Sunday, December 28, 2008

Celebrating Alaska Statehood 50 Years January 3, 1959 - 2009 - A Personal Reflection

Celebrating Alaska Statehood 50 Years January 3, 1959 - 2009 - A Personal Reflection
I remember it like it was just a few months ago - I was already 2 years old and my Mom, a second generation Alaskan - Dee Lane, and my Dad, a third generation Alaskan - Chic Lane, took my sister Lisa and I over the few blocks from our house on the corner of 3rd avenue down to the Park Strip to watch the bonfire in celebration of hard won Alaskan statehood.

There was a great huge pile of wood, and the fire was well underway -- men would run up with all kinds of wood, spare or not, and throw it on the fire. And a whole tree was thrown in too!  The tree being dry burned really fast with a great sputtering noise mixed with the festive scent of painted wood all together.  The United States Senate had voted to make Alaska the 49th state on June 30, 1958.

Just as we arrived from the north side a couple of men were dragging a large wooden box, the size of an outhouse or larger and throwing it on the fire, which was growing quite large. People stood around the fire in a huge circle and it was obvious there had been a bit of drinking going on. Part of a fence was thrown in, sometimes a couple of two-by-fours, or a 8 by 10 sheet of plywood, but mostly old sections of some built things.

My father ran up with his camera just as my Mom was buttoning up my sister's jacket, I think he had parked the car, having just gotten off of work as an architect. She wanted to know what had taken so long. She was pregnant with my brother Ward, born in July of 1958, we girls were born only 11 months apart.

The crowd was growing as the evening was coming in, and singing and hollering and whooping and dancing jigs, in groups of people cheering whenever a new item was thrown on the fire. It was pretty wild and I didn't see many children on the park strip.

Notably the people greeted each other by name since they knew one another! There were a lot of people there.

Later I was taught the "Alaska Flag" song in school. The flag was said to have been designed by Bennie Benson, but the truth was his school teacher designed it to help him submit something, and I think she was happy he unexpectedly won the award with her simple design; she didn't complain when her student got credit for her design.

My mom showed me the Anchorage Times newspaper which read "WE'RE IN!" we kept a copy of that paper for more than 20 years. The heat from the bonfire was so hot it burned our faces and kept us warm - finally my sister Lisa began to get too cold so our folks bundled us off to the house our grandparents built on the very corner of downtown Anchorage where the legal buildings are now, near the statue of Captain Cook.

"8 Stars of Gold on a field of Blue..." I had wonderful teachers. I stayed true.

From the time I was a babe in arms we had a visitor by the name of Yule Kilcher. He was a state senator and one of the most fascinating people I have ever known. I asked him once how many languages he spoke and he took a minute to count them all up and said - "if you include the dialects - it's 47." 47!!! Yule helped to write the Alaska State Constitution, and he stood for liberal causes in a conservative way. People now have forgotten that Alaska was once a liberal state, and it was the conservatives who opposed statehood.

When I turned 13 years old Yule took me to visit his farm down in Homer, driving like a mad man around each curve of the road which he knew every bit of from memory. Every where we stopped Yule spoke to the people in their native languages - and what a diverse set of people he knew - it was just everyone - speaking in Norwegian, Lap, Danish, Finnish, German, Russian, and French, and everyone was so happy to see him and asked us to stay if only for a bite, or tea, or sometimes a sauna! It was one of my most memorable life experiences as I met people from all over the world visiting Yule at his ranch, and his children and other family members and neighbors. I credit Yule with changing my world view completely.

So this photo was taken of the US Flag and Alaska State flag in front of the top floor fireplace in the Anchorage Pioneer's Home with the Christmas tree, when I was visiting my mom for Christmas.

Myself if I were to die today I could honestly say that I have lived a completely unique and unusual life due to being raised in Alaska, and knowing the people I have been fortunate to meet like Senator Bob Bartlett, who was greatly responsible for Alaska becoming a state of the United States of America, and Alaska State senator Yule Kilcher, his children, and Karin and Judge James Fitzgerald and family - Dennis, Denise, Debra, and Kevin, Glo and Victor Fischer and family - Yonnie, the Listons - Bill and Helen, Mike, Mary, Lissa, Gene Guess and family, the O'Malley's, Ernest Gruening (Governor Alaska Territory), Wendell Kay - Eddy Kay, Nick Begich and his family, Alex Duff Combs and his family, the Selkreggs, Gov Bill Egan (who remembered everyone's names and family), Jill Smythe, the Arns family, the Rosenthals, the Jensen family, Kathy 'Willow' Graves, and later folks such as the Browns, Judge John and 'Mama' Kay Reese, Nancy Byrd, the Fairbanks crowd; Drs. Forbes - John Forbes, Rob, the Deans - Doug Dean and Steve Dean, Nick Boseck and his family, the Hale family - Ed, Fred, and Billy, Jim Chase and family, Dennis Savage and his family, Dennis Hartley; the teachers at Orah Dee Clark and East High School, Anchorage Community College and UAA, and other notable people with enormous personalities and strong love for their fellow human beings. Really too many to write about here.

Having left Alaska to seek out world culture I became the student of Dagchen Sakya, a senior Tibetan Lama, where my Alaskan childhood served me well - as I traveled Thailand, India, Nepal, and studied what I believe is the real final frontier, not Alaska as the saying goes, but the innate nature of our own minds.

On January 3, 2009, Alaska will celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Alaskan Statehood, and I will be there in spirit remembering a fairly warm day of June 30, 1958 when my mom buttoned me up and said "Look at the bonfire Linda, remember it, because some day when you are much older, you will be able to say, I was there for the first one, when Alaska became part of the United States of America." I remember her black cat eye glasses frames, and the look of joy, pride, and concern on her face as she told me this with her dark brown hair pulled back, she looked into my eyes so closely. And I remembered the bonfire.

Someone told me recently that my life stories are like the movie Zoolander except real, so what's not to enjoy?

What I did not understand at the time was how rare my experience is, and how few people would be alive 50 years later who shared that experience. But I can honestly say, 50 years later, that I have lived because of Alaska, and because of the Alaskan community who raised me and infused my life with personality and love.

Happy 50 Years to Alaska, to Alaskans every where, to Americans, and to the World in which we live together - congratulations! To my relatives who are now raising the 6th generation of our family in Alaska - congratulations on the twins!

For a historical outline see:

Respect goes out to my elders - Great-grandfather who resurveyed the Alaska-Canadian Border based out of Eagle in 1896, my Grandmother raised in Ketchikan, my Grandfather Billy Murry who was a tailor and owned the New Method Cleaners and the Murmac Bar in Anchorage, my Grandmother Marion Murry who played organ during the silent movie era, to my parents Roland and Darlene, thank you to everyone who made Alaska more than just a beautiful place, but an amazing event.


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Space is the Final Frontier

Hi Dad,

One day at our favorite little coffee shop in lower Wallingford you showed me your cell phone and your digital tape recorder and said - "this is my office - every where I go - I just place ads take calls and make notes and I am in business."

I have to let you know you helped me out with something - that is recognizing that if I reduce the stuff I own down to a minimal amount I can be more mobile and flexible.
Oil is lit, cook at the Toast Bakery on his cell, Boudha, Kathmandu, Nepal party cell phone user 3 cell phone calls

So you are in a virtual business as a real architect meeting people and then doing the design and drafting at home (on paper but so what?). This virtual office ideal you were already living. While I may have considered myself hip and with-it as far as technology goes the reality is that isn't as true for me as it is for you.

Of course I had read about this kind of lifestyle, I knew it was possible. Working in technology companies, I helped to make it possible. What I knew about I hadn't integrated into my personship - although I am always looking for projects and design work to help people succeed, it had not occurred to me that in order for me to be happy, flexible, and carefree I have to dump old ideas even about what a job or an office is, and the accompanying stuff I have saddled myself with for so long. Sure I loved the stuff. But it's mostly gone now anyway having moved to a new flat on average once a year my entire life.

Linda Lane's HabitatSo I had saddled myself with a bunch of old ideas along with electronics and clothes and things to cook with and paperwork that I don't really need anymore. Arguably I don't even need my art supplies because I just digitize the resulting images anyway, and other than that in our age art is really a moving medium or a conceptional framework rather than something you hang on the wall. The things we hang on the wall are really more of artifacts any way.

What finally broke me through to your side - my 85 year old father's revolutionary mobile office of one highly skilled professional? I wanted to see the beach and take photos of people surfing the same day I was working, I wanted to watch the sun set, I wanted to be outside. It's not that there aren't enough photos of people surfing in the world, it's that I wanted to be there and I wanted to upload my images to Flickr immediately so that others world wide who follow my photostream - like a little movie of "What Does Linda Lane See?" - could view them right then, and any subjects could see their images right away!
Her Response
But I had work to do, a design to get out, so instead I stayed home. Finally late at night it dawned on me. My laptop has wireless, I have a car, I can do the design work (which is all digital) on my laptop, turn it in from a beachside coffee shop, and shoot the photos and publish them to the Web the same way. Duho!

