Wednesday, May 31, 2006

How to read this page

Updated: 6/3/09
Updated 2/9/10
Update 6/13/10

Welcome, thank you for stopping by. I have recently changed to the newer 3-column Blogger template leaving behind the Thur Broeders templates I have used for years.

What I'd like to do is to walk you through how I have laid out the page here, to bring to your attention some features that may help your visit to this collection of pages.

Your feedback on this layout is welcomed. If this layout doesn't work for you, let me know so that I can make some changes.

The left column is where the blog posts appear in chronological order, most recent on the top, scrolling down to the last on this page, before it rolls over into the archives which are collected by year and by month in the center column. You can expand the year, to get at the months. Expand the month to get at the individual posts within. My archives happen to go back to September 2004. I have posted fairly regularly since then.

I have pulled out 
My Important Links into a new page along the top menu. These provide some additional insights into what I have written about. Hopefully, the location will enable you to find some good stuff more quickly. With Tertiary EducationPassion for the Good Customer Experience and Hitchhiker's Guide to the Blogosphere in hibernation (they are no longer being updated), I have moved any relevant collections here and separated My Important Links from My Collected Writing. Links to the hibernating blogs can be found along the bottom of the far right column.

I have provided the links to the other blogs where I write in another new page available along the top menu line
  • Franklin Matters - my local or place blogging public service effort
  • Jerry's Story - the oral history of my father and our family
  • Passionate Runner - where I write about my running and provide coaching advice
  • quiet poet - the home of sherku and my other poetry
  • Job Search Jam Sessions - about the learning, sharing, and networking at the unconference for the unemployed and underemployed

On the far right column, my profile appears on top. Yes, that is a picture of moi (sometimes two of me to continue the "2 cents" theme). I hope to remember to change them at least seasonally.

Along this column, the second box begins the subscription options. You can subscribe to all of Steve's 2 Cents via RSS Feed or email. In a parallel lineup, on the outside column, you can also subscribe to just my "job search notes" via RSS Feed or email. Hopefully, these choices will suit your needs.

There is a box separating the subscription options for Steve's 2 Cents and the "job search notes". This box will enable you to find me on other social media sites, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Technorati, and Flickr. There is also a general RSS Feed option.

All I published is covered by a Creative Commons for non-commercial, share-alike with attribution usage. You can follow the link to obtain the legal details.

Well, I hope this helps you to navigate around the page. Do not hesitate to click on a link. It will usually take you a good place. I try to check all my links.

If you do find a broken one, please let me know. I do not like for folks to have a bad experience, especially since one of the themes I write about is creating good experiences!

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Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Rhodendron Blooming

gradweek_60530 019
Originally uploaded by shersteve.

Along the side of our garage, we have a group of rhodendron. They have been growing over the years to cover the side window in the garage and effectively darken the interior. We finally had them trimmed back last year. The garage is lighter. The rhodendron are blooming now, but due to the cut back, they are not as spectacular as they have been. It will take some time for them to fill in again.

Day one of graduation week.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Graduation Week

Car decoration 1
Originally uploaded by shersteve.

A busy week, this will be. Carolyn graduates on Friday and has multiple events leading to the big day. I also have my 30th college reunion to put into the mix on Saturday. This might be a light week to blog. Wonder why?

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Disappearing act coming in about 5 years

If you have read Harry Potter, you have probably dreamed of what you could do with the invisibility cloak that Harry uses to get around Hogwarts. I know I have a few things in mind that I could do. Nothing illegal mind you. No, not me. Not in my nature. Really!
But to be in some places, sight unseen. To observe like the proverbial fly on the wall. To really get the inside story. Now that would be a dream come true.
The only thing better would be to transport someplace by saying "Beam me up, Scotty."
But anyway, the news this week from The Globe and Mail says the invisibility cloak is not all that unreal. actually in about 5 years they could put one together. Only problem, it won't be as small as Harry's. That will take some more time to do. That's okay. I'll be patient.
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Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Allie's Art Work

Now with a place of honor in the family room, this work of Allie's hangs to provide some color and background.

To provide some perspective on the size of this work. It only fit into the van to come home from college when placed on a diagonal. It has since been trimmed to shorten it by about 6-8 inches. If it did not get trimmed, it would not have fit on the wall above the couch.

I'll take another picture sometime to show it in position on the wall above the couch.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Sir Arthur's BD

Google has done it again with a nice graphic to celebrate Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's birthday.

Who's he?

