Week Ending 30 August 2015 Review

Dear Friends,
I’m working on a new habit – a weekly review. Not only will I review my week but I’ll post it here … in theory, at least.
The goal is to use Emacs org-mode for the day-to-day capture. The week end review will auto-generate. I’ll edit and publish … again, in theory.

Daily log


Back in the IBM Mexico City Santa Fe offices, working with my project team. Our IBM Security Latin America lead requested the team’s help on another similar project in Mexico. We said yes.
It rained in the evening.


More project work in the office. Our resource manager requested I reallocate time for yet another project, this time in Belgium. I said yes.
It rained in the evening.


Worked from the hotel as the team scattered on other customer’s projects. I booked my reservation in two parts to get the IBM rate for my entire stay. Today is my “check-in; check-out” day. Bonus for the move – Hilton upgraded me. Thanks!
It rained in the evening.


Bumped into our IBM Security Latin America lead in the hotel. He requested my attendance at the IBM Security Summit Mexico 2015 here in Mexico City.
I’ve attended more of these types of vendor events than I care to recall. Bearing in mind Ginny Rometty (IBM’s CEO) signs my checks, I’m impressed by the minimal hard sell and generally solid information provided. My takeaway: my Spanish needs improvement toward adequacy quickly.
It might have rained in the evening.


Back in the office with the team. We solved several issues plaguing our progress. I’m unsure what happened; my afternoon contained one small non-meeting gap. Who books meetings late on a Friday afternoon?
It rained in the evening. I used the ill weather to finish watching True Detective Season 1.


After breakfast I set myself up poolside. I applied SPF-50, cracked open a water bottle, and fired up my Kindle. I read.
It rained in the evening.


Much like yesterday, except for the inclusion of swimming.
I’m re-reading Edmund Morris’ three volume biography of Theodore Roosevelt. I’ve found myself unfocused, lacking energy, and listless. A bit of “the Strenuous Life” is what I need. That, and another visit to Copenhagen.
I found the problem between my Microsoft Surface Pro 3 and my GeChic 1303H external monitor – the Display Port to HDMI adapter. It functions best with a wicked curve, much like a hockey foreward’s blade.
I emailed the folks and texted with the kids.
Ed Rojas can’t make the podcast tonight. Tim and I will record without him.
It rained in the evening.
UPDATE: as I started editing this my stomach started up. Thus, this post goes up Tuesday.

Books read

Amazon.com: Old Man’s War eBook: John Scalzi: Kindle Store

I follow Whatever | FRAIL MY HEART APART, John Scalzi’s blog. I have for a long time. It’s odd I only now got around to reading one of his books.
It’s trite to say, yet putting this book down required a certain amount of will.

Amazon.com: The Martian: A Novel eBook: Andy Weir: Kindle Store

I cherish engaging hard science fiction. By hard science fiction I mean the story builds upon actual science.
Engaging, funny, emotional (I teared up several times), and an ultimate survivalist tale, I recommend this book without hesitation.

Cat’s Cradle, Kurt Vonnegut – Amazon.com

I kicked off a re-reading of this book while on vacation a fee weeks back. Fun use of language in a satiric test.


Based off of an article I read about Theodore Roosevelt in line with Benjamin Franklin – What Good Shall I Do? | The Art of Manliness I have these six meta items I target each week:

Knowledge (as opposed to raw intelligence)

  • greater understanding of internal IBM processes
  • IBM Security Summit Mexico 2015 provided insights as mentioned above
  • Deeper read of the Ponemon 2015 study


  • My Spanish improves, though not as quickly as I’d like.
  • org-mode journal and todo tracking

People skills

  • I don’t know if this is real development: I repeated the same response to “How are you?” to two different people. I made sure to make eye contact with the second person to show it wasn’t mere reflex.


  • I swam.
  • I have a plan.
  • My diet consists of mostly vegetables, then protean (dairy, eggs, meat), and fruit.


  • Rocking it, as expected.
  • I found hair conditioner makes an excellent shaving cream.


  • Stayed in contact with my kids & Stine through the week
  • A friend interviewed exceptionally with IBM
  • Updated my folks via email

Upcoming improvements

  • [ ] Keep up with Social Media more; not too much
  • [ ] More org-mode improvements

Content: Creation Versus Consumption

I find myself spending time consuming content – the Web via RSS feeds (yes, they’re still in use), streaming video, and on-line radio (real radio stations and not streaming audio).
I don’t find myself creating content – on my various web sites or presentations or in social media – as much as I’d like. Sure, I podcast & tweet & G+ update & so on.
“What’s the ratio?”
I asked myself this today out of nowhere. It’s a simple question: “What’s my ratio of content consumed to content created?”
What’s reasonable? 50/50 is absurd. Maybe 10% my content to 90% consumption is a workable fraction?
Even a 1/9 ratio is absurd based on my RSS feeds. I receive over 1000 posts a day. There’s no way I can generate 10 posts per day.
Of those 1K posts, there are maybe 200 in which I show an interest. Of those, how many are tweet-able because I find them interesting but not interesting enough to write a post? Let’s say 180.
That being the case, is my issue more process than content?
I don’t have an answer. Not yet, anyway.

More Road History

Roads fascinate me – their names, their histories, their stories – to the point that I’ll drop everything to read a tasty tidbit.
Imagine my joy when I read How Livonia Roads Got Their Names from the Detroit Free Press.
To quote from the article:

… the first mile of concrete road in the nation was laid in October 1909 on Woodward Avenue between 6 and 7 Mile roads in what was then Greenfield Township, just outside Detroit.

I did not know that area was Greenfield Township.
Middle Belt Road:

… officially became a road after 1910, when the County Road Commission began assigning names to major roads that went through the county … Intermittently, Middle Belt has been mistakenly signed as a one-word road, “Middlebelt.”

Henceforth I will always refer to Middle Belt, not Middlebelt.
Merriman Road:

… was given that name by the Romulus neighbors of Charles Merriman in 1858 … He died two years later, but his farm, which extended south from Michigan Avenue, remained in the family into the 1920s.
That part of Merriman Road and surrounding farms were acquired for what since has become [DTW] … Merriman continues south from there.

The article contains many tidbits about the major and minor thoroughfares. I provide just a taste. Read the whole article for all the details.