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Sunday, April 30, 2006

Good Service at the Cleaners

I have sourced the cleaning and ironing of my shirts to a local chain for sometime now. For a few dollars a week, it is worth it. So I picked up this week's batch and found a little card attached to one of the shirts. It does have a slight stain along the front near the buttons, very easily hidden when I wear a tie but noticeable when I don't.
The tag read:
We've tried and tried but we find that the stains on this garment cannot be removed without possible injury to the color or the fabric. This has been called to your attention so that you will know it has not been overlooked.
Simple, clear message. Nice touch!
So who are these folks? Dry Clean Pros. They are located in Franklin and apparently have a few other locations in the area. I could not find a web site for them.
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Saturday, April 29, 2006

Who's on First? - New Version

Found a new version of the classic Who's on first? dialog over on grrrl meets world. A teaser
George: Condi! Nice to see you. What's happening?

Condi: Sir, I have the report here about the new leader of China.

George: Great. Lay it on me.

Condi: Hu is the new leader of China.

George: That's what I want to know.

Condi: That's what I'm telling you.
follow the link for the full posting!
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Thursday, April 27, 2006

Tertiary Education

Word for the day: Tertiary education
What is Tertiary Education and why is it important?
Tertiary education broadly refers to all post-secondary education, including but not limited to universities.  Universities are clearly a key part of all tertiary systems, but the diverse and growing set of public and private tertiary institutions in every country—colleges, technical training institutes, community colleges, nursing schools, research laboratories, centers of excellence, distance learning centers, and many more—forms a network of institutions that support the production of the higher-order capacity necessary for development.
From the World Bank web site via Google search results.
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Tuesday, April 25, 2006

still waters do run deep

It may seem a little quiet here so I wanted to reassure you that still waters do run deep.
I did get a new digital camera so check out the pictures on Steve's 2 Cents
The blog Synergy has been busy this month discussing "where are the women interested in the Power of We". Several interviews have been posted and more are in the works. Ronni Bennett, Andrea Learned, Mary Schmidt, Jodee Bock... who will be next?
Blogidarity has made a minor change in the funding flow but we are still blogging to raise money this month for Clear Path International. Click over there to read HA's story or find out how the kids travel to school in Vietnam.
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Sunday, April 23, 2006

Sam Allis on Leadership

Sam Allis writes a weekly column, The Observer, for the Boston Sunday Globe. This week's column is titled "The leadership thing". This caught my interest due to the leadership discussion underway over on the blog Synergy.
He writes of a new program being introduced at Tufts to address what previously had not been taught in college. Professor Robert Sternberg, currently Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, had created the Rainbow Project while at Yale. In the new minor in leadership program to be offered in the fall of 2007:

They'll learn to appreciate other points of view, to perceive how people perceive them, to clarify their own strengths and weaknesses, and then compensate for the weaknesses. They'll learn that formulas change and that unlike a multiple choice test, solutions are contextualized.

How come no one taught me any of this?

The man is also near and dear to my heart because he honors the skills of the ''Happy Bottom Quarter" -- the much-maligned C students who often go on to run brokerage houses, law firms, countries. Credit them with the emotional smarts to figure out there's no point in herniating yourself in the classroom when what matters are relationships that will yield rich benefits for the rest of your life.

''It's the skills, not just the relationships," he corrects. ''They learn early that they'll never get anywhere trying to be the best student, so they must develop another set of skills to achieve. This is the tacit knowledge to know what they need to succeed. The correlation between academic and practical intelligence is, like, zero."

So with the academic world will be offering courses in 2007, you can either wait until then, or join the discussion over at the blog Synergy to get the latest on leadership.


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What can you do?

David Wallechinsky asks a great question in the cover story of today's Parade Magazine: Is the American Dream Still Possible? If you did not see this, I suggest you follow the link to read the article.

What Can You Do?

In this (and every) election year, many politicians rev up emotions that keep voters from focusing on the pocketbook and daily-life issues that truly matter. You know what really touches your family and life: The cost of milk, gas and prescription drugs. The quality of schools. The hope that the government will step in fully prepared to keep you safe and secure if a disaster hits your neighborhood.

