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Monday, November 21, 2011

Meet EXOPC, Your Future Desk

Article first published as Meet EXOPC, Your Future Desk on Technorati.

Thinking about getting a new p.c.?  Thinking about the future in technology?  Thinking about developing an App? Think you have the latest technology figured out?  Think again?

And you thought the EXOPC slate, the ipad and the all in one p.c.'s were drippin'....check out the new p.c. desk of the future.....the EXOPC desk on this video from EXOPC.

Released Quarter 2 of 2011, the EXOPC Slate harnesses the power of the world's fastest operating system with amazing touch capabilities and apps for real time business decisions as well as for everyday life.  It makes for easy execution on common tasks with pre-made templates.  This operating system is available for those using Windows 7, with plans for expansion. You can own an EXOPC Slate for the holidays by visiting Microsoft Stores or their online store.

As for the EXOPC has a virtual keyboard, apps on your tabletop surface, an RSS feed stream and makes paperless really look like paperless. Talk about steeped in sweetness.  You'll have to wait til 2012...keeping in mind that this 2011 year is only 40 days away from closing down.

Lately, developers have made figuring out the latest technology quit simple.  My Facebook developer handle is Click Chick.  Point and click and drag and drop has made our lives so simple.  Don't get me wrong...I'm a basics kind of girl, but most are when it comes to technology.  It needs to be simple, quick, and of course easy to master tutorials.  Our lives are complicated, but technology makes our lives frictionless.  It may feel like it moves faster....but new technology makes it more frictionless (at least when everything is running full tilt)  We all can live in real time now.  You don't want to miss out like that guy who missed the text on the flash mob or the office party or worse, a job opening.

The trend in tech talk today is that everyone needs to possess the skill of coding as the direction of how we conduct business continues to change.  Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO and Mark Zuckerberg CEO of Facebook, touted this on the PBS special with Charlie Rose earlier this month.  They say there is not enough talent to go around when it comes to engineers and how quickly our businesses are evolving.

You might not plan on working in Silicon Valley or even want to be a computer science engineer, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't posses the skill of coding.  The jobs of the future will look highly on a director of a corporation that knows how to develop an app to get down to the nitty gritty of analytics and figure out a good solution from it.  As for now, I'm going to wait on that new p.c., hone my coding skills and chillax a little more.

The new EXOPC Desk will be available in 2012, starting at $1200.  It's on my wish list.  Also on my wish working for a company that has the EXOPC Desk. Ciao for now!


Sometimes....Things Just Work....When You Have a Plan, That is

After a full day at work.....she rolls in the garage....walks in the door and out sweeps the most delectable smelling flavors of a home cooked meal.   "Mommeeeeeeey," the kids yelp.  "How was your day, dear," says her husband.  She looks around....the kids are bathed and in their jammies.  The food smells wonderful (and they even waited for her to get home).  A fire is roaring and the house if ready for adorning with Christmas decor...stacked neatly in the hall, waiting for eager hands.  "Doesn't matter how my day was.  Now, it's amazing.  Thanks for taking care of everything.....especially since you feel so crappy.  Let's eat."

Earlier that day.....I'm leaving.  I'll be back at 6:30 tonight. Her daughter asks, " that 6:30 or 6:50."  That would be 6:30/6:50ish.  She goes's the plan.  Turn the roast on at 2:30...make sure it's low.  The kids need a bath and should be in their Christmas jammies.  Throw in carrots, onions, celery, potatoes, add a little water and some spices.  Please bring the ornaments in from the attic to even the temps no later than 3pm...we don't want them breaking from the temp. shock. Her daughter pipes in, "O.K. mom...I've got it...I wrote it all down so Dad won't forget."  Love you. Miss you. Kiss. Kiss.

True story.  It sure is nice when things work according to plan. Now, if I could just get a plan for my new direction. No time like the present. How is your plan coming?  With out a plan...nothing is really possible....with one....something is's all in what you make of it....Dream it. Plan it.  Build it. Love it. Do it!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Return to Sender on Senate Bill 5

Article first published as Return To Sender on Senate Bill 5 on Technorati.

Get the facts is a common statement in the months of October and November during election campaigns...But what really are the facts, in particular to Ohio's Senate Bill 5? (A note to all non-Ohioans, this is an important bill facing judgement.  Ohio is on pace to lead the direction for the balance of the country regarding the issues listed in this original 400+ page bill.)

Let's face it, facts get misrepresented or contorted depending on which side of the vote you are trying to sway.  I want to know the facts before I can make an informed decision.

So, let's get the facts straight about SB 5.  First we need to realize that this bill is complicated by the controversial debate on what is right for our schools and more importantly our students and our citizens.  It puts many issues on the table that need to be, but with a bill this large we need to realize it becomes inept at being a yes or no issue.  For the purpose of review, this article becomes the (KISS) keep it simple review that will lay out what, we the people, are voting on. 

Who will the bill affect directly? This bill is directed toward public workers....including, but not limited to teachers, fire fighters and police officers, which will directly affect our communities.
The bill is designed to cut costs and balance a budget that needs tending to.

What gets cut in the SB 5 bill? First item: No striking along with no collective bargaining in unions, which would include charter schools.  Unions are the 3rd party negotiators for workers such as teachers, to ensure proper or fair and appropriate working conditions. 

Currently on the table are benefits discussions.  The bill introduces a flat 15% payout by these employee's in regards to their health benefits.  It would be a mandated changed for said employees.  Many teachers have already accepted, as a result of collective bargaining, this proposed increase.  Teachers recognized that there was a need to cut spending and they accepted the increase.  There is a wide range of what percent is being paid by employee's, currently, but on average it will increase from 8% to 15% of their pay.  Some might represent this as a 50% increase, which it is in some cases, but going from 8 to 15% is not a bad solution to help cut the budget. Most of us have seen these increases passed down to us already.  Why should these employee's get a cheaper rate?  We are all living in defunk economic times, so cuts need to be made.  This seems like a logical one, which many teachers have already accepted.  This would favor a yes vote for me...BUT there is more.....

The next item on the table is teacher performance reviews.  The discussion lies in how they are evaluating a teacher.  This is interesting because unless a complete proposal is done on how they expect to review the teachers, one is not able to vote on something that they can't see.  If we take away collective bargaining, which most employee's, in general, do not have, the metrics and deciding factors on an evaluation are left up to the company.  At first glance this sounds like it should be fine to accept the change on performance reviews because all employee's, no matter what company you work for,  should achieve merit and remain in good standing, BUT....if teachers are going to be evaluated on test scores alone, than we have a whole new problem.

School districts that are in communities with high parent involvement and larger resources, such as my own, will not have many issues.  These children come ready to learn and most often exceed state standards.  What happens to districts that are not given money to attract good teachers?  What about the districts that don't have high parent involvement or face other factors such as single working parents or even abusive circumstances?  The test scores of the children are highly affected by those factors and if teachers are left to test scores alone, who is going to be teaching these children?  The effective teachers with descent skills will be knocking on the districts doors that are in the "good" districts.  An effective and compassionate teacher needs to be teaching where the education gap exists.....this bill would eradicate those good teachers and leave the children with an even larger gap.  If a complete proposal was done, such as a full market analysis along with student test scores and teacher involvement inside and outside of the classroom, then accepting this change would be much easier.  While I agree value added is a good direction to take teacher evaluations, left as value added alone, the debate still goes on and we are left to say NO to senate bill 5.

Here is another one....performance pay and sick leave.  Public employee's are allowed to be paid on unused sick leave.  In times of economic gains, this is a great perk.  We all know we don't live in times of great economic gains.  I agree that cutting the banking of sick leave would aid in the decrease in our budget.  Public employee's have the right to use unions to negotiate pay.  I wish I had a union when I was negotiating my salary.  Who goes to bat for me?  The chain of command recognizes my efforts and will agree with my request for an increase if it is warrented by merit and  both parties concur.  I would say I can agree with this portion of the bill.

Additionally, firefighters and police officers are being asked to accept a top down proposal of how to run their services for our communities.  In the case of budget cutting, at times, resources have to be cut and this fiscally makes sense.  But, I do not say yes to leaving holes in communities that need additional services to keep their streets safe.  There is a difference between an inner city community that needs considerable help to make the city safe and who fight many fires while doing so and an affluent community that sits around, waiting for a false alarm, all while topping out at a salary of $110,000 (you read that right).

We have many tiers of issues in this bill.  To give a yes on this bill leaves a margin of error too big for me to allow to loom over our communities, our students, our teachers, and our citizens. It doesn't mean I don't believe that we need to address all the issues in Senate Bill 5, but it does mean that I vote it down with a no and ask that they go back to the drawing board and separate these issues out with a complete proposal to reform our education institutions for the betterment and not just to solve our budget deficit issues alone.

Our future is in education.  The children of 2day become the adults of 2morrow.  Education is what keeps us evolving.  To build a 21st century school system to compete globally and even in our own backyards, we must embrace change. With change comes a learning curve.  With the growth of charter schools, the data from The No Child Left Behind Act and Race to the Top, we are learning.  We need to utilize new business strategies and get rid of our old school mentality institutions, but we need to be smart about it and look at how our choices 2day will affect 2morrow.

 It becomes about needs and wants.  If we cut our schools to balance a bunch of wants we think we NEED to have in our government, than what does our future hold?  We need to make sure that people making decisions, including, we the people, know what the consequences of our choices will be.  There are consequences enough in over spending, but we need to figure out what matters most.  In my world, education is what fuels the future of 2morrow.  My vote will be no on SB 5.

Occupy Wallstreet means something.  Those that are making the policies and budgets need to be included in the changes that are to take place.  Our country needs reform and it needs not to be segregated reform based on who is who and how much you make.  Making money is not bad in and of itself, but hording it for yourself becomes greed.  We need to work on doing what is right and responsible. 

Bottom line, Governor Kasich is trying to balance a budget.  It is his job. is also his job to make sound decisions that take into effect how the choices made will affect the future of our state.  The future of our country lies with the children and the opportunities they receive.  If we apply his business strategy which is being paraphrased here.....providing a better product for a lower cost.....we are up against strong forces.  Can we really provide a better product for a lower cost?  Being a previous merchant myself, I know that is hardly possible....not impossible, but rarely possible.  Cuts bring lower quality no matter how you look at it.  We know Sam Walton's company has major buying power, but no matter how you look at it, when costs are cut, they appear in the product some where along the way.  I think Mr. Kasich needs to take a look at his strategy and lay out how effectively he is going to provide a better product for a cheaper cost.

Governor Romney was heard speaking out in support of SB5 at a phone bank to rally the troops , but later gave an  update stating that state governments should be able to make decisions on their own regarding important matters of policy. While I agree with that statement, I believe Governor Romney owes the American Voters his stance on this subject seeing that it is a national matter on the go forward.

For me, my stance is a NO vote for SB 5.  Governor Romney....the floor is all yours.   

Monday, October 31, 2011

Is Everybody Ready for a Hike...A Redbox Price Hike?

Put another coin in the jute box. Gas goes up, food goes up, electricity goes up, movie theaters go up, Netflix goes up and so do Redbox prices. Thank goodness they're going to go a little easy on us....a 20% increase on $1.00 lends itself to $0.20. So, DVD rental will increase to $1.20, but Blu-ray and games stay the same.

Time is up.....prices are effective today.

I will admit, I loved this idea from the beginning. What an outrageous convenience all for a great price. Who was gonna pay for the screen replacements? Somebody better put in for a signage change. Add $0.20 to DVD's Rentals $1(.20).

Thursday, October 27, 2011

How Much Would You Risk....Integrity? Profit? Safety?

Article first published as Risking Safety For Ratings....Do We Go Too Far? on Technorati.
Those involved with sweeps ratings periods in television know that they may be asked to do really crazy or silly stunts so they can grasp that coveted rating by Nielsen Media Research.

This month, at the IRL closing season race, it might appear they took a risk on drivers to bet the brand on ratings. 34 drivers raced on a track of 1.5 miles....the highest driver roster for the entire 2011 IRL series this year, on one of the smallest tracks. All while trying to revive IRL from a decrease in fan base and ratings. Did they go too far?

In 1911, the AAA, American Automobile Association, sanctioned that the size of the track needed to correlate with a 400 foot average space between cars. On a 2.5 mile track, such as Indianapolis, that would allow for 33 cars, which is what they race year after year. On a 1.5 mile track, such as Las Vegas Motor Speedway, that would allow for 20 cars.

If you look at the recent history of average cars for a season on a 1.5 mile track, you will notice a gradual increase, with a test of sorts in 2008, setting the pace for the continual increase up to this 2011 season.

In 2006, 1.5 mile tracks raced an average of 19 cars.
In 2007, 1.5 mile tracks raced an average of 20 cars.
A big jump in 2008, for 1.5 mile tracks bumped the average cars to 26.
In 2009, 1.5 mile tracks slightly decreased the average cars to 23.
Back to a bigger increase in 2010, 1.5 mile tracks raced an average 27 cars.
This past year, in 2011, IRL raced an average 31 cars on a 1.5 mile track.

How would you, as a driver, feel when you are asked to change it up from a race that is recommended to be 20 cars to 34 cars? Danica Patrick, along with other drivers, admitted in interviews on ESPN, that they were scared going into this race.

Based on the sanction recommendations of 1911 when the cars drove much slower, it appears the drivers at The Las Vegas Motor Speedway this past month, might have been put into a risky situation cutting the distance from the safety sanctions of 400 feet to 233 feet., a decrease of over 40%.

Over the last 2 years the average number of drivers in a 1.5 mile race increased by 35% in total. What do you think was expected to happen with a race stacked against the sanction odds of safety? I can guarantee no one wanted death, but if we know that sex and violence sells on t.v., do you think that someone expected revved up crashes to earn that .8 rating?

Where do we draw the line? We exploit woman to gain ratings. We advertise and display rated M, for mature, games of violence and practically virtual sex for our young, out in the open for them to see and desire, all for profit. Now, we put those that work for us, at risk, in hopes to revive a brand to gain only a result of the loss of a human life that is unable to be revived.

Do we know where to draw the line when we are tying to win the game of ratings or to win a challenge when trying to load the money bags? Check out Miss Representation, a new documentary from the Sundance Film Festival that delves into taking things too far.

What happens when you take too big of a risk and someone dies? Visit for links to updates on Randy Bernard, CEO of Indy Racing League, on his thoughts regarding that horrific day.

Rest in Peace Dan Wheldon. I pray that your family finds strength to heal. I pray that through your death, lessons will be learned and our world may become a little less careless when taking risks

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Digital Evolution Continues with a Serindipidous Makeover for Facebook

Article first published as Digital Evolution Continues with a Serindipidous Makeover for Facebook on Technorati.

Wikipedia defines: ser·en·dip·i·ty
noun /ˌserənˈdipitē/ 
serendipities, plural

  1. The occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way
    • - a fortunate stroke of serendipity
    • - a series of small serendipities
In order to evolve, we must change.  We all know this to be true through the study of history.  Facebook held it's annual F8 conference on September 22nd of this year.  Mark Zuckerberg's philosophical lesson of the day was, "The world could be a lot better and were gonna make it that way....It is an honor to be on this journey with you....Everyday I wake up and live my dream....Let's take the next step and build things together and rethink some of our industries."  This my friends is how we evolve.  Thinkers like Mark Zuckerberg and those of developers will now help our vast world evolve onto a one page serendipitous experience that will catapult friendships and businesses to the next level. Mark talked about connecting the dots in real-time with Ticker and creating real time serendipity between friends with the use of Timeline. Take a look at what they rolled out.

Introducing TIMELINE:

The new Timeline will let you tell the story of your life, include all your apps and give you a new way to express yourself all on one page.  Timeline takes scrap-booking to a digital level in real time and historical time.  Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflicks was a guest speaker.  He spoke about a show he had been wanting to watch "Breaking Bad".  When he saw that his friend was watching it simultaneously on Facebook; he was reminded about a looming dinner date the next night with that same friend.  He finally decided to watch it and was able to create great conversation the next evening at dinner. Timeline had it's first launch during its beta period and will soon roll out for everyone to use. This was open to developers and a test group (including myself).

Timeline gives Facebook a visual makeover.  It's very appealing to look at and is miles away from the original Facebook Wall.  They have built this experience using the Open Graph along with many new apps which will enable frictionless experiences with real time serendipity.  The use of the entire Open Graph will not be available until later this year.

 Reed Hastings announced that they will partner and integrate Facebook and Netflicks.  The roll out will happen some time next year.  (still waiting on that to happen) Daniel Ek, founder of Spotify, also announced a partnership with Facebook and FREE music from Spotify on Facebook.  You can see what your friends are listening to and have a great conversation about your favorite tune or artist in real time. Music, T.V., news and book apps will be available first on the Open Graph. "Let's light up the world with music," says Ek.

