Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The tax man prepareth

Yea, and the time of year came for the tax man to prepareth to file
and he was busy about the filing and calculations
and FAFSA forms, and the like, and hence his blogging was limited

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Owen and Mzee - Read Across America Week

As mentioned here, Dolores read the story of Owen and Mzee to her kindergarten friends on Monday. In this photo, the class was attentive.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Live Blogging at Beyond Broadcast 2007

After some technical difficulties were resolved here at MIT, the internet is now available.

Henry Jenkins gave the keynote, John Palfrey gave a brief but informative presentation using a MindMap.

There is a panel discussion underway with three people in the room and a fourth connected via video chat session from LA. (details and names to follow later)

Cool stuff, very exciting!

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Friday, February 23, 2007

Bob Quotes & Links

From Robert Brady writing at Pureland Mountain comes this gem of imagination on the folks who put together Stonehedge about the same time that the pyramids were built.
In Egypt they had a pharaoh and slaves, so a series of wiggy pharaohs with many thousands of free laborers goes a long way toward explaining the pyramids and other mega-items (though it doesn't answer the question that kick-started this ramble). But in the case of Stonehenge, all you've got is a bunch of farmers, herders and warriors - there weren't many career alternatives available in those days - doing their farming, herding and warring, when suddenly one of their number jumps up and says: I've got a fantastic idea, let's do more than just dig a huge circular ditch for a thousand years—why don't a bunch of us just drop whatever it is we're doing and trek as far as 240 miles, to what will one day be called Wales, chip out a four-ton slab of rock over X number of years, using our stone tools - or your bronze tools, if you want to ruin them - then for a few more years roll the big rock slab back here, all at no salary. Waddaya think: sound like fun, or what?
Read Robert's full posting here.

From Robert Fulghum writing at his blog comes this gem on what we call home:

“Where’s home for you?”

An innocent enough question. Often asked in the early stages of a new acquaintance, especially when traveling. Usual meanings: Where do you live now? Where did you grow up? Where do you come from?

In an age of nomadic existence when many of us have moved often, the answer is usually not what’s in the place on an official form for “Place of Birth.” Shift the question to “Where would you go if you were required to go home?” Or ask, “Where do you feel most at home?” Sometimes an answer lies in “Where do you want to be buried when you die?” A final home.

There are many ways of being home. One is never to leave it. I think of those people I grew up with who still live in the same town I left long ago.

Read Robert's full posting here.

From Robert Peake writing at Reputation in Poetry talks about attention and exposure:

Poetry is a profoundly intimate art. We demand the full attention of our listeners on something as complex and undecorated as words. No backing music, no other channel to flip to while the commercials are on. We make every word tell because it has to - because with a captive audience comes a lot of responsibility. Just calling a piece of writing a poem ups the ante considerably on both sides.

When a poet I really trust and whose work I really admire starts reading their poems, I take off my skin. I turn up my antennae. And if in that fully exposed state they take advantage of me or worse just let words fall flat, I go away almost wounded. The dial drops a notch on how much I can trust them with my most vulnerable self, the rare and precious commodity of my full attention. This constant unconscious fiddling with rating knobs in our psyche is reputation.
Read Robert's full posting here.

Just because we have been bob, bob, bobbing along doesn't mean we have spring on our minds does it?

Thursday, February 22, 2007

College hoopla

Took my father to the Providence College game on Tuesday evening against West Virgina. A tight game. The Friars were down 6 at the half. West Virginia was 18-1 when leading at the half. The picture shows a WV player at the free throw line. 9.1 seconds on the clock PC leading 62-60. He made the first, missed the second but WV got the rebound and the ball. Ended up turning it over, PC worked the ball against the press to ultimately score an easy layup to finish 64-61.

Dad enjoyed the game. He is a long time Friar fan and for many years had season tickets with his brothers. Any home game, the Sherlock brothers could be counted on to be there. Two have now passed away. To get to a game is more of a treat now. Twice this month we went, both times we saw them win a close one. The previous game, the Friars were down 6 with a minute to go and won by a point at the buzzer. As we were leaving Tuesday night, Dad said that they should start paying us to go since the two times we have been there they have won. Not a bad idea.

Go Friars!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

How many dimensions are there?

Via one of my newsletters, I find this cool link explaining the 10th dimensions.

