Monday, October 31, 2005

Dream

girl with purple hair
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

The Dancer

beginning with the music
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
quicker
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

Sound Wimmin: Perspicacious Pat

could perhaps persuade a periwinkle
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



for pc

Treats and a trick

The weekend has come and gone already. This morning brings the Monday Morning Memo from the Wizard of Ads and a cool short video (which I recommend you check it out).

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

Google Search Tidbit

I am not overly impressed with the new google search for blogs. If I wanted to check on something I thought I had written about previously, I could easily search within the blog from the front page and instantly get results. With the new and improved search my queries frequently came up empty.

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?

Front yard


Front yard
Originally uploaded by shersteve.

A glorious fall morning has dawned. Yesterday's rain and snow (yes, a good bunch of that white stuff was around) but has now gone for the time being. The sun is up here in New England.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Border Land St Pk


Border Land St Pk
Originally uploaded by shersteve.

Wanted to get this picture last weekend when we were here but the camera was not cooperating at the time. Second time around was the charm.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Guess who


trying again... the first image was still too large... maybe this will work...

Updated: yes, that works. Photo cropped from a shot taken this summer while at an outdoor table at Bubba Gump's Restuarant in Charleston, SC. I still need to work on the image to remove the background but for now, it's moi.
Posted by Picasa


I know what you're thinking: Well it's about time you decide to show us who you were.

I'm such a newbie around some technologies that it takes me longer than others.

But you're a blogger, this tech stuff is easy.

Yes, if only it was that easy. You'd think that while they have instructions on how to post pictures to your blog, they'd have one on how to do your portrait.

Yes, they do.

Oh, good thing I looked for it.
Posted by Picasa

Monday, October 24, 2005

LOTR Retold in Princess Bride Quotes

What was that?

The Lord of the Rings, the master work of J.R.R Tolkien retold in quotes from The Princess Bride?

Inconceivable!

No, actually it is quite hilarious!

Fasten your seatbelt for a laughter roller coaster!

Read it here.

FYI - Thanks to Molly J. Ringwraith of course, and also to Gillian and Donna for the opportunity to find this.

The analytic me

Yes, I hope you noticed that I had some fun today. If you missed this, check out the "I also write at" links on the left navigation and check them out.

It did not take me long to find, calculate, and cut/paste to post on each of the blogs where I write about this new thing going around on how much your blog is worth.

It was jazzy in the sense that I did the same thing in six different ways. I could revel in my split personalities for a moment.

Split in a good sense, of course.

And then the analytic side reared it's head: So what's the total, buddy?

So I said: I am glad you asked. For your enjoyment, here is the total.

Is it really?


My blog is worth $12,419.88.
How much is your blog worth?



Is that all?

How is this calculated?

Not that I am in it to sell out by any means...
then how would I have some fun?

Friday, October 21, 2005

About Marriage - Halley's Comment

Read it.

It does not sit well with me.

I need to collect my thoughts to properly respond.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

No music today, Not!

Well not any golden oldies, yet.

But there is always music in my life.
Not that I play, someday.
The radio has been a good companion.

Did you hear that this guy some might know is starting a foundation to promote music education for children?

And of course, I think you would agree, Paul knows something about music.

Growing up in working-class Liverpool, England, in the 1950s, he remembers, "we had a music class kind of once a week, but the guy used to just put on a record and leave us alone with the record. So I'm afraid that didn't do an awful lot. We turned it down and told jokes."

No wonder, then, that the former Beatle, who is in the thick of a sold-out U.S. tour, is promoting music education in schools. On Tuesday he kicks off a national campaign for Music Lives, his non-profit foundation.

At concert dates and online through musiclives.org, he is raising money by selling $40 pewter bracelets engraved with his signature. The entire $40 goes to children, McCartney says, in many cases covering the entire cost of putting a musical instrument into the hands of a child who would not otherwise be able to afford it.


Now that is a good cause!

