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Baris Baser
Works at Google
Lives in San Francisco
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Baris Baser

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Hadn't heard of a mandolin rendition of Bach's BWV 1001 Sonata until now. Love it.
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Watched a truly profound movie tonight. Incredible black and white photography. Highly recommended. 

"For the last 40 years, the photographer Sebastião Salgado has been traveling through the continents, in the footsteps of an ever-changing humanity. He has witnessed some of the major events of our recent history; international conflicts, starvation and exodus. He is now embarking on the discovery of pristine territories, of wild fauna and flora, and of grandiose landscapes as part of a huge photographic project which is a tribute to the planet's beauty."
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CORVALLIS, OR—Fueling humanitarian concerns over the vital resource’s scarcity in many parts of the world, a report published Wednesday by researchers at Oregon State University has found that 68 percent of the earth’s supply of potable ...
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Damn. Tough break. We will all be buying Fanta soon enough.

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Pepe Romero, at 70, playing Bach at the NY Guitar Festival
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"The German city of Hamburg has announced plans to become car-free within the next two decades. It is an ambitious idea, but city officials obviously feel that the personal motorcar does not fulfill a function that walking, biking and taking public transport cannot."

The cycling and public transport infrastructure was pleasantly delightful when I last visited Hamburg Spring 2014, but I didn't think they'd be this ambitious. Rock on.
After decades of car-filled streets, can a modern metropolis really turn its back on the automobile? One city is hoping that it can.
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Preikestolen saves its edgiest material for tourist season. #Norway goo.gl/EqkiZb
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"Art is not a democracy." - George R. R. Martin.

Respect! Can't agree more. Stay true, never sell out when it comes to producing art.
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Mr. Paul's flawless performance on a Brahms upright guitar, Violin Partita #2 in D Minor, BWV 1004, Giga
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Don't get too excited about the alleged plankton found on the exterior of the ISS. Don't forget the primary objective and focus of the mainstream media is mostly to sensationalize. We won't know anything until earliest September/October
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Hands down the most unique museum I've visited.
David Walsh, owner and creator of the Museum of Old and New Art, describes his showplace as a “subversive adult Disneyland.”
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Where has this gadget been all my life?
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I bought Ecotones Sound + Sleep Machine (Model ASM1002) [0] ~1.5 years ago, and I love it. I had considered purchasing the white noise generator mentioned in the article you linked to, but ultimately choose the Ecotones.

There are trash pickups on three different nights (between 2am-4am) on the alley I live on. One of those pickups is for two big dumpsters, right across the street. Since I bought the sleep machine, I no longer hear the dump trucks. I no longer hear the car break-ins (which is a bit of a mixed blessing). Sometimes I still hear the crazy and/or drunk people screaming, but overall I am amazed at how well the sleep machine works.

My favorite sound is Ocean with the richness level set to 1, though there are several other sounds to choose from.

Good luck in your search for a better night's sleep.

[0] http://www.amazon.com/Ecotones-Sound-Sleep-Machine-ASM1002/dp/B002SMJQT4

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Sad to see you go +Patrick Pichette, I enjoyed a few conversations with you on cycling, always felt a sincere presence. Best of luck and good fortune in your travels ahead.
 
After nearly 7 years as CFO, I will be retiring from Google to spend more time with my family.  Yeah, I know you've heard that line before.  We give a lot to our jobs.  I certainly did.  And while I am not looking for sympathy, I want to share my thought process because so many people struggle to strike the right balance between work and personal life.

This story starts last fall. A very early morning last September, after a whole night of climbing, looking at the sunrise on top of Africa - Mt Kilimanjaro. Tamar (my wife) and I were not only enjoying the summit, but on such a clear day, we could see in the distance, the vast plain of the Serengeti at our feet, and with it the calling of all the potential adventures Africa has to offer. (see exhibit #1 - Tamar and I on Kili).

And Tamar out of the blue said "Hey, why don't we just keep on going". Let's explore Africa, and then turn east to make our way to India, it's just next door, and we're here already. Then, we keep going; the Himalayas, Everest, go to Bali, the Great Barrier Reef... Antarctica, let's go see Antarctica!?" Little did she know, she was tempting fate.

I remember telling Tamar a typical prudent CFO type response- I would love to keep going, but we have to go back. It's not time yet, There is still so much to do at Google, with my career, so many people counting on me/us - Boards, Non Profits, etc

But then she asked the killer question: So when is it going to be time? Our time? My time? The questions just hung there in the cold morning African air. 

A few weeks later, I was happy back at work, but could not shake away THE question: When is it time for us to just keep going? And so began a reflection on my/our life. Through numerous hours of cycling last fall (my introvert happy place) I concluded on a few simple and self-evident truths:

First, The kids are gone.  Two are in college, one graduated and in a start-up in Africa. Beautiful young adults we are very proud of. Tamar honestly deserves most of the credit here. She has done a marvelous job. Simply marvelous. But the reality is that for Tamar and I, there will be no more Cheerios encrusted minivan, night watch because of ear infections, ice hockey rinks at 6:00am. Nobody is waiting for us/needing us. 

Second, I am completing this summer 25-30 years of nearly non-stop work (depending on how you wish to cut the data). And being member of FWIO, the noble Fraternity of Worldwide Insecure Over-achievers, it has been a whirlwind of truly amazing experiences. But as I count it now, it has also been a frenetic pace for about 1500 weeks now. Always on - even when I was not supposed to be. Especially when I was not supposed to be. And am guilty as charged - I love my job (still do), my colleagues, my friends, the opportunities to lead and change the world.

Third, this summer, Tamar and I will be celebrating our 25th anniversary. When our kids are asked by their friends about the success of the longevity of our marriage, they simply joke that Tamar and I have spent so little time together that "it's really too early to tell" if our marriage will in fact succeed. 
If they could only know how many great memories we already have together. How many will you say? How long do you have? But one thing is for sure, I want more. And she deserves more. Lots more.

Allow me to spare you the rest of the truths. But the short answer is simply that I could not find a good argument to tell Tamar we should wait any longer for us to grab our backpacks and hit the road - celebrate our last 25 years together by turning the page and enjoy a perfectly fine mid life crisis full of bliss and beauty, and leave the door open to serendipity for our next leadership opportunities, once our long list of travels and adventures is exhausted.

Working at Google is a privilege, nothing less. I have worked with the best of the best, and know that I am leaving Google in great hands. I have made so many friends at Google it's not funny. Larry, Sergey, Eric, thank you for friendship. I am forever grateful for letting me be me, for your trust, your warmth, your support, and for so much laughter through good and not so good times.

To be clear, I am still here. I wish to transition over the coming months but only after we have found a new Googley CFO and help him/her through an orderly transition, which will take some time. 

In the end, life is wonderful, but nonetheless a series of trade offs, especially between business/professional endeavours and family/community. And thankfully, I feel I’m at a point in my life where I no longer have to have to make such tough choices anymore. And for that I am truly grateful. Carpe Diem.


Patrick
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A Googler working @ YouTube. -- quora.com/Baris-Baser | twitter.com/bariswheel --
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    Corporate Operations Engineer, 2006 - present
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