Aug. 4, 2015 Northwest Heatwave

I was covering a story in Portland about some demonstrators trying to stop a Shell Oil icebreaker from leaving port. The ship may be obsolete by the time it gets to the Arctic Ocean. It was a hundred degrees Fahrenheit in Portland. This is very unusual. People there are not set up for that kind of heat. Most buildings do not have air conditioning. It is so hot and dry that the entire state of Oregon is in a fire danger zone.

People are rethinking how they live. One person I know bought a house that backs onto some open space. It seemed like a great idea until they realized that one spark out there could cause a wildfire and burn their house down. They spent last weekend clearing the brush around the property. Next weekend they are putting the place up for sale. Knowing what most people know, who would buy it?

Copyright 2015 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Aug. 3, 2015 Zombie HOA Complete

Dear Resident:

It has come to the attention of the Sunnyfield Estates Homeowner’s Association that a number of issues need to be addressed.

1. Resident and Guest Disputes

Some residents have been eating other residents. This violates the HOA agreement as seen on page 5. It has also come to our attention that recently there have been a large number of visitors wandering the property. Visitors must register at the security office upon entering and leaving. If you see any suspicious activity do not call our office and scream about zombies in an unprofessional manner. Contact the authorities. Complaints about property management can be made by visiting our website when the power and internet service is restored. The cable company said it will schedule repairs, but residents need to be home between the months of February and April. Until then, all correspondence must be sent by registered mail when postal service is renewed.

2. Windows and Doors

Several residents have boarded their windows with plywood. This violates the HOA agreement as seen on page 6. It states that all windows should be a clear, double-paned glass with charcoal gray trim supplied by our maintenance team. Also, the spray painting of front doors with words like “Infected” could adversely affect the property values of the entire neighborhood. Units without doors must be repaired within twenty-four hours and painted in an eggshell white to match the other doors.

3. Entrances

There are a large vehicles including a tank are blocking the main and side entrances of the property. These entrances should be kept open should emergency vehicles ever arrive. Please advise visitors to park in assigned guest parking to avoid having their vehicles towed.

4. Pets

A number of large dogs have been seen on the property. This violates the HOA agreement as seen on page 7, where it states that pets must not weigh more than 15 pounds and must be on a leash.

5. Water

Some residents have been taking water from the pool. While there is no rule against this in the HOA agreement. The cost of refilling the pool would be exceed the budget for this fiscal year. Also, draining the sprinkler system makes the landscaping more difficult and has an adverse affect on property values. Gardening is restricted to containers and planting wheat is forbidden because of gluten allergies for some residents.

6. Waste

Residents are not placing their trash in the dumpsters. If the dumpster is full, use the recycling bins, but make sure to staple an identifying tag so you can be fined for violating the HOA agreement as seen on page 8. While waste pickup has been erratic recently, the trash must be in dumpsters when the truck does finally arrive. Burying bodies on the property is not only against the HOA agreement as seen on page 9, it is a local zoning code violation. The punishment is currently death, which only compounds the problem.

Regards,

Clarrissa Finch, Property Manager

Copyright 2015 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Aug. 2, 2015 Blumbers

Big 20: Pay Phones

Twenty years ago if you were not at home and wanted to call someone you used a pay phone. For a quarter you could call anyone. If you did not have a quarter you could use a credit card. They usually had a phone book chained to them. Pay phones were located everywhere. You could find them in hotels, stores, public buildings and phone booths. A phone booth was a glass box with a folding glass door that were located on street corners and in rural areas. It was ideal if you were on a trail in a national park and wanted to report a bear… outside your telephone booth.

Of course cell phones killed pay phones. You could call from anywhere and did not need quarters. I miss the high quality audio connection. Pay phones were actually a plot point in the movie “The Matrix”. Landline connections were depicted as the only reliable connections in and out of their virtual world. A movie that was seem as so cutting edge fifteen years ago seems antiquated now.

Copyright 2015 DJ Cline All right reserved.

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Aug. 1, 2015 Events To Attend

Here are some events you might want to attend. Check with the respective organizations for more information.

