Friday, December 31, 2010

back from Tahoe

Happy New Year's Eve!

I just got back from Tahoe with my parents. The trip was only one night long but lots of fun. I had suggested staying home in light of our current financial situation, but Dad was able to book a room at the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort, Spa and Casino in Incline Village for only $21 due to his Hyatt Gold Passport points. :-)

Day 1

The traffic on the way to Incline Village was mostly light. Having done most of the driving, I was a little tired when we arrived. Freezing temperatures aside, the evening was nice as we shopped at Raley's and tried our luck at the Grand Lodge Casino after dinner. The slots were the highlight of the trip even though we didn't win anything.

All of us ended up going 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 weather was great in the morning. The three of us took a stroll along Donner Lake before making a quick stop in Truckee. We decided to head home at this point as the Shiehs are having us over tonight. The only stop on the way was Roseville for groceries. This wasn't too bad as we went to three stores, namely Cost Plus World Market, Costco and WinCo Foods.

The plan was to have lunch at a local restaurant, but none of us were hungry anymore after eating a bunch of samples at Costco. The traffic was again light and allowed us to get home on time. The other good news is that Mom did remember to turn off the pool valve after all. That was no doubt a major relief.

Conclusions

On the whole, I really enjoyed this vacation. The best part was the slots even though luck wasn't on our side this time. You can go here for the pictures.

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 just got married in Taiwan. So without further ado, please join me in congratulating her and Lawrence on their wedding. 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 tie the knot. If only I wasn't single. ^_^

In other news...

Christmas break started for me on the 24th. Speaking of which, my family is heading to Tahoe tomorrow. I'm pretty excited!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

musings of a Cisco rookie

"You know you're out of college when... you go from 130 days of vacation time to 14." -- joke on the Internet

This was my first day at Cisco Systems. Hello, real world. For those wondering, I'm a software test engineer on the TelePresence team.

Though I only just started, I'm already loving my new job. Everyone is friendly and helpful; my mentors were more than happy to show me the ropes. While I have my own cubicle, most of our work is done in the labs. I've also been issued a ThinkPad W510 laptop. It has an Intel Core i7-720QM processor, 4 GB of RAM and 320 GB of storage. That's better than any of my computers at home. Last but not least, each building has its own cafeteria. They say Cisco is one of the best companies to work for. I can't argue with that.

Of course, the transition from the classroom to the office is no small challenge. The things I'll miss the most about being a student are the dances and month-long vacations; most jobs probably don't even have spring breaks. On the other hand, not having to cram for exams is nice. :-)

Strictly speaking, I don't work directly for Cisco, but as a contractor for a Santa Cruz-based staffing company called The Armada Group. This means my salary is lower than that of a regular employee as Armada has to take a cut. However, I'm certainly not complaining about finding work right after school.

Currently playing: Super Mario BP Oil Spill

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

done with classes at UCSC

The CMPS 101 final at UC Santa Cruz was last night. I hope I didn't bomb the exam as it was quite challenging. 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 ended in December. Connie's house is one of the nicest places I've ever stayed. It was also hard to say goodbye to her cats Tommy and Zoe. They'll always have a special place in my heart.

In other news...

I'll be starting my new job at Cisco tomorrow morning. I'm a little nervous but also extremely excited at the same time!

Currently playing: endeavor