Peeping from behind every window pane

I find myself in Foster City once again at EFI headquarters. I’ve been moved to another team again so I’m here familiarizing myself with the tool set and meeting the other team members. I’ll be here until Friday night.

Working from home has been better than I expected.¬†Even though I’ve been very busy, I get to choose the times when I work and the times that I don’t. That means when I feel like doing a couple of hours in the evening, it’s no big deal. Or if I have to run some errand in the afternoon. So far I feel like I’ve been pretty productive and my new office feels like a cockpit controlling my working world and it has to do with the decoration I put on it, including windows with motorized blinds so I can control it from everywhere I’m with my phone. I’m sure I’ll write more on this later.

Continue reading “Peeping from behind every window pane”

Forcin’ a light into all those stony faces left stranded on this warm July

After a busy day cooking and cleaning on Independence Day, we’ve been a lazy bunch around here. We really enjoyed ourselves on the 4th, though, and were happy to have the company of so many people. The fireworks were fun and I think everybody was entertained. Next year I need to buy fewer ground blooms and more mortars.

Last week I started out the week by traveling to Foster City, CA, for some training at EFI headquarters. Because of the Northern California wildfires, my direct flight was cancelled and I was forced to take a flight through Seattle. By the time I arrived in Seattle, the connecting flight had been delayed and I didn’t arrive in San Francisco until 1:30. Unfortunately, my luggage (a change of clothes and my CPAP) was on another flight which did not arrive until quite later in the day. After waiting in line for at least an hour at the United luggage service counter, I left them orders to deliver the bag to my hotel after it arrived. It was eventually delivered to my hotel while I was at dinner that night.

I was glad to join my friend, Rob, for dinner both nights that I was in California. On the second night, we ate at a nice French restaurant before Rob dropped me off at SFO for my late evening flight home. There were no complications this time and the plane was only half full making it almost enjoyable.

Continue reading “Forcin’ a light into all those stony faces left stranded on this warm July”

Stuff I Got for my Birthday

  • online gift certificate from the Powells (my perennially favorite gift but not this year), which I used to purchase:
    • A Different Kind Of Christmas : Various Artists (CD, 1994)
    • Sun Also Rises : Ernest Hemingway (Paperback, 1982)
    • Dune Messiah : Frank Herbert (Paperback, 1994)
    • The Areas of My Expertise : John Hodgman (Paperback, 2006)
    • Salem’s Lot : Stephen King (Paperback, 1976)
    • Quest for the Well of Souls : Jack L. Chalker (Paperback, 1995)
    • The Mix-Up : Beastie Boys (The) (CD)
  • Regal Cinemas gift card from the Bartons
  • Cash from Uncle Buddy (second favorite gift every year except this year)
  • Guitar Hero 3 for the Wii from Tina and the boys (second favorite all-time gift)
  • A killer party mostly organized and thrown by my lovely wife

Vital Statistics

I couldn’t have asked for a better birthday party. Thirty of my best friends showed up and we partied way past dark. In the day time it was lots of kids, sunshine, music and burritos. At night it was music and adult conversation around the fire pit on the deck. My life is good at 40.

Yesterday I received a mystery CD in the mail. It has readings by Jack Kerouac and came from Cheektowaga, NY. I’m quite sure I did not order it and have no idea why I received it. It came addressed to “Mick Ring” which rules out all of the places I order from online. If you know why I received this CD, I would love to hear from you.

My mom offered to help me refinish my deck this week, so I’ll probably take a day or two off work so we can get that done. After a few rainy days last week, it’s been sunny and is supposed to continue that way. We should take advantage of it while it lasts!

Bike odometer: 201 miles
Current reading: I Am Charlotte Simmons by Tom Wolfe, The Prince by Machiavelli
Recent listening: n/a
Recent viewing: Giants at Seahawks, Bengals at Steelers, Sportscenter, 60 Minutes, The Simpsons
Recent playing: Zuma
Recently accomplished: recovering from party
Imperative To Do: Refinish deck, hair cut, new rear fender for bike, finish old blog entries, fix toilet (call plumber), rake
Cool Links: Some Scion stuff:

Vital Statistics

Happy Birthday To Me!

Today I turned 40 years old. I’ll never be 30-something again. I guess I have to enjoy being in my 40s because the alternatives are worse.

One of the great pleasures of my birthday is the gift certificate that Tina’s sister, Michelle, and her family give me from This morning the email was waiting for me when I awoke. All I had to do was click a button in the email to redeem the certificate. Then I browsed through my Wishlist and picked everything that I really wanted at that moment. After selecting CDs and books worth about five times the amount of the gift certificate, I removed the items from my shopping cart that were less important. I ended up with three CDs and a book:

The past two nights I have slept very well and don’t remember any mouth-leaking episodes. Tina says that it’s still happening and has to use earplugs. I woke this morning with no alarm after eight hours of sleep. I hope this is a turning point.

Bike odometer: 201 miles
Current reading: I Am Charlotte Simmons by Tom Wolfe, The Prince by Machiavelli
Recent listening: Last week’s charts
Recent viewing: The Manchurian Candidate (remake), High Stakes Poker, World Series of Poker, Headline News
Recent playing: Zuma
Recently accomplished: Mowed lawn, cleaned office, finished birthday invites, cleaned up back yard and deck, stored air conditioner for the winter, setup music for party
Imperative To Do: Hair cut, new rear fender for bike, finish old blog entries, fix toilet
Cool Link: Marijuana Morals

Vital Statistics

Today Tina and I celebrated losing 20 lbs. each by having sushi for lunch. It’s been remarkably easy on the South Beach plan. Tina tells me everything I can and can’t eat which makes it even easier. I wouldn’t be able to do this well without her.

On Saturday I rented a power washer and spent the rest of the weekend cleaning the deck and all of our concrete. After 8 hours on Saturday and 6 hours on Sunday, my whole body is complaining today but especially my back. It doesn’t feel like I “pulled” anything, though, so I’m sure it will be OK in a few days.

My mom is getting here on Wednesday and we’re having a big (for us) birthday party for my 40th birthday on Saturday. You are invited!

Bike odometer: n/a (drove today)
Current reading: I Am Charlotte Simmons by Tom Wolfe, The Prince by Machiavelli
Recent listening: Coverville, MC Front-A-Lot, MC Chris, It’s The Jump Off
Recent viewing: Dead Zone, Countdown, An Evening with the Dixie Chicks, Sportscenter, The Simpsons, The Alternative, The Daily Show, National Pie Championship
Recent playing: Zuma
Recently accomplished: Recycled styrofoam, power washed the deck and concrete, emailed birthday invitations
Imperative To Do: Clean CPAP stuff, bank, refinish deck, hair cut, service van, new rear fender for bike, mow lawn, follow-up phone calls for birthday
Cool Video: Four-year-old drumming prodigy