Blog sosAssociates

Wed
Sep 23rd
2020
Author(s):

Mike, Julie, and Stuart at the 2020 Lake Metroparks Farmpark Corn Maze

We had been seeing tweets by @LakeMetroparks mentioning how they had made a special corn maze for 2020. "Double-wide paths" for their "three-acre corn maze at Lake Metroparks Farmpark" would allow for social distancing while in the maze. In 2020, we have limited the events we have been attending due to the coronavirus crisis. With the Lake Metroparks Farmpark making physical safety adjustments for COVID-19, requiring masks when indoors, and moving all activities outdoors, we decided to visit on Sunday, September 20, 2020, with our son, Mike.

Tue
Sep 15th
2020
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Cleveland Museum of Art's Virtual Chalk Festival 2020 #CMAChalkFestival

In 2019, I wrote that it was a special year, since it was the 30th year of the Cleveland Museum of Art's Chalk Festival. As the coronavirus crisis raged on over the summer of 2020, I wondered if the 31st anniversary of this wonderful event would need to be canceled as we entered September.

On September 1, 2020, I saw the Twitter announcement "Cleveland Museum of Art’s Chalk Festival goes virtual," stating that the event would take place with people sharing their art only on social media on Saturday, September 12, 2020, and Sunday, September 13, 2020.

It is now with mixed feelings that I gather the #CMAChalkFestival drawings for this blog post about the Cleveland Museum of Art's 2020 Virtual Chalk Festival: Love Your Community with All Your Art. While it is very sad that everyone could not get together this year, I am very pleased that the museum encouraged people to share their chalk drawings on social media.

I am glad to continue my annual tradition of creating a blog post with photos from the Cleveland Museum of Art's Chalk Festival.

Wed
Sep 9th
2020
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 Cleveland Metroparks Trail Challenge presented by Cigna

Take the challenge!

In 2017, we wrote our blog post: Cleveland Metroparks Inaugural Trail Challenge!

. . . so when we saw the Cleveland Metroparks tweet to "Take the challenge!" in 2020, with 25 trails to choose from, we decided to accept.

With COVID-19 closing venues we normally frequent, and having to cancel the backpacking trips that Stuart had planned on the Continental Divide Trail and Appalachian Trail, we have been exploring many parks in Northeast Ohio and along the route of the Buckeye Trail. We have written about many of our park visits in the Social Distancing Blog Posts that we have been writing during the pandemic.

There were originally 25 trails to choose from for the challenge. During the time we were writing this blog post, we learned that the park updated the list to now include 35 trails!

What follows is information about the first ten challenge trails we have completed.

Tue
Jul 28th
2020
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The Little Loop Challenge - Together We Hiked It All!

On Saturday, July 18, 2020, I rode my bike on 6.1 miles of Ohio's Buckeye Trail in Lake County, which is part of Buckeye Trail's "Little Loop." The "Little Loop" is the over-250-mile part of the Buckeye Trail in Northeast Ohio that goes through the following counties: Lake, Cuyahoga, Summit, Stark, Portage, and Geauga.

Normally, I would not write a full blog post on one bike ride, but this ride was noteworthy for the following two reasons:

  • First, the Penitentiary Glen Reservation has some very unique resources that I want to share.

  • Most importantly, July 18th was a special day, and my 6.1-mile piece of the Buckeye Trail was part of a larger effort: The 4th Annual Little Loop Challenge!

A BIG thank-you and congratulations to Buckeye Trail Board Member Randall Roberts for successfully organizing over 50 hikers and bikers in collectively completing the "Little Loop" section of the Buckeye Trail in one day! I really like the event's tagline -- "Together We Hiked It All" --  since it conveys how people come together to reach a larger goal.

Ending my bike ride at Penitentiary Glen Reservation was an excellent decision!

Apollo the eagle was magnificent! Visit the Kevin P. Clinton Wildlife Center.

Mon
Jul 20th
2020
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Shanelle Smith Whigham's photo of Saturday, June 27, 2020, Volunteers

We were pleased when Fox 8 News Producer Rachel Inch approached us to use some of our Facebook photos for their 6:00 pm news story on #Masks4Community on Wednesday, July 8, 2020. Her request made us think about sharing the story of the great work done by the #Masks4Community leaders, partners, donors, and volunteers in one of our "Social Distancing Series" blog posts.

We first learned about #Masks4Community's good work because our @sos_jr twitter account follows (and retweets) @ShanelleLSmith. In addition to #Masks4Community's website -- Masks4Community.com, we also learned more about the program from Steven Litt's article.

In addition to giving out FREE masks, #Masks4Community distributes information about voting and the census in the kits. We are BIG believers in the importance of voting, and know how the census directly impacts the way services are provided in our community. Therefore, we were excited to learn that the #Masks4Community program also supports our belief in the importance of people fulfilling their civic duty!

We signed up to volunteer once a week, starting with the morning shift on Saturday, June 27th. We were not only impressed by the mission of the organization, but also how clearly they spelled out that they followed safety measures for those volunteering (everyone wears masks, washes hands, practices social distancing, and the number of volunteers is limited). We only volunteered because these safety measures are in place.

Shanelle Smith Whigham's photo of Julie and Stuart at #Masks4Community July 11, 2020, Julie and Stuart at #Masks4Community

Sun
Jul 19th
2020
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"Cleveland GiveCamp 2020 event scheduled for July is postponed"

This morning, Sunday, July 19, 2020, for some reason I woke at 5:00 am -- I now assume that it is because my body is trained to wake up early on the third weekend of July. This is because, for the last ten years, the third weekend of July has been Cleveland GiveCamp Weekend. Little sleep and a lot of work on behalf of local nonprofits is the norm for the over 200 volunteers that provide FREE tech solutions annually at Cleveland GiveCamp.

