Thursday, March 29, 2007

Stop Cyberbullying

Andy Carvin is advocating for stopcyberbullying this Friday. I applaud his efforts and will add my 2 cents to endorse it here and elsewhere.

In my advocation of this is I would not limited this to just one day. We should practice this every day.

We need to treat each other with respect. We need to have civil conversations.

The more we do this the better off we will all be.

Read Andy's posting on this here.

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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Blog of the Day Award

I received notification that Steve's 2 Cents received the Blog of the Day Award for Tuesday 3/27/07.

COOL! Thank you!

The Hitchhikers will need to turn the trail to find out more about this award. I am not one to look a gift horse in the mouth when I can ride. :-)

Come along for the ride!

Banana Bread

As mentioned earlier in leftover creativity, Banana Bread is a good use of old bananas. The older the bananas, the easier they are to mash up and use in this recipe. One of my friends commented:
How can you make bread out of bananas?

Can't even imagine it.
Well Felix, this recipe is for you! This recipe has been kicking around the family for years. It is a clipping from some long forgotten newspaper. The newsprint is yellowing under the tape and plastic protecting it on the recipe index card.

Banana Nut Bread

1/2 cup margarine
1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs
2 3/4 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups ripe banana, mashed (about 3 medium bananas)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 F.
Cream margarine and sugar together.
Add eggs, beat well.
Peel bananas, mash well in a bowl.

Sift dry ingredients together (flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt)
Add to egg mixture alternately with banana, mixing well after each addition.
Stir in nuts.

Scape batter into 9x5 inch loaf pan well-greased.
Bake 50-60 minutes or until a wooden pick comes out of the center clean.

Remove to rack to cool.

Steve's modifications

For the flour, I substitute my "enriched" flour which in this case is a combination of 1 cup whole wheat flour, 1 cup unbleached flour, 1/2 cup wheat germ, 1/4 cup corn meal.

For the nuts, I usually substitute chocolate chips. Yes, the same kind that is used for cookies. If you really like chocolate, you can be more generous than called for (1/2 cup).


Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Always Wanted to Dunk

Originally uploaded by shersteve.
Success at last!

Shadow Tangled

Shadow Tangled
Originally uploaded by shersteve.
What snow came on Sunday morning has already melted away. The tree shadows have returned. Do you get tangled in the web of shadows?

Monday, March 26, 2007

Snow Frosted Sunday - FHS Track

Originally uploaded by shersteve.
Down at the Franklin High School track to run with the Pacers and to do my Passionate Runner podcast recording in the open air, this scene caught my camera eye.

The snow frosting was melting already with the sun not even on the horizon. The snow along the top bar had slide under and was being held ever so gently by the moisture to the metal.

While I was recording the snow was dropping off returning the winter fortress to its normal trackside/football stand of bleachers.

Can you hear the chants of "Go Panthers!"

Snow Frosted Sunday - Dogwood tree

Originally uploaded by shersteve.
We woke up Sunday morning to a snow frosted world here in Franklin.

By the end of the day, the trees had shed their coating, the lawns were winter green, and the weather was all but a memory.

One reason to take pictures.

This is our photogenic dogwood tree in the backyard.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Spring Portrait

the first day of spring came and went already this week, I decided it was time to do a new set of portraits. A set to continue the main theme of Steve's 2 Cents, 2 heads are better than one, whatever...

I have set my self up for doing another set each season... oh well, such is the life!

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Sgt Pepper is 40!

Earlier this month, I posted my review of This is Your Brain on Music on the Joyful Jubilant Learning blog for this month's Love Affair with Books. There was a good discussion from several commenters including Verna who mentioned Sgt Pepper. Today's Boston Globe has an article with insights into the faces that made up the cover of the Beatles album which will turn 40 this year.

My how time flies!

The cover:

The article with the names and faces matched.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Bum Rush the Charts - Results and Analysis

The results are in.

Christopher S Penn does the in depth analysis

I'll be ready to sign up again for the next time!

Conversation with Phil Gerbyshak

A conversation with Phil Gerbyshak, from Make it Great, talking about the blog community and taking the blog off the blog.

Time: 6 minutes, 9 seconds

Links referenced during this conversation:

The Ho'ohana Community at Rosa Say's Talking Story

The blog Synergy (now dormant but with good conversations posted there).

