Saturday, January 31, 2004

101+ things about me...

has been updated. Click here to read the update.

Open source software...

has been on my mind. Maybe I'm just getting tired of fighting with Windows on my computer. So I did a little digging around and ran across an interesting bit of academic research being done on the topic. My starting question is how did this whole open source software development craze get started and why?

Listen to this. Walt Scacchi, a senior research scientist at the University of California at Irvine's Institute for Software Research, has been looking at open-source projects from an analytical perspective, studying the open-source model in an ongoing, 10-year project that draws some comforting conclusions for open-source sponsors and developers.

Scacchi and fellow researchers have found a significant failure rate among open-source projects. But among those that get off the ground, research has shown not only that the open-source approach can yield better software more quickly and for less money than traditional methods but also that volunteering for an open-source project can be an effective way to get a job.

Often, Scacchi's work is as much sociological as technical, as he and colleagues examine phenomena like "community building" and cultural institutions alongside drier subjects like code and project design.

Go here to read more about the UC-I research.

And yes, this reinforces what network gurus like Cleveland's own Valdis Krebs and others have been telling us about the growing role (and importance) of social networks in practically all aspects of life.

New e-discussion toolkit...

released by World Bank. Yeah, you heard me right. Click here and mine the gold.

Defenses lacking at social network sites...

Social networking sites are the latest beehives of activity...maybe that is why people are "buzzing" about them. Heads up. Is your information on these sites being adequately protected? Hum. Not sure? Read on...

There has been some local (Cleveland) chatter about the issue on BFD and other blogs, but click here and read what this article has to say about and LiveJournal.

Where are the women...

and why are not more in top business leadership jobs? Good question. Here is what a recent Fast Company Magazine article has to say.

"It wasn't supposed to turn out this way. By 2004, after three decades of the women's movement, when business schools annually graduate thousands of qualified young women, when the managerial pipeline is stuffed with capable, talented female candidates for senior positions, why are there still so few women at the top?

In part, the answer probably still lies in lingering bias in the system. Most women interviewed for this story say that overt discrimination is rare; still, the executive suites of most major corporations remain largely boys' clubs. Catalyst, the women's business group, blames the gap on the fact that women often choose staff jobs, such as marketing and human resources, while senior executives are disproportionately plucked from the ranks of those with line jobs, where a manager can have critical profit-and-loss responsibility. Others fault the workplace itself, saying corporations don't do enough to accommodate women's often more-significant family responsibilities.

All those things are true. But there may be a simpler--and in many ways more disturbing--reason that women remain so underrepresented in the corner office: For the most part, men just compete harder than women. They put in more hours. They're more willing to relocate. They're more comfortable putting work ahead of personal commitments. And they just want the top job more.

Let's be clear: Many, many individual women work at least as hard as men. Many even harder. But in the aggregate, statistics show, they work less, and as long as that remains true, it means women's chances of reaching parity in the corner office will remain remote. Those top jobs have become all-consuming: In today's markets, being CEO is a global, 24-hour-a-day job. You have to, as Barnes says, give it your life. Since women tend to experience work-life conflicts more viscerally than their male peers, they're less likely to be willing to do that. And at the upper reaches of corporate hierarchy, where the pyramid narrows sharply and the game becomes winner-take-all, a moment's hesitation--one important stint in the Beijing office that a woman doesn't take because of a sick child or an unhappy husband--means the odds get a little worse for her and a little better for the guy down the hall."

Now you know the rest of the story...

Click here to read the full article.

Friday, January 30, 2004

Of robots and brains...

Fat chance. That is what scientists said for years about the ability of a robot to operate on a brain. Well, the researchers at Duke University are "monkeying" around with some pretty cool stuff in the department. Click here to read the article.

Sacred geometry 101...

In nature, we find patterns, designs and structures from the most minuscule particles, to expressions of life discernible by human eyes, to the greater cosmos. These inevitably follow geometrical archetypes, which reveal to us the nature of each form and its vibrational resonances. They are also symbolic of the underlying metaphysical principle of the inseparable relationship of the part to the whole.

It is this principle of oneness underlying all geometry that permeates the architecture of all form in its myriad diversity. This principle of interconnectedness, inseparability and union provides us with a continuous reminder of our relationship to the whole, a blueprint for the mind to the sacred foundation of all things created.

Interested in learning more about the subject of sacred geometry? Click here.

It's Friday...laugh it up

A CEO (and member of Forbes 400!) throwing a party takes his executives on a tour of his opulent mansion. In the back of the property, the CEO has the largest swimming pool any of them has ever seen. The huge pool, however, is filled with hungry alligators. The CEO says to his executives "I think an executive should be measured by courage. Courage is what made me CEO. So this is my challenge to each of you: if anyone has enough courage to dive into the pool, swim through those alligators, and make it to the other side, I will give that person anything they desire. My job, my money, my house, anything!"

Everyone laughs at the outrageous offer and proceeds to follow the CEO on the tour of the estate. Suddenly, they hear a loud splash. Everyone turns around and sees the CFO (Chief Financial Officer) in the pool, swimming for his life. He dodges the alligators left and right and makes it to the edge of the pool with seconds to spare. He pulls himself out just as a huge alligator snaps at his shoes. The flabbergasted CEO approaches the CFO and says, "You are amazing. I've never seen anything like it in my life. You are brave beyond measure and anything I own is yours. Tell me what I can do for you."

The CFO, panting for breath, looks up and says, "You can tell me who the hell pushed me in the pool!!"

Quantum physics takes another step...

Scientists at the University of Colorado reported a scientific first in the field of ultra-cold quantum physics: the creation of a new form of matter that may eventually lead to breakthroughs in high-temperature superconductivity. Deborah Jin reported the first observation of a "fermionic condensate" formed from pairs of atoms in a gas. Jin is a physicist at CU and JILA, a joint laboratory of the university and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Pretty technical stuff, but this is potentially important in a wide range of fields and applications.

Go here to read more.

Adventurous dining...

A man travels to Spain and goes to Pamplona during the great "running of the Bulls" festival.

After his first day there, he goes out late for dinner at a restuarant in the center of the town. He orders the house special and he is brought a plate ,with potatoes, corn, and two large meaty objects.

"What's this?" he asks.

"Cojones, senor," the waiter replies.
"What are cojones?" the man asks.
"Cojones," the waiter explains, "are the testicles of the bull who lost at the arena this afternoon."

At first the man is disgusted, but being the adventurous type, he decides to try this local delicacy. To his amazement, it is quite delicious. In fact, it is so good that he decides to come back again the next night and order it again. This time, the waiter brings out the plate, but the meaty objects are much smaller.

"What's this?" he asks the waiter.
"Cojones, senor," the waiter replies.

"No, no," the man objects. "I had cojones yesterday and they were much bigger than these."

"Senor," the waiter explains, "the bull does not lose every time."

Thursday, January 29, 2004

Mystical capitalism...

Did you see this one?

The Los Angeles Kabbalah Centre is enjoying soaring income due to Jewish mysticism's recent embrace by pop celebrities (e.g., Madonna, Britney Spears). Kabbalah bottled water (which has supposedly absorbed the energy of the Torah by osmosis from being in the same room with it and which "changes you on a molecular level," said a Centre employee) costs $3.50, and red string bracelets, which supposedly ward off negative spirits (which Jewish traditionalists say is an appalling oversimplification of their purpose) cost $26 to $36.

Music to incite riots by...

Now what was the name of that Anti-American tune they're all humming in Baghdad?

America's next big battle may be waged in the cassette and CD players of Iraqis. Americans have flooded the nation's airwaves with harmless Western and Arab pop tunes, but many are drawn more to the catchy rhythms of crooners such as Sabah al-Jenabi. "America has come and occupied Baghdad," he sings in one popular number. "The army and people have weapons and ammunition. Let's go fight and call out the name of God."