Introducing VERBS:

Last Year at F8, Facebook rolled out the use of nouns with the like button.  I like "Books" or  I like Restaurants is so LY.  Now you will be able to use verbs.  Nouns and Verbs....what's next Adjectives? Do you feel like you're stuck in a Madlibs story?  Instead of saying I LIKE something,  you can now collect all your likings and have them posted on your Timeline visually.  I just READ......  I just WATCHED...... and the Facebook experience continues in a new way.

Introducing TICKER:

Ticker has had mixed reactions as it begins to roll out.  Mark called this a light weight activity stream of what your friends are doing.  You can choose to view it or not.  It is a frictionless way to experience what your friends are doing without all the news-feed interruptions of their every move. One might say it is "Twitter lite".

Evolution doesn't happen staying status quo.  While it is also a fact that people don't like change, as so many of Facebook users have stated with the recent changes rolled out last month, I believe that the changes to come will be, what I think, the much needed eye candy to keep users on Facebook for longer with the reward of a serendipitous experience as well as a new frontier for businesses.  So let's get building and rethink some industries....because that is what evolution is all about.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Occupy Sesame Street

Written by: Laurie Borland
Article first published as

Sesame Street is in it's 42nd season and is again stepping up to the plate by bringing the heavy topic of bullying into their storyline.  Not only are they incorporating it on the show, but they have put together an outstanding 5 part series of short video's called Happy to Be Me on to help parents and children.  These videos cover topics on what bullying is and what to do if your child is bullied or is bullying.  Sesame Street continues to market their efforts on this topic in media like CNN and PBS.

Defining terms and expectations for children, and for that matter adults, is the way we come to a mutual understanding of how "to be" in our social society.  Sesame Street's website does a wonderful job of defining bullying and helping parents recognize the signs of both parties involved. 

Rosemarie Trugilia, PhD is the Vice President for Education Research for Sesame Street Workshop.  She is the host for the series on bullying.  They have pulled together an amazing panel of experts to discuss the topic. They answer questions and provide solutions to help put a stop to bullying on both sides of the bullying fence.  One question posed in the panel was, "isn't bullying a right of passage?" Changing this societal belief is where we need to begin. 

To quote Neil Armstrong, "That's one small step for man and one giant leap for mankind."  Sesame Street is bringing this crucial topic to the forefront of the preschool years.  Dr. Jamie Ostrov, Associate Professor of Psychology, says that bullying behaviors can occur as early as age 3.  We need to take a lesson from Sesame Street and continue to bring this topic of bullying to parents and preschoolers.  Just as The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends vaccine schedules, bike helmets, and car seat laws, we need to bring bullying into the picture.

 A world with young children and parents educated on bullying forebodes a healthier, more peaceful world to come.  Tell your neighbors, your pre-school, your church, family and friends with small children to visit and find the Happy to Be Me series. Our world will be a better place because of it.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A Race to the Top Given New Meaning in Education

Article first published by Laurie Borland as A Race to the Top Given New Meaning in Education on

Sunday October 9th, kicked off Anderson Cooper's Anti Bullying special, Bullying Stops Here. The discussion spanned multiple topics of bullying: the bully, the bullied, parents of both, teachers, school staff, on campus, off campus, who is responsible and how to stop it.

I applaud AC360 (CNN) for stepping out and building a multi platform media initiative with Facebook, Cartoon Network and Time Inc., not to mention the others brought in for the panel such as the students, Doctor Phil, Kelly Ripa, and many others. This is a beginning, but this is how we will move forward.....using multiple platforms with the same beliefs to make a united stand and form a banner across many media that creates a stronger voice for a new direction. That is how we make change....."We are really looking for solutions as opposed to what the problem is," says Anderson Cooper.

In a previous interview Anderson Cooper did with a panel of high school students, he asked them if high school feels like social combat. They all agreed absolutely it feels like social combat. "It's pretty much a race to the top of the social ladder and that is pretty much why bullying occurs." How ironic our new approach to education was addressed with a program called Race to the Top. Not only did the students uncover the discussion about a race to the top, but they talked about how everyone is both a bully and a victim at one time or another. This topic is not black and white by any means.

Sunday night, one of the children on the panel and also a victim of bullying wanted to sing during the show. He was a fan of Lady Gaga. I was slightly afraid of what might happen to him, but he belted out Born This Way…a cappella. It sent chills down my spine and probably Lady Gaga's too.

Lady Gaga has become a light for those who feel different. She has become a supporter of anti bullying and has become active in helping shed light on the issues at hand, including a discussion with President Obama. So.... can the power of one make a difference? Lady Gaga took that bull by the horns and has become the poster child for anti bullying. Ghandi said, "Be the change in the world that you wish to see." This brave souled child on the panel took his chance and let his voice be heard in more ways than one. We should all take a lesson from that. Take a stand for what you believe. Music and Media are great ways to be heard. Now, we need to take that voice and "begin with the end in mind" (Stephen Covey) so that we can build solutions.

We know there is a need to help those being bullied and those bullying. As Doctor Phil pointed out, we must realize that a problem lies between both parties involved. One may be fearful of using his/her own voice to stand up for themselves and the other won't stop or refuse to feel empathy for another in order to feel a false sense of "power" or "control" within themselves. The big problem becomes that teenagers are learning who they are and if they each are telling one another who they are is nothing, lifelong problems arise. Lives are being taken because children are killing children with their words, texts and posts. We all know we need something bigger than a band aid. You can see that beginning with partnerships between social network, Facebook and cable TV. station Cartoon Network. Together they are marketing an app that is a pledge for students to take a stand against bullying.

