Sunday, August 31, 2008

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Rapid Fire Learning - 8 for August

Since I was one who boldly suggested that instead of 5, we go for 8 rapid fire learnings this month, to continue the theme of 8 for this month at JJL, I need to follow through.

I say, better a little late than not at all. Learning did occur all through the month so here we go.

1 - My new favorite quote:

"I think daydreaming is a distinctive mode of cognition especially well suited to the complex, 'fuzzy' problems that characterize a more turbulent business environment. ... Daydreaming is an effective way of coping with complexity. When a problem has a high degree of complexity, the level of detail can be overwhelming. The more one focuses on the details, the more one risks being lost in them. ... Every child knows how to daydream. But many, perhaps most, lose the capacity as they grow up. ..." Dov Frohman - Leadership the Hard Way

I found the quote. It caused me to find the book. I did receive the book this week and am almost through it already. It is a good and quick read. You'll hear more about this one from me after I finish it.

2 - Patience or the devil is in the details. I had the opportunity to talk with Patti Digh this week to prepare my entry in her Blog Book Tour coming up in September. She will be celebrating the publication of her book "Life is a Verb". I recorded our conversation. The conversation was wonderful, it flowed magically and we covered a lot of ground in about 25 minutes. As I listened to the recording, I was horrified to find that the software had not synchronized the conversation properly and it sounded like we were stepping over each others words. Some digging through the online support guide, revealed this was a known problem. Turns out you should only sart recording after the conversation has started. I, eager to record and not miss a single word, had started with the first ring of the phone. Patti was so gracious to do another take. This one you'll be able to listen to beginning Sep 15. Unfortunately, this one is still not perfect. The synch problem returns during the last few minutes. With a caution up front, I believe most folks will enjoy the conversation and chuckle at the unsynched closing. That is my hope! We'll see.

3 - The Superintendent of the Franklin School Department resigned this week. His resignation is effective June 30, 2009. This would be completing the third year of his five year contract. He cited the failed override as the major reason for his notice. Some town folks have called him a quiter. I do not agree with them. I understand where he is coming from. He has a choice where to work. He made his choice to come here. We were a high performing district. Now, he is making his choice to leave. His move is quite courageous and generous. He will work through this year. Provide Franklin time to find someone new. Provide time for himself to find something new. The Frankln voters unfortunately do not understand what is required to fund our school system. Maybe his move will be a wake up call.

Articles from Franklin Matters covering this topic:
4 - The Joyal Family held a reunion early this month. It rained on us but that did not stop a whole lot of good conversations. This is my mother's side of the family. We need to keep this event happening. The family had been spending time getting together for funerals (Nov 07, Apr 08) and unfortunately, 2 weeks after the reunion gathered for a 3rd funeral. Pictures of the reunion can be found on Jerry's Story.

5 - Dolores and I spent several days exploring and learning about Gettysburg. The importance of controlling the high ground. The importance of having good artillery. The importance of good communications. All these points were made clear during the week.

To summarize, a sherku: Gettysburg 2008

seven score and five years
later these hallowed grounds
still yield awesome stories

originally posted on quiet poet

6 - I have always wanted to go to the end of the rainbow, if not over the rainbow. Yes, this takes me back to the Wizard of Oz and those glorious memories. Well coming home from Gettysburg, I not only got a picture of the end of a rainbow (actually Dolores took it for us), but we drove through the rainbow!

7 - I can't go through 8 without acknowledging all the wonderful learning that has taken place on the Joyful Jubilant Learning blog as we explored 8 this month. Have you gone to visit yet? Good. I am glad. What? You haven't yet. Well, you have permission to click right over there now and start learning about 8.

8 - And last but not least, a reminder to tune in at noontime on Tuesday Sep 2nd to help celebrate the launch of Patti Digh's book, "Life is a Verb".

This is really a place holder for other items I did learn during the conversation Patti and I had this week but you'll need to wait until Sep 15th to listen for yourself.

Sorry. In the meantime, please practice patience.

What did you learn this month?

Friday, August 29, 2008

5 for Friday

Another week has passed so quickly, I have at least five items to share with you:

1 - From Robert Fulgham
But I can hear the voice of my mother, “When they change the length of inches you can have a new ruler.”
Read his full posting here.

2 - From
Peter Hagopian at InformationWeek
Zoho, a provider of hosted productivity applications, last week introduced Zoho Share. Zoho Share addresses a long-standing user community pet peeve by bringing the documents and files created across Zoho's online applications into one interface which can be shared with other users, and, longer-term, within an organization.
Read Peter's full posting of the latest from Zoho here

3 - From John Palfrey and Urs Gasser
The first generation of “Digital Natives” – children who were born into and raised in the digital world – are coming of age, and soon our world will be reshaped in their image. Our economy, our politics, our culture and even the shape of our family life will be forever transformed. But who are these Digital Natives?
Read about their new book "Born Digital"

4 - Michael Greene talks with Ray Kurzweil and reveals this future
Greene: Do you see video communication as an area that can also expand seniors' accessibility?

