Monday, May 9, 2016

the dance of gratitude

Isn't this so true?  
For me it is  relying on a calculator. I force myself to do long hand arithmetic we were taught in our

earliest school years, just after forming the art of

 handwriting instead of printing.

A week ago, I received a handwritten card with a 

lovely note from a lady I spent time with at the

MAC counter at Nordstrom at Chinook Center

(Calgary).  She recalled a few of the major points

we discussed and how I inspired her.   She said 

nothing self-promotional nor about any 

upcoming events or sale.  Beautiful.  Wonderful.

Thank you notes

Is a basic skill that I know of only one person in 

my sphere who does this constantly.  Every time

you receive it you feel special, when you read it

you glow.  

Why don't we do more of that?

We already know how much joy it can bring yet

we don't get around to doing it.   I think I am 

going to try to do something along that line.

I have a package of notecards

 which I could put to great use.  I am a lot like

everyone out there.  I get busy with work, my 

off-time is spent writing here, and of course 

spending time with hubby and family.

Events like Mother's Day allow

us the opportunity to call and send a card,

sometimes even send flowers or a gift.  I know

my mom isn't picky, and chatting on the phone

to her is one of her favorites.  

We seldom pick up the phone 

without a purpose in mind:  inviting someone 

somewhere, following up an email, confirming

an invitation.

What about the none times?

Writing a brief note, saying you were thinking of

someone, crediting them with a memory you 

just thought of or simply to say you were think-

ing of them.

How about that?

No event, no reason, no RSVP, no invitation, no 

specific thank you.

Just to say hi!

A brief note, a thought is what I want to do.  

There are more than the dozen my card supply 

has, that I would just like to say "how goes it?"

What about an email you say?

The reason I'm not going to send an email is

because it is to say hello.  Nothing else.  No

response required.  Maybe they'll stand it up

on their desk in their office as an emblem of

gratitude.  For me to have memories shared

with them.  For them to see how important

they are.

I already send Holiday cards

I used to be one of the first to have my cards

written, addressed, stamped and out the door at

the end of November, plenty of time for the



Makes me wonder how many have scaled back 

sending greeting cards altogether?  Sending an

email instead?  Yeah, right, those little inboxes

that only remind us of work, duty, and too many 

we barely stop to read as we glance through the 

subject line.

No cheating allowed

If you are going to go ahead and do this, you are

forbidden to write a family chronicle newsy 

copied letter that you slip in.  That is not the 


No event reminder

You are simply going to buy a dozen or six (how-

ever many the package includes) and send an

individualized, personalized note to a few some-

ones whom you would like to know they're 

important, you're thinking of them.

You just want to make their day

and may end up making your own for days to 

come.  Passing on kindness, gratefulness and 

friendship has little to no cost.

Don't keep track of how many you send

versus how many respond (like some may do 

from greeting cards).  

Pay it forward, the old way

is what some may say.  That's fine if you need to

label it or accuse me of recommending some-

thing ageless as time.  That's not the point.

I already know of a few whom I will 

send one to (for examples):

* to our bank manager who worked with us who

   changed our mortgage payment date that is so

   much easier to track.

* a new dental office that gave me the greatest

   service with a gentle dentist who I will return to

Those are only a couple but I hope you get my drift.  Send a card with a note to brighten someone else's day and it just may give you some rejuvenation and 
good-hearted spirit as your reward.

I have used images of dance from my Pinterest board Dancereta to share their beauty with you.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Your get away with anything day: for Moms

Mothers Day Fun

Moms, it's your day:  you officially get to look however you want (facials beware) say, share or post whatever you feel like without recourse from kids who get all bent out of shape because they absolutely forbid you to post or say anything that could draw attention to them or embarrass them.

A free pass
You have a forgiveness card that expires by midnight today.  For starters, I am going to begin with a rant.  Logging on I see Google's image for the day and I stare in horror :: how can a Mother's Day image have dad's tassled shoes? Horror.

