50 Days to 50 Years: Day 12, SweetSalt with Susan Baker and Mihret

20 07 2016

“Treat every connection, communication and collaboration as part of a continuous relationship.” ― Kim Chandler McDonald, Flat World Navigation: Collaboration and Networking in the Global Digital Economy

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It was so great on Day 12 to reconnect with The Escape Hatcher Susan M. Baker, and her little girl Mihret at SweetSalt in Toluca Lake.

I met Susan through Douglas Welch, a friend and new media professional. Both Susan and Doug were pivotal parts of the career group I used to run called Tuesdays with Transitioners, and it was through New Media Mastermind, a group that Doug formed which included myself, Susan, Jennifer “Jungle Jenny” Michaels, Danielle Gruen, and Tracy Pattin, that the first CareerCamp in 2010 was born!

Doug, Susan, Danielle and I were the first co-chairs, and the Congregational Church of Northridge, which sponsored Tuesdays with Transitioners, was the location. That was an exciting time, where we spearheaded three other Careercamps (L.A., South L.A. and Santa Clarita). We had a great time in the Mastermind group learning how to use new media to better promote ourselves and our endeavors, bouncing ideas off each other, and seeing how we could be instrumental in helping each other’s visions come to fruition. Susan also ran a group called Nohopreneurs, which brought local entrepreneurs together for lunch and networking.

Both our lives have changed tremendously over the last six years. In 2010, Susan was in the process of adopting beautiful Mihret from an Ethiopian adoption agency, and had her in arms that next year. So for Susan, careers and reinvention took a back seat to new motherhood (of course). For me, the Yoga reinvention happened, and life has been a series of rollercoaster rides, a few of which I am still on.

Susan was beautiful and glowing, so motherhood definitely suits her. Mihret was energetic and curious, as any six year old is, and exceptionally gorgeous—modeling should definitely be in her future.

SweetSalt was a new find for me, and I will be back! Not only was the Duck Confit sandwich quite tasty, but they have natural sodas that rival any you would find in the grocery store.

We caught up on our lives, discussing Yoga, travel, what was happening with the reinvention industry, writing, relocation, and education. Susan was involved as a volunteer at Mihret’s school, and I discussed my role on the CAAN National Board. She wanted to be an example to Mihret and emphasize through action the importance of education and being involved in its potential to change lives and allow students to flourish.

I enjoyed the meeting of minds, particularly in the area of careers and reinvention. Susan is exceptionally smart and resourceful, and it hearkened back to our time in the Mastermind group—with the addition of interruptions from a bright and bouncy six year old.

Thank you, Susan, for being a part of my 50 years: enriching my life with connection, vision, and also being a shining example of reinvention and new beginnings in the second half of your life. I hope we get the opportunity to collaborate again one day soon.

 

 

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50 Days to 50 Years: Day 22, Talking Careers and Reinvention with Markell Morris

10 07 2016

“Become aware what is in you. Announce it, pronounce it,
produce it and give birth to it.” — Meister Eckhart

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The magic of Twitter. I try to tell those who are searching for work or looking to transition to a different career to get on this social media platform, and start engaging. The 140-character limitation not only sharpens your communication skills, but it refines your voice, and allows people to get past the noise and the memes. Yes, like any social media platform, there are fools, and junk, and people who only wish to waste your time. Some of the nice features on Twitter are the mute and block functions, and the ability to filter using hashtags—so you only see the information you want to see.

Which leads me to one of my Twitter contacts and how a simple tweet turned into a meet up and a future workshop on social media and careers! I first met Markell Morris through my work with CareerCamp Intl (see my asthegirlturns.com website for more info on that). At that time, she was a career counselor with UCLA, and she was a Tuesdays with Transitioners speaker back in 2010. Since then, we have kept up with each other peripherally on Twitter, and she is working on growing her own career coaching business.

Fast forward to 2016, and my recent work with Elizabeth House. Markell saw my tweet about the seminar I was doing that Saturday, and replied to it, asking whether it was a webinar format.

 

From this interaction, we arranged to meet each other and talk about this concept in greater detail. We met at Portos in Downey, and it was a productive and delicious time—love Portos’ food! We are now planning “How to Get Work to Come to You”, a webinar series on using social media and technology to not just look for work, but let those interested in hiring discover and hire you for that work.

From this single meeting, to my work at Communities Digital News, to other opportunities, I can testify to the benefit of allowing yourself to be active on social media in order to position yourself for work. There is a strategy and a manner in which you have to go about this, but it can be successfully done. Once Markell and I have the bones in place, I will be promoting the seminar so that people can learn these strategies and let the work they want find them.

Love serendipity, love networking with like minds, and really love Twitter.

