Roy Peter Clark, in his excellent series on Writing Tools:
In 1983, Donald Murray wrote on a chalkboard a little diagram that changed my writing and teaching forever. It was a modest blueprint of the writing process as he understood it, five words that describe the steps toward creating a story. As I remember them now, the words were: Idea. Collect. Focus. Draft. Clarify. In other words, the writer conceives a story idea, collects things to support it, discovers what the story is really about, attempts a first draft, and revises in the quest for greater clarity.
Peel and enjoy.
Big congrats to two of my friends' kids, Sara (4th grade), and Lynsie (8th), for earning places on the Honor Roll at their school.
A $100,000-plus cleanup effort of the Hodgson Brook watershed has been approved by the state Executive Council.
At its meeting last week, the council authorized the state Department of Environmental Services to enter into a $69,000 contract with the Blue Ocean Society for Marine Conservation to implement the Hodgson Brook Watershed Restoration Plan.
I have nothing to do with this other than lending my name to it.
Now it's time to get back to some serious blogging.
Speaking of serious blogging, the monthly Boston Bloggers Meetup is tonight.
7pm, at Christophers in Porter Sq, Cambridge.
See you there.
Lots of excellent advice on writing and reading emails. Everyone who uses email should read this, and take the advice.
Here's one thing...
And no, it doesn't help to include the entire past conversation when you reply; it's rude to force someone else to wade through ten screens of messages because you're too lazy to give them context. So, start off your messages with enough context to orient your reader.
Our mission is to create an exciting and stimulating environment where both children and adults are brought together for creative expression through the performing arts.
This spring's show: "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown"
I just rode my bike for the first time this year. Just a short hop to check how it made it through the winter.
It's only 44F out, so I feared it might be too cool. But with gloves and a hat, it was perfectly comfortable. I may go for a more substantial ride later today.
New feature. If your browser supports it, you can now mouse-over the pic in the upper left to see a caption.
I'm doing some site maintenance, and of course, it's turning out to take longer than expected.
If the site looks odd, particularly the pic in the upper left. Don't worry, I'll fix it eventually.
UPDATE: Seems to be fixed now.
Red Sox executives confirmed yesterday that they plan to make Fenway Park their permanent home and stated bluntly that their decision comes with ''no strings attached,"...
Gone East Forum regular Janice is a teacher in our local elementary/middle school. Through her I've learned a lot about what it's like to be a teacher in our culture.
Sadly, it's not Breaking News, that teachers are sorely under-appreciated, and under-compensated, for the very important work that they do.
According to Al's Morning Meeting (scroll down page a bit), many towns are creating a "Dangerous Dog Directory". We need one of those in our neighborhood
...when unprovoked, chased or approached a person upon the streets, sidewalks, or any public grounds in a menacing fashion or apparent attitude of attack...
I like dogs. And I think leash-laws are misguided. I think that good dogs are an asset to a neighborhood.
But dogs that are not well-behaved must be kept under control regardless of whether there's a leash-law.
Humans must continue to explore space, implored famed physicist Freeman Dyson, if simply for entertainment.
Speaking at Flight School, an offshoot of the PC Forum conference taking place here this week, the Princeton University Institute for Advanced Study professor emeritus sketched out a possible future, in which humans colonize asteroids and genetically engineer potatoes that can grow on Mars. (PC Forum is run by News.com publisher CNET Networks.)
Part of the motive to go into space will be dictated by the need for more room on Earth and an unpolluted environment. But there will be more mundane motives, too, Dyson said.
"You'll have people who go who dislike the tax collector or dislike their mother-in-law. The primary reason is that it hasn't been done," he said.
"Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair."
— Kahlil Gibran, mystic, poet, and artist (1883-1931)
COASTAL ROCKINGHAM NH-INTERIOR ROCKINGHAM NH-MERRIMACK NH- SULLIVAN NH- INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...CLAREMONT...CONCORD...DERRY...EXETER... FRANKLIN...HAMPTON...LONDONDERRY AND PORTSMOUTH
348 PM EST WED MAR 23 2005
...WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM MIDNIGHT THURSDAY TO 9 AM EST THURSDAY...
