Sunday, September 30, 2007

Fluff Festival

Fluff, yes as in marshmallow fluff. One half of a fluffernutter sandwich. I practically grew up on these and still enjoy them once in a while on the weekends.

I missed the festival yesterday. I need to plan for next year although the one 10 years from now will be the big one, 100 years of fluff. Oh, my!

From the archives: My previous post on the fluffernutter

Franklin: Where am I? Answer #11

The Franklin United Methodist Church on West Central Street is home to the stained glass window featured in picture #11.

Stay tuned for the next challenge.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Another me is doing well

Yes, hard to believe but there are other Steve Sherlock's in this world. I am not alone.

Every once in a while I come across a new on online.

This Steve in Australia seems to be doing well renting autos.

If you have plans to go to Australia, and need a car, check out his web site:

Help Desk Institute Webinars

The first week of October is Customer Service Week. The Help Desk Institute (HDI) is helping to mark this week with a series of webinars.

My buddy Phil Gerbyshak will be presenting:

My hero Kirk Weisler will also be presenting:

If you are a HDI member, consider spending some time with the webinars this week.

If you are not a HDI member, consider joining. The webinars are one good incentive but the others last all year!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Where we you in '92?

Not 1492, the year Columbus sailed the ocean blue.
1992, the last time Franklin High School had beaten North Attleboro.

Congratulations to Franklin High School Football team!

The Franklin Country Gazette has details on the game,

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Brick Committee backs off claim

Oldest or not the oldest, that was the question.

Last night, the Brick School Task Force gave its answer.

"I wish I could sit before you and say we are the oldest continuously operating (one-room) brick schoolhouse in the nation," said Town Clerk Deborah Pellegri, a task force member assigned to investigate the question. "But I can't. It cannot be documented."

Pellegri was referring to Franklin's Red Brick School, built in 1833 and placed on the National Historic Register in 1976. Threatened with past closures that it survived, the school was placed on the chopping block this spring because the district faced a funding gap and administrators deemed the building too costly to run.

Read Michael Morton's full article in the Milford Daily News

Water disagreement makes the Globe

The current disagreement over $43,000 between Franklin and Norfolk finally made the pages of the Boston Globe.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Franklin School Committee Meeting Recap

I missed the school committee meeting last night due to a family committment so you'll need to catch what you can from Michael Morton's recap in the Milford Daily News.

Quote for the day

I have always believed that teaching was the second greatest occupation that the human mind and energy can undertake. . . . the most important is learning.

James Dickey

If I was a life long learner

The collaboration to rewrite the lyrics to the BareNaked Ladies "If I had a Million Dollars" is complete and available on the Joyful Jubilant Learning blog.

Of course, as complete as it is, you can still add verses to this.


Franklin: Where am I? #11

Franklin: Where am I? #11, originally uploaded by shersteve.

Guidelines to play the game can be found here.


Franklin: Where am I? Answer #10

Maybe you thought to yourself, that could be...

Maybe you had a second thought and decided not to, fear of being wrong settling in.

You'll not know unless you try!

The correct answer was Franklin Woods, at the intersection of Bridle Path and Lincoln.

Thanks for the correct answer Ken!

Stay tuned for the next picture.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

PodCamps in Ireland, Nashville, SoCal

Yes, you can tip a pint of the local brew in Kilkenny, Ireland at PodCamp Ireland and discuss the social media scene.

In February, 2008 you'll be able to discuss social media in Nashville, Tennessee.

And this weekend, in Ontario, California you can join the group for PodCamp SoCal.

Franklin Education Foundation: Second Annual Casino Night

The Franklin Education Foundation (FEF) would like to invite you to the

Second Annual Casino Night
November 17, 2007
7:00 PM - 11:00 PM

The mission of the FEF is to provide funding for competitive grants submitted by Franklin teachers and staff, district-wide, to support academic excellence and innovative practices within our classrooms----these are typically programs that are extensions of current curriculum which can not be supported financially within the existing district budget.

In past years, our primary source of funding was derived from our annual Spelling and Trivia Bees. However, as our district has grown, so too has the number of grant proposals submitted--thus we now also sponsor our Casino Night to support the demand for grant funding. Our First Casino Night last year was a great success--it proved to be a fun, adult night out for the numerous Franklin neighbors, teachers and administrators who attended.

We hope to see you!

The FEF offer the opportunity to train you as a dealer (roulette or blackjack) if you are interested. Dealers can work as little as an hour or arrange to work as long as desired. Please contact Elise Nulton (lcnot at comcast dot net) if you would like further information.

Information from an email received from Elise Nulton.

Monday, September 24, 2007

One room or two? What's a room?

The debate continues.

Read the story by Michael Morton in the Milford Daily News.

The language of collaboration

Joanna has recapped very well the play by play of a recent conversation at the Joyful Jubilant Learning blog.

This is one positive turn of a conversation.

Read Joanna's full posting here.

Conversation turns

Where do some conversations turns come from?
Have you ever followed a conversation and found an unexpected turn?
Such that you asked yourself: Where did that turn come from?

This weekend, PodCampers preparing for Boston 2 were talking in email about the schedule; how many sessions we could have, how they would be arranged. A good discussion on logistic details. Need to be prepare for this one. Expecting at least 3 times more people than we had last year. Last year (also the first year) expectations were just to have one. Now, a year later, many other PodCamps have been held. This was the original, it should be good (i.e. better than last year). Can't have folks coming and finding a disorganized mess. And then the conversation took a left turn. Left most of us standing. Wondering where that came from.

This has been known to happen at home too.
Why after being married for so long does it matter that the socks are inside or out?
How did we get there?
Oh, my t-shirt was inside out on Friday.
So what has that got to do with the socks?
Does it really matter?

One answer to this question can be found here.

tertiary education: advantages of amnesia??

... Google's enormous reserves of user information, stored in dozens of secretive data centers across the world, and the literally photographic memory of the Internet Archive, which preserves billions of defunct Web pages for posterity, are enough to leave anyone rattled. New forms of memory are permanent and accessible from anywhere. As their reach grows, scholars are asking if now - perhaps for the first time in human history - we need to find ways to forget.

