Diary of a Network Geek

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


Out of Gas

Filed under: Fun,Red Herrings — 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 a New Moon

How far can you get on a tank of gas?

You know that when the little, red light showing that you’re out of gas on your car comes on, you have a couple miles before your car dies, right?  Oh, well, I know none of my readers have ever let their tank get down that far, but, you know, theoretically.   But, how far can you get?
Personally, I try never to get lower than 1/4 tank before I’m pointed at a gas station, but, well, with it being payday today, it occurred to me that, sometimes, people don’t have a choice!  As cash-strapped as I’ve been over the years, sometimes, I’ve had to think about whether or not to drive someone and spend money on the gas.  Thankfully, that’s not quite so true any more, but, I do worry about adding in some padding to my budget to allow for suddenly inflated gas prices.

Still, it is an interesting question, isn’t it?
When you’re down to that last little drop of gas, how far can you get before refueling?
Ponder no more!  Instead, go to Tank On Empty, find your car, and find out.  Or, at least, find out a fairly good estimate.  And, of course, if you are one of those people who like to, or have to, push their luck, add your results to the site to help others!
(If you’re interested in specifics, check out how far a gas guzzler, the Crown Victoria, like I’m currently driving, does!)


Storm Alert! Hurricane Ike Part One

Filed under: Calamity, Cataclysm, and Catastrophe,Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Life, the Universe, and Everything,News and Current Events,Personal,Review,The Network Geek at Home — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Snake which is just before lunchtime or 11:44 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous


Originally uploaded by Network Geek

Okay, so if somehow you haven’t been watching the news, or just don’t care about Texas, there’s a storm in the Gulf headed our way.

There are a bunch of computer models, but they’re all pointing toward Galveston and Houston. It really looks like this is going to hit us dead on this time. Oh, sure, they said the same thing about Rita a couple of years ago, but, well, let’s face it I’m just not lucky enough to miss this one, too. I mean, sure, I got out of an ugly marriage clean and I beat cancer, but I don’t think even I’m lucky enough to dodge two hurricanes pointed directly at Houston.

So, I spent the morning cleaning out my yard and cleaning off my porch. I filled the fountain, so I’d have flushing water. (I’ll show a picture of my fountain later, probably.) Then, I filled two collapsable water containers, that total five gallons together. And, I filled a five gallon SunShower, as well as my percolating coffee pot and my regular coffee maker and a tea kettle and an 18 quart pot. I’ll fill a few more containers later this evening, just in case. Last year, I kind of freaked out about having enough drinking water, so this year, I’m making sure I’m okay. Oh, and I have a hand-pump Katadyn water filter, too! So, if worse comes to worse, I can drink water from my ponds.
I’ve checked my batteries in my lantern and made sure I know were my candles all are, not to mention lighters and matches. I’ve cranked my Freeplay radio/flashlight, to make sure it has a charge. And, I have a spare battery fully charged for my camera. So, as long as I have an Internet connection, I’ll keep posting. After that, I’ll keep taking pictures to upload later.
I’ve got a load of laundry in right now and I’ll run the dishwasher after dinner, so I’ll have clean clothes and the maximum amount of clean dishes, too. I’m debating about going out and getting my tank totally topped off, as I didn’t have a chance to do that yesterday. See, I was a loyal employee and did everything I could to make sure our systems were good for the storm. You’d think I’d learn better by now, right?

Okay, the thing that drives me nuts about this Hurricane Ike coverage on the Weather Channel is that these guys are really, really hyping this all the way up to justify their own existence. I get that, but I wonder if they feel bad at all about making people panic? Do they really think they’re doing such a public service with that?

Well, since it’s before noon and the high winds aren’t supposed to start in my area until something like 7:00pm, I think I’m going to run over to my friend’s apartment and get their new DSL working for them. They don’t have cable and I’d hate for them to be cut off from communications about any storm danger or anything. Also, it’ll give me something to do. And, while I’m out if I see a gas station with gas, I might swing in and top off.

Stay tuned, readers! More pictures and posts later!


