Happy Week before Christmas!

I have been on the road for the last three weeks and didn’t really have the time or energy to make an update – so this one will be a bit on the rambling side.

I was able to get a cheap American Airlines ticket – so I was able to go from Boston, to San Francisco to Pittsburgh and back to Boston for only $360.  This let me visit our offices in San Francisco and Pittsburgh, go to both the San Francisco and Pittsburgh holiday parties AND also go to my friend Allison Cepkauskas’ birthday party.  While I was travelling, things worked out that I could attend a Cloud Computing workshop at our offices in New York City immediately after arriving in Boston – so I did a bit of heel and toe – stopping in Boston for the evening and recharge the suitcase – then off to NYC.

San Francisco was really fun – I got to spend time with folks at work instead of being in meetings all the time and we had our holiday party as well.  It turned out to be in the exact same building as my first holiday party in San Francisco 25 years ago when I worked for GT Global (the Tera Design Center by the Bay Bridge).  I hung out for about 90 minutes there and had a good time and then walked to Union Square to meet up with the Cepkauskas and friends at the Bourbon and Steak restaurant.  We had a REALLY fun time until the early AM  🙂

Off to Pittsburgh, I got to meet up with old friends and some of my team that I had never actually managed to speak with face to face (which was embarrassing because I didn’t recognize someone from the tiny video chat windows – facepalm).  On Saturday, Rose Huening-Clark and I (Rose is from the SFO office) went to the enormous and very, very good Andy Warhol Museum.  I have never been that big a fan of his work, but I have been meaning to go to the museum for a number of years and it was very interesting.  The volume of work that he generated was immense and very groundbreaking – we take it for granted a bit now, but when you look at what was happening just before he started working and what was going on in contemporary commercial art – it was a total sea change.  If you are in Pittsburgh, regardless of what you think of his work, I highly recommend it – the place is very interesting.

The Pittsburgh Social Committee put on a really nice shindig on Saturday evening at the local Wyndham hotel – a nice sit down dinner and lot of good conversation.  Then off to Boston for an evening at home and then NYC

I took the MBTA Redline to South Station and then the Acela Amtrak to Penn Station in NYC – it saved about $600 each way over flying on the shuttle – presumably because of the holidays.  While in South Station, I noticed that they had a couple of Big Ass Fans up near the ceiling.  While these 20′ models are totally different than the Haiku model I am having installed in my great room.  They were very quiet but seemed to be mixing the air very well – good stuff !

The train ride was easy.  Our office is in the same building as Grand Central station, which appears to have received a fairly recent refurbishment.  Apparently they recently cleaned the ceiling – it had been blackened by so many years of train grime that people thought they had painted in green – but that was its original color!


The workshop in NYC was very interesting and was focused on best practices to run enterprise applications & services in a cloud environment.  It was heavily tilted, by design, towards Amazon’s AWS cloud offerings.  I was mostly interested in learning and trying to figure out how to adopt some of these techniques for our internal operations.  Well worth my time

Meanwhile, over the last 3 weeks, Paul’s team has been making big strides forward.  They have all the dry wall up and mudded.  Primer is on all the drywall from what I can see.  The ceiling and beams are sanded and oiled.  Doors and trim are being finalized, along with the remaining windows.  I believe this coming week (Christmas week), the water is going to be turned on for the Geothermal system – which means the heat will be turned on.  Outside, the stone patio/entrance ramp has been completed and it looks fantastic.

Finally, I took a walk around the property yesterday (Saturday 12/19/2015) and took this pano shot downslope from the house

Everyone have a great holiday and fun end of 2015!

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