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People are charging to network over coffee

I’m surprised this is a big deal. If you’re a professional, your time is valuable, and if too many strangers start asking for advice on how to follow your career path, it’s going to eat into your livelihood.

My current pet peeve: Customer satisfaction surveys. I’m getting too many requests for those. I have the thing or service I bought from you, have my money, now go away until the next time.

Why people are now charging to network over coffee

Critter homecoming

Vivvie (cat): Ran and hid. I have not seen her except briefly when I got home.

Lucy (cat): Briefly let me pat her while she was sitting on top of the cat tree.

Sammy (cat): Demanded much petting, sat in my lap, only bit me once.

Minnie: Picked her up at the dog boarders. She seemed skinny and subdued. I wonder if she’s been eating. She was shy around me. She perked up when she got home and picked up a couple of her favorite toys and trotted around the yard with them. She was happy to see Sammy. Now she’s asleep on the sofa next to me, emitting contented dog noises and twitching occasionally and slightly in her dreams. I have read that dogs are often exhausted after daycare and boarding. We’ll see how she seems tomorrow.

As for the gadgets:

Internet suffered an outage tonight. I fixed it by unplugging the Powerline Wi-Fi adapter and plugging it back in again. Roku remote stopped working for no apparent reason at all. I had to unplug the Roku to get it to shut up. Dead batteries?

I am ded to the world, having been up since 5 am PDT and traveling 13 hours of that time. Back to work tomorrow morning. And so to walk dog, change cats’ water dishes, and bed.

Minnie goes to overnight camp

This trip was Julie and my second time away from home overnight together since we got Minnie.

Our first trip away from home, we left Minnie with the vet. Our logic was sound. We’ve been using these vets the whole time we’ve been in San Diego, and we’re very happy with them. And if something went wrong, well, Minnie’s already at the vet if that happens, right?

But leaving Minnie with the vet proved to be a bad idea. She seemed to have a rough time with it emotionally. In retrospect, the reason is obvious: It’s a vet. It’s a place for sick and injured animals. Minnie spent her time in a smallish cage, too close to other animals, and those animals were suffering. If they weren’t suffering, they probably wouldn’t be there. I don’t mean to overly anthropomorphize dogs, but they are emotionally sensitive pack animals and pick up on that kind of thing. Or at least Minnie does and is.

Spending the night at the vet was like spending the night at the hospital. Of course Minnie was unhappy about that.

So this time we sent Minnie to a proper kennel, Camp Bow Wow. It’s the same place we took her to for daycare a few weeks ago. Truly, she had a rough time then but we thought if she had time to get used to it she might learn to like it. And if not, well, we can’t live our lives around the animals more than we already do. If she failed to thrive in the boarding facility, we’d deal with that once it happened. Julie and I need to be able to leave the house together for more than a few hours at a time.

As I type this I’m still on the plane coming in for a landing but I think Minnie’s stay at the boarding place went well. The reason I believe this is because the boarding place has installed Webcams, and we’ve been peeking in at them. And Minnie seems to be doing great. At home she’s a shy and submissive dog and that was at the root of our fears she would not do well at the boarding place. But she seems to be thriving there. It’s hard to tell 100% — the video quality is poor — she looks like a 1980s-8-bit-pixellated version of herself — but we can see that her tail is in the air and her head is up and she’s zipping from one part of the pen to the other, checking up on all the other dogs and making sure they’re all doing what they’re supposed to be doing. (Well, actually, I assume she’s zipping — like I said, the video quality is poor. She disappears in one spot and reappears a second later about six feet away. I assume she has trotted that distance and has not, appearances to the contrary, teleported.) She’s not submissive at all — she’s downright bossy.

I had hoped to be able to pick her up tonight but it looks like my flight, which was delayed, gets in less than an hour before the kennel closes, not enough time for me to make it. So she gets another 16 or so hours at camp, and I get to spend some quality time with the cats. Assuming they even come out when I get home — when you’ve been gone a while, cats are all, “Oh, you? You’re home already? Well, I’ll come by and we can visit as soon as I wrap up what I’m doing.”

We’ve had cats as long as we’ve been married, but cats are self-sufficient on their own. We just have people come in and feed them and change their litterboxes. But dogs need attention.

