Almost Army Proof.



I just added a tagboard, it's on the right hand side. Please feel free to leave a tag, I always appriciate cool links.

No Video Games for a Year


I just started a new blog NVGY. Where I will be attempting to cataloge one whole year without video games.

"I know it's too late in the year to make a New Year's Resolution, but I came to a decision last night. I will not play any video games for a year. That's right.

I have played video games almost my whole life, since the NES I have never been without some sort of way to play video games on either a computer or a console. So after 15 - 20 years of playing video games, I have decided to quit.

Why did I come to this decision, well, to put it bluntly, video games are a waste of time. What do I get out of them? How do they enrich my life? Do I even get to tell a funny story after I am done playing them?

So for one whole year I have decided to go without, and you dear reader (if you care)can go along for the ride."

NVGY rss

The New Urbanism


The New Urbanism movement espouses, a more village like structure, more renewable resource usage, and walking, lots of walking.

From newurbanism.org:

NEW URBANISM is the most important planning movement this century, and is about creating a better future for us all. It is an international movement to reform the design of the built environment, and is about raising our quality of life and standard of living by creating better places to live. New Urbanism is the revival of our lost art of place-making, and is essentially a re-ordering of the built environment into the form of complete cities, towns, villages, and neighborhoods - the way communities have been built for centuries around the world. New Urbanism involves fixing and infilling cities, as well as the creation of compact new towns and villages.


1. Walkability

2. Connectivity

3. Mixed-Use & Diversity

4. Mixed Housing

5. Quality Architecture & Urban Design

6. Traditional Neighborhood Structure

7. Increased Density

8. Smart Transportation

9. Sustainability

10. Quality of Life

This is really interesting stuff, having lived in Europe, it seems that this "New Urbanism" is in fact "Old Urbanism", reminiscent of European villages and small towns. Living in a German village for the past three years (surrounded by wind and solar power), I must confess I do like it.

Digging deeper into the website, the movement wants to slash all energy production from fossil, coal, and nuclear fuels. Personally I believe that nuclear fuels (and their proper disposal)are currently the only way to ensure adequate power production for cities and villages. We rely too heavily on information, mass production, and industrial systems to cut out large amounts of reliable power, in favor of unreliable solar and wind power sources.

Certainly this is a step in the right direction and I hope to see some of these changes soon.

More Krieger


Shoot! I just missed this! toybot studios: Maschinen Krieger: The Art of Kow Yokoyama, Portland OR

It was in Portland Or, sponsered by JustBeDesign, JustBe also runs an all Japanese toy store in downtown Portland. Well worth checking out if you are in the area.

Check out the show photos

and buy some art



I love crappy plastic models . . . Even more to the point I love crappy sci-fi plastic models. After reading these 2 statements you can tell that I just fell in love with the Maschinen Krieger Zbv 3000 series of models.

According to wikipedia:

"Maschinen Krieger ZbV 3000
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Maschinen Krieger ZbV 3000 (originally known as SF3D and now also known by the abbreviation Ma. K.) is a science fiction universe created by Japanese artist & sculptor Kow Yokoyama in the 1980s as a feature article in Hobby Japan magazine. The story is set eight hundred and eighty years in the future, as two opposing human forces are fighting for control of the habitable areas of Earth.
Ma. K. began as a series of SF3D photo essays in Hobby Japan. Kow scratch-built 1/20 and 1/72 scale models of unique, retro-futuristic armored fighting suits and vehicles. A small but dedicated fan following soon developed, and models were produced for retail by the company Nitto.
Nitto has recently reissued most of the kits, repackaged under the Maschinen Krieger Zbv 3000 namesake (for copyright reasons). There are currently two Ma. K. 'encyclopedias' in print by Dai Nippon Kaiga. The Japanese model kit company Wave has also recently issued several new kits, and for many years Model Kasten has produced resin conversion kits. There are also many fans who produce kits and accessories. The continued support and recent surge in activity by all parties has helped to maintain & expand the fan base.

