Monday, December 31, 2012

Winter view

Winter wonderland

Plowed roads

Rolling hills

photo opportunities

and a good workout!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

3 word goal preparation

Approaching the end of the year, start of the new year will follow. Reviewing what has happened and what I'd like to prioritize for the new year.

I am thinking about my three word goals. Are you?

The possibilities are endless... what will the goals be?

Friday, December 28, 2012

Make it easy

End of December, almost the new year. Coincidentally the refrigerator water filter needs to be replaced and my membership renewal for WGBH is also due. Which one do you think is easier to do?

If you think that the renewal of a donation as a returning member would be easier than ordering a part for the refrigerator, you'd be wrong.

Sears and their parts direct operation sent a post card with the reminder that the water filter is due to be replaced. They included the part number (duh, they had it, we have ordered it every six months for several years) and an offer for free shipping if we signed up for an automatic renewal!

Done deal!

WGBH on the other hand, while they sent a reminder I also have a couple of other ones from them, some with the correct (i.e original member number) and others with a different number and yet another with out a number (clearly a targeted mailing).

Now, I have been renewing my membership for longer than I have been ordering the water filter yet the process has not improved. Hence, the multiple mailings. Even when you sign in to your online account, and go to the membership renewal page, you still have to input the member number (which is optional as they want the money more than they want to ensure you keep the same member number).

Kudos to Sears!

Sorry 'GBH, maybe someday you'll create a better user renewal experience

Thursday, December 27, 2012


late to do this for today but breakfast looked good

I sauteed some onion and chopped green bell pepper, added some left over ham also chopped into bits. When the mix was hot and smelling good, I took it out of the frying pan and put it aside. Added some olive oil to the pan and swirled it around. Added my scrambled egg mix to the pan and let it set, swirling gently around the edges to spread the loose egg mixture until it started getting solid. Loosened the egg from the sides of the pan and got it ready to fold in half. Returned the ham, onions and peppers back on top of the egg and folder it in half.

Then kicked myself for not adding the shredded cheese I had put aside for this. Oh well, next time.

Cheese or not cheese, it was a good breakfast!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas 2012 - part 1

Dolores' sisters and parents gathered for Christmas dinner. A day of family fun, good food and plenty of conversation. Unfortunately, Diane broke her ankle which dampened the spirits a little. We did take the time for a family photo:

Connie and Joseph Proulx Family
Posted by Picasa

The Sherlocks will be gathering today. For those who aren't able travel to Franklin, we'll use technology to its fullest and do a video session to connect virtually.

Monday, December 24, 2012

home is where the best cookies are

next to the amaryllis are some trays of cookies ready for the family gathering later this week.

home is where the best cookies are!

home is where the best cookies are!

and Day 2 of the amaryllis tracking

amaryllis - day 2

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Amaryllis series: Day 1

Next to the Christmas cookies and holiday plates
in the sunshine, by the window
the amaryllis is starting
will it grow and bloom?

How wonderful will it look as it blooms?

Stay tuned to the amaryllis series

Saturday, December 22, 2012

"notashow" (video)

New beginnings
taking on challenges
finding others along the same road
something in common
starts a conversation
the conversation goes on and on
eventually you realize that you have built a community
you have accomplished much
and there is so much more to do

Friday, December 21, 2012

so much for the end

the end of one day brings the beginning of another
new, different, full of opportunity

I got my run in before the rain arrives here in Franklin today

With this new beginning on a new day, I have much to do.

Give your self permission to accomplish good things today!

Enjoy the dessert!

FYI - This dessert is available at CAV in Providence, RI

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Set expectations

Setting expectations is one step in delivering good customer service.

This doesn't always have to be fancy. A simple sign like this letting you know that the sink isn't working saves you the step to try it only to find out it doesn't work.

Include your customers in gathering feedback on the expectations you can set for the service you deliver. This helps to ground you that you are delivering what they want.

With expectations set appropriately, then you can focus on delivering!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

angel on top

The wreath on the front door arrived a couple of weeks ago. The window lights went in this past weekend just after the tree was set up.

The angel in lights went on top then Allison took over to decorate the remainder of the tree.

Are you preparing for Christmas?

Sunday, December 16, 2012

They have a name

One common theme I have viewed on the web in the response to the Sandy Hook tragedy was that the victims should not remain nameless. That the victims names should be more memorable than the perpetrator's name.

