Thursday, August 31, 2006

PodCamp - Magic 200

Did you see or read the news?
PodCamp Boston has reached the 200 registrants milestone and looking for more.
First time around; wow, what a way to go!
Only a week away. The anticipation is indeed rising!
Updated - the waiting list originally announced has been removed. Come one, come all!
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Wednesday, August 30, 2006

100Bloggers Carnival - Voting Discrepancy?

Gee when one looks at the votes over at Phil's (8) and Larry's (7), there is not much going on. Then one looks to Pet and finds 154 votes cast for the silliest entry! (At least as of 8:30 PM Eastern time 8/30/06.)
What is going on guys and girls?
Is that some ballot box stuffing going on in Pet's Garden?
Or are Phil's and Larry's categories that boring this summer?
The Hitchhiker Team took a look at each of the entries so if you would like some additional information on them, check out here, here and here. Or just go to the top and cruise on down the last three days.
Read and vote!
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PodCamp Boston - Anticipation Rising

Yes, the aniticipation for this event is rising. PodCamp Boston is just around the corner, Sep 9-10. The list of registrations is growing.

A random scroll down the listing shows

Chris Brogan was the first to register.

Steve Garfield was # 11

Adam Weiss was # 39

This guy snuck in there at # 62

Members of Uncle Seth take # 79-82.

The Rumor Girls take # 107-109.

Andrew Baron and Joanne Colan from Rocketboom take #187-188.

Truly a random scroll, so many others were left off this mini listing but they can all be found here and in Boston on Sep 9-10 at PodCamp Boston!

podcamp Boston

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Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The Long Tail - Review Published at 800-CEO-READ Blog

My review of The Long Tail by Chris Anderson was published at 800-CEO-READ Blog today.
You can read it here.
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Rain or sunshine, hot or cold, early or late... the best way to start your day to make it a good one is simply to wear a smile!

Monday, August 28, 2006

Book Review - Fractalia: Episode 1; Reversing the Tipping Point by A.J. McCaffrey

Why this book?

This book caught my attention for several reasons (other than my daughter left it for me to read) primarily the components of the title and the back cover.

  • Fractalia, a place presumably based upon fractals.
  • Episode 1. This is the first of a planned series. How long the series will be is not yet revealed.
  • Reversing the Tipping Point. The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell is one of my top 10 books. How does Fractalia relate to Gladwell's work? I needed to know.
  • The back cover stated in part:

With degrees in philosophy and computer science, A.J. is currently working on his doctorate in cognitive psychology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He is investigating the brainwaves of the 'aha' moment and how meaning is created out of apparent nonsense. A.J. lives with his wife Stephanie in Massachusetts. But really he lives on the border between sense and nonsense. Just ask his wife.

With a comment like that, I said to myself that this guy has to be writing some good stuff. After reading Episode 1, I can confirm that he is.

When reading fantasy or science fiction works, one problem is to bring the reader (us) into the new world within the book. The author needs to be careful to develop the place and develop the story without letting the new world (place) hinder the story. Authors of books with a well known setting, New York city in the early 1900's, or Shakespearean/Elizabethan England, for example, do not have to worry about this. They can get on with the story as we already know something of the place. In Fractalia, A.J. creates a new world and carefully brings us along.

With the exception of their ears, Talians looked very human. The word 'Talian' rhymes with 'alien', but do not let that mislead you. A Talian would want to convince you that if two words rhymed then there must be some deep connection between them. Do not always believe them. Talians loved playing with the sounds of words so much that they relied on their unique ears a great deal. It was said that the sound of a word became sweeter when it wound its way around those fractal ear lobes and spiraled down to the eardrum. No one knows if this is really true. The Talians said many things: all of them interesting, some of them true.

Episode 1 covers the introduction to Fractalia, the Talian "people", introduces some "typical' modern day teenagers, and then brings them together. The cooperation between the Talians and the teenagers in meeting a challenge together results in success. Well yes, it is Episode 1, how could it be otherwise? Once you open the pages and begin to read a work of fiction, you put aside some things (at least for a while) and let the author take you on the way. If the author is successful, your willingness and his/her success will result in a good book experience. If the author is not successful, if the telling gets in the way of the story, you can become lost and the author looses you.

The real unknown is between the known, they liked to say. Or, they would say, between two things there is always another.

A.J. has succeeded in sparking my desire for Episode 2.

  1. Where is it?
  2. How long will I (we) have to wait?
The wise know the difference between a puzzle and a mystery. A puzzle is for solving with the mind. A mystery is for enjoying with the heart.

You can pass the time waiting patiently for Episode 2 by practicing to solve some outties. You can find these outties on the blog: Fractalia. The blog accompanies this book; Fractalia - Episode 1; Reversing the Tipping Point by A. J. McCaffrey.

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Hitchhiker's Guide
Interview with Author

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Sunday, August 27, 2006

Book review update - 1 down

As mentioned this morning, I have book reviews outstanding. One is now complete. As it gets published I'll provide a link to it.
Now, I'll get started on the second.
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Is it discrimination, or righteous appraisal?

In the BostonWorks section of today's Sunday Globe, I find one of the better writings I have seen on this topic. Short, concise, to the point. I encourage reading the full article (free registration maybe required). As a sample of what you'll find, Dale Dauten closes his article with the following:

Just be careful not to confuse age discrimination with a natural discernment against some characteristics that might be associated with age -- being a know-it-all, having an income level ahead of the market, or being worn-out or out-of-date. Nobody wants to hire someone old -- that is, someone used up . It isn't age discrimination, it's a righteous assessment of energy per dollar of salary.

But who's old? Katie Couric? She turns 50 in January, but I hear she's doing OK, careerwise. Is John McCain old? He's 69 and a cancer survivor, but I'd love to work with him. And my favorite TV show (``CBS Sunday Morning") is hosted by a 73-year-old, Charles Osgood.

The problem isn't being 50 or 60 or 70; it's being old. So I have a few suggestions on how to not be old, and I welcome any others you'd care to suggest:

No one is old when planting flowers.

No one is old when singing.

No one is old when riding a bike.

No one is old when buying a new suit.

And, my favorite:

No one is old when telling a joke.

To age gracefully is to turn down a lot of chances to be old.

The message: keep active, live life to its fullest as you wake eash day!

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Your Heat of Summer Carnival Nominees

The nominees are in and the voting is open now.
If you missed the first announcement, check this.
If you are already aware of the carnival, check this:
The last link has the directions to cast your vote in each category.
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Saturday, August 26, 2006

Writing blocks

Writing is like putting a stonewall together. You start with an idea.

We need to put the wall here.

The idea twirls around. Thoughts become words.

Let's use these stones.

You play with the sentences. One flows to another, or doesn't, and you try again.

You need something to fit here and look over the pile.

That sounds better.

This is starting to line up. Now we need to curve here.

What do we do to finish this off?

Step back to check it out. How does it look?

Sometimes you put it aside and come back to it later.

Forget about stepping back, just go with it. Need to do this now.

Sometimes, you do go with the flow.
Sometimes if you put it aside, you forget about it for a long time.

Sometimes, you just need to do something physical to get going.

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Thursday, August 24, 2006

Canoe - Mountain Springs Lake, PA

Originally uploaded by

A follow up to my earlier posting on building sand castles at Mountain Springs Lake. Here we were returning our canoe to the shore. Allison had the easy spot in the middle. Carolyn guided us along the way. I manned the rear.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Cow Parade - Borders

Originally uploaded by

The Ballet Cow is located outside Borders in downtown Boston.

The cows will be rounded up August 30 so if you do want to see them, you'll need to hurry up.

The gallery of cows is available on the Cow Parade web site.

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Complete Running Network (CRN) now Live!

