Diary of a Network Geek

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

12/26/2014

New Year’s Resolutions

Filed under: Fun,Life, the Universe, and Everything,Red Herrings — 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 Crescent

So, here we are, the day after Christmas and just around the corner is New Year’s Eve.

I don’t put much stock in New Year’s Resolutions any more, since 40+ years of experience tells me that they’re almost never kept.  But, that still doesn’t mean I won’t encourage you, gentle readers, to make some resolutions of your own!  And, naturally, I have a free tool to help you when you get stuck.  Granted, it’s a tool I made myself when I…
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12/27/2013

Resolution Generator

Filed under: Fun,Life, the Universe, and Everything,Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning or 6:56 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Crescent

Christmas is over and the New Year looms near!

Traditionally, this time of year is when we review our lives and find fault with everything we didn’t accomplish in the preceding year, then make ridiculous promises to ourselves about how we’re going to do better in the coming year.  We call them “New Year’s Resolutions”, but most of them don’t last more than a month.  At least, mine almost never have, with few exceptions.  So, here’s an idea for you; this…
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12/28/2006

Family Emergency

Filed under: Advice from your Uncle Jim,Bavarian Death Cake of Love,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 Monkey which is in the late afternoon or 5:40 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

So, you may have noticed that I haven’t posted anything since before Christmas.

Well, there’s a reason. I had actually planned to post something Christmas Day, but, well, I sort of lost heart. You see, my uncle, my father’s older brother, past away Christmas Eve. I got the call first thing Monday, Christmas Morning. It sort of put a damper on all the other stuff going on. I’ll be flying home tomorrow, thanks to very generous bereavement rates, for the funeral. The vet was all booked up, but I got a friend to let the dog out and make sure she’s got food and water, not that I expect her to really eat while I’m away. She’s funny like that.

It’s depressing, of course, to go to funerals. Though, mainly, funerals don’t bother me. I’m much more put off by mourners. I’m a little socially awkward to begin with and nothing’s quite so awkward as either trying to comfort someone who’s just lost their spouse or parent. At least, to me.
You see, I grew up with the idea of death. We talked about it at the dinner table. My grandmother, my father’s mother, lived with us from the time I can remember until she died, which was when I was still in college. She was quite comfortable talking about funeral arrangements for herself and all the related details. My father was one of the people with the AMA who coordinated the case work that went into the now famous On Death and Dying by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross. It’s not talked about much these days, but most of her raw data came from hospital chaplains and, apparently, that was something my father was involved with back then. One of my earliest memories is being told not to hang on the edge of the casket when I was trying to see my Great-Great-Grandpa Grosh, who died at the age of 99, when I was just a little, little kid. So, death in and of itself doesn’t bother me much at all. It’s just a part of life.
But, all the other stuff that goes along with death gets to me.

And, I have to admit, it occurred to me that, one day, perhaps soon, I’d be making a similar trip to bury one or both of my parents. That idea did not sit well with me at all. Apparently, even with all the childhood hours spent in and around funeral parlors and hospitals, I had managed to repress the idea that they’d be suffling off this mortal coil eventually.  This, though, brought it all home.  And, it makes my father the eldest living Hoffman.

In any case, that’s where I’ll be Friday and through New Year’s Eve.  Well, actually, I’ll be flying back into Houston New Year’s Eve, but I’m quite sure I won’t be celebrating at all.  Then, after things settle down a bit, I’ll get in touch with the girl from Match.com with whom I broke a date Tuesday because, frankly, with all this, I wasn’t going to be very good company.  She was sweet, though, and I look forward to meeting her in person, eventually.  Since she was born in China, I suspect I’ll be getting to know some new haunts with her, especially in our Chinatown.  Hey, I didn’t even know that Houston had a Chinatown!

Oh, and another bit of good news: The groom with cold feet, J., who will be watching my dog, has been talking to L., his once and future fiance.  And, she’s already taken the ring back.  They’re going slower this time, though, which I think is probably a good thing for both of them.  Still, I’m very happy that these two are back together.  Crazy as they both might be sometimes, they’re still perfect for each other.

Well, I’ll queue a Friday Fun Link post, but I won’t be active on-line until I get back Sunday night.  Enjoy the weekend.


Advice from your Uncle Jim:
"They don't hold meetings about rainbows."

1/8/2006

Resolution Update

Filed under: Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Life, the Universe, and Everything,News and Current Events,Personal — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Sheep which is mid-afternoon or 3:57 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

Yes, already.
First, I weighed myself this morning and I have sixteen pounds to lose, not just ten.
Second, I’ve added two resolutions to my list.