Another discussion was in regards to educating students, parents and all school staff that interact with the students on ways to handle situations they are put in or put themselves into. A school staff member was coldly criticized for working with a child in a documentary...... She told the boy being bullied that he was just like the bully because he wouldn't accept the apology from him, but was she right? The AC360 panel was applauded; BUT 2 wrongs don't make a right. When teaching children to do what is right, we sometimes have to do what is hard and lay a foundation of how to move around in this world the moral way. An eye for an eye makes us both blind. Accepting an apology from an enemy (who may or may not be sincere) may be one of the hardest things we do in life. Leaving the ego behind is another.

Anyone knows that raising a child is another difficult thing to do in life. There are those children that conform, those that lead, those that follow and those that make their own way on a new path or a path that we don't approve of. It is our job as parents to know what is going on with our children, but if we don't know how to help them, than we fail. Why again don't we get an instruction manual when our children are born? Many of us choose to educate ourselves on how to raise a child, but even that isn't enough when we are faced with all of our struggles, our busyness, and a failing system.

We have the ability to help parents and children within the institution we know as school. But what we know and what we do aren't symbiotically functioning at the moment.....times are changing. Media is reaching out to make a difference instead to make just a story. They are becoming a vehicle of change. We all need to be the bridge that unifies the many worlds of our children.

Our country was built on faith in a higher power....we did separate church and state, but we should never have separated morals and values. We decided that it was someone else’s job to discipline their kids no matter what the situation.....but what about the quote, "It takes a village to raise a child." Obviously that had its origins in truth. We are so connected through this webby wire, but yet so disconnected from the human touch and truth. We think we can rationalize our way out of why we did something. We need to stop rationalizing and believe in the truth, live the truth, exemplify the truth and rebuild the truth in our human nature. We were all built to do good, but where does that change? If we can capture that window of opportunity and help teach children morals and values together, as a village, as a community, we will begin to see a new tomorrow. I have always been a firm believer in this philosophy, but we can't do it alone. If we all stand together as one, we will be the new world. We are the world. Look what happened to Michael Jackson. His pain was too strong for him to bear, but he had a vision. Let's build a vision and break the cycle. We only have each other, so let's stand up and work together to solve our countries problems.

This week, AC360 continues it's programming on bullying. Stay tuned and help break the cycle.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Dear Mrs. Laurene Powell Jobs....

Article first published as Dear Mrs. Laurene Powell Jobs......Thank You For Sharing on Technorati.

Dear Mrs. Laurene Powell Jobs,

October 5, 2011,  is a happy day....A day to celebrate Steve's life, the family man and the public man. A day, more than anyone, you will always remember.  The clock has not yet struck 12:00, and as I weave through the web, I see that Wikipedia has already marked this glorious day, the beginning of your husbands life in the after.  My prayer for you is of healing and of celebration. 

A wise man once said, "You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.  You have to trust in something -- your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life."  I am sure you recognize this from Steve's address to Stanford University graduates during, what has become an inspiration in my life, at his commencement speech in 2005.

Recently, I have engaged on a new journey in life.  Along that journey, I had a rather serendipitous run in with a character on the infamous Facebook.  This character helped me navigate through a time in my life where I needed someone to inspire me, someone to push me, someone to encourage me and someone to emulate.  One of the ways, "they" encouraged me, was by introducing me to your husband this past August.  Now, let me quickly follow that up with, it was an introduction boistered only by link juice or virtual reality of sorts.  I was sent constant links to articles about Steve, including the Stanford speech.

I was so inspired by your husband, that today, I shed a tear.  I shed a tear for someone I did not know through an actual physical introduction, only through a digital reality, but a reality it has become for me.  Energy can not be created nor destroyed; it can only be changed from one form to another.  Yesterday, I may not have done many things to change the world.  Today, I carry energy that was passed on to me and to the thousands of others your husband inspired.

"Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.  If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on." This is what is sustaining me.

 I have come to love education, writing and embracing technology.  Today, I volunteer and teach.  I chuckled when I saw you are on the board for Teach for  America. (more would be nice if  "they" could hurry up and finalize that Cleveland Program)  I know.... my life is so much bigger than this.   A body in motion stays in motion.  I know I will get there....where.... I am not sure.  I know you will keep focus on your family and help them get there too.  Stay true to yourself and hold on.  "So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something -- your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever." 

It has been a privilege connecting with you and your husband through the waves of the public webby wire. However, I reach out with sincere gratitude for the serindipity in my life.  I offer you my prayers, thanks and wishes for comfort in your life with your family.

Mr. Steve Jobs....May he rest in peace while we all carry some of  his energy on to a new tomorrow.

May God Bless You!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Education Nation and The Human School

This article by Laurie Borland was first published on

MSNBC's Teacher Town Hall meeting, on Saturday, kicked off this week’s 2nd Annual Education Nation Summit. The town hall meeting was great for best practices and making teachers feel like they have a voice. Brian Williams, Tamron Hall and Rehema Ellis did a great job making it look like a prime time venue. Melinda Gates did a wonderful job discussing the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and its role to help give teachers a voice to elicit new pedagogy. With the use of technology, like the Teacher Wall that was a result of last year’s 1st Summit, they can get a better handle on what teachers are saying with real time opinions, best practices and ideas on improving our education system.

One thing I was disappointed with in regards to the guests at the Teacher Town Hall meeting was that I didn't see any government representatives; they were to come later in the week. Every town hall meeting I have seen is always joined with a government official of sorts.

My main concern is what really is going to come out of this annual meeting? At first, I was quite concerned, but as I watched the media throughout this past week, I have seen how others are beginning to interact and discuss topics with the use of humanism and results orientated based pedagogy that have already taken place around the country. We need to continue to strategize and find what works for the children in each of our communities, but that flexibility needs to exist so that the job can be done right.

