Speed is Beautiful

I get sidetracked easily. I don't think I suffer from attention deficit disorder, but I do have a tendency to go off on a tangent and end up somewhere totally different than where I started.

I had already planned out what my first 'real post' was going to be about. I had already decided that I was going to take my system status application of choice (which isn't really a system status application in and of itself) and do a write-up on its use and how I use it specifically. I still fully intend on doing that, but that will have to wait a little while.

'Real post' number one is about starting to change the house's network from a mix of 10/100Mb and 802.11b/g networking to 1Gb and having a separate b and g access point. Speed is not actually where this project started, though it's a nice side effect.

So why do it? The core of the house network is in a bedroom, which as anyone with more than a few computers will likely know, is a very inconvenient place for the core of a network to be. Power in that room isn't overly reliable and it's occupied by a 14-year old whose internet access is restricted at the router, giving him easy physical access to it. As anyone who deals with security knows, physical access negates security as router reset buttons negate passwords. Sure I could probably disable the reset button, but that's a lot of hassle and doesn't solve the location problem. So into the basement office, everything will go.

Since I have to pull new coax for the modem and will have to pull at least one new line to link the aforementioned 14-year old's room, I might as well just do the whole house. This also gives me the excuse to reroute the coax that I pulled earlier this year up into the walls and set up proper outlets for everything. I will likely pull at least one, maybe two, ethernet jack as well as one coax, and one phone jack per room. The phone brings up a whole different possibility with new hardware and such. One thing at a time, though.

For now, the promise of faster media streaming, and less wireless clutter is very appealing to me.

Reviewing my roots (aka: don't login as root)

This entry was originally the inaugural post to this blog before I merged an older personal blog into it. I'm leaving the post intact, below:

I've been thinking about this for a while but a few things that have changed in my daily routine have made me decide to stop thinking and start doing. So without my usual (hence the name of this blog) ramblings, on with the show.

My personal blog has started to take a somewhat technical bent as of late. As such, I've decided to branch out and keep things separate (more or less). Here I plan to spout off about things of the geek nature which just so happen to be tickling my fancy, yanking my chain, or otherwise getting in my face. I make no promise to release schedules, nor that my personal life won't end up here. After all, I'm a geek at heart, so keeping my personal life out of it all together will be hard.

Why should you read, why should you care? Hell if I know but I'll tell you a little about who I am; you can decide for yourself after that.

I'm a thirty-something geek of all trades (master of none) with a particular bent towards audio/video. My formal education spans classic arts (drawing, painting, clay sculpture), music (violin and piano), electronics, graphics arts (photography, print layout), radio and television broadcasting, as well as network management (back in the Netware days w/thinnet weee!), business application programming (C, COBOL, RPG, Clipper, Visual Basic), and a little general expert system development for taste. After school I started my training in taming the beast that is FreeBSD since 2.2.6, Linux still makes me cringe, Windows has its place (but I still think MSDOS 5.5 was the last decent OS Microsoft ever made, so long as you were running DESQview), and spend most of my time now in OS X. I'm no Apple fanboy but I do own an iPhone (in the interest of full disclosure).

Can't call me a 'gamer' but I do own a PS3. Don't really enjoy PC gaming as a whole but I do keep a WinXP partition on my Mac specifically to play Evil Genius. Read into that what you will. In fact, I'm not sure that any of the commonly accepted subclasses of geek really apply properly to me. All in all, I'm just me... an elder-n00b. For those that chose to check in on me from time to time, I'll be putting my own spin on life, tech, and the way they come together.

At this rate I won't need to turn on the heater

So another device gets added to my network today. My son now has his own PS3. The upside is that he will stop wanting to use mine while I'm trying to watch a movie. The downside is that we've got to keep our controllers plugged in until we can figure out how to keep them from associating with each other's consoles. Turns out just connecting them does that. Now I'm not sure what would happen if I tried to use one of my controllers on his system. Perhaps a test is in order.

Reinstalling Mediatomb on my G4 iMac so that he can access my movie library (and so I can too). Just have to remember to be selective about what he can access, and stuff.

In other news or old news as it's all over now. My new, as of a few weeks ago, MacBook got replaced yesterday. This past Saturday the drive failed. My fellow hardware geeks will understand *whirl* *thud* *tick* *tick* *tick* etc... It did eventually boot, but after explaining what happened, and a quick listen to the drive, the 'genius' at the Apple store took back my system and gave me a new one. Fortunately, I didn't have anything on the drive except software. All of which I have already reinstalled. Except, of course, for setting up Bootcamp and putting Windows XP back on so I can play Evil Genius.

I know one would say 'it was new, they're supposed to do that', but I am very impressed with Apple's response to what happened. Since it was booting when I took it in I figured they would want to 'take a look at it' or something. Instead, it was just one question 'do you have a back up of your data?'. In a time of less than stellar customer service, having a no questions asked replacement for something that seemed to be working when I brought it in, was nice.

O'kay, I'm going back to looking for the cap for my 4GB memory stick... why do I keep losing the caps to these things?

Never thought I'd say this; glad that I can

I've never been one for 'queen and country' kinds of feelings. For as far back as I can remember I didn't say the pledge of allegiance when I was in school or anywhere else since then that it might have come up. Sure I stand up, and keep silent out of respect, but that's about it. I've never sought to own the flag of my country, or any other symbols that one displays to show their patriotism. All in all I haven't had much good to say about the country I was born to. Are there worse places to be, certainly... but not once in my 34 years do I ever recall thinking that I was proud to be a citizen of the US.

Tuesday, November 4th, 2008 for the first time in my life, I can honestly say that I am proud of the country I call home. That day saw a lot of setbacks. A great many people had their personal liberties destroyed due to hate and fear because after hundreds of years of a government that sought to separate church and state we can't seem to keep from passing faith-based laws.

Even though more states within our union have put another nail in the coffin of personal freedoms. I still feel pride. Not because we as a people elected a man who has held to his path from the day he started his campaign, not because my home state broke from the tradition of being a predominately Republican state, and not even that dispute my distract siding with McCain it did so by only 1,622 votes (just about 1%). I am proud because just 145 years after the first steps were taken to end slavery we have elected into the highest office in our land a man that were he to have been alive in this country those 145 years ago would likely have been thought of as only property. I am proud because 43 years after President Johnson signed an act that made it illegal to block black people from voting, a man who would not have been allowed to vote was himself voted in as the commander-in-chief of our armed forces. I am proud because on that day, that 4th day of November, 2008 we as a majority did not vote in a 'black man', or a 'religious man', we voted in a man... regardless of race, religion, or creed, we came together and voted in a man with whom we now rest our hopes and dreams. The dreams of one day seeing these United States of America become the great land it has always thought itself to be.

He can't do it alone but then he didn't get where he is now alone. We all must become the change we want to see, the change we need to see in this land and in this world. We've already shown that we as a people in the US want this change to happen. Senator Obama, become President-Elect Obama, could not be where he is now if we didn't. Now, more than ever before, we need to be a single people with a single goal. That goal is to make this country a great one and one all of its people can live in as equals no matter who they pray to, if they pray at all, or who they say I love you to, if they find themselves lucky enough to have someone whom to say it to, and no matter how far they've come in life because we all have so much farther to go.

I am proud of you America... I am proud of us all.

You will be assimilated, and you'll like it

O'kay, so that new toy comment from my last post... I bought a new computer. I thought about it and decided that it was time that I untethered myself from my desk. So I am now the owner of a new MacBook. I thought about getting the Pro for the firewire port, but I have an iMac and a Windows PC with firewire, so it's not like I don't have access to systems with that support. I opted for the lower of the new aluminum models. The cost/price balance just put me there. Extra RAM can be added later, as can the HD swapped out. I don't really care all that much about a backlit keyboard, so why spend the extra money for things I don't need? Right?

Anyway, since buying it I've been let out of work early most days and have been taking my new gear to a deli near work with free wifi and chilling out with a nice sandwich. Also, I transcode video pretty frequently and things that were taking 5 to 8 hours on my G4 iMac are taking an hour or so on the new system using the exact same software. Speed (as my employer likes to say in their commercials) is beautiful.

I was stressing out a little over how to manage my calendars and address book between my two machines, as I don't want to make either one my primary system. I also don't want to spend the rather exorbitant cost for a .Mac (or MobileMe as they call it now) account just so my information is the same across both computers. Well turns out that I don't have to worry at all, I just have to be a little more diligent about syncing my phone... to both computers. Problem solved.

Speaking of phones, a few months back I became the owner of an iPhone 3G. I know, I know, just sinking deeper into the Cult of Apple; paying homage to my leader, The Great and Powerful Steve. hehe. What can I say, I like their hardware and their software. I'm not so much a fan of their business practices but I am all about choosing the lesser of the two evils, or how many other evils there might happen to be to chose from.

No, I haven't jailbroken the phone... may, may not. Not sure. Other than tethering the thing I haven't really come across anything just yet that I might want to do with the phone that I can't get an app from the official app store to do. We will see.

In regards to my iPhone, I picked up a Griffin AirCurve the other day from their website. They were offering free shipping, and from Griffin's Facebook page there was a discount code to take 25% off, so it was only $14.99 USD, and I got it in less than 48 hours. yay! It's a stand for the iPhone that channels the sound from the built-in speaker through a waveguide which increases the volume about 10dB without any electronics. Works really well. I use my phone as my alarm clock. With the iPhone, my choices have been low volume and right next to my bed or high volume across the room. With low volume next to the bed, it was really easy to turn off the alarm before I was actually awake. With high volume, there was the risk of damaging the speaker. Now that isn't a problem.

