Diary of a Network Geek

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

3/22/2013

More DIY Japanese food

Filed under: By Bread Alone,Fun,Red Herrings,Things to Read — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning or 6:37 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

Although, I suppose it doesn’t have to be Japanese…

I’m talking about bento, in this case.  Since I seem to be switching between photography links and talking about Japanese food, I thought I’d just go ahead and keep that up.
I’ll be honest, I’ve never actually had bento, but I have read about bento boxes and their cultural significance.  And, also, they’re a feature of virtually every really good anime.  I have several cook books that are dedicated to bento, actually, though…
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1/18/2013

Vitamins from Food

Filed under: By Bread Alone,Fun Work,Life Goals — 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 First Quarter Moon

A healthy mind is a creative mind!

And, let’s face it, a healthy mind is supported by a healthy body.  Exercise is one aspect of that, but at a more fundamental level, properly fueling our bodies and minds is, I think, the most important first step.  Last week, I linked to a site to help you put your diet on autopilot.  This week, I’m suggesting that you maximize your vitamin intake.  Not through taking supplements, though that’s not a bad idea…
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12/10/2010

LEGO Christmas

Filed under: Art,Deep Thoughts,Fun,Life, the Universe, and Everything — 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

I love Christmas, and I love LEGOs.

I love them for two not so very different reasons.
LEGOs remind me of a simpler time.  They remind me of childhood dreams and imagination.  They still spark all sorts of wonderful memories, as old as I am.  In fact, I’ve been meaning to get myself some LEGOs to play with again.  Maybe for Christmas.

Christmas I love, not for the toys or the gift giving or even the food.  No, Christmas I love because it celebrates the rebirth of light and joy into the world.  Very much like LEGOs do for me.
Now, you can combine those two celebrations of joy with a LEGO Christmas tree.

Enjoy!

7/27/2010

Ryumaou Reviews Ramen?

Filed under: By Bread Alone,Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Fun,Life Goals,Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Rooster which is in the early evening or 6:51 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

So, there’s a new poll up to gauge how you all feel about a regular, weekly review of ramen noodles.

Look, I’m embracing the fact that I’m probably going to be poor for a very long time, so I’m cutting back. I’ve eaten out a lot and I think that’s probably one place I can cut back easily. But, I got to thinking about it and, well, I probably spend a lot on fast, convenient food during the week, too. I started to think about all the things I did in college when I didn’t have any money and, naturally, I thought of ramen noodles. Who hasn’t slurped down their fair share of ramen noodles? Seriously!
As a college student, in particular, I ate my fair share of ramen. Hey, I’m sure we all did back in the days when we were starting out. I mean, they were fast and easy and didn’t require more than a spoon stolen from food service and a cup of hot water. What’s more, though, is that I found them not just filling but tasty, too! So, instead of reviewing the super-high-end food that so many upwardly mobile people get all goofy about, I thought I might review the cuisine of the financially challenged everywhere: ramen!!

Okay, so I know it’s not really the most original idea. At least one guy in Japan has done it already at a site called i-ramen.net. But, that’s all in Japanese, so it doesn’t do much good to those of us in the English-speaking world. (I read about him in an article from Boing Boing, incidentally.)  I don’t know that I’ll get to review as many as 4000 different versions of ramen, like he did, either, but, well, it does seem like the craziest low-budget adventure I can contemplate this week!
So, who’s with me?  If you think this crazy idea might be fun, vote in the poll on my sidebar and leave comments.
(Oh, yeah, if you don’t get the reference to “Ryumaou”, look at the address of the site you’re on.  I’ve used that romanization of a Japanese nickname since I first got on-line in the 90′s.  And, I liked the alliteration.)

11/26/2009

So, This Was Thanksgiving…

Filed under: Advice from your Uncle Jim,Bavarian Death Cake of Love,By Bread Alone,Deep Thoughts,Life, the Universe, and Everything,Personal — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Pig which is late at night or 11:36 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

So, another Thanksgiving has come and almost gone.