We seem to be getting closer to a solution. We need to pull together and make our schools a place where we look at the whole child and remember that they are human. A child who is not happy is not going to learn well, if at all. The Hawn Foundation, founded by Goldie Hawn, believes this as well.

We need to find passionate teachers to do this prestigious job. We need to treat them as the professionals that they are. We need to make sure they are getting the support they need for their classroom in regards to technology and budget money so they can serve the students as effectively as possible. We need to provide the proper salary so that they can get the continuing education training they need to advance their mind and pass the innovative idea's they learn along to their students, allowing them to be the teacher they were meant to be. At times, we are going to find teachers who aren't doing the job as we expected and there should be a policy for that. Our children cannot be put at risk because a teacher is unable to do the job of effective teaching.

The schools of the future will be called the human schools. As a human race, we have always pondered questions like "To be or not to be", we have learned to evolve through language, introspection and problem solving, but we have also learned to use the higher levels of processing such as self-awareness, rationality and wisdom. We continue to evolve every day. We need to take what we have learned and make our education system a place of growth and development for the human child so that they are able to use their critical thinking skills to build a brighter tomorrow.

Today, I feel confident we are moving in the right direction. Many people are standing up with empathy and passion for this institution we call education. We are fighting the battle and beginning to win....but there is a long road ahead. Today, we are moving from not only just talking about issues but to strategizing and implementing these new ways of teaching while considering the whole human child....that alone supports continuing evolution. So please, stand up and let your voice be heard, but be prepared to support your statements and get dirty trying to rebuild the schools of the future because that is what being human is all about.
You +1'd this publicly. UndoHappiness, or the state of being happy, is a human emotional condition. Humans have a highly developed brain, capable of abstract reasoning, language, introspection, and problem solving. This mental capability, combined with an erect body carriage that frees the hands for manipulating objects, has allowed humans to make far greater use of tools than any other living species on Earth. Other higher-level thought processes of humans, such as self-awareness, rationality, and sapience,[7][8][9] are considered to be defining features of what constitutes a "person".[10][11]

Friday, September 23, 2011

Facebook: The Power of One Rocks the School House

Article first published as The Power of One Rocks The School House on Technorati.

“Sometimes the slightest things change the directions of our lives, the merest breath of a circumstance, a random moment that connects like a meteorite striking the earth. Lives have swiveled and changed direction on the strength of a chance remark.” ― Bryce Courtenay 

 The mere essence of what Bryce is talking about is what Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg envisions for his "Beast".  No, I'm not talking about his dog....that was showcased on Mark's Timeline at the F8 conference.  I'm talking about his invention that now some 800 million people use.  It's been recorded that in a single day, 1/2 a billion people use Facebook.  Now that is a beast. Mark's vision for the new Timeline is a serendipitous experience.

You can see what the power of one did in the history books. Soon, you can not only witness what the power of one will be in our future, but you can take part in affecting the future of others with the way your actions are grouped in Facebook's new one page summary of who you are and what you are doing on Timeline. With the introduction of Timeline, Ticker, the New Open Graph and the new developing apps at this year’s F8 conference, you actions on Facebook can be a vehicle of change to the power of 100,000 or who knows how many more.

The new one page Timeline will not only recap your life history on Facebook but allow you to interact in a new way with your friends.  Your cover page includes a small icon of your profile pic, but also a large image of what you feel represents you.  Mark's image was that of his dog, Beast and his girlfriend, Pricilla Chan. In the center will be a group of tiles that show what you are doing.  To the other side will be your Timeline recapping your life story. Uncle Zuck, as I heard one of the hosts call him, wants you to express who you are on this page and make it feel like home. Let me remind that you can bucket the type of friends that you have (close friends, family, acquaintances, subscribers) you can connect and share on a more personal level to those you care about and on a more professional level with those that you network with.

On that note, let's just say this F8 conference was filled with warm fuzzy feelings of babies, weddings, pets, Andy Sandberg, the fact that Mark loves to cook and even the topic of tears over Mario Bro's ticker on finding his first mushroom---o.k. Mark mentioned that he was brought to tears when he saw it come across the ticker.

The power of one is all it takes for change.  It's been happening century after century and will continue but this time with the use of Zuck Dawg's Law: The digital application of nouns and action verbs in the world of business that opens a porthole to a new way of understanding your friends, acquaintances and customers and allows for potential growth and discovery of the user. Let's just say Hollywood better get busy with a new version of School House Rock because Facebook rocked the house at F8.

I raise my glass to the future of pioneering the social way we do business as well as the way we stay connected with friends on the platform of Facebook. Clink! Clink!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Facebook, Utube, Eddie Murphy, U.S. Postal Service

Today's blog title is a list of the top searches on the yahoo buzz log.  I'm surprised to see that Starbucks isn't one of the top ranks (I wish it was...because that would mean people are talking about our nations issues at hand and trying to help resolve our national situation by taking action and having their voice heard).   And that Facebook continues to rank #1.....I guess Facebook has become a monster brand in human "essentials" just like Kleenex and least in the the marketing sense. 

So today's blog is about courage.  I have so many people who read my blog, yet they never comment.....they just read it and move on.  If this is your first time on my blog.....congrats to you.  This blog is a forum to help make our world a better place......but that only happens if you make a change and take action.  Today's blog is an "open mic".  It's your chance to tell me what's on your mind.....I know what's on my mind.....but I'm not a mind reader.....and I want to help your voice be heard.  It seems that many of my readers just refuse to utilize the courage tool in their toolbox......the question is.....not if you have courage.....but if you are willing to pull it out and take a stand and enable your voice. (by the can alter your name when you sign up on yourself anonymous or what ever you want.....your name is important, but your voice is more important.)