Now, for the more interesting updates. I got to church last night and discovered that one of the ladies I met at the New Year’s Eve party had not, in fact, left the state yet. Sadly, it was a bit too late, I thought, to do anything about that. However, in pursuit of resolutions three and fourteen, I called the hostess of said party and told her how I’d wished I’d known that the lady in question had still been around. I also paid her an indirect compliment, via said hostess. I told her she had beautiful eyes. Eyes that made me want to say something witty and brilliant and charming so she’d look at me with her clear, blue, beautiful eyes. It was, apparently, well recieved. Wish I’d had the courage to pay the compliment in person, but, well, one step at a time. And, sadly, the blue-eyed lovely does still leave the state this month, for at least a year. Always a bridesmaid and never a groom… Or, something like that.
And, I opened my last pack of cigarettes this morning. When I smoke the last one, I’ll post that, too.
Now, I have to go iron and start working on the one room that has the majority of my ex-wife’s junk in it. (Which is resolution fifteen.)

Oh, yeah, don’t forget to vote on which watch, okay?

12/30/2005

I Resolve…

Filed under: Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Fun,PERL,Personal — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:08 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a New Moon

It’s almost New Year’s Eve, so I thought a link to a New Year’s Resolution Generator would be appropriate.
Originally, I did it to try and cheer up two special ladies who were having a rough holiday season. Honestly, I don’t know that it helped, but at least it kept my PERL CGI skills sharp and, I think, it’s a little bit of fun. And, yeah, the probabilities are weighted toward tequila drinking and kissing strangers. Hey, I’m single, it’s almost New Year’s Eve and if I can’t slant things in my favor, what’s the point of knowing a programming language at all?
Anyway, don’t take it too seriously and have a happy and safe New Year’s celebration!

12/27/2005

I can’t believe…

Filed under: Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Dog and Pony Shows,Hoffman's Home for Wayward Boys,Life, the Universe, and Everything,Personal,Things to Read — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning or 6:11 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Crescent

I ate the whole thing…
Well, not the whole thing, but, close enough.
See, I couldn’t afford to be home with family this year for Christmas, so I made Christmas dinner for Doc and I Sunday afternoon. It was good, but, as per usual when I really get into my cooking, I over-indulged a little bit.
Hilda, of course, made out like a bandit. Not only did she get several giant bones from Santa, but stole a large piece of turkey from the counter. She was so cute, though, that I could hardly stay mad at her. Besides, I probably would have given her a piece later, anyway.
Obviously, I survived reading Scripture. You have to picture this, though, the first time I’m reading or speaking in front of a significant crowd in close to 20 years and Mercy Street was packed to overflowing. It was literally standing room only. I think I read too fast, but, according to people in the audience, I did just fine. They should eventually have a podcast of the service available, so, you know I’ll have to go check it out and see how bad I rushed it.
I received a warning phone-call from a friend, followed by a call from his new, er, dating, ah, girl… Oh, whatever she is, she called to invite me to a New Year’s Eve party. Apparently, he was worried that they were going to be a little testosterone impaired, so I got called in for reinforcements. I’ll be bringing my near infamous beer bread, too, so that I’m there for more than my gender. (Hey, a guy’s gotta’ do what a guy’s gotta’ do.)
I abandoned the book I was trying to force myself to finish this weekend, Writing Personal Essays. It just wasn’t giving me any really new information and I was reading it out of some compulsive “need” to finish everything I start or not let even a second-hand book go to waste or something. Anyway, I felt much better setting it down and re-reading my copy of a book I gave Doc for Christmas called Zen in the Martial Arts. Back in the days when I studied a bit of several martial arts, I read this and got a lot out of it. In fact, I used to read this book every couple of years, but I haven’t recently, until this weekend. It was a little frightening how relevant the message was to my life right now.
Today, I’ll start a book I grabbed while waiting in line at Border’s, getting last minute gifts, called The Torturer’s Apprentice. The title grabbed me and the table of contents, with the titles of the short-stories contained therein, really hooked me, so I bought it. It’s literary fiction, which I don’t usually read, so, I’m stepping outside my comfort zone. Again. Seems like a good season to do that.
Though, I’m not stepping too far out. My mother was asking about my blog last night. I told her that there’s nothing here she needs to read. I’m fairly certain that my brother reads the blog, now and again, but he won’t say anything and no one in the family will ask. My mother was just messing with my head. See how my family is? Explains a lot about my warped sense of humor, doesn’t it?

12/23/2005

Seven Drunken Nights

Filed under: Art,Deep Thoughts,Fun,Life, the Universe, and Everything — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Pig which is late at night or 11:59 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a Third Quarter Moon

Ah, the traditonal Irish “folk” song…

As I went home on Monday night
As drunk as drunk could be
I saw a horse outside the door
Where my old horse should be
Well, I called me wife and I said to her:
Will you kindly tell to me
Who owns that horse outside the door
Where my old horse should be?