"We used to have a system in which we forgot things easily and had to invest energy in remembering," says Viktor Mayer-Schönberger, an associate professor of public policy at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. "Now we're switching to a system in which we remember everything and have to invest energy in order to forget. That's an enormous transformation."

and this:

The personal costs of this reality are clear, but there may be broader social costs as well. "What a lot of people forget - no pun intended - is that forgetting is hard-wired," says Mayer-Schönberger. "Cognitively and sociologically, we've never had to develop the capacity to forget or to put things in temporal perspective, because forgetting was built in biologically."

So trying to memorize the times table is a waste of time?

Are we going to need to spend some time in school and do homework to practice forgetting?

Read the full article in the Boston Globe and decide for yourself.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Good experience: The Butterfly Place, Westford, MA

Stopped by The Butterfly Place, on Westford Road, in Westford, MA on Saturday.

Caution: the Butterfly Place website plays a repetitive musical piece once you load the page. There is no easy way to turn it off.

The pictures from the visit can be found on my Tabblo:

Tabblo: Butterfly Place, Westford, MA

... See my Tabblo>

If Dolores and I had not been to the Butterfly Conservatory in Niagara Falls, this would have been fantastic. It is smaller than the one in Niagara Falls but certainly a whole lot closer and thereby qualifies as a "hidden gem" for Massachusetts.

Franklin: Where am I? #10

Franklin: Where am I? #10, originally uploaded by shersteve.

The guidelines for playing are found here.

Sorry ladies, but no family members means no family members.


Franklin: Where am I? Answer #9

Franklin: Where am I? Answer #9, originally uploaded by shersteve.

Another view of the same pond shown in picture #9.

No, it was not Beaver Pond.
No, it was not the on at the end of Chestnut St.

It is found along Washington St and called Spring Pond.

Stay tuned, the next picture is due shortly.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

One Web Day

One Web Day is being celebrated today. It really should be celebrated everyday. The web is so special. Allowing connections, conversations, news, ideas, stories and experiences to spread so quickly. Bringing people together that perhaps would not have been together without the web.

The web is a very appropriate term to describe the connections being made. I was fortunate to be in the middle of this:


Continents apart.

One month, start to finish...!

I am only surprised that it took one month to do so. Today's search and RSS capabilities would likely make it quicker.

Bottom line, on this One Web Day, don't take access for granted.

Celebrate it.

Celebrate it like your birthday, everyday when you rise.

Franklin: Where am I? #9 a puzzler

The ninth picture in the Where am I? challenge is a puzzler.

Two incorrect guesses.

Take a look. See if you can figure out where you would see this view.

Recall the guidelines:

What kind of picture:
The picture will be of something seen from the sidewalk or road while walking, or riding a bike or car. All pictures will be found within the confines of geographical Franklin. The picture should be something of beauty, specialness, architectural, natural or the like that is found within Franklin.

Good Experience: Xinu - a summary page

Put your web site URL into Xinu, click GO, and sit and watch the statistics update as it brings it data from multiple sources.


Dump the Baby Einstein videos

Yes, toss the Baby Einstein videos away. The research is in:
“For every hour a day that babies 8 to 16 months old were shown such popular series as “Brainy Baby” or “Baby Einstein,” they knew six to eight fewer words than other children, the study found.”
For more on the research check out the Made to Stick posting here.

Possible Dilbert Movie

One big question is whether a Dilbert movie would be traditional animation, CGI, or live actors. I think live actors is the way to go, with CGI for Dogbert, Catbert, and other talking creatures. That allows you to have star power for the main characters, and it differentiates it from the old animated Dilbert TV show.

The plot I imagine involves an origin of Dogbert as a talking dog. It’s Dilbert’s first day of work, after college, and he causes an accident in the technology lab that releases something into the water supply. The pollutant starts to change regular dogs and cats into talking animals over the course of the movie. So Dogbert would be a regular dog in the beginning, with no glasses, but be walking upright before long. From there on, talking animals would just have jobs like regular people, and none of the human characters would give it much thought.

Tell me you wouldn’t watch that.

If you know any wealthy people who want to invest in a Dilbert movie, e-mail me at "scott adams at aol dot com".

If you can help Scott by letting some one know, please do so. You can read the full posting here.

Friday, September 21, 2007

What a day

Friday, end of the work week. Much progress at work, good happenings elsewhere.

Then I notice the t-shirt I worn all day was inside out. Oh well....

Heading for bed. Won't matter now.

Oral History and World War II

While we appear to be riding the wave, I also learned of the Veterans History Project being run by the Library of Congress.

I'll need to talk to Dad and see if he wants to send something to submit.

Is there some one in your family that you should capture their story from?

If you'd like some tips, please let me know. I am learning a bunch as I go through the process recording my father's history.

Does Google game the search?

After reading this article in IWDaily, I wonder. Certainly Google knows the search game. Are they attempting to play it to their advantage in this way?

I think there is nothing wrong with playing the game. I just wonder if anyone else came to that idea.

Student bloggers have an opportunity!

Is Your Blog Worthy of a $10,000 Scholarship?

Do you maintain a weblog and attend college? Would you like $10,000 to help pay for books, tuition, or other living costs? If so, read on.

We're giving away $10,000 this year to a college student who blogs. The Blogging Scholarship is awarded annually.

Entry deadline October 6th.

Thanks to Mike Sansone at ConverSations for the tip!

Answers to "What do I write about?"

Chris Brogan has solved some problems most writers/bloggers will come across from time to time. What do I write about?

Well, if that question comes up, turn to this list, or directly to Chris' blog for ideas.