 So let me know your thoughts.  I like to hear what my followers are doing in response to my blog.....have you done anything different? (Googled more current events so as to become more informed about our nation, RSVP'd to Howard Schultz' tele town hall meeting.....wrote your congressman/woman?, done a science project with your child.  Let me know something......even if  it is that you plan on doing something, what topics you would like to be discussed on this blog or if you agree with my opinions.  You see.... feedback is essential to me.....your feedback becomes a form of payment.....because yes, I do this work for free.  By clicking on the ad's on my blog, I can make money, but in one month I have made $0.03, no....that isn't a typo.  If I don't see anyone interacting with the blog.....then my work is for nothing and the future of my blog hangs in the balance..... it worth taking out some of your courage and letting others know what you think? or am I just wasting my time?  If you're reading this....take it as a challenge to summon up the courage to leave some kind of "payment" for me....I mean even poor musicians that play roadside get feedback through the coins and bills placed in their instrument case.  Get a glass of wine....sit down and think about what matters to you.....STAND up....your voice means a can change the course of "our" future.  So come on....let me hear your voice.  Ciao for now.  L
Who 2Be 2Day 2Change 2Morrow

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

5 Stars for Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz

A long shot.....could be construed as a shot across the full court as the last few seconds of the clock expire to try and win the game.  A long shot....could be a hole in one drive down the fairway.   A long shot could be catepulting Yuri Gagarin into space.  Or, a long shot could be Howard Schultz's attempt to make a difference in our world, as Joe Nocera of the New York Times describes it.  Joe goes on to ask the it worth it?  I won't tell you his answer.  You can conjure up your own hypothesis as to what kind of a long shot is worth it.

Starbucks has been in the line of fire many times, but this time, I applaud Mr. Schultz in his attempt to DO SOMETHING about America's future....even he knows it's not all about sipping Carmel Mocchiato's as you wait for the train or while you catch up on the latest and greatest book club read at Barnes and Noble.  (aren't they excited about Borders demise)

No, even he knows there is something more to life.  We all have the power to affect, not just our future, but the next 7 generations.....(come on all you tree huggers, myself included, haven't you ever read the back of the 7th generations products?  Their mission is to to inspire a revolution that nurtures the health of the next seven generations)  Join the revolution.  Out of the mouth of an all American Baseball Hall of fame'r' (and first African American Baseball player and announcer).....Life is not a spectator sport.  If  you are going to spend your whole life in the grand stand just watching what goes on, in my opinion your wasting your life.  Jackie RobinsonJoin Howard TONIGHT at 7:30EST/4:30PST.  All you CEO's, corporate associates, political contributors and yes, you average American....take a stand.  Ciao for now. Who 2Be 2Day 2Change 2Morrow

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Labor Day Oxymoron

The word labor is defined by work....hard work.  The first Monday in September is reserved for all to take a day and remember our countries workers, those that make a difference for the communities we live in, those who work hard.  I believe that this is a good thing.  We all need a little R & R.....a day to honor all the hard work we do. 
What exactly do we do?  I mean....everyone is busy these days.  When we work at our job.....we are always busy (or at least many of us are)  Being busy doesn't mean being effective.  I think we all need to question ourselves when it comes to the labor we do.....maybe that's where the saying "work smarter, not harder" is derived.  Think about it.
Bottom line.....EVERYONE needs to rethink what it means to labor. What should you be laboring over right now that you are choosing to hunger or those hungering in your community, your countries government representatives and policies or your local government representatives and policies? Don't get wrapped up in debates. What does a debate do? You need action to make a solution....flapping your gums about your beliefs doesn't get anyone anything......
Below are some definitions about labor that I found on-line (my commentary added in bold).
day labor: Unskilled labor paid by the day (hmmm....why are we paying someone unskilled?  Is this the definition of minimum wage worker? These unskilled day laborers are the people my husband has to make work.....they don't want to come to work or do anything that resembles didn't used to be that way....remember the cotton pickers, fruit gatherers, ditch diggers?  My husband says that Mexicans are the best worker (no bias, just truth)....they want to work and make money and have great work ethic....We need to redefine day labor: Unskilled workers willing to learn a skill and work hard...American day laborer take note from the Mexican work force....they are the ones taking your jobs.....because they are willing to labor.

direct labor: Labor involved in production rather than administration, maintenance, and other support services.  (Let's remind the government of this definition)

labor camp: A prison camp in which a regime of hard labor is enforced (Corporate America---o.k...hear me out.... think about how people are being pushed for the almighty dollar.  Push someone for personal growth and from that will come the want to work hard.  Corporate America needs to think beyond the profit and think about profiting for the true greater good not only of the world, but of their work force)

labor force: All the members of a particular organization or population who are able to work, viewed collectively ( to work....just because you are able to work doesn't mean that you will exert energy to do labor work.....So, should we determine our labor force just by being able to work or by those with work ethic?)

labor pain: One of the recurrent pains felt by a woman during childbirth. (a recurrent pain....this makes it sound like a rug burn where pain keeps recurring....try pushing an 8lb child through a 2 inch opening....and then we can talk recurring pain) 

labor party: A political party formed to represent the interests of ordinary working people (to represent....don't we want and need more than just representation.  Anyone can be represented at a gathering by just attending....just being there means someone from your organization is represented)

labor market: The supply of available workers in relation to available work (again...just because you are able....doesn't mean you are willing....Where there is a will, there is a way.  We need willing and able.....Where do we get willing and able.?....from our American schools.....we need to help teach work ethic back into our labor market) 

labor union: An organized association of workers, often in a trade or profession, formed to protect and further their rights and interests ( seems today's unions are to protect from hard labor and ensure long hours of relaxation, time off with lots of benefits for non intensive labor....I'm not sure.  Do you remember The Jungle, by Upton Sinclair?  The union was there to help the worker who was subjected to unsanitary working conditions and long hours  that were harmful to their health.  Do the unions represent the worker for the same reasons today?  Maybe society needs to review where we are going and where we have been and rethink the unions purpose. (not to say that unions aren't needed when used in the right context and for more than just blue collar labor----I digress)

slave labor: Labor that is coerced and inadequately rewarded, or the people who perform such labor. (did you see that carrot dangling?.......I have been chasing it for quit some time and can't seem to get it)
Take action.  Wipe some sweat off your brow for a greater cause.  Don't get involved in politics....get involved in making a difference in a cause that matters to you and those around you.  Ciao for now! Who 2Be 2Day 2Change 2Morrow

