Jan 21 2017

My own Git meme

Category: English posts,TechnicalIuliana @ 19:30

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Jan 18 2017

The WOW Cheese Cake

Category: English posts,MiscellaneousIuliana @ 0:19

The WOW Cheese Cake is my favorite type of cheese cake. It is my own creation and because it has been complimented a lot I decided to share the recipe with you guys.

Let’s start with the crust:

  1. 1 package of Lotus biscuits (200 grams one)
  2. 3 big spoons of white sugar
  3. 100 melted grams of fat butter (80% fat or more)

Blend the Lotus biscuits until they became a fine power. Add sugar and melted butter and stir firmly until everything is well mixed together. Put this into a cake pan. If the pan has detachable base, grease it, otherwise use cooking paper to cover it up. Pour the biscuit mix into it and  distribute it evenly using a glass. Put in the oven and bake it until you feel the caramel smell in the room.

During the baking of the crust you prepare the filling:

  1. 4 boxes of Philadelphia cheese (200g ones) (if your pan is big enough use 5)
  2. 1 box of mascarpone cheese (250 g)
  3. 200 ml of liquid cream
  4. 5 eggs
  5. 5 spoons of sugar
  6. 2 spoons of coconut pudding powder

Blend all the above together until the mix is so good you would eat it raw. (there’s no other way to describe it.) Pour this mix over the cooked crust and put the cake into the oven. Bake at  160 degrees C (350 degrees F) for about 55 to 60 minutes or until the edges get yellow-brownish colur.

While the cheese cake is baking, prepare the topping:

  1. 100g Billington’s molasses sugar
  2. 50g fat butter (80% fat or more)
  3. 100 ml liquid cream

Melt the butter in a pan. Add the molasses sugar and gently still until melted. Add the cream and continue stirring until well mixed together into a soft and tasty caramel.

When the cheese cake is done baking, get it out of the oven and put the caramel on top. Wait for it to cool down, then put in the fridge overnight. (try to resist until morning, it will be worth it)

The only picture I have is of one already eaten, but it will have to do. ;)

 

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Jan 07 2017

Music and Sunshine

Category: English posts,PersonalIuliana @ 23:54

In my life I’ve had many nicknames, some of them did not flatter me, but some of them were cute as well. But recently, this meaning about six months ago, somebody gave me another that I ended up loving a lot. He called me sunshine. First I thought he thought of me as his sunshine, which was very flattering, but we cleared that up, which was heartbreaking for me, but oh well, win some, lose some. He said he associated me with sunshine because I was smiling all the time. I don’t think he realized it was because of him. He was oblivious like that, or maybe he was pretending because he had already friend-zoned me. It really does not matter now.

What really matters is that he gave me a nickname that fit me like a glove. And I loved it so much that I decided to do my best to make it representative for me for ever. That’s why the number of my new car includes it.

And every time I hear this song my heart melts and I can’t stop myself from smiling.

Maybe this is because I also love John Mayer a lot. I have no idea when he became my favorite singer. I think I discovered him in the summer of 2010 or so. I don’t remember when I heard him sing first, but I am quite sure the song was “Say what you need to say”.

Every time I listen to this song I think of all the things I needed to say and didn’t and I promise never to make the same mistake again. But probably I will, because exposing my soul through words makes me vulnerable.
And today I discovered this little gem, originally sung by Eric Clapton.

I need to learn how to play guitar to play these songs myself and give a shape to the songs in my head. This will be the year this dream will come true. It must be.


Jan 05 2017

Negative feedback management

Category: English posts,TechnicalIuliana @ 23:03
In the software development world we have a lot of processes, standards and ways to measure quality. When it comes to code quality the  standard measurement is the WTF/minute, depicted in the image on the left. The result of such measurement is usually a feedback given to you by a superior. If the feedback is positive, you will receive a pat on the back, the responsibility of teaching your mastery to others and if you are lucky, a bonus or a raise. Giving and receiving positive feedback is a easy, but life is not only milk and honey and sometimes negative feedback has to be given and received. And it can be quite uncomfortable for both parties involved. But fear not, I took a little of my precious time to write a post about it.  Because even if you are a genius, you are human and you are most probably doing at least one thing wrong. And negative feedback is not only given for the quality of your work, but for your overall behaviour during working hours as well.
This being said, let’s begin. There are three ways to give negative feedback:

  1. officially, via a review that will affect your future career path
  2. privately in a professional/unprofessional manner
  3. publicly in a professional/unprofessional manner

Officially, negative feedback is given to you in the best way possible, wrapped up as an “ability you need to improve” (or more). The fact that you are given negative feedback, means that you actually matter to the company and somebody above you in the company hierarchy believes you can improve. The first time when you receive negative feedback might be a drama, because if you are passionate about your job you cannot stop yourself from taking it personally and feel like a failure. The emotion is similar to what you feel when you let down someone you love, only in this case this someone is you. Just allow yourself to breath, to think about it and then start working on improving the mentioned point. And the most important, ask guidance in how to do this from the one that gave you the negative feedback.

