Proud of my Baby Cakes

I had to share this!

Last night I attended the graduation ceremony for the latest Upwardly Global Class, and Lara was the reason, of course.  She found this group on-line a couple of months ago and has been investing her time and energy every Tuesday night for 6 weeks in making the most of it.

In their own words, Upwardly Global is:

“…. is a national non-profit organization that helps work-authorized, skilled immigrants rebuild their professional careers in the U.S. We provide professional job-search training and access to employers with global talent needs. To date, we have coached nearly 3,000 skilled immigrants and have assisted more than 900 skilled immigrants back into their career fields.”

Cool!  I know from going through the job hunt in other countries that this can be a daunting time in life, and a difficult task, even for the most motivated.  You’re not in Kansas anymore, as they say, and getting yourself into a professional role outside of your native country is a great accomplishment.  Nice to know that people like Upwardly Global are there to help you get the search off on the right foot, and to help you succeed.

I was impressed by the confidence building Lara has experienced through their coaching, the great progress they made on reformatting and polishing her Resume, the diverse range of immigrant professionals that were taking part, and the overall positive experience that this group has created.  Thanks guys!

I’m especially proud of Baby Cakes because she, well, she kicks butt!  Just like sailing away and leaving Rio behind, she ones again proves her courage, drive to adapt and succeed, make new friends and do it all with a beautiful smile!  Way to go baby!!!!

Lara’s UpGlo class – people from everywhere!  Russia, Mongolia, Eritrea, Guyana, Colombia, Iraq, Brazil, and many others that I didn’t have the chance to meet at the graduation ceremony.  I did try some very interesting international foods that the participants brought in – yummy!

Do you know an immigrant looking to get a professional position in the US?  Want to be a mentor?  Check out UpGlo on the web:



Luna Rossa!

Wow – I just found this great piece of news: Luna Rossa will join the fray for the 2013 America’s Cup here in SF!  Vivaaaaaaaaaaa!  Sono molto ma moltissimo felice.  Benvenuti!

Also, Lat38 reports about the sailboat “Quantum Leap” that was abandoned recently when the crew was rescued by a cruise ship between Hawaii and California.  The boat, with noone aboard, made it back to the islands… and ended up on the beach in Maui.  Amazing really.



Suggestions, please

I need suggestions – a change of media perhaps, but certainly of content.

I’ve been reading too many non-fiction books lately, and while I enjoy them and learn from them, and I need an adventure of some kind, now that I’m not living one, as much, anymore.  I’m reminded of landmark books, for me, like “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin”, things like that.  If you have ny suggestions, please let me know.

On the digital media front, I’m looking to mix it up a bit.  Since we arrived in SF, I’ve been back on the podcast beat.  I listen to them all the time, and follow several religiously – every week I download them and squeeze them in whenever I can: in the car, on the boat, wherever.  It’s been an enjoyable and extremely useful practice – ‘checking up’ in a way on everything tech and mobile, from Google to Apple to Amazon to FB and everything in between – their patent struggles, good or shockingly bad market numbers, launches, platform upgrades, companies purchased and on and on.  A great way to augment the ‘catch-up’ challenge for this wayward sailor looking to jump back into the tech matrix.

It strikes me as funny though – my first love affair with podcasts was back when I wan in a corporate job, dreaming about sailing with nearly every spare moment.  So, in addition to reading an astonishing number of sailing books, I’d augment all of that with whatever digital media I could.  There were some good DVDs, but nothing was available in streaming or TV at that point – so I turned to and soaked up the podcasts – few and far between – that were out there.  At the time, the most interesting one to follow was “Furled Sails” – by a nice couple in Florida who nearly every week provided very interesting recorded interviews with famous boaters, sailors, designers  and so on.  Sadly, they seem to be off the air now.  Another one I enjoyed was by a guy named Martin on a cruising catamaran (with wife and cat), called Dos Gatos.

But you can see the irony of it, can’t you?  Now, I’m living on a fantastic cruising boat, using what bandwidth I can find, to download and listen to podcasts about everything tech.  I’m heavily into the network and related podcasts (This week in Tech, This week in Google, The Tech Guy, etc) by Leo Laporte and his gang of interesting characters, tech journalists and friends.  I get a kick out of listening to them every week and become nearly impatient with the arrival of the next episode.  I’m also into the 5×5 network now, with “Critical Path”, “The Pipeline” and others.

