Saturday, December 16, 2006

Funny Quote

Micro$oft is the blunt of many a joke these days, but this one made me chuckle out loud:

"The day Microsoft makes something that doesn't suck is probably the day they start making vacuum cleaners." -Ernst Jan Plugge

[found here - a useful page in its own right]

Friday, December 15, 2006

Why not Casual Monday?

American workforce culture is already too focused on getting to the weekend - Casual Friday makes it worse.

So I'm in the second week of working at yet another new job. It is a pretty good sized company (though nothing like the behemoth that was HSBC), and as is the norm they observe a "business casual" dress policy, including "casual Fridays " where jeans are acceptable. It got me thinking this morning as I donned my most comfortable denim: why is it always Friday that companies (the ones that are still enslaved by the idea that dressing in khaki's and golf shirts 4 days out of the week somehow makes people better workers) designate for "casual" attire? Why not Mondays?

I mean, it is already the sad state of the typical American worker mentality that so many see Friday as a kind of Elysian Field , a reward for surviving the rigors of the work-week. I find that "work for the weekend" attitude very revealing and pretty pathetic; it says a lot about the typical worker's attitude towards his job, satisfaction with his work, and the typical company's treatment of employees, that so many people are so focused on the nearing reprieve (Friday) instead of on what they can accomplish during the week. So when I see Friday accentuated as a partial release of our workplace burdens (in the form of a relaxed dress policy), I can't help but think it is just reinforcing the "work for the weekend" attitude: "I can't wait until the weekend so much that getting to wear casual clothes on Friday is a big deal."

Thus, I wonder why companies don't use the carrot of Designated Casual Dress to entice workers to look forward to Monday or even Wednesday. Who among us does not regularly loathe Mondays, dreading the return to the drudgery of the work week? Alternatively, how far would Casual Wednesday go towards wiping out the thought of Wednesday as Hump Day ? If employers offered Casual Monday (or Wednesday), would that not make those otherwise barely tolerable days that much more palatable?

Imagine waking up on Monday morning and being able to slip into those old comfy jeans and tee-shirt. Doesn't that make Monday at least a little better? Wouldn't that help fend off those draining attacks of Mondayitis ? I think it would.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Reaction to Sun's open source release of Java

It's been inevitable for quite a while now, and this week Sun finally officially announced the open-source plan for Java. Let me take this opportunity to log my personal reaction to this "long time coming" news:

As far as I saw, the only people who complained about Java not being "open" were the frothing-at-the-mouth FOSS zealots (OK, I'm going to get some flames for that word choice - but I have a soft spot for the overly-dramatic, so it will stay).
Let's be honest: the critical parts of Java, the libraries and reference implementations and compatibility test kits, have been source-available from the beginning. I just don't see a lot of people caring that the JVM and compiler are open now.
Actually, now that I think about it, I take back the yawn. I am very interested, because I'm now concerned that Sun does not have enough influence any more to keep Java from fracturing. We have to hope that the community can restrain itself to keep that from happening - but I would not bet on that. Maybe some other big players like IBM will be able to police the renegades who want this or that little thing and, when they can't convince the rest of the community, go off and create MyJava.
The last thing Java needs right now is to become the next Linux, where binaries aren't compatible and users of one distro can barely find standard file locations on other distros.

Sunday, October 8, 2006

Julian at 4 months old

Julian is 4 and 1/2 months now, and September was quite a busy month for him.

There were road trips:

  • to Miami to see his Abuela and Abuelo and meet the Miami chapter of the Official Julian Fan Club
  • to Sanibel to celebrate his great-grandpa's 80th birthday. It was Grandpa's birthday, but Julian kind of stole the show - so many great-aunts and great-uncles and second-cousins, so little time!

He also had his first adventures into the swimming pool. He was skeptical at first but seemed to enjoy it after a while.

Last night he spent his first night away from Mom and Dad - Poppy and Nonni (Jerry and Marilynn) had babysitting duties for the night. We were lonely and wondered how he'd handle himself, but the report came back great.