Now I called it a stand and not a dock because by itself it isn't a dock. There is a path through the center which you can feed a charging cable to make it into a dock, which I have. The nice bit about that is that you can just pick the thing up and take it where ever you might need wide audience sound without any extra power but the option to power up is there with the use of pretty much any USB iPhone charging cable you might be able to find. Obviously, Griffin's fits best but the Apple one works pretty well, too. Belikn's seems to be patterned after Griffin's so I'm assuming that would work just as well.

Lastly Netflix just announced that they are opening beta testing of Watch Instantly via Microsoft Silverlight. The nice bit about this is that means that Mac users with Intel based systems can now use it. I just recently became a Netflix user and with my new Mac, this is a good thing. I tested it tonight by watching episode 1 season 1 of MI:5. I've caught bits of that show over time and always wanted to see the whole thing. Now I can. Season 1 and 2 are available until December 1st, so watch quickly if you're interested. I would like to be able to watch these things directly on my TV but no go just yet. The current iteration of the Silverlight player has a lot of obvious image tearing, even in low action scenes. It's beta, we'll see.

In less than 6 hours the polls open in my district, I'm not going THAT early but I will be there. If you're in the US, and you haven't already voted absentee, I beg you to get out today and do it. Do I care who you vote for? Sure, I would prefer that you voted along with me but more than that I would prefer that you vote. This country is too screwed up to just sit back and let other people continue to make the decisions.

That is all, you may return to your irregularly scheduled lives, already in progress.

The change we need, the view I didn't have

So I went to the Obama rally in Norfolk, VA tonight. Those of you that follow me on Twitter prolly got tired of seeing my comments. It wasn't bad, a little shorter than I was expecting, but then I've never been to a rally before so what do I know?

He's a decent speaker, needs to either wear a lavaliere or remember to only talk when facing the microphones. Still, a decent speaker. Some people say that the photos and video of him speaking don't do him justice. I wouldn't know, I had to turn around and watch him on the screen at the back of the stadium because there was no line of sight to the stage from where I could get to.

Oh well, still it was interesting to see the people that showed up. The variety of people. All ages, nationalities, and by their dress economic groups too. I saw people in obvious hand-me-down coats, to well-tailored suits standing in the back with me. Was also interesting to see the detractors that showed up. The barkers along the side of the road as I walked from my car to the stadium. They weren't politically motivated McCain supporters like I thought they might be. They were members of the 'Religious Reich'. The fear-mongering, Bible-thumping, 'if you don't believe like I believe then you can't be a good person' types. They held up signs like "Follow Jesus/Fear God". Never understood why I should want to fear the force that supposedly created me and allowed 'their son' to die so that I who had not even been born yet could be forgiven of sins I had not even committed yet. That's another post altogether, though.

I can't say it was fun but then I can't say it wasn't. It was interesting, it was cold, and above all it was me doing something I don't usually do. It's a thing I'm trying. Not the new me but the me I never knew.

Play time now... new toys... more on that later.

Pardon me while I have a geeky *squee* moment

O'kay this is a rare moment for me. I don't go 'fanboy' over anything and I certainly am not the kind to be phased by 'star power'.

I've met and hung out with the members of Sister Machine Gun and Gravity Kills in the same night after they did a show at that same club. Very cool but never once did I achieve squee. Tonight that has changed.

I got notified that my twitter account is now being followed by Cali Lewis  of geekbrief.tv and I achieved squee. I am a dork, I know. I am o'kay with this. :)

Unplanned days off are nifty...

This post contains a slight spoiler for Eagle Eye - you have been warned.

So my day starts off a little earlier than usual with a call from one of the supervisors at work to advise me that the time off I'd put in for today was approved last minute. This was nice not only in that I didn't want to go in any way, as I would have had to sit through a meeting that I already sat through on Tuesday when I was there for overtime, but nice that he called to tell me so that I wouldn't drive all the way out there for no reason.

So I get up and decide to do something with the day. A few text messages, phone calls, and failed attempts later I end up just a few minutes away from work at the home of someone I work with, the same person that invited me to the evening of Rock Band about a month ago. Then from there, we go to see the movie Eagle Eye. Not a bad film really. Shia LaBeouf really is turning out to be a decent 'incidental action hero'. The storyline is revisiting the same one that The Terminator series of movies is based on "what happens if we let our technology think for us...what happens if we don't". Hope that wasn't too much of a spoiler.

Much talking was done, much fun was had, or at least I had fun... I shouldn't speak for my companion for the day as they might see it differently and aren't here to rebut my statement.

So after that, I wandered off to the local Best Buy and did what one is supposed to do at Best Buy when one has no money, play video games. They had a drum kit connected to a console running Rock Band, so I got some time on the sticks... actually a lot better at it than on the guitar but then my coordination has always been better when performing similar tasks with both hands. The more I play the game the more I seriously think about getting it. I really do enjoy it and it wouldn't hurt to do something that requires me to tax my coordination from time to time; might improve it a little. Besides maybe if I limber my fingers up again I can get back to trying to teach myself to play a real guitar.

Bedtime now... dreaming of being awoken tomorrow with the same phone call; what to do if that happens? Who knows?

