Archive for July, 2008

Ford’s TUEC

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

Here’s the label from Henry Ford’s TUEC. What’s a TUEC, you ask? As far as I can recall, it was a wall-mounted vacuum cleaner in Ford’s workshop. Sort of an early predecessor of a central vacuuming system. The latest patent date on this thing is September 1912. There’s nothing new under the sun, is there? Anyway, I thought the badge looked interesting. Wonder what the United Electric Company is up to these days? They have a website.

Now here’s something I want: the StupidFilter. Although I fear it would seriously shorten the length of my blog posts. On the other hand, this technology could be expanded in many different ways. Today’s controversy: how would you use/change/upgrade the StupidFilter to make the world a better place?

Let’s see here, what’s been going on in the comments area? A little bit of immigration talk and some carefully-worded comments on driving. I’m not touching that last one any more. On immigration, though, one more question: how would my Loyal Readers handle the question of legalizing the millions of illegal aliens? Is it right to put them on the path to citizenship in spite of their illegal status? Isn’t that giving favorable treatment to people who have broken our laws, while others all over the world wait for many years to come here? On the other hand, what else can we do with all these people? Deport them? Crack down on employers so they can’t find work? Cut off government benefits and accept the health risk untreated sick illegals would pose? How do we continue economic growth when my generation and the ones that come after it aren’t even replacing themselves, let alone increasing the supply of future workers?

So many questions. I’m looking forward to hearing some simple solutions.

I was in a training class on Tuesday morning, and I got some really good ideas for some articles for software developers. One I’m working on is tentatively titled “Costing to Price.” It’s about the insidious practice software developers (and other engineers, for that matter) sometimes engage in of estimating the cost of a product based on the amount of money available (i.e. the price). While that sounds like a good idea on the surface, what it actually results in is deliberately understated estimates, which inevitably lead to cost overruns. This is not a good management practice, and yet many managers (including some of mine) require their subordinates to do just that.

One of the first things they teach you in MBA school is that there is no relationship between cost and price, and attempting to establish one will inevitably lead to failure. Of course, an important goal is to keep the cost below the price, but you can’t do that by fiat, and trying to do it that way will lead to unpleasant surprises later.

Anyway. I’m working on a little article on this and some other topics (another one: “Ruthless Prioritization”) and post them to the Gardenville Software website. Along with a few little projects the Loyal Readers and I have been working on. Other Loyal Readers with an interest in writing software-related articles are welcome to submit ideas and/or finished work. Not being a peer-reviewed publication and not being a paying publication, we are able to keep our editorial standards notoriously low. You too can be a published author!

Time for bed. See you tomorrow.

Private pool

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

Here’s the private pool at our hotel suite at Yosemite. I’ve had worse hotel rooms.

Two days, no comments. Sigh. Any Loyal Readers out there? My prose may not have been memorable lately, but the Great Art pictures of Yosemite have been pretty good. And then there’s the Whatsit. Classic.

Morrowlife Financial Juggernaut update: I’m still only at $2.03. I’m just not making any money at this. Must . . . get . . . better . . . content. No, that couldn’t be the problem. It must be sunspots. Or something. In any case, it’s time to get that total above three dollars. I can’t ask my Loyal Readers to click on my Commerce section, of course, so I certainly won’t. Those ads will have to speak for themselves.

I can’t see anything wrong with this plan, can you? I’m sure they’ll start turning themselves in in droves.

Loyal Readers Numbers One and Two spent the day babysitting our triplet friends. They’re eleven years old, if memory serves. It appears to have gone well. Their parents are both at camp with Loyal Reader Number Four. Who we miss.

Today’s controversy: Do you suffer from this problem? I have no comment. Note the final question: “If they’re all such good drivers, why do they crash more often than women?” My answer: they have to be crashing into somebody, don’t they? Otherwise, no comment.

See you tomorrow.

