Sunday, May 17, 2009


Om Malik just started a new fan page on facebook.  He had some thoughts on communication and intereaction here.  Much like the ongoing theme here, remember the side trips with nobody in the pictures?  Interaction is where it's at and that's where technology is taking us...

Friday, May 15, 2009

Kevin & Tim in Action!

These two are great individually, put them together and you get something unbelievable.

Friday, May 8, 2009

It's Kinda Like That!

This whole side trip in life has been kind of like an earlier post I named "Don't try this at home".
Watch the first guy when he ejects the skis and is in a free fall, fully confident in life and his abilities to not only learn something, but to land and talk about it another day.  Being laid off and having more time with family and friends while getting to get involved with a venture that has killer possibilities...yeah, it's kinda like that!  I keep mentally picturing myself in that cool, slow motion, free fall without that constant worry of how we will land.  Like my wife and I keep reminding ourselves, it's time to live!

Monday, April 13, 2009

From the Central Coast

This side trip is turning out well!  Drive into the central coast with a beautifully presented marine layer.  First day of digging deep into the inner workings of a small IT company with secret weapons!  Ah yes, all the indications of finally being involved in something successful.  Open minded people, ready to help build a road map to a future for the company, check!  Smart people wanting to engage in building the company together, check!  I truly don't know how to act, other than stick my head down, put my thinking cap on and enjoy the fruits of employment with the new team...

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Roller Coaster

Ok, update time.  So, what exactly is it like to be unemployed?  Hardly know!  What an interesting ride this one has been.  Got the call and the nice speech as mentioned earlier.  Decided, you know what we just have to trust God and enjoy the ride.  What were the choices?  Freak out, run around with our hair on fire, make each other miserable or what?  Decided to just trust and enjoy...

During the winter of 2007, I helped an old friend do some things with his fledgling company to get it kind of going.  Fast forward to last Saturday, in response to my LinkedIn "What are you working on now" fill in the blank of looking for a job, I get a call from this old friend who is babbling about the stars aligning and opportunity.  Additionally, he and his partner have just launched the secret weapon that is going to make this thing go.  They want me to join and develop the roadmap for where they need to take the company and then keep everyone between the ditches.  

Oh man, I was just getting used to goofing off......, no problem though, I could get used to working with people who feel more like your close cousins rather than co-workers.  People with a passion for what they are doing, people really good at the parts they do...........Side Trip In Life, here I come!  Check back here as I share this side trip...

Thursday, April 2, 2009

An Ultimate Side Trip In Life

Ok, so another 'last paycheck' vacation, what now?  This was our question as I got a call on Monday that as of Tuesday 1 Apr (no April Fools, right boss?), I was unemployed.  One of the nicest lay off speeches I ever received, but still a lay off.  Again, what now?  Being a 'Tech Refugee' several times over, my wife and I went through this before.  Before was terrible, we got very stressed, but stuck together and made it through and were stronger for the effort.  So, what now?  

There is a total up side to this thing.  All the time given away from family for a job, got that back.   What about money?  Ok, re-arranged money to make it accessible, between that and unemployment, we can do this!  

First thing that happens are your friends, the ones that care about you come out of the woodwork.  That's meant in a nice way.  I got calls, emails, recommendations on LinkedIn from friends I hadn't heard from in a while.  They just saw my "looking for a job" on LinkdedIn and responded with kindness.  Or co-workers who just wanted to say hi and wish us well.   Wow, connections are even more important than I mentioned in an earlier post when I was hopping from roof top to roof top in the Bay.  People and our connections to them make life happen!

This feels so different than the past layoffs.  A kind of weird freedom to just explore life with my family!  Keep coming back to learn how this turns out.  Time to explore an 'Ultimate Side Trip In Life'.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Hello Wisconsin

Anywhere you have to spend an evening buying a winter parka, gloves and a knit cap to go to from California has got to be interesting, right?  So I start writing this in Chicago, got on a flight in Sacramento at 6:21 in the morning to Chicago to change planes to Appleton, Wisconsin.  Sounds easy enough, but then the weather kicked in.  Get to Chicago, no problems, nice movie and a nap, ready to roll, got on the next plane, buckled in and we were weather cancelled.  Came off and got set up for going to Green Bay, booted out for weather here too.  So, ok..., Roger and I are versatile... we drive!  Hey it's only three and something hours after flying for 4 1/2....United wouldn't give us our luggage.  There only answer was that we could go on up to Appleton and put in a claim.  Which we did after driving all the way up.  So no luggage, an important meeting the next day to look forward to, we hit the local WallMart to buy the essentials.  The remainder of the trip is a blur of great work coordination, frozen faces, Rock Star Slushies, really nice people and nice, but cheap dining.  

The most memorable thing about Appleton was the nice people.  Everywhere we went the people were great.  It would have been easy to make two or three best friends here!  The people are also what made the work out in the cold a breeze.  No pun intended since it was like 5 degrees, 20 mph winds with 45-50 mph gusts!  All that cold, wind and frozen faces were pretty well mitigated by the kindness of the people.  Even starting without our full complement of warm clothes thanks to United, the kind attitudes in Appleton made it bearable.

One thing I found amazing here was how hard it was to find coffee.  We pretty much survived on Rock Star Slushies.  Buy a Rock Star and leave it in the car.  Voila!  You have a Rock Star Slushie.  Not really  that bad.

The next best thing was the killer food!  Being there near to St. Patrick's Day, we scored corned beef and cabbage (1/2 a head) with Irish lamb stew over the potatoes at Spats on College! Here they are on the web: .  For Irish food, this place was to die for!  For unbelievable German food, try Old Bavarian at 3025 College Ave.  Great Schwein Steak smothered in Brown Gravy with mushrooms and Brats!  This was all topped off by having access at The Machine Shed Restaurant to Liver and Onions!  I know, I'm sick, but that's only my favorite food on the planet and The Machine Shed did it right: .

All in all, what a great side trip in life!