Sunday, December 25th, 2016
There’s a little under a week left in the year, so I’m going to try to spend some time over the next week getting caught up on all the blog entries I’ve been meaning to write. Some of these topics may have been mentioned on Facebook or previous posts.
Back in October, I got a roommate. My new roommate is my good friend Kysen. I never thought I would have a roommate again. I didn’t think I would live with anyone else again unless I was in a relationship. But Kysen’s lease was ending and his roommate was moving to Astoria, so he asked if he could use my extra bedroom.
I lived alone for over 8 years before Kysen moved in so it was an adjustment getting used to sharing a home with someone again. We’re different people when it comes to cleanliness and organization, but . There were a couple of nights about a week apart where I went out and came home to find a decent amount of stuff rearranged. I ended up liking what he did, but I just wish I could have been a part of it. Thee are times where i still have to ask him where things are because I don’t know where he put them. Overall though, I think we are both happy living with each other.
In November I got a new job. I’m an now a Cloud Software Engineer at Intel. It was about 6 weeks from the time I interviewed until the time I started. It all came about because of a contact that I have on Twitter. I’m working on the same campus that I worked on as a contractor. I love my team and the work I’m doing. We work hard and we have fun socializing and engaging in random nerf gun fights. I’m so much happier than I was before. What a difference being happy with your job can make in all aspects of your life!
There’s been a lot of change in my life, but it’s been for the better. Life is good.
Monday, August 29th, 2016
A week ago today at work , I heard a rumor that some decision had been made that would affect us and we would find out Wednesday the latest how it would affect our team. On Wednesday, I was told that our project was canceled and I my last day at work would be the last day of the month, which was a week away. My company normal offers me bench time when I’m between assignments (which has only happened twice), but this time they are unable to because there’s no room on the bench currently. Our biggest client has made major cutbacks, so that hurts us. The next day HR called to schedule an exit interview and told me I would be paid until the Friday after my last day. Even after some frustrations over the past couple of years, I hate that it’s ending this way. Hopefully I won’t be out of work for too long. I don’t like the idea of blowing through my savings.
The guy I dated earlier in the year, Alex, changed his name to Kysen. Kysen suggested that we go out to eat Saturday night after a beach trip to Rooster Rock with some friends. Kysen had spent Friday night at my place since I was giving him ride to the beach. Our group ended up dwindling Saturday morning, so I ended up driving everybody. While we were eating he told me that he would just spend Saturday night on my couch was well and we could finish watching the season of Drag Race that we were watching the night before. After we finished, we were both were having trouble getting our cards to go through. Kysen suggested I go to an ATM to withdraw money. I left the restaurant and I’m pretty sure I pulled out my wallet to call the bank but just decided to wait and try the ATM. Once I got close to the ATM, I realized that I didn’t have my wallet with me. I went back to the restaurant and didn’t see the wallet there. I thought I may have accidentally left the table without the wallet. The wallet must have fallen out of my pocket like my phone did earlier on the beach. I retraced my steps and later Kysen joined me and we retraced them again, to no avail. I was holding out hope that someone honest found it and would return it or that the restaurant had it, but the next day I found out that the person tried to buy TriMet passes with my card. I also saw a weird charge on it at the restaurant we ate at. I think I’ve cancelled everything that was in the wallet. There was a blank check in there for emergencies, so I closed my old account and opened a new one. I still need to get a new drivers license and passport. Hopefully, there won’t be too much damage caused by the person that has my stuff. I realize that I rely on my debit card too much because it was difficult figuring out how to eat Sunday because I couldn’t go to a branch and withdraw cash until Monday. I bought a new wallet today. I’m starting over.
I’m trying to stay positive. I always bounce back from these kinds of things. Hopeful it’ll be sooner than later. Some good news, please.
Before I left for Portland about 3.5 years ago, I went to visit my mom in Jackson, MS. While I was going through my old stuff I came across my old pay stubs, which I used to save. I found my very first one from my first job and snapped a picture of it.
A few weeks back I was going through pictures on my phone and noticed the date. I made a note to say something about it on this day. 20 years, y’all!
Saturday, February 28th, 2015
It’s been a fairly uneventful month for me. I did start a new podcast – What We Make: A Terminator Podcast. It was originally going to be an introcast on The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Since we were planning on discussing pretty much the entire Terminator universe, we decided to make it a general Terminator podcast.
I’m a lot less optimistic about work improving than I was before. I spoke to someone in the same position as me earlier, so I’m not the only one who feels the way I do.
Fitness is going well. I got my measurements today and I’m down to 11% body fat. My trainer told me it would be really hard to get lower than that, but I’m going to try. I got a Fitbit Charge HR yesterday and it’s pretty cool to monitor my heart rate. I don’t like wearing anything around my wrist, but this device hasn’t been a problem for me.
