Wednesday, December 13, 2006

How My Personal Information Should be Handled

I've had a lot of time to think about the December 2006 stolen Boeing laptop (as opposed to the November 2005 Stolen Boeing Laptop or the April 2006 stolen Boeing laptop) because I'm at home sick today. I've come up with a few simple rules for companies that have my personal information... especially the information that could be used against me in the Court of Credit Fraud (Its one wrung below the Appellate Court):
  1. My personal information has to be encrypted at all times including during trasmission. The only acceptable time for it to be unencrypted is when its on my computer screen. I know that every company has the means to encrypt information. Do it.
  2. Workers with access to my data should not be issued laptops. You will be chained to your desk at your office.
  3. I'm sorry... but these workers can no longer work from home. 3 rotten apples ruined it for all of you.
  4. All computers containing said information must be bolted down and locked to a concrete floor.
  5. The concrete floor must be in a locked building on a secure campus in a secret location.
Would you like to know? Yes, my information was in with the other 327,999 current and former Boeing employees that are currently at an elevated risk for identity theft (Threat Level Fuscia?). Some thief has my social security number, my address, my phone number, and an assortment of other awesome and previously private information.

In other new, Adam's tonsils are huge... he has an appointment with an otorhinolaryngologists tomorrow at noon because Adam may have tonsilitis.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Working in Japan

One of my friends is over in Japan working with a supplier right now. From my friends that have gone over there, it sounds like an interesting experience.
You thought Boeing was bad about garbage pick up. There are no trash cans here. You have to pack it out. They don't have paper towels in the bathroom you have to bring a towel from the hotel room. Of course there is no hot water either, that would be way too much overhead.

They do like to use people as much as possible. If they can create a job, they will.

The conference tables have folding chairs. Notice that I said conference tables, not conference rooms. The tables are right next to each other. They do have something really cool though; the dry erase boards have a built in scanner and printer. When you're finished with your conference, you can hit print and get a hard copy of the board.

Last night we went to an Irish pub and taught them what an Irish Car Bomb is. I think they are going to add it to the menu. And it was only $15 for a Guinness and shot of Baileys.

Here are my thoughts:
  • No hot water? I hope he took some Purel with him, because without hot water he's not effectively washing his hands.
  • I'm glad Boeing provides paper towel dispensers (they're the "sensing" paper towel dispensers, which are an ordeal in themselves... maybe more on this later)
  • I wonder if he knows that there is supposed to be Jameson in an Irish Car Bomb too. I didn't want to tell him though... because it would probably be $25. $25 is heinously expensive for what amounts to 10 seconds of chugging. $2.50 per second. That's more expensive than driving a Hummer.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Metroblogging Loves Boeing

After a busy couple of weeks, I spent a sizable chunk of today trying to catch up on my RSS feeds.

This is post that definitely caught my eye. Metroblogging Seattle had a countdown of Seattle's Gift to the World. And, guess what the 4th gift is? The 7X7 airplanes.

Since I am .0006394% of the total number of Boeing Employees, I feel that I am entitled to some leeway after all the things I've done for the world. Therefore, none of you are getting Christmas presents this year.


Tuesday, November 21, 2006

A Bad Way To Start a Sentence

When someone pipes up in a meeting, here are a few key sentences to listen for. Why are you listening for these? Because if you hear them, you can shut off your brain for a few minutes.

  • "At my previous job..." This is worthless. Did your previous company make airplanes? No? alright... move on.
  • "Long story short..." You're a liar; you're about to go off on some random tangent for 13 minutes.
  • "I've worked here for 30 years..." Wow. Why don't you retire? And guess what: if we want to call a "bug" a "defect"... its really not worth complaining about for 30 minutes.

My brain is slow and that's all I can think of right now. Can you think of other excuses to zone out in meetings?

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Another Airborne Halloween

Some of you may remember my Halloween costume from last year (see picture to the right). You may have guessed that I may be something "airplane related" again this year. And you would be 100% correct. I will be in Las Vegas for Halloween weekend this year, and I'm sure I'll have some great pictures of my costume to post when I get back from that trip.
There is more to Halloween than just costumes though. Last night, I went to a friends house and we carved some pumpkins, drank pumpkin-spiced ale, and (I kid you not) listened to The Smashing Pumpkins.
Yes, it was a Pumpkin Hat Trick. As you can see, I (unsurprisingly) carved a rough representation of an airplane into my pumpkin. I was going to try to get a little more fancy with it, but came to the conclusion that I would probably just screw it up or cut myself. You can tell its an airplane, so I'm happy. Katie decided to be fancy, search the internet, find a template, and carve that into a pumpkin. Cheater.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

A New York Story...

