Diary of a Network Geek

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

2/6/2007

Feels Like Junior High

Filed under: Advice from your Uncle Jim,Bavarian Death Cake of Love,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 5:46 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

Some things never change.

You know, no matter how hard I try, it seems there are just some things about me that never change. Take, for instance, my terrible luck with the opposite sex. Okay, not so much “luck” as the results of a range of poor interpersonal skill and bad choices. Frankly, every time something like this happens, it’s just like Junior High. (I think they call that “Middle School” in Texas.)
There was a girl, naturally, who caught my fancy right at that special time when we were all “changing” and discovering all these new feelings about our opposite member. Her name was Julie. Nice gal, cute, popular, the works. Sadly, I was not cute nor popular. Only I hadn’t figured out that mattered yet. I was a late bloomer. So, throwing most of my caution to the wind, I wrote her a note, no doubt expressing my undying love for her with all the eloquence my little seventh-grade writing skills could muster. I think I can sum it up by saying I wrote something equivalent to “I like you. You’re pretty. Do you like me?”

I was subtle in my delivery of said note. No go between for me! Nope, I bravely told her she dropped something and handed her the note. Then, I believe I practically ran in the opposite direction. Then, for what felt like the next six years, Julie and her friends, the popular girls, all pointed and laughed and made me feel… Well, I guess they didn’t make me feel anything, but what I felt was strange, bad, small, and “less than”. It was a feeling that chased me all through the rest of Junior High and High School, too.
It was that feeling that made me feel good enough to help the cheerleader with her physics homework, but not good enough to be her actual date. No, that was reserved for her boyfriend who was too busy with his Advanced Placement Physics to help her figure out basic physics. Honestly, I doubt she even remembers my name today.
But, that’s pretty well how things played out over those years. I was the nice guy that all the girls felt safe around, and I worked at that, but, as a result, none of them really thought of me “that way”. In retrospect, I wonder how many of them thought I was gay. Regardless, that’s just how things were. No, I’m not whining about that “nice guys finish last” malarkey. It’s not that they didn’t like me, but, somehow, in being safe and careful with them, I just got shuffled off into another category where dating wasn’t a possibility.

So, flash forward about twenty years and several relationships, including one failed marriage. You’d expect that I’d have learned something, right? Apparently not. I discovered that I’ve made an ass of myself again, doing the same things that I did in Junior High.
I put myself out there. I was as real and genuine as I know how to be. I wore my heart on my sleeve. And, I even got a little response. Enough, at least, to keep me hooked. Oh, I put her on the prayer list at church. I prayed for her, at her request. I even sent prayers along to her. (Prayer and my relationship with God is actually a very private intimate thing that I don’t share with a lot of people.) I was caring and I listened to her problems. The whole nine yards. But, Monday morning, when I got into work, I found out she’d been to a Super Bowl party with someone else as her date. Her and her kids.
The guy who squealed had no idea that I was the most likely reason why she’d sworn him to secrecy, or I’m sure he wouldn’t have told me.
I’ll tell you true, faithful readers. I felt like a right jackass. I was embarrassed and ashamed. I was damn mad at myself for getting into that position yet again. And worse, for letting it get to me. And, yes, it really burns me up that after more than twenty years, when I do this to myself, I can still hear Julie and her friends laughing at me.

A friend told me, via e-mail, that it was just my turn to go through this. Again. Just like everyone else. And, honestly, I know that. Deep in my heart, I know he’s right. And, yes, I can hear my very own father saying “In a hundred years, who will care?” And, yes, I know that’s true, too.
But none of that makes it sting less today.
And, yes, just like in Junior High, I want to say something, do something, to make her see, make her understand how unfair it is. How I felt deceived. How I would have handled it all differently if I’d just known from the outset that I wasn’t dateable. But, I know, just like in Junior High, that none of that would be of any use anyway.
Okay, I’m done feeling sorry for myself today.
Thank you.


Advice from your Uncle Jim:
"The safe way to double your money is to fold it over and put it in your pocket."
   --Frank Hubbard

2/5/2007

Novell, Linux and Licenseing

Filed under: Deep Thoughts,Linux,MicroSoft,News and Current Events,Novell,The Dark Side — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Rooster which is in the early evening or 6:08 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

Not quite as exciting as gun-wielding maniacs…

But, this is still a big deal to Novell and Linux worshipers.   First, over the weekend, there was a story run by Reuter’s saying, in essence, that the Free Software Foundation might somehow ban Novell from selling or packaging Linux in the future.  Naturally, this sent a lot of people into quite a tizzy.  That would be a terrible blow to Novell, who’s really staked their future on the success of Linux and their products on Linux.  I would imagine their stock took quite a hit today.

Thankfully, the folks over at Linux Magazine have a clearer picture of what’s going on.  First,  the FSF doesn’t control Linux or Linux distribution rights.  Secondly, what they’re actually talking about is moving certain key utilities and chucks of code from the current license, the GPLv2, to a new license, GPLv3, which might, somehow, restrict who could redistribute the code.  Linus himself has said that he will NOT move the Linux kernel, which is the heart of Linux, to the newer, more restrictive GPLv3.  So, in short, what we have is a Linux community that’s panicked over the deal Novell made with Microsoft and is spreading a little, old-fashioned FUD.  Interestingly enough, that’s a technique that Microsoft used to fight Linux.  Oh, how the worm turns.