Now, wait a minute? I have heard of the 10 kingdoms (one of my daughters favorite movies) but I thought there were only four dimensions?

I guess there are more than 4!

Use the side Navigation to view the 11 minute video "Imagining the 10th Dimensions"

The author, Rob Bryanton, has his own blog; Imagining the 10th Dimensions

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Coming to Chicago in May

Take Your Blogging to the Next Level

A Relationship Bloggers' Conference and Networking Event

Community, Friday, May 11, 2007, 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM
  • Christine Kane, popular guitarist, singer, blogger LIVE
  • Open Mic Night Cocktail Party – Live community event (multiple microphones) Take the conversation out of the comment box!

Speakers, Saturday, May 12, 2007, 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Is Qumana back?

Found a new version of Qumana that is supposed to work with Blogger again. It used to do very well until the new Blogger came along and then Qumana broke.

Test posting

BTW - If you can read this, the test post must have worked.

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Captcha challenge

all can win at this one, everyone can play

When you see a captcha, translate the letters using each letter as the first letter to a word to make a sentence or series of phrases. You can count bonus points if you work in the numbers (found on some blogs)

for some samples:

Be succinct. Pursue clarity. Evoke value. Give beauty.

husk quietly yellow food (cheated somewhat on that one)

seek enjoy tell all around

some people play with others

Let Go (of) TV More

pretty please, good gruel to night

Thanks to Rosa Say for creating/inspiring this.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Reading & Listening

Christina captures this wonderfully:
Sometimes when I walk in the woods behind my house, I realize after it is already too late that I have walked through a spider’s web spanning the seven or eight feet of path; tiny gossamer threads invisible to me until I feel them. Long after I’ve continued on, I’m still brushing away the sticky threads that linger, clinging to my cheek or hair. Reading is like this for me. A line, a character, a scene, small fragments of the prose I’ve read remain in my mind long after I’ve put the book aside. Annie Dilliard’s essay “Total Eclipse” is like this. Though the first time I read it was nearly ten years ago, I still get caught in its imagery: I cannot imagine an eclipse without imagining hers.
Read Christina's full posting here.

Bum Rush the Charts

This audacious enough and just might work.

How will it work?

Read the details here.

How can you do your share?

Spread the word! The more the merrier!

Mark your calendar for March 22nd!

Thanks to Chris Brogan for the link to Christopher Penn.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Refrigerator Magnet Challenge

Refrigerator Magnets
Originally uploaded by shersteve.
Back in November, after the new refrigerator came in, we finally got around to putting the magnets back on. Then I mentioned that the girls when they came home for Thanksgiving had re-arranged them.

Who knew some of them had to be in a specific place?

I was supposed to take a new picture but you know, one thing lead to another.... Well anyway, I had the camera ready and finally took a new photo.

A couple have been added since then but this is what they are ordered as now.

If you can identify two new magnets, and two moved magnets, I provide some link love to your blog (assuming you have one).


(1) Make a copy of this Flickr photo, (2) use the note feature to reference the two new and two moved magnets. (3) Send the link to your noted picture via email to me.

Entries due by midnight 2/23/07. Family members excluded from this activity. (Hey, it is only fair Allison and Carolyn. But you can help me judge the winners!)

New - magnet was not on the 11/19/06 photo as posted on Steve's 2 Cents.
Moved - magnet is in a difference position compared to the 11/19/06 photo as noted above.

Good Luck!

Note - It is highly likely there will be multiple winners. There will be no differentiation amongst place. If you qualify, you win "link love".

Friday, February 16, 2007

Elder Story Teller

Ronni Bennett, elder blogger extraordinare, has come up with a great idea.

Elder Story Teller.

Those of us 50 or more years old, writing from our life experience in 750 words or less would post to this new elder blog. It is still early in the development, details remain to be finalized. I chimed in to comment as follows:

Great idea Ronni. We do all have stories to tell. Some of us are more adept at telling them but this would give us all an opportunity to practice.

I would not be concerned about the competitive aspects of this. I don't care about winning any awards. I would rather share a story that starts someone else's memory so they in turn get inspired to share... and the cycle would go ever on.

There are lots of pluses for this. I will start digging into my own archives for stories to tell.

Do you have a story to tell?

Thursday, February 15, 2007

To the heart joined

How do you get there?

I have been successful with my cooking.
Dolores loves to have me cook for us.