The Running Blog Family has grown up and expanded to a new Complete Running Network.
And if you do, please leave a comment to let them know you heard about it from me.
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Book Review: The Long Tail - Chris Anderson

Chris Anderson , editor in chief of Wired magazine, first published the essay that became the blog that is now the book, The Long Tail, in October 2004. The basic premise of the Long Tail was the result of three observations:
    1. the tail of available variety is far longer than we realized
    2. it's now within reach economically
    3. all those niches, when aggregated, can make up a significant market (1)
His analysis and research into these observations fleshes out the length of the article, through the blog postings (and feedback), to the current book length. Chris builds this proposal carefully. He backs it up with statistics from good sources. The discussion revolves around hits versus niche. The major mass marketing efforts were all to generate hits. Mass media could position the message and deliver it effectively. The internet and technology in general has helped to make the delivery to the niche markets more affordable. The bricks and mortar stores can only stock so many copies of books. An online retailer (like Amazon) can have an unlimited warehouse to provide far more book titles than the corner bookstore.

Chris identifies three forces and then market opportunities for the Long Tail. The first force democratizes the tools of production. Newspapers were the only source of info as they had the press and wherewithal to distribute the papers. Almost anyone can set up a blog to provide news for their community that can rival the nearest local paper. The second force is to cut the costs of consumption by democratizing the distribution. To continue my newspaper example, the paper was printed and then distributed via truck and carriers to business and households for a delivery price. The local blog can come to your internet doorstep for less. It still costs something as you need access and a system, but overtime the cost for a single newspaper vs. the blog news posting is more.

The third force is to connect the supply and demand for the news. The paper prints what the editorial desk chooses. The blogger focuses on its readership community. Some one outside that community has to go to great expense, if it is possible to obtain the paper. Where the local blog can reach anyone around the world originally via search or word of mouth and subsequently via RSS subscription.

The market opportunities run parallel to the three forces. The first covers the tool makers or producers of the product (content). The second covers the aggregators (Amazon, eBay, et al). The third covers the filters (Google, blogs, et al). Chris summarizes this point well:
Amplified word of mouth is the mnifestation of the third force of the Long Tail: tapping consumer sentiment to connect supply to demand. The first force, democratizing production, populates the Tail. The second force, democratizing the distribution, makes it all available. But those two are not enough. It is not until the third force, which helps people find what they want in this new superabundance of variety, kicks in that the potential of the Long Tail marketplace is truly unleashed. (2)
The Long Tail idea that Chris has created provides an outlook for the marketplace going forward. This is the blueprint by which one can succeed. Note that Mass media will not disappear overnight. The Long Tail will work by creating niches around the mass market. Other brick and mortar businesses will continue to succeed but it will depend upon the nature of the product and consumer relationship. For those products in the information or knowledge space, the Long Tail principles should be followed.

My humble review will not be the end to the conversation. The discussion around the Long Tail will continue. Chris holds an active conversation around points made in the book and in other reviews of the book on his Long Tail blog. If you have not visited the blog or would like to curl up with a good business book, then this is one I would heartily recommend. You won't go to sleep reading it.

Additional quotes to take away:
When you can dramatically lower the cost of connecting the supply and demand, it changes not just the numbers, but the entire nature of the market. This is not just a quantitative change, but a qualitative one too. Bringing niches within reach reveals latent demand for non-commercial content. Then as demand shifts toward the niches, the economics of providing them improve further, and so on, creating a positive feedback loop that will transform entire industries -- and the culture -- for decades to come. (3)

Instead of the office watercooler, which crosses cultural boundaries as only th random assortment of personalities found in the workplace can, we're increasingly forming our own tribes, groups bound together more by affinity and shared interests than by default broadcast schedules. These days our watercoolers are increasingly virtual -- there are many different ones, and the people who cather aound them are self selected. We are turning from a mass market back into a niche nation, defined now not by our geography but by our interests. (4)

One of the big differences between the head and the tail of the producers is that the further down you are in the tail, the more likely you are to have to keep your day job. And that's okay. The distinction between "professional" producers and "amateurs" is blurring and may, in fact, ultimately become irrelevent. We make not just what we're paid to make, but also what we want to make. And both can have value. (5)

(1) - The Long Tail, page 10
(2) - ibid, page 107
(3) - ibid, page 26
(4) - ibid, page 40
(5) - ibid, page 78

Steve Sherlock writes primarily at Steve's 2 Cents

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Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Sandcastle Days

Originally uploaded by

For several years, we spent a week at Mountain Springs Lake in the Poconos. A small family run place, not far off Route 80 in Tannersville, near Camelback Mountain. The lake was surrounded by about 40 or so cabins. The lake had two beaches staffed by life guards. Each cabin had a dock and a row boat. You could also rent sail boats or canoes. There were trails to go hiking or bike riding.

