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CERT – Be Prepared for Disasters

FIRES – the worst in decades for Northern California.  Next may be landslides and mudslides from the barren ridges. Are you ready?

Consider learning how to prepare with CERT.

How will CERT respond?

CERT trains people in disaster recovery. This essential life-saving training is FREE. It takes about 6 weeks – 1 night in the evening.  There are new short courses too: Sandbag Operations, first aid, safety, and even fun community get togethers.

YOU can be part of a Storm Response team, or handle communications, you can host a training class at your home or talk to your neighbors about getting involved, and going to the local Fire House.  It doesn’t take strength or youth, it only takes your involvement.

Google “CERT” – Community Emergency Response to find classes in your area.

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Thanksgiving – Let’s be GRATEFUL!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!   Being grateful adds to our happiness. It’s true. Count your blessings, you’ll feel better. List the 5 BEST things in your day, it will bring a smile to your face.

And laugh when you think that the strict, hardworking Puritans are credited with the most gluttonous holiday in America!  Volunteer for others that need help, or to improve your community. GIVE!

Enjoy this story about Thanksgiving (youtube) –  Facts, not facts, opinions and oddities. Very entertaining, from the History Channel.

Here is a strange history story…. The year we had two thanksgivings !







A great read: How To Make Tense Holiday Conversations Civil (Or Even Productive)


Nov 16 – Light The Night Walk -Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

Event Description

Light The Night Walk is the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) annual evening fundraiser to bring help and hope to those affected by cancer. Co-workers, friends and families form walk teams to raise vital funds for blood cancer research and local patient services. Walkers symbolically light the dark world of cancer by carrying illuminated lanterns: white for survivors, red for supporters, and gold for those walking in memory of a loved one. These unique evening walks are marked by celebration, remembrance and hope. Their efforts culminate in an evening of memorable walks in nearly two hundred communities each Fall across the U.S. and Canada.

Help support the research that will give someone another Birthday! This is a very meaningful walk, often the survivors are able to tell their stories of HOW they made it through, the common thread is Community Support. Please come out and join us in walking and supporting our community.  It means a lot, it is uplifting to walk in a large group, with a common purpose and contemplative/calming too.  — the editor

LINK:   Walk in San Francisco!  Sign up here.

  • No registration fee; no minimum fundraising requirement.
  • 5pm Food & Festivities, 7pm Walk Start
  • Walkers can raise money via the LLS site. (Link to register or support above.)
  • Walkers who raise $100+ will receive a t-shirt (please indicate size), dinner, and an illuminated lantern on walk night.
  • All participants raising $250+ will receive notification post event with details on selecting one incentive item at or below the prize level achieved. (See “Incentive Gifts” under Important Documents.)
  • Friends and family are welcome. The event features live music, fun for kids, and more. The easy-paced, 2 mile walk route takes you on the field of AT&T Park in San Francisco!
  • *Individuals who raise $1000+ for the San Francisco Walk will be invited to a champagne VIP reception hosted by LLS in the Giants’ dugout prior to the walk. (*To Be Confirmed)

Where is the Exit?

People leaving? in droves? or just a Trickle?

Why leave? not engaged, not having fun, not challenged, disrespected, bored, new industry calls, no innovation, more money, next step, who needs THIS job?

I once worked in a job which made the goal very clear! In the hiring contract said…. “IF you are not having fun, it is time to leave!” I have had many fun jobs, jobs that made a difference and also boring, routine and “never again” jobs.

In this  new report from Ceridian, (survey size 1,602 U.S. and Canadian employees):

  • Over a third (33%) of gen-Xers were actively looking for work
  • 22% of millennials and gen-Z.
  • ages of 18-29 no plans for staying at any job over five years

Use BIG data and analytics to help you figure out your workforce! Keep track of turnover rates. You can use surveys, a Voice of the team thing, or survey monkey. Also track employee referrals. You can change the questions every year or keep it as a standard. Pay attention. You’ll learn something. Make sure to share it with your employees.

