Category Archives: Work

Apparently there’s no heard-immunity for communication skills.

Filed under blogging, Work

Over the past months I have made fewer posts than usual.There are several reasons for this but mostly it’s been negative reinforcement that anything that I write only gathers negative comments based on the formatting,length and typos rather than on the merits of the ideas contained within.
Via Robert Anton Wilson’s creations “Hagbard Celine” I believe truth often comes from fictional sources, cartoons and even cereal packets,is the belief that communication is only possible between equals and is contained within the explanation of  his second law
  "Accurate communication is only possible in a non-punishing situation."

How many situations like that arise? 
That may explain the planet a  little better but it’s not helping me.  The question that I would like to have answered is this.At which point do I benefit from everyone else’s communication skills? E.G.; it seems like addressing the correct audience is a one-way-street.
In other words I […]

I’m sure that I’m about to use irony correctly. Fred Pryor infomercial, er seminars.

Filed under Bad CS, reblog, Work

How to Communicate with Tact & Professionalism —

I’ve been in a training seminar two days this weeks with the below goal in mind.

“Become a polished, persuasive communicator and express your thoughts and ideas with clarity and diplomacy”

The diplomacy part likely occurred during my single restroom break,three minutes long, on the second day.

While I’ll address the material covered by the class in a future post I have concerns with the intrusiveness of marketing within the curriculum.

Anyone that’s read Professor Cialdini’s book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion (Collins Business Essentials),or Rushkoff’s Coercion may have been amused, as I was, that a seminar designed to teach you more effective methods of persuasive communication seemed to be using similar techniques to sell future conferences, audiobooks and training subscriptions.

I have no problem with selling during the breaks, displays within the room ,fliers in the course material. What I’d like is for them to restrict this solely to those areas.  In what  could be considered a mildly coercive environment the ethics of  this practice are questionable. Cheaper dictionaries refer to coercion only in terms of physical force and I can see my usage of this term being confusing in that light.I’m referring to an environment that is engineered to trigger as many of the six principles of influence within the first few hours.

  • Social proof.(people come forward to buy in breaks)
  • Scarcity.  (have to order by end of seminar)
  • Authority (The obvious one:)
  • liking. (Dr was likable, really good at what he does)
  • Commitment and consistency ( writing in the prices, and additions to the advert in the same format the rest of the class takes)
  • Reciprocation(Starts out with hey, schedule runs to 1630 but can get you out by 1600, next day 1530) To many that’s doing them a favor)

I can live with all the above, I may even be misinterpreting the above weapons of persuasion. Twenty minutes were taken up with Evelyn Wood’s speed reading course,and many other products,in the time preceding lunch on day one which to me seemed rather inconsistent with the stated goals. 

Looks like I’m not the only one with this concern.

  I seriously recommend both books to anyone that engages in commerce , eg every adult, in the USA.


Part 3. Further annoyance with "it is what it is"

Filed under blogging, Culture-internet, Work


I posted on the phrase on my other blog that I would like to extirpate this phrase  from the English language or at least the workplace. Rather than do an original one I’m running a semi ok off  post.  I’d prefer people would say ” it’s this way because”  which gives an indication that they’ve looked at the issue rather than just accepted it on a prima facie interest.

“it is what is is” 

Today I heard it several more times and  it didn’t have a calming effect , quel surprise? I needed to look further into what irks me so much about this new catch all.

It is what it is” means what it means. Depending on context, it can be a statement of resignation or of defiance, but in neither case does it connote the optimistic good humor of “It’s all good.” If anything, it expresses the absence of emotion, the abdication of feeling. Although it seems to imply value-neutrality, that misses the point; it’s not so much that something is neither good nor bad, but rather that its quality simply isn’t relevant, that it’s not worth the energy to make a value judgment.

To put it another way — it doesn’t matter what you think about it because you can’t do anything about it anyway. It was in this spirit that Al Gore invoked the phrase after winning the popular vote and possibly the electoral tally as well: “I strongly disagreed with the Supreme Court decision and the way in which they interpreted and applied the law. But I respect the rule of law, so it is what it is.”

Flak Magazine: It’s All Good vs. It Is What It Is, 06.11.03


Radar, Oh really ? It is what it is… Welcome to tautology Thursday.