So now I want you to know I am combing through all that remains to see how much can be donated to charity or shredded or dumped. And I won't be collecting more - I will collect things like a couple of lens and bodies for the camera, a video camera, and another laptop cause this one was never intended for the kind of traveling I plan to do. Life is too short to sit at home any more. It's going to take a while but I am going to live up to my name.

I love you Daddy! Thank you!
浮世絵, Ukiyo-e, the floating cell world Great Wall of China Phones Home

Monday, December 08, 2008

A Myth to Live By

Sometimes realities must be visualized before they are manifested. To do this it is helpful to draw on mythological paradigms, which make it possible for true transitions to be inacted with out the pain and sorrow that comes from cutting the film in one place and splicing on another reel with clear tape. Clear tape editing is out of style, and transitions that involve gentile trades in a way that suits modern art vehicles as well as real human needs is the style.

This in mind, our production art company promisses transitions between the creative
visualition of an artistic, architectural or environmental change from one thing to another using every available vision to make the changes virtually unnoticable to those who do not have a real insight into the transitionary principles we use, hermetic quicksilver. We call ourselves Star Shift Enterprise. Count on us.

Tacoma Glass Museum Cone Zone
Chris Wilkinson

Monday, October 27, 2008

"How is designing a service different than designing a product?"

Good question - what are we talking about? See Dan Saffer's Designing for Interaction interview with Shelley Evenson:

Shelley Evenson is an associate professor and director of graduate studies at Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Design.

"When designing a product, much of the focus is on mediating the interaction between the person and the artifact. Great product designers consider more of the context in their design. In service design, designers must create resources that connect people to people, people to machines, and machines to machines. You must consider the environment, the channel, the touchpoint. Designing for service becomes a systems problem and often even a system of systems challenge. The elements or resources that designers need to create to mediate the interactions must work on all these levels and at the same time facilitate connections that are deeply personal, open to participation and change, and drop-dead stunning."

Don't you love that? Person to person interactions to gather the information you need, not just looking through tons of Web sites and pages to get what you need? And here's a non-typical answer from an academic - she is talking about real business interaction needs and uses the term "drop-dead stunning" - don't you love it?

And from the images available by querying her name on Google - Ms. Evenson has a sense of humor ... as posted on ahn.sang-soo's site -

Also check out - Carnegie Mellon University's School of Design site -

Monday, October 13, 2008

Revisiting the 2008 Intranet Design Awards

A couple of things stand out about Dr. Jakob Nielsen's 2008 Intranet Design Awards that are worth revisiting, as 2008 draws to a close.

Here is his summary:
"Consistent design and integrated IA are becoming standard on good intranets. This year's winners focused on productivity tools, employee self-service, access to knowledgeable people (as opposed to "knowledge management"), and better-presented company news."

The Award Winners for the top 10 best-designed 2008 intranets are:

"1. Bank of America, US
2. Bankinter S.A., Spain
3. Barnes & Noble, US
4. British Airways, UK
5. Campbell Soup Company, US
6. Coldwell Banker Real Estate Corporation, US
7. IKEA North America Service, LLC, US
8. Ministry of Transport, New Zealand
9. New South Wales Department of Primary Industries, Australia
10. SAP AG, Germany"

First, the technologies Dr. Nielson mentions are best in class:

"The most-used products were SharePoint and the Google Search Appliance.[emphasis mine- Ed.] Other frequently used products were Red Hat Linux, Lotus Notes and Domino, and Oracle databases.

No single product made the list of most-used products for all of the four most recent Design Annuals (2005-2008). This simple fact reinforces the point that intranet platforms still have a long way to go. That said, the following products made the most-used lists more than once during this four-year period:

3 of 4 years: Google Search Appliance, Microsoft SQL Server
2 of 4 years: Apache, Documentum, IBM WebSphere, Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE), Lotus Notes and Domino, Oracle databases, SharePoint"

Winners of the International 2008 Information Style Award

The second item that Dr. Nielsen points out is the use of Microsoft's Silverlight for interactivity:

"In addition to these widely used intranet technologies, we constantly see new ones applied. For example, the Ministry of Transport is already using Microsoft's Silverlight technology to add interactivity to one of its intranet areas."

For 2009 expect to see more Sharepoint, Microsoft SQL Server, Google Appliance, and Microsoft Silverlight in use on intranets, in addition to the other things Dr. Nielsen mentioned.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

The Five Planes of User Experience

When working with a user interface designer, or a ui designer is working with a client, there are 5 levels of looking at the ui design:

• 5: Surface Plane: web pages made up of images and text.
• 4: Skeleton Plane: the placement of buttons, tabs, images, and blocks of text.
• 3: Structure Plane: abstract structure of the site.
• 2: Scope Plane: features and functionality.
• 1: Strategy Plane: what the owners and users of the site want to achieve.

The five planes build from bottom to top.

The planes have slight nuances, depending on whether the (part of the) web site under design is task- oriented or information-oriented.

Parabolic Window and Reflection, Bellevue, Washington, USA
Stagger Work on Planes
Do not wait for work on one plane to finish before starting on the next. There must be some degree of
iteration (feedback loop).
Work on a particular plane cannot finish before work on lower planes has finished.

Prof. Dr. Keith Andrews
Information Architecture and Web Usability
706.041 Information Architecture and Web Usability WS 2007/2008 3VU
Graz University of Technology
Inffeldgasse Austria

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Raising the F.D.I.C

These people on Wall Street are moving fast. Trying to push legislation that, they say, will save the world. Today's plan is to raise the Federal Governments insurance coverage of bank deposits. The present level of coverage is $100,000 per account. Lots of people, businesses have several accounts as it is.

Really! Who is being saved, here? How many people do you know that have over a $100,000 in the bank? How many people do you know that are surviving month to month? How many people do you know that are just not making it? Hungry kids. Homeless families. America?

Why should the people of the United States endorse or support a Congress that is being lullied by Wall St., and the Treasury, into insuring the cash of the rich -- while watching the public – the citizens of our country -- go under?

This is NOT America, not the land of democracy and freedom.

The issue all of us are facing, I think, is that our money has become so dependent on the credit system, most of the money we think we have simply doesn't exist. Numbers in machines transferred and traded globally, without any backing except blind trust. People are starting to see. We see our country and our world being hoodwinked by lawless entities that don't care whether we live or die.

The thing governments must do, at this point, is to take care of their people. The false overvaluation of all things commercial must normalize into a real value system, one where the price of the thing is actually based on what it's worth -- not an elaborate scheme to maintain unethical practices.

Insurance, basically, encourages its customers to gamble on their fears. The omnipresence of fear, and the "security" afforded by insurance, along with bad lending practices and god knows what other banning problems, seem to have brought our people into a forced decision to insure the failures, promise them a bail out,. These entities failed because they were not sound. Does the citizen have any guarantee that they will be bailed out? I doesn't look like it. Why should we pay our blood and sweat, everything we and our forefathers and mothers ever worked for to help out a bunch of losers?

Chris Wilkinson

Image: Tony the Misfit
Creative Commons License:

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

You are #1 ...

Federal Reserve Bank, Hotel, Office Building, American Flag, Financial District, San Francisco, California, USAMy office is 2 blocks from the US Federal Reserve Bank and The Bank of America in San Francisco, California.

Walking between them next to the US Fed Reserve Bank building I noticed the sidewalk is very sparkly with black mica embedded in the concrete, right then a young chicano man walked by me, wearing a sparkly black shirt with the words "Big Money" in a large cursive script emblazoned across his chest as he dragged his long levis along his ankles original gangster style. (Yah, by the way Ice-T you make it look good.)

As I passed by the Fed's high security entry gate for vehicles an enormous breaker bar of massive steel suddenly and quietly appeared from a steel panel in the ground with a yellow bar at the top of it. Nobody driving anything is getting in that gate, not even Batman. They'd have to come from above.

Rounding the corner, three guys in a tiny white car passed me, one stuck his head and chest out the window and bellowed out in my general direction "You are #1 Bitch." I think those were the words to the song.

Being the research geek I am I looked it up in the Urban Dictionary - but You are Number 1 Bitch is not defined yet. There you have it.

Well of course I should reserve judgement, but I prefer to think at the street level in San Francisco at least, being ichiban is surely royal like. Now that I could find as an American made t-shirt for your Ichiban Dog -

So I offer this to the #1 Ichiban Federal Reserve Bank -

"She's a Brick-house,
She's mighty mighty,
Just lettin' it all hang out.
Yea she's a brick-house,
That lady's stacked,
And that's a fact,
Ain't holdin' nothin back,
Oh she's a brick-house,
Yeah she's the one, the only one,
Built like an Amazon"

Thursday, September 25, 2008

List of Creative Non-Flash Websites Which Aren't Boring

When looking for new and exciting websites, I check out the webby award sites, including older years -

which also has a "Non-Flash" category listed. Here is 2008 -

As a technical designer one of my fave sites has long been Crate and Barrel's ecommerce site because of the structure, and clean look'n'feel (and their use of the golden mean/ aka golden rectangle)

I believe they design the site themselves - because of postings such as this one in Northbrook, IL.for a Senior Internet Art Director at Crate and Barrel -
In part I am impressed with their work because it was early on one of the best ecommerce sites I reviewed in a study I did for Microsoft in 2003 to discover best practices in UI / UX for an internal product.

