Friday, December 23, 2005
O tempora, o mores indeed.
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
Thursday, December 15, 2005
Thursday, December 08, 2005
Indeed, these are the only Windows I'll pay for ;)
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
Flickr probably does it best. Not only do they have an extraordinarily great user experience design, they enable individuals to create their own sense of meaning through tags to each photo. The approach is gaining acceptance and notice: Even Cnet has found out.
One key effect is that users don't have to depend on an info priesthood to dictate what terms and thesauri are available.
Thursday, November 17, 2005
Monday, November 14, 2005
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
So I got to Boone just before twilight. Next day it was 33 degrees...and I had to drive. I wanted to get home before the rain...but it was not to be. Instead, I ended up running into rain around Oxford, NC, and rode in it till Richmond. Ugh! But the bike worked well for the most part, despite its lighter size. The wind certainly pushed it around.
So, mostly, I love the bike. Still, the Griso or the Breva 1100 might, just might be in my future...next year.
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
Friday, September 23, 2005
- O'Reilly was wrong about Pew Poll: On the September 16 broadcast of his radio show, O'Reilly falsely claimed that a new Pew Research Center poll found that 46 percent of Americans plan to vote for a Democratic candidate in next year's congressional elections, while 43 percent plan to vote for a Republican candidate. The poll actually found that 52 percent of Americans would vote for the Democratic candidate for Congress, while only 40 percent would vote for the Republican. O'Reilly also claimed that the "new" Pew poll found that only 9 percent of Americans think that "[a] year from now the economy will be worse." In fact, that result is more than a year old; the most recent Pew poll found that 37 percent of Americans think the economy will be worse in a year.
- O'Reilly was wrong about Bush and Clinton economic records: Following his grossly misleading comparison of poverty statistics under presidents Clinton and Bush, O'Reilly made a series of false claims about the two presidents' broader economic records. O'Reilly claimed, "Under President Clinton, the tax rate climbed higher than at any time in history except in World War II." It didn't. O'Reilly asserted that, as a result of Bush's tax cuts, "Federal tax revenues will be more this year than at any time during the Clinton administration." That isn't true, if revenues are adjusted for inflation. O'Reilly claimed that Clinton "raised taxes every year." Also not true.
- O'Reilly was wrong about the judiciary: O'Reilly claimed on his radio show that "Republicans don't have control of the judicial branch. All right? They don't have control of that." But, as Media Matters noted, "Republican presidents have appointed a majority of the currently active federal judges, including six of the eight current Supreme Court justices and majorities on 10 of the 13 federal courts of appeals."
O'Reilly was wrong about his own television show: O'Reilly claimed that Jeremy Glick, a 2003 guest on O'Reilly's television program whose father was killed in the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, "accused the president of the United States of orchestrating 9-11" during his O'Reilly Factor appearance. Glick did nothing of the kind.
- O'Reilly was wrong -- again -- about how independents voted in 2004: O'Reilly claimed that Bush won the 2004 election because of support from independent voters: "Bush won by three million votes. And they were independent voters." That's false: Bush lost among independents.
- O'Reilly was wrong about Media Matters: In response to Media Matters' item about O'Reilly's statement that he wished Hurricane Katrina had hit the United Nations, O'Reilly claimed "this ridiculous incident just points out how desperate and dishonest the far left is." In fact, Media Matters simply quoted O'Reilly verbatim.
Saturday, September 17, 2005
So I'm hoping to shift my blogging to the user experience world, starting soon with stuff about Lou's seminar Stay tuned, kids.
Wednesday, September 07, 2005
Friday, Aug. 26: Gov. Kathleen Blanco declares a state of emergency in Louisiana and requests troop assistance.
Saturday, Aug. 27: Gov. Blanco asks for federal state of emergency. A federal emergency is declared giving federal officials the authority to get involved.
Sunday, Aug. 28: Mayor Ray Nagin orders mandatory evacuation of New Orleans. President Bush warned of Levee failure by National Hurricane Center. National Weather Service predicts area will be "uninhabitable" after Hurricane arrives. First reports of water toppling over the levee appear in local paper.
