Diary of a Network Geek

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

12/2/2011

HTML For Babies

Filed under: Art,Fun,Fun Work,Geek Work,Things to Read — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:12 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a First Quarter Moon

No, seriously!

Okay, so as we approach Christmas, I tend to think of gifts for people and I’ll no doubt post about them.  Okay, so, mostly, these are things I wouldn’t mind getting, but, still, I have good taste, so you’ll enjoy them, too.
So, clearly, you can tell that I’m no web designer from the way this site looks, right?  Well, believe it or not, I used to code all the pages for this site in HTML, by hand, using nothing more than a text editor!  Okay, all you design people can stop laughing at me now, thanks.
Anyway, when I saw this book, HTML for Babies, I was delighted!  Finally, I can start training my two-year-old godson to code compliant HTML so that he’s ready to take over managing my websites by the time he’s in Middle School!  You think I’m kidding?  Then hit the link and you’ll see that, no, I’m serious.  This is a book filled with properly coded HTML and simple, positive messages perfect for any toddler learning to read.  It really is baby’s first HTML training manual!

So, go ahead and start your geek young!  The perfect stocking stuffer for your budding web developer!
(You can also buy it directly from Amazon here: [amazon_link id=”0615487661″ target=”_blank” ]HTML for Babies[/amazon_link])

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 real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing in the right place, but also to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment."

10/30/2005

Mr. Bad Example

Filed under: Advice from your Uncle Jim,Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Deep Thoughts,Life, the Universe, and Everything,Personal — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Dragon which is in the early morning or 9:44 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Crescent

“Do as I say, not as I do.”
Boy, I hope all the kids that have ever known me take that to heart. I’m sure not the best example of how to live one’s life. Oh, I do okay these days, but… Well, let’s just say I earned the scars, the tattoos, and that slightly amused look in my eyes when someone is surprised at the other two. And, I’m not even half-way done.
I don’t know what got me thinking of that the other day, but, well, there you are. Maybe it was those damn turkey vultures that knocked my sense of “normal” off the rails. Doesn’t matter I guess. These things just come up sometimes and have to be worked through so they don’t consume me. So, I’ve spent some time thinking and I think it’s time for a bit of honesty. That category “Advice from your Uncle Jim”? That’s all about the things I can’t say to my estranged step-daughter. She’s an amazing kid. Creative and smart and funny and sensitive and cute. (From what I understand, in her Middle School, she’s considered quite the looker.) My ex-wife, her mother, has told her “things” about me. What things and how much of it true, I have no idea. C’mon, I’m no angel, so the truth could be enough, but, still, knowing my ex-wife and the things she told me that later turned out to be “wrong”… Well, let’s just say I admire her ability to write fiction, okay? Anyway, I suspect that, from time to time, that smart, funny, adorable kid is going to check out this blog. I know she used to read it, so I wouldn’t be surprised if she still does, from time to time. When, if, she does, I thought it’d be nice to have a way to sneak a little, tiny bit of my life experience into her head for later use. Never know when some of the crazy things I know might come in handy.
For instance, did you know what when it’s cold outside, if you back into a warm building, like a bar, your glasses won’t fog? Works every time, honest. How about this: saying I love you to your parents is often the scariest thing in the world. Scarier even than saying it to a date. Or, try this on for size: These really are the best times of your life, so keep a journal and, later, when things get tough, look back and remember how good it was today. (Honestly, can anything beat Junior High, as we used to call it up North? Not in my book. It was the most freedom and least pressure I’ve ever had!) And, don’t confuse a religon’s practitioners with the message. Most of the time, the original texts are pretty uplifting, no matter what the goons who claim to follow it actually do.
Anyway, Shorty, if you’re reading this, don’t use me for a role-model. Or your mother, either, for that matter. Neither of us are the best examples of how to live your life. Heck, don’t even use your Dad, though he’s about the best role-model you’ll ever have in your life. Don’t use anybody for a role-model. Don’t try to be or copy anyone else. Just be you. And, when you’re not sure what that is, go do something you love and find out.

Here endeth the lesson.
I wish I could blame all that on being drunk or hung-over, but I never did get to drinking heavy last night.
Anyway, since you’ve been good enough to read this whole post, here’s the Warren Zevon song lyrics that inspired the title, the post, and a fair amount of my misbehaving.

Mr. Bad Example Lyrics

I started as an altar boy, working at the church
Learning all my holy moves, doing some research
Which led me to a cash box, labeled “Children’s Fund”
I’d leave the change, and tuck the bills inside my cummerbund

I got a part-time job at my father’s carpet store
Laying tackless stripping, and housewives by the score
I loaded up their furniture, and took it to Spokane
And auctioned off every last naugahyde divan

I’m very well aquainted with the seven deadly sins
I keep a busy schedule trying to fit them in
I’m proud to be a glutton, and I don’t have time for sloth
I’m greedy, and I’m angry, and I don’t care who I cross

I’m Mr. Bad Example, intruder in the dirt
I like to have a good time, and I don’t care who gets hurt
I’m Mr. Bad Example, take a look at me
I’ll live to be a hundred, and go down in infamy

Of course I went to law school and took a law degree
And counseled all my clients to plead insanity
Then worked in hair replacement, swindling the bald
Where very few are chosen, and fewer still are called

Then on to Monte Carlo to play chemin de fer
I threw away the fortune I made transplanting hair
I put my last few francs down on a prostitute
Who took me up to her room to perform the flag salute

Whereupon I stole her passport and her wig
And headed for the airport and the midnight flight, you dig?
And fourteen hours later I was down in Adelaide
Looking through the want ads sipping Fosters in the shade

I opened up an agency somewhere down the line
To hire aboriginals to work the opal mines
But I attached their wages and took a whopping cut
And whisked away their workman’s comp and pauperized the lot

I’m Mr. Bad Example, intruder in the dirt
I like to have a good time, and I don’t care who gets hurt
I’m Mr. Bad Example, take a look at me
I’ll live to be a hundred and go down in infamy

I bought a first class ticket on Malaysian Air
And landed in Sri Lanka none the worse for wear
I’m thinking of retiring from all my dirty deals
I’ll see you in the next life, wake me up for meals

Written By Warren Zevon & Jorge Calderon
c. 1991, Zevon Music,
administered by Warner-Tamerlane Publishing corp./Googolplex Music BMI


Advice from your Uncle Jim:
"The greatest achievements are those that benefit others."
   --Denis Waitley


Powered by WordPress
Any links to sites selling any reviewed item, including but not limited to Amazon, may be affiliate links which will pay me some tiny bit of money if used to purchase the item, but this site does no paid reviews and all opinions are my own.