Monday, July 31, 2006

A cool weekend

Well, we kept the house cool at least - outside the temps hovered between 90-100 degrees as we had the visit from our dear friends from Chicagoland, Bailey and Tyler, and their mom Kari. They came on Thursday... and we had all manner of adventures:

Friday, I played hookey after 2pm and we went to the Mall of America - all of the kids rode in the Mini (I had flashes of being crammed into the back of my dad's Porsche at age 13 for a road trip to Colorado as I saw Bailey's lanky 14 year old legs near her ears in the back on the Mini...). They love to come up here and shop for school clothes, enjoying the no-tax-in-MN-on-clothes thing. They shopped at Abercrombie, Aeropostale, Hollister, and PacSun... and I'm going to show that I'm an OLD MAN here: I could not tell the difference in the merchandise offered between the stores, save the logos proferred. BUT DON'T TELL THEM. I don't want them to think I lack discernment and distinction. ;->

Into the evening it was Guitar Hero and Dance Dance Revolution. Tyler gravitated toward the guitar, and Bailey to the Dancing, but to be fair, they both did VERY well in both games. The keyboard game proved inpenetrable, so we left that alone. I think it has a massive ramp-up time (like 10 rounds) before you can even be mildly effective in it, and with other fun games on tap why bother?

Saturday was hot and lazy... In the afternoon we ran off to watch Superman (my second time - everyone else's first). We agreed - there was much to love (including Parker Posey's every screen second) - but there was one fight scene that took it a bit too far. In the evening, we watched X2 for more Brian Singer-y goodness. I can see why Alan Cumming didn't return for X3 - that makeup looked nightmarish to apply - I think he should have just pulled a Gollum and been all CGI.

Sunday was out by the pool all stinking day. We had the neighborhood over in the late afternoon, and had sandwiches while the kids frolicked in the heat with sprinklers and kiddie pools and lots of sunscreen. Everybody slept well. And today I had to go to work!!! The Chicagoans took off around noon, and made it home safely. A good time was had by all - and I loved having them here!

Oh, and one of the surprises was that I had got the NEW Lego Robots kit (NXT), with the advanced brain and better software (from what I had used when I betatested the original kit 5+ years ago). Ty and I had fun building and programming and troubleshooting. Also, the whole gang got into my Brain Age software for Nintendo - small puzzles meant to increase your brain acuity. My most recent test showed me to be... my age.... But I can see getting down to 20-year old level soon!

And that's the big update from the weekend!


1) I'm loving a song by "The Sounds" called "Painted by Numbers" - heard it on the radio and bought it on iTunes. Then I find out, they're the superhip new thing. Yay, I'm ever so slightly au courant!

2) I'm loving Japanese - I finished my 12th lesson, can count 1-10, as well as 1000-7000 (with a yen more like a penny, you need big numbers fast), can politely ask someone out for a drink or dinner, demur or accept if asked, comment on nice or not nice weather, greet and thank people, and say whether I can understand you, where are things, there they are... There are a few more things.... but that's pretty much the gist.

What's cool is the logic of the language - it's VERY economical. The verb is always last, and you stack stuff up to the left. Words stay the same, but adding little modifiers like Ka (question), Wo (identifying the object), Wa (identifying the subject), To (with), No (denoting ownership), and other things I haven't learned yet make it so that you can know one word like "watashi" (meaning "I"), and you can say "with me", "my", and "I" with just a watashi to, watashi no, or watashi wa. The rules don't change.

So that's me being a language nerd. I'm mentally comparing the rules to French, German, and Spanish... and god help me I'm seriously thinking about refreshing my Russian (two years in college), just to keep the comparisons going. Later this fall, I'll be hitting Mandarin Chinese... because you KNOW that I have a fantasy of going to Shanghai and having hand made suits made on me. And I'm going to make that happen in 2007. That's what turning 40 will do to me.

