Man, what a week.

May 28, 2004

This is mainly because Paul is making me update my blog because he insists that he reads it, and that I haven’t updated it enough. I’m actually speaking to Paul and Ryan in Ventrilo (which everyone should use…) but that isn’t the point. The point is that I haven’t been updating enough, and so I’m doing something about it.
I noticed that Christina and Phillipe updated their blog, and I suspect that I’m mentioned in there. For the record, they moved to Singapore…from Hong Kong. So in all reality, they’re about the same distance away from me…which is called “The other side of the world.” Remind me not to send chewing gum to them.
I pre-ordered Full Spectrum Warrior. I played it at E3, and frankly…it rocked. Can’t wait to play it Live! styles.
This week was really busy…I’ve actually been given a project to work on…and spent a good portion of the week determining thermostat/sensor locations…and then moving them anyway. Getting yelled at for cutting holes in nice clean walls…getting yelled at for not having the holes in the walls yet. In other words, welcome to construction.
Anyway, I’m gonna play some Call of Duty with the fellas at ijsmp for a while…because I’m not really in the mood to type any more, and AM in the mood to shoot someone in the head.
Ka-BLAM, as my buddy Steve would say.


Monday, monday…

May 24, 2004

Uneventful weekend. I did end up putting the XBox back on the shelf. And cleaning my apartment. Packaging up the first order from Limewear. Doing some general business stuff. Had a meeting about GTDB.
It was pretty relaxing.
My laundry is threatening to take over my bedroom…but I am the master of my domain! At some point I’m going to need to do my laundry.
Right now, I’m just being me. I’m enjoying myself.
Glenn’s recipe for Sesame Garlic Shrimp, which I made for dinner last night.
3/4 pound shell-on shrimp, 1 scallion, 3 cloves garlic, 2 carrots, 3 ribs of celery, dash of fresh chili pepper, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 1/2 tsp Togarashi (get it at www.worldspice.com, or use cayenne,) 2 tablespoons sesame oil, oil to coat a wok.
Prep: Mince the garlic, scallion, chili pepper. Set aside. Designate:Aromatics.
Prep: Slice the celery on a diagonal into 1/4″ slices. Shred the carrot into fine 1″ long shreds. Set aside. Designate: Vegetables.
Prep: Shell the shrimp, place in a bowl. Rinse briefly in cold running water. Add soy sauce and togarashi (or cayenne.) Toss with a wooden spoon until coated evenly. Designate :Yummy Shrimp.
Cooking: Heat regular oil in a wok to coat, until oil barely smokes. Add Aromatics and stir fry briefly until chili flakes start to brown. Add Vegetables, and stir fry for about 2 minutes, or until vegetables become translucent. Add Yummy Shrimp, making sure that all the liquid in the bowl ends up in the wok. Stir fry for about 1.5-2 minutes, until the shrimp is just undercooked. Add sesame oil and stir for 15 seconds, coating evenly. Push all ingredients into the center of the wok, cover, and steam for 30 seconds more. Remove from heat, and stir for 30 more seconds.
Serve over white rice.
Yummy. Wish I had some now.


OK, so…

May 20, 2004

I plugged in my new XBox, got my gamertag installed, and patched it.
Now I’m all set to play…um…no. I’ll probably just put it back on my shelf and play City of Heroes again.


Rocking on with my bad self…

May 19, 2004

End of the workday, and I’m pretty tired.
Woke up this morning with more acid in my stomach than can be safely considered healthy. Caused me to think that my ulcer was coming back, and the reflux was no fun. Probably my diet. Truthfully, I’m not all that stressed about work, and the whole Limewear business thing is making me happy, not stressed. Beats me.
I spent today trying to rally PMs into giving me project plans. I am astounded at the amount of pushback I’m getting. Yes, some of them are starting to come around…but how can you effectively say to someone “I know it’s my project, but I have no idea when it’s going to be engineered, when I need someone on my job, and the deadline. Sorry. Just no idea.”
I did get some done…and that’s something. Visibility is my friend.
I’ve been playing City of Heroes, Trackmania, and Star Wars Galaxies. Funny how a break from a game will all of a sudden jolt you into wanting to play again. I spent about 8 hours on Tatooine just doing my thang…and having fun.
Trackmania has a demo…and I strongly recommend trying it…it’s hysterical.
Tonight, hanging out with Adam and Pauline…we’ll probably end up eating out at that French place near my house, then coming back and watching a DVD or something.
Comedy of the month: I bought a limited edition Halo Xbox…because it’s all green, transparent, and purty. And I haven’t EVEN plugged it in yet. I’ve only had it for 6 weeks. Maybe I’ll plug it in tonight. Maybe I won’t.


