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?