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. http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=number+one+bitch. 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 - http://pets.cafepress.com/item/ichiban-1-dog-tshirt/22320213.

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 - http://jobs.37signals.com/jobs/4380
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 http://www.CNN.com 's site over for example the http://www.MSNBC.com 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 - http://icanhascheezburger.com)

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: http://www.flickr.com/photos/robertopastor/

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. (http://www.amazon.com/Agile-Information-Systems-Conceptualization-Construction/dp/0750682353)

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: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nickslidepics/255255903/

Navy Seals Training Photographer: Joan Kretschmer, USN, Public Domain, location: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pingnews/589160026/

Grave of the 47 Ronin, Photographer: Netsui San, Creative Commons License http://www.flickr.com/photos/netsui/1374588412/