IMHO - (ha ha) - it is frequently good to have a "boring" yet clean site design if what you want people to look at is the content - there you can have the exciting stuff. Look at Reuter's site today for just one example -
it's the photo of Marilyn Monroe that makes it exciting!

Also look at the differences in 's site over for example the site - their users are different - the MSNBC appears to draw a hip younger crowd now, often with many more comments on technology articles and far fewer photos of dogs dressed up as clowns. (ok, ok, when I need a laugh I check out this year's winner in the Weird catagory -

So when you get right down to it, we come full circle back to the USER. Who is your USER? What do you want to provide for your USER? How can you do that effectively?

Because there are some sites I consider very interesting, very exciting, or challenging that are not for general use - they serve very specific users, including sites critical of webdesign itself. Not that many people want a site to take over their browser – a browser - which is itself a boring framework - a boring design itself - (think Google Crome) - but can present some genuinely astonishing stuff!

Love ya! Don't ever change!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Danish island of Samsø, carbon free, livin' large off the grid

When asked in my business information school I said, oddly enough, that my goal was "to get off the Grid"? here's an entire community doing that -
The Danish island of Samsø

Pretty pictures:

Article and vids:


Images of Samso, Denmark, courtesy Roberto Pastor, Creative Commons License:

Or if those sites are dead by the time you reach this article - query "Samsø" in a warm and friendly nearby Search Engine.

Cheers from 20 stories high in a black glass steel tower, Financial District, San Francisco, California

Friday, September 19, 2008

Agile Information Management

Generally on a topic so important I would spend the time to write about this in a more palatable manner - but as time is limited I am going to give you the information without couching it in a example. For that please read Dr. Kevin C. Desouza's book - "Agile Information Systems: Conceptualization, Construction, and Management" which was very helpful to me when I had already reached the same conclusions during a very high visability consulting gig. His book allowed me to defend my position definatively and objectively. (

Don't wait until you are working on a project that matters to you (read: "=$$$") to understand that we may live in a world once inhabited by dinosaurs but using old clumsy methods are not an effective way to create and scope new software projects or manage information effectively. Here's the straight dope --

Agile development models include just in time information gathering processes. Agile information gathering processes include rapid collection of content and the clear appearance of the resulting documents. Collecting technical business requirements and immediately folding them into the client template is an agile information management method in planning software requirements.

Abstract technology planners and thinkers

Business Analyst Teams need to capture requirements as they are clarified. This is especially important when:
1. The deliverable is the requirement document first and foremost
2. The outline for documenting incoming requirements already exists
3. Tight deadlines exists and there is any risk of delays in documentation, or in overlapping out-of-date information being presented to the client–
4. Or if the document control tool, which is commonly used for working together interactively, is flakey and as a result document versions may become dated

It is not an agile process to wait to add known requirements. For example having project management, or development directing a business analyst to wait until later to add or modify incoming requirements prior to a document presentation. It makes sense to put the correct and current requirements into the current document. It is more logical to keep found things found by categorizing them immediately. (It's a little like keeping the kitchen clean - do it right away).

1. It is a waste of time and money, searching when editing the same document repeatedly, or by different individuals, when the requirement should be added on the fly
2. It is frustrating for the BA trying to keep track of multiple versions of the same requirements, it is frustrating for the client when they read out of date requirements
3. It creates unnecessary control issues
4. It runs counter to the clients' actual needs and requests
5. It isn't agile any more, it is an outdated technique!

Presentation of business requirements is 50% of the job of development consulting, that is, what a document actually looks like really matters to governance and business people.

1. Because governance and business people spend all their time in documents, generally they want them to look familiar and be formatted correctly, so it makes sense to use their existing templates
2. They care about documentation, and delivering documentation is your value to them, in other phases they may care about the actual software project delivery or user interface
3. Your clients will never have your depth of knowledge regarding technology, which means you will have to explain your processes and reasons if you do it any other way (slowing the process down) besides using their processes and procedures
4. The business and governance or project management office people will participate in decision making about actually building the project, or not, and you want them to want to work with you, by showing that you will work with them!

When things go south in a project managed and maintained by old, confusing, out of date, clumsy methods - at least YOU will know why. And if you get really great at sniffing out these kinds of information management control issues, perhaps you can head them off at the pass, and get your posse working together effectively to collect the information you need and turn it into the requirements you need right now.

James Moore: A Nation of Village Idiots

Read James Moore's article: If they keep us working and we continue to give the US population a second rate education they can keep the Money Farm going, if they keep us dunces working like dogs, but only for so long.

Richard, business dog, the decision maker, SHOULD “LONG” OIL FIELD RIGGING EQUIPMENT (IN PLACE OF “SHORTING” BELLIES)... 2008

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Pay Back Time for J.P. Morgan - Bring The Balance Back

I'm very at angry an J.P. Morgan right now. They should be spanked.

I mean it was the sweat of America to pull out of the great depression, the deaths of immigrants (mostly chinese), and a nation's desire not to just die out that invested Morgan with the ability of mastermind the construction of a national railroad system, The government backed this.

Remember the Hoovervilles? Remember the Highway and Train projects that Roosevelt worked out to save our country? (Department of Defence operations -- Defending America from annihilation due to crappy investment schemes). I don't want the most mighty nation on earth -- militarily speaking -- to be living in Hoovervilles, scraping for food. I don't want to watch '29 again.

2008_Richard_2It's Pay Back Time for J.P. Morgan. America made them rich and powerful. If they use that power to support flush down interests in international multinational leech enterprises, rather than using their last bet on survival by putting their entire economic and political strength into the survival of the American infracture AT HOME, they will go down in the same general flush.

Just watch the dominoes falling. They would appear to have one chance:
Total investment into the regeneration of the railroads, first, total investment in retraining the workers of America for the demands of the world we now live in. America became great because of our ability to transport, to communicate, and our spirit of creativity, and our understanding of the importance of education.

There are a number of people that had families that have generally turned into multinational conglomerates that need to be called on to Bring The Balance Back.

Right now I'm upset about J.P. Morgan. The ghost of David Rockefeller, who disappeared in Indonesia some years ago, is in my dreams now. Rothschilds is running an invisable grid over the whole thing, and needs to show their true face -- let the world see where their interests lie.

The Kennedy fortune is pretty much a memory -- for what that's worth. The family's money was mostly generated by drug dealing -- illegal importation of Alchohol from Canada during the constitutionally mandated illegality on alchohol. The Lake Michigan connection. Their karma has come and gone. Tears for sorrow.

There are some major players who are not playing, probably because they are looking for shelters rather that getting in there and volunteering to help save America -- They seem to think that propping up the international monetary system, as represented by conglomerate enterprises that are all sick, is more important than investing in the lives of the people whos grandparents made them rich.

I want to puke.
Let's have a puke-in.

Let's have a jaderman regular person human being puke in on a global basis. Let's call on our grandparents' ghosts to reemerge and Bring The Balance Back.


Yes Chris,
You are referring to the $US85 billon dollar buy off. So this is the face of "socialism for the rich" I wondered what it would look like.

This "correction" is also the face of enforced change. It appears having friends in high places can make things go alot smoother for your gigantic financial institution as it tanks.
Pretty sad to be handing off an America with no title.
NY Fed repaid JPMorgan for $US87bn in Lehman financing
TOP News
US Fed bails out world's biggest insurer AIG with $US85bn lifeline to head off calamity 12:06 PM

"NEW YORK - The Federal Reserve Bank of New York took the unusual step of providing some $US87 billion in financing to units of bankrupt Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc to prevent disruption in trading markets as customers flee, according to a filing.

JPMorgan Chase & Co advanced $US87 billion to Lehman on Monday to help clear and facilitate securities transactions with customers and clients of Lehman "to avoid disruption of financial markets," according to documents filed in US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.

The New York Fed then repaid the advance, according to filings. A Fed representative declined to comment."

Painting by Donald Roller Wilson

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Moscow Rules give rise to the Ronin Rules of Enforced Change - what spies and corporate managers think about

For your consideration in terms of solving information management problems I refer you to the film "Ronin" staring Robert DeNiro, written by John David Zeik and David Mamet. If you consider it from the point of view of a capable information manager, and think about how to resolve related problems, this film provided me with some ideas.

1. Maintain a full toolkit
2. Survey the situation/ recon
3. Identify the problem and refine it iteratively
4. Don't put yourself at risk, have a clear exit strategy
5. Identify incapable/immoral individuals or orgs and minimize their responsibility and/or capacity to enforce decisions
6. Trust yourself
7. Be quiet
8. Be bold

So that's something I've been excited thinking about. This is related to enthusiasm for transitional processes - strategies for enforced change. In other words how to effectively get people to pivot their belief systems, or invoke belief systems to solve sticky human and technical problems.
Here's four strategies to effect human change:
1. The Anointed:
The Deity of your choice anoints you as the one to solve "the unsolvable" - the unsolvable is of course an illusion.(Religions)

2. The Qualified: [changed to 'The Elite']
You are the best on the planet chosen as the elite to solve this problem (Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, lifted by Microsoft)

3. Special Forces:
Your training is that of the special forces, a spy/warrior who arrives unannounced to resolve the unsolvable. (Ronin)
4. Death:
You will solve this problem now or you will die. Solving technical problems in the midst of survival to earn survival. (US Naval Underwater Warfare Command, Navy Seals, CDC / disease and most small businesses). This is the ultimate in enforced change.

Ronin Poster, Photographer: Nick Slide, Creative Commons License, location:

Navy Seals Training Photographer: Joan Kretschmer, USN, Public Domain, location:

Grave of the 47 Ronin, Photographer: Netsui San, Creative Commons License

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Collecting Business Requirements

A common mistake of consulting companies is to insist the corporation they are working for deliver business requirements in specific formats. This makes the corporation they are working for do a lot of work. Because collecting and reforming information is difficult it is likely that the corporation will cut out requirements that are key to understanding their true needs.

It is the business analyst's job to determine what facts and questions should be asked to arrive on an agreed project plan, statement of work, or other agreement documents.

In truth getting all the business process and planning files in any format is the true way to be of service when gathering business requirements for any project, especially larger ones, or as a precursor to complete front and backend makeovers.

So here's the Business Analyst’s pledge –
If a company wishes to communicate their requirements in Latin poetry using Laurel leaves on Liberia, or burped up and tap danced in Berber;

If they chose instead to use sign language in Swahili or communicate via syncopated smoke signals in Sioux;

If a company's requirements are laser etched on Einstein's black box, written in the photovoltaic solar panels on Al Gore's roof or bloviated on FOX's news ticker;

If a corporation chooses to communicate via Morse code on a submarine in the Antarctic or spell them out in runes using fireworks over a Chinese work house;

Whatever business requirement, whether in pidgin or cuneiform, the business analyst will be johnny on the spot to collect it… no matter the format.
Basic advice about collecting business requirements:

o Tone. Use company name instead of third person (not "we", "they", "you", "them" )
o Format. footer, document properties, title block
o Bullets: use them
o Outline: use it
o Organization: clean up and gather like thoughts together, remove excessive technical details from business docs

Here's some heavy design advice from our fave Web Design Coder SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Rapper Chubbs:

Art is Immortal!


Your site design is the first thing people see
it should be reflective of you and the industry
easy to look at with a nice navigation
when you can't find what you want it causes frustration
a clear Call to action to increase the temptation
use appealing graphics they create motivation
if you have animation
use with moderation
cause search engines can't index the information
display the logos of all your associations
highlight your contact info that's an obligation
create a clean design you can use some decoration
but to try to prevent any client hesitation
every page that they click should provide an explanation
should be easy to understand like having a conversation
when you design the style go ahead and use your imagination
but make sure you use correct color combinations
do some investigation, look at other organizations
but don't duplicate or you might face a litigation
design done, congratulations but it's time to start construction
follow these instructions when you move into production
your photoshop functions then slice that design
do your layout with divs make sure that it's aligned
please don't use tables even though they work fine
when it come to indexing they give searches a hard time
make it easy for the spiders to crawl what you provide
remove font type, font color and font size
no background colors, keep your coding real neat,
tag your look and feel on a separate style sheet
better results with xml and css
now you making progress, a lil closer to success
describe your doctype so the browser can relate
make sure you do it great or it won't validate
check in all browsers, I do it directly
gotta make sure that it renders correctly
some use IE, some others use Flock
some use AOL, I use Firefox
title everything including links and images
don't use italics, use emphasis
don't use bold, please use strong
if you use bold that's old and wrong
when you use CSS, you page will load quicker
client satisfied like they eating on a snicker
they stuck on your page like you made it with a sticker
and then they convert now that's the real kicker
make you a lil richer, your site a lil slicker
design and code right man I hope you get the picture
what I'm telling you is true man it should be a scripture
if it's built right you'll be the pick of the litter
everyone will want to follow you like twitter
competition will get bitter and you'll shine like glitter
if you trying to grow your company will get bigger
design and code right man can you get with it

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Moving to the Bay Area

I recently accepted a new job in the Bay Area and with the significant help of friends and neighbors I relocated to California. Yah!

My new consulting job is very exciting because it allows me to use many more of my skills and 20 years experience in the Web and software arena for the company

Looking for a place to live is more more challenging here than I imagined and more than twice as expensive as Seattle for the same space. The lifestyle and food of the San Francisco area is however, downright amazing.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Will Evans and Dave Malouf's recommended reading library for IA / UI / UX Professionals

Will Evans writes "Here is the one I put together with dave malouf:

IxDA Booklist: Design, IxD, IA, UX and everything in between
compiled by will evans and david malouf