Hence the following listing (via wikipedia)
Nancy Lanza, 52, perpetrator's mother
Rachel Davino, 29, teacher
Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung, 47, principal
Anne Marie Murphy, 52, teacher
Lauren Rousseau, 30, teacher
Mary Sherlach, 56, school psychologist
Victoria Soto, 27, teacher
Charlotte Bacon, 6
Daniel Barden, 7
Olivia Engel, 6
Josephine Gay, 7
Dylan Hockley, 6
Madeline F. Hsu, 6
Catherine Violet Hubbard, 6
Chase Kowalski, 7
Jesse Lewis, 6
Ana Marquez-Greene, 6
James Mattioli, 6
Grace McDonnell, 6
Emilie Parker, 6
Jack Pinto, 6
Noah Pozner, 6
Caroline Previdi, 6
Jessica Rekos, 6
Avielle Richman, 6
Benjamin Wheeler, 6
Allison N. Wyatt, 6
There are people in my circle with similar last names. Any relation?

And what of Mary Sherlach - very close to 'sherlock', perhaps a re-write as their ancestors came trough Immigration?

Keep these people, their family and friends in your prayers

Saturday, December 15, 2012

DejaBrew: photo set of brewing

Photos from our last brewing session in November. Getting around to managing them in the Flickr collection.

Related posts on DejaBrew

Friday, December 14, 2012

Location, location, location (reprise)

In real life I do not stand this tall. I am tall enough to be asked to reach for things on the top shelf.

I also recall that quote about give me a spot to stand and I will move the world (or something like that).

Finishing my run this morning presented the opportunity to cast my shadow.

Where do you stand? Are you in a position to help with your skills and talents?

Stand in a way to cast a long shadow!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

If there is a will, there is a way

This TEDTalk is less than 6 minutes. Ludwick briefly summarizes his motivation and process to develop a waterless bathing solution.

The key for me is his motivation. The second and related key is how he persisted to develop his idea with only his cell phone.

Reminds me of that familiar adage "If there is a will, there is a way!"

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


today is a special day, 12/12/12

you are up and awake, you are reading this

all is good thus far, now give yourself permission to go and do more goodness today!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

12 Days of Donating: Day 12

On the last day of the "12 Days of Donating", let's continue to look back through the events of the year and see how much we can be thankful for in Franklin.

We are still in December, so to try and reflect on the month while only in the middle is a bit fool hardy. The tree has been purchased but not yet set up or decorated. Cookies are being made. Plans are being reviewed, action items completed, presents wrapped and perhaps shipped to places far from Franklin to arrive in time.

There'll be places to go, people to see: performances of the Nutcracker (Dec 15 and 16 at the Patti Eisenhauer Dance Center); Midsummer Night's Dream (Dec 19 and 20 at Franklin High School)... A Christmas Carol at the United Methodist Church this Thursday, Dec 13. 

In your travels around Franklin, consider dropping off a contribution of food or non-food items, to the Food Elves and the Franklin Downtown Partnership for their 12 Days of Donating drive. The people of Franklin receive the real benefits of such collaboration!

Donation bins are available at these participating businesses:
  • Berry Insurance, 9 Main St.
  • Chestnut Dental Associates, 38 Pond St.
  • Dean Bank, 21 Main St.
  • Dean College, Campus Center
  • DCU, 500 West Central St.
  • East Coast Driving School, 25 East Central St.
  • Emma’s Quilt Cupboard, 12 Main St.
  • Franklin Downtown Partnership Office, 9 East Central St.
  • Jane’s Frames, 11 East Central St.
  • Murphy Business, 15 East Central St.
  • RE/MAX Executive Realty, 445 Franklin Village Dr.

You can also make a donation securely through the Franklin Food Pantry web page

Day 11 -

Day 10 -
Day 9 -
Day 8 -
Day 7 -
Day 6 -
Day 5 -
Day 4 -
Day 3 -
Day 2 -
Day 1 -

Monday, December 10, 2012

from the archives: the fire circle story

I posted the Fire Circle story in 2005 and recorded it in 2006. I still find myself coming back to it so I dug this up from the archives to share again. Enjoy!

Original text can be found here

Time 00:07:39

MP3 File

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Chicken, broccoli and rice casserole

A recipe from the Sherlock Family cookbook has been kicked up a notch by adding some chicken to it. A package of Perdue "Short Cuts" works well for this. You could also prepare your own pieces with some grilled or broiled chicken breast.

