Diary of a Network Geek

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

7/20/2005

Who’s the Third?

Filed under: Deep Thoughts,Life, the Universe, and Everything,News and Current Events — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Rooster which is in the early evening or 6:53 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a Full Moon

They say bad news always comes in “threes”.
First, James Doohan, the one and only “Scotty” from the original Star Trek series died today. Then, as if that weren’t enough, Gerry Thomas, “inventor” of the TV dinner died today, too! Talk about a pop-culture one-two-punch! Man, I really admired both these guys.
James Doohan was a great actor, his overdone Scottish accent not withstanding. According to rumor, he never liked Bill Shatner, but his character, Montgomery Scott, admired Captain Kirk terribly. To pull that off took a lot of really good acting.
And, as a Marketing student, the man who marketed the TV dinner, going against all traditional, home-cooking values and wisdom at the time, was a true inspiration to me. He sold America, and most of the Western world, on the idea that they needed quick, easy-to-prepare food that they could eat while watching that new television thingee. And, according to the linked article, he apparently got a lot of hatemail for it, too. But, now, you can get a dizzying array of “TV dinners”. That’s a guy who really understood his job and did it well. I can only hope to measure up to that standard one day.

So, if trouble comes in threes, I shudder to think who’s next.

Long Distance Courage

Filed under: Advice from your Uncle Jim,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 5:29 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

If I had a dime for every empty threat…
You know, I get all kinds of messages from all kinds of people on the internet. Some nice, some, well, not so nice. And, frankly, the not-so-nice ones always make me shake my head in wonder. People say things in e-mail or on websites that they’d never have the courage to say in person. I’ve been called all sorts of fun and inventive names by people that would wet themselves if they ever had to confront me face-to-face. Mind, I’m not an imposing guy, really. In fact, I’m a cream puff. But, as I learned from both my father and a former drill-sargent, it’s all attitude. Well, that and a little voice-training combined with some genetic benefits. (Thanks, Dad!) So, yeah, if it comes to a shouting match, I can pretty well deafen most loudmouths. But, that’s not what I mean, really. I mean most of these fine internet folks wouldn’t dare look me in the eye and call me any name for any reason. Normal people don’t like that kind of person-to-person confrontation. So, why would they say it on-line? Do they really think that I’ll be scared or something? Impressed maybe? Honestly, I can’t fathom it. And, lately, I’ve seen a bunch of it on e-mail lists that I participate in (on?). Of course, after the short tempers there are almost never apologies, either. Even when the loudmouth has been proved quite conclusively wrong.
I’ve had guys who were losing a debate with me on-line say that they’d trounce me in person. All I can say to that is, “Uh, Sparky, if you can’t think things through and reason out a good argument via e-mail, which moves at the pace you set and allows you to revise before you hit ‘send’, what makes you think you can keep up with me in person?” In fact, I’m fairly well known for my ability to reason quickly and well. A skill, incidentally, that I’ve paid attention to and worked on for years. The ability to present a clear and reasoned argument in support of a position is essential to survival in a business environment, not to mention a marriage. Sure, the rules are different, but the skill is no less important.
So, what is it about the long distance medium that makes every social reject with a keyboard think they’re Clarrence Darrow or Mike Tyson? I can’t imagine what special kind of inferiority complex makes these jokers tick. Personally, I do my best to only write things that I’d say in person. Why? Because, you never know what you’ll have to defend, in person or in court, later.
There’s a little something to think about, eh? So, here’s a little advice from your Uncle Jim. Think twice before you hit “send”. If you wouldn’t say what you’ve written in person to the recipient, don’t send it.


Advice from your Uncle Jim:
"In times like the present, men should utter nothing for which they would not willingly be responsible through time and eternity."
   --Abraham Lincoln


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