Tim Ferriss & Gary Vaynerchuk – Snake Oil or Gold?

So I’m in Hong Kong, as you probably know, continuing on the job search – and getting damned frustrated with it, if I’m to be completely honest. By day I’m working, by night I’m going through job listings on job boards and web sites, reaching out to my network, trying to get something to happen. I have not had any late nights in bars. Every night after dinner I’m back in our flat, either still working at my “day job” or working on my job search.

In a job interview I had earlier this week, a global CEO said to me, “You’ve been looking for two months and you don’t have something yet? I don’t understand why someone with your background didn’t get snatched up in 10 seconds!”

Continue reading “Tim Ferriss & Gary Vaynerchuk – Snake Oil or Gold?”

Too Damn Distracted (and Back to Hong Kong Soon)

… by which I mean my current situation – job hunting – doesn’t leave me much time for writing anything substantial here. When I’m not working (I still have just over 3 months to go at my job) a lot of my time and energy is spent on the job hunt. It’s frustrating as hell, so I also try to make some time each day to chill out and get away from the computer and phone.

I will be back to Hong Kong for roughly two weeks in July, tentatively arriving July 1 or 2, but possibly earlier (there’s a farewell party for my boss on June 30th).

I definitely have to be there July 9th through 13th for the RISE conference – 500 companies, 15,000 attendees. Tickets are not cheap (US$680) but I’d read somewhere that a good way to network at conferences is to volunteer to work on the crew, so that’s what I’ve done. In exchange for doing some kind of work for three half-days (plus a preliminary orientation session) I get to attend for free – and get a t-shirt.

One quasi-related observation. I’ve set a goal to post at least one item per day in the LinkedIn news feed. I believe that this would be a good way to draw attention to my profile. Mostly I’ve tried to post relevant tech articles with a line or two of commentary. On average those posts are getting 100-200 views.

A couple of days ago I found this image on Twitter together with a line about how Shakespeare was so far ahead of his time:

I thought tech humor might be relevant enough. Since I posted that three days ago, it has had over 2,600 views (and resulted in 5 link requests from recruiters).

So now I’m searching for similar things to post. I probably won’t post this one there but will share it here:

Anyone who has ever applied for a job online has probably come across Taleo and knows exactly why this is true.

The Philippines Is the 2nd Least Peaceful Country in Asia Pacific

The Global Peace Index 2017 (PDF), produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace, rates the Philippines as the second least peaceful country in the Asia Pacific region, behind North Korea. This low rating was primarily due to Duterte’s drug war and presumably was determined before the start of all-out war in Marawi (some great photos in that report). A government spokesperson said this does not make sense and I can only wonder what he’s smoking and where I can get some of that.


(image taken from the NY Times)

This war in Marawi is of course the biggest story of the past month. It led Duterte to declare martial law across the entire island of Mindanao, a proclamation that is now being challenged in the Supreme Court, where some are arguing that acts of terrorism in one city do not constitute rebellion and are not justification for doing this across the entire island. Meanwhile there are troubling reports (to say the least) that ISIS is supplying fighters from Indonesia, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and Chechnya to support the local terrorists.

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Catching Up – Some Music Pix from Hong Kong

Believe it or don’t, I didn’t go out at night (aside from dinner) that much during my recent two weeks in Hong Kong. But I did get out a few nights and usually had my camera with me. I can’t begin to tell you how much I’m enjoying shooting with the Fujifilm X-T2. I just love it. Aside from everything else, some of the below photos were shot at ISO 12,800, something I wouldn’t have even attempted with my old Nikon D800.

The photos are all after the jump:

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BPI – Bank of the Philippine Islands – National Embarrassment!

I’ve complained about BPI’s terrible service in the past. Wednesday they struck a new low.

June 7, 2017 8:12 AM

9:40 AM

12:43 PM

4:06 PM

10:03 PM

Isn’t tracking transactions the most basic thing that banks do? How could a major bank possibly screw this up?

This image started making the rounds late Wednesday:

The Inquirer has the story behind it – apparently this really did happen to someone. However that was not to be the case with my account!

I was finally able to access my account information via the web at around 2:30 this morning. Two of my accounts are okay. One account is showing an ATM withdrawal on June 6th (resulting in a negative balance), but the last time I withdrew from an ATM was June 3rd.

This morning, 10:25 AM, the BPI web site is down again.

