Sunday, December 24, 2006

The rest of the charity selections

Following my last blog entry, here is what everyone else has decided to donate to.

Nick selected Care. He wants to make sure that everyone has food, shelter, medicine and so on. He struggled as to whether to give some of his money to St. Jude Hospital.

Anthony picked Accion. This is a nonprofit that establishes a pool of funds to give out as micro-loans. He thinks that this will have the longest lasting impact as the money will be used over and over.

Julie picked Innvision for half of her donation. She picked the Arts Council of Silicon Valley. This is to insure that arts are not left out as funding becomes more and more restricted. She also decided to volunteer at two others:)

Papa picked Christian Brothers. He remembers how they made a difference as he grew up - impacting in some way many aspects of his life and creating a lasting impression. His first interaction was at Mullen High School, started by the Christian Brothers.

Mom decided on Sun City Foundation (seniors helping seniors). This is the nonprofit within the Sun City community where she and Papa live. They can see how this helps those who need help.
And as I described my last blog entry, I picked a bunch of places:)

This really turned out to be great. It is nice to hear how many ways we can help others. And it is awesome to hear the different perspectives!

My Charity Thoughts ...

We have decided to do a family project this year around our charitable giving.

We are allocating the some money to our family as well as Mom and Curt (since we are all together for Christmas) to give to their favorite charity. The goal is to broaden our perspective on charitable giving and to learn something about everyone at the same time!

There are only two only catches. One is that it has to be a nonprofit so that I can go back to Sun and take advantage of the matching program which results in giving TWICE as much to the charities that we select. And second that everyone needs to present (with visuals:)) their choice(s) and the reasons behind them. We will do this- at or after Dinner on Christmas eve.

So before jumping into he nonprofits that I have selected, here is the thinking that drives my choices.
  • I am most concerned about the children and their ability to function successfully in the future
  • I am concerned about the environment and insuring that it exists in roughly its current form to be enjoyed into the future
  • And I want to insure that children and adults have enough food and shelter

The companies that I have selected are:

Junior Achievement

We are the passionate people behind a movement that seeks to educate and inspire young people to value free enterprise, business, and economics to improve the quality of their lives. Located in beautiful Colorado Springs, the JA Worldwide headquarters provides support for JA operations throughout the U.S., and in nearly 100 countries around the world that carry out the mission.

Altogether, Junior Achievement reaches approximately 7 million students worldwide. Through age-appropriate curricula, Junior Achievement programs begin at the elementary school level, teaching children how they can impact the world around them as individuals, workers and consumers. Junior Achievement programs continue through the middle and high school grades, preparing students for future economic and workforce issues they'll face.

We do all this with the help of our volunteers. Volunteers who so care about our youth they take time out of their day to make a difference. How do we know this? We have external evaluators measure the impact of our programs.

Boys and Girls Club (of Santa Clara County)

In every community, boys and girls are left to find their own recreation and companionship in the streets. An increasing number of children are at home with no adult care or supervision. Young people need to know that someone cares about them.

Boys & Girls Clubs offer that and more. Club programs and services promote and enhance the development of boys and girls by instilling a sense of competence, usefulness, belonging and influence.

Boys & Girls Clubs are a safe place to learn and grow – all while having fun. They are truly The Positive Place For Kids.

Peninsula Open Space Trust

The mission of the Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST) is to give permanent protection to the beauty, character and diversity of the San Francisco Peninsula landscape for people here now and for future generations. We encourage the use of these lands for natural resource protection, wildlife habitat, low-intensity public recreation and agriculture.
Since our founding in 1977, POST has helped to give permanent protection to nearly 55,000 acres of land in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties — an area one and a half times the size of San Francisco and 12 times the size of Yosemite Valley.

Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties

A private non-profit organization that collects and distributes more than 30 million pounds of food each year to low-income children, adults and seniors. The Food Bank currently serves an average of 162,000 individuals each month; nearly 60% are families with dependent children. OuMission Providingng food for people in need in our community.

