Wednesday, December 12, 2007

In the fast lane

Castellana hi-speed, originally uploaded by edans.

I gather there are many of us out there feeling confused and overwhelmed at times, wondering how to prioritize on the truly important things … So I'm posting here Stephen Downes' words of wisdom here, fresh from my inbox.

Everybody faces from time to time demands to make whatever they're doing more efficient. I am no supporter of wasted time and effort. But I always caution the people demanding greater efficiency. Imagine, I say to them, that you are at the top of a 20-story building. Standing by the window. You know the most efficient way to get back down to the bottom. Right? And sometimes, I conclude, some inefficiencies - some resistance and some friction - are exactly what are needed. The principle of efficiency, ruthlessly applied, inevitably leads to a fall.

Just what I needed to read. Thank you, Stephen. Thought it might be useful for some of you folks as well. ;-)

Sunday, December 2, 2007

New Year season coming

Light strings lining our streets remind of the approaching New Year season. The 3 good men will soon bring presents to Slovene children; St. Nicholas on December 6th, Santa Claus on December 25th, and Grandpa Frost aka dedek Mraz on December 31st/January 1st. I asked Kay if they have 'dedek Mraz' in the US – she said there is a character called Father New Year or Father Times but that he does not bring presents. Only Santa Claus. We are luckier, aren't we? ;-)
My personal favorite of the 3 has always been dedek Mraz. Imported from Russia (ded Moroz), he is a remnant from the times of Yugoslavia when Christmas and St. Nicholas Day weren't too loudly celebrated due to communist regime. They had been widely celebrated before that and they are today, here and there also during Yugoslavia, but much more quietly. Being a child from this socialist era, dedek Mraz continues to be my hero. Who is yours?
Photo source: