Skip to main content

The Other Side of YKWP

Ok, this page is something other. It's not the blog, it's also not my professional work. No one wants to read training materials, business plans, or requirements documents anyway (although, they're pretty good). This is where I drop stuff—stories, pictures, illustrations... whatever I feel like sharing. Everything will be Creative Commons licensed in one form or another; I don't know why, it just seems like a good thing to do. Anyway, I'll break the sections down if needs be. Otherwise, enjoy, critique, or laugh. It's all up to you.

Rose of Sharon
This is a story I wrote, the first draft of which was finished 14 Oct 1997. Quality aside, the story is one with personal interest to me as I vividly remember the Vice Principal sticking his head in my class and whispering "The shuttle blew up" in my teachers ear (he had a problem controlling the volume of his voice). For nothing but sentimentality, this is one of my favorite compositions.

Chumbawamba - Pass It Along (MP3)
Talk about a band that got short shrift in the States. Chumbawamba was known as a one-hit-wonder this side of the pond. On the other side of the Atlantic, however, they are (not were) a huge club band. They're fanatically anarchistic (but what anarchist isn't, right?), but they actually have some decent music. This track is a slap in the face of the music industry. More tracks here.

Inspiration

Man cannot live by his own mind alone on an island, or something like that. Below are some things that inspire me. Some of these are Creative Commons licensed.

Cory Doctorow - Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom
How will you spend your life if you're immortal?

The Witch's Hand - Patrick O'Leary
Ghost stories always come true.

The Factwhore Proposition - Charles Coleman Finlay [author's website]
Life's a bitch; then you get a nemesis.

Note: This story originally appeared on Futurismic, but is gone now. If anyone finds it online again, drop me a line and I'll update this page.

Popular posts from this blog

Happy Retirement Pat Sweeny!

In a previous life, I was an active member of the West Michigan Shores Chapter of the STC. I met a lot of really cool people there and learned a lot about what it meant to be not just a technical writer, but more about how technical writers can break out of the mold and accomplish things.

One of the people who did that was Pat Sweeny. Pat is (or was, by this point) the President and owner of The Bishop Company, a contract do-it-all house; they document, streamline and illustrate your process, and they do it damn well. Pat was one of the first people in that chapter to "get it", which is to say, he and his company understand that technical writing isn't going to be a department for very much longer, it's going to be a business.

He had the foresight to actually make it a business, but he also had something else. Pat was forever trying to better those around him. He would come to meetings (which was a big step beyond most people) and teach you things. Or he would come to …

Google Inbox: A classic Google product

My work domain (an EDU) recently had Google Inbox enabled so I had a good chance to try it out. My personal email is relatively quiet and, I believe, doesn't provide a good Inbox experience. Work is more active and requires actual management, something I've tossed many a tool at over the years. As part of my work life, I supported the Google Apps for EDU installation here and took a pretty extensive presentation to campus about how to manage large amounts of email.

Inbox is a classic Google product: the distillation of a number of excellent ideas into a set of half-complete features built for a use case most people don't meet. We've seen this in the past in products like ChromeVox, Google's Chrome extension for accessibility. ChromeVox works great on ChromeOS devices, but completely ignores the point that most users of accessibility tech (AT) don't have or want ChromeOS devices and come to services with their AT in tow. ChromeVox also ignores decades of convent…

Evernote

Evernote, for better or worse, is the best note-taking service for my needs. It works across all my devices/computers/modes. It's fairly easy to get stuff into it. Hell, they even have 2-Factor authentication. The Windows app is a little clunky and my girlfriend and I have never been able to get shared notes to work properly (conflicted note! three times in the same grocery trip!), but what service is perfect? At least they have nice socks.

Everything, in fact, is pretty good as long as you don't screw up. And screw up I did. I'm not very regular about making backups, but I do make them every month or so. Once you figure out how to create a backup, that is.

There's a helpful Export Note option (which turns into Export Notes when you select multiple notes HINT). The export process is essentially opening All Notes, selecting every note, and then choosing Export Notes. Or something like that; Evernote never tells you, you're left to figure it out on your own. The file…