Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Relay for Life in SL


Today I explored the amazing builds that were created for the Relay for Life event in SL. They are going away soon so catch them if you haven't already.

You can still make a donation to the Cancer Society of America and have it be part of this year's relay for life at http://www.todayisave.com/alife

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Me Today July 28th

A question of timing and connections.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Me Today July 26

Don't let your fears hold you back from what you want to do.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Me Today - Faces Edition

Some days you gotta just be a little silly. This was one of them.

Monday, July 23, 2007

8 Random Things About My Desk

It was late...I was casting about for ideas - so you have 8 Random Things (that were) About My Desk.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

8 Random Things About Me

I have been tagged by Susan Reynolds to tell ya'll 8 random things about me. So, with a bit of delay, here are 8 random things about me.

1. My Erdös number is 3. It helps when you work with your husband and his Erdös number is 2. :-)

2. I have met and talked with Nadia Boulanger. She was an amazing lady, and I will always remember her telling the group that was chatting with her to remember "I will not be deflected from the pursuit of my goals." She spoke of the challenges she had faced, and how important it is to not let someone else's perception of limitation stand in the way of achieving your goals. I was probably 7 or 8 when I saw her.

3. I am an accidental ham. (And kosher too.) My husband decided to get his ham radio license, starting with the technician class license. I went along with him when he took his test. The folks there cajoled me into to taking the novice test. I hadn't preprepared but figured why not? I passed the novice written test. They gave me 15 minutes to review the study book my husband had brought in the car, and I took the technician test, but missed by two points. I came back next test round and passed the 5wpm morse code test and the technician test and got my "ticket". I later tested up to getting an advanced class license.

4. My Uncle works at Skywalker Ranch as a sound engineer and has worked as the road manager for Eddie Money and Santana (at different times).

5. I ride a motorcycle, a Honda Hawk with a custom paint job. The paint job looks stock (gunmetal gray) but if you looked carefully at the bike, instead of saying Honda in the requisite logo sites it has my first name in the same font. I also got my husband into motorcycling.

6. I graduated from the University of Liverpool, but I have spent less than 8 hours in Liverpool England. I attended through an online course coordinated with Laureate Education. I went to Liverpool for my graduation which had considerable Pomp and Circumstance.

7. I play clarinet. I was convinced to learn clarinet by a friend who told me our marching band needed "More marching bass clarinets." At least she didn't tell me we needed more marching harps. I started with bass clarinet but moved to the B-flat clarinet when they started up the orchestra for the King & I. I have played clarinet in the Tournament of Roses marching band and in the Youth Orchestra at Cal State LA (this was about 20 (gasp) years ago).

8. I grew up on a private girl's school campus (Foxcroft School for girls) as a faculty kid. I learned gardening, Appalachian dulcimer, and horseback riding there, even though I never attended the school. (I was too young for most of my time there and chose to go to public school for the one year I could have attended.)

Now to pass the baton: I am inviting Jim Long, Jon Swanson, Bryan Villarin, Gruven Reuven, Kim M. Bayne, Clarence (DYKC), and Eric Rice to share 8 random things about themselves. I totally understand if this isn't something you do on your blog, but I wanted to know more about you so I thought I'd let you know by passing along the theme.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Monday, July 16, 2007

Attitude & and iPhone Giveaway at Viddler


This video has two parts the first part is about the excitement of the drawing for the first iPhone that viddler gave away. They have one left and you can enter by doing MeToday videos yourself.

The second part is about tackling a problem, and how talking with a good friend helps. I realized that I was looking at problem with "past eyes". As we grow and change the way people react to us changes. Also, people and situations change.

To assume that something won't work "because it never worked before" is using "past eyes". Why didn't it work before? Are those factors still the same? Can you change the ground rules? It may not have worked in the past, but is there benefit from trying it again now? It might just be worth giving it a try.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Why I do MeToday and Why You Should Too

This is about why I am doing a daily MeToday video over on Viddler and why you should consider doing it too. Sure, recording a MeToday may not be for everyone but if you aren't doing it because you don't think you have something interesting to offer, think again. We want to hear about your day, and you may get some benefits from it too.

Promote Yourself

Eric Rice was talking about the skills rating feature of 8apps on Twitter, and there was a bit of discussion of whether people like/don't like such a feature. Given the way the tool is implemented, the feature can be a great tool, because it lets you know how other people perceive your skills.

You know what you are good at and what you like to do, but if others aren't seeing it they aren't going to think of you when they need that skill. Tools like these help let you know how others are seeing you. By knowing how others rate you, you can know if you need to work on how your being perceived.

Perception, in part, comes down to promotion, or more specifically self-promotion.

