Friday, August 31, 2007

Special BlogDay 2007 - 5 for Friday

... there is something lost when forms are open. There is beauty found in submitting you're self to a guide, in giving yourself, your freedom, over to a master. May this be God or a form, either way, there is beauty is submission that is lost in the passion of free will. Yes e. e. cummings is sexy to read. Yes Billy Collins has great images. But both miss the beauty of Frost, Shakespeare and Milton who set out to say great things (both cummings and Collins have set out for this) and mindfully craft their words to the image and the form while doing so.
Read the remainder of this posting here. And then check out Chase Whittemore writing at nighthink

The origins of music, like the origins of poetry, are buried in the dust - make that the strata of dust- of time, but we know that they've been hand-in-hand, or perhaps heart-to-heart, for eons. The lyric voice of poetry is named for the lyre which, an age or two ago and an ocean away, often accompanied it; the term "lyric poetry" has been in use in English since at least 1581, and is used to denote, as the Oxford English Dictionary has it, poetry

adapted to the lyre, meant to be sung, pertaining to or characteristic of song. Now used as the name for short poems (whether or not intended to be sung), usually divided into stanzas or strophes, and directly expressing the poet's own thoughts or sentiments.
Read the remainder of the posting here. Then check out Jeff Davis writing at Natures

To Spite the Gloaming

When no great thoughts have I to tell or sing
I then to tomes and library retire
to fuel inspiration—reading’s the thing.

All seems said or written before. What sting
to burn for creations my own but tire
when no great thoughts have I to tell or sing!

Stories tell themselves of a calm evening,
and tale-tellers to tell but lies require
to fuel imagination. Reading thing

upon thing – story upon fable to cling
and struggle with the truth of life entire
when no great thoughts have we to tell or sing.

And so it is our fine-crafted lines fling
across blank pages – spread rhyme like fire
to fuel inspiration. Reading’s the thing

that makes us write of life winter to spring
throughout cycles unbounded. But we tire
when no great thoughts have we to tell or sing;
to fuel inspiration, reading’ the thing.

© 2004 David Pitchford

And then read more of David's writing at BitterHermit's Hideaway

David is

Museum Editor for the Illinois State Museum; President of Poets & Writers Literary Forum of Springfield, Illinois; MA recipient (UIS: English, emphasis in poetry); Founder and Publishing Editor of Prism Quarterly; Author of three novels and numerous poems; Bitter Hermit (; all around word artist, editor, consultant, pedant and purveyor.

I would put it in a nutshell, but I’m a few pounds overlimit . . .

And then shifting gears from verse to green

Green Wombat takes public transport to work, uses compact fluorescent light bulbs in the Berkeley burrow, and dries the washing on a clothesline. But when it comes to air travel, the wombat is a carbon criminal. The conundrum of being an environmental journalist for a national magazine with a global outlook is that the more I write about green technology the more I fly. So far this year, Green Wombat has logged more than 70,000 air miles, which according to some carbon calculators means I'm personally responsible for about 30,000 pounds of CO2 emissions from my frequent flying. In contrast, the average Californian's carbon footprint from all activities is 26,301 pounds, according to the San Jose Mercury News.

Read the remainder of the posting here. Then click through to read more of Todd Woody writing at the Green Wombat.

And finally to complete this 5 for Friday, we head to the Far East to read about all things Shanghai, you need to read the Shanghaiist

You can read about

Prof Yu Dan (于丹), 38, now with cleavage
Probably the most popular exponent of Confucius ever, Yu Dan, has found her way back into the media spotlight -- this time in an IHT article which places her at the centre of the current rage for China's ancient philosophies. Her book has sold 4.2 million legal copies and about 6 million pirated versions. But wait a minute, Yu is not even a Confucian academic. She is a media professor at the Beijing Normal University, certainly one who understands that a bit of cleavage will do your popularity good, as this latest picture of her shows. We too ended up buying her DVD's and found her sounding shockingly similar to our pastor back home, except that she was preaching Confucius and quoting Hegel at the same time, and basically anything else that fit her message.