1. Sketching User Experiences: Getting the Design Right and the Right
Design (Paperback) by Bill Buxton (Author)
2. Designing for Interaction: Creating Smart Applications and Clever
Devices (VOICES) (Paperback)by Dan Saffer (Author)
3. The Inmates Are Running the Asylum: Why High Tech Products Drive Us
Crazy and How to Restore the Sanity (Paperback) by Alan Cooper (Author)
4. About Face 3: The Essentials of Interaction Design (Paperback) by Alan
Cooper (Author), Robert Reimann (Author), David Cronin (Author)
5. Communicating Design: Developing Web Site Documentation for Design and
Planning (Paperback) by Dan Brown (Author)
6. Digital Ground: Architecture, Pervasive Computing, and Environmental
Knowing (Paperback) by Malcolm McCullough (Author)
7. The Electronic Design Studio: Architectural Education in the Computer
Era (Hardcover) by Malcolm McCullough (Editor), William J. Mitchell
(Editor), Patrick Purcell (Editor)
8. Web Site Usability (Interactive Technologies) (Paperback)
by Jared Spool (Author), Tara Scanlon (Author), Carolyn Snyder (Author),
Terri DeAngelo (Author)
9. User-Centered Website Development: A Human-Computer Interaction
Approach (Paperback) by Daniel D. McCracken (Author), Rosalee J. Wolfe
(Author), Jared M. Spool (Author)
10. Designing Interfaces: Patterns for Effective Interaction Design
(Paperback) by Jenifer Tidwell (Author) *
11. Design Research: Methods and Perspectives (Hardcover - Oct 1, 2003)
by Brenda Laurel (Author) and Peter Lunenfeld (Preface) *
12. Rapid Contextual Design: A How-to Guide to Key Techniques for
User-Centered Design (Interactive Technologies) (Paperback) by Karen
Holtzblatt (Author), Jessamyn Burns Wendell (Author), Shelley Wood (Author)
13. Contextual Design : A Customer-Centered Approach to Systems Designs
(Interactive Technologies) (Paperback) by Hugh Beyer (Author), Karen
Holtzblatt (Author) *
14. The User Is Always Right: A Practical Guide to Creating and Using
Personas for the Web (VOICES) (Paperback) by Steve Mulder (Author), Ziv Yaar
15. Site-Seeing: A Visual Approach to Web Usability (Paperback - Jun 28,
2002) by Luke Wroblewski (Author) *
16. Emotional Design: Why We Love (Or Hate) Everyday Things (Paperback)
by Donald A. Norman (Author)
17. The Visual Display of Quantitative Information, 2nd edition
(Hardcover) by Edward R. Tufte (Author)
18. Beautiful Evidence (Hardcover) by Edward R. Tufte (Author)
19. Envisioning Information (Hardcover) by Edward R. Tufte (Author)
20. Visual Explanations: Images and Quantities, Evidence and Narrative
(Hardcover) by Edward R. Tufte (Author)
21. The Elements of User Experience: User-Centered Design for the Web
(Paperback) by Jesse James Garrett (Author) *
22. Information Architecture for the World Wide Web: Designing
Large-Scale Web Sites [ILLUSTRATED] (Paperback) by Louis Rosenfeld (Author),
Peter Morville (Author) *
23. Ambient Findability: What We Find Changes Who We Become (Paperback)
by Peter Morville (Author)
24. Designing the Obvious: A Common Sense Approach to Web Application
Design (Paperback) by Robert Hoekman Jr. (Author) *
25. Defensive Design for the Web: How to improve error messages, help,
forms, and other crisis points (VOICES) (Paperback) by 37signals (Author),
Matthew Linderman (Author), Jason Fried (Author) *
26. Thoughts on Interaction Design (Perfect Paperback) by Jon Kolko
(Author) *
27. Thoughtful Interaction Design: A Design Perspective on Information
Technology (Paperback) by Jonas L?wgren (Author), Erik Stolterman (Author) *
28. Information Architecture: Blueprints for the Web (Paperback) by
Christina Wodtke (Author) *
29. Designing Interactions (Hardcover) by Bill Moggridge (Author) *
30. The Humane Interface: New Directions for Designing Interactive
Systems (ACM Press) (Paperback) by Jef Raskin (Author) *
31. The Design of Everyday Things (Paperback) by Donald A. Norman
(Author) *
32. Emotional Design: Why We Love (or Hate) Everyday Things (Paperback)
by Donald A. Norman (Author) *
33. The Invisible Computer: Why Good Products Can Fail, the Personal
Computer Is So Complex, and Information Appliances Are the Solution
(Paperback) by Donald A. Norman (Author)*
34. Design Culture Now: The National Design Triennial (Paperback) by
Donald Albrecht (Author), Ellen Lupton (Author), Steven Holt Skov (Author)
35. Universal Principles of Design: 100 Ways to Enhance Usability,
Influence Perception, Increase Appeal, Make Better Design Decisions, and
Teach Through Design by William Lidwell, Kritina Holden, and Jill Butler
(Hardcover - Oct 1, 2003)
36. Design Culture: An Anthology of Writing from the AIGA Journal of
Graphic Design (Paperback) by Steven Heller (Editor), Marie Finamore
37. Web ReDesign 2.0: Workflow that Works (Paperback) by Kelly Goto
(Author), Emily Cotler (Author)
38. User Interface Design and Evaluation (The Morgan Kaufmann Series in
Interactive Technologies) (Interactive Technologies) (Paperback) by Debbie
Stone (Author), Caroline Jarrett (Author), Mark Woodroffe (Author), Shailey
Minocha (Author)
39. User-Centered Design Stories: Real-World UCD Case Studies (Morgan
Kaufmann Series in Interactive Technologies) (Paperback) by Carol Righi
(Author), Janice James (Author)
40. Designing the User Interface: Strategies for Effective Human-Computer
Interaction (4th Edition) (Hardcover) by Ben Shneiderman (Author), Catherine
Plaisant (Author)
41. Usability Engineering: Scenario-Based Development of Human Computer
Interaction (Interactive Technologies) (Hardcover) by Mary Beth Rosson
(Author), John M. Carroll (Author)
42. Observing the User Experience: A Practitioner's Guide to User
Research (Morgan Kaufmann Series in Interactive Technologies) (Interactive
Technologies) (Paperback)
43. User and Task Analysis for Interface Design (Hardcover) by JoAnn T.,
PhD Hackos (Author), Janice C. Redish (Author)
44. Usability for the Web: Designing Web Sites that Work (Interactive
Technologies) (Paperback) by Tom Brinck (Author), Darren Gergle (Author),
Scott D. Wood
45. The Persona Lifecycle : Keeping People in Mind Throughout Product
Design (The Morgan Kaufmann Series in Interactive Technologies) (Interactive
Technologies) (Paperback) by John Pruitt (Author), Tamara Adlin (Author)
46. Paper Prototyping: The Fast and Easy Way to Design and Refine User
Interfaces (Interactive Technologies) (Paperback) by Carolyn Snyder
47. Universal Principles of Design: 100 Ways to Enhance Usability,
Influence Perception, Increase Appeal, Make Better Design Decisions, and
Teach Through Design (Hardcover) by William Lidwell (Author), Kritina Holden
(Author), Jill Butler (Author)
48. Prioritizing Web Usability (VOICES) (Paperback) by Jakob Nielsen
(Author), Hoa Loranger (Author)
49. Designing Web Usability : The Practice of Simplicity (Paperback) by
Jakob Nielsen (Author)
50. Leonardo's Laptop: Human Needs and the New Computing Technologies
(Paperback) by Ben Shneiderman
51. User and Task Analysis for Interface Design (Hardcover) by JoAnn T.,
PhD Hackos (Author), Janice C. Redish
52. A Practical Guide to Usability Testing (Paperback) by Joseph S. Dumas
(Author), Janice C. Redish (Author)
53. Designing the User Interface (Hardcover) by Ben Shneiderman (Author)
54. User Interface Design and Evaluation (The Morgan Kaufmann Series in
Interactive Technologies) (Interactive Technologies) (Paperback) by Debbie
Stone (Author), Caroline Jarrett
55. Interaction Design: Beyond Human-Computer Interaction (Paperback) by
Helen Sharp (Author), Yvonne Rogers (Author), Jenny Preece (Author)
56. The Design of Sites: Patterns for Creating Winning Web Sites (2nd
Edition) (Paperback) by Douglas K. van Duyne (Author), James A. Landay
(Author), Jason I. Hong (Author)
57. Information Dashboard Design: The Effective Visual Communication of
Data (Paperback) by Stephen Few (Author)
58. Web Standards Solutions: The Markup and Style Handbook (Pioneering
Series) (Paperback) by Dan Cederholm (Author)
59. Designing with Web Standards (2nd Edition) (Paperback) by Jeffrey
Zeldman (Author)
60. Design Your Self: Rethinking the Way You Live, Love, Work, and Play
(Paperback) by Karim Rashid (Author)
61. Worldchanging: A User's Guide for the 21st Century (Hardcover) by
Alex Steffen (Author), Al Gore (Foreword), Bruce Sterling (Introduction)
62. Persuasive Technology: Using Computers to Change What We Think and Do
(Interactive Technologies) (Paperback) by B.J. Fogg (Author)
63. The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain (Paperback) by Betty
Edwards (Author)
64. Interaction of Color: Revised and Expanded Edition by Josef Albers
and Nicholas Fox Weber (Paperback - May 15, 2006)
65. Design Elements: A Graphic Style Manual by Timothy Samara (Paperback
- April 1, 2007)
66. Massive Change by Bruce Mau, Jennifer Leonard, and Institute Without
Boundaries (Hardcover - Oct 1, 2004)
67. Uncanny Networks: Dialogues with the Virtual Intelligentsia (Leonardo
Books) (Hardcover) by Geert Lovink (Author)
68. Zero Comments: Blogging and Critical Internet Culture (Paperback) by
Geert Lovink (Author)
69. The Art of Human-Computer Interface Design (Paperback) by Brenda
Laurel (Author)
70. Interaction Design: Beyond Human-Computer Interaction (Paperback) by
Helen Sharp (Author), Yvonne Rogers (Author), Jenny Preece (Author)
71. Macintosh Human Interface Guidelines (Apple Technical Library)
(Paperback) by Apple Computer Inc. (Author)
72. Improvisational Design: Continuous, Responsive Digital Communication
(Hardcover) by Suguru Ishizaki (Author)
73. Aesthetic Computing (Leonardo Books) (Hardcover) by Paul A. Fishwick
74. Sensorium: Embodied Experience, Technology, and Contemporary Art
(Paperback) by Caroline A. Jones (Editor)
75. The Digital Dialectic: New Essays on New Media (Leonardo Books)
(Paperback) by Peter Lunenfeld (Editor)
76. Context and Consciousness: Activity Theory and Human-Computer
Interaction (Hardcover) by Bonnie A. Nardi (Editor)
77. Design Research: Methods and Perspectives (Hardcover) by Brenda
Laurel (Editor), Peter Lunenfeld (Preface)
78. Design Management: Using Design to Build Brand Value and Corporate
Innovation (Paperback) by Brigitte Borja de Mozota (Author)
79. Information Design (Paperback) by Robert Jacobson (Editor)
80. Information Graphics: Innovative Solutions in Contemporary Design
by Peter Wildbur (Author), Michael Burke (Author)
81. Visual Function: An Introduction to Information Design (Paperback) by
Paul Mijksenaar (Author)
82. Designing Information Technology in the Postmodern Age: From Method
to Metaphor (Leonardo Books) (Hardcover) by Richard Coyne (Author)
83. Designing Information Spaces: The Social Navigation Approach
(Paperback) by Kristina H??k (Editor), David Benyon (Editor), Alan J. Munro
84. Human Factors in Information Systems: The Relationship Between User
Interface Design and Human Performance (Human Computer Interaction)
(Hardcover) by Jane M. Carey (Editor)
85. Web Usability: A User-Centered Design Approach (Paperback) by
Jonathan Lazar
86. Research-Based Web Design & Usability Guidelines (Paperback) by
Sanjay J. Koyani (Author), Robert W. Bailey (Author), Janice R. Nall
87. Usability for the Web: Designing Web Sites that Work (Interactive
Technologies) (Paperback) by Tom Brinck (Author), Darren Gergle (Author),
Scott D. Wood (Author)
88. Handbook of Usability Testing: How to Plan, Design, and Conduct
Effective Tests (Paperback) by Jeffrey Rubin (Author)
89. A Practical Guide to Usability Testing (Paperback) by Joseph S. Dumas
(Author), Janice C. Redish (Author)
90. The Laws of Simplicity (Simplicity: Design, Technology, Business,
Life) (Hardcover) by John Maeda (Author)
91. Designing the Mobile User Experience (Hardcover) by Barbara Ballard
92. A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction (Center for
Environmental Structure Series) (Hardcover)by Christopher Alexander (Author)

