Monday, January 31, 2005
How many of your New Year's resolutions have you kept?
Hey, let's try something different.
Make a phone call to arrange lunch with someone for Wednesday.
Instead of watching to find out if the groundhog will see his shadow, you can cast your own shadow on the table cloth while you have a conversation with someone. (Yes, table cloth means you should NOT do the cheap lunch.)
Who knows what good will come of it? (and don't say "Only the Shadow knows").
Sunday, January 30, 2005
The question is will it? Or will humanity maintain some sanity?
"The reason? I've found myself spending too much time thinking about marketing now than ever before, and I don't like the way it feels or influences the topics I write about on my blog. Especially when I'm traveling, I have precious little time to write, and I don't want to force a post rather than feel a post."
Bold is my emphasis.
She will not accept ads that generate revenue.
I blog for the fun of writing, sharing, and making connections. That's my choice.
Go with your feelings Molly. You write well. Keep up the good work!
Disclosure: I did buy her DVD on Learning Blogger but have not completed it yet.
I wrote earlier on the connection of the singer singing his/her song and the blogger writing his/her blog borrowing one of Neil Diamond's songs to riff on.
Yo-Yo said: "So much of human expression is longing. You're trying to go toward something-- some sort of vision."
Kabir said: "When the guest is being searched for, it is the intensity of the longing for the guest that does all the work."
This intensity by another name is called passion. It powers the voice to do wondrous things.
Halley said: "And the way he downshifts into the rhythm of the words 'I know you like it like that' -- the whole beat changes and if you could write it out in musical notation -- well, you never could, it's exquisite the way he does it."
I believe that is does not matter whether the voice is hip-hop (Ludacris), or written (Halley), or instrumental (Yo-Yo), or any number of other artistic expressions; if there is passion driving it, it is wonderful.
It is not work or play, it is exquisite!
And that brings us joy, joy that reinforces the cycle, so we can go on.
Friend, hope for the Guest while you are alive.
Jump into experience while you are alive!
Think... and think... while you are alive.
What you call "salvation" belongs to the time before death.
If you do not break your ropes while you're alive
do you think
that ghosts will do it after?
The idea that the soul will join with the ecstatic
just because the body is rotten ---
that is all fantasy.
What is found now is found then.
If you find nothing now,
you will simply end up with an apartment in the City of Death.
If you make love with the divine now, in the next life you will have the face of satisfied desire.
So plunge into the truth, find out who the Teacher is, Believe in the Great Sound!
Kabir says this: When the guest is being searched for, it is the intensity of the longing for the guest that does all the work.
Look at me, and you will see a slave of that intensity.
From: Beacon Press; Reprint edition (February 1, 1993)
(Side note: the link to Parade is to their Archive section but the article itself won't be posted until February 7th. )
The article begins with this quote from Ma :
"I think that one of the best lessons that I received from my parents is to have the ability to understand the world beyond yourself. Since my parents were immigrants, they knew a number of different worlds. There's always an awareness that you're a part of things much bigger than yourself."
"So much of human expression is longing. You're trying to go toward something-- some sort of vision. As parents, as human beings, as citizens, we're always trying to think. Where is our country? Where is the world? What could it be? What are the little things we can do that could actually move things in a good way?"
This was a nice way to start this Sunday morning. I realized as soon as I read it that this was something to connect to what I have been writing and thinking about.
So I propose two challenges. You can accept one or both, or just read them, and pass them by.
First challenge: What was the single best advice your parents provided? And if the best advice was not from your parents, that's okay. I'd like to hear the best advice, period.
Second challenge: What is one of the "little things" that you can do to actually move things in a good way?
You can reply via comment or email. I'll compile the replies for each challenge and post them here in the coming week or so.
Saturday, January 29, 2005
Her posting today strolls through the cultural differences of business being a relationship between two parties for mutual benefit. Intertwined with the recent retrieval of her journal from the wreckage of the tsunami in Thailand.
How the technology of the web (i.e. blogs) helps to create relationships. A thought I wrote on earlier this week from a posting by John Parry Barlow.
The connection between two people who share something in common. When the connection is around a passion makes it more special.
And Evelyn ultimately comes to the question: "What's the ROI of a lifelong friendship?"
To paraphrase the MasterCard commercial, I would suggest "Priceless".
What do you think?
She references this quote from Kevin Carroll's book: Rules of the Red Rubber Ball
"The master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his information and his recreation, his love and his religion.
He hardly knows which is which.
He simply pursues his vision of excellence at whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing.
To him he's always doing both." - James Michener
Oh, to be that kind of master where work is play! It is worth becoming!
Friday, January 28, 2005
I especially like the "standing meeting". I have used it frequently. It is effective. When first used, it catches some talk (What is this? Can't afford chairs now?) . But it keeps the focus on the purpose of the meeting and business gets done quickly.
