Diary of a Network Geek

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

8/31/2006

Work Sucks

Filed under: Career Archive,Deep Thoughts,Fun,Life, the Universe, and Everything,Personal — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Rooster which is in the early evening or 6:38 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a First Quarter Moon

But, instead of complaining about why I hate my job tonight, I’ll tell you a joke that sums it all up.

A mother goes and wakes her son up on the first day of school.
“It’s time to get up for school!” she says brightly.
“I don’t like school and I don’t want to go,” he responds.
“Well, why don’t you like school?”
“The teachers hate me.  The kids hate me.  And, I think the lunch lady is trying to poison me.”
“Well, you still have to go to school.”
“I hate school and they hate me.  Why do I have to go?”
“Well, because you’re the principal.”

8/29/2006

Treasure Hunt

Filed under: By Bread Alone,Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Fun,Life, the Universe, and Everything,Personal,Red Herrings,The Network Geek at Home — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:39 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Crescent

Cleaning my house has become a treasure hunt.

Saturday, I was looking for something in the kitchen and found a large quantity of popcorn. Not microwave popcorn, all done up in nice, portioned packages, but two jars and a large bag of popcorn kernels. I stood and just starred at it for a few minutes before the implication sank in that somewhere, most likely in the kitchen, I must have a hot-air popcorn popper. So, naturally, I started rooting in odd, hard-to-reach corners of the kitchen cabinets finding, among other things, an EasyBake oven, a rock tumbler and an ice-cream maker. Oh, yes, and the much desired, though slightly antiquated, Poppery II hot-air popcorn popper by West Bend. I cleaned it, because, well, as I didn’t know I owned it I also had no idea at all where it had been in its travels. Cleaning seemed a rather prudent step, even for a half-mad bachelor with a goat-like stomach who’s favorite kitchen phrase is “Well, it doesn’t smell bad yet…”

Then, however, the question of proper and safe usage began to worry me, so I Googled the Poppery II hoping to find manuals in PDF format on the web. Sadly, none were to be had, but I did stumble across a rather interesting community of home coffee roasters, to whom, the Poppery II seemed to represent a kind of Holy Grail. And, while that might be dreadfully useful and fascinating information for another time, it got me no closer to popped popcorn. So, in the end, I simply plugged it in, filled the scoop-like lid and, praying that I started only a small fire, dumped the popcorn of unknown vintage in.

At first, there was nothing but a loud whirring sound as the hot air spun round and round, then, as if by magic, I was rewarded with an explosive pop. This was quickly followed by another and another. Victory! Then, it became quickly apparent that I had chosen a slightly inadequate bowl as the popcorn overflowed the counter and started to spill on the floor. A minor setback! I had achieved fresh, unsalted, no-butter popcorn! Hmm, that seemed more exciting at the time. In any case, I have quite a supply of popcorn now and I can melt as much, or as little, butter as I’d like. I can also salt as much, or as little, as I’d like. Why, I could even add other flavors! I could douse my hot popcorn in Tabasco, if the mood should strike me! Though, frankly, I’m not sure what could move me to do such a thing to popcorn. Still, when I started cleaning in the kitchen, I certainly didn’t expect to find that.
Not to mention the rock tumbler…

8/28/2006

All Better

Filed under: Bavarian Death Cake of Love,Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Deep Thoughts,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 6:25 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Crescent

I had a bit of a surprise Thursday night at therapy.

My headshrink suggested that further sessions wouldn’t be neccessary. Didn’t see that one coming. At least, not quite this quickly. Granted, we’d cut our sessions back to every other week some time back, but I hadn’t quite expected to cut them out entirely this soon. Still, I suppose if the professional says I’m mentally well enough to stop, I should listen, right? Well, I won’t put up a survey on the state of my mental health, so, don’t get your hopes up!

I guess I should have gotten a clue when that one girl from Match.com wrote that I “seem like a regular guy looking for a regular gal” and I had to agree. I’m not half as complicated as I like to think I am. And, the fact that she subsequently vanished from Match? Well, I’m not quite narcissistic enough to think that was about me. At least, not all about me. Yes, I still tend to believe the worst about myself, but, then, don’t a lot of people? I mean, when we spill our coffee, aren’t most of us sure that the whole world is judging us as a result?

Yeah, I’d love to spend more time digging for more answers about why I am the way I am, but, in the end, does it really matter? I’m me, good and bad, and I’m fairly aware of what would be good to change or improve. And, while I might not agree with everyone else’s opinions about that, I have enough clarity to pay attention and work on stuff I want to work on. Like that whole dating thing. I’m still not quite convinced the Bookstore Method works, but, it can’t be any worse than Match.com, right? Right? RIGHT?!
Aw, even that didn’t turn out too badly. Sure, it would have been nice if things had gone a little better, but, well, they sure could have gone worse. Well, I have been cooking more lately, and I keep meaning to post about that. And, I have a copy of Cooking to Hook Up : The Bachelor’s Date-Night Cookbook. So, I suppose I am fairly well armed for a date at home. Of course, that does assume I can ever get my house cleaned enough for another human to see it. Seems like as soon as I clean up one thing, two more collapse into entropy.

