Tuesday, December 27, 2005
Yes, I confess to being a nut about Shakespeare. See that beard! Bet you did not know that I grew it (in my younger days) to trod the boards as Lord Northumberland. I did. I grew it to hid my youthful chin. To look the old and distinguished gentlemen that the Lord was supposed to be. The beard came slowly during the fall and winter of senior year at Assumption College, the performance was in the spring. I did not have a heavy beard so I took the time to make sure it was worthy. It came off (at my mother's wish) for graduation in May of 1976 and has been back ever since. My wife and daughters, indeed amongst many people who know me, have never seen me without it except for pictures of the "before time".
But anyway, I spent part of this afternoon with Shakespeare in Love, one of my favorite movies. I had just received the DVD for my recent birthday. Carolyn was out working when we viewed it so she decided to see it this afternoon, and hey, this is what vacations are for! I had some things to finish up but inspired to complete them early, I did join her for the later part of it.
Still in a far off Elizabethan world, I came to Bloglines to find Jeremy's newest posting: Benvolio Deciphered. If you have seen the movie, you may recall that it is a play within a play set of course within Romeo and Juliet. The part here with Benvolio is not covered but still....
Oh, tis true, the stars are aligned!
But alas, someone calls.
I come anon.
Whilst I go, read bardseyeview!
It seems like many take their vacation time away from blogging. My Bloglines feeds are not filling up as fast as they normally would. To each their own.
Monday, December 26, 2005
Patti, I have this vision that you must spend time crafting this weekly piece. Time akin to preparing the pancakes.
- Monday - to the store for the ingredients (or maybe the inspiration just pops up).
- Tuesday - put the dry mix together and sift well.
- Wednesday - for the fresh eggs and milk.
- Thursday - the skillet is greased and warmed on the stove.
- Friday - the dry and wet ingredients fold together and set for just a bit.
- Saturday - the skillet is ready, the batter is spooned out into wonderful shapes and served up.
I, probably not alone amongst your readers, come here for a fulfilling breakfast and leave quite satisfied, yet anxious about having to wait another week for more pancakes.
PS - I found Patti Digh writing at 37 Days back in June and posted about it on the Hitchhiker's Guide. Since then I have quoted from her a number of times. If you have not added 37Days to your RSS reader or blogroll, you are missing out.
Saturday, December 24, 2005
No blogger was stirring, no hand moved the mouse.
The postings were stacked by the tag cloud with care,
In hopes that more readers soon would be there;
The users were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of updates danced in their heads;
And me with my podcast, downloaded like that,
Had just settled down for a long winter's nap,
When out from my laptop there arose such a clatter,
I sprang to my desk to see what was the matter.
Away to the portal I flew like a flash,
Tore open the reader and refreshed the cache.
The enclosure attached soon gave me to know
That new entries were here, more news I should know.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a raft of new updates, eight headlines so clear,
With a quick Wiki update, who could it be?
Our investor, of course, a leading VC.
More rapid than eagles his portfolio came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;
"Now, Blogspot! Now Feedster! now, Movable Type!
On, FeedBurner, FeedBlitz! (On Marketing Hype!)
To the top of the feed! To the top of them all!
Now blog away! blog away! blog away all!"
As valuations that before the wild bubble do fly,
When they meet with a fund, mount up to the sky,
So up to the top of the investments they flew,
With RSS data, and named it Web 2.
And then, with a twinkling, I read in my news
Each notable posting, contrary views.
As I drew back my hand, and was turning around,
Down to my trackback he came with a bound.
His comments were brief, what was ado?
Were adwords OK? Did users click through?
A bundle of mashups he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.
Our AJAX - how it twinkled! Our tagging - how merry!
We socially networked to his brand new BlackBerry!
Our RSS valid, we were well syndicated,
We subscribed to the feeds that we loved (and we hated);
The stump of our web site held tight in our teeth,
The hyperbole encircled his head like a wreath;
We tagged Technorati, we blogged with the best,
On Feedster we surged and made the A-list.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And marked us on Frappr, and Flickr he searched.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
Updated his blog, up our OPML rose;
He sprang to his feed, gave his investments a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
"HAPPY CHRISTMAS TO ALL, AND TO ALL A GOOD-NIGHT!"
With best wishes from FeedBlitz to everyone this holiday season!
(c) www.feedblitz.com 2005
Full reproduction permitted only with full attribution and links intact.
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
I like the fresh approach.
It has email.
It does not have an RSS feed.
What's going on here?
I sent an email on Nov 17th and did not get a reply. I sent another one today and now am writing this. We'll see what happens.
In any case, this is good stuff. Check it out!
Updated 12/22/05 6:00PM
Exchanging email with Karen on this. She does have a couple of RSS feeds.
You can try either
Monday, December 19, 2005
Open the cover, turn the page, a fantastic world unfolds before you.
Dolores uses them with her kindergarten class. They learn very quickly to respect the book. It is a delicate thing to hold but they do very well with them. To see their eyes light up as the page unfolds before them is a wonder unto its own.
If you are looking for a last minute gift for someone to treasure, you can't go wrong with one of Robert's books.
His most recent is appropriately, Winter's Tale.
Saturday, December 17, 2005
Of course, we hung the wreath earlier.
Brought Allie home from college on Wednesday.
Bought the tree today. Mounted it in the stand and left it on the porch for the girls to decorate tomorrow.
I put the lights in the windows. I don't go much for some of the other decorations that the houses can have. I really like the simple single candle light in the window.
Now need to finish the buying and the wrapping and then the food shopping for the family gatherings coming up... All in good time...
Reading one a day to fully digest the thoughts presented would take you into the New Year of 2006.