93. The Timeless Way of Building (Hardcover) by Christopher Alexander
94. Unleashing the Ideavirus (Paperback) by Seth Godin (Author), Malcolm
Gladwell (Author)
95. The Art of Innovation: Lessons in Creativity from IDEO, America's
Leading Design Firm (Hardcover) by Tom Kelley (Author), Jonathan Littman
(Foreword), Tom Peters (Author), Tom Peters (Author)
96. Thinking with Type: A Critical Guide for Designers, Writers, Editors,
& Students (Design Briefs) (Paperback) by Ellen Lupton (Author)
97. Orbiting the Giant Hairball: A Corporate Fool's Guide to Surviving
with Grace by Gordon MacKenzie (Author)

98. Designing Visual Interfaces: Communication Oriented Techniques by
Kevin Mullet and Darrell Sano (Paperback - Dec 5, 1994)

99. Orbiting the Giant Hairball: A Corporate Fool's Guide to Surviving
with Grace by Gordon MacKenzie (Hardcover - April 1, 1998)

100. The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (and When to
Stick) by Seth Godin (Hardcover - May 10, 2007)

101. Making Meaning: How Successful Businesses Deliver Meaningful
Customer Experiences (VOICES) by Steve Diller, Nathan Shedroff, and Darrel
Rhea (Hardcover - Dec 21, 2005)

102. Reduce, Ruse, ReDesign: Strategies for Sustainability by Nathan
Shedroff (Paperback - Jan 15, 2008)"

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

9th Circuit Court of Appeals to Hear Case - Performers Rights - Freedom of Speech in Public Places

One of my first friends in Seattle, Magic Mike, is fighting for the right to perform in public here. You would think it wouldn't be such a big problem , but he is the one of the few Seattle street performers to stand his ground and say "I have a right to be here." The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is going to listen to Bob Corn-Revere, his pro-bono attorney's arguement this year "en banc".

Mike send me this email today:

"----- Original Message -----
From: elena garella
Sent: Tuesday, July 15, 2008 3:11 PM
Subject: finally some good news

You beat the odds and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is going to hear your case en
banc (all judges) the week of September 22 in San Francisco"

I admire Mike, not just for his magic performances, but because he has a strong personality, and despite being physically harrassed in public, is standing his ground - for all of us. I hope none of us will have to endure such a pointed attack against freedom of speech.

Magic Mike's key statement "I'm really not for cutting their funding as the are great public facilities and organizations and should be supported. But the people managing them are neglecting the trust we put in them when they begin to think they own something private for their own agenda and ignore the the rights of performers who add to the native entertainment of society."

Here's more details -- from email -

----- Original Message -----
From: Corn-Revere, Bob
To: Magic Mike Berger ; Elena Luisa Garella
Cc: Shapiro, David
Sent: Tuesday, July 15, 2008 3:43 PM
Subject: RE: the tragedy that Seattle Center wants to evict and tear down the Fun

Mike and Elena--

I just received a voice mail from the Clerk of the 9th Circuit saying that rehearing
has been GRANTED. I have not yet seen the order, but will send a copy once we
receive it. According to the message, the argument will be scheduled in late



From: Magic Mike Berger []
Sent: Tuesday, May 27, 2008 2:13 AM
To: Elena Luisa Garella; Corn-Revere, Bob; Shapiro, David
Subject: Re: the tragedy that Seattle Center wants to evict and tear down the Fun

i might add on this memorial day that people died for those rights that are being
denied performers who give their heart and art to the public.

----- Original Message -----
From: Magic Mike Berger
To: Elena Luisa Garella ; Corn-Revere, Bob ; Shapiro, David
Sent: Sunday, May 25, 2008 9:22 PM
Subject: Fw: the tragedy that Seattle Center wants to evict and tear down the Fun

This reporter did a nice piece about my cases in the past. She wrote about the
festival today, that arrested me in 1993.

Today, they made a balloonist stop and take down his sign that listed "suggested
donations". They did that to me years ago, Even though they settled that they
still do it. For years the art museum had they same sign. Folklife had it today
too, "suggested donations $10". I took a photo. They can do it. When performers do
it, it's vending, without a permit, $5000 fine and one year trespass.

Magic Mike

----- Original Message -----
From: Magic Mike Berger
Sent: Sunday, May 25, 2008 8:55 PM
Subject: the tragedy that Seattle Center wants to evict and tear down the Fun Forest

I have tried to get media, unsuccessfully, to address the tragedy that Seattle
Center wants to evict and tear down the Fun Forest, the only full-time amusement
facility that the general public has., or even that exists. They forced the owners
out by destroying the visitor traffic. Ask the guy in the gift shop across from
the monorail ramp. The dumb judges of the 9th called the Center an "entertainment
zone". HA !

And they attempted to tell the court they were NOT a traditional public forum, so
they can deny rights. Yet they have their hand out for the public's money.


Magic Mike 206-675-8471

Press release 3/12/2008 Magic Mike Berger
Seattle Center, the Seattle Aquarium, Pike Place Market, Parks and Recreation have
shown over the last 20 years that they are willing to dismiss people's rights

The city of Seattle is preparing to raise millions of dollars for Seattle Center,
Pike Place market and the parks. The SeattleCenter, the Seattle Aquarium, Pike
Place Market, and Parks and Recreation have shown over the last 20 years that they
are willing to dismiss people's rights and use these public facilities like
private property.

There is an onus to operate within the Constitution and the Bill
of Rights to the public usage if you get public funds, yet they have a history of
rights abuse, denial of due process regarding appeals, and privacy abuse. My other
lawyer, John Scannell has also documented sweetheart land deals and no-bid
contracts. Remember, they wanted to sell the Market to New York and the Center to

They act like public entities when they want funding. Yet, Seattle Center,
Seattle Aquarium and Pike Market officials claimed to me and to all of the
people that protested that their rights were being denied, that the land was
not public property. The Denny family donated the Center land to the city to be
used as free public use forever.

The Center removed that statement from their website recently. When I tried to get the facts about their rule changes about performers and the official nature of the property and who owned it they refused to comply with my disclosure request. Then my lawyer, Elena Garella made the same public disclosure request without telling them she was working for me. She got a box full of hundreds of documents which showed that they had been working on it for years. They even stated in their rebuttals to my case in Federal court that they had gone through two years of planning.

Yet I was told there was nothing. They also claimed to the Federal Court that they were NOT a public forum space and not governed by the Bill of Rights.

Since 1987, the Seattle Center has made every performer leave unless they paid a $200/month vender permit or they be arrested, fined $5000 and trespassed! For years the parks department and the Seattle Aquarium director called the police any time a performer was in the waterfront Park. Pike Place Market regulates public sidewalks across from their building claiming they own it.

I received two criminal arrest citations at Seattle Center in April and July of 1993 and at the park by the waterfront in September and October of 1995 for performing
magic and making children balloon animals.

These citations were used to make me leave but were never called to court so I couldn't prove they were wrong. They knew they were wrong, but arrogantly did it anyway. Greg Youmen, the one man band with bird wings spent the night in jail for playing the Star Spangled Banner at the Bite Of Seattle. Jerry Brader was trespassed when a child touched a balloon at Folklife. Many other performers have been mistreated.

The late Walt Crowley sued for speech rights denied at the Seattle Center. My Center
permit was revoked without due process three times: for going through a stop
sign that was improperly placed; for using an explitive in a private
conversation; and for complaining they parked vehicles on performer spots.

Joe Foster spent the night in jail for playing a violin on the sidewalk at the
Ballard Seafest and other performers have been evicted from parks and
sidewalks. These are the only places new performers can hone their skills, such
as the Flying Karamozovs.

Seattle's is considered to be one of the highest taxed cities in the country.
If the people that run these organizations, the Seattle Center, the Pike Place
market, the Seattle Aquarium, and the parks department do not treat people's
rights as they should, why should they receive public money? You can read
details of these actions and court cases at my website,

I'm really not for cutting their funding as the are great public facilities and
organizations and should be supported. But the people managing them are
neglecting the trust we put in them when they begin to think they own something
private for their own agenda and ignore the the rights of performers who add to
the native entertainment of society.

And it's hard to be a creative happy performer when you're constaintly being told you can't use the little publicly owned space that exists. I have been walking around entertaining strangers since I was 7 years old and I'm 60 years old. Many street performers of all types have quit. Many new ones might never start.

Stop by, say hello!
Magic Mike
Press Release from Magic Mike - 1/31/2008

Magic Mike, Garella, Robert Corn-Revere, David M. Shapiro, Davis Wright Tremaine
law firm and ACLU petition the Court

Attorneys for Michael Berger, also known as Magic Mike the magician have filed a
petition in the ninth circuit Court of Appeals that asks all 15 judges of the
court for an en banc review of the recent decision to overturn Federal Judge
Robart's 2005 summary judgment that the Seattle Center rules were
unconstitutional. The petition filed yesterday in federal court by Magic Mike's
Attorney Elena Luisa Garella was joined by Robert Corn-Revere and David M.
Shapiro, both of the Davis Wright Tremaine law firm based in Washington, DC. Mr.
Corn Revere is well-known for his defending First Amendment rights. According to
Ms. Garella, ACLU has indicated they have approval to join in as amicus to the

The case was heard by only three of the 15 judges, who ruled two to one in favor
of the city of Seattle to overturn, however the dissenting judge was strongly
critical of the decision. Circuit Judge Marsha Berzon in her descent of the two
majority judges.

