Saturday, August 26, 2006

Team Name

Our team at work finally has a name.

Naming groups of people in large organizations is not pleasant.

You go through acronym gymnastics trying to make clever things work. We had one acronym based name that someone's wife pointed out could also be spelled O-FACE (Office Space reference). We tried to use a metaphor, but sadly, those are hard to get past HR.

Our team is a bit of a Skunk Works, but we didn't want our name to make it appear like we aren't focused on providing business value.

Our name is:

Premium Innovation

That is about as much zip as you are going to get past upper management and HR at my company. For those not in the insurance industry, 'Premium' is synonymous with 'Revenue'. So it is a bit of a double entendre. We are focused on writing software and implementing systems that will have a very high impact on the bottom line. Putting the word 'premium' in the name is supposed to convey that. The second meaning means that we are premium software/system engineers (of course!). The 'innovation' bit is of course corporate, but it is better then "solutions" or something. And the truth is, we are going to be doing a lot of innovating (or at least that is the plan).

So there you have it.

Please don't ridicule the name - I simply can't bare it after going through 20 different ones the past month! ;)

Now of course there must be an acronym - this is corporate America. Don't quite know what it will be ... PI (like 3.14)? P.I. (Magnum!). PIT (Premium Innovation Team).

Time will tell ...


I'd just like to point out that Rainbow Sandals kick butt.

I prefer Double Leathers.

I'm going to go creep around my neighborhood wearing mine. They are 3 years old and they are magnificent.

Thursday, August 24, 2006


Last week I caught this redside Trout on the Deschutes

It was pretty wild - we fished this back eddy and didn't see much. As we hiked out we were on a ledge and had a great view above the river. Below we could see 2 large trout. I hiked back down with our guide, Jakob Lund and my dad and our guide to the Warm Springs reservation (Toot) stayed above.

My dad and Toot told us where the fish was and I casted to it. The fish started moving up river and we thought he was gone. But then he circled back and swam towards me. With my dad and Toot's frantic directions from above I saw the fish. I casted to it again and he slurped up my dry fly. He put up a good fight and we released him after this pic.

Lots of fun.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Elemental Links - New Age Analyst

Brenda Michelson is starting her own analyst firm: Elemental Links .

I don't know her personally, just a blog colleague. I stumbled across a good paper on Event Driven Architecture (EDA) that she wrote a few months ago and I started reading her blog.

I really dig the fact that she is going to be a "transparent" analyst.

I have always been troubled by the transparency problem with IT Industry analysts. It is far too easy for analysts to have conflict of interest problems when they have clients on both sides of the fence. This is a problem when readers of the research do not know which vendors are also clients of the analyst / who funded the research they are reading (and perhaps basing vendor short lists on thinking that it is objective).

Kudos to Brenda for being transparent. We won't have to guess what her natural biases are (after all, we all have them). I hope that this becomes the norm with IT Industry analysts.

And Brenda, please make a point to always review an OSS alternative when researching software (given your track record in this area, I doubt this will be a problem). And if you don't think there is a credible OSS alternative, state why. This is another curious issue with non-transparent analyst firms. Too often viable OSS alternatives to proprietary software are not reviewed or even mentioned in research.

This is not an endorsement by my employer, but my personal view. Vendors are NOT free to quote with attribution to my employer.

Wireless Addiction

I'm with Roger Simon sadly. The house we rented in Sunriver (and all the others apparently) had a wireless network.

I also had my Blackberry "for emergencies".

The good news is I didn't get too behind on email. That is the bad news too.

With WiFi, wireless will be everywhere. Someday soon, it will be next to impossible to "disconnect".

Roger says it well:

But I fear for our future. As information intrudes everywhere, it will become harder and harder to find peace - unless we find it in ourselves... not always an easy thing.

Although I love technology and love the "connected" world, I liked the physical boundaries that used to exist when it came to vacation.

Friday, August 11, 2006

On a Bender

I'm going dark for a while ...

I'll be in Bend.

I will be kicking it with the family, having cold ones, mountain biking, hiking, fly fishing, and trying to resist learning more about Ruby.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Open-Source people in their natural habitats

Tim Bray knows stuff:

I think Carr’s problem is that he doesn’t actually see Open-Source people in their natural habitats; he was at OSBC but not OSCON. The practice of OSS software has two drivers that matter: the community of peers, and the urge to scratch a technical itch. If you don’t understand that, you’ll never understand anything important about OSS.

I very briefly met Tim at OSCON.

I made a "I really respect your music" type comment to him. He was all, "hey thanks - who are you?".

The "I really respect your music" line originated in college. I was studying in Europe and attending a Phish/Santana show in Rome. Phish opened for Santana. When Phish finished their set, they came and hung out with the crowd (mostly a bunch of American college idiots like myself). Trey Anastasio (then Phish's lead singer) came by and I said, "Hey man, I really respect your music." (like a total blubbering idiot). Trey responded:

7 second pause, "hey, um ... thanks?". And then he left.

I have a way with words, what can I say.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Are Standards Becoming Barriers to Innovation?

+1 for Stefan Tilkov who +1's Sam Ruby.

Stefan Tilkov says:

The industry as a whole has become so dependent on abstractions that they’re used without regards for their benefit.

Sam Ruby says:

The link is the glue that holds the web together. It is what differentiates the web from protocols like ftp that merely serve as access methods for documents. The very notion of a link has become practically inexpressible and virtually unthinkable in the vernacular of SOA.

And I say, "standards" are becoming the enemy. They used to be the best option out there to defend against lock in. Now I fear that (at least in the integration space) standards are being abused to create barriers to entry and barriers to innovation. Every 6 months there is a new consortium, a new set of specifications, a new media blitz. Perhaps I’m just jaded or naive, but I believe in the future where open systems result in ex post facto standards. Standards should result when there is a ground swell of support from integration practitioners for some person’s or vendor’s open innovation – not from some theoretical agreement from vendors.

09-AUG-06 Updated with fixed name for Stefan Tilkov :O)

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Stumptown within 100 yards

There is new coffee house within 100 yards of my humble abode that serves Stumptown Coffee

I am an espresso addict and Stumptown is pretty much unbeatable in terms of "for shits-sake that is good" coffee.

This tricked-out coffee house named "Sip & Kranz" just opened. They:

  1. Have Stumptown Coffee
  2. Were professionally trained by Stumptown barristas
  3. Have a kids room for my darling daughter to play in while I take espresso baths
  4. Have Icelandic decor
I had my first cappuccino there this morning and it was as good as at a real Stumptown.

Needless to say, I'll be making many many stops there on my walk to work going forward.

Oh look, a better review then mine.

What does this have to do with EDA or Open Source you ask? What do you think gives me the fuel to yammer on about that stuff. Espresso is extremely important.