U.S.-led coalition authorities have barred the media from promoting any kind of violence, but there is a hot market in the bazaars of central Iraq for cassettes by singers calling for insurrection. The music succeeds by tapping into the rage of the nation's Sunni minority, who lost their privileged position because of the war and feel abused by Americans.

Go here to read more.

Hey, maybe Robin Williams will star in a new movie called "Good Morning Iraq."

Leisure socialism...

Now, that is a term we haven't heard in a while. I ran across a rather thought-provoking article by a Kent State philosopher on the subject.

Allow me to tease you to read the article. The author, Marcus Verhaegh, writes: "In this piece, I want to lay out some of the reasons that many Americans took up socialist projects in the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s, and to suggest that some of the motives involved are not themselves incompatible with libertarian approaches. I am primarily interested in more-or-less suburbanite attraction to socialist ideas, such as interest in having the government provide an at least basic level of housing, education, and health care to all citizens. Furthermore, I am not so much focused on all conceivable grounds for this attraction, but rather am centrally focused on the motives of promoting possibilities for what I will term "leisure activities."

Read more here.

My question is: "Will this type of thinking help or hurt the chances of leading Dems to oust George W?" (Bear in mind that we have an economy that is growing but not creating many jobs. So, on the one hand some folks have more time for "leisure" activities. On the other hand, without a job, can they afford to engage in leisure activities? Hum...

Nurture your spirit and live longer...

A health letter from the Mayo Clinic recently suggested ways to improve your chances of living to 100.

Good genes help. However, among the lifestyle factors in play, the letter emphasized the importance of spirituality. "Nurture your spirit, no matter what you call your source of inspiration,'' it said.

It seems everywhere you look, someone is talking about spirituality. And it's not just coming from predictable sources such as the Mayo Clinic, which traces part of its history to the Sisters of St. Francis. It even comes from Hollywood, with Madonna, for example, writing children's books derived from Jewish mysticism, and from films, such as Mel Gibson's upcoming The Passion of the Christ.

Go here to read more. (This is a very interesting article.)

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Want to relax?

Just click here and pretend that you have joined the monks at Mepkin Abbey outside Charleston, SC for a day. Better yet, don't pretend, go there!

Suppose that...

each day you had to spend one hour in private meditation or contemplation and that by snapping your fingers, you could instantly transport yourself anywhere for the duration of this quiet time. Where would you choose to go?

Source: The Conversation Piece: Creative Questions to Tickle the Mind, Bret Nicholaus and Paul Lowrie

Looking outside on this cold snowy January morning, I would transport myself to Sabino Canyon in Tucson where there is plenty of sunshine and warmth.

Thinking out of box...

"You've been asked to design a zoological park for the future. How will you design this park to be radically different from the zoos of today? Be specific."

Source: The Conversation Piece: Creative Questions to Tickle the Mind, Bret Nicholaus and Paul Lowrie

So, how would you do it? I would put different types of animals together just like we do in "cities" and see if they could peacefully coexist better than human animals do in cities.

Tuesday, January 27, 2004


Anthropology is the science which tells us that people are the same the whole world over—except when they are different.
—Nancy Banks-Smith

I know I posted this before, but I love it...

All that is gold does not glitter; not all those that wander are lost.
—J.R.R. Tolkien

Who do you believe?

Believe those who are seeking the truth; doubt those who find it.
—André Gide


even when apparently most fantastic, is always a revolt against artifice, a revolt, in a sense, against actuality.
—James Joyce

Too bad...

that all the people who know how to run the country are busy driving taxicabs and cutting hair.
—George Burns

The love that lasts...

longest is the love that is never returned.
—Somerset Maugham

Monday, January 26, 2004


My karma ran over your dogma.

Feeling good, and feeling bad...

When I do good, I feel good; when I do bad, I feel bad, and that is my religion.
--Abraham Lincoln

Word for the day: nefarious

(adjective) [nah·FAIR·ee·ahs]
1. extremely wicked or immoral; abominable; heinous: "The nefarious polluters that had set up shop upstream completely destroyed our river, and then picked up and moved on."

adverb form: nefariously
noun form: nefariousness


has raised writing to a new low.
--Samuel Goldwyn

Sunday, January 25, 2004

Did you read this one?

Scientists at MIT's Advanced Machine Cognizance Project announced Tuesday that, after seeing the final installment of the Matrix trilogy, they will cease all further work in the field of artificial intelligence. Click here and read it.

What do air marshals really have to put up with?

Two hours worth of drivel about patios? Yuck! Click here and find out.

Pay through the nose...

Where did this saying come from? Pay an exorbitant price.---"You pay through the nose when you are on vacation."---Multiple origins. One referring to a punishment for failure to pay a 9th century Irish tax. The offender had his nose slit. Andrew Marvell (1845) The Rehearsal Transposed "Made them pay it most unconscionably and through the nose."

Achilles heel...

Ever wonder where this one came from? One weak spot in an otherwise strong character or position---"Public speaking is his Achilles heel"--- Greek mythology - Thetis, leader of the sea nymphs wanted to make sure her infant would be impervious to battle as an adult, so she dipped him in the river Styx, whose water was believed to confer invulnerability. One heel remained dry because she held him by that heel to dip him. Achilles died as a result of an arrow wound in the heel which remained unprotected.

A little birdie told me...

Wonder about the origin of this expression? I got my information from an anonymous source.---"A little bird told me that you are going to ask her to marry you."---Bible: Ecclesiastes 10:20 "Curse not the king, no, not in thy thought; and curse not the rich in thy bed chamber; for a bird of the air shall carry the voice, and that which hath wings shall tell the matter."

There are other "Conscious Livings" out there...

What's in a name? While different than my Conscious Living weblog, there are others with the same name out there. Take a look at some of these websites:

* Conscious Living, Australia

* Conscious Living Foundation

* Conscious Living, Conscious Dying

* Conscious Living Links Page

* Resources for Conscious Living

* Center for Conscious Living

* Conscious Living Expo

* Corey Mondello's Page

* Conscious Living Studio

* Conscious Living Partnership

Saturday, January 24, 2004

All that is gold does not glitter...

Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be the blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.

--J.R.R. Tolkien

If I could, I'd comb the sky...

and collect the stars,
quickly pile them into a basket
until it overflowed with silvery light.
And then I'd give the basket to you,
because all things precious
and beautiful
should be yours today.

--Author Unknown

I was born to catch dragons in their dens...

And pick flowers
To tell tales and laugh away the morning
To drift and dream like a lazy stream
And walk barefoot across sunshine days.

--James Kavanaugh
Author of "Sunshine Days and Foggy Nights"

Even after all this time...

the sun never says to the earth,
‘You owe me.’
Look what happens with a love like that.
It lights the whole sky.”

--Hafiz, 1320-1389
Persian Poet

Friday, January 23, 2004

How's your physics?

Two hydrogen atoms in a bar.
One says to the other 'I've lost my electron'.
'That's terrible' says the other 'Are you sure?'.
'I'm positive'

Cavs Lose Close One to Kings

I had the pleasure of joining Jim Kroeger from Greater Cleveland Tomorrow and Patrick Kelley from FirstEnergy to watch the Cleveland Cavaliers play Sacramento last night at Gund Arena. Great game. Thanks for the ticket, Jim. Our seats were on the floor behind the hoop on the south end of the floor. Wow, it was almost like being in the game. The Cav's Carlos Boozer was fun to watch. Lebron James was in street clothes on the bench allowing his ankle to heal.

As they say, nothing like being there! Watching these guys play, just reinforced why I exercise everyday. Their bodies are fine tuned high-performance machines. Maybe I should try out for the Cavs. Well, on second thought, maybe I'll go to another game to watch the guys play.

