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Hisstory: Sumatra Roads

March 21st, 2010  · stk

A blast from the past. Scott used to work in the remote jungles of northern Sumatra for Mobil Oil, as a field geophysicist. In the first of a series of articles from his field journals, he examines the driving hazards in this far away land. (Note: Doubly linked, so that the article registers as a "new" RSS feed)

Real & Imaginary Hazards

Nearly twenty five years ago, Scott was working as a field-operations geophysicist for Mobil Oil, based out of Jakarta, Indonesia. His job was to supervise two helicopter-supported seismic crews (over a 1,000 men on each crew) that were exploring for oil and gas in the remote jungles of northern Sumatra.

He kept a journal of his adventures and is finally getting around to publishing some of them here, on Randsco.com, along with accompanying photos.

In this first "Hisstory" article (a new category), he's published an article which examines some of the driving hazards encountered in the Aceh Province of northern Sumatra. To learn about these road hazards, see some pictures and a slide show from "back in the day" ... click the link and head back to May, 1986 ...

The Medan Bus
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Updated: 27-Jun-2010
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Rachel·Scott

Spring Gardening

March 16th, 2010  · stk

2010 is officially "The Year of the House", as Scott refocuses on things closer to home. One of the first projects of the year was to revamp their front planter, building a trellis and creating a visual divide for an outdoor "room". See what he's been up to.

A Long 2010 To-do List

We've been living on our 5-acre Yellow Point wooded lot for over three years now. Each year it seems we have a laundry list of things to do, but the summer season always rushes by and the list just gets longer. It looks like 2010 might be "The Year of the Home", as Scott has been making more of a commitment to the property and less to his computer (as you can tell by the dirth of recent posts here).

One of the projects he's tackled recently, has been revamping the front planter box. This involved removing an overgrown Hydrangea, pervasive St. John's Wort, building a five-foot-tall lattice fence, amending the soil and planting some new (deer-resistant) flowering and climbing plants.

Follow along as Scott and Rachel plan their new garden and see the results of all of Scott's labor. (We'll update with another photo at the end of the growing season and continue with updates, to see if our "future planning" actually comes to fruition).

Can You Dig It?

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Updated: 17-Mar-2010
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Alex Year Five

January 27th, 2010  · stk

A slide show of Alex's 2009. Over 100 photos presented in an "ArtiZine" format (unique design and layout, driven by the article content). Not your normal blog post. Come check out the design and Alex's year.

Slide Show: 100+ Pics of "the Oop!"

Christ­mas came upon us very fast this year. Be­cause both sets of Alex's grand­par­ents own a di­git­al photo frame, we gave them each a 2GB SD card, con­tain­ing over 300 fam­ily pho­tos (mostly of their grand­daugh­ter). One month later, I've up­loaded some of the best shots to Rand­sco, to share with every­one else!

Alex is a very out­go­ing and en­ga­ging girl of six, though in most of these pho­tos, she's five. Al­ex­an­dra is her full name, but we just call her "Alex" or "the Oop" (a nick­name that she's had for a while and one that stuck). She had a very busy year at kinder­garten, vis­it­ing grand­par­ents, ex­plor­ing, mak­ing friends and just be­ing a kid. We in­vite you to share her year in pic­tures.

We hope you en­joy the show, which is presen­ted in an Ar­tiZ­ine What the Heck is an Ar­tiZ­ine? An ar­tiz­ine is a blog art­icle that has a com­pletely unique design & page lay­out, driv­en by the con­tents of the art­icle. It is re­min­is­cent of print magazine art­icles, where each art­icle has a some­what dif­fer­ent design, ty­po­graphy and/or art­work. In fact, the word "artizine" is a com­bin­a­tion of the word "article" and "magazine". An ar­tiz­ine is dif­fer­ent from a blogazine. In a blogazine, every art­icle con­tains magazine-like styl­ing. Be­cause such styl­ing takes work, blogazines are in­fre­quently up­dated and re­quire the blog au­thor(s) to main­tain a sep­ar­ate site for their "nor­mal" mus­ings. In con­trast, an ar­tiz­ine is simply a spe­cial, magazine-like art­icle, con­tained with­in a reg­u­lar blog. format and it's the second such art­icle we've pub­lished. As such, it may be a bit dis­or­i­ent­ing to some folks. Just wait for the page to load and then hover over the mov­ing theater screen stat­ic. Click to start the slide show. Then click the thumb­nail im­ages to move for­ward, or back­ward, through the slide show! (Simple really)

Now, let's get on to Alex's spe­cially de­signed slide show!

 

Show me the Show!

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Updated: 20-Aug-2012
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Failing Users

December 20th, 2009  · stk

This article was a long time in coming. Over 25 years, to be exact. However, it contains much more than observations on why software fails the users for which it's supposed to be designed. It also demonstrates a method of designing blog posts. Is it "just another post" or a "completely new website"? You decide.

Programmers Cut Off Their Noses

 
 
 

Are users ever truly satisfied with the software they use? The answer is typically "no". We need the software. We use the software. But we often don't like it. Among the reasons: it's buggy, hard to figure out, doesn't do what we want, is overly complex, the navigation sucks, it's got a steep learning curve or it's poorly documented. Take your pick. Why does software fail the very users for whom it's supposed to be designed?

 

Why Software Fails

Why Software Fails

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Updated: 4-Feb-2010
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Scott·Family

Breaking the Piggy Bank

November 16th, 2009  · stk

A classic Norman Rockwell moment, as Alex takes her ceramic piggy bank down to our local credit union "Island Savings" and opens her very first bank account. At age six, our girl is learning how to save her money! She deposited $54.40 in coins.

Alex's Opens Her First Bank Account - Chooses Island Savings Credit Union

 Island Savings Credit Union Logo

It was classic Norman Rockwell. A six-year-old girl holding a ceramic piggy bank, sitting in the lobby of a bank, waiting to open her very first bank account. The girl was none other than our Alex and the bank was the small branch of a local credit union.

Earlier that morning, Alex asked, "Can I get a bank account?" (Since Dad is keen on personal finance - having retired at age 39 and opened his first business when he was 12 - his ears perked up).

Several questions later, it became clear to him that Alex understood the concept of banks (even though she couldn't name all the denominations of coins in her piggy bank).

Alex has a very special piggy bank, one given to her by her God-mother - a beautifully decorated and glazed ceramic pig, complete with Alex's tiny hand-print on it (Alex was two-years-old at the time "Wilber" was made).

That afternoon, Dad drove his 6-year-old daughter to the credit union in Cedar. It was a long visit. She signed multiple forms and it took time to count out her "life-savings".

It was a very big day for Alex and a proud one for her Dad (who was busy taking pictures of the event). The visit brought smiles to the banking staff, whe were very patient with Alex and treated her like a 'big girl' customer. Not every new account holder meets one of the Credit Union Board of Directors, but Alex did! She also learned the difference between tokens, coins and foreign money (as she had a few Pence and U.S. coins).

To learn more about Alex's first account, read on ...

Alex Breaks the Pig

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Updated: 25-Nov-2009
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