3) Dance Dance Revolution is so much fun, I think my head a-sploded. Bailey (one of the twins) did a marathon hour long danceathon, and it was fun to watch, but several times a day I snuck off to do 3-4 tracks on my own. It's a good workout, and hey, after a few tries, you do get the hang of it. If you're not aware, this is the game where it plays fast techno trance music, you're standing on a pad with arrows on it, and you need to step on the arrows in time with the music - so it's not really so much dancing as synchronized stepping, but it'll do in a pinch.

More in another post.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

The Pitts

As I was driving the parkway to work, I saw one car parked, and another pulled up behind it. Both doors opened, and the drivers jumped out and greeted eachother warmly with a high five and grins.

The drivers were both impossibly stylish men, both sporting the Brad-Pitt-in-Oceans12 handsome-man look.

Both were driving Maserati Quatroportes - one Silver, one Black.

It was just a surreal moment. I had to slow down and yell "Love the style, gentlemen!" as I drove by. But it sure raised a few questions - like where ARE these people? Who is driving $120k Maseratis, and how does a 20-something fashionboy get one? And why were they even UP at 8am?

But such questions only cloud what was a truly nice vision in the morning.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Techy Goodness

Got a pair of 14 year olds coming to visit tomorrow through the weekend, and I'm sooooo excited! I got some treats that I won't reveal because they just might read this. Ok, one thing - we're borrowing a Playstation2, and I got a game for it: Beatmania. It's like Dance Dance Revolution or Guitar Hero, only it has a 7-note keyboard and a scratching wheel. And MAN, it is hard.

Really it's a sight-reading exercise - just need to play the notes it shows you, and sometimes it's a melody, sometimes it's drums, and sometimes it triggers samples... but it forces you to just push the buttons and focus on the rhythms and timing. And as anyone knows, I'm a TERRIBLE keyboardist - I can program, but I can't play, and part of it is that when I get stuck I just STOP. You can't do that in this game, and I can't help but wonder if it might MIGHT help me be a better musician - forcing me to keep my head in the game?

Getting ready for the kids is a multiday affair, with shopping, cleaning, rearranging, and I always get to do the techy bits, as noted above. Tonight, Bella was VERY excited to be helping with the cleaning. She had a dusting rag and was like a dervish. It was actually pretty hard to pull her out of it. Tonight she was COMPETING with me: She wanted to race me everywhere, and when we read some nursery rhymes that were also songs, she asked me to sing them, then wanted to sing them BACK to me... "only better".

Finally, Japanese lessons are going VERY well. I'm finding that with this being the third new language in a 1 year span, I'm getting these strange cross-relations between the languages building in my head - I'm seeing matrices: Which languages rely on between-word modifiers for meaning (like at, to, from, ownership, location, etc), and which ones rely on word-addons (suffixes, previxes, cases)... just interesting how the languages are all saying the same things, but taking different routes there....

More soon!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

After the brunch

So funny. Pamela was sort of leery about venturing outside of the hotel environment during out time away - she wanted to remain "outside" of our daily life for the entire "trip". I convinced her that, hey, Ike's is right outside, and we love their brunch, so let's just wander over there. She agreed... grudgingly.

As we sat there, she expressed that yes, this was was pretty good, but she really doesn't want to see anyone she knows, for the abovementioned reasons. I sympathized and said "what are the chances?"

No sooner had that happened, but somebody who I sort of knew from College plopped down next to us, ordered a Bloody Mary, and told us about his apartment being robbed, about his and other people's clinical depression issues, about his time in Russia, and about the inner workings of college Alumni foundations. In short, while Pamela did dodge the bullet, I was saddled with exactly the sort of "in town" experience we were hoping to avoid.

On the way back, I said "you told me so", and we retreated back to our independent international state. The excitement had proven too much for poor Pamela, however, and she crawled back into bed for another two-plus hours. (Late checkout is at 3!)

