Friday, February 17, 2006

UU Musician

Jess has now reminded me twice that I should really put in a plug for a UU musician named Peter Mayer. The first time was when she reviewed Blue Boat Home which was part of her Singing the Living Tradition review series. And the second time was when she mentioned her job. When I read her post I found myself hearing a Peter Mayer song in my head. Emphasis added is mine.


Last night I was dreaming I was in my GMC
I was feeling kind of empty because it was just a '93
So I filled it full of fossil from the bosom of the earth
Which I burned up quite a lot of on my long commute to work
Where I worked at what I hated just to keep up with the bills
Which I paid to meet the rising cost of feeling unfulfilled
Which I felt at every moment with occasional respite
Like the times that I'd go shopping or watch TV shows at night

CHORUS: But I'm waking up, but I'm waking up
I'm waking up from the American Dream

Last night I was dreaming of the one eternal hope
That my life would be improved if the economy would grow
Which already was a monster on a mission to consume
And was eating almost everything and running out of room
And it whispered to me "mister, here's some products that you need
And the standard of your living is too low" and I agreed!
So I got myself a credit card with not a penny down
And a long ride on the not-so-merry-money-go-round


Yeah, the world was like an Amoco and I said "Fill er up!"
With a house, a car, a VCR, a lawn and all that stuff
But I got a nagging notion that enough did not exist
And at the end of every day I'd wonder "is this all there is?"
And someone said "Hey, you've already got ten times more than the rest
And six-billion other people want the little that's still left!"
But I snapped "It's a free country and by rights it's mine to keep
And by the way, who do I pay to take away this garbage heap?"


It seemed that the beginning of the dream was so benign, I mean
All I ever wanted was a smidgen of the pie
And some comfort and security and good things for my kids
And, OK, to please the neighbors and my ego while I did
Anyway, it's great to be awake and feeling satisfied
With seeking out the simple and the deeper things in life
And with giving to the world instead of hoarding it for me
Boy, I guess I'm not too excited about falling back to sleep

And as crazy as it was, hey, was it a dream or not?
Well, just promise not to save me if I ever start to nod
Put no-doze in my coffee, throw me outside in the cold
Just don't ever say "OK now, back to bed you go!"


copyright Peter Mayer, 1997

I have heard other songs of his sung in UU services. Peter Mayer's website does have links to some songs that you can listen to online. I am actually not a big fan of folk music, but I do like his, mainly because I think his lyrics are the best of any musician I know.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

UU Blog Awards - Process Feedback

So, the big thing I realized I need to do a better job of is communication and explanation of the process. Or, find someone else to "MC" next years blog awards helping to communicate begin times, cut off times, etc.

Things for next year include more lead up time and discussion of categories.

Should there be a review of nominations? We had some nominations in "group blog" that I don't think really count as group blogs. Should the voting be restricted in the number of nominations that are voted on?

Did anyone miss the blog format from the first annual? Should vote tallies have been kept secret until the end?

What else? What did you like, what didn't you like? What can be done better next year for the third annual blog awards?

UU Blog Awards - Winners

We have winners for the 2006 UU Blog Awards. If you are one of our winners, then please be sure to check out the prize page.

Congratulations to all our fine winners and nominees. Thanks to all who participated.

Friday, February 10, 2006

UU Blog Awards - Final Day of Voting

Just a reminder that today is the final day of voting for the Second Annual UU Blog Awards. If you haven't voted please take the time to do so, I will be cutting off voting at some point tonight, but I can't guarentee when.

Some of the races have gotten pretty close. So, for those who won't be checking in until later there is still a little mystery left. If nothing else you can be sure to check back to see the UU Blog Award Winner image created by CC.

Monday, February 06, 2006

The admin dealing with SPAM

So, in general I am sure most people have an idea of what is considered SPAM. But as an administrator I know things always wind up getting interesting. For example, anti spam tools have given users a very simple way to indicate they no longer wish to receive specific kinds of e-mail. Anyone who has been a member of a listserv for a while is probably familiar with the phenomena of getting a message sent to the group with the subject or body "remove" or "unsubscribe". People who are afraid they might embarrass themselves might find it far more simple to indicate the message is SPAM than to try and properly unsubscribe. So what happens when a church newsletter is flagged as SPAM? Well, that all depends on the the ISP and the SPAM blocking software being used, but it has happened. Surely the church newsletter is not part of a commercial venture. But church admins have had to argue with ISPs that one user reporting a church newsletter is SPAM should not block it from all members of that ISP.

So, what is an admin to do. On the one hand you have people complaining about SPAM and on the other hand it might be questionable as to whether or not the so called SPAM truly is SPAM. And what if the user downloaded software and part of the EULA (End User License Agreement) for the software was to provide an e-mail that could receive promotions?

For my part I decided on a simple rule. The owner of the resource has the final say on how it is used. If someone does not want to receive an e-mail anymore then the sender should respect those wishes. If someone has a blog and unwanted comments continue to be posted the poster should either conform their comments to meet the desire of the owner of the blog, or should refrain from commenting. And it doesn't really matter if the resource is truly owned by someone else (like Google/Typepad). If a blogger is putting their heart and soul into an effort then they own the resource.

Unfortunately SPAM continues to be successful. People buy advertised products, spam commenter's have their Google rank increased. At work we have taken to going beyond blocking the e-mail of spammers and starting to even block websites of companies that use SPAM. We even create new e-mail address for online purchases, when those addresses start to attract SPAM we know which online vendor has sold our information,and therefor which online vendors will not get our business in the future. Sometimes you just have to punish the unacceptable behavior in any way you can. The behavior should not be tolerated, certainly not promoted.

So, why am I rambling on about this? Well, quite simply because I wanted to make it perfectly clear why a certain blogger is being dropped from the listing at UUpdates. It has nothing to do with anything not mentioned above. If you repeatedly annoy UU bloggers by posting unwanted comments, even after explicit instructions not to do so then you are abusing a resource and the behavior should not be tolerated. Certainly it should not be promoted and at this point I feel an obligation to not promote the tactics employed by trolls, and or spammers. Again, let me be clear, it is the above driving this decision and nothing else. Anyone claiming otherwise (claim of cover up, DIM thinking, etc.) is simply wrong.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

UU Blog Awards - Request for Feedback

Well, we have surpassed over 100 votes submitted in the UU Blog Awards. Not everyone has voted in every category thus the lower totals for each category.

I have received a request from Lo-Fi Tribe to disqualify/remove himself from the "Best Online Community or Group Blog" category. Last year the blog award process was run entirely through a blog and so their were comments and feedback throughout the process. This year with the automated the vote the tally process is a lot easier, but I wonder what we are losing without the comment aspect. So, unless I hear any objections (posted as comments to this post) I will honor the request from Shawn to remove him from the running in that category. If there are any other concerns regarding the nominations please post here.

Also, I would encourage people to throw out comments regarding what they voted for and why, just because, if you feel like it.

So I'll throw out a comment regarding why I plan to vote for a particular entry. The one entry that really stuck with me is something I think I might print out for my daughters and give it to them when they are old enough to start dating. Specifically I am referring to MANLY MEN AND THE MEANING OF MASCULINITY. I never thought I would read a blog with pink as one of the predominant colors and leave the site feeling more manly.