Well, in any case, I’ll go back at least once more, next month, and then, probably, call it quits. If something comes up, I can always make another appointment and, in the mean time, that co-pay will go a fair way towards paying off that laptop or buying dinner for a date. So, I guess it all works out. Watch this space for my dating adventures and misadventures. When I finally find a girl that I don’t scare off too soon. ;)

8/25/2006

Fun Gear

Filed under: Adventures with iPods,Fun,Red Herrings,The Network Geek at Home — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:17 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Crescent

Gear that’s fun and for fun.

Okay, so a couple of days ago, I discovered a blog/review website called Gearlog. I don’t remember why I went there in the first place or what I was looking for, but what I found was the coolest gear ever!
Start with the SMS-able Crystal Ball. Yes, that’s right, fortune telling has arrived in the technological age and given us the easiest way to scam little, old, gullible ladies out of their money. Or, a cool accessory for a dorm room. Either way, this “crystal ball” hooks into a cell network and accepts SMS text messages. What could be more fun?

Well, if you’re a college student, looking to have a decent computer workstation, to make more room and make an interior design statement, the Computer Bed could be more fun. This baby also comes via Gearlog, though I linked directly to the website. Oh, I would have so loved to have this in college! Of course, there’s some question about how sturdy it is and if it would have held up under the Freshman Fifteen, but, still, it looks cool, right? Cool enough to impress a date? Well, maybe, but only if she’s a computer geek.

And, finally, speaking of hot geeks, check out the ultimate geek chick accessory, the iPanty! Okay, it’s actually called the iGroove Panty for the iPod Nano, but iPanty sounds cooler, doesn’t it? (Oh, by the way, I cannot promise that link is safe for work. Be warned!) Now, if only I could find a girl who thought that was cool and funny and would be willing to try it at least once for me… Hey, it’s not such a longshot! After all, they’re sold out of the iPanty right now!

So, yes, this is just the kind of website I love. God bless you, Gearlog, for appealing to a geek’s baser nature! Aw, c’mon, it’s Friday! Cut me some slack and click the links.

8/24/2006

A Writing Prompt

Filed under: Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Deep Thoughts,Life, the Universe, and Everything,Personal,Things to Read — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:52 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a New Moon

Oh, this cannot be a good sign…

So, as many of my regular readers know, I occasionally entertain dreams of being a professional writer. Toward that end, I have a massive library of non-fiction books about writing. In fact, my current “bathroom reading” is The Writer’s idea Book, by Jack Heffron. Here’s the most recent writing prompt I read, on page 62, with some added emphasis:

Talk to family members in search of a mysterious relative from the past: someone who struck out on his own and was never heard from again; someone who lived modestly and died with a surprising amount of money; someone who abrubtly left a marriage, someone who lived alone and rarely visited anyone in the family. Imagine a life for this person, the details, based on what you know but pushing beyond into the realm of fiction.

Oh, God, I’ve become a writing prompt….

8/23/2006

Where’d I Go Wrong?

Filed under: Art,By Bread Alone,Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Fun,Personal,Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Pig which is in the late evening or 10:15 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a New Moon

Okay, I know I haven’t lived the cleanest, holiest life, but haven’t I paid for my mistakes yet?

NetworkCenterfoldWhere have I gone wrong? Why is it that, with all the jobs I’ve had, none of the other network techs looked like this? In fact, why haven’t any of the “guys” in the IT department looked like this? Granted, several of them may have posed for pictures this way, but, none of them quite filled out their wiring closet the same way she does. Well, maybe in my next job…

Oh, and for those of you that need a little extra help in the morning? Thinkgeek finally has all three flavors of Sky Rocket Caffeinated Syrup back in stock. I hightly reccomend the vanilla and mocha flavors. When I do those 20+ hour “simple” upgrades, these are what get me through the next week.

8/22/2006

Gratuitous Links

Filed under: Art,Bavarian Death Cake of Love,Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Fun,Personal,The Network Geek at Home,Things to Read — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Snake which is just before lunchtime or 11:50 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Crescent

Wow, I was so tired I left out all the linkage in last night’s post.

So, here it is:
The Waveceptor reference is all about Which Watch.
If you didn’t understand the Craigslist.org reference (ahem, Mom, pay attention), then it’s because you’re a Johnny-Come-Lately.
Yes, I write. Not a lot and not always well, but I try. Maybe, one day, I’ll even make some money at it.
And, yes, I sell junk on this blog. Again, not a lot and not much, but I get a laugh out of selling William S. Burroughs t-shirts. (He wrote the Naked Lunch, if you’re not familiar with him. Great book.)
And, finally, yes, LK and I are still friends. Strange, but true.

8/21/2006

“Snips and Snails and…”

Filed under: Bavarian Death Cake of Love,By Bread Alone,Deep Thoughts,Fiction,Fun,Life, the Universe, and Everything,MicroSoft,Personal,Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Pig which is in the late evening or 10:00 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Crescent

“… Puppy dog tails, that’s what little boys are made of.”

