Thursday, November 06, 2014

Making Progress

I would definitely call this making progress – more or less keeping up on both NaBloPoMo and the black-and-white photo challenge! I’ll take what I can get, thank you.

BW#3 - Spiral

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Pass The Catch-Up, part 2 (Best-Laid Plans)

Hey, still with me? Cool. Now where was I?

So, I was laid off back in 2012, and have all this time on my hands. What to do, what to do…

My plan before shit went down was to work on my photography education part-time, and then after that find a job as a photographer someplace that I could work on the side while I continue doing the software engineering thing during the week. OK, so that didn’t quite go as planned.

The lay-off did give me the opportunity to go to photo school full-time, which I did. What an experience that was! The staff is all great there, and the 7 of us in the full-time program starting that January learned quite a bit and had a lot of fun in the process. I made some awesome friends there, and still keep in contact with a certain few of them. Some of our group has gone on to become outstanding photographers and artists.

As for me, I do have my own on-the-side photography biz, but no business or marketing savvy whatsoever (ugh!) And I learned that photography is not a bill-paying profession by any stretch.
So while I still struggle to make ends meet (and more often than not, the ends aren’t even in the same county) at least I now have a cool hobby-job on the side that will sometimes earn a little mad money for things.

Speaking of photography, here is the second installment of the black-and-white challenge. Meet Emma, the adorable (and often hellacious) kitty who resides with my niece Teri and her husband.

BW #2 - Meow

Tuesday, November 04, 2014


BW #1
BW #1

We interrupt our regularly-scheduled blog post to bring you – The Black and White Challenge!

I was tagged the other day by my friend Carol (of Carol's Little World fame) to post five black-and-white images in five days. Today is the first day of my participation in said challenge, and so now here we go. I will intersperse these with my regular posts, if only to add some visual appeal to what is already awesomeness.

As part of this, I was supposedly going to tag a person each day to join in the challenge, but I am going to pass on that part. No reason, just going to skip that.

Call me a non-conformist.

Monday, November 03, 2014

Pass The Catch-Up, part 1 (“Dammit, I Really Needed That Money!”)

Day 2, biotches! Technically it’s day 3, but I’m hoping to post again tonight, so close enough and get over it!

I alluded to a number of changes that have taken place over the past couple of years, so I thought I would start by getting you up-to-speed as to what’s been going on. I could do this as a single, longer post, but instead I will give you a bit at a time. That way you don’t go into information overload, and I get to stretch things out a bit,and get more for my NaBloPoMo dollar.

In January, 2012 I was laid-off from my 18-year gig at Stratus Technologies. Apparently, my job function as a System Certification Engineer could be performed more cost-effectively if outsourced to another company, and all that blah, blah, blah. Honesty, I wasn’t too offended at the time because for one thing, I was definitely feeling burnt-out and wanted a change. For another, I had wanted to begin pursuing photography as more than just a hobby, and had enrolled as a part-time student at the Boston University Center for Digital Imaging Arts. As it turns out, the lay-off gave me the opportunity to attend full-time and would be able to complete my studies in only nine months, instead of eighteen. More on that in a later post.

While I felt I left Stratus on good terms, I have to admit that even now I harbor a small amount of resentment over the lay-off, because dammit – I needed that money, and still do! Yeah I know it can’t all be about the money, but try telling that to the mortgage company, the utility companies, and the lenders of your 20-year old student loans. And – as I have learned over the past two-and-a-half-years – the longer you are out of the computer industry, the harder it is to get back in because it is a constantly-changing, continually-moving target. Sure I wanted out of the industry, but I wanted a lot more say of when that took place, and a lot more control over the pacing of the transition.

But everything happens for a reason…

Saturday, November 01, 2014

And Here We Go Again

Well gang – another November, another NaBloPoMo. After the 1-day (cough) blogfest from 2012, I took last year off.

The past couple of years saw huge changes, so there will be plenty to write about over the coming days, but not tonight. I just got back from stuffing myself full of pasta at Pizzaland in Oneonta, NY (yes, New York – that is one of the changes). I’m full to bursting, and very tired at the moment, so tonight’s introductory post will be quite brief.

