Archive for the ‘Work’ Category

The Spice of Life

May 2, 2012

A little over two months ago, I posted about my last day at my former job and that I was looking forward to exciting, new opportunities. At the time, I had fully intended to submit another post on the following Monday to talk about my new job. Unfortunately, time got away from me and I am just now getting to share my wonderful news. If you haven’t already guessed by the image in this post, I took a job working in the IT department of Penzeys Spices.

I’m actually glad that I didn’t post right away. I’ve learned quite a bit about this company since then and I wouldn’t have done it justice. If you have been to the Penzeys stores or been the recipient of their catalogs, you may already be aware that the company has a commitment to the idea of Kindness. To paraphrase the Kindness Works section in the catalog: Penzeys believes that many people cook as an act of kindness towards their loved ones. And this kindness helps to make a better world one meal at a time.

I’m sure that the cynic in you is saying “What!?!?! Yeah… right!” Well, after being here a couple of months, I can see it. This is a company that values their employees and embodies what they print in the catalog. Quite a novel idea in today’s world.

Love to Cook – Cook to Love.

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The End of an Era

February 24, 2012

Today is my last day at Artisan Partners, LP. I have been here just 2 weeks shy of 7 years. On top of that, I have been working in the IT department of investment management companies since Septemeber, 1997. On Monday, I will be working in a completely different industry. Am I nervous? A little bit. But I am also excited about new challenges and new opportunities.

The last seven years at Artisan have been a wonderful experience and I have worked with some terrific people. In as much as I am looking forward to my new job, I will be sad to leave the comfort of nice co-workers and good friends. To Jeff, Michelle, Veronica, Alex, Jessica, and Vlad, I hope that we will keep in touch and I will value the friendships that we have made. To all of my Artisan co-workers, it has been a pleasure working with you. Keep doing the things that made this firm great.

I am outta here!!!

Conspiracy Theories, Signs From Above, and Peanut Butter M&Ms

March 9, 2011

Today, a little bit after lunch, I decided to grab a handful of Peanut Butter M&Ms from the break room at work. I ate a couple on my way back to my desk and carelessly tossed remainder on the desk to be eaten later. After working for a few minutes, I looked over at my snack and was amazed. Okay, “amazed” is a bit too strong but the unusual site was a little astonishing. As you can see by the picture that I snapped with my phone, the remaining six M&Ms were arranged in a near-perfect equilateral triangle with one point aimed directly at me. On top of that, all six M&Ms were of a different color. What a crazy, random happenstance!

Of course, part of me wondered if this truly was random. Could otherworldly forces be at work? Like the crop circles found in farm fields across the world, were aliens trying to send me sign? Does the triangle point the way to some mystical nirvana? Also, I couldn’t help but to remember that today is Ash Wednesday. It is possible that God was reminding to keep my faith in the Holy Trinity today (it WAS a triangle, after all). And the colors. Let’s not forget those. No two M&Ms were the same color. Was this a sign to treat all men and women of varying races, colors, and creeds equally?

I started to think that I should rope off the area and call the National Enquirer. I’m sure that this is as unusual as those people that see the face of Jesus on the front of their Frigidaire sitting outside their mobile home in Alabama. People from miles around could come to see the “sacred triangle.” Maybe I could charge admission. I might even get my own TV show. Too far???? Yeah, you’re right. In the end, I got hungry so I ate them.

A Cube With A View

June 14, 2009

I know that the economy is pretty bad right now and many of my friends are currently unemployed or in jobs that they really don’t like. So that is why I’m so thankful that I have been blessed with a great job that I really like. I’m a Software Engineer (that’s spelled N-E-R-D) at a firm in downtown Milwaukee and I really enjoy what I do. There are times that I have to put in vast amounts of overtime and I’m on-call much of the time but those negatives are offset by the fact that I’m paid pretty well and we have great perks.

I’ve never been one of those people that has to have the best of everything at work and I’ve never yearned for the corner office. In fact, during my work career, I enjoyed the luxury of working in interior cubicles or desks with a lovely view of the company parking lot and it really hasn’t bothered me. To be honest, those locations offer much fewer distractions. This week, however, we reorganized our seating arrangement at work so individuals on the same team could be located together. For the first time in the 22 years of my work career, I got the desk with the killer view. I took this picture while sitting at my desk on Friday around noon.

I’m sure that the novelty will wear off in the next few work days but it is another cool perk of this job. The other picture is a Google Maps image with red lines indicating the field of view from my cubicle. I have a great view of the Milwaukee Art Museum and Veteran’s Memorial Park but the McKinley Marina is obstructed by the War Memorial. I was amazed that I can actually see the Old North Point Water Tower. I’ve been with this firm for four years and this is the fifth time that I have switched desks. So I am fully aware that I will likely move to another location in about a year and that doesn’t really upset me. I will, however, enjoy this perk while it lasts.

