My Visit to Railroads on Parade

By edg - Last updated: Thursday, September 4, 2014

Roseann, Sarah and I went to Railroads on Parade, up in Pottersville, at exit 26 on the Northway (I-87, north of Albany.)

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Much time has passed…

By edg - Last updated: Thursday, February 6, 2014

… meanwhile, in the present, here is what I’m up to.

We bought a house!

We really enjoyed our time living in the trailer.  When we left California in the RV, the decision was based on experiencing our dreams before we were too old to enjoy them.  This we did.  There comes, however, a time to move on.  Roseann needs some outside services, due to her traumatic brain surgery back in the late 80s, and I needed some support for caring for her. Besides, we were just bouncing back and forth between Florida and New York, and it was getting monotonous.

We were in the enviable position of being able to choose to live anywhere we wanted, since my job is portable. We chose upstate New York.

We are now comfortably ensconced in a 1500 sqft L-shaped ranch house in Queensbury, New York.  At milepost 49 on the Northway, this is roughly 50 miles north of Albany and five miles south of Lake George.  We’ve been here since early 2013.  We’ve celebrated Passover, the Jewish New Year, Thanksgiving and the holiday season in our new home.

I love it here.  I have a foot of snow outside, and I’m fine with it.  It’s my goal to leave this place feet-first.

I don’t know how well this blog will fare in the future. My life may not be interesting enough. We’ll see.

I need to change the tagline on the top of each page. We’re no longer “on the road to find out.”

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Arrived in Florida, Several Months Ago

By edg - Last updated: Friday, January 13, 2012

Sorry for the disappearing act. I kinda forgot I had a blog.

We moved on from South Carolina, arriving in Delray Beach, FL, at the beginning of November.  All set up and settled in.  My folks arrived a few weeks later.  All has been quiet.  We had Thanksgiving at my cousin Amy’s house, about two hours north of here, and Chanukah/Christmas Week/New Years, at home, with minor festivities.

This week, I built a small handicraft, that I find quite pretty.  After a knocked over table cost us our two glass Shabbat Candlesticks, I took a nice Bamboo breadboard from the supermarket, and drilled a few holes, creating this:

A breadboard, drilled to hold shabbat candles.

New Shabbat Candle Holder

The little glass cups, and associated small candles, are called Neronim, and they are a novel way to light Shabbat Lights.  The glasses keep the candles from blowing in the breeze, the was melts to liquid quickly, and then they burn for about six hours. We like ‘em. Gonna try this rig out tonight.  Good Shabbos.

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Arrived safely in Charleston, SC

By edg - Last updated: Monday, October 3, 2011

We arrived safely in Charleston, SC, after stops in Virginia and North Carolina.

A shoutout to the Sleepy Bear campground in Lumberton, NC, who enabled two very sleepy bears to hibernate overnight. (Zzzzzzzz)

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Android App Permissions, and Bank of America

By edg - Last updated: Tuesday, September 27, 2011

I was brought up short the other day when I went to update the Bank of America Application on my phone. I didn’t expect to see that the permissions had changed to include my contact list. I Googled for this, and found nothing but people complaining about it. Somebody posted that if one didn’t like it, call up and ask why. So I did.

Now, take it for what it’s worth, but here’s what I was told.  B of A is releasing (or may have already released) a method of transferring money to (not from) another B of A customer, identified by email address. This other customer needs to be pre-registered for the service.   The need for your contact list is to show you a list of people that might be suitable targets for funds transfer.

I thought about it and realized that if B of A knows just about every financial transaction I make, where I use my debit card, to whom I pay bills, etc., and doesn’t abuse any of that, then chances are that they are not going to spam my contact list.

I may not pay people by email address, but now that I know that there is a good reason, I don’t mind installing their app.

Filed in Tech

A short note from New Jersey

By edg - Last updated: Thursday, September 22, 2011

Sorry to have gone dark for a long time. We spent the winter in Florida, then the summer in Saratoga Springs, NY. Now moving south again. Currently posting from Clarksboro, New Jersey, across the river from Philly.

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Awesome Responsibility

By edg - Last updated: Thursday, February 17, 2011

Sometimes the littlest things can be big.

