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Archive for June, 2014

Time passes quickly – End of the Day for June 30, 2014

June 30th, 2014 Comments off

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It seems nearly impossible that it can be the end of June already. For many reason, this year is flying by. I know, as you get older, the years seem to get shorter, but this year is feeling ridiculously short. We’re only 1 ½ months away from the beginning of the next school year, Joseph is taking his Driver’s Ed training and will soon go for his drivers permit test and I have several projects that seemed months away that are rapidly rushing down up upon me.

I have 3 speaking engagements I am preparing for right now and a career book that needs to be edited. I want to release it on the anniversary of my Career Opportunities column, but I have about 50,000 words to edit and formatting to do before then. Tempus fugit, as the saying goes, time passes. To this I will add Time Passes Quickly. Yikes!

Luckily I have finished up a large project and sent my deliverables, so that is off my plate at least for the moment. I was fairly picky about quality control on this one, so I am hoping for few to no changes on the final project. This will open up some time for these upcoming projects. I also been focusing much more on blogging and podcasting and these can take up an inordinate amount of time on occasion. You don’t realize how much time is required for editing and rendering until you start producing, 2x, 3x or 4x the content. The growth in time requirements doesn’t seem linear but rather exponential. To shows don’t just take twice as much time, but more quadruple the time.

Time, time, time. It’s all about the time and the limited amount we have. I was never one to pull all nighters in college, but there are evenings when I find it difficult to go to bed, as there is still so much to. Of course, that is horribly unhealthy and will only make problems worse, but the thoughts still sits at the back of my mind. I just need a few more hours. Really! Just a few more. (LAUGH)

That said, I need to get to sleep so I can rise earlier and gain a few more waking — and working — hours tomorrow. So much to do and so little time — or does it just feel that way?

 

Previously on End of the Day:

Categories: End-of-the-Day, Writing Tags:

Photo: Our Sicilian Family…in Agira via #instagram

June 30th, 2014 Comments off
Categories: Photos-Photography, Travel Tags:

The simple life – End of the Day for June 29, 2014

June 29th, 2014 Comments off

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Sometimes it is the simplest days that can be the best. After doing some work this morning, we headed out to Santa Clarita to visit with some friends. There was talk, catching up, a simple dinner and then an evening spent lounging in the pool.

Many people might see this as staid and boring, but for us this is a great way to spend an evening. We spend a lot of time trying to do a lot of things and forcing ourselves to slow down and get away from work can be critical to our general well being. If you don’t build in some pressure release valves, pressure can build up to dangerous levels and cause a crash that is both unproductive and difficult to recover from.

Sure, we could go out drinking, spend large amounts of money on expensive meals or trips, but we find it far more logical to hang out with friends — for free — share a nice bottle of wine and stare at the stars. You have to remember that you don’t have to go very far just to “get away from it all.” You best vacation might be in your own backyard, or that of a neighbor, or a friend.

We can all be tied up in the idea that our vacations, our cars, our clothes or even our lives must be dramatic, somehow. We live at the extremes of existence so much, we can’t appreciate the simpler joys of life and living. Paying a lot for a bottle of wine doesn’t make it better, necessarily, only more expensive. A cheap bottle of wine shared with friends will always hold more joy than an expensive bottle emptied alone. Don’t lose your best experiences in expenses. Take joy in what you have and who you have. These are the things that really matter — and often the simplest to achieve.

Wine and cheese nights

Tonight’s post is probably a bit short. I am tired from swimming and hoping to sleep well after all our activity. I am tapping this out on my iPhone as I lie in bed and as soon as it is posted, I am going to enjoy yet another of the simple joys of life — a good night’s sleep after a fun day.

Previously on End of the Day:

Categories: End-of-the-Day, Writing Tags:

Photo: Magnolia Blossom in Black and White via #instagram

June 29th, 2014 Comments off

Photo: Magnolia Blossom in Black and White via #instagram

Previously in my Instagram Photos…

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From Wikipedia…

Magnolia grandiflora, commonly known as the southern magnolia or bull bay, is a tree of the family Magnoliaceae native to the southeastern United States, from Virginia south to central Florida, and west to eastern Texas and Oklahoma. Reaching 27.5 m (90 ft) in height, it is a large striking evergreen tree with large dark green leaves and large white fragrant flowers. Widely cultivated around the world, over a hundred cultivars have been bred and marketed commercially. The timber is hard and heavy, and has been used commercially to make furniture, pallets, and veneer. — Wikipedia.org

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Categories: Garden, Photos-Photography Tags:

Noted: History: Surviving History: The Fever! – A Historical Choose Your Own Story Site

June 29th, 2014 Comments off

Surviving History: The Fever! by Rachel N. Ponce

History: Surviving History: The Fever! - A Historical Choose Your Own Story Site

The year is 1793. In this story, you will take the role of a fictional physician, Dr. John Brooks, as he navigates a disaster of a kind not altogether uncommon in U.S. cities before the 20th century. As the story unfolds in Dr. Brooks’s adopted home city of Philadelphia, he will be faced with many decisions—some seemingly mundane, some more obviously matters of life and death.

