Monthly Archives: March 2010

Gorilla Love

Going ape at WritersUA: The conference is small but juicy; lots of interaction in my sessions and lots of good geeky topics. (Wish I could say that all presenters were brilliant, but there have already been a few yawners.) To my surprise, there were 27 people registered for my preconference halfday workshop on writing effecting Help procedures. My main conference session, Cultural Dimensions of software Help Usage, pulled a decent crowd and the gorilla was a hit. (I showed Harvard’s “gorilla on the court” experiment to illustrate the phenomenon of inattentional blindness.)

The weather in Seattle has become slightly more normal for this time of year. However, last Saturday was unbelievably warm and sunny. I took advantage of the day to walk along Alki with my dad. We came across this amazing racing Shelby with a stainless steel body:

To get an idea of how unseasonably warm it has been, check out this ornamental cherry:

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The Journey, part 1

Where’s my full body scan? I was looking forward to the techno-thrill of Schiphol”s new biometric full-body scanners. Heck, they’ve starred in the news a lot lately, between the pure geeky excitement and the lawsuits triggered by the invasion of privacy.  But no; all I get is an old-fashioned pat-down by Inga, who is big, blonde, young, and excessively enthusiastic.  She is sooooo happy to be groping me! “Have a very nice journey,” she trills after the final squeeze.  Maybe I shouldn’t complain; it’s the most action I’ve had in months…

The flights themselves were uneventful but interminable.

WritersUA, Here I Come!

One foot on the plane: Boarding in a few minutes. I’ve been busy trying to get everything done before I left, so I haven’t been posting much lately. I’m heading to Seattle for the WritersUA conference, where I’ll be teaching a half-day workshop on writing effective online Help procedures, doing a regular session on cultural dimensions of Help usage, and sitting on the closing keynote panel. Seems I’ve been identified as one of the Big Cheeses in the field. Hmmm.

This modern world: Shlurping my coffee 20 meters from the gate, and my sister Skypes me! Pretty funny.

Hedgehogs! They are taking over, according to the guy on the radio the other day, who was warning people of a huge increase in the hedgehog population. Next thing you know, they’ll have their own party and four seats in the Knesset.

Whining and Dining

Salivate the good times: I finally get together with friends in Nahariya. We have a fun meal, apart from the not-so-cold beer (“Should I bring some ice?” queries the clueless wait-person).  Mmmm. Suds-on-the-rocks. I think not. I try to snap a few pictures, but my friends retaliate (with my own phone, no less). Here’s the money shot:

Gimme my phone!

Rock Star

J’lem and back in a day: I survived the big shlepp down to Jerusalem for the Technical Communicators Conference sponsored jointly by Techshoret and STC Israel.  Turns out that about 20% of the attendees were former students, and it was really fun catching up with people. My keynote didn’t ruffle any feathers and, hopefully, made a few people think a bit more about professional development. Saw an excellent panel discussion on professional accountability in TC, chaired by a local Microsoft tech pubs manager (and client).

The trip down and back is long and exhausting, and the spring allergy season meant that I was on antihistimines. Wanted to sleep the whole next day!

Best joke of the day:

An American kid attends a Shabbat dinner in Jerusalem, where he is clearly the least religious person present. “You’re not very observant!” says his host.

“Why do you say that?” asks the kid. “Is it because I’m not wearing a kipa?”

“No,” replies his host, “it’s because your tie is in the soup.”