Monday, July 27, 2009
Hi Guys. Been pretty flat stick with work (new work car - YAY!) and study that i haven't had much time to update here.
However i figured i should let you know that i should be picking up a new bike this week.
WOOOHOOOO - not having a bike for a year was killing me. I felt like i had lost my soul.
Sorry all i have so far are the trademe images.....but will get some more up when i pick up the bike.
Its a 1985 Yamaha SRX-4 (400cc). Single cylinder. 4-stroke. Twin-shock rear. Cafe' racer.
Wont be super quick in current form - but i have a few thoughts on how to make her handle a bit better (will probably end up another farrst developments project).
So excited to ride ANY bike at this point.
Will have photos of the new car later this week too.
Friday, July 24, 2009
Names censored to protect the stupid
My dismissal from continued employment at "Company X".
“Feedback for firing”
I was “let-go” from employment at _ after 7 months of working for them. Prior to my leaving the premises – I was asked to attend a “Feedback meeting” which started and concluded in my dismissal from the firm.
I was told that my employment was not going to be continued past its “trial period”. This was due to my performance not being sufficient. No specifics were given. I was left dumbstruck as previous employers had only acclaim for me – many had written letters of recommendation for me. I was also lost as to how this was to benefit the company; as not only was I the most senior member of the project I was working on, I was the only one who had been on the project since its conception.
I also was angry – as it was directly stated that my performance was ‘lacking’. Which did not sit right with me as I had put an excess of at least 15 hours / week, uncharged overtime, for the previous 2 months.....due to poor staff allocation on the project?
It was noted that I was “outspoken” specifically with regards to issues and concerns with the project. However I was not prompted to elaborate on these, nor was I questioned for my thoughts on the project.
The whole process was so “matter-of-fact” and structured that my instincts told me to sign whatever was in-front of me and get out of that room (and the building) as soon as possible. This left me completely disillusioned about the world, and disempowered to change it.
What would have improved the situation?
Functional Conflict (Kinicki & Kreitner, 2009, p277)
If I was consulted as to why there were issues in the project, or why it was not on schedule – I could have addressed many misconceptions about the project. The issues could have been addressed, and resources channelled towards the project – improving both the perspective of the management, and the image of the company (who looked ill-prepared in the customers’ eyes).
Instead there was a dysfunctional conflict as my team then promptly confronted the management as to why all the project information was sent out the door in my head.
Identifying the Problem (Kinicki & Kreitner, 2009, p248)
It was assumed that since the numbers did not sit right, and my name was on most of the project information – the problems sat with me. However if the feedback had prompted me to identify the problems to management, I could have done so simply. This would have also have empowered me – as I would have removed the misconception in my mind that my teams thoughts and concerns were being ignored.
Balance of Upward Feedback (Kinicki & Kreitner, 2009, p204)
As the project had recently had a change in staff and a restructure. A new project manager was placed in charge of the project. He reported directly to the top regional level of management (and them to him). However due to his lack of knowledge in the project area, and lack of understanding of what the staff were doing – he could not relay information to management or staff involved in the project. He found it difficult to communicate ideas and feedback which separated the staff and management into an “us and them” scenario.
He also was not present during contact to customers, design meetings or even my dismissal. This lost any trust he had built up within the team (Kinicki & Kreitner, 2009, p235). He was a break in the communication line – and feedback was not getting transferred.
Overall I found the feedback that justified my dismissal did not qualify as “objective information” (Kinicki & Kreitner, 2009, p201). This made me feel that I did not really want to work for a firm that operates on such poor information.
I felt the feedback was not an “exchange of information” (Kinicki & Kreitner, 2009, p201). It was simply a witch-hunt, and I was a martyr for their cause.
Kiniki, A, & Kreitner, R,. (2009). Organization Behaviour: Key Concepts, skills & best practices.
N.Y. USA : McGraw-Hill/Irwin
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Now back to my vent.
Zespri NZ are a bunch of vampires to the New Zealand Kiwifruit Industry. Previously known as "New Zealand Kiwifruit Board" they sold the "Kiwi" name off around the world and then we had nothing (even in China i bought some "Kiwi's" which looks imported from South America. Now they are pushing the Yellow, Genetically modified fruit under the name "Zespri".