The Love Affair with Books at the Joyful Jubilant Learning blog.

PodCamp Boston

Beyond Broadcasting 2007

Good Experience Live coordinated by Mark Hurst, Good Experience Blog is actually held in New York City but easy to get to from Boston.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Leftover creativity

I don't like to waste food so there are many re-uses other than simply re-heating and serving leftovers. Here is a sample of some that come along and what I like to do with them.

Not that we'll change to this a food site but let's see where food does get us.

Leftover -> Re-use
Baked potato -> home fries
Ham bone -> pea soup
old bananas -> banana bread
old bread -> bread pudding
ham slices -> ham hash or ham omelets (or both)

If you have different uses or other suggestions, please share.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Video Blog Workflow

Thanks to Steve Garfield for posting Cheryl Colan's free video blog work flow.

Best single picture depiction for how to setup/produce a video blog that I have seen.

HDI New England - "Help desk Unplugged"

Yes, the New England Chapter of HDI is holding a special one day event coming up this Friday, March 23 to be held at the Conference Center, Marlborough, MA.





Opening remarks by HDI regional representatives


John Custy -Where ITIL and Knowledge meet


Chip Gliedman - What is this thing called ITIL and what should I do about it?




Phil Gerbyshak - Make it Great! with the insights of "How to be a Relationship Geek"


Networking lunch / Vendor show


Naomi Karten - Cave Dwellers and Chatter Boxes: Demystifying Introversion and Extroversion




Sam Rizzico - Tech Support Center Optimization


Closing remarks by HDI/door prizes

Yes, blogger buddy Phil Gerbyshak is coming to the area.

This was going to be a good one day event, with Phil there it will surely be Great!

Monday, March 19, 2007

What are you going to do now that theshow has stopped?

Yes, one year after it started, theshow with zefrank has stopped.

Now what are you going to do?

Where will all the sportsracers hang out?

For the last show view here.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Pork Roast - McCormick's Roasting Rub (Cracked Peppercorn Herb)

So it was supposed to be for beef, and we used it for pork. No matter, it was delicious!

A nice pork loin roast (approx. 3.5 lbs.) was rubbed with the Cracked Peppercorn Herb as directed.

Set the meat thermometer. Put the roast in the oven at 325 F.

Prepared the squash, green beans, and cous cous and set for cooking later.

When the roast was ready set the veggies and cous cous to cook and in about 10 minutes sat down for a well deserved dinner. We deliberately have leftovers to re-heat for dinner later this week.

Hope your Sunday dinner was tasty and enjoyable!

Many thanks, Troy!

For what you ask?

Go take a look
and see why I appreciate what he said!

Many thanks, Troy!

Ice & Snow

Ice & Snow
Originally uploaded by shersteve.

The sun is coming up nicely today. There is a crust of ice on the snow. I was walking on top of this crust this morning while down at the high school track "recording studio" I use for my Passionate Runner podcasts. The outdoor setting I think is appropriate for talking about an outdoor activity like running. The occasional breeze or bird chirping in the background adds to the setting. I am glad the sun was out. It was about 18 F with wind chill reported to be in single digits. I was well bundled for the recording and dressed down further when I ran with the Pacers.

Dolores and I took our walk this morning (after I came back from running). We altered our course due to the lack of sidewalks on most roads. We also did not stop for coffeee but came directly home and brewed our own pot.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

St Patrick's Day - Boiled Dinner

Yes, one of the Irish traditions in our household is a boiled dinner on St. Patrick's Day. Corned beef brisket, potatoes, cabbage, and carrots. I add a bottle of Guinness to the pot of water to cook this in and add an onion for taste.

After dinner, Irish coffee... usually decaf with a shot of either Bushmills or Jamison Irish whiskey topped with some cream. Although to be more dietary, the cream can be left off and the coffee/whiskey mix will go down just as well.

Happy St Patrick's Day!

During Snow

During Snow
Originally uploaded by shersteve.
Something there is that doesn't love a clear driveway,
That sends the frozen-moisture down upon it,
And spills the roadway snow along the edge,
And makes it treacherous for anyone to attempt to pass.

with apologies to Robert Frost...

