Stumped

Many of you I'm sure have read my Christmas day comments about one frustrating 1/2 hour in an otherwise wonderful day.

That 1/2 hour has me stuck. That's what I want to talk / write about, but I don't want to be negative. I don't want to be angry, or hurt, or I don't even know what you call it.

Stumped. Yeah, let's go with stumped.

Somehow I have to get this out of my system so I'm going to try something. Hold on a minute...

What follows is a public message for Mom, Dad, Little Sister, niece, and nephew.

I love you. Really I do. I love you enough to let you go regardless of what that means because more than anything in this world I love my family, my wife and my girls. I stand by them 100% and I will not let anything in this world come between them and me. I will not let anything, not the largest, nor even the smallest thing - harm them.

I am all about family, my family.

The rest is just semantics. Who said what, when, where, why? It doesn't matter.

I will always do what is right for my family, and that is what I am doing. Nothing more, nothing less. There is no vendetta.There is no hidden cause. No brainwashing has occurred. There is only what can be seen. There is only what you taught me is right.

I promise I won't address this in my blog again, but I needed this forum today.

I appreciate the reader's patience. If you want to know more about the story, Netter has a very diplomatic, reader's digest version here.

My Girls

Warning - what follows is pure unmitigated bragging by a proud, proud Daddy.

One of my players is visiting tonight. Kel and K have been friends since they started playing b-ball together in the way back and despite the fact that they now go to different schools, rarely see each other, and are lucky to share only the occasional phone call or MySpace communication they are usually thick as thieves within minutes of seeing one another.

This is fine. Netter and I love Kel and we are both really glad that K has such a good friend.

Having Kel here reminds me that I had promised to brag on my girls in an upcoming blog so tonight - here I go.

I want to start with Miss D as her accomplishments haven't been quite as flashy, or jazzy as her older sister - which really just means that D is all about showing up and doing the job. It also means she gets to be first so she knows how important that quality is.

For the better part of the last 2+ years (as detailed in Mommy's blog post in early September) our young lady has garnered nothing but A's on her report card.

D has also been a standout in the band playing the trumpet so well that high school instructors and conductors are already keeping an eye out for her arrival.

video

D has always been an accomplished artist, but I don't know that we've ever shared her award winning water color from The Ohio State Fair which Mommy later used as inspiration to decorate at least one of the rooms in our house (We are waiting for Netter to scan the photo).

Miss D is never far from pad and paper.

D gave up basketball this year and I think she thought I might lose interest, or I would be disappointed in her somehow.

Nothing could be further from the truth. I want my girls to do things for themselves, not for me. As long as D is happy and doing something with her time - I'm a very proud Daddy.




Ms. K also gave up basketball and sports, but of course that was 2 years ago. Well, K did run with the varsity basketball team at her high school for one practice (she had missed tryouts).

When K got in the car the conversation went something like this:

Me: Hey K. How'd it go?

K: Um, pant, pant, gasp, gasp, Daddy pant, gasp, I think pant, gasp I'm going to stay pant, gasp, pant, gasp with pant, choir gasp, pant and pant, drama.

Me: A little tiring eh? Okay K, but I don't ever want you to tell me again that I, (or Coach Scott) ever made you run hard - again. Because now, I think you know that really, we didn't.

K: No, gasp, problem, pant.

LOL!

So, Kailey took off in drama and choir - while also earning excellent grades I might add.

Here are some recent highlights. K was selected to the District Honor Choir. This is their rendition of America the Beautiful.
video

Earlier in the year with her own choir K sang Suo Gân. Unfortunately, our batteries went dead as we were filming, but what we did hear was beautiful and the lullaby is one of my all time favorites.
video

I am extremely proud of both of my girls, and the truth is no matter how many videos or pictures I might post - there would never be enough to show that not only are they very talented young people, they are also fine young ladies.

I love you girls!

Overcoming the Excess of Christmas

I'm the guy who cries - at everything. Movies, TV shows, Hallmark commercials - you name it. If there is even a hint of emotional poignancy in the message - I'm crying. I can't help it, and the truth is, over time I've just accepted it.

My kids get a big kick out of this, and very often I catch them watching me instead of the television show or the movie, or even each other if we happen to be at a choir or band concert. It's just the way I am.

I wear my emotions on my sleeve and I'm not afraid to show them even if there are tears involved. Oh sometimes I hold back until I'm by myself. But once I let loose, I'm not really concerned about who might be watching.

As we know - this is the season for all the types of stories one might expect would make someone like me become a blathering, blithering, emotional wreck.

The reality, however, is that the Christmas season more than anything just pisses me off.

Whew! There I said it. It's out in the open for all to hear (er, um read).

Now, folks who really know me are looking at their computer screens right now going, "Eh Jimmer - none of this is new buddy."

But here's what you don't know...

I love Christmas.

Really I do. I like the decorations, and the songs, the pageantry, and the parades, mistletoe and holly.

I love it all.

Most importantly, I love the fact that every year folks come together to remember the birth of someone so special to so many of us, someone who gave so much, someone who...

Well I'm not going to turn the blog into a pulpit today or any day for that matter.

In a recent entry, I noted the fabulous Christmas decorations my wife Annette dresses our house in each year. This surprised my wife who said she never realized that I liked the decorations so much - and this made me sad.

I've been Santa Claus, and Mr. Tree (now there's a job).


Heck, I proposed to Annette on a carriage ride five days before Christmas 19 years ago this Saturday.

I love the tradition that goes with this very special time of year.

But there is one thing I don't like - one thing that just ruins the fun.

Excess.

Christmas decorations go up in most stores and display windows as soon as Halloween is over. Excess.

Christmas sales that start as early as November 1. Excess.

Black Friday - if you can wait for Thanksgiving to be over - Excess.

Spending minimums for Christmas gifts - usually in the office - Excess.

Worse than anything - forgetting the true meaning, the true spirit of Christmas in favor of the overspending (even in this tough economic climate), and commercialism just because - well you know - it's Christmas.

Excessive - and it pisses me off.

Still every year - just when I'm about to declare myself Scrooge and give up on Christmas something happens that brings it back for me:

-Whether it's an entire office coming together to help a family with no holiday fund, nothing for their five year old girl to open on Christmas morning,

-or one of those sappy commercials on the radio about the station giving Christmas to a family in need.

-Even the miracle $1.00 iPod that there was no way a parent could afford at the time.

-Or the story of the simple white envelope sent to me today by my friend Cat with a warning: "don't read on the (public service) desk."

It's good to know my friends know me so well.

(Thanks for the warning Cat - I'm still a little misty, and fortunately not on the desk.)

Thankful that my Christmas spirit lives on. Grateful to be able to share it with everyone.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

What do you want to be when you grow up?

This time honored question keeps popping into my head today. Yes another thing stuck in my head. Only this time it's not a fun lyric or word. It's not even a movie line which seems to be this week's newest thing. (Good thing there's plenty of room in my head I guess.)

No, this thing, this question is different. We've all heard this question. We've all asked this question.

I am wondering how many of us have answered this question.

I know that we are all something. We have occupations, families, activities, etc... So, in taking the question a step further - I guess I'm wondering if we all are "what we want to be?"

