Wednesday, December 19, 2018

On the Prowl: My Closing Final #RandomThoughts For 2018.....

It has been quite a year--and a year to remember with milestones, challenges and setbacks.     As we all await the arrival of Santa, for me the privilege to have been able to serve and to make a difference was at the heart of what has admittedly at times has been a profound year.      I have had the pleasure to reflect upon all of them throughout my notations here in my Corner.

The holiday season began for me in earnest on November 17 when I had the pleasure to be present as the Annual Thanksgiving Meal Distribution was done at our City's Local Catholic Parish:  St. Timothy's.   I subsequently had the pleasure to be at Camp Pendelton during the Annual Thanksgiving Meal Distribution sponsored by San Clemente Military Family Outreach with the Boy Scouts of Troop 772--The Trailmasters that I have had the pleasure to be a part of for the past 5 years:

It has also been quite a year for me as I continued the active and engaging work on Social Media in support of the Daily Outsider and of course my own active efforts on Social Change efforts--with a primary focus on being supportive of the work done by Donate-A-Photo-An initiative sponsored by Johnson & Johnson.   Just like many throughout the World, I was disappointed about recent disclosures that Johnson & Johnson was aware of the presence of Asbestos in Baby Powder.   However, it still did not negate this very noble initiative that allowed ordinary faces like I to make a difference.     I decided to "go dark" on Social Media through next year with a final contribution to Donate A Photo with a beautiful image I captured of a Service Dog for a US Marine.     I was also taken aback a bit by recent disclosures on practices by Facebook which was of profound concern--It was quite a shock when I saw Walt Mossberg noted that he would be leaving Facebook & Instagram--although he would continue to remain on Twitter.      It is also of profound concern how Russia continued to manipulate the Social Media space.  What is critical is a profound sense of responsibility--for me it has been to stay in touch with a wider circle of friends, advocate for social justice and freedom and yes, to learn.  I was quite appreciative that I was able to catch my year on Facebook as I worked to wind down the year: 

I also began a periodic concerted effort (which I hope to build upon for 2019) on this hashtag #WeWillReClaimIran as protests continue in light of the profound tragic realities on the ground right now.    I also had the pleasure to be supportive of and advocate for the fate of Jamal Khashoggi both throughout our properties and personally as it was great to be witness to him being named Time Person of the Year.   Karen Attiah from the Washington noted this as I also reminded her that Iranian lives matter as well:  

I also captured this which was heart-breaking especially in light of the ruling from a US Federal Judge on the status of the Affordable Care Act--I made it a point of releasing this and tagging President Trump to underscore how healthcare should be a right--not a privilege--something I look forward to assessing throughout 2019: 

I also had a sort of a Farewell Tour as I visited The Marine Families of the 1st Regiment/4th Marines and the USS Stocksdale with members  of the Laguna Niguel Military Support Committee as my term concluded:    

As the team at the Daily Outsider has gone dark throughout all its' properties through the end of the year, I was glad to see that they've seen to it that the live broadcast PODS are available as the Twitter Handle (@ordinaryfaces) will be curated.    I'll be helping as schedule permits as I will be "off the grid" myself  as I assess 2019 before picking things up.

As I personally "go dark" until the end of the year, I thought this from the great Lady Gaga from A Star is Born was quite appropriate as I also remembered: 

Onward to 2019 as I continue to be optimistic and upbeat....Happy Holidays to all!!!

Friday, December 14, 2018


It has been quite a week as 2018 is drawing down to a close quickly.    I worked away helping with some re-branding and alignment of the Daily Outsider Properties as there was also activity that was picked up in the Google Corner launched earlier this year.    It was also a month that once again reminded me of the beauty of our Community--and the generous Community Spirit as exemplified by what I noted in my weekend note with the Visual Essay I produced on the Laguna Niguel Holiday Parade.   I just captured the video that the City of Laguna Niguel produced that is available here along with the Visual Essay below on the sites of Laguna Niguel I captured:  

It was also quite a week--and the great Trevor Noah captured it brilliantly.      He did go back to South Africa and his conversation with his Grand Mother was just beautiful:  

There is also Spotify--Hope all enjoy this as I begin the true "mad dash" to the finish and gear up for 2019 with what I was up to: 

This year, you listened to


different songs on Spotify. 
But which will be your #1? 

Find out everything there is to know about how you listened in 2018.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

@LaagunaNiguelCty 2018 Holiday Parade

It was a fabulous day in our Community--and marvel at how the Community embarks on such projects--folks started at 4:00 AM!!!

As I am finishing off a brief afternoon retrospective, bookending it before running off with this from Paul Hardcastle--onward to the holidays:

Monday, December 3, 2018

Out & About w/ #RandomThoughts (Updated w/Clips from #Remembering41)

It was quite a weekend as the 41st President of the United States passed away.   As America remembers him with a National Remembrance Service and a Day of Morning on Wednesday, I joined in this--especially as I remembered what he did with the American With Disabilities Act and some of the other key milestones he achieved.   Yes, he had flaws and he made mistakes--but what I picked up ((Which our team at the Daily Outsider will feature during a retrospective in the ordinary Faces property on Wednesday), captured it all in light of the challenging time we face with now.

I had the good fortune over the weekend to be witness to the Christmas  tree lighting ceremony at my hometown City Hall over the Week-End.  It was great to be witness to it as our community also celebrated the advent of Hanukkah as well late Sunday--which unfortunately I could not attend due to pressing commitments  .   What I picked up from PeaceNow was beautiful:

We Came to Drive Away the Darkness! A festival of light & hope, Happy Hanukkah!

It is the end about a sense of hope as the Holiday Season celebrating all the cherished traditions of the World .  But I could not help but wonder about these beautiful souls who would not celebrate the holidays with their loved ones, all who are away from their loved ones during these times especially: 

Our World is better because such courageous souls step up to make a difference--As I salute Time Magazine for insuring that we never forget.    

Onward to this Holiday Month & remaining excited about our World in spite of the profound challenges....

(Updates:  Please enjoy the following retrospectives on the life and times of George H.W.Bush:)

Saturday, December 1, 2018


November was quite a month in many respects.   As I had worked away on commitments to the Daily Outsider, finished off some Random Thoughts which was released yesterday, I decided to begin the new Month with some thoughts on the passing of our 41st President, George H.W. Bush.

As I reflected upon his life, I remember the first time he reflected upon the Thousands Points of Light that epitomized a life of service that spanned over 70 years.    I noted when I was on Twitter last night how he in many respects influenced a life of service that I have tried to lead--and what a life it has been in many ways.   I have had the good fortune to share my adventures (and sometimes misadventures) here over the past 12 months and I am grateful to the Almighty to have granted me this privilege to do so.

I almost broke down in tears when I received this last night and released it to my Personal Social Media Feed as a very small token of thanks to our Home Town Mayor, Elaine Geneaway and my hometown:  

It is humbling that a simple ordinary face in the crowd gets such recognition.    I can only pray that the almighty grants me the privilege to do what I can to make a difference.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Out & About with #RandomThoughts As The Mad Dash to 2019 Begins....

As the Month Ends, I decided to pick up some Random Thoughts of all that I ran across during the Month working away on projects and challenges.  It was quite a month. 
I look forward to December in spite of the on-going challenges: 

I was also thankful as I saw reports earlier in the week was how the Camp Fire was contained.  These Statistics reported out by Scott Lay of the Nooner was absolutely shocking: 

FIRES: Two more fatalities were discovered in the Camp Fire and the number of people reported missing stands at 563.  
  • Camp Fire: 83 fatalities, 13,631 single-family residences, 275 multi-family residences, 514 commercial destroyed; 153,336 acres; 90% contained
  • Woolsey Fire: 3 fatalities, 1,500 structures destroyed; 96,949 acres; 100% contained (no longer being updated as CALFIRE has left incident command)
#1 Camp Fire (Butte): 83 deaths (November 2018) - active fire
#4 Tubbs Fire (Napa/Sonoma): 22 deaths (October 2017)
#11 Redwood Valley Fire (Mendocino): 9 deaths (October 2017)
#14 Carr Fire (Shasta/Tehama/Trinity): 7 deaths (July 2018)
#15 Atlas Fire (Napa/Solano): 6 deaths (October 2017)
(source: CALFIRE plus Camp Fire incident update; as of 11/21/18) 
#1 Camp Fire (Butte): 14,420 structures destroyed (November 2018) - active fire
#2 Tubbs Fire (Napa/Sonoma): 5,636 structures destroyed (October 2017)
#7 Carr Fire (Shasta/Tehama/Trinity): 1,604 structures destroyed (July 2018)
#8 Woosley Fire (Los Angeles/Ventura): 1,500 structures destroyed (November 2018) - active fire
#9 Nuns Fire (Sonoma): 1,353 structures destroyed (October 2017)
#10 Thomas Fire (