Whispers, Thoughts and Tags

There's nothing quite like the unexpected sensation and whirlwind of thoughts when someone comes up behind you, unseen, and softly whispers in your ear.

The sensation is kinda like that roller-coaster feeling.

The thoughts are too: Kinda like the word "Dude" - there are so many ways it can go.

GOOD: "Duuuuuude" as in like - Duuuuuude - haven't seen you in forever.

BAD: "DUDE" as in like - DUDE - WHAT?

UGLY: "Dude?" as in like - Dude? - you behind the door with a knife?

So when someone you can't see comes up behind you and whispers in your ear - unexpectedly - lots of things run through your mind before the words even register.

Especially when the phrase "Are you on your way to work?" is whispered in your ear.

By another man.

A man you can't see, and odds are, don't know.

A man who's not afraid to be whispering in another man's ear in a public place.

Like, say, Dunkin Donuts, in New Castle, Pennsylvania, where I was, getting coffee, this morning.

This week, I'm hanging out in New Castle. I'm house-sitting for my ex-wife, taking care of the zoo (three dogs, two cats, one kitten, two guinea pigs, some fish, and a hamster that's currently on the lamb ... and was before I arrived). The ex and her hubby and the kids are on vacation in Ocean City, so I'm the zookeeper. Bums me out that you can see a Dunkin Donuts from their front porch, eh?

So this morning, as I'm standing in line at that Dunkin Donuts waiting to order my iced coffee, a man I've never met before whispered "Are you on your way to work?" in my ear.

As friends and regular readers know, I've had interesting experiences in neighboring states receiving offers from strangers who wanna be, well, neighborly, in a manner of speaking.

Like my encounter with a midget in a bathroom in Beckly, West Virginia.

So when a strange man whispered "Are you on your way to work?" in my ear this morning ... lets just say I was thinking both the BAD and the UGLY ... a combination of 'did you just ask me that' and 'I hope you're not behind me wanting to put a knife - or anything else - into my body.'

Because I was on my way to work ... I simply say "Yes" without questioning his motives. After all, it was about 7:45 a.m., I'm in Dunkin getting a coffee in some off-white pants and an orange polo shirt looking very business casual. He's looking rather comfy in his blue shorts and blue shirt, both bearing the distinctive markings of the US Postal Service.

And rumor has it, those mail carriers deliver the goods.

But since I'm not gay, I just said "Yes."

After my answer, he again leaned in close to me and whispered in the same ear, "I just wanted to tell you" ... he paused ... and continued, "your shirt's on inside out."

He then turned and headed out the door, his coffee in hand.

"Thanks" I said to his departing shadow, hanging my head, laughing to myself, and heading towards the bathroom with my cool, dark iced coffee and warm, red cheeks.


Haphazard Musings

... cause I got tired of my blogs all saying Random Thoughts, so I hit the Visual Thesaurus online and found Haphazard Musings works just as well.

My dad and stepmom celebrated their 30th anniversary on July 19th. That kinda fascinates me ... because I've had one relationship in my life last more than 30 months.

For all you old-time CLI nerds like me out there ... here's another reason to vilify the drag-and-drop management that Windows Servers and related products have embraced:

I nearly re-imaged approximately 115 computers last week ... including 110 of those that were in production for three health-care systems. A quick & dirty estimate by one of the senior engineers said it would have taken us about a month of work to recover from that.



Wait. Howthefuckdidyou-'almost'-doTHAT? you ask.

Well, we're trying to create a new environment to build computers so they're individually built to hardware, rather than building a static OS image, but using a standardized script to ensure they're configured the same.

There's a product called Altiris we use to load the operating system and drivers for the nearly 3,000 real and virtual servers we manage. It's drag and drop. There are two panes - one holds the computers, one holds the jobs.

I went to drop the "deploy Windows 2003 R2" job on a folder in the computers pane named EB (cause that's me) but accidentally dropped the job on the ALL COMPUTERS folder.

Cause they're nested folders, and EB is right under ALL COMPUTERS.

And wasn't aware I dropped it on the wrong folder.

About five minutes later the first batch of incident tickets came rushing in telling us that 36 computers were down.

Then 36 more.

Then 36 more.

Then 5 more.

Then a guy I work with who knows more about the Altiris world and the blades I took down started looking into things and realized - QUICKLY - that things were amuck at the Circle-K.