So there it is ... my choices. It will be fun to talk this through with everyone and see what they have come up with.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Heading to Europe and India

Just finalized my itinerary for my trip next week to Europe and India. Sounds like it will be a lot of fun, and not just a bit tiring:)
  • Sunday depart SFO to London Heathrow at 6pm
  • Monday arrive 1pm
  • To Hotel to shower
  • Meet my folks at the office at 3pm
  • Pub and dinner that evening
  • Tuesday visit customers Telewest and Harrods (maybe some Christmas shopping???)
  • Night fly to Amstedam, taxi to hotel
  • Wednesday visit customers Schiphol and ING
  • Night flight to Paris, taxi to hotel
  • Thursday visit with partner Cap Gemini and customer SNCF
  • Night flight to Munich
  • Friday visit customers BMW (and pick up a new M5!) and Daimier Chrysler Financial
  • Saturday morning train to Frankfurt
  • Saturday flight to Bangalore at noon
  • Sunday arrive 1am
  • Sunday OPEN (maybe catch up on some sleep!)
  • Monday visit partners Accenture, PWC and WiPro
  • Tuesday day in the Sun office with my team
  • Tuesday LATE / Wednesday early flight to Franfurt / SFO
  • Wednesday arrive SFO noon
I will definitely be making the most of the time that I have. There are some great customers on this list, and some good partners. I will be with the local sales folks in each country. Good chance to meet them, fill them in on what we are doing back at "corporate" and hopefully help them to do more business!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Twas the night before Thanksgiving

I am really looking forward to a long weekend!
  • Going to PG for a few days. Home away from home. Wish we could get there more!!!
  • Hanging out with the family (April and Katy will be there!). Haven't seen them in a while - should be fun.
  • Eating a BUNCH of Turkey! We all have things we like. For me it is Turkey, green beans and stuffing!
  • Going to see a movie - maybe Casino Royale ?!?! The new 007 - actually the first in the series, not able to make it until now.
  • Watching some football (will have to find a place - no TV:)) Also got to have it!
  • Decorating for Christmas ... The plan for Sunday. Tree, lights, decorations, music, the whole thing.

Hope all of you have a great Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Kids Sports Weekend

It was the total kids sports weekend.

Nick played in a soccer tournament in Burlingame - about a half hour from our house. It started Saturday morning at 8am (meaning we had to get there at 7:15, so leave the house at 6:45, so get up at 6:00!).

They were playing a CYSA Class 1 tournament with mostly A teams. His team is a B team, so this was stiff competition. They lost the first game 4-2. We then played at 11:30 and won the second 4-0. To make a long story short, this gave us the most points for a second place team in the pool play.

So on Sunday we played again at 8am - this time one of the two top teams from pool play. We shut them out 3-0. So we had a game at 2:30 for the championship. Needless to say, we lost that game 5-1, but as a result ended up in second place for the tournament. Awesome for playing with mostly A teams!

The rest of the weekend was the CEEF Gala fund raiser for our schools and preparing for Anthony's end of year football party. I put together a highlights movie with pictures and video from all of the games. This took longer than expected, but was a highlight of the party.

During the party Anthony got two awards. He was again a scholar athlete (two this year on the team) and made all league as a fullback. You can guess which he was most proud of! It was the all league, but he now has a goal of four years of scholar athlete:)

Didn't get much else done - but a good weekend for kids sports!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Sun Open Source Java Technology

Ok - I usually don't put technical stuff in this blog. But thought that I would this time. But before I do, the ups and downs of last weekend ...
  • Anthony played his last game Thursday night (kind of a weekend). They lost, but they scored three toughdowns! I thought that Anthony was going to get one. He rumbled for about fifteen yards on one run but didn't get into the end zone. Played full back the whole game (often times in a single back set), played nose guard (I resemble that ...), played defensive end and of course did the long snaps. Good year.
  • Nick played soccer on Saturday. We had to go all the way to Salinas. It takes 5 hours door to door for a game that is two 40 minute halfs. Long time. Bummer is that they lost. The other team showed up 5 minutes AFTER the game was suppose to start, didn't warm up and went ahead by three goals in the first half. We came back and tied it up. They scored. We had shots, even bounced one off the head of one of the defenders just in front of the goal as the goalie was out of the play after diving for an earlier ball - but couldn't get it through:(
  • We went to Ian's a 50th birthday party on Saturday night. Good time. Stayed with Craig and Dina over night. Kids went and stayed with Chris and Brandon. All had fun!
  • Nick played another game on Sunday. Close to home. Playing the second best team and tied two all. They were happy with this result - they just keep getting better.
  • Jeff and I went for a nice bike ride. Couple of hours. Still feeling it in my legs:)

Now back to open sourcing. This means making the source code available to anyone that wants to use it. The goal is to get more people using our stuff and innovating. We believe that if we do this, everyone including us will be better off. And we will build strong relationships with developers and customers. Working so far, this was just another big step on our way to returning profitable!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Ten Years Ago - This Week

There has been a bunch of email going around at work amongst the rmtc96 folks. That is - the folks at Sun who worked at the Rocky Mountain Technology Center (RMTC) at the time that it was closed by Sun in 1996. This is because it is the 10 year anniversary of the closure of the site. The announcement was made just before Halloween.