Clicky Clicky

For the last few weeks, I have been dealing with my mouse misbehaving. I would try to only click once, it felt that was not enough and would double click about 30% of the time. So today I decided to replace it. Got a new Mighty Mouse (yes, I do think about the cartoon every time I hear the name). I could have gotten a cheaper mouse with a scroll wheel but that wouldn't have been as much fun as having a mouse named after a rodent superhero on my desk, now would it? *grin*

While I was out today (well it was actually the reason I went out) I looked around for a MIDI controller keyboard with a USB interface. Who knew it would be next to impossible to find one. The only one I found that wasn't in the $400+ dollar range was a rather clumsy and it had mini keys. So I had to order one. So in about a week (I'm not going to pay for express shipping) I'll have a nifty new CME M-Key and I can then get back to my remixing. Well, I can get farther anyway. I tried to use the onscreen keyboard and I tried using key mapping but it just wasn't working out. I also have the feeling that I'm going to soon be feeling the limits of my somewhat outdated machine. I'll get by well enough for now, though.

Now, now it is bedtime. For some reason that I don't understand I agreed to overtime tomorrow, in the morning no less, helping out a class of new hires that just hit the floor. I think they're video agents, which means they're going to need all the help they can get. For a company whose core product is video, our training for video troubleshooting to the people that take the calls leaves a lot to be desired.

Standing on the throats of giants

So I've been spending a lot of my free time at home listening to the gems at Nine Inch Nails' remix site. Why? Well aside from the fact that there is some really amazing stuff there (occasionally the remixes are better than the original), I've been playing around with the idea of remixing the song Survivalism and so I've been looking for inspiration.

I have a working title and I've started cutting up the vocals from the multi-track files for the song, which are available from the remix site but also from the DVD that comes with Y34RZ3R0R3M1X3D (yes I just typed that out). My plan will probably require that I create some of my own vocals as well as some keyboard work, so I'm in the market for either a MIDI/USB interface or an inexpensive USB MIDI controller. Given my space constraints in my little corner of the world, the controller would be easier to work with but the interface would likely be a lot cheaper as I already have a fairly nice keyboard with MIDI ports. It doesn't have a pitch binder, but I can do that in software after laying down the track.

For now I'm still in the planning stages. Listening to the samples over and again, as well as to others versions of the song to see what works well and what doesn't. I haven't done anything like this since back in the heyday of MOD and S3M tracking and my experience with GarageBand is just a few steps short of none... this should be interesting and I hope in the end turn out well enough to post back to the remix site.

Apple Recalls Ultra-compact USB Power Adapters

If you bought an iPhone 3G or got one of the nifty tiny USB power adaptors from Apple recently from the US, Japan, Canada, Mexico, or one of several Latin American countries then you might want to stop using it.

Apple has identified some situations where the metal prongs might break off and stay stuck in the power outlet. They will begin replacing the adaptors come October 10th, either via a mail-in program or in an Apple retail store. In the meantime use any other adaptor that you might have or the USB docking cable that came with the phone directly to your computer.

Details Here

The evening after...

Last night was fun. Started with a brief but tasty dinner at Olive Garden with a large table full of people whose names I don't fully remember. Damn me and my problems with people's names. Given the size of the party was so large a tip was automagically applied to my tab, which actually was less than I would usually leave but then given how long I went drinkless it was prolly what I would have left anyway.

After dinner, some of the group took off in their own directions, while the rest (including myself, else this would be the end of the post) headed off to an evening of Rock Band, which was actually more fun than I thought it would be. I don't suck that badly.

Of course, before that I got to watch a bit of Dead or Alive Xtreme 2 and it's really odd physics engine. Which is my way of saying there was a lot of gratuitous animated 'boob juggling'. Which I think is the whole point of the game. The volleyball and watercraft racing is just a carrier for the bikini-clad girls. Then there was a little time spent with some zombie killing but after that, it was all Rock Band all the time.

Fun night, wrapped up around 3am... wouldn't mind doing that again.

Just when you thought it was safe to get back in the water...

Where to start... at the start of the day I suppose.

Here goes:

First break of the day I walk past my supervisor's cube to say hi. He looked annoyed, so I poke the bear to see what's up. He's been emailed about a meeting he wants to attend about the status of support and upcoming changes in service for one of the products my company offers. Says he can't attend because he has to go to a different meeting for other supervisors in our department. Seeing that his bosses boss will be at that one, he can't exactly skip out on it. I get a look at the agenda for the meeting he wants to go to and I want to go too. So I joke that he should send me in his place to take notes...

20 minutes later I'm in the meeting taking notes.

