Corn Maze Navigation Done RightYou may have noticed that I was playing around with the Twitter Tools plugin for WordPress, and that it was generating these weekly digests of my Twitter posts on Fridays.  I'm not going to do that anymore, but you can always follow me on Twitter directly or with your favorite blog/RSS feed reader/twitter tool or by looking in the sidebar of the blog front page.

I'm removing Google ads from my blog.  I'm tired of them, and they're not earning their keep.

You can now subscribe to the comments of a specific post such that you receive an e-mail message when new comments are posted.  Look for the checkbox right where you submit your comment.

As always, feedback is welcome, drop me a line.

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2008-10-31

  • "I thought that I heard you laughing, I thought that I heard you sing, I think I thought I saw you try, but that was just a dream." #
  • Important lesson from the movie Atonement: always encrypt sensitive communications, especially love letters delivered by young children. #
  • Oh no, the U.S. military has realized that the Internet is a communications tool for vegetarians: http://tinyurl.com/5jmxcj #
  • @DougMasson Great! They had a verifiable paper trail in place this year, right? in reply to DougMasson #
  • I'm considering going rogue, everybody's doing it. #
  • Three movies I suggest you avoid: "Noise" (too weird) "Queensized" (too cheesy) and "Silver City" (what the heck WAS that?) #
  • Hi, I'm ____ and I'll be your dedicated Dell sales rep until I'm replaced right after you place an order and my email address stops working. #
  • Congratulations on convincing yourself that today's stock market gains mean that everything is going to be okay. #
  • @jlharter Yes, who are those folks and what brought them here? And wait, who are you? 🙂 in reply to jlharter #
  • @hodgman If you have to ask, maybe you already know the answer? Unless you're being melodramatic for effect, in which case, carry on sir. in reply to hodgman #
  • If dogs take over the world, and chose a king, I hope they don't just go by size, b/c I bet there are some Chihuahuas with some good ideas. #
  • Today I pressed some areas on a screen and a machine told me I voted. I asked it to give me a paper trail, and it was silent. Machine wins. #

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Too many community builders in one town?

GazeboOne of the recurring themes in my writing in speaking about how to make our communities more self-reliant is that we can't necessarily depend on entities and organizations that aren't locally rooted to address the issues that are of local concern. The natural corollary to this is that, in addition to individual citizens taking action, we should be able to look to locally rooted organizations to be moving the community forward, helping us make it the place we want it to be.

But one only has to look at the long list of community building organizations and entities in Richmond - and the overlap, duplication, and even competition that some of them represent for each other - to wonder if maybe this isn't an area where we're actually holding ourselves back instead of moving ourselves forward.

Consider, in no particular order: Continue reading "Too many community builders in one town?"

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2008-10-24

  • If I survived that high ropes course today, surely I can wean these kittens off of their bottles. #
  • What a lovely day, full of those moments C.S. Lewis described: "What! You, too? Thought I was the only one." #
  • Whether they ever find life there or not, I think Jupiter should be considered an enemy planet. #
  • New blog post, "On practicing what you preach" #
  • Why do the caterpillar and the ant have to be enemies? One eats leaves, and the other eats caterpillars. Oh, I see now. #
  • New blog post: Failed Attempts at Being You #
  • Maybe some day, the Drupal project will get its security vulnerability announcements down to less than what seems like 1 per hour. #
  • Ending a long and interesting day, looking forward to doing it again tomorrow. You? #
  • Getting on the road to speak to some great folks in Cincinnati. #

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Failed Attempts at Being You

I keep encountering this quote and keep liking it, so here it is:

"The world in which you were born is just one model of reality.

Other cultures are not failed attempts at being you; they are unique manifestations of the human spirit." --Wade Davis

I'm not sure I have much more to add, beyond some related queries to chew on:

  1. In what ways do I assume that my model of reality is everyone else's model of reality?
  2. When do I hold other people and other cultures to a standard of success that is defined by becoming or being me?
  3. What threatens me about people and cultures that have different goals and hopes than I do?
  4. How can my sense of spirit and life be nurtured by appreciating other (sometimes radically different) manifestations of spirit and life?

On practicing what you preach

Preparing for High RopesIs it really important to practice what you preach?

Must we really become the change we wish to see in the world?

As I try to work in my life and community to create a peaceful and sustainable existence, these are questions that churn in my head daily.

On a personal level, I think a lot of us struggle with living out the values we hold - we have aspirations and ideals about ourselves and the world we live in that can seem hard to enact, even when the path might feel clear.

But when you start to talk about how the rest of the world could be - even should be - the conversation goes beyond issues of self-discipline, time management, or having sufficient support and encouragement. When we talk about sharing a message with others about how we want the world to be and perhaps suggest they change their behavior to get there, it becomes a question of whether there's a practical or ethical obligation to already first be living out that existence well as the messenger.

Some people say you have to transform your own life first before you can expect others to transform theirs at your suggestion. Do we?

Continue reading "On practicing what you preach"

McCain backpedaling: peace without justice

At some point this week, John McCain's presidential campaign realized that having mobs of supporters who appeared to be ignorant, blood-thirsty, and xenophobic might not be quite what they were looking for when it comes to momentum. And so, as several local bloggers have mentioned, he started trying to backpedal from some of the rhetoric that his campaign -- led by Sarah Palin -- has been putting out there in an attempt to create fear, uncertainty, and doubt about Barack Obama.

The problem is, McCain has done nothing to question the underlying thinking and assumptions that have fueled these fires. By passing them by he essentially reinforces the dangerous framing, and does little toward any truly just treatment of the issues that have come up.

Continue reading "McCain backpedaling: peace without justice"

Watching the Line

There's a line out there that moves up and down all day long. A lot of people watch it because they think it's a sign of how wealthy they are, or how wealthy they could be. Some people have killed themselves when the line goes too low, others have gone to jail. Some people are genuinely happier when the line is high up there, getting along better with their friends and family, whistling to themselves a bit more while they work.


Why do we watch this line so closely? Why do we so willingly and anxiously tie our happiness and sense of security and standing in the world to its altitude and slope?

Continue reading "Watching the Line"

Study Hall with Craig

Cut ApartLately I've been recalling one particular day early in high school. My "study hall friend" Craig and I were giddy with excitement because he had just bought a copy of the Star Trek: The Next Generation Technical Manual, a book that was basically the detailed explanation of how all of the tools and technologies in the Star Trek universe actually work. He kept it at his side in the plastic bag from the bookstore, only bringing it out for glances here and there as we tried to avoid the watchful eye of the study hall monitor.

But really, he didn't want smudges on the cover and he didn't want to break the spine, and that was great with me because I would have demanded the same. I might not have even brought the book to school - who knows what could happen to it!? We whispered about holodecks and warp drives, and let our minds wonder. Though we didn't use the word at the time, we were totally geeked out, in awe of this seeming bridge between science fiction and real life. Craig and I only saw each other for this brief period a few times per week, and we'd only seen each other outside of school once or twice, but we had a connection that only comes with being a bit (or, okay, a lot) uncool together.

Continue reading "Study Hall with Craig"

6 tips for good email message subject lines

Writing good subject lines in your email messages is important. As email continues to serve as a primary communication tool for many people, and as our inboxes are filled up with ridiculous amounts of stuff that we may or may not need to actually act on, we will all benefit from writing good subject lines that save time and improve productivity.

My suggested tips for success: Continue reading "6 tips for good email message subject lines"