December 21, 2006

Windstorm 2006

Taking the limbs off.
Originally uploaded by dierken.
The recent windstorm here in Washington knocked down three trees in our backyard. One snapped at the base and landed on our swingset and narrowly missed our deck and hot tub. The other two tipped over, pulling up a huge rootball and landed on the edge of the yard and into the forest.
We were without power for five days, which wasn't so bad for us. Our fireplace in the basement kept us warm and we learned you can actually bake cookies on a barbecue grill (if your daughter really really wants to make cookies). Some friends dropped their kids off for a sleepover (since our house wasn't freezing) and we all had a good time playing games by candlelight.

Now it's time to finish taking the limbs off the trees and clean the yard - fun fun.

December 14, 2006

Out of Amazon

Today is my last day as an official Amazon employee. I've been on leave of absence for three months and have decided not to return at this time.

This was not an easy decision - recently I was talking with a team at Amazon about a project they have started and it's exactly the kind of thing I've been wanting to build for years - but there are some other things I'd like to work on elsewhere.

I think Amazon is great, they have smart people and are in a great position to grow the Web. I expect to continue to see great things launched by the people at Amazon and really, really look forward to the project my friends are building.

Thanks for everything!

December 05, 2006

Happy Sinterklaas and St. Nicholas Day

Happy Sinterklaas and St. Nicholas day!
When I was little, every December 5th was the day we would wake up and find a little package or an orange in our shoes by the fireplace. This is a family tradition from my mother, who grew up in Germany and taught us about St. Nicholas.
And since my wife's family is Dutch, we also get to celebrate Sinterklaas on the 5th - today we opened a package from Sinterklaas and Zwarte Pieten (Black Pete) with my favorite ginger spice cookies and we each found a giant chocolate letter - the first letter of our name. I think there weren't any 'M' letters left, so I got an upside down W!

December 03, 2006

Why I like blogs

This post over at
edgeio is why I like blogs. It's real, it's about people and and it's about what people are doing. In this case, we hear a brief overview of their first rollout of real-time searching of a hundred million offer listings.
Cool stuff.