Network Time

12/15/04 | by steveg [mail] | Categories: WiFi

George N. posted a couple of days ago three opportunities to network this week, of which I originally planned on attending only one, maybe two. But it got me to thinking about networking as a concept again.

A meeting yesterday with Lou Tisler and Lakewood Councilwoman Mary Louise Madigan at Cafe AhRoma sparked the thought. I never met Lou face to face, but he is an active commenter on the blogs, shares a number of aquaintances with me, and is active in the non-governmental civic space. I never met Mary Louise before, virtually or otherwise.

Anyway, Mary Louise was friendly, but focused on the business and had to run out after an hour or so, as busy politicians usually must do. Lou stayed another three quarters of an hour where I learned about how long he has worked in the civic space, the difference between dealing within a city ward and being regional. We talked about the difficulty in keeping balance with our professional and "real" life. How to delegate in volunteer environments. Finding the money, getting the money, ASKING for money. Nonprofit structures, nonprofit relationships with its constituents and with municipal governments. Cool new projects and scope development into scope creep. Trying to meeting unfair expectations.

And finally how he has kept the connections and relationships with other CDCs and the varying amounts of collaboration he has benefitted from and helped others. This I am not surprised.

I felt like in that short extra span of time was when we connected. The extra bit of effort where we talked on the narrow overlap of our interests created a springboard to discover other areas where we can support, help, identify, and create opportunities for each other. And not for any ulterior reason, but because we want to help each other because we like each other.

So what does this have to do with networking? It shows where the value is in it. And like anything with value, it does not have intrinsic worth. Value must be added, with work, with time, with discipline, and with devotion. Because volume is not value, quality is not quantity. Value is in the strength and depth of the relationship, not in how many were collected. Because with one good partner, more can be accomplished than with a horde of opportunists.

I think that because of the extra effort and time, Lou and I are well on that road.

Pounds of UnWanted Crap

12/14/04 | by steveg [mail] | Categories: WiFi

I am sometimes pretty harsh on our single newpaper the Plain Dealer for its myopic view, corporate bias, and "Quiet Crisis" approach to news, events, and "leadership. Well, I've found something else to rant about.

I live in the western 'burbs with our own local papers, not much better than the PD as far as quality is concerned. But apparently beating down all competition in their own yard isn't enough, the PD wish to "paper" the entire region. For the last three weeks, I have found thrown onto my front door (or environs thereof) a "complimentary" copy of the day's PD. Since I don't have a birdcage and the season's over for wrapping fish, I don't have much use for this bulk of newsprint.

I figured that this was the annual, push-style of marketing that old-school business is so enamoured with and that it would go away after a week. I did say that these unwanted deliveries has been going on for three weeks, didn't I? I called the subscription department after the second monday to ask them to discontinue. I got a lot of "yes, sirs" and "sorry, sirs" but since I don't have an account, they couldn't stop any delivery. I asked them to let their marketing department know and the kind lady said that she would. Of course, for all I know the callcenter was in Bombay or Dublin, as much as the PD supports the local working man.

So I have been stuck disposing an inordinate amount of paper each week through my local waste management. They are somewhat into the recycling effort, but have not been very rigorous. The rules for bundling newsprint is a royal pain and quite frankly it is one of the reasons I do not subscribe to a paper. (Electronic is cleaner, and there is usually a used paper toward the end of the day at one of the many coffeeshops around). And if it seems like any of the bundling rules isn't quite right, the recycle truck leaves it for the trash guys and off to the landfill it goes. With the weather as it has been on my pickup day, what with the rain and now snow, the newspapers become a waterlogged messy....what's the word...MESS!

To let you know how much we are talking about, I actually weighed this week's package to go out for this week's collection. It was 18 pounds! That's alot of EXTRA waste that could have been avoided. Add the salty water and slush to that, WOW, its heavy, bulky and probably to the landfill. The green and sustainability factions in northeast Ohio should be interested in that.

So it seems that the monopolistic city paper, the "Pain Dealer," not only prefers to trash the city with words, but they also actively trash the region with the paper they print it on.

FreeLink Blocked in $tarbuck$?

12/11/04 | by steveg [mail] | Categories: WiFi

I had a meeting yesterday with fellow Executive Director Laura Steinbrink of NEOBio's fiscal agent, Cleveland Bridgebuilders. For convenience and WiFi availability, we met at the $tarbuck$ at E. 14th Street and Euclid Ave, smack in the middle of Playhouse Square's Freelink WiFi hotzone.(Where's the website?)

