Friday, December 31, 2010

"Auld Lang Syne"

Straight No Chaser

or a more traditional version...

What the New Year brings to you will depend a great deal on what you bring to the New Year.
-Vern McLellan

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Jott offers another alternative to Dail2Do, discussed in the last post. I had used Jott back in the days when it was free. When they began to charge, I switched to reQall. Here is a video which highlights the features of Jott.

Monday, December 27, 2010


I am a huge fan of reQall and have been using it for almost two years to trap thoughts on the fly. Here is the original post I wrote on it. I recently learned about this alternative, Dial2Do.

There are two plans. The free plan allows you to record reminders to yourself and then receive them in e-mails. the "Pro" plan, at $3.99 per month, adds the features you see in this video.

After visiting the website, I do not see anything that would cause me to change from reQall. However, it does offer me an option in case reQall should one day go away. But I hope that day never comes.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

The Meaning of Christmas

The Linus monologue is has been one of the unforgettable moments of the Christmas season since my earliest elementary school days.

Friday, December 24, 2010

King's College Cambridge: Once in Royal David's City

A celebration of Christmas from the Chapel of King's College, Cambridge. The simple story of the Nativity is told in the familiar words of the King James Bible, and in poetry by Henry Vaughan, John Milton and T.S. Eliot.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

O Magnum Mysterium

Here is a rendition of one of the season's more beautiful works performed by a truly spectacular group. Enjoy the King's College Choir.

Latin text

O magnum mysterium,
et admirabile sacramentum,
ut animalia viderent Dominum natum,
jacentem in praesepio!
Beata Virgo, cujus viscera
meruerunt portare
Dominum Christum.

English translation

O great mystery,
and wonderful sacrament,
that animals should see the new-born Lord,
lying in a manger!
Blessed is the Virgin whose womb
was worthy to bear
Christ the Lord.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Nativity Carol : Kings College Choir, Cambridge

Written in 1963, this was one of its composers
earliest pieces. It was published in 1967
with organ accompaniment, and later
scored for strings by the composer.

Nativity Carol

Born in a stable so bare,
Born so long ago;
Born neath light of star
He who loved us so.

Far away, silent He lay,
Born today, your homage pay,
Christ is born for aye,
Born on Christmas Day.

Cradled by mother so fair,
Tender her lullaby;
Over her son so dear
Angel hosts fill the sky.

Far away, silent He lay,
Born today, your homage pay,
Christ is born for aye,
Born on Christmas Day.

Wise men from distant far land,
Shepherds from starry hills
Worship this babe so rare,
Hearts with His warmth He fills.

Far away, silent He lay,
Born today, your homage pay,
Christ is born for aye,
Born on Christmas Day.

Love in that stable was born
Into our hearts to flow;
Innocent dreaming babe,
Make me Thy love to know.

Far away, silent he lay,
Born today, your homage pay,
Christ is born for aye,
Born on Christmas Day.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Merry Christmas Darling

I have always been a Karen Carpenter fan. As a band director, I closed my first Christmas concert with "Merry Christmas Darling." Little did any of us know that Karen Carpenter would pass away shortly thereafter. Throughout my career as a band director, closing the Christmas concert with this beautiful selection became a tradition.

After posting this video and making mention of it on my Facebook page, I received this comment on that Facebook entry:

I love that song. Dawn and I were background singers on that recording, vocals on September 17, 1978 and video for the first Carpenter's Christmas Special on Sept. 24 (four days before Erin was born).

The comment was left by Dr. Brad Logan, a good friend from many years ago when he was choir director at the University of Montevallo. Brad has been the director of the Bemidji State University Choir since 1998. It's amazing how relationships intertwine. It is also amazing how much time you can spend face-to-face and then learn something new once you are separated by hundreds of miles.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Daily Motivator

Automobiles get out of alignment. When this happens, left to their own devices, they drift to one side. Without intervention, the car is soon in the ditch. We would never sit by and simply let a car drift off the road like that. We make little corrections along the way, little corrections which bring the car back to the center of the lane.

People get “out of alignment” as well. The negative forces in our lives cause us to drift to the negative side. Pretty soon, the “ox is in the ditch.” We all need those stabilizing forces in our lives to move us back to the center and remind us of the direction in which we are headed.

