RIP Splinter, Day 4

RIP Splinter, Day 4

RIP Splinter, Day 4,
originally uploaded by suedoc.

Well, it’s still identifiably a rat, but that’s about all you can say for it. There is a crushed Steel Reserve can right by his tail now, which I find slightly disturbing.

The body has been moved quite a bit — it’s moved a little every night. GK tells me that bloated corpses can explode and move the body around a little, but that can’t have happened every single night.


RIP Splinter, day 3.

RIP Splinter, day 3.

RIP Splinter, day 3.,
originally uploaded by suedoc.

In case you don’t obsessively check my flickr photostream (how could you not?!), I am on day 3 of photojournaling the decomposition of Splinter. Last night the body was moved, presumably by a stray cat. The flies are hard to work.

A new rat, somewhat smaller than ol’ Splinter, has moved into the space under the dumpster. His name is Templeton.

R.I.P. Splinter!!!

R.I.P. Splinter!!!

R.I.P. Splinter!!!,
originally uploaded by suedoc.

Splinter, our friendly neighborhood gravity-defying ninja rat, passed away last night under suspicious circumstances. I found him in the alley covered with flies this morning as I walked to the bus stop. It seems like just last week he was skittering across the backyard, scaling the brick wall of the apartment building, and crawling around in the dumpster and scaring me when I threw a trash bag in. Wait, it was last week.

I snapped a picture with my cameraphone. After uploading to Flickr and tagging it “dead rat,” my curiosity got the better of me — how many photos on Flickr are tagged “dead rat”?

A surprising amount, it turns out. 201, in fact, and those are just the public ones. Some of them are absolutely amazing… does that make me sick and twisted? I like to think I have only the normal amount of fascination with the morbid. After the jump… photos not for the faint of heart!

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UXIntensive – Day 1 – Design Strategy

Quick notes… more later.

Summary of “Design Strategy” with Brandon Schauer:
  • Design strategy is important, but it doesn’t have to be a month-long project. There are plenty of tools you can use on the back of a napkin to make sure you’re on track.
  • Strategy is NOT being “the best” at any/everything. Strategy is about knowing when to say “no.”
  • Get your ducks in a row — focus, definition, customer value, and scope.
  • One of the biggest skill sets you need in design strategy is facilitation between multiple opinions. You also need to be able to see past what currently exists into alternatives and options.
  • Soooo much free alcohol.
Takeaways for my team/department/company:
  •  I think we are best at “definition” and “customer value” but we fall off the charts in the “focus” and “scope” areas.
  • Again, we need to know when to say “no” and not feel bad about it.
  • There should be more free alcohol.
Also, I met the Web Goblin.

Review: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)

Any kid born in the 80’s grew up knowing that Indiana Jones was the epitome of cool. I was a little too young to catch the first few when they came out (heck, I’m only 10 weeks older than the franchise), but long before my mom deemed me “old enough” to watch them, I knew Indiana Jones was as awesome as they come.

It’s not surprising then that Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, released 27 years after Raiders of the Lost Ark, makes me and the rest of my generation feel a little nostalgic, a little wistful, and irreversibly grown-up. Very few of us actually did grow up to be archaeologists, the way we swore we would be when we thrilled to Indy’s adventures. (And I suspect those of my generation who did become archaeologists find they have a somewhat less exciting career than depicted on-screen.) I for one am not digging up tombs in Egypt — I’m… I’m working on knowledge management at Slightly Evil, LLP — and there’s no way to avoid being reminded of that when watching this film.

Not only has my generation grown up and changed, the world around us has too — not just our perceptions and understandings of it, it’s really changed since the 80’s, when AIDS was a mysterious illness you could avoid by simply not being gay, terrorism only happened “over there,” airplanes had a smoking section, people could beat computers at chess, and we were all still holding out hope for flying cars and personal jet packs by the end of the millennium.

(Minor league spoilers ahead.) Continue reading

Review: The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (2008)

Prince Caspian is not the strongest book of the Narnia series, so it’s not surprising that this installment didn’t quite live up to the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. (Don’t worry, the next book — the Dawn Treader — should make the best movie of all.)

The central question of the movie is “Why is God — I mean, Aslan — so completely apathetic to human — I mean, talking animal suffering?” The answer is apparently along the lines of “Because Lucy didn’t come to visit him.” Unfortunately, Peter spends most of the film thinking that the answer is something along the lines of “Aslan helps those who help themselves,” which he most emphatically does not, and many talking animals suffer as a result.

Directed by Andrew Adamson. Starring some British kids, the wonderful and slightly wasted Peter Dinklage as Trumpkin, Warwick Davis (who was also in the 1989 “Prince Caspian” as Reepicheep but who plays Nickabrick this time around), Ben Barnes, and Ben Barnes’ magnificent hair.

Review: 10 Things I Hate About You (1999)

I somehow missed this movie when it first came out, which is a shame. It is a great teen movie, from that strangely short but strangely brilliant era of great teen movies like Rushmore and Election. The premise, which could have gone so wrong, somehow went right — it’s a fairly faithful interpretation of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew. (I was relieved that the wife-beating was replaced with paint-filled balloons.)  Along with a mostly-decent script that falters at first but strengthens up in the end, the film benefits from a stellar young cast — Academy Award nominated Heath Ledger, along with Julia Stiles and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Um, and that guy that’s on Numb3rs.

Directed by Gil Junger.