Monday, Aug. 29: Levee breaches and New Orleans begins to fill with water, Bush travels to Arizona and California to discuss Medicare. FEMA chief finally responds to federal emergency, dispatching employees but giving them two days to arrive on site.
Tuesday, Aug. 30: Mass looting reported, security shortage cited in New Orleans. Pentagon says that local authorities have adequate National Guard units to handle hurricane needs despite governor's earlier request. Bush returns to Crawford for final day of vacation. TV coverage is around-the-clock Hurricane news.
Wednesday, Aug. 31: Tens of thousands trapped in New Orleans including at Convention Center and Superdome in "medieval" conditions. President Bush finally returns to Washington to establish a task force to coordinate federal response. Local authorities run out of food and water supplies.
Thursday, Sept. 1: New Orleans descends into anarchy. New Orleans Mayor issues a "Desperate SOS" to federal government. Bush claims nobody predicted the breach of the levees despite multiple warnings and his earlier briefing.
Friday, Sept. 2: Karl Rove begins Bush administration campaign to blame state and local officials—despite their repeated requests for help. Bush stages a photo-op—diverting Coast Guard helicopters and crew to act as backdrop for cameras. Levee repair work orchestrated for president's visit and White House press corps.
Saturday, Sept. 3: Bush blames state and local officials. Senior administration official (possibly Rove) caught in a lie claiming Gov. Blanco had not declared a state of emergency or asked for help.
Monday, Sept. 5: New Orleans officials begin to collect their dead.
(Adapted from: Katrina Timeline
Tuesday, September 06, 2005
Will Bush’s deep unpopularity—and media hostility—turn Roveworld into an armed camp? In other words, will they go for a “keep the base happy under all circumstances because that’s all we have” strategy? That means finding a replacement for Rehnquist who is more Bork-like than Roberts-like and risking a filibuster; inviting one, actually. (The Roberts-as-Chief-Justice gambit is genius, I’m afraid, and the timing as infuriating as it is impressive. The Note will no doubt have an orgasm…)
Will they, finally, do what Tim Russert and Joe Klein promised us they would do five years ago which is play to the middle to re-assure the Washington Establishment? (Not bloody likely…)
Will Bush’s new found image as a bumbling incompetent ideologue hurt the legislation that the Republicans want to pass anyway, like doing away with the estate tax? (Again, NBL…)
Will the Democrats find their voice as an opposition party or will they continue to fear their own shadows, based on the fact that they are guilty in smaller ways, of virtually everything upon which the Republicans are vulnerable? (Um, need I say it?)
In the unlikely event they do, who will be its voice? My nominee: Russ Feingold
Now that people have been reminded of why we need competent government, have we got a new paradigm in which extremist Republicans are discredited; cultural issues cease to crowd out the “reality” agenda? And as a subset of this question, will the media demonstrate anything like the energy and anger they they’ve shown on this issue to the rest of the Bush agenda? I think those two go hand-in-hand, but the order in which they take place need not be a given. (It’s not, after all, as if we need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.)
Does all this augur well for the return of divided government in 2006? (I think the structural disadvantages the Democrats face in terms of state population and DeLay-style redistricting, make this one extremely unlikely, unless they do the new paradigm thing.)
What does this do to the Democratic race for 2008? I’d say it strengthens the appeal of good-government governors, like Mark Warner and Bill Richardson—unless Hillary pulls one out of her hat and makes a brilliant speech that pundits credit with helping to fill the national void and pull the country together. John Edwards could also benefit if he turns his “Two Americas” into the basis of a national conversation of why this country—the world’s wealthiest—sucks so much for poor people. Personally, I would like to see Al Gore jump in here with a combination “I told you so about this guy and here is an agenda for the future” but he really does seem to care more about that nutty television station of his and so I won’t hold any proverbial breath…. Which leads me to Russ Feingold, for now.
