Diary of a Network Geek

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


Geek Pickup Lines, Part One

Filed under: Fun,The Network Geek at Home — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:16 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

The top eleven Geek Pickup lines, as stolen from BBSpot, for your Friday afternoon funny:

Geek Pick-up Lines
11. Tell me of this thing you humans call *dramatic pause* love.
10. If you turn me down now, I will become more drunk than you can possibly imagine.
9. They don’t call me Bones because I’m a doctor.
8. Your name is Leslie? Look, I can spell your name on my calculator!
7. What’s a nice girl like you doing in a wretched hive of scum and villany like this?
6. You must be Windows 95 because you gots me so unstable.
5. My ‘up-time’ is better than BSD.
4. I can tell by your emoticons that you’re looking for some company.
3. Is that an iPod mini in your pocket or are you just happy to see me.
2. Want to see my Red Hat?
1. If you won’t let me buy you a drink, at least let me fix your laptop.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I can hear the moans and groans from here. Hey, have a few more drinks and they’ll start to get funny. At least, that’s my working theory.


Suicide on Camera

Filed under: Deep Thoughts,Life, the Universe, and Everything,News and Current Events — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Horse which is around lunchtime or 12:53 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

Okay, I wasn’t going to post anything until after therapy tonight, but…
This news story is just so bizarre and disturbing that I had to mention it. I got this via AustralianIT.com, which carries news that other services in the States often don’t get or get days later. Apparently, an American gamer has killed himself on a Bulgarian game forum, via webcam. It seems this guy, nicknamed “Kudjo”, switched on his web cam and drank radiator fluid with a bunch of unidentified pills. Other users thought he was joking even though he went on, apparently at great length, for six hours about the effects the substances he ingested were having on him and the fact that he “disappeared from view” several times. It was only after he didn’t show up at regular meeting spots that fellow gamers went to his home and learned that he had died in the hospital. The gaming forum has apparently been shut down pending an investigation, but I don’t see how they can be held liable.
I was horrified by this, especially the idea that people knew he’d talked about this but apparently did nothing. Anytime anyone talks about suicide it is no joke. Not ever. I know, because I’ve been there. If people I knew hadn’t taken me seriously, I don’t know what would have happened. I’m thankful they did. I only wish someone had taken this guy seriously.

Wow, sorry to be a downer today, but I just felt I had to put that out there. It can be a scary world and we all have to look out for each other as best we can. It was just so shocking that I had to say something. I only hope it turns out to be some kind of cruel hoax or joke.



Open Enterprise Server, or Bust!

Filed under: Career Archive,Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Fun Work,Geek Work,Linux,Novell — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Dog which is in the evening time or 9:39 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

Well, it looks like my server finally got approved.
Yea! So, yesterday morning, our office in New Orleans is having their third or fourth server space crisis in as many weeks and they start complaining about why they can’t get a new server. Of course, I patiently explain that I’ve been going through this little drive-space two-step for about six months or so here in Houston and we need a server as bad as they do. Well, I guess I said the right things to the right people and suddenly everything is a go. So I scrambled around and ordered a Dell server with 1.5 gig of RAM and 1 TERABYTE of hard drive space. I also ordered SyncSort backup software for Linux/Novell, two 1 terabyte network attached storage devices and a 50 user copy of Novell’s Open Enterprise Server for SuSE Linux. Now, all I have to do is whip together a migration plan. *sigh*
After I get this all converted and what not, I’ll repurpose the old server for the New Orleans office. Sadly this will mean travel to the sweatiest, back-road, industrial armpit outside of New Orleans, but, well, at least it’ll get done. And, I’ll have my OES server on nice, clean, safe, bullet-proof Linux. Of course, that means more geeky/technical writing. And a lot of penguin references.

I lost a reader recently, and I think my lack of geek content is to blame. At least, I have one less subscriber on Bloglines and, while it is possible that someone else has bailed on me, I blame it on a boring, barely technical job. I spend more time hooking up cables for my boss’ KVM switch than I do maintaining anything. In many ways, it has been rather disheartening. Of course, by the time I’m done here, I’ll have some really good things to put on my resume, but, then, I’ve been spinning long, thankless jobs into impressive experience since I started in this business. That Marketing degree comes in handy sometimes. So, in short, I’m looking forward to being a very technical guy for a couple of weeks. I hope I don’t bore my new readers while I geek out, though. Frankly, I really like some of you new ones. And, yes, I really do enjoy having a more female demographic. Really.



Filed under: Deep Thoughts,Life, the Universe, and Everything,Personal — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Dog which is in the evening time or 9:28 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

I have the broad hands of a German peasant farmer.
My hands are covered in the little scars of a careless life. Tiny chemical burns from High School chem lab. Fine knife scars from Boy Scout camp. Calluses on the knuckles from time spent with a heavy bag and doing pushups on clenched fists. Deeper scars from doing my own, inexpert, home repairs. Gouges from sharp metal inside computer cases.
My hands are strong enough to hold gallons of paint like a weekend athelete palms a basketball. Usually, my nails are uneven and bitten, the cuticles worried raw through absent-minded bad habits. I have old, smooth calluses on my palms, from my attempts at lifting weights, that have softened with time. But, for all that, I think they’re gentle hands.
They’re not the delicate hands of an artist. My fingers are short and broad. Not meant for etherial works of beauty, but the hard labor of the field. And, I have used these miracles of physiology hard. Time spent with nails and concrete and paint and glass. These hands of mine have tightened pipes and fittings and bolts that others would have needed a wrench to secure. Strong hands that have hurt people, both intentionally and accidentally. Never used like my father or grandfather or great-grandfather, all of who worked, at one time or another, in hard manual labor, but, still, hands that find a way when they have no choice.
I’m lucky, really, to have hands like that, but, truth be told, I always wanted those beautiful, delicate hands of an artist. Deft hands that pour magic out through a pen or pencil or brush. Hands that create beautiful art, art that makes the breath catch in your throat. I tell myself that they’re good hands. That gentle strength is good enough. That someone, someday, will hold those hands and smile. That those soft, strong hands will hold someone and make her feel safe and secure, even if only for a moment in a darkened theater while a slasher stalks the screen. I pray that those broad hands will one day hold a small child and make her feel safe, too. That those hands traced with tiny, careless scars will be daddy’s hands. Will be the safe passage from one side of the street to the other.
Hands are miracles made flesh. All the little bones and tight tendons and strong muscle that let us touch our world. That let us push and pull and poke and prod our world into the shape we make it. Hands can hold a weapon or a pen and change the world forever. They can show an opponent how we hate. Or a loved one how we care.
But, tonight, I’ll fold my hands and thank God for my miracles, both large and small. And, I’ll pray that He can use those hands to work a little more and, maybe, work a miracle or two yet.

E-Mail Issues

Filed under: Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,E-Mail Entry,Geek Work,Personal,The Dark Side — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Horse which is around lunchtime or 12:02 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

Damn mailservers.
Okay, look, I know that e-mail as defined in the original RFCs is not the most reliable service in the world, but this is getting pretty ridiculous. I know that I’ve missed several automated e-mail from my blog notifying me of incoming comments, but I have no idea what else I’ve missed. At least one person wrote a comment on this blog that mail she’d sent me bounced back, but I don’t know how many other e-mails haven’t made it to me. And, no, it does not help that I fix things like this for a living because I don’t have access to the servers that are misbehaving, not to mention all the various points of failure between me and the sent mail.
Anyway, if you sent me e-mail and didn’t get a response, please, send it again. Or, leave a comment on the blog. If your comment/e-mail is private, just add that to the start of the comment and I’ll keep it hidden from the rest of the world. I moderate every comment on my blog, so no worries about something accidentally rolling live that shouldn’t. Just be sure to mark the private stuff “PRIVATE:”, okay?
We now return you to your regularly scheduled blog obsession.

I Love You

Filed under: Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Deep Thoughts,Hoffman's Home for Wayward Boys,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 5:06 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

Have I mentioned that I love you?
Not everyone “gets it” when I say that. Especially men. I think we’re conditioned from an early age to add all sort of weight to that statement that confuses things. But, I love people. I genuinely love them. Men and women. I love their stories, love knowing them. I love helping them, which is why I opened my home to the folks who are stopping by for a bit. Thankfully, the last several people I’ve told that to, that I love them, either in person or writing, have understood what I meant.