Another holiday.  Another celebration, though not what I’d planned, not what I’d expected.  Good, though.  Better.
Today, instead of the big Thanksgiving dinner I’d been imagining all year long, I had a much quieter, more intimate dinner.  It was better, really.  Tomorrow, I’ll have my big celebration.  Not with the family I was born into, but the family I’ve chosen, the family that I’ve gathered and that has chosen to gather around me.  Today, though, was a different celebration all together.  Rather than distract myself from a bitter anniversary with lots to do and a big crowd, filled with noise, I spent the afternoon and evening with three very dear people.  A friend who saw me through the confirmation of my diagnosis with cancer three years ago.  Who stayed with me when I was checked into the hospital unexpectedly, making sure I was settled, forever earning her a soft spot in my mother’s heart.  And her son, a young man I don’t know too well, but who’s quite something in his own right.  And another friend, who is hard to pin down.  One of the things I enjoy about her, actually, is that just when you think you have her figured out, she reveals some new facet, some new twist that shows you really haven’t figured her out at all.  She’s the riddle to which there is no answer.  And, surely, my readers know by now just how much I love those virtually impossible to solve puzzles, especially when they come in human form.

As always seems to happen during events like this, someone shares a secret with me.  Something intimate and private and not known to the greater mass of people.  I don’t know if it was the tryptophan or sugar-high of the Goode Company pecan pie or some weird vibe I give off, but, well, there it is.  And, outside of mentioning how amazed I am that such a diverse variety of people find me worthy of being trusted with such very intimate details of their lives, I do my best to keep those personal secrets.  In truth, I am honored to be trusted so, since I know so very well how I was not always so trustworthy.  It’s hard for me to remember that these people never knew me in that life, that they have only known me as I am today, not how I was when I was so deeply and painfully enmeshed with my ex-wife and that life we led together.

I’m proud of the fact that I made it through the entire day with out telling the story.  The story of how she left the Sunday before Thanksgiving.  How we’d had a discussion, a somewhat one-sided discussion, about how I knew she’d been cheating on me for months.  I stated it as a fact I knew, though, in truth, I only had circumstantial evidence and a feeling.  Of course, that doesn’t change the fact that I was right.
So, while I was in the shower, without any additional warning, she gathered up her daughter and a couple of suitcases, jumped into the only working car we had and left.  There was no note, no voice-mail.  I had to call her.  Since she didn’t answer her cell-phone, I had to call her parent’s house to find out where she was and find out what was really happening.  I knew, of course, but it was as if my mind refused to understand it, refused to take it all in.  I imagine it was a kind of shock, like what amputees feel when they wake up and find a limb has gone missing.
A week later, she was in Phoenix, Arizona with her lover, who’s become her fourth husband.  And, I’d gotten into her e-mail, where I read everything they’d been e-mailing back and forth for six months or more.  I read every last detail of what she’d told him about me.  Every lie and half-truth, spun to serve her particular purpose.  Worse still was seeing every intimate detail I’d ever shared with her, every embarrassing secret, every fear, every vulnerability vomited out and mocked to paint me as a particular sort of person, to color me through a very much not-rose-tinted lens as something small, dark and twisted.  Something I very much feared I really was and, in my worst moments, believe I still am or can become.

But, today, I was reminded that I am not that man.  Neither the man I was nor the man she tried to make me.  To be honest, I’m not entirely sure who or what I am today, this year, this moment, but I most certainly know what I am not.  I am not the man who was an empty, hollow shell when she left.  Nor am I the fool who was suicidal at the thought that of being left and getting a divorce.  Perhaps most importantly, I am not the man who was ready to stay married to a woman who obviously had grown to hate him nor am I the man who hated himself so much that he felt drawn to someone who never loved him and only wanted, well, wanted something from him.
No, today, people who didn’t even know me five years ago embraced me as part of the family that they chose to be with on this holiday.  They reminded me that I do have integrity and that I am worthy of trust.  That I’m safe.  Safe enough to be truly intimate with in the most important way possible.

So, this was Thanksgiving.  And, this year, though the anniversary that I can’t seem to escape hit me harder this year than it has in several years, I was reminded just how much I have to be thankful for today.
I am thankful for my family, both the one I was born into and the one that has chosen each other.  I am thankful to be employed and reasonably solvent.  I’m thankful that I have a far deeper spirituality today than I did even five years ago.  I’m thankful that I have both the inspiration and means to be artistic, in my way, and have a hobby that I can pursue with as much relish and intensity as I care to put into it.  Most of all, and this has not always been true, I am thankful this year to simply be alive.

