Diary of a Network Geek

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

4/27/2018

Interactive Self-Care

Filed under: Deep Thoughts,Fun — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is in the early morning or 7:00 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

Or, my best advice has been reduced to a small web page.

Seriously, I cannot tell you how many of my friends have come to me with major issues that tend to include things like panic attacks, crippling self-doubt and related side-effects. It’s possible that’s the result of them knowing I’ve been through most of that myself, not to mention surviving cancer when I was single and thousands of miles from family. Really, that kind of thing can harden up your survival skills. Trust me on this one.
My blushing bride tells me that it’s because I’m somehow reassuring. Even strangers seem to think I exude some kind of gentle trustworthiness that makes it okay to tell me all kinds of things.
Regardless of why, I’ve talked more than my share of people out of tough emotional spots before. Off the metaphorical ledge, if you’ll allow me the melodramatic metaphor. My advice, though, is usually really simple; eat something good, drink some water, take a nap.
Well, now, when you can’t find your Uncle Jim to help you through a rough time, you can try You Feel Like Shit, an interactive website that can help you through dark times. You just answer a series of questions and the site helps you make some good, healthy self-care choices that, hopefully, will help you through whatever is going on. The creator, Amanda Miklik, would like to remind you that this really good site doesn’t replace the help of a mental health professional, and neither do I, so we’re on the same footing. And the site may actually be a little more helpful than I am.

Anyway, it’s not exactly a Friday “Fun” link, but it’ll do this week. So, enjoy your weekend, drink some water, eat something healthy and delicious and take a nap.

This post originally appeared on Use Your Words.

6/17/2016

Uncle Walt’s Health Tips for Men

Filed under: Fun,Personal Care,Things to Read — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning or 6:00 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

Seriously, health tips from Walt Whitman himself.

I think about health a lot, because I’m overweight.  My cardiologist would like me to lose at least 20 pounds, preferably more.  He just doesn’t quite buy that my wife, being a good Southern woman, expresses her love for me through food.  And, she really loves me.  Seriously.
I also tend to be a traditionalist, though, so when I saw that old Walt Whitman had written a 13-installment series of articles giving men of his day health advice, well, you can imagine how I became quite interested.  Maybe, finally, I’d have someone who was on my side for why I didn’t have time to lose the weight!  And why bacon can be served at every meal!

Sadly, it was not so.  Mr. Leaves of Grass himself said just what my cardiologist did; get up and walk.  Yeah.  And, he suggests walking outside, in the fresh air, and everything.
I feel betrayed.
You can read all his advice, which, I might add, is perfectly good for women for the most part, too, if you just follow this link over to the University of Iowa archives.  It’s actually a pretty good series of articles and, while he doesn’t say much about bacon, he does suggest that there’s nothing wrong with eating beef.  So I have that much.

Anyway, it’s Friday and you might as well read what else he has to say.
Enjoy your weekend!

This post originally appeared at Use Your Words.

5/31/2013

Writerly Advice

Filed under: Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Fun Work,Life, the Universe, and Everything,Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Dragon which is in the early morning or 8:16 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

There is no shortage of advice for writers.

And, honestly, the advice you like least is probably the best for you.  Why do I say that?  Because the advice that rankles you the most is probably digging at the precise issue that you have as a writer and are trying to ignore.  Or, is that just my Freudian slip showing?
I hate to admit it, but I fall into the classic traps of wanna-be fiction writer all the time.  My biggest failing? …
Read More

5/6/2009

Review: You’re Not Fooling Anyone When You Bring Your Laptop To A Coffee Shop

Filed under: Advice from your Uncle Jim,Art,Review,Things to Read — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning or 6:20 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

So, last week I finished You’re Not Fooling Anyone When You Bring Your Laptop To A Coffee Shop by John Scalzi.

I’ve been a frustrated writer since I can remember.
I’ve read more books on writing than most people even realize have been published! But, this book was different. Most writing books focus on the techniques of writing, dispensing all sorts of marginally useful advice, but Scalzi has some different advice for hopeful writers. He talks mainly about the nitty gritty that the other books leave out. For one thing, he talks about giving up the idea that one should only write “art” pieces. He talks about approaching writing like any other job. It makes sense, really, when you think about it. I mean, if you want to make a living at writing, then you have to write regularly, just like you’d work at any other job. You work regularly to get paid regularly.

Mostly, the advice is hard-nosed and drawn from his own years as a full-time, professional writer. Also, the sections are drawn from his blog, the Whatever and many are answers to questions from readers of that blog. Granted, he’s edited many of the original blog entries for the book, but I honestly don’t care that it’s mostly duplicated material I could get from the web. I find reading it from a book, an actual, bound book, far easier than trying to chase it all down on his blog. It was well worth the price.

I can’t recommend this book to most of my readers, but if you’re an aspiring writer and are tired of reading the same well-worn advice about how to write, You’re Not Fooling Anyone When You Bring Your Laptop To A Coffee Shop may be just the book you’ve been looking for. It won’t tell you much about how to write, but it will give you invaluable advice about the writing life and how to make a living at it.


Advice from your Uncle Jim:
"Live truth instead of professing it."
   --Elbert Hubbard

12/3/2008

How to Concentrate

Filed under: Advice from your Uncle Jim,Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Deep Thoughts,Life, the Universe, and Everything,Things to Read — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:13 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Crescent

Lately, I’ve been very concerned with my own discipline and how that relates to creative output.

It seems to me that I have increasingly lost the ability to focus on creative tasks for long periods of time, which, of course, is somewhat detrimental to actually producing a finished product. In short, my skills of concentration have gotten soft. It may be due, in part, to the nature of my work, which often draws me in several directions at once. Or, it may simply be a part of my nature that I used to have under better control. Regardless, concentration is, I think, the key.

So, with that in mind, I invite you to read “How To Concentrate“, originally published in 1930, but still relevant today.  Certainly, it is for me, especially this week, or month, or, hell, this year.  Now, all I need to do is clear a little space on my calendar…


Advice from your Uncle Jim:
A real hero is someone who's afraid, but does the right thing anyway.

3/25/2008

Creative Advice

Filed under: Advice from your Uncle Jim,Art,Career Archive,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 5:05 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

Not sure if this is “good” advice or not, but I’ve certainly found it to be true.

The other night I was flipping through channels and, as I buzzed past either Sundance or IFC, I saw one of the two oldest Marsalis brothers doling out some advice that was given to him by an older Jazz musician. I came in after the interview had started, so I don’t know if it was Wynton or Branford, nor do I know who gave him the advice, but it was significant enough to make me think.

He said, basically, don’t have anything to fall back on.
When someone starts on a path of professional creativity, whether it be musical or otherwise, we’re told that we need to do something else, too, so that we “have something to fall back on”. But, here’s the thing. If you have something to fall back on, then you do, and never truly give everything to that creative endeavor. I know that’s been true for me. I used to write all the time, but, then I got involved in my career and started spending more and more time on that. It’s not a bad thing, as I do fairly well, but the IT stuff is what I do, not the writing. I never really succeeded at writing because, well, I never had to succeed at writing. I had something to fall back on.

So, whatever it is that you want to do, do that. It’s the only way.


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


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