Monday, October 10, 2005

Chestnut Ramblings

Out for a walk Saturday morning with my wife, we passed by a huge chestnut tree with its droppings all along the sidewalk. I picked up one to play with on the walk. It brought back memories of my younger days. How the chestnuts would be drilled carefully, threaded with a shoelace, and knotted to do battle with other chestnuts.

From Patricia Digh at 37 Days comes this wonderful posting on minding the gap:

Perhaps there is a gap between what we hear and what is.

My first time in London, I heard the ubiquitous announcement in the Underground: “Mind the Gap.” (A precursor to my mother’s revolving roast beef, my friend argued that the shouty voice said “Mine’s a cat.”)

I read that “Mind the Gap” originated on the Northern Line where the gaps between the curved train platforms at Embankment Station and the train itself were particularly large; evidently, early in the history of Tube-line building, the companies had to build their railways beneath public roads, so sharp curves were required. Allegedly, the slightly-off-putting gap at Bank is so large because the tunnel diggers of the time had to swerve a lot to miss the Bank of England's vaults. (Money is the root of all gaps, as it turns out.)

One of my morning duties is to give my daughter Carolyn a wake up call before I leave the house to take the train to Boston or drive to one of our other locations. As a typical teenager, she likes to sleep in during the morning so it almost seems a waste of time trying to wake her some days. I can shake her, talk to her, and she is mostly vegatable like. But not last Friday morning. It was the concert day. Rob Thomas was coming to PPAC and she had been keeing track of the days until... So I remembered this and with my wake up nudge, did a mock count down... "10, 9, 8... oh yes, not just any other Friday morning to get up, it is Concert Day..." She smiled!

From Dave Pollard at How to Save the World comes this good listing of creative versus imaginative things to do:
Pollard's 10 rules for being more imaginative:
  1. Pay attention: Stand still and look until you really see. The more you see, the richer the palette you have for your imagination to draw on. If you want to imagine a monster, look at an insect up real close. If you want to imagine a perfect world, watch the life emerging after a thunderstorm, the droplets of rain on leaves in the sun.
  2. Spend time with children: If they're young enough, the imagination has not yet been pounded out of them by television and games with stupid rules and teachers telling them to stop daydreaming. Listen and play with them and your imagination will come back to you, creaking through the rust.
    For the rest of the listing, follow the link.

    Came home Friday night to an empty house. Yes, that's right; as I start piecing the info together after the day at work: Carolyn's off to Worcester to pick up her sister and go to the concert in Providence. Dolores is working late preparing her classroom for next week. So I start to settle in and the phone rings. It's Carolyn. She forgot the tickets. Yes, the concert tickets are still here. The concert she counted the days down to! So, I'm on the phone, ticket envelope in hand, thinking quickly about where to meet her and her sister so they don't have to come all the way back home for the tickets. Dolores walks in the door. Wants to know what's going on. Quick recap for her, and I am on my way. Not exactly what I had planned on to start the evening. Long story shortened. The rendezvous went off successfully, they still got into Providence on time and saw a great concert (so they said the next morning!). I was in dreamland when the finally rolled in.

    From Will Richardson at weblogg-ed comes this insight into the cultural shifts as percieved today:
    He sees this as a renaissance, a time when there are shifts in the culture and in the tools and technologies that are transforming societies. And he also sees this as a time when traditional stories are being redefined largely because of the interactivity that technology is allowing, whether it’s the remote control with television or the joystick with computer games or just the keyboard and mouse in general. We have an opportunity now to write our own stories (a “Society of Authorship” as he calls it) and this renaissance is the “rebirth of the sensibility that we can participate in the writing of the story.” That's pretty profound, to me at least.

    And that’s what kids are doing these days, taking apart and rewriting the stories of their lives. They’re blogging and making videos, and that’s all good, but the problem is that “while kids know how to use this stuff, they’re not literate in it yet.” Literacy today is being able to read, disassemble, and write. It’s going from passive consumer to active interpreter to creator.

    Read the full posting here.

    Sunday rolls around. No sun in sight. More rain. Heavy at times. Misty at other times. Dolores and I had talked about doing the fall window cleaning this weekend. As long as it wasn't pouring we could do so. Actualy better to wash the windows without direct sunlight anyway. The sun heats up the glass and it gets hard to not leave a streak or smudge. We start up stairs. I take down the curtains, then the shade, then pull out the storm windows for her to work on while I do my inside/outside washing ruoutine. These are double hung windows, six pane over six pane. I start with the top and work my way down doing the inside first. Then slide the top down half way, stick my arm out and do the outside of the top. Slide it all the way down. Slide the inside half up, same thing arm goes outside to do the top of the window. Slide it up as far as it will go. Slide the outside one up halfway, arm goes outside to do the bottom half. Then slide it all the way up (its normal position) and slide the inside down half way. Arm outside to finish the bottom half. By this time, Dolores is done so I can put the storms back on, and set back together again. Thinking about view points. Lens.

    From Paul Williams at the Idea Sandbox Blog comes word of Seth Godins new effort: Squidoo

    In his words...

    We’ve built a platform that makes it easy for anyone, even a newbie, to teach people about topics they care about. We believe that everyone is an expert about something, and the platform is designed to make it easy to do that.

    It’s a guide (like and a reference (like It’s a place for personal expression (like and an open platform for real people (like

    Get the full scoop from Seth's new eBook Everyone's an Expert.

    More on this later... I think it ironic that Seth who has claimed that all marketers are liars, is now calling everyone an expert, yet the process is one of selection. Only a few are chosen!

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