Hello, blog.

I figured I'd better breathe life back into this blog, at least for one post, before I reach 18 months without posting. :-)

Things have been pretty good for me over the last year. Jeannette and I are getting along swimmingly. My team at work has evolved quite a bit, shifting our role, and has begun to receive some recognition within the company -- we recently got an internal award for our work, but I'm not sure how much I can say. We've grown quite a bit, and as one of the more tenured team members (over two years now!) I've mentored a few new hires. While I'm not a technical lead -- we've already got one of those, and she rocks -- I'm driving a new project and keeping my eye out for new directions for the team.

For the first year and a half or so at Google, I spent much of my free time learning this field of "computer science." It's distinct from programming, see, and from software engineering (though I've learned a lot about those fields too). I spent whole evenings and weekends studying and practicing, as Jeannette can attest; fortunately she's quite tolerant, since she geeks out in her own fields too. I feel like I've got undergraduate CS under my belt now, so I'm spending more time sparring with PhDs at the office to keep learning. Can't swing a stick at the office without hitting a few, after all.

In return, I've taught a class and done a couple presentations on software engineering techniques, which I learned from my dad but folks don't seem to pick up in school.

In short, I'm a lot happier with my job than I was a year or two ago. Which is good, because I've started getting calls from more recruiters, most of which have interesting work to offer. Sorry guys; keep me on file just in case.

Speaking of recruiters, I now exist on LinkedIn -- any colleagues or friends reading this should drop me a line there. (If I don't know you and you're reading this, I'm happy to talk to you but I will decline LinkedIn requests from strangers.)

Beyond LinkedIn, I haven't bought into the whole social networking fad just yet. The isolated fiefdoms of social networking remind me a lot of the early days of consumer internet access, when I couldn't email someone because they used CompuServe or AOL. I'm sure it'll get straightened out with time; for now, it seems ironic that "social networking" should resemble high school cliques on a grand scale.

After years of eyeing digital SLRs, I finally bought one to replace my Minolta X700. The technology has finally caught up with (and, in my opinion, surpassed) film for a reasonable price. I bought a Pentax K100D, which (like my Minolta A2) has image sensor stabilization, eliminating the need/desire for expensive stabilized lenses. My only complaints stem from being a software guy: there are parts of the firmware I want to change, and I can't. Grr.

The K10D (one zero) is a nicer camera, but unlike most modern cameras, the K100D has spectacular infrared sensitivity -- and since I'm a fan of IR photography, that sold me.

So, I'll pimp some of my latest photos below. Some are visible light, some are false-color infrared. I won't spend too much time discussing each; click on them to go to the respective Flickr page.
The mystery of the question blockAgave IPines IIJeannette at Pinecrest (IR)42 on a Cloudy DayBuilding 40SpikeSunset IPinecrest Lake and hills