A Good Morning

My wife and I had plans to see Avengers:Age of Ultron this morning; we’d had pre-purchased tickets at our local cinema, reserved seating and all.Captain America When we arrived, though, and were picking up our tickets, we changed our mind.

At the next window were a man and his little boy. The man was trying to buy two tickets, but all that was left were two seats apart from each other, both in the very front row. Same a the next showing a few hours later. And the showing after that. They turned away from the ticket window and started to walk away. The man was trying to explain, and the boy just kept asking “why do we have to find a different theater?”

Hilary and I looked at each other, knowing that all the other theaters would be just as sold out this weekend, and didn’t even have to say anything. We just turned to the man and gave him our tickets and told the boy to have fun.

It was the right thing to do. We can get tickets for another showing sometime. Besides, it’s what Captain America would have done.

NoxWe had a good morning anyway, without Cappy, Widow and the rest – we went home and got Nox, walked to the library and around the Alpharetta Farmer’s Market, had a good lunch in the sunshine and found a 15th Anniversary Geocache too.

It’s a beautiful day — in Georgia, anyway — get out and enjoy it!

The First Three Months

Since starting my new job, I’ve often been asked how I like it and what I’m doing. The short answer is that I’m really enjoying it and that this is the greatest company I’ve ever worked for. I’m busy meeting people, talking and writing about testing, and learning more new things each week than I have in a long time. Here’s a quick list of my output (I’m not even going to try to list everything I’ve learned or all the great people I’ve met):

That’s just the first three months. Exciting times, indeed.

Moored Once More

Forms have been completed. anchors are down, and the next phase of my career has begun. This week, I signed aboard my new post as part of telerik’s software testing tools group.

at the office in Austin TX  (photo hosted by Flickr)

The department I’m joining is in Austin Texas. No, we’re not moving. I’ll be working out of my home office (and Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport). As telerik’s Test Studio Evangelist, I’ll be engaging with the testing community: attending and speaking at conferences, visiting customer sites, blogging, webcasting, and the like, all with the purpose of raising awareness of methods & techniques of software test automation.

Most of all, I’m looking forward to learning a lot. Fortunately I’m going to be surrounded by some of the best people in software development & testing.

The adventure begins!

Casting Off

My exit paperwork is done. My laptop is wiped. My email account is disabled. My badge is turned in. I have cast off the lines, set sail, and await the wind. 

I’ve left a company I’ve known for almost five years. The product is a good one, being built and sold by good people. As I told them, I believe the company is strong and has a good future ahead, and I wish them well. 

My course leads me in a different direction; an opportunity lies ahead of me simultaneously exciting and terrifying. 

Onward! 

If You’re Going To Follow…

Allen and I went for a motorcycle ride today, to particpate in a Poker Run for charity. We got our first card and a map, but neither of us had a good place on our bike to hold the map. I’ve got plans to get a tank bag with a map pocket but haven’t done that yet, so we decided we’d just follow someone else.

Allen suggested a rider on a Triumph Sprint ST who had his map taped to his tank, but I chose otherwise. We’d talked to a Honda rider who was pulling out as we were ready; he seemed to me to be the sort of guy we might enjoy riding with, so we dropped in behind him. In some regards, I was right — he rode at a good pace, not too fast nor too slow, and was choosing good roads. He seemed to be taking a diffrent route than I remembered seeing on the map, but I figured that was ok; maybe he knew a better set of roads to the first checkpoint. After several miles, we realized that wasn’t the case and we pulled over and to figure out just where we were headed. It turned out that he wasn’t riding to the checkpoint at all. He had just stopped by the ride’s start to talk with some people, and was riding with a completely different destination in mind.

We got ourselves turned around and were able to re-join our group at one of the checkpoints, and had a good day’s ride. It’s an important lesson though, for riding and for life: If you’re going to follow someone — even should the journey be going well — it’s important to know that they’ve got the same destination in mind. Also, if you’re unsure, stop and check. On our motorcycle ride, that meant consulting the map. In other cases that might mean a good talk with your mentor or a return to reading The Good Book. It’s never too late to get back on the right path.

Experience, Learning, or Tips?

Two items, next to each other in my newsreader today, struck me as somehow connected.

Part of a Vanity fair article pointed to by Ernie the Attorney

“You spent seven years learning every little nuance of the fishing trade before you were granted the gift of learning from this great captain?” I ask.

“Yes.”

“And even then you had to sit at the feet of this great master for many months before you felt as if you knew what you were doing?”

“Yes.”

… right next this comment from Tim Sanders

At least once a week, someone asks me for some public speaking tips.

