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24Jul/13Off

Going to Nth Symposium 2013 – Anaheim, CA

TechOps Guy: Nate

I have been MIA for a while sorry about that, I hope to write more soon, there are a few things I want to touch on, though have been fairly busy (and lazy I admit) and haven't gotten round to writing.

I wanted to mention though I'll be going to the Nth Symposium 2013 down in Anaheim CA next week. HP invited me and I was able to take them up on this one. This is the first time I've accepted anything like this where HP is covering travel and lodging costs for myself and a dozen or so other bloggers etc. They say I'm under no obligation to write anything, good or bad about anything I see. I imagine there will be at least a couple posts.. I'm way late writing about the new 3PAR flash stuff, I've been busy enough I haven't gotten the briefing from them on the details. I'll get that next week, and be able to ask any questions I may have on it. Oh, I have to remember HP gave me a special disclaimer to put on those blog posts to say how they paid my way to avoid FCC problems..

While the Nth event does have costs, they seem to waive them if your qualified (have to work in IT).

There is also an HP Tech Day on Monday I believe(private event?), I believe I was told that was a sort of mini Discover.

I've never been much for IT conferences(or any event with lots of people), though I hope this one will be better than past ones I have attended, since at least some of the topics are more my pace, and I'll know a few people there.

I'll be in Orange County all of next week(driving down on Sunday leaving Saturday or the following Sunday), HP is covering a few of the days that the conference is at, the rest is out of my pocket. I lived in OC for the latter half of the 90s, so I have some friends there, and the bulk of my immediate family resides there as well.

If your in the area and want to get some drinks drop me a line.. I don't know what my schedule is yet, other than Thur/Fri night I am available for sure (Mon-Wed night may have some of the night taken up by HP I don't know).

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6Mar/13Off

Another trip to Seattle

TechOps Guy: Nate

Well I'm going again.. one of my best friends works at Microsoft over in Boston and finally found a training class to give him an excuse to come out to Seattle - his last trip was about four years ago. So I decided to go up and hang out with him and other friends. Go to my favorite places(COW GIRLS COW GIRLS..!) and have a lot of fun...

I'll be there from this Friday the 8th until the 17th.

I'm pretty excited.

As much as I miss Seattle I've come to the conclusion in recent months that I can't move back -- at least not any time real soon. I have been hammered so hard by recruiters these past few months(especially since the new year). They have just been relentless. Including opportunities in Seattle. I miss friends and places up there - but from a career perspective the Bay Area is a better place to be. I'm not focused on my career at the moment (if I was I may of jumped ship as my job has gotten relatively boring and dull the past 6 months as things have gotten to be very stable and growth has leveled out). I'm happy where I am at with the flexibility that I get and the management that is in place. I think back to past companies where often times I got to a point in stability in operations but other things were blowing up be it management, or the economy or both which drove me away (always ended up being a good decision in hindsight). But at my current position I feel no similar pressure. So I have been tweaking and tuning and fixing little things here and there, and documenting like crazy.

I could even move back and still keep my same job at the same company -- but I wouldn't be able to walk to the office any more. I'd have to commute, and pay for parking, and the weather isn't as nice as it is here (and I mean right here - I don't like the weather in the South Bay Area vs here - which is San Bruno).

So things are going as well as I could hope for I think. I'd love to have more toys to play with, this is the smallest company from a infrastructure perspective I have worked for pretty much ever (past companies would of compared to some extent had virtualization been leveraged to the extent that it has here). That is my only gripe but it is a small one. It's an easy trade off to make. I have little doubt that if another person tried to join my group, especially a senior one they would probably quit pretty fast because there is nothing interesting for them to do. For once I am happy to be bored, happy to have stress levels that could practically register in negative numbers!

It was a hard decision to make (to decide not to go back),  but I've made it now so it'll be easier to answer that question when friends and recruiters ask.

But I do intend to keep visiting..!

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6Nov/12Off

Off to Seattle again Nov 15th – 26th

TechOps Guy: Nate

Woohoo - going to head back up to the Seattle area to visit friends and my favorite hangouts. I am driving again of course - hoping to leave the Bay Area around 5AM on November 15th, go up to the Crescent City, CA area, and refresh my pictures of the California and Oregon coastline with the new camera I bought earlier in the year (42X optical zoom!!). Stay the night in Vancouver, WA(expecting about ~16 hours of driving total for the day), before heading up to Seattle (well Bellevue) on Friday, November 16th which is my b-day.

Party as hard as I can while I am there before heading back on November 26th, just in time for my Jury Duty on November 27th(just found out about that a couple of weeks ago).

If that wasn't enough driving - I'm driving down to Orange County on Friday night (returning on Sunday) for my sister's baby shower. This was more last minute, as I told her I'd go down there for the baby shower or Thanksgiving but not both. Since Thanksgiving moved to a week earlier than I expected this year it turns out I wasn't going to be able to make it down there this time around so I'm going for her little party instead.

I walk to work most of the time(0.9 miles away from home) so I hardly put any miles on my car, but I make up for it with these road trips!  Though one of my co-workers says his car is only 11 months old and he already has 27,000 miles on it!! (mostly from commuting which is 70-90 minutes each way). I have almost 22,000 miles on my car and I bought it about 21 months ago.

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26Jun/12Off

In Seattle area July 13 – 22nd – and at Velocity 2012 tonight

TechOps Guy: Nate

Hey folks!

