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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Thursday, December 11, 2003
I'm down a bit. I had a transaction go "bad" on eBay (I'll write more about this later). I had to leave work "a little later than usual", which always irks me as it disrupts my commuting routine. And to top it all off, I actually wanted to do some work from home but my PC at work seems to be flaking (I connect to my work PC via TightVNC over SSH).

I'm also down because I spoke with a former co-worker this afternoon, and we were reminiscing about our high-tech careers. As we were going over where we were and where we wanted to go, I was sensing that he made some good decisions career-wise and that perhaps I haven't.

It's always important to look up beyond the trees to see what forest you're in. Are you in a good situation? Does it fit in with your values, your vision of yourself? Do you have a vision of yourself? For me, I have values, I have a vision. Today, career-wise, I wonder if I'm in the best situation.

Tuesday, December 09, 2003
Folks who visited my last picture album probably noticed that I didn't make the HTML pages myself. Instead, I used some shareware called JAlbum. I like this software. It automatically generates the thumbnails, creates the slides, and also creates the navigation between the individual slides. You already have to know HTML, and some basic CSS.

I wrote my own little Perl program to create the web pages over at the Mia Picture Site. But my program never created thumbnails, and my program didn't do the image manipulation (mostly size reduction). I originally wanted to tackle these problems, but I never got around to learning how to use GD, never mind trying to integrate it with my Perl program.

There's a fine line between "doing it yourself" and "building on the work of others." Since I know how to write computer programs, almost every problem that I look at involves me writing a program. We need to organize all these music CDs. "I'll write a program." We need to figure out how many colors to put on this quilt. "I'll write a program." It's the adage "If your only tool is a hammer, everything looks like a nail."

Well, David Ekholm (the author of JAlbum) used his hammer, and used it very well. I'm glad he's sharing the fruits of labor. I have given up trying to write my own program to make picture albums. The amount of pride I had to swallow was very small. Instead, I'll take pride in the albums themselves.

Monday, December 08, 2003
Kudos to my newspaper delivery man. He didn't deliver anything over the long snow storm this weekend, but this morning, there was a fresh copy of the Sunday Boston Globe, and the Sunday New York Times. His "tip envelope" is on our side table at home. This deserves a nice tip!

Sunday, December 07, 2003
I made a small album of pictures that I took when I went outside to shovel. The plow didn't arrive until 7PM tonight. I missed my newspapers. I missed church. I missed take-out.

At least I got some exercise.