Saturday, July 29, 2006

Happy Birthday!

Just sending out a wild and wacky happy birthday to Matches!

Moo! Don't panic!

So when do you panic? Do you panic when it is 6 hours till your assignment or presentation is due? Do you panic when you forgot your shampoo while you are sitting on an airplane traveling? Maybe it was your contact solution? Do you panic when you are sitting in traffic trying to get to your doctor appointment on time?

In all these cases, it makes zero sense to panic. It is either out of your control or you have waited too long to plan / panic. Instead, why not panic about the fact that you need to pay for your child's college? Yes, I know it is 10-15 years away. Why not panic about the fact that you need knee replacement surgery after the years of overweight and abuse? I know you don't need it now. Why not panic about what you are going to be working on next year? Oh, you will worry about that when it gets here.

It is all about taking action now so that you don't panic then when it is completely out of your control. Start getting healthy now. Plan your finances. Work on your ideas that you are passionate about.

Based on a snippet from essay, PANIC AT
, from the book, The Big Moo

Review: Mind Wide Open

Mind Wide Open by Steven Johnson (author of Emergence) is a book about a journey into the workings into the human brain in an attempt to create a better self awareness of your responses to external stimuli. Mr. Johnson shows how the personality tests of old and theories of previous psychologists are presented using modern technology to paint a picture of the brains responses to stress, fear, love, joy, creativity and more.

I enjoyed this book. Mr. Johnson's words about self-awareness reverberated with the way I feel. A better knowledge of self may not be able to create a "super-human" out of you, but it can help explain your phobias, or tension breaking patterns in terms of brain chemistry at play and perhaps help you deal with the former and work within the latter. One of the interesting experiments that Mr. Johnson talks about is his desire to see what his brain is doing during the creation and formulation of his work and craft, writing. So he goes through a series of tests in a fMRI machine to show what his brain is doing during simple tasks like reading others works or reading his own works, but he also has the chance to show what his brain is during while formulating ideas and concepts.

I do recommend this book, it is a good read, and is light on the neuroscience (just enough for the layman) but strong on the concept of knowing yourself.

I do recommend this one for you, Jay!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Net neutrality again

I found an interesting article on Bluedot where they compare the internet to our streets and sidewalks.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Northwest heat wave . . . again

So yesterday here got to about 93 degrees fahrenheit. Today should be 94 and then a slow decent into the normal upper 70s. I know that there is a heat wave for the entirety of July going on in Europe right now and the East Coast of the US just got hit by a couple week one, but I am just not cut out for this.

One thing, I sorely miss right now from our old house is the air conditioning. Right now we are looking into our budget to see if we can swing getting this out here. Part of it is our comfort, and part is for the fish and cat to be a little more comfortable. Well so that I don't lose anymore fish to the heat. Today I tried the ice method, which I didn't want to do, but the tank water was above 84 degrees (which is how far up my thermometer goes).

Otherwise things are good. Michelle is bummed. Since she is home all day, it is hard to make friends and is very lonely. Soon Miranda and Michelle will be starting pre-school and hopefully that will help. But Miranda is doing good. It is just darn cool to watch as she learns more and more and is gaining the strength to do more and more. She is more comfortable on her stomach now and is starting to push herself up a bit (like a seal). She can sit in my lap and keep herself upright as long as she holds on to my hands to steady her.

Early yesterday before it got hot, Michelle was lucky enough to get a photo of her while she was checking out the living room.

miranda 001

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Fort Knight ep. 4: A Lost Hope

I wouldn't really call this an interview as I am not affiliated with Bluedot and I am just a user of it. So I will say that Matches gave me the opportunity to co-host his technology video blog as we covered this social bookmarking site.

Fort-Knight Tonight, Episode 4 on Vimeo

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Fort-Knight Tonight, Episode 3

A friend of mine and his love of technology. What more can you ask for. I am very impressed with his use of technology, and video editting software as well as his content.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

The Call of the Mall and an update on Miranda

Going with a two-fer post since Andy must not be getting his weekly allowance of Amazon links and Miranda posts!

Call of the Mall

Call of the Mall by Paco Underhill is an excellently written work that explores the geography of mall usage as well as a bit of a history of suburban and urban malls. First off, I was caught by the writing style as it was easy to follow and yet full of good information. Paco explores everything from mall security to food courts to discount jewelry stores being next to Tiffany's. He goes into analyzing the shopping habits of men, women, and teenage girls. He talks about the barrier between the mall and store and how to entice customers inside. All in all, this is a must have for any retail person.

I am into retail but from the web side of things and really enjoyed trying to make connections into that space. It is a little more limited in that aspect but still a good mental exercise. For instance, it is known that as people stay in the mall for a longer period of time they are more and more likely to buy things which is why you have the food court, rock climbing, and movie theatres. Imagine in the web world on ebay where you could have flash games that would allow you to stay and watch your auctions while killing time. Ebay could then put up other similar auctions to the ones you are watching...

Either way, this is a must have for retailers and a fun read for hobby anthropologists.