Why, Sir Arthur is the creator of Sherlock Holmes. This should be elementary knowledge, my dear Watson!

For more good stuff read A Study in Sherlock

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Sunday, May 21, 2006

Quotes & Links


It's a silly thing, I know. But it's a welcome flood of feedback. It's also fascinating to know that sometimes you learn the most about someone when they're not there.

For the full posting, follow the link.


From Patti Digh writing at 37 Days:

... without a word, Nana leaned toward Emma and put the box directly in front of her, quietly teaching Emma how to slowly lift and replace the lid gently rather than taking the box from her. Teaching her to respect the beauty, not holding it from her. Showing her how to navigate fragility, not assuming she wasn’t capable. Recognizing which had the most value: a china box, or a great-granddaughter. It was a lovely, quiet moment, a real lesson for this new mother, for any human, really.

Read the full posting here.


From Tom Asacker writing at A Clear Eye:

In my view, sales is a lot like package design.  Its purpose is to make those who are exposed to the company's offering believe in the effectiveness of that offering to provide value.  Like a product in a box, there are many valuable aspects of a brand that are not visible to a prospect.  A great salesperson brings those aspects clearly into view - and to life!

For the full context, follow the link.



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Friday, May 19, 2006

Cat Proof Computer

For all the cat lover's and Friday cat bloggers, saw this new software in WXPNews this week. You might be interested in checking it out.
  • Every time your computer boots up, PawSense will automatically start up in the background to watch over your computer system.

  • Even while you use your other software, PawSense constantly monitors keyboard activity. PawSense analyzes keypress timings and combinations to distinguish cat typing from human typing. PawSense normally recognizes a cat on the keyboard within one or two pawsteps.
  • If it does what it claims, and does it well, there might be other ses for this too!

    Let me know. I am not a cat lover and no cat will be in my house (daughter also allergic to them).


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    WXPNews is one of the technical publications that I subscribe to. It always has some good stuff in it with a balanced approach and generally no vendor hype.
    A recent issue mentions a new IE browser extension called ieSpell.
    Sounds good. I rely on my spell checker.
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    DaVinci Code

    The DaVinci Code opens today in theaters. I will go see it hopefully, while it is still in the theater. In the deluge of stuff on the book and movie coming out now, I found this link most interesting.

    They tracked some of the locations and descriptions in the book and found them fictional.


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    Wednesday, May 17, 2006

    Last High School Concert for Carolyn

    It is hard to believe, never mind hard to say. Carolyn as a senior at Franklin High School has only a few days of school left and played in her last music department concert this evening. The spring "Pops! Night!" concert featured nine different groups playing a piece or two each.

    The groups are:
    1. Percussion Ensemble
    2. Jazz Workshop
    3. Freshman Band
    4. Jazz Band
    5. Concert Band
    6. Select Chorus
    7. Orchestra
    8. Chorus
    9. Wind Ensemble
    Carolyn plays viola in the Orchestra. The Orchestra performed a Symphonic Suite from "The Lord of the Rings". The high school cafeteria is not designed to enhance their acoustical performance but they sounded good.

    PS - In case you did not recognize Carolyn, she has the white blouse and white sandels playing just left of the center in the photo.

    Monday, May 15, 2006

    Flood conditions

    In Franklin, we at least are amongst the fortunate. Others in MA, mostly north of Boston, are not so fortunate. The rain has been too plentiful and rivers are overflowing their banks.

    About 12 to 15 inches (30 to 38 cm) of rain has fallen since Friday, swelling the Merrimack River that runs through southern New Hampshire and Massachusetts more than 8 feet (2.4 metres) above flood stage -- its highest since 1936.

    "It's bad now but we're expecting it to get much much worse," said Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency spokesman Peter Judge, citing weather forecasts for more rain on Monday night with several rivers still rising.

    "Right now we're looking at all of the rivers, from the Charles River in the Boston area all the way north and east to the Merrimack River on the New Hampshire border. We expect all of those rivers to reach and exceed flood stage in the next 24 hours," Judge said.

    The recovery won't start until after the waters start to receed. This will be a tough week for those with water problems.

    Your prayers will help. Donations to the Red Cross will help.


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    Young Robins 5/15/06

    Young Robins 5/15/06
    Originally uploaded by shersteve.

    I tried taking the normal morning photo of the young robins on Mother's Day and got surprised when one flew away and the other hopped out of the nest and both started making so much noise I jumped back from the bush and backed away into the garage. I wanted a picture but did not mean to disturb them in that way. They had been so passive in previous visits.