Since I was awake, I decided to put together this blog post to honor those that give their talent every year, and to acknowledge and mourn the loss of normality in 2020 during this coronavirus crisis. I thank many people in this blog post, but please remember that they represent a much larger number of people who work on behalf of Cleveland GiveCamp to make it possible to serve our community's nonprofits with FREE tech! I created the video at the top of this blog post on Saturday, July 18th, to share on social media -- it helped me remember ten years of success at: "Cleveland GiveCamp – geeks in the home of rock and roll coding for charity."

Tue
Jul 7th
2020
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Cleveland Museum of Art Reopening - #WelcomeBackCMA

O - p - e - n - i - n - g - !

Yes, Ohio is slowly opening in the year of the coronavirus crisis, but can only do so with social distancing and other safety measures. As we approached the end of June, we heard that the Cleveland Museum of Art was reopening following "rigorous safety procedures that adhere to the guidance set forth by state and local officials, as well as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)."

We decided to make this our first adventure out to a public space by getting tickets, but the day before we were going to order our online tickets, we received an invitation from Communications and Media Relations Manager Kelley Notaro Schreiber to the Cleveland Museum of Art's Reopening Media and Influencer Welcome Back! We accepted her invitation and decided to be one of the first to go to the public reopening of the Cleveland Museum of Art on Tuesday, June 30, 2020.

There is much happening both onsite in the museum galleries and online at the Cleveland Museum of Art. While the online resources are extensive, we do have to say that the absolute best way to truly enjoy the museum's art is in person, visiting its galleries! Thus, we were very excited to attend the Cleveland Museum of Art's #WelcomeBackCMA reopening!

Wed
Jul 1st
2020
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Social Distancing Park Visits - June 2020

After writing three social distancing blog posts about visiting our local parks during the coronavirus crisis, we really did not plan to write anymore blog posts on this subject. However, we have been having such a great time exploring parks that we had not visited before, and revisiting old favorites, that we decided to gather tweets from park visits in June 2020, to create this blog post.

This blog post accomplishes two things that are important to us.

Please note that we have attended many more parks in June 2020 than those included in this blog post. Beyond what we include here, Stuart has been doing section hikes on the Buckeye Trail "Little Loop" (the Buckeye Trail Little Loop is over 250 miles long in Northeast Ohio), and we have done eleven additional hikes as part of the Cleveland Metroparks Trail Challenge 2020. We plan to write blog posts about these trail activities when we complete them.

Tue
Jun 16th
2020
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WordCamp Kent 2020

WordCamp Kent -- One of the Great NEO Tech Education Opportunities!

Over the years, I had heard great things about Kent.WordCamp.org, but I have never attended their weekend of WordPress training. This year, I was scheduled for a multi-month backpacking trip on the Continental Divide Trail, but due to the coronavirus crisis, I had to cancel my trip to New Mexico. Instead, I have been exploring local parks and attending online activities -- learn more by reading my sosAssociates.com Social Distancing blog posts.

When I learned on Twitter from @WordCampKent that this year their WordCamp was not canceled and would be online, I was excited to attend. I am so glad I registered for it. It was great! Not only did it provide great resources for WordPress development, but it also included some really excellent management workshops.

Wed
May 20th
2020
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Social Distancing: Visiting More Parks

As we wrote in our other Social Distancing blog posts about exploring our local parks, we continue to be fortunate to have had no illness or death in our family.

We are writing this blog post to:

We are both sad about activities we love being canceled for 2020, but we want to acknowledge all that we have gained in terms of time together learning about local parks and about each other.

We start this blog post with information about how to be safe in the parks during this coronavirus crisis. We also want to note that we added at the end of the blog post information about camping opportunities in our local park systems.

Wed
May 6th
2020
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Social Distancing with Virtual Trail Talks

I have now written several social distancing blog posts during this time of the coronavirus crisis, about how I spend my time -- with park walks and online activities. I have also been attending some Facebook Live events about hiking trails, which I am featuring in this blog post.

During these sad times, I want to first acknowledge how fortunate I am that everyone in my family is healthy, and that I have the luxury of being able to participate in, and write about, interesting social distancing activities.

Secondly, I want to thank the organizations that are investing their time and resources to create these live video events featuring hiking trails. It is helping take the sting out of the fact that I was scheduled to be on a long-distance backpacking adventure at this time. I appreciate being able to join others online to celebrate trail life. Thank you!

The sections of this blog consist of:

Opening Day for Trails with Cleveland Metroparks CEO Brian Zimmerman

Rails-to-Trails Conservancy Celebrate Trails @ Home

Continental Divide Trail Coalition - Virtual Trail Days

The Continental Divide Trail is Our Classroom with Author and Backpacker Cindy RossConversations Across a Continent with Continental Divide Trail Coalition Members

Virtual Trail Days: Living Room Concert with 3000 Miles

Virtual Trail Days: Trailblazers featuring Will “Akuna” Robinson and Elsye “Chardonnay” WalkerVirtual Trail Days: CDT Between the Ears with Jodie "Green, Gold and Blues" Morton Virtual Trail Days: The First Women to Hike the Continental Divide with Jean Ella Smith

Thu
Apr 23rd
2020
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Julie demonstrates -- "Do your part! Stay 6 feet apart! Please help us to keep our parks open!"

Looking for humor and creativity on the Twitterverse, and visiting parks while social distancing is what my life mainly consists of currently. There is also a lot of sadness about plans being canceled, but my family has been fortunate to have had no illness or death. I try to support those that I see online that are making a difference in our community.

While no day of COVID-19 social distancing is the same, the typical day often contains the following elements: 

In this blog post, I share my experience visiting local parks, and my online life during these coronavirus crisis times.

