Sunday, May 28, 2017

Random Thoughts: As May 2017 Drifts Away (Reflections)

Sometimes the best laid plans seem to wither way in the quest to somehow make a difference.      For me it was my attempt as I began the weekend while on a project commitment in San Diego as I visited the Miramar National Cemetery.   The  scene of the Mother who walked up to his son's grave underscored the profound challenges we continue to face in our World--and a desire I shared about getting rid of the cancer of War.  It is a naive hope--but we have got to especially in light  the tragedy in Manchester, the continued tragedy in Syria and Iraq, the mayhem in the Philippines along with on-going challenges Africa.    As I write this, North Korea tested a new Missile--apparently aimed as Japan as they have the ability to destroy South Korea--and maybe the United States is next.   I can't help but ask-what's the point?     

It was also a tragic weekend here in the United States as two men died as they stood up for two young Muslim Girls in Portland, Oregon.   I am with Portland's Mayor as he noted that they are both heroes.   With what happened in Manchester and the on-going carnage and tragedies we're witness to, it is frankly challenging--but the need to remain hopeful is ever so critical.

I was counting my personal blessings, though, as I had the pleasure to be supportive of the family before getting back to work--as I continue to recover from the challenges of the past number of weeks.  I achieved a very interesting "milestone" that I was frankly surprised to achieve:

 I was able to Things seem to be under a bit of control now--but having dealt with such profound issues as I did==one of them had over 1191 Threats!!! 

There is an interesting I was personally taking aback by Angela Merkel's speech that underscores the lack of confidence shown in the United States which should all be of concern as things get on track     The idea that Jared Kushner was in touch with the Russians for a "back channel" on top of all the diplomatic missteps is of profound concern.   The President dismissed it as "Fake News".

Earlier tonight while visiting friends on Facebook, I picked up this from a Facebook Friend 

"...Ariana Grande has announced that she is paying for the funerals of the victims of the Manchester attack, the manager of West ham has found the two homeless men who helped dying victims has just offered them both six months all expenses paid accommodation and money to help them sort themselves out, the public has donated thousands of pounds for victims, families, emergency services, and heroic citizens. This is how we fight terrorism, not with hatred, not with arson attacks on mosques, but by standing strong, supporting strangers, pulling together and staying strong as a nation. That is why Britain is great. These are not the monsters that hid under your bed as a child, they are cowards driven to murder and suicide. They will not prevail.
The tragic event have bought a tear to many eyes including mine. But.. Stephen Jones and Chris Parker were homeless before they were hero's, surely it doesn't take being a hero for people to show them the respect they deserve. Remember guys, when you walk passed the homeless just remember one day they might be your hero.
Lets stand together...."

Onward to June as I picked up these final two "Food 4 thought" For the Month: 

It's one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, to forgive. Forgive everybody. Maya Angelou

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Random Thoughts (W-End Edition): On #MemorialDay2017 & Other Thoughts......

It has been a rather extra ordinary challenging and tragic  week in our World on a multitude of fronts.    As the team at The Daily Outsider has gone dark for the Memorial Day Week-End, there will still be updates though as my own personal feed will have  my snapshot courtesy of which I am grateful for.

Ramadan is starting tonight that seems one Billion Muslims begin the journey to rekindle their faith and their sense of purpose.   I picked up this from Scott Kelly as he had this from his #YearInSpace as he captured Makkah, where the Kabeh is--that Muslims are obligated as part of their obligations to vist during their Hajj Pilgrimage: :

The news is the news--but this is also Memorial Day Weekend to honor all Americans who have served in Uniform.    It was also quite a day for me personally as I was in San Diego yesterday on a project I was working on and had the privilege to be at the San Diego Military Processing Station.  It was a privilege to see the young as they were going the process to join the Armed Forces.    I was given permission to capture the Sailor, Soldier and Airman's Creed that I then created a Grid on as a tribute to all the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and the members of the Coast Guard who have served America so valiantly.   

As I drove back to Orange County to be back at Work, I decided to visit the Miramar National Cemetery that was on the way.   It is in the flightpath of the Marine Corp Air Station Miramar and the afternoon was just beautiful as the flags flew in the Avenue f the Flags as I drove in to the Cemetery for a walk through.      From what I saw, it is one of the newest National Cemeteries where all who have served are buried.        The Grid I created has the Panorama I captured from my visit from the Avenue of the Flags along with the creed.   What struck me (and I noted this earlier while on Instagram and on Twitter) was one particular graveside.     A lady walked up to lay some flowers at a graveside and I captured it afterwards:

By the time I had turned around, she had disappeared.   I took a quick peak and saw that he was one of the fallen of the Persian Gulf and was only 26 years.   It struck me in a major way as I worked my way back to Orange County--it was a stark reminder of savoring every millisecond that one is blessed with.   I took heart in this "Thought" as our #Outsider journey continues as I will be "pounding the virtual pavement" to gear up for a challenging month:

“If you love what you do
and are willing to do what it takes,
it’s within your reach.
And it’ll be worth every minute
you spend alone at night,
thinking and thinking about
what it is you want to design or build.
It’ll be worth it, I promise.”
~Steve Wozniak

School is also ending for Capistrano Unified School District.    I was so blown away as I got word through the Aliso Niguel High School PTSA team that this past Spring saw 53 Aliso Niguel Students contributed over 3,000 hour of Community  Service Hours--they are the future and it is gratifying to continue to be witness to such wonderful news.