Peruse them. Devour them.
Go for two or three a day.
Be patient. Enjoy the reflections.
PS - you will find one entry from me amongst this august company.
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
About noon today picked up an email at work from someone who had a question on a process and how a particular situation should be handled. I answered the question and as I re-read the email before replying, noticed one of the names of the people in the story was someone I thought I knew. I looked her up in the directory, gave her a call and sure enough, it was the same one who had hired me into the company. She had left shortly after I started to take care of her young children and do work consulting. The kids are in school now so she is back full time. Small world!
Picked up Allison at Assumption to bring her home for the holidays. As she is taking a bunch of art classes, we have art work to bring home. One of which almost didn't fit inside the van. It would have had a cold ride on the roof!
When we got home, we found that Carolyn had gotten some good news. Her first college acceptance letter arrived from St Michael's. There are still a few more to hear from before she decides where she'll end up (of course, the financial part is an important factor) but it is good to get the first one. Congratulations, Carolyn! It doesn't feel so cold anymore.
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Circuit City Offers Remote PC Support
The retailer uses desktop-sharing software to provide support for home offices and small business.
Circuit City is using Plum Choice to provide this service. They started in 2001 and are based in Bedford, MA.
Somehow they have flown along and escaped my radar. I will keep it in mind the next time my daughter has a problem with her system at college.
Friday, December 09, 2005
And then the sky started clearing:
Time for me to shovel.
But that is all done now. I am warm and ready for dinner.
Similar to the view at Thanksgiving, the chairs have been covered witha tarp to help protect them for the winter and the grill is wearing it's snow cap!
But while I work, Dolores and Carolyn have a free day. The discussion at supper last night was that Carolyn and her friends were getting together for some fun in the snow, as it is the first real big storm this season. Good for them. They are seniors this year and will be heading out into the real world of college and work sometime soon. Enjoy this age/time while they can.
If I had a free day; other than shoveling, and playing in the snow myself, I'd probably spend some extra time reading or blogging.
What would you do on a "free" day?
Thursday, December 08, 2005
In the spirit of the upcoming Holiday Season and the New Year, the Danville Area Chapter of the American Red Cross has elected to initiate a calendar fundraising program called "Vintage Red Cross Calendar Builder System". The Vintage Red Cross Calendar Builder is a fundraising process that allows a supporter to build his/her own completely personalized calendar on an interactive website. Images may be selected from a library of vintage Red Cross posters and photographs, a specific starting month may be picked, and particular dates may be added to each calendar. You can even enter special dates to be printed, like birthdays and anniversaries. The calendar is very professionally printed and bound, and mailed in less than 10 days. This system costs nothing to the Chapter to use and 50% of the calendar purchase price of $29.00 is provided to the Chapter to help reach fundraising goals that support disaster relief, blood services, and health and safety programs.I did order some calendars and the process is easy to follow.
The website has been set up to be a fully interactive site just for the Danville Area Chapter. It enables supporters to build their personalized/customized calendars, sign up for our mailing list, or make an online donation directly to the Chapter. We're all familiar with the traditional calendar fundraising appeal and it's become somewhat stale and tired. Hopefully you will agree that this new and novel approach is fresh and powerful, an approach that gives donors the ability to personalize the calendar they receive as a thank you for their donation.
The Chapter's goal is to sell 100 calendars by December 31, 2005. If that goal is accomplished, the Chapter will raise $1,450. I believe that's quite feasible if you begin the process by each purchasing a calendar yourself and then electronically sharing this e-mail, with the attached link to our Chapter's website, with as many of your friends, extended family members, and acquaintances as possible.
The Danville Vintage Red Cross Calendar Builder System website address = http://Danville.VintageRedCross.org So, play around with it. Build some calendars. Have fun! Seeing the images and getting a calendar of your own is simple.
Just take these four steps:
1. Got to http://Danville.VintageRedCross.org
2. View the images and build your customized calendar.
3. Review your calendar and make sure everything's right.
4. Buy the calendar with your credit card and support the Danville Area Chapter of the American Red Cross.
And most importantly, share this e-mail with everyone you know. The Chapter has already purchased five calendars and they look extremely "sharp".
Feel free to contact me with any questions. And, thanks in advance for your support of this Red Cross fundraising campaign.
Douglas W. Bastian
Danville Area Chapter
American Red Cross
Monday, December 05, 2005
I usually sit with something to say (hence my 2 cents), or I find something that spurs some thought and a reaction (yes, that 2 cents thing again).
So much is out in this wonderful internet world. So many opinions. So many voices. I am exploring my own voice. Sure, I have been talking since early on. I mean in finding ways to express my voice in my writing. Ways that hopefully, others will appreciate. Ways that will help to add my view to the matter in a constructive fashion. I get very easily turned off by the flaming attitudes that arise from some people over the least little thing, nevermind getting into the tough subjects like race, religion and politics. I quickly say to myself, "Take it down a notch, or two, folks." and move on to something else.
I recall Joni Mitchell's live album Miles of Aisles. In one of her song introductions, she talks with the audience who have been calling out suggestions of songs to sing. She says something like: You know that is one of the great differences between arts and the performing arts. No one ever said to Van Gogh, "Hey, paint a Starry Night" again man!".
Blogging is so ephemeral. What we write today rolls over into the archives shortly thereafter. Unless it happens to trigger something with someone and come back in a search result, it might never have been written. I have already written about audience so I leave that aside for now.
How do I blog?
I have only a couple of hours of time with which to do it so I need to be focused. As I started with, I generally come to Blogger with something to say. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, I have my running to write about.
