Tuesday, January 31, 2012

sherku: trouble

So little time, so much to say - let me share this and point you to my poetry site where if you have not visited recently, you might find something of interest.  http://www.quietpoet.com/

Do we have to be
in trouble
before we
what is essential?

This is a "found" sherku in that all but one of the words were found in the transcript of the recent OnBeing podcast by Krista Tippett and John O'Donohue

The full transcript and podcast can be found here

Monday, January 30, 2012

PodCamp Western Mass 4

Yes, the fourth edition of PodCamp Western Mass is approaching. Tickets just went on sale for the event to be held at Holyoke Community College on Feb 25th.

Alas, I will miss this one as the Franklin Food Pantry will be conducting day 2 of our annual phone drive.

Just because I will miss this, doesn't mean you should too!

Tickets can be purchased here   http://pcwm4.eventbrite.com/

You can join the Facebook group http://www.facebook.com/PodCampWesternMa


Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sports Sunday

This is the in-between week for the New England Patriots as they approach Super Bowl Sunday against the New York Giants.

As a soccer fan, my New England Revolution are in pre-season and there is a bunch of news around the team as they prepare including word that the long talked of new stadium may be in Revere.

Revs stadium in Revere?

Friday, January 27, 2012

Patti Digh has a podcast!

Patti Digh introduced a new website design for 2012 and now introduces a podcast!

If you haven't heard of Patti, she is one to read and follow. I have been fortunate to have found her several years ago. Long time readers will recall an interview I posted here once upon a time when she published her book "Life is a Verb". You can find all this in the archives and collected here

Or simply skip the past for now and dig into her current work with the first podcast here


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Able Giving

I found this too late to really try and take advantage of it for the Food Pantry.  http://www.ablegiving.com/

The small print disclosure reveals the motive behind the campaign
By providing your email, you will also receive an exclusive invite to sign up for ableBanking, where you can continue using your banking for good.
So for the expense of about $5,000 AbleGiving gets email addresses for MA residents who they can then turn around and try to obtain an account from.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

From the archives

No special message to start with today, so I'll dig into the archives to find out what has been published on this date in prior years here.


this day in 2010 was skipped


this day was also skipped in 2008



this day was skipped in 2005

This blog was born in September of 2004 so there was nothing for January of that year.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


What was:

snow capped

Is no longer:

Snow has left us already!

Change can happen rapidly and frequently, are you ready for change?

Monday, January 23, 2012

Making tracks

"The early bird gets the worm" must have been a warm weather saying.

Franklin Town Common in snow

Where do you find a worm in the snow cover?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Snow capped

We ended up with at least six inches of fluffy white snow here in Franklin. If the weather forecast holds true, this may all get washed away with rain and temperatures in the 50's on Monday.

snow capped

Not good for snow balls, forts, or snowmen but we'll enjoy the sight for now.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Where's the exit?

Is that really an exit?

AldayWedding_20120114 041

Looks more like a tangled web that you wouldn't get out of.

Yet squirrels can hope about from limb to limb crossing from one side of the tree to another tree and so on down the way.

There is a way.

You need to find it. No one can show you.

It is yours to find!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Did you see Chris Brogan's new show?

Shhh! The Secret Show


Well, he did say not to tell anybody but you are not just anybody, you are you. You are unique. You stop here to read what I write so you are not just anybody.

I can tell you!

Enjoy the show!

What actions will you pick up and complete?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


To support the STOP SOPA Blackout being conducted today, this will be the only post created here:

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Inch of snow

An inch of snow is on the ground this morning. What is coming down has already changed to rain.

Franklin, MA: inch of snow

I got out early to shovel it away before the rain soaked the snow and made it heavy.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Cold running

Yes, it is cold today here in New England. The temp is just above zero F and the wind chill has the effect of the temp below zero. Consider not running today? No, not I. As I tweeted earlier:
MuchAdoMktg i have great respect for Mother Nature and today renews that! Head into the wind and then when u turn it feels like spring

This headless shadow was chasing me

Were it a blizzard, or tornado, or hurricane - yes, those would stop me. But a little cold? No.

I am back and warm and all is well!

What are you doing today?

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Last in the Amaryllis Series

This will be the last photo in the Amaryllis series this time around. There were nice blossoms and to see the changes daily was something to look forward to. There is a time and place for all things and this time has expired.

