Diary of a Network Geek

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

9/30/2007

Chemistry 201

Filed under: Advice from your Uncle Jim,Bavarian Death Cake of Love,Life, the Universe, and Everything,News and Current Events,Personal — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Snake which is just before lunchtime or 11:53 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

What do you say to your best friend’s wife when she tells you that you’re a handsome man?

So, I got two interesting compliments this week.
Last night, at church, L., J.’s wife, looks at me and suddenly declares, “New Glasses!” Apparently, she’d been trying to figure out what was different about my face since seeing me, but, considering it was Mercy Street‘s 10-year birthday celebration, she was a little too distracted to see it right off. Her explanation of that declaritive statement went something like this…

Well, you’re a handsome man, but tonight there was something special about your eyes. You looked kinder or… Well, your new glasses just made your eyes “pop”.

So, my goal of finding glasses that were unobtrusive and didn’t get in the way of my face seems to have been successful.The other thing came in the form of an e-mail.
Back before I was diagnosed with cancer, I’d seen a woman from Match.com twice, but she didn’t feel any “chemistry”, so, she pretty well cut things off. Not a big deal, really. She was nice enough and made pleasant conversation, but I had to admit there wasn’t much there beyond that. Still, I would have given it a couple more dates before making a decision. I don’t much trust that chemistry business, as I find it a poor indicator of how well a relationship will go for me. I felt a fair amount of unexplainable chemistry with my ex-wife, but that was a disaster on wheels.
In any case, I’ve been updating my Match.com profile a bit. I figured that since my eyebrows were growing back nicely, I should start making preparations to date again. Well, out of the blue, this woman sends me an e-mail. She wrote that Match.com hadn’t worked out too well for her and that I was “one of the few great guys” she’d met and did I want to give her another chance to get to know me. Well, I figure, nothing ventured, nothing gained, so I wrote her back with a yes. So, after my sister and nephew come and go next week, I’ll drop her a note and we’ll work out getting together.
I have to admit, even though I feel a little shallow for the ego pump her e-mail gave me, it is gratifying to know I was a cut above the rest of her Match.com dates. We’ll see how it goes.

Oh, and the answer to that question at the top of the post?
“Thank you.”


Advice from your Uncle Jim:
"A pessimist is one who makes difficulties of his opportunities; an optimist is one who makes opportunities of his difficulties."
   --Reginald B. Mansell

9/29/2007

What Women Want

Filed under: Advice from your Uncle Jim,Bavarian Death Cake of Love,Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Snake which is mid-morning or 10:18 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

Not that I’d know, personally…

I know I’ve touched on it before, but here’s another article about dating at work. Of course, what I need are tips for dating someone from church, but no one’s written about that yet. I wonder why?
Well, while we ponder that mystery, here’s an article on what women want men to wear. Is it accurate, ladies? Should I be wearing rugged Levi’s with a white t-shirt? Or something that matches my eyes?
And, finally, for those readers who are married, how to argue with your wife, though, I would say avoid that if possible. Incidentally, these tips work pretty well for women arguing with their husbands, too.


Advice from your Uncle Jim:
"A man is known by the company his mind keeps."
   --Thomas Bailey Aldrich

9/28/2007

What’s in that cup?

Filed under: By Bread Alone,Fun,Fun Work,Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:57 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

Yummy coffee!

When you go to your local, neighborhood coffee shop, do you ever wonder what really goes into your favorite coffee-based drink? Well, now, thanks to Coffee Drinks Illustrated, not only can you know, but you can see it in a handy infographic.

Enjoy!

9/27/2007

What’s it run?

Filed under: Fun Work,Ooo, shiny...,The Network Geek at Home — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:55 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve asked that question.

Have you ever seen a cool website and wondered what they run to make it all happen? Okay, so maybe I’m a bit geeky in that regard, but I wonder that all the time. Now, I have a tool to help me find out; BuiltWith.com. This website lets you put in a website’s URL and comes back with what they run. The “blurb” said that the information would include blogging software, but I can’t seem to find that info on the actual site.
Check it out!

