Archives for September 2009

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Serendipity

gemsI was going through some old files and came across a poem I wrote a number of years ago about the joy of chance encounters.

It was written after a touring holiday, during which we stopped in a small country town called Carcoar in New South Wales.

Intending to stop for just a short break – to stretch our legs and enjoy the scenery – we came across a wee art gallery. A ‘brief chat’ with the artist became a fascinating four hour conversation with him and a friend of his! [Read more…]

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Dreaming of World Peace

worldpeaceWorld peace .. does that sometimes seem an impossible dream?

Maybe.

We’re all human. We get cranky and annoyed. People irritate us – their actions hurt or anger us. And certain events in our lives lead to feelings of devasting pain, grief or anger.

We’ve all seen the effects of these things, either in our own lives or those of others around us. Depression, illness, substance abuse, violence – the list goes on.

And on a larger scale, deep hurt and anger can infect a household, a community or a nation. The cost of this is immeasurable in terms of human suffering.

But imagine what it might be like if, individually, we could transcend those feelings? What if, one by one, we could somehow find our own peace? And follow that up by reaching out a helping hand to heal the hurt and anger of those around us?

[Read more…]

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Holding the Centre

I’ve just finished reading Iran Awakening, by Shirin Ebadi, winner of the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize.

Subtitled A Memior of Revolution and Hope, it is an inspiring read!

Iran_Awakening_Shirin_EbadiAs I read, I was struck by the way in which Shirin Ebadi ‘holds the centre’ – that sometimes painful space where we stand in the centre of contradictions and paradox, yet resist the always present temptation to ‘take sides’ – to retreat to the more ‘comfortable’ space of certainty that one ‘side’ is more correct or more true.

As a lawyer and a speaker, she works tirelessly in the name of justice and she is certainly ‘on the side’ of justice and fairness in all respects – that much is evident.

But, although she abhors the injustices done to people by the various governments of Iran as well as those perpetrated by US intervention in her country, she nevertheless manages to remain ‘at the centre’.
[Read more…]

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The Wonders of WordPress & Thesis

There’s been a big gap since my last blog post – I’ve been very busy with the workhorse aspects of WordPress, improving the operation of the platform for no fewer than 6 websites!

wordpress logoAnd no, I’m not in the process of changing careers… :)

But my webmaster role has definitely increased, and WordPress is the platform for all six sites.

My first two WordPress installations earlier this year were for this blog and my partner Chris’s blog, Chris Chats. More recently we added our third blog, BJ Biz Buzz, offering resources and tips for business.

Then Chris decided he’d like to separate his blogging activity into two – with a second blog focusing on his interest in Tai Chi. This is still a work in progress, as he transfers the relevant content across from Chris Chats. But I’ve done the WordPress installation and initial configuration and it’s ready to go.

Headers Four Blogs

As if that wasn’t enough, we decided that our static website (which I’d been managing too) should be brought more in line with our blogs in terms of style. So BJ Seminars International is now also running on WordPress. And if you happen to drop in to that site, you’l understand that transferring it into WordPress was no small task! :)

The sixth site I’m managing, in partnership with another webmaster, is the Positive Change Core (PCC) website. That was already running on WordPress, but has undergone a major overhaul too in the last couple of weeks – a new theme, new plugins and some major reorganisation of the previous content.

Headers BJSI and PCC

So for the last two weeks I’ve been a bit preoccupied to say the least … immersed in the wonders of  WordPress, php, plugins, widgets and other gadgets.

wordpresswondersI say ‘wonders’ of WordPress deliberately because, although it’s involved some major learning curves and taken considerable time in the short term, I can see how using WordPress will ultimately save me time in the long run.

And since we installed the Thesis theme about three weeks ago, I’ve very much appreciated how WordPress and Thesis together will make my webmastering experience so much easier!

I’ve not yet taken advantage of the SEO enhancing capabilities of both – that’s still on my ‘to do’ list. And there are many more bells, whistles, tweaks and other improvements I’m sure I’ll be making to all the sites. But so far? Well, my wee office has echoed several times with exclamations of  ‘Wow’.. “Amazing” .. “Oh, that’s great!” .. “How EASY!”

NOT that everything has been easy of course – well, not until I’ve finally worked out how to do it anyway! :)

But I’m very impressed with the capacity of WordPress and Thesis together (along with various handy plugins) to configure layout, design, content and all the ‘stuff’ that’s required for maintaining a website.

wordpresswonders02So, although this blog has predominantly been about other topics altogether, I’ve decided to add a WordPress category.

I’ll add posts from time to time about my experience with or impression of different aspects of WordPress or its associated plugins in the hope that my journey into this particular territory might be of some use to others as well. Particularly for other non-expert ‘newbies’ such as myself.

The journey hasn’t been all smooth sailing – a few squally winds, a couple of major storms and several potentially hazardous rocks to avoid.

But so far so good!

Stay tuned for more practical posts in which I’ll share some of the boat-building and navigational tips or tricks I’ve picked up along the way.