Website of Kow Yokoyama
Fan-compiled story background & timeline
Fan-compiled pictorial references "

They look just like big tanks, heavy, well used, and battle scared. The photo gallery at Krueger's Krieger has a wonderful assortment of pictures (two of which are featured above), a nice tips section, and a great links resource.

--Cheers! (Yes, I just got back from a trip to London, but that's another story)

Getting Things Done


From: pigpog
"GTD - Getting Things Done - is a book by David Allen, giving a series of principles for managing the day to day tasks and projects we all have to do. It is based on the idea that if we get everything that concerns us out of our heads, and into a single trusted system, which is then reviewed regularly, we will leave our minds clearer, and be better able to respond to new inputs.

GTD is all based on David Allen’s excellent books. You’ll get far more from reading the books than from any web site.

From Amazon US: - Getting Things Done, Ready for Anything.
From Amazon UK - Getting Things Done, Ready for Anything.
This article is intended to cover just the basics of GTD, so you can understand what we’re talking about here even if you’ve not read the book.. If you find the ideas interesting, though, I’d strongly recommend you buy the book, as it really does cover the ideas well, and in a lot more detail than I will here. Buy it through the links at the top, and PigPog will get a little cut ;)

David Allen’s GTD involves clearing your mind of all the things you keep remembering and thinking about, that are nagging at you to do them. The idea is that if you can get these things written down, into a system you trust, and know that you’ll be reminded of them at the appropriate time, you can get them out of your head, and use all that spare head-space for something more useful. Storing cheese, perhaps.

The Workflow
One of the unusual things about GTD is that it gives you a full workflow for managing your ‘stuff’, rather than just a load of tips and tricks, or methods for dealing with one part of it.

David splits the process up into five distinct stages…

First, we need to collect all the things that are worrying us, or that we need to do something about. David calls this a ‘Mind Sweep’ - sweeping everything that’s on our minds into our system. He suggests one idea to a sheet of paper, and throw them all into an inbox to process later, but the actual method doesn’t matter too much, as long as it doesn’t get in the way of the flow of ideas. In DA’s language, anything that holds some part of your attention is an ”open loop”.

Personally, I collect new ideas in my iPaq, either using the voice recorder, or Pocket Informant’s Alarm Notes, where you just scribble on the screen - it doesn’t convert the scribbles into text, just stores them as scribbles. Machines from palmOne have Notes, which is very similar, or you can download Diddlebug. Anything that can be used without needing to think much should do the job - index cards, sheets of paper, or whatever. A small packet of business-sized cards, with or without a preprinted template is a quick and portable capture mechanism.

Processing is the act of going through all the items in your inbox, that you collected earlier, and deciding what they are, and what you need to do with them. They might need throwing in the bin, they might need storing somewhere for later reference, they might just need reading. For many things, though, you’re going to need to actually do something about them.

The question to ask here for each item is “What’s the next action?” This is the very next thing you would do about this item, if it was the apropriate time, you were in the right place, etc. If this one action would complete the item, then it’s just an action to do. If it won’t, then it’s a project, and you’ll need an extra reminder so that when you’ve done that action, you won’t forget about the item.

You need to keep organised lists of all the things you have to do, and although these could be arranged in various ways, David has specific suggestions for how to do this…

Action lists
These are the lists of next actions you need to do. David recommends splitting these into a few lists, based around ‘contexts’. A context is either a place you need to be, or something you need to have with you to be able to do that action. A list of phone calls could be one context, things you can only do at home or only at the office could be others. Your contexts are unlikely to be the same as mine, and we’re probably both different from David. MarkTAW has a nice article on picking contexts - it’s easy to get carried away.

David suggests placing an @ symbol in front of each of these lists - @ for Action - if you’re using computer based lists (Outlook, Palm, etc), the @ sign will make them sort to the top, which is useful, as these are the lists you’ll be referring to most often.

I mention above the idea that some items will take more than just the next single action to be complete. These things are projects, and you need to keep a note of them on a separate list, and try to make sure that everything on this list always has at least one connected action on the action lists.