These emails have brought back a flood of memories.
  • I remember when I first saw Eric Corwin in the halls of one of Sun's buildings in California. He was my bosses boss at the time I came to Sun from Amdahl, and at the time was the site director of RMTC. Julie and I had just talked about maybe moving in order to get into a nicer neighborhood and house, and into a nice place to raise our kids. I mentioned my interest and in a matter of what seemed like days, we were visiting Colorado Springs ...
  • I remember that first visit. I thought that I was going to be interviewed for the job, but Eric had lined up a number of folks and asked me to start interviewing them. Guess I had the job. The site was only 17 people at the time. With me and my group, it would be 21.
  • I remember the first person that I interviewed. It was Brian Smithey. Actually, I talked to his wife first. I think Brian was not home so Mary and I talked. Found out that this is the best way to hire someone ... get in good with their spouse:)
  • I remember beer busts. This was a Sun tradition, and we did a good job of carrying on that tradition at RMTC.
  • I remember caber tossing. That is, the dumb guy activity of trying to flip a small telephone pole (we started out small and gradually got bigger). I remember seeing divots in the grass from the second floor of our building.
  • I remember time with friends hanging outside playing bocci in the forest, or tossing big rocks, and of course drinking beer.
  • I remember some of the nicest, smartest, most creative folks that I have ever worked with. And I remember working on some pretty cool stuff.
  • I remember Anthony and his friends playing in the yard. I remember Nick being born - while I was out of town:( And the two of them growing up a lot during the five years that we were there.
  • I remember Julie building up great friendships with other moms who stayed home. And I remember how hard the first few weeks were when she was trying to find a way to make connections - that didn't take long, just a trip to the library (inside joke).
  • I remember hikes, bike rides, running on trails and lightening! Actually the first real mountain bike that I ever owned.
  • I remember Eric having heart trouble and taking some time off. I remember filling his role. I remember way way too much travel. I remember the site closure and how hard that was. And I remember having to leave such a great place.
Things all worked out in the end. I love California more than ever. I ended up with a great job at Sun and have stayed far longer than I would have guessed. Julie made a bunch more friends. The kids are doing great.

Great memories.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

The new school year, and other things ...

Seems that I have not updated the blog for a while. So here is what is happening with us.

It is a new school year. Your first thought was Nick and Anthony, what grade are they in, what are they taking, etc. Well, don't forget about Julie. Yea, she is taking a pretty full load on her way to an art degree. She has two day time classes and a web class as well.

Anthony is a sophomore in high school. He has a full load with one honors and one AP (advanced placement) class. All of this while playing football. Kind of a nut. Way too much homework! But liking it a lot - especially the football part where he is playing middle linebacker and fullback.

And Nick is in seventh grade, his second year at middle school. As a sixth grader, they were in their own area at the middle school and didn't interact all that much with the rest of the kids. This year they are right in the middle of everything. He likes it. He decided not to run cross country this year as he is playing year round soccer, but will wrestle during that season as well.

It feels strange being the only one not in school. Ok, not really. I have no desire to go back to school:) I am doing pretty much the same thing that I was last year. All good stuff ...

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Doctors ...

After my recent doctors visits - had to write a blog entry. There is definitely some good and some bad in here. Seems representative of our medical system / industry.

