Diary of a Network Geek

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


On Vacation

Filed under: Advice from your Uncle Jim,Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Geek Work,Life, the Universe, and Everything,News and Current Events,On The Road,Personal,The Network Geek at Home — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Dragon which is in the early morning or 8:31 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Crescent

I’m on vacation.

Yes, vacation.  Of course, for a one man IT department, “on vacation” means something a little different than normal.  I ran in on Saturday, after picking up a rental car, to get a couple things squared away.  I have a “backup” person, but it’s really not his full-time gig, so I tried to make sure that he won’t really have anything to do.  Hopefully, I’ve succeeded.  But, in case I didn’t, I should be in cell-phone range the whole time, and my hotel has high-speed Internet.  Probably won’t take time to post, except the regular, automagic post I already have queued up.  I do worry quite a bit about leaving the network and my usesers untended.  I can think of so many things that can go wrong and, frankly, they’ve become so, so used to me being there to make last minute magic happen that they’ve come to expect it.  Of course, maybe that’s the best reason to take a couple of days off.

Also, I’m not going anywhere that I anticipate being any particular fun or even deeply interesting; Lawton, Oklahoma.  Why?  Because my nephew is graduating from Basic Training as he joins the Army National Guard, full time.  Still, it will be nice to see family and I’m looking at it as a photo opportunity.  Not sure what kind of shots I’ll get from the road, but I’ll certainly take as many of him and the graduation ceremony as possible.  When I’m back, I’ll post a link to Flickr.

So, now, it’s time to grab the last bags, toss thee roll of toilet paper into the car, and head out.  Be good while I’m gone, kids!

(And, yes, while I was typing this, I got a call from the office about someone moving their equipment and not able to connect.  See why I worry?  That’s also, incidentally, why I always travel with at least a partial roll of toilet paper in the car.  You just never know what might happen on the road!)

Advice from your Uncle Jim:
"The only difference between saints and sinners is that every saint has a past and every sinner has a future."
   --Oscar Wilde



Filed under: Fun,Movies,Review — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:44 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous


Originally uploaded by Network Geek

I saw Quarantine on Sunday.

This is a dark and disturbing movie and I cannot recommend it to anyone with a weak constitution. It wasn’t scary, per se, but it was surprising, which is a refreshing change for me when it comes to horror films.

The entire movie is filmed in a kind of “Blair Witch” style, but better. It’s all done on a single camera, or point of view. The idea is simple, really, a TV news reporter and her camera man are shadowing a pair of fire-fighters in some unknown urban setting. The entire thing is filmed from that perspective.
The movie starts off simply enough with this reporter filming some intro work and getting to know some of the firemen. It’s all normal, fun stuff, basically a reporting doing a puff piece about the heroic firemen. Then, they get a call.

The firemen that the reporter is shadowing go out on the call and arrive at an old, relatively short, apartment building. They meet a pair of policemen who have called for assistance getting into an apartment where a tenant is believed to be trapped, possibly hurt. They break into her apartment and find an old woman who’s become dangerously ill and, it turns out, violent.
Honestly, at this point, I thought it was going to turn into a standard zombie movie, just in a building, but, well, it turned out to be something more. Not too far into the movie, after it’s established that there’s some sort of illness running through the residents, the CDC and National Guard show up and seal everyone into the building. That’s where the name of the movie comes from, I suppose, the quarantine.
Naturally, in my standard movie review style, I won’t reveal the rest of the plot and spoil it. Let me just say that, even though the plot is simple, it’s handled very well. And, there is a bit of a surprise ending. At least, it was a bit of a surprise to me.

I liked this movie.
It was a little scary, pretty gory, and disturbingly realistic in its portrayal of the events. It does take place mainly in a single four or five story apartment building, but that enhances the whole thing. And, it is filmed from a single camera perspective, but, again, instead of limiting the film, it adds realism and immediacy. The single camera thing also adds a fair bit of suspense and sets up the surprise ending. I really was pleasantly surprised at how effectively that was used in this film.
Also, keep in mind, this isn’t my kind of movie, generally, but I liked the way it was constructed. And, it didn’t disappoint at all. I cannot recommend this film to most of my regular audience, but if you like a good horror movie, this will do quite well this Halloween season.

Quarantine was well worth the matinee price I paid. Even though this wasn’t a zombie movie, if you like them, go see this movie.

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