We spent yesterday and today cutting and dragging broken trees and limbs to the curb. We’re not done. The biggest jobs remain: our formerly 40+ foot tall live oak’s dozen or so broken branches, several large branches still hanging way up high on one of our large pecans, and cutting up the trunk of a beautiful live oak that keeled over in the way back.

But our curb is mostly full for now. So we’ll have to wait til the city hauls this bunch away. it sure doesn’t look like much in the pic but I walked several miles getting these branches out there.

For now, I’m enjoying a well-earned glass of wine.

Leaf me alone!

I truly enjoy the trees in our yard.  But, there are many of them, and they collectively drop billions and gazillions of leaves every year. Over the last day or two, we raked and scooped up 5 or more trailer-loads of those bad boys – a good workout. Our new pile-o-leaves (and future garden soil):

I can’t complain though. It has been lovely outside. Today the temps were close to 70 degrees F. Thankfully, cedar pollen levels are below the threshold that triggers my allergies. As I sit here, sore and tired, I’m sipping a glass of wine listening to the news guys report on the cold and snowy weather up north. Yeah, I’ll take yard work in the winter in Austin over that any day.

Werking (on the road).

It’s Friday so I must be headed home.


I know this is a poor quality photo of the NY skyline. It looks clearer to me, fwiw. The tallest building on the left is the new Freedom Tower standing guard over ground zero.

Werking (from home).

Now that I’ve found panorama mode on the iPhone, I’m going to play around with it. I am not yet sure of the optimal settings to display panoramas on wrt image size and resolution, but I’ll have to experiment to see what my options are. Here is my view this Monday morning. Well, my everyday view, really. Here goes:



Tonight the conference is hosting a concert in the garden arena of the MGM Grand.  Carrie Underwood is treating us to an evening of music.  On the floor you can see upwards of  8000 IBM-ers, clients and friends cutting loose.  I’m enjoying seeing colleagues from current assignments, as well as those I haven’t seen in over ten years or more.


Hangin’ with the Admiral.

On the road again.
On the road again.

I’m headed to Raleigh for the week.  I couldn’t avoid the always-dreaded connection today through Chicago.  But am pleased to see it sunny and clear outside here as I arrived.    I guess I’m only delayed when I’m on my way home….?

I’m trying to avoid all the coughing, sneezing, sniffling fellow travelers.  (Obligatory play-on-a-memorable-movie-quote:  “I see sick people!”)  Wish me luck.

Taking refuge in the Admiral’s Club.

Back to the grind.

Back to work.
Back to work.

Today is my first day back to work. (sniffle)

Less macbook.  More thinkpad.

Less freetime.  More stress.

Less sleep (?).  Hope not.  I have been sleeping pretty well the last 2 weeks.

Though I don’t write them down, one of my resolutions for this year should really be to work smarter.   I already work pretty hard (if I may say so).    So if I’m going to enjoy the majority of my waking life that I spend working these days, I must better prioritize, manage time and …. say no from time to time.

Any suggestions?


What’s missing?

I flew to Boston today for work/meetings for the week.  As usual, I waited until this morning to pack, and since I had a morning flight, I was rushing a bit.

In my haste, I left my phone charging on the shelf in the pantry, and didn’t realize it until I got to the airport.  Argh!

It will be interesting to see how I can get by without it.   I’m not even that attached to it for connectivity – as I really only use it as a phone (not for internet connectivity).  But, I have gotten used to being able to make a call from anywhere, without having to make arrangements to use a land line.   Interestingly, the biggest inconvenience so far is not having something handy with a clock on it so I know what time it is.  🙂

I’m staying about 30 miles outside of Boston.   After arriving, i had the pleasure of driving through the Ted Williams Tunnel at rush hour.  It strikes me as odd that they spent so many years with the Big Dig only to have ended up with at tunnel that has about 8 feeder lanes that have to merge into only 2 lanes to go through the tunnel.   That was fun (NOT – slow going).

Tomorrow, Spain plays Portugal in one of the semi-final matches of the UEFA Euro Cup 2012 soccer (er – futbol) match.  I won’t be able to watch, as I’ll be in meetings, but i’m definitely rooting for España!


Good advice.


“And we must study through reading, listening, discussing, observing and thinking. We must not neglect any one of those ways of study.  The trouble with most of us is that we fall down on the latter — thinking — because it’s hard work for people to think.  And, as Dr. Nicholas Murray Butler said recently, ‘all of the problems of the world could be settled easily if men were only willing to think.'”

                    — Thomas J. Watson, 1915 (audio)

IBM founder Thomas J. Watson was an inspiring figure and entrepreneur.  He introduced the “THINK” slogan in the early days of the company to motivate and inspire IBMers.  It was the first US trademark registered by IBM.  Over the century, this one-word slogan has adorned IBM buildings, publications, ads and presentations.  Back in the day, IBMers carried around small, leatherbound THINK note pads to capture great thoughts and ideas.

The original ThinkPad.

Those little notebooks later inspired the name of the IBM ThinkPad line of laptops in the 1990s.  I’ve always thought that was clever.  I think TJ Watson would, too.

Before I punch out…

IBM 016 Electrical Duplicating Keypunch - 1929.

Just a quick post before “punching out” for the night.   The meetings I’m attending this week are at an IBM facility.   IBM celebrated 100 years of innovation in 2011.   Let’s hope the next 100 are as impact-ful.  These and other former state-of-the-art artifacts grace the lobby.  The placard for this one says:

IBM 016 Electrical Duplicating Keypunch.  The development of automatic feeding and ejecting mechanisms for keypunches and duplicators helped to increase the speed of key punching and reduce operator fatigue.  The Type 016, introduced in 1929, fed cards into the punching unit and automatically removed or ejected the cards after punching.  It was withdrawn from marketing in 1960.

This one’s even older.   Not electric.  Notice the hand crank.

IBM 501 Automatic Numbering Gang Punch - 1926.

And it says:

IBM 501 Automatic Numbering Gang Punch. Brought to market in 1926, the Type 501 automatically recorded on a series of punched cards common fixed data from a master card. This punch operated at the rate of 125 cards per minute, and was withdrawn from marketing in April 1948.

I guess progress is always relative to where you’ve been…

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