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN GRAY ME HAS ISSUED A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY.
EXPECT A STORM TOTAL SNOW ACCUMULATION OF 3 TO 5 INCHES.
I should be on SoBeDI Phase One more often. I just made myself a wonderful late-lunch/early-supper:
Roasted Asparagus and Green Beans with shallots and basil
Broiled Rib Eye Steak marinated in garlic and soy sauce
Here I am, on Day Two of my Phase One rededication to the SoBeDi, and my roommate has just cooked up a frozen pizza. Smells really good.
Doesn't he know that stuff will kill you?
Internet giant Yahoo has snapped up the small Vancouver start-up that created the popular photo-sharing website Flickr, a deal that means the Vancouver company will move south to Sunnyvale, Calif.
I'm one of the thousands who have been loving Flickr since it appeared a year ago. Now they've sold themselves to Yahoo!. I'm not sure what I think about this.
I'm happy for the Flickr folks, who have created one of the best ever sites on the web. "Striking it rich" has always been one of the unabashed goals of the tech industry. But I'm leery of the great Flickr culture being influenced by big-site Yahoo!.
It could have been worse, they could have been bought by Google, or TiVo. These are two companies that I used to worship, who have tarnished their reputations with some very poor choices in recent times.
Good luck to the Flickr folks. And keep up the good work.
Gone East Forums regular Janice was telling me about this just the other day.
Four months after a bright yellow oil truck was stolen from the yard of Buxton Oil Co. in Epping, its disappearance continues to confound investigators.
Not even a $3,000 to $5,000 reward has helped recover the $125,000 Kenworth rig and 3,000 gallon tank full of heating oil.
"It's still amongst the missing. With everyone that has been on it, the police, the detectives, the reward, it's still stolen," said owner Donna Buxton. "It's very perplexing."
Starting this morning I'm back on SoBeDi phase one. That is the most strict set of rules. It basically says, no bread, no potatoes, no sugar. When you first start on the SoBeDi Phase One is intended to break your body of it's carb cravings and also to show you that that there's plenty to eat even when being that strict. And there is plenty to eat. I had almost forgotten.
Yesterday afternoon I printed out this sample shopping list, added a couple of PhOne items of my own, and headed for the Hannaford's.
As I was filling my cart I was amazed to remember not only how much there was there, but how hungry it all was making me. Although, I've developed a couple of bad habits in recent weeks (cornbread!), I can't wait to start eating some of this stuff.
For breakfast: Scrambled eggs with cheese, canadian bacon, and avocado.
Over in Oneliners (Mar20 5:50pm), Sherm has proposed that the Comments Forum regulars introduce themselves. Personally I think he's up to something... but if you're inclined to take him up on this invite, then you can do it as a comment to this post.
My sister, Beth, reports that she saw flocks of Canadian Geese flying north this morning.
And in a similar vein, I saw the season's first open golf driving-range.
We're late in first round of the NCAA basketball tournament. I haven't been able to watch as many games as in the past.
One notable result. 13th ranked Vermont, the adopted home state of my brother, upset 4th ranked Syracuse, to move on to the next round.
Go "Catamounts" ???
When the fool learns the Way, He laughs at it.
Yet if the fool did not laugh at it,
It would not be the Way.
Indeed, if you are seeking the Way,
Listen for the laughter of fools.
-- Lao Tzu, via http://www.43folders.com/
Once again, I haven't seen the ep yet. I'll watch it some time this weekend. But those of you who want to comment about it, have at it.
Look out for spoilers!
I continue to be real happy with the results, since last summer, of my following (more or less) the SoBeDi, and generally being more aware of fitness issues.
Since I reached 30 lbs down from my starting weight, I've been drifting a little, losing only very small amounts every few weeks. My ultimate goal is still 10-15 lbs away, so I've decided to make another big push.
So to commemorate Spring, I'm going back on Phase One of the diet for a couple weeks. I don't expect to lose the 10-15 lbs that you can see the first time on Phase One, but between the diet and expanded exercise -- permitted by the soon to arrive nice spring weather -- I'm shooting to drop around 6 lbs in these two weeks.
