BDL - thanks, though I'm not sure Siduri was a goddess, but I like the idea of the mythological innkeeper - stop by for a beer and some good food, and get some advice on Life sort of thing...
I don't see my way of slicing and then cross slicing all on the board as slower. The slices usually end up on top of each other more or less, and the cross cuts done on the board are no slower than the cross cuts done before you slice it. Having studied art and knowing how to do crosshatching with a pencil (making even lines quickly) it seems to be quite efficient and accurate (though rarely is accuracy necessary for any of my home cooking) and i generally like to keep doing the same sort of action, rather than have to change hands and do another kind of action. (I'm quicker on the computer because i do most of the "mouse" work by using the keys and save that time changing hand position back and forth). I guess it's my main reason for slicing and then cross slicing. If i have to do several onions, i'm doing the same action all the way through and that saves time.
I also find it harder to do it your way, but that's a circular problem because i don't like doing it that way so i don't practice it, and see no need to because my way works for me. Maybe if i had a great knife rather than a good knife, it would seem easier. Anyway, i have no chef breathing down my back with his preferred technique in mind and so have another reason to keep doing it this way
One last thought - I do like food to look like food and not geometric objects. I like food to look rough and more natural - never got the Japanese taste for making food look like little cylinders and squares that you can't figure out what they are. I like the top of a potato salad to look like i just piled it on, the top of the cake to show the swirls of the frosting application, the pieces of vegetable to look like real vegetables. In art we called it "truth to materials" and i never liked trompe l'oeil, though i know it appeals to many - not my style. Finally, when roasting chopped vegetables, the uneven shapes take on different levels of carmelization and that adds taste and eye appeal.
on that line, i submit my Haiku called Japanese Lunch:
A pencil box,
lots of colored erasers
sorry - jet lagged and getting carried away