“Love as much as you can from wherever you are.”
   –Thaddeus Golas

Yeah, okay, so not every day is a love-fest with me. I do the best I can. I can find something to love about almost everyone. My friends are easy, of course, because they obviously love me. That’s pretty well why they’re my friends. I mean, if someone can wade through all the various horse hockey that surrounds the best part of me and still find reason to love me, well, I’m holding on to them! Still, I recognize that some people are going to be more challengeing to love than others, so I try not to beat myself up too much when there’s someone that’s extra work. Twenty years ago, I was a frightening homophobe, but today, some of my best friends are gay men. Things change, thank God. And I can learn to love more.

“Love is the only dimension that needs to be changed”
   –Thaddeus Golas

Amen, Brother! If I can learn to love more every day without expecting more, I’ll have really accomplished something in this life. By nature, I’m a mistrustful person and I tend to not rely on anyone else, but I fight against that every day. Love and trust are closely related for me. I have to learn to trust people more to be who they are and be okay. If I can only learn to love a little more than I do today, I’ll have learned to trust people, and the God who made them, a little more, too. And, yes, maybe it’s naive of me, but I think the world would be a better place if we all acted more out of love than anything else.

“Go beyond reason to love: it is safe. It is the only safety.”
   –Thaddeus Golas

And, there it is. There’s the crux of the thing. Trust and safety. If I trust in love, I have to let go and believe that God will keep me safe. Sure, there’s the possibility that I’ll get hurt. That’s also the point of the whole deal. It would be far, far easier to throw that love out there if we were sure everyone would love us back. But, getting love back isn’t the point, is it? I mean, we all hope to be loved, but that’s not why I was put on this Earth. My purpose is to love others. To reach out, in whatever way I can, to show others that they are loved. That is what living is all about.

“Enlightenment doesn’t care how you get there.”
   –Thaddeus Golas

And, yes, I can turn myself around over night, and no, I am not manic-depressive. Just optimistic through sheer force of will.



Filed under: Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Deep Thoughts,Life, the Universe, and Everything,Personal — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Dog which is in the evening time or 8:02 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

A funny thing happened last week.
Well, not so much funny in the sense of “ha, ha, that was kind of different”, but more like “uh, what was that about?”
First, there’s a friend telling me that I’m “broken”. Now, I’m pretty sure I know what he meant by that, but the way it was presented pushed buttons for me. Mainly, it pushed the “you’re not good enough because you lack something that everyone else has” button. Realize, though, that I totally recognize this as an entirely internal process and reaction. At no point am I meaning to imply that my friend was saying this about me, but only that when I hear things like that I fill in that additional blank. It’s probably my greatest character defect, that negative self-talk. Hence the rush to read The Spirituality of Imperfection. It might not help, but what can it hurt?
The second thing that made me blink like stunned cattle was the phone call telling me that my ex-wife was getting married. I know the person who told me reads this blog, so I’ll try to be gentle with my reaction. But, my first thought was, “Okay, and…?” I mean, I know they must have been trying to do something helpful for me and I’m sure it was done out of love, but, honestly, my reaction was a shrug. Now, I’m really not saying this for effect or to “look good” for my blog audience, but I don’t really care that much. My marriage is like a missing tooth. It’s not there, sometimes I can’t help feeling for it, but it doesn’t really hurt that much. It’s just that gap, the missing space. Okay, maybe I’m repressing some feelings or something, but my reaction was to feel around inside for a suitable reaction. It was like banging on an empty can. Sound came out, but not much else. I felt like I was expected to say something, something witty and dark, so I responded with “Well, I hope he’s got a good prenup.” (This guy is going to be worth quite a bit of money when his father dies, which is why I said that.) But, honestly, I don’t care. I don’t have any reason to not wish them both well and hope that they’re happy. Surely, even my ex-wife deserves to be happy? Hey, if this guy makes her happy, then more power to them both. Get it while you can and hold on tight for as long as it lasts. (Sadly, while writing this post, I got e-mail confirming that they were married on Friday the Thirteenth. I just hope it turns out to be a lucky day for them!)
The third thing, which is really several things with a theme, is the perception about how I feel about my ex. First, I don’t think she’s evil. Sometimes cruel, certainly at least a little crazy, and pretty self-centered, but not evil. Second, I don’t blame her for the divorce. I filed, for God’s sake, not her. If I waited for her, I’d still be married to her! Her last divorce took more than two years to get going and that was only because I was tired of waiting. I blame ME for the marriage and the divorce. I never should have been there or doing what I was doing. I did what I did and got what I got. Plain and simple. And, I hate that I was so stupid that it took years to see that and start to deal with it. Yeah, start to deal with it. Then, a friend told me that another mutual acquaintance felt like all the apparently bitter little things I have said in person about the divorce and ex wear thin, quick. And, I bet they do. Wish someone who was bothered by it had said something sooner so I was more aware of it sooner and could curb the bad habit. Thing is, bad habits get invisibile for me, otherwise, they wouldn’t become bad habits. Somewhere in the past year, I fell into the habit of making dark, bitter jokes about marriage and my ex. Okay, not funny. Never were, but now they’re not serving any purpose for me, so I should stop. Especially because I don’t think marriage is bad and wouldn’t mind being married again, if I can fix enough of what I don’t like about myself first.