There is one interview that I never blogged about. After being at Boeing for about 3 months, I was contacted by Joel Spolsky of Fog Creek Software. I had applied there when I was looking for jobs my senior year of college. Since Joel is internet-famous for running a fun-to-work-at company and for his musing on software development practices... I gladly accepted the interview. Yes, I was torn about only being at Boeing for a few months... but this was an opportunity to work at a small software company in Manhattan, so I thought I would give it a chance.
I was a West Coaster in Manhattan, so I figured I'd better get some of the touristy stuff done during my short 2 day New York excursion. I walked most of the way around Central Park, then made my way over to Times Square. I had to buy some pirated stuff from a "street merchant" while I was in Times Square, so I picked up a DVD and then a fake Rolex. The exchange went something like this:
  • Vendor: You want a watch? $200.
  • Me: How about $5?
  • Vendor: How about 2 for $20.
  • Me: How about 1 for $10.
The exchange was made, and I was the proud owner of a real fake Rolex. I went out to dinner with a friend, then called it a night.
I woke up the next morning bright and early (time zones and jet lag to blame), got ready, then headed over to breakfast. Of course, I'm proudly sporting my watch as I head into the corner deli. I get some coffee and a scone (or some sort of pastry), sit down, start reading my book and waiting for my interview. I figured I had to leave the deli around 9:30AM to make it to the office on time. I looked down at my watch, and its 9:10AM... lots of time left. I go back to reading. Check my watch, and its still not 9:30AM. I go back to reading. I check my watch. Still not 9:30AM. Am I hallucinating? or is time standing still? I stand up, and go look at the wall clock... its 9:45AM. I'm going to be 15 minutes late to my interview. crap. What happened? Well, I guess fake Rolexes only run for 18 hours before the finely machined pieces fall apart and quit running.
I ended up making it to the interview on time, but was subsequently eaten alive. The questions were hard, and I folded like a cheap Rolex. Oh well, I got a free trip to Manhattan and a good story.

Another Mashup

Its Sunday afternoon, and I have a few choices.
  • Watch my fantasy football team get pummeled.
  • Do homework.
  • Make another mashup
This is the Seattle Special mashup. Its 2 local startup companies.
    - This is for news and blogs. You read stories that interest you, and it personalizes the content for you automatically. Its pretty sweet technology.
  • - I've written about
    before (and you can see their widget on the right hand side of my
    blog). A great system for sharing information with your friends. They call it "Social Discovery."

So what does this littlemashup do? It takes your Top 25 tags from bluedot, and uses Findory to show blog posts that are related to that tag. There is definitely some room for improvement, but I just kind of wanted to get this pushed
out of the door, since I have a feeling I'm going to be the only one using it. Of course, feel free to email me or comment here with suggested improvements.

Without further ado, here is BDindory. Wait, that name is lame. Maybe I should call it Findotry. Whatever. Here is Bluedot+Findory.

-- EDIT: 17:10PDT 9/17/2006 --
Right now, this only works in Firefox. I don't know Javascript well enough to be able to diagnose and fix the problem. I've tested it in Internet Explorer, and it doesn't work. I don't know about Opera or other browsers. You can report your findings here.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Would you have thought...

Basically anything that exists in a city is duplicated at Boeing. We've
got our own medical facilities, our own fire department, our own
airports (kind of), our own news network, our own police department
(well, security department), etc. Most of these actually seem normal,
Think about about it. What does a normal police department do? They fight crime by:
  • Writing parking tickets
  • Giving away speeding tickets
  • investigating possible criminals

(I know its not an exhaustive list, but I'm going for comedy, not completeness)
You guessed it: Boeing Security does all of those things. I've actually gotten a parking ticket before... but getting one isn't really a big deal. They leave the ticket on your windshield and it says something to the effect: "Your manager will be notified." The more parking tickets you get, the more severe the consequences become. Thankfully, I'm not familiar with the upper-level consequences yet, but I hear you can get get unpaid days off (I thought that sounded like extra vacation days, but my manager informs me that these are bad things).
I haven't gotten a speeding ticket yet, but I was talking to a coworker the other day that has. It sounds like the consequences are similar to that of a parking ticket.
And, the readers who have been around for a year or so, will remember the time that I was investigated by Boeing Security. Luckily, this perp was innocent.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

A Sad Day...

I'm going to start this with a disclaimer: This is my opinion and interpretation of today's news. If you quote me as a "Boeing source" or anything like that... you're probably braindead. Don't do it. Talk to these people if you want Boeing's opinion.

