Sunday, August 22, 2010


We're experiencing a rare morning of sustained rain here. It's been a dry summer, so the sound of droplets drumming on the shingles was most welcome.

I've spent most of the morning at a computer with the television off. The only sounds I can hear are the computer's fan, birds chirping in celebration of the moisture coming down, and the occasion splash of a car going by. The dog is being his usual handsome, lazy self lounging on the sofa. I'm puttering around: paying bills, writing some code in Python, and killing time with this blog.

I'm conscious of the end of another summer. My beloved eldest daughter is in Brooklyn awaiting the start of classes and grad school. My adored youngest daughter will be leaving us again in six days to renew her pursuit of an undergraduate degree in molecular cell biology. My wife will mourn the end of the period of renewal and head back to work in the schools on Wednesday. We'll be empty nesters for the first time this fall.

I rode my bike into work last Tuesday. It was dark enough when I left the house that cars had to put their lights on. I had a strobe light on the rear pannier to give those drivers their best chance to avoid hitting me. I may have another morning ride or two left in me, but the season for riding to work is rapidly coming to a close.

This is a solemn time of year for me. It's a reminder of the period fifteen years ago this year when a younger brother passed away. That was a hot, dry summer; just like this one.

I'm spending time learning a new language, Python, by working my way through "Core Python Programming". I'm enjoying it very much, now that I have a great IDE: PyCharm from JetBrains. "Develop with pleasure", indeed: it's fun to have a nice tool to help lighten the load. Python is fun after years of writing Java. It just feels light and fast. I like the combination of functional and object-oriented styles in one language. I want to remember the math I know and check out SciPy and NumPy; I want to find out if Django is just like Grails and Ruby on Rails.

I just want to keep learning and continue to do something - programming - that I like to do but rarely get a chance at in my current position at work.

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