Saturday, December 30, 2006

Hike Photos



Tabblo: Baslock's Hike 12/29/06

Geisinger Recreational Trails provided the hiking spot for the Baslock's* on Friday. The weather was in the forties, partly cloudy but good for hiking. The trails were leaf covered but dry. An hour went by very quickly as the trail was filled with the group and multiple conversation.


* BTW - the Bastian's and the Sherlock's get together and function as a family so well, we did create a new name to recognize this. It has been a toss up between the Sherstians or the Baslocks but the Baslock's seems to have the upper hand.


... See my Tabblo>


Friday, December 29, 2006

Look familiar?


Out walking in Danville, PA found this scene to be something similar to a standard Microsoft Windows desktop background. Now, I have my own "personal" version.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Gerald's Grandchildren

11 of the 13 grandchildren posed briefly for a picture. The Illinois contingent were missing but not in spirit. They actually did participate in signing the annual calendar for Papa. Each of the kids present signed a greeting for Papa. Meghan and Will signed a paper and sent it in via fax so we could cut/paste it into the sheet. Ah, the wonders of technology.

Gerald Sherlock Clan - Christmas Pic #2

The kids, well, no, now it is really the young adults table.

Gerald Sherlock Clan - Christmas Pic #2

The kids, well, no, now it is really the young adults table.

Gerald Sherlock Clan - Christmas Pic #1

The main table sitting for dinner. My three sisters and one of my brothers joined my father for our Sherlock Christmas celebration. One brother and some of the spouses missed due to travel or work commitments.

A couple more pictures will follow.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

As you wish


Taken on Christmas Day, these are my ladies: Dolores in the middle, Allison left, and Carolyn right.

Did you take pictures of your family on the holiday? have you shared them?

Sharing Foundation needs your help

The Sharing Foundation has the opportunity to receive matching dollars from Yahoo via the Network For Good Charity Badge program. This could make a big difference for thousands of children in Cambodia. We need just a few minutes of your time and a few dollars.

Here's how it works: Yahoo! is offering a $50,000 matching grant for the nonprofit which gets the largest number of donations before the end of the year using its new "charity badges." (see below) What is important is the number of donors, not the amount of dollars. Right now, the Sharing Foundation is number 2 and needs 20 more donors to catch up. A large number of people contributing just the minimum of $10 each (which would send a poor Cambodian child to school and of course, we're a very efficient small nonprofit and would be happy to receive larger contributions to help more children lift themselves out of poverty through education.)

Can you think of a better use of $10 or more?
From Beth Kanter writing at Beth's blog for this worthy cause.

Can you help? Click through to Beth's blog and then through on the orange button located within the Sharing Foundation widget in the left column or within the posting itself.

Thank you!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Ah, vacation

Slept in this morning. Dolores and I got our normal "weekend" morning walk in. The weather co-operated. It was only a fine mist to dot my glasses as we started. After we stopped at MelDiva's for our coffee to power up for the last mile, the glasses stayed clear.

Mix of stuff today today. We prepare to host my siblings and their families tomorrow, eventually sitting 20 for dinner.

Christmas at Dolores's sisters yesterday was a good time for all. Good company, good food. Oh and the home brew helped add to the spirits. The brew was well received by my brother-in-laws.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

A governor, or a governor in name only?


Laying the foundation of a presidential candidacy, Governor Mitt Romney has spent all or part of 212 days outside Massachusetts so far in 2006, an average of more than four days on the road each week, a Globe review of his public schedules shows.
74 of those 212 days by my count (using the Globe's chart) are actually weekend days. So it might be stretching it a bit, to call it 212 days when some normal workers leave the state for the weekend. I can't fault the governor for that aspect.

However, when you take the weekend days off the 365 days in the year, he still was away 138 of the 260 weekdays (working days).

Hey Romney, I think the taxpayers are due a rebate on your salary!

By the way, if you do run for President, I'll be vocal against you. You are not a worthy candidate. You can simply let your Massachusetts record speak for itself!

Nice work Brian C Mooney! Read Brian's complete article here. (free registration required)

Satisfaction

I could rock with the Stones singing (lip syncing really)
I can't get no satisfaction,
I can't get no satisfaction.
'Cause I try and I try and I try and I try.
I can't get no, I can't get no.
But that really is a cop out. Satisfaction is a choice.
What we do and how we do it, how we feel about what we do... yes, all our choices!

So there is deep satisfaction in getting the house ready for the holidays.
Vacuuming, leaving the tell-tale long rows on the carpet.
It clearly shows, I've been there, done that. Don't step there and spoil it now... :-)

Not like working for some time on a memo getting the thoughts aligned just so that they flow, and then have someone come along and change the whole direction.

Painting, wall-papering... changing the way the room looks from this point forward.
Step back. Admire. Cool. Look at that. The colors do work really well together!

Taking an idea, advancing it. Witnessing that it does have a life of its own.
Co-creation, being cool with another's modifications 'cause they are advancing the idea.
Two heads are better than one, three still better than two... the power of WE.

Satisfaction is a choice. Choose wisely.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

System differences

Got my new laptop almost completely set up now. Still a couple more things to do but it is functioning with mostly everything I need.

The keyboard layout is different and that is causing some extra keystrokes.

