-= Random Ramblings... =-

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Bye Sam!

I dropped my friend Sam off at the airport this morning. He's going to meet up with his girlfriend, A, in gay Paris. From what I understand they'll be there for a few months which will include some backpacking (possibly across other countries)? Just wanted to say good luck to the two of you, hope things go well for you out there. I'm bummed I won't get to see either of you before Mirella and I leave for Florida, but c'est la vie. We'll meet up again in the future. Stay safe, have fun, and keep Sam on a leash. I'm sure they don't call it gay Paris for nothing :P

(Disclaimer: To all Parisian readers, I'm sure not everybody in Paris is gay. Maybe most, but not all).

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

I Hate Internet Explorer

As a web developer I frequently have to program in Javascript, which on it's own can be pretty annoying at times, especially coming from the more object-oriented, more featureful world of Python. In reality I don't mind Javascript all that much, as long as I don't have to work with dates... don't get me started on dates in Javascript!!! In any case, for developing I much prefer to work in a Linux environment (which I can do at my company, thankfully) and therefore the majority of my browsing time is spent in Firefox. Consequently whenever I develop a new page it gets developed and tested in Firefox first. Recently this has been causing me no small amount of grief, as Internet Explorer is much more picky (which can be good), is missing a handful of Javascript attributes that Firefox has (which sucks), and has about the worst goddamn script error reporting EVER. There has not been a single time where Explorer has given me a useful goddamn error message when the script, which works perfectly in Firefox, makes it barf. It's the most frustrating thing in the world to try and debug a problem in a script when the browser you're using doesn't tell you what the hell the problem is. I even tried downloading the Microsoft Script Debugger(r)(c)(TM)(whatever), but that didn't help either. All that did was serve to confuse me more because it opens up a window with the source code for my script, but in the wrong goddamn place. It doesn't even give me a better error message, the error message is the same unhelpful crap that it was telling me before. Useless!!!! In fact, I'm pretty sure IE only has 3 different error messages and it just picks one at random for that bug and keeps giving you that one, even though it says NOTHING about what the problem really is. AUGH! I'm going to be glad to be done with this side of dealing with computers. Good riddance.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

I will not abandon this blog!

I know my updates are getting sporadic and I'm letting way too much time pass between them. I'll do better, I promise.

Went offroading last weekend again. Went up to Big Bear with a handful of people from Dirty World. Unfortunately Mike's Jeep is still broken from Calico, I think Big Mike's short on cash so he didn't take his truck, and Kurt's truck, the only other member that went, has a blown shock so they didn't take any of their vehicles out. We met up with one of Big Mike's friends, Dino and his brother Guile (that's his real name too!), who has a Pinzgauer. The Pinzgauer is a Swiss army vehicle, he has two of them and took the one that has three axles and six wheels, one axle up front and two axles in the back, out on the trail. It's a pretty cool truck. I followed him out there in my Frontier and we had a real good time. The first trail we tried was covered in snow that was way too deep for me to go through. So we headed to a lower trail that had a bunch of creek crossings through a really nice foresty area. I think it's called Jacoby Canyon. Very cool trail. Some cool action shots were taken, but Big Mike hasn't had the time to get them up on his site yet. The trail dropped us off on the other side of the Big Bear mountains, in the desert. From there we went to this house in the middle of a small desert community to meet one of Guile's friends, Vinnie. This guy apparently has a whole messload of animals in a kind of a backwater zoo type of thing. He breeds and sells dwarf pot-bellied pigs. When we got there he was just getting ready to castrate a pig using nothing more than his pocket knife. In a trailer that was sitting on his property he had a few baby pigs with their mommy and about 4 or 5 terrariums with 1 or 2 rattlesnakes and kingsnakes in them. I think he slept in there too. With the pigs and the snakes. Supposedly he has emus and some other animals too, but it was getting dark when we got there and by the time he castrated the pig, night had fallen. So we got some fried chicken, started a campfire, and just hung out for a bit before heading home.

All in all it was a pretty strange weekend.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

The Mysterious Future

My life has come to an interesting crossroads. One path is familiar, and while it doesn't have many surprises it's been worn down and eroded by the constant plodding of my tired feet. I've been traveling this path for many years now, and the same old obstacles have been getting more difficult as the path gets worn down. The other path is unfamiliar. I'm sure there are a few surprises down that way, and many obstacles that I can't yet see. The path is fresh, new and exciting. It's about as different from the familiar path as you can get.

What this clumsy metaphor is getting at is that things have come to a point where I needed to make a decision. Stay on the old, rutted path or get off of it and explore a new direction. The choice wasn't easy, the new path offers many opportunities but also presents new risks. The old path is comfortable, but has obstacles that seem to be getting larger and more difficult to navigate. In the end, the choice was made to try the new path. Explore new areas, enjoy new scenery, face new challenges. Unfortunately the new path takes me away from California, and the life I've built here.

Avoiding the tired cliches, the problem is that since I lost my job at Codeit I've been struggling financially. I found a great company to work for, they just happen to be too far away from where I want to live, and my salary requirements are above what they're paying me. They've offered to bring my salary up to my minimum requirement, but in exchange for longer hours and more hard work. Sadly, programming no longer holds my interest as much as it once did. The stress, the long hours, the uncertainty of working for a startup, all these things have taken their toll on me. It's just not fun anymore.

During the three months that I was unemployed I received some advice from one of my senseis. He told me that I should give real estate a try. He was sure that with my personality I would do well in that business. So I figured I'd give it a shot. I took the three week Real Estate Principles course, with a two day review the weekend before my real estate exam and passed the exam on my first try. In between finishing the course and taking the exam (about a two month wait) I took a programming job at Infostreet. The job came at just the right time, as I was pretty much all out of money by then, but now I had everything I needed to apply for a real estate license and no time with which to put it to use. So here was my crossroads. Here is the decision that had to be made.

Sometime in May, probably around the middle, me and Mirella (my wife!) are packing up our stuff and moving to Florida. My parents live out there, and my mom is selling mortgages and working on getting her real estate license so she can sell property too. They offered to let us stay out there rent free and help me pay the few bills I have left while I get my Florida real estate license and work with my mom getting some experience. When I start making my own money I'll put some serious effort into paying off my substantial credit card bills and put some money in the bank. When I think I've got enough money, I'll move back to California. With some experience under my belt, and some money in the bank, it'll be easier to get a job out here and get started. The plan is to get a car dolly, and a hitch for my truck, and drive to Florida towing Mirella's car. At the very least it'll be an interesting trip.

This whole thing makes me think of a poem that I'm sure is familiar to most people.

The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost:

TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Hopefully it'll make all the difference to me too.