It was a little bit of heaven for us.

Happened to be going through some of the old photos (pre-digital days) and found this from our sand castle efforts. We usually had to sweet talk the life guards into not racking it up when they left for the night if we were not finished and going to continue the next day.

Those were the days making castles in the sand!

What summer memory do you have?

Monday, August 21, 2006

What would I desperately try to hide?

From Patti Digh writing at 37Days comes another gem:
That young man at the comic book show may never know how much his taking that time with Emma meant to her—or to me. To have someone engage with your child in such a way is a gift. To really hear his message—don’t have anything in your portfolio that you need to make excuses for—was the bigger gift.

What in my “portfolio” (where “portfolio” means: house, life, brain, relationships) should I keep? What should I sell? What should I toss? How would I feel if Solomon Butcher came along and asked me to pull it all outside for a photo session? What would I try desperately to hide?

Do yourself the favor and read the full posting.

Then ask yourself the questions Patti poses in the 37Days Challenge.


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Maybe old news, but still news

Via CraigBlog (Craig Newmark), I hear that there is an organization that earlier this year reported on some 77 local TV stations that had broadcast a news report that had effectively been prepackaged for them by PR on behalf of paying clients (read advertisers).
I think I have heard of this before but here is a listing of the stations and the reports that were aired. Turns out one of the local Boston stations (WHDH-TV, Channel 7) was involved once.
Caveat emptor, let the buyer beware, is ever more important these days. 
Be an informed watcher and processor of news.
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PodCamp Boston - Video Promo

I almost missed it but you don't have to, here is a cute video promo for the upcoming PodCamp Boston. You can also see the same thing on the PodCamp blog.
And if you have a YouTube account , you can find it there as well.
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Sunday, August 20, 2006

Playing with the new Blogger Beta

I heard about the new Blogger Beta that is now available and started playing with it this weekend.
You can see the results of my "test" blog here.
Most of the new features are behind the scenes. The big disappointment thus far is with the apparent lack of support for 3 column templates. Note: I do have an email into to them to check but have not seen anything that says it will be possible. They do tout new templates but I could not find anything more than the standard 2 column templates. Here's hoping!
Still early in the testing game to draw conclusions so I won't say much more until I find out more (i.e. hopefully after they reply to my email query).
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Falmouth - Postings Gathered

Here is the gathering of entries from our Falmouth weekend:
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Thursday, August 17, 2006

Shoelace Update

Since I wrote about my proper method of tying my shoelaces, I have found a couple of other shoelace tying references that I think you would appreciate.
From Rocketboom, Joanne Colan shows us the quick way to tie the knot on your shoelaces. Yes, it looks complicated but it is easier than it looks.
Also from Rocketboom, a web site with hundreds of the variations to tie your shoes. It claims that mathematically there are 2 trillion ways to do so and only shows some of the more prevalent methods.
If you want to do something different, pick a new way to lace your shoes.
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Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Guest Blogging at Simplicity

While Trevor is on a well deserved holiday, Troy, Phil and I will try to mind the Simplicity blog. I made my first entry there with a story on finding your niche with an ironing board.

An ironing board?

Yes, indeed. Check it out here. I think you will enjoy it.