Ah, you’re drunk, you’re drunk you silly old fool
Still you can not see
That’s a lovely sow
That me mother sent to me
Well, it’s many a day I’ve travelled
A hundred miles or more
But a saddle on a sow
Sure I never saw before

And as I went home on Tuesday night
As drunk as drunk could be
I saw a coat behind the door
Where my old coat should be
Well, I called me wife and I said to her:
Will you kindly tell to me
Who owns that coat behind the door
Where my old coat should be

Ah, you’re drunk, you’re drunk you silly old fool
Still you can not see
That’s a woollen blanket
That me mother sent to me
Well, it’s many a day I’ve travelled
A hundred miles or more
But buttons in a blanket
Sure I never saw before

And as I went home on Wednesday night
As drunk as drunk could be
I saw a pipe up on the chair
Where my old pipe should be
Well, I called me wife and I said to her:
Will you kindly tell to me
Who owns that pipe up on the chair
Where my old pipe should be

Ah, you’re drunk, you’re drunk you silly old fool
Still you can not see
That’s a lovely tin whistle
That me mother sent to me
Well, it’s many a day I’ve travelled
A hundred miles or more
But tobacco in a tin whistle
Sure I never saw before

And as I went home on Thursday night
As drunk as drunk could be
I saw two boots beneath the bed
Where my old boots should be
Well, I called me wife and I said to her:
Will you kindly tell to me
Who owns them boots beneath the bed
Where my old boots should be

Ah, you’re drunk, you’re drunk you silly old fool
Still you can not see
They’re two lovely Geranium pots
Me mother sent to me
Well, it’s many a day I’ve travelled
A hundred miles or more
But laces in Geranium pots
I never saw before

And as I went home on Friday night
As drunk as drunk could be
I saw a head upon the bed
Where my old head should be
Well, I called me wife and I said to her:
Will you kindly tell to me
Who owns that head upon the bed
Where my old head should be

Ah, you’re drunk, you’re drunk you silly old fool
Still you can not see
That’s a baby boy
That me mother sent to me
Well, it’s many a day I’ve travelled
A hundred miles or more
But a baby boy with his whiskers on
Sure I never saw before

Notice that there are only five verses? That’s because the last two are somewhat, er, “adult” in nature, metaphorically speaking, and generally aren’t sung in polite company. It’s funny, but, after having gone through a divorce and done some serious drinking, in days gone by, I understand this song all too well. Makes me wonder how many “flower pots” have been under my bed that I didn’t know about… Ah, probably none that I didn’t know about, but it’s also best not to dwell on it. Hmm, suddenly, that drink sounds like a good idea!
Anyway, remember these tunes seven days from now, when it’s New Year’s Eve and y’all are drinking like fish.

(You can read the rest of the lyrics for yourself here.)

12/6/2005

Watch This Space

Filed under: Deep Thoughts,Fun,Life, the Universe, and Everything,The Network Geek at Home — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:08 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Crescent

I have something fun coming here.
Well, at least, it’s fun to me. Apparently, some folks aren’t looking forward to New Year’s Eve. Now, I can imagine a number of reasons this might be true. Thankfully, I have The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Holidays which has helpful advice for such unhappy events. If nothing else, it gave me a chuckle. Well, as we get closer to ringing in the new year, I will reveal a little new year’s web app that I stayed up late coding last night and was inspired by this book, and the dear, sweet thing who’s so grumpy about the oh, so happy holidays. Besides, having something to look forward to may just improve their mood.
Or, not, either way, I take no responsibility!

12/31/2004

Custom M&Ms

Filed under: Art,Fun — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Dragon which is in the early morning or 9:15 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

Just in time for Christmas!

Er, well, maybe I missed it already, but candy and Christmas go together, so, whatever… Anyhow, the folks who make M&Ms have a webpage where you can order custom M&Ms. By that I mean, you can order M&Ms printed with your own custom message. Now, there’s a limit to how many characters you can put on and, of course, there are content restrictions:
“While we encourage your creativity, Masterfoods USA will not honor a request to print any “objectionable” language, acronyms, symbols, pictures, or any other graphic representation. “Objectionable” means, among other things, anything that (i) is libelous, defamatory, pornographic, sexually explicit, unlawful, racially or ethnically offensive, (ii) infringes on someone else’s patent, copyright, trademark, trade secret or other property right, (iii) is something people would consider harassing, abusive, threatening, harmful, vulgar, profane, obscene, or violent, (iv) would breach a person’s privacy or publicity rights, (v) is a misrepresentation of facts, (vi) hate speech, (vii) encourages others to break the law in any way, or (viii) is otherwise inappropriate.

Masterfoods USA must and does reserve the absolute right to decline orders that in its sole judgment and discretion contain subject matter that may be considered inappropriate or offensive, including, without limitation, inappropriate, offensive words, acronyms, symbols or other content. ”

Hmm, so much for say it with candy. (Or, was that flowers?)

In any case, it can be legitimate fun, if you keep it clean. How about, “Have fun”? Or, “Happy New Year”? Maybe, even, “Be Well”… Well, it could be fun and romantic when I’m ready to date again. In the mean time, though, it’s Friday, even if it’s New Year’s Eve, so check out the link! Have a safe and happy New Year’s Eve celebration everyone!!


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