Now I figure I'm just there to make sure our department doesn't miss out on anything that might come up, so I'm sitting there playing secretary like a good little front-line employee with my mouth shut; until I notice that the woman heading the meeting is looking at me oddly, with this 'why aren't you saying anything' look on her face. Now she knows I'm just a tech support rep and knows I'm there as a placeholder for my supervisor. The look continues, so eventually, I pipe up with what I thought were obvious comments. Nothing I can talk about, as it's all about things we, as a company. haven't done publicly yet but still, I figured I'd get a few nods of the 'at least he's on the same page' kind and we'd move on. Nope, she starts taking notes... and I'm sitting right across from her; I can see the notes, they aren't like the ones you think your shrink is making about you, she is actually writing down what I'm saying.

*blink* *blink*

So moving on to other topics and other things all together which are (I figure) totally out of my place to say anything. Now those of you that have spent any time face to face with me know my 'I'm not gonna say anything, but I've got something to say' look. Apparently, she saw it too because she starts looking at me again. So open mouth take up 5 minutes of the conversation. Then off to other things and such.

All in all a very weird experience. Not what I was expecting at all. Maybe next month he won't be able to go again. That was fun.

Now after the meeting and before I get back to my desk I catch up with my sup briefly and he tells me that something he'd asked me about a week ago got approved. I and one of my co-workers will be teaching a training class for video only reps to prepare them for taking internet and telephone support calls.


I didn't think there was any way in hell that would work out. I didn't think the people in training liked me. I still don't think they do. No idea what that's about. Starting the 15th I'm a trainer, at least for one class. This is the second time they've let me loose on a room full of people to warp their minds to my will. Muahahahaha!

O'kay, so strangeness abounds and astounds... but that's not all, oh no.

So I just grab a hot dog for lunch and take it back to my desk. Don't really feel like being out and about at the time so there I am at my desk and I get messaged by a co-worker inviting me to attend a gathering they're planning for Saturday evening.

So what, you say? Well, point one I haven't spent time in public with someone since my girlfriend moved and this person is inviting me into a group setting with people that are probably not people we work with so they're freely and knowingly subjecting their friends to me. Scary, I know, but it's true. Wrap all of that up into the weirdness this day has been up to this point and I'm waiting for Rod Serling to come out and start narrating.

So as my night winds down to a close I'm trying to figure out just what in the halibut just happened here.

Turn the page

Funny how things keep coming back, or never really go away. Spend so much time trying to get away from something just to have it come back all at once as if it was never gone.

It's not that I don't want to remember, that's not it at all. It's just that I spent so long keeping things buried that I don't know how else to deal with it. Keeping it buried isn't going to work anymore and I'm not so sure that I want it to anymore anyway. I'm still on a rather long road of learning who I am again and keeping feelings in check just isn't a good way of doing that.

No matter what comes of it I need to explore everything I'm feeling, even if in the end it doesn't matter to anyone but me.

Yes, I know that was a little vague, and it will probably only make sense to one person other than myself but this is my world you're just visiting. So :P

Lists are spiffy

Lifted this from someone else on another site and you can't stop me.

What's the first thing that comes to your mind when you read the word:

1. Beer - Um, no thanks.

2. McDonalds - McNuggets w/Hot Mustard, please.

3. Love - *blank stare*

4. Lust - That would be nice.

5. Power Rangers - Go, Go Power Strangers! You mighty stupid Power Strangers.

6. Weed - Ortho Weed-B-Gone

7. Steroids - "We are here to PUMP you up!"

8. Cartoons - ReBoot is coming back!

9. The President - He would be funny if he weren't in charge.

10. Tupperware - It's a cult I tell you, a cult.

11. Florida - Been there, done that, didn't get the t-shirt.

12. Santa Claus - HO HO HO, or was that Yo Ho Ho? I can't remember.

13. Halloween - It always rains.

14. Alice - The Red Queen

15. Grammar - Nazis?

16. Myspace - Taken the place of AOL, a necessary evil.

17. Lime - Kermit The Frog... YAY!

19. Paris - Overhyped.

20. Cheese - Like it, hates me.

21. Red Heads - Yummy

22. Blondes - Nothing against them.

23. Class - undeclared

24. Sports - eh

25. Neverland - Tinkerbell

26. Pixies - Boston, MA

27. Vanilla - Ice Cream

29. Hooters - Never been

30. Pajamas - Naked

31. Underwear - Rather not, thanks.

32. Wet Socks - SQUISH!

33. Significant other - *blank stare*

34. Best Friend - Moving

35. Kids - You can have mine, I don't want him.

36. Bugs - Another necessary evil.

37. Roller Coasters - Bring it on!

38. Fun - Opposite of work.

39. Anger - No thanks.

40. Looks or personality - I have personality... you'd better, too. :)

Showing off my work space

Just thought I'd show you all what I stare at when I don't have a bunch of program windows open. Not that you all care or anything but I'm feeling geeky and it's what we geeky people do. Kind of like showing off pictures of your car, or something I guess. *shrug*

Orinoco Flow

I think some of the questions are a little oddly worded, and one I'm not sure I understand, but I like the 'sample of your music' aspect and somehow a lot of these made sense to me as they got answered.

