Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Exercising Control

"... what people enjoy is not the sense of being in control, but the sense of exercising control in difficult situations. It is not possible to experience a feeling of control unless one is willing to give up the safety of protective routines. Only when a doubtful outcome is at stake, and one is able to influence that outcome, can a person really know whether she is in control."
Work sometimes gives me this sense of control.

Blogging almost always does.

Running almost always does.

Do you get this sense of control?

How often?
If not too often, are there things you can do to change that frequency?

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Monday, January 30, 2006

February Experiences

Yes, I am working my way through Flow by Mihaly Csikszenthmihalyi.I read on the train to/from Boston and when I need a break from cruising the web.
January is already behind us. February is here and yet so much of it is full before it starts:
Oh, and Dolores goes away with her sister for a few days during the February school break and of course there is still work, running, and blogging!
What can you do to improve the quality of your experience?
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Thought came to mind this afternoon

The tune soon followed

Now it won't leave

Bear with me while I indulge:

From the musical Annie

The sun'll come out
Bet your bottom dollar
That tomorrow
There'll be sun!

Just thinkin' about
Clears away the cobwebs,
And the sorrow
'Til there's none!

When I'm stuck a day
That's gray,
And lonely,
I just stick out my chin
And Grin,
And Say,

The sun'll come out
So ya gotta hang on
'Til tomorrow
Come what may
Tomorrow! Tomorrow!
I love ya Tomorrow!
You're always
A day
A way!

Friday, January 27, 2006

Thursday, January 26, 2006

I want one of these

I rarely find something I really want. I can control my temptations and this is generally a good thing.
I have noted before I can hardly carry a note and therefore do not sing well.
In the Synergy Orchestra, I was provided a cymbal. I will play this well. It will contribute to the whole to create a wonderful sound.
I will play softly.
I can play LOUDLY.
I like being part of the team. Team work, especially doing exciting stuff, wires me.
Via Mark Hurst at Good Experience Blog comes this revelation, tenori-on.
What a wonderful instrument!
I love it. I want, no, I need one of these!
They are apparently not for sale yet, so I will be patient and continue to play my cymbal.
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Wednesday, January 25, 2006

The secret is out - the best gifts are simple ones

The secret is out. I was part of the Traveling MWA project that shepherded the book across two oceans (one twice) to finally arrive in Hawaii to be delivered to Rosa this past weekend. A belated Christmas gift but a worthy one.
Read more about the Traveling MWA story here. Chris Bailey does a good job writing it up.
Thanks, Chris!
Thanks to David for starting this wild and crazy idea.
Thanks to all the other co-conspirators who touched the book along the way.
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Tuesday, January 24, 2006

National Wear Red Day - Friday, February 3, 2006

This fits in the public service announcement category: (text from an email from the American Heart Association)

Go Red For Women is a nationwide movement celebrating the energy, passion and power we have to band together and wipe out heart disease. Too few people realize that heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women - and of men - but the good news is that heart disease can largely be prevented. Spreading the Go Red For Women message empowers women to love - and save - their hearts through lifestyle choices and actions.

National Wear Red Day is Friday, February 3, 2006. On this day, millions of Americans will be wearing red to show their support for women and the fight against heart disease. By wearing red on National Wear Red Day, you can help the American Heart Association raise awareness of heart disease and inspire women to take charge of their heart health. 

National Wear Red Day has its own dress code. On this day, you're free to Go Red in your own fashion.  Wear your favorite red clothes or accessory - a red blouse, red lipstick, a red dress lapel pin (the symbol of women's heart health) - carry a fabulous red handbag or sport a red tie and red socks...and show some heart for heart disease prevention.

Join the millions of Americans wearing red on Friday, February 3rd and encourage others to do the same. Get involved. Go Red For Women. It's a simple, powerful way to improve women's heart health.  For more information, visit www.goredforwomen.org or call the American Heart Association at 1-888-MY-HEART (1-888-694-3278).

