The Natural

06/13/05 | by steveg [mail] | Categories: WiFi

In my midlife crisis, one of the things that I want to do is taken from one of my favorite films,"The Tao of Steve" and not because the title has such a good ring. In the film, Donal Logue as Dex expounds on the steps to get the girl as shown by the all the cool guys in TV and movies, ie Steve McGarrett in Hawaii 5-0, Steve Austin in $3 Million Man, Steve McQueen in anything, etc. One of the steps is to show your excellence.

That is what I am seeking, my excellence. So today I got a call from Ontario, Canada asking me if I did some Econ Dev. consulting on the bio sector in Canada. Apparently, a draft report was released by a consulting company called Neobio had the interest of a government ministry who wanted some questions answered.

He googled and up top came my quirky webpage for the NorthEast Ohio bio group. He found my name, checked out some of my civic work on the web and figured I was the right guy. Without any tricks or pay-for-clicks or any other web scheme, but honest and varying content that had people link and check it often, created a successful "promotion" of NEOBio on the web.

Perhaps my personal excellence is in marketing, which would be great for my latest pet causes of Phoenix Coffee and community wifi.

Sometimes...

06/01/05 | by steveg [mail] | Categories: WiFi

This quote I got from a Time magazine article their theater section about African-American playwright, August Wilson. It was about his mom.

August Wilson's mom, a cleaning woman trying to raise four kids in the Pittsburgh slums, won a radio contest once. She named the product that went with the ad slogan "When it rains, it pours" (Morton salt), and the prize was a new Speed Queen washing machine. When the station found out she was black, Wilson recounts, his mother was offered instead a certificate for a used washing machine from the Salvation Army. Friends told her to take it anyway; it was better than the old washboard she was using to scrub her kids' clothes. But she refused. "Something," she said, "is not always better than nothing."

Okay, I lied. This is my second post about Walmart. But that's it.

Canary in a Coal Mine

05/31/05 | by steveg [mail] | Categories: WiFi

I've decided to dump my magna-monograph about Wal-mart. I only wanted to post a single entry on it since 1) It's political more than economical, and
2) I would really say anything different from the massive bloggo-maffluvience (is that a word?) that is out there.

So I only want to say one thing that is more of a comment on somebody's blog (I don't remember who at this point)post. They pointed to the moving in of Walmart and Walmart like big boxes as a warning sign of dire economic conditions in an area. Sort of a canary in a coal mine that portends doom.

I say that it pretty big elephant under the table if thats what it takes to get your attention that maybe we have some economic trouble. I suggest that the real canaries are the check cashing storefronts which have been popping out on every other street corner like $tarbuck$ in Yuppieland, or the proliferation of pawn shops and their success in convincing us they are a healthy part of urban economics.

For crisesakes, Volk's is advertising on TV along with Check into Cash! Now that's a nice image for our visiting businessmen invited by TeamNEO to move their industries here.

The canary has been here, sucked the poison, konked out dead a long time ago. It's almost like the Monty Python petshop skit, but not as funny.

Root of corruption

05/29/05 | by steveg [mail] | Categories: WiFi

Been working some (Ugh) PowerPoint presentations lately. Found this quote looking for .cpt conversion scripts.

Power corrupts. PowerPoint corrupts absolutely.
---Vint Cerf

Maybe we should get Vint to do a lecture for
our "business turned civic" leaders.

St. Pete: The Cool Hot Town with Cool Hotspot Talk

05/25/05 | by steveg [mail] | Categories: WiFi

Thanks to Ginley for reproducing this from weeklyplanet:

Self-described "marketing commando" Peter Kageyama moved to St. Pete from Ohio in 1992 between undergraduate and law school. "I fell in love with the area," he says.

...One of the things that has Kageyama particularly jazzed right now is discussion at St. Pete Downtown Partnership meetings of creating a wi-fi hot zone downtown. Basically a wi-fi hot zone is a place that provides wireless access to the Internet. You've probably seen the television ads featuring a guy who looks like he just stepped off the set of The Matrix playing on his laptop in an Italian piazza. That's wi-fi he's using. "It's one of those things that puts you on the map," says Kageyama.

Hear the Beauty in Mantra

05/24/05 | by steveg [mail] | Categories: WiFi

In Ann Arbor this weekend, I discovered that one of my sangha-sisters has a beautiful voice as well as a long deep understanding of this Buddhist stuff. Plus she is one of those bloggers in hiatus. So her boyfriend and I were able to convince her to start blogging again and that she should do podcast of mantras, like one a week.

So click over to Women In Flight and hear Kate explain and sing the first in the series, the Prajnaparamita mantra, the most perfect mantra. Kate not only lends the beauty of her voice, but also expresses the beauty in the mantra as well.

Last Minute Teaching

05/22/05 | by steveg [mail] | Categories: WiFi

Somebody couldn't go to Ann Arbor this weekend for a teaching by Rizong Rinpoche, so they offered me their ticket. Rizong is the holder of one of the three highest spiritual positions in the Gelug Tradition of
Tibetan Buddhism, so I couldn't passup this rare opportunity to learn directly from this extraordinary master of Sutra and Tantra. He was one of my teacher's (Gelek Rimpoche) teachers.

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Officially he has the title "Dharma Master of the Northern Peak” and was the Abbot of both of Gyumed Tantric Monastery and of Drepung Loseling, two of the greatest seats of Tibetan spiritual knowledge. Rinpoche is renowned for his Tantric powers, and is frequently called upon by H.H. the Dalai Lama to lead ceremonies for healing and other similar purposes.

What better excuse to go to Ann Arbor and see my friends. I even tried to meetup with Edward Vielmetti, a skype acquaintance, but I ended up goofing up his phone number. Maybe next time.

So many thanks for the generosity that allowed me to have such a wonderful experience and to share fun times with distant friends.

A Wish

05/20/05 | by steveg [mail] | Categories: WiFi

From Shantideva's(687-763 AD) Bodhisattavacharyatara (Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life)

May I be a protector for those without one, A guide for all travelers on the way;

May I be a bridge, a boat and a ship
For all those who wish to cross the water.

May I be an island for those who seek one And a lamp for those desiring light,

May I be a bed for all who wish to rest

May the blind see forms, May the deaf hear sounds, And just as a rainbow arises naturally from space, May pregnant women give birth without pain.

May the naked find clothing, The hungry find food;
May the thirsty find water And delicious drinks.
May the poor find wealth, Those weak with sorrow find joy;

May the forlorn find new hope, Constant happiness and prosperity.
May the frightened cease to be afraid
And those bound be freed; May the powerless find power
And may people think of benefiting one another.

May troubled wanderers who have lost their way Meet with fellow travelers,And without any fear of thieves and tigers
May their going be easy without any fatigue

May those who find themselves in trackless, fearful wildernesses - the children, the aged, the unprotected, Those stupefied and the insane - Be guarded by beneficent celestials.

May no living creature ever suffer, Commit wrong or ever fall ill. May no one be afraid or belittled Or their minds ever be depressed.

May all worldly beings never experience war, Fighting or conflict,
And forever remain without bad conditions Such as earthquakes, disease or drought.

For as long as space endures
And for as long as living beings remain,
Until then, may I too, abide
To dispel the misery of the world.

This is my wish, if not my words

Traditional Offices Watchout

05/19/05 | by steveg [mail] | Categories: WiFi

I have been quoted time and again that the potential of ubiquitious wifi in a community will lessen the dependence on companies for brick and mortar office space, once in an interview by Channel 8 when Playhouse Square Freelink launched and again here by the PD during Clevo Wifi Crawl I.

Just so that everybody doesn't think I'm blowing smoke, Mark Dober, the Information Technology Director of the Cuyahoga County Public Library, whom I met on the last Wifi Crawl shared this article from Wired.

Delicious Monster is the Mac software company behind the hit Delicious Library, a program for cataloging collections of books, movies and games. The software is selling like hot cakes and has garnered rave reviews and awards, yet the company's headquarters is a Seattle coffee house.

Not bad. And for those naysayers that refuse to put in wifi cause they are afraid of loitering geek net freeloaders...

"Zoka (the coffeehouse) is pretty much their office," said Reid Hickman, a Zoka barista. "It's a pretty good deal. They hang out here all day and they often get lunch and dinner here. They take good care of us."

Just another story of innovation that happens around coffee, in an unconfined space, and where everyone wins. Do you have a story like it that happened in Cleveland?

Academic Playing

05/18/05 | by steveg [mail] | Categories: WiFi

I attended the initial forum series by the Levin College of Urban Affairs' Center for Nonprofit Policy and Practice yesterday. The topic was on Partnerships and Collaborations and Assistant Dean and CoDirector of the center, Stuart Mendel, tried to put a framework about the environment of the nonprofit sector.

He termed the existence plane of nonprofits as games with many different ones going on and overlapping at the same time. (He must not have heard of social networks.) He also said the rules of the games was using other groups for your own ends and being used by others for theirs. These transactional relationships differed in only degree from full mergers to affiliations.

Dr. Mendel obviously never actually worked in a successful nonprofit in the civic or social program sectors, not that I checked. The competitive nature of his description showed that he doesn't understand the motivation that drives people to work in the thankless area of nonprofits. I was so disenchanted that I considered leaving right then, but I wanted to hear the fascinating story of the formation of Ideastream with WVIZ & WCPN.

Jerry Wereham and Kit Jenson told the story of how they came together, not out of a crisis of economics like most folks think, but out of a crisis of opportunity. Both parties just could let such a good thing not happen. Their story pulled in Playhouse Square, where Art Falco continued on how the need of inexpensive (relatively) space the newly formed Ideastream solved a problem for him with excess capacity in the donated building next to the theaters.

Jerry, Kit, and Art pretty much showed how Mendel's theory was NOT how it was in the real world, but they did it in the polite fashion of Cleveland, through not acknowledging his premise while telling their stories.

Fortunately, Adam Roth of West Side Ecumenical Ministry was a bit more obvious. He pointed out the flaws in the theory by pointing out the problems with Mendel's assumptions. He showed how those assumptions actually cause the difficulties, bottlenecks, and ineffectiveness that make the necessity to partner and to make the parnership difficult to excute. He spoke of ego, greed, and powerseeking and then followed it up that he believes karma works and that helping other group altruistically will as benefit him. This is something I don't think Mendel understood.

I noticed in the handout on the center for nonprofit policy & practice, that they had the Mayor's Office listed as a contract or grant-funded client. That answers a lot of questions.

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