Diary of a Network Geek

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

12/31/2004

Custom M&Ms

Filed under: Art,Fun — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Dragon which is in the early morning or 9:15 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

Just in time for Christmas!

Er, well, maybe I missed it already, but candy and Christmas go together, so, whatever… Anyhow, the folks who make M&Ms have a webpage where you can order custom M&Ms. By that I mean, you can order M&Ms printed with your own custom message. Now, there’s a limit to how many characters you can put on and, of course, there are content restrictions:
“While we encourage your creativity, Masterfoods USA will not honor a request to print any “objectionable” language, acronyms, symbols, pictures, or any other graphic representation. “Objectionable” means, among other things, anything that (i) is libelous, defamatory, pornographic, sexually explicit, unlawful, racially or ethnically offensive, (ii) infringes on someone else’s patent, copyright, trademark, trade secret or other property right, (iii) is something people would consider harassing, abusive, threatening, harmful, vulgar, profane, obscene, or violent, (iv) would breach a person’s privacy or publicity rights, (v) is a misrepresentation of facts, (vi) hate speech, (vii) encourages others to break the law in any way, or (viii) is otherwise inappropriate.

Masterfoods USA must and does reserve the absolute right to decline orders that in its sole judgment and discretion contain subject matter that may be considered inappropriate or offensive, including, without limitation, inappropriate, offensive words, acronyms, symbols or other content. ”

Hmm, so much for say it with candy. (Or, was that flowers?)

In any case, it can be legitimate fun, if you keep it clean. How about, “Have fun”? Or, “Happy New Year”? Maybe, even, “Be Well”… Well, it could be fun and romantic when I’m ready to date again. In the mean time, though, it’s Friday, even if it’s New Year’s Eve, so check out the link! Have a safe and happy New Year’s Eve celebration everyone!!

12/25/2004

Merry Christmas

Filed under: Art,Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Life, the Universe, and Everything,Personal — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Dragon which is in the early morning or 8:39 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

So, this is Christmas…

Well, I won’t be alone today, which is very nice. Though, I have to admit, it will be a very bachelor Christmas. Actually, that’s pretty nice, too.
Aw, who am I to complain? At least I’m here, at home, for Christmas. It could be worse. I could be with the military and stationed over-seas where people are shooting at me. You know, no matter how you feel about our presence in the Middle East, you can at least support our troops. They’re doing a tough job at a tough time of year.
Here’s something a friend sent me, as a reminder of what those brave men and women are dealing with this season: Until Then.

So, hug your family, count your blessings, and have a very Merry Christmas.

12/24/2004

A Christmas Miracle

Filed under: Deep Thoughts,Life, the Universe, and Everything,Personal — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Monkey which is in the late afternoon or 5:50 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

No, not that I’ve upgraded my PC instead of someone else’s…

Though, I did do that this afternoon. No, the miracle is that it’s snowing in Houston on Christmas Eve. I’m sure none of these silly Southerners will know how to drive tonight, but it warms this damn Yankee carpet-bagger’s heart to see snow on Christmas Eve.

Well, God bless us, every one.

White Trash Christmas

Filed under: Art,Deep Thoughts,Fun — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Dragon which is in the early morning or 8:42 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

Hey, why not?

Okay, so it’s Friday, which means a “Friday Fun Link” from me, but it’s also Christmas Eve, so it’ll be a holiday theme. A friend of mine sent this to me, hoping to cheer me up, and, frankly, it worked! It’s pretty funny, all things considered. You’ll probably have to use Internet Explorer to see this, for which I apologize, but it’s worth it. Trust me. So, without further ado, here is…..
A White Trash Christmas!

Hey, it’s Friday and Christmas Eve, so if you’re reading my sad, little blog, you might as well click on the link and have a laugh. Merry Christmas everyone!

12/22/2004

My Top Search Terms

Filed under: Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Fun,Linux,Novell,Personal — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is in the early morning or 7:18 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

It always amazes me what people search for.

