The Big Three – Oh!

Hitting thirty reminds me that I’m officially old. It’s one of the scariest numbers to hit, a major landmark in the scheme of only knowing twenty nine years of angst, revolt and perhaps a healthy regard for misbehaviour. My entire life up until twenty-five, was about waiting until I was old enough. Now, I wish I could go back. Back to a time of care free weekdays, getting scolded for trying to eat another cookie. They’re all distant memories now. Thirty was the age of people you could no longer trust, those old farts were part of the system that was ‘keeping you down’. Now I am the system; I’m the grumpy old bastard silently cursing teenagers with blue hair and no respect for their eardrums. Hey, that’s part of growing up, right? Realizing you’re doing things you despised your parents for saying or doing. At least I’ll always be younger than my folks.

There have been so many milestones in my life, becoming a father, a husband, being laid off, enduring a strike, building a house, and a becoming a student of cancer are some of the most memorable. And those all happened in the last five years. My memory becomes a little hazy trying to go backward to a time of living with parents, of getting my first job, of thinking I knew what love was. Those were milestones that seem not as significant these days. But being a father puts all that into perspective. Now all my kid’s major milestones will be important to me, she’s going to forget them, but I’ll hold onto them.

Life is funny that way.

I’ve had the good fortune of understanding that life can be trying at times. Sounds odd that I’m saying that. But it’s really those tough times that define a person. Who you are going into rough times is certainly not the same person who emerges out the other side. The learning experience firsthand is incredible. And I can look back and say ‘I did that, I survived it’. Not everyone will be given the same opportunities. I certainly hope many don’t. But I’m glad I did.

So I’m happily not freaking out over the whole ordeal. There’s lots I haven’t accomplished yet, but I’ll get around to it.

Maybe when I hit forty I’ll really freak out.



Is there a tiny stripper that pops out the top?

Geek and Nerd: Defined

With life and technology moving at a breakneck speed, you should be informed of the particular words too often misused.

While most of us (that being YOU) tag people with certain terms, you should be aware of their meanings before you start pinning someone with a label. For anyone that knows, there is a difference between a nerd and a geek.

Directly from is the definition of NERD.

-noun Slang.
1. a stupid, irritating, ineffectual, or unattractive person.
2. an intelligent but single-minded person obsessed with a nonsocial hobby or pursuit: a computer nerd.
Also, nurd.
1960-65, Americanism; obscurely derived expressive formation

By this rationale, all engineers are nerds. Because a lot of them are real pompous know-it-alls that require a good punch in the face. This is good and bad. Lots of bad points to list, but it’s good because of this: If a nerd is well versed in one subject and that subject happens to be computers. You get the idea. A nerd can be someone who’s a programming whiz, a web admin king, general web persona, who is a great at all that technical stuff but gets nervous talking to a real, live girl.

So with that definition in mind, a nerd is:

  • a really annoying know it all
  • incapable of human affection
  • ‘Gary Busey’ ugly
  • someone focused on only one subject and considers themselves a master of the subject

And the definition of GEEK, from

-noun Slang.
1. a peculiar or otherwise dislikable person, esp. one who is perceived to be overly intellectual.
2. a computer expert or enthusiast (a term of pride as self-reference, but often considered offensive when used by outsiders.)
3. a carnival performer who performs sensationally morbid or disgusting acts, as biting off the head of a live chicken.
1915- 20; prob. var. of geck (mainly Scots) fool < D or LG gek

The Geek however, is considered a more balanced person; the geek is still considered dislikable, but because of the size of his/her brainpan. Now, the difference: a geek is the computer expert, it’s not an obsession. Also, most geeks have the ability to talk to the opposite sex without sweating like Robin Williams eating a bucket of fried chicken. Plus, there’s added ability to work with carnie folk, and pull off Alice Cooper like stunts. seriously, I didn’t know that point #3 even applied to being a geek

A geek, by the above definition is:

  • someone a little disliked, only because they’re really smart
  • someone overly intellectual, yet not irritating or annoying
  • an expert at computers, or someone who enjoys the computer and understands it
  • some sort of entertainer that will do weird, fucked up shit. And really, who hasn’t?

Looking at that list you probably want to define yourself as a geek. But look closer, and peel back some of those layers of being a nerd.