I got there early figuring I'd check email, post to WITB, and do some research for my "paying" job. Yet, I was never able to get an IP address assigned and that means no internet access. I used my pocket wifi sniffer to check the radio environment, and saw four different Freelink access points of varying powers (but suffient enough to connect) and one of $tarbuck$ Tmobile pay for use AP's.

You should know by now that there is NO WAY I'm paying for access, especially to a couple corporate carpetbaggers. Although I'm not part of the conspiracy-minded set, I have to wonder if there may be some sort of interference or cooping of the critical handshaking packets that basically wasted an hour of my time.

So before I start joining conspiracy listservs and make vacation plans to Area 51, let me know if you have had any trouble connecting up to FreeLink inside the coffeeshop. If not, then I can just check out my own software and laptop. If so, then it may mean a call to my national community wireless network buddies.

Politics Made Easy

12/11/04 | by steveg [mail] | Categories: WiFi

A couple of days ago, I received an email from City Hall, probably because NEOBio is considered an Economic Development organization, and apparently the Plain Dealer got one too since they made a front page story out of it.

The email contained Mayor Jane Campbell's "Action" plan for economic development during the next year. It was chalk full of item bullets to make things easily enumerated, but what I saw was the checklist for why NOT to vote for Mayor Jane. Taken directly from the email.

  • I want a casino in Cleveland. I will work to get the authority and it will be built.
  • I will build a Convention Center in the City of Cleveland.
  • I will engage the FAA to conduct a regional air capacity study in order to determine what role Burke will play in the future of the City.
  • I will introduce legislation to City Council authorizing an Income Tax Incentive Rebate Program.

In spite of a near audible groan by the distinguished audience at the latest NorTech Technology Advisory Council meeting where Joe "Out of Touch, but Rich" Roman announced having the casino as part of the Greater Cleveland Partnership future plan, Jane still jumped on the bandwagon pulled by the old white guys that helped maintain our city's poverty stature. Funny how she manages to ignore the adamate protests by REI director and brother-in-law and seems to not see the disaster that a Harrah's casino did to New Orleans, and refuses to look at the plentiful academic studies available via google showing how casino gambling costs more in the long run, IF you can get it off the ground.

She also seems to ignore the wishes of her constituency to NOT have a convention center as well as having the same myopia that plagues the casino research.

She figures blowing more money on yet another study on Burke is "activity" about this decades old project that is lakefront development. Meanwhile, the county skunks her on Whiskey Island. (Hey maybe we should start whiskey distilleries there again.)

And yes she still thinks that by shifting the tax burden from businesses to wage earners is the way to refill city coffers, promote job creating businesses, and attract new residents into the city proper.

It's too bad, I had a lot of hope for Jane. Though she doesn't understand technology, I thought she understood it's social and economic promise. I was wrong. I thought she wasn't going to be a shill for the wrong-sighted business leaders managers, I was wrong.

At least she made an easy outline for us to use for the next election.

Helping a Grump Out

12/10/04 | by steveg [mail] | Categories: WiFi

After the tragic fire that destroyed Grumpy's Cafe, I had heard rumors that something was going to happen to help out one of Tremont's favorite gathering places. Sunday evening is a fundraiser and auction to bring back one of the best breakfast joints in town. From CoolCleveland:

Grumpy's Cafe is a favorite Tremont icon that was recently devastated by a catastrophic fire. Area Tremonsters are getting together to raise money to restore a favorite neighborhood gathering place, with food and beverages from: Lola Bistro, Theory, Farenheit, La Bodega, La Tortilla Feliz, Lucky's Cafe, Tremont Scoops, and other Tremont favorites. Auction items include works from local Tremont venues, and entertainment provided by The Reed Product and Ms. Butterscotch. Doors open at 6PM this Sun 12/12 and the auction starts at 8PM. St. George's Church 2587 W. 14th St. Email desschmitt@sbcglobal.net or call 326-6327 to find out where to get tickets.

See you there.

ArtWalk Ride

12/09/04 | by steveg [mail] | Categories: WiFi

Tomorrow night is the beginning of December's Tremont monthly artwalk. Consistent with this neighborly neighborhood, the denizens recognize that the brisk Cleveland winter is making headway. So they have arranged to have a shuttle take art lovers (& buyers) around to the spread out venues in this friendly part of town. And of course it is the holiday season so the celebration is not limited to Friday night, but continues the entire weekend, including the shuttle!

