Diary of a Network Geek

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

11/15/2013

Turkey City Lexicon

Filed under: Art,Fun,NaNoWriMo,Things to Read — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 4:24 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

The infamous science-fiction workshop lexicon of “things to not do”.

Over the years, so much has been written about what to do and what NOT to do in fiction that it’s a little overwhelming sometimes.
Personally, when I write, I’m almost always trying to write fantasy or science-fiction, or what is sometimes referred to as “speculative fiction”.  On the surface, that seems easier, since, essentially, a writer can make up virtually every and any aspect of their fictional universe, but, good speculative…
Read More

12/14/2012

Guess Who’s Coming To Town?

Filed under: Art,Fun,music,Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:09 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Crescent

No, not Santa.

Well, I suppose Santa is coming to town, soon enough, but I’m talking about something else entirely.
No, I’m talking about your favorite bands.  This past weekend, my girl and I went to see one of her favorite musical acts, who were playing at a real, Texas dance all over in Winnie, about an hour outside of Houston.  But, we only knew about it because one of her friends had been lucky enough to catch an announcement about them coming.  What if he hadn’t?  These guys are pretty old now and, frankly, there’s no telling when, or if , they’d ever come to our area again.  If we hadn’t gotten lucky like that, we might never have seen them!

Now, though, there’s another option; Songkick.  This app, for either iOS or Android, will scan your music collection on that device, or check your Last.FM song list, and tell you when those artists are coming to your area.  It will also tell you who else will be playing with them and serve you up a map of where the venue is.  And, on top of all that, the app will let you add the concert to your calendar to remind you to buy tickets.
Frankly, I think this is a genius idea and I wish there was an app like it that would do the same for your favorite authors!

So, what the heck, it’s Friday and if you’re reading this, you’re not working any more so you might as well go download the app for your phone and see who’s playing near you or coming soon.
And, have a great weekend!

5/18/2012

Historic Houston

Filed under: Art,Fun,Things to Read — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:02 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Crescent

It should be no surprise to the few, brave souls who still come and read this blog that I’m just a little obsessed with photography.

As I’m sure people have guessed, I’m not from here.  Here, of course, being Houston, Texas.  I moved here back in ’98 and, well, just stayed.  In fact, I like to say that I’m nothing but a damn Yankee carpet-bagger who’s only here for your money and your women!  But, all that aside, I’ve learned to love this town and all its quirks.  I’ve even learned a little bit of the history here, though, I have to admit, I’m surprised at how much Houston history is still around.  In Chicago, where my family is from, we have a long-standing tradition of preserving our historic buildings and there are quite a few.  But, I was quite surprised to find that Houston has a lot of historic buildings still standing, too!
So, you can imagine that when a friend sent me a link to a site that combined photography and Houston history, I was pretty impressed.  And, that’s what the HoustoricProject is all about; photography and Houston’s architectural history.  The idea is simple, they take old photos and photograph them out in the world, in front of the historic building that is in the original photo.  It does an amazing job of placing the old photo in both time and space, relating it to how things are now.  It’s quite an interesting project, in a number of ways.
For me, I just love the photography and the history combined in a creative way.

But, hey, don’t take my word for it, go check it out yourself!  Seriously!  I mean, it is Friday after all, and you deserve a creative break, don’t you?  Of course, you do!  So, hit the link and be inspired.

9/5/2011

In Search of Schrödinger’s Tumor

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 Hare which is in the early morning or 7:52 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a First Quarter Moon

I may, or may not, have cancer.

Now, before all my regular readers and, due to my automated update configurations, my Twitter and Facebook friends who might read this, get too excited, nothing has changed in my recent medical status.  However, Wednesday, I go in for a scan.  A regular scan, nothing special, nothing new.  My scheduled, nine-month scan, per the standard protocol.  Or so I have been lead to believe.

The scan, however routine it may be, will not decide if I have cancer, however.
That, I’m afraid, already is.  Or is not.  Either my body has betrayed me again and a cancerous growth has lodged itself in my chest or it hasn’t and I’m as healthy as I feel.  Personally, I’m inclined to think that I’m cancer free, still, and this whole exercise will be a test of the quality of my health insurance.  But, also, as it turns out, it’s a test of my patience and courage.

