Laura McGuire's Comments

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At 7:40pm on May 15, 2011, Ruth Anthony-Gardner said…
Greetings, Laura! I notice you haven't been active at Atheist Nexus since April. <sigh> Sometimes it can seem a bit fragmented, with different groups for every interest. Please consider a group for socializing, where we talk about whatever's on our minds, Hang With Friends. :D You might feel more at home.
At 1:20pm on April 16, 2011, Anita Slaughter said…
Hi Laura,  I too am from Al.  I live in Arab,  not too far from you.  It's good to meet you here.  Hope to talk again!
At 8:29pm on March 30, 2011, Joseph P said…

Yeah, I love pets, as a general principle ... just not so much in my house.  It's an OCD thing.  Dogs are fun to play with, but they don't fit well into my personal space.  I'd rather play with other people's dogs.


It's true that I've seen entertaining improv.  I got dragged out to a late-night show this past New Years Eve.  It was funny, just not intellectually engaging like I expect from standup.


I definitely go in for political humor, myself.  For my favorites, I'd have to list ... hmm.  George Carlin (duh), Robin Williams, Chris Rock (good social commentary), Ron White (but not the rest of the Blue Collar Comedy guys (although Foxworthy isn't complete crap)), Dennis Miller, Jeff Dunham ...

Hmm, those are the big ones coming to mind right now.

At 9:05am on March 29, 2011, Brent Feeney said…
No worries, it's my pleasure! =)  Hope you have a great day...
At 9:20am on March 28, 2011, Brent Feeney said…
A belated welcome aboard!! =)  Hope this finds you doing well...
At 8:02pm on March 26, 2011, Joseph P said…

Wow, sorry about the long delay there.  The end of the week was a little squirrelly.  It's easy to lose track of what I've responded to already, when it's a stream of comments.  With private messages, at least you've got the little replied indicator to keep it straight.


So, what sort of work with animals do you mean?  Have you worked in a vet office or something?  One of my sisters is a vet tech.


And yeah, there's also a difference between not being prepared ... and going up on stage and thinking you're going to spin it as you go.  I've seen a couple do the latter.  It's never been pretty, that I've seen.


Even improv comedy isn't really random and completely made up on the spot.  They always have an idea of where they're going to steer it.  Personally, I'm not a big fan of improv comedy, anyway.  I prefer more thought out, intelligent comedy.  Improv generally deteriorates to bathroom humor and random, silly things.

At 8:33pm on March 22, 2011, Joseph P said…

That's pretty much what I'm planning on, with YouTube.  I'm still working on getting my material and delivery clean enough to have someone record it, and then I'll post bits of it.

Heh, I've seen people do exactly what your friends are suggesting you do.  It's generally not a pretty thing to see.  "Well, I'm pretty funny, and I've had some funny things happen in my life, so I'll just go up on stage and talk about my life."  *shudder*  No, no, no, no, no, no.  You have to have your thoughts all in order, because as soon as you're standing in front of dozens of people, you'll start forgetting which parts you've already mentioned.  You need to have your punchlines planned out and phrased properly.  There's a hell of a lot of writing, memorizing, and other prep work which goes into even a 5 minute standup segment.

I'll let you know when I have something presentable, though.
At 8:32pm on March 22, 2011, Joseph P said…

Ohhhhhh.  I see now.  I thought you had meant that you work in an Apple Store ... in the back room or something, dealing with the technical problems people have.  Whole bunch of stuff in the back.  Gotcha, I think.

Do the latest Mac OSes even have a Remote Desktop feature?  I can't imagine they haven't implemented it for at least some versions, since XP Pro has had it for 7 or 8 years now.  But, I guess they wouldn't implement that in the retail versions, huh?


Hmm, what sort of physical work is there nowadays?  The only thing really coming to mind is construction.  If you can get something in I.T. that's more mobile, it's fun.

I'm attached to the Work-from-Home support section, myself.  I occasionally get tied down to the helpdesk, taking care of tickets, but I'm usually off driving all the hell around North Carolina, either installing new Work-from-Home users or swapping out PCs of existing ones.  With about 500 or 600 people working from home, you'd be amazed how many machines need to be swapped out, in any given week.  Some of those users live 2 hours away from the office, so one swap-out (about 30 or 45 minutes of work) can take up half of my day.  I haven't even bothered taking a lunch for the past two weeks.  I just munch on peanuts or protein bars, while on the road, and then I have a large travel mug full of water.

At 6:56pm on March 22, 2011, Pansy said…
awwww, you're adorable  :)
At 9:15am on March 22, 2011, Joseph P said…

Actually, I only started seriously thinking about the comedy last year.  I just kept coming up with good comedy bits, while I was trying to work on other writing.  After a few months, I just gave in and started writing the stuff down.  I'm working on my delivery and stage presence, right now.


