This blog represents my own views, not those of my employer, Brooklyn Bridge Ventures.

Do not pitch me a story or book review for me to write about. This is my personal blog. For more info on that, see this post.


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Young Alumni Third Thursday

Last night was yet another Fordham Young Alumni Third Thursday Happy Hour.  This one was a benefit organized by the Young Alumni Committee (see left) Ya_committee_and_santa for Toys for Tots.  We didn't get the same kind of turnout we did last year, but it was still a blast.  I think a lot of people don't show because they don't know who else might be coming, but for the people that went, we were at O'Flahertys from about 6:30 to midnight.  Some of us partied harder than others...   I think the highlight of the night was introducing Jillian to Kristin Naz.  Jillian_and_kristin They're both going to be in the same teaching in Hungary program next year, and they hit it off tremendously.  Its funny, because Amanda was upset that the turnout was less than expected, but I think that seeing just this one connection was worth everyone's participation for the entire night.  Its about the quality, not the quantity.  Plus, I was glad to see Kristin there, because I hadn't seen her in a while and her work schedule is usually pretty ridiculous.

Me, Samara, Trevor and Ryan shot some rounds of pool as well. 



And, better late than never, Kat Bride graced us with her presence after work.  I think this is an interesting shot...  perhaps its the combo of the colors and the art behind her...



Blogging for Business

I'm listening to Anil from Six Apart and Jim Coudal on the Blogging for Business conference call among some others.  There are 163 people on the call at this moment.   The number of curious people on the sidelines is enormous (maybe good tailwind for my Learning Annex class on Blogging for Success... which is on March 16th, btw... details to come soon, but save the date!).

Its interesting to see businesses feel out exactly how they are going to use blogs...   since this medium originally developed around individuals and bubbled up as oppossed to trickling down from the big guys.

"... Blogs are an opportunity to demonstrate authority on a subject in a very personal way... blogs have personality." - Jim

Anil made a good point about blogs are transparency and how transparency helps build brand...

What really strikes me, as Anil is discussing it, is how positive a medium blogging is turning out to be.  Instances of positive commentary, trading links, creating interesting discussion, etc. seems to completely dwarf negative instances of commentary, personal criticism, content spamming, etc.   I think part of that comes from the fact that the medium tends to focus more on bringing like minded people together.  Chances are, if you're reading a blog, you're already interested in a topic and have a similar perspective as the writer. 

Content is definately king...   "Blogs without good content are like a guitar in the hands of someone who can't play."  - Jim

I got my RSS analogy into the meeting comments...  "If web content is pizza, then HTML is like sitting down to eat it in the pizzeria, and RSS is like getting a pie "to go".  "That's gold, Jerry...   GOLD!"

Thanks guys...     Great job.

The Four Yogas

I haven't posted in a few days, but no worries, I'm still here...

I'm reading the Bhagavad Gita right now...  its a book I learned about when I took a class at the School of Practical Philosophy last year.  I just started, but even the introduction is thought provoking.  The gita is one of the central texts in Hindu literature, and without going into lots of detail, which I'm sure to follow up with during the course of my reading, it offers up a unique insight into the religion and its teachings about philosophy.

Anyway, the introduction answers the question "What kind of yoga (teachings) does the Gita teach?" with the following:

jnana yoga - the yoga of knowledge   An aspirant uses his will and discrimination to disidentify himself from his body, mind, and senses until he knows he is nothing but the Self.

bhakti yoga - the yoga of devotion   The follower achieves the same goal by identifying himself completely with the Lord in love.  By and large, this is the path taken by most of the mystics of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.

karma yoga - the yoga of selfless action   The aspirant dissolves his identification with body and mind by identifying with the whole of life, forgetting his finite self in the service of others.

raja yoga - the yoga of meditation   The follower of raga yoga disciplines his mind and senses until the mind-process is suspended in a healing stillness and he merges in the Self. 

So the question is, what kind of spiritual aspirant am I?  Do I seek the Self, which is really a conception of a higher power, through knowledge, devotion, service, or discipline? 

hmm...    I'll have to think about that.  The tough part is, its not necessarily as easy as "What kind of person are you?"  Its more like "When do you feel you are your truest inner self?" - Marine sacrifices finger to save wedding ring - Dec 12, 2004

Link: - Marine sacrifices finger to save wedding ring - Dec 12, 2004.

I can't believe this story...  this guy chooses losing a finger so they can save his wedding ring, and then the doctors go and LOSE THE RING!!

If I were him, I'd make sure I gave the doctor the finger after that.

Offline Blogging... Circa Jan '98

When I was home for Christmas break in my freshman year at Fordham I remember reading a Time essay about this guy who kept these lists... books and books of all of these random lists.  They were just things he noticed, of no particular value individually, but strung together the lists were fascinating.  Words on the back of a truck on the highway.  Items in a garage sale.  Letters skywritten above.  It inspired me and I went out and bought a little notebook to jot down random records, snippets of my life.  At first, they were all over the place and like my blog, I had to feel out what I was doing with them.  But, also like my blog, every now and then you get a gem, I think, and I managed to say something interesting.

Once, I accidently washed one of these books in a pair of shorts in the laundry.  When I first discovered what I had done, I nearly cried.  Some of the pages were washed out, but most of the writing survived.  That let me to start scanning these pages so they wouldn't be lost.  But that was a while ago and it was a clumsy process and I couldn't quite figure out what I was going to do with these scanned pages, so I stopped.  Now, I think my blog is actually a very appropriate place for them.  So, beginning today, whenever I get a chance, I'm going to scan a few pages from my "little books" and post them.  I'll start with the ones I already had done.

I guess, in a sense, these were like little blogs, but I just wasn't tapped into the medium to promote it at the time.  Also, some of the stuff was a bit too personal for posting.  You can tell if you read my blog that I have a definate line when it comes to posting very personal things, but I think what's written in these little books has passed the statute of limitations, since they're about seven years old. 

Book1cv1Book1_1Book1_2Book1_3Book1_4Book1_5Book1_6I'll pick out my own personal highlights.  The rest might not always make sense or seem silly.  I love the little pool diagram.  The most meaningful, though, is my post about Patti.  Patti was my high school girlfriend for two years, and we broke up in August right before I went to Fordham (I was a year older).  I literally recorded the very moment that I could bear to hear about her with other guys and be reasonable about it... five months later.  Now, granted that was just hearing about it... I didn't have to see it, but that was a big thing for me.  I have no recollection at all who Mike Melia is, but apparently, I thought she was dating him.  That was a big step in the healing process there... red letter day.