Tuesday, June 30, 2009


GeoTagged, [N37.86860, E122.30183]

Found these crazy beautiful pieces of art in the San Fran chrome store. Legit. Good luck to all the Fitchburg boys. Jealous

Cisco live

Rojas and I crashed John chamber's cisco live headlining speach in San Fran. Cisco doesn't mess around with the 21 high def displays rocking. More to come

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Themed conference rooms

Cisco has more than 30 huge buildings on the San Jose campus.  Each
building has 20 plus conference rooms.  Each building has different
names for these rooms.  I work in the states building.  My meeting
this morning was in the dazed and confused room.  Yesterday I met in
the apocolypse now conference room.  While I am ok with the the dazed
room,  what does it mean to meet in a world ending scenario room?
Poor choice cisco.  Maybe have a room named after hangover or

Cubicle heaven

At least I can see the daylight if I stand up.  Not quite a cockpit
window, but pretty cool.  And I have a sweet nametag.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Esquire Tuesday

50 HOt Girls

So its been a while. But this esquire tuesday is something special.
The above is just what it claims to be. Click here for the webpage and then you can individually click on each woman.

50 REally Hot Girls

Wow. I love loving women. My favorite is prob this pole vaulter from Cal. Mostly I like her because she can fling herself in the air, second she is from Cal, and thirdly, she's mildly attractive. Yup, I'm a guy, love girls, and always will.

INteresting article on young miss allison here:


In other horrifying news, one of my classmates crashed and totaled her car flipping it about 8 times. Danielle D is ok, but she fractured her spine and is immobile. That got me thinking about being happy to be alive. I am happy to be alive and immediately called the university health center to see if I still have insurance over the summer whilst not in school. I dont have insurance with cisco. I was happy to find out that I do have insurance and scheduled a physical for the morning.

I am getting bloodwork done and there is always something freaky about that. I read about hospitals making clerical errors and telling people they have cancer or HIV. When I used to get my flight physical, the holidays masked that anxiety pretty well. But this summer, I have nothing to distract me. So while I encourage everyone to go get tested for Cancer and and HIV every year, I understand the usual nervousness that surrounds the event. I'll let you know the results in a couple weeks when I get them back. Heavy thoughts, but necessary.

Cisco is going well enough. I have a lot of research to do for my group. I am struggling with the fact that most of this research has already been done by people who are professional researchers. I should be concentrating on developing strategy and frameworks. But I understand the importance of being able to specifically talk about what we are doing in the space. Very cool

I also got a great tour of the executive briefing building. This is the CEC (warroom) for CEOs. The ability to real-time communicate with some one in HD video is just awesome. Even the sound is surround quality.


Ending: lots of heavy thoughts here. Some hot girls. cool high value biz

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Tigers love pepper. They hate cinnamon.

Cisco day 2 complete. My life is turning into one huge commute. I need to find a solution and fast!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Last day in LIberia

After the power kept going off in the middle of the night, we moved to the closet hotel. It was the nicest hotel in liberia. Robert Johnson (founder of BET and the first black billionaire) put 30 million into this hotel which is on par with a nice holiday inn. They have some quality issues. But anyway, the opening party had every liberian foreign dignitary, The President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Bob Johnson, me, my team, and these awesome painted dancers.

Oh yeah, Miss Liberia was happy to see us. Thats jason (who loves cheese and is the world's picki-est eater), Justin (Chinese buffett-mosquito's loved him), Anup (don't sugar coat it), and me in my african striped shirt.

Well, we presented our community based bamboo initiative. We showed it to our client, who was happy. Then we presented two hours later to a potential funder. The following day, we presented to about 35 people at the FDA (forestry development authority). As you can imagine, the FDA was happy to have our brain power. But I think that they'd be happy to have any American looking to improve economic development. The funder had quite a few more questions.

To dive a little further into what we produced, specifically, we were planning on taking an NGO into the community (bush people) and teaching them how to sustainably harvest bamboo for product development. Unlike wood, bamboo can reach full maturity in 5 years. So it can be harvested at 20% per year. Also, bamboo sequestors more CO2 than any other plant in the world. Bamboo is stronger than wood (we've been told). We develop capacity teaching these people how to increase the value of their natural resources by creating products. We start with baskets and furniture. Eventually, we get to bamboo building materials and flooring. Flooring requres expensive machines and putting those machines in the bush has its own challenges. However, flooring generates the most revenue and would be exportable.

