New Blog: Blogger working with special needs individuals

My friend Vanessa just started blogging to help facilitate conversations with other people working with people with special needs.  This field is really important to her... as her dad was diagnosed with MS over 25 years ago.   If anyone has any tips for other bloggers in this field she should connect with or how to approach this kind of a blog, please leave a comment on her site.   Good luck, Vanessa!  Its obviously a very worthwhile endeavor.

Read More


I'm not going to post about last night without explaining why there were 30 of my friends at Bar 515 celebrating.  While I can't say yet where I'm going (not until Monday anyway), the big news is that Friday, February 11, 2005 will be my last day at General Motors Asset Management.  After a little over eight years, I will be moving on for a really fantastic opportunity.  It has been a great experience, which I will write lots about when I make my official announcement on Monday.  For now, I'll just be concentrating on the party last night. 

I think Tim really captured the significance of the occasion when he asked, "What else have you done in your life for eight years so far?  Nothing."  He was totally right.  GM had been the longest continuous association/presense I've ever had.  Talk about an era.  Anyway...  more on Monday.  On to the party.

First of all, the turnout was amazing.  I really didn't expect so many people to show.  One of Dorean's friends said to me, "Wow, you have a lot of friends."   I guess I do.  I just don't like losing touch with people, especially when I've met quality people.  My life, in spite of the fact that it hasn't taken me too far geographically, has taken me through a lot of different groups of people and so I've met a lot of people that I would like to keep around.  Last night, people from so many different parts of my life were represented.  It was a little overwhelming to see them all there at once, and to feel like you're responsible for them having a good time.  I suppose that's what the alcohol is there for... its like a babysitter.  "Mr. Beer, could you watch Brian for a little while while I go greet some guests?"  Anyway, there were people from home, from Genesis, Regis/Marymount days, Fordham, GM, kayaking, baseball.  I thought it would be interesting to plot the entrance of selected people into my life on a timeline. 

No, I'm serious, I actually did it:

It will be interesting to see how that plays out over time.  Maybe I'll do another one for my grad school going away party.  :)

Anyway, I know you're all dying to see the pictures.  To be honest, I didn't get as many people as I would have liked to.  I was pretty busy hanging out with everyone, but I did get a few.  Perhaps I should have deputized some people at the bar with the Powershot.  That always seems to get the volume up and the quality down.

Read More

MP3 download, Music CD, Online music

Today was a major breakthrough in terms of my photography skills.  Jeff the Intern, put this photo in your pipe and smoke it:

Img_0154 The funny thing is, this butterfly wasn't even that impressive in person.  He (or she... I didn't check) wasn't even that big--maybe about an inch and a half across.  But, I got the camera right up in his grille and snapped one off.  I'd say it is probably the best photo I've ever taken.  I guess you just have to take a lot to get a good one.  I just bought a new memory card for the camera, so be prepared for a lot more.  I'm going to start posting all the originals on a site.  I've seen Ofoto.  Valarie Cooper suggested Snapfish.  Does anyone else have any suggestions?

So, yesterday, we basically tooled around the city.  I think it was just as much an excuse for me to take lots of new photos as it was to explore the city.  One thing I'm realizing about taking pictures...   it gives the best moments of your life a longer shelf life.  We all have boring or sad times in our lives, but when you flip back through the pictures you took of the best parts, it tends to dwarf the times you'd rather forget.

Img_0141 First stop of the day was the Haight-Ashbury district... SF's equivilent to the Village I suppose.  I only took this picture to show that I was there, but I didn't feel comfortable snapping off a lot of pics like a tourist in and around the tattoo shops and used clothing stores.  I felt like they could smell my recent vote cast for the red team and didn't want to get the scarlet "R" branded on me.  (Although, if I wanted an R branded on me, there's a shop there that would do it.)

Img_0145Img_0144Img_0147These pictures are from Buena Vista park.  The church is St. Ignatius Church at USF.  Gotta get the Jesuit stuff in somehow.  The first pic was a close second I think for the pic of the day.

Img_0148 So, as we're leaving the park, I spot this random mound thing.  I was curious, so we went over there for a closer look.

Img_0149 There's a sign that labels this thing as the "Randall Museum."  I'm not sure I understand exactly how this is a museum, but it was fascinating nonetheless.


I took pictures from the top of the "Randall Museum".  These were difficult to take, because I'm pretty damn scared of heights.  The good thing is, I'm better with looking out  than I am with down.  This is where I took the butterfly pic.

Img_0160 Img_0155Img_0159

This is the Palace of Fine Arts...  the architecture is impressive, but the turtles proved equally as interesting...  for 10 minutes, Carrie my patient tour guide and I watched one the closest turtle to us in this pic get a worm off his  back leg.  For you and I, a worm on our leg isn't a big issue, but imagine if you were a turtle.  You can't reach your leg with any other part of your body and you can't really shake it out too quickly to dislodge the little critter.  It took a while, but he finally kicked the worm off. 


Img_0172 I have more pics, but its taking too long to upload.  Note to Six Apart...    you should let people post multiple pictures at a time.  The interface is really good and it lets you cut and paste very quickly once its uploaded, so I wouldn't mind being able to just upload the whole group of pics I plan to post at once upfront.  For now, I'll finish with this one.  I don't know who these people are, but they were sitting by the water in Sausalito and I thought it made a good Hallmark moment--certainly picture worthy.  Sigh.

Read More

Journal Gazette | 06/06/2005 | Trading stocks for cookies

I went to junior high school with Cara...   After reading the article below, I think I'm going to start sending cookies around instead of flowers, which are generally overpriced and pretty wilted most of the time.  If you're sending something to anyone in Brooklyn, try her shop.  The number is 718-680-6680.

Newsday photos

Cara Macksoud left her job as a specialist on the New York Stock Exchange floor to run a franchise of Cookies In Bloom.

Link: Journal Gazette | 06/06/2005 | Trading stocks for cookies.

NEW YORK – Two years ago Cara Macksoud was trading Spiders, Diamonds and other sophisticated investments on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. She’s now taking orders for chocolate turtles and S’mores at her Cookies in Bloom franchise in New York.

Read More