Monthly Archives: June 2004

Back in ’57

This song I’d give a six on a five-point scale.

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Smoke and Mirrors

American government is designed to accomodate disagreement, though the tension often makes folks uncomfortable.  What we need, sometime soon, is a civil discussion about what Michigan’s government is for, how we get to that point, and what tax structure we need to support that effort.  The (less-than-complete) success of the Michigan budget efforts demonstrates that it’s not necessary to continue talking past each other just because we’ve been doing so in the past.  Discussion isn’t helped when each side caricatures the other’s positions.   The habit many have of simplifying and dismissing the other party’s position is really poisonous to the civil culture.  It’s time we stopped, and started finding solutions.

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Pay it Forward

Offered without comment.

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Once Upon a Time: a reporting story

As I was completing my analysis of my data, the PM authorized a mailing based on an 80,000 estimate. I hit “reply to all” and opined that the estimate was low, and supported the opinion with “better” data. I also pointed out that there were three estimates available and suggested that someone ought to figure out why we differed before committing to any of them.

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Posted in Bureaucratic Whimsy, Life's Stories, Semi-Geekery | 1 Comment

Joel on Microsoft redux

Bill Gates has a history of betting the company on the next technology generation.  One of these days he’ll lose the bet–or he’ll lose interest in the game–and MS will start looking like Ford.  Or Exxon.  Maybe AT&T.  Perhaps a (large) piece of Planetary Software, LTD.  (You think not?   Happened to Carnegie Steel….)  Dare I mention Western Union?  How about the Pennsylvania Railroad?

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Mitch Manages a Project

One lesson: Even without marketing (or political) pressure, the development team has to find a way to balance passing time with the imperative to ship a useful product.

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Seed and Grain

For over a century, this grain elevator was the main reason for Mulliken.  This railside complex was the farming community’s touchpoint with the larger world.  They’d come to buy seed before planting, then return to sell the grain they’d grown from the seed.  This routine made for an interesting, seasonal parade of vehicles on Potter Street.  July’s winter wheat harvest was a particularly busy time; trucks, tractors, and trailors would line Main Street day and night as the farmers and staff would struggle to get the grain from truck to hopper.

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Posted in Mitten State, Picture Show, Yarns and Tales | 1 Comment

Bob Teeter

A short note to honor the passing of a pioneer.

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Posted in Passing On, Politickin' | Leave a comment


Joel Spolsky, whose blog’s been far too quiet of late, returns with a long piece that’s mostly about what Microsoft is doing wrong with Longhorn.

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Pepys was born in 1633; already his life had seen Charles I beheaded, Cromwell’s republic, and the restoration of the monarchy.  The issues which drove these revolutions were not settled during Sam’s life, and it likely wasn’t entirely clear that the situation had fully stabilized. 

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Posted in Bookworm Alley, History Scrapbook | Tagged , | Leave a comment