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Journal: Another year? Another life. 1

Journal by LordAlexander

Well, I've done it. I've survived to 30 years of age.

Such an incomprehensible amount of time. I can remember looking around me in elementary school, and seeing the adults walk by. To me they were members of another species of man, if they truly were man, at all. And, now, I can't deny any longer that I am one of them. The self that was me at age 9 is truly gone. Or, is he dead? It's very hard to see even his shadow, from this perspective. Maybe he never existed at all, and I was always this adult being.

Memory plays such tricks on me, as I get older. I am truly unsure of the truth in the memories I have of the past. As time flows away, truth and falsehood seem to blend into a kind of mud of shared history, opinion, and self-deceit. I now understand what is meant, when it is stated that history is written by the victors. It is not, for the most part, a deliberate creating of a history to paint past actions in a certain light...it is the product of the flawed rememberances of those who survived the experience.

All this does make me wonder exactly who James Alexander Jacocks truly is. I have always thought that a person is the sum total of all his thoughts and actions, throughout his life. But, if history is so malleable, so unsure, what sort of valid information is gained by totaling it up?

The only thing that is concrete is myself, here and now. Yesterday was a fairy tale, tomorrow a dream. Maybe I was re-created in my own image, when I dreamed, last night. Or maybe, last night was the true reality, and this is only a faint echo of my true self.

I suppose that there is no absolute truth to be had. There is no one to look down at me from far above, and give the completely unassailable truths that only a parent can give to a child.

The shadow of the child that I might once have been still longs for them.

User Journal

Journal: I love stealing online tests from others...

Journal by LordAlexander
I Am A: Chaotic Good Half-OrcFighter Ranger

Alignment:
Chaotic Good characters are independent types with a strong belief in the value of goodness. They have little use for governments and other forces of order, and will generally do their own things, without heed to such groups.

Race:
Half-Orcs are a cross between a human and an orc. Generally, this kind of mating does not occur willingly, so half-orcs are almost never raised by a full set of parents. They tend to be less intelligent and attractive than humans, but are generally stronger and hardier. Violence is a part of their nature, and few half-orcs manage to overcome this to follow other professions. They are generally treated with disdain by other races, if not outright hostility.

Primary Class:
Fighters are the warriors. They use weapons to accomplish their goals. This isn't to say that they aren't intelligent, but that they do, in fact, believe that violence is frequently the answer.

Secondary Class:
Rangers are the defenders of nature and the elements. They are in tune with the Earth, and work to keep it safe and healthy.

Deity:
Tymora is the Chaotic Good goddess of luck and good fortune. She is also known as Lady Luck, and also Tyche's fair-tressed daughter. Followers of Tymora believe in the tenent that, 'Fortune Favors the Bold,' and will throw caution to the wind and trust to luck to work things out for the best. Tymora's symbol is an unmarked silver disk.

Find out What D&D Character Are You?, courtesy of NeppyMan (e-mail)
User Journal

Journal: The Concept of a Friend 1

Journal by LordAlexander

I dunno if it's just me, but it appears to be far harder to find people interested in true friendship as I get older. I don't imply that people aren't _friendly_, or any such...actually, many more people are friendly to me now, than when I was young. But, the level of commitment that people are willing to put into a friendship seems to decline. For instance, I have a guy who still calls himself my best friend, who I have not seen in person for over a year. He managed to call me on the phone one time during that period. To me, that's not even basic friend level of commitment.

Maybe it's because most people are thinking of marriage at my age...maybe I'm just expecting more, and analyzing my "friends" more deeply. Maybe I just value friendship more than others do. Personally, I have 3 friends that live in different parts of the country from me, and I try to go to visit at least one per year, and usualy talk to each on the phone at least one time per month. That really doesn't seem to me to be too much to ask.

I've tried to befriend several coworkers, at several different places of employment. Most seem willing to talk about future get-togethers, and to plan group outings, and the like. However, the implementation of such things is decidedly more difficult.