1 How I Use Facebook
2 Ways I Embrace My Audience
3 Should My Town Use Social Media?
4 A Community I Love
5 Technology That Empowers Me
6 How Flickr Did it Right
7 How Best to Comment on a Corporate Blog
8 Ways to Save a Bad Time at a Conference
9 How I Find Blogging Ideas
10 Somebody Has to Say It
11 My Children Will Do it Differently
12 How Schools Could Use Social Media
13 The Best Parts of Marketing
14 Presentation Skills for a New Conversation
15 How I Find Time to Make Media
16 Empower Your Best Customers
17 After the Event- Carrying the Conversation Forward
18 Just Jump Into Podcasting- Heres How
19 My Community and How You Can Engage It
20 Twitter Jaiku Pownce Facebook- And Then What
21 Making a Miniseries
22 If I Were an Advertiser Today
23 My Mother is On Facebook
24 Does a Big Brand Need You
25 Books I Want to Write
26 Serving the Deep Niches- How I Do It
27 How Women Use Social Media
28 A Hard Look at My Media Habits
29 If I Were a Television Producer
30 Social Media Marketing vs Traditional Marketing
31 Elements of a Marketing Campaign
32 Social Media Campaigns are NOT Traditional Campaigns
33 Idea Making and How I Make Something
34 What I Spend Money On
35 Do Rock Stars Need Social Media Strategies
36 How I Use My Website
37 Book Shopping- Buy These Books
38 MTV Changed the World in the 80s- Here is What Comes Next
39 How I Process Blogs and What I Do With All That Info
40 Ten Guilty Pleasures
41 The Internet Application I Havent Seen
42 If I Worked for a Venture Capital Firm
43 My Day Job Versus My Passion
44 The Difference Between Fark and Truemors
45 Fixing Conferences
46 Making Marketplaces for Media Makers
47 When I Feel Frustrated
48 Branding Strategies I Use
49 Your Ideas And My Ideas- How We Play Together
50 Friends I Cant Wait to Meet
51 The Art of Chaos
52 Telling My Boss About Social Media
53 Could I Quit My Day Job
54 When to Cut Back on Web Habits
55 Breaking Down My Favorite Blog
56 Explaining Social Media to Your Chamber of Commerce
57 Non-Internet Equivalents to Internet Tools I Use
58 Considering Media for the Rest of the Globe
59 Twitter is Too Simple- Twitter is Just Right
60 The Future of Podcasting
61 Video Made Simple
62 Facebook Applications I Love
63 You Are Here
64 Blogging Tactics- How to Keep it Fresh
65 I Want to Brag A Minute
66 Who Says What About Your Brand
67 Tools for Blogging
68 Wordpress Plugins I Use And Why
69 Media Topics That Need More Coverage
70 Comments versus Blog Posts
71 How I Drive Traffic to My Site
72 News- Is it Useful and How I Might Fix It
73 Which TV Network Gets Videoblogging and PodCasting
74 Franchising My Media
75 Handling Critics
76 My Audio Tricks
77 Ning Sites I Like and Why
78 Controlling My Brand
79 Sharing and Contributing
80 How Twitter Improved My Blog
81 Email After Twitter
82 Facebook Video Improved My Social Network
83 Letting Go
84 Downtime- What I Do Offline to Recharge
85 How I Went From Very Shy to Less Shy
86 The RIGHT Number to Track for Podcasting
87 PodCamp Has to Change
88 Shaking Things Up
89 Joining A Network- Things to Consider
90 Newspapers and How I Would Change Them
91 Interview With a Veteran
92 The Countries of My Social Media World
93 Giving it Away
94 Consulting Strategies for Social Media Experts
95 Turning Media into a Business Card
96 Podcasting on a Budget
97 For Every Excuse a New Strategy
98 Just When I Think I Am Done
99 Buying Gear- My Shopping Tips for Podcasters
100 When is Free Better- When Not

Are there any others that you would add?

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Election slate set for November

Michael Morton has the rundown of the candidates for each position coming up this election.

Please be aware of the candidates, their positions, their issues, etc. so that you can make an informed decision when you walk into the voting booth in the field house to cast your ballot.

Brick School not first

The one room red brick school house in Croyden, NH was built in 1780 and has been in continuous use since.

That beats the Brick School by 50 years.

Oh well!

Now to find out if it can be operated as safely, effectively, and cost no more than a normal classroom in one of Franklin's other elementary buildings.

Michael Morton has the details of the Croyden situation in the Franklin Gazette.

Dole "Hearts Delight" recall

I heard about this on Monday and checked when I got home. I knew I had bought some of this lettuce on the weekend. There were updated news articles on Monday and one did not list MA as a state with delivery of the lettuce. The product code was also different than the article I found in the Milford Daily News which shows a positive match for the lettuce we did buy.

It is no longer ready to eat.

If you do hear of a food recall, keep in contact with the updates. The information may change along the way. It did in this case.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Franklin: Four Corners School out for RFP

The Town Council voted to put out the old Four Corners School building in a Request for Proposal (RFP). There are some design requirements and considerations to solicit some bids and proposals.

The Town paid $1,325,000 for the combined land and buildings. The proposal is suggesting $1,000,000 which could be a "loss". We'll see what the market holds.

The Town Council passed the resolution with one objection. It was heartening to see a number of residents speaking at the meeting on both sides of the proposal.

Franklin escalates against Norfolk on water dispute

Norfolk, for some reasons known to themselves, have not lived up to their end of the 1993 agreement on water by either returning the water provided, and providing some $43,000. Franklin has therefore initiated a termination of the agreement as part of the process to reach a more equitable agreement to this situation.

Norfolk will get a year notice to allow their 13 residents to find another water source after Franklin terminates the agreement, unless there is a resolution along the way.

Additional documents pertaining to this are available on the Franklin Town Council web site. (PDF)

The Town Council passed the resolution to terminate the agreement after some discussion to try and tighten the time line.

Updated: Michael Morton's article in the Milford Daily News can be found here.

Make a Difference

My contribution to this month's forum on "Make a Difference" is available now.

You can read it, or listen to it.

Either way, I hope you are ready to make a difference!

Franklin: Where am I? #9

Franklin: Where am I? #9, originally uploaded by shersteve.

Guidelines for how to play "Where am I?" can be found here.


