Parenting: Are We Getting a Raw Deal?


Summer 1974. I’m 9 years old. By 7:30 am, I’m up and out of the house, or if it’s Saturday I’m up and doing exactly what my father, Big Jerry, has told me to do. Might be raking, mowing, digging holes, or washing cars.

Summer 2016. I’m tiptoeing out of the house, on my way to work, in an effort not to wake my children who will undoubtedly sleep until 11 am. They may complete a couple of the chores I’ve left in a list on the kitchen counter for them, or they may eat stale Cheez-its that were left in their rooms 3 days ago, in order to avoid the kitchen at all costs and “not see” the list.

If you haven’t noticed, we’re getting a raw deal where this parenting gig is concerned. When did adults start caring whether or not their kids were safe, happy, or popular?…

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Special Guest at the Darkroom: Fred Tonne

An excellent story.


At a recent session of my Guided Darkroom Class, one of the students brought along a very special friend named Fred Tonne. Fred had been a photographer for the Milwaukee Journal during the 1940s-60s. He brought along a few of the cameras that he used during his time with the newspaper.

Fred showed us his “standard” Speed Graphic Press Camera, with 127mm lens. He also brought along an olive-drab military version of the camera, built to take a bit more abuse on the field. “Big Bertha” was a VERY special telephoto camera he brought along too. “Bertha”, with it’s 500mm/f8 lens, is a one-of-a-kind; his is the only copy of the camera! Fred also brought along his Fed, a Russian knock-off of an early Leica rangefinder.

While Fred loved the quality of the 4×5 camera, once he had a taste of Leica cameras in Europe during WW II, he came…

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2013 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 60,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 22 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

How to Change Applications Dock Icon in OS X

System PreferencesScreenSnapz002After adding my applications folder back to the dock I noticed that the dock icon was using a different icon than the original Applications icon. The icon was using some other app icon (in my case it was the Lightroom app icon) instead of the Applications folder.

Here is how to change it back.

Right-click on the icon in the dock that is currently posing as the Applications icon.
Notice that it current shows Display As Stack as checked, it will look like this.
Google ChromeScreenSnapz002

To Fix it: Select the Display as Folder option.
This should change the icon back to the proper Applications icon as indicated in the picture below.
Google ChromeScreenSnapz003


Hope this helps. Let me know in the comments

Solving iOS 6.1.x “Unable to Verify Update”

I went to do an iOS update the other day on my iPhone 5. I was trying to update from iOS 6.1.2 to 6.1.3. I was stopped after receiving the message “Unable to Verify Update”.


I tried restarting my phone, reran the update, same problem.
I tried turning wifi off, then back on, same problem.

Here is what solved it.
In iOS settings turn off wifi, then restart your phone. After restart, turn wifi back on, then go back and try to do the iOS update again. It should now say something that it is checking for update. In actuality, there was a newer update out there which I believe was trying to get inserted. In my case I now was presented with updating to iOS 6.1.4 instead of iOS 6.1.3.



I am now successfully updated to the latest iOS version
I suspect this approach will work with other iOS 6.0.x versions as well that receive this message.
Hope this helps.

Marissa Mayer disappoints me. I think everyone was excited when she came on board as Yahoo CEO, she seemed like a cool CEO, and there was real potential to be different. Then comes the sucker punch. If you want to get rid of deadbeat employees… fire them, lay them off, whatever. But this policy against working from home seems like a step backwards for a high tech company. I guess Yahoo does have a “different” kind of CEO. It’s just a different that employees aren’t going to like.


Once again, Marissa Mayer disappoints me. Yahoo just announced that employees would no longer be permitted to work from home as of June.

This signals a major step backwards for working parents. If a typical male technology CEO made this decision, there would be outrage, of course. But to come from a new mother  who is a CEO? It feels like a sucker punch – and hardly believable. Yet there it is.

There are many industries where you must be at work in person, but technology is not one of them.  As a marketing consultant to an international software company, I have worked both remotely and in the office. There are definitely professional and social benefits to being in the office, but I have found that the physical location of my workspace does not affect my productivity or creativity.

Today, I work exclusively from home. I use my time efficiently…

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Windows Leadership Changes

From: Steve Ballmer
Sent: Monday, November 12, 2012 6:16 PM
To: Microsoft – All Employees (QBDG)
Subject: Windows Leadership Changes

Over the past few months we have delivered the foundation for a new era for Microsoft. From Office to Bing to Windows Phone and Windows Azure, to Xbox and of course Windows and Surface and everything in between, we’ve unleashed a huge wave of devices and services that people and businesses love. I simply couldn’t be more proud of the effort you have all put in to get us here and to set the foundation for our future. At the Windows launch in New York, at the Windows Phone event in San Francisco, and again at the Build event on Redmond campus, I was struck that while externally many people look at these events as the finish line, they really represent the starting line of a new era.

As we enter this new era, and with the successful launch of Windows 8 and Surface behind us, Steven Sinofsky has decided to leave the company. Steven joined Microsoft in 1989 as a software development engineer and has contributed to the company in many ways from his work as a technical advisor to Bill Gates, to leading the evolution of the Microsoft Office business, to his direction and successful leadership of Windows and Windows Live as well as Surface. I am grateful for the work that Steven has delivered in his time at our company.

Effective immediately, Julie Larson-Green will lead Windows engineering. She will be responsible for all product development for Windows and Windows Live, in addition to Surface. Julie has been a stalwart leader of building compelling “experiences” from her time on Internet Explorer, through the evolution of Office and most recently to the re-imagination of Windows. Her unique product and innovation perspective and proven ability to effectively collaborate and drive a cross company agenda will serve us well as she takes on this new leadership role. All of the current Windows engineering teams will report into Julie, and Julie will report to me.

Tami Reller will lead business and marketing strategy for Windows including Surface and partner devices. She will provide broad stewardship to our PC marketing efforts while managing the line business functions for Windows. Her work on Windows since 2007 has been exemplary and her strong talents in working with internal groups and partners will also serve us well. Tami also will report to me.

We are facing a time of great opportunity. What we have accomplished over the past few years is nothing short of amazing, and I know we have more amazing in us. I am excited about our people, I am energized by our ability to change and grow, and I look forward to the success which lies ahead. Thank you for all you do, and please join me in congratulating our new leadership and celebrating all that we have accomplished so far.