Zhang Huimin, 8, runs her way to the Olympics 2016
Little Zhang Huimin, who stands at just 1.25 meters tall and weighs a mere 20kg, has run from Sanya, Hainan all the way to Beijing, wearing out 20 pairs of shoes and covering a staggering 3,560 km in 55 days. That's an average of 1.5 marathons per day! Her goal is to win the marathon at the 2016 Olympic Games (and only God knows for now where that will be held). See that man next to her on the motorbike? That's her father, and her trainer who has made her wake up everyday at 3am for training since the day little girl could run. Starting with 3 km a day since she was three, Zhang was hitting 23 km daily by the time she was seven.

In Headliners. People who made the news this week.

Friday, August 24, 2007

5 for Friday

A name, like money, doesn't exist in the same way my hands and mouth do, but to treat names as simple identifiers instead of the textual embodiment of a whole person would put every human relationship I enjoy in peril.
From Paul Ford writing at the Ftrain. Read the whole post here.

People at the top of every profession share one quality — they get things done. This ability supercedes intelligence, talent, and connections in determining the size of your salary and the speed of your advancement.

Despite the simplicity of this concept there is a perpetual shortage of people who excel at getting results. The action habit — the habit of putting ideas into action now — is essential to getting things done.

From John Wesley at PickTheBrain. Read the full post here.

Company that I work in does some fantastic practices. I’ll give you one example.

We are publishing house, and our final clients are readers. Where do readers get our books? Of course in the book-stores! So every month we go to the book store (the biggest one in Moscow) and work there for 2-3 hours as a book consultants. We talk to customers, recommend them books. But understand me correctly - of course we recommend our books a bit more (because we are sure of their quality), but also we recommend ALL good business books even if they are published by our competitors.

This process involves all the people from the company, even our directors take part in it.

From Dimitri Linkov writing at Dimitri Linkov.

I’ve created a WordPress plugin which creates an iCal feed from your blog posts. It creates a calendar which can be added to pretty much any popular website (such as Google Calendar) or application (such as Microsoft Outlook).

I built this because I wanted to see when I made my WordPress posts, in a more graphical interface. I already used Google Calendar, so I would have loved to see my posts right in my calendar.

You can do that with my plugin - no configuration necessary! Just download it from me, upload it to your server, and then activate it in your WordPress plugins page.

From Gary King writing at King Gary. Read the remainder of this post here.

More than a year ago, I made a list of what I considered the 6 essential elements of a website widget in these web 2.0 days. It’s a simple list, but nonetheless I’ve used it multiple times when developing widgets, and it has in most cases helped to increase gains from pushing a widget. I then wanted to write about these 6 elements, but as with many of my other posts, I’m slow at finishing it.

From Stefan Juhl writing at Stefan Juhl. Read the full posting here.


Thursday, August 23, 2007

Media Nation - Dan Kennedy

Dan Kennedy writes his blog at Media Nation. He is
a visiting assistant professor at the Northeastern University School of Journalism. He writes for The Guardian, CommonWealth Magazine and the Boston Phoenix, and is a regular commentator for WGBH-TV's "Greater Boston with Emily Rooney".
A sampling of recent posts:
For good insights on media, especially here in the metro Boston area, this is a must site to add to your RSS reader of choice.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Idaho Gardener

From cultivating the employees to cultivating your garden, in Idaho of all places!

All about gardening in Idaho and the Rocky Mountains, Zone 6 and I’m stickin to it

Mary writes about herself:

Hi and welcome to Idaho Gardener. My name is Mary Ann Newcomer. I also have several nicknames - the printable ones are M. A. , Auntie Mame , Dirt Diva, Princess Dew Sparkle and Duchess of Dirt.

A native daughter of Idaho, I have been gardening since I was a small child. My grandmother and grandfather were avid gardeners and I was given a 3′x3′ plot for starters. I was encouraged to grow radishes, I believe because they came up in just a couple of days (instant gratification for a 5 year old) and because the first sets of leaves were heart shaped (a message from my grandmother).

