Posted in Education, Politics, SocialMedia, Technology, Wellness

What Would I Chance if I Could Not Fail?

An acquaintance on social media asked me “what would I chance if I knew I would not [fail] fall?” Here’s my response…

– Do away with the two-party system (Republicans/Democrats)

— Require that elected representatives vote their conscience, instead of a corporate/party position

— Return power and decision making to municipalities and states; but include states in setting, planning, and achieving nationally voted priorities and objectives

– Develop and fund a national & global vision for medical and space research

– Find ways to reduce the cost of medical care (comparable case study~SpaceX vs $huttle program)

– Eliminate hunger and homelessness!

– Immediate removal from power/control any national leader who inflicts pain, injury or death to their people

– Re-market the care, availability and necessity of treatment for those suffering from mental health issues

– Reform education in all aspects: costs, management, delivery, consumption options

– Draw a line in the sand regarding energy reform to invest in the protection of our planet at all cost

That’s what came to mind as I thought over the question…. I know it doesn’t sound personal…but to live in a world managed by the conditions above would make me truly feel safe, happy and proud of our humanity.

Cheers

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Posted in Education, Politics, SocialMedia, Technology

Social Media in Healthcare and Local Government

Sharing the latest article I wrote for my Master’s in Public Administration course work at Bellevue University.  Check out the Healthcare Hashtag Project (link in references below).

This post offers a brief summary of an article found using the Elton B. Stephens Company (EBSCO) database on the use of electronic communications to serve clients of the healthcare industry.

Today’s technology allows many opportunities for patient-centered care.  Email, text messaging, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter offer today’s nurses a chance to modernize healthcare practitioner methods of patient interaction.  The article cites a Pew Research Center study reporting 85% of American’s are online, and 55% of these people are using mobile devices (Weaver, Lindsay, Gitelman, 2012).  These statistics suggest a public ready for new methods of interacting with healthcare providers.

Using modern communication technologies, nurses can educate the public about four changeable behaviors, identified by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), as negatively affecting the health of Americans:

  • Lack of Exercise
  • Poor Nutrition
  • Tobacco Use
  • Excessive Alcohol Consumption

Nurses are in the best position to use technology to improve the health and communications practices between healthcare providers and patients.  “Experience suggests that nursing leaders–and those who discover they can lead in this way–will seek the opportunities and efficiencies that electronic connections afford both their patients and them (Weaver, Lindsay, Gitelman, 2012).”  If nurses are in the best position to use technology in modernizing healthcare service delivery, could these same practices be applied to public administration?

City governments have access to the same no-cost solutions as other for-profit organizations.  YouTube and other social media offers free platforms for broadcasting and disseminating local government activities.  A quick search for local municipalities’ use of technology proves there is still a lot of room for improvement by our local governments.  The City of Papillion is a great example of a local government instituting best practices using electronic communication.

Papillion City Happenings YouTube Video
Papillion City Happenings YouTube Video

To remain relevant as a governing body, public administration must follow communication methods of the people governed.  “If conversation norms govern how often we talk and with whom, there are other structures that govern what we talk about and how we talk about it, not only in conversations but also in media and other communication modes (Gastil, 2008, p. 226).”

References:

City of Papillion. (n.d.). Retrieved November 30, 2013, from
https://www.facebook.com/CityofPapillion

City of Papillion. (n.d.). Retrieved November 30, 2013, from https://twitter.com/CityofPapillion

Gastil, J. (2008). Political communication and deliberation. Thousand Oaks, CA:
Sage Publications, Inc.

Papillion City Council for November 19, 2013 [Video file]. (2013, November 20).
Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/
watch?v=H6eRVtopGiY&feature=share&list=UUJtw2GjLfFIAueHjKT-1rdA

The healthcare hashtag project. (n.d.). Retrieved November 30, 2013, from
http://www.symplur.com/healthcare-hashtags/

Weaver, B., Lindsay, B., & Gitelman, B. (2012). Communication technology and
social media: Opportunities and implications for healthcare systems.
Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 17(3). http://dx.doi.org/10.3912/
OJIN.Vol17No03Man03

Posted in Education, SocialMedia

Seasons of Change

Taken from the walking bridge over the Elkhorn River in Nebraska.
Taken from the walking bridge over the Elkhorn River in Nebraska.

The fall season is at its peak of beauty in many places and we’re about to be plunged into the grips of winter!  As we transition from one season to the next, so goes my blog.

The tenor and content of my blog posts will likely take on a new tone for a while during my Public Administration studies.  I’m enrolled in a 16-month accelerated Master’s Program at Bellevue University.  So far, I’m really enjoying the class.  The first term is dealing with nonprofits and grant writing.  We have a practical class exercise we are actually accomplishing in real life with Omaha‘s Open Door Mission.  Our project team members are writing a grant to gain funds for unmet needs at Open Door Mission.  This project is for one of the three courses of our first term.

