Tuesday, October 23, 2007

San Diego Fire

Yes I live in San Diego.

This last weekend I took my son Tate out to his first Indian Guide camp out on the beach at Camp Pendelton. It was great. On Sunday my wife Jessica took some time off after having had the little ones solo for a good stretch of time. Sunday afternon she was out running some errands and she called me t ask me what was wrong. I was engrossed in a little football and told her nothing was going on or they would have interrupted the game. About an hour later they did.

Fires are pretty common in Southern California and this fire, or rather fires were out in the eastern portion of the county. At least they were at that point.

That evening I headed to the airport to fly up to San Francisco for CTIA. The smoke was unreal on the drive and was bothering me a ton as I went dowtown to catch the last flight up.

The flight was delayed forever but ultimately I rolled into my hotel at around 2 AM. I passed out.

That morning my wife called me to ask me what was going on and to find out if I knew why the power was out of the house. I said I didn't know but to check the neighbors to see if it was just us or the entire area. Shorly thereafter I started getting a bunch of emails from my staff saying that they werte being evacuated, or were helping their families evacuate etc.

My wife was really anxious when we talked and quickly made the decision to take the kids and go up to Los Angeles to stay with friends. This was around 9 AM. She got out quickly and avoided any big traffic nightmare. I went about my merry way having meetings all day and monitored the progress of the fires by calling friends living near the fire and near my house. By the late afternoon, both Del Mar and Solana Beach had been evacuated. I was shocked. This is the beach!

In any event we are fine. I don't believe we are at significant risk to our home as of last night. I guess I will find out later this AM. Thanks to all our friends and families who reached out to see how we are. Hopefully we get back home later today and tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

How I Learned To Love The Cult

It has been a long time now that I have been working on the Mac as my main computer. In fact, both my work and home computer have been Mac now. For the longest time the one last item that has really made me nuts is the inability for me to synchronize my laptop with my smartphone. I have found a business card scanner for my Mac and have been adding all my new contacts but until just recently my phone wasn't staying current with my business card collection.

I have been using Location Free again sporadically and one evening I was wondering around the Sony Ericsson site in hopes of finding a new client for my phone. This was a fruitless exercise but what I did find was a new iSync download for my device. Woot!

In order to use the new synch I also had to upgrade the firmware on my phone in addition to installing the library on my Mac. While this is a bit of a pain I have to say that I am generally pleased with the results and I think thus far have done 4 firmware upgrades on my phone, each with better performance after the upgrade. I do like this service and would be disappointed if I had a phone that didn't have periodic upgrades. Now if we could just do it OTA like the iPhone...

So I downloaded the iSync piece for the Mac and updated the firmware. Next step was to do the Sync. The Sync seemed to take a long time and was sort of buggy. Ultimately it barfed before it coordinated my calendar. This kind of sucked but I had my new updated contacts on the phone which was the primary issue I was trying to address.

The next week while traveling I noticed that my Sprint EVDO phone that I use for a modem was barfing and not connecting. I was not happy. It dawned on me that maybe there was some bluetooth weirdness on the Mac as a result of the sync upgrade. I went in and deleted all my devices and restored them. Bam, everything is working stellar now. Contacts, calendar, etc. This reminds me of a post about how I both love and hate bluetooth but for now I am good to go.

Being able to deal with the last productivity hurdle on the Mac has been really powerful for me and I don't think I am going back to Windows anytime soon. it bums me out as that is my heritage but for now I can say I am happy with being in the cult and all things are good.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Anthem named a Top 10 Application

Fierce Wireless named Anthem as a top 10 mobile application for 2007. Blush. Link can be found here.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Best Buy Carphone Warehouse

While in NYC last week I was walking past the Best Buy Mobile store near 45th. I had seen one on my last trip and made a mental note to stop in the next time I got a chance. So this time I did. I was glad I had seen a Car Phone Warehouse when I was in London last which provided me a good understanding of what Best Buy is trying to bring here. The store in NYC (I believe there are 8 pilot stores in Manhattan) was very similar in look and feel to the stores in the UK. The selections were divided into unlocked, carrier specific, prepaid and accessories. Accessories were certainly a huge part.

For someone who wants to shop across carriers I think the store is pretty good. For someone who is looking for unlocked phones the selection was pretty light and certainly that is primarily driven by the subsidy model in the US. In general I hope that they succeed and help bring more selection to the market but if I were a betting man I am guessing that it's going to be a tough haul.

Friday, October 05, 2007

My Friends House - Casa Moderna Take 2

My friend John Diaz and his wife Nancy built the most amazing house in Mar Vista last year. It was featured in the Los Angeles Times in an article I posted about a while ago. This month their house was featured on the cover and in an excellent article in the magazine Azure. Home page pics here. Article here.

Spook Country

This last trip to NYC I finished reading Spook Country by William Gibson. I loved it. It was slightly off from Pattern Recognition but not by much. I hope Gibson keeps writing the contemporary meets the future stuff. While he is the king of cyberpunk, I think there last two books are just remarkable and hopefully inspire more writers to cover similar ground, i.e. when the future collides with the now. No review or spoilers here, you are going to have to read it yourself. :-)

NYC, Urban Daddy and Williamsburg

I was in NYC all this week for meetings. Cross country trips are both good and bad. Good because roughly 12 hours trapped in a plane allows you to catch up on email, write some blog posts, contemplate strategic business stuff and get your Nintendo DS game on. Bad because you go into a time warp and in some cases arrive home beat and sick (this trip especially).

Three non work tidbits from this trip. Scott Wolf, who ran sales for me at Vivendi, was throwing a big agency party on behalf of his new company Waterfront Media at the Gramercy Park Hotel. It was great seeing Scott and meeting the founders of that company and swapping some war stories. Scott is doing a bang up job there. At the same time I also saw Ed Koller who is one of the top media recruiters in the country and was the guy who helped me to get Scott.

Two, at the same party I ran into Rob Petrausch, who worked with us at Vivendi under Scott. After my previous post about Urban Daddy, Rob had emailed me to let me know that he was one of the early guys there and he thanked me for the post. Small world.

Three. I got to take my first trip to Brooklyn to visit my friend Tom Ryan in Williamsburg. I had always wanted to visit the home of the New York hipster set and it didn't disappoint. We had a great dinner and got to check out his place. Williamsburg reminded me a lot of Melrose in LA or Haight in SF. I definitely plan on hanging out there with Tom again soon.