    It is appropriate that they left the nest on Mother's Day. One clear way to honor your mother (and father) is to go out on your own. This is sometimes harder for the mother (and father) than it is for the kid but it is a necessary step to take.

    Go forth and honor your mother (and father) by succeeding in the world, then coming back home to visit them. Remember from whence you came.

    Blogidarity - The Timmy Foundation

    "We were not all born to be doctors or nurses, but we were all born to be healers," says Dr. Chuck.

    Blogidarity is introducing The Timmy Foundation as the next organization for which we want to raise interest and to raise some funds.

    Click on over to Blogidarity to read the introductory posting for The Timmy Foundation.

    In each our own way, we can and should contribute to the effort that The Timmy Foundation is making.

    I will do my part.

    I ask you to consider what you can do to help.

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    Saturday, May 13, 2006

    Maple blight

    Rain, rain go away...

    Dolores and I managed to get 3 miles of our 4 mile walk completed before the next shower came down this morning. We stopped to get coffee at MelDiva's in down town Franklin and that delay helped us get rather wet when the clouds opened.

    Note the maple in this picture (Dolores in the distance) outside the Library. Looks rather healthy with the leaves filing out.

    Note the close up of the same tree, the leaves have holes in them as something is already starting to devour them.

    Young Robins 5/13/06

    Notice how the robins are filing up the nest and their feathers are continuing to grow into prominence.

    Managed to sneak in a photo between rain showers today.

    Friday, May 12, 2006

    Proud Family - Part 3

    And the graduate with aunt and uncle.

    psss - Cingular, if you want to use this photo for the Raising the Bar series, drop me a line.

    Proud Family - Part 2

    The graduate and his grandparents; Dolores' mother and father.

    Proud Family - Part 1

    The graduate and his proud parents; Dolores' sister and my brother-in-law.

    NU Graduate - Class of 2006

    Recall the postings from last week on the Northeastern University graduation here, here, here and here.

    Well, here is the reason for attending; the proud graduate!

    Young Robins 5/12/06

    Young Robins 5/12/06
    Originally uploaded by shersteve.

    The feathers are much more prominent and defined today. I wonder how much longer they will be sedentary? Need to go do some research.

    If you know, let me know.

    Thursday, May 11, 2006

    Young Robins 5/11/06

    Young Robins 5/11/06
    Originally uploaded by shersteve.

    The leaves are shiny as it is still rainy here in New England. The third egg is still in the nest. It is the patch of blue peaking out beneath the two young robins.

    Wednesday, May 10, 2006

    Quotes & Links

    From Hugh at gapingvoid, he writes on marketing:
    And when I define marketing as "working", I mean it less in terms of "selling", and more about "how the people who matter to you are connecting with what you do, for all the right reasons".
    and he writes about freedom:
    there's something so utterly cheerful about the enterprise- quite a contrast to your average British drab, tepid railway coffee shop. All the guy needs is a wee microvan, a smile on his face and the capacity to work hard, and his customers are well looked after, his bills are taken care of, his house and his family's needs are paid for. Easy.
    From Patti Digh at 37Days, she writes about Ockham's razor:
    I think I’ll check my shoe size. Maybe that’s the problem. Maybe it’s not the earth’s rotational pull multiplied by the weight of water plus Pi squared or some equally difficult algorithm, but just the size of my shoes that’s the problem. Maybe it’s something simple that’s keeping me from moving forward, not something complex. Maybe it’s just a vitamin deficiency, dehydration, too-small shoes, or running out of coffee. Maybe it’s simple, not hard. Maybe it’s not complex and convoluted and difficult, but easy.
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    Young Robins 5/10/06

    Young Robins 5/10/06
    Originally uploaded by shersteve.

    This morning's photo in the drizzle, hence the extra sparkles from the leaves as the flash reflected on the beaded rainwater.

    Hard to really see in the photo but previously, their bodies looked so smooth, and this morning they appear to be adding feathers. There is extra fluffiness on the two bodies.

    Note that neither in yesterday's or today's photo did the third egg appear. I wonder if it is still in the nest?

    Young Robins 5/9/06

    Young Robins 5/9/06
    Originally uploaded by shersteve.

    Yesterday's photo to continue the daily routine of catching a photo a day. They are growing and the coloring is becoming more defined.

