05 December 2005

Why am I awake?

Well, it's almost 1:00 AM on a Sunday night, and I'm still awake. I have no idea why.

As the proud father of a 28-month-old and a three-week-old son, I should be rushing to bed every chance I get, especially on a Sunday night. I've got a ton of work waiting for me back at the office, so it would make sense for me to be sleeping right now. But I've got this strange, random energy buzz right now that's keeping me awake.

Being awake at this time of night usually is not a good thing. Usually you're drunk, getting drunk, or getting someone drunk. And, if alcohol is involved, the little voice inside your head that only comes out late at night when you're asleep begins to tell you to do all sorts of stupid things. However, I avoided all of that and signed up for a couple of Wisconsin blogger rings. Maybe that will be just the thing to get stuff kick-started for me in this arena.

P.S.: The Packers stink now that I've moved up to Green Bay, and the Longhorns are undefeated now that I've moved from Austin. Good thing I've got a healthy self-concept!

01 December 2005

Welcome to December!

Well, it's official: December is here. Up in the land of the Frozen Tundra, that means only one thing: it is cold. We got a couple of inches of snow today, and it didn't really bother me. I must be adjusting to the Wisconsin life with no problem.

Coming from Texas, even the hint of cold weather would cause a flood of calls to schools and businesses asking if people needed to come in that day. And up here, people don't even think about staying home, even if the roads are just dreadful and every overpass is icy. Definitely something to get used to.

However, I pride myself on being a pretty adaptable kind of guy. After all, it's not like I live outside, so I can deal with a few seconds of cold as I get out of my nicely heated car and head into my nicely heated home or office. A good coat, some gloves, and an ice scraper are all I need to feel just dandy.

Of course, as a new homeowner this year, winter will bring some new experiences for me. In fact, I went to Sears with my father-in-law tonight to pickup my new snowblower. I learned a little about the finer arts of shoveling snow earlier this year, but having our own place now (after living in an apartment up here last winter) means that I, too, will be up early when it snows to clear a path for my car to get out to the road so that I can make it into work. Father-in-law will be teaching me all about how to use and care for this machine I had never even heard of until I was in my teens. But I'm sure it'll be real familiar by the time this season is over.

30 November 2005

Son #2

Well, we have a second son now. Michael Sean Ramos was born on Sunday, November 20, 2005, at 4:48 AM. How cool (and scary) is it to think that I know have two boys looking up to me, watching my every move, ready to mimic everything I do? That's a ton of responsibility. I only hope that I can show them how to handle making mistakes, because the only thing I know for certain is that I'll make plenty of those.

Having another child (or your first, for that matter) is one of those times in your life where you really need to stop and take inventory of how things are going. Fortunately, for me, things couldn't be better. Life has really given me so much, in spite of all the things I've done to try to sabotage it for myself. For that, I give thanks to God.

Off to change some diapers or something!

17 September 2005

IBM to Encourage Employees to Be Teachers

How cool is this? Just when you think that companies are only out to make money, something like this comes along. Of course, the cynic in me says this is just a massive public relations move that won't really do anything. But the idealistic ex-teacher in me is happy to hear about it nonetheless.

IBM, worried the United States is losing its competitive edge, will financially back employees who want to leave the company to become math and science teachers.

The new program, being announced Friday in concert with city and state education officials, reflects tech industry fears that U.S. students are falling behind peers from Bangalore to Beijing in the sciences.

Up to 100 IBM employees will be eligible for the program in its trial phase. Eventually, Big Blue hopes many more of its tech savvy employees — and those in other companies — will follow suit.

The goal is to help fill shortfalls in the nation's teaching ranks, a problem expected to grow with the retirement of today's educators.

14 August 2005

Birthday Sis

Well, today is my sister's birthday. She has just turned 35 years old. I can't believe that she's really that old. When I was a kid, which seems like just a couple of weeks ago, she was walking me and my little brother (who just turned 30 a couple of weeks ago) to the library for some free after-school day care until my mom could get off of work to pick us up.

It's amazing. Where does the time go? How did I hyperspace forward this far? Here I am, with a five-year-long marriage (so far), a two-year-old son, and another child on the way in just three months?

I remember when I was in high school and "old" people (those who were as old as I now am) would tell me how things just go by so fast. I thought they were crazy. But who would've known that they were exactly right? Maybe it is true that youth is wasted on the young. I suppose I'll be telling my kids that some day, and they won't believe me either. It's just one of those things you have to experience, I guess.

Anyway, happy birthday, Monica. Sorry I didn't get you anything better than a card, which might show up late because of me forgetting to send it earlier. It's hard to think of a good gift for someone turning 35 and living over a thousand miles away. I should've just gotten a cheesehead. The shipping wouldn't have been much (it's just styrofoam), and I think you can get one just about anywhere. I think they even sell them at the company store right in the building where I work! How lazy am I?

Well, happy birthday nonetheless. You're a great big sister.

13 August 2005

Being a Technical Star

I was reading Johanna Rothman's series on Management Myths when I saw the one entitled "I Have to be the Technical Star." I hope most managers don't buy that one.

Management ability and technical ability are not different levels of the same skill set. A great manager does not necessary mean he or she is a great coder, and we all know that the converse definitely doesn't hold water either.

Why is moving into management seen as a "promotion"? Why can't developing as a technical guru and acquiring vast amounts of experience with different languages solving problems in different areas enough for people?

Ooops, I need to go fill out my MBA application now. After all, I've got mouths to feed, and I gotta keep working my way up.