Archive for 'work' Category

2013.11.02

Goodbye October

October wasn’t the best of months for me.

Over two weekends, I helped move our San Francisco office to a new location and set up a brand new office in Denver. I’m willing to bet they’re happy I’m not an hourly employee. The whole process was exhausting and I wish I knew who thought this was a great idea.

Having to work those weekends also means I had to cancel a trip to New Orleans for a friend’s birthday. Flight and hotel were booked and I was looking forward to it. I’m also disappointed that I couldn’t go because another great friend, who I’ve been out of touch with for far too long, did make it out.

When I got back from Denver the battery on my motorcycle died. Getting that fixed was quite the event. Then, worse, the very next week I was in an accident. A guy was pulling in to Gough from an alley and thought it was a two way street so he wasn’t looking in my direction. I had slowed down and was going to go behind him when he stopped suddenly. I remember watching my tire hit the back corner of his rental and then nothing until I was standing up to move out of the way of oncoming traffic. Apparently I did a graceful roll, though, and the fact that I wasn’t really hurt (some minor bruises) is testament to that I suppose.

So continuing on with my October, coffee was accidentally poured on my work computer (the guy feels terrible) and then my home computer’s hard drive died. I have my home computer back up and running (mostly; still need to install StarCraft 2) but my work computer is still getting cleaned.

And finally, sadly, my Uncle (Mom’s brother) passed away. I wasn’t terribly close to him but close enough that it came as a shock.

I am saying goodbye to October. Though Rosa got her citizenship, which is a great thing, it’s otherwise been a month I’d rather just forget.

Comments Off | Catergorized: family  friends  life  motorcycle  technology  travel  work

2011.03.31

The Cost of Having Children

My wife sent me a PPT file about the high cost of having children today… Or not. While most of it was kind of cheesy (eegads, where do they find this music?!?) there were some data points worth sharing.

The government recently calculated the cost of raising a child from birth to 18 and came up with $160,140.00 for a middle income family.

But $160,140.00 isn’t so bad if you break it down. It translates into:

  • $8,896.66 a year
  • $741.38 a month
  • $171.08 a week
  • A mere $24.24 a day

I understand children aren’t cheap, and the PPT made a big deal out of all the non-money, feel-good benefits in early childhood, but $741.38 a month is really not too bad. It’s significantly less than our monthly rent! Too bad that’s all after taxes.

Incidentally, other sources quote the actual figure at $222,360, $204,060, and almost $300,000. Still, even $350,000 works out to $373.93/week or $1,620.37/month. Not cheap, still much cheaper than my rent, cheaper than a crack habit, and less expensive than most people would think.

I imagine that every child that follows, much to their chagrin, will be cheaper to raise since you can buy food in bulk (everyone has to eat, even mac and cheese!), give them hand me down clothes (they’ll love it!), and generally reuse most of the stuff their older siblings had. I suppose this could explain some of the bitterness of my brother towards me earlier in life.

Comments Off | Catergorized: family  thoughts  work

2011.03.22

Relief by the Pint

On Thursday, March 24th my company, VIZ Media, will be having a fundraiser to help those in Japan after the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear hazards. VIZ imports Japanese manga and anime so it’s our opportunity to help. From the release:

Time: Thursday, March 24th from 4PM – 7PM
Location: Sweetie’s; 475 Francisco Street (between Mason and Powell)
More Info: 21 and over only.
Don’t worry we’ll have more fundraisers soon.

Enjoy a pint and send your good wishes towards the rebuilding of Japan. Share a shot with the people who help bring you your favorite manga and anime AND help rebuild the country that it all comes from.

Sweetie’s will donate 10% of revenue and all proceeds from the prize raffle will go to Artists Help Japan in a partnership with Give2Asia.

Can’t go, but want to donate?
Go to http://give2asia.org/artistshelp to donate to the cause!

If you’re a manga and/or anime fan this will be an opportunity for you to come mingle with some of the folks who bring you your special kind of crack. I have it on good authority that there will be a raffle, too, and given all the toys we get here at work you might enjoy what is given away, too.

2 Comments | Catergorized: anime  life  manga  san francisco  work

2011.03.02

Placement Company Call

I had a kind of funny cold call from an HR placement company.

Guy: Hi. I’ve heard that you have a need for Macintosh IT people at your company.
Me: Well, you heard wrong.
Guy: Oh! I’m sorry. I (blah blah blah blah blah)…
Me: (interrupting him) You need to be contacting our HR people for this kind of inquiry.
Guy: Oh! I’m sorry. I (blah blah blah blah blah)…
Me: (interrupting him). Also, this is my private cell phone number. Please remove it from your records.
Guy: Oh! I’m sorry. I (blah blah blah blah blah)…
Me: Goodbye now!

I don’t know if the guy was new to his job or what, but I just rolled right over him.

Comments Off | Catergorized: work

2009.10.19

Flooding at Work

Today’s hot news at work was the flood. Yes, I live in San Francisco. We’re known for our earthquakes but not so much for flooding. Ironically it wasn’t even supposed to rain today, so I had ridden my motorcycle. Anyway, rain it did to the point where the storm drains basically EXPLODED. Take a look at this video. If you look carefully in the background you’ll see a brick building; that’s where I work.

The video was shot from where I get my morning coffee almost every day. As a result of that geyser in the middle of the road we got this, which was shot by Courtney from the front of our building. This was after the water receded a bit! The water was coming in all of our doors and even a few places, like a wall window, we never expected it. Courtney also took this picture, which looks out on the intersection of Bay and Powell.

VIZ Flood

As a result of the water damage and the unsanitary water itself (not to mention the stench) the offices are closed tomorrow. Yay…?

