Friday, June 29, 2007

New Book: Better

I just finished a new audiobook: Better - A Surgeon's Notes on Performance by Atul Gawande. It currently has 4.5/5 stars from 22 Amazon reviewers. This book is about the processes and practices used in the medical profession to improve quality and effectiveness, in a field where practitioners are constantly faced with changing information, techniques, drugs, tools, standards, and more. The author is a Harvard educated surgeon, MacArthur Fellow, and Rhodes scholar.

I bought the book because I was curious about how the medical field might be making improvements. However, I found myself totally fascinated by the case stories the author uses to describe things. I was amazed to learn these things, that I had never known before, about doctors. I really enjoyed the book and I recommend it. In fact, I might now read his previous book titled "Complications."

Monday, June 25, 2007

Pickup Stix

I've taken a liking to the food at Pickup Stix. It's a chain of fast food Chinese restaurants. They don't use steam trays of pre-cooked food. They cook your order after you order it. My favorite dish is the Szechwan chicken. They have a lot of locations, mostly in California. Unfortunately, the closest one to me is far enough that I can't get there very often.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Current Book: The Myths of Innovation

I'm currently reading "The Myths of Innovation." This one is a real book, not an audiobook. That means I have to actually sit still and read it. My friend Matthew recommended this one and since I liked his last recommendation (Send), I decided to try this one also. It currently has 4.5/5 stars from 11 Amazon reviewers. I just started reading it, so I'll offer this excerpt from Amazon to describe it...

"In The Myths of Innovation, bestselling author Scott Berkun takes a careful look at innovation history, including the software and Internet Age, to reveal how ideas truly become successful innovations-truths that people can apply to today's challenges. Using dozens of examples from the history of technology, business, and the arts, you'll learn how to convert the knowledge you have into ideas that can change the world.

+ Why all innovation is a collaborative process
+ How innovation depends on persuasion
+ Why problems are more important than solutions
+ How the good innovation is the enemy of the great
+ Why the biggest challenge is knowing when it's good enough"

Friday, June 22, 2007

Google's New Solar Panels

Google has now installed a lot of their roof top solar panels. I think that's great. What's even better, is that they have a web site where we can see how much power it generates. Nifty!

"Send", The Book

I recently read the book titled "Send" at the recommendation of my friend Matthew. It's a short book by David Shipley and Will Schwalbe and currently rates 4/5 stars on Amazon from 31 reviewers. This is an easy-to-read and funny outline of etiquette for email. I recommend this book to everyone. I've received my share of email that is poorly written to the point of being ineffective at communicating. I'd like to believe that I'm pretty good at composing emails, but I probably have my lapses like everyone else. It's good to review the basics and this book does a decent job of that.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Parunuweap Canyon

I visited Zion National Park last week. While I was there, I hiked off-trail to the rim of Parunuweap Canyon. This is on the east side of the park. At higher altitude, making it a little cooler than the over 100 deg heat of the main park canyon. It was a lot of fun. I've tried this hike a couple times already and this is the first time I've completed it. It was fun. It was far less exhausting than I expected. I certainly am not in better shape than previously. I think I was more prepared for the conditions and the landscape. Here's a link to a Google Map that I created showing my route and a few photos I took. If you click on the KML link above the map, then it will download a file that, when opened (double-clicked), will launch Google Earth and show the same route and phot balloons. It's neat.

Later, I'll take more time and blog more about it. I took many photos, and I should share more of them. I think I now have enough familiarity with the terrain, and have found a sufficiently easy route, that I can bring others to this place.

If it doesn't show: I like Zion.

ps: no muscle cramps. very little soreness. a few insect bites. i seem to be getting better at hiking in the desert.