Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Boston Globe gets to "Your Town" with Franklin!

Yes, there is a "Your Town" Franklin page! A recent conversation with Globe Regional Editor David K Dahl, revealed the news and he followed up with the link.

You can view the new page here:

It will aggregate information as published by the Globe and other identified sources (yes, Franklin Matters is one of them!).

This is cool!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Thoughts on the run - 2

If you put up a wall around yourself, the least you can do is create an opening - a doorway for someone to approach.

Scott Ginsburg went so far as to put a tattoo of his name tag on his chest. Maybe you don't need to go that far. Scott does have dozens of other good ideas on how to create a welcoming front porch. 

What is your doorway like? 

Do you have a welcoming front porch?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

#140edu 2012

View this email in your web browser

Looking for your help - please help me invite educators to #140edu

I am reaching out to the greater #140conf community and I am asking for a favor...I need your help to invite educators to join us at #140edu ( taking place July 31 - August 1 in New York City at the 92nd Street Y.

I would greatly appreciated it if you could take a moment and forward this email to your friends involved in education. Please also include any friends who are parents who live in the metro NYC / NJ / CT area.

With the support of Chris Lehmann, Principal, Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia we are putting on our 2nd event to take on an issue of our generation...Education

Thanks to the #140conf community, I was able to curate what I believe will be a great two day conference. You can review the schedule over at:
Our event is unique and will be exploring how the real-time web is effecting education and a chance to catch up with some of the educators who are leading the charge and bringing change to education.

My challenge now is to do everything I can to make sure as many people as possible who have a vested interest in the future of education become aware of this conference.

This is where you come in. With your help, I believe anything becomes possible.

The event pricing is optimized to bring together educators, students, parents and the education industry. The cost to attend this two-day conference for educators is only $1.40; students $14 Parents $14; and for vendors in the education industry $140. To register, please visit:

My hope is to bring together the most diverse community of people who are passionate about the state of education.

If you have a vested interest in the future of education, please make it a point to join us at the conference.

Hugs, Jeff
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Monday, June 25, 2012

Thoughts on the run - 1

Summer day, shaded driveway

Newspaper bundled in a plastic bag lies waiting

Will the occupants drive over the paper? or will they stop and pick it up?

Are they waiting for this eagerly? or is this something they recycle quickly?

How do you reach your target audience?

Friday, June 22, 2012

NE Revolution soccer making the news

For NE Revolution fans, there is much more being written about the team this season. A quick round up this morning provides some interesting stories to read:

From ESPN:

Lechner's role is loud and clear

Thursday, June 21, 2012

TED: John Hockenberry on Design

A little story telling, a little humor and some great insights into design.

“An object imbued with intent — it has power, it's treasure, we're drawn to it. An object devoid of intent — it's random, it's imitative, it repels us. It's like a piece of junk mail to be thrown away.” — John Hockenberry

John found his difference with intent. What is your intent?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

a little time travel

Along the lines of not finding something new here, you may also want to use that opportunity to dive into the archives. Unlike some other sites, this one has posts that go back to 2004. So pick a day, yes event he day you visit and go back into time. Do a little time travel.

What was I writing about in 2011?

In 2010?

In 2009?

In 2008?

In 2007?

In 2006?

In 2005?

and alas, this site began in September of 2004 so going back to June is going back too far.

Monday, June 18, 2012

here and elsewhere!

There are other places to find where I write. Some of you know those, some new readers may not be as familiar so this will be a quick refresher.

My regular updates on what is happening that matters in Franklin, MA can be found on I focus primarily on the town budget (follow the money) which means I spend as much time as I can among the Finance Committee meetings, the Town Council and the School Committee.

I also write a weekly summary of the Franklin happenings at

As I find good information for those still looking for work, I share that on the Job Search Jam Sessions webpage here

While my father has passed on to a better place, some of the family history is being kept on his page - Jerry's Story:

I do run regularly but have been posting less regularly on my running blog, Passionate Runner

And in a quiet moment, when I allow the muse to speak, I can capture those poetic thoughts on my poetry blog:

So if you come here and find Steve's 2 Cents quiet, there may be other places where I have been busy!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

right hand, left hand

I have posted about the sassafras tree leaves before. Hopefully, not so often that you'll turn aside saying, "oh no, not again!"

sassafras leaves 2

I do find them fascinating! Three different leaf shapes on the same tree. The leaf can be a right handed mitten, a left handed mitten or a three-fingered happy hand.

One of the few trees that have different leaf shapes.

Which brings me around to how much different we can be. Just in our dress for the day: formal business ware, casual business, relaxed sporty, pajamas.... the list is almost endless. And that is just for our appearance.

When we get to our attitude, how we greet the next person, you perhaps! the listing is also endless

Let's be good to one another. Let's use our endless capacity for good!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

technology disrupting business

You have gone to a website and purchased something recently. Usually there are the normal credit card options and increasingly, there is a PayPal option. It is almost expected to be there as it is so convenient, easy and secure to use. PayPal is looking to become the in-store payment option!
After TARP, the mortgage banking crises and the demise of Goldman and all the rest, it's a lot to ask a banking investor to think in terms of the threat of technological innovation. But click on PayPal's "In Store" page and you get a feel for the bank profit-killing gun PayPal is waving around. 
Sign up and you will see that PayPal has managed to engineer a point-of-sale system that does away with traditional debit or credit cards. Never mind that deck of financial identity plastic. The PayPal retail product doesn't even need a smartphone -- just your phone number and an easy-to-remember PIN.

