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Short on Time

By stretch | Sunday, September 18, 2011 at 10:59 p.m. UTC

Frequent readers of the blog have probably noticed an absence of new posts over the last two weeks. Having started a new day job, the majority of my week is now spent converting thought and configuration commands into cash, and my weekend time is allocated primarily to my wife and personal life. This leaves very little time left over to write for the blog. Lately I've been considering mothballing the blog altogether, and maintaining the site as an archive of my past work plus the community lab and such. Several people have asked to submit guest posts, but for some reason that seems like it may end up being more work for me than writing posts myself.

I haven't decided what to do yet, but wanted to post an update so I'm not leaving everyone in the dark. More to come.

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September 18, 2011 at 11:33 p.m. UTC

I'd like to personally say THANKS for all the information and tips you have shared. I haven't taken advantage of the community lab, but I think it's an amazing resource you have provided to the community. I appreciate all the time and effort you have given us. You have saved me many hours of troubleshooting, and many, many hours of design research.

I would love it if you would continue, even if it's less frequent!

September 19, 2011 at 1:39 a.m. UTC

I'm hoping you keep it alive. Although some topics are over my head skills wise, I do enjoy reading it none the less. I think guest posts could be a good idea. I would recommend just posting them as is with a note that you have not edited the content, nor checked for accuracy. Perhaps set up a subsection for guest posts that would keep them separate from yours maintaining your good name. That way, you could just post a notice that Joe Blow has posted in the guest blog on your front page, cutting down on the work load.

Let's keep the knowledge flowing.

September 19, 2011 at 2:16 a.m. UTC

whatever you do, please leave the site up.

While I'm doing very little networking in my current role, that may change in the future and then I will very much need your generous site

zach loeber
September 19, 2011 at 3:37 a.m. UTC

Do what you need to do brother, you owe the public nothing. You are far enough in your career that to maintain an online tomb of knowledge (no matter how frequently updated) is simply giving back at this point. No one will fault you for being abcent (unless they are selfish bastards). I'd keep the site up if you can afford it though, you never know when having a long earned public reputation will come in handy ;)

September 19, 2011 at 3:43 a.m. UTC

You've done a great job thus far, inspirational to all others wishing to get into the industry. It's hard when you have to balance work with life/family, and in any case, family trumps all. However, I should remind you how much of an impact you've made on the community. If there's any solution to keeping the knowledge flowing, I hope you go for it.

September 19, 2011 at 4:12 a.m. UTC

Expanding into the networking world brought me here and this is easily one of the best resources and reference points I have found yet. Whatever decision you fall on I just wanted to say many thanks for this site.

Bob Plankers
September 19, 2011 at 5:38 a.m. UTC

You didn't ask for advice, and I'm not giving any. But I'll say that I've gone months between posts sometimes, when life has been too nuts and the last thing I wanted to do is write. It's okay. Feed reading is completely passive -- if the blog is still up but there isn't new content most of your readers won't know the difference. They won't unsubscribe, they'll just passively wait, reading other stuff in the meantime.

And, months from now, when you run into something that you want to write about, your blog will still be there for you, along with all your readers.


September 19, 2011 at 9:41 a.m. UTC

obviously you desserve your weekend time for your personal life and relax from binaries storms :)

I think you could pack all this knowledge on a book, and i´m sure all of us will see it as a MUST HAVE

Enjoy your time as we enjoyed your blog (on relax time too)


September 19, 2011 at 9:44 a.m. UTC

Stretch, Your blog is a fan site for many people in the IT community. Please continue what your doing we love it. It is a vast resource of information that a lot of us use. I will continue to visit even if you post once a month just to get a solid nugget of information that I know is coming from a real pro.

September 19, 2011 at 10:08 a.m. UTC

Please don't stop writing. Writing is good for your soul and your mind. If you are too busy you could do maybe one post in a month or so. I love your blog, so I am encouraging you to continue writing.

