I've been an ethical vegetarian since 1986. "ethical" indicates that i
choose not to eat meat because: i empathize with (other) animals and can
live a healthy and (perfectly) satisfying life without eating them. (As
opposed to being a vegetarian because i care (any more than most other
people) about health, appearance, or fads.) Whenever possible, i avoid
things made of leather or fur. I've been mostly vegan at times, but
currently i sometimes eat honey, so somewhere in-between "vegetarian" and
I've lived in a half-dozen different places in the United States, a
few places in the United Kingdom, and now Germany.
- Baton Rouge, Louisiana 1968 - 1969
- Lafayette, Louisiana 1969 - 1971
- Denver, Colorado (actually, Littleton) 1971 - 1973
- Houston, Texas (the Spring
Branch area) 1973 - 1977
- Northampton (a
subdivision in rural North Houston, near Spring, Texas) June
- Dec. 1977
- Laredo, Texas (Border
town, South Texas... one apartment) Dec. 1977 - Dec. 1978
- Northampton (again. same house, even) Dec. 1978 - Aug. 1986
- Austin, Texas (1 dorm, 10
different houses, 13 moves) Aug. 1986 - Nov. 1995
- Hyde Park, Chicago, IL (two apartments)
Nov. 1995 - Aug. 1998
- Greenbelt, Maryland (two
town-houses) Aug. 1998 - Feb. 2001
- Laurel, Maryland (one house)
Feb. 2001 - Jan. 2003
- Austin, Texas (three houses) Jan. 2003 - Jun 2010
- London, the
United Kingdom (one hotel room, one serviced apartment, and two
flats. Jun. 2010 - March 2012
- Brighton, East
Sussex, the United Kingdom (in a flat on Muesli Mountain). March 2012 -
- Hove, East Sussex,
the United Kingdom, in a flat with high ceilings. February 2013 -
Berg, Berlin, Germany, a short-term flat near
Immanuelkirche, Feburary 2015 - May 2015
Berg, Berlin, Germany, May 2015 -
I've been a Unix sysadmin since about 1990, and using computers
since about 1983. A Unix system administrator is a person who "makes
Unix computer systems go," usually (though not always) so that other
people can use them to do whatever it is they want (or are being told
to want) to do.
Being a sysadmin can involve any number of the following activities,
sometimes several at the same time:
- Ordering Unix machines or software from vendors.
- Lugging the large heavy boxes of Unix machines from where-ever
the carrier incoveniently left them.
- Unboxing, assembling and often rack-mounting said equipment.
- Installing whatever version of Unix you want (or your users
demand) on the box.
- Installing OS (Operating System) patches.
- Closing as many of the security holes as possible. (OS or
application holes left by the vendors.)
- Installing a boatload of software that makes the machine vaguely
usable. (Typically GNU and other
Open Source software. The commercial vendors make this necessary
because they typically move too slowly (or lamely) to include a recent
(if any) version of the useful Open Source software. On most of the
Commerical Unix systems i run, there's usually 2-300 MB of stuff i ftp
(File Transfer Protocol. It's an older but still very common way of
transferring data files around the Internet), compile, tweak configure
- Installing and configuring commercial software.
- Wasting days of one's life waiting on hold for customer support with
- Wasting more days of one's life trying to convince ignorant yet
strangely determined commercial customer support staff that there is a
bug in their product that they need to fix.
- Writing various kinds of computer code to automate as much of the
sysadmin process as possible.
- In the absence of developers (or skilled developers), writing
various kinds of computer code to make the applications that run on
the machine do what the developers and users want.
- Replacing hardware when it dies.
- Sitting in meetings, distracted by the endless mental dance of things
one should be working on.
- Being on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365.25 days a year.
- Driving in (or loging in remotely) at pretty much all hours of the
day and night to fix brokeness.
- Hopefully preventing, handling and cleaning up after (security)
break-ins to the software on the machines. (Attacks from both without
- Answering educated or ignorant questions asked by users who are
able to find you.
It's kind of like being Scottie on the Starship Enterprise.
I own Tumbleweed Electron
Wranglers, Inc., a Sub-chapter-S corporation, incorporated in Texas..
I'm also TEW's receptionist, CEO, President, janitor, sysadmin, etc. (In
other words, it's a one-person company.)
I like movies. I probably watch about two a week on average. I can't
really identify which movie is my favorite, but i have identified some of my favorite movies.
A list of DVDs i bought at some point..
Despite the perils of the tele, and all of those movies i have seen, i
can still read, though i often can't remember what it was i wanted to read
next, or exactly the name of something i read.
Hence this Reading List
(Not a comprehensive list. :)