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!

Its the McDonalds hotcakes, sausage, and coffee post

Its a Wednesday morning at the usual breakfast haunt. I come in to the same McDonalds most mornings because this is one of the few that do not get the order wrong and it has this clientele which interests me. Truth be told, I like to watch them all doing their social contact stuff here in the mornings. Some high schoolers enter and leave, older guys and gals filter in and out for the morning fix of coffee and talk.

There are two people that interest me more for some reason. These two come in for breakfast almost every morning and sit in the same spot. The woman seems to be an upwardly mobile type with a nice smart phone. Maybe from China or Vietnam or South Korea. The guy reads books on rocks and minerals or biology. I wonder. Is the guy a high school teacher? Does he even work? I have to be curious about what that relationship is all about. Its just the anthropologist in me to wonder the why of things. Then there are two guys with laptops that join up each morning. They sit side by side and power up and read and talk to the guy and gal. But not in english. So I wonder if the guy reading the books even understands what in heck is going on. Then most leave by 8am and a new crowd filters in. This crowd is different. No laptops out and powered up. This is time for communication at the McD’s. Talk is the main exchanger and not laptops. So I watch. I drink some coffee. People drive through or come in and then out again. Here I sit with the laptop going and watching. There is a culture and social thing here at this McDonalds. A ebb and flow of life where the customers and the staff seem to know their times and who should be in when.

Its all amazing but understated and I still watch. I’m an inveterate people watcher I guess. There is something about the whole thing which is interesting at a few levels. I wonder what drive people to this particular McDonalds. Geography? Friends? Work?” School? I think McDonalds is a social tool for finding and reinforcing contacts with people. I can sit here and have discussions with people in passing and its okay. Out in the parking lot or down the street its not. Its here where its okay to engage. People in other places simply ignore or go into another state of mind or being. McDonalds and the coffee and the lukewarm hotcakes and the all day breakfast is a social bonding tool!

Its all amazing and yet its so common. I think being the anthropologist in the McDonalds lets me postulate all sorts of things. So and so is an upwardly mobile professional who is rushed for time. Nice shoes, nice pants. Expensive pen and paper supply he brings in. Then there is this other guy with the paper. He reads it carefully end to end and goes through however many cups of coffee it takes to get through it. Then there are workers. Lots of workers. Construction and road crews and PGE and FEDex and UPS. They all come on in for a brief sit and stay. Their conversation is jovial and full of a variety of innuendo. Its all good though.

Whether its the guy and his wife or the construction workers or the retired guys and gals here to formulate social contracts and ensure communication is forever with strangers that are almost friends; its all goes down at my McDonalds.

If you want the food, perhaps come here. If you want the anthropology and ethnography, this is the place for you. Its a microcosm of all the worlds we find ourselves but the rules are different with the coffee served.

Instant Coffee Thoughts on Sunday

I gave up all the fancy stuff to make a cup of joe. Now I drink merely instant coffee. I figured out all the work with coffee, water, cleaning, grinding was too much. I also got tired of the clean-up phase of things. Now I just drink Nescafe Instant which gives me the “boost” on the weekends.

I also have pretty much moved to a Microsoft Surface Three Pro tablet for my daily endeavors. I’ve tried the Pixel C, a iPad Air 2, a Nexus 9. All of these have various issues. The Surface is just a solid performer with a decent keyboard and you get the whole Windows thing. No major disappointments on the tablet app or how a thing functions. Some Windows free software like NotePad++ I appreciate as well. I bought mine which is the lower citizen i3 device on ebay. There are more expensive ones with bigger and better processors and memory. But why? I don’t need those things. It came down to what do I want a single device for? I want something that does about 90% of what a laptop does but is more portable. I want something to run a lot of applications on the web and I appreciate how the Surface does these things. There are drawbacks. I don’t particularly like Windows but I use the tools like Office, OneNote, etc. I still have an older Debian Linux laptop which rarely gets powered up. I really have tried to shrink my use down to a single mobile tablet-like device.

Coffee thoughts move along with some new thoughts on keeping a journal. I’ve tried just about every combination of note taker, outliner, onliner. At this point, I have also figured out how often I wish to write a journal post versus this thing. The journal posts are much more a personal reflection and still contain my most personal thoughts and I tend to rail against things more in that document than I do here. I’ve also realized that the blog is just a set of reflections I choose to share with no one in particular. I write the things here to feel the release I guess. The blog serves no real purpose and that’s probably okay.