The food needs to be served HOT.
The vegetables done just right.
The swordfish or salmon so it can flake apart with a fork.
The beef steak medium, nicely pink in the middle.

I tried a new baked scallop recipe for Valentine's Day. Fortunately, everything came out very nicely done. She lit the candle on the table while I served the scallops, rice pilaf, with green peas and carrots. Elton John's Love Songs CD on for background music.

The recipe should you feel inspired to try it:

1 pound bay or sea scallops, quartered
2 tablespoons dry white wine or sherry
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 cup half and half
1/2 cup bread crumbs, plain
2 tablespoons melted margarine

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F
Mix wine, lemon juice, salt and pepper in shallow baking dish. Stir in scallops. Add half and half and stir. Mix bread crumbs with melted margarine in a small bowl. Sprinkle scallops with bread crumb mixture. Bake until scallops are done, mixture is bubbly and crumbs are browned (approx. 15 minutes).

Steve's modifications:

I used a mixing bowl to combine the wine, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Then added the scallops to mix them in. I doled out the scallops equally over four individual baking dishes.

We did not have plain bread crumbs so we used the Italian style that we had handy. If we had used plain, we probably would have want to spice it up a bit and the Italian style did that.

A winning combination with a just reward.

I can't guarantee you'll get the same reward but it is worth a try.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day

To all the readers of this page, thank you for stopping by. I hope you find something worthwhile and will consider coming back.

To all the commentees of this page, thank you, thank you, thank you! I love the conversation we create. I look forward to our continued conversation, this is what makes the world possible.

If you have not already listened (and or read) the Fire Circle Story, today might be the day to do so. Then you can fully join the circle and continue to spread the word. Interaction makes the world go round!

The Fire Circle Story can be found here (just over 7 minutes).

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Dolores, Happy Valentine's Day

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Franklin Station - Photo Essay

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Franklin Station - disembarking

Franklin Station 3
Originally uploaded by shersteve.
No time for more photos, got to meet Carolyn.

Franklin Station

Franklin Station
Originally uploaded by shersteve.
Waiting for the train. Bright sunshine. No one around. What day is this? It is a Sunday, just after noon. The parking lot is empty. Completely different from what will be happening during the week.

The parking lot fills up rapidly in the morning. The 5:45 and then the 6:22 train leaves with maybe a few parking spots left for those arriving for the 6:42 train to take them into Boston.

I take the 6:22 leaving the station in the dark and arriving back also when it is dark, at least during the winter. It is a good day, when you can get back and there is still sunlight.

What was I doing Sunday at the station? Meeting my daughter Carolyn, coming out of Boston via the train, to take her to her cousin Oliver's Eagle Scout ceremony on Sunday.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Welcome Jewel Fans!

Thanks for coming by to find what I have written and recorded from Jewel's free concert at Boston's South Station on Friday 2/9/07.

To help make it easier to find the individual posts, I have created a summary and put it in the left column.

The Jewel Concert Collection


Jewel - South Station Concert

Jewel sings "Save Your Soul" in this recording captured during her free concert at South Station on Friday, 2/9/07.

In answer to a comenters request: Enjoy!

Time -> 00:05:40

Sunday Picture - Cupboard Surprise

Originally uploaded by shersteve.
Bob Dylan sings:

Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don't criticize
What you can't understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is
Rapidly agin'.
Please get out of the new one
If you can't lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin'.

Of the many things this verse speaks to; one is that while the girls are away, and Dolores and I enjoy the "empty nest" atmosphere that the house now has, the girls are not really "too far" away. There are enough pictures around on the walls and even in the cupboard to surprise you with a view to happy moments in time.

The second thing the verse says to me today is a reinforcement of continuing to learn, share, and collaborate in order to fully participate in this world as we go forward. So don't just sit there (if you are), do something to lend a hand.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Proud Eagle Scout

Originally uploaded by shersteve.
Oliver has reason to be proud, reaching Eagle Scout is a significant achievement. He is the first in Gerald's clan to do so.

The ceremony was this afternoon. It was long enough some of the attendees were wondering if it qualified for a merit badge? Just kidding!

Congratulations Oliver!

Note: Oliver has his grandfather (my father), Gerald, to his right and his mother (my sister), Patti, to his left.

Hey, who are those guys?

