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User Journal

Journal Journal: The Poet Inside Us 1

We belong to the poet inside us.
It is our owner, our ruler, our king.
To be a slave to anything else is death
by slow, ragged steps.
Yet to follow where our fancy takes us,
wherever, whenever, forever,
is the greatest freedom man can bear.

User Journal

Journal Journal: 3

I recently bought a used notebook. It runs well, but is a little slow, and only has 512mb of RAM. I decided to buy more.

After some googling, I found a good deal on 1 GB DDR stick for notebooks. Here's the site: The price was right, and shipping was free.

In addition, after ordering, I received an offer for a $15 refund for posting a short message to my blog or personal page. This is the closest I have to a blog, so here it is. If this goes through, I may go get myself another stick, since the notebook maxes at 2 GB.

I'll follow up in comments when I receive my memory.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Ask the Circle: RAID help 9

I've been asked to help out my sister's boss working on their store server. This is a little mom and pop place, but they try to handle their IT intelligently. Their last computer guru moved out of town, so this may lead to some extra cash for me on a semi-regular basis. I'm looking to do a good job.
          There are several things he's looking for, but the main request right now is to upgrade the hard drives. They have a Dell Poweredge server, with two 40 GB IDE drives in a RAID 0 configuration. They're running out of space, and they've bought two 80 GB drives to upgrade with.
          I haven't worked with RAID before. I understand RAID 0 (Oops. I meant RAID 1) is simple mirroring, and I see from their computer's specs that they have a hardware RAID controller. My initial thought was to open the case, pull one of the existing drives (just as if it had gone bad) and place the new drive in the old drive's place. After a rebuild, everything should be fine. Then, same process with the remaining old drive, and a new rebuild. At the end of this process, I expect to have everything working as before, but probably still at the 40 GB capacity. From reading some Dell docs online, I think I can then go in and expand the logical drives to take the full capacity.
          First question, does this sound like it will work? Am I missing something major?
          Second question: There is some reference to adding a hot swappable backup to the RAID 0 configuration. The one concern I have with the steps outlined above is that during the rebuild we don't have a full backup available. Of course, if the rebuild fails, and we haven't made any changes to the data, then we can just pop the old drive back in (I think). Still, if there's a way to alleviate the risk, I'd like to take it. What I'm thinking is putting in a new drive on a third channel, configured as the hot swap. Let it rebuild, then shut down and pull one of the old drives. Put the other new drive in, set as the new hot swap, and wait for the rebuild again. Finally, pull the last old drive, and set the two new drives up with no hot swap. Is this better or worse than my first thought? If better, am I missing anything on this end? I assume that I'd still have to expand the drives after the process to take advantage of the larger space.
          Third question: Am I just crazy, and there's a much simpler solution I've overlooked?

        Any help appreciated

User Journal

Journal Journal: Memeprisal: "This time it's seasonal" 13

This comes from Shadow Wrought, and others...

Post a comment to this thread, and I will:

1. Tell you why I befriended you.
2. Associate you with something - fandom, a song, a color, a photo, etc..
3. Tell you something I like about you.
4. Tell you a memory I have of you.
5. Ask something I've always wanted to know about you.
7. In return, you must post this in your Journal/Blag/whatever.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Ping... 4

I haven't written anything in a month and a half. Part of that is the death of my grandfather. It still hits me hard, at some point during the day every day. Another piece is the Multiply migration. I set up a multiply account, but I have to admit that I just like slashdot better. Multiply is a little too busy for my taste.
I'm moving out of my parent's house, and into an apartment. Today, I should get the power turned on, and phone and DSL Wednesday. DISH will be sometime after that, assuming I feel the need.

My wife has been talking about finally going through with a divorce. If she does it, I won't fight it. I know what she really wants is to move back to Texas. My kneejerk reaction is to fight her over taking the boys out of state, but I don't think I will. The boys that are old enough to remember want to go to Texas, anyway, and the extra stress isn't worth it. I love my boys, and I don't want to wait until summers to see them, but if that's what I have to do...

User Journal

Journal Journal: The Mountain speaks, "Don't Cry for Me" 4

My grandfather was as prepared for death as he was for anything else he could be in life. I'm told he wrote this four years ago, at the age of 78. And even though he told me not to, as I type, I can't stop crying.


