Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Blogger's new autosave feature: brilliant idea, but don't believe the hype (yet)

Blogger's new autosave feature is intended to automatically save posts as one drafts them. It's a brilliant idea but don't believe the hype (at least, not yet). If you bank on it before it's perfected, you could get burned.

I did. Ouch!

Losing posts that aren't easily recreated bytes. And for some reason, the ones that get away are typically brilliant, captivating, and well worth reading.

Placing misplaced faith in the autosave feature has taught valuable lessons:
  • Fool me once, shame on Blogger. Fool me twice, shame on me.


  • God helps bloggers and podcasters who help themselves.

In other words, people who want to preserve posts and edits-in-progress should proactively save their own drafts.

How? Regularly click the SAVE AS DRAFT button and/or use tools that support saving one's work. Examples include Mozilla Firefox (which can be configured to preserve content even when the browswer or computer crashes), weblog client applications and wordprocessing software.

Following those golden rules prevents clicking Blogger's "Return to list of posts" link and getting disappointed. Imagine leaving a baby tooth for the tooth fairy at night, only to find it - but no gift - in the morning. Now multiply your resulting reaction by the number of teeth you have left to gnash.

PERSONAL NOTE: my tooth fairy was 100 percent (%) reliable, unlike my autosave experience so far. The latter will undoubtedly improve, in time. In the interim, I'll rely on remedies whose consistency I can sink my teeth into. ###

Monday, May 28, 2007

BlogCatalog Bloggers for Good Fundraising Challenge

On Friday, I received the invitation enclosed below. I not only accepted it, I've bookmarked, subscribed to the newsletter, and registered to generate support for my courses and Arts-in-Education projects.

Now I am also extending the invitation to you.

Be Part of Blogging History on Monday, May 28th

This Monday, May 28th, join thousands of bloggers and use your blog to benefit, a non-profit Web site that brings teachers and donors together to fund specific student projects that range from "Magical Math Centers" to "Cooking Across the Curriculum."

BlogCatalog would like to challenge you to join the blogging community and use your blog to draw attention to and raise funds for this underserved non-profit organization that does so much good for our children and our schools.

To participate, all you need do is:

The goal is to raise $25,000 for schools around the country, many of which are in New Orleans. Our hope is that we will blow this goal away and raise far more money. If we do we will have set a precedent that will enable the blogging community to do a bunch of good for other causes in the future.

We truly hope you will join us and use your blog as a tool for good and set an example for others of the the real value of online social communities.

Kind Regards,

Antony Berkman
Connecting Bloggers · 7162 Eckhert Road · San Antonio · TX 78238###

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

ON AIR: My voice is back and so is the 'Lisa Tolliver Show'. Join us at high noon (ET) today.

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, NY - My voice is back (hallelujah!) and so is the Lisa Tolliver Show. I'm taking full advantage by chatting up today's guests, callers and co-host Patricia Burgess (of Water Moon Arts) at high noon (Eastern Time). You can hear and share by tuning to New York Radio WVOX 1460 AM, streaming online at, or phoning our call-in line: (01) 914.636.0110.

Today's show should provide food for thought...and for the soul. It should also be a pod people pleaser.

My featured guest is best-selling author, motivational speaker and spiritual leader Mike George. His latest book is Don't Get MAD Get Wise: Why no one ever makes you angry, ever!Links to that, and some of his other books, are featured below. You might also want to check out Mike's RelaxCentre at

Today's listeners should also look forward to an update from Bruce Chambers. If you haven't read about him in Newsday's recent article, "Home is Where the Podcast Is," or any one of the other articles featuring website-design-savvy, music-loving podcasting experts then you might know him as the founder of Podcaster Who's Who and the Long Island Podcast Network (Long Island's fastest growing podcast station).

Old Bruce (pictured left, in the Newsday photo) has some new tricks up his sleeve, and I'll be involved with some of them. In his phone-in he'll dish some scoop about his new podcasting magazine (which I'll contribute to), an upcoming Podcamp (where I'll be a featured speaker), and more! Here's a hint: splish splash he'll be speaking at an upcoming podcruise. Stay tuned.