Macy's and Pfizer are proud national sponsors of the American Heart Association's Go Red For Women Movement.

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Monday, January 23, 2006

3 column template anyone?

New year, new start...
I recall the days in the college dorm, starting the second semester, painting the walls of the room to give us a clean start. Yes, this was way back in the days when it was allowed. I also recall painting on January 9th which was the birthday of a president at the time being accused of whitewashing an incident. My roommate and I just thought it was a great coincidence. Here we were doing what he was being accused of... we had a good laugh that day!
So where was I?
Oh, yes. I want to get a 3 column template for blogger. The two outside columns for info, post listings, archives, blogroll, buttons, etc... that kind of stuff, and the center column for the actual posts.
Any suggestions?
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Yes, 60 F Saturday afternoon.

The winds blew in Saturday night dropping the temps to the 20's.

Now, snow today, 3-5 if it changes over to sleet/rain as forecasted, more if it doesn't.

The fateful weather line.

At least we are back (for now) to something more like New England winter weather!

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Sunday - weekend recap

Daylight is disappearing here in MA. I can catch a whiff of the chicken roasting in the oven as it drifts up the stairs to my study. I am getting hungry. It is a good thing dinner will be on time. I have the duty to do Sunday dinner. Dolores spends the afternoon with the weekly laundry and her kindergarten lesson plans for the week ahead. I like to eat and fortunately also love to cook!

I have been balancing my cooking duties with reading and writing this afternoon.

Good run this morning.

Good movie On-demand last night.

Good news came in the mail for Carolyn yesterday. St Anselm's came through with an acceptence letter and a scholarship offer. Way to go, Carolyn!

To bring you up to speed on this front, she has been accepted at four places now (also at St Michael's, Northeastern, and Westfield St). St A's has been the only one thus far to provide any financial inducements. Carolyn's choice will be tougher as she seems to be getting in where she applied. We'll need to schedule some campus visits to help her decide.

Reading to do later.

I hope your weekend was good!

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Quotes & Links

Like rats in a cruel experiment of forced overcrowding and scarcity, we are perpetually ripe for the mass psychosis that is the very hallmark of our beloved civilization. And as long as we remain in denial, as long as we keep telling ourselves the madman's mantra -- It's not really that bad, There is no other choice, I don't know about that, There's nothing we can do about that. -- it will only get worse.

Wait until the End of Oil, when the ability to endlessly steal our children's legacy of resources runs out and industrial and agricultural production grinds to a halt. Wait until the Mideast suddenly has no revenue to provide even the necessities of life to its quarter of a billion people living on devastated land that can, without oil, support no one. Wait until China runs out of food (its breadbasket is rapidly turning to desert) and water (its water table is dropping by eight feet a year and most of its 'fresh' water is poisoned by chemicals, fertilizers and waste), and a bankrupt US can no longer afford to buy its pathetic products. Wait until its one and a half billion people, with nuclear and biological weapons, become as desperate as Germany was in the 1930s. Ladies and gentlemen, you thought the 20th century was bad for mass atrocities, you ain't seen nothing yet.
Read the full posting here.
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Thursday, January 19, 2006

January renewal

Bunches of things going on. Some of them coming together.
Working my way through the hard copy of More Space. Finished Jory's piece on authenticity on the train home tonight.
Filling in some posts with Bly's poems.
Rewrote Crackin' Rosie by Neil Diamond for Rosa Say. She was delighted with the result.
Seeing sugar in a post heading from a year ago. Seeing sugar in a post heading this week. Coincidence?
Received an email from a family friend thanking me for providing some advice on how to high jump to their son and he went from not clearing the opening height to clearing 5'4" at the next meet.
Are the feelings rising to the surface telling me to consider making a real change? If only there were more money in coaching and writing, the day job could be supplanted.
More to think on.
More to sleep on.
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From the archives

I went back to last year at this time to see what I was writing about.

I found I skipped January 19th.