You have to understand, I’m not afraid of cancer.  Or of death, either, really.  It’s chemotherapy that terrifies me.
Cancer, as such, is just a way of describing cells that have gotten a bit carried away with themselves and aren’t too particular about playing by the standard set of rules.  And death…  Well, death is the one thing we all have in common.  None of us make it out of this place alive.  Not a one.  Death, in its way, is the final answer.  The ultimate solution to every problem I’ve ever had or can ever conceive of having.  So, no, though I don’t know what waits on the other side of that particular experience, death doesn’t frighten me so much.
Chemotherapy, on the other hand, I do know.  It is, I think, the embodiment of suffering.  At least, for me.

I know everyone’s experience with chemotherapy is different, so, let me take a moment and tell you why it is that I fear it.  For me, chemo was about losing all my hair, all my color, close to sixty pounds, and virtually all my energy.  And, frankly, in a very, very short amount of time.
My hair went first.  I remember it coming out in clumps in the shower.  Just like in the movies.  I started to cry when it happened.  Great racking sobs, with tears running down my face, mixing with the soapy water.  No one can see you crying in the shower.  I recommend it, if you have any crying to do in the future and you’d rather people not know.  It’s one of the many useful things I’ve learned from one of my ex’s.  I took my beard trimmer and cranked it down to the shortest setting, then sheared the rest away myself.  My own way of taking a bit of control back, I suppose.  But, I remember that day, more than four years ago, as if it were yesterday.  A few days later, I shaved for the last time in what would turn out to be more than six months.
My eyebrows and ear hair and nose hair weren’t far behind.  You have no idea how important nose hair is until you don’t have any.  Trust me.  My nose ran for weeks and weeks and weeks.  Nonstop.  All those annoying, little hairs filter the nasty gunk out of the air and grip it with that snotty mucous up in there and keep it from getting into your lungs, as it turns out.  Without it, well, your nose just runs and runs and runs like a little kid with a cold on a Winter playground.

The weight and the color took longer.  By the time I was an unhealthy, pallid gray, my goatee had become so thin that I shaved it off.  And, I was a larval, grub-like thing, pale and weak, before the weight started to melt off me.
Frankly, I wouldn’t have minded the weight loss, but it took muscle as much as it took the fat.  And, of course, it involved severe nausea and, yes, actual vomiting.  Not to mention all the other symptoms, like how everything smelled different; how all my favorite food smelled, well, wrong somehow.  And the weird bloating I would get in my hands and arms that led the doctors to proscribe diuretics and force the poor nurses to record how much I peed, by volume.  I was measured and weighed regularly.  Multiple times per day, actually.  Oh, and the drugs!  Pills by the score, a fist-full at a time.  Self-administered injections three times a day, at one point.  All while fighting nausea and trying to find a square inch of flesh that I could still pinch up enough to get a needle into without going all the way through.

Death would have been easier.

But, as a wise, Zen-Catholic almost-monk reminded me recently, without fear, there can be no bravery.
He also reminded me that the test will only show what is, or is not, already there.  It will only tell me if I have just another problem to deal with, or another opportunity to exercise my courage, or, simply, a bill to pay and just another doctor’s appointment to go to and questions to ask and answer.
And, either way, all I can do is live in the present moment.  What’s happened is done already.  What happens in the future is yet to be determined and may not have anything to do with what has come before.  And, regardless of the results of this scan on Wednesday, which I’ll get on the following Monday, I can only live as best I can, as best I know how.  There will, ultimately, be other scans, other tests, potentially one every year until the day I do, finally, make the last great leap into the dark.  In between those scans, however many there may be, I slowly, gradually, have chosen to live healthier.  The past couple years, I’ve been juicing.  Fresh, home-made, organic vegetable juice.  And, this year, fruit smoothies.  Both, or either, instead of sandwiches for lunch, along with yogurt, which has lately been organic as well, and, newest of all, Greek for the higher protein.
I exercise more regularly than ever.  I’d like to be less heavy than I am, or at least less fat.  Pound for pound, more muscular would be just fine at my weight.  Less stiff and less creaky in the joints would be okay, too.  Some mornings when I get up, I sound very much like a bowl of Rice Krispies my joints snap, crackle and pop so much.  Several people have suggested that I add yoga to my exercise regimen, that it would help with flexibility and ease my stiff joints.  And, when I hear a thing three times, from three very different people, I have to at least investigate that or risk the Universe taking offense at my willfully ignoring the suggestion.  So, this conservative, meat-and-potatoes, tough-minded, mostly pragmatic Mid-Westerner has found himself a bit adrift in Texas, more liberal and open-minded toward alternative health practices, eating mostly fruits and vegetables and “crunchy granola”, and, yes, finally, investigating yoga, of all things.  At least I hear the classes are mostly women, so, who knows, maybe I’ll meet a nice, healthy girl who won’t laugh too loudly at my foolishness.

