• RailsBridge Lexington ·

    Yesterday I helped out at the first ever RailsBridge held in Lexington. We had twenty-five people sign up as attendees and maybe ten volunteer coaches, including myself. It’s intended to be an all-day session introducing women to programming, specifically by having them create a simple Ruby on Rails app. I gave the opening presentation, which you can find on SlideShare and also download as a PDF. It introduced the ladies to programming basics, and had them walk through several examples in IRB. Friday night we held an InstallFest where everyone brought their laptops and we helped them get stuff installed, including RailsInstaller in Windows, Git, Sublime Text 2 as an editor, and Node.js in Windows to have a JavaScript runtime. They also made a couple basic Rails apps that were no more than scaffolds, committed them to local Git repositories, and published them on Heroku. This was to prepare them for Saturday, when they did the same thing but with a more complex Rails app.

  • gallbladder surgery ·

    I went through my first-ever surgery yesterday: a laparoscopic cholecystectomy. I had my gallbladder removed because I’ve been having gallbladder attacks at least once a month since last summer, and changing my diet to an almost vegan diet didn’t stop them. I’m recovering okay, taking off at least a week from work. Jon’s been keeping me fed and helping me get around. I slept a lot yesterday; the hydrocodone really knocked me out. I’m a little sore around my midsection, but it’s a tolerable soreness. Certainly not as sharp or painful as a gallbladder attack. The soreness intensifies if I tense my stomach, cough, hiccough, or bend my stomach.

  • Solr and Paper Mario on the 3DS ·

    My new job at CirrusMio has been going great these past couple of months. I got to go to RubyConf 2012 in Denver, which was awesome. I had never been to RubyConf before, and it was great to go to a conference so relevant to what I do and enjoy. I especially enjoyed Refactoring from Good to Great and Jim Weirich’s keynote.

  • new job doing Ruby on Rails ·

    I recently changed jobs, going from a web developer position to programming. I had been at a consulting company where I did a lot of web design with a bit of WordPress and Drupal customization. Now I’m at a local Ruby on Rails company as a programmer, and I’m super happy to be back in Rails. I hadn’t used Rails regularly since an intern position I had years ago, back when Rails was on maybe at version 1. I forgot how awesome a language Ruby is, too; I hadn’t used Ruby since I finished my Master’s project last year. Now I get to use Capybara, CoffeeScript, Sunspot, SASS, Arel, and experience all the new stuff Rails 3 has to offer.

  • slow cooker cooking ·

    I’ve picked up on my slow cooker cooking recently, trying out a couple new recipes and re-using some old recipes. I’m working entirely out of Fix-It And Forget-It Big Cookbook: 1400 Best Slow Cooker Recipes, a book I really recommend. Liz had it first and I decided to get it after looking through her copy, then I convinced my cousin to buy it as well. It’s been nice because of the variety of ingredients and recipes.

  • work projects and music discovery ·

    I’ve been having a lot of fun at work recently using Spring 3 MVC, Twitter Bootstrap, jQuery UI, jQuery Mobile, and of course jQuery. Not all on the same project, but in a couple different projects I’ve been working on. Twitter Bootstrap has been really cool as a drop-in way of quickly making a pretty, clean layout. I love not having to style my tables manually, and the various spanX classes to have floating blocks a set percentage of the page wide are great. I’ll definitely be using Twitter Bootstrap in future projects; thanks for the suggestion, Joe.

  • yes I'm in the south, but my brother is not my spouse, Siri ·

    I got an iPhone 4S today after my AT&T contact expired yesterday. I’m excited to be on Verizon now and will hopefully experience fewer dropped calls. I was with AT&T for seven years, since they were Cingular back in the day, and I finally got tired of the crappy cell service. It was always the most frustrating around UK’s campus, when I would have to try multiple times to even get a call to dial out. It tended to say “call failed” immediately, not even ringing. I’m expecting to like Verizon’s service better, and I’m certainly liking the iPhone 4S over my ancient iPhone 3G. I was surprised to be able to trade in my old 3G for $65; there’s still a demand for them?

  • back from Jersey ·

    I’m back from my week and a half in Jersey, helping with requirements gathering for a new project at work. We were originally supposed to have to go back next week for a couple of days, but our project manager was able to push through all the functionality we needed to cover, and he’s satisfied we got what we needed. I’m glad, because I was not looking forward to more indirect flights and getting up at 6 every morning. Our flight home last night involved a layover in Atlanta, which is the silliest thing when traveling from NJ to KY, but there are just no direct flights from Philly to Lexington.

  • New Jersey and +1 buttons ·

    I’m going to New Jersey for the first time for work, and I’ll be up there about two and a half weeks. I was asked last week if I’d come along to help with the requirements gathering process for a new project, and I agreed, though I may freeze my tail off. There’s a lot of flying involved because we’ll be coming back to Lexington over the weekends, and we’ll be flying out of Cincinnati instead of Lexington. I’m borrowing a huge suitcase from a coworker since my one medium-sized suitcase won’t cut it for a week-long stay–you can tell I don’t travel much. I doubt I’ll have much time for sight-seeing since we’re doing eight-hour work days, but we’ll probably get to try some good Jersey food: we’ll do lunches with the client and I’ll get dinner with my coworkers.

