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Messages - bluefoxicy

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The Pub / Re: Anyone know where to discuss project/risk management?
« on: November 18, 2013, 09:09:17 PM »
Consider looking around some actuarial forums. The Society of Actuaries offers a Chartered Enterprise Risk Analyst credential. I'm not sure what you know about actuaries, but you'll probably find that it's a bit more rigorous than "never, ... , defnitely" and "negligible, ... , catastrophic".

Ooh, that looks interesting.

The frequency (time) versus severity (cost) metric is extremely common.  It is the established operational risk management pattern used to plan military action, and is referenced in some form in most texts I've looked at for risk.  Kepner-Tregoe Potential Problem/Opportunity Analysis cites a format where you list risks with likelihood and severity; this is the same thing as an ORM chart, and I tend to implement it as such.  Risk management always comes down to mitigation (actions taken to reduce risk ahead of time--probability and/or severity) and contingency (actions taken when a risk event occurs--reduce severity).  These can create new risks (i.e. if a RAID drive fails, you have to replace a drive at a cost; if multiple fail, you have your original risk in greatly reduced probability).

My big problem is most texts on risk management are in one or more of three categories:

  • Light and fluffy:  Good, basic concepts.  The same stuff I've gleaned already, the same stuff you could get out of Google in five minutes.  You know the drill:  "Here's the most basic concepts, and let's talk a lot about them."  Think about if Kepner-Tregoe's "The Rational Manager" was just entire chapters devoted to each single one of the 11 specifying questions, no overall process to tie them together, and a lot of talk about the supposed virtues of each--still 300 pages, but no decision analysis, no risk management, no actual processes, and no final chapters tying it all together and discussing a solid overall strategy.
  • Unqualified dumpster bait.  Leadership is an important skill; there are volumes and volumes on leadership that read like Dilbert's PHB wrote them.  That is:  they deliver feel-good advice, but it's mostly wrong and teaches you to be a s***head.  There are books on Risk Management which, similarly, droll on about risk as some abstract thing, explaining how it's not well-handled and how it's all over the place and gets ignored, and talk about how you have to do something about it... without actually explaining how to look at a risk and qualify its importance in any meaningful way.
  • Specialized.  Insurance, financial, investment.  Books about how to be All-State or how to run a Bank or manage a Mutual Fund.

What I want is something technical in the operations risk management area... which CERA seems to fit.  Good catch.  I'll look into that.

The Pub / Anyone know where to discuss project/risk management?
« on: November 18, 2013, 06:14:26 PM »
I can find a number of project management forums online; but there's just nowhere that seems active and, to put it simply, helpful.  Compare Homebrew Talk and AHA, Badger And Blade and Straight Razor Forums, Gamefaqs, BikeForums, and so on with ... PMzilla or the Project Management Forums.  All of these places are active... except the PM forums, which have a handful of users and posts days out of date in the one or two forums that haven't been dead for weeks or months.

I'm trying to find some information on risk management.  A lot of RM stuff seems to be technical and mechanical--identify risks, rate them by probability versus severity, develop mitigation and contingency, estimate cost and risk tolerance, develop a risk management plan, risk breakdown structures, and so on.  There isn't really a lot of "how to estimate risk", though; and I happen to be very good at this.  So good that so far nobody can point me at anything that's ... enlightening.

I'm up to a point where I've been writing my own risk analysis theories, based on experience in things I've had to analyze.  For example, some places tell you that risk can be estimated in terms of probability versus severity:  Probability often starts as "Never, Unlikely, Likely, Definitely" and becomes "Infrequent, uncommon, common, frequent" and eventually just time spans like "Every 3 years" "Every 1 year" "Every 6 months" "Weekly" "Daily" "Multiple times per day".  Severity similarly goes from abstracts like "Negligible, Moderate, Severe, Catastrophic" to "Dollars, Thousands, Hundreds of Thousands, Millions, Billions".  That's not a progression so much as the refinement:  low-probability events WILL happen "eventually", and a situation is not severe unless it carries a cost (money in business).

My experience has lead me to more complex concepts such as lease terms:  when you have the choice to invest so much up front to reduce the cost of a certain ongoing operation, you're facing a lease.  It costs $500/mo to keep a Large Amazon EC2 server running, or $150/mo with an up-front pay-up of $3600 for 3 years.  This means $250/mo, and means you're saving $250/mo.  Okay, so the risk diminishes over the lease:  You're risking $3600 if you no longer have a need for this up-front; but every 1 month diminishes the risk by $250--10 months in, if you have to ditch this and move up, you're only behind by some $1100 (and had you gone big up-front, the difference in cost over 10 months would make this only a little cheaper... or more expensive).  Plotting this diminishing over time, versus probability, versus risk tolerance, you can do complex risk assessment ... with calculus and basic algebra.