 

 

 


 





The Obamacare Follies

29 10 2013

obama-then-i-said-if-you-like-your-health-plan-you-can-keep-it

The Girl has been covering the Debacle that is the Obamacare rollout over at my Washington Times Communities column. Click the links below and give them a read.

Will America survive Obamacare’s implementation? This was written two weeks before the October 1 implementation, and some of my commenters scoffed at me. One word: Schadenfreude.

Like comparing Apple to Obamacare. Week 1 of the rollout went exactly as I suspected, and the administration had the nerve to compare themselves to Apple! Cue the laughter.

This is not the Obamacare exchange you were looking for. No kidding… Two weeks later and still a mess.

The Obamacare exchange’s lack of security. If you’re an identity thief or a fraudster, the HHS has given you an open invitation with Healthcare.gov and the Navigator program to easily steal from people. Low-hanging fruit.

Conservatives on Obamacare: we told you so. Yeah… enough said.

Back in February, Stephen Dinan of the Washington Times reported on the seven million who would lose the employer-based health insurance under Obamacare. That was the CBO’s conservative estimate. Now that the biological waste matter has finally hit the circular wind conductor, liberals are now losing their minds, along with their health insurance.

CBSNews.com of all places is reporting that 2 million people with individual plans (read: self-employed) have been booted from their health insurance thanks to Obamacare:

“There have been estimates about hundreds of thousands of people losing coverage, CBS News’ Jan Crawford reported on ‘CBS This Morning.’ CBS News has reached out to insurance companies across the country to determine some of the real numbers — and this is just the tip of the iceberg, Crawford said. The people who are opening the letters are shocked to learn they can’t keep their insurance policies despite President Obama’s assurances to the contrary.

“The White House is on the defensive trying to explain it, after Mr. Obama repeatedly said, ‘If you like your doctor or health care plan, you can keep it.'”

Obamacare: more than 2 million people being booted from existing health insurance plans.

The New Yorker–another publication that could not be described as conservative, brilliantly mashed up the many times our dear President made this promise. Social media cuts both ways.

If You Like Your Plan-Supercut

You didn’t actually think President Obama meant that, did you? If you did, I have some beachfront property in Death Valley I’d like to sell you.

Debra J. Saunders of the San Francisco Gate reports that the head of Covered California estimates up to 900,000 Californians will lose their health plans on December 31. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

So it’s not just the conservatives and Republicans who are calling the Obama administration on the carpet for the lies, now average Americans who are being adversely affected by the implementation of this nightmare are screeching. Amazingly enough, the mainstream outlets are actually doing what Rush Limbaugh likes to call “Random acts of journalism”. Who would have thunk?

Health and Human Services Secy Kathleen Sebelius is scheduled to testify before the the House Commerce Committee on Wednesday. While she planned to throw the technology contractors under the bus, these contractors stole her thunder by leaking to CNN a confidential report essentially saying that the administration had been warned that Healthcare.gov was not ready for primetime; but they charged ahead anyway. Hubris, thy name is HHS.

The Carney is doing his usual doublespeak and blame, but this time nobody is buying it. He has actually been getting tough questions from the White House press corps. Even the usual shills like Matthews and Co. over at MSNBC seem to be waking from their Kool-Aid hangovers on this one.

The plot thickens, and with Sebelius’ testimony, there will be much to write about. In the meantime, I leave you with two more videos that illustrate the lies, incompetence, and rank arrogance that characterizes this presidency.





In My Orbit: The Long Weekend…

24 05 2013
Digital Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Digital Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Happy Friday, and Happy Memorial Day weekend! Lots swirling around the universe today, particularly in the political realm. My Washington Times Communities column outlines the Scandalpalooza currently plaguing the Obama administration:

“President Obama continues to deny accountability over the crises affecting three major arms of his administration: the State Department, the Treasury, and the Department of Justice. Either the President is an incompetent leader or a dishonest one.”

Read the rest here: Obama’s incredible shrinking presidency.

Locally, the Mayor election is over, and we will soon swear in Mayor-elect Eric Garcetti. Frankly, I’m relieved–I’m no fan of Garcetti, but the amount of union money poured into Wendy Greuel’s campaign was sickening. If nothing else, the 22 percent of the Los Angeles electorate who bothered to vote (so abysmal) truly understood the stakes and voted accordingly. Bravo to you! To the rest, go live someplace else and take your apathy with you–we have a city that needs to be saved.

Another L.A. election that didn’t cross my radar was for the LAUSD School Board. Apparently Monica Ratliff, a 5th-grade teacher in the school district won, even though she was outspent 42 to 1 by her opponent Antonio Sanchez.

