Showing posts from August, 2012


Notes from my trip to Japan... (2008)

Weds Dec. 3
11:06am Depart SFO UAL Flight 837

Thurs Dec. 4
3:30pm Arrive NRT
"Airport Limo Bus (~85m) to hotel
"Check-in - Shinagawa Prince Hotel
81 (3) 3449-9844
Room(s) booked: 1
Check In        12/4/2008
Check Out       12/7/2008
4-10-30 Takanawa Minato-ku
Tokyo, Tokyo-to 108-8611
Transport to hotel
Dinner / Get oriented

Fri Dec. 5
Shinagawa Prince Hotel
"Explore Tokyo:  Gray Line orientation bus tour:
> DATE : 05 DEC 2008
> TOUR : Tokyo Morning Tour
> P/UP : Shinagawa Prince at 07:50 at Lobby
> FEES : 4,000 x 2 = 8,000-
> Please pay to your tour guide on the spot by cash or cresit cards
> acceptable. Japan Gray Line
> Wataru YOSHIDA"
"Asakusa, old town and Sensoji temple

5 min transportation

Edo Tokyo Museum

4 min transportation


11 min transportation

Ginza "

Sat Dec. 6
Shinagawa Prince Hotel
Left over s…


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General Interests
Health and fitness: Swimming, gym/weights (5x5), skiing, snowblading, hiking, camping, coffee, green tea, P90XMinimalism: GTD, inbox zero, efficiency, clean space, cloud computingTechnologyPhotographyTraveling: Recent trips to: Australia, Mexico, Taiwan, New York City, Utah, Pinnacles National Monument, Mammoth Mountain, Ohio, San Diego, Mexico, Brazil, South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Lake Tahoe, Yosemite, PeruAudiobooks and podcastsPolitics I am a registered Democrat, but my views are mostly libertarian (socially liberal, fiscally conservative)LGBT rights are particularly important to meReligion
I am an atheistI believe in scienceMy DNA haplogroup is H / R1b1b2a1a1My personality is, at least sometimes, ESFJStuff (Pinterest) Tools: Google, MacBook Air, Moto X, Ricoh GR, Sony A7R, MacBook Pro, Chromebook Samsung 550, Galaxy Nexus, Nexus S, Nexus OneTransport: Chevy Volt, 2007 Subaru Outback, 2000 Honda C…


"Multitasking" is a much misunderstood concept.  
The popular buzz word at KPMG in the mid-2000's was "multitasking."  Everyone had to multitask well.  It made me smile when I started reading articles around 2008 and 2009 that pointed out humans aren't capable of effective multitasking, and trying to do so decreases overall productivity.    The GTD movement recognized that multitasking is bullshit.
We can either (1) Do one project really well in a short amount of time; (2) do multiple projects poorly in a short amount of time; or (3) do multiple projects really well in a long amount of time. Note that doing multiple projects really well in short amount of time is not a a viable option.
The confluence of client pressure to get projects done quickly, plus pressure to keep fees low, equals an environment where staff are encouraged to "multitask" (do multiple projects well in a short amount of time).  This sets them up for failure in an environment i…


Moved here:  Favorite Quotes

working conditions

I'm a firm believer in alternative working arrangements.  If I'm busy on a project during lunchtime, I will usually work through it, and take my lunchtime later.

During my first several years in public accounting, I would often work through lunch, and then head down to the gym in our building in the early afternoon.  During my 30 minute run on the treadmill, I would often see our head partner sitting out by the pool smoking a cigar, taking a conference call.  Many days he would sit in a way that would make me think he was looking right at me.  One day I caught up with him and explained my lunchtime arrangement.  He put his hand on my shoulder and said, "I don't care what you do, just keep doing good work.  By the way, I couldn't even see you though the one-way glass."
Later on in my career I took a few more liberties.  When I was at KPMG, one Friday a month I tried to work from home.  I found it very productive, both personally and for work, and I looked for…

popcorn and happiness

One day our mailboxes at work were stuffed with a bag with the following inside:  Silly putty, a bottle of water, a can of Red Bull, a Powerbar, a Hershey's candy bar, a bag of Frito's corn chips, microwave popcorn, gum, and a lollypop.

I'm on the Happiness Committee that came up with the idea of doing this to improve employee morale, but I still felt pimped out when I got it.  Like they are trying to buy my happiness with silly putty and corn chips. Employee happiness is more fundamental than corn chips.  It starts at the top, and trickles down.
The entire day, the whole building smelled like popcorn.

gone google, part 1: severing ties to microsoft

Twelve years ago I started working for PwC, and my standard-issue work computer had Microsoft Office.  Excel is necessary for anyone who works in finance, and Word and PowerPoint are necessary for lawyers.  Every computer I've had since has had Microsoft Office installed.

Last week (mid-August, 2012) I made a change.  I deleted Microsoft Office off my Google-issued Macbook Pro.  I was already using Google Docs for most stuff (including spreadsheets and presentations).  There were a few spreadsheets that I have that had difficulty with Google Docs, due to a massive number of formulas.  I re-wrote those spreadsheets to be Docs-friendly, and pushed the "delete" button on Office.

A week went by, and nothing happened that caused me to have to reinstall Microsoft Office.  I'm hoping I can keep it that way.

Coming soon ... part 2: Migrating from my MacBook Pro to a Chromebook.


One of the buildings I worked in for KPMG was on the site of one of the early Fairchild Semiconductor buildings.  One of the founders of Fairchild was Eugene Kleiner, who later went on to be a founding partner of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, the VC fund that provided the money for most of the big Silicon Valley companies.  Most of the people who work in Silicon Valley owe their jobs, directly or indirectly, to the efforts of Eugene Kleiner.

As a side note, the Fairchild Semiconductor site is now an EPA superfund site.  Google now owns some of the site and has offices there.

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Managers should be shit umbrellas, not shit funnels.  Protect their staff from distractions.

When I retire and write my book, I need to include a chapter about managers. I've had some who are amazingly good. They are both technically smart and good at managing people. I've had others who are only good at managing people, and not technically bright. Many are technically bright, and bad at managing people. Some are not technically bright and bad at managing people. The last category are the ones who I want to write about, because they're so funny.

a reminder about the dutch sandwich


gangnam style

Gangnam Style ...
Gangnam was the district in Seoul that I stayed in (at the Ritz) and worked in (at the Google office) for 2 weeks in November 2010.  It was a very interesting place.  Here's a map I made of the attractions I saw in Seoul:

View Seoul, Korea in a larger map

things i wrote (date unknown)

(This contains my old undated blog posts, mostly early 2000's)

Hands off my acronym
The Big-4 consulting practice is famous for its use of acronyms.  This was so pervasive that one department was prohibited from using an acronym because it was "claimed" (not used) by another department.  As an example, I once received an email with the subject line "PC&D Tips for PFF".  The Big-4 try to solve this problem by providing employees with dictionaries of acronyms.
Unfortunately some of my coworkers weren't cognizant of their use of acronyms even at client meetings and presentations.  The clients had no idea what our internal acronyms meant.  
Overprogrammed kids
I had a lot of discussions with partners and H.R. about "overprogrammed" students who interview with us. These are students who, as children, had parents who shuttled them from one activity to another, and had no independent playtime when they were sent out into the back yard for the afterno…