Franklin: Where am I? Answer #8

Franklin: Where am I? Answer #8, originally uploaded by shersteve.

Yes, Ken Norman has been on a roll correctly identifying the pictures.

Picture #8 was the Post Office downtown.

Stay tuned for #9

A real multi-user PC

How about one PC being shared by multiple users:

A new desktop PC today is 10 times more powerful than one from about three years ago, but most of us don't use our PCs any differently. According to startup NComputing, that means we should only need to buy a tenth as many.

The NComputing technology is essentially a combination of KVM switching and virtualization, turning any desktop PC into something like a thin client server. Instead of a full PC, individual users get a small box that NComputing calls an access terminal. The box has connectors for a keyboard, mouse, and monitor, with optional audio, microphone, and USB ports. Multiple access terminals connect to a single PC, presenting each user with a personal Windows (or Linux) desktop.

Read the rest of the story here.

NY Times comes out from behind the wall!

I frequently link to the Boston Globe but infrequently to the NY Times primarily because of access. In most cases, I can grab the RSS feed for the Globe link which doesn't require a login to access the article. If you were required to login, it at least was for free.

The NY Times was worse. They actually charged for access to many articles. But no more!

Read the details of the story here

Of note, the Boston Globe is owned by the NY Times.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The girl inside the iPod commercial

The girl from the new Ipod Nano commercial does have a real catchy tune!
Turns out the iPod girl is actually a singer-songwriter who goes by the name of "Feist." She's Leslie Feist, a 31-year-old Canadian singer-songwriter who's recorded a bunch of albums, the most recent of which is 2007's The Reminder.


Thanks to IWDaily for the link and back story.

Deval says Casinos: Is that the best we can do?

Today's Boston Globe is filled with stories on Gov Deval Patrick's proposal for casinos; not one, not two, yes three casinos.

Casino debate cultivates new attitude in Massachusetts

(By Peter J. Howe, Globe Staff)
Three years ago, you couldn't even buy a six-pack of beer on Sunday in most Massachusetts cities and towns - and now the governor is proposing not just one but three casinos.

Patrick throws tribe a curveball with plan to license casinos (By Michael Levenson and Christine Wallgren, Globe Correspondent)

GLOBE EDITORIAL: Ground rules for gambling

More coverage of gambling in Massachusetts

After years of study, that is the best we can do?

Monday, September 17, 2007

Bridgewater cutting services in wake of override failure

The Boston Globe's Override Central web site has this:
More than a third of Bridgewater municipal employees are slated to be laid off, and Bridgewater State College is stepping in to provide some basic public services, in the wake of the town's narrow defeat of a $2 million override.

Read the details on the options still be figured out (free registration may be required)

Franklin: Where am I? #8

Franklin: Where am I? #8, originally uploaded by shersteve.

Guidelines for playing "Where am I?" are found here.

Franklin: Where am I? Answer #7

Franklin: Where am I? Answer #7, originally uploaded by shersteve.

The Franklin Mill Store building entrance with its flags served as the clue for the most recent location.

Stay tuned for the next one.

Jamestown: Another glorious view

At Beavertail LIghthouse, looking southwest. The water and sky were glorious on Sunday.

Quick Video view - Jamestown, RI

Quick Video view of the bay from Jamestown, RI

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Here to make a difference

My fellow contributors at the Joyful Jubilant Learning blog are exploring "Make a Difference" this month of September. Coincidently, this Sunday's edition of the Boston Globe Ideas section has an article on "Why are we here?"

Anthony Kronman

Over the past century and a half, our top universities have embraced a research-driven ideal that has squeezed the question of life's meaning from the college curriculum, limiting the range of questions teachers feel they have the right and authority to teach. And in the process it has badly weakened the humanities, the disciplines with the oldest and deepest connection to this question, leaving them directionless and vulnerable to being hijacked for political ends.

But the encouraging news is that there is, today, a growing hunger among students to explore these topics. As questions of spiritual urgency - abortion, creationism, the destruction of the environment - move to the center of debate in our society, America's colleges and universities have a real opportunity to give students the tools to discuss them at a meaningful level.

and this:
The question of life's meaning is a worry of the spirit. Our colleges and universities need to reclaim their authority to speak to the subject, in a conversation broader than any church alone can conduct. The beneficiaries, in the end, will be both their students and the culture they will inherit.
and this:

Can the meaning of life be studied independent of religion? There are many who doubt that it can. They say that any program of this sort must rest on religious beliefs, which have lost their status as a source of authority in higher education. But that is a mistake. For even after the rise of the research university, with its secular and scientific culture, there were humanists who believed that the question of life's meaning can be studied in a disciplined but nonreligious way. Their approach gives us a model to follow today.

and this: (Bold mine for emphasis)

These programs differ in many ways, and inevitably reflect the culture of their schools; some are mandatory and others, like Yale's Directed Studies, are elective. But despite their differences, all rest on a set of common assumptions, which together define a shared conception of humane education.

The first is that there is more than one good answer to the question of what living is for. A second is that the number of such answers is limited, making it possible to study them in an organized way. A third is that the answers are irreconcilably different, necessitating a choice among them. A fourth is that the best way to explore these answers is to study the great works of philosophy, literature, and art in which they are presented with lasting beauty and strength. And a fifth is that their study should introduce students to the great conversation in which these works are engaged - Augustine warily admiring Plato, Hobbes reworking Aristotle, Paine condemning Burke, Eliot recalling Dante, recalling Virgil, recalling Homer - and help students find their own authentic voice as participants in the conversation.

Read the full article here.

Click on over to Joyful Jubilant Learning discussion there.

Think about participating and sharing your authentic voice.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Franklin: Open Invitation to Franklin's candidates

To the candidates for Franklin's election this November.

I extend an offer to conduct and post an interview with you here. The interview can be either text or audio.

You are running to conduct business on behalf of Franklin. Together we can share your views, your objectives and help to spread the word to create an informed voter.