So, really, I don’t have anything to say, but I know that if I don’t post something, people will wonder if the aliens have finally come to carry me away. I keep trying to explain that they’ll get the “special” e-mail from my super-secret automated dead-man switch system if that happens, but, who listens to me? So, instead of anything coherent, y’all are going to get some random snippets in a sort of stream of consciousness update.

I got the Waveceptor the other day, because it was under $30 on a closeout special. So, I’m now on atomic time and not living fifteen minutes into the future. Maybe that’s why I’m so tired?

I made red sauce tonight, but this time I added in a jar of fancy, red peppers, because they were on the shelf and I’d forgotten how long ago I’d bought them. Or, in fact, if I had bought them. And, if I didn’t buy them, who’d put them there… Right, see? Better I should use them now, quick, before they go bad. If they haven’t already.

No word back from anyone about the Craigslist.org post again. No word from the lady in question, in particular. Hopefully, she’ll get word and doesn’t freak out about me still thinking about her. Yes, thanks to my divorce, I worry about being percieved as a crazy stalker, even though I’ve never thought of myself that way before.

My mother has yet to read my blog even though she made such a huge deal about reading it for months before I let her. Parents. Pffft!

I found two writing contests that I’m going to enter. In fact, I started on a story for one, and would be working on it now, if not for my lack of sleep for weeks and a low-level state of delirium. Of course, that might simply add to the atmosphere of surreality and fantasy that I’m trying to capture in my writing.

I sold a William Burroughs t-shirt in my Cafe Press store the other day. But, I’m still not seeing a credit in the store. And, who would buy a XXL black t-shirt with a red silhouette of William S. Burroughs on it anyway?

I’ve almost set up an old Dell laptop for my redneck nephew for Christmas. I hope to get Windows2000 loaded on it for him. I’m working on configuring the WLAN card now, so I can get on-line with it and do updates and stuff. I figure I should try to give him something fairly standard and easy to use, but fun, too.

I was looking at better laptop bags than the freebie I got with the Toshiba. Everything seems like it’s close to what I want, but not quite right. I’ll probably have to go to a store and actually mingle with actual consumers, uh, “consuming” to find the right bag. Then I can pass a bag along to my nephew with the older laptop.

I talked to LK the other day. This “just friends” thing is strange, but kind of cool. Never done it before, with an ex, but it’s sort of nice, really.
Or, I’m delirious.
Whatever.
Okay, time to get the coffee ready for tomorrow and catch some ZZZs.

8/18/2006

Birthday of Lolita

Filed under: Art,Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,News and Current Events,Personal,Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Snake which is just before lunchtime or 11:58 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Crescent

Today is the day in 1955 that Vladimir Nabokov’s novel Lolita was first published.

Why could I possibly be celebrating a story I haven’t even read about middle-aged man who falls in love with a 12-year-old girl? Not for the story, or the subject matter, or even as a statement about censorship and publishing. No, I celebrate the publication because it was the turning point in Nabokov’s writing career. This book was so popular that he was able to give up his teaching position and write full-time.
I do not believe it is coincidence that the Writer’s Almanac ran this story today, the day after I wrote about buying a laptop, the modern equivalent of the writer’s Smith-Corona. The day after I wrote a post about dedicating myself more seriously to my writing, about burning my ship, so to speak, so that I had to move forward and conquer.

I think it is still possible to support one’s self entirely on writing. I hope it is and I hope, one day, to do just that.

One more thing…
A brief Craigslist update:  I got another e-mail from a second person who knows this college sweetie that told me she’d tell her the next time they talked on the phone.  Aha!  One step closer this time, as it’s someone who’s actually, currently involved in her life.
Stay tuned for updates!

Pets with a Shelf Life

Filed under: Art,Deep Thoughts,Fun,Life, the Universe, and Everything,News and Current Events,Personal,Review,The Network Geek at Home — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:20 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Crescent

Yea! Genetically modified pets right off the shelf!

No, not those silly glowing fish, but something far more interesting. Straight to you from the future, Genpets, Bioengineered Buddies! They come in seven different, color-coordinated tempraments right out of the package. Sadly, they have limited vocal capabilities and need specially designed food to carry on, but their almost total lack of excretion makes up for that. They come with a “freshness” indicator right on the blister-pack and will be available in one and three year life-expectancy models. They look a little more anthropomorphic for the average genetic ethicist, I’m sure, but kids will love ‘em!

Now, before you freak out, this is not real. It is an art website showcasing some very interesting and thought-provoking sculptures. I have to admit, even though they creep me out, I’d probably buy one of these suckers should they ever be comercially available. I hope that doesn’t send me straight to hell, but, well, I love science-fiction and this sort of thing has been the promise of sci-fi stories since I can remember. I’d love to see it available, just for the “cool” factor.
But, no matter how you feel about it, you have to admit, the site is thought provoking.

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