Sunday, November 20, 2005

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G Love Chicago Vic 3/18/00dmourati's G Love Chicago Vic 3/18/00 photoset





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Friday, November 11, 2005

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

11-08-05_1804.jpg


11-08-05_1804.jpg
Originally uploaded by dmourati.
Caltrain Mountain View

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Don't Step to the Wizard


DSC00540
Originally uploaded by dmourati.
Check out what happens to the hockey player when he steps to the wizard during Gimme some Lovin.

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Monday, November 07, 2005

5188


5188
Originally uploaded by arthurcoddington.
Nice wizard graffiti.

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11-06-05_1229.jpg


11-06-05_1229.jpg
Originally uploaded by dmourati.
Medford, OR. Laine and I went to OR to "Meet the Parents" and upgrade from a Mustang to her Jeep. It has been raining for the past 24 hours.

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Friday, November 04, 2005

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

DSC00476_small


DSC00476_small
Originally uploaded by dmourati.
G Love, Halloween 2005 at the Vic

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Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Monday, October 24, 2005

005_2A


005_2A
Originally uploaded by dmourati.
Here's a nice shot Andy took from the Beach Volleyball at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games. Enjoy

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Thursday, October 06, 2005

Mile Marker 990




Woop-woop!
That's the sound of da police!
Woop-woop!
That's the sound of the beast!

-KRS One


This morning, while riding my bike to work, I was pulled over by the Mountain View police department! I was heading into oncoming traffic southbound on Moffet here:

Map

Wouldn't you know, in the oncoming lane heading right toward me was a Mountain View PD squad car. As it passed, I saw the driver, a young mirrored-sunglass-wearing badge giving me the stare down. I laughed, out loud.

Imagine my suprise when I heard screeching tires in the background and caught a glimple of him pulling a full blown U-turn. Like Mike D says, I pretended not to hear him.

From that point on, it only got funnier. He was pulled up right behind me, I could hear his engine but I never acknowledged he was there. Think about it, a bike has no rear-view mirrors (okay, unless you are the 40 Year Old Virgin, in which case it has two).














Few people understand the psychology of dealing with a highway traffic cop. Your normal speeder will panic and immediately pull over to the side. This is wrong. It arouses contempt in the cop-heart. Make the bastard chase you. He will follow. -Hunter S. Thomson in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Demetri: Good morning officer
Cop: Let me see some identification
Demetri: Sure (flips open wallet)
Cop: Please take that out
Demetri: OK
Cop: You were riding into opposite traffic
Demetri: Yea, thanks for pointint that out
Cop: (Looks at Illinois drivers license) How long have you lived in California
Demetri: 18 months
Cop: And in 18 months you never bothered to get a California drivers license or state ID?
Demetri: No, I don't drive.
Cop: On a bike, that's okay.
Demetri: Good
Cop: (Gets on shoulder mounted radio and calls in my name for warrants) ... middle inital J for John.
Demetri: smiles for the cars driving by
Cop: What made you move out here to California from Chicago
Demetri: I got a great job out here working for a software startup company
Cop: Hmm, that sounds good.
Demetri: Yea, its nice out here, I love these bike lanes
Cop: We're pretty safe with bicyclists here, not too many get involved in accidents
Demetri: Well, that's good.
Cop: Okay, have a nice day.
Demetri: You too

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Monday, October 03, 2005

Scotchy Scotch Scotch


Ron Burgundy: I love scotch. Scotchy, scotch, scotch. Here it goes down, down into my belly...


This weekend I celebrated my 31st birthday in San Francisco. On a friend's strong recommendation, we stayed at the W Hotel in SoMa. I loved this place! The W is the epitome of cool: dark wood, dark leather, pumping music, and a cool crowd. My favorite spot was the bar in the lobby. What a selection. Like Ron Burgandy, my drink on choice is a nice single malt scotchy scotch scotch. Macallan is the best as far as I'm concerned. I had two Macallan 18s on the rocks and was feeling pretty darn good. By about midnight, I had schmoozed about enough and headed back up to the room to crash out.

The next morning, we had a great breakfast at the XYZ and then headed over to the MoMa for some modern art on a Sunday afternoon.

Richard Tuttle's exhibit was really cool if a bit primitive. I mean how long can you stare a single squigle? He even had a whole section of his exhibit which consisted of single twisted pieces of wire. Anyway, the MoMa is no joke so check it out, ya heard?

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Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Job Search on Hold and Fun with Kung Fu

So the beginning of this blog concerned my job seach in the valley. I should announce here that my job search is temporarily on hold. The reason is simple, the financial status of my company was significantly improved based on the following announcement made early this month:

Nuasis 3Com Deal

So, job security is no longer such an issue here at Nuasis and I believe I'll be sticking around for quite some time.

