Saturday, September 13, 2014

inadequate career counseling.

I like my job.  I'm a software engineer.  I've been either in development or quality assurance for the past 15 years.  I keep going from one to the other.  Right now I'm in QA, but mostly writing code.

It's a good fit for me.  It's creative, challenging, educational, and satisfying.

I stumbled into this line of work.

Computer engineer was not a path suggested to me in high school career counseling.  The idea that computers would be a viable career hadn't been accepted yet. And would probably not have been recommended to a girl, anyway.

But there were a lot of other things that weren't offered to me in career counseling.

I didn't know that Linguistics was a profession.  That might have been cool. I did well in Spanish class.  But I didn't even know the job existed.

I didn't know that I could have become an archaeologist, a museum curator, a genealogist. Maybe I could have been a private investigator, or a spy for the CIA. (No, too nervous.) 

Writer was suggested, since my Dad was a writer.  But I knew I didn't want to be a free-lance writer.
The pay was sporadic at best.  I knew I couldn't live like that.

The only jobs my school counselor suggested were doctor, lawyer, or teacher.  Things might have been different if I had been aware of all the options there were.

I don't know if she saw no potential in me, or if she lacked imagination.  Did living in the middle of Iowa corn country seem to limit my options?  We're talking 1972, so maybe she thought my true calling was simply wife and mother?

That said, I haven't suffered from the oversight.  I've had an interesting life with a variety of jobs and it has brought me here to a happy place.

Still, there is a little bit of me that says, What if I had known about that?  Where would I be now?  Would I be just as happy?


Why didn't someone tell me?


Thursday, August 21, 2014

Don't play chicken with a Great Dane

This morning on our walk, when Bogie and I were passing under a street lamp, a large moth fluttered by and attracted his attention.

Rather than leave, or fly higher, the moth fluttered around, in front of Bogie, behind him, between his legs. Bogie kept twisting, whirling, turning and snapping until finally he caught the moth.

And ate it. 

They turn to dust if you squash them. I can’t imagine that it tasted very good.

But he was quite pleased with himself.

And I was very entertained for a few minutes. 


Saturday, August 16, 2014

Why make hateful comments.

I've been surprisingly bummed about Robin Williams' death.  I didn't know him at all, but it felt like I lost a friend.  Everything I've read says that he was a thoughtful, kind person.  

If he had only realized how much he was loved, maybe he would still be with us.  

I don't understand how people can take a tragedy like this and make snide, hurtful comments.  To imply that suicide is cowardice only shows that the speaker has no knowledge of the depths that despair can reach.  

And for Robin's daughter to have to swear off social media because of hurtful remarks is just sad. Pathetic, even.  

Have people always been hurtful, just not as publicly?  Or has the internet unleashed some new level of incivility in parts of humankind.  

Do people forget, or ignore, the old lesson "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all"? 

Would these same people walk up and say hateful things to a person's face?  

Doubtful.  

If it can't be said to a person's face, it shouldn't be written on a person's account or about them.  

Kindness.  

Robin was known for his kindness.  

Kindness should be his legacy.  

Friday, August 8, 2014

Doggy cam overkill

I bought my first pair of doggy cams back in November, 2012.  I wanted to keep an eye on the dogs while I was at work.  I especially wanted to see who was making trouble.  

Well, really I knew it was Bogie.  I just wondered if Angel participated. (Usually not). 

I got two cameras because they were discounted as a pair.  And I couldn't decide where to put only one camera. So I got one for the kitchen and one for outside. 

I got some interesting footage out of the process.  And I liked seeing my dogs.  Well, sometimes they looked sad and lonely, but I still liked seeing they were okay. 

However, half of the destruction in my house was happening off camera.  Again, not sure enough who the culprit was to accuse either of the dogs. 

So I added two more cameras in January, 2013.  Downstairs and up.   

And that satisfied me for a long time.  Well, it helped that I got laid off and used my severance to take 5 months off last year.  And the first job I got after that, I was able to work from home half the time. 

In November, I went back to work at my original company.  And I took comfort in being able to check on the dogs via the doggy cams. 

Only ... half the time I couldn't see the dogs.  I knew they were okay.  I had dogs for decades before I had cameras to keep an eye on them.  

But what if they weren't?  I wouldn't know until I got home that one of them was hurt.  Or missing. 

So today I added two more doggy cams.  One to cover the room where they like to sleep the most.  (But has the least action.)  

And another for outside, so I can see how many times they go to bark at the neighbor's dog. 

Six cameras to keep track of two dogs that sleep most of the day might be excessive. 

I'm beginning to think I have a problem. 

Saturday, August 2, 2014

I built a new computer

My computer was eight years old, still using USB 1.0, slow processor, slow memory, and running out of ports.  I could have upgraded but I would still have an old computer.

So I built a new computer last month.

When I mentioned it on Facebook, a couple people thought I was so brave to tackle it.

But it's not a big deal anymore.  It's practically Plug n' Play.

I started with Life Hacker which led me to PC Part Picker.  They help make sure you don't buy incompatible parts. And they look for the best prices for the components.

Checked with the computer guru that every office has to make sure I didn't need anything else. He suggested a couple of alternatives.  Then I ordered all my parts.

The motherboard comes with a handy dandy book that shows you how to connect everything.  And there are several web sites that will explain the process step by step.

The two worst problems I had?  Well, the CPU doesn't come with heat sink putty, which is required.  So I had to run to Radio Shack to get a tiny tube.

And every connection was silk-screened with what it was, but some print was so tiny I needed TWO pairs of reading glasses to read what it was.

I followed the directions, installed all the components, connected all the cables, plugged it in and installed the operating system.

Cost $1000.  It has a Gigabyte motherboard, 3.4 GHz Intel Quad-Core CPU, 8G RAM, and a solid state drive for the programs drive.

It's noticeably faster than the old computer.

Which croaked two weeks later.

Now that was perfect timing!

All the components, in my glass studio

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Yes, I have a sweet tooth

I admit it.  I have a sweet tooth.  I try to be good about it.  Well, I sort of try.

But then Bob bought me a cupcake from The Sugared Cakery.  It's a food truck that visits our office complex once a week.

Bob likes to bring in treats.  Only I have migraine food triggers and can't have nuts or chocolate.

One day he felt sorry for me and brought me a Banana Foster cupcake.

It looked like a flower.  The cupcake wrapper even looked like petals.

And it was delicious.

So the next time the truck was at our location, I took two co-workers and went down and got another cupcake.  Strawberry Champagne.  Also, delicious.

Yesterday I tried the Key Lime.  Ahhh.  Sublime.

A nice young couple runs the truck.  Yesterday Joel asked them if they had any butterscotch cupcakes. They said no, but they could have one by next week.

That's why I like dealing with small business owners.   They listen.

And that's why Wednesday has become my favorite work day.

Salted caramel