Don't Cry for Me

I've had a long and wonderful life. Much longer than I should have had. I have often told of the story of when I was a bird, but I really think I have had the life of a cat. At least the nine lives of a cat. I have served in three wars an in each one I could have been killed. I have been shot, shot at, and was wounded by hand grenade fragments. I've survived a heart operation and cancer.

But the truth is I survived some dumb things I did before I ever grew up. Like climbing a high tension electric tower. Luckily Jesus, in the form of a man engaged us in a conversation until the fire department came to the rescue. Had we climbed another ten feet we would have been fried meat. And swinging on an electric wire that was a live wire with 440 volts in it. It was pure luck that Jesus made us jump to grab the wire without touching the ground. And there was plenty of other times that I have done dumb things while growing up.

And I've done some things as an adult that wasn't right smart. Like the night I was riding my motorcycle in a rainstorm and because I had my head down I didn't see a tree down in the road. Again Jesus said "Take a look" and I just barely miss hitting a tree. And riding down a grassy hill on a piece of cardboard with my son. That don't sound so dangerous does it? But after the fact, we found a large piece of iron that could have cut either one of us in half. As it was we lost the cardboard, but kept sliding and skinned my behinder pretty badly. To say the least, I have used up all the lives of a lion, and the nine lives of a tiger, and now the nine lives of a pussycat.

I was born just before the Great Depression and I lived through that, just barely. I was a part of the Great War and survived that. I nearly froze my behinder off in the Korean War and had a couple of narrow escapes. I lived through the Atomic Age and the Space Age and even through the Hippie Age without becoming one. Then came the Computer Age. I stayed out of computers for a while but was finely dragged into computers. I think computers have taxed my mind and body more than anything else.

I've been blessed with a wonderful wife that gave me two wonderful daughters. After I wore her out, I was blessed with another wonderful wife. She brought two more wonderful daughters, and a son. Between the five of them, they have given us seven grandchildren, and just two of those have given us seven great grandchildren so far. Each one of the nineteen has given us great pride, and given us a fountain of love, and yeah, they've given us a lot of frustration at times.

So now that I've used up the lives of three or four cats I say to you all, it's been wonderful for me so don't cry for me.
And I'll see you on the other side.
                                        -- Billy K, 2003

User Journal

Journal Journal: My Mountain has passed. 7

I wrote the other day that I was going to CA. My family had sprung for a ticket. Apparently /. ate that journal, but I was supposed to fly out this Saturday.

My grandfather passed away this morning.

Not much for checking the dot right now, so don't expect much by way of responses. I'll read it all later, though.


Thank you for your kind comments. It wasn't exactly unexpected, but I haven't really had time to believe it yet, either. My father is taking it hard. He's always very sensitive to death. I'm trying to be there for him.

User Journal

Journal Journal: My mountain is falling. 12

"He stands like a mountain in my youngest memories. Old, and wise beyond belief."

In my senior year of high school, those words began a tribute I wrote about my grandfather. I read it aloud in class that day, and after three paragraphs, the room was silent. A good 30 seconds passed before someone said, "Wow."

That's how I feel about my grandfather. I don't have that paper anymore. I don't remember the rest of those words. But the emotions behind them are burned into my heart, and have shaped my soul. My life is predicated on the desire to be a man that my grandfather would want to know. A man that he could be proud to say is his grandson. I fear every day that I have failed in that goal.

My grandfather was a US Marine for 30 years. He left when they would no longer allow him to serve his country. He was forced to retire. When I knew him, growing up, he was a handyman, a school superintendent, and a friend. I would spend some summers at my grandfather's house. He taught me the value of my own work. He taught me how to be quiet and listen. He taught me what a jerk I can be sometimes. And he did it all while showing me an undeniable love that shone through his every action. I don't know if he ever stepped foot in a church. He certainly never accompanied my grandmother and I to her church on Sundays. He was no saint, but in my young eyes, he was a god.

As an adult, the veil has been lifted, and I see him as a man. And yet, he is still the best man I know. He is still the man that I wish I could be. Since high school, I have only seen my gradnfather a few times. He has come to visit us in New York for a couple weeks at a time. Both his daughters live here, and his visits are always packed with interaction that no one ever has enough time for. I'm always vaguely disappointed when his visits are over, because I never get enough time with him alone.