Tomorrow, I will have an unknown number of people over throughout the afternoon and evening, for a bit of fellowship and food.  Even though my house is not quite in the shape I’d like it before having people over, I still look forward to seeing everyone who makes it by, for however long they can be here.  I look forward to the celebration of who we are and our friendships.  Though I often feel very alone this time of year, being separated from my biological family and not in a relationship, tomorrow I will celebrate the amazing number and variety of friends who share my life today.  My life looks very different today than I expected it to, and, more importantly, than it did five years ago, but it’s good life, filled with good people, each of whom I treasure for who they are.

So, I hope you had a happy Thanksgiving this year.  I know I did, and I know why I’m thankful.


Advice from your Uncle Jim:
"Never tell your girlfriend that her diet's not working."

10/4/2009

Review: FoodScanner and DailyBurn

Filed under: Adventures with iPods,By Bread Alone,Fun,Life Goals,Life, the Universe, and Everything,Personal,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 6:47 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a Full Moon
IMG_0088
Originally uploaded by Network Geek

Yeah, so now I’m reviewing iPhone apps.

One aspect of my personal life that probably doesn’t come through that much on this blog is how concerned I am about health and, specifically, my weight. Now, some of this may come from having been married to a self-diagnosed anorexic, but, mostly, it goes further back than that.  In any case, weight and general health have always been a concern for me, but even more so since surviving cancer.  So, I know from all the health magazines I read that one of the greatest tools for weight loss is tracking caloric intake.  I had been doing this via a Moleskine, but I always had to look up the calories in a book or on a website or something.  It was just challenging enough to make me want to quit.  So, naturally, when I got an iPhone, I went looking for an app that let me do record my intake that way.  Enter FoodScanner.

Not only does this fantastic app have seemingly endless lists of food, including many popular restaurant menus, but you can scan the barcode on the package and it will automagically find the food and all the nutrition information for it.  But, wait!  If that’s not in the database yet, you can add it in manually and link the barcode yourself!  How cool is that!  Seriously, I love this thing.  It’s made it so much easier to track my calories I can’t believe I ever lived without it.  And, at $0.99 it’s a real bargain, especially if you want to work on consuming less to lose weight.  Fantastic!

IMG_0089
Originally uploaded by Network Geek

Now, as cool as FoodScanner is, what’s even cooler is the free app that goes with it called DailyBurn.  To get the full functionality, it does require that you setup a free account with their service, but, trust me, it’s totally worth it.  Once you’ve setup your free account, DailyBurn will get the calorie and nutrition information you put in with FoodScanner and use that, so you don’t have to enter it twice.

Now, as you’ll notice from the screen shot to the right, the default screen on DailyBurn shows you your caloric intake, what you’ve burned via work outs, and your current and goal weight.  There’s also a tracker to show if you’ve met your workout and nutritional goals, which I’ll mention later.  This page, as you might have guessed from the title “Today’s Stats”, is updated daily, which they define as 12:00AM to 12:00AM.

Notice, though, that the Nutrition indicator only shows when you’ve met all your “goals”, which, frankly, aren’t quite my actual goals.  For one thing, I want to keep my calorie consumption below what they have as a goal, so as to lose weight.  Also, notice the “Upgrade to Pro” link.  That takes you to a sign-up screen for a monthly membership, which I didn’t want to get roped into paying.  Not sure what the upgrades are, actually, but one presumes additional control over goals and additional exercises and other options.

IMG_0090
Originally uploaded by Network Geek

On the screenshot to the left, of this paragraph, you can see the “Body Tracker” page.  Here you can track any number of physical characteristics including weight, waist size, body fat, resting heart rate, arm size and many more.  Frankly, it’s got all the recording features of any big program that you could want.  Also, if you upgrade your free account, which I have not done, to a “Pro” account, there are even more things you can track, like sleep levels.

I like having the chart to see how well, or poorly, I’ve been doing over time.  Sure, maybe it’s a little bit over-kill, but, I’ll be honest, I love charts and graphs and stats.  My favorite page on my Flickr account is the stats page.  It’s true; I’m a stat whore.  So, yes, this feature appeals to me.  Your mileage may vary.