My current take on things is that it must be me. Everyone that I mention this too seems to think that I'm nuts, and that this is the natural way of things.

Just don't seem right to me.

User Journal

Journal: A new year?

Journal by LordAlexander

Wow...2005 was truly a hell of a year for me.

I have been titled a Senior Administrator for several years now, based on my years of experience. However, in 2005, I really had to show some leadership of others. For most people, that wouldn't be a big deal. However, given my complete lack of understanding for any other human being, it's really a stretch for me. I suppose that it does make me feel that I am capable of growth as a person, but it hasn't given me any liking for management jobs.

Also in '05, I bought the car of my dreams, a 2000 BMW M5. This was a really big thing for me, since I have lusted after this car since the first time I read about it in an auto trade publication in 1998.

Lots of other things happened in '05, but most wouldn't be of interest to my enlightened (0 people) readership. :-)

On to geeky things, it's truly a New Year for Apple. IMHO, it's not too noteworthy that Apple decided to switch platforms...they've done it in the Macintosh line twice before. However, joining the mainstream of PC design is a new one for them. Apple has made most of their money selling unique hardware in the past...sometimes unique just so that nobody else could sell system software for it. Now, they are almost completely dependant on Mac OS X for their uniqueness. We shall see how it goes, but I have high hopes.

Speaking of Apple, I just ordered a 1.83gHz MacBook Pro. I truly despise the name, but the idea of an EFI-based, PCI-express and ExpressCard-supporting laptop, with Apple's industrial design and aesthetics is beyond cool to me. This will make the first time that I have ever bought Rev. A hardware from any vendor. We shall have to see if I live to regret it.

I can now look back on my 20 years as an Apple fan, and marvel. I have had a Mac of every CPU type, one way or another:

680x0 Macintoshes:
Fat Mac (Macintosh 512Ke) - loan from mom's work
Macintosh Plus - loan from mom's work
Macintosh SE - my first self-owned Mac
Macintosh IIcx - first color Mac
Macintosh IIci
PowerBook 165c - loan from mom's work
PowerBook 180c - loan from mom's work

PowerPC 60x Macintoshes:
Power Macintosh 8100/80 - the first time I had a currently-sold machine
Power Macintosh 7500/100 - the first Mac I bought with my own money
PowerBook 270c - first self-owned laptop
PowerBook Duo 2300c - my first motherboard replacement...upgraded the 270c
PowerBook G3 Wallstreet

PowerPC Gx Macintoshes:
iBook G3/300 - my return to owning Macs after a short break in the late 90's
PowerBook G4/667 - the first time I ever bought a new Mac
PowerBook 17" G4/1.33
Mac Mini 1.42gHz

Intel Macintoshes:
MacBook Pro 1.83gHz - my first Intel Mac

That's quite a list, I realize...I'm such an Apple fan-boy. :-D

User Journal

Journal: Christmas is Here?

Journal by LordAlexander

I'm having a bit of a hard time getting in to the Christmas spirit. It's not just this year, and it isn't depression, or anything like that. I think that it's more about the commercialization of the holiday. Now, given that I'm agnostic, you aren't going to hear any preaching about the "Christ in Christmas," or anything similar. What I'm getting at, is that the extension of the holiday buying season to Halloween, the inumerable ads, and all the pressure to buy things for people, have combined to wring every little bit of holiday spirit out of this time of year. I much prefer Thanksgiving, which is a straight-forward family holiday, without any extra expectations.

Returning to things geeky, I saw the absolute coolest thing the other day, when browsing around to find out when the next new episode of "Mythbusters" would be on Discovery. Apparently, 2 members of the "Mythbusters" cast (Jamie and Grant) did a review of a robotics contruction set, by the name of "VEX". To test the set's capabilities, they built an articulated stair-climbing robot. To me, that is simply amazing. I remember the robotics kits that were available when I was a kid. Erector Sets, Robotics, and the like hold no candle to what is available today. Lego Mindstorms were the first kits that rekindled my interest in robotics, but the complexity of programming that was required held me back. VEX might be the very thing that gets me going into a new construction phase. We shall see.

On another note, I got a very unexpected opportunity to hone my very rusty Veritas VM skills last night. Some of our staging servers, were renamed incompletely. We'll leave the name of the miscreant out of this (me), but the solution ended up being some very creative use of vxedit, and disk group renaming. It sucked to have to work till 11pm, but I did gain quite a bit of knowledge, which makes me fel a bit better. Unfortuantely, though, I so rarely use Veritas anymore that this knowledge is not likely to stick with me for long. Especially with ZFS being the future of Solaris, I think that Veritas isn't long for the world.

Oh well...I gotta depart for my FOUR HOUR MEETING in DC with my customer. Did I ever mention that I HATE MEETINGS? :-D

User Journal

Journal: Pearl Harbor

Journal by LordAlexander

Lest anyone think that I would forget...

I honor the sacrifice of those brave servicemen and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country on this day, 64 years ago. Their sacrifice sent out the message of the danger of isolationism, and the importance of eternal vigilance.

User Journal

Journal: Xbox 360

Journal by LordAlexander

Well, it's settled. I'm a fool.

You know the old saying about a fool and his money being soon parted?

Knowing me well, you will be unsurprised when I report that I bought an Xbox 360 the day after launch. Oh, of course, I had a perfect excuse: my Xbox went on the fritz again. But, knowing reader, you will immediately remember that my Xbox has been persnickety forever, and it always comes back with a litle bit of tinkering.

Ah well, I'm quite used to me by now. :-D

The console is pretty cool...The graphics are really nice, even on my roommate's old 36" CRT. They're truly impressive on my 27" LCD. On the technical side of things, the Xbox emulator is very impressive. When you know a very little about hardware emulation, you realize how tricky a thing it is to get a truly usable realtime emulation of one platform to work on a completely different one. Just look at Virtual PC, and it's ilk. They've been around for _years_, and they are incapable of doing any real work, even on tremendously powerful Mac hardware. The Xbox 360's Xbox emulator is doing almost the same emulation (emulate a PIII/Celery on a PowerPC 970-derived CPU), but it does it well enough that games are completely playable.

The reason that I bring all this up is that there is a lot of negative press about the bugs in the new console. People seem to greatly get their hopes up, whenever a new piece of consumer electronics is released. The new console will be the paragon of all design, and will do all things, for all people, and never a slowdown. Marketing types love to inspire this sort of hope, and people just lap it up. I tend to think that the impressive technical achievements of the equipment itself is lost in this, and I think that is too bad.

Ah, well, the geek in me speaks again. :)

Unix

Journal: OpenSolaris

Journal by LordAlexander

I finally got around to installing OpenSolaris b27 on my work laptop. Played a bit with ZFS, and damn, it's cool:

ajacocks@spud[~]$ sudo umount /export
ajacocks@spud[~]$ sudo zpool create -f export c0d0s6
ajacocks@spud[~]$ sudo zfs create export/home
ajacocks@spud[~]$ sudo zfs create export/home/ajacocks
ajacocks@spud[~]$ df -F zfs -h
Filesystem size used avail capacity Mounted on
export 20G 29K 20G 1% /export
export/home 20G 8K 20G 1% /export/home
export/home/ajacocks 20G 34M 20G 1% /export/home/ajacocks

All set, with the ability to set separate quotas, and rearrange in any way I see fit. Easy to deal with any number of user home directories, too. :)

I love seeing Sun start to innovate again. It's been a good long while since Sun backers like me have had anything to crow about. With Sun's recent success with x86-64 servers, and with the open-sourcing of Solaris, JDS, and a bunch of other things, it's a really upbeat time. Recently, AGP GART, Cardbus, and 802.11 support have been added to Solaris x86...who knows, Solaris x86 might actually become a viable solution. :)

User Journal

Journal: Thanksgiving

Journal by LordAlexander

It's no secret to anyone who knows me that Thanksgiving is my favourite holiday of the year. However, I was just reminded that my entire local family (me, sister, mom, dad, grandmother, aunt and uncle) are going to have Thanksgiving dinner at my aunt & uncle's place this year.

Hmm.

My family is somewhat ... chaotic. I'm not sure, exactly, what's going to happen. But, I think that maybe I ought to wear a black and white striped shirt, and bring a whistle. :-D

On the geeky side of things, I now have so many tech projects that I have no idea what to do next.

I bought an older DLP projector at a hamfest a month ago, and I need to find a decent screen.
I have a Sun Netra T1 that needs hosting, since I went to the trouble to jump it, and put 2x72's in it.
I have a Compaq (not HP!) Proliant 3000 that I bought RAM and HD trays for that needs assembly and OS loading.
I need to burn a whole hell of a lot of recorded racing to DVDs.
I'm now subscribed to 3 separate MMOs (EQ2, WoW, and DAOC), and barely have time to play any of them.
I need to fix the backlight on my sister's laptop.

Ad infinitum.

I think that I'm losing my geekiness as I get older. :(

User Journal

Journal: What a Week

Journal by LordAlexander

It's been quite an amazing past 7 days. Hopefully, things will settle down before my birthday on Friday.

On Thursday, I got a flat tire on my VW, from an inch-wide piece of steel. No idea where that came from. To boot, the previous owner of the car stripped the locking lugs, so I couldn't change the tire, and had to wait for AAA.

On Friday, the fridge broke. No idea when, exactly, but it was decidedly warm when I noticed it.

On Sunday, the new fridge arrived, and it was discovered that both my roommate and myself managed to fail in measuring the size of the opening for the fridge in the counter. So, we now have a fridge on the other side of the room.

Later, on Sunday, I started to get paged. Up to now, I have recieved something on the order of 500 pages since Sunday afternoon.

I haven't slept in 2 days.

Oh my god do I need a drink. Check that, I need a LOT of drinks.

User Journal

Journal: What a Whiner I Am 1

Journal by LordAlexander

To continue the earlier trend, I'm going to whine about my taxes.

I bought a new car about 6 months ago, and I didn't think much about it. Sure, it was a bit more expensive than my previous car, but not too much.

That changed on Saturday when I got my Virginia Personal Property Tax bill. The bill was for ~$1000 per year!

What a concept...

So, anyone want an SA to clean your house for you? I may need the extra cash...

User Journal

Journal: Work Sucks, But Then, What's New?

Journal by LordAlexander

I just found out today that I have to go into the pit of hell (Washington, DC), Friday afternoon. This spoils my usual work-from-home routine on Fridays, and looks to cost me at least $20 in gas, Metro fare, etc. All for a meeting about which old files are safe to remove. ARGH!

On the positive side, I think I have narrowed the search for a GPS navigation system for my '00 Jetta to a couple finalists. It seems that the Navman iCN 520 and the Tom Tom GO 300 are well reviewed, and somewhat popular, and both street priced for ~$500. Any of my non-existent readership have an opinion?

User Journal

Journal: Life Status Update... 1

Journal by LordAlexander

...for the 0 people who will ever read this journal.

In the past 6 months since I have last posted, I have:

1) moved to Berryville, VA
2) sold my car, and bought 2 new (to me, anyway!) ones
3) bought another race car (1985 8v VW Jetta GTI, baby!)
4) changed jobs back to my previous employer (AT&T)
5) bought 2 pairs of new shoes (a _big_ deal for me)
6) traveled to mainland Europe (France) for the first time
7) watched a helluva lot of racing on TV, and in person :)

I'm really getting nervous about turning 29. My birthday's in a little more than 2 weeks, and I'm just about to run, screaming, for another timezone, just to delay it. I don't know why it's bothering me, as no other birthday ever has. Maybe, I've just realized that I'm actually getting older....who knows? Also, on the birthday front, I have to work on my birthday (again), my entire family will be on the other side of the continent for the nearest weekend, and I ain't got nobody to spend it with. :( I think I'm starting to dislike birthdays.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not depressed...just wistful. Birthdays are when I miss my lost the most...she used to always go to a lot of trouble to make me feel special on them.

