Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year....

I'm texting while driving... Tomorrow it's illeagal! :-)

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Wake up and smell the pollution

This was the view from my hotel in Ningbo this morning. I don't have any idea how we are going to make any impact against global warming with China spewing out pollution like it is. And this is a developed area. This is not being caused by some unsanctioned coal fired powerplant up in the hills which some estimates claim are starting weekly.

As a parent you confront sitations like this with a sense of helplessness... I hope my kids will live in a world where there are still polar bears.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Dancin' yeah!

Last night, as I was sitting on the love seat watching "Oswald" with the kids, Kasey walked over, grabbed my hand and said, "Dann". This means "dance".

So I danced with her to the music playing in her head for a few minutes. Shortly thereafter Owen walks over and hoping to cut in says, "Daddy, may I have this move?"

Dena and I almost died.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Rescue Us...

Sooo.... Dena had a to go to the Dr. to get a TB test for clearance to teach at the preschool. I got home around 6pm so she could go and get back before too late.

The Kids finished dinner and I gave them a bath - usually Kasey gets out first and Owen plays in the tub for a while. Tonight Owen decided to get out on his own when I told Kasey it was time for stories and bed.

I sat Owen out in the living room and let him watch the remainder of a "Go, Go, Diego" movie episode on TiVo. I had no idea how much was left, Dena had mentioned that if he was a good boy he could watch the end of the movie.

So I got Kasey into her room and ready for bed, we read three stories and then I put her down. All told I was probably in her room with the door closed for about 15-20 mins.

Some of you may not be familiar with TiVo - it's a Digital Video Recorder. Well, after you finish watching a recorded program if you don't interact with the recorder it will time out back to the recorded program lists and then if you still don't tell it what to do it will time out again and go to live TV.

Our TiVo box has two tuners - we can record or watch two different programs. At 7:25 ish it was recording the olympics and one other program.

I walk into the living room and see Owen GLUED to the TV, eyes wide and mouth agape...
"What's THIS fireman show Daddy? I LOVE this fireman show... It just like Fireman Sam but with BIG FIREMANS..." he won't stop. In the background i hear the thick, gruff, New York accent of Franco blurt out
"That Goddamn thing shoulda been checked before we left da 'house..."

I sheepishly respond - "oh yeah buddy, those are big Firemen... lets turn off the TV and get ready for bed now"

I have no earthly idea how long he was sitting there watching but apparently Owen's a BIG "Rescue Me" fan now...

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Enough Beach Volleyball, Already....

Dear NBC Olympics Program Director:

I would like to call your attention the fact that there are sports in the Olympics other than Beach Volleyball, Swimming and Gymnastics. In the same vein, please be advised there are hundreds more athletes from the US competing other than Misty May, Keri Walsh, Michael Phelps, Nastia Liukin and Shawn Johnson.

For example how about the US Men's Waterpolo team who pulled off the "most stunning victory in US water polo in the last two decades" ove the number one team in the world, Croatia!

As for the US Women's Water Polo team... I'll let the picture speak for its self.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Bullet train

Today I rode the bullet train from Shanghai to Pudong Airport... I am so happy to be heading home.

Last night I stayed next to the TV Tower at the Bund. It is a beautiful location but as always when I'm traveling by myself in a foreign country I feel empty and alone because there is no one with which to share the experience.

I emailed this picture to Dena to show Owen. Apparently he refused to let go of the phone and appeared to be planning on sleeping with it. Wait until he sees the video. I'll post it when i get back. 300 Km/h was the fastest it goes at the time of morning I rode it... top speed in from 9:45-4:30pm is 430 km/h... wish I could have done that!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

B.W.I.

Nope, not the airport that serves the nations capitol - I'm referring to my last post. I have a vague recollection of tapping out that message during one of my trips to the bathroom while trying to escape the insanity that is Chinese business table culture.

I have a mobile phone with email capability and I routinely email in my blog to an address I set up that automtically posts the message. In this instance this convienent feature could have gone horribly awry. I'm really glad I didn't say something really bad.

Needless to say, the mayor of Xiaolin town was determined to have me drink more than my fill. She apologized then next evening as she was trying to get me to drink this paint thinner called Moutai - Baiju. Baijiu can be described as rubbing alcohol or diesel fuel. Tim Clissold author of Mr. China wites:

“I’ve never met anybody, even at the heights of alcoholic derangement, prepared to admit that they actually liked the taste,” Mr. Clissold wrote of baijiu. “After drinking it, most people screw up their faces in an involuntary expression of pain and some even yell out.”

