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Wordless Wednesday: Reality Check

Wednesday, November 30th, 2016

Do you remember Wordless Wednesday?

It was a thing on many blogs from around 2008 to 2011.

I’m feeling nostalgic, so I thought I’d bring it back — occasionally.

http://www.boredpanda.com/funny-signs-wallingford-chevron-gas-station-seattle-propane/Image credit: Bored Panda

Happy Turkey Day!

Thursday, November 24th, 2016

Today’s the day and I want to wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving!
I hope you enjoy every minute of it with people you adore and, since holiday calories don’t count, feel free to gobble ‘til you wobble. And…

FB TurkeyMay your stuffing be tasty
May your turkey plump,
May your potatoes and gravy
Have never a lump.
May your yams be delicious
And your pies take the prize,
And may your Thanksgiving dinner
Stay off your thighs!

That said, Christmas is just around the corner, so the more you farctate today the less you can in December.

An Oldie for the Day Before: Life, Kindness And Thanksgiving Wishes

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2016

From 2008…

I’m a bit ambivalent about Thanksgiving along with many other holidays, such as Mother’s Day. While I understand and even agree with the idea of honoring a certain attitude, it seems hypocritical when it’s done only on that day.

Sadly, many of the people most vocal about a holiday are the same people whose actions during the rest of the year belie their holiday attitudes.

That said, here are my suggestions regarding Thanksgiving.

No matter how bad things are in your corner of the world give thanks that you are alive to read this. As long as you’re breathing you have a shot at changing your circumstances or improving someone else’s.

Several years ago I had a terminally ill friend. Her final Thanksgiving act was to sign papers consigning all her useable body parts to an organ donor program; she died just a few days later.

Her action infuriated her family, but she had made sure they couldn’t stop her choice.

Which brings us to my second suggestion.

Remember the words of Plato, “Always be kind, for everyone is fighting a hard battle,” and follow the advice of Anne Herbert, “Practice random kindness and senseless acts of beauty” daily.

Get in the habit of doing one small, unplanned thing every day—drop a quarter in an about-to-expire meter; pick up a piece of litter; help someone across the street. Just think of the difference if everyone did just one random act every day.

Have a wonderful day tomorrow and remember this special request from your turkey friends.

turkey-ham

My First Thanksgiving Post

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016

From 2006. Food for thought this holiday (AKA Miki’s Rules to Live by 8)

Don’t judge who you were and what you did in the past based on who you are and what you know now.

Think about it.

Everybody knows that hindsight’s 20/20, but that doesn’t stop people from laying a coulda//shoulda/woulda trip on themselves.

Each of us is composed of multiple, past “me-s,” each a different, stand-alone version from the current one.

When you look at past actions (Why did I…) you need to first ask yourself if you made the best decision/action possible based on the information you had at the time in conjunction with the person you were at that time.

If, in fact, you did, then the you you-are-now has no right to judge, i.e., beat up on, the previous you for that decision.

This doesn’t mean that you need to condone everything—today’s you may decide that in the future you should do more research or whatever—but it does preclude you from taking your former self to task.

*******************************************

Thanksgiving is a time when we’re supposed to be thankful, but exactly what you give thanks for is a very private matter—I have one friend who gives thanks for her family, another who gives thanks that her family is far, far away.

So, no matter your age, when giving thanks be sure to include all the past you-s, whether you love ’em or hate ’em, since their very existence guarantees that there will be many more in the future as you continue growing.

Christmas 2016: Shoes Shoes Shoes

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016

Thanksgiving is just around the corner (where did the year go?) and Christmas is right on it’s heels.

Among other things, the holidays mean gifts — preferably unique.

I thought this year I’d post ideas occasionally as I run across them.

This one is for that special woman/women/yourself.

And in the unlikely event that some else gives her the same thing it won’t even matter.

It’s one present where more is better.

Shoes.

But not just any shoes.

How about five pair in one?

And at around $200 they aren’t even overpriced.

After all, what woman doesn’t want more shoes?

Because one can never have too many shoes!

Golden Oldie: Free, scary costume

Monday, October 31st, 2016

It’s amazing to me, but looking back at more than a decade of writing I find posts that still impress, with information that is as useful now as when it was written.

Golden Oldies is a collection of what I consider some of the best posts during that time.

I wrote this Halloween post exactly 10 years ago and the costume is even scarier today. The character described has added to their tricks list, including hospitals, connected cars, IoT devices and ransomware, to name just a few.

Read other Golden Oldies here.

Happy Halloween! In case you’ve got party plans and want to be a really scary character sans blood and guts.

The costume is almost anything handy, but ratty jeans, well-worn black t-shirt, preferably with an anti-social message, worn sneakers, scruffy hair, and red-rimmed eyes is the norm; or you can go all the way over to pure designer if that’s your thing. The only necessary accessory is a laptop (or facsimile if you think you might party hard enough to lose it). That’s it, the generic (feel free to customize it) costume of one of the scariest folks cruising along today.

Your character plays with water systems, steals from online accounts, rips off Second Lives, messes with elections, and shakes down the online gambling industry.

Figured it out yet?