I know there are a few fortunate souls in this world who knew from the jump what they wanted to be, what they wanted to do, and they are blazin' down the trail of success.

Others may not have known when they were younger but discovered something in themselves as they grew older and seized the very first opportunity to make life happen as it were.

Still others were guided along, shown all the things they "should" be doing as they grew up, and maybe are now what they want to be. Perhaps this is some version of happenstance, (Blog word of the week?) or just plain dumb luck.

They say that luck isn't everything, that some skill is required and I believe that, but still I wonder...

As you may have guessed, I'm not one of those mentioned above - I never really knew what I wanted to be when I grew up.

I always had an answer to the question of course. I was going to be a professional hockey player, or play pro ball, maybe even spend some time on the PBA Tour, all the while running some fantastically successful business like a hotel or maybe a chain of hotels.

When I got older I wanted to be an actor, then a comedian, maybe a writer - you know much more realistic goals like that. Sigh!

Before I go further - I want to address all you head shakers. You know who you are. You're the ones thinking, or maybe even saying out loud: "But Jim you've accomplished so much. You have blah, blah, blah..."

Shhh... That's not what I'm talking about today


Yes, I've spent the last 18 years being a husband, the last 15 being a Daddy, the last 8 or more being a coach, and the last 12 being a hockey player, but not a professional hockey player - that's cruel.

Still it's very true that these are all things I want to be. I've had great success, and been fortunate in these areas and I hope to continue to enjoy these very important areas of my life.

These aren't the things I'm talking about today. To clarify further, I'm talking about jobs and careers.

I started working for the library when I was 17 years old. It was a clean building. I loved reading. The work albeit a bit tedious was not really that difficult. It was not Jolly Pirate Donuts where I had been a porter for 1 1/2 years prior. I figured the library was a great starting point for a kid in high school. Perhaps most importantly I found and got the job all by myself. It was the first truly independent thing I had ever done.

I love the library and all that it is, all that it stands for. I love the people I work with and I feel especially fortunate we have had the opportunity recently to reach out and really get to know each other more and more.

As I've written before, I consider that connection to be a huge success for the CML community.

Going forward however - I'm trying to figure out what that success means for me.

I wrote to my Dad some years ago that with no degree or formal training I had somehow managed to make a career for myself at a place where I was mostly happy and decidedly, perhaps even too content.

I still didn't figure the library might be the only place I would ever work.

The truth is I wasn't what I wanted to be then.

From a career perspective - without knowing it really I had no goals, no dreams, no visions beyond the day to day. I had no plan. (You see K and D why I talk about having a plan?)

Some of that came from being happy being a husband, Daddy, coach, hockey player, but not a professional hockey player - that's cruel. Some of it came from not really knowing how - being afraid as it were to venture away from the safety and security of the library.

Now?

Now I don't want to leave, but not because I'm afraid.

I want to stay because I have found something that is telling me who I am, who - no what I want to be.

I started work on a program this week to create a Job Help Class for the library to offer customers in these rough economic times.

I cannot tell you how ironic this is as I have already been hard at work on my own resume, online job profiles, and career prospects.

If you follow this blog with any regularity you know that I love to train, to teach, and to coach. You know how much I have come to admire the rock stars of the Web 2.0 world, and even how I might want their jobs one day.

I have been busy thinking of ways to stay at the library, but increase my involvement in social media and marketing, to reach out, help people, and share my experience for others to learn from. I have been searching for a focus for my life, my career, heck even for my blog.

I think being fortunate enough to help in the creation and delivery of this Job Help Class provides me with that focus, a starting point for helping me be what I want to be when I grow up.

In taking inventory I find that I have almost 11 years experience teaching folks to build their resumes. For better or worse I also have 8 years experience poking around the job markets, learning all the sites, the ins, and the outs.

Pretty much every other week for the last year I have been teaching a resume class, and as my boss will tell you, I've been looking for a way to make my class so much more effective.

I have at least 8 years of experience as a coach, and let's not forget 15 years as a parent.

In this year of reflection I have come to find that what I enjoy most is sharing what I have learned with anyone who will listen.

I suggested to a friend today that maybe throwing all of this together might make me a good "life coach."

He said that "would be a good fit." I trust his opinion. He knows me well. What that's called formally, or how it will look in the future is open to interpretation. That's okay with Jim in Perpetual Beta.

I'm sure my daughters, and my players will tell you that my favorite saying in all the land goes like this.

"This ain't my first rodeo dog."

So now, I have a plan, and at least starting out I am lucky enough to stay at the library, as I begin.

Do you think somewhere there is someone, someone who knows me really well, or a mentor, or maybe even someone who has had a great influence on my life smiling and thinking to themselves.

"Hey Jimmer. This ain't my first rodeo dog."

Saving A Beautiful Day

This has been a great day for my family and me.

And then I almost infected my computer with the dreaded Koobface Facebook video virus. I'll spare you the details, but suffice it to say my day got a little shaky.

To put myself back on track - I'm borrowing from my friend Cat just one more time and sharing three beautiful things about today.

1. In the incredibly simple category, we have a quiet, peaceful home with nice clean sidewalks and driveway. Needless to say, this is not one of my favorite jobs. For some reason however, I don't seem to mind doing it at night. So, last night I took care of most of the shoveling and this morning Miss K. put a bow on the job.


2. Moving into territory that is slightly more fancy. For dinner this evening we had homemade spaghetti. I don't make my own pasta or grow my own vegetables, but I also don't serve spaghetti from a jar. My ladies were all thrilled to have this homemade dish, but only D would jump in front of the camera for me.


Cooking is something I've always enjoyed doing. I also make a mean cheesecake according to Mrs. B. I use my Mom's spaghetti recipe, and I have to give a shout out to former CML and Hilltop staff member Carol Dickerson for the cheesecake. One of my running jokes is that the cheesecake was my "hook" for picking up the ladies. Netter tells me that if I want to keep my lady, I better be making that cheesecake a little more regularly.

3. Speaking of Netter - My lovely wife provides today's biggest highlight with our Christmas decorations including our tree.

Netter pulled out a full 21 boxes of decorations today turning our house into a Christmas wonderland. I'm hoping to shoot some video to capture the entirety of it all, but for today we'll just share the tree.

In the spirit of the season, knowing I won't possibly be fortunate enough to see all of my friends and family, or the casual reader - I'd like to take this opportunity to extend my heartfelt wishes for a beautiful holiday for you and yours. May you know the joy, (saving that word for a special day) of this blessed season and enjoy a prosperous, healthy, and happy New Year.

There now, that feels better doesn't it.

WOTD

Stuff sticks in my head. I can't help it, and I can't stop it. If I hear a song lyric, maybe not even a good song lyric that has some kind of unique refrain, or elicits some kind of emotional response, or brings back a memory - Boom I'm stuck with it all day.

I also often find myself using the same word repeatedly in any given day. Not the usual suspects like - well "like," and - well "and" or "um:" No, I'm talking about words out of the ordinary, words like retrospect, words that carry a jolt because you don't know where they are coming from.

For a long time all I could do is say harrumph and go with the flow instead of being hell-bent on finding some magical way to clear my head, I just tried to make progress each day toward finding a way to deal with the things that were stuck in my head.