So, in short, while this all made for great pseudo news, it’s not much more than smoke and mirrors.  Of course, it’s smoke and mirrors that will no doubt effect Novell’s stock price, but, still…

Wild West

Filed under: Advice from your Uncle Jim,Career Archive,Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Deep Thoughts,Life, the Universe, and Everything,News and Current Events — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Snake which is just before lunchtime or 11:45 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

So, we had a little excitement at work last week.

Hmm, let’s see if I can tell this story without implicating anyone…
These two guys at work got into it last week. One’s an older guy, probably close to retirement age. We’ll call him Cowboy. The other one is younger, in fact, barely out of high school. We’ll call him Young’un. Young’un used to work in the same department that Cowboy did, but moved on to another area. Young’un, in fact, works here because his father, who we’ll call Pappy, works here in yet another department.
So, Cowboy was always running his mouth about one thing or another and he got into it with Young’un. Things escalated to the point that Cowboy apparently got very upset. He left the heated “conversation” and went to his cubicle. He returned with a paper bag that he started shoving in Young’un’s face. Then, he pulled the bag off his hand and revealed a loaded .45. For those of you unfamiliar with that reference, that’d be a kind of handgun.

Well, somehow, things de-escalated to the point that they both walked away without incident. But, Young’un was bothered by this behavior, to say the least. Based on what I pieced together, he talked to several people about it, including Pappy. Pappy, being a standard, protective father, wanted to handle things “the country boy way”, his words, and stomp the excrement out of Cowboy after work. Thankfully, cooler heads prevailed and the police were called.
Turns out, Cowboy had a rather long rapsheet. Several counts of burglary of various flavors, spiced with prior weapons charges and assorted felonies. In fact, he was in the last year of his parole for his latest felony. Now, again, for those of you not familiar with our criminal justice system, it is illegal for a convicted felon to possess and handgun. It’s also a violation of his parole.
When I left Thursday night, after working a little late, the nice officers were still doing their paperwork, but, I’m told, that he’s now a guest of the State. His car was still in our parking lot most of the weekend, but was gone this morning when I came in. The gossip grapevine hasn’t delivered any news regarding his ultimate legal fate, but I suspect he’s be a guest at the Gray Bar Inn for quite some time.

Okay, now, I have to be honest about this. As glad as I am that he’s off the street, I feel a little sorry for the old guy. I just try to put myself in his shoes and imagine the long string of bad decisions that led him to this place. In spite of having made some really big mistakes in my own life, honestly, it’s a bit hard to see myself doing that many things that wrong.
Still, I pray that God will take care of even so lost a lamb. And, I pray that I never get so lost.

UPDATE:  Apparently, Cowboy is out on bond.  Not sure how that could have happened, all things considered, but there’s limits to my grapevine.


Advice from your Uncle Jim:
"Sometimes a winner is just a dreamer who never gave up."

2/4/2007

Too Sick

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 Dog which is in the evening time or 9:23 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

and Tired, actually.

I know I promised my readers more this weekend, but I’ve just been too sick and tired to write.  Though, God knows, there’s been plenty to write about.  Before the week is out, I’ll have written at least one post about a gun-wielding maniac and another about how a nice guy like me just can’t get a break.  Woe is I, woe is I.

Anyway, I’m off to bed because I have to get the energy to write tomorrow.
Sorry, but that’s just the way things go.

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2/2/2007

Um…

Filed under: Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Fun,Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:15 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a Full Moon

Okay, these are all crazy links that almost have a theme.

Well, if you count that I found them all amusing, I guess that could be a theme.
Hey, at least they’re funny!
First, there’s chicks noodling. Now, if you aren’t familiar with noodling, that’d be bare-handed catfish fishing. No rod or reel, just you and the catfish, mano-a-mano. Er, mano-a-fino. Anyway, when I saw this on Delenda Est Carthago, I just had to share the CatfishGabblin’ video series. (Pretty safe for work, so no worries.)
Next, in a totally different vein, there’s the Hello Kitty Tarot deck. Yes, it’s the occult made cute with the Hello Kitty Tarot deck. Not much I can add to that.
But, I think the Cell Phone Micro Garden might just top it. Yes, these are actual plants in actual tiny jars that you hang from your cell phone. I guess it’s for the Greenies that want to start small.
And, for those of you with kids, I have the Revolver Cookie Cutter and “Gelli Baff“. While I think the cookie cutter is self explanitory, Gelli Baff might take a bit of description. It’s a powder that you add to water to make, well, colored goo that your kids can play with. To get rid of the good, you just add a neutralizer and more water to rinse it away. I wish we had these when I was a kid!

And, finally, there’s a story on Information Week about two kids passing notes in the comments section of someone’s blog. Apparently, all other communication was banned and locked out, but these two girls managed to find a new way to pass notes in class on the same blog that reported the story. So, watch your blog comments, folks, you never know what you might find!

So, enjoy your Friday Fun Links and I promise, I’ll write something real this weekend.

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