Also, like I mentioned, I didn’t want to get started paying a monthly fee for something I may not continue to use in the long-term, so there may be additional features here that are worth having.  Not sure.   Right now, I’m just a rookie fitness nut, so my health isn’t worth a monthly fee for those kind of intangibles.  Heck, I don’t even pay for a gym membership yet!  So, that may be something worth checking out for you super-hyper fitness nuts.

IMG_0091
Originally uploaded by Network Geek

The next page I seem to hit a lot is the “Workouts” page. Granted, I’ve probably worked out more since I got this app than I have in the past month, but, still, if it’s working, then that’s all that matters.

Now, one of the things I don’t like is that the exercises it DailyBurn measures are somewhat limited.  And, you can’t enter anything new.  So, if, for instance, you were to get exercises out of Men’s Health and knew the caloric expenditure, there’s no way to enter that in.  Now, I assume that buying the “pro” version of this, which is actually a membership and not a one-time payment, you might be able to add more exercises or have a larger selection, but, frankly, I get close enough that it’s not worth it to me to pay a monthly fee for that kind of “upgrade”.

I should also note, however, that I haven’t looked into the “My Workouts” section too much, but it looked like it had promise.  It gave you workouts to achieve certain goals, like Fat Loss and Strength Building and so on.  Under each section, there are several workouts designed to help you with that particular goal.  Kind of like a personal trainer in an iPhone app.  (Though, I prefer the Men’s Health app for those kind of things to the ones I saw in DailyBurn.)  The last section is essentially a workout log that shows all the sets you’ve done and how much weight you lifted on each set.  The only problem is, it only shows today’s workout, not any previous day.  It like this to show a chart of progress, not unlike the body goals charts shown above.  But, again, I’m sort of a stat whore, so take that for what you will.

IMG_0092
Originally uploaded by Network Geek

Now, what I think is the best thing about DailyBurn, next to showing me how little I burn off with my wimpy home workout, is the “Nutrition” screen.  I specifically chose the screen at the left because it showed several things I want to highlight.  This is not what I hope a “typical” day is for me.  Or, at least, not what I hope a typical day will be for me going forward.

In any case, you can see that it shows you your consumption levels and whether or not you’ve met your “goals” for the day.  Goals not met are shown in blue.  Goals that are in the “good” range, or met, but not exceeded are in green.  And, finally, goals that have been exceeded are in red.  You can see that I was a bad, bad boy on the day used as an example.  Also, since I’m trying to lose weight, I’m doing my best to keep my caloric intake between 1500 and 1900 calories.  My goal here is to burn more calories than I actually need so as to shed some poundage.

Now, again, I’m a total stat geek when it comes to this stuff, so I love see all this.  Also, in just the few weeks that I’ve been using these two programs, I’ve learned some very valuable lessons.  For one thing, I need to work out more.  My little, tiny workout in the morning doesn’t even burn off breakfast most days!  Not acceptable!  So, I need to adjust that.  Also, I noticed that I’m not getting anywhere near enough protein while consuming way too many carbs and, obviously, more than enough fat, too.  So, I need to adjust my diet as well as step up my exercise program.  But, it took getting good information to do it.

For the couple of bucks it cost me to get FoodScanner and the free version of DailyBurn, I’ve gotten a lot of valuable information and awareness of what I need to change and improve in my personal health and nutrition plan.  Well worth the small change I paid.

11/26/2008

Argh! More Time!

Filed under: Adventures with iPods,By Bread Alone,Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Fun,Life, the Universe, and Everything,News and Current Events,Personal,The Network Geek at Home — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Dragon which is in the early morning or 8:32 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Crescent

I’m so behind, I think I’m catching up to myself!

Thanksgiving fast approaches and my house is mostly clean. Now, by “mostly clean” I think it’s important to understand what I mean. I mean that I’ve vacuumed for the first time in two years. I mean, my bathroom is so clean that a woman might actually feel safe using it! Hey, what do you want from me? It’s been two years since I’ve been in a relationship and half that time I was in the hospital slow dancing with death, so, there really hasn’t been any point in having the place clean. Now, there is, so, well, it is. Well, mostly. My office still needs work and the bedroom can always use more cleaning and the upstairs… Well, the less said about the upstairs, the better right now.

