Diary of a Network Geek

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


Rain Delay

Filed under: Calamity, Cataclysm, and Catastrophe,Life, the Universe, and Everything,News and Current Events,Personal — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Dragon which is in the early morning or 8:29 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Crescent

I wish I’d had my camera with me.

Not sure when, or if, I’ll be getting into work today.  I’m on the wrong side of a low point in Houston, apparently.  Normally, I go over F.M. 529 from the 290 feeder, but this morning, the underpass on 529 that goes under the railroad tracks was flooded to the point that pickup trucks were completely submerged and the Jersey Village Police Department actually had blocked traffic to keep idiots from making it worse.  I think I counted more than six cars and trucks floating, yes, you read that right, floating under the tracks there as I rolled by, looking for another way to work.
West Road was flooded on the far side of the railroad tracks there, too.  And, again, police were on hand to keep things from getting worse.  Though, at West Road on the far side of the water, there was quite a bit of traffic backed up and stuck.  I’m sure everyone rushed up to try and get through when 529 was blocked and were as surprised as I was when they weren’t able to get through.  So, I made a semi-U-turn back onto the feeder headed back toward home and slowly, gently made my way back to Jersey Village.  And, yes, as far as I could see, the big project they spent so much money on to deal with all the flooding back when tropical storm Allison hit has been worth it.  One of the reasons I was so surprised at how bad things were is that Jersey Village, formerly famous for flooding, was so high and dry that I didn’t think it’d be a problem anywhere else.  Surprise!

So, do like the nice folks on the radio are saying today, Houston.  If you don’t have to travel, stay home.  That’s what I’ll be doing, at least until the water goes down some and the crazy people get off the road.


What a Gas!

Filed under: Advice from your Uncle Jim,Calamity, Cataclysm, and Catastrophe,Dog and Pony Shows,Fun,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 Pig which is late at night or 11:09 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

My house almost blew up tonight.

No, really.
As I write this, I’m waiting for a serviceman from Centerpoint Energy to come out and turn my gas back on. Apparently, shortly after I left for church this evening a neighbor smelled gas by my house. They called emergency services in Jersey Village, where I live. When the emergency services got out, they could smell gas, so they turned off my power and got Centerpoint out. Centerpoint repaired the leak, or so it seems. Actually, the first thing the serviceman is going to check is to make sure the leak isn’t a leak any more. Then, assuming all is well, he’ll turn the gas on and I can light all my pilots and so on. That’s why the gas was turned off when I got home. Naturally, they couldn’t find me, since I’d gone to church, so they couldn’t turn anything on until they knew I could light all the pilots again. Otherwise, my house would have filled with gas, hit something electric and, well, let’s just say I was irritated with the whole thing until I got the lights back on and figured out what almost happened. Thank God!

I guess my little efforts and building up a little good karma in the short term paid off today.
See, I helped two people with computer things today. This morning, I started reformating and reinstalling my friend J.’s wife, L’s, laptop. She’d been having problems with it and I looked at it several times, but I couldn’t find anything obviously wrong. So, rather than spend any more time on it, I backed up her files and started reinstalling it. Of course, that got interrupted by my power being out, but, still, I’m sure I’ll get it done pretty quick now while I wait for Centerpoint to turn my gas back on.

The other person I did a little mitzvah for was Alison over at Inspired Work of Self-Indulgence.
She was having a little trouble with Comcast and their network. More specifically, it seemed to me she was having a problem with the assigned DNS servers. As any good network geek knows, an Internet connection with out DNS isn’t very useful. She had a connection, sure, but she couldn’t get anywhere. Comcast had been out multiple times trying to fix things. They’d even changed out her cable modem, which seemed to be connected fine when I looked at it. But, her wireless gateway was picking up the normal, default DNS servers from Comcast’s autoconfiguration. I reset the wireless router to the factory default and tweaked the settings a bit. The part that I think mattered the most was adding additional DNS servers from outside Comcast’s network. So now, if the main DNS server goes down or stops working, the backup servers should still find what she’s looking for.
Though, if the problem comes back, it occurred to me on the way home from church that it might be her laptop turning off her wireless connection in a power-save mode, so I might have to check that. (If she’s reading this, that’s a hint!) In any case, it was nice to at long last finally get to meet her. We’ve exchanged e-mail and comments and read each other’s blog posts for quite literally years now. She even sent me cookies when I was in the hospital getting chemotherapy that first time! But today was the first time actually meeting. Hopefully, now that she’s seen I’m completely harmless, it won’t be the last time.
Oh, and I got to meet Piedmont and his new pet human, er, owner. Both were sweet, too. And, of course, I got to meet Cheyenne, Alison’s chocolate lab. She’s as cute in person as in the pictures Alison takes of her and as spoiled, too! She has almost as much tummy as my own Hilda!

So, in spite of almost coming home to a smoking hole in the ground where my house used to be, it turned out to be quite a good day indeed! Stay warm, y’all, and make sure to check your gas!

Update: Apparently, my sins still out-weigh my good deeds, since the guy from Centerpoint Energy never showed up. I stayed up waiting for him until 4:00am, then went to bed, mumbling about liars in the night. I wish it were the first time.
I’m half tempted to turn it on myself and to hell with them. But, better safe than sorry, so I’ll just mumble quiet, Lovecraftian curses on them and try to be on about my day until the next lying serviceman arrives.

Advice from your Uncle Jim:
"A desk is a dangerous place from which to view the world."
   --John le Carre


Still No Power! – Hurricane Ike Part 6

Filed under: Calamity, Cataclysm, and Catastrophe,Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,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 Rooster which is in the early evening or 6:01 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

Well, as of about 1:00pm today, I still had no power.