Wednesday, January 26, 2005
Hence, this article caught my eye. I do like reading the newspaper. I recognize the author (William Safire). He might have some good insights. Thanks to Rebecca Blood for the lede, oops, no that should be lead (#2, #3).
Here they are...
I like them. What do you think?
I think the guidelines for Microsoft bloggers could be used by anyone:
Respect existing confidentiality agreements
Don't break news, don't disclose confidential info
Be cautious with 3rd party info
Respect prior employers
Be cautious in how you offer support and advice. If you're wrong, the company can be held legally liable for damages
Speak for yourself
Think about reactions before you hit 'post.' Think about how the post would look on the front page of a national newspaper
Especially the last item.
If it is 15 seconds of fame that you want, you can write almost anything.
If you want to build your reputation and have people listen to what you say, be careful how and what you write.
What do you think?
"The surprise: I've been under the impression that there's a simmering conflict between bloggers and wikipedians. Bloggers tend to be building their personal brands; wikipedians tend to follow a self-effacing, monastic model of knowledge.
But this conference reminded me that both camps are firmly in the 'amateur' camp - where 'amateur' doesn't mean 'unprofessional', but 'motivated by love, not by financial remuneration'. I was surprised and pleased to see bloggers and wikipedians find common ground so quickly around common passions.
The reminder: Most ideological conflicts look much smaller when groups that disagree meet in the same room. And even smaller when they eat dinner together."
This quote from Ethan Zuckerman, via Jay Rosen's three part recap of the Blogging, Journalism, and Credibility Conference last week at Harvard. Part One. Part Two. Part Three.
I like the surprise part.
I like the reminder part.
I like the finding common ground around common passions. I think that this can be applied to more than just bloggers and wikipeidians. I believe other passionate opposites could find some common ground if they chose to look for them.
What do you think?
Are there two opposites that would not find common ground?
Monday, January 24, 2005
Philip says: "I've been teaching bright college students for nearly 50 years, and it's hard to get them to appreciate the situationist's analysis of evil, prejudice, or any kind of pathological behavior because our whole society is so wedded to the dispositional perspective: Good people do good deeds, and bad people do bad deeds. It's part of our institutional thinking. It's what psychiatry is all about. It's what medicine is all about. It's what the legal system is all about. And it's what religious systems are all about. We put good inside of people, and we put bad inside of people. It's so ingrained in the way we think, but the situationist's perspective says that although that may sometimes be true, we need to acknowledge that there can be powerful, yet subtle social forces in given settings that have potentially transformative power over us."
The bold is my emphasis. I highly recommend reading the whole article.
You can also find this on The Edge.
I'll have to put it on my list (already growing long) of books to read this year.
In the mean time, let me share some thoughts on what I have been witnessing and tie to what I heard during the broadcast of the Patriot-Steelers game last night. The commentators were remarking on how Belichick has developed this team. He finds good players, each player has a role, emphasizing how each player participates in each game. And they were saying all this as if the rest of the NFL didn't, in fact, going so far as to say others were now considering this.
There are a number of business folks who say that is it more important to have the right people on the bus than to have people on the bus. NFL players do not come as cheaply as office workers. To have some number of them just practice and not play is certainly a waste. Why are they there? Why doesn't the rest of the NFL do what the Patriot's do? Probably for the same reasons as why the rest of the business world does not. Some get it, some don't.
So, the bottom line for the today's business lesson reinforced by the success of the New England Patriot's: Set a goal, get good players, ensure each knows their role, ensure each does their thing each day/game, regroup after and review what was done and what is required for the next time. The positive reinforcement of this process is self-fulfilling. Walk the talk. And who knows how far your team will go!
I believe that the Patriot's will continue to go as far as they want to go as long as Bill Belichick is leading the way.
How far he will continue to go will be questioned now that he has admitted to cheating.
In light of his posting, I consider my own circumstance: on the blogosphere for several months, the diversity of the individuals with whom I have had the opportunity to meet. I have to agree. To think that the internet with all its technology tools will stay impersonal and unemotional is a mistake.
Technology is bringing people closer together in ways that were not possible before.
Technology is facilitating the network, we simply need to let the net work.
Sunday, January 23, 2005
"On average, the women who drank a beer or a glass of wine each day tended to have the mental agility of someone a year-and-a-half younger than those who abstained."
This article came from CBS via The Early Show medical correspondent Dr. Emily Senay and co-anchor Rene Syler.
I find it interesting to note in the details that the study was based on nearly 12,500 nurses and that this conclusion was reached when they looked at a group of women between the ages of 71 and 80.
"If you enjoy a glass of wine with dinner or a beer with your pizza, you should feel good about yourself, and if you're drinking three or four glasses with dinner, this study is another good reason to cut it back to just one. "
Now ladies, the choice remains yours as to what one drink you'll have and when.
Saturday, January 22, 2005
I'll put the book on my list to read.
I especially like this quote:
"To continue believing in yourself, believing in the doctors, believing in the treatment, believing in whatever I chose to believe in, that was the most important thing, I decided. It had to be.
