What I Like About Grandpa

Grandpa Reading Runaway Bunny

Buffalo on Antelope Island

Hanging Out at Home

Sitting Around at Home

Kids Singing

Misleading Documentation Metrics

Mark Baker's post, Why documentation analytics may misread, presents an appealing argument about why it doesn't matter if just a few people read the manual. In his post, Mark argues that a small number of key influencers who read the manual can share the knowledge with a much larger group who do not read the manual. The effect of the manual, therefore, disseminates out to a much larger group, even if that group never reads the manual. Mar...

Writing My Last Chapter

I was talking with my wife's uncle last week about writing strategies for fiction, and whether it's better to outline everything ahead of time, or figure it out as you go. The former is apparently called a "plotter" method and the latter a "pantser" method (called pantser because you fly by the seat of your pants). He said there's no right way, but if you're planning to figure it out as you go, it's still a good idea to write your last ch...

Counting Calories

A couple of weeks ago, I had to calculate some metrics at work to gauge volunteer efforts. I realized that when I tallied up the metrics, I came to some astonishing revelations about productivity versus management efforts. The experience turned me on to the idea of metrics, and I decided to start keeping track of the food I eat. I downloaded a great iPhone app for this: Fitness Pal. It allows you to keep track of all the calories you're consum...

How Avery Got Earrings

When Grandma Nana came to visit, she brought clip-on earrings (among other jewelry) for the kids. The kids wore these clip-on earrings for practically an entire week straight. Avery is sporting some very smart-looking clip-on earrings here: Apparently last week Avery couldn't find her bra, and she couldn't go to school without it, so she and Shannon went to the mall to get a couple of bras. At the mall, they passed an earring shop. Shannon sa...

Grandma Nana Comes to Visit

Grandma Nana came to visit last week. It was a short visit, so we didn't have time to do much, but we did do a few fun things. We spent half a day at the Clark Planetarium and watched the Hubble 3D at the IMAX. We attended the Hyatt Family Christmas party together, and Grandma Nana got to see the kids swim in the pool. She also baked some peanut-butter toffee cookies for the party. Grandma gave the kids art kits and jewelry, and a wooden puzzl...

We Moved Downstairs

This past week we moved downstairs. Our house has three bedrooms upstairs, and a mostly finished basement with one bedroom and one living room downstairs (the downstairs is about 650 sq feet). We let Avery and Lucy have the master suite upstairs (where we used to sleep), Callie has the bedroom over the garage, and we converted the pink room to an office. Shannon and I live in the large room downstairs, with the baby in the adjacent downstairs ...

King Size Bed Fits Four

I play basketball every Tuesday night. Recently I came home to see this: T This is actually a pretty common scene. The only thing missing here is Amelia the cat. Notice how Shannon drapes one foot off the side of the bed. This is her usual position. When she was a kid, her cat (Tiger, I think) used to sit on their ottoman with one foot hanging off the side, which is where Shannon probably gets this. :) When I carry Lucy to her bed, she opens h...

Some Thoughts on Technical Writing in the Cloud

Cherryleaf has an informative article about technical writing in the cloud. Ellis Pratt writes, There are a number of reasons why a Technical Author might want to use a cloud-based application. The first reason is cost. Instead of purchasing an application, cloud-based applications are typically offered on a monthly fee basis. If you're looking to move to a DITA authoring environment, this spreading of costs could prove an attractive alte...

Slides from STC Webinar on Organizing Content (Findability)

Here are my slides from the STC webinar I presented on organizing content (findability). The official title of the webinar was "Organizing Content: Breaking Out of Topic-Based Hierarchies."  I added detailed notes for each slide. This should make the presentation understandable even without the audio recording. You can download the presentation in two formats: PDF format PowerPoint format Feb 19, 2012 update:You can listen to the reco...