Of course, a lot of people still don’t have power, but most people out by me have for several days now. Hopefully, I’ll have power soon.
I have a lot of fence debris and tree debris in my backyard that I have to get cut up by next week Thursday. Not sure that I’ll be able to do that since the City of Jersey Village wants all the nails pulled from the fencing. I don’t think they truly understand how difficult that’s going to be to get done in a week. I have a friend coming to help this weekend. I’ll work on it some tonight and tomorrow, at least. So, so glad I did laundry and dishes before this hit. We’re still officially under orders to boil our water, but I’ve been taking quick, warm showers. Thank God I have natural gas in my house!

I’m getting a little tired of eating so much meat, frankly, but it’s what was thawing first and would go bad fastest. Thankfully, yesterday, a guy at work brought in a bunch of ice and Seatrax, my company, lent me a cooler to keep it all in, so I’ve managed to save a lot of my groceries. I used to be able to eat so much more! Ah, well, at least my dog, Hilda, has been enjoying eggs and sausage and more sausage for breakfast the past couple of days. Not to mention the teriyaki salmon “burgers” we had last night. She’s certainly been living well!

Okay, I see my cell phone and my laptop are charged now, so I can go home, but I did want to call your attention to the Twitter “thing” over in the right corner of my blog. Yes, being without blog access for several days got me to breakdown and setup a Twitter account. Now, as long as I have cell access, I can update my blog and let all my non-Texas friends and relatives know how I’m doing, even when hurricanes hit Houston.


Power – Hurricane Ike Part 4

Filed under: Calamity, Cataclysm, and Catastrophe,Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,News and Current Events,Personal — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Pig which is in the late evening or 10:42 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

Well, I’m starting to have power issues here in Jersey Village.

Apparently, they announced on the news that Jersey Village is without power. Currently, I have power, but it’s blinked out at least twice more since I wrote about power the last time. I only know that I’m supposed to be without power because J. called to tell me. So far, I’m happy to be making the news casters at least partially liars. Not sure how long my power will hold, either, since the cable seems to be on the blink. Obviously, my DSL connection is holding up okay. That’s not a surprise, honestly, and one of the reasons I went with DSL over cable.

I probably won’t post again until morning, barring any power issues. All things being equal, I’ll end up sleeping through the worst of it. I’m going to turn down the A/C, so it gets nice and cold, in case the power goes out. At least it’ll take longer to warm up and get uncomfortable.
Either way, I know I’ll be able to make a cup of coffee!


Restaurant Reccomendations?

Filed under: Bavarian Death Cake of Love,Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Personal — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Dog which is in the evening time or 8:15 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

So, the ER girl from Match called.

Apparently, we’re still on for lunch this coming weekend.  Now, all I have to do is find a decent restaurant between Jersey Village and, roughly, Highway 6 and Westheimer.

You’re got until about this time tomorrow night to make suggestions.  I’ve been instructed not to call during Grey’s Anantomy, so I have until it’s over to pick a place.


I’m Staying: Rita Part 1

Filed under: Calamity, Cataclysm, and Catastrophe,Deep Thoughts,Geek Work,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 7:42 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

Well, I’m staying.
As long as I have an Internet connection and power, I’ll keep posting. I’m out in Jersey Village, which is 80 miles from the coast, roughly. Now, if you’re not familiar with Jersey Village, it has a reputation for flooding, but, not to worry, I’m on the highest point in JV. In fact, four years ago, after Tropical Storm Allison, we chose this house because it was one of the few that was high and dry. And, they’ve spent the past four years improving the way JV handles water runoff and such, so I’m pretty sure that I’ll be okay. I imagine that it will be a little crazy around here, but, I hope, the worst case scenario is that we’ll lose power for a couple of days. I hope.
Anyway, I’m staying. I’ll be tying down anything I’m afraid might fly away and dragging stuff into the garage tomorrow. Tomorrow night, I’m going to go have dinner with someone who’s also staying out in this area. My company shut down today, so that people could evacuate tomorrow, if need be, which means I’ll be home most of the day doing nothing. I guess I’ll read, watch the news, play with the dog and blog. After I get the other work done. Oh, and I’ll probably be praying, too.
Don’t worry about me, though. I have quite a bit of food and water. And, I have a natural gas stove and a wood-burner for backup. (All of which, I think I’ve already mentioned.) I’ve called my parents and my one sister who worries more than I do. I’m not sure what she thinks she can do for me up in Northern Illinois when the hurricane hits, but, well, I guess I’ll have to be sure to call her when it passes through and I’m okay. Oh, I also have batteries and candles and lots of frozen water, too, to try and keep the freezer and refridgerator cool if the power goes out. As for the rest, well, I guess I’ll just have to ride it out.
This is NOT why I wanted to live in Houston. Far too much excitement for this old man. Far too much!



Filed under: Art,Fun,Fun Work,Geek Work,Linux,News and Current Events,Novell,Personal,The Network Geek at Home — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Horse which is around lunchtime or 1:38 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Crescent

I have no idea what this is.

They tell me I should put this in my blog:
This is my new blogchalk:
United States, Texas, Jersey Village (suburb of Houston), English, , Jim, Male, 36-40, writing speculative fiction, Novell Netware and Linux. 🙂

I’m assuming this is like warchalking, but softer and gentler. And, for blogs.
No seriously, I know this is about driving the right kind of blog reader to my blog. Maybe it’ll mean I have more than three readers soon! If you click on my BlogChalk over on the right-hand side of my blog’s front page, you can get your own.

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