Friday, December 31, 2010

a quick trip to Tahoe

Happy New Year's Eve!

I just got back from Tahoe with my parents. The trip was short but pretty fun. I had suggested staying home in light of our current financial situation, but Dad was able to book a room at Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort, Spa and Casino for only $21 with his loyalty points. :-)

Day 1

There was little traffic on the way to Incline Village. I had done most of the driving and was a little tired when we arrived. Freezing temperatures aside, the evening was eventful as we went to Raley's for groceries and tried our luck at the Grand Lodge Casino after dinner. Playing the slots was my favorite part of the trip even though luck wasn't on our side this time.

Because there wasn't much else to do, all of us went to bed before 10:30 p.m. Shortly afterwards, Mom realized she may have forgotten to turn off the outlet valve after cleaning our swimming pool. Oh crap.

Day 2

The morning weather was pretty nice. The three of us went for a stroll along Donner Lake and browsed the shops in Truckee. However, because the Shiehs are having us over for dinner, my parents decided we shouldn't leave too late. Besides stopping at three stores in Roseville for groceries - namely Costco, Cost Plus World Market and WinCo Foods - the trip home was uneventful.

The plan was to go to a local restaurant for lunch, but we weren't hungry anymore after eating a bunch of samples at Costco. The light traffic allowed us to get home earlier than expected. The other good news is that Mom did remember to turn off the pool valve after all. That was no doubt a huge relief.


On the whole, this was a great trip. Tahoe is one of those places that never gets old. I definitely wish we had an extra day or two. At any rate, feel free to check out my pictures on Flickr.

I'm also excited to celebrate New Year's Eve with my cousins. It's so nice to be invited to dinner right after coming home. :-)

Currently listening to: "When the Dream Ends" by Christopher Chua

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

congratulations, Lori!

I've received word that my cousin Lori has tied the knot in Taiwan. So without further ado, please join me in congratulating her and Lawrence on their union. I wish the happy couple all the best in the years to come.

That makes three cousins on my mother's side who are now married, the previous being Anne and Tom. It's funny that Anne's husband is also named Lawrence. Judging by the pattern, I should be the next one to get hitched. If only I wasn't single. ^_^

In other news...

Christmas break started last Friday for me. Speaking of which, my family is heading to Tahoe. I'm pretty excited!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

first day at Cisco

"So you're new here... does that mean you'll believe everything we tell you?" -- Albert

I started my new job today at Cisco Systems as a software engineer. Hello, real world. For those curious, I'll be doing test automation for the TelePresence team.

The first day went pretty well. I set up my computer while my co-workers Kim and Swapneel showed me the ropes. Speaking of which, my work computer is a ThinkPad W510 with an Intel Core i7-720QM processor, 4 GB of RAM and 320 GB of storage. It's much faster than anything at home. I have my own cubicle, although we typically work in the labs.

I'm definitely loving my new job so far. Everyone is friendly and helpful, especially my mentors. In addition to being very close to McCarthy Ranch, our building has its own cafeteria. I've also been told that our team Christmas lunch is just around the corner. From what I've heard, many people consider Cisco to be one of the best companies to work for. I certainly can't disagree.

Of course, the transition from the classroom to the office is no small change. I'll definitely miss the dances and month-long vacations. There's probably no spring break in April either. On the other hand, at least I don't have to worry about exams. :-)

I don't actually work directly for Cisco, but as a contractor for a Santa Cruz-based staffing company called The Armada Group. This means I get paid less than a regular employee as Armada takes a cut of what Cisco pays. However, I'm certainly not complaining about finding work right after school.

Currently playing: Super Mario BP Oil Spill

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

a farewell to UC Santa Cruz

Last night was the CMPS 101 final. I hope I didn't bomb the exam as it was quite tough. But considering that I did better than expected on the two midterms, maybe I shouldn't worry too much. In any case, the fall quarter is over!

Speaking of which, I moved out last Tuesday as my lease has ended. Connie's house is one of the nicest places I've ever stayed. It was hard to say goodbye to her cats Tommy and Zoe. They'll always have a special place in my heart.

In other news...

Tomorrow is my first day at Cisco Systems. I'm a little nervous but also extremely excited!

Currently playing: endeavor