“The case concerns the Seattle Center, a public park — although the majority
obscures this basic fact through a euphemism, calling the Center an ‘entertainment
zone,’” Berzon wrote.

Seattle’s permitting restrictions in fact serve no legitimate governmental
interest, Berzon wrote, and the majority’s ruling marks a radical shift in the
court’s First Amendment jurisprudence.

“Although this particular permitting scheme may seem innocuous, the principle that
American citizens ordinarily do not need government permission to speak in public
places is a precious one, and one the majority entirely ignores,” she wrote.

As for the description of being an entertainment zone, Magic Mike notes that
Seattle Center has given notice to evict the Fun Forest which must leave next year
and that according to the Seattle Center's own website, Mr. Denny bequeathed to
the city with the condition that it be used for "free public space forever".
Seattle Center administrators have repeatedly denied that it is a park, or city
public property, a traditional public forum when asked by performers the nature of
the land.

When Mike sent Seattle Center and the City a formal information request
months prior to the enactment of rules he was stonewalled and told there is
nothing to give him. Yet six months, later in a similar request, Ms Garella
received a box full of hundreds of documents showing that they had documents of
two years that they denied Mike so he could not get an injunction to prevent the
enactment of the rules.

Magic Mike claims that Seattle Center has it in for him because he stood up to
their attempts to make all performers become vendors. Magic Mike was featured in
newspaper stories and TV news features at festivals at Seattle Center from 1980 to

But in 1987 they started to tell all performers that they needed to
purchase a $200 a month permit, he called their bluff, and police refused efforts
by Seattle Center security to make him leave, saying that performing with a hat
that was not vending. Because he hadn't purchased a permit, in 1993 he was
arrested at the Folklife Festival for making children balloon animals. He and
another balloon artist were evicted, and two dozen clowns were threatened with a
$5,000 fine for illegal vending.

The Center claimed that balloonists gave out latex and face painters gave out paint, thus making them vendors. However after making them leave the festival they refused to give them their day in court and never pressed the citations. Then they did the same thing at that year’s Bite of Seattle. Details of abuse against performers can be found at Magic Mike’s webpage

According to Ms. Garella, Corn-Revere saw the decision and was "shocked." He and
the firm are very motivated to get it reversed. Many legal professors and blogs
throughout the Internet have criticized the ruling as a reversal of the trend of
free speech. The Cal Law legal pad blog wrote an article with the headline
"Something Tells Us This Opinion Won't Stand".

Magic Mike claims that the center has distorted facts regarding the true need for these rules and has enforced the rules selectively, which is why the founding fathers felt that First Amendment rights should only be restricted with caution. After over 40 years without needing to disregard the Bill of Rights it seems excessive to say they are needed now. The photo IDs are also an invasion of privacy and the locations where people must stand do not sit well with performers like Magic Mike who has been a wandering magician for 54 years, since he was seven years old.

When Mike asked if he can move under a tree to perform when it's raining or hot instead of the location he was told he'll have to either decide to get wet or go home and at by not standing within 5 feet of a spot he would risk the revoking of his permit and one year trespass by the police department.

Magic Mike claims that the Seattle Center paints an untrue picture in order to cite a need which doesn't exist. According to Seattle Center rules, any vocal request by a performer for donations, no matter how mild, is aggressive. No one else that comes to the park is restricted except performers, not even aggressive panhandlers.

Elena Luisa Garella

927 N Northlake Way, Ste 301

Seattle, WA 98103

(206) 675-0675

(206) 632-7118 (fax)

Magic Mike
P. O. Box 31861 Seattle, WA 98103
(206) 675-8471
Details of abuse against performers can be found at Magic Mike’s webpage

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Don't support drilling ANWR

I don't trust the government to do any thing with drilling for oil in ANWR, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. See Here are my reasons -
Those responsible ...
1. could be more competent and should hire those to work for them who have ethics and respect for everyone
2. have shown a history of continuous spills, no planning, can not be trusted to get the oil out of Alaska safely
3. allowed a degenerate anti-culture to invade Alaska and now women fear walking around alone
4. need to consider other things than short term profit motives
5. could consider ANWR for an emergency - but it is not a long term solution - taking the oil means accepting a stop gap solution and having NOTHING left. Is this that last emergency?

Shipping oil unsafely by the goverment in league with private industry killed off Prince William Sound as a result of the March 24, 1989 Exxon Valdex Oil Spill. In the wake of 10.8 million U.S.gallons of oil Prince William Sound has not recovered, the land and water have not been able to clean and restore themselves to what they were prior to the spill. ("Almost 15 years after the spill, a team of scientists at the University of North Carolina found that the effects are lasting far longer than expected. The team estimates some shoreline habitats may take up to 30 years to recover. Exerpts from )

I loved Prince William Sound - I photographed it - my heart literarly leaped with joy to see the birds and other wildlife in the pristine blue water with white waves lapping on the beaches when I was a federal wildlife photographer there.

The Native population and other people still can not make a living from that region. (See In 1991, following the collapse of the local marine population (particularly clams, herring, and seals) the Chugach Native American group went bankrupt. According to several studies funded by the state of Alaska, the spill had both short- and long term economic effects. These included the loss of recreational sports fisheries, reduced tourism, and an estimate of what economists call "existence value," which is the value to the public of a pristine Prince William Sound.)

I was devastated because in 1979 I photographed the so called "recovery vessels" along the coast - yellow painted metal submersibles with no engine, that were not waterproof and fitted with no equipment whatsoever. What were these things - a joke I thought?

When I immediately showed government representatives photos of these yellow submarines - including the then head of the US Fish and Wildlife Service, he said they all knew about the condition of their fleet of oil spill recovery vessels: useless.

It was in fact why I left Alaska - clearly no one in the government cares enough to protect Alaska from the short term thinking and money grubbers. They did not even have an emergency plan for the inevitable spills. Drilling in a wildlife range - why not just go drill in the Outside / lower 49 state wildlife ranges if the US government likes that idea so much - first let's drill in the parks - how about if they start with Yosemite National Park?

You may not know that I worked on the Alaska pipeline in 1976. There are areas which are so easy to damage you would not believe it. If you just step on some sections of ground it turns into a soggy pond within weeks. In a year nothing can go by that area. Along the pipeline road all the animals had died out in a 4 mile radius. This is for hundreds and hundreds of miles.

How do I know? My close friend was the chief biologist stationed at Coldfoot at Camp 4 on the pipeline. She was threatened by her pipeline bosses that if she accurately documented the real effects on the environment - they'd just replace her with someone who would lie for them. I suggested she provide the real statistics under the table to the state and federal biologists so that they would at least know the truth even if it was not the official "truth".

The jackasses who came from the lower US states to build the pipeline robbed, raped, and murdered friends of mine in Fairbanks. We found one of our friends buried in a car trunk in a gravel pit. They had to have help to do that. It was like a war zone. I worked with those SOBs - it took me many years to recover - maybe this blog shows that.

The day I arrived in Coldfoot (a camp of between 400- 800 men) - there was lots of violence - some drunk 798'er (pipeline worker, welding union) attacked an old woman in her house with a huge rock - nearly killed her in a rape attempt. What is amazing is that she managed to escape although her head was broken and bleeding. How do I know? Because the only sheriff in hundreds of miles was a friend of mine - he was the one they sent for to find and arrest the asshole who did that. She had to be hospitalized - I think she was in her 60's. I was lucky because I knew how to stay safe but not everyone was so lucky.

For me I could not stand to watch the Alaska I knew as a child become the place it is now, and a place I expect will become worse. When I last visited Anchorage my friends were totally freaked out that I walked around at different times of the day and night in public. Why? Because rape is epidemic there. How do I know for sure besides the statistics? My best friend was an assistant district attorney in Anchorage.

The last thing I would ever do is put any trust into a government that has lead us by lying into an expensive war with one excuse after another and uses deceit and threats to cover up the facts about the effects.

We need to work to find alternative sources of energy - not use up our backup emergency sources in the face of their inability to plan or control the effects of removing the oil. Some areas are worth keeping just as they are because they are beautiful. We can still afford beauty can't we?

Or do we just continue to foster and support a culture of taking what we want when ever we want it - rape, lies, war.

Not me, not now, not with what I have myself seen and know - this is not from some third party source - it's from a 4th generation Alaskan.

Think of this as the last of your own wildlife reserves, and some of the last oil reserves in the country - would you use the very last of it, especially if you understood the effects it would have?

Read for more information about the continuing problems from the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill - including the "WikiScanner discovered changes made from within Exxon Mobil altering this article's descriptions of the oil spill and down playing its severity."

And the State of Alaska source:

Friday, July 11, 2008

Does publishing a technical book make your reputation only?

