Archive | April 2009

Coffee is Calling

Whenever I go to Twitter in the middle of the morning and see the tweet “Coffee is calling” I know: Barbara Ling is here. She is up at the most unusual times (at least for me), and she is not only out of bed, but also already at work, which amazes me everytime I met her online. If someone would force me to get up at that time in the morning (night?), I would just sit there, staring at my tea cup. If anybody would tell me to sign something I would just sign it, no matter what it might be, in order to be left alone and be allowed to continue staring at my tea cup.

She also is one of the fittest persons I’ve ever met in the virtual world of the Internet, doing crazy numbers of push ups. I am doing Yoga every Wednesday, and some of the Yoga exercises make my body ache. I am doing them nevertheless because my back tells me that it needs them, but doing pushups is – well, I simply cannot imagine doing them.

But there’s one thing about Barbara which I would very gladly be able to do also: support other people with one’s own knowledge. She has put up a Forum called “Virtual Coach“. I joined it, and it is a marvelous place. It is a marvelous place for communicating with other people, but it is more than that – it is a place where you can find help almost on the spot.

I’ve registered with some forums. Although English speaking forums are much friendlier than the German speaking ones, you are often told to read the f* manual, or to read all the contributions before asking your question. I agree that reading the contributions might be helpful, but sometimes you are really in need of a speedy answer.

Barbara’s forum is one of the friendliest and one of the most helpful forums I’ve ever met. I got the answer to my questions five (five!) minutes after asking the question, and it solved my problem.

So I would like you, dear readers of this blog post, to have a look at the virtual coach forums. Try them out – they are all for free!

By the way, this is post #100! Compared to other bloggers, this is almost nothing – compared to where I am started from this is a lot. So I invite you to celebrate with me – let’s join and talk!

Horses running Wild

Horses. Painting: Ulla Hennig

When I was a young girl I lived near a stud, and in spring me and my father used to watch the horses galloping out of their stables, enjoying the open land and the green grass. They had left the boundaries of the stables. Of course they had some boundaries now, too – the land on which they ran was fenced in. But they seemed to enjoy their new freedom more than they seemed to mind the fences.

Sometimes I think I could learn from those horses – enjoy the freedom I have and not think of the boundaries so much. As I am writing this on a beautiful Sunday, I look out of the window and see a blue sky. I will enjoy my free time and take the liberty to have a walk, and maybe later, a latte macchiato, sitting outside. I will not think about the beginning of the work week tomorrow.

Django Reinhardt

Jean-Baptiste “Django” Reinhardt, born in 1910,  was one of the world’s most famous gypsie jazz guitarists.

He survived WWII unscathed, due to the protection of a Luftwaffe officer, while many other Gypsies were systematically murdered by the Nazi regime.

He died in 1953 from a brain hemorrhage.

Whenever I hear him playing on the guitar I can’t keep from moving my body – his music is so full of  rythm and joy!

Breathing Space

Under the blossoms. Photo: Ulla Hennig

Under the blossoms. Photo: Ulla Hennig

Can you imagine sitting on that bench under the blossoms? You raise your head, and all you can see is – blossoms. You are sitting there, and you can smell them, watch them tenderly swaying in the breeze. You take a deep breath, and you can smell the scent. You touch them, gently. One kilometer away is the busy street, with one car following the other. You are sitting on that bench, listening to the birds, watching the blossoms. What a wonderful space to breathe!

How to Combine Flickr and Blogging, Part II

In my last post I explained how you can insert photos in your blog clicking on the “Blog this” button above your photo in Flickr.

Today I’ll show you a way to insert photos of your Flickr Account in your blog post and schedule your post.

These are the steps:

  1. Sign in your Flickr account.
  2. Go to YOUR PHOTOSTREAM
  3. Select the picture you want to go with your post.
  4. Click on the button ALL SIZES on the top of the photo.
  5. You now get a window with your picture and a selection of different sizes on top of it, ranging from square (75×75) to the original size.
  6. I always click on MEDIUM, but for this post I want a smaller picture, so I click on SMALL.
  7. After having clicked on SMALL, you get a page with the small picture (so you can still think about changing the size and going for a smaller or bigger one) with two form fields below.
  8. Both form fields have html-text in it with which the picture is referred to. You have to keep in mind that putting a picture on a web page is something different to inserting a picture in a word document: With word documents the picture becomes a part of the file, whereas with web pages the picture is located somewhere else and has to be referred to or linked to.
  9. This can be done by giving the URL or the address of the picture.
  10. This URL is given in the 2nd form field, so you have to go for that.

  11. So you copy the text given there.
  12. Go to your blog post (I take wordpress as an example, but the procedure is similar with other blog hosts)
  13. There must be an icon for inserting images. Click on that icon.
  14. you are now asked to insert the URL – do it.
  15. There might be the possibility to insert a caption; you can do that if you want to give additional information about the photo (including the fact that you shot it)

The result may look like this – if you decided to insert a SMALL picture.