And soon our flight back to our life will take off, and we'll have these memories - and hopefully our batteries will be recharged enough that I can handle whatever idiocy my infrastructure department has planned for me THIS week, and she can handle whatever sassafrass Bella has been storing up for us this weekend.... ;->

Update from Far Far Away.

Well, technically we're maybe 5 miles from home, but our stay at the Graves601 might as well be in San Francisco - it feels like a completely different world up here. We are in a large room on the 17th floor - the decor is light wood and white linens, with a sleek 42" plasma TV, microsuede chair and chaise, and a ridiculously comfy bed.

We were greeted with a bottle of champagne, which we enjoyed before dinner down at Cosmos, the haute hotel restaurant. Dinner last night was wonderful - Pamela had lobster, I had duck. I got extra foie gras (for some reason, Pamela does not love the foie gras). We had a mid-meal taste of a "Foam" with coconut and anise flavors - it was amazing. For desert, Pamela got some filled globe of chocolate that disintegrated when hot caramel was poured over it. I had a simple Pomegranite sorbet, with a taste of Lagavulin 16 year (my current favorite scotch!).

The evening was wonderful, the morning has been lazy - we had continental breakfast... and plan to drag ourselves out to Ike's for a hearty brunch in a few minutes. Of course, after finishing the crossword, I had to get up and out, so I wandered out to the 24hour newsstand, and got some new magazines - some french and german design mags for Pamela (both for continental inspiration, and to reinforce the 'foreign' aspect to this little vacation)... and I got more geek mags (because being a geek is always a vacation in itself.)

So that's the dispatch. We're loving this. And I'm SURE Bella's having fun with Jenny... but we're not about to go around ASKING anyone. This afternoon will come soon enough.

I suspect we may have the Graves as our in-town retreat again in the future.

Friday, July 21, 2006

A long day

Today didn't seem like it was going to be oh so very long, but indeed it became so. It all started early, when a seemingly innocuous "upgrade" being put in my my infrastructure department started showing signs of being... not so innocuous. I'll spare you the gory details... but it was one of those days when one problem revealed another one... and the solution started getting worse: in the end, my whole team wound up with a half day of downtime, and ONE of my team members wound up losing most of her work for the past month....

If the bad news had come up all at once, that would have been one thing, but today was like a water torture - drip.... drip.... drip.... One shoe drops, then an hour, then another, then another shoe drops.... It was a loooong day.

Once I got home, the family recharged me wonderfully. We went to Lake Calhoun, and had a fish dinner at the pavillion, and then Bella and Jenny played for a good hour. It was just fun.

I'm really looking forward to this weekend: since last weekend, Jenny spent the night here, this weekend is payback. Bella's off to Jenny's house. We're going off to a night in a fancy hotel, good dinner, breakfast in the room, and late checkout. It'll be a wonderful time!

Work did it's best to wear me out today, and it got pretty close. But the weekend is here, I've had a great evening, and I'm looking forward to a GREAT weekend!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Unrelated Subjects

1) Acabo de terminar mis lecciones de espanol - Novente media-horas, y ahora, creo que puedo hablar Espanol con un poquito de excito. Pero, a decir verdad, porque los lecciones son para hablar solamente, se que no puedo escrivar muy bien. Creo que puedo leer, y entonces, podria escrivar mejor...

Yes, I finished my 90 Pimsleur lessons! I will say that I think I "got" Spanish a bit better than German - I'm way more comfortable - and am something of a terror with it now, dropping into spanish with anyone who will listen.

Now I've gone back to Japanese (finished lesson 3 today). It's all part of a grand plan to avoid work at the big client: Now I have Anna and Sue who I can speak Spanish with, Mark who I can speak German with, and soon I'll be able to speak Japanese with Jode and Catherine. My status meetings should get pretty interesting!

