Ubuntista!

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There’s a new topic category here at mneptok.com, Ubuntu. Why the change? For a couple of reasons.

First, I’ve been a user of (and fanatic for) the Ubuntu distribution of Linux for about a year. I use Ubuntu more than any other alternative OS, and so perhaps that merits a special category.

However, the big reason is that I am now not only a user and fan, but also an employee of Canonical, Ltd, the parent company of the Ubuntu project. They have presented me with an offer which I have accepted. Please, no comments on who got the better end of the deal. Don’t scare Canonical off. :)

I’ll be working for them as Senior Ubuntu Systems Support Analyst starting May 1. I’ll be one of the senior staff overseeing worldwide support operations. This means training, mentoring, and managing junior staff, designing and implementing support options, and yes, answering requests for support via phone and e-mail. In a young, dynamic company no one gets to sit on a “that’s not in my job description” throne. I expect I’ll be doing a lot of work I don’t even have on my radar right now. And that’s exciting.

The support offices are in Montreal, Canada, and we’ll be moving there in the next few months. Must renew my passport, get a work permit and visa, pack up the house, sell the house, and drive back across the continent. Oh, and get two cats and three cockatiels across that continent, too. Whew! This is going to be … hectic.

Canonical has been a pleasure, no, a joy to work with thus far. Jeff Bailey (to whom I will report) and I have had long phone conversations that basically tell me I’ll be working for someone whom I both respect and genuinely like. Speaking with Jane Silber, Canonical’s COO, was every bit as reassuring. It’s nice to find employment with a company that meshes nicely with your own personal ethics and character traits.

I’ll report what I can about what it’s like to work for the company responsible for the best Linux distro on the planet, and give the morbidly curious a peek inside the sausage factory; however, don’t expect NDA violations from this quarter. If you want rumors about what’s going to be in Edgy Eft, go read Slashdot.

Now, I’m off for a dinner on the town with Kristine, and to start explaining to my body that it is going to have to re-acquaint itself with what winter really is. Good thing I kept all my winter garb when I moved to Oregon!

Viva los Ubuntistas! Viva la revolucion!

Nailed In Portland

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CNN is reporting on a story first published in the Journal Of Neurosurgery. Seems one of my extended neighbors here in Portland shot himself in the head with a nail gun 12 times in a botched suicide attempt whilst high on methamphetamine.

Surgeons removed the nails with needle-nosed pliers and a drill, and the man survived with no serious lasting effects … The man at first told doctors he had had a nail gun accident, but later admitted it was a suicide attempt. The nails came close to major blood vessels and the brain stem but did not pierce them.

Meth is bad, m’kay?

Those Kooky Finns

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Finland is an odd place.

It is a beautiful country noted for its lakes and pristine Nordic scenery. My beloved Linux was developed by a Swedish-Finn. So was my father, as my paternal grandmother was a Swedish-Finn from Karelia. I remember a fun summer spent with Finnish cousins Esse, Vesa, and Janne. Visits from Ilke and Irmili.

Finland is also home to bizarre black metal bands and a suicide rate that puts other countries to shame. Finns have a (not undeserved) reputation as an aloof and unsociable people.

But, if this is what you saw on MTV you might contemplate suicide. And if this guy was your dance instructor you might have a hard time making friends.

Ahh, the paradox that is Finland.

Thanks, Remco!

The Color Of Spring

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Happy 01:02:03 04/05/06 everyone!

Here she comes.
Silent in her sound.
Here she comes.
Fresh upon the ground.
Come gentle spring,
come at winter’s end.
Gone is the pallor from a promise that’s nature’s gift.
Waiting for the color of spring.
Let me breathe.
Let me breathe the color of spring.
Here she comes.
Laughter in her kiss.
Here she comes.
Shame upon her lips.
Come wanton spring,
come for birth you live.
Youth takes its bow before the summer the seasons bring.
Waiting for the color of spring.
Let me,let me breathe.
Let me breathe you.
Let me breathe.
Let me breathe you.
Let me breathe.

April Fifth – Mark Hollis

Best Baby Photo Ever

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I met my friend Bill in 1982, when I worked as a camp counselor at a day camp in Connecticut. We had a blast warping the minds of our young charges and getting them to sing Zappa and Beefheart lyrics during lunch.

Bill just sent me this picture of himself and his daughter Lucy. This is the best baby picture ever. If you’re a parent, you’re gonna have to work pretty damned hard to top this.