Without belief, we would be left with nothing but an overwhelming doom, every single day. And it will beat you. I didn't fully see, until this cancer, how we fight every day against the slow lapping of cynicism. Dispiritedness and disappointment, these are the real perils of life, not some sudden illness or catasclysmic millenium doomsday. I knew now why people fear cancer: because it is a slow and inevitable death, it is the very definition of cynicism and loss of spirit." Lance Armstrong
Coincidently, Janis Ian is coming to the Circle of Friends Coffeehouse in April. Good choice, Janis, it should be warmer by then.
I have tickets to hear her sing the real version (there is always hope).
How nice for this winter wonderland to arrive this weekend. I had been planning for my 400M at the GBTC Invitational for quite some time, and now competing in this race may be in jeopardy.
Before I go too far along this rather selfish and self-centered line of thought, I stop myself. I think of the Southeast Asia tsunami that struck without warning and for those in the area that survived, life has not been the same. Nor will it be for some time.
"Life is what happens to you when you have other plans" is what I remember well from a small plaque that my mother used to have in the kitchen. I tried to Google it and find out the source. It seems to be one of those author unknown.
I did find this good link on a commencement address by Beth Polson.
"Then she offered five rules for success:
``You can't know where you are going if you don't know where you've been. Find something that's important to you and do the very best you can. . . .
``The only difference between success and failure is effort. . . .
``If you think you can, you're right. If you think you can't, you're right.
``Life is what happens to you when you have other plans. . . .
``The F words: Faith, Family, Friends. Nothing you do and no career you choose will be as important as your decisions in these three areas. . . .''
I like these. I don't think you can go wrong by following this advice.
In Padua, not far from "fair Verona", where the Shakespeare play is set, Ettore had kept a daily vigil at his wife's bed side in the hospital. He committed suicide on Wednesday and 12 hours later, Rossana woke from her coma and asked for him.
Ettore's hope had run out too early.
While Ettore's visits had been so regular, I wonder if there can be some research to determine if Rossana woke because she did not hear him keep his routine visit?
What do you think?
Friday, January 21, 2005
It is worth it.
Contrary to his comment on today's Nietzsche quote, you can learn from reading his blog. If you could not, I would not refer you. You may be stuck like Nietzsche apparently was, stuck with drawing out from something only what you know. In that case, I feel for you. You are doomed to repeat the same errors time and time again because you can only learn from something that which you know, and since you can't learn that it is wrong (because you don't know), you can't get out of that rut.
Simon and Garfunkel sang "Still a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest...". That sounds like Nietzsche's line. No wonder they sang it so mournfully.
Tom, you do need to have lunch, to meet with and talk with other people. By stretching yourself to other points of view, you can learn from events something other than what you already know.
The answers will be where you find them. You may find them in conversations with people but you may also find them in books and blogs.
Thursday, January 20, 2005
I was up early to run this morning, first time in a while because I am scheduled to go out after work tonight and that would mean missing my normal run. With the meet coming up Sunday, I need this workout today, even though it is a light one. So I went slipping and sliding with each foot step on the freshly plowed but still snow covered roads. My running "warm down" today was shoveling the driveway. Good arm and upper body work.
Driving was alternating frustration and pleasure. The roads were clear but wet and the spay kept messing the windshield. (Mental reminder to refill the windshield washer tank before heading home tonight.) Around some of the curves, you would catch the sun coming up, adding its sparkle to the snow covered trees. As the day progresses, the sun will begin to melt this tree frosting and the branches will shed some of their load, changing the pretty picture that is is now.
This reminds me of Julie Andrews singing "A spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down..." in the Sound of Music.
I was also reminded this week that Yoda (yes, from Star Wars) said "Do, or not do, there is no 'try'."
Thanks Laura, for sugar coating the start to my day! I believe the rest of the day will go down well now.
Tuesday, January 18, 2005
The NC Pacers Running Club still held their hill work out tonight at TriCounty High School. The parking lot is on top of the hill. One side is approximately .3 mile long, the other side about .2 mile.
We start at the parking lot and go down the long side "around the block" at the bottom of the hill and up the short side. During one of our "catch our breath" breaks, we decided we needed to name the hills. No candidates yet, but when we do, I'll let you know.
Then it is up the long side hard, down the short side easy, back up the short side hard, down the long side easy. And repeat. Three times. Each up/down combo is about .5 mile so we quickly cover 3 miles hard/easy and another 2 miles on the warm up/down for a 5 mile total to enter in the running log.
The warm down loop is the same around the block loop as we started with although we called it our "keep warm loop" tonight.
Thanks to Diana, Sheila, Mike, Mike, and Charlie for the company and incentive to go up and down the hills tonight in the cold.
At work, you can get up, take a break, even a bio break, and still meet someone in the hall and have a conversation on work. At home, you do the bio break and you wonder if you should have brought the phone with you.
