Closing the (Face)Book

Over the past few months, I’ve been limiting my Facebook usage, but finally came to the decision to delete my account this week.

It’s all too much right now, and until they lose their BOD and get people in there that actually care about user security (I won’t say privacy, because it’s social media…it’s supposed to be public), I won’t be back.

At first, I unfollowed pages to limit the amount of ads I saw for the ones I did follow (plus related companies). Next, I removed/revoked access to all apps that use Facebook as a sign-in or have permission to use my Facebook data.

It didn’t really matter very much to me, since all I’ve been doing for the past couple of years is posting links to articles on InfoSec and EVs, and albums/songs on Apple Music. So, it wasn’t like I was super active on there.

Plus, I can do without seeing all the pictures of my mom’s dog dressed up for every single holiday (no matter how minor)…

E.T. Phone Home

I received an interesting phone call earlier this week, from someone I wasn’t expecting.

Let me take a second and back up to a couple of weeks ago, wherein my wife and I were talking about how she is starting to feel restless, as she does when she’s in one place for a long period of time (she’s been in TN for six years).

Now, if you haven’t read any of my posts on or elsewhere down the rabbit hole of the internet, you will quickly learn that I’m not a huge fan of living here in Nashville. It’s a huge combination of the people (re: way of life), the traffic, and the fact that I’m a California boy, born and raised, and I miss the Pacific Ocean (the Atlantic is nice and all, but no).

We started looking for a new place to live sometime last year, with the plan to move within the next 2-3 years to somewhere not in the South. Some of the places we were looking were California, Oregon, Texas, Virginia, and Washington.

I, of course, have been pushing for the move to California, so naturally I’m always looking for houses and new/up-and-coming areas out there. Occasionally, I’ll apply for a job somewhere I’d like to work one day (the last place was SpaceX, as they had some IT support positions open), and always search the hotel scene for any open IT Manager jobs.

I saw a Regional IT Manager position open at the SLS in Beverly Hills, and applied for it, not thinking much of it. I work for a Marriott (Starwood) hotel, in basically the same capacity of what this job would entail. My property is a managed (re: franchised) property, so it’s handled a bit different than this hotel, but I also oversee multiple properties (owned by our management company). This position would be cover the Southern California region for Marriott, being based out of the SLS (and having that hotel be my primary focus).

As you can tell, I got a lot more information about it than one would gather from a job posting.

That phone call I mentioned earlier? Yeah, it was from Marriott saying that they wanted to move me on to the third round of interviews (I spent about a half an hour with the girl from Recruiting), which puts us at Friday morning with the Area Director and Area Manager of IT for the Southern California region.

The wife took the news surprisingly well, saying they’d need to pay me well within what they stated on the phone (and, of course, always negotiable) and cover moving costs (which they will as well). She even stated that she’s been talking to her boss about her possibly doing her job remotely (she’s inside sales for a construction materials company), as she can really do it from anywhere.

It’s looking to me that this might be a real possibility for us. Something I wasn’t expecting to happen for another few months, at the earliest.

My mom said it best, however. She said “It’s definitely a sign since you guys were talking about how Tess is starting to get restless, and now there’s this job.” Which, as much as I don’t like stuff like this, I’d have to agree with her. I am definitely taking it as a sign from the universe that this is something that might actually happen.

Of course, I’ll provide updates on the situation, but this is just something that was too fun not to share (it was either this or how I’m mad at Tesla for wanting to charge me $750 to replace my door handle assembly, when they could just replace the bad part for $25 and labour).

Also, stay tuned as I have another post that I was in the middle of writing before I got this call, about how I want to leave TN for reasons. It’ll be interesting to see how that evolves with the latest revelations.

Enhance Your Calm, John Spartan

I don’t know what my adversity to working out after work is, but I just can’t bring myself to not go home when I leave the office.

This, of course, is making me anxious because of my Climb Nashville membership. I’ve almost had it an entire month, and haven’t been in once since I signed up.

However, in looking at their schedule of classes, it kind of made me think about my membership in a different way.