I shoveled twice yesterday and again this morning. This morning was hard as the snow was more than I thought would be there and as wet as was forecasted. So with a heavy shovel and tired arms, I could only ponder what Robert would have done under these circumstances.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Quotes & Links

From Roy H Williams writing at The MondayMorningMemo:
Advertising isn't working like it did a few years ago. You've noticed this, right?

Most advertisers are convinced that technology is to blame.

TV advertisers will tell you that TiVo and her sister Digital Video Recorders are blocking their television ads. But according to a recent report released by Leichtman Research Group, only 12 percent of American households own a DVR.

But TV ad results are down far more than 12 percent.
Read the full memo to find out more about "The Faded Color of Empty Words"

From Patti Digh writing at 37Days

"Reading Pippi Longstocking when I was seven gave me a new lease on life. I felt pretty homely and different, and Pippi was so out there, with her freckles and upside-down braids, one black sock and one brown. She was so feisty and hilarious and powerful. I wanted her to be my best friend, and I also knew that she lived inside me. That was such a great secret--that inside me I was okay if Pippi was. I wanted to grow up and tell stories like hers, about girls who kicked butt."

Some may remember my own identification with Pippi. Redheaded and all, I once stood vigil in Stockholm outside the aging and ailing author's home, Astrid Lundgren.

I think it's abundantly clear--Anne Lamott is stalking me.

I am finally reading "Bird by Bird" and do recognize a great deal of similarity between Patti and Anne. If you have not discovered Patti, please click through to read more of "Claim your inner Pippi".

From the wonderful Christine Kane writing on her blog

The biggest lesson I get from the Neil Young concert is about taking chances, and being alive, and tossing your ideas out in the world. The problem is not so much in the “how you say it” or “what you say” stuff. The problem is the expectation that the response even should be hollering and whooping all the time. If you were always going for the sure thing and the woo-hoo’s, then you’d be the Beach Boys in any city on any night in July.

No one knows what was in Neil Young’s head as he performed that night. But every performer knows the temptation to try and get that screaming intensity on every song. Probably there’s a similar toxic pressure in the marketing world.

Read more of what Christine has to say about the Neal Young video clip that Seth Godin started the conversation on earlier this week.


Bum rush the charts!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Franklin Budget issue

Watching the School Dept presentation to the Town Council Wednesday night, they have presented a "level service" budget. To go from "level service" to "level funding" would require a reduction of approx. $6 M. To obtain this reduction, given other budget requirements would require a reduction in personnel of about 100.

We need "level service" to just maintain the kind of quality education is provided to our Franklin students.

Pay attention to the discussions. Be informed.

Budget information from the Superintendent's Office

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

NCAA March Madness

The real madness in March is NOT the Final Four. The real madness is the inequity amongst graduation rates for the basketball players.

Two kids go to the same school. Both play basketball. One graduates approx. 60% of the time more than the other. One is white. One is black. Guess who is on the bottom of this scale?

Derrick Jackson of the Boston Globe publishes his graduation rankings each season. The football numbers are not a whole lot different from the basketball numbers.

It is a shame.

Graphic from the Boston Globe.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Happy Blogversary Passionate Runner!!!

Yes, hard to believe but two years ago on March 12, 2005, the first posting took place at Passionate Runner.

361 posts later, an average of one every other day, Passionate Runner is alive and well.

I just initiated a podcast to expand the sharing of the knowledge and experience I have acquired in over 30 years running.

I also received my USA T&F Level 1 Coaching certificate.

There are plenty of miles to run, let's go!

Friday, March 09, 2007

Quotes & Links

From AJ Hoge writing at Hobopoet comes this acknowledgment:
What this little experiment has taught me is that the key to being a successful micro-preneur is simply this-- START. I can't tell you how many years I wasted THINKING about starting my own little project. I dreamed. I analyzed. I planned.

I suppose these activities had some psychological value-- helping me overcome doubts, fears, and hesitations.. but thats about it. Beyond that, it was just a lot of wasted time and energy.

The key to becoming financially independent is not a super idea, or a genius plan, or the amazing thing that no one else has ever thought of. The key is to simply start something-- anything. Just start and then adapt. That's all it really takes.
Read the full post here. Explore AJ's new venture site here.