I actually can spend more productive hours working from home in the "normal" day. While I do work on the train, I don't while waiting for it, or walking to the office after the train pulls into the station. This time lost is avoided by working at home.
So if I am more productive, why do I feel guilty?
I shouldn't but I do. Why is that? Is it just me?
Monday, January 17, 2005
Friday night got the weekend off to a good start. Dinner with a couple of friends, their daughters had been on the swim team with ours. Theirs still swim, ours have moved on. We don't miss the swim meets, but we do miss the company. We need to get together more often.
Saturday morning: ran to the field house at the high school where the running club has access before the high school indoor track meets start at 9:00AM. Yes, so we get up early. But we get to run indoor. And I, for one, have this crazy idea that I can still run a fast 400. So I am up early to run on this indoor track. One needs to take the opportunity when it comes!
Good workout. I have now run three times indoor in the past month and my target meet is coming up this Sunday. I am better prepared than I was last year. Let's see what I can do.
Stayed at the field house for my daughter's meet. She took a second off her best time in the mile (now at 6:08).
Afternoon: Shopping and errands to do.
Evening: family dinner. All four of us together for once before Allie returns to school on Monday. Couldn't decide on what to have for dinner so we ended up ordering pizza. And then played some card games. A little high-low-jack before teaching the girls the basics of poker.
Sunday: Early morning run with the club. Round trip 7 miles. Feeling pretty good even after the speed work on the track yesterday.
The Patriots win decisively!
Monday: Multiple stops on the road trip today. First, with the van loaded, dropped Allie off at school for her second semester. Second, visited with Dolores' parents down in RI. Third, stopped at my father's on the way home.
Dinner: Cooked breakfast for dinner tonight. Had some left over baked potatoes that were good to use for home fries, toasted some bread, and then personalized some omelets for my ladies.
Cleaned up the dishes and kitchen before sitting down at the computer to catch up on the blogging world.
Now it is off to dream land! Catch you all later.
I especially liked learning about his passion for art and how it developed. This is another argument for passion driving what you do best. When you allow that to happen, and you go with the flow, you can accomplish marvelous things.
Check out the painting of Tommy's wife Helen, shown in the right column of the opening page. Impressive!
Identify it as an injustice! One voice can join another, one plus one can become more than two.
From Bloggers Without Borders comes this posting on a new group: The Committee to Protect Bloggers
The vehicles to join voices are forming!
The speech deliberately echoes with parts of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address.
The speech is still a call to action today.
Look back at what has occurred over the years since Martin spoke. Each group has continued to fight for their individual rights and the establishment has marginalized them. Isolated them. The union movement is in shambles. Where is the woman's movement these days?
Abe said: "It is rather for us the living, we here be dedicated to the great task remaining before us--that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here gave the last full measure of devotion--that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth."
Martin said: "When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"
Will brothers and sisters of all races and creeds, unite against injustice?
This is Jay's working draft of the introductory essay he is writing for the Blogging, Journalism & Credibility conference coming up next week in Cambridge.
Well written, lots of good sources quoted, eventually summarizing five main points for discussion: (1) who owns the printing press, (2) trust, (3) the pro-am revolution, (4) news as conversation instead of news as lecture, (5) "Among bloggers there is the type "stand alone journalist," and this is why among journalists there now stands the type: blogger"
Great stuff for conversation!
Where do you stand?
Friday, January 14, 2005
So what is my value add?
Personalized coaching to create the wow experience!
Only 7 words. I did it. To elaborate further:
It is personalized. I will take a holistic approach to the person. For example, I will consider the athlete as part of the whole person. Consider the problem as part of the company, or industry, or economy within which it operates.
It is coaching because bottom line, you, or they, need to do it. I will provide advice, encouragement, whatever is required and appropriate for the moment.
It needs to be a WOW. Anything less than that today is missed, ignored, ho-hum, not valued.
The experience is the thing. What is it that you need to do?
Improve your technical support, reduce cost in the supply chain, maximize value in the product lifecycle, or improve your individual performance.
I will bring my experience in teaching, coaching, customer service, project management, change management, process reengineering and communications skills to the table. The effort will be easy if there is passion or a playful attitude involved.
The value add I bring to this table is more than "my two cents". I have the attitude of a 19-year-old but with 36* years of experience. Yes, Peter Pan is one of my heroes.
If you would like to utilize my value add, please let me know via comment or email.
* updated 9/24/07 - I need to remember to update this each December as I turn the page on a new year
Wednesday, January 12, 2005
I want to stay tuned to this one.
A teaser from his posting, he quotes:
"One reason we like to chase money and possessions is because of that temporary rush we get from landing them. But the thrill fades in what economist Richard Easterlin calls "hedonic adaptation and social comparison." In other words, once you get the goodies, they quickly become old hat and you want more."
How true! More is not enough. I am reminded of the posting I made last year of the speech by Tim Sanders "The War on Scarcity" where he says you need to define yourself by what you have not by what you lack.
