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Archives for August, 2007

lean math departments?

Jordan asked: Could there be, even in principle, a lean math department? What would it be? Which is a great question, to which I started a rambling response; I figure I might as well turn it into a rambling blog post instead. Where do I even start thinking about that? What does a math department […]

lean dentist

I just listened to a great LeanBlog podcast episode on Dr. Sami Bahri, The World’s First Lean Dentist. Really amazing; this guy was unhappy with how his dental practice was going (e.g. very bad on-time performance, very long wait times), did some reading, and thought this lean stuff would help. Despite the fact, of course, […]

random links: august 26, 2007

Ninja Town. I love the character names. A great video review. (Even though it’s of a demo of a game I’ve paid no attention to.) Tim Bray speaks sense on drugs. “Um, let’s see… the cost of pushing back a brutal ugly slow path to death is getting high from time to time. Yep, I […]

phoenix wright 2

Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney: Justice for All is the second game in the Phoenix Wright series. It’s very similar to its predecessor, which is a good thing: its predecessor was excellent. So go and read my review of the first one, and come back. They tweaked the game mechanics slightly. For one thing, they added […]

that’s creepy

I just accepted an invitation from a coworker on LinkedIn; when I did so, it presented me with a list of “People You May Know”. The creepy thing was that I do in fact know about half of them, but I can’t figure out how LinkedIn knows that. If it could go through my address […]

etrian odyssey

I’ve talked about Etrian Odyssey before. It’s a dungeon crawler, which isn’t my favorite genre, but it also has the gimmick that, as you play, you have to draw the map of the dungeon on the bottom screen of your DS with your stylus. And I love (and miss) drawing maps while playing games, so […]

post length

Maybe I’d have more free time if I were capable of writing blog posts that are less than three pages long?

game development

For the last several months, Miranda has been repeatedly talking about ideas that she has for a computer game. I idly encouraged her without thinking too much about it; recently, however, she’s been actually filling up notebooks with designs for the game, so it looked like time to start getting serious. She doesn’t show any […]

dealing with annoying drivers

Jordan responded to my earlier post by adding: If you would like to be driving 5 mph faster than you are, but someone is preventing you, stop and think about how much difference the extra 5 mph makes to your overall life goals. If the answer is “not very much,” then try to keep from […]

ide assumptions

On the XP mailing list, somebody recently pointed out that never changing IDEs is a sign that you’re in a rut. Which is true; I love Emacs, but I love it less with more recent languages, so why not learn a bit more about what’s out there? Tim Bray recently posted about how well the […]

clueless drivers

Warning: boring whining about other drivers follows. And no, I don’t claim to be a perfect driver myself. One of my coworkers has been known to say something like “east coast drivers are assholes, west coast drivers are clueless”. Having driven on both coasts recently, I’m inclined to agree. And, while I’ll take the clueless […]

detailing carpets

I’ve been on a bit of a Christopher Alexander kick for the last couple of years. At first, I started reading his most famous books, but those were good enough to leave me curious about what else he’d written. Not all of which is great, but enough is to keep me going. Still, it’s taken […]

learning japanese: a month and a half in

I’m on the fourth chapter of my Japanese textbook now, enough for a new set of difficulties to surface. All of which ring vague bells from a decade ago; I’m trying to do things right this time, which means that I need better strategies for facing these difficulties than I had last time. One problem: […]

i guess that’s why they’re there

A few months ago, I lost the foam covers on my earphones (standard iPod earbuds). I didn’t worry about it too much at the time; they sound fine without them. A month ago, the left ear in one set of earphones died. I didn’t notice exactly when it happened; I chalked it up to kinking […]

joshua bell in a subway station

Several months ago, the Washington post wrote an article about Joshua Bell performing in a D.C. subway station. Almost nobody noticed him; he made some money (probably a good amount for a subway musician), but certainly didn’t attract any crowds or anything. My first reaction was: I hope that I would recognize the quality of […]

more shuffle, please

Last weekend, we were driving back from the Exploratorium, and were listening to the iPod in shuffle mode most of the time. As expected, it gave us a delightful selection to listen to: Stan Freberg (“There’ll Never Be Another War”, the Civil War version as opposed to the WWI reprise); a 10-second snippet of Katamari […]

mechanical assistance

An interesting analysis of the beneficial effects of Bonds’ armor on his swing. Sounds plausible to me, if not 75-100 home runs plausible; I’d be curious to read further studies on the topic. And, if it’s true, what’s the proper way to deal with the situation? I guess I’d lean towards allowing body armor for […]

car models

Another thing I learned on the trip: I can see why Ford retired the Taurus. (Though I guess they’re bringing it back.) I didn’t like ours from the moment I sat down in it, mainly because I felt like my head was banging against the ceiling. I realize that I like to sit farther forward […]


Miranda is currently under the impression that the name of The Blue Danube Waltz is “the burping song”. She practiced some on vacation; she’s not nearly as good yet at burping melodically on demand as Wakko, but she’s definitely improving. (Trivia: that’s not actually the regular Wakko voice doing the burps: they are stunt burps […]