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Celebrating Joint Birthdays

From Patti Digh writing about her joint birthday with her daughter Emma:

In fourteen short years, Emma and I have eaten strawberries as big as our heads together in Israel, seen plays in London together, waited on line at midnight for Harry Potter books together, seen the beautiful Johnny Depp in Ă‚“Pirates of the CaribbeanĂ‚” at midnight on opening day together, slept on a (hard, cold, hard and cold) floor at the Sea World in San Diego together so we could wake up and watch manatees play, driven together in a red convertible to a Breyer horse show where people are Way Crazy Serious About Plastic Horses, made movies that made us snort with laughter in the local supermarket, sold fresh-squeezed lemonade to raise money for abused horses, taken all-night train rides together and pinky sworn never to do that again, ridden Ferris wheels in Chicago rainstorms together, sang Johnny Cash tunes at the top of our lungs together in the car, planned great things for the future together.

This really does not do the full posting justice. Trust me, this is worth taking some time to read and enjoy the celebration of life that only a few can express in this fine way.

Help celebrate their birthday bleavingng a comment at 37Days!

Happy birthday Patti and Emma!

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Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Falmouth - Nobska Light

Originally uploaded by

This photo taken yesterday as we wrapped up our getaway weekend at Falmouth.

Happy anniversary, Dolores!

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What is

A TV show without commercials

A full day whether daylight saved or not

Time again for that time of the month, that period

Almost 6 months

Our married life together

No, we are not in jeopardy
Terror is only for those who are afraid
Love provides energy to walk together into the unknown

For Dolores

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Monday, August 14, 2006

Falmouth - Nobska Approach

Falmouth2006 Nobska Approach
Originally uploaded by

This is a quieter view than when I came down out of the woods to see the Nobska Light on race day.

Then: the road was filled with runners.

Now: less than a handful of cars.

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Falmouth Shining Sea Bikeway

Originally uploaded by shersteve.

Dolores and I rented a couple of bikes on Saturday to take a ride from Falmouth to Wood's Hole, a four mile ride (8 miles total). Dolores liked it so much we did it again in the afternoon before returning the bikes.

The trail was smooth and an easy ride. It was almost equally in the open with scenic ocean views and shaded with trees on at least one side if not both sides. The trail was busy with other bikers, roller bladers, runners, and walkers.

A nice way to spend some exercise time on the Cape. Dolores wants to return and ride in the fall. Sounds good to me. Want to ride along?

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Carnival Time

The word is out. Three bloggers are putting together a summer carnival that is a little different.
How different?
Go check it out. Bottom line, it will be FUN!
You can find info on it here, here, here and here.
Stay cool, join the carnival!
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Falmouth - Palmer House Inn

Falmouth - Palmer House Inn
Originally uploaded by shersteve.

Just a delightful place to stay if you are looking for something in the Falmouth area. We were here last year for race weekend and are again this time. Our room is on a floor above this fountain. The windows were open last night and the sound of the fountain was so soothing. It did not matter if the few cars that went by were loud. The fountain would return to prominence soon.

Friday, August 11, 2006

In case you missed it

I posted this over at my Passion for the Good Customer Experience blog last week.
During the work week, there are three news videoblogs that are becoming a routine for me.

Information Week's The News Show with John Soat and company

Rocketboom with Joanne Colan (now that Amanda Congdon has moved on)

The Show with Ze Frank

What a way to start the day! After all Ze says to the "sportsracers" that he is "thinking so we don't have to".

In about ten minutes, I have at a minimum, three news stories presented from a different point of view. Opens my mind to the world that begins today.

Open your eyes to check these out.

PS - Ze's actually provoking quite a bit of thought even if he is doing the thinking. Just because he starts it does not mean that it ends there!

Ze's Thursday show is worth seeing as he comments on his server being down and the current terror alert.
Rocketboom celebrates women in the hip-hop movement with some dancing at Lincoln Center.
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Everything I need

Another cool morning here in New England. I have the day off to make it a long weekend as Dolores and I head out to Falmouth. Our anniversary is Tuesday and the race is Sunday so we combine them for the long weekend to celebrate.
A lazy start to the day helps. Dolores and I did our walk through town. I stopped to catch some pictures at the library for some writing in progress. The sunlight on the Ben Franklin statue and library sign were too good to pass up. We made our traditional stop at Mel Diva's for coffee to sip along the return mile to the house.
Now a little blogging, a little email, breakfast, a little more blogging... the pace is nice. Why do we have to work? Oh yea, that little thing about money to make this all possible.
And then Melissa Ferrick comes on 88.9 WERS-FM to sing, Everything I Need:
Everything I Need lyrics

