Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The Water Diviner

Okay, I've got a good recommendation for a movie I passed on in the theatres because the marketing campaign just wasn't compelling enough for me to put it on my list. Then, I recorded it on the DVR, but didn't watch it for a couple of weeks because I was curious, but not curious enough to make some dedicated time for it.

The movie is "The Water Diviner" with Russell Crowe and Olga Kurylenko.  It is a great little movie.  An excellent and understated performance by Russell Crowe and of course, Ms. Kurylenko is as beautiful and charming as ever.  The basic plot is a man travels to Turkey in the aftermath of WWI to find the remains of his three sons who were killed at Gallipolli.

I'm not going to tell you much more because it would give away too much of the plot and too much of what happens during the course of the movie - but I will tell you that it is definitely worth watching.  It is tender and heartfelt through and through.

Another Brick In The Wall

I'm still working on getting back into the habit of writing a little something here every day.  It's been busy at work, very busy, and we're in what amounts to be a very insane cycle and I'm worried about whether or not two of my projects are going to get configured in time.  One's my fault and the other one is just, I think, a bit too much work for the configuration specialist with all that is going on.  Otherwise though, my work mood is good and I'm actually going to pivot back over to my work computer and put another couple of bricks in the wall.

I went out to Holder's for dinner tonight - corned beef hash, two eggs over easy, hash browns and Swedish pancakes.  Very simple, very tasty.  Tonight, I think I am going to settle in and watch a movie and try to get to sleep early because I've got a meeting at the crack of dawn.  I am also going to make a call to the folks to check up on them.  My sister told me today that my step-dad took a tumble but that he was not injured, so I thought it would be a good idea to check up on them.  I tried calling them earlier in the day but there was no answer - but that appears to be because I call them while they were out for lunch.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

So, This Is Tuesday

I thought I would start the morning writing an entry here as I work to get back into the habit of writing on a daily basis.  My work meeting schedule is pretty light today so I'm hoping for a productive day, all in all.

I had a good Sunday - breakfast at Denny's and then stopped to visit with Bob and Kai for a while. They were both doing well.  After that I circled home and spent a fairly lazy afternoon doing next to nothing.

Monday was typical work chaos. I didn't really accomplish anything, but I did manage to go to a couple of meetings, listen in on a couple of teleconference and keep the email flood down to a small rush.  Monday evening I spent watching the latest episode of "Fear the Walking Dead" and reading articles on Flipboard, then a call with TR, and finally curling up in bed to read "Central Station", a new SciFi novel I've been working my way through. 

I got a good night sleep and woke up this morning with a head stuffed from allergies.  I am going to try and hammer my way through the email backlog (which is sitting at about 40 or so) and work some on the conversion reports I'm overdue on.  The main thing I want to say at the end of the day is that I was able to get my arms firmly around the projects I've got rolling.

We've got a pretty powerful weakness in our approach to work.  Basically, at a very high level, a project has certain key steps.  Discovery, Requirements, Coding, Systems Test, User Test, Deployment. 

Our main customer can not seem to get the requirements portion down and so more often than not we go into coding with our customers still working on figuring out exactly what it is they want to do.  Previously our upper management did a bad job of getting requirements locked down.  We're still struggling in that area - because of the internal politics of corporations, we just can't get to requirements lock.  The new management is doing a better job, but there is still a lot of way to go there.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Just Morning

Well, I haven't been able to get out here and write as much as I would like too.  I realize it is a habit that I have to slip back into and that will take a little bit of time.

Work has been busy, but not too bad, all in all.

It is a quiet Saturday and I think I am going to go out and get some breakfast and then catch a movie.  Last weekend was my relaxed weekend and this weekend I am going to try to get some things knocked off the to do list, so, perhaps a little later in the day I'll log on and let everyone know how it went.