Wed
Apr 8th
2020
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Humor and Creativity on the Twitterverse While Social Distancing

On Monday, March 30, 2020, while Julie and I were finishing our blog post, Peaceful Parks While Social Distancing, we got to talking about how we appreciated all the humor and creativity we were seeing on social media while everyone was social distancing. We were impressed by some of the very gifted people sharing their talents, and we liked how some people were using humor to cope with the stress of the current coronavirus crisis.

I decided to grab my @sos_jr tweets and retweets from this stressful time period that I thought demonstrated positive humor or creativity on the Twitterverse, and some tweets that had some personal significance. Please share those that you enjoy by retweeting them, so that your Twitter followers can share in a laugh, or appreciate the talent.

Humor and Creativity on the Twitterverse While Social Distancing

Mon
Mar 30th
2020
Author(s):

 Canada Goose in Cleveland Metroparks on March 20, 2020

This blog post will share how we used our fantastic, local parks to deal with coronavirus-related stress starting, on Monday, March 16, 2020. An important part of health is mental health -- go for a walk for both physical and mental health!

We include information in this blog post about using the parks safely during this crisis, and resources to learn more about local parks. We have also included tweets about local restaurants from which we got food "to-go," on our way to or from the parks. It is important to support local business where possible at this time.

We want to thank our local park systems for their work to provide a safe place to explore.

Safe Practices When Visiting Cleveland Metroparks During Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Sun
Mar 8th
2020
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sosAssociates.com Blogiversary: Eight!

 2012 to 2020!!! My Eighth Blogiversary of celebrating the fun of exploring our community!

Julie and I are looking forward to sharing our adventures with you through new blog posts in the year ahead. Each month in this coming year brings new possibilities!

Mon
Mar 2nd
2020
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Cleveland Brite Winter 2020! #Brite2020

Winter in Cleveland -- a great time for an outdoor party in The Flats!

For the eleventh consecutive year, thanks to the Brite Winter Leadership Team and Sponsors, on Saturday, February 22, 2020, we joined tens of thousands of people laughing at the Cleveland cold by attending this annual outdoor celebration!

Here are our @sos_jr tweets and retweets with photos/videos from Brite Winter, along with videos we found on YouTube. We share this to encourage you to attend future Brite Winter events, and to thank the people that make it possible. We are very lucky in Cleveland to have Brite Winter!

Tue
Feb 25th
2020
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PechaKucha Night Cleveland - Volume 36

February 20th, 2020, marked PechaKucha 20x20's first annual International PechaKucha Day. I was VERY fortunate to celebrate by attending Cleveland's own PechaKucha Night Cleveland at the Music Box Supper Club!!

I always enjoy attending PechaKucha Night Cleveland and PechaKucha Night Akron events, but this night ended up being special. I arrived at Music Box Supper Club after a very busy afternoon that left my energy low on this Thursday night. I ended up leaving PechaKucha Night Cleveland with a natural high. The creativity of the presenters energized me and made my week!

You should plan on attending future events with friends with whom you want to share the experience that is PechaKucha Night Cleveland!

2020 International PechaKucha Day! #ipk2020

Wed
Feb 19th
2020
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PROOF: Photography in the Era of the Contact Sheet

On February 7, 2020, we attended the PROOF: Photography in the Era of the Contact Sheet opening at the Cleveland Museum of Art. This opening coincided with the #MIXatCMA party that we enjoy attending the first Friday of most months. There was so much to see at the exhibition that we returned to see more the following weekend (Sunday, February 16, 2020).

We enjoyed the PROOF opening so much that we wanted to share it with our son, Michael Smith, on our return visit. We wanted to show him the items we enjoyed on our first visit, and to see the photographs that we did not have time to see. PROOF: Photography in the Era of the Contact Sheet is the type of exhibition that warrants more than one visit.

Julie and Stuart at the opening for "PROOF: Photography in the Era of the Contact Sheet"

Wed
Feb 5th
2020
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Akron Art Museum "Last Look Tour: 'Open World: Video Games & Contemporary Art'"

Stuart had attended the Open World: Video Games & Contemporary Art exhibition with our son, Mike, on October 26, 2019. What made their visit to the exhibition extra special was was learning special insights about the artwork from Curator of Exhibitions Theresa Bembnister.

After the October 2019 tour, Stuart knew he needed to return to the Akron Art Museum to share his experience with his wife and co-blogger, Julie. As we entered 2020, we made plans to go in late January.

We were excited to learn via a Twitter direct message from @AkronArtMuseum that now not only would we be able to see the exhibition together, but we would also be able to go on a "final tour" with Theresa Bembnister, on Tuesday, January 28, 2020. The exhibition is great, but seeing it with the curator who developed the show is extra special.

We had a great day at the Akron Art Museum, and want to again thank Theresa Bembnister for the tour, and Jeneé Garlando for taking time to tell us more about the museum. We look forward to attending future exhibitions at the museum.

Open World: Video Games & Contemporary Art

Sun
Feb 2nd
2020
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2020 Ice Festivals - North Coast Harbor and Lake Metroparks

We started 2020 by celebrating winter in Northeast Ohio by attending two ice festivals in January:

The following are our tweets from these fun events, which include our videos and photos. We share them here to say how we appreciate being able to attend these annual ice festivals.

Tue
Jan 7th
2020
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#NewYearsEve and #NewYearsDay 2020 #ThankYou

As we have done the past five years, we have created this #NewYearsEve and #NewYearsDay 2020 #ThankYou blog post to thank the many people/organizations for all the great activities and events that we attended in 2019! We also enjoy reliving the year by reviewing our 31 blog posts from 2019.

What follows are our 2019 blog posts, and tweets from New Year's Eve and New Years Day. We also included some tweets from the first week of the new year, which show how we started the new year with fun activities.