On an unrelated note, I've just reached the three months of continuous training in Wing Chun Kung Fu. Wing Chun is a Chinese marital art based on economy of motion and using your body as an efficient weapon. Here's a good rundown on what Wing Chun is all about and a shameless plug for my Sifu and his class.

Wikipedia on Wing Chun Kung Fu

Wing Chun Dynamics Sifu Ken Chun

Thanks for checking in!

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Thursday, May 12, 2005

Blogger Help : What is BlogThis! ?

Blogger Help : What is BlogThis! ?

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Google Went Down Because of DNS Misconfiguration

Have you ever tried to hit www.google.com and gotten a 404? Me neither. But check this out:
Brief Outages at Google, eBay Make Headlines

Now I've been to Google and I've talked to their DNS guys. I know they use BIND as well as djbdns. For those of you who don't know, BIND sucks, but that is another story. Still, I have to wonder whether there was some kind of hack on Google's DNS servers or whether to attribute this to human error.

Some supposed answers to this question:

Google-hacked

Google (NOT) Hacked? Just A DNS Glitch says Google

Statistically human error is more likely to be the root cause of any outage but there are some interesting factors at play here. First, Google has arguably one of the most complex DNS configurations of any internet company. Second, Google has some of the best sysadmins of any internet company. Third, this happened at 5 minutes to midnight on a Saturday night. Cron job anyone?

No matter what happend its pretty remarkable.

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Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Turning Down Offers is Fun

I guess this post could be considered a follow up to my Job Hunt in the Valley. I secured an oral offer from Cosmix today. They sure tried really hard to beat me down. First, they had the senior recruiter from their headhunter call me. He was trying to convince me that salary offer Cosmix was about to make was their best. He went so far as to bet me a lunch that I wouldn't get a penny more. I told him to clear his lunch calendar.

Then, this evening, I got a call from Cosmix co-founder, Venky Harinarayan. He is a nice enough guy and I thought we were getting along quite well. The conversation was frank and I got the chance to pick the brain of a bona fide Venture Capitalist. The gist of his argument was that I should join his company for the "equity," to the tune of 50,000 stock options. My problem with the offer? I have no idea what Cosmix does. Ok, well, I know they want to build a search engine, but come on, hasn't this already been done? So they want to build a better search engine? Well, okay, I suppose but how are you going to make money doing that?

The salary was decent and could be characterized roughly as "market." The problem I saw was that the responsibilites they were looking for me to fill were far greater than those associated with any position in the "market." Here's a partial list of the responsibilities I would assume:

  • Systems Administrator
  • Network Administrator
  • Data Center and Facilities Director
  • Hardware Purchaser
  • LAN Administrator
  • Security Administrator
  • Exchange Administrator (yuck)
and the list goes on. Well, fine, I can do a great job at most of those responsibilies and a pretty good job at the rest (okay, except for the Exchange bit). But taking over all that responsibility ought to come with a corresponding increase in salary.

I know what "market" is for these positions. What I had a harder time with was figuring out how much above market one should be compensating for absorbing *all* these responsibilies.

I had some numbers in mind going in. Based on the interview, I revised my numbers upwards to account for the additional time and headaches of dealing with all these issues at the same time.

Still, in the end, Cosmix was stuck at our near my current salary which meant this was going to amount to a lateral move. Yuck.

So, in the end, I said "No thanks."

Now I just have to figure out where I want to eat lunch.




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Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Asterisk on the Horizon

I work with VoIP every day. My current employer sells a VoIP based contact center solution. The more I think about our business model the more concerned I get that open source is going to leapfrog us. Lately, my concern has been focused on the huge popularity behind Asterisk, the open source PBX solution from Digium Corp.

Hit "*" for More Options

My concern is this: we employ 20 engineers of average skill and ability to write and maintain code for our product. By last count, Asterisk developers number over 1000, most of whom are open source experts already. It is not going to take long for the Asterisk folks to tap into our market. Once they do, I believe they will be able to surpass the quality of code we are producing in fairly short order. From there, the rest of our system is fairly trivial, a backend database (MySQL anyone?), a mail server (take your pick), JBoss (already open source) and some web collaboration. This is really not such cutting edge technology and putting it together wouldn't be that hard at all.

Yep, Asterisk is troubling indeed.

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Thursday, May 05, 2005

Job Hunt in the Valley

My job hunt is in full swing. Yesterday, I had a second interview with a company called Cosmix. From the sound of it, they are interested in hiring me. When the topic of salary came up I knew it was time to bust out the negotiation skills I worked so hard on in law school. Aparently the interviewer could tell as he complimented me on my stance and said it would come in handy after I was on board. We'll see

Today I got a call from a recruiter at VMware. It's always funny to talk to recruiters because they can talk the talk but they have no clue whether you can. I think if I had told this guy I installed Linux on a network of 1000 flux capacitors he would have kept going right along.

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