March 2009 Archives

Giant Fuzzy Heliconia

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Chaz threw together a few tropicals and this big guy was just a star we had to have. The occasion for the arrangement was a dinner we hosted Saturday for my boss, his wife, and another couple from my work.

It's the first time in years I've had co-workers in the same town, so we didn't hold back. We started off with cocktails of the Sidecars that we had for the Christmas party which Chaz finished off the cooking. He made crabcakes with grilled shrimp on a tomato cream sauce for the appetizer, and the main was orange marinated grilled lamb chops over couscous with mini squashes. The dessert was one that very few of our guests get the chance to have, Kaiserschmarrn, which Chaz & I picked up from Franz. We took it over the top which would make Franzi proud. Contreau in the apple sauce, Advocaat drizzled all over the pancakes, and Amy's ice cream on top as well. We quaffed a nice Louis Martini Cab with dinner, and a light prosecco with dessert; nothing too over the top, but certainly something to remember, especially as the boss had postponed this dinner a few times in favor of some boy scout dinners and whatnot. We kept the espresso and some sweet liquors flowing so long as the conversation kept going, which it did till nearly 12:30am. Neither of us expected them to hold out so long, but the evening unfolded quite serendipitously, and this big guy witnessed it all.

Small projects are bubbling up here and there, a website for my mom, a catalog of ornaments, some video processing, and a ton of tiny sprouts in Chaz's container garden in the sun. It's all part of a spring that flies past far too fast to truly appreciate the blanket of bluebonnets spilled along the road on the way into work.

At our March 9 Candidate Forum, the members of ALGPC voted to make the following endorsements:
Mayor (dual endorsement) - Lee Leffingwell and Brewster McCracken
Place 1 - Chris Riley
Place 2 - Mike Martinez
Place 5 - Bill Spelman
Place 6 - Sheryl Cole

I don't quite know what to think about a dual endorsement, though I don't really oppose either. McCracken embodies more of what I believe about the future of Austin though.

Street Performer, La Rambla, 2003

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The fun thing about having a bunch of old stuff on an old computer is that occasionally I stumble upon some really happy memories, like meandering down La Rambla with Chaz over Easter holiday in Barcelona.

SxSW marches on

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.. sometimes without me. After a road trip, a day at work and a more than full Saturday helping out around the convention center, Sunday was a day of respite for me at home. I missed a few panels, and the 'awards' show, but a pile of laundry and piles of dishes from before I got home convinced me that the time was best spent at home.  That and getting a jump on the weeds in the yard after this week's rain.

In addition to the menial tasks, got to sort through about 35 pounds worth of crap/loot from the conference. Some items were real winners - some cheap sunglasses, gum, smokes, a dvd with adobe software on it, a micro-sd card with some music on it, and a really cool camera bag (the red hoo-jah from ) that Chaz promptly snagged. Some items, not so much.. I'm not a sticker guy, so those went in the recycles. Also trashed: tons of promo magazines, generic postcards, a 'neck-sock' for your phone. The canvas bags themselves were pretty cool as well.

Today I'll see what if anything they need. With the sun out and blue skies, it's gonna be a nice day despite some bleery-eyed people around me.

Saturday update

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I"ve got a moment to sit at a panel on "Designing for Irrational Behavior" and scrawl a few lines.  This one actually might be of use to me cause it sure seems that 2/3 of the users I've ever encountered act plenty irrational. These sessions are amazingly well attended; there's going to be a metric crapton of money flowing into Austin from all of the companies that have sent their kiddies here for a bit of networking.They're all over the place.

SxSW day 1

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And we're off with an early start on Saturday - I'm checked in, have my badge, and can get my "canvas Big Bag loaded with freebies".
Not yet sure of assignments, but am getting to pick things I want to see! One of which is Nakia!

*deeeeeep breath*

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Just pushed the 'buy' button on some Citigroup.  Not much.  Dipping my toes in the water, so to speak. Long term, right?
IMG_0667.JPGThis week's flight at an ungodly hour on Monday brought me to this nation's capitol, where for most of the week I've seen the metro trains, the Department of Labor's offices, and the company's corporate apartment I'm sharing with a coworker.

This afternoon I got the code laying the way it was supposed to be laying, so I took a walk around the reflecting pool and called mom. Despite the gloom and doom and gnashing of teeth going on all around this city, there's still tourists wandering about this end of the mall, and the commutes are packed and stacked. I did ride on an orange line train with one of the economic pundits I recognized from Meet the Press.. the people watching is spectacular, as evidenced by a woman wearing blue tights on the morning commute. Smurfette! That being said, I still find there's something calming about the rhythm of masses of people going to and coming from work together on the train. The proximity and unspoken cooperation among a dense mass on foot is a dynamic that can't be matched in our car commutes in Texas.
It will not go unnoticed that this week, my proposition that the Dutch are secretly ruling the world finds further support in the sporting world. The Dutch? Baseball? It's not enough that they have Shell, Phillips, ING, Ahold.. they have to start taking over BASEBALL? I'm glad I started learning to mangle their language early.


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geVRdemo.jpgReally cool. GE calls it Augmented Reality. There's going to be more of this come down the pike, I'm sure.


Career Limiting Move #025241

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This little company I started with in January is only around 100 ppl. Small enough that the bit that allows all of us to send to 'Employees - World-wide' is still active. That little bit enables fun threads like this one to occur.

-----Original Message-----

From: Matt
To: Employees - WW
Sent: Wed Mar 04 03:17:57 2009
Subject: Summertime changes


A heads up for everyone planning international calls/meetings in the next few weeks:

1. US moves one hour ahead to summertime this coming Sunday 8th March

2. Europe does not move ahead until Sunday 29th March

3. So for 3 weeks, Austin will only be 5 hours behind London

So .

1. Outlook should automatically adjust for the changes

2. The meeting time will stay the same for whoever sent the invite and will change for invitees in other time zones

(I'm assuming here that Texas does indeed change its clocks with the rest of the country)



From: Jeff
Sent: Wednesday, March 04, 2009 9:25 AM
To: Matt; Employees - WW
Subject: Re: Summertime changes

Its the other way around. The rest of the country changes its clocks to Texas'. Oh and the cocks are bigger.


From: Matt
To: Jeff
Sent: Wed Mar 04 03:26:23 2009
Subject: RE: Summertime changes

Did you mean to say that?

From: Jeff
Sent: Wed 3/4/2009 3:40 AM
To: Matt
Cc: Employees - WW
Subject: Re: Summertime changes

No! Picked a bad word to mispell. Apologies to everyone with small male chickens


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