Brothers and Sisters Among Us

Last week on Thursday I had business at the Prendergast Library in Jamestown, New York. I was there for a meeting and after a fifty-mile ride I stopped in the library’s  lavatory to refresh myself. While I was there a fellow came into the same space and he looked unkempt, smelled like he hadn’t had a bath in a while and took some half-gallon plastic containers our of his knapsack and filled them in the sink.  Here was a homeless person, the likes of which most of us don’t see but who do exist in our midst. I felt uncomfortable but what could I do to help this guy. I realized then the library was more than a place to fill your mind with information but it could also be a place to fill your canteen as it were with water.  I wondered too, how many others like this fellow come to the library daily or weekly to fill up their jugs too. I’m glad the library can be a point of nurture for this guy.

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Fixing LibreOffice after an upgrade to OSX El Capitan

I read an article this morning which stated that more developers use Macs than Linux and while I can’t disagree with that I am perplexed by my recent upgrade to El Capitan. My four year old MacBook Pro continues to perform well despite its age. I’m happy with that, but after upgrading to El Capitan from Yosemite yesterday, LibreOffice 5 no longer worked. I kept getting an error message about the need to install Java JRE. I’ve downloaded the Java packages from Oracle after reading some “how-tos” after doing some “googling.” I use my Linux laptop more for everyday so it’s not a huge inconvenience, but I’d really like to know how to solve this current problem.

There is a fix I’m happy to report and it involved downloading the appropriate JRE environment from Oracle for OSX 10.11.3. Then I deleted LibreOffice from my system and then downloaded and installed the most recent version of the software. After doing all that I had to open LibreOffice for the first time and then go to LibreOffice  -> Preferences  -> Advanced then select the version of the Java Environment which in my case was version 1.8.0_73. Highlight that selection, press “Add” and then “Okay” and you’re done.

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Proud to be a St. Bonaventure Fan and Alumnus

Last night was tragic for St. Bonaventure University’s Men’s basketball post-season aspirations. The team came out flat against a very good and well coached Wagner College team. In October of last year while assessing St. Bonaventure’s basketball fortunes I told a friend that I didn’t think we’d have much to cheer about this year. I thought the team was undersized and under-manned. The bench was not deep and the tallest player on the team was merely 6’9″ and that young man was a freshman center. My assessment was very wrong. This year’s team led by Senior’s Dion Wright and Marcus Posley was the most exciting St. Bonaventure team I have watched in the past 37 years. Not since the days of Bob Lanier, Matt Gantt, Greg Gary and Billy Kalbaugh has the university fielded such a squad. Like their forbearers in the 1960’s this was a team of balanced scoring, intense defense and camaraderie that saw them grow with each game. Over the course of the season we were treated to some amazing finishes. The Bonnies excelled not just at home but were a tough road team too. They beat perennial powerhouses like St. Joe’s and Dayton. They nearly always found a way to win.

Those of us who live nearby the Reilly Center have been treated to incredible basketball experiences over the course of our lives. We take for granted that we have a Division 1 NCAA team in our backyard and this year was exceptional. The outcome last night was not what anyone of us wanted and especially the players and coaches. The likelihood that this spectacular season will be repeated next year, despite many returning starters is not a given. I continue to be amazed with the coaching ability of Mark Schmidt and with the limited resources of the University that such teams get fielded in the first place. I want to take this time to thank the St. Bonaventure Men’s basketball team, one and all for a fabulous season. Good luck and Godspeed in your future endeavors.

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Time to celebrate the #Bonnies – NIT Tourney

Twitter and the blogosphere are still alive with the news that St. Bonaventure University’s Men’s basketball team got snubbed by the NCAA. While those facts have not changed, it’s time to move on. Let’s demonstrate to the world that’s watching what it means to be a Bonnie and a Franciscan University. People get knocked down all the time and they get back up, dust themselves off and keep moving. Let’s face it, if the Bonnies had gotten into the NCAA tournament they might easily have been eliminated after one game. The University would have made a large sum of money but “one and done” would have likely been the case. Now, however,  their selection in the NIT as the #1 seed in their region raises the spectre of possibly two more games at the Reilly Center. That’s national recognition of the Reilly Center and of St. Bonaventure University. Like St. Francis said we get to “preach the gospel” every day and what better way to preach than to showcase the University we love with some positive coverage. Life serves up lemons from time to time and we have an opportunity to make some tasty lemonade this spring. My only regret is that I won’t be on hand for the games. A prior commitment keeps me from being there and cheering on the team that I love. Let’s use this opportunity to showcase the place that we love and bring more Bonnies to this lovely campus and to our larger St. Bonaventure University family.