The other two courses in our first term focus on Foundations in Public Administration, and Communications in the Public Sector.  We have just completed the foundations course.  The foundations course had us reviewing how government at all levels manages budgets, implements policies and deals with crisis.  Conducting case study reviews, I learned more than I ever wanted to know about situations like 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, the Columbine Shootings, and other events.  We are now moving into the communications in the second half of our term.  This course deals with what we (the public) experience in communications from media, conversations, discussions and debate.  I’m very curious to share and learn from you about your understanding of how our beliefs and decisions are shaped through media.

Considering I do have a family, a full-time job and I’m pursuing my Master’s….there isn’t a lot of time.  I will however, try to use this platform to share with you the fun, surprising, and disturbing.  I’ll also share opportunities (resources) for you to become more informed about what I’m learning.  I hope you find my posts during this course of study useful and educational.  I will still occasionally post reflective and personal notes….however, my focus is currently on my studies.

On the personal side of life, my twin daughters have had their braces removed, they’re both driving, and engaged deeply in their studies at Metro Community College.  My son just turned 14 on Veteran’s Day.  My wife is still educating our son at home and slowly regaining a bit of “personal time” back into her life.  Digesting these facts and assimilating all of these changes is dizzying at times.  I’m looking forward to a break from everything around the holidays.

I hope life is treating you well.  Be kind to yourself.  Take a moment and count your blessings.  Be safe and look out for one another.

Cheers

Posted in Education, Politics, Writing

Conversation with Congressman Lee Terry

Yesterday I was fortunate enough that my boss reminded me that Congressman Lee Terry was going to be at Petrow’s on 60th & Center for a couple of hours to mix and mingle with constituents.  These small morning gatherings at area restaurants and coffee houses give a more intimate, one-on-one opportunity for the public to express concerns and ask questions.

Congressman Lee Terry
Congressman Lee Terry

Since our daughter Megan has been following national politics and showed interest for the last three Presidential elections I asked if she’d be interested in attending.  Megan and I arrived at 8:15 and Congressman Lee Terry and a companion of his was already seated and deep in discussion with a few locals.  Megan and I were seated several tables away from his group so we took our menus and ordered breakfast.  A short time later, my boss and his wife arrived.  By this time several locals had arrived and pulled up chairs around the table where Congressman Terry was seated.

My boss and his wife engaged us in conversation about public education and some challenges presented in today’s academic environment.  The restaurant was getting crowded with the typical morning breakfast crowd.  In particular, I noticed an entire table of individuals signing!  I have always loved sign language~more about that later.  Channel 7 News arrived and video taped several minutes of conversation with the constituents at the table.  After they stopped filming and left, my boss suggested that if we wanted a chance to talk we just had to go up to the table and introduce ourselves.

Megan and I approached his table, he noticed us approaching and stood up, shook our hands and asked where we were from.  We had a seat at the nearest table and began talking.  She informed him that she is 17 years old and educated at home.  Megan specifically had two questions she wanted to ask.

The first question:  She was wondering what it was going to take to get more Congressional members working in a bipartisan manner.  He acknowledged that it would be best–and the American people were wanting more cooperation between Republicans and Democrats.  He stated that it was why he isn’t always popular because he does make it a point to try his best to “work across the isle.”

Her second question was about education and “why the strong emphasis on math and science; what about the arts?”  He shared with Megan “to be honest, I wasn’t the greatest in math either.”  He stated that in order to get most jobs in today’s economy you had to have good math and science skills.  He said that several of the people sitting at his table were from all over the local area–one individual owned a factory where there were 60 job vacancies!  There just aren’t enough skilled people to fill the jobs. I shared with him that I worked at Offutt AFB and he asked if I was going to be affected by the furlough.  I stated that I would be.  He said “We’re trying to arrange it so there isn’t a furlough!”  I shared that if we all were able to reduce, reuse, recycle, make simple….and that if there were more collaboration among agencies, perhaps we could work smarter with fewer resources!  He wondered what Megan’s plans were after graduation and she said she’s was still trying to figure that out.

Megan is a typical 17 year old who’s still searching for what she wants to do with her life.   She has many passions, interests and skills–she just doesn’t know yet what she wants to do with them.  She’s taken Latin, and is learning Spanish and Gaelic.  She’s a great musician ~ loves to sing, plays piano.  She has also rewritten the book, “The Picture of Dorian Gray.”  She decided she wanted a better outcome for Dorian and several years ago began her first draft.  She is on her third and final draft now.  Congressman Terry encouraged her to pursue her interest in writing.  He said, “I tell high school kids “You know what they call the best writer and speaker? — Boss!””  He said no matter what you do in life, you’ll be a success if you are able to write and speak well.

