The Problem with Peanuts

23 March 2015 | Comments Off on The Problem with Peanuts

I was hungry. Perhaps that’s a good excuse, or perhaps not. Either way, I sat down after ordering, took a peanut, broke the nuts out of the shell, and ate them. After eating the peanut, I felt less hungry. So I picked up another one and ate it, as well. Soon enough, long before I…

A Neutral ‘Net?

16 February 2015 | Comments Off on A Neutral ‘Net?

This week I’m going to step off the beaten path for a moment and talk about ‘net neutrality. It appears we are about to enter a new phase in the life of the Internet — at least in the United States — as the FCC is out and about implying we should expect a ruling…

Friends May Come and Go…

9 February 2015 | 1 Comment

We overuse the word “friend” in our world—especially the technical world. We tend to call anyone we’ve ever met a friend. In this environment, friends come and go almost constantly, flowing through our lives like the leaves in a brisk fall wind. The depth to which Facebook and LinkedIn dive into our personal relationships—reminding us…

But Does it Work?

19 January 2015 | 2 Comments

When I was in the USAF, a long, long, time ago, there was a guy in my shop — Armand — who, no matter what we did around the shop, would ask, “but does it work?” For instance, when I was working on redoing the tool cabinet, with nice painted slots for each tool, he…

On Losing

5 January 2015 | Comments Off on On Losing

When I got off the phone, I knew I’d blown it. I’d gotten so wrapped up in the discussion on eVPNs that I might have crossed over that magical line between, “this is a really neat technology,” to, “this technology will solve world hunger.” It brought back to mind my first “real fight” in the…

The Inner Ring

27 October 2014 | 4 Comments

An avid reader of C.S. Lewis, I often find his thoughts and statements applicable far outside his original intent. For instance, in 1944 (at least a few years before I was born I feel safe to say), he gave an amazing lecture at the Memorial Lecture of King’s College, University of London. The entire speech…

Get Out of the Way

29 September 2014 | 6 Comments

I have a lot of memories that have emerged from my years as a network engineer — from funny stories to profound moments to those times when I felt like a complete idiot (because we’re all idiots sometimes). One of those formative moments was when I was agonizing over the decision to leave the Global Escalation…

Jim — I’m an Engineer, not a…

22 September 2014 | 2 Comments

Doctor McCoy, on the original Star Trek series had a signature line — he was forever complaining about this or that with the exclamation that he was just a doctor, and not a… Well, whatever, from shuttle driver to politician. And how many times, in my career, have I wanted to stop in the middle…

What I Learned by Being Laid Off

8 September 2014 | 6 Comments

There’s nothing quite so unnerving as being laid off. I know, because I’ve been let go in a “limited restructuring” twice in my life. Through the process, I learned some “life lessons,” that apply to just about every engineering in the world. While I’m safely ensconced in a great place at Ericsson, I thought it…