The important thing, though, is that my kitchen is clean. And, just barely in time to start baking pies tonight. Yes, pies, as in plural. With so many people coming over after their main Thanksgiving plans, I figured a few extra pies can’t hurt. I might try to get to bed early, too. If the pies don’t take too long. See, I’ve been up until the wee hours for the past several nights in a row getting ready. So, I’m getting a little short on sleep. And, I still need to whip up a playlist for background music. After all, all the running around I did Sunday to get it and rip it won’t do me any good if I can’t get it playing!
Of course, I’ll probably end up staying up late again tonight then trying to catch a nap after I start the turkey in the morning. It just seems like I’ve totally under-estimated my time on just about everything this year. It’s just taken so much longer than I expected to get everything done. Witness the fact that this post is popping up here so late! I normally have Wednesday’s post queued up Tuesday evening before I go to bed, so this is amazingly late for me. It’s also why this post probably seems a little disjointed. Of course, that may be the lack of time and sleep, too.

Oh, and for those of you who love “food porn”, know that I’ll be taking pictures of people and food tomorrow. Naturally, I’ll post the pictures to my Flickr account, so keep an eye out if you’re interested. But, if you are going to be making your own “food porn” this holiday, here is a link to some Food Photography Tips and Techniques. Enjoy and have a happy and safe Thanksgiving!

11/12/2008

Thanksgiving Recipes

Filed under: By Bread Alone,Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Deep Thoughts,Hoffman's Home for Wayward Boys,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 5:57 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a Full Moon

Now is the time, gentle readers, to help your Uncle Jim out.

So, Thanksgiving is at my house this year. Maybe this will be the start of a new tradition, who knows? In any case, this year, I’m bringing the joy of the season to my house. Only, now, I have a small problem. Outside of making the turkey, which is frightening enough, I don’t have any simple, traditional, passed-down-from-grandma recipes that are easy enough for me to do. So, give me yours.

No, seriously. Look, I’ve invited a lot of people and, while I’ve gotten some polite refusals from some of them, many more have either said yes, or are waiting until the last minute to confirm. What’s more is that I’ve told several of them not to worry about bringing anything, lest that hold them back from coming. All of which means, I have an unknown number of people coming, some of whom aren’t bringing anything and may show up at the last minute. And, now, I sort of feel obliged to, you know, feed them and stuff. Except, I’m a fairly inept cook. Truly. So, I need your help. Kat has already sent me a brilliant and easy corn pudding recipe, which I’ll share in just a minute, but I need more. I especially need a good, simple, but interesting stuffing recipe. Most of you have my e-mail, so if you want to share privately, you can, otherwise, just leave them in the comments. At some point, I’ll collect them all and share them, and let you know which ones I actually try.

So, while you ponder that, here’s Kat’s Best-Friend’s Cousin’s Corn Pudding:
Fold in this order: 1 can drained corn, 1 can creamed corn, 1 stick melted butter, 8 oz. sour cream, 1 box jiffy corn mix. Bake at 325 for an hour to an hour and a half (should be the consistency of pudding in the middle). You can also add shredded cheese and jalapeno if you like.

Now, Kat knows me well, so she’s got a handle on the “keep is simple for the kitchen dunce” vibe that I need. Let that be your model and your guide.
Help me cook to fill stomachs, hearts and souls with warmth and joy.
But, keep it simple.

11/5/2008

The Perfect Antidote

Filed under: By Bread Alone,Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Deep Thoughts,Life, the Universe, and Everything,Personal — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:12 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a First Quarter Moon

So, I’ve come up with the perfect antidote to my holiday blues.

I’m having Thanksgiving at my house this year.
Here’s a copy of what I sent out to some of my usual suspects:

“Okay, so J. was supposed to do this, but, I want to make sure you all get invites before someone else snatches you all away.
As you all should know by now, the traditional J&L Married-Name Thanksgiving (formerly the traditional J&L Not Married Thanksgiving) has made a break for freedom and is going to be at my house this year. I told J. to invite all the people he’d normally invite, but he’s still working out his issues with his guest list and the fact that I’m insisting that it’s really okay for him to invite his entire family. So, I’m not going to wait for him.

Y’all come to my house for Thanksgiving.
I’ll have turkey and maybe something more, so if you want anything else, bring it! Especially if there’s something that makes Thanksgiving happen for you, bring that. Also, if there’s someone, or even several someones, that make the holiday happen for you, bring them, whether they’re family or not. If you can think of anyone I missed on this list, too, that seems like fun, forward this on to them. If you can, please, give me a count at least a couple of days before so I can plan to have enough turkey and whatever so no one goes away hungry. Oh, and if you have folding chairs, bring them, too.