Send me an email (shersteve at gmail dot com) and we can arrange a mutually convenient time.

Be aware that this is my hobby conducted solely in my non-working hours and totally unrelated to the business that my company pays me for. I do this for fun and education. If it stops being that way, I will stop. This is not an advertising site. This is an information creation site.

Formal disclosure

Happy blogversary - 3 years and still writing!

Where has time gone? It seems like yesterday. Yet, I look back into the archives, occasionally come across a piece and say to myself: "I wrote that?"

As I announced in August, the focus of my writing has evolved. This blog continues to develop a conversation around life and living in Franklin. I am capturing my father's oral history at Jerry's Story. Continuing to write and podcast on running at Passionate Runner. Continuing to write (and soon to be podcasting) my poetry at quiet poet. Along with a fantastic group of friends met through the internet, we explore the net and showcase our findings at the Hitchhikers Guide. I explore life long learning in a group setting at the Joyful Jubilant Learning blog. I explore connecting the unconnected at 100 Bloggers.

So you can see, this it is all related, I think.

Thank you for visiting.

I am grateful for the comments and conversation we have had. This is fuel for continuing.

Let me know how I can help you. Drop me an email (shersteve at gmail dot com) or leave a comment with some manner of continuing the conversation.

From the archives:

Every little day the world's brand new,
the sun comes up and the clouds roll through.
Everything else is just up to you.
Every little day the world's brand new. Greg Greenway

Franklin: School Committee ballot slot filled

Michael Morton's article today in the Milford Daily News reveals the full slate of folks who have taken out papers for the upcoming election.

Matthew Kelly, a write in candidate in 2005, took out papers for the School Committee. This provides a slate of seven candidates (6 incumbents and one newcomer) (excluding any write-in efforts) for the November election.

Read the full article here.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Good experience: ajaxWindows

Using a demo of ajaxWindows and finding it slick about some things, not so slick about other things.

For example, using the browser with ajaxWindows opened within FireFox

Good: it handles CoComment very nicely. I have had trouble with CoComment on some blogs (particularly Typepad) where it takes multiple transmits to get the comment recorded and get by the captcha challenge with the normal IE or Firefox window. In ajaxWindows, it works just as it is supposed to.

Bad: Blogger has the recent auto save implemented. I have found instances where even though you have made a change, it doesn't provide you with a "Save" option. Usually with either IE or Firefox, by going to the preview, I end up finding one of the two "Save" buttons active, the other not. Within ajaxWindows, no such luck. Try as I might, the save button won't go active after the auto save kicks in.

If you happen to try out ajaxWindows, let me know how it goes for you.

Note: I have not yet created an account and used any of the auto synch features. The demo is what I have used thus far to try this out.

Clinton passes Debt Override

For the record, folks in Clinton have passed a debt override to purchase open space and to build a senior center.

Details available in the Boston Globe Override Central article.

The finger moustache virus

The video comes out of the Boston but the action is taking place in Providence, RI (my birthplace).

Go Rhode Island!

Thanks to Seth for the link

Franklin: news coverage

Do you wonder how it is determined what gets published and where?

We all know that Franklin doesn't have it own newspaper. We depend upon the Milford Daily News and the weekly Franklin Gazette. Occasionally, we'll get some coverage in the Boston Globe.

Michael Morton does a good job following the stories as they develop. Why do some appear in the Milford Daily News, some in the Gazette, some in both (the ongoing Brick School story), and some not at all?

I found it most noticeable this week. I wrote about the School Committee meeting on Tuesday night.
Am I missing another source?

Where do you get your news?

Franklin: Teachers contract agreed to

Michael Morton's article in the Franklin Gazette announces that the Franklin teachers have agreed to their new contract overcoming some opposition.

As a former teacher and husband of a Franklin teacher, I understand that some may not be happy with the settlement calling for increases of 2, 2, and 2.5 percent over the next three years.

Given the economic circumstances, this is a good deal.

The major issue is how much does society value teachers? Why do sports personalities earn so much more than someone responsible for educating the future leaders of this town? This issue is not going to get resolved here. Franklin is not going to step up to determine that their teachers should be the best paid in the commonwealth or country even though they may be the best!

Franklin: TANSTAFL -School Lunch

Michael Morton's article in the Milford Daily News follows up on the report during Tuesday night's School Committee meeting that high school students were upset with the increase in school lunch prices.
That's gotten a lot of attention," junior Brittany MacLeod told the School Committee on Tuesday night. MacLeod, a past student government member who now serves as the committee's student representative, added, "I'm not too pleased with paying $2.75 for a hot dog."
It should get a lot of attention. Superintendent Ogden didn't go far enough when he called it :
a "lesson in effecting change" for the students.
It should also be a lesson in economics.

Brittany have you tried buying a hot dog at Six Flags? or Fenway Park? or Gillette Stadium?

One basic economic principle you should learn applies here: There ain't no such thing as a free lunch! or TANSTAFL.

Somebody pays. Follow the money, understand the supply chain, understand what is going on.

This is a great opportunity to understand the economics of a portion of the school budget.

Then you can begin to understand the real problem that this town faces in trying to sustain a level of service in times of increasing costs and tight money.

Then when someone tells you that Franklin only pays half of what it costs to educate our own students (the remainder come from the generous folks of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts) and that Franklin is greatly reluctant in increasing taxes to pay anything more (only one operational override passed of 7 offered to the voters), you begin to understand the problem the town faces.

The least of our problems is your $2.75 hot dog.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Seth says it's a marketing war

Seth has some great insights. This is his summary, be sure to click through to read the full piece. It is not long, just long enough to make the point effectively.
Hamas leverages and extends its power with the Palestinians by providing health care in neighborhoods. That's the message that gets through to the people on the ground. Every action a group (any group) takes tells a story. What's that story? Does it spread? When it spreads, how does that story affect the conversations that people have with each other? If the NYPD is right (and I think their analysis of how this meme spreads is right) then the most important thing our government can do is discuss what sort of ideavirus they are working to spread. And then take action. And spread the right story in the right way.

