Diary of a Network Geek

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


A Quickie

Filed under: Bavarian Death Cake of Love,Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Deep Thoughts,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 Hare which is in the early morning or 7:12 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

No, not that kind, you perverts!

Just a quick update.
As I head out to the office this morning, eight bags of clothes and shoes are waiting on the front porch for the Salvation Army to come pick them up.  I’m getting down the point now, where it’s just my old junk, her papers and her books to sort through to reclaim the entire first floor of my house.  The upstairs, well, that’s a horse of a different color.  My goal, though, is to get the first floor acceptable enough for a few close friends.  I might even get some advice on colors for the rooms I want to change.  Something warmer, I think.  More welcoming and less sterile than white or off-white.  Don’t know yet, but I definately need to paint a room or two and at least one ceiling.

Tonight, on the way home from work, I’ll be putting a check in the mail that hammers the last nail in the coffin of one of my four credit cards.  One down, three to go.  Sadly, it was the smallest of them to go first, but, considering that I otherwise live pretty much on a cash basis, I think I’m doing fairly well.  One of the guys at work always tells me that I should have stayed married because my debt wouldn’t be so large.  But, as I explain to him, repeatedly, the divorce actually saved me from getting deeper into debt.  My money problems are related to my former marriage, not getting out of it.  So, one by one, I clear my accounts and the books are balanced.
Proof yet again that I can survive anything, somehow.

I know this seems a rather lame post, but all the other posts I’ve started lately either got too heavy too quickly, or got a little too deep into my past.  A past that is, well, just that, past.  I don’t need to get into any details that might put off a future employer or date, especially since none of it was illegal or anything.  A bit immoral, but, hey, even the President seems to be able to slide by on shakey morals these days, no matter what party he’s from.  In any case, I might write them all up one day, but probably not for the blog.

And, now, it’s off to work!


Post #1194

Filed under: Bavarian Death Cake of Love,Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Deep Thoughts,Hoffman's Home for Wayward Boys,Life, the Universe, and Everything,Personal — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Rooster which is in the early evening or 6:04 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

So, I’m tired of everything tasting like metal.

I know the antibiotics are helping me, curing me of a terrible, wasting disease and all that, but I hate the nasty metallic aftertaste they leave in my mouth. It’s like licking the cheap, stainless steel, diner spoon after stirring sugar into your ice tea.
Oh, and what they’re doing to my insides! The other day I belched so loud my dog jumped and ran for cover.
Saturday night I hardly slept at all. I just couldn’t get comfortable and find a position that didn’t leave me feeling like I was going to drown in my own bodily fluids. I fell asleep on the couch Sunday morning after putting on a pot of coffee. A pot of coffee that went to waste, naturally, since I slept beyond the auto shutoff timer.

However, on the good news front, my former roommate finally got all his stuff out of my garage! Yea! So, now, I can move my nasty, brown kitchen table out into the garage and use the nicer butcher-block table my ex left behind. I almost feel guilty using it, not because it was hers, but because she stole it from her second husband. I offered it back to him at one point, but he declined, so I guess I shouldn’t feel strange about using it. It is a nice table. I’ve made quite a bit of space in the one room that used to hold virtually everything the Queen of the Damned left behind. Later this week, I’ll be donating another eight bags of clothes and shoes to the Salvation Army. And, yes, I’ve finally been convinced that it’s okay to donate the stripper shoes that she left behind to the Salvation Army. I’ve been told the working girls shop there, so they’ll go fast. And, no, it’s probably best not to disclose how I found the right people to ask those kinds of questions.
So, soon, I’ll start working on my office and getting that room straightened up. But, I think that can wait a couple of weeks while I heal up some more.

I’ll need to paint, eventually, too, but that’s going to require a bit of thought and planning. Also, I think it will require a second opinion as I’ve been told my taste in colors may not be the best. Well, perhaps, by then, I’ll have a feminine touch around the house somewhere that might lend a hand. Anything’s possible! The people at church keep telling me how God works miracles, so, I figure if He can part the Red Sea for Moses and the gang, certainly, He should be able to find me someone to love all the rest of my days. We’ll see how that works out, but I’m praying for it.

Well, I’ve sort of rambled all over here tonight, so, instead of giving this post a clever title, I’m just going to let WordPress number it. #1194. Almost seven years of blogging and I’ve got 1,194 posts. Not bad. Not bad at all.


Health News

Filed under: Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,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 5:49 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Crescent

For those of you who have expressed concern for my health, I thought I’d let everyone know that I have an appointment to see a doctor Tuesday afternoon.

