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12/30/1999 -- "got plans for New Years?"

My divorce is over now; really, it's pretty much been over for a year or so, with minor uphevals as time went on, but it didn't feel over because of the anticipation of something worse to come. The something worse hasn't happenned.

Now that New Years Eve is here, I notice the result of part of the divorce fallout that had gone unnoticed, covered up by fears of mistreatment of my daughter at my ex's hands, worries about how to afford living expenses, and the general driving forces in my life, moving me from day to day as best I can.

I don't have any friends.

It sounds tragic, and you may imagine me saying it while getting teary, turning away to act like I have something in my eye, but it's not that bad. The reasons that it happened are completely valid, and is part of how I got to where I am. Continue reading…

12/8/1999 -- Thin clients? Thick clients?

Thinking out of the box is a good thing. I'm not completely capable of that, though. Everyone seems to think I'm a computer expert; if something's wrong with their computer, Derek has an idea of what's wrong, and how to fix it. The problem is, I'm not always right (but I'm getting better), and I don't come up with anything more than your average computer-repair-shop person could. I prefer to consider myself an "uberuser." What I exceed at in the world of computers is using computers. I don't design them well, I don't configure Cisco routers, I'm not a U*IX guru, and I've never touched a Novell server. When confronted with a problem regarding the applicability of computers, when put in front of an average user, I'm first to step forward and take command. This gets me respect of supervisors, who think my computer parlor tricks as far-flung tidbits of computer knowledge, and it fills the void beneath the knowledge of the average IS person, whose primary responsibility is making sure today's 1,538 e-mail messages make it through without delay or keeping track of the maze of network cables, hubs, and NICs which make up the nervous system of the company. Continue reading…

12/4/1999 Being known for something

It's strange what a person gets known for. There are people out there who are famous for one reason or another. Most famous people have several things going for them: a certain look, acting talent, singing talent, political aspirations, an interesting social life. The truly famous have several of the above, and it trickles down until you encounter the people who only have a semi-remarkable characteristic, and little else. You end up with the people that own the Biggest Ball of Twine in the world, the lady with the most lawn ornaments in town, the guy who shot the deer that had 2 pairs of antlers on it's head, and you encounter me.

My identifying feature is a pair of glasses. As far as I know, I'm the only person in the world who has worn pince-nez glasses in the last several decades. I've always had an affinity for antiques and thrift shopping, and about 5 years ago I picked up 2 pair of pince nez frames at an antique shop. One pair seemed to be over 100 years old (and was exceedingly uncomfortable), and the other was more modern, "standard" pair. Being handy, I took the lenses from an old pair of glasses, cut them down on a bandsaw, sanded the edges, and fit them to the frames. That pair was lost or stolen, so I picked up a new pair and had them professionally done. That frame broke, so I bought my third frame (a Shur-On, plated in 10K gold) and installed the lenses from the last pair myself. I now have a 4th frame as a spare, just in case. I've never been able to find a definitive answer on where the chain on the right side goes, but my solution was to attach it to a cuff and clip it to my ear. All together, it's a pretty slick pair of glasses, I find them exceedingly comfortable, and people seem to like them on me. Continue reading…

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