Date: Aug. 12, 2015 6:00PM

Org: STC Berkeley

Topic:   A Knowledge Engineering Approach to Technical Communication

Speaking: Denny Brown

Venue: Highlands Country Club, 110 Hiller Drive, Oakland, California

Date: Aug. 17, 2015 6:00PM

Org: STC Silicon Valley Chapter

Topic: Summer Schmooze

Speaking: STC Chapter Members

Venue: Sam’s Barbecue, 1110 South Bascom Avenue, San Jose, CA 95128

Date: Aug. 21, 2015 6:00PM

Org: STC San Francisco

Topic: Key Trends in Software User Assistance: A review of the latest tools, technologies, and techniques

Speaking: Joe Welinske

Venue: The Mechanics Institute, 57 Post St., between Kearny and Montgomery, San Francisco, California.

Copyright 2015 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Aug. 1, 2015 Zombie HOA 6

Dear Resident:

It has come to the attention of the Sunnyfield Estates Homeowner’s Association that residents are not placing their trash in the dumpsters. While waste pickup has been erratic recently, the trash must be in dumpsters when the truck does finally arrive. If the dumpster is full, use the recycling bins, but make sure to staple an identifying tag so you can be fined for violating the HOA agreement as seen on page 8. Burying bodies on the property is not only against the HOA agreement as seen on page 9, it is a local zoning code violation. The punishment is currently death, which only compounds the problem.

Regards,

Clewlissa Finch, Property Manager

Copyright 2015 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Jul. 31, 2015 Zombie HOA 5

Dear Resident:

It has come to the attention of the Sunnyfield Estates Homeowner’s Association that several residents have been taking water from the pool. While there is no rule against this in the HOA agreement, the cost of refilling the pool would be exceed the budget for this fiscal year. Also, draining the sprinkler system makes the landscaping more difficult and has an adverse affect on property values. Gardening is restricted to containers and planting wheat is forbidden because of gluten allergies for some residents.

Regards,

Clewlissa Finch, Property Manager

Copyright 2015 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Jul. 30, 2015 Zombie HOA 4

Dear Resident:

It has come to the attention of the Sunnyfield Estates Homeowner’s Association that a number of large feral dogs have been seen on the property. This violates the HOA agreement as seen on page 7, where it states that pets must not weigh more than 15 pounds.

Regards,

Clewlissa Finch, Property Manager

Copyright 2015 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Jul. 29, 2015 Zombie HOA 3

Dear Resident:

It has come to the attention of the Sunnyfield Estates Homeowner’s Association that several large vehicles including a tank are blocking the main and side entrances of the property. Theses entries must be kept open for emergency vehicles should they ever arrive. Please advise visitors to park in assigned guest parking to avoid having their vehicles towed.

Regards,

Clewlissa Finch, Property Manager

Copyright 2015 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Jul. 28, 2015 Zombie HOA 2

Dear Resident:

It has come to the attention of the Sunnyfield Estates Homeowner’s Association that several residents have boarded their windows with plywood. This violates the HOA agreement as seen on page 6. It states that all windows should be a clear, double-paned glass with charcoal gray trim supplied by our maintenance team. Also, the spray painting of front doors with words like “Infected” could adversely affect the property values of the entire neighborhood. Units without doors must be repaired within twenty-four hours and painted in an eggshell white to match the other doors.

Regards,

Clewlissa Finch, Property Manager

Copyright 2015 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Jul. 27, 2015 Zombie HOA 1

Dear Resident:

It has come to the attention of the Sunnyfield Estates Homeowner’s Association that some residents have been eating other residents. This violates the HOA agreement as seen on page 5. It has also come to our attention that recently there have been a large number of visitors wandering the property. Visitors must register at the security office upon entering and leaving. If you see any suspicious activity do not call our office and scream about zombies in an unprofessional manner. Contact the authorities. Complaints can be made by visiting our website when the power and internet service is restored. The cable company said it will schedule repairs, but residents will need to be home between the months of February and April. Until then, all correspondence must be sent by registered mail, providing postal service is renewed.

Regards,

Clewlissa Finch, Property Manager

Copyright 2015 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Jul. 26, 2015 Blumbers

Big 20: Social Networking

Twenty years ago, if you kept a list of contacts it was probably on a rolodex. If you were cutting edge you kept it on a computer. You could use a phone book or public directory and call or write them a letter of introduction. If you wanted to meet someone in person you had to ask someone you know and they would refer you to series of people until you finally met the person you wanted. It was not perfect and could be awkward.