I have used a Lenovo (former IBM) notebook for several years at work. Switching to HP is a little challenging as some of the key layout is different.

I am also more used to the track pointer. I need to keep my left thumb from hovering on the left mouse clicker. Keeping my thumb close tends to activate something unintentionally while I am using the touch pad to scroll. Otherwise, the system is setting up and operating very nicely.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Z-list meme

Long live the long tail! Picking up from Troy, I have added a few more links.

Creative Think
Soloride
Movie Marketing Madness
Blog Till You Drop!
Get Shouty!
One Reader at a Time
100 Bloggers
Critical Fluff
The New PR
Own Your Brand!
OTOInsights
bizandbuzz
Work, in Plain English
Buzz Canuck
New Millenium PR
Pardon My French
The Instigator Blog
AENDirect
Diva Marketing
Marketing Hipster
The Marketing Minute
Funny Business
The Frager Factor
Mindblob
OrbitNow!
Open The Dialogue
Word Sell
Note to CMO:
That’s Great Marketing!
Shotgun Marketing Blog
BrandSizzle
bizsolutionsplus
Customers Rock!
Being Peter Kim
Andy Nulman
Billions With Zero Knowledge
Working at Home on the Internet
MapleLeaf 2.0
Darren Barefoot
Two Hat Marketing

The Engaging Brand
The Branding Blog
CrapHammer
Drew’s Marketing Minute
Golden Practices
Viaspire
Tell Ten Friends
Flooring the Consumer
Kinetic Ideas
Unconventional Thinking
Buzzoodle
Conversation Agent
The Copywriting Maven
Hee-Haw Marketing
Scott Burkett’s Pothole on the Infobahn
Multi-Cult Classics
Logic + Emotion
Branding & Marketing
Carpe Factum
Steve’s 2 Cents
Simplicity
Popcorn n Roses
On Influence & Automation
Servant of Chaos
converstations
eSoup
Make it Great!
Presentation Zen
Dmitry Linkov
aialone
Urban Jacksonville
John Wagner
Nick Rice
CKs Blog
Design Sojourn
Frozen Puck
The Sartorialist
Small Surfaces
Africa Unchained
Perspective
gDiapers
Marketing Nirvana
Bob Sutton
¡Hola! Oi! Hi!
Shut Up and Drink the Kool-Aid!
Women, Art, Life: Weaving It All Together
Community Guy
Social Media on the fly
Jeremy Latham’s Blog
SMogger Social Media Blog
Masey.com

37 Days
A Clear Eye
Alex Halavais
Blog Brothers

Brand Autopsy
Brand Soul
Creating Passionate Users
Crossroads Dispatches
Doc Searls

Drawn
eHub
FAST Company
gapingvoid
gillianic tendencies

Good Experience
Hitchhikers Guide to the Blogosphere
Hobopoet
How to Save the World
Josh Hallett

Joy of Six
Learned on Women
Listics
Make it Great
my topography

New Charm School
Occupational Adventure
Orbit Now
Pause
PureLand Mountain

Seth Godin
Simplicity
Songs of Experience
Talking Story
Time Goes By

Tom Peters

Tomorrow Today
WonderBranding
World Changing

Tertiary Education

Joyful Jubilant Learning

If you are on this listing, add others and let the listing grow.

If you are not on this listing, let me know then add yourself, and others, and let the list grow!


Thursday, December 21, 2006

holiday plans

I am looking forward to vacation next week not so much to spend time with the family but to spend a "little" more time catching up (maybe) on some of the writing I need to complete.

My listing of books read and ready to be reviewed has grown. I need to cut that pile down some quickly.

While I appreciate and respect the desires of others in the blogosphere for taking a hiatus during the holidays, (I also applaud them for doing so!) you will be able to continue to find some fresh writing in my blog world.

Blogging tips from Chris Brogan

Chris Brogan has some great blogging tips that while focused on new media types really apply to those of us who do this for fun.

As I commented on his posting:
Very applicable to those of us who are not in it to turn the ad dollar or make a business of it. Passion will ultimately need some satisfaction, no matter how you define it, and these tips should help you be successful, period.
Check out Chris' listing here.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

100 Bloggers Preparing to Orbit

If you have not checked out 100 Bloggers recently, it has a new look. Troy, the master changer of templates, has worked his magic again.

We are also are looking for more writers to join and fill out the 100 Blogger community. If you have any interest, let me know or click through to leave Troy a message.

Subscribe to read and comment, or join in to write at 100 Bloggers!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Decorated


The flash did some funky coloring on the undersides of some of the branches.

Enjoy!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Nice family weekend

My daughters are home for the holidays. We had a nice lunch at Fire & Ice yesterday in Providence followed by a visit to Mom and Dad Proulx for pizza and cake to celebrate my oldest's birthday.

We bought and decorated the tree today (pix coming later). Carolyn carried the tree onto the porch. Allison set up the lights in the windows. Thanks, ladies!

In amongst this I was busy setting up my new system. Ran into a system upgrade problem poorly handled by the vendor that cost me some time today. The issue is frustrating enough. Time on the weekends is short to boot.