  • Scheduling a visit - from Europe
    • Bit of a challenge as we were in Europe. Wanted to go see a specialist. Of course they want you to see your general practitioner. I have had enough experience with my back to know that I needed to see someone else:)
    • I called the doctor who did my back surgery. He was going on sabbatical, so did end up with the doctor who had seen my shoulder.
    • Had to be a bit adamant to get them to schedule a time. Then of course they had an opening while we were still in Europe, but nothing soon after we got back.
    • Had to call regularly to get a cancellation:)
  • Had my appointment and we decided that I needed an MRI.
    • Scheduling this is hard as well. They gave me an appointment two weeks out, to work around some travel.
    • I got my name on the list for cancellations.
    • Good thing is that they called me every time someone cancelled. Bad thing is that even though I told them when I would be back from my travels, they called me anyway.
    • Did get an appointment for the day I returned:)
  • The MRI appointment was good
    • Only thing was that I needed them to evaluate the MRI ASAP as I was meeting with my doctor again the next day.
    • They did this:)
  • Second doctors appointment
    • He recommended that I go have an epidural cortisone injection.
  • Scheduled the appointment for the cortisone shot
    • Two choices - with the experienced doctor (10,000 plus shots) or the inexperienced doctor (not clear how many shots, two years of experience).
    • Appointment was either a week away or a couple of days away.
    • Turns out after talking to folks who schedule a couple of times - each doctor has a day when they do the shot, so the difference in appointment dates was pretty irrelevant.
    • Went with the experienced doctor!
  • Meeting with the experienced doctor
    • Did an exam, discussed the process, asked all of our questions, sounded like the right thing was to have the shot.
    • Went back to his office to look at a model and to schedule the shot. Thought that we would also look together at the MRI. Found out that he hadn't even seen it. And found out that I couldn't' get the shot at the next slot three days away because I had taken Ibprofen (blood thinner).
    • Discussed why he had not seen it (power problems, shortage of people, etc). Pretty annoying. Agreed to meet again to review. And that I would go pick up the MRI MYSELF and bring it to the next appointment.
    • Also annoying that no-one told me I should avoid Ibprofen within three days of the shot or they would have to pick a later date ...
  • Went to pick up the MRI
    • Very nice folks helped me to determine that it made it to my doctor (not the guy who gives the shot).
    • My doctor is in the SAME BUILDING as the other doctor - all they had to do is bring it over.
  • We met again to review the MRI
    • He showed me the L4/5 where the bulge / herniation is. On the left side of the MRI film.
    • I asked to see the other film that showed the scar tissue (they did one with die that was so that the doctors could see what is new and what was a result of the surgery).
    • He put this up and showed me the scar tissue on the right side of L4/5.
    • I asked why it was on the right on that film and on the left in the other film.
    • He said that is because the films are flipped. What looks like it is on the left is actually on the right. What is on the right is actually on the left. My surgery was to take care of a problem effecting my left side and the new problem is effecting my right side.
    • Wellllll - the problem is again on my left side. When I said this - he went to his computer to review the notes (like I was confused as to what side the problem was on).
    • He then said - see on the other side there is a bulge, that is what is causing the problem and that is where we would do the shot. Like it was no big deal that he completely missed it!
  • Things seem to be healing up, so I cancelled the shot
    • He had said that it was 90-95% likely that my back would heal itself. The shot would make this happen faster as it would put cortisone directly on the problem and help reduce the inflammation more quickly.
    • But it seems to be doing pretty well itself. The pain is gone (almost completely). The numbness is going away. And the muscle strength is coming back!
So there are some positives in here. You can get appointments pretty quickly. And if you know the right folks, you get a lot of help. Most people are really nice. But it is clear that the doctors are pretty overloaded and don't really take to be thorough. So you have to take some of that responsibility on yourself.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Our Europe Vacation!

We just got back from our two week trip to Rome and Paris. What a great trip. So much to talk about so decided to narrow it down to the highlights and lowlights ...

Top Ten Highlights
  1. Colosseum and Forum
  2. Just soooo much history, hard to believe when this all was built, what it was like to live there, what it actually looked like, how advanced they were, and so on. Got to hear from Anthony and Nick just how much they know about the history. Amazing, way way ahead of Julie and me!

  3. World Cup Football (Soccer)
  4. The team in the country where we were just kept winning! We went to dinner at a restaurant in Rome with a HUGE TV, looked kind of like dorks with matching Italy shirts, and had a great time. Listened to the fans cheer while at dinner with friends and then took the metro back with some really rowdy fans in Paris (a bit scary). And saw the penalty kicks in the final while in the Chicago airport on our way home with HUNDREDS of travelers!

  5. Two weeks with family and off work
  6. Don't have to say much here. Just like to hand out with the family, bond, etc. Great to take a break from work. Very very few interruptions due to the great team that I have.

  7. Vatican City - St Peter's Basilica
  8. You just have to go there to see this. It is the center of the Catholic Church. It is impressive, especially St. Peter's Basilica - just HUGE. By the way, Sun powers the Vatican web site.