We are excited to start another year! All the best to everyone in 2020!

Sun
Dec 8th
2019
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Akron Maker Space Grand Opening

I am a very lucky man! In October and November 2019, I was very fortunate to attend many great events. I am publishing seven blog posts today because I really want to thank the organizers of these events. With so much happening, I have not been able to publish my blog posts on a timely basis, but still wanted to recognize and recommend these organizations.

In the interest of time, these are not my usual full blog posts, so I encourage you to click on the links and watch the videos in the tweets to learn more:

I am truly grateful to all those who made these great events possible.

Sun
Dec 8th
2019
Author(s):

The 30th Anniversary of the NASA Glenn Graphics & Visualization Lab (GVIS)

I am a very lucky man! In October and November 2019, I was very fortunate to attend many great events. I am publishing seven blog posts today because I really want to thank the organizers of these events. With so much happening, I have not been able to publish my blog posts on a timely basis, but still wanted to recognize and recommend these organizations.

In the interest of time, these are not my usual full blog posts, so I encourage you to click on the links and watch the videos in the tweets to learn more:

I am truly grateful to all those who made these great events possible.

Sun
Dec 8th
2019
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Cleveland Maker Faire 2019 and Cleveland Public Theatre "Día de Muertos"

I am a very lucky man! In October and November 2019, I was very fortunate to attend many great events. I am publishing seven blog posts today because I really want to thank the organizers of these events. With so much happening, I have not been able to publish my blog posts on a timely basis, but still wanted to recognize and recommend these organizations.

In the interest of time, these are not my usual full blog posts, so I encourage you to click on the links and watch the videos in the tweets to learn more:

I am truly grateful to all those who made these great events possible.

Sun
Dec 8th
2019
Author(s):

Cleveland Rising Summit

I am a very lucky man! In October and November 2019, I was very fortunate to attend many great events. I am publishing seven blog posts today because I really want to thank the organizers of these events. With so much happening, I have not been able to publish my blog posts on a timely basis, but still wanted to recognize and recommend these organizations.

In the interest of time, these are not my usual full blog posts, so I encourage you to click on the links and watch the videos in the tweets to learn more:

I am truly grateful to all those who made these great events possible.

Sun
Dec 8th
2019
Author(s):

Akron Art Museum "Open World: Video Games & Contemporary Art"

I am a very lucky man! In October and November 2019, I was very fortunate to attend many great events. I am publishing seven blog posts today because I really want to thank the organizers of these events. With so much happening, I have not been able to publish my blog posts on a timely basis, but still wanted to recognize and recommend these organizations.

In the interest of time, these are not my usual full blog posts, so I encourage you to click on the links and watch the videos in the tweets to learn more:

I am truly grateful to all those who made these great events possible.

Sun
Dec 8th
2019
Author(s):

NASA Hackathon! Space Apps Challenge Cleveland 2019!

I am a very lucky man! In October and November 2019, I was very fortunate to attend many great events. I am publishing seven blog posts today because I really want to thank the organizers of these events. With so much happening, I have not been able to publish my blog posts on a timely basis, but still wanted to recognize and recommend these organizations.

In the interest of time, these are not my usual full blog posts, so I encourage you to click on the links and watch the videos in the tweets to learn more:

I am truly grateful to all those who made these great events possible.

Sun
Dec 8th
2019
Author(s):

Cleveland Museum of Art "Michelangelo: Mind of the Master" - MIX: Anatomy & Pop-up Drawing Lounge

I am a very lucky man! In October and November 2019, I was very fortunate to attend many great events. I am publishing seven blog posts today because I really want to thank the organizers of these events. With so much happening, I have not been able to publish my blog posts on a timely basis, but still wanted to recognize and recommend these organizations.

In the interest of time, these are not my usual full blog posts, so I encourage you to click on the links and watch the videos in the tweets to learn more:

I am truly grateful to all those who made these great events possible.

Tue
Nov 26th
2019
Author(s):

Third Annual Better World Day - Blockchain for a Better World

Better World Day is brought to you by Leading Hands Through Technology and Workmen's Circle Educational Center of Ohio. The conference focuses on technology to arm non-profits with the knowledge to continue their fight for a better world.

Blockchain for a Better World
Better World Day

Thursday, October 17, 2019 from 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM (EDT)

Blockchain for a Better World
(How Non-Profits Can Successfully Apply Blockchain)

At our third annual event, we're excited to bring together researchers, technology experts, non-profit leaders and fund-raising professionals to develop innovative solutions that combine technology and compassion to improve our world.

I am grateful that Marc Majers knew of my interest in technology solutions for nonprofits, and thus invited me to this year's Better World Day educational event. This panel discussion and keynote address on how nonprofits can use blockchain technologies took place on October 17, 2019, at the Cuyahoga County Public Library Parma Branch.

On November 11, 2018, I had written a blog post entitled Cleveland Foundation #CtrlAltCLE Convenes: Tech & Digital Equity/Blockchain for Social Good which featured an excellent introduction to blockchain by Cleveland Foundation's Chief of Digital Innovation & Chief Information Officer Leon Wilson. I was excited to learn more from Leon Wilson and the other members of the panel, as well as the keynote presenter.

The purpose of this blog post is to capture some of what I learned, and share it with others.

Tue
Nov 19th
2019
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Celebrating 10 Years of Cleveland Growing Toward Becoming a Sustainable City!

I had heard about the work of Sustainable Cleveland for years from talking to their staff and volunteers at their booths at Cleveland area environmental events I attended. This was the first year I was able to attend their Annual Sustainable Cleveland Summit. I knew that each year had a theme:

What I did not fully realize was that the 11th Annual Sustainable Cleveland Summit was the final event planned as part of this ten-year initiative by the City of Cleveland Mayor's Office. At the Summit, the leaders committed to continue the work of Sustainable Cleveland, but they were not ready to announce in what form these activities will take place. I look forward to when these future initiatives are publicly announced.

In this blog post, I will share tweets and videos relating to the 11th Annual Sustainable Cleveland Summit, and the work of Sustainable Cleveland and its many partners.

Sun
Nov 10th
2019
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From Waterfalls to Wilderness Workshops

Weekend Journey: New York & Massachusetts Parks, and Appalachian Long Distance Hikers Association (ALDHA) Gathering

Every year, we go to the Appalachian Long Distance Hikers Association - ALDHA Gathering weekend for workshops on how to backpack the great trails around the world. Normally, we make it a four-day weekend (including traveling), but this year we added some extra days on each end of the trip. These extra days enabled us to see some great New York State Parks with beautiful waterfalls, and more of the park where the Appalachian Trail crosses the highest mountain in Massachusetts.

It was fun to "bookend" our trip to the Appalachian Long Distance Hikers Association - ALDHA Gathering with waterfalls. We write our blog posts to share what we learn about organizations and about places that we enjoy. We hope you will share them with others.

Fri
Oct 18th
2019
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IngenuityFest 2019: Dreamscapes

On Friday night, September 27, 2019, and Saturday, September 28, 2019, I continued my annual tradition of attending Ingenuity Cleveland's IngenuityFest and sharing in a blog post some of what I saw there. 

I am proud that my sons, Kevin and Mike, had a booth at IngenuityFest for their tabletop game, perMUTATIONS, for the third consecutive year!

Kevin Smith and Mike Smith - perMUTATIONS  tabletop game booth at IngenuityFest

Tue
Oct 1st
2019
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 Twitter says: "Happy 10th Twitter Anniversary!"

Today is my 10th anniversary on Twitter! I wanted to take this opportunity to thank all the good people in the Twitterverse who have invited me to learn about their lives and what they care about, by sharing interesting activities. And to the cultural, art, civic, and creative organizations, thank you for bringing joy into my life by informing me of new opportunities in which I could participate.

In #MyTwitterAnniversary blog post, I want to wish you a great month, year, and life full of adventure and fun times as I start my eleventh year of blogging and sharing on Twitter! 

"Hello, World" - Stuart O. Smith, Jr.'s First Tweet! October 1, 2009.

Thu
Sep 26th
2019
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First Time In USA! Teylers Museum's Collection of Michelangelo Drawings at Cleveland Museum of Art!

This whole year, I have been looking forward to the Michelangelo: Mind of the Master exhibition, so imagine how excited was to I receive an invitation to attend the Media & Influencer Preview of "Michelangelo: Mind of the Master."

Once I entered the exhibtion, I found it interesting to see people interacting and learning about the exhibtion. I also greatly enjoyed talking to others I knew at the preview, and sharing impressions with people who I met for the first time, as we enjoyed the drawings.

On the same evening as the Michelangelo: Mind of the Master preview, I attended the last hour of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History's Think & Drink with the Extinct event. It was a great way to end the evening in University Circle.

I am grateful to be able to attend many great events as a member of both the Cleveland Museum of Art and the Cleveland Museum of Natural History!

Stuart in Emanuel Wallace photo at the preview

Sat
Sep 21st
2019
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30th Year! Cleveland Museum of Art's Chalk Festival 2019

2019 is a special year! Congratulations, Cleveland Museum of Art, on celebrating the 30th year of the Chalk Festival over the weekend of September 14-15, 2019! We were able to continue our annual tradition of creating a blog post with photos from the Cleveland Museum of Art's Chalk Festival.

Every year, the chalk art created at the Cleveland Museum of Art's Chalk Festival is outstanding! Please take some time to see the chalk artwork by reading our blog post!

Julie and Stuart enjoying 3-D art at the Cleveland Museum of Art's 30th Annual Chalk Festival

Sat
Sep 14th
2019
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Print Club of Cleveland’s 35th Fine Print Fair

This is the third year that I have been fortunate to be invited to the Print Club of Cleveland’s Fine Print Fair Opening Night Preview Party at the Cleveland Museum of Art. The Thursday, September 12, 2019, Preview Party gave attendees an opportunity to "Be the first to view and acquire outstanding works" and "Enjoy a cocktail reception" before opening to the public. The Fine Print Fair is open to the public the weekend of September 13-15, with FREE admission.

I am grateful to be able to attend many great art events like the Print Club of Cleveland’s Fine Print Fair at the Cleveland Museum of Art!

Thu
Aug 8th
2019
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Cleveland GiveCamp 2019 – 10th Anniversary

10th Anniversary Cleveland GiveCamp!

The Mission of Cleveland GiveCamp is to pair creative and technology talent with nonprofits in need.

On July 19-21, 2019, Cleveland GiveCamp marked the tenth year of its tech volunteers serving nonprofits in the Cleveland and Akron areas. We (Stuart O. Smith, Jr., and Kevin F. Smith) want to share with you tweets, videos, photos, and information about Cleveland GiveCamp 2019.

Stuart has volunteered at Cleveland GiveCamp Weekend for all of its ten years, and this was Kevin Smith's sixth year working on the Cleveland GiveCamp social media team.

10 years! It is hard to believe that it has been ten years! It has been exciting to see Cleveland GiveCamp grow over the years and help so many nonprofits with free websites and other tech solutions.

Tue
Apr 23rd
2019
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Share The River photo of Rails-to-Trails Conservancy Opening Day for Trails - Cleveland!

