Friday Night Still Glad you are not here blog post

A week ago I said glad you were not here on that Friday night. Here it is another Friday. I walked today the good walk and my legs told me so. Here at home for a change. Feel like I put in a good week at work. Earned my money and leave most days feeling really good. I perhaps bring something they need. It sure beats the hell out of the last place. Sometimes you just know a thing sucks without even considering all the evidence.

Now its another Friday and my times move this way and that. Will I stay at the current place? Will they offer something else after this that I can go do? I don’t know. I do like the place and the people and what I do. I’d like a job as an infrastructure PM for them for another year. That would be just about perfect for me. Maybe another 1.5 years. Then I could walk away from the technology work forever and implement “Mike Plan B”. That’s the plan where I go write the next great Novel by some Asian beach or sitting in the sun in Malaysia considering my Visa requirements. Or maybe staying the course in the good ole US of A and riding the rails back and forth, here and there, up and down this great country and the one to the north. Maybe I will never see India again but I find it hard to believe. India has this thing for me that wants me back.

But now its Friday and its beer and pizza and I must order and buy supplies. Then I must drink and get shit-faced and watch movies and consider the rest of things. That absolute Etcha Sketch with the lines I can never hide. The ones that still piss me off at times.

Welcome to your Friday if you are here. Enjoyment is good. Misery is optional.

Blog Memories and Thoughts

Every so often I type in some search word to see what accumulated BS and/or wisdom this blog has perpetuated. Some of the posts seem almost intelligent and articulate and philosophical and others seem like the rambling of a somewhat mad guy. From about 2009 to 2014 I lived in a house where the fractured family held court. My kids came and went and my ex-wife mostly went.  The blog chronicles those years pretty well if not angrily in some posts. I have had conflicting feelings about some of the posts but its dawned on me that I went through the stages that people say and I wrote about a lot of it on this here blog.

From being an archeologist to doing project management. Finding okay jobs and then accepting jobs I now wonder whatever prompted me to take. They were all grist for some mill where I tested and tasted the waters of existence. The blog chronicles some years with sets of things called categories divided into months and years called archives. Its all there.

The life of Mike is all there. Divided up and roughly defined by topics and posts and subjects and searchable data. WordPress maintains this all so well for me. I can “find” and I can search and I can write into a mysql database out there in a VPS I own. Its all a thread of an existence which still moves onward.

I watch friends, and I have a few, do their things. Some people could call me a friend but I doubt that they satisfy my somewhat demanding and demented criteria of friendship. For those people, they are something else. They cannot cross the Rubicon of my relationship requirements so I have let them go, they have let me go, or both have happened.

All of the places I’ve worked, the two kids I’ve had, the ex-wife that seems to still want to order me about. Its all in the blog. Its like a vicarious measuring stick of my life since about 2005. Some things went missing like an entire month in 2009 when I was in India working. Some pictures were not kept as I moved things around here and there. Such is life though folks. We all lose those precious photographs and then going through a box we happen across them.

I’ll take my daughter force to see a person she happens to admire and love and I’m glad she does. RWR is getting older and we shall travel to the Antelope Valley to see him. The same valley that took me to isolated canyons and fields of wild flowers, and prehistoric archeological sites perched in wondrous ecologies. The memories still abound and I write these things down not for future posterity but so in another year when I am doing whatever I shall be doing then, I can run yet another search and I will find this. This post is nothing special but a mile marker in a life beset by calamities and happenstance.

Rarely are all the orbits in perfect pitch good friend “D”. Never assume they are or as someone said,

when you assume you make an ass out of u and me

And this blog will continue I am gathering and not be erased any time soon. It catches the crumbs of an existence that sometimes I was bewildered by, sometimes I hated, and sometimes had stages to go through to get to the other side.

I’ll select enough categories to find this retrospective again. Mikes Thoughts is just that. If you happen to read here perhaps you only come back once and figure out that the whole blogging thing may be moving a bit slower. There are those of us who maintain them and update them and have love/hate relationships with them. We stop and we are 5 pound chickens trying to lay 10 pound eggs. A terribly constipated feeling results and life seems less.

Don’t refer here looking for answers to your own stages for I have none. Instead I’ll go out and walk soon at Irvington Park and wonder and wander down streets and see tree lined blocked with kids playing and dogs barking. I won’t know and I won’t care.

That’s enough.

The Friday night glad you are not here blog post

This is Friday night and I cannot think of anyone really I would wish were here with me. I’m sorry all you guys that read this and think,

wow, if I could be with Mike tonight we could have enlightening conversation, sparkling discussion, and energetic discourse

Nope. Sorry. I don’t care to have you over for any of that. I don’t care to meet and have coffee or tea, discuss the relative merits of open source and Linux, meet business contacts or establish new relationships for any reason whatsoever.