One of the colloquial phrases, ok  maybe it’s not just AZ but I hear it more here, that’s been annoying me is the Popeye school of    “it is  what it is” as a cover all for  ill conceived, poorly implemented or ineffable solutions that have wandered onto the radar.This verbal chaff that’s tossed up in the air , rather than  fixing a location onto the problem , obscures the problem and by the time all the flakes have landed , or given up and go home,  there’s still the small matter of a  missile  bearing down on you. As a bonus there’s now less time and fewer options to react with.  

tautology – Definitions from
1. (logic) a statement that is necessarily true; “the statement ‘he is brave or he is not brave’ is a tautology”

REPOST: The Otterman Empire @ work: brandstreaming yet another nightmare that needs to find a way to Room 101.

Filed under Culture-internet, Social Media, Work

Like most things in life, the universe and what’s still being called social media , you can pull up some aphorism from some Greek that’s been dead for over two millenia to anchor your point to. Do no harm isn’t a bad one, and it’s a lot easier to pull off than do no evil yet neither are as compelling , or succinct as Wil Wheaton’s “don’t be a dick” as an almost libertarian reduction of the non aggression principle into the vernacular. (Sadly his writings on politics really don’t ultimately follow this but let’s not get into that)

In short it’s a set of rules for the relationship between creators, promoters and fans around Sci Fi / Fantasy conventions which can be extrapolated to most commercial interactions.

E.G Are we customers, consumers, data points or people that want to get things done?When you have a “voice” for a corporation engaged in social media maybe it’s a good idea to think about the above because the mode of address you choose in 3/4 cases is going to be wrong.

Can a corporation really be your friend? Does this construct sound real? X is out buying yummy things his company make , Y is out watching their Movie etc Does this sound remotely like a relationship your engaged in? If it doesn’t it’s for the obvious reason that it ISN’T.

I love dealing with people from companies, hate dealing with company names that have a rotating cast of interchangeable responses that would make Turing dance with glee. I can’t tell them apart from a machine or human either.

Wer in ur boahdroomz wutchin yu wit intrst

*invisible pink unicorn peace be unto her hooves.

And yet all some people see is the Matrix. OMG I’m commenting on testing again :D

Filed under sqa, Work

Three days into looking at Watir and I’m already reading testing blogs again. It’s an activity that I’m really good at when there’s not a 60/40 split e.g documentation is 60% The rest is testing. Amazing how many jobs have a role in their title that is actually performed less than the management of it I consider that more an American feature, not a bug?. Anyway here’s a nice look at testing that I think is applicable to a wider scope. This is what DARE and the war on drugs represent.This is TSA security theatre a creation of an unthinking system and then assuming that you’ve just nailed reality down to a grid. It’s the disease of all organizations designed to perpetuate the system that now makes the decisions above and beyond the reason they were created in the first place.

The trace matrix |

What I love about testing is what PMs and auditors hate. Now, I’m using big basic words like a child speaks with no shades of grey but that is how it feels and how I see the behaviors play out. PMs often want testing contained to a line item on a MS Project Plan but then nasty bugs show up with no regard to proximity of the ship date. Can’t we find all the bad bugs first? This question has amused me for years.

Cliff’s got a new blog: An exhortation to start that business you’ve always wanted to.

Filed under blogging, Work

Clifford, owner of Mobile HID ,  left a well paid ( ok  he may say otherwise;)  position to work on one of his ventures. Naturally  he wants to drag us all along. Check out his new  blog over at Clifford which gets off to a good start with a wake up call to those living in the cubes with aspirations to do something about it. 

However, I would actually like to challenge you to really think about your job. If you did not have a manager who gave you goals/tasks, what would you do?

A popular answer I’m sure would be “nothing”, however, one must make a living somehow and afford a roof over their head and food on the table so one cannot just do “nothing”.

Discoveries and Epiphanies

Will the iPhone kill anything other than common sense?

Filed under apple, cellular, Culture-internet, podcasting, Work


I’m going to start posting items from my work blog onto this one since I get more exposure here.

A couple of items appeared on my  reader in close proximity that  suggested that iPhone isn’t just a neat phone but it’s also the future of handheld gaming and the death of terrestrial radio.