This is especially true that we now have blogs...

A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.
--Mark Twain

I agree with this one...

Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative.
--Oscar Wilde


Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much.
--Oscar Wilde

Thursday, January 22, 2004

Character is...

higher than intellect... A great soul will be strong to live, as well as to think.
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Don't know about this one...

All paid jobs absorb and degrade the mind.

Write this one down...

All human actions have one or more of these seven causes: chance, nature, compulsion, habit, reason, passion, and desire.

A fanatic is...

one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject.
--Sir Winston Churchill

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Smarty pants...for real

Smart underwear will monitor your health. Biosensors stitched into bras and T-shirts will collect and store data such as your heart activity; when there's an abnormality, the sensors will trigger an alarm and call your doctor. (Source: World Trends & Forecasts, Technology).

And yes, we all want to know how smart we will be "below the waist."

What might be in '04...

Jagdish "Jag" Sheth, the marketing professor, writer, speaker and futurist at Emory University, says 2004 will be the year India aligns with the United States, cellphones will overtake PCs as all-purpose information stations and Americans will see a boom in Buddhism.

Check out this article for more details.

Is this really the time for an MBA?

This year, 1.2 million college graduates faced the grim reality that they had to compete with nearly nine million unemployed individuals for approximately three million jobs. Yet, many career specialists are warning against the urge to postpone a job search and stay in school to pursue a master's degree.

"Based on the employers we have surveyed, rushing out to attain an M.B.A. straight from undergraduate school may be a big mistake," says Tony Lee, editor-in-chief of the College Journal (, a free online publication for undergraduate, graduate, and M.B.A. students seeking job search and career guidance information. "It runs counter to the intended premise of an advanced degree, which is to learn more about a field in which you're truly interested." Unfortunately, many anxious job seekers view a second degree simply as a résumé enhancer. "With the job market being this bad," says Lee, "a lot of college grads are charging out for an M.B.A., but for the wrong reasons."

Go here to read more.

Listen up old farts...

Botox and Viagra kind of say it all. We are obsessed with being young! I ran across an interesting article in the Fort Wayne News Sentinel that reminded me that search for the fountain of youth lives on. Go here to read about it. the article also talks about how we are exporting this obsession (and of course the projects that go with it) to Europe and Asia, where age has historically been seen more positively.

Tuesday, January 20, 2004


in the fact that every day introduces a new "now" to start your life over again.

Don't allow...

your pain to steal away your joy.

Monday, January 19, 2004


What do I share in common with Edgar Allan Poe, Paul Cezanne, Robert E. Lee, and Mohammed?

Answer: A January 19th birthdate.

Others Born on Janury 19, 1951...

