Thursday, December 14, 2006

White Christmas animation set to the Drifters version of "White Christmas"

A flash animation set to The Drifters' 1955 version of Irving Berlin's "White Christmas" created by Joshua Held in 2002. From Joshua Held's YouTube capture of the original Flash animation which is no longer linked from various sites. This is a national treasure... starring Clyde McPhatter and Bill Pinkney of The Drifters, the solo and bass ...


Angels watch the snowfall, Greenwood, Seattle, Washington, USA
White Christmas

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas
Just like the ones I used to know
Where the treetops glisten,
and children listen
To hear sleigh bells in the snow

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas
With every Christmas card I write
May your days be merry and bright
And may all your Christmases be white

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas
With every Christmas card I write
May your days be merry and bright
And may all your Christmases be white

By Irving Berlin

Pampas grass heavy with snow, Christmas Tree, Greenwood, Seattle, Washington, USA

Christmas Dogpaddling at Greenlake

Bejeweled Deer

Christmas makeover 2005

Christmas tree on SUV, Sakya Monastery,  in the fresh snow, Greenwood, Seattle, Washington, USA

Christmas Candies arrive at Mill Rose Inn, Half Moon Bay, California, USA

Termination Dust, Snow on Flowers

Anika, Shopping for Christmas Presents, antiques, Greenwood, Seattle, Washington, USA

Greenwood candy lit house

Secret Garden Party, Mill Rose Inn, Half Moon Bay, California, USA

Samantha Christmastree

Christmas House Decor, Stanford, California, USA

Sam's blue Christmas

yes the Seattle Harbor steps really look like this at night around Christmas

Mohammed The Christmas Bear

Jingling Christmas lamp decoration

Sage flowering in the snow, Seattle, Washington

Christmas window display, like music!

House, neighborhood walk, trees with snow, Greenwood, Seattle, Washington, USA

Pumpkins at entrance of the Mill Rose Inn, Half Moon Bay, California

secret dance party garden

Volcano maker in the Snow at Sakya Monastery Seattle

Termination Dust, Snow on Flower

The Word "Give" made of Toddler's shoes, Santa Cruz, California

Linda Lane Christmas Cane

Two Deer grazing at the Christmas House, Stanford, California, USA

blue stupa Sakya Monastery

Dreaming of a White Christmas, Elvis Snowman, Seattle, Washington, USA

snow falling, Monastery Stupa, USA, 2006

Stupa cat footprints

snowing  at the wingdome, Greenwood/Phinney Ridge, Seattle

Spring ice melting on glass, Seattle, Washington

Buddhist American Flag, Seattle

Where Phinney Ridge and Greenwood Meet in the Snow, Seattle, Washington, USA

Otis Lake snow berm view with birdhouse, Anchorage Alaska

Park Strip View, Anchorage, Alaska April 2007

dagoberts house at Christmas

B Street Music rocking with Santa playing a guitar and Rudolph on the horns

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Pray for Infomation - Death Cab for Cutie? The Thermals?

Pray for Information?

Searching Google (is that redundant?) on Death Cab for Cutie I found this image of the band holding up a sign "PRAY FOR iNFORMATION" Which lead me to the following blog entry:

"Most of the signs, however, feature contemporary slogans--some familiar, all straightforward and others terrifically witty. Death Cab for Cutie did three signs for the shoot: "Speed the Collapse," "Dissolve the Senate" and, riffing off the band The Thermals, "Pray for Information." (A helpful sidebar explains the provenance of each slogan.)"

Link rot and the fact the auction is over means I will have to snoop around to discover what "Pray for information" means in this context. Why? Because popular culture informs directions culture is turning even as a hyperreference.
My cultural informant is paz y amor - a teacher, he quotes the lyrics as:
"pray for a new age

pray for information
i can hope, see
even if i don't believe"

"pray for a new state
pray for communication
i can hope, see
even if i don't believe"

THEN the song tosses in this little paradox of a line.....
i believe...i think.....i don't know"

Interesting mix of prayer, information, and belief. Followed up by a little Spy vs Spy image.

Ok - it's a reference to Track 8, God and Country from The Thermal's "F****n A" album - Who are the Thermals?

The Thermals: Hutch Harris (vocals, guitar); Kathy Foster (bass instrument); Jordan Hudson (drums).Recording information: Avast Studios, Seattle, Washington (2004).*&artist=The+Thermals

For those of us living under rocks - and "Avoiding the Rush" Death Cab for Cutie are: Benjamin Gibbard, Nick Harmer, Jason McGerr and Chris Walla

Three reflections on an email design assignment

Adapting and Appropriating eMail, ProcessRight WorkFlow
Appropriating and Adapting eMail - ProcessRight Workflow Poster


I have always loved email since 1978 when I began using it over the University of Alaska’s UNIX main frame in Anchorage to email people in Fairbanks. Significantly at that time we were discussing music, Bob Marley and The Wailers (how I discovered them), another thing of strong social importance Microsoft managers failed to recognize as valuable.

