About Mark

Technical report writing was the only type of writing I used during the early years of my career. After completing an undergraduate degree in aeronautical engineering my first job was at an aircraft manufacturing corporation. The presentations I prepared and reports that I wrote were filled with science, math, fact, test results, proofs, and truth. The hard sciences do not provide nor require the author to express a personality and emotions.

A few years later my career took me into a different roll where communication required more human interaction. Shortly after completing my graduate degree in mathematics, my work was more educational focussed. I was leading the supplier development team at a large automobile manufacturing corporation. Though the core focus of effort still required engineering and mathematics, the face to face communication and correspondence with the company’s suppliers required me to learn people skills.

The last twenty-five years of my career I worked in the advertising industry. I was surrounded by very creative coworkers with degrees in the arts. Their backgrounds and interests were very different than mine and it helped me to learn how to more comfortably move from my right brain to my left brain. I was in senior and executive leadership roles in advertising agencies creating and developing cutting edge techniques for using analytics and data management in advertising. The research, reports, and presentations required very creative style while at the same time they had to convey the scientific truths and proofs.

Today, after retiring from a 42 year career, I’m writing for my own personal blog. Most of the topics featured on my blog are familiar to me. Those topics are a mix of using technology to help make retirement more fun and enjoyable and staying focused on people using the technology not the technology itself. The section I call, “The Balance”, is where I will focus my personal buddhist based philosophy points of view.

    Find more about me on:
  • facebook
  • googleplus
  • linkedin
  • pinterest
  • twitter
  • youtube

Here are my most recent posts

Author Archives: Mark

About Mark

Technical report writing was the only type of writing I used during the early years of my career. After completing an undergraduate degree in aeronautical engineering my first job was at an aircraft manufacturing corporation. The presentations I prepared and reports that I wrote were filled with science, math, fact, test results, proofs, and truth. The hard sciences do not provide nor require the author to express a personality and emotions. A few years later my career took me into a different roll where communication required more human interaction. Shortly after completing my graduate degree in mathematics, my work was more educational focussed. I was leading the supplier development team at a large automobile manufacturing corporation. Though the core focus of effort still required engineering and mathematics, the face to face communication and correspondence with the company’s suppliers required me to learn people skills. The last twenty-five years of my career I worked in the advertising industry. I was surrounded by very creative coworkers with degrees in the arts. Their backgrounds and interests were very different than mine and it helped me to learn how to more comfortably move from my right brain to my left brain. I was in senior and executive leadership roles in advertising agencies creating and developing cutting edge techniques for using analytics and data management in advertising. The research, reports, and presentations required very creative style while at the same time they had to convey the scientific truths and proofs. Today, after retiring from a 42 year career, I’m writing for my own personal blog. Most of the topics featured on my blog are familiar to me. Those topics are a mix of using technology to help make retirement more fun and enjoyable and staying focused on people using the technology not the technology itself. The section I call, “The Balance”, is where I will focus my personal buddhist based philosophy points of view.

Spring Sunday

My spring Sunday post will be short and likely more boring than usual. The morning started early, around 7:15 AM. I realize that a week from now the clocks all change. I’ll be getting up an hour later for awhile. The usual arguments of time-changes twice each year can be inserted here.

My wife and I went for a midmorning walk. Off we went to the Sunday street market on the south end of the city. It’s about three, maybe three and a half kilometers from our apartment. The sun was in full bloom in the deep blue sky. A welcome sight following yesterday’s blustery sky and sometimes driving rainstorms. The sea was still wild with crashing waves though they were only a fraction of yesterday’s thundering froth-filled torrents. We strolled for a bit and as my bum leg warmed up we were able to quicken our pace. Soon enough we reached the open market.

Most of the vendors are offering clothes and a few are displaying nics. My wife found a very fun pair of Mickey Mouse pattern pants. They look great on her and show off her shape as very flattering. She’s a sharp-looking woman besides. For me, I didn’t really find anything that caught my eyes. I could use a few new shirts, but none from today’s market would suffice. The market is a simple three blocks with vendors on either side of the otherwise one-way avenue. Police vehicles block each end of the avenue and a team of four officers stroll very casually from one end to the other.

After making our way from one end to the other we left the market but continued our walk further into the city. As we have only lived here for three weeks we have a lot to discover. We found the city library and the bull-fight rink too. Then we discovered a few Italian restaurants we’ll have to try for a meal. So far we haven’t yet discovered the best pizza in town yet. After a forty-five-minute walk through the city, we found our way back to the sea and the promenade. It was past 1 PM and we agreed to sit in one of the many taverns that line the promenade to enjoy a brandy and coffee.