At first, the internet reflected this traditional networking. The rise of social networking allowed you to contact people directly. It was faster but could be just as awkward. Still, social media allowed millions of people to maintain a presence online without having to develop the expertise of running their own website. The good news is that people met online and got jobs or even got married. The drawbacks were a loss of privacy and social media companies using personal information to make money without properly compensating the users.

Today you may have the contact information of thousands of people but you may never have met.

Copyright 2015 DJ Cline all rights reserved.

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Jul. 25, 2015 Bad Shark Tip 6

Hundreds of dentists are injured every year when they ask sharks if they floss.

Copyright 2015 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Jul. 24, 2015 Bad Shark Tip 5

When a shark is seated near you in a restaurant, do not say you are going to need a bigger table.

Copyright 2015 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Jul. 23, 2015 Bad Shark Tip 4

Great White Sharks prefer to be called Grande. Only hammerhead sharks can call each other hammerheads.

Copyright 2015 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Jul. 22, 2015 Bad Shark Tip 3

Most sharks find the song Mack the Knife offensive. They also are not fans of Jimmy Buffett.

Copyright 2015 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Jul. 21, 2015 Bad Shark Tip 2

When facing down a shark, do not punch it in the nose. Since the movie Jaws came out, the sharks may be actors and damaging their faces may hurt their careers. They also might have Hollywood lawyers, who are much more dangerous.

Copyright 2015 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Jul. 20, 2015 Bad Shark Tip 1

If there are reports of a shark in your area, do not open your door. Very few sharks work for pizza delivery, public utilities or telegraph companies.

Copyright 2015 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Jul. 19, 2015 Blumbers

Big 20: Phone Books

Twenty years ago if you wanted to call somebody and did not know the phone number you had two options. You could dial an operator and ask for information. They could give you the number or just dial it for you. The second option was to look it up in a local phone book. Depending on the city, the books were usually several hundred pages of tissue paper containing thousands of names and phone numbers. There were two kinds of books, the white pages and yellow pages. The white pages contained an alphabetical list of all businesses and individual phone numbers. The yellow pages consisted of alphabetically arranged advertisements for business categories like painters, plumbers and printers. Phone books were very useful directories if you moved into a new town and did not know anyone.

The internet killed the phone book. Ten years ago, if you wanted to call someone, you looked them up with a search engine like Google and maybe sent an email. Now you would just text them.

Copyright 2015 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Jul. 18, 2015 Online University

A potential employer asked a candidate if their degree was from an online university. In fact, the candidate attended the college the old fashioned way. It turned out that the employee had an almost identical academic background and was worried about competing with someone who had more hands on experience. It was meant as an insult, but brings up an important point.

Education has gone through significant changes over thousands of years. You used to learn from the people in your tribe. Two thousand years ago, wealthy Athenians would pay philosophers like Aristotle to tutor their kids. A thousand years ago wealthy British would send their kids to Oxford or Cambridge. A hundred years ago, Americans would send their kids to Harvard. Today you can get a degree online, sometimes from a major university.

Employers need to recognize the realities of getting an education these days. As before, they must differentiate between an an accredited university and a diploma mill. It is just that they are both online.

In the end it is not where they went but what they know. I know people who went to famous colleges who are complete idiots. I know people who never graduated from high school who are geniuses. Evaluate the person and not the degree.

Copyright 2015 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

 

 

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Jul. 17, 2015 Six Months For Three Months

A recruiter interviewed a candidate for six months for three month project. By the time the client agreed to the hire, the candidate was working for a competitor with a one year contract.

Copyright 2015 dj cline All rights reserved.

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Jul. 16, 2015 Shuffling In Buffalo

My people say there is an occasional website visitor from Buffalo. When they said that I could not get the song out of my head.

Copyright 2015 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Jul. 15, 2015 New York City Haller

My people tell me that another long time website visitor is near New York City Hall. To paraphrase Sinatra, if they can visit here they can visit anywhere.

Copyright 2015 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Jul. 14, 2015 Lagoony

My people told me about a particularly odd website visitor they call Lagoony, who seems to live in the middle of a salt pond in San Francisco Bay. Maybe it is Kermit the Frog in a small boat.

Copyright 2015 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Jul. 13, 2015 Ashburned

My people also pointed out a visitor nicknamed Ashburned in Virginia. Actually I get a lot of traffic from that part of the country. They read everything. I imagine them sitting at their desk, reading this and deciding whether or not to escalate something.