Sanchez was heavily backed by SEIU, LACFL, Villar-itardo’s Coalition for School Reform (What. A. Joke.), and even Nanny Bloomberg of New York to the tune of 2.2 million! The blogger concluded, “One political analyst described the result as proof the ‘allure of the candidates’ can negate the effects of big money.”

Yes, it can! Let’s get some good candidates who stand for something onto the local and national stage–we got lots of hacks with money of which to rid ourselves.

Okay, for many it’s a Holiday weekend, so I’ll get off the Poli-Junkie soapbox now, and put on my tech-geek hat. I read this great article on TechCrunch, “Why Does Hollywood Hate The Future?“:

“Where is the It’s a Wonderful Life set in 2150? Are a few scenes from Back to the Future Part II really the best we got?

Again, I think the answer is that we already live in a technological utopia of sorts. No, the world isn’t perfect, but the recent advances in technology have given us so much. And people go to the movies to escape reality. It’s just too bad that science fiction films have essentially become horror movies.”

I like his ending, and the rest is equally thought provoking. Give it a read.

I’ll end with my favorite Friday song from The Cure, as well as my favorite John Ondrasik tune in honor of our soldiers. To those who died in service to our country, I honor you this weekend. Freedom isn’t free.

Happy Friday!:

Honor a fallen veteran, and give a kiss to the one’s still leading the charge:

 

 





The Los Angeles Mayor’s Race, aka the Real Candidates of L.A. City (Part 1)

6 05 2013

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The Girl is less than thrilled over this Los Angeles Mayor’s race for obvious reasons: Kevin James did not make the runoff. He was the only Conservative running for the office, and whatever Conservative/Republican base we have left in Los Angeles decided not to show up at the polls. The apathy in this town is thicker than the smog.

So we are stuck with Wendy Greuel and Eric Garcetti, Liberal vs. Liberal City Council retreads, trying to out spend each other, and inspire the voting base to actually get out to the polls on May 21. Good luck with that….

My latest Washington Times Communities article talks about the overabundance of charisma that the departing Mayor Smilin’ Tony exuded–with little else besides that–and the lack of that same charisma exhibited from either of the two candidates:

“Villaraigosa clearly represents where we have come: the reality televisionization of politics. Substance no longer matters—give us drama, bigger-than-life personalities, and some good fights. Rome may be burning, but if you look good, and spin a good yarn while it happens, who cares? As this is the town that creates all those illusions in the first place, it should come as no surprise that L.A. is the poster child of the celebrity Mayor.”

Read the rest here.

Speaking of drama, Wendy Greuel appears to have a penchant for it. My man Kevin has already endorsed Eric Garcetti, in part because Garcetti is not completely bought and paid for by the city unions, like the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. LADWP has already poured millions into Greuel’s campaign, and will probably continue to do so up until the day of the election.

What’s that phrase? Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned ? Apparently Wendy’s fury is now directed at Mr. Kevin James.

A recent direct-mail campaign targeted at the African-American and Latino communities highlights, “Garcetti’s endorsement from white Republican Kevin James, who finished third in the March 5 primary.”

“‘He’s an Obama hater!'” the mailer says, highlighting some of James’ more intemperate remarks about the president. ‘Say no to Eric Garcetti! He sold us out to win Republican votes!'”

Beware the power of technology, Wendy. The Kevin James for Mayor website has posted the text messages between Wendy and Kevin, not too long after the primary election results. From my read, Wendy is practically chasing down Kevin for his endorsement. Of course, when she did not get it, suddenly Kevin is an evil monster who is racist, white (shock!), and right-wing.

It seems that Wendy knows how to go on the attack, but aside from being a woman, doesn’t rate at doing much else. Mayor Sam has documented well on his blog Ms. Greuel’s attacks against those she considers opponents, bombastic overreach during her years of “public service” , and constant grandstanding. I recommend giving it a read before you make a decision on who you will vote for on May 21.

And take a gander at this video posted by NearChaosBlog, basically confirming what we all fear: the woman has neither the ethics or experience to manage a city; she’s simply a rubber-stamped union toady, who wants to ride into office playing the female card. Joy.

Next week, Candidate Garcetti comes under the microscope.





D.C. Bound Part 1: Airline Purgatory

23 05 2011

 

I'm leaving, on a jet plane--a lot of them.... Photo: Bobby Mikul/PublicDomainPictures.net

The Girl’s work through Tuesdays with Transitioners has reaped a big reward: I have been invited with other job club leaders across the nation to participate in a webinar forum on Job Clubs and employment ministries, sponsored by U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Hilda Solis on Tuesday, May 24 in Washington, D.C. “Tech Tuesday” has become a model in helping 20th Century workers get up to speed with 21st Century technology, and this information will be helpful to other job clubs. So I was given the honor of speaking about this.

Through a generous grant from the United Church of Christ (my church’s denomination), I was able to secure an airline ticket and have a bit of traveling money–so I am very excited!

Having never been to D.C., I thought I would try to squeeze in a few hours of city exploration before the forum on Tuesday. So, I booked a Sunday red-eye flight in order to arrive in D.C. by Monday, early morning. Once there, I had planned to drop my bags and meet my guest host (former UCC President Rev. Paul Sherry), then spend the rest of the morning/afternoon roaming the Capitol.

Mother Nature effectively derailed those plans. Storms and tornadoes out of the Midwest first caused a cancellation of my original flight, and I was booked on a later flight scheduled to leave after midnight. When I got to Los Angeles International, I found out this flight was delayed, and we would not be boarding until 12:50 a.m., departing at 1:20 a.m. By the time we left LAX, it was after 2 a.m., and all bets were off in making my original D.C. connecting flight in Dallas/Fort Worth.

I haven’t traveled by air in a few years, but am happy I still maintain some travel savvy. When I first learned of the first flight’s delay, I asked the attendant to change my connecting flight to one that I could potentially make. She gave me a choice between a flight at 7:00 a.m. or 9:00 a.m., giving me reassurances that the flight from LAX would probably make it in time enough to get me on the 7 a.m. connection.  I chose the latter time, as I detest rushing from place to place in any airport. I also recalled from past travels that DFW wasn’t the easiest airport to navigate, and not knowing what gate I would be leaving from, I’d rather have a cushion.

Boy, was that ever prescient! Not only did we not arrive in time to meet the 7 a.m. connection, but the 7 a.m. connection ended up being cancelled! I breathed a sigh of relief, while sympathizing with all the other passengers (who had traveled from further parts than Los Angeles) who had no idea what flight they would be rerouted to, and what time they would get home. Despite cutting into my tourist time, I was blessed that I at least was getting to D.C. in a reasonable time frame.

The differences in the country’s airports are always striking. I left the slick and modern Bradley International Terminal at LAX, and now sit in the drab and dreary DFW. Functional, definitely–but for sure no bells and whistles. It’s only concession to glamour is a large flat-screen video display of international cities like London, Paris, and Dubai. Save for the same standard kiosks like Chili’s Too and Starbucks, it’s a stark contrast. Even the attendants look different: less makeup, less flash and polish. Until I’m outside of L.A., I forget how the city’s image and veneer seeps into every aspect of life, including air travel.

Looks like my connection is boarding soon.  It will be interesting to see what type of presence permeates Reagan International.





Illustrating Absurdity

17 11 2010

 

Illustrating Absurdity

Chicken crossing by Peter Griffin/publicdomainpictures.net

Can we get any more absurd than complaining about a TV-show being fixed?  When did Dancing with the Stars become purist high art?  Seriously, give Bristol Palin credit for trying to do something with her life instead of immediately getting on the government dole.  I don’t watch the show, and don’t care to watch the show, but if I hear one more blogger or avid show watcher belly-aching about Bristol Palin winning for another week, I may just call in and vote for her!  Obviously there is something about her the American people love, kind of like Fantasia Barino–so deal with it and truly, truly get over it, or change the channel.  Blogosphere in a tizzy over Bristol Palin’s advance to the finals.

Climbing off the soapbox now and on to real matters of import.  This TSA/Airport Security Body Scanner/Invasive Groping mess.  Jon Tyner‘s phrase “You touch my junk, and I’ll have you arrested” has entered the hallowed lexicons of our language, right up there with “Don’t Tase me, Bro!”

But the Associated Press offers up their anemic response to what is fast becoming a national crisis.  Airport body scans, pat-downs draw more complaints.  AP boils all this brouhaha down to 1) blame the passenger, and 2) we haven’t made any real sacrifices for national security.  So terrorizing a three-year-old is just a minor bit of inconvenience?

The lefty-heavy Los Angeles Times in their article, “Shut up and be scanned”, offers this bit of sunny advice:

“There’s no bright line to indicate where our quest for security becomes intolerably invasive of our privacy, but we’re still pretty sure the TSA hasn’t yet crossed it. Although the pat-downs are seriously embarrassing, they’re also usually voluntary — to avoid them, you just have to go through the scanner. And fears about the scanners have been overblown.”

Bite me.  Michael Graham at Boston Herald gives more reasoned (and sensible) advice.  We take this now, imagine what we’ll have to put up with later? Airport security is one big scan.  And Jennifer Abel at the Guardian UK gets even more caustic.  Get your hands off me, TSA!

I will watch with relish next week to see how passengers and TSA fare on the biggest travel Holiday of the year.   Thanks to John Tyner, I’m sure many will come armed with a camera phone that also includes their lawyer’s number. So glad I’m staying in town!