Thursday, January 8, 2009

pre-vacation summing up

Leaving tonight for Raleigh, to stay the night with brother Joe and future-sister-in-law Amy, flying out in the morning to Colorado Springs for post-Christmas with the parents.

We will be telling them about our adoption plans while we're out there. Joe and Amy already know, but I wanted to tell Dad & Mommy-Kris face to face, so we'll be doing it on this trip. And for some reason, I'm really nervous about it. Which is weird, because these days I can't stop thinking about fost/adopt and I'll talk anybody's ear off who lets me. Should be an interesting trip.

I finished the needlepoint on Amy's Christmas stocking earlier this week - just in time. I started the kit on Thanksgiving, and it's a rather involved pattern. I still have to take a picture of the one I actually did, but just so you can see what a heroic effort it was (with 24 different colors of yarn, some of which become indistinguishable in the light of our compact florescent bulbs, and with so few big solid areas and so many spots where you bring the yarn in for just three stitches) here is a picture of the sample stocking from the website where I bought the kit:

Other than that, things are going pretty well. On the job front, I'm loving my job (yay!) Bit of a story, a year and a half ago, I'd worked out a programming technique for a pretty sticky coding problem that I was pretty proud of. Right after I'd finished shaking all the bugs out of it, an article on the subject was published on a professional journal site I read. I posted my technique in the comments (scroll down) and was asked to write an article about it based on that comment. In a peer-reviewed journal, no less, and they were offering to pay me for it! The bad news was that, of course, I had to check with my job to make sure it wouldn't violate any company policies if I did write this article (if they hadn't offered me money I wouldn't have had to worry about that so much). My boss at the time made a bit of a stink about it and eventually came up with conditions that were so ridiculous that the first time I stumbled on the article, I decided that the whole thing wasn't worth the bother and gave it up. The really ironic thing is that the company I was working for then had a improving their google ranking as a high-priority goal, but my boss - the IT manager - knew so little about how google works that he didn't realize that a couple of articles by me with a link to the company in the bio would have shot the google rank through the roof.

But, I have held on to that link and offered it to various prospective employers and new bosses since then as a sample of my work (it's pretty common to be asked for a coding sample as part of the interview process). I just got a new boss here at Unisys (marvelous company to work for, by the way - great adoption benefits!) and he looked at it and without knowing the history said "you should write this up in an article - this could really help a lot of people, and it would be a big help to you in your career." So no obstacles, no conditions and no more excuses - I have a technical article to write!


  1. ooo...congratulations. Have fun with the article. It is good to be recognized and to be able to share your work. And having a supportive boss is a really good thing.

  2. congratulations.....and by the way....I don 't know why, but when we were going through the whole process of getting licensed and trained to be foster parents I never said anything to my parents. I didn't know what they would say. I had to tell them when we got our fostrer daughter and I was nervous too. On the good side, while they were very surprised, they have been very supportive. I am sure yours will be too.