Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas - Sherlock half

Part 2 of Christmas was the gathering of the Sherlock's on Sunday. The turkey and ham were prepared on Saturday. Dolores and my sisters coordinated the remainder of the meal dishes. While we didn't have room to sit all at one table, the 27 who did eat ate well!

The turkey:

Dinner time!

Game time! I think "Catch Phrase was in high action here:

More photos of this special event can be seen on Jerry's Story. He was very pleased to have all 13 grandchildren together for this event.


Christmas - Proulx half

We do Christmas twice each year. Once with Dolores' family and once with my side of the family. This was part of the choice we made to be home for the holidays.

Christmas for the Proulx's was at Joanne's house this year. We did a "Yankee swap" gift exchange.

Before the swap started, Joanne shared a photo album she had put together from the family photo archive:

Joey (who is not yet of drinking age) initially opened a bottle of Bailey's and got excited. Alas, he didn't get to keep it.

Dad Proulx was puzzled and challenged by the tape to open his uniquely shaped choice. It turned out to be a great one to reach those hard places on the back to scratch.

Dolores opened this sweat shirt but it looks like it fits Carolyn, who will wear it first?

While not all the gifts are shown here, everyone did end up with something good. I trust your Christmas was enjoyable!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

job search notes: essential links

As I catch up to my RSS Reader after Christmas, I find plenty of goodies to share:

A great summary of LinkedIn posts from 2009 as compiled by Neal Schaffer at Windmill Networking:

A good article on resume tips that will catch the eye from the Essay Expert

Jason Jacobson writing at Networking Insight has Seven Reasons to Give Everyone a Talking Chance.

Sean Nelson continues his series on LinkedIn (and provides links to the prior entries) in this posting

Jeri Hird has an update on the job search engines with some findings that should start some conversations:

And finally, for today anyway, Tim Tyrell-Smith has 10 Buttons to Push to Restart the Job Search

What would you add to this listing?

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas! (video)

In the spirit of Christmas and having fun, here is a short video of the ImprovEverywhere group providing some assistance to one of the Salvation Army bell ringers.


Read more about this group and how they prepared this event here

Note: email subscribers will need to click through to Steve's 2 Cents to view this video.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Last minute prep

Some food shopping and last minute gift shopping all in preparation for the big day tomorrow.

We'll buy some fresh bread dough for our roll-ups which is a Christmas Eve dinner tradition. The roll-ups are like a calzone. The bread dough rolled up around (1) ham and cheddar cheese, (2) some Italian sausage and mozzarella cheese, and (3) some pepperoni and mozzarella cheese.

My father will join Dolores, Carolyn and I for dinner. Allison is with Brad in New Hampshire.

Time to go for a walk to start the day.

Enjoy the family time this holiday season!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Bubble sort

End of this work week, end of this month, end of this year (almost) - lots of 'ends' coming together at this time.
Hence, time for bubble sorting. Looking back over each period, bubbling up the key points, consolidating/condensing the multivariant points to a theme or collection of themes, if possible.

Start with a long list.
Which of these is most like the other?
Put them into like categories.
Then take another pass through the shortened list.

Looking for the single instances to pair them up, looking for the doubles to make them triples, etc.

Soap bubbles, originally uploaded by Ernst Vikne.

As an example, some project data I am working on concerns business service category. Due to the open formating allowance, there are over 400 entries. Many of these actually are similar to one another. The first pass at combining them shorted the listing of over 400 to about 160. Further consolidation and combination has reduced the listing to approx. 60 categories. I'll socialize this listing with some co-workers for validation that it makes sense to them.

For my own period review, the socialization will come here. From the consolidation effort, a story will emerge. You can provide feedback on the story via comments or reading activity. 

What are you doing to wrap up the year?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

July 27, 2048

2048? Will we be around then?

What will the world be like then?

Hans Rosling predicts that this is the date at which the Asian market economies will over take the US and UK as dominant. View this recent TED Talk to see his presentation and understand some of the risks to the projection.

Now, what are you going to do to prepare for this day?

Monday, December 21, 2009

What she'll miss

Carolyn is coming home for Christmas and writing up the things she'll miss that she found while she was in Greece:
During my last walk around the city I was thinking about how many things here I am going to miss, and its a pretty long list. I'm going to miss the weather for one (its about 40 degrees warmer than Boston right now). But I am very much looking forward to snow and a white Christmas. I'm also going to miss the food, the feta, the chocolate, and the tavernas. The Greek lifestyle includes sitting at restaurants or cafes for hours at a time with the staff in no rush for you to leave. In fact, they encourage you to stay with live music, and rounds of wine and dessert on the house. I'm going to miss walking down the street and seeing a group of old men sitting outside relaxing and playing backgammon.
Read her full posting here

Short day, busy week

It is the shortest day of the year today. Still means you can accomplish something worthwhile today!

For me, it is the start of a short work week and busy family time. My brother and family arrived successfully yesterday. They'll spend time with Dad and my sisters in RI today before heading north to ME on Tuesday.

Carolyn comes back from Greece on Tuesday. The weather is looking good for her connections at this point.