Way to go, Paul!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Quotes & Links

From Anj at ?IC@TomorrowToday.Biz comes this insight:
If you read about the Eden Project you will see that it’s a wonderfully collaborative environment. And that is what we need to foster - collaboration. Not a jockeying for power, position or wealth, but a way to share knowledge and resources - so that everyone’s small contribution adds upto a very big difference in many lives.
Read the whole posting here.


From Kathy Sierra at Creating Passionate Users comes this good posting
"Make the right thing easy and the wrong thing hard." If designers followed that one clear principle, there'd be a lot more happy users. I'd get a lot more work done instead of struggling with a counterintuitive interface. Writing software would be easier because APIs would simply make sense, with less chance of blowing up at runtime. I could use my car stereo.

From David Pollard at How to Save the World comes this insight on the Miller/Plame story continuing to play out:
The very purpose of 'embedding' journalists is to elicit such groupthink, and both the NYT and Miller should have known that. Groupthink is excusable for us, perhaps, but not for a journalist. Embedding is simply an unacceptable and inexcusable limitation on journalistic freedoms, and no reputable newspaper should tolerate it, even if that means being 'scooped' on distorted news stories by refusing to be part of embedded teams. What were they thinking, to believe that somehow they would be immune to the propaganda such circumstances are designed to produce? Don't they teach this in journalism school?

Read the full posting here.

Monday, October 17, 2005

The heat is on

Continuing the golden oldie theme, the next one up is inspired by this posting from WorldChanging: Another World is Here on global warming.

In the northeastern United States - roughly the region east of Illinois and north of Kentucky - summers will be longer and hotter. "Imagine the weather during the hottest two weeks of the year," Diffenbaugh said. "The area could experience temperatures in that range lasting for periods of up to two months by century's end."

Yes, for those challenged by geography, the area described includes New England and my humble abode here in Massachusetts. The hot and humid summer we just had is predicted to occur more frequently according to the computer model.

So let's queue up the music from Glenn Fry: The Heat Is On!

The heat is on, on the street
Inside your head, on every beat
And the beat's so loud, deep inside
The pressure's high, just to stay alive

'Cause the heat is on
Oh-wo-ho, oh-wo-ho
Caught up in the action I've been looking out for you
Oh-wo-ho, oh-wo-ho
(Tell me can you feel it)
(Tell me can you feel it)
(Tell me can you feel it)
The heat is on, the heat is on, the heat is on
the heat is on Oh it's on the street, the heat is - on.

Oh-wo-ho, oh-wo-ho
Caught up in the action I've been looking out for you
Oh-wo-ho, oh-wo-ho
(Tell me can you feel it)
(Tell me can you feel it)
(Tell me can you feel it)
The heat is on, the heat is on, the heat is on
Oh it's on the street, the heat is - on.

The shadows are on the darker side
Behind those doors, it's a wilder ride
You can make a break, you can win or lose
That's a chance you take, when the heat's on you
When the heat is on

Oh-wo-ho, oh-wo-ho
Caught up in the action I've been looking out for you
Oh-wo-ho, oh-wo-ho
(Tell me can you feel it)
(Tell me can you feel it)
(Tell me can you feel it)
The heat is on, the heat is on, the heat is on

It's on the street
The heat is on, the heat is on, the heat is on
Yeah it's on the street
The heat is on

Sunday, October 16, 2005

I can see clearly now

Yes, this was almost inevitable:

I can see clearly now the rain has gone
I can see all obstacles in my way
Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind
It's going to be a bright, bright sunshiny day
It's going to be a bright, bright sunshiny day

I think I can make it now the pain has gone
And all of the bad feelings have disappeared
Here is the rainbow I've been praying for
It's gonna be a bright, bright sunshiny day

Look all around
There's nothing but blue skies
Look straight ahead nothing but blue skies
I think I can make it now the pain has gone
And all of the bad feelings have disappeared

I can see clearly now the rain has gone
It's gonna be a bright, bright sunshiny day
It's gonna be a bright, bright sunshiny day
It's gonna be a bright, bright sunshiny day

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Who'll stop the rain

The New England weather reminds me of this golden oldie from Creedence Clearwater Revival:


Long as I remember the rain been comin' down
Clouds of mystery pourin' confusion on the ground.
Good men through the ages tryin' to find the sun.
And I wonder still I wonder who'll stop the rain.

