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Sunday, December 31, 2006

Never too old!

Dr. Hendrie graduated from medical school almost 50 years ago, when it is wasn’t very common for women to have careers, let alone become doctors. That experience, as she puts it, “Taught me to be feisty as hell. And, not to give up even when the odds seem long.” Hendrie points out, “While things have changed here in the US, in Cambodia, women and girls face tremendous odds trying to get an education. So, my experience is probably useful here.”

Why Cambodia? Dr. Hendrie says, “There is so much need in places like Cambodia that you feel your time and dollars are well spent. It is like very dirty silverware. You can see the results of some elbow grease very quickly.”
Dr Hendrie created the Sharing Foundation. Read more about her and the efforts of the Sharing Foundation on Beth's Blog.

The new year is coming. It is never too late to start something to change your life or that of those around you.

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Wednesday, December 27, 2006

I'll second Seth

Here are the two questions I hope you'll ask yourself:
a. what does the money we make from this effort do to the long-term profitability of our relationship with customers and
b. is this something consumers want? How many calls a day does Verizon get asking for more spam/advertising on their cell phones?

The relentless march of capitalism probably means that this is yet another medium about to go down the tubes in the name of short term profit. I hope not.

How many people need to complain before you draw the line? Tell us where to send a note, and we'll send one!

From Seth's letter to John Harrobin of Verizon and John's efforts to put banner ads on cell phones.

If and when you find out where to send the note Seth, let me know. I'll send one!

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Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Sharing Foundation can use your help!

The Sharing Foundation has the opportunity to receive matching dollars from Yahoo via the Network For Good Charity Badge program. This could make a big difference for thousands of children in Cambodia. We need just a few minutes of your time and a few dollars.

Here's how it works: Yahoo! is offering a $50,000 matching grant for the nonprofit which gets the largest number of donations before the end of the year using its new "charity badges." (see below) What is important is the number of donors, not the amount of dollars. Right now, the Sharing Foundation is number 2 and needs 20 more donors to catch up. A large number of people contributing just the minimum of $10 each (which would send a poor Cambodian child to school and of course, we're a very efficient small nonprofit and would be happy to receive larger contributions to help more children lift themselves out of poverty through education.)

Can you think of a better use of $10 or more?
From Beth Kanter writing at Beth's blog for this worthy cause.

Can you help? Click through to Beth's blog and then through on the orange button located within the Sharing Foundation widget in the left column or within the posting itself.

Thank you!

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Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas

Via signbot via The Generator Blog which was found by the Hitchhiker Team.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Jolly Holly at The Slater Mill

Jolly Holly Days at Slater Mill. From Dec. 26 to 31, this historic site overlooks the Blackstone River in Pawtucket, RI.

I grew up less than a mile from Slater Mill. I went by it almost daily going down town, especially to the library.

The article in today's Boston Globe has additional details.

If you are in the area and have a chance to visit, the mill is definitely a place to see. The industrial revolution really started there.

PS - Seeing this event title brings back those memories, I wonder if it was intentional. For those who may be of age, do you recall Jolly Cholly's on Route 1 in North Attleboro?

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Saturday, December 23, 2006

collaboration is such fun

One of the things I have fun doing is to reword the lyrics to a popular song. I have rewritten a few that technically would require the payment of royalties to perform. So while I am not in the business of making money doing this, eventually the opportunity may come along. To prepare, I need to start working with songs that are in the public domain and use those to re-craft the lyrics. One, the tune will still be recognizable. Two, the royalty situation will be avoided. Three, I can still have fun.

To do this in a collaborative environment, spinning an idea off someone else in the same or similar bent is like riffing in a jazz piece, like slip streaming on a runner's shoulder, like geese honking in flight, like... well, I think you get the idea. It provides such a high for me.

Stay tuned for something special for Christmas!

And no, I won't be singing but if you would like to be in the chorus when this (and the others) are eventually recorded, let me know. That is the same kind of collaboration high!

The current Foolish Music line-up:

Aloha Rosa
PodCamp Anthem
The JJL Anthem

and who knows what the future holds?

