Un Cachito de la vida

Un Cachito

Un Cachito de la vida - A little piece of Cameron's life

July 12, 2010


415. That's how many days it's been since my last post. Since the home page on my web browsers on numerous computers is my blog, I see my delinquency constantly. I was going to make a new post on my 1-yr anniversary, but the place where my server was being hosted was having lots of power problems and the server was unavailable. A lot has happened to me in the last year, but I guess Facebook provides a medium with which to share enough information that I'm left with no desire to write a blog post. I think others are the same. I've also been quite busy and never seem to have enough time. I constantly think things will get less busy in another week or so, but they never do.

My son, Spencer, is nearly 10 months old now and is a very handsome redhead. The problem is, he won't sleep much - a trait he probably got from me. And when he doesn't sleep, his parents don't sleep, so I find myself in a perpetual state of grogginess. I've noticed my sleep deprivation in my hollow eyes, my resistance to laughing at others' jokes and in my making lots of little errors in different tasks. I naively thought he'd be sleeping through the night long before now, but I guess every kid's different.

As mentioned in my last post, I work in Monterey, Ca., a place which constantly reminds me of its beauty. It's a lot cooler than I thought it'd be, with highs hovering in the upper 50's to lower 60's much of the year. While I'd like it to be 10 degrees warmer, I love not having to deal with snow anymore. I live less than a mile from the beach and I don't have to go far to see sea otters and sea lions in the wild, with occasional glimpses of whales and dolphins. If the water were 25-30 degrees warmer, it'd be perfect.

My work is going pretty well too. I'm a contractor now, which means I'm only hired for the duration of a contract, which at FNMOC, last no longer than a year. The contract I was hired for expired in April, but I was able to jump to a couple new contracts fairly seamlessly and will probably be doing a lot of contiguous 6-month contract jumps. It's not necessarily the most stable way to work, but I have good bosses and it's not as bad as it sounds. In fact, I enjoy what I do quite a bit. There are politics, which I hate, and a small number of people I don't see eye to eye with, but I have respect, friendships and lots of interesting work to keep myself busy. So, in short, I enjoy my current job a lot more than my last one.

Posted by charr at 10:29 AM | Comments (0) | My_life

May 23, 2009

Life 2.0

I can't believe how long it's been since I last posted. You'd think I'd have found time. Actually, although I've been unemployed, I feel a lot has happened. Enough, in fact, to say I'm making significant changes in my life.

I'm moving to the Monterey, California area.

I'll be a father in about 4 months.

How's that for a little change? I have a feeling it's going to be a hectic next two or three months. To begin with, I start a new job on Tuesday, although I've already been doing an enormous amount of paper work for it. The job is with SAIC, working at FNMOC. SAIC is a large contractor - one of those ginormous companies you've never heard of. FNMOC is a US Navy site and stands for Fleet Numeric Meteorology and Oceanography Center. They provide weather and other data for the US armed forces. When I worked at Linux Networx, I did a fair amount of work with some super computers at FNMOC and have a good relationship with the folks there. When they heard I was available, we started to talk and things eventually worked out (after some hoops to jump through). As you probably gathered, I will be relocating from Utah and will be seeking to sell my Utah house in order to buy a house down there, renting a small apartment in the mean time. It will be an adventure methinks, but one that I hope to enjoy. Plus, it's pretty much idyllic out there in the Monterey Bay area. As long as I don't think about selling my house here, I'm excited :).

On the baby front (and yes, I know I'm a little late to the game, but I don't care), my wife is around 5 months along and, if you haven't followed her Facebook updates, it's a boy.  I think I'm pretty much in denial over how much my life will change and how much patience I'll be forced to develop, but I'm excited about this too.

So, anyway, wish me luck in the move and all the house stuff.
Posted by charr at 6:02 PM | Comments (7) | My_life

March 13, 2009


Over the past couple of months, I've been contacted by a number of friends and associates who have been laid off in this miserable economy. Since Fusion-io was doing great, they hoped to join on there, and I hoped to help them

I've worked at Fusion-io since Dec. '07 and although I've never really felt comfortable there due to my job position, I figured that since the company was doing so well, I didn't need to worry. Then on Friday the 13th of this past week, I was accidentally sent an email with a list of people to be laid off. I was on the list and the email was asking for a confirmation if I was really to be laid off or not. It took me a minute to figure out what the email was saying because it seemed a little incredulous, but after that, I got pretty nervous. The email was later recalled, but the damage had been done. I paid a visit to the CTO of the company to talk a bit about my job and maybe changing positions or taking a pay cut and he was pleasant but couldn't guarantee anything, saying it wasn't in his hands.

