Friday, June 29, 2007

We have a place to live

I came out to Houston to find an apartment. It didn't have to be anything special - just someplace to crash for 3 months until we settle into our permanent house (wherever that may wind up being) that takes Roscoe. My search ended just a little while ago in Stafford, Texas, a southwestern suburb. It'll do for now. Not sure where we will wind up, but this is where we are now.

I've determined the weather out here is a tad strange. It's about 90 out right now (and humid), and there's these pockets of storms not more than a mile wide that are floating around. It will be good to have weather again. I hope.

In the mean time, it's back to San Diego tomorrow, and back to packing. Did I mention I hate moving?

Friday Five

In an effort to keep myself blogging, I'm going to add this as a weekly endeavor - Friday Five. Basically, 5 of something listed out here. It might be a list of peeves, a list of facts about yours truly, my favorite something; basically whatever comes to mind, as long as there's 5 of them.

This week, to start it off, it'll be 5 facts about me:

  1. One of my biggest personal ironies is that I feel very comfortable speaking in front of a room full of strangers (I do it for a living), but I get very nervous speaking in front of friends.
  2. I hate it when people use the word irony incorrectly. The fact that Chuck Mangione just came on the music system at the coffee shop I'm at in Texas is a coincidence (and a King of the Hill reference). A DOT truck getting pulled over, which I saw the other day, is ironic.
  3. I love Wikipedia. I grok there are inaccuracies on the site. But it's still the best starting place for finding information about anything.
  4. I overuse parentheses. (It's the developer in me.)
  5. If it wasn't for my father bringing home a VIC-20 years ago I never would have become a computer geek. That one moment in my life set fort the path that that has led me here. Thanks, Dad.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

What indication did I give you that this was OK?

I swung by Borders tonight to pick up a book on SharePoint Server 2007, seeing as how I'll be teaching on it pretty soon. I walk up to the counter and the guy asks me, "What is SharePoint?"

I give him a quick explanation on what it is (it's a portal/collaboration server), rather quickly and coldly, because I know what's about to come. I'm bracing myself. I'm hoping it doesn't.

"Do you know anything about web development?", he asks.

"A little..." I'm a little more aggressive on the "I really don't want to talk" attitude, but still being polite - and being polite is pretty much always my mistake.

"Can I ask you what a good tool is for editing web sites?..."

CRAP! There it is. I knew it was coming from the very beginning, but I was really hoping I could dodge the bullet. I guess not. CRAP!

This vent that is forthcoming is not directed towards friends or family. If are related to me or my friend, and I am happy to help.

Why is it that if you work in computers, complete strangers will suddenly decide that you are now their personal computer consultant? Do people mention that they're a doctor and have the person respond, "Really? I have this cyst..." Now don't get me wrong - I love what I do. I get to play with technology, I get to impart knowledge on others, I get to help others. But that doesn't mean I'm interested in talking technology 24 hours a day, at any random moment, with any random person.

It's gotten to the point that when people ask me what I do for a living, I don't want to say anything. Half the time the answer leads me into a 20 minute conversation about this wireless router that isn't working correctly, or some other such problem. My favorite people are the ones that get upset with me when I can't troubleshoot their computer through conversation.

I finally posted a message in the MCT newsgroups about how to answer this question. The best answer was to say that I'm an astronaut, or some other impossible job. When asked what I really do, say I'm really a computer trainer, but I don't like to say that because I then get asked about the person's computer issues. Makes sense, and it's been successful.

Except in a situation like this. I have no choice. I'm trapped. I can either help him, or be completely rude. But then I'm suddenly the jackass.


Do the world a favor. If you meet someone who does <fill in job where you might have personal questions here>, don't just start asking them questions. Let them make the offer first. It's the polite thing to do.

Done venting. You may now go on with the rest of your day.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

San Diego is a great town.

San Diego is a great town. Fantastic city. But it's a tad expensive.

I happened to be out in Houston a long while ago, and my friend Bill Chapman says to me, "You should move out here", half serious. "Yeah, right." "Look at the price of housing."

So I do. MY GOSH! The offer was too good to pass up. As a result, come July 20th, Karin and I are packing up the truck and moving to Houston, TX.

Trust me - I'm as surprised as anyone that this is where life has taken us. Never in a million years did I ever think I'd live in Texas. But this is where life has taken us, and away we go.

To answer the questions that I get asked most commonly:

  • Why? It really is mostly a financial thing. If I was to get introspective, I'm sure there's something deep inside me that needs to move. I moved a ton as a kid, never living in one house for more than 6 years. We've been in San Diego for 8 years, and in our current house for 4. But that's getting a bit too deep. It will also be nice to experience someplace else. Karin had never lived outside of Minnesota before we moved out to San Diego, so it will be good for her to see how other places are.
  • Scared? Duh. But excited at the same time.
  • What about kickball? Well, that's another story. There is no WAKA league in Houston right now. I will have to work with the WAKA people to get one rolling.
  • What does Karin think? Karin is excited. Karin has yet to visit Houston, but she's still ready to move out there. She's got this amazing peace about the decision. I guess that's a good sign.

I have full plans to keep this up to date during our trek out to Houston.

BTW - anyone want to buy a house?

One more time...

I've wanted to do a blog for a while. With friends and family spread across the US, it would be nice to have one central place for people to visit for updates. Plus, it's what all the cool kids are doing.

Now just as a word of warning, I've tried this in the past a couple of times and didn't get anywhere. Hopefully this time it will stick.

My goal here is to do pretty much what the title says - post on whatever I feel like. I'm a computer geek, so there will be the occasional post about some SQL or .NET feature that I think is cool. I play poker, so occasionally there will be postings on that. I am my father's son, which means I have just a couple of opinions on things; occasionally those will find their way up here. And, of course, life updates.

So let's see what happens.