What makes you happy? What you already have? Or more stuff?
I posted the original on this discussion here.
I found it really interesting to read the dialog between these two authors. How the discussion turned. How one asked a question and got it answered.
The next best thing to actually having the two of them together to go back and forth.
Do you think they are as close as Suroweicki states?
What else would you ask them?
Tuesday, January 11, 2005
Fun stuff. Out of the imagination stuff. What used to be reference to as "science fiction" is now coming closer to reality.
I look forward to some of the advances and have reservations about how connected we should be. The challenge will be defining the balance in this new world.
I don't know that Brittany has ever heard of Troy Worman's tag line "Don't wait for permission to succeed" but she has tackled a problem and is continuing to succeed. I believe that by most success measures you can call raising $300 million dollars a success. Brittany is only 14 years old.
Brian has more details on her solution to a problem she realized she could do something about.
This is not the first time Brittany has received some publicity for her cause. See here and here and here. These are all from the first page of googling her name.
Monday, January 10, 2005
Once upon a time, I did some substitute teaching in middle schools. I saw lots of kids like this. They are quite capable of accomplishing amazing things if they want to. It is no surprise to me that passion is involved.
Both of these books are on my "To Read" listing. Malcom's just came out. James' I have come across references to in several places but just have not gotten that round to it yet.
Have you read both books yet?
Where do you weigh in on this discussion?
I like this extract:
"Can the blogger sustain a discourse that is recognizable but cannot be anticipated, in which utterances play back constantly in the reformation of the code from which they come, over a set of applications that is neither too small or too large, out of which emerges a way of thinking that draws from, touches on, but does not duplicate other players in the field, in the creation of an “idea space” that is disciplined and reckless, venturing and themed, marshaled and fecund, and finally getting some where?"
This is a two sided question: on the one hand; I need to sustain the fresh discourse, on the other hand you need to provide the feedback to help provide the sustenance.
I will give it my best to provide my two cents.
I trust you will tell me if you find it worthwhile.
Sunday, January 09, 2005
Good running workouts, yesterday and today.
Good family time.
Good concert last night (John Flynn and Ellis Paul at the Circle of Friends Coffeehouse).
Time to write.
Time to think.
Time to read.
And continuing to catch up to Tom Peters' postings from Friday, I see this line.
"If you can't state your position in eight words or less, you don't have a position"—Seth Godin.
By the 15th.
“Whatever be the qualifications of your tutors, your improvement must chiefly depend on yourselves. They cannot think or labor for you, they can only put you in the best way of thinking and laboring for yourselves. If therefore you get knowledge you must acquire it by your own industry. You must form all conclusions and all maxims for yourselves, from premises and data collected and considered by yourself. And it is the great object of [our educational institutions] to remove every bias the mind may be under, and to give the greatest scope for true freedom of thinking.”
Who do you think?
Follow this to find out the person and year this was written.
I was writing about passion yesterday and find Hazel saying:
"But when first approached about a job in Boston, Mae was not interested. She wanted to stay close to family and friends in Toronto. Now, she has no regrets about the move. "If I didn't give it a try, I knew I would kick myself later on," says Mae. "As someone who loves sports, I'd be absolutely stupid to not go into such a sports-crazy market. I literally picked up my life and moved to a city where I didn't know a soul. To do that, it had to be a city that is just as passionate about its sports teams as I am about sports in general."
The Bold is my emphasis.
Note: the profile was written by Shira Springer who is a member of the Globe staff.
By Victoria Bonilla-Argudo as told to Mark Pothier in today's Boston Globe Magazine.
This is well worth the read. It is long but hang with it. The best part for me was the following:
"People believe it can't happen to them, that they won't ever need me or one of my colleagues. Maybe so, but to them I say, go to the Holocaust memorial in Boston. At the last stone there is the verse by Martin Niemoller that says, "They came for the Jews and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew," and ends, "Then they came for me and by that time there was no one left to speak up."
Every time the government seizes a piece of someone's liberty, we get closer to that moment. Every time it gains a little more in privacy issues, we lose. Everyone, even judges and prosecutors, must remember that. I'm the person whose job it is to say, "Wait a minute, your honor. Before you put this person in jail, you need a body like me to stand here and defend his rights."
And we do. We all do."
My wife and daughter are out shipping today. Multiple stops along the way. I have the afternoon to myself. Bills to pay, need to straighten up the porch (now that the tree is out for recycling), and prepare dinner. If I get time to finish reading the paper and do some writing, all will be good.
Late in the afternoon, the phone rings.
Hey, Dad. Remember those pants I wouldn't buy for $50. Guess what I paid for them today?
Well, this wouldn't be so important if you paid $50 or more so I guess something like $15.
No, try lower!
Yea, how about $6.62!
Oh well, guess I lost that one.
You can find the first part of this story here.
Saturday, January 08, 2005
Much recently has been made of trust, or the lack thereof, when it is revealed that someone has blogged or created buzz without disclosing that there was a financial incentive to do so.