This is probably what I hate most about doing business in China. There is way too much drinking.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Waste of time

Today is a very busy day.

I was picked up from the hotel at 8am. We immediately traveled 2 hrs to Ningbo. We need to pick up the ASME auditor at the airport. On the way we needed to deliver grapes to someone's mom, drop off customs forms and arrive at the airport one and a half hours early.

I have so much to do and this is not helping. My sales guy quit a month ago - HR is moving at a snails pace. Customers are impatient and I'm sitting at the Ningbo airport with only my phone to tap out emails to customers who left work hours ago and will read them when I'm a sleep.

Oh and it won't stop there. I'm told the plan is to drive the 2hrs back to Cixi - check the auditor into the hotel, give him some time to rest and then it is off to the full state dinner involving lots of wine and tons of food (or is that lots of food and tons of wine). Following dinner its KTV time... So in short the plan is keep the auditor out late and get him drunk so he will not be sharp tomorrow.

These guys kill me...

Monday, July 28, 2008

Off again!

I'm off to China again... This time I'm flying into the remnants of a typhoon that hit China last night - Fung-Wong...

If you're ever flying through Incheon airport in Korea, beware your wallet. You'd think you were on 5th avenue with the shops: Burberry, Dior, Hermmes, Gucci, Rolex.. You could spend a fortune here on a four hour layover.

I got here at 0445 in the morning. Me and the cleaning crew.

One word of caution... Do not eat Korean Dunkin Donuts - the texture is soggy/squishy but yet satisfying taste... Latte was good though.

For a real hearty breakfast I ordered that Jangter Noodle bowl. My order number, you ask?

Why lucky number 13... Here's to heading into that Typhoon...

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Packrat, Party of One

So this new job... well, for a while now I've been tempted by the idea of getting involved in a "turn around". This is basically what private equity groups do. They buy a distressed business for relatively cheap and then over a horizon of roughly five years, they turn it around, make it profitable and then sell it for a profit.
So I got my wish... except I never imagined I'd be putting my MBA to work by cleaning out an office.

Well - they guy who had my office before me was a total packrat. He kept ever fax he sent - ever! In hard copy! I have emptied a 55 gallon trash can 9 times with crap from my office... look...

Note the trash can in lower right...

Fax machine in the corner has "been dead for a while"...

I suppose someone used these chairs once... I think


This was the kicker...

Ohhh, that's where I left my travel charger....

Poor little roach crawled into the box and couldn't get out...
note the sculpted are in the lid where he tried to gnaw his way to freedom...
Oh, did I throw the little roach out in the trash you ask? Nah - I left him on my bosses desk... he deserved it.






Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Ummmm... Lunch!


No this is no my trip to the Ningbo aquarium. This is not a trip to the Chinese version of Petco. This is however the menu for lunch.


My hosts picked me up at the airport in Ningbo on Monday and we drove the 1 hour drive to Cixi city. About halfway there we pulled off the road and into a restaurant that was a very large 3 story building but completely empty of guests. We walked into this room that was lined on one wall with several holding tanks, on the adjoining wall displays of the vegetables for today, on the opposite wall along the floor small plastic bins containing all sorts of live animals.



We selected some crab, fish, some chicken (it was prepared already) and a mystery meat.


The meal was tasty and we had a bottle of beer each - Snow lager - I never heard of it before.


The wall with the small blue bins was the most interesting. It had eels, snakes, a small bucket with a net over it with some type of quail in it - alive (for now) and moving around. I suppose this way the food is not wasted. If you don't cook it today you don't need a big freeze or refrigerator to keep it for tomorrow. And you absolutely know your food is fresh!


Sunday, April 20, 2008

You are here...

Ni hao!

I woke up every 2 hrs last night afraid i was going to miss my flight... travel anxiety I guess. Anyway, I am here.
http://www.google.com/maps/mm?ie=UTF8&hl=en&ll=31.169482,121.80233&spn=0.066096,0.116043&t=h&z=13&iwloc=A

The location is a little off on the map link - technically my hotel is the one shaped like a "H" at the end of the western most runway of the airport... the place mark on the map is a bit too far NNW from the actual spot (close enough for government work though).