I haven’t been to a doctor since 1998, unless you count the emergency room visit for kidney stones and the follow-up with a urologist afterward. And, as much as I hate to admit it, it does take something like passing a 9mm stone through my urethra to get me in to see a doctor. It’s not that I don’t like doctors, because that’s never been a problem. Rather, it’s that I hate taking the time away from work, especially when I’m the entire IT department, as I am now. But, this cough and trouble breathing has been going on for almost three months now and is truly worrying my friends and family, so I’m knuckling under and going to a doctor.

I think the final straw was when I was moving furnature yesterday.
A friend of mine was getting rid of a giant, oversized, comfy chair and matching ottoman, along with a couple of bookcases. Naturally, when he offered, I was more than happy to take them, get rid of an old, torn up couch and continue changing my house around to suit me. In the past two weeks, I’ve thrown out seven bags of junk and done up at least eight bags for the Salvation Army. I’ll probably have a couple more by the end of the week and I’ll call them next week to pick it all up. Then, all I’ll have left are all my ex-wife’s books and her papers to go through. I suspect most of them, both books and papers, are things that can go out. The papers I don’t need I’ll simply throw out. The books I don’t want, however, I’ll most likely drag to Half-Price books. I’m sure I could get a better price somewhere else, but I’m at the point where I’d rather just see them gone and out of my way. But, since I can’t bring myself to throw out books, I’ll dump them at Half-Price.
In any case, while moving the bookcases and chair, I got so winded, so quickly that my friends thought I was going to pass out.  Frankly, so did I!  So, that finally convinced me to get to a doctor and get this taken care of ASAP.  Then, maybe, I’ll be able to get back to working out a little.  And sleeping well again.  Oh, that would be nice…

I’ll update you all tomorrow with the news from the doctor.
And, thank you for your concern.


More Homestyle Links

Filed under: Art,Fun,Personal,Red Herrings,The Network Geek at Home — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:07 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a New Moon

I’m feeling very domestic this month.

I’m not sure if it was the four more bags of junk I threw out last night, or the six more bags I have to donate to the Salvation Army, or just moving furnature around, but I’m really enjoying home related links this month. Maybe I’m just nesting. In any case, following with the theme from last week, here are some more very strange domestic links that struck my fancy.

To start with, I’ve got two very different fireplaces. The first, called the Drop, wouldn’t work in my house at all. For one thing, it’s very modern, for another, it simply wouldn’t retrofit well with my current chimney. The other, from Hearthfalls, wouldn’t work either, because… Well, just look at them and I think you’ll see why. Frankly, it’s one of those things that looks perfect, for someone else’s house.
And, while we’re talking about water, here’s a funky lamp called, plainly enough, the Wet Lamp. It’s a lamp, in a bowl of water. Yes, electricity inside water in your house. And, it looks cool, too.
Speaking of “looking cool”, let’s contemplate the outdoors for a minute. Or, at least the garage. A European designer of unknown national origin has designed a variably transparent garage. Apparently, it’s done with LCDs, but it lets you show off your new, impossibly expensive sports car when your ridiculously wealthy friends are over, then hide it again from thieves. Sadly, I’m more likely to have a driveway edged with glow in the dark pebbles than I am the garage with disappearing walls.
Now, I am looking at new/different furnature, so I’ve got several links to that sort of thing, too.
I have a lot of friends that often find themselves in trouble with their wives and need a place to crash. Or, are going through some sort of meltdown and need a place to sit and rock while sucking their thumb and going to the “happy, quiet place”. So, this couch that opens into bunk beds struck me as useful.
And, naturally, I want to make a good impression and hide the fact that I’m as obsessed with TV as I am with books, so a reversable media center that’s combined with a bookcase seemed perfect for my living room.
Now, I’m sure none of my friends do this, but I’m told that sometimes people snoop through bathrooms when they’re in another person’s house. What better way to deal with that than a mirror that you can send SMS text messages to! So, now, when you think that nosey relative is about to snoop in your medicine cabinet, you can have the mirror tell them to mind their own business!

Now, finally, to wind things up on a more whimsical note, I have a link to a paper airplane coffee table that I just love! Yes, it’s a little strange, but you have to admit, it does look cool. And, what could go with that better than kid-sized Tetris pillows!? I can totally see those in my living room!

