It started as a few pictures of Christmas in the Beach.
It turned into a two day project, learning to use Pinnacle Studio , all to create a 60 second video of Walter.
Life is good.
I am jammed into the 501 streetcar, with a lap full of gifts, and a face full of ass. No, I said I was on the streetcar, not the street. This, the Friday before a Tuesday Christmas, is rather a busy commuting day. I walked a block West to get on the car at all. Many riders can not reach a hand hold, but no matter - there is no room to fall.
The red rocket is not just full - it is full of interesting characters: a drunk who asked the time, time and again; an elderly woman praying into a plastic bag; a gaggle* babbling about their adventure TTC adventure, laughing and hanging on to the poles in the doorway; a scruffy man yelling "Merry Christmas, man!" out the window to a friend on a bike; two men moaning and bitching about, well, everything; Santa - I mean really, he looked like Santa! - standing to my left.
Not a comfortable ride, but a good ride, filled with mostly happy, smiling - and tired - faces.
Happy Ho Ho!
*"Gaggle" is the official collective noun for teen girls: pod of whales, murder of crows, gaggle of girls. I'm not certain, but I think the collective noun for teen boys is a "bluster". Actually, that might apply equally to just one teen boy. And now that I consider it, is there one for commuters? A "quest" of commuters? A "rush"? A "crush"?
I just took this 'how good a BA are you' test at http://www.inquestra.com/baiq/index.html. Take the quiz before you read my responses, below - it will make much more sense.
Congratulations on your Business Analyst IQ rating. (Note: 75th percentile means that you scored higher than 75% of those taking this test.)
Your overall Business Analyst rating is:
Analytical Thinking & Problem Solving
Requirements Elicitation and Analysis
Logical Reasoning and Systems Thinking
Information & Process Modeling
The figure is cut out and folded along the lines to form a cube. What is the letter on the face opposite the face labeled A?
Did the rotation wrong in my head, and deserved the fail - I could have modeled the solution.
Which of the following statements do you most agree with:
b) While the sponsor may own the requirements, the analyst is responsible to assist in defining it.
Aside from the grammatical problem (plural in first clause, singular in second), the question is ambiguous. I think they were trying to say: "The BA is responsible for the definition of requirements, regardless of who owns the requirements."
The best way to identify data requirements is:
b) Through the description of business activities or use-cases.
This is true if the context for the activity is a Customer or User driven scenario. Like all 'Best Practices' it is only true in context. It is equally "best" to identify process requirements based on information needs - particularly in a highly regulated environment, where the data produced must conform to an external standard - regardless of how you produce it.
Which of the following is NOT a characteristic of a good Business objective?
Poor question. Presumes that SMART (where A = Achievable) is the sum total of all 'good' attributes for a business objective. These are likely useful. They are not the whole story. I suspect accuracy - or rather, known degree of accuracy - is a fairly critical attribute of an objective.
An RRSP (in Canada) or a 401k (in the US) is best described as a:
Um. Okay? I'm pretty sure I've got investments in my RRSP, and that daily withdrawals and deposits are not a big feature of the RRSP, and that it's money I put away to gather interest for a later time, but hey, I'm a bit of a monkey and I don't know what a 401k is.
Price is to Order as:
e) Cost is to Product
c) Balance is to Account
What sort of trick question is this? I just took six comparisons to get my answer. I wonder what they did.
A user enters a person's name to retrieve their customer profile. How many possible types of outcomes could there be?
e) 4 or more
Outcomes are (usually) the successful results of the execution of the process - what the process is supposed to achieve. In this case there are 3: match 0, match 1, match many.
Perhaps 'types of outcomes' is the trick. This may mean categories of process termination states. But wait - there are still 3:
I guess 'types of outcomes' means 'possible effects from the cause and other factors', in which case the answer is infinite. For example:
Infinite answers are not terribly interesting to me. Fun to tear apart though.
How many grammatical errors are their in the following sentance: Except for external documentation that affect legislation, the appropriate supervisor must authorize each document. This policy will effect all personnel and assure that we conform to recent corporate directives.
Let's ignore the spelling error in the question.
No, really, try.
The second sentence is out of scope. (Grammatical errors: 0)
Without the context for the first sentence, grammatical integrity may be ensured by pluralizing the word 'affect'. It's still meaningless, but grammar and meaning are separate concepts. (E.g. The sentence "Colourless green ideas sleep furiously." is grammatically correct in English, and also has no coherent meaning.) In this case, I'm not sure what sort of external document might influence legislation, but I do know that supervisors do not authorize them. (Grammatical errors: 1)
Did any of you feel ripped off when you discovered that there are really only 19 questions (not the 20 promised at the top of every screen)? Sheesh.