What's the story? What is the TSA 'saying' in their work at LAX? What is the brave soldier saying as she does her stint in Takrit? What does the NYPD or the school district or the local hospital say as they interact with immigrants in their daily lives?

I guarantee you I don't know the answer. I don't know where we should send troops and how long we should stay there. I don't know who to arrest and what to look for. But I do know this: it's a marketing problem, the most important one we face. By and large, the marketing is being done by people who don't see that we have a marketing problem. Understanding the words and concepts behind the ideavirus is the critical next step in spreading the right message to the people who need to hear it.

I sat in my office six years ago, looking south along the Hudson and watching our world change. I don't think anyone could have predicted then where we'd be now. I'm hopeful that by looking forward, we can market our way to better place. Thousands of brave people have sacrificed for our safety and peace of mind. I'm grateful to them. The next step is to get smart about strategy and marketing.

Click through to read the full piece here.

Did you go to camp this summer?

Steve Garfield recounts his summer days as a youth going to camp and compares it to his recent weekend going to PodCamp Philly!

Read all about what a good difference it was.

If you haven't been to camp recently, well you could consider coming to Boston this October!

News roundup

Did you hear about the Italian IBM union employees using Second Life to strike?
Read about it here.

For those Blackberry users who do not have it all (yet) there is now a web site "Built for Blackberry". Click through here to read about it and access the site directly here. No warranty on thumbs provided or expressed.

And the ultimate question about social networking has been answered: Do online social networks lead to more real friends? See if you agree (or disagree) with the answer here.

How do I try and keep up with the news? One of my good sources is the IWDaily newsletter and you can subscribe to it here.

Or if you like to have me continue to filter the news for you, please be sure to subscribe to my postings via email or RSS feed. Both subscription options can be found in the top right corner of the page (under my profile).

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

If a Belicheck could check a signal, how many signals would he check?

Gee Bill, how could you:
"Earlier this week, I spoke with Commissioner Goodell about a videotaping procedure during last Sunday's game and my interpretation of the rules. At this point, we have not been notified of the league's ruling. Although it remains a league matter, I want to apologize to everyone who has been affected, most of all ownership, staff and players. Following the league's decision, I will have further comment."

Or said in so many other words from one of your 'favorite' players:
"I think that the Patriots live by the saying, 'If you're not cheating, you're not trying,'" San Diego running back LaDainian Tomlinson was quoted as saying Tuesday. "I'm not surprised because you keep hearing the different stories (and) people complaining about the stuff that they do."
This is so sad. Trust has just vanished!

When I go to Gillette Stadium to watch the NE Revolution play I will have trouble looking at the Super Bowl banners hung high around the stadium and wonder:

If a Belichick could check a signal, how many signals would a Belichick check?

Oh, I should update my Business Lessons from the Patriots now that we can add cheating to the mix.

School Committee Short of Candidates

Michael Morton's article in the Milford Daily News today has details on which 6 current School Committee members are running for re-election. The seventh is not running again for election leaving a spot open.

Could that open spot be filled by you?

Pick up the proper papers from the Town Clerk by Friday at noon time.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Franklin School: High School emergency generator died

An emergency generator at the high school died during the summer. It was a 40 year old unit and has seen its useful life. There currently is a rental in place providing emergency coverage.

The replacement would cost about $50,000-100,000. This was not budgeted for. There is no plan for this just yet. This is one of many items that could fail as the high school continues to age.

Franklin School: Transportation

Transportation totals increased over 400 students (over last year). More parents have gone with the bus and "pay to ride" than using the walk or drop off option.

They will adding a new bus to cover an elementary route and a middle/high school run. Notices are being sent out to announce the new bus route/schedule.

The increased cost to add the bus to these routes would be about $45,000 and is funded entirely within the increased fees that came with the increased ridership.

Ed Cafasso calls it the "Shreve Crump & Low effect" (after the Superintendent Ogden coined "Family Circle effect" to account for the school enrollment increase of 100 students).

The 20% increase in ridership may be due to saving time from sitting and waiting, avoiding the waiting lines in the school, saving on the additional gas prices...

Franklin School: Keller Kindergarten Class Size

Keller has five kindergartens and the enrollment still exceeds the School Committee guidelines (some classes with 24 when the recommendation is 21).

The considered adding a six class but there are only five rooms currently sized for kindergarten. The recommended action is to add an ESP to assist in managing the kindergarten classrooms.

The proposal is to add the ESP now, and consider adding a sixth 1st grade next year to reduce the class size.

The additional funding for the ESP would come from the extra revenue that was received with the increase in school choice students accepted. Some of the money has already been re-allocated for an additional fourth grade teacher to address class size issues at Keller also.

Bottomline: as Odgen just mentioned, this is really an effect of the $2 million dollars missing from this years budget. It is an acceptable solution but Odgen avoided saying a "good" solution.

Result: Motion to increase one ESP using the revenue mentioned was approved.

Franklin School: What updates would you like to see?

Superintendent Ogden is soliciting suggestions from the Committee. Here is our opportunity. What would you like to hear about?

So far they have mentioned:
foreign language

open the discussion on starting the middle school and high school later
and open the box for year-round education (yea!)

collaboration at the high school

FHS vision and assessment committee
school handbooks

Did I miss any?

Should you add any?

I would recommend sending an email to Superintendent Ogden.

Franklin: Live Video Sound Problem

There are two microphones at the table for the guest speakers. One speaker apparently is on, the other is either off or at a lower volume setting.

One of the risks for blogging from the comfy position of my chair.

No effective mechanism of alerting them of the problem... other than getting up and going to Town Hall.

Franklin Schools: Building Committee for High School

Discussion around should there be a building committee for the high school project. The Commonwealth has not yet defined the process so putting one together might be premature.

There apparently is a meeting on October 1 with the superintendents and the state office where the program will reportedly be laid out.

Probably will not see much definitive action other than further discussion between the School Committee and the Town Council until then.

Franklin School: Open circle addresses health and fitness?

Blogging the School Committee meeting:

Michele Kingsland-Smith, Director of Instructional Services is presenting to the School Committee at the regular meeting tonight. I think she just said that the open circle program in K-5 addresses health and fitness.

Excuse me... open circle addresses fitness and health... maybe by talking about it! You can't get much fitness by walking around the circle. Open circle will help social competency but not physical fitness.

Oh, she just re-stated herself and it made more sense. Franklin is "in compliance" with the state recommendations but is not in compliance with the Federal recommendations.

We have cut our health and physical education opportunities in half recently. Gee, I am not surprised. Can anyone say budget cuts!

Research reveals that health is more important than money. If we want a better learning environment for our students, we should start by improving their health.

It starts with a priority. It starts with an appropriate budget.

It starts with an understanding amongst the Franklin voters about what the school requirements are, what we provide today, and what we should provide.

A day of silence

Monday, September 10, 2007

Advent series

A post on Joyful Jubilant Learning stirred a memory.
The comment stirred a conversation.
The conversation stirred some digging into my hand and typewritten archives (pre-computer days).

Now the Advent series of poems I had written, once per year for seven years running will see the light of day.

I find it interesting re-reading them again after so long a time.
Maybe you will too.

I guess I had stopped after my mother passed away in 1983.
That may not have been the only reason but it sticks out prominently now.

I was younger then, but I won't be any younger than I am now.

You'll find the Advent poems on my poetry blog.

This Advent
Advent II
Advent III
Advent IV
Advent V
Advent VI
Advent VII

PodCamp Schedule

If you can't make it to Boston, there are other PodCamps happening around. For example:

Check out the full schedule for PodCamp here.

And of course, if there is not one close enough to your base of operations, you can always get together with some fellow bloggers, podcasters, video bloggers, etc. and create one of your own!

Shipwreck Casserole

A recipe that has been in the family for sometime turns out to be quite popular, at least according to Google there are dozens of hits for the terms "shipwreck casserole".

Dolores and I are settling back into our "school routine". She teaches kindergarten and does a bunch of prep work on the weekends, so I do the food shopping and major meal cooking. We did swordfish on the grill Sunday night and were discussing the week's schedule over dinner. Shipwreck casserole was planned for Monday and whomever got home first would put it together. As we double checked the recipe we realized it would require 1 1/2 hours cook time. So depending when we got home, we could be eating late.

I decided to prepare it after cleaning the dishes tonight to allow us to get ahead of the curve. After I completed it and sat to write, a sherku popped up and then I went a "googling" as mentioned when this started.

Here is our version (our modifications are referenced at the end) of Shipwreck casserole


1 lb ground beef
4 small potatoes
1 small onion chopped
1 small can baked beans
1/2 cup shredded cheese
1 can condensed tomato soup

brown beef, line bottom of baking dish
add chopped onions
peel and slice potatoes thinly
add potatoes to baking dish on top of onions
add shredded cheese
then baked beans and finally top with tomato soup

cover securely with tinfoil, bake for 1.5 hours at 350 degrees F


I prefer to saute the onions with a little oil and add the beef to the frying pan to cook together
Usually we will substitute ground turkey for the beef

when comparing the cooking time on the other recipes, this can be done quicker (1.5 hours) as the beef (or turkey) is already pre-cooked. The casserole is really only cooking the potatoes in the steam created by the liquids under the cover of the tin foil.


Sunday, September 09, 2007

Franklin: Where am I? #7

Franklin: Where am I? #7, originally uploaded by shersteve.

Guidelines for how to play the "Where am I?" game can be found here.


Franklin: Where am I? Answer 6

Franklin: Where am I? Answer 6, originally uploaded by shersteve.

You were quick today Ken Norman. Thanks for identifying Dacey's Market on Lincoln Street.

Stay tuned I have a new picture coming up shortly.

Franklin: Where am I? #6

Franklin: Where am I? #6, originally uploaded by shersteve.

The guidelines to play are found here.

Have fun playing!

Franklin: Where am I? Answer #5

Franklin: Where am I? Answer #5, originally uploaded by shersteve.

The first picture clue showed the front door.

The second picture clue showed the side door from the parking lot.

Ken Norman correctly identified the picture as the Union St Grill. Congratulations, Ken!

Stay tuned for #6 coming shortly.

Thanks to all for viewing and playing!

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Good experience: Corner Office

Franklin: Corner Office, originally uploaded by shersteve.

Construction on the new building is moving along. They are raising the third floor as I come by this weekend.

This corner office will be nice. Two windows, good view.

Do you have plans for a corner office?

How are you going to get there?

Franklin: King St flowers

Franklin: King St flowers, originally uploaded by shersteve.

The grass is browning in the background but that doesn't matter. These flowers are seeking the sun light and sharing their color.

Turco Makes a Difference at Barnstable

Coach Turco and the girl's volleyball team at Barnstable High School are featured in a Boston Globe article today. I used this article to contribute to this month's theme "Make a Difference" at the Joyful Jubilant Learning blog.

You can click over to read the full post here.

Everything is Music - Kris Delmhorst

Kris Delmhorst did not sing this song on Friday night but she sang so well I picked up one album. Now that I know this is derived from Rumi, I wish she had. I am listening to the wonderful lyrics, marveling at how she did what she did.

Everything is Music
lyrics adapted from Rumi, "Where Everything Is Music"

We've come to the place where everything is music
Everything is music, let it play.

Why do you stay in jail when the door is wide open?
Let the beauty that you love be what you do.

Stop talking now, open up the window
The one right there in the middle of your heart
Give us your hands, sit down in this circle
You know you got no need to keep yourself apart

Today you wake up sad and empty, don't go back to sleep.
There's a million ways to kneel and kiss the ground.

Don't worry now, about saving all these songs,
There's so many more just waiting to be found.
And if all these instruments should disappear
We would still hear something coming up from way down in the ground

Because we've come to the place where everything is music
Everything is music, let it play.