Distant waterfall

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008

Here’s one more picture from Yosemite – a distant waterfall. They told us the waterfalls were even more spectacular in the spring when there’s more water in the rivers. This looks pretty good to me anyway.

Worked hard all day. Came home and ate. That’s about it.

Not exactly a controversy, but would you buy one of these? My answer: probably. I might like a little more assurance it’s not going to crash the first time I use it, but otherwise it looks like fun. Maybe a little heavy.

Time for bed. See you tomorrow.

Ford’s Quad

Monday, July 28th, 2008

Here’s Henry Ford’s first personal car – the Quadricycle. As with Hank’s other personal cars, this one is black and basic. Pretty nice upholstery, though. And check out that sleigh in the background. Black, of course. The guy was monotonous.

Anyway. I like the bell on the front of the Quad. I want one on my car. That would get people’s attention.

It’s a quiet day around here. Loyal Reader Number Four is at girls’ camp, and we’re on our own. Loyal Reader Number One made a delicious dinner and we had a pleasant home evening. After Blog Time, we might even get a little dessert. Then it’s off to bed.

The Loyal Readers and I are planning one little bit of excitement – we’re going camping Friday night. I have to work that day, so it won’t be a long campout, but we’ll enjoy sitting around the trailer with our books, knives, or whatever; we’ll have a campfire if we can find some firewood; and we’ll play some Kubb.

By the way, there are an amazing number of Kubb websites out there. A few of them spell it “Koob,” but I think they’re just phoneticizing the word for the semi-literate lawn sports (link warning: I got a 70%) lovers out there. We’ll stick with “Kubb” here on Morrowlife.

Anyway. We might go out for breakfast on Saturday morning too. No need to be primitive, after all.

LRN1 is heading for college four weeks from today. Things are going to change around here.

Let’s see, what happened this weekend? We picked up the Loyal Readers on Saturday morning, of course. Their flight appears to have gone well, they had a great time with Loyal Readers Numbers Three and Fifteen, and it’s nice to have them home. We stopped and visited Loyal Readers Numbers Five, Six, and Twelve on the way home. They’re doing fine. LRN5 claimed that LRN12 had been a twerp all morning, but she was as good as gold when we were there. All smiles. I suspect she’s not capable of naughtiness, but her parents may have a different opinion.

I’m hungry for dessert. See you tomorrow.

Little brother

Friday, July 25th, 2008

Here’s a little family snapshot from Yosemite. This is Loyal Reader Number Four’s brother and his family. Yet another beautiful Yosemite background.

Well. I seem to have forgotten that yesterday was only Thursday. Wished my Loyal Readers a happy weekend prematurely. Oh, the shame.

Although it did feel like Saturday today. It was my off Friday, so I stayed home and only worked about three hours. Fine day – sunny and warm. Loyal Reader Number Four and I fixed the mower, trimmed the lawn, swam, cleaned the pool and pond filters, swam again, got the Honda washed and gassed, had a nice dinner out, bought some stuff at Wally Mart (new calculator batteries, which had been badly needed for a couple of months and were surprisingly cheap, antifreeze for the ‘burb and ‘rus, and some other stuff), and some new shirts for me on Uber Sale at Mervyn’s. Also cleaned all the superfluous stuff off my Palm and got it set back up on the Mac.

More work to do tomorrow, including picking up the Loyal Readers at the Oakland airport! Woo hoo! I also hope to work on the Miata’s boot snap.

Good news for Loyal Reader Number One! I discovered when I was messing with the Gadget that my license for The Missing Sync allows me to install it on two Macs. You can have a copy! Woo hoo!

This weekend’s controversy: Do you believe the rumors about a tablet Mac coming soon? And if they’re true, would you buy one? My answers: yes and definitely, assuming the pricing rumors are also true. LRN1 may want to look at one as his college computer.

Thanks to the Typo Brigade for keeping a weather eye on my work. I can’t see any typos there, though.

See you Monday.