Trying to think of something witty.

Location: Oregon, United States

Here is why I put my long(er) ramblings, well, at least the stuff I pretend the think about BEFORE posting. Here is my primary site.

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Are you willing to give up your fries?

I have been a step dad for 9 1/2 years now (8 1/2 years officially) and a dad for almost 6 years. (Just for the record, no, there is no inherent difference.) Over the years, I have thought about what it means to be a dad.

Let's face it, as a dad, you will be confronted with many things, sometimes things that would normally disgust you, dirty diapers, spit-up, vomit. Then there is the lost sleep, the many hours of worry when they are sick, the fact that your responsability does not disappear when you are sick.

I have decided there are some tests to see if you are ready to be a dad or not? Don't worry if you are not sure of your answers right now.

Will you change dirty diapers?

This first test is the most basic. Will you change the dirty diapers. I have known some fathers who wouldn't, or couldn't do this. This is not just the "I don't know how," but the "I'm getting sick," situation. If you don't know how, learn. If you think you will be sick, I'm sorry, but this is part of the responsability of being a dad.

How will you react to being thrown up on?

As a dad, you will have children throw up in bed, in the bathroom (in sinks, in toilets, and/or on the floor), around you, and on you.

My little boy had been sick for a few days, but was starting to get better. Now remember, when a infant is "starting to get better" means that are not projectile vomiting as much, but some can still happen. I had just had a 16 hour day at work. I get home, and my little boy wants me to hold him, so I pick him up. He lays his head on my shoulder, and proceeds to throw-up all over my neck, shoulder, and chest, with a lot down the shirt for good measure.

What do you do in this situation? You keep calm. Remember, the little one is more scared and upset than you can ever be. I asked my wife to get some bath water ready, while I held the boy and tried to console him. As soon as there was water in the tub, he went in to get cleaned up first, and the shirt came off for a good rinsing then washing. After he was cleaned, I could then get cleaned up.

(as a side note; the shirt did not survive the ordeal)

Finally, here is one just recently, which prompted my writing this.

Are you willing to give up your fries?

My wife and I decided to get food for me and our boy from Wendy's, we called the girls and they wanted Arby's, which was just down the street. Since our son likes Arby's curly fries, we decided to skip the fries for him at Wendy's. So, once we have our food and are on the way to Arby's, we give him his nuggets, and he starts asking "please?" This means he wants some fries also. We tell him we are going to get him curly fries. Once we are finished at Arby's, we give him some curly fries. His pushes the curly fries away, and starts asking "please" again. This is no ordinary please, but like "help please' as said by Leeloo from the 5th Element. After a little of this, I reach into the bag, get my fries, and hand them to him.

This is what a dad does, he gives up his fries to his children.

Good luck to all of you fathers out there.

Friday, December 29, 2006


My best friend just had a little boy. Well, it was actually his wife, but he played a big part in it also.

Times like this make me miss not being closer.

It is hard to keep up with friends when they are 2,500 driving miles away. Then again, being just a dozen or so miles away might as well be across the country sometimes.

For a while before we moved, we had limited contact with our friends. Problem was that we had children, and one with autism, while all of our friends did not. That is a strain because our needs and abilities were not the same. If they wanted to go to the movies, they could decide to do so something like the day before, or even that day. We, however, needed at least half a week to schedule a baby-sitter, and even that was not always possible.

So we drifted apart. Limited time, limited options when the time was available, and lives moving in different directions took it's toll.

I miss them immensely. I wish I could be there with them. No matter what happens, they will always be my friends.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Supplemental Questions

When I first started applying for positions in Eugene, Oregon, I found that everyone has this weird practice of including what they called "Supplemental Questions." This is supposed to be the usual scenario questions to get your response, or to see what direct experience you've had.

Personally, these things freaked me out. On one hand, I wanted to provide enough detail and information, good and bad, to show the experience I actually had. However, I was concerned that they would look at them with the view that you were skewing the truth as much as possible, so if something looked great, it was just OK, and if something looked normal, then it must have been way screwed up.

Lately, I was looking at the supplemental questions for a position and I couldn't even begin figuring out what to write down. Finally, while riding the bus one morning, I started thinking of humorous responses. So, here they are.

1. Describe your experiences with and approach to installing software on high-performance computing systems.

First, start with a clean backup media, so go ahead and erase the most recent backup for an almost-like-new media.

Now you need to download the software you want. Stay away from source code, that stuff will hurt you. If you are using Linux, then go with RPM, even if you are not using an RPM-based distro, most come with a program to let you install RPM packages. If you are using Windows, then you can easily find an EXE installer from a warez site.

Next is the install, for Windows it is pretty easy, just install and go. For Linux, you may have to do some updating and whatnot. The only thing to remember is rpm -i –force –nodeps will make life go so much faster.

Now, you rm -rf any previous versions of the application, start your backup routine, and call it an early lunch.

2. What protocol would you follow handle a hardware problem on a computer system?

There are no hardware problems, it is all just lies spread by the liberal media.

3. Describe your experiences ordering software and hardware products.

I have exhaustive experience ordering software and hardware products. I have screamed at them, negotiated, begged, threatened, and cajoled. I have found that bribery works well, especially if you are bribing with 120V AC power. However, this only gets the system started, and does not guarantee that it will do what you want after that.

4. This position provides support for users of the ICONIC Grid. Describe experience that demonstrates your ability to communicate project status and progress effectively with individuals from diverse backgrounds and cultures.

If you think a project will take a week, tell everyone it will be ready tomorrow, this gives them a sense of hope. Tomorrow, just come up with some elaborate reason why it isn't working. The next day, blame someone else, then blame the end user for not conveying their needs properly or for not understanding what is going on. Finally, when it is ready, you can boastfully tell everyone that “I told you so.”

5. Which computer systems and operating systems have you administered and for how long? In particular, describe your experience with Unix based systems.

I have never worked with eunuchs, and I don't plan on it. Those guys freak me out!

6. Describe your experience with storage systems. What types of storage systems (NAS, SAN, ...) are you capable of administering?

I can make amazing use of a four drawer filing cabinet.

7. List the different systems administration tools you have experience in using? What other tools do you know that will be useful in the position?

I like hammers and baseball bats. Pretty much anything that can provide blunt trauma to equipment is very helpful.

8. Describe your network administration experience.

In my time as a Network Administrator, I have found three truths;
1) user are whiney. I'm talking worse than Luke Skywalker whiney. They complain when the network is down, when their application won't run, when the server loses their emails, or even when I relay 120V AC to their chair through the phone to provide electric shocks whenever they dial user support.
2) equipment is expensive. Really, nothing sucks the life out of a budget faster than hardware. Therefore, any hardware purchases should be chosen based on what it gets the administrator. This can include freebies like iPods or trips.
3) software is expensive, and really good software is really expensive. Face it, the more expensive software is, the better it is. Windows 95 sold for less than $100, Windows 98 for a little more then $100, XP sold up around $200 and Vista is going to cost the same as a small car. See, each version was way better than the last, and the cost went up with it. Some people may talk about open source or free beer software, but face it, if the software was worth anything, it would cost money. Simply put, the best software would cost thousands per license, and would require a separate license for every key on the keyboard.