Google gasp
How could they?  I mean seriously.  Any respectful, fashionista mother is a clothes horse and shoe-a-holic.  What a big booboo that is beyond kissing better. Yes, we've come a long way from being Betty Crockers in the kitchen.  We're a force to be reckoned with if you dare threaten her family and be beneath respectful to her and her kin.  

Google could have at the very least posted a pair of flip flops.  If they had gone out of their way, they would have found a pair of tasteful sandals that would make any lovely lady of motherhood drool over.  

Official "guilt free shopping day"
Ohhhh, one in every color day!  I hope mothers uniting at least finish reading this commentary before rushing out to do embrace their guilt-free shopping day.

Mom's Brag Book
Ok, Moms, grab that brag book and start posting those photos of your kids, brag about their accomplishments and let er rip!  Today is your day to get away with anything day.  What the world calls "Mothers Day" is your day to be who you want to be, do what you wanna do and say what you wanna say!

Have your say ::
I'm darn proud of my kids, just like each and every one of us.  Some days they challenge me while others they give me bursting pride that I could be responsible for creating such wonderful human beings.  Amazing how some of that nagging and guidance pays off.

My son inspires me every day
I was robbed of a normal celebration when he was born.  The nurses and doctors scattered and fussed over the minute he was born.  Imagine having your newborn with needle marks in his head because they wanted to figure out what was going on.  He was born with a rare genetic diagnosis that even specialists couldn't quite predict what life he would have unfold.
A hole in his heart, physically unique footprint, along with a number of other concerns.

Imagine bursting onto the motherhood front and you had to ramp up your protectiveness ten fold, when he was starting sniffles meant you were heading for the emergency department, having heart surgery at 13 months old.

Paul Brandt
Kyle taught me that the cup is always half full.  You should never dwell on what ifs and feel joy at all the what as.   During one of those emergency trips to the Children's Hospital in Calgary, he was treated to the rare care of a male nurse of all things.

What was even more miraculous was this nurse had just won a singing talent contest in Nashville, Tennessee.  Paul has gone on to be the greatest Canadian country artist of all time and  to this day (think Juno, think megastar).   Paul gave a gift to a scared young mother, his spirit and humor.  I remember him sharing things about himself that I share with fondness.  One revelation being that he was actually born named:   Paul RennĂ©e Belobersycky on July 21, 1972 (age 43).

Paul is lending his celebrity to help victims of the Fort McMurray wild fires, retweeting stories, offering other support.  Have a listen to this song that epitomizing the evacuation of this northern oil city:

Today, Kyle is known for his eternal optimism.  People, peers, teachers all exclaim: "I love Kyle" whenever his name comes up.  

Genetics aside reKNOWN 
One would think that a kid with those kinds of challenges, experienced bullying, had life saving surgery, and limitations physically galore, disrespected by employer with only $12.25 an hour after 8 years of service.  

Genius reSOUNDing
Kyle has found the voice for the #Mellennial generation.  He has the knack for seeing something and sharing it because it hit his coolness radar.  

Mostly oddly are unique and queer:  in a way that only the 80s gurus know that queer meant cool at that time in our lives.  So strange to discover that a word my generation resonated by would be exhumed to mean something so discriminatory and offensive a word :: eh?

I digressed again ::
I get sidetracked by an insight that is so profound I digress.  Let the mind sing and churn out only the "bestofeverything" :: #bestofeverything ::

Appreciation ::
It so easy to fall in love with Kyle :: the love that is universally channeled by motherhood :: sisterhood :: friendship :: cousin :: brother :: when Kyle gets something or anything, he has the magnetic gift of appreciation.  

Appreciation is something you can mimic enough that you start to feeling it from deep inside.  Emerging a guru who's spell you fell under :: Kyle, @flamesboy4eva get sidetracked by an insight that is so profound I digress.  Let the mind sing and churn out only the "bestofeverything" :: #bestofeverything ::

A strong conscience 
If there is anything that shows the story behind the story is one person who will emerge:: +Kyle S who has this seemingly giant perception radar on what is horribly unfortunate yet all too apparent in our society:  #corruption :: if there is any drum to bang on, Kyle has the uncanny knack for exposing it.  He took the guidance of a mother's continued nagging, repeating and repeating:  do not complain about your government if you're not prepared to do your civic and democratic right to vote.  Fond memory I recall is a discussion amongst my children on a warm summer's day ::

I would always begin with a celebratory atmosphere based merely on a whim :: hardly a birthday or annual event to create such excitement :: where I would set up the table on the patio, put up the Umbrella, in anticipation of the mere pleasure of having company.