A nerd might be antisocial, but the nerd’s products are what all the geeks are supporting. Seriously: A nerd can code and create crazy algorithms, a geek cannot crack it, but needs a program created by nerd to do so. Starting to get it?

Like I said earlier, the nerds are the engineers. They’re the ones creating bucky paper and figuring out new ways to do things, especially in the web world.

Not to say a geek can’t change the world, they can write a piece of code that can efficiently run something faster. But it was the nerd that wrote the entire computer language in the first place.

So, as a nerd, you can sacrifice your personal time and live in a shed, quietly coding, or as a geek, be out in the world meeting and having sex. However: the nerd can become incredibly rich off patents and then have lots of sex.

Which one would you rather be?

Can’t a guy have the best of both worlds?

If you’re on the fence here’s an old article that describes why it’s worth dating a nerd or geek.

OS X versus Vista

Did you ever wonder why choosing an operating system seems to be like choosing the right religion? There are pros and cons to each, there’s a certain amount of work required for each, and each one has their own selling points. I’m talking about the big differences between Windows Vista and Macintosh OS X. Currently, I’m looking over Vista because I’ve been using XP Pro SP2 for well over 5 years and the industry seems to be adopting it with all its idiosyncrasies. On the other side of the spectrum, Apple’s offering up a laptop MacBook Pro that’s meant to be a stealth business machine. Most office productivity software is offered for both style kernels, so it’s not the ability to do work, rather it’s how you want it to present itself.

One of these things is not like the other

So, for an IT geek, what are the big differences? I’ve seen the blogs that break down everything from hardware to display to even the shallowness of keystrokes on Apple boards, and that’s not what I’m interested in. I’m interested in knowing exactly the kinds of functionality and applications I use on a daily basis, and how they differ. So, from IT geek’s point of view:

Presentation upon Initial Boot

Both Windows and Mac need a little tweaking in order to get things moving at the right pace. This is especially the case if you’re a control freak like me and need to have everything in a familiar type of way. For Vista machine, I wasn’t completely unimpressed, but I can understand the change in structure. From the first boot you’ll notice the desktop is bare, all the icons are now arranged alphabetically in the Start menu, I certainly liked the Search ability as I was able to run applications by using it as a command line, and a search engine. After adding My Computer back to its stationary upper left hand side, I felt comfortable. I was always familiar with having the C:\windows directory at the ready should I need to add in fonts or service pack backups, and the C:\Program Files directory was where all applications lived. That’s just what I was used to.

Now, on the other hand, the Mac OS X is a different beast. All applications live in the aptly named ‘Applications’ folder. The side bar in each folder presents itself very much the same as Vista; there are direct links to Desktop, home directory, applications, documents, movies, music, and pictures. I also had the ability to add or remove links from the side that would apply across the board – very nice. The real treat is not having a folder that contained all my program access settings. Instead of going to C:\documents and settings\administrator\program files\startup, Mac OS opts to use chmod access rights rather than actually creating new directories each time. Very nice indeed. Between the two, I have to give it to Mac’s OS; it was clean, easy to use and didn’t require any tweaking time.

Winner: OS X

OS X takes the cake this time around

Windows Live Search Vs. Mac Spotlight

Most of my experience with Mac stems from a previous job where the software platform was able to run on either Mac or PC. Since most of our clients were Mac based, I had to get around using the OS from a beginner level. If I think back, my exposure consisted of OS 9 back in high school. So it was refreshing to get to do something brand new and different. One of the things I really enjoyed with the Mac spotlight feature was instantaneous search ability: rather than having to type in the whole name of a file then hitting ‘search’, you just type and it finds that string of text for you. Heck, it was so well put together that the string of text was sub-searched inside text based documents. So if you had put together a proposal for company and didn’t have their name as the title you’d still be able to find it.

I haven’t spent a great deal of time working with Windows Live search, but from my exposure to it, I find it’s attempting to do the same thing. Not only that, it does a respectable job. Typing in ‘ping’ I happily received 15 top hits, some parts some old html and php coding picked up, even an old compiler file I hadn’t touched in ages was sitting second from the bottom. Bravo Microsoft, I do say you got it right.

Winner: Tie.