Most days, there is something about a good customer experience to write about. Life after all is an experience. Having been in customer service for many years, especially on the technical end user support side, I usually have plenty of opportunity to share in this area.
Exploring the internet turns up many good blogs with a variety of interests. Some better than others. The better ones, the Hitchhiker Team write about to share with others.
Troy Worman gathered up some like minded folks to discuss synergy so my thoughts on team work and other topics in that area find a home.
Troy also recruited me for the recent 100 Bloggers effort. I'll admit he did not have to try to hard. I jumped in and have posted there a couple of times.
My writing about parenting, growing older, caring for parents who are growing older, caught some eyes and I have been participating in the ThirdAge Blog Carnival.
Every other topic finds a home here at Steve's 2 Cents.
Will I ever be an A lister?
I do not expect to be. The long tail is good enough for me.
I attempt to keep track of the various blogs I discover, read regularly, read occasionally with Bloglines. I did use and like one of the free RSS readers but the RSS feed is prohibited at work so the odd moment I could use at work (during lunch of course!) wasn't very effective that way, hence Bloglines.
I do review Google News at least twice a day. This tends to serve up the major headlines so I can stay current. The Boston Globe, my other daily read, is continuing to shrink so I tend to get less opportunity to find some good things to write about from there.
As for other print subscriptions: Runner's World, Worthwhile, FastCompany, National Geographic are the only paid ones. I get a free copy of InformationWeek, but that gets recycled quickly as I prefer the web version.
Some of my readers have asked if I have time to shower?
Yes, I do, regularly. I really try to focus during the couple of hours I have. I guess if they are asking, then I must be making some progress (if volume is any indication of progress).
Which raises the question on how frequently one should blog?
I like to do it almost daily. But there are a number who do so less frequently. And a number who do it multiple times during the day. So much so, this must be their full time activity. Either that or I should look into their job as an opportunity.
And then there is the quality of writing.
I hope I write quality stuff. I know I only attempt to do so when I can add my 2 cents. So this should be somewhat different from what else is out there. And if the discussion has already touched the major points or taken a turn in another direction, I'll take a pass on commenting. My blogroll contains the folks whom I read daily, many of whom I admin greatly for the quality of their writing. I am an eager learner!
I'll make notes during the course of the work day, or in what book or magazine I am currently working though to serve as an inspiration for when I sit later. But tonight, those notes are still sitting there because I got consumed with this "How I blog?" question.
The time will come tomorrow.
Unless someone says:
"Hey Steve, write 'How I blog' again man!"
This Wednesday, the concerts continue with a performance of the Assumption College Choral. Allison is part of that group.
And Sunday, Carolyn takes the stage in the viola section for the Metrowest Symphony Orchestra for their holiday concert.
I do not know where the girls got their talent from as I can not carry a note. My wife and I do appreciate good music and have apparently succeeded in this area with the girls.
There should be a number of opportunities for local performance in your area.
Look them up.
Check them out.
Go to one.
A live performance is a wonderful thing!
FYI - Checking out the future schedule for Sanders Theatre I find that Natalie MacMaster is coming in February followed the week after by Ladysmith Black Mambazo. These two will stay on the horizon and if things work out, I will attempt to get there for both performances.
Sunday, December 04, 2005
After he had read our December Ho‘ohana on Faith and Family, Charles Pappas of our Ho‘ohana Community sent me a link to a wonderful presentation called The Wonder of it All. Chuck and I would like to share it with the rest of you on this winter’s Sunday. Froth up an Eggnog Latté and enjoy.
Mahalo nui loa Chuck.
From Patti Digh at 37 Days comes this posting on Dip your wheels:
I have decided to bike across the continental United States.
I will do this to celebrate my birthday in four years, the one that brings me perilously close to the age at which my father died, the one I never really believed I’d see since he barely did, my 50th. The inspiration behind this goal is a woman I’ve never met – and probably never will.
Jean is a cyber cipher, a member of a storytelling list serve who posted last spring about a trip she was readying to take—58 days of biking across country with women aged 50-72. She celebrated her 62nd birthday on that trip, a journey that began by dipping bike wheels in the Pacific Ocean at San Diego and ended with a dip of those same wheels (aside from the replaced tires along the way) in the Atlantic Ocean at St. Augustine, Florida.
Read the full posting here. Patti posts only once a week, but each week the posting is a gem!
THE CHARLADIES' BALL
You may talk of your outings, your picnics and parties,
Your dinners and dances and hoolies and all
But wait till I tell you of the gas that we had
On the night that we went to the Charladies' Ball.
I went there as Queen Anne and I went with my man.
He was dressed as a monkey locked up in a cage.
There was pirets and pirots and Hottentots and whatnots
And stars that you'd see on the music hall stage.
At the Charladies' Ball people said one and all,
"You're the belle of the ball, Mrs. Mulligan."
We had one-steps and two-steps and the divil knows what new steps.
We swore that we never would be dull again, by dad.
We had wine, porter and Jameson.
We had cocktails and cocoa and all.
We had champagne that night but we'd real pains next morning,
The night that we danced at the Charladies' Ball.
There was cowboys and Indians that came from Drumcondra,
Sweet Francis Street fairies all diamonds and stars.
There was one of the Rooneys as the clock over Mooney's
And a telegram boy as a message from Mars.
Mary Moore from the Lots was the Queen of the Scots
With a crown out of Woolworth's perched up on her dome.
There was young Jemmy Whitehouse came dressed as a lighthouse
And a Camden Street Garbo that should have stayed home.
At the Charladies' Ball people said one and all,
"You're the belle of the ball, Mrs. Mulligan."