So, regardless of how terrified I may be of having to endure chemotherapy again, or how distasteful I find the radioactive enema I will pay an enormous deductible on, I will face the day, the scan, with as much courage and dignity as I can still manage.  I will do my best to be thankful for the friends and family who support me in my weakness and discomfort, and, yes, for the medical staff who will run me through their gauntlet.  I will try to be patient while waiting for the results of what is already there, or not, like Schrödinger’s cat, who’s state cannot be known until it is observed.
And, when all is said and done, I will try not to let the fear cripple me, but, rather, I will do my best to live more fully.  Certainly, more fully than I have been, more courageously, I hope.  I will still know fear, I am sure, but, as I was reminded, there can be no courage without the fear first.

Of course, until that all happens, I will be more than happy to accept your prayers, good thoughts, and any introductions to nice, pretty, healthy ladies who aren’t more than ten years younger than I.
But, let’s start with those prayers, okay?
Thanks.


Advice from your Uncle Jim:
"No matter what goes wrong, there is always someone who knew it would."

10/25/2010

Take Shelter!

Filed under: Advice from your Uncle Jim,Art,Fun,Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:41 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

So, with all the posts in the past couple weeks about the end of the world, I thought I should share some things about shelters.

No, seriously.
So, here’s a link to an article Wired ran on the latest and greatest disaster shelters.  And, yes, they’re called “disaster survival shelters” now, because we worry about more than fallout.  They’re not cheap, incidentally, but buying one will help pay taxes here in Texas, so I think you should buy one.  Also, they have the advantage of being private.  You get to stock it with whatever, and whoever, you think you need to survive the coming apocalypse.
On the other hand, if you’d prefer a more upscale solution, you can buy space in the Terra Vivos underground community.  Again, not kidding about this.  Discussed quite extensively on Boing Boing, this guy is selling what amount to doomsday timeshares.  Could be snake oil, or the smartest deal since the end of the Cold War.  You’ve got about a 50/50 shot of guessing right.

Of course, you could do what they did in the ’60′s and build your own!


Advice from your Uncle Jim:
"When you handle yourself, use your head; when you handle other, use your heart."
   --Donna Reed

10/15/2010

Survival Rations

Filed under: By Bread Alone,Fun,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 a First Quarter Moon

Most of you don’t realize that I’m a closet survivalist.

No, really, it’s true.
Back in high-school I read books about surviving the coming nuclear apocalypse.  For real!  All about how to hide in the sewers until after the fallout was safe and all that stuff.  Oddly, much of that comes in handy during hurricane season here in Texas.  Strange, but true.  Okay, not so much the part about hiding in the sewers, but a lot of the other stuff.  Like how to get drinkable water and stocking up on canned goods and the like.
Which brings me to the links I’m about to share with you.  If you’re from disaster prone areas, you probably hear all sorts of things about making sure you have enough survival rations to last for at least seven days, until help can arrive.  So, how about longer?  I mean, what if the zombie plague pops up one day and you, thinking strategically, don’t really want to leave the house for groceries?  What’s a survivalist to do?  Apparently, go to Costco, where they offer a 1-year supply of dehydrated and freeze-dried food, with a shelf-life of roughly 25 years, for $799, plus tax.  No, I’m not kidding.  In fact, Costco knows their market so well they offer an entire range of emergency food kits and supplies.  For real.  And, honestly, the pseudo-survivalist in me really wants to buy some of this stuff, just in case.  I especially like that 55-gallon emergency water drum.
And, if you don’t like the look of what you’re getting for your money, just compare them to what the troops are eating in Afghanistan in their MREs!  Trust me, this selection is way better than mil-spec!

Well, hurricane season is basically over for us here in the Gulf Coast, but, it never hurts to stock up for next year!
Also?  There is no season for zombie plagues.
I’m just sayin’…

7/24/2010

Al Fresco

Filed under: Advice from your Uncle Jim,Calamity, Cataclysm, and Catastrophe,Life, the Universe, and Everything,News and Current Events,Personal — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is in the early morning or 7:45 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

We take modern plumbing for granted.

