Some time ago, my father and I had a discussion about being a registered professional engineer and what it means. He’s been a registered professional engineer (civil engineer) his entire career. He’s always told me that being registered means that you certify that your work is going to hold up and it is a matter of safety. Some states (I believe Texas), have attempted to register software engineers. I think that this is a complete and utter mistake. As a software engineer, there is no way that I can certify that my work will function properly on any machine at any time other than on my machine at the time I ship it. There are some many interactions between the hardware, the operating system, other applications, and hacks that I simply can’t say that it will work. While I’d love to have the moniker “registered professional engineer”, there is no way in good conscience that I could even apply for it if it became available.
However, I think the title “engineer” should be reserved for those that have successfully completed a 4 year engineering education. Engineer is thrown around by Microsoft, Cisco, and other companies when people complete a short course. I think that this is unacceptable. Microsoft lost a case in Canada and was told to stop using engineer for their MSCE certification. Like that will really happen. Furthermore, many programmers are not engineers; they simply code without designing and understanding the implications. This is where I see that engineers differ from programmers.
BTW, I am considered an “Engineer-In-Training” and will be my entire career as I passed the grueling California Engineer-In-Training exam while I was in college.
I’m a big fan of Mexican food (OK, maybe Tex-Mex) and Saturday night, my wife let me choose where to go for dinner. We were out at San Diego State at some open house to see the electron microscope and some telescopes (my wife loved it and couldn’t understand why I wasn’t as fascinated as she was), so we decided to eat out that way. We went to a place that she’d been to in the past, but she said the name had changed. Well, it was quaint and looked authentic. I started eating my steak burrito and hit some fat. OK, so I pick it out and keep munching away. Hit more fat, removed it and continued. I finally unwrapped the burrito and looked at the meat. About half of it was fatty. I ate the tortilla and complained. The waiter didn’t seem all that surprised, but took it off the bill. So much for trying someplace new. I guess we’ll go back to Chevy’s; it may not be real Mexican food, but we’ve been consistently happy with the food and service.
I must say that I enjoy playing video games on my PlayStation 2. I’m not very good, so I don’t play all that often. I recently bought a few games off eBay. I also bought a steering wheel and Gran Turismo 4. However, I’m really bad at games and my driving consists of steering into walls most of the time. Since I wasn’t very good at Gran Turismo, I saw that the wheel also worked with Burnout, so I played that and thought it was quite cool. Realizing that this was an ancient version, I bought Burnout Revenge. It turns out either that I’m OK at this game or they made it quite easy. In either case, I am having a great time playing it. My poor driving skills don’t seem all that poor (however, I found that the Dual Shock controller works better than the steering wheel for control). My wife thinks I’m crazy as I’ve played for a few hours at a time for the last week. I’m about 30% complete and am making decent progress, all while having a pretty good time. It’s amazing that this game has kept my attention for so long already; usually I play games for a few minutes and get bored. Kudos to the folks at Electronic Arts for producing this addictive game!
I’ve been going to a cycling class 2-3 days a week for about 2 years now, not to learn to cycle (obviously), but to stay in shape. Over that time, I’ve had a number of instructors at 2 different facilities ranging from the instructor that thought it was a Latino dance class (based on the music she was playing) to the instructors you can tell have done real cycle training. This morning I went to the gym, happy as a clam as I just fixed 2 serious code bugs, and see an instructor named Wendy teaching the class. She isn’t the normal instructor and I’ve had her as a cycle instructor before. Actually, she is the reason I no longer goto Sunday classes; she took over the Sunday class from another instructor. I find that she is loud, annoying, and not very competent at teaching. The commands she yells out (you can hear her half way across the gym) are sometimes helpful, but sometimes plain stupid. She keeps saying “Gear up” and “Gear down”. I think the reason this annoys me so much is that it is so inaccurate. The stationary bicycles are all based on resistance as they have a belt that goes around the wheel and pushing the lever “up” adds more resistance. I suspect she learned those words at a training class and keeps using them, but really doesn’t have a clue that the bicycles don’t have gears.
So, I stayed for about 30 minutes and walked out. I started getting a headache. I normally enjoy class as it gives me time to think and gives me a good workout.
No, I’m not talking about aliens, I’m talking about Apple Computer. I got a cold call from a researcher at Apple who saw my resumé on Linked In. (I’ve thought that Linked In was kind of a joke, but now I might reconsider.) Apparently my resumé looked interesting for a couple of positions. Unfortunately the big sticking point is my unwillingness to leave San Diego and move to Cupertino. I know my in-laws would love for us to move, but it just isn’t happening. I got a follow up call from an Apple recruiter as they’re looking for people that do human interface. Now, if I was willing to move, I could possibly get a job there. The recruiter will pass my name along to the group that does contract hiring, so who knows, maybe I can become a contractor.
Almost 3.5 weeks ago, my foot started hurting, so I stopped running and exercising for about a week. When the problem didn’t get better, I went to the doctor. He diagnosed it as tendonitis. It’s now been over 2 weeks and things are getting much better. However, not exercising for that amount of time is making me stir crazy. I use my exercise time (running 2-3 times a week and cycle class twice a week) as time that I can do nothing else, but think. Hopefully I can start full force again next week. I’m so used to regular exercise nowadays, it just seems strange to sit around. I don’t wish this upon anyone.
For our fourth wedding anniversary, my wife took me to Laguna Beach for some spa treatments and a night away from home. I enjoyed the massage at Yvonne Marciena Spa. However, our night at Hotel Laguna had much to be desired. There was a wedding at the hotel in the courtyard right out of our window. The noise from the wedding made it hard to watch TV and then eventually goto sleep. It really would have been nice for them to have told us about this when we booked the room. Definitely a place not to visit again.
After being pointed to RapidWeaver by a colleague for creating websites, I decided to try blogging. While I really don’t expect anyone to read this, I hope that by keeping a journal, it will help me get things off my mind.