Comedy is one of those things that you can use as a vehicle to spin off into any number of other areas.  If I can get to the point of getting any TV exposure, that will make for sufficient name recognition to let me make a living off of it from then on.  Heck, nowadays, even getting any kind of YouTube presence can potentially accomplish that.
At 9:14am on March 22, 2011, Joseph P said…

Wow, yeah, that's definitely the advantage of getting into corporate-level I.T. work.  If someone is too helpless to use a computer on their own, they're too helpless to work in an office.  We get the ticket, remote in, and see if we can reproduce the issue that they're having.  There's very little training of and interaction with the people, on our part.


I'm not sure I could cope with customers, on a retail level.  Dealing with people like my mother, all day long, would drive me insane.  I'd certainly refuse to deal with them over the phone.  You sit down with someone and show them, then let them do it themselves.  Of course on the retail level, you're doing whatever the management tells you to do, so you're kind of stuck.


And yeah, I know that Macs can be worked into any kind of network structure.  It's just usually not worth the extra hassle.  I think the only departments that are usually granted Macs are ones like advertising departments or similar.  The company I'm contracted out to doesn't have anything like that, so it's 100% XP machines.


For 95% of the employees, we can just grab a standard-imaged machine off of the shelf and bring it to them.  There are only a couple of groups that need special programs ... like the call-center people who need a more advanced version of the soft-phone software, and then programmers, who need a whole bunch of extra programs.

At 7:26pm on March 21, 2011, Joseph P said…

Yeah, could be worse, though.  My mother often calls me and wants me to diagnose her computer problems over the phone.  She'll say that it does something when she clicks on the square ... okay, so that's the window, Mom?  No, of course not, she meant a square desktop icon.  She just uses the worst possible word for any description, which leaves me with no idea what she's even talking about.


At least with the clients at work, I can remote in and see what they've got going on ... and when it's something really serious that will take a while to fix, I can just say to hell with it and drive out and replace their PC.  That's one of the nice things about corporate I.T. work.  You always keep your finger right over the nuclear option.  There's almost no problem that can't be solved with a freshly-imaged PC.


The big issue I see with wide acceptance of Macs in offices involves their servers.  Are those any less worthless than they were 2 or 3 years ago?  The client machines are fine, just a pain to work into an Active Directory environment.


Sweet.  What sort of writing do you do?  I've got a fantasy novel and a religious novel half-written, right now.  I've just tabled those for a while, in favor of the stand-up comedy.

At 6:24pm on March 21, 2011, Dr. Terence Meaden said…
Hi Laura. Welcome to this rational world of Internet atheism----a haven from the irrational superstitions and fictional god of the masses.

We invite you to make good friends by joining the busy group "ORIGINS: Universe, Astronomy, Life, Earth, Humans, Religion, Gods, Atheism, Evolution, Darwin..." with its 400 discussion topics and 2400 members.

Terry Meaden
At 6:32pm on March 20, 2011, Joseph P said…

Ick.  Macintosh.  Those things are nightmares to work with, from a business perspective.  Give me Windoze or LINUX any day.  Macs have their uses, but for the business world, they're completely unnecessary for anyone who isn't a graphic designer or something.


If you want to talk about mind-numbing, you should take a few shifts on a help-desk.  It never ceases to amaze me what end-users will do to their systems.  I have to dumb myself down a good bit to figure out what could be causing the issue they're having.  "Well, of course you would get that result if you had the settings configured that way, but that can't be it.  No one would be stupid enough to set ... oh, for fuck sake."

At 11:34am on March 20, 2011, Joseph P said…
Yeah, that's more or less my situation, too.  I don't find fulfillment as a network engineer, but it's easy for me and pays a lot ... and it's usually low stress, since I'm finding work as a field tech, right now.  Lot of time chilling out in the car, on the highways, driving from one place to the next.  It pays the bills and doesn't encumber me too badly, emotionally, so it doesn't interfere with my trying to start up a more creative career.
At 8:06pm on March 18, 2011, Ember Book said…
It's not too overwhelming, we're plenty welcoming and accepting.  You should come visit and see for yourself!
At 7:04pm on March 18, 2011, Ember Book said…
Welcome to the AN! You should join us in the chat sometime. It's been fairly active recently.
At 7:51pm on March 17, 2011, Joseph P said…
Nice, good to get more women into the I.T. field ... even if I'm trying to get out of it.
At 7:37pm on March 16, 2011, Ken said…
Hello and welcome.  We are glad to have you.


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