We had one-steps and two-steps and the divil knows what new steps.
We swore that we never would be dull again, be dad.
We had wine, porter and Jameson,
We had cocktails and cocoa and all.
We had rumbos and tangos, half-sets and fandangos,
The night that we danced at the Charladies' Ball.
Mary Ellen O'Rourke was the Queen of the Dawn.
By one-thirty she looked like a real dirty night.
Mick Farren, the bester, came dressed as a jester.
He burst his balloon and dropped dead at the fright.
Kevin Barr came as Bovril, "Stops that sinking feeling"
Astride of a bottle, pyjamas and all.
But he bumped into Faust, who was gloriously soused
And the two of them were sunk at the end of the hall.
Third Chorus (same as before but with these last 2 lines):
We'd a real stand-up fight but we fell down to supper
The night that we danced at the Charladies' Ball.
(From "Songs of Dublin," edited by Frank Harte: this song was made famous by Jimmy O'Dea and written by Harry O'Donovan. The song was written for performing on stage, but it has so much that is Dublin in it, that it has been accepted by the tradition.)
Saturday, December 03, 2005
Originally uploaded by shersteve.
Sunny day here in Franklin, MA.
The wreath is now mounted front and center to welcome those who chance to come by the home base.
I have posted this here as well to help welcome those who come by via the internet.
Thank you for visiting!
And special thanks to Connie for the wreath!
Thursday, December 01, 2005
Stan Berenstain has passed from this world into that magical place beyond.
The book shelf from which they could choose their nightly reading at one point was comprised almost entirely of Berenstain Bears' books.
The Big Honey Hunt
The Bears Vacation
Moving Day (yes, this came in handy when we moved from NJ to MA)
Go to the Dentist
There were many more. One for every occasion.
Thank you, Stan!
What was your favorite Berenstain Bears book?
Monday, November 28, 2005
As our two girls grew up, the movies we exposed them to grew up as well. The Disney classics (Snow White & the Seven Dwarves, Bambi, Dumbo, Pete's Dragon, etc.) were replaced by the newer series of Disney princesses (Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Little Mermaid, Pocahontas, Lion King, etc. ) and even these began to take a back seat to more adult fare that was still appropriate for them. Singing in the Rain, Wizard of Oz, and The Princess Bride were viewed and talked about, and in many case, reviewed again and again; such that the two girls can go line by line through the entire dialog of The Princess Bride.
The more recent LOTR series, the continuing Harry Potter series, and recently completed Star Wars trilogy also joined the family viewed list. Although for most of these, Dolores (their mother) declined to take part, so I got the opportunity to take the girls, now young ladies to the movies.
With Comcast OnDemand at home, the number of "free" movies is readily available so the education of the girls, or more specifically Carolyn, as she is the one home now (with her sister Allison away at college). (Yes, that is a whole other aspect of education and worthy of its own posting some time.) Over the past several weeks we have managed to find some family time for a joint viewing of the following older movies that we deemed worthy. Of course, we get to see them again; Carolyn is seeing it for the first time.
Carolyn enjoyed Tootsie (1982) with Dustin Hoffman and Jessica Lange. When we talked about it with her sister she asked if Carolyn was scared when Dustin changed to a woman? This was due to Robin Williams' performance in Mrs. Doubtfire. The girls and I saw this in the movie theater when it was a new release (1993) and it scared Carolyn. I ended up holding her in the aisle whenever Robin became Mrs. Doubtfire. Fortunately, Carolyn did not have a problem with Dustin's conversion and was able to appreciate it more. Was there a difference between Dustin's and Robin's reasons for dressing as a woman? Was it justifiable for them to do so? What did this cause for their other relationships?
Over the weekend, we got to see The Way We Were (1973) with Barbara Streisand and Robert Redford. Carolyn was able to connect the House UnAmerican activities covered in the movie to her study of the McCarthy period in American History. I don't think I had seen the movie since it was released and was still surprised to see how tame the scene was when Katie got ready to join the just about passed out Hubble Gardner in bed. The scene still raised discussion points about why she did this? Was this her first time? Did that matter? Other than the physical attraction, what was it that drew Katie to Hubble?
After all this, Carolyn and her friend are watching Armageddon for the umpteenth time when I returned from grocery shopping. I think I have caught enough of this over time to put the whole story line together. What does it hold? It has a strong female role. Values are questioned, the way of life is threatened, and depicts that change is not easy. It has good team work and coordination, bringing a diverse team together to accomplish something that ultimately takes great sacrifice; stuff that qualifies Armageddon as worthy of her attention.
I believe that most movies can provide good discussion points to talk about with your children. Start with the basics: Did you like it? Why? What character did you like? What character didn't you like? Eventually you can move on to topics around the production of the film. Who acted well? Who did not? How important was the setting? How important was the music? Certainly the nature of the conversation changes over time, but there should be a conversation after the movie. It is an opportunity I would not let go to waste.
Sunday, November 27, 2005
I caught an article in the Boston Globe Sunday Magazine about one of their special treats; chocolate covered potato chips and also found out that they are not the only makers of this treat.
Alas, the picture was enticing but there is nothing on their web site about them (that I could find).
Double alas, as the Globe Magazine does not even put this article on their web site.
So you'll just have to take my word for it, they looked really good. Check out one of their competitors for a picture.
And someday, when I venture not far from the home base to find their store, I'll tell you all about it.
Thursday, November 24, 2005
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
I am thankful
for my family
for my friends
for my running buddies
for my work compatriots
for my writing here, here, here and here
I appreciate your stopping by to read
and especially those who linger long enough to comment
or to drop me an email
I am thankful for just being able
More blogs about happy thanksgiving.
