How Caffeine Works

03/11/06 | by steveg [mail] | Categories: WiFi, Coffee

I've been running out of steam lately and have supplemented the energy with some Zambian coffee. Watch this video clip and see why the morning java keeps me clipping along.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=3625874413146781306&q=type%3Agpick

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Busy Lives?

03/10/06 | by steveg [mail] | Categories: WiFi

Basically stealing the post from Think Buddha:

One day a businessman went to see Ajahn Chah. He was, it appears, both successful in business and sincere in his desire to practice meditation. “I’m a busy man,” he said to the monk. “How long should I practice meditation for in the mornings?”
Ajahn Chah sized him up for a few moments. “Hmmm… he said. I would say that around half an hour a day should do you.”
The businessman looked distraught. “Yes! That would be good!” he cried. “But the problem is, I am so terribly busy! What should I do if I do not have time to meditate for half an hour?”
Ajahn Chah gave this some thought. “If you do not have time to meditate for half an hour,” he concluded, “then you should meditate for an hour.”

I'm continuing the mantra retreat that I started when I went to Ann Arbor a few weeks ago. This adds a minimum of 45min to an hour to my daily formal practice. It does get very difficult when I let mundane life and obligations take precedance.

The bottom line is for me to recognize what is most important for me at the time.

Unschooling

03/09/06 | by steveg [mail] | Categories: WiFi

At today's MTB, Chris Varley merely mentioned education and CMSD, and Glor Ferris got very excited. It shows that education is a very volatile and sensitive button. There is always talk of fixing our schools. However, Chris Corrigan, Canuck free-thinker, posted very articulately about how and why he UN-SCHOOLs his children.

We very much use the principles of Open Space when creating the learning environment for our family. That includes “When it starts is the right time” which is not a principle widely applied to children’s learning. IN fact much of the anxiety that infects the education system in the western world would probably be alleviated if more people made use of this principle.

Chris make multiple links to references and experts and books about home and unschooling, so click thru to an excellent resource if you are like my step daughter wondering what to do for your child's education.

Not Smart Enuff?

03/08/06 | by steveg [mail] | Categories: WiFi

A quote I saw in the Ohio Coffee News when I was in Medina yesterday. (It's NOT a newsletter about coffee. It's newsletter to read WITH your coffee.)

"Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic. Begin it now."
---Johann von Goethe"

The Answer is.....SIX

03/07/06 | by steveg [mail] | Categories: WiFi

I'm not rewriting "Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy" but Ann Arborite Ed Vielmetti (no we didn't meet up when I was there...again)pointed to a post about how many makes a community. Yup, it's 6.

Six people can sit around a table and have a real conversation, one conversation, with everyone participating. If it gets much bigger than that it's hard to keep things together.

I usually recommend to new coffeehouse owners to keep the biggest table in the shop to seating six. Mostly to keep the flexibility for varying traffic patterns, but also cause I always found those tables most comfortable. It just seems to be the right size for friends, new aquaintances, can share with strangers, or spread out that big project. If a group needs more, they have a private room that can be rented per hour (minus whatever they order).

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It's the Relationship, Stupid!

03/06/06 | by steveg [mail] | Categories: WiFi

Social network expert, Valdis Krebs, likes to say things like this. Dutch techie consultant and social software advocate, Ton Zylstra, does a nice job of explaining that value in our post-industrial age is no longer in the information itself, but in the relational context it is exchanged.

When you tell me something it is therefore different to me than when I read the same information in the newspaper. You are that difference. The fact that you care enough about something to tell it to me, gives a different perspective on that information, adds context to it and thus increases the relevance of that information to me.

My response to John Ettorre's comment in my post about gas supply and demand inferred this and my preference to those sources of information.

Jack and I talked about how volunteer projects depend on relationships a few days ago. He ran into someone who didn't have time to develop trust among colleagues, but felt that everyone should just collaborate and get the job done. This, when Jack asked even if trust was a requirement for the collaboration.

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Singular or Plural

03/05/06 | by steveg [mail] | Categories: WiFi

An interesting tidbit that Chris Varley shared with me, was from when he had to do some work in merry ol' England. He noted how we are two nations separated by a common language (thanks Winny Churchill.. or was it Geo. Bernard Shaw? or Oscar Wilde?)

Chris noted that words like "team," "staff," or "group" are treated as plural by the Brits. For example, "The team are together" and "The staff have instructions." Whereas, us Yanks consider those words singular. So, "The staff has instructions"; "The team is together."

We were wondering if this is telling of our mindset, especially in midwest USA, Cleveland.

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Infoscape and Geoscape

03/04/06 | by steveg [mail] | Categories: WiFi

Jill commented at TechVentures post on the meeting between me and Chris Varley. She expressed concern about the replacement of personal commuication with technology communication. Right on topic, Dutch blogger buddy, Ton Zylstra, expressed his views independently.

In geographical space I meet people face to face, have drinks, which is great. But my mobility there is limited and time-constrained, slow, and resource-intensive. On the net, I don't meet people face to face but through digitally mediated channels. But there my mobility is global and instantaneous, and the speed of interaction and change matches much more closely the speed I need to be able to do all the stuff I find relevant. Through the net I arrange the face to face meetings, through the net I decide where to spend my limited time and resources for geographical mobility. Which in the end actually increases my geographical mobility

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The New Economics

02/28/06 | by steveg [mail] | Categories: WiFi

I almost flipped when I saw this headline on the front of the biz page of the PD last Tuesday. (It was laying open on a table at the cafe. I still don't read it.)

Conservation crimps bottom line
You cut back: Gas utility wants compensation

So demand is down, therefore the price goes up. Huh? So since coffee consumption was low in January at $1.30 a cup, Phoenix will raise the price to $1.75 so our overalll income will stay the same and make the effort of figuring out what the market wants an exercise in futility. So since I did not do much consulting this past year at $100/hr, in order to make the $40k or so a year that I want, my next client must pay $10k/hour for the week I work for him. Yeah. Sure. It'll happen.

I may have only gotten a C+ in macroeconomics in college but if I got anything out of it, it was an understanding of supply/demand curves. If anything, this stinks of pure unadulterated corporate welfare.

I'm surprised Bill Callahan hasn't commented yet.

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Rather Fight than Switch

02/27/06 | by steveg [mail] | Categories: WiFi

Apologies to the American Tobacco Company (formerly of Durham, NC created by JB Duke, funder of Duke University, my alma mater), makers of Tareyton cigarettes, but this fun little video sums up why I still haven't surcomed to the MAC peer pressure.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-4942162778167603560

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