I found I wrote about the Pacers running on the hills on Tuesday the 18th. My writing on running now appears at Passionate Runner.

I found I wrote about being guilty to work at home also on the 18th.

I found I wrote about another bit of snow as "sugar coating" on January 20th.

What were you doing last year?

Have you changed?

Do you still have some changes in mind?

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Stealing sugar from the castle - Robert Bly

We are poor students who stay after school to study joy.
We are like those birds in the India mountains.
I am a widow whose child is her only joy.
The only thing I hold in my ant-like head
Is the builder's plan of the castle of sugar.
Just to steal one grain of sugar is a joy!
Like a bird, we fly out of darkness into the hall,
Which is lit with singing, then fly out again.
Being shut out of the warm hall is also a joy.
I am a laggard, a loafer, and an idiot. But I love
To read about those who caught one glimpse
Of the Face, and died twenty years later in joy.
I don't mind your saying I will die soon.
Even in the sound of the word soon, I hear
The word you which begins every sentence of joy.
"You're a thief!" the judge said. "Let's see
Your hands!" I showed my callused hands in court.
My sentence was a thousand years of joy.
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Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Snowbanks North of the House - Robert Bly

Those great sweeps of snow that stop suddenly six feet from the house...
Thoughts that go so far.
The boy gets out of high school and reads no more books;
the son stops calling home.
The mother puts down her rolling pin and makes no more bread.
And the wife looks at her husband one night at a party, and loves him no more.
The energy leaves the wine, and the minister falls leaving the church.
It will not come closer ---
the one inside moves back, and the hands touch nothing, and are safe.
The father grieves for his son, and will not leave the room where the coffin stands.
He turns away from his wife, and she sleeps alone.
And the sea lifts and falls all night, the moon goes on through the unattached heavens alone.
The toe of the shoe pivots
in the dust ...
And the man in the black coat turns, and goes back down the hill.
No one knows why he came, or why he turned away and did not climb the hill.
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Monday, January 16, 2006

Aloha Rosa

Rewritten with apologies to Neil Diamond


Aloha Rosa, we’re on board

We're gonna read till there ain't no more to go



Workin' with ho’ohona


Switchin' on the internet train

Plenty there that I need to take along

Rewrite a song

To sing when I want

Don't need to say please to no man for a happy tune


Oh, I love my Aloha Rosa

She got the way to make me happy

You and me, we go in style

Aloha Rosa you're a Talking Story woman

You make me sing like a guitar hummin'

So hang on to it, girl

Your song keeps runnin' on


Say it now

Say it now

Say it now, Rosa


Aloha Rosa, help me 'Imi ola

Aloha is an attitude, that's all right

We got all night


Find us a dream kulia I ka nu’a


Oh, I love my Aloha Rosa

You got the way to make me happy

You and me, we go in style

Aloha Rosa, you're a Talking Story woman

You make me sing like a guitar hummin'

So hang on to it, girl

Your song keeps runnin' on


Say it now

Say it now

Say it now, Rosa


Aloha Rosa, help me ‘ike loa

Aloha is an attitude, that's all right

We got all night


Find us a dream kulia I ka nu’a



2006 Sherlock's Foolish Music, Inc. (MADCAP Records)


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Please join me in providing input, feedback, direction... From Niall Kennedy at the Technorati Weblog

We'd like your input! Please take a few minutes to answer all or part of our 33-question survey to contribute to the future of Technorati.


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like fine, old wine - we get better with time

From Ronni Bennett at As Time Goes By comes this recap of a couple of articles on aging from Time and Newsweek:

Just what I’ve been saying here for two years, and because that’s what impresses people, I like having my observations supported by folks with letters behind their names. All this throws a big, fat monkey-wrench into every age-discriminatory practice in the land.