I’m done with work this week and since I cannot work OT I am truly done. This is the end of the second week and its still good. Amazing, eh? The last place was on the negative pole of existence and this place is on the positive. Work is not work. The new boss is not the same as the old boss. Thank God. The last place with its strident emails which made me feel like a bad grade schooler, its interminable 90’s era social mores, and a company which really had no clue what it wanted to be or how to get there. All them things all stuck in my craw. Left me feeling back months ago completely underwhelmed.

Perhaps now its a emergency with international teams, a mission which seems daunting, and a great company focus where people actually look at others as team members and not the blame factor. So now I feel I contribute. I’ve learned a lot in two weeks there.

But now its a Friday. Beer in the fridge. Chips and salsa waiting patiently for their turn. A quiet night where the cell phone rings and I practice effective call screening. I don’t care to talk and I don’t want to discuss business objectives.

Here’s one more piece of news. I have my LLC and TheThing.tech is real even if its website is not yet. Tomorrow, I’ll change its DNS and set up a alias website on my Digital Ocean VPS. I’ll set email up with strong rules using postfix. Now I am a company of one and it will stay that way. I tried having kindred souls and they weren’t. I tried including someone who seemed entrepreneurial and he wasn’t. Now its just me and I can work at things or not. I have a business plan and I know what I’ll do and the people I’ll work with. I’ll launch the website and build some content this weekend after DNS decides to do its thing.

Its Friday and its beer time almost. I’ll watch an old movie or three and then drink a beer or six. That’s a Friday night for ya.

A Saturday Morning

Here it is Saturday morning. Yesterday, I got to return to the GooglePlex area and walk the Stevens Creek Trail and part of the San Francisco Bay Trail in a wonderful 2 hour excursion. The area around the technology complex includes Microsoft, Linkedin, and a whole host of other companies. The big thing is Google there though. Its Google here and there and everywhere. Their loaner bikes go zipping all around. There’s a wonderful sports facility for the Google folks.  Its one of those campuses that are more than a campus. Its like a city or something.

I’ve decided to explore the restaurants and shopping around where I live and there are all kinds of places I need to eat, check out, and familiarize. That’s really good since I get tired of driving longer distance back over to south Fremont.

I also got to talk with RWR yesterday for the first time in more years. I really must do better with him I feel. We’re all getting older and who knows how long a person has. RWR is special and if you search on his initials on this thing, you can find numerous posts about him.

Now its Saturday morning with instant coffee and instant coffee thoughts. News blurs on and I’m thankful for the work I have. Its a great job on a project which always challenges me with its complexity. So much more than the last thing! I no longer worry about changing someone’s travel plans on some travel site or building ethernet labels or having someone track me and if I’m late give me a session on timeliness.  They tell me at work now I will stay past my project and work on other projects and they want me, like me, appreciate my abilities. Its a nice change from a place that blamed me for just about anything that happened even when I demonstrated that really there was no blame that could be attached. Its easier to find a scapegoat and blame the new project manager instead of a so-so technical team that was fully loaded on the company.

I drank my required beer last night and watched old movies. It was good again. Life was good even if I spend it in the Bay area which I really don’t like that much.

 

Changes Ahead, Stability Behind, Risk Ahoy!

Lets face it dear reader or readers. I’m not sure if there is more than one of you :-). Life is not meant for the faint of heart. Many authors and philosophers have pointed out that risk and endeavor and desire and change all require commensurate attention. If you are looking for stability and no change, you should live on a deserted island where all your creature comforts are provided. That’s not the way real life is folks. Real life if there such a thing is based on risk and change. It challenges us, makes the evening walks more charged, makes you realize that there is a gap between the here and now and the next. Its not abnormal folks. Its a normal thing. So in the spirit lets tear apart how change works for a single person.

Changes Ahead

Change is necessary. Evolution happens. We rarely see the three poles of existence in harmony. As human beings engaged in the business of living, change may be scary and sometimes not desired but we need it. How else can we gauge where we should be from where we are? No matter the age, we need to know there is something out there to be and its not what is. Whether its a job, a relationship (gasp), a social contract, a thing to learn. All of these things chart out what is an what needs to happen to get to the point. And lets face it, many of the steps are hidden and you cannot see all the places to rest your foot easily.

Stability back there

Stability is dreaded to me. I don’t exist well where I am not challenged somewhere. I want a technology startup. I feel the need to create a thing that another may find value in. Most of all, its this dream of how a thing could work and what I need to leverage and change the stability.

If you think all this change stuff ends at some moment in your later years. Wrong. The minute you succumb to stability, you stop growing I believe.

Now its time to move to the risky side.

Don’t avoid risk endorse it

Risk is not some dreaded condition we mitigate out of existence. Its a necessary part of our growth. Some risk we learn to control but other risk lay outside the current methods and we must learn how to adapt to the change it causes and let go of the stability it threatens. In other words, this is part of the three things of life we have to confront. We must learn to risk and risk again to make life pirate rich. To sail the seas and challenge, we cannot sit in the safe harbor. Life is about risk dudes. Once we let it go, we become less. We are the detritus from which there is no escape.

Risk is life.

Why of the why’s

So why do I bring this up over instant coffee on a Sunday morning with instant coffee thoughts? Because I am making changes, dropping stability for awhile, and risking and its a heady broth of life. I’ll end a work thing which I thought I wanted because its not exciting. Its actually boring and I felt there were no places we met. Simply put I want more for myself. The current thing did not challenge but in areas that were unimportant to my growth. I can do so much more than what they asked.

Now its engaging the three areas. Lets see what happens next!

Friday Night, Work, Play

I’m writing this post on my Pixel C tablet. Not convertible laptop or 2 in 1.  The Pixel C is a tablet and that’s about it. The company bought me a new laptop for work which is a sleek and shiny Lenovo convertible Yoga 3 Pro which folds back into a tent, tablet, and then into a classic laptop. It tuns Windows 10 and I can attach to a Server 2008 r2 image for work. That’s where the lion’s share of the stuff gets done for me. I also put my OneNote notes on OneDrive so I can reach them from here or there. Microsoft is kind enough to provide decent Android Office apps but on the tablet, I only use OneNote.

The Pixel C is not an ideal thing. Its a legos thing and it has not become what it could be or will be in a month or 6.  The Lenovo Yoga laptop does the Microsoft thing good. I can use all the business applications on it and its fast and sleek and I really like the keyboard. But it seems big to me. The Pixel C seems to be in that in-between state which makes lap use easier.

With how we can share documents and stuff, it does not matter if we share devices any longer. That little cloud thing hovers over all the things and makes working better. I use Google Drive and OneDrive and never the two shall sync.

But now work is over and I’m still laughing at the shellacking Rubio gave Trump at the debate.  I don’t particularly like republicans; but don’t fool yourself. Trump is no republican. He’s not really human and what I’ve seen of him is disgusting. How he can raise and win primaries is beyond me. There must be Trump cool-aid that everyone drinks as they head on in to the big tent where he doles out that stupidity. I also liked the ex President of Mexico dropping the f bomb on Trump. I think he needs more of that. Its the only real thing he understands. Yet this is the guy people vote for? Its amaszing and perhaps sets how people see what he says, how he acts, and idealizes it all.

Then there’s play tonight. Play is the roku and beer for the first time in about 2 weeks. I’ve had this stupid head cold which really did not make beer sound good until tonight when I did the 1 hour and 40 minute walk, ate the pizza, and started the laundry. Now its time!

So I will say goodnight to you all or good day or whatever you would like. Be good to yourselves. You deserve it.

 

 

Start of a Long Holiday Weekend — Its Friday!

Here it is already the end of my second week at work. I’m really digging the place I’m working as they hand me more projects to go do. For almost 6 months, no real projects for Mike the Project Manager to manage. Now I seem to have the perfect storm. My current place has a rather open yet secure method to grant mobile email access. No mind numbing iPhone and Apple world. Now my Nexus 6p just works so good with the exchange server using the Nine app.  It just works like a treat. Populates the default calendar with my exchange events. Has a very cool threaded view of email. If you are looking for a nice and regularly updated app, check it out. And buy the 10.00 pro version. Its worth it. Some apps are just glue to how you work or play. Pay the developers for their efforts.

Now its Friday after work and a walk. I’m watching old movies on my Roku and watching the time slowly inch toward the weekly beer binge event. I’ve got three days and finally I get paid for a holiday. No more taking a day off and losing that pay. No more contract worries.

So go have yourself a great weekend. You deserve it. If you are here or there. Singapore or India or Alaska or wherever. Go make it a good day, night or whatever.

Why is Why

I went out for a short break today at work. Got myself a bag of Frito’s and a diet AW Root Beer and sat by a Safeway store in the Irvington district in Fremont. Sometimes the phone would buzz a bit that I received a text or email or some notification. I just sat there and watched this one big cloud move across the sky. It was this dark gray color and I thought we surely would get dumped on but nothing really happened. It just moved across the sky and then was eastern hills.

texas-mapI thought of the places I had sat before and watched storms. One of the most notable and unique was in eastern New Mexico; on the Llano Estacado. This is like a table of land extending around New Mexico and Texas. Storms would gather far off on the horizon and it was so flat you would see it almost like a Indiana Jones movie. For some reason, Steven Spielberg would play with environmental forces I think. Dust from clothing, a far off storm with lightning flashing, wind blowing the dust from digging. It all was almost surreal when he filmed the Jones movies.

