Rick's Ramblings

You have found Rick's Ramblings, a Web Log.

I have been writing in this space for a few years now. Visit the archives to get a feel for my style.

Thanks for visiting one of my creative outlets! Please send me an e-mail, or add a comment to any post.

More Rick Umali web sites at:

Yahoo! Geocities
Lycos Tripod
The World
My Own Domain

Email: rickumali@gmail.com

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Saturday, December 01, 2001
Rough Friday. I caused a blowout of my passenger side front tire after hitting a curb, not even one mile from work. A moment's distraction (and yes, I was distracted with my cell phone), and there I was in a parking lot, eyeing a flat tire. Thankfully, I've changed the tires of my car once before, but after a few minutes of effort, I could not work off the lug nuts. I called AAA.

Since I called for flat tire assistance, the help arrived in a van. The burly gentleman revved up a generator, and applied his air impact wrench to the lugs. No go. He was as surprised as I was.

After a few minutes of trying, he says I'm going to need a tow. And just like that my Friday evening was toasted. I got home a little after 8PM, after dumping my car off at a near-by tire place, the same place that repaired my driver-side rear tire.

The walk home (about a mile) brought on a healthy dose of shin splints.

Thursday, November 29, 2001
Tonight, I opened up my old computer, and yanked the 4.3 Gig hard drive out of it. My intention is to put it into my current system, as a second drive. 4.3 Gig is not a lot these days, but I figure it will be a good exercise trying to add a second drive to my system. It's good for software guys like me to play around with hardware.

(Obligatory geek moment: after spending minutes inside the chassis of my PC, I succeeded in removing the drive from its bay. As I turned the small device in my hand, it turned out to be my floppy drive. Sigh.)

Sunday, November 25, 2001
I spent the past few days trying to think the few things I must really be thankful for, besides my wife, baby, and immediate family.

I found inspiration in Dave Winer's essay on how to begin the "thanking" process, and the key is to focus on why you're thankful. With that in mind, it actually reveals many of the things we would overlook.

So, without any order:

  • Ofoto - With the birth of Mia, sending pictures and prints has been added to my job description. Ofoto make the process quite easy and painless. The prints are super, and really complement my digital camera.

  • Blogger - I'd pay a modest fee to keep up the service which generates the pages that you're reading and I'm writing. For someone like me with a creative 'bent', a BLOG is a perfect outlet, and Blogger allows me to concentrate on the content, and not the publishing.

  • My New Job - I've been with Mercury almost six months, and I've had a super experience so far. Aside from the technical challenge that makes the work rewarding, the job itself is quite family "friendly". I can leave work by 5PM virtually every night. I have full telecommuting capabilities (although I've only had to take advantage of that once). And the work is the kind that I can leave at work (i.e. I am not 'on call'). The new job makes it possible for me to be the kind of father and husband that I want to be.

  • Radio Headphones - I bought a a pair for my Dad, and I own a pair for myself. When I watch television or movies at night, I plug these headphones in, and I can watch from the comfort of the sofa without waking anyone up.

  • Caller ID - Sorry if you never reach us, but we don't answer the phone unless the caller id shows a number we already know. With caller id, we pretty much turn the ringer off, thus eliminating the stress of the evening telemarketing phone call.

  • Day Care - Jenn and I have grown to love the routine we've developed with Mia. Jenn is at home with Mia three days a week, then sends her to day care for two days. I then 'take over' on the weekends. Day care is an easy one to be thankful for, primarily because it allows Jenn the ability to work part time, and (I'm sure of this) keeps her sane. Mia gets a healthy dosage of social training too.

    There's a lot more, I'm sure, but let me sign off with these. I hope it gets you thinking too. Thanksgiving is once a year, but every day we should be able to say "Thank goodness" for something, right?

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