Turners and Growers are taking Zespri to court over the monopoly they hold in NZ. I agree with them. If you export your fruit (aka your not a moron).....you HAVE to go through Zespri. And while that is not a bad thing in some occasions (aka Fonterra) - its shocking for the kiwifruit industry. They are not looking for new markets, they are not pushing the product - they are just relying on what sales they are getting. You see - they get quite fat just sucking the profits out of the existing industry by claiming "It is another bad year".
Thanks Zespri.........2 decades of "bad years" i think we have realised that you don't give a rats arse about trying harder to sell the product for a higher price per tray.
To give you a comparison as to where the money goes, imagine buying a tray of kiwifruit for $50 (a tray more than 30)........by the time it gets to the packhouse/coolstore....they make less than $10......by the time it gets to grower we are talking a couple of $. Sound familiar - it should. Kiwifruit in NZ is the equivelent to the coffee industry in South America. To survive in this industry you need a minimum of 15 HA (15km^2) to be productive sufficent to cover your time or costs. The land is worth more bare.
And we have this all to blame to some bad management, poor marketing strategies and general slackness of Zespri NZ. Welcome to the "Microsoft" of the kiwifruit industry.
Monday, July 20, 2009
Thursday, July 16, 2009
No. Well remember a concept a while back called the "Harrier"..... it has been built and can be found in all its glory on their site. Looks like the Harrier (a sort of bike along the lines of Bimota's TESI) will be in full production soon.
They do also have some other bikes that have grabbed my interest. Namely the....
Which is very similar to what i want to make in the coming years - but with a single banger rather than a v-twin. Look at the detail - even the throttle cable has pulleys!!!
But overall - very nice bikes. And some thoughts on my mind about these designs - expect some pen to paper in farrst developments soon.
SE Services - http://www.seservice.se/
Many companies face a difficulty maintaining staff. Most often this is not due to them finding problems within their workplace. More a case that, they no longer feel the excitement or challenges in their workplaces they enjoy.
(COMPANY NAME REMOVED) realise this potential existed. Not just in individuals – but the company as a whole needs to be changing to promote Motivation. They do this in various ways; changing suppliers to add new and interesting ranges (*, p149, Motivators), changing people’s roles within the company (*, p148, Job Rotation), re-adjusting goals (*, p146, Maslow’s Theory) and but allowing for company successes to be rewarded (*, p148, McClelland’s Need for Achievement).
However their most effective motivation technique was actually via Perceptual-Motor Approaches (*, p153).
Every process was forever being updated. If a fault was found – the question was asked “How did the fault occur?” which was followed by “how can it be corrected?”.
Common sense prevailed, if some was required to make the process quicker/easier it was implemented. Inspection tests became simple enough that even new employees could learn on the job. Tool layouts become accessible in order of use. This made the employees feel more motivated to do their jobs – as the fear of doing the job incorrectly was removed. Managers felt more motivated to perform other tasks rather than watch the employees do theirs (which also benefited employees’ motivation).
Kiniki, A, & Kreitner, R,. (2009). Organization Behaviour: Key Concepts, skills & best practices.
N.Y. USA : McGraw-Hill/Irwin
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
While their first release is this:
I actually prefer this track - its actually eerie how this track makes you feel towards the end. Its such a great mix.
You have to listen to LMFAO (they are also on this CD) - those guys are great fun.
Overall i would rank the CD just below some of the previous stuff Crystal method have done (Busy Child etc) but definitely a must have for any music collection. Near to tier stuff.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
What do you guys think - nice?
I like it? chuck me your comments and i will pass it on.
I love the vertical feel too it - makes a formal presence be felt. However i feel the edges of the building have been missed - leaving the corners of the building feeling cold.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Maintaining Damage Control (or “Status”) Board
(Visual display of current activities – either via online Bulletin board or physical mediums such as whiteboards)
Maintaining resources, and displaying this information for all who are in the company – is often a neglected culture. It is assumed that sales divisions / service divisions / accounts divisions even management divisions all operate on their own accord – completely independent from one another. However the reality is that a lot of these areas are interdependent on one another’s. They rely heavily on interdepartmental communication – yet very little useful information is conveyed between them.
