Vanity plates

I’ve been spending a good chunk of time commuting to and from work. Most of it being stuck in traffic on I-290. It can be a miserable experience, but listening to the radio helps. I also like looking around and spotting different license plates. Apparently custom plates are quite popular in Illinois.

Here we have a character from one of my favorite silent movies. I spotted him on two different occasions. Oh, and the driver looks actually Indian!

 
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Below is what must be President Obama visiting his home City of Chicago in his presidential Ford Taurus. Or perhaps this is his wife’s car?

 
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I decided to get a vanity plate of my own. It was actually quite easy: few clicks on a website and viola. The plate was on its way. It did take more than a month (just shy of 30 business days), but I finally got it today. Behold:

 
LOL HA HA - my new vanity plate :-)

I really hope it will help me get out of speeding and parking tickets… or, at the very least, bring a smile to my fellow I-290 commuters 🙂

Seven Deadly Sins

I was getting my morning coffee ready, and I accidentally knocked over a wine bottle. Luckily no spillage or broken glass, but it made me glance at the wine label. The Seven Deadly Zins.

Seven Deadly Zins

Seven Deadly Zins

This brought back memories from my preparation to the First Communion in Poland. I believe I was in 3rd or 4th grade at the time. I remember we had to cram a lot, and we needed to be able to recite the whole catechism from memory. It was a complete brain wash!

As I was drinking my coffee, I asked myself a question: Did the Catholic Church succeed in their indoctrination? Can I really recall the the Seven Deadly Sins on the whim? Sure enough! I was easily able to recite:

  1. Pycha – pride (lat. superbia)
  2. Chciwość – greed (lat. avaritia)
  3. Nieczystość – lust (lat. luxuria)
  4. Zazdrość – envy (lat. invidia)
  5. Nieumiarkowanie w jedzeniu i piciu – gluttony (lat. gula)
  6. Gniew – wrath (lat. ira)
  7. Lenistowo – sloth (lat. acedia)

It’s amazing how much our minds are absorbent while we are little. They can really be shaped and molded. This is exactly how regimes and religions are able to control their populations. So be mindful of what your children are exposed to, as they will likely remember this for a long time.

As for my kids, I just want them to have a happy childhood as I did (sans the brainwashing, naturally) and grow up to be decent people 🙂

Sound Racer

In January I started my new job with Thomson Reuters. It’s in Oakbrook, so my commute is completely different than what I was used to. No more walking, no more Metra. Now it’s all about Chicago traffic.

I was a little bit nervous whether I would be able to handle it or not. This is why I decided to treat myself to a funky gadget. I purchased a Bluetooth-enabled OBD II scanner, and promptly paired it with the SoundRacer app on my Android phone. The results can be seen (and heard) in the video below:

It’s really tons of fun! The SoundRacer app reads the RPMs from the OBD II scanner, generates race car engine sounds to match, and plays them through the car speakers. It really makes you want to rev the engine! Probably not a good thing if you want to avoid speeding tickets 🙂

Unfortunately, I quickly discovered that it’s not feasible to have it on all the time. I just want to fly, but sometimes traffic just forces me to idle. Now I’ve switched and enjoy listening to NPR and get a much needed break from electronics. It’s very refreshing 🙂

Solution to MacBook storage problems

At Trading Technologies we recently switched to laptop-centric culture. Our desktops got lugged away and everyone can choose what kind of laptop they would like to have. I was one of the pilot MacBook Pro users and I got mine over 18 months ago. It took me a while to get used to it, but it completely changed the way I work. It’s so easy to just grab a laptop and crash a meeting room with two other devs. This makes communication so much easier. Not to mention I can now work on the train. Every company should consider this!

Unfortunately my Mac came with only 256 gigs of storage. For a developer that’s not that much. Especially that I use a lot of OSs on many VMs. I asked our IT, and they listened. It came earlier today. LaCie external SSD with USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt. It’s a speedy ~250MB/sec.

 

I really had a lot of fun velcroing it to my Mac. What do you think? Geeky enough for you? 😉

Behold:

External SSD

External SSD velcroed to my MacBook Pro. Match made in heaven 😉