What I use now for this stuff is Google Docs. I can reach the things from my phone, from the Surface, from just about any damn place I want to. The tools included Google Docs make it far and away the best diary application ever. You don’t need some paid app. You have the thing already if you have Google Docs.

Now we move along to another new thing on this Sunday. Indian Pizza! My friend Dinesh and his lovely wife took the daughter force and I out for pizza last night to Bombay Pizza House.  My daughter force really enjoys the people I have managed to meet and keep as friends from Chennai. There is something more durable and honest with those people than the folks which have entered and left my orbit here. They are loyal friends and still email to ask how I am and ask me to visit them when I get back to India. And get back I will. India holds a few keys to a few places which have been locked since 2011. Friends here have been a rather plus and minus and its too much work in some regards to maintain the relationships. I’ve felt that friends each meet at some point which both feel comfortable with and there is  a trade that both parties agree and support. If you have someone that will not meet you at some point, its not friendship. Its something else. If you enter into the agreement openly, go for it. Lets just face it though. Friendship takes a lot of work on both sides and the bartering part means both sides understand what is necessary. I also don’t take the whole friendship thing lightly so people have left the orbit. I don’t really care any longer because in some ways the whole friendship is a hyped and over-valued thing which neither party understands but both claim.

The cup of coffee is cooling and so is the whole work thing at the current place. Not that it was ever steaming or hot. I wrote awhile ago in my diary I did not understand the place and I still don’t. It seems to be this place where people just spend decades and move around to different roles and walk around and I don’t get it. I will probably depart the place in the next two to four weeks. I just don’t feel its a place to land and stay. Its like a migrating bird that touches down at some intermediate place, takes some rest and stocks up, and move along. Not a place for two cups of coffee or to build a nest.

Of course, as I always say, take everything I say with the proverbial grain of salt. As Thoreau was wont to say most of us do lead lives of quiet desperation. I’ve tried to mitigate that but work seems to underscore the desperation. Work is just not a thing we do here to make our lives better. We do it for survival for ourselves, family, etc. Its why the thing started for us. Our little team wants more than just survival and perhaps I can stop with the regular work soon and just pour some energy into the thing.

Now the coffee has cooled a bit and so has the blog. Go out and make it a decent Sunday. You deserve it or not.

Giving some Thoughts and Time to This and That and What’s Next

Over the past two months, I left yet another consulting gig at TiVo and started a new thing. I am pretty sure I know which one I would choose if I had to make a choice between one and the other. Its unfortunate that the surface view you have of a thing rarely exceeds or even equals what you find the reality is at a place. On the outside you would expect the current place to be s scrappy start-up type of thing with some chaos, professional services striving to be more since it is a revenue generator. Finding yet more avenues to sell services. The truth is people want more and different with partners. The “same ole same ole” is the same and old. Needs and wants and desires evolve and a good professional services team learns how to evolve as well. I learned 15 years ago that a successful general manager needs to balance sales and presales and ongoing gigs and be a ambassador of both. You cannot just trust the sales droids to turn the deals. They don’t have the relationship bank or know the people on the ground and half-way up that can turn things to new directions.

Unfortunately at the current place, we are not a scrappy chaotic startup. We seem to be this set in stone, do the comfort zone things, never reach out type of place. This creates an unreal atmosphere to being there where the customers I think would love to hear of a new thing but we ourselves cannot bring it. There is a fear at doing a new thing I can sense below each business deal. Its almost like people say,

lets not stress the deal or the relationship. lets stay in the comfort zone and ignore how we could create a truly innovative product or service line

Its frightening at a few levels. I’m used to a more dynamic model where we engage customers and would be customers with new things and discussions. Instead there is the forever question about it not being in our spot. We don’t have a spot. We have a stain. The stain is the place we don’t vary from at all.

Want to do Linux? Its not about hiring some guy full-time. Its about creating a value proposition and it does not matter where the guy sits. Want to do Microsoft more? You have to have a plan to extend the consultant base by either having FTE talent or consultants. I have a great idea how to do this but of course that all by itself stretches the boundaries and the little company that almost can runs out of gas with change.