I’m so busy I haven’t had much time for video games, TV, or movies. That should change this coming week. I’m looking forward to going to Raleigh in April and Mississippi in June.
Until next time.
Wednesday, November 26th, 2014
I haven’t really done much since I got back from Hawaii. It’s been nice to be live a lazy and boring life.
A couple of weeks after I got back from Hawaii, I came home to find that Reese wasn’t his normal energetic self. After a couple of trips to the emergency vet and a visit to the doctor that performed his surgery back in March (she works at a different place now), we figured that it was a return of his back problems, which will be a lifelong problem. Although I was prepared to take him in for surgery again, it looks like bed rest has help greatly. I started taking him on increasingly longer walks each week as the doctor instructed, but this week he started limping a little bit. I started shortening his walks and he’s doing better. He seems like his normal self most of the time.
I entered a weight loss competition at my gym and it started right before I left for Hawaii. I used my 4 complimentary personal training sessions to learn a new workout routine. Even though I had been working out, I was still very much out of shape. My old workout wasn’t cutting it. My new workout was a “basic” workout, but it was very tough. My trainer is honest and told me beforehand it wouldn’t be easy. Over the next 4-5 weeks, I saw made some good progress, but it was getting too easy and I wasn’t loosing weight anymore. I paid for 8 more sessions and I’m learning a more long-term workout routine. It’s much much harder than what I was doing before. Also, I’ve been eating better. I’ve done pretty well with sticking to my food plan over the past couple of weeks. So far, I’ve lost about 17 lbs. I’m in 8th place in the weight loss competition. At this point, I don’t really care about the competition anymore. I just want to be healthier.
I’ve been trying to play video games as much as possible. There are way too many games and not enough time to play them. I’ve also been catching up on a lot of movies that missed. Everyone should go see Birdman.
I went to “An Evening with Patrick Rothfuss” here in Portland about a month ago. The Doubleclicks opened for him. Most of it was a repeat of what I saw at P.A.X., but it was still fun. I got an autographed copy of his new book. I was too tired to stand in a long line to get a personalized autograph. Maybe next time.
Work is the main thing that’s bothering me these days. I’m just very bored and frustrated. I’ve talked to the people that I need to talk to, but no one seems to want to change anything except me. Hopefully, things will turn around soon.
That’s it for now. I have to get a few things ready for Thanksgiving tomorrow.
This past Sunday I had a lot of fun playing in a charity kickball tournament to benefit homeless youth. My company had a team in the tournament and we were called the One Kick Wonders.
The day started off with a round robin tournament. We played terribly in our first couple of games and were obliterated by both teams. I don’t think we ever got anybody on base.We had never practiced together. Many of us had never met each other before. We were playing agaist people who play in kickball leagues. After our 2nd game, we had a bit of a break and we spent that time practicing and strategizing. We were much better after that. We lost the next game by only one run and that was mostly because the umpire didn’t do a good job of keeping track of outs. The captain of the other team even told us that we got screwed. After that we were in kind of a loser’s bracket. We won every game we had after that. We ended up in 3rd place overall out of 15 teams. Who says nerds can’t do sports?
It’s was fun being athletic again even though I’m sore as hell 2 days later. This was the first time I’ve been in any kind of athletic competition since I was in junior high. I’m not counting bowling because bowling isn’t really a sport. Kickball is more of a sport than bowling :). Anyway, now I want to join a league around here. I think I would enjoy kickball, volleyball, or softball. It was cool that we turned things around as a team and came in 3rd place. And it was all for a great cause. I hope we do this again next year.
I’ve noticed behaviors and opinions in other programmers that I’ve gone to school with, worked it, or come across in other various ways. These behaviors make me feel like I’m a shitty programmer. I’ve listed a few.
- I’m not in love with the command line. I started out on the command line, but I love my graphical interfaces. I’m more comfortable in Windows than Linux. Even in Linux, I look for graphical tools. I hate typing out a command to do something that 2 clicks will handle just as well. I heard someone smugly say recently, “We don’t use file explorers in Linux”. I do. People complain about bugs in Windows, but Linux seems far more unstable to me.
- I am not in love with vi. On Solaris systems, I tended to use emacs, but on Linux I started using gedit. When it comes to development, I prefer an IDE. I know that IDEs have a lot of features you don’t need, but the ones that I like make it worth it.
- I don’t like to talk about programming ALL THE TIME. At my first job in this industry, my co-workers had a rule that we didn’t talk about work away from the office. In the years since, I’ve tried to adhere to that rule. I’m the kind of person that needs a break. Some of the co-workers I’ve had since then have made it difficult, talking about work or programming in general throughout lunch, while walking to and from meetings, in the car on the way to some place, etc. Just let my mind have a break.