1. Put your iPod, iTunes, Windows Media Player, etc. on shuffle.
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.

Blitzkrieg Bop - The Ramones

Stay Up Late - Talking Heads

You Can't Put Your Arm Around A Memory - Johnny Thunders

Cheer Up Sleepy Jean - The Monkeys

Superman's Song - Crash Test Dummies

I Know You By Heart - Eva Cassidy

Padded Cell - Pulley

Flirting - Jess Klein

Too Little Too Late - Barenaked Ladies

WHAT IS 2 + 2?
Egg - Mr. Bungle

Alone - Heart

The Rose - Bette Midler

That I Would Be Good - Alanis Morissette

You Mustn't Kick It Around - Erin McKeown

Fever For The Flava - Hot Action Cop

Vogue - Madonna

Jesse's Girl - Rick Springfield

Daughter - Pearl Jam

Bailamos - Enrique Iglesias

Life In A Northern Town - The Dream Academy

Orinoco Flow - Enya

Letting my subconscious do all the talking

Full circle and then some. That's where I am now or maybe not quite all the way round just yet. Hard to say from my point of view; back here where I went to get a new perspective. Just a little too far back to tell for sure. Either way, the road looks familiar, well traveled, and almost comfortable in a "this is something I know how to do" way.

Putting things back together is supposed to give you a chance to make it right or at least better. That would seem to be the idea. Learning, growing; is that what I'm doing or am I just telling myself that so I don't notice the rationalizations. I'm me, so I'm sure it's a little of both and I won't know which I've done more of until someone points it out to me.

Turning the camera inward, taking snapshots just enough out of focus to make it all clear when given only a passing glance. That would be how everything feels to me at the moment. How they've felt for months now. Building a jigsaw puzzle without a guide, using pieces from different boxes, and trimming bits when they don't quite fit. Despite the mess it seems to be forming it's my hope that from the outside, when I'm done, my efforts will turn out much like the works of Seurat; and perhaps look at least half as appealing to someone other than myself.

Just want to MUCK around

In search of a good/active MUSH/MUCK/MOO/etc... MUDs need not apply

If any of you all don't feel lost at the mention of the above words and know where I might find a good place to get my feet wet, again, let me know.

Many many years ago I was a regular on otherMUSH, but it would seem to have faded away in my absence, so much so that there are no traces left (that I can find). Now if I'm wrong and someone knows where to find it, I would love to move back into my electrical well. Alas, though, I believe it to be long since gone.

Also, if anyone can recommend a good client for Mac OS, that too would be appreciated. Not that I'm against the telnet command but managing scripts with copy/paste can be a real pain as I remember it.

Digging up the past, one text file at a time

I've been going through files on my computer; stuff that has followed me around for a long time. Some of these files started their existence on an Atari 520ST 20 years ago. Trippy but true.

A few of the files contain random clippings from conversations that took place over IRC, mostly on Undernet in the late 90's. One, in particular, has things I used as quit messages and late night channel topics. Things that after I typed them looked like they might be worth keeping. Reading them now I have to admit most of them weren't but a few aren't too bad.

This is one of my favorites.

"Built my bed of foolish dreams, empty hopes and silly things. Lay my head on a pillow of tears, kept warm by a blanket of fears."

According to the date stamp I put on it that came from May 02, 1998 at 0040 EDT. How's that for keeping track of things. If only notes were that good for everything. Oh well...

That is all. Maybe I'll post more later but probably not.

g'night everyone... whoever you are.

Stuff and Things, and Things and Stuff

Work had this annoying work like quality that I couldn't quite shake. Ended the night at the lead desk talking to people who just wouldn't take no for an answer. I told them no anyway because that's just what I do.

After work stopped in on the tail end of a friendly like person's pre-birthday gathering. There was BBQ and it was good. I think I missed all the fun but I caught the chill, so happiness happened.

Now I'm home and my kitty decided to grace me with her presence, as cats sometimes do.

Next is bed. Maybe now, maybe soon, but defiantly bed.

Getting back In the saddle

I haven't done any training, really, since teaching office procedure and register operations when I was working for Food Lion and it's been a long time since I've done instruction with a group. I forgot how hard it was to teach a room and not a subject. The frustrating part is that I have to 'dumb down' a lot of things to people that, by nature of where we are and that they are even there for me to be talking to, I should not need to.

Don't get me wrong, I don't blame them. I'm a geek, I'm an A/V geek at heart. I know most of what I know because I want to, not because I was required to for work. I blame training for not actually teaching these people what they need to understand their job.

It's a process; can't fix it all overnight. Being at the start of change means looking past what is to what can be, no, what will be. My supervisor would be so proud.

Blind leading the blind?

Apparently, the document that the little group I'm in at work was approved as today I and one other member of the group hosted our first refresher training class. Have another tomorrow. There are others scheduled over the next week or two and I'll be acting as instructor in a few of those as well it seems. Some of them are for days I'm not there or scheduled during my lunch break.

The schedule for tomorrow's class was given to me shortly before leaving, as well as the time that I'm allotted to be off the phone. On a plus note, I'm off the phone from the end of my first break until the start of my lunch. yay Also apparently one of the people in tomorrow's class is a lead. I'm not sure how I feel about teaching someone that's supposed to be over me but at the same time, this guy didn't do video support long (if at all) before becoming a lead so I can't fault him for not knowing much about it.

Towel Day 2008

I'm not sure if I should be worried or not.

I took my towel to work, as one would expect on Towel Day but despite it being rather large and very brightly colored, no one said a word, or even looked at me oddly. I'm not sure if it's a sign that I work with more Douglas Adams fans than I know or if everyone just thinks me so weird as to think nothing of seeing me carry around a really big bright towel for no apparent reason what so ever.

I'm noticing a pattern here

Second Sunday in a row I've been asked to fill in at the lead desk. One of the leads said they might have me do it every Sunday to cover for the meal breaks of two leads. With the number of people we have on the floor on Sunday night having three leads at any one time is probably a good idea.

Not sure how I got put in this position but it o'kay with me. A little change of pace. Don't really like taking escalation calls but I guess you have to take the bad with the good.

When it rains it pours and I forgot my slicker

So my old supervisor walks up to me today and says the following all in one breath "So I'm part of a group that will be reviewing the current video training and I recommended you to be part of it. I hope that's o'kay." Then tells me she'll let me know and walks off.

*blink* eh?

About two hours later I get an appointment request via Outlook asking if I'll attend a meeting tomorrow.

*blink* *blink* and again I say, eh?

Now don't get me wrong, I told my current supervisor that I wanted to sit in on a video training class and help rework the process. People coming up to the floor are so lost doing video, something has to change. I just didn't actually expect anyone to take me seriously. Certainly not this fast.


Assume the position

Last night at work, for the last hour of my shift, I was asked to sit at the lead desk while one of the two leads on duty went on their dinner break.

Not so sure what to think about it, actually. I think perhaps I'm just not used to the idea that some of the people I work with/for look at me as more than just another phone jockey. Or maybe I'm reading too much into it and I was just the most qualified phone jockey available at the moment. :)

Anyway, off today, off tomorrow, back Wednesday to the same ol' same ol'. Weeeee

It's all fun and games until someone gets promoted

Had my first meeting (all be it an informal one) with my new supervisor. His name is Charles, everyone calls him Chilly. I don't. Just seems weird. He's a decent guy from what I can tell. Just recently made supervisor. I think he's qualified.

In this meeting, he kept talking about 'doing things differently' and being a test bed for a new way of running teams. All fine and good, as some things really do need to change. Problem is the manager for my part of the call center is going to be watching him and what he's doing, thus what his team and so what I'm doing. I like being under the radar around there; this is not under the radar.

Now on a positive note, Charles says that he intends to try and make better use of my experience which could help lead me to other positions on the end. For now, though, it really just means more work without more pay, and getting noticed by people that I might not really want to get noticed by.

Such is life, I guess.

(mis)adventures in networking

To further my quest to see just how much I can make my poor old FreeBSD box do without falling over I have setup (and mostly have working) both PPTP VPN and Samba as a WINS server. Now the end goal is to make it so that connecting clients will be able to browse the shared drives/printers on the network, but so far only direct reference seems to be working. Not sure what I'm doing wrong but then it might just be a limitation of the built-in Mac OS X VPN client.

The only reason I set up Samba, really, was that supposedly having a WINS server would allow the browsing to happen but so far that doesn't seem to be cutting it. Though since I have it up I might try messing with LDAP based login authentication again. *shrug* Had it working once before for the BSD and Windows machines I had on the network but it's a bigger network now and I would be causing a possible issue for people that don't really need that kind of thing, so maybe not.

If anyone has any thoughts on what I might be doing wrong with the VPN and share browsing, do feel free to pipe up.

Also, I want to be able to route IPv6 traffic over the connection but I haven't even gotten rtadvd to send over the VPN connections yet, so that's a project for another day.

Why can't I have a normal hobby, like everyone else? No, wait, most of the people I talk to do networking for a hobby. Never mind. :)

A computer by any other IP...

Finished a network renumber tonight. Why? In preparation for another project that I'll be starting soon.

After a few minor hiccups (forgetting to update the default gateway in the dhcpd.conf is minor, right?) everything is back to normal. Actually fixed a few things along the way. Lease file is filling up with new info and all seems to be right with the world again.

Bits and pieces, stuff and things

Not sure what I'm writing about, really. Just sitting here, awake and none of the people that I would usually talk to are online so here I am with words and nowhere to put them.

My network has all but settled down to where I want it. Every machine that is IPv6 capable has it working, still need to work out one or two upgrades but a lot of backup needs to be done first, so all in good time. Have some firewall work to do still on server type boxen, but nothing much is even open on them, so not all that worried anyway. Need to find an IPv6 port scanner that I can run from outside of my network (ie: from a website or something) so I can see what my network looks like from the outside.