Don’t leave decision-making and priority-setting to zealots who have an ax to grind—or to the blindly ambitious people who emerge in every generation. For more than 200 years, our system of government has encouraged power to the people. Be an active citizen.
Given the ineptness of the current leadership, the people need to restore the power to themselves.
Be an active citizen!
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Thursday, April 20, 2006

Andrea Learned - an interview

I had the distinct pleasure to interview Andrea Learned, who writes at Learned on Women and is the co-author with Lisa Johnson of Don't Think Pink.
Andrea says:
We women want to "get it done," and have found that we can do more by taking action and moving forward for ourselves in the business realm. I read a statistic recently about how many women entrepreneurs are starting their own business, and choosing NOT to hire employees.
Read the full posting here.
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Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Attention or lack there of

Earlier this month Stowe Boyd wrote a longer post following up to an interview with Linda Stone on "continuous partial attention" where closed with:
I am a computer geek, and spend hours every day fooling around with computers, typing, reading, email, IM. Of course I am wired differently after years of that. How could it be otherwise?

The results? Changes in how we perceive the world and our place in it. And this is not just small, subtle changes. They are big, and active. We are actively opting to do things differently. The manner of our adaptations are socially intrusive and disruptive: we IM in meetings, read books while others are lecturing, or look out the windows when we are supposed to be focused on the One Big Thing For Today, Or Else. Or light out for the territories. Or start a company.

This did not sit well with me. I recognize where he is coming from but I am struggling with how it negatively affects his view of the world. Someday, I'll get the lightbulb to go off and write more fully on it.

But today, I saw two other items that come close to helping in this matter.

The first from my good friend, Trevor in the UK who wrote "Sometimes we need to change things!" You should click through to see the post on his page and enjoy the cartoon picture.

The second from the FastCompany newsletter highlighting an article by Margaret Heffernan on "Stop the Multitasking". She writes:

What I’d discovered was the downside of multitasking. Nowadays, we scan our email while talking on the phone, check the Blackberry in the bathroom, make phone calls from the train. Women, we’re told, are natural multitaskers, confidently cooking dinner while on the phone and supervising homework. Men struggle to emulate us, proudly boasting that they too can attend soccer matches while listening in on conference calls. The competition is not just about how much work we can shift but how many different jobs we can complete simultaneously. Real leaders, we’re told, have a bias for action – so to look like leaders, we become hyperactive, never doing two things when we could be doing four.

What gets lost is thoughtfulness. We’ve gotten so attached to multitasking that we’re in danger of forgetting how to single-task. When did you last have a conversation, a real conversation, with a colleague or a friend – while paying them the compliment of your full, undivided attention? When did you last read a book and give yourself time to think about what it meant and whether or not you agreed with it? When did you last analyze the themes of your career to find out how you could achieve more?

Do you multi-task?

Should you multi-task?


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Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Ronni Bennett on Leadership

Yes, I got to spend some time talking with Ronni Bennett on women and leadership (amongst others things, of course) but the results of the conversation focusing on the women and leadership part have been posted to the blog Synergy.
Ronni said:
“That's what drove me nuts in the "business" place I worked. There were too many chiefs who had equal say, so confusion reigned. Final calls were not necessarily “final” and any number of people could switch direction of the project even after it was well on its way to completion, requiring weeks - and sometimes months - of starting over. Further confusing and probably contributing to people's lackadaisical attitude toward delivering what they'd promised in the last meeting, was that everyone knew the goal would change at some point, so why bother working at it too hard.”
Click on over and read it.
You have my permission!
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Sunday, April 16, 2006

What is love?

What is love?
Three answers in a variation on a theme:
How do you answer the question?
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Friday, April 14, 2006

Blogging Cruise

Having once been on a Royal Carribean cruise, I would go again if and when the opportunity presented itself. Combining a cruise with blogging? Now there is an opportunity to look into.
Check this out.
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Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Kathy Sierra - Creating Passionate Users

I'm catching up to Kathy Sierra writing at Creating Passionate Users. So don't stay here long today. The best thing you can do is go directly there!.
Do not pass Go, do not collect the $200...
You get the message!
PS - you can come back to see if I have something good on another day but today, she has the better stuff to read.
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Monday, April 10, 2006

Editor Needed

Another in the chalkboard series:
I catch this headline from Reuters found in the Boston Globe Business section this morning:
Pluck has this BlogBurst service that provides blog content to newspapers where the papers do not have their own writers covering that area. Sounds reasonable enough. Here comes the chalkboard shiver alert.
BlogBurst has its own staff to edit blogs, in effect accrediting them for newspaper publishers and thereby addressing issues of quality control that have often poisoned relations between mainstream media and bloggers.
Thank you. I think you have poisoned my day now!
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Sunday, April 09, 2006

Attracting attention

The women are starting to find blog Synergy and join the discussion.
Check it out here!
And stay tuned for more developments as the month of April progresses.
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Friday, April 07, 2006

Happy Birthday Ronni!