It’s also the death of common sense least for  the current incarnation of the iPhone. Which network is going to have the ability to support that many real times streams?  If you don’t have immediacy it’s not radio.  Sure you can  DL the playlist  1st over night then just add in the  hosts  locally  may work, but  why bother  what are we trying to achieve here?   Replication of radio? Why if it’s so bad, would we want to?

Apples  target… 10 million  phones.

Yep that kills radio’s    more than 1 unit per person.   > 300 million.
that kills  Nintendo’s ( just one  companies) 20 million  DS base.

It doesn’t even kill XM/ Sirius  merge  with  17.3 million paying users.  It’s a bit late to walk by the  bleeding corpse of radio  and get your friend to take a picture of you standing with your foot on its chest.  That’s the perception of radio anyway.   Sadly it doesn’t jibe with these results.

Radio reaches more than 235 million listeners over the course of the week according to the RADAR 97 June 2008 Radio Listening Estimates. (link)

20 times more people than  Apple expect to sell phones to. Radio  Two controls,  no computer needed to keep it in sync  and oh battery life can be in weeks/ month range.

As to handheld gaming?  Would you  pay  $70 a month for your kid to play games on it?  Beggars belief really that it’s being seriously considered as a question. 

Can we start using the iPhone to do excellent iPhone  related things rather than trying to recreate the old world?

This is madness? No this is Utahhhh and not the Office, not the Onion just one motivated sales team.

Filed under Work

Ernunnos gets off a better title than I thought of.  I thought “who moved the cheese” was the worst corporate torture possible but it seems that there’s too much sun in Utah..

everlastinggodstopper – Oxygen…

Emergency Room 2.0 … Post coming soon.

Filed under Erin, Family, Work

While sitting in ER for oh say; six hours I have come up with several ways to improve the process and nearly all of it is to do with data. and one to do with the kind of service that makes me want to put people in ER , sadly they are already there.

In a nutshell.; If you have to have a sign up saying; that your company cares it’s already too late for you.

Erin was carted from the workplace today  after chest pain; with all the accompanying symptoms that suggest something is having a hearty old attack on the main pump. She’s stable and hopefully resting after a long time to get from waiting room to a waiting room to a bed  in the corridor to one in the ward to having the room usurped

Early indications are that nothing immediately serious is present but  we’ll know more in the morning.

Bits and pieces. Blame it on the weather:D

Filed under General, Work

Trying to work out a problem that should have been a module in the role playing game, and now form of government, Paranoia.

Here’s the scenario.

Prevent future mistakes by recalling the path taken and the process that led to your current pickle. 

Do so without  past actions  having negative values attached, e.g showing  responsibility for a poor decision which leads to the B word, blame. 

A mentally common tragedy , or a tragedy of the mental commons?

Why was it done this way?   

Where’s the supporting work for the above answer?

Why  didn’t we attempt to generate the supporting info?  

I have two goals at work. Improve the areas I can, advocate for those I can’t yet improve  and  ,there’s no place I’d rather be since I found Serenity( prayer except I’ll  swap god for Eris),pass on those that have a low value of success in relation to the effort to implement them.

Goal two gather bio survival tickets by being effective in the former.  

I’ve yet to find a method of investigating the past decisions that are separate from the decision makers.

So far it’s going all Hal 9k on me.

I love timing

Filed under Erin, motorcycle, Work

 Fun day,   took the Meanie to work ( that’s a 1600 V twin Kawasaki that’s really not nearly as mean as they make out)   and since it was  one of the  Employee appreciation days  ,  we break around midday to  either go bowling, movie, eat and sometimes two out of the three. Today was bowling and while  the the team I was with had a great first round we dumped the second set.    Usually after these  events people wander home early , or on time if you start at 0700,  so I took a trip to see a BMW F800s that was for sale  and to get a trade in price for one. Walk in the door,  my boss is standing there  with…  the very bike I’d came to see already in the bag so no F800 for me.  I was also looking for trousers since tending to Creddy’s  road rash has made me appreciate non sucky gear even more than previously.

I am  selling the  Meanie,  it’s a great  short distance  bike, you know  cruising 40-50 miles, stop , drink, yap,  repeat   but it’s not me. It’s stable , really stable at speed , sounds amazing and tis so shiny that la gazza ladra is after it. 

