Diary of a Network Geek

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

12/31/2007

Non Sequiturs

Filed under: Art,By Bread Alone,Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Deep Thoughts,Life, the Universe, and Everything,Personal,Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Rooster which is in the early evening or 6:47 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a Third Quarter Moon

Just a few random thoughts to wrap up the year.

I like toast.
I like all kinds of toast. I like diner toast soaked in thinned, anemic butter. I like dry toast. I like toast with honey. And, I like toast with jam. I like toast with peanut butter. I like toast with runny eggs, over easy. I like to soak up the runny yolks after scarfing the eggs.
Today, almost the only thing I ate was toast.
It’s yummy.

I love books.
My obsession for books will most likely bankrupt me.  I love the feel of books in my hand.  The sound of fanning pages on a new book sends a shiver up my spine as I consider with delight what that book holds for me.  The smell of a new book is more evocative for me than almost any other smell in the world.  I think if I suddenly were out of newish books to smell in my house, I would take books that I haven’t read yet to the used book store to sell for cash so I could re-buy those books new again, just for the smell.  I love the feel of new, unread paperback pages as they flip past my fingers, like silky thoughts against my skin.
I would spend my last dime on books rather than food.
Better to die hungry with a new book in my hand than empty-handed and with a full belly.

Tomorrow, I’ll give you something spiritual to start the year.
Y’all have a safe and happy new year.

12/28/2007

Pancakes in a Can

Filed under: By Bread Alone,Fun,Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning or 6:15 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

What else can I add to that?

I mean, really, pancake batter in a pressurized can that you can squirt out into the skillet. What else is there to say?

Oh, and there’s still time to autogenerate your New Year’s Resolutions!

12/27/2007

More Thoughts on Guerilla Marketing

Filed under: Advice from your Uncle Jim,Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Personal,Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Rooster which is in the early evening or 6:34 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

So, I’m still thinking about ways to market my blogs.

Well, not just my blogs, but my entire suite of websites, blogs and digital identities. I have ideas, naturally, and I’ve already shared some of the ideas that I’ve tried. I’ll keep working on those and on ways to measure the effectiveness of those methods. But, I also need to think of different ways to market my digital self, or selves.

Toward that end, I’ve done a little cheap, on-line research.
For starters, there was a Wired article on all this. Quite possibly, that article is how this all got wedged in my consciousness. I mean, I read Wired obsessively and always try to check out any on-line article from Wired online.
In any case, the main gist of the article is to think outside the box. Especially, when it comes to different ways to get your message, or in this case, website, in front of an audience that might not otherwise see it.
Then, following a link from there, I found an article at Forbes that goes into more details on those other ideas. It’s really a compliment to the Wired article, but, still, it has value.

So, my thought, in general, is this: Get the word out about your blog in places that aren’t obvious. “Not obvious” may be different for different blogs, or websites, but I suggest going beyond the digital world and exploring other possibilities. In a digital sense, though, try to get the site listed in places that are related to your topic, but in a peripheral way. If you write about mostly technical things, like I do, then also get your blog listed in places that talk about all the things you write about besides technical subjects.
But, in essence, when looking for places to advertise your blog, think beyond the usual and way, way outside the box.


Advice from your Uncle Jim:
You don't have to be a genius to succeed. You just have to be the cleverest monkey in the cage.

12/26/2007

Buddhist Quote

Filed under: Advice from your Uncle Jim,Deep Thoughts,hoosgot,Life Goals,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 9:15 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

I’m hoping someone will know this.

I vaguely recall a quote by someone, possibly famous, about the relationship of the number of keys on your keyring to the amount of attachment to the world. I can’t remember the quote, or the person who made it, but I recall that the point was to have fewer keys, and not the giant wad of them that I have. Oh, it was related to Buddhism in some way. Either the speaker was Buddhist or was paraphrasing one, I think.
So, tell me, esteemed readers, does anyone else remember the quote?


Advice from your Uncle Jim:
"In life, as in football, you don't go far unless you know where the goalposts are."
   --Arnold Glasgow

12/25/2007

Merry Christmas

Filed under: Art,Ooo, shiny...,Personal,Red Herrings,The Network Geek at Home — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Rat which is in the wee hours or 1:04 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

Merry Christmas!

Christmas Tree 2007

God, bless us, every one.

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12/24/2007

NORAD Tracking Santa

Filed under: Fun,News and Current Events,Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Dragon which is in the early morning or 9:06 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a Full Moon

Okay, so Christmas spirit has been running a little low this year.

Until, that is, I saw that NORAD is tracking Santa.  I always knew that a guy with the kind of technology it would take to circumnavigate the globe in a single night, breaking into houses to deliver presents, then sneaking off to his secret arctic base just had to be a government contractor.

“He knows when you’re sleeping.  He knows when you’re awake.  He knows if you’ve been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake!” 

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10 Things to Think About When Buying a Laptop

Filed under: Apple,Geek Work,Linux,MicroSoft,Novell,Red Herrings,Review,The Network Geek at Home — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is in the early morning or 7:25 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a Full Moon

My laptop saved me.

As most of my regular readers know, my laptop really saved me when I was in the hospital getting my chemotherapy treatment. If I hadn’t had that, I might have just about gone crazy. For one thing, it kept me in touch with many of my friends via e-mail and blogs. For another thing, I was able to get some things done at work via that laptop and a secure, remote connection to our server. That wasn’t my intention when I bought it, but, still, it’s been a very good investment and I’m very, very happy to have made it. I’d even say it was worth going into a bit of debt to get it when I did. It was something I’d put off doing for… Well, for a very long time.