Breakfast was good - 3 cups of coffee (kafei) and a mix of western food with Chinese traditional foods like boiled eggs in tea sauce (really turns a hard boiled egg tasty) some sort of Cornish hen chicken dish, sauteed bok choy and a creamy onion dish.

Well fed I'm off to the airport for my flight to Ningbo. Roy Cheng the operations manager is meeting me at the airport... more later.

Zaijian!

Brian

Ground Stop...

I'm off to China this week to meet with our joint venture partners and this is how my trip begins.
Yep UAL157 is my flight. SFO is on ground stop but good news! That only affects domestic flights... er... wait a minute I'm flying international. What happens if I miss my flight? Well I can get booked on the next flight which is probably tomorrow.

This trip has been doomed from the start anyway. I won't make it to CiXi until Monday afternoon - make that wouldn't have. If I miss my connection in SFO my trip drops to 3days effectively.

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

My Pilgrimage to Mecca...

It is said that one must travel to Mecca at least once in a lifetime. I went on Monday night.

Jim Neelys Interstate BBQ is arguably the Mecca of Memphis Barbeque. I'm not talking about grilling where meat is seared under intense heat and direct flame. I'm talking about Barbeque - cooking meat low and slow with raw wood fuels.




Interstate Bar-B-Que is located on the south side of Memphis amongst less than prime real estate. There are bars on all the windows and after 9pm they lock the door - they'll let you in, they just lock the door behind you. The parking lot has a guard tower that is manned during the busy times to keep watch over you're car.



Upon entering the dinning room you are hit with the smell of thick hickory wood smoke. That's when my mouth started to water. Then my mind raced - what should I have? I sat down, the Kansas v. Memphis game was on and the place was empty save three tables. Memphis was dead - except for the watering holes. You could have walked across I420 blind folded and been completely safe.

I picked a booth with a view of the big screen. The tables contain adds for business ca. 1990 beneath layers of polyurethane - I'm not sure most of them are still open. The walls are adorned with signed photos from celebrities, barbeque competitions, accolades from print sources and a Mohammad Ali shrine.

I was given a menu and picked the sliced pork and pork ribs combo, slaw and beans with a Miller Lite. They are known for their pork shoulder sandwich but I wanted to sample more than just that.
BEFORE
My food was delivered shortly. 5 pork ribs and about 1/2 lb. of sliced pork both slathered with sauce. Ohhh the sauce. Not too sweet, with a nice tang and thinner than I would have imagined. The slightly thin consistency ensured the sauce permeated the pork to be certain each sinew's smokiness was balanced with the sweet tanginess of the sauce.

The ribs were outstanding. when you picked them up you had to pry them apart slightly. The meat was firm and held together nicely. When you sunk your teeth into them you could pull the meat in your bite clear off the bone, clean. I'm talking there was not a shred of meat on the bone. But your bite only removed the meat nearest your mouth. It was amazing - I have never bit into a rib with that characteristic before. Check it out!

AFTER

I have been to Mecca - and I will go again.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

I Will Post AGAIN!!!!

Fear not faithful Blogophiles... I will post again... this damn new job thing has me pretty tied up.

Just to keep you entertained I'll give you a quick question, to which the first person to provide the correct answer (in the comments) will get a special blog post dedicated to them. Ok?


In cleaning out my new office I have removed how many 55 gal. trash cans of crap?

A. 3
B. 4
C. 6
D. 8
E. 11

Leave a comment with your answer - Deadline is Thursday, April 3rd, Midnight PST.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Children of the Palms...

Dena usually is the one who writes about the antics of our offspring. However, this weekend Dena was ill and I took Owen and Kasey to church alone...

Now if you are a frequent reader of Dena's blog you know that we have been working with Owen on what is and is not acceptable behavior during children's time.

This past weekend was Palm Sunday. In our church, on Palm Sunday all the children gather in the narthex of the church each holding a palm frond and then at the begining of the service process into the sanctuary.

We missed the procession - we arrived to church at 10:04 - I have a rough time getting the kids anywhere on time. We did get our palm fronds though and went to sit down in front with the rest of the kids. Owen had this look like, "seriously, I get to hold a tree in church? Cool!" It took him exactly 37 seconds before he realized he could go sit in pew infront of us and use the frond to tickle his friend Patrick.