In addition to climbing, Climb offers fitness and yoga classes. In the middle of the day (well, 11 AM). Perfect for someone who just wants to go home and lay on his couch all night with his wife and cat.

My job is flexible enough that I can take an hour and drive down the street (there are two locations, one near my house and one near my hotel…kinda perfect, right?), hit the class, and be back at work before anyone notices I’m gone (never mind the fact I get an hour for lunch if I want).

This will fit perfectly in with the other half of my “fitness” plan that I’m encouraging myself to be on.

The other half deals with meditation.

I’ve subscribed to Headspace, and have taken to finding 3-5 minutes in my day to open the app and use one of the “mini” programs (usually the Relax, Refresh, or Focus).

I have also taken to leaving my iPad at home, and bringing my Kindle with me instead. This allows me to take a break from looking at a screen and catch up on some of the reading that I’ve been trying to accomplish for a while.

All of this is helping to alter my mood throughout the day. I have noticed myself being more calm while accomplishing things, mainly driving. While I’m behind the wheel, I’m a beast. I hate the drivers here in TN. They are among the worst drivers I have ever encountered in my life (and I’m from Los Angeles!). Also, the road layout and traffic flow setup by TDOT is absolutely terrible.

As you can tell, I’m not a fan.

But, I have noticed that since I’ve started following my guidelines, and becoming more mindful of myself, I’ve seen it trickle down into every aspect of my life. I’m more at peace with things.

It’s been an interesting journey so far, and it’s only been a month.

My 36th birthday is coming up this week (the 16th to be exact), so call it a mid-life crisis (but I already had one at 32!) if you want. I don’t. I call it a re-alignment of my senses, and an enhancement of my calm.

Well, They’re More Like Guidelines Anyway…

I just made the conscious decision to go against my first guideline that I set in my previous post, and decided to (re)start a new podcast.

This one comes with a slight caveat however…

So, about fourteen years ago I started a podcast called the StickWorld Podcast, which was dedicated to the music of the Chapman Stick, of which I am also a player.

It was a pretty big deal at the time, as there was only one other podcast playing Stick music, but it wasn’t doing it full time. My podcast was so popular, it actually made the iTunes New and Noteworthy list for Performing Arts and was pulling down 500-750 downloads an episode (back in 2004 that was huge).

Long story short, as part of my plan (that I didn’t disclose in the previous post because thought about it after I wrote it) I want to start playing the Stick again.

I figured if I was going to do that, why not start the podcast back up and contribute to the community. The other podcast no longer records, and there are a couple of other shows that only interview Stick players on occasion, but again, there is no dedicated show that strictly plays Stick music.

Anyway, I’d like to introduce to you the StickWorld Podcast. I haven’t had the chance to record new shows yet, but I did post the last show that I recorded, which was the last attempt that I made to bring back the show in 2015, just to get the show listed in iTunes (which only took 20 minutes from the time of submission!).

Also, I’ll be posting links and stuff to my music as I get things recorded. There might be some YouTube videos thrown in as well.

The Same Ol’ Song and Dance

I feel that whenever I get to this point in life, I always end up the same position.

I don’t feel like writing, so I stop.

I don’t feel like recording microcasts or podcasts, so I stop.

I don’t feel like being on social media, so I delete the apps and stop.

In the past, when I would get to that point, I would just do it without thinking about it. Promising myself that I would stick to my guns this time, and that this time would be different than all the other times. Of course, always returning a few days later.

However, this time I think it’s going to be a bit different.

I’ve actually made a plan, and laid out what I want to accomplish. I didn’t really set a time limit on in (as in in 2018, or in the next few months), but set it up more as guidelines.

