Category: Life

It happens, no question about it.

End of an era, onward to a new one

With a bit of sadness, yesterday marked my last day of work at UMBC where I spent the past 3½ years learning lots of new things. It’s where I developed my deep interest in mass storage and furthered my Solaris knowledge even more, where I delved into kernel programming by participating in the OpenAFS project.

I learned a lot about people there, too, and how different sectors of the IT industry just have sometime inexplicably different mindsets about how to do things. Coming from the .com world to the .edu world was a bit of a whiplash event for me then having grown up around profit-based and customer service-centric organizations. I know I did leave UMBC with some lasting friendships and deeper appreciation skill sets in other people that I gave barely a thought to before.

Onward and upward, I transition to my new job and re-enter the .com world. On Monday, I start with and will focus on storage (and Solaris) there. It’s an exciting opportunity for me and I’m sure I’ll be immersed in the technology and tasks I enjoy. I’ll work with a top-notch team in helping to keep SFDC at the forefront if its industry. Good times ahead!

Happy birthday, Mr. Yuck

You’re 35 years old today.

This is nuts

So a few nights ago I tended to my long-ignored resume on It has been inactive for at least a year so I updated it with a few things and made it active (searchable by employers) again. Since then, I’ve clocked no fewer than 3 phone calls and/or emails a day… even on Christmas day I received email inquiries regarding my availability. It does seem that the job market is still very much viable for those with more than 6 or 7 years’ experience.

Ireland pictures from 1999 trip

As I mentioned in my previous post, I have completed scanning all the negatives I could find from mine and Jacki’s trip to Ireland in August of 1999. I know that I took way more pictures than what I could find negatives for… in fact, the negatives I found convered only one day of shooting!

Considering that I was really bad and stored these negatives haphazardly over the course of 6 years and 5 moves, I guess I learned my lesson and the missing negatives are either lost or were accidentally thrown out somehow. Maybe Jacki can find her prints and I can scan those instead. Who knows.

Anyway, I posted what I scanned to my gallery. Here they are!

Scanner goodness

I finally went out and bought a flatbed scanner today. The model I got is a Canon LiDE 500F, a fairly recent one which includes a 35mm film scanner and was a pretty decent deal, clocking in at $129 at the local CompUSA.

The main impetus behind buying this is to start scanning and archiving the cover art of my ~900 music CDs, but since this came with a film scanner, I’m now scanning in the 35mm negatives from my trip to Ireland with Jacki back in August of 1999. See, even though I took the pictures, Jacki ended up with the prints and I got the negatives and I haven’t seen much of those prints, ever… so now I’ll get to see these pictures I took thanks to this nifty scanner from Canon.

Oh, and it likes MacOS X 10.4, too.

UPDATED: Places I’ve been.

US States:

create your own visited states map


create your own visited countries map

Where Have You Been?

I’ve been to these places:

  • USA
  • Germany (West)
  • Switzerland
  • The Netherlands
  • Lichtenstein
  • Austria
  • Luxembourg
  • Denmark
  • Norway
  • France
  • Ireland

create your own visited country map

Jordan’s Steakhouse

This past Friday evening, Sara, her mother Julia, Jason, and I went to Jordan’s Steakhouse at 8085 Main St. in Old Ellicott City. We arrived early in the evening and were greeted by the wonderful staff, including the maitre d’hotel, Dave.

After sitting at the wonderful bar for an hour, sipping drinks (I taught the tender how to make a Blue Lady) we went to the dining room and read the menu. We ordered appetizers (the Calamari and the Cheese plate… I was impressed with the assortment of cheese on the latter… not your typical stuff and it was very good.) and our main course. I had the Filet Mignon, a tall cut of prime beef… man, it was cooked to perfection. The char on the outside was incredibly flavorful. Sara had the Rockfish, which she enjoyed very much.

Overall, I must say that Jordan’s is definitely tops on my list of restaurants to persue for the next special occasion. The staff, atomosphere, and food were all excellent, and I’d recommend Jordan’s to anyone.

Maryland Sex Offender Registry

While out browsing the web today, I came across the Maryland Sex Offender Registry. A searchable database and downloadable PDF files broken down by ZIP code are available there.

Diebold Election Systems

Try to picture how you spend your time working on your computer. You may keep an address book, update your mutual fund spreadsheets, write a document or two… pretty normal stuff to do with a computer, most would agree.

Now, take an operating system very much like one popularly used at home, and layer an application on top of it which provides the sole vote tallying mechanism for many state and local jurusdictions throughout the United States. You then have a Diebold Election Systems GEMS system.

Think about it. Your precint’s or state’s vote tallying system is being entrusted to commercial software with questionable technical integrity running on an operating system which is not much better. What about these machines out in the field? With no paper trail, how do we know that the data entered by voters is what comes out in the end?

Vote certification and integrity is losing the required human touch. Two-hundred years of using paper (the right way) can’t be wrong.