Wednesday Jan 21, 2009

Sun Door Closes, Barn Door Opens

And so it will be told, that after 19.62 years with Sun Microsystems, Kimberley left the room.

Yup.   I am outahere.   Hasta la vista!   Sayonara.   Au revoir et salut.   Phir Milenge.   Ciào.   Tschüss.

And what next?   Well, as one sage person reminded me, as one door closes, another opens.   For me, it's a huge barn door.   I have decided to focus on my number two passion in life.   (Number one is my husband and fellow Sun employee, Georg Edelmann).   Yes, it is time to do what some thought I was doing already...   :-)   ...Play with horses all day!

And so, as CEO, CFO, President, Marketing Director, HR Director, and Chief Learning Officer of Kearsarge Meadows in Warner, New Hampshire, I am going to focus on the horse business, at least for a while.   After 32 years in the Computer Industry, I think it's time for a little break.

FY09 Goals will include getting to the US Dressage Federation Championships again.   And WITHOUT a broken toe this time!   Great goal and good fun!

(That's me with a happy face of deep concentration and bright sunshine.)   I'll be spending more time training, teaching, and competing with my favorite KWPN Dutch Warmblood and top dressage partner, Jeddien (by Bustron).   While we are both getting long in the tooth, she continues to enjoy her work, competing, and teaching my dressage students "the moves".

My husband's pet, Piper Warrior (by Ferro), will also get more of my time this year.   His first full year of competition came late in life and is chronicled in my blog   2009 is going to be a great year for the handsome, lovable boy!

Our two little ones who were born in 2006 will be learning how to carry a rider very soon.   Exciting times ahead for the little critters who have really done nothing much more than.... well, horse around really!

As Jeddien's only offspring, little Bea Yewtee (left) already has a special place in our hearts.   But with her sassy attitude and flashy four white socks, she is destined to follow in Jeddien's hoofprints as a diva in the dressage arena.

Big Ben (right), who had no problem growing into his name, is my big Teddy Bear.   His education is well underway and I'm really looking forward to his future.

For me, the adventure at Sun comes to an end.   International travel.   Great coworkers.   SUNW lows, highs, "retirement prices", and whoops.   Tons of great customer interactions.   Sigma.   Metrics.   Director at last!   (Thank you Diann Olden & Rich Green)   Technology galore.   Dragons.   Scorpions.   Planets.   Two international moves.   British Citizenship!   (Thank you again, Ian White & John Sanders)   Doughnuts.   Beer busts with Scott McNealy in El Segundo.   Town Halls.   PANIC!   (Thank you again, Chris Drake!)   Cooking lessons, including how to convert Thanksgiving turkey leftovers into a fabulous curry!   (Thanks to all my friends & colleagues in Bangalore India!)   And so much more.   But, now, a great new adventure begins.

And so with that, I'd just like to finish by saying "Thank you all for a most exhilarating ride!"

Kimberley Brown
aka Frau Edelmann

Thursday Jan 08, 2009

More Fraud Emails

Whether we work in hi-tech with its deluge of daily email, or just have a private email account through which we communicate with friends, family, and acquaintances, my guess is that most of us get junk email of some kind.   This can include various flavors of fraud and phishing.

Today, while investigating whether the sentiments in an email received were genuine or not, I found the very useful Fraud Guides website.   It was the first I've seen in a while with a nice index of fraud on the left, and links to TONS of informative fraud websites.

While I believe I can still spot a fraud email from 50 paces away, I do wonder....   At what point will the criminals behind fraud emails become clever enough to trip me up?

Until then, I don't think I'll be responding to the nice lady in a developing country who wishes to send her two children to Warner New Hampshire for 2 months of prepaid riding lessons.

PHEW!   'Nearly fell for that one.   Not.

Wednesday Jan 07, 2009

Customer Site Visit at Disney

Seeing how Sun systems are used by customers was one of the most interesting aspects of the job when I was a software support engineer in Sun Services back in the 80's and 90's.

My first role at Sun was a field support job, working out of the Los Angeles Sales & Service office.   My coverage territory, however, was not limited to the LA Sales District and, instead, included all of the southwest USA and Hawaii.   A big area with an amazing mix of fascinating customers and computer applications.

A few years ago, I wrote about one of my visits at JPL.   Today, something got me thinking about another fun site visit...   At Disney Studios.

It was 1990.   Disney was in the last days of "filming" The Rescuers Down Under.   And, while all of the computers and storage devices involved, which included Sun workstations, were running great, the management at Disney wanted HW & SW support from the system vendors involved, onsite, for the last critical 16 hours.   Insurance, just in case anything went wrong.

So, Steve Henry, one of the best HW support engineers at Sun (IMHO), and I hung out at Disney for two work shifts.

And did not touch a single system.

For 16 hours, we were treated to a full indepth technical tour of the creation of an animated film, shared amazing catered-in buffets with the animators, supervisors, and "film crew", and enjoyed the soothing creative atmosphere of the Disney workplace.   No telephones were ringing.   Soft Disney music was piped in.   And warm recessed lighting added to the overall ambiance.

I watched one of the illustrators / painters work on a scene which featured the movie's villain, Percival McLeach.   The colors she was using were drab, dark, treacherous, and depressing.   Frame after frame, she worked for hours, faced with this evil villain.   During a break, I asked her if working on such a character took its toll on her at all.   She smiled and shared with me that she loved what she was doing.   Wow!

After 16 hours onsite at Disney Studios, I drove home humming Disney tunes.   It was another great customer site visit.

Tuesday Jan 06, 2009

New Goals in 2009

There are so many events in life which one can observe with little reaction or response.   We can write them off easily as someone else's reality, things we can't change, and things that simply don't matter....   whatever the reason.

And then, there are some observations which do impact us.   Things that color how we see the world & life. Things that change our opinions.   Things that cause us to drop whatever we're doing and radically shift gears.

Recently a friend & work colleague suffered a heart attack.   He is doing really well now and is making changes to his lifestyle.   Surprisingly, his crisis had an impact on me personally.   It reminded me that each of our lives are finite in length.   It reminded me to look at my own life and, as one Sun VP, Diann Olden, would say, "Inspect what you expect"...   assessing if my life path is going in the right direction, in the direction I want.

And with that, over the holiday season, I realised that all is about 98.5% good...   starting with a superbly wonderful marriage and happy homelife....   a very satisfying 33 year career in the computer industry, the co-authoring with friend & Sun colleague Chris Drake of Panic!, a highly successful technical book, impressive successes in my "hobby" of horse training & dressage competition, travel in 16 countries around the world (mostly for customer site visits), excellent friends & families, both here and abroad, and a wonderful home.

But, for the past few years, one more great big target has been shining in the distance, tempting me to aim for it.   But, due to other committments, I haven't even considered it.   Until now.   Thanks to my friend's own brush with death, I can now actually envision going after one more goal before my own heart stops beating...   Someday...   Someday soon.

Here's to 2009!   May it be an interesting year!




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