Again, one of my favorite parts of Boeing is now gone. Boeing Commercial Airplanes President Alan Mulally resigned from Boeing today to become the CEO of Ford [#]. Does this suprise me? not really: Mulally was just recently passed up for the (in my opinion, much deserved) promotion to CEO of Boeing. The spot was given to Jim McNerney (formerly of GE).
I've met a few of the executives over the course of my 2 years (including my internship) at Boeing; they come talk to the young groups around the company fairly often. Alan seemed to have the most passion for building airplanes. He seemed to have the most love for Boeing. Sometimes when I see other executives talk, I feel like its just lip-service... but never with Alan. He was always genuine and he was always packing a huge smile... you could tell he loved what he did. I miss him already. (I know some of my friends will miss him even more).
That said, do I think Boeing will change much? Probably not. There are tons of excellent leaders in Boeing, of which Alan was one (a big one... but only one). Do I think other leaders have a passion for building airplanes? Yes, there are definitely others: Carolyn comes to mind, and so does Mike Bair.
I've never met the man who is replacing Alan, Scott Carson, but I have seen him speak to a group of interns. How do I think he is going to do? I think he has huge shoes to fill, but I think his feet will grow to the challenge. Anyways, here's to Scott: Congrats and good luck. I wish I had advice to offer him, but he's probably fairly prepared for this task.

Anyways, those are my brief thoughts on today's news.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

If you're thinking about writing...

This is the most dangerous post I've ever written. Why? Because I'm about to tell you things that absolutely drive me insane. Mostly, it involves email etiquette and writing style.
First off, I am not your manager. Do not write to me in business slang. Example: My schedule won't support that activity.
Replace with: I'm busy.
Example: In addition to providing visibility and access to our organization and key business areas, the site includes several new communication tools designed to inform, enable, and engage employees.
Replace with: We made a new site. Its pretty cool... check it out.

Second, make sure you don't overdo your punctuation. A single exclamation point can usually convey how excited you are. I don't need a string of 10 exclamation points to know it.
Example: We're going to lunch at Cucina Cucina!! You're totally invited!!!!! It's going to be super yummy!!!!!!!!
Replace with: You want to go to lunch at Cucina Cucina?

Third, people who reply-to-all... watch yourself. I don't mind getting 3 or 4 emails sent to me unnecessarily... but sometimes it can get crazy. I'm just asking you to be a little more mindful when using <ctrl>-<shift>-r (yes, that's the hotkey combination for reply-to-all).

The fourth way to drive me insane: be the second or third person who replies-to-all to say: "quit replying-to-all."

Those are the big ones. I know I'm going to get about 1000 emails tomorrow with all 4 of these annoyances in them... but whatever. I feel better after getting that off my chest.

Side note:
Seattle Mind Camp 3.0 is on! I already bought my ticket. You in?

Monday, August 21, 2006

Performance Evaluation Extra

We have other bards in Boeing! A software engineer in Wichita, Kansas emailed me a poem he wrote last year around the time of his Performance Evaluation. Now, with out futher ado:

Performance Evaluation Extra (PEE)

How did I do in Two-thousand and five?
Achieved that perfection for which we all strive?
Perfect? Well… no.
The “process” was too slow,
But my pulse says at least I’m alive.

Towards that perfection I try,
But the restroom made all go awry.
I arrived at the “head,”
But the auditor said,
My process was not CMMI.

So now in the restroom I stay.
I expect that I’ll be here ‘til May.
But committed I am
To finish this plan,
Though the peer reviews cause some delay.

Each time that I schedule a meeting,
The duration is typically “fleeting.”
I’m not sure of why
But my suspicions are high,
It’s the smell of the urinal seating.

Returning to where we began,
I’ve become quite the powder room point man.
Though my future seems bright,
Each flush does rewrite,
My Performance Development Plan.

~Steve Ware 12/13/05

Sunday, July 30, 2006

What are lunches like...

Local Seattle startup (if you can still call it that), Jobster, just put a new feature into place where they can ask a question, and the users of the site answer. Its actually really fun... and it seems like it may give me inspiration for blogging material. The most recent question is: "What are lunches like..." So I answered with my observations of lunching practices at Boeing.
What are the lunches like at The Boeing Company?
Answering this question "for Boeing" is kind of weird... but here are some observations about the types of lunch-people.
a) Sack-Lunchers. They eat at their desk, and leave work 30 minutes before everyone else.
b) Cafe-Goers. They eat every lunch (and/or breakfast) from the cafeterias unstrategically placed throughout the Boeing sites. I can't imagine this lunching-style scoring well on their blood-pressure test.
c) Too-Good-To-Eat. These people usually go on speedwalks during lunch... it blows my mind. I love food.
d) The Go-Outs. (this is me, for the most part). find 3 or 4 people to drive to a local eatery. Gossip about the non-attending Go-Outers ensues.
e) Sleepers. These people go out to their car and sleep. Why not just sleep in 30 or 40 more minutes in the morning? Still... I envy the people that can do this.

