Monday, October 5, 2009

New Blog Location

I was just doing some blog maintenance and realized that I have quite a few pointer sites still pointing to this blog on blogspot. If you've been checking here on blogspot and wondering when I'm going to post...I've moved the blog location to:

(I had been redirecting the URL to blogspot but it broke, so I decided to self host.)

So come on over to my new site and I'll go see if there are any other widgets still pointing over here.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Tangible and Virtual

Just ended a three day training session for work. Not for my usual sort of job but a more "get your hands dirty" kind of job. It was a really fun, class. Most of the students were desk workers like me, but there were two guys who were the supervisors for the type of job we were training for and had real life experience, as did the instructor.

It was fascinating, they had these stories of real life situations where being careful about safety meant the difference between life and death, or stories about things they built with their hands, or stories about hard work on the job and the connections with their co-workers who stood by their side through the hard work.

On the last day of the class in another "just talking about stuff" session one of the other desk workers students said, what I had been thinking in the back of my mind, "I'm trying to think of any good cubicle stories and I can't think of any." It isn't that there aren't any, but so much of what we do is solitary, or so very intangible that it is hard without the context and a like understanding to see the passion or realness of the struggle.

There are some that come up, but there is no working hard in the rain (unless there is a leaky roof) and lots of jobs don't directly touch people's lives or essential services. Sure we have our struggles and challenges, and they seem as real...but when you try to share them in the telling it is hard to find the bridge.

Now I'm not hanging up my desk job apron and going out to look for something more physical to do for work. Society and day to day life just as essentially relies on these software systems and applications as they rely on the physical layers. However, how much do we see the impact of what we do, of the code we write. How does it impact other people's lives. And how does the virtual become graspable beyond those with the specialized knowledge. Is that possible or has it become too complex.

In a sense the stories that they told were modern day moral stories. How easy can we make modern day moral stories of our lives and our actions and our projects? And then, how long does it take before we can look back and see that what we did today was a great story. So maybe today is making a good moral story for tomorrow, but its worth looking and seeing if your cubicle or coffee shop story will be something to share down the road, and if not why?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Father of the Rothschilds

This week we read a story about Maier Anschel Rothschild - the founder of the Rothschild banking dynasty.

This story is taken from volume 4 of The Storyteller by Nissan Mindel

Monday, January 12, 2009

Waking Up Angry

Ed: What follows are some personal thoughts, but I thought that perhaps my lessons learned would help someone else

Today I woke up angry, and that's good. I was angry at me for forgetting who I am and what my strengths are. Sometimes something is hard because you are making a big difference and changing something that needs changing. And sometimes things are hard because your doing it wrong.

For me, it was the latter. The problem with a decent amount of competency and stubborn headedness is that most things that you put your head to you can do reasonably well, even if its not your thing to do. The only problem is that it takes all your time and energy and you aren't doing what you are good at and can make a difference doing.

Somewhere along the way I got back to my younger self and was trying to hang out with the cool kids. I'm not one of the cool kids, and I probably never will be, and trying to be there is just saying cool is the only way to be.

Instead teaching classes that people clamor for (I have 2 emails in my inbox and one person who pesters me once a month to see if I'll teach again) I've been busy organizing things and running events, and at the same time being behind scenes too much to be very visible, unless you were paying attention.

Sometimes its your smallness that gets you to realize that you're on the wrong path. And I guess that's what it was for me. I need my projects to give me a sense of overall benefit, and yes, I like continued recognition (as long as people are still talking about what I did.) Teaching and virtual worlds, and blogging all give me that feedback. So does participating in things like Seesmic and the other social parts of Web 2.0 - for the fun of it.

So it's time for me to stop trying to be all that I can be, and instead be me. Sometimes you have to stretch beyond what you can do, but sometimes you have to come home and focus on who you are and what benefits you.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Goldie's Stories - A Little Light Dispells a World of Darkness

This week we read the story that is in the epilogue of the book Truths Revealed: Modern Stories of Miracles & Faith which is written by a friend of mine. It is a story about darkness and light.

This story is from the epilogue of the book Truths revealed: Modern day stories of faith & miracles by Tzvi Jacobs

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Goldie's Stories - Episode 23

In today's story we complete the stories from Legends of Judah the Macabee with the story of the Miracle of Chanukah.

If you haven't caught the whole series here are the links to the series in order.

The Rise of Antiochus Epiphanes
The Hellenizers

Antiochus Takes Action
The Death of Eleazar the Priest
Hannah and Her 7 Sons
Rebellion in Modiin
The Death of Matisyahu
Judah the Maccabee Goes to War

And today - The Miracle of Chanukah

This story comes from Legends of Judah The Maccabee
by S. Skulsky

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Goldie's Stories - Episode 22

Today's story is a continuation of the book, Legends of Judah the Macabee, Today we read chapter 8 - Judah the Macabee goes to war.

This story comes from Legends of Judah The Maccabee
by S. Skulsky