Monday, February 26, 2007

Welcome back to the Bay Area

I just saw am El Camino with am Op Ivy sticker in the back. Sweet!

Brought to you by, Cingular Wireless Messaging

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Listening to Oldies

Last night, while we were playing the Sponge Bob edition of the Game of Life, Heather put on the local Oldies station. As she put it, it was the "only tolerable noise." I thought it was pretty good. As we played the game for about two hours, they played nothing but good music.

I was signing along and having a great time.

I guess when they have music from 40 - 60 years ago, they can pick out only the best ones!

Google calendar prints in color!

I am a big fan of Google Calendar and I use it relentlessly in my implementation of GTD. One of my "prepare for a trip" steps is to print out the up-coming week (so I can refer to it when I am on a plane and not connected).

Tonight, as I am preparing for my upcoming trip, I hit the printer icon and the preview looked different. It was in color!

As you can see, each calendar is in a different color. It is a nice feature and a long time coming! Well done, Google.

Sixty-five dollar hair cut

I spent most of last week in Sonoma, at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn and Spa. Yes, my time did include Valentine's Day - except that I wasn't there to enjoy the relaxing spas of the California Wine Country. I was there for a work meeting, with events scheduled from 6:30 am to 9:30 pm. And we were encouraged to not bring spouses because of the schedule.

I did get to partake of the spa services though... I got my haircut. I've been traveling so much that I haven't had the opportunity to get my hair cut and it was getting pretty long. So, I spent almost an hour with Rodolfo during one of our breaks (yes, I did walk out on the guest speaker because he was running over), but I scheduled it according to the agenda we were given. It is a nice hair cut and I've gotten a lot of really good feedback from my wife (wink, wink) about it. But I've never spent that much money on a haircut. I'm not sure if my wife has ever gotten a haircut (or any hair service) that cost that much either.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Birthday Blog 2007

So, I've blown it with the immediacy of blog postings, but it was such a good day, I've still got to share it.

Last weekend, I turned 33. Definitely a better transition than 32. Actually, last year I hurt myself just before my birthday, reminding me of my increasing age. This year, I've started to work out and run regularly. I feel much better about myself.

To celebrate my birthday, Heather chose a few restaurants and let me make the final choice. All of the restaurants were chosen for their proximity to other places she planned to take me (Seattle Public Market, the sculptures at Olymic Park, Le Pannier, a french bakery). Using Yelp, I chose the Mojito Cafe (read more here).

It didn't open until 2pm, so we walked to the sculpture garden. We enjoyed the walk through there and I snapped some nice cityscape photos, too.

After lunch, we took a short drive to the bakery, across from the Pike Place Market. Heather took her parking skills to the next level (yes, your name was mentioned with reverence Erik): she turned the wrong way on a one-way street for the distance of two parking spots. On top of that, they were angled the wrong way, which made for a gigantor turn in our SUV. Erik, your legacy lives on.

After the bakery, we went to the recently opened Seattle Public Library. It is so cool and modern. There are meeting spaces to rent on an all red floor (floor to ceiling is all red). My next meeting will be here - I'll turn travel dollars into meeting space dollars. You can't believe how easy it is to find free public parking downtown during the Super Bowl.

It was a great way to bring in year 33 and spend the day with my family. Hopefully, I'll make it through the full year!

An alphabet of plans

While traveling last week, I decided that I wouldn't work one evening into the late night. I needed an opportunity to decompress.

After a nice dinner with some friends at Townhouse in Emeryville, I decided that I wouldn't even turn on my computer (Plan A). As I got out of the elevator in my hotel, Myla called to say I had left my messenger bag in her MINI. No worries there, Plan A looked like it was firming up!

Then I realized another friend was counting on me to make a move on Warfish, an online Risk game. Plan B start to form. I called him up to borrow his computer and went up to his room. I made my move and we talked a bit about shared libraries on iTunes.

I returned to my room, steady on Plan C: I was going to listen to music and read my Wired magazine. No such luck there, my iPod was in my bag, in Myla's MINI.

On to Plan D: I would go down to the hotel bar, enjoy a scotch (it surprises some, I've learned, but yes, I enjoy scotch) and read my magazine in a big comfy chair.

I never made it. In the lobby, I ran into some co-workers and somehow we got into the usually verboten topic of religion. We had a crazy, enjoyable, reasonable discussion about the pratfalls of organized religion (why do they need all that money), organized labor (all the money the take isn't so good for the worker) and a walk down memory lane of company history (almost 80 years of history, although I only contribute 7 years worth).

