September 26, 2007
The good news is that I’m now officially certified. It’s cheap, painless, and useful.
The interesting news is that the CPR technique has changed significantly in the last couple of years, and for the simpler: 30 compressions and 2 breaths (regardless of age), don’t waste time checking for a pulse, and a simpler technique to find where to push.
The funny news is that the sophisticated CPR dummies have no arms and legs, so I couldn’t stop thinking of Boxing Helena. Plus, the class was taught by a Marine from Texas who passed his firefighter certifications at 49 and had a belt buckle that could double as a dinner plate. He told us in great detail that if done correctly, it is highly likely that you will hear terrible snapping, grinding, and crunching during compressions. You know, bones, tendons, cartilage and stuff. “That’s how you know you’re working hard enough.”
It was … awesome.
Anyhow. Highly recommended. It’s a skill worth having.
September 18, 2007
I attended an interesting presentation today at the OTBC: “Co-Ops, What Are They, and How Do You Start One?”
The gist of the co-op idea is that for certain groups of people or companies, coming together to share resources can be far more efficient than simply going at it alone. A good example that everyone’s heard of is OceanSpray, the cranberry company. It’s a group of independent cranberry farmers who came together and formed a corporation for distributing and marketing cranberry products. It’s run democratically, profits are shared amongst it’s members, and it’s very successful in it’s own right.
Adam DuVander (from the Portland Web Innovators) and I talked afterwards about how this concept applies to something closer to home: professional software development. There are lots of independent software developers and consultants in the Portland area, and while the technologies and applications vary wildly, there are probably some very common frustrations that could be aided under a co-op structure.
Ask any independent software developer or consultant what their biggest gripes are about running a business, and I’m pretty sure the same three things will show up on everyone’s list: managing money, legal issues, and insurance. Invoicing, book keeping, solid contracts, good NDAs, taxes, health and vision and dental plans and all those sorts of things are necessary for running a successful business … and have nothing to do with delivering high quality software.
My knee jerk thought is that a co-op could go a long way toward solving these problems. Larger groups have more bargaining power for getting accounting, legal, and insurance services … and centralized bookkeeping and payroll would make a lot of people’s lives easier: wouldn’t it be nice to do business as an independent software developer, to get paid for your work, and to not worry about the rest?
Anyhow. Does this sound like a compelling idea to anyone else?
Update: You’re welcome to join the discussion on the Portland Web Innovators forums.
September 15, 2007
September 13, 2007
When I was sitting in a train station in Japan, I watched a variety show that featured a young guy with a banjo lookin’ thing who was dressed in traditional garb … but produced some SERIOUS TECHNO ACTION with some lady with a flute and a guy with a drum. It was awesome.
Not being able to communicate in Japanese has put a serious crimp in my plans to find out who this guy was and buy all of the music he’s ever made. So, this evening I was hunting around on the Intertron, and found a few things that get me close … but not quite there.
First, the thing he was playing is called a shamisen, which translated into American means “three stringed, cat skin banjo, played with a spatula.” No joke, it’s made with cat skin.
That let me dig up some pretty sweet stuff, like this dueling shamisen video, some hot solo action, a little shamisen vs. a DJ, and a shimsen vs. taiko video that gets pretty darned close to what I heard in that train station. The common thread in most of the good stuff I found is Kinoshita Shinichi, who, apparently, has awesome fingers. This is a promising lead.
Any chance anyone else out there can help me in my quest?
Update: Worth posting again — the Hifana Wamono video that planted the Japanese hip hop / techno seed in my brain earlier this year.
September 12, 2007
Which begs the question: what isn’t environmentally friendly, compared to a nuclear bomb?
I don’t like getting political on my blog, but even the premise of this weapon is straight up retarded.
September 9, 2007
Behold: the Zap Xebra Sedan.
It’s an electric three wheeled jelly bean … and I drove one today. It’s more or less like driving a … three wheeled jelly bean. Kids screamed with glee when we drove past. Other drivers looked horrified, or overjoyed.
My parents bought it as a little get around town car, and I have to say, it’s perfectly suited for the job.
September 8, 2007
A few of my graffiti photos from Tokyo have been explained and pulled into a Flickr group for Japanese street art … it’s a big collection. Worth checking out, if you’re into such things.
September 8, 2007
September 8, 2007
It’s been a week, getting back into the swing of things. At work we kicked off a new project for a kick ass client (Queen Bee Creations) and dropped a frustrating project (with a full refund). We have a handful of potential clients in the incubator, and we’re working on staying in touch with everyone else (hooray for Facebook and LinkedIn). I synced up with the two startups I’m also working with, both of which have big hairy goals, and both of which should be releasing their first public sites in the next few months. Nova and I are prepping a joint webinar for her communication consulting biz, and we’re gathering ideas and materials for future presentations down the road.
So, I think my schedule is full right now — comfortably full, not crazy full, and that’s great. And there’s no way I can handle all of it without the right partner.
One of the things Nova and I have worked out over the last few months is our roles in our business. She’s very good at understanding goals and working through them, keeping in touch with clients, holding people to their word, and managing little problems before they get out of hand. I enjoy meeting new people, getting excited about their ideas, and turning big piles of goals into workable specifications. It turns out we compliment each other in our roles, and since we’ve embraced them, we’ve been getting a lot more done.
Anyhow. It’s good to be back in Portland.