0570 Mohammed Islamic prophet (Koran)
1200 Dogen Kigen Japan, Zen teacher, 1st patriarch of the Japanese Soto
1544 Francis II de Valois-Angoul?me king of France (1559-60)
1613 Jacques Huyn composer
1639 No?l Alexandre French theologian/historian
1676 John Weldon composer
1679 Girolamo Chiti composer
1686 Hakuin Ekakuborn Japan, Zen Buddhist
1736 James Watt Scotland, inventor (steam engine)
1736 Laurens P van de Spiegel Dutch regent/secretary of State 1787-95
1737 Jacques-Henri Bernardin de Saint-Pierre French writer (Paul et Virgin)
1749 Isaiah Thomas US, printer/editor/publisher/historian
1760 Melchor Lopez Jimenez composer
1790 Per Daniel Amadeus Atterbom Swedish historian/poet (Blommorna)
1798 Auguste Comte philosopher/founder (sociology & positivism)
1802 [Jean] Silvain van de Weyer 1st Belgian minister of Foreign affairs (1831)
1806 Vaclav Jindrich Veit composer
1807 Robert Edward Lee Stratford VA, General-in-Chief (Confederacy)
1809 Edgar Allan Poe Boston, author (Pit & the Pendulum)
1813 Sir Henry Bessemer engineer/inventor (Bessemer engine)
1816 Henry Gray Brigadier General (Confederate Army), died in 1892
1820 John Haskell King Brevet Major General (Union Army), died in 1888
1827 Carlos Guido y Spano Argentina, conductor (R?fagas)
1830 George Blake Cosby Brigadier General (Confederate Army), died in 1909
1832 Ferdinand Laub composer
1832 Salvador Giner y Vidal composer
1837 William Williams Keen surgeon (brain)
1839 Bohumil Pazdirek composer
1839 Paul C?zanne France, impressionist painter (Bathers)
1851 David Starr Jordan NY, biologist/university president (Leland Stanford)
1851 Johannes C Kapteyn Dutch astronomer
1858 Eugene Brieux French playwright (Blanchette, Lesson Avaries)
1859 Alice Eastwood Toronto, botanist (Handbook of Trees of California)
1863 Werner Sombart German fascist (Juden und das Wirtschaftsleben)
1866 Harry Davenport New York City NY, actor/director (Her Unborn Child, My Sin)
1868 Gustav Meyrink writer
1869 Alfred R Zimmerman mayor (Rotterdam 1906-22)/Director (League of Nations)
1873 Hans E Blaich writer
1877 Charles Coburn Savannah GA, actor (Devil and Miss Jones)
1879 Marie Koenen author/wife of Felix Rutten (Wassend Cereal)
1883 Hermann Abendroth German conductor
1884 Albert Louis Wolff composer
1887 Alexander Woollcott New Jersey, short story writer/critic (Man Who Came to Dinner)
1889 Sophie Taeuber/T?uber-Arp Swiss sculptor/wife of Hans Arp (Dada)
1892 Olafur Thors Icelandic PM (6 times, 1942-63)
1897 Natacha Rambova Salt Lake City UT, costume designer
1897 Ren? Victor Flemish lawyer/knight (Rechtskundig Weekblad)
1899 [John] Herbert Whitton Sumsion organist/composer
19-- Anthony Herrera Wiggins MS, actor (James Stenbeck-As the World Turns, Dane-Loving)
19-- Richard Van Vleet Denver CO, actor (Chuck-All My Children)
1902 Heinrich Schmist-Barrien German author (Moorkeerl)
1903 Boris Blacher Newchwang China, German composer
1903 Erwin Nyiregyhazi Budapest Hungary, pianist
1903 Alfred Lane Beit connoisseur
1904 James Winston Watts developer (Frontal Lobotomy)
1905 Anne Schumacher Hummert radio pioneer
1905 Oveta Culp Hobby government official/newspaper publisher/CEO (Houston Post)
1906 Ish Kabbible [Merwyn Bogue], Pennsylvania, comedian (Kay Kyser's Kollege)
1906 Lanny Ross Seattle, radio singer (Show Boat, The Swift Show)
1907 Lillian Harvey London England, actress (Invitation to the Waltz)
1910 Willi Schmidt Germany, director
1912 Leonid V Kantorovich St Petersburg Russia, economist (Nobel)
1912 Francis David Charteris Earl of Wemyss & March/Scottish landowner
1912 Jean G H "Sjeng" Tans Dutch socialist democratic chairman (1965-69)
1913 Phyllis Flowerdew school Reading text author
1914 Lester Flatt country musician (Flatt & Scruggs-Ballad of Jed Clampett, Rocky Top)
1915 Alvy West Brooklyn NY, orchestra leader (Andy Williams Show)
1917 John Raitt Bonnie Raitt's father/singer/actor (Pajama Game)
1917 Rudolf Maros composer
1918 John H Johnson US, publisher (Negro Digest, Ebony, Jet)
1919 Dharam Singh India, field hockey player (Olympics-gold-1964)
1919 Anthony Dexter [Walter Fleischmann], NB Canada, actor (Valentino)
1920 Javier P?rez de Cu?llar Lima Per?, 5th Secretary-General of UN (1982-91)
1921 Patricia Highsmith [Plangman], US/Swiss writer (Strangers on a Train, L'amateur d'escargot)
1922 Arthur Morris cricketer (great Australian lefty opening batsman)
1922 Guy Madison [Robert Moseley], Bakersfield CA, actor (Wild Bill Hickok)
1922 Ken Hughes Liverpool England, director (Casino Royale)
1923 Jean Stapleton New York City NY, actress (Damn Yankees, Klute, All in the Family)
1924 Nicholas Colasanto Providence RI, actor (Coach Ernie-Cheers)
1924 7th Earl of Carnarvon English large landowner
1924 Jean Fran?ois Revel French journalist/author (Ni Marx ni J?sus)
1925 Nina [Mary] Bawden English author (Afternoon of a Good Woman)
1926 Fritz Weaver Pittsburgh PA, actor (Josef-Holocaust, Day of the Dolphin)
1926 Libera Carlier Flemish author (Action Station Go!)
1928 Dainin Katagiri Osaka Japan, Zen teacher, associate of Shunryu Suzuki
1928 Edward Gerard Schurmann composer
1929 Ulu Grosbard Belgium, actor (Straight Time, Georgia, Falling in Love)
1930 John Waite cricket wicket-keeper (great South African)
1931 Robert MacNeil Montr?al Qu?bec Canada, news anchor (NBC Weekend News 1965-67)
1931 Ron Packard (Representative-R-CA, 1983- )
1932 Richard Lester movie director (Hard Day's Night, Help!, Petulia)
1932 Joe Schmidt NFL Hall of Fame linebacker (Detroit Lions)
1933 Marc F A Andries Flemish actor (Central Station)
1935 Tippi Hedren Minnesota, actress (The Birds, Marnie, Bold & Beautiful)
1936 Elliott Schwartz composer
1936 Ursula Andress Switzerland, actress (She)
1938 Phil Everly Brownie KY, singer (Everly Bros-Wake Up Little Susie)
1938 Denny Smith (Representative-R-OR, 1981- )
1938 Eskil Hemberg composer
1940 Barend J du Plessis South African minister of Finance (1984- )
1940 Mary Mills LPGA golfer
1942 Michael Crawford England, Broadway star (Phantom of the Opera)
1942 Shelly Fabares Santa Monica CA, actress (Donna Reed Show, Coach)
1943 Janis Joplin Port Arthur TX, blues rock singer (Down on Me)
1943 Joe Butler rocker
1943 Margriet Francisca Dutch Princess
1944 Dan Reeves NFL Coach (New York Giants, Denver Broncos, Atlanta Falcons)
1944 Pehr Henrik Nordgren composer
1944 Richard [Erskine Frere] Leakey Nairobi Kenya, anthropologist
1945 Rod Evans rocker (Deep Purple-Come Taste the Band)
1945 Charles Amirkhanian composer
1945 Vadim Abdrashitov director (Fox Hunt, Parade of Planets)
1946 Julian Barnes England, writer (Before She Met Me)
1946 Alexandr Vladimirovich Shchukin Russian cosmonaut
1946 Dolly Rebecca Parton Sevierville TN, country singer (Dolly, 9 to 5)
1947 Ann Compton news reporter (ABC TV)
1947 Alessandro Haber actor (China is Near)
1948 Harvey Hinsley rocker
1949 Robert Palmer Batley England, rocker (Addicted to Love, Sneakin' Sally Through the Alley)
1951 Dewey Bunnell Yorkshire England, rock guitarist (America-Daisy Jane, Sister Golden Hair)
1951 Martha Davis vocals/guitar (Motels-Only the Lonely)
1951 Linda Hayden Middlesex England, actress (Blood on Satan's Claw, Shattered)
1953 Desi Arnaz Jr Los Angeles CA, actor (Craig-Here's Lucy, Fakeout, Joyride)
1954 Steve DeBerg NFL quarterback (Broncos, Chiefs, Bucs, 49ers)
1954 Katey Sagal Los Angeles CA, actress (Peg Bundy-Married with Children)
1955 Simon Rattle England, orchestra conductor (Birmingham Symphony Orchestra)
1957 Michael "Mickey" Virtue Birmingham England, rock keyboardist (UB40-Red Red Wine)
1957 Ottis "O J" Anderson NFL running back (New York Giants)
1960 Alfrederick Joyner East St Louis IL, triple jumper (Olympics-gold-1984)
1961 Paul McCrane actor (Hotel New Hampshire, We're Fighting Back)
1961 William Ragsdale Alaska, actor (Fright Night, Mannequin 2, Smooth Talk)
1962 Anthony Edwards Santa Barbara CA, actor (Mike Monroe-Northern Exposure)
1962 Chris Sabo Detroit MI, pitcher (Cincinnati Reds, Baltimore Orioles)
1963 Adele Peterson LPGA golfer
1963 Caron Wheeler English singer (Soul II Soul-Keep on Movin')
1963 Michael Adams NBA guard (Charlotte Hornets)
1965 Ricky Reynolds NFL cornerback (New England Patriots)
1966 Anthony Young US baseball pitcher (New York Met, Chicago Cubs)
1966 Ronnie Williams NFL tight end (Miami Dolphins)
1966 Stefan Edberg Sweden, tennis player (Wimbledon 1988, US Open 1991)
1966 Sylvain Cote Duberger, NHL defenseman (Washington Capitals)
1967 Christine Tucci actress (Amanda Cory-Another World)
1968 Marty Conlon NBA forward (Milwaukee Bucks)
1968 Whitfield Crane rocker (Ugly Kid Joe-Mad Man, Too Bad)
1969 Andrew Murray Stone Auckland New Zealand, Open 470 yachter (Olympics-96)
1969 Junior Seau NFL inside linebacker (San Diego Chargers)
1969 Luc Longley NBA center (Chicago Bulls)
1969 Orlando Palmeiro Hoboken NJ, outfielder (California Angels)
1970 Ghetty Chasun Erie PA, actress (Red Lips)
1970 Rick Krivda Mckeesport PA, pitcher (Baltimore Orioles)
1970 T J Mathews Belleville IL, pitcher (St Louis Cardinals)
1971 Jeff Juden Salem MA, baseball pitcher (Philadelphia Phillies, San Francisco Giants)
1971 Maurice Hofman Dutch soccer player (MVV)
1971 Reggie Brooks NFL running back (Washington Redskins)
1971 Shawn Wayans actor (In Living Color)
1972 Tyrone Wheatley NFL running back (New York Giants)
1973 Chris Stynes Queens NY, infielder (Kansas City Royals)
1974 Amaury Telemaco Higuey Dominican Republic, pitcher (Chicago Cubs)
1974 Gregory Playfair Suriname/Dutch soccer player (PSV)
1974 Tarik Oulida soccer player (Ajax/Seville)
1974 Walter Jones tackle (Seattle Seahawks)
1975 Natalie Harvey Australian 3k/5k runner (Olympics-96)
1976 Claire Grech Miss Malta-Universe (1997)
1976 Sky Christopherson Tucson AZ, cyclist (Olympics-96)
1977 Taliesin Jaffe Venice CA, actor (Willy-Hail to the Chief)
1977 Anne Miller Midland MI, tennis star (1995 Darmstadt Germany)
1982 Jodie Sweetin actress (Stephanie Tanner-Full House)
1993 John Bouvier Kennedy Schlossberg son of Caroline Kennedy

Source: Any Day in History

Sunday, January 18, 2004

Power of quotes...

A quotation at the right moment is like bread to the famished.

Making enemies by making change...