Especially when they end up with me, instead of what they were looking for in the first place! I used to check on this kind of thing a whole lot more than I do lately, but I looked yesterday and thought I’d put it up here.
Here are the Top 20 searchs that led to my site, with commentary:
1 “bootable usb linux” – Well, I have been working on this a lot lately
2 “crazy toys” – All my toys are crazy, yo
3 “geek pictures” – Er… Would anyone really want to look at me?
4 “linux resume” – Um, duh?
5 “strom thurman” – This one always gets me. Even after death, ol’ Strom is a draw
6 “virtual legos” – No idea at all here
7 “usb linux boot” – How is this different from #1?
8 “javascript encryption” – I am Geek. Hear me roar, er, type
9 “jim hoffman” – Well, DUH!
10 “zenworks imaging” – I am a Novell zealot, after all
11 “free cisco book” – Hey, a Fun Friday Link!
12 “geek art” – Must be me talking about the future ex-wife’s art
13 “hello kitty robot” – Hello Kitty is fun. Hello Kitty Mecha is more fun. Too funny.
14 “tales of hoffman” – Again, DUH!
15 “bootable windows cd” – Hmm, I think I talk about boot loaders too much
16 “case mod tools” – Never done it, but maybe in the future…
17 “linux resume software” – Gee, I guess I talk about Linux a lot, too…
18 “novell resume” – Yep, I’m a hardcore Novell geek allright!
19 “science fiction channel” – Or, maybe just a hardcore geek
20 “homebrew tivo” – Yeah, see the above comment.

Freaky! Well, at least no one is looking for goat-sex pictures and finding my website! You know, that reminds me of a story this Greek guy told me about somone from his village back home… Maybe another time.

12/21/2004

Marking Time

Filed under: Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Deep Thoughts,Life, the Universe, and Everything,News and Current Events,Personal,Things to Read — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is in the early morning or 7:02 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

Watching the days roll by.

I’ve been reading a lot lately. Now that I have so much “extra” time to myself, I’ve been finding ways to fill it. I’ve read two books in the past two weeks, not to mention getting all my Christmas shopping done in time to send it all up North to Chicago. For a change, I should manage to get everything there in time! Yea for me!
Ah, the books, right… Well, I read Blood Sucking Fiends and Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom after giving up on a linguistics book. It was interesting and all, but with the upheaval in my life, it was just too much effort to read. So, I read some fiction that I’d had laying around. (Full reviews are over at my other blog.) Now, at the suggestion of my father, I’ve started reading On Death and Dying by Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross. I know, you’re asking yourself, “WTF?”, right? Well, it’s like this… My relationship with my wife is dying, or dead, and now, in a weird way, I’m mourning it and grieving over it. Sure, there was a lot wrong with our relationship, but it was still a major part of who I was and now it’s gone. As a result, I’m working through a process very much like the grief of a dying spouse. Except, of course, my future ex-wife is still very much alive. I hope she takes the time to mourn the death of what we had, too, but I doubt she will. I’m afraid that it will cause her pain later, but there’s nothing I can do about that. I never could take care of her, or rescue her, the way I wanted. That’s just one of the many things I’m working through during this period of grief.
It’s been an interesting holiday season so far. And, it promises to get more interesting before we’re done. So, while the days spool out, I’m just marking time until this phase of my life is completely dead and over. It’s a process, but it’s a process I have to live through. I’m glad that I’m self-aware enough these days to recognize that and pay attention to what’s going on.

12/19/2004

Profit and Loss

Filed under: Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Deep Thoughts,Life, the Universe, and Everything,Personal — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Dragon which is in the early morning or 9:21 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a First Quarter Moon

“Always look on the bright side of life.”

Being alone, especially at this time of year, makes me introspective, and, considering everything else that’s going on, I’ve been even more introspective than normal. I always try to find the good in things and people. It’s not always easy, but, still, I try.
Last night, I found myself thinking about a book I read at the suggestion of my wife: Perfume by Patrick Suskind. It’s a story about a man who imagines, remembers, and “sees” the world via scent. He becomes a famous perfumer, hence the name of the book, but also falls into despair and pain. But, what I took away from the book was a sense of enjoyment, especially of the sensual world. Last night, thinking of the book made me remembe not to take the little pleasures for granted. (In this case, the feeling of nice, cool sheets with a medium to high thread-count.) If not for my wife, I never would have gained that insight.
And, there are other things, too. I’ll always treasure her wonderful cooking. I used to love to cook, and I’m sure I will again, but I’ll never cook the way she cooked for me. It’s something I will always remember with a smile.
Trying to figure out how she did things on websites improved my own HTML crafting ability. I’m sure I’ll never be as good as she is, but, then, it’ll never be my “bread and butter”, either.

