Diary of a Network Geek

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


QR Codes For The Road

Filed under: Art,Fun,Life, the Universe, and Everything,On The Road — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:59 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

I guess QR codes aren’t quite dead yet!

Back in the day, hobos, or “gentlemen of the rails”, used to use a kind of code that let other hobos know important information.  For instance, if they marked a cat-like symbol on a fence, it meant that a kind-hearted woman lived at that house and might give a hungry drifter food.  Or, three diagonal lines means that the place is unsafe and a hobo should get out of there as quickly as they can.  (You can see more codes on Wikipedia.)
Well, someone has updated that for the modern world and smart phones.  That’s right, someone has made QR Code Hobo Codes.  Now, you can just print up templates and spray them with paint out there in the world and people can shoot them with their iPhone, or Droid, or whatever, and see the information.  And the codes have been updated for modern life, too!  Now, they’ve added things like “bad coffee”, “dangerous homophobes”, “camera perverts”, “no outlets”, and “insecure wifi”, among others.

So, who knew?!
Now, while you’re out adventuring this weekend, keep an eye out for QR codes to scan!  You may find some interesting things along your way!
Have a great Friday and enjoy your weekend!



Filed under: Deep Thoughts,Life, the Universe, and Everything,Personal — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Dog which is in the evening time or 9:28 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

I have the broad hands of a German peasant farmer.
My hands are covered in the little scars of a careless life. Tiny chemical burns from High School chem lab. Fine knife scars from Boy Scout camp. Calluses on the knuckles from time spent with a heavy bag and doing pushups on clenched fists. Deeper scars from doing my own, inexpert, home repairs. Gouges from sharp metal inside computer cases.
My hands are strong enough to hold gallons of paint like a weekend athelete palms a basketball. Usually, my nails are uneven and bitten, the cuticles worried raw through absent-minded bad habits. I have old, smooth calluses on my palms, from my attempts at lifting weights, that have softened with time. But, for all that, I think they’re gentle hands.
They’re not the delicate hands of an artist. My fingers are short and broad. Not meant for etherial works of beauty, but the hard labor of the field. And, I have used these miracles of physiology hard. Time spent with nails and concrete and paint and glass. These hands of mine have tightened pipes and fittings and bolts that others would have needed a wrench to secure. Strong hands that have hurt people, both intentionally and accidentally. Never used like my father or grandfather or great-grandfather, all of who worked, at one time or another, in hard manual labor, but, still, hands that find a way when they have no choice.
I’m lucky, really, to have hands like that, but, truth be told, I always wanted those beautiful, delicate hands of an artist. Deft hands that pour magic out through a pen or pencil or brush. Hands that create beautiful art, art that makes the breath catch in your throat. I tell myself that they’re good hands. That gentle strength is good enough. That someone, someday, will hold those hands and smile. That those soft, strong hands will hold someone and make her feel safe and secure, even if only for a moment in a darkened theater while a slasher stalks the screen. I pray that those broad hands will one day hold a small child and make her feel safe, too. That those hands traced with tiny, careless scars will be daddy’s hands. Will be the safe passage from one side of the street to the other.
Hands are miracles made flesh. All the little bones and tight tendons and strong muscle that let us touch our world. That let us push and pull and poke and prod our world into the shape we make it. Hands can hold a weapon or a pen and change the world forever. They can show an opponent how we hate. Or a loved one how we care.
But, tonight, I’ll fold my hands and thank God for my miracles, both large and small. And, I’ll pray that He can use those hands to work a little more and, maybe, work a miracle or two yet.


Making Preparations

Filed under: Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,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 Dog which is in the evening time or 8:59 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a New Moon

I should be cleaning my kitchen.
But, instead, I’m doing laundry. Oh, and I fixed a leaky toilet. The usual things one does before the parental units arrive from the wilds of Suburban Chicago. Yes, that’s right, my folks are coming down Thursday night and staying through Sunday. I haven’t seen them in almost two years, though I talk to them on the phone every week.
So, anyway, in preparation for their visit, I went to clean up the upstairs bathroom a bit. Just to make sure it was all fresh-like, I flushed the toilet and suddenly there’s water streaming out from under the tank. Well, a few small purchases and a good fourty-five minutes of cursing like a sailor and the devil was done. Now, all I have to do is get everything tight enough in one night… Hey, at least it’s done… And most of the laundry, too.
Sadly, I have a couple of things to do at the courthouse Friday when they’re here. Not speeding tickets, but it does involve my car. I finally got the title and have to get it transferred to my name. So, my parents, who share my love of people watching, volunteered to come with me. Then, I’ll put the old man to work with me in the backyard, finishing off that water feature I mentioned so many weeks ago. I just have a few lengths of PVC to cut and paint and glue and test. I figure not more than an hour. Two if Dad actually helps. But, that will let me drag them to the pond store on Saturday to get a couple of plants and possibly a catfish or two for the ponds. When I get it all done, I’ll post pictures. Honest. Maybe even picture of me in my sporty new goatee. I think it makes me look more aerodynamic! (Aw, who am I kidding? I’m built for comfort and distance, not speed. The joys of encroaching middle age!)
Tonight, on the way home from work, I’ll stop and get all the things they need for breakfast. Like OJ, which I haven’t had in the morning for years. And decaf coffee. Ick! Why bother?
It’s going to be an interesting weekend!



Talking Dogs

Filed under: Advice from your Uncle Jim,Deep Thoughts,Dog and Pony Shows,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 5:36 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Crescent

Here’s some food for thought.
I have an artist friend who looks at the world in very interesting ways. He had some advice for dealing with someone who is saying something that gets on your nerves that was actually passed on to me by a mutual friend.
He said, since people are always telling him that their dog seems to know that they’re thinking
and understand what they’re saying, that it’s almost as if it can talk. And, he wondered; what if their dog really could talk? It wouldn’t matter what it said, or how dumb it was, it would be so amazing that your dog was speaking that you’d listen in rapt fascination. So he takes that approach when he’s talking to people that are trying his nerves. He just says to himself, “Look, that animal can talk, that’s AMAZING!!!!” Try it sometime. It really does work amazingly well. If nothing else, it makes me smile enough to distract me from how annoying the speaker is to me.

Incidentally, that was the front man for Culturcide, who now does very unusual, process-oriented art with paint and lace that is very popular with a certain culture-obsessed set in Houston. He’s an interesting guy with an obviously interesting way of seeing the world.

Advice from your Uncle Jim:
"If it falls to your lot to be a dishwasher, wash like Michaelangelo painted pictures, like Shakespeare wrote poetry, like Beethoven composed music... wash so well that all the host of heaven and earth will have to pause and say, 'There lived a great dishwasher who did his job well.'"
   --Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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