Wicked Tired this Weekend

The last two weeks have been wild at work.  Starting with a quick trip to Boston, then the WW Sales meeting this week, I have been on the ragged edge.

Monday December 1 I had to wake up at an ungodly hour to catch a 7:00AM flight to Boston. Long crappy day of travel on an airline I have no status on, to arrive in the evening.

Tuesday the 2nd, I spent the day on the floor of the conference, meeting with peers, and vendors. A good day for me (but the exhibit hall was empty).

Fly back on the 3rd. Again, woke up at 4:00AM to catch a flight back to San Jose on an airline without status. It was an excruciatingly shitty flight for a variety of reasons.

Back in the office for 2 days, I begin to get that back of the throat tickle. Fook, I picked up some bug somewhere that was going to hammer me. By Saturday, I was descending into yearly cold hell. Sore throat, moving to nasal congestion, then finally on Sunday, it dropped into my chest. Yep, a full on chest cold has settled in. Just in time for the WW Sales meeting that kicked off on Monday.

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Powerpoint HELL

Powerpoint HellNext week we have a sales meeting, and I have three hours of presentations scheduled (since I had control of the schedule, I was able to not do 15 hours of presentations in 3 days like the last meeting). Naturally, I am way behind on preparations. This is no surprise. So I am working the weekend.

But why is it that it takes at least 15 – 20 hours to prepare the slides for 3 hours? I swear it isn’t so much that I have to create from whole cloth, but most is repurposed, and reused. But it still takes five to seven times the time it takes to present to prepare.

Sigh, the life of a mid level product marketing person.

Deja Vu – almost double posted – Airplane Carry On

My recent trip to Boston reminded me of the cattle car experience that is domestic travel (the last bastion, international travel is quickly degrading into this experience as well).

I already posted on the delight of an asshat trying to take my under seat space with his friction’ laptop jammed in there, and my followup was going to be the amazement of abuse the overhead bins that is the Carry On baggage game. But I see that I already posted this.

Sigh.

But I do have something to add. ¬†Something that really gets me riled up is the people who fill the overheads with their carry on baggage close to the front, then head back to their seats in the rear of the airplane. Not that I usually carry on, but since I don’t carry a roller onboard, I do like to put my briefcase up, and keep the under-seat space in front of me, so my legs don’t get cramped.

 

HP Pavilion

To the Jackass in front of me

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of flying back from Boston at an ungodly hour. Worse yet, it was on an airline that I have zilch status on. So, I was stuck in a middle seat in Steerage class.

Just looking to stretch my legs as much as possible and catch a few winks on the 6+ hour flight, I was appalled to find that the inconsiderate asshole in the seat in front of me, felt compelled to cram his laptop under the seat (and hence, into MY legroom.

At first I gently pushed it back into his space. And then he slammed it back.

So, I made sure to get my feet all over it. Next time, I think I will take the gift in my space. I would have this time, except it was a POS HP Craptop. Who the hell wants one of those…

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Suck: Camera edition

We spent a wonderful Thanksgiving visiting my sister and her wife in the mountains. Great food, great company, even our menagerie of hounds behaved well (except for the torn off nail from “zoomies”) I even brought my “big” camera to take “good” pictures. Sigh.

My main digital SLR is a second hand Canon 5D. Bought from a good friend, who lovingly maintained it, it was in great shape in 2010 when I bought it. I also have a couple of the fabulous Canon L series lenses, so the combination takes great pictures.

However, since I bought a Canon G12, I haven’t used the 5D as much. This weekend was to be different.

eos_5dI pulled the 5D out of the bag, put the 24-70 F2.8 zoom on (a MONSTER chunk of glass) and the troubles started instantly. After a couple of frames, the reflex mirror “fell off” the frame. Fuck. Not broken, just flopping around loose.

Sigh, my father was there, with his canon Rebel Digital SLR, so I figured he could borrow the lens. Quickly he realized that it wasn’t autofocusing. Fuck.

So, now my best DSLR body, and the best glass I own are both knackered.

(I still have my older 20D body, so I tested the lens on that, yep, no autofocus).

