Monday, June 29, 2009

Gainfully employed

Three weeks ago I started my new job, working for a fairly large retail company, doing what I do best: building a content management system and a dynamic website. The website already exists, but is in pretty sad shape, code-wise. Like so many other web projects, it was built a little bit at a time, with things being tacked on as needed and no real framework in place to keep things orderly and easily maintained. This is really a great opportunity for me to build a content management system from scratch (sort of - I'm repurposing some older code I've written in the past) with newer technology: components, flash update grids, ajax...all kinds of cool stuff, actually. And I also get the chance to streamline a lot of their code and make it faster, more functional, and much easier to maintain. All in all, it's a good gig, and of course I'm happy to be employed again full time and not have to worry so much about how we'll pay the bills each month. We were managing fine with the consulting business, but I wasn't putting anything away for taxes, just hoping that what I'd already paid out (I got gouged on the taxes for my severance checks) and my not-inconsiderable writeoffs (hello, new computer!) would cover the IRS bill at the end of the year.

This is the first time I've worked for a company this large, though, and there's a bit of culture shock for me. I had a phone conference a couple of weeks ago on a new project that I'm building and not a damn thing got decided. It's now been over two weeks since that meeting and I have yet to get some actual specs on the project. I have just been shooting blindly in the dark, hoping that what I'm building will work, because of course I'm supposed to be working on the project in the meantime. I mean, what? How do I build something that I don't have specs for? Apparently the plan is for me to just put on my "mind-reading" cap and hope for the best.

Anyway, I figured it was probably time for an update, considering I've been drawing a regular paycheck for almost a month now. ;-)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Tuna Stuff

The "Tuna Stuff" is my latest obsession. I go through phases where I'll eat lots and lots of something for a few months, and then I'll get sick of it and not eat it for a long time. Tuna Stuff is what I've been making for the past few months now, and it hasn't lost its appeal yet, so it must be good, huh?

The greatest thing about the Tuna Stuff is that you can throw all kinds of things in it. It's very forgiving. Any sort of canned beans & veggies will work, I think. Just don't go overboard with the onion like somebody did...*ahem* - I'm looking at you, Mr Wonderful. ;-)

Tuna Stuff
1 can tuna packed in olive oil (you can use water-packed but it's not quite as good, in my opinion)
1 can small white beans, rinsed & drained
1 stalk celery, diced
1 handful grape or cherry tomatoes, diced
1/4 - 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1 small shallot, minced
1/4 c chopped parsley
2-4 Tbsp red wine vinegar
0-2 Tbsp EVOO
salt & pepper

I usually throw all the veggies in a bowl first, along with the salt & pepper (be generous; salt makes it tastes good!) and a couple of tablespoons of red wine vinegar. Then I rinse & drain the beans and throw those and the tuna into the mix. Finally I add the parsley and stir it up. If you drained your tuna well, or if you used water-packed tuna, add a little bit of olive oil. Stir it up & then give it a taste. If it's a little bland, throw in some more red wine vinegar and maybe a touch more salt.

That's all there is to it! Healthy, fast, and especially tasty when you scoop it up with tortilla chips. Yumm....

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


It's been a month since our wedding, and not much has changed in our day-to-day lives, except that I'm starting to use my new last name. I finally got the marriage certificate from the county last week and was able to go to Social Security & DMV and get my name changed, and although I don't have the new documents yet, I was able to change my bank accounts and am getting started on the long process of changing the name on all the bills.

I ordered a photo album from snapfish, and am eagerly awaiting that arrival, but the video arrived today! I've uploaded some highlights from the ceremony to youtube:

Sand Ceremony


Ring Exchange