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!