Keeping them curious
Politics was something I started talking with my kids early about.  It is funny looking back at how each of them have convictions or causes that resonate within each of them :: feminism, corruption, mental health :: began at those early spirited gatherings.  I wouldn't have known of any secret motherhood ingredient I was giving my children :: keeping them curious.

Regardless of whether they could vote being that it was a good decade away, they were encouraged to have a voice on what is wrong with this world?  The earliest memory of Chantal was the detail I went through with gut-wrenching honesty, the list of items retrieved and inventoried on a list that was to go back to school the next day :: my very first, and maybe the first environmentalists of the #Millennial generation. 

Charitable causes the norm
Imagine my pure pleasure and surprise that should give her a pass for having a home that cared about its planet.  That is because coffee grounds, vegetables, fruit rinds, peelings, soup, meat, gravy, moldy bread, sour milk, burt something, failed recipe, were always put garburator  to work.   The cans were rinsed in a Rubbermade bucket (long before the engenius inventor of a blue recycle bin, talk about explosive idea for this generation to the next).  I am definitely sure that it was before plastics were recycled except milk 2 litres recycling at bottle depots.  That was before grade schools asked for donations of buckets for crafts and pop caps for charitable causes were even considered BTW (twitter-ese for 140 characters or less).

A louder voice
These open ended hearty discussions were encouraged and embraced.  Looking back now, I see how it could boost Kyle's confidence that his opinion mattered and was his purest gift ::  if there is a cause that is because of corruption, you will not hear a louder voice.

Good stock
Kyle is at the front of the line recognizing the attributes he inherited from his parents :: from me he says my outgoing friendliness and optimism :: times at least a dozen.  From his father, a work ethic, financial responsibility, and commitment.  And just this Mother's Day Kyle is confidently sharing the gifts he received from his stepfather named "Rob".  He said it was his sarcastic, dry humor.  That, and the fact that they both seem to like the same games and are gamers together. 

Talk about wisdom
If you are having trouble communicating with your Millennial sons, and the admitted desire to want to reach out and connect, you should try the ingredient that Rob and Kyle have discovered :: you can't go merely through the motions however.  You have to dedicate yourself like you have never before to find a way you will enjoy gaming with a world to uncover. 

It is a secret world
Where escapism meets participation via gaming.  A social (perhaps hidden) personality who had more to give and share by unmasking imagination and team work.  Where the testosterone is checked at the door.  Where men could safely become men and male examples rise to the top.  

To be continued ...... (daughters beware)

Friday, May 6, 2016

Folklore, fantasy or fact?

Wow .... I loved sharing cool stories ... with my blog to be fueled with commentaries.  I think I'm developing my style and my voice on here.  What many don't know, and perhaps I didn't know until recently, is that these are the stories that capture my interest and draw me in for a little read or instigates the desire to learn about little everything that catches my eye :: like the "cloud" and I realize how I was in the leading edge of the cloud, about to fall off the MicroSoft cliff into lil creations like Adobe Photoshop​ .... which by folklore, in case you didn't know was another invention from a retired or departed colleague, scientist and innovator obviously saw a very big problem.  

What was the problem?
Well, Xerox, had a very big problem.  Hidden behind fantasies and fact we should remember the folklore.
If you did a little following or reading up on Steve Jobs was considered one of his single most impactful discovery :: the "mouse".
What others may or may not know or never heard, but Xerox had and to this day has a very innovative center of excellence.  p.s. That is an elegant descriptive that escaped from investor-adverse term like R&D (Research & Development).  
R&D had a really bad reputation.  Corporations reported on profits, and authored wording so carefully to avoid that word now.  
Because in itself, just beginning to understand spreadsheets of data that MicroSoft created, I picture a guy having a scotch with a colleague, a neighbor, friends over a dinner party.
These people were pretty tuned in to what was going on around them from a technological viewpoint.
This was a time, in the late 70s to early 80s, when scientists, environmentalists started to electrify us with reports on doom and gloom if we don't take care of our planet.  
As computers and printers began imploding because all of the great discoveries and creations emerging had to be printed on paper.

