Kell antigen update

This morning was the first  reoccurring ultrasound appointment, to look into Choo Choo’s ongoing health insofar as our apparent anti-k issues are concerned. It was an early morning, and getting everyone up and rolling within an hour set a new Olympic record in the Getting Monkey Up, Dressed, Fed, and Out Of The House  event.

While Monkey went to hang out with our friend Rebecca, Alex and I headed back over to EFW for her appointment, and for the news on Choo Choo’s progress. Although it’s been only five days since our last appointment, there was hope that there would also be improvement.

How do I spell relief? U-l-t-r-a-s-o-u-n-d.

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The failure of the electric car

In our Inconvenient Truth world, popular desire is starting to change the way some companies think. We’re seeing large companies produce “green” products, such as biodegradable detergents, packaging from recycled plastic, and tables made from recovered wood. We’re asking our service providers to show us how they’re working to reduce their output, through paperless billing and electronic messaging.

A few years ago, the “hybrid” car was introduced, a shining new example of how to make vehicles more efficient, and spawned a new movement of environmentally-aware manufacturing. Today, Nissan stands ready to finally release the first mass-market all-electric vehicle, amping up the competition to become the centre of the environmentally-friendly transportation universe. I, for one, welcome the arrival of the electric car, long overdue from formal acceptance in North America. At the same time, however, I also curse its arrival because it doesn’t actually address a primary problem.

The electric car strives to perpetuate a bad idea: that we all need a car.

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Dealing with Kell Antigens

Two weeks ago, I was sitting at my desk at work, plugging away on requirements documentation. It’s rather mind-numbing at times, but is often very helpful for the rest of the team. My phone rang. It was my wife, Alex. Normally, she just text-messages me. Actual phone calls are left for things that are important and need immediate discussion.

Alex didn’t sound her usual cheerful self. In fact, the tone of her voice that worried me almost immediately. She asked me: “Look up ‘anti-k’. What does it mean?” Google quickly plunged me into Wikipedia and a raft of pages filled with partial information and incomplete answers. “You need to get a blood test right away! We need to know if you’re K+.”

I can’t remember the last time I felt my blood run ice-cold.

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What makes a Senior Developer

Every so often, someone asks me what I need to see in a senior developer. Why people ask me this is a mystery. I mean, besides the fact that I’m a Know-It-All, could it really be that several years of being a manager have really allowed me to delve into the core of the human psyche, separate the hard skills from the soft, and know what it really means to be “that” person?

Yeah, I’m having a good laugh at this one, too! But since I am a Know-It-All, and someone asks, it’s really hard for me to say “I don’t know”. I mean, it’s not like I don’t have an opinion on it or something…

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Thinking of you, Choo Choo

You’re not even born yet, Choo Choo. You’re still inside Mommy. You’re real, and you already exist in our hearts, but you’re still just a dream, a vision of the future, of what’s — or rather, who’s to come.

A little over 2.5 years ago, we asked the same thing about your sister, Monkey. Mommy felt her moving around inside her, I could see and feel her kick. But we didn’t know her. We didn’t know what she’d look like, how she’d act, if she’d cry or laugh, when she’d walk, or even if she’d like us.

Now, we look Mommy’s wriggling belly, and we wonder: who will you be?

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Evolution of the Know-It-All

Know It All Curve

I’m a Know-It-All. (Most of you know that.) I freely admit this because a) it sometimes gets me into trouble, and b) it’s something I need to try and control.  It’s the need for control that brings me to self-reflection, to look back on the things I do (or have done) and the things I say (or have said). Were they, in fact, factual? Were they right? Was I wrong? Who was right, and could I have approached the situation differently?

You may be wondering: “Why ask those questions? Isn’t that obvious?” Therein lies the ultimate pit-trap of the Know-It-All — the question isn’t obvious, only the answer. And the answer is what a burgeoning Know-It-All will readily offer up to anyone within earshot, regardless of whether or the Know-It-All was asked or even if there was a question to begin with. It doesn’t matter if they’re actually right — it’s the urge to be right that drives them…

…and often drives everyone else around them crazy.

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Make April 1 “IE6 Dies” Day

At the moment, IE6 still holds about 20% of the market (according to today’s metrics from NetMarketShare). That’s far too large a share for a 8.5 year old browser, especially one that has been  superseded  by successive releases of its own code by two versions. It’s far too much for a browser that costs too much to support, and despite several service packs still bears significant security issues. It continues to haunt the internet, acting like a lazy bouncer allowing the seediest of activities to go on unchecked.

I propose April 1st be “IE6 Dies” Day.  It’s time that IE6 be shown the door. But we’ll need help.

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