Jeff Jarvis wrote on this today.
Seth Godin had this on December 20, 2004.
There are likely many others. These two happen to be ones I read regularly and whose references were handy.
I have taken Seth's statement and reworked it for my own situation:
This blog doesn't accept ads or sponsorships.
I don't own stock or accept royalties from any company or product mentioned on this blog.
I don't serve on the board of any company.
If the occasion were to come up, I would consider accepting samples of stuff with a nominal value (under $20 or so) .
I will tell you that there is no correlation between mentioning stuff and whether or not someone sent it to me.
I write about what I find interesting and I think will interest you as a reader.
My goal in creating this blog is to share my ideas and hopefully create a conversation that will generate something more than we each started with.
My success will be determined by your readership (or lack thereof).
I consider myself an amateur writer, a professional learner.
Specifically with regards to the Franklin override votes of May 22, 2007, and June 10, 2008:
New reader or regular, you should be aware that my wife is a kindergarten teacher in Franklin. My two daughters are recent (2004, 2006) products of the Franklin School system and both are doing well. One has completed college and is now out in the working world. The other is in the middle of her college years.If anything changes with what I have said here, I will let you know. I promise.
There are a few other good reasons for me to be writing about this issue. I will continue to elaborate on them here.
I do this as my hobby. I was fully employed and do any blogging, writing, etc. in my "off hours". I expect to be fully employed again. Until that time, I will be working
and networking to identify that opportunity.
This article does what I tried to do yesterday very nicely. I encourage you to read the whole thing. Yes, you can do it.
Then have the conversation with yourself as outlined in Noises Off.
Let silence do the heavy lifting.
Find the joy (i.e. passion) to start each day.
Friday, January 07, 2005
I picked up on the RSS Reader somewhere along the way and Bloglines the very next day as I recall. I spent some time converting my Favorite links to the RSS Reader. Then found this was so much easier to do with Bloglines. So I spent more time converting all my links to Bloglines.
The daily routine developed that I would spend time scrolling through Bloglines checking my feeds, following links to postings that caught my eye. I would comment directly where I felt like it and that it could add something (yes, my two cents, of course). I picked up on Trackbacks and found Haloscan to do that for me when my comment was going to be long enough to do on my own posting.
I still use the RSS Reader. I think most of the links between the two are the same (finally). My preference still is to read the blog posting directly on the blogger's page. I'll speed read to select within either Bloglines or the RSS but the once it hooks me, I go to the site.
I found BlogRoll along the way and that made the link management for my own blog easier. I keep a few links separate as they do not have an RSS feed. The list on the BlogRoll is shorter than that in the RSS Reader or Bloglines, for now at least.
I do have full time employment, a family, and a house to take care of so I feel lucky if I get to spend an hour or two in this blogosphere during the week days. On the weekend, I tend to squeeze a few more hours in.
For those single writer blogs (one writer, one blog), what is your routine?
Do you have one? or do you just go with the moment.
Let's start with a posting by Curt Rosengren on Antiperfectionism exercises. Curt quotes in turn from Do it now! by William J Knaus.
"Eliminate perfectionism and failure from your life by redefining what you do. Within this tolerance zone you see your actions as a series of experiments. You test your thoughts against reality and use the reactions you get to modify what you do. In this classic accomodation mode, you learn what works, what doesn't, what to quit doing, and when to do more."
Let's move on to The People Whisperers an article in Slate by Eric Liu.
"Teachers like Ivana Chubbuck are not just picking up a student's vibes and following them blindly; they have a distinct point of view to impart, a method to pass on and a goal to achieve. They manipulate. And that's not inherently a bad thing. When you think about it, every act of teaching is a kind of manipulation. We hope—we trust—that the manipulation is well-meant, guiding us to discovery and to a clearer sense of our own voice. But ultimately, we can be sure of that only by trying, by entering into the apprenticeship. "
And continue with two quotes posted by Tom Asacker
Albert Camus on personality
"We continue to shape our personality all our life. If we knew ourselves perfectly, we should die."
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel on passion
"Nothing great in the world has ever been accomplished without passion."
If you chose, your life can be a challenge.
Moving towards that which you want to be.
By watching, by listening, by following,
by discovering the truth of yourself.
What makes you tick.
What floats your boat.
What gets you up in the morning.
What after you finish doing, you can take a big sigh and relax with a sense of completion.
We can't be perfect. We just need to try to be.
We just need to find that which provides the passion to keep going.
Have you made a choice?
Where are you going?
"The geometry of the nose is highly complex, with no straight lines or simple curves like an aircraft wing and the regime of airflow is not simply laminar or turbulent."
I need to go look up "laminar". Could be my new word for the day.
The team, funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, found the human sense of smell relies on a sample of air reaching the olfactory bulb at the top of the nose and that requires a sharp breathe and a high velocity shot of air to reach it.
The geometry of the nose causes the air to move around in the vicinity of the bulb allowing smell to be sensed.