It gets complex.  I can't find an appropriate forum or any books that go into the really crazy s*** I've gotten balls-deep into, and I can't imagine I'm factually better at understanding risk than every other person on this planet.  Somebody's written books about this.

The Pub / Re: Red worms
« on: October 01, 2013, 04:31:07 AM »
Ooh.  If I could get some oak or maple logs, I could use shiitake mushrooms for that.  In fact, I could use all kinds of mushrooms (oyster shrooms!) to compost cardboard and paper rapidly...

Good idea mate.

The Pub / Re: Rush - movie by Ron Howard.
« on: September 30, 2013, 02:53:19 PM »

The Pub / Red worms
« on: September 30, 2013, 02:51:22 PM »
I dumped a bunch of used coffee in the red wiggler bin.  They seem to have all disappeared... too wet I suppose.

Can't find the friggin' things!  They didn't escape the bin, but there's only 50 in the bottom and god knows where the rest are.  They're not digging through the coffee grounds.  I started with like 500!

I added more paper to balance the wetness.  Hopefully that helps.  Going to add more worms; I think I may have killed most of mine when some potato fermented and alcoholized the bin.  Worms dislike wodka.

Does anyone know wtf I'm doing?  Because I sure don't.  Five dollars I don't have says Weaze or Cap knows how all this crap works; lord knows they know everything else.

All Things Food / Re: VacuVita [Semi-plug]
« on: September 11, 2013, 08:59:44 AM »
I'll stick with the FoodSaver (and it's clones) because you have the option of doing jars or bags.  I'm partial to the bags, myself

To be fair, I honestly thought this was the state of the art:

My goals are more "I just baked 2 loaves of bread... which are going to go bad before I even get 1/4 through one of them" or "I have to make sandwiches for lunch for the week."  A week's worth of sandwiches might be doable in bags (I'm partial to sandwich-shaped tupperware though), but being in and out of the bread container constantly is going to change things a bit.

Long-term storage is attractive, though... no bags huh?  The FoodSaver might be better for saving up vegetable ends and chicken carcasses for stock.  Can't shove a chicken carcass in a bread box, and bags of vegetable parts will fit better in the freezer.  That's a big use case for me too.

All Things Food / Re: VacuVita [Semi-plug]
« on: September 10, 2013, 01:33:10 PM »
Not sure how it's different than a FoodSaver with the canister accessories.

Thanks.  :)

Looks like... it's not much different!  Different form factor (the FoodSaver looks like a traditional vacuum bag style with a hose; this is more a canister with an integrated vacuum, with a hose to vacuum other canisters), but in the end the FoodSaver lets you hook up a hose to a canister and vacuum it out.

The major difference is the canister form factor.  Which is really no difference at all; sure one's round and one's square, but the fact is "there's canisters, they may or may not be in a shape you like, otherwise these are the same thing."

Good catch.

All Things Food / VacuVita [Semi-plug]
« on: September 10, 2013, 12:53:32 PM »

... looks to me like the large container is the size of a loaf of bread, and the small container is the size of a sandwich.

This seems to be a next evolutionary step technology.  I've used those "Seal-A-Meal" whatsits with the hot wire and bags and the sucker things that try to vacuum out your Tupperware, and they're rather... irritating.  This is going, "That's a good idea.  How about doing it not-stupid?"

Risk of first generation tech being crappy is kind of high here.  Failing seals and electronics are common in primary runs.  On the other hand, these folks appear German; German engineering I trust.  Besides, this looks like something I want to encourage.

Guess I'll bite.  Fresh-made sandwiches are good, but not so good 5 hours later when you fetch them from the office refrigerator.  This interests me.


All Things Food / Re: I want a new class of sodas
« on: August 29, 2013, 03:03:33 PM »
A bottle of Safrole-including root beer is surmised to increase cancer risk about 1/2 as much as a fresh apple.  Beer is 14 times as carcinogenic.

On the other hand...

Surmising that reason X is used because we don't want to say reason Y is not deep into conspiracy theory territory--it's reasonable precaution to tactfully not spread information about making drugs.  Mistakes like telling everyone Sudafed and Kerosene are used to make Methamphetamine are avoided these days (in high school they showed us a video where they actually completed the entire process, with a narrator explaining each step, why it's done, the dangers, etc... they pretty efficiently taught my class to homebrew our own meth).

Now if you want to get into conspiracy theory territory, you can start up with reasoning--for example, in the 90s we found MDMA in low (non-intoxicating) doses would treat PTSD.  It's so effective that a single 10mg or 5mg dose every 2-4 months can effectively curb PTSD; about 100mg is used to get high.  It's also incredibly generic (cheap, non-profitable)... so we can talk about "Big Pharma" and "Government Corruption".

Sufficient to say, though, Safrole is not a strong carcinogen.  Even the Wikipedia page points out that it's about as carcinogenic as indoor air (and mentions that the DEA does classify it as a restricted substance due to its use in the manufacture of MDMA).