The MBTA did a good job clearing the stairs to prepare for the commuters today. The Franklin budget doesn't cover overtime so the schools will be opening two hours late today to enable the personnel to clear the parking lots and sidewalks for the students and facility.

Accomplish something good today!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Someone with stilts walked on my deck

The snow is coming. Time to shovel.

I'll be back later with more pictures and shovel stories.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Yes, it is cold here in Franklin

We have had some good old fashioned New England cold weather the past couple of days.

The leaf was stationary for this photo but didn't stay in place long as the wind whipped it up and away. It could have beat the train to Boston yesterday!

With some precipitation coming up from the South later today, we are sure to get some snow. The real question will be what track the storm will take and how much snow will get. Hard to predict due to the fickleness of nature.

My brother and his family are scheduled to fly into Logan on Sunday so I hope the storm starts early and leaves early to allow them to have a good flight.

Stay warm today where ever you are!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Laugh to generate warmth

One way to keep warm is with laughter. Laughter comes naturally with fun. Bernie DeKoven, the Funsmith, has a collection of quotes on fun that is purely delightful:
"Ask not what fun does for you. Ask rather what you do for fun." - the Oaqui

"The more fun you have, the greater your value to yourself and to your society. The more fun you share with others, the more fun you have." - the Oaqui

"For every Way there's a way of following that Way that's fun" - the Oaqui

"The Path that is best for you is the Path that keeps the best of you in play" - the Oaqui
For more quotes from the Oaqui, click through here.

If you have a quote that could be redone to make it more fun, please send it on to Bernie.

Note: this was also posted to Franklin Matters today.

5 for Friday: from text vs. images to engagement

Text or image? The great battle.
Text is searchable. Image unless tagged is not readily so.
Put simply,the more visual the input becomes, the more likely it is to be recognized—and recalled.  John Medina
Google understand images and is reported to be doing lots of work on image recognition. One simple tool they have come up with will help you visualize how users will see you website.
To help you understand how everyone sees your website, we created a tool called Browser Size in our 20% time. Browser Size is based on a sample of data from visitors to Special code collects data on the height and width of the browser for a sample of users.

With the right image and the right layout, you can present a better site for the visitor. One that they would be more likely to engage with.
51 very eclectic and informational resources from the importance of middle management to fantastic pictures of 2009 to engage you in work and the world around you:
From employees to students, engagement is important.

Do you recognize the “wow” of your students? Are we cultivating such passion? Angela shares a story of a young learner and the habits necessary to ignite such a wow in students
Telling a compelling story can bring the readers to a different place. A place they want to come back to, and hopefully will to get that feeling again.

I’d used up my savings trying to make ends meet, supplementing as best I could with the money I earned from a dangerous part-time job that gave me all of 4 hours pay a week at minimum wage. I had been looking for a better job, but there were none to be had in the low-income/high-unemployment area where I lived.
I hope you enjoy this Five for Friday roundup:

You can read the full post here for the John Medina quote
You can read the full Google posting here
You can find David Zinger's 51 engaging items here
You can find Angela Meier's presentation here
You can find the inside story about James Chartrand here

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

job search notes: graphical resume

Graphical, yes.

See if you can take your information and put it into a graphical representation. This article from Fast Company shows some examples and this one shows some more.

I think the mileage on this may vary.

Would you try something like this?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

job search notes: be noteful, be grouped, be signed

Having recently celebrated a birthday, this is one of the key dates to recognize for those in your network:

Do Recognize Important Dates with People in Your Network?


Do you have a good email signature? It can be put to very good use.

Email Signatures, A Powerful Job Search Marketing Tool

Monday, December 14, 2009

Sunday, December 13, 2009

And the angel takes her place

In the 'many hands make light work' category, the family divides the duties for preparing the house for Christmas. Dolores takes down the ones from Thanksgiving and sets out the Christmas decorations. I take care of setting up the tree.

I string the lights on it and then do a single light in the front windows. The girls usually alternate turns in putting the angel on the top. Allison was out to a movie with her cousin and Carolyn was in Greece so I had to place the angel then string the lights from that plug. Now the tree will be ready for the remainder of the decorations.

The girls join in decorating the tree. This year, Allison will have the lead with Carolyn providing some advice via Skype from Greece.


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Saturday, December 12, 2009

Awareness becomes more important

Google implemented a couple of changes recently that I think will make awareness, being fully attentive to what is going on and what you see all that more important.

The first thing they did was a simple usability point. On the Google home page,, they have simplified the display. All you get initially is the search input in the center of the page. The top navigation menu used by those with Google accounts doesnt appear until you move your mouse up in that area. The Google blog post on this has screen shots of the before and after.

The second thing they did was to implement personalized search as the default for all. This could create some interesting situations. Two people go to the Google page to search on the same term and conceptually would obtain different results. Unless they are aware that these settings can be changed, some time at least would be spent discussing how they got different results. I appreciate the personalization to prepare the results based upon my history and apparent preferences but...

More on the personalized search can be found here

Be aware of what you see. It may not be all that you should see!

Friday, December 11, 2009

The naked tree

First step to decorate the tree is to put it up:

Tonight, the lights will get hung on the tree. Allison is stopping home this weekend to decorate it. Her sister Carolyn will participate via remote connection from Greece.