Through some kind of happenstance I seemed to have stumbled upon a solution.

Ladies and Gentlemen, especially those of you in my Twitter and Facebook communities I give you WOTD, the big Wahtahdah, (correct pronunciation), or more simply Word Of The Day, and what I call, well I don't have a name for my "song lyric thing." Maybe by the end of this post... Or I'll take suggestions via comments.

*Note those words in bold above were the first few words of the day.

One day, not long after I started using Twitter the word retrospect was stuck in my head. Every other sentence it seemed I was using the word. So, I tweeted that retrospect was apparently the word of the day. In retrospect, I had no idea WOTD would take off like it has. Later that same day, someone asked me if I had a word for the next day. The day after that someone tweeted, "Hey Jim word up. What's the word of the day?" Finally, someone shortened the terminology to WOTD, and it has become a regular thing.

Throughout the day, folks try to use WOTD at least once in a sentence, and then everybody gives them a shout out.

The song lyrics get thrown up as tweets as well, although not as often. Sometimes there are fun results. The day I put up "But not a real green dress that's cruel," almost the whole song was "sung" through comments by the end of the day. Unfortunately, we still don't have a million dollars.

Today, I had a Facebook conversation about the movie The Blues Brothers spurred by the line - Folks here's a story 'bout Minnie the Moocher.

But the regular head clearer if you will, the thing I seem to have become known for is WOTD.

Now, I get that I'm not the only one out there with WOTD. I would venture to guess however that I may be the only one out there with WOTD produced purely through happenstance, and not generated by an automated WOTD generator.

Of course, I don't always use a word from my head. (It doesn't happen every day.) Sometimes I ask for help from my Twitter and Facebook community, and sometimes they change the word on me if they don't like the one I got stuck on originally. No matter - it's all still fun.

Sometimes we don't even use real words. We use creative words like harrumph, wonky, or crap-nasty.

Occasionally we have a word for the weekend. A few times someone has spotted me using a word repeatedly or in a slightly different context and called WOTD for me.

One time we did use a generated word, but I didn't know it until after the fact.

Finally, we have on at least one occasion put WOTD to a vote. It was a monumental day.

We don't force a word every day. Sometimes we're all just too busy to worry about WOTD. Sometimes we're just plain focused on something else. For example there weren't too many WOTD's during the last week or so of Learn and Play @ CML.

I have added a WOTD roll to the blog. I retraced my tweets and found them all, (47) I think. I made notes about the stories behind each word so we can talk more about WOTD in the future.

Tell me what words you remember, what stories about WOTD stick with you - and then

Suggest a word if you'd like. It's bound to get stuck in my head sooner or later.

A B C, Its easy as 1 2 3

RTFM Jim?

I know better. I even have rules.

I broke them all.

As a result, I got to spend the last 13 hours of my Thanksgiving weekend, and 2 more last night rebuilding my PC.

Tech troubleshooting and training is what I do. I enjoy the customer service side of my position, but the real nitty gritty, the core of what I do would be tech troubleshooting and training.

Could have used myself this weekend…

It started with what I thought was a balky jump drive earned from completing the Learn & Play at CML. But as soon as I'd sent a note to L&P telling them about the drive I started to determine that the real issue at hand wasn't the drive, but my PC.

(So Thanks L&P for the generous offer of a new drive, but this one should be fine.)

Now, I'm not gonna break down the entire list of technical issues I was facing in this space today, but I do want to share with the reader the importance of one very big element when troubleshooting PC problems.

You ready?

This one is big.

One of my most profound discoveries ever, ever, ever...

Here 'tis.

PATIENCE!

That's right. Plain ole common sense patience would have saved me hours of work. I always stress to my users at the Library - read the directions, follow along, don't get ahead of yourself, follow the steps, and most importantly - Be patient.

But for myself –

Oh no, I'm the expert. I will make it work. It will work because I want it to. Seriously, the last thing I said to the computer when I turned it off due to lack of response was, "I win."

To which the computer replied upon reboot - "Wanna bet? You needed those files you just corrupted by deleting in bits and pieces Jim. Who wins now fool?"

Sigh, if I had just taken time to read the fine manual, (RTFM) or gone out to the help forums, but oh no...

Have a mirror much Jimmer?

As computer meltdowns go this could have been much worse. I only really lost a (long) day.

Fortunately, I back-up fairly regularly. A week spent re-entering an entire year of Quicken transactions many years ago has made me more than a fair to middlin' "backer upper."

Some things do get lost in the shuffle - like scanner drivers. If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook you know the tale.

Making that scanner work again was quite the adventure. With Netter right in the middle of a giant scanning project I was more than a little anxious about restoring functionality. I was finally able to accomplish this yesterday evening.

Sometimes recent updates get lost as well - i.e. all those CD's I put into iTunes just last week. Poof. Thankfully those CD's are all still right there in the cabinet where I left them.

Ah well lesson learned... Maybe. ;-)

If you're interested I took this opportunity to create a checklist for restoring your computer.

Here it is; Jimmer's recipe to a perfect PC – Obviously Software may vary –

Install Windows, Download AVG Free, Firefox, Adobe Reader, Adobe Flash, Install necessary drivers - that I should have backed up previously, (In my case sound, scanner, printers, and copier), Roxio, (or Nero, or whatever CD/DVD burning software you use) Webcam, Office, (although I toyed with trying to get by with just Google docs for awhile) Quicken, Photoshop, iTunes. Download available updates as necessary as you are working.

Replace personal files that you also back-up on a regular basis. Right?

Three Beautiful Things for Thanksgiving

It's been a pretty trying week as we have wrestled with car repair costs, Christmas budgets, and other various and sundry monetary concerns that may or may not be a subject for a later day, er um, post. (Probably not - who wants to read about money troubles?)

Of course, like many or most - I paused yesterday to take time to think about all that I have to be thankful for.

To share them and to provide a bright spot to the end of our week - I'm borrowing another idea from my friend Cat, (I told you I think she's brilliant) and sharing 3 beautiful things.

1. The four lovely ladies in my life. Showing my bias, but probably not facing much if any argument from many I'm sure - Netter is one of those people who you know from the moment you meet to be a special person in your life. Of course, for me she is the MOST special person, and I am lucky and privileged to have her in my life. I love you Honey.

D and K are brilliant, intelligent, and beautiful growing young ladies. I am very proud of their accomplishments, but even more proud that they are loving, caring and helpful individuals.

Meghan Joy is an inspiration for me and for many. Because of her, and the legacy she provides we have been able to share our gift of Joy with so many children with challenges in the Central Ohio area. I love you Meghan Joy.

I am grateful for the gift God has given me to be a Daddy to all of my daughters. I love you girls.

2. My extended family, especially my in-laws. So often I hear horror stories about grunting and groaning father-in-laws, manipulating mother-in-laws, and crazy sister and / or brother -in laws. I don't have any of that. I have a group of wonderful people who I am happy to call my family. Thanks Atchison clan.

3. My friends. I always thought I had great friends, but over the course of the last year I've discovered that I have many, many friends I may not have even thought of or known about. I am honored to have both old friends and new, and I very much appreciate knowing you are there for me as I hope you know I am there for you.