What a day! We attended Cleveland's second Rails-to-Trails Conservancy Opening Day for Trails - Cleveland on Saturday, April 13, 2019, at Cleveland Metroparks' Merwin's Wharf. We knew to expect a great event, but the very large participation of Clevelanders interested in learning about Cleveland's urban trails was beyond what we had expected.

The Smith's having fun at Rails-to-Trails Conservancy Opening Day for Trails - Cleveland!

Thu
Apr 18th
2019
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OHTec 2019 Annual Cleveland Best of Tech Awards

I was fortunate to be invited by Pandata to the April 11, 2019, OHTec 13th Annual Cleveland Best of Tech Awards (affectionately known by its hashtag: #NerdOscars), which is part of OHTec Tech Week. This blog post includes information about the 2019 Best of Tech Awards finalists, and lists the winners.

There was a wealth of information about the Northeast Ohio tech community to be found at the many booths during the reception. For me, it was also a great reunion, since I saw many people from the tech community who I don't get to see as often as I would like.

RITE CoolTech Challenge Winners

Most Promising Start-Up Award Winner: Indago

Tue
Apr 9th
2019
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Cleveland Metroparks Adventure University 2019!

I first learned about the Cleveland Metroparks Adventure University a year ago. It looked like somethng I would really enjoy, but we were dealing with a family emergency that kept me from attending the Spring of 2018. When I saw on Twitter that the third annual Cleveland Metroparks Adventure University & Gear Swap would be taking place at Baldwin Wallace University on Saturday, March 23, 2019, I was doubly excited to attend. First, I saw that they had exciting organizations participating, and workshops planned in areas that greatly interested me. Secondly, my annual case of "Springer Fever" had set in, and I was ready to learn from presenters about my future adventures. 

Outdoor Recreation - Cleveland Metroparks

Mon
Apr 1st
2019
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Cleveland Museum of Natural History: Think & Drink -- Fantastic Beasts of the Natural World

THINK & DRINK
Cleveland's brainiest happy hour . . .

Raise a glass with the Museum on select Thursdays and explore our different topics and latest discoveries with scientific experts — and drinks brewed by Northeast Ohio's best breweries — as your guide!

With a short walk in University Circle, I went from photography from 1940–1950 at the Cleveland Museum of Art to the world of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. Normally, these museums are not open late on Thursdays, but Thursday, March 21, 2019, was special!

This post about the Think & Drink -- Fantastic Beasts of the Natural World is the second of two blog posts about my evening in University Circle.

Mon
Apr 1st
2019
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Opening Celebration of Cleveland Museum of Art Photography Exhibition: Gordon Parks: The New Tide, Early Work 1940–1950

Join Us to Celebrate the Opening of “Gordon Parks: The New Tide, Early Work 1940–1950”

The Cleveland Museum of Art invites you to attend the opening celebration of the special photography exhibition Gordon Parks: The New Tide, Early Work 1940–1950.

A simple email invitation led to an enjoyable evening in University Circle, beginning at the Cleveland Museum of Art and continuing at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. Normally, these museums are not open late on Thursdays, but Thursday, March 21, 2019, was special!

This post about the Gordon Parks photography exhibition is the first of two blog posts about my evening in University Circle.

Mon
Mar 18th
2019
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Mike, Kevin and Julie viewing Frieda Warther's Button Collection

On March 7, 2019, we decided to plan a family day. We first thought of places we had enjoyed in the past, but decided what we really wanted was a day together exploring places we had never visited as a family. Luckily, we remembered seeing a sign for The Warther Museum as we drove down Interstate 77. Every time we drove past the sign, we would say that we needed to find a time to visit The Warther Museum. Julie had great memories of visting The Warther Museum when she was a Girl Scout, and had been telling us for years that we needed to go there someday. She knew we would enjoy seeing the carvings, which included very detailed models of trains.

As we explored Google Maps for other places to visit in Ohio's Tuscarawas County, we decided to make trains the theme for the day, and go to the Dennison Railroad Depot Museum.

We made our plan to visit these two Ohio museums which are located in the City of Dover and the Village of Dennison -- just about an hour and a half south of Cleveland.

Fri
Mar 8th
2019
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sosAssociates.com Blogiversary: Seven!

 

2012 to 2019!!! My seventh Blogiversary of celebrating the fun of exploring our community!

Thank you to my great co-writer and wife, Julie Smith! I always enjoy sharing the journey with her. I also want to thank the many organizations that hosted the events/activities I wrote about this year!

 

Julie and I wrote 47 blog posts in 2018, which is the greatest number of blog posts we have ever done in one year! One of the reasons we wrote so many in 2018 is that we enjoyed visiting many of the venues for the FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art. Julie and I want to give a big THANK-YOU to Fred Bidwell and the other FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art organizers. 2018 was the inaugural year for these exhibitions, and we are looking forward to FRONT returning to Cleveland in 2021!

We enjoyed visiting the venues for FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art 2018.

Wed
Mar 6th
2019
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Brite Winter 2019 -- #Brite10 -- Tenth Year of Cleveland Outdoor Winter Fun!

Congratulations to the Brite Winter 2019 organizers! Ten outstanding years of outdoor winter fun -- music and arts in Cleveland!

On Saturday, February 23, 2019, we had a great time at the tenth annual Brite Winter. We arrived a bit earlier than in the past to have more time to enjoy the outdoor activities.

In this blog post we share two videos that do a great job of capturing the environment, and our 154 @sos_jr tweets and retweets show photos/videos from this outstanding day in Cleveland!

On this 10th anniversary, we want to thank the Brite Winter organizers for the many years of winter outdoor fun!!! We have very fond memories of attending our first Brite Winter when it was just a small event in 2011, and have watched it grow into the huge event it is now!

Fluri The Yeti celebrating 10 outstanding years of outdoor winter fun -- music and arts in Cleveland!

