Friday, December 24, 2010

Internships, Networking and the Business of Life

Shelton Connecticut
Mission? Visiting family


It's weird transitioning in life. Were all constantly in a state of transition or becoming. It boils down to a matter of degree.  Since I left active duty in September of 2007, and began Christian Allaire's Sailing Life and Other Adventures, I've been in near constant state of hyper transition, while never really gaining my footing. Once I determined to make a bold move to stop sailing and head out to San Francisco, I really went into a state of flux.

Since arriving in San Rafael, California last June, I've begun to find my stability. It is the first tine that I know of where I've arrived in a new town and not had the latent pressure of a move or transfer looming. This has been liberating, even more so than what one would think given I had the total freedom of sailing around the planet for as long as I wanted. That, as some know, did not turn out to be my cup of tea.

That is the business of life.

One thing the U.S. Coast Guard taught me was the value of networking. The trend of social media is one big gigantic networking tool. However, in my opinion it still boils down to personal relationships, brought on my happenstance, some luck and initiative. I am grateful to have been born with a gregarious nature which has assisted in networking. I have no problem busting a move on someone to find out what the program is.

Case in point. In October at Dominican University, I attended a job fair featuring about 50 companies looking higher college graduates. It is interesting to note that I have over a year and half before I graduate, so why would I attend? I thought it a perfect networking opportunity and a way to start learning about the mysterious world of internships. Well it worked. I gripped and grinned, schmoozed and practiced the art of informal interaction with potential employers. Worked on my 30 second "commercial" pimping out my strengths. I scored an internship interview with a big financial services company in downtown San Francisco. I went and interviewed in a high-rise with folks in suits and ties and presented very well. I was offered a position, but turned it down because I couldn't commit the time needed without jeopardizing my time spent study. What a great practice secession and learning experience.

I make it a habit of asking a lot of questions of many people, especially people who I informally determine may be succeeding in the world of work. I'm trying to learn and penetrate into a world I'm not versed in. My yoga habit is predominately about the fitness and health created. A close second would be the folks one meets, beautiful women included, but think about this statement. Losers do not have the motivation to practice yoga. What this means is that the people who attend are generally successful people, and some very very successful. During short conversations, before or after class, I've had a couple of enlightening conversations with fellow yoga folk. One girl inspired me greatly with a quick story about how she attained an art history degree, and somehow ended up making six figures selling software. She is not abnormal. This type of situation can be created with proper networking and social skills.

A few weeks back, I got to chit chatting with a guy who I bump in to at least a couple days a week. His name is David Gottesman, and he has successfully started three or four IT companies. He is a tech guy who looks like Mr. Clean. I told him my program, that I was looking for an internship to gain some exposure in different fields. He graciously agreed to meet up with me at a Starbucks, showed me what he is involved in and has agreed to take me on. Stoked. This is an informal situation, where over a period of time I start to learn about his world while not losing focus on my studies, and more importantly, hopefully, I can contribute to his enterprise.

Dave started a company called When he showed me what was up, I was pretty impressed with the company. The user interface is built for music teachers to interact and teach students. But, it could be tweaked for many other situations where people need to interact and collaborate. Pretty cool stuff. With a little luck and some motivation on my part, hopefully I can maybe get involved with this company. Check out the video below, and don't forget to spend some time on Take a music lesson why don't you!

Blast From The Past

That is Seaman Allaire flexing after leading the barby plucking detail from the hanger roof in 1989, aboard USCGC Polar Sea, somewhere in the south pacific.  Enjoy!

Capt Chris

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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Happy Winter Solstice!

Shelton Connecticut
Mission? Visiting family for Christmas

Today is December 21st, otherwise known as the first day of winter. It is also the time of year when you start seeing commercials for the Chia Pet. Cha cha cha cha CHIA! That aside, the winter solstice is the day when the earth tilts at 26 degrees 26 seconds reaching its maximum angle away from the sun. What this means for us in the states is the suns rays strike the earth at its sharpest angle, meaning the rays are spread out over a larger distance. This is why, generally speaking, our side of the planet doesn't heat up in the winter. Since we are a round blue ball, the poles always receive the suns rays at sharper angles all year round, and thus doesn't heat up much. Under the same rule, the equator pretty much receives blunt  angles of sunlight all year round resulting in year round balmy temperatures. All of this is represented in the graphic below.

As I reported earlier, I'm going to start adding a "Blast From the Past" picture at the end of my blog posts for the foreseeable future. Since arriving on the east coast, I've accessed all my old pictures I've accrued over the years. It is funny, and quite logical, that the older one gets the more history is produced. I wonder what the human desire to leave a legacy is all about. Any psychologists out there what to chime in and tell us what is up with that?

Blast From the Past

USCGC Polar Sea in the southern ocean 1989

I took this picture when Polar Sea was on its way to Antarctica. The seas south of New Zealand and Australia were always huge. I shot this as all three of us were in utter shock that the ocean was coming aboard. All three of us almost went overboard. We surely would have perished. Surprisingly my little Vivitar camera was not damaged, other than a small dent. Dan Boller on the right didn't even know the wave was a comin! 

Capt Chris

Monday, December 20, 2010

East Coast Update

Shelton Connecticut

The Kid December 20th 2010
Since arriving at my sisters house I've been engaged mostly in the grand archiving project. I've stored the bulk of all my crap in my sisters basement ever since I moved aboard Christa, including all my old school photographs. I've been taking digital pictures of the old pictures and then loading them onto Facebook and my Picasa Web Albums. I now have thousands of pictures loaded into Picasa. Please surf on over and check them out by clicking

I've also learned that it is possible to now upload HD Video to Picassa, and it seems to me it plays clearer on Picasa. Maybe a sleight of eye. The rub is, embed code is not provided, so I can't embed a video from Picasa. It does allow me to centrally locate all my photo's and videos. Now that I'm creating a larger collection, the management of all the material becomes important. Not sure why I love catagorizing everything, but I do. Below is a screen shot of a video from Picasa.

 I've generally loaded all my pictures from Antarctica and my first tour in the U.S. Coast Guard aboard Polar Sea. Also many pictures from Lake Tahoe and some sailing along the California coast early after I bought Christa in 1998. So please check it out and leave some comments to!

Capt Chris

PS: Happy 70th Birthday to my Dad!