Kurzweil: I think in the next decade, the teen years, we'll be routinely visiting with each other like you and I are doing now in real reality, even if we're hundreds of miles apart and not just as a grainy postage stamp sized video conferencing image on your screen but as a full immersion experience where we really seem to be with the other person. It will be a full immersion visual and auditory virtual reality. We'll have images beamed into our retinas from our eyeglasses. We'll be online all the time. The electronics will be woven into our clothing and in our belt buckles and we'll routinely be visiting with other people in these full immersion environments.

We'll have augmented reality so we'll see real reality but there will be an overlay of virtual reality on top of that helping guide us through the real world. It will direct us inside and outside, not with a navigation system on a small screen that we carry in our palm, but one that's actually built into our field of view. We'll look at a person and it will remind us who they are and give us background about them. That will be very helpful. I mean how many times are you at a cocktail party where you see someone and think you know who they are but you're not quite sure. It would be great get that confirmed and we will have technology like that. It'll help the elderly but it will help all of us. You don't have to be 80 years old to have a senior moment.

Can I put my order in for one of those now, please!

Read the full interview here.

5 - In light of this future vision, what can you add to Terry's call to action:
We must be careful. We must heed the danger. We need to draw our lines in the sand as to what’s a proper balance of “plugged” and “unplugged”.
Read Terry's full posting here

Finagle a booh?

Finagle a booh?
Seeing the Hood milk bottle reflected gave me a photo op!

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Ominous clouds

Clouds ominous on the horizon this morning in Franklin. The future is in our hands.
What are you going to do today to help make it better?

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

ballast while waiting

do you carry any ballast?

Sitting, waiting, stuck train ahead of us needs to be moved before we can proceed.

Noticed the weight on the pole outside the window, keeping the pole upright and wires taunt overhead.

What keeps you upright?

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Good opportunity 9/16/08

1 - If you appreciate the quality of this video clip from TED featuring Anna Deveare Smith:

2 - and will be in Boston (Cambridge actually) check out Sooz' page for more details on the good opportunity coming Tuesday evening, 9/16/08.

Monday, August 25, 2008

I'm a Confident Writer - Are you?

Joanna, has just moved. To an island off the lovely coast of Scotland. Moving is always a challenge, so many details. Where did that go? What box is that in?

One of the benefits of the internet these days, is that Google (or you favorite search engine) can help you find things. Like the link to Joanna's website.

You don't need to worry about misplacing it during a move.
You don't need to worry about where you put it.

You can google Joanna and jump on over to read more good advice on being a confident writer!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

In the Globe: High School Sports fees

By Lisa Kocian and Brian Benson Globe Staff and Globe Correspondent / August 24, 2008

Mark and Monica Juitt's son and daughter both go to Ashland High School, and both play sports. Between them, Nina and Tim Juitt will participate on five teams this year.

Last year, their activities would have cost the family $650 in sports fees. But this year, the school district has raised the fees and eliminated a cap on how much a family has to pay, and the Juitts are facing a bill for $1,353.

"It's a lot of money," said Monica Juitt. To offset the cost, she will not pay the bus fee, about $280 per student, and will instead drive her children to school, she said.

Read the full article in the Boston Globe here.

It is too bad the Globe does not provide a link or way to share the table of the fees charged by the high schools in the 28 communities shown in the printed version of the paper. That is a table that one should keep for reference.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Learning from Eight

There are more than eight ways to learn from the number eight. My fellow contributors to the Joyful Jubilant Learning blog have been their usual creative selves this month.

Want to see creativity in action?

Want to learn something(s) about the number eight?

Click on through to Joyful Jubilant Learning and cruise amongst the postings in August. These are the most recent (as of today):
Scroll back into August a little further and you will find more (including my own contribution)

Say "Joyful Jubilant Learning" out loud. Say it again. Listen to yourself as you say it.
I don't think this is a phrase you can say with a blues voice, there is too much happiness in Joyful Jubilant Learning!

With that in mind, go check out Eight!

Raining hornets?

the pile of dead hornets after spraying their nest in the gutter above

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Friday, August 22, 2008

Friday 4:30 PM Franklin line

sitting on the bridge waiting for the inbound Dorchester branch traffic to clear be4 we proceed

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Friday sunrise down the tracks at Franklin Station

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5 for Friday

Here are 5 items that I picked up this week that might be of interest to you:

1 - Zoho adds macro capability to their spreadsheet.
I am sure this is good news for someone out there. Zoho Sheet can now record and play back Visual Basic macros. It's the only cloud-based spreadsheet that can do that. In fact, the only other spreadsheet that can do that isMicrosoft (NSDQ: MSFT) Excel. Google (NSDQ: GOOG), are you going to ante up?
2 - Also from InformationWeek:

A security consultant for the Intrepidus Group claims to have found evidence that Chinese gymnast He Kexin, the gold medal winner on the uneven bars in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, is only 14 years old -- too young to compete in the Olympics.

