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network fundamentals

On my proxy server, I have two network cards.

When I ping through one of my cards, I get response times.... like 1.0 ms,
4000 ms, 8000 ms, 16000ms in that order and somewhere on 15th packet or so,
it becomes allright 0.2ms.. Is there some "route learning" going on??

When I do a netstat -i, on this card, I get a report of TX-OVR = 135, which
I believe should be near zero.What does this figure mean in physical terms,
and what physical / logical things I must check, to set it right??

I also found, strangely enough, file /etc/rc.d/init.d/portmap missing. The
ls command shows links referring to this file in "Red Reverse Video". What
services are affected? Should I simply copy a portmap file from my home
computer running same RH6.2, but a previous kernel version??

Anand Shankar