3a. Mulligan James - My boy is a crazy, energy driven, sometimes willful beast who I love with all my heart and soul because I know he loves me. Everybody should have a puppy dog, (man’s best friend) like Mulligan in their life.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

I hope you enjoyed the day.

One month - Today - I am just thankful

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and I am thankful to be able to share a story about a wonderful day I got to spend with my family, a day I am very thankful for - exactly one month ago today in fact.

I thought a lot about whether I wanted to talk about this one month, what I might say, what I might reflect on. I have been 40 years old for one month today. Would I say or do anything at all?

Well, I've never been good at keeping my mouth shut and I do like to share, so:

To begin, I have the most amazing friends. Upwards of 30 or more showed up at my mini-shindig, celebration at Buffalo Wild Wings the Friday before my birthday, and that many more shared their good wishes with me during the week(s) that followed. It was an incredibly euphoric high that I'm not sure I've yet gotten over. Thank you to again to everybody.

Of course I also have a wonderful family, and we shared a great day on my birthday. Let me tell you about it.

We decided to go to Easton to hang out, do a little window shopping, walk around and use the gift certificate we had for The Cheesecake Factory for my birthday dinner. I don't generally do the "mall scene" anymore as I prefer the reasonable prices of Wal*Mart and The Thrift Store for my shopping needs.

Being a total geek, the first store we headed for at Easton was a no-brainer if ever there was one. The Apple Store called to me, and I spent a 1/2 hour or so wandering around the store checking out the latest and greatest in Macintosh technology.

Despite the fact that the only Mac I still own is about 10 years old, I am still a huge fan. Netter of course knows this, so she spent some time convincing me to buy the iPod she saw me look at more than once - Okay I plugged it in and listened to almost two full songs before leaving to "think about it."

I also stopped into Aeropostale, you know just to look around.

Kailey shopped for jeans.





I bought a sweatshirt with Delaney's approval.




I embarrassed both girls by going into Pink to see what all the fuss was about. Yeah, I get it.

No, not my child.

Then we went to a store called Whetseal, or Wet Seal aka Who the heck thought it was a good idea to sell these kinds of clothes to teenage girls?

Do people really wear these shoes?
Oh, and I propose a new law - teenage girls should wear flats, long skirts, and let's not forget good old fashioned "Granny Panties."

Doesn't a thong create a wedgie by definition? Aren't wedgies supposed to be bad? Who can explain to me why teenage girls have this infatuation with having wedgies?

Whew!

We stopped into a few other stores, grabbed a coffee at Cup O' Joe's, snapped some pictures of this train for my friend Steve then visited Barnes and Noble, the biggest book store I've ever seen.

We finally made it to Cheesecake Factory absolutely exhausted and famished.






We ate as much as we could, and took home more than one doggie bag.

We finished up with a ride home rockin' out to my fav album. It was a great day!

What a lucky guy I am!

Most of you know I did finally buy the iPod, a red Nano. After so many years of listening to talk radio I was amazed at the emotion I felt as each song played in my ears. So many vivid memories, another part of myself I had lost. Who knew?!?

It certainly has been a year of discovery. That's for sure.

Where to next?

I have to admit I don't know. The uncertain economy has all of us a little on edge, some more than others. I know I am looking at our Christmas budget, and 2009 numbers and probably inciting a little bit of panic at my house.

Sorry ladies, it's just how Daddy gets sometimes.

Still, as I've written before there is so much I still feel I'm gonna, or at least wanna do, so many places I wanna go, so many things I know my family would like, things I would like for my family. (No, I'm not just talking about stuff or things.)

I hope that my family knows this, but I have to admit to the reader that I put it in print today so that all of my ladies are sure to know I am aware.

Sometimes, as I'm sure many do, I just feel strapped in by the financial day to day.

Here's hoping that while today, tomorrow, and every day we all take the time to be thankful for that which we have, we might continue to be able to move forward, and enjoy what the future may hold.

Blog Scavenger Hunt

I've been sharing quite a bit lately about how blogging, and reading blogs has changed my life over the course of the last year, and with that in mind I thought I would have a go at another meme from my friend Cat. (That doesn't count - see the rules below.)

The blog it seems has taken over my household so I don't think I'm going to find blogs that are from people who live closer to me than Netter, or K, who forgot her password for the blog, or D, who doesn't get the whole blog thing, but then again doesn't get a lot of things as she is at the "I don't know" stage in her young life.

I follow my online friend Juice's many blogs. She blogs at NHL Connect, the Freep, and also here. I "met" Juice during the Red Wing's live game blog watching the Wings win the Stanley Cup last spring "with" a bunch of fans from around the country. I almost got to actually meet her this fall as many of us were scheduled to hook up in the D for a celebratory beer, but the events of the summer, i.e. the $4,000 appendix, which also ate into my PTO balance, and two aging vehicles prevented Annette and I from making the trip.

While I only know Juice through hockey and the Wings, her writing is just awesome. She has an insanely funny imagination, and she is incredibly intelligent. I just know having a chance to sit down and chat with her in person would be an experience of a lifetime.

Whaddya' say Juice? Next fall in the D? Celebrating back to back cups? Netter and I are in. :-)

The job I used to have or wanna have is a job I didn't even know existed until a short time ago. I've joked about it quite a bit lately, and I don't know how I could reconcile this with the fact that I really don't want to leave the library, or travel a lot but the job I wanna have belongs to Chris Brogan. Read Chris' bio here.

I think once upon a time a long time ago, I was ahead of the curve, on the cutting edge, ready to make a difference, heck people even listened to me. I just got stuck somewhere along the way. Okay - whew - enough of that.

Be on notice world. I'm fighting my way back. ;-)

My friend Cat wrote a post called 3 beautiful things about the first snow of the season. It made me reconsider my view of snowfall and winter, and while it's still not my favorite season I do have to admit there are some things about winter that I do like - snowflakes, sledding, big fuzzy sweaters or sweatshirts, warm fires, (They smell different than summer fire pits.), hockey season (of course), and the quiet solitude of the evening when the ground is covered with snow, just after it has gotten dark and everyone has gone inside.

Of course, I also was smitten, (yes I just said smitten) with the idea of writing about 3 beautiful things. Bad day? Pick 3 beautiful things. Bad week? Pick 3 beautiful things. Bad mood, karma,mojo , feeling depressed, sad, angry - anything - Just pick 3 beautiful things, stress the positive and see where that takes you. Thanks Cat.

When I tried to think of one blog that made me laugh so hard folks wanted to know what was going on there were quite a few possibilities, but one stood out. I'll post it here with the warning that it might be something in context, it's not the most politically correct, and the author didn't even remember writing it, it was so long ago. All that said - here you go. YMMV.

Cat would have been a really good choice for a blog from someone I've known for a long time, but haven't hung out with in a long time. But I know I need to use a different blog for each answer --Hmmm...

Well, if you don't follow Cat's blog - I suggest you do. She is a fascinating individual. Another fascinating individual who I see every so often, but don't get to hang out with often is my friend Lynne. I love to read stories about Lynne's daughter Erica, and her family. Warning - bring tissues. These are some pretty heartwarming stories.

I was inspired to blog from all of the blogs I followed last summer, but the two most influential belong to my friends Kelly and Christa who share stories about what is going on with their families, with a touch of humor, and a solid take on the important things. Of course, I could say that about a number of blogs I follow, but da rulez say I can only use each one once.

Julie is the one person I never thought would be blogging. I'm really glad I was wrong. As I told her in a comment to her first entry - "I'm looking forward to reading. Don't think of this as 'just a journal.' Think of it as a place to share all those cool witty observations you are always making in real life. You got this - trust me." Julie is one of the smartest, funniest, people I know. I'm glad I have the privilege of calling her my friend, and reading her blog.

I'm sure I could point you to a lot of articles, or posts or sites that I think could change the library world. Some of them you probably have read yourself. I'm gonna go outside the box a little bit on this one and show you a blog post that shows the library world is already changing. Check this out.

Alright - the final thing, numero diez.

My friend Mo writes a blog that makes me feel good every time I read it. It's not that I agree with everything Mo writes, although I mostly do, or that she makes me laugh, although she usually does. The thing is; following Mo's blog I can tell that she puts a lot of thought into what she writes. She doesn't post every day or even as regularly as her fans might like. (hint, hint) But when Mo does post it's usually something that has really struck her and I think that's cool.

There you have it. This was probably the hardest meme I've run into yet, but it was a great exercise to consider who, what, where, when and why.

Of course, there are blogs I follow that I didn't mention here today. For example, my friend Gregor who has been a big part of my journey and has just started blogging again himself. This doesn't mean I don't have props for everybody. It just means you all write too darn much good stuff.

Want to play along?

Da Rulz:
  1. Use a different blog to answer each question.
  2. Be sure to include hot links in your answers, and if you're referencing a specific post, be sure you're linking to the permalink for that post (not just the general blog addy).
  3. Not every linked blog needs to be a Library person or a L&P participant.
  4. If you do this meme, please come back here and give me a link so I can read it!


Da Thingz to find:
  1. A blog written by someone who lives close to you physically.
  2. A blog you read written by someone you've never met, but would like to.
  3. A blog written by someone who has the job you used to have, or the job you wanna have someday.
  4. A blog entry that made you think about something a new way.
  5. A blog entry that made you laugh so hard your co-workers and/or family asked to know what was going on.
  6. A blog from someone you've known a long time but haven't hung out with in a long time.
  7. A blog or post that inspired you to start blogging (or just written by the person who got you going).
  8. A blog from someone you never thought would be blogging.
  9. An article/post/site that you think could change the library world.
  10. A blog you've found that makes you feel great every time you read it.

Stay blue... or Go Bucks!

I'm wearing an Ohio State sweatshirt today, and if you know me you know that's a bit of an anomaly.

Having spent the better part of my first decade growing up in Michigan I naturally grew up a fan of the Michigan Wolverines or as the great Bob Ufer would say the Meeechigan Wolverines! I say naturally because it would be considered fairly unnatural to grow up rooting for Michigan State. Just kidding Juice. ;-)

In all seriousness though, the UM vs. MSU rivalry was the one that was emphasized most in my house when we lived in Michigan. This is not to say we weren't cognizant of the OSU rivalry, it just wasn't as upfront and personal for us.

Then we moved to Lima, Ohio. Suddenly, not only was the rivalry personal it was a whole lot more heated. Picking a Michigan and / or Michigan State team in Michigan seemed like Potayto / Potahto compared to picking a Michigan team in Ohio.

I understand this now, but back then I remember both my Dad and I being more than a little bewildered. It seemed my whole classroom wanted to alternately beat me and / or entice me into betting on the game so they could mock me if I lost. I remember many Sunday evenings scraping together pennies so I could pay off those debts.

Ah, would that pennies to pay off debts would be enough these days. Sigh!

Oh, sorry - back to our tale.

My family and I toughened up, stood our ground and supported our team through thick and thin. As I grew up, the heated rivalry could still be heated for us, but gradually grew into just friendly banter among friends even when we moved to Columbus.

My Mother did take her life into her own hands one evening while attending OSU. Wearing a Michigan snow cap to keep herself warm as she walked across campus she was confronted by an angry student. Fortunately, she held her ground and the student relented.

I met and married my wonderful wife Annette, herself an OSU grad, who let my U of M short comings fall by the wayside and decided I was okay after all.

We attended THE GAME in 1994 heretofore my first and only live OSU vs. UM game. We were each clad in gear supporting our teams, and the fans in the stadium were all great sports, (save one drunk who was quickly guided away by more good sports) and we had a great time. Of course OSU won that game, probably the greatest win of John Cooper's career so everyone was in a great mood. Oddly enough, even I was in a pretty good mood.

In 1995, for a number of reasons I decided to return to school and finally get my college degree. Unfortunately, I faced a bit of a quandry. While I have a great deal of respect for colleges like Columbus State, Franklin University, Ohio Dominican, Capital et al. I wanted to get my degree from a "big school." I had grown up dreaming of going to Michigan, made three campus visits to Notre Dame, seriously considered going to Penn State and finally ended up at OSU the first time around because it was the simplest thing to do. This time I chose to go to Ohio State.

I reasoned that it was okay to attend college at "my team's" top rival university since it was my only big school option. I had begun to root for the Buckeyes when they weren't playing Michigan in football, and especially when they were playing Michigan in basketball. (Fab Five - best team money can buy eh?) So, it would be all good right?

I saw Archie Griffin on campus, and ran after him like a little boy asking for his autograph - on my notebook.

I also pulled a stunt not unlike my mother, forgetting one day that I had worn a Michigan windbreaker to work and deciding to wear it to class and take the heat rather than leave it in my car where it would surely be stolen or damaged, or worse yet my car might be damaged. Strangely enough, I enjoyed a number of friendly exchanges with students who chided me about Michigan's loss that year to Northwestern. It was all good, I thought.

Then the Buckeyes took an undefeated record into Michigan Stadium riding high off a one game winning streak in THE GAME. Of course the Bucks promptly made Tshimanga "Tim" Biakabutuka a first round draft pick on their way to being upset by the Wolverines.

The mood on campus was never the same again. Needless to say, I didn't forget and wear the wrong jacket anymore.

Instead I continued on toward my degree, graduating in March of 2001. At this time a friend gave me a book he said was required reading for all true Buckeyes. 101 reasons to hate Michigan or some such thing. So, I read it. It was funny. Ha Ha...

What the friend didn't know was that after that Buckeye loss in 1995, and the resulting angst of their loyal fans I had seriously begun to question my allegiance to the Wolverines.

While Buckeyes and their fans were up in arms about the loss to the Maize and Blue, the Michigan team and fans did not seem to feel the same degree of urgency to win them all.

I have all the respect in the world for the legend that is Bo Schembechler. Still it had always eaten at me that his teams, and then Gary Moeller's teams, and especially Lloyd Carr's teams again and again lost games that they should have won, classically underachieving for their talent level. I understand that losing happens, but mediocrity seemed to be the rule rather than the exception, particularly under the last of the "Michigan Men," as it were.

I know, I know - Lloyd Carr won a National Championship in 1997. I have the commemorative hat on a shelf above my desk, but what many don't know is that on the evening of that victory I opened a bottle of champagne, poured a glass for my father and myself, took a celebratory drink, and put down my glass with this immediate thought - "Because of this championship we will be stuck with this man until the day he decides to retire." I was not happy.

But I remained a Michigan fan.

In 1998 the Wolverines lost their first two games. Still I remained a Michigan fan.

Lloyd Carr made a mockery of the college careers of both Tom Brady and Drew Henson.

I remained a Michigan fan.

2000 3 losses, 2001 4 losses, 2002 3 losses including a loss to the Buckeyes sending them to the National Championship game.

This was a culmination of a season that had seen me watch the Buckeyes with so many close friends each and every week. Heck, I knew the Buckeye roster better than Michigan's.

I celebrated the Buckeyes' success with my friends, and rooted hard for them in the National Championship game against Miami. I cried in victory when they won.

I remained a Michigan fan.

I had actually heard after that year's GAME that many respected me for continuing to root for my childhood team, and sticking to my guns, showing up at a party of hundreds with the only Wolverine jersey in the bunch. Oh, if they could have known how conflicted my heart was becoming.

2003 I attend my first game in Michigan Stadium. The Wolverines win an important game against Purdue and I am seemingly the only person in the Stadium who cheers the victory. Seriously, 111,349 in attendance and I felt like the only one celebrating. Michigan also wins the GAME - I couldn't celebrate. I felt sorry for my heartbroken friends.

But I remained a Michigan fan.

2004 3 losses dropping games to Notre Dame, Ohio State, and Texas, the last being one of the best college football games I have ever seen.

I remained a Michigan fan.

Of course 2004 also marked the beginning of the college career of one Mike Hart. More on this later.

2005 - 5 losses, 2006 2 losses - the last two games of the season. Could a heart take much more?

Or would that be a Hart? I don't believe Mike Hart has any heart. I don't believe he is a leader. I don't believe he is a player who cares. (I also don't generally attack the character of college athletes unless they run their mouths and open themselves to scrutiny.)

2007 - Appalachian State - Need I say more? Mike Hart by all accounts did not play the better part of the 2nd and 3rd quarters because he was "dinged up." When he finally did play and score a touchdown to put his team back in the hunt, he promptly jogged to the sideline rather than stay out for the two point conversion. A leader? After the game he said his head was held high, better in the first game, than the second, blah, blah, blah....

Coach Carr - why are you letting players talk after that game? Why are you...?

You know what?!? Never mind. I'm done.

No longer a Michigan fan.

Tucked away in closets, I have my windbreaker, a jersey, a hat or two. Tucked away in my heart I have the memories from my childhood.

I wish Rich Rodriguez and the Wolverines nothing but the best - but my heart won't be yours to break, my pride won't be on the line for your program every weekend I live in Columbus.

To date, RR I've seen nothing to warrant my return.

Besides I am now a proud Buckeye. I've lived in Ohio longer. I graduated from The Ohio State University. I have nothing but respect for Jim Tressel, the man he is, the young men he molds, and the emphasis on excellence he places in every aspect of his work, and in the goals and pursuits of his teams.

Tomorrow, I will be attending a party with my friends, proudly wearing the same Buckeye garb as they do.

I can't pretend to harbor the same hatred for the team up North that some may have.

But, I will not continue to be disappointed by a team that seemingly cannot understand one basic concept.

In life and on the field, we all have our struggles, we all have our successes, we all have our highs and lows. It's what we do with them that really counts.

Will we strive for perfection or will we forget what the Michigan program does not seem to get?

Mediocrity is not acceptable.


The First Album Played on Jimmer's iPod was...

First I want to thank everyone who voted in the poll.

Next - I want to tell you a story. (You knew that was coming.)

I love my girls so much, and like any father I want to find things to share with them. I've been fortunate enough to have many memories with my girls. Today, I want to tell you about one of the strangest.

Sweet Treats the sign said above the glass door, below on the shelves were cookies galore...

Say it out loud, in a sing-song voice. Kinda catchy right? It's from one of the books I used to read to the girls when they were little.

It's also the phrase that I found ringing in my head while playing hockey one evening about 10 years ago.

It's not a bad little rhyme, but it's not exactly hockey music. My first thought was; "Jim, if you keep this up you are going to get run (into)." I cussed a couple of times to "tough out" the game, and when I got home I immediately put a tape in my vehicle that would be much more effective for playing hockey.

I needed some really high octane, turn it up, bad mother music that could help me really take it up a notch. I wanted something that would take me back to my teenage days when I was that cocky kid riding around on my bike, boom box jamming and swinging. Music that would help me to remember to be that kid that wouldn't come off the ice.

I had the perfect album.

The next week and many thereafter I cranked that music from home to the rink, and actually played sort of good I think. It felt like it anyway. ;-)

The girls decided to come along to watch a game one night which is always really cool, but when K got in the car, (Delaney was riding with Mommy.) I looked at the tape; looked at her, looked at the tape, looked at her - The tape was AC/DC's Back in Black - the child was very young. Hmmm... What to do? Well, I wanted to play a good game in front of the fam so in the tape went, and so began the "pumping up the volume explanation." Kailey loved it. We rocked it out to the rink and had a great time.

We did that a few more times over the next couple of years and then one Saturday as we were headed out to one of K's first basketball games she asked for "the pump up music." Yes, I was surprised, but it was all good. Surely this wouldn't last right? It was just an “I wanna be like Daddy phase.” Right?

No, that would be wrong.


I'm happy (I think) to report that K rocked it out on the way to every game through the end of her basketball career in eighth grade. Delaney rocked it a little bit until she gave up the game this year, but not quite as much as K. I think part of the reason D didn't get quite as wound is that we only had one tape, and when the girls played in different places so we didn't all travel together K took the tape - with her sister's blessing.

For those of you who are wondering - I'm pretty sure Annette was secretly laughing, okay sometimes she laughed out loud at all of us, but we were having a whole lot of fun.

I thought this was all really cool until Kailey's 8th grade year when she and I would crank the volume and sing along and I realized she knew a lot of the words, a lot better than I did. (Though she claims she still doesn't know them all.)

I know the album is pretty much all raunch, with sexual connotations, drinking references, and on and on, but I mean – who knows the words - right?

Um, Kailey knows the words Jim you idiot.

Okay, better be an informed Daddy so onto the Internet I ventured. Holy Schniekes'!!! I quickly deduced that I didn't want to know all the words because I might have to explain some things to my daughter that even I didn't necessarily know all the details about.

Still, one evening driving home from Bww, (Because I’m a good Dad like that.) I talked to Kailey a little bit about Back in Black. I expressed my concerns about the many "adult" things in the song, and wondered if she had any questions. Did she want to know about any songs in particular - etc...?

It turns out - ALL of my concerns were completely unfounded. While K knew what the words and the songs meant, she didn't care. That's not what the tape meant for her. This was our tape. She shared it with her Daddy, and that was really all that mattered. (Yes, K I was paying attention.) Whew...

Alright - give me a minute here I'm all verklempt.

D - I'm not leaving you out. We all saw you banging your head back there. ;-)

Sharing AC/DC with my girls, from my childhood to my children's childhood. Does it get any better than that? Whoda thunk?

So, while a Billy Joel song was the first to echo through my iPod. The first album my friends was AC/DC's Back in Black.

Guess who was the first person I handed an earphone to?

10 Random Things About Me - Learn & Play @ CML Bonus

1. I obtained our family's first iPod for the grand total of $1.00 + the cost of gas to go pick it up. I won it in a church raffle with a ticket I only bought because all of the parents around me at the basketball game were buying tickets. My daughter Delaney still uses theiPod, except when it "white screens" which we haven't been able to fix permanently for some reason.

2. Though I have played almost 12 years of organized hockey as an adult, I only played one year as a kid. When I was 8 I skated for "Warner-CantrellPadmos" or the Blackhawks as we called ourselves, in Redford Township, Michigan. I was very green, and also very good. But, I had a heart condition. Nothing major, but enough of a concern that my ice-time needed to be monitored. As do many youth coaches, mine wanted to put his best players on the ice as much as possible. As the season progressed each time I was due to come off the ice my coach would ask more and more if I was alright to stay out. Of course I always answered yes. I was a kid, I didn't understand the consequences of overexerting myself and I wanted to play. The last straw came when my coach left me out for so long I was finally met at the door to the bench by my Dad who physically removed me from the ice. When the season was over so was my youth hockey career. I wanted to play goalie, but I think my Dad knew that was a ruse just to get myself onto the ice by hook or by crook. I was disappointed and decided to hang out at all the summer camps my friends were attending. I don't know why - just to watch and make myself more miserable I guess. I was pleasantly surprised when the scouts and coaches running those camps told me how disappointed they were I wasn't on the ice for more development. They had seen me play and wanted to work with me. I don't believe I ever told my parents this, and I don't talk about it much, but it's fun now to think about what might have been. I did talk myself into one of the post-camp games and scored a goal laying on my back. I hung onto that memory for a long time until I was fortunate enough to finally play again thanks to Joe at Hilltop who pulled me back to the game with late night pick-up at OSU. Thanks Joe.

3. My first major at OSU was Theatre. I was going to be an actor, (Plus I didn't want to take math.) The pic I used for my read poster was actually a resume photo. After my first year at OSU, I went to New York and auditioned at The American Academy of Dramatic Arts. I was accepted, but didn't get the scholarship I needed. I knew I didn't want to go back to school atOSU, at least not then so I went full-time at CML and the rest is history.

4. During my time at OSU as a Theatre major I returned to my high school, Bishop Ready and directed both the fall play and spring musical. I got a little thank you of $100 each time. I guess I could say I've worked "professionally in the theatre." Wonder if I should add that to my resume? ;-)

5. As a child I would spend many late nights listening to my mother clean to the music of Judy Garland, Barbra Streisand, Barry Manilow, Helen Reddy, Neil Diamond, and Abba. Consequently I know many lyrics to a lot of songs I wasn't sure at first I was happy to know. Growing up however I've become more and more comfortable with my "Inner Gay" as my friend Shoebrarian calls it, and I'm happy to know and love the work of these amazing performers.

6. My favorite movie is "Prince of Tides," but that's not the only "chick flick" I like. A close second on the list is "50 First Dates." What can I say? I'm a sucker for love stories.

7. I have a talent for remembering numbers. I can tell you my first credit card number, my original library card number, the first phone number I had to remember, and every jersey number I've ever worn. I can associate almost any number with an athlete pretty much immediately.

8. When getting dressed I always put on the left first, i.e. left sock, left shoe, left glove, left skate. I once got dressed for a baseball game, jumped on my bike to go play and realized I had put my right sock on first. So, I made my buddy wait while I went in - undressed and redressed. I went 2-3 and raised my average to .571. I've never chanced it again. I actually think I'm naturally left handed as I can do just about anything with my left hand without much trouble. Playing hockey - I still shoot left handed.

9. I've been a part of two branch moves in my time at CML. I worked to move Morse Road to Karl Road and to combine Hilltop and Hilltonia into the new Hilltop. (This was my second tour of duty at Hilltop, and I still consider it my CML home if you will.) Branch moves can be great team builders, and a lot of fun for everybody involved. I don't think I've ever worked harder though. :-0

10. Here's my favorite library story - I met my wife Annette at Morse Road Library. When she walked into the staff room on her first day I said to my boss, "that newLTA is hot." He just rolled his eyes at me. Little did we know. A few weeks later Annette and I went to lunch together at Mother's, (we still have a matchbook) and a few months after that - after we both got engaged to and broke up with other people - we moved in together having never gone out on a date. We both just knew we were meant to be together. More than 18 years later, I still wonder how I ever got so lucky.

Whole New Rodeo Dog - Thing #23.

Alright Gang - I'm going to try to do this one with a little structure, but include some story too.

I'll try to use the suggested questions as a framework.

What were your favorite discoveries or exercises on this learning journey?

There are two answers here: Obviously my favorite and still continued exercise is Twitter.

My favorite discovery has actually been rediscovering my love of writing through my blog. I am so grateful for this. In short it has been therapeutic and life-changing. In the last few months I can even tell when I haven't been blogging as much as I need to as I felt my anxiety level rising.

The blog allows me to remind myself to be Jimmer, i.e. the real me. I've tried to be sure not to make Jimmer a character, to not talk about myself in the third person, except for maybe when it was appropriate for a piece. This is not a character by any stretch. This is Jim Brochowski about as exposed and open as I've ever been, reaching out, reflecting, trying to give myself another chance by simply being myself.

Two recent examples make me think I'm on the right track.

The first is a situation wherein I was pretty much asked to prove that this wasn't all just lip-service. I believe the reviewer is convinced.

The second is a comment from a friend at CML. She told me I could quote her.

Jim-
I have loved following you on Twitter. Like I said in a recent tweet, your willingness to self reflect and share that process has been heartwarming. As we all reveal a part of ourselves through social networking, new relationships are being created and others are being rekindled. It is so cool to watch it and experience it. Of course my follow-up tweet said this, “Now you have become more than just the guy who drinks coffee all day.” I’m sure you understood why I said this. The only time you and I had ever had any interaction is when you passed by the Greeter Desk on the way to the Java Master, coffee cup in hand. We are communicating on a whole different level now, and I think it is great. Looking forward to the continuing conversation…..


That means a lot more than I think I can verbalize. Thank you Type A Librarian.

How has this program assisted or affected your lifelong learning goals?


My lifelong learning goals all relate back to 3 things. Three discoveries I've made about myself in the last few months / years. These are my base.

Because the 23 Things for me has been so much more than just Learn & Play, I think it is obvious that this program has been more than just those things. It has provided an avenue to learning, a way to reconnect and show people who the real Jimmer is.

So, what are the three things you ask?

The first thing - a customer came into the library to print something out. He had no idea whatsoever what he was doing so what he ended up doing was taking it out on our staff. Cussing up a storm, swinging his arms, banging the equipment and not getting what he needed in the process.

I don't know how or why, but something struck me. I was never more calm as I said to him - "It's okay. What do you need?" Looking puzzled he stared at me and said "Huh?" I repeated what I had said and he told me what he wanted. Together, we accomplished his task in a little less than five minutes. That was weird I thought, but I didn't really understand the magnitude of the situation until I received a copy of a note / "say it" the customer had left commending me for being helpful while he was "irate."

