Diary of a Network Geek

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

4/27/2012

Under Construction

Filed under: Art,Career Archive,Fun,Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning or 6:19 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Crescent

No, not this blog or website.

Do you remember the days when we were building websites so fast that we couldn’t keep up?  Back when it was actually sort of pricey to buy a domain name?  Do you remember the days when as soon as anyone bought a domain they threw up a quick “Under Construction” page?  Ah, those were the days….
Honestly, I don’t know what we were thinking. No one had a plan to actually make money from the web, but we were all so excited about what this new medium, this new technology, might do for us, that didn’t seem to matter.  And, we were in such a rush to do something, anything, that the idea of running a test site that wasn’t live hadn’t really occurred to us yet.  So, we’d make these pages that were filled with breathless text about how the next great thing was coming soon and how excited we were and “please excuse our mess while we build the future”.  And we littered the page with these awful “Under Construction” graphics.

Well, prepare yourself.  Give yourself a little time to adjust.  Have a cup of coffee and get ready to have internet startup PTSD flashbacks, then go look at all of the Under Construction graphics known to the web.  They’re all there.  Even the ones in Japanese with the little anime characters.  They’re all there.
Look on these works and despair!

No, seriously, go have a blast of nostalgia and take a look at them.  Just don’t use them ever again.
And, happy Friday, y’all!

4/20/2012

Short Fiction Friday

Filed under: Art,Fiction,Fun,Things to Read — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:59 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a New Moon

Sadly, not my own.

It’s no secret that I love science-fiction and fantasy.  In fact, once upon a time, I used to write it.  Quite a bit of it, actually.  In fact, at one time, I was writing at what might be considered a professional level.  At least, I would have been published, if the magazine I submitted to hadn’t folded a few days after they received my story.  But, then life intervened and I more or less stopped writing.  All of which is to say, when I tell you, gentle readers, that I’ve found some good science-fiction or fantasy, especially in the short-story format, I have some idea what I’m talking about.

So, since you took the time to read that, you have the time to read these two short stories by some relatively new authors.
First, there’s the ultimate solution to spammers, which I know a number of my regular system admin users wouldn’t mind implementing, Press Enter To Execute.  It’s near-future science-fiction, which, frankly, is getter rarer and rarer as Moore’s Law speeds up our entire world.
Then, in the fantasy category, there’s The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees, which is a story from the perspective of some very interesting and complicated social insects.

Neither of these are particularly long, but they’re both worth taking the time to read.
Besides, it’s Friday and you really can’t have anything better to do, especially if you’re reading my blog already.
Y’all have a great weekend!

4/13/2012

Another Sunny Friday

Filed under: Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Horse which is around lunchtime or 12:25 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a Third Quarter Moon

Yes, today is Friday the Thirteenth.

My day started with a phone call from someone at the office who told me that the power was out.  It was out because a transformer literally exploded.  Then, when the fine folks from the power company came out to fix it, they managed to blow at least one more transformer.  When we left the office this morning, we were told it might be back up sometime after 2:00pm, but, no one really knows for sure.  So, instead of a stressful day at work, I’m home hours early.  Who says that Friday the Thirteenth is an unlucky day?

Most people in the Western World think of this day as unlucky, actually, but I never really have. For years I wondered why people were so funny and superstitious about Friday the Thirteenth. I always thought it was because Judas was the Thirteenth Apostle or something like that. No, according to this article on GlobalPsychics.com, it has to do with the plot to suppress the Knights Templar. Hey, stop laughing! That’s what it says!! And, I quote:

The modern basis for the Friday the 13th superstition stems from Friday October the 13th, 1307. On this date, the Pope of the church in Rome in Conjunction with the King of France, carried out a secret death warrant against “the Knights Templar”. The Templars were terminated as heretics, never again to hold the power that they had held for so long. There Grand Master, Jacques DeMolay, was arrested and before he was killed, was tortured and crucified. A Black Friday indeed!

So, there you have it, Friday the Thirteenth is a global conspiracy, though, for a nice twist, it’s not the Knights Templar or Freemasons who are behind it! Though, I do suppose they are indirectly involved. Personally, I usually have better luck on Friday the Thirteenth, but, then, I always have been a little out of step with the world. Oh, and here’s a link to some alternate ideas why everyone else is afraid of Friday the Thirteenth.

Enjoy it.

4/6/2012

The Dangers of Professional Photography

Filed under: Art,Fun,Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:26 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a Full Moon

It’s no secret that I’m a contrarian in many ways.

I’m an amateur photographer.  And, I’m good at it.  Not great, but good.  I know a lot of photographers who are at all levels of skill and accomplishment.  Many of them are in a totally different place with their photography than me.  I do it because I love it and I find it relaxing.  It’s totally different from what I do to make money, even though skills from my professional life compliment my hobby.  But, I have met a lot of amateur photographers who would really like to be professionals.
Personally, I think it’s better to stay amateur.  People don’t think that shift from hobby to profession through very well most of the time.  There are all kinds of things that change when you start doing things professionally.  For one thing, you have to collect money.  It sounds fun until you have to actually do it, especially when someone doesn’t, or suddenly can’t, pay.  Trust me.  And, when it’s something like photography, well, sometimes, you just have got to get the shot, no matter how dangerous it is!
Think I’m kidding?  Then just feast your eyes on this little “Reality Check” from The Photo Society.  Click that link and see actual dangers, faced and mostly survived, by National Geographic Photographers!  Burns and acid-dripping caves?  Broken bones and tear gas?  No, thanks!  And, those aren’t even the worst!  Flesh eating parasites?!?  And, worst of all, I think, is the dreaded “penis fish”!  Yikes!  I think I’ll keep my amateur status, thanks!

Also, on the same site, for those of you who are good enough, or already semi-professional, they offer some advice about how to respond to requests for free photography work you might get.  In fact, they suggest that you just go ahead and link right to that article.  So do I.  It’s not quite as good as what Harlan Ellison had to say about people asking for free work from him, but, it’s pretty close.  (Note that he does get a little loud and may use some slightly colorful language, so watch your volume at work.)

So, there you are, dear readers.  Some fun things to think about over the weekend while, hopefully, you pursue your hobby and not your profession!


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