So, here’s the thing. All this stuff this past week just highlights that I feel empty. Not empty like “I have no reason to go on”, but more like “my life has no passion”. My job is like eating day-old oatmeal. My spirituality is like wet cardboard. My enthusiasm for my “hobbies” is about as intense as… Lord, that’s so bad I can’t even muster a metaphor or simile to describe my apathy. In short, this past week, I’ve felt rather like an empty shell. No real good reason for it, but, there it is. The husk of a man shuffling about his life hoping that too much doesn’t flake off and disappear lest I become completely transparent.
But, I guess it’s not so bad. After all, I have a number of readers that care enough to comment and metaphorically nudge me out of my rut into a better place. I really appreciate that. I love you all for taking the time to read and comment on the crazy things I write here. I really am much saner in person. Or, at least I can wear the act better in person.
And, though I get down on myself for being a big coward, at least I’m brave enough to hang this out there where it can be judged. Yes, judged, by people who’s opinion matters to me, even though I haven’t ever met you. And, as someone pointed out in e-mail, I have managed to keep my sense of humor, dark though it may be at times. So, to wrap things up, I’m going to link to the last Lore Brand Comics strip that I read before writing this post. Always leave ’em laughing!


Shifting Gears

Filed under: Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Deep Thoughts,Hoffman's Home for Wayward Boys,Life, the Universe, and Everything,Personal — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning or 6:26 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

I have to sort through some things.
In the past five days, I’ve gotten several pieces of information that require some sorting through. No, nothing on the blog or related to comments on the blog. Just some indirect personal observations about me and the residue of my old life that require some thought before being vomited out onto the blog. I need to be less defensive about some of it, I think, before I can write it and post it. I’ll get back to you on that one.
I did, however, set aside A practical guide to Buddhist Meditation in favor of a book Doc bought for me called The Spirituality of Imperfection: Storytelling and the Search for Meaning. One of the things I’m thinking through is the statement made by a friend of mine earlier in the week that I was “broken”. I know what he was trying to say, or, rather, I think I know what he was trying to say, but I rather took exception to the way he said it. I’m not disagreeing, mind, because I think we are all flawed in some way. All less than perfect. All “broken” in some way. But, that’s one of those things I’m working on getting my head around. And, of course, the book was well timed, so it’s become a priority.
More this week as things bubble up.



Playin’ Games

Filed under: Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Deep Thoughts,Life, the Universe, and Everything,Personal,The Network Geek at Home — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Rooster which is in the early evening or 7:28 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a Full Moon

Here’s something I don’t miss.
Some time back, I wrote a post about what I miss most about not being in a relationship. But, that’s a ways behind me now and I’m finally looking at dating again. Making it through an evening without mentioning my ex-wife was a kind of watershed moment in that regard. I figured that no one would want to suffer through a date with me while I whined about my ex. But, as I get warmed up here, I started thinking about this post that Jill, from Jill Writes, did the other day. It stirred something in me, that clever post. (No, this is a family show, folks. That is not what it stirred!) But, it wasn’t until today that it occurred to me what it was that I didn’t miss about dating.
The Game.

Should I call or shouldn’t I? Did she look at me because my fly is open or because, as Doc says, I have “bedroom eyes”? Am I in her league? Is she in mine? What the devil is she thinking? What the heck was I thinking when I put this shirt on today, knowing that I’d see her? Wait, what did that eye contact mean? Was that a shy, little smile meant to draw me in? Or is my fly really open? Should I pretend to be cool? Or should I let her know that I’m into her? If I’m direct and forthright, will that scare her off? It has before, but will it this time? If I can get her phone number from the web, should I call? Or would that freak her out? If I ask her out via e-mail will she blow it off because it’s e-mail? Is that enough reason to call instead? I mean, I don’t want her to think I’m a stalker, but it would be easy enough for me to get her phone number from the web. It is, after all, part of what I do for a freakin’ living. I mean, look at the blog name, right? God, will you give me a sign about this please? No, I mean a bigger sign than that flashing one with the “Accident Ahead” message in lights. Is she trying to tell me something when she e-mails, but won’t call me? What the hell is she thinking?