(A contest perhaps:) Predict the next disaster. Predict the Bush excuse.
Thursday, September 01, 2005
My grandmother lived there in the late '50s and early '60s with her second husband, my stepgrandfather (duh!). We would go down right after Christmas some years when I was a kid. A few times we rode the train (man, that was the way to travel!). Other times we'd drive from Lookout Mountain, stopping in Meridian or so at a Holiday Inn (six of us in one hotel room, doncha know). I remember pulling up to NeNe's house on Nicholson Avenue, and being so excited.
Now it's all just so many memories...
Wednesday, August 31, 2005
Fortunately, my sister- and brother-in-law are ok. She's in northern Mississippi in Senatobia at her aunt & uncle's house. He's still camping out in the Cascades (and doesn't know about the flood). Our mutual friends Nancy & Greg and Arthur & Steve are also in Senatobia with Donna. Thank goodness--they can all laugh together, taking their minds off the utter destruction.
And don't get me started on the blankety-blanks who are looting. Where's martial law when you need it?
Saturday, August 20, 2005
Tuesday, August 02, 2005
So now, apparently, the user doesn't matter.
Here's a response I wrote to Peter:
I appreciate where y'all are going in this...and if the audience for this is the HCI/UX/Whatever community, it's worthwhile.
The danger is when this jargon escapes our bailiwick and enters the world our clients, our managers, our customers inhabit. I'm afraid they'll hear, "So, just worry about the tool & wht it does, right? So we just center development on the application we're building? So we just cut out worrying about people and just worry about technology...? Greaaaat. We'll go back 20 years and do tech-centered development. That way, we're focusing on the tool."
I'm not saying that's what you and Don ARE saying, I'm just afraid that's what customers will hear. So from my viewpoint, I still feel UX makes sense.
Where is the call for balance? And, too, as one commentor wrote, how is this different from Alan Cooper's goal-based design?
I guess I have more readin' to do, Lucy.
Wednesday, July 20, 2005
Saturday, July 16, 2005
Wednesday, June 29, 2005
It's shameful, really shameful. Sad thing is: The suburban conservatives lap this stuff up like LSD-laced lemon water. Despite the facts that Bush et al. lied [or at best were simply lazy and incompetent in their analysis] to get us in this war, despite the lies of Deferment Dick whose "the insurgency is in its last throes" rings hollow, and despite the bloodthirsty rush to blow up funny-looking buildings (as my friend Doug Jay told me after September 11, the dull-eyed and SUV-driving dullards believe this lie: that Iraq can be connected to the attacks on us.
Quam diu, indeed.
Tuesday, June 21, 2005
Sunday, June 12, 2005
Saturday, June 11, 2005
Sunday, June 05, 2005
See, I complained to a bean counter that I was having waaay too much difficulty in filling out my expense report. I talked to her about user experience (UX) and how the software should conform to my needs, not vice versa. She said, "I know, I know. I spend half my day talking to folks about how to fill these blankety-blank forms out...and I have a lot more other work to do each day!"
I suggested the form be changed to reflect how users' mental models work, but she'd have none of it. Reflecting that she'd drunk the Kool-Aid, she said, "Nope, that's the way they created the software."
So it's obvious that, to fix it, they simply added a layer of documentation to the UX, hoping that'll make folks go away, I guess.
Sunday, May 29, 2005
The rainy day on Tuesday was tough, but Wednesday's trip was fun. Cloudy but no rain made for a nice day of curvy riding on US 250 West. I'll blog more later plus add Flickr pics...but suffice it to say, I'm glad to be home.
Now, what'll the next trip be?
Monday, May 23, 2005
Thursday, May 12, 2005
So the dealer received the waranteed parts on Monday (May 9), but didn't know until mid-day Tuesday. Someone had put the package on his workbench but didn't tell him...and he didn't see it.
Now it's Thursday (May 11) and still no word. I left a voice message yesterday & sent an email today, curious as to the status.
