16 February 2010

Sleep, Please

I woke up at 2am this morning (yesterday morning, actually) because of jet leg. I have meetings until 3am tonight, this morning, whatever it is. My brain is fried.

14 February 2010

Back in Noida

I'm here in India again. It seems somewhat calm and sedate compared to previous times being here. The traffic was light, the airport orderly and everything mostly in working order (except the internet connection at the hotel.)

Oddly, and somewhat sadly, the wild scrub growing on the vacant lot was burnt down and cleared out in the last three months. The squatters farming the land were run out about six months ago and the fields went fallow. Now they're cleared out and its just dry, dusty, brown land scattered with inordinate amounts of refuse. A single makeshift shelter is up by the major thoroughfare going past the office. Its interior was pitch black and there was only a narrow, sheet metal lined tunnel leading into the darkness. It seemed mysterious and adventurous in a way, though I know what to expect inside and am completely uninterested.

Meanwhile I'm safely behind the razor-wire and armed guards. India is such a strange and incredible place. Kipling makes more sense these days.

13 February 2010

Stream of Beans

It is with a sense of foreboding that I leave tomorrow. Signs are pretty good that things will go well. My body has aged a lot in the last two years and the coach trip will be hard. I'm dead tired already from a difficult week.

It was, however, a very rewarding week. It was really the first week I felt on top of the game since the girls were born. They are taking a lot out of my career. A staffing situation I've been trying to arrange for two years is finally looking possible. If I had gotten my way even as recently as 3 months ago then this trip wouldn't be necessary for me. Its all the work of my boss' magic. He really has some kind of mind controlling power or something.

There seems to be an endless amount of work ahead of us and clear revenue associated with much of it. The team is stronger. We can accomplish more with less. Many individuals see a career path for them in the gloom, though it will be hard. We have the beginning of a plan to bolster the US teams' ROI and keep them more competitive. I feel more ready for the cycle to begin again now than in a long time. For example, we've settled on an organizational structure long before we are done with the current cycle. We know in which directions we have to grow and where we need to focus our energy.

My parents arrived today. The girls were out of control they were so excited. Still, they were manageable. They've learned to pose for the camera and my Mom got some good pictures. I'll miss them.

12 February 2010


Tough week. I've been very diligent since March 2008, before the twins were born, at keep my hours down to 40-45 hours per week. One or twice I creeped up above that number to like 48 hours in a week; but, otherwise I've really been good at hovering around 40. This week and next week are the worst exceptions. Its almost 3am and I'm finally done for the day. 47 hours thus far this week and a long, hard day ahead of me tomorrow. Then Saturday I'm on a plane to Noida.

We'll get through this and ship. I don't expect another week like this for a year or more.

11 February 2010


Macworld went well today. I always enjoy the opportunity to speak with customers, even when they're angry customers. Surprisingly, the audience was pretty gentle. We were discussing a topic near and dear to many-a system administrators' hearts: deploying and provisioning our software. In a word, the solution today is "suboptimal". That's as diplomatic as I can make it. Our customers very loudly and clearly let us know how suboptimal the solution is. Its my job to go up in front of the crowd and take their slings and arrows.

The good part was that people were generally constructive and appreciative of the fact that we actually talk openly about the issues as well as what we're doing about them. The best part was that I got a bunch of cool toys to play with as a gift for being a speaker.

On the home front, I'm not looking forward to a week away from the girls. It will be relatively peaceful, only work to deal with; but, I'll still miss all three of them greatly. Both girls regularly ask to sit on the potty now. They even are pretty good at timing their request, often about 15 minutes before making a dirty diaper. Unfortunately, their patience isn't long enough to sit on the potty so long. So we usually just get them back into their diapers before they go.

My parents are coming into town tomorrow and staying for a little while. First and foremost, they're going to the Elton John concert in town. Also, they'll help take care of the girls while I'm away. Both girls are really looking forward to them coming. Hirono is in the guest bedroom right now straightening it up and the little girls just keep asking for "Papa" and "Mo", their names for my parents.

Boneheaded Maneuver

So I’m riding caltrain up to San Francisco today for Macworld and the conductor asks me for my ticket. I’ve been through this before and should know better; but, I didn’t have my ticket. Really what I normally have is a Go Pass, a sticker on the back of my company badge that allows me to ride caltrain for free. Well, I’ve got a pile of Go Pass stickers on the back of my badge for the last few years; but, I don’t have the 2010 pass. January was just not a month for travelling to San Francisco much so I didn’t remember to get my Go Pass sticker for 2010.

Luckily, this daddy still has the silken tongue. I got away without a fine once more. I do have to get my Go Pass tomorrow, though.

09 February 2010

Sicker than a Dog

Ugh. This afternoon around 2pm my throat started to get dry. I'm now in full on fever mode and even having mild hallucinations. Luckily work is ending early tonight (midnight) and I can cancel my morning meetings.

Update: 8 hours sleep!!! I feel much better. Now I'm down to a mild fever and sore throat. Gotta get better in time for Macworld preso tomorrow.

Some good news for a change

At least, its good news for those who care about astronomy and astrobiology. Cool stuff! More evidence of liquid water on Enceladus.

Check out the cool picture.

Trip to India

Unplanned trip to India this weekend. If I can survive Macworld this week then Saturday I'm on a plane to India for a week. Not the best timing since I'll miss Valentine's day at home. At least I'll be back in time for my birthday.

Apparently the "terrible twos" start at 18 months. I believe it. Dressing the girls in the morning is like a WWF battle royal.

06 February 2010


Finally the weekend is here. Its been a really rough week; but, lots of progress has been made. I presented for a couple of hours at sales training seminars this week. The first audience on Thursday was pretty light. The room was full; but, there weren't any hard questions. Most of the questions were exactly what I expected to hear and so was well prepared. The second audience on Friday was a lot better. The venue was much larger and was standing room only. The questions were tough, probing and really stretched my ability to field them. We also got some great suggestions on what to do better. All-in-all quite a good event.

Next week is Macworld, where the really tough crowd comes in.

On the homefront, Leia surprised me this week by liking sauerkraut. We went to dim sum today, the second time with the girls. They were much more comfortable with the surroundings this time and ventured into the food. We discovered that Alisa loves shrimp.

Lastly, Hirono has a couple of job offers lined up. That's a huge relief. She's worked so incredibly hard these last few months job searching. I'm glad its paying off.

03 February 2010

Its Potty Time

Big milestone today, Alisa used the potty. Just #1; but, she's quite proud of herself anyway.

01 February 2010

Mickey D's

We went by MacDonalds with the girls for the first time this past weekend. Needless to say, they loved it. It seems all kids love MacDonalds. No surprises in what they ate: Alisa loved the fries with ketchup and Leia loved the burger patty. Happy meals come in undecorated bags these days.

Lots of other cool things going on with the girls. They're taking a liking to stronger flavors in the food now. So our dinners are becoming a bit more interesting to the palate again. Their vocabulary and ability to grasp their surroundings continues to grow. In general they seem to be pretty good girls. For example, they readily will take garbage (like a cracker wrapper) to the kitchen, open the cabinet door, throw the item away, close the cabinet door and come back to whatever it is they were doing.

They are also better at fighting, which isn't so good.