Amaryllis 01/14/12

Have you taken a daily photo of something to observe the changes?

Have you learned something from the experience?

BTW - you can view the full set of daily photos here

Friday, January 13, 2012

Citizens for the New Franklin High School

For those looking for information on what's happening in Franklin one of the major stories to follow this year will be the proposal for the new high school. I was able to report on the organizational meeting of the "Citizens for the New Franklin High School" on Thursday evening. I will not be able to take an active role in this effort. With all that is going on with the family and my work on the Food Pantry board, I will do what I can to report on the matter to keep all in Franklin informed.

Over 60 Almost 80 people have gathered here in the library in the middle of Franklin High School to start the committee to promote and advocate for the new high school proposal.

School Building Committee Chair Tom Mercer is providing an overview of the work performed to date. The various proposal put together, what was rated and ranked, pros and cons, then ultimately the MSBA invited Franklin into the "Model School" program.

Participating were at least one representative from the Finance Committee, many of the School Committee and Town Council members.

Among the items shared:

The Whitman-Hanson model school has been replicated 8 times around the state. One other model school has been replicated once. The other two model schools have not yet been replicated.

The foot print of the new building is two-thirds of the size of the existing building. It goes up three stories to reduce the foot print over the existing space.

There is 850 seat auditorium/theater in the new design.

MSBA will vote on Jan 25th to approve or deny our proposal. The School Building Committee will then come to the Town Council asking for a debt exclusion with a target date for the vote - March 27. The Town Council has final say on the debt exclusion and date for the vote.

If all goes well, ground will be broken this fall and the new building should be open in the fall of 2014.

The total cost of the project is projected to be $104.5 M
Franklin's share would be $47 M. The State will pick up 59.52% of the cost (the balance).
When the project started the expected reimbursement was expected to be 30-34%

The debt exclusion is for a twenty year period. It will be an increasing cost and then flat for the remainder of the twenty year term. Compared to an override, the debt exclusion increase in taxes will expire at twenty years. The override never expires (unless there is an 'underride' - and yes, it does happen but not frequently in MA).

Tom is doing this 'road show' several times and the schedule will continue to develop.

The group has a Facebook page
There is a Twitter account created:  https://twitter.com/#!/sayYEStoFHS
There will likely be a website (link to be added when available)

The other model schools being built with the Whitman-Hanson model are coming in on or under budget and schedule.

One of the major items bringing the current high school to warning status is the lack of handicap access. The cost to provide accessibility to the current facility still wouldn't address other issues affecting the warning status.

The current facility is experiencing a rash of electric shorts causing fire alarms. This is part of the overall infrastructure problem.

Important dates
Jan 31 - Finance Committee meeting to preview the proposal and make their vote
Feb 1 - Town Council meeting
Feb 28 - School Committee meeting

The model school is a take it or leave it proposal Franklin can get a 104.5 million facility for $47M.

"Citizens for a New Franklin High School"

Additional information on the high school project can be found in this Franklin Matters collection

Note: this was originally posted to Franklin Matters!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Canyon Vista Trail

Some say the world will end this year so we decided on New Year's Day that it would be good to visit World's End State Park, in PA.

We chose the Canyon Vista Trail, a loop of about 4 miles. It was a good walk not real difficult. The hard part came as we were coming down from the ridge and the leave laden trail and it started sprinkling, The rain made the trail a little slippery but we all managed to get down without any significant falls.

World's End St PK (PA) trail head

Photos of the vista and other view points will be posted as time permits.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Your diary is unwritten

I found and retweeted these the other day in the Twitter stream:
How diaries are relevant to ... #1 we tell the story as we go   
How diaries are relevant to ... #2 it's not alone but our experience always has a voice    
How diaries are relevant to ... #3 every day presents an opportunity to add or create something new   
Then due to being behind the firewall at work, I missed Paul's thank you tweet and his follow up question:
shersteve I thought of you the other day when I read this tweet  from . Would you have a view?

@Bumble_Bee3's tweet asks if Paul had any success stories about moving to another career from teaching. Once upon a time, I started my career to be a teacher. I substituted for six years in the Pawtucket (RI) School Department and and also coached track and field at St Raphael Academy during that time. It was good but unfortunately did not lead to a permanent position teaching.