My grandfather is dying.

He's been treated for cancer over the past couple years. He had just begun intensive chemotherapy a few weeks ago, but was told that even with the treatment, he had 6 months to 18 months left. The treatments were too much for him. He couldn't deal with the side effects. He discontinued treatments, and is feeling better now.

Without the treatments, they don't expect him to last a monh.

My mother flew out to California to be with him yesterday, which was before we knew that last bit of information. She expected to be out there a few weeks, just to placate my grandmother, who worries too much. Now, she probably won't come back until this is all over. I wish I could be there with her, could be there with him. I'll probably never see my grandfather again.

User Journal

Journal Journal: This space for rent. 5

I've basically decided to stop writing journals. Not sure why... I'm certainly anti-social enough already. If you wish to talk to me, my email is listed. I'm also on IM fairly regularly these days. Those are also list in my /. profile.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Ouch, Ouch, Ouch. 3

Why is it that just before Thanksgiving, I get a flare-up of Gout? I could easily understand just after Thanksgiving, but just before? Anyway, I'm in pain, and can barely walk. It's in my right ankle at the moment. Working today (and covering for others), so can't get to the doctor's until next week. I just left a message to see if they'll call in a prescription for me.
I know that ankles are not prime candidates for gout. My doctor will probably insist on an xray, to prove I haven't hurt my ankle for real. Just like last time. I know how this goes. I spend a couple days with a sore ankle or toe, thinking I stubbed/twisted it without noticing at some point. Then, generally the third day, but sometimes up to a week later, BOOM! Searing, throbbing pain, and I can't put weight on it. Today it's so bad that I got out an old crutch to use so I could get myself to work.

Another question... Why, when I know this is the pattern, do I always spend a couple days thinking that it's just a random injury? I did actually decide last night that this was probably gout, so I made sure to drink extra liquids and such, but this morning it's still worse, not better.

Anyone know any good folk remedies for gout?

User Journal

Journal Journal: Ask /. - Christmas Gifts for Geeky Boys 19

It's that time of year again. This year, I'm trying to avoid buying nothing but video games for my boys, and my budget is too constrainted to allow for a PS3 or Wii. In case you don't already know, I have 4 boys. Ages are 13, 12, 10, and 6. The 6-year-old will also have a birthday in December, before Christmas, so that's fair game if you've got ideas. They are all video-game / computer game junkies. Right now, the oldest 3 are hooked on Runescape, and Puzzle Pirates. (I am also hooked on Puzzle Pirates. They take after their Dad. ;) )

The oldest, Joshua, is currently reading the Dragonlance Chronicles trilogy. Unfortunately, he knows that I've already bought the Legends trilogy for him, so I can't use that. He's a dragon fanatic, and also likes generic fantasy. He has specifically asked for one or more of the Settlers of Catan expansions, so he's likely to get that.

My second oldest, Caleb, is just finishing "Belgarath the Sorcerer," after reading the entire Belgarion series, Mallorean series, and "Polgara the Sorceress." He's the one least into video games. Frankly, I'm at a total loss for him. He wants a laptop, but that's not going to happen. (They all want laptops. I can't afford 1, much less 4...(make that 5. I want one, too. ;) ) He likes crafts, but really only when someone else wants to help him craft. His mother likes crafts, but I don't, so that's not really the best idea, either.

My third son, Seth, hasn't really gotten bit by the reading bug, yet. He's currently learning flute, and just finished up the youth football season. He's the most outdoors oriented of the four. Last year I got him a pair of binoculars that had a built in camera, but he hasn't used it. He's begging for a Nintendo DS, but that's a little out of my price range, and as I said, I'm trying to avoid video games this year.

David is the youngest. Obviously, he's not into reading yet, either. Video games are his thing, with Sonic the Hedgehog games topping his list. He enjoy's Settlers, too, but he's a little young for it. I'd like to find something more his age range.

