31 May 2008

Berlin 2005 - a few photos

Sidewalk outside of Kaiser-Wilhelm-Ged├Ąchtnis-Kirche, 23 Nov 2005.

Sculpture on Friedrichstra├če, 23 November 2005.

World clock near the Fernsehturm, 21 November 2005.

30 May 2008

Cathedral in Cologne

Cathedral in Cologne, Germany, taken 8 April 2006.

29 May 2008

The job search

The hunt for a new job is going well. I am getting better at doing phone screens and asking the right questions. And I think I am getting better at presenting and marketing myself as well. I've got a couple of leads that I'm really excited about, and am very hopeful about the prospects. So, getting laid off is not really that bad right now. There are jobs here in Austin, you just have to find the right match.

Stretford reunion videos

Just brilliant:

More brilliant than this:

28 May 2008

Rail Yard

Taken 23 March 2006 at sunset, at a rail yard in Cedar Park, Texas.

27 May 2008

La Princesa is a dainty cat

Here is a little video of my cat, La Princesa, drinking water with her paw.

26 May 2008

Book review of "Welcome to the World, Baby Girl!"

I have just finished re-reading "Welcome to the World, Baby Girl" by Fannie Flagg. Her narrative style, folksy dialogue, and characterizations are a delight to read. The book jumps back in forth in time much like her well-known novel, "Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe". The story is about all American anchorwoman Dena Nordstrom. Dena, or Baby Girl as her cousins from Elmwood Springs call her, seems to have it all: success, money, fame. But underneath it all, she's a mess. She drinks herself to an ulcer and is in denial about her past. When her enemies in Manhattan try to ruin her, she has to face the facts and learn more about her family's hidden history.

The book is divided into four parts, and frankly, I thought the first part was a bit long, and I kept waiting for the story to pick it up in pace a bit. But by the third part, it becomes quite the page turner. You will never see the twist in the end coming, so it is a very satisfying tale.

Am I the only one who thinks Aunt Elner in this book is kind of like Mrs. Threadgoode (played by Jessica Tandy in the movie) from "Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe"?

Overall, I'd rate this book an 9 out of 10 and it is one I'm going to keep on my bookshelf.

25 May 2008

Learning Ruby

I just started learning the scripting language Ruby. I've started reading the book Mr. Neighborly's Humble Little Ruby Book by Jeremy McAnally. You can download the pdf version of the book at InfoQ.com to try before you buy.

As it turns out, I've already got Ruby installed on my iBook G4 since I'm running OS X 10.4. If you are on Windows or some other machine that does not have Ruby already installed, you can get it at http://www.ruby-lang.org, where they also have plenty of instructional information.

So far, I've only read the first chapter and have done the requisite "Hello, World!" program:

puts "Hello, World!"

Pretty simple, huh? Sure beats the pants off of Java for doing simple IO. As a software tester by profession, I think Ruby will be handy in my toolbag. And since it has gotten quite popular, I might as well try it as an alternative to Perl for my scripting and testing needs.

What we're reading

Here is a photo (taken from my cell phone) of my four-month-old son reading his favorite cloth book right now, One Sunny Day.

The book I'm reading right now is "Standing in the Rainbow" by Fannie Flagg. The setting of Elmwood Springs, Missouri is the same as her other novel "Welcome to the World, Baby Girl!"

24 May 2008

First post!

This is my first blog ever. I wanted to start a blog to post some random pictures and occasional random thoughts. Here we go...

So, what am I doing right now? I'm trying to stay cool from the Texas heat (it was 100 degrees yesterday) and relax a bit and enjoy the Memorial Day weekend with my son and family.

I'm currently looking for a job, but I'm taking a welcome holiday break from the networking and interviewing. I hope to have a job within the next month, so we'll see how it goes.

Now, in honor of the Texas heat, I am posting a photo of me from 20 November 2005 in Berlin, next to the ubiquitous Berlin bear. It was probably freezing that evening.