Video: Underneath the snow is… Spring

My friend Maurice Gaston put together a great video, in first person video game style, of shoveling one of the last snow falls of the season on Vimeo. Check it out.

SnowDay from maurice gaston on Vimeo.

“Hotel 22″: a bus in Silicon Valley, a shelter

The New York Times today featured a short film from Elizabeth Lo where she reveals the long, lonely ride of the homeless in Silicon Valley, using Line 22 for a shelter for the night.

Her quiet short (8 minutes long), captured something that felt hauntingly familiar to me. In the early 90s I spent 2 weeks sleeping on the Frankford El, and like the temporary residents of this bus, did not know where to go, or who to talk to.

This is the 3rd in a series of 3 short films they are featuring, from independent filmmakers, supported in part from the Sundance Institute.  Make sure to checkout the other two films.

Find inspiration in handwritten verse

Howard has been posting a new collection of his handwritten poetry, and is nearing the end of its 30 day run. Each day he’s posted something to think about.

Human billboards

Check out the work on his blog.

My Condolences Dave

One of the earliest friendships I made on the Web was to Dave Rogers, it must be over ten years ago now. Dave, if you’re reading, a few of us old timers are are thinking of you and your loss.

Howard Hall: “All I need to know I learned in Karaoke”

I know quite a few folks who make it a thing to go out to Karaoke more than a few times a year. My good friend Howard Hall (whose birthday is today – Happy Birthday Howard!), posted some thoughts on Karaoke  on a lesson it has for all of us.

Happy 40th Richelle!

It’s a shame that the world has no idea who Ludwig van Beethoven wrote this letter of love letter to. ludwigletterBut it did give a perfect expression of the kind of love we share. One that has endured much, so many stormy and calm days in the great sea, and one focused on the truly important, in the here and now, expanding my heart at the awesomeness of it all. Emma and me are so blessed to be part of the family we are part of. She loves you as deeply as I do, and her bond is even more powerful. You wonder why we sometimes get these cocky grins on our faces? It’s because we know something that the rest of the world doesn’t get. Maybe like old Ludwig did. But we want the world to know. I love you Richelle. 

My ever thine. May you ever be mine. And the life we live ever ours.

(Note, this was originally posted to my private Facebook account and upon reflection, realize it really should be here)

For more on the letter, check out Letters of Note’s post on “Immortal Beloved“.

Dancing with Cinderella

Our family dentist, a father, saw me yesterday for a cavity. Earlier this week he had given my daughter a checkup. I told him about a dance night at her school that I was getting ready for. He suggested dancing to a song which I had never heard. I just listened to it and yeah, I’m sitting here crying while writing this.

So here is the song on YouTube, by Steven Curtis Chapman, “Cinderella”:

Life Lessons from Programming: Check your assumptions

Jon Udell wrote a short piece that resonated with me on taking a principle from software engineering and applying it to discourse and relationships: “Check your assumptions”.

He takes the idea that when debugging, you should:

Focus on understanding why the program is doing what it’s doing, rather than why it’s not doing what you wanted it to.

And translating that to:

Focus on understanding why your spouse or child or friend or political adversary is doing what he or she is doing, rather than why he or she is not doing what you wanted him or her to.

That flips your behavior from one that is trying to modify someone else’s behavior to someone that is listening actively.

Pretty profound.

What other examples of this to think about?

New Year, New Beginnings

We’re almost at the start of a new year and saying it is a great time to reflect is such a cliche. But cliches have a great deal of truth to them, that’s why they persist.

I wanted to post the following for those entering the new year, and might be wondering, what’s next, what should I do, or what is my place.

Rahul Bijlani: “You Are Not Running Out of Time or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Began Enjoying Infinity”:

Ironically, when I started to cross some of my own personal benchmarks, I discovered that something was very wrong – I kept moving the goalposts.

I think I have the ultimate business plan, and nobody is running out of time any time soon.

Bill Watterson: “Kenyon College Commencement”:

Creating a life that reflects your values and satisfies your soul is a rare achievement. In a culture that relentlessly promotes avarice and excess as the good life, a person happy doing his own work is usually considered an eccentric, if not a subversive.

Roz Duffy: “here and now”:

So if I said the other day to just show up, today I’m suggesting (mostly to myself), enjoy the present moment. Take it all in, look at it, laugh at it, and just be all up in it.

NYTimes: Tara Parker-Poke: “Laws of Physics Can’t Trump the Bonds of Love”:

“There is something a lot greater than energy. There’s something a lot greater than entropy. What’s the greatest thing?”

YouTube: zefrank: “An Invocation for Beginnings”:

Greg Laden: “Is Python The New Basic?”

Greg Laden recently posted some thoughts about “Python for Kids”, a book by Jason Briggs. Recently I discovered the turtle module, which is heavily used in the book, is included in the standard Python distribution when I tripped upon a tutorial at the Open Book Project. I’m going to have to buy the book and give it a try with Emma.