Category Archives: Current Events

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.

When the Day is Done

The days seem to go by pretty quickly and my contract end date looms. They've made noises about extending me but you never know until the recruiter sings. It's dawned on me that I don't care if I stay or not. I think I can get something else pretty quickly. I walked this evening for almost 1.5 hours and thoughts wing their way through my head. If this, then that. But it's dawned on me too I cannot operate like my friend free. He wants everything decided down to the last degree. Life is all defined and there is no real mystery to it. I prefer to go day by day. Tomorrow will come for sure. And the next day. And the next. I cannot part the veil so I don't know what will happen. I will live day by day. Life is meant for enjoyment I think. He will not leave his new house except to drive to town. There is no wanderlust in his soul. No desire to stress himself in a new country.

So my day is done and the old movies play after pizza and salad that was yummy. My iDevices got upgraded tonight to 9.2.1. I'm spoiled with the iPhone and iPad. Upgrades just happen. I found an iOS app I like for walking. It writes my distance to my google calendar each day with a url I can click on to see things about the walk. It records the walk using gps on google maps. Today I did almost 1.5 hours and about 4.3 miles.

I found a thing I enjoy. I like to read on a kindle until I fall asleep at night. Then later on at 1am or whatever I wake up and turn off the light. Reading on a kindle paper white is better than on a tablet or phone. More relaxing. More engaging. Better quality time.

Well, tomorrow perhaps I find out if I stay st TiVo or not. Stay tuned for more adventures!

In Fours

In Japan, things that happen in 4’s are bad. I’ve often tried to count when things start happening and whether they get there. Most recently, our beloved landlord decided he was going to sell the house we all live in. That means we all must leave. There are 4 of us impacted. One will go to Oregon. I will go to Milpitas to be closer to work. The other two guys will go on to what awaits them.

The last 1 year and some months have been marked by a deterioration in how our landlord manages the place. We often must follow-up with him to clean up messes, pick up dirty dishes, clean up dirty clothing. Somewhere along the line he has let most of this stuff go.

Now its the house he is selling and as I look around, I cannot imagine someone actually buying it. Yet he has gotten a so-called bridge loan to help him renovate the house. Renovation is not what this house needs. This place needs basic construction. Its that bad.

So I will move along now and I found a place to look at this weekend in Milpitas. Its more money but there is carpet on the floor, central air and heat, the windows work, the bathrooms look clean. All of the things you kinda expect when you rent a place.

All of this happens as I wait to start the new gig next Monday. Life would not be anything if not in 4’s.

I’ll be sure to count things from here on out. If I get close to 4’s, I’m gonna stop.

New Car Happiness

Today I finally replaced my old 1999 Ford Expedition. I had hoped to have the car another year but reality and the the facts of car ownership conspired against me. I bought a 2008 Hyundai Elantra from the local Toyota dealer and the car is really nice. It gets about 27 miles per gallon on the streets and 32 on the highways. Much better than the 12 and 15 or so before.

I drove the car off the lot with a full tank of gas and the dealer washed and detailed it a bit for me. I also got the 3 year warranty for no real additional cost. I pay the first $100 and they do the rest.

image

This car will get me to and from work and also over to get my kids for dinners and stuff. It was a good day and I was able to find a car I felt really good about. Now perhaps a few Saturday night beers!

Enjoy your weekend all.