Home again home again

I’m headed home after 10 days on the road, which is I think the longest I’ve been away in 10 years since my father passed. I spent four days in Chicago for Light Reading’s Big Telecom Event. Then I spent another day in Chicago for staff meetings. Then Julie joined me for five five days in Columbus and Athens, Ohio, visiting her family, whom we hadn’t seen for three years. And now I’m on a plane back home.

It was an eventful trip. The conference was a success, with much good insight and connecting with peers. I’ll post links here later to the articles I wrote from the conference. I got to meet a few colleagues face-to-face whom I haven’t met before. We’re a very 21st-Century organization, with about 50 employees spread across the US, Canada, and in Britain. My boss is based in a suburb of London, eight hours ahead of me.

After work, we went to dinner. I did karaoke for the first time ever in my life. Rumor has it there is video. I think its safe to say that as a singer I am very enthusiastic.

I ate and ate and ate this trip. I have a bet with myself how much weight I gained over the 10 days. I’m thinking 12 pounds. I am not disciplined controlling eating while I’m traveling. That wasn’t a big deal during most of my weight loss and maintenance, when I was traveling just a couple of times a year. Now that I’m on the road for about 20-25% of the time, it’s becoming a problem. I need to work on it.

Still, I enjoyed every bite. Such a lot of good food.

I’ve become an enthusiast for nondescript hole-in-the-wall places that serve great food. I found a beaut in Columbus: Pho Asian Noodle House and Grill on West Lane Avenue. It’s a Pan-Asian place, which is a highfalultin way of saying the menu has Chinese food and Japanese food and Thai and Vietnamese and maybe other ethnicities I couldn’t identify. I had the kung pao chicken with fried rice, which is a safe choice, and it was delicious. The restaurant is obviously in a converted Taco Bell, with minimal redecoration, which adds to its charm.

Another big highlight of this trip is going to meet our financial planner in Marion, Ohio, about 75 minute out of Columbus. Until now, I’ve left financial planning to Julie. I make the money, she manages it. But this is a bad idea, and so I’m getting up to speed myself. I am impressed by how on top of things both Ron and Julie are. Ron seems very competent — and I liked him personally too.

I’m not here

I'm not here

Taking a few days off. Back Wednesday or so. Until then, you’ll see a couple of automatically posted articles here from Light Reading. But you won’t see me. I’m not here.

This Amazon review cracked me up, proving once again that I am 14 years old

fannypack

I found this review on the Amazon listing for this fannypack, while shopping for a replacement for a fannypack I bought 20 years ago on our honeymoon in the UK. For the past six years, I’ve been wearing that fannypack daily while walking. The zipper on that fannypack broke. I felt like I should have some kind of decommissioning ceremony for a tool that had done honorable service for a full generation. Instead I just threw it out.

I bought the fannypack reviewed at the link, and I’m very happy with it after several days’ use. It’s a good size — all the other fannypacks I’ve seen that hold water bottles are either too small or too big. This one is just right.

I have not put it to the purpose the reviewer describes. AND I NEVER WILL.

This review seems to be gone now. Some people just don’t appreciate literature.

Pete Best, who was kicked out of the Beatles in 1962, hasn’t spoken to any of his former bandmates since

Pete Best

The reasons behind Best’s notorious 1962 dismissal as The Beatles’ drummer—two years before their historic Ed Sullivan Show performance—has never been fully explained. It has been said that Best lacked the solid beats needed to support a rock band, while others claim John and Paul were jealous of Pete’s good looks. Still others say Best was too quiet and a bit moody.

The firing took its toll on Best, who attempted suicide in the mid-’60s. He did shift work in a bread factory before finding happiness as a civil servant. Best has been married to the same woman for over 50 years, has two daughters and five grandchildren. He also has his own band, The Pete Best Band, and his own fans. Pete Best has not spoken to any member of The Beatles since that fateful day in 1962.

Also, Stu Sutcliffe quit the band in 1961 to focus on his painting. He died of a brain tumor the following year. He was only 21 years old.

Lennon, Stuart’s closest friend in the band, asked that Sutcliffe be included on the whimsical cover of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Yoko Ono has said that hardly a day went by when her husband did not mention Sutcliffe’s name.

Lousy Timing: 9 Musicians Who Came This Close To The Big Time