What a day to spend my Mom’s birthday!

Comments Off | Catergorized: life  photos  san francisco  work

2009.09.10

Meeting Agendas

At my place of employment we’ve switched our enterprise calendaring system. I won’t go into the details of this because it would deserve a very long post. It has brought up an interesting point, though, about (some) corporate cultures regarding meeting.

For fsck’s sake people, if you set up a meeting then put some bloody details in the comments section so I know what it’s about. If you make a meeting and call it, “Let’s Talk,” I have no idea WTF you want to talk about. I can’t read your mind.

A meeting should have an agenda, or your wasting my time and yours. Four out of five times we don’t even have to have a meeting; stop by my desk and ask your question. We can resolve this in five minutes or less. If you insist on setting up a meeting, though, tell me what it’s about. If you can’t do that much, I’m making a public vow to start declining your meetings. With prejudice.

Comments Off | Catergorized: grrr  work

2009.04.19

A Bevy of Updates

I haven’t written Jack Crap here for a long time now. It’s not that there hasn’t been anything to write about… I’ve just been a lazy SOB. Not that it’s any consolation to me or you, but here’s some tidbits to maybe distract you from noticing it’s been some three weeks since I wrote here last.

Unemployed? Over 11% in California are. Looking for a career change, probably in a more tech/sci direction? Check out MIT’s Open Courseware. They have courses in architecture, biology, electrical engineering and tons more. I don’t know if you get a degree for this sort of thing, but it certainly can’t hurt, and for the whopping price of free you can’t go too wrong, either.

At long last Zombies are getting representation. The Zombie Anti Defamation League is live and active addressing the concerns of the Post Vital as they continue through existence.

When I was a kid in Korea there would come occasions when a friend was going to Japan and would ask if they should bring something back from their trip. The answer was almost always Felix Gum. Allegedly made from whale blubber, this gum could be chewed for days on end with little diminishment of its flavor. In fact we’d have contests. The funny thing is that when I ask my Japanese coworkers about this stuff they look at me like I’m an alien. Well, prepare to be probed because I found Felix Gum here in San Francisco. Behold.

Japanese Felix Gum

Hmm… Many of the other updates I won’t be going over because, well, they’re not that big a deal for this venue. Been to a few parties, hung out with friends, work, etc. I will just try to keep this up now at my more frequent approximation of a post a week. Ciao for now!

3 Comments | Catergorized: friends  korea  san francisco  science  technology  work

2009.03.08

COBRA Benefits

As the nation climbs towards double digit unemployment I hope my fellow Californians remember that COBRA, a law that helps the unemployed retain their health benefits, is being aided by the recent federal stimulus plan. See this:

My Feb. 26 column said that, thanks to the stimulus act, if you are involuntarily terminated between Sept. 1, 2008 and Dec. 31, 2009, and are eligible for COBRA, the federal government will pay 65 percent of your premium, through your employer, for up to nine months. You pay the other 35 percent.

This is kind of a big deal since with COBRA an individual often had to pay the entire premium, which could be hundreds of dollars a month.

2 Comments | Catergorized: life  san francisco  work

2009.03.01

California’s 10% Unemployment

I haven’t been posting much lately. It’s been a rough several weeks partly/greatly because of work. This is life.

California recently hit the 10% unemployment mark. Generally speaking, one in every ten people you see around you has no job. That’s quite a bit of people. Over the winter holidays I was out on the east coast and it was obvious the economy wasn’t doing well out there. Tons of stores were shut down, not nearly as many people were out and about as I was used to, and everyone seemed to be talking about the loss of jobs and the fact that the economy was in the crapper. I came back to San Francisco and looked around and things didn’t seem that bad and I was A) relieved and B) worried it might happen here.

Well, it’s happening. I’ve never seen so many houses for sale in all the time I’ve lived here. They are on the market because folks are either foreclosed or realizing they really can’t afford the mortgage. Stores are starting to shut down, and I’m hearing about more coming. Worst of all is that every company seems to be laying people off. Every day I hear about it from the news and from friends. It’s rough and I wish there was something I could do about it because I have the strong feeling it will get worse before it gets better.

Comments Off | Catergorized: friends  grrr  life  san francisco  work

2008.11.17

Working in Paris

As if posting was inadequate enough of late, I’m in Paris right now working. Well, not literally this moment. Right now it’s 11:30PM and I’m trying to motivate myself to goto bed. That it’s almost midnight on my second day here seems to indicate I’m over my jet lag. Coffee helps.

It’s kind of odd to be back. I was here a year and a half ago and while not much has changed, something definitely has. Maybe it’s the different season (it was a bloody hot summer last time, now it’s a late autumnal chill) or maybe it’s the fact that most places have banned smoking indoors causing the natives to be a touch nastier or maybe it’s the lesser number of tourists… I’m not sure. Whatever it is, I’m not worried about it; I’m in Paris. The only drawback is I’m working and am not able to take a few extra days to myself.

Of course working is fine. I love my job (though I still say bartending was my favorite job). I just wish I made the kind of money that coming back here for myself, on a whim, made possible. I’ll get right on that. In the meantime I’ll try to take a few obscure pictures and post them up… There are many strange details in Paris (and most European cities) that American cities mostly seem to lack.

For example on any given sidewalk, if it is more than a meter wide, at some random distance down the block, they will have posts sticking up. They serve no purpose. I’m willing to bet no one knows, if they’ve even noticed them. These are some of the things that give a place character. And something to jam your leg into stumbling home after too many glasses of wine.

1 Comment | Catergorized: life  paris  work
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