May 7, 2013
Typo, printer slip up or some deep meaning? You tell me.
We are upgrading our servers off RackSpace and onto Amazon Web Services and this blog was just moved.
I think we the update the commenting system was fixed. If so, I may start blogging more often here.
Can you test commenting? :)
This will be my first blog post here in over three months, since the passing of my mother. I was thinking of not posting anything for the year but I have things to share and this is where I do it when it is not related to business or search. :)
The first year after losing a parent is called in the Jewish world Aveilus. There are certain things you cannot do during the year and certain things you should/have to do during the year.
I go to a fair number of conferences for speaking or planning purposes and being in "Aveilus" makes it harder on a number of levels. You think eating kosher while traveling is hard, saying Kaddish is much harder.
It is the custom for the sons of the deceased parent to say Kaddish during prayer services (davening) three times per day, every single day. Once in the morning, once mid-day and once at night. Saying Kaddish is easy, the hard part is doing so with a "minyan," ten Jewish males over 13 years old. Typically this is done in a synagogue but it can be done in an office or any place where there are ten male Jews over 13. We made a office afternoon minyan at my company to help accomplish this (that is for another blog post).
So when you travel on airplanes for 6+ hours and when you go to places where there aren't many Jews, getting a minyan of 10 male Jews isn't easy. So you need to prepare a bit.
For example, flying to San Jose, California for the SMX West conference isn't so simple. I can't leave too early because I will miss the opportunity to say Kaddish in the morning. flying mid-day, I will miss afternoon services and flying too early in the night time, you can miss night services. Flying to San Jose or SFO late night isn't really possible. So I timed mine where I can leave around 5pm EDT and land around 9pm PDT. I will be able to get a minyan the morning of, the afternoon of, but it looks rough in getting one the night of in San Jose. There is actually a synagogue not far from the conference venue but I'll miss night services Sunday there. Coming back is a bit easier but still not guaranteed.
Now, once you arrive at the location. Instead of just bunking up in the hotel and not worrying, now I need to figure out a way to schedule things to get to and from synagogue three times a day. I have to make sure not to have sessions, speaking slots and/or meetings around those times. I need to make sure not to schedule dinners at those times at night. Plus, I need to rent a car, so I don't have to spend on a taxi several times a day to/from synagogue/hotel/venue. It makes things way more complex.
I am going to try, somehow, to see if there are enough interested Jews at the SMX West conference to at least try to have an afternoon service and maybe an evening service in a room at the event. We did that at SMX Israel, but as you can imagine - it is much easier to manage in Israel.
Those are just two cases of how travel is complicated.
Image credit to BigStockPhoto for traveling
For people who know me, they know I do not express a lot of emotion. When I do, it is often comes out easier when I type it on a blog than speak it.
The vast majority of my immediate family (brothers, sister, parents) were in Israel for my Nephews Bar Mitzvah - a nephew I am incredibly close with and see a few times a week. My flight to Israel was cancelled due to the Hurricane so my family didn't end up going - which was upsetting. But the rest of my family was there.
My mom and dad made it out the week before to spend time with my brother who lives in Israel (the one who reminds me of Matt Cutts), my brother here who I work with took his oldest daughter and my sister's family, the one celebrating the Bar Mitzvah all went. They arrived Monday morning.
Throughout the days I was in touch with them via phone and email. I prepped their homes for the hurricane, I checked their homes Tuesday morning after the hurricanes as well. Then we went home to eat in our powerless home Tuesday night.
Then I got the dreaded voicemail (cell service was horrible because of the black out) to call back my sister-in-law in Israel, there as a serious family emergency. I called immediately when I got the voicemail and I was told, my mom is very not well, not breathing, not responding, that is wasn't good. I spent about an hour on the phone with the family as paramedics worked but got no response. She died just less than two days before her 3rd grandchild's Bar Mitzvah.
No one expected it, she was healthy, she didn't have any issues that would prevent her from traveling. It seems she had a massive heart attack.
She was 66 and all her children (including son-in-law and daughter-in-laws) and grandchildren were incredibly close to her. My mom just retired officially a few months earlier and she was going to spend her free time with my dad who retired earlier. It was simply not expected.
I probably go to visit a mourner one average every other month. People die, they need to be consoled, you go and pay your respects. But I didn't get it, I didn't understand it. I never lost anyone myself.
There is this void, there is this pain, it is hard to explain. Of course, there are memories and good thoughts but she is not there. I can't call her to tell her about this or that.
But when people came to my home to console me during the black out, when they didn't have heat or lights or even gas to get home....
The ones that have felt a loss before - you can tell it in their face.
They lower their heads, they breath out and lose their breath when they talk to you, they feel your pain through their own loss. It is like they relive the time they lost their loved one in front of you and it is all too clear.
When I visited people in those situations, I did not get it. I did not feel it.
But now I do and I will forever.
A couple weeks ago, the day prior to the iPhone 5 release, Verizon Wireless admitted that you cannot use data LTE and talk on the phone at the same time on the iPhone 5. It was upsetting, it actually made me stick with AT&T and not switch to Verizon Wireless.
But after owning the iPhone 5 for a bit and using LTE a lot this week, and using it while tethering with my Mac, I noticed AT&T Wireless also doesn't support LTE and voice at the same time!
Basically, when I am on LTE and I get a call on my iPhone 5, the network switches off LTE and onto 4G. Yes, I still can talk and use data but I am not using LTE, I am using 4G.
Here is a screen shot of using LTE while off a call:
Then I received a call and it switched to 4G:
I tested this dozens of different ways and no matter what, using AT&T LTE and voice does not work simultaneously. I can only use AT&T 3G/4G and voice at the same time.
So when I am working remotely at a conference and looking stuff up on the internet when on a conference call on my iPhone 5, I am on the slow 4G network, not the LTE network.
Has anyone else written about this? I cannot find it.
Tell me, what are the chances of this happening two times in a row? I filled up in between but that time was in New Jersey and by their law, someone has to fill up for you.
So twice in a row, when I personally filled up my car, I got $66.66 when it clicked to warn me it was full. Both times it was on first click.
See September 7th and now, today.
Here is the Sept 7th:
Now I promise, it clicked on $66.66. I did not force it to this position. It happened on "first click."
I filled up my car with gas, which is always an upsetting thing to do these days and the gas stopped by itself at this:
You see that? $66.66
But look at the gallons and turn it upside down. It says LOSS!
Too many crazy things going on there.
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It has been just under two years since I had my first headshot taken and since then it has done me well. Okay, I am kidding but at least I have images I can give to conferences I speak at or newspapers that cover RustyBrick or my search related items.
A few weeks ago, my family had new pictures done and the photographer took additional headshots of my face.
I've updated my rustybrick.com/barry page with the new headshots but kept the original one at the top right. The yellowish one blends better with the RustyBrick color scheme. I put the additional new blue ones at the bottom of the page, with links for people to download the high resolution version.
So now, you can print a life size version of me and hang it in your room. I won't mind, go ahead.
But seriously, let's compare two years and look at the gray:
I was at a family and friends BBQ last night and I haven't seen some of these folks in a year or so. The biggest comment I received was that I've gotten so gray. One person said I lost weight but that is what people tell people when they've actually gained weight. Gray, for sure.