Technology creating a disruption in business! And PayPal is not the only one. My internet buddy Trevor is visiting the US and we had made arrangements to meet this week. We already had email and other connections available so we shared cell phone numbers to prepare for connecting on the last mile. I didn't give it a thought until I recognized the incoming call and couldn't pick it up. Not due to fumble fingers but due to the service on the phone that prevents international calling. Trevor's from the UK and has an international number although he is calling me locally.

Scrambling to call Verizon to check out the options to add international calling to my phone took about 20 minutes and still wasn't activated about 30 minutes after the call. About this time I got my laptop booted up and decided to try Google Voice. I could also have used Skype. Both of these services are wrecking havoc with telephone companies like PayPal is starting to do with the banks.

What use of technology can you make to help improve your customer service or service delivery?

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


Caught this commercial on TV tonight. I like the stop action effect on the luminarias

You can still contribute to a walker or a team via the website

Monday, June 11, 2012

Dirty socks

After sweating to beat back the weeds from encroaching upon the semi organized plants and flower beds, I was ready to go back inside for a shower and a cold drink.

I took off my shoes in the garage and then looked at my feet. Oh no, yes indeed the socks must go too!

dirty socks after weeding

Couldn't have all that good will earned by weeding tossed away in a second by tracking the dirt back inside the house!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Off to find some pebbles

This is a great video on story telling. Andrew Stanton has had quite a bit of success telling stories. The lessons he shares are good ones. Now the challenge will be to bring them to life.

"Don't give [the audience] four; give them two plus two.”

“Change is fundamental in story. If things go static, stories die.”

“The greatest story commandment is: Make me care.”

“A major threshold is passed when you mature enough to acknowledge what drives you, and to take the wheel and steer it.”

“A well told promise is like a pebble being pulled back in a slingshot.”

I am off to find some pebbles. Have you found your pebble yet?

Friday, June 08, 2012

sherku: nourishment

Liquid silver
For use later
For the eyes that stop

What is a sherku?
sherku and other verse I write can be found at quiet poet

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Team work takes practice!

When I was a kid, I always loved a parade.

Sherlock & cousins '62 parade

Yes, the tall kid in the back on your left, that's me - then.

I especially liked the precision rifle drill teams. The ones that marched in formation and did maneuvers twisting and turning, staying in step, not bumping into each other, once in awhile tossing their rifles to each other, never dropping them.

Team work like that takes practice. I know, I eventually joined a rifle drill team. It is hard work. And worthwhile when it all comes together.

At the recent Memorial Day parade in Franklin, there were no precision drill teams. A couple of the school bands had flag twirlers. That is about as close as can you get today.

Franklin, MA: Memorial Day Parade - 2012

How is your team work? Are you on the same page? What are your doing to practice?

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

What if there was no blue?

Blue spruce? Why not?

That is certainly what it looks like. Light blue against the darker green makes for a nice contrast.

New growth

This bring to mind an interesting tidbit from the recent show on "Colors" from the RadioLab Podcast: Homer didn't know 'blue'.

Yes, Homer. The one who wrote the Illiad and The Odyssey. Used thousands of words to write both works but did not use the word 'blue'. And he is not the only one who didn't. Was he colorblind? No, it was more likely that while the rainbow spectrum of colors hasn't really changed, our explanation of the colors has. At some point in time, we did not know 'blue' as 'blue'. Then someone gave it a name - 'blue' and from then on we know and talk about 'blue'.

When I coached high school track athletes to be high jumpers, visualization was a key concept. If they could not see themselves jumping over the bar, they couldn't do it. If they could imagine it, what it would feel like to fly and fall on the other side, watching the bar... they could do it.

So we know now that the imagination is critical. If you can't think of it, it won't happen. It is also critical to have a word for it. If you can't talk about it, no one will know.

Before the word for 'blue' what was it?

Before the word for your future accomplishment, what is it?

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Speed up or slow down?

Are you a fan of The 59th St Bridge Song?

"Slow down, you move too fast
You got to make the morning last
Just kicking down the cobblestones
Looking for fun and feeling groovy
Ba da da da da da da, feeling groovy"

Slow down

Realized the other day that I hadn't done any sherku in quite awhile. My prior sherku was written while I was in Chicago for SOBCon. I need to slow down to allow sherku to happen. It is in moments of quiet that sherku arrive unbidden. Keep busy and they stay away.

What happens to you when you have some quiet time?

Do you even give yourself some quiet time?

Monday, June 04, 2012

You are your network!

On the network theme, have your looked at your LinkedIn network? Did you know you could?

Yes, you can. LinkedIn Labs has a visualization tool that takes your connections and shows how they inter-relate with each other. This can be a very powerful way to see what you have and what to do next.

You may recall my story of having left Fidelity at the end of 2008 with most of my 200 connections from Fidelity. Knowing what I knew about the changes and the likelihood of getting back there permanently, I needed to expand my network. Methodically, I did grow my network to over the 900 connections I have today by focusing on the other areas of my interest, particularly social media , local journalism (place blogging), and non-profit volunteering.

As I participated in the various New England PodCamps and other unconferences, I made connections to grow my network.

What does your network look like?

Where should you expand?

You can step up your InMap here

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Right vs. wrong

Maybe not what you think. How do you reinforce the good things that make up a good experience?

Tom Peters talks about TGW = things gone wrong and how that it might indeed be better to do TGR = things gone right!

What do you think?

Right or wrong?

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Tree replaced by network

The tree of knowledge was a good metaphor for describing our knowledge of life and how things connected one another. The concept has been around for quite sometime. The tree as metaphor is now becoming recognized as not sufficient enough to really explain the connections. This RSA Animate video shows how the network or web of life is a better view.

Of course, if we are fortunate to stick around for awhile, there may also be a better metaphor discovered as our understanding of life continues to develop.

What do you think about this?