Adapting a simple culture of maintaining message boards, can assist greatly in interdepartmental communications – allowing them to setup current information for “future use” with other departments. Rather than having that information locked away within individuals. Maintaining these boards have to be an internal culture however – otherwise they rapidly become outdated, and unused as a resource.
Specific components of the culture of maintaining status boards that must be maintained are:
a) Date stamp (and if required timestamp) all new information when updating. Otherwise the information becomes useless – as the other departments will still ask the team members as to the status of members, project or stock…..at this very time.
A Status board with accurate information will be considered the focus point of a department – Colleagues will have less hostility to a department that has a more transparent feel to its operations. Likewise, if the information is inaccurate – divisions will vent their frustrations of not having enough information towards the nearest team member they can find.
b) Refer to objects (or people if required) off the board, when updating the board. The last thing teams external want to do is have to ask for help because they do not have sufficient information. Who is on that job? What is the job number? Why do we need this part? Where do these sales figures relate to? What month archives are you talking about?
People do not mind going and looking for information themselves – however if they do not have sufficient information, quite often (due to inter-office conflict) they assume that you are hiding this reference material – and feel suspicious around you.
c) Most important of all – UPDATE THE MEDIUM FREQUENTLY!
This is a medium between 2 parties inside a company. This needs to be a culture of updating the medium. Without this medium, people usually go to the only other central point in the team - management, who may not have the whole picture. It also helps the internal team structure as all team members. This is your teams’ voice – both inside and outside the team. If it’s clear and concise, your team is respected within the organization. And respect means that quite often “complaints” towards your team from other section of the organization become “queries”.
Friday, July 10, 2009
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Monday, July 6, 2009
Well, I'm not one to respill what the others are saying. If you don't know the name Chicara Nagato - just understand he is another great custom motorcycle builder.
His companies website is http://www.chicara.com/........
He takes classic American metal and makes it unique.
I love the fact that if you take the engine out of his bikes, put pedals on them - they look like futuristic push bikes......... His moped racer looks like a cross between a full suspension road bike and a track race bike from Avanti.
So go check his stuff out.....it really smooth.
Sunday, July 5, 2009
New 2012 Toyota Supra.....aka Lexus LFA........the mothership of all that is Supra.
This started many years ago as the Lexus LFA concept, as Toyota had to give up production of the Supra in 1999. They continued the design cues in various 2 door coupe's in the USA (Solaris?).....but not to the same level. So the LFA concept car was released about 5 years ago - with a possible release date of 2007. Which never happened.
Since then it has consitantly shifted every year. The car almost never changes - and frankly im sick of it. They missed the boat to realease a car to beat the GTR, and now they are dicking their customer base around with this car. Release it Toyo......before all your known for is family sedans!
2010 Toyota/Subaru Boxer Coupe concept. I love the concept of this car - except the fact that if Fuji Heavy industry is this slow to release a working concept.......the production version is decades away. I mean come on! its been 1 year and still we only have concept drawings. Here is a car to directly compete with the Nissan 350Z and Hyundai Genisis Coupe (with the GXP coupe in a shallow grave).....and once again Toyota are stalling. There was even word that they have nick-named the chassis AE......a tribute to the old AE86 / AE85 who are one of the god fathers of drift racing. A key marketing strategy - but useless if they dont release a car NOW.
2010 Toyota IQ Sport. Will go into production soon.......but with very little HP increase, in fact all you get is a pretty trim. Whats the point? Smart For-Two sounds like a better option and its already in production. Hell why would you wait for the IQ Sport? - its still going to use more gas than an i-Miev Air Sport anyway.
So basically - Toyota have dropped their nuts. Gone guttless and only making Camry's and Priuses..........which are inspirational as Lentil Soup.
I feel sorry for all the employees at Toyota at this point - they must feel like used car salesmen. Selling the same old models every day. The same pitch. The same colours.
But then again this is a company that released its new crown models to look EXACTLY the same as they were 20 years ago.
Friday, July 3, 2009
Good to see the market is still strong for these bikes. I grew up around one (my dads) and very soon i will have to sell his collection of bikes and parts off for him. So check out what i consider i nice classic.
Link to auction here....