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New Interior…

I nearly panicked when I boarded the Air Canada Boeing 777-300 that will take me to Vancouver, for the connecting flight to Seattle.  The First Class cabin did not have the pods that I was used to… just regular seats…

…or so it seemed.  In truth they have revamped the cabin and while the pods are gone, the seats are great.  There is a true lie-flat bed seat, and instead of the normal 3″x2″ pillow you used to find on your seat, there was a proper full-size pillow and a blanket that looks like a comforter.  Once we are in the air I look forward to testing it out.

The new in-flight entertainment system is a huge improvement… the screen looks to be a 15.6″ wide screen, and it does not have to fold out (which means it does not have to be stowed for taxi and take-off).

The pod looks and feels similar to the one on the Singapore Airlines 777 that I flew one leg on last year.  Make no mistake – it is nowhere near as nice as the Airbus A380 Business Class on that airline (see article) but it is certainly an improvement over the old Air Canada pods… which I rather liked.

The first time I ever flew in those pods was my flight to Hong Kong, shortly after the Microsoft Airlift for System Center Configuration Manager 2007.  My first time in this seat is heading to the WSSC vNext Airlift, seven years later.

The table is not very intuitive, but other than that (and more new ridiculous rules from the FAs) I approve :)

Private Posts

I want to thank all of you who reached out to me this morning when you could not get into my ‘private’ article.  I wanted to share something that I had written (that believe it or not is far too incendiary to post on this site) with an old army buddy, so I pass-word protected it.  I assure you that you have not missed any great wisdom regarding IT.  I was essentially venting about terrorism.

Thanks for your feedback and your continued loyalty!

Mitch

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2014: No growth, but no shrinkage.

I want to thank you all, the great readers of The World According to Mitch.

2013 was a year of huge growth for my blog.  I spent the first few months with Microsoft, and so I was cross-posting all of my blogs from there to here (and vice-versa).  The last four months of the year were spent in Japan and Australia, with a lot of travel-related blogging that grabbed your attention.  Because of that, my readership ballooned to just over 181,000 views.

2014 was my annus horribilis.  It was simply a terrible year from the very outset.  Marital separation, unemployment, and depression are the three major themes from the first nine months of the year, and it is reflected in my blogging – my contributions to the site dropped to near zero for a few months.

Fortunately I am back on track; my marriage is not salvageable, but I am no longer unemployed and am much less depressed – or at least my depression is under control and I am managing it.  I have resumed my blogging with a passion, and am even ready to launch my new blog in early 2015.

I want to thank my readers for sticking with me.  As of today, December 24th, the stats are on track to just barely surpass those of 2013… although statistically I would consider it a tie with last year, and knowing what I went through I am more than happy to take it and run.

Thanks to you, I was once again listed on the 50 Must-Read IT Blogs as compiled by BitTech Magazine (see article).  I did my best to play catch-up, and hope that if this year’s appearance on the list was charitable, next year I will once again fully deserve your votes.

In the next few weeks I will have some big changes to announce, and I am looking forward to them.  I will be enjoying new challenges, and will be talking about a lot of technologies that I have not spent a lot of time on this year.  In the meantime I want to close the year by thanking you all, and sharing with you all, on Christmas Eve, a throwback to last year, my poem, A Modern Christmas Carol by Mitch.  Re-reading it reminded me of how much fun I had composing it, and how much I enjoyed my time in Japan.

Merry Christmas to all of you.

Mitch

What It’s Like Being Seen As Fat

Originally posted on Losing a part of me:

I want to be very clear that this is not an article about being fat. I will probably write an article or two about that, but this is not it. It is an article about how other people see me as a fat man.

I grew up in a household where I was never good enough; a lot of the time it was because I hadn’t tried very hard, but when I did try hard and didn’t do perfect then I would be reminded of it. Hey Mom & Dad I got a 95 on my test! ‘What happened to the other 5 marks?’ (I will gladly place a bet right now that should my parents read this I will hear the following: 1: We were joking! 2: If you had tried harder all of the time we wouldn’t have been so sceptical of the other times! 4: I knew…

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Ending Snow Days? Sorry kids, but it SHOULD happen soon.

Mitch Garvis:

Shortly after I got off the road this morning I saw a Facebook post by my friend Sharon Bennett about working from home, and it reminded me of this article that she and I worked on together. It’s worth another read!

Originally posted on The World According to Mitch:

This month I had lunch with Sharon Bennett, a veteran of the IT industry and blogger. We discussed a number of topics relating to both technology and community… I asked her a ton of questions, and the one that got me the most intriguing answer was: ‘What would you like to see technology do in the future?’ It is a question I ask all the time, when I feel that people have the experience and insight to provide an interesting answer. Because of the nature and vagueness of the question I always receive something different, but Sharon’s answer intrigued me.

‘End snow days.’

For those of you who live in warmer climes this may require some explanation. Up here in the Great White North we get a lot of snow – depending on the region some more than others. Although this current school year seems to be the exception…

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Drinking When I Need A Drink…

I made a decision several years ago.  I decided that any time that I said ‘I need a drink’ I would not have one.  I would not use alcohol to solve my problems, reduce my stress, make my life easier.  Why?  Because from what I could tell that is one of the easiest ways to become an alcoholic.

I don’t know exactly when I made that decision, but for the most past I have stuck with it.  There have been a couple of exceptions – I remember not getting a job I was really expecting to get, and finishing a particularly good bottle of scotch.  I also remember discovering a particularly disturbing fact with regards to my life about a year ago, and without going into details I spent much of Saturday evening trying to rid the Roppongi district of single malt Scotch whisky.  I am not proud of that evening, but it did redouble my resolve to not turn to booze to try to solve my problems, because all it accomplished in both cases was a bit of a hangover… and in the case of that second night some blurred memories.

For those of you who know how the last year of my life has gone, you will know that I have had a lot of opportunities to think that drinking would (or could) solve my problems… I am pleased to say that throughout the entire year I can only think of one occasion on which I had more than two glasses of whisky (or any other drink)… and that was the night of my friends’ Cam and Amanda’s wedding.

Food, on the other hand, has been a very different story.  I wish it wasn’t so, but I have over the past year (as has been my habit since I was a teenager) turned to food in times of celebration, for comfort, for many other reasons.  I have eaten emotionally for most of my life, and that is one of the main reasons my weight ballooned to what it was (and even to what it is, which 40lbs down is still beyond reasonable).  With everything that I have learned over the past year with regard to nutrition and portions, this habit above all is one that I had to curtail.

When I am under 200lbs I am sure I will be able to break this, but as I work hard to get there I have to remember that there are six reasons to eat: breakfast, lunch, dinner, morning snack, afternoon snack, evening snack.  There is never an excuse for not logging my food into MyFitnessPal… and it is important to remember that the only person I would be cheating if I didn’t enter it accurately is myself.  So the hamburger and french fries that I had for lunch last week are in there, as is the extra snack that I took yesterday afternoon.  For the time being I have to work toward being a healthy weight… and veering from the path will only impede my progress.

So on the days that are emotionally the toughest, the most stressful… the days when at the end of the day I want to throw up my hands and cry, I have to go home and cook dinner for myself, rather than going next door to the pub and getting a large order of Buffalo wings (and I am told that QB’s makes spectacular wings).  Rather than being in the position on those days to fall back on the ‘there’s no food in the house’ excuse, I have to plan in advance – make sure there is food in my freezer that can be defrosted and cooked (and I am not talking about prepared foods).  I have to make sure that there are cans of tuna and salmon, there is pasta, there are fruits and vegetables.  I have to make sure that there are healthy snacks and food that I will want to eat so that while the Buffalo Wings might be tempting, the healthy alternative is still very palatable.

…Which reminds me, I think I have to go shopping today!

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