All I can say is this:  Onward to June with all its' possibilities...

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Random Thoughts: On Manchester, Hope, Life & Other Thoughts....


It is the dawn of Memorial Day weekend.   In the United States,  It is an opportunity to honor all who have served and it is the official start of the Summer.   It was also not a easy week in our World as terrorism struck yet again in Manchester during the Ariana Grande Concert.  A night of joy turned into a nightmare.     As I was privileged to share the headline of the Thursday Manchester Evening News frontpage, the picture in the Daily Mail also blew me away about a Muslim Imam and a Jewish Woman praying together at the Memorial in Manchester that seemed to continue to grow by leaps and bounds as SkyNews continued its' uninterrupted coverage.  I took comfort in the Words, "..>We Shall Overcome..." and We will!!! 

Being positive and upbeat in spite of the challenges is not easy.  One example that continues to give me hope was when I joined a two day Regional Training---attended by some 65 Community Members led by the South Orange County Emergency Management Coordinators as they work to build the Regional Mutual Aid Process in the event of disasters.  This was also as Aliso Niguel High School's  Grad Night Committee held a "gift wrapping party" at the house of the Chair of the Comittee gearing up for Grad Night 2017 that would see some 300 Graduates spend The Evening of Graduation playing and having laods of fun under the watchful eyes of Chaperoens (Including Myself!!!).    As the team at The Daily Outsider will work on publishing the Month-End Notations,  I picked up these compliation of thoughts from @Jonathan Huie that is a solid reminder about life on the eve of Memorial Day W-End here in the United States--which for us here in the official Start of Summer:

This is your life.
In the symphony of your life, you are the star.
You write the melody and the lyrics.
You are the soloist and the conductor.
You are merely a bit player in other people's lives,
but in your own life, you are the star.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Don't live your life to please other people.
- Oprah Winfrey
[Be of service, but don't be a doormat.]

How different our lives are when we
really know what is deeply important to us,
and keeping that picture in mind,
we manage ourselves each day to be and to do what really matters most.
- Stephen R. Covey 

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Random Thoughts: Briefly On the Dawn of a New Week.....

I can't help but note how much of a historic week it has been.    Whether it was the Iranian Elections,  the on-going drama in Washington, the President's trip to Saudi Arabia (including his Sword Dance with Saudi Royals--that including Steve Bannon and Rex Tillerson--this narration is in Arabic) and of course all that went on and about down here in South Orange County.    It was so great to be witness as the 2016 Laguna Niguel Citizen of the Year was named.   David Tuma has been one of the "Super Volunteers" of Laguna Niguel for almost 30 years and I was so happy to see him be named.

I wanted to begin the week on a high note as I picked up this courtesy of Ted about how to make sure that we truly live a life of purpose: 

Playlist of the week

Onward to the new week with all its' possibilities as I wanted to make sure I did not forget all my blessings !!!

How to live many lives

During the span of a single life, how do you reinvent yourself? Meet five people who have found creative ways to fit many lives into one. Watch

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Random Thoughts (Mid Week): Out and About in The Community....

It has been quite a week in the United States.       For me, though, I took comfort as I had the pleasure to attend the Spring 2017 concert at Aliso Niguel High School Tuesday night.  A 320-Strong Orchestra led by one of the most talented and dedicated Teachers I have had the pleasure to know: Albert Jeung.   He's done wonders in how he's led and built this program that is one of the top programs in the State of California.   

Earlier this week, my son and I had the pleasure to be on a day of service as we supported two Eagle Scout candidates with their projects.    The first project we supported was at the City of Mission Viejo as we participated in a project helping to plant some 800 plants throughout the Norman Murray Community Service in Mission Viejo.    It was fabulous that the Mayor of Missoin Viejo dropped by and the City Manager participated:

It is witness to such engagements throughout the community that continues to sustain me not withstanding the profound challenges before us.    


Sunday, May 14, 2017

Random Thoughts: On Being Thankful Despite On-Going Challenges.....

It is a bit overcast here in my hometown of Laguna Niguel as I reflect upon what has been quite an interesting and challenging week at times--and a challenging quarter.   I have lost almost three weeks of productivity   now on Friday as I saw some challenges as I was dealing with my network being slow on my "third string" system.   Here is a sampling of the challenge I had to contend with (1191 Threats on one machine alone!!): 

As I write this, it seems as if the malware has finally dissipated as I may have been lucky--although I consider myself as one of the 200,000 people who was impacted by the Ransomware attack.

