Thursday, October 18, 2007

Who me?

You Are An INTP

The Thinker

You are analytical and logical - and on a quest to learn everything you can.
Smart and complex, you always love a new intellectual challenge.
Your biggest pet peeve is people who slow you down with trivial chit chat.
A quiet maverick, you tend to ignore rules and authority whenever you feel like it.

In love, you are an easy person to fall for. But not an easy person to stay in love with.
Although you are quite flexible, you often come off as aloof or argumentative.

At work, you are both a logical and creative thinker. You are great at solving problems.
You would make an excellent mathematician, programmer, or professor.

How you see yourself: Creative, fair, and tough-minded

When other people don't get you, they see you as: arrogant, cold, and robotic

Monday, September 24, 2007

Living the dream

"It's not about how to achieve your dreams. It's about how to lead your life. If you lead your life the right way, the karma will take care of itself. The dreams will come to you."

-Randy Pausch

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Bio book

An old friend recently contacted me. I could very well say "my old friend" as Kevin is really the only person I hung out with in High School that I maintained any sort of contact with beyond college. He currently writes the background for exhibits at the Natural History Museum in New York, but managed to get a job at the Exploratorium and will be moving back to the Bay Area. He is trying to get me to go to our 20th High School Reunion. I'm still balking at it a bit, but I did go to the online site and fill out the info for my "Bio Book". Here is the best I could do in the limited space given and the limited time I was willing to put in:

Software Engineering
Wife, Zane (Suzanne).
Two adopted kids, Jefferson 20, Frederick 15.
3 cats.
Travel, Trail running, Philosophy, Hiking, Reading, More travel
Obviously graduated high school. Went to UC Davis. Got a BS in CS. Moved to Silicon Valley and went to work in "the biz". Big company, small company, smaller company, startup, boom, bust, burnout, back to a big company. Currently, Director of Engineering at Sony Corporation.

Met my wife at a Philosophy study group
(Ayn Rand). Became friends. Became more. She moved in. Long story made way too short, we ended up taking guardianship over two amazing boys. Life changed. Kids, house, honeymoon, SUV, marriage (yes, in that order).

One kid now in college, the other in high school. Still residing in the 'burbs. Striving to keep life as the ever-changing, always interesting, passionate, wild ride it ought to be.

Me at Torres

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Only in...

Enjoying a meal with old friends in a tiny, 4 table, Japanese-Italian restaurant. Brazilian Jazz plays in the background. A typhoon rages outside. We sample the unexpected flavor of edamame gelato.

After paying a bill that may require some people to join our meal on the expense report, we head outside to find that there is a lull in the storm. A gust of wind grabs Jason's umbrella and turns it inside out just as we decide to walk to the station. We joke about the hotel not being happy with how he has taken care of the borrowed "kasa".

As we walk up the street we see other white plastic umbrellas that have been similarly treated and discarded (or torn from hands). And then we see more. And more. Each more decimated than the last. We begin to laugh as the number of dead umbrella seems to increase the more we move up the hill. Then, we reach the top and look down a side street. All three of us burst into hysterics. Its a virtual massacre! Dozens of cheap umbrellas have fallen victim to the storm and lay to rest in a sort of urban umbrella cemetery.


Monday, September 03, 2007


Recognition seems to be a theme this week; whether the recognition of mental notes bubbling up from one’s sub-conscious or, in another’s situation, recognizing the ghosts of the past as they creep in to haunt the new life that he is only starting to be build. It’s not necessarily a case of past deeds left unfinished or the direct consequence of past actions, but simply the spirit of old behaviors and modes of being; allowing oneself to fall into certain situations, reacting in ways that bring about undesired responses or simply the collection of unchecked habits that seem to always lead one to places that end in the question “why me?” The “why” is in the recognition. Recognizing that the “bad luck” that seems to follow you around is influenced greatly by all the decisions that you make (many of them without much thought), is the first step in affecting real change in your situation. Without the recognition those past behaviors, patterns and premises will continue to haunt you; silently and subtly directing your actions and placing you into predicaments that you swear are exactly what you’ve trying to avoid.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

That Left Behind

Travel was, at one time, quite routine. I tried to go about my packing and preparation with the casual ease that was once the hallmark of my every-other-month trips to Tokyo. However, it’s been a while and I definitely displayed a bit of my frantic side as I tried to gather up what I might need for the five day business trip. Five days is enough to require checked luggage in my book so the simple solution in terms of clothes and such is simply to over-pack in the large suitcase. As for my carry-on, I definitely didn’t have it all together. I remember the simple habit I had of moving certain things in and others out of my laptop case that I knew I would want during the 11 hour flight. This time I moved things in and out of my case, but it was often the same items as I tried to figure if I would need this or that. One item, a nice soft eye-mask, seemed to have me perplexed. I had purchased it sometime ago, but often forgot to bring it on my trips. It’s a little bulky and so it is easy to convince oneself to keep it out in favor of other items. I went back and forth on this one for some reason. Not really having a reason, actually. In the end, I left it out even though there was plenty of room. I’m not sure what the point was, it was purchased for a reason and that was to use on long flights where I might want to sleep. But there we had it. It was out.

Of course, it should come as no surprise to those versed in the school of irony that it was the one item that I wanted once I was up in the air and ready for a nap. This is a long story telling really very much of nothing. I could probably spend too much idle time wondering why I ultimately decided not to put keep it in my carry on. However, the more interesting question is why I happened to remember it in the first place before struggling over whether or not to include it. I’ve left it so many times in the past, why remember it this time? Something about no longer having a routine seems to have triggered something within me to signal that it might be important. My sub-conscious mind was trying to give me some important information. Yes, I usually forgot this bit of travel gear in the past, but inevitably I always desired it once I was on the plane. Some time in the past I had tucked away a bit of information to remind myself to bring this on my trips even though I always forgot it due to habit. Now, devoid of habit, the reminder left behind in my sub-conscious was doing its job and I…I basically ignored it.

The point of all this, as with all such reflections, is to ask myself “what is learned?” The obvious lesson is simply to try and listen better to the messages that my sub-conscious may be trying to tell me. I like to think of the sub-conscious as a sort of mental warehouse, a storage place where unfinished thoughts and random ideas take their place along side standing orders and reminders to, hopefully, be recalled at a time in the future when some trigger, intentional or otherwise, brings them to the surface. There is probably as much to think about the process by which mental contents are placed into and stored in the sub-conscious mind as there is about how one might better proceed with pulling things out when they are needed. However, one thing is certain, no matter how much influence you are able to obtain over the process, it is all for not if you fail to take heed when an important tidbit comes bubbling up from your sub-conscious. In the end, the point is not so much that I should have brought the eye-mask or even that I should have recalled the past times I had wanted it. The really important lesson is that I should have noticed the hint, the half formed thought, that feeling of questioning coming from the back of my mind. Even if I could not recognize it for what it was, a long forgotten reminder, I should not have simply ignored it.

The mental exercise that I must now give myself is to always stop or at least pause to ask what it might be that my sub-conscious mind is trying to tell me when such inclinations arise. Recognizing that this task itself is a sub-conscious reminder as well, I will simply leave it at that; hoping that having thought it and now writ it will be the start of a process that does not simply leave behind thoughts and ideas to gather dust in the depth of my mind. Perhaps this is another interpretation of what it means to always “be mindful.”

Tuesday, March 20, 2007