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Kimler Adventure Pages: Journal Entries
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 ...
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).
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!
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?
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
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 ...