Diary of a Network Geek

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


Expanded Santa Tracker

Filed under: Fun,Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning or 6:22 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

I do this every year.

I guess I’m just a kid at heart, because I feel the need to link to the Official NORAD Santa Tracker every year.
I doubt most of the readers of either of my blogs either bother with this because they don’t have kids, or they already know about it because, well, they’re geeks like me and have kids.  Still, the old softie in me can’t help but get warm feelings when I think about the possibility of…
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Santa’s On His Way!

Filed under: Deep Thoughts,Fun,Life, the Universe, and Everything,News and Current Events,Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Snake which is just before lunchtime or 11:06 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

According to the official NORAD Santa Tracker, the jolly fatman that’s keeping our economy running is on his way!

He’s been spotting in the Pacific Rim and is headed East toward India, Europe and Africa as I post this.  He’ll be here in United States and Central and South America before you know it!

Also?  On a slightly more serious note?
No matter what  your religious bent, please, join with me in celebrating the return of light to the world.  Friday was the Winter Solstice, which is the longest night, or shortest day, of the year in our current lap around the Sun.  So, every day since then has been getting a little longer, letting a bit more light back into the world.  And, I don’t know about you, but I think we could use all the light we can get in the coming year.

Be kind to each other, okay?
And, Merry Christmas, everybody!


Track Santa with NORAD

Filed under: Advice from your Uncle Jim,Fun,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 5:00 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Crescent

Well, it’s that time of year again….

I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve had a special Christmas post the Friday before the big event, but, well, it IS that time again, isn’t it?  Personally, I love Christmas.  I love it because, for me, it represents the rebirth of hope and light in a world often filled with darkness.  We Christians co-opted this holiday from the early Pagans, in a deft marketing move, in an attempt to pull their followers over to our new, improved holiday.  The Pagans were celebrating the Winter Solstice, which is the shortest day of the year.  After that day, until the Summer Solstice, every day has a little more light in it than the day before.  That, of course, was a perfect holiday for Christians to steal to celebrate the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, the Light of the World.  And, that is what I think about every year at this time, how light has been rediscovered in the darkness of my life, year after year, hope reborn.
Truly, this year, as every other, I have been blessed with that realization, again and again, in more ways than I care to recount here.  I hope the same has happened, or will happen, for you.

And, if you’re having trouble, why not try remembering what it was like when you were a kid?
Remember waiting for Santa Claus to show up with the hope embodied by unopened presents?  Remember the anticipation of waiting for Santa to arrive from wherever he was in the world, to your very doorstep or chimney, with gifts for you?  Well, the Santa Tracker at NORAD may be just the thing to restore your childlike anticipation of the season.  And if not for you, then maybe it will help a child you know discover that joy for the first time.
That can be a miracle, too.

Either way, y’all have a Very Merry Christmas!

Advice from your Uncle Jim:
"Our devotion to truth may bring us into conflict with those around us. What we need to remember is that we are not responsible for convincing anyone else of what we believe to be true."


NORAD Tracks Santa

Filed under: Fun,News and Current Events,Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:38 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a Third Quarter Moon

This ought to appeal to my geek and non-geek readers alike!

So, I bet you thought NORAD was just for the Cold War, right? Or that Cheyenne Mountain was just a set for Stargate? Well, no, it’s far more than that. In just a few short days, NORAD will become Santa Tracking Central. No, I’m not kidding. NORAD tracks Santa.

And, this year, you can track him via Google Maps, Twitter and updates to your cell phone. Thanks to NORAD Santa has gotten all Web 2.0 and high-tech, just in time for Christmas!


Obligitory Pre-Christmas Fun Links

Filed under: Advice from your Uncle Jim,Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Fun,Life, the Universe, and Everything,Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:30 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Crescent

What, you thought I’d do something else today?

Naturally, with Christmas just around the corner, I’ve got a couple last minute Christmas ideas for you.  First, there’s the eWeek IT Stocking Stuffer Guide.  To be fair, not every computer geek is into all the stuff on this list, but, still, you’re more likely to get a hit than not.  Mainly, as long as you stay away from the 10 Most Dangerous Toys of All Time, you should be okay, but, well, even some of those are cool for the danger factor involved.  (And the nostalgia factor, since I actually had some of those toys as a kid!)

But, if all the gift-giving has broken your Christmas spirit, read Bill Murray’s Dinner with Santa Claus.   It’s sure to bring a smile to your face, which, if you’re trying to survive your First Holiday in a new relationship, can be important!
And, if all else fails, there is actually proof that drinking, in moderation, is healthy for you.  So, drink up a little Christmas cheer, and have a great one!  Christmas, that is.

Advice from your Uncle Jim:
"Everyone deserves to be happy, but not if that happiness is dependent on imprisoning or enslaving another human being."
   --Unintentionally ironic comment left on a blog


Review: The Stupidest Angel

Filed under: Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Fun,Personal,Review,Things to Read — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Rooster which is in the early evening or 6:02 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a Third Quarter Moon

I finished The Stupidest Angel by Christopher Moore this week.

I’d been trying to slog my way through A Practical Guide to Buddhist Meditation, but with my work schedule and the holidays and all, I just couldn’t get into it. I mean, I’m sure it would have been good for me to start meditating again, but I haven’t done that since college and there are reasons. Mainly, I have no time. I pray and use prayer beads and that’s enough meditation-like behavior for me and my schedule. Besides, I was getting depressed with all my friends either being married or getting married or at least in a serious relationship, so I figured a little literary “pick-me-up” was in order.

In that regard, The Stupidest Angel; A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror was just the thing. Yes, you read that second title right. It wasn’t just a Christmas story, it was also a zombie story. Only Christopher Moore could write something like that and pull it off. The story is set in Pine Cove, which is where a number of Moore’s earlier books were set, and involves a collection of characters from several of his novels. It starts simply enough with some introductions and stage setting for those not familiar with Pine Cove or all of Moore’s other works, then, with an accidental murder, the real story begins. Things get interesting when Raziel, one of the rather more important angels, shows up to work the annual Christmas Miracle that, apparently, has been a gift to mankind every year since the birth of the Christ child. The only problem is, Raziel isn’t the smartest angel and he doesn’t really quite understand our Earth. So, when he decides to grant the Christmas wish of a nice boy who witnessed the accidental murder of a man dressed like Santa Claus, as you might imagine, things go awry. The result is, indeed, a heart-warming tale of Christmas terror, which, incidentally, is a rather odd journey through the Christmas spirit, love, giving, forgiving and belief that only Christopher Moore could lead a reader through successfully. And, as always, Moore’s wit, charm and turn of phrase brought a smile to my face, so, “mission accomplished”.

If you’ve never read one of Moore’s books, The Stupidest Angel is probably not the best place to start. I’d reccomend either Lamb or Practical Demonkeeping as a starting point, but, after that, it doesn’t matter quite so much where you go. Though, I have to admit, reading them in more or less the order of publication keeps you up on all the “in” jokes and cross-references that might otherwise be missed.
In short, I love Christopher Moore’s writing and The Stupidest Angel was no exception.

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