Another Great Way to “Pay Attention”:  Exit Interviews

You have a chance to get an honest dialog going, when the employee is going out the door! ASK! Make sure to say that the conversation will be kept confidential. Ask questions, make sure to clarify, don’t challenge. Ask for suggestions. Make time for a description of problems and miscommunications within the company.

Veterans Day – November 11

From Spousebuzz.com

These three tips by veterans from different branches, jobs and ranks will help us to remember what is at the heart of Veterans Day and how we can honor our veterans this November 11th.

1. A Day of Reflection, Not Celebration. Many people treat Veterans Day the same way they treat Memorial Day — as a day of solemnity in remembrance of those who gave their lives for our nation. Others view the holiday similarly to Independence Day, with celebration of our nation’s freedom.

According to retired Chief Warrant Officer James S. Hanson, Aviation Safety Officer, it’s neither.

“I wish people understood what [Veterans Day] means. It’s not a memorial, go to the graveyard day … it’s not a beer drinking party day. It’s a day to commemorate why the veterans did what they did and do what they do,” he said. Another veteran, who wished to remain anonymous, agreed, saying, “[Veterans] think of Veterans Day as a day of reflection, while I see civilians celebrating.”

Retired Air Force Capt. Rodney Haworth believes this difference in the way the holiday is celebrated is because “the military experience is [usually] something to which non-vets are never exposed … the general public has [less understanding] of how serious the situation can become.”

As a military spouse, you’re very familiar with the seriousness of the commitment made by service members, and reflecting on this is an important part of honoring our veterans.

Another veteran offered, “[On Veterans Day] I think about how glad I am that there are other people who also make this choice to serve and represent the nation. It’s a huge commitment, and as a service member, I’m appreciative of all of the [other] men and women who have made the choice to serve.”

This year when you’re talking to your veterans, make a point of asking them about their time in the service. Questions such as, “What made you decide to serve?” and “What is or was your favorite part of serving in the military?” are a few conversation starters that will let your veterans know that we are interested, listening, and most importantly, grateful.

2. A Day of Gratitude While we all have good intentions when we offer a quick “thanks” to a servicemember in passing, many veterans interviewed reported being tired of the obligatory “Thank you for your service,” said one retired Marine. On the other hand, some veterans don’t feel a need to be thanked at all. According to Hanson, “Most career military [members] are answering the call to defend and protect the people and country they love.” Retired Lt. Robert Yates, Helicopter Aircraft Commander and search and rescue pilot, agrees. “This may surprise you, but I am not comfortable with, ‘Thank you for your service,’” he says. “Most of us were just doing what we had to do. It was not some noble quest — it was simply doing a job expected of us.”

“People have different callings in life, so I don’t necessarily feel that my choice to serve in the military has made me any more or less entitled to gratitude than any other position of service,” added another veteran. He continued, stating, “I don’t feel like I deserve a ‘thank you’ … I signed up, did my job, and went home, just like everyone else.”

Recognizing that most veterans serve to fulfill an inner calling and sense of personal responsibility — and not to seek fame and glory — will go further than, “Thank you for your service,” ever could. Relating to your veteran over your mutual pride for and love of this nation and her people will convey your gratitude for their service in a personal and meaningful way.

3. A Day of Careful Conversation “Veteran” is not a one-size-fits-all title. Even within the same unit, each service member will have a different experience — some painful, some triumphant and some both. Making assumptions about a service member’s experience can do more harm than good, so make sure to approach your conversations with care.

“[People] tend to think of some generic soldier figure who’s off overseas fighting epic battles for their freedom, but soldiers are all unique individuals with an incredible amount of diversity who make many sacrifices on a daily basis,” said one veteran. There are many lesser-known jobs within the military that are often overlooked, despite the significant roles they play in our military’s success.

It’s important to acknowledge the valuable contributions made by these “smaller” roles in addition to the missions making headlines. According to Yates, “We tend to remember best those things that impact or traumatize us most. That is our nature.