But none of this means elders can sit back and rest on our brainy behinds. As with our bodies, it’s a “use it or lose it” proposition and Dr. Cohen repeats what we all know, but don’t always practice:

  • Exercise physically
  • Exercise mentally
  • Pick challenging leisure activities
  • Establish strong social networks
As 2006 starts, have you got a plan to tackle these four bullet points?
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Everybody can be great

Click here for the audio version
"Everybody can be great, because everybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve. You don't have to know about Plato and Aristotle to serve. You don't have to know Einstein's "Theory of Relativity" to serve. You don't have to know the Second Theory of Thermal Dynamics in Physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace, a soul generated by love, and you can be that servant."


Excerpted from "The Drum Major Instinct", a sermon by Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., 1968. Available on CD and print in A Knock At Midnight: Inspiration from the Great Sermons of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Sunday, January 15, 2006

Quotes & Links - Jory DesJardins

From Jory Des Jardins at Pause comes this good word smithing
Hell if I ever make it through a long article--I click on a link and end up in a virtual Choose Your Own Adventure Story--I know a lot more about things I never planned to know before approaching the article, but I cannot tell you what the original article was about. I get lost in parking lots; how am I supposed to remember my way back to an original article?
Also from Jory comes this gem of an insight  (yes, I have been neglecting Jory and needed to catch up with her)
Rather, flow is an internal achievement, a state of being that renders any outcome irrelevant. From this exalted, selfless state of love for the task at hand and detachment from what you'll get out of it, the universe provides favorable outcomes.

So this woo woo dude catching beach balls was actually on to something. He recognized what I couldn't, what I strained to understand. He realized that flow cannot be turned on at will; it's always on. But it must be accessed; it must be honored. And--this is the tough one for people to grasp--it is NOT in your control.

and finally, continuing her writing on Flow:
There is no singular "formula," but I can offer my observations of what attracts it.
And then she lists the following:
  1. positive intention
  2. honest intention
  3. simplicity
  4. forgetfulness
  5. quit asking
  6. kind not boastful
  7. really good sex
Yes, you'll want to read her full posting to get all the details!
After reading this, I could only comment "rite on, right on, write on!"
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Saturday, January 14, 2006

Not this year

Watching the NE Patriots, enduring the ads, minding the fireplace, cruising the web during the commercials, finally realizing this is not going to be the year for the Patriots.
As much as I kept saying it was not over 'til its over....
2:00 to go, down 27-13, it's over....
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Poor Richard wrote wisely
The proof of gold is fire, the proof of woman, gold; the proof of man, a woman
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Ben Franklin 1706 -1790, sense over sound

Benjamin Franklin was born on January 17, 1706. Franklin, my current home town, is celebrating his 300th birthday with special events this month.
Incorporated on February 16, 1778, Franklin became the first town in the United States to name itself in honor of the great statesman, Benjamin Franklin. In 1786 Ambassador Franklin showed his appreciation of the tribute by sending the town a library of 116 volumes which formed the nucleus of "America's First Public Library". Commercially, the early years saw settlers involved in small scale farming and grazing, but the town's abundant water power ensured early industrial development. There were cotton mills, felt makers and boot and shoe manufacturers established in Franklin in the 18th and 19th century, but the dominant industry in the town was the making of straw bonnets, and Franklin became one of the centers of straw bonnet manufacturing.
The sotry behind the gift of books was that town's folk had asked Franklin for a bell (something like the Liberty Bell) and he relied that books were better to make "sense" rather than "sound".
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Friday, January 13, 2006

Cogs in larger plans

Re-reading William Gibson's   Pattern Recognition I found this section worthy of snipping:
... the actual conspiracy is not so often about us; we are most often the merest of cogs in the larger plans.
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Qumana's nice

Downloaded it. Configured it.
Used it.
Hey, this is nice!
Where has this been hiding?
Oh well, no matter now that I have found it, I'll use it.
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Thursday, January 12, 2006

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

defining your own happiness

Ronni Bennett has an excellent posting at A Time Goes By from which this snippet should entice you to go read the WHOLE thing.

