Chuq Von Rospach is a Silicon Valley veteran doing Technical Community Management and amateur photographer with a strong interest in birds, wildlife and landscapes. My goal is to explore the Western states and working to tell you the stories of the special places I've found. You can find out more on the About Page.
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Monthly Archives: September 2009
I recently got an interesting email that made my day:
My name is [REDACTED] and I am currently working as a consultant biologist for the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) in Kabul, Afghanistan. I hope you don’t mind me writing out of the blue – I received your contact information via the Tree of Life web project and Flickr. com websites, and would like to request your permission to use one of your excellent photographs of the Gazelle species (Gazella subgutturosa) for a WCS/Government educational project in Afghanistan.
In summary, WCS is working with the Government of Afghanistan to list a number of threatened animals and plants on the country’s first Protected Species List.Â So far, 33 wild species have been formally declared as Protected, therefore prohibiting any hunting or trading of the species within Afghanistan (see: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8091095.stm). One of the species to be likely listed as Protected in the Second round of listing is the Gazella subgutturosa. We are planning to produce a poster to present all these species to the Government and wider public; and it would be fantastic if we could use your photograph to represent this species on the poster (with full copyright details of yourself included). If this would be at all possible and you have the high resolution version available of the attached photograph, or you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to let me know – I would be very happy to send you a picture of the finished poster too if you would like?
Many thanks, in advance, and best regards.
I love being able to help in situations like this, so I reprocessed the photo and sent along a high res version along with my blessings (and formal permission to use); i may only help a little, but it’s great to be able to help at all.
To me, this is an aspect of paying forward; doing stuff that helps others not because of any expectation of a return but because it seemed the right thing to do. It has a nice karmic benefit that if someone doesn’t follow through, you never know, so you’re not disappointed in your fellow mankind — which keeps you from deciding that doing things like this aren’t worth it….
For the curious, here’s the updated version of the photo:
The real payback for doing these things? Sometimes it’s the knowledge that you can, and that it helps. Maybe in a little way, but the world is a little better because of it. And how do you know it helps?
because sometimes someone sends you an email like this one:
You don’t actually know me–but you’ve been helpful and kind several times to me.
I love the new design at Chuqui 3.0. I’m glad to see you’re at Palm–I’m on my second Palm, a TX, which I wanted just for reading e-books on planes, and ended up using for lots more.
Plaidworks was one of the first places I contacted when a client wanted a Web site, back in the mid 90s. You gave me helpful, friendly, thoughtful advice. Your blog was the second or third one I ever saw, and has been a model that I’ve sent people to over and over.
And you’ve had consistently good advice about email lists and community management.
I hope you and Palm succeed. And I love the bird pictures!
And it’s things like that that leave you grinning for days…
the NHLPA firing Jim Kelly: If you needed evidence that the PA was in trouble, you have it. My take on this is simple: the firing was done by a very small group of people without consulting the larger membership. Effectively, it was the thirty team reps â€” and it looks to me like a small group manipulated them with carefully crafted and biased information that wasnâ€™t distributed ahead of the meeting and where the team reps werenâ€™t given time to think it through or consult with the rest of the players they represented.Was it really so urgent that the NHLPA COULD NOT wait two weeks for camps to open, when all of the players would be in town and the team reps could discuss the information with them and make them all part of the process?
well, the membership seems to be figuring out they got gamed:
Itâ€™s possible, according to player sources, that one or more NHLPA members will insist on an immediate, thorough, and independent investigation of not only the process that led to Kellyâ€™s dismissal but also of those who perpetrated it. Clearly, some players are finally waking up to smell the reality that, as one veteran told me last week, â€œPaul got sewered.â€™â€™
The stench has reached the membership, and it is leading them to do something about it.
And something tells me this is both going to get really ugly before it gets better, and it’s going to totally screw over the effectiveness of the player’s association for a good period of time — at a time when they desperately need to have their act together before the start of the next CBA negotiation. And hopefully, the membership will realize that it’s because a few people were willing to destroy the union rather than let it be run in a way they didn’t like — and deal with those people appropriately. I can name one obvious name right from the top… But do I really need to?
We asked Scott Emmert, director of media relations for the Sharks, about the snubs and he encourages fans “not read into them.” He said that just because a particular player isn’t listed doesn’t mean they aren’t going to be featured in another promotional venture for the season. One look at the online season-ticket info page reinforces that: Marleau and Nabokov are still among the players pictured.
Many years ago, the Sharks put Igor Larionov on the cover of the in-game magazine, just as Igor and Kevin Constantine got into a fight that led to Larionov demanding a trade and ending up a Red Wing (and winning a stanley cup….). The Sharks were left handing out magazines for a number of games thatÂ featured a player that was no longer on the team, and had left rather loudly and unhappy. It rankled the fans, and it rankled the Sharks.
And since then they’ve been careful to not put players on long-term promotional items (like tickets) unless they were sure that they were going to be sharks (barring unexpected things). So while I normally recommend not reading too much into things like ticket pictures, in this case, the Sharks have a track record of being careful — if Marleau and Nabokov aren’t on the tickets, then someone must think these players have a chance of not being here by the trade deadline. Current “three way marleau to the kings” rumor notwithstanding, one shouldn’t read into this as a short-term probability as much as a long-term possibility. Doug Wilson is clearly looking to make sure the team is fixed for the playoffs (if it already isn’t), not opening day…
- When I went to work for Palm, I knew that it was going to eat a lot of time and energy and I needed to focus on my work to make sure we all succeeded and delivered the best product we could.
- Hmm. I need to upgrade my installation of WordPress. Be right back.
- I was right. It did eat a lot of time and energy, and it was the right decision to not try to split my loyalties between my job and my not-job. I think we’ve done a pretty damn good job of delivering — so far. There’s still a lot to do.
- Oops. WordPress has eight plug-ins that need updating.
- When I sat down with myself to start talking about the next phase of the blog design I wanted to implement, this voice in the back of my head started whispering to me “YOU IDIOT. HOW MANY TIMES IS GETTING THE WEIGHT OFF GOING TO BE THE NEXT PROJECT, ANYWAY?”
- No, make that 11.
- I had nothing to say. I know that shocks people who know me.
- That voice in the back of my head was right, too. I realized it was time to either get serious about it, or give up and admit I was eating myself to death. It was actually a tougher decision than you might think — but I got serious about my weight.
- Once you stop for a while, it gets really easy to say “oh, it can wait until tomorrow”.
- Surprisingly enough — many times, it can.
- In the grand scheme of the internet, the Great Controversy of today is forgotten (in favor of the next Great Controversy of today), and it’s really easy to convince yourself that it’s not worth the energy to dig in and do research and try to discuss the Great Controversy intelligently.
- Since the primary driver of my eating issues is stress, the primary solution to getting away from the eating issues is to remove stress from my life. The best way to do that was to remove all of the optional (read: “self-induced”) stress about things like finding time to blog, meeting artificial deadlines on blog redesigns, adding stress over trying to set up a photography business and things that if they didn’t happen NOW instead of LATER (or even EVER), only I would care.
- Especially since “Intelligently” seems to be optional in many parts of the net…
- Doctor Who
- When my dad got sick and died, I knew I needed to be there to support mom and help her through the transition and get the estate settled. It started for me at Christmas, we buried him in June, and the estate work finally ended in October. That’s basically an entire year that’s a blur at best.
- And afterward, I realized I was exhausted and miserable, because I’d played the tough guy and hadn’t given myself time to grieve and transition.Â There’s a reason I put on 30+ pounds in about 6 months and joined the 400 club.
- Have I mentioned recently that sometimes I’m an idiot? Yeah, major revelation. Alert the media. Oh, wait. We are the media now. Or something like that.
- Warehouse 13
- Pop quiz: sit down and name the five most important things in your life.
- Somewhere along the way, I decided all of my photography work was crap. crap crap crap crap. Ugly, unadulterated crap. I hated taking photographs.
- About this point, if I were a baseball player, the color guy would be asking pointed questions about when I’d break out of the slump, and my manager would be checking with the GM about sending me to AAA.
- My list of the top five most important things in my life: my wife, because without her I’d be dead today, and because of her I see the future as something to relish; my mom, bceause, well, she’s my mom and I am what I am today in large part because she taught me to be me; my job, because I enjoy it, I think we’re making a difference, and because it pays the bills and mortgage (and frankly, I think people who pretend that something that sucks up a third of their lives isn’t important are fooling themselves); myself, because, well, if I’m not important to myself, why should I be important to anyone else? — and finally, my potential — which I believe I’m just finally starting to really understand and appreciate.
- That could possibly be the most stupid thing a 50 year old person could say. And I stand behind if fully.
- Battlestar Galactica. Stargate. Eureka.
- Fable and Fable II
- One of my “projects” was going through dad’s things and trying to make sense of it all. He was that wonderful combination of a packrat and a person who never actually filed anything or described why he kept it. I found documents of his time in Europe working for Stars and Stripes during the airlift, and later publishing Overseas Weekly and tweaking the military authority in post WW II Germany. I also found phone books from the 70′s and endless reams of blank paper — and a few books of Green Stamps.
- Sacred II
- I kept finding myself pushing myself into his stuff, and emotionally not ready to actually deal with it. Eventually I figured it out and stopped. Pretty literally with piles where I left them around my office and where I’d originally started setting up a photo studio.
- That kinda screwed up my plans to do photography in the studio. For some odd reason, boxes of “stuff” doesn’t help studying flash and macro photography.
- Not that I had the energy or will to try.
- Top Chef.
- I finally realized I needed a break. I needed to give myself permission to DO NOTHING. Just rest. Relax. Recharge the batteries.
- Elder Scrolls.
- Time to answer the pop quiz: did you lie to yourself about what was most important? No? Really? So why aren’t you putting your time and energy into the things on that list? If the things you call your priorities aren’t where you’re setting your priorities — well, that’s a problem, no?
- Have you ever gone a week without a rationalization?
- I don’t do “do nothing” well. My life has always been about doing stuff, building stuff, being involved in stuff — busy. By choice. So I had to teach myself.
- John Scalzi
- It was actually difficult at first — not watching the tv AND writing emails. Not sitting at the desk AND being with Laurie (well, sort of, if sitting halfway across a room is “being with”).
- Terry Goodkind. Tad Williams. Charles de Lint. Jack Whyte.
- You really didn’t want to hear me whine and bitch about stuff in my life anyway, right? Yeah, I thought so.
- The funny thing I learned was that nobody died, the world didn’t end, people didn’t throw stones or accuse me of ignoring my obligations — doing nothing was actually OKAY. Wow. Who knew?
- And by Doing Nothing, I ended up happier with myself, significantly less stressed, and I started enjoying life again.
- And — surprise (sort of) — in the last year, I’ve lost 75 pounds. Since I started seriously working on it in April, 55. I still have a long way to go — 75 pounds is a lot; I just have to do that twice more. The difference is stunning (but that’s a different post) in how I view myself and how I enjoy life.
- A couple of weeks ago, that voice in the back of my head started whispering “HEY, IDIOT. YOU GONNA SIT ON YOUR LAZY BUTT ALL EVENING? TIME TO GET BACK AT IT”.
- I ignored it for a while, but it was right. It was no longer a reason to Do Nothing, it was an excuse. I was feeling the itch to start writing, start posting — start creating and contributing again.
- By the way, my photography doesn’t suck any more. I’ve been kind of ignoring it a lot because of work and my committment to Do Nothing. I’m really ready to start pushing myself to get better again.
- There are still definitely challenges in my life. A new one cropped up this week that’s going to take some attention, but I feel ready to handle it. And whatever challenges come along later.
- I knew once I started blogging and writing again that I was committing myself to getting back in a rhythm, back on a schedule. I wanted to make sure I was ready, so I’ve spent a couple of weeks thinking through what to write about and making sure this was the right thing to do.
- I am. I’m back. And I’m ready for the challenges that lie ahead.