I went down Virginia seekin' shelter from the storm
Caught up in the fable I watched the tower grow
Five year plans and new deals wrapped in golden chains.
And I wonder still I wonder who'll stop the rain.

Heard the singers playin', how we cheered for more.
The crowd had rushed together tryin' to keep warm.
Still the rain kept pourin', fallin' on my ears
And I wonder, still I wonder who'll stop the rain.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Inconceivable

Yes, that was my first thought when I heard via Boing Boing that there is word out that The Princess Bride will be made into a musical.

A musical? Inconceivable!

This has been one of our family favorite movies.
I believe my daughters can do ALL the lines.

Of course, we'll just have to go even if it is inconceivable!

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Scott, that guy!

Scott Ginsburg, the guy with the name tag. Yes, that guy, writes at Hello, my name is Blog. Check out his series on his recent visit to Texas.

part 1
part 2
part 3

Great story!

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 Squidoo.com platform is designed to make it easy to do that.

    It’s a guide (like about.com) and a reference (like wikipedia.com). It’s a place for personal expression (like typepad.com) and an open platform for real people (like del.ico.us).

    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!

    Saturday, October 08, 2005

    Cameron Diaz


    Yes, my girls are growing up. No longer receiving American Girl catalogs or National Goegraphic Kids. My young ladies are now getting publications like Entertainment Weekly.

    And who is on the cover this time?

    Cameron Diaz....

    While I may be getting old, I am not getting so old that I can't dream... and that's all it is...

    Although Diane Lane is more my age...

    Quotes & Links

    From Graeme posting at ?IC@TomorrowToday.Biz comes this piece on the knowledge worker:
    “But what exactly is a knowledge worker?

    Many people tend to confuse the term with any skilled or trained worker, especially in the ICT sector, but this is not the case.

    The difference lies in the understanding of what knowledge, information, tasks and skills mean. Information only becomes knowledge when you can utilise it to add or create value for your work and organisation.

    Similarly, a knowledge worker is more than just an informed, trained or skilled worker. A knowledge worker has the ability to deal innovatively with the skills, tasks, training or learning acquired and has the know-how to enhance or create new value for his work.

    Read the full posting here.


    From Joshilyn Jackson at Faster than Kudzu (via Mir at WouldaCouldaShoulda) comes the word for the day:

    Oh we learn, we learn, we learn until we die. For example, I learned a new word last night. Callipygian. Say it with me...Cal,ee, PIDGE,un. Did you know that it means, "Having beautifully proportioned buttocks?" Hmm? Did you? Oh shut up, you did NOT.

    Am I going to hell for getting tickled that the etymology of the word begins "from the Greek?" OR that the sentence in which dictionary.com chose to use the word is something like "the quest for the callipygian ideal?" Shut UP, I am NOT. Probably. Grail, Schmail, I am signing up for the tushie quest...Not sure how to begin. Just how would you QUEST for the loveliest buttocks? Probably in BARS. Bars that don't have enough seating.


    Yes, callipygian... to make the word your own you must use it or lose it.
    Read more from Joshilyn here.


    From Jennifer Pohl at The Space Above the Couch
    Some artists are observers; others reach into the collective unconscious and search for something like a half-remembered dream.

    Definitely click through to see the art work!

    Enjoy!

    Friday, October 07, 2005

    Call and Answer - Robert Bly


    Tell me why it is we don't lift our voices these days
    And cry over what is happening. Have you noticed
    The plans are made for Iraq and the ice cap is melting?

    I say to myself: "Go on, cry. What's the sense
    Of being an adult and having no voice? Cry out!
    See who will answer! This is Call and Answer!"

    We will have to call especially loud to reach
    Our angels, who are hard of hearing; they are hiding
    In the jugs of silence filled during our wars.

