Monday December 31, 2007

2007 - Year's End

Year's end,
all corners
of this floating world, swept.

-- Basho
All in all, it's been a good year.


  • Four cats. Soft fur.
  • Richard; my best friend.
  • I have a job that, most of the time, I like.
  • I have Co-workers I like.
  • The SF Bay Area — a good place to live.
  • Plenty of books.
  • We have our health.
  • Rich has a job.
  • Madeline Isabella Carranza
       Continue reading "2007 - Year's End"

2007 - Year's End ( in category Retrospectoscope ) - posted at Mon, 31 Dec, 19:34 Pacific | Comments (0)

Sunday December 30, 2007

Treasures 2007_52

Anywhere is paradise; it's up to you.
-- Author Unknown

These are my Treasures for the past week.

  • Rain making diamonds in the gutter chain on our front porch

  • Rain pattering on the sunroom roof.

  • My co-worker's home-made peanut butter cups.

       Continue reading "Treasures 2007_52"

Treasures 2007_52 ( in category Treasures ) - posted at Sun, 30 Dec, 11:06 Pacific | Comments (0)

Saturday December 29, 2007

Weekly Wrap-up 2007_52

This was the last full week of 2007...

The weather was chilly this week, with temps in the 40s (F). That's unusual for where we live. We also had another couple of nights with rain and a bunch of foggy evenings.

I put together a zip archive of my November TWiki Meetup presentation. That only took a month. :-( ...
       Continue reading "Weekly Wrap-up 2007_52"

Weekly Wrap-up 2007_52 ( in category Gemisch/Gallimaufry ) - posted at Sat, 29 Dec, 23:11 Pacific | Comments (0)

Friday December 28, 2007

Tact Filters

In today's commentary, I discuss Jeff Bigler's "Tact Filter" theory. I agree with most of it. But, there's one piece I don't agree with...

Read my commentary...

Tact Filters ( in category Personality Type , commentary ) - posted at Fri, 28 Dec, 08:53 Pacific | Comments (0)

Thursday December 27, 2007

XO Connected

Rich and I had our monthly "Beer and Scripting" dinner last night - our monthly occasion to get out of the house, eat good food, and chat with fellow Bay Area techies. Last night, we took our new XO laptop along.

One of the other attendees had just picked his XO up at the Post Office that very day, so there were two at the table. ...
       Continue reading "XO Connected"

XO Connected ( in category SciTech , Show & Tell ) - posted at Thu, 27 Dec, 09:27 Pacific | Comments (0)

Sunday December 23, 2007

XO Laptop - First Impressions

Educational. Fun. Technically Cool. Charitable. Deductible. What's not to like?

My XO Laptop arrived on Thursday. I ordered through the OLPC (One Laptop Per Child) "Give One, Get One" program. (Hurry! Current program ends Dec 31).

We opened the box when we got home on Thursday evening, popped in the battery, and fired it up. Here are my early impressions. ...
       Continue reading "XO Laptop - First Impressions"

XO Laptop - First Impressions ( in category SciTech , Show & Tell ) - posted at Sun, 23 Dec, 12:20 Pacific | Comments (3)

Saturday December 22, 2007

Flowers and... Coffee?

The local Florist now advertises Coffee. It's Your Friendly Neighborhood Florist and Cafe. I'm trying to imagine what this would be like. The imagination boggles.

I love the smell of a flower shop. I've been known to walk into a flower shop just to stand and take deep breaths. Mmmmmmmmmm.

I like the smell of a coffee shop too. Coffee. Cinnamon buns. That sort of thing.

I'm not convinced these wildly different aromas belong in the same place. I think they would compete. I think they would clash.

I don't know what the result might be.. but my nose doesn't want to know.

Flowers and... Coffee? ( in category Random Thoughts ) - posted at Sat, 22 Dec, 15:39 Pacific | Comments (0)

Friday December 21, 2007

Weekly Wrap-up 2007_51

The weather was mostly clear, occasionally chilly, with rain mid-week. I woke a few times to the sound of rain in the night on Wednesday. Nice.

I received a nice squidgly fleece warmup as a Company Holiday gift. Very nice. Black microfleece with a grey stripe and the company name tastefully embroidered. ...
       Continue reading "Weekly Wrap-up 2007_51"

Weekly Wrap-up 2007_51 ( in category Gemisch/Gallimaufry ) - posted at Fri, 21 Dec, 20:00 Pacific | Comments (0)

Tuesday December 18, 2007

Treasures 2007_50

The human spirit needs places where nature has not been rearranged by the hand of man.
— Author Unknown

These are my Treasures for the past week.

  • Camry odometer: 155555

  • My new iPod Nano, nicely engraved with "TWiki Champion, November 2007" (with many thanks to the friend with the engraving rig.)

       Continue reading "Treasures 2007_50"

Treasures 2007_50 ( in category Treasures ) - posted at Tue, 18 Dec, 22:32 Pacific | Comments (0)

Sunday December 16, 2007

Weekly Wrap-up 2007_50

The weather has been chilly. I switched to a warmer coat and have been turning on the little space heater in my home office. I also bought myself a new pair of gloves.

I woke up my Pleo while the cats Watched with Very Big Eyes. Pleo also went to work with me. ...
       Continue reading "Weekly Wrap-up 2007_50"

Weekly Wrap-up 2007_50 ( in category Gemisch/Gallimaufry ) - posted at Sun, 16 Dec, 20:20 Pacific | Comments (0)

Thursday December 13, 2007

Take Your Pleo to Work

My Pleo went with me to Work on Wednesday and Thursday. He met several of my co-workers — including one who is impatiently awaiting his own Pleo's arrival ("First-hatch" Pleos, like the one I have, arrived in their homes first. The next batch should be shipped starting next week.) ...
       Continue reading "Take Your Pleo to Work"

Take Your Pleo to Work ( in category Show & Tell , Trivial Pursuits ) - posted at Thu, 13 Dec, 21:58 Pacific | Comments (0)

Tuesday December 11, 2007

Pleo: Out of the Box

I am now the proud owner of one of the first Pleos - the little robotic dinosaur from Ugobe. I first learned of Pleo nearly a year ago when I read an article by Clive Thompson in Wired magazine.

Say hello to Pleo. From the guy who brought you Furby, it's a snuffling, stretching, oddly convincing robotic dinosaur. You are so going to want one.

Clive was right; I wanted one. As soon as it was possible, I pre-ordered my Pleo. Then I waited while Ugobe changed the schedule, each time making improvements and adjustments. More sensors. An externally rechargeable (and replaceable) battery. And finally, in mid-November. the announcement I had been waiting for.

       Continue reading "Pleo: Out of the Box"

Pleo: Out of the Box ( in category SciTech , Show & Tell ) - posted at Tue, 11 Dec, 18:24 Pacific | Comments (1)

Sunday December 9, 2007

Weekly Wrap-up 2007_49

I heard a bird sing
In the dark of December
A magical thing
And sweet to remember.

'We are nearer to Spring
Than we were in September'
I heard a bird sing
In the dark of December.

Oliver Herford

It's been chillier. Rich suggested I might want to look at getting an electric blanket. So we went down to Target and found a nice one. I only need a twin-sized (just for me, not for the whole bed). Yum.

I've been turning it on a couple of hours before I go to bed. It makes the sheets nice and warm. ...
       Continue reading "Weekly Wrap-up 2007_49"

Weekly Wrap-up 2007_49 ( in category Gemisch/Gallimaufry ) - posted at Sun, 09 Dec, 12:04 Pacific | Comments (0)

Friday December 7, 2007

Pixar Short Films

You've seen Ratatouille, Finding Nemo, Toy Story... But what about Lifted, For The Birds, One Man Band, and Geri's Game?

Have you seen Tin Toy? Luxo Jr.? Red's Dream? Have you seen the first Pixar short film, from 1984 (before LucasFilm was called Pixar), The Adventures of Andre and Wally B.?

       Continue reading "Pixar Short Films"

Pixar Short Films - posted at Fri, 07 Dec, 11:56 Pacific | Comments (0)

Thursday December 6, 2007

Re-orgs Hazardous to Teams

Today in commentary, I discuss the deleterious effect of Company reorganizations on teams.

On Monday, my manager said "We're having a re-org. But don't worry. it doesn't affect anyone in my group."

She was partially correct. There is no immediate, direct, acute effect. However, the longterm indirect effects are demoralizing. We're losing three people from the Team.

Read my commentary.

Re-orgs Hazardous to Teams ( in category commentary ) - posted at Thu, 06 Dec, 09:53 Pacific | Comments (0)

Thursday December 6, 2007

Jelled Teams

The excerpt below is from Peopleware, by Tom DeMarco and Timothy Lister. Peopleware is one of my favorite, must-read, oft-recommended books. (I'm not alone in this recommendation; see Joel Spolsy's Book Reviews.)

I've had the pleasure and satisfaction of working in a Jelled Team. They're special. They're rare. They're endangered...

We tend to use the word team fairly loosely in the business world, calling any group of people assigned to work together a “team”. But many of these groups just don’t seem like teams. They don’t have a common definition of success or any identifiable team spirit. Something is missing. What is missing is a phenomenon we call jell.
       Continue reading "Jelled Teams"

Jelled Teams ( in category Books, Movies, Music , Special Interests ) - posted at Thu, 06 Dec, 09:31 Pacific | Comments (0)

Tuesday December 4, 2007

Treasures 2007_48

Creativity and imagination are part of the wonder sprinkled around us.
-- Author Unknown

These are my Treasures for the past week. Frog

  • The stuffed animals at

  • The just-rising sun, a blaze-orange ball peeking over the horizon

  • Now our grocery store has striped awnings!

       Continue reading "Treasures 2007_48"
Treasures 2007_48 ( in category Treasures ) - posted at Tue, 04 Dec, 22:25 Pacific | Comments (1)

Monday December 3, 2007

Weekly Wrap-up 2007_48

End of November. The weather has been chilly.

I did a bunch of Sys Admin stuff this week. We now have (once again) only one TWiki installation on CFCL. It's updated to v. 4.12. I merged the "Vicki's TWiki" into the main TWiki, made some subwebs... fought and trounced a buglet or two. ...
       Continue reading "Weekly Wrap-up 2007_48"

Weekly Wrap-up 2007_48 ( in category Gemisch/Gallimaufry ) - posted at Mon, 03 Dec, 22:06 Pacific | Comments (0)

Saturday December 1, 2007

Twitterings - November 2007

These are my Twitter entries for November.
  • We have a Mandatory "Corp Purpose, Strategy and Culture" meeting scheduled from 3:15 to 6:15 pm today. I'm so not looking forward to this. 01:25 PM November 01
  • The meeting this afternoon is not only mandatory but with seating assignments. Welcome to adult kindergarten in Silicon Valley. 01:26 PM November 01
  • Enjoying the sun being up (just barely) when the alarm clock goes off. More light when I get to work. At least for a few weeks. 10:09 AM November 05
  • Scary comparison: Yahoo! vs Google front page. Time lapsed: 10 years. 10:11 AM November 05
       Continue reading "Twitterings - November 2007"

Twitterings - November 2007 ( in category Retrospectoscope ) - posted at Sat, 01 Dec, 19:00 Pacific | Comments (0)