If you want to make enemies, try to change something.
--Woodrow Wilson

In each family...

a story is playing itself out, and each family’s story embodies its hope and despair.
--Auguste Napier

Is the electronic wallet coming our way?

Some say it will be a reality in 7-10 years. The electronic wallet is a smart card that is designed to replace money, keys, driver's license, medical records, and many other things. Sounds good, you say.

Economic impact of the e-wallet? Something to think about from an economic development standpoint. Hum, now how many people and businesses make the things to become obsolete as a result of the e-wallet? Where are they located? Hum, how many people and businesses will it take to make the e-wallet? How many people and businesses will be employed by the IT services created by the e-wallet? Where will they be located?

This could be VERY interesting.

Cyborg adventures...

No, it's not a new book you must read. It is about the bio-computer. Did you know that researchers in Israel have fashioned a "bio-computer" using the DNA in living cells instead of silicon chips? This development may allow a computer to some day merge with the human brain.

Pretty darn cool!

Saturday, January 17, 2004


The only sure thing about luck is that it will change.
~ Bret Harte ~


We must believe in luck. For how else can we explain the success of those we don't like?
~ Jean Cocteau ~

A leader's first job...

The first task of a leader is to keep hope alive.
~ Joe Batten ~

Leaders and managers...

A leader knows what's best to do; a manager knows merely how best to do it.
~ Ken Adelman ~

What you believe...

If you don't change your beliefs, your life will be like this forever. Is that good news?
~ Dr. Robert Anthony ~

Pride in your work...

No one has a greater asset for his business than a man's pride in his work.
~ Mary Parker Follet ~

Friday, January 16, 2004


covers a multitude of blunders.
--George Bernard Shaw

How true that is!!!


The best cure for insomnia is to get a lot of sleep.
--W. C. Fields

Those are my principles...

If you don't like them I have others.
--Goucho Marx

The secret to creativity...

is knowing how to hide your sources.
--Albert Einstein

Albert is right, but most of us just don't want to admit it!

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger...

more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius -- and a lot of courage -- to move in the opposite direction.
--Albert Einstein

Thursday, January 15, 2004

Grandma was quoted...

on many an occasion as saying "wise ole fool." How true!

A sudden, bold, and unexpected question...

doth many times surprise a man and lay him open.
--Francis Bacon


One-fifth of the people are against everything all the time.
--Robert F. Kennedy

What lies behind door #3?

The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live.
--Flora Whittemore

How to pick your battles...

Pick battles big enough to matter, small enough to win.
--John James Ingalls

Ring the bells that still can ring...

Forget your perfect offering. There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in.
--Leonard Cohen, Anthem

Good one...

Life consists not in holding good cards but in playing those you hold well.
--Ecclesiasticus (ch. IV, v. 20)

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Relationship Management: The Other Side Of Networking

Networking is a vital ingredient to both personal and business success. Every day of our lives we participate in one type of network or another of our own creation or by someone else. Fellow blogger George Nemeth has been a big advocate of networking bloggers (those who operate weblogs or online web journals) and using the Web, through virtual social networking groups like Ryze, to form new and work within existing networks. Valdis Krebs, the architect of some power social network mapping software, has been using his tools to help companies build markets and other things by understanding and building stronger social networks.

Economic developers use networking as a strategy to make in-roads with businesses and other resources they need to do their jobs. Regional, state, national and international associations exist to facilitate this networking.

There is another side to networking, which has been getting much attention in the business world, called "relationship management." I find that networking is usually not an end in itself, rather it is a step toward extending existing and forming new relationships that coincide with our interests, abilities, goals, and activities. I ran across a wonderful article on relationship management as a formal business strategy. Here is a clip from it:

"Alliances, partnerships, and relationships of all kinds in the business environment, whether with external parties such as suppliers or distributors, or internally with the groups and divisions of the same company, require a repeatable process and discipline to be successful. Partnering concepts are easy to think about, and alliances are even easy to create. But their value only becomes clear upon the implementation of the relationship. And sadly, that is where many companies fail. We have found that those companies who are the best in class in the area of alliance management are those for whom alliance competency is a corporate capability and a business process seen as critical to the company's success." Source: Relationship Management as a Corporate Capability by Larraine Segil

Segil reminds us that it requires follow through and skill to create effective, lasting, and productive relationships. I agree with her assessment, having spent many years as a consultant trying to help organizations develop, reinvent, and strengthen themselves. Relationship management is a new core competency that economic development and other organizations should work at developing. In short, it all begins, and ends, with how we relate to people.

I would be interested in your thoughts on this subject.

Brain food...

I ran across a fun website that contained a series of "garbled proverbs." Go here to feed your brain and wake it up this morning.

"Garbled Proverbs!" What a great term. Reminds me of the "blind man and the three elephants."

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

We are cared for...

God drives away flies for a cow which has no tail.
--African Traditional Religions Yoruba Proverb (Nigeria)

Treat the aged of your own family...

in a manner befitting their venerable age and extend this treatment to the aged of other families; treat your own young in a manner befitting their tender age and extend this to the young of other families, and you can roll the empire on your palm. . . In other word, all you have to do is take this very heart here and apply it to what is over there. Hence one who extends his bounty can bring peace to the Four Seas; one who does not cannot bring peace even to his own family.
--Confucianism Mencius I.A.7

According to the law of the universe...

for every action there is an equal reaction. When we realize that we are accountable for every thought, word and deed, we recognize the wisdom of restraint and being aware of the intentions of our actions.

Did you know that...

the mean center of the US population was Kent County, MD, 23 miles east of Baltimore in 1790 and today (2000) it is Crawford County, MO? Our nation's population centroid is steadily shifting southwestward. The Hispanic population growth numbers are influencing this growth in a fairly significant way.

Did you know that...

only 3.0% of Ohio's population is foreign-born compared to 11.1% natiionally? What does this say about our international connectivity?

Monday, January 12, 2004

I had a football coach just like this...

You guys line up alphabetically by height.
--Bill Peterson, Florida State football coach

Give new things a chance...

We don't like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out.
--Decca Recording Co. rejecting the Beatles, 1962.

All of us begin someplace...

The expert at anything was once a beginner.


People say I don't take criticism well, but I say, what the hell do they know?
--Groucho Marx

Sunday, January 11, 2004

International Dialogue...Next Steps?

Needless to say, this will ONLY work if you jump in and help to make it happen.

Yes, we need folks to volunteer to be a part of the team and then work on a strategy to make this happen. Let's not overburden the process...since the process will evolve, but we need to define the issues and possible outcomes we want to achieve together.

Maybe we simply start the conversation and let the issues emerge as we dialogue. In that case, getting people in NE Ohio, Canada, and the UK to join in becomes most important and the issues come to the surface as they converse. If we choose that approach, then we simply need to creating a "starting team," which we grow over time.

I favor a more organic (gardening) like approach to the process.

I would like to see the NE Ohio group meet and talk face to face about this. Do you agree? I know George Nemeth, Chris Corrigan, Barbara Payne, and Bill Callahan have expressed interest. Who else?

International connectivity in cities interests me as a topic.

And your initial thoughts?

Look her right in the eye...

I believe in looking reality straight in the eye and denying it.
--Garrison Keillor


is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.
--Albert Einstein

The life mirror...

Life is just a mirror, and what you see out there, you must first see inside of you.
--Wally 'Famous' Amos

Living by giving...

We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.
--Sir Winston Churchill


Life is a zoo in a jungle.
--Peter De Vries

Lennon on life...

Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.
--John Lennon

Saturday, January 10, 2004

Guided Imagery

According to Andrew Weil at the University of Arizona's Medical School, guided imagery can help people cope with serious health issues. Weil says "Guided imagery is a form of self-hypnosis that has been associated with positive stimulation of the immune system. Positive suggestion is used to help release a negative self-image, to assist in creating and achieving goals, and as a natural way to relieve physical, mental and emotional stress. The method can be used to treat stress-related illnesses such as high blood pressure and insomnia. There are no titles for practitioners to use after their names. However, only those practitioners who have been certified by the Academy may represent themselves as practicing interactive guided imagery."

A friend of mine, Diane Tusek, here in Cleveland, is a guided imagery specialist. Go here to find out more about what Diane does.


Chris Corrigan from Canada makes an important point about the role of "motivation" in life in one of his recent posts to his blog, Parking Lot.

I agree with Chris that motivation is clearly a driving factor in my work. For example, nothing happens with the economic development plans and strategies that I help communities create, unless leadership and citizens are motivated to use their plan to make something happen. This suggests that we must engineer motivation into these plans. A plan that does not motivate action is no plan!

Self-interest is almost always a key driver in why people do things. In civic undertakings, we must work on creating greater shared community interest in doing the right things that sustain the "community." This is not always easy.

Your thoughts?

Interesting story...

My friend and fellow blogger, Jack Ricchiuto, posted this article to his blog: "So today I find a dollar bill in the entrance of one of my client hospitals and decide to honor the Japanese tradition and turn it into Security. The Security guy looks quizzically, receives it with my story and I make an exit. Minutes later, he tracks me down and asks if I want to be notified if it goes unclaimed, which I, knowing how health care struggles these days, decline in lieu of an anonymous donation."

I left a comment in response to Jack's post.

International Dialogue Poll Results

The Fast Company poll on whether NE Ohio bloggers should dialogue with Canadian and UK bloggers has been closed.

A total of 46 votes were cast with 33 in favor (72% for) and 13 opposed (28% against). In my judgement, these results suggest there is sufficient support to move forward with the project. As Chris Corrigan from Canada indicated in his comments: "By the way, who in their right mind would vote "no" to this?" Everyone is entitled to their opinion.

I will be contacting those of you who indicated an interest in meeting face-to-face to discuss the next steps. If you are interested in joining in, please let me know. We need to create a "team" to make this happen.

Many thanks to all who contributed their inputs and ideas.

Friday, January 09, 2004

Let us be grateful...

to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.
--Marcel Proust

My wife Mary passed this along to me. Thanks Mar. It's quite beautiful.


Yes, it's Friday! Let it rip today. Ok, so it's a cold January day in Cleveland. What does the cold teach us? It teaches us to value warmth. Would we truly understand the value of warmth without the cold?

Those who cannot forgive others...

break the bridge over which they themselves must pass.

What does this say about business and salesmen...

The superior man understands what is right; the inferior man understands what will sell.

Oh yeah!

The reverse side also has a reverse side.
-- Japanese proverb

Look inside yourself...

You are more than what you have become.
--Mufasa in The Lion King

Things and their meaning...

“The meaning of things lies not in the things themselves, but in our attitude towards them.”
--Antoine de Saint Exupery

This kills me...

"Men are never convinced of your reasons, of your sincerity, of your sufferings, except by your death. So long as you are alive, your case is doubtful; you have a right only to their skepticism."
--Albert Camus

Thursday, January 08, 2004

Another take on counter-dependence...

Conforming to nonconformity is still conforming.

People who claim...

they don't let little things bother them have never slept in a room with a single mosquito.

After 52 years, I have learned that...

No one gets too old to learn a new way of being stupid.

After all is said and done...

a hell lot of a lot more is said than done.
--A Really Smart Person

No matter which line you're in...

The other line always moves faster.
--Observation of any shopper

Beware of smart fools...

It is impossible to make anything foolproof because fools are so ingenius.

The cat in your lap trick...

When your cat has fallen asleep on your lap and looks utterly content and adorable, you will suddenly have to go to the bathroom.
--Rule of Feline Frustration

Greener pastures...

The grass is always greener on the other side -- but that's because they use more manure.
--Schapiro's Explanation

Wednesday, January 07, 2004

That skeleton in your closet...

If you can't get rid of the skeleton in your closet, you'd best teach it to dance.
--George Bernard Shaw

Work and luck...

I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.
--Thomas Jefferson

What counts...

Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted."
--Albert Einstein

Humilty and greatness...

Don't be so humble - you are not that great
--Golda Meir


goes to the player who makes the next-to-last mistake.
- Chessmaster Savielly Grigorievitch Tartakower

Moral indignation...

is jealousy with a halo.
- H. G. Wells

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

A fitting thought for the New Year...

A friend of my wife Mary sent this along.

Kara Te Do

If there is truth in the way,
There will be light in the soul.
If there is light in the soul,
There will be beauty in the person.
If there is beauty in the person,
There will be harmony in the house,
If there is harmony in the house,
There will be order in the nation.
If there is order in the nation,
There will be peace in the world.

--Chinese Poem

Have you cast your ballot?

Don't forget to vote on the international dialogue proposal. See my post from yesterday. George Nemeth at Brewedfreshdaily has also posted an article encouraging people to vote.

Click here to cast your ballot and review the poll results.

Keeping yourself aligned and clear...

Better keep yourself clean and bright; you are the window through which you must see the world.
--George Bernard Shaw

Where is your passion?

If a man hasn't discovered something that he would die for, he isn't fit to live
--Rev. Martin Luther King

Wow, read this one...

The beauty of the soul shines out when a man bears with composure one heavy mischance after another, not because he does not feel them, but because he is a man of high and heroic temper.

Dealing with adversity...

The one resolution, which was in my mind long before it took the form of a resolution, is the key-note of my life. It is this, always to regard as mere impertinences of fate the handicaps which were placed upon my life almost at the beginning. I resolved that they should not crush or dwarf my soul, but rather be made to blossom, like Aaron's rod, with flowers.
--Helen Keller

Monday, January 05, 2004

Poll on International Blogger Dialogues

I've taken a note from George Nemeth over at Brewedfreshdaily about Fast Company's polls. Thanks George.

I have set up a simple poll that I'd like to invite you to take. Here is the question:

Should Northeast Ohio bloggers start a series of international dialogues with Canadian and UK bloggers on a series of topics of mutual interest?

Why ties with Canada and the UK? For one, there are many bloggers in both countries. Second, we share a common language (and yes French Canadian is spoken in parts of Canada). Third, cities in these countries face some similar challenges as those faced in NE Ohio. It's a starting point. If it works, we could expand the effort to include other countries.

Click here to vote "yes".

Click here to vote "no".

On the poll page you will see a place to add comments. Please suggest 1 or 2 brief topics that might serve as the subject matter for these dialogues. Any other comments are welcome as well.

Possible topics could include: economic development; blogging practices and techniques; using blogs for business; community development; retaining and attracting young talent; arts and culture; making cities cool places; spiritual growth and practices; sustainable development; how to build international ties among and between cities; and a host of other topics. Use your imagination.

You can check the poll results here.

I would welcome help from any NEO bloggers or bloggers in Canada and the UK who would be willing to put a post on their blog with a link to the Fast Company poll site. More the merrier.

Thank you.

UK's Best Blogs

For all you blog lovers, check out which UK blogs are seen as the best. Go here.

Because of my visual interests, Apparently Nothing appeals to me. For the bizzare, check out this blog by a London "call girl." Finally, here is one that has an excellent design.

Men shooting blanks in UK...

Researchers are about to deliver another blow to men's self-image by suggesting that there has been a big fall in their sperm count. They will report today a 29% drop in the average sperm concentration in more than 7,500 men attending the UK's Aberdeen Fertility Centre between 1989 and 2002. Go here to read more.

