Monday, December 29, 2008

Insomnia and blogging

It's been a really long time since I've blogged. Blog is a weird word, no doubt about it. 

I wonder if it's been so long because I'm busier, or less self interested, or sleeping more consistently.  I'm sorry for the non-existent online stalkers I have, because I've been terribly boring. I don't update pictures, post much on MySpace or Facebook or LinkedIn or here. 

Plenty of interesting things have happened, I just haven't made an effort to keep this thing up to date. For example, there was all the election craziness, which seems to have resulted in a small resurgence of hope in America. We are desperately in need of hope, and our economy and energy situation needs to change drastically. 

Let's see, other interesting things that have happened: took the girlfriend on a glider flight for her first time ever a few months back. She screamed a lot, but seemed to thoroughly enjoy it. 

A few months later, we went to a friend's wedding in Michigan the day after my girlfriend's last day as a teacher, and then found out the company I worked for had been bought out by a larger competitor. I was one of about 1/3rd of the employees that were immediately terminated. Shortly after that, her grandfather died and I went to NJ with her family for a week of hanging out with her family up there and memorial services.

I got a new job and am learning lots of cool technologies that most people won't know about: magnetic stripe readers, point of sale hardware/software, ASP.NET, LINQ, XML, SOAP, and AJAX. I'm optimistic this broadening of my skillset will make finding jobs far easier in the future... looks like this internet thing is here to stay. ;) 

Other randomness: my house is worth about 100k less than what I owe, according to Zillow. Crap. I have a laptop, that's cool. The one major thing my phone is missing is GPS. That would make it almost 100% awesome. My office was actually clean for a few days. My garage is now clean. I have an awesome dog, his name is Murphy. I have no idea what I will be doing for work in two months... hopefully I'll be working on a credit card processing project. 

I haven't played soccer since November 1st and I thought I injured my knee that game. Luckily, it turned out to be insanely tight muscles around the knee which have since relaxed a bit. I'm really looking forward to snowboarding, and I'm hungry right this second. I'm going to go try to relax for the couple hours that are left until I have to get ready for work. (I told her that going to bed so early was a bad idea!)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Farmers' Almanac from Quotes of the Day "To err is human, but to really foul things up requires a computer."

So, it's been approximately forever since I wrote anything in here. I'll do a quick recap of what's happened since I last wrote in here 6 months and 13 days ago.

I've been thoroughly enjoying my new job. I work mainly with C#, and occasionally with SQL, XML, and C++, in that order. I feel like I picked everything with the project up faster than I expected, which was nice and surprising. I also got the opportunity to attend the Microsoft 2008 product launch event in Phoenix. I learned about some cool features in the Visual Studio Team Suite Development Edition, like code metrics, and how exactly to design WPF, as well as some inspiring examples of LINQ usage. I really like the idea of code metrics; a nice easy way to evaluate how comprehensible a method or class is.

I've been to Colorado a few times since I wrote in here last. I went snowboarding in Vail for a week. That was awesome, and also the first time I've ever seen anybody with frostbite. I didn't get any frostbite because, as much as I love snow, I like staying warm more, so I always had a facemask on when it was 20 below. I also went a couple weeks ago to visit Jenny and Dave and their new baby in Loveland. I even managed to sneak in a day of snowboarding. I'm getting a lot better, especially at the small jumps. It was a good time, and a much needed break.

On the less exciting side of things, I've been taking care of the house. Broken things are stressful and expensive, and I wish it just wouldn't happen.

I got a bunch of money back from the government, so I need to adjust my deductions upward somehow.

I haven't played any soccer lately, and that's a bummer. I'm hoping to get a lot of time in at the pool in my backyard, and hopefully go wakeboarding at least 5 or 6 times this summer.

My girlfriend and I have joined a rock gym and love climbing like monkeys. I need to get my own harness so I don't have to borrow my new roommate's gear all the time.

I'm kind of toying around with the idea of renting out the place I live in and buying another house, but I haven't really run the numbers and seen if I could do it comfortably. House prices have dropped so much and rent hasn't as far as I know, so it could be a good opportunity.

I doubt it will be another 6 months before the next post, but you never know. If you've got questions, post them, or email me. Hope everything's going well for you.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Randy Pausch

The Video

Randy Pausch's Homepage

So, I just spent an hour and 44 minutes watching the video linked to above. I could have been productive with that time by cleaning my office, the rest of the house, dealing with laundry or getting into bed at a reasonable hour.

However, I believe that watching the video was a much better use of my time. I highly recommend you watch it as well.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

26 on the 26, retirement, etc

Today, September 26th is my 26th birthday. For my birthday, I decided to get myself a nice improvement in quality of life, so I got a new job (promotion) with a nice raise and a shorter commute. Today is my last day of work at the old job.

Tomorrow, I leave for Colorado to visit friends from high school, and then Tuesday I start my new job. Sweet!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Who Runs the Human Body?

In the human body, which organ is in charge?

All the organs of the body were having a meeting, trying to decide who was in charge.

The brain said: "I should be in charge, because I run all the body's systems, so without me nothing would happen."