Don't forget you can vote for this blog over at People's Picks. And just FYI... you can vote once per day :-)

Friday, July 28, 2006


I was just looking at the referer log to my site, and found an interesting place that people have gotten to my site from:§ion=entertainment

Thats right. My blog is on a voting site! I'm not going to ask you to vote for me (but you should), I just think its really neat that people like this site enough to nominate it for something.

You want to know the cool thing? Almost every other blog that is "in the running"... I already read. That said, I still voted for my blog.

--Update (30 seconds later)
I'm not sure my blog comes up every time as a voting option... try refreshing the voting page a couple times.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

A Non-Value-Added Kind of Love

My friend, Peter, and I started writing a song using business slang. We went back and forth a couple times, then decided other people are better than us at writing songs. So, here is our start... feel free to add to it.

I met you in my morning stand-up meeting
And you talked about the new metrics website
But does this new tool track my heart beating?
Or is it, again, for my manager's delight?

The red light flashing on your status chart
Says you and I should take this offline
Your go-forward plan is melting my heart
And your metrics drive me out of my mind

We've got a non-value added kind of love baby
A non-value added kind of love

This morning I sent you a meeting invite
Hoping you would accept by the EOB
"You want to go to happy hour on Thursday night?
I'll leave work early, and get there at four-oh-three"

And, stay tuned for more business-mocking-media. It'll take a while to produce, but I hope the forthcoming audio track will be as good as the forthcoming sketch video.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

The N

When I left my internship at Boeing, I had no idea that when I came back that I would visually distinguishable from the other Boeing employees (minus the fact that I'm about 20 years younger than most). In my absence, there had been major alteration to the Boeing badge; if you've worked at Boeing for less than three years, you get "The N."
If it wasn't bad enough to be the FNG, I was labelled so. I'd been at work for exactly 0 hours, and I already felt ostracized from everyone, save the other N's.
Most people in the company hadn't seen "The N" before, so I got lots of questions about it. "What is 'The N' for?" My standard answer was "because I'm the son of a Nigerian president." That got old. Then someone came up with the slogan: "The N isn't because we're new, its because we're needed." I'll let you form your own opinions about this tagline, but my silence should let you know how I feel about it.
Then one day, I noticed I was looking at people's badges to try to see if they had "The N." Why though? Its because I like the new people. If you're new to Boeing, you're less likely to be tainted with some of the things that bother me. You're not going to try to tackle me with process. You're not coming into the meeting with "what we used to do." You're less likely to use words like "core competencies" or "value-added." You won't drop a manager's, director's, or VP's name to try to impress people or make me think I have to do what you say. And innumerable other things.
These are all traits that I hope that I have and always will have, so when it comes time for me to drop "The N" from my badge... I'm going to fight it. I'm new forever.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Business Slang...

I have to include this preface: Sentences full of "business words" make me sad.

Value-Add: "Is this really a value-add feature?" Are you really that big of a value-minus idiot? Would it be so hard to just rearrange your sentence to ask: "Does this feature make the product better?"

Core Competencies: aka stuff I know how to do. E.g. A manager core competencies are non-value-add.

Emergent: This one bothers me because I think people use it as a replacement for the word emergency. "I'm out of the office, but if you have an emergent need, please call me at...". Why not just use the word emergency? Is that extra character to write, or that extra syllable to say really that taxing?

These are the 3 that I came up with right now... but I'm going to start writing down words that people use at work that annoy me.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Connexion on the Block...

Is that the chopping block? or the auction block? Well, right now its one and the same.

AP Article on the subject.

Why is it that Boeing shuts down or sells everything I love about it? CII, gone. Connexion, gone.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006


Most people who have been working for more than 5 years probably take benefits for granted... but to us greenhorns, they're the best things since $1 pitchers. What brings this up? Well, earlier this year I broke my hand while I was skiing and was out of work for 3 weeks (I had to have surgery to put me back together again). And it only cost me $250 and no lost income.
Sick Days: We get 1 per month, with a maximum of 10 per year (if I remember correctly). I used most of mine when I broke the hand. I almost had to take another one today because my tonsils are big as grapefruits right now. Instead of taking a sick day though, I ended up just working from home.
Working from Home: This doesn't just benefit me. This definitely benefits Boeing. I can get significant more amounts of work done from home than I can from the office because I don't have all the distractions of the office (i.e. "Tina went out with Kevin?", "No way! She was just going out with Jeff!", "well I hear she has a new boy too"... gossip, you know). Plus, I just read an article that companies that let their employees work from home have a lower attrition rate. Working from home also benefits Seattle by taking people off the roads.
Vacation Days: You mean I can (almost) randomly take days of work off... and still get paid? Are you friggin' kidding me? When that fact really sets in, you realize the life is good. Real good. There is a debate amongst my colleagues whether it is more appropriate to use a sick day or a vacation day to nurse a hangover. I've been blessed with super-human abilities, and don't get hangovers (yet)... so my opinion is oft disregarded.
Disability Insurance: This one is so great, that I almost felt guilty for using it. Then I started getting all the paperwork I had to fill out, and felt less guilty. I got paid 80% of my regular salary (the other 20% was made up of sick days) for sitting at home and watching movies and reading books.
Dental: This is pretty sweet to. You don't have to worry about having to pay the dentist for a check up... preventive maintenance is 100% covered. You only have to worry about what day to schedule your appointment.
There are ton of other benefits too... but this post is already longer than expected.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Boeing Employee Arrested