SPONSORSHIP: Thank you USPS. Check out what's new at Also, thank you to The Field. Check them out at

SCHEDULING NOTES: Our previously scheduled guest, Regina Howard from Dress For Success, will join us next month. In the interim, check out and the organization's upcoming events. Also next month, we'll talk with (and meet via podcasts) three reknowned performing artists: dancer/choreographer Dario, musician/composer Patricia, and musician/educator Claire.###

Thursday, May 10, 2007

On TV: My Life on the D-List's Kathy Griffin is lewd, rude and on the ball

As many of my postings reflect, I watch more reality TV than I probably should. It will come in handy when I launch my new show. In the interim, I either love or love to hate watching certain shows as a means to rest my hyperactive intellect.

One such show I never before watched in its entirety, until today, is Bravo TV's My Life On The D-List. The show's star is R-rated comedienne Kathy Griffin (not to be confused with Kathie Lee Gifford: Kelly Ripa's predecessor as Regis Philbin's stage-right hand woman).

Kathy Griffin is lewd, crude and on the balls ball (about some things, anyway). She's also mercenary. "I'm quite motivated by money," she said in an episode featuring her corporate gig in Beaver Creek. Corporate audiences are not her crowd, she confessed, but if they meet her price quote, she's there.

Since I spent this morning abed, nursing a bug, I had the pleasure of watching Kathy travel to Iraq to entertain American troops who are stationed there (a journey she says many other entertainers decline to make). Her admirable goal: to make them laugh, if only for a day.

Some of Kathy's jokes about - and during - the trip classified her as an ugly American. The same can be said about much of her stateside act, too. Nonetheless, I suspect Kathy expresses, on camera and onstage, many politically incorrect thoughts that some audience members might be afraid to share.

Whether or not one agrees with or is offended by Kathy's views, one has to hand it to her. The lady's woman's got cujones. Moreover, she's cracked the codes governing the incestuous world of reality TV (where being on one show practically guarantees appearances on others), making money and staying in the public eye.

Kathy's love life is less successful, however. Although she's got a phat, A-list-looking house, lucrative, high-profile career, and renewed contract, I guess even she can't have it all. ###

ON AIR: I was silenced by laryngitis, so guests Tanya Calamoneri and Patricia Burgess of The Field interviewed each other

As I wrote in "ON TV: One monkey(wrench) don't stop no show - exhibit A is Jackie Warner," if you've really got the goods, you don't always have to flash them. Jackie - sans samples - muscled her way, verbally and conceptually, through what should have been a show-and-tell for her new clothing line.

In contrast, I was everything but verbal during yesterday's Lisa Tolliver Show on New York Radio WVOX 1460 AM and Silenced by laryngitis, I was a talk show host who couldn't talk. Nevertheless, I had the goods: one solid set of talking points and two great guests: Tanya Calamoneri and Patricia Burgess of The Field. Combining those critical ingredients made for a darned good show (if I say so myself).

The Lisa Tolliver Show listener who sent the following email message agreed. His subject line read: "Good Show!"

Hey Lisa. At least you had one chatterbox there. I could hear you but it was kinda painful to listen to. A good show all in all.
I appreciated the feedback. As painful as it might have been to hear the few lines I croaked out, it was more painful to speak. Talking was, for me yesterday, a classic case of "this is going to hurt me more than it hurts you."

About yesterday's featured guests and non-profit organization:

Tanya Calamoneri is a teacher, performer and choreographer. She is also the Co-Director and Manager, Sponsored Artist Program at The Field. Her bio at shares:

Tanya Calamoneri came to New York after nearly a decade of working in the San Francisco Bay Area arts scene as an arts administrator and performer. Among her roles, she was Executive Director of Dancers’ Group, a Co-Director at 848 Community Space and Temescal Arts Center, Founding Faculty Member of the Experimental Performance Institute at New College, and a company member of InkBoat, a Butoh performance company, and Kim Epifano’s Epiphany Productions. In New York, she has helped found Studio 111, and is a member of The Fifth Floor, and CavEnsemble performance companies.
Patricia Burgess is a composer, saxophonist and multimedia artist. She is also Creative Director, Watermoon Arts, as well as Manager, Membership at The Field. (I first met her in March, when I attended Patricia's orientation for Sponsored Artists at The Field). Her short bio at Watermoon shares:

Patricia Burgess is a composer, producer and musician. Her works include the opera, The Dream of the Four Directions, produced off-Broadway, and music for theater classics including Hamlet, Trojan Women, and The Seagull. Collaborations with theater writer and director Ariane Smith include an original score for Lysistrata-The Human Cartoon which played in New York for nine months and The Decameron, which ran on Theater Row for Toontheatre Co. She also scored The Venus Cycle, produced by the Tribeca Performing Arts Center. Burgess studied classical composition with Dominick Argento, jazz performance with Ruben Haugen and Joe Viola, world music with Jerry Granelli, and computer music with Charles Dodge and Brad Garton; she also worked with the Art Ensemble of Chicago in the study of new music. She served as Resident Composer for the Independent Theater Company of New York.
The Field is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is:

to serve independent performing artists on a completely non-exclusive basis. This means that everything we do is open to artists from all aesthetic viewpoints, cultural backgrounds, and levels of development. Our priority is to create a climate where risk-taking and originality are championed, and where the broadest range of voices are included. Field programs are affordable, accessible, and rigorous. To support independent performing artists, The Field's programs are directed toward the creation of new work and its dissemination.

In terms of creation, The Field: assists artists in making clear, cogent work through peer-oriented feedback groups;

  • produces performance festivals focused on the exhibition of new work;
  • sends artists on retreats at arts colonies such as White Oak (FL) and Earthdance (MA) to create new material and developnew collaborations;
  • provides free rehearsal and performance space grants in the FAR Space, our new Chelsea gallery district studio.
Tanya and Patricia described the programs and resources offered by The Field, the benefits enjoyed by the organization's 600 or so members, the Field Network, and other organizations with which The Field has strategic alliances, e.g., Freelancer's Union, Fractured Atlas and Materials for the Arts.

According to my guests, these are some artist must-haves:
  • a calendar to keep track of funding opportunties and residencies,
  • a clear mission statement, artist's statement and boilerplate for use with proposals and promotional materials,
  • and resources such as those listed here.

And now, some messages from our sponsors:

The May 9, 2007 Lisa Tolliver Show was made possible, in part, through the sponsorship of The Field, and with funding provided by 360 MERIDIAN (they're all around world class!), Dee Hargrove (she's the best!), and USPS (they deliver!).

The USPS messages shared in today's show addressed the USPS Help Stamp Out Hunger campaign, and Click 'N Ship options for Mother's Day.

ON TV: One monkey(wrench) don't stop no show - exhibit A is Jackie Warner

IMAGE CREDIT: Jackie Warner 6.jpg, accessed at Jackie Warner - Wikipedia.

One monkey(wrench) don't stop no show. And if you've really got the goods, you don't always have to flash them.

Exhibit A is Jackie Warner: the owner and managing director of SKYSPORT&SPA and star of Bravo TV's reality show, Workout. Jackie never works out in the grueling boot camps she subjects her trainers and clients to or shares her body fat composition on camera as she does theirs). Nevertheless. it's clear to see: Jackie Warner is one lean, mean personal fitness queen.

Jackie also proves my points in Workout Episode 206, in which she "travels to Indianapolis to present her clothing line to executives at a chain of stores called Pavia." The meeting seemed successful, even though the samples produced by Jackie's (now ex-)manufacturer were so poorly made that she couldn't show them. Consequently, the $400 per hour fitness professional had to muscle her way through a power-presentation that was entirely verbal and conceptual.

In contrast, the solution to overcoming the monkey(wrench) that threatened to stop my talk radio show yesterday was anything but verbal (on my part, at least). I had laryngitis, so this talk show host couldn't talk. Nonetheless, my guests, WVOX sound engineer and I pulled off a really good Lisa Tolliver Show broadcast. You can read about the show, and some listener feedback, in "ON AIR: I was silenced by laryngitis, so guests Tanya Calamoneri and Patricia Burgess of The Field interviewed each other." ###

Monday, May 07, 2007

On May 6, many New Yorkers were caught between a run and some round places

Sunday, May 6 was a big day for many New Yorkers. Thousands of athletes, sports spectators and drivers within the New York metro area were affected. Whether picking from among the 35th annual Long Island Marathon, the 30th annual Five Boro Bike Tour, or the Yankees-Mariners Major League Baseball game to participate in or watch, or plotting a path of least resistance among the traffic-jammed down-state arteries, countless people were caught between a run and some round places.

The run, specifically the Long Island Marathon, started near and ended at one of my favorite sites in Nassau County (Eisenhower Park , formerly known as Salisbury Park). According to Wikipedia, the annual, 26.2-mile foot-race "was first run in 1970 as the "Earth Day Marathon" and was "renamed the Long Island Marathon in 1978." A half marathon (13.1 miles) was added in 1984 and a 10K run was added this year "to encourage greater participation in the event by providing a less vigorous run and one in which families can take part."