Some bulleted highlights:
- Improved sense of smell
- Reduced risk of heart disease
- Weight loss, overall fitness: Sex, if nothing else, is exercise. A vigorous bout burns some 200 calories--about the same as running 15 minutes on a treadmill or playing a spirited game of squash. The pulse rate, in a person aroused, rises from about 70 beats per minute to 150, the same as that of an athlete putting forth maximum effort. British researchers have determined that the equivalent of six Big Macs can be worked off by having sex three times a week for a year. Muscular contractions during intercourse work the pelvis, thighs, buttocks, arms, neck and thorax. Sex also boosts production of testosterone, which leads to stronger bones and muscles. Men's Health magazine has gone so far as to call the bed the single greatest piece of exercise equipment ever invented.I like it! This may help to increase the frequency!
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
Fred Langa writes the Langa Letter and summarizes his tips for system maintenance in this week's edition on InformationWeek. He describes very succinctly what to do, and how frequently, to keep your system in shape. You do not need to everything exactly as he says, but doing most of it will help keep your system and data healthy.
Monday, November 21, 2005
Why are there no New England localities?
Guess we'll have to move!
Well, not right away at least...
This might be another study where the analysis turns out to be suspect. The Boston Foundation just published an analysis of the Generosity Index that has been catching some publicity each year it updates.
What's wrong with the Index
Geography and Generosity includes an analysis of the Generosity Index which is based on income tax returns and determined that it is inaccurate in part because of a built-in bias against high-income states, such as Massachusetts, and for low-income states such as Mississippi, which has frequently come out as the most generous state in the nation on the Index.
When Dr. Schervish and his team used the same formula that was used by Dr. George McCully, publisher of the Catalogue for Philanthropy and the creator of the Generosity Index, they determined that even if Massachusetts residents had given 100 or 1,000 times the amount of money that was in fact donated to charity in 2004, and held giving by all other states constant, the state could not rise above number 23 on the Index. At the same time, the calculation suggested that the state of Mississippi would not fall below 26th place out of 50 even if residents of that state had given zero to charity in 2004.
Friday, November 18, 2005
Let me tell you a story.
In the beginning was the word... and so the good book begins. But actually, in the beginning the idea came first, the idea became a picture, a drawing, pencil-like, charcoal sketched, on a cave wall, then on flattened reeds, then on paper. The image, the imagination, the thought when it attempted to be shared ultimately became the word, and in the sharing it was good.
The storytellers, shamans, griots' voice, his and hers, developed over time, sharing images, thoughts, via words. They were listened too. They could tell the tale that held everyone's attention, held them on the edge, leaning forward, their ears ready. The storytellers' voice developed a rhythm, a cadence for the telling to help convey the moment. The rhythm developed a beat, something primal, akin to their heat beat that was quickening or slowing to the pace of the events of the moment in the story.
The storyteller tried something new, he/she used this new cadence and rhythm to change their voice to chant, and eventually sing. The story became the song. The variety of story became the variety of song. The storyteller became the singer. And the singer sang his/her song!
Step forward many years. Step forward through many advances in technology. The technology is now beyond typing and hard copy printing, advanced to virtual printing, publishing pages available to anyone anywhere with a connection and a browser for "free", technology that has been freed from the wire. The individual's voice is now capable of being put forth for anyone with a like interest to read. These individual's voices have been given a name, rightly or wrongly: bloggers or bloghers. And the blogger/blogher blogs his/her blog!
Some things have not changed over this time. There is still an individual. The individual still has a voice. There is still an audience. The population has grown. The population has spread. The world is wide, much more so that ever before. While it was easy for the storyteller/singer to gather a crowd around the campfire in the woods or savanna (where else were they going to go?), a modern blogger has to set their voice/blog forth into a sea of words hoping that it will stand out, that it will attract attention, that it will generate a gathering akin to gathering around the fire.
The audience falls into one of three parts. The first part, a large one (but hopefully smaller over time) is one that can not begin to listen for any number of reasons; they may not have a connection, or if they do, they may not have that interest. In either case, the singular voice might as well be not at all. To them, there is no voice. The second part of the audience is at least connected and aware of the voice. The read the voice maybe briefly, maybe very quickly, and lacking time or serious interest move on. To the voice, they may not exist, to the audience the voice does exist; there is just not a real acknowledgement of the audience to the voice.
The third part of the audience is nirvana to the voice. The audience in this case is connected, they are aware, they are more than aware, they do not just read and devour, and they also become engaged. They respond. The audience (individually) interacts with the voice. They exchange words. They share more than the voice has expressed. They can take this relationship to another place. The two become one (in idea) and become more powerful than one and one combined. The voice can grow in this. The individual in the audience can grow in this. The road goes ever and ever on.
The first part of the audience just is. They will be there. Don't pay attention to them. The sphere of the voice's influence is beyond getting to this audience. They are unengaged.
The second part of the audience is partially engaged. They are aware. They may read fully or partially, they just don't (or have not yet) taken the next step.
The third part is fully engaged. They are more than readers, more than aware, they are involved. They ultimately will co-create, enhance the idea, and move it to a new place.
What is the point or moral of this story?
Forget about the masses. They are lost for now; you can do nothing for them. It is not kind, it is not Christian but that is what it is. You put on your own oxygen mask first before you can help another. That is the reality. Focus on the voice and those who heed it.
Be aware of the partially engaged, toss them a word, or stray bone, or two. Someday they may come around, someday something will awaken in them and they will respond but until then, nothing more.
The voice, you the blogger or blogher, should focus your writing on the fully engaged part. Feed them as much as they can feed you in turn. There is a mutual dependence.
