Month: October 2012

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So then we are looking around, and then what? There is a lot to discover out there, but then one wonders which way, and then what?

When you think about it logically, the best way is more than obvious. Logically that is, at least. Let's proceed and see what happens.

But then again, in terms of creativity and following what feels best from inside, we should turn left instead of turning right. Or even taking a couple steps backward before proceeding again.

In then end, looking back on the way we made it to this point in the first place is what it is all about, nothing more.

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Driving home.

Back in the good old days I had other expectations of how things would eventually turn out, but of course life is unpredictable and things have turned out much differently. Completely differently. Too much differently than I could have ever expected.

Nothing more, really ...

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Hello
I've waited here for you
Everlong

Tonight
I throw myself into
And out of the red, out of her head she sang

Come down
And waste away with me
Down with me

Slow how You wanted it to be I'm over my head, out of her head she sang

And I wonder When I sing along with you

-- Foo Fighters

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Autumn-2012-1.JPG Autumn-2012-2.JPG

Had a long and peaceful walk through the woods today. Millions of leaves all over the place. Blue skies through the branches and wisps of white drifting up high. Colder and darker and quieter than usual. You can really feel that winter will be here before you realize it.

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Boy, was my back killing me last night. I am not quite sure what happened, but starting around one o'clock I spent several sleepless hours in excruciating pain, rolling around, getting in and out of bed, and moaning a lot.

No matter which position I tried, nothing helped to relief that pain in my lower back. Curled on my side, lying flat on my back, turning around on my belly, bending my arms and legs every which way, contorting myself.

Fortunately my wife who is a nurse went to her secret stash, pulled out one of her magical pills, and handed it to me with a glass of water in her other hand. Such a tiny pink pill couldn't possibly help, but I gulped it down anyway.

Within ten minutes I could feel it working, as the pain slowly but surely began to subside. It was like this localized cloud of negative energy was dissipating into thin air. I drifted into a deep sleep, and when I woke up again I couldn't believe how much better I felt.

I've been told that it has a lot to do with stress, but I do not think that that can be the reason. Lately, life has been treating me well, and though my work is busy it is challenging in a fun and exciting way. Hopefully within a couple days I will be back to normal, at least physically that is.

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Whatever you do just make sure that you focus on the tasks at hand and release software early and frequently, preferably in predictable iterations where defined deliverables are deployed.

The real killer is going for the big-bang release, shipping the product only after all of the functionality has been implemented.

This makes it difficult if not impossible to incorporate valuable feedback from the customers and end-users. The likelihood of creating a product that people love and want to buy is greatly reduced.

The worst drawback is that with a one off big-bang release, the team will be deploying the software for the very first time. They have not had time to practice this tedious process before. This means lots of last minute stress and an error prone release process where the launch date will more than likely be missed by a mile.

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Could it be that my father passed away twelve years ago already? Sometimes I think not, but at the same time I still cannot believe it and have learned long ago to accept it. When I looked at the calendar this morning, I was struck by the fact that the time had passed by so quickly. Yes indeed, twelve years ago it has been.

He was forty years old when I was born, so that means that had he still been living today he would have been ninety-five years old. That's pretty old. I wonder how many holes in one he would have collected by now, had he lived that much longer.

Rex Gish MD - Hawaii, 1970.jpg
Dr. Rex A. Gish, Hawaii 1970.

The many memories of my father still remain very fresh in my mind, like it was just yesterday. I guess he had a pretty important influence on the making of the person I am right now, but that is not everything. Cussing and yelling often enough, sure. But also giving me advice, displaying integrity and honesty, and telling me what I might want to do in life.

Playing golf with him, driving in his big Cadillac, going to see the Giants play in Candlestick Park, waking up in the middle of the night because of his cursing and complaining, having a quick dinner in front of the television waiting for the Monday Night football to start, it's all part of what I am all about.

My goal in life is to have as many holes-in-one as my father, he had somehow collected nine beauties. However, since I have none so far that may take some time. Something to look forward to in life.

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Oh yeah, I almost forgot to mention that today it is Luca's sixth birthday, which is forty-two in dog years. Middle-aged but still spunky and energetic.

Thea and I went into town today to buy me a new suit for work. Afterwards, we had coffee and apple pie at Cafe Central, and then we went to the local pet store to buy Luca a giant bone with juicy pieces of meat hanging off of it.

Luca was the happiest dog in the world and has been licking and chewing it for more than two hours. Too bad she got sick and threw it all up afterwards.

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sylvia-kristel-300.jpg

I cannot believe that Sylvia Kristal has died. She was only five years older than I am. When I was twenty I worshipped her, she was such a stunning sex symbol. Back then I didn't know that she was Dutch. Now she is gone.

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Here's an interesting quote I came across this evening while reading the introduction of the online course Building a Modern Computer From First Principles:

It turns out that this strategy works well thanks to a special gift unique to humans: our ability to create and use abstractions. The notion of abstraction, central to many arts and sciences, is normally taken to be a mental expression that seeks to separate in thought, and capture in some concise manner, the essence of some entity. In computer science, we take the notion of abstraction very concretely, defining it to be a statement of "what the entity does" and ignoring the details of "how it does it." This functional description must capture all that needs to be known in order to use the entity's services, and nothing more. All the work, cleverness, information, and drama that went into the entity's implementation are concealed from the client who is supposed to use it, since they are simply irrelevant. The articulation, use, and implementation of such abstractions are the bread and butter of our professional practice: Every hardware and software developer is routinely defining abstractions (also called "interfaces") and then implementing them, or asking other people to implement them. The abstractions are often built layer upon layer, resulting in higher and higher levels of capabilities.

The site contains all the software tools and project materials necessary to build a general-purpose computer system from the ground up, so check it out if you dare to take up this amazing challenge.

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I really like the idea of focussing on the bare necessities when it comes to creating new products.

The best products are those which are simple and uncluttered, offering only the features that the customer really wants and actually ends up using.

An organization that embraces simplicity as a core element of the user experience will become a successful software product company.

Whenever there is discussion about whether or not to introduce a new feature or additional requirement, ask yourself first if this new functionality is absolutely critical to the success of the product.

If your answer is no, then discard this crazy idea and return your focus to what really matters.

Reference:
Agile Product Management with Scrum by Roman Pichler

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Information

This personal weblog was started way back on July 21, 2001 which means that it is 7-21-2001 old.

So far this blog contains no less than 2291 entries and as many as 1876 comments.

Important events

Graduated from Stanford 6-5-1979 ago.

Kiffin Rockwell was shot down and killed 9-23-1916 ago.

Believe it or not but I am 10-11-1957 young.

Began well-balanced and healthy life style 1-8-2013 ago.

My father passed away 10-20-2000 ago.

First met Thea in Balestrand, Norway 6-14-1980 ago.