I'm bored out of my mind most of the time anymore. Not just work but in general. I try to find things to keep me busy/entertained, but no go most of the time. I don't even know what to do about it anymore. I would like to think that it's just me trying to get used to being alone again. I know how to hang out with me, though, so that's not it. Maybe it's just being lonely more than alone. *shrug* That is something I never could get used to no matter how hard I tried.

Trying to get back in touch with people I haven't talked to in a long time. Found a few, re-established more frequent communications with others. Also working at making friends with someone I've only recently got to meet. Still feel lonely... guess maybe it's just how I'm looking at it, but then that's what matters isn't it?

I think I should get some sleep now; nothing good can come from this mood being allowed to stay awake, especially with a keyboard in front of me.

Moving on up... ?

After over a year on the call floor, I was finally asked to be a roamer (suicide watch for new hires) for the last hour or so of my shift. My last supervisor kept saying that he would make sure things like that happened but it never did. He was my sup for about a year. My new sup has only been so for just over a month... go new sup!

I don't know if it's a big deal, or not, really but it is the first step to being a Lead Assist, and then eventually a Lead. Which if I stay in my department there aren't a lot of other options for advancement.

It was a good hour off the phone and I actually do like helping people, which is why I do what I do. So it's all good.

Just a shame it took so long.

128 bits, all in a row, looking for which way to go

Well after a few brain melting days of rereading on routing and subnets and all that I asked a straightforward question, got given the most polite RTFM in my life and well I did, again, and somehow this time it made sense.

My poor lone IPv6 tunnel is now hosting my happy little subnet. I still have some tinkering to do to work out security on the FreeBSD machine that is acting as the router and then there's the whole idea of using DHCP to assign specific IPs, and don't even get me started on reverse DNS. It's working; so far I've verified one XP machine and one OS X machine, the others should work too I would think, but we'll see. For now, I have the two machines I really care about working correctly working, the rest I don't use and so they can get done as time allows.

I feel better; this was really kicking my ass, and I'm glad that I finally beat it.

It's been way too long since I've done this kind of thing, I'm out of practice.

Double your address length, double your fun...

To continue my geek-fest I now have a working IPv6 address and a tunnel to use it with. The end goal is to have every capable machine in the house on the tunnel, but one thing at a time. Right?

Why? I don't know, I've just been doing things lately with this 'out of nowhere' drive. Unlike usual when I get in the mood to do something lately I've been doing the hell out of it, instead of my usual good enough is good enough way of doing things.

I don't know why but I've got a nifty new toy to play with, and found someone that I haven't talked to in 10 years so far. We'll see what comes next.

For now, it's bedtime I think.

Nighty night peoples.

p.s. Yes, I know it's actually 4x longer, but that just wouldn't have sounded as good.

Counting 1... 2... 3...

I made a short trip tonight to see, well a friend I guess, I'm not really sure what to call them at the moment. They had a bad end to an unpleasant day at work and just seemed to need some cheering up. I don't know if my stopping by helped or not, but I like to think that it did.

Well it got me to thinking, there was a time when I would have had to put real thought into counting the number of people that I spend any time with, not so much because I had a large number of friends really but because the friends I did have had a large group of friends which I was made a part of. Well for years I only had one person outside of blood relatives that I saw outside of the people I work with/for, now I would seem to have two.

What got me to wondering is was I happier when I had an uncountable number, or when I could count on one hand?

I think that while I might be more lonely now in general, seeing the two people I do see now makes me happier than seeing any number of those I saw all those years ago when I couldn't count them on all the digits I have.

I guess it's really more about quality than quantity.

Breaking the law... or something

I got asked to do this, so it's not my fault. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

I'm supposed to write a blog with ten weird, random things, little-known facts or habits about myself. I'm also supposed to tag 10 people to do this too, I'm not gonna do that part.

1: Last year, for the first time in my life, I weighed over 200lbs. I have, as of a few weeks ago, fallen back below that and am still in an effort to get my stomach back in place.

2: My favorite Winnie the Pooh character is Eeyore, though I suppose that isn't going to be a shock to some, just not something I share with many people.

3: My eyes change color at different rates so one will be one color and one another for a short time. A select few have seen them as what has been described as 'translucent blue'. I have never actually seen them this color.

4: There is only one person I have ever fallen in love with that I don't still hold some kind of feelings for; my ex-wife.

5: I hold out my little finger when picking up any glass to drink from it. I have done this for as long as I can remember.

6: I've never learned to type, yet almost every job that I've ever had has required that I do it.

7: Locks don't work properly in my dreams but then neither does gravity.

8: A person's natural scent is more appealing to me than any fragrance I've ever smelled on anyone. I can usually tell if I'll get along with someone if I can get close enough to smell them.

9: I hate lists, all lists (even this list). I am not a list maker. I'm against lists, which is probably why I'm not very organized as a whole.

10: I always thought that writing assignments in school were thinly veiled attempts to perform psychological evaluations on the student body to see which ones of us were going to try and blow up the school. Now it seems I just got out of school too soon to be right.