I’m warning you now, even though I’m cleaning, my house will be a wreck. I’m a total bachelor and it shows. The only woman that’s seen the inside of my house in six months or more is my dog, so you’ve been warned.

Hope you all can make it, even though I know you may have other plans, family, or some other lame excuse to blow me off.

Thanks,
Jim

P.S. So you can find the place, here’s a map”

Then, because I left part out, I sent this:

“Right, so, for those of you not attuned to my psychic abilities to broadcast thoughts, I thought I’d actually mention when to come for dinner this time. I was figuring on 2:30pm being ‘Turkey Time’, but don’t hesitate to come over early to escape your family, if you feel so moved. By the same token, I’m sure there will be plenty of food, so come by later than you think you should if you have obligations you can’t duck but still want to bask in the warm glow of knowing your house is cleaner than mine.”

And, yes, I am cleaning and yes, my house will still be a wreck, but at least it’ll be good enough that I won’t be too embarrassed to have people over.  Besides, most of them know what my past couple of years have been like so they know why cleaning is pretty low on my priority list.  And, frankly, anyone who doesn’t like it can hit the bricks!

I’m actually planning to do a turkey in the oven and a ham on the grill and, possibly, either some beer bread or sweet potato pie.  My beer bread is always a hit and I have a recipe for sweet potato pie that uses canned sweet potatoes that I’ve been meaning to try.  Who knows, maybe I’ll impress someone with my domestic skills.  My ex-wife did always say that I’d make someone a wonderful wife one day.  Maybe someone will show up, one way or another, who needs a little extra tender loving care, just like I did the year my ex-wife left.  That’s really why I’m doing this.  Because the holidays can be rough and someone helped me through the roughest of holiday seasons, so maybe now, I can return the favor.

9/17/2008

Almost Normal – Hurricane Ike Part 7

Filed under: Calamity, Cataclysm, and Catastrophe,Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Geek Work,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 9:51 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

Well, I do have power again.

Many still do not, but, at long last, I do.
Yesterday, at about 4:30pm, my power came back on. I’d lost my land line, though, so, I figured I was batting .500. Then, an hour and thirty minutes later, or so, that came back, too. Cable has come in and out, but, really, that’d be all gravy as far as I’m concerned. So, mostly, things are back to normal for me.
I expected to work until dusk cleaning up tree debris in my back yard, but my lawn guys had done most of it. So, before next Wednesday, I plan to have a case of beer for them and I’ll have a bonus in cash the next time I pay them, too. I spent about an hour cleaning up what they didn’t quite get. Mostly it was stuff still partly in trees or still attached. Saturday, I have a friend coming over to see what we can do about the fence.

There is something special about having electricity again. As a guy at work put it, there’s not quite anything like the sound of ice cubes tumbling from the automatic ice maker in the refrigerator into the bucket. Though, I have to admit, the sound of air-conditioners is very much like the sound of generators. It’s an irony that I cannot escape or ignore.
There’s a friend of the boss who’s got a mailserver that he’s trying to find a temporary home for, due to power loss. It’s his own server, but, I have to tell you, this is why if you’re going to run servers at the house you need a recovery plan, just like you would if you were a small business. Of course, I say this, but I don’t have one. At least, not yet.

It’s been a crazy couple of days here in Houston. People have been at both their best, and their worst. I’ve seen things like my lawn guys pitching in and clearing my yard without asking or being asked and like the guy at work who gave me half an ice chest of ice to let me save some food. And, I’ve seen people cutting each other off and running through intersections endangering themselves and others. I’ve heard just as many stories for either side. Still, it’s not like what happened after Katrina in New Orleans. There have been a few stories of looters, but not many. I’d like to think we’re more evolved, but, the truth is, I think the police were just better prepared. Either way, I’m glad that there have been more stories about neighbor helping neighbor than not.

So, things are settling down. I’m glad for that, too.
I hope my readers from the Houston area who aren’t back to normal will be soon.
Oh, and here’s a bit of fun everyone can look forward to! Friday is International Talk Like A Pirate Day! So, by then, I hope everyone can tell me what a pirate’s favorite letter is!

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