My Thoughts and (Possibly) Amusing Musings

2/1/99 - To Whoever Reads This
I just want you to know that I am putting these pages together as I am able to do so, and posting them as soon as I get them in any sort of shape. All the HTML books and tutorials tell you to design and layout your website before you publish, but that is the ideal and not the real.

I work as a Technical Writer for a major Financial Information and Services firm in New York City. In MY work environment, you usually find out about things the day after they need to be published, and everything is done on an ad hoc basis.

This often makes my life difficult, because of the unpredictability of it all. Sometimes I must work late, although I must always be at work by 8:00 am.

I have many interests, besides the SCA (see my links page). I like cooking, performing Medieval and Renaissance music. I belong to a local chorus (in Brooklyn, NY) that rehearses at least once a week and performs a few times during the year. I am a member of the Board of Directors of the chorus, and that takes time.

I have a girlfriend, whom I see every weekend, and that takes time, even though I don't begrudge it. At least I don't think I do. And if I did, I probably wouldn't tell you about it. Not here, not now. I just don't have the time...

Time, time, time. Everything takes time, so it's sometimes tough to make time to put together a website which is, at least for now, a losing proposition. But it gives me practice, and a forum, and who knows what may come of it? Certainly I don't.


5/9/99 - Changes Being Made
Well, it's true. Since my last musings I've gotten engaged (to the girlfriend mentioned above) and I am planning on moving in with my fianceé in a few weeks. We're moving to Long Beach, New York. I'll only be about a quarter of a mile from the beach, and I love that! I was a beach baby.

I will have to commute another half an hour each way, and take an extra train to do it, but I am very excited about the prospect of living outside of "The City" for the first time in my life! I am also (but please don't tell my boss!) looking around to see if I can find another place to work. I'm not in a rush, just looking.

I've been so busy, that I haven't had a lot of time to work on these pages. And to be honest, I'm not sure where this site is going.


7/27/99 - Settling In
Okay, so I'm NOT keeping these pages up too well. I have had many health problems these past couple of months which I won't burden you with, but which have kept me even more tied up than everything else!

The new commute is killing me (well, not really) and we're still unpacking after six weeks. So...the job search has been kind of stalled.

All that said, I LOVE living near the beach, although I've only gone once so far this summer. I love the smell and the breezes and the birds and the tourists and everything! I'll see you soon...