I don't know about you, but for me for years self-promotion seemed selfish and egotistical. My attitude was "I did it, that should be enough for me to get recognized." (Ok...now what attitude was egotistical.)

The truth is, everyone is busy living their lives and has their own priorities. They may notice that the job was done but not bother to see who it was that did it. Alternatively, maybe your work was fundamental to the success but not the flashy front-line work that everyone notices. In our fast paced information filled lives there is only so much we can pay attention to.

This means that we need to promote ourselves if we want to be recognized for what we do. AND...and this is the part that took me a while to get... it isn't selfish. If you don't promote yourself people won't know what you can offer and you will be denying them the use of your skills.

Now how to promote yourself, well Chris Brogan has an excellent post on this. As he points out: make it about your audience. This is true whether it is your new product/website/gadget or if it is about your skills at your everyday job.

There is a time and place for anonymous action. Just make sure your anonymous actions are chosen and not caused by an oversight.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Security and Trust

Chris Brogan and I have had a few discussions on security and one of our recent discussions inspired this post:

One of my many hats is that of a security "expert". A lot of times security comes across looking like the bad guy. They are the ones who shut you down, tell you no, and throw a pile of requirements at you. Even when they talk about security it often seems completely irrelevant or like some corny version of Reefer Madness. Even I often come out with a line like:
"Security is about confidentiality, availability and integrity (CAI)". That's nice Goldie, but what do I care.

All the security books will give you some version of the CAI definition. It is a nice way to break things down - but what security is really about is trust - how we define it, how we build it, and how we ensure it.

In that sense security is about us, and as much as applications need to provide some fundamental security it also relies on us.

Confidentiality - What a dry word with so much potential. Usually this word reminds one of secrets, and, with much of computer security's origins being from the military it often is about making sure secrets are kept, and only "people that need to know know". How relevant is that in a Web 2.0 world where we twitter like no one is watching?

But wait, if you look at the word, it is related to the word "Confidence". Confidentiality relates to confidence. Even as we share we take others into confidence in some matters that we would not share with others. We want and trust that information that is intended for one person goes to that person, and not to another. We rely on the programs to ensure that the messages go to their intended place, and we rely on the person to ensure that they are the ones who will read and reply to these messages.

Availability - Well availability is a snap to see why that matters. Anyone who has dealt with their favorite online application's down time - or seen too many LOLcats knows how critical availability is. Depending on how critical a service is, if it cannot be available reliably we cannot trust it to perform its function.

Integrity - Even if a bit stuffy, this word is a bit easier to relate to, and perhaps the most critical component of social networks. Integrity is often about data - the asset server that doesn't lose our inventory, or the mail that doesn't become corrupt. But integrity is also about communications.

It can be the simple fact that my words don't change on this page unless I edit them. It also is the ability to trust that someone else cannot post words for me, or that the words that I hear from a person came from that person.

We rely on the integrity of the system to present our identities. But at the same time the system relies on us to identify ourselves, and we are part of the system of integrity. Without integrity fast communication would happen but the bonds of connection that we develop would not - because integrity is necessary for trust.

There are many features that people identify as web 2.0 but what strikes me as being the most prominent is the element of connection. Whether through tagging & linking or through twittering & sharing data more and more web 2.0 is about the connections we make. These connections are built on trust, and that trust is built on a non-tangible platform where the assurances of identity come from digital marks that are protected through confidentiality, availability and integrity - both the systems and ours.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Find Your Strengths 2.0

Back in June Chris Brogan mentioned a book and a test called Strength Finder 2.0. The test and the book sounded interesting and I'd been meaning to get some books so I bought it, and about 7 other books at the same time.

Saturday I read the book, and although it was interesting I didn't entirely agree with it. Instead of saying "You cannot be anything you want to be - but you can be a whole lot more of what you are." (p.9) I would argue that if you have a dream you should pursue it, but you will get there a whole lot faster if you leverage your strengths.

That said, knowing ones strengths is useful, thus the popularity of various personality tests such as the Meyers Briggs test, and obviously the Strength Finder test as well. Today I took the test and I found the questions fascinating. The items they chose to compare were interesting, some being very disparate in my mind "I like to be alone vs. I like to be with people" to some seeming to be more how you feel about certain words "I like to be liked vs. I like to be adored". I found watching my reactions, and trying to quickly select the choice was interesting.

That said, I found that the results were not at all surprising to me. Perhaps this comes from the fact that I've been working on trying to analyze myself and determine my strengths and how I would sell myself, as "I do good stuff" isn't a real wower when trying to promote oneself or even introducing oneself in a new community. Or it could just be that I'm good at recognizing strengths?