Suggestions? I went looking the other day, but I found nothing, other than a Marvel version of "Scene It!" which might be worth getting for one of them. Given my lack of ideas so far, I'll probably resort to video games by the time Christmans rolls around. They're in my price range (about $75 per child, plus another $50 for David's birthday). I'm debating pooling their gifts. I've done that before, buying a X-box that was for all four of them at once. If I do that, it'll be either a cheap laptop or a portable game system, PSP or DS. Then I have to find some small gifts to hand out individually.

Edit: Man... My grammar sucks some days. And I should pay more attention when I preview.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Who have I been? [LONG] 15

This is very personal and probably not too bright of an idea. I may get the urge to delete the entry, so I apologize in advance to any commenters if that happens. That said, I've had the urge to put this up, so here you are:

Let's start at high school graduation. At this point in my life, I wanted to be a chip designer. I have no idea why I wanted to design computer chips, but I did. I desperately wanted to get into MIT or Carnegie Melon, but I didn't. Probably my lacadaisical attitude toward grades was the problem. I also was definitely not interested in the one college that would accept me, which was href="">GMI, now know as Kettering University. This was basically based on the fact that my parents wanted me to go there, it was a business college, not a technical college, and they had no internships available for me (Internships were the one decent draw GMI had.).
So, local community college it is, then. FMCC, the local community college for my community. Work at the local retail store, go to class.
Except that class was boring. I was not really interested in my Elec Tech classes, because I had learned all of what they were teaching in high school physics. I had a very good HS physics teacher. I also disliked colege physics, for the same reason. Math was fun my first semester. Calc 3, because I had taken the AP exam and tested out of Calc 1 and 2. English was acceptable, with a good English professor. That semester I failed both my Elec Tech classes and Physics, due to not completing lab assignments. I did the labs, but never wrote them up. Late in this semester I got my first girlfriend, who worked (for my mother) at the retail store.
Second semester was more of the same. I continued with ET and Physics, because at this point I had "Incomplete" in the first semester courses, and if I turned in the missing work I could have passed them. 2nd Semester English sucked, with a lousy prof. Math was half and half, one good professor and one lousy, but I managed both. Late in this semester, my girlfriend was pregnant, and we were planning a wedding.
No school that fall. Wedding plans came and went. Finally, on Sunday October 11th, Toni told me that we were getting married that Thursday, and we did. (6 year seperation aside, my 14th anniversary was a week ago Sunday.) Moved into a two bedroom rent-assisted apartment, and started working full time. My son was born the next January, and two weeks later, I quit my job. This was due to a profound lack of respect that my boss showed me, but it worked out. Two days later I was called for a factory job I had applied for, and I started working for Hasbro.
A year and a half later, I have my second son, and two months after that I lose my job at Hasbro. I had a lot of missed time at Hasbro. I hated the job. I went to a psychiatrist paid for by their employee counseling center, and found out that I have ADD. It was no contest. In September of that year, I got pnumonia. Two weeks out of work, and the antibiotics didn't work so they switched them to something stronger, and two more weeks out. The day I was supposed to report back to work, my wife got sick, and I had to stay home with the children. Hasbro told me not to bother coming back. Thus began two years of unemployment. Food Stamps and Welfare for two years. I hated it. Most of this time was spent dragging my wife (and sometimes children) to various doctors and hospitals. No one could figure out what is wrong with her, and we went through dozens of nights in the emergency room. Partway through this period, my third son was born.
We had reached the point that Welfare was not really able to support us, and my wife had given up on doctors, so I was back looking for work right after my son was born. I got a call from Kelly services, to interview for a position with the local phone company as an operator.
Or not. Actually, the phone company needed people for their long distance department. I was hired, and got to attend several weeks of training and become a "switch provisioning rep." Which basically was data entry, but there was a lot of technical work, and I learned a good deal. The job was 3 to 12, so I signed up at FMCC for morning courses.
This time around, I was taking Computer Science. No decent programming courses, all intro stuff that was on the required class list. Also, second semester English again (I had failed it before, for lack of work.) COBOL was acceptable, if also boring. Intro to Accounting to round it out. And three weeks into the semester I get moved to day shifts. I try rearrange my school schedule, but it doesn't work, and I have to quit. I did get a break, and my instructor let me test out of my CS classes.
Two years later, I'm still a "temp" employee for the phone company. I've started taking over the responsibilities of my supervisor, and I've generally shown myself to be a good worker. The company announces that my job will be moved to Dallas. My whole department is given the opportunity to move, and I'm told that if I don't take the opportunity, I'll lose my job. As a "temp" employee, I'm not in the union, see. Union workers will be transferred to other departments, but I'm SOL.