  9. Ostia Antica
  10. This is a small city outside of Rome. There are some amazing ruins that you can wonder around and see. Great place to run around, imagine what it was like, etc. We had a great time here!

  11. Dinner w/Friends (Corrado and Martine)

  12. We got a chance to meet up with a couple of friends from Sun while traveling. Corrado runs sales in Italy and Martine is field marketing across Europe. It was fun to talk to them, hear their thoughts on what we should see, etc.

  13. Luxembourg Park and Scott Takahasi
  14. On the last day of our trip, we went to Luxembourg Park to see Scott Takahashi (a neighbor same age as Anthony) play with a band from Santa Clara. The park there is absolutely amazing. It is huge, beautiful and the weather was great. We listened to a concert under a beautiful treed area with lots of Parisians. Scott is very good and did a number of solos. All together a great show.

  15. Cafe's, Beers, Croque sandwiches
  16. It was fun to eat at a bunch of different places, especially cafe's where you are out on the sidewalk having a beer ... The food was good. And in most cases the help was good as well (there were times - especially in France ...).

  17. Apartments (rather than hotels)
  18. It was nice to have an apartment rather than a hotel. It gave us a bit more space. The kids had their own beds. And we could have a few meals at the apartment rather than going out.

  19. Giverny (Julie's Favorite!!)
  20. This was actually pretty cool. We took a train to Vernon and a cab one way, bus the other to Giverny. It is a really quaint town, lots of flowers and nice buildings. And the gardens are really nice. Julie would like to go there and do some painting in the future ...
Bottom Three Lowlights
  • Back / Sciatica
  • A couple of days into the trip I had a sciatica problem. I had (have) muscles weakness in my left leg, numbness down my shin and a pain. With some work, we found a doctor that spoke English and got medication. This allowed me to do most things - other than sleep:)

  • Lack of Air Condition in Rome
  • The apartment in Rome was nice and had a stand alone air conditioning unit, but it was almost useless and the weather was really warm!

  • Pompidou
  • Ok - so I am not much of a modern art fan, but this was really bad. Cool building, so go see it from the outside. Nothing worth seeing on the inside. I think the definition of an artist of modern art at the Pompidou is someone who has no artistic talent!
That's about it.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Soccer, football and summer ...

Quick update on our Soccer lives ...

Anthony is playing CYSA on the same team that he has been playing on since middle school. The team is doing well. They are winning most of their games. They tied today and if they win tomorrow they go on to play in the tournament. Anthony is doing well - mostly playing sweeper. He is learning to use his size and effort to make up for his lack of speed. And his skills are getting there ...

Nick just finished his season. His team was going through some changes, merging with another team. So at the suggestion of his trainer, he tried out and made a class 1 team. He will go from being at the top of his class 3 team (there is no class 2) to the lower of his new team. They are more skilled, but the coaches think that his desire and speed will allow him to play at this level while his skills develop.

Football for Anthony has ended for the school year. He trained a few days a week since the season ended and just finished a couple of weeks spring ball. He will be back at it in a week or so (once school ends). This will go the whole summer until a couple of weeks before school starts, when they will start practice for real. Anthony can't wait!

And summer is just about here ... I can see that it will go quickly. We will try to fit a lot in:
  • Our big vacation to Rome and Paris
  • Nick's summer theater conservatory
  • A short houseboat trip
  • Some time in PG (I hope)
And some pool time:)

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Catching Up ...

Seems that I am on a monthly update pace ...

The last month has flown by. We are almost at the end of the school year. Nick has finished soccer for the season. Anthony has a couple more games. And other than today (and tomorrow???), we are having weather that finally feels like summer.

I have been on a fairly hectic pace, but not what I was on a couple of months ago. Last week was JavaOne (the largest developer conference in the world - with roughly 15,000 geeks in attendance) and Horizons (the customer conference originally held by SeeBeyond, the company that we acquired, and continued by Sun). I spent most of my time at Horizons talking to our customers and doing about 45 minutes of the keynote:)

The real highlight was having Anthony come to visit on Thursday after school. He took a cab from home to the Moscone Center in San Francisco. Here is a quick run down of what we did before I drove him home ...
  • Spent a couple of hours touring the exhibits looking at all of the cool products and talking to folks doing the demonstrations. Quite an eye opening experience.
  • Attended the evening keynote where Motorola presented the future of mobile. The best part was when Anthony leande over and said - "I could do this for a job."
  • Chatted with a number of Sun employees that we say as we wondered around.
  • Attended the JavaOne bash. This is the big party that they have where there are some very cool entertainment. We saw the guys from Myth Busters. And Anthony played one of the best online gamers of all time (didn't get his name). Where he got OWNED:)
  • Went to dinner with some of our customers. We went to One Market where we ate with a few of my team as well as some customer.
Other than that, I have been doing my normal trips back and forth to Monrovia to visit my team. I took on some additional responsibility for our Portal product. And I did a big organizational change to complete the integration of the acquired SeeBeyond engineering team with the one that existed at Sun.

