Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Software Career Timeline Posted

It's not a resume, just a few highlights, and it needs some fleshing out, but I wanted to provide something of a roadmap for anyone digging into the professional "me".

You can find it here.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Obama in 'Bama

Today I drove down to Birmingham to see and hear U.S. Senator and Presidential Candidate Barack Obama in the Bartow Arena on the UAB campus. It was a capacity crowd with a lot of young people; I guess that should be expected in a university setting, but it still took me a little off guard. He is erudite and personable; a realistic idealistic pragmatist. And I believe I feel the same way that Caroline Kennedy, JFK's daughter, said she felt in her endorsement yesterday of Obama. She said that he is the first candidate to ever make her feel the way people tell her that her father made them feel about a Presidential candidate.

(Click on the links to see the snapshots that I took.) He was introduced by the local congressman, Artur Davis. Davis, representing Alabama's seventh district which includes Birmingham, is currently the only African American Congressman (or Senator) from Alabama. The historic relevance of this Congressman and this Candidate sharing the spotlight in this city did not go unremarked. All the same, it was a diverse crowd that cheered plans for ending the war in Iraq, increasing the national focus on education and healthcare, for open honesty in Washington D.C. and for an end to the era of George W. Bush and his cronies.

Obama spoke for almost an hour. And I listened to half of his audio book on the drive to and from Birmingham, "The Audacity of Hope". I enjoy listening to him talk; he has a Rod Serling-esque cadence and has an excellent command of the English language. He does not do the bumbling good ole boy that our current President does, yet he's still friendly and he can joke and tell a story: "...and everybody loves my wife Michelle. Yes, everybody loves Michelle! Hey, friend, don't be grinning THAT much...." And he riffed on "Hope": he hopes to have an Enviromental Protection Agency that protects the environment; and he hopes to have a Federal Emergency Management Agency that knows something about managing federal emergencies. And right now I hope he gets the chance.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

My View of "Watchmen"

From my freshly minted review: " epic story, original in its juxtapositions..."

Monday, January 21, 2008

Cheaters Review

I've just posted a Current Reading List page and linked it off my Reviews page. I'm sure I'm not diligent enough to keep it up to date, rather it's just a sneaky way of being able to flog some books that I may well never get all the way through. Not that I wouldn't like to, it's just that one thing drives out another and my day job drains a certain amount of my mental and eyeball energies. And some of this stuff is relevant, with the elections upcoming and all.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Pink McFactoid

Author Dan Pink posted a McFactoid yesterday, about which I have to say:

That’s generally true across the Quick Serve Restaurant spectrum (that most of their business is via the drive-thru), from Arby’s to Zaxby’s, which is one thing that makes HyperActive Technologies’ “Bob” product so interesting. From the web site:

During busy meal times, no task is more difficult than anticipating your food production needs. Our flagship product, HyperActive Bob, actually sees the flow of customers coming into your lot and takes over the task of making real-time cooking decisions…

Similar real time “Impending Demand” systems are being employed for such things as managing elevator usage in office towers.

(Disclosure: I was a founding employee at HaT, but have moved on.)

Pollsters? Pooey

Having recently become more of a fan of Barack Obama and his run for the Presidency (I was impressed by his Google interview), I wasn't thrilled to see his second place finish in the New Hampshire primary this week. But I was thrilled to see the pollsters get it wrong.

One pundit tried to explain away the unrealized Obama victory prediction by saying that New Hampshire voters don't like to follow suit to the Iowa voters. I think it is just as likely that the New Hampshire folks don't like their outcomes to be predicted and treated as a fait d'accompli before the fact -- that is, they just liked messing with the polls. More power to them.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Constitutional Convention in Iowa!

I watched just a few minutes of the Iowa Caucuses on TV last night. While I was interested to some extent in which candidates came out on top, what was more heartening was the process, at least in the one Democratic party precinct that I caught. They were seriously, and with decent debate, considering whether to send proposed amendments to the U. S. Constitution to become part of the Democratic Party platform. These were good, average Americans from our heartland and here they were having a serious discussion about amending the Constitution, and now with emotionally charged things like flag burning, but with practical and serious matters. The one I watched mostly was a proposal to strip corporations of the rights of actual citizens, i.e. those things guaranteed in the Bill of Rights. Apparently case law has built up to where corporations have protection like free speech that make it difficult to limit things like billboard placements. I don't remember the exact wording of the amendment but it included something to the effect that corporations needed to be doing a preponderance of societal good in order to maintain the liability protection that they enjoy. The debate got down to where the liability should land, e.g. should the board of directors become personally liable? Should the common shareholders? the corporate officers? I think the idea has merit as a way to hold corporations, including multi-national corporations operating in the U.S., more responsible for their actions. But the big point is that typical Americans are still capable and interested in addressing issues at this fundamental level. It was good to see.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Elf Power Follow-up

Apparently Elf Power is an old Favorite for some folks .
It's actually not too surprising that my good friend and former WHRW DJ David Rawson was already well aware of the band. The embarassing part is that my own web site has had an Elf Power song listed on it for years. I host David's top music lists for each year, and you have to go all the way back to 1999 to find Elf Power's, "Will My Feet Still Carry Me Home", as his number six song in his Top 100 Songs of 1999.