I need more details!
A Boeing Co. employee from Kent was arrested for investigation of theft after he allegedly downloaded proprietary information he was not authorized to have from company computers.
--The Seattle PI Article about this

I really hope that what the man said isn't true, I hope it wasn't a retaliation for doing the right thing. But, my gut feeling says that this guy isn't telling the truth and he probably deserves being fired and whatever legal ramifications associated with stealing and passing on company info. As is usually the case... its probably somewhere in the middle.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Beautiful Spring Day in Seattle

Its beautiful in Seattle, so I walked down to little grocery store a couple blocks from my house (Ken's Market), and bought a delicious Reed's Original Ginger Brew. On the walk back, I wondered how hard it was to make Ginger Ale. Having dabbled in a homebrewing beer project, I knew it couldn't be too difficult, and if it required expensive equipment to brew... I probably already had it in the basement.
I got home, and went to the illustrious internet in search of instructions on how to brew Ginger Ale. Turns out it only took 3 clicks. Searched for: "wikipedia ginger ale". Click. The Wikipedia page for Ginger Ale is the first result. Click. At the bottom of the Wikipedia page, there is a link to "Homemade Ginger Ale." Click. Turns out it is dead-simple to do a basic brew of ginger ale.
In one hour (3:00PM - 4:00PM), I was able to go to the grocery store, and buy all the stuff I needed; prepare the brew, and clean up after myself. I even took some pictures. I'll let you know how it tastes as soon as I try it.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Rhapsody and Google Calendar Mashup

At Mind Camp 2.0, Leo and Katie (from and I started work on a mashup. We wanted to combine Google Calendar with Rhapsody. Instead of waking up to an annoying alarm-clock-radio, it would be nice to wake up to your favorite music.
How to get the data from Google Calendar:
This was easy. Google Calendar can output an RSS feed of your calendar. So, you just give our mashup the URL of your gCal RSS... and we can go from there.
How to play music via Rhapsody:
This was easy. Leo and Katie know all about Rhapsody (duh)... so I didn't even have to research how to do this. We use Rhapsody's Simple.js API... and it is definitely simple.
How to get Album information from Rhapsody
Rhapsody outputs an RSS file for every album. So, when the time comes to play... the mashup grabs the RSS, parses it, and builds an array to send to simple.js.

We used the Prototype javascript framework for the PeriodicalEvent timers. One timer fires off every 2 seconds to see if its time to play the music. One timer fires off every 5 minutes to get an updated RSS file from your gCal. We also used the Prototype class because it has super-simple AJAX methods in it. So, we were able to grab the RSS feeds asynchronously.

Because it is next to impossible to remember the URL for your gCal RSS feed, you only have to enter it once. Then I squirrel that away into a cookie. The mashup detects if the cookie is there, and if it is... it just does its thing. If the cookie isn't there, the mashup doesn't do anything until you input your RSS.

unfortunately, I don't know javascript all that well... so the mashup doesn't work in Internet Explorer. It works in Mozilla and Firefox though.

I almost forgot to give you the link to the site! here you go:
There is some basic documentation on how to use the mashup available on the site.

Please leave your comments and concerns here if you have any. Feedback is always cool.

(PS: Another funny Blogger Spellchecker word missing from their dictionary: Google).

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Seattle Mind Camp 2.0 Thoughts

Seattle Mind Camp 2.0 Thoughts
First and foremost: this was the most fun I’ve had in a long time.  So I’ve broken my thoughts about this event into a few categories, and here they are:
Startups: I’m smarter or stupider than anyone that is doing a startup.  They’re just braver than I am.  I just need to do it.  Although, I just started enjoying my job at Boeing again.  Now that I’m absolutely loaded down with work…  I’m having fun.  Funny story: A couple weeks ago, I started working on a site that I thought I could turn into a startup.  About a day after I started development, another Seattle Startup launched the exact same thing.  My site is/will be:  If you want to see what my site will do, go to BillMonk.  The guys that are doing BillMonk were at Mind Camp, and were really cool, and welcomed the competition.
Networking:  I’ve realized that people do their best networking when they don’t even realize it.  When you get pulled into a random conversation, then you end up having more and more conversations with that person as the conference progress, you don’t realize it… but you’ve just made a great ally.  Forget LinkedIn, you have an actual friend.
Good Time: It definitely was.
Andru, I can’t wait for the next one!