I recently delivered a small piece of software with a big responsibility. The task was to look in a database of products, customers and orders, and produce a daily report of how much to manufacture and ship, and who to ship it to.

When I thought it was finished, I had occasion to go through it again, and realized I had introduced a bug, whereby the quantities of items were undercounted. Specifically, it counted one, for each line item that was to ship today, and missed the possibility that a single customer could have ordered more than one of a particular item. Fortunately, the customer had not yet relied upon my output.

As I fixed the bug, I realized how serious it was, and how important my work is to the customer.

This businessperson is relying on my to tell him what products, and what quantities to manufacture each day. His goods have lead time and are perishable. If he gets it wrong, he’s either left without product to ship, or he has to eat the overage. (I do mean “eat.” His products are food items.)

I once knew a programmer who expressed total shock when he was shown his first customer feedback. He replied, “you mean somebody actually uses this stuff?”

We live in our little cubicles and forget that, out in the big world, people are relying on us for their livelihoods.

Filed in Musings

Plugging Along

By edg - Last updated: Friday, February 11, 2011

So here we are. I made it to Friday. I’m exhausted. This is the hardest work I’ve ever done. When one is in an office, one tends to talk to people, get up, walk around, get coffee, make coffee, etc. Here in my lonely programmer’s garret, I am focused. Also, since I log my time, down to the tenth, I really have to WORK on what I write down, else I’m lying. So I work harder, and more, than in any other job I’ve ever held.

This week, I’ve worked with two new (to me) technologies. Javascript and jQuery, which is programming written to run, not on the server, but on the browser, after the page is loaded, and also using web2py, which is a framework for building web applications. I spent lots of time Google-searching and reading, since one doesn’t want to manually write code that duplicates what the frameworks and utilities already provide.

The challah is 2/3 risen, and will go into the oven at 9:30 AM. We go to my folks tonight for Shabbos Dinner.

Yesterday, we drove down 1 about two miles, crossed over the bridge to A1A, drove up to Atlantic Ave, and came back over that bridge.

A1A runs up and down the small bit of land east of the Florida East Coast Canal, which is part of the Intracoastal Waterway. It’s lined on both sides by what seem to be expensive condominiums and expensive houses. It was about four miles of nothing but residences, with no public beach access. North of Linton, there’s some beach access.

We stopped in Delray Beach, just north of Linton, at a spot where there was a beach access, so we could say hello to the Atlantic Ocean. On Feb 29 of 2010, we said goodbye to the Pacific Ocean. It took us a bit, but we got all the way across, on I-10, the first time I’ve crossed the southern states.

We also visited the “Publix” supermarket. I’m suffering from grocery sticker shock. I can’t believe how expensive things are, here in South Florida.

Orange Juice, 1/2 gal, from concentrate: $2.50 here vs $2.00 in Texas.
Hard cheeses, sliced, supermarket brand: About $6-7/lb here vs $5 in Texas.
Produce: Seems about the same prices, but the selection is smaller, quality is lower, and the stock work is more poorly done. Price stickers and products don’t match up. PLUs are not marked on price cards.

Beef: Very nice beef, but about 50% higher per pound.
Chicken breasts: $2.50/lb vs $1.50. Apperance seems poorer, and I didn’t buy any.
Chicken Thighs: $1.69/lb in both places. Appearance seems about the same.

Eggs: $1.89/doz vs $/1.29 for Large.

On the up side, it’s been in the 70s and occasional 80s every day here.

We persevere.

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We made it!

By edg - Last updated: Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Got in on Sunday about noon. All is well.

Filed in Travel

Here comes the sun

By edg - Last updated: Saturday, February 5, 2011

Florida is the “Sunshine State,” and even though we’ve had much rain over the past week, the sun just came out for a bit.

The significance of this observation is that we are no longer in Mississippi. We made our escape yesterday, after the truck was returned to us. Much work was done, some under warrantee for a repair done last fall, and we left town at about 4:30 PM. We drove till 11, and when we passed the time-zone change to Eastern Time, we realized that it had suddenly become midnight, so we stopped and slept.

We continue on.

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