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Thursday, April 06, 2006

Point of View

The Wall Street Journal touted Apple's announcement that it would enable Windows to run on its popular MAC computers in a very positive way.
The new software "makes the iMac, the Mac Mini and the MacBook Pro laptop the only computers in the world that allow mainstream users to run both operating systems at full speed," says Wall Street Journal columnist Walter Mossberg. In a sign that Wall Street believes many more Windows users will be enticed to switch to Macs, Apple's shares soared nearly 10% yesterday, the Journal notes.
(subscription required)

Information Week complains that Apple will force the end user to buy and install the Windows software to run on the MAC. (Free registration required)

So what does this do for me?
I think it makes owning an Apple all the more possible.

Is it the breech in the "Berlin Wall" that will force the WINTEL cartel to change?
In all likelihood, I think yes.

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Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Top 100 April Fools Hoaxes

With April Fools Day behind us for this year, if you did not get enough, here is the place to go:

The Top 100 April Fools Day Hoaxes

Thanks to WXPNews for the link.

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Monday, April 03, 2006

Where are the women interested

Here is the man with three staves, and here the Wheel,  
And here is the one-eyed merchant, and this card,  
Which is blank, is something he carries on his back,  
Which I am forbidden to see. I do not find  
The Hanged Man. Fear death by water.   55
I see crowds of people, walking round in a ring.  
Thank you. If you see dear Mrs. Equitone,  
Tell her I bring the horoscope myself:  
One must be so careful these days.
From TS Eliots' The Waste Land.
Are you forbidden to see what is carried on his back?
What is your horoscope for the month of April?
I, for one, am looking forward to some conversations on this month's topic over on the blog Synergy. So click on over there and join the conversation!
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GEL 2006 Approaching

The Good Experience Live 2006 (GEL) Conference in NYC is rapidly approaching (May 4-5).

I have written

If you want a GREAT experience, you'll consider attending GEL 2006!

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Sunday, April 02, 2006

New Globe Blog - Starts & Stops

The link is not available today but the Starts and Stops article in today's Boston Globe announced a new blog format for Starts and Stops (free registration may be required).

We'll be updating this new site (www.boston.com/starts/blog) with a lot of information, including the latest advisories from the MBTA, reader gripes, and questions about Boston's sometimes frustrating transportation systems. It's the column you love, seven days a week, with hyperlinks. We'll even post the Big Dig closures. If you like it, please bookmark it. We promise to make it fun and informative.

The blog will work much the same way the column does, based largely on reader input sent to the column's e-mail address at starts@globe.com. But unlike most blogs, it's not just one person spouting off. It's you spouting off, though, like the column, we get to select which gripes are posted.

We will use it to answer questions that normally would not find space in the column, or reprint letters we find amusing or refreshing.

Good idea!

I am looking forward to adding it to my regular reading list. If you are a Boston area commuter, this might be a good idea for you as well.


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Wisdom from Streep

Janice Page has an excellent interview with Meryl Streep in today's Boston Globe: Straight up Streep (free registration may be required)
I encourage you to read the whole interview, it is well worthwhile. These snippets are my favorite slices to take away.

Is it writing that usually sells you on a part?

Yes, and also over time I began to see -- because I came from plays and I didn't immediately pick up on the inchoate power of film -- that you have to imagine that the director will make the frame say what the words are not.

I think this translates to an endorsement of trust. You need to trust that the director, or leader will do something more with what you can bring to the table.


A reminder that nerves apply to everyone:

I was so nervous that my top lip was moving independent of the rest of my face. It was just kind of whip, whip, whip, whip -- even when I wasn't talking, it was moving. And then [costar] Michael Tucker broke something -- his sleeve caught on an ashtray and it swept off the table -- and all of a sudden we were located in the world of this room. . . . Because the only thing that matters in acting is what you really feel, smell, touch, and hear. All the outside stuff generally goes away within the first half-hour.

And she closes with a reinforcement of total awareness to what you are doing, to focusing on the moment excluding all else.

OK, let me rephrase my original question: What's the difference between a good actor and a great actor?

I guess willingness to take risks and go out on a limb and make a fool of yourself.

Fool, foolishness, having fun... if there is no play, why work?

What is your favorite Streep performance? I am partial to The French Lieutenant's Woman but she has had so many good roles, I find it hard to choose.


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Saturday, April 01, 2006

Sign of Spring

Sign of Spring
Originally uploaded by shersteve.

the last several pictures I have posted were all of snow...

I like the clean whiteness of snow...

I like the warmth and color of spring...

Bring on the colors!

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