Diary of a Network Geek

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

10/13/2017

My Luckiest Friday

Filed under: Fun,Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Snake which is just before lunchtime or 11:00 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a Third Quarter Moon

At least once a year, I try to write about Friday the Thirteenth.

Mostly, because, while other people seem to find it unlucky, I don’t. At least, I don’t find it any less lucky than any other Friday on any other date. If anything, I find myself feeling luckier than normal when everyone else seems to be feeling less lucky, hence the title of this blog post.
Besides, when I get stuck for topics, as I sometimes do, this is an easy enough post to whip together again.

Back in the old days, before the internet or Google or smart phones we use to answer every passing question, I used to assume that Friday the Thirteenth was considered unlucky due to some Biblical association, like since Judas was effectively the Thirteenth Apostle or some other Apocalypse-related numerology that I hadn’t bothered to dig into before or something similar. It’s not a big stretch, really, since so many superstitions seem to tie back to some obscure custom related to religion. But, I’ve since found out that nothing could be further from the truth. Apparently, Friday the Thirteenth is considered unlucky because of its association with the plot to suppress the Knights Templar, according to this article on GlobalPsychics.com. No, seriously! And, I quote:

The modern basis for the Friday the 13th superstition stems from Friday October the 13th, 1307. On this date, the Pope of the church in Rome in Conjunction with the King of France, carried out a secret death warrant against “the Knights Templar”. The Templars were terminated as heretics, never again to hold the power that they had held for so long. There Grand Master, Jacques DeMolay, was arrested and before he was killed, was tortured and crucified. A Black Friday indeed!

So, there you have it, Friday the Thirteenth is a global conspiracy, though, for a nice twist, the Knights Templar or Freemasons aren’t behind it, but, rather, the victims of it! Which I appreciate, incidentally, because I am both a Freemason and, via another Masonic body, a Knight Templar, ironically. Although, to be fair, that same web page I link to there also goes into the fact that 13 is generally considered unlucky due to the number of people at the Last Supper being, you guessed it, thirteen. But, aside from the number, which is considered unlucky in a lot of ways, it’s the association with the suppression of the Templars, which happened on a Friday, that makes the day unlucky historically.

Personally, as I already mentioned, I usually have better luck on Friday the Thirteenth, but, then, I always have been a little out of step with the world. Besides, I’m not a very superstitious person, so I generally don’t buy into most of this nonsense.
Oh, and if you’re not buying the Templar story, here’s a link to some alternate ideas why everyone else is afraid of Friday the Thirteenth.

Oh, and in honor of the upcoming NaNoWriMo, next week you can look forward to some hopefully helpful information about National Novel Writing Month and getting started.

2/14/2014

Creative Lists

Filed under: Art,Fun,Personal,Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:35 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a Full Moon

This is not a new idea.

But, then, I remember hearing when I was in high school that there are no new ideas under the Sun, only new ways to implement them.  And, remember, every story you tell, is uniquely your own.  So, the age-old question about creative ideas, right?  Where do they come from?  The answer I got was that they come in a plain, brown wrapper from Schenectady.  (That was from Frank Herbert, author of Dune, via a phone…
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8/17/2012

6 Personal Finance Apps

Filed under: Advice from your Uncle Jim,Fun,Fun Work,Life Goals,Never trust a Network Admin with a screwdriver — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:54 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a New Moon

Can we ever have enough money?

Or be too thin or too good looking?  Well, I don’t know, but I do know that I’ve struggled at times with money.  It seems to slip through my fingers like water.  The harder I squeeze to hold on to it, the faster it seems to slip away.  But, I know that about myself, so I do what I can to stop the bleeding, so to speak.  For me, the first step is tracking where it all goes.  And, I mean, tracking every last dime.  Nothing is too small or too big to count.  Back in the day, I used to record every 50¢ can of soda I had at lunch and could tell you, to the penny, how much money I had in my pocket at any given moment.
Sadly, that was some time ago and I’ve slipped back into some of my old ways.  But, now, at least, I know how to tackle the problem.  In my case, the tool I use to capture my financial info has been Quicken, though I need the newest version still.  What’s changed since I had this problem last, though, is the miracle of smart phones.  So, I was quite thrilled to see PC Magazine review 6 personal finance apps.  I use an iPhone, so I tend to focus on iPhone apps, like those reviewed in the article, though I’m sure there are plenty of Android apps, too.

I’m not sure I’m ready to trust an app that synchronizes with a website, like Mint.com, for my personal finance needs, but some of the other ones reviewed looked interesting to me.
So, how about you all?  What do you use to keep track of your finances?

(Yeah, I know, not quite as “fun” as my regular Friday links, but I’ve been thinking about a more serious Tuesday post that just features tools of various kinds that I’ve used.  Thoughts on that would be welcome in the comments, too!)

 


Advice from your Uncle Jim:
"To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing."
   --Elbert Hubbard

3/7/2012

Security and QR Codes

Filed under: Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Geek Work,The Dark Side — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:53 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a Full Moon

Do you trust everything you see?

We’ve all seen QR codes, even if we may not have all recognized what they are.  These little, square dot patterns are everywhere these days, especially in advertising.  In fact, some people have gotten so used to scanning them with their smart phones to get more information about products and services that hackers are now exploiting them.  I recently read a very interesting article on TechRepublic by Michael Kassner titled Beware of QR Codes about an exploit found in the wild, and QR code exploits in general.  The problem is, we tend to trust them, mainly, I think, because they’re too new for us to have been burned bad by them yet, and they are popping up everywhere!  Pay attention as you go through your day and see how many of these little deals you bump into.  They’re in everything from magazine ads to product labels to posters to coupons!  Even Doonesbury has run a strip with a QR code in it!

So, as you swim out there, awash in the ocean of marketing and sales that we live in, pay attention to those who might subvert your complacency.  If it’s easy for you to use, it’s probably easy for someone to abuse, just like the QR code seems to be!

10/7/2011

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!

3/12/2010

Remindd

Filed under: Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Fun,Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:56 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Crescent

“Never forget anything again.”

That’s the claim that they make on the Remindd website.  Honestly, this may be an idea that’s come and gone with smart phones and Google and all, but, it’s still worth mentioning.  Okay, mainly, I’m mentioning it because it’s free, on the web, and automated.

Also?  Today, someone I know is going to want to remember this date.  Later today, I’ll be putting on a monkey suit and standing up at someone’s wedding.  Hopefully, it’ll be a day to remember, not a day they try to forget!


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