- I don’t like to participate in random arguments/discussions. I don’t want to argue about which language is better, which framework is better, etc. If it’s related to a specific task, that’s good, but otherwise what’s the point?
- I’m not app crazy. I’m not constantly looking for new apps to do what I can already do pretty well.
- I don’t do a lot of development outside of work. I have ideas for projects that I want to work on in my free time, but I never get around to them because I would rather watch TV or read a book. I can only spend so much time hunched over a computer in a week.
- I have an iPhone. It seems like the majority of programmers love Android phones. I thought about getting an Android phone earlier this year. I even went to the Verizon store to get one. In the end, I kept my iPhone. I have an Android tablet and I love it, but I like Apple devices more. That’s probably because I’m more used to it.
- I don’t speak on every subject like I’m an expert. If I don’t know a lot about something, I’ll tell you I don’t know much about it.
- I don’t like to “read the docs”. I can see some smug, smart ass jerk on stack overflow telling someone to read the docs, maybe even posting a link. Some people don’t learn well that way and I’m one of them. Some documentation is terrible, but I have a hard time focusing on the good documentation long enough to get anything useful out of it. A short explanation and even an example will do much more for me than the docs.
I know I’m not a shitty programmer. I always get great employee evaluations and I’ve been employed for all except 6 weeks since I got my first real job after grad school 8 years ago. I know that many in my profession and other professions feel like others know way more than them. Sometimes I wonder if people think less of me because of the reasons I listed above. It’s probably all in my head.
Thursday, February 27th, 2014
Earlier in the month, we had about 4 days of snow. It was the most snow I’ve seen since I moved to Portland. This coincided with my assignment ended at work. I ended up getting a week off from work unexpectedly and started a new assignment the following week. The new assignment is going well so far. I really like the team.
Podcasting has been going well. It’s taking up a lot of my time, but it’s a lot of fun
I didn’t get a chance to take the swimming class I was supposed to start in January that I had signed up for because I was working late. I signed up for another class that started in Feb. I’m enjoying it. I might not be good at all the kicks and whatnot, but at least I’m comfortable in the water. I need to work on floating on and swimming on my back.
I’m glad work isn’t as crazy as it was in January. Things almost feel normal again around here.
Tuesday, December 31st, 2013
With 2012 being such a spectacular and life-changing year, there was no way that 2013 could be just as good, right? While that turned out to be true, 2013 was still a fantastic year.
I lost my job, which caused me to lose the house I was a few days away from closing on. However, I landed a new job about 6 weeks later. I still haven’t had any desire to start looking for another house again. One of these days…
I think I did more traveling this year than any previous year. I went to Las Vegas, Canada, Reno, Tahoe, San Francisco, Seattle, and New Orleans. I had a great time on each trip.
I got to spend time with old friends this year and make new ones. The 2-week visit from my good friend John and our trip to Canada was one of the highlights of the year. I’ve become involved in some local groups, so I’m even more socially active.
I’m looking forward to 2014. I think it’ll be even better than this year. I have some things in the works and I hope there will be some good surprises.
I started my new job last week. It wasn’t the best start I’ve had, but I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that I had first week difficulties.
I had to go to one of the client’s campuses on Monday to pick up my badge and then I had to report to work at another campus in a different part of town. It turns out the address I was given to both places took me to the wrong buildings on those campuses. I reported to work almost 30 minutes late. When I got to the front door, my badge didn’t work. By the time security got there and I found the desk of my manager, I was 45 minutes late. He was in a meeting though. Someone on my team told me they would let him know when he got there. When I finally got to meet him, he didn’t care that I was late and showed me a place where I could get settled in. Since I am a contingent worker for the client, I had an appointment set up to get a laptop to use. My appointment wasn’t until Wednesday morning, so my manager told me to come back then. Basically, I had another 2 days off.
On Wednesday, I got my laptop. I went to my desk and tried to log in, but my password wouldn’t work. I called in to have it reset, but they had to send it to my manager since I haven’t logged in yet. My manager was nowhere to be found. After lunch I found out that he was in meetings all day. I decided to go home and read since I wasn’t sure I would get to speak to him that day.
On Thursday, I saw my manager early, but he had lost my password. I had my password reset again and was finally able to get on the network. My manager told me a few subjects that I needed to get ramped up on. I spent time getting my development environment set up and did some studying. Apparently, there were a lot of meetings that week. I hardly saw my teammates. On Friday I did more studying. I went to lunch at 11:45 and missed a message from someone who wanted to speak to me about what I would be working on. He was away from his desk the rest of the day. Things are looking up though. I still don’t have access to everything, which a normal first day/week problem I expect. At least I have an idea of where I’m going.
I’m glad to be back at work even though I didn’t get to do much. At least I wasn’t forced to sit around when I couldn’t do anything. Hopefully, next week will be smoother and I can get some real work done.