Seattle Mind Camp 2.0 Experiences

Seattle Mind Camp 2.0 Experiences
This is the first in a two part series about Seattle Mind Camp 2.0.  This is a narrative about what happened at SMC.  The next one will be my thoughts about the event.
Nikki and I got to the venue at about 11:30AM.  The pandemonium beganith.  We brought our stuff in, then went into the theatre for the opening ceremony.  We all went around the theatre and introduced ourselves, then said 3 words.  Any 3 words.  I drew blank.  I was thinking about saying “Purple monkey dishwasher,” but I wasn’t sure who would pick up on The Simpsons’ reference.  Reflecting on that… I should have said it, because everyone would have got it.
At 2:00PM the sessions started.  I went to a session about Search Engine Optimization.  Not much happened, but this was my first session at a conference ever… so it’s worth mention.
For the rest of the day, I went to a couple of sessions that were basically “tip and tricks” for starting a software startup company.  I went to a social networking session, which was basically worthless.  Nobody knows why or which social networking service will take off… so it’s almost worthless to try to dissect the ones that are working.
Then came the best session of the whole event, the mashup session.  Leo from got up to the whiteboard, and started writing down websites with data we could rip from, and connecting them with lines.  We came up with a TON of really good ideas.  Leo wanted to make a combination of Google Calendar and Rhapsody to make an alarm clock.  I thought this sounded doable, and semi-useful.  So he and I (and Katie) worked on it.  I actually got it usable last night… but that’s a whole other blog post.  This session made me want to have a MashPit.  Maybe I’ll organize one… when I find the time.
Windows Live paid for dinner on Saturday and breakfast on Sunday.  Both meals were awesome.  This event had a ton of awesome sponsors, including Wired Energy Drink.  We had 20 cases of the stuff!  I personally drank 4.  My heart is still palpitating a little.
I’m sure more went on… but I’m done typing this post.

On IM today...

Hopefully this is the first of a couple blog posts tonight...

Ray [3:27 PM]:
btw, you know what your next project should be
Ray [3:27 PM]:
google life: where you can google your life to figure out where your crap is
Ray [3:27 PM]:
google: where is my ipod
Ray [3:27 PM]:
<I'm Feeling Lucky>
Ray [3:27 PM]:
in your pants in the laundry basket
Adam [3:27 PM]:
Ray [3:27 PM]:
Ray [3:27 PM]:
i could've used that this morning
Adam [3:27 PM]:
i'm going to quote you in a blog post
Ray [3:27 PM]:

I think this should actually be called Google Mom... because she always knows where all you stuff is. Plus, its almost Mother's Day.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Graphical Representation of Warning Sign

In the elevators in my building, there are signs that say:

One of the signs has been modded to say:

I've been meaning to make this picture for over a year. Every time I get into the elevator with the modded sign I crack up. I think a good chunk of why I think its funny is because its Boeing. I just imagine someone plotting for months to get this masterpiece completed.
First, there was a lightbulb about someone's head. They saw potential in the original sign. They casually mentioned it to a few people to see if they had seen the potential of the sign. (this was perfect "elevator banter" too... so no awkward "elevator silence" for 5 floors). No one else had seen the possibilties that lay in the lettering of the sign.
Next, they had to alter their schedule to make sure they would get elevator "alone time" (the time for elevator banter was over). Slowly, over the course of a month... they slowly chipped away at each letter. G - gone. R - gone. O - written in. G - hacked into an O.
The masterpiece was almost done. Women were now checking to see if any of their Ohio Heels were missing.
Finally, the H was removed... and the masterpiece was completed.
Or maybe a custodial professional got bored of vacuuming one night, and thought this might be the chance to "stick it to the man." Who knows. Regardless, I hope I get elevator #3 tomorrow, it would make my Monday a little brighter... and so I can tape this little beauty up.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

I'm Not All Talk...

I talk about airplanes a lot. Maybe its because I work at Boeing. Maybe I just like flying. Maybe its because I grew up around them. Who knows? but, since I can remember, my family has gone through about 8 different airplanes at one time or another. When I was in high school, I soloed a sailplane and also a Citabria. I also passed the Private Pilots' Written Exam. But, do I have my pilot's license? Nope. In typical angsty teenager fashion, I decided that hanging out with my friends was more important/fun.
Yesterday I finally got back on track to getting my pilot's license. I am buying an airplane. A Cessna 140. One of my dad's friends is selling it me, so we found out about it before it went on the market. Apparently its pretty ugly on the outside (I haven't seen it yet), but mechanically its very sound and has a low-time engine in it. Anyways... I'm really excited about it.