"2007 RexCorp Long Island Marathon Date Set for May 6" reports:

For the first time in its history, the marathon weekend will also incorporate a family-friendly "Kids’ Fun Run" at the Mitchel Athletic Complex as well as a "Museum Row Family Festival." Both activities are in the "Hub" area by the Nassau Coliseum.

Despite my fondness for Eisenhower Park, if I hadn't had to teach a course, and then go to bed to nurse a bug, I'd have made the rounds in the Five Boro Bike Tour. Bike New York says it's "the largest recreational cycling event in America." The proof is in the pedaling: 30,000 registered riders geared up to cyle around the 42-mile, traffic-free circuit around Manhattan, da Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island.

Northwest of Nassau County, the New York Yankees were hosting the Seattle Mariners at "the House that Ruth Built." The Yankees-Mariners Major League Baseball game at Yankee Stadium in da Bronx was probably the most-watched of the events, what with its capacity of 57,545 and international news and sports coverage, including MLB multimedia.

I didn't watch any of the events live, but was affected nonetheless - all the way up in Westchester County - by the resulting traffic tie-ups along the New York State Thruway System and its tributaries. I let radio traffic reports guide me and tried to be cool, calm and collected.

Traffic was not all that was congested. . Fortunately, my trusty tissue box and I reached our destination promptly and I kept my cool - and my voice - until class ended. Ironically, though, when I shut the books and doused the lights, my voice shut off, too.

Never fear, I'll lick the laryngitis by any means necessary; certainly no later than high noon on my next big day (Wednesday, May 9). That's when I'll interview dancer-teaching artist Tanya Calamoneri, Co-Director and Manager, Sponsored Artist Program and Co-Director of (Performance Zone, dba) The Field. Join us on the Lisa Tolliver Show on New York Radio WVOX 1460 AM and


  • Top Left: Commerce Bank Five Boro Bike Tour Logo.
  • Middle Right: Nassau County of Parks, Recreation and Museums. Caption: "The magnificent Veterans Memorial in Eisenhower Park pays tribute to those who have served the country."
  • Bottom Left: Yankee stadium exterior.jpg accessed at Yankee Stadium - Wikipedia.
  • Bottom Right: The Field logo.###

  • Tuesday, May 01, 2007

    Miss New York and VH1 have cast another net; viewers are invited to pitch in

    "They can't be serious," I thought, when I first saw VH1's I Love New York, Season 2 casting call scroll across my TV screen. I was flipping back and forth between Flavor of Love Girls: Charm School and Bravo TV at the time.

    By "they," I meant both VH1 and Miss Tiffany "New York" Pollard/Patterson. After all, look at what happened at the I Love New York 1 reunion and what Miss New York said about it.

    But they were. Serious that is.

    In fact, here's the I Love New York 2 casting notice, verbatim:



    Tiffany / Miss New York won't be a June bride (this year, at least), but she and VH1's I Love New York 2 suits and crew will be busy this July. Viewers are invited to pitch in, too, by helping to select five cast members.

    Any sincerity professed by I Love New York 2 participatants would be as fishy as that of Tango on I Love New York 1, of Hoopz on The Flavor of Love 1 or of Flavor Flav to any of the Flavor of Love contestants who thought he was really looking for love in seasons 1 and 2.###

    The SBA offers a new, free, online course for aspiring entrepreneurs

    You can't get too much of a good thing. The United States Small Business Administration (SBA) must agree; the agency's distance learning curriculum (already over 25 courses strong) is constantly expanding. The most recent addition is a self-paced "Small Business Primer" entitled Strategies for Success: Guide to Starting a Small Business. reviewed the primer in: SBA Offers New Free Online Course For Aspiring Entrepreneurs (April 30, 2007). The course landing page describes the class as "easy to use and comprehensive. It can be completed in about 30 minutes."

    I recommend the course and other SBA resources to all small business owners. I also recommend the free and low-cost offerings provided by the SBA's non-profit volunteer arm: SCORE: Counselors to America's Small Business.

    DISCLOSURE: I rotate as host and producer of SCORE Radio, sponsored by SCORE Westchester, Chapter 306. I have also taught seminars for the SBA, SCORE and other government and entrepreneurial organizations, in addition to for-credit undergraduate and graduate business courses.