Wednesday, December 28, 2005

64-bit Mach Kernel with BSD Userland Unix Workstation

Gramma B got her first real computer - an iMac G5. 64-bit IBM Power-series CPU, Mach kernel with BSD Userland, Darwin PPC architecture and all that.

And it plays solitare real dang fast. :-)

Congratulations, Gramma B!

Monday, December 26, 2005

Alec got a build a bear gift card; I want a build a beer gift card!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Final grade for Principles of Management


I got a 23.50/25 on the final, which would have dropped me under 100%, but the lowest quiz grade (1.8/2 for week 8) was dropped, so I stayed over 100%!


Now on to EN306, Business Writing.

21 more hours to graduate.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Friday, December 16, 2005

Nita Criswell

- former wife of Jeff Criswell.

Raytheon: Jobs

Raytheon: Jobs: "positions include competitive salary and a comprehensive benefits package. For the time you are in Antarctica compensation also includes travel to and from the ice, room & board,"

Ah, yeah. If that year in Hawaii got to you.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Raytheon: Jobs

Raytheon: Jobs: "Candidates must be willing to commit to a minimum of 1 year in Kauai."

Oh, FFS, not *another* year in the tropical islands!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Fourth Marine Regiment - China Marines

Everyone grouses about using the atomic bomb on Japan in 1945. I think we were right to:

Allied commanders knew that an invasion into Japan would be one of the costly events in the history of warfare. When the tiny island of Corregidor was recaptured, five thousand Japanese defended for eleven days to the death and only twenty were taken prisoner. The battle for Iwo Jima captured 200 prisoners out of 21,000 Japanese soldiers. The capture of the island had cost nearly 25,000 American casualties.

More reading at:

Fourth Marine Regiment - China Marines

Caution - realistic description of what was going on back then. Makes this little war on terror look like a school yard scuffle.

It's interesting to see the Marines viewpoint of General Douglass MacArthur. Neal Stehenson characterizes it well in Cryptomonicon as "[...] a sinister consipriacy between the Japs and General MacArthur."

(wandering off now - I'm out of scotch whisky)

My favorite quote from Cryptonomicon is still "Father John snaps awake, and Mr. Drkh looks as if he's just taken a fifty-caliber round in the small of his back. Clearly, Mr. Drkh has had a long career of being the weirdest person in any given room, but he's about to go down in flames."

I blame my mom for making me look up Chinese History. :-)

About mass-market publishing

Terry Carr, the one-time editor of Ace Books, was reputed to have said:

"If Ace Books ever came out with an edition of The Bible, both books would be edited down to 40,000 words, and they'd be renamed "Master of Chaos" and "The Thing With Three Souls."

Note: Ace Books was known for pulp-publishing and some dodgy practices. See

The TCP/IP Guide - The TCP/IP Guide

Found a good pair of resources for everything about TCP / IP networking:

The TCP/IP Guide - free


IBM Redbook on TCP/IP

Bathsheba Grossman Sculpting Geometry

Bathsheba Grossman Sculpting Geometry: "an artist exploring the region between art and mathematics"

Fancy mathematical sculptures, created by 3D-printing. Yes, it's for real.

Someone buy me some!

Neat site -

Just about every kind of aircraft photo you could imagine.

Grade from final paper


The teacher apparantly liked it. His comments:

Outstanding job! The only thing I want to see is your org chat. I guess I did not have the correct program to view it so if possible send it to me. Just remember to put it in a format/program that most readers may have on their computers or add a link to download the program. Overall, I was very intrigued with your paper! I enjoyed reading it and was amazed on some of the culture differences that a company of this size must overcome to conduct business! Well done!

My only comment to him was that I asked him three times if I could submit it as a PDF file (which is viewable on all computers from Windows to Mac to Linux to FreeBSD) instead of a proprietary MS Word format. He said no. So, instead of using the righteous typesetting program LaTeX, I had to try to keep MS Word under control for 23 pages. And hand-format all my sources. Sheesh.

Anyway, class grade so far: 71.70/70(102.43%)

Still to come this week: One more discussion post, a quiz and the final.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Final Paper for Management Class

Got that done. About 16 hours work, all told. FPOS microsoft word and it's formatting.

Anyway - for your review, my final paper about the Sprint PCS web development organization.

Click for 111kb PDF file (23 pages)

Final is Friday. Alec is looking forward to it - he gets to go to Kids Park while I go downtown to take the proctored exam. :-)


Friday, December 09, 2005

A Picture Share!

Sunset at sprint

About the Malcom Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award

Yet another discussion post for school . . . Maybe someone will find it interesting.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology in the US gives the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Awards. Dating from 1987, the award is designed to help improve organizational performance practices, capabilities and results and to promote communication of best practices between organizations.

The award helps management align quality operations control with daily business practices. This results in delivering more value to customers, improving the organizations effectiveness and developing individual skills within the organization. All of these results contribute to the success of an organization (Wikipedia, 2005).