    I tried taking a picture of the mother robin but she was moving from branch to branch in the front yard tree, chattering away. I could not get a good focus on her. She kept an eye on me.

    Tuesday, May 09, 2006

    Women and Synergy

    I had the opportunity to interview Yvonne DiVita as part of the current project at the blog Synergy. I wrote to Yvonne

    by deliberately reaching out to women like yourself, we will be accomplishing part of our goal, but more importantly, the conversation that results can lead us into.... well, who knows? We'll just have to find out.

    To find out read Part 1 and Part 2

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    Monday, May 08, 2006

    Young Robins - Continued

    This picture from Monday morning shows that the third egg is indeed still in the nest.

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    Family Celebration - Part 5

    The cousins pose briefly for a shot.

    Yes briefly, except for when they were eating, this may have been as still as they would get.

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    Family Celebration - Part 4

    My sister's family photo

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    Family Celebration - Part 3

    My sister, her husband, and their son who was confirmed the day before, hence the big family celebration.

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    Family Celebration - Part 2

    My youngest sister, her husband, and their youngest daughter.

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    Family Celebration - Part 1

    The youngest of the next generation: my youngest sister's youngest.

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    Saturday, May 06, 2006

    Boston Celtics

    Boston Celtics
    Originally uploaded by shersteve.

    Yes, in case you had not noticed, the Northeastern University graduation was held at what is now called the TD BankNorth Garden, the home of the Boston Celtics. Yes, the hockey Bruins play there too but (with all due respect) you can have the hockey.

    There is some hope that some year another Celtics team will play well enough to put another banner up.

    NU - Class of 1956 & Alumni

    NU - Class of 1956 & Alumni
    Originally uploaded by shersteve.

    The Class of 1956 was represented at the ceremony today and made quick an impression as they paraded in with other alumni.

    Noteworthy: there were only a few women amongst the class walking in today. How many women really did graduate in 1956? The Class of 2006 seemed to be closer to 60% women.

    NU - Class of 2006

    NU - Class of 2006
    Originally uploaded by shersteve.

    The different schools of Northeastern were being presented for graduation and standing as they were called. At this time, the last two schools had not yet been called.

    We'll find out for sure in the paper tomorrow but based upon a rough calculation I estimated about 4,000 graduates.

    Northeastern University

    Northeastern University
    Originally uploaded by shersteve.

    My nephew graduated from Northeastern University today. This gave us a preview of what we can expect in either 4 or 5 years. Oh, did I not let you know? I am sorry. Things have been moving quickly. Yes, Carolyn did finally decide to attend Northeastern come September.

    New Robins - PM View

    New Robins - PM View
    Originally uploaded by

    12 hours later, I figured out another setting on my camera to take a better picture.

    The two robins are bigger already but I don't see the third egg in this view.

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    New Robins - AM View

    New Robins - AM View
    Originally uploaded by

    Shared a picture of three eggs in this nest recently.

    When I heading off Thursday morning, I saw that two of the eggs had hatched but my camera was already packed in the bag so I left without taking a picture.

    This morning was the first daylight chance I had to take a picture of the new robins. Note: one egg remains in the nest.

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    Monday, May 01, 2006

    Setting the stage

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    And where does the conversation go?

    Well that kinda depends upon where you want it to go?
    So what do you say, where should the conversation go?
    Leave a comment, or send an email, and we'll take it from there.
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    You decide to stand

    Originally uploaded by

    up to get a better view. The porch railing does obstruct the view when you are sitting. The shadows are stretching out across the lawn darkening the spring greenness. The forsythia bush sticks out in its yellowness. Most of the trees are still standing in their almost nakedness, just beginning to bud.

    Updated: 5/2/06 - so much for my horticultural knowledge, it is forsythia and not honeysuckle...oops.

    While waiting for the drink

    Originally uploaded by shersteve.

    you lean back in your chair and you can check out the birds feeding. A squirrel or two or three join them from time to time. Robins, mourning doves, red-wing blackbirds, blue jays, and cardinals are some of the birds we see most frequently.

    There are others that maybe you know the names of. You could tell me so I can remember.

    Who was it that said you don't know something until you name it?

    Back deck in better weather

    Originally uploaded by shersteve.

    When you last saw this scene, the chairs were covered with snow. This picture was taken Sunday, mid 60's F. Sun beginning to set. A cold frosty liquid ready to loosen the tongue for a good conversation.

    Have a seat.

    Would you like something to drink before we get starting talking?