So when a combat veteran reflects on his time in service the first things that will come to mind are the times when his/her personal safety was most at risk. In naval aviation the saying is that your job is 99% boredom and 1% stark terror. I remember those moments very clearly.”

While we want to convey our gratitude on Veterans Day, remember that many veterans will be reliving difficult moments from their time in service. Just like with any other interaction, be sure to “read the room” before pursuing a conversation.

For some, Veterans Day is just another federal holiday. But for many, it is a day of reflection, gratitude and conversation.

This year, let’s make sure to honor our veterans in the best way possible by reflecting on the significance of their service, conveying our gratitude in meaningful and personal ways, and carefully pursuing conversations that will allow them to talk about the memories they wish to recall without forcing them to relive memories they’re seeking to avoid.

While all Veterans do not have the same point of view it is good to know that service means different things to veterans.   I am grateful to my Father and Son for serving. They are quiet heroes, and I am glad that they came home to enrich my life and teach me the value of freedom.

I may never understand exactly what they did, but I have learned from them to love this country, to serve by volunteering and to understand that while we have many areas for improvement, we can work as a team (as they did) and make tremendous progress..


For our Veterans, Community Gratitude and Support is Important

Celebrate Veterans Day in a meaningful way

The following are 10 tips* on how to show your support and gratitude and celebrate Veterans Day in a meaningful way:

  1. From sunrise to sunset, display your American flag proudly in support of our veterans.
  2. Pin a yellow ribbon or red poppy to your shirt in remembrance of those who have served.
  3. Gather friends or family and assemble a care package to send to Any Soldier® or Military Missionsand be sure to look up what you can and cannot include.
  4. Can you knit, crochet, or sew? The American Red Cross’s Knit Your Bit provides knitted scarves, hats, and socks for active duty soldiers.
  5. If you live close to a national cemetery, ask the staff if you can take a moment to lay flowers or a flag on a veteran’s grave in honor of his or her sacrifice.
  6. If you have family or friends who have served in the military, be sure to call them and thank them for all they have done for our country.
  7. Support veteran businesses: Find local restaurants or shops that are run or owned by military veterans, and stop in for a bite to eat or browse the shelves to support veterans in your community.
  8. Bring your fellow team members together for a coffee break and take the opportunity to recognize any active duty military or veterans in the office.
  9. If you have friends or family members in the military, treat them to a meal at a local veteran-owned restaurant or at one of the 78 restaurants offering free meals to military personnel on November 11.
  10. Say “Thank you for your service” — this last tip is the most important and should be observed year-round.

*Tips provided by Protocol & Etiquette Worldwide. 

Our Veterans deserve respect and a pat on the back. They not only served their country, but continued when they were in danger, when friends died, when the conditions were dangerous, when the hours were long and when our country didn’t acknowledge their efforts. Those that returned home from Vietnam were spit on and cursed, yelled at in the street. Our country was in a very low place.

They performed a duty, a service. It wasn’t often not their choice, put they “showed up“. Despite the Hollywood depiction of war and fighting, our Veterans brought their humanity and desire for freedom into some of the most hellish and destitute places on earth. They brought food, power, bridges and sanitation. People cheered when they came, because oppression was all they had known for years.

You may not KNOW a Veteran, but you can remedy that. Go to a parade on this holiday, Veteran’s day November 11, Thank a soldier in combat fatigues, volunteer at a base, American Legion Post, VA hospital. You’ll being doing a service, you’ll be remembering their service.  They don’t talk about what they did, not even the amazing times when they saved one life or several. My Dad never did, he served in WWII, Korea and Vietnam. My son never talked about it either, he was a fire fighter in an area to support troops from many countries. They have stories…. ask a Veteran. You’ll learn a bit of history that is from the heart.  the editor

Public Speaking – and Doing it Well!

Whether you are speaking to a point in a meeting or presenting a critical project to your team, you DO want to get your message across.  Just being LOUD won’t work.

You want to speak to gain consensus, or educate

or as a call to action, at a minimum!

