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Friday, September 29, 2006

Dodge Poetry Crowd Mingles

We can learn from the youth
We struggle to find ourselves
We are careful to say it properly

They live in belief
They are not afraid to dress
and show what they are

Who gets the point?

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Stone wall

Originally uploaded by shersteve.

Meant to put this out along with the Frost poem.
The two do go together.
Just ran out of time, got lost in thought and forgot to.

Now you can go back and read Mending Wall again.

This wall is well cared for.

I can image two people walking the wall to put the stones back in place.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Mending Wall

by Robert Frost
SOMETHING there is that doesn’t love a wall,
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,
And spills the upper boulders in the sun;
And makes gaps even two can pass abreast.
The work of hunters is another thing:         5
I have come after them and made repair
Where they have left not one stone on a stone,
But they would have the rabbit out of hiding,
To please the yelping dogs. The gaps I mean,
No one has seen them made or heard them made,         10
But at spring mending-time we find them there.
I let my neighbour know beyond the hill;
And on a day we meet to walk the line
And set the wall between us once again.
We keep the wall between us as we go.         15
To each the boulders that have fallen to each.
And some are loaves and some so nearly balls
We have to use a spell to make them balance:
“Stay where you are until our backs are turned!”
We wear our fingers rough with handling them.         20
Oh, just another kind of out-door game,
One on a side. It comes to little more:
There where it is we do not need the wall:
He is all pine and I am apple orchard.
My apple trees will never get across         25
And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.
He only says, “Good fences make good neighbours.”
Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder
If I could put a notion in his head:
“Why do they make good neighbours? Isn’t it         30
Where there are cows? But here there are no cows.
Before I built a wall I’d ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offence.
Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,         35
That wants it down.” I could say “Elves” to him,
But it’s not elves exactly, and I’d rather
He said it for himself. I see him there
Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top
In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed.         40
He moves in darkness as it seems to me,
Not of woods only and the shade of trees.
He will not go behind his father’s saying,
And he likes having thought of it so well
He says again, “Good fences make good neighbours.”
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Sunday, September 24, 2006

Revolution Tie

The NE Revolution tied the Kansas City Wizards, 1-1,  at Gillette Stadium yesterday. They should have won to obtain the three points they sorely needed. The service in to the box from the wings was not on tonight. You name it, they found a way to miss on the connections: too far in front, too high, too low, behind them... yes, it was not a good night.
It started promising enough when the Revs scored early to take the lead 1-0. It remained that way until about the 56 minute when KC managed to break down the backline and tie it 1-1.
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Saturday, September 23, 2006

MelDiva's - A Franklin Gem

You may have heard me talk about stopping at MelDiva's on Saturday mornings when Dolores and I take a walk through downtown Franklin. I picked up a menu (finally) and was pleased to read the story behind MelDiva's.

The Story of the Diva

This is a story of love. It is about a woman and a man, and their love for coffee and people. When Melissa and Owen met, it was love at first sight. They spent hours talking about everything, including their dream and their future together. Notably, it was often over a cup of coffee. They often talked about opening a restaurant, or inn, or tavern where people could meet and discuss politics, economics, world events. It would also be a place where friends would meet to catch up on old times and make plans for the future. They wanted a community gathering place.

That was 20 years ago, and in July 2002 they made their dream come true when the opened MelDiva Coffeehouse. MelDiva is a casual cafe serving the absolute best coffees from around the world. MelDiva's coffee beans are the premier beans of each crop. The beans are harvested, processed, and shipped to their roaster under the most stringent of quality controls possible. Their roaster then roast in small batches, using his vast experience to control the roast and to bring out the most flavor from the bean. You will agree you have never tasted a better cup of coffee.

MelDiva also features true Italian expresso. Blended and roasted to bring out the dark, chocolate-like qualities of the bean. Each shot of expresso is perfectly pulled and served at MelDiva.

Whether you are having a gourmet cup of coffee, a true Italian expresso, or one of the many sandwiches or pastries MelDiva offers, Melissa and Owen hope you enjoy your experience at MelDiva and will tell your friends about it.

