Silence Is Golden

I've lost my voice. It's gone. bubye. As a fervent talker this is worse than torture, as best I can tell, no one else I know seems to mind!

On Saturday morning I awoke with a sore throat and a very very bad feeling. I could barely talk. It came out is a screeching whine that was quite less than pleasant. My wife beam.

"Sweetie. You should rest your voice."
"Seriously. No more talking."

I nodded. Little did I know at the time, she was as happy as a peach!

We spent the day driving around town enjoying our day off. She was talking up a storm, asking me questions that I couldn't answer making decisions like a seasoned professional.

Lunch was the perfect example.

"I want to go out the coast and get clam chowder."
"..." I raise my eyebrow. "We-"
"Save your voice sweetie!"

It was a beautiful day at the ocean! All overcast and drizzly, with the rays of the sun breaking through in odd places. Reminded me of Star Trek the Voyage Home when an alien probe was ionizing Earths oceans in an attempt to find evidence of the humpback whales. As I was lost in this unusual thought my lovely bride was also looking into the bay and stated

"I wish a shark would swim in a devour a sea lion. That would be awesome!"
"..." What in the world?! I thought I was crazy.

"Hello. Are you two ready to order"
I nodded
"I'll order for both of us, he's sick."
I cock my head in protest
"We'll both have the clam chowder and side salad. He'll have herbal tea with honey and I'll have a coke."
"Save you voice sweetie!"

And then I saw it. The sinister grin. THERE IT WAS. She was loving this! The loud mouth was muted and the whisper was in charge! Lemon herbal tea with honey is one of the nastiest flavors I've ever tasted.

Anyway... it's been 5 days and still my voice is cracking. I'm not sure how much longer, but one thing is certain. Patricia doesn't seem to care!

The Software Installation Game

Why is it that installing software on a server is always the same game? For me it doesn't matter if it's Windows or Linux either. It never goes quite like it should. I suppose that's half the fun...

  • Download said software or insert media

  • Windows: Double-click annoying splash screen with install button that just took 2 minutes to load

  • Linux: tar -xfvz to a temp directory and watch the pretty scrolling files

  • Windows: Still waiting for install button to do something

  • Linux: ./configure.

  • Windows: Click install button again.

  • Linux: configure: error: no acceptable gcc found in $PATH....

  • Windows: Close out three instances of installer that you've launched.

  • Linux: sudo yum install "every conceivable dependency for new software"

  • Windows: Next.

  • Linux: ./configure. Doze off to scrolling code...

  • Windows: Next.

  • Linux: ./make Get coffee. Go to the restroom. get lunch.

  • Windows: Next.

  • Linux: ./make install Get more coffee. Go to the restroom again. pick gunk under fingernails.

  • Windows: Accept, Next.

  • Linux: Finally read INSTALL. "Software will not run with syslog-ng"

  • Windows: Finish. Launch application.

  • Linux: rm -Rf /usr/local/newsoftware

  • Windows: Fatal exception error. BSOD

  • Yet another productive day!
  • 20 Things I Learned From The Sales Meeting

  • I doesn't have to work, as long as it's pretty

  • Welcome to the meeting. Let the lies begin.

  • PowerPoint is proof of functionality

  • #15 in sales handbook: "If you're not positive, 'Yes it does that!'"

  • No sales meeting is complete without a Paradigm Shift.

  • Sales Engineers. The ugly truthful side of the sales teams. "My SE is sick...don't mind him."

  • Free pens and coffee cups. The real reason we go to sales meetings.

  • When pitching to a network engineer, "This product keeps the bad things out" might need to be expanded on.

  • Why do I continue to ask questions when I know there are no straight answers?

  • #45 in sales handbook: "When cornered use the phrase 'Heuristic learning software aptitude'" and continue.

  • "Are there pie chart generated reports?" The question your manager asks.

  • When in doubt, don't clarify, confuse. See #5

  • The inevitable question from the clients "When is SP1 coming out?"

  • In sales pitches there is no mention of CPU or memory or bandwidth usage.

  • Me: "How much bandwidth?" Sales Guy: "I think it needs at least a 128k circuit!"

  • The upgrade to 11.03 solves the problems created in 11.02. 11.04 creates troubles we will not be able to resolve until you upgrade to 12.0.

  • Why is it you haven't upgraded from 11.01 again?

  • Sports analogies don't fly in a room full of geeks. "What's a forward lateral?"

  • The best part of the sales meeting is the adjournment!
  • Regarding Facebook

    I Facebook, like others, but it still lets me down. It just feels so...less. Do you know what I mean? I love blogging. It's fun to share, and there is something so personal about an individual sharing their brain with you. Most of the stuff shared here is rather trite, but I assure you it is who I am.

    Early into the start if my blog, back in 2006, I decided that all my post should be between 400 and 500 words. Besides lists, demotivators and poems many still are. It helps to make sure a concept is covered in my mind. Point? When you sit down to share something, is it not worth taking a bit of time to discuss it? I found that I could crank out 400 words in about twenty minutes or so. It takes most people about two to three minutes to read and another 5 to interpret my numerous spelling and grammatical errors into a cohesive thought.

