Timmy singing

Timmy's mother-in-law grandmother, my mother-in-law, sings him "Paper Roses" as a lullaby. She's always sung him just that one song. Now Timmy remembers songs and he prods us what to sing by singing the first part of the song he wants. In his repertoire, "Paper Roses" (actually, la-la-la-la :-), "Row, row, row your boat", "Baa-baa black sheep", and a few others from children's books we've read him.


SkyTV pausing -- maybe fixed

We've had some trouble with video signal pauses with our SkyTV connection. We've had it on three separate days. Strangely, not all channels had the pauses. In particular, free to air NZ channels didn't have the pauses.

So it wasn't the signal transmission from the SkyTV satellite to our rooftop satellite dish. I thought maybe it was some issue with how Sky was pushing the data up to their satellite, from wherever it was coming from (UK and U.S., mostly, I think). That didn't seem right though, since there'd be a major public relations problem if all non-NZ video feeds had pauses.

I still don't know what the problem is. Today though, I applied Windows solution #4: Reboot. It wasn't sufficient to just turn off the decoder settop box. I had to unplug it and plug it back in. That seems to have fixed the pauses though. I guess there's some sort of problem with the decoder starting up sometimes, when we turn it on in the morning, and power-cycling it fixes the sync problem.

I'm very glad about this. My mother-in-law and sol really enjoy the Food channel (we spend the great majority of our TV watching time watching cooking shows there) and sometimes we all get frustrated because a particularly good show with mouth watering food is unwatchable because of 3 second pauses every 3 seconds.

I hope this problem is consistently solved by Windows solution #4 :-).

Carrying Chinese Water, Raping boys

So not only do Americans torture innocent (and a few guilty muslims), they also torture for the Chinese government. Bravo.

Oh, and they sodomized Iraqi boys too, and videotaped the atrocity.

Damn. If the americans ever get their hands on me (given the insane regime there, it could happen, even though I'm completely innocent of all except blogging about American evil), I'm going to die. I'll kill myself before they can torture me.

The FBI knew


An embarrassment of riches

I had a good day today. First I went to the main/central branch of the Wellington City :-).Libraries. I was to have an interview at 2PM, but I went to Wellington with Sol, so I had a few hours to kill at the library.

I hadn't been seated for more than 30 minutes or so when I got a call from yesterday's interview. They couldn't wait til Monday for a decision. I had to make a decision today. I could understand their dilemma. They had another candidate waiting for their decision. If they were to wait til Monday for mine, I might not accept, and the other candidate might no longer be available. I was their preferred candidate, but they couldn't afford to let the second candidate escape unhired if I were not to be available.

I promised to give them my decision before the end of the day.

I then proceeded to read from some java books. I'd done the same the previous day, testing out some new things that were discussed in the books (and which I knew of only theoretically), new to me, anyway, who last worked in java sometime around version 1.1 or very early 1.2. That was good fun. Yesterday I wanted to borrow Java in a Nutshell. Should have grabbed it yesterday. Someone else grabbed it and now I'll have to wait a month for it :-).

The interview at 2PM went very well. It was surprisingly short. And they didn't ask me any technical questions. I think that's a mistake. Employers who are hiring developers should always ask technical questions, and maybe have the developer solve some programming problems. But maybe Catalyst's directors have been around so many developers they can tell who is faking. Likely too, my interviewers were comfortable with the fact that my wife works for Catalyst, is doing very well, and says good things about me.

When the interview ended, I went back to the library to read and play some more. I got a call soon after. Catalyst was offering me a job. The offer was for less money than the first offer, but I accepted anyway. I like how Catalyst does things, my wife enjoys it there, so I'm sure I will too. Sol and I will be able to sample the surrounding restaurants at lunch, and go to work and come home at the same time. It'll be great.

My new job is likely to be mostly Java though. I'm reading up, getting familiar again. I'll also practice some trivial test programs on Tomcat, to see just what that's like. Time to look at Spring too. I don't know what ORM they might be using, but I have a week to learn things ahead of time :-).


I went to an interview with iPredict at Victoria University yesterday. It was a great interview at a small startup. The offer is good, the work is going to be interesting. I'm definitely interested. I'd accept the position immediately, but then I got a call to schedule an interview with Catalyst IT, where sol works. So I'm delaying a decision on iPredict for a few days. If Catalyst makes me an offer, and it's competitive, and they make the decision very quickly, then I'll accept that. But if the offer is off by 10k a year or they don't make an offer by Monday, then I'll accept the iPredict offer.

I hope iPredict is still interested by Monday :-). I think they will be though. The market for PHP-Java developers is tight, and it's hard to find someone who is willing to work with both languages. As it happens, I think that PHP for the frontend and Java for complex logic is the right way to do things. I'm looking forward to working at either iPredict or Catalyst.


Interview tomorrow

I've got an interview with a recruiter tomorrow. The position is an exact fit for my profile, so I'm pretty sure the interview will go well. I sent an application for a senior developer position. My resume is right for that position. I'm going to look at the intermediate developer positions too though. I'm coming off a series of team leader positions and I think I'd prefer the lower level positions though. At least for a year or two. After some decompression (and getting a feel for kiwi management style) I might be ready for team leader positions again.

So I think I'll be looking more at those intermediate positions rather than the one I'm interviewing for :-). I already expressed some of that to the recruiter in a phone call, so he won't be blindsided by it. I *am* open to a senior position too, but it'll depend on who else is on the team (senior support, is there a business analyst leader, etc). I'm OK with handling business analyst type work for short periods, but I don't enjoy it so I don't do well at it beyond a month or so.

I've also applied for 4 other positions (one in C++, the other three being exact matches again), and I'm waiting for a call from sol's company. I'd really prefer to work with sol's company, Catalyst IT Ldt. That'll be my first priority. But since I'm not certain to find a perfect match there (although the odds are pretty good), I'm applying for other jobs too. Everything I've applied for seems to be very interesting. I'll be applying, in the next few weeks, for the less perfect matches :-). There's a lot of work, but of course, not everything is a match (as to skills, technology preferences, or location, since I'm not open to work outside Wellington, or even in parts of Wellington which are not convenient to travel to (e.g., Upper Hutt).

Sol took two weeks to get an offer, although that was through extremely serendipitous happenstance. If I get an offer in two weeks or so I'll be doing pretty well.



I'm not often sad. Usually I'm focused on the wonderful present, or looking forward, moving upward.

and then there's this.

TV and cable too!

Sol and I were sure we didn't want a television. We weren't going to buy one, and we certainly weren't going to have cable. Timmy is entertained by playing with common household items, and I'm entertained watching him and reading online.

My mother-in-law arrived last week though, and a few weeks before that we had to buckle down to getting a TV. We won an auction on a 29" TV on (where else) TradeMe. We also bid on and won a TV cabinet for it.

We definitely weren't going to get cable because the website says installation costs NZ$600. That's almost half a month's rent right there :-).

And then two days ago I got a call from skytv. They have a promo, free installation and 3 months of free premium channels. Since my mother-in-law is here, and *she* won't be entertained by the internet when I find a job, well, we grabbed the deal :-).

We're very happy with the TV and cable now, even though it'll cost $45 a month :-). That's about NZ$140 a month for landline, broadband and cable. But I think we've stabilized our costs now (unless we buy a car, but that's going to be either never or after two paychecks, once I've got a job :-).

There are several cooking channels, there's Discovery, National Geographic and News, and the free NZ channels are much clearer now (for a week we were using the antenna on the roof). We won't be watching much in the way of sports, movies or entertainment news, although Sol will want a tivo when the French Open, Wimbledon, U.S. Open and Australian Open come around (very soon now). I haven't found a tivo on TradeMe yet though, and I don't have the necessary A/V jacks on either of our laptops to record shows using MythTV. She's thinking she'll be absent a lot for the French Open :-). I hope not.


May 8 2005

Happy Anniversary Sol.

We were rather under-organized for the wedding :-). So we organized a trip to white island, with lechon, beer and a spectacular sunset, but we didn't organize a program (the guests made one up, thanks Cecil), and we didn't think of a photographer or videographer. Fortunately, we got donations of pictures (thanks May, Cecil, Francis) from people who were there :-).

I think I won't send a mass email :-). Those who know about RSS and have subscribed to my feed will see this soon, the rest will see when I post another timmy video I guess :-).

stupidity and society

I have a pretty large sig quote file. But I add to it once in a while.

I recently added:

Against stupidity, the gods themselves contend in vain.
-- Friedrich von Schiller


It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick
-- Krishnamurti

I have a few favorites, but this one just doesn't appear enough in my sigs. I should really add it in there a few hundred times so it'll appear in every other email :-)

Pobrecito mexico tan lejos de Dios y a la vez
tan cerca de los Estados Unidos
Gen. Porfirio Diaz

along with, of course,

GW Bush: Impeach, Prosecute, Convict, Execute


the perfect scrambled eggs

I have got to practice this and get it right, since scrambled eggs is pretty much the only thing I can cook. It might as well be perfect :-).