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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

Celebrating Diwali at Work

We are lucky to be in a company that encourages cultural expression, in this way we are able to learn from each other. The days of Diwali vary each year, for 2017, Diwali starts on Thursday October 19.  We started early, we gathered decorations, enlisted volunteers, and we made a budget for a catered lunch rather than a potluck so that everyone could come and relax.  Diwali is the Festival of Lights, and focuses on the triumph of good over evil. I am not an expert at all, but I can say that I had so much fun!  We planned many activities, with many traditional stories from co-workers and other stories from new friends. Everyone was lovely, colorful and happy. All this at work? Wow!

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All the food was fantastic, that we had for our celebration!  There are unlimited recipes online to learn more about ingredients and how to make your own.  Diwali Recipes.

There are many activities and customs it is exciting to participate – my favorite things were:

  • * Our lunch room (boring) was transformed with  COLOR and LIGHTS, flowers and hanging pictures.

* The food was so delicious, spicy, with so many flavors …  saag paneer is my favorite (spinach with cheese cubes). We had butter chicken, naan, spicy beef, lentils that were so yummy and many sweets.

*Rangoli (beautiful chalk drawings), we put ours on the table, but they can be on the floor

*Everyone dressed up in bright colors, some people came in traditional dress, we brought scarves to add to our work clothes to make them festive.


Celebrating Diwali, the festival of lights, which has several  rituals for each day:

  1. On the first day of the festival, observers clean their homes.
  2. On the second, people decorate their homes with colorful floor patterns called “rangoli.”
  3. The third day, which is the main day of the festival, is when the lamps are lit and prayers are offered to goddess Lakshmi and then a whole evening of feasts and festivities follows.
  4. Day four is a significant day that celebrates wives and husbands.
  5.  The final day celebrates the relationship between brothers and sisters.

Celebrate Filipino American History Month!

Filipino American History Month was first initiated by the Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS) in 1988 to honor the historic landing of the first Filipinos in the United States over 425 years ago. Since then, its rich cultural traditions are celebrated every October commemorating the history and contributions of Filipino Americans nationwide.

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Origins and History

  • The earliest evidence of Filipinos to arrive in the United States dates back to October 18, 1587. A group of Filipino sailors were sent to California to claim the land for the Spanish king, and landed at what is now Morro Bay, California.
  • For centuries, Filipinos have contributed to the U.S. in agricultural and food service industries – from pioneering the technique of shrimp farming in Louisiana, to the farm workers who helped build California’s agricultural empire.
  • During World War II, between 250,000 to 400,000 Filipinos served in the United States military. In the late 1960s and 70s, Filipino medical professionals immigrated in large numbers to support the developing U.S. healthcare system.
  • In October 2009, the United States Congress officially recognized October as the Filipino American History Month in the United States.

Cultural Traditions

In Filipino American culture, family, food and hospitality all play an integral role in bringing family together. Filipinos take great pride in their hospitality to prepare grand feasts for their family members and friends, regardless of the occasion. Many partake in singing karaoke while enjoying traditional dishes such as adobo (marinated chicken or pork), pancit (noodles), lechón (roasted pig), and kare-kare (oxtail and vegetables cooked in peanut sauce).

Celebrating across America

Filipino American History Month is a time of reflection, remembrance, and an opportunity for all people in the United States to learn more about Filipino Americans and their contributions to the Nation. In San Francisco, we have many celebrations for Filipino Heritage there is a marvelous Pistahan Parade and Festival the first weekend of August for the last 24 years… it centers in Yerba Buena Garden (Downtown SF) and fun baseball events in September for both the Giants and A’s fans.

And there are more Celebrations:• Art displays, film screenings/plays, traditional dances, and cultural presentations hosted by Filipino societies and their local cities.

  • Plays paying tribute to the popular novel “America is in the Heart,” a semi-autobiographical work by Carlos Bulosan depicting his hardships as a Filipino immigrant living in the U.S.
  • Traditional dance performances such as Tinikling, Singkil, and the tribal dance, Bagobo rice cycle.
  • There are many Conferences and educational workshops where Filipino Americans join together to connect and learn more about their culture. Discover more at the San Francisco Filipino Cultural Center (814 Mission St SF).

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Make Your First Video!

Making your first video is so much fun… but….. you have to start!

Watch this short YouTube, from a company we use… TechSmith.

You can be the best trainer in the world, but:

  • people don’t want to read
  • people don’t have any time to learn
  • people want to have fun

This applies to my group. Not Kids. Adults who will not read our carefully crafted documentation.

Along comes TechSmith to save the day! A great company with many products… we use SNAGIT for screen capture. It does so much more. It makes videos, take a look at the series of YouTubes.

check out the TechSmith blog

Tips & How To’s

For Educators

My Favorite: How to turn PowerPoint slides into Videos Wahoo!

TED: The Pecking Order

Image result for chickensIn her TED talk, “Forget the Pecking Order at Work,” Margaret Heffernan talks about the research of William Muir, an evolutionary biologist at Purdue. He studied egg laying productivity using two teams of chickens. One team was comprised of “super chickens” (the MVP’s) and the other was a group of average chickens. Muir studied these chickens for six generations and found that the average group of chickens out produced the super chickens by a wide margin. In fact, only three super chickens were still alive. The MVP chickens, those that were considered individually productive, had only achieved success by overpowering the other chickens in their group.

You’ll want to listen to the whole TED talk, a “listen lesson” in team, collaboration, and strengths.

“Workcation” increases Productivity?

This concept made me curious!

A “Workcation” is about fully immersing yourself in your work while also building in ways to get creative, relax, set goals, get a new perspective, and/or  unwind.

Kari DePhillips, founder of the PR agency The Content Factory, planned a  workcation  with one of her employees, Kelly Chase, a digital strategist, that extended over a year, changing locations, scenery and seasons. The PODCAST  Workcationing chronicles their experience (free, fun, with several short chats. Listen to the audio podcast in iTunes). OR  you can follow on: www.facebook.com/workationing  Or Twitter: www.twitter.com/workationing

Link to article: “Vacation Season is Winding Down – take a Workcation.”