Nice Walk: Rita Part 7

Filed under: Calamity, Cataclysm, and Catastrophe,Deep Thoughts,Dog and Pony Shows,Life, the Universe, and Everything,News and Current Events,Personal,The Network Geek at Home — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Sheep which is mid-afternoon or 3:11 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

Hilda and I had a nice walk to 290.
It was really quiet out there, but we heard some folks doing some last minute work boarding up their houses or trimming trees. There were a few cars out, looking for gas, I’d presume. We walked all the way up to the feeder road and the gas station on the corner was closed and had all the pumps marked with “empty” signs. I assume they ran out sometime yesterday. Sadly, the closer we got to the highway, the nastier things got. Garbage everywhere. Food wrapers and empty bottles all over. Apparently, it didn’t occur to anyone to save their bottles for water later. More’s the pity. What got me, though, were the dirty, disposable diapers. I must have seen at least a dozen in the last block or so before the highway. Obviously, lots of people were getting off 290 and just leaving their crap, literally, where it dropped. Not their neighborhood, so they don’t care what a mess they leave it.
At least there didn’t seem to be too many cars that were abandoned. We didn’t go up on the actual highway, which is pretty well raised, but the feeder road was clear. There were some cars parked in the gas station and at the O’Reily’s Autoparts store. I hope whoever was in the one with the handicap plate made it to safety. We did meet one little family on our way back. They were doing about the same thing I was: just looking around. Not much else to do. The laundry is done, but I still have to fold it, and the dishwasher is running.
I stopped at the neighbors across the street, since they were out smoking. I introduced myself and let them know I was staying, in case anyone needed anything. They were pretty well drunk already. The one guy who introduced himself reeked of beer. But, everyone was friendly and they said if I got lonely, or whatever, to come on over. Incidentally, the walk actually seemed to help my back. I’m feeling much better, but I’m still going to keep taking ibuprofin, just in case.

My plan, incidentally, is to start drinking my beer when the storm is at least half over. Not sure how I’ll know that, but every plan has flaws. Then, when we lose power, I’ll start cooking and eating everything as it thaws out. When I can’t eat anymore, I’ll just keep cooking everything and keep it cool, or warm, depending. In between, I figure I’ll take cat naps and as soon as I can, I’ll start eating and drinking again. And, really, I’m only half-kidding about this. I really will start cooking a couple hours after we lose power. If we lose power.
Okay, so that’s damn optimistic, but, still, the way things are going, we could actually not lose electricity. That would be totally sweet! But, I’m not really expecting that. Also, you might be interested to know, I’m backing up my blog every other post now. That way, if the servers go away in the storm, I can restore all these posts and comments.
God, I am such a geek.


A Dinner Date

Filed under: Deep Thoughts,Dog and Pony Shows,Life, the Universe, and Everything,News and Current Events,Personal — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is in the early morning or 7:01 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Crescent

Hilda and I went out for dinner last night.
My dog is learning to ride in the car very nicely now. Well, now that I’ve adjusted her car-harness so that she can’t creep out of it! Actually, she’s learned to sit in that front seat and lean her chin against the edge of the door where the window is and have her nose in the air from the vent. Sure, I have a bunch of dogsnot on that window now, but she looks so cute.
Anyway, I decided I need to socialize her more, and I need to get out some, too. So, instead of packing crap that will be leaving the house, I came home from work late, phoned a couple of friends and, ulimately, invited myself over to dinner. And, of course, Hilda had to come with me, since she’s become my little, brown shadow.
She was even an angel when I stopped on the way home to get gas. She was laying down most of the way home and simply sat up and made faces at the strange man in front of us at the gas station. It sill amazes me how much respect I get at gas stations driving a retired police car, even with my beard. Go figure.

Oh, and if you’re wondering why I keep talking about my dog, it’s actually quite simple. There’s nothing else safe for me to talk about right now. I can’t talk about my work troubles, in case someone there reads my blog. And, I can’t talk about the “other stuff” in case I’m being stalked. Or in case anyone thinks I’ve said or done anything worth sueing over. Or, whatever. So, Hilda is a nice, safe topic. Though, maybe I should name the koi after operating systems and talk about them to boost my Google ranking….

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