Since this is Steve's 2 Cents, and the point of blogging is to create a conversation, why not show what it looks like to talk to yourself on a cold Franklin morning?

Your feedback is very much appreciated.

If this doesn't work for you, we'll try again.

Jewel Concert Photo Timeline

Jewel Concert Photo Timeline
Originally uploaded by shersteve.
Some photos of the free Friday night concert at South Station as the time approach:
the sound check was made,
the crowd gathers,
more people arrive,
its time,
the people almost fill the station,
Candy O'Terry (local radio host) introduces Jewel,
and Jewel performs.

1. Jewel_SouthSta 1, 2. Jewel_SouthSta 5, 3. Jewel_SouthSta 3, 4. Jewel_SouthSta 2, 5. Jewel_SouthSta 4, 6. Jewel_SouthSta 6, 7. Waiting for Jewel at SouthStation, 8. Jewel_SouthSta 7, 9. Jewel at SouthStation, 10. Jewel_SouthSta 9

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Jewel - Standing Still

Jewel's sang this as the second song in her free concert at South Station on Friday 2/9/07.

Time 4 minutes

Jewel - Yodeling

Jewel's free concert at South Station Boston included this yodeling sample. She says in the intro that this was the first song she learned to sing.

Time just over 2 minutes

Friday, February 09, 2007

Jewel at SouthStation

Jewel at SouthStation
Originally uploaded by shersteve.
It was a special treat to hear Jewel perform for free at South Station. She did nine songs with some good stories to introduce a couple taking about 45 minutes total on stage.

I managed to record most of it and will have some clips available later.

As a regular commuter into South Station, it has been a destination and throughway for me for many years. To hear Jewel yodel in the cavernous main hall tonight will be something I'll remember for quite some time.

The large crowd was well behaved and very appreciative of the performance.

Thanks Jewel! Thanks Verizon Yellow pages.

Waiting for Jewel at SouthStation

Yes, there was quite a crowd gathering and waiting for Jewel to play here free concert Friday night at South Station in Boston.

It was a treat to hear her in this place.

More pictures to follow.

South Station - 24 Hours before Jewel

7:00 PM Thursday, February 8th.

24 hours before Jewel appears here for a free concert.

A group of maintenance workers are just finishing moving the chairs and tables from the center of the main hall to the side along the ticket counters.

Glenlivet posters hang from the ceiling beams and along the walls.

Martin's News Shop is selling today's paper, magazines, bottled drinks, and lottery tickets. The line ebbs and flows.

The crowd in the station builds waiting for the next train. The call for the 7:10 Needham line starts a movement of a bunch of folks towards the doorways and towards the track that contains the train that will take them home.

Those remaining look up at the schedule board. Hopeful that their train will get called soon so they too will be on their way.

The tables arranged in the space in front of the Amtrak schedule board and the commuter rail schedule board have 2 or 3 chairs each but are mostly occupied by one individual.

Book in hand, the traveler turns pages to another world.

Phone in hand, the traveler calls and converses with one person after another in another place.

The heels on the cement floor click and echo as the lady walks by.

As the announcement of the final call for the 7:10 Needham train, some few start to scurry towards the door hopeful of making the train and avoiding having to wait more than an hour for the next one.

The commuter schedule thins out after 6:00 PM. The trains are less frequent until they come to a stop all together around midnight.

As the Needham train leaves the station, the board goes into motion. Click, clicking until the Needham train info is replaced by blanks. There is only one train left on the schedule in the first of three columns across the board. As this one leaves, the board will get into major motion as the trains listed in the other two columns move over gradually filling in the first two columns and leaving the third one blank. The click, click has a rhythm all its own. Eventually the board will get replaced with newer digital technology. The sound will remain. A digital version of the clicking will carry forward for future travelers on the commuter rail.

Providence, Worcester, Kingston, Stoughton, Franklin, Middleboro...

Thursday, February 08, 2007

About time, Franklin

The new superintendent for the Franklin School Dept Wayne Ogden, is using the kind of terminology I like and think will work well to describe the problem we have had here in Franklin.

To recap, in case you weren't aware:
  • A growing community.
  • School population increases every year. (PDF)
  • Budget cuts every year.
  • Service cuts every year.
  • Previous administrations were guilty of mismanagement.
  • Previous Town Councils were just as bad.
  • The population does not trust the numbers.