What's a reasonable time before I start getting antsy? I don't want to be a pain/pest, but I am kind of stuck without my brand-new Breva. Too, next weekend I'd planned an overnight, pre-National. I'm a bit concerned...but maybe I'm overreacting.
Monday, May 02, 2005
Wednesday, April 27, 2005
Tuesday, April 26, 2005
Tuesday, April 19, 2005
After the breakfast/meeting, everyone goes out into the parking lot. I had hooked up with my friend Bruce, who rides a 1970ish R75/5 (that won People's Choice at the Morton's open house the day before). He was with two friends, Nikki & Rachel. At any rate I went outside with 'em...Rachel had been telling me how she wanted a BMW, an older model, but didn't have $$ or license yet. I mentioned taking the MSF course, easy and userful way to a license, and as we walked out, she said, "What do you ride?" and I said, "Moto Guzzi Breva."
She perked up bigtime & said, "Guzzi! Worshipworshipworshipworship!" So I took her and Bruce and Nikki over to my bike, where they oohed and ahhed appropriately. Also, about a dozen riders came up to me saying, "Wow! First Breva I've seen in the flesh." Lots of people were very appreciative.
Monday, April 18, 2005
What does this mean for Freehand vs. Illustrator? What happens to Captivate and RoboHelp? And will we see Flash capabilities integrated into Photoshop? Finally, what about Mac support?
Friday, April 15, 2005
I confirmed that, yes, they do...but that it's more than just a straight comparison. For example, though Amis earn more, they get less vacation.
Other questions I'd ask are:
1. How far away from work do people live?
2. How accessible, reliable, and viable are public transportation assets?
3. How easy/difficult is it to get a driver's license?
4. How much protection do workers have against arbitrary layoffs?
5. How intrusive into personal life can the company be?
6. If you have a sore throat and a cough, how long does it take to have a doctor see you?
7. If it's 12:30 a.m. and you have a headache, how do you get aspirin?
8. If you have 4 weeks of accrued vacation, can you take it all at once, or are you limited to two weeks at the most?
It's just not meaningful to make these comparisons.
Friday, March 25, 2005
Tuesday, March 22, 2005
I flew to Cleveland Friday night, had a few drinks with Bob & Mouser, then slept at Bob's house (after late-night political discussions). In the morning we had coffee while listening to Phil Ochs ("I Ain't Marching Anymore"!". We then drove down to Steubenville on Saturday.
After Jason Speakers got a few things sorted out on it, I took her for a short test ride. Bob & Jason went with me, Bob on the demo Breva and Jason on the Le Mans. All was well. Also joining me was John from western PA, who just wanted to see the bike & ride with me for a little while.
I beat the rain, making it to Winchester on Saturday night. the Travelodge was quite accomodating, allowing me to park under the registration canopy.
Saturday I went south on 522, then picked up the Skyline Drive for awhile. Figured that some lower-speed driving would be good for the breakin period. Gotta tell you, though, it's a bit tough to keep to the 35-mph speed limit on the Drive. weird, huh? Ya pay $5.00 and can go only 35, while on the Blue Ridge Parkway you pay nothing and can go 45! Oh well, it was fun.
Then it was east on US 211 at Thornton Gap--a nice road that I had the pleasure of riding with Messrs. Hagan & Farley last season. The Breva liked it a lot! After stopping in Sperryville for a cuppa joe (!), I went south on State Route 231--a great Virginia Byway, so named because of its scenicness. Virginia has an excellent system of designating beautiful roads as such--makes it easy for us Guzzistas.
Finally, I hit 33 to get me back to US 522 south. I took it all the way through Gum Springs and into Goochland, where I headed east on SR 6--a most excellent route back to Richmond.
Thursday, March 10, 2005
Tuesday, March 01, 2005
Saturday, February 26, 2005
I haven't picked it up yet, but here are some links to articles about it. Enjoy.
Motorbikes Today Review
Real Classics Review
Motorcycles Online Review
netRider Forum comments
Sound Rider Review
The Breva Blog
Monday, February 21, 2005
His ESPN articles show he still had the sports mojo going. Yet something obviously wasn't right.