I hope your weekend was a good one.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Hugh on the golden age

Hugh MacLoed writes:
I feel that the golden age of "The Blog Conference" is passed. It seems all that needs to be said about blogs has already been said, and said well. Now it's time to stop talking about the blogs themselves, and start finding new stuff to do with them. Blogs are great, but real life is more interesting.

Read the full posting here.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Qumana needs your help!

If you use Blogger and Qumana, Qumana needs your help. They are getting to work on changing Qumana to work with the Blogger Beta.

As I mentioned yesterday, I have provided them some info. If you use Qumana, please find some time to provide some help.

You won't be able to use Qumana with Blogger Beta until they get it fixed.

Read here for additional details.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Qumana Blogger Update - Updated

Kind of a funky way to do business but here is a comment back from Jon at Qumana:

Stephen .. just a note to let you know that ensuring Qumana works with the Blogger Beta is in our priortized list of development requirements for the Qumana editor, and it's nearing the top of the list. Please don't give up on us yet ;-)

Thanks Jon!

How about updating the FAQ page at Qumana

How about updating the compatibilities listing?

I am probably not the only Blogger blogging with Qumana. Save some time, keep us all informed with info on your page.

PS - If by chance I missed it on your FAQ, blog, or compatibilities listing, I guess it wasn't that obvious to stick out. To paraphrase: There's No Excuse I Can Think Of to NOT provide good service.

Updated 9:00 PM (Eastern)

Jon made two comments to this posting today. As a result of the second, I just emailed Jon a Word doc with screen shots of the errors when I attempted to post using both v2 and v3 of Qumana. I also tried removing the blog from within Qumana and readding it and sent those screen shots. All tests were conducted on the same system this evening. The only other items that maybe worthy of note is that both my Blogger account and Google account user names are the same (but the passwords are different).

Monday, December 11, 2006

Migrated to Blogger Beta today

So far so good. My Qumana Editor is balking at posting but otherwise things seem to be working fine from my side.

If you see any problems or have any difficulty viewing the blog, please let me know!

Venus De Milo Soup

During winter, a hearty soup can make for a nutritious meal. One recipe that has been in the family for some time is for Venus De Milo soup. The soup recipe really originated from the Venus De Milo Restaurant in Swansea, MA. It was well known for handling large functions, banquets and weddings. The soup was distinct for the time and folks always asked for the recipe. To the restaurants credit they did provide it freely. The recipe has probably continued to evolve as substitutions are made to cover for the availability of an ingredient or due to the whim of the cook. It really is a kitchen soup.

1 pound lean hamburger or ground turkey
1 large can chicken broth
1 quart water
1 envelope of onion soup mix
1 large can of crushed tomato (can also use tomato sauce, or whole tomato but cut up before adding)
1 regular package of frozen mixed vegetables (several options available, we usually get the ones without Lima beans)
1 small can mushrooms
1 large green pepper, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
2 stalks of celery, chopped
1 cup orzo

If using the ground turkey, I use some of the onion to carmelize with some oil before adding the turkey. The turkey tends to be more watery than fatty and having some oil in the skillet or frying pan helps to brown it without burning it.

When the turkey is cooked, drain it before adding it to the broth and water in a large cooking pot (at least 10 quart). Add the remainder of the onion, the celery and all the remaining ingredients except for the orzo to the pot and bring it to a boil. As it begins to boil, reduce the heat to simmer and time it for about 20 minutes. Add the orzo, stir well, and time at simmer for another 20 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Let cool before refrigerating overnight.

The day after the soup is made, it is wonderful to have as a meal. We usually prepare a package of crescent rolls, or serve with crackers. Remove from refrigerator and heat, stirring frequently.

Enjoy!


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Sunday, December 10, 2006

Gotta tag! Gotta tag!

  1. Gene Kelly, singing and sashaying in "Singin' in the Rain" was an inspiration growing up. So how did I end up with two left feet and why, when I try to sing, does my family tell me to hum?
  2. My nickname on the high school basketball team was "Sky" short for Sky King, of the TV show, and in recognition that I could touch the rim.
  3. My 8th grade class picked me to be a "short order cook". Maybe that is why I do like to cook?
  4. I did own a 1965 Mustang. It was about 10 years old at the time and didn't stick around long. I left the house one morning to walk to my teaching assignment at the nearby high school and said to myself as I got to the corner and saw a dew ring around the parking spot where I had parked the car the previous night, "well, I guess I am really glad I decided to walk today!"
  5. My favorite line as I approached Slater Junior high school in Pawtucket, RI where I was a substitute teacher for six years was "Who are you today, Mr Sherlock?" What the kids were really asking was which teacher's schedule was I going to take that day.

So there, five things you probably would not have known about me. I don't recall ever writing about them before. Which also means, I have some new topics to write about later.

Since both Rosa and Trevor tagged me, I have now belatedly responded.

To tag, or not to tag: that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous comments,
Or to take arms against a sea of trackbacks,
And by opposing end them? To blog: to write;
No more; and by writing say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand keystrokes
That flesh is heir to, 'tis a destination
Devoutly to be wish'd. To blog, to write;
To write: perchance to make the A list: ay, there's the rub;
…..


I hope you all enjoy it! I have done my part, should you choose to continue, the floor is yours.



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Deval's Oratory Skills

I admit to not knowing a whole lot of the details on where Deval Patrick came from and how he came to be a success this past November. This article helps to highlight that his oratory skills were recognized while he was a student at Harvard Law School.
Deval stood up and just lit the place up," he continues. "I've never seen such a brilliant oral performance. You know it when you see it. He had command of the material and a manner with the judges. There was no question that unnerved him. It was so effortless."

Adds Shtasel, "He was really extraordinary beyond all of our years."

Nor was there any question who the best oralist was. (Trust the legal profession to come up with such a ghastly word.) He won the George Leisure award as Best Oralist over his closest competition on the other side, Andrew Loewi of the Lewis Carroll Club.

According to the Harvard Law Record, the school's student newspaper, Loewi said he "could not have done a better job in a million years. Deval's just a great oralist. Deval has incredible presence -- a wonderful manner when he communicates." Classy guy, Loewi.

"You said, whoa, this guy is going places," Loewi, a Denver lawyer, says. " I saw him later, when he was an assistant AG at the Justice Department. He had his little entourage, as all those people do at that point, but he was impressive and convincing in his soft-spoken and firm style."

 
 
 
 
 
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Saturday, December 09, 2006

Deja Brew Results


Deja Brew Results
Originally uploaded by
shersteve.

One of the cases: 12 x 22 oz. bottles, with three kinds of beer per case that was the result of my Deja Brew experience.

The "L" caps are Lobster Claw: A highly aromatic barley wine. Very Potent.

The "CC" caps are Crazed & Confused: Hazed & Infused style Ale. Nice tasting, hoppy finish.

The "S" caps are Stunner: A creamy British Pub style pale ale “stunning colour”.

All descriptions are from the Deja Brew site.

I rejoined the group from our brew night to do the bottling last night. We started about 6:00 PM again. The first step was to purify the bottles and load the bottle racks so they could drain before being filled. As the rack was complete (about 80 bottles) we positioned it near our bottling station. Partnered up, I did the bottling and Joe did the capping. We kept moving right along until about the 84th bottle, it only filled about 1/3 of the way and then foamed. We had hit the end of the barrel.

We three stations going and developed a routine where four bottles of "L" were put into one case and moved to the next station. Four bottles of "CC" were put in and moved along to the last stop where the case was completed with four bottles of "S". The cases were then piled up until we finished and we divided up the goods. The three kettles yielded about 18 cases. We did drink some sample bottles along the way. Quality check you know! So not all the bottles made it to the cases. We also left one of each for the "house". These will be used by other brewers when they come in to sample, like we did our first night.

Good beer, "home" made with no preservatives. Just in time for the holidays.

If you are in or near Shrewsbury, MA, give Deja Brew a whirl. It is a good time for a group with relatively easy work and good liquid results!

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Grassroots Podcasting by Christopher Penn

FAP: I think if you had to sum up podcasting in one word, it’d be grassroots.
FAP: that’s the essence of it.
FAP: there are other names - citizen journalism, consumer generated content, new media, etc.
FAP: but at the end of the day, it’s people making their own media about the things they’re passionate about.
FAP: look at the Financial Aid Podcast.
FAP: the most popular episode has had 27,000 listens.
FAP: that’s more than most metro radio stations.
FAP: and it’s a show about financial aid, which on the surface is probably the most boring topic in the world.
FAP: but if you can bring passion and excitement to it, you can crank out over 400 episodes about it and not lose interest.
FAP: podcasting can change the world.
FAP: that’s the other persistent belief.
FAP: it has already, in a lot of ways.
A section of an IM exchange between Christopher S Penn and a student doing a paper on podcasting. Read the full message here.
 
Have you created a podcast yet?
Have you listened to one?
 
 
 
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Thursday, December 07, 2006

Power of Connections

I arrived home after physcial therapy for my knee tonight and Dolores was still out. Parent conferences this week for her friends in kindergarten. I turned the radio on for company and started empting the dishwasher (first things first) before heating some leftovers.
 
My normal background listening station WCRB for some reason that I missed had switch call numbers last week and moved down the dial from 102.5 to 99.5   (A country station is now in their place on 102.5) (Now, country music has its place but it is not something I can listen to all the time.) Apparently as part of the move, the signal is not as strong as it used to be. Either that or the move down the frequency now creates conflicts so the radio in the kitchen which used to get great reception now gets good reception only when I stand near the refrigerator door. Yes, the radio is on top of the refrigerator.
 
So I need to find a new background station. For tonight, I had it tuned to WGBH at 89.7 and happened to catch Christopher Lydon with Open Source. As I listened, I slowly realized that he was inteviewing Daniel Levitin, the author of "This is your brain on music" a book recently added to my "To Read" shelf.
 
I only listened to about 20 minutes of the interview but it is enough (especially with the book on the shelf) to go download the podcast version and catch up on what I missed.
 
 
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Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Charlie Cards Coming

 
Let me tell you the story
Of a man named Charlie
On a tragic and fateful day
He put ten cents in his pocket,
Kissed his wife and family
Went to ride on the MTA

So began the song, "Charlie on the MTA". There is an interesting history to the song posted on the MIT website. While the song was made famous by the Kingston Trio in 1959, it actually started as a campaign song for one of Boston's mayoral candidates in 1948. And who said politics isn't interesting?

Anyway, Charlie is now being immortalized as the new transit card being introduced by the MBTA this week.

Mac Daniel who writes the Starts&Stops section of the Boston Globe has good information here and here.

Read up on this. You don't want to end up like the original Charlie!

                        Did he ever return,
                        No he never returned
                        And his fate is still unlearn'd
                        He may ride forever
                        'neath the streets of Boston
                        He's the man who never returned

 

Lyrics from the MIT web site.
 
 
 
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Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Romeo's Tune - Steve Forbert

Showing my age a bit. Where we you in 1979? Romeo's Tune was Steve Forbert's hit that year.
 
 
Meet me in the middle of the day
Let me hear you say everything's okay
Bring me southern kisses from your room

Meet me in the middle of the night
Let me hear you say everything's alright
Let me smell the moon in your perfume

Oh, Gods and years will rise and fall
And there's always something more
Lost in talk, I waste my time
And it's all been said before
While further down behind the masquerade
The tears are there
I don't ask for all that much
I just want someone to care

Answer right now

Meet me in the middle of the day
Let me hear you say, everything's okay
Come on out beneath the shining sun

Meet me in the middle of the night
Let me hear you say, everything's alright
Sneak on out beneath the stars and run, yeah

Oh, yeah, yes
Oh, yes

It's king and queen and we must go down round
Behind the chandelier
Where I won't have to speak my mind
And you won't have to hear
Shreds of news and afterthoughts
And complicated scenes
We'll (whether)? or weather down behind the light
And fade like magazines

Meet me in the middle of the day
Let me hear you say, everything's okay
Bring me southern kisses from your room
Hey, hey
Meet me in the middle of the night
Let me hear you say, everything's alright
Let me smell the moon in your perfume
Oh, no
Meet me in the middle of the day
Let me hear you say everything's okay
Let me see you smiling back at me
Heeeey
Meet me in the middle of the night
Let me hear you say, everything's alright
Hold me tight and lovein' love is free
Whoa-oh
OK

 
 
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The Wiki Prayer

Regardless of how teachers feel about the potential of wikis, and I understand the hesitancy many teachers feel, one thing remains certain. The collaborative environment that wikis facilitate can teach students much about how to work with others, how to create community, and how to operate in a world where the creation of knowledge and information is more and more becoming a group effort. I'm serious when I say that I get chills sometimes when I think about the amazing work that's being done at Wikipedia. In many ways, it gives me great hope for the future because it is a testament, I think, of good people doing good. Using wikis, we can start to show our students what it means to be a part of that process.
 
And if the wiki bug does bite you as it has me, this might come in handy:
 
Please, grant me the serenity to accept the pages I cannot edit,
The courage to edit the pages I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.
 
 
 
 
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Monday, December 04, 2006

s*p*a*m

Why is it there there is more junk or s*p*a*m email than there is legitimate email?
 
Where is it all coming from?
 
I'm sitting here, reading, blogging, and there is more junk coming in than real mail by a factor of 5 or 6 to 1!
 
 
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Half of a pittance

Half of a pittance is still a pittance, so please hold the parade for the part-time governor and full-time presidential aspirant who called in from the campaign trail to restore 50 percent of the promised pay raise he stole from underpaid human services workers in Massachusetts this festive season.

Governor Mitt Romney's quick reversal of millions of dollars in budget cuts on Friday exposed the deceit at the heart of his "emergency" action last month: There was no emergency. Just as the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation predicted, healthy tax receipts made Romney's drastic cuts to services for psychiatric patients and special education students, to rent subsidies for the poor, and to pay hikes for direct care workers as needless as they were cynical.

The lame-duck governor is off to Asia in an equally transparent attempt to buff up his nonexistent foreign policy credentials, so he will be unavailable tomorrow to walk down Beacon Hill to the Cathedral of Saint Paul to hear just why it is so unconscionable to play politics with the wages of low-income workers.

So starts the column by Eileen McNamara in this Sunday's Boston Globe.

Hopefully, Romney's transparency will be equally obvious to others outside the state and his hoped for presidential run will get derailed. He did not prove himself a capable governor, he is less likely to prove himself a capable president.

Read the full article here or in one of the links above.


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Sunday, December 03, 2006

Princess Buttercup

BUTTERCUP is standing, holding the reins of her horse, while
in the background, WESTLEY, in the stable doorway, looks at
her. Buttercup is in her late teens; doesn't care much about
clothes and she hates brushing her long hair, so she isn't
as attractive as she might be, but she's still probably the
most beautiful woman in the world.

BUTTERCUP
Farm boy. Polish my horse's saddle. I want to see my face shining in it by morning.

WESTLEY
(quietly, watching her) As you wish.
This is the first we see of Princess Buttercup in The Princess Bride, one of my all time favorite movies. Wonderfully played by Robin Wright (before she became Robin Wright Penn) personifies the ultimate princess.
 
James Brady in the Parade Magazine is In Step With Robin in this week's Sunday section. The full post doesn't appear on the web until Tuesday (why?).
 
This serves as a reminder to get work on "Business lessons from The Princess Bride".
 
What is that?
 
Why not? Can't we all learn something to use in business from the movie?
 
