ah, the joys of home ownership!

3/27/2003

Linux+ Progress

Filed under: Certification,Linux,Things to Read — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is in the early morning or 7:22 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Crescent

So far, so good.

Well, I’m almost done with the ExamCram Linux+ book and it looks like it’ll be a relatively easy test. Of course, I also have the Self Test Software exam for Linux+ as a second study guide, so I should be able to bang this out in one shot. At least, that’s the plan.
I know this is a low-level, introductory certification, but I think it will help me branch out into other areas. That’s my career goal, these days, to make my virtual toolbox a little more well rounded and complete. Having some kind of Unix, or Unix-clone, cert is a step in the right direction. Updating my CNE, of course, is in the plans, too. As is getting a CCNA. I really think that a Jack-of-all-trades approach is the right one in the current economic climate, so that’s what I’m trying to accomplish.
Only time will tell, of course, but I sure hope that it’s the right direction to move.

3/24/2003

Hildegard von Hoffman

Filed under: Personal — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Rooster which is in the early evening or 6:49 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a Third Quarter Moon

Our new puppy has arrived!

We picked up our new puppy Saturday morning and took her toy and food shopping on the way home. She’s a delightful little brown mutt and happy as can be. Until we put her in the puppy crate for bed-time. That’s when the barking, whimpering and howling started. Saturday, that went on for about 45 minutes. But, Sunday night it went on for at least an hour and a-half! So, today, my wife has been working with her on being a good crate trained puppy. By all reports, it’s going well.

She’s named after St. Hildgard von Bingen, by the way. The 11th century nun, prophetess, composer and the first Western conlanger! She was quite a remarkable woman and, we hope, our own little Hilda will be quite a remarkable little dog.

3/21/2003

Online CBTs

Filed under: Geek Work — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is in the early morning or 7:07 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

Keep your certifications current!

Well, at least, try. And, I found something that will help: CBTNuggets. More specifically, the free CBTs they offer.
They run off the Internet in your browser, and you have to register to get to them, but they’re still free. So, if, like me, you need to shift your carreer from Novell to Microsoft, here’s a place to get some very basic knowlege to get you started. And, did I mention that it’s free? Well, except for the registration, but so far, they haven’t used my personal information against me, so even that is basically free.
I’ve only watched one on Active Directory, but it was pretty good. Sure, it’s just the basics, but that’s a fairly good place for me to start anyway.

Check it out!

3/20/2003

Operation: Puppy

Filed under: Personal — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Horse which is around lunchtime or 12:01 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

It’s official!

We just got word at lunch-time today that we’ve been approved for our puppy adoption. We’ll be going to Fondren 5 Star Kennels Saturday morning at 9:30am to pick up our new girl. My wife can tell that I’m just a little excited because last night I baked some dog biscuits for our new family member. I have to admit I’m really looking forward to having a dog again. I haven’t had a dog since college. My parents had to put my dog down when I was in school, because her back had gotten so bad. In fact, they waited until I was away to do it so that I didn’t have to be the one that took her to the vet that last time. I’m not sure if I appreciate that or resent it really, but, as a result, I’ve missed having a dog since then.
Don’t get me wrong, I love our two cats, but somehow a dog is different. Cat’s don’t come when you call them or play fetch. Well, actually, our cats do mostly come when I call them, but only if I’m going to pet them. They’re kind of trampy that way.

Now, all we have to do is decide on a name.

3/19/2003

War

Filed under: Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Rooster which is in the early evening or 6:22 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

We went to war today.

I’m not sure what that means, really. I’ve never served in the military and now I’m too old to be drafted. We all saw it coming, I think, but, like terminal illness, no one really expects it to happen.
A lot of people are against the war and I’m not sure how I feel about it. I don’t particularly like the idea of war in general, but I recognize that this war is probably neccessary. Certainly if the world wants to enjoy the oil that Saddam has under his crazy thumb we better go to war to eliminate him. He’s been a problem before and, sooner or later, he will be again, if we don’t put an end to him.
It’s probably unrealistic, but I sure hope we have minimal loss of life out there in the desert. I hope all our service people come back to us and their families.

Good luck and God bless.

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3/17/2003

New Additions

Filed under: Personal — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is in the early morning or 7:28 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a Full Moon

Looks like we’re finally getting a puppy!

Four months ago, when I suggested getting a puppy, my wife thought it was a bad idea. But, Saturday, when she suggested it, it was a great idea. Go figure.
In any case, there was an adoption station setup at our local petstore and my wife just couldn’t resist. So, we filled out the form and bought supplies. We’ll be “checked out” this week to make sure that we really are suitable doggie parents. Then, assuming we’re found to be acceptable, we’ll pick her up next weekend. We’ll be able to get a puppy crate from my in-laws and the rest we have. Also, I’m trying to convince my wife to bake home-made doggie treats for the new little girl. Our daughter is home from school on Spring Break this week and I thought it would be something they could do to keep busy. In any case, we’ll be gearing up for a new puppy this week. Horay!

Oh, and it’s William Gibson’s birthday, too.

3/15/2003

Linux+ Certification

Filed under: Linux,Things to Read — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Dragon which is in the early morning or 9:35 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous


Linux+ Exam Cram

Yep, that’s what I’m reading now. I’ve actually had it for some time, as you can tell by the publication date and the fact that it’s currently out of print. But, the exam is still good and, when I pass, I’ll be Linux+ certified for life.
That’s the nice thing about the CompTIA certifications. They’re good for life. One test, one certification. Forever. Pretty sweet. And, since I’m tired of being a one-trick Novell pony, lifetime certification looks pretty darn good.

I’ll keep you all posted on my progress.

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3/14/2003

The End is Near!

Filed under: Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning or 6:17 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

Again…

It seems like every year there’s another nut who thinks the end of the world is near. C’mon, people! The early Christians thought the end was “near” back before the Roman Empire fell. Every generation has been “sure” that the end is near. So far, we still seem to keep on going. Now, it is possible that I’ve missed the rapture, but that seems unlikely. Unless, of course, the only people who are going to be saved that way were the truly pious who have never sinned. In that case, both of them might have gone missing and no one would have noticed.

On the other hand, Warren Zevon has turned out to be a bit of a prophet. In his song The Envoy, from his 1982 album by the same name, he sang:
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp Nuclear arms in the Middle East
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp Israel is attacking the Iraqis
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp The Syrians are mad at the Lebanese
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp And Baghdad does whatever she please
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp Looks like another threat to world peace
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp For the envoy

Pretty heavy, considering that we’ve been to war with Iraqi once since then, and we’re about to be at war with them again. I guess you just have to pick which nuts to listen to.

3/13/2003

National “Do-Not-Call” Registry

Filed under: Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning or 6:42 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

It’s law and it’s about time!

I read yesterday that President Bush finally approved the National “Do-Not-Call” Registry. Horay! No more damn telemarketers!
According to the FTC’s Website, the registry should be ready to sign consumers up as early as July. It will be available to businesses as soon as September. And, most importantly, enforcement of the $10,000 fine for violation will begin as early as October of this year! Yeah! Finally, some consumer protection with teeth! You rock George!

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