Anyway, if you’re thinking about getting a laptop, the upcoming Christmas season is as good a time as any. These days laptops go on sale just like all electronics do, at Christmas, after Christmas and at the beginning of the school year. But, with deference to the TechRepublic article from which I drew the main points, here are ten things to keep in mind when buying a new laptop:

#1: Operating system

#2: CPU#3: RAM

#4: Video card

#5: Ports

#6: Screen size

#7: Integrated wireless

#8: Integrated Bluetooth

#9: Track pad

#10: Battery life

So, if you’re taking advantage of the great sales at the last minute, keep that in mind.  And, if you’re in the market for a laptop, Microcenter is going to have some pretty great sales just after Christmas this year, it looks like.  They’ve always done right by me.
That’s NOT a paid endorsement, by the way.  They’ve just always done right by me.

12/21/2007

Blog Reading Level

Filed under: Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Fun,Ooo, shiny...,Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:33 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

What level is your blog at?

Apparently, my blog is at the Junior High level, which is about right. I try to write simple so folks understand. Besides, I write most of my entries at about the same level as USA Today. Oh, wait…

cash advance

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12/20/2007

Financial Responsibility

Filed under: Advice from your Uncle Jim,Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Life Goals,Life, the Universe, and Everything,Personal — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Pig which is in the late evening or 10:42 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

Just for myself.

So, one of my new life goals is to get debt free and stay that way. But, really, that’s just a very concrete way for me to describe getting my finances in order. I’ve started doing a number of things to get that particular set of ducks in a row, among them being to sign up for our 401k. When I first became eligible for that, I was in the middle of a divorce, so I didn’t take advantage of it. Then, frankly, I couldn’t afford it, so I more or less forgot about it. But, with the raise that will start after the first of the year, now seemed like a perfect time to start socking money away. I think the company matches me some, but it doesn’t really matter. What matters is that I’m going to start taking money out of every paycheck, before taxes, and move it into an investment device.

Also, along with that, I plan to start using the automated transfer system at my bank to transfer some of that raise directly into my savings account every two weeks. The idea here, as so many personal investment gurus have said, is to pay myself first. And, from here on out, I’m going to transfer any automated payments from Google directly into my savings account, too. I think of that as “extra” money anyway, so I might as well set it aside.
What I’m trying to do with this pattern, is to set aside a contingency fund. If I really want to get out of debt and stay out of debt, I have to stop making any more debt! The only way to do that is to have some money set aside to deal with anything that might come up. (Incidentally, I’ll be following the basic plan from How to Get Out of Debt, Stay Out of Debt and Live Prosperously, which is where I got the common sense idea to start building a contingency fund.) I know it will be slow going, but, I think it will be well worth it in the end.

Also, in the Spring, I’m going to find a personal finance magazine of some kind to subscribe to so I can educate myself better on financial matters. I’m not sure which I’ll go with, Money, Kiplinger’s, or SmartMoney, but I’ll most likely stick with one of those three.

And, finally, here are a couple of articles from Men’s Health about financial matters, which is what got me thinking about this today.
First, there’s “Your Biggest Money Worries – Solved“. I have to admit, that one hit a couple of mine, like “Affording Her” and “Paying Off Your Debts”, not to mention “Saving Enough For Retirement”. Surprisingly, this article about easy resolutions for the coming year sort of got me motivated, too. It all reminded me of how my parents taught me that the little things, when added up, can make big changes. Mom’s saying was “Inch by inch, life’s a sinch, but mile by mile, life’s a trial”. She used to say that to remind me that I had to be patient and do the little steps that made the bigger goals possible. It’s a good reminder.
But, what really got me thinking about this the most was Six Painless Ways to Build Wealth.
So, here’s hoping that a more serious, enlightened, “grown-up” approach to my finances will help me achieve yet another life goal. I’ll try to keep y’all updated.


Advice from your Uncle Jim:
"There is no failure except no longer trying."
   --Elbert Hubbard

12/19/2007

11 Things to Do If You Get “Laid Off”

Filed under: Advice from your Uncle Jim,Career Archive,Geek Work,News and Current Events — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Rooster which is in the early evening or 6:41 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

Or, fired even.

Okay, so no one wants to get fired. (Well, that’s not quite true. I actually had someone ask me to lay him off once, but that’s another story.) Still, sometimes, market forces back employers into a corner and they have no choice but to “help employees find other opportunities to excel”. So, what do you do when that happens? Well, an article over at TechRepublic has several suggestions:

#1: Get everything the company owes you

#2: Get your resume updated and out the door

#3: Search company Web sites

#4: List your sources of income

#5: Prioritize expenses

#6: Don’t forget insurance

#7: Don’t burn bridges

#8: Avoid raiding your investments

#9: Get out

#10: Keep up with your debt

#11: Pay attention to your feelings

Thankfully, it looks like not only am I not getting fired, but I’ll be getting a reasonable “cost-of-living” raise this year.  But, with some of the stuff going on at Motorola, I thought my brother might make use of the tips.  (Yes, he reads the blog, too.)


Advice from your Uncle Jim:
"Brigands demand your money or your life; women require both."
   --Samuel Butler

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