The flag goes up next Monday, March 21.
I was just looking over the NCAA basketball tournament team listings. I'm not seeing UCLA or Cal Berkeley. But there's Stanford.
UPDATE: OK, so I was mistaken UCLA is there. Cal is probably lurking somewhere too, planning to jump out and surprise us all.
Gone East Forum regular Beth sends along the news that Boston Redsox Kevin Millar may be the subject of an upcoming episode of makeover show Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.
MSNBC reports that it's actually a group thing.
Queer Eyes’ five gay makeover artists are taking on five members of the Sox for an upcoming episode. Damon, Kevin Millar, Doug Mirabelli, Tim Wakefield and Jason Varitek are taking part, after the show’s executive producer says their wives pitched the idea.
Reuters via Yahoo!:
In a victory for gay rights groups, a California Superior Court judge ruled on Monday that the state's voter-approved ban on homosexual marriage is unconstitutional.
Both gay marriage advocates and opponents said the decision was just one step in a legal battle that may continue for years. Similar disputes are under review in other U.S. states.
From the "Short Final" feature of the AvWeb online newsletter:
Somtimes they're a little busy...
Overheard inbound to EAA's AirVenture Oshkosh, 2003, where only the controllers on the ground speak and pilots respond by rocking their wings.
Controller: Bell Helicopter, Fisk Approach. If you read, rock your wings.
Controller: Right... OK, I guess you really don't have any wings. Bell Helicopter, if you read, transmit.
Helicopter: I read you, Fisk.
Controller: Roger, enter left traffic for runway 36, welcome to Oshkosh. You've earned your wings today.
I've really fallen behind on watching Survivor. I've got them TiVo'd, but I need to make time to watch them. Maybe this weekend.
In the meantime, those of you who want to discuss...
Comments for this post likely contain spoilers.
Lot's of stuff going on these days.
For example, I've signed up a new web development client who's keeping me pretty busy. And other things too.
Must make time to blog.
There was a Survivor episode last week. Someone got voted off. Discuss.
(Look out for spoilers in Comments area.)
We had our latest late winter storm yesterday and last night. It snowed about 8 inches, give or take. And the wind was howling all night.
Had a bit of an ordeal getting Beth's car up the driveway this morning. But it finally yielded to the application of extreme force.
Supposed to snow more tomorrow and Fri.
Spring in 12 days.
I made corn flour pancakes for breakfast this morning. From the recipe on the side of the Jiffy Corn Muffin box. Good. Not a replacement for my World Famous Pancakes, but a nice change of pace.
For some reason I've been thinking about the Jack Nicholson line from that movie with Helen Hunt.
They are on their first date, and he wants to compliment her. He says,
"You make me want to be a better man."
For some reason that's been on my mind recently.
I just watched a documentary about the Gilmore Girls where the creator, Amy Sherman-Palladino, says that Stars Hollow was inspired by the actual town of Washington Depot CT
The Yankees finally won a game this Spring Training season. Unfortunately it was against the Redsox.
Hey, it's only Spring. They don't count.
Garrett M. Graff, of the blog FishbowlDC, may be the first person to be credentialled, as a blogger, to attend a White House briefing (strictly speaking he attended the "gaggle" which is a more informal briefing).
Most people know the fable of the struggling cobbler, who receives a large order to make many pair of shoes, but they must be finished by the next day.
Completing these shoes will make the difference in supporting his family, so the cobbler tries to work through the night to complete them. But his energy runs out, and he falls asleep.
While he sleeps, Shoemaking Elves appear in his shop, and they make all the shoes. When the cobbler awakens in the morning, he finds all the shoes ready to be delivered.
So here's my question: Was this act by the Elves a well-intentioned way of helping out a good man? Or was it them saying, what a loser you are, the only way this will get done is if we do it.
I know it's just spring training, and it doesn't really count. But as of this morning, the Yankees still haven't won a baseball game since Game 3 of last fall's ALCS. Hah!