They both work magnificently well, just not together

AeroGlass Vs. Mac’s standard look

Mac’s glassy sheen was always nice looking, it was glossy and bubble like quality that made everything just a little more child-like and friendly. Windows take makes sure to keep a slight business edge with a slighter darker palette to paint from. The icons make sense, but third party applications still look a little impoverished in comparison. Not a big deal, but when you install any third party app into a Mac, it automatically puts shading to the icon. Unlike the Macintosh, Vista requires a kicked up video card in order to properly run AeroGlass. It’s nice and fancy using Windows+Alt to get around, I don’t know if it’s worth 10% of system operation to achieve that.

Winner: OS X

OS X was designed for the design-centric

Remote Desktop Connection Vs. Apple Remote Desktop

With XP Professional, you got remote desktop right out of the box with little hassle. Connecting to any properly configured windows box with terminal service was easy and best of all it was free. Compared to Apple remote desktop, you had to shell out a couple hundred dollars in order to see what was going on. If you were a system admin not used to a SSH Shell (which there are plenty, believe me) you needed some sort of GUI see what was going on in OS X. Connection with remote desktop just seems intuitive, and you can choose particular options for certain types of environments: such as only 16 colors, or not having sound or connection of local disk drives.

Apple Remote has the same optimizations for audio and video, but I didn’t see the option for reconnect on disconnection option available. Plus, I always found the forwarding of ports more difficult with ARD. More often than not, I had to create a VPN tunnel first, and then use ARD once inside and it was still pretty slow. I also found I had to be on site in order to make full use of the multiple ARD sessions with dragging and dropping files. Unlike Microsoft Remote Desktop, I could remote into the AD server, then remote to another machine and so on and so forth.

Winner: VISTA

VISTA wins…just barely

Price Points

We all know VISTA has many different versions available. Each has their own little features and bits and pieces of each, or the best portions are all encompassed in the ULTIMATE edition. I was never a big fan of the ‘multiple scenarios’ based operating system. Why does a home owner need to purchase a certain kind of O/S, when they could have the full version in the first place? All of the OS X versions of big cats only have one specific version: this applies if you’re a college student or some fancy business owner who likes Starbucks coffee. I can understand the division of OS on Microsoft’s part, but in the end it’s just a cash cow meant to drive up more sales. This is sort of the same principle as repacking crappy DVD’s into ‘Special Editions’. It was also a smart move on Mac’s part to have a full copy of the software with each machine they sell.

Winner: OS X

Mac’s simple one version makes purchasing that much easier

Availability of Applications

Hop onto any bitorrent site, and you’ll see an entire section for downloading Windows Software. Not so much for Mac. I’ll admit, I’d jumped on getting some ‘freeware’ from time to time because I’m in a bind, I want to accomplish something, or let’s face it: because I didn’t want to pay for it. This can apply to enterprise level software, antivirus applications, video, audio, games and photo editing software all for free on the World Wide Web. And that’s the thing: I don’t see a great deal out there for Apple, well, there’s probably a great deal for the honest user who goes out looking to purchase these software packages, but I’m sure there’s a growing group of Apple users looking for a free ride, who will eventually become frustrated over certain things: such as video games unavailability or incompatibility. As borderline illegal as this sounds, I think this is big selling point between the two systems.

Winner: VISTA

VISTA’s applications out of the box suck, but at least you get free apps online.


OS X – 3
Tie – 1

Final thoughts:
If I had to pick a pony to win, I’d stick with OS X. For the ease of use, the lack of defragging, and they way the kernel was put together, it just makes sense. VISTA still has a ways to go, especially with it’s over zealous security system of ‘confirm or deny’ access rights, which doesn’t get saved anywhere, it’s just plain annoying. Plus, it’s great to have a machine I don’t have run an antivirus application that eats up system memory.

5 Crimes That Got Easier Thanks To The Internet

1. Nigerian Scams
How many times before my spam blocker took over did I get some poorly worded entirely capitalized email stating someone in Nigeria was sitting on a truckload of money and needed someone to funnel it out of the country. This brings up a few items: the first being how many rich people are there in Nigeria, and who is dumb enough to fall for these? Apparently lots. According to Wikipedia, these scams cost the UK economy £150 million per year. Nigerian scams, or sometimes known as 419 scams started off as a bunch of unemployed university students sending mail out to large companies, mainly Nigerian oil sector companies in the early 80’s. Of course, you had to spend a little money to make money and the cost was all in purchasing the stamps. Thanks to online email, they can now put forth their brand of poorly written grammatically incorrect emails to suckers all over the world. And why stop at saying they need you to bail out their cash? Check your latest listing on Craigslist and if you have some dude willing to go over the amount for your used 1986 Tercel, chances are, he’s trying to scam you.

Not for anyone that uses F7

2. Online Auctions
In today’s day and age you can bid on something without even seeing it. That 1969 Camaro with the racing stripes and acid blue paint job look a little too good to be true? That’s because it is. If you’re wondering why someone keeps outbidding you it’s probably because there’s a room full of dorks with their laptops all bidding and driving up the price so some poor schmuck like you will end up forking over some ridiculous amount to the guy orchestrating the auction. By the time you’ve wired the money, the address is a fake, the guys are gone with your money and that hot chick bidding on that item is really a hairy dude with a ZZ-topish beard.

slightly used, otherwise in great shape

3. Online Banking
I’m not talking about a Swordfish style attack on your bank account, or a group of elite hackers all trying to steal the US Federal Reserve and then distribute it Robin Hood style to all the other, l33t hackers. I’m talking about being dumb enough and leaving your online bank account open, or writing down your bank password on a bar napkin, or unsecured email to someone. Talk about easy pickings; even the most listless person could transfer all the available funds from your credit card onto another online account for a measly fee. Let’s get one thing straight: Hollywood puts that irrational fear that someone is going after the big corporation’s cash which is in turn, your cash. It’s Hollywood propaganda. Do you think any bank worthy of holding Billions of dollars in revenue is going to have a security leak the size of a truck? Truth is, those elite nerds who were at one point trying to hack the bank probably got hired for the Cyber-hacking division and are making fuckloads more and you and me. That’s right. These safe guards in place because for every wannabe script kiddie out there, there’s an equally and almost infinitely smart group of people on the other side protecting the interests of you, me and Bill Gates Super fortune.

Must…bid…on…beanie babies…

4. Identity Theft
This is becoming a real problem mainly because people are either too trusting or too stupid to see the warning signs. Signed up for a new online checking account, that’s “just as good as a credit card”. The only people that should have your bank account number is the bank, and your bookie. You put your bank account number on some forum and you might as well paint a big red bull’s-eye on your back. But that’s the obvious way of getting at your wallet, the more subversive way is through a virus, which tells me you don’t have a good, trusted virus protection or firewall software. Thanks to those smart elite geeks who know how to make a good key logger Trojan virus, you just have to sit there, not update your virus definitions and watch your wages disappear into the sunset. Oh yeah, and if you’re dumb enough to post your birth date, education, social insurance number and address, you’re just asking for it.

It’s true, my shadow DOES have a mind of his own

5. Social networking crimes
Thanks to facebook and myspace just about anyone anywhere can do many of the above things by posing as an innocent little girl or fresh faced teen girl with large breasts. Hop onto any one websites with a Paris Hilton-esque profile pic and watch all the pedophiles come out the woodwork requesting your friend status. Be dumb enough to look for this sort of personality or have an open profile with certain things as: your birth date, where you work, how much you make, where you live and your phone number and you might as well kiss your car, career, house, mortgage and future credit goodbye. It still amazes me that people are actually listing where they live and even help out by posting the Google map link to help potential stalkers, rapists and girl scouts to come to your house and sell you shit, steal your shit or just plain shit on your lawn. Oh yeah, and if you thought your information is protected, think again. Did you ever list some shitty butt-rock music group as one of your interests, only the next day find a banner ad advertising said shitty butt-rock group conveniently placed right under the your login? The same goes for those ‘find a hot girl to fuck in your area’ ads, since they know your ISP, your location and possibly your address already. Just give in already, people know you surf porn, you might as well just come clean about it.

About the most fitting picture for the article

6 Things Microsoft has done to make my life hell

Windows Live One Care
Thanks a bunch to the DIY IT guy at the office. You know who I’m talking about, the guy in charge of the IT stuff, but he was just put into that role because contracting a real IT guy was too expensive. I have to thank that guy for keeping me in business, mainly because he installed Windows OneCare, but didn’t know how to properly configure a firewall. What does this mean? Imagine an entire department of accountants, that live and die by using Simply Accounting, and all the files live on a share on a UNIX machine with a masked IP address. Now, install Windows One Care, don’t configure the firewall and wait for the first phone call. Now, since that share was mapped by a network name, rather than the IP, and the IP is masked in the first place, how are you going to get back to that share? Think about that, the next time you install something stamped with Microsoft’s approval.