Happy November 1, Happy NaBloPoMo, and happy blogging!

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Another Year, Another Post

It’s November. NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month). Based on past history, I’m better off not making any grandiose promises about how I will somehow, miraculously, post to my blog everyday for the entire month of November. Especially considering that the last posting I made here was, oh let’s see, mid-November of last year!


Due to a number of factors – not the least of which is my typically using Facebook as a “micro-blog” to dump the rant-of-the-moment, having another blog that I am also trying to keep up on (yes I’ve been two-timing on you Blogger, get the hell over it!), and general laziness – I am not going to commit to a daily posting.

I will, however, strive to at least post more often than once a year.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Good, The Bad, and The PXE

What a weekend! So much going on, and I’m exhausted. I’ll give you a synopsis: 

The Good. Saturday morning, Patti and I went to the open house at Boston University’s Center for Digital Imaging Arts, in Waltham, MA. This was the school I was accepted into a couple of years ago, but issues with financial prevented my from attending. After a 9-month stint with the Art Institutes online division, I realized that online classes were not going to work well for me – I learn best in a hands-on, real classroom environment. So I re-applied to CDIA – here’s hoping that all works out this time!

Also good: choir and chorale rehearsals today. I love working with our “small but mighty” church choir, and singing with the Montachusett Chorale is so much fun! 

The Bad. Working on the weekend. I have never hidden the fact that I hate working in the computer industry with all the red-hot intensity of a thousand suns, but there is something about having to go in during the weekend in order to satisfy the ever-present product schedules (only made worse by my need to be able to focus on just one task at a time). But I will leave that well-enough alone for now and play nice, since I still need to be able to pay the overabundance of bills.

Also bad: coming down with a nasty, achy, head-coldy kinda thing that is just making me feel generally crappy (and knowing that taking a much-needed sick day is probably not a good idea anytime in the next week or so). 

The PXE. My first question was, “what the heck is PXE?” Turns out, that it stands for “Preboot Execution Environment” – it’s basically a way for a system to boot with the assistance of another system over a network connection. It’s also something I needed to putz around with over the weekend for some tests I needed to run. I also discovered that PXE could also stand for “Pretty eXasperating Experience”.

Also PXE: A little something called gPXE, which the the GNU flavor of PXE (basically the freeware version of PXE, and the version I was actually using).

So, how was your weekend?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

A Blogging Haiku

Writing blogs is fun,
but not so drawing a blank.
Too many brain-farts.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Ramblings Of The Uninspired

Here I sit, in bed with the laptop awaiting my next keystrokes so that I might inflict my next blog entry. Though I am feeling somewhat uninspired at the moment. I do have a list of possible blog topics, but none of them are doing much for me this evening.

And now Her Royal Meowjesty hops up onto the bed as well, saunters up next to me purring loudly, and then proceeds to climb up onto my belly and starts kneading (apparently soft and round equates to “pincushion” in her mind). Thankfully my sweatshirt is taking the brunt of it – this cat is in serious need of a manicure. That is a task best left for the professionals (or at least the masochists);

I’ve once tried trimming the claws of our previous cat, Skooter, some number of years ago … once. She then made it abundantly clear to me that she likes her claws just the way they are, thank you very much. To this day, in the right light, you can still see the vestiges of the scar on my arm that resulted from that error in judgment on my part.

Anyhow, where was I? Oh right – I was trying to think of something to blog about tonight.

Perhaps something will come to me tomorrow.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Announcement: Montachusett Chorale Annual Holiday Benefit Concert

Patti and I are members of the Montachusett Chorale, an area choral group who raises funds for various local charitable organizations.

This year’s holiday concert will benefit the Montachusett Interfaith Hospitality Network, whose aim is to provide transitional housing and support for homeless families with children. It will be held on Sunday, December 4, at 2pm in the Tata Auditorium of Leominster City Hall, 25 West Street, Leominster, MA. Advance tickets are $12, and $15 at the door (under 18 is free).

If you happen to be in the North-Central Massachusetts area at that time, c’mon over and enjoy an afternoon of great music and help a worthy cause!