Diary of a Network Geek

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


Tin Foil Hat News

Filed under: Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Fiction,Fun,News and Current Events,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

I don’t believe much in the way of conspiracy theory.

That’s true whether it’s office gossip and rumors or things of a larger, more sinister nature.
I work in the oil industry and, with the price of oil being so low right now, you can imagine the paranoid rumors floating around the office about layoffs and who’s going to get fired.  So far, there’s been nothing.  At least, nothing that I’m aware of, but the paranoia is running high.

How does that relate…
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Chemistry 202

Filed under: Advice from your Uncle Jim,Bavarian Death Cake of Love,Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Personal — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Horse which is around lunchtime or 12:05 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Crescent

Sometimes, oil and water just don’t mix.

So, after a busy couple of weeks and not hearing from S., the girl from Match.com who contacted after more than six months, I finally got a reply e-mail from her.  At first, I’d thought it was an e-mail problem of some kind that was blocking incoming e-mail from her domain, but I verified that it was working with someone else.  Before I did that, however, I sent her an e-mail that indicated I was having some e-mail issues and I included my phone number.

Naturally, I got a response back telling me that her junk mail controls had grabbed that and she’s only just now seen it.  So, can anyone guess what her response was to my suggesting we get together this week?  Yeah, she’d started seeing someone else a couple of weeks ago and wanted to pursue that.  But, she wanted to stay friends, etcetera.  Of course.  Sure.  What else, right?  Well, rather than reply right away, I waited over night to think about it.  Good thing, too.

So, this morning, I send her a quick note saying, in essence, that it was probably best.  After all, things hadn’t really worked out the first time, so there wasn’t any real reason to expect them to work out now, right?  Right.  Well.  All that means, really, is that I’ll be back on my original plan of looking seriously at dating sometime after Christmas.  I figure finding some one off Match.com is like looking for work.  No one really changes jobs, or partners, until after the holidays anyway.

Advice from your Uncle Jim:
"Plenty of people miss their share of happiness, not because they never found it, but because they didn't stop to enjoy it."
   --W. Feather

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Preparing for Next Time: Rita Part 11

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 Monkey which is in the late afternoon or 5:24 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a Third Quarter Moon

Yeah, so I’ve been thinking…
Again, this is often a problem area for many reasons, but I just can’t seem to get through the day without it, so I keep on doing it. In this case, I’ve been thinking about Hurricane Rita. Or, actually, I’ve been thinking about what I would have liked to have had on hand when Rita hit, that I either didn’t have, or didn’t think of until afterward.
Here’s most of what I ordered from REI.com:
Candle Latern
Candles for Candle Lantern
A NICE battery-powered lantern
Folding Water Carriers
Portable Water Purifier (Because I’m just not going to worry about this again!)
Sun Shower (Because a little disaster shouldn’t mean that I stink.)
Percolator Coffee Pot (Because a nice cup of coffee is a giant leap toward feeling civilized again!)
And, I’m still debating on which first-aid kit to order. It’s important to have a nice one that includes a good emergency first-aid manual, if you’re not well versed in emergency care already. I have First Aid Merit Badge, so I’m reasonably confident that I’ll be able to muddle through.

From RealGoods, I’ve ordered:
FreePlay EyeMax Radio (It runs on dynamo or solar power and has a built-in flashlight.)
Sidewinder Cell Phone Charger (You can laugh about this one, but that cell phone may be the only communication I have and it won’t work without power.)

Still to get:
A good shotgun and shells, for both emergency hunting and looters (Meat is meat!)
Gas cans! Even if you don’t have a generator, it’s nice to have gas.
MREs They have a shelf-life of years and, with a little clean water, you can have an instant hot meal. The might not be really super tasty, but they’re not bad and they are food. (Again, meat is meat!)
Extra dog food! I need to get that BEFORE the streets get crazy.
Oil lamps and oil. Safer than even the candle lamps, generally, and in the non-hurricane season, they can be decorative.
And, for the long-term, either a generator or solar backup solution. If I can find a way to protect the panels eaisily from wind damage, I think that’s best. In 6-8 hours after the storm hits, we’ll probably have sun again, so I can start charging batteries, but gas may be a long time coming!

I’m sure there are more things, too, but, for now, that’s a good start. Of course, I may move away before that, but, still, the latent survivalist in me would love to have all this on hand, just in case. I mean, if the Rapture comes and I’m left behind, I may just have to “civilize” the heathens! (Hmm, maybe I should add a Bible to that list…)


Flirty Girl

Filed under: Advice from your Uncle Jim,Dog and Pony Shows,Fun,Life, the Universe, and Everything,Personal,The Network Geek at Home — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Monkey which is in the late afternoon or 5:57 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