If it were up to me, I would vote for deliciousness over this BS.

All Things Food / Re: I want a new class of sodas
« on: August 29, 2013, 01:08:31 PM »
Yeah but I need recipes.  I'm not much of a great experimenter in some such cases, and like a good starting point.

Hmm... making syrups.  I don't think I could build a custom system for syrup deployment, but... hmm.  I bet I could use the pressure cooker to cook ginger root and infuse it into water without vaporizing much off.  Likewise vanillas or root beers (if I could get the root--you can't, it's illegal because you can make MDMA from the safrole, so says Google).

No idea where I'd go with Dr Pepper clone.  Technically these are called "Pepper" drinks or something; Dr Pepper Co has been taken to court for monopoly over "Pepper flavored drinks" that are "Technically not Colas".

All Things Food / Re: What to do with my fresh hops
« on: August 29, 2013, 01:00:47 PM »

what would happen if we through a few cones into some of the jars. 

Nifa Fifa will start drinking your pickle juice.

All Things Food / I want a new class of sodas
« on: August 29, 2013, 12:55:45 PM »
There's no soda board so here goes.

I want a new class of sodas.

I'm looking at Jamaicans like Stewart's Ginger Beer and Blenheim (hot and not-so-hot), and that's where I want to go with this.  Blenheim will make your throat close off.  Stewart's is like drinking glass needles.  I think the recipe is like... 1 gallon of water, 1 pound of ginger, some sugar?  This isn't a can of Canada Dry we're talking about here.

That's what I want.  I want some strong, deep, rich colas; some dark, heady root beers; something akin to Dr Pepper with a deeper, warmer flavor of molasses and clove; rich cream sodas.  Less sugar, more flavor.  Something non-alcoholic with the class of a good beer or martini.  Ostensibly, something more of a chilled, fizzy herbal tea.

More or less carbonation--for bitter or bitter-offset things I could see using much more carbonation as a preservative method, likewise for citrusy you'd use lemon juice or citric/ascorbic acid as a preservative.  Cream sodas might take less carbonation; spicy ginger ales more or less, that style exists and has real variation; root beer can go either way too.

I need to build a dedicated kegging system just for this.  I would love to make something like Blenheim that'll make your testicles descend, at least.

The Pub / Re: Want to plant a hachiya, can I?
« on: July 23, 2013, 09:50:33 PM »
My persimmon trees don't have broad root systems. Course they are native. This might not help...

It does help.  The trees I'm looking at are Asian grafted to Native.  Native is the root stock.

The Pub / Want to plant a hachiya, can I?
« on: July 23, 2013, 05:36:00 PM »
I have this tiny house with a small front yard, near as I can tell 11 foot wide, 15'7" foot from house to sidewalk, and 6 feet from lawn to the edge of the sidewalk.

Trying to figure out if I can put a Hachiya Persimmon or a Hachiya grafted on American native out front, maybe 12 10.5 feet from the house.  It has to be a hachiya; I don't eat any other type.  Americans generally prefer Fuyu--which is very amenable to my needs--because they prefer firm fruit, but I strongly prefer the flavor and the soft gelatinized Hachiya fruit.  It's not worth putting a tree there at all if it's not a Hachiya.

I simply can't find enough about the root system.  The power lines are in the rear, not out front; I'm mostly worried about the root system attacking the basement wall, but as I understand these are more rooted by a deep tap root than a wide root system.  The roots are vulnerable to crowding, so growing near a wall is more an issue of the health of the tree--unlike oak, which will destroy s*** in its way.

Still, you see my problem.  I don't want to find out later that those roots really are nasty.  No luck with finding any good info.  It's looking like I could make it with a dwarf, which grows some 12 feet tall... less than satisfactory I guess, as I wanted a shade tree for the sun-facing end of the house... but it will shade the porch, so that's a plus.  Yes I know, mowing around a tree is annoying.  I use a reel mower (Fisker) or a Scythe, both of which are absolutely fantastic for mowing the lawn.  The scythe takes more practice and a little more work, but will do whatever you want.


EDIT:  Looks like the dwarf grows a 12 foot circle, so 6 foot needed between it and the house.  Should be plenty.

All Things Food / Re: Pitcher recipes - Non-alc
« on: November 30, 2012, 06:22:14 AM »
Squeeze some lemons, add a bit of sugar and mix. Top off with carbonated water. Adjust ingredients to taste.

Ooh, carbonated water... or tonic water, which is lemony and somewhat bitter?

How about something for the winter.  Like a quarter pound of cinnamon sticks infused (i.e. hot water steep), a few whole cloves, a couple chunks of Dragonfruit, Dragonfruit juice, and sliced ginger root?

No hot, heady, spiced drinks here?

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