Category Archives: Life

General stuff about life

Our Secret is Getting Out!

I’m a little late to the Houston boosting party this time around, but I can’t resist an opportunity to do a little bragging. It’s been over a year since I [last wrote about Houston]( “Where do software developers get paid the most?”), and since then, the national press has developed a bit of a crush on my favorite city.

Kiplinger went so far as to dub Houston the [#1 city in the U.S.]( “No. 1: Houston, Texas –”):

> It’s the city of big plans and no rules, beat-the-heat tunnels and loop-the-loop highways, world-class museums and wiry cowboys, humidity that demands an ice-cold martini and the biggest damn liquor store on the planet. How could you not love Houston?

Now, [Newsweek is getting into the game]( “Houston, We Have No Problems | Newsweek Voices – Daniel Gross |”):

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How To Handle Privacy Like a Caveman

From an [article in Wired]( about the new RFID chips in US passports:

> 4) The best approach? Hammer time. Hitting the chip with a blunt, hard object should disable it. A nonworking RFID doesn’t invalidate the passport, so you can still use it.

I guess that’s what I’ll be doing if I don’t get my passport this week. I need it to get married in Canada. 🙂

*via [Richard](*

Hail Storm at the Office

There was a fierce hail storm at the office yesterday, and I was able to catch a little of it on my camera. It’s hard to see much past the gate, but I didn’t want to step out from underneath the ledge on account of the chunks of ice falling from the sky. The winds were pretty heavy. It looked like the front edge of a hurricane. FYI, the bigger one [here]( looks better.

I’m Engaged

Here’s the short version. I’ve been writing this long post about my engagement on November 24th. Unfortunately, I’m very anal and long-winded, and I don’t know when I’m going to finish it. So, I’m posting a quick announcement to let everyone know that Christy and I are now engaged. After about three and a half years, we’ve finally made it official. I’ll be posting the story of the engagement eventually. Until then, I’ll leave you with some pictures because everyone just wants to see the ring anyway.




It’s Settled

If you haven’t noticed, I’ve been experimenting with new themes for the blog over the past few weeks. I know it’s not kosher to experiment on a production site, but most of you read my blog via the RSS feed anyway. The theme is a tad more Web2.0ish than I normally like, but it’s simple, and it stays out of the way. I like a lot of whitespace, and this theme has that in droves. There’s still some tweaking to do, but the main theme won’t change anymore.

I have some good posts that are currently being edited for final posting, and I hope to accompany the new theme with a bunch of interesting writing. There’s a lot going on in my life from a technical and career standpoint, and I’m excited about sharing it. I also have a cool announcement that I’m waiting until tomorrow to post. The rest of this year should be really good for me and for the blog.


As you probably know by now, I like to think about who I am. I believe in constant self examination and improvement. Although I take little stock in tests like this one, I find that taking them encourages me to think about myself and see if I’ve been living up to my own standards. I also find that I usually pretty much agree with the results since I take the tests honestly.

So, according to the PersonalDNA test, I’m an
. Sounds pretty cool, and it’s pretty close to what I think about myself. I found it interesting, but not a surprise, that my masculinity and feminity scores were both 86 and 80 (out of 100) respectively. I’ve never seen a personality test enumerate those two traits before. Over all, it was a good waste of about 30 minutes today as I count down the days remaining at my current employer.

Paul Graham explains my working life to me

In a recent essay about how to come about ideas for start-ups, Paul Graham was able to explain to me why I feel the way I do about my life in the “Enterprise.”

In an essay I wrote for high school students, I said a good rule of thumb was to stay upwind– to work on things that maximize your future options. The principle applies for adults too, though perhaps it has to be modified to: stay upwind for as long as you can, then cash in the potential energy you’ve accumulated when you need to pay for kids.

I don’t think people consciously realize this, but one reason downwind jobs like churning out Java for a bank pay so well is precisely that they are downwind. The market price for that kind of work is higher because it gives you fewer options for the future. A job that lets you work on exciting new stuff will tend to pay less, because part of the compensation is in the form of the new skills you’ll learn.

So, there’s little future in unexciting jobs, and the least exciting ones pay the best? I don’t know if he’s right on, but I think he’s close. One thing’s for sure, being downwind of most things definitely sucks.