Yes, I like it enough to tell you all!

MelDiva is located at 22 East Central Street, Franklin. So if you ever find your way to Franklin, make sure and stop by.

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Friday, September 22, 2006

Questions of Synergy - Summary

Rosa posed 5 questions.
I provide five answers, one per question.
Now you can join in to add your own comment or answer.
How will our LEARNING STYLES and HABITS have to EVOLVE so that the web communications of our future serve to POWER partnerships, teams, groups and communities?          The answer to Question 1 


TOPIC HIT LISTS: There’s been a lot of talk of Web 2.0 and Globalization 3.0… What is it we’ll all have to learn to remain in the know and to feel we’re caught up and not left behind?           The answer to Question 2


Have you been patting yourself on the back because you’re a part of blogging communities and are among the web savvy who “get it?” Don’t rest on your laurels; what do you think we’ll have to keep learning about WRITING, CITIZEN PUBLISHING and BLOGGING? The answer to Question 3


RELATIONSHIP ESSENTIALS: We talk about the value of relationships with good reason. What are the things we will still need to learn from each other, and only from each other?
The answer to Question 4

Personal GOALS: How do you suppose you’ll have to change your m.o. to learn with others, and in teams or partnerships? What can’t you learn on your own, at least not as well, and not as effectively? What are the goals you’re setting for yourself now so you can keep up? The answer to Question 5

What do you think?


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Questions of Synergy - #5

Continuing to answer Rosa Say's questions posted to Team Synergy , this is her fifth and final question:

Personal GOALS: How do you suppose you'll have to change your m.o. to learn with others, and in teams or partnerships? What can't you learn on your own, at least not as well, and not as effectively? What are the goals you're setting for yourself now so you can keep up?

My learning process is continuing to evolve. I was a good student through grammar school, high school and college. I worked for my MBA taking evening courses and holding down my full time position. Fortunately, my company (at the time) was reimbursing my expenses (thank you!) and beginning to benefit from what I learned (that helped!) so it was a win/win situation but it took just over 5 years to complete. I managed to complete my MBA when my first daughter was about 1 and half years old. I distinctly remember looking out the kitchen window to see Dolores playing with Allison in the grass on a sunny May day while I was stuck inside preparing for my final finals. I consoled myself with this fact and returned to the books.
My learning process since my MBA has been less classroom focused and more self directed, self-exploration. Reading has continued to be the single primary source although the nature of the reading has also evolved from hard cover or paperback books to pages on the internet. I recall reading about 40 books one summer between college sessions. (I was working as a night watchman and between rounds could spend time reading, needless to say, something I took advantage of.) More recently, my book reading has slowed to maybe one every 4-5 weeks while my on-line reading has increased to about 80% of the total reading I do.
As mentioned in the answer to the 4th question, the one thing we can only learn from each other is each others story. An aspect of this story, is the discussion on how we as people address change, and what works (or doesn't) with technology. You can read about these when someone publishes a study, but getting the information first hand is priceless. This is of great importance to our quality of life. We need to remove the hassles, especially when they are unnecessary.
My goal is to continue to explore daily. To learn something daily. To make connections wherever possible. To have conversations on what is happening in the world as it relates to business especially with regards to customer service, change management, new technology introductions, collaboration, teamwork, virtual work environments, life long learning, and recently (due to a new work assignment) records management.
What about you?
What are you doing to keep up with it all?
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Thursday, September 21, 2006

Questions of Synergy - #3

Continuing to answer Rosa Say's questions, here is the third one:
Have you been patting yourself on the back because you're a part of blogging communities and are among the web savvy who “get it?” Don't rest on your laurels; what do you think well have to keep learning about WRITING, CITIZEN PUBLISHING and BLOGGING?
Writing - practice, polish, attention, and voice, I think always have room for improvement. We need to reach our audience whether they are technical or non-technical. If they happen upon our blog space, we need to be able to entice them to stay, learn something while they're here and either subscribe or create a feeling to want to return.
How do we do this?
Practice, I think is the only real way to do so. Try something, get feedback. Try something else, get feedback.
Pay attention to our voice. Listen to yourself. If you overheard yourself talking, what would you say about that person and their point of view? Would it be interesting to you? If not, an adjustment might be needed.
Pay attention to the feedback you get. There maybe something in there that they are not saying.
What do you think?
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Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Anticipation Rising - Redux

Received an updated flyer in the snail mail today about the Dodge Poetry Festival that opens next Thursday at Waterloo Village, NJ.
One might think that their web site would have been updated, but not yet.
Good thing I already have plans to go. Now I know who I will see there. Some good favorites are returning this year:
  • Billy Collins
  • Robert Bly
  • Coleman Barks
  • Galway Kinnell
  • Mark Doty
  • Lucille Clifton
and a host of other poets.
One who I saw on the Bill Moyers program, Kurtis Lamkin is coming. His performance then was incredible. I look forward to seeing him in person.
So yes, the second big event this month. PodCamp opened September, Dodge Poetry Festival will close it.
Anticipation is rising again!
I love September!
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Tuesday, September 19, 2006

National Archives and preserving the conversation

When cruising around doing some research on records management for work, I found the National Archives site and this video. I encourage watching the video. Nicely done.
The same day I found the video, I read Leesa Barnes who asked the question, Who preserves our online conversations?  An example that she closed with was the blog that was discovered kept by the student who was behind the shootings on the Montreal campus. She argued (and I agree) that despite the horror of what he did, we need to keep his records. Aside from the legal arguments for retention to be used in court, keeping his blog helps to record what some people think like today. Granted he is just one individual but if all we kept were the others, future generations looking back would obtain an incomplete view of what we are/were. It is as bad as if we were to try to re-write history ourselves. It should be kept in all its original detail.
Read her full post and let me know what do you think?
Of course, feel free to comment on her posting as well, she did start this.
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Simplicity Deal

From my good friend Trevor Gay, I hear that there is a special deal afoot for his book: Simplicity is the Key
He is currently offering a 25% discount for his book Simplicity is the Key when ordered direct from him. Just send an email to this Trevor to order. His email address is trevor_930 at hotmail dot com

There are 8 reviews of the book at amazon.co.uk and you can read them by clicking here

Special offer price:

UK              £6.64 plus postage
US              $12.50 plus shipping
Australia       A$16.50 Dollars plus shipping

This book is in my review queue. I think I'll get to it soon. I'll need to. I heard he has just published his third book. At this rate, I'll not catch up before the year end!
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Monday, September 18, 2006

OneWebDay - Friday, September 22

Yes, it is this week. The press release was posted to the OneWebDay blogtoday:
Are you going to celebrate the day in some way?
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Guest author today at Talking Story

Click on over to Rosa Say's Talking Story to read my entry for this month's Joyful Jubilant Learning event or hear the podcast version of this posting on Steve's 2 Cents.

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Friday, September 15, 2006

What's with the gas prices?

So it was last Saturday morning, I filled up at a local station for $2.79/gallon to get to PodCamp Boston.
Monday night on the way home, driving by the same station, the price had dropped to $2.63.
Tuesday night on the way home from the Pacer running workout, the price had dropped to $2.53.
Tonight coming home from the train station, the price had dropped again to $2.49.
Let's see. What could be happening here?
Summer's over, kids back to school, no more vacation.
Election season is heating up, September primaries and November vote to control Congress.
Big oil have already reaped excess profits. Maybe they decided to take the cost of living off the table to avoid the issue come Election Day?
No, that would smack of some grand scheme of a party conniving with Big Oil. But that doesn't happen here in the USA.
Just thinking out loud...
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Thursday, September 14, 2006

Book Review: Naked in the Boardroom, Robin Wolaner

This is a good read. Robin looks back and reflects on her career to date. In an easy conversational tone she writes about what she did, how she did it and provides plenty of business insights with her “81 Naked Truths”. She agrees with Marcus Buckingham's view on working from your strengths:
The lessons I learned in business all pint to one broad truth: Success follows when you use what you've got. You will succeed because of, not in spite of, your personal traits. The trick is to make your aptitude and flair work for you in a style that is uniquely yours. Page vii
If this work is a reflection of Robin's style, then I could work for her.
In the hundreds of conversations I've had with women on the cusp of greatness – whether over late night pizza or waiting at crowded airport gates – I've always ended up saying the same thing in different ways: Business is personal. Every necessary decision-making tool is already inside you – your experience, brain, and gut will tell you what to do, if you can access heir messages. This is a skill that can be honed, and this book – and taking on the challenges presented to you – will show you how to do that. Page viii
The personal approach in the book is somewhat unsettling when she gets into the parts where the men she meets look to take advantage of her as a woman. The perspective is insightful. She approached a situation as a simple meeting and yet there were already opportunities for it to be something other than the simpleness of her perspective. Hindsight is usually 20/20 but the outside observer I think would have raised red flags earlier than she acknowledges. Other than that, the situations are handled appropriately. I wonder how some of the men she writes of would have written of the same event?
Naked Truth #4
Terrible things can happen to a women in business; the victims let it ruin their careers, the victors move on.
Moving on is a good thing. Good or bad, recognize the learning experience and go forward. Dwelling in the past, especially on the glory of a past accomplishment is as hindering to an individual as continuing to dwell on a wrong done. The chip on the shoulder is far more obvious to those around.
… early jobs helped me develop an important skill: finding satisfaction in achievements I could measure myself, and not to rely on praise from my boss. Page 25
She has been a life long learner. She appears to be a good observer of people.
Think about it: If progression up the career ladder is tied to achievement, the law of averages means that your bosses in your early jobs will be the least skilled ones you will encounter. You will need to measure your own performance and create your own report card. This is a skill worth developing, because if your boss later in your career is like I am, she will ask you to do a self-evaluation rather than give you one out of the blue. (It's less work for her.) So early on, learn to figure out the measures of success, and hold yourself to them. Page 27
The key aspect of success in life is where you start. If you can look at yourself in the mirror, know and accept who you are, and be able to execute within that arena, Robin says this in several ways during this book.
Become your own toughest critic, but don't share the self-criticism. Page 27
Definitely good advice. People think that are being helpful and honest when they share their faults. On the one hand, they are. On the other hand, it can easily be spun to be a negative. Don't put yourself down. Acknowledge needing to learn but done reveal the specifics.
Learning happens in every job but you have to pay attention. Page 34
Attention is so critical to life and business. By paying attention to what is happening you should be able to recognize what is an opportunity, a door opening especially for you to take, or a dead end where you need to sit back and evaluate the situation before proceeding.
I can picture Robin sitting in a hotel lobby, settled in one of the comfy chairs, legs crossed and talking through the chapters in this book. She would punctuate some of the stories with laughter, some with sternness, some stories even with some brief bitterness, but always with a drive forward. A willingness and eagerness to do something different and successful. While she apparently was sitting on the sidelines to work on this book and raise her daughter, I can not see her sitting on the sidelines for long. She needs to be back in the business world.
For good business advice in an easy read, I heartily recommend Naked in the Boardroom by Robin Wolaner .
PS - she sorta has a blog, that is it was started in October 2004 as she prepared to launch the book but has not been updated in months. Most of the postings are of the book reviews. I wonder if mine will get posted?
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Sunday, September 10, 2006

Steve Garfield at PodCamp

Steve Garfield
Originally uploaded by

Steve Garfield provided an infromation and action packed session on Saturday. He created a podcast on the spot using his phone interviewing Comedy4Cast and posting it to the PodCamp blog. He created a video posting as well with a short interview with PodZinger. Talking all the while about tips and tricks, what to do, what not to do.

Links on his home page get you to some of the details (therefore it made it easier to take notes during the session). His Squidoo lens contains more info and links. He also has a Learn All About Video Blogs page (also in Squidoo).

