Wednesday, May 27, 2015

I'm Federal Contracting


I am a Federal Contractor. I have been contracting to the US Federal Government since the beginning of 2014. And its a good place to work, a lucrative place for tech and developers to be. And it's completely fucked up at the same time.

So here I am contracting for the blank-blank-blank. (I'm not allowed to tell you) It was a hard road just to get to this point. Just to do some strait forward (and much needed) usability work for - - - . If it's this difficult, to get hired as a senior user experience (usability) consultant then imagine how completely backwards all government websites will be for the foreseeable future!

I don't want to be negative. Yes this is a sarcastic blog post. There are a few silver linings in Government contracting. I'm actually kicking butt improving web software at the blank-blank-blank. I haven't been happier since when I worked at But overall it's a mess, and a grossly expensive taxpayer funded mess that needs to change. The good guys working here get shafted by bigger firms that know how to play the contracting game better. Taxpayers loose left and right. Businesses too. It's generally a loose-loose environment which I'd like to see improve.

I don't understand why Google doesn't have a big fat office right in downtown DC? It might actually lift the culture in Washington out of the Mad Men era.

So the next time you do your taxes or fill out a Government form (like jury duty) remember, good Customer Experience is not an accident. Good experiences are planned. Period. Seems like a good role for government would be to plan ahead and create good experiences for folks.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

An Array of Solar Powered Desalination Stills

So in reading about the drought in California I was inspired to try to design some kind of solution. I guess I was frustrated after reading the plethora of news about the drought and seeing little to no solutions mentioned. Just NYTimes naggery and finger pointing and stuff about how California's agricultural industry simply does not manage water well. How California has never implemented drought measures that other parts of world has. And then, maybe it's because I'm a gardener and I recycle water that I actually see this drought problem easily solvable.

So here's my little Temple Grandin moment! An "array" of solar stills floating like enormous doughnuts on the sea.

It would make me really happy if some people in California would try this out. 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Confliction and The Measels

Confliction - A sickness of conflict between on political idea and another.

The Measles Outbreak of 2015

We can't tell parents what to do with their own kids

But we want to tell parents what to do

But the Government has NO RIGHT to tell parents what to do

But we really really really just want to tell parents what to do

But we can't. It's not cool

OK but seriously, some other kids are at risk, and we should just make laws

NO, we can't tell parents what to do with their own kids. THAT is already law!

How about we trot out doctors and be really nice about telling parents what to do?

Yeah, but a lot of people understandably don't trust pharmaceutical corporations

OK let's use statistics, numbers! Let the data convince the parents!

BUT, the LAW says, we can not tell parents what to do with their own kids