No, seriously.
I’ve spent the better part of this past week without a sewer connection.  That means that I’ve been pestering my friends who live nearby, all three of them, for showers all week.  It also means I’ve been urinating “al fresco”, under the cover of darkness.  Let’s not ask too many questions about other bodily functions though, okay?  Let’s just say I’ve been going into work early most days this week.

My point is, plumbing is what makes civilization even more than farming.
In school, they always taught us that modern civilization, as we know it, started with farming.  They taught us that as people stayed to tend crops instead of follow the herds, they built permanent camps which became villages which, eventually, became cities.
I would argue, however, that real modern civilization was born when the Romans first got the idea to enclose their plumbing.  When that first, genius Roman city planner decided to put sewers underground and replace the foul stench of open trenches, which had been the norm until then, and replace that malodorous tradition with construction projects, civilization as we know it truly began.
And brought with it a host of modern problems.

In my case, the problem was one I initially tried to handle myself.
When the shower first backed up, thanks to several loads of laundry, I poured all kinds of hazardous and noxious chemicals down the drains.  I bought and used things that were so terrible, so dire that the warnings printed on the packaging sounded more like plans to deal with a spill in a chemical plant than something the average Home Depot shopper should be screwing around with in their bathroom.  In fact, these things were so bad at one point that leather gloves which had accidentally gotten soaked in water containing some of those chemicals actually started to melt away.  Seriously.  I have pictures!  And, I thought all was well.  For about two weeks.
That’s when the shower started to back up when I was, well, running the shower.
So, for three days, I took what we used to call “Navy showers“.  Basically, I got wet, then turned off the water and lathered up, then turned the water back on just long enough to rinse off.  I’m sure it helped the planet with all the water I conserved, but it was starting to get a little uncomfortable.  So, off I went to Home Depot to buy supplies.  I bought even more chemicals, a CO2-based plunger, and a plumber’s “snake”.  I used them in turn, spending the most time trying to get the snake working right.  It was one that you hooked up to a drill, to add extra power, and, though I hate to admit it, I screwed the first one up bad enough that I broke it.  Unfortunately, none of that worked.

So, defeated, I called a plumber Sunday afternoon.
I called Mr. Rooter, because I’d used them before and I knew they didn’t charge extra for working on the weekend.  I also knew they did good work at what I think is a reasonable price.  Sadly, there wasn’t anyone available in my area by the time I called Sunday afternoon, which meant waiting until the next morning, but I figured what was one more night wallowing in my own filth?
Well, the plumbing technician showed up early Monday morning and got right to work.  He ran through at least three obstructions and at one point I could hear things gurgling in my bathroom, which seemed an encouraging sign.  Sadly, it was not.  The technician called me out into the yard where he found the only “clean-out” in my line.  A clean-out, incidentally, that was far, far further out than it should have been.  He’d run his camera down that line and found the problem, or, at least, the first problem.  I feared the worst, but my fears turned out to be child’s play compared to what was actually wrong.

The problem was roots.
Not roots that had grown through the pipes, as I had feared, but roots that had grown under the pipe and lifted a thirty foot section of it.  Lifted it so high, in fact, that it made my shower the lowest point in my personal sewer system.  So, yes, it was a big problem.
The other two problems were with the main sewer.  First, when they built the house, apparently, a builder took a short-cut and lifted my sewer connection to link it up with the city sewer main.  So, it was higher than it should have been in the first place!  But, to make matters worse, when the guys from Mr. Rooter went to make the connection, the found the city main choked with roots!  I love the live oaks in my backyard, and, in fact, they’re part of why I bought the house with my ex-wife, but they certainly seemed out to get me this week.  In the end, there was really only one thing to do: replace the whole sewer line to the city main.

Now, for those of you who aren’t homeowners, let me tell you how this feels.
Imagine being neck deep in a mucky, fetid swamp, trying not to make waves because you know it could drown you.  Got that?  Do you have a handle on the perilous and uncomfortable feeling of knowing you’re inches from sucking stagnant water up your nose and suffocating on swamp muck?  Great.  Now imagine that someone is throwing stones at you.  Stones big enough to knock you unconscious.  Imagine having to hold your breath while that water with God only knows what kind of diseases in it is lapping at your mouth and nose, trying to find its way into your lungs.  Can you feel the horrible panic?  Can you feel your chest tightening from the fear of drowning in a sloppy, green sea of homeowner’s debt?  Fantastic.  Now imagine looking up and seeing one of those stones on a collision-course with your head.  You know it’s coming and you can already feel the lump forming even as your gut tightens because you’re about to be fighting for consciousness so you don’t drown, alone, in this swamp.
That was pretty much how I felt when the tech told me what was wrong.