And what about workouts ... you ask. Well, not doing too well, but getting some in. More like every other day than every day. But did manage to exercise at a place called Club One in San Francisco and feel like I got my money's worth.

So back to the office on Monday. Looking forward already to Memorial Day Weekend and three days in PG!

Friday, April 07, 2006

Back from another trip ...

I just returned yesterday from another trip. This one to Hyderabad India. If I am counting right, this was my 7th trip to India. Never my favorite place, but I am getting pretty use to it!

Some interesting tidbits from this trip.
  • It takes nearly 24 hours to get there and get home. I fly San Francisco to Frankfurt to Hyderabad on Lufthansa.
  • The flights take significantly longer coming home as compared to going there. The San Francisco - Frankfurt leg is 10:35 going and 11:10 returning. The Frankfurt - Hyderabad leg is 8:45 and 9:45.
  • There is now wireless internet on the flight to and from Frankfurt and Hyderabad.
  • Hotels in India are really expensive. I paid $170 this time. Last time in Bangalore it was just over $200.
  • The weather is already pretty hot in Hyderabad. It was close to 100 degrees for the four days I was there. It will get hotter in the next couple of months! Bangalore is 5-10 degrees cooler.
  • They are building what the call Hi Tech City in Hyderabad. It is pretty amazing. The buildings are REALLY impressive. And all of the big names are there.
  • We just put up a very cool sign on top of our building. This was possible as we just completed the renaming of the legal entity there from STC Hyderabad Limited (when it was SeeBeyond) to Sun Microsystems Hyderabad Limited India.
  • The salaries are increasing pretty quickly for engineers. We pay 1/3 to 1/4 of what we pay in the US. But the pay is still amazingly low for what they would call the office staff. They make somewhere around $150 / month.
Glad to be home. No long trips planned in the near future. I will spend a couple of days in Monrovia next week and am expecting to get to Japan over the next couple of months but that is not yet scheduled. And my next trip to India is likely 5-6 months away:)

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Bikes, Runs, and Swims?

Fitting workouts in with everything else is just plain hard.

Work, travel (with work), kids, household responsibilities all just get in the way. I know that everyone goes through this. But here is how I stay motivated ...
  • Switch things up
    • New activities - if you road bike, then mountain bike. If you run, then hike. Do aerobics. Do spin classes.
    • Old activities differently - if you run , take a different path. If you mountain bike, try a technical climb. Go rock climbing.
    • Distract yourself - wear a MP3 player. Think about your next career, how to help your kids, dream about a vacation.
  • Go on a vacation
    • We just got back from Arizona. I went on five hikes, ran five times and mountain biked twice. It was all soooo different. I came back totally recharged:)
  • Set a goal
    • Do a triathlon - always a good one to get you working.
    • Shoot for a certain number of days or hours working out.
  • Get energy from others
    • When you find someone that is doing more, try to determine how they do it. Get positive energy from them:)
    • Look at the people that you don't want to emulate and use this to generate positive energy!
  • Make it fun
    • Go with friends.
    • Pretend that you are racing someone (and beating them of course).
    • Run some stairs - backwards.
    • Just find some way to make it less bland!
  • Set yourself up to succeed
    • Rather than plan to do five workouts and plan all five of them, set a goal of four workouts and schedule five. This way if you miss one you still succeed. And if you get them all in, you over achieved.
Let me know what you do and use these if they are helpful!

Friday, February 10, 2006

Not what I would call a European Vacation!!

Last week was my European trip. I would not call this a vacation, but it turned out to be GREAT. It has taken me the whole week to recover (including 4 days in Monrovia - it is nice to be home).