A fairly good morning.  My friend Bob was not up for breakfast this morning (radiation had his stomach upset) so I went down to Holder's and had some hash and eggs.  From there, over to have the Jeep detailed, then stopped to get a haircut.  Big line at the barber shop and I didn't feel like waiting, so I headed over to AMC 14 and saw "The Nice Guys" with Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling.  It was very entertaining, definitely recommend it if you want to have a good laugh.  Followed that with a stop at Five Guy's in Westgate West for a burger, then home in the California rain. The day continues to be very nice, all in all.


Popped back out to donate my old Sony to Goodwill and have an early dinner for Kung Pao Shrimp at Tsing Tao in Campbell.  Still a rainy and dreary day out there.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Just A Thursday Morning Note

So far the day has been good.  I am paused right now at work listening to a teleconference and kind of mentally mapping out the rest of the day.  I've got a series of meetings that run through noon, then the rest of the day should be open.  I am still a bit behind the curve, but I think I am going to be able to close that curve today.

I was up at 5:00 AM again which seems to be working for me.  I don't have that feeling that a cat is dragging me into the day by the scruff of my neck.  Might be I drank enough coffee, but I think it is more about being on the proper sleep rhythm that works for me.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

This Was Wednesday In A Beautiful World

A better day than yesterday, but only marginally. I've got some serious catching up to do at work and I'm not making any headway. I'm going to take another run at it tomorrow and work towards a better resolution.

I was missing TR something fierce today, but that's the way it goes I reckon. All things transform in time. Each ending is a new beginning and life continues its magical flow.

I'm trying to live a month of conscious consumption. It's an approach where you don't buy any new things. (You still get to do regular shopping for perishable items like groceries, etc.). So far, so good, but I'm only four days in.

I'm also trying to reset my body clock so I get up at 5:00 am, so I can get a little bit of a jump on the day. Worked pretty good this morning, but then I lost two hours in conversation with Tom. I encourage him to talk when he feels like opening up about things.

Now, I've curled up in bed and the plan is too read myself to sleep. Goodnight beautiful denizens of a beautiful world.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

A Quick Note

Well, it was a singularly unproductive day that I couldn't afford. I'm going to have to play catchup tomorrow. I've got a slew of tasks I have to knock off. We'll see if I can stay focused through the day and actually accomplish anything.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Simplification and 100 Things

I've been on a journey toward simplifying my lifestyle through a minimalist approach to living for quite a while now, close to five years.  It has been an interesting and rewarding journey.  It has also been a battle with the tide of possessions that ebbs and flows.  In the last couple of months I've made some good headway, in part through a trick I picked up somewhere.

I call it 100 Things.

It works like this.  On my smartphone I keep a list of every task I do during my free time.  Everything I consider and carefully store.  Everything thing I clean.  Everything I donate, give away or simply through away.  When I've done a hundred things, I zero the list out and start over. For me, the act of recording and counting the steps I'm taking also inspires me to continue to take them, just like a Fitbit for Simplicity.

I tend to break it down into groups of 10.  That seems to work the best for me. As I go through the evening and weekend, I try and put ten more things on the list. I'm not always successful.  On a weekend day I can sometimes get around 30 a day.  The internal reward, for me, comes in watching the process unfold, watching the objects flow out.

I generally only record objects of significant size (bigger than a breadbasket) and tasks that take more than a few minutes.  If I need the extra motivation I may go down to smaller objects and shorter spans of time, but I usually don't.

If you are struggling with simplification it might be a trick worth trying for you.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Weekend Review

It was a good three day weekend. I had a clean Friday off and spent it in relaxing and cleaning/minimizing and in a late afternoon conversation with James. Saturday I had breakfast with Bob, then went to Art Ala Carte in Mountain View with Pierre & Helen. Sunday I had breakfast with Tyrone, then home for more cleaning/minimizing, binge watched Fear The Walking Dead, then episode 2 of Game of Thrones. TR has company for the week, so I'll mostly have the week to myself.