And she's thinking ahead:

Alright, we are planning our autumnal gatherings already! Mark you calendars for November 3, at the Grove, another symposium for “Rethinking the Idaho Landscape.” After many many days of 100 degree days, it is time to rethink lots of things.

Read the remainder here.

Assuming you like gardening and can pick up a few pointers here add this site to your RSS Reader of choice.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

HR Horizons HR Blog

Human resources, the talked of, and in fact, most important asset a company has. Recent posts cover the following topics:

Reducing Employee Turnover Begins With Better Employee Selection

Retaining Key Employees When Closing a Facility

Seven Ways To Improve The Well Being of Your Team

and one that I like

The Kash Model
The KASH Model consists of four phases: knowledge of a better way, attitude, skillful application of the new knowledge, and habit. Knowledge of a better way is trying to get learners to accept that there is a better of doing things.
If this is your cup of tea, then click on over to add HR Horizons, HR Blog to your RSS Reader of choice.

Monday, August 20, 2007


Yes, women and cars go together. Usually it is the guy driving. Sorry, I am not meaning to be sexist but just restating an obvious point. Those were yesterday's attitudes.

Today, women do more on their own! So for a site to let women talk about their cars, go to AskPatty.

has a blog (of course).

Has a service where you can load your car's data and then it will prompt you with reminders.

The Ask, Inc. website, blog and Second Life venue is a safe place for women to get advice on car purchases, maintenance and other automotive related topics. Women can shop for vehicles at our network of certified female friendly dealerships across the U.S. is a 2007 sponsor of the No. 112 Chevrolet driven by the highest ranked professional female race car driver Deborah Renshaw, who heads up the panel of automotive expert women. is a member and 2007 corporate sponsor of the Women's Automotive Association International based in Detroit, MI, Chair of the Motorsports program, Member of the California board, on the Women's Board of the Car Care Council, a SEMA member and a member of the SEMA Business Women's Networking Group.

I was going to try this on behalf of my ladies and I decided to just let them do it on their own.

Go visit AskPatty and see if it something you would do on your own!

Friday, August 17, 2007

5 for Friday

Friday rolls around again. Why does it do that faster for some weeks than others? Anyway, time for 5 blogs again.

1 - A new contributor to the Joyful Jubilant Learning group, Ariane Benefit. Ariane writes at the Neat & Simple Living blog.

2 - Heading to the State of Washington to visit with a writer and librarian whose blog is called "Piper at the Gates of Dawn". Found on the "Billy Collins trail".

3 - Bike to the Burn!
Welcome to my blog, Bike to the Burn! The topic: a 700 mile bike ride that will take me over mountains and through deserts, to Burning Man, the annual week long festival in northern Nevada. People who hear what I'm planning almost all react strongly and almost all fall into one of two camps: "that's amazing!" or "that's crazy!"
4 - Found the Bike to the Burn via Mary whom I found on the "Billy Collins trail". Mary provided a Mini Ivan Report as well as How to Build your own Hobbit Hole.

5 - The Kenyon Review also has a blog and you can find it here. The Kenyon Review blog was also found on the "Billy Collins trail".

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

One Thing I Know

“One thing I know, that though I was blind, now I see." - John 9:25b

This blog is what I would call the Compleat One Thing I Know. It contains the contents of my old Wordpress blog "One Thing I Know," as well as the contents of my other blogs "Proclamation," "Word and Table," and "Will's World in Pictures."

Father writes:
I have been an United Methodist pastor for 20 years, am blessed with a beautiful thirteen year old daughter, and try (as best I can) to follow Jesus. More than any other factors, these three things define who I am. This blog contains my thoughts on matters important (or not).
Recent posts:
and one of these indicates how we found this blog on the Billy Collins trail. Stop here and rest a while, plenty to read and think about.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Moondoggy's Pad

Moondoggy's Pad is a
Blog on poetry, literature, pop culture, and life as a Canadian expatriate in the USA

Greg Santos was born in Montreal. His work has appeared in print and online publications. He lives in New Haven, Connecticut and studies in New York.
It was found on the Billy Collins trail and worth a peek or two!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Confident Writing

As we all get to write, some more so than others, this is good advice:

I was writing the other day about 'telling it in ten', my (current) top tip for confident writing. The gist of it was learning to stand back from your writing and identify the key message - which should be tellable in ten words or less. One of the comments on this post reminded me of one of the most important elements of this strategy. How can you tell when you've got to the point? How will you know?

Well, you'll feel it somewhere inside you. When you read or write the words that get to the heart of the matter - you'll be able to sense it. This isn't a rational, intellectual reaction. It's a physical, physiological sensation.

I don't know if it will be bubbles of excitement in your stomach or hair rising on the back of your neck. I don't know if you'll notice that your fingertips start itching to type, a or if you'll be aware of a shiver that runs over your arms... I don't know how you'll feel it - but I know that you will.

Yes, not a quantity, a feeling! Yes, Joanna, I agree with you. Read the remainder of the posting here.

Joanna returning from vacation (as I head out) has these thoughts upon her return:
Writing helps us to make sense of it all. Vacations provide a great opportunity to be still, to be away, to change perspective, to take stock. Words and ideas tumble out when we're away. But making sense of it often needs to wait until we come back - and writing it down is surely the best way of starting to fathom what it means.
Read the remainder of her posting here. If you haven't taken vacation yet, now you have some tips. If you have, then perhaps one or two of these can be put to great use.

If you do any writing, you should consider adding this site to your RSS Reader of choice, stay in touch with Joanna and become a more confident writer!

Friday, August 10, 2007

5 for Friday

Friday and time for five in honor of the 5th day of the week.

1 - We'll send you to visit with a new contributor to the Joyful Jubilant Learning blog, April Groves. April is a realtor, mother of four down in Georgia, and writer of two blogs: Making Life Work for You and My Beautiful Chaos.

2 - On the Billy Collins trail, we find Amy King currently teaching and writing in NY. Her blog can be found here. A link to four of her published poems can be found here.

3 - Also on the Billy Collins trail, we find Grub Street's Penny Dreadful blog:
grub street is a non-profit writing center dedicated to nurturing writers and connecting readers with the wealth of writing talent in the Boston area. We have two vital roles. We support writers at every stage of their development by offering writing classes, fellowships, employment, and networking opportunities, and by promoting the work of local authors. Equally important, we enrich the lives of Boston-area residents by introducing them to a community of fellow readers and writers through author-hosted book clubs, informal discussions, movie screenings and more. grub street builds on Boston's proud literary tradition by making the city more welcoming for writers, and more inspiring and culturally alive for all of us.
4 - Continuing the Billy Collins trail, we end up traveling from East coast to West coast to find C Dale Young in San Francisco writing at Avoiding the Muse:
I currently practice medicine full-time, serve as poetry editor of the New England Review, and teach in the Warren Wilson MFA Program . My books of poetry are The Day Underneath the Day (Northwestern 2001) and The Second Person (Four Way Books, Spring 2007).
5 - Finally, going to the southern coast we find Katie Kidder writing at The Poet's Lounge in New Orleans.

A venue for poetry, literature, and all things of entertainment and interest.
Katie wrote a poem about her muse:

Oh, it's so bad
to get stuck with a muse you don't want.
Why couldn't I have been assigned Bobby Frost's muse,
or someone with something like grace?

Mine belches and scratches her ass in the hall.
She has the sickly sweet smell of children
and stale Nilla Wafers, as though she was sprung
from the foam of the sofa.

She grabs at my smokes during the two-point conversion,
and she swims in my wine like a gnat.
I trip over her, by the bed, reading Plath on the floor
at six in the morning when I get up for tea.

My muse is nothing like me.
She waxes perverse in the thighs of thin blondes
when we've a perfectly good blonde at home.
And that bitch burns my old lovers' letters
and makes up her face with the ashes.

Kissing my muse, I imagine,
is like swallowing a mouthful of honey and rust,
and twisting your legs in her legs in the cold comfort of dark
is like spooning, in the sea, on the rag, with a shark.

My muse works with the mercy of bullets, falling.


Thursday, August 09, 2007


From August 2004:

I've been following the Best American Poetry series for 7 years. I have a complete set, something that's harder to acquire than you would think. I've also entered all the poets and contributing literary publications in a database, to make some sense of what poems get selected, and by whom, and why. I made a study of the results a couple of years ago, which, in retrospect, was both naive and accurate. I have a different view of BAP nowadays. I still believe that it's a snapshot of America's more interesting/noted/trendy poets, and not the American poetry per se. Having had a large fraction of a decade to digest the series, I'm beginning to come around to the notion that BAP does a good job of circumscribing the Big Tent. If you read five or six in a row, of course, which irons out the idiosyncracies of individual guest editors (e.g., the adored or despised BAP 2002).

I've just begun reading BAP 2004 seriously. Lyn Hejinian is this year's guest editor, which would lead some to believe that we were in for another round of Creeley's excesses. Not so, really. This year's model is an intriguing mix of the Same Old White Guys (e.g., Pinsky), the Rebel Contingent (e.g., O.K. Davis), the PoPoMo Crowd (e.g., Alice Notley), the Big Press Run Poets (e.g., Jane Hirshfield), the Deep Poets (e.g., Carl Phillips and Anne Carson), the Poets Who Refuse To Capitilize (e.g, kari edwards), and the Poets Whose Name Is Just Short Of Believable (e.g., Heidi Peppermint). And that's not all. There's Wagoner, Silliman, Stern, Addonizio, Koch, Dinh, and Burkard. For God's sake, there's even BC. Extra points to Ms. Hejinian for inserting Mary Jo Bang between Ashbery and Bernheimer. You have to hand it her for throwing together perhaps the most eclectic volume in the series' history.

And then three years later Whimsey still is speaking!

Just scrolling through the first couple of posts I find some hidden gems. Little links going to great places with little notice of where you are going, except that you are enticed to go there.


Tuesday, August 07, 2007

The DV Show

The only weekly podcast dedicated to answering listener questions related to digital video. Every Sunday night at 8 p.m. EST, The DV Show is recorded LIVE then delivered as a podcast fresh and piping hot to subscribers worldwide every Monday morning. The show is described by listeners as informative, edgy, offbeat, irreverent and interactive- featuring technical advice, careful reviews, product news, tips, contests and high-profile questions and answer sessions with industry professionals -- all in a quick and engaging 60 minute format.
On the trail of sites referenced during the Boston Media Makers meeting on Sunday, August 5th. Brian Alves participated in the session and talked about his work.

They had a set of experts who will answer your question on editing digital video. The archives and FAQ's are loaded with tips and tricks.

They have a blog you can also subscribe to.

The DV Show should be a good source of info for any one interested in video blogging or vlogging.

Five Word Coffee Shop Reviews and more...

Any real cyberspace hitchhiker knows that the best fuel for the journey is coffee. But on today's journey, where will I find the best "bean" for my buck?

I know! I will go and consult Markk of My Opinions Are Important and his Five word coffee shop reviews. (Yes that's Markk with 2 k's). He writes:

I have a dream. I have a dream that one day, every coffee shop will be judged not by its brand name but by the quality of its coffee. To this end, I have instituted the Five Word Coffee Shop Review. One day, I’ll have a five word review of every coffee shop in existence! I’m not quite there yet though, which is where you can help. Submit a review in the comments below and I’ll add it to the list. All coffee shops reviewed are in Melbourne (Australia), except for the ones that aren’t.

Some of the reviews are quite inventive, given the 5-word limit. So far Markk has reviews coming in from 2 Australian states AND Taiwan! Maybe some American and European readers can add to his list...

On his main blog, Markk keeps his posts organised according to the following categories:

22 Percent

Communists and
Nazis and bears! Oh my!

