Sunday, November 30, 2008
Click through here to download her latest and if you missed her prior two, they are also available at the same link.
Yes, a "three for free" deal!
Saturday, November 29, 2008
The morning light draws shadows on the wall of the house. The shadows live their own life on the wall. hey gradually move along the wall with the sun and eventually leave the wall behind. On really cloudy days, the shadows, if they do appear, seem weaker.
When the small clouds blow quickly
through the sky, shadows play
the breeze for all its worth
Friday, November 28, 2008
Preparing to paint the study, I am cleaning off my huge book case which was filled with books and all kinds of collectibles. Stay tuned, I have a good "mug" shot coming.
Amongst the items I discovered was this "panic button". It has tape on the bottom so you could add it to a computer keyboard. I do recall picking it up at a conference somewhere along the way. It has no company markings on it so whatever leverage they were hoping to obtain by this "swag" they lost.
It is a timely find given the Wall Street volatility and overall economic outlook. But no, I am not ready to use this button.
How are your spirits? Would you use this button?
Focus your job search on the companies you would like to work for. Then identify the hiring managers within those companies for the postings that have been posted. If you can get directly to the source, you can avoid the two gatekeepers discussed earlier.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
The YouTube version of this can be found here
Whatever tradition you follow on this day, may it be a good day!
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
I spent time in the kitchen this morning putting together two apple pies (one each for the Proulx dinner Thursday, and for the Sherlock's gathering here on Friday) and some baked apples for our family dinner this evening.
The house smells so good now!
You need to spend time to figure out what you want to do. Talk with anyone. Explain yourself. The more you talk about what you want and where you want to go, the more you will get practice saying it so it will sound natural for you. You will also open yourself up to feedback. Take it all in. Some will be very useful, some you'll keep for reference.
Be aware of the gatekeepers. Your recruiter is a gatekeeper. S/he will screen you for their company client. Once you get by them, HR is the next gatekeeper. It is important to get in the door to have the conversation with the "powers to be" but you need to work with the gatekeepers first.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Rosa Say leads us this month with the Rapid Fire Learning exercise on the Joyful Jubilant Learning blog. With a few days remaining in the month, there is still time for learning but a turn to reflect on what has already occurred is a good thing to do. Can you learn something new in the time remaining? Yes, we can!
1 - There are many synonyms for loosing one's job: layoff, reduction in force, etc. When a company makes the decision to simply cut costs, then reduction in force I think is most appropriate. Fortunately, there is a decent severance package in my case, so I will have some time to both enjoy the holiday period coming at us and begin to figure out what and where I should go next. The importance of the network, of our connections becomes clear. While it is never too late to start, once you are out, you want to be part of a group and collaborate sharing tips and tricks to get where you want to be. Can the group provide support and knowledge to successfully find a new position? Yes, we can!
2 - You have likely noticed that music is a recurring theme (no pun intended) here. We started the month viewing the documentary "Young @Heart". The elderly singing group from Northampton, MA generates life sustaining energy from their singing. Studies on the effects of music continue to reveal positive findings. Singing while in a traffic jam can be calming. Should we be singing more? Yes, we can!
3 - Recipes are simply guidelines to recreate something some one once did. I feel comfortable enough around the kitchen to be able to make modifications to recipes that Dolores and I decide to try. Occasionally, I find out something new. Like if you are going to substitute long grain brown rice for white rice, you also need to adjust the cooking time, or partially pre-cook the rice before adding it to the work in process. Does this stop me from making adjustments? Not at all. Should we all add our own twists to a recipe? Yes, we can.
4 - In my contribution to the November theme of giving, I talked of encouragement. Encouragement is an easy thing to do. The benefits can be enormous. As the luck of the calendar would have it, the post was scheduled for the first Monday I would not get aboard the train and report to work. That evening also was the scheduled meeting of our local networking group. We started meeting about 2 years ago and while the group has fluctuated somewhat we have grown from 5-6 regulars to the 16 folks who joined us that night. Having such a network of support, of course in addition to the family and other close friends, is priceless. Will we succeed? Yes, we can.
5 - You have probably noticed the refrain "Yes, we can" and said to yourself, where did I hear that before? I hope you recall it being one of Barack Obama's telling phrases, the one he refers to as the American Creed. The positive attitude he has brought the country and the world is a very good thing. The morning after the election results were final I started a series of sherku:
- Obama morning: Readville
- Obama morning: Dedham Corp Ctr
- Obama morning: Norwood Central
- Obama morning: Walpole
... to all those who have wondered if America's beacon still burns as bright – tonight we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from our the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity, and unyielding hope.Thanks Barack!