The lines to do a simple transaction at BPI are horrific. Going to one of their branches tomorrow, the day after this nightmare, I should probably bring a sleeping bag and a few sandwiches.

[According to Wikipedia, BPI’s ownership is roughly 53% Ayala (and various Ayala subsidiaries) , 33.7% Philippines Central Depository, 8.4% Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Manila.]

UPDATE June 8 10:46 AM



Back in Manila – And Resorts World Is Manila in a Nutshell

I know, I’m way overdue for a post. I’m back from two weeks in Hong Kong, where most of my time and energy was devoted to my job search, as well as time spent preparing to shut down my department and hand off our responsibilities to people in the U.S. The job search went about as expected – roughly 20 meetings, all of which were pleasant but none of which yielded anything substantial. I tell myself it’s early days and that I still have a job for four months. I’m trying to stay focused and positive. I’ve also put together the beginnings of a “Plan B” and a “nuclear option.”

While I was in Hong Kong, the June 2nd tragedy at Resorts World was unfolding. Initial reports said it might be terrorism (Trump picked up on that and mentioned it in a speech – within hours of the occurrence, even though it had taken him 72 hours to mention the two men killed in Oregon protecting a Muslim citizen from a hate crime). Bear in mind that this wasn’t that long after Duterte declared martial law in Mindanao. All sorts of theories started bouncing around –  not the least of which was that if this really was a terrorist attack, Duterte might declare martial law nationwide.

Last and in this case definitely least, the casino is located directly across the street from NAIA Terminal 3 and this happened just two days before my return flight to Manila.

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Back to Hong Kong Today!

Just a quick note in case you haven’t seen it elsewhere yet … Flying to Hong Kong today and I will be there for approximately two weeks. Hoping to see a lot of friends, meet a lot of recruiters, attend some great networking events, see some live music (and take a lot of photos).

If you’re in town, hit me up, let’s get together!

A Quick Break at Pico Sands, Nasugbu

Today marks 12 days since getting my redundancy notice at work. I’ll be traveling to Hong Kong on May 20th and staying for around two weeks – available for meetings and also appreciate any tips on networking events I should attend. (I’m already registered for Cloud Expo Asia and planning to go to Web Wednesday.)

I received the official news of being made redundant on May 4th (the day after my birthday). We already had a reservation for a holiday at a beach resort for 4 days starting on May 6th. I decided to keep that because getting away for a few days to chill wasn’t going to hurt – also my wife had come in for my birthday and I thought she needed a “real” vacation as well.

Actually I’d waited until almost the last minute to book something and May being summer in the Philippines, a lot of the places I had in mind were already fully booked for that weekend. I decided it had to be a place I could drive to because I didn’t want to deal with the airports here.

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I Need Your Help! (Please Read and Share)

I will be unemployed as of September 30, 2017.

It has been said that finding a job is a matter of who you know (while keeping a job is a matter of what you know). Thanks to social media (and this blog), I know a lot of people. And now I’m asking my friends and connections for their help.

I would never ask anyone to give me a job. What I am asking for is your assistance in finding a new job – via referrals, introductions, tips, etc.

Here are the details:

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Bands I’ve Seen Live

Pointless time killer … or a way to distract myself from everything else going on that I prefer not to think about …

There was this thing going on over at Facebook where people were posting “here’s a list of 11 bands, 10 I’ve seen live, 1 I haven’t, guess which one.” And I did not participate, but it did get me thinking about all of the bands I’ve seen live over the years. I suppose some psychiatrist or sociologist could tell me why the shows I saw 45 years ago are often more vivid in my memory than something I saw just a year or two ago.

So with that in mind, here’s a list of the bands and musicians that I can remember seeing live – I’m sure I’ve forgotten dozens of opening acts, as well as dozens of bar bands, cover bands, and the local indie bands in Hong Kong (Sleeves, Bastards, Hazden, Killer Soap, Icebox, Dr. Eggs are a few that come to mind immediately). And there’s some performers, I look at the name and think to myself, I must have seen them live, but I can’t put a time or a place to it so I’ve left them off the list. There’s even some where I’ve come across pictures that I took and yet I have no memory of actually seeing them.

I’ve tossed in a few random-ish photos, all taken by me – some day I’ll have the time to get my archives organized better.

A * means I’ve seen them live more than once.