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Science Of It

Who would have thought that going to the fair would entail a science and history lesson....not I, said the fly. 

My son still loves to go see the tractors at the fair....local farm retailers bring in the latest models for show and sale (of course).  This year....what we saw was truly amazing.  We saw the largest combine that rolls the earth.  It was quadruple the size of any combine you have ever seen.  It's so's guided by GPS and is accurate within 2 inches.  The size of this thing is so just sit and stare in this is the technology that harvests the food that feeds our world....I thought....not just the local corner market.  This image is still not as large as the specimen we saw.Upon further analysis....I commented that it wasn't made so well....the spikes on what appears to be called the header were flimsy plastic....I was then corrected.  I thought they would easily snap as they tried to burrow in the ground....but was told those "spikes" can't be sharp because it would damage the crop (harvest). Ohhhh.....makes sense now that I understand your technology a little more. 

Understanding technology a little more.......don't we really all want to do that.  It seems in this age, we all crave info and have it at our finger tips......I think that we don't even realize what is in front of us at times.....and especially don't realize that science is all around us on a constant basis.

Our eyes meandered through the maze and we pressed on.  We walked smack into a planting accessory that would be used by that same colossal combine.  You could follow the flow of the technology by sight.....large seed bin to distribute the seeds evenly through hoses that went to 1 of probably 30+ planter arms.  Each arm had a blade to dig the soil, a source for dispensing the seed into the newly made opening and wheels to seal the opening and sow it into the ground.  Think about the technology that today's new farmers have compared to just 50 years ago (even 20 years ago). 

Every which way we turned, we found a new technology.  As we made our way to the end of the new models trucked in for the fair.......we found a barn full of old John Deer historical tractors, steam engines, generators and other equipment....of course displayed for the public to see the evolution.  Now....I could discuss this with the kids.....evolution of technology on the farm.....the engines, the methods of planting (manual planters vs. mass planting) and even the evolution of the wheel.  It was like we went on a field trip and the kids soaked it up like a sponge.  How amazing it was to see the progress we have made. ("we" I was involved with the inventions)

Even walking through the barns with was there too.....especially biological anthropology....watching the children connect with the baby animals and their moms.  They loved every minute of walking in those stinky barns and watching out for pellets of you know what.

And then there was the mud slingin' derby.....the demolition derby.  Do you think there's a science behind putting what looks like a beat up jalopy into a ring and ramming it into other pieces of metal that have an engine and continue smashing them until they die?.....well, there is.  Who can reinforce the metal trunk, smash it enough to compress the metal to actually make it stronger.....who can build the best motor....who can form an alliance with other drivers.....who can build a car that blows fire out the top.....who can put on a's all a part of the science behind winning the derby.  I still am intrigued.  My first time....I was appalled to even be in the vicinity of a barn, let alone with people who enjoy lounging in stalls next to animals with Sh#@ all over them and to be watching such ludicrous behavior....3,2,1 and I was hooked. It's strange, I know....but it's fun to watch and get into the science behind the every year we embark on a journey to the county fair and manage to have good old fashion family fun. 

As you walk among the science fair that unfolds before you everyday, our world....our community...our backyard......take a little time to smell the roses and ask a few questions or revel in the realm of our technology.  Remember, science is all around us.  Use every opportunity as a teachable moment....and spread the wealth of never know what kind of seed you may plant in an other's it metaphysics or horticulture. It's all about the science of it. Ciao for now.  Who 2Be 2Day 2Change 2Morrow.

"If your joy is derived from what society thinks of you, you're always going to be disappointed." -- Madonna

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A Definition defines a word.....It is YOU who determines it's use

  • quix·ot·ic (kwk-stk) also quix·ot·i·cal (--kl) adj.  Caught up in the romance of noble deeds and the pursuit of unreachable goals; idealistic without regard to practicality.
  •  te·mer·i·ty (t-mr-t) n. Foolhardy disregard of danger; recklessness.
 Greek author Plutarch: What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality.
  Roman Philosopher Seneca: ‘non vitae sed scholae discimus’. [We are taught for the schoolroom not for life]  Now we are not merely to stick knowledge on to the soul: we must incorporate it into her; the soul should not be sprinkled with knowledge but steeped in it. 
Modern Day Philosopher Borland: in order to savor takes time to steep.....but the infusion of flavor that occurs once the steeping is complete.....tastes delectable.....depending on what you choose to steep your tea with....that is)
Discovery can be frustrating, but so liberating and astounding.....just as a quixotic explorer that has even a hint of temerity can go in search of the impossible and still have the ability to dispel the 'im' and leave the rest hanging in the can do the same.  To teach one how to navigate life through their own experience is a gift which should be shared.  Self discovery never stops.....continue to dig and you never know what you may find.  (note....digging works well when you are angry at your seems those emotions push one to the edge....of glory and drive one to much when in what you many not know.....but when you find it.....your heart will learn to speak and you will realize the truth in the words "never settle".....for anything less than your hearts desire.