As I have been doing a mid-quarter assessment of where things are especially in light of the challenge of the past three weeks, I took stock of all that I'm thankful for as I had a chance to join a morning of service with my Parish Pantry--as I continued to be "down" with system issues.   My son and I also spent a day with Eagle Scout Candidates yesterday:

We helped plant over 800 Plants at the City of Mission Viejo's Norman P Murray Center to help maintain and transform the Center.   The Mayor of Mission Viejo dropped by as the City Manager of Misson Viejo joined the this morning of service.

It is witness to such that gives me hope despite all the challenges in our World.     As I finished off some work for Outsiders and finished visits "on the grid", I picked this image that reminded me of all that I have been blessed with:

Image may contain: 1 person 

Remaining hopeful ever more!!


Sunday, May 7, 2017

Random Thoughts (W-End Edition): On a Rainy Sunday Here in @LagunaNiguelCty

I helped work on some "minor" tweaking of the Daily Outsider along with my own corner here as I gear up for the new week.   It is also quite an interesting day as the World awaits the results of the French Presidential Elections.  It is almost Midnight in Paris, right now as I work away.  

It has been quite a journey as I have worked to develop Outsiders and do what I can to make a difference.   That's why I was so excited to run across Donate a Photo two years ago this month and decided to make contributions to it as I did.    I could not believe that it has turned into over 600 Images (and counting):  

A post shared by Mike Pouraryan (@mikepouraryan) on

Although Johnson and Johnson has had some setbacks lately, what they have done here to make a difference is to be commended.   I have also had the pleasure to be involved with the IBM's World Community Grid for almost 10 years now and it has also a pleasure to be able to contribute to it as I have.  

 Fascinating to be witness to it all as a new week is at hand...


Friday, May 5, 2017

Random Thoughts: On the Eve of the W-End......

Today is Cinco De Mayo.    An icon of our community, Avila's in Laguna Niguel, has embraced it with open arms:

This is as another icon of South Orange County, Soka University of America, is hosting an international festival--currently in its' 16th Year.

Beyond the beautiful confines of Laguna Niguel and South Orange County,  though, it is a challenging AM as I was on the prowl for the AM and saw a fabulous Editorial by the Wall Street Journal on Venezuela which I also released ot my personal Twitter Feed.     The idea of driving armored personnel carriers through peaceful protesters is just beyond barbaric.    I also have been reading up the transcript of the Iranian Presidential Elections and will be helping with a Notation on it for The Daily Outsider over the weekend.   From what I am seeing so far,  sparks flew despite all the profound constraints.  I found it a bit amusing that the candidates welcomed criticism--despite the fact that two of the leading internal dissenters, Mehdi Karoubi and Mir Hossein Mousavi, continue to be under house arrest and Former President Khatami continues to be "banned"--unless those of us politicos make sure we keep track of him through Instagram and other means.

As I go "dark" for the weekend and help with upcoming projects for the Daily Outsider for the upcoming week, I could not help but be moved by this admonition from Congressman Joseph P. Kennedy III:

“The ultimate test of our country’s character
is not the power we give the strong,
but the strength we give the weak.”

An admonition all of us should never forget....
Onward to the Weekend....

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Random Thoughts (While on My Virtual Walkabout): On #Obamacare; #Iran & Other Thoughts.....

It has been quite a week and it is not even over yet as it has been quite busy at the Daily Outsider.  I wanted to refrain until the weekend to reflect upon the challenging week.   Yet, the passage of the Obamacare Repeal bill in the House made the headlines--as did the signing of yet another Executive Order.    It is only an opening salvo--a lot still has to happen--one of my eloquent Facebook Friends noted this to be the Republican Jonestown which I hope to build on later on this weekend.     This is also as I  was one of the apparent 1 Million Google Users that got attacked by a Google Docs' phishing attack.   Thankfully, I did not open it and reported it as a phishing attack.   Apparently, others were not as lucky.     

Beyond the shores of the United States, there is Iran.    It is frankly an exciting campaign--but it was overshadowed by the tragic death of the miners who died in an explosion.   This beautiful Tribute that underscores the tacit disregard by regime for the plight of ordinary was evident courtesy of the team at Iran Wire:


I continue to remain hopeful though as I was witness to Community Spirit in Action as The Taste of Aliso Niguel occurred.  I created a grid on it to reflect further upon reason to remain optimistic despite a very challenging world we are faced with:  

Onward to the Weekend!!

(A Brief Update-Just got this from the IC3--as someone who also got taken for this kind of a scam as well--and filed a complaint on it, I wanted to make sure I pass this on to all:

U.S. Department of Homeland Security US-CERT
National Cyber Awareness System:

05/04/2017 06:36 PM EDT

Original release date: May 04, 2017The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) has issued an alert describing a growing number of scams targeting businesses working with foreign suppliers or businesses that regularly perform wire transfer payments. These sophisticated scams are classified as business email compromise (BEC) or email account compromise (EAC) and use social engineering techniques to defraud businesses.
Users and administrators are encouraged to review the IC3 Alert for details and refer to US-CERT Tip ST04-014 for information on social engineering and phishing attacks.