1 cup raw rice
1 bunch fresh broccoli or 2 x 10 oz packages of frozen broccoli crowns
1 stick of margarine
2 stalks of celery, chopped
1 can cream of chicken soup
3/4 can (use soup can) of milk
5 slices of American cheese
Ritz cracker crumbs
1 medium onion, chopped

Boil rice and broccoli. Saute onion and celery in margarine. Mix with cooked rice and broccoli.
Place in buttered casserole. Add soup and milk. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Top with cheese and cracker crumbs. Bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees F.

The before baking photo

Chicken, broccoli and rice casserole before baking

Steve's modifications

I used 2-3 tablespoons of margarine and then added some olive oil to saute the onions and celery. I made sure the celery started to get soft and didn't let the onions caramelize.

The frozen broccoli was allowed to thaw but was added without being cooked first. Baking in the oven for the hour is enough to cook the broccoli and still leave it firm If it is pre-cooked, the broccoli comes out as mush. For those who like it that way, go ahead. For those who like their broccoli a little firm, try it this way.

Adding the chicken which is already cooked doesn't change the cooking time.

The seasonings can be adjusted also. If your tastes allow for more than salt and pepper, go for it. Mrs Dash has some nice combinations that when used sparingly add a nice taste to the casserole.

The after baking photo

Chicken, broccoli and rice casserole after baking

Friday, December 07, 2012

Remembering Pearl Harbor

Dec 7, a day to live in infamy as the attack on Pearl Harbor brought us fully into World War II.

military uniforms on display at Franklin Historical Museum

At the Franklin Historical Museum, there is a military uniform display that is open through December. One of the items (not pictured here) is a shirt worn at Pearl Harbor on the day of the attack.

For those in the Franklin area, if you haven't had a chance to stop by to see the Museum, there are lots of treasures like this on display. It is worth a visit especially as it is free admission!

For more info on Pearl Harbor, this wikipedia page can get you started

For more info on the Franklin Historical Museum, you can visit their web page

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Holiday beer

The 'Band of Brewers' were at Deja Brew Tuesday night to bottle our most recent 6 kettles just in time for the holidays.

The cap codes for the beer this time around:

  • E for Evil Santa
  • G for the Gingerbread Stout
  • W for the Winter Warmer
  • O for the Old Time Winter
  • 'blank' cap codes will be for the Hearty Christmas Ales

In the back room at Deja Brew, there are lots of containers with beer fermenting

For other posts on my trips to Deja Brew, check here

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

The little things

The devil is in the detail

It is the little things that matter

Having spent a good deal of time managing projects, I do pay attention to details. So when it was my birthday recently, and the doodle on the Google home page recognized my birthday, I was still impressed.

personalized Google Doodle

Yes, I know how they did it. It is easy but it takes planning and execution to make it happen

And they did!

It made my day.

Use your Google+ account regularly and see what happens on your birthday!

Monday, December 03, 2012


The tree along the edge of the DelCarte Property in Franklin casts its reflection on the water.

Does the reflection mimic the root system?

Something to ponder. 

I had a good long run yesterday. Wanted to do at least 5.9 miles and ended up with 6.8. More the merrier especially as it was a sort of photo run. I did pause here and there to take a photo or two, like this one.

No running today, I only do that three days a week now. The schedule works for me. Running keeps me physically healthy. Writing keeps me mentally healthy. Work provides the where with all to allow this all to happen.

How do you approach your day?

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Birthday wish

As I take a few minutes to look back on 2012, my three word goals definitely helped me though the year.

I have learned about dealing with loss (here and here) and have worked through some challenging times with the Food Pantry. I have continued to share here and elsewhere. And laughter has definitely helped to carry me through the day.

So what is my birthday wish?

I don't expect you to follow my three word goals. It would be better for you to determine your own. You will should them. They should matter to you and those who surround you!

If you recall the lessons of Maslow's Hierarchy, food is right there on the bottom of the pyramid. It is a key building block to self actualization. I would like you to contribute in some way to your local food pantry.  Spend some time volunteering, contribute financially, or at least find out about what they are doing, how they are doing, and help to spread the word about their good work.

I support the Franklin Food Pantry because Franklin matters to me. Help me enjoy my birthday by doing something for your local food pantry!