I was at the store with my bitch last night.
Everyone was flirting with her, of course. And spoiling her. Well, I spoil her, too. Last night was no exception. I’m talking about my Hildagard, naturally. I’d never refer to anyone else as a bitch, or quite as fondly.
I like to take her out riding in the car, especiall when we go to PetSmart. There’s weren’t any other dogs there last night, but there were plenty of people who cooed at my little red-head. She was more interested in the treats offered than the attention. And, I think she just about came unglued when she saw me put three rawhide bones into our cart. She got one last night, because it’s been too hot to take our walks and she needs something to keep her busy. The other small one I’m saving for when we have company in a month or so. I expect there will be movers that will get her all wound up, so I’ll want to give her something to keep her extra busy then, too. After that, I hope to have a divorce party and I’d like Hilda to be on her best behavior, so I figured I’d give her the largest rawhide bone then. A house full of people is sure to make her hyper, but I hope a three-foot hunk of rawhide will help calm her down.
I also got her doggie brownie mix. Yeah, that’s right. Carob brownies that you bake at home for your dog. Just add eggs and oil. I figure I’ll be too busy to really make everything from scratch, even for my favorite people, the dogs. But, I know several people who have dogs and I want to let them bring their dogs to this party, too. I have a big enough back yard to let them all run and play. (And, if I have time before hand, I’ll make them something out of Cooking the Three Dog Bakery Way or from Short Tails And Treats From Three Dog Bakery or maybe even from the Three Dog Bakery Cookbook. If pick something I can freeze, I can make it early, then throw it in the freezer and keep it until the party. Of course, I might cheat there, too, and just get the Three Dog Bakery Worlds Biggest Box \’O Beagels – Miniature Variety for all my canine compatriots.)
God, I spoil my dog. But she’s worth it. Hey, here’s a little advice from your Uncle Jim, “Spoil your pets a little. They love you more for just being you than any human being ever will.”

Advice from your Uncle Jim:
"It took me a long time not to judge myself through someone else's eyes."
   --Sally Field


The Interview Game

Filed under: Career Archive,Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Geek Work,Linux,Novell — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning or 6:14 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

Oh, God, how I hate interviewing…

But, it’s a requirement for change, so I do it. Well, both interviews I had this week went well. The first was with a search firm and was on Tuesday. It was fairly standard. They mainly had found someone with all the right buzzwords on his resume. (That was me, incidentally.) They ran me through the standard questions about where I’d been, what I’d done and why I was looking to leave. Then, they gave me the info about the job, as they understood it. And, too, they let me know about the environment and the person I was interviewing with, so I could guage my answers and so on. Standard stuff.

The second interview was with the actual job and was yesterday afternoon. I met with three people in IT. One was the person who I’d actually report to and the other two were people I’d interface with. One of them was a manager who was originally from Scotland and he was a hoot. He had a bit of an accent, but was easily understandable and was full of life and fun. Really, all the people there seemed really happy and in fairly good moods. I can’t say where it is just yet, but it’s an oil-related business that deals with ocean-based vessels and platforms. Very interesting stuff. And, their main headquarters are just a few miles away. My commute would be like 5 minutes, or less. Pretty good for Houston.
There is a bit of travel involved, and there would probably be international travel, which could be fun. But, they’re pretty tight on salary, so we’ll see what my headhunter can do for me. Of course, my resume reads like their job description and I know that the headhunter had someone in from San Antonio, so I think they might be flexible. I mean, how many guys can there be in Houston that have 10+ years experience with Novell and have Linux experience, too? Not many.

In any case, I think I made a favorable impression, so now it’s a waiting game. I’ll keep you posted!



Filed under: Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Rooster which is in the early evening or 6:22 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

We went to war today.

I’m not sure what that means, really. I’ve never served in the military and now I’m too old to be drafted. We all saw it coming, I think, but, like terminal illness, no one really expects it to happen.
A lot of people are against the war and I’m not sure how I feel about it. I don’t particularly like the idea of war in general, but I recognize that this war is probably neccessary. Certainly if the world wants to enjoy the oil that Saddam has under his crazy thumb we better go to war to eliminate him. He’s been a problem before and, sooner or later, he will be again, if we don’t put an end to him.
It’s probably unrealistic, but I sure hope we have minimal loss of life out there in the desert. I hope all our service people come back to us and their families.

Good luck and God bless.



Global Meltdown

Filed under: Career Archive — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is in the early morning or 7:00 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

Big, bad news, but probably not a surprise to anyone. I decided to turn down the offer at GeoTech Global. It’s not so much that it would have been a bad job, you understand, but that it would have been a step backwards. Yesterday morning, I talked with a former boss of mine up in Dallas, who’s contracting now, named Pam. She really reinforced the idea that it would be a step backwards for me. She told me that she thought I was ready to “take the next step” and really break out. (In other words, I’m ready to manage a small network department.)
I’m not sure what’s going to happen next. Of course, I do have the interview on Monday with Binder. Also, there’s been some talk from at least one headhunter at the Waco Syndicate about a network management position of *some* kind at a local oil/gas company. (For those of you not familiar with Houston, about every other company in Houston is involved in oil or gas or both.) And, of course, there’s always the contract option. Lately, I’ve been giving that a lot more thought. Again, it’s a little more risky than full-time, but not much. And I might learn more new things that way. Who knows? On the other hand, I can make more money doing contract work. Enough, in fact, to offset the benefits that I’d be missing out on. BlueCrossBlueShield of Texas has health insurance rates that rival what I was paying on COBRA to FristCity Financial. Of course, I’d have to remember to pay into my IRA and to pay estimated quarterly taxes. Well, everything has a downside, I guess.

Okay, enough of the business talk. Later today Anne and I are taking Allie to the Montgomery Old West Festival. It should be loads of fun, and not just because we know people working there. We know several guys who do whip tricks that will be representing the Houston Western Arts Association. Later this weekend, I’ll have to go out and buy some more “interview clothes”, including some ties. *sigh* I hate wearing ties.

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