I have been working for some months on the side on a thing. This thing will redefine how managed service providers can use Linux and how it will be self maintaining, replicating, and managed. The value proposition is not to keep the same ole but to challenge how the traditional Linux integrators do their work and build a thing which answers questions around Linux that are still asked to this day. Questions like:

  1. how do I get it supported
  2. how do I extend it
  3. who do I call
  4. what about security

I know the answers there now. I know a thing we can build that will tackle the hard questions and more easy ones that people ask at shows and events where open source is prominently displayed. The more easy ones and perhaps still perplexing ones are:

  1. what is the fundamental linux paradigm I am buying into and what do I get with Linux that I don’t get with proprietary tools.
  2. how can I make use of new things that Linux can do without entering into a brand new consulting agreement?
  3. at the end of the day I love open source but I don’t understand it. I know I need to use it because it does X and Y and I want to get to Z. Help me understand the pathways.

We are a true startup. Not a lot of cash but some clout. We have a talent base which is pretty remarkable. The type of Linux person we have far excels the Robert Half and TekSystems Linux dudes. These guys are all in one guys. They can tackle really difficult systems and devops things as well as program things using a variety of languages. It creates a single stop mentality.

The rest of what we do, the good parts are all shrouded in the cloak of startup secrecy. If I could earn some money doing non technology things, I would quit working and dedicate my time to this only. Maybe that day will come.

Meanwhile, the job search goes on and resumes fly through the ether. I’m not satisfied and perhaps will never be with a traditional job. I still want to gather the Times of India and walk to the Hotel New Woodlands Krishna restaurant on a morning and have the filter coffee and a Masala Dosa. Sit quietly and read up in that half light of an Indian morning in Chennai where the auto’s blare and buses run between the striped lines and the people nod. The waiters are surly but friendly there and know what I want before ordering.

Some day those things will come about. The new thing is a path as well. But the obstacles are the ones I know. The current place has the obstacles that were put in place years ago by a fundamentally flawed business philosophy of never risk, never take chances, don’t grow the service business.

It lives!

Our new thing lives! It has a domain and it will soon have a website. And it is a thing :-). We’ve come a long way now and I believe we have built something that is unique and will really mark how Linux can be used to take care of a number of its historic shortcomings. I’ve heard the questions from corporate guys for decades. We are building something which will destroy the notion that it has support and management issues and we’ll do it using the dog food approach.

I’m really excited at where we are now. We need to build a core business practice next but having a web home is a big deal for us. Having a business plan is a big deal for us. Having a core team is big.

Now I think about how much I could on this if I only did not work full-time. How I could build a thing I have wanted to do for so long. I’ve wanted to own a thing and not be a mind-numbing lackey to some person who makes decisions based on a reality I don’t share.

No matter what. If it takes 6 months or a year, we will build a new business, a new startup, and it will have value.

The Blame Game or how I ended up knowing I was at fault but deciding to move on anyways

Blame is a heady potion. It leaves, in its wake, those that are blamers and those that are the so-called “blamees”. The blamers look to find a thing or things to hoist upon the unfortunate ends to the game. The blamers want to not accept blame themselves so I hear things like,

that decision was made by my predecessor. that person decided to do x or y so its not my fault. furthermore I will not accept the blame and will dole it out instead.

The same person did another stupid thing which its easy to foist the blame on another or just act all innocent and mutter,

I did not really know that not having the person available was an issue for the project so I did not communicate my decision.

Of course, this person manages a larger group than just me and I only get the downward spiral of the choices made when I was not in the room. Then I get the incredulous look and amazed stare and disbelief that any decision made to remove a key person and give them comp time may adversely impact things.

Then the dotted line boss tells me is unhappy basically because now he has to work. He does not like not knowing something that I did not know either. Tough beans dude. If I knew I would have told you. Don’t tell me how unhappy or mad you are because I did not tell you something I did not know. See how stupid that sounds right there? But its the blame game and the senior manager can always place that blame elsewhere or tell me to take it up with the person who decided to do one of the things but was not the person who made the other decision.

What a bunch of unmitigated BS. And you wonder why I want to leave the place. Its more like the fingers pointing in all different directions besides at the person doing the blaming. Of course the person there 8 years could never just say,

bad on me. I made a mistake. I should not have done this or that…

If I heard that from the current place, I would be all agog with wonder and disbelief. Truthfully, the blame game works the best when you have two people that have been there for a long time and another which has not. Then you can get away with saying how unhappy you are with not knowing something I did not know either.