September 19, 2011 at 1:20 p.m. UTC

Stretch, first things come first. You have provided a source of knowledge and resources that are very valuable to the networking community which myself I've benefited from it. No matter what, keep up the site and dont worry about your absence from time to time, what you have provided in packletlife.net weighs much more.


September 19, 2011 at 1:53 p.m. UTC

I'll miss your blog if you do moth-ball it, but I can't blame you. Thanks for all the knowledge!!

September 19, 2011 at 3:27 p.m. UTC

Family come first, write whenever you can...we all understand...Thanks!!!

September 19, 2011 at 3:58 p.m. UTC

Dude you are a legend. You don't owe anyone anything. We all (most?) know what it's like to get really busy so we understand.

Let the community know if there is anything we can do (i.e. help maintain, post articles, etc) because I'm sure the community would be here to help you out if possible. I'd be all for it if there is something I can help out with.

That said, your posts have always been really great. If you think you'd have the time to post one or two every now and again, I think the community would love you for it. If not, hey it'd still be great to leave up the site with archives, the lab, and perhaps let some others take over on blogging.

But of course it's up to you and we'll understand.

September 19, 2011 at 4:03 p.m. UTC

"Bit is short for binary digit" I actually had to look that up because I'd forgotten that, just so I could register to leave you a thank you comment...

I came to your column late but it has already become a reference library of sorts. I agree with what's already been said: please leave the site up if you can. But if it comes down to the eithosphere or a personal life, well, go have a personal life!

Thanks for all you insightful curiosity.

September 19, 2011 at 7:38 p.m. UTC

I'd vote for you to stop blogging altogether. Let people remember and miss you as a blogging 'legend' that frequently blogged interesting, unique content frequently and for years....rather than remembering you as someone whose blog slowly died due to infrequently blogging and who later vanished into cyberspace. I also come here to read YOUR articles because of your view point and your writing style...not someone else's...so I'd also disagree with having guest articles.

Just my opinion, of course.

Take care

Brian K
September 19, 2011 at 9:25 p.m. UTC

What I'd like to say has already been said. This site (stagnant or otherwise) is an immeasurable benefit to the IT community, and surely you are aware how much the community appreciates what you have done.

Thank You Mr. Stretch.
Thank You.

September 20, 2011 at 9:40 a.m. UTC

Wait, you're using the same reasons the rest of us use not to blog, not having time, having a full time job, having a family on the weekends ...

I've really enjoyed your website, your posts. I've missed your posts, and have been watching the RSS feed diligently.

I would appreciate it if you could keep posting, or keep the site up - but totally understand if you don't want to.

Thank you for what you've done - you've helped me.

A guest
September 20, 2011 at 1:42 p.m. UTC

I use your site a lot for research. I understand that it takes a lot of time to maintain and update the content. Personnaly i like to see that the site remains active. Enjoy your free time because thats also important.

With kind regards.

September 20, 2011 at 3:58 p.m. UTC

There is a Solution!
just gather some people around that you met through the blog that could come up with some ideas for new posts and assign a person that you trust to look over the ideas. If they are good, put the posts on the blog. You can be also play as a last level supervisor and the blog can still be up to date without much trouble. Love reading the blog. Thanks a lot!
with kind regards,

Marius from eastern Europe.

September 20, 2011 at 5:53 p.m. UTC

Enjoy your free time. Whatever the future may bring, keep the site online, it's a great resource.

September 21, 2011 at 4:31 a.m. UTC

Hi Stretch, don't worry about that. Life is more than updating a website!

September 21, 2011 at 9:59 a.m. UTC

I'm with Bob Plankers... Blog will be here, and if something occasionally pops up on your mind... we'll be here!

Best regards, Marko

September 21, 2011 at 12:56 p.m. UTC

Thanks for everything Stretch, even on my personal blog, I have quite a few links that lead to you blog. But yeah, I feel you, I'm pretty sure its going to take quite a toll on your time. And hey, we all need a personal life to. :)

September 21, 2011 at 3:37 p.m. UTC

Stretch, we would all hate to see you leave but please keep the site up even if it is static it is a great resource. I do understand where you are coming from having did the rack rental thing and semi community lab back in 02. Plus maintaining a blog and site all the while billing can be too much. I am in a current boat as well. Continuing education, my lab(upgrades/upkeep) which I only let my consulting clients use now, updating my wayyyy too old website and billing.