So there seems to be an abstract land of happiness somewhere that we are incessantly urged to find. But I think we may already be there if we ignore the outside directives and define our own happiness.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Running out of time

Time to get some sleep but since you are already here, if you would like to read what I have written today, you can visit

The Hitchhiker's Guide to find out what is better than chocolate

Passionate Runner to find one of the reasons I am running out of time (and tired)

Passion for Good Customet Experience to find why I would like to pay attention to my pillow

and I should have something more to say here tomorrow, or the next time you visit!

Thank you for stopping by!

Monday, January 09, 2006

Chris Smither's Concert

I posted the words to a couple of good songs from Saturday night.

The lyrics don't do as well on the page for me as when they are sung.

Now don't get me wrong, the words are good. Well crafted.

But reading them on the page does not convey the same message as I know they can convey.

The words don't change. The context does.

Instead of spaces, and whatever is playing around you as you read them, those words on Saturday were accompanied by Chris' hard driving blues guitar.

Do you recall Victor Borge? and his phonetic punctutation? That works for the sounds of words and of punctuation.

How do we capture the sounds around words?

I guess I'd have to read it out loud so you could hear the "right" pause or inflection.

Oh, that might have to be a podcast!

Or getting the original recording of Chris!

Sunday, January 08, 2006

No Love Today - Chris Smithers

No Love Today

I don't know much, when I knew less,
And I was heartbroke for the first time,
I was drowning in my tears,
I went looking for a lifeline,
Trying to find some comfort,
A simple tender touch,
Searching for some little cure
That would not cost too much,
And I could hear that produce wagon on the street,
I could hear that farmer singing,
As I cried myself to sleep

I got ba-na-na, watermelon, peaches by the pound,
Sweet corn, mirleton, mo' better than in town,
I got okra, enough to choke ya,
Beans of every kind,
If hungry is what's eatin' youI'll sell you peace of mind,
But this ain't what you came to hear me say,
And I hate to disappoint you,
But I got no love today,
I got no love today,
I got no love today,
No love today

I could not love to save myself
From lonesome desperation.
Everything I thought was love
Was worthless imitation.
My concept of commitment
Was to take all you could give,
I thought the cheapest thrills I loved
Were teachin' me to live,
But nothin' seemed to last or see me through
Nothin' but that little song
That I still sing for you.


No love today, none tomorrow,
Not now, not forever.
You can't see what comes for free,
I think you much too clever,
For your own good I will tell you
What's right before your eyes,
Intelligence is no defense
Against what this implies,
In the end no one will sell you what you need,
You can't buy it off the shelf,
You got to grow it from the seed,


Integrity and Example

Patti Digh has another wonderful posting this week. I commented as follows:

Yes, another wonderful piece Patti. I will share a quote I picked up a while ago from another inspiring person. I use it on my signature block for my in work email.

"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

Read Patti and claim your "A"!

We need more of this to avoid the lying rage.

Drive You Home Again - Chris Smithers

Drive You Home Again

Climb into this car,
I will take you for a ride,
We won't go very far,
But I think better here inside,
Somethin' I forgot to tell you,
Think it over, then decide.

I will make this explanation,
If you can't see it for yourself,
It's very hard to pay attention,
When you listen someplace else,
Turn off that radio,
It's like I'm talkin' to myself.

These are not petty pleasures,
It's a dance that slowly glides,
In very complicated measures,
That can't be simplified,
But if we just keep this together,
All the rest is justified.

Every step is destination,
Every moment is as long,
As it will take imagination,
To begin and end the song,
Part equals all, that's creation,
That's the sense that we belong.

It ain't easy bein' careful,
I know it's hard to take your time,
But if we think for one another,
Mine is yours, yours is mine,
Lose your sense of separation,
All the rest will fall in line.

Please believe me when I tell you,
The hardest part is to begin,
I know you think I'm crazy,
But we're halfway to the end,
And if I drive you to distraction,
I will drive you home again.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Circle of Friends Concert tonight

Chris Smither and Stephanie Corby are at the Circle of Friends Coffeehouse tonight... So while the Patriots are starting their playoff run (go Pats!) but we'll be listening to some live music instead of sitting by the tube.