Kasey was more calm because she was actually not sure what this frond thing was anyway. Praise the Lord it was soon children's time. As we are sitting there I'm desparately trying to keep Owen focused on Reverend Terry and the story of Jesus riding the donkey into Jerusalem. Kasey is sitting on my lap and I'm really not paying attention to her.

Owen on the other hand has my full attention. He begins to systematically peel palm leaves from the frond and cry "uh oh, this palm is broken!"

I finally get Owen calm and I look down and Kasey is really enjoying the palm frond. So much though that she's eaten about an inch off the stem.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

These are the guys I'll really miss...

It's sad to leave. This made my day.




From: Park, Ken
Sent: Monday, March 10, 2008 4:29 PM
To: Babb, Brian
Subject:

Hi Brian
I just heard that you’re leaving Honeywell soon.
I want to say good luck at your new place and I know you’re going to doing well.
Also, say Hi to Russell for me.

And I would like to say thank you again for rehired me on Jul-2004.
This is something that I will not forget for a long time.
I’m enjoying work for Turbos for Mark and there is lots of opportunity to grow up for me.

Please take care and god bless you

Regards,
ken

Monday, March 10, 2008

Fashion Faux Pax #458,674


We went to a hob-knob reception for the MBA.PM class of 2008 at this place on last Saturday night. Its the Dean's Residence for the Marshall School of Business and it is absolutely gorgeous! The main house has to be 6500 sq-ft and there are natural pools/spas, a outbuilding for entertaining, three car garage and a spectacular view of the San Gabriel valley.


Anyway - Dena and I went and drank wine and chatted with fellow students and their SOs. I'm in class right now siting next to some of the people we saw there... and then it occurs to me...

I'm wearing the same exact clothes (minus the boxer shorts) as I did on Saturday night.

Oh yeah - and I wore this to church on Sunday too... I think I need to re-read that entry on being white trash...

The Ambassador of Kiva

Those of you who have been reading this blog for a while may have noticed the ad in the lower right for kiva.org.


Since beginning my MBA the sheer numbers regarding global poverty and economic growth have disturbed me. Approximately 4 billion people live in poverty and are not part of the formal economy. These people live on less than $2 a day. In B-school these people are referred to as being at the "bottom of the pyramid". There has been a tremendous push lately by global multi-nationals to try to turn these people into consumers. The talk in the board rooms of J&J or P&G goes something like "imagine if all those people were buying our products!"


My fascination with the bottom of the pyramid is more drawn toward the reasons those people are there in the first place and what simple things can I do to help them out. I've read "FastCompany" articles about a couple of guys that designed and built a foot operated water pump that cost about $70.00 to manufacture. Farmers in Africa can use this pump to help irrigate their crops and grow more food. The additional food allows them to sell some of it for a profit. The additional profits help them buy more pumps, seed, fertilizer etc. and grow more food...


So i sit here occasionally and say, "I'm an engineer. I'm a smart guy. How am I using my talents to make the world a better place?" I also know that the best way to solve a social issue is to build a business case around it. The free market is far more efficient than any government at moving capital and investing in peoples future.


For now I cannot really draw a direct line between my work and improving the planet. I can rationalize one but eventually I want to be able to draw a direct line. So for now I lend through Kiva.


Kiva is a non-profit organization that allows people to lend to microfinance institutions around the globe so they can fund loans to local entrepreneurs. The entrepreneurs pay the loans back in 6 to 18 months with interest (retained by the microfinance partner) and then I can re-lend the same funds to someone else. Kiva provides a vehicle for me to invest in the development of people worlds away $25 at a time. Check it out.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Cuba (and I don't mean the actor)

This time last year I was headed to Mexico City and Havana on a trip for business school. Looking back I realize that I had no inkling what I was in store for. However there was no way I could have had any idea what I would find.

Mexico City is like a black and white photo with stark contrast. Picture a sun bleached, bark bare tree against a outcropping of dark basaltic rocks. The white of the wood is the have-a-lots and the basaltic rock are the impoverished. There is a level of opulence in Mexico city that is difficult to find in Beverly Hills. Then, outside the formal city, there are the countless people living literally on the fringes of society 3/4 of the way up the volcanic hillsides. Streets so steep no car could climb them; but that's ok, no one there owns a car or has running water.

