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Comment: Re:contempt? never! (Score 1) 213 213

Exactly. Thank you for saying this. I can't think of two western nations that have had a longer alliance than France and the US. We owe the very existence of the USA to France -- not just in the war of independence, but in the Louisiana Purchase (roughly a third of continental US land) and also in the war of 1812 where France was our largest (if somewhat reluctant) trading partner. The two nations may grouse a bit at each other from time to time (1820-1865 was a low period, to be sure, and I blame the string of lesser Napoleons), but I can't think of two nations that have been such steadfast partners for a longer total period of time.

Comment: What a bunch of hooey ... (Score 1) 146 146

I've managed a very successful team for many years, and the one thing I don't do is their work for them. They need to do their work, in their own ways, and do it well. If they do, they don't see much of me. I attend most of the meetings (though I do occasionally have to bring one or two along for specific stuff), I do all the HR stuff, I go to the boring planning sessions, and I find out how our work is being received and chart courses for sustaining and improving on that work as needed.

I don't ask for status reports. I don't get in the way of standups. I don't pretend that I'm better at doing their job than they are. I am a facilitator for their work and I am a buffer between my team and other teams. I keep things nice and calm for them so they don't have to stress out or deal with having to interpret all the BS or do BS work. Then I do all the paperwork like the budget and the procurements and make sure our slide in the executive weekly tells the story of our awesomeness.

I listen to their complaints, other folks' complaints, and smooth that stuff out so that people can get back to work. If they need longer to get something done, I make room in the schedule and get new agreements with our customers on the new scope or timeline. If another group is in our way or not keeping up with us, I get with that group's manager and hammer out something we can all work with.

I've always been a very good technical generalist, but not as deep in individual stacks to do all the work. I am, however, a people person. I'm a damn good listener, negotiator and diplomat, and a very good business relationship manager and paper-pusher. Sometimes it sucks. Sometimes I have to have very difficult conversations with others. It's all part of the job.

What is most certainly NOT part of the job is me doing the engineering work. I trust them to get it done. They trust me to get them the time and resources to do it.

Comment: Re:... not sure what this really means ... (Score 1) 144 144

So, if I understand you, we just construct some kind of wrapper around it that can get hot and won't melt and just make steam? ... a wrapper with "... like diamond coating, with a boron flavor to it. :-_)" [from a physics blog I found with google] ... and treat it like a big super-duper-hot pile of burning coal? It doesn't seem very elegant, to my untrained eye. Ah well, it's for people smarter than me to figure out, I suppose. Thanks for helping me frame the question.

Comment: Re:Snooping Programs a help (Score 1) 389 389

On the face of it, I agree with what you relate and I think you are correct. However, the value of the data isn't so much what is said, or who said it, but the relationships between the people that do the communications and learning how they know each other. So, none of the data needs to be especially meaningful in and of itself. Bad things will happen, but these records are (more likely than not) most valuable in sketching out who knows who, and who they have in common.

Comment: Re:Major changes in many countries (Score 1) 333 333

Here in Colorado, there's a bunch of crime centered around grow facilities (robbing them) and robberies and burglaries for the cash being transported. It's one of the main reasons why the state is lobbying very hard for banking regulation reform at the fed level, for example.

Comment: Re:Random Thoughts (Score 1) 328 328

I live close to Denver and we had a 4.5 about 4 years ago. My house is about 110 years old and it cracked the plaster. About six months later, we started seeing the "learn about fracking" ads on TV -- sponsored by some petroleum institute mouthpiece. The ads are still running. Your nose for BS is very keen, and I have no doubt that you are right.

Comment: Re:Here's a better idea (Score 1) 678 678

:) I live in Colorado, and we have our own water problems. (Though less of them, of late, but it's always been really dry out here.) Our snowpack fills a bunch of rivers. At the same time, our glaciers and year-round snowpack are fading, and that takes a lot of elasticity out of the supply. It'll be dry times up here, too, before long (again?), and there's nobody around to pump water to us.

There's a lot of agriculture out here, too, but it's nowhere near the scale or variety of California. I suspect that this is why New York isn't, for example, a big producer of almonds. It's dead last, in fact. So yeah, you can grow "food crops" in the northeast, but not nearly as many different ones, and not nearly as productively/cheaply.

The computing field is always in need of new cliches. -- Alan Perlis

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