A Blog by Scott Isaacs

Month: September 2011

The First One

DominoesIf it wasn’t for dominoes, we wouldn’t have the “domino effect”.

Dominoes alone aren’t enough, though.  You also need someone to design what it should look like in the end, and you need someone to carefully place each domino where the design says it belongs.

But before you can stand back and watch the show, you need that first one to tip.

The first one has tipped.  I’m excited to see what happens next.

(Image source)

Vizualize Me – A Visual Resume

The other day I signed up for Vizualize.me.  Once I got over the fact that they misspelled “visualize”, it looks like a pretty nifty little service.  They make a graphical resume for you, like the one to the right.  I’d always wanted my very own personal infographic, and now I have one.

If you are a LinkedIn member, they can optionally pull your work history, education, recommendations, skills, etc. from there so you don’t have to enter all of that again.  This was the choice I made and it had the additional benefit of making me update my LinkedIn profile so that there was good data to pull.

They have a number of different themes available, and you can customize colors and fonts, too.  You can include a bunch of different data, such as work experience, education, LinkedIn recommendations and various personal statistics.

Do you have a visual resume to share?

Math Truck, Math Wiz

Back when I was around 18 or so, I used to have a truck much like this one (65 Chevy).

Mine was very similar but a little different.  Some interesting facts about my truck:

  • Mine had more rust.
  • It appeared to have been painted with house paint.  By brush.
  • After each rain stopped, there was a white rectangle on the ground where some of the paint washed off.  Kind of like a truck-sized chalk outline.
  • The wooden bed had rotted through and about 3/4 of the bed of the truck was covered with plywood.  The remaining 1/4 was open to the ground below.
  • The muffler was held on by a coat hanger until it fell off one day driving down the road.  I dragged it for 1/4 mile before I could stop.  It was too hot to pick up so I had to wait for it to cool.
  • The rear view mirror would not stay attached to the window so I kept in on the seat next to me and held it up when I needed to use it.
  • The defroster did not work, so I kept a “defroster” (a towel) on the seat next to my rear view mirror.
  • The horn only worked if you took the 4″ diameter cover off and shorted a bolt in the center of the steering wheel to a contact a couple inches away.  Fortunately the cover was conductive, so I kept it on the seat next to my defroster and rear view mirror so I could pick it up and use it to short the circuit and beep the horn.
  • The hood was secured with a piece of chain and a padlock.  Otherwise anyone could open the hood from the outside.  Someone did this once and stole my battery.  So I bought chain and a padlock.
  • Only about half of the space under the hood was used.  The rest was just open to the ground.  Just like the bed of the truck.
  • It passed California emissions tests miraculously.
  • Sometimes, you had to slam the door about 20 times to get it to stay closed.
  • It was a manual transmission.  When I got it, it was “3 on the tree”.  Once the clutch went out and I had to drive a few days with no clutch.  I had to start the truck in first gear and be ready to go as soon as I turned the key.  I had to learn to shift without a clutch.  (Believe it or not, this story probably doesn’t make the “Top 10 Ways Scott Should Have Died Before Age 25” list.)  When I finally got it fixed, it was then “3 on the floor” which doesn’t sound as cool.  Also, the old gear shifter was left on the steering column for good measure, even though it didn’t do anything.
I only had the truck for a short time (less than 2 years I think).  As hilarious as this truck was (I’m not doing it justice here), I liked it.
In fact, I had plans to restore it.  Well, maybe not plans, but at least a passing desire.  I was pursuing a physics or math degree at the time (I switched from physics to math somewhere along the way), so I wanted to get it painted white and cover it with various equations (∫cos(x) dx = sin(x) + C, e^(iπ) + 1 = 0, etc.).  I wanted to get a vanity license plate that said “MATH TRK”.
That was half my life ago.  Literally.  I finally finished my math degree, although I never use it.  I’ve forgotten 10 times more math than most people ever bother to learn.  I gave up on studying physics, although I often regret that choice.  I never got my “Math Truck”.  (I moved on to the Black Pearl, but that’s another story.)
No, I never got my Math Truck, but that’s OK.  Instead I have my very own Math Wiz.

Charlie is in kindergarten now and is doing really well.  We couldn’t be more proud of her.  Watch out, Hawking.  She’s coming to get you in 20 years!

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