April 26, 2006: One Month in New Jersey

I slept in a little this morning. I was pretty tired and had a pretty good feeling of “nothing is going on this morning” so I decided not to make today an early day. I got up around 7:00 and was out the door at 8:20. A nice relaxing morning. I had to shave my head this morning. I have gotten pretty scruffy and fuzzy since I haven’t cut my hair since I interviewed down in New Jersey a month and a half ago. More than that probably. So it was getting long. So that took a while this morning. I hate doing it just because it takes so much time.

I listened to the first Learning German CD in the car during my commute in. We will see how this works. This is the first time in forever that I have had a regular commute and it is the first time for almost a decade that I have had a regular commute that I drive alone. I have almost never done that for any length of time.

I got into the office at 9:00. I got settled in and caught up on email (only a few hundred emails today – I have over 1,000 yesterday morning and about 1,500 on Monday morning!!) Then I went down to the cafeteria to get some breakfast. I had forgotton to drink a SlimFast before leaving the house so I was feeling peckish. I got my usual bagle with peanut butter (poppy seed today, they were out of sesame) and I also got a large container of fresh fruit. I decided that I have not been getting nearly enough fresh fruit so I decided to do something about that. I got over 3/4’s pound of canteloupe, honeydew and pineapple. That should help. I took it all back up to my office and ate it up there while writing this 😉

For those who do not know, Scott McNealy – the long time CEO and founder of SUN Microsystems, stepped down from the CEO job yesterday letting Jonathan Schwartz take over from him. McNealy was a visionary in the IT field and is one of the most important figures responsible for the modern IT landscape including the pervasive Internet, TCP/IP as the dominant world-wide communicatin protocol, powerful modern computing, business and home network architecture, etc. SUN under McNealy was a driving force in the dotcom bubble and possibly its greatest beneficiary. My career started in the SUN shop at GMI Engineering and Management Institute in 1994. I supported the big enterprise class SUN infrastructure that ran the hundreds of terminals all over campus as well as the SparcStation lab (32-bit, at the time) where the amazingly powerful graphical workstations lived. SunOS and the Sparc were my introduction to IT and cemented many of my ideas about the network environment. I first accessed the Internet from a SUN machine and I first ran Mosaic (the first graphical web browser) on a SUN SparcStation. To me, SUN is the Internet. I am now, after all of these years coming full circle, working at one of, if not the largest SUN shop in the world with tens of thousands of SUN servers as well as thousands of SparcStations. Jonathan Schwartz who writes a really influential blog wrote a really nice posting this morning about Scott McNealy. I think that Jonathan is a very capable leader and I look forward to seeing what he is going to do with SUN. SUN is living in a different era now and the focus of the company has to change. They have been doing this but with any large company it can be difficult. It will be very interesting to see where Jonathan takes the SUN legacy next. There is a lot of “living up to” to be done. Good luck Jonathan.

After all of the busyness yesterday this morning is quite slow. I had time to spend reading the news from Deutsche Welle in Simple, Conversational German. Die Nachrichten der Deutschen Welle! So macht Deutsch richtig Spaß! It is really nice that they offer a service of their regular news in a limited, simple vocabulary (you know, like the New York Times writes for third graders) along with MP3’s of their news read slowly and clearly for non-native speakers and for children. You can get the same thing called “Special English” from Voice of America. It is the perfect tool for people learning the language.

For lunch today two of us went over to the Thai House again. Their food is very good and inexpensive and very close so it is likely that I will be eating a lot of Pad Thai going forward. They are all ready recognizing me there.

If you have been paying close attention you will notice that today is the one month mark of me being in New Jersey. I came down on Sunday, 26 March and spent all day Monday in the hotel relaxing so that I would be ready to start on the 28th but didn’t actually start until the 29th. So it is a couple days yet until I hit my one month anniversary at work.

Dominica and I started talking today about her quitting and moving down here. It is costing us so much money driving back and forth that it is eating up her paycheck like crazy and we never get to see each other and the poor dog is constantly being bounced from house to house – about two locations a day on average. He doesn’t like that. We figure that if she gives up her position in Rochester and moves down here we might break even or we might even gain after the taxes, gas, mileage and everything else. That makes her staying in Rochester really not make much sense.

I had to call Verizon Wireless back today. Of course they never got back to me after our conversation a week ago. I hate dealing with this kind of stuff and it is especially bad when I have to do it from the office. And nothing was resolved today either. They are going to call me back tomorrow to follow up again. I will probably have to call them back and start the whole process over again. Everytime I call I have to go through the entire scenario and then get transferred to the correct department and no one wants to be the department responsible for anything. It is really not impressive. And all of this because of a communications problem that they were aware of in 1999 and haven’t done anything about after all of this time! Argh.

My afternoon actually ended up being busy. I had twenty things going on at once that I had to bounce back and forth between. The office was pretty quite in general so it was surprising that I had so much to do.

Dominica is trying to decide on classes to take this semester at Empire State College. The plan is for her to take two classes this semester and at least one more in the fall. She is looking at Database Systems 1 and Management Information Systems. That will be a bit of a load for her this summer. She is looking at the May semester which starts really soon. She will really need to work hard to get her CompTIA A+ out of the way before classes start or it is going to be that much worse of a load.

I stayed at work late again tonight. I came in on the late side so it isn’t bad at all. And there really isn’t too much reason to get home early. It is all the same whether I am at the office or at the apartment. Might as well be at the office. And by going home late the traffic is lighter. The biggest difference is on George Street in New Brunswick. If you go at the end of the normal day the students going into and out of the dorms causes all kinds of congestion but if you wait a little while the area is deserted and you can zip right through. That saves a lot of time and frustration.

Today was another beautiful day down here. I knew that the weather was going to be dramatically nicer once I came to New Jersey. You can’t feel the ocean though. That is too bad. To be so close to the water and not even know it. It isn’t like I have seen it once yet since I have been down here! Hard to believe, really.

I am having one of those evening where I feel that I really want to write to everyone and tell them all kinds of stuff but I just can’t think of anything to write about. How sucky is that?

I didn’t manage to wrap up at work until 8:30! Can you believe that? I was definitely the last person in the office area when I was done and they were vacuuming around me. I am going to post early and hit the road. I will fill you in on my boring evening post work in the morning.

Guten Nacht!

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