If you have a suggestion for a public domain song that can be used, and an idea or theme to try it with, let me know. You will get credit for the inspiring thought!

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Friday, December 22, 2006

Z-list meme, continued

Picking up from my initial post, which added to Troy's post, there are additional links added here.

Long live the long tail!

Creative Think
Movie Marketing Madness
Blog Till You Drop!
Get Shouty!
One Reader at a Time
100 Bloggers
Critical Fluff
The New PR
Own Your Brand!
Work, in Plain English
Buzz Canuck
New Millenium PR
Pardon My French
The Instigator Blog
Diva Marketing
Marketing Hipster
The Marketing Minute
Funny Business
The Frager Factor
Open The Dialogue
Word Sell
Note to CMO:
That’s Great Marketing!
Shotgun Marketing Blog
Customers Rock!
Being Peter Kim
Andy Nulman
Billions With Zero Knowledge
Working at Home on the Internet
MapleLeaf 2.0
Darren Barefoot
Two Hat Marketing

The Engaging Brand
The Branding Blog
Drew’s Marketing Minute
Golden Practices
Tell Ten Friends
Flooring the Consumer
Kinetic Ideas
Unconventional Thinking
Conversation Agent
The Copywriting Maven
Hee-Haw Marketing
Scott Burkett’s Pothole on the Infobahn
Multi-Cult Classics
Logic + Emotion
Branding & Marketing
Carpe Factum
Steve’s 2 Cents
Popcorn n Roses
On Influence & Automation
Servant of Chaos
Make it Great!
Presentation Zen
Dmitry Linkov
Urban Jacksonville
John Wagner
Nick Rice
CKs Blog
Design Sojourn
Frozen Puck
The Sartorialist
Small Surfaces
Africa Unchained
Marketing Nirvana
Bob Sutton
¡Hola! Oi! Hi!
Shut Up and Drink the Kool-Aid!
Women, Art, Life: Weaving It All Together
Community Guy
Social Media on the fly
Jeremy Latham’s Blog
SMogger Social Media Blog

37 Days
A Clear Eye
Alex Halavais
Blog Brothers

Brand Autopsy
Brand Soul
Creating Passionate Users
Crossroads Dispatches
Doc Searls

FAST Company
gillianic tendencies

Good Experience
Hitchhikers Guide to the Blogosphere
How to Save the World
Josh Hallett

Joy of Six
Learned on Women
Make it Great
my topography

New Charm School
Occupational Adventure
Orbit Now
PureLand Mountain

Seth Godin
Songs of Experience
Talking Story
Time Goes By

Tom Peters

Tomorrow Today
World Changing

Tertiary Education

Joyful Jubilant Learning



































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Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

While in Boston allowing mother and daughter to visit on Sunday, we stopped into the Museum of Fine Arts. This allowed our other daughter (Allison) to visit with some of the paintings that she has been studying in her classes as an Art major.

I loved the juxtaposition of the statute out front of the museum with the big exhibit banners.

It was appropriate for the figure to have the arms outstretched to welcome the rain, water is life.

We joined many others escaping the rain to duck inside and view the exhibits. We did not do the special Americans in Paris exhibit as that was a separate admission and we would not have had time to do it justice on this day (probably won't get back in time before it closes, Sep 24th).

Carolyn will be fortunate as a Northeastern student to have free admission to the museum. I could envision taking a book over to read in a gallery some day.

Note: this post was "lost" in the drafts and just found with the new Blogger. It should have been posted on 9/6/06. Oops!

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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

5 things meme or tag rolls on

I was tagged previously by Rosa and then Trevor and now Chloe!

My response was initially made and I don't think needs to be updated. I expect I'll get additional tags in the future and there is only so much in this closet that will see the light of day, I don't want to run out.

One did attempt to build a tree of the tags. Impressive as it is, it falls far short of the real tree. Would it be possible to really put the tree together or at least a tag cloud for this meme? This one appears to have real legs.

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Monday, December 18, 2006

Tree with lights

The tree is up. The lights have been strung around it and a few ornaments have found a place.

The girls decided to take a break to see if the branches would fall a little before putting the remainder of the ornaments on the tree.

The evergreen. So full of possibilities!

The scent. So full of memories of past holidays.

The tree did get filled with ornaments later. I decided to wait for better light to take that picture.

In the meantime, you can envisions the tree with any ornament you would like.

Do you have a special ornament? or more than one?

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Sunday, December 17, 2006

Quicken Upgrade Issue

Quicken 2007 has changed the online backup provider in this version and their documentation is sorely lacking in telling you what the real story is. The Quicken chat support function is equally lacking. They referred me to the old provider who has support hours from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Mon-Fri. The chat person should have known the old provider could not help me. The chat person certainly recognized the 10 vs. 8 digit account number issue.

You can't continue to use the backup service that was good through version 2006.

The first clue that there is a problem is when they ask for your account number. You have a 10 digit number with a dash 5-5, and the input field won't accept the dash and won't fit the 10 digits.

I was upgrading from 2005 to 2007 and moving to a new system. The old still functions perfectly well. It even completed a backup while I was installing the new system.

No communication from the old provider.

No communication from Quicken.

I did find some info in their Support Forum (after the fact). The new service will be cheaper and apparently better. Small consolation for the frustration and time lost today.

You can do better Quicken!

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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Qumana needs your help!

If you use Blogger and Qumana, Qumana needs your help. They are getting to work on changing Qumana to work with the Blogger Beta.

As I mentioned yesterday, I have provided them some info. If you use Qumana, please find some time to provide some help.

You won't be able to use Qumana with Blogger Beta until they get it fixed.

Read here for additional details.

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Received my new laptop today.

HP gets Microsoft software and the updates.

Why can't they put them together on the new build?

Why must the new user sit on a cable connection and take 59 updates from Microsoft?

They have the original build. They can apply the updates to it before shipping and given the frequency of Microsoft updates probably still leave the user with a dozen or so to catch up to but a dozen is better than 59!

Heaven forbid the user sit on a dial up connection to do the same. I can only imagine how much time it must take. No wonder folks have a love/hate relationship with their manufacturer. The manufacturer is not taking good enough care of their users.

What do you think?

If you bought a new system recently how many updates did you apply?

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Monday, December 11, 2006

Migrated to Blogger Beta today

So far so good. My Qumana Editor is balking at posting but otherwise things seem to be working fine from my side.

If you see any problems or have any difficulty viewing the blog, please let me know!

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Reward failure

... if the goal is spurring innovation, and for Manso that is the paramount goal, innovators must be shielded from punishment for failure. "Incentive schemes that motivate exploration are fundamentally different from standard pay-for-performance incentive schemes used to motivate effort," Manso wrote in an abstract this fall. "The optimal compensation scheme that motivates exploration exhibits substantial tolerance (or even reward) for early failure."

By contrast, the pay-for-performance model ubiquitous in business today compels employees to exploit existing approaches and technologies instead of trying something new, Manso suggested. And he warned that proposed US laws that would empower creditors in bankruptcy proceedings could put a damper on the nation's serial entrepreneurs.

Manso refers to Gustave Manso, a Brazilian-born finance professor who joined the faculty at MIT's Sloan School of Management this fall according to this article in the Sunday Boston Globe by Robert Weisman.

I believe one of the key environmental settings that a business leader needs to create is this arena where failure is allowed. If it is not easy to fail, success and innovation will be slow.

What do you think?
How do you reward failure?
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Sunday, December 10, 2006

Wartime innovation

In an age of multimillion-dollar high-tech weapons systems, sometimes it's the simplest ideas that can save lives. Which is why a New Jersey mother is organizing a drive to send cans of Silly String to Iraq.

U.S. troops use the stuff to detect trip wires around bombs, as Marcelle Shriver learned from her son, a soldier in Iraq.

Before entering a building, troops squirt the plastic goo across the room. If it falls to the ground, no trip wires. If it hangs in the air, troops know they have a problem. The wires are otherwise nearly invisible.

Silly string? Whatever it takes.

In other cases of battlefield improvisation in Iraq, U.S. soldiers have bolted scrap metal to Humvees in what has come to be known as "Hillybilly Armor." Medics use tampons to plug bullet holes in the wounded until they can be patched up.

Also, soldiers put condoms and rubber bands around their rifle muzzles to keep out sand. Troops also have welded old bulletproof windshields to the tops of Humvees to give gunners extra protection. They have dubbed it "Pope's glass," a reference to the barriers that protect the pontiff.

Nothing like thinking out of the box!

This AP Wire story appeared in the Boston Globe today.


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Saturday, December 09, 2006

Ninety Nine - Franklin, MA

Ninety Nine - Franklin, MA
Originally uploaded by shersteve.

Gee, it's not that we have a new restaurant coming to Franklin.

Why would they position their place right next to one of their main competitors?

Is there magic to that? Or am I missing something?

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

One Web Day - 9/22/2007

One Web Day is only ten months away!

One thing we might do for 2007 — but we’re shivering at the thought — is have people take a pledge NOT to use the internet on Sept. 22.

And then have those people reflect on what that was like. What if the net wasn’t there? What if you couldn’t work, talk, bank, explore online?


Yes, what would you do if you did not have the internet by choice for one day?


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Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Route One Cinema Pub

Caught Flags of our Fathers at the Route One Cinema Pub on Saturday night. The movie entrance price is $5.00. You get to eat dinner in the theater. A pretty decent menu, reasonably priced with table side service. The tables don't have table cloths, it is more pub style but nicely done. Liquor license is also available so eating, drinking and watching a movie at the same time is available. We went early. With the war movie showing, I preferred to have most of my meal completed before any of the scenes got too gory.

Route One Cinema Pub is a worthy consideration for a combination dinner movie.

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Monday, December 04, 2006

Why rebates

I can understand a manufacturer's rebate when you buy something from a box retailer. The retailer gets the sale price. The buyer submits the slip, proof of purchase, etc. and the manufacturer refunds the buyer directly. Manufacturer takes a chance on the rebate that not all that were offered will be redeemed. Those that don't get redeemed, the manufacturer keeps and is happy about. The retailer is long out of the transaction and is happy also, he gave up the goods for the money right away. No further accounting transactions required.

But when you go to the manufacturer's web site, and there is still a rebate, why?

An instant one sort of makes sense. The manufacturer moves the goods, gets the money. Buyer is happy with a good (better) price.

But a rebate requiring the form submission by the buyer to the manufacturer? The buyer just did the transaction directly with the manufacturer. Why require proof of purchase? Didn't the manufacturer get the purchase price and deliver the goods to the buyer? Why go through the additional transaction cost to process a rebate?

Unless the manufacturer is still playing the odds that some will not be redeemed?

Any marketing or accounting folks to help me on this one?

Am I missing something?

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Sunday, December 03, 2006

Quotes & Links

... writing is an act of faith and of hope. I write at home, usually when I'm alone and yet, there's a reader in my mind all the time. Maybe a multitude of readers. They are there just over the horizon and I am writing to tell them a story.

I am writing to share my belief that we can move through adversity and into hope.

Even if its only within the pages of a book.

From LJ Cohen writing at Once in a Blue Muse.

As I walked around in the cemetery alone after everyone had gone, the image of that lady in the window came back to me. A bright memory still. Sometimes it is enough to notice one another. It’s the best we can do. To wave. To wave back. And go on.

If you read these words I post here from time to time I hope you understand it is my way of waving hello to you. And I hope, with all my heart, that you wave back.

Read the full posting by Robert Fulgham to understand about the woman who waved.

Fire in the belly

Originally uploaded by shersteve.

One of the rewards for getting up early is viewing the rising sun.

The clouds are brushed with color as the sun makes its appearence.

Doesn't this get the fire in your belly going!

Go along now and complete some items on your "to do" list!

You'll feel even better after those are done.

Maybe even well enough to tackle some more.