Tag Archives: work

Who do you want to work with?

We just had a company-wide powow, and the Chairman of the Board said something that resonated with me:

I want to work with guys who are going to get down in the fox hole with me and shoot.
And when the ammo’s gone, stab.
And when the knife’s dull, choke.
And when there’s no more war, drink tequila.

Couldn’t agree more.  Passionate, gritty coworkers are a blessing, and if you have them, consider yourself lucky.  If you don’t, maybe it’s time to find a better place to work.

Shake it, baby

As I was finishing up at the urinal in the men’s room this morning, a coworker walked in and took the stall next to me.  As he walked by, he admonished, "Hey, shake it more than twice, and you’re playing with it!"

Had I been thinking clearly at the time, I would have said, "Shake it more than five times, and you’re on vacation.  My next vacation is over two months away.  Coincidence?  I think not."

(For the record, I wasn’t shaking anything; I was zipping and buttoning.)

I'm on vacation

Have you noticed an uptick in the frequency of my blog posts over the past week?  Well, there's a good reason for that: I am not employed at the moment.  Note: I'm not unemployed; I just don't have any place to be until I start my new job on the 17th.

I originally gave my two weeks notice on February 29th.  Everything went according to plan until March 6th, when Esurance decided to buy out the remainder of my two weeks and sent me home.  It was nothing bad; on the contrary, we parted on very good terms.  Rather, it was a corporate procedure they had to follow for reasons that are far too boring to recount here.

So, thanks, Esurance.  I learned a lot, and I met and worked with many fantastic people.  You will all be missed.

As for the new job, I've accepted a position as a senior software engineer at a company called DirectApps in Roseville.  What's really appealing about them is that they're still a small company, yet there are multiple interesting projects under development at any one time.  Plus, I'll get to work with the latest technology bits, something I haven't done since I worked at a startup back in 2005.  Buh-bye 2003; hello 2008.

It's always a strange feeling to start at a new company, but if you don't step outside of your comfort zone every once in a while, you'll miss out on some golden opportunities.

So what have I been doing with my newfound free time?  On Sunday, we took T-man to San Francisco (more on that in a later post).  Also, the little bastard gave me pinkeye, so I've been dropping sulfuric acid sulfacetamide sodium into my eyeballs 4 times a day.  Don't worry, I'm no longer contagious; these drops are that good.  So, besides visiting SF and fighting the good fight for my peepers, I have been working on two side projects that I am trying to wrap up.  Nerdery FTW!

Things seen from the train

On the way there

  • A woman sitting on a planter behind a drug store in a run-down neighborhood.  She had a bag of Friskies cat food sitting next to her.  She looked hungry.  She was alone, with no cats in sight.  She had that ravenous look in her eyes.  Sadly, the train was moving along briskly, so I didn't get to see the conclusion to this unfolding mini-drama.
  • A lonely jack rabbit, sitting in between two metal gates, looking hopelessly confused.  Or, maybe depressed.  Eating carrots and living in holes in the ground is no way to go through life.  I know that if I were a jack rabbit, I'd want to shoot myself.  Except I wouldn't have opposable thumbs, so maybe I'd just play in traffic instead.
  • Big Foot (the sasquatch, not the truck).  He said to tell you Hello.
  • Nah, I didn't really see Big Foot.
  • It was your mom!
  • Just kidding.
  • I did see a dead fish floating in the water, though.  That was pretty cool.

On the way back

  • I was too busy talking on my cell phone and writing these blog posts, so I wasn't really watching.  I dropped the ball, dear reader, and for that I apologize.
  • Late breaking update: Saw a jack rabbit playing on the tracks.  He mistakenly jumped out of the path of the oncoming train, but at least he had the right idea.

Train to San Francisco

The last time I rode the train was from SLO to Davis and back.  It took 11 hours each way.  That’s right.  I could have driven from SLO to Esparto and back, and I still would’ve beaten the train.

I think the most excruciating part of the journey was the stop at each station along the way.  I don’t remember exactly how long each was, but it seemed like forever.  30 minutes is a long time when you’re only 21 years old.  I had shit to do!  That beer at the bar certainly wasn’t going to drink itself!

But I digress.

Today I have to go to San Francisco to participate in a design review for our new project that we’re working on in Sacramento.  This is my first design, so my project lead and manager both thought I should have my first experience in front of the design review board.  They asked me if I wanted to go.  Except it wasn’t so much a question as it was a statement of fact.

“You’re going to San Francisco on Wednesday.”

“Ok.”

The Train from Roseville to Emeryville
7:08am – So here I sit on the 7:08am train bound for Emeryville, and I have to say, I am pleasantly surprised.  There’s no lollygagging on this vessel.  If you’re not at the station by the time the train arrives, you’ll find yourself waiting for the next one.  No waiting around for stragglers.  I would hesitate to even call it a 5 minute stop at each station.  They’re very prompt.  Get in.  Get out.  Get this cattle car moving again.

I am optimisitc that this ride will turn out better than the last one.  The bar for that is pretty low, though.  As long as we don’t t-bone a car on the tracks, we’ll have ourselves a winner.

ttfn

The Bus from Emeryville to San Francisco
9:25am – A little bit of traffic on the Bay Bridge.

9:45am – Passed a hot dog stand called “What’s Up Dog?”.  Eating there has become one of my Top 10 Life Goals.

The Bus from San Francisco to Emeryville
4:10pm – Bus to Emeryville leaves at 4:20pm.  Sprinted from Davis Street to the Hyatt Regency.  Just caught the bus driver as he was climbing back onto the bus.

“Is this the bus to Emeryville?”

“Nope.”

Shit.  But at least I made it there before the bus left.

4:20pm – The real bus to Emeryville showed up about 5 minutes later.  It was already full, so when I got on, I had to stand in the aisle.  My coworker, Mike, left the office a bit after I did.  I didn’t see him get on, but after an heroic sprint — more heroic than my own, in fact — he made it.  The bus driver saw him running and held the door open for him.  He was the last one on.

Speaking of the bus driver, what a looney.  He cut off at least 3 other drivers.  One of them pulled along side, honking and flipping off the bus driver.  The bus driver happily honked back and waved, a huge grin plastered on his face.

Also, a cop attempted to pull him over twice:

<siren, then voice over bullhorn>  “Pull over.”

*snicker* “No, it’s a cardigan, but thanks for asking!”

*bus driver keeps driving*

*bus driver about to pull onto the Bay Bridge*

<siren, then very insistent voice over bullhorn>  “PULL THIS BUS OVER NOW!!!”

*bus driver keeps driving*

Hey, you know, this guy committed at least a dozen moving violations on the way, but he got us to the train station on time, law and order be damned.  You’ve gotta respect that kind of dedication to your craft.

He’s my new hero for the day.

The Train from Emeryville to Sacramento
5:00pm – So far, uneventful, but the ticket dude took my boarding pass to get from Sacto back to Roseville.  I might be stuck in downtown Sac.  If so, I will be sleeping in the bus station tonight.  Also, I will be pissed.

5:30pm – Yes, he took my bus boarding pass.  He’s going to look for it.  I may be going home tonight after all.

5:53pm – w00t!  I’m going home!

Epilogue
I was very impressed with the commuter train to SF.  It didn’t save much time over driving, but it was a lot less stressful, and it gave me time to write this post.  I wouldn’t mind doing it every once in a while.  Amtrak, you have redeemed yourself.