Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Ok, so I no longer work for Brulant -- no, I didn't change jobs again (still in consulting, and probably will be for a long, long time). My company, Brulant, has been merged with a really cool Marketing company called Rosetta. The name changes, but a lot of other things remain the same.

Check out Ron Laneve's blog post on the subject.

The Rosetta / Brulant merger is a good thing in a lot of strategic ways. It brings us to a wider marketplace and it gives me more reasons to smile these days (and there were already quite a few of those). Look for more news as time permits -- but things just got even more intesting ;)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Running 150 MPH...

Dear diary,

It's been too long. So sorry, just too much going on.

For starters, the whole work-work balance is out of control these days. I'm simply over-run by work. Striking while the iron is hot may be a good strategy, but my blog, my Mustangs, my wife and most importantly, my poor dog have suffered. The blog -- it's an electronic thing, so it doesn't care. My wife, she can understand my career being in a heightened state. The Mustangs -- they will always be there. But Sammy (my 4 year old Samoyed) -- he won't understand.

So I'm finally getting some of my life back (this is, however, the calm before the storm). I've been taking the dog (and /dev/wife) for more walks in the park, and we've had some really fun weekends of late. Sammy is a joy -- too bad he doesn't understand English, but it hardly matters. He's the most communicative dog I've ever had.

The Mustangs -- the Yellow GT convertible is starting to show some of its age. Various issues abound. The GEM (Generic Electronic Module) is leaking electrical juice to the point that if it sits for more than 4 days, the thing is deader than a doornail, power-wise. I've spent some time diagnosing it and don't exactly know where to go next, but know that replacing the GEM is not a trivial task. "Why don't you pay someone to fix it?" you might ask? Well, I did, and they didn't. Instead they replaced the battery, a coil-over pack (likely malfunctioning due to a bad battery, not exactly needing replacement, in other words), charged me $300.00 bucks and assured me that they had fixed the problem. This despite me explaining the issue and assuring them that the battery was not the culprit.

What do I know? A lot, actually. Not just my intuition told me they were full of crap. I spent some time narrowing the scope of the drain with the help of my dear friend Joe Romayo (Thanks Joe!) And -- I've found a work around -- I pull the GEM fuse in the engine bay when ole' Yaller is going to sit for more than a day or so. Works for now. One day I'll find whatever short or blown component is the culprit and this too will go away.

Somehow the car has survived 150k+ miles of wild roller-coaster fun. I haven't exactly babied this thing either, but people are astounded that it's got that many miles. Other annoying things -- the throw-out bearing is going to die someday -- but since it's been making noise since it was new (just not this loudly), I'm not going to worry about it too much. The air conditioning is now only partially functional (probably a $300 dealer trip), but for the most part the car is holding up amazingly well. The latest mods, however, make it only good for short trips with /dev/wife. Things like louder exhaust, Richmond gears (man do those things howl), lowering kits, suspension kits, KYB shocks etc -- all of these things make it less hospitable on anything but short bursts.

The Orange Mach 1 is another story. It was leaking radiator fluid and I discovered that the culprit was something that had made some kind of trip through the inside of the engine compartment. Whatever it was, it tore a bunch of small holes in the radiator on its way. Again, I could take it somewhere and have a garage mechanic do the work -- but I don't trust mechanics anymore. If it was under warranty this might be a different story, but essentially I had visions of them telling me that the motor was a molten pile of slag. Let's not forget, the Mach has a full aluminum composure -- block and heads are made of the stuff. It was running fine other than leaking fluid like a sieve. Take it somewhere in that state, however, and I run the risk of some moron running it dry, melting it down and then accusing me of bringing it in, in that state. It's not something to leave unattended, running, whilst one tries to figure out what's causing it to overheat, in other words. And yes, I'm saying I can easily see a mechanic doing this in this day and age. Rather than risk it, I "simply" got a new radiator, and over the course of a few precious weekend days, replaced everything that needed replaced in that area. I also swapped out the stock rubber for some offset 18" rims and tires -- black.

We're living in an age of personal irresponsibility. Too many times I'm paying for work that's simply not being done. Stuff is too complex for the average Joe -- and it's not getting any simpler, I'm afraid.

And yet, somehow, I'm not doing so bad -- so why really complain?

I guess I'm not complaining -- just observing. I'm a lucky guy -- I may be over-run by work, but I chose this route and it's a heck of a ride. Sorry I haven't written more often. I plan on attending (and not speaking) at Ohio Linux Fest this year -- simply no time to add anything, anytime soon. Hope to see you there (register at http://ohiolinux.org/ ).

Joe Barr and Dwight Johnson

Some closing thoughts. The Linux community lost two souls recently. Joe Barr, a dear friend and a terrific author is gone. He died just a few days ago. Dwight Johnson, an avid enthusiast and one of the two founders of LinuxToday.com died earlier this year of cancer. Both people are sorely missed. If I have any regrets it is not spending more time cherishing the people who have helped make the world a better place. I'm running 150 MPH (but not with the Mustangs -- just with life). Things scream by at times. Only upon reflection does the magnitude of change manifest itself.

I'll try and slow down more often. I will promise to write more often too. Talk soon,