But this last week has been dominated, across the board, by everyone’s comments, observations, and nearly endless discussion about Steve Jobs and the recent biography published not even 10 days ago by Isaacson.  It’s nearly the only thing all these podcasters can talk about at the moment.  After about the fifth one, I actually had to turn it off.  Nothing against Jobs or Apple – I’ve been an unabashed Apple fanboy since my first Mac back in high school.  But there is so much more going on in tech and mobile that I found myself frustrated by the fact that very little to none of the content of 10 podcasts this week was actually dedicated to ‘the rest’ of the news, beyond the SJ Biography.  Yeah, I’ll read it someday, but now I’m certainly not in a hurry.  A bit of SJ overload perhaps, for me.

So, what do YOU guys listen to?  I’d like to hear suggestions, trade ‘figuras’ with anyone else who does the podcast dance and likes it.



SF sightseeing

Had a great Sunday.  True, I didn’t get a chance to sit down and watch the Steelers win against “Gisele Bundchen’s husband’s team” as Larissa calls the Pats, but we had a great time with friends Amauri & Greicy.

It was a bit of a classic SF sightseeing – Ghirardelli Square (& Chocolate tasting), the SF Palace of Fine Arts and beautiful surrounding grounds, a visit to a home for sale on the corner of Marina Green and the road to the gate (sorry, can’t remember the address, but it’s literally the NW corner of the Marina district – and the house was going for 3M), then lunch near Pacific Heights, and Nutella Crepes on Pier 39… we had a great time!  What an epic day weather-wise too.  And to think tomorrow is Halloween.  Incredible.  Thanks to A&G for the meetup.

More soon folks.



achados da gringa

Galera, teria que colocar umas fotinhas do finde, e vou.  Mas antes disso, vou ter que fazer um pequeno promo x uma amiga.  A nossa amiga, Thais, ex-colega TIM/Oi, mora aqui na area faz tempo e ha menos tempo virou blogueira.  Recentemente ela postou algo muito bonito que tinha a ver com Baby Cakes.  Entao rola o promo aqui.  Alem do mais, o blog dela é muito engraçada, verdadeira e divertida – acho que tem uns leitores aqui que vao gostar.

Vao vistando o blog dela, ela é fun e ela merece ser ainda mais compartilhada.

Eu a chamo de ‘gringa’ mas nao é nada disso, é claro.  Thais é Carioca pura – que nao haja duvida!  Quando eravamos colegas na TIM, ela passava na minha mesa x conversar – em Ingles!  Ela tava muito afim de arrumar uma aventura, uma experiencia, algo, algem dos horizontes do Rio.  Arrumou, e nao vai parar por ai.  Entao, deem uma lida e vao ver.

Bjo Thaisinha, amiga que chamo de Gringa.



a very good week, indeed

Sitting down at the Nav Table, which is also our work desk, I’m feeling a sense of happiness and peace.  It’s quiet, I have that ‘good tired’ feeling after walking a pleasant 18 holes of golf, and it’s just me at the moment – a nice day with some nice new age tunes, and (FINALLY) a comfortable chair to sit here in… friends and crewmembers that have spent time on the boat will remember that there’s never been a comfy place to sit at the Nav Table.  Now there is.  It’s a great feeling, almost like getting a new starboard half of the salon… and it was half off at the office supply store.  🙂

But this moment of relaxation has allowed me to reflect on 7 very very good days, notwithstanding the unmentionable ‘J–‘ search situation.

Beginning with last Friday, it’s been a fantastic 7 day stretch.

Friday morning – while waiting for the line at the fuel dock and pump-out station, this is the Alameda side of the estuary: the Pasta Pelican restaurant.  Free moorage while you eat if you bring your boat in for a meal.  

This is the Oalkand side of the Estuary, with downtown Oakland in the background.  In the foreground, at water’s edge, is the Fuel Dock and Pump-Out station of Jack London Square.  What is even harder to see the ‘line’ we’re waiting on: 5 US Coast Guard RIB boats are refuelling.  FIVE of those guys snuck in right before we got there… so we had to hit a holding patter and wait until we could get into pump out.  It all went without a hitch.  But that’s boating – never be in a hurry, you’ll just be frustrated.  

Friday evening our new friend Amanda came over with her 2 lovely children, Zoë and Noah.  We enjoyed good chat and fellowship and a quiet eve as we played with her kiddies.  I wish I’d taken more pics, but we were busy holding newborn Noah and playing with an ever more exuberant Zoë (she’s 18 months, I think)

This is Zoë, and I think she’s adorable (and a stylish dresser too!)

Saturday the Castellino family came aboard for a lovely day out on the bay.  I’d say daysail but I’d be lying.  It was flat calm and nearly wind-less all day – but it did make for a great ‘motor’ out of the Gate and everyone had a good time.  Ang & Anthony’s twin girls, Alexis & Ashley, had a blast I think – and they both were great skippers on the helm.  In fact, I didn’t do much steering all day long!  How much do you want to bet that Anthony starts looking for his next sailboat…

Saturday morning, looking like a good day to take the boat out!

