Showing posts from June, 2014

Hollywood.bomb, Chapter 22

Chapter 22

The insistent trilling dragged Stephen out of a deep, dreamless sleep.  It took several groggy moments before he identified its source as his cell phone.  He carefully cracked one gritty eye open and checked the clock beside his bed: 6:04 A.M.  His groping hand found the phone, which came up easily.  Apparently, he had forgotten to plug it in last night.  He swiped a finger across it and drew it to his ear.  "This had better be an emergency," he said by way of greeting.

"Mr. Connelly?" a grimly official voice queried.

Stephen sat up straight, wide awake now.  "Yes?" he answered carefully.

"Sorry to wake you, sir.  This is Bud Jenkins from United States Homeland Security, sir.  Do you know a man who goes by the name of," he paused as though reading from a form, "Ricardo Abdul Moshe William Gunther Fredric… um, this looks like some collection of consonants and a couple of clicking noises… Bremerton Nilsson-Martinez?"

Stephen …

Hollywood.bomb, Chapter 21

Chapter 21
On the way to the airport, Stephen stopped by the office to gather a few things.  He was just stuffing the last items into his bag when a swishing sound alerted him to Ricky’s approach.  Looking up, he said, "I won’t bother to ask how your vacation went, but please tell me that you won’t go through security dressed like that.  What is that, a burqa?"
Ricky looked down at his Bedouin garb and then back at Stephen disdainfully.  "The burqa is the head covering for women, Stephen.  This," he gestured grandly to his robe, "is called a bisht.  And this," he tugged at the collar of a long tunic that hung nearly to the floor, "is a thob.  These are the traditional clothes of my people, which protect us from the desert heat.  And why shouldn’t I wear it?  If I want to honor my Muslim forefathers and prepare for Ramadan, I don’t see why I should let those TSA fascists intimidate me."  He shook his head as he settled a checkered headscarf over …

Not Seeing the Big Picture

Fair warning: the next person who shows me a pretty process picture and says, "See?  This is how you're supposed to work!" is going to get punched in the nose.  Or better yet, I'm going to sign them up for a visit from Cranky, the junk-punching elf (and if that isn't a service yet, I have a great startup idea for someone).

You've been warned.

It's not that I don't like a good process discussion; looking for better ways to build things is a good portion of my job, after all.  And it's not that I don't see the value in a good graphic.  Building software is an abstract process, and a good picture or analogy is a great way to take the abstract and make it real.  I understand these things and I value them, and yet I still have a visceral response every time someone trots out "The Agile Enterprise" pictograms or sends me their "Kanban Supply Chain in a Box" schematics.  At one point in my career, these pictures educated me. For…