Friday, May 16, 2003

Nearly one quarter of Utah 18-year-olds don't graduate from high school?

Just spotted a disturbing report on Craig Nielsen’s blog. The study finds only 75.7 percent of Utah 18-year-olds graduate from high school -- which gives Utah a national ranking of 18. The top ranking state is Vermont at 92.1 percent. Arizona ranks last at 55.8. The overall rate in the US is 71.3 percent.

The study does not include GED graduates. Here's their rationale: "GED holders should not be counted as the equivalent of high school graduates, given that they fare worse in the labor market and in post-secondary education than individuals who get regular high school diplomas."

"People will do almost anything you ask them to do and resist anything you tell them to do." -Dick Siddoway, author, legislator, and Principal of Utah's Electronic High School.


Thursday, May 15, 2003

pie in the sky

“Yesterday and today have been exceptional days for dramatic clouds.  This morning’s view out my window looks a little like the blueberry sour cream pie Joey picked up from Marie Callendar’s over the weekend.  There are layers of dark blue, gray blue, light blue, sky blue and a layer of white, cumulous clouds emulating the sour cream and whipped cream.  It’s also much colder today than yesterday.”  --a journal entry on October 29, 2002 at 7:40 a.m.  Today’s clouds reminded me of that entry, but here in mid-May the there’s much more blue sky, and fewer dark gray clouds.

At first people refuse to believe that a strange new thing can be done, then they begin to hope that it can be done, then they see that it can be done -- then it is done and all the world wonders why it was not done centuries ago.
--Francis Hodgson Burnett

If you didn't click on the Bob Dylan link below, here's what you missed:

He was born Robert Allen Zimmerman in Duluth, Minnesota, May 24, 1941. As a child he learned to play guitar and harmonica. In high school he started a rock band called the Golden Chords. Early influences included folk musician Woody Guthrie, country-blues singer Hank Williams and gospel-trained rocker Little Richard.

Influential Dylan recordings include: The Times They Are a Changin', Blowin' in the Wind, A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall, Don't Think Twice, It's All Right, Mr. Tambourine Man, and Like a Rolling Stone.

"Despite his coarse, nasal, and somewhat grating singing...(a producer predicted success for the performer with)...street-urchin charm, and a Chaplinesque stage presence."
--Current Biography, World Musicians, Wilson Biographies

"Bob Dylan's influence on popular music is incalculable. As a songwriter, he pioneered several different schools of pop songwriting, from confessional singer/songwriter to narratives." --AMG Biography

"Elvis Presley freed your body. Bob Dylan, he freed your mind."
--Bruce Springsteen

Related resources:

Find more with:

Tuesday, May 13, 2003

We hit the Boneville Shoreline Trail east of the This is the Place Monument on the lunch hour mountain bike ride today. Great view of Research Park, Fort Douglas, the University of Utah, downtown Salt Lake, and all "within the shadow of the everlasting hills" -- the figurative shadow, that is, of the snow capped Oquirrh mountains and Farnsworth Peak.

yet another variation on ready, shoot, aim

What goes in a blog? What doesn't? Pete Kruckenberg and I talked about this a bit yesterday. (Incidentally, Pete's migrated his blog from Radio Userland to MovableType and is a much happier blogger as a result.)

Blogging is like writing a letter to the editor, calling a talk show, or sending an article off to a publisher. You're making a public statement. You're on the record. There's a permanency with an upside and a downside.

The upside is that you're accountable. You may help solve a problem. You may encourage someone. You may put out a fire and help the firefighters see their possibilities as paramedics.

The downside is that you're accountable. You may start a fire and find you've distracted the firefighters. You may inadvertantly or intentionally rain on someone's parade. You may have to check your facts, issue a correction, or apologize.

Either way, sooner or later, blogging is likely to be an educational experience in ways you didn't anticipate.

So here's a low tech way to improve your content and protect your assets. Draft your blog in a word processor. Write freely. Don't try to edit while you write. After you've got something sitting there, then paste your best stuff it into your blog. Or rewrite it. Or go a different direction. In other words separate writing from editing and publishing. Write whatever you need to write and then decide later if that's something you want to publish. Maybe that will be a few minutes or hours later. Maybe it will be weeks, months or years later.

For example here's something I journaled October 9, 2002 -- several months before I started blogging. "Yesterday was an adventure. I helped (my step dad) Dee install a new light fixture in his bathroom. It is the first time I can remember driving alone with Dee in a long time, probably not since I got my driver's license. It was a pleasant episode."

So thanks for two memories, Dee. The recent one of removing the old fixture, going to the store, buying the new stuff, fishing wires, installing the switch, hanging the fixture, and finding satisfaction with the finished result. And the not-so-recent one when you trusted a 15-year-old with your car, and didn't panic when I failed to stop when making a right turn on a red light.

"If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy." -Red Green

On the calendar this month: May 24 - Bob Dylan's birthday


Monday, May 12, 2003

swim write

I wasn't going to write today. I told myself I'm just too busy. I'll post a quote and list a couple of links, but that's it. And then I saw the quote below and realized that it would probably be easier to write than to post that quote and feel strange about not having written something.

Relaxation and balance are on my mind today. Maybe because it's a Monday and I feel a little anxious and unbalanced. But I did swim on my lunch hour and again felt an incredible weightlessness in the water. I've been trying Terry Laughlin's Fishlike Swimming techniques. He teaches relaxation and balance, piercing the smallest possible hole in the water, seeing yourself as a vessel and shaping it to be a long, slippery and streamlined sailing ship rather than a barge, slowing down your stroke, improving your feel for the water, increasing your net propulsive potential by decreasing drag -- moving faster by slowing down.

Related concepts?

  • Seek the sweet spot
  • Let the game come to you
  • Be bold, free, truthful
  • Release your brakes
  • Flow

Related resources at UEN:

"Writing crystallizes thought and thought produces action." Paul J. Meyer

Found while looking for something else: Hats of Hope and Writing to Heal, Writing to Grow.


Sunday, May 11, 2003

The Kodalith effect. Doing this in a darkroom in the seventies took special film and hours of trial and error. Doing it in PhotoShop probably didn't need to take hours, but it was great fun to play around with all the possible variations.

"Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power." --Abraham Lincoln

Found while looking for something else: A case history on how NOT to treat your customers. (Just take a quick scan through the red, negatives this guy has managed to elicit from his customers.)