The companion with Congressman Terry stopped by and gave Megan Lee Terry’s business card and an information sheet with more information about the Congressional office.  He also encouraged her to go to the Congressman’s website and sign up for the Congressional Medal of Honor–a really big deal for a young person to be able to add to their resume!  He also promised that if we wanted, on his way out Terry would pose for a photo with her.  About a half hour later, Congressman Terry had to depart and I was able to snap this photo:

Megan and Congressman TerryIt was a great opportunity to meet one of our elected officials in a relaxed environment and have the chance to ask candid question and converse person to person.  If you are interested in an encounter of this sort you can learn when and where his next coffee conversations will be, just navigate to Congressman Lee Terry’s website and look at his Facebook posts.

On our way out, we had the chance to stop and visit with the remain people at the table where I noticed individuals signing and met a wonderful man named Joe and his friend/interpreter Monica.  They are attendees at the Catholic Church of the Immaculate Conception.  It was a gathering of people who used to belong to a bible study.

All in all, a great way to begin the weekend!

 

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Posted in Business, Education, Relationships, Uncategorized, Writing

2012 Accomplishments

I have begun a new tradition…starting the end of year in recap mode and planning for the next!   I really have much to be thankful for…its sometimes hard to remember that on Mondays!

This has been a year of accomplishments:

  • Completed Bachelors Degree in Business (made Dean’s List w/4.0 average)
  • Received a promotion & a new job
  • Found reliable renters for our small farm
  • Sold old farm truck
  • Updated our family photo (1st in 7 years!)
  • Twin daughters started driving and completed 1st college level course
  • Participated in #NaNoWriMo with my children (Megan was only one to complete hers, but at least we all got started on writing a novel!)

I turn 46 in January!  I seriously don’t feel that old, except when Mondays roll around 🙂 Did I make it clear that I don’t like Mondays?

So, what I am shooting for in 2013?  Do It Yourself (DIY) home repairs; foodscaping my yard; building a close-knit community of dads who want to be better dads, husbands, and friends; becoming more involved in the education process of my mostly home-schooled children; and brushing up on my sign language skills.

Do you have an annual ritual for setting goals and holding yourself accountable to them?

Posted in Education, Politics, SocialMedia, Writing

Angst of Perspective

In this post I’ve decided to share several thoughts that have come into my head that I’ve only shared via Twitter….with a little explanation about what prompted the tweets!  Some bloggers aren’t Tweeters & many Tweeters aren’t bloggers…so I want to share with both communities!

Tweeted 17 Sep 12:  In the end…it truly is about perspective! With a change of view the worst can have value & disappointment can mean relief! #GlassHalfFull

This tweet came after hearing how my wife’s day went.  One of our twin daughters (Madeleine) is struggling with accepting the requirements and demands of high school and college curriculum.  Even though at 17 years old she’s figured everything out concerning the rest of her life for a career, there are things she must accept are steps that must be taken to get to her destination.  As my wife says, you cannot know in this moment at what point in your future you may borrow from what you learn today.

Tweeted 16 Sep 12:  Part of life’s journey includes sometimes feeling/being lost…it’s in the absence of knowing that we are truly free to explore.

My other twin daughter (Megan) thought she had all of her future figured out as far as college/career.  Within the last several months however, she’s come to a place where she realizes there are several other things that passionately interest her.  She had a dream that she relayed to me on Sunday that she had last week about “trying to find her home” because she was lost.  The man in her dream didn’t give her the answers but extended a hand to her after she finished sobbing at his feet.  I asked her what she thought it meant.  She stated that maybe he was telling her that it was okay to “be lost.”

Tweeted 16 Sep 12:  Life abhors incongruence…dissonance is tolerated as long as there is movement toward eventual harmony! #OrderFromChaos

I was thinking about the teacher’s strike in Chicago, the anti-American sentiment over the poor-taste film that’s stirred the ire of Muslims, conflicts in the workplace, and disputes in families.  The goal of many in Psychology disciplines will try to help troubled individuals gain a healthy perspective on your unique situation.  Counselors and mediators in the workplace will listen to both sides of a story and try to facilitate resolution.  No matter the issue…when actions and attitudes become destructive, somehow both sides desire closure–even though the goal for each is toward their own advantage.  When two opposites disagree…as long as discussions are the agreed upon approach, the tempers can be kept in check, when both parties believe there will be some positive outcome from their perspective as long as they willingly participate.  These predictive behaviors is what makes psychology an art/science…defined, repeatable behaviors.  In nature, similar repeating patterns occur…often a natural resolve toward harmony or something that looks as though an artist intentionally created the beauty…Fractals (patterns on a window pane during frosty nights) are the example that come to mind.