Well, I can tell it’s been a long week, because these Friday Fun Links just got sillier and sillier. Still I hope you enjoy them and have a great Friday!
And, of course, don’t forget to add your two cents to the poll on the sidebar!!


Update and Review: The Spirituality of Imperfection

Filed under: Bavarian Death Cake of Love,Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Deep Thoughts,Life, the Universe, and Everything,Personal,The Network Geek at Home — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Pig which is in the late evening or 10:08 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a New Moon

Okay, so here’s a two-parter, since everyone is so worried.
First, a review. I finished The Spirituality of Imperfection: Storytelling and the Search for Meaning Saturday and started on Year Zero Sunday night.
The Spirituality of Imperfection was a good book, but got a little redundant to me. As you might imagine from the title, this is a book about being, well, less than perfect. In a nutshell, the premise of the book is that only God is perfect and, since we aren’t God, we’re imperfect. What’s more, this is how things are supposed to be and, when one takes this logically, it’s really somewhat silly to expect that we could ever be perfect. The book goes on to explore the different ways that we, as imperfect human beings, deal with this lack, this flaw, and how our search for the meaning of this short-coming leads us closer to God and a deeper spiritual life. Naturally, this search is why I chose this book to read. Though it was given to me by Doc as a late Christmas gift, I set aside the book on Buddhist meditation I was about to start in favor of this because of the many recommendations I got about this one. And, it was, in fact, a good book.
Now, it got a little redundant for me not because of the message, but simply because I know that already. I never had a problem understanding that I wasn’t perfect, but, rather, why I always felt so much pressure to be perfect. My parents always challenged me to simply do the best I could and leave it at that. Of course, I was always asking myself if that was really the best I could do. I was always pushing myself to do more and better, even when I felt that I had nothing left. No matter how depleted I felt, I still pushed to dig deeper still and find that hidden reserve to draw on to do more than anyone else around me. That was in grade school. Yeah, the year, or so, of therapy has helped a lot. So has the support group that I’ve attended for the past four years and my return to church and God.
The last chapter, though, redeemed all the redundant messages. That chapter, titled “Being At Home”, capped this one off very well. The only way to end a book like this is to wrap things up with a chapter about being at ease with one’s imperfection. I’m still working on that, but, well, it’s progress.
(Year Zero, incidentally, is a pot-boiler about a plague from the First Century that gets released into today’s world. It’s interesting so far!)

Now, for the update…
Tomorrow, the Salvation Army will be picking up twenty bags of clothes and shoes from my house. No, not the stripper shoes. Those will go to eBay, most likely. No, these were regular, women’s shoes. An entire 20 gallon, black, plastic garbage bag full of them. And, nineteen more filled with clothes. Yes, that’s twenty (20) bags of children’s and adult’s clothes going out in one, fell swoop. I’m sure as I get rolling on this stuff upstairs, there will be more. And, then, there’ll be the books and furniture and jewelry and… And, I’m just getting started.
Speaking of just getting started… Someone asked about Match.com. Well, we started out strong, then, things tapered off. I’ve sent several women e-mail, but gotten no response yet. Might never get a response. I got one Wink this afternoon from Galveston, but, well, she wasn’t quite my type. (And, no, I don’t mean that she wasn’t my type because she was interested in me!) I don’t know, maybe I’m too picky. I mean, whatever her faults, my ex-wife was quite the looker. Of course, beauty fades fast, but, still, I do have standards after all. And, not to be catty or anything, but there is a very significant difference between “curvy” and “a few extra pounds”. C’mon, let’s be honest. I rated myself as “About average”, but I have to admit, I lean more toward “A few extra pounds” myself. In part, that’s what’s behind the push to get my one room cleaned out. After I get rid of all my ex-wife’s junk, that will become a workout room. She left a Soloflex and I have a free-standing heavy bag. Between the two, I should get a pretty good workout going. I really used to love the heavy bag. When I was in shape, I used to do 20+ minutes on that three times a week. That will definitely trim the fat right off my lazy butt!
Oh, and I haven’t quite given up on the Bookstore Method, either. Unless things go terribly wrong, I plan on hitting the River Oaks Borders tomorrow night. (That’s Tuesday, in case you don’t see this until the morning after I post it.) After that, though, unless things go very well, I’m going to change to the Barnes and Noble by the Galleria. I think the Fourbucks in there should attract the kind of victim, er, potential date, I’m looking for. We’ll see!

Anyway, it’s late and I’ve been drinking Scotch, so I’m off to brush my teeth, set up the coffee for the morning, read a bit and slip off to dreamland.


