May 31st, 2011
Today was the last day of one of my coworkers, who is retiring after 38 years with my group.
And this afternoon I had the honor of looking at an output file from a piece of software that my group is responsible for, that a different coworker was using to do actual, legitimate work. Printed clearly at the bottom of the file was an indication that it was
Our departing coworker was the “old wisened guru” of the office, and even some of our code predates him. Your work may not seem timeless now, but you never know how long it will last. And the better you are at what you do, the more likely that it will last far beyond your expectations.
April 17th, 2011
This space has been conspicuously empty for some time. There’s no good reason for it other than that I’m adapting to being a parent, new professional responsibilities, and a general lack of things that I really want to talk about.
At first this space was about physics, and then about general topics. I’d thought about writing about software issues, and I may eventually do that, but software blogs tend to be specialized and not always interesting for non-programmers.
Finally, my hosting provider is going away soon, and I’ll be moving to a new provider. Such a forced change makes you think of where you are and where you want to go.
Since I don’t have many regular posts anymore, I’ll be shuttering the blog for a bit for the transition. I’m not going to bother putting myself through the challenges of a keeping 100% uptime over the changeover. The blog will come back within a few days of the switch, I promise. The look and feel may be different (haven’t decided yet), but it’s still the same me at the keyboard.
Thanks for reading always, and now for your patience.
January 4th, 2011
One of my goals for the new year was to be a bit more cognizant of my impact on the planet. Just little things — for instance, the means of my daily transference of coffee from vessel to stomach.
We get free coffee at work, brewed from a large communal coffee pot. There’s a large supply of paper cups available. I usually drink 3-4 cups of caffeinated coffee a day, and occasionally 1-2 cups of decaf or tea in the late afternoon. I don’t think I’ve ever used more than five paper cups in a day; my daily average was probably about three.
This week I brought my own ceramic coffee mug to work and for the last two days I’ve been drinking coffee out of that, using zero disposable cups each day.
Before you all pat me on the back, I must confess that in order to wash that mug, I use hot water, a tiny dab of soap and dry the mug with at least a couple sheets of paper towels (no dishrags are available). What’s the environmental impact in that?
At first using a mug seemed like an environmental no-brainer. But now I’m not so sure. The paper cups are essentially sheets of paper themselves (though higher quality than paper towels). What resources (and how much of each) is used in the cups’ manufacture?
It seems that to come out ahead on the “paper” column of the environmental ledger, I should stop using paper towels and buy my own dishrag. But even then, how much energy goes into producing the dishrag? And washing it on a regular basis? At least the paper towels are likely mostly, if not all, recycled paper — a dishrag is cotton that must be farmed and some polyester which is likely petroleum-derived.
I’m sticking with the mug, but I’m going to keep thinking this one through. Thoughts?
October 28th, 2010
Due to unforeseen circumstances, the venue for To Kill A Saturday has changed! The new venue is The Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza, 1475 Western Avenue in Albany.
I’ve updated the previous post to hopefully eliminate confusion.
Even though we’ve moved physically, you can still make a donation virtually here.
See you there!
October 27th, 2010
On Saturday, November 6, I have the great honor of participating in a public reading of Harper Lee’s great classic, To Kill A Mockingbird.
The event will take place at The Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza at 1475 Western Avenue in Albany, NY. Albany social media icons AOA Mary and Kevin Marshall have put together the event as a benefit for Literacy NY of the Greater Capital Region.
The full lineup of readers (with many participants much more famous than I) is available here.
As of now, I’m scheduled to read from 3:20pm-3:40pm, though I don’t know how that may change as the day progresses.
Please turn out for all or part of the event and contribute to such a worthy cause, celebrating the 50th anniversary of one of our nation’s most important literary works. You can donate directly by going here.
Hope to see you there!