Often, lay-offs in tech companies happen by noon and when lunch came and went, I thought that I had been spared at least for that day. I slowly started to calm down, though was still a bit nervous. I was pretty impressed with myself that I was actually able to do some work and commit some code. However, when 4:30 rolled around and an officer of the company came to my cube, I figured my time was up. Sure enough, although the CTO talked to the person responsible, that person decided my job position was unnecessary. I had a suprising outpouring of support from guys working there and that was cool to see. I was sad to leave Fusion-io due to it's potential to be astronomically successful, but I'm also looking forward to having some time to relax and hoping that I'll enjoy my next job a little more.

If you feel like worrying for me, don't. Well, at least not yet ;). I have some job possibilities and savings to sustain me. I just hope to find something I enjoy.
Posted by charr at 3:47 PM | Comments (1) |

January 5, 2009

Presidents, Part 3: Obama

With Obama being deemed a Liberal and me a Republican, you might think I was fighting against the Obama campaign. If I was, it was a pretty weak attempt. You know that I wanted McCain to win, but as the campaign came into it's closing months, I became increasingly ambivalent about who really mattered. I felt McCain had the better policies, but that Obama had a lot to offer.

What worried me most about Obama were his standard "Liberal" positions of higher taxes and government spending, pro-abortion sentiment, and withdrawal of US troops from Iraq as soon as possible. Those issues are still concerns, although somewhat mitigated. Obama has tried to assure everyone that if you make under $250K/yr (which is certainly my case!), your taxes won't increase. On the other hand, he has promised dramatically increased government spending in order to pull the economy out of the slumps. It worries me the level of debt America is carrying right now, and at some point we really need to get back to fiscal responsibility. Abortion is an unknown, but I don't know that he'll try to push through any changes. Also, it looks like he'll be taking a more reasonable approach to Iraq, thanks to Secretary Gates, General Petraeus and the Surge. Those factors in Iraq have made an incredible beneficial impact in Iraq, making a pullout of troops practical. McCain actually deserves credit here as a proponent of the Surge. Obama, on the other hand, was loathe to admit the success of the Surge, but has since acknowledged it.

So there remains some concern as to what Obama's administration will do, but there are also many benefits. Very high on my list is Obama's image in the international community. America has long been a beacon of light in a sometimes-dark world - literally a land of opportunity. It has also been the lone superpower with a lot of bargaining power. Whether justly or not, that image has been dealt a damaging blow under Bush's presidency. Many in the Middle East think the US is anti-Islam and morally corrupt. The US has also lost bargaining power in Sudan, Somalia, Iran and other places due to overextension of it's armed forces and lack of respect by world leaders. That's not just disappointing, but also dangerous as rogue states become less likely to change their ways. Now, however, there will soon be a black man in the Oval Office who is truly half-African and who has a common Islamic name as his middle name. That diversity has broad appeal and I dare say the world has a crush on the guy :). That could change quickly of course, especially with US support for Israel in their war on Hamas (which I also support). But just Obama's being in the White House brings a lot of admiration and respect back to the US the democratic system that landed him there. I truly hope Obama is able to use that momentum to engage with the world and improve ties everywhere.

Another benefit, tied to the first, is that he has a calm demeanor and a coherent - even eloquent - manner of speech. This was especially evident in the last debate with McCain. Obama is a likeable guy who has a tranquilizing effect on public panic.

As an engineer, I also see a benefit in having a younger president who seems much more in tune with technology than past presidents have been. The US's digital infrastructure has stagnated, but hopefully, with his expansive infrastructure projects, the US can revamp itself and be on par with Japan, South Korea and Singapore.

Obama hasn't even taken office and the US - and indeed, the world - has a lot riding on him. I'm optimistic that he can make the US a better place than in the past, and here's wishing for the best.
Posted by charr at 4:32 PM | Comments (0) |

December 30, 2008

Immigration's broken

You've heard me rant before about how the immigration system is broken in this country. It's so hard to get in legally, that unfortunately - but understandably - some people choose to come illegally.

My latest disappointment with the system came this morning. I've spent a fair amount of effort, time and some money trying to bring a man from central Africa over here to Utah to go to college. He was accepted by the college. We then spent a lot of time and some money trying to get all the necessary documents in order to obtain the necessary F-1 visa. We were racing against time, but I was fairly confident we had all we needed and that he'd get the visa.

He had his appointment at the embassy this morning and was rejected? Why? Was it because he messed up on one of the many forms or because he didn't have sufficient funds? No. It's because the interviewer decided that even though my friend's visa would expire after a couple years of school, he (the interviewer) wasn't convinced there was a compelling reason for my friend to return to Africa (which they want to see). Besides the fact that my friend helps run a business in his country and is needed, perhaps the biggest problem is that the decision is incredibly subjective and really affects a life. My friend said that there were several other interviewers there at the US embassy also, and he said one seemed to just be handing out visas, even to people who couldn't really speak any English (which my friend speaks natively). Had he had a different interviewer, he very well may have been able to start school here on the 5th. Now he has to do the forms over and spend a bunch of money to try again. The system's broken.
Posted by charr at 4:05 PM | Comments (1) | Politics

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