Time for an Ark

April 24th, and it's raining. Not drizzling, not a spring shower, no, no, no. A cold, driving rain... In California, in April. XX(

I haven't written about the rains, the slides, the 12 minute commute to pick up my partner that is now over an hour, the two-hours it takes to get over the hill at commute times, or even the joys of living just south of the new cul-de-sac. I lived through it in '95 when I worked at Oracle. Why complain? Others are having a much harder time of it than I.

But on Saturday night, a slide on CA Rte. 92 played havoc with the telephone lines for the Coast. No DSL, minimal if any cell service, wonky landlines. And to top it off, both of my old routers [inside and outside to form a DMZ] died. I did buy a new MIMO router. :D Any excuse is a good excuse. But I'm still investigating why both routers [one is less than a month old] should die because of mud pulling out the fiber optics 12 miles away.

And now it's raining again. Time to build the ark and gather the animals.

Oh well, at least the frog that has taken up residence in our pond is happy about the rain. And the owls are back. Last night as I was setting up the new router was the first I had heard the owls since the cypress fell over - also because of the rains. I'm not sure if the owls are in the new holy cypress, or across the street in the Monterey Pines.

Ah well, better that than for it to have fallen into the house, or to have the house go sliding down the hill into my neighbor Joe's place.

Tim is working on the electricity today, so I'm typing this while on Back-UPS battery power. He came down with the flu right after his initial inspection, poor guy. Twnety-six minutes to go, and then I must shut down.

PMI PMO Critical Chain

Clarise and I attended the PMI [of which we're members] San Francisco Bay Area April supper meeting last night. The topic, "The Natural Evolution of a PMO", is of interest to us because we've been unable to determine if something really new is happening here. The answer is NO. As we suspected, PMO is hype to get companies to establish standard project management methodologies, such as our own 6D™ methodology, complete with procedures and templates. One evidence that this is so, is that there isn't agreement on whether the "P" in PMO is "project" or "program".

As so often happens, the most interesting talk of the evening was that at the supper table with our colleagues. One topic of conversation was on the wiki(Theory of Constraints) and wiki(Critical Chain) Project Management. Managing a project is about managing resources, and Critical Chain Management addresses managing conflicting demands on resources. As Pat, at our table, pointed out, one doesn't necessarily have the data necessary to actually use the Critical Chain model. I liken it to Chaos theory in mathematics; great for understanding what occurred or is occurring, but it isn't so good as a predictive model. So if one can't adequately plan [model] a project using Critical Chain, does it have any value? Perhaps... Create a knowledge base of all projects in the portfolio, and use Critical Chain to understand what happened in the projects and why projects succeed or fail in your corporate environment.

Here's a google search that provides some nice results for Critical Chain in Project Management.

Mike Fields of Kana

Mike Fields, CEO & Chairman of the Board at Kana spoke at the OracAlum event last night and gave one of the best speaker's forums I've been too. Mike has a long history in the software industry, and has some great perspecitves.

He left Oracle in '92 to start OpenVision, where they had engineers in San Diego & Minnesota; the best engineers were in Minnesota. They did 14 acquisitions in 18 months

He lives in the US Virgin Islands

  • tax advantages
  • 8 x broadband of US
  • timezone advantages

John Thompson asked him to join Kana Board of Directors at Kana, which develops software [knowledge base, search & call center] & services in the customer support arena; after being on the board for 2 weeks, he was asked to run the company [that was only 7 mos ago]

One very interesting decision that he's made at Kana is to "backshore" development from India to Menlo Park; Kana had given up the intellectual knowledge of their Intellectual Property, and that couldn't be tolerated. After he had done that, they discovered that Kana had not been saving any money; looking at costs such as equipment in India, telecommunications, 1 Product Manager in US for every 5-10 engineers in India, and greatly increased QA & documentation costs. In addition, they had lost time to market due to the loss of collaboration between architect and programmer - they now have twice the speed to market with one-third the developers.

Mike also gave a very interesting answer to my question about the growth of Enterprise Open Source Software recently. He reiterated something that I've said before, there has been freely available and sharing of source code since the beginning of computing. But his perspective on the commoditization issue was very different. Mike feels that the commodization of all other products is driving the software industry. Software and IT will help companies in a commoditzed world - helping companiess help their customers.

Mike gave a refreshing and enjoyable talk. I was very glad that Clarise and I went.

Easter 2006

As I've written previously, Easter is my favorite food holiday. This year was no exception. We started with a brunch of

The brunch was great. Dad's mazzarelles and pastiere were really great this year.

Easter Brunch Table
Click to view original size

Mom really enjoyed it.

Mom Digging into Brunch
Click to view original size

Even though we couldn't get the ham to Bunkey, we did get one for ourselves, which I cooked in a traditional southern cola glaze. It went from package

Burger Brown Sugar Cured Ham in Package
Click to view original size

... to the cutting board with a soak overnight, and four hours of cooking

Ham in Cola Glaze Cooked
Click to view original size

So, supper was also great.

Easter Supper Table
Click to view original size

Flaky Electricity

Sparks, snaps and pops, oh my...

  1. The new APC that I bought won't stop beeping every four seconds or so. Very quietly. Not a full fledged tone, and the on-battery light never comes on, and the software never admits to there being a problem.
  2. Almost every one of the overhead lights in my house have fried half of their sockets.
  3. I'm losing a spotlight every other week in my kitchen.
  4. One of the lights outside has failed completely.
  5. The fancy low-voltage lighting system we had custom made for the stairwell won't come on.

The electricity in the house has definitely gone flaky. Not the nice, delicate flaky of a fine pie crust. No, no, no. This is the full-tilt bonzo crazy FLAKY of unexplained weirdness. :crazy:

To the rescue is Tim Swillinger, providing residential electrical work and solar energy systems to the Coastside. He took pages and pages of notes today, and he'll be back on Monday to do begin the real investigation as to WHY. A report will follow. He's afraid that he may have to rip out walls.

He doesn't have a web site, so I can't link to him. I enjoyed working with him today. Maybe some blog hosting and consulting could be traded for some repair work. &#59;) Maybe not.

I think cake is in order. :lalala:

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The TeleInterActive Press is a collection of blogs by Clarise Z. Doval Santos and Joseph A. di Paolantonio, covering the Internet of Things, Data Management and Analytics, and other topics for business and pleasure. 37.540686772871 -122.516149406889



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