So there is something to "holding your nose" to avoid a smell.
Thursday, January 06, 2005
"The potential for distributed journalism to be a key part of tomorrow's news strikes me as immense. We in citizen journalism -- and, if we're smart, in professional journalism -- can focus the energy and knowledge of regular folks, and especially their willingness to do some small amount of legwork to help feed a larger whole, on all kinds of things.
Suppose, for example, that we assemble a nationwide group of volunteers -- lawyers who are familiar with statutes -- and ask each of them to take a small section of one of those immense congressional bills that the members of Congress don't even read themselves. Suppose, further, that we could get this analysis posted before the House and Senate did their final votes. We might catch a lot of sleazy stuff before it became law. Today we're lucky if we know about any of it before it actually passes."
You can read the full posting here.
I am not a lawyer but I would be interested in reading some of this stuff before it became law. As an English major (many years ago), I learned to read for critical understanding and ask good questions. I am sure I could come up with some questions after making my way through some legalese. I think it would be good to use technology in this manner.
What do you think?
“You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end – which you can never afford to lose – with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.”
Stockdale survived as a prisoner of war in this way.
What helps you to survive?
What keeps you going today?
Wednesday, January 05, 2005
Some of my readers may already know of and use this, hence this is how you keep track of what I write. But since this is such a good recap, for those who have not set up an RSS reader or service, this one is for you.
A Guide To Media Monitoring With RSS
Here is a case of ultra control in a world where time is moving faster than the process they have instituted can respond to.
"Wal-Mart's policy that all photos taken on its property must be approved in advance includes breaking news coverage, company spokeswoman Christi Gallagher said.
The company requires the media - or anyone else - to get approval before taking pictures in Wal-Mart stores or on Wal-Mart property, she said.
Asked if journalists photographing unexpected news, such as a fire, need the same permission, Gallagher said they do.
After hours, a journalist should call the company's 24-hour corporate hotline before taking pictures, she said."
What advice would you provide to Wal-Mart in this case?
"International Bloggers’ Bill of Rights
We, the inhabitants of the Blogosphere, do hereby proclaim that bloggers everywhere are entitled to the following basic rights:
FREEDOM TO BLOG.
FREEDOM FROM PERSECUTION AND RETALIATION BECAUSE OF OUR BLOGS:
1.) If an employer wishes to discipline an employee because of his/her blog, it must first establish clear-cut blogging policies and distribute these to all of its employees.
2.) Blogging employees shall be given warning before being disciplined because of their blogs.
3.) NO ONE shall be fired because of his/her blog, unless the employer can prove that the blogger did intentional damage to said employer through the blog.
Blogophobic companies, who violate the Bloggers’ Bill of Rights, will be blacklisted by millions of bloggers the world over. "
You can go to the site to sign this Bill of Rights.
The speakers were just announced. I am looking forward to this event. It should be a good one! I do not know if I will blog while I am there but I will write about it when I return.
Thanks to Mark Hurst for putting this together. His newletter on user experiences and the web site on This is Broken are good things to keep up with.
Keep up the good work Mark!
Tuesday, January 04, 2005
I am curious about the impact this will have: on the players, on the overall game, on the fans perception of the players.
What do you think?
The key take away for me in this study is that content will be important to (1) get the remainder to read blogs and (2) to thereby recognize/understand what a blog is.
If what we (yes, me too) write is interesting, they will come.
If what we (yes, me especially) write is consistently intesting, they will come back.
Hence our challenge for 2005 is to be good writers!
Monday, January 03, 2005
Sunday, January 02, 2005
"When it comes to historical collapses, five groups of interacting factors have been especially important: the damage that people have inflicted on their environment; climate change; enemies; changes in friendly trading partners; and the society's political, economic and social responses to these shifts. That's not to say that all five causes play a role in every case. Instead, think of this as a useful checklist of factors that should be examined, but whose relative importance varies from case to case."
I like this idea. It makes a lot of sense to me.
"What lessons can we draw from history? The most straightforward: take environmental problems seriously. They destroyed societies in the past, and they are even more likely to do so now. If 6,000 Polynesians with stone tools were able to destroy Mangareva Island, consider what six billion people with metal tools and bulldozers are doing today. Moreover, while the Maya collapse affected just a few neighboring societies in Central America, globalization now means that any society's problems have the potential to affect anyone else. Just think how crises in Somalia, Afghanistan and Iraq have shaped the United States today."
I would add that the recent tsunami could be added to this listing.
"History also teaches us two deeper lessons about what separates successful societies from those heading toward failure. A society contains a built-in blueprint for failure if the elite insulates itself from the consequences of its actions. That's why Maya kings, Norse Greenlanders and Easter Island chiefs made choices that eventually undermined their societies. They themselves did not begin to feel deprived until they had irreversibly destroyed their landscape.