And pulled the plug from the Altiris box, stopping it in step 1 of reimaging 113 machines.

So after I closed all the tickets that were created by my near meltdown of 113 computers, the next day I stopped at the liquor store and bought that man a very large bottle of J├Ągermeister.


Why the NHL beats other sports

Cause I'm tired (:D) and over-worked, today is a stolen-content day.

From the XNHL Message Boards: Why the NHL beats all other major sports

Why the NHL is better than MLB
  1. There is less steroid use in the NHL.
  2. A baseball game has 10 total minutes of action in 3-4 hours.
  3. Fighting in baseball leads to suspensions - fighting in hockey is a 5 minute penalty.

Why the NHL is better than the NBA
  1. Who would you trust with making use of your money, the gangsta stereotype or the Canadian stereotype?
  2. Hockey fights usually stay on the playing surface.
  3. In the NBA, one extra foot on the floor was given a 1 game suspension. In the NHL, thats a 2 minute penalty.

Why the NHL is better than the NFL
  1. If you're don't support a Canadian team, odds are you wont need to wait 30 years or even 30 weeks for season tickets...
  2. Teams play between 16 to 20 games in the NFL. In the NHL, teams play between 82 to 110 games.
  3. The play doesn't stop every 10 seconds.

Why the NHL is better than NASCAR
  1. In the NHL, skating laps around the ice for seemingly no purpose is a warmup. In NASCAR, thats the event.
  2. NASCAR has speed limits, believe it or not. But, its pretty hard to limit shot and skating speed...
  3. I've yet to see a NASCAR race on ice...

Why the NHL is better than the MLS
  1. Most teams have more top-tier players then the entire league.
  2. The NHL doesn't have teams named after consumer products (..anymore)
  3. For every injury in the NHL, there is 30 faked injuries in any pro soccer league.



Swig Tooth - Live Video

Trying to clean out the archives of unprocessed material!

This is a legendary Swig Tooth show that was supposed to be a tune-up for Comfest 2006, but due to 'scheduling issues' at the club, ten ... all bands were there to play during a five hour window.

Each band, with the exception of the 'headliner' ... some shit-ass band with a label and a rider that said they got their full hour, agreed to play 20 minutes.

Of the 40-odd people there that night, 30 were there to see Swig Tooth. We got robbed.

Here, in its entirety, is the 19 minute, 24 second Swig Tooth set from June 18, 2006:

1. Ghost
2. Afterglow
3. My Bed's A Mess
4. Dirty Numbers

As bassist Mark Nye said of the evening, "A little hate goes a long way."


Planets and Photos and Knees

Oh My.
So we're having this discussion in my astronomy class about Pluto being downgraded to a Dwarf Planet from a regular planet and all the fallout from it.
So me being me ... I took it this way:

Mary K***** asked:
Question: If Pluto is no longer considered a planet will it be removed from all of the newly published materials or from the Voyage scale model in Washington, D.C.?
Eric B*** responded:
As the father of a 9-year-old who loved Steve and Blue (Blues Clues) ... what's gonna happen to the "Planet Song?"

"Oh the Sun's a hot star
And Mercury's hot too
Venus is the brightest planet
And Earth is home to me and you
Mars is the red one
And Jupiter's most wide
Saturn's got those icy rings
And Uranus spins on it's side
Neptune's really windy
And Pluto's really small
Well we wanted to name the planets
And now we named them all."

(yes, that's a joke ... but like she said ... who's is going to take the time to remove it from all the lists, books, models, etc ... not to mention the perception of most people ... [then again, half the population is dumber than average so maybe that's not too big of a deal there])

And for the record ... the instructor (not Mary who asked the question) has his Ph.D. in Astrophysics from M.I.T. and works for NASA as ... yes, a rocket scientist.

That's not intimidating when doing homework.

Oh ... yeah ... update on the knee .. well, going to see the surgeon who fixed it last time. My doctor friend in Columbus I saw Friday said the former surgeon would have the best records to be able to see the degeneration from then to know and determine if a scope or greater action would be needed to get it fixed.

Quick hits from the photo shoot of X-Rated Cowboys and Pat Green on Friday:

Mark Nye - X-Rated Cowboys

Quinn Fallon - X-Rated Cowboyx

Bob Hite - X-Rated Cowboys

Mark Nye & Bob Hite

Pat Green

Chris Skrobot

Chris Skrobot

Pat Green


Eric's Summer Reading ...