Is this the way it is at all brain dead companies or have I found a new trait?

The home internet she ain’t working

This is another one of those things which really pisses me off. The internet here has not worked for almost three days now and the owner casts around and does not take responsibility and call comcast. Geez guys. Its really hard to come home each day and not be able to relax watching netflix or something. Can’t we please have the internet back or at least call stupid comcast and ask what in heaven’s name is going on?

Reminds me of the last place I lived where that owner would have the temerity to ask me to pay his bills when he forgot to pay comcast. When I was there, I bought my own comcast internet service.

Enter New Things

I’ve had a few dreams and fantasies about starting a thing. A startup so to speak that would deliver certain things to certain people. It would still be in the technology spheres but it would be a thing we own. We would build from scratch and have a thing which we own, that we can extend with good software and service choices and it would spell out maybe the end of my technology lifetime. A thing to wrap up all the things for the next year or so.

I’m not so interested in making all kinds of money but I am interested in building a thing of value. Maybe leaving a mark on how things can be done and also integrate a set of services that would allow more choice by small to medium sized companies, non-profits, and others.

It takes some money though to make a dream like this come true. It takes a person that’s willing to give a bit now to get a bit later. We have such a person that may be willing to invest. We don’t need a funding round or a VC or an angel investor so to speak. What we need is some money to build a platform and ecosystem starter.

New Technologies Need Values

In the building mode of a new thing which we have been doing for some months, we’ve asked some serious questions about our core values and what we bring to the mix as far as our goals and culture. Since we are not “funded” our ideas are merely ours and our work products are ours. We used to be three but one of us dropped out because that person could not or would not share a set of values we have about moving forward. Its really too bad because that person could have helped us along at a technical level. Instead we leave that person behind and push things along.

A website will launch, ideas will be born. A new thing based on a set of values we have will go. I’m pretty excited because this is the furthest along we’ve gotten and we may have a customer in tow.

Large Steps or Small Leaps

Finally, there is the pace of things when you start a thing of passion. Relationships are based on mutual belief and trust and I know from history that when both people don’t expend the same effort or have the same feelings or do things to subvert and suborn the approach that bad will happen. So we take small steps and we work at a speed that is not revolutionary but more evolutionary.

Watch this space. I don’t know that I will chronicle more of what we do until we have a thing to chronicle as far as a thing being born. As a technology startup we have two parts of things. We have the technology which we feel is compelling and we have the whole startup idea which is to breathe life into a thing by the grunt of our efforts, the slow steady steps of the boots, and the power of taking a thing to a next level.

 

The how did I get here and how to do I go back blog post

I’m just trying to be more descriptive in my blog posts so perhaps you don’t have to read everything just the title and decide its not worth it and you can leave and go read some newsworthy site or great blog like Jonas’.

Oh. You are still here. Well okay. Here is the thing. I don’t like where I’m working and I’ve only been there two months give or take. I know. I’m demanding and demented and I’m hard to satisfy. I sign up for things and then have job regret almost immediately. I complain about jobs often. Here is what I have learned though about being a Project Manager for the last 25 years. You are free to disagree. I don’t give a rat’s ass.

Project Manager look back or how I lasted 20 some years

Project Management is not some wonderful career choice. Its not a highly skilled or respected position contrary to all the LinkedIn groups you may read and the doodah you see PM’s post there. It is, in fact, drudgery and anyone that tells you different is smoking some good stuff. Here’s a list of what it is or ain’t:

Its all about calendaring. If you are good at setting up meetings, you may be a good project manager. Its about when a meeting invite has to change 10 times and there are three different companies and you cannot see two of the calendars and you make a choice and half the people can go, a bit less act surprised at the invite, and the rest are not sure but would like it changed to some other time. This is where project managers come in and we apply our massive intellect to creating new calendar invites that only piss off 25% of the attendees.

Its not about leading a thing. Ever. No one really wants a project manager to manage a project. No folks. We do not do that. Instead we write elaborate schedules using a seriously demented tool called Microsoft Project which causes many of us to scratch our heads, cuss, and export it to Excel in the end. We do not use the file to lead a damned thing. But we do keep good notes for those that do lead the project which are not the project managers by the way. Its a core group of SMEs and architects and business guys. We are there only to ensure we can write the schedule.

