Friday Oct 09, 2009

A Happy Working Song for the Technical Writer

My manager forwarded to the team this article on CNNMoney.com that ranks the best jobs in America. I was surprised to read that Technical Writer was only ranked at number 28. From my (admittedly skewed) perspective it should top the list.

Technical writing is a challenging job that offers the opportunity to educate yourself and others while getting paid. Over the years I've worked at some amazing companies, and with some incredibly talented people. And I get to write! And I get to create diagrams and illustrations! I might not have the paparazzi on my tail but can Nicole Richie explain the difference between symmetric and asymmetric key encryption? I think not.

So if you're a teen (or a parent of a teen) who is trying to decide what to do with yourself as an adult, read up on technical writing. It's a way of making a living that makes me want to sing a daily Happy Working Song (as embodied by Amy Adams in Enchanted).

Thursday Jul 02, 2009

Celebrating Canada and the United States

When my manager mentioned that he was also celebrating Canada Day this weekend I thought, how interesting that both of these days are together on the calendar. Did Canada try to emulate the United States when deciding to make their day in the first week of July? Not that I have any idea what Canada Day is. So I decided to investigate to see if the fact that these two days occupy the same week in the calendar is interesting at all. I know that July 4th is the day a declaration of independence from the British government was signed in the United States. According to Wikipedia, July 1 is popularly referred to as Canada's Birthday.
The occasion marks the joining of the British North American colonies of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and the Province of Canada into a federation of four provinces (the Province of Canada being divided, in the process, into Ontario and Quebec) on 1 July 1867. Although Canada is regarded as having become a kingdom in its own right on that date, the British Parliament kept limited rights of political control over the new country that were shed by stages over the years until the last vestiges were surrendered in 1982 when the Constitution Act patriated the Canadian constitution.
So July 1 is a declaration of federation with a declaration of independence chaser and a 100 year mortgage. Now what I find interesting is the long arm of the British Parliament.

To all who celebrate this weekend, enjoy your hot dogs (vegetarian in this household), cherry pie, nanaimo bars, and Henry Gibson (yes, that one) performing 200 Years from the Nashville soundtrack.

Sunday Jan 25, 2009

A Ray of Light in a Day of Dark

I want to acknowledge the hard work and contribution made to Sun Microsystems by the employees affected in last week's reduction in the work force (i.e.: lay offs). I had worked with a number of them over the years and thus, I felt even greater sadness than had they just been numbers on a tally. As for those who have had the good fortune to continue working for Sun, we are now working on teams with a reduced number.

So, I dedicate this video to all: those who now seek a ray of light after a day of dark and those who now work at the break-neck speed illustrated by the time-lapse images.

And life goes on...

Friday Sep 12, 2008

Obama 2008: A Change in the Wind

My hairdresser scared the \* out of me.

You're really voting for Barack Obama? His name scares me, she said.

His name? Here is a woman living in the cosmopolitan center of the Rocky Mountains who thinks John McCain was the better choice for president because his name was Anglo-Saxon? I asked her to please educate herself on Barack Obama before November 4 and not just spout off, what sounded to me like, talking points from Fox Television. The people in this country can't take four more months, much less four more years, of Republican rule.

Dearest Lynde:

One of my favorite songs from the '80s\* took on a whole new meaning when I heard it on the way home. The song speaks to the spirit of Barack Obama and his supporters. The video clips give you perspective on what should and should not be feared. Please watch it, dance along if you'd like, and use the links below to get more information. Your fellow citizens will appreciate you for doing that.

all the best,
michael

Links: Video Credits: \*Change in the Wind performed by the Boston-based band Face to Face with vocalist Laurie Sargent from their One Big Day LP released in 1988. How prescient are they?

Created for and copied from Musings from a Man with a Mouse.

Monday Aug 25, 2008

Obama Tour 2008: The Tale of a Ticket

Over on my personal blog, you might be interested in my experiences getting a ticket for the Obama Tour 2008. I'll be at INVESCO Field in Denver Thursday night for the big acceptance speech - my first moment in history, I think.

Obama Tour 2008: The Tale of a Ticket

Wednesday Aug 06, 2008

Mamma Mia! It's ABBA But Is It A Musical?

I've written a white paper (yes, a white paper) with the Subject title on my personal blog and here is a link to it.

Mamma Mia! It's ABBA But Is It A Musical?

If you are one of the many who have been caught up this summer with ABBA fever due to the release of Mamma Mia!, you just might find it interesting. There's pix, history, videos, music, links galore, and even a short clip of me performing. Enjoy.

For those NOT interested and so your visit to this entry is not a total loss, how about a number from another film musical. Here's Doris Day singing I'm Not At All In Love from The Pajama Game.

Tuesday May 27, 2008

Marriage for All in California: Telephone Your Support

The office of California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is polling reaction to the California Supreme Court decision overturning the ban on gay marriage. As of this date, most of the responses they have received are in OPPOSITION to the court's decision. Please vote in support of the California Supreme Court's decision on LGBT marriage:

  1. Call 1-916-445-2841
  2. Listen to the prompts and press 1 for English, 5 for hot topics, 1 for same sex marriage issue, and then 1 to vote yes
    (You might want to actually listen to the options to make sure they weren't changed by some right-wing lunatic.)

