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Archives for November, 2008

child’s play

You have doubtless noticed the new widget in my blog’s sidebar. It’s for Child’s Play, a charity that gives toys, video games, books, etc. to children’s hospitals around the world. It’s a wonderful cause, and those of us in the Vintage Game Club thought that it would be fun to try to pool our energies […]

i love rock band 2

I dipped into Rock Band 2 a bit more today. Miranda wasn’t in the mood, so I went through a few solo challenges; it turns out that the various marathon challenges provide a tour through all the songs on the disk, so my previous concerns are at least somewhat unfounded. I wasn’t planning to be […]

random links: november 30, 2008

Game | Life on the death of next gen consoles in Japan. The Gallery of Fluid Motion. I like the second one too, though it takes a while to get going. Arlo Belshee on planning without estimating. As with his earlier promiscuous pairing experiments, there’s a lot to think about here… Interesting way to think […]

bittersweet deception cake

This year’s Thanksgiving dessert was the Bittersweet Deception cake from Bittersweet. Its texture is actually almost more of a mousse than anything else; very good. It looks a bit long, but it’s actually quite easy to make. (You will want to prepare it the previous day, however.) We used 70% chocolate for it, which worked […]

finished rock band vocals; started rock band 2

I’ve now finished the Rock Band vocals solo tour on Hard. To my family’s consternation / bemusement, I sung most of the songs in the second half in falsetto: it seems to pick up my pitch more reliably that way? (Dan Bruno says that I’m not the only one who does that.) It didn’t actually […]

richard gabriel on christopher alexander

I claimed that my last post was going to be my last Christopher Alexander post for a while, but I lied. I spend some time today reading Richard Gabriel’s Patterns of Software, the first part of which talks about Alexander’s work (up through the carpets book, which isn’t discussed nearly enough; Gabriel’s book dates from […]

agile processes as living structures

One more Christopher Alexander Nature of Order post, and then I’ll take a break. This is a counterpart to my earlier post about living code (I even repeat some of the examples): this time, I’m focusing on the agile processes that might produce that code. Again, thanks to the Agile Open California participants who helped […]

refactoring writ large

At Agile Open California this year, I didn’t spend all my time thinking about Christopher Alexander (and I owe y’all still more blog posts about that): I also convened a session on Refactoring Writ Large. I put my notes up on the AOC wiki, but here are the examples that motivated it: Consider the following […]

don gray and personality types

On Wednesday morning at AYE, I attended a session that Don Gray ran on personality types. The session was focused on the MBTI temperaments; so we broke up into groups based on our personality types, with each group given 10 minutes to come up with a definition of teamwork and 10 minutes to come up […]

weinberg and the clinic model

On Tuesday afternoon of AYE, I attended a session on the clinic method that Jerry ran. The idea: surprises always happen on projects, and they’re generally bad. In cities, we have institutions (e.g. hospitals) to go to for help when we run into trouble; maybe our development organizations should have the same? One way to […]

esther derby on organizational change

On Tuesday morning of AYE, I attended Esther Derby’s session on organizational change. This session’s simulation was about a factory that had decided to enter the lucrative “fancy pinwheel” market. She started out by dividing us into four groups (cutters, assemblers, testers, managers), and plunked us down in a room without a lot of information. […]

weinberg on the self-esteem toolkit

The Monday afternoon AYE session that I attended was one by Gerald Weinberg on “Remembering Your Resources When Stressed: The Self Esteem Toolkit”. This is basically the material from his book More Secrets of Consulting: some reminders to help you act more congruently in difficult situations. For example, the Yes/No Medallion, to help you say […]

low-pressure connections

One complaint about twitter (and other websites which I have less experience with, e.g. Facebook) is that they provide a sham of real connection: you’re not really friends with all of those people, it’s just a sort of faux intimacy. This is true, but it’s actually a strength rather than a virtue, and being at […]

satir change model simulation

The session that I attended at AYE this morning was Steve Smith’s session on the Satir change model. The meat of the session was a simulation, where one person was going through the stages of the model and the rest of us were broken up into teams representing stages: the Old Status Quo, the Foreign […]

introverts and extroverts

Some tidbits about introverts and extroverts, prompted by today’s MBTI discussion: When I got to lunch, about half the group from the tutorial session was in the lunch room, but it was almost completely quiet. I’m fairly sure that what happened was that none of the introverts wanted to stay around and chat after the […]

the j/p split

Today is a warmup tutorial for AYE; the morning session ended with a discussion of Meyers-Briggs personality types. What struck me the most this time was the discussion of the J/P split. This split is related to how you act: the J side (judging, scheduling) likes to have a plan and lists, while the P […]

choosing what to do

A warning: this post will perhaps come off as excessively self-indulgent: I’m only doing it because, within the last week, two different people asked me about this in person. (I’m happy to do more posts like this if y’all actually find them interesting, though.) Occasionally, a friend of mine asks me how I get stuff […]