Walter, born* May 16, 2007, is going to have his boys eviscerated. The mojo shall be no more.
Why yes I am a little sensitive about it kind of you to notice.
It's not that I think it's a bad idea. This cut is the kind kind**. My discomfort lies more in the realm of the sympathetic agony, and the ending of possibility. There will never be a puppy named Slobberface*** Walterson, and that makes part of me sad.
*If you're interested in the birthplace of the boy, see:
8148 4th Line
**It took me some time to figure out how to put together a sentence where 'kind kind' kind of made sense, and with a judicious use of quotes, ' 'kind kind' kind' kind of makes sense too.
***Not necessarily the hypothetical non-puppy's possible name.
For the record: I love winter.*
The best part of the first snowfall is the way it dramatically improves the way the world looks**, and also raises the skill level of the average driver.*** There were well over 100 accidents in the GTA this morning - I wasn't one of them, but it did take 90 minutes for me to get door to door, home to work.**** I got a bit excited when I reached the underground parking at Yonge and Sheppard - it was the first time I shifted from second to third.
The first statement is still true though - driving or not, I love winter.
** See *.
****Scraping the ice off the car after searching for the scrapie after searching for the gloves after getting the doors unfrozen added 20 minutes to my total trip. C'est la vie (or as dad puts it, "Sest le vest!").
Okay, they really _are_ that yikesy likesy, but they never say 'um' - 'like' has replaced it.
They are also intelligent and observant. Much of their conversation revolves around family and friends, and the strange land called the past - where their parents live.
I recall having exactly the same conversation when I was a youth - I think it is a mandatory deliverable of childhood. I had a very rough day - they made me smile the whole way home.
So, thanks, anonymous young ladies enjoying life. :)
Kevin says what I am doing is "awesomely geeky." We've been, well, competing over who's the bigger geek. It's neck and neck - I live blog, but he's written D&D books.*
Life is good.
*Not the first D&D - the D&D that came after the AD&D that came after the first D&D.
Yeah, we're geeks.
Dad wrote very funny letter to me for my birthday present - at least, very funny to me. Anyone else might also call it funny - meaning eclectic, obscure and odd, as in 'that's a funny smell'.
Mom and dad stayed over with us last night. Originally they were going to a concert - Autumn Leaves On Steel, 2007. We did some trading around - I went with dad, and mom spent the evening with Kath. They went out for dinner and talked (with My Big Fat Greek Wedding on in the background). I was treated to a great show - far and away the best pan I have ever heard or seen.
The format is different from the traditional steelpan performance; instead of a steelband or a few pan playing calypso or such, a set of pannists performed with a jazz ensemble - Bruce Skerritt and the Liamuiga Project. Here's the rundown:
Amazing. I'm glad I traded with mom (not that (feeling the hole getting deeper) I don't value an evening with Kath (trouble coming) but it was something the boys enjoyed more than our ladies would).
*And well - that's not a euphemism!
A few weeks ago I saw a wonderful link to a thought provoking presentation about the future. I thought about typing it out, but searching is easier, and the source of everything is somewhere online.
The second link on Google had it. Mr. Fisch is a teacher, who was trying to help his colleagues understand what is coming. His presentation is spectacular.
If you're a Trini, you'll get that joke.
Walter just woke up, walked over and flopped down on my feet. He doesn't lie down. He collapses with a resounding thump. I gave him some loves - too cute for words - then went back to work.
He got up, went to the back door, and sat looking outside - he doesn't bark or whine - just stares at the place he wants to be. I let him out, expecting him to walk to the garden to relieve himself. Instead, he flopped down on the deck, and basked in the cool autumn air.
I love my boy.
Oh, and now he's chasing motes of dust in a beam of sunlight. Almost painfully cute. Too bad about the bee-sting in his mouth next spring.
At 10:00 on October 30, 2007, Walter weighed 45 lb / 20.4 kg.
Although it feels like his growth is slowing, Walter is still putting on at least 5 oz a day. He peaked in September, at 5.5 oz/day; now he's down to 5.1 oz/day.
I think the reason we feel like his growth is slowing is perceptual: he's putting on a pound every three days, but it's harder to see on a bigger dog.
Note: I was going to call this post "Walter takes his foot off the gas" as an allusion to our illusory perception of deceleration. Unfortunately, this is not an appropriate metaphor.
John Doyle, a CalTech researcher, has been studying and developing theories to describe the way complex systems maintain stability and control. For Doyle, the interesting questions are the deep questions: what are the common controls that all complex systems have? He cares about the nature of the system because he cares about real world impacts, but it is the deeper identity that drives him.