I've got money in the bank
I've got a car to drive
I've got a working set of hands
That my guitar seems to like

I've got a love that won't quit
I've got time to rest
I've got a clear able mind
That sees my life going fine

Ya cause
Everything I need
Is right here in my hands
Right here in my hands
Right here in my hands

N' I've got a floor to dance on
I've got a phone to laugh in
I've got a tub to cry in
N I've got a bed to hide in
Oh but sometimes
I only see what's wrong
N' sometimes I think
My god has up and gone
I'll never write a hit song
My love will leave me hanging

I've got money in the bank
I've got a love that won't quit
I've got a clear able mind
That sees my life going fine


What do you need to make it a great day?
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Thursday, August 10, 2006

NE Revolution vs. KC Wizards

Originally uploaded by shersteve.

A picture perfect night. Sun setting just before game time. The refs are marching onto the field (see the scoreboard). The lights are already on. The Hood blimp is flying above. What more could one ask for?

A victory to be sure! and not to be had this night as the Revs were held to a 0-0 tie. They kept the pressure on all night but their touch was lacking in the box. The KC goalie was pressed to make some good saves but a number of other chances went to waste when the Revs crossing passes missed their mark; high, low, every which way.

They have some time to rest now. After having played three games in 10 days in three different time zones, they are off until August 20th. They have 10 games left to play this regular season and 7 of them are home. Need to get those three point victories. Ties will not suffice.

Mt. Mansfield - Photo Essay

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Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Heading down - Hike 12

Originally uploaded by shersteve.

We'll close out this photo essay with another view as we stopped for a breather on the way down. The hike was good. The only problem (other than some traffic with other hikers on the trail) occurred in spts just after this picture was taken.

We had noticed the trail was wet in spots coming up. Going down, care needed to be taken to place a wet shoe on a slanted rock surface to avoid slip slidding away. We did some slip slidding but fortunately maintained our feet overall and got down safely.

A glorious day.
A wonderful view.
A worthy mountain for Marty's last on the 4000 foot list.

Extreme Ironing - Hike 11

Originally uploaded by shersteve.

In addition to the spectacular view, we were fortunate to come across an extreme ironing man. Yes, that is a portable ironing board on his back. His shirt is nicely pressed for the hike down the mountain.

More on extreme ironing later. It really deserves its own posting.

Lake Champlain - Hike 10

Originally uploaded by shersteve.

As mentioned before, this was a gorgeous day. Unlimited visbility.

We could see to Montreal (yes, Canada to the north); to Mt Monadnock (New Hampshire to the south); to Mt Washington (New hampshire to the east) and Mt Marcy (New York to the west).

This is out to Lake Champlain with Mt Marcy in the distance.

Mt Mansfield highpoint - Hike 9

Originally uploaded by shersteve.

This is what we were after. This is the high point in Vermont 4393 feet above sea level. But Marty is not done yet. The hike is not complete until you are down. We'll take a look around here before heading back.

Top of the trailmark - Hike 8

Originally uploaded by shersteve.

Yes, we are there. Well almost. The peak is actually still a bit higher. It is cool enough now. The breeze is chilling my sweaty body so I put my long sleeve t-shirt on over my short sleeve. That feels better.

Looking back - Hike 7

Originally uploaded by shersteve.

Wow, we up here now! And look how far we have come!

Cairn - Hike 6

Originally uploaded by shersteve.

Within the trees, the trail was blazed with blue paint on the bark of the trees. Above the tree line, no trees, how do you blaze the trail? Use what is handy, rocks to build a cairn. These line up to mark the path up the side of the mountain.

Looking ahead - Hike 5

Originally uploaded by shersteve.

As we broke above the tree line we could see where we were headed for. It seemed far away. Yes, those small colored dots are other hikers on the trail ahead of us.

South east view - Hike 4

Originally uploaded by shersteve.

