Saturday, March 28, 2009

Shout out to Timmy Morgan

As is occasionally the case, Timmy Morgan's posted a new video, which you can watch here:

and for those who haven't seen it previously, my favorite Morgan video yet...

I was thinking about Timmy's impersonation on Gandolf this week

Cheers - cause I'm so British,

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Musings from a strange week

The past week+ was easily the strangest of my professional life. It was a week that ended in me being named the VP of Engineering for Mzinga. The accompanying are some of the thoughts that have passed through my head this week:

Know your business
Every year, Sam Adams gets everyone in the company to brew beer. The purpose is simple. They make beer, and everyone who works for that company ought to know their core business and how it's produced. We can't expect everyone at Mzinga to write "Hello World", but I do plan to educate the organization on how we make software and why we do it that way.

No Line on the Horizon
I'm fixated on "Magnificent" and "Breathe" this week. Still loving the album...

Truly Transparent Management
Starting Monday AM, the department head conference call is going to be open to all employees at Mzinga to listen in. It's an interesting and radical idea. I don't know if it's going to work, but I really like that we're going to give it a shot.

To be patah
I was doing my homework this weekend and ran into the Hebrew verb patah in Jeremiah 20:7,10. It seems to be used in the context of people who are gullible for (sometimes) malicious intent. But the writings of the prophets is the only place in the Hebrew Bible where Yahweh is the one who "patahs" (Jeremiah 20:7,10, Ezekiel 14:9, and Hosea 2:14). I'm trying to figure out what that means. More on this later.

Roadmaps are BS
As part of my new job, I need to clearly communicate our technology and product roadmap (with my new colleague Jody P - the VP of Products). That is totally appropriate given our roles. That being said, I have always hated goals and plans that project what you will be doing 18 months down the road. It's an illogical concept, as we all know - especially in technology - that your plans today have very little chance of matching up with the requirements of tomorrow. All you can do is build the sort of platform that allows you to meet those needs when they come along. I know we have that, so I'm happy to engage in the exercise of fortune telling.

Mel won't stop calling me boss. I'm going to throw something at him soon.

It's all about the team
On a similar note, I'm have been and am very, very fortunate to have the team of true professionals surrounding me in Mechanicsburg and Burlington. When I cam back to KP in 2006, I did so with the intention of demonstrating that the people in the Engineering department were the greatest asset of the organization. They continue to demonstrate that day-in and day-out.

More later, but for now...

Cheers - cause I'm so British,

Monday, March 9, 2009

They waylay only themselves!

Proverbs 1:10-19

10 My son, if sinners entice you,
do not give in to them.

11 If they say, "Come along with us;
let's lie in wait for someone's blood,
let's waylay some harmless soul;

12 let's swallow them alive, like the grave,
and whole, like those who go down to the pit;

13 we will get all sorts of valuable things
and fill our houses with plunder;

14 throw in your lot with us,
and we will share a common purse"-

15 my son, do not go along with them,
do not set foot on their paths;

16 for their feet rush into sin,
they are swift to shed blood.

17 How useless to spread a net
in full view of all the birds!

18 These men lie in wait for their own blood;
they waylay only themselves!

19 Such is the end of all who go after ill-gotten gain;
it takes away the lives of those who get it.

Verse 15 is bolded as the clear central point of the symmetrical structure of this wise saying.

Verse 17 appears to be mistranslated. It should be something like "birds only see the seed spread on the ground and are trapped in the net". The point is that the birds, like the gangs, only see what can be gained in their unjust and evil act, instead of the trouble that awaits them in pursuing this path.

Cre and I read this tonight before bed. It is strangely poignant.

Cheers - cause I'm so British,

1000 ft below Mexico

Well worth a flip through the photo gallery...

Cheers - cause I'm so British,

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

No Line on the Horizon

If you follow my Blogging Extravaganza, you know that the new U2 album comes out today. The following is my attempt at chronicling the days events.

