November 25, 2017
Earlier today, my family and I went to the Casa Grande Ruins National Monument in Coolidge, Arizona. Coolidge is a pretty small town — less than 12,000 people in total. And it’s at least an hour away from any major city in Arizona. Also, this is hardly the most famous monument in Arizona, so suffice it to say we weren’t expecting too much. Really, it was just a fun random road trip on a holiday weekend.
Just as we finished eating our lunch at the picnic tables, the park announced that a new guided tour was starting in 5 minutes. That sounded like a good idea so we decided to join.
What followed was a vivid and dare I say gripping exposition on Hohokam culture some thousand years ago. Against the backdrop of what we later learned was a major architectural structure in a major city in a culture that has long since collapsed, this turned out to be a surprisingly engaging tour.
April 9, 2017
I recently bought a new car.
It was my first car purchase in 8 years, and being the obsessive geek that I am, I researched every last detail of the optimal process for buying a new car. By optimal I basically mean “get exactly the car you want for the lowest possible price.”
Since I put in all the time to do the research, I figured I’d share everything I learned in the hopes that it helps someone out if they’re ready to buy a new car. That, and my Dad asked me for details, too.
Just to cut right to the chase, I wound up saving over $3,500 from the original price I was quoted (which included a trade-in of a 2008 BMW 328i Coupe). I won’t bother mentioning the specific car I bought because it’s not relevant to this post, but its MSRP was around $30,000.
October 4, 2014
Recently I celebrated my 10th year at Omedix, the company I started when I was 24 years old. At 34, it is a little hard to imagine I’ve done anything for 10 years!
The milestone has made me reflect on some of the early decisions I made when I first got started. There were many really good decisions, but there were plenty of bad ones, too. And of course when you’re in your early 20’s you have that perfect combination of extreme confidence and supreme ignorance. Sometimes that can be a good thing, and sometimes it can be as bad as it sounds.
September 10, 2014
This is my review of my first couple of weeks with Ally Bank, and why I ultimately decided to stay with stodgy, old Chase.
When I was 16 years old, I went with my Mom to a local Bank One branch to open my own personal checking account. Bank One eventually got acquired by Chase, and so I’ve effectively been a Chase customer for more than half my life!
But it’s been a love-hate relationship. On the positive side, it seems that no matter where in the United States I am, I’m always less than 3 miles from a Chase branch, so it’s definitely convenient. I also don’t worry about Chase failing so it seems like a safe place to keep my family’s money. Their iPhone app is actually pretty good, especially the ability to remotely deposit checks.
But on the downside, I often get a “big bank” feel from them, mostly owing to the fact that I don’t really have a personal relationship with anyone there. I find I’m usually just engaging the “Chase Infrastructure” rather than contacting a specific person I know.
December 5, 2013
Recently, I worked on a sprint as part of our company’s scrum process. This sprint was somewhat unusual in that I was the sole developer. Not only that but I knew most of the specs in my head, so our product manager and I agreed it wasn’t necessary to write acceptance criteria for the user stories I would be working on. Since I wrote the acceptance criteria, it made sense that I would be the one who ultimately signed off on the user stories.
I hate bureaucracy so I was excited about how “lightweight” this process for the sprint was. But I found something kind of interesting.
When I was wearing my developer hat, I realized how much I enjoyed taking time to learn about other technologies. I had made a commitment to my teammates to get a certain amount of work done by a certain date, and we came up with estimates to make sure that the work was achievable.
But once I was doing it, my human nature started subconsciously looking for ways to “cheat”. I still wanted to get the work done, and done well. I wanted to be acknowledged by my colleagues for having delivered what was expected with high quality. But I also wanted to sneak in extra time so I could do more tech learning on the side.