We started off the trip with a flight to Milan via Frankfurt. We left on Sunday afternoon and arrived in Milan at 2pm Monday. This was just in time to get to the hotel (45 minutes), take a quick shower, take about a 45 minute nap, and head into the offices in the Domo area (30 minutes) so that I could meet with two reporters for local technical periodicals. Not sure what they got out of the meeting - guess we will see when they write their articles. Then it was out to dinner with the folks there in Italy along with the rest of the group that was doing the European roadshow. We got back to the hotel at about 11:00pm.

Up the next morning for breakfast at 7:30 and to the Sun offices for our first day of the roadshow. This was the smallest group. There were about 30 customers. We did our presentations and met with customers during the breaks and at lunch. Then it was off to the airport for our flight to Amsterdam. We arrived in Amsterdam at about 11:00pm and after a nearly hour long cab ride we arrived at our hotel in Amersfoort. After a short call home - got to bed at about 1:00am.

Next morning up again at the same time and off to the offices. The day went similarly with the exception of more people (more like 65) and a much more interactive audience (better English speakers). There were three reporters there. I managed to spend time with each of them together and separately. Then back to the airport and off to Paris. We arrived in Paris at about 9:30 and drove to the hotel. It was a very cool drive as we headed down Champs Elysees straight toward the Arc de Triomphe. This was the most sightseeing we did the whole trip:) We got to the roundabout around the Arc de Triomphe and headed off to our hotel. We got there about 10:00, met downstairs for a drink at 10:30 and headed up to our rooms at about 11:30.

Next morning the same thing, only this time I had a customer meeting at 8:00am. Then it was the regular presentations and finally off to a customer site - Carefoure, the equivalent of the Walmart of Europe. Great meetings with the customers. Things went well enough that we almost missed our train to Brussles. The drive was just over an hour from the customer meeting. There was soooo much traffic that we finally got out of the car and ran down the streets to the train station. We ran to the train, got on the closest car (they didn't want us to since it was not our car), and two minutes later the doors closed and we were off. We had to huck our bags through the whole train to our car in the front. We arrived in Brussels at about:00, headed down for a drink and got to bed at around 11:30.

Next day the same, but with a bigger crowd (about 80 - forgot to mention that this was also the case in Paris). We did the same, fitting in three customer meetings and then off to the airport again. This time it was back to Frankfurt where I stayed over night and took a plane out the next morning.

So that was it - pretty busy. Great customer interactions. Tired but pumped up. No chance to get a workout in (except in Frankfurt on the way home - very nice gym). My body can't handle this on a weekly basis, but I would do it again in a minute - next year. In the meantime, we will be doing a US roadshow and then one in Japan / Asia. Not sure which I will do. And I will need to take a trip to India likely in April.

Good news is that with all of these miles, we have just booked a vacation to Europe ...

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Where did January go?!?!

It is already January 26th - where did the month go?

This has been a busy month. Work, customer meetings, a trip to Austin, a trip to Monrovia, bike rides, runs, and so on. And I am about to head into an even busier one!

I will be taking a trip to Europe. I leave Sunday and return on Saturday. I will spend roughly a day in Milan, Paris, Brussels, and Amsterdam. Add in travel time and that doesn't leave a lot of time for sight seeing:)

Then the better part of a week in Monrovia, a week in the bay area, and then off on vacation to Phoenix.

That means March is right around the corner:)

Monday, January 02, 2006

Back from the holidays

Just back from the holidays and found a couple of noteworthy topics to write about.

The first one is Hawaii. We spent a week there before Christmas - returning on Christmas Eve! I was thinking about how different the lifestyle was there as compared to home. Lots of small things.

Reading the paper
I read the local paper. There were some pretty interesting articles such as the one about a swimmer that was attacked by a shark. I normally read the sports and business sections. But there just isn't all that much interesting there, so read other sections. What I did read had a direct impact on how I swam in the ocean. Didn't go out as far:)

I normally workout at the Sun exercise room doing the stationary bike, treadmill or elliptical trainer. In Hawaii I ran along the ocean path, swam in the ocean, played football catch, played paddle ball, snorkeled and went for long walks.

Phone calls

Oh yea, didn't really do any of these other than when I got a call that our pool was overflowing and the people watching our house wanted to know how to let some water out:)


Nope, didn't do that at all. There was a couple of internet cafes but didn't bother.

So there is a lot of truth to the way technology is changing our lives. But once you are in a place like Hawaii, it is really easy to let go. We did make a couple of calls to get dinner reservations, and we did book the trip online well before. And we did get notified that our plane was on time with a message to Julie's phone. Might just take some time to really integrate into the Hawaiian lifestyle.