Thank you

FYI - You can find a local food bank here

or a local food pantry here

You can donate to the Franklin Food Pantry here

Photo from the Turkey Trot Family Fun Run 5K held in Franklin on Thanksgiving to help the Franklin Food Pantry.

Saturday, December 01, 2012

hold the date - Mar 30, 2013

Yes, mark you calendar for March 30, 2013. This will be the return of the now longest running podcamp held in New England: PodCamp WesternMass!

Additional information will be forthcoming as the event planning committee confirms all details.

It was unfortunate that I could not make the 2012 event due to a death in the family. I hope 2013 will be a much better year!


Friday, November 30, 2012

lights sparking

The downtown area of Franklin was in a festive spirit Thursday evening as the annual Holiday Stroll took place. Sponsored by the Franklin Downtown Partnership, many of the businesses opened their doors to special activities which drew attention. A chilly evening was filled with happy voices of families as the moved from the Fire Station to the Historical Museum to the craft tables...

It was a fun evening!

More about the evening can be found on Franklin Matters here and here

Thursday, November 29, 2012

loose screw

A screw came loose
or a bolt lost its nut

the sign now hangs giving a message
that is difficult to read

will it be more likely to catch someones attention hanging this way?

will it be more likely to be ignore hanging this way?

what would it take to fix the sign?
how long will it take to fix the sign?

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

see the forest for the trees

The woods can be inviting. With the leaves down, you can see further now than you could earlier this year.

Perspectives matter. What do you see? Do you see further?

Do you see hazards?

Do you see the potential?

Monday, November 26, 2012

Bluegrass Monday (video)

Coming off a busy and mostly filled with family events weekend, bluegrass music is good for this Monday. I'd need to talk about as quickly as they play to relate it all!


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

I am quite proud to be part of the Franklin community today.

just before the start of the race/walk

The Feed the Need Turkey Trot 5K race/walk drew over 300 participants who combined to fill the Franklin Food Pantry van with goods

and raise over $5,000 to help our neighbors!

This is a great start to Thanksgiving! I have so much to be grateful for. I wish you and your family all the best!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Frosty mailbox

Another frosty morning here in Franklin, MA.

The mailbox is coated. The car windshields are coated. Drivers please take a few minutes to clear all your windows before heading out on the road.

You'll appreciate the visibility you get with all your windows clear.

Drive safely!

Monday, November 19, 2012

In color style

The variety of leaf colors in New England is legendary. This fall is no exception. Color surrounds us. Most trees seem to have dropped their load aided by Hurricane Sandy but some still hold on.

Running around Franklin Sunday morning found this stretch of trees dropping their leaves as the wind blew.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Frosty morning

Back in the house, I am coffeed and warm. It was a cool morning with 27 degrees Fahrenheit recorded on the back deck before going running. I put on my tights for the first time to run  this season and certainly not the last.

As the sun rose, the shadows moved and the frosted grass turned green.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

4 chords

1, 2, 3, 4

Yes, just four chords

How many songs can you recognize that use the same four chords?

And yet such variety!


Note some NSFW language added to this updated version from the Axis of Awesome

Friday, November 16, 2012

5 podcasts for Friday

I haven't done a "Five for Friday" in a bit so here we go:

On Being - some highly intelligent conversations around big issues

WTF - Mark Moran, a comedian with some raunchy language but a great interview technique and interesting conversations

Here's the Thing - Alec Baldwin, yes, the actor who actually is more serious than how he usually appears  and dig into the archives to find his interview with Billy Joel - priceless!

RadioLab - explores the scientific side of things in interesting ways, with shorts and longer podcasts. Only issue is that it not as frequently published as I would like

And for something not yet available other than via a weekly email, the MondayMorningMemo - yes, once a week, religiously on Monday's


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Network, network, network

Network, network, network

Yes, that could be taken as an update on the legendary "location, location, location". You do need to keep your network aware of what you are doing. You need to be aware of what is happening within your network. I have heard it said that "it is how you know". I have also heard it said that "it is what you know." I think it is more of a combination of those two: who knows what you know and can do!

How do you keep your network informed? Publish updates, send emails, with technology opportunities today, there are so many possibilities. Do what you are comfortable with and works for you.

How do you keep informed of what's happening in your network? Likewise, there are any number of tools available to use. One tried and true method is simply presence. Go where your network is. See and be seen!

