So long, Kodak

I found out yesterday that Kodak has shut down the Digital Cinema group that I belonged to for over 6 years, a victim of a Kodak’s inability to keep up with an incredibly rapidly changing marketplace. Some years before that, I’d had the pleasure to work with many of the same people on a product called “Cineon”, a very high end post production and digital editing program for movies. Alas, technology marched on faster than we did and today people are doing on their Macintoshes and PCs what we were doing on 16 processor million dollar SGI Onyx computers.

But in both cases, I was working with the finest group of programmers, QA people, applications specialists and sysadmins it’s ever been my pleasure to work with (with the possible exception of GeoVision, which was also exceptional). And although I might be cutting my own throat because I’m still in the job market and many of them will be entering the job market very shortly, I sent out this message to the Peernet Rochester Yahoo Group.

I just found out that my old colleagues on the Digital Cinema team at Kodak all got their notices today. And while I’m probably going to be competing with them for some of the same jobs, I’d just like to put a shout out to any hiring managers here to let them know that if you see a software developer or tester with experience in the Kodak Theatre Management System on their resume, you could not do better than to hire them. They are positively the best group of people I’ve worked with in my 25 years of working all over the world.

Ok, if there was some way to put these things on a scale and see how it balances, I’d probably put the team at GeoVision (not the Albany group, the original ones) and the Cineon team as tied for first best, and the Digital Cinema group as a fairly close second, and a couple of the people at SunGard right up there.

Man, I hope we all end up employed again soon. And I hope we all end up working together some time.

Oh, and if you’re one of my former colleagues from Kodak, give me a shout off-line and I’ll hook you up with the Peernet group – it’s really been helpful.

Long paddle yesterday

I’ve been suffering from a sort of mild stuffiness for several weeks now. I don’t know if it’s an allergy or what, but it’s really sapped my endurance. I haven’t been paddling much, and when I do I seem to conk out after five or six miles. Yesterday, Dan and I tried to push that a bit. Well, a lot really. We ended up going 11.47 miles. We kept it slow with our heart rates down in zone 2. Or at least Dan did – my heart rate monitor didn’t work – I think the battery is dead.

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Along the way we did some technique video. My Thunderbolt isn’t as good a camera platform as the Looksha, for many of the same reasons why it’s a much better boat to paddle – it rocks more from side to side, and the cockpit is so long that the camera isn’t near me and I keep banging it with my paddle. But in spite of that, I think we both look pretty good, except for the tendency to drop our chins.

On the way back, I felt a bit cold, and the tape was coming of one of my paddle grips, which was uncomfortable. I put on one of my pogies to warm up a bit – I didn’t put on both of them because I’m too clumsy to get the second one on once one hand is covered in pogie. It did help a bit. But I wish I had a proper paddling jacket.

I did fade a bit, but by riding in Dans wake I managed to finish with a pretty steady 6mph for the last three miles. So all in all, a pretty good day out. Except it’s now 18 hours later and my muscles are still sore.

A better gift

Last night was the paddle team end of season party. It was great time, not least because there were some of the members of the team who haven’t been paddling much or at all with us since the Long Lake race and it was good to see them again.

Last year there was a bunch of awards, mostly gag awards but some serious. This year there was just one award – I was given an award for “Most Improved Paddler”. That was very touching, if a little embarrassing to be singled out like that. It’s a great award – I’l have to scan it and post it here soon. But earlier, I got a better award.

I was paddling with Dan, Stephen, Mike and Frank, and Dan said to me that next year I’m going to have to do the Rochester Open Water Challenge in my Thunderbolt. And I said I’d have to get a lot of practice in the waves before hand. And Dan said “See, last year you would have said NO WAY”. He’s right. After this year, I’m starting to believe that anything he says is possible if I just work hard enough at it. And that’s a great gift – confidence in myself. And it’s a gift that was given to me by myself, but forged at the hands of Dan and the rest of the team.

When Mike says that next year we’re going to have to do 7mph instead of 6.5, I think of how we’re going to have to add more interval workouts to our training. When Doug says that I could do the 90 Miler next year instead of in a few if I put my mind to it, I think about what that means in terms of training volume. When Bill says I should do the Gananoque race, I say … ok, I say “not without a surf ski” because I don’t want to dump out in the St. Lawrence in a boat I can’t get back into. And when Dan says I could be paddling challenging waves in this incredibly tippy boat, I remember how tippy the Looksha felt this spring and how now it’s a stable old barge.

So to everybody on the team, I say thanks. Thanks for a great season, and thanks for the gift of confidence.

Reading Comprehension 101

After updating my resume on Monster the other day, I got an email today:

We found your resume and are very impressed! We believe you have the qualifications we’re looking for to fill our open insurance agent position.

Somehow I think they stopped reading my resume after they found my email address and postal address (because they did say they were representing the Rochester branch). Other than those two items, I can’t think of a single thing in that resume that would make some think I’d be willing to be an insurance agent. I think I’d rather live under a bridge.