Time for the shop. Hope it isn’t too expensive. At least I will get the sensor cleaned really good too.

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Bad Bicycling Luck

Last weekend, my feet hurt (long story, but running down the stairs at 1:00AM because your dog is having a seizure can cause your plantar fasciitis to flare up. Who knew) so instead of a grueling mountain bike ride, I took a nice easy loop around Marshall-Cottle park.

Bad idea.

My tires were like pin-cushins. So many goat-head thorns were picked up that I was stuck with two flat tires. Poopies.

I counted at least 8 in my front tire, and 3 in my rear (I guess the front tire cleared the path so my rear didn’t get hammered.

Today I replaced both tubes, and put in Mr. Tuffy strips (something I should have done before the first ride), and I expect to not be bothered by this again.

I should be thankful that 6 weekends of riding without any protection were blissfully trouble free. But I was cursing the shrubs that drop those bastards the entire walk home…

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Music Embarrassment – King Crimson

I have been on a nostalgic twist in music lately, reliving my early days of prog rock fandom, and reminiscing about all the vinyl I used to have and got rid of in my flurry of moves in the 1990's. Ah good times indeed.

There is one classic prog rock staple that I am embarrassed to admit that I have never owned any of their albums, but have followed many of the band members' later careers. I speak of King Crimson. Greg Lake, Robert Fripp, Pete Sinfield (who was credited with writing in the ELP realm), are among the many illustrious artists who were instrumental with the rise of Prog Rock.

So I am adding King Crimson to my collection, and kicking myself for not doing so earlier. Now listening: In the Court of the Crimson King. Very very tasty.

California Living

For those new to this channel, I relocated back to California after a 11 year detour through Arizona. Having been back now for almost 6 months, I have some observations as a new outsider.

California in general, and Silicon Valley in particular is like no where else in the world. Great climate, diversity of cultures, high tech and ghetto all blended together.

Some thoughts:

  • Apartment dwellers with nice cars – I have little choice but to park my car (a Honda S2000) in the parking lot at our temporary apartment. But walking through the lot, there are plenty of BMW 5 series and 7 series cars, as well as Mercedes. These are people living in crappy, 40 year old, 2 bedroom, and 3 bedroom apartments, that are decidedly budget for the area. I guess the adage car rich, house poor applies.

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Bicycling Magazine – what are they smoking?

Since I renewed my Performance club membership (hey, 10% back is totally worth it), I get a “free” subscription to Bicycling Magazine. As with the last time I got this for free, I am seriously questioning their priorities.

I understand that it is tough to publish a relevant print magazine these days. Attention spans are infinitesimal, and the value of advertising is low enough that you need to just cram your rag with ads to break even. Add to that crappy editing, and little spend for quality articles, and you get a schlocky publication.

The highlights for this issue, December 2014:

  • Safely signal turns – Really, in a magazine you have an article on hand signals? For f*ck’s sake, I learnt this by the first grade, and again in driver’s ed. But after riding in Arizona for almost 11 years, clearly it is no longer taught to kids.Turn Signals

Mac versus PC – Longevity, Lifetime

I live a schizophrenic life. For work I am coerced into a PC world. Windows, AD Domains, MS Exchange, and all that lot. But for my home and personal work, I am a devotee of the cult of the Mac. My wife and I both are Mac users, and here are some observations from a long time use perspective.

Work – HP Elitebook 2560P

My work laptop was issued to me when I joined in 2012. It is an HP small form-factor laptop. It has a 160gb Intel SSD, it came with 4G ram (which I upgraded to 16 at my own expense), it is not an ultrabook (it is as heavy as my 15″ Macbook Pro).

It came with Windows 7 enterprise, 64bit. It has a lowish performance core i5 processor. Of course it has all the work mandated items on it that hinder its usability. Full disk encryption, and a bunch of startup macros that really make this thing a slug.

As the laptop is now near 2.5 years old (it is a 3 year leased system) it is beginning to show its age. The graphics chip “blacks out” for a few seconds occasionally. The boot time is now approaching the speed of a spinning disk (I have about 140G of programs and data on it, so free space is running low. And, no, I don’t have any music on the system).