At the moment I am typing this, I am still on draft mode – you see how comfortable regarding to scheduling this way of inserting images is!

How to Combine Flickr and Blogging, Part I

You are thinking about putting photos on your blog – which is a very good idea. Photos are wonderful eye catchers, and often they say more than many words.

Two ways of Inserting Photos in your Blog Post

Roughly spoken there are two ways of inserting photos in your blog posts:

  1. You upload them from your computer to your blog
  2. You refer to your photos in your Flickr account.

If you haven’t got a Flickr account yet, you can of course do it by uploading your photos from your computer to your blog. But if you have got a blog with the address …blogspot.com or …wordpress.com, both meaning that you have got a free blog host, the number of files you can upload is limited.

So, if you are thinking of using many photos, you’ve got to get a free Flickr account. Just pop over to http://www.flickr.com and register.

“Blog this”

You have a Flickr account, and you have been regularly feeding it with  photos . One of them would go nicely with one of your next blog posts. How to get it there?

Sign in your Flickr account. Then:

  • Select YOU in the top navigation.
  • Select YOUR ACCOUNT.
  • A new page will open; select EXTENDING FLICKR
  • Give the address of your blog.
  • Go back to YOU.
  • Click on the photo you want to go with your post.
  • Directly on top of the photo you can find BLOG THIS.
  • Click on BLOG THIS and select your blog.
  • A new page will open with a form. You have to fill in the title and the text of your blog post.
  • Click on POST ENTRY  – your post will be immediately published!

This way of doing it has one advantage: It is easy and fast.

But: You cannot schedule posts. In my blog post next Monday I will show you an alternative which will allow you to schedule your posts. So come back then!

Blossoms

Blossoms. Photo: Ulla Hennig

Blossoms. Photo: Ulla Hennig

Pink fluffy balls,

Signs of mid-spring.

Soon they will cover the earth

with their petals.

Discover the Beauties of flickr

Easter Color and Light, originally uploaded by Rosa Say.

Rosa Say is not only one of the editors of Joyful Jubilant Learning, she also publishes gorgeous photos at flickr.
Look at that shining yellow – can’t you feel the sun warming you up, can’t you feel your mood turning joyful?

If you want to brighten up your day – visit flickr!
If you want to have a look at regions where you’ve never been – visit flickr!
And if you want to have your pictures seen by your friends, by people all over the globe, join flickr!

Still Standing

She could not believe it.

She had come to the meeting, thinking that it would be easy. Most of her colleagues who would have to decide today, knew her. They knew, what kind of work she had been doing all over the years. She had been responsible for the monthly publication, which had been published regularly, every month, without delay, due to her committment.

And now? Nobody mentioned that. Nobody even mentioned her. Other people were nominated for the office, people with no experience.

She felt like running away, hiding in some secrete corner. “They don’t want you!” She could not think of something else. “They don’t want you!”

She slowly got up from her chair. Suddenly, the discussion stopped. People turned their heads towards her. She had their attention now. “What do you think you are doing?” When these words left her mouth she realized that she was not going to run away. She was going to fight. “I want you to talk about me. I have been doing this job for four years now, and I think that I did it well.” Ah, she felt much better now, though she noticed that her voice was trembling. They looked at her, some of them with a kind of guilty look on their faces. “But you know, I can pretty well do without that additional load of work. I can pretty well do without you!”

She could not believe that she had said this. Now she had got their full attention. Some of them definitely looked like pupils having just been reprehended by their teacher.

She moved towards the door. Then she turned round:  “I’m fed up with this discussion! If you don’t want me to do the job, I’ll just go and let you manage on your own!” “Come on, get back to your chair – we didn’t say we didn’t want you.” “Calm down, you know we need you!”

When she thought about the whole thing in the evening she knew that she had learnt one important thing: If you want something, you have to speak up. Don’t expect other people speaking for you!

This is a contribution to the “What you learn from Adversity” Group Writing Project over at Middlezonemusings.com.

Be a Tourist in your Own City!

Martin-Gropius Bau. Photo: Ulla Hennig

Martin-Gropius Bau. Photo: Ulla Hennig

The Martin-Gropius-Bau is one of the most famous exhibition halls in Berlin. It is named after one of the architects that built it – Martin Gropius – and was openend in 1881.

It was severely damaged in the last weeks of World War II. It is standing near the former Berlin Wall and about 10 minutes from where I live. Whenever I pass it I see flocks of tourists leaving their busses and streaming into the building. For them, it is an important item on their “what-to-see-in-Berlin” list, for me it always been a normal everyday sight.

Taking the camera with me changes that way of seeing things. I look at those places now with the eyes of a tourist, sort of re-discover my city.

Do you have this feeling, too, when you are taking pictures of the world around you?