Making a clear concise statement seems so possible. However, it is always harder for me than I predict. Here are several short resources that will help you and a “shout out” for Toastmasters!  They will have a club near you AND there is a new type of club, with more online, lots of feedback, easier to fit into your day. There is nothing like experience, this group gives you public speaking practice and everyone improves. Your ability to think clearly, organize quickly and present without the UMs and AHs that you often hear …. make your verbal abilities improve.  Give Toastmasters a try!   Not ready for that yet?

Read these articles:

  1. Speaking off script Mind Maps, key questions, story triggers
  2. Improve your Writing and Speaking  Learn to read your audience, don’t repeat so much, chose words

Resolve Work Conflicts Before They Get Personal

Great article on 5 Steps by Fast Company, worth reading. If your co-workers are getting stressed out and snapping more often than helping…. this quick read may add some perspective.

I’ve worked in technology all my life. It is a great career full of complexity and change. We don’t get much training in teamwork, and our biggest value is often perceived as our individual strength. However, when you are working on a complex system and “going home time” has come and gone…. you cannot do it alone. You have to rely on your team, if only for a new perspective. It has always been this way. WE get things done, even for the super stars… there is a “We”.   — the editor

The culture of undermining sends signals of disrespect. This approach not only saps motivation and undermines teamwork, it also lowers the motivation to work extra hours anticipating what can go wrong.  – John Dickerson


Check out this newsletter! Web Strategy by Jeremiah! It has long-been a “go-to” source of great local information on tech, innovation and crowd sourcing for me!

Business Opportunities and Use Cases As VR/AR/MR have permeated business environments, leaders are recognizing that opportunities reach beyond video gaming and novelty. VR/AR/MR have a place in every industry, with multiple use cases. Many of these use cases require interoperability with other technologies to reach full potential, including artificial intelligence (AI), computer vision, wearables, drones, 3D-printing, facial recognition, and more.

  • Immersive training and education. Organizations have the opportunity to use VR to train employees?—?either onsite or remotely?—?in virtual, simulated worksite environments. Consider options in scaling complex equipment, repair, or other training programs to multiple employees at various locations. EON Reality is experimenting with McDonald’s on a training program that immerses potential employees in a restaurant kitchen to train in a virtual environment. VR training is also effective in immersing trainees in high-pressure or otherwise dangerous scenarios. There are AR/MR education opportunities to train employees on-the-job using visual informational overlay via augmented reality glasses or similar technologies. This effectively brings a catalog of contextual product and merchandising data to the forefront of employee access. There are numerous examples of surgeons and doctors using VR and AR for complex surgical training.
  • Skills, Operating, and Repair Guidance. Augmented and mixed reality shine in their facilitation of efficient employee guidance while performing difficult or heavily information-dependent skills, operating machinery, or repairing equipment. Viewed as a visual overlay to the real world via AR glasses or specialty headsets, mobile phones, or tablets, AR expands information about physical equipment that is useful to employees. This may include procedural directions, machine models, serial numbers, repair parts, operating manuals, and more. For example, Caterpillar technicians are outfitted with Hololens and AR-equipped tablets (see image below) to provide informational overlays to increase repair efficiency and accuracy.

A Call for Domestic Peace

A Call for Domestic Peace – November 9th  

We are holding a half-day seminar with several non-profit organizations to focus on Domestic Violence, Workplace effects, talks about survival and more.

It is the first time our company has worked to build awareness in a personal way with speakers sharing stories, results, strategies and “words of wisdom”. Many of us learned the hard way, to survive when the odds were against us.  Two great groups will be will us at our event to present to our team members. We have volunteered with them, and they have reached out to help many of us, survive and return to health and happiness.

  • Family Violence Appellate Project  – FVAP is the only organization in California dedicated to appealing cases on behalf of survivors of domestic violence. We are a start-up nonprofit agency whose mission is to ensure the safety and well-being of survivors and their children by helping them obtain effective appellate representation.
  • La Casa de Las Madres  this local well-loved organization makes a difference in so many lives and families in the SF Bay Area. “End the Silence to STOP the Violence.”

La Casa de las Madres    Family Violence Appellate Project