On another note, my friend and I were trying to think of some funny "Web 2.0" domain names. My laundry hamper happened to be in my room, so we looked at it and check for "" Low-and-behold, its already taken... and it could definitely be considered a Web 2.0 product. It might be kind of a funny experiment to see how many domain names have be registered with similar names i.e.,,, etc. actually kind of cool looking... but I think and have it licked.

-- Update --
I saw a picture of the plane... and its actually not ugly at all!

Saturday, April 08, 2006

If you're interested...

I just signed up for Seattle Mind Camp 2.0.
A weekend, 24-hour, multi-track event. Think huge space with breakout rooms, broadband Wi-Fi, projectors, white boards - and you.

If you think you want to do it... sign up while its available.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Who made them boss?

Why do the people closest to the window get to decide if the shades are open or closed? Yes, I realize there is a problem with glare on computer monitors when the shades are open, but every desk I've ever seen can easily be adjusted to elimate the glare. Yet, instead of adjusting themselves... the window-people make the universal decision that nobody in the cube-row shall haveth sunlight The best part is that people fight to get the desk by the window, then they chose to close the blinds and never enjoy the view.
-- UPDATE --
I thought this anonymous comment was too good to be missed.
Get over it. Torturing the inside people is priviledge granted to the outside people.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Scott Adams Proposes New Leader

Scott Adam's (creator of Dilbert) had a little Q&A session on his blog.

Q. Who, out of any person, would do the best job of dictator with total control of the world, and please give a real response.

A. Bill Gates. He’s rational, experienced, and has a good track record of helping the disadvantaged through his charitable trusts.

I thought about it for a while... and I think I agree with him. I don't really know that much about Mr. Gates, but what I do know leads me to agree with Mr. Adams.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Gaming on Connexion

My gaming portal idea isn't going anywhere, but its good to see some people playing games on airplanes.

I wonder how the latency will be over the satellite link. I don't know any technical details of the link, but I can only imagine that the ping would have to be pretty high. I mean, the packet is going: wifi to airplane, airplane to satellite, satellite to ground station, ground station to internet... then the return packet takes the same long path.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

The Competition

I'm not going to lie... I think the Airbus A380 is pretty sweet. Wikipedia has some really cool information about the A380, including the Giant Plane Comparison. Anyways... what I really want to link to is this. Its a video of the first A380 being built. Make sure to check out "more videos from this user."

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

I've got famous friends...

Boeing just made a new college recruiting video. I thought I would share it with everyone, since this is the time of the year that graduating seniors start looking for jobs.

Now that you've watched it... I have a few comments.
a) Nikki and Kristin are 2 of my good friends. Therefore, the "associative rule of famous people" states that I am now famous too.
b) Not everyone in Boeing is as good looking as the people showcased in the video. Take me for example...
c) I totally agree... making airplanes is great feeling.

What the flip...

I guess I need to post more often. I decided to do a search on one word to see where my blog would show up. So, I searched Google for "Boeing". 45 pages of results... and my blog isn't on there ONCE!? I need to post more interesting things... so more people link to my site. But, what to post?

Monday, March 06, 2006


I just read this article about how our new CEO is suppose to "clean up Boeing."

From where I stand in Boeing, this article is a little off-base. It says that Boeing and former McDonnel-Douglas employees are at odds with each other. The only part of "the inside of Boeing" that I really see is the IT part... and I haven't ever seen this war. In my group, we have DBAs from everywhere in Boeing: Puget Sound, Arizona, California, and Pennslyvania... we all seem to get along just fine. In fact, while I'm on vacation at the end of March down in Phoenix, I'm planning on visiting the other DBAs down there... just for fun.

Now, on to another point... how much cleaning is too much? My group is having huge budget cuts apparently, and its really cramping my style. Of all the stuff I've done in Boeing so far, 3 "special projects" really stick out in my mind as awesome. But, I don't get to do any of them anymore. I've already written about one of them. So, what are the other 2?
1) Teaching the intern class. My group has to maintain a certain percentage of billable hours (yes, exactly like lawyers). Any time that we work that can't be billed directly to another group/customer (i.e. training, attending a conference, teaching the intern class) is considered overhead... and therefore is bad and makes Boeing IT look less efficient.
2) Having an intern. There is still a possibility that my group will get an intern (or 2)... but the only way we'll be able to do that is if we fund them completely out of our overhead budget (which is significantly smaller than last years).

So, yes... Jimmie Mac (a.k.a. W. James McNerney Jr.) has probably improved the bottom-line at Boeing, but at what cost? Work is getting less "cool" by the budget-cut. No CII and no interns can make a day at Boeing dull as hell.
Maybe I'm aiming my crosshairs a little too high here... I don't know. Maybe my woes are being caused by someone/thing lower down the org-chart.