Could this happen in the United States? It's a thought that often occurs to me here in Los Angeles, when I drive by gated communities, guarded by private security patrols, and filled with people who drink bottled water, depend on private pensions, and send their children to private schools. By doing these things, they lose the motivation to support the police force, the municipal water supply, Social Security and public schools."
He is not alone in finding this in Los Angeles. I have had the opportunity to live in RI, IL, NJ, and MA. Each of these states has one or more similar communities.
"To save ourselves, we don't need new technology: we just need the political will to face up to our problems of population and the environment.
I also draw hope from a unique advantage that we enjoy. Unlike any previous society in history, our global society today is the first with the opportunity to learn from the mistakes of societies remote from us in space and in time..."
I share his belief that we have the capability to correct our problems. Will we have the political will to do so?
What do you think?
PressThink's Top Ten Ideas for 2004: Introduction
These are my top ten ideas for the year 2004. The year in press think, as it were. I chose not the "best" ideas, but the ones most useful to me in figuring out what's going on. They weren't necessarily born in '04, either. But they emerged this year. Some have authors; usually it is many authors. Ready?
Here they are:
1. The Legacy Media.
2. He said, she said, we said.
3. What the printing press did to the Catholic Church the blogging press does to the media church.
4. Open Source Journalism, or: "My readers know more than I do."
5. News turns from a lecture to a conversation.
6. "Content will be more important than its container."
7. 'What once was good--or good enough--no longer is."
8. "The victory of affinity over geography."
9. The Pajamahadeen.
10. The Reality-Based Community.
Not all of the 10 are fully written but you can read 1 through 6 now, and then stay tuned for the remainder. Note that 1-2-3 are all on the same link.
Jeff Jarvis summarizes:
To me, the abstraction of the abstraction of all this comes down to one word: power. It's all about a shift of power from those who've had it to those who initially owned it and licensed it: the citizenry. And this is not happening just in media, of course. It is happening in marketing and advertising and commerce and culture and politics and may even come to government. But because the tools at work mimic media -- though they are more than media tools -- media is, for once, on the front edge of the trend. But it's a trend that will come to the rest of society. There's a quiet revolution underway. The people are taking back their power again.
Am I just dating myself, or was "Power to the people" a cry from the sixties? Is it finally coming true now? What do you think?
Stein writes: "The optimists look at the numbers and say: Okay, we've taken some hits, but there is every reason to think the worst is behind us. Massachusetts has come back before and it will come back again because this state has a powerful intellectual base and a leading position in industries such as finance, education, medicine, biotechnology, and electronics. Those industries should remain magnets for bright, talented people -- maybe not a lot of people, but enough to assure our continued prosperity. Like Sweden, we will grow slowly, but stay affluent, a perfectly acceptable combination."
Then on the Editorial page Bill Galvin weighs in with some suggestions on how to avoid further loses.
Galvin writes: "Finger-pointing will not solve the problem. Massachusetts has unique assets and resources that should be marshaled to generate new jobs. We are still known worldwide as a destination for higher education, healthcare, and research. In the past, the cluster effect of our universities, hospitals, and research institutions created an environment that led to substantial job creation.
But world market conditions have rapidly changed. A new product, technology, or service invented or developed here seldom is produced or perfected here because it is not cost efficient. Massachusetts will never win a race to the bottom when it comes to production costs, nor would it want to. We can only win by emphasizing our creativity and inventiveness."
Massachusetts needs to re-imagine itself. Yes, I am consciously borrowing Tom Peters' line. What will life be like after the Red Sox have won the World Series?
What will life be like with another Bush term as president?
How will MA successfully play in this increasingly competitive global economy?
Thanks to Marcus Buckingham, I think we should start with our strengths. We do have a high technology/bio-technology basis to work with. We do have a great educational environment to work with.
We will need to work together (optimists and pessimists, per Stein and without finger pointing, per Galvin) to pull this off.
Let's go Massachusetts!
Saturday, January 01, 2005
In the kitchen two days ago.
Mother and youngest daughter just returned from shopping.
Looking for some black slacks that fit.
Daughter is tall, 5' 8 1/2".
Hard to find stuff that fits properly.
Looked here and there, spent hours shopping, found one pair that fit.
Not on sale, still listed at $50.
Did not buy it.
Did find a blouse on sale for $5. Bought it.
Okay, father overhears this and reacts: Why not?
So what that it is not on sale.
(And believe me, I do appreciate sales.)
How long have you been looking?
How many stores have you visited?
How much gas have you used driving to these places?
By the time you find one that fits and is on sale, you might well end up with the total cost for the pair equal to (or more than!) the one you could have for $50!
And then this article appears in the Globe today. Bingo!
"We call it fashion math," says Kate Dimmock, fashion director for SHOP Etc. magazine. "When you find a jean that fits you perfectly, that you love and that you look great in, you're going to wear it three times per week. That's why women are willing to pay that extra price."
Okay, it is on jeans, but the point is very much the same. There is a market for this. Why can't it be for more than jeans?