I will be at the Franklin Downtown Partnership networking event this evening, if we haven't already meet, please be sure to say hi. If we have, let's catch up on what's been happening since we last met!

"Thursday, November 15th - Starting at 5:00 but come anytime...before 8:00 and we will be there.The event will be at Six One Seven Studios'state of the art film studio located at 25 Kenwood Circle in Franklin"
Additional info can be found on the Downtown Partnership page

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

It's my Twitter birthday!

Wow! Has it been that long?

If you'd like to follow me on Twitter you can find me here

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Deja Brew - 6 kettles

The "Band of Brewers" gathered at Deja Brew Monday evening for another 6 kettles. Some heavy beers are in the mix so we'll return in three weeks to bottle them in time for the holidays.

The grains are draining in this photo. We had the pleasure of doing the Winter Jubilee Barley Wine

Winter Jubilee Barley Wine A nice, smooth easy to drink year round Barley Wine
Oatmeal Stout A thick, velvety stout. Wilfred Brimley would be proud
Evil Santa's Ale High in alcohol and hoppiness! A new type of hop for us
Hearty Christmas Ale A hearty Ale, spicy, flavorful and inviting!
Hearty Christmas Ale A hearty Ale, spicy, flavorful and inviting!
Old Man Winter Ale A very nice winter warmer. Malty and high in alcohol!

Only one new beer in this mix. The Oatmeal Stout. The others are tried and true favorites!

Friday, November 09, 2012

Change is the nature of weather

especially here in New England. Mark Twain is credited with saying that if you don't like New England weather, stick around for 5 minutes and it will change.

And in many cases, that is oh so true. Snow via the nor'easter on Wednesday, windy rain Thursday AM, sunshine forecasted for Friday with a rise in temperatures to 60 by Sunday and maybe 70 for Monday.

The snow will have melted and we might be able to enjoy the deck in our shirt sleeves!

Fasten your seat belts, this will be a roller coaster ride!

Thursday, November 08, 2012


The nor'easter brought the first snow to us on Wednesday. It doubled my drive time home from work and provided some shoveling exercise.

I gave the driveway two passes, once when I got home and then again before going to bed. It was good that I did the later as this morning, it was so much easier to just take off the dusting that did fall or drift around overnight and then tackle the end of the driveway. The plows had come by sometime after I shoveled last night and left their usual pile at the end of the driveway.

I'd rather have snow than a hurricane!

For the record, we did end up with about 3" or so.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Common ground

All the robocalls are done. All the campaign literature will stop becoming a recycle opportunity.

I hope that all the winning candidates will now get to business of creating a dialog with their second most important segment. Of course, the most important segment of their audience is their voters. The second most important is their fellow legislators, whatever the role as representatives, senators, etc.

Together you will have the opportunity to govern as you promised. Governing you will find, if you haven't already, requires compromise. Compromise is not a bad thing. Together you can discuss how to reach a common ground so that we all can walk forward together.

Your success in finding that common ground will determine our overall success!

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

"The Naked Truth of Social Media" - Phil Gerbyshak and friends

What has Phil Gerbyshak been up to lately? Phil has pulled together a fine group of folks to publish an ebook on social media.

You can get your copy of this ebook through this link

Related posts:

Phil is my birthday buddy

Taking the blog off the blog:


Friday, November 02, 2012

honest or dishonest? (video)

RSA does good animations and in this talk tackles honesty and dishonesty via Dan Ariely!

Enjoy your Friday!

Thursday, November 01, 2012


It is almost too hard to watch TV as the news programs reveal the devastation left behind by Hurricane Sandy in New York and New Jersey.

While the news is focusing on what has happened to the US, we should not forget that this all started in the Caribbean. Haiti, hard hit in prior years, was hit hard again by this storm. And they weren't alone!

Wikipedia has a good overall recap of the full path of the storm and effects

What can we take away from this?
Do what you can in your own way to help your neighbors.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Hello Halloween

What trick or treat will we get today?

Sandy has left destruction and rebuilding opportunities galore in New York, New Jersey and other areas. Having lived in NJ and worked in the lower Manhattan financial district, viewing the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy hits hard. I wish those affected all the best!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

grateful, again

Hurricane Sandy has dissipated. We are fortunate to have been spared the brunt of the storm. The next photo I share of our dogwood tree will reveal how only a few leaves are left. The wind and rain have knocked most of them down.