Wed
Mar 6th
2019
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PechaKucha Night Cleveland Volume 33 at Music Box Supper Club

On Thursday, February 21, PechaKucha Night Cleveland will be live on stage at The Music Box in the Flats West Bank.

Japanese for “the sound of conversation,” PechaKucha features a rapid succession of 8-10 speakers, each sharing new ideas about topics ranging from visual art, architecture, and technology to food, film, music, photography and furniture design through a vibrant 400 second long presentation (20 slides X 20 seconds each). . . .

#PKNCLE33
@PKNCLE

I always enjoy attending (and writing about) PechaKucha Night events in Cleveland and Akron. Therefore, I was glad to be able to go to Cleveland's Music Box Supper Club on Thursday, February 21, 2019, for PechaKucha Night Cleveland - Volume 33.

Global PechaKucha Night Cleveland: Waterways 2019

After Michael Christoff's PechaKucha Night Cleveland - Volume 33 talk, he made the BIGGEST announcement in the ten+ years of the organization:

The next event, Global PechaKucha Night: Waterways, will be an international event spotlighting the importance of water and sustainability.

Thu
Feb 7th
2019
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This blog post can't capture all the exciting implications of the Wednesday, January 23, 2019, Cleveland Museum of Art Open Access announcement!

Open Access at the Cleveland Museum of Art

The Cleveland Museum of Art announced on January 23, 2019, that it is an Open Access institution, using the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) designation for high-resolution images and data as related to its collection. At the Cleveland Museum of Art, Open Access means the public now has the ability to  share, collaborate, remix, and reuse images of many as 30,000 public-domain artworks from the CMA’s world-renowned collection of art for commercial and non-commercial purposes. In addition, portions of collections information (metadata) for more than 61,000 artworks, both in the public domain and those works with copyright or other restrictions, works are now available. 

This announcement that I will share information about in this post is just the beginning. It is only a hint of what is to come.

The Open Access partners of the Cleveland Museum of Art at the event showed some intitial uses for the all the Open Access artwork, but the potential for the future goes beyond what was presented on this first day. As the Creative Commons Chief Executive Officer Ryan Merkley said, "...this is a big deal."

Creative Commons CEO Ryan Merkley: "...that this is a big deal."

Mon
Jan 21st
2019
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Return Visit -- Cleveland Museum of Art's Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern and Renaissance Splendor: Catherine de’ Medici’s Valois Tapestries

Thank you, Cleveland Museum of Art, or bringing both Renaissance Splendor: Catherine de’ Medici’s Valois Tapestries and Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern to Cleveland! I look forward to coming back to the museum to see the exhibitions again with Julie, my co-blogger and wife.

On Friday, January 18, 2019, Stuart returned with Julie to show her these two major exhibitions. Both Wednesday and Friday nights are good weeknights to go to the Cleveland Museum of Art, since they are open later than other nights -- until 9:00 pm. Visiting the museum makes for a very enjoyable evening.

Julie and Stuart at Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern

Julie and Stuart at Renaissance Splendor: Catherine de’ Medici’s Valois Tapestries

Thu
Jan 3rd
2019
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#NewYearsEve and #NewYearsDay 2019 #ThankYou

As we have done the past four years, we have created this #NewYearsEve and #NewYearsDay 2019 #ThankYou blog post to review some of the fun things we did in 2018. We enjoyed reliving the year through our 47 blog posts, and also recognize that we have many people to thank for all the activities and events that we attended in 2018.

This blog post includes images that link to our 2018 blog posts, as well as all of our 88 @sos_jr year-end thank-you tweets from New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.

Sun
Dec 23rd
2018
Author(s):
Kevin F. Smith, Michael N. Smith, Stuart O. Smith, Jr. - @sos_jr

Cleveland GiveCamp 2018: Coding for Charity for Nine Years!

The Mission of Cleveland GiveCamp is to pair creative and technology talent with nonprofits in need.

Stuart did not have time to write this blog post at the end of July, since he was preparing for a backpacking trip and writing blog posts about FRONT International, but we still wanted to share our experiences at Cleveland GiveCamp 2018.

On July 20-22, 2018, Cleveland GiveCamp Weekend marked the ninth year of serving nonprofits in the Cleveland and Akron areas. The Smiths (Stuart, Kevin, and Mike) want to share with you the following tweets, photos, and information about Cleveland GiveCamp 2018.

Stuart has attended Cleveland GiveCamp weekend for all of its nine years, and in 2018 served on the Cleveland GiveCamp Steering Committee for his eighth year. He continues to manage both the ClevelandGiveCamp.org website and the @CleGiveCamp Twitter feed year-round, and serves on the Social Media Team during Cleveland GiveCamp weekend. This was Kevin's fifth year working on the Cleveland GiveCamp social media team. Mike returned this year to work on a Wordpress project for Hope for Kids Geauga (HopeForKidsGeauga.org) at his seventh GiveCamp. Cleveland GiveCamp continues to be one of the largest GiveCamps in the nation.

Mon
Dec 10th
2018
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Cleveland Museum of Art's Two Major Fall 2018 Exhibitions: Georgia O’Keeffe and Catherine de’ Medici’s Valois Tapestries

I was very fortunate to receive an email invitation to arrive early for the November 29, 2018, Cleveland Museum of Art's preview event. There is a lot of interest in the newly opened exhibitions at the Cleveland Museum of Art! The tickets for the weekend following the preview ended up selling out, and the night I attended brought in a good-sized crowd of Museum members to see the two major fall 2018 exhibitions:

In this blog post, I will share what I and others observed and shared on Twitter (including photos of the artwork), along with some other comments and resources about these two exhibitions. I like that the museum is featuring both their Renaissance Splendor: Catherine de’ Medici’s Valois Tapestries and Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern exhibitions together, and offering special combined ticket pricing for the public (museum members get free tickets and their guests get discounted tickets).

