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Journal: Music

Journal by linus_vp
I read the recent comments by Steve Ballemer from MS about 'most music on the iPod is stolen' and the resulting slashdot article.

Here are my comments: One day, long ago I bought this used album, Emmerson, Lake and Palmers' Trilogy. I liked the song "From the Beginning" and paid $1.50 for the whole vinal recording.

Fast forward to many years later, when I bought that same recording on cassette, for $6.98 because the record was scratched and full of clicks and pops.

A few years ago, guess how much I paid for the same CD, due to tape wearing out? $10.95. Now I have lost the CD.

The story is not quite ended. Thanks to MP3 technology, and the MusicMatch software, I have the digital version, saved on my computer!

So for almost $20, plus some time and disk space, I have one of my favorite songs in a format that will *not* wear out. My question is this: what happens if Digital Rights Act causes me to have to 'license' a copy of the song I've already paid for 3 times? One copy for my home, one for my car, one for my computer! No thanks. I'd rather 'steal' it from the abundant P2P services out there than pay again.

The record companies ought to take a good look at how iTunes works otherwise I sense a rapid decline of the profits. Oh - wait, that's already happened.

User Journal

Journal: Words and Letters

Journal by linus_vp
The other day I noticed that
God is a letter removed from good,
and Devil is a letter added to evil.
Need I say more?
User Journal

Journal: Journal entry 8-27-2003

Journal by linus_vp
Pills
Today I went to see my psyciatrist, Dr. Garg. Since we are on Medicaid, our effexor and my Ambien are not covered. Dr. Garg is going to fight the state of Michigan (our Medicaid provider) to allow us to stay on the effexor. In the meantime, he gave me a replacement for the Ambien (a sleeping pill) called Trazodone - a generic for Desyrel. It's an anti-depressant but one of its side effects is drowsiness. Boy does it work great! Medicaid co-pay on it is only $1. $1 / 30 days =3 per pill. Dr. Garg said that Medicaid won't approve a $2 pill like Ambien, but will approve a 2 pill like Trazodone. I took 100mg at 10:45 PM and was getting very sleepy at 11:15. So sleepy that I didn't even shut off the computer. When I awoke at 1:45 am, I had a stuffy nose and that so-called 'morning wood' type erection. Priapism is a fairly common side effect of the Trazodone, so I layed there a while to see if it would subside on its own, and to see if I'd fall back asleep. Alas, after about 15 minutes I got up to see if masturbation would ease the bulge. It did - kind of. I didn't ejaculate, but afterwards, I could breath easily through my nose, and decided to write a journal entry. Then, voila, I'm bulgelessly flaccid.

Work
Like wow man, has the Lord been blessing me. I landed a contract assignment (sans benefits) at EDW. C. Levy in Dearborn. It's through Search 5 Staffing - a firm in Florida - for $40/hr. It's wonderful to be working after almost exactly a month being off. I seriously like AIX system administration and I find that working with Shelby King is a joy. She handles multiple tasks quite well. As she was training me on GPFS (General Parallel File System), she worked with Stephanie on a Tivoli system problem. It seemed that IBM wasn't honoring the customer code Stephanie gave to get the overheated NT system fixed. Anyway - I thank God that Michelle hired me on this 4-6 month (maybe more) assignment. She likes me to work the early shift which is a bleary-eye 5am until 2pm.

Sub-Contracting
With this position, I am self-employed, which means I have to pick up benefits for the family. I called to get some quotes for the cost of Medical insurance, and it looks like the guy isn't interested in us. My how the picture changed after he found out we are both on Effexor. I haven't even heard back, after he sounded excited to insure us all, at about $350/month.
I guess it goes to show me that one of the biggest perks of working as a contractor was the medical benefits. Now, as a self-employed person, I even am required to get general liability insurance and coverage for errors and omissions (O&E). I'm working on that.

School
Alyssa starts school today, August 27, 2003. It's hard to believe that she's in first grade already! My parents helped watch the kids tonight as they usually do on Tuesdays, and we all went to the open house at Taft elementary. It was hot due to lack of A/C and the kids had a blast seeing the other children there and playing on the great big huge moonwalk setup in the gym. It was a jurrasic adventure - literally 2 stories tall, that almost filled the full size gym! They even had snacks, and ice cream there. Alyssa and Reese loved the slide at the end of the moonwalk. Reese would get airborn jumping at the top of the slide, and Alyssa went down together with Brittiny and Claudia.

College
Kay decided to cancel her classes this year to get a part time job back at Premier Financial Services. Tim Ford (the owner) called her just about a week after I lost my job at DaimlerChrysler. I wanted to go to the one on HTML. Maybe next semester. Perhaps I could continue my college and learn how to write better. I think I'm fairly good, but then again, my writing and I could use polishing.

Wrap-up
So that is what has been happening with me in recent days. Again, I thank God to present us with all these blessings. Someday soon I pray that I find a permanent position (if there is such a thing) as a UNIX System Administrator. I've got a interview at 3pm next week at Federal Mogul in Southfield and a phone interview in a few weeks at a hospital in Grand Rapids. Until next time, I am your humble scribe and servant.

User Journal

Journal: Hired

Journal by linus_vp
Rock on, you party dudes! It's back to work for me. I landed the short term assignment at EDW C Levy in Dearborn. I'll be working the early shift (5am-2pm) for a while. Today was my first day, and it looks like a great place to be doing AIX sysadmin work.