So, here it is, I guess…

Starting this month (February), this is what I have laid out for myself going forward:

  • I am officially retiring from microcasting and podcasting.
    • This is mainly stemming from the fact that I realized I don’t need to be on every medium in every possible channel. Also, I feel at this point in my life, I’m a more effective writer than I am “personality”.
    • Plus, no one really listens to me anyway…
  • I’m going to focus more on writing.
    • This will include things that interest me
      • EVs, technology, music
    • I am also going to start sending The Weekly Sync again, but focus it more on thoughts on things going on in my life.
      • I will still include photos, and links to things that I’m reading and listening to, but the format is going to change a bit.
  • I am instituting a no-electronics policy after 6PM for myself
    • I started to realize the other day, when my cat was practically begging my wife to put down her iPad and play with him, that I’m starting to get addicted to my personal technology again.
      • I went through this about 13 years ago, and it was pretty bad.
    • The only things that I will allow myself are my TV and my Kindle.
  • I’m going to start focusing more on my health and mental stability.
    • I’ve signed up for a membership at Climb Nashville and I am going to start taking rock climbing and strength training in an effort to lose weight.
      • I was on some medication over the past few years that caused me to gain about 50lbs (23kg), putting me over 300lbs (136kg) for the first time in my life.
    • I have also started researching meditation.

Like I said, this isn’t something that I’m setting a limit on, or even saying “In 2018, this is what I’m doing…” This is more for me to help myself better organize my life, and help me get back to feeling more like myself.

Of course, per my guidelines, this is something that I’ll be writing about as I go along. It’ll be a fun adventure that I’m really excited about and looking forward to sharing it, hoping to inspire at least one person out there to start doing the same.

A (Not So) Missed Opportunity

It’s really amazing how things always tend to work out for certain people.

I feel like I’m one of them.

Recently (July 2017), I lost my job with my employer of two years (who I will not mention due to an agreement I signed saying I wouldn’t publicly say bad things about them for a year).

This was really the first time in my life that I would be without a job and not had some sort of backup. In 2005, I was able to start working for my Dad when the Wynn Las Vegas decided to close the space I was working in. In 2010, I was extremely fortunate enough for a friend (RIP Doug) that allowed me to work for him when my personality conflict with one of my managers at Apple led to my departure from there (Ironically, we’re actually friends now…who knew?).

I was out of work for a little bit more than a month. Note I said “out of work” not out of a job. I made it my job to wake up in the morning and apply for every single position I saw that would afford me the work and pay that met or exceeded what I was previously doing.

Now, I didn’t think I set my expectations that high. I was looking for at least a Tier II or Lead position at an IT Help Desk or Support Center that paid me more than $19.40 an hour. Of course, I preferred a salaried position, but would settle for a decent hourly job.

I was offered a couple of positions that matched the title, but not the pay. I applied, and was one of the final candidates, for an IT Manager position at one of the new boutique hotels that opened here in Nashville, but no luck. I applied for a similar position at one of the other new hotels, went through the interview process, but didn’t hear anything for a bit.

In the middle of all of this, I was offered, and accepted, a position for a managed services company that really has a great concept and a great work environment. It didn’t match the title I wanted, but the pay was pretty great for the work that I’d be doing.

Essentially, this company is a hired back-office staff for small companies that don’t quite need their own HR/Accounting/Finance/IT department. I’d be one of three members of the IT team that reports directly to the CIO of the company (who is included in the 3-man team).

I started there on August 14th.

On August 16th, I received a phone call from the HR Director at the other hotel that I applied and interviewed at, and was offered the position of IT Manager for both the “main” hotel, and their new boutique hotel that was opening later this year.

I was in the hallway at the, now, interim job and just so happened to be looking at a mirror when the job was offered to me and I was told my salary.

I was basically Peter in this:

Surprised Peter Griffin

Anyway, I start on September 5th, and I have no idea how I’m going to tell my current boss that after four days I’m leaving.

C’est la vie.

UPDATE - Told the current boss. He was actually really cool with it. He said he wasn’t mad at me, but more mad at the fact that he had to go find someone else that he likes. It made me feel good. My last day is on or before Friday.

UPDATE 2 - Last day is definitely Friday, 8/25. The “runner-up” for my current position was hired today, and starts Monday. I get a nice week off before the next job…like I need it after six weeks “off”…

View all of the posts in the archive or subscribe to the feed for all posts.