Who knows why anyone puts a pistol in their mouths and pulls the trigger? It's overwhelmingly sad, anytime it happens.
Wednesday, February 16, 2005
Monday, February 14, 2005
Wednesday, February 02, 2005
Tuesday, February 01, 2005
Sunday, January 30, 2005
Friday, January 28, 2005
The professional life of a W-2 or 1099 contractor is rich and varied, as you know. Those of us in this category must have, or soon develop, the ability to navigate (with ease, of course) the twisting, turning road that leads through the hilly ground between assignments.
Staffing firms and other erstwhile potential employers of a tech writer's services post opportunities on bulletin boards such as Monster or Dice. These job descriptions (when really present) often list those attributes most keenly desired of a candidate. The trouble--especially for the newcomer--lies in translating these words or phrases into their underlying English meanings. Fortunately, I have recently acquired a Universal Translator device. Here goes:
When you read: "Extensive experience and superior skills in technical writing"
It means: "You are a programmer skilled in all languages, from Fortran/COBOL to Java; and you understand all the pesky terms we're encountering today."
Note: Some of those pesky phrases include--Sarbanes-Oxley, SDLC, Use Cases, CHM, HTM, PDF, CDR, PSD, JPG, SWF, TXT.
When you read: "Excellent written and oral communication skills"
It means: "You know the alphabet and can form sentences."
When you read: "Excellent attention to detail"
It means: "If we forget something, you'll remember it--even when we bring you in 3 weeks before the product we've been developing for 2 years is due to ship."
When you read: "Extensive experience documenting business processes"
It means: "We don't know the Byzantine business procedures that rule projects in our company, but you will--from the minute we introduce you to your cubicle."
When you read: "Extensive experience and knowledge of Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Visio"
It means: "We use Office 97 in a Windows 2000 environment; you'll produce 200-page documents and Help, HTML, and PDF files involving lots of graphics using them."
When you read: "Ability to work effectively in a team environment"
It means: "You anticipate and do everything the team wants using your extensible clairvoyance skills."
When you read: "Excellent time management skills"
It means: "You will meet all deadlines no matter when you get the tasks without working more than 40 paid hours a week."
When you read: "Ability to work independently"
It means: "You have and use the initiative that eludes the team."
When you read: "Administrative skills and experience"
It means: "You're really a secretary, you know."
When you read: Pay Rate DOE
It means: "$12-$14 per hour"
Wednesday, January 26, 2005
Friday, January 21, 2005
Thursday, January 20, 2005
A: None. There is nothing wrong with the light bulb; its conditions are improving every day. Any reports of its lack of incandescence are a delusional spin from the liberal media. That light bulb has served honorably, and anything you say undermines the lighting effect. Why do you hate freedom?"
Tuesday, January 18, 2005
Tuesday, January 11, 2005
Thursday, January 06, 2005
Wednesday, January 05, 2005
"I've been to karaoke Tuesday at Big Jim's Trucketeria, friends, and I've never seen anything like this. Sweetheart, pick a key. Learn a move or two. Try lip-syncing. Oh, wait, never mind that last one. It was a staggering display of incompetence matched only by the Oklahoma secondary. I can't remember ever seeing a performer so devoid of singing ability, stage presence, looks or anything else anyone not related would want to see twice.
When Simpson's song mercifully ended, the crowd united in booing. Sooners and Trojans, fat cats and cheap seaters, locals and tourists, 77,912 strong, they found one thing all night they could agree on: Boo!
It was great. Then the football players came back, the butt-kicking resumed, and it got kinda boring. Ashlee Simpson, superstar, is a tough act to follow. She won't be around much longer. I'm going to miss her. "
Tuesday, January 04, 2005
"Michael, an Airbus A320 pilot for a major U.S. airline (who asks to be kept otherwise anonymous): 'Here we have cleaners and caterers able to board and roam through aircraft with no security screening whatsoever, yet people are worried about laser beams? Our priorities are insane.' "