Home for the holidays

My entry for the Joyful Jubilant Learning blog monthly theme is posted today.

You have my permission, indeed encouragement to click on over to read and comment.


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Cyber safety around the holidays

I read this recently from Moira Cronin, the cybermom on the McAfee Security Insights blog:
It’s important to be a little more cautious while surfing the net for that perfect pressie for your loved ones this Christmas. So in the spirit of the season, I’d like to share with you some tips to avoid the most popular scams at Christmas time – I’ve taken these from McAfee’s twelve scams of Christmas report.

and since I just advertised the Fidelity venture for FutureStage which sends out e-cards, this caught my eye.
Scam 3:  The dangers of holiday e-cards
We all want to be more environmentally aware and proactive, so the idea of sending a festive e-card is appealing, however beware.  Last year McAfee Labs discovered a worm masked as a Hallmark e-card and McDonald’s and Coca-Cola holiday promotions.  Holiday themed PowerPoint e-mail attachments are also popular among cybercriminals, so be careful what you click on.

Read the full posting from Moira Cronin here.

It is good practice to be careful what and where you click everyday and more especially around the holidays.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

job search notes: 3 must read links to share

From Sean Nelson writing at Social Media Sonar:
Your LinkedIn Connection Strategy will impact how you use LinkedIn and in the end your chances of finding success. Here we look at the 4 strategies: The Lion, The Turtle, The HoundDog, and The Alley Cat. What are you?

This is my last post for the Blogoff 2 contest.  You can help by reading the blog and posting a comment on the blog.  Read full post:
From Tim Tyrell-Smith writing at Spin Strategy:
One of the early and most interesting discussions on the LinkedIn group was about the use of a photo on LinkedIn and what that photo said about you.  Now, I will tell you that I have always had a photo there.  Because I think it is a vital way to introduce yourself to the business world.  And to remind people (you worked with ten years ago) who you are . . .
So I tried to think about some reasons why, in this modern age, people would leave a photo off of their profile.  Are you saying any of these things?
If you absolutely don't want a picture but would like a complete profile, you have this option to consider: Sabra Davis uses a white JPG file as her photo.

From Chad Levitt writing at New Sales Economy:

I find it sad that so many good people are without jobs and are struggling to make ends meet. I have heard many stories about the hardships that many people and families are going through. I truly hope that the unemployment situation becomes better and those that are struggling find their way.

But, hope is not enough — you need to do more then ever before in this job market to find a job or keep your job. This is the reality of our new world good bad or indifferent.

Here are 9 action items that you can take to defend yourself from the lost jobs decade and go on the attack with your personal brand:
Continue reading to find the 9 here.

Have you found any good stuff to share?

Seven cardinal rules for the practice of risk communication

(as first expressed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and several of the field's founders)
  • Accept and involve the public as a legitimate partner
  • Plan carefully and evaluate your efforts
  • Listen to the public's specific concerns
  • Be honest, frank, and open
  • Coordinate and collaborate with other credible sources
  • Meet the needs of the media
  • Speak clearly and with compassion
From the Wikipedia entry on Risk Management where the source is cited as: Seven Cardinal Rules of Risk Communication. Pamphlet drafted by Vincent T. Covello and Frederick H. Allen. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, April 1988, OPA-87-020.

These are good rules for communication, period.
These would be the actions of a trust agent.

job search notes: DOL tools challenge

From the US Dept of Labor website:
Attention online job boards, career exploration sites, and all other providers of on-line job search and career advancement tools: The Department of Labor challenges you to showcase your best products by submitting your tools to today!

Finding a job in today's economy is hard work. The Employment and Training Administration wants to make sure job seekers have the best possible job search resources at their fingertips through the national network of One Stop Career Centers. As a complement to the full range of services available through One Stops, on-line tools are an important resource for job seekers as they research career options, identify available jobs, and find the best fit for their skills and experience.
In a fast-changing marketplace, it is difficult for the nation's almost 3,000 One Stop Career Centers and the over 20 million job seekers they serve to keep up with state of the art on-line job search and career advancement tools. Therefore, DOL challenges enterprising entrepreneurs and organizations to showcase their on-line solutions, and allow workforce system decision-makers and job seekers to explore, comment on, and recommend tools.

The Challenge will help the workforce investment system uncover the most effective on-line tools. At the conclusion of the Challenge, ETA will publicize the leading tools, in order to more quickly connect job seekers with job openings.
It is good to see the government getting into this kind of "crowd sourcing". They are gathering a listing now and will begin an evaluation January 4th with recommendations due in February 2010.

There are already 171 site submitted (as of my visit 12/8/09). You can view the listing by category here

Which job search tool have you found successful? Is it listed?

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

job search notes: Barn raising

I received this flyer in my Inbox from the local Chamber of Commerce. I won't be able to go because of my own work commitment but I am interested in the concept.

Discover Simple, Private Sharing at

More about the event can be found on their website here

If any one does go, please fill me in on what you thought about the day!