Cuba is a canvas painted flat black. No one has anything. I've never felt as privileged as when I visited Cuba. Cubans are a very warm and friendly people by day. At night, the underbelly of Havana show itself.
Most Cubans make enough money in their government assigned jobs to make it through 3 weeks of every month. The last month is up to you. You either get inventive or go hungry. Needless to say, everyone in Cuba is hustling something, be it cigars out the back of one of the factories or themselves.

My time in Cuba has forever changed my perspectives on governments, human beings, trade and opportunity. I think about this trip often. I remember standing in one of the Spanish fortifications, listening to a little boy or 5 or 6 calling out to a container ship as it left the harbor. "un BAR-co! un BAR-co! un BAR-co!" he cried joyfully - the Spanish word for ship..


video

His father stood a few feet a way. His face stoic and his eyes glaring at the ship. He looked at the 1/2 empty ship as it steamed out of Havana harbor and I knew he was wondering, "will my boy ever make it off this forgotten island? Or is he doomed to waste the best years of his life imprisoned by the ideology of a failed experiment?"

Cuba could only exist on an island. Fidel and his comrades could only impose control on an island. There is no Cuban commercial fishing fleet. Put a Cuban on a boat and they won't come back. The island is rotting. Who knows how many of the beautiful buildings will need to be demolished because their structures are unsafe from neglect? I can only hope that the transition there moves faster and that our governments can come to an agreement to open trade again. Time is running out for the beauty that was Old Havana. Someday I hope to go back. I just hope it will still be there.


Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Hold yer Liquor!

So my co-worker - employee actually - and I traveled to Albuquerque... after our business was concluded we went in search of a bar/pub/anything to get a drink.

We end up in a pub called Maloney's with the other 22 people from the state of New Mexico who had the same idea. It was decent. They had Guinness on tap so I was happy.

Andrea asks for me to order her a drink. "Something fruity." I'm not big on fruity drinks - I'm not really good at ordering mixed drinks period: margarita, kamikaze, vodka cranberry. That's my box. I'm more of a straight tequila, scotch or beer/wine guy.

So I order Andrea a vodka cranberry.

6 minutes later she orders a second one.

12 Minutes after that she orders a third.

She's 26, 5-nothing, 100-nothing. See where this is going?

So I finally finish my Guinness and Andrea has made "too good" friends with 3 of the local auto mechanics and decides we have to leave... ok whatever, it took us forever to find this bar. So we go across the street to a bar called The Library... now this is where I could do some real studying.

Andrea orders a water - me, Patron silver, in a tumbler, with a twist of lime. Andrea is feeling fine. She has another water then disappears into the bathroom for 10 minutes.

She reappears and immediately asks for another water. I'm still sipping my tequila. Blah Blah chit chat with the locals - "where you from?" "Why you in Albuquerque?" - I must really fit in around here. I notice Andrea is gone...

I order a Margarita, rocks and salt. Strange looks from the locals persist.

Andrea reappears a bit wobbly... "wooow - I shooouldn't have had those shreeee drinks so quick-ly"

"Gee, ya think? Have some more water."

As we're talking she's getting a glassy look in her eye and interrupts me to say "excuse me" with her finger raised... off to the loo again...

15 minutes later she reappears with a bouncer on her arm, he collects her jacket and starts to walk her out the door...

"Close my tab, please..."

My dumb ass employee was just kicked out of a bar for drinking too much. The night was magic!

I must've made a wrong turn in Albuquerque

I just flew in from Albuquerque and boy are my arms tired...

Wow that town is depressing. When I first started at Lockheed Martin after college I was working on a project with Sandia National Labs in Albuquerque - I made a few trips out there over a year or so. There was nothing to do. The place made Worcester on a Wednesday night look like Bourbon Street...

I (we actually - I went with a co-worker whom will be the brunt of much laughter in a subsequent post) went out there on Tuesday to visit a supplier... it was absolutely the same.

Deader than Deadwood.

Granted it was a Tuesday night but when my co-worker asked for a recommendation on where to go our hosts named off "The Blahblah was great but it closed", "oh, and the whateveritwascalled was killer - but it burned down..." "The pit was cool but it got hit by a meteorite..."

So once again, the forces of the universe conspired to prevent me from having a good time.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

I am white trash...

... as far as the city of Torrance is concerned.

I come home on Wednesday and Dena hands me a certified letter from the city of Torrance. Apparently our parkway (the 4ft wide grass strip between the sidewalk and street) was in violation of city ordnance. "No person shall plant or grow any vegetation taller than 18in... nor shall any home owner allow vegetation to become over grown so as to provide shelter to vermin..." Like I need one more thing on my plate.