Tweeted 2 Sep 12:  Hate is easy, lazy, & destructive!–there’s quite enough in this world. Spread a little love–find a worthy cause & give of yourself!  

Was just thinking about all the mud-slinging going on in the media about the opponents in the Presidential Campaign!  The extremes of opinions and positions on critical issues facing our nation requires us to be a team to solve them.  Blathering on and on or mindlessly forwarding, sharing or reposting political crap on social media platforms does little more than annoy those who don’t agree with the shared opinion/sketch.  This is NOT helpful or productive.  If you really care about the future of our free nation, you’ll actually find legitimate news sources, do your research and vote the best man or woman for the job–PERSON NOT PARTY!  After all, primarily the person who does get elected has a limited influence in what actually happens in our reality.  It is the Congress and the Senate who make the majority of the decisions (on our behalf) that we have to live with and complain about.  So if you’re unhappy…don’t blame the man (or woman) who’s hair upon leaving office will be ten shades of white paler than when entering office…..blame yourself!  YOU HAVE A VOICE and a RIGHT/OBLIGATION to participate in this democratic form of government.  Our republic depends upon you!  Your job isn’t finished when you fill in the circles on the ballot.  Pick up the phone, write a letter, join a campaign effort, or run for office yourself!  At the very least…time spent tearing other people down is time wasted.  Be a part of the solution to problems and challenges.  There are plenty of charities, shelters, and fundraising efforts going on that could use your time and energy toward greater purposes.

Posted in Education, Technology

A New Approach to Encryption

English: Albert Einstein Français : portrait d...
Image via Wikipedia

Disclaimer:  I am not a Scientist or an Engineer but my mind enjoys reading about and toying in those realms. I have just enough curiosity and intuition to know if something is in the art of possible..but lack the academic formulas and theories to support my suppositions…but for what its worth here’s a stab at my concepts to support development for a new type of encryption for packets flowing through the ether.

This idea all came about when I was on a business trip in Virginia a couple of years ago…I was taking mass transportation after a full day of death by PowerPoint when my bus drove past a tall building made entirely of glass.  It was a sunny day out and there were no barriers between the bus and the building so I was able to see a perfect reflection of the bus with me inside of it, on the glass as we drove past the building.

Now, several things cemented in my mind in that moment.  I felt like Einstein was miniaturized and perched on my shoulder whispering in my ear to pay attention to these observations.  The things I felt important to remember were this:

  • I (a 3-dimensional being), was in a 3-dimensional object moving at a speed of roughly 30 miles per hour
  • I am a living biological form physically consuming/expending energy in an object consuming/expending energy
  • Reflected in the building glass was a 2-dimensional representation (reflection/imitation) of the physical reality
  • The representation (reflection) was possible because of objects, light, shadow, and motion

The really “wow” flash of insight came at the thought of “traceable” movement (observation ability) by looking at the reflection only.  “IF” you study only the movement of the bus and passengers inside by observing the reflection with your eyes–your mind can bring context to that observation and inform you of the reality of what is happening.   However, if you were to somehow put sensors on the glass, there would likely be no measurable readings detected to confirm what your eyes had observed.

(several thoughts just ripped through my head just now about ghosts, other dimensions/planes of existence, etc.)

So anyway, my idea is that there may be a way to use the mass, energy, light, shadow and reflective aspects of these observations in communications transmission technology.  These thoughts I’m sure have other applications in some of the other SciTech arenas.  But, the existence of the physical object as the genesis of a “representation (reflection)” which also mirrors behavior of the physical (Master/Slave ~ Parent/Child inheritance) just might be relevant to a new breakthrough in how we transmit data.  Perhaps using some of these ideas it would be possible to build new technology that would either:

  • Create an algorithm that uses a combination of the physical and the representation of the physical to develop a new style of encryption that require both to decrypt the actual packets transmitted through communications channels/cables/fiber….or
  • standard transmission of packets that uses this (physical & representation) concept to create in-transit auto-error checking and data validation/auditing.  If someone intercepted this volley (the physical packet plus the mirror image it created), the reflection would immediately cease because an obstacle would have somehow caused an interruption in the representation (imitation of the physical) and trip an alert to those monitoring that someone was “in the stream.”

I’d be very interested in hearing from anybody with a Science, Tech or Mathematics background who could lend credibility/validity to these ideas/assumptions…refer me to other related reading/research, or dispute these ideas as impossible.

Thanks for geeking out with me!