    Facebook is so the opposite. It seems that a thought out post on Facebook is about as normal as a talking chimpanzee in a robe (sorry guys..)

    For example I give you one of my many pointless status updates.

    "Peter is Peter Brown On hold with Symantec listening to Dionne Warwick. The system just assured me that, "The customer holding the longest has been on the line less than 79 minutes" What a relief..."

    I mean who cares? I could just as well substitute with the obvious.

    "Peter is Fishing for a comment."

    I'm not downing Facebook so much as explaining that it's so not me. Facebook is fine, but not very interesting to me personally. So, I try to make it fun for me by posting stupid status updates. For me it helps to make the onsluaught of photo glurge, dining updates, flair exchange, superpokes, game awards and TV spoilers more palatable. Example?

    "Peter is Thinking about Cheeseballs"

    Response? "Lucas likes Peters cheesballs" The like button. When the 3 second effort of typing "I like them too." is simply too much work! :) I guess if you have a ton of people you need to acknowledge everyday, then you wouldn't have that much time.

    "I have 512 friends!"
    "I have 30, and I'm thinking about deleting some..."

    Seriously I have 30 friends. This is actually a lot more people than I actually know. To be honest, I sometimes drop people that I never talk with. What is the point of having a friend if we never talk? I know that friend collecting is very popular, but I'm just not that personal I suppose. I have about 3 close friends and about 10 folks I would call loose friends. I like them, and I'd hang out with them without hesitation, but if go 6 months without seeing them neither of us would suffer.

    My point? Did I have one? Yes it's simply this. Facebook, I don't hate it, but somedays I'd sure like to.

    Bumper Sticker Car

    I've succumbed. I've caved. I'm now that guy. The bumpersticker guy. I've seen lots of bumperstickers in my life. Some are funny or political or fervent or selling you something you don't even care about. Some are ranting, belittling and rude. Others are just a tag, like I'm Irish, I like Shih Tzu, my kids brighter than your kid, or I let Calvin pee on other cars. Or my personal favorite, "I don't like computers so I paid too much for this Apple, but they gave me a free sticker." You know, stuff like that.

    For the most part I like the funny ones. What do I care if you visited glacier national park? Don't get me wrong, I'm happy for you but... why tell me? What am I suppose to do, cheer back here behind you? Clap? I sometimes bring my lips in together in that fake clown like smile and nod my head. Is that enough appreciation for how much the sticker cost? I mean, I went to Petaluma Ca for Buffalo wings last week. Honestly does anyone want to know? I doubt it.

    "He's from Great Britian! Honk the horn"
    "No! Why?!"
    "I have a great aunt from England. Honk the horn I want to wave at him!!"

    Seems to me that bumperstickers serve one purpose. That is to give the person behind me something to look at and ponder. Either like,

    "That dude supported that creep!? Unbelievable!"
    "Brace yourself kids, dads in ramming mode..."
    "Not again! AHHA!"

    Or maybe a puzzle one,

    "No all who wander are lost. What the hell does that mean.."
    "It's from -"
    "No no! Don't tell me! I want to figure it out."

    Regardless of the reason, I have gone from being a pristinely unbumperstickered car (made up a new word just now!) to one with a figurine of St. Anthony, the patron St. of bacon, firmly adhereed to my dash and two new bumperstickers on the tailgate.

    As I get free cafepress money from time to time, I opted for my own designs a "Not Albino Geek" sticker and a "Runs With Power Tools" sticker. My wife is sufficiently supportive and yet equally tense that my new sticker collection tailgate might draw unwelcomed (made up another new word) attention...

    Unwelcomed attention? What's that?

    More Death Less Caffeine

    What the hell? First my sendmail box is axed and now my coffee maker kicks the bucket. I mean sure we can manage with a windows box taking over for smtp functions. We've all adjusted to meaningless event log entries, stupid glurge icons and pointless clicking through Microsoft menus, but my coffee pot! How much can one man endure!

    My wife wakes me up the other morning.

    "Hon, the coffee pot won't turn on."
    "Sigh. Okay, that wasn't funny!"
    "Well it wasn't working but now it- no. wait."
    "No. It's off again."
    "Peter? Are you sobbing over a coffee maker?"

    In many ways that coffee maker has shown me more love than most things in my life. It was always there for me. Always cheerful and completely dedicated. No whining, complaining or fiddling. You add some water, grounds and flip a switch. Minutes later, you get coffee. Hello, here's for a little constancy in the life of a working man!

    "It's 8:00 in the morning. I need coffee."
    "It's 2:30 in the afternoon. I need coffee."
    "It's 1:15 in the morning. I need coffee."
    "I love you."
    "Peter are you hugging the coffee pot?"
    "What?! Oh- Hey hon."
    "When was the last time you showed me that much appreciation?"
    "Maybe if you had a 12 cup carafe, charcoal filter and delayed brew feature..."

    Anyway, for the last 7 years or so my coffee maker has been dedicated to my happiness. So I though a memorial was in order.

    "Where's the coffee maker?"
    "I threw it out. It was broken"
    "Oh. I was going to say a few words."
    "Give me a break Peter..."

    So three days without coffee is enough morning for anyone. Today is replacement day. Here's to another 7 seven years of coffee maker indentured servitude!