Real world, you ask? Right now he's investigating bacterial metabolism, but Doyle and his team have developed technologies that shatter current Internet speed records without requiring new infrastructure. Impressive.
Several years ago, I started reading daily comics online. I became frustrated with the services offered by comics.com and ucomics.com and others pretty quickly; I don't want to sort through emails to find my comics, and I don't want to be online flicking through page after page after page.
The first solution I built was an excel sheet that generated an HTML document - a web page generator. Each line on the spreadsheet created a link to a different comic. As long as I opened the page while online, I could read the comics at my leisure.
After a few months, I discovered that my desire for offline reading had grown, and that there were some comics I was saving frequently. As a result, the Excel sheet was not a satisfying solution.
The next version - which I still use - is an Access database. I could have written something from scratch using Visual Basic or .NET, but the database solution seemed simplest. Since February 24, 2005, I have used it to download around 150000 comics. I have a big stack of editorials (a great way to zero in on the important news without being overwhelmed with hopelessness and jaded by sensationalistic reporting), and a few that I save to read again (as the mood strikes me). The long and the short of it? I like comics, okay?
My list of favourites:
|Ballard Street||Strangeness. One of my all time favourites.|
|Big Top||A Boy, His Clown, and the Talking Animals Of The Circus. (rerun)|
|Calvin and Hobbes||Brilliant. They are running the series from start to finish, one a day. (rerun)|
|Doonsbury||Political satire, with a Liberal Democratic perspective.|
|For Better For Worse||On par with Peanuts in it's heyday.|
|Foxtrot||Now a Sunday strip only.|
|Natural Selection||Really Strangeness.|
|Non Sequitur||Quasi-political observational strangeness.|
|Red Meat||Awful strangeness. I mean it. Not for everyone. Sick. Really.|
|9 Chickweed Lane||Weird wordplay, romance, odd characters. Very imaginative.|
|Big Nate||The stories of a boy with many flaws.|
|Cow and Boy||Sort of Calvin and Hobbes-ish, but the Cow is real, and she talks.|
|Dilbert||Best. Workplace. Comic. Ever.|
|F Minus||Strange observational oddities.|
|Frazz||Brilliant story of a janitor at an elementary school. Sort of 'Calvin when he grows up'.|
|Get Fuzzy||Dogs, cats, weasels and humans can talk. But they're still dogs, cats, weasels and humans.|
|Pearls Before Swine||Animals that talk. Predators live beside Prey. Few humans. Horrible puns.|
|Tiny Sepuku||Weekly dose of twisted advice.|
|Sherman's Lagoon||Sherman is a shark - a big, dumb eating machine. Thankfully, he's allergic to crabs and turtles, so a few other characters survive.|
I've only been blogging for a little while; already I find the idiosyncrasies of the Blogger / Blogspot interface frustrating.
Enter Windows Live Writer, one of the new onlineish applications from Microsoft. It's pretty slick. It gives me a WYSIWYG editing pane for my blog, and simplifies the placement of pictures, text and tags. In fact, I added the picture in this post by hitting ALT-PrintScreen (to get the active window only), and CTRL-V (to paste it into the blog).
You think the title is misleading? Not at all. One value of a personal blog is that it forms what I call public memory. Many of my peers already think of the internet as "external memory"; when I can't recall that actor's name, I check google.
The trouble with technology, of course, is that it is so powerful. Without it, there are so many things I can't do, I feel emasculated.
Ok, that's too strong a word, and ignores about half of humanity, but you get the picture.
For a brilliant rant - the most recent on technology - check out http://logicallycritical.com. Very, very funny. Very, very astute.
Oh. Wait. That last one is all Wally.
His romping and rummaging in the underbrush is a joy to behold - and a horror to repair. He does NOT like being brushed but (again unlike papa), has no trouble with scissors.
...Foreshadowing not subtle enough?
It started with a few surgically removed burrs - mere skirmishes in the coming War. All too soon I realized that there was no middle ground: Walter Must Be Shorn or the Allies Would Die!
If the noise he makes while being brushed are any measure, he is big on hyperbole too - like father...
In my defense, he loves his new 'do, and it will look better after he goes to the groomers this week, and all I had
to work with was a squirming dog and small scissors. I couldn't get it all one length - some burrs were to the skin - but I think he looks pretty good.
It was a long drive to Mulmur. Normally a 2 -2.5h, the time was extended by:
a) being trapped behind an EVIL streetcar driver,
b) having to pull off the Gardner to push down the hood,
c) stopping in Caledon to get water and let the pups wander and widdle.