Monday, December 07, 2009

Photo essay

As we went to bed Saturday night, the snow had begun and came down enough to cover the deck surfaces:

Yes  that is real fluffy snow here in Franklin  MA

From the same window on Sunday morning, the deck looked like this:

Decked with snow daylight view

On the other side of the deck, the dogwood was "blooming snow":

Dogwood blooming with snow this morning

As I got out to the driveway, the view up the street showed the sun peeking through the trees:

hi ho  hi ho  off to shovel I go. just under 2 inches on driveway

By the time I got to the end of the driveway (not long, it was a little over 1.5 inches of snow) the scene with the blue shovel against the black mailbox set in the white snow looked like this:

Blue shovel  black mailbox  white snow


Saturday, December 05, 2009

Bend and stretch to recycle

With apologies to your Romper Room memories, I rewrote a few lines to help remember to recyle while you walk.

Bend and stretch
reach for the can
while exercising
help your fellow man

One can (or plastic bottle) at a time, you can come back from a three mile walk through your neighborhood with something like this:

Recycle exercise

Bend and stretch
reach for the can
while exercising
help your fellow man

You can take this challenge in two ways:

1 - Take a plastic bag along with you and remember these lines when you walk.

2 - As you walk, if you come up with better lines let us know via comment or email.

Blogging milestone

I had started posting on Steve's 2 Cents in September 2005 and only started posting on Franklin Matters in November of 2007. This week the number of posts on Franklin Matters (FM) surpassed the number of posts on Steve's 2 Cents (S2C). I had realized this day would come as the volume on Franklin Matters has been averaging more per day (particularly with the meeting live blogging) than the 1-2 posts I was doing on S2C. Two different blogs with mostly separate audiences and different purposes.

At the current publication rate, FM will likely reach 3,000 posts in January and S2C in February or March.

Franklin Matters can be found here ->

Pet Peeve

If you would like me to properly and effectively register your product, please make it simple and easy for me to do so.

Especially where there is software and versions and models involved, you should have an auto-detect for your own product so I don't need to select one and avoid selecting the wrong one.

The screen shot is from a Logitech registration page. They happen to be the current and handy item to slect for this pet peeve but most other vendors out there do the same thing.

This one in particular get me. The language selection indicates a drop down and there is only one choice (English). Some one was lazy and prepared for the future when they provide other choices I suppose.

Friday, December 04, 2009

job search notes: Chelmsford Networking Opportunity

For those in Eastern MA, this may be of interest to help with your networking and sharing the skills you have:


I facilitate the presentations for the Technical Skills Share Group. Use the following link to find out a little more about the group;

The purpose of this message is to request presenters. In January we will have presentations at 4 to 6 pm every Wednesday. The time slot of 1:30 to 3:30 pm is also available but currently being used for our Resume project. The presentations are done free of charge to our attendees.

We are working with <> , and have an agreement that we can publish event details (FREE) of our technical presentations on the website. This is a good opportunity for presenters to get more visibility.

If any of our presenters want to avail of this facility they will need to send me a brief bio plus a few words about the presentation and it will be published.

Where: Chelmsford Public Library, McCarthy Meeting Room

Past topics have been;
C++, Six Sigma, LinkedIn, Subversion, UML, Cloud Computing, PMP certification, Java, JavaFX, Netbeans, Database Design, VOIP

If you would like to present a topic to our group then please send me a brief description and your requirements. Please remember that we can not pay you for your presentation.

Jim Drewniak

Help Fidelity Contribute to Music Education

This is a good opportunity to share music and contribute to a good cause. Better yet, you don't actually have to spend a penny. Fidelity Investments will do the contribution for you.

For every card sent, Fidelity Investments will donate another $1 to buy musical instruments for public school students.

After all, what would the holidays be without music?

Click through to Future Stage to send the e-card and have Fidelity make their contribution!

Note: I was a long time employee of Fidelity Investments. I am currently working on a contract for Fidelity through Veritude but this posting is completely separate from those activities. I am a life long supporter of music and education.

BTW - Fidelity is now on Twitter -

Deja Brew - bottling night

Our current batch of 6 kettles was bottled on Thursday night. The labels for reference are as follows:

Deja Fest - Our newest O fest, nice and malty - DF
McTartan’s Scotch Ale - McEwan’s Clone – Amber & slightly sweet, some smoke - M, with Irish whiskey MW
Dean Park Pilsner - ACBBD – A smooth, refreshing light Pilsner - D
Llevar Porter - If you like Ravell , you’ll love this one. Vanilla accents - with Vanilla bean and Jim Beam - L
Hearty Christmas Ale - A hearty Ale, spicy, flavorful and inviting - C, with Pumpkin liquor - P
Queen Bee Lager - One honey of a lager. Smooth and easy, very light - Q

5 cases cleaned and ready for filling - Deja Brew bottling night

The brew crew update. Here is the listing of the 65 kettles and 48 unique beers we have brewed over the past couple of years.