There on the Estacado I would sit on the porch and watch the far away storm gather. Lightning would flash and you could see the shadows of the rain falling. Slow or fast the storm would move. Closer, closer it would come and the clouds would come gusting in and lightning would flare and suddenly the porch got wet and I would move inside.

An amazing display; almost like Spielberg. I would wonder at how this power could translate itself so well across this flat tableland. There in Portales or out in Amarillo. You can see on the map the Texas places. In Eastern New Mexico it was Portales and Clovis that I knew best.

Anyways, I digress. I sat in the car and thought about how often I sit in the car and think. I would sit at TiVo and dwell. Now sitting in the car and dwelling. Perhaps on Chennai or maybe doing archeology or perhaps life before 2009 and after. So many changes. Kind of like a tornado that takes it times crossing my personal Llano. Now here I sit in a room about 12×16 with thoughts much wider and deeper. I go walk and smell the homes with the homemade cooking going and the voices of family calling to each other.

Time to eat. Come on in. Food is ready.

or

Trash needs to be taken out. Do you hear me?

or perhaps

You are not listening. You never listen.

But then I walk by and I’m glad. They can have their food and home and arguments. Someone told me people should not age by themselves. We need to have another around. Sure. Someone to ask

do you hear me? are you listening? you never listen.

I really don’t want any part of that. I’ll just stick it out only having to take care of myself. Thanks anyways.

My graphite wonder

So I decided to replace my Nexus 6 by adding a p on the end and got the 6p Nexus. A really slick device! I got the graphite phone with 128gb of memory because I should and I could and I did.

6p

The Phone is a joy to hold in the hand. Others have said the Nexus 6 is too big but I found it to be the perfect phone and companion for then. But now the 6p is the perfect phone for the Mike force now. It has this wonderful screen and the shape is unique. I’m still getting used to its features like the fingerprint support. The print support works really well at unlocking but I have not played with it with apps yet except for play store purchases. Here’s my subjective list of stuff:

  1. The phone is a perfect size for me but it is a tad slippery so if you get one get a case.
  2. The camera is legendary if you read the reviews and I have not really tried it. When I go on vacations, I have a nicer camera but I really don’t like packing two things for a single thing so I upload all the photos to Google Phots and then create albums. Works for me!
  3. Android Marshmallow 6.0.1 is the nicest and sweetest one yet I have found. The Doze feature really saves on battery. The phone looks more fit and finished and Android runs very nicely on the phone.
  4. Media management mostly for me is Spotify and wired earbuds. I’ve tried all the new-fangled bluetooth earbuds and perhaps my ears are defective but they just don’t work all that well for simply listening to music on 1.5 hour walks.
  5. Battery. The battery seems very well done and the Doze thing really makes the phone last longer.
  6. Daily use, I use the phone a lot. I read news on it, send photo’s, use Flipboard, make a lot of calls. Its not just a phone for me. Its a communication and consumption device of all different kinds. With 128gb of memory, I figure I will be able to do this for quite some time.

There you have it. Should you buy one? If you are a Nexus person, you should consider it. What happened to my iPhone and my ranting on the upgrades. Simple. I’m human and I got tired of the stilted UI, the non-changing desktop with its rows and rows of icons which cannot be changed. I sent it and the iPad Air 2 off to a friend who likes the gear. Now I have a chromebook and the Nexus 6p. No tablet. My take is that a tablet’s actual uses are dwindling except for the convergence devices. I’ve looked at the Pixel C for this and the Surface 3 and the new Samsung TabPro. I don’t see the real need there.

How long will the 6p be my daily driver? I don’t know. Tmobile is kind enough to let me use any unlocked phone. I want to see what comes this year later. I also want to see if Google does a new 7 inch tablet with Huawei.

 

 

TiVo has come and gone

The mighty experiment is over and so is my time at TiVo in about three weeks. They let me know my services are no longer required. I seriously doubt they ever were. I feel rather under utilized much like I have since day one there. In retrospect they never needed someone like me. They could have gotten by with some junior project manager.

So what’s next? I don’t know. I started looking three weeks ago.

The Apple experiment is over too. I fly my beloved Nexus 6 back and updated it. Sending the iPhone and iPad to my friend free tomorrow!

Know what? I’m glad to be gone from there. Maybe back to IBM. I do better there with the large data center projects and teams that need me.