Married To The Sea
Heh, I ain't running till they invent orthopedic medicine.
Fuck a twisted knee. Y'all have a blast.

Featured at marriedtothesea.com ...

Yeah, that's my line. I should have listened. Apparently, my knee has decided it is done cooperating with the rest of my body and wants to wobble to and fro like a spinning weeble on linoleum. (And try to remember, weebles wobble but they don't fall down.)

Well ... being on call last week sucked ass. Worked way to many hours. Luckily my class finished on Monday (and I got my stuff done with two minutes to spare. Two minutes.) and I got a B+. Which is fine with me. A or B = 100 percent tuition reimbursement. Which I get to turn around and use to pay for my next class.

So with being on call and having a knee that's just killing me (yeah, going to see a doctor on Friday), I managed to read a few books too ... since I had to stay close to home and my knee is killing me, why not lay around and read?

So what have I read? Um, a lot. Really.

Seven Star Wars books (shut it. I'm a nerd.) including three in the on-going "Legacy of the Force" series; "Path of Destruction" a story written during the Old Republic -- a period a thousand years before Palpatine. The book is about the changing of the Sith, and a good read to give some of the history and backstory. Also got my hands on the new Timothy Zahn story "Allegience" that takes place shortly after the destruction of the Death Star in Episode IV; as well as reading his "Outbound Flight" and "Survivor's Quest" series.

One of the things I love about the universe of Star Wars novels in existence is the way many different writers have taken up a role in the growth and expansion of the Star Wars universe. Zahn and Michael Stackpole are two of my favorites, and I've read many of their non-Star Wars books, as well.

Non Star Wars books I've devoured lately:

"Someday I Will Be Invincible" by Austin Grossman. Interesting read .... Sci-Fi fantasy stuff about metahumans who are either good or bad. Told from two distinct points of view - each chapter is told first person by either the protagonist or the antagonist. Takes a bit to get into that style ... but it was a pretty good read.

"Then We Came To The End: A Novel" by Joshua Ferris. Story of the dying days of an ad agency, and a unique look into the people and their psyches as the layoffs ensue and the drama mounts. Having lived through the decline of a corporation and been a layoff, I can attest to the weirdness that exists.

"The Cult of the Amateur: How Today's Internet Is Killing Our Culture" by Andrew Keen ... all about how we're losing subject experts in fields of writing, music and advertising ... i.e. creatives, because anyone with a broadband connection can upload their mediocrity to the web ... and those who are gifted are often lost in the clutter of those who *think* they are gifted. Great book, kinda scary at the same time.

Next on the list - "Pride and Prejudice" by Jane Austen. And my Astronomy textbook. Cause school's a bitch.

Anyone have suggestions after I finish those two?


Long time, no talk

Hello, yeah, it's been awhile.
Nearly two weeks ... in fact, before Comfest. And Bernies. And Beniot. And the end of my Project Management Class. Yeah, I've been busy. Work. School. Fun. Food poisoning.

Not much. How 'bout you?
Really? Wow. A lot has gone on in your world, too. I got some good stuff coming up, too. You should join me:

July 07 - UFC 73 ... I'll be at BW3's in Austintown.

July 13 - X-Rated Cowboys and Pat Green at the Newport in Columbus.

July 19 - Social Distortion at the Wedge in Austintown.

July 20 - Saving Jane at the House of Blues in Cleveland.

I'm not sure why I called, I guess I really just wanted to talk to you.
Then again, do I really need a reason? We're friends, right? I can just pick up the phone, and call, well, if I have your number. Or you have mine you can call me, too. Cause, ya know, we're friends. Like I said. And I know, there are times I don't talk much, and then there are times I talk too much. Then there are other times I just say stupid shit. But you know that. We're friends.

And I was thinkin' maybe later on, we could get together for awhile.
We should hang out. Grab a beer. Or several.

It's been such a long time and I really do miss your smile.
Okay, and enough piggybacking off Parker McGee's great song best sung by Dan Seals and John Colley (you know them as England Dan and John Ford Coley).

Have a good holiday ... if I owe you email, I'll try to get caught up (yeah, Rich, I'm talkin' to you!)