We are there to buy the meals and have them catered. I don’t know how many times I have been asked to buy meals. Where in the hell is it written that a project manager is supposed to buy meals? I think there must be some hidden book which states all these things and leaves nothing to doubt. We are there as catering support.

Its about notetaking. We are there to gather the so-called MoMs. Really? Why is it that we collect the notes? Because that’s yet another unwritten or written law of doing projects. The project manager collects and sends the notes.

Its about all the administrivia that no one else wants to do that is foisted on the project manager. Arrange travel? Sure. We will log onto some travel site and book airfare, rental cars, and hotels. Why? Why do companies not trust their own employees that they trust to do the technical work to book tickets? To have a corporate card? To be responsible adults? I don’t know but I do think its really not a job for a project manager to do.

Finally, we are not a member of the business or technology team. We are something of a “tweener”. We are invited to a sales meeting because sales people are almost human and want to see what another almost human looks like. We go to technology meetings but we’re not technically proficient or so people think so we are shushed to quiet. We’re not this or that. We are a strange breed of person that is there to do all the stuff that a business leader or technology person thinks is below them.

Does it sound like I don’t like doing project management stuff? You are right. Its a boring, tiring and completely demoralizing job most of the times. Combine with some desire to have the project manager do budget stuff and its a recipe for the project manager to leave the building. I don’t like being one for about 10 more reasons than I care for the job. In April next year I will not do this any more. Its the most suckass job I have ever done and I’ve done a lot. If you want to be under appreciated, overused, drained at a few levels; become an IT project manager.

Rant off.

The miracle of the iPhone SE

Today I heard that the small phone was coming back. People were jonesing for this phone here and there. They all wanted to pay $400 for a 4 inch phone. So let me get this straight. A phone the size of the iPhone 5 whatever and its cool, hip, and price worthy. I really don’t get the Forbes, Engadget, BGR, and Verge reporting style. I think if Apple would have announced a phone that was 5.4 inches, had last year”s chip, only 16gb of memory, no NFC, blah blah blah; these so-called critical reviewers would have ooh’ed and aah’ed the choice. Somehow we live in a topsy turvy world where whatever Apple launches is good and whatever others launch is almost good, not so good, why did they do it, etc. Forget that there are more Android doodads than IOS doodads by a wide margin at this point. How about this I will say,

The Nexus 6p is the best all round smartphone out there right now

That’s just it. There is nothing better by a longshot. The Galaxy S7 is not better. The LG G5 is not better. The unreleased iPhone 7 is not better. You know why the fuck that is?

Well I will tell you. Its because I own it. That’s why. Its the best phone in all creation because its the one I am using. I used an iPhone 6+ before and it was not the best phone because I was using it. It was a boring, plodding hunk of metal which would not do what I asked. No launchers, icons, widgets on the home screen. No nothing. Just the blah look and the same feel every day. No way to change it. No themes or things I could do to make the damned thing wake up. I got so tired of each day wearing that phone tied to my hand.

When the job at TiVo ended; so did that phone and the iPad Air 2 that I used. People may say the iPad Air 2 is better and it has more tablet applications and its this and that. Well, I hated it. I am just a one level deep personal experiment of only one. So I hated that and I love this Nexus 6p.

Work as a Means…

To an end.

What has happened to the concept of work and having something one can revel in, find joy in, perhaps a few passion moments and the ever-elusive sense of accomplishment. I won’t even compare it to previous jobs doing the same thing and definitely not to the joy of doing prehistoric archeology in the desert and plains.

To happiness.

How do happy times get here? Is there a train to catch I missed? Is there a train to happiness and joy in this stuff? I am waiting now for a year to go by and I will quit this job. Its both meaningless and fun at the same time and I dislike both ways sometimes. Its boring at the worst of times and I find myself driving around after work despising it. I think its not the job but me. I am broken somehow and all the pieces cannot be glued together to make Mike whole again.

To becoming completely insane.

There is a path for this if I just continue working for another 2 years just because. I will have the money saved, a debt paid and then I must leave this place forever. I am so tired of the Bay area and the stupidity here and the ex this and that. I will take the Amtrak like Dennis did and find something else that this old body can adhere to.

To tomorrow.