The Parkway Project, as it has been monikered, originally was a neat and tidy arrangement of lavender, society garlic, lilly of the Nile, buffalo grass and sweet broom. That was B.M.B.A. (Before MBA)

The Parkway Project has since become my Waterloo.

There was nothing sweet about the sweet broom. It was so prolific it shot up to 6 feet tall in 3 months. Caterpillars were the only creatures that found it sweet - they infested them, one died last summer (the plant, not a caterpillar). The carcass stood as a large skeletal reminder of how little time I had to garden.

The lavender became about 5 ft in diameter and 2-1/2 ft high. At one point one of them threatened to colonize the front lawn after fording the sidewalk.

The lillys all died - I guess full sun on the label doesn't apply to the specific climate that is my front yard. Half the buffalo grass fried.

The society garlic you ask? It's fabulous. It is sitting there taunting me. If it had died I would just weed-b-gone the whole lot and plant something I can handle, like grass. But no, the society garlic is there planting thoughts in my head like "you can just plant more of meeee!" and "don't give up yet, you're a great landscape artist. Even Michelangelo screwed up a few pieces." Evil. Just evil.

Maybe that's how it got the name "society". This garlic talks about you behind your back at garden parties.

Anyway - the city has given me until March 6th to fix my nature preserve. I'll let you know how I do.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Just quit, already...

It's official, after almost nine years toiling at Honeywell - I'm resigning...

That is of course if I can get my boss on the phone!

My boss and I are in the same location maybe 100 times a millennium. His travel schedule is far more rigorous than mine but we always seem to pass each other on the way to the airport/Mexico.

I have been trying for two days to get him on the phone to tell him I am resigning. This after spending an entire day finding an admin that had access to his travel profile to figure out what timezone he's in. I signed my offer letter on Thursday. The clock is ticking.

Anyway - today's the day - I'm going to call him, actually speak to him and tell him - I just feel it.

Leaving Honeywell will be difficult but it's the best thing for us right now. I'm leaving to go work for my previous boss as the product line director for a family of industrial valves. I know. Sexy. Glamorous. Certainly my life is going to change, what with all the models and movie stars I'll have to party with...

The hard part isn't leaving the job. Its leaving behind the many close friends, most of whom are in another country, that I've made over the last nine years...

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Vindication!

Ok, I admit it. I hold on to things too long. Call them grudges if you will, I think of them more as emotional equivalents of the occupied west bank. Little fortresses built of ire.

In one particular instance I have been very good. I have been very nice. I have not made disparraging comments. I have not passed judgement. Not once.

Background: Last year I was asked to fill a temproary role as the Director of Program Management - while they looked for a real candidate of course...

Nevermind I was/am the most experienced in the division, regulary sought out as a resource by others in the organization and I know the business to boot... no, we needed a change.

We needed... someone new, someone with an outsiders perspective, someone with an english accent!

This morning I had the pleasure of really seeing my replacement in action. He's been on the job for 9 months. Here are some of the gems from a Project Phase exit he was holding.

"Is that very technical?"
(in response to a heat exchanger modeling tool used to appropriately size the heat exchanger - nah, any midly intelligent monkey can do it)

(while looking at two graphs - one showing the change in temperature over time)
"So the one on top is varying from zero to 650c and the one on the bottom is going from -900 to +500"
"Yes."
"Why is that?"
"Because its the derivative of the one on top."
(confused silence)
(I'll spare you the doomed attempt by one of the project engineers to explain what a derivative is)


"So how much is that going to cost to do that?"
(after reviewing the incremental costs necessary to improve the reliability of the product, line by line with the total summed at the bottom, in bold and labeled "Total cost to implement")


They were right - I was WAAAYYYYY over qualified for that job.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Why?

I need an outlet - my thoughts need a place to take shape. My mind works in a similar fashion to a superball. Random. Abstract. This is a great asset when one is trying to solve a complex problem or trying to find a way out of a maze - bouncing unpredictably through scenarios and finding alternate paths.

The problem: It drives other people nuts.

So I've learned a defense mechanism - don't share everything that goes through my head.

The result: At times I appear distant, disinterested and disconnected.

My Fix: Package my ramblings in written form and thereby make them more coherent to others.

As with most experiements - failure is the most likely outcome.