You don't have to be a California resident or registered voter to call so please vote and send this link on to all supporters you know.

And to get you in the mood, here's a few telephone related music videos. Choose your genre.

Electric Light Orchestra - Telephone Line

Pete Shelley - Telephone Operator

Blondie - Hanging on the Telephone

Annie Golden - Hang Up the Phone

Meri Wilson - Telephone Man

Thursday Mar 06, 2008

Wanna Read 3 Lines About A Lot of Movies?

Here's a pointer to a personal blog I write called 3 Lines About.... It's an illustrated compendium of movie reviews in three grammatically-correct sentences. Why? Because if you can't write it in three sentences, it ain't worth reading. Check it out.

In honor of the movies, here's Fred Astaire and Janis Paige singing Cole Porter's Stereophonic Sound from the 1957 musical, Silk Stockings.

Thursday Jan 31, 2008

I'm 50 and I like to kick!

Well not quite.

But today is the first day of my 50th year so I'm sharing my thoughts on it by embedding Miss Sally O'Malley and her thoughts on it, asserted during her audition to dance with the Rockettes. Think of it as a gift of humor to you on my birthday.

Thursday Nov 08, 2007

The Bride's Side: A World Premiere Reading

For those interested in reading how the reading of The Bride's Side went, I posted an entry and some pix on my personal blog. Suffice it to say, I was ecstatic with the outcome.

Sunday Nov 04, 2007

Tonight's the Night

It's gonna be alright.

Gulp.

Thursday Oct 25, 2007

Nov. 5 in Denver: My First Play

As a Sun employee, I write technical documents. But, writing a play is something I've wanted to do in my off-time for a long while. In January of this year, I decided to get off the pot, write this thing, and have a public reading by the end of the year. Well, 2007 is almost over and on Nov. 5 at 7 PM I will be watching (along with the audience at the Crossroads Theatre, 2590 Washington Street, in Denver) the first public reading of a sparkling new comedy that has been called (by a member of the local theatre community) 'fast, funny, and furious'.

The Bride's Side is the name of the play and the bride's side of the family is the focus (not the bride - whom we never meet). The action begins as Philip and Rosie Newman are getting ready to lead a caravan of their adult children to the wedding of their grand daughter. On the way, cars are driven, pipes are smoked, trousers are dropped, and butterflies are released. But nothing erodes the enthusiasm of the bride's side for life, for family and for each other - even the secrets they spill as the bride and groom unwittingly cut the cake.

If you're in the historic Five Points neighborhood of Denver, stop by. And if you're not, stop by anyway. The show is free, there's plenty of parking and there will be a talk back following the reading. The cast and I will be answering questions, taking feedback, and writing down your comments. At the very least, you can buy some delicious homemade ice cream next door at Blackberries. See my personal web site for more information.

Thursday Oct 11, 2007

Access Manager SDK and Client SDK: Differences

FYI.

The Access Manager Client SDK is aimed at applications that use identity APIs at run-time. This includes applications that contain functionality for authentication, SSO, policy evaluation (fine grain policy enforcement) and obtaining and setting user attributes, roles, etc. The Client SDK is not aimed at applications that perform management of policies (creations, deletions, etc.) or identities. From a deployment point of view, the Client SDK offers the following advantages over full SDK:
  • The Client SDK does not require administrator credentials (amadmin, dsameuser, etc.).
  • The Client SDK uses only http/https and communicates only with Access Manager. It does not require serverconfig.xml and does not use LDAP.
    • Because of this, applications using the Client SDK can be deployed in DMZs and a firewall can be placed between the applications and Access Manager.
    • Because of this, the three persistent search connection used by the full SDK is not needed. This reduces the load and improves performance on Directory Server. This allows the Client SDK to have 100s of applications rather than the 10s of them supported by the full SDK.
  • The Client SDK is smaller - approximately 1M as compared to the ~10M size of the full SDK.
  • The Client SDK is better suited for J2EE war deployment, requiring only a single jar (amclientsdk.jar) and the AMConfig.properties file within the Access Manager WAR.
The following features are in the full SDK but missing from the Client SDK:
  • Policy Management: Policy Management requires a number of plugins (Subject, Resource, Conditions, etc.). These are not included. For this reason, the server side com.sun.identity.policy.PolicyEvaluator would not be supported.
  • Federation/Liberty: The Liberty APIs are not supported in the Client SDK.
It is recommend to use the Client SDK and fall back on the full SDK only if required.

Monday Aug 20, 2007

Max Does Montana

Max, my Jack Russell terrier, wrote a blog entry about our road trip to Montana on my personal blog. Sorry, he couldn't find a horse.

Tuesday Jul 31, 2007

Truth, Lies, and the Poop on Hairspray

I wrote the title entry for my personal blog so, if you're interested in my take on the movie Hairspray (both 1988 and 2007), click away.

Thursday Jul 05, 2007

If you're a J.J. Abrams geek...

...the trailer you've been looking for is here:

http://www.thegaminglife.net/2007/07/03/jj-abrams-clover-field-teaser-trailer

youtube has been removing the trailer as fast as they have been uploaded so I searched for a non-youtube version. Hopefully, this link'll be live for a bit of time.

If you're not a fan of J.J. Abrams, you have no idea what I'm writing about.
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