Beer Total kettles
Hearty Christmas Ale 3
Killer Honey Ale 3
Llevar Porter 3
Stunner 3
Bavarian Pilsner 2
Gnarly Barley Wine 2
Goibniu 2
Honey Summer Ale 2
Light Irish Stout 2
Lobster Claw 2
McTartan’s Scotch Ale 2
Off Kilter Scotch 2
Oktoberfest Beir 2
Beaver Back Pale 1
Blueberry Ale 1
Castle Brown Ale 1
Chocolate Cream Stout 1
Crazed & Confused 1
Dave's Red 1
Dean Park Pilsner 1
Deja Fest 1
Double Scotch Ale 1
Downtown Brown 1
Drunken Monk Ale 1
Dunrovin Stout 1
Forest Fire Red 1
Greg’s Big Head Stout 1
Helles Lager 1
Jeff Beck Lager 1
Klawtobier 1
Lawnmower Lager 1
Old Man Winter Ale 1
Piper Scottish Ale 1
Queen Bee Lager 1
Ray's Bock 1
Red Head Ale 1
Red Rider Ale 1
Rocket Bock 1
Rusty Anchor Lager 1
Rye Blond 1
Sam’s Damn Yummy 1
Scotch Amber 1
Special Delivery Ale 1
The Rock 1
Thoroughbred Red 1
Tim’s Dim Wit Bier 1
Top Drop Dopplebock 1
Wachusett Pale 1
Grand Total 65

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Section 508 Tutorial

If you are doing web pages and want to ensure accessibility this tutorial is a great place to start.

... Section 508 does not directly apply to private sector web sites or to public sites which are not U.S. Federal agency sites. In fact it doesn't even apply to the Congress or to the Judiciary. It also does not (generally) apply to agencies or establishments using Federal funds. So if it does not apply to all these institutions, what's the purpose? Those who crafted the law noted that the combined purchasing power of Federal agencies is tremendous. They believed that if the Federal agencies required accessible IT, then companies would respond by (1) offering accessible IT to the government and (2) rather than have two sets of products, they would offer accessible IT for everybody. At IBM in the late 90's, for example, the decision was to build accessibility into the entire development process - company wide. It just didn't make sense to have two sets of products.

But there is more to the 508 story. Section 508 provides accessibility standards for all information technology. Our focus here is web accessibility. But 508 covers all information technology and it is the only standard that does so. Computer software, hardware, and documentation are all covered by Section 508. When states wanted to require accessible information technology, they turned to the Section 508 Accessibility Standards to define "accessibility". Check out the ITTATC web site for a survey of state requirements for accessibility, most of which refer to Section 508.
For more on this topic, check out the tutorial here

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Steve Sherlock is Social Media: and So Can You

What follows is a guest post from Steve Sherlock's birthday mate, Phil Gerbyshak
Social media is a big part of my life. I spend about 20 hours a week online, writing and reading blogs, on Twitter and Facebook, and cultivating my network on LinkedIn. I also teach people to successfully use social media to grow their personal brand, and take their business to the next level. After 5 years doing this, I've come to realize one thing:

Steve Sherlock is Social Media, and So Can You!

I met Steve Sherlock a few years back. We started out as blogging buddies, sharing a space on a the Synergy Weblog, 100 Bloggers, and eventually, as part of the Ho'ohana Community at Joyful Jubilant Learning. We learned and shared the way of the geese from the wonderful book Gung Ho! If you're not familiar with the story, part of the story has geese honking each other on to achievement. Honk Honk! It's what Steve, and I, and the rest of the community did, and continue to do; we've helped each other find our way in the world.

Steve Sherlock is Social Media, and So Can You!

But it didn't stop there. Steve and I spent time taking the blog off the blog with phone calls, Skype conversations, and then taking advantage of travel opportunities to connect in real life. I've stayed at Steve's home in Franklin, Massachusetts, and we always get on like old friends. Sometimes Steve and his family would come near Milwaukee, and he'd always look me up, so we could reconnect and get to know each other a little more.

Steve Sherlock is Social Media, and So Can You!

I think most importantly, Steve has taught me about the power of asking questions to learn more about people, to pay attention to happy coincidences (like our shared birthday) and
sharing what you know by adding value where you can.

Steve Sherlock is Social Media, and So Can You!

It's really not that hard to be like Steve, or like me, whether it's your birthday today or not. Here's how you can be social media:

1) Seek out and show up in places where other smart people hang out - I spent time on the blogs Steve and I eventually connected at long before I ever left a comment or was part of the community. The folks there (Troy Worman, Rosa Say, Trevor Gay and Steve, to name the 4 most prominent folks) shared what they knew in real time. It wasn't perfect, but it was authentic and it was refreshing. There are now MILLIONS of blogs. Find a few with smart people and get to know the writer and the commenters. Make it your home. Get deep on just a few places and really add value to the community.

2) Take it off the blog and Twitter - Always make time to connect off the blog. Tweeting a link to your favorite bloggers post is nice. Spending time with them at a conferences is even better. Pick up the phone and call someone new. Chris Johnson is GREAT at this! He makes time to call people every single day. You can do it too!

3) Pay attention - Steve and I noticed that we shared a birthday. I noticed it was Stephen Smith's birthday yesterday. The more attention you pay to someone, the easier it is to get to know them, and the better you can help them. Social media has a LOT of ways to pay attention, so pick a few and use what you learn to better connect with others in your life.

Steve Sherlock is Social Media, and So Can You!

