Thursday, February 26, 2004


Here I thought I was going to be able to do all sorts of great things now that I'm finished with the certification. I have been a sore-throated slug since. I even missed Ash Wednesday church last night because I'd been chilled to the bone in the storm (had to leave the office for a meeting) and a hot bath was on the cards.

My observations and rants about l'affaire San Francisco (weddings) will have to wait.

Monday, February 23, 2004

Unsafe at Any Speed

Ralph Nader's candidacy for President. Again.

I can't believe he's trotting out that tired old "there is no difference between the parties" b.s. after three years of GWB in office.

And of course enough people might buy it (again) to swing votes.


Saturday, February 21, 2004

Letters after My Name

A lawyer friend of mine says they're seriously overrated, and a psychologist friend of mine agrees, but I've finally achieved a technical certification after close to two decades of not wanting to deal with testing after surviving a tough college.

I passed the second of my two exams for my SANS GSEC certificate within the last hour. I got nearly 91% after white-knuckling it all the way. I am quite sure the pressure (there was a deadline involved) contributed to my Unfortunate Indisposition last weekend.

So I'm official, and my paper will be published at the SANS Reading Room shortly, and I can get on with my life. Which will include working on an MCSE once I am suitably recovered.

And the current answer to "what has it gots in its pocketses?" is not as likely to be "A spray bottle of Bach Rescue Remedy for the stress". I picked some up last Saturday because Elephant Pharmacy had one of their specials and finally started using it on Wednesday when I thought I would throw up, AGAIN. Stuff works pretty well.

Tonight I am going to enjoy a nice bath and read something that is not computer-security related. Tomorrow I will be back in bright and early to help patch the systems (sing "Ho" for the life of a sysadmin) but am planning to do some celebratory Retail Therapy downtown afterwards.

I did think of a cool new nickname for myself - "Geek Spice". I am amused (well, it doesn't take much, as those of you who know me know).

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Burn Rate

In the completion of his stunning reversal of fortune, Howard Dean bowed to the inevitable and officially got out of the Democratic race. On NPR's "Marketplace" this evening, I heard the host compare Dean's rise and fall to the dot-com bubble and the college professor who was the expert guest did laugh. As I said elsewhere, forty-one million is a helluva burn rate.

I will confess to never much liking Dean, perhaps because he was so popular among the local lefties and anyone who Berkeley really likes is unelectable in the general as far as I am concerned. I'm a centrist, and a pragmatist.

Edwards gave Kerry a scare in Wisconsin by coming close in the primary yesterday - I was actually quite cheered by the "horse race" aspect of it. If I hadn't reregistered I'd vote for Edwards in our primary since I am predicting that Super Duper Tuesday will be his last gasp. I am liking him more and more and that man has some Elvis. If he doesn't get offered the Veep slot, he'll be back.

The sun was out today, which was nice after the nasty weather yesterday. I am still quite tired (minor cramps), and rather spaced out, although the studying is progressing along. The acupuncturist used moxa last night, which seemed to work but has the unpleasant side effect of making all my clothes and hair smell like a certain controlled substance I don't use and don't wish to smell like.

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

California Winter

Which is the name of the Karl Shapiro poem with the bit I've been quoting for a while at this time of year:

It is raining in California, a straight rain
Cleaning the heavy oranges on the bough,
Filling the gardens till the gardens flow,
Shining the olives, tiling the gleaming tile,
Waxing the dark camellia leaves more green,
Flooding the daylong valleys like the Nile.

Monday, February 16, 2004

It's an Eeyore Day

It's a holiday, which is good, but it's pouring down rain. I am feeling a little down today because the stress got to me last night at N. and A.'s; I had been planning to drink enough to get a little squiffy (as a release from the tension) but not enough to get sick. That was truly embarrassing (and awful - this never happened when I was a young'un).

I had wondered if I would be able to talk about something besides MY STUDIES. But I didn't want that! It's taking the "acting like a grad student" way too far.

Since it's raining hard, no shopping expeditions during break times and no pruning, either.

That being said, I was glad that I had the house-prep for the cleaners done and had finished the study guide. I was moving a little slow this am - not hung over, but my tummy was still a bit dainty and I was still weak - but I didn't have much to do.

AND I have gone through the quizzes in two cycles for the next test. Will probably do two more cycles today. But right now I have to get off the 'puter and sit in bed because my back is starting to complain.

