2011 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Syndey Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 18,000 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 7 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.


One of the many reasons I’m proud to now be working at Twilio is the way the team honors those who came before us.  Check out what the team added to the website last night.

Packing Up, Ready To Go

How many boxes does it take to pack up six and a half years of employment?  It turns out that the answer is two.

I finished packing up all my things from work today, with tomorrow being my last day at SugarCRM.  I also spent a good portion of the afternoon cleaning up the files on my laptop, removing personal files and accounts.  When it’s all said and done, the only things left are one more message in my inbox, one more meeting with my boss, an exit interview, and a going-away lunch with the crew.  I’m ready to put it all to bed.

This isn’t the first time I’ve left a company, but it’s the first time where I feel like I haven’t wrapped everything up cleanly, with a clear transition in place.  When I finally left Netscape/AOL, it was because my business unit was closing down, and there wasn’t anyone left to hand things to.  When I left Sun Microsystems, there were other people doing the exact same job as me — albeit in different product lines — but they certainly knew what to do in my absence.

However, with SugarCRM, there isn’t an immediate replacement coming in to do my job.  In fact, my job has been a mixed bag of responsibilities, sort of a jack-of-all-trades position.  I pretty much molded it to me after taking on the current role, and my varied experience with the company was my calling card.  I’d seen it all, so I could cover anything that came my way.  While there are other people in the company who could certainly fill my shoes, they’re in other critical roles that would leave just as big of a hole if they were to leave.  Institutional knowledge goes a long way when you’ve been there for nearly the entire life of the company.

On the other hand, that won’t be my problem once tomorrow afternoon rolls around.  I’ve tried to tie things up, leave things in an okay state. Inevitably, there will be things that fall through the cracks. Hopefully, it’ll all be a memory in a couple of months.

More Happy News To Share – A New Job!

2011 has been a pretty big year for me, and there’s still more than three months left.  First it was my girlfriend moving in with me. Then it was my girlfriend becoming my fiancee.

And now I’m happy to announce that I’ll be starting a new job soon.  This coming Tuesday will be my last day with SugarCRM. A week from Monday, I’ll join Team Twilio as their new Director of Support.

It’s been a wild ride at SugarCRM for the past six and a half years.  Now I get the chance to do it all over again with another hot company.I’ve had my eye on Twilio for several months.  They’re reinventing communications, making products available for developers to build some really amazing applications. They’re making big news via the apps that they’re powering. They’re adding some incredible talent to the team, including my buddy Rob.

I’ll get my first real taste of Twilio later this week at the first ever Twilio Conference; no better way for me to learn than to attend two days of Twilio goodness prior to my official start date.  If you’re going to be at the conference, say hi to me when you see me there!

Every Day I’m Shuffling

Trying out a new theme on the ol’ blog, as I get ready to do some writing this weekend.

The theme is called Chunk, which now makes me think of The Goonies.

No One Cares About My OTHER Fantasy Football Team, Either, 2011 Edition

Ndamukong Soup Nazis

Here’s the second half of my 2-part series on my fantasy football drafts this year.  After this post, I doubt I’ll mention fantasy football again the rest of the season… unless something really interesting happens!

Thursday was the draft with the co-workers.  Fifth year we’ve been doing this league, but for the first time, we had enough players to split into TWO leagues.

Brief details on structure:  12 round snake draft with 12 players; starting lineup is 1 QB, 2 RBs, 2 WRs, 1 TE, 1 RB/WR/TE flex, 1 K, 1 Defense/Special Teams, and 2 bench spots. Scoring is pretty standard for a Yahoo league.

Here’s the results of my draft, with commentary mixed in where appropriate:

  1. QB Michael Vick, PHI (#10 overall pick, 3rd QB off the board… go big or go home!)
  2. RB Michael Turner, ATL (Had him last year, too, with almost the same pick; 8th WR off the board)
  3. WR DeSean Jackson, PHI (11th WR off the board; I’m betting big on the Philly aerial attack, apparently)
  4. RB Felix Jones, DAL (Picked him in my other draft this year as well, for the same reasons)
  5. WR Mike Williams, TB (Pretty damn good in his rookie season, with a young QB; should put up even better numbers this year)
  6. WR Percy Harvin, MIN (Three of the four picks between my 5th and 6th rounds were guys I’d queued up to pick — Jermichel Finley, Dwayne Bowe, Dallas Clark; now I’ll be rooting for Donovan McNabb to get him the ball, and praying for no migraines!)
  7. TE Aaron Hernandez, NE (Plays more like a WR, should continue to get plenty of targets in his second year; 5th TE picked in the 7th round alone, 10th TE overall)
  8. WR Malcolm Floyd, SD (Nothing interesting to say about him…)
  9. QB Kyle Orton, DEN (Insurance for Vick getting beaten up and missing time, otherwise I wouldn’t have carried a second QB on that short bench; only three more QBs picked the rest of the way after Orton)
  10. RB Pierre Thomas, NO (Sixty-five picks after rookie Mark Ingram, just sayin’…)
  11. DEF Detroit Lions (Carrying the Lions defense in both of my leagues, allowing me to name this team “Ndamukong Soup Nazis” as well!)
  12. K Rob Bironas, TEN (Gotta have a kicker…)
Boom or bust team, lots of question marks.  Success hinges on Michael Vick, plain and simple.  Read Matthew Berry’s Draft Day Manifesto, the section titled “Vick In A Box”, for why this is a good thing.

No One Cares About My Fantasy Football Team, 2011 Edition

Ndamukong Soup Nazis

Last year, around this time, I wrote two posts about my two fantasy football teams. I’m going there again, in spite of the title of this post.  If you have zero interest in fantasy football, feel free to skip the rest of this post, as well as the next post.

*waiting for some people to walk out*

Okay, for those of you still here, thanks for sticking around!

First up was my “Balls of Shame” draft, although the league is being renamed this year to “Pigskin & Poker”, due to the fact that it’s a group of poker buddies.  Last year’s draft is detailed here, as well as my victorious outcome in winning the league here.  It’s a PPR league, 16 round snake draft with 8 players; starting lineup is 2 QBs, 2 RBs, 3 WR, 1 WR/TE flex, 1 K, 1 Defense/Special Teams, and 6 bench spots.

Also worth noting that this is a keeper league. If you drafted a player last year in the 8th round or later, and he stayed on your roster all season, you could keep that player and sacrifice the pick from the same round this year. My example was Santonio Holmes, picked in the 15th round last year; I kept him for this year, which means I didn’t get a 15th round pick.  Seven of the eight teams elected to keep a player:

  • Malcolm Floyd (8th round)
  • Jamaal Charles (9th round)
  • Arian Foster (10th round)
  • Mike Wallace (11th round)
  • Dez Bryant (12th round)
  • Darren McFadden (15th round)
  • Santonio Holmes (15th round)

Here’s the results of my draft, with commentary mixed in where appropriate:

  1. QB Tom Brady, NE (4th overall; in a 2 QB league, 6 were taken in the 1st round, with only 2 RBs coming off the board)
  2. WR Andre Johnson, HOU (the 2nd round had the run on WRs, with 5 coming off the board; still only 3 RBs taken in the 1st two rounds!)
  3. QB Matt Schaub, HOU (9th QB taken, making me the second team owner to go with two QBs in the first three rounds; doubles up my points with Andre Johnson)
  4. WR Miles Austin, DAL (Opposing defenses have to worry about Dez Bryant, Jason Witten, Felix Jones, etc.)
  5. WR Vincent Jackson, SD (Hmm, maybe I should start thinking about taking a RB…)
  6. RB Matt Forte, CHI (Seems like great value here to get someone who catches passes out of the backfield; 45th pick overall)
  7. RB Felix Jones, DAL (I’m a big buyer on Felix Jones this year, and I suspect this will be a winner of a pick!  Healthy, improved offensive line, a healthy Tony Romo and an emerging Dez Bryant to open the field, no more Marion Barber to split carries, etc.)
  8. WR Anquan Boldin, BAL (Not the big play receiver he was in Arizona, but he’ll get tons of catches; Lee Evans should help stretch the defense)
  9. RB Fred Jackson, BUF (Should be solid enough to be my bye-week RB; I completely missed spotting DeAngelo Williams sitting out there, and so did everyone else… he wound up going in the 11th round!)
  10. QB Jay Cutler, CHI (I’d just read the Sports Illustrated article, “You’re Wrong About Jay Cutler“… I hope I’m right during the Brady/Schaub bye weeks!)
  11. TE Dallas Clark, IND (Since we don’t have to start a TE, he fell pretty far, but I see him as being a solid WR/TE option; every week, I get to start 4 out of Johnson/Austin/Jackson/Boldin/Holmes/Clark)
  12. RB Marshawn Lynch, SEA (Ugh… DeAngelo Williams had just been taken off the board, starting a run of four RBs ahead of my pick)
  13. WR Steve Smith, PHI (Gavin and I both looked up in the 13th round, both with the name ‘Steve Smith’ on the tip of our tongue; he got the Carolina version one pick before me; I’ve already dropped him, figuring a 3rd or 4th option on the Eagles that was coming off major knee surgery wasn’t a need; Danny Amendola replaces him on my bench)
  14. DEF Detroit Lions (I was the second-to-last owner to pick a defense… I’m betting on that scary defensive line; named my team “Ndamukong Soup Nazis”)
  15. WR Santonio Holmes, NYJ (Keeper pick, awesome value!)
  16. K Garrett Heatley, NO (Gotta have a kicker…)
Not a bad draft, mostly safe picks, not many question marks.  My starting lineup on most days will consist of guys on playoff-caliber teams, with lots of weapons around them, no one who a defense can key on and try to shut down. I like it.