"I should be in charge," said the heart, "because I pump the blood and circulate oxygen all over the body, so without me you'd all waste away."

"I should be in charge," said the stomach, "because I process food and give all of you energy."

"I should be in charge," said the rectum, "because I'm responsible for waste removal."

All the other body parts laughed at the rectum and insulted him, so in a huff, he shut down tight. Within a few days, the brain had a terrible headache, the stomach was bloated, and the blood was toxic. Eventually the other organs gave in. They all agreed that the rectum should be the boss.

The moral of the story?

You don't have to be smart or important to be in charge... just an *sshole.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

On privacy:

Let me tell you a story
(Score:5, Insightful)
by Moraelin (679338) on Wednesday May 23, @06:00AM (#19233759)
(Last Journal: Monday June 21, @05:25PM)
Let me tell you a story. An "in Soviet Russia" kind of story. A true one at that. The story of how the state kept all those people in line and not fighting oppression.

Short story: lack of privacy. And literally FUD. Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt over what they'll do about your words and deeds.

The side of the story everyone knows is the KGB and GULAG part. Those are true, and were especially true in Stalin's times. But then it evolved into something that worked cheaper and better: thinking that Big Brother knows everything you do. So people started to avoid doing or saying anything that could bite them in the ass.

The illusion was that the secret police has dossiers (the dead tree kind) on anyone and everyone, and that it _will_ come back to bite you in the ass sooner or later.

Even if you realized that in such a low tech setting they can't know _everything_, you didn't know exactly _what_ they know, and exactly _what_ and _when_ they'll use it against you. Maybe they'll do nothing. Maybe they'll send you to Siberia. Maybe you just won't be allowed to travel abroad any more. Maybe your kid won't ever get a high paying job because his dumbass father got drunk once and complained about the party.

Worse yet, this naturally killed support for any dissidents. If comrade Piotr speaks against the party, egads, you don't want it on your dossier that you sat, listened and nodded. Do you really know if Piotr isn't an agent provocateur? Or if he's just a dumbass, who else in your circle of friends will run to tell the authorities about that talk? Better avoid Piotr entirely from now on. Better safe than sorry.

_That_ is what privacy is supposed to help against.

And that is what "privacy is just a religion" and "if you're not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to fear" lemmings just don't get. Sometime, at some point, it may become _necessary_ to do something "wrong" to just freakin' keep your _other_ liberties. If you gave up privacy, then you might as well give up everything else, because you won't have any means left to defend them. If it ever becomes necessary to resist the government, lack of privacy means you'll never get more than 1-2 disidents which are quickly removed or isolated. As soon as someone does speak out, everyone else just makes themselves scarce, if they think the government will know where they are.

If everyone's life was public, the USA still would be a British colony, because everyone would be affraid to even be seen anywhere around those Jefferson and Hancock guys. India would still be a British colony too, because people would be affraid to be seen anywhere near that Gandhi guy. Etc.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

A month plus...

So, I haven't been writing very much in here. Life's a little insanely busy recently.

In the past month and 5 days, I've been to Tucson, Green Valley, and all over Phoenix.

I've jumped out of a perfectly good airplane over 11,500 feet above Marana.

I've had the mufflers replaced on my car. It sounds so much better than it did even before the old mufflers had problems.

I celebrated Alejandra's 25th Birthday and cracked up quite a bit. It's definitely strange to be in the minority as a straight male, but her friends are cool anyway. I've lost a roommate.

I've mowed the lawn, gotten a flat tire that needs to be fixed, and installed a ceiling fan.

I've troubleshot Windows Vista's little issues. I've bought $6,000 of furniture. I've played in my pool for the first time ever.

I've ridden in the backseat of a Ford Escape. They're surprisingly large back there. I've hung out with Nascar fans.

I've bought a new 22" monitor. I've changed the majority of my checking activities over to ING because they pay 4% interest and my paychecks are available the second they are deposited.

I've dedicated my old roommate's room to a massage room. I have completely taken over the room my home office is in. I've started using Google Calendar and Google Docs. They're helpful.

And now, I've written a random posting with a big block of text that nobody would actually read through. And now I've at least made small blocks.

I also attended a Business Writing Class during working hours. I learned that you should always be friendly, and always, always put what you want people to do and when as the very first thing. You can explain the details later.

This makes a lot of sense, even though a lot of technical people, myself included, tend to want to explain why first. If they trust you, or they're those really busy important people, they're not even going to really want to know all the details most of the time anyway.

Let's see... more random stuff... I also ran a couple miles yesterday and totally ditched my girlfriend. That was fun. I've watered roses, weeded, used the weed wacker and organized a lot. I've discovered a hard drive I forgot I had.

Unfortunately, I do have to do some more of that organization stuff. I still have to clean up the massage room where I installed the new ceiling fan, organize my office, clean a lot of crap out of my car, etc etc.

Well, that's what's going on. I'm sure I'll have some pictures and the video up of my skydiving at some point somewhere. Maybe later this week. Ok, time to go to work. Later yall.