Miranda is doing well. Occassionaly we have a little bit of fussiness and lately she has been fighting food. But otherwise she is doing great. She now is able to turn from her back to her stomach, but can't get back. Since she hates being on her stomach this leads to Michelle or I having to flip her over once she starts screaming. She is starting to use her hands more and more. Just tonight she was trying (you could tell by the furrowed brow) to reach a little white ring hanging above the mat. Of course, once she kicked her leg (I think she thought that was the arm) and another she touched it with the right arm and them kept opening and closing the left hand. Just a pure treasure right now. I am sure Jay is going to love watching his son learn the same sorts of things!

miranda 003

Adding old plays

So back in college I wrote a couple of plays that got performed. As I read through them, I keep hearing the song "Springtime for Hitler".


Maybe I will revise them (been so many years...) and try to salvage something out of it.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Net neutrality and the little guy

So if ISP's can charge for sites to go through, does that mean that I, as a little tiny blogger, am going to have to pay every ISP to be allowed to have my content viewed?

So Comcast will suddenly block my Vonage cause they aren't paying (or because they have a competing business)?

That I can't buy my hard drives from comp-u-plus cause they didn't pay?

I am a consumer and a provider, hear my roar!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Talent and do they drink the kool-aid

Talent Engagement Matrix

Besides the typo in the chart, I thought this to interesting. Mostly this comment:

"But as a manager, to choose between an empty promoter and a cynical performer, I go with the latter anytime!"

Why would this even be a choice? Why is the company hiring folks that are not effective? If they aren't effective, should they still be at the company? Companies want talented individuals. Whether they are engaged or not typically comes from how long they are at the company/how long they have been out of school.

Of course, if their are any HR experts out there that want to step in and correct me, feel free, but I treat engagement as the opposite of corporate cyncism. And the only way to stop that is for the company to always match their actions and words (and be tailored to the individual).

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

EU and the opening of trade secrets

I think trade secrets in business have been around since the beginning of business. You don't have the protection of a patent, but then again if no one knows about it then they can't figure out a work around that you could from analyzing a patent... It seems however that Europe is very interested in "opening" up the market by having two companies share what traditionally has been seen as trade secrets.

When companies went from protecting their inventions to hoarding litigation tools, I decided that the patent system is currently a "bad thing." But I do think trade secrets still have their place as this is still a method to protect your ideas and inventions and there is no way to hoard this as a litigation tool. What the EU is forcing be done, is that now MS and Apple will have to patent their technology so that they can share and license this technology.

So I say, Apple and Microsoft, pull out of Europe. Open up your other markets. When Europe wants you back, come back graciously. This allows them to start their own industry in this area and gives opportunity to their businesses.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Welcome Evan!!!

Congratulations to my friend Jay and his wife Sara on the birth of their baby boy, Evan! Now Jay, we expect to see lots of pictures of the little guy. But seriously, congratulations and I do remember what it was like to first hold that little person in your arms for the first time. Very emotional.

For those that don't want to do the translation:
Born: 7:46 PM (GMT +01:00) (I am not so sure on the timezone)
Weight: 10 lbs 5 oz.
Height: 22 3/4 in.

Again Congrats!

Friday, July 07, 2006

To my wife

Happy 5th Anniversary.

Hopefully I haven't screwed up too badly.


Spelling error caught by Princess Blogonoke

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Spore Gameplay Video

Will Wright talking at the 2005 Game Developer's Conference about 'Spore', which looks like it could possibly be the best video game ever.

Kids. Wow.

What a difference 12 weeks makes?! Tomorrow Miranda will hit the 12 week mark, and she seems to be so different. She has been pretty happy lately. And she is drooling more and it looks like you can start to see the outline of some teeth in her top gum, added to the fact that she likes to gnaw on her fingers must mean we are at the start of teething.

But for bigger news, it seems like she is starting to understand she has HANDS. We have a Baby Einstein Discover and Play Activity Center that we have been using since she has been able to hold her head still and prior to this last weekend, she would just sit and stare around. However, for the first time yesterday, she reached out and spun some of the toys and giggled. It was hilarious! The motor skills are still lacking. Last night she wanted to chew on Lamaze Freddie The Firefly Plush Toy, but couldn't seem to get the wing into her mouth. Basically she would shake her head and wave her arms about. I felt so bad laughing at her.

Here is her in a 4th of July outfit that her Great-Grandma Sara got her.
miranda_4th_july 017

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Time for the weekend

So I haven't finished any books recently, so no review this time. Currently I am reading The Call of the Mall by Paco Underhill (I believe). Not bad. Otherwise I look forward to another beautiful Pacific Northwest weekend. No. Seriously. It is about 72 and sunny which is seriously nice.

So went to Lowes this morning while Michelle and Miranda were at Baby and Me Yoga. One of the major things that Michelle wanted me to get was a hose winder. Well I got one by Suncast that broke when I was hand tightening it to the faucet. Pissed me off, so I chucked it across the yard. Stupid piece of plastic. Otherwise not much else.

Miranda is growing quite a bit. I don't happen to have the exact measurements, but she definitely takes up more of the playmat. She is such a wiggle worm and likes to have conversations with me. If I am talking she likes to coo very loudly. It is pretty darn cute. Her fussy stage is pretty much past. She gets a little cranky at night, but that is just cause she is tired, but it is way better than before. Well that is about all and it is near time for lunch.