Ah well, such is life.

User Journal

Journal: Apologies to SiliconJesus for Stealing His Journal Entry...

Journal by LordAlexander

( ) smoked a cigarette
( ) crashed a friend's car
( ) stolen a car (a friends)
(x) been in love
(x) been dumped
( ) shoplifted
( ) been fired
(x) been in a fist fight
(x) snuck out of your parent's house
(x) had feelings for someone who didn't have them back
( ) been arrested
( ) gone on a blind date
(x) lied to a friend
(x) skipped school
( ) seen someone die
( ) had a crush on one of your internet friends
(x) been to Canada
(x) been to Mexico
(x) been on a plane
( ) purposely set a part of yourself on fire
(x) eaten sushi
( ) been skiing
( ) met someone from the internet
(x) been at a concert
(x) taken painkillers
(x) love someone or miss someone right now
(x) laid on your back and watched cloud shapes go by
(x) made a snow angel
( ) had a tea party
(x) flown a kite
(x) built a sand castle
(x) gone puddle jumping
( ) played dress up
(x) jumped into a pile of leaves
(x) gone sledding
(x) cheated while playing a game
(x) been lonely
(x) fallen asleep at work/school
(x) used a fake ID
(x) watched the sun set
( ) felt an earthquake
(x) slept beneath the stars
(x) been tickled
( ) been robbed
(x) been misunderstood
( ) petted a reindeer /kangaroo
( ) won a contest
(x) run a red light/stop sign
( ) been suspended from school
(x) been in a car crash
(x) had braces
(x) felt like an outcast/third person
(x) eaten a whole pint of ice cream in one night
(x) had deja vu
( ) danced in the moonlight
(x) liked the way you looked
( ) witnessed a crime
(x) questioned your heart
(x) been obsessed with post-it notes
(x) squished barefoot through the mud -- ew, germs!
(x) been lost
(x) been on the opposite side of the country
(x) swam in the ocean
(x) felt like dying
(x) cried yourself to sleep
(x) played cops and robbers
( ) recently colored with crayons
(x) sung karaoke
(x) paid for a meal with only coins
(x) done something you told yourself you wouldn't do
( ) made prank phone calls
(x) laughed until some kind of beverage came out of your nose
(x) caught a snowflake on your tongue
(x) danced in the rain
(x) written a letter to Santa Claus
( ) been kissed under the mistletoe
(x) watched the sun rise with someone you care about -- I want to
(x) blown bubbles
( ) made a bonfire on the beach
( ) crashed a party
(x) gone rollerskating
( ) had a wish come true
( ) jumped off a bridge
( ) ate dog/cat food
( ) told a complete stranger you loved them
( ) kissed a mirror
(x) sang in the shower
( ) had a dream that you married someone
( ) glued your hand to something
( ) kissed a fish
(x) sat on a roof top
(x) screamed at the top of your lungs
( ) done a one-handed cartwheel
(x) talked on the phone for more than 5 hours
(x) stayed up all night
(x) picked and ate an apple right off the tree
(x) climbed a tree
( ) had a tree house
(x) scared to watch a scary movie alone
( ) believe in ghosts
( ) have more than 30 pairs of shoes
(x) worn a really ugly outfit to school
( ) gone streaking
( ) gone doorbell ditching
( ) played gay chicken?
(x) pushed into a pool/hot tub with all your clothes on
( ) told you're hot by a complete stranger
(x) broken a bone
(x) been easily amused
(x) caught a fish then ate it
( ) caught a butterfly
(x) laughed so hard you cried
(x) cried so hard you laughed
(x) cheated on a test
(x) forgotten someone's name
( ) french braided someone's hair
(x) gone skinny dipping in a pool/hot tub
(x) been threatened to be kicked out of your house
(x) loved someone so much you would gladly die for them

186,000 Miles per Second. It's not just a good idea. IT'S THE LAW.

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