Good. So, grab your (metaphorical) black hat and let’s party! And may you enjoy an evening of great treats and no tricks.

Entrepreneurs: Founder Riddles

Thursday, October 6th, 2016

How are founders like pandas?

panda

Where can you go that is crazy different and extreme?

swingOK. Break’s over.

Now click for some of the best leadership advice available that will help you move closer to that swing.

Image credit: YesEmails.com

Fun and Games with NSA

Wednesday, August 24th, 2016

https://www.nsa.gov/news-features/puzzles-activities/puzzle-periodical/2016/puzzle-periodical-05.shtml

The Federal government is definitely out of favor, whether for doing too little or too much depends on your MAP (it never does enough for us and does too much for them).

In no part of the government is this more obvious than NSA; the poster child of dislike, distrust and disdain.

But those feelings should hold only for the leadership, not the techies who staff the place.

NSA hires a lot of techies and techies are techies the world over. One of the things they all have in common is that they love puzzles, especially math and logic puzzles—not just to work them, but to create them.

“Intelligence. It’s the ability to think abstractly. Challenge the unknown. Solve the impossible. NSA employees work on some of the world’s most demanding and exhilarating high-tech engineering challenges. Applying complex algorithms and expressing difficult cryptographic problems in terms of mathematics is part of the work NSA employees do every day.”

So if you love puzzles click the link above and try your skills. Here’s a sample from a software developer.

Four friends, Holly, Belle, Carol, and Nick, gather for May birthdays. Holly announces that she has a game before dinner. She hid gifts for each of her friends inside three separate boxes secured with padlocks. She challenges her friends to figure out the combination without consulting each other.

She provides the following information. All the padlocks have the same combination. The padlocks use 3 digits from 0 to 9. She also tells them that the sum of the three digits is equal to nine, and every digit is equal to or greater than the previous digit. Holly tells each of her friends one of the digits in the combination. She states, “I’ve given the first digit to Belle, the second digit to Carol, and the third digit to Nick.” The caveat is that the friends cannot share their numbers with each other or they will forfeit the gifts.

Then Holly gives her friends 30 minutes to open the padlocks while she watches and finishes dinner.

The three friends begin to think of the solution. One by one, they each try their hand at their padlock, but none of them opens the padlock. Seeing that no one has succeeded, suddenly Carol realizes she knows the answer, and successfully opens her box, revealing a new fitness tracker. Following this, Nick opens his padlock, revealing a new tablet; and Belle opens her box to find new pair of headphones.

Having watched this entire event unfold, can you determine the correct combination?

Hint: Belle knows her digit is a 1.

Click and scroll down for the solution.

Have fun, everybody.

Image credit: NSA

If the Shoe Fits: A Useful Personal Assistance Startup

Friday, July 8th, 2016

A Friday series exploring Startups and the people who make them go. Read all If the Shoe Fits posts here

Watching all the startups that eliminate so many of the day-to-day chores of living.

They supposedly free people up to do amazing stuff.

Uh-huh.

However, one startup, Guiding Hands, does more than handle mundane chores; it actually mitigates dangers and difficulties for peripheral non-users.

Thanks to Conan and TBS for introducing Guiding Hands to the world.

(And a hat tip to my friend Tom for sending it to me.)

If the Shoe Fits: the Perils of Auto-Correct

Friday, May 27th, 2016

A Friday series exploring Startups and the people who make them go. Read all If the Shoe Fits posts here

5726760809_bf0bf0f558_mToday is kind of holiday — mentally, if not physically — it is the start of a 3-day weekend for those not in startups or retail.

And even many startups will ease off and do a bit more fun stuff and partying.

That said, I decided to add a little to your levity, while subtly providing a lesson learned.

How often do you double-check your content before sending a message from your phone? I’m not talking about spelling, per se, but the way iPhone and Android auto-correct can totally change the meaning of what you’ve written.

To drive the point home, along with adding the promised holiday levity, here is an example, which you may have seen, since it is making the rounds on the internet.

The message:
Hi Fred, this is Alan next door. I have a confession to make. I’ve been riddled with guilt these past few months and have been trying to pluck up the courage to tell you to your face, but I am at least now telling you in text as I can’t live with myself a moment longer without you knowing.

The truth is I have been sharing your wife, day and night when you’re not around. In fact, probably more than you. I haven’t been getting it at home recently, but that’s no excuse, I know. The temptation was just too much. I can no longer live with the guilt and I hope you will accept my sincerest apologies and forgive me.  It won’t happen again.  Please suggest a fee for usage, and I’ll pay you.

Regards, Alan.

Fred’s response:
Feeling insulted and betrayed, grabbed his gun, and shot his neighbor dead. He returned home where he poured himself a stiff drink and sat down on the sofa.

He took out his phone where he saw he has a second message from his neighbor:

Second message:
Hi Fred, This is Alan next door again. Sorry about the typo on my last text. I expect you figured it out anyway, and that you noticed that darned Auto-Correct changed ‘Wi-Fi’ To ‘Wife.’  Technology hey?

Regards, Alan.

Need I say more?

Image credit: HikingArtist

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