Linking projects to their associated next actions is one of the most discussed parts of GTD, and the trick I use has become known as the PigPog Method.

Things you need to talk to people about. If you group the items by person, when you’re next speaking to that person, you can quickly get a list of all the things you needed them for.

Waiting For
If you’re waiting for someone else to come back to you, or waiting for delivery of something you’ve ordered, but it’s something you still need to keep track of, it goes on this list. It’s for anything that isn’t for you to do, but that you need to remember about. You may need to chase some of these things up, but you’ll pick that up when you review, and then they’ll go into either an action list or your Agendas list.

This is the list for anything that you’re not ready or not able to do yet, or just don’t want to. If you want to learn Swedish at some point, but you don’t have time to start yet, it goes here. If you have to prepare a report for your boss, but the relevant information isn’t available until next month, you’d make a note here.

In many ways, reviewing is at the heart of GTD. If you don’t review your lists, you won’t be able to trust them, and your mind will worry about them again. That’s what we’re trying to avoid here. How often, and when, you review may depend on who you are and what you do, but David suggests a single review once a week. Many people find a smaller daily review helps a lot, too. The weekly review is where you tie up your projects with their actions, and make sure nothing has been forgotten about. It should also include getting all of your inboxes emptied, and all of your notes and messages processed.

This is kind of the point of all this. If you don’t do things, you’re not really Getting Things Done. You’ve got all the things you want to do listed - the only question is how to pick which one to do now. Again, David has advice - and it starts with the way we organised our action lists. If you went along with his suggestion, you have your lists organised by context, so you can probably only do things from one or two of the lists right now anyway - so the rest of the lists can be ignored. After that, it comes down to how much time you have, how much energy you have, and how important the things are.

Personally, I feel better organised using GTD than without it. I don’t have the type or level of workload that really needs it, so I probably get less out of it than some other people do. Lots of people report very big changes, though, and I’ve yet to hear of anyone who didn’t get anything out of it, unless they’ve been pushed into it without actually being interested. "

Beautiful Map of the Earth at night


IT isn't dead


IT has become vital to business profitability. At Harrah's Entertainment, for example, projects that are part of an ongoing operational CRM initiative are producing a higher internal rate of return than would adding buildings and infrastructure, and the CRM projects are generating revenue increases of 10% to 50%. Those initiatives depend on IT, including data warehouse and business intelligence technologies.

The fast pace of technological change keeps IT careers interesting. As the costs of processing power, storage and connectivity continue to drop, more and more business processes are being auto-mated. IT is and will continue to be a growing part of business.

The threat of offshoring is overstated. Globalization is indeed redistributing some IT jobs. Many positions -- especially those that can be virtualized -- are migrating to low-wage locations. But many aren't going anywhere. Ultimately, all business is local. Cultural, proximity and time-zone limitations do matter because they can affect customer service, customer trust and customer loyalty. Perhaps that's why Dell is expanding its call center in Oklahoma instead of New Delhi. Meanwhile, broadband and voice over IP are giving more U.S. workers the agility to compete by working from home in virtual call centers.

The globalization of IT is an opportunity. Global businesses are moving some highly skilled IT jobs into overseas offices, placing key human resources closer to customers in each market. Some view this as an exodus of skilled jobs from the U.S. But the idea that all highly skilled IT jobs in a global company should remain centralized here is as ridiculous as assuming that all of those jobs will go to India. The good news is that the next generation of IT professionals will find a global job market with opportunities to live and work in many different countries.

Demand for IT workers in the U.S. will remain strong. The H-1B visas that enable foreign workers to take high-tech jobs are often viewed as a threat to U.S. workers, rather than the stopgap measure they are. Former Intel CEO Craig Barrett has stated that wage differentials aren't the issue and that Intel would hire more U.S. engineers if it could find them.

Keyboard Pattern Passwords


#! by timetrap 8:48 AM 3/16/2006
#! eight char, upper, lower, special char, number: in a diagonal overlapping pattern


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