There's lots of new pictures from September at (including the road trips to Miami and Sanibel).
We have also uploaded all his photos to Walgreens web site so you can order prints and pick them up at any Walgreens store: click here to see them . You will have to create a free account at the Walgreens website in order to see them and order prints. Email us if you have any trouble.

Eric and Jazmine

Tuesday, September 5, 2006

Update on Julian at 3+ months old

We've put up new pictures of Julian from July and August.
He is growing so fast you won't recognize him. Last week he was 15.5 pounds and over 25 inches long - 90th percentile on the growth charts for his age!
Julian will be 15 weeks old this week. He has started rolling over on his own, and really interacts with people around him - smiling, cooing, laughing. Last week he started sleeping almost completely through the night (a big relief for his parents :-)
This week we started him at a babysitter during the days - it is hard for us to leave him but this is a big step for him. Pray for us!

Sunday, July 2, 2006

The Truth About Infants

Everyone gives all kinds of advice when you are expecting a child. Our least favorite (mostly because it is so dully predictable) is "Your life will change forever" (For a while Jazmine and I were counting how many people said that to us, trying not to roll our eyes each time). Well, Duh! Of course it is going to change - that is one of the reasons people choose to have children, isn't it?
Anyway, lots of people tell expecting parents how much babys like to eat, sleep, and poop. That's pretty much all they do.
But the thing that nobody actually pointed out was this important truth: In addition to eating lots of breast milk and formula, infants gobble up huge chunks of time, taking it up in surprisingly large gulps, until your entire day has been devoured by this little 11-pound time-eating machine.

This seldom-expressed truth is probably the most surprising thing about having Julian for us thus far - I'm sure there will be others, but right now it seems like every day it is 3:30pm by the time we blink, and then it is 10:30 at night before we take a breath. God help us... :-)

Friday, May 26, 2006

I Have Arrived!

Hi, I'm Julian Isaac Rizzo, the newest member of the Rizzo clan.

Click here to see more pictures of my exquisite handsomeness

I came aboard Thursday May 25 at 8:25am, carrying 8 pounds 9 ounces and 20 inches of adorable little ears, chins, arms bottom and toes.
I'm a little busy learning to forage for food and figuring out this whole night and day thing, so this is all I can write for now. I'll dictate some more notes later for Daddy to type.


Saturday, May 20, 2006

Signs of things to come

I guess this is the kind of little scene we are going to have to get used to around the house - we woke up yesterday morning and discovered our laundry rack had been infested with these miniature clothes.

There's a lot of laundry, and this baby isn't even here yet!

Friday, March 31, 2006

The Spectrum of "Web Services"

In response to a recent question about a company wanting to jump into the web services pool, I wanted to give some publicity to John Udell's musings on the nature of web services, particularly his notion of WS-Heavy and WS-Lite.

Victor Grazi wrote:
"Our company is interested in exposing some of our server java api as web services. 2 years ago that would have probably meant introducing an ejb framework and wrapping those as web services. I would be interested in hearing other approaches. Any ideas?"
The first question to ask is whether you're interested in going down the WS-* path or the "Web 2.0" path. In other words, are you interested in being WS-Heavy or WS-Lite? (see and the links from that page).
Mica's architecture sounds like it lives towards the WS-Lite/Web 2.0 end of that spectrum, while SOAP, UDDI, WS-I, etc. would put you more towards the WS-Heavy end.

Once you understand that distinction and determine which end you need/want to live near, then you can decide on the technologies to implement those choices.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

So THIS is what the world looks like before 7:00am

Out of character, I was out of bed before 7:00am last week. It just so happened to be the coldest morning we've had this winter, and I captured the icy beauty on film. Well, not really on film, since in this age of digital photography my Fujifilm S5000 doesn't use that old-school medium.

Anyway, I was rewarded for my efforts at this un-Godly hour - the air was so cold (about 26 or 27 degrees, which is pretty darn cold here on Florida's west coast) that steam floated gently up from the pond behind our house. It was as if the fish and turtles and gators were mimicking children who exhale in just the right way to see their breaths on a cold day.
With the sun rising on the eastern horizon behind the pond and the icy grass crunching beneath my feet, I had one of those moments where I marvel at God's awesome artistic hand.