Background: Although the character of Dr. Brooks is fictional, the events in this story are based on historical fact. The Yellow Fever outbreak in Philadelphia in 1793 killed nearly 5,000 people, and a further 20,000 are reported to have fled the city at the height of the outbreak.

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“Noted” items are particularly good finds from my daily reading which I share via all my social media accounts.

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Noted: Food: Red White and Blue Sangria via My Baking Addiction

June 29th, 2014 Comments off

Food: Red White and Blue Sangria via My Baking Addiction

Food: Red White and Blue Sangria via My Baking Addiction

I think that the 4th of July has to be the best party all summer. What could be better than celebrating your country by spending time with family and friends outdoors? This year, I’m hoping the weekend is filled with sun, eating, drinking, and tons of fireworks. I know you’re going to need something thirst-quenching to pair with your barbecue…

When you’re planning your 4th this year, think about adding this delicious sangria to the menu. It couldn’t be easier to make, just pour everything into a pitcher and throw in sliced fruit. The recipe can also easily be multiplied for any size party you may be having. It’s very refreshing, and it’s red white and blue!

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“Noted” items are particularly good finds from my daily reading which I share via all my social media accounts.

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Categories: Drinks, Elsewhere, Food, Recipe, Shared Items Tags:

Capture the great work you do – End of the Day for June 28, 2014

June 28th, 2014 Comments off

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Today we attended a great Meetup on robotics at the same place (NTMA Training Center in Santa Fe Springs) where Joseph competed in his school BattleBots tournaments. Organizer, Richard Loehnig, brought in experienced roboticist, Dr. Jason Bardis — creator of several BattleBots for hobby and the BattleBots television show, including Dr. Inferno, Jr. It was a great talk that covered Dr. Bardis’ experience with robots from his initial hobbyist forays to helps build the robot arms for the Curiosity Mars Rover and more.

It was a great talk, but something else struck me as even more important. NTMA, Richard and Brad took great pains to stream the talk and record it for future viewing. This was a perfect example of what we should all be doing when organize, host or create great content. We had about 40 people in the room with us today, but there is a potential audience of thousands on the Internet, where this video can live on forever. Why would you NOT capture such great content? Every time I see that happen I consider it such a great waste of information and also a waste of the presenters and organizers time. It may be a one time event, but video can continue to work towards your goals 24/7 for the foreseeable future.

NTMA robotics meetup

Brad recording and streaming today’s robotics presentation

You don’t have to go all out, like the NTMA folks did today. I counted at least 4 video cameras as well as the live stream and a high quality audio recording. If you have nothing else, use your iPhone, your iPad, your Android tablet whatever you have at hand. If you are doing video, find a way to prop up the device, so the video is as smooth as possible. For me, though, capturing the content is far more important than professional quality video. Yes, make it as easy to watch and hear as possible, but first, capture it!

For myself, I have a variety of ways of capturing content when I am out and about. I have my iPhone, of course, Rosanne’s iPad, an HD camcorder with external mice and a tripod, a still camera that also takes video, Joseph’s iPhone and even an ancient iRiver IFP audio recorder that I can press into service, if needed. I am sure you have plenty of devices in your own kit that could also be used — if you only took the time to do it.

If you are hosting an event, record it so you can share it on your own web site and social media channels and also offer it up to your speaker for their own usage. If you are speaking or presenting, always come prepared to record yourself so that you gave content to use later. In many cases, you can offer this back to your organizer so they have something to share, even if they didn’t think of recording it themselves. Set a good example and capture everything you do. Encourage others to do it, too. I know there is a lot of content I would have liked to see, if only the speaker, the musician, the presenter, the performer would have taken the time to capture it.

You can join NTMA for future robotics Meetup by joining their Meetup group at the SoCal Combat Robotics Meetup site.

Watch the entire live stream recording using the embedded video below or directly from the RobotRevo Twitch.TV Channel


Watch live video from RobotRevo on TwitchTV

 

Previously on End of the Day:

Categories: End-of-the-Day, Writing Tags:

Let’s focus on the good – End of the Day for June 27, 2014

June 27th, 2014 Comments off

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I appreciate a good conversation like a fine wine and even go out of my way to cultivate and facilitate conversation. I love talking with people about what excites them, what drives them, what makes them happy. Unfortunately, over the last several years I have noticed a trend that makes conversation less enjoyable for me.