2) You ever get to know a person, and you have an initial perception, and over time, they just keep surprising you? At my workout place, there's a bodybuilder-type who leads a lot of the classes. At first, I thought of him as jocky rah rah guy - and on one level he is... he's a relentless cheerleader and really pushes people - never uncomfortably, but believe me, when you're in his class, he keeps an eye on you. More than once I've zoned out or tried to take an easy bit, and he's ON it. Not bad for a guy who's managing 20 people in the class.

One day we're talking about a trip he's going to take to Vegas, and I made a typical "gonna have some fun there, eh?" comment. He really wanted me to know why he was going (for a conference), and that "he gambles enough in life every day - why mess with the odds?" I got thinking there's more there. So I started paying closer attention to how he conducts himself...

Every day, he's open and friendly with everyone, and always calls out everyone's names. And at the end of every workout, he lays on the compliements, and somehow it doesn't sound corny. And while some people get frustrated with how he pushes, he's always working harder than any of us up on the stage... he really believes in what he's doing.

So on Wednesday at 6am he was leading a class. And on the sidelines were two 3 year olds and an old man. His girlfriend was also in the class, and was attending to the kids... so I had to ask. Turns out, he's a foster parent too, and these are his current kids. And the old man? A senior who he's known for 15 years, who has come down with Alzheimers, and he now takes care of him nights.

I don't think I've run into a person who is working harder to create positive energy in the world in quite a while. It's been quite an experience to find out more about this stranger... and it helps me look at the world a little differently.

Monday, July 17, 2006

A busy weekend

Two big things for the weekend: First, Bella had a fun overnight with her friend Jenny. They were together for over 24 hours, and slept in the same room - and boy, it was just a delightful time. They had non-stop playing from wake to sleep. They set up a big "store" with all of the fake food, having sorted it into categories first.

My favorite was when they decided to go to California. They took every toy from the first floor and packed it into something. Then they packed all of the suitcases and baskets under the dining room table. They then set up chairs and a table in front of the packing, and "drove" to California.

During the drive, Bella took a "cell phone" call: "Oh, I'm sorry, I can't meet you at Southdale. Yeah... we're going to California. See you!"

When they arrived, they went to check into the hotel, and moved all of their posessions into the other half of the room. Remarkably silly stuff.

On Saturday AM, I got to play too: I helped a neighbor set up his Bose surround sound system. Jeff is a carpenter, so the fun of the project was running the wires into the walls - He brought out all of his tools, and the drill assortment was simply amazing. One bit was nearly 3 feet long (intended for running phone cabling). We got it all done in a few hours, and later I calibrated the system... boy, I'd say those Bose systems sound very very good! I am feeling a sense of covetitiousness. I am wanting. But I will be strong.

Bella in the Car.

A couple of Bella-isms:

1) This weekend, with Jenny and Bella in the back of the Mini, they were marveling at how it's the fastest car EVER - and started saying "Pass THAT car! Now pass THAT car!" And then they started yelling and cheering with every car we passed. I would be lying if I denied that it made me drive just a little faster, a bit zippier. And it made the trip go pretty fast!

2) Today in the car, Pamela and Bella passed the new Waterpark Hotel by the Mall of America. Bella exclaimed: "WOW, that's a really big slide. OH MY GOD - IT'S A WATERSLIDE!!!!! I am NOT going on that. Maybe when I'm a teenager."

The Bella-ism followers will be comforted by her consistent stand on Waterslides. A year ago in Brainerd we passed a waterslide, and she exclaimed "LOOK AT THAT GIANT SLIDE I DON'T WANT TO GO DOWN!" establishing her understanding of the item, her excitement at it's size, and clearly announcing her disinterest in getting a closer look.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

It's called "JimVentions", right?

I have this great relationship with Paul Sebastien - we get eachother started on "big ideas" and we bounce them back and forth and see if one of them might be a million dollar one. A couple of years ago, we actually took one to the proposal stage and met with Venture Capitalists to assess it's viability. We got some interest, but we got some pretty good industry insight from a friend of a friend of a family member, and we decided to drop it before going much further. I can say that nobody has successfully created the service we were about to... which I think speaks less to the technical issues and more to the political issues in the industry we were exploring.