The awards that I find most remarkable are to the public school districts. The common theme about education is that it needs more money, with no discussion on how the money they have now is spent. However, recipients of the award have improved their practices to enable them to spend more of the taxpayer dollar on students, instead of overhead. For example, the 2001 Award Recipient, the Pearl River School District, has increased spending on instruction 43%, primarily through increasing operational efficiencies. The 2003 Award Recipient, the Community Consolidated School District 15, improved across the board, with measured performance per dollar spent higher than the other school districts in the area

These schools improved by creating goals, focusing on their goals and involving stakeholders from the community, faculty and partners in the community. This involvement helps to gain acceptance in the plans from all the involved parties. District 15 uses a “Plan, Do, Study, Act” cycle to continuously improve quality. Both school districts have created easy to understand metrics to measure success. This helps to facilitate fact-based management. Constant review of performance and adjustment of areas of concern mark the processes involved in both school districts.

These principles of quality have been used in many organizations, including my own company. We use and define metrics to measure performance, perform constant reviews to continuously improve quality. We reward quality performance by employees and teams. One area we fall short in is involving all the stakeholders in a project. Some decisions are made without the input of all concerned parties, and the quality of those projects reflects the lack of understanding and participation.

While other school districts remained stagnate or fell in performance, these two public school districts demonstrated that application of the principles of quality to public education could deliver substantial, measurable results.

I learned that it is possible for public school bureaucracies to change and implement quality management practices. This is very encouraging to me, in these days of shrinking school budgets and swelling government deficits.

Wikipedia. (2005) “Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award” Retrieved 12-09-2005 from

Grade so far:

41.90/40 (104.75%)

Kansas HSTA -- The Best Deal on HID lighting

Kansas HSTA - The Best Deal on HID lighting: "Warchild, the Chief Technical Inspector for the Iron Butt Rally, has arranged for the best deal on HID lights"

Check out the links and the prices. I'm impressed.

Friday, December 02, 2005


I like my grade for last week:

5/3 (166.67%)

That just rules.

For the class so far (5 weeks down):

35/33 (106.06%)


Leadership (homework)

Week 6 of my management class was about leadership - our assignment was to write a post about leadership development and leaders.

Leadership is a quality that can be learned. People are not born to be leaders, but develop the traits, characteristics and confidence to lead other people. Training people to be leaders is always going to be difficult because true leadership comes from within. Training to be managers is much simpler. Management is a set of activities that can be documented, repeated and productized. People can follow predictable scripts to achieve repeatable results. However, many parts of leadership are pure instinct. Jack Welsh, former CEO of GE, notes that as a leader, you must know yourself (Chapman, 2005). The theme of self-leadership extends back into history; William Penn, founder of the Pennsylvania Colonies was quoted as saying, “No man is fit to command another that cannot command himself.” (ibid.)

Personally, I have been working on developing leadership qualities for the past 15 years. This is not an easy task, nor is it one that is ever complete. By associating with leaders, reading books from people who are leaders, and learning from the best, you can develop the skills, traits and characteristics that make a leader. When I am in a position to lead teams, I use a democratic to autocratic style. I want everyone to get involved, make a contribution, but I will not wait for laggards to catch up – when it is time to make a decision, I will make it. If it is right, great – praise my team, they provided the input. If it is wrong, blame me, for I am the one who made the decision. I follow President Truman’s maxim here – "It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit." (ibid.) Have I ever had to use a leadership style that I was uncomfortable with? Yes. When I first began leading teams, I was very unsure of myself and unwilling to take an autocratic rule to get things done. However, as years have passed, I have learned that decisions have to be made. I have learned to believe in my own judgement and make the decisions.

Management gets things done. But without leadership, no organization will survive. Leaders who have no management skills will fail through entropy. Managers who have no leadership skills will fail through indifference. I feel that it is important to have a balance of both. Larger companies seem to have more management without leadership - just follow the rules and don't rock the boat. Today, though, companies are looking to slim down, react quicker and be more like the small startup companies. That requires leadership and empowerment on all levels.

Regarding the rules and axioms (in the textbook) -- they are a good foundation and express some of the core beliefs of leadership. Regarding what could be added – an entire lifetime of experience multiplied by the age of the world. The key to learning leadership is to find people who speak to you, to your experiences. There are very few things to learn to be a leader, but a thousand different ways to express them. To learn the ideals behind leadership you must find an author that speaks to you and puts the keys in terms you understand.

Chapman, Alan. (2005). “Leadership (Online)”. Retrieved 12-02-2005 from

ABC News: Costco CEO Finds Decency Is Compatible With Profitability

ABC News: Costco CEO Finds Decency Is Compatible With Profitability: "'Wall Street is in the business of making money between now and next Tuesday,' he said. 'We're in the business of building an organization, an institution that we hope will be here 50 years from now. And paying good wages and keeping your people working with you is very good business.'"