 

25 Things

Over on Facebook, there’s this “thing” going around, posting a list of “25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about yourself” then tagging it with 25 friends, asking them to do the same. It’s a way to learn more about your friends (or at least to learn what they’re willing to admit or brag about). Putting my list together took me quite a while, so I figured I’d post it here as well.

  1. I have been married to the same wonderful woman since I was 21.
  2. Both of my sons are Eagle Scouts. No, I am not.
  3. I enjoy reading; I have read 552 books since June ’97. But I have little patience for boring books. If I’m not hooked by the end of the second chapter, you’re sent back to the library.
  4. My two favorite series of books are The Dark Tower (Stephen King) and Ender’s saga (Orson Scott Card).
  5. I wish that I was as good at playing music, sports and XBox games as my sons are.
  6. I’ve been working with computers since 1982, on networks since 1984. Facebook and Twitter are the latest incarnation of what we used to call bitnet relay and usenet news.
  7. I enjoy photography, especially of active people.
  8. I’ve been taking pictures for high school sports teams and marching bands for the past seven years.
  9. I volunteer for organzations in which my sons are involved.
  10. I enjoy riding my motorcycle on twisty roads through the countryside.
  11. I used to be a fan of the Dallas Cowboys, but became so mainly to spite the Redskins fans in my life. To those people: I apologise.
  12. I enjoy playing guitar, but don’t do it often enough to be good.
  13. I was a Cub Scout leader and an Assistant Scoutmaster for my sons’ Boy Scout troop.
  14. I went to college in Wisconsin for two years, then finished up back in Maryland.
  15. When I was in the midwest, I enjoyed the cold and snow. Now that I’ve lived in “the south” for 16 years, 40f feels cold to me.
  16. I like just about every type of music (but not much rap or opera).
  17. I enjoy sailing on the ocean. I like snorkling along a reef. I enjoy being at the beach. I like trying to surf. But I’m not really that big on swimming.
  18. I believe that LOST and Battlestar Galactica are the best shows on television, followed closely by House. I think “reality” TV is crap.
  19. I usually ignore chain letters that ask for random things, facts, habits or goals.
  20. My favorite professional musicians are Jimmy Buffett, U2 and The Beatles.
  21. My favorite non-professional musicians are James and Robert (my two sons).
  22. People who choose to remain stupid bug me. A lot.
  23. I grew up less than 1,000 feet from Sugar Ray Leonard, but never knew it until after we moved out of the neighborhood (and so had he, I believe).
  24. I don’t like horror movies or books.
  25. I’ve been to Walt Disney World more than ten times as an adult.

The funny thing is that, though it took almost a week for me to do this, once I’d posted it I’ve thought of at least a dozen other ‘facts’ about myself that I could have included.

Inauguration Day

I remember being on The National Mall in Washington D.C. as a 15 year old in Oct 1979. It was just me, my camera and thousands upon thousands thousands of people packed onto The Mall to attend Pope John Paul II’s Mass.

It was crowded and chaotic, I couldn’t see much and what I was able to see of the actual event was tiny and far-away. But I was there, and I remember.

Mall in Wash DC, 1991

I remember being on The Mall with my wife, with our then-young sons in a stroller, at the welcome-home end-of-Gulf-War celebration with thousands upon thousands thousands of people in 1991.

Hilary, James and Two Soldiers. Wash DC 1991

Traveling with the stroller only made navigating the crows even harder, but we managed, we had fun, and we remember being there for a small part of history.

I can only imagine what The Mall will be like today for the inauguration of Barack Obama as the next President of the United States; the people, pageantry, celebrations and emotions — it will be quite an event.

Yes, it’ll be extremely crowded. As my father put it, “the Washington Zoo is expanding it’s boundaries.” The weather will be cold, the security checkpoints will be difficult and the lines will be long. For those who choose to brave the elements and the difficulties, though, the day will be well worth the hassles and it will be a day they remember for the rest of their lives.

Washington Mall on Inauguration Day 2009

If I were within 150 miles, you couldn’t keep me away with a big stick. Unfortunately that’s not the case, so I will have to rely on YouTube like the rest of the country. But I will remember.

On Hunger

Not to be a downer; just something to remember as you pass the turkey leg or open a present…

    more food than many get for a week.

  • If you woke up this morning with more health than illness, you are more blessed than the millions who will not survive this week.
  • If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead and a place to sleep (not to mention a computer on which to read this), you are richer than 75% of the people in this world.
  • Each day, 30,100 children die from mostly preventable and treatable causes such as diarrhea, acute respiratory infections or malaria. Malnutrition and hunger are associated with over half of those deaths.