Cleaning House

Filed under: Advice from your Uncle Jim,Bavarian Death Cake of Love,Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Deep Thoughts,Life, the Universe, and Everything,Personal,The Network Geek at Home — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Horse which is around lunchtime or 12:51 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

Sensible Shoes
I started cleaning house a little this weekend.

You see, I have this one room that is filled with the residue of a previous life. Old clothes and books and furniture and papers and junk and… Shoes. Lots of shoes.
I stopped gathering bags of junk to throw out when I hit six because I’d more than filled my garbage cans. I have so many more to fill and throw out that it was almost overwhelming. Almost. Most of the clothes will go to someplace like the Salvation Army or to help victims of Katrina or something. (Yes, there are still people from Katrina that need clothes!) I have old school uniforms and jeans and other kids clothes as well as adult clothes. I haven’t even started sorting the boxes upon boxes of books. Or decided what to do with all the left over furnature. Frankly, there are some heirlooms I’d like to see go back to my former in-laws, so that, one day, my former step-daughter might have them. Thigh-High BootsI’m not sure if that will happen or not though. If you all could see this one room in my house filled with so many boxes and bags and piles of junk, you could see why it was so hard to get motivated to deal with it. There’s a part of me that would like to just heap it up on the front lawn and set fire to it, though I wouldn’t indluge in that kind of waste even if it weren’t illegal to burn that much that way. Still, it has to be dealt with somehow, sooner or later, so I’ve started. A little at a time and it will get out faster than I might think.

I joked with my mother not too long ago that I should have a party to get rid of it all. I could go through my house and tag all the things that I want to “dispose” of and then invite single women in to just cart it off, in exchange for contatct information and/or dates. She thought it was hilarious. I even had a plan for different levels of exchange for the stuff.
I could use colored stickers or tags, with each color requiring a different level of personal info. For white stickers, just a name and good phone number, pre-verified. For red stickers, a name, good, preverified phone number and at least two evenings that the lady in question would be available for a date in the next two months. For gold stickers, a name, a good, preverified phone number, at least two evenings in the next month that she’d be available, and one actual, prearranged date. Obviously, the grade of “stuff” goes up with each sticker and the required information to gain access to the stickers. Each level has access to the lower levels of sticker as well. First Pair of ShoesSecond Pair of Shoes

Like I said, my mother thought it was hilarious. Have I mentioned that my family has a somewhat twisted sense of humor? And, interestingly enough, my father remained rather silent on that whole subject.
Anyone have any thoughts on the merits of such a party?

Now, you may have noticed that this post is surrounded by pictures of shoes. Lots of shoes. On the top left, a single pair of rather sensible shoes, women’s size seven and a-half. The rest, though, are seven pairs of, well, not so sensible shoes. One is a size eight, but the rest are also size seven and a-half. I should note that these are not my shoes, but shoes I am going to be getting rid of, one way or another, shortly. Third Pair of ShoesYou may also notice that they have a theme, of sorts, besides being mostly black. Notice the extremely high heels, the amazing platforms. Also, if you click on the thumbnails, you’ll see that most of them are hardly worn, or, in some cases, not worn at all. I should note also, that while I paid for most, if not all of these shoes, I did not really pick them out. I retained veto rights over them, so they all had my tacit approval, but I did not go seeking them. They were not my “thing”, as it were, though I had little argument with them as I bought them. In many ways, they represent the worst kind of residue of that old life. They are not what I’m looking for at all anymore. They weren’t even what I was looking for back then, but they were what I found. Fourth Pair of ShoesFifth Pair of Shoes
I hope that what these shoes represent don’t frighten or disturb anyone who reads this blog, either employers or potential dates. As I mentioned, they represent a life I did my best to walk away from and leave behind. But, I do hope they explain, a little, that when I say I have a sordid past, or that there are things about me that people don’t know or understand, I’m not joking. I’m not kidding around, or exagerating, or embelishing for effect, or even trying to impress anyone, when I say that I do have an unusual past, a slightly different history, than people might think from this blog and my current life. Or, as I like to remind people, even a priest has a past.

So, finally, here’s a little Advice from your Uncle Jim, kids, everyone has a past and that sometimes effects their future. We can change, even though it may be hard and may have a price, but, who we have been will still effect who we become. You can’t always tell who a person was by who they are today.

Sixth Pair of Shoes

Advice from your Uncle Jim:
"When written in Chinese, the word 'crisis' is composed of two characters - one represents danger and the other represents opportunity."

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