In Search of the World’s Best Barbecue

For most of the world food is more than just something to shove down your mouth to get energy it is the warm embrace that brings generations together, provides connection to our roots and a sense of belonging. We often forget its importance in our fast-paced society – it is truly a tragedy. One of my passions has always been cooking and when I was in high-school I worked as a sous chef at a French-California cuisine restaurant called Creme de la Creme. One night the chef walked out after a fight with the owner and I was given the task to lead the kitchen for the next 6 months. It was one of the worst experiences of my life – preparing, cooking and plating hundreds of dinners a night loses its cool quickly and so did I.

Anyway some of you may be wondering what any of this has to do with technology or security, well, nothing really, except that I travel a lot and I know many of you do as well. I also like meat, especially of the grilled over hot coals or low and slow variety, a taste that many of you share I am sure. I am in search of the world’s best grilled or barbecued meat, from Churrascarias in Brazil to lamb kabobs in the Himalaya’s to Satay in SE Asia to grilled gazelle in Zambia to some of the best sloppin’, smokin’, juiciness America has to offer I am out to taste my way across the world until I can lay back licking my fingers, while my eyes roll back in my head and I experience what can only be described as a spiritual experience.

I need your help, your guidance to lead me to the promised land of smokin’ meat Nirvana, so break out the memories of a smoky shack in a small Memphis town or a road-side diner serving up a plate of heaven. Tell me where I can find the best barbecue in your area or places you have been and I will collect em’ all and we can all share in the joy of a better tomorrow, minus the two-handed blazing guns (John Woo reference for those that didn’t catch it)

Bo’s Barbecue (here) located in Lafayette, CA (yeah that’s right Lafayette – stop laughing). The Owner, Bo McSwine (seriously stop laughing), provides some truly tasty brisket, ribs, and links and he recently expanded the joint to include some smoking live blues and one of the largest micro-brew collections this side of the Mason-Dixon. So for his meticulous attention to his roots, the finger-licking sauce, hot atmosphere and just being one hell of a guy Bo’s Barbecue is my first submission for those looking for barbecue here in the San Francisco Bay Area, there will be more to come as I collect up my thoughts, in the mean time let me know yours and provide the name, location and a brief summary on what you like.

Looking back on the past 365 – Balance is key!

We become so caught up in the day to day activities of work and family that it is easy to forget what is truly important. I try to mediate and reflect on life as often as possible, but the end of the year affords me the time to get back in touch with me. Was the I the best father I could be? the best husband? the best friend? – did I live with integrity and respect and did I provide the same to those I work with professionally? Did I live every moment of my life with excellence or was I just going through the motions?

It has been an amazing year!

I rode an elephant through the jungles of Thailand, walked the beach at Phuket where the Tsunami hit, held a Koala at refuge in Brisbane, swam with Dolphins, touched a wobbegong shark, ate Satay at 3 in the morning in Singapore, tossed back cold sea urchin in Hong Kong for breakfast, meditated at Gargantua Del Diablo (the Devils Throat) at the mouth of Iguazu falls, took pictures of a Favella in Rio (not recommended for the faint of heart), touched history and art in Amsterdam, walked through Hyde Park, and met so many beautiful people along the way.

I taught my youngest son to play baseball, my oldest to defeat Mega-Godzilla and both to ride bikes – with no hands. I celebrated my ten year wedding anniversary, buried an uncle and held my mothers hand in the emergency room. I changed careers, bought a new home, gained and lost and gained and lost again dozens of pounds. I took up photography – again, advanced belts in martial arts, began work on two books, three screensplays, and started a blog.

As I reflect on the past year I realize now, more than I ever have, the importance of balance. The ability to live life to its fullest while still nurturing and growing and learning what it means to be human. For me balance is the key to happiness and sucess in life.

It has been an amazing year, and I am truly blessed to have the friends, family and opportunities in my life that I have. I wish all of you the very best that life has to offer in 2007.

Moving on and changing jerseys

Few things in technology, or life for that matter, are static. We live in a highly charged, extremely dynamic period, and it is exciting to be a part of it.

I have truly enjoyed my time as a Gartner analyst working with some of the brightest and most eclectic folks in the industry, but life is about progression and I have accepted the position of CTO at BigFix. The architecture and technology that we have at Bigfix, the scalability that is offered, coupled with the changes in the industry, which I have talked about (here) , (here), and (here), made it clear that this is a great opportunity and one I could not pass up.

There are challenges and risks, as there are with anything worth pursuing, but after performing due diligence it became obvious that these challenges will be overcome. I am honored to be a member of this team, and I have no doubt that 2007 is going to be a very exciting year for us as we move forward to address the changing nature of IT.

I plan to maintain this as my personal blog and continue posting on a fairly regular basis, which I have truly enjoyed.