9/26/2007

Cheap Glasses Update

Filed under: Advice from your Uncle Jim,Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Life, the Universe, and Everything,Personal — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Dog which is in the evening time or 8:32 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a Full Moon

Oh, I got my glasses yesterday!

Sometime back, I decided that I would get some new glasses from a discount eyeglass place on the Internet. Well, the other night, while I was out, a nose-piece fell off my hoidy-toidy, expensive glasses that have never fit right.  It was the proverbial straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back.  That very night I got home and immediately ordered a pair of glasses from Goggles4U.com, per reccomendations on GlassyEyes.com.  After picking a set of frames and filling out the form with my perscription, my total, including shipping, came to $25.99.  The only downside?  They’d take ten to fourteen business days to arrive.

Well, they did finally arrive Tuesday via the regular, U.S. Postal mail.  They were quite well packaged and came with a hard case and an extra set of nose-pieces!  Also, right out of the packaging they fit better than the one’s I’d paid over $150 for about eighteen months ago.  In short, I’m quite happy with them.  So happy, in fact, that I’ll be ordering at least one other pair, so I have a back-up pair and fashion options.  I think this time, I’ll go rimless.  Possibly, I get a third pair that are different still.  At these prices, it’s almost a shame not to do so.

Sorry, though, no pictures yet.  Not enough hair for pictures, yet.


Advice from your Uncle Jim:
"There are three ways to get something done: do it yourself, employ someone, or forbid your children to do it."
   --Monta Crane

Tags:

Tempest in a Teapot

Filed under: Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,News and Current Events,The Dark Side,The Network Geek at Home — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Rooster which is in the early evening or 6:26 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a Full Moon

Wow, people sure are paranoid about nothing.

Look, I’m all in favor of high-level paranoia.  In fact, there have been times that a major portion of my job has been all about being paranoid enough.  And, God knows, in this age of identity theft and on-line fraud, being a little extra paranoid is probably a pretty good idea.  (For those of you with ex-spouses, or soon-to-be ex-spouses, that goes double.  Trust me!)  But, this big noise over on Slashdot about the latest version of WordPress sending “private, user data” back to servers at WordPress.org is just going a bit too far.

First of all, the only thing it sends to the server is the url of the blog, the version of WordPress and its plugins and the basic server settings of the web server running the blog.  I mean, c’mon, that’s mostly public information in the first place!  I can collect two thirds of that data from most servers in less time than it took me to write this post!
Secondly, Matt Mullenweg, the main developer of WordPress, and a Houston native, posted about this on the developer’s mailing list, including how to install plugins to disable the code.  (If you’re paranoid, the plugins are called Disable WordPress Core Update and Disable WordPress Plugin Updates.)
Thirdly, let’s not get ahead of ourselves on blaming a free, OpenSource project like this for not being great about disclosing absolutely everything they’re doing behind the scenes.  I mean, it’s not like they’re doing silent updates without notifying paying customers or anything.

In any case, I thought I should mention the issue, and the solutions, since I’ve been so vocal in support of WordPress in the past.
So, there you have it.

9/25/2007

Biopsy Results

Filed under: Advice from your Uncle Jim,Deep Thoughts,Life, the Universe, and Everything,News and Current Events,Personal — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Dog which is in the evening time or 9:58 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a Full Moon

Okay, so, I got the results of the biopsy today.
It came back clear. No sign of malignant lymphoma cells.  Cancer free.

After getting that kind of news, I feel like I should write something pithy and wise and profound, but, I don’t have anything right now. Maybe later.
Right now, the most profound thing I can think to write is just this:
I’m alive.


Advice from your Uncle Jim:
"If it falls to your lot to be a dishwasher, wash like Michaelangelo painted pictures, like Shakespeare wrote poetry, like Beethoven composed music... wash so well that all the host of heaven and earth will have to pause and say, 'There lived a great dishwasher who did his job well.'"
   --Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

9/24/2007

Book Ahoy!

Filed under: Art,Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Fiction,Fun,NaNoWriMo,Personal — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Rooster which is in the early evening or 7:19 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

NaNoWriMo will soon be upon us!

