27 April 2005

Top 10 reasons I dodge meetings

In no particular order:

10. Mediation is often sporadic and incidental
9. Attendance is mandatory and composes 10% of your performance review
8. Fluorescent lighting is the norm
7. Contribution is required and will be assessed biweekly
6. No actual work or fun takes place
5. Coffee will be served with powdered "whitener" and only if getting up to use the bathroom is inconvenient
4. Personal conversation with your neighbour results in ten minutes in the corner
3. Most topics involve less than 50% of the staff in attendance
2. There is no intelligence prerequisite for taking the "floor"
1. I could ALWAYS find something more interesting and productive to do!

Fortunately for me, I work at an organization that thrives on e-mail and requires staff to meet only when necessary. I only meet with people I'm working on projects with, need feedback, content or materials from. It's great.

19 April 2005

Anybody want to play Monopoly?

It's official. Adobe has purchased Macromedia. They will now be a massive player in the publishing software industry, capable of competing with Microsoft. Is this what it takes? Fighting a humongous corporation with a mega company? It does make sense. Years of protest and boycotts by lefties, techies and generally disgruntled users have failed miserably in their quest to make Microsoft an insignificant (or even markedly less noticeable) market force. But it makes me sad - not one week after I'd just been so impressed by Adobe.

Read about it:

Because I'm compelled to look for the silver lining, here's a link to OpenOffice. For those of you that haven't heard of this, it's a TOTALLY FREE office suite comparable to and compatible with MS Office.

18 April 2005

FYI fellow Tracker owners

Last Thursday I replaced a broken interior driver's side door handle on my GMC Tracker. As I had this done (by my boyfriend) on a nearly identical Sidekick I owned last year, I am under the impression that these are crappy parts on cheaply made vehicles. No shock there. However, I was pleasantly surprised that I was able to replace the handle by myself. With no assistance from Jeff or online research (not for lack of trying).

(This handle is identical to my new one, but for the passenger side)

The experience was highly anti-climatic, yet extremely satisfying. I also managed to repair a jacket and pair of pants on the same day.

15 April 2005

Adobe joins the party!

After decades of the Chester and Spike relationship between Adobe Pagemaker and Quark XPress, Adobe has finally created a product to compete with Quark. While dominating digital photography with Photoshop and line art graphics with Illustrator, it seems that Adobe's underachievering days are over in the desktop publishing arena. I have just installed Adobe CreativeSuite - a combination of Photoshop, Illustrator and the widely anticipated In Design. So far InDesign rocks! Only one program to suck ram now - no crashes yet. Imagine working in a desktopping program with high end graphics tools incorporated. One-touch .pdfs and instant launch for all the other Adobe products (you still need graphics software). I'm a happy woman.

09 April 2005

Viva la house hunt

Not. I've just finished the grueling process of renting in Victoria. Although the sense of relief is noticeable and I'm looking forward to some cheap summer rent, I've still got one problem. I have to do this all over again in August! My sister/summer roommate will retain the place in the fall instead of the original plan for Jeff and I to keep it. August is the worst month to rent in a student saturated city. Next time I'll be armed with a checklist. And I won't be frustrated by trying to get someone else to participate in the search. But I can't shake the sense of dread (which I know will subside and then resurface with increasing strength and frequency as the summer progresses) that I will not find my cat-friendly heritage upper with a dishwasher and a fenced yard. Even more maddening is that anyone familiar with Victoria will tell you that most visible properties seem to meet that description. I can only hope I will have more patience and less stress next round. You know what "they" say about getting something done right.

01 April 2005

The Cluetrain Manifesto

I've just started a book given to me by my new boss. I wasn't really excited about a non-fiction business book at first. But I find myself reading it like an engaging story. The Internet is described as a forum for human voices and, "an excuse to get together rather than an excuse not to. Think of Joel and the 'bots on Mystery Science Theatre 3000. The point is not to watch the film, but to outdo each other making fun of it." Intranets are praised for being subversive and celebrated because they undermine managers and executives.

In the first few pages a list of 95 theses includes, "21 - Companies need to lighten up and take themselves less seriously. They need to get a sense of humour." Followed by, "22 - Getting a sense of humour does not mean putting some jokes on the corporate web site. Rather, it requires big values, a little humility, straight talk, and a genuine point of view."

I now have a more concrete idea of why the private sector and people in suits have intensely freaked me out most of my adult life. More cynical former employees of software giants should write business books. I may feel differently as I get farther into this book, but I won't feel guilty if they loose my attention. That's what the Internet is all about. If you're bored, move on.

Check it out: