Today I made on change on this "DanYork.com" site to move it to a new theme that uses "responsive design" so that it will look good on a mobile device as well on a large screen. I've been wanting to do this for quite some time because any of a zillion reports out there will tell you that an increasing majority of users are viewing websites on their mobile devices. I can just see that in my own behavior where I use my iPhone or iPad for viewing so many sites.
The challenge I have is that this site, and my other major personal blog sites, are all still hosted on TypePad, one of the early blog hosting providers where I started writing back in 2005 or so. Some year I'd love to consolidate them onto one of the other hosted sites where I run WordPress... but the amount of work to do so is quite substantial given the hundreds upon hundreds of posts between my various sites. Some day...
Meanwhile, I figured out enough about TypePad's one responsive design theme to be able to move this site over. At some point over my holiday vacation I'd like to move these two over to a responsive theme:
They are where the bulk of my personal writing occurs. The challenge with any move to a new theme on TypePad is that you need to rebuild the menus, sidebars, etc., so it does take a bit of time.
I also want to move my writing aggregation site to a responsive theme:
That site is hosted on WordPress and so there are many options... I just have to find one that I like and spend the time configuring it.
Most of my other WordPress-hosted sites already are responsive, including:
Out of my various websites where I write that will really just leave CircleID, where I have no control over the formatting, and my 7 Deadliest UC Attacks site that is also still hosted by TypePad. If I have the time, I'll probably just move that one during the migration of my DisTel and DisCon sites.
And then, of course, there is my Deploy360 site at work... which is a MUCH bigger challenge that will be dealt with sometime in 2015...
The end goal will be that people will be able to read my writing with ease on whatever platform they use - mobile phone, tablet, desktop... or anything else.
It's been quite an eye-opening experience for my wife and I, both in terms of learning about the quantity of people in our region who are homeless... but also in hearing some of the stories and knowing that while often it is very definitely choices that get people into these situations, sometimes it is instead circumstances - job losses, medical expenses, family issues - and that the line between those who have and those who have not can be very thin and fragile.
Recently a local community TV show recorded an episode with several of us who have been involved with the community breakfasts. I represented our church and spoke about some of the changes that being involved has brought about with me and our family.
Give it a listen... and if you are in the Keene, NH, area and interested in helping, we're always looking for people to help during these cold winter months!
P.S. For the purpose of including an image for this post in the "carousel" at the top of the site, I'm including this screenshot of me talking:
In our every action... each moment of the day... we make the choice to build people up or to tear people down. The choice we make determines the type of person we are - and the type of world we want to live in.
Today I was reminded of one of the truly awesome and wonderful aspects of youth curling bonspiels (tournaments) - when the kids go through the door out onto the ice, the game is ENTIRELY up to *them*.
No adults are allowed out on the ice. No coaches. No parents. No one.
Just the youth.
Unlike other youth team sports there are no coaches helping call the shots or determine the flow of play. There is no one to consult with. (Although we are nearby if there is a rules question that needs addressing or if there are safety issues.) From the initial start with a shaking of hands and a coin toss all the way to the end... it is entirely up to the kids.
The strategy. The scoring. The flow of the game. The making of the shots. The interpretation of the rules.
All of it... by them.
Of course we as coaches work with them to teach them all the different aspects of the sport and to prepare them for the games.
But when they go through that door... it is entirely up to them!
We are left to just watch from behind the glass... to celebrate... and sometimes to cringe... but there is absolutely nothing we can do but watch!
Pretty awesome for the kids!
Tonight begins a new era in our lives as parents as our 12-year-old daughter competes for the first time in a curling "bonspiel" (tournament) that will go all weekend (or, at least, we hope so!). Over the past three years that she has been involved with the Petersham Curling Club youth program in nearby Petersham, MA, she's been in the "Little Rocks" program where she has played in typically three or four one-day bonspiels around New England.
But now that she has reached the age of 12 she is in the "Juniors" program... and they play at a much more serious level and in events that take a much greater amount of time!