Each of these is a story in it's own right. The hood latch popped near the Yonge exit. I got out, but the first place I could stop safely was after the last on ramp downtown. Lakeshore was ok - even faster than the Gardner in spots, but still an extra 20 minutes. This, after sitting behind a streetcar driver who would open the doors and sit, no one getting on or off, for 30 - 60 seconds at each stop. People were going i n s a n e. Caledon was okay - just 1 person in line in front of me, with a dozen or so items, who took 10 minutes to finish paying.
One we finally arrived, the kids had a blast. Hannah and Walter rampaged across the land, exploring the tall grass, the gardens, the meadows. I pulled three burrs off Hannah's collar. Walter, on the other hand? I'm going to book Walter in for a shave on Monday or Tuesday. He h a t e s being brushed, and still squirms like crazy when I pull at the burrs, so I concentrate on the painful or hard-to-bite areas and leave the rest to him. He really does love the country!
Today is beautiful, windy, and autumnal. Leaves are changing, the air is crisp, and the sun low - beautiful light. The kids are romping again, chasing little tumbleweeds across the yard.
It's going to be a day full of work, setting up for the party. It will be a good day.
ABSTRACT. This paper argues that at least one of the following propositions is true: (1) the human species is very likely to go extinct before reaching a “posthuman” stage; (2) any posthuman civilization is extremely unlikely to run a significant number of simulations of their evolutionary history (or variations thereof); (3) we are almost certainly living in a computer simulation. It follows that the belief that there is a significant chance that we will one day become posthumans who run ancestor-simulations is false, unless we are currently living in a simulation. A number of other consequences of this result are also discussed.
This is true with this blog. My messages have been sparse, not for want of content, but for want of time to turn thoughts into content. For example, right now I am pounding my crackberry while waiting for a streetc-
Oop. It's here.
Sufficient to capture my attention, I crouched down to read the caption through cloudy, filthy plastic. It said, among other things, that the Puffin is Newfounland's official bird, that a Liberal MP has suggested it as a symbol to represent his party, and that it "...lays one egg a year, flaps it's wings a lot, and hides it's excrement."
I am no fanbay for the Liberals. I apperciate the wit and the sentiment. Oh, and I think editorials should remain on the editorial page.
Providing free SMS "...comes as Yahoo Mail faces stiff competition not only from traditional rivals such as Microsoft's Hotmail and Google's gmail, but also social networking websites such as MySpace and Facebook."How can a company incorporated Oct 22 2002 be a "traditional rival" to a company incorporated in March 1995? Gmail hit the scene as a beta circa 2004. Three years makes a tradition now? Less? Facebook is still a toddler in human years (started 2004, grew from 24 to 32
The thing that really struck me about all this was that the word felt right. Google and Yahoo are mature web citizens. Facebook is a perky kid, and Microsoft is geriatric. The time frames for traditions are quickly shifting: already, they are o longer based on the last human generation, they are based on the last digital one.
So what's this "bacn"? Last week (Aug 18-19), at Podcamp Pittsburgh this term was invented. Pronounced "bacon", it's any email you receive that isn't spam, but isn't really personal either. An electronic phone bill; Facebook updates; Google alerts: these are bacn. (BTW, the 'o' is missing in homage to the current trend of dropped vowels - like the blubrry network.)
Today, only eight days later, the search "bacn +spam" turns up thousands of entries on Google. It's a legitimate word, invented and in common use in days. I remember my excitement when "pythonesque" joined the 'official' dictionary. Etymonline says it originated in 1975, but I know it didn't become a 'real' word for at least a decade (I can't find a reference for this one - just my memory, from high school, I think).
The singularity will always be just a moment away - but the moment is getting shorter, fast.
All the references, implied and , are relevant.
I sit sipping, reading and writing for work and the IIBA. A figure: wrinkled and craggy; short and rotund; waddling walk into the shop; long ears; lips pushed up, cheeks pulled down; green tinge.
I spend a busy moment looking for a light saber or Frank Oz or both.
Then, as I examine the profile, I wonder: Yoda or Yodette? I can see only the left side. Gold earring. Old man golf clothes, but with that walk, not a golfer. Feminine shape to the face. Short.
I have no idea. I return to my laptop.
On the exit waddle, I see the person from the right. Much more masculine profile. Merlot shoes. No earring on the right.
Oh, I think. Wrong song; this soundtrack is by the Kinks, not Weird Al.
Note: I refuse to pay for a sub-ten-second Guinness, so if you want to see it in action you have to buy it. It's the only way to keep a lid on the madness.
Who knew a company off-site could be so much fun? The people up front are singing "Wasn't at a party" from the Irish Rovers.
I like my job. :)