Deep & Meaningful
Family & Friends
Five word coffee shop reviews
Interesting, but otherwise unclassifiable
Mundane day-to-day stuff
cat-related Internet stuff

that are coming to KILL US ALL!!!!

Monday, August 06, 2007

PodCamp Boston 2 - October 26-28, 2007

PodCamp Boston 2
is rapidly approaching. We are into August and October 26-28 feels like it is just around the corner.

It was a great event last year and I expect this year to be even more so.

There are already 290 registered for this event.

Are you in New England? You should consider participating!

Even if you are outside the Boston metro area, this should be a good excuse to get here and participate!

The PodCamp website with additional info can be found here:

Register here:

Technorati Tags: , ,

Friday, August 03, 2007

Philanthropy 2174

Who Writes It: Lucy Bernholz, founder and President of Blueprint Research & Design, Inc., a strategy consultant firm for philanthropic institutions and individuals.

The Skinny: A Fast Company "Best Blog," Philanthropy 2174 has been enlightening the blogosphere since 2002 through writings on all things philanthropic. Lucy has done a truly amazing job with this space. I was/am blown away by the breadth and depth of her coverage. You must see it to believe it, but here is a sampling of recent posts.
Read Philanthropy 2174

PS: BusinessWeek invited Lucy to write about the pros and cons of SRI (Socially Responsible Investing).

5 for Friday

It Friday and time to catch up on some good sites.

1 - Do you take photos? Would you like some tips and tricks? Via email or RSS?
Check out Photojojo!

2 - Ever dreamed of hitchhiking around the USA? Yes, I know we focus on the blogosphere but in so doing we found (yes, somewhat late) a site that tracked the trip to all 50 states in the USA and they blogged about it on their way. Still good to go back and see what and how they did it. Check out Hitch 50!

3 - One of IBM's leaders in innovation, Irving Wladawsky-Berger, has his own blog and it is well worth spending some time with.

4 - How about stopping by a fellow Massachuesett's blogger:

I'm a 37 year-old hominid known to inhabit Westford, Massachusetts. I was born in Athens, Greece of American parents, and raised in Saugerties, New York. I am a 1991 graduate of Harvard College, with a degree in Astronomy and Astrophysics. I am a member of the American Philatelic Society, the American Topical Association, the United States Chess Federation, the Massachusetts Chess Association, the Massachusetts Horticultural Society, the American Homebrewers Association, the New England Historic Genealogical Society, the ACM, the OASIS ODF TC, the OASIS ODF Adoption TC, INCITS V1 and a trained SkyWarn weather spotter. I work for IBM, as a performance architect, as well as on various ODF technical topics. In my free time I grow and eat berries. A lot of them.

Check out Rob Weir at An Antic Disposition.

5 - Finally for today (but only for today, as of course the trail goes on) Mark Healey's blog where you get a host of good stuff as well as links to other sites including
Jude Healey Photography My wife's gig
Jude and Mark The other side of this web

So have a good time cruising this Friday!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Curious Cat Management Improvement Blog

From the About page:

Focused on Deming’s ideas, lean manufacturing (lean thinking), six sigma, customer focus, systems thinking, Toyota Production System (TPS) and innovation.

New readers might want to try our popular posts or view the posts by category (at the top of each category page some recommended posts are highlights) - listed on the left of this page.

The author of this blog is John Hunter.

The blog was added to Curious Cat Management Improvement Connections (which began in 1995) in 2004.

Also see our Curious Cat Management Improvement Encyclopedia.

There is a nice 3-column layout (yes, I am partial to those) and tons of informative links. You could get lost here for hours.

The one benefit if you did, you should come out as a smarter CAT!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Blogger Stories

So as you cruise amongst the blogosphere, and find a site, you can get more of the story behind the blogger.

Gee, maybe we should do a partnership of some sort... places we find here on the trail, the authors can tell their own story there?

Check out a few: (just selected the A's from the alphabetic listing) (no, it is not that A list!)

It also looks like they need more stories!