America, we have come so far. We have seen so much. But there is so much more to do. So tonight, let us ask ourselves – if our children should live to see the next century; if my daughters should be so lucky to live as long as Ann Nixon Cooper, what change will they see? What progress will we have made?
This is our chance to answer that call. This is our moment. This is our time – to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American Dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth – that out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope, and where we are met with cynicism, and doubt, and those who tell us that we can't, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people:
Yes We Can. Thank you, God bless you, and may God Bless the United States of America.
There is much to do.
There is much to learn!
Will we succeed?
Yes, we can.
Note: If you would like to revisit the text of Barack's acceptance speech in Chicago on November 4th, the link is here. It also includes the video.
Be able to state what you did for your company. What cost efficiencies you delivered. What projects on time, on budget. What break through you achieved for them. Yes, you did it. Maybe alone, maybe as part of a larger team. But you did it your company. Your next company will need to hear that because this is what you are going to be able to do for them.
If you are working with a recruiter, obtain the contract or assignment number for the posting that you are working with him/her on. It may be that if you are working with multiple recruiters, that you could be replying for the same position from two recruiters. Not good. Having the number will help you keep track of which position or opportunity you are working on with each recruiter.
Monday, November 24, 2008
The reception was pleasant and efficient. Dad had not yet received his VA card so we were directed to an office to get one. We waited a few minutes out the office for the woman to finish with the person she was working with.
When we entered the office, I noticed the daily calendar over her desk was still showing that the day was Friday, November 7th. (Yes, we were there several days later).
As I checked the clock on the wall, it was also one hour later than it should have been. I guess it had not been set back for Daylight Savings (now 2 weekends prior).
Fortunately, these were the only two oddities. The remainder of the visit was efficient and well done.
Since I have become a statistic, one of the several hundred person "reduction in force" from my former employer, I will be working on a number of things over the next several weeks.
- not having to catch the train
- not having to pay the increased MBTA parking fees
- being able to help my sisters with my father's doctor appointments
- getting to some stuff around the house now that I "have time"
If you know someone else on this journey, point them here. They might find something useful.
You may recall my review of Daniel Levitin's book "This is Your Brain on Music" for the Love Affair with Books on the Joyful Jubilant Learning blog. In the book, Daniel talks about the 6 songs that define rock music. He apparently takes that up a notch with his newest book according to an article on how singing music helps calm drivers in traffic that appeared in Sunday's Boston Globe.
Commutes can be made more bearable with satellite radio, where listeners can indulge in very specific fancies, like stations dedicated wholly to Led Zeppelin. Industry surveys suggest more musical options are down the road: Nearly all 2009 cars will come equipped with an iPod or MP3 jack allowing drivers to listen to the songs they choose.
It may seem like a small change, but it's not, said Dan Levitin, a psychology professor at Montreal's McGill University and author of the best-selling "The World in Six Songs; How the Musical Brain Created Human Nature."
"We're coming back in the last few years, listening more and singing more and making music more," Levitin said.
Today's 16-year-old will listen to more music than his "great-grandfather did in a lifetime," he said.
"You can hold in the palm of your hand the library of a large radio station," he said. "Technology has given us freedom."
Read the full article in the Boston Globe here.
Given the success of the Young@Heart chorus, there is something to this idea!
Sunday, November 23, 2008
I caught up with Justin Brown on Saturday to find out a little more about them and to record this brief video in case you missed their performance. Saturday was their last day advertising for the Jenny Craig opening at Franklin Village.
Justin was at the entrance and is pictured in the video here. He was joined by Charles "Chaz" Bryant, Ray Rivera, and Michael "Rex" Rexrode.
If you would like to enlist the sign spinners to help advertise your company, the contact information is available on the AArrow Advertising web site.
Originally posted 11/22/08 at Franklin Matters.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
A belated birthday wish to Franklin Matters!
How quickly a year passes! I created this site to separate the Franklin posts from the rest at Steve's 2 Cents. The first post on this site was November 9, 2007. Over 1200 posts later, it is still going.
That question you can help me answer.
What should there be more of?
What should there be less of?
Friday, November 21, 2008
This will come back around next St Patrick's Day but in the meantime, there is no one as Irish as Barack Obama. See what happens when you change the accent on the syllables just a little bit!