Alexis and Ashley, doing the bow pose.  We loved having them aboard, because they enjoyed it so much!

We saw an America’s Cup boat, which is always a thrill for a sailor – for me at least.  This beautiful black monohull belongs to Oracle and carries the number USA 76.  Oh yeah, and that’s Alactraz Island and the Bay Bridge in the background.  

A view of the gate, from the outside.

Lara and Angela hanging out on the foredeck, enjoying the view. 

Headed back into the gate, looking north towards Sausalito and Tiburon.  

Measuring up the bridge….

This boat was on a downwind leg of a regatta and had a big bright shamrock in their spinnaker.  I took it as an omen, as the ND-USC game was coming up.  Apparently they didn’t see it in South Bend… 

Thanks to the Castellinos for coming out – hope they can do it again soon.  Ashley, Angela, Alexis and Anthony!

Saturday night we headed into the city for a yummy dinner and a bit of a family reunion – with cousin David & wife Jean in from Pittsburgh, we hooked up with them and Jason and Amanda at a cool seafood restaurant, Anchor & Hope.  It was great to see D&J again after so long.  It left us longing for a trip soon to the Burg.  Alas, we didn’t get any pictures.  Perhaps the ND loss to USC was stinging too much to make me want to pic up the phone and play photographer.

Well, I did take one pic on the way to dinner -heck, we were stuck in traffic for like 40 minutes just to get to the Bay Bridge… might as well snap a shot.  😦

Sunday another boat outing – this time with Thais & Kyle and newly arrived friends Amauri & Greicy.  There was more wind than Saturday but alas not enough to really get the rails in the water.  Upon returning to the marina, we did an impromtu barbeque and really closed out the weekend in style.

Greicy and Amauri having a good time on Sunday.  So good to see them again!  There were supposed to be more pics, but Thais never sent me hers.  (hint hint!)

Monday night I met up with an old business ‘colleague’ from SF/Switzerland and Rio and did some networking with a bunch of startup guys who are all now on the ‘ready to crew’ list.  We had a lot of fun at the Nopa restaurant and I’m looking forward to more meet & greets with them.

Wenesday was a special day – for me at least.  One of the 9 Mikes here at Gate 11, Mike Elsey, is an avid golfer.  We’d been talking about it for months, but he finally got me out on the course.  We started at dawn in the cold fog and continued through 27 holes by the time it was over.  There were some good shots, a great shot or two, and then all the others – kind of par for the course for me.  But I do love to get out on the links.  I hadn’t walked 27 holes in a looooong time.

This from the first fairway – we teed off before sunrise!

This is Mike on the first green.  A great day!

The fog starts to lift… 

Today, Friday, another special day… as the same group was getting back together, I got permission from the Admiral and took advantage of the opportunity.  Today we walked 18 holes in perfect weather and I shaved about 4 strokes off Wednesday… progress!  We played again with Shannon and Lester, also locals and avid golfers.  I don’t know who wrote the book on swings, but if you watch Shannon’s effortless, smooth swing, you’d think that she inspired the book. This lady has been playing for only 14 months and tears it up – from the blue tees with the guys!  Again, a great 18 holes on the links.  Thanks to Baby Cakes for allowing me to go.  🙂

Another great sunrise, another great day to play golf!

Now I’ve got to do some boat chores, set up some meetings for next week, and hope that all those HR departments and hiring managers that are looking over my CV are thinking… yeah, this could be the guy!

Ciao gang – more when we can get in here!  If we don’t before Monday, Happy Halloween!

Stella says “Happy Halloween” and ‘Come play with me!’



Back through the gate


What time is kickoff????

Go Irish!

Got our colors out today – headed for a sail on the bay!

BEAT USC!!!!!!!!

Boo! Timeless Halloween

Who says boaters don’t get into holidays?  Probably noone around here.  I’ve already heard rumors about the crazy lighting displays people do on their boats for Christmas, but friends Dave and Caty on Timeless certainly don’t limit it to the end of the year…. I haven’t spoken to either one of them about this, but I did see this, their first Halloween efforts this morning as entered the cockpit to have my morning look-round, coffee in hand:

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Is that great, or what?

We have our own version of Black Bart, hanging not from the yardarm, but at least from the Spinnaker pole.  Nicely done Dave & Caty.  Do you have a costume for Stella? (she’s the youngest four-legged boat mascot around Gate 11 – see pic with Larissa on Fleet Week day).

Happy Friday.