I found a position in the corporate world through a family connection and haven't looked back. I also did not leave teaching in that the teaching and coaching background has helped me every step of the way. 

I approach each opportunity as a learning situation. What is the big picture? What is the business problem we are trying to solve? How can we together leverage the skills and capabilities we have to accomplish this? I try to leave ego out of the equation. This is difficult as there are folks that you encounter who can not put their ego aside to consider any other way but their way to do something. So sometimes, you just need to suck it up and do it another way the next time.

1 - Knowing that you can (and we all should) learn something each day paints the world a color of opportunity! Observation is a good way to learn. We all have tools we use but maybe we don't use them all the same way. Maybe something someone else does would help you? and vice versa!

2 - Take what you have learned and share it in a way that in meaningful for the person you share it with. Make it real for them, show them how they can benefit. If you do that, you will more likely be successful.

3 - In addition to learning and sharing, find time to laugh each day. Life is too short not to find some enjoyment. The world is a crazy place, look at it with open eyes and laugh when you can. Time will pass more pleasantly if you do.

When I went to Twitter to dig into Paul's question and find Bumble_Bee3's questions, I also found that I missed the first of Paul's series of tweets:
Q: What book remains unfinished despite the efforts of millions of authors? A: A diary  

It is quite appropriate that the theme song for one of the Job Search Jam Sessions appropriately was Natasha Bedingfield's "Unwritten". 

Our career needs to be explored. The book on our life at any one point in time is incomplete. What the future holds remains open and dependent upon us. No one else can do what we can. The future is unwritten. Learn, share and laugh as you write each new day!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Skype account hacked

I received an email from Skype around lunch time on Monday that the email address associated with my account had changed. Once that had occurred, it was too late to sign into the account they had already changed the password and initiated a few purchase transactions. I was online with Skype support immediately to report the account take over and get it shut down.

I have not used Skype recently so how this happened I am still trying to figure out.

One thing to be aware of: if you did have me as a connection in Skype, please disconnect me. That connection (account) is no longer good and the account itself will not be used again.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Amaryllis - 1/9/12

Bright full of glory but down to three blossoms now

the remaining are shriveling up

Amaryllis - 01/09/12

Don't shrivel up before your time

Eat well, maintain good fluid intake and keep exercising - good lesson reminders!

Friday, January 06, 2012

Puddle reflections

Branches. Or roots?

Similar structure. One above ground, one below.

stream reflection along Lake Chillisquauqe

All really depends upon your point of view.

What do you see when you look around today?

Thursday, January 05, 2012


The series of daily photos I am taking as my amaryllis grows provides much food for thought.

The opening of a blossom from the beginning to its full expanse of glory is amazing.

Even as it begins to close and recede, changing colors and dying away is impressive.  Not everything happens at once.

Even as one blossom recedes there is room for a new blossom.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

No pants subway ride - 2012

One of the major pranks of the ImprovEverywhere group comes up this Sunday. This brief video gets inside the reaction of one of the first event.

For additional info on the cities participating in the No Pants Subway Ride this Sunday, check here

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

What is SOBCon?

SOBCon is scheduled for May in Chicago and I plan on being there again. This is a key element in my personal learning network.

Consider participating in SOBCon. If you want to talk more about SOBCon in detail, feel free to reach out and we will find some mutually convenient time to talk about it.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

3 word goals - 2012

In 2009, it was Basic, Leverage, and Return.
In 2010, it was Conversation, Content, and Community.
In 2011, it was Analogy, Bold, and Conduct

path around Lake Chillisquauqe

As we start 2012 today, my three words will be Learn, Share, and Laugh.

Learn - there is so much learning to be done. I have opportunities at work (with RBS Citizens Bank) and with my position on the Board of the Franklin Food Pantry. And those are just two key ones. I do seek out opportunities to learn and will return to SOBCon in May 2012. I will continue to support unconferences in New England with the return of PodCamp Western MA, PodCamp Boston, another Job Search Jam Session (or more). I am overdue making it to PodCamp New Hampshire, maybe this will be the year.

Share - I will continue to share what I have learned in a meaningful way. I am toying with another twist to the daily five things (#the5) I find to make the findings more meaningful to those they get shared with.

Laugh - life presents many opportunities for laughing and laughter is good medicine so I want to find ways to laugh more.

What are your goals for 2012?