Click here to view the video
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Came home from the local networking dinner that a group has been holding for going on 2 years. It used to be about 5-6 of us. Tonight was a record 16 attendees.
Found this very appropriate posting from David Meerman Scott in my Inbox when I returned. I have Google Alerts set up to track a number of words or phrases. One for "Franklin, MA". Read to see how that connection was made here.
Monday, November 17, 2008
Did you realize that cleaning and polishing the furniture is a form of encouragement?
For more on encouragement visit the Joyful jubilant learning blog here.
Mobile post sent by shersteve using Utterli. Replies.
My post for this month's theme on giving is available on the Joyful Jubilant Learning blog. You have my permission and encouragement (of course!) to click on over and join the conversation.
While there, check out some of the other ideas on giving:
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Friday, November 14, 2008
If we want to truly belong we must accept the responsibility that goes with it. The responsibility not just for ourselves to work for the good of the whole community but also to care for each other’s wellbeing and the wellbeing of the places in which we find ourselves, to nurture and guide the young or inexperienced, to be good role models, to teach them good lessons and keep them on the right path.Read his full posting here
A landmark UCLA study suggests that women respond to stress with a cascade of brain chemicals that cause us to make and maintain friendships with other women. It’s a stunning find that has turned five decades of stress research— most of it on men—upside down.Read his full posting here
I cannot think of any other assignment or duty I performed during my enlistment that was as personally rewarding to me as this one. The absolute depth of humility and gratitude I felt for these men, whom I did not know, was surprising to me then as a young and mostly immature soldier. But my knowing them did not seem to be important…knowing that they had sworn to “uphold and protect”, that they had worn the uniform of a soldier, that they had been willing to put their life in harms way for a cause greater than themselves, seemed to be more than enough.Read his full posting here
By now, you might guess that I highly recommend signing up for Kirk's T4D.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Here they are:
The whole group:
Pickin' an' singin':
And finally, the last song for the evening, East of Shirley joined by Kimberly Boyce:
Visit their MySpace page to hear samples of their music.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
Sunday, November 09, 2008
The 'before' baking look:
A good seasonal dessert that is easy to make: Bake stuffed apples.
When they come from the oven nice and warm, the vanilla ice cream just melts all over. Delicious!
Mobile post sent by shersteve using Utterli. Replies.
The recipe is one I'd make again. Tasted good and it was a one pot meal; great for clean up after.
Saturday, November 08, 2008
|Goibniu:||A Great rendition of a true Scottish Ale|
|Killer Honey Ale:||A smooth red ale, light hop palate and good malty character|
|Oktoberfest Beir:||A slight fruity accent with a deep gold color|
|McTartan’s Scotch Ale:||McEwan’s Clone – Amber & slightly sweet, some smoke|
|Llevar Porter:||If you like Ravell , you’ll love this one. Vanilla accents|
|Hearty Christmas Ale:||A hearty Ale, spicy, flavorful and inviting!|
Four of these we have done before and were so good, we wanted to do them again. Two are new: McTartan's Scotch Ale and the Hearty Christmas Ale.
We return to bottle on the weekend after Thanksgiving.
Deja Brew is a good deal of fun and a great way to truly understand and appreciate beer. I learn something everytime I go.
Additional posts on the Deja Brew experience can be found here.
Friday, November 07, 2008
You know these guys, you recognize their names, right?
Here is the clip on blogging.
Here is the page to view a bunch of other clips.
Thanks to David Zinger for pointing this out to me!
Thursday, November 06, 2008
CONCLUSIONS. This is the first study to demonstrate a prospective link between exposure to sexual content on television and the experience of a pregnancy before the age of 20. Limiting adolescent exposure to the sexual content on television and balancing portrayals of sex in the media with information about possible negative consequences might reduce the risk of teen pregnancy. Parents may be able to mitigate the influence of this sexual content by viewing with their children and discussing these depictions of sex.From the study abstract as published in Pediatrics.
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Persuasive leaders are those who use conviction and reason to guide others to adopt an idea, attitude, or action. They make their pleas personal and tangible, ensuring there is a high degree of authenticity when communicating their wants and needs to others. They understand that a problem well defined and grounded in experience will gain higher acceptance and greater cooperation from others. Therefore, they relate their experience and understanding of the problem before explaining or exploring the solution.From the Randy Emelo's Masterful Mentoring newsletter.