And we’re back!

May 17, 2004

OK…so I’m sitting at my desk at roughly 8am Monday morning, refreshed from a great vacation in LA. (Seems like an oxymoron, don’t it? Great vacation in LA?) I got sun, I saw and played videogames for a week, I went swimming, I played poker, and I got to meet and hang out with people I’d been in contact with for over a year.
All in all, a good time.
I am trying to develop a plan to increase profitability here. The reason why aren’t as profitable as we should be is threefold, in my mind:
1) We have no controls on our production chain. We just build and look at costs haphazardly, when we think something may be going wrong, or we post-mortem a job…by which time it’s too late to correct any problems.
2) We do not penalize poor performance, nor reward excellent performance. There’s no motivation for the teams to do better or worse…only to get the job done…and even that’s something of a joke.
3) The amount of proper supervision on jobs is none. We don’t know what our project managers are doing, we do not expect them to tell us on any sort of a reasonable basis, and by the time they’re in the middle of a crisis, we’re in damage limitation mode, which doesn’t help our profitability.
By some accounts, some people would say that our project managers aren’t up to the job. I don’t believe that. I believe that their morale is low due to the fact that they are not recognized for the work that they do…and they do work hard. I think that all of them are project managers of the reactive kind. That is, they don’t really have a plan, per se…but they know what needs to be done. Naturally, as busy as construction gets, they forget things, or do things out of sequence, which costs time and money.
In short, they’re not planning, which doesn’t allow managers to keep an eye on things, which means that there’s no way to get early warning of upcoming problems without relying on the judgment of a single project manager, which can’t be good because they’re always busy and always reacting after the fact, which means we’re destined to lose money due to inefficiency.
Personally, I think that’s nonsense…so we’re going to start at the very beginning…which is a real fine place to start. Project plans, me hearties! Arr!


Friday…on my way back to New York

May 14, 2004

I’m sitting in the lobby of the hotel writing this, surfing on their wireless connectivity that’s here. It’s early…about 8am, PST. I woke up at around 6:30am with a pretty bad headache that’s slowly subsiding. I’m thinking that the headache was due to too much caffeine, lots of heat, a bit of swallowed chlorine, and sleeping on a cot. But whatever. As long as it goes away before I get in the air at 3pm PST, I don’t care.
I don’t even know where to start. I had (am having) the best time. I didn’t run into Jez San…although if I had thought about it before I left, I would have asked M to make the introduction. I did, however, run into some people I used to work with at Modem Media. It was great to have lunch with David, who now works at AOL, and I was pretty surprised to turn around and see Paul standing behind me, grinning. Paul works at Children’s Workshop now.
Anyway, I got to play or see 95% of all the upcoming games that I’ve been curious about. Notably, I did not get a chance to play Halo2…and that can be said for just about everyone at the conference. In fact, many of them didn’t get a chance to even see it running. All behind closed doors.
But I did get a chance to play Fable, and Full Spectrum Warrior, and many many others…and I’m thinking that I’m pretty much going to spend a ton of money this fall.
I had a great time hanging out with the GTDB guys. Poker, laughs, and of course, the convention.
Great vacation. I definitely needed it.
Links later. Think I’ll have some breakfast.


Los Angeles

May 11, 2004

Here in LA…sat in the sun, swam in the pool, and registered for E3 press.
Life is good. Will post more about games tomorrow when I get back!