Diary of a Network Geek

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

12/8/2005

“… A Sordid Past.”

Filed under: Advice from your Uncle Jim,Deep Thoughts,Life, the Universe, and Everything,Personal — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Pig which is in the late evening or 10:01 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a First Quarter Moon

Wherein we learn that everything is relative.
So, last week a church, I don’t see anyone I know right off the bat and plop down at the end of a row. I’m not sitting long enough to get even a couple of sips of coffee before I’m bouncing back up to say hello to K. I haven’t seen her in a couple of weeks and, since I know she’s started seeing someone new, I’ve avoided calling. New relationships are fragile and delicate creatures that tend to burst like soap-bubbles under the pressure of opposite-sex friendships, so I thought descretion should be the better part of valour and all that. Regardless of all that, K looked more lovely than usual, which I told her after recieving a very chaste hug hello. We exchange a little prayer team gossip (yes, it does exist!) and, while we’re catching up a bit, Mr. New Guy careens by to touch her and call her some pet name. Hmm, I thought, marking territory. Boy’s already in trouble. But, I stay focused on the conversation and don’t stare off after Mr. New Guy. I do, however, confirm without being blatant, that he was, in fact her new beau. Enter J, stage left.
“Uh, do you mind if we move up a couple of rows?” J asks.
“No, not at all,” I respond, smiling because I know why he wants to move.
“I just felt like we were hanging out in the middle of everything”
“Sure, dude. No problem.”
“Well, and, uh, I could see K with R and, well, uh, it was, weird.”
“Buddy, you don’t need to explain, I knew why we were moving. It’s cool.”
We both laugh a bit and, I throw in a concilliatory, “I’m not too impressed with her new guy.”
“Oh? You mean R?”
“Yeah, I guess. I mean, he just seems so weak-chinned and, well, bland.”
“Oh, no, he’s not at all! He has his own company and does…” Well, from the description, he does basically what I do, but he owns a server farm and pimps out web-hosting space.
“Hmm, well, he still seems pretty bland to me,” I said and shrugged.
“Oh, no, really, he’s not,” J said and then, after a dramatic pause, adds, “He has a sordid past.” I could only gape at J, who knows about 99% of my dirty laundry, at least in general terms.
“Dude, who do you think you’re talking to? ‘Sordid past’? I only know two or three guys who have a past more sordid than mine!” I went on to name two guys who we both knew, one of whom has a story about being arrested in a foreign country, drunk and naked on a hill-side. Yeah, that’s pretty sordid, and, yes, I have a couple of tales that come close to that, but no, we won’t be reading about them here.

I guess my point is, J had forgotten about a lot of that stuff from my past. I don’t talk about it, so he doesn’t think about it, but I sure can’t forget it. Jeez, I won’t even go into the story about how I met my ex-wife! But, see, J is an accountant who lives a very nice, well regulated life. In fact, that’s why I like him. So much of my life seems so chaotic and unpredictable that it’s nice to have someone more solid and well grounded around. My friends, these days, are my anchors to reality. They’re the handle I grab onto when my life starts to spin out of control. Though, that hasn’t been happening a lot lately, for which I am very grateful.
I’m trying not to regret that past, but see how it can help me. That craziness is what makes me so easy to talk to, for instance. I mean, after some of the things I’ve seen and done, what’s left that could shock me? And, no, that’s not an invitation to try. I’ve inspired my father to get tattooed, for pity’s sake! What can top that? Well, a lot, actually. But, again, that’s just not stuff I’m going to commit to print in any format.
Maybe I should go back to school and get my degree in Psychology. Lord knows, I understand every kind of crazy there is, many from the inside. But, I’m better now. In fact, as I write this, I’m negotiating the sale of some paraphernalia left over from that strange, twisted life I led in the shadows. I look at that gear and try to remember who I was when I did those things. Four years ago and it seems so far away. And, yes, there’s a part of me that’s tempted to go back. But, after escaping Hell once, I don’t dare tempt fate again. The scars are small and healing well. I’m far from whole, but, as the saying goes, I’m getting better.
Trust me, after where I’ve been, there’s no where to go, but up.
Oh, and just a little Advice from your Uncle Jim, if it seems like a bad idea, there’s probably a reason, but just plain fear isn’t reason enough.


Advice from your Uncle Jim:
"Pay no attention to the faults of others, things done or left undone by others. Consider only what by oneself is done or left undone."

Migrate to Linux

Filed under: Fun Work,Geek Work,GUI Center,Linux,The Network Geek at Home — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:04 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a First Quarter Moon

A primer from Patrick Norton.
Yes, that’s right, Patrick Norton of TechTV and The Screen Savers fame. Pat’s written a little article in his blog over at Extreme Tech about switching to Linux for “free”. I put “free” in quotes like that because, frankly, nothing is free. There are some things that just don’t work or don’t work as well in Linux as they do in Windows. And, there are programs that simply don’t run under Linux. Oh, sure, you can try to use an emulator or whatever to make it happen, but I’ve never, ever really trusted those suckers. Especially not with my financial data. To me, that’s what will “kill” Windows, a Linux-version of Quicken.
Anyway, Pat has a good overview of the pros and cons of switching to Linux and it’s worth taking a look.


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