Our thoughts and prayers go to those for whom the storm remains a problem.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

walking around

On my 'reporting by walking around' Franklin, I carry my camera and find photo opportunities. Some photos I use right away, some are filed away for use when I need either inspiration or an example of something I already found to help make the point.

Yes, 'reporting by walking around' is a take off on the 'managing by walking around' business concept that has had some legs because it works. It becomes harder to do today physically only because less of us are really all working in the same space. Some of my team at work are not in the same building so touching base with them can't be done by walking around. Technology steps in to help. I can still reach out to talk, chat, email etc with them every day.

Walking helps me keep in touch with what is going on around Franklin. I make time for that on the weekend. With my work schedule and shrinking daylight hours, the weekend is the only practical time for this. Networking can be done on a 7 x 24 x 365 basis. What used to be done only in person can now be done almost anytime, anywhere via technology. Chat, hangouts, email, LinkedIn... the choice of tools is almost growing daily.

Do you make time to walk around?

Do you make time to network?

Friday, October 26, 2012

So nobody showed up?

How much did you use your internal resources to advertise the event?

Did you put it in your newsletter, did you put it on the sign outside the building?

Did you avoid conflict with other events on that date/time?

Did you share the information in a compelling manner?

Did you use a Facebook event?

Did you alert the local media to the event?

Did you invite the local media?

Did you provide an incentive like free food and drinks?

Anything else we should add to this listing?

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Birthday flowers!

The flowers delivered to Dolores for her birthday!

With some candy corn to eat as well

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

So much to be grateful for

The United Regional Chamber of Commerce held their annual Taste of the Region Tuesday evening. I was there to represent the Franklin Food Pantry and take back the collection that they were making for us.

At an event like this it is hard to not wear both hats; that of Franklin Matters and that of the Food Pantry. There were several conversations to share the information about the Food Pantry. These kinds of networking opportunities can be priceless. It is the little things when shared that allow for good to come together.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Puddle reflections

Where do you look when you look around?

Do you look up? down, for shadows, for reflections?

There is much to see when you consider your point of view!

Monday, October 22, 2012

welcome mat

Stone wall, nice fence. Ceremonial or functional?

What presence do you create?

Is there a welcome mat on your front porch?

Friday, October 19, 2012

8% of Franklin

With your help, the Franklin Food Pantry has an opportunity to do more. Given the numbers here, we may not be serving all of these children. There may be several reasons why. So you can help in two ways:

1 - If you know of a family that is being challenged to provide sustaining meals, let them know that the Food Pantry is available to help them. Awareness of the Pantry and its operation is a good first step to serving all that we should.

2 - You can contribute food and non-food items, volunteer your time, or make a financial contribution to help the Pantry serve your neighbors.

For additional information on the Franklin Food Pantry, you can visit their webpage

Note: I am working on the Board of Directors because Franklin matters very much to me.

how to share

Yes, time for a video this Friday. I have given up drinking sodas for several years now but this looks cool!


Thanks to a good friend for sharing this!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

pedestrian guides

In a big city, but it really can happen anywhere, pedestrians are used to walking where they please. So they can cut across here rather than going to the corner and use the cross walk. How do you change that behavior?

Create a barrier that is not easy to cross!

This is just one of several examples from downtown Newark, NJ where the pedestrian is guided to use and stay within the crosswalk. No 'desire line' to be made in this case.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Reflections on Newark, NJ

Sunday morning, the streets are nearly empty. Only a few cars here and there. Only a few pedestrians. Some with the programs for the Dodge Poetry Festival walking to their next session.

Newark is architecturally rich. I think as much as any other city that has been around since the early days in America. The variety and mix of new and old buildings. Buildings re-purposed as times have changed.

Buildings are also barred, gated, access restricted even where the entrance was inviting you to come in to worship. Sign of the times? Or were these added in the late 60's? Newark has had an interesting history. I want to know more. In one park, I found a statue for Seth Boyden. Who is this Seth Boyden who has merits a statue not far from one to George Washington and Christopher Columbus?

