Easter Week – 4/17/11 to 4/23/11

"Well - hold on: a wiener with a big lower lip makes sense." -@AustinsVeryOwn

  • We told the Easter Bunny all sorts of things Cormac wanted: fun snacks, Hot Wheels, shoes, and his own sun glasses. His buddy Niilo and him had an Easter Egg Hunt, and found all the eggs! Kim has some Easter pictures up.
  • After many years, I met up with Ed Goodwin while in Houston. He was smiley and good natured, and we recorded an episodes of Back of the Envelope. It’s nice to be able to peer into how a business works – here, investing – by having someone who will answer all my silly questions, and allow me to interrupt and rat-hole the conversation.
  • Related, I started reading The Snowball, a bio of Warren Buffet. So far it’s nicely written with good content, anecdotes here, profiles and stories.
  • We finally came home from Houston. We were at Target yesterday and seeing the distinct Austin style was shocking, but comforting after being away so long: tattoos, shirts, shorts, and attire fit for warm days spent outdoors. Contrast to this to the style is Houston: more formal, slightly sporty at best – something you could wear in a CSI episode.
  • I think about Roger Ebert a lot, recently: how he’s carved out this intellectual niche for himself based reviewing on pop culture, movies, and how he’s been using the Internet to build a new type of following and intellectual-cult. He walked by a table of myself and others in the Driskill bar during this past SXSW, just walking along there. Attached to that, I’ve been wondering if the idea of an art movie is dead: do they distribute those any more?
  • I’ve been doing some “commentary” posts with Spiceworks recently. They have a pile of data and survey results and have been pulling together some brief findings from that data. This week, they estimated how much power saving came from the use of one of their plugins. I added some general context about power saving in the IT world and some tips for doing it: the green is money, not environmentalism. (I’m always miffed that people don’t use that word anymore, and even more miffed that people seem to have forgotten it.)

April 10th to 16th

Came home to a sick family

I’ve been liking Leila’s weekly round-up thing. I always feel like I don’t remember what I did, but never had enough time to do enough.

  •  A nice Out of Office email ends with this: “If I do reply to your email it is because I took the time to hide from my family and peck out some gibberish on my Blackberry that probably could’ve waited until next week anyway.”
  • From a briefing request: “I’m writing you to request an analyst briefing from you as an expert on enterprise software.” Such phrasing makes me suspicious.
  • Cormac has been sick this past week and weekend, staying up all night. I have no idea how we kept sane when he was an infant and woke up every 2-3 hours. You feel like you can’t function. But, there’s a certain clarity it gives you: you no longer put up with bullshit and slack from people and the world. You want to optimize on one path.
  • “I’d appreciate anything, and be happy with nothing.” – that should be my coat-of-arms motto.
  • The IBM folks are getting that accent over the “e” on my badges a lot of late – nice!
  • I went through the Long Beach airport this week, flying on JetBlue. It was tiny. At one point, you even walk outside to go through the gates. Being outside at the airport is lovely as you’re always sealed in. Also, you had to use stairs to get in and out of the airplane. I was sad that I didn’t have my sun-glasses, missing the opportunity to look at mid-century Hollywood. Also: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cote/5601490001/
  • I was at Microsoft’s MIX 2011 where there was much talk of a return to web development, HTML5 and all that. Microsoft is positioning itself as “the stable” choice, having learned the lesson of IE6: like all software, “browser versions never go away,” so you should work hard to make it right.
  • RedMonk helped with an unconference at IBM’s conference that same week, Impact (around the WebSphere brand: SOA, Java, middleware). I had a wonderful time, talking with several people and groups about cloud stuff. Some of of my cloud security post comes from discussions there, and I wrote-up an off the cuff explanation of 3 tips for applying agile in challenging environments. Also, I recorded a podcast about using search as middleware, a concept I find fascinating because it’s an application of doing easy, human-friendly stuff in middleware rather than computer-friendly stuff.
  • People in Las Vegas dress terribly. There’s all the Ed Hardy and that style’s mangled decedents – you know, off-center skull with wings stuff. And then the desire for both sexes to look like porn stars, hustlers, and hookers. It’s hard to imagine feeling comfortable in any of those, but people seem to dig those styles. And if they’re having fun, great for them.
  • We were in Houston for this week, at my mother-in-law’s. She’s right up against a golf course. One morning, when I was letting the dog out for her morning constitutional, I overhead a loud yell: “GOD DAMNIT!” said a golfer, missing a put or something.
  • A school was also in view. Around 7:30 each morning, a long line of buses first pulled up and dropped off kids. Then a long line of cars, from two different directions on the road lined up to let off kids one-by-one. It seemed absurd, but as I recall, my mother dropped me off at school each morning (a few years, I biked to school and took the bus). The bus was always crappy, being with your parents, listening to NPR on the way the class is much better.