Why Bill Gates and the factory did not see what a huge innovation email was, and how extensible, I never understood. Why, despite my input and the input of others at Microsoft, development for email failed to gain much footing. Until the last few years a very small amount of money was invested in developing email. This was due in part to the structure of the development managers directly reporting to Bill Gates -- within that hierarchical structure, at each level there is a decreasing amount of authority, however at the next level down one can not really question the voice of authority above. This is an old fashioned management style based on military structures developed for waging war.

From interviews I did last fall including one of a former Microsoft lead email development engineer, I found that all that required was one manager at one level to wipe out Bill Gate’s vision – if Gates said spend $10-$20 million, the next manager changed that to 3 million, or less, there was nothing the visionary email engineers below could do about it. Eventually they quit and formed other companies.

Everyone understood the value and power of email of communications – but no one, save the customer voting with their buying power, could get management to budge. Finally when Microsoft's eMail product became the leading selling product after Windows itself did Microsoft management take notice. They were forced to do so by the downward trend in stock value and sales. Now we clearly see all end users really need are two things – browser and email -- and some products can be both and more at the same time using the same basic interface.

I believe this is why we have this as an assignment – had Gates encouraged other non-traditional, cooperative, even tribal structures to form leadership in various ways the product we describe would already exist, not just be embedded as a possibility in applications such as Outlook which require a developer to pull into reality.

In this way, over so many years, I learned that new ideas can be killed due to stubborn traditional systems which may not be recognized for what they are. New ideas may long await fresh new management.


Having the third party review engage the cohort from our idea stage down to their formal presentation was a stroke of genius in envisioning and shaping up our resulting product.

I found much that I took for granted was still embedded in my thinking as an “of course” and not explicit. In communicating with people you have to make your ideas explicit.

So such usability issues as landing pages to track the results of a process are one of these “of course” structures, which will be included in my future product designs.

Performing recent usability studies I found the exact same problems with beginners learning software exist now as they did in 1989 – the year Windows 3.0 was released. In 1984 I recall having very little trouble learning the MacOS interface.


There is a small political commentary nod in our selection of the title for the company “ProcessRight” Actually it relates to the political LEFT because the public voided the Right. I recently searched on ‘processright’, and quickly realized it owes its name in part it to the format of method calls in C++ and C sharp, such as used in the Invaders game at Duke University:

public void processRight() - Provides the rules for what to do when a left event is pressed
processRight in class Game”

We used Google Talk IM to communicate in the last hours of our project. One of my cohorts, an employee of our favorite 800lb gorrilla across Lake Washington, may not want a GMAIL account to communicate using Google Talk IM.

It is true that Patton said, “There's a great deal of talk about loyalty from the bottom to the top. Loyalty from the top down is even more necessary and much less prevalent. One of the most frequently noted characteristics of great men who have remained great is loyalty to their subordinates." This should apply to Microsoft employees too.

But you got to get into the game so I invited my cohort to get an GMail account to learn what the other guy is doing - here is why - to paraphrase Patton (if even from the film) metaphorically --

'Google are Microsoft's enemy. Wade into them. Spill their blood. Shoot them in the belly. Lift their software and interface ideas.'

“For over a thousand years, Roman conquerors returning from the wars enjoyed the honor of a triumph - a tumultuous parade. In the procession came trumpeters and musicians and strange animals from the conquered territories, together with carts laden with treasure and captured armaments. The conqueror rode in a triumphal chariot, the dazed prisoners walking in chains before him. Sometimes his children, robed in white, stood with him in the chariot, or rode the trace horses. A slave stood behind the conqueror, holding a golden crown, and whispering in his ear a warning: that all glory is fleeting.” -Patton


Very much enjoyed working with my team – it was a blast!

“We're jammin'
I wanna jam it wid you
We're jammin',
And I hope you like jammin', too
Ain't no rules, ain't no vow, we can do it anyhow
I'n'I will see you through;
Everyday we pay the price with a little sacrifice,
Jammin' till the jam is through. Ooh, yea.

We're jammin'
To think that jammin' was a thing of the past
We're jammin',
And I hope this jam is gonna last
No bullet can stop us now, we neither beg nor we won't bow
Neither can be bought nor sold
We all defend the right; Jah - Jah children must unite
Your life is worth much more than gold. Ooh, yea.

[1] Song lyrics from Robert “Bob” Nesta Marley, “Jammin’” Release Date: 1977 Genre: Reggae Label: Tuff Gong Downloaded Monday December 9, 2006 from Lyrics originally published on the album.