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Saturday, June 30, 2007

Happy Birthday, Trevor!

Word has it that Trevor is celebrating his birthday today!

I trust it will be a good one.

If you have not visited Simplicity, please do so and wish Trevor a happy birthday!

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Originally uploaded by shersteve
How about this for a vacuum?

Workers are on the roof today (Saturday of all days) with glorious weather to work on the roof at the Parmenter Elementary School.

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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

NE Revs take a home win

Saturday evening caught the New England Revolution at home against the Toronto FC. The first meeting, actually the home opener for the Revs was a 4-0 win. This was supposed to be a little tougher as Toronto had pretty much changed their line-up and gone on a win streak on their home field.

Not to be this time. The Revs controlled from the opening and won easily 3-0. The offense played persistent and well. The defense was ever present. Toronto had some opportunities but the Revs bent but did not break.

A worthy win!

That earned Steve Nicol the honor of coaching the All-star MLS team when they play against Celtic FC in July. Steve is a good coach and the honor is well deserved.

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Monday, June 25, 2007

Not So universal USB

Originally uploaded by
There is a need for the 4 port hub and maybe even for a larger size. The more devices I get, the more unique connections they require. While the large end of the USB cable is common, the small end is unique and in some cases proprietary.

The Canon cable can't be used elsewhere.
Neither does the Apple iPod Nano dock and cable.

I can use the iRiver on my BlackBerry but not the Blackberry on my iRiver.

How do you avoid getting tangled up in cables?

FYI: click through to Flickr to see the descriptive note on the picture itself.

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Saturday, June 23, 2007

Override Central a poor excuse for a blog

The left column table is still out of date. How long does it take to create a proper update?

Once you scroll to the bottom of the first page, you can't navigate to any prior articles. So you are totally dependent upon their search feature. (I find it cute that my postings tend to turn up before their own published articles.)

You don't get to leave comments, anonymous or otherwise. Hey, isn't a blog supposed to be a tool to enable conversation?

Do you use Override Central?
What do you think of it?

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Friday, June 22, 2007

Gene thereapy for Parkinsons

The study's authors were quick to point out that their work, a Phase I trial, was meant to show that gene therapy could be safe for patients, not to test it against existing Parkinson's treatments.

"Without question, we can't say for sure that there wasn't a placebo effect from the surgery," Kaplitt said. "The plan is to begin a larger study to look at both sides of the brain to see if the results we see are real."

A placebo effect, or great expectations?

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Thursday, June 21, 2007

Oh no, here we go again

TomsTavern_70621 012
Originally uploaded by shersteve

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Beer is best served in the proper glass!

As you may recall, I have been enjoying the brew making at Deja Brew. While I always have a cold frosted mug (or two) in the freezer to serve beer with, I now find out I need a larger supply of glasses and mugs.
Order a craft beer at the Publick House in Brookline, and you'll get your draft in its own brewery-issued glass.

These beers look and taste different, so they are served in distinctive glasses that enhance the unique taste, aroma, and appearance that a brewer labored to produce.

An amber-brown Doppelbock lager would be poured in a slender Pilsner glass, for example; a cloudy yellow-orange Hefeweizen into a bulbous Weizen glass; a red-brown Belgian Quadrupel ale in a rotund chalice.

Publick House owner David Ciccolo is admittedly "obsessed" with beer glasses and uses more than 150 different Belgian glasses alone.

The article in the Boston Globe on Sunday has additional details. Gee, I don't know that we have enough cupboard space?

The Globe today has a cover story on Boston Beer (maker's of Sam Adams) introducing their new beer glass. Photos of the beer glasses can be found here. (free subscription maybe required to read article and view photos).

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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Head's Up - Pollinator Week June 24-30, 2007

The Pollinator Partnership is proud to announce that June 24-30, 2007 has been designated National Pollinator Week by the U.S. Senate (S.Res. 580) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

For more information and a list of resources, please visit here

Do you have pollinators for your environment?

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Monday, June 18, 2007

MLS: Revolution vs. Crew

MLS: Revolution vs. Crew
Originally uploaded by shersteve
Game three of the triple header Saturday saw the NE Revolution hang on barely for a 3-3 tie with the Columbus Crew.

The Crew started the scoring but the Revs played well in the first half to lead 3-1 before giving up a goal just before the half ended at 3-2. They did not play as well in the second half and the Crew came back to tie.

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GoldCup: USA vs. Panama

GoldCup: USA vs. Panama
Originally uploaded by shersteve
Game two of the triple header Saturday saw a tight game with the USA prevailing 2-1 over Panama.

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GoldCup: Guatemala vs. Canada

Game one of the triple header Saturday. Guatemala was ineffective in the midfield and lost to a solid Canadian team, 3-0.

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Saturday, June 16, 2007

Deja Brew - Friday night brewing

At the end of the work week

Time to brew some beer

Some of the steps in the process
from the grain, ground, cooked (brewed)
stirred; ah, the aroma
drawn, the end


return in two weeks to bottle the results

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Thursday, June 14, 2007

Guatemala Celebrates: Gold Cup 6/12/07

Guatemala's fans celebrate their goal against Trinadad & Tobago in the 84th minute of the game at Gillette Stadium. T&T tied the game a couple of minutes later silencing the crowd.

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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Paperless office - real or fiction?

From an InformationWeek article, I find a new survey that reveals:

Released Monday, the survey, conducted by the IDG Research Service Group for OKI Printing Solutions, found that 78% of the respondents expect they will print the same or more in the future as they do now. The same percentage said they want to review printed documents, either alone or in combination with on-screen viewing, and 90% of the respondents consider their business printers to be indispensable.

Have you reduced your printing?

What do you still print?

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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Abstractor TV

This would be a good way to view most of what is shown on TV.

Abstractor can instantly tansform any television into a beautiful piece of art. Watch and find out how to make your own. Visit Abstractor.tv

Ji Lee previously appeared at GEL 2006.
Mark Hurst's links for Ji can be found here.

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Monday, June 11, 2007

PodCamp Boston2

October 26, 2007 at 7:00 pm ET

October 28, 2007 at 5:00 pm ET

Boston Convention and Exhibition Center
415 Summer Street
Boston, 02210

Registration Page

The first was historic, the second will be better, so I gotta be there. Still a podcasting newbie but having a great time.

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Sunday, June 10, 2007

Blog watching = good business

Does your business watch the blogs and other websites to find out what is being mentioned about them?

According to the Washington Post article picked up by the Boston Sunday Globe, airlines are monitoring what folks are saying about their customer service.

Scrunched in the packed coach cabin, J.P. Maxwell eyed the lone empty seat in first class. An elite flier on Continental Airlines, he was upset. Maxwell was convinced he should have been automatically upgraded for the recent four-hour trip.

During the flight, the Internet entrepreneur hacked out a 526-word missive that he later posted on a popular online chat room, www.flyertalk.com. "I consistently pay several hundred more to fly (Continental) and this is what I get?" Maxwell vented on the site.

Lurking in the chat room was Scott O'Leary, a customer service guru at Continental who spends several hours each day prowling such websites for customer complaints. O'Leary quickly discovered that Maxwell had never been told that he had been upgraded and had been left to languish in coach. With the passion of someone who had discovered a major flaw in the airline's operations, O'Leary alerted company executives to prevent similar foul-ups, ensured that Maxwell got a free upgrade, and posted an explanation for the mistake in the chat room.

So does your business monitor your customers?

Based upon Phil's experience, we know of at least one pizza chain that doesn't.

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Saturday, June 09, 2007

Giant Squid Audio Lab Sale Extended

The microphone I use with my iRiver MP3 player is a miniature mic from Giant Squid. A great buy. A great device.

I took the opportunity to buy a backup device at the same time and purchased the Omnidirectional with 5 foot cable. Also a great buy and a great device.

The sale for these and similar devices has been extended until June 16th.

Click on over to Giant Squid and get your mic!

PS - both my devices were just delivered.

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Friday, June 08, 2007


Originally uploaded by shersteve

The cake was gorgeous in appearence and less so in taste.

The cake portion and chocolate mousse filling were devoured by all but the frosting, especially the red flowers, were left on most plates.

I made the mistake of eating the red flower myself and it had a bad after taste of food coloring. Yuck!

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This is broken

I bought a new Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W55 camera this week at Wal-mart. I installed the software and ten used the web link to go through the registration process. When I completed, I was notified of a 15% coupon on all accessories because I had registered the product.

This is appealing. I wanted to get another battery for it. Maybe the 15% would help defer the cost of buying it directly?

Yet after going through the order screen, inputting the coupon code as instructed, I was then told this coupon doesn't qualify for the purchase selected.

What a waste of time!

Note: screen shot images modified only to remove personal data.

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Thursday, June 07, 2007

Why not South Station?

Assignment: Pick up my brother's mother-in-law at the bus terminal at South Station. She is arriving at 3:25 PM.

Challenge: Find out what bus line she is arriving on and see if they provide an arrival status.

Search and find the South Station Transportation Center web site.
If you follow the link, you will see that it lists two bus lines (Greyhound and Peter Pan). Neither of these lines have a bus due into South Station at 3:25 PM. So some other bus company must be involved. Any other information on the web site about the full listing of bus lines? No. Nada.

Turn to Google again, and search for buses from and low and behold, there it is.

So why would South Station not list this or any of the other bus lines (I stopped looking after these 6) on their web site?

Concord Trailways

Chinatown Bus Lines

Fun Wah Bus

Lucky Star

Plymouth & Brockton

Vermont Transit Lines

There are at least a few more based upon the logos of the buses in the transportation center. Why not list them all?

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Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Rhododenron 2

Originally uploaded by shersteve
The rhododendron blooms
What else is there to say?

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Monday, June 04, 2007


Originally uploaded by shersteve
The rhododendron blooms
What else is there to say?

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Saturday, June 02, 2007

Belated Blogversary

May was a rapid fire learning month. Busy with the Franklin Override and other aspects of daily life, I missed acknowledging the TWO year anniversary which occurred on 5/20/07.

In the first post
, I wrote:
This blog will be focused on the good customer experience.

The GEL 2005 conference was a formative moment for me. My business thinking has meandered in various ways over time. I do have a fairly varied background. Customer service, logistics, warehousing, distribution, supply chain management, project management, process re-engineering, vendor management, technical support, life cycle management, and customer advocacy are just some of the roles or functions I have played in my career. I have been a life long learner, of course starting as a secondary school substitute teacher and coach, before moving into the business world probably had something to do with this.

Why was GEL formative?
I was able to identify that other than family and running, sharing the "good experience" was the single item to consolidate my thought processes around a central theme.

So henceforth, if you are looking for my writing on the good customer experience, this is where you can find it.

I still agree with those statements today. I would add that the "life long learning" aspect has spun off two efforts. One in joining with the group at Joyful Jubilant Learning and two, with my own efforts at Tertiary Education. Actually, Tertiary Education is coming up on its first blogversary next week. My how time flies!

My writing is continuing to evolve. I am thinking about spinning off my Franklin budget blogging to a new blog to return Steve's 2 Cents to its catch all/family oriented blog.

What does the future hold? I am not sure, do you have access to that crystal ball?

Writing for you is part of what I do here, I welcome your feedback.

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