I remember those times.  I lived through those times ... but I was still not in tune with what was going on.  I had to hit a few walls, fall out a number of windows, but in this sweet spot I found a home : digital printing, document management, and file store :: the first hint of mist that would evaporate into "the CLOUD".  Really funny, sorta.  Xerox and MicroSoft were prolific, profitable and leading edge in the 80s.  What is amazing was that behind the scenes, companies like HP and dinosaurs called Attari were nurturing a duo of natural and expansive vision on the direction of aesthetics in printing and design.

A company with a logo of a fruit, was trying to solve a problem:  how do you create a world where 200 year old printing press with massive engines spitting paper in increments of thousands within just one of your eye blinks.  They recognized a problem with the appearance of printing or printed material generated from the awkward, mechanical, functional computers known on that day.  Steve Jobs and the other Steve :: yeah, the guy who created and then dropped out :: him!

It is a fact.  Steve Jobs attributed one very important truth about his brand of computers, that were synonymous together :: graphic design and fonts.  Of course, most of didn't realize how limited the machines, software creating most of the material on these environmentally poisonous inks lacked style.  I'm trying to remember the name of the predominate graphic design at the time.  Darn, I'll have to pop back in and edit later ... or maybe one of my readers who lean against both aesthetic design and functionality will remember?

So how do what sounds like a fantasy epic like Adobe, and an inventor in technology and a fruit like Apple have in common?

Back to the earlier problem of Xerox showing how profitable printers at speeds of light were going to consume the world of paper.  Ironically, all the stats were never showing that the mass of printed material was going to decline.  Why? Well because the products were going to get smaller OR MUCH BIGGER but the numbers of items would be be individually drastically lower in numbers.  BIG, MASSIVE signs and impressively designed items like menus could be designed in color, incorporate graphics arts with magnificent photography and you saw how this problem was going.

So Apple decided not independently, nor do I know if a folklore, that function, form and utility could be merged and expounded with incredible imagery and design.  By the 1990s, nobody could create an Annual Report, that would come out like symphonies of grace in not just the screen, but also in the appealing imagery and how words (or the industry types call text) flowed in and around this incredible design.

One of the most inspirational contributions was the mouse.  Probably back at the time it just looked like something you tooled around with when you weren't entering just text.  

Well, this is the truth and Steve Jobs even admitted it as one of his not so hidden secrets:  that he ripped off Xerox with the technology, science and invention of the mouse.  Yet so many people that is a fantasy to believe that Steve Jobs imagineered the mouse.  You have to give him credit because he was solving so many problems all at once.  And if Apple played its cards right, it would create a language, a loyalty and a dedicated audience that would brave anything than to have anyone think that the MAC was anything but the most fantastic single contributor, cutting down massive hours of work, allowing customers who paid for printed material to have output to the most high quality caliber even difficult to be detected by the most revered premiere printers in the world (think "Franklyn Mint" ? ) 

So the design and functionality was joined at last.  Apple victorious over legions of won-over fans in the creative universe imagined and output to the devices that Xerox was still in development in Pal Alto.  Perhaps it is fantasy to think that they would have taken their eye off the ball.  Like technology.  Like talent.

Watching organizations brain drain is going to be a commentary at another time.  It is one of the most downward spiraling corporate philosophies that is going to burst the most healthiest bubble called talent pool or loyal employees.  These organizations have boasted so broadly on how they look after their customer, or then their employees.  

Which is the GREATEST FANTASY:  that they care for anything other than their shareholders.

Back to the other part of this non-edited story is how another scientist at Xerox's Center of Excellence (or R&D disguised) left Xerox after I don't know how many years.  I don't know if he had imagined the problem or discussed it over dinner, drinks with their social circle.  