This I gotta see!
 
Well, be patient, it will come sooner than you think.
 
Oh boy, this oughta be good!
 
You'll see.
 
 
 
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Saturday, December 02, 2006

Sign of the season


seasonal_005
Originally uploaded by shersteve.

It is that time of the year.

The wreath now welcomes those who come to the front door.

Thank you Connie!

Penguins in the news

Penguins are making the headlines these days with Happy Feet continuing the roll at the box office.
 
More importantly, Patti Digh has another gem in Forever hold your penguin dear
 
This left my eyes full of tears this morning. I will write more later.
 
 
 
 
 
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Thursday, November 30, 2006

South Station trains


South Stations trains
Originally uploaded by
shersteve.

Christmas is approaching, they are putting the model train set together in South Station this week. I was able to catch a photo in passing today. As they finish, I'll take more.

What marks the start of the Christmas season for you?

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Painting a canvas = Selecting music

As I craft together music intros for podcasts, I realize more and more that you just can’t slap a voice over music and be done with it.

You have to choose the right music to fit the mood of the podcast. You have to choose the right voice. And on top of that, you have to place the voice-only track at precisely the right spot, on the right beat so that it sounds as if it’s part of the song.

Not easy.

Leesa Barnes writes this at Podonomics. These are good tips. This is also amongst the reasons why I have yet to venture into music. It will take time to play with and get used to.

Read her full posting here.

 

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Financial Aid - Scholarship Search Tips

Planning for college? It is a serious expense to consider.
 
Already there? You know what this means.
 
How do you pay for it? Hard work certainly is one way. With smart work is another way.
 
 
The second best part of this it is FREE.
That because the best part of it, may in fact find some money to put towards the bills you face or are arriving.
 
 
 
PS - Christopher Penn is behind this site. He was also behind the PodCamp Boston. This is not some fly-by-night website.
 
 
 
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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Reel Education - Redux

From the archives, a year ago today I wrote about reel education. Reel as in what we can learn from the movies.

Read the full posting here.

What movies do you think are good teaching moments?

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Acupuncture research

From the Sunday Boston Globe Magazine comes this insight into some fascinating research into acupuncture.
Langevin grabbed headlines when, in 2001, the Journal of Applied Physiology published the results of a study in which she and her colleagues quantified de qi’s biomechanical component, or needle grasp, by measuring the force necessary to pull an acupuncture needle out of the skin. Her findings showed something else: Gently manipulating the needles back and forth or twisting them increased the grasp significantly. Since then, Langevin’s research has proved that the connective tissue that winds around acupuncture needles – much like spaghetti wadded around a fork – is responsible for needle grasp. Further study has revealed that needle manipulation transmits a signal to fibroblasts, the cells that make up such tissue, causing them to spread and flatten. "The needle is, in fact, stretching the tissue from the inside," Langevin explains. "The tissue is not just being pulled; it's actively responding to the stimulus."
I appears that Dr Langevin is onto something.
 
Read the full article here (free registration maybe required).
 
 
 
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Why blog?

I wrote one of my longer posts for the Joyful Jubilant Learning Network on "How I blog" and it is published today. Catching up on some of my reading, I find this as an excellent example of "Why?"

I feel myself doing the same thing I always do. Like a rodeo pony at the gate, my entire being bucks up against the process of sitting down to write about the things that matter most to me: about trying to make a life. Invariably this work always takes me to the brink of what I know—and pushes me over, to where I plummet wildly into the unknown.

As I sit down to write about things that matter: about my father dying, about the gunman at school, about fighting with my husband, or loving my son fiercely, and I know that I will be changed by the act of writing. It is the act of putting words on the page that defines the reality of the world I inhabit. And so invariably, I resist because I am terrified that the act of delving deeply into this material will bring me face to face with my own small self and demand that I become more pliant. That I take risks or grow in ways I cannot yet fathom.

When I force myself to write like this my heart feels trampled like grapes becoming wine: something comes from the crushing that is sweet and heady and intoxicating, but also, there is the stain of broken skin and the pulp of the fruit that was once a different shape.

I encourage you to stop by and read Christina frequently. Her blog is a site worthy of a regular visit.

 

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Saturday, November 25, 2006

The JJL Anthem performed

It has been a good holiday weekend and it was made a little more special this afternoon as my daughters were joined by two of Allison's friends, Ashley and Theresa, to record an 'a cappella' version of the JJ Learning Anthem.
 
We had a great time recording this. I believe you'll enjoy it!
 
Listen to it here.
 
 
 
 
 
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Friday, November 24, 2006

Woodpecker attacks

We apparently have a woodpecker that loves our house. He came last year and made a significant dent or rather several holes in a corner finish board. I had plugged them with silicon and covered them with some pieces of screening. That seemed to work to keep him away. Then earlier this year we had the board replaced and the new board, newly painted looked good.
 
Today I am working from home and I hear the familiar tap-tap on the wall. Sure enough, it is the woodpecker again. Probably the very same one. Other than using violent means, does any one have any suggestions?
 
Have you had a woodpecker love your house? What did you do?
 
 
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Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thankful for learning

The Joyful Jubilant Learning Network that I am part of has created a Thankful for learning post to help celebrate today.

Click on over to read.

