Rick Umali
Rick Umali

Born in the Philippines in 1968. Moved to the United States with my family when I was three years old. Raised in Jersey City, New Jersey. Went to Catholic schools (St. Aedan's, St. Peter's Prep). Graduated college from Rensselaer in December 1990. Moved to Boston. Married Jenn in 1995.

I have two brothers, Ron and Renato. My parents live in New Jersey.

Jenn and I live in Burlington (outside Boston). We have a daughter named Mia.

Yes, I write a blog. I've been writing Rick's Ramblings since 2001.

My 2023 Books and Movies

January 31, 2024

In 2023, I read 25 books (LibraryThing) and watched 66 movies (Letterboxd) (24 were rewatches).

Welcoming the New Year with AI

December 31, 2023

I asked ChatGPT to write my monthly essay a few weeks ago. I first asked if it could write an essay, and it replied "Please provide me a topic or a prompt and I'll...

Ads and Ad Blockers

November 30, 2023

I don't use any ad blockers on my devices. I'm not a fan of advertising, but I have a grudging belief that advertising pays for content. I think about old media...

Doodling and Drawing

October 31, 2023

The greatest video on YouTube to me is Jeremiah's "A Conversation with my 12 Year Old Self". It is funny and witty and always makes me laugh. It's been on the Internet...


September 30, 2023

I walked into a restaurant to grab my takeout order and as I approached the pick up area the cashier called to me: "Rodrigo!" Rodrigo? Then I realized he was hailing...

Gas Translation

August 31, 2023

At the gas station a few weeks ago, I was sitting in my car jotting down my mileage. My door was open.

Working on Cars

July 31, 2023

On my way to my car, I saw a man and (presumably) his son in front of their car with the hood up. The man was examining the engine and showing it to their kid. I...

Spielberg Movies Ranked

June 30, 2023

In preparation for Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, I watched for the first time the fourth Indiana Jones movie: The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (starring...

WJIB AM 740 (RIP Bob Bittner)

May 31, 2023

On the Facebook group "Friends and Lovers of WJIB", there was a post requesting songs people had learned by listening to oldies radio station WJIB. The poster wanted...

I work in computers. At least that's how I put it when people ask me what I do. Below are some posts from my technical BLOG.

I'm the author of Learn Git in a Month of Lunches (Manning Publications).

Falling Text (in JavaScript)

July 14, 2020

Sometime in May, about two months into my forced "work from home" stint due to the novel coronavirus, I caught a bit of inspiration.I had been playing Cataclysm:...

Relearning JavaScript

February 3, 2016

For the past few weeks, I've been participating in Boston PHP's jQuery jAM. This virtual learning group is scheduled to run through the book Eloquent JavaScript,...

Learn Git in a Month of Lunches

May 28, 2014

I'm writing a book for Manning Publications called Learn Git in a Month of Lunches. It should be out early next year, but you can purchase a copy of the book via...

Praising "Code" by Charles Petzold

February 14, 2014

Last year (2013), I finished a most remarkable computer book titled Code. It's by Charles Petzold, who wrote the venerable Programming Windows 95, among many others....

Creating Top-Level Variables With CoffeeScript

June 23, 2013

I've been working on a small "Word Finder" game, mostly as exercise to learn CoffeeScript, a language that compiles down to JavaScript. CoffeeScript hides the tricky...

A View from a MOOC

November 22, 2012

I just recently finished taking an online course titled "Functional Programming Principles in Scala". The course was offered by Coursera, and it is an example of...

Indie Game: The Movie

June 24, 2012

Indie Game: The Movie (IGTM) is a documentary about independent game developers. When I saw the trailer in July 2011, I saw a shot of a real computer screen filled...

Making Wireless Work on a Dell D600 with Ubuntu

February 5, 2012

I recently inherited an old Dell Latitude D600 laptop, but the wireless wasn't working on it. After some investigation, I learned that it somehow didn't have a wireless...

Getting Twitter User IDs with PHP

November 26, 2011

When using the Twitter API's "Streaming API", you often have to pass in Twitter User IDs as arguments, rather than Twitter usernames (aka "screen name"). I wrote...

Getting PHP Debugging with XDebug Working (on Windows)

November 14, 2011

I've been learning about Drupal Module Development the past few weeks. I'm using the venerable "Definitive Guide to Drupal 7" and a few times in the module development...

For a long time I didn't follow sports. But now I do. The links below will take you to posts from my sports blog.

The Queen Roars

August 31, 2022

Talking about Serena William's 2nd round match of the 2022 US Open.

Super Bowl LVI Pick

February 12, 2022

Time for my Super Sunday pick!

2022 AFC / NFC Picks

January 30, 2022

It's a juicy Sunday of football! Against the spread, pick the Chiefs and the 49ers.

Boston's Playoffs

June 10, 2021

The only good thing about the Boston Celtics and Boston Bruins playoff runs is that it briefly signalled a return to normalcy from COVID-19 pandemic.

Super Bowl LV: Prediction

February 6, 2021

With about twenty-four hours left before Super Bowl LV (aka COVID-19 Super Bowl 1), I'm ready with my prediction. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will win the big game...

These COVID Sports

September 10, 2020

COVID-19 has upended the US sports calendar. It is September as I write this, and the NFL starts tomorrow. But also on the docket is a compelling NBA playoff game....

Super Bowl LIV Pick: 49ers

January 30, 2020

Go Jimmy G! What can I say? The San Francisco 49ers have a ground and pound game that I think will wear down the Kansas City Chiefs. The game will also be a study...

2020 AFC / NFC Picks

January 15, 2020

The table is set: the AFC title is between the Tennessee Titans and the Kansas City Chiefs, and the NFC title is between the Green Bay Packers and the San Francisco...

Divisional Weekend 2020

January 8, 2020

Yes, this is 2020! And its first weekend features the best weekend of football: four games featuring arguably the best teams remaining. Who do I like? Minnesota...

Wildcard Weekend 2019

December 30, 2019

The wildcards battle it out this weekend as the 2019 NFL playoffs commence. I'm a Pats fan, so I'm surprised to be watching them this weekend, I'm not going to lie,...

I have plenty of pictures at a bunch of places [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11], [12], but I primarily update Flickr and, more recently, Instagram.

The Lowell Sun Building

April 7, 2021

On the New Tappan Zee

March 11, 2018

Outside Vegas in My Truck

November 16, 2017

Burger Joint Outside Vegas

November 16, 2017

Alma Mater (Columbia)

November 1, 2017

Rock 'n' Roller Coaster (Starring Aerosmith)

September 30, 2016

Walt Disney World Dophin

September 30, 2016

Boston Heat

November 8, 2015

Cloud Formation

October 31, 2015

Click here to get the feed for Rick's Pictures