Maybe this is another one we can attribute to global warming. If we discover that these stats hold in Northeast Ohio, then we may find a correlation to the infamous "lake effect."

Women should stay single to stay sane...

So says a recent survey of UK households by the University of London.

A survey of almost 4,500 men and women found that women who stayed single enjoyed much better mental health than those who had married or suffered a relationship split. But the same was not true for men, who fared better mentally if they were in a relationship.

Read the article and tell me what you think.

Welcome back to work...

Most of us would prefer to continue sipping our coffee and reading the paper at home this morning, but it's time to go back to work. I know...for some of us, we've been working during the holidays. Don't know about you, but I feel revived and pumped up for the New Year. Hopefully you feel the same way.

Here are ten helpful tips to keep you sane in 2004:

1. Get some exercise every day to replenish your oxygen supply and brain cells.
2. Get the big picture straight in your life first and then jump into the details.
3. Allow yourself to be amazed and surprised at how truly wonderful life is.
4. Don't harbor anger and resentment. Let go and forgive.
5. Don't assume that 2004 will be an immediate extension of 2003.
6. Be kind to yourself and others.
7. Clear the clutter from your office, your home, and your head.
8. Allow yourself to be creative. You are!
9. Extend your network of friends and business contacts beyond the usual suspects.
10. Believe that you CAN make a difference.

Oh yeah!

In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: It goes on.
--Robert Frost

There is a important meeting today of the committee...yadayada

"Committee - a group of men who keep minutes and waste hours."
--Milton Berle.

It's a new year. Don't waste your time in too many committee meetings!

Who said...

'No one will need more than 637Kb of memory for a personal computer.'

Answer...Bill Gates.

Great things...

To accomplish great things, we must not only act but also dream, not only plan but also believe.
--Anatole France


is a powerful tool to shift perspective. Finding something to appreciate during a difficult situation quickly moves the perspective to the big picture from the little picture.
--Doc Childre and Bruce Cryer, From Chaos to Coherence

Sunday, January 04, 2004

Winter beauty...

One more for the road...

This winter scene is from Miaou Photography. Another great photo blog.


Click here to see "Snowberries." This one is from A Place to Fly, another wonderful photo blog.

Butterflies and more...

Check out this GREAT photo blog, My World in Pictures.

You joking or smoking?

Since I have been in a jovial mood lately, despite having that lousy cold going around, I thought I'd pass along this interesting blog post at Dr. Grohol's Blog of Psychology.

Jokes activate same brain region as cocaine

There's truth in the maxim 'laughter is a drug'. A comic cartoon fired up the same brain centre as a shot of cocaine, researchers are reporting.

A team at Stanford University in California asked lab mates, spouses and friends to select the wittiest newspaper cartoons from a portfolio. They showed the winning array to 16 volunteers while peering inside their heads by functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).

Saturday, January 03, 2004


That was the final Fiesta Bowl score and the Buckeyes win it. Oh yeah!


I found this sign on a recent Continental Airlines flight to Phoenix...

Rocky flights can shake things loose inside you...even a little methane. I call this poster: "Bethune on Plane Methane." By the way, Gordon Bethune is the CEO of Continental Airlines

Speaking of running jokes...

Every afternoon, when Bill Clinton takes a jog around his Harlem office, he passes a hooker on the same street corner. As he goes by, she shouts out "FIFTY DOLLARS !", and he yells "NO, FIVE DOLLARS!"

This continues for several days. He jogs by, she says "FIFTY DOLLARS!", and he says "NO, FIVE DOLLARS!"

Then his wife Senator Hillary Clinton visits and decides she wants to go jogging with Bill. As they are approaching the now infamous street-corner, Bill suddenly realizes that the hooker will yell out her $50 offer and that he will have some explaining to do with Hillary.

Bill is still in a quandary as to what to do as they turn the corner, and sure enough, there is the hooker. He turns his head and jogs by without looking her way, hoping she will miss him. Just as they pass, the hooker looks up and yells to Bill,


Here is how I warm up for a run...

Oh, I forgot my running shoes...again.

I'm averaging about 30 miles a week...

I'm talking about running. This is part of what some of my friends are calling the "new Don." Actually, it's not exactly the new me, but it is the new me in the last ten years at least. I'll admit it. I was a jock in high school in the 1960s and have had several athletic spells since then.

Consistency is what counts in most things in life. Ok, variety is important too. But consistency is important in trying to stay fit, especially when you cross the 50 mark in your life. So, I run about 30 miles a week. That's 4.0 to 4.5 miles per day. Some days it's painful, but most days I really look forward to it. I must say that my exercise routine is the best part of my day. I never thought I would be saying that, but it really feels good to get the blood pumping. It's also a "zen" thing, which many runners talk about. It feels great to get into a groove. By the way, music helps my running. Lively stuff that makes your feet tap. Some times I do this 'dance-run' thing. Probably looks crazy, but as my wife Mary says: "Oh well. too bad..."

What else am I doing to stay fit? I do weight training four times a week. No, I'm not striving for the Charles Atlas 2004 Award. Again, it's about consistency and pushing yourself just a little bit during every workout session. And yes, we play tennis when we can find time on winter evenings.

I'm lucky. Mary exercises daily as well. That really helps. We compare notes every day and encourage each other. I'm also fortunate because I live in Mayfield Village (Pop: 3,200) where Progressive Corporation is headquartered. The company allows Village residents, who pass their physical, to use their wonderful corporate fitness center, which is two minutes from our home.

Let me know if you would like to go for a run some time. Race ya. Remember that when we were kids?

Those of you encouraged by this article will find the American Running Association to be very informative. Go here to learn more.

Friday, January 02, 2004

Duke's butterfly collection...

I am quite fond of butterflies if you haven't noticed. I discovered this great website at Duke University containing hundreds of great butterfly photographs. Check it out here.

Here is a sample...a beautiful Monarch.

Tell this one to the Wright brothers...



The flu...

This cartoonist is TOO funny. Check this out.


Go to the artist's site here.

Fixing the Current Blogger Problem

If your blog is hosted by, please note that Blogger is having some troubles that you can fix by following the instructions provided on the Blogger Status page located here. Go to this page for instructions on how to make the necessary change to your hosts file. It works. I just did it.

Thursday, January 01, 2004

My Dad...

was born on January 1, 1922 in Benwood, West Virginia. Like most children of his time, he was born at home. Dad, or Donald Lowell, was the third of eight children born to Rhea and Vito Iannone.

Benwood, a small dirty steel and railroad town along the Ohio River just south of Wheeling, was an industrious place in the 1920s. It was the perfect place for hardworking immigrant families like the Iannones to make a living and raise their children.

Grandpap Iannone worked on the railroad like his father Domenico. Grandma Iannone, like most women of her time, ran the household and cared for the children. Life was not easy, but even hardship has a way of shaping people in the right direction.

As a child, Dad had a German shepherd Rin, who he proudly named after the famous Rin Tin Tin. Rin was very loyal to Dad and protected him as a youngster on more than one occasion. Benwood was a tough place and boys learned to use their fists early in life to avoid a walloping by the neighborhood bully.

The Thirties were hard times for everyone, but especially America's working class. Dad dropped out of high school in 1938 to get a job at the local gas station to help the family make ends meet. There he learned to "turn wrenches," as he used to say, and pick a guitar, which was his way of relaxing.

The War came in 1941 and Dad enlisted in the Navy. He spent the next four years on board various ships in the South Pacific. As Dad used to say, he got to see the world at Uncle Sam's expense. Dad was never one to talk much about those four years, but he always said he would do it again if he was needed. I know he was proud to serve His Country.

After the end of the War, Dad took a job as a mechanic with Willy's Jeep in Wheeling. He enjoyed fixing things and making them work better. Dad met Mom in 1946 and they were married in '47. I did not come along until 1951, so Mom and Dad had four years to enjoy life before I started taking over their schedules.