--- UPDATE ---
I had a discussion with (one of) my second level manager todays. The problem is over her head... so maybe I wasn't aiming too high. She did offer up some good info on possible ways to solve the budgeting of money in our group (300+ people) though. I was impressed by her thoughts on the problems and solutions in our org. And, my first level manager figured out how I can keep working my Data Architecture job, while still being a DBA (Boeing likes to keep skills segregated... but thats probably a whole other blog post). All-in-all... a good day with managment.

Monday, February 27, 2006


I've written a few times about Boeing's Chairmans Innovation Initiative, and my involvement with it.
Connexion actually transferred control from the CII to themselves... thereby making me a "graduate" of the CII program. I haven't written about this on the blog because I've been super busy for many months (thanks to grad school, ski season, and a hand-injury that took me out of the game for a few weeks). Unfortunately, Connexion doesn't really have the money to fund such a project right now... so its been put in an indefinite holding pattern. Hopefully, someday, Connexion will have the money and I'll have time time to get the project back into the air.
While I was at a celebratory lunch with Maury and Kathleen (two of the best people I've met in Boeing) they informed me that the CII was getting shut down. That was a couple months ago, and now the internal CII website shows that the program has been shut down. I'm actually pretty upset about this because the CII was one of the things I really loved about Boeing. Its hard to hatch a chick in a henhouse as big as Boeing without an incubator.

PS: does anyone know why the spellchecker in Blogger is so far inferior to the spellchecker in GMail? The really ironic thing about the spell checker in blogger is that it recommended "bloc" to replace "blog." Thats business-comedy gold.

Friday, February 24, 2006

New Airplanes...

Who in Boeing gets to think of cool new things to put in airplanes? I don't know the answer... but I need to find out because I want their job. I picked up this video off of Randy's Journal last night, and decided it was too cool not to share. 747-8 Fly-Through.

The loft suites are really cool. The really neat thing about this video, is that it is showing what can be done in previously unused (except for wiring, ducting, etc) space in the 747.

Monday, January 30, 2006

How much you REALLY rely on your DBA.

One of my friends from work just emailed me something to post. And just FYI: I haven’t been to work in 2 weeks because I broke my hand skiing.


I will be honest here. I take resources for granted more then I should. It is hard not to at times. This causes a nice shock to your system and a reality check when they go away unexpected.


Being a project manager for a huge corporation, it’s very hard not to view people as resources, especially when you may be managing and assigning daily work to 15-30 people at a time. What is even worse is if your team members start to catch on that they are just a “number” in your little teaming environment.


No one wants to be viewed or tagged by how many hours of work a week you can get them to do. It makes for a very inefficient worker. Most people like to be called by their names, and not their job title (go figure). My DBA is no different…notice how I call him “my” DBA, with no name attached to his title? Guilty as charged.

MythBuster: A quick “harmless” test:

Myth: Backup resources are vital to a team’s success….False!

A good quick way to remember how important and vital your resources are to the whole team is to randomly pull a member your team without warning, communication, or planning… or better yet pull three of them and then break the hand of a fourth. Sure, they will have back-ups that share their job title. But they aren’t really backups for them, just someone that shares the same schooling, certificate, and skills. You can not replace a team member’s brain (well not yet at least), you can not replace 3-18 months of knowledge and history they have gained. And you cannot replace the speed (and trust) they have for making quick decisions and changes to your project.

Unrealistic Resolutions:

In order to really keep your team from leaving your project or your team, you will have to not allow any members to do any of the following:

  1. No driving in the same car together, anywhere…ever. (following each other in separate cars is just as risky)
  2. Can’t go on vacation, especially out of the country (this most definitely includes skiing)
  3. No foreign foods that may be volatile to their stomach, skin, eye sight, or internal working components of the body.
  4. Can not get divorced, get married, get annulled, get engaged, start a relationship, or end a relationship with any person that would be considered “high maintenance”
  5. No physical sports what so ever (ground or water). Card games and board games are OK. Video games are not (keyboard/joystick injuries are just as bad as a broken hand)

Obviously this is not a very realistic list. So the only choice is to identify the fine balance between covering all your team members in bubble-wrap or providing them with bungee-jumping gift certificates.


1. Above all, keep team members happy.

2. Always view your vital resources as your friends, because if they are not your friends, then they are your enemies. I personally don’t like it when those that work on my teams totally hate me. Call me weird but it makes for a little bit of an unstable work environment in my opinion.

3. If it is less effort to give your team what they want (any of the above 5 points), and more effort to keep them from what they want, just give in. You will be happier in the long run and you will have happier people working with you, not for you.

4. Your vital team mates should be viewed as your friends first, co-workers second, and team resources last. I would still like to keep all my friends/team mates covered in bubble-wrap all the time and secluded to their “work cells”, but I really don’t think they would answer the phone when I call them at 9pm on a Saturday or 7am on a Sunday. And believe me, they get those calls.