Happy birthday Steve! Thanks for sharing your space, your readers, and more importantly, your life, with me!

And to all the folks reading this post, thanks for sharing your attention with me! It means a lot to me, and I know you have a million other things you could be doing. The fact you took a few minutes of your time to share with me means a lot to me.

What are your best ways of BEING social media? Share your tips in the comments, and let's get to know each other a bit more.

Honk Honk!

Phil Gerbyshak is a professional speaker and social media coach based in Milwaukee, WI. He shares a birthday and a passion for lifelong learning with Steve Sherlock. If you'd like to connect with him, your best bet is to follow him on Twitter and send him a Tweet.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Saturday sunlight pictures

A collection of photos from Saturday afternoon. Dolores was changing over the decorations from Thanksgiving to Christmas. I put the leaf in the big table to get ready for the big gathering for Christmas. I also had a brain storm on how to fix the persistent woodpecker. I got a left over piece of Plexiglas from Aubuchon and covered up the corner board where he has been spending time making the board look more like Swiss cheese. We'll see how that works.

Back inside the house, the afternoon sunlight provided some good photo ops.

Time to change the decorations

Afternoon sunshine

And then it was time to vacuum! At least when you vacuum, there is clear proof of a job well done.

Vacuum proof!

What did you do Saturday?

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Greetings for Carolyn

Carolyn is studying abroad this semester and missed the family gatherings this weekend. We were able to Skype with her from the Proulx gathering on Thursday but she was traveling (your Mother wants to know if you study also?) and unable to Skype when the Sherlock's gathered on Friday.

We interrupted the game in progress to get a quick round of greetings for Carolyn:

The game can now resume!

Carolyn will be finishing up her studies and be home in time to Christmas. If you haven't read about her adventures yet, you can visit her blog here.

Now this is collaboration!

Via ZeFrank, a cute duet shows good collaboration.


Friday, November 27, 2009

Tom Peters: "leadership is a sacred trust"

Tom Peters on the "leadership is a sacred trust"

Thanks to David Zinger for the pointer to this video clip.

Well worth the three short minutes to view!

A little humor for Friday

Roy H Williams does an excellent weekly newsletter, the Monday Morning Memo. This week's edition included a clip of George Carlin comparing football and baseball. I hadn't seen this one before. Maybe you haven't.

If you have, you can either watch again or skip along.

If you haven't you will enjoy this:

You should also consider subscribing to the Monday Morning Memo.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving Day

This is just one time of many where we pause to give thanks.

I have so much to be thankful for I could write for some time and still miss someone or something.

I am thankful

for my wife Dolores and daughters Allison and Carolyn 
for my family
for my friends
for my work compatriots
for my network buddies

I appreciate your stopping by to read
and especially those who linger long enough to comment
or to drop me an email

I am thankful for just being able

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

job search notes: WSJ resume doctor

One piece of résumé advice to consider—and in particular for a marketing résumé like Ms. Jordan's: a listing of your technological capabilities, because these can speak to your experience and credibility. In Ms. Jordan's case, there is no mention of whether she has worked with market-research vendors such as Yankelovich or Mintel, or if she is proficient in market-research technologies like Oracle or Quickbase.
It turns out, Ms. Jordan is actually skilled in using Visio, SAS, JMP, Oracle, ComScore, Omniture, Webtrends and several other market-research technologies, all of which she has since added to her résumé.

Read more about the resume doctor service now available through the Wall Street Journal here.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

WGBH update - feedback reply

 I did send in feedback via the WGBH website and received this email in reply:

Dear Mr. Sherlock,

Operating a multi-format station like 89.7 is very challenging in today’s media environment. While many of our loyal supporters may understand our programming schedule and what genres air when, most other radio listeners follow single formats: talk radio, rock, oldies, etc. Sustaining the mixed format we’ve had in place on 89.7 has become financially difficult. We are confident that running a more focused service will help 89.7 grow and strengthen into the future.

We recognize that this is a disappointment to the followers of the folk and blues programs that will move off our air when the schedule changes on 89.7, and we value the comments you have shared with us. We are very proud of the many contributions that WGBH and our hosts have made to folk and blues in Boston and New England. The Boston audience for folk and blues will continue to be served by other stations, like WUMB 91.9FM Boston, WNEF 91.7FM Newburyport, WFPB 1170AM Orleans, WICN 90.5FM Worcester, WOMR 92.1FM Provincetown, New Hampshire Public Radio, WHRB 95.3FM, WZLX 100.7FM Boston and WUML 91.5FM Lowell, and elements of folk and blues will continue to be heard as part of our Celtic and jazz programming on 89.7.

We hope that you will find other programs and services of value on WGBH that are worthy of support.


WGBH Member Development and Services

Produced in Boston — shared with the world.
So when the phone rang this evening (at dinner time) and it was WGBH calling for me to renew my support that I had done so well over the years, I was glad that she had my history right in front of her. It made my point all the more effective.

Sorry, but since you have changed your programing, I have therefore changed my support model. I'll go provide some financial support to stations that appreciate the folk market place.