6:17AM EST - I awake to a text message from Ben Martin. "Did you watch the gap?" - a reference to Letterman. No but it is waiting for me on my DVR

6:19AM EST - I download the album from iTunes. I appreciate the offer to "complete my album" but I'll take another version of "Get on your Boots" to ensure the album can be listened to as one piece of art

6:20AM EST - First time I hear "No Line on the Horizon". I wake Cre with the sounds. She does not seem as pleased as I might be :)

6:27AM EST - I formulate and enunciate my first parody to the album's title track. I am not at liberty to divulge the lyrics, but being as it is early and I am not too clever, it involves my wife and my dog Ezra. Sidenote: I am realizing more everyday that I am very much like Michael Scott. "Lazy Scranton" is only a few steps from where I live.

6:29AM EST - My iPhone is updated.

7:10AM EST - I get the idea to write this blog post.

7:19AM EST - My iPod is updated.

7:45AM EST - I am heading to work. My updates will be infrequent now, as I have a very full day and my employer (Mzinga) rejected my proposal to make March 3rd an official company holiday.

7:55AM EST - On the ride to work, the first three tracks down. I am very pleased already and can tell it will be a good day.

11:20AM EST - The day is dragging me down (as it can tend to do), but I remember that it is release day and feel better that lunch is coming. People in the office have remarked that I seem in a good mood. I smile knowingly.

12:25PM EST - I respond to an email from Dale in Santo Domingo. He can't download the album, but the weather is good. I am both jealous of him and sad for him. Waiting can indeed be the hardest part (that's what...)

1:02PM EST - Make it through tracks "Unknown Caller", "I'll Go Crazy", and "Get on Your Boots". Let me in the sound indeed.

1:47PM EST - My day is getting even better, as my grad school course schedule for Summer and Fall is published today. Apparently, I will be taking Hebrew this summer!

4:27PM EST - I have told no less than 20 people that today is the release day. (Would that I become so enthusiastic regarding issues that really matter)

6:27PM EST - I get home with no wife and no dog to greet me. I'm going to make dinner. With the choice before me of whether or not to finish the album or restart it and blast my kitchen with sweet Moroccan-influenced rhythms, I restart and "rock out" as much as a bald white man might. I am reminded of good nights on the roof of a Tunisian beach bar with the wind blowing and good tunes in the streets.

8:43PM EST - It is the rare cat these days who genuinely enjoys most everything an artist produces, but I do with U2. Some would call that sheepish weakness to do so. I choose to consider it one of my pure, unadulterated pleasures - free from the judgment and ultra-criticism that plagues and drives the rest of my life. I like Unforgetable Fire. I like Zooropa. I like Pop and use it as my workout album. I will probably grow to really like this album. I'm thankful to enjoy something without the "but".

9:46PM EST - After sitting through a TiVO'ed edition of American Idol (I do like Simon - big surprise there), I see the boys on Letterman and hear "Breathe" for the first time. I then listen to the last few tracks on my laptop. I wonder what it might be to be like loose electricity.

10:10PM EST - Listen to a few tracks again and look up my first lyrics page.

My thoughts (an initital review if one might be so bold to say):

- The first 3 tracks are very good and appropriately innovative
- Track 3 feels like an alter call - a modern "Just as I Am"
- It might be my orientation, but they seem to be getting more overtly spiritual the older they get... and not Joel Olstein "spiritual"... I'm thankful for that
- In general, I like it very much and I have a sense that I will like it even more in the coming days. When I first heard Atomic Bomb, I eventually determined that I loved everything except "Love & Peace". After I heard that song in concert, I decided that was very good as well. It's a good bet to expect similar results here.

10:35PM EST - I consider not publishing this. Against my better judgment, well... you see.

Cheers - cause I'm so British,

Monday, March 2, 2009

Stupid Smarch Weather

It snowed again today...

On the brighter side, summer comin' is just around the corner.

Cheers - cause I'm so British,