Copyright 2015 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Jul. 12, 2015 Blumbers

Big 20: Maps

Twenty years ago if you took a trip you took a printed map with you. They were large unwieldy papers that quickly deteriorated after a few uses. By then printed maps were laminated in sections so they lasted a bit longer. You could carry a printed atlas, but the pages were often not big enough to get a good idea of your location. Looking up a location using the index was an exercise in itself.

You could buy a CD-ROM with a searchable map of the entire country. All you had to do was load it into a laptop computer and plug it into your car’s cigarette lighter. It was cumbersome and frequently hard to read on sunny days.

Fifteen years ago you could buy a mobile GPS device to carry anywhere with you. The device display was too small and it was not very accurate.

Ten years ago the map application was a just another feature on your phone. It was accurate but the display was still small.

Five years ago you could wear a virtual reality headset and have the locations you wanted to find projected over real world around you. Clearly the display was now big enough.

Now you talk to your phone and it gives you turn-by-turn directions. No map is needed.

Copyright 2015 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Jul. 11, 2015 Ten Men In A Square

I am not sure all the people who visit my site are happy. My people say there are visitors from Beijing. They call them Ten Men In A Square. While I might appreciate the attention, they might want to learn more about the 1989 protests in Tiananmen Square where hundreds of protestors were shot by government forces. May you find the freedom they died for.

Update: This is one posting they did not visit.

Copyright 2015 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Jul. 10, 2015 Portlando

My people say that there is a constant website visitor they call Portlando. I imagine they are extras from the TV show Portlandia, wearing hipster hats and drinking vintage craft beers before performing a one person show at a community theater. Thank you for thinking of my website!

Copyright 2015 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Jul. 9, 2015 Pariso

According to my people there is another frequent visitor they call Pariso. The person is obviously in Paris and is constantly checking the website. I imagine them sitting at a sidewalk cafe sipping coffee out of a very small cup and then clicking on my site.

Don’t know why Sofia would be interested.

Copyright 2015 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Jul. 8, 2015 Redmondo

The people that take care of the website allow me to spend my time on creating content. Occasionally they will tell me about people who look at my site. They can go back years and track everyone who ever visited the website. Now, I don’t really want to know everything about visitors, but my people noticed a very dedicated visitor they called Redmondo. Ten years ago the visitor lived in Portland Oregon, moved to New York then to Montana then back to Portland. Not long ago they moved to Redmond near Seattle Washington. I do not know who they are but I wanted to thank them for their attention.

Also a shout out to the visitor from downtown Seattle. They like my pictures.

Copyright 2015 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Jul. 7, 2015 No Thanks For The Fish

You know you have spent too much time in the pool when people start throwing fish at you.

Copyright 2015 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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Jul. 6, 2015 Five Second Delay

After writing about a trans candidate’s troubles last week, a woman candidate contacted me. The sheer numbers indicate an incredibly hostile work environment for women in Silicon Valley. There are exceptions but the problem is that they are exceptions. I know lots of women who are struggling just to get hired, like the one who contacted me.

She is a degreed experienced professional with a male sounding name. She looks for work online. Recruiters usually start negotiations by email and then want to talk on the phone. When they call, the woman always hears a five second delay after they hear her voice. She said “It is like this shock that they are talking to a W-O-M-A-N.” Sometimes they ask to talk to her husband or her boss or just hang up. In others cases, they work really hard to reduce the hourly rate in half.

She tried buying a device that disguises her voice, but she said it made her sound like Darth Vader. She took a short term offsite job, completed the project a week early and under budget. The client was thrilled and invited her into their offices. She walked into the lobby and the man she had been working with remotely said “I was expecting a man.”

She said, “So was I.” and walked right back out the front door.

Copyright 2015 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

 

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Jul. 5, 2015 Blumbers

Big 20: Website Anniversary

Twenty years I created my first website as a way to reach more people. It was not the fanciest HTML coding, but it was a big deal at the time. I want to thank all the people who have visited and enjoyed my work. All this has been backed up and distributed around the world so it will be available for future generations. I realized that everyone creates their own archaeological record. I know the excitement of reading someone’s long lost account. I have seen cave paintings, held clay tablets and read parchments around the world. There are now seven billion people on this planet, so the odds are good that something will survive. For future reference…

Copyright 2015 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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