The Redsox are 4-1 so far this spring, including a 17-0, 6-inning, no-hitter against the Northeastern Universtity team. Sorry Rob.
The only game we lost, yesterday against Minnesota, had the consolation of including a Grand Slam by David Ortiz.
Today at 1pm we play Philly, then tomorrow night: The Yankees!
I'm triple booked tonight.
At 6:30 I have a meeting of the town's Technology in Education committee.
At 8pm is this week's episode of Survivor.
And, perhaps most important, at 7pm is the first pre-season Redsox game.
AP via Yahoo!:
Millionaire adventurer Steve Fossett on Thursday became the first person to fly around the world solo without stopping or refueling — 67 hours and 23,000 miles after taking off in his spindly-looking, experimental jet.
Interesting essay on tags and tagging. It has a little of the flavor of my concept of "the web waking up".
Karl has a nice analysis of how and why the cowpath street layout of Boston is better than grids like Chicago. I agree.
Our streets change names for no reason. Washington Street used to be Orange Street (before the first U.S. President existed). And once it was changed to Washington, any street intersecting it had to change names when it crosses over. So Summer Street turns into Winter Street after passing through. Another example: without taking any corners, Temple Street becomes Staniford Street, which becomes Causeway Street, which becomes Commercial Street which eventually becomes Atlantic Avenue. Even more confusing, Tremont Street, which through most of the city is relatively parallel to Boylston Street, actually intersects with it at one point. This takes place right around the time where to continue on Tremont, you have to turn right at an intersection, then turn left at the next set of lights.
[Thanks Universal Hub (the website formerly known as Boston Common)]
Steve Fossett's and the Global Flyer are more than halfway through their around-the-world, solo, un-refueled flight. Updates can be seen here. The Global Flyer aircraft was designed by Burt Rutan, and built by his Scaled Composites company.
THURSDAY, March 3, MINNESOTA. AT FT. MYERS, 7 p.m.
SATURDAY, March 5, CINCINNATI AT SARASOTA, 6 p.m.
SUNDAY, March 6, PHILADELPHIA AT FT. MYERS, 1 p.m.
MONDAY, March 7, NEW YORK AT FT. MYERS, 7 p.m. HD
SATURDAY, March 12, TAMPA BAY AT FT. MYERS, 1 p.m.
SUNDAY, March 13, MINNESOTA AT HAMMOND STADIUM 1 p.m.
THURSDAY, March 17, FLORIDA AT FT. MYERS, 1 p.m.
SATURDAY, March 19, BALTIMORE AT FT. MYERS, 1 p.m.
SUNDAY, March 20, PITTSBURGH AT BRADENTON 1 p.m.
TUESDAY, March 22, CINCINNATI AT FT. MYERS 6 p.m. HD
FRIDAY, March 25, MINNESOTA AT FT. MYERS, 1 p.m.
SATURDAY, March 26, TAMPA BAY AT. ST. PETERSBURG 1 p.m.
SUNDAY, March 27, PITTSBURGH AT FT. MYERS 1 p.m.
TUESDAY, March 29, NEW YORK YANKEES AT TAMPA 1 p.m.
WEDNESDAY, March 30, TAMPA BAY AT FT. MYERS, 1 p.m.
THURSDAY, March 31, ARIZONA AT PHOENIX, AZ, 8:30 p.m. HD
Here's the result of my first attempt at making chili.
Look. Blogs are personal journals, written by millions of people, on zillions of topics. Whether or not those journals practice "journalism" is a useless question at this point. Besides, it's been done to death.
Generalizing about bloggers is about the same as generalizing about telephone callers or photographers or baseball players. You don't say all phone callers are rude, all photographers take nasty pictures or all baseball players spit. So stop saying all bloggers (that third person plural "They") are ... anything. Because it just ain't true. There's too damn many of them. All individuals. With nobody in charge.
The real challenge isn't for bloggers to bootstrap themselves into Serious Journalism, but for Serious Journals to take advantage of a growing population of self-starting stringers. Who happen to already have their own journals.
We've gotten about 6-8 inches of snow since last night, and it's still snowing.