I don't blame them.

He is describing the problem using "level funded" and "level service" to refer to the budget. Effectively under a level funded budget, you will have to cut something when faced with an increase in students or other fixed costs (i.e. teacher salaries). With a level service budget, there would be an increase for that same scenario but you would be providing the same level of service to the students this year as you did last year.

We need to understand these two concepts. We need to determine if we want to maintain or increase our service, with an increase in population, there will be an increase in the cost.

Money does not grow on trees or appear automatically at an ATM machine. I fully understand that. Hence the need for a real comprehension of the issue and a real decision based upon what we need to provide for our children who will help to determine our countries future.

Read Superintendent Ogden's monthly newsletter here (PDF).

Explore the Superintendent's page.
Become familiar with the Franklin school district information.

I think there should also be a listing of the program changes reflecting what the budget cuts have done to the instruction provided to the students; like, reducing instruction in foreign language, reduction in supplies for the classroom, increases in fees for school activities, school trips completely funded by PCC fund raising efforts, etc.

Disclosure: In case you are new to this blog and are not aware, my two daughters are products of the Franklin School system and both are now doing well in college. My wife, Dolores is teaching kindergarten here in Franklin. I started teaching and coaching in RI schools before changing professions and companies.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

The times they are a-changing

Come gather 'round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You'll be drenched to the bone.
If your time to you
Is worth savin'
Then you better start swimmin'
Or you'll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin'.

Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won't come again
And don't speak too soon
For the wheel's still in spin
And there's no tellin' who
That it's namin'.
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin'.

Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don't stand in the doorway
Don't block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There's a battle outside
And it is ragin'.
It'll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin'.

Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don't criticize
What you can't understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is
Rapidly agin'.
Please get out of the new one
If you can't lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin'.

The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is
Rapidly fadin'.
And the first one now
Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin'.

So Bob Dylan wrote in 1963 and sings with meaning for today.


Seems to be...

Read, Write, Share

It used to be "readin, 'ritin, and 'rithmetic". That was the old school way. Math is still important but I think sharing and collaboration are more so.

The Love Affair with Books has moved from Rosa Say's Talking Story to the Joyful Jubilant Learning blog.

I have reserved my spot in this line up. I will expand upon the teaser quotes I have been leaving around to do a full review of This is Your Brain on Music, The Science of Human Obsession by Daniel Levitin

If you would like a spot, feel free to click over and sign up.

Read, write, and SHARE!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The only way

I heard Ellis Paul sing this chorus but the lyrics are actually written by Mark Erelli.
So I'm gonna love
I'm gonna believe
I'm still gonna dream
I'm gonna roll up my sleeves
Give everything until I've nothing left to give
That's the only way that I know how to live

Monday, February 05, 2007

This Web 2.0 Thing Explained

I posted this yesterday on the Joyful Jubilant Learning blog, but is it well worth cross posting here.

It takes about 5 minutes and tells the story very well.


Found via Will Richardson writing at Weblogg-ed

The water buffalo movie

Via Will Richardson writing at Weblogg-ed I find this wonderful story.

Click through, be moved by the story and admire the production.

Sunday, February 04, 2007


Originally uploaded by shersteve.
No moon shadow to dance to this morning. It is setting quickly as the sun rises over my shoulder to the east.

It is a cold, clear, wonderful morning here in Franklin today.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

The terrorists have won, or let's find a better way

We can concede that the terrorists have won.

After 9/11/2001, we found out that what has been occasionally happened in far away places, can indeed happen in our home land. The violence in Ireland, the Middle East, Africa and other locations had hit home.

After the Spain train bombing, we lost the ability to use the trash containers on the commuter lines. Now, and until the MBTA comes up with signage similar to the "carry in/carry out" campaign at national parks, we travel in train cars sometimes resembling a dump.

After the London bombing, we get more frequent delays due to dog searches of the train. We get unexpected bag searches. We get longer commute times.

With the recent Boston scare, we get an additional dose of Froth, fear, fury. We get a generational gap exploited. And the analysis and repercussions have not fully run there course.

Is this the way we want to live? I think not.

We need to do something different folks.

Let's step back. Chill out a bit and think about how we can do this a little better.

Let's try to keep some dignity and civil conversation amongst us without getting at each others throats. That is really what the terrorists want. Saves them some effort.