Americans sought stability during the years immediately following World War II. Men worked hard at their jobs. Women stayed home and cared for their families. Sylvania Electric opened a new lighting plant in South Wheeling in 1952 and Dad took a job there working on the assembly line. I can still see Dad's black metal lunch pail, which always held a thermos of coffee, two sandwiches, a piece of fruit, and either some cookies or a leftover piece of Mom's cake. Those were the days of waxed paper. No plastic baggies in the '50s.

Dad's mechanical talents landed him a job as the chief maintenance mechanic in the plant. We worked hard and eventually became the maintenance supervisor, which meant he had to rise five days a week at 3:30 AM to check out the plant's equipment and machinery at 5:30 AM. Maybe that is why I get up so damn early in the morning.

Many mornings Dad would sit at the kitchen table, drink a cup of piping hot coffee, and write little poems. He loved to start his day quietly without any fanfare. I can remember trying to get up with Dad at that early hour. Usually, he would send me back to bed, insisting that I get another couple hours of sleep so my brain would work in school. Many winter mornings I would lie in bed listening to Dad warm up the old family car and scrap the snow and ice off the windows. I always waited to hear the car drive off before I would allow myself to go back to sleep.

Dad was a quiet man. It took some work to get to know him. Maybe that is why I studied his lunch box so much, or searched for those scraps of paper in the cupboard containing his little morning poems. To know Dad, you had to look at the small things in his life.

One of my favorite times with Dad was grocery shopping every Friday evening. It was ritual that he and I shared. It was our special time together. Dad always cashed his check at the local grocery store. Sometimes he would let me hold the money for a minute or two. He used to say "this is what people work for," then take the pile of bills back and fold them into his well-worn brown leather wallet.

Like his father, Dad had huge strong hands. He was a lefty, which made it challenging to follow his batting instructions at times. Dad lost the tip of one of his index fingers during the War. Fortunately, that was his only injury. Dad's hands could make an engine purr, make words dance on a page, and make his old guitar play like a Carnegie Hall musical instrument.

Dad was always a proud man who believed that hard work never hurt a man. He is probably the least pretentious person I know. I think he enjoyed his work. He didn't mind getting dirty. He would tackle the tough jobs that most people went out of their way to avoid. He loved taking an old lawnmower, bicycle, television set, and other things discarded by others and making them work again. Everything had value to Dad. Nothing was too old or too broken to make work again. I guess my Dad is a real "sustainability" guy. At times, Mom was frustrated by Dad's unwillingness to let go of the old things and buy new ones. Mom always wanted new things to decorate her house.

Even though Dad left high school after this sophomore year, he never stopped learning. He faithfully worked the crossword puzzles in the daily newspaper. He was always sending us to the dictionary to find new words that he encountered. Dad studied and passed his GED in 1963. I remember how proud Mom was of him.

Dad's life changed in major way in 1962 when he "found Jesus;" thanks to my church-going mother. Mom had worked on Dad for years to go to church with us, but he always said he would go when he was ready. Until that point, Dad smoked a couple packs of Winstons or Marlboros every day. I knew he was serious about being a Christian when he went to the cupboard, took down 6 cartons of smokes and threw them in the garbage can. From that day forward, Dad never lit another cigarette.

Going to a fundamentalist church was a two-edged sword for me. It was fear-driven, which conditioned people to see the worst of life first. That part of the experience I hated. The social side of church life was a good thing. There were lots of kind people around who were there to help when you need it. I had to find my own spiritual path. The Nazarene Church didn't cut it for me, but it worked for Dad and Mom. Their faith got them through lots of tough times, which is a good thing as I look back after a few years.

Dad loved to read his Bible and sing in church. Mom would shoot him the evil eye when he was singing too loudly and drowning out everyone else in the pew. Mom and Dad used to sing together often. Mom played the piano and Dad strummed his old guitar. I knew they were having a good time when I would catch them smiling at each other.

Dad always wanted to live where there was plenty of sunshine. For years, he talked about moving to Florida. We never moved to Florida but vacationed there twice when I was three and seven years old. I remember Dad saving money at the Morris Plan in Wheeling for our vacations. Each week he put away a few dollars that eventually added up to a little nest egg for our vacation.

Dad got his sunshine wish in 1970 when the family moved to Tucson, Arizona. He loved sitting on the back patio sipping his morning coffee, soaking up the morning sun, and looking at the snow atop Mount Lemmon 10,000 plus feet above the city.

Sylvania Electric shuttered its Wheeling plant in 1968. I was a junior in high school. Dad, along with the other 250 employees, lost their jobs. Dad knew for some time that "something was up" with the plant. A maintenance mechanic always knows when a company isn't investing in its equipment and machinery. Dad took odd jobs for two years in the Ohio Valley until the family followed me to Arizona in 1970. It was a good move for everyone. Dad got his sunshine. Mom got a new house. Dad got an even better job with a forklift repair company in Tucson. My sister and brother Diana and Doug got fresh starts in new schools.

Dad continued to work until 1987, when he retired. Mom had died the year before of pancreatic cancer. Dad needed a rest. It was very hard for him to watch Mom whither away. He was constantly by her side, but deep down inside he felt helpless. This was one thing he couldn't fix.

Since the early 1990s, Dad has lived in Tupelo, Mississippi, an unlikely place for a guitar-strumming mechanic from Benwood, West Virginia to take up residence. Actually, he followed Diana and her family there when David, Diana's husband, took a new job at Hancock Fabric, which is headquartered in Tupleo.

Dad re-married in 1992. He met his wife Geri Sheffield through a mutual church friend. Dad and Geri lead an active senior lifestyle. Dad continues to write his poetry, volunteers at the local library and tourism bureau, and chairs the local Lion's Club chapter in Tupelo. He likes to do "small things" that help people. I'm sure that includes fixing lots of things to make people happy.

Today is Dad's 82nd birthday. This is your day. Happy Birthday Dad. I love you. Thanks for the many small things you did throughout my life that have made a major difference. Thanks for giving me the tools to "fix" myself.

The tree is down...

but the spirit of Christmas lives on. This year's Christmas tree was a twelve footer, more sleek than past years, straight as an arrow, and of course brightly decorated with all the twinkling lights, ornaments and tinsle. It was truly one of the best and most beautiful trees we have had in years.

One of our most precious Holiday evening moments is to build a blazing fire in the fireplace, put on some Kenny G music, turn off all the lights in the room, plug in the tree and watch it glow and sparkle in the dark. Who needs presents?

If you can believe this, the tree was wisked off our tree lawn by the guys from BFI within a minute of being taken down. Unbelievable timing. Mary deserves all the credit on our timing. So, there will be no prickly green heap of needles and branches sitting in front of the Iannone house for a week.

It was a wonderful Holiday Season this year. Filled with family (including four youngsters under the age of 4), friends, birds, deer (including two bucks), our friend Wiley coyote, and of course lots of pesky squirrels impaling themselves on Mary's snow-laden bird feeders.

Of course, the spirits of departed family members were present. Father-in-law Ken sent the deer to our bird feeders, including a HUGE buck, and Mom sent the morning doves, including one curious bird who sat on our bedroom window sill and pecked at our window until we came to the window.

For these wonderful gifts, I give thanks.

Welcome to 2004...

To all my family, friends and work colleagues, I wish each and every one of you a happy, healthy, creative, prosperous and conscious 2004.

This is the "Year of Gratitude" in my book. I'm grateful for those kind, patient, caring and loving people who have shaped my life over the years. Without you, surely I would have de-railed, capsized, run ashore, run amok, self-destructed, and otherwise screwed up the seed of good that exists inside me.

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