She wanted to know if I had sent in my feedback, I let her know I had.
She wanted to know if I had received a response. Well, I really don't call that a response. It looks as some one cut and paste from the prior notification and didn't even bother to sign it. It could have been an automated reply.

I asked her to record my comments and refusal to contribute as due to the program change. She acknowledged she would.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Aneta Hall's recap on Web 2.0 Expo

Lots of good info on the recent Web 2.0 Expo from Aneta Hall:

Web 2.0 Expo – 10 favorite presentations you want to share with your boss


job search notes: software to manage the search

How do you manage your job search details? How do you track the list of contacts, the actions and scheduled followup items?

Do you use
a spreadsheet
pieces of paper
or are they organized in a binder?

How about considering a software tool?

I met JR Rodrigues when preparing for the LaidOff Camp. He has developed a simple program based upon contact management software that will manage your job search effort.

It offers a free trial version. There is nothing wrong with a free trial.

The full license version is only $29. A decent price point, relatively low cost for those currently looking for work.

I downloaded my free trial version and will start playing with it today. If you'd like your own copy, you can go here to download the free version.

Or you can wait until mine expires 12/3/09 and see if I decide to purchase the full version.

For more information JR's program, visit

For more information on JR, you can find him on LinkedIn

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Beyond the dream

Carolina Correa is recently from Pawtucket, RI (where I grew up) who spent time at the Boys & Girls Club (although it was just the Boys Club in my days) and is now at Assumption College (my alma mater) and doing very well for herself. She was selected to be Youth of the Year!

Way to go, Carolina!

The video can be viewed here

She is promoting education because "without it you can not achieve your dream!"

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Persistent woodpecker

Yes, he is quite persistent. He is leaving the corner trim board of my house looking like Swiss cheese.

The one that came by this afternoon either was a red-bellied sapsucker or a hairy woodpecker. According to the bird guide I looked it, it looked to be the hairy woodpecker but the hole pattern seemed more like the red-bellied sapsucker.

Either way, they love that corner of the house. Apparently they get attracted y the buzzing in the power liens and mistake that for the insects that they think are hiding in the wood.

Quote Collection

Picking up on Christopher S Penn's suggestion to include a quote page, I decided that it was a good idea. I have long collected quoted. I share good ones I find in my email signature at work. I haven't done that with Google Mail yet, but there is no reason not to.

This collection will grow as I relocate those I have here from my other source files.

This collection will also grow organically as I find new ones. I'll try to put the news ones on top to make it easier for you to check in and see what's been happening.

Here is my collection of quotes:

"Coming together is a beginning
keeping together is progress
working together is success"
Henry Ford

"Every man with a new idea is a crank until the idea succeeds... Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." - Mark Twain

"The Seven-step Path to Sustaining Success
You take care of the people.
The people take care of the service.
The service takes care of the customer.
The customer takes care of the profit.
The profit takes care of the re-investment.
The re-investment takes care of the re-invention.
The re-invention takes care of the future.
(And at every step the only measure is EXCELLENCE.)" Tom Peters

"Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity" Horace Mann

“Some people think that friends have to be equals in everything -- in other words, what I get from you must be equal to what you get from me. Friendship depends on what you give to each other, not what you get from each other. You cannot base a friendship on illusions. I express my friendship equation this way: My ambition as your friend is that my friendship has a positive influence on your quality of life. If I am able to accomplish that, it will enhance my quality of life.” Bill Russell

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." - Mark Twain

"The chicken is involved in a ham-and-eggs breakfast, but the pig is truly committed." Roy H Williams

“Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting that speaks.” Plutarch

"Until you are willing to be confused about what you already know, what you know will never grow bigger, better, or more useful." - Erickson

"You can stay young as long as you learn." - Emily Dickinson

"Among our egocentric sad-sacks, despair is as addictive as heroin and more popular than sex, for the single reason that when one is unhappy one gets to pay a lot of attention to oneself. You get to take yourself oh so very seriously. Misery becomes a kind of emotional masturbation. The unhappy person resents it when you try to cheer him up, because that means he has to stop dwelling on himself and start paying attention to the universe."
– Tom Robbins

"The mind is like a parachute it works best when opened" attributed to Charlie Chaplin, Frank Zappa and Sir Thomas Robert Dewar

"The aim of every artist is to arrest motion, which is life... and hold it fixed so that a hundred years later, when a stranger looks at it, it moves again since it is life." - William Faulkner

"The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery each day. Never lose a holy curiosity." - Albert Einstein

" ... we should all probably calm down about politics. Most of the proposals we argue about so ferociously will have only marginal effects on how we live, especially compared with the ethnic, regional and social differences that we so studiously ignore." David Brooks

"We attend too many seminars. We take too many classes. We buy too many books. We play too many audios in our cars. It's all wasted if we're unclear on what learning really is: Learning is not attending, listening or reading. Nor is it merely gaining knowledge. Learning is really about translating knowing what to do into doing what we know. It is about changing. If we have not changed we have not learned. What have you learned today?" - John G. Miller

“Teaching depends on what other people think, not what you think.” Deborah Loewenberg Ball

“I have never been especially impressed by the heroics of people convinced they are about to change the world. I am more awed by those who struggle to make one small difference.”  Ellen Goodman

"If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, ‘Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.’”  Martin Luther King, Jr.