Sun
Dec 2nd
2018
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Start of the Cleveland Holiday Season! PlayhouseSquare Holidazzle - Cleveland Winterfest - TubaChristmas Cleveland

Traditionally, on the weekend after Thanksgiving, Cleveland kicks off the holiday season! On Saturday and Sunday, November 24 and 25, 2018, we took part in some great holiday celebrations!

We wrote this blog post as our way of saying thank you to PlayhouseSquare and Cleveland Play House for Holidazzle 2018, and to Downtown Cleveland Alliance and Cleveland Public Square for Cleveland Winterfest 2018.

We also want to mention the great Cleveland Foundation skating rink on Cleveland Public Square! The Foundation has been sponsoring a winter skating program since 2016 as a great addition to the year-round programming that takes place at the Cleveland Foundation Centennial Plaza.

In addition to Holidazzle and Cleveland Winterfest, we have included in this blog post tweets with photos and videos from this year's TubaChristmas Cleveland. Julie performs in TubaChristmas concerts in either Cleveland or Akron every year.

Sun
Nov 18th
2018
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2018 Cleveland Public Library Mini Maker Faire Brings Together Makers and Creatives

On the afternoon of Saturday, November 3, 2018, I attended the Cleveland Mini Maker Faire. 2018 marks the sixth year for the Cleveland Public Library - "The People's University" - as a sponsor and host of the Cleveland Mini Maker Faire, and I have attended and written blog posts about three of the previous years' events.

Also, I am excited that my sons had a booth at the Cleveland Mini Maker Faire this year, featuring their tabletop game, PerMUTATIONS. This is the first time they have been invited to share their game with the public at the Library. They have demonstrated their PerMUTATIONS game at the last two Ingenuity Cleveland's IngenuityFest events, which you can read about in our blog posts.

What follows are my 100 @sos_jr tweets and retweets, so you can see photos from the event, and learn how the Cleveland Public Library uses the Cleveland Mini Maker Faire to bring together area makers and creatives to share their knowledge and to encourage others to join them.

Sun
Nov 11th
2018
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Ctrl + Alt + CLE

I recently learned that the Cleveland Foundation has launched the new Ctrl + Alt + CLE group. Although I missed the first meeting on September 6, 2018, #CtrlAltCLE Convenes: Tech & Digital Equity, it dealt with a topic that I am very interested in, so I knew I should make it a point to attend future meetings. Fortunately, I was able to attend the second #CtrlAltCLE meeting, and a special #CtrlAltCLE blockchain training for nonprofits/government.

#CtrlAltCLE Convenes: Blockchain for Social Good

In this blog post, I will share:

I am also including information about Lynda.com classes that relate to the work of #CtrlAltCLE. The classes are available FREE with your library card!

Lynda.com Business and Technology Classes -- FREE with Library Card!

This is just the beginning of the new #CtrlAltCLE program, and I recommend you join with me in learning how Ctrl + Alt + CLE will evolve.

Tue
Nov 6th
2018
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Hack Cleveland's #Fix216: Criminal Justice Reform Scope-A-Thon

I knew of Hack Cleveland from reading their @HackCleveland tweets, but I had never attended any of their events. When I read that the Hack Cleveland leadership team had scheduled a #Fix216: Criminal Justice Reform Scope-A-Thon for Friday evening, October 26, 2018, and Saturday, October 27, 2018, I signed up. I figured it was a good time to not only learn about the group, but also learn by participating in the methods they used to develop a social justice technology solution. I also liked the idea of a "Scope-A-Thon," with its emphasis on investing the time to find the right plan to succeed on the issue that would give the greatest benefit.

Attendees also learned that the work of this year's Cleveland Foundation Creative Fusion artists would be shared at the event. 
 
Here are the three issues on which attendees focused:
 
  1. Bail Reform

  2. Re-Entry Skills Alignment 

  3. Collateral Consequences/Sanctions

#Fix216: Criminal Justice Reform Scope-A-Thon

Sun
Oct 21st
2018
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High Arts Festival Akron 2018 Winner

A BIG thank-you to Summit Artspace for reaching out on Twitter and recommending I visit the Summit Artspace gallery as part of the High Arts Festival Akron 2018 finale celebration on Saturday, October 6, 2018.

I already knew about the Akron High Arts Festival, and had it in my weekend calendar along with other local fun activities. Thanks to the tweet from Summit Artspace, followed by a Twitter direct message with some great information from Downtown Akron Partnership, I knew I had to attend this event!

I love how the High Arts Festival logo reflects how this Akron event has grown to not only include the Visual Arts, but also Music, Film, and the Literary Arts!

Wed
Oct 10th
2018
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Cleveland IngenuityFest 2018: FuturePast

My weekend of Friday, September 28, 2018, through Sunday, September 30, 2018, was a time to learn about the creative people of Cleveland! The weekend started on Friday with an evening with creatives, which I wrote about in my blog post, PechaKucha Night Cleveland Volume 32 at Sachsenheim Hall. It continued with Ingenuity Cleveland's annual celebration of artisans, makers, and technology! This year, the theme was IngenuityFest 2018: FuturePast!

I continued my annual tradition of living the full IngenuityFest experience by attending all three days and talking to as many exhibitors as possible. This was the second year at their new, permanent location at The Hamilton Collaborative, 5401 Hamilton Avenue, Cleveland, which is now their year-round community hub.

I am proud that my sons, Kevin and Mike, had a booth at IngenuityFest for their tabletop game, perMUTATIONS, both last year and this year.

Please share the information in this blog post with your friends. I enjoy attending this event every year, and want to encourage you to invite people who have not attended.

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