Willow Album

An album devoted to Willow and Owen. No captions necessary.  Taken when she was one month old.

Album: The Austin Zoo

A trip to the Austin Zoo and then some!

Presents

OK, it’s that time of the year when Owen and Willow reap the benefits of the season. This year, we are going to do things a bit differently. We would really like to focus on gifts for them that can help bring out their creative side. We’ll add more specific items later, but here are some starting points for gifts.

http://www.magiccabin.com

http://www.novanatural.com/

http://www.hearthsong.com

We’ll post more specific URLs as we can, but things we are looking at include: wooden trains (Rootin’ Ridge here in Austin has an awesome train), tree building blocks, globe, easel, forts, and stuff like that. We would really like to stay away from anything that is electronic and makes obnoxious sounds, instead focusing on items that can allow their creativity to grow and blossom. Science related items are also good. Oh, and costume type stuff.
Also, these are the items that have a tendency to keep his interest, and we would like to be able to hand things over to Willow at the appropriate times.

For Papa you ask? Why, let me tell ya..

Kitchen: Olive oil mister would be sweet (so you can supply your own oil), silicone cooking spatula (for using in frying pans, for example, the KitchenAid Silicone Turner).

T-shirts: geeky is great! Here’s an example: http://www.xkcd.com/store/ . The sudo and science ones I like. Doesn’t have to be these as they are just examples. Also, I wouldn’t mind a couple of business casual shirts that can be worn with slacks.

Tech: Portable speakers for my iPod. They don’t have to be completely portable (no plug), but that would be preferable. Mostly, I want good quality speakers, though. The Altec Lansing inMotion IM3C Portable is an ***example***, though not precisely what I might want. It’s a 5.5G video iPod, btw.

Ch-ch-ch-changes

With a nod and kick to the guh-roin of David Bowie, there’s yet another change in our life.  Unbelievably, I am no longer an auditor, thanks be to god, allah, or the deity of your choice.  After only four years in the profession, I realized that I am not a good fit (though I happen to be really good at it), though I learned much.

Mostly, it was the people.  MOST auditees (the people being audited), are mature, responsible, and honest.  However, at my last place of business (LPOB), I had to work with the counter-opposite, and it broke me.   The company is so…how do I put this…stuck in 1996 on the security side, and they are actually proud of it.  “But, but, we have a firewall, and we once caught somebody downloading stuff off Napster!”  And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the extent of their security.  Once I realized that it was all about a powertrip for the CFO (how many idiots can I collect???), I knew it was time to hit the road again.

But after this warm and fuzzy experience, I decided to head back into IT.  You see, if anything my LPOB taught me, it’s that auditors suck.  No no, they can’t help AT ALL.  And whine enough to the clueless CFO, and you can do whatever the F you want.  Stuck in 1995?  Whine.  Lower the bar and whine.  Whine some more.  And there you have it.  As an auditor, it really is my word against somebody else’s, and without the necessary support (see Board), you brought a wet Sporting News to Iraq with which to fight.

So, Geoff, with all this happy reporting, is there actually a silver lining?  Why, yes, yes there is.  It took me all of six seconds to decide that my new company has a mature group of people.  Perhaps, me thinks, it’s because I am no longer an auditor.  It’s like, because that (or a synonym) is in my title, I must b a very spetial gye.  But this company is genuinely interested in what I have to offer, both from an IT and compliance angle.  A-mazing.  My commute had become worse than from ERCOT in Taylor (oh, and let me give a big-time plug to ERCOT, especially the security people.  Out-freaking-standing, and that ain’t sarcasm.), and now it’s about 10 minutes each way.  And it’s closer to Fry’s and a Chik-Fil-A.  HAHAAH!

So, there you have it.  I want to give a shout-out to all the wonderful auditors and auditees I have met over the years.  About 90% have been outstanding, including T, my last boss.  But, for now, I am done with it.  I can’t stand the needless hate any longer.