"Over time the needs of the people you serve become your stake in the challenges of our time. Because, in the end, service binds us to each other, and to our community and to our country in a way that nothing else can…"  Barack Obama

“Why worry about being a nobody when what matters is being a somebody in those areas of your life over which you have control, and in which you can make a difference?” Epictetus

"In a world where the infrastructure continues to advance exponentially. We need to shift from learning-to-be to learning-to-become over and over again. And being able to regrind our conceptual lens."  John Seeley Brown

"Today, it is not important to measure what our children can be taught.  In stead, we should figure out how to measure what they can gain through their growing skills of learning, curiosity, resourcefulness, and caring - and what they can do with what they've learned. The world has become more cooperative, not competitive.  The world has become a lot more interesting..."  David Warlick

“People do not live by bread alone. They need buttering up every once in a while.”  Robert Henry

"The chances that you can top a trusted provider on the very thing the provider is trusted for are slim indeed. Instead, you gain converts by winning at something the existing provider didn't think was so important." -- Seth Godin

"Celebrate small victories often. Mourn failures quickly. Do what's necessary without fanfare." -- Chris Brogan

"Our example to our children, to our families, and to the world around us is constant. The question is not whether or not anyone is watching, the question is what are they learning as they watch." --  Kirk Weisler

“A knowledge of truth is of little value unless we apply it by making right choices” -- Rebecca Weisler

“Nurture your mind with great thoughts, for you will never go any higher than you think.” -- Benjamin Disraeli

"If a man empties his purse into his head, no one can take it away from him. An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest." -- Benjamin Franklin

"Always do right - this will gratify some and astonish the rest". -- Mark Twain

"Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved." -- Helen Keller

''Think as you work--for in the final analysis, your worth to your company comes not only in solving problems, but also in anticipating them.'' -- Tom Lehrer

"I have always thought the actions of men the best interpreters of their thoughts." -- John Locke

"We must free ourselves of the hope that the sea will ever rest. We must learn to sail in high winds." -- Aristotle Onassis

"There are only two things of importance. One is the customer, and the other is the product. If you take care of customers, they come back. If you take care of your product, it doesn't come back. It's just that simple. And it's just that difficult." -- Stanley Marcus

"What we can or cannot do, what we consider possible or impossible, is rarely a function of our true capability. It is more likely a function of our beliefs about who we are." -- Tony Robbins

"We the willing, led by the unknowing, are doing the impossible for the ungrateful. We have done so much, with so little, for so long, we are now qualified to do anything, with nothing." -- Mother Teresa

"If you would taste truth and beauty and grace, you must reach for the fruit of a tree planted deep in the soil of irrational commitment." Roy H Williams

"One of the deep secrets of life is that all that is really worth doing is what we do for others." -- Lewis Carol

“Words are living things for they are filled with the breath of life. Giving them the power to create or to destroy, to give life or to take it away.” -- Kate Maxwell Stephens

"The goal of life is to take everything that made you weird as a kid and get people to pay you money for it when you're older." -- David Freeman

"Every day you may make progress. Every step may be fruitful. Yet there will stretch out before you an ever-lengthening, ever-ascending, ever-improving path. You know you will never get to the end of the journey. But this, so far from discouraging, only adds to the joy and glory of the climb." -- Sir Winston Churchill

"Faith is believing that one of two things might happen, she said, that there will be something solid for you to stand on or that you will be taught to fly." -- unknown

"It seems to me, she said, that we only really see something when we allow ourselves a different point of view." -- same unknown reference as above

"Everything in the universe is connected, of course. It's a matter of using imagination to discover the links, and language to expand and enliven them." -- Tom Robbins

"With computers, the answer is always yes or no. My job is to figure out how to ask the question." -- Andy Shook

"The thing is, we still live in a world that's filled with opportunity. In fact, we have more than an opportunity -- we have an obligation. An obligation to spend our time doing great things. To find ideas that matter and to share them. To push ourselves and the people around us to demonstrate gratitude, insight, and inspiration. To take risks and to make the world better by being amazing."-- Seth Godin

''They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.''  -- Benjamin Franklin

"You need to take a hold of your destiny, or someone else will." -- Author Unknown

"Cheerfulness at the workplace has nothing to do with function and everything to do with purpose. We get what we think." -- Author Unknown 

"There are some good things to be said about walking. Not many, but some. Walking takes longer, for example, than any other known form of locomotion except crawling. Thus it stretches time and prolongs life. Life is already too short to waste on speed. I have a friend who's always in a hurry; he never gets anywhere. Walking makes the world much bigger and thus more interesting. You have time to observe the details. The utopian technologists foresee a future for us in which distance is annihilated and anyone can transport himself anywhere, instantly. Big deal, Buckminster. To be everywhere at once is to be nowhere forever, if you ask me."   Edward Abbey

“The inability to open up to hope is what blocks trust, and blocked trust is the reason for blighted dreams.” Elizabeth Gilbert

"If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn't lead anywhere." Frank A Clark

"The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places." Ernest Hemingway  A Farewell to Arms