What have you learned recently that you are thankful for?


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Thankful Giving Ways

This Thanksgiving, as we gather round the family table and give thanks for what we have, let us also remember those who around the world could also use our help.

Beth at Cambodia4Kids is raising money to Help Sponsor Leng Sopharath's Education

Alive in Baghdad is raising money to help tell the story from the Iraqi point of view.

The American Red Cross is always looking for funds to help the recent disaster victims and to help prepare for the next one.

There are many ways to contribute to any number of worthy causes.

On this Thanksgiving Day, please consider a contribution.


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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Thanksgiving preparations

The girls arrived home last night and promptly re-arranged the magnets. Who knew that there was a predefined order for their arrangement? A new picture will be posted sometime.

Ze Frank has some advice on preparing to go home for the holidays. I love how he works in multiple messages in the same story line.

Rocketboom reminds us that not all is well in this world. The plight of the Somalia refugees is heart rending.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Deja Brew

Joined a good college buddy of mine last Friday night to make my first visit to Deja Brew. Yes, first visit. We need to return in three weeks to bottle. After that, well, there will likely be other visits.
 
What is Deja Brew?
The first dedicated Brew-on-Premise in Massachusetts.
 
Yes, brew as in beer! They also do wine and soda.
 
There are six kettles along the front wall. Our group had three of them during or time slot on Friday. Putting together three different beers. Measuring the grains, making the wort, adding the hops, and following the recipe under the able guidance of two brew masters. It was light work with plenty of time for conversation.
 
There was also time to sample some of whatever they had on tap. I won't remember the names (no, I did not have that much; I'm just not great with names of things like this the first time around; I do better taking notes). They had a nice red beer but that tapped out early. They also had a nice stout. They brought out a vanilla bourbon beer. Yes, an odd sounding combination but it works. The flavor was delightful. It was not heavy, more of an ale than a lager.
 
After getting the beer brewed, the brew masters flipped the switches and levers on the tubing to draw the beer from our kettle into a plastic bag in a sturdy plastic drum adding the yeast as they did. They will monitor the fermentation process in two temperature controlled rooms. When it is ready, they will filter it and add the carbonation before we return to bottle it. They provide the bottles, labels and caps. The bottles are re-usable (hence the return trip sometime).
 
As our group had three kettles going, we should end up with three cases (one each). Each case 24 x 22 oz bottles. That should be enough to get us through the holidays and then some.
 
One of the pluses of this process is the absence of chemical preservatives in the process. Pretty cool! I can hardly wait to return to bottle "my" beer. Clearly, the other benefit to doing the brewing this way, we walked away. We don't have to worry about the kettles, the storage, the clean up... not that we left a mess but... that is part of the service we pay for.
 
So if you are in or near Shrewsbury, MA and interested in brewing your own, there are a few slots left between now and Christmas. They are filling up fast.
 
Check out Deja Brew
 
 
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Sunday, November 19, 2006

The magnets are back!


Yes, rehung, re-ordered and ready to swing on the door.

The magnets are the result of a collection over the years from business travel (Texas), vacation travel (Maine, South Carolina, Cape Cod, South Dakota, etc.), quick reference and clips for hanging other reminders.

As I go to the refrigerator, I can catch a view of one of the magnets and step back into time....

Do you have a collection for your refrigerator door?

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Exploring a wiki

Today's Boston Globe has another in a series of articles appearing in the press touting the new wiki phenomenon. Wikipedia is certainly well known. Other uses of wiki technology are being explored. The wiki cake project mentioned in the article is underway. The wiki in this case is collection votes and suggestions from the group (and anyone can join) to decide what kind of cake to bake. A simple but effective exposition of the tool.
 
Dan Bricklin, inventor of Visicalc, the precursor to Excel (and I did use it once upon a time) is about to release wikicalc as an open source application. Anyone anywhere could collaborate on a shared spreadsheet.
 
I am exploring using a wiki to enhance the blog writing I do. Comments help foster the conversation but the content of the postings and comments maybe more readily available via wiki to continue the conversation and build a real information source. My 2 cents would be worth more if it was tended to, tempered, and added to by the collective intelligence of the readers. Or so my current thinking goes.
 
What do you think?
 
How would you use a wiki?
 
Would you help explore the use of a wiki?
 
 
 
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Friday, November 17, 2006

Snail Whitestone Interview

I'm here today with Snail Whitestone, well known golden oldies cover musician. How are you doing Snail?

Pretty good thank you!

You're in town for a concert tonight over at the Pavilion.

Yes, supposed to be a sold out show.

That must make the group happy!

Yes, we got the payroll covered for a bit now.

Speaking of covered, you tend to cover a bunch of Neil Diamond's big hits: "Kentucky Woman", "Cracklin' Rosie" and "Red, Red, Wine". Did you realize that in each of those songs, he was writing about his liquor bottle?

He was? Are you sure?

I think so. Then when he went into rehab he wrote about his withdrawal process and learning to live without the bottle by writing I'm a Believer.