I discuss with my wife. She hates the idea, but agrees to it, since it means going permenant, and getting a raise. So we decide to do it. Meanwhile, several Dallas employees come to my office for training. The one who is supposed to learn switch provisioning is quite inept. All of the people they sent to us for training had very poor work ethics, but she was terrible. We gave her an extra two weeks of training and she still couldn't grasp the job. This woman was under the impression that she would be the supervisor of the switch group when she returned to Dallas. My boss through a fit. She told them that under no circumstance could they make this woman the supervisor, and that if they wanted a decent supervisor, it would be me. This was not taken well. In the end, the switch group was the only group that had no supervisor when we moved to Dallas. Officially, we reported directly to the VP of long distance, while we generally went to one of the other supervisors when it was needed.
The move to Dallas itself was uneventful. However, during this time, my wife changed her mind, and wanted to not move at all. She did come with me, but we argued a lot. Once we got to Dallas, she got a job at Wal-Mart, and spending more time out with friends than home. At work, the woman who didn't get the supervisor job was constantly complaining about me. Her main complaint was that I wasn't doing my share of the day to day work. This was generally true, because while I hadn't been given the supervisor position, I was given the technical (as opposed to HR) responsibilties of supervisor, and spent most of my time on those. That December, the day after Christmas, and 3 months after I moved to Dallas, my wife was attacked after work. She was hysterical, and wanted to "go home." I drove her back to NY, which put me in the middle of a blizzard. It took more than a week for me to get back to Dallas. I called work to make sure they knew what was going on. When I got back, I was told that I had one chance. If I missed any time in the next 6 months, I would be fired. Three weeks later, I was an hour late. Two days after that, I was fired.
The next several months were spent in various temporary jobs. I worked for MCI, as an assistant to the IS department doing data migration to new laptops. I worked for Sprint as the executive assistant to a VP. I worked for BankOne as a data entry clerk. Also during this time, my wife and I were effectively seperated. We lived in the same house, but she got a boyfriend and spent more time out of the house than in it. She also jumped around to several different jobs. She got an apartment in her name, which I ended up moving into when I couldn't pay my rent.
Just before September, I told her I was taking the children back to NY. I hadn't had a job offer in three weeks, and I had an offer at a retail store in NY run by the manager I had worked for when I got married. She agreed to come with us.
We lived with family for a time, and got back together. I worked, and she stayed home. She was sick most of the time again. I don't remember why or when I stopped working this time. Eventually, my fourth son was born. I was out of work for a while, looking for work but not really finding anything that could support the family. I applied several times at the phone company, but never got called.
A couple months after my son was born, I was told that the welfare program would pay for me to return to college, since I couldn't qualify for a job that would support 6 of us. Their last request was that I apply for the phone company again, since they were hiring. This time, I was hired. My wife and I had just split up, and I had moved out of our apartment.
This time I was working for the local phone department. I went through training, and was selected to join the business customer service group. A few months later, I was moved into the "offline" group. This group did special projects, and I was a troubleshooter of sorts. I bounced around a bit in my assigned position, eventually ending up as a dedicated rep for large customers in the midwest. I was also assigned as a tester for several large projects that were being done, and spent some time traveling to the corporate offices in Rochester.
I applied for several company jobs in the Rochester area. I seldom got even a call back, but I did get an interview for a business analyst position. I spoke with my wife, and she agreed that if I had to move to Rochester, I should agree to take the job, and she would come with me, to keep the kids close. I took the job, and was scheduled to start in Rochester on Jan 30th. My wife then changed her mind, and decided to stay in our home town.
I spent 6 months living in Rochester. Every weekend, I drove 3 hours each way to spend time with my children at my parents house. After 6 months, it was too much. I was months behind on my car payments, and struggling just to pay rent. I told my boss that I really couldn't do it any more. Luckily, I had proven myself in that time, and they allowed me to keep my position and work out of the local office. I still work there today.
I spend a lot of time doing things that a lot of my co-workers don't do. I have taken to using python programs and SQL queries to accomplish projects on my own that other analysts need programmers for. I know that my bosses are very happy with that. They will occasionaly make remarks about wanting my coworkers to become more technical, and use me as an example. Unfortunately, this does create some tension within the group. One co-worker in particular has mentioned perhaps finding another job instead of having to become more technical. In her words "I'm pretty sure I never said I want to be a programmer when I grow up."
I'm not sure where to go next. I want to be a programmer full-time. I don't have the money or the time to get the degree I need for that to really be pratical. I enjoy my job, but I think it's a kind of dead end careerwise.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Miracles 2