While at the cantilever rock, this was the view to the south east. A good example of why Vermont is called the Green Mountain State.

Cantilever Rock - Hike 3

Originally uploaded by shersteve.

A small side trail took us out to view this phenomenon. The piece has slide out from the main rock like it was part of a switch blade.

The Trail Sign - Hike 2

Originally uploaded by shersteve.

The trail sign. We took the Sunset Ridge route.

Approaching Mt Mansfield

Originally uploaded by shersteve.

Coming to join the group, I pulled over to the side of the road to take this view of what we were about to hike.

Hiking Story - 1

Originally uploaded by shersteve.

This is the group that accompanied the list completer. Marty, the guy with the green shirt in the middle was completing his 67th and last of the 4000 foot peaks in New England.

Well, he picked a real good day for this final hike. It was wonderful.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Mt Mansfield - Vermont High Point

I had the pleasure of being part of a hiking buddy's significant milestone on Saturday. Marty completed hiking his 67th and the last of the 4000 foot peaks in New England. He could not have picked a better day. Clear blue skies, temps in the 70's.

We had an unlimited view from the top. Yes, from Montreal to Mt. Monadnock (southern New Hampshire), west to the Adirondacks, east to the Whites and beyond. Photos were unable to capture the real glory of the views, but we tried. I'll have some of mine available later today or tomorrow.

In the meantime, you can read Marty's trip report. In the first paragraph, he has a link to his photos.


Friday, August 04, 2006

Ring of Fire - Johnny Cash

One of the highlights last week at the Lowell Folk Festival was the performance by Hayden Thompson of "Ring of Fire". I knew it as a famous Johnny Cash song and had heard it at the festival in previous years. Did you know that it was written by June Carter and Merle Kilgore?
Hayden sang it close to the original. If you closed your eyes, you would think it was Johnny himself on the stage.
Dale Watson did it well when he came to the Festival in his honky-tonky truck driving Texas style.
But Mingo Saldivar probably played it in the most memorable way with his accordian and Mexican verse.
The lyrics are simple; the beat and delivery is what makes it memorable.

Love Is A Burning Thing
And It Makes A Fiery Ring
Bound By Wild Desire
I Fell Into A Ring Of Fire

I Fell Into A Burning Ring Of Fire
I Went Down, Down, Down
And The Flames Went Higher

And It Burns, Burns, Burns
The Ring Of Fire
The Ring Of Fire

I Fell Into A Burning Ring Of Fire
I Went Down, Down, Down
And The Flames Went Higher

And It Burns, Burns, Burns
The Ring Of Fire
The Ring Of Fire

The Taste Of Love Is Sweet
When Hearts Like Ours Meet
I Fell For You Like A Child
Oh, But The Fire Went Wild

I Fell Into A Burning Ring Of Fire
I Went Down, Down, Down
And The Flames Went Higher

And It Burns, Burns, Burns
The Ring Of Fire
The Ring Of Fire

I Fell Into A Burning Ring Of Fire
I Went Down, Down, Down
And The Flames Went Higher

And It Burns, Burns, Burns
The Ring Of Fire
The Ring Of Fire

And It Burns, Burns, Burns

The Ring Of Fire

The Ring Of Fire

What's your favorite Johnny Cash song?

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Thursday, August 03, 2006

EuroGEL 2006 coming in September

I attended GEL 2005, GEL 2006, and wrote about it here. Mark Hurst and company are going to Copenhagen for EuroGEL 2006 over the Labor Day weekend.
What a wonderful opportunity! If someone would like to pay my way, I'd be happy to consider going.
In the meantime, please consider going yourself, or at least spreading the word. EuroGEL has to be as good as GEL 2006 if not better due to the location. Yes, New York is special but come on now, this is going to be in Copenhagen.
Think about it! EuroGEL 2006
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Alive in Baghdad

Alive in Baghdad is a blog attempting to tell the stories of the Iraqi people with words and video from their point of view.

As those of you who have been with us from the beginning are well aware, Alive in Baghdad was started in the summer of 2004, with the intention of providing a space for the voices and images of Iraqis.

