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Home is where the heart is

I have not written in a while, but lots of things have been happening!

*Lots of beach time (look like a lobster at the moment)
*lots of kid playing
*lots shopping trips with parents and aunt
*new computer bought (although just figured out tonight that I am missing a cord, so I may not keep it if they can not replace it…what a shame…I really, really like it)

I have had a nice time visiting my parents so far. After living in Umea for four years, I have discovered that I am now a hybrid. I am not really American or really Swedish…I am something in between. There are things here that really bother me, like the lack of recycling and bike paths, and play parks on every corner. But in Sweden, I miss the availability of inexpensive products and the availability to my parents. All in all, I do feel like my home is Sweden. I feel at home there, I have made a home there. It is where my heart is.

July 31, 2004 in way too personal | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Vacation

In Virginia with my parents today. I thought that trip would be he%@, traveling alone with three year old twins, but it was not. We traveled from Umea to Stockholm and then got on a plane over the Atlantic. They did not sleep a wink on the planes, but the were great! They just sat and read and watched TV and were sweet kids. We also had a *long* delay in Newark because storms in Washington DC caused the airports to close. But still the kids were great! They did not cry (and finally slept). I could not ask for better children! (and that is not just a prejudiced mother talking! ;) Now we are here and having a great time. There will be *very* little blogging while I am here. Have a great summer everyone, see you
In August!

July 24, 2004 in way too personal | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Shel Silverstien

When I was young, my mother (who was an elementary teacher) decorated her classrooms beautifully. Although neither one of us can draw worth a flip, we could colour! My mother would project great pictures onto butcher paper and trace them. We would take those really big boxes of crayola crayons and colour and shade and bring these pictures into life. I have been thinking a lot about the stories my daughter has begun to spin, and they remind me of the type of poetry Shel Silverstein created (another mother contribution). With that in mind, I am going to take white wall paper and create a room full of the poetry and drawings of the late great Silverstein in the projected creativeness my mother taught me and tack them up over their ugly wallpaper (easily removed…I have learned my ‘only renting’ lessons the hard way). So, without further ado… a sampling

Invitation
If you are a dreamer, come in,
If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar,
A hope-er, a pray-er, a magic bean buyer…
If you’re a pretender, come sit by my fire
For we have some flax-golden tales to spin.
Come in!
Come in!

God’s Wheel
God says to me with kind of a smile,
‘Hey how would you like to God awhile
And steer the world?’
‘Okay,’ says I, ‘I’ll give it a try.
Where do I set?
How much do I get?
What time is lunch?
When can I quit?’
‘Gimme back that wheel.’ Says God,
‘I don’t think you’re quite ready yet.’

Love his poetry!

July 18, 2004 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The stories we tell ourselves

fn_00077I seem to have a prevailing theme in my life this summer. During my summer class (which was just incredible, btw) we discussed the nature of truth. Is there really ‘a’ truth, or is truth just the stories that we tell ourselves. I have also immersed myself in blogs, both through my new RSS reader, through my new research area, and through the conference I recently attended. Blogs are nothing if not pieces of our collective stories thrown together mish mash and aggregated in readers (still in love with blogging, do not get me wrong :-). Yesterday, my kids were laying in my bed, whispering to each other and giggling. Snuggling up to them, I discovered that my daughter was telling this very involved story about a troll who offered her blue popcorn, and why she really loved blue popcorn. She looked up, noticed the strange shape of the ceiling lamp and began to spin her tale to include the lamp. Her story was involved and detailed and so creative. I lay there beside my son, both of us enraptured by her narrative. We all tell ourselves stories, and as adults we spend a lot of energy trying to define and defend them. There are some, however, that are comfortable within their own story, who can spin enchanted tales and swirl together worlds, who walk within their story surrounded by an aura of pride, confidence and joy. My daughter is one of the enchanted spinners of life, and for that I am grateful.

(picture from http://clipartfantasy.altervista.org/mostri.htm)

July 18, 2004 in way too personal | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Indifferent

What is wrong with us? When did people stop being seen as something with feelings and instead seen through the propaganda coloured lens of yesterday’s news. Why don’t we care anymore? Why don’t we stop this? Why don’t we rise up? Have *we* become so indifferent???

July 16, 2004 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

bouncing bye

My kids have been with their father for the past two weeks on vacation. It was the first time that I was away from them for so long and it was an emotional roller coaster. In 20 minutes, however, I get to go pick them up!!! I am so excited! I even cleaned the house top to bottom (and for those of you who know me know that that in itself is amazing ;-) Many, many other things have happened since my return from BlogTalk and I will write more tonight, but for now I am going to bounce up and down until I can go and get them…

July 16, 2004 in way too personal | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

BlogTalk Evaluation

DSC00565Wow...this was an interesting conference. The topics did feed a few general areas like networking, education and especially knowledge management issues. While I do agree that blogs do naturally fill some knowledge management areas, they are very lacking in the area of information retrieval.

DSC00571I can see, however, a change/evolution in the thought behind weblogs. Last year, it seemed that the conference focused on blogging tools, its future, and how people could make money off of blogs. This year many of the same bloggers have attended and I feel that the thought behind the purpose of blogging has changed from seeing blogs in these ways, to see blogs as a tool for both social networking and especially for knowledge management. It is a refreshing change of opinion and one that I believe reflects a deeper exploration of the medium. I am looking forward to continuing my research in this area, and I am definitely leaving with new ideas, and not least great new connections. New projects are in the works, and even though it is time for vacation, my creative juices are flowing! I can not wait to begin!

July 6, 2004 in blogtalk 2004 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Notes

Here are collaborative notes...much better than I could do myself, I believe.

July 6, 2004 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Back at BlogTalk

This morning began with a great presentation by Mena and Ben Trott of Six Apart. It was a great overview of what they believe blogging is about and a bit about the differences between content-driven versus audience-driven blogs. Mena talked a lot about her discomfort with tens of thousands of readers, which underscores a major theme/question of the conference; do Bloggers want a lot of readers or not? Today both the Trotts and the next speaker, Jane Perrone made a good distinction between professional/audience-driven blogs and personal/content-driven. It seems that the majority of Bloggers only want to be read by a select group of people and that when suddenly faces with a large readership, their content-driven blog (content usually being the aspect that drew in the readers in the first place) to audience-driven weblogs, in which the Bloggers feel forced to ‘perform’ for their readers. Also, there seems to be a correlation between the killing of blogs and the Bloggers’ feeling of needing to perform.

July 6, 2004 in blogtalk 2004 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

presentation

Well, we got through out presentation, despite shaking on my part and speaking too fast :-) . Also, our slides were a little too dark on the screen, so we have included them here as requested. Also, this is the handout that we gave out before the presentation.

It was a great experience though, and one that I look forward to repeating. I have made great contacts here, and was able to connect face to face with Bloggers that I have only read and admired from afar.

One thing that I noticed from the panel position was how well people seem to be able to multitask! I saw people live-blogging, using web cameras, listening to ear phones, and even received an Orkut invitation during our presentation. This makes me wonder…I have often heard that the laptop separates people, that we can not communicate as effectively as we do face to face at conferences, but I wonder if it is not just a matter of practice… those who can multitask seem better at communication than many I have spoken with F2F. I do not believe that the laptop is a barrier, but a facilitator. (this could have been longer, but I want to listen to the presentation now!)

July 5, 2004 in blogtalk 2004 | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack