Rants Work

Upgrade/Downgrade: Tokyo Travel Edition

For those of you who have seen the VH1 show Best Week Ever this will be familiar to you. For those who haven’t, there is a segment in the show about good things happening to someone meaning “upgrade” and bad things happening meaning “downgrade.” I now present my own version: the Tokyo trip edition.

  • Got to fly out of the local airport directly to Tokyo: Upgrade
  • Had flight delayed by nearly two hours: Downgrade
  • Magically received bump from business to first: Upgrade
  • Ran out of water 1/2 way through flight: Downgrade
  • Was second person off plane, breezed through customs: Upgrade
  • Had to wait for an hour for luggage: Downgrade
  • Long wait caused a missed train, and another hour wait: Downgrade
  • Paid for train pass, got on nearly empty car: Upgrade
  • Found out I was in the wrong car, had to sit in the vestibule: Downgrade
  • Negotiated way out of train station: Upgrade
  • Had to walk for 20 minutes to the hotel: Downgrade
  • Sweat like a pig thanks to 80 F weather: Downgrade
  • Wake up every morning at 4am: Downgrade

For those keeping score at home, that is 5 upgrades vs. 8 downgrades. I’m only half way through this trip (which continues for another 6 days) and the downs are already winning. It isn’t looking good for upgrades, but then it wouldn’t be me if it did.

Rants Work

Flights, Frights, and Long Painful Nights

Another week, another trip to LA. This week brought the following interesting and weird happenings to bear…

  • I walked across the street for lunch and saw Robert Blake. TV really does make people look fat, because this guy is a straw in real life.
  • For a change, I stayed at the LAX Westin. It was a comfortable bed but I got very little sleep. There is evidently a kennel or pound within 100 feet of the hotel and dogs were yelping from 3am on.
  • My boss purchased a Ducati motorcycle. She is coordinated enough to have dropped it twice in less than a week. And it wasn’t even moving. I’ve started a hospital vigil for her now.
  • The flight back was eventful. I had no seat assignment, the flight prior to mine had been canceled, and the ground crew had no idea how many people were on the plane, how many seats remained, and how much weight they could take.

That, in a nutshell, was my end of week trip. I think that LA may need to modify their visitor message to be…

Welcome to LA. It’s like a whole other planet.

Music Technology Work

Smart Playlists, Voting, and Discovery

An interesting phenomenon is occurring in my music library and I wonder if I’m alone in this behavior. I find that if I make smart playlists in my music and media player of the moment, then vote on the songs that appear in that playlist, then begin to weed out the songs I don’t really like all that much, that I am in fact listening to only about 10% or so of my total music library.

This gets me wondering: is the majority of music that I (and others) have actually crap or is there just no good way to relate the songs I like to the ones I haven’t heard or found yet? I am working on a project dealing with this very issue at work at the moment, but I am fiddling around with my library on my own time. I wonder if others have the same sorts of experience with their libraries?

General Work

Stick a fork in me

… I’m done. After spending no more than an hour going through the various inner workings of HR, benefits, legal obligations, and the standard “why are you leaving” talk I am now officially no longer employed. It was an interesting road taken to get to this point, but that road is now complete.

My next task is to go do some serious skiing, work on the house, assemble a PC for someone’s birthday, fly an R/C plane or two and do a lot of Christmas shopping. Oh, and that whole looking for a new job thing, too. Is it always the case that “to-do’s” fill all freely available time or is it just poor time management?

General Work

Job Search Speed Up

I am now in the mode of serious job searching. From a meeting yesterday I have a clear mandate to go off and find a new job as soon as possible and I need to make it my top priority. Right up there with buying Christmas gifts and paying mortgages, that is.

There are several ways at looking at this decision, but at the moment I find myself wondering how I can rationalize my need to be passionate and engaged in my next job while balancing my need for steady income. I see many opportunities before me if I’m willing to seek them out and wait, but the strong desire to keep a roof over my head tends to take precedence these days. I suppose I will see if principle or payment wins out in the end.