If there is a way to have a sub moderator keep things going on your behalf that would be great or just keep it up and we will all wait for the occasional gem of a post from you. Your site could also be viewed as a portfolio of your work as well. So, on your new job when you learn something new and wish to share(time permitting) you already have your forum in place.

Your site is fun, informative and the gang of posters is great. So I hope you stick around...

September 22, 2011 at 1:36 p.m. UTC

This is a great site ad I'd be sad to see it down. I think we all understand the problem with spare time, we all have our daily jobs and spend some time reading your site whenever we can. I can also understand that you cannot let anyone post here, you wouldn't want to spoil the good reputation with the mistakes that someone might post. So my suggestion would be to keep the site up, post whenever you can and feel like it and if necessary we are willing to donate and/or buy some merchandise to economically support you.

September 22, 2011 at 3:15 p.m. UTC

"Don Corleone: Tell me, do you spend time with your family? Johnny Fontane: Sure I do. Don Corleone: Good. Because a man who doesn't spend time with his family can never be a real man.."

as Lou told, write whenever you can...we all understand... Thanks for the community lab...tc..

Vineeth :-)

September 24, 2011 at 1:32 a.m. UTC

J, I know exactly how you feel. It's difficult to put so much time into a site and balance it with a healthy work and home life. I have to say that your material is second to none and that I have the utmost respect for you.

I started a forum post on my site for you...


Let us know what you decide.


September 25, 2011 at 8:17 a.m. UTC

Even if you post once a year, it will be a great site :)

Greetings form Poland and thanks for all great work so far!

September 27, 2011 at 2:12 p.m. UTC

Your blog has been a great resource to me, I hope it continues even if it is not so frequently. Thanks for all the great resource including the lab.

September 28, 2011 at 5:08 p.m. UTC

:( I just found your site! Hope you do not stop posting....and if so, PLEASE leave up and running so we can review topics!!!!!!!! You do a very good job explaining!

September 28, 2011 at 5:22 p.m. UTC

I can't claim to know anything about blogging. But.... wondering if you could turn this project into one that makes money for you :) Then maybe you wouldn't have to work another job...because all the time you put into this site is a job in itself! Family and your personal down time is vital,'just saying'. It doesn't matter if you don't have the time to create new posts. There is a vast base of knowledge already here! And there will always be newbies (like me) coming up the ranks and will find this so helpful!!!!!! Thank you :)

September 28, 2011 at 6:03 p.m. UTC

if u dont have time for your blog, please expand on your lab, maybe you can charge a lil for it

October 3, 2011 at 4:59 p.m. UTC


Have loved your blog over the last few years. The cheat sheets have been a wonderful addition to my cubicle walls and the generosity of running a community lab out of your location is amazing. Definately hope you don't shelve the blog, but if you were to bring all of this information into a book, absolutely I'd be in line to buy it.

All the best,


October 8, 2011 at 1:41 p.m. UTC

Congratulations for your new job!

I too work full time and I mistreat my blog a lot badly than yours!

Don't worry, just keep it up and post only when you feel you need to share something. Very interesting arguments indeed.

October 10, 2011 at 3:21 a.m. UTC

Hi Mr Stretch,

Thanks providing a wonderful blog to keep up with various diffirent technoglies.

I looked all over for cheats sheets and i got to say this website has the best.

Thanks once agian for being kind enough to share with us and put in alot of effort into this website.


October 11, 2011 at 10:07 a.m. UTC

Hi Stretch,
the best networking blog on the web bar none!!! I was delighted when I found your site, a bit sad now that you're on less but such is life.

Well done on getting the job by the way.

Hope we hear from you soon but we understand too :-)



October 11, 2011 at 6:56 p.m. UTC

cheatsheet were the best ;) though reserving the lab for certain IP address dint go well... but its okay, i understand. GNS3 is good enough for now.

