Diary of a Network Geek

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


High Oil Prices Good for Domestic Economy!

Filed under: Advice from your Uncle Jim,Career Archive,Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Deep Thoughts,News and Current Events — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:28 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a Third Quarter Moon

Yes, it’s true the higher cost of sending things overseas makes our economy stronger.

Well, in what I have to admit is a nice turn of events, ABC has an article telling us how the high oil prices are actually generating manufacturing jobs here, at home, in the good, old United States of America. Yea! So, what I’ve been saying for quite some time is finally being recognized by industry at large: it’s cheaper to “outsource” to small towns in Middle America than it is to send the work overseas. Okay, maybe it wasn’t quite as true when I was saying it back in 2003, but it sure seems to be now.

You know, it’s not that I mind being right, even when I’m right so far ahead of the curve, but I sure wish people in positions of power would start listening to guys who have been in the trenches. Most of us really do know more than you’d expect about this stuff. Honest.

Advice from your Uncle Jim:
"The person who WILL NOT read is no better off than the person who CAN NOT read."


Death, Life and Things Inbetween

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 Horse which is around lunchtime or 12:43 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a Full Moon

So, I’ve been a little quiet lately…

I suppose it’s natural, considering how busy the holidays always are, and how sick I’ve been and the family emergencies and all. Still, I feel a little guilty not keeping up with the blog.

First, let me thank everyone who sent warm holiday wishes and condolences about my uncle’s passing. I was very glad I went up for the funeral, even though I don’t particularly care for them. For one thing, I had no idea how much it would mean to my cousins, one of which I haven’t seen in close to 20 years. It was a little bizarre to see her “little” kids all grown up and talking about college or post-graduate work.
And, I know that me being there meant a lot to my father. He was very close to his older brother and I know he was really feeling the loss, even if he couldn’t say so out loud. I love my father dearly, but he certainly is where I learned to suppress my emotions. But, in any case, I was glad to be there to lend support to the mourners, though, I have to admit, it was a new and different experience to help lifting and loading my uncle’s coffin into the hearse after the funeral. There wasn’t a graveside service, since he was being cremated, so no funeral procession or need for formal pallbearers. Still, it was… Well, a bit strange to find myself doing that, performing that last familial service for a deceased relative. Honestly, I was honored to be able to do so.

My family has always had an unusual relationship with death. For one thing, we’re fairly religious and, though our individual beliefs may differ, we all believe in an existence beyond this one. I’m not sure any of us are willing to commit to what that might look like, but, I think, we all believe that the end of this life isn’t the end of all things. Certainly, that’s what I believe and the message I got from our parents. I’m not quite willing to embrace a particular view of heaven or hell or purgatory or limbo or nirvana or whatever, but I feel strongly that something goes on beyond our short time here.
Combine that with my father’s work with Elizabeth Kubler-Ross on death and dying and, well, my views on that whole process are, I think, I little different than what some folks might expect. It’s a process, a step, a thing that happens. And, of course, I’m sure it will be all different when it’s my brother, or father or other close relative who leaves this world.

But, life goes on.
So, I have a date. Thursday night at 7:30PM, with a nice Chinese girl I met on Match.com. She’s been in the States since 1997, has a Masters in Computer Science from Rice and seems, as I’ve mentioned, quite nice. At least, from the few e-mails and one phone-call, she seems nice. Her English is almost perfect. Just a trace of an accent. Just enough to make her sound a little exotic and interesting on the phone. She’s pretty cute, too, from her picture.
We’re meeting for dinner at a Thai restaurant in what my ABC friend calls the “new, safer” Chinatown. Well, actually it’s right at the edge of the “new” Chinatown. You know what fascinates me, though? I had no idea that Houston had one Chinatown, much less two. What have I been doing all this time that I missed that?
Anyway, I’ll be glad to find a new Thai restaurant and just get out a little. Though, I have to admit, as always, I’m worried about that first date. Kiss or no kiss? Hug only? Shake hands? That always stymies me. I guess I’ll just play it by ear and hope for the best. (Though advice on that topic is always welcome!)

And C., at work, has been as confusing as ever.
She had a big blowup with her BF of 9 months or so while I was away. Apparently, he was just pushing too hard and smothering her and… Well, from what she said, he made the classic mistake that all men make in that situation, even me. As we feel our heart’s desire slipping away, we try to hold on tighter and end up squeezing our chances right through our fingers.
So, I talked with her a bit and it was good, but… I don’t know. There’s something there, but what I have no idea. I sense a certain amount of interest, obviously, or I wouldn’t keep coming back to it. But… But, I keep getting mixed signals from her. My friend, J., the Groom with Cold Feet, reminded me what I was like right after my divorce, even though we’d been separated for more than a year. So, I think I can understand some of what she’s going through. I like her. I really, really like her. And, I’d like to get to know her better, but I keep getting signals that she wants me to back off, possibly all the way off. So, I think that’s what I’m going to do, more or less. No phone calls, no e-mails, nothing more than polite, professional conversation at work. At least, for a while.
Bedsides, I have at least the one girl from Match.com and another possibility, also from Match.com.

Or, I could just shave my head and join a monastery. That’d work, too.

Advice from your Uncle Jim:
"Aw, damnit, I left my spontaneous quips in my other pants."


They want what?

Filed under: Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Deep Thoughts,News and Current Events,Personal — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is in the early morning or 7:05 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

“Liberals Want Their Own Network”, the headline read.

Uh, I don’t get it. The Liberals seem to think they don’t have a “network”? Uh, I’ll take, “What is ABC, NBC and CBS News? for $100, Alex”. I mean, c’mon, I’m Conservative, sure, but not really *that* conservative and even I can see the massive Liberal bias in the media. So, what in the name of all that is holy and unholy do they really want? Oh, I’d say they want to cram their nutty, fringey wacked-out ideas down our throats. But, that’s just a guess.

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