    Have we agreed to so many wars that we can't
    Escape from silence? If we don't lift our voices, we allow
    Others (who are ourselves) to rob the house.

    How come we've listened to the great criers--Neruda,
    Akhmatova, Thoreau, Frederick Douglass--and now
    We're silent as sparrows in the little bushes?

    Some masters say our life lasts only seven days.
    Where are we in the week? Is it Thursday yet?
    Hurry, cry now! Soon Sunday night will come.



    Originally published in The Nation on November 21, 2002 (December 9, 2002 issue)


    Also available in his new book: My Sentence was a Thousand Years of Joy: Poems

    Thursday, October 06, 2005

    Quotes & Links

    From Dave Pollard at How to Save the World come these 10 tips on how to tell a better story:

    I've written frequently on these pages about the value of stories as a context-rich means of persuasion and knowledge-sharing. And I've written about the structure of good stories. But despite my knowledge and respect for the medium, I've learned that I'm not yet a consistently good story-teller.

    The two most obvious differences between my successful and unsuccessful story-telling experiences are (1) the amount of practice I get telling the story (the more practice, and the more re-tellings, the better the story gets), and (2) the veracity of the story (true stories from my personal experience work well, stories of other people's experiences and future state vision stories have been largely unsuccessful).



    For the remainder of the listing follow the link.


    From Jennifer Rice at What's Your Brand Mantra? comes this discussion on "customer":

    Ok... I'm all for plain, honest language... but can someone give me a better option than 'customer'? Adrian says that we should call people who buy cooking products "chefs"... but I'm no chef. Yes, buyers of books are usually 'readers' but often they're just buying gifts for someone else. Yes, people who buy fishing equipment are usually fishermen (or fisherwomen). But if you're writing about all people who buy stuff in general, what are you going to call them? Buyers?That's cold. And am I supposed to say: "companies should focus their attention on the desires of the people who buy products and services from them."? Or just say "customer-centric?"

    Buzzwords exist for a reason. They are phrases that communicate meaning. Buzzwords are short-hand for an idea.

    Read the remainder of Jennifer's discussion, including the comment trail here.

    From maidenmole at ?IC@TomorrowToday.Biz in her continuing series "Taking a step back..."
    What is a word without its context? E.g. you might expect a quizzical look in 1850 when speaking of a “laptop”, however today the concept makes sense. This process also applies to words in isolation, as a word is contextualized by the words on either side of it. So, to understand a word in isolation is futile. I believe the same process applies when we consider diversity. In and of itself, diversity is meaningless. But when held up against its opposite conformity you begin to understand what diversity represents. So what can we learn about diversity when we consider conformity? Let’s see..

    For the rest of this thought provoking post, follow the link.


    From Andrew Taylor at The Artful Manager comes this analysis of the future for regional theaters due to the Vegas influence:
    While both articles emphasize the impact of Vegas on Broadway, the real folks at risk are the performing arts centers and presenters scattered around the United States. These venues depend on blockbuster tours to keep their accounts in good standing, and to subsidize the rents of resident performing organizations (the symphony, the theater, the ballet, etc.). The positive economics of a Vegas venue, especially for established hits like Avenue Q, Phantom of the Opera, Mamma Mia, Hairspray, and Blue Man Group make the idea of a long, national tour much less appealing.

    For the remainder of this posting follow the link.

    Enough catching up for now, I need to go running. I'll catch you later!

    Monday, October 03, 2005

    Oil production

    From Jamais Cascio at World Changing comes this reference to The Oil Drum, a web site devoted to information on oil production in particular on peak oil.

    Loads of links, lots of good information, some of it technical, some of it very easy to understand.

    How many oil platforms are in the Gulf of Mexico? See here. This chart also tracked the progress of Katrina and Rita.

    What about gasoline supply? See here.

    Spend some time on this site. It helps to explain how the gasoline prices went up so quickly and are coming down so slowly. (No, it is not a Bush-buddy oil conspiracy.)