On Fri, Jul 11, 2008 at 2:22 PM, Linda Lane wrote:
A question for those of you who have published technical books - I have
heard they *never* make money but establish you in your field of expertise
- is this true?

Here's what Louis Rosenfeld said -
From: "Louis Rosenfeld"
Subject: Re: [Iai-Members] Does publishing a technical book make your
reputation only?

Yes and no. If your book is good or even decent, it should help establish
your name in your field. Unless you wrote one of the top few all-time
selling books in the industry, you won't make much in terms of royalties;
certainly very little when you consider how much you'd earn per hour for the
time you invested in writing.

But you'll be able to raise your consulting rates dramatically, and if you
have a consulting firm, you'll be able to charge more their time as well.
You might also find that you can be far more choosy about the projects you
do take on.

There are many important indirect benefits (in fact, some that have nothing
at all to do with money), so it's important to look beyond royalties when it
comes to making your decision.

Louis Rosenfeld ::
Rosenfeld Media ::

And what Martin White said:
Date: Fri, 11 Jul 2008
From: "Martin White"

I've written two books in the last four years so can speak with some degree
of inside knowledge. The royalties will certainly not make you rich but
might subsidize a holiday. For me there have been two benefits. The first
was that in writing the books I had to make sure I really knew my subject,
including areas that until I started work on the book I had ignored as being
uninteresting or difficult. This boosted my confidence in client meetings.
Second they were also a great way to start meetings with prospective
clients. I can't think of a better business card and I bought extra copies
of the books to give as signed copies to clients that a) might use me again
or b) I wanted to use as references. Both worked out well. I don't think
they had any specific impact on my consulting fee rate.

Martin White
Intranet Focus Ltd

Does publishing a technical book make your reputation only?

A question for those of you who have published technical books - I have
heard they *never* make money but establish you in your field of expertise
- is this true?

Here's what Louis Rosenfeld said -

Message: 12
Date: Fri, 11 Jul 2008 14:41:52 -0400
From: "Louis Rosenfeld"
Subject: Re: [Iai-Members] Does publishing a technical book make your
reputation only?
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"

Yes and no. If your book is good or even decent, it should help establish
your name in your field. Unless you wrote one of the top few all-time
selling books in the industry, you won't make much in terms of royalties;
certainly very little when you consider how much you'd earn per hour for the
time you invested in writing.

But you'll be able to raise your consulting rates dramatically, and if you
have a consulting firm, you'll be able to charge more their time as well.
You might also find that you can be far more choosy about the projects you
do take on.

There are many important indirect benefits (in fact, some that have nothing
at all to do with money), so it's important to look beyond royalties when it
comes to making your decision.

Louis Rosenfeld ::
Rosenfeld Media ::

Moving a Domain, how to insure SEO - see Bruce Clay's SEO Web Ranking page

Your main concerns are that you'll likely lose your page rank in Google and other search engines for a bit until they find the new site, and that you
need to get all those bookmarked or links to your site to the right place on
the new site. It's easiest not to change your URL, but if you have to, here
are a few things you can do:

Create 301 redirects in your htaccess file to direct any of the incoming
traffic on the old URL to the new URL.

And find out who is linking to you, for the biggest traffic, and let them
know to change the URL.

Advertise the change to the URL via blogs etc to your target audiences to
let them know to.

Don't panic when you see that drop in rank for a while.

Finally, Bruce Clay is one of the big names in search engine optimization
and he offers some nice tools on this site, including a tool to track who is
linking to you.
Good luck.

Susan Fariss
SRA Touchstone

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Design Pattern Library - Stencil Kit

Download a Stencil Kit
Especially for people who have not designed for specific types of interfaces before such as cell phones.

Yahoo! Design Stencil Kit version 1.0 is available for OmniGraffle, Visio (XML), Adobe Illustrator (PDF and SVG), and Adobe Photoshop (PNG), and covers the following topics:

Ad Units
Charts and Tables
UI Controls
Form Elements
Menus and Buttons
Mobile - General
Mobile - iPhone
Navigation and Pagination
OS Elements
Placeholder Text
Screen Resolutions
Windows and Containers

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Bill Gates useability rant

Ok, everybody is talking about this -

here's the link ...

"Full text: An epic Bill Gates e-mail rant
Sometimes, software isn't so magical. Even for Bill Gates.

---- Original Message ----

From: Bill Gates
Sent: Wednesday, January 15, 2003 10:05 AM
To: Jim Allchin
Cc: Chris Jones (WINDOWS); Bharat Shah (NT); Joe Peterson; Will Poole; Brian Valentine; Anoop Gupta (RESEARCH)
Subject: Windows Usability Systematic degradation flame

I am quite disappointed at how Windows Usability has been going backwards and the program management groups don't drive usability issues.

Let me give you my experience from yesterday.

I decided to download (Moviemaker) and buy the Digital Plus pack ... so I went to They have a download place so I went there.

The first 5 times I used the site it timed out while trying to bring up the download page. Then after an 8 second delay I got it to come up.

This site is so slow it is unusable.

It wasn't in the top 5 so I expanded the other 45.

These 45 names are totally confusing. These names make stuff like: C:\Documents and Settings\billg\My Documents\My Pictures seem clear.

They are not filtered by the system ... and so many of the things are strange.

I tried scoping to Media stuff. Still no moviemaker. I typed in movie. Nothing. I typed in movie maker. Nothing.

So I gave up and sent mail to Amir saying - where is this Moviemaker download? Does it exist?

So they told me that using the download page to download something was not something they anticipated.

They told me to go to the main page search button and type movie maker (not moviemaker!).

I tried that. The site was pathetically slow but after 6 seconds of waiting up it came.

I thought for sure now I would see a button to just go do the download.

In fact it is more like a puzzle that you get to solve. It told me to go to Windows Update and do a bunch of incantations.

This struck me as completely odd. Why should I have to go somewhere else and do a scan to download moviemaker?

So I went to Windows update. Windows Update decides I need to download a bunch of controls. (Not) just once but multiple times where I get to see weird dialog boxes.

Doesn't Windows update know some key to talk to Windows?

Then I did the scan. This took quite some time and I was told it was critical for me to download 17megs of stuff.

This is after I was told we were doing delta patches to things but instead just to get 6 things that are labeled in the SCARIEST possible way I had to download 17meg.

So I did the download. That part was fast. Then it wanted to do an install. This took 6 minutes and the machine was so slow I couldn't use it for anything else during this time.

What the heck is going on during those 6 minutes? That is crazy. This is after the download was finished.

Then it told me to reboot my machine. Why should I do that? I reboot every night -- why should I reboot at that time?

So I did the reboot because it INSISTED on it. Of course that meant completely getting rid of all my Outlook state.

So I got back up and running and went to Windows Update again. I forgot why I was in Windows Update at all since all I wanted was to get Moviemaker.

So I went back to and looked at the instructions. I have to click on a folder called WindowsXP. Why should I do that? Windows Update knows I am on Windows XP.

What does it mean to have to click on that folder? So I get a bunch of confusing stuff but sure enough one of them is Moviemaker.

So I do the download. The download is fast but the Install takes many minutes. Amazing how slow this thing is.

At some point I get told I need to go get Windows Media Series 9 to download.

So I decide I will go do that. This time I get dialogs saying things like "Open" or "Save". No guidance in the instructions which to do. I have no clue which to do.

The download is fast and the install takes 7 minutes for this thing.

So now I think I am going to have Moviemaker. I go to my add/remove programs place to make sure it is there.

It is not there.

What is there? The following garbage is there. Microsoft Autoupdate Exclusive test package, Microsoft Autoupdate Reboot test package, Microsoft Autoupdate testpackage1. Microsoft AUtoupdate testpackage2, Microsoft Autoupdate Test package3.

Someone decided to trash the one part of Windows that was usable? The file system is no longer usable. The registry is not usable. This program listing was one sane place but now it is all crapped up.

But that is just the start of the crap. Later I have listed things like Windows XP Hotfix see Q329048 for more information. What is Q329048? Why are these series of patches listed here? Some of the patches just things like Q810655 instead of saying see Q329048 for more information.

What an absolute mess.

Moviemaker is just not there at all.

So I give up on Moviemaker and decide to download the Digital Plus Package.

I get told I need to go enter a bunch of information about myself.

I enter it all in and because it decides I have mistyped something I have to try again. Of course it has cleared out most of what I typed.

I try (typing) the right stuff in 5 times and it just keeps clearing things out for me to type them in again.

So after more than an hour of craziness and making my programs list garbage and being scared and seeing that is a terrible website I haven't run Moviemaker and I haven't got the plus package.

The lack of attention to usability represented by these experiences blows my mind. I thought we had reached a low with Windows Network places or the messages I get when I try to use 802.11. (don't you just love that root certificate message?)

When I really get to use the stuff I am sure I will have more feedback.


As for the message, Gates smiled and said, "There's not a day that I don't send a piece of e-mail ... like that piece of e-mail. That's my job."
Update: Dave Ross of KIRO-AM/710 in Seattle did a dramatic reading of the message on air Wednesday morning. Click here to access the audio."

Bill Gates critical view