Negative feedback given privately, is a warning sign. It is one of the most embarrassing ways to receive a negative feedback and it usually means you screwed up badly, but somebody wants to understand what happened and try to help you make things better. When given such feedback, try to pay attention to what it is being said to you, hold your ground and emotions in check and try not point the finger to somebody else, not without accepting your own fault in the matter. Negative feedback given privately is usually the result of some behavioural issues, usually harassment of any kind. Depending on how badly you screwed up and depending on how short tempered your manager is, the negative feedback can be delivered professionally or unprofessionally. If the negative feedback is provided unprofessionally, the same as said before applies, there must be at least one person in that room to hold their shit together, it is better that is you. Because even if the discussion is private, the outcome will be in an official review. So, obviously it is better to say in your review that you admitted your part of the guilt, you are sorry about it and will work on improving in the future. And you can also report the short tempered manager to his manager.

Negative feedback given publicly, is clearly inappropriate. It is a warning sign for the provider of the feedback and for the receiver as well. It means there is a clash of egos there, maybe some issues that were never resolved or reported. Whether provided professionally or unprofessionally, this is one of the most uncomfortable things that can happen in a company. It reveals that the two persons involved both as problem employees. Maybe they either do not know or do not care about the internal hierarchy, or they do not trust the matter can be solved by official channels. If you are being scolded publicly, just remember school. Even if you have never been scolded by a teacher, you have witnessed it and you probably remember, that answering and defending yourself in the heat of the moment, did not do much. The same advice as in the previous case applies: hold your ground, keep your emotions in check and just take it. Just let it pass. Then think, raise the issue to the next person higher on the hierarchy and show yourself open to make things work.

No matter how good at your job you are, the fact is that we are all humans. We all make mistakes and we all have our moments when our mind plays tricks with us. When you work with the same people for a long time, conflicts are unavoidable. But you must remember why you are there for: you are there to excel at your job, you are there to teach others what you know, work with your team and make work more efficient for everybody so in the end the company will flourish and so will you. Unless the negative feedback is a backlash caused by personal issues with the person providing it, the negative feedback should always be considered an opportunity to improve yourself and others too. If the matter is personal, well… in this case things get complicated, unless you find a way to put it aside and separate personal from professional issues. Not all persons have the ability to separate professional from personal issues, but you can get better at this by talking to a counselor, for example.

I’ve written the above from my professional experience. I remember my first negative feedback and I remember my last. There is one recurring recommendation managers keep giving me: to be less blunt. But from overall personal experience I know that some people do not react unless they are hit with the naked truth. The best I can do is to try to know my colleagues as best as I can, thus I can modify my behaviour depending on them. I guess, we all just have to be understanding, considerate and flexible after all.

Stay safe, stay happy!

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Jan 02 2017

Tinder adventures

Category: English posts,PersonalIuliana @ 20:58

This post was here before in a different format and it generated so much hate I had to hide it for a while until I made a decision about its new shape that maybe will be better than the original one.

I occasionally use Tinder. Chastise me if you wish, but I live in a small city, I have a peculiar character, my group of friends and acquaintances does not contain any eligible bachelors  and my hobbies are mostly solitary, thus I have really limited occasions to meet new people. Tinder is but a way to initiate a first contact with someone safely and analyze the person before I decide if I want to meet him in person. (Yeah, apparently no matter how much it pisses me off, I am definitely hetero.) The first interaction based on Tinder is online which is quite nice. Behind a device  and talking with somebody that they might never meet, people tend to be really honest or a least act as the version of them they want to be and this is the best version of them, otherwise … they won’t be getting any. All the guys I met on Tinder and decided to meet in real life up until now were quite nice. Some of them turned out to be weird in a way that was incompatible with my weirdness, but decent guys nonetheless. But there is an issue I would like to address.

Grammar: when you flirt in writing, you’d better know your grammar. I do not know what type of women can be found on Tinder usually, but I am an educated woman with a career, peculiar character and little time on my hands. I am unfortunately smart, so I need mental and physical stimulation to be turned on. So if you make grammar mistakes like using your instead of you’re when you mean you are, believe me, you have blown your chance to ever meet me. The only time when mistakes are allowed is when the language in which you chose to communicate is not your native one. You can imagine how fun is online flirting in Romanian, because Romanian is not an easy language. For me it’s gotten so bad that I just can’t exchange written messages with Romanian guys. It’s such a turn off that I basically given up using Tinder in my country, unless the guy is a tourist.

First I thought this is something temporary, and that I could get used to it, I mean … it was quite clear what they meant. But the last two guys that I was interested in, were like this: one was a guy that got his speaking and writing start in German and has an excellent English knowledge and a sweet Polish guy I met this week in Vienna.

So yeah, I have a big problem. If I want to settle in this small mountain city and make a life here, I will probably have to accept the fact that I will be a loner. Or meet someone in my numerous travels and hope they will love me and this city so much that they will decide to move here, or that I will love him so much that I will decide to give up my small mountain city.

I have no idea what my future will be like, but I can only hope it will be good. I will try my best to make it so, but when it comes to matters of the heart, it does not depend only on me.

Stay safe, stay happy!


