May 3, 2015

Early Sunday morning random thoughts

I woke up at 6:00 a.m, together with my wife. I made a Moka pot (mostly for her), and saw her go to work (she works in a restaurant in San Francisco). Emma, our friends’ dog, is with us for a couple of days while her owners are on holiday in New York, and at about 7:00 a.m. I brought her out to let her do “her things”. Minutes later I went back home, opened the front door with my code, did the few stairs to get in front of our apartment’s door, only to realize that I’ve been locked out. Our apartment door has two locks, and when one of us is at home, we usually just lock one. I left that one open, knowing that I was going to be back in a few minutes, and knowing that the front door would still prevent a stranger to get in, but not for the other (it’s a long story).

X-jackie-emma (Emma is top right, Jackie is bottom right - they’re both Boston Terrier)

The first thought was something along the lines of: “Damn, I wanted to do such and such, and now I’m stuck here. What should I do?”. And then I ALMOST started blaming my wife for locking the second lock. The easiest way to fix this would have been to call a Lyft (I try to avoid Uber unless it’s absolutely necessary, as I consider them an evil company, and I also question its investors), get a ride to the restaurant where my wife works (a bit more than 2 miles away), get the house keys and the car keys, drive back home, get in, and later today pick her up from work. I could have also told her about her mistake. That’s when things started to get interesting.

Turning negatives into positives Call it zen, call it whatever you want, but at that point I simply tried to turn a negative into a positive. My thoughts went a different way: “If I walk to the restaurant with the dog, I accomplish a few good things: the dog gets her morning walk; I get to walk, too, and given that I don’t do enough physical exercise, this is good for me and my health; I will also have 70-80 minutes for myself, which I can use to think and wonder with my mind; the city will still be asleep, and therefore it should be a quiet, pleasant walk.” And then I simply did it, and the walk turned out to be fantastic. I really enjoyed it, and now that I’m back home, I felt a huge desire to share it and so here I am, writing this blog post.

Funny enough, just before arriving at the restaurant, I realized that it wasn’t my wife to lock the second lock of our door; yesterday evening, in fact, our neighbor’s dog, Jackie (isn’t she cute? See her in the picture above), was keeping us company, and after we fell asleep, her owner opened our apartment door to pick her up and he most likely locked the door from the inside. It was him, not my wife! I almost blamed her for something that she didn’t do, besides the fact that she’s my wife, my companion in life, my partner in life, and I should be nice to her whenever I have a chance. In fact, when I saw her this morning at the restaurant, she was smiling, pleasantly surprised to see me, and had a good laugh when she discovered that I was locked out of our house. I was nice to her and she responded in kind. The day turned into a beautiful day so far, and for that I might deserve a small pat on the back because I tried to turn a negative into a positive. Also, while walking, I thought about a few other things. I want to share them with you.

TalkPay In the last few days, there has been a lot of buzz about #TalkPay - in essence, people are openly sharing their salaries, online, mostly on Twitter, but also with long posts like this excellent one by Patrick. I realized that it is somewhat difficult for some people, including me, to disclose that - either current, or past. I currently work at VMware as a Vice President and Chief Techologist in the vCloud Air group - the “cloud” offering by VMware. In the past years, I worked at Amazon Web Services (AWS) as a Technology Evangelist - first in Europe, then in Asia, and then in San Francisco. IANAL (I Am Not A Lawyer), but I am sure that disclosing anything related to my past compensation at AWS could lead to nasty legal action from them. Well, at least I am allowed to say that I expect that kind of behavior from Therefore, I don’t want to do that. I also don’t want to disclose my current salary, as it would create unnecessary tensions between me and a few other colleagues, and would probably create some internal “HR” issues as well, despite VMware is a very nice company in terms of how I feel treated as an employee (that’s my very personal view and experience, I don’t respond for others). However, there should be a way for people like me to disclose my salary details, WITHOUT incurring into legal action or tension with colleagues. Maybe I could disclose these details to a trusted person, and ask him/her to anonymously disclose these details online. I am wondering what the best way to do it would be. Please comment this post or email me if you have suggestions. In any case, I still want to operate within the law - I don’t want to break any law, or risk any issue with current or past employees. It would just cost me too much, and I had my fair share of legal battles in my life already. Well, end of first random thought.

Good Marketing, Bad Marketing I took those two pictures during my dog walk; take a look. I would call them “the hard way” and “the nice way”.

dog1 (The hard way)

dog2 (The nice way)

Which one do you like best? You also need to know that a public space, and therefore a public flowerbed like these two above, is NOT a private property and therefore BOTH these signs ask for something that I am not legally forced to observe. But take a look, and tell me which one would you like to respect, and which one you wouldn’t have an issue to break. I guess I know your answers.

Pigeons This guy works at a gas station. It’s probably a tough job. Despite that, he is able to enjoy his day. How? I was driving back home (after having met my wife at the restaurant and got the keys), and I’ve heard him imitate the pigeon’s cooing (the sound they make) in order to attract them, and feed them with some breadcrumbs. How nice. I felt connected with him, and I thought that it’s always good to find simple ways to enjoy life.


Sometimes I conjure master plans to make millions and conquer the world… And then, a simple guy working at a gas station brings me back to reality. Thank you, anonymous man.

Conclusions I hope that you liked my random thoughts. Have a nice Sunday!