Random Thoughts

Tech, words and musings from an Englishman in Seattle

This Afternoon I Became An American

This afternoon Nabila and I went down to the local USCIS office in Seattle and became American citizens.

Wow!

After eleven years in the US, seven of them as a permanent resident, I'm finally there. Theoretically I could have become a citizen two years ago as you only have to wait five years as a permanent resident before you can apply for naturalization, but I just never got around to it.

Then last October, two things occurred to me:

  1. We have kids who are both US (and UK) citizens.
  2. An election is coming and dammit, I'm voting this time.

We cut it close.

The deadline for registration is October 4th by mail or online and October 20th in person, so this evening I registered to vote and for the first time, when asked “are you a US Citizen?”, I selected “YES”.

The oath ceremony was pretty nice, not what you'd expect when sat in a building with the words “Department of Homeland Security” written everywhere. We watched a few short videos (which included probably the nicest video I've seen that starred George W. Bush) and accepted our certificates of naturalization.

Probably the coolest thing was that from the 109 people that were there being naturalized, they represented 44 countries.

Anyhow, once we were done, we picked up the kids and I headed back to the office where I discovered that my co-workers had decorated my desk in honour of the occasion, and our resident Photoshop guru had created this as the centerpiece:

Rock on!

Santa Monica Is Pretty Nice…

The last time I was in Santa Monica visiting some colleagues at the local Google office, I stayed at the Sheraton and never got down to the waterfront.

This time is a little different. I'm staying at the Georgian and can see the pier from my hotel room.

Even more fun was that I wandered out of the hotel looking for something to eat, turned a corner and stumbled into the local British Pub: The Kings Head.

Result! I'm supping on a Kronenbourg 1664 as I write this!

New Windows Vista Commercials… Better.

Much, much better. Nice job. They take a stab at the cloyingly annoying Apple commercials and inject a little bit of reality.

Here's the first:

And you can find the other two here and here.

Nice work.

Chrome Rocks…

Chrome quite literally rocks. If you're a Windows user, please give it a try.

It's pretty snappy, but something that I find quite amusing is that ten years ago I worked on another cool and snappy browser called Chrome.

Heh.

Anyhow, I've been using it on XP at work and today tried it on Vista for the first time. On Vista, Chrome looks quite minimalist and beautiful.

And no, Robert, I didn't work on this one…

© 2001 to present, Steve Lacey.