His estimate was not much more reassuring.
Let’s just say it started somewhere over $10K.  In the end, because the folks at Mr. Rooter are fantastic, caring, decent human beings who haven’t lost their humanity in this tight economy, I ended up owing less.  I won’t say how much less, but, less than the original $10K.  Still an impressive sum for which I needed a lot of help.
Sadly, the finance company was less caring and more cut-throat.  I won’t give them any free advertising by mentioning their name, but I will say that, until dealing with them, I thought loan-sharking was illegal.  Apparently, not if you do it right.  Thankfully, I had some benefactors who were willing to lend me the money I needed at lower rates.  They’ve asked to remain nameless, otherwise I’d sing their praises, too.

In any case, I got enough money together to get them started and WOW, did they!
The next afternoon, there was a crew of four guys digging up my backyard with a small backhoe.  They dug a trench easily 120 feet from the back of my house, around my ponds, between my trees and to the city sewer main at the back of my yard.  I took pictures of it because words leave the spectacle of the thing,well, in the dust.  This trench started out about three feet deep and got down to almost five feet deep near the sewer main.  It runs at least four feet deep for a significant portion of it’s length and was dug in less time than it’s taken to write this entry.  It was amazing!  If not for the roots in the city sewer main, I’d have had service restored that first night!  Unfortunately, the rest took longer.
The city did come out the next day to clear the roots and make the connection to the city sewer main, but, by then I’d had to make a nuisance of myself with friends to beg showers so I could get into work and not knock people out.  I didn’t shave, really, but used my beard trimmer to keep my stubble under control.  Still, I looked pretty rough by the end of the week.
And, yes, I really did get tired of “urination al fresco” and holding it until dark, or going in to work hours early for the same reason.

So, the good news is, now, I have a working sewer line and I can flush my toilets!  Not to mention shower, shave, do laundry and dishes, all of which I was frantically doing Thursday night.  Friday afternoon, the main technician who was working on this project the entire time, got my second toilet hooked up, so everything in the house should be working now.  I still have the trench until the city inspects and approves the work according to the permit.  I’m not as worried about that, frankly, since I’m able to bathe and eliminate with the modern ease with which I have rather grown accustomed.
Other good things of come of it, too, though.  Some I won’t got into in detail except to say that I have a new appreciation for my friends and family who were all more than willing to come to my aid.  I was pleasantly surprised, to be honest, at how willing everyone I knew was to help.  Since my divorce, I have felt pretty alone down here in Texas, so it was nice to be reminded that I did have friends and, though they may be a little way away, family who really do care.

I also really was reminded about how well I live, really, and how comfortable I am.  That’s sort of a double-edged sword, though, as I’ve gotten, I think, a little too comfortable with things that really needed to change.  I’ve gotten a little stuck and a little complacent.  My financial situation, for instance, has been just good enough for me to not really feel the need to really grab hold and make some positive changes.  I’ve just gone “with the flow”, if you’ll pardon the metaphor in a post about sewers, for far too long.  I need to relearn to set my sails and make my way regardless of the current.

Of course, I do still have a huge bill to pay before I’m done, but that may turn out to be a good thing, too, since it’s finally motivated me to actually start selling my ex-wife’s abandoned jewelry.  Yes, I have finally listed my first item on eBay.  In this case, it’s my ex-wife’s gold and ruby ring.  If you’re interested, go bid on it and help me out!  Don’t worry, stalkers, there will be more items if you want to own a piece of the Network Geek’s history.


Advice from your Uncle Jim:
"Unhappiness is in not knowing what we want and killing ourselves to get it."
   --Don Herold

3/30/2009

Damned Illegal Aliens!

Filed under: Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Garden of Unearthly Delights,hoosgot,Personal,Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:01 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Crescent


LittleYellowBird2

Originally uploaded by Network Geek

No, this is not a post about migrant workers.

