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Dave vs. Mmm-Bop

NPR recently released its Songs of the Summer, which invokes memories of summers past by conjuring up (or dredging up, in some cases) songs you couldn’t go anywhere without hearing. Songs like “Crazy” by Gnarls Barkley (2006), or “Hips Don’t Lie” by Shakira (also 2006). Or the bane of 1991, the unforgettable “Summertime” by the equally unforgettable DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince.

In 1997, one of the songs of the summer was “MMMBop” by boy-band Hanson. And mercifully, I avoided hearing it. I remember the summer of 1997. While everyone else was listening to that, I was listening to aging bands like The Cure and Echo and the Bunnymen, and that habit saved me. I managed to make it until 2004 without hearing that boy-band staple. It’s an achievement I’m proud of.Read More »Dave vs. Mmm-Bop

It’s not about the money

I made my resignation official on Friday. It was a hard decision to make, but I had a nagging feeling, on a couple of fronts, that I didn’t have a lot of choice.

But I’ll be OK. I had a new gig lined up long before I handed in my resignation. I’ll make a smooth transition and I’ll find some way to contribute on my new job almost immediately. I’ll be working closer to home, in my home state of Missouri, with a better schedule and more options for professional advancement. Still, I’m leaving the best place I ever worked, and that’s difficult. The only thing that made it possible for me to leave was the hostility.

This will be the least professional thing I’ve written in a long time, but I’m upset. Read on, and you’ll see why.

Read More »It’s not about the money

And on a personal note, I passed the CISSP

I can’t believe I forgot to post this, but yesterday I got word that I passed the CISSP. So, after a vetting process that can take up to six weeks, I’ll be able to sign off with a “, CISSP” after my name.

Now that I can give advice on taking the test without being presumptuous, I’ll write about that this weekend.

I’m doing my homework

As I continue studying for my CISSP, I’m rebalancing things a little bit. I plan to still post most days (probably weekdays), but until I pass the test, I’m probably going to be posting shorter pieces than I usually do. I don’t know exactly how much time I spend writing every day, but it would be prudent for me to limit myself to 30 minutes or less until I reach my goal. I write fast, but I know I can’t write 1,000 words worth reading in 30 minutes.

Once my life returns to normal, I expect the length and content mix will also.

And now I think it’s time for a new doctor

I’m sick. I’ve been sick for about three weeks. Not major major–I’ve only missed a day of work–but it’s irritating. And it’s been three weeks. A cold lasts about 10 days.

So I asked my wife to see if I could get in with her doctor. I don’t like my doctor very much. But my wife’s doctor isn’t accepting new patients until February. No political comments, please–I couldn’t find another doctor accepting patients in a reasonable time when Clinton or Bush were president either.

Last night, my throat started bothering me worse. My wife pulled off a miracle and got me an appointment with my doctor the same day, at 4:15.

Read More »And now I think it’s time for a new doctor

There goes the neighborhood

“Dave, you need to look at this.”

Those aren’t my favorite words to hear first thing Monday morning. I went outside to see, and there, I found a lot of debris scattered on the ground. At first, it looked like some animal had torn open a garbage bag. But then I got closer and saw it wasn’t garbage and trash. I saw coupons, credit cards, some change, and other personal effects.

Around that time, one of our next-door neighbors came out to let her dogs do their morning ritual. She and my wife waited while I went inside to call the police.
Read More »There goes the neighborhood

The worst test I ever took

I’m gearing up (finally) to take the CISSP, a 250-question marathon of an exam that covers everything from firewalls and intrusion detection systems to how tall the fence or wall around a building should be and what kind of lights to use in a parking garage.  And everything in between. Three of my colleagues have had CISSP certifications for several years, and on Friday two of them were telling me what to expect.

And the worst test I’ve ever taken came to mind. No, it wasn’t Security+. I had a pretty good idea I was going to pass that one, which I did. The worst test I ever took was Dr. Walter Johnson‘s Fundamental Macroeconomics (Economics 1) makeup final at Mizzou, circa Winter 1994.

Read More »The worst test I ever took

Looking back at a year with WordPress

It was approximately one year ago that I migrated my web site to WordPress. In a way it felt like going home again, as I’d used the predecessor to WordPress, a blogging system called b2, for a couple of years around the turn of the century. I liked b2, but it lacked moderation capability and my blog was becoming a spam magnet. Had I been able to hang in there a few more months, WordPress would have come to my rescue, but I didn’t, so my migration took about a decade longer than it could have.

Better late than never. And it’s been a good year.

Read More »Looking back at a year with WordPress