Several years ago, a great friend got me hooked on The Daily Motivator. Both then and now, I never ceased to be amazed at how often its simple message is right on-point with a current real-life situation. This site gives me a slightly different perspective, and a more positive perspective.

Education is a "people" business, and when we are dealing with a variety of personalities, the possibility of veering to the negative side is ever present. Pretty soon, the ox is in the ditch. A proactive approach, such as the message of hope this site provides each day, helps keep us going down the center of the road.

I know there are those who say motivational sayings and talks don't last. Of course, neither does a bath. That's why you take one every day!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Google Sync and Outlook 2010

For Outlook users, Google Calendar Sync provides a superb way to view your calendar from any computer with internet access as well as a way to allow selected others to be able to view and even edit your calendar. I had written about the topic in this post.

The only problem is that those who have upgraded to Outlook 2010 found that Google Calendar Sync did not work with that version. That problem is no more. If you have Outlook 2010, read this post from Official GMail Blog which explains the solution.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Straight No Chaser 12 Days of Christmas

Straight No Chaser performs 'The 12 Days of Christmas' at their reunion show at Indiana University!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Crayons on the Dry Erase Board?

I had never thought of this idea, but would be interested to hear how well it works. Lifehacker recently posted Switch to Crayons for Always-ready Dry Erase Board Writing.

Has anybody tried this? How easily does the crayon come off?

Photo by laffy4k.

Monday, December 13, 2010

O Come, All Ye Faithful

O Come, All Ye Faithful, sung by the King's College Choir.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Power of One

I saw this on Mr. P's Blog, authored by Tucson principal Steve Poling.

The video reminds me of the favorite quote of a very good friend:

Alone, we can do so little. Together, we can do so much.
-Helen Keller

Can you think of a time when someone has sparked this kind of team work in your organization? What were the results?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Wexford Carol

"The Wexford Carol" played by James Galway, flute; Laurence Beaufils, harp

Friday, December 10, 2010

HARO...Help A Reporter Out

Those who write, and from time to time, need someone with specific expertise to provide input on their area. Some of us have expertise in certain areas, and our input would be valuable to authors whose work dips into our corner of the world.

Whichever your camp, HARO may be for you. Simply go to and complete the free registration.

Every weekday, I receive three mails from HARO (one in the morning, one in the afternoon, and one in the evening). Each e-mail gives a brief sentence summarizing what a particular author is looking for. Clicking on the link reveals more information. The list of links are grouped by general topic.

When I was writing Organization Made Easy!, I used HARO to gather input on several topics within the book. I received more information than I could use, and what I was able to use indeed added to the quality of the book. So, whether you are a writer or someone with particular knowledge and skills in your own corner of the world, HARO may be for you. Give it a try.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Fantasia on Greensleeves

Enjoy Fantasia on Greensleeves by Ralph Vaughn Williams

For the younger readers, here is an activity which will give you more information on the piece and the composer.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

The Economy and Our Children

If you ask Americans their #1 concern about our country at this time, the answer is likely to be "the economy." For our children, our concerns become their concerns. Our fears become their fears. That which stresses us ultimately stresses them.

The National Academy of Pediatrics has produced a sheet entitled "Talking to Children About the Economy: Tips for Parents and Other Caregivers." Click here to download that handout. The sheet provides some very practical suggestions that may help to lessen unneeded worry and stress on our young people.

Monday, December 06, 2010

What Should I Read Next?

You have just finished a book, really enjoyed it, and are looking for another good book. Need some help? You can ask the Book Seer!

This amazingly-simply site allows you to input the title and author of a book you enjoyed. It will return a list of recommended books for your next reading.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

The Christmas Can-Can

"The Christmas Can-Can" is from Straight No Chaser's album, "Christmas Cheers!"

Friday, December 03, 2010

Sleigh Ride

Enjoy this rendition of the Sleigh Ride performed by the Boston Pops.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

How Delicious Helps Us Learn from One Another

I first explained the concept of Delicious in this post called is Delicious. Later, we examined the concept of "tagging" in this post.

Today, we look at how can be used to make the teaching profession easier for all of us. To illustrate the concept, imagine you are a teacher who has a SMART Board. Little by little, you come across excellent Internet resources related to the SMART Board. How can you save these for later reference?

Wednesday, December 01, 2010