Being an external brain

One of my dear friends is currently at the hospital for hip replacement surgery. And so I wanted to quickly post a note to something I wrote (and she reviewed before I posted it) that’s about what I’m doing for her during her recovery.  We refer to what I do as being her External Brain. I talk about the details of how we make that work over here.)

Basically, I keep track of details so she doesn’t have to. So her husband doesn’t have to. So we know that there’s someone who can sit with her all the time while she’s in the hospital (my friend has adult hearing loss and lip-reads, so having someone there to both remind the hospital staff of that and of what’s necessary for her to participate in the conversation (and to do things like take notes of what’s happened, so she doesn’t … Continue reading

Vacation, part 1

I’m currently in Boston, wrapping up part 1 of my vacation to see family and friends out here. (I grew up in a Boston suburb, went to college in a different one, and most of my college friends are still in the area, as is my mother.) Later this morning, we’ll be taking off to see my brother, sister-in-law, and my 5 and 7 year old nieces in New Haven for a few days.

In August, I’ll have lived in Minnesota for 10 years. And yet, while I love Minnesota (deeply: I fell in love with the state on a visit about a year before I moved and have never regretted that choice), coming back to the ocean, to the glacial valleys, to the landscape of my childhood  is never a bad thing.

Pagan values – informed choice

Last month, Pax declared June to be Pagan Values Blogging month. I’ve been thinking since that announcement about what I wanted to talk about. One of the obvious choices, given my professional interests, is the power of information.

And it’s not just information alone – I’m not talking about trivia here, information disconnected from action or change. But in any path that places a heavy consideration on personal responsibility (as many Pagan paths do in one form or another), information allows us to make choices that are based on more than personal preference at a given moment.

To make informed choices, we need information.

And, of course, the kind of information we need varies based on our goals, the topic, and our past level of experience. The information that’s going to be most helpful to one person may not make much difference to someone else.

We may need basics. … Continue reading

Online communication

Phoenix Song, my coven, has had several inquiries over the spring  from people interested in learning more about us (and possibly joining us.) This is always a tricky process, but we’ve been through the initial stage enough times now that I want to talk about it here – and why we picked the initial process we did.

Our process is described over here and our introductory letter information is here, if you’d like to see specifically what we talk about.

So, why email?

There are a number of reasons I wanted to start with email. While I recognise that it’s not a perfect communications tool (and that some people will be more familiar with it and comfortable with it than others), I felt that the advantages more than make up for that.

Little bits of techno-magic

I touched on some of this in my post about my new job – but I wanted to come back to it.

I’m a librarian, an infovore, and I consider being able to manage information one of the greatest forms of power. This means I’m on and around computers all day – and that I tend to build in little tiny pieces of ways to redirect my attention where I can. Here’s some of my ongoing and recent ones.

(I’ll note here that I use a Mac at home – in this case, a shiny new MacBook, which is why I’ve been thinking about this. I use a PC running XP at work, and work requires 5 different sets of passwords for various things.)

Music:

I create playlists in my iTunes for all sorts of different things: sabbats and elements, but also for particular kinds of working. For the … Continue reading