On my first trip to the Middle East, I traveled to Jordan and Baghdad, to prove that it was feasible and possible for a videoblogger to travel to a warzone, without the kind of security and funding backing people like Kevin Sites, of the "Kevin Sites: In the Hotzone" Yahoo! blog.

During this trip myself and the Alive in Baghdad team, based in the United States, proved that we could interview Iraqis all over the city of Baghdad, all from a base outside the Green Zone.

They are looking for additional funds to sustain their effort.

I think no matter what side of the argument you talk on the war, hearing what the Iraqi people themselves will say about it is a good cause. Won't you consider contributing?

You should add Alive in Baghdad to your RSS Reader of choice.

Thanks to Rocketboom for bringing this site to my attention.

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Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Festivals Ahead

As mentioned the PodCamp Boston event is coming up at the beginning of September. At the end of September, I will be attending the 11th Biennial Dodge Poetry Festival. It returns to the wonderful setting of Waterloo Village in Stanhope, NJ for four days; Sep 28-Oct 1.
What is it like?
Well one well known poet tried describing it as follows:

Celebrating the Dodge Poetry Festival

By Billy Collins

To understand the nature of this cultural beast, this mother of all poetry gatherings (“Wordstock” is another name for it) you need to set aside any inherited notions of what poetry readings are all about. Forget the image of a few devotees huddled in a library meeting room or a church basement, and tear up the picture of a coffeehouse where one of the undernourished is inflicting his verse on a few unsmiling listeners. Instead, you need to visualize a kind of Bedouin camp of tents where, for four days, thousands of people navigate their way through a mad-dash schedule of events. The Dodge Poetry Festival is the largest poetry event in North America and it is the most energetic, festive, and high-spirited celebration of poetry I have ever seen.

The long autumn weekend is jammed with panel discussions, lectures, and question-and-answer sessions. But the real draw – the pulsing heart of the festival – is the readings, which feature both regional poets, who hold forth on lawns and in gazebos, and poets of high magnitudes, who read under the big tent – yes, this is a poetry circus – and draw spill-over, four-figure audiences.

A poetry summit such as the Dodge dispels, at least temporarily, the notion that poetry is the most neglected of the arts, the poor little match girl of literature. The spectacle of crowds of people shouldering past one another in all directions, the long lines of book-buyers, the rapt attention to readers, the outbursts of applause, and even standing ovations are enough to convince you that poetry has somehow been restored to its ancient prominence and might even be a force to be reckoned with.

Edited and abridged from Inside Borders, September 2002

Why do I go?
I have not yet found a better place go to hear and meet good writers. After all, poetry is the essence of writing, a sort of condensed blogging. It uses the mininum number of words to convey the whole thought, and then co-creation takes over. You and I make of it what we will.
If you have the chance to go, I don't believe you'll regret it.
For more information, check out the festival web site.
For my recap of the 2004 festival you can read it here.
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Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Synergistic Blogtipping

Team Synergy got together to blogtip several blogs this month.
Check out the blogtipping action!
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Important Dates


Steve's 2 Cents 9/15/2004

Hitchhikers Guide to the Blogosphere 3/3/2005 - now in hibernation

Passionate Runner 3/12/2005

Passion for the Good Customer Experience 5/20/2005 - now in hibernation

Team Synergy 7/23/2005 - now in hibernation

Tertiary Education 6/5/2006 - now in hibernation

quiet poet - 7/21/2007 (the first poetry post, post prior to this were test posts)

Jerry's Story - 6/17/2006 (the oral history of my father)

PodCamp Boston

I have yet to podcast. It is one of my objectives for this year. So I hear there is going to be a PodCamp coming to Boston in September. Well, at least it is not some far away place. Boston is easy to get to for me. I can take the train. Or drive. But I should be able to get there. That's the thing, to meet with others and talk about podcasting, and blogging, and what you can do with it.

Want to podcast? Want to check out PodCamp Boston?

Follow this link.

If you do end up arranging to go, let me know. We can meet there.

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