ABBA, ABC, Aerosmith*, Ian Anderson, Aztec Camera

Bangles, Jeff Beck*, Berlin, Leonard Bernstein* (as a kid, I used to go to tapings of the PBS series “Young Peoples Concerts” (or something like that) for many years), Chuck Berry, Blondie, David Blue, Blues Brothers, Blues Project, David Bowie* (Ziggy Stardust at the Rainbow, Diamond Dogs & Heroes tours), David Bromberg, Jackson Browne*, Roy Buchanan, Tim Buckley, Sam Butera, David Byrne

The Cars, Cheap Trick, Harry Chapin*, The Church, Eric Clapton*, The Clash, Joe Cocker, Coldplay, Lloyd Cole, Albert Collins, Commander Cody, Julian Cope, Chick Corea & John McLaughlin* (as “Five Peace Band” and otherwise), Elvis Costello*, Jim Croce, Crosby Stills & Nash, The Cure

Miles Davis*, Deep Purple, Delaney & Bonnie & Friends with Eric Clapton, Sandy Denny*, Dr. John, Doobie Brothers*, Bob Dylan (with The Band, on the Rolling Thunder Review, several stops along the years on the Never Ending Tour)*

Eagles, Echo & the Bunnymen, Jonathan Edwards, Electric Flag

Marianne Faithfull, Flaming Lips, Fleetwood Mac, Flo & Eddie, Focus, Fools, Steve Forbert, Robben Ford, Franken and Davis (yes, comedy, but with music – who opened for them? It was the SNL band, I think led at the time by G.E. Smith? I ended up sitting next to Pete Townshend and was too petrified to open my mouth)

Peter Gabriel, Rory Gallagher, J. Geils Band, Genesis*, Philip Glass (well, the opera Satyagraha), Steve Goodman, Gorillaz, Grateful Dead*, Grin, Stefan Grossman, Buddy Guy & Junior Wells

Hampton Grease Band, George Harrison,  Wilbert Harrison, Donny Hathaway, Helen Humes, Hello People, John Hiatt, Dan Hicks

Insect Trust

Bob James, Jefferson Airplane, Billy Joel, David Johansen, Journey

Albert King, B.B. King*, King Crimson*, Kinks, Kiss, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Al Kooper*, Kraftwerk

Adam Lambert, Lindesfarne, Little Feat, Lene Lovich, Nick Lowe

Madness, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Mansun, Marshall Tucker Band, Carolyne Mas, Dave Mason, Imelda May, John Mayall, Roger McGuinn,  James Montgomery Blues Band, Monty Python (it sort of counts, right?), Van Morrison, Mott the Hoople, Mountain, Mungo Jerry

New Riders of the Purple Sage, New York Dolls, New York Rock & Roll Ensemble, Willie Nile

Phil Ochs, Orleans

Eugene Pao, Tom Petty, Pink Floyd* (Dark Side of the Moon and Animals tours), Plasmatics, Pogues, Pretenders*, Prince


Bonnie Raitt*, Raveonettes, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Lou Reed, Steve Reich, Terry Reid, R.E.M., Renaissance, Rihanna, Rockpile, Rolling Stones*, Linda Ronstadt, Roxy Music*, Todd Rundgren, Leon Russell

Santana*, Boz Scaggs, Seals & Crofts, Seatrain, Patti Smith*, Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes*, Bruce Springsteen* (you’ve probably guessed – I’ve seen Bruce live more times than anyone else, probably 30 or 40 times starting in January 1974 up until 2009), Steeleye Span, Steely Dan, Steppenwolf, Al Stewart, Stone Roses, Stories, Strawbs, Style Council, Supertramp

Taj Mahal, Koko Taylor, Livingston Taylor, Temptations, Thompson Twins, Robin Trower, Tubes*


Wendy Waldman, Jerry Jeff Walker, War, Weather Report, The Who*, Edgar Winter, Gary Wright

Yes*, Neil Young*

Frank Zappa (original Mothers, Flo & Eddie edition, w/ Captain Beefheart, maybe more)*, Warren Zevon


Artists that I really regret never seeing live – Velvet Underground, Led Zeppelin, Muddy Waters, Bonzo Dog Band (they opened for the Kinks at Fillmore East and to this day I still don’t understand why I didn’t go), Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Bob Marley, John Coltrane and probably dozens more.