Galuppi Baldassare - Kris Delmhorst

Kris Delmhorst sang this Friday night. I picked up the album and am listening to the wonderful lyrics, marveling at how she did what she did. "Some of the poems are set verbatim to music, some dismantled and reassembled in significantly new renditions, others merely used as the jumping-off point for Delmhorst's own literate lyrical take."

For more background check out here and here (the original poem by Robert Browning)

Galuppi Baldassare

Oh Galuppi Baldassare, though I never knew your name,
it’s thanks to Mr. Browning you are with us just the same.
Thanks to Mr. Browning, blowing on the flame…

Well here you come with your old music, and here’s all the good it brings-
you say they lived like this in Venice when the merchants were the kings,
and though I never left old Boston, still you showed me everything

Did the young folks take their pleasure? Was the ocean warm in May?
Did the parties start at midnight, did they roll until midday?
And did the ladies bloom like bellflowers, every time you’d start to play?

Well I bet that they all loved you, I bet they stood around and cheered,
saying “that’s what I call music, good for joy and good for tears,
now let’s stop all this talking, and let it fill our ears.”

And the minor third so bitter, the six chord like a sigh,
suspension, solution, asking must we die, must we die must we die?
And the seventh says well fellas, life might not last, but we can try…

So were you happy? I was happy. You still happy? Yes, and you?
Then more kisses! Why’d we stop them, when a million seemed so few?
There’s something in that music, lord it must be answered to.

Then they left you for their fortune, in due time one by one.
Some had lives that came to nothing, some did things they’d better not have done,
and then death stepped up and took em where they’ll never see the sun…

Oh but you you ghostly cricket, singing where the house has burned,
‘dust and ashes, dead and done with, Venice spent what Venice earned,’
but what’s left behind I wonder, when the kissing has adjourned?

‘Dust and ashes,’ so you tell me, and I cannot say you’re wrong,
still those dear dead dancing ladies with their hair so soft and long
stir a little in their slumber, every time we play your song.

‘Cause the minor third’s still bitter, the six chord makes us sigh,
suspension, solution, asking must we die, must we also die?
And the seventh still says well, life might not last, but we can try…

People Look Around - Catie Curtis

Follow this link to Catie Curtis' web page, where she has posted a video of her song "People Look Around".

She did this for us at the Ride Far concert Friday night.

Passing Through

I got to hear Catie Curtis and Kris Delmhorst at the Circle of Friends Coffeehouse Friday night as part of the Ride Far Benefit Concert. There were many good songs, melodies and lyrics to hear. I really love the lyrics in this one from Catie Curtis!

from the album Long Night Moon

We are passing this world on to our kids
From the day when they climb from their cribs
We'll try and teach them well, show them that they're loved
But in the end all we can do is hope our best was good enough
They'll witness how this life can be so beautiful and cruel
We can't shelter them forever but if we show them all the tools
They might leave this world in a little better shape than me and you
We are only passing through

Passing through, passing through
We are only passing through
Passing through, passing through
We are only passing through

We are watching this world from our living rooms
Near forty years since we walked on the moon
This big blue ball is shrinking and I don't know if that's good
But for better or for worse now this whole world's our neighborhood
And there's no place left to run to, to stay above the fray
We better learn to get along not just to get our way
Not only for each other but our children's children too
We are only passing through

Passing through, passing through
We are only passing through
Passing through, passing through
We are only passing through

And I wonder sometimes what will I pass on
How much can one voice do with just a song
Sometimes injustice and indifference are all that I see
But I refuse to let my hope become the latest casualty
So I'll sing of love and truth and try to practice what I preach
If I can't change the world, I'll change the world within my reach
What better place to start than here and now with me and you
We are only passing through

Passing through, passing through
We are only passing through
Passing through, passing through
We are only passing through
We are only passing through

words and music by Mark Erelli and Catie Curtis c2006

Friday, September 07, 2007

PodCamp Boston 2 - fund raising

PodCamp Boston, isn't that an unconference?


Isn't it free?


Why is PodCamp looking for money then?

Recall the economic adage: TANSTAFL? There ain't no such thing as a free lunch! Someone still need to pay.

What do we need to provide for?

Well, here’s what. First, the venue is paid for by VON - thank you to Jeff Pulver and the VON conference for their venue sponsorship valued at $50,000. The only reason PodCamp can be held at the Boston Convention and Expo Center is due to their generosity. However, their sponsorship covers the venue and insurance, but we still need to bring in money for things like Internet access ($3,500 PER LINE), electrical outlets (yes, venues like the BCEC charge per outlet), plus amenities like shirts, etc.

So if you can afford to donate some amount to help this gathering or to help sponsor the conference, please click here

Thank you!

Statue for Museum

For her winning bid, Billig submitted four ideas. The one chosen by the committee features a 12-year-old boy - modeled after several acquaintances since her grandsons are now too old or too young - sitting on a pile of library books while reading from a single volume. The boy wears overalls, work boots and a buttoned-up shirt and waves a straw hat in the air. At his feet, a shaggy dog stands on its hind legs.
In giving the sculptor guidance, Piana said she and the committee members wanted the work to be inviting and universal, rather than an imposing facsimile of a specific figure from the town's past, such as the bronze Benjamin Franklin statue on the library's steps.

"We want children to really go up,'' she said of the boy and dog work.

The sculpture is being paid for with a $40,000 state grant secured in last year's budget by state Rep. James Vallee, D-Franklin, with some of those funds also used for new town welcome signs, holiday decorations, and trash and recycling bins.

When the senior center moves to a new location on Daniel McCahill Way this fall, its old site will be landscaped and its old structure inspected before the museum takes over.
Read more in Michael Morton's article in the Milford Daily News

I think it is a good idea to bring the museum downtown to generate some traffic. I look forward to visiting and learning more about Franklin.

Franklin Teachers approve contract

Michael Morton's article in today's Milford Daily News provides the details.

As a former teacher and husband of a Franklin teacher, I think they got the best deal for today. I agree that teachers overall are undervalued but correcting that situation is not possible given the Franklin financial situation.