Jim's Polka

The life of a former software engineer, now a law student

Friday, April 30, 2004

I drive to work past a certain large, strangely-shaped building. About 2 1/2 years ago, that drive changed a little bit. For one thing, there was the rule about no trucks or buses being allowed on the road, enforced by about 10 police cars stationed along the road. And, I think the average commute doesn't involve a Humvee with a machine gun on the back pointing at you. Then there is the occasional helicopter gunship....... Today, they opened up their long-term solution. For security purposes, they shifted the road about 100 yards to the right. It's a little weird, but I guess you can do that when you have the military on your side.
Hey, I got my first link today. It was from Tuffer Harris, noting my link to him, which makes this post a little silly, maybe. Anyway, my link is the first step in his plan to take over the blog world. (Cue maniacal laughter)

This is actually pretty cool. He's finishing up at UW now, so I'm going be bugging him for advice on moving to Seattle.

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

This guy is pretty damn funny.

Saturday, April 24, 2004

I'm very interested in politics, but I don't plan to talk about it here. Except to tell this one story, which is more about my family than anything.

My family considers civic involvement to be the responsibility of every adult. So, when I turned 18, my dad took me to register to vote, just like his father had taken him to register. As we walked up the the election board office, my dad said to me, "Now, Jim, I want you to know that you can register however you want. You can register Democrat. You can register Independent. You can even register Republican. I'm sure some nice family would take you in."

So, that's kinda where I'm coming from. On the other hand, there's a million quality political blogs out there, and I don't think I have a lot to add to the discussion, so I'm going to stay out of it. Except for when it comes to technology and the law. One of my inspirations to go to law school was a feeling that a lot of bad policy and legal decisions are being made that reflect a poor understanding of technology by the decision-makers. I hope to contribute to improving that understanding.
About Me
I graduated college almost 6 years ago. First, I worked as a systems engineer for a big consulting company working on government contracts. Then, in a fit of excitement at the potential riches of stock options, I left the big company to go work at a startup as a software engineer. I got there just as the tech bubble burst. Despite that minor problem, I've managed to stay at the company for almost 4 years. I've survived 2 business models, several rounds of layoffs and I'm on my third CEO. In the last year or two, we've finally gotten it all together. We're building something that people actually want and we're doing it well.
And yet, despite that, I've decided to leave. My wife, D, is reaching a significant transition point in her career. (I'm not going to go into detail on it. She's a much more private person than I am, so she'd prefer that I not discuss her job.) I had always expected that I would leave engineering at some point and I realized that this would be the perfect time to do it. So, I decided to go to law school. And, in a few months, I'll be moving cross-country to go to the University of Washington. I'm pretty excited and my wife is thrilled. She's from Washington state, so she sees it as a bit of a homecoming, even though her hometown is pretty far from Seattle.
I've been a ballroom dancer since my sophomore of college, almost 10 years. It's how I met my wife. (It's also how I got the song named after me.)

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

I apologize for the lack of content in the previous post. The strain of thinking of something insightful to say to inaguarate this blog was too much for my little brain and I cracked under the pressure. On the bright side, it can only get better from here.
So, here's the short version: I'm a professional geek (software engineer) now, but I'm leaving in several months to start law school at the University of Washington. I'll give more information about myself later, but in the meantime, I'll answer the question I know you've been asking yourself since you got here: what's with the blog name? Well, I have a polka named after me. It's called (cleverly) "Jim's Polka". It's even on a CD that's been sold, although I'm pretty sure you can't find it on Amazon.
First post.