Beth sat next to me and did a very detailed writeup.

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PodCamp Sign

PodCamp Sign
Originally uploaded by

Anticipation did not need to rise any further... this was the sign I saw on Saturday approaching Bunker Hill Community College for the historic first PodCamp Boston.

It was real!

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Thursday, September 07, 2006

Extreme Ironing Update - New World Record

Via the Boomer Chronicles, I find out the there is a new world record for the depth that one will go to do some extreme ironing. How deep?
The London Eye is 135m high. The new world record for extreme ironing, set by Louise Trewavas (Dive Girl) is a depth of 137m (452 feet).
That is incredible. The dive took three hours primarily to return to the surface slowly and avoid the bends.
In case you missed what extreme ironing is, you can check for my explanation on the guest post I did for my friend Trevor.
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Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Charlie Todd - Home Depot Mission Recap

Charlie Todd presented at both the GEL 2005 and GEL 2006 events. He recently coordinated a new mission at Home Depot where over 200 collaborators did their shopping in slow motion and then froze for 5 minutes. The write up and video are priceless. Especially since, the music being broadcast in the store actually started playing Jewel's song "Standing Still" just before they went into "freeze" mode. Perfect timing.
Enjoy the write up!
This is good fun!
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Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Blogger Beta & Support - Update

Just about when I was wondering if I would ever hear from the folks at Blogger about some of the things I sent in via email awhile ago, I see a posting today explaining the overall support structure and forums inclding a new one just on the beta release.
If you use Blogger, this is good info to know.
If you don't but know someone who does, this is good info to know.
If you don't and don't know anyone who does, then you can ignore it.
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Monday, September 04, 2006

Dunkin Donuts - Why not?

Dolores and I changed our walking route this morning to come by Dunkin Donuts for coffee as Mel Diva's was closed for the holiday. Kudos to them for taking the day off. I hope they are home enjoying the break.
Anyway, the cover on my coffee wouldn't fold over easily and I got to thinking as I put the cup down and wrapped some napkins around it. Starbucks may have introduced the sleeve for the coffee cup, but why hasn't Dunkin adopted it? Who got sued for hot coffee? Dunkin not Starbucks.
Sometimes you need to incorporate what the competition does. You don't have to reinvent the wheel. You don't have to ignore a good idea just because it wasn't invented here. Mel Diva's has sleeves for their coffee, and a better cover. If they were open today, I would have visited them instead of Dunkin Donuts.
Did you hear that Mr. Dunkin Donuts?
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Sunday, September 03, 2006

Point of your Pitch - POP

Cecil Johnson has an a book review of Stand Out in Any Crowd by Sam Horn in the Business section of today's Sunday Globe. A couple of good stories to highlight the point of the pitch being made lead me to add this book to my reading list.
Check it out, this might be something you might want to read as well!
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Friday, September 01, 2006

Tabblo - Slick App Integration

I found Tabblo a couple of weeks ago on the hitchhiker trail and finally got a chance to use it today. We had moved Carolyn into her dorm at Northeastern and while she settled in, I took a bunch of photos.

Came home, dropped them from the camera to our home system. Edited a few, and posted them to flickr.

Logged into Tabblo and was able to "import" copies of all my photos on flickr. I only needed to be logged into my flickr account on the same system. I did not need to re-enter my user name and password.

Selected the photos from today and created a tabblo arranging the photos and text boxes in a manner I thought had some flow to it. Saved it with everyone view access.

Clicked over to the share options within Tabblo and was able to post the Tabblo to my blog. They are only set up for Blogger right now but the other major apps will come some time.

Pretty slick application. This is how something should work!

Note - I did all this on my second try to make a tabblo. I had orginally uploaded the photos directly to tabblo but for some reason one of them would not show as anything other than a grey box on the tabblo itself. Viewed in my photos, they all appeared properly. It took me a bit but I managed to find how to delete the photos. (One at a time as you hover over the photo, the trash can icon appears). I then explored the integration with flickr and voila! Much better.

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