Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Coming up on eight months

I decided to try biking to work, setting the goal of doing it 1x/week and under 30 minutes. So far I've achieved the first part, but the second part will take some practice. I pass most of the Citibikes.

Here are some pictures from my recent adventures.

SMB3-themed Subway Map from RIPT, "plaque"-style mounting

Rockets-Blazers NBA Playoffs 

Hunting Easter Eggs

Saturday, April 5, 2014

& March

Six months of New York. Kerri and I went to see "How 2 B A Real New Yorker". Turns out we knew more than we thought.

"OK, you can jump in the puddles"

In bubble

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Lost count...

Now I've been here long enough that I've lost count of the weeks. This weekend teased us with sunny weather in the 50s. Spring is nearly here, and that's when this will all come together. New York has been incredibly fun, but making friends has been slow going. Would any of my Seattle (or Austin, or anywhere for that matter!) friends like to move to NYC? :)

Nathan's (& a bunch of other fast food) on 8th Ave

At the Microsoft Xbox One demonstration at Time Warner Center dancing to Gangnam Style. I killed it.

At MoMA building a mobile.

At Cinderella on Broadway.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Two More Weeks

These past two weeks have seen us get into the New York state of mind. (see what I did there?)

We went to a concert featuring some great bands. I splurged on seats because the lineup was so strong. Madonna was there, though speaking rather than performing:

As was Blondie! She put on a great performance-- the crowd loved her (them?).

However, the highlight for us was, and this was a bit of a surprise, Imagine Dragons. Even though it was only a three song set (like each of the many performers) they had a ton of energy. I was hoping to stick around for The Flaming Lips (why I bought tickets in the first place), but we (well, the kids, who were staying with friends) were about to turn into pumpkins.

Here are the kids that weekend at the 14th St. subway station sitting on large bronze feet.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Settling (Months 3 & 4)

We made it. Kerri and I drove across the country in four days at the end of December (including the long way through Montana and South Dakota). It was great fun to be with just her for a week, we remembered why we got married in the first place!

Before we left, we walked to a few of our fondest memories of Seattle. I remember just after moving there visiting my then-boss's house in Wallingford and thinking "I would *love* to live here someday". Five years later, I finally did. Our house there was wonderful...and because of our attachment (and favorable financial terms) we are still debating whether to try to rent it out or just sell it. I remember when we moved in how excited I was to walk to the energy of 45th St. (somewhat quaint by NYC standards, but it was new to me).
Our favorite summer evening destination: Fainting Goat Gelato, 45th St., Seattle

Shortly after arriving, I took the kids on a "real train" (Metro North) to the Bronx Botanical Garden to see the Train Show. The train show was a bust, but the kids loved the journey.

The next day I took Madeline to our neighborhood museum.

We even went to Puppy Bowl. For some reason I could not retrieve any of the pictures. Whew.
Times Square, Super Bowl Saturday. The Lombardi Trophy is in there.

Rock, Paper, Scissors (and Hush Puppies!) at The Mermaid Inn

Monday, December 9, 2013

Weeks 7 & 8

At this point, I submit my nomination for qualification as a New Yorker. This weekend some tourists said "are you from here?" and I said "yes" (and confirmed their directions to the subway). However, with a friend's help I finally understood the express/local train thing: there are trains that are express (e.g., A) and trains that are local (e.g., C). OK, fine, but sometimes ("late nights") the express trains (e.g., A) stop at the local stops, which is what confused me. Now I should be all set.

Over the past two weeks, I:

Took the kids out for froyo in Tallahassee
Checked out the Trump Zamboni in Trump Central Park
Checked out this cool Assyrian thing looted from some ancient structure
Saw this tree.

Also saw a show and another show and ate very well and very well and very well.

Here's a picture of today's work event: single malt Scotch tasting. For the record, my favorite was the Lagavulin 12 Cask Strength. Seems like my job is pretty good...

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Week 7

During Week 7, I drafted plans for my team for 2014-5. That helped me get everything in perspective, and I felt really useful as I put it together. I noticed significant overlap among the projects in my area and found ways to combine efforts to set up what I consider a good portfolio. I'll refine it over the next few weeks, but the most important thing it showed is that we need more people! We have a lot of investment projects that would be extremely beneficial for the entire business, but without the capacity, we'll be very slow getting there. That requires us to be extremely judicious as we plan iterative development so that we can show nearly continuous value. Of course, I'd rather we had sufficient capacity so we could apply more effort and get bigger wins sooner.

I took myself to a movie this week, which was the first time I had watched a movie alone. There was a preview for "The Hobbit 2" (or whatever it's called), which made me reminiscent, as "The Hobbit" (in 3D!) was the last movie I saw in the theater. It was with my previous team at Google and after a terrific meal.

This weekend I went shopping. Initially I was doing it to look for a gift (which I got), but of course looking at all the nice stuff made me want to buy things for myself as well. When I first moved to New York, I promised myself that I would postpone it until I made sufficient improvements in my health. It turned out that jeans that fit were smaller than my current pairs, so I took that as a sign that I had satisfied my self-set requirement. The Soho neighborhood (around where I live) is famous for its boutiques, though it seems a boutique is "a clothes store where the close cost enough to call it a boutique." Fortunately I was able to avoid the siren song of the $400 shirts.

Later I attended a wine tasting entitled "Bordeaux vs. Napa". I came in with a pretty strong bias towards preferring new-world wines. There were five pairs presented, with the final two pairs blind. Four pairs showcased a prototypical Bordeaux and Napa example (the fifth included a South African and a Chilean). But I picked the Bordeaux as my favorite in three of the four. The biggest personal surprise was that I strongly preferred the $20 Chateau Greysac blend to a similarly-priced Napa cabernet.

Last night I saw the fourth of a four-play series [NY Times Review], the past three of which I have seen over the past month. I hear this is also playing in DC and Portland, so if you're in one of those areas, go! I enjoyed all of them, though I found the fourth the most intimate and emotional. That may be due to the way the characters have been built up in my mind over the past month, like in a miniseries. And then I stayed out with some friends until 4am, something I haven't done in a long, long time. Even Saturday night board games never went that late (maybe one time for a particular game). It was great to do it. I hope that we can make the right child-care arrangements so my wife and I can do that next year.

Of course I paid the price today. I scheduled breakfast in Brooklyn with a friend from college at 10:30, and I was regretting it when I rolled out of bed at 9:30. It got worse when I found that the trains were not running across the East River due to some fire, so I took a taxi. Of course, it turned out to be really fun, and I'm glad I met up with her. Then I helped some friends rearrange furniture in their apartment so they could optimize their living spaces. One of them had helped me move and rearrange furniture so many times that I lost count, so I owed him. Then after I came home, I fell asleep on the couch at about 5pm.

Here's my picture from this week, looking south from the office. You can see three flying saucers as well as the lights from the mother ship in the sky! (At bottom right is this odd thing).