  • Whited00r on my iPhone 3G ·

    Well, after a few hours and several different Google searches, my iPhone 3G is now jailbroken and has Whited00r on it. I think my phone may be the fastest it’s ever been, and I’ve tried iOS 3.1.3, 4.0, and briefly tonight 4.2.1 on it. I updated my iPad to iOS 5 tonight and, on a whim, decided my aging iPhone could use some more flash and glitter, too. Someone on Reddit mentioned Whited00r as being a way to make your older iPhone speedier while still getting some of the features from later iOS versions, so I decided to try it.

  • new job ·

    Today was my last day at HP, the end of a two-year internship. Starting Thursday, I’ll be working at a local company on their Java/open source team, and I think my first project will deal with PHP. I’m excited to start a new job, and am looking forward to doing something different on a daily basis than what I was doing at HP. Leaving HP wasn’t my original goal, and I started back in February trying to get a regular-employee position there, but it just never happened. They were in a hiring freeze and despite my manager’s efforts, they never got me an offer letter.

  • Susie and the vet ·

    Jon’s dog Susie is having a rough time. She’s had a lump on her throat for a while now, but in the past week or so it has suddenly grown much bigger. Jon took her to the vet yesterday and she was so freaked out they couldn’t get much of an x-ray, for fear the stress would kill her right then: she was breathing really heavy on the examination table, frothing at the mouth. Jon scheduled an exploratory surgery for tomorrow afternoon, but we don’t have much hope of them being able to fix the problem.

  • Lion and TV ·

    I got my Air! I’m typing this from it now. :) I’ve had fun organizing and configuring everything, and I’m finally settling in to using it for some real work. Well, not work as in someone’s paying me to do it: I’m just working on a new layout for this site and my portfolio. I bought Acorn from the Mac App Store and am using it for my image editing, with Komodo Edit for my HTML, JavaScript, and CSS. Here’s a screenshot of my primary desktop with Mission Control showing my apps:

  • programming and Airs ·

    I ordered one of the new MacBook Airs last night, and I’m super excited about it coming next week. I’m typing this entry on my old 2007 MacBook, which I bought used from a friend. All my Macs I’ve had used, so it’s cool to be getting my first brand-new one. I didn’t go the cheap route, either: I bought one of the 13” ones with the upgraded CPU and a 256GB SSD. Jon is such an up-seller, too: he was sitting beside me when I ordered, and he was all “you know, you’re spending this much on a computer anyway, you might as well spend the $100 extra and get the better CPU”.

  • Kittens, chucklings ·

    I love visiting my parents in the spring because they live on a farm and there are always baby animals there this time of year. This time around, they have some chucklings and some kittens. First, the chucklings: a hen kept trying to set on some unfertilized eggs (we have no roosters) in the usual egg-laying spot, preventing the other hens from laying any eggs. My mom got tired of this and stuck the chicken inside an old cage. She then went around the property gathering an assortment of duck eggs that our lazy ducks weren’t caring for, and stuck them under the hen.

  • Master's defense is over ·

    I had my Master’s defense this morning, and I’m very glad it’s over. It went well, but one of my committee members was seriously making me nervous with all his very specific questions. I suck at theoretical stuff, and he asked questions like “did your tool produce 2n or n! pages?” and “can you give a proof why this language is not regular?”. The more I gave him “I dunno” answers, the more grim he looked. I was mentally kind of panicking, with thoughts along the lines of “does he hate my project? he must think I’m so dumb”. After they kicked me out in the hall and my advisor called me back in a few minutes later, though, the committee members were all smiles and congratulations. Pfhew. Now I just wait to receive my diploma in the mail this August (unorganized me didn’t submit the paperwork in time to get the degree this month).

  • No more school? No more school! ·

    As of this coming Monday, I’ll be done with school. My defense is in the morning, and then I’m through. Provided my committee accepts my Master’s project, but my advisor tells me not to worry. It’s crazy, though: eighteen years of school, and I’m finally done. I don’t think it’s really hit me yet. After my last final the other day, I chatted with a classmate on campus about the final, then just went home. I didn’t even realize that I probably won’t be back to that part of campus or that building for a long time, if ever. Lying in bed this morning, I felt incredibly free, because I realized not only do I have the rest of the weekend free from studying, reading textbooks, and doing homework, I have the foreseeable future free of such activities. I no longer have to balance my time between what I want to do and what my class schedule dictates I do. I can come home from work and immediately go to slacking off on the couch, or exercising at the gym, or whatever, because I don’t have homework due the next day that I’ve been putting off. It’s a lovely feeling.

  • free Macbook battery, courtesy of Apple ·

    Recently, I noticed that my battery for my aging Macbook was starting to bulge in the middle, along its length1. I Googled around and saw other folks complaining of the same thing, and that there was some recall program that ended in 2009 where Apple would replace your battery for free. My Macbook was bought in 2007 by someone else, and I bought it off them used a couple years ago, so it was definitely made in the time frame where the recall program would include it.

  • merge sort, the eater of nodes ·

    I’m so tickled to have completed an assignment for my Linux kernel class. The specification was as follows: