Archive for March, 2013

Wearing the red


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The sky looks as if it’s fixin’ to snow, which is fine — it’s not yet Easter, and I am a firm believer in Easter snow.  While relatives have had more than their usual share of the white stuff, Elsinore has only had a few dustings, and the daffodils are starting to wave hello to the hellebores beneath the porch and the three-year old Dusty Miller in the supposed annual border.

What the winter season didn’t provide, I can’t wish into fruition, so let me turn my attention to some place where words might have a bit more influence: fundraising.

The goal is to build a bridge between the values of a group or individual who has money, and organization which believes that it embodies or enacts those values.

There are some obvious tricky parts:  say, finding those people with money, and then the subset of those who have the values or standards that your organization has chance of meeting.

But it can be equally tricky getting the organization to endure a perspective shift from whatever they’ve already been doing and consider what they might do if more funds, or more responsibilities come upon them. When I first started this paragraph, I was thinking about how often I had to tell undergrads that just saying “I’m terrific, you should want me” or “You have the opportunity to help me get to the next level” (both of which frequently appear in the first drafts of cover letters) isn’t sufficient.  That’s actually not the problem I’ve got here.  Instead, it seems to be a lack of imagination, or maybe uncertainty about what it would mean to throw more energy, not less, into a group that has previously ‘managed’ with so little.

What if more people discovered what you were doing, agreed with you that it was terrific, and then expected you to do more of it, in more places, at a higher level of quality than you had before?  Does that stretching sound like fun, or remind you that you already feel maxxed out?  What if someone decides your slogan sounds pretty good, and you should live it out louder?  What if…?

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Noxious gases

Well that’s going to linger for a while, given the shape of this space and the recirculated air. I swear one of the flight crew has just set off an air freshener of some sort to save us all.

Although now I have a clearer idea of why there wasn’t a chili or bean burrito option for the in-flight snack.


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While I have to give this Chronicle essay ‘props’ for managing to work The Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy into an essay on the parallels between evolutionary biology and existentialism, it fails to earn ‘mad props’…

…because it forgets to consider the bowl of petunias!

No, I’m not being frivolous:  if you’re going to say that we all “just are”, with meaning only coming from our actions, and then compare the situation to that of the puzzled whale hurtling towards the planet Magrathea, you also need to account for the consciousness of that plant, or find a better analogy.

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I don’t know if this is a slime mold or not.  I will post another picture so that people can help me puzzle this out.20130315-224732.jpg

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…courtesy of the Philadelphia Flower Show…

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