Saturday, September 29, 2012

Weekend Haiku

Not this human sadness,
but your solitary cry.

Basho (1644 - 1694)

Friday, September 28, 2012


Here is the official video of Regina Spektor performing Samson. It is flawless. Enjoy and happy Friday.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

It's time...

To put an end to the mess that is the NFL season so far. Last night's MNF offering should be the straw that broke the camels' back. If I am not mistaken, during the broadcast I think I heard the announcers openly pleading for the commissioner to settle the battle between the league and the officials and bring back the real guys. The replacement refs are simply out of their depth (no fault of theirs) and every week the situation degrades just a little bit more. For my part, when the real guys do come back (and mark my words...after last night they will) I promise never to denigrate a real referee again, no matter how bad I think the call is. Well, for a couple of weeks at least.

UPDATE: Check out some of the better tweets about the whole brouhaha by NFL players here

Leaving ADDIE for SAM

For those of us who have slogged through ISD projects using the ADDIE model and found ourselves behind schedule or over budget, here is another methodology. SAM or the Successive Approximation Model can be an antidote to the analysis paralysis which sometimes befalls strict constructionists who utilize the ADDIE methodology. I am neither a defender nor detractor of ADDIE which I have used quite effectively on many occasions to guide me through complex projects. SAM looks very promising and in my view is more akin to the rapid prototyping school of thought. Here is a brief look at SAM from Allen Interactions. 

With the use of any of these models it is not the arrow, but rather the archer who ultimately decides the success or failure of any project. The model is but a tool to aid the designer along the way.

Monday, September 24, 2012

It's Monday

And we all know what that means. Time for another MOTW, Manager of the Week. Not well liked or received at all, this is the type of manager you might bring in to look over your finances if you were overspending.

MOTW: Chainsaw Manager

Brought in with the expressed purpose of firing at least half the staff. Is gone shortly after, usually to a higher position and after receiving extensive praise from Senior Management. Leaves a trail of body parts, bad morale and disillusioned people in his/her wake.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Weekend Haiku

The dragonfly,
dressed in red,
off to the festival.

Issa (1763 - 1827)

Friday, September 21, 2012

John Barelycorn Must Die

This is thoroughly awesome. Here is Steve Winwood performing an acoustic version of the Traffic song John Barleycorn Must Die from the album of the same name. I have always been impressed with Winwood's overall musical genius. I swear there isn't an instrument he can't play. Enjoy and happy Friday. 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The importance of non-cognitive skills

With all the emphasis society (schools and job markets especially) places placed on cognitive skills here is a short 2 plus minute video of economist James Heckman emphasizing the other side of the coin. In the video he explains the predictive value of the marshmellow test. I am a firm believer in soft skills and their importance for success in life. The good thing about soft skills is they can be learned and improved, and I am forever working with my kids on them.There is another word for non-cognitive skills. That word is character.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Happy Birthday

To the smiley face emoticon, which according to tech historians, celebrates its 30th birthday today. Scott Fahlman is credited with originating the emoticon when he used it in a message on one of Carnegie Mellon's online bulletin boards at 11.44 a.m. on September 19, 1982. :-)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Saved by a shark...

A man adrift for 106 days after being lost at sea in a small boat credits a six foot shark with alerting him to the presence of his eventual rescuers. I have heard of dolphins coming to the aid of desperate seafarers, but sharks? It's usually the other way around. Stories told of sharks tend to focus on them speeding up the demise of ill-fated sailors, not aiding in their rescue. I guess there is always a first time for anything.

Monday, September 17, 2012

It's Monday

And we all know what that means. Time for another MOTW, Manager of the Week. This next manager is a source of frustration for staff. Although he/she is typically not a bad person, and harmless enough in the office, his/her inattentiveness and lack of focus can cause strife in the environment.

MOTW: Clueless Manager

Not to be confused with Incompetent Manager, Clueless Manager has the skills, but is just not perceptive enough to understand what his/her staff is thinking, feeling or going through. Usually lives in a world of his/her own making where things seem to be fine which they may or may not be.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Weekend Haiku

Sad beauty?
the morning glory-
even when it's painted badly.

Basho (1644 - 1694)

Friday, September 14, 2012

Get 'Em Goin'

From the CD Just Feels Right, here is a recording of Euge Groove's Get 'Em Goin'. That is one sweet sax sound. Enjoy and happy Friday.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Quote for today

Football season has started thank goodness. You have to love the linemen of the NFL. Here is a great tweet from Adam Carriker, the Washington Redskins defensive end.

"I miss newspapers. It's weird hitting a dog on the nose with an iPad. @4thandpain"

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The case of the levitating putter

I missed the basket on hole seventeen this weekend, the disc rolled and wound up suspended on this stick for the levitation effect you see here. My buddy Mike F. took the picture. I did wind up four under for the round, so the levitation did not adversely affect my score.

Monday, September 10, 2012

It's Monday

And we all know what that means. Time for another MOTW, Manager of the Week. This next manager sweats the details, the big issues, and everything in between. He/she is definitely related to Crisis Manager.

MOTW: Brouhaha Manager

This manager blows every single minimal detail into a full-blown crisis, regardless of whether it matters or not within the overall scheme of things. Brouhaha Manager thrives on chaos and hyperbole. Controversy follows this manager wherever he/she goes and giving this manager a wide berth is highly recommended. Aspirin is also recommended as working for Brouhaha Manager can result in suffering debilitating headaches with regularity.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Weekend Haiku

Fleas in my hut,
it's my fault
you look so skinny.

Issa (1763 - 1827)

Friday, September 7, 2012


Prince on guitar and Cee Lo Green singing the Gnarls Barkley hit Crazy in concert. First of all, it's a great tune, second, Cee Lo has a great voice and third Prince is a musical genius. This is his concert but he does not overshadow Cee Lo as he sings the tune, just plays the guitar to perfection. Enjoy and happy Friday.

Monday, September 3, 2012

It's Monday

And we all know what that means. Time for another MOTW, Manager of the Week. Remember the rule about officers not fraternizing with the enlisted men. This next manager obviously does not.

MOTW: Just One Of The Guys Manager

Never really manages. Instead tries to join in all the repartee and shenanigans of the regular Joes/Janes that comprise the staff. He/she is usually not respected and not very effective.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Weekend Haiku

Going home,
the horse stumbles
in the winter wind.

Buson (1716 - 1783)