That's the idea that led to my having that Roamfi email address... and since then I've used Roamfi as a catchall fake company to brand any of my big ideas.

I've got a lot of them, and I believe that every single one of them has a degree of merit. We are getting to the stage where our idea sessions are less about the viability and possibility of an idea, and more about whether the idea sounds interesting enough to actually dedicate ourselves to. I'll give you an example:

Paul came home after a week of visiting his increasingly fragile parents and was abuzz with ideas for services to help the elderly get along in life - some sort of intermediate step between having dedicated home help and using the internet to reach out to the world. We sought some intermediate idea.

I thought about the current trend in call center outsourcing: Why not give people a number they can call, and they can talk to a human who will get them what they need? At first it was the idea of saying you want a book, or some groceries. You tell the person, and they take notes, and then go to Amazon or Simon Delivers, and they place the order for you. They call you back if they have questions. These people could be in Kentucky, Bangalore, Spain, wherever. But they need to be VERY helpful.

But how much would people pay? Probably not so much actually. So where does the money come from? We got thinking: What about if this call center was really the front end for a new Same Day Delivery service - call them the "Green Caps" - they drive green microvans, have snappy suits, have green caps, and big badges with their names and pictures on them - very clean. Old people could trust a Green Cap courier is the real deal, and would open the door to them.

The call center gets calls for groceries, and the Green Caps run out to Rainbow or IGA and buy what you need and run it over. Or they run to Best Buy to get your CD for same-day delivery.

THEN, the Green Caps are actually funded by the STORES that they frequent - Best Buy or Lunds or Walgreens offers a "Green Cap 2 hour delivery" option for, say $10 an order. AND the Green Caps can be a delivery option ON the Internet version of or (where products are local - can't work with Amazon).

So really, we're creating an internet-based same day delivery service as the FUNDING vehicle to support a call center created to help old people get products over the internet by talking to a real human.

The idea is really cool, but here's the problem:

DO I WANT TO RUN A CALL CENTER AND COURIER SERVICE? This is low-paying, high management requirement work... and honestly I have enough trouble managing a team of highly paid consultants. Is this a skill I have beyond the technical/process flow architecture?

So we hit this final point, and decided, yes, it is a good idea. But it's not the idea we're going to pursue. But I hope somebody does it. So here you go, world. Find this on Google, and make it happen, someone.

And that's what I do with my spare time when I'm not remixing step aerobics CDs or pretending to be a 1980's synthpop supergroup or working out or playing with my daughter. Welcome to JimVentions.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

As Bella went to sleep

A conversation with Bella tonight, as she was going to sleep:

B: "Why did mommy go out tonight?"
J: "To find more cool things for your room!"
B: "I don't like "cool things". I like pretty things. Like Pink and Purple things. I also like black and white things... Those are my favorite colors"
J: "What colors DON'T you like?
B: "I don't like Brown very much"
J: "Who does like brown?"
B: "Charlie. He likes Brown a lot. His brother William... I don't think he likes brown quite so much."

B: "I have white skin. It's kind of old though - I've had this skin on for more a week or more. I should put on some new skin. Maybe I'll try some brown skin! Or just more skin like my skin. I've never seen anyone with Pink or Purple skin - that would be neat!"
J: "I think my skin is sort of pink...."
B: "REALLY!!!! THAT IS SO COOL. I have purple skin then!"
J: "Are you from Mars?"
B: "What is Mars?"
J: "It's a planet way up in the sky - another world".
B: "Well, that's probably where I came from then... MARS!!!!!"

And then, channeling a 1930's movie vamp:
B: "Why do I have to go to sleep? The sun is still up!"
J: "Because it's time!"
B: "But the sun is up!"
J: "That doesn't matter...."
B: "Oh what a boring thing to say...."

(at this point, she rolled over and dropped off to snoozerland).

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

What I did today.