No matter what the situation, or the people involved, or the state of the world, conversations tend towards the negative, the sad, the evil. Yes I know that all of these exist in the world, but I also know that I seek conversation as a bit of an escape from the more negative aspects of the world. Sure, I can engage in deep philosophical conversations about history, politics and life, but I need to be in the proper mindset — more prepared.

More importantly, I want to spend my limited time on Earth exploring the good things that happen — and can be made to happen. I find this a much more useful application of my time and much, much more enjoyable. Am I playing Pollyanna a bit? In some ways, yes, but in other ways, no. I think about the problems in huge world a lot, so I tend to look for opportunities to talk about the good things in life to balance this out. I also think that we are also at our best as humans when we seek the good, seek solutions, seek answers rather than revisiting the problems history itself. We all KNOW there is a problem. That is not in dispute. Once that is agreed to, we need to focus on ways to solve the problems and insure they never happen again.

Yet, more and more conversations turn dark lately. They weigh on my mood and my attitudes. I struggle to maintain a positive outlook, but it can be difficult when surrounded by the negative, the dark. Again, I know it can’t be avoided, nor should it be, but I still think we would all be better to focus on the good, the right, and improving this world for everyone. Think about that the next time you are having a conversation.

 

Previously on End of the Day:

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…and soon it will be Friday night — End of the Day for June 26, 2014

June 26th, 2014 Comments off

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Ah, Friday arrives again. It is not like I live my live slavishly to the standard work week, but there is always something special about Friday, especially Friday nights. The beginning of a few days of rest is always a time for celebration, no matter how small. This week I have called another installment of our informal meetup group, LA Friday Coffee. It seems that some other folks are interested in a little weekend fun. We have a few RSVPs already and it will be fun to sit and chat and have a little coffee with friends.

I don’t get out nearly enough these days and, I feel, I’ve become much to isolated. It doesn’t help when we are all at the age where life is just a little too busy. Kids, work and family all conspire to keep us overly to everything but our own happiness. I spend a lot of time in “heads down” mode, churning through tasks only to look up and find it 2, 3, even 4 hours later. I know my friends and family are probably feeling the same. Many drop out of sight, except for an occasional Facebook message or picture. Without Facebook, I wouldn’t have any info at all. Thanks goodness we can at least connect there.

LA Friday Coffee

We do have some friends who are focused on taking time for themselves and for us, though, thank goodness. They make sure to share possible events with us, as we do with them. They are one of the few couples to regularly host parties and stop by for dinner. I respect them greatly for making time for us and always try to make time for them, too. It seems a relationship more from the 1970’s than current society, as that is when we were both growing up, so it only makes sense. I mss this type of relationship today, although I am also fully aware of how it has changed and why. You can’t live in the past, but you can bring some of the best parts of the past forward with you.

We are starting to see some relief in our own lives as far as work, life and schedules go. Work is settled into a fairly normal pattern and Joseph is developing more and more of his own life and independence as he grows older. It is a bit odd, but at times he seems more a roommate than a son. He is taking the bus on his own to visit fiends and go to movies and has more parties to attend than we do these days. (LAUGH)

So, enough for to tonight. Tomorrow we do a little house holding and work and then we get some time for us. Something that everyone needs in their life.

 

Previously on End of the Day:

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Noted: Gaming: Wot I Think- Valiant Hearts: The Great War via Rock, Paper Shotgun

June 26th, 2014 Comments off

Gaming: Wot I Think- Valiant Hearts: The Great War via Rock, Paper Shotgun

Valient Hearts Video Game

Wacky, wacky World War 1. Should I be weeping or clapping with joy? Valiant Hearts is one of the most beautiful games I’ve ever played, but I’m not sure what it wants me to feel. One minute I’m being shown the terrible price of war – witnessing the hideous aftermath of a gas attack or using a bonesaw to brutally save the life of a shelling victim – and in another I’m defeating a magnificently-moustachioed German zeppelin commander by making a dog play a church organ at him.

Most of the time I’m scouring the ground for a lever that will open a door or raise a lift, however. Despite deviations into stealth and the lightest touch of combat, and despite breathtaking scenery, this is at heart an extremely traditional, open-the-locked-door puzzle game. It can be a bit of a drag because its puzzles are usually immediately obvious but take a fair bit of schlepping about to achieve, yet continuing to play is absolutely irresistible because Valiant Hearts looks and sounds so good.

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“Noted” items are particularly good finds from my daily reading which I share via all my social media accounts.

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Categories: Elsewhere, Gaming, Products, Shared Items Tags:
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