Goodbye, Critical Mass

Hey Critical Mass! I’m sorry I didn’t say “goodbye” properly. You know, the traditional email that goes around to cmassother, usually followed with the “we’ll be in the Ship starting at 5 o’clock”. I never got a chance to fire one out, such as things are, so really my best avenue to say hasta la vista is here. Hopefully a few of you get to see it.
Truth be told, I had been planning my “goodbye” message for years. (As my dad used to say, if you’re going to do something, do it right.) If nothing else, it would have been fun to make: a video that would cover my time at CM, complete with a snazzy soundtrack, and some bogus story about going to teach at an all-girls school. But planning means nothing without execution, and I never got around to it. I’m sure I will come to regret that.
Some of you won’t have a clue about who the fark I am. Some of you know me all-too-well. No matter where you sit in the spectrum, do yourself a favour and look around at all the people sitting near you. They, and you, are the people who make up Critical Mass.
As many have said before me, it’s the people I will miss most.
Continue reading “Goodbye, Critical Mass”

2009, A Year in Review

The year past was one of the toughest ones I can remember. It’s been a year of extreme highs, some pretty darks depths; my share of awesome joys, mixed with an unhealthy dose of stress. And that’s not when you consider the economy, I might add — things are even worse when you roll all that in.
The year closed out on a more sombre note for me, in many ways. Much quieter, and I got to spend a lot of time with my family (which I cherish now, and cannot regret in anyway), but the future is a little less certain. I’m less concerned about that fact than I thought I would be, however.
On with the year that just was… Continue reading “2009, A Year in Review”

9 years … and counting

Today marks yet another notch on the belt of my career. Today, I’ve been at Critical Mass (or within the Critical Mass family, anyway) for nine years.  
It’s weird. Very weird. I’m actually having trouble comprehending this fact. Nine years of my life (1/10th, depending on how long you think I might live) has been with one company. In my father’s generation, that would be considered “getting started”. In my generation, it’s considered “insane” — the turnaround is often two years or less.  
But here I am. Nine years, and counting. If you’d asked me at the end of my first year if I’d still be around eight years later, I’d have said that you were crazy. It’s been a hell of a ride, and at the same time seems almost short, now. But there’s a lot of memories in those years, too.  
Okay, enough reminiscing… I got work to do…

2008, A Year in Review

Hasta la vista, 2008! You were a tough year in the life, and while you certainly gave me a good run, I’m not unhappy to see you go. You’ve lead me further down the road of fatherhood, brought me back dear old friends, brought me new challenges at work … and of course moved me to an entirely different country. But with all of this, you’ve brought a whole mess of turmoil, instability, and grief.  
Now for those of you who’ve not been following along — and what the heck, even for those of you have — here’s what I’m talking about: Continue reading “2008, A Year in Review”

Finally got my box!

Way back in June — the 13th, to be specific (I guess that should have been a first sign, eh?) — I packed up a whack of things on my desk to bring down to Costa Rica. TeamMG (Mary and Morgan) arranged for this to be shipped down here by FedEx, a company I had used many, many times to get things from Point A to Point B quickly.
Problem: When a company doesn’t have a complete representation in Point B, you’re not going to get your box as fast as you thought.
Today is 24 July. I only got the box today.
Continue reading “Finally got my box!”

RIP: Sean Lineham

Today, I arrived back in Costa Rica with my family in tow. Little did I know that my “other” family — my friends and colleagues back in Calgary, were facing quite the tragedy. I found out no sooner than I turned on my computer to send a quick note to my partners here in Costa Rica (remember, I have no phone with which to call them), and I got an IM request from Dave. All he said was: “Call me. Urgent.”
It would appear that my friend, colleague, and fellow watch geek (though I could never ascribe to the level he attained) Sean Lineham passed away last night.
Continue reading “RIP: Sean Lineham”

Where I've been for the last few days

I’m in Panama. Been here since Tuesday afternoon. Been really, really busy. So far, the biggest problem I’ve had here (aside from the aforementioned busy-ness and subsequent inability to talk to my family), is that I’ve had Van Halen’s Panama stuck in my head pretty much since we left San Jose.
Damn you, David Lee Roth. Damn you!
So far, it’s a great place to visit (a post coming on this soon). But we’ve been steadily on the move.
Continue reading “Where I've been for the last few days”

One last lunch with the team

For all intents and purposes, I’m off the Rolex team. I’m still on their resource sheet, but the reality is that I haven’t done sqwat with the Rolex account for over a couple of weeks now. It’s all been transferred to Torin, who’s the new Tech Lead. I went into self-imposed exile at the fringes of the team’s seating space, soon to be a long-distant memory.
But before I left, I had a debt to settle. Many months ago now, I had to institute what we called the “Jugo Juice Rule”. It was an effort to get everyone to calm down a bit (we were all under a lot of pressure, and mistakes were becoming more frequent) and concentrate on what they were doing. Short version: If you made a mistake, you owed the entire team Juge Juice (a fruit smoothie).
Continue reading “One last lunch with the team”

It's the end of the world as we know it…

…and I feel, well, okay. Maybe not necessarily “fine”.
Critical Mass has done a bit of a reorganisation. I emphasise “a bit”. Mostly because this is not the radical shifts we’ve seen in the past. I think this is my third or fourth reorganisation since starting with Critical Mass back in 2000 (admittedly, I’m losing track), and this is the most minor change we’ve had.
At least when you look at the big picture.
Continue reading “It's the end of the world as we know it…”