From Rhea writing at the Boomer Chronicles the seltzer comes gushing:

Do you remember I wrote about bottled water a couple of weeks ago and why we shouldn’t be buying it?

That got me to thinking. If I want to curb my bottled-water buying, why am I still buying seltzer? I live on the stuff. The seltzer with the lime flavor, the seltzer with the black cherry flavor, the seltzer with the cranberry flavor, and so on.

Then I remembered there are little machines you can buy to make seltzer at home. I went online and did some research. I found the Soda Club, a company that’s been making seltzer makers since 1903.

Read the full post here.

From Grammar Girl who has a blog and accompanying podcast:

I know it's upsetting to find out that your nearest and dearest beliefs are wrong, so this week, I'm going to talk about my own mistaken pet peeve: it bugs me to no end when people use “while” to mean “although,” but no matter how hard I looked I couldn't convince myself that I was right. The horror!

You see, I think “although” means “in spite of the fact that,” as in “Although Sir Fragalot was tall, Squiggly and the aardvark considered him an equal.” “Although” is what's called a concessive conjunction, meaning that it is used to express a concession. On the other hand, I think that “while” should be reserved to mean “at the same time,” as in “While Squiggly gathered wood, aardvark hid the marimbas.”

To find out the last work on 'although' vs. 'while', check out the full posting.

That's all for now folks, enjoy the language and water sandwich!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Ha, that's good!

I am frustrated by Runner's World, their search engine and what is in their print magazine versus their online web site.

I found an article I wanted to write about on Passionate Runner.

I can't find it on the Runner's World web site. Searching their site is no help.

I turn to Google as my savior and the first page fails me also.

The second page surprises me with a link to, of all places, Passionate Runner. But I still can't find the article I am looking for.

Oh well....

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

My train is here! Yeh, my train is here!

My train is here!
Originally uploaded by shersteve.
When your train is announced, after waiting for what seems like forever, I am surprised that more people are not dancing like this figure.

The reason they are not is primarily due to their rushing to the doors to get aboard and get a good seat home.

The folks dancing just want to have fun!

When was the last time you danced in the train station?

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Garnet Rogers "All that is"

Managed to catch Garnet Rogers in concert at the Circle of Friends Coffeehouse down the road from my house here in Franklin. The Laws opened and played very well, good guitar picking and wonderful vocal harmonies. Amongst the songs that Garnet shared with us, the chorus to this one caught my ear and snagged it.

All that Is

Who can tell when in love you'll finally fall?
Some live in vain and never love at all
but as lightning strikes
or as a small insistent voice
if we are blessed we will hear and heed the call

Give your love and never count the cost
Lose your heart and never call it lost
May your love be your shelter
to the ending of your days
love is all that is, all that ever was

May your love grow strong and always kind
May your hearts grow forever more entwined
In the brightest day or the stillness of the night
May it be each others hand you seek and find

Never more to be alone
Ever closer you have grown
Forever now may no distance come between
And in each other's loving hearts you find a home

Friday, March 02, 2007

The week that was, the month that will be

Friday already, the weather is pounding the Northeast after running rampant through the middle and southern states.

A good day to stay indoors and read. After all, this completes Read Across America week.

The big three highlights for you to consider.

(1) The Owen and Mzee story as told here and here
The story of friendship between two animal species has a message for us all. The story of how Isabella became the author of two books is enlightening. The connections and sharing made possible by the web is one of many stories that can be told of the power of the web.

(2) Ray, in his own words from the Show with ZeFrank
Sportsracers may already be familiar with the story of Ray's song. Certainly with the sportsracers collaboration in remixing it, in creating the video, in finding Ray (in two days) and ultimately in this video where Ze delivers the CDs to Ray and captures Ray, in his own words. Priceless!

(3) A Love Affair with Books
The third highlight continues for the rest of March. Yes, really. Jump over to the Joyful Jubilant Learning blog for the Love Affair with Books. 24 writers sharing their review of 24 books they have read. Look for my entry on March 7th.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Ray in his own words

From The Show with ZeFrank, Ze delivers the remixed CD's to Ray and Ray talks about the song. This is a must view.

the show with zefrank: 02-28-07

Spend about ten minutes to view this and you will understand why.

You will be glad you did!