Trinity Three Irish Pubs

May 30, 2008

Last night, a bunch of folks from work decided to go out to Trinity Three Irish Pubs in downtown Milwaukee. As the name implies it is actually three separates bars in one; Foy’s, Gallagher’s, and Duffy’s. All three have there own distinct atmosphere and style. We decided to hang out at Foy’s. I found it to be an enjoyable place to gather and it seemed like a great place to dine with friends or family.

I enjoy Guiness when I can get the chance and there are lots of chances at this place. One of the bartenders was actually practiced at drawing a shamrock in the foam of the Guiness as he finished off the pour. Quite Impressive. Another wonderful touch was the Celtic/Irish music playing in the background. I have recently started listening to that genre of music and it made experience even more special. I can’t wait to go back there again soon.

Spitzer Resigns!!!

March 13, 2008

I have held back on commenting on the “Client #9” scandal because there is not much more to be said. But now he has resigned. Eliot Spitzer was instrumental in ruining one of my previous employers, Strong Capital Management. Granted there were people at the company that were involved in wrong doing and deserved to be caught. But Spitzer decided to make an example of Strong and by doing so destroyed the company and many people lost their jobs. It is interesting that only company to be completely destroyed by his routing out of evil on Wall Street was a non-New York based company. If you want to be governor of New York, you shouldn’t cause people to loss their jobs in your home state.

It amazes me that a guy that made a practice of finding corruption wouldn’t be careful in his own dealings. Moving large amounts of money around attracts the attention of law enforcement because of rules he put in place as Attorney General of New York yet that is how he got caught. This article indicates that he may have spent up to $80,000 on a “high-priced escort service”. $80,000!!!! What was this guy thinking? I hate to see anyone’s life destroyed. But I guess that when you are such hypocrite, you get what you deserve.

Happy Thanksgiving

November 22, 2007

Before I post my Thanksgiving message, I have to mention that I passed a milestone last week. I have now been blogging for a year.

There are many things for which I can give thanks. I am thankful for a wonderful, happy, and healthy family. I am thankful for a job that I enjoy and that provides me with excellent pay and benefits. I am thankful that I have been able to enjoy my participation in community theatre and have been in four shows this calendar year. I am thankful for having time to learn to the play the piano.

I hope that everyone can enjoy as many blessing as I have this year.

Boca Raton Resort & Club

November 6, 2007

I took this picture today while standing in front of the hotel that I’ve been staying in since Sunday. I’m currently at a business conference here in Boca Raton and will be here until tomorrow. It’s been sunny and in the eighties with very low humidity and some slight breezes the whole time I’ve been here. I hear that the weather isn’t that nice at home. This is the third year in a row that I’ve attended this conference at this same hotel. It is always awesome.

On-Call

September 20, 2007

As some of you know I am a software engineer for a financial services company. We are a small to mid-size company and as such we don’t have a very large IT organization. That means that most of us developers are the sole person supporting our applications. Last night, some of the individuals that work in our San Francisco office during the night had an issue with the application I support.

My cell phone sits on my nightstand next to my bed and it started ringing at 1:20 am last night. I don’t mind this part of my job because it doesn’t happen that often and resolution doesn’t take that long. I have to say, however, that when my phone goes off at that time, my brain doesn’t truly doesn’t function in time to actually answer the call. I jumped up and knocked my cell phone and cordless phone onto the floor. I sat there for several minutes before realizing what was happening. Luckily the caller was smart enough to leave a voice mail.

As it was, I was back in bed and on my way dreamland by just after 2 am. The ironic part of the whole situation is that issue wasn’t related to my application but instead to a poor network connection between here and the other site.

Quiche of the Day

June 5, 2007

Man, I love my job. Well, actually I like what I do a lot but I love my place of employment even more. We have always had free lunch. Good lunch, too. There is also free coffee, soda, juice, and M&Ms in the break rooms. Additionally, we have bagels, toast, pop tarts, and cereal available in the cafeteria in the early morning. About four months ago, they started a program where they began serving smoothies from 9 to 11. There are two flavors; one berry and one that changes each week. I’m not a big smoothie drinker. I had a couple when they first started making them but none since then. Today, they started testing out the Quiche of the Day. I’m not sure when they will be available but probably in the mornings. Today’s quiche had chicken, mushrooms, peppers, two types of cheese, and other stuff. Boy, it was good. I’m starting to rethink my bowl of cereal at home before work. I see no reason to eat at home when the options at work are so much better. … and they are FREE!!!