Still have the COBRA eligibility, but man - medical insurance is mega expensive these days. Lucky thing Kay suggested that we ask our Dr. for prescription samples until the health insurance takes effect. Otherwise, we would be paying about $989 per month just for the pills! And family medical with HAP is running about $760.

User Journal

Journal: AIX performance

Journal by linus_vp
Darn it, I could kick myself. I really love doing system admin work on AIX boxes, and I had a chance to attend training on system performance and tuning. That was then - on my previous job. Then I blew it. Now it looks like I may be heading to Chicago instead on a short term consulting job. Or better would be a 3 month contract with a as-yet undisclosed company in Dearborn. I'll know more Friday.

So...I've got my personal attendance working well, along with my performance. According to my previous boss, I was doing about 80% of the work on the team. Now I just need to get this internet addiction thing worked out.

User Journal

Journal: Fired

Journal by linus_vp
Oh, what a bummer. I got let go for using the internet for personal use. I had worked out a plan to make up the time with my boss, and 3 more boss levels high, yet the HR department had a zero tolerance. I did the wrong thing, sure. No excuses. Now I am in the job market.

I had an interview yesterday, and it's for a 5-month contract. Hopefully it will be a success, and I'll get an offer. In the meantime, I'll have to see if my contract company offers COBRA, for benefits while I am looking. Next week I'll find out if I am eligible for unemployment.

Kay (my wife) was pretty upset about it, and now she's considering whether to start looking for a job. She has been staying home with the kids ever since Alyssa started kindergarten in the fall of 2002. I don't think she is ready for full-time work yet, and she has already registered for school in the fall. She'll be taking HTML. I'd probably love that class.

If you know of any UNIX systems administrator openings in the Detroit metro area, please add a comment to this journal entry.

User Journal

Journal: I am ...

Journal by linus_vp
I am a child of God.
I am a sinner, I am a man.
I am a son and a father, I am a Husband.
A lovely wife completes me,
Yet I am still alone, not lonely.
My children are blessings from above.
I am a player of games, I am a bike rider.

In my journeys I have seen three countries, ten states, and many large cities - Detroit, Chicago, Tampa, Orlando, Toronto.

I am alive and breathing, while I take this space, and give these words.
I am not you, dear reader - yet we share this place, and time.

Peace to who I am, and peace, blessings and honor to you.

Movies

Journal: Simply Mah-ve-lous Movies and More

Journal by linus_vp
Simply Mah-ve-lous Movies and More

Oh, the joys of life! I just finished putting a few rolls of pictures from CD to my harddisk, and some are really nice shots. I'll put a few on my web site under the Photos section, in case you are interested. I'm fairly new to online publishing, so bear with me while I put up small pics with links to the full-sized images later...

Movie update
I saw the Matrix Reloaded, and I'd say it was both good and bad, at times better than the original, but mostly too much of the overdone 'bullet time' ninja fight scenes, and not enough of the character development I was hoping to see. I'll probably wait to see the Matrix conclusion on VHS or DVD.

Finding Nemo was worth every bit of the admission, even for adults. If you have kids, this is a must-see Disney / Pixar film. Be warned that a couple kids under 2 were a bit scared by the big scenes. My favorite scenes all included the lovable, unforgettable Dory - the fish with a major short-term memory problem. Even Nemo had his lucky fin, which I may have never noticed until his dad pointed it out. Superb character development with all the characters. This will be a must-have for the video collection. Hint - hint, Mom & Dad :)

Work Update
It was a long, productive day at work. With help from Jim and Jeff, I moved two HACMP IBM systems from the host room to the DCX Datacenter. We overcame a couple obstacles, including removing ATM card references, and getting a supposedly redundant power supply replaced. I was pleased with the overall success, and I made a neat-o executive spreadsheet with the status.

User Journal

Journal: Yes, I am a Blogger

Journal by linus_vp
I just started using the slashdot journal as my public blog. I'm interested in doing this because I keep a journal at home, and it's convenient to be able to write something from work. I could just send email, but I have started giving my journal url to my friends and family.

Blogging is a basic way to share some parts of my life and thoughts with others. Kinda like if you come over to my house, and I show you my photo album, except that I'm showing you my journal. I only post things that I consider non-private.

Blogging is like publishing my own little newsletter. Anyone can pick it up and read it, and I can write about whatever I like -

personal events

politics

opinion

humor

It's odd when I see mention of illegal acts on a blog. While I suppose most people do illegal things on occasion, to me, it doesn't make sense to post them! I only post things that I consider non-private.

User Journal

Journal: Matrix / Birthdays

Journal by linus_vp
I have not seen the Matrix reloaded. I'll have to see it after my wife and daughters birthday party coming up for memorial day weekend. I love that my wife will shop for our little girl, and then shop for herself. That sure works for me, I can watch the boy, and read google news, or surf the slashdot site. Late last year, I gave up smoking and drinking. There are many other ways to have fun.
User Journal

Journal: Parking lot vultures 1

Journal by linus_vp
Today I noticed the parking lot where I work (DaimlerChrysler) is large enough to have 1 or 2 cars perpetually circling the lot, in hopes to find a parking spot close to the door when someone leaves. It's especially fun when I am going to my car for lunch, and I get a 'vulture' that follows me from the door, up to a distance where they decide that's far enough, and circle back around to the door to wait on another 'victim' leaving the building. Does anyone else notice this phenomenom?

"Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods." -- Albert Einstein

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