As I mentioned before, we got some new music and dance moves for our workouts. But the Step CD is just not quite up to par: While the previous step sounded good, and both the old and the new Weights programs sounded good, the new Step sounded like audio goulash. Just a big echoey mess of a mix.

So I told Jeannie that I could maybe do something for her. She graciously let me borrow the mix CD provided by the workout designers, and this evening I tweaked it.

Here's what I found. First, the mix tended toward big bassy trance remixes which really demand a lot out of your sound system. House and disco music on the other hand, is more spare, and can sound decent on most any machine. The source material was just too "boomy" with huge reverbs and those "hollow" trancey kick drums that are all low end and no punch.

So I applied some EQ to the mix, rolling off the lowest frequencies, and then compressed the rest of the mix slightly, emphasizing the low-mid (which is where the "punch" needs to be on their sound system, and smoothing out some of the sharper edges on the high end. Through judicious A/B comparison, I figured out that the original was actually "mastered" using the Apple Logic Multipressor "POP" preset. Now, re-compressing a re-recompressed track is just a pretty hopeless case, but it was worth a try.

I have a fresh CD burned for them to try tomorrow - maybe this mix will cut through a little better. Even if it's just a bit tighter, I think they'll be happy. And if it doesn't make a difference, I'll just suffer for 10 more weeks until volume 64 comes out!

And that makes me the king of all nerds - demanding to re-eq a workout CD because the fidelity over the gym speakers isn't up to snuff.

But it was fun!

Monday, July 10, 2006

Two More Things

Can you tell I'm happy to be back on the Internet?

1) Mister Timothy (actually "MrTimothy") did come through and send me three CDs filled with delicious house music. As I drove around on errands this evening, his happy music made me grin.

2) I did see Superman Returns. I did love it. Images from the movie continue to haunt me. The moonlight flight with Lois... all of Parker Posey's moments....

And really that's it for tonight. Goodnight.


Alastair Reynold's Century Rain is GOOD Sci Fi. The guy can tell an epic tale, and at the end of it, I am rewarded with the following:
- A story that has non-stop forward motion
- Items that are seemingly casually dropped in and unexplained earlier, are explained and made relevant later.
- Economy of story telling: He rewards me by telling me relevant details that will actually come in handy later in the story.

The story was a tight 500 pages with dozens of characters, but none were superfluous - even those not central to the story were intentional red-herrings - no throw away anything. The man can WRITE. Also, he happily stays away from the bad scifi weakness of attempting to write love scenes. Writing badly written love scenes makes me feel embarassed for reading them, and embarassed for the writer, who I can only suspect has not had sufficient experience to be able to write a GOOD one. Alastair emerges with his integrity intact by side stepping the issue, and doing a tasteful "fade to black" where appropriate.

If you want to discover him, this is a good one - it stands alone. He has done more interconnected works (a multi volume series is what I started with) which I recommend as well.

I am only sharing this because I spent a good page on vitriol about BAD scifi, and wanted to share something GOOD.

Family Reunion

It was the kind of weekend that raises the bar for "weekends away". We scurried out of town on Friday afternoon. On my way out of the office, I literally ran back into the office 4 times with additional "key information" to impart to my troops before taking off for a 3.5 day getaway to Cambridge Wisconsin for the annual family reunion at "The Lake".

Bella was queen bee among 5 boy cousins ranging from 3 months to 7 years. She also got lots of attention from Auntie Carrie, Freddie the Dog, and of course Grandma and The Big Guy. In fact, I was in heavy "decompression mode", and truth be told I don't remember much about Saturday other than being on a boat a couple of times, someone keeping beverages coming, and a truly enjoyable Sci Fi novel.

Saturday was about me realizing that I've been a crazy superball of stress from my new position, and that I REALLY need to take steps to chill out on a more regular basis.

