Welcome to my little corner of the net. I've been here for some time and don't usually update very often. I don't have a lot to say to the world in general. I tend to let my actions speak for me. So for better or worse, here goes.
In my free time, I love to play with my kids, sailing, build small boats (can't afford to make big ones), hike, bike ride, mountain bike, fly fish, golf, skate skiing, and backcountry skiing. One of the beauties of living in Utah is that I can do several of them in the same day. I even had a day when my mother and I went for a short backcountry ski, played nine holes of golf, and finished the day with a sail on Great Salt Lake.
Though Utah is semi arid, there are several small lakes and reservoirs where you can sail, fish, swim, water ski, and just have a great time. Knowing that I may get flamed for saying it, it is very unfortunate that the development of the PWC had given every power hungry idiot the ability to bring havoc and ruin to the serenity and safety to many of our waterways. Not all operators are bad but there are enough that make it intolerable for the rest of us. Many of them come way to close to the beaches at full speed and enter swimming areas to show off and I have had several near misses caused by people harassing me while sailing or windsurfing. At the state parks, the rangers tell me that they make up about 30% of the water craft and create 60% of the accidents, many of them the more serious and some resulting in death. Sorry for the rant but I wish they would learn the rules of the road before hitting the water. They must be related to people who own snowmobiles. I have had similar experience with them skiing.
I feel fortunate to be where I am today. I am for the most part a self made man. I do not have a college degree but I have a good job as a programmer. I prefer to code in C/C++ and Java. I can code in VB but I hate the lack of structure. I have taken some college but most of it has been for curiosity to find out if I have done a good job of teaching myself. I taught myself how to program in C/C++, Java, C#, ASP.NET, install and manage Oracle, and design applications. The best way to learn how to program is to do it and do it a lot. Don't do some things just because you can, try to look for ways to write your code so that it is easy to read, maintain, and does not waste time. I have seen some code where people do some fantastic things to show how smart they are but you can do something much simpler to do the same thing that runs much faster. KISS = Keep It Simple Stupid!
Most of my work experience has been in food service. I worked as a chef for about sixteen years. I never certified because the demands of a job where I often worked 90 - 100 hour weeks and a family did not leave much room for education needed for certification. I worked primarily in hotels. The last five years I was working as a chef, I bought a computer and developed a simple purchasing system so that I could simplify the purchasing process. I would enter the number of cases of a product I needed and the computer would determine who had the best price and I would print out purchase orders for the purveyors. This reduced cost, time with the salesman, and to my surprise, reduced the miss picks because I would use the purveyor's item code on the purchase order.
I started to teach myself to program so that I could make a more robust version. I went to an employment councilor because I was getting tired of the long hours with little compensation or respect and the councilor said that I need to change so that I do my vocation as a hobby and my hobby as a vocation. I managed to do it and now have holidays off, better working conditions, I get treated like a human, and make over twice as much for less than half the hours! I should have stayed in school and done it much sooner.
I once knew a manager that felt that the value of a person was inversely proportional to the amount of real work they performed with their hands. If you look at the way the world is set up, it does look like he is right. This is too bad because it is all of those laborers who give us the life we enjoy. I have a problem with presidents of corporations who make multi million dollar salaries telling the workers that they can't afford to pay them a living wage. Somehow this does not seem to be very moral. But if you look at the fat cats at Enron and other companies, morality did not seem to be on the radar screen.
My big rule in life is to be good to others, never use other people, and don't take what is not yours. With all the religons in the world, I don't beleive any one has the complete answer but the key is to be good to yourself and others. The one question I'd like to ask is "What part of thou shalt not kill." do people not understand? Much of the world prays to the same entity but kill eachother over silly versions of exactly how that should be done or who should be their leader. My hope is that one day we'll figure out that the best way to get the love we all want is to give it first. The older I get, the more important it is to have personal contact and that things are transient and can be attained and lost in the blink of an eye. Love, friendship, memories of others can never be taken away from you but you have to activly give it away to recieve in return. I don't understand holding back until the other person gives you something that you don't ask for but expect from them before being willing to give of yourself. In the giving of yourself there is a recieving of a connection with others.
Enough of the world according to Robert, use the menu in the frame to the left to see what is really important. It is what you do for yourself and others that matters in the end.