Know yourself. Go to the well, understand that which is you, the real you! There is no other like you.
Prepare your voice. Practice, practice, practice!
Listen to your audience, pay attention to what they tell you. They sell no mirage. They have come to you for food and sustenance. Feed them.
Feed them and you will find sustenance for yourself.
This is the circle of life, the blogger/blogher life.
What do you think?
The audio version of this posting can be found here.
Thursday, November 17, 2005
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
Since that time, she has gone professional.
Yes, and whether you call her a "mommyblogger"
or just funny,
you should read her regularly.
But what is Mir?
short for Miriam or Miranda?
Doesn't really matter.
She is really full of mirth, admired for her humor.
She can be a mirror.
She is not mired in some mirky mirage.
She is a miracle!
I think a dose of Mir-a-day will keep insanity away.
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
It is a good thing I have not yet started to podcast. While I can say there is a lot of good writing at this week's carnival, it probably would not come out sounding well with peanut butter stuck to the roof of my mouth.
Monday, November 14, 2005
read the full posting here.
I’ve thought long and hard about writing this post. But, somewhere around 3:30 this morning, in the middle of a nightmare that I have been dreading for sometime, it became obvious that I needed to get the words/thoughts of the past weeks, out. If you’ve been to my daughter, Jory’s, site, you already know what’s been going on with her father; but I’ll try to elaborate.
More driving - random thoughts
10th Dodge Poetry Festival
Dodge Poetry Festival - Day 2
Dodge Poetry Festival - Day 3
Dodge Poetry Festival - Day 4
"The Loaf" by Paul Muldoon
"Chocolate" by Rita Dove
"A Postmortem Guide" by Stephen Dunn
"Topography" by Sharon Olds
The Poetry Sampler - Dodge Poetry Festival
"The House of Poetry" by Paul Muldoon
Thoughts on "The House of Poetry"
But I might, someday, influence how my readers percieve stereotypes - if I an consistent and persist
Everyone talks about them.
As if they knew them inside and out.
As if they even wrote them.
These rights certainly belong to us all.
But enough with the generalizations.
What are these human rights?
There is a list of them.
There is a history of their evolution.
The full and complete version can be found here.
The abridged version is reproduced here:
- All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
- Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind.
- Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.
- No one shall be held in slavery or servitude.
- No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
- Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.
- All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law.
- Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.
- No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.
- Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal.
- Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty.
- No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honor and reputation.
- Everyone has the right to freedom of movement.
- Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.
- Everyone has the right to a nationality.
- Men and women... have the right to marry and to found a family.
- Everyone has the right to own property.
- Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.
- Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression.
- Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.
- Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country.
- Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization... of... economic, social and cultural rights.
- Everyone has the right to work... Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions.
- Everyone has the right to rest and leisure.
- Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for... health and well-being.
- Everyone has the right to education.
- Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community
- Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.
- Everyone has duties to the community.
- Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying... any right to engage in any activity... aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth.
Now that you have also read it, you can talk from a position of some knowledge.
Read the full and complete version here to increase your knowledge.
Sunday, November 13, 2005
As simple as riding my bike to the park to play ball. Riding my bike to the library to get books to read while I would babysit in the evening. Walking the paper route delivering the Pawtucket (RI) Times and Providence Journal. Saving money to pay my way for high school and college.
Before I get too far along you might be asking yourself; what is a fluffernutter sandwich?
It is a New England specialty, a sandwich made with peanut butter and Marshmallow Fluff.
If I were especially hungry, I would make a triple-decker.
Yes, three slices of bread with peanut butter and fluff on alternate layers.
Those were the days!
Time was on my side...
The future was further away than tomorrow.
But it came around the corner quickly. Doesn't it always.
Over the years the fluffernutter was a Saturday staple. The fluff would wilt if it sat in the bread too long so I took a home recipe of SPAM and egg salad for lunch most of high school. I took a regular PBJ to work in the steel mill or when I was a night watchman during the summers during college. An official metal lunch pail was required to protect lunch in those environments. As I got out into the working world post-college, I occasionally took lunch. With a group of teachers at Slater Junior High School (where I was a fairly regular substitute teacher), we had an "out to lunch bunch" that specialized in getting to some sandwich or pizza shop and back just in time. (Only the teacher in the lead car knew where we were headed. It was a once a month challenge and fun!) When I switched over to the "real" working world, lunch continued to be an occasional "pack to bring with me" thing. When I was commuting from Flemington, NJ to the financial district in New York City, I would eat a good breakfast at home, eat out for lunch, and have 3-4 pieces of fruit on the train home. I was eating like a king for breakfast, a prince for lunch, and like a pauper for dinner, which according to some was actually a pretty good diet.
Gradually over time, I packed my own lunch less and ate out more but I continued to look for a good bargain in sub sandwiches, or pizza and on the weekend, I looked forward to my fluffernutter in the comfort of home!
Do you have a favorite lunch?
Has it changed over the years?
Thursday, November 10, 2005
On the train platform this morning, one of my commuter buddies was letting me know how long it took them to get home last night. The 5:10 train didn't get into the station until 7:00, almost an hour later than it was supposed to. Apparently there was power outage and that affected all the westbound trains.
So it was a good choice to take the car yesterday. Definitely would not have made my dinner meeting if I had taken the train.
But this still would not get me into the car on a regular basis. The car is a daily commute hassle. The train is a problem once in a while. I can live with that.
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
Monday, November 07, 2005
The current schedule can be found here.
Guess what? If you look closely, you'll recognize one of the bloggers with a posting in the first carnival when it comes out on Tuesday.