A Coffee and Brandy for Spring Sunday

The spring Sunday breeze was refreshing. Not really cold and certainly not a warm breeze. It was as I found it, crisp. I wore my usual shorts and T-shirt and we took a table and chairs on the promenade to take full advantage of the sun and cool spring air. The brandy was divine and the coffee was somewhat ordinary. It was probably drip coffee with frothed milk where traditionally the restaurants serve espresso with frothed milk. A street vendor approached us at a regular pace. One about every eight minutes.

One of the street vendors, a tall man of about six and a half feet, offered football jerseys knockoffs. Back home they would say these were soccer jerseys. I’ve been wanting a local professional football team jersey and I asked if he had one in my, very large, size. He set his oversized backpack on the sidewalk just next to my chair and opened every zipper. He knelt there working his way through his portable store’s inventory when I saw him pull out a Messi jersey. Messi isn’t a player for the local team, but he is one world-class football player. He eventually found a Malaga Emirates jersey in an XL. He told me he was originally from Egypt. A small island off the mainland to be precise. I purchased the two jerseys, Barcelona (Messi) and Malaga.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Balance

Fuengirola in March

The weather in Fuengirola in March has been good for a few weeks now and the cherry trees are in bloom. It is a good time for a day in the park. Spring is in the air. My wife and I will take a short trip to Paloma Park in the neighboring city of Benalmadena. Some pictures of the day to follow.

According to the rumors, Junata de Andalucia will announce the municipality will upgrade to level 2 from level 3 either today or tomorrow. This is great news for the restaurants and bars. Instead of having to close at 6PM they will stay open to 10:30 PM. The curfew will move from 10PM to 11PM. More time to enjoy the city and the people.

On Wednesday the 17th, the Andalucia government approved the use of stadiums as vaccination sites. They are hoping this will help them achieve 500,000 injections a month. It’s still very unclear how the government is going to reach all of us foreigners with residency. We’re on private insurance and not on the Spain healthcare system. Maybe they will announce something soon for us.

Fuengirola March Fuengirola on March 18
Fuengirola March. A day in the park.

Fuengirola has a few healthcare facilities and I should visit one soon. Maybe they can tell me more about how to get myself registered for the vaccine. My Spanish speaking and listening may be good enough to comprehend what they say. No harm in trying.

Time to go. The bus is likely to arrive soon. Fuengirola March. A day in the park. Though, I’m not sure I reached my 500 words of writing in this short post. There might be cause to update this later when I add the pictures of Fuengirola March, a day in the park.

After returning home I did add the photos from our day in the park. On the return home we stopped by one of our favorite bars, Plank Steak, for lunch. My wife asked the waitress if she had heard anything about extending the open hours for restaurants to 10:30. The waitress said she did hear that Malaga city was staying open but nothing for Fuengirolathis March. She thought perhaps after the jesus day, easter, maybe the hours would open up.

Beers in Fuengirola

We ate our fish and chips and had a pint of beer. Just before we left, the waitress came over to our table to let us know she had heard some good news. Apparently, the Andalucia Government is going to extend the hours for bars and restaurants. Starting on March 19. Fuengirola, March is getting better every day!

Leave a Comment

Filed under Balance

Something New

Trying something new. Thought it was about time for me to add a post. I’ve been writing a novel since late December. Most of my writing time has been dedicated to that effort. Writing a book has been rewarding and challenging too.

The book is a history of fiction. I would say it is a political satyr that has a strong Buddhist angle. For those who love the Republican Party in the U.S.A. they would call it a book of fiction and conspiracy. But then, since they love conspiracy and think truth is a curse, they would call my book a very realistic account of their supreme leader. For the rest of us who enjoy truth and fact, and who believe truth, honesty, and integrity are the highest of human achievement, we would see the book as a somewhat alarming science fiction leaning on science fact.

Meanwhile, I’ve found the most challenge to write the conversational exchanges between the characters. Writing a blog page, such as this, is easier since there is only a one way exchange. In the book I had two way conversation for the most part and a few times there were multiple exchanges.

Since I’m a coder, and since the book includes a lot of future technology I used some special annotations for something new. For example the main character has a Neuralink implant that allows him to use thought to activate the implant. To communicate these thoughts used a double dash, — . Anytime the reader sees the — on the page it signals that the text between — are thoughts to the Neuralink. –Connect to nearby tablet.–

Today, the book is complete from start to finish and I’ve got all the chapters in the right sequence. The editing is taking a little longer than I thought. It’s taking longer because I wrote the first three chapters in first party as the main character. Starting in chapter 4 through the last chapter I changed to third party writing. It just made it more realistic for me to write from the outside looking in so I made the change. When I came back now to edit, I had to change all of the “I and Me” to “he”. Which made it also necessary to change verb conjugations and some sentence structure too.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Balance