Friday, January 06, 2006

King Lear and CSI

What ho now?

What is this?

King Lear and CSI doth go together?

Check it out, bardseyeview does it so much better than I!

Trust me...

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Last 7 Days - Flickr

They say that every picture tells a story. Well, if you are ever in need of a story to tell, check out the Last 7 Days at Flickr.

The pictures are outstanding.

The opportunity for you to tell (yes, create) a story from one of the pictures is there.

Dare you take the opportunity?

I hope some of you do!

Thanks to Rosa for the inspiration!

Another opportunity to encourage simplicity

Check out Trevor's posting on the email he received from Dan Ward.

Dan has a proposal for a manifesto at ChangeThis that is looking for votes.

If you are interested in simplicity, your vote would be appreciated.

Four is an arbitrary number

Yes, four is an arbitrary number but I am honored to be in the foursome!

Thanks Troy Worman; blogging buddy, fellow Hitchhiker, fellow synergizer!

Check out Troy's honor roll!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

The Long Black Veil made the road easy

Coming back home from our friend's home in Central PA on Sunday, the drive was made easier listening to the Chieftains collaborative album, The Long Black Veil.

I think of all the music I have, this is my favorite album/CD. (Followed closely by Paul Simon's Graceland, Billy Joel's River of Dreams, Rolling Stones' Hot Rocks, Joni Mitchells' Miles of Aisles, Eileen Ivers' Crossing the Bridge, and Nancy Griffith's Blue Roses from the Moon) (More on these choices some other time.)

The line up of folks playing this great music with the Chieftains is an all-star one. Yet for all the "star power", the music is what matters. The songs are played (in my mind) to a defined perfection. Someone else may sing it again but for me, this is how I remember the song.

1. Mo Ghile Mear (Our Hero) (with Sting)

2. The Long Black Veil (with Mick Jagger)

3. The Foggy Dew (with Sinéad O' Connor)

4. Have I told You Lately That I Love You? (with Van Morrison)

5 Changing Your Demeanour

6. The Lily of the West (with Mark Knopfler)

7. Coast of Malabar (with Ry Cooder)

8. Dunmore Lassies (with Ry Cooder)

9. Love is Teasin' (with Marianne Faithfull) Madam Cole

10. He Moved Through the Fair (with Sinéad O' Connor)

11. Ferny Hill

12. Tennessee Waltz/Tennessee Mazurka (with Tom Jones)

13. The Rocky Road to Dublin (with The Rolling Stones)

Of all the music you have, what one album (or CD) would you claim as your favorite?

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Snow today - Updated

The almost four inches of fluffy wet snow shoveled this morning was lighter than the almost one inch of slush that I cleared (with Carolyn's help - thank you!) at lunch time.

It is still snowing but little or no accumulation is expected while the temperature will drop into the 20's over night.

So we dodged this one...

Snow today

Yes, the wintery mix is upon us. Some forecasts call for 4-7, others 8-10... stay tuned and we'll let you know how much we really end up with.

Updated: completed the 1st pass at shoveling the driveway and moved 3-4" already. It is coming down steady. A heavy wet snow that shovelers have to really be careful with but kids will love to play in. School has been called off for Franklin today.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Having fun with Steve Jobs

Via Kathy Sierra at Creating Passionate Users, follow the link:

This is wonderful.

The content is in the comments--so that's where you want to look, and it is so worth waiting for the images in the comments to load : )

I second Kathy.
This is wonderfully creative stuff.

New Year's Blessing

From Evelyn Rodrigeuz at Crossroads Dispatches
You can have anxiety or wonder in the face of the unknown. With
loving-kindness for ourselves, we would make that choice easily.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy New Year

Welcome to 2006!

Check back often, there will be a lot to write about this year.