The JJ Learning Anthem
Rewritten by Steve Sherlock (with sincere apologies to Neil Diamond)


I thought learning happened only in kindergarten
Meant for someone else but not for me
Learning was out to get me
That's the way it seemed
Failure haunted all my dreams

Then I saw the blog
Now I'm a JJ Learner
Not a trace of doubt in my mind
I'm JJ Learning
I'm a believer
I'll be learning for the rest of my life

I know learning is a sharing thing
Seems the more I give, the more I get
That's the purpose of learning
All you get is gain
When I needed sunshine, I got trained!

Then I saw the blog
Now I'm JJ Learning
Not a trace of doubt in my mind
I'm JJ Learning
I'm a believer
I"ll be learning the rest of my life


2006 Foolish Music, Inc. (MADCAP)

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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

How do you get the short list?

In the course of exploring the use of a wiki to enhance this blog and others, I found a good comparison site: Wiki Matrix
 
Did you know that there are 74 wiki software packages available to choose from?
 
How do you wade through all that to make a choice?
 
Use the Wiki Choice Wizard! or check off ones on the list you want to look at and do the compare yourself.
 
I used the wizard and it was easy. From the 74 it brought my choices down to 12. I further made a selection (by pricing, i.e. "free") to create a short listing of 3. Then when one I had heard about wasn't on the listing, I went back to see where the choice got dropped off. Yes, it was one of the feature sets that the wizard asked. Now, I know and understand my short list.
 
If you use a wiki, I would be interested in finding out how you choose the one you did and what you are using it for.
 
 
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Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Monday, November 13, 2006

Where to go

Visited Emily Chang's eHub tonight to get a fix on what the latest is and found a couple of interesting things. One of immediate interest, hence this post, is "Where to go".
 
"Where to go" allows for social networking around places you have been to or would like to go to. If you were going someplace new, wouldn't you like some trusted advice before hand?
 
Now, of  course you would. Well, maybe this site will help to create those bridges.
 
Since I was the first one to tag Niagara Falls (NY), Custer State Park (SD), and Mount Katahdin (ME), then I am not expecting an immediate response. But you never know.
 
I did go to Niagara Falls once upon a time (either 1977 or 1978). Dolores and I are planning to go there in 2007.
 
The family took great hiking/camping trips to Mount Katahdin (2001) and Custer State Park in the Black Hills of South Dakota (2003).
 
I have more tagging to do but why don't you go, sign up for a free account and tag the places you have been or would like to go.
 
We may connect!
 
 
 
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Sunday, November 12, 2006

Rev's - we still lov ya

At the half, the score was 0-0.
At full time, the score was 0-0.
At the end of the first OT, the score was 0-0.
 
Then the Rev's scored Khano Smith to Taylot Twellman to make it 1-0.
The Dynamo's came back on the ensuing re-start to score on a Brian Ching header to tie it, 1-1.
 
At the end of the second OT, it was 1-1.
 
Time for penalty kicks.
 
The tension mounted, the pressure built, the excitement ebbed, and flowed, and in the end the Dynamos stood on top 4-3.
 
Oh, well, there is next year.
 
You did well, New England Revolution. We still love you!
 
But you should have won!
 
 
 
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First Try at a Screen Capture

I recorded a screen capture on how to copy a picture from a web site (my blog in this case) using Microsoft's Windows Media Encoder following some instructions from Will Richardson's book:

"Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms"

As part of the Joyful Jubilant Learning network, we are creating a virtual classroom of sorts and this could be a handy tool to share some of our best practices.

The recording is 00:02:19 (2 minutes, 19 seconds) so it won't take long to view.

I appreciate any feedback you have. It helps the learning process!



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Tip on Copying a Picture

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Quote & Link

 

The student made a point about differentiating racism as experienced by immigrant cultures versus indigenous people or victims of slavery. My eyebrows went up when I heard this. "I never thought of this difference." And my eyes suddenly got big. Not that I believe by any means in the validity of a "my racism experience is bigger (worse) than yours" kind of world. I guess until that point I thought of all racism as equally bad. My opinion hasn't changed. But now I can see how people might rightfully feel more pain. I wish there were less.

Read the full posting here.

I agree that an injustice is an injustice, period. I also understand perspectives can be different. This is something I learned.

The difficulty is changing behavior so an injustice does not occur. A difficult task but one that needs to be taken one step at a time, one person at a time.

 

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Friday, November 10, 2006

False Voice? or Cool Technology

Cruised over to Will Richardson's blog tonight as I had just finished his book and wanted to see what was up on his site. I ended up writing about it here and here.
 
Then I gave a listen to the podcast version of this and was I surprised. It was not his voice!
 
It is cool technology, text to speech translation, but it is not his voice. I was disappointed.
 
So if you were going to listen to a podcast, would it make a difference to you to hear a live voice or a computer voice?
 
I am curious to hear what you think.
 
 
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Hitchhiker Team has expanded

The Hitchhiker Team has expanded!
 
Dave takes us down the yellow brick road today on a magical mystery tour.
 
Come along and have some fun!
 
 
 
 
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Thursday, November 09, 2006

Guest Author at Talking Story

Rosa Say writing at Talking Story was looking for input around the theme of "when parenting works" for this month of November. I went into the archives for a good post to share. You may recognize it.

This is a good case of using the archives and then also exposing a comment that was worthy of getting some notice.

Thanks, Allie!

Enjoy!

You can find the posting at Talking Story here.


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