Anyway, our client was a 70 year old woman who was more emotional than business minded. This trip made me realize a couple things concerning social work and incentive alignment. First, I am happy that I spent the last 9 years of service in a highly structured environment. While the military wasnt exactly pie the entire time, it was results-orientated. The social world has some alignment problems. While working on serious problems, you cant just expect your brain power to work for free forever. While some people may be willing to do that, it is higly likely that those people have already made their life's wealth. There was a large disparity here between people who were independently wealthy and those who had yet to make any money in their lives. Specifically I am talking about the poeple here who are not LIberian but are here to work to solve problems. Very interesting in deed.

I was saved by the hotel's AC. Africa hot is real. And its very humid here. So, being an Alaskan, I still have yet to adapt to the heat. I am happy to be able to ride early in the day, get a shower, get in my ACed car, walk to my ACed work, and then go home. I'm going to do all that I can to not have a 100 degree all day job in the future, and I definitely wont do that for free.

Now I have a 40 hour trip home (lots of layovers) and then a couple days off until I start work at Cisco Strategy this Monday. I am pumped about the opportunity to shift gears and tackle some new problems.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Every day gets more real in Liberia

This is me checking out a 75 cent/day bamboo worker. I was intrigued by his blowtorch bending skills slash was sweating profusely. It was interesting to see this 20 person shop in full production mode. And by full production, I mean, 1 table & 4 chairs furniture set a week. That same table and chair are listed at $600-$1000. Seriously? I still have a problem understanding who is going to buy these items in Liberia. I have a problem understanding who would buy this furniture in the wealthy US.

A couple interesting developments have occurred. Last night, we arrived at the concrete compound and there were no lights on. As I imagined, the generator was out with no concrete answer for when it'd be operational again. So that meant no lights, no AC, and no water pumps. We spoke with an American the weekend previous and he warned us about where we were staying. He travels with a security guard. Basically, the short story is that all the Liberians know that white people have cash on them because no place takes visa. So, there is limited security where we live, but he specifically told us about robberies. He claimed they would happen on a rainy night when the tin roofs would be making a ton of racket. It was about to rain. Couple that with lights out and none of us having flashlights, it made me a little worried.

Our friend told us that Liberians have been known to use the racket of rain on a tin roof to break down locked doors and hold you up for cash or for ransom. This thought was on the forefront of my mind as we approached the lights-out compound. So I made the decision to take everyone to a hotel. We had a taxi and went to the only hotel in Liberia that takes visa. Its nice enough, but way overpriced at $240 for 2 people. It was nice to get a hot shower though--my first in 2 weeks.

This morning, two of us were supposed to travel 6 hours by car to nimba county, in the northern part of the country. We were going to take a look at a possible site for future bamboo initiatives. However, we received word that our driver wouldnt make it because his nephew died of malaria the night previous. Then, an hour later, our client called and told us that she had typhoid fever. I have identified the next flight out on Sunday night. Unless there is some kind of serious change of good fortune, I intend to be on that flight. How many crazy things need to happen before you would leave?

Monday, June 1, 2009

Hey white man!

These kids live on the road outside of our compound. They always
scream hey white man hey white man banananananalalana. I am not sure
what the last part means, but I am sure they don't see many white
people. That hit right behind them is where they live. It's amazing
that they survive in literally shacks. Wow.

On our way to our first interview today, we were stopped by the
police. They made our driver pay a fine on the spot because Anup
didn't have his seat belt on. Which is laughable because our car
shouldn't even be on the road because it is so unsafe. A seatbelt
doesn't make anything better.

Anyway, instead of getting a ticket, our driver was ordered to pay a
fine (read bribe) while the 4 whiteys waited in the car. Corruption
exists here on the lowest level. I am really having a hard time
understanding the incentive situation here. Contracts are just not
honored here. For instance, if you go to the gas station in the us,
you expect to pay the listed price for 89 octain. Here, you pay the
listed price, but who knows what you will get. So in that sense,
markets do not operate properly here.

Case in point, there is a bamboo school here. And students are paid
to go. When they finish, they sell their tools outside the schools
gate and don't ever build a single piece of bamboo furniture. My team
wants to pay people to take our training. I contend there is no
school in the us that pays you to attend. And there is no selection
process on the world that just pays random people. For every action,
there must be a congruent action. So this is a huge challenge. Why
would I ever work if I knew that if I sat around and got hungry
enough, someone would come pay me? This breeds apathy and it's on the
verge of communism. This nations attitude would be better served by
communism rather than capitalism.

Today is really hot too. But I am happy that it is our half way
point. Thank heaven.