Links in Recap 5.10.13

From Hyperbole and a Half

From Hyperbole and a Half

Allie of Hyperbole and a Half is back. This post is perhaps one of the most important and significant pieces in existence about depression. I’m still rereading it. Depression, Part 2.

Meet the Kawasaki Eliminator 125 that I used to get my motorcycle license.

Meet the Kawasaki Eliminator 125 that I used to get my motorcycle license.

Bell Vortex helmet with Transition Shield

Bell Vortex helmet with Transition Shield

I cannot recommend my experience with the Motorcycle Safety Foundation enough. Their courses, in particular. Last weekend, I embarked upon finally getting my motorcycle license, and lo and behold, I did it. Yay me!

The Basic Rider course entailed one Thursday evening classroom session from 5:30pm-10:30pm, as well as two in person riding lessons (concluding with the skills test) the same weekend. You could choose 5 hours in the morning or in the afternoon/evening. Even though it was early, I chose the morning session from 7:30am-12:30pm.

It was extremely hot the first day and even though I reapplied my sunblock, the little bitty esthetician that still resides somewhere in here is horrified at the sun damage, I mean, “the color” that I acquired.

Here’s a picture that I found on Pinterest of a truck driver. One side of his face has been exposed to the sun, the other side, not so much. WEAR YOUR SPF ALWAYS AND FOREVER, peoples.

Sun Damage

Sun Damage

It was rainy and thunderous on the final day, which was some very good real world training.

What can I say in the end? It was fun and informative. I’m very realistic as to my limited skills at the moment and hope to change that soon.

I’m in my second week of going to school for SQA (Software Quality Assurance). Yeah, you read that right. Although I am still pursuing my BA in Psychology, I am realistic in that I know my timeline and that a degree is not a guarantee of a job, period.

The degree is to prove to myself that I can do it. As for QA, I’ve known quite a few people that have been QA Engineers and leads and all of those titles, in Seattle and beyond. It’s something that I’ve always been curious about.

It’s not brain surgery. There, I said it. With that, I know that I’m on my way of finding my niche in the tech industry here in Silicon Valley while combining my love of learning.

What is the difference between Software Testing and Software QA?

Testing is mainly an ‘error detection’ process focusing on improving the source code.

Software QA is ‘preventative’. It aims to ensure quality in the methods & processes at all the stages of SDLC. (“Quality Assurance” measures the quality of processes and is used to create a quality product.)

It took me awhile to completely understand this, and I think that this is a great explanation of the difference.

This is one of the best books that I’ve ever read. It’s also been handy as I complete my Compassionate Meditation course at Stanford School of Medicine. Ignore the hokey looking cover and the title, you’ll be glad that you did.

Parenting has been very challenging as of late, as Miss Coco gets bigger and actually is her own person. Instead of saying that she’s bossy, I’ve been saying “quite a leader.” Sometimes I wish that she would lead just a little less but I’d never say that out loud. Except maybe here.

She’s a great kid and I love the time that we spend together.

Me and Coco

Me and Coco

There’s lots more to say, of course. When I have time.

Have a great weekend,

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Weeks in Recap 4.3.13

Also known as “the sickness.”

Where do I start?  I’ve been feeling pretty sick, since Tuesday, March 19th (I had to look it up on my calendar).  That was also the day that I went to see Nicole, my hairstylist, so that’s how I remember. When I got home, hair looking great, I realized that I had an intense headache. Ibuprofen and rest and I’d be fine, right?

Wrong. This has been the strangest illness that I’ve ever had.  By the end of Wednesday, I thought that I might have to go to the emergency room. Intense fever, aches and pains so bad that I couldn’t move for several hours, and gastrointestinal distress.  Due to a combination of ibuprofen and intense meditation, my temperature went down. Over the next few days after that, the fever would come and go, and then I lost my voice entirely. Did I mention that my throat has been so sore that it has felt like I’ve been swallowing razor blades nearly this entire time?

Don’t forget about the constant cough, aka “ashooooo, mama” (thanks, Coco!). She’s hilarious and can say her alphabet now. Not even 2 yet!

So the strep test eliminated strep throat as a cause and the doctor just said “the flu”. How ambiguous. No one else in my vicinity has been afflicted with this and I think that I’ll go back to the doctor for a second opinion and maybe ask for some blood work to be done?

This was taken on day three. I couldn’t talk, but see, my hair really does look great:

Day three of the illness. Thank goodness my hair looks nice.

Day three of the illness. Thank goodness my hair looks nice.

School started on Monday and I’ve got two classes this semester at PCC. Online. The first is PSY236, Adult Development and Aging. My second class was to originally be Math 65 (don’t hate), but two in-person exams were required, and I couldn’t manage either.

I picked up a Computer Science class, CS133U, which is C Programming. It’s the next class after CS160, Intro to Computer Science. I got a B in that class not that long ago and hopefully can continue the trend.

Hello world! I’m trying to program in C with Xcode and DevC++, but I find DevC++ easier to use?

A Hello World! moment

A Hello World! moment

I threw some pink into my hair and it’s good to be out of my comfort zone, albeit temporarily. It still looks more red than pink and I’m still ambivalent to negative about reds on me. I do miss my mermaid colored hair.

It's going to wash out.

It’s going to wash out.

So I’ve finished another book that I can highly recommend if you are curious about a lot of history of tech in the Silicon Valley and the world. The book is called Googled: The End of the World As We Know It.

This book gives you everything that you always wanted to know about Google as well. You’ll also be introduced to the term “Googzilla” as well, which made me laugh but I could see the point of the term. When anyone or anything is successful an entity as Google, there will be detractors and also curious bystanders.

Here’s an Arai helmet from 1971. It’s the X-7 model and someone left it at my work as they had purchased a new one.

Arai X-7 helmet from 1971.

Arai X-7 helmet from 1971.

Speaking of helmets, I think that I’m going to do a “How to Fit Yourself for a Motorcycle Helmet” post on here. There’s so much that I’ve been learning on the job about it and I’m in the market for a new one myself.

I’ve been meaning to do a series of “how to’s” for this site and haven’t been feeling like doing much of anything since being sick, honestly. The energy comes and goes and I’m doing my best not to speculate too much on WebMD!

I’m not really supposed to talk about the specifics, but I’ve been doing a study for Stanford School of Medicine at the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education. I’m in the middle of a 9 week study about compassionate meditation and I think that it’s been going well.

Meditation certainly helps to calm and clear the mind and in many instances for me lately, my emotions. I highly recommend meditation and I never thought that my ADHD self would ever be able to do it for longer than a few minutes. Like programming, it helps to practice, no?


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