The event this weekend is the Broomstones Junior Bonspiel at the Broomstones Curling Club in Wayland, Massachusetts, about two hours away from where we live. She's on a team with three other youth with whom she has been playing for three years. For those who know curling teams she'll be playing the "second" position in the team. (It's the second person of four to throw stones for a team.)
The games are full 8-end games, which means they'll be on the ice for a full two hours! Their schedule right now is:
The bonspiel is arranged in a series of brackets with the outcome determining who will play in the playoffs and finals on Sunday. We're certainly hopeful that the team will do well enough to be in the games on Sunday.
I'm excited for her... and as a parent I'll be there on the sidelines cheering her team on! (I'll also be posting updates and a few photos to the Petersham Youth Curling Facebook page.)
And then, yes... we have probably 3 or 4 more of these all-weekend events coming up over the course of the winter, along with some one-day events, too.
Let the curling season begin! :-)
As I did so, I noticed a guy with a pickup truck about 20 feet away who was meticulously folding up the now empty paper bags that he had obviously used to bring leaves to the dump.
We gave the silent nods of acknowledgement that people often do at the dump... and then curiosity got the better of me and I asked "so do you re-use your bags?"
"Oh, sure! I usually get a good three years out of them," he said.
I nodded... and we both continued our separate work. But what blew my mind at that moment was simply this:
I had never considered re-using the paper leaf bags!
They were just the things you put leaves in and then threw out at the dump. Nothing more than that.
My package of 5 bags cost me $3.29 at my local hardware store. I bought two packages and so my investment thus far was a bit under $7. ($6.58 if we're being precise.) I was figuring I would probably need another set of bags to finish out the season and so I'd buy another set soon.
In my mind just "the cost of doing business" and living in New England. Since the drop-off of leaves is free at our city dump, that $10 is my cost for the season, plus of course the bit of gas to drive out to the dump.
Not a big deal in the flow of our regular household budget.
$10 can buy other things. $10 could pay for the gas I need to drive back and forth. $10 could be donated to someone who might need it more.
It was a reminder to me that we live in such a consumeristic society where we just think about everything as being disposable. I was thinking about things as being disposable, particularly because these are just paper bags that will automatically degrade along with all of the leaves in them.
But why not re-use them?
By the time I unloaded my nine bags the guy had driven away and I was the only one at the pile. A couple of my bags were ripped from sticks and needed to be thrown in the pile... but I did save seven of them. Just emptied out the leaves and then folded them somewhat back together.
Now I don't have to buy that third set of bags - and if I'm careful I can probably not rip these bags and hold on to them for next year.
The only way out of being a "disposable" society is for us to think about ways that we can indeed reduce, re-use and recycle... and in this case I chose to re-use!
What about you? Do you re-use leaf bags? (If you are in the part of the world that needs them.) Or have you never bothered with leaf bags anyway and just used tarps and such?
If you found this post interesting or useful, please consider either:
Unfortunately I completely forgot about the <meeting> from 8-9am ... and since I also have to pack up to check out of the hotel as I'm flying home tonight, as well as get out some messages/posts *before* the meeting... there's just no way I can also fit in a run. :-(
If you get this before going out and could just fire back a quick acknowledgement that would be great. If I don't hear from you I'll be standing down in the lobby at 6am NOT in my running clothes.
I was about to hit the Send button.
My cursor was poised over the send icon button at the top of the message window on my MacBook Pro. All I had to do was tap my finger and the message would be off.
But I paused...
... and as I read that message and re-read it again and again... it just seemed like a really weak excuse.
There will always be reasons to NOT go for a run.
As I thought about it, I realized that if I were truly honest with myself some of those posts and messages that seemed so urgent to send off before the 8:00am meeting... really could wait a bit. Sure, it would be great to get them off first thing... but it wouldn't be the end of the world if they were published/sent a few hours later.
And I realized again that it is easy to NOT prioritize exercise and running.
And that it is all about the choices we make in every moment of our lives.
And that I had a choice right then that would define what were my priorities.
And then I chose to NOT send that message!
I did get into my running clothes... and I was down in the hotel lobby at 6:00am... and it turned out that there was a group of about 8 runners who gathered there... and we all went out for a great 3.8 mile run!
And I felt great after doing that!
We all have choices. We choose whether to exercise - or not.
P.S. The photo with this post is one I took on a morning run in Toronto during an IETF meeting. My hard-core, ultra-marathon-runner friend Hannes took it easy and joined us slow runners for a nice run along the harbor front... that's him in the orange. :-)
Yes, curling... that winter sport.
In July. :-)
And yes, I'm excited! I'm taking two vacation days to bring my 12-year-old daughter Chloe down to this Junior Curling Camp sponsored by the Grand National Curling Club (GNCC), the organization that helps coordinate the sport of curling along the eastern coast of the USA.
Chloe absolutely loves the sport and has been curling for the past three years in the Petersham Curling Club youth curling program down in Petersham, MA, about 45 minutes south of where we live in Keene, NH. This past year she was a skip (captain) for one of our Petersham "Little Rocks" teams (ages 7-11) and did quite well in a couple of bonspiels (tournaments).
Now as a 12-year-old she'll be going into the "Juniors" program and playing at a more serious level with kids ages 12 up to 21-ish. When we were talking earlier this year about what to do this summer, this curling camp rose right to the top of her choices. :-) So we're heading down to join 31 other kids from around the region for what should be a couple of pretty intense days. It starts tomorrow (Thursday, July 31, 2014) afternoon and goes through Sunday mid-day. Lots of practice sessions, individual coaching, classroom work and some games.
The fun part for me is that I also get to join in the action as a coaching assistant. The camp will have some high-level coaches and instructors from the US Curling Association and from national teams, but they invited other club coaches to help... and I jumped right in. I'm very much looking forward to learning a great deal over the next few days from the other coaches that I can bring back to our Petersham CC youth program, as well as for the Monadnock Curling Club effort we are trying to start up in Keene.
So that's the plan... curling... in July... in Pennsylvania! :-)
And then somewhere in the midst of all that jetlagged weariness the dark side of the date infiltrated my wife's consciousness and she posted a simple message to Facebook:
Today I am a three year survivor! July 1 is the cancerversary of my surgery and the start of 18 months of breast cancer treatment....
It was indeed three years ago today that we spent the day at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center up in Lebanon, NH, as she underwent a dual mastectomy. It was, unbelievably to me, simply day surgery. She was back at home that night, albeit in severe pain and not up and around for quite some time.
It's been a long, strange road since then.
Some parts of that journey I've written about here in my many posts on the topic. Other parts I've not shared.
Mostly, we just go on.
I'm constantly amazed by the strength my wife shows through it all, and her willingness to be more open about it than many are. She is an inspiration to me - and I know to others.
Sadly, we've certainly come to know that she is not alone... and that even as we celebrate a three year anniversary, others are being diagnosed and treated now... while others are celebrating longer anniversaries... and others are passing away. Cancer is indeed the scourge that keeps on taking.
Hopefully some day we won't need to be marking anniversaries like this one.
Of course, as the "Great Circle Mapper" site reminded me, my "circle" may not be quite as round as I was thinking it would be because the flights will probably take the northern route shown on this awesome image below:
Still, it is rather fun to see that this trip will go in some kind of loop around the world.
I talked about this in one of my "The Dan York Report" podcasts this morning:
I mentioned a "write-on" globe that I use to show where I will be traveling for my kids. While I bought it at the headquarters of Delorme Maps up in Freeport, Maine, the globe itself turns out to be made by Replogle as the "Geographer Globe". You can probably find it in stores that sell globes or on various online sites. Here is one link to buy it on Amazon.com, although you may be able to find it at other places for less.
It's been fun to use that globe to give my family a sense of where I am going.
It also serves to remind me of just how long I'm going to be in airborne metal tubes! :-(
 In full disclosure, this link to Amazon is an "associate" link. If you were to actually purchase the globe, I would make a tiny amount of money for the referral. If you think that has any influence on my writing about it, you obviously don't know me well. :-)