Reflecting on this I realized that what I had done was recognize that this man's true intent was not to create a disturbance. He simply needed to accomplish something he had no idea how to accomplish. Huh?

True intent.

I began to think long and hard about how I was interacting with people. Was I recognizing what their true intent was when they came to me with a question for example? Was my Mother's true intent really to frustrate me every time she visited?

Wait - My Mother - Oh the poor woman. I really needed to work on this when interacting with her.

So, I set two goals for myself, and made them my New Year's resolution and Lenten promise until the end of time. 1. Be nice to my mother and do everything in my power to make her feel welcome in my home. 2. Always try to consider peoples' true intent when interacting with them and respond accordingly and without bias.

Note: As far as I can tell - True Intent in this context is my own thing. I don't think there's any great concept out there. Hmmm... Maybe I should write a book or something. "True Intent" copyright 2008 Jim Brochowski ;-)

The second thing - When I tell the story of Meghan Joy I always include the following quote:

"From Meghan and because of Meghan we learned to attack each day with enthusiasm. We learned to reach out and make things happen for us instead of waiting for them to happen to us. We learned to face each new challenge head on, with our entire being. We now know the value of living and giving a total effort. Many years ago I lost my daughter. As I look back on her story and what effect it has had on our lives I see that I’ve tried to live my life from that point exactly as I’d promised Meghan I would. I guess it sounds like a cliché, but life is short."


It's almost like a prepared text pulled from the pages of her story, but when I saw it in print at our golf tournament this year it was abundantly clear that I was not keeping my promise. I began to do some deep soul-searching, looking at the man in the mirror as they say and trying to find better ways to change.

The third and final thing.
This one I owe to Randy Pausch. In his final lecture he talked about, among other things being a Tigger or being an Eeyore, i.e. an optimist or a pessimist. He also talked about how he had lived his life, doing things for his kids, and his wife. It is an incredible lecture. If you haven't watched it I assure you it is an investment of your time you will not regret. He also wrote a book titled "The Last Lecture" which I highly recommend.

I really admired Randy's viewpoint, but I didn't know how valuable it would be to me personally until my daughter Delaney started school this year. Delaney was a worrier, the "what if" person if you will and I was having a hard time convincing her that it would be good to go into school with a positive attitude, charging ahead, being a leader and so on. But she wasn't getting it. Finally, I looked at Delaney and remembering Randy's lecture I said;
"Are you Eeyore? Or are you Tigger?" Instantly her eyes lit up. She got it. She really got it, and she now tries to be a Tigger in every way.

Having had this talk with my daughter I knew I needed to ask myself the same question. Jim, are you a Tigger or are you an Eeyore? Yes, I needed to change my answer too.

These three things are my base. I try to check myself regularly on these, and I encourage you to check me as well. Go on. I'll listen. ;-)


Were there any take-aways or unexpected outcomes from this program that surprised you?

I have been pleasantly surprised by the sense of community that has been created at CML. This exists throughout the Web 2.0 community. I have been able to reconnect with my colleagues at the library in several locations, and I have made new connections via Facebook, and by following the "rock stars" blogs.

I think my new career goal might be to be one of those rock stars. Look out Michael Stephens. Kidding ;-)

Seriously, this program has provided me a way to reflect by moving forward. For that I will always be grateful.

What could we do differently to improve upon this program’s format or concept?

My old self would have said something really badass, like: "Don't you dare change a thing about this program." But that's not me anymore.

I think what I would say now is don't ever forget the term "Perpetual Beta." Please always be willing to consider the next idea, the next thing and embrace them. Try them even if they don't initially seem to be so great, even if they require radical trust, even if the benefits aren't immediately obvious.

I believe there are so many organizations, companies, and even industries that are being held up by their reluctance to change and adapt, to try new things even.

I think my biggest pet peeve right now is people who say; "I don't have time for all that Web 2.0 stuff, that new fangled techno stuff and so on. I've got real work to do." I wonder if they have ever considered how much more work they could get done if they would get on board and let that new fangled techno stuff work for them.

I'm trying to bring Web 2.0 technologies to my foundation with a new board later this month. I am very hopeful they will agree with me on this. I think The MJB Foundation can accomplish so much. Please wish us luck.

Oh and consider this your formal invitation to follow The MJB Foundation on Twitter. (Updates should become more frequent soon.)

If we offered another discovery program like this in the future, would you again choose to participate?


This one is simple and requires only a few words - in a heartbeat.

One more you didn't ask:

What has been the coolest thing about this program?

As a teacher, trainer, and a coach the coolest thing for me are the "Aha moments," when you can see folks really get it, When they are really connecting and helping themselves succeed. When they are engaged. I've been fortunate enough to see more than my fair share of these over the years and Learn & Play provided that many more. My favorite saying in these instances is "this ain't my first rodeo dog."

Of course this rodeo has been quite a bit different.

Learn & Play @ CML Thing #22 MOLDI

Yes, that says MOLDI - as the Learn & Play blog says "yeah, I know, horrible acronym, but great service."

It is a great service, but I have to admit to having at least some reservations.

Finding material is easy enough - search features are very simple with several ways to search for different types of material.

Checking out, as it were is also very easy. Simply following instructions and looking for some intuitive cue words like "add to cart" I found it to be very much like online shopping.

The rest of the process is also easy enough - You "checkout" your ematerial. It's downloaded to your computer or portable media player, as is the “reader software,” if needed, and cha - ching you are on your way.

Cool, I thought - now how does it get returned? Or more accurately, if I'm an author and I want to keep my copyrighted material mine - how can I do that?

I know it's the digital age and everything is available to everybody, but as a creative type I wonder about such things.

I did some quick digging on MOLDI and then took this question to my Twitter community. "After 14 days, do items delete themselves or is it " a trust thing?" I can't find an answer." I know, I probably would have found an answer eventually, but I find the layout of most FAQ pages to be cludgy. I also think FAQ's with perspective are much more fun.

The answer seems to be as follows "They delete themselves from your computer, but if you burned them to disc nothing happens," as in they can be played "...forever and ever."

So, I asked my friend CychoLibrarian who knows about such things if that bothered anybody?

His reply - Well, it was perfect.

"It doesn't bother me, but only because the publishing industry is clueless about how to handle the digital age."

See - call me old fashioned, but when I create something I want to keep it. I like to share it, but it is still ultimately "mine." Take my writing for example - If you follow this blog with any regularity you know that this is very personal for me. I would like to think that if I had something worth distributing to the masses I would feel the same. It's very personal.

Still I can't find fault with my friend's viewpoint. The publishing industry really is clueless in this instance - so what do we do?

Well, the only thing left really is a term I learned about not long ago - radical trust - I may be bending it a little to fit my purposes here, but to me putting creative work out in this medium requires quite a bit of "letting go of control..."

So, for our purposes today - what do I think of MOLDI? I think it's a great way to take the library to the community and provide a virtual presence. I found many titles I would check out - AND return.

Let's hope more folks do the same.


*edit - I want to also give credit to my friend KKBookmom for pointing me to the actual MOLDI FAQ's.