Jan 01 2017

Iuliana’s log, stardate 13301.11

Category: English posts,PersonalIuliana @ 23:58

I must confess I kinda cheated. I started one of my planned activities for this year already. This year I will more spare time, than I had starting with 2001 and I intend to use it wisely. I intent to continue growing emotionally and intellectually, try to be the best version of myself so far. This means I have to develop some healthy habits. It’s not like I did so bad until now and I have a list of new year resolutions. I do not believe in that “New year, new me stuff”, it has never worked so far, and it won’t now. I am not that disciplined, so I can’t make decisions over night and stick to them, I can just take baby steps.

So I decided that this year I should run more, thus I started on the 31st of January 2016 with a short run of 3Km at -4 degrees Celsius. I did the same thing today and I intend do this for the following 28 days, because that is how long it takes to grow a habit.

I am in a point in my life where the fight for survival is won, and so is the fight for a career, thus it is about time for me to settle down. The hunting for a home was also started last year as well, because the sooner the better. I think this activity will be quite challenging and it will be quite interesting since I have a friend that is an architect and knows exactly what questions to ask to make sure I get the best place.

I crossed into the new year cuddled with my cat, under my soft blanked in my own bed, while all my friends on Facebook posted pictures from the parties they were at. Last year I was at a party too with a group of very good friends, I was so glad to be with them that I never thought about posting pictures on Facebook. It’s a sad world we are living in, when how we appreciate any personal experience depends on how much others appreciate it. I might be old school or I might be selfish, but a lot of my personal experiences I’d rather not share but with the persons that I experience them with.

I entered the new year wishing all my friends and family a good new year, better than the previous one, not as good as the one after it.

The year 2016 ended with some new experiences. I have visited a very good friend from college and met his 3 years old daughter. The kid was amazing, as the other 2-5 years old kids of my friends. I think my generation is compensating a lot for the mistakes of its parents and I think the result will be incredible. It almost make me sad when I think I might not get the chance to have my own kid, but I will get involved as much as I can in the life of these kids. I’ll be the fun aunt that teaches them cool stuff and educates them without them even realizing it. I’ll contribute to this generation as much as I can. I also visited my family and although I managed to stay in the same room with them and chat for about 4 hours, it does not mean I will be repeating this soon. They think I might though and they already started calling me for any insignificant thing, especially to remind me to go to church on Sundays.:| My mom is in denial, she does not believe that my belief in God died fifteen years ago and that I haven’t entered a church since then.
And since I am talking about family, I had the honor to spend a few hours with a branch of my family that I have not seen since I left for college. I suspect that these people are the ones that my family borrowed money from, to support me during the faculty for a while, so I took advantage of my visit to thank them. I also had to occasion to meet a young man, that is a relative through alliance. I haven’t seen this guy in fifteen years as well, and I barely remember him as a boy. He is a man now, tall, slender and quite good looking. He’s just another one of those guys the universe seems to parade in front of me, to let me know that there still are good looking and nice men in this world, but not meant for me for one reason or another. It’s getting quite funny really, it’s like I’m just strolling through an art museum and not being allowed to touch the exhibits. :))

This year I will switch from being a technical author to a technical reviewer. I decided to take this opportunity, because I am not ready to have only one job and because I am not ready to leave the editorial world yet.

And this is the first entry of 2017, I know it’s not the best, but I will get better as soon as interesting things start happening to me. I won’t disappoint, promise. ;)


Dec 24 2016

Happy Holidays !!!

Category: English posts,PersonalIuliana @ 17:24

I am currently in what I might as well call my home-town, because all my best friends are here and so far I’ve lived here the longest. I left for Iasi on Thursday evening, so that on Friday I could take care of some bureaucracy of my accident. The solution apparently was easier than I thought, a document was made to transfer all the procedures to Sibiu. Those guys from over there will love me.

I will be spending the whole Christmas period with most of my friends here. I really hope I will have the time to drink a beer with each of them. I already started last night with two bottles of wine with a really awesome woman that I am proud to call my friend. When I won’t be drinking or partying, I will be playing with the child of my best friends, a little daredevil girl with a lot of energy and a lot of of smarts on her. I am happy to see her grow and become more and more ware of the world around her. She managed to block my iPhone yesterday and learned to use the Mac to search for images and YouTube clips with Pocoyo. And I showed her a few karate tricks. I think in a few years we might be training together. :D

It is quite warm in Iasi, there is not a lot of snow and there is a lot of fog. The grass on the hill visible from my friends’ apartment is a dark and sad green, but inside the apartment, there is a joyful atmosphere with the little kid laughing from time to time and the American jolly carols playing in the background.

But enough about me. This post is about you, my dear friends. I am very thankful that a lot of my friendships survived this year, even if there is a lot of physical distance between me and a lot of my friends. It seems that we are all good adults with the same set of values and our friendship grows strong in spite of the physical distance between us. I am very thankful for new friends as well and may our friendships grow as strong and as beautiful as my older ones. I wish you all Very Merry Christmas to you and your families, may you all be happy and healthy and have the best time during the Holiday. This will probably be my last entry for the year, so I also wish you a Happy New Year!

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Happy Holidays!