Blogging under the name Stryde Hax, Mike Walker, a principal consultant for the security group, has posted screenshots of an Excel spreadsheet that was removed from an official Chinese government Web site but was still available through Baidu, China's most popular search engine. The file appears to show that He Kexin is not old enough for Olympic competition.

The search capability and particularly of cached websites can be revealing. In this case, the researcher was watching the information disappear while he was searching.

3 - Wind turbines have been generating negative press here due to the proposal for the area around Nantucket and Cape Cod. This story originates from Jiminy Peak in Western Massachusetts.

Nestled in the Berkshires, Jiminy Peak claims to be the first privately held company in the nation to have installed a megawatt class turbine. Its Zephyr (named after the Greek god of wind) sits on a 253-ft. tower, with each of its three blades reaching approximately 123 feet into the air, making the wind turbine taller than the Statue of Liberty.

The turbine generates 4.6 million kWh (kilowatt hours) of energy or enough to light up the TVs, DVDs, microwaves and refrigerators in 613 homes for a year. Most of the power is generated in winter, when mountain winds peak, and demand at the resort is at its highest, due to the demands of snowmaking equipment.

Read the full story here

4 - Scott Berkun is interviewed by bMighty on good vs. Bad Managers. For example, he reveals:

bMighty: How would you define a "bad" manager?

Berkun: Two criteria: 1) he fails and 2) people hate working for him. A mediocre manager meets one of these criteria. A good manager, none.

Read the full interview here.

5 - Chris Brogan says:

I think there’s a trend to observe here, and that it’s right in front of us: the state of podcasting and social media events is mirroring the media and technology these events cover. Some thoughts on a few of the events.
Read the full posting here on the trend toward fragmenation

What did you find this week?

Do you have anything interesting to share?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Once upon a time this summer

We did go to Weikert, PA to spend sometime with our good friends, the Bastian's. Doug's father, Walter, has a tradition of making hand cranked ice cream. The old ice cream maker finally gave way last year. It was time this year to christen a new 6-quart model.

Walt's birthday happened to fall during the time we were there and I offered to be the designated photographer to record the surprise party. I finally caught up to putting together the slide show for the multiple birthday parties Walt celebrated, culminating with the big surprise one.

View slideshow


Monday, August 18, 2008

Morning Moon

Morning moon over Franklin Station

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BlogHer Reach Out Tour - Boston

Going to BlogHer Boston

The BlogHer Reach Out Tour is coming to Boston this fall. Well, close to Boston. The event will actually be held in Burlington at the Burlington Marriott.

You can read more about the event details and register on the web site here.

I have registered and will be there. If you are going, let me know so we can make arrangements to meet sometime during the day!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Holy cannoli

holy cannoli !!!

This was the desert to top off a wonderful meal at Il Piccoli in Johnston, RI. Two connolis, so stuffed even when splitting one each with Dolores, neither of us finished.

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Sunflower visitors

The sunflower is attracting visitors

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MA Poetry Festival

Scheduled to be held after the Dodge Poetry Festival, this will provide a local flavor in a great location: Lowell.

Read more on the web site here

Dogwood dew

dogwood in early morning dew

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"touches of nostalgia"

This part of August always has touches of nostalgia and tension in it. Already there are memories of the summer of 2008 in the scrapbook of my mind. Already the far off Olympics are underway. Already the days are noticeably shorter. Already the fiercest heat of summer is past. Already the list of things I was going to accomplish this summer has been revised by reality.

Read the remainder of this fine sample over at Robert Fulghum's page

Friday, August 15, 2008

Mean clouds

mean clouds hiding the light of day

taken from within the 4:30 PM Franklin train heading out of Boston yesterday

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Franklin line view 6:00 AM

compared to the scene yesterday, one can see further down the Franklin line today.

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Happy Anniversary, Dolores!

With eight on the mind this month, I have to say that twenty six adds up to eight (2 + 6 = 8).

What is so special about twenty six?

Twenty six is how many years Dolores and I have been married! Amazing!

Yes, a year ago we were in Niagara Falls celebrating our 25th. We have traveled a lot this summer going to Weikert, Chicago, and Gettysburg. We'll have a quiet dinner tonight to celebrate the day.

I hope you all enjoy your Friday!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

My Life as a Verb - Patti Digh


What is better than starting a day in the fog and ending it with sunshine?

What is better than a good day at work?

What is better than starting to run again?

One thing at least is better - it's here - "My Life as a Verb" arrived today

I will have the honor of talking with Patti later this month and then being part of the "book launch blog tour" in September. Stay tuned for more info on this wonderful author and her special book.

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Franklin station 6:00 AM

can't see far this AM

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Tuesday, August 12, 2008