Monthly Archives: November 2004

Cyclic Mindset

After a couple of fun and enjoyable Thanksgiving celebrations, I’ve dropped back into my funk. I’ve seen tons of theories on how our body and personality goes through cycles of various lengths, so I figure I must be at the ass-end of all of my cycles right now. I’m tired, cranky, and have like, zero patience. These things are all great traits to posess when you’re dealing with less than patient customers, which are often less than technically competent as well. It’s also detrimental when you have a puppy that’s following you around like, well, a puppy, constantly craving attention. I’ve never dealt well with ‘clingy’ things, be it people, animals, or objects. I need space, especially when I’m in moods like this. Having a dog yapping for attention every two minutes defintely doesn’t bode well for my space requirement. It also doesn’t help when you’re greeted to a ringing phone the instant you clock in on a monday morning, with a person complaining about your personal workplace nemesis – email problems. Yes, email is nice and convenient, but people, please realize that you can live for a few hours without email. The first email call was bad enough, but the next two calls in a row were both about email. The other ten or so calls about email totally pissed me off, and that mood didn’t really lift until this afternoon. Grr.

Not much else to talk about… I’ve beat Half-Life 2 a couple of times, and the ending is kinda of anti-climactic. I’ve been renewing my relationship with Counter-Strike though, which is good and bad. I was pretty much addicted to CS for a long time, and only since I’ve moved up to Lansing have I really stopped playing it. Well, the newest version of CS based on the Source (HL2) engine, and it’s really sweet, so I’m playing again. Oh well. The fact that I need to set up my laptop to play keeps me from playing too often. I’m also trying to quit Mountain Dew again. I kicked that habit for a few months last summer, but then I worked my first midnight shift. My triumph turned to tragedy and I had relapse. Hopefully I can kick it again. I’ve been clean for two days!

My dad sent me this image the other day, and I had a good laugh over it. Hopefully you will too.

funny picture

Scientists from the RAND Corporation have created this model to illustrate how a “home computer” could look like in the year 2004. However the needed technology will not be economially feasible for the average home. Also the scientists readily admit that the computer will require not yet invented technology to actually work, but 50 years from now scientific progress is expected to solve these problems. With teletype interface and the Fortran language, the computer will be easy to use.

/me coughs

Here I am again, “overdue” for a post, but I really don’t have all that much to say. Work has been ok for the most part, except for thursday. I had traded up Greg for the 4pm-12 shift since he had something to take care of that evening. When I came in Steven was pretty bent over some things, and the whole office was kinda grumpy. Crappy day I guess. One of the servers was acting up, and it was determined eventually that there was some faulty hardware. It had acted up before, so I thought it best that the old machine be retired in lieu of brand new hardware, just to make sure that the problems didn’t continue. Building the new server went pretty quickly dispite the fact that the phones were ringing pretty regularly, but the data transfer certainly did not. It turns out that the main hard drive was the faulty part of the old system, and it caused the transfer to crawl. About 3 hours into it, I did the math, and projected that the transfer would take about 30 hours. Definitely not acceptable, so I decided to restore from the previous day’s backups instead of trying to salvage the current data. Restoring the backup data still took a while, but it was a lot quicker than the original data. When my field triage was complete and I was ready to put the server back on the rack, I sat down to clean out the ARP cache of the core switch that server is plugged into, I noticed my monitoring system going haywire. I put the server back on the rack and took a peek at the monitoring server, and the main hard drive appeared to be dead. It was already like 5am at that point, and I didn’t feel like dealing with anything else, so I just went home and fixed it on friday. The drive wasn’t really dead, but it is certainly acting weird. I’ll have to keep an eye on it. One cool thing happened thursday… I was able to fix my monitor, which had crapped out on me a few days previous. It turns out that it was just a couple of cracked solder leads leading out of the power plug to the rest of the circuitry in the monitor, and gobbing some more solder across the broken area fixed things up fine. I was kinda surprised at the reaction I got from the guys at work… they seemed super impressed at the fact I had fixed it, even though it was a very simple fix. It was a 10 minute job, and about 8 minutes of that was waiting for the soldering iron to heat up.

Thanks to a couple guys at work being sick, I’ve got another one of my coughs. They always do a pretty good job of making me miserable, and this one is no exception. My abdominal muscles get worked so hard when I cough that I probably do the equivalent work of two or three situps each time I cough. I should market this to all the smokers of the world… “Cough your way to fitness with Mike Neir! No longer do you have to waste your time with those OTHER workout plans! Now you can kill yourself and prolong your life at the same time!” Hmm… maybe not. They also give me wicked headaches when I have a good coughing spat; headaches that pain medications don’t fix. I actially left work early on wednesday due to the headache that I had worked up. Sleeping doesn’t work out too well either since whatever is in my lungs tends to shift around, causing endless coughing fits. And to think… this will probably only be going on for another two or three weeks. I can’t wait.

Another cool thing happened this week I suppose… Half-Life 2 was released. It is officially the hottest game ever. Doom 3 is graphically stunning, and scares the shit out of me when I play it, but HL2 is a much more complete package overall. The graphic detail is stunning, but what may be even cooler than that is the physics engine. Things pretty much behave how they would in the real world, which isn’t always easy to replicate in a game. Wood splinters and floats on water, rocks sink. and even more impressive, the human (and unhuman) forms in the game act and react realistically too. I had a few long gaming sessions this week and I was able to beat it on easy mode, where simply looking at the bad guys really hard seems to kill them. I’ll play again on a harder skill level, and I’m sure I won’t have as easy a time of it. For now, here is a screenshot of the game showing the game’s female sidekick and some extras as well.

HL2 hotness

Yes, I’m still alive…

Rumors of my demise are greatly overstated. I've had a couple people comment on the fact that it's been nearly two weeks since I posted something, and well, they're right. I mentioned to one of said people that there hasn't really been much going on worth discussing, but later I recanted and said that there are things going on, but that I just don't really feel like discussing anything right now. I'm not sure whether it's because winter's kicking in again and I freakin' hate the winter, or the fact that we're doomed to suffer another four years with an idiot president at the helm of our country, or the fact that it's been busy at work lately, leading most of us to get pulled in many different directions constantly, making it damn near impossible to get stuff done every day, or perhaps it's because I still sit here at home at a computer for countless hours after sitting on a computer for countless hours at work, basically taking breaks only to play the same old crap on the guitar. Whatever it is, I just don't really feel like posting much these days.

I think I just need a spark so that the flames of something new can be lit. My life is in such a set routine, and it hardly changes. Wake up, go to work, proceed with various customer annoyances, come home. Sit at computer, play guitar, be lonely. Go to bed, Repeat. Something needs to change.

I suppose I should talk about the Slayer show I saw the other night with Matt, since it was a pretty sweet show. It was down at Harpos in Detroit, and Harpos was hopping. I couldn't believe how many people were there. Crazy insane skinhead psycho types were all abound. The first opening band, Mastodon, was pretty sweet, and I would definitely buy a CD of theirs in the future if I were to find one. The second band, Killswitch Engage, was ok, but I wasn't as impressed with them as I was Mastodon. Just not really my type I guess. Slayer was freakin awesome. Never before have I seen a crowd so active at a metal show. The mosh pits were so active that they would consume entire halves of the floor, which is good if you're in it, not as good if you're trying to stay out of it. Keeping a stable footing proved difficult at times. Regardless, they rocked the house, and it was worth the drive. The ticket was like $35 after all the bullshit TicketMaster convenience charges though, which is total crap. No show at Harpos should be over $20, ever.