Most importantly, however, is the fact that my wife is responsible for my renewed interest in my personal spirituality. If not for her, I would never have started working on that part of my life. Ironically, I never thought we saw eye-to-eye on that particular subject. As far as I know, she’s pursueing her own spirtiality, in her own way. It’s a very different path than mine, but I’m thankful that she seems to be in a place where she can explore that. For her sake, I hope it’s something that she maintains. I know that if I didn’t keep asking spiritual questions in my own life, I’d surely be dead now.

So, despite the pain and the sense of loss, I can still find things to be thankful for in all this. I’m grateful that can still find some of the profit amongst the loss.

12/17/2004

A Place to Lay Your Head

Filed under: Art,Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Fun — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is in the early morning or 7:29 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Crescent

Well, thankfully, I’m not quite that desperate, yet.

But, apparently, I’m not quite as lonely as Japanese guys seem to be. At least, that’s what the makers of the “lap pillow” seem to think. According to this article on MSNBC, this “pillow” shaped like a woman’s lap, is very popular with middle-aged Japanese men who seem to find it somehow comforting. It comes with both a red and black skirt, though I’m not sure why. Of course, I don’t quite get the allure of laying your head in a simulated lap anyway. I mean, it’s one thing when the nice lady is running her hand through your hair or stroking it or whatever, but just a dead, disembodied lap? Well, whatever it takes to get you through the night, I guess.

Aw, what the heck, it’s Friday, click on the link and look at the creepy pictures!

12/15/2004

Small Victories

Filed under: Geek Work,News and Current Events,Novell — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Monkey which is in the late afternoon or 5:48 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Crescent

Got it licked!

Thanks to a little help from a fresh pair of eyes, that is. I’d been having trouble working with the image of our Dell Precision 670 Workstation series, until one of the other guys pointed out something in the registry for me. Now, I’d manually edited the registry file via a text editor, but, somehow, that didn’t make a difference. So, I changed it in another tool (Console One, actually), and the entire image worked! (To refresh your memory, the surviving Mike aka The Messiah, figured out a way to use SNAPShot to make addon images. So, I’ve been exporting the registry changes from the NAL objects I created in Console One, hence the above statement. Make sense now?)
And, I’ve redone the image for the GX280 the same way. Fortunately, I didn’t have the same problems with that image that I had with the SCSI based ones. Now, I’m working on updating the d400 image. It’s a little tedious, but at least I’m making progress again. Finally!

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12/12/2004

Happy Birthday!

Filed under: Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Fun,News and Current Events,Personal,Personal Archive — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Dragon which is in the early morning or 9:19 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a New Moon

I’m 36 today.

I share a birthday with Frank “Chairman of the Board” Sinatra, Bob Barker, Gustave Flaubert, author of Madame Bovary, Edvard Munch, painter of The Scream, and Wells Fargo founder, Henry Wells. Not to mention, Mike Pinder of the Moody Blues, Tim Hauser of Manhattan Transfer, Dickey Betts of the Allman Bros, jazz musician Grover Washington Jr, Karl Edward Wagner who is the author of Bloodstone and Night Winds, and former mayor of New York City, Ed Koch.
Also, it was on this day in 1897 that “The Katzenjammer Kids” made its debut in the New York Journal. The comic strip was created by Rudolph Dirks and featured such novelties as the dialogue balloon, the multi-panel story, and a regular cast of characters. It was on this day, in 1901, that Italian physicist and radio pioneer Guglielmo Marconi succeeds in sending the first radio transmission across the Atlantic Ocean. This is also the day, in 1915, that the first all-metal aircraft (a Junkers J.1) was test flown at Dessau, Germany.
But, that’s not all! My birthday is also when, in 1925, Arthur Heinman coins term “motel”, and opened Motel Inn in San Luis Obispo, California. On this day, in 1964, shooting started for the “Star Trek” pilot, The Cage (which was later reused in Menagerie). In 1965, no doubt in anticipation of my birthday, Gale Sayers of the Chicago Bears scored 6 touchdowns, which ties the NFL record.
A year before I was born, in 1967, the US launched Pioneer 8 into solar orbit. And, on the actual day of my birth, in 1968, the US performed its first nuclear test at the Nevada Test Site. So, obviously, my birthday was, indeed, earth-shattering.

It’s been a hell of a year. I can’t wait to see what I’m doing next year at this time! I hope you all are right there with me.

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