Golly, I feel rather like Linus announcing the immanent arrival of the Great Pumpkin. Well, misunderstood genius aside, as you, dear reader, can tell from my sidebar, NaNoWriMo is fast approaching. In just a few short weeks, hopeful authors will be scribbling away furiously, or typing, or whatever, trying to crank out 50,000 words, or more, in a month, or less. If that shapes up into an actual novel with a discernible plot, then they will have done better than anticipated. But, that’s not even the point.

For many of us who revere the written word, actually producing it ourselves can be a daunting task. We stare at the blank page, paper or electronic, while beads of stress-induced perspiration well up on our collective foreheads and begin that slow, maddening descent down our angst-ridden faces. NaNoWriMo, however, is about producing. Perhaps not in a stress-free environment, but at least producing in great quantity that often frightening of all art forms, the story. It can be about anything, really, as long as we actually write. The product is the goal, not the quality. In fact, NaNoWriMo’s founder, Chris Baty, encourages participants to set aside their internal critic and simply produce without hardly a concern for content or quality at all. Theoretically, it can be a liberating experience, if you can manage it.

As you all may remember, I came no where near the goal last year, but I did manage to produce more writing in a single month than I had all year. Also, I had a major project at work. And, what I thought at the time was just a nasty cough turned out to be, well, cancer. Surely, that’s enough to excuse last year’s dismal performance.
In any case, it’s a new year and I’ll make a new effort. In fact, I even have the shadow of an idea for a plot…
But, I’ll save that for November, when NaNoWriMo actually begins.

Powerful Women In IT

Filed under: Deep Thoughts,Geek Work,News and Current Events,Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning or 6:01 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

Yes, there are plenty.

No, really, even though IT is a male-dominated industry, there are still plenty of powerful women in high-ranking position. Here’s a link to the top ten, according to eWeek.com. I just thought it was worth mentioning for any geeks who might be reading my blog that happen to be female. I’m sure it gets frustrating sometimes, being a woman in our industry, so I thought it was worth reminding you that there are women who’ve “made it to the top”, as it were.

9/23/2007

Opportunity Costs

Filed under: Advice from your Uncle Jim,Bavarian Death Cake of Love,Deep Thoughts,Life, the Universe, and Everything,Personal,Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Dog which is in the evening time or 9:36 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

Sooner or later, we pay for everything.

So, I’ve been thinking again.  Always a dangerous thing with me.  Tonight, I was thinking about what things cost and how I’ve paid for them over the years.   No, I’m not talking about cash and the level of debt I carry.  Well, I’m not talking about cash, anyway.
Nor am I talking about any simple, tangible form of payment.  Tonight, I found myself contemplating lost opportunities.  It’s a reality that hadn’t occurred to me until I was in college, really.  The idea that by choosing one course of action, or inaction, other courses were lost or unavailable.

I’ll give you an example.  If LK had stayed involved with me last year, she likely would have missed out on the opportunity to move to Denver and do all kinds of great things for her business.  Sure, she would have had that relationship, such as it was, but, I think she would have missed out on a bigger, better opportunity for her.  That business was her life, in many ways, and, as much as I wanted to, I couldn’t help her enough with it.  And, yes, I’m glad that she made that particular choice, because it was the best choice for her.  But, it did have intangible costs associated with it.
For instance, if she’d stayed here and with me, we might have gotten married.  Granted, where I was mentally and emotionally at this time last year, that was pretty unlikely, but, still a possibility.  Or, any of a number of things could have happened here, in Houston, for her and her business, that she didn’t get to experience because moving away cost her that opportunity.

I think I missed out on an opportunity myself, recently, because I spent too much time considering it and not acting on it.  It happens.
And, then, there are all manner of lost opportunities that passed me by while I was in the hospital taking chemotherapy.
On the other hand, passing up those few, small, opportunities allowed me to continue living, which will provide a whole lot more opportunities that won’t pass me by.

Funny, when I sat down to write this, that’s not where I thought I was going.
God sure does work in mysterious ways.
I wonder what opportunities I’ll have tomorrow?


Advice from your Uncle Jim:
"Character is the ability to carry out a good resolution long after the excitement of the moment has passed."
   --Cavett Robert

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