Yeah, that little stream of consciousness ran through my head earlier this week.
So, here’s the thing. I hate playing this game, but what can I do? Is there a woman alive who believes that I’m really not looking to get her into bed? Honestly, that’s not my agenda. But, I guess it’s hard to believe that a guy like me is actually interested in who a woman is, what she thinks and how she feels. And, that really is all I’m looking for right now. Oh, sex would be nice, don’t get me wrong, but, honestly, it would be better to get to know someone first. You know, for a change, as opposed to how I met my ex-wife. Is that really such a hard thing to believe? Maybe it is.
Ladies, if a guy were to walk up to you on the street and ask to buy you a cup of coffee, and you found him reasonably attractive, would you bite? Er, I mean, would you say yes? Under what circumstances? What is the “safe” way for a guy to approach a woman he’s just met and ask her out?
God, I hate being clueless about this stuff! I hate the Game, but, worse, I hate not knowing the Rules. Anyone care to enlighten me?


Review: Torturer’s Apprentice

Filed under: Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Deep Thoughts,Life, the Universe, and Everything,Review — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Rooster which is in the early evening or 6:03 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a Full Moon

I stayed up late last night to finish The Torturer’s Apprentice.
It’s not my usual fare, and I really should have been through it much sooner. It wasn’t a long book, and very good, but I’ve been a little, er, “scattered” lately. Well, that and the Advanced Ripped Fuel I’ve been taking to try and up my metabolic rate so that I actually have the energy to do aerobic exercise again. (I keep reading about people running marathons and such, but my knees are too bad for that sort of thing. Besides, I think hitting the heavy bag would be better for my repressed rage.) Right, sorry, what was on about?
Ah, the book! Yes, quite well done, actually. A series of short stories, none related, several taking place in and around New Orleans before Katrina was even a tropical depression. As I mentioned this is quite a departure from my normal trash reading, but I was well rewarded for my risk. John Biguenet writes about wounded people trying to make their way in the world. The Vulgar Soul, which is the first story, is about an unbeliever, or, at best, an agnostic, who comes down with a case of stigmata. It’s a touching tale of loss and redemption, though, with a bit of a twist. Then, there was Lunch With My Daughter. I was touched deeper than I thought possible by this one. In fact, that may have been why I set the book aside for a bit. Very powerful writing, though it’s my personal life that triggered the deep emotion. The Work of Art, frankly, left me longing for love. It made me think about what I was looking for in a relationship and who might embody that. This was the story that had me reading late into the night last night. Do Me almost finished me off. A disturbing tale of passion and erotisicm, which I honestly didn’t expect, and pain. Always with love and passion the pain. Frankly, it hit a little close to home and I was relieved it ended in a way that resembled my life not at all. Any other alternative would have been far, far too disturbing.
In any case, everything was well written and thought-provoking, but those stories stuck out for me. Over all it was well done. The writing disappeared behind the story, which is always a good thing for me. It’s a short book and well worth picking up.

Today at lunch, I started A practical guide to Buddhist Meditation, which promises to be a good one. I’ve been meaning to start meditating again for some time. I used to do it when I was in college, but, then, I got consumed with my consumer life and much of my spirituality slipped away. Unless you count the girls I pursued to no avail. That’s fairly Zen-like, pursuing that which cannot be attained. Isn’t that the definition of Zen? “That which, when sought, cannot be found, but is found when the search is abandoned”?
Oh, that reminds me of something. The other day, I reccomended a book to someone via e-mail, but it’s been hard to get. Well, the book, the Science of Breath, is now online! Well worth checking out.

And, now, it’s off to a cheap dinner at the local Vietnamese noodly shop and thence to Half-Price Books. Anyone have suggestions for what to keep an eye out for?

« Previous PageNext Page »

Powered by WordPress
Any links to sites selling any reviewed item, including but not limited to Amazon, may be affiliate links which will pay me some tiny bit of money if used to purchase the item, but this site does no paid reviews and all opinions are my own.