Saturday, February 14, 2004

Happy V-Day

Fine hand-crafted Valentine's wishes to you all!

About thirty minutes after I posted that, I found the envelope I was looking for. I'm hoping to find the cookbooks next because I rely on those.

Between the exam and the system work last week, I'm pooped. And the weather is gray so I will have to psych myself up for studying (yeah, this really sucks when your deadlines are in January and February).

Even the candy bribe is losing its appeal because I have just been eating so much of it. At least I won't have to fight the V-day crowds if I need replenishing! My mother, bless her heart, sent me the results of a pre-VDay truffle tasting from the Sacramento Bee. I bet that was a real hardship assignment. It was interesting to note that most fancy truffles are 1.50 and up - when I make mine for the office "bake sale", we sell them for a dollar each.

I will be placing an online order for more Lush, since I used my last Avobath bomb yesterday. That is an excellent bath thing for the exhausted. I needed it because I got called at midnight on the oncall phone and had trouble getting back to sleep.

Thursday, February 12, 2004

Two down, one to go

I passed the first section of the certifying exam today. It was a lot tougher than the practice quizzes but my study guide saved my bacon. This is a good feeling since the process is now two-thirds done. I also have a real good idea how to prepare better for the next test - the quizzes were easy compared to it.

I am both elated and exhausted, especially since I went to the Berkeley Bowl afterwards. Tonight I think I will take a lovely bath after my acupuncture appointment - with a Lush bath bomb (that should change the google ads in my header back). I also think I will be able to go to SLO two weekends from now with the Ship especially since my deadline is the Friday. Current plan is to cram this weekend (three days) and do some weeknight stuff next week and take it Sat. pm or Sunday.

The lost object gods have been playing with my brain. I finally found a long-missing Waterman pen and my other glove in totally expected places but am missing my Laurie Colwin cookbooks and can't find my friend Katherine's address. So I tore the place apart looking for it. Must. Pick. Up. Perhaps I shall find them now that I am not a complete nervous wreck.

I didn't call the insurance about the non-payment of deductible. Will try tomorrow.

Sunday, February 08, 2004

Another modern moment ...

Finding out your best friend still has the cold from hell by reading her blog.

But she didn't find out I had been in an accident by reading mine. Eeep!

Must call A. before she learns I aced the paper by reading mine.

Nobody knows I got my car back by reading my blog ... didn't say anything. But I did and it looks like new! Took me a while to get used to driving it again but it feels right now. The only blip was that the insurance didn't pick up the deductible.

I suffered through Sat. afternoon crowds yesterday. Went to See's Candy (the week before V-day - what was I thinking?) to get study bribes in the form of caramels and toffees. Ate all the toffees last night. Didn't study a wink. Felt like a pig. Did some excellent non-candy-fueled studying this morning though. Went to the store and bought some Almond Roca.

I failed most of the practice quizzes but that was because I was employing random guess. I will work up a "what's in which chapter" study guide since it is an open book test. I will go thru the quizzes again tonight and see if I do a lot better. If so I will sit the first exam on Thursday.

The cat is cooperating by not insisting on laptime, although I am not risking it for the actual test.

One thing about failing the quizzes repeatedly is that they cycle thru different questions so I was exposed to a variety. This will be useful for the actual exam. The tip I got was to be comfy with the quizzes. And study networking!

Saturday, February 07, 2004

It's a beautiful day

Am getting better on the concentration thing, through one means or another. Last Saturday was a flurry of activity - picked up my knife, bought pet food, and put a pot roast in the oven before going off to the salon to get my legs and toes done. Then came home and semi-organized my tax stuff and paid bills.

Still didn't get my mom's birthday card off on time though. (I called.)

Since the weather was crap on Sunday and I overslept and felt like a big slug, I did not get around to pruning my rosebushes. Today is lovely so I will do it some time this afternoon, in between STUDYING.

Yes, I am officially a nervous wreck about the certifying exam I need to complete before the end of the month. I want to study up this weekend and take at least one of the two halves on my holidays. I got an excellent grade on my paper, which is a big hurdle, but I'd like to have this out of the way.

I will probably be fighting my way through one of the local malls to get some chocolate-covered caramels from See's as "Study Bribes". The Trader Joe's chocolate caramels were GREAT incentives. And this way I can get a WHOLE BOX.