The Unheralded Awesome New Feature in Apple TV

A couple of weeks ago, Apple released a software update to the Apple TV, and the news was mostly under the radar.  The fact that Vimeo support was added got a bit more play than the feature I care most about — streaming previously-purchased TV shows through the Apple TV via iCloud!

I’ve written a few times about my use of external hard drives to store my iTunes media, and the purchased TV shows are the big space hogs.  Then, when I had a major data loss, I resigned myself to never being able to get back to the media files that were lost.

We have two Apple TVs in the house, one in the living room, one in the bedroom.  Any time that I wanted to watch something I’d purchased from Apple, I needed to have my external hard drive connected to a computer in the house, and leave iTunes up and running on that computer, in order to stream the media using the Apple TV.  Not a big deal, but a White Whine / First World Problem on those nights when I go upstairs to bed, want to watch TV, but forgot to set up the computer downstairs for this scenario.

Now, with the Apple TV software update, the problem goes away.  No more do I have to leave the hard drive plugged into the laptop and leave iTunes running.  No more do I have to lament losing the previously purchased TV shows.  I can now offload the files from my external hard drive, freeing up space for other things.  This could easily be my favorite new Apple feature of 2011… which is kind of sad, now that I think about it.

Update: As I go back through the news about this software update, looks like John Gruber agrees that the pre-purchased aspect was more interesting than the Vimeo inclusion.  Nice to know I’m not the only one.

Who You Should Vote For, SXSW 2012

If you’re a South By Southwester, you really should vote for this panel.

I may be biased, though… I’m engaged to the session organizer, the speaker is a friend, and the subject is my company.

Blues Traveler Concert

Recently, April and I went to see Blues Traveler in concert at Villa Montalvo. Yes, Blues Traveler is still touring!  They’re still a lot of fun to see perform, and they still sound great.  They’re longer in the tooth, but you can see they still have a blast up on stage, hamming it up to each other even more so than to the crowd.

Blues Traveler is one of those bands that reached national prominence during my college years, whose music still holds up over 15 years later — man, I’m getting old!  I’m listening to the Four album as I type up this post, and I’m sure I’ll still enjoy listening to this album in another 15 years.

Four (Blues Traveler album)

Image via Wikipedia

If you live in the San Jose area, find a reason to go to a concert at Villa Montalvo at least once… beautiful setting, intimate concert amphitheater, and of course, terrific weather in the summer for an outdoor show.  We were third row center, which makes you feel like the band is really playing for just you and a few other people, especially at a venue like Villa Montalvo.  To give you an idea of these seats, if you look at the back of the head two rows in front of me, that’s Steve Wozniak there. As April noticed, The Woz spends a LOT of time looking at Foursquare on his white iPhone 4.

It’s really a good time when you’re at a concert, hearing John Popper singing.

But you know what’s even better?  John Popper on the harmonica!