Sorry, shouldn't give you any more of a hint than that!
Saturday, November 05, 2005
Linked Working by Frank Agin and Lewis Howes
Last Child in the Woods - Richard Louv
The Celebrity Experience - Donna Cutting
Scott Westerfeld's trilogy
"Run Less, Run faster" - Pierce, Murr, Moss (sherku)
A Circle of Quiet - Madeleine L'Engle (sherku)
Running with the Buffaloes - Chris Lear
Once a Runner - John L Parker
Made to Stick - Dan and Chip Heath (sherku)
Neuromancer - William Gibson (sherku)
Tenth Circle - Jodi Picoult (sherku)
The Sundering - Jacqueline Carey (sherku)
The Power of Play - David Elkind
The Power of We - Jonathan M Tisch
This is Your Brain on Music - Daniel Levitin
The Anatomy of Peace - The Arbinger Institute
Will Richardson: Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts and Other Powerful Web Tools for the Classroom
Joseph Shivers & Paul Shivers: Harriers
Robin Wolaner; Naked in the Boardroom
Chris Anderson; The Long Tail
Fractalia: Episode 1; Reversing the Tipping Point by A.J. McCaffrey
Paul Simon; The Definitive Biography
Marcus Buckingham; The One Thing You Need to Know
Tim Sanders; Love is the Killer App: How to Win Business and Influence Friends
Gordon MacKenzie; Orbiting the Giant Hairball
The Arbinger Institute; Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting out of the Box.
Kevin & Jackie Freiberg: NUTS! Southwest Airlines’ Crazy Recipe for Business and Personal Success
Ken Blanchard, Sheldon Bowles: Raving Fans; A Revolutionary Approach to Customer Service
Randy Komisar: The Monk and the Riddle; The Education of a Silicon Valley Entrepreneur
Ellen Langer: Mindfulness
Ralph Keyes: The Courage to Write, How Writers Transcend Fear
William Gibson: Pattern Recognition
Thomas Eidson: The Missing
James Sullivan: Over the Moat
Tom Asacker: Sandbox Wisdom
Friday, November 04, 2005
The ladies in the house however have some shows that are in the "must see" category. A couple of these I find myself getting drawn into just to follow along in the conversation around the table. Gilmore Girls and One Tree Hill are the current viewing points. I must say that I am disappointed in Gilmore Girls. This season is not as funny or interesting as last season. One Tree Hill however has kept the interest high. Maybe it is due to the realization that these folks are high school seniors. Let me see, isn't that what my youngest daughter is also? Is this what is going on at Franklin High? I think I need to be aware of this stuff. Carolyn, I think we need to talk.
Sometimes it seems like only yesterday but I can recall back in the late eighties, Thirtysomething was all the rage. We were living in New Jersey. Around our neighborhood and the workplace, the show dominated the conversations. Dolores and I were busy with our two young children at the time and 9:00 was too late for us. It wasn't until my former company moved us to Chicagoland where we could still have reading time with the girls before they went to bed, and be able to catch Thirtysomething because it came on at 8:00 CST. We were in our thirties and we could connect with many of the characters in the show. They were like us or people we knew.
The next big show, Friends, moved the subject age group into the twenties. The youngsters did not hold our attention. Dolores and I were now getting into our forties. Friends has since gone off the air and is replaced in the conversational space by the likes of One Tree Hill which takes the subject age down to high school teenagers. Now, because our daughters are teenagers, we are hooked back in. Does WB really have us in their demographic?
So what will be next?
Middle school soap operas? or will they skip middle school and go for elementary? or will they skip both (middle and elementary) and go for the kindergarten?
With the conversation around One Laptop Per Child, the thought does not seem so far fetched.
Where do we go from here?
What do you think?
So, to help keep all these other metaphors in perspective, I would like to add another to the list: Homo narrandus (storytelling human). Why? Because we humans create stories to make sense out of the chaos of our raw perceptions and experiences, to explain ideas and abstract concepts and, ultimately, to deal with the incoherence of this world. To be a human is to constantly weave stories. And to be in a culture means to be endlessly woven into a tapestry of more stories. We don't see them as stories because we are so fully embedded in them.Read the full posting here.
Jeneane Sessum at Allied rewrites a survey solicitation on blogging at work:
Help Us Feel Useful in the Age of the Net - VOTE IN THE AD AGE WEEKLY ONLINE POLL BACKGROUND: A report last week by one ofYes, you can read their original and her complete rewrite here.
our guys who's hanging onto his MSM title for dear lifenoted that about 35 million workers -- or one in four people in the U.S. labor force -- spend an average of 3.5 hours, or 9%, of each work day educating themselves without dipping into your "professional development" budget while at the same time escaping the tedious mindlessness of watercooler chitchat. This blogification of workplace time is no minor concern -- when the slaves find out they can make money without living in the quarters out back, your business stands to lose 551,000 years of indentured servitude, which means fewer workers to fire just before retirement.
Ronni Bennett at Time Goes By writes about blog friends:
In my early years of reading blogs, before I started TGB, I was often astonished at how personally revealing many bloggers are. Much more so, I think, to unknown readers than most of us would be in the first few meetings with a new in-person friend.
This might be an advantage to getting to know another better; sometimes it is easier to be honest at a remove from one another. On the other hand, there is much to be discerned about people non-verbally – the look in their eyes, the kinds of clothes they prefer, whether they are the touchy-feely sort or not, etc.
Read the full posting by Ronni here.
Thursday, November 03, 2005
Along the left column as you sit there and read this, assuming you on my blog page and not in your reader, there is a list of other places where I write. I'd like to highlight one of them for you in case you had not noticed, were hesitant to go there and leave the really good writing that always appears here on Steve's 2 Cents. (wink wink)
Since you only have a short time anyway, this will be brief.
