Wednesday, September 28, 2005

There Now

That's a bit better.
New logo at the top.
A bit of smoothing to the header and footer. A slightly wider column.
That'll do 'til I learn CSS, or next time, which ever comes first.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Fate's Fingers of Fickleness

I have spent the last week attempting a little hands on learning of cascading style sheets and other arcana of the Finally today the template was parsed and proofed and published and dam it looked good in Firefox.
It looked like a cow flop in Mozilla. Needless to say it looked even worse in Internet Borer.
So we are back to pure Douglas Bowman's Minima.
Hopefully it's readable. At least in form, content is aesthetics -- thus debatable.
Standards -- some folks have them, some folks acquire them, some have them thrust upon them. So why did I hurl them back?

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Lazy is a Relative ...

"Never stand when you can sit. Never sit when you can lie down." So my father often told me, his eyes atwinkle.
I think he may have thought of Frank Gilbreth. As a chemical enginer and plant manager he had a consuming interest in doing the work better. He enjoyed the tale Gilbreth used to describe his approach to the time and motion studies he performed in the teens and twenties of the last century.
"Take me to your laziest worker," he would tell the foreman as he arlrived to begin a new study.
That sounds a bit nuts at first. But you might consider this: In the harsh free booting capitalism of the teens and twenties any factory hand who was lazy in the sense of not doing the job would not last the day. So any worker still employed who was considered by his fellows to be lazy was the faster worker with the least surplus, or inefficient, motion.
Lazy is a relative term.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Analects of Management

Verso cxviii:
Only 4 out of 10 business startups remain in business after four years.
Surely this fact is of comfort only to the survivors?

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Do You Therblig?

Or, perhaps: I love red, ripe, juicy, therbligs!
Or, more to the point: take the ergh! out of ergonomics.
The fundamental motions of the hands of a worker. These operations are made up of 17 types of motion: search, select, grasp, reach, move, hold, release, position, pre-position, inspect, assemble, disassemble, use, unavoidable delay, avoidable delay, plan, and test to overcome fatigue. Frank Bunker Gilbreth defined these motions in his system of motion study. (Therblig is Gilbreth spelled backwards).
Time and motion study was a big deal a hundred years ago, or so. Seems there were two approaches. The Taylorites led by Frederick Taylor sought to make work more efficient, and thus increase productivity. Taylor was followed in the field by Frank and Lilian Gilbreth, whose methods were aimed at making work better, and thus faster. Both methods sought to reduce unit production costs. Taylor assumed the worker was working slowly for his own reasons. The Gilbreths examined the work to see if it could be arranged in a more efficient manner and assumed that the workers would be willing.
Both approaches worked. I find the Gilbreths, particularly Lillian's discoveries, more useful in my kitchen.
-- ml