 I’m   stuck in two camps  I love speed and I love comfort  and on the whole prefer to leave the chain behind and go  shaft  which most of my bikes have had.   I’ve had a chain  come off and whip round just missing leg and one  come off when cornering on a roundabout and lock the rear wheel  (since I’ve since had a kid the accident didn’t do any perm damage. The 1st   i can attribute to  poor maintenance ( hey I was  12)  the second  was just dumb luck ( bad type)  so here we have the F800 which appears to fulfill my  long distance, speedy and stoppy sensations and not cost an arm and a leg plus they had an offer in OCT for low finance for the very model that they won’t have in for a bit. Still I’ll get to see “my” bike at work 

BMW Motorcycles: Bikes: F 800 S

The views expressed on this website/weblog are mine alone and do not
necessarily reflect the views of Go Software, Inc.

Accountability in public office Chinese “take out” their “FDA” Head

Filed under Culture-internet, General, political, reality, science, Work

All we do is subject our official to is public ridicule and a cozy life in the private sector after a quiet period. China seem to take corruption just a tad more seriously.  Oddly enough it’s better here, more democratic, e.g you bribe more people;)

China executes former food and drug safety chief

BEIJING – China executed the former head of its food and drug watchdog on Tuesday for approving untested medicine in exchange for cash, the strongest signal yet from Beijing that it is serious about tackling its product safety crisis.

Cleaning up. Changed hosts, lost a year..:D

Filed under blogging, Work

A frustrating time migrating a blog from my old host ICD soft to was had by all, ok was had by me:) Since the max fileupload  in the php.ini  is 2mb and the DB max upload is 2mb from the same limitation  I had the split WordPress’ backup into pieces and then load them independently . In short 2005 will be back soon:)

Meantime the odd missing link/ image is being chased down but I have work to do getting another blog out the door rather than this one.. 🙂

general this and that ; maps, guns, bad movie, stuff

Filed under Family, firearms, reviews, Work

Firstly  Live Earth from MS has replaced google’s version  as my favorite for entirely parochial reasons namely…… 

This is my parents airfield and scrapyard in Scotland with a really good resolution.  Hell some of the ones taken by the microlight 2000ft up aren’t as nice.  Soon a map to all of the places I can recall living in.

Last night:  A night at the Museum.. everything comes to life, apart from the acting ability, the character development , the ability to not telegraph physical humour  or go for the most obvious sight gags or  humor on the lowest shelf. 

Tonight: Range, and it’s obvious that my skills have deteriorated badly from 1-2 times a weeks.   I’m just going to bite, er ,the bullet and return to a weekly basis of 100 9mm’s  and 100 45’s and 50 357’s  which means a lot more lunches in the workplaces discount section.

Work’s been sullen the last 2 days re the untimely demise of an employee under the most senseless circumstances,  sadly  I  fit in with a Heinlen quote re the nature of man and   Jubal  didn’t seem to be offering it as a compliment.

“Man is the animal that laughs”

It’s usually all I have left,  it’s my way with dealing with life , universe and everything yet .At the time I most have to respect other’s insanity re their man in the sky providing  “sense”   which is a one way street.

Public transit. The most efficient way to move money from A to B. We’re on a road to nowhere.

Filed under media, political, state gone wild, Work

Longest Valley bus route ties Ajo, Gila Bend, Phoenix

The Arizona Department of Transportation has started a study of rural transit needs statewide, bolstered by the fact that Route 685 carried 371 people last month, a more than tenfold increase from April 2005. That was the first full month after the route was restored. It had been discontinued in 2000 after funding dried up.

Do the math   371 people ( that’s not different people btw though the article wants to make it sound like this is a neat thing it’s about  5 a day,  4 journeys a day   and 5 days a week with an annual budget of over $400k.  You are having money forcibly removed from your paycheck to provide a service more expensive than buying a cheap car for all these people, insuring them and giving them gas AND giving them $7 for each journey. It certainly takes a state to fork things up in the road that much.
cue the bleeding brain…

It would really be a blessing, and I don’t mind spending some of my tax money for something that’s needed,” she said. “There’s no way these elderly people could afford to drive themselves, even if they were physically able.”

Let’s make a deal.. you pay me to commute from Payson, where we’d rather live, since to me it’s very much needed. Actually, let’s not make that deal.  There’s no way people can afford to drive themselves  because ,er,could that be  because  some officious pricks thought that the money they could have used to provide for their own wellbeing was better spent on other “needs”?