And just so you know why I'm posting this, Jewel Heart also is participating. My shameless promotion is as follows:

holiday art sale
and open house

at Jewel Heart Cleveland
2670 west 14th street tremont 216-687-1617

Join us to celebrate the holidays, enjoy snacks and good company,
and support Jewel Heart and the artists!

free shuttle service to other ArtWalk events in tremont!

john gulyas and maryann posch silver jewelry

claire ackerman decorative boxes & stationery

dorothy yurkiw jewelry

miriam norris textile artistry & crafts

michele keller handmade bags & totes

kim mettee beaded jewelry

theresa yondo ceramics

sarah ralston artisan cookies

friday december 10 6 - 9:30 pm

saturday december 11 11 am - 4 pm

sunday december 12 11 am - 2 pm

Hearty Polish Food

12/08/04 | by steveg [mail] | Categories: WiFi

Yesterday I had lunch at Sokolowski's University Inn in Tremont. I had the pierogis. Not so good for the heart food, but is good and hearty in a different way.

The serving line is like a cafeteria and I was next to a gentlemen celebrating his 75th birthday and damn happy about it. He introduced me to his son, told me about his 54 year marriage that ended two years ago with his beloved wife's death, and how seven months in a German POW camp after the Battle of the Bulge shrunk up his stomach so that he can't enjoy ALL the food that is given at this neighborhood gathering place.

On the backs of Sokolowski's business cards, they have printed a poem that seems to be directed to my new friend:

Lord keep me working. Keep me fit.
At windows I don't want to sit

Watching my fellows hurrying by
Let me stay busy till I die.

Grant me strength, breath and will
A need to serve and a task to do.

Let me each morning rise anew
Eager and glad that I can bear

My portion of the morning care.
Lord I don't want to sit about

Broken and tired and all worn out
Afraid of rain, and wind and cold

Let me stay busy when I am old.
Although I walk at a slower pace

Still let me meet life face to face,
This is my prayer as time goes by

Lord keep me busy till I die.

Happy birthday, Joe. I only hope that at your age I have as much enthusiasm for eating food that may not be good for the arteries, but is good for the heart.

Proud and Humble

12/07/04 | by steveg [mail] | Categories: WiFi

Last night was the final session of the introductory spiritual path class that I facilitate for Jewel Heart. It was a little sad because the group really bonded and were open and honest with each other about their personal struggles both in life and in spirit.

As we were all saying good-bye to each other, one of the more mature students who has studied Buddhism for many years approached me and thanked me for "teaching" and with folded hands attempted a traditional bow, for which I interrupted and protested profusely that I don't deserve it and the the class and its authentic sharing made the last eight weeks worth the effort. She claimed that I set the tone and made the room safe and sacred with my example and insisted on making the bow.

As she bent, I was so proud of having a role in the class and representing Gelek Rimpoche well enough to illicit such a response (Dharma teaches that rejoicing in positive actions by both yourself and others is good merit.) and yet was so humbled by the honest and authentic attitude that made her react in such a non-western way.

Namaste.

Trusting the Network

12/07/04 | by steveg [mail] | Categories: WiFi

Tim Bakke had a short mention of this website on manifestos. Their definition of a manifesto:

A manifesto is a five-, ten- or twenty page PDF that makes a case. it outlines in careful, thoughtful language why you might want to think about an issue differently.

...

A great manifesto says something you've wanted to say for a while, but does it eloquently and simply and saves you the trouble of writing it yourself.

What I like about it is that it bets on the deliberate rational logic of the common man and attempts to remove the charismatic inflammatory rhetoric. If an idea is accepted, it will be passed on through the social network. If it needs tweeking, an alternative idea can be circulated. The theory is that by circulating great ideas, we can change the world.

Check out the PDF of their manifesto.

Mr. Mill's Neighborhood

12/06/04 | by steveg [mail] | Categories: WiFi

Frank Mills has come back to blogging relatively regularly and again shares his vast experience and reading appetite with the rest of us.

In this post on his Flanuer blog, he lets us in on categories that describe different neighborhood.

Warren & Warren’s bases their neighborhood types on three factors: (1) neighborhood identity, (2) neighborhood internal interaction, and (3) neighborhood external interaction.

...

1. Integral: High sense of neighborhood identity, internal interaction, and external linkages

2. Parochial: High sense of neighborhood identity, high internal interaction, low external linkages

3. Diffuse: High sense of neighborhood identity, low internal interaction, low external linkages
4. Stepping Stone: Low sense of neighborhood identity, high internal interaction, high external linkages

5. Transitory: Low sense of neighborhood identity, low internal interaction, high external linkages

6. Anomic: Low sense of neighborhood identity, low internal interaction, low external linkage

Read the post to get the summary of what each category means and think about your own neighborhood. What type is it and what can you do to improve it?

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