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#Bonnies Make it to the NIT

I admit that I was disappointed that the St. Bonaventure University men’s basketball team didn’t get the nod from the NCAA selection committee tonight. It seems the process is skewed in favor of better television markets than those of Olean and Allegany, New York. Nonetheless,  the Bonnies made it as the number one seed at the NIT. There is no doubt that the NIT is a bit less prestigious but it’s chock full of very talented teams and there’s a good chance that if St. Bonaventure shows up with their “A” game that they can advance a couple of games. I’m an avid fan of St. Bonaventure Basketball and I only missed one home game this year. A longstanding commitment ensures that my string will be broken on Wednesday night when the team takes on Wagner College. I’ll be listening over the internet or trying to connect on ESPN3. I wish them the best.

I’ve been following St. Bonaventure basketball since the days fo Bob Lanier and this year’s team is among the best the university has fielded in that time. Last fall I told one of my friends that I didn’t expect much from this year’s team. Their lack of height and depth spelled trouble I thought. I was so wrong. This year’s team has played extremely well and they’ve provided those of us who attend their games lots of great moments. I wish them the best and thank them for all they’ve done to make our winter nights easier this season. Go Bonnies.

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Ten Years and the Road Ahead

I’ve been blogging for ten years. A lot has changed in my life since then. Two children have graduated from college. Both of them are married and we have a grandson now too. In the ten years since I began this blog,  I returned to school and earned another master’s degree. In the process,  I met a lot of wonderful people and that broadened my life. I retired two years ago and I’m no longer a technology director nor a public school educator. I found that since I’ve retired I’m living a redirected life. I have more free time in one sense but I’m far from bored as I’m active in more public service than ever. In the past fifteen months, I’ve become a Community Moderator  at Opensource.com and in that role I’ve been able to give my time and talent to a cause much larger than me. I’ve had an opportunity to learn and grow in a new direction. Along with that and complementing it nicely I’ve become involved in the EdCamp movement and have attended a couple of conferences with plans for a third in April.

My blogging began as a question to myself and each time I have shared here I have gotten more answers. I have found that blogging is cathartic and instructive. It’s given me a voice I didn’t know I had. In the ten years since this experiment began I’ve met others,  I would not otherwise have met and grown in ways I could never have imagined. I’ve become a writer that I had never imagined possible. Some of my posts have drawn dozens of readers, some only a few and one drew over a thousand page views. I’m grateful for the journey.

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There are lots of great people in the world – We don’t hear about them enough!

I just got home from spending a few hours volunteering at the Catholic Charities Food Pantry in Franklinville, New York. Earlier this week, Paul Goodhand, local director of the pantry called and asked if I could volunteer today. I got to the pantry about 9:15 am and was greeted by many other volunteers all of whom come from our community and the surrounding towns. At 9:30 am the doors of the pantry opened and the clients who had signed up for a turkey and a box of groceries which included squash, apples, and other vegetables and canned good began to arrive. My job was to help carry these items to their cars or their apartments for those who lived nearby. I was very moved as we filled these orders and helped to bring a bright spot to the lives of those less fortunate.

We distributed fifty turkeys today and also some large roasting chickens along with boxes of fresh vegetables and canned pumpkin and more. One of the staff told me that the West Valley Demonstration Project had donated a total of three-hundred-sixty turkeys and nine tons of groceries that made this possible to the Catholic Charities of Western New York. The money to provide this wonderul gift came from a fund raiser at their work-site. This is a great story of compassion and empathy for the poor and less fortunate.

 

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