This part I know as fact.  There was this big giant obstacle obstructing the progress of where design meets these great big powerful paper spitting machines on material that was soon diverting from the more traditional magazine stock:  Luna Gloss.  How even that word can still cause me to cringe to this day.

There was this big enemy or distraction from design and power, revenue generating machines that would make Shareholders really happy, and stock prices to soar.    The marriage of the two was hampered by one really really big (now, I sound like Donald Trump Canadian girlie version anyhow eh?)  THING:  

The two could not talk!
Imagine me at the forefront of this explosive industry in its very infancy ready to collapse almost to mythical proportions.  

Well, it shouldn't really be rocket science:  The two companies Xerox that built machines and Apple that was exceptional for designers did not have a language in which they could communicate.  Sounds like a merger of two conflicting cultures like EDS and HP (that's another folklore story or commentary I've been writing behind the scenes for quite a few months).

Back to the scientist who had left Xerox.  Maybe he'd invented the mouse and was really ticked off that he did not any copyright rights?  That could be an interesting story as a fantasy or fact as a commentary later on.

He lived in a place in California.  Don't ask me the name because I'm a one person personality army waiting to emerge as a social media voice!

Beside the place where this scientist lived, ran a brook along side his property called Adobe.  He named his creation after the brook beside his house.  How's that for fact that sounds like folklore?

So this genius inventor recognized how the two massive allegiance we so far miss-aligned because they could not communicate.  

I was living those days.  Ha!  The sword thee doth yield.  (A little Cdn ShakespeareGIRLanese)
The biggest executives coming into our shop so that we could print their power point (OK, MicroSoft gets credit here, jeesh). They were about to hussle to the airport to get to an investors meeting in either New York or Toronto, it all started to sound the same:  problem.  Print fast, look nice, or nearly as nice as the generations old printing technology could.  

Then there is the gestapo at the now dubbed digital printing company is telling this executive that he had to have a conversation with his designer because he/she had to create a separate file in a separate language, then proof it because often things jumbled around, accompanied separately with Font codes, graphic files and Images (photography) all had to go where they were meant to.  The executive's disbelief that the rumored in an instant, sparkly, crisp printed design over night was fantasy!

So what Adobe did was bridged the language between the Apple designs/computers and the print engines invented predominantly by Xerox could communicate in harmony and keep everything together until at least the last printed sheet on glorious Hammermille (instead of Luna Gloss that ripped apart during the process and was so thin that both sides were shadowed :: shudders).

That could be a new Blog or story line:  the life and trialing times of a print sales executive.  

We know we all have called a photocopy a Xerox, as in "will you please go xerox a few of these for ..... please and thank you".  But the folklore of inventions by Xerox scientists are so behind the scenes.  It hasn't been really since Steve Job dying words were captured like information instead of confessions in his last authorized biography.  That story is one of the greatest salesman maneuvers of all time!!

Let's imagine examining what secrets were stolen or what technology borrowed to address a problem that needed to be solved either when it met near explosion so great that it could cause an implosion of profits, revenue and shareholders.

That is the true genius of the many greatest innovators.  There is folklore behind some that their greatest achievement would tarnish a few bazillion coins in investments if the real facts were discovered.

Yeehaw, that gets my creative juices going.  Uncovering and commentaries dedicated to the folklore or rumors from Silicon Valley by the giants of our world.  Now, that almost sounds like a NetFLIX special.  Hmmmm, someone who would appeal to both the Millennials and their parents :: will give it some thought and planning my goals on creative control.  (Inspired by the learning and knowledge gathered about PRINCE's true mastered gift:  creative control!


RE-POST from The Zeit

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Finding alternative uses for vegetables keeps your taste buds guessing, and boosts your nutrition! Cauliflower contains sulforaphane, which acts as an antioxidant and helps detox your system utilizing enzymes. Cruciferous vegetables are believed to lower risk of cancer due to these beneficial sulforaphanes. Ricing or mashing cauliflower allows you to mold the flavors you desire […]

via I Mashed and Riced Cauliflower – This Is What Happened! — The Zeit