And that’s the best folks. Its the means to tomorrow. To let time and space get by for a bit longer.

And that’s what I will do. I’ll do this job until I don’t any longer. Someone asked me if I was happy at work and liked the company. I no longer know how to answer those questions. Those are company culture type questions which can cause problems if answered the wrong way. So I smiled and cheerfully nodded and he seemed appeased. Who knows though? He used to be a business development guy and now does project coordinating. Say what?

I don’t get it either.

Sunday and Pixel C thoughts at the McDonalds down the street

Its Sunday at 930am here in the wondrous Fremont and Newark California hinterlands. That sparkly outpost of the fantabulous San Francisco bay area that so many people exclaim so vapidly of being the most wondrous place to set up tents. On the news before my trek for Sunday sustenance…

Its the views and the weather and the people and the Silicon Valley and the technology (meaning Apple) and the food and the people and the weather and sites and the options and the bubble and…

And on it goes. Its all those things to the natives. Its a wondrous blend in the morning cup of all the great things that life can offer the up and coming native or transplant.

Truth be told I dislike the bay area and have never liked living here. There is nothing about the bubble, about the technology (meaning Apple) that excites me. No, the weather, the people, the sites, the food, the food, weather, people, sites. None of it inspires me. Its all a thick soup of rising costs and less than exemplary conditions. What can be done? I’ve asked a few times and often while I sit at McDonalds considering the medium coffee and the breakfast that just went down.

Don’t I enjoy walking here? Meeting up with the few friends here? Having access to the most wondrous of technologies? No. I do not like those things. Don’t I like the food and BART and CALtrain and the bubble of wondrous life with its almost lack of sexual restriction or biblical lockin? No. I don’t really care about those things either. In fact, I would say that my indomitable spirit is slowly suffocating itself away on life here. SF holds no awe. San Jose is frustrating. The east bay is depressing. The cost is rising. Homelessness is depressing. People are stupid.

Any doubt why I want to leave at some point? I hate it here.

But I can hear the whispers. What about your friends and family? I hear the family thing bantered as a guilt thing. An anchor holding me down. Its not. its a choice I make for now to do a certain thing a certain way for one teenager soon to be 18. She’s the last reason I stay here.

Pixel C’ness and the Growing Why of it

I’ve had the Pixel C android tablet for awhile now with its cousin keyboard. It does not do side-by-side productivity and I don’t care. It does have the most amazing build quality of any device I have ever held. Beats the crap out of the iPad Air and the Nexus 9. The Nexus 9 was a blunder of cosmic proportions and almost left me out of the android tablet market completely forever. The Pixel C does not redeem itself yet. Its like an evolving species waiting for the perfect stew of ecology to happen. In the meantime, its a unique and fun device to use. Its keyboard is easily adopted to for typing long and short things as can be seen by me using it in MS Word and Google Docs and for other stuff.

Some apps that rely on GPS don’t work right. Expedia seems to not be able to find itself and does not let me do city searches at all. Other apps open in phone and not tablet orientation. BofA is notably one. How is one supposed to do banking when the damned app is so stupid? ExpressVPN starts in phone orientation but does do tablet. Other apps are much better I like to use. Flipboard being one. Its just beautiful on the Pixel C. The google docs are good and MS Word is very nice!

Getting well

After almost a month of various flu like symptoms and head colds, finally got done with a marathon and painful coughing thing which left me unable to sleep except for being propped up in bed. No beloved and firm futon to let me surrender into at night. No good sleeps and a completely painful cough that would not go away. Finally last night I slept 8 hours straight through! Huzzah! I can see the path to wellness. It involves a good walk today again in an area I don’t really like or love but have to accept in the short-term. I’ll publish a travel report for Santa Barbara soon. I got to see the city on foot and logged almost 7 miles in a day after riding amtrak there. I spent two nights in a very nice and expensive Inn which I thoroughly enjoyed. I now see my wife planning a trip for our daughter and her to Toronto to go see Niagara Falls in April. Perhaps its just me but I have never heard my daughter express an interest in going there. Its also going to be cold and wet there in two weeks. I’ve told her for the $$ I would go to Hawaii and sit on the beaches, drink umbrella drinks, and have feasts on the beach at night. Does not listen and will probably go ahead and go where she thinks Arry wants to go and not listen. Its a recipe for yet another trip of hate and discontent. Ah well…