For my friends up in SEA I wanted to announce that I plan to be in Bellevue from July 13th and leave on the 22nd. Looking at that Wikipedia article

In 2008, Bellevue was named number 1 in CNNMoney's list of the best places to live and launch a business. More recently, Bellevue was ranked as the 4th best place to live in America.

I guess I was pretty lucky to both live and work in Bellevue in 2008! (lived right across the street from work even) - I do miss it, though it was growing too fast (for good reason I'm sure). The downtown area just exploded during the 11 years I lived there(I lived downtown). My new home doesn't seem to have won any awards at least according to wikipedia. I still walk to work - but it's much further away (especially after a recent office move now 0.8 miles each way, double what it used to be).

As I mentioned before I'm driving up the coast (at least part way, haven't decided how far past Crescent City, CA I will go). I thought about it and ordered a new camera which should get here soon and I'm pretty excited to try it out. I wanted something with a more powerful optical zoom than the 12X I have now so thought I would have to go DSLR. After doing a bit of checking it seems that typical DSLR zoom lenses aren't that impressive (from a zoom factor at least). So I came across the Nikon P510 and it's unbelievable 42X optical zoom (I was expecting to get something more like 20X),  so it wasn't a very hard decision to make. The camera is bigger than what I have now, but it's about the same size as a Kodak camera I had before which had 10X zoom (bought in 2005).

I'm very much an amateur picture taker (I couldn't bring myself to use the term photographer because I suck), but I really did like the scenery along the western coast of the country the last trips I took.

So not only does it have a massive zoom, just what I wanted but the price is good too! To think I was thinking about spending $1500 for a short while until I determined the DSLR zoom wasn't as high of a zoom factor as I thought they would be(given the price). I know the picture quality of the DSLRs are much better - or at least can be in the right hands (my hands are not the right hands).

Anyways back on topic - my trip to Seattle, I mean to Bellevue, I'm staying at the Larkspur Hotel, a chain I had not heard of before but it looks like a really nice place, and close to my former home. The plans are not 100% finalized but I think I am 95-98% sure at this point. I opted for a refundable room just in case :)

Of course I plan to be at the usual places while I'm there, I'll be working for a few days at least since most of the action will be at night and weekends anyways.

Also if your in the Bay Area and aren't doing anything else tonight there is a Music + Tech party sponsored by Dynect (who is a DNS provider I've been using for a few years they have great service), in Santa Clara tonight at 8PM. Barring an emergency or something I'm planning to be there. Unlike the main Velocity 2012 conference this event does not require a pass/tickets to attend.

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21May/12Off

Off to Amsterdam next week

TechOps Guy: Nate

[DANGER: NON TECHNICAL CONTENT BELOW]

Well next Saturday at least. The project kept getting delayed but I guess it's finally here. Going to Amsterdam for a week to build out a little co-location for the company. Whenever I brought up the subject over the past 7-8 months or so people almost universally responded with jealousy, wanting to go themselves. I suppose this may be a shock but I really don't want to go. I'm not fond of long trips especially on airplanes (don't mind long road trips though, at least I can stop whenever and stretch, or take a scenic route and take pictures).

The more I looked at Amsterdam the less interested I was in going there - or Europe in general. It seems like a very old, quaint, cultured place. Really the polar opposite of what I'm interested in. I traveled a lot around Asia specifically growing up(lived in Asia for nearly six years), and had a quick trip down to Australia. So I feel that I can confidently say that I have traveled a bunch and really don't feel like traveling more, I've seen a lot - a lot of things that I am not interested in and am not (yet) aware of other things that may interest me. I also don't like big crowded cities either. I swear I've spent more time in Seattle than San Fransisco since I moved here almost a year ago (not that I enjoy Seattle - but I have a few specific destinations to go to there, where I really have none in SFO at this point).

People of course obviously bring up how certain things you can do in the Netherlands legally that you can't do here legally at least (like that stops anybody from doing it here). So it's really not a big deal to me. I actually looked quite a bit at the red light district, and didn't see anything that got me excited.

The one thing I did sign up for when I was booking the trip on Orbitz (my friend's site hipmunk.com directed me to Orbitz), was a canal pizza cruise, which seems up my alley - if only they served the only alcoholic drink I order. I really can't stand the taste or smell even of things like wine or beer (or coffee or tea while I'm at it - I'm sure there's something wrong with me in that dept...). I've looked around for other things but so much of it seems culture related and my attention span for that stuff lasts about 60 seconds. I also don't know how much free time I may have there, maybe little. My two trips to Atlanta for the build out there I had a COMBINED maybe 7 hours between the two (total time there about 12 days), and many 15+ hour work days, with more than one dinner at a gas station well past midnight.

I would like to find a place like this over there, since it's so close to Germany. I asked one guy that is over near Amsterdam (runs a VMware blog), though he didn't have a whole lot of suggestions. I have a good friend from when I was a kid that lives in Denmark, which I thought was close - not close enough though (~700km away), haven't seen that guy in maybe 17-18 years.

I emailed a two of my very well traveled friends who know me well, know what I like, and neither of them had any ideas either.

In the remote chance that any of the 9 readers I have knows of a good place(s) to visit or thing(s) to do in Amsterdam let me know.

So I suspect short of that little canal cruise I'll spend all of my time at the Holiday Inn and at the data center. Save my cash for my next trip - I intend to spend a week in Seattle towards the end of next month. My company has a satellite office there so I plan to work during the day and have fun at night. Much celebration will ensue there. I'm obviously very excited to go back to my favorite places, neither of which I have not found replacements for in the Bay Area.

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