So on to the results, my strengths are:

Ideation
People who are especially talented in the Ideation theme are fascinated by ideas. They are able to find connections between seemingly disparate phenomena.

Individualization
People who are especially talented in the Individualization theme are intrigued with the unique qualities of each person. They have a gift for figuring out how people who are different can work together productively.

Strategic
People who are especially talented in the Strategic theme create alternative ways to proceed. Faced with any given scenario, they can quickly spot the relevant patterns and issues.

Learner
People who are especially talented in the Learner theme have a great desire to learn and want to continuously improve. In particular, the process of learning, rather than the outcome, excites them.

Connectedness
People who are especially talented in the Connectedness theme have faith in the links between all things. They believe there are few coincidences and that almost every event has a reason.


What I found interesting is that all of the strengths seem to deal with seeing patterns and connections and building on them. (In learning I build on patterns as well). But again, that isn't something that surprised me. I enjoy finding patterns and seeing the different ways that things can be put together. One thing that would be interesting is to see how strongly I scored in the other areas, but then this probably would be contrary to the stated purpose of helping people focus on their strengths.

Anyway, if you are interested in taking the test you can order the book over at Strengthsfinder.com (or pick it up/order it at your favorite bookstore.)

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Podcamp XL

Ok, I should be going to bed, but instead I'm thinking about Eric Rice's blog post about Podcamp XL. You see, when I first heard about podcamps I thought "That's cool I want one here". And the thought that usually pops into my mind shortly thereafter is "well you could arrange one." Of course the counter to that was "But I've never been to one, I hardly know what happens at one..." Now I'm thinking about it again, and when I mentioned it to my husband he thought it sounded cool. Ruh roh...

So before my "top of my head" ideas fade I thought I'd quick blog about this and share the initial thoughts.
1) Talk with the Boulder Weekly and get them involved.
2) Have the event at the Boulder Theater (I've never been in there but a lot of discussive/disruptive events seem to happen there.)
3) Boulder County Council of Arts...sponsorship? Promotion?

Other ideas will go here as they come up. Anyone in the general Boulder/Denver area interested in joining in on this? Let me know what you think. I think I'd best go sleep on it.

The Challah Cast

A few weeks ago I live broadcasted making challah on blogtv.com. I promised to post the recipe for the Challah, so, after some delay here it is:

Sponge:
3 cups warm water
1/4 cup sugar or honey
2 Tbsp (3 packets) of dry active yeast
~3 cups flour

Whisk water, flour and yeast together. Add in flour one cup at a time until sponge has a pudding like consistency. Whisk until smooth (or around 120 strokes.)

Place in a warm area and let sit for 45-60 minutes until doubled in size.


Add:
1/4 cup oil (I use canola)
1 Tbsp salt
1 eggs (optional)
enough flour to form dough

Mix in ingredients, when dough begins to stop sticking to the bowl pour out onto a board and kneed until gluten develops (it holds its form and if you poke it the dough springs back).
Cover with a damp cloth (use hot water on the cloth) and let sit 45-60 minutes until doubled in size.

See how it is done

Preheat oven to 450F (232 C)
Line baking tray with parchment paper

Take the dough and divide into 1/3rds. These will become your 3 loaves.

For each third take it and divide into 1/3rds.
Take each of these portions and roll them out into ropes.
Take the ropes and braid them together and place the braided loaf onto the baking pan.
Repeat with each loaf.

If desired take an egg, whisk it and brush the outside of the loaves with the egg.

Put the loaves in the oven and bake at 450F (232C) for 10 minutes
Turn down the oven to 425F (218C) and bake for 30-40 minutes until done.
When the loaves are done you can tap the bottom and they will sound hollow.

Enjoy!

Me Today in Rhyme - July 5th

This is Goldie Katsu and this is Me today
And now I have some words on july 5th to Say
The fourth was a blast with a boom and bash
And now back to work with some documents to hash


Today I have sorted and filed some piles
And written some words and walked some miles
Some days are interesting, exciting and fun
And other days are just a list of things to be done.


Whatever the day an opportunity is given
How will you view it, and how will it be driven?
What words will you say and what lives will you touch
Will the day seem just right or maybe too much


However it feels and whatever you sense
24 hours each day will dispense
With these words I leave you and now I must fly
But first I will wish you all good day and good bye.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Me Today July 3

Today I introduce my dogs. On this me-today I have a short clip of the dogs playing. And yes, this actually a more gentle bit of wrassling.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Goldie's Me Today July 2

I've started working on doing a MeToday video every day for the month of July. Here is the second me-today of the month with a little introspection.