Diary of a Network Geek

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

3/31/2006

Counting Down

Filed under: Bavarian Death Cake of Love,Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Fun,Life, the Universe, and Everything,Personal,The Network Geek at Home — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Horse which is around lunchtime or 1:32 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Crescent

I’m starting to get a little nervous here.
Tomorrow night I will go on the first date I’ve been on in over ten years. I know, it’s like riding a bicycle, right? Funny thing about that, when I was learning to ride a bike, I wiped out once and took a handlebar to the gut. I don’t know how long I rolled around on the sidewalk gasping for air before someone helped me out. I hope that’s not how tomorrow night goes.
Per instructions, I have purged the car of all metal music of any kind. I will add the dulcet tones of Sting, in abundance, but also have Bowling for Soup, Spoon, Elvis Costello, Warren Zevon, and Frank Sinatra, among others. And, before you critisize me about Blue Eyes, she said she likes Frankie. I won’t put it in myself, but it will be available for her if she so chooses. Tomorrow, I’ll go get my hair cut and the car cleaned inside and out. I’ve already got directions to her place ready.
So, that just leaves what I’m going to wear… We agreed to keep it casual, but she texted me telling me that she was getting a manicure. *gulp* So, I was thinking black jeans, a white button-down shirt and my black cowboy boots, freshly polished, since she’s taller than I am and they give me a good two inches of height. Not that I care personally, but I know some women get uncomfortable with that stuff. On the other hand, maybe just a nice golf shirt and regular jeans. But the black jeans fit so well…
Oh, and do you buy flowers for a first date? Or bring something other than yourself?
Right, obsessive-complusive disorder in action. So, suggestions?

Hard Labor

Filed under: Art,Fun,News and Current Events,Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:42 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Crescent

No, not me!
Prisoners! First there was Prison Blues, the tough-as-nails clothing company with instant street cred. (Which, incidentally, was an idea I had for years before I saw it on the news.) And, now, there’s Big House Choppers, a custom motorcycle company run by the prison in Carson City, Nevada, according to this article on MSNBC.com. Billing themselves as the ultimate “outlaw” bike manufacturer, I’d imagine these folks have a certain built-in fan base. Especially with the kind of folks that would really dig Prison Blues. Somehow, that authentic outlaw feeling must just seep into these babies as the convicts work on them. In fact, these “choppers” will have actual prison bars worked into the body and a certificate proving that fact. You can see an example of their work here. And while I am tattooed, I am not a motorcycle owner or rider, but, I still have to say, this is a fine looking piece of machinery.

3/30/2006

Review: Local Music Talent

Filed under: Adventures with iPods,Art,Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Fun,Review,The Network Geek at Home — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning or 6:11 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Crescent

Speaking of music…
Some time ago, I mentioned buying a bunch of CDs at my favorite bookstore. Several of them were “local” talent, though, I think that covers a pretty broad geographic area. Anyway, I’ve finally listened to them enough to get a good feel for their sound and I’m totally ready to give you all a review. Or, at least, as ready as I’ll ever be.
The four CDs are To the Afterglow by SiennaBlu , Dance Cry Swing by Eileen Faxas, and The Storms Inside and A Little Gun Shy, both by Brian Douglas.

SiennaBlu reminds me of an unholy cross between Bon Jovi, REM and a high-school garage band. Though, they’re not bad at all, they do sound very raw and unpolished. There’s a lot of heart in their music, but, well, not much else. Don’t pay full price.

Dance Cry Swing by Eileen Faxas, though, is pretty good. This looks to be her first CD, but, if she keeps at it, she could be the Texas version of Gloria Estefan. No, really, her work has the same kind of sound and rythym. It’s not all that remarkable at this stage, but, you can see the potential here.

Of all these four, though, the two by Brian Douglas are my favorites. I have to admit, when I first got them, I didn’t realize they were the same guy. I purchased the second one, A Little Gun Shy, days after the first and just didn’t make the connection, until I heard the music. Douglas has a really personal sound, reminds me of Aqualung, a little bit, but with a lot heavier American influence. Mainly a balladeer, at least on these two CDs, his voice grabs hold of you and drags you down the paths of his memories, painful and joyful alike.

3/29/2006

Error Condition

Filed under: Adventures with iPods,Bavarian Death Cake of Love,Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Fun,Life, the Universe, and Everything,Personal,The Dark Side,The Network Geek at Home — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Pig which is in the late evening or 10:57 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Crescent

Whoops!
Okay folks, the little problem has been corrected. It seems that someone or something managed to inject a little extra PHP code into my WordPress plugins. I think they were trying to add links to websites to improve their Googlerank, but it just caused an error on the blog. Anyway, I think I got all the offending code.

My iPod arrived tonight. I’ll be loading it with music over the next several days.

As a total red herring, though, I have a date Saturday night with an actual woman. Not a girl, but a real, full-grown, self-supporting woman. She has her own business and her own very busy life. She used to live in Chicago, but she’s from here and moved back just two years ago. The pictures I’ve seen of her are, well, let’s just say she took my breath away. I’d imagine that she could pretty well have her pick of guys. In fact, she doesn’t need me at all.
But, tonight on the phone, she wouldn’t hang up until I promised to call her in the morning.

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3/28/2006

Sleep?

Filed under: Bavarian Death Cake of Love,Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Deep Thoughts,Fun,Life, the Universe, and Everything,Personal — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning or 6:43 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a New Moon

Oh, there’ll be time enough to sleep when I’m dead.
Up until 2:30AM on the phone with the fascinating woman from Match.com. She knows my part of Chicago. She loves dogs and what she does for a living. She has no time for bullshit. She’s in therapy, too. She spent seven unhappy years with an Australian she met in a bar in Chicago before she moved back to Houston a little over two years ago. Oh, and there’s more and more and more and more…
And, yes, I told her too much. She asked about the ex-wife, so I answered her truthfully and honestly. And spent half the night explaining and justifying my poor choices and why it’s okay now. The rest of the time, of course, I spent asking her the same thing. I mean, an Australian in a bar? What was she thinking?
It ended with her telling me, “It’s okay to call me again.”
“Is it? Is it okay if I call you?” I’m sure she could hear me laughing at her subtlety.
“Like tomorrow. Yeah, that would be good.”
“Would it?”
“Yeah, it would.”
“Well, I guess I’ll call tomorrow night then.”

3/27/2006

Who’da thunk it?

Filed under: Bavarian Death Cake of Love,Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Dog and Pony Shows,Fun,Life, the Universe, and Everything,Personal — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Horse which is around lunchtime or 12:23 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Crescent

So, I’m about to call Match.com a bust, right?
I mean, I’m getting nothing, even with the rewritten profile. Zlich. Hardly even a returned e-mail for pity’s sake! Then, suddenly, I’ve spent hours on the phone with someone and I’m promising to call her back tonight, after my walk with Hilda and my weekly chat with the parental units. Never know, do you?
She’s nice. Has her own business making dog biscuits. Has three dogs, but no kids. Older than me by almost two years. Taller than me, not that it matters. Blonde, blue-eyed. Self-sufficient, self-sustaining and self-supporting. In short, nothing at all like my ex-wife. I’m waiting to find out what’s wrong with her, honestly. Must be something there that doesn’t add up, right? I mean, could I have hit a jackpot here?
She said she’s tired of the “players” on Match.com. I laughed. I’m about as un-player as they come. Tragically unhip, disturbingly upfront and with very little left to hide. (Hey, even a priest has a past, kids. Mine just involves two tattoos and an ex-wife.) So, we’ll take it slow and see what happens next.
I expect it not to work out, eventually, but, then, I’ve been a bit of a pessimist lately, haven’t I? Though, realistically, I expect this process of getting out into the dating world will involve a lot of failure before I start to get a little traction. Comes with the territory.

3/26/2006

Sunup

Filed under: Bavarian Death Cake of Love,Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Dog and Pony Shows,Fun,Garden of Unearthly Delights,Life, the Universe, and Everything,Personal,Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning or 6:51 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Crescent

Okay, so I didn’t make it quite as early this morning.
I made it through yesterday on caffeine and gumption, but I did make it through to almost 1:00AM before dropping off. So, I figure that hitting the blog before hitting the road at about 7:00AM isn’t too bad for starting some new habits. Right? Hilda seemed more eager, at least. So, when I finish my Monster energy drink, I’ll grab a cup of fancy joe and get out walking again. Then, I have those palm trees to dig up and that ugly-ass hedge to rip out. I still haven’t decided on a fruit tree, but I don’t think mangoes will work. Thanks to a friend, though, I now have some choices. He sent me a link to the Garden of Delights, which is a totally cool site that sells unusual fruiting plants. I might get one of their non-ornamental banana trees. I definitely want to get some of their coffee plants. I might not ever actually brew my own, home-grown coffee, but just the idea cranks me up. Either way, though, the ugly stuff comes out today.
I also just sent an e-mail to a totally cool, interesting chick on Match.com. Not unusual in and of itself, but this lady started her own dog biscuit company. How cool is that? I’m hoping that we might be able to hook up so, at the very least, I can pump her for how she got her business going. Hoffman’s Holistic Canine Cookies might become a reality yet! Hell, I wouldn’t even mind being a subcompany of her’s. Or even just a brand that collects some royalties!!
Oh, and one last thing before I go. I hope to have a new reader soon. I sat and talked with one of my ministers yesterday afternoon and told him about this blog. Now, understand, I’m used to being hit up for something when a minister wants to get together for a cup of coffee. I’m not used to a guy who just is interested in me and wants to get to know me. Very strange feeling for me. And, before you think it, no he’s not gay. Happily married with two kids and totally straight. He’s also very cool. Didn’t even flinch when we drove over to the Fourbucks in my Black Beast listening to Sehnsucht by Rammstein or when I showed him my tattoos. Way cool minister and a heck of a preacher. (You can check that out for yourself at Mercy Street.) We’ll see if he’s brave enough to comment. ;)
Well, time for my walk. Later!

3/25/2006

What time is it?

Filed under: Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Deep Thoughts,Dog and Pony Shows,Life, the Universe, and Everything,Personal,The Network Geek at Home — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:14 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Crescent

I’m up at an un-Godly hour today.
Why? Well, simple. I want to be in better shape and get more done with my life. How does that relate to being up before the Sun on a Saturday? Well, I got this crazy idea that running would help me be in better shape. I think it comes from the fact that all the really hot people, men and women, I’ve seen lately seem to be runners. Lean, mean, running machines. So, when do they find the time? Before that balefull, red-gold, burning eye in the sky can look down on them and sear their flesh. Or, so it seems. I mean, people blog about how the early morning light hurts their eyes before they run, then people comment on those posts about how to be a “morning person”.
So, I set my alarms and got up. My dog squinted at me in the unfamiliar Saturday light as if to say, “What the hell are you doing? Why are you waking me up, Dummy?” It was, I assure you, adorable. I pulled on a sweatshirt and jeans and a ball cap, then stumbled my way into the kitchen to start the coffee. While I listened to it brew, I read my morning devotional and slurped down a Full Throttle engery drink. Now, it’s a quick cup of joe, my new running shoes and out with the dog for my first, early-morning, high-speed shuffle. When I work it up to a run, I’ll let you all know.
Maybe Hilda and I will bump into the new, improved, healthier me out there in the dark. Here’s hoping.

3/24/2006

Scientologistic Study

Filed under: Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Deep Thoughts,Life, the Universe, and Everything,News and Current Events — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Rooster which is in the early evening or 7:07 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Crescent

Oh, Tom, when will you ever learn?
Look, I’m pretty open minded about religious matters and seeking spirituality and all, but, when people are destroying their lives over their religious beliefs, I start to question the validity of the claims. But, when people start killing their own family as a result of those beliefs, I think it’s time to whip out the cult recognition questionaire. Look, therapy may not be the answer for everyone, nor are psychiatric drugs. Even when I was going through the worst of my depression last year, I resisted the use of drugs. My feeling was that it would simply compound my problem when I was weaned off them, but still, I don’t think they’re a bad thing. For instance, someone with severe mental problems and chemical imbalances can obviously benefit from this. So, why would any one follow a “religion” that would deny someone this aid? I don’t get it. Especially when the results have been proven over and over again and not in the favor of “vitamins, diet and exercise”. Is it any wonder that both Mimi Rodgers and Nicole Kiddman dropped Cruise like a bad habit? I mean, c’mon, how is he going to defend this pseudo-science against this? You know, now, I wonder how much of his “acting” is good work and how much of it is just a running hallucination.
Keep in mind, folks, Scientology was created by a science fiction writer named L. Ron Hubbard. Not a bad writer, mind, but he’s definately a pulp-fiction guy and so is Scientology. I mean, really, “thetans” that inhabit my body? An ancient, intergalactic war that took place in another dimension? Doesn’t this sound like the plot from some late-night, B-movie matinee? It sure does to me. Well, maybe people should just decide for themselves, but, you know, after they’ve had plenty of sleep and a decent meal. The opposite of the way Scientologists treat unruly “believers” who “stray”.
I’m waiting for my “Cease and Desist” letter now.

Pushing Limits

Filed under: Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,News and Current Events,Personal,Red Herrings,The Dark Side,The Network Geek at Home — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning or 6:14 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Crescent

In this particular case, I was apparently pushing my bandwidth limits.
Not sure what I’ve been writing about that would be so interesting lately, but, well, my bandwidth limit got exceeded last night about 2:00AM, or so. My apologies to anyone who was trying to get to my blog between 2:00AM and now. Firstly, I’m sorry you were reading my blog at 2:00AM. Secondly, the warning messages arrived after I had gone to bed last night, otherwise I would have done something about it sooner.
Obviously, since you’re reading this, it’s been corrected.

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