At the end of the discussion one of them said to me, "You never got to read your magazine." I didn't mind, this was much more enjoyable and relaxing.

Some one farted!

I am trapped on a cylinder of aluminum with some one who has gas. And not the kind that makes their stomach hurt, the kind that makes my nose hurt.

They didn't cover this one during the pre-flight safety briefing, but doesn't this count? "If additional oxygen is required, masks will fall."

I need additional oxygen now!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

My movie groove is back!

The first of several retro blogs

Recently, I tried branching out and trying new movie genres in an effort to please my wife (and no, I'm not talking about XXX movies, you pervs).

And as I've posted, it hasn't been all that successful. Wal-Mart documentaries and romance (didn't even watch that one). No such luck.

Last week, while I was out, Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang arrived. We watched it after I got home Friday night. It was pretty good (4 stars) and Heather stayed awake for the whole thing. She must have liked it!

I've got my groove back!

Retro-blogging and yelping offline

I've been doing a lot of traveling lately and haven't had much time to blog or post reviews on Yelp.

Yesterday, we were at a swim meet I wrote a mega-catchup retro-blog and retro reviews for Yelp. Actually, there were several not just one big 'un.

I also wrote them offline, with a pen, in my moleskine journal, knowing my battery wasn't going to last long enough to write them all and do the work I needed to do, too.

This post (in my journal) puts me down to the last 3 pages in the journal. Not to worry, I've already purchased another, so I can keep up. And I've also requested another laptop battery, so that I can finish transcribing tomorrow on the plane.

I don't know about this...

Star Wars Horoscope for Aquarius

You can be cruel and torment people who disagree with you.
Deep down, there is a peace-loving, friendly side to you.
You have a knack for inflicting pain on people and use your intellect during battle.

Star wars character you are most like: Darth Vader

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Working across time zones

I don't often blog about work, but here goes.

I work for a domestic company (you don't have to be a Sherlock Holmes to figure out which one) that has locations across the US. Our headquarter is located in the Pacific Time Zone, but I work with people in all of the US time zones.

In an effort to make myself available, I have told certain people in the Eastern Time Zone that they can call me at early as 5:00 am Pacific time, because that is when I wake up. I'll routinely schedule 7:00 calls (I can't convince the Pacific Time Zone people to come in too early), if I am primarily working with the Eastern people.

Last week, I was in an Eastern Time Zone office doing some training and we were having server difficulty. Our entire IT staff, helpdesk and data center are all located in our Pacific Time Zone Headquarters.

We were doing user training on a new application and you guessed it the server was down when we walked in that morning. I'm pretty darn competent when it comes to technology, but you can't believe the feelings of helplessness I had. None of the people I knew were around to help, it was too early.

I ended up calling our data center and they referred me to an on-call guy - who didn't know what server I was talking about.

I have to say it was pretty strange being on the east coast and all the support resources were on the west coast. It gave me a new found understanding of watching the time when I schedule meetings and how I make myself available to the people on the other coast.

It is funny how the majority of people live on the coasts, which then puts lots of company headquarters in those same areas; which naturally puts us at odds with the time zones.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Do you have time for Greenpeace?

That was the question asked of the lady in front of us as we walked across from the Public Market today.

Much to my surprise, it wasn't asked of me!

What, you don't want me, the 33 year old white guy with 3 kids in Greenpeace? Don't you think I have feelings about Mother Earth?

Maybe he saw us park our SUV 2 blocks away. Maybe we were just too white bread. Maybe it was my spiffy new shirt from the Gap that made me not Greenpeace material.

I do care about the environment and feel that we do need to work on our conservation efforts. I just don't think Greenpeace does it in a responsible way.

I was really bummed because I wanted to say, "No, I don't have time for Greenpeace."

Guilty Pleasures

Ahh, the decadence.

Sunday mornings on The End are Resurrection Sundays. I've blogged about these before, but today's featured artist is Joan Jett. As I was driving #1 to practice she came on the radio.

I just had to turn it up. I think that Joan Jett is one of my guilty pleasures. I'll turn up Ministry and Metallica, but I feel no guilt there.

Joan Jett's Bad Reputation was the first tape I bought when I got my first boom box. I guess maybe it has something about the ride in the wayback machine.

What are your guilty pleasures?