We were asked to re-write a miracle story, but the only miracle stories I know are the biblical ones, and I don't really feel like doing those right now. On the other hand, how do you re-write your life?

How do re-write the converstion you have with your boss, when you tell him that you can't work tonight, because your wife is having a C-section?

How do re-write the day you finally broke down and told someone you love them? For the first time in your life, opening up your heart to someone who wasn't already in your family.

How do re-write the day you stood before a man, and said "I will," to all those questions that spoke about forever?




No, seriously. Tell me how.


I miss the miracles.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Writing Assignment 2

Well, this was written based on "muddy creek", and some old ideas I had bouncing around in my head. It's way too short, because I forgot my memory stick with the story on it at work all weekend, and I don't have time to work on it today at work. Enjoy.

Edward followed the wizard into the brush near the road. Steven harrumped, but said nothing.
        "We need to find a place for the night. I want to set up camp, and it'll be dark soon. I need some water for soup."
        "Can't you just create water with your magic?" Edward asked.
        "No. Now get over here. I hear water back there. It should be as good a place as any. Lead the mule."
        Edward pulled the mules lead, and miraculously, it followed him. The mule was much better behaved than the ones back home on the farm. Which, was more than could be said for Steven.
        "How do you expect me to ride into that?" he yelled to the disappearing figureof the wizard.
        " I don't. Get down and lead the horse. Just like he's leading the mule. It'd do you good to walk on your own two feet for a change."
        Grumbling, Steven dismounted. After grabbing the horse's lead, he roughly pushed past Edward, heading in the direction of the wiazard's voice. Edward followed behind. Soon, they reached a clearing beside a muddy creek.
        "Don't bother to tie him off. He knows better than to wander off. I hope the same is true of you. What's your name again?"
        "Edward, sir."
        "Right. Well then, Edward, I am Lorien. You may call me sir, Master Lorien, or just master, if you prefer. I'm not really the one who is to teach you this stuff, but I see no point in leaving you ignorant for the length of our travel. Go gather some firewood, and we'll talk about it over dinner. Steven, go fill this pot from the creek." As he said this, Master Lorien was gathering rocks to produce a fire ring, and removing various items from his pack.
        "Yes, sir, Master Lorien."
        Edward left the clearing, glad to have a purpose that he understood. As he gathered fallen limbs, he considered his position.
        I can't run away. They'd just find me. Likely they'd take back the guild price from Da, too. Besides, the Huntsmen wouldn't take me now. I'm sure Daryl's heard what happened, and he bring me back here himself.
        By the time he had returned, Master Lorien had set up a cookstand over the fire ring, and was slicing roots into the pot. Steven had taken off the mare's saddle, and was pulling items from his pack.
        "There you are... Bring some over here. That's right." As Edward dropped a few limbs into the ring, a look of concentration came over Lorien's face. A second later, the wood burst into flame, startling the boy. "Oh," exclamed the wizard, "Sorry about that. I suppose I should have warned you. Well, anyway, I'll have some soup ready in a few minutes."
        "Now then, you'll recall that I told you that I can't just create water. Yes?"
        Edward nodded. Steven looked on from the other side of the fire, with a faint look of contempt on his face.
        "You see, magic is a lot like water. You can use magic in a lot of different ways, and you need some just to nourish you and keep you strong. But... You have to have the magic to do it. It has to be there. And to create somethign, there has to be a lot of it. Starting the fire is simple. YOu find the magic, you pull it in, and you turn it into heat. Heat is one of the easiest things to do. Well, for me anyway. Some people have different skills, but heat is easy for most. Where was I?"
        Edward just stared at him, confused.

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