Hello from almost always sunny Saratoga, California.
You want to know about me? Here's probably more than you want to know...
I enjoy learning things, creating things, spending time with friends, and writing - to name a few pursuits. I'm on Facebook too often, and that's become my micro blog of choice. When I started this site in 1997 (check it out on the Internet Archive), the only way to get your ideas on the web was to have your own site. Things have certainly changed. I'm spread all over the web, but I try to connect my web presence through Shrimpware. This site is now more about long form thoughts - and an archive.
I think of myself as an explorer, a traveler, a sponge for information. Myers-Briggs pegs me as an ENFP, although on the tests that I've taken over the years that F/T score is almost 50/50. If you don't know about M-B, you should take the test. 50 dumb ass, stupid sounding questions that I almost randomly choose an answer to. Yet every time - every single time - I score the exact same. Wow, that is a powerful assessment tool. (As a test, I just did it again. The assessment tool was different, letting me score how I feel about certain situations. The result? ENFP again.)
I am lucky to be with Angela, a software engineer I met at a Christmas In April event many years ago. We did a lot of volunteer events with Community Impact. Angela retired in 2015 and I retired in 2016, now we can do whatever we want.
For me a great day starts with coffee and the Mercury News on my Kindle at a local coffee shop. I've lived many places. I'm most often in San Carlos and my butt is down at the Plantation Coffee Roaster every morning. When I'm in Saratoga, the Blue Rock Shoot has been my morning place of repose for 20 years.
When I've exhausted the daily Merc, who knows where I'll go. Sometimes I end up in a park with another good book. (Books I can recommend) I love TechShop. It's a membership based maker space. The laser cutters are marvelous tools. The woodshop is better than any set up I've ever had. The ShopBot is amazing. I keep finding more things to do at TechShop. Sometimes I just go there and lounge around, like it was a club house.
I enjoy theater and good eating. I miss the San Jose Repertory theater. I dine out as often as my waistline allows (and often more often than that!). I keep lists of restaurants I enjoy.
I also enjoy cooking. There are adventures here around cooking, and I keep a online resource of my favorite, well tested, recipes. You'll find a few unusual and tasty recipes. The whole Modernist Cuisine bug took me by storm. I read the whole series of books and Harold McGee's tomb (that took me several years!). It brought the scientific method to my kitchen madness. I am so impressed with the results I get from sous vide cooking.
I like being useful and helping other people. Every other week I answer computer questions at the San Carlos Adult Community Center. I've helped get the Sequoia Village group off the ground technology-wise. I've done work on the Friends of the SCACC web site. If you're non-profit needs some tech help, ask me! I've been involved for a few years with Tech Enhanced Life, PBC. We work to apply technology to the problems of aging. I've researched and written a number of articles there. I'm proud of my ones for older adults on the best pill reminder app and how to use Uber.
And I love doing anything with a group of friends or family. We often have friends over for drinks or games. The San Carlos Social Club is our own invention and we meet every six weeks or so for bottles of wine. We enjoy some of the modern games (Dominion, Splendor, and Lost Cities are our current favorites). We host the monthly Games At The Gear.
If I'm not home, I like to be far away. I enjoy just about any traveling, as long as someone else plans it. Sometimes I write it up with a few photos. I used to travel a lot for work and loved it. Instead of arriving on Monday for a meeting, I'd fly out Saturday and spend a few days seeing the place. The way airfares work it was cheaper over all and I'd be refreshed for the Monday customer meetings. Since retiring we've been able to drive to more places and spend longer times with people - this is great. I've had some great fishing adventures in Canada at KC's Landing, Alaska at Raspberry Island, and even Pine Mountain Lake./p>
I used to work for Hewlett Packard Company. 19 years it was, almost to the day, when I announced that I'd be leaving for a small start up of my own making. Well, Vance and I started it in 2000 and 16 years later it's going strong. We've been in the news many times, including the NY Times, LA Times, and the front page of The Wall Street Journal! Vance has testified before congress; met with the U.S. Attorney General; had our amicus brief accepted by the U.S. Supreme Court; I'm a named inventor on a number of U.S. and European patents. Audible Magic is the acknowledged world wide leader in media recognition. Read all about Audible Magic on the corporate web site. In 2016 the business was heading into another growth spurt, but I was 59 and tired. I retired from AM, but remain a member of the board.
In my 19 years at HP I did so many things. I started in 3rd level technical support; we only took the calls that two other levels of engineers had been unable to resolve. Mostly they were tough, low level bugs in the software. It was fun ferreting them out. Then I moved into management. I managed these 3rd level support teams, sometimes starting them from scratch. I had a lot of fun creating and leading the System Performance Consulting team. We built up a team of experts in wringing every last drop of performance out of the HP3000. We tuned customer applications, we tuned the operating system, we routinely worked with the kernel lab to change the way the system worked. I also managed 50 engineers in one of the MPE development labs. My teams had the powerful, but waning, Allbase, and we added ODBC to Image/SQL, thus bringing it into the future. And my system test and integration team went through a complete revolution from doing standard nothings into a team that found problems early in the development cycle and kept a software release on schedule. Someday I'll have to write up a few stories from those days.
My last job at HP was managing the knowledge engineering program for the software support services division. I had a team that improved the content in the knowledge base of 4M docs (way too many) and a team that looked to understand and plan for strategic needs of the businesses. We were successful in improving the usefulness of our content by coupling analytical analysis of keywords in our content with pattern based analysis of our users' behavior. It sounds dull, but it was pretty exciting to me. I also was program manager of the HP Electronic Support Center. It became a great place for business HP-UX and NT customers to get support via the web.
At one point my teams were as large as 50 engineers and $7M a year in expenses. In the hay days we took the whole team to three day offsites at Pajaro Dunes, rented the entire Monterey Bay Aquarium, and had a memorable staff retreat that included dinner at The French Laundry.
Email me ... and say hello.