Here I am in my excellent 76 Mini 1000. Well, it was excellent, before I took it apart to fix the transmission and then moved to Europe. This was taken the day I bought it, which in retrospect was the day I was happiest with the decision. I ignored the obvious rattle sounds coming from the transmission in my zeal to get the thing home and into my garage. Eventually the transmission finished grinding itself up and I parked it, only to eventually give it to my friend Brian Stein. He took it to San Antonio and as far as I know it is still sitting in his garage…
However, there is more to say about me:
I am the Research Director for Red Hat. This probably sounds fancier than it actually is, since I don’t really get to direct any research. What I actually do is talk to a lot of researchers and a lot of Red Hat engineers and try to make connections between them. In fact I have a small staff of people, all doing basically that. It’s pretty interesting, because as an open-source company we are uniquely well positioned to help researchers get their work into the open. Researchers know we don’t want to take their work and lock it behind a proprietary wall, and our engineers are always interested in adding new ideas to the open-source world.
I used to be an Engineering Manager, and then a Director of Engineering, for Red Hat. An Engineering Manager is a specialist in the delicate art of getting software developers to do what you want them to without them knowing that is what you are doing. It is a daily challenge… but also a lot of fun.
When I took the Research Director gig, working for our CTO and my longtime colleague and friend Chris Wright, I abandoned my 20-year fight against moving to Boston and relocated to the Leather District, near our new office in Fort Point. We found a loft apartment in the building above, which is appropriately “loft-y” and post-industrial, but suffers from a not-great view of I-93. I guess we should be happy we’re not just looking at another building.
Boston is… well, it’s OK, but it ain’t Philadelphia, and it certainly ain’t Europe. More on this in the blog at some point.
Before moving to Boston I lived in the entirely excellent city of Brno, Czech Republic, the capital of Moravia, in this interesting functionalist building from the 1930s. As it turns out, Brno was a laboratory for functionalist architecture back in the 1920s and 1930s, before that unpleasant business with Germany and, later, the even-more-unpleasant business with the Soviet Union. I don’t speak much Czech — “Mluvim trochu Česky” — but I do find that it is an excellent language, especially if you want to order a beer.
I live with my wife, harpist and writer Kimberly Rowe, and our cat Piklz. We found a lot of fun things to do while living in Brno. Most of them involve some excuse to drink wine, so it is a good thing that there is plenty of wine in Moravia. “Nemůžete porazit na alkoholem, ale moravsky bojovou proti tomu k remíze” (forgive my lousy Czech) means, roughly, “You can’t beat alcohol, but Moravians fight it to a draw.” I can verify that this is true.
Since we moved to Boston we have taken to spending a lot of time at our favorite restaurant Bar Mezzana. They have an amazing selection of Italian wines and I have really learned a lot about them there. None of this makes me want to move back to Europe any less, of course.
Like all good programmers and managers, I did not study computer science in school — instead I studied music and English literature. I still play jazz vibraphone when I have a few minutes (not often, lately), and I listen to jazz obsessively. Most people would probably not choose to listen to Wayne Shorter while working out, but it works for me.
I am a member of Malta Boat Club in Philadelphia, where we lived before moving to Brno. I love rowing — on my list of things to do next year is finally connect with the local Brno rowing club and get back in the boat. UPDATE: Didn’t do this, but hoping to connect with a Charles River boat club next season. We’ll see.
Although we love Brno, our ultimate goal is to move to France and live on a barge boat like this. The French also have good wine, as it turns out. Right now we rent a boat every year and take photos like the one below. You can see why we want to go back.