According to wikipedia, Boyden was born in Foxboro, MA and moved to Newark where he
Boyden perfected the process for making patent leather, created malleable iron, invented a nail-making machine, and built his own steamboat. He is also credited with having invented a cut off switch for steam engines and a method for producing zinc from ore. At the time of his death, he told friends that he had, even at that time, enough experiments on hand to last two whole lifetime.
A prolific inventor who apparently was instrumental in the early business life of Newark. Newark will need more Boyden's today. They may be already toiling away doing good stuff. We just haven't heard of them yet. Time to explore!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Exploring the pause

Day 2 at the Geraldine R Dodge Poetry Festival began well and ended on a high note. The major disappointment during the day was the reading by Fanny Howe during the Friday night prime time.

Terrance Hayes read several poems wrapping them with what we needed to know before hand in either a short explanation or a longer one. There was an intensity in his work that came through clearly.

Fanny Howe followed Terrance. She admitted being still moved by his works. Maybe that was what held her back. It was my first real exposure to her extended reading. I had heard her during the sampler on Thursday evening. So disappointed with her reading that I immediately wrote and tweeted this:
sherku: Fanny Howe 
she reads
on and on
no break, no pause
which poem
ends where
only she knows
for sure
Thomas Lux and Jane Hirshfield read from their works restoring the evening to credible readings. Then the evening closed with a performance by Kurtis Lamkin.

Kurtis opened with "jump mama". The third time I heard this during this Festival and it is rich each time. He then was accompanied by a tip dance virtuoso; Maurice Chestnut

Maurice added percussion with his feet to create some memorable performances. You can view a sample of Maurice's work accompanying a jazz band at Lincoln Center

Without the space between each tap, without the timing/ the rhythm, this would be noise. Without the pause between poems, Fanny created only sounds of words. You can find those anywhere.


Friday, October 12, 2012

Taylor Mail: Undivided attention

The 14th Geraldine R Dodge Poetry Festival opened on Thursday in Newark, NJ. I missed the last one of these but had been to the 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2008 events. Four days of poetry. An amazing gathering!

The first poem from the first session on this first day was "jump mama" by Kurtis Lamkin. I could have left after that. I could have left and been satisfied. But there is so much more. Oh, so much more. I stayed and am having a great time.

Taylor Mail Dorianne Laux had joined Kurtis Lamkin for the opening session. Taylor is reading while everyone else listens.

In this video, Taylor performs "Undivided Attention". While this version was recorded in 2007, Taylor performed this during his turn in the 'poetry sampler' on Thursday evening. Each of the about 50 poets read one or two of their poems to provide a sample of what we can hear more of as the event continues.


Note: jump mama had been posted earlier and if you missed it, you can view it here

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Monday, October 08, 2012

Baked Stuffed Apples

The before baking photo. Apples cored, stuffed with raisins, and drizzled with a sweet syrup concoction.

I couldn't find the recipe I have used before so I trusted to memory and put together

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons of butter

Mixed and heated the ingredients in a small sauce pan until just before boiling. Poured the liquid over the apples, baked at 350 for an hour or until soft.

Serve warm with ice cream, or just as is.

Nothing like warm apples in the fall!

Note: if I find my 'original' recipe, I'll add it here.

Thursday, October 04, 2012


fascinating! this is the good kind of paperwork to have fun with math!

Thanks to Chris Clay for sharing the link via Facebook

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Competition is good

Competition is good. It helps to create a real market. For example, microwave ovens. There is a great deal of competition as the various retail outlets from Sears, to Walmart to Lowe's all sell microwaves. The prices have come down as the features have increased. All as a result of advances in manufacturing and technology driven by competitive pressure of the marketplace.

If only the same effects would occur on the parts or replacement components market!

For example, it was only two years ago that our prior microwave died and we obtained this new one.

After it worked fine on Monday morning, we can home in the evening to find the panel display not showing the normal time but a mysterious "SE" code. It sounded ominous and indeed was. The call for service confirmed that the likely fix for the error would be to replace the keypad assembly at a cost of about $250, installed. Really?

Yes, really. We did indeed buy the unit two years ago for about that same amount and later on Tuesday actually bought one for less than that amount.

The new unit will be installed later this week. Hopefully, it will last longer than the two years that this one did.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

One shoe

A kid's shoe on the curb. Only one when they are generally worn in pairs.

How did it get there? There must be a story behind this.

Dropped from a stroller passing by on the sidewalk? While the size is small, it seems a little too large for someone who would be sitting in the stroller.

Maybe tossed from the backseat of their family vehicle in a tussle with their sibling? Parent or parents in the front seat unaware of what just happened?

And when they arrive at their destination, how come you only have one shoe?