Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Ice Storm Photos

I'm sure you've heard about the ice storm that recently hit New England. Where I live, it wasn't too eventful. The roads were relatively clear and we never lost power. And we finally got a change in scenery. It's not the real white stuff, but ice is nicer than drab grey and brown.

Here are some photos.

Ice Storm Ice Storm Ice Storm

And my here's my Ice Storm set on Flickr.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Five Things You Didn't Know

Pete tagged me to participate in the "Five Things You Didn't Know about Me" game. I'll play along:
  1. In 1979, I hitchhiked across the USA -- from Massachusetts to California, then up the coast to Oregon and down to Arizona. This sounds dangerous, but we met lots of very nice people, especially in the heartland. The only time we had anything like trouble was when we got a ride from a weird guy in Reno, Nevada. He promised to take us to Phoenix. Instead we drove around Nevada so he could say goodbye to his friends. When we were just outside Las Vegas, he stopped the car and said, "I just remembered. I can't go to Arizona. I'm wanted there." He left us in the desert and drove back in the direction of Reno.

  2. The first new car I bought was a 1983 Honda Civic Wagon. It had a 5-speed manual transmission. When I picked it up at the dealer in Tewksbury, Mass., I had absolutely no idea how to drive a manual transmission car. Somehow I drove it about 30 miles to Gardner, Mass., where my father taught me how to use the clutch and shift. I have driven "a stick" ever since.

  3. I once slept on the streets of Lowell. In the early 1980s, mortgage rates got as high as 18%. Housing prices were relatively low, but the interest rates were a huge barrier for first time home owners. The state of Massachusetts subsidized a limited number of low-interest loans on a first-come-first-served basis. The state gave 24 hours notice of the availability of small pools of these loans. When I heard about some loans becoming available the next day in Lowell, I grabbed my sleeping bag, drove to downtown Lowell, and camped out in front of the bank for the night. I think I was second in line, but by sundown there was a queue of twenty people. It was fun night and, thanks to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, a small price to pay for becoming a homeowner.

  4. I've never bought a lottery ticket and I never will.

  5. I've worked full-time as a software engineer for 25 years, but it wasn't my first career choice. When I was in high school I wanted to be an architect. Usually, that meant going to a liberal arts school and then on to graduate school in Architecture. For some reason, I thought it would be better to get a degree in Civil Engineering first. I also took summer jobs working in a steel fabrication plant, at the Army Corp of Engineers, pouring concrete. I thought an architect should understand the materials, project planning and engineering before he started sketching buildings and bridges. In retrospect, I was naive. Mature industries like construction tend toward specialization rather than generalization. In any case, after undergraduate school I drifted into Software Engineering. I found a home in a very young industry, where generalists were still valued. Over time, I learned to be a software architect, but I still get to build software when I want. In a way, I've ended up exactly where I planned.
I won't tag anyone specifically, but I'd love to hear from the same group of people Pete mentioned. Roy has already joined the fray. Anyone else?

Thursday, January 04, 2007

New Hampshire Photos on Flickr

Photo by Tim Somero

I've been knocking around Flickr for about a year now, but I never really felt plugged into the community. Flickr is just so big. However, I recently discovered some cozier communities within Flickr.

The New Hampshire group has about 350 members interested in photographing (or just viewing photos of) the Granite State. The group is very active. Many members contribute photos to the group and there are even a few organized projects. For example, the Cupolas, Steeples & Vanes project is busy capturing some of New Hampshire's unique architectural features. The New Hampshire group even has a separate blog . The New Hampshire Photo Tour blog highlights the best work in the group.

Even closer to home for me is the Souhegan Valley group. This group has only fourteen members, but I think their photos are very good.

If you appreciate the beauty of New Hampshire, check out all the links above. If you have another passion -- from Architecture, to Cows, to the Red Sox - try searching all the groups on Flickr. You're bound to find a group that's more your cup of tea.