Making Security more difficult and more frustrating for everyone

Office Assistant
Why else would you need a paperclip to tell you what to do or help you make a document? You’ve only seen the same screen a thousand times and if you’re at all familiar with any word processor product you didn’t need an assistant. “Clippy” was supposed to help the less informed how to actually save a file or center text, but wasn’t very helpful to anyone else as you had to wait for his animation to finish before closing him. And back when animated .gif’s ran on system video memory, it could take a while. And he appeared EVERY. DAMN. TIME you opened a new Word document. Microsoft finally did away with Clippy once people started figuring out you can accomplish the same thing by hitting the F1 key.

Leave me alone dammit!

Internet Explorer 6
When you think of why we have free browsers, you have to point back to the culprit. Opera, Firefox, Netscape Navigator all owe a huge debt to Microsoft here, if IE6 wasn’t so full of security holes, the other browser companies ought to be sending royalties to Microsoft. Thanks to IE6, my day was crammed full of idiots trying to figure if all their bank and credit card numbers entered that morning ended up in someone else’s hands. In true Microsoft fashion, no updates were made readily available until all the damage was done. Thanks a lot, guys.

Hitting open introduces you to the Wide World of PAIN

Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA)
Scenario: one of your clients actually fried her home computer and needs to install the same copy of Office on her laptop. WGA to the rescue! Right on the Office box it Specifically says it can be installed on up to 2 machines you own. Yet you have to run through the WGA wizard installation and it was so buggy when it attempts to “decide” if you actually have a pirated copy or not that you have to call the support line anyway. The real cheeser? Hop online and you’ll find numerous amounts of cracks at your disposal, some of them written by system Admin’s to get around the WGA program in the first place.

That about sums it up

Windows ME
I’ll start off with the good, Windows ME, unlike any other offering before it, had a built in restore system: that didn’t work most of the time. Okay, now then: Consumers were to expect that ME, or Millennium Edition was what we had to look forward to for the new century. What a horrible mistake. Full of bugs, prone to freezing and offering something like 3 upgrades from Windows 98SE, it’s no wonder ME had the distinction of being named the “Mistake Edition”. Add all this, the removal of real mode DOS to create a ‘faster boot up’, if it booted into a real environment rather than a blue screen, and the removal of the ability to run a Personal Web server, when the product was aimed at the HOME MARKET. Windows ME would have taken home the grand prize distinction of being the top item to make my work life a living hell, but the next one takes the cake.

In the afterlife, all the corporate execs use this O/S

Windows Vista
When Windows XP rolled out, it was during a time when Windows ME was unleashed upon the world. So, it wasn’t exactly an unwelcome change. Quite a bit was revamped and right from the get go, the Microsoft coders were hard at work making service packs so you didn’t have to end up pulling out your hair over dumb, obvious security flaws. Between that, and Vista, those same programmers decided to up the notch and actually put so much damn security you need some sort of degree in deciphering all the junk out. Granted, Vista has been out on the market for a while, so there are actually useful articles and blogs that can help you. But when no one had seen or used the product before and tried doing something extremely complicated, say, print a file to a plotter, well, things got pretty interesting. Missing multiple print drivers for enterprise companies, putting in SAMBA protocols that were never heard of and thus making UNIX shared network drives usable was just the beginning of my headaches. Add to all this a revamping of the IPV 4 and 6 modules, customers that needed to ‘accept or deny’ every single little action and you get the idea the kind of fresh hell I had stepped into. Even today, I’m still finding stupid things that VISTA is doing that my XP machine can run with no difficulties.

Worthy of all my frustrations, and physical abuse

When I Was Your Age…

We didn’t have no cartoon network, you’d have to wait all week until Saturday and all the good cartoons were on in the early morning. If you slept in, you were treated to crappy ‘after school special type’ shows that had lessons to learn at the end of each episode. Plus, get this: we only had 13 channels and you had to pick up the weekly TV guide in order to find out what was on.

How were the graphics?”