But, you have to admit, it caught your attention, didn’t it? And, I’ll be honest, I’ve ranted about illegal aliens and off-shoring and all that, especially in the IT industry, before. Interestingly enough, that had an Indian IT worker calling me a racist because I advocated American jobs for American workers. I think I’d be more accurately accused of being a Socialist, or even a Communist with that, but because there were non-Americans involved, somehow, that accuser made the illogical jump to making me a racist. Go figure.

In this case, though, I’m talking about a bird that doesn’t seem like a Texas native bird which showed up in my backyard Thursday. I saw it at lunch and grabbed my camera and zoom lens and snapped this from the back door. Go ahead and click on this picture and it will take you to a bigger version that will let you see the invader more clearly. Well, it may not be an actual alien, since I don’t recognize the bird, but I’m hoping one of my regular readers will be able to tell me what it is. Also, I figure that since we’re in the Gulf Coast, and in the middle of the migratory pattern for quite a few small birds, it’s quite likely this is one of those species that’s just “passing through”.

If no one can tell me what this is, I’ll send it to a friend of mine who works for the Houston Zoo who can probably tell me what it is. Or connect me with someone who can tell me what it is. But, I know that I have genius readers, so I thought I’d get you to tell me first. Besides, my buddy from the Zoo is out of the country at the moment.
So, uh, anyone?

(Also?  Don’t forget to vote in the poll!)

1/20/2009

Gaming the Ticket Cams

Filed under: Art,Deep Thoughts,Fun,Fun Work,Geek Work,Life, the Universe, and Everything,News and Current Events,The Network Geek at Home — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:48 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Crescent

Leave it to crazy kids to beat the system.

No, seriously, high school students have found a way to make those pesky red-light ticket cameras work for them. Or, rather, work against their “enemies”. According to the Montgomery County Sentinel, some enterprising kids have figured out how to print fake license plates that are good enough to fool the cameras. Armed with those, they borrow cars that look like their target’s cars, apply the fake “plate” with their target’s information on it, and speed past the cameras. Bingo! Their target gets hit with the speeding ticket. Do it enough times and, well, it gets to be a problem worthy of the Internet news. (And, yeah, I called them “red-light cameras” instead of “speeding cameras” because that’s how they use them in Texas.)

Clever kids!

Oh, also, after having Thai curry for lunch yesterday, I’m feeling much better. And, I checked on my peanut butter via the toll-free number on the side of the jar. The nice recorded voice assured me that my precious peanut butter was salmonella-free, so I’m all good. Physically, at least.

10/26/2008

Early Voting

Filed under: Advice from your Uncle Jim,Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Deep Thoughts,Life, the Universe, and Everything,News and Current Events,Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Dragon which is in the early morning or 8:43 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Crescent

I voted yesterday.

Yeah, I know, something like two weeks before the normal election day, I was able to vote.  Turns out, there has been a massive response this year and huge numbers of people are voting.  Personally, I think that’s great.  I mean, a friend of mine said he’d heard they were expecting something like a 60% turn out rate, which is monster.  As I recall, normally, the percentage of people who vote is less than 20%, so to get so many people out voting is wonderful.

I always have felt that if you want to complain about the way our current leaders are running things, then you better have voted.  Me, I like to complain, so I vote.  From what I understand, this year, you can even vote early on Sunday!  Thanks to Google, you can find your local early voting polling place with just a few clicks of a mouse, so why not do it?  If you haven’t voted lately, why not start this year?

Also, I’m not normally a very political animal.  No, really, stop laughing, I’m not.  Oh, sure, I’ve ranted and raved about certain tiny aspects of politics, but, mostly, I want everyone to participate in the process.  This year, though, I’m going to make a suggestion.  I think everyone tends to get in the mindset that you have to choose between the Democrats and the Republicans, but, you know, we’re not a two party system.  There are a wide range of parties in the United States, but the popular news media almost never talks about them.  Did you know that Ralph Nader was running again?  Have you heard of Bob Barr?
Just think about this for a couple minutes.  Over the past fifteen years, both the Republicans and the Democrats have been in power.  Did you like the way either of them ran this country?  If you’re not happy with either the Republicans or the Democrats, why not give a third party a try?  The Libertarians are well represented this year, at least in Harris County, Texas.
Maybe it’s time we gave another party a chance to make a difference.


Advice from your Uncle Jim:
They say integrity is what we do when no one is watching. What are you doing now?

Next Page »

Powered by WordPress