8/31/99 - The More Things Change...
The more they stay the same. I am STILL looking for another place to work, but things at my current job don't seem quite so bad. I'm getting a new manager, and that should help a lot.
I have STILL only been to the beach once this summer, and it looks as if Labor Day Weekend might be my last chance, but I don't know if I'll have the opportunity to do so. Ah well...
I am getting used to the commute, finally.
10/17/99 - Ditto
Long time no see. I wonder why I write these sometimes. But then again, I don't usually.
10/22/99 - More Time
I finally have a few moments to sit and type, etc. I had an interview with a Long Island company this week, and I hope to hear good news by early next week. I would no longer have to depend on the trains to get to work, and I would be able to sleep about an hour later in the mornings... JOY!
The Chorus I belong to started rehearsals a few weeks ago, and I think our concert (on December 12) is going to be a lot of fun. If you're interested, and live near Brooklyn, New York, check the Brooklyn Philharmonia Chorus website.
2/27/00 - News and more News
Well...where to begin?
First of all, I started a new job on February seventh. I'm now working for a Law firm (in NYC, alas!) but I am in a much better situation, working for a friend of ten years and not for a paranoid idiot.
I also got Married on Valentine's day this year, in Las Vegas!!!
So please be kind, I just don't really have the time to maintain these pages as I'd like.
7/23 - 7/25/00 - Busy, Busy, Busy
So, I've been at the new job a few months already. Don't tell anybody I said this, but in many ways -- and I know this through bitter personal experience -- lawyers suck ! Not all of them, only the ones with egos larger than Cleveland. It's difficult dealing with gods and demigods.
I write and help prepare written materials for the lawyers in my firm. And we have over 350 of them. And if someone doesn't like the way something looks, you gotta bend over backwards to make sure they get what they want. And this afternoon -- I have a one o'clock meeting, thanks. So work has been keeping me very busy, because you gotta make nice with people who not only have the power to fire you, but who also regard the majority of mankind (except for lawyers and other professionals, and of course their own clients and parties to legal actions, etc.) as something less than themselves.
But I'm blowing off steam. My boss is really the one who gets hammered by them, because she has to deal with them all day.
Anyway, I've rejuvenated an old hobby -- pipe smoking -- fairly recently, and I'm thinking about starting a Pipe Smoke page of some sort. With my favorite links and maybe some scans of my pipes, or stuff like that there. In fact, if you want to see my favorite all-purpose pipe link page of links, here it is. This is a great place to start poking around. I'm starting (slowly) to get into refurbishing estate (previously-owned) pipes, and even making some of my own with materials purchased at Pimo Pipe Craft. Also, a super website where the pipes are unusual, beautiful, and extremely reasonably priced (for what you receive) is my friend Maurizio Tombari's Pipe Le Nuvole. Maurizio makes the pipes himself, with the artistic and esthetic assistance of his wife. I like his pipes so much, I even created the banner on my index page to advertise his site. Here it is again:
I'm just reading through this stuff, and I can't imagine that anyone out there is actually reading this stuff. So if you are, could you do me a favor and just let me know by sending me a short email? Please? Pretty please with sugar on it? I mean it! Here I am, pouring out some of my most personal thoughts and putting my life on the line, and for what? I hope you're satisfied with yourself. I just want to know if I have one of the few private places in an otherwise hustling and bustling Internet. You can write even if you don't read this far, but would like to ask me anything or comment on these pages.
Anyway, gotta go sleepy-bye. G'nite...more soon...zzzzz
9/29/02 - A Brand-New Century
Well, so I'm a big fat liar, and "soon" has turned out to be over two years.
No need to tell you what has happened to this country, its economy, dot-coms, or the world in the past year. Everything's gone down the tubes. As for me...
I haven't been working for attorneys since November, 2000, shortly after my last entry -- thank G*D!
I am working now for a very nice "bleeding edge" software firm on Long Island, called CosmoCom. The make what's called a "unified call center" which is a way for companies to give help to their customers 24/7 via telephone or Interet. You can check out the website here. It's really a great company, with great people, and has managed to weather the dot-com "storm" although when I was hired, there were about 200 employees in the main office, and now there are less than 100.
All that means, of course, is that the rest of us have had to "bite the bullet" as far as raises and bonuses are concerned, and that we all have lots more work to do. I'm still working as a Technical Writer, and I was in charge of a team (well, actually just one other guy) until he was laid off. Now I do the work of three people, and I'm glad the company is still in business!
At least I'm working with programmers and engineers. Many of them do not have more than a passing familiarity with English, as most of the development staff are Russian, with a few Israelis (and even some Americans) thrown into the mix.
I have to tell you, I thought some of my other jobs were crazy, in terms of deadlines. As I said before, the people are great and so is the product, but management has been treading a fine line between adding features (based on customer requests) and stabilizing the product, and in the main has generally gone for adding features. What this means in a practical sense is that every time a new feature is added, the product should be thoroughly QA tested before release, but since the QA staff has been cut to three people (from about a dozen) we often don't find out about a bug until a customer puts in a complaint. Not good business, if you ask me. So the product is constantly being rebuilt, hot fixes are being issued, and documentation has to be revised on a daily basis. I need about three more heads and eight hands.
On the home front, my wife has been out of work for a couple of months, and is driving me and herself crazy. She's also getting ready to go for gastric-bypass surgery to help her lose weight. So, of course, any job she may take she'll either have to leave in pretty short order, or ask for two weeks off after she just starts. Needless to say, she's not looking seriously at this point, but wants to wait until after she's recovered from the surgery.
On a better note, I have been developing and playtesting (with the assistance of family and friends) a board game for families, which I am calling "Space Race!". Lots of work, but lots of fun, as well. And it may pay off eventually. All the reviews are good, but it still needs some work.
OK, enough for now, I promise to write more in less than two years.

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