By Sunday, I was ready to engage with the world a bit better, and I was much more of an active player in the activities. My proudest achievement was waterskiing: I have not been able to successfully ski since College, and poorly even then. Yet this weekend, somehow, I just popped right up, and did two lengths of the lake on choppy water, before calmly releasing the rope and sinking contentedly into the water. I feel the only thing I can attribute it to is this: I am actually finally STRONG enough to pull myself out of the water. Working out is the reason. HOORAY!

Today was ridiculously idyllic: Jen and Harman were our hosts - they live in a big house out in the country (so far in the country, they don't even have High Speed Internet... GASP!). Today we had a leisurely breakfast, the kids played, I spent an hour with the kids helping/watching them ride trikes and bigwheels. We walked to the neighbor's and around a lake... with the sun shining and a cool breeze.

What amazes me about the country is how big the sky is. I don't know why it is, but the sky is just massive out there. I spent a lot of time just appreciating it.

So I'm back and it's crazy already at work (I've done over an hour of emails already), but I think that I can focus on this feeling of tranquility, and when I stress out, I think I'll just think about that enormous sky up there. It's big.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

What about that second client?

In weeks past I have referred to a second client where I'm providing high-level management strategy. Things got very odd recently and I wanted to give you a quick rundown.

When we started, the client had a proposal in hand to have a 3rd party take his system and rewrite it from scratch. I was brought in to evaluate the proposal and see if it made sense. Turns out the only way it really made sense was if he wanted to shut down his current system and get rid of his staff. Which may not have been a BAD idea, but it needed to be a primary driver in his decision making, not a tangent effect. In this case, we're really talking about one guy - B - who had been with the company for 5 years.

He decided those weeks ago he wasn't prepared to make that choice, so we worked with him on a big plan to incorporate the best parts of the proposal INTO his current system. We worked with his team to identify their weak areas, and to bring in new staff to help with the new development.

This led to some stress, since my new job at the primary client is pretty dang stressful, and it wasn't going to be easy for me to actually MANAGE a redevelopment project in the middle of everything else. Honestly, for me, the outsource would have been better for my time... but the client comes first. Happily my Dad was able to step in and get all of the detail level coordination work going. We were just about to launch the new project... when....

Out of the blue last week, B decided to take a "mental health week" off. Yesterday, he resigned. Add to this, he stated his intent to form a new company on his own, and take the other staff along with him. Suddenly, the entire landscape has changed, and we're back to 6 weeks ago, evaluating the original "outsource" proposal, without the barrier of having to protect the legacy guy.

Of course the Client is panicked, but we're working him through it.

It would have been so much easier if this guy had quit weeks ago and we wouldn't have had to do all of this "Plan B" action... but whatchagonnado?

And that's the other client.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Bella's new room and Mr Timothy.

It's coming together! Pamela got a vision a couple of weeks ago and we've been slowly been bringing it together. Grand Spanish style. Pamela's the workhorse here - she painted the walls with this cool multi-layer paints that makes it look like old plaster in bright and vibrant orange and pink. We got art for the walls... new curtains... it's a week or so away from being finished!

But having Bella in temporary quarters while the room was being painted was wearing on her - she got a bit whiny. Actually a lot whiny. But we made it through. Tonight she is sleeping in her new room...

A side note: In our workouts, I told you about "Stand by Me" by Mr Timothy. Well, I decided that I love the song, and needed to have it. So I went looking for it, and discovered there is no way to buy this song in the USA. Turns out he was on a US label, but it's already out of print (the song is <2 years old?). And now this song is being used in over 10,000 health clubs as a part of the Body Pump program...

I figure that Mr Timothy should at least know about this - in case more people want to buy this track, and to make sure HE knows his track is being played probably 20-30,000 times a day, so that should give him SOME mechanical royalties.

So I found Mr Timothy out on MySpace, and sent him a note. He wrote back, and he's sending me his music along to me... he's a really nice guy! I'm getting a care package of his album and a couple of singles. And I might have someone to say hi to if I'm ever in Australia.