1.44 Floppies held all your school data. FOR THE YEAR. That’s right, all your porn had to sit in the same directories as ‘Treasure Island book report.doc’ and forget about encryption, that wasn’t even widely available until the mid 90’s. Put that into perspective, considering there used to be completely disk dependant Operating Systems: that’s right, you needed it to boot to floppy first, then keep inserting disks for each little application you wanted to run. Just hope and pray your little brother didn’t stick it to the fridge with a magnet.

Diabolical even at 3.5′

Before Napster came along, you had to record all your music either from the radio, or head over the mall and steal the CD. Or if you had an older sibling with at least some good taste in music, you’d steal it from them. And you had to sit in front of the stereo shakily ready to hit pause at any time should the radio announcer come cut in at the last few seconds and ruin your wondrous recording of ‘I would do anything for Love’ by Meatloaf. Yeeeesh, perhaps it’s not worth recording that rubbish anymore.

Where’s the fucking record button?

Before high speed was all the rage and you were stuck surfing the web with dial up, forget using the phone and if you wanted to download a file more than 2MB, you’d be waiting a while. You know how you’re hot on your heels waiting for the latest Bitorrent movie rip to come through, and it takes 20 minutes because there’s only 50 seeds? Think about that 20 minutes, add in the fact you’re waiting for a 15 KB porn image, that’s the frustration we’re talking about here.

Man I hated this screen

8 bit Ninentdo and Sega were kick ass. It doesn’t matter how many times you watched those pixels run across the screen in their chunkly, blockly gloriousness, it just gave you a chance to escape your life and homework for a few hours. Some games were even unfortunate to have save points, you basically had to get as far as you could in one night, pause it, head off to school the next day and unpause when you got home. So if your mom needed the electrical outlet for some vaccuming, your game was toast.

Firehazard be damned, keep that thing running!

There was no such thing as voicemail, call waiting or call display. You complain that you forget your voicemail access number? Well, think about that and the fact that you actually had to come home to retrieve any messages you got while you weren’t there. If you were on vacation and were expecting that important call? Well, don’t bother leaving the front door. Since Call Display you can now officially screen your calls, back in the day you had to take your chances when picking up the phone, let me just say, being a telemarketer in those days was a lot easier.

“Wrong number, try dialing ‘3’ instead.”

Cell phones didn’t have everything they have right now. Let’s put it this way: you have a polymorphic ring, an LCD display with 16 million color gradient, online browser, video camera and a decent battery life on just about any phone being offered right now. Growing up, you’d be lucky your ‘cell phone’ wasn’t the size and weight of a brick, had shitty reception, no LCD and cost a fortune. Oh yeah, and forget about using it as a music player, you’d be lucky if the thing had enough power for an hour talk time.

“Better MCI long distance rates!? Tell me more!”

Nothing on demand. Video on Demand, News on Demand, Music on Demand. Jeez, the only thing we had on demand was fast food; it was shitty back then, and it’s still shitty now. Thanks to digital media exploding with popularity and ease of use you can get whatever you want RIGHT NOW. If there was a first run movie you wanted to rent on VHS (I’ll talk about that later) you had to wait the 8 months it took to put the movie on those glorious tapes. Plus, you were pretty much at the mercy of whichever newspaper or magazine you subscribed to. If a related topic was worth your time investigating, you’d only get a snippet of it and then wait for the ‘breaking’ news a month later.

“Damn, all I want is a naked captain Janeway”

Tape Media ruled the market. Well, someone give it up for Betamax, the little format that Sony Copyrighted, only put together about 10 different models of players then let the market eat itself. VHS was no better, it was larger, didn’t hold much more volume and was prone to breaking. Plus, if you had a sub par VHS player, it’d eat your favorite tapes and spit them back out as a string of magnetic ribbon. Compare a VHS tape that could hold about 6 hours worth of video against a modern DVD that holds about 12 hours worth with bonus features and some with PC support. Well, you get the idea.

Sony’s first big middle finger to the video market

Ergomomic nothing. Chairs were made of shitty plastic, car seats were benches with bad springs and office chairs pretty much didn’t have arm rests unless you were the president of the company. Bucket seats were available to later models, so everyone had to cozy up on the same bench seat; I’m sure at one point we had to share seat belts when heading to A&W for drive up service. Oh yeah; no cup holders either. You spilt, you were cleaning it up.

Not pictured, the crippling chronic lower back pain