October 20, 2011 at 4:33 a.m. UTC

Bro, you rock man, at your pc skills.... i would love your stuff.

long time follower
December 31, 2011 at 12:13 a.m. UTC

You need to find your peace. I've ridden on the busy bus often enough to know that getting off the bus to walk for a bit can be a life changer and family saver. You can always get back on. Personally, I hope that you keep the site going, you may need it some day. Take some time off from blogging and the answer will come to you.

BTW, I keep the following story pinned to my wall near my dresser. It found a place with me as I'm an old time radio hack. It's a daily reminder for me that I saved from a e-mail chain years ago.

Marbles and Saturdays

The older I get, the more I enjoy Saturday mornings. Perhaps it's the quiet solitude that comes with being the first to rise, or maybe it's the unbounded joy of not having to be at work. Either way, the first few hours of a Saturday morning are most enjoyable.

A few weeks ago, I was shuffling toward the garage with a steaming cup of coffee in one hand and the morning paper in the other. What began as a typical Saturday morning turned into one of those lessons that life seems to hand you from time to time. Let me tell you about it:

I turned the dial up into the phone portion of the band on my ham radio in order to listen to a Saturday morning swap net. Along the way, I came across an older sounding chap, with a tremendous signal and a golden voice. You know the kind; he sounded like he should be in the broadcasting business. He was telling whom-ever he was talking with something about "a
thousand marbles." I was intrigued and stopped to listen to what he had to say.

"Well, Tom, it sure sounds like you're busy with your job. I'm sure they pay you well but it's a shame you have to be away from home and your family so much. Hard to believe a young fellow should have to work sixty or seventy hours a week to make ends meet. It's too bad you missed your daughter's dance recital," he continued. "Let me tell you something that has helped me keep my own priorities." And that's when he began to explain his theory of a "thousand marbles."

"You see, I sat down one day and did a little arithmetic. The average person lives about seventy-five years. I know, some live more and some live less, but on average, folks live about seventy-five years.

"Now then, I multiplied 75 times 52 and I came up with 3900, which is the number of Saturdays that the average person has in their entire lifetime. Now, stick with me, Tom, I'm getting to the important part.

It took me until I was fifty-five years old to think about all this in any detail", he went on, "and by that time I had lived through over twenty-eight hundred Saturdays." "I got to thinking that if I lived to be seventy-five, I only had about a thousand of them left to enjoy. So I went to a toy store and bought every single marble they had. I ended up having to visit three toy stores to round up 1000 marbles. I took them home and put them inside a large, clear plastic container right here in the shack next to my gear."

"Every Saturday since then, I have taken one marble out and thrown it away. I found that by watching the marbles diminish, I focused more on the really important things in life. There is nothing like watching your time here on this earth run out to help get your priorities straight."

"Now let me tell you one last thing before I sign-off with you and take my lovely wife out for breakfast. This morning, I took the very last marble out of the container. I figure that if I make it until next Saturday then I have been given a little extra time. And the one thing we can all use is a little more time."

"It was nice to meet you Tom, I hope you spend more time with your family, and I hope to meet you again here on the band. This is a 75 Year old Man, K9NZQ, clear and going QRT, good morning!"

You could have heard a pin drop on the band when this fellow signed off. I guess he gave us all a lot to think about. I had planned to work on the antenna that morning, and then I was going to meet up with a few hams to work on the next club newsletter..

Instead, I went upstairs and woke my wife up with a kiss. "C'mon honey,I'm taking you and the kids to breakfast." " What brought this on?" she asked with a smile. "Oh, nothing special, it's just been a long time since we spent a Saturday together with the kids. And hey, can we stop at a toy store while we're out? I need to buy some marbles... "

January 23, 2012 at 1:41 p.m. UTC

I love packetlife.net! I have PL set up on my RSS feed and am excited whenever a new article comes through. Like so many others I have benefited from your blogs and would be happy to see the site continue even if there were just 6 posts a year!

Whatever your decision, good luck & thanks.

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