One of the fun things about the internet is the variety of interests that can be served. You name it, you can find it out here somewhere. Of course, there are someplaces you probably should not go, at least not without due warning and extra protection. You probably already know that by now.
To help this exploration in a safe manner, the Hitchhiker Team created this "Guide to the Blogosphere". The Team checks out these sites and if they meet our strict approval, we share them with you. Kind of like the Good Housekeeping seal I used to see on products when I was growing up. Yes, that does age me somewhat. I just realized that you may not have any idea what I am talking about. Sorry abut that.
So to the point, visit the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Blogosphere and we will take you safely on a journey to parts previously unknown.
Where you decide to go from there is up to you. Always is.
Thank you for visiting!
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
Am I suggesting that you play the personal brand game? That you try to figure out how to "monetize" your blog writing? Hell, no. Write because it turns you on. Write because it helps you understand. Write . . . just because. Or better yet, go for a walk. Play catch with your kids. Relax under a tree. Make a whistle from a blade of grass.
Read the full posting here.
From Anil Dash at Blortal 2.0
I've been married all of two days; I won't pretend that I can give anybody advice on married life. But I've already seen what's worked to get me to a commitment and a love I never thought I'd find. I've learned that, when you're doing things right, starting a life together as a couple can be fun and enjoyable and downright simple.
Yes, he got married this weekend. Read all about it in this posting.
From John Winsor at BrandShift:
Tom, Seth and Kilimanjaro? Read the whole posting here.
That day I recognized that our peak performance was an alchemy of many things some that we could control, like our training, and others we couldn’t, like conditions on the mountain. I certainly would have never deceived myself that I could have pulled off the record on Kilimanjaro after traveling 76,000 miles over 45 days. I would have given a sub par performance.
From Felix Gerena at BrandSoul:
I wanted to stress this point of the reasonable expectation for it is a key point in the communication of a leader with constituents. It does not matter if you are the leader and don´t say the exact words, if you create the reasonable expectation -and in our case it was more than reasonable- you are responsible for it. And if you are not, you cannot be a leader. Leading is not a matter of literalistic translation of statements. It is an exchange of reasonable expectations.
Read the full posting here, and be sure to check out the comments. I added my two cents.
That's all for tonight folks!
Monday, October 31, 2005
speaking in a golden voice
another with an ashen face
will bleed walking away
arm in arm with a blue-eyed man
I see it all now
unable to turn any color
(never mind green with envy)
I will be forced to kneel
in gratitude, no, penitent
yearning for an orange mask
following in its footsteps
spreading her arms
the melody slowly expanding
stepping lightly to it
ballet, then folk
some disco, she moves
and the consort plays on ...
increasing the tempo
her feet followed
with the drums
the rhythm became
that of the jungle
and she was there
moving to that tribal tone
and the consort played on ...
flower, fairy, flying thing,
free to adapt, moving
to the rhythm
the melody, that is
our common ground
as it ends and she rests
her chest heaving with breath
her face is flush with a peace
not unlike a sunflower
touched with morning dew
not to take periodically a peptic peroxide
even though a persnickety personality persists
or a Persian cat to perform perplexing
perpetual perpendicular perches
without peremptory pensions
or this penitent pen to parade in a petticoat
in which case this would all be proved
purely poor persiflage
Saturday morning found Dolores and I at Border Land St Park again for the Hockomock Invitational high school cross country meet to cheer for Carolyn and the Franklin Panthers.
The afternoon was spent doing my normal chores, weekly food shopping, etc. My father came over for dinner just as it was starting to snow and we spent the evening (mostly in the rain) cheering on the NE Revolution. The Revs made it worth while coming back from a 2 goal deficit to win 3-2 in aggregate and advance to the next stage of the MLS playoffs. Their teamwork and success provide some lessons that carry over to the business world.
Sunday morning I joined the Pacers for the 10.5 run. I did the first short loop alone (3.4 miles) and was joined by a couple of buddies for the longer loop (7.1 miles). It was a kind of yoyo run. Their younger legs (and fresher legs) would pull ahead of me on the hills and I would be able to catch them on the flat or down hill. They were kind enough to let me. So I would fall back, then draw up, fall back then draw up, until they pulled away once more and that was it. The yoyo string broke for the day. I couldn't catch up with them but it was still a good run and another milestone.
Sunday afternoon I spent time putting up some new window shades. The latest style I guess where they are advertised as cordless. One set actually was cordless, well to the normal view. The cord was hidden inside the shade. The other set had a small hole down the middle of the pleated shade for the cord to run. This got me thinking as I had to take all the previous window brackets off and install new brackets. Since there were two different sets (that's a story for another posting), they each required a slightly different set up. Sometime I will put some thought to trying to design a universal window mounting bracket for these shades. There is an opportunity there. It should at least save on some time and frustration for weekend warriors like myself.
Writing later Sunday evening, I discovered the secret to the google blog search and why I was getting lousy results. A pure google search is better for now.
But it is Monday morning and work calls for me.
Have a great Halloween!
Sunday, October 30, 2005
Which I found interesting because I could flip over to google, search there and find it easily. Why was the blog search so empty and the google search so fruitful?
I figured out part of the problem today when I went to the Advanced Search and realized that the search options could only be set from March 2005 to the present! So searching for something written last year was never going to be found. Duh! No wonder the searches were so empty.
So I'll continue to use google and wait to see of the beta for the google blog search goes back any further to make it more useful.
Did you have any other tips to share with the new search?