My "What the... ?" FAQ

Are you retiring?

No. I like to call it pretiring. I really thought that was clever and I was so proud of making up that term... until I realized I was not the first person to do so. Other folk seem to have described it better than I can. I just come up with catchy terms that ha ve already been invented.

Where are you going to work?

Hmmm... How to handle this... Well, this is sort of a living document, and things change... though I am not really sure I want to just discard the spirit of the original answer, so I guess I should just quote that first:
Well, Right now, I just dont know. I feel like I will find something... even if it is not as good as what I left. I am a cheap ass bastard and my daily expenses just are not that big. Ellie May is pretty frugal too. Between the two of us, at least one of us will find employment ... or we will start something on our own.

In theory, I would love to ow n my own bidness... even if it makes less than what I left. I always enjoy the work I do for me so much more than the work I do for someone else.
...that said, I have returned to "working for the man." It's not quite as enjoyable as sitting around in your underwear, driving a tractor and writing snarky blog entries, but it pays ever so slightly more. "Where?" you may ask. Well, somewhere much smaller than I came from but larger than a Ma and Pa. On the plus side, it feels like a small company, even if it isn't. And I'm doing pretty much what I've always done: unix and firewalls. If, for some odd reason, you are absolutely beside yourself with wonder over exactly where I work, you can look me up under a less pseudonymous name on LinkedIn.

Where are you going to live?

I have a little bit of land in east Texas, a few miles east of Tyler. It isnt huge, but it is really pretty. Lots of trees. Lots of critters. And enough space to not feel crowded.

So you have a house out there?

Again, things change... Originally I said:
Well... I have a place to live. Calling it a house seems like a stretch. You know those really cool big workshops that some folk out in the country have behind their house? Well I have one of those. There just isnt a house in front of it. So I will be living there until, someday, I build a house. At that point in time, I have permission from Ellie May to turn it into a proper workshop.

Here are the wife's photos of the summer stuga.
...and now I would answer: Yes.

Is your wife is ok with all of this?

< p>Either she is really cool and okay with all of this or she is a really good liar. I am still working out the odds on which is true.

Why in the world would you quit a good job?

Lots of reasons really. The primary one is family. Both my wife and I have family in east Texas. I feel like I would rather forgo some income and hang with them while I can than hate myself in 15 - 20 years when that opportunity is no longer possible.
I also have just spent a lot of tim e at The Company and its time for a change. 18 years is a long time to be in one place. Politics are such that over time the more centralized IT approach has consistently moved things I like doing somewhere else. It finally got to where there just was not much for me to do.

You must have more money than god. Do you?

No. Far from it. But Ellie May and I live a pretty frugal lifestyle so our expenses are low. <SOAPBOX> There are a whole lot of folks out there that tend to live higher than they can afford. Then when it comes time to do something that really means something to them, they have no concept where the money would come from. Well, it would come from the car you leased, the weekly trips to the nail salon, and 6 nights out to dinner a week. It has nothing to do with what you make. It is all about what you spend. </SOAPBOX>

Are you crazy?

My mental health h as not been recently determined by a health care professional.

What is this I hear about a goat farm?

That is really more euphemism that has been made up by a couple of friends. Whenever I talked of walking out and living in the country, they said I was going to move to the country and raise goats. The irony is that goats are specifically prohibited in the deed restriction. No goats. No chickens. No pigs. I really can't tell you why, that's just what it says. Horses, cow s, donkeys... all okay. Presumably tigers, rabid monkeys and man-eating crows ar e allowed, too. Its just the poor goats, chickens and pigs that are shamefully r estricted.

Would you consider doing contract work?

Sure.  Locally would be best, but if it were in "the big city&quot ; and was short enough that I wasn't stuck living in a hotel for life -- I t hink it would be a good dristraction.  And money.  Mostly money.  Yeah, I think the money would be cool.

What did your boss do to you to make you quit?

Nothing at all. I believe we parted on good terms. We were always able to work out disagreements in the past without any need to go to HR. It might mean we yelled at each other every now and then, but that was just bidness. At the end of the day, we always worked it out.

Do you have the same cell phone number?

Nope. For the most part I hate carrying a phone around. I only did it becau se someone paid me to. I turned it back in on my last day. Your best bet is using email. UPDATE: after 2 years of no cell phone I finally have one . If you knew my land line phone number here, then you know the cell phone numbe r. Hurricane Ike tore the land line asunder and we just moved the number to a ce ll phone rather than get it fixed.

When I read your blog, you seem like an opinionated ass. 

Now technically, that's not a question. But it's a fair assessment.

What the hell is the purpose of this blog?

Honestly, I have struggled with that there question for a while. And for the most part, it is my hermit, geeky way of keeping in touch with people. If you don't know me and you are reading this, that's fine. Maybe it is a way to meet new folks as well. If you're puzzled by the rantiness of it all, well that probably puts you in the "don't know me" category. In the past I have owned one or two soap boxes. If was not uncommon fo r work friends to roll their eyes and grab a chair when I got on a tear.

Are you a religious right fanatic? Are you a stinky dirty liberal? Are you a jack booted fascist?

No. No. And no .

Huh? Then what the hell are you?

I like to call myself "the rational middle. " I really think:
  • Most people, if pressed, fall into this category, but either vote a hot button issue or just don't have a choice so they pick left or right.
  • This won't ever catch on unless there is a catchier name.
...bu t that's a cop out.  If you must know, I am a godless, geeky, graphtastic, p erl hacking, linux loving, dog fancying, tractor driving, Rush listening, middle aged, over opinionat ed, cheap ass bastard of a laissez-faire capitalist that actually believes in ri ght and wrong even if the Bible doesn't tell me so.

Why do you call yourself Spork? Why don't you use you r real name?

Mostly because I think it's fun. It just started out that way and I kept going with it. But I guess there are other reasons as well. Firstly, I spent my share of years doing IT security whic h has given me more than a healthy dosage of paranoia. (It's not that I made enemies... I just saw a lot of the dumb stuff people do.) And while I am under no silly assumption that I am really anonymous here, I also don't seem to think I nee d to wave a flag saying "Here I am, come find me." If you try even a little, you'll figure it out. I also have not totally given up on the idea of "working for the man" again some day. And since I live in a Big Pond of God, I don't really think it's a good idea to have front page googlosity with my name and some religiously unfriendly rant.

Then what does Spork mean? Is there some symbolism there?

Besides a fine plastic eating utensil? If you are looking for something symbolic, then you've spent too much time recently in a college English 102 class. It means nothing. It could just as well have been "Jesus.Says.Oink" or "Zip.Up.Your.Nose."

Who is Ellie May? Why do you call her that?

Ellie is the wife. Like Spork, it just happened. And over time you might even notice the spelling of her name has morphed from Mae to May. She spelled it 'May' and I spelled it 'Mae.'  Eventually, her spelling won.
...and I call her that because she is blond, cute, looks good in jeans and has a way with animals... just like the original Ellie May. She's also wicked sarcastic, though I certainly don't remember that from the show.  What's it to you

Why did you let Ellie May/Mae win in the spelling of her name?

You've never been married, have you?

I don't get it. Is this supposed to be funny?

Sometimes yes, sometimes no. And unfortunately (for you) I for some reason am a big fan of the joke that one person in a room of 50 gets. It makes the joke exponentially more funny when only one person is laughing. Sor ry about you other 49 folks. No refunds.