Tuesday, August 31, 2004

an odd loss

I'm feeling a bit odd yesterday and today. The last of my two "headed-for-marriage" relationships (but not quite making it) was killed in a car crash early Sunday morning - the other car crossed the center line. He died on the scene and the driver's wife was lifeflighted to Wichita but died 3 hours later. I wasn't quite sure what to do but in consultation with friends have written the sister whom I remained friends with (and whom introduced us in the firs place) although haven't seen in a few months because she's busy with 2 young boys and work but will not attend the funeral. He was the one that dumped me after I was in his sister's wedding and so it's a mix of feelings- mainly that I won't ever happen to run into him again (he runs the other way anyway). On paper we were perfect but reality was a whole different matter when push came to shove. I walked away (after one serious session of begging) knowing I had done absolutely everything I could to make it work. When someone refuses to communicate and let you in, there's nothing else you can do. So, it's a weird loss. I am mostly concerned about his 3 sisters - he was their rock since they lost their dad almost 20 years ago. He and I had both turned 40 in July . . . . a landmark year when you're sitting right on top of it.

Two years ago I lost a good friend from college unexpectedly to a very quick cancer. It's one thing for people your age to start dying and being killed in accidents but quite another when it hits so much closer to home.

My instinct is to reach out to the family but that's not appropriate. If nothing else, I guess a reminder that we have to appreciate each day more and more because there are only fewer of them as time passes . . .

Sunday, August 29, 2004

The Little Professor: Research at a non-research institution, part one

The Little Professor: Research at a non-research institution, part one

The LP's article is interesting at a time I am going up for promotion. My work in technology and the teaching of history will count. I'm still working on getting the dissertation published although the last review had one reviewer recommending publication. But, it's on the back burner with everything I'm doing with Teaching American History grants - a once in a lifetime opportunity. But writing 1.5 million dollars in grants should have a positive effect. All of that balances out all of my time working on the rambunctious nature of teacher education both nationally and in Kansas over the last 3 to 5 years.

This is something we need to talk about - "the book". I recently told a colleague at a nearby institution in another state that his role as faculty senate president - while admirable and time-consuming - was similar to what I do almost every _year_ with teacher education. I think he understood. Teaching is dynamic and not using the same notes every semester so our 4-4 load is also a contributor to not doing all the publishing.

This blow, however, was an attempt to do more daily writing and reflecting and I had better get back to it!

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Young and Republican in Hollywood

From the Wall Street Journal:

Young and Republican in Hollywood

August 24, 2004; Page D8

In recent weeks, the Republican National Committee has been circulating a list notable for the number of young, pillowy-lipped celebrities who also happen to be members of the GOP. The list, a samizdat copy of which was obtained by Details, features an impressive roster of bubblegum star power: Freddie Prinze Jr., Mandy Moore, Jessica Simpson, and Nick Lachey, in addition to the usual under-35 suspects -- Angie Harmon, Rick Schroder, and . . .

Friday, August 13, 2004

Julia Child has died . . .

Master chef Julia Child dead at 91

The Associated Press
Published August 13, 2004, 10:48 AM CDT

NEW YORK -- Julia Child, whose warbling, encouraging voice and able hands brought the intricacies of French cuisine to American home cooks through her television series and books, died in her sleep three days before what would have been her 92nd birthday.

"America has lost a true national treasure," Nicholas Latimer, director of publicity for Alfred A. Knopf publishing, said in a statement today. "She will be missed terribly."
More here.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

posting from Ireland

Our trip on the Royal Scotsman was great! Now I'm in Ballymoney, Ireland (Northern Ireland!) helping mom on her genealogy.

I now feel like I've actually had a vacation this year - third time is the charm. But I think I will be ready to start the new school year when I get back - have just a few days to catch my breath.

Most of all I miss my little dog Shadow.

But I'm glad to be spending quality time with the family - in less than 2 years dad will be in his 70s . . . .

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

on vacation

Going with the family and hope my luggage stays on the same planes I do. The first two attempts at vacations this summer were busts so this should be a good one.

Check out the Royal Scotsman

And here

This is great

This via Jeff Veen:

So you want to be more creative, in art, in business, whatever. Here are some tips that have worked for me over the years:

1. Ignore everybody.

The more original your idea is, the less good advice other people will be able to give you. When I first started with the biz card format, people thought I was nuts. Why wasn't I trying to do something more easy for markets to digest i.e. cutey-pie greeting cards or whatever?


2. Creativity is its own reward.

You never really reach your goals. By the time you get near to fulfilling them your criteria has already changed. Which is why by the time the world recognizes your genius, it won't seem very real.

3. Put the hours in.

Doing anything worthwhile takes forever. 90% of what seperates successful people and failed people is time, effort and stamina.


4. If your biz plan depends on you suddenly being "discovered" by some big shot, your plan will probably fail.

Nobody suddenly discovers anything. Things are made slowly and in pain.

5. You are responsible for your own experience.

Nobody can tell you if what you're doing is good, meaningful or worthwhile. The more compelling the path, the more lonely it is.

6. Everyone is born creative; everyone is given a box of crayons in kindergarten.

Then when you hit puberty they take the crayons away and replace them with books on algebra etc. Being suddenly hit years later with the creative bug is just a wee voice telling you, "I’d like my crayons back, please."


7. Keep your day job.

I’m not just saying that for the usual reason i.e. because I think your idea will fail. I’m saying it because to suddenly quit one’s job in a big ol' creative drama-queen moment is always, always, always in direct conflict with what I call “The Sex & Cash Theory”.

8. Companies that squelch creativity can no longer compete with companies that champion creativity.

Nor can you bully a subordinate into becoming a genius.


9. Everybody has their own private Mount Everest they were put on this earth to climb.

You may never reach the summit; for that you will be forgiven. But if you don't make at least one serious attempt to get above the snow-line, years later you will find yourself lying on your deathbed, and all you will feel is emptiness.


10. The more talented somebody is, the less they need the props.

Meeting a person who wrote a masterpiece on the back of a deli menu would not surprise me. Meeting a person who wrote a masterpiece with a silver Cartier fountain pen on an antique writing table in an airy SoHo loft would SERIOUSLY surprise me.


11. Don't try to stand out from the crowd; avoid crowds altogether.

Your plan for getting your work out there has to be as original as the actual work, perhaps even more so. The work has to create a totally new market. There's no point trying to do the same thing as 250,000 other young hopefuls, waiting for a miracle. All existing business models are wrong. Find a new one.


12. If you accept the pain, it cannot hurt you.

The pain of making the necessary sacrifices always hurts more than you think it's going to. I know. It sucks. That being said, doing something seriously creative is one of the most amazing experiences one can have, in this or any other lifetime. If you can pull it off, it's worth it. Even if you don't end up pulling it off, you'll learn many incredible, magical, valuable things. It's NOT doing it when you know you full well you HAD the opportunity- that hurts FAR more than any failure.

13. Never compare your inside with somebody else's outside.

The more you practice your craft, the less you confuse worldly rewards with spiritual rewards, and vice versa. Even if your path never makes any money or furthers your career, that's still worth a TON.

(I like this thread. I'll keep re-editing it as my thoughts mutate... but feel free to suggest possible additions in the comment section etc. Also, if you want to read some more of my ideas on business and communication, pleasse check out "The Hughtrain Manifesto".)

Posted by hugh at July 25, 2004 10:52 PM | TrackBack

Sunday, August 01, 2004

ScrappleFace: Bush Threatens Destruction of Democrat Party

ScrappleFace: Bush Threatens Destruction of Democrat Party: "
July 28, 2004
Bush Threatens Destruction of Democrat Party

(2004-07-28) -- President George Bush today threatened to destroy the Democrat party with 'endless waves of exploding Republican martyrs in order to cleanse the earth of the poisonous evil of liberalism.'

The statement from the Bush-Cheney re-election campaign confirmed what Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-MA, told delegates last night at the Democrat convention in Boston: 'The only thing we have to fear is four more years of George Bush.'

'There is no greater terrorist in this world,' said Mr. Kennedy, 'than the fundamentalist religious zealot who has hijacked the White House and would welcome even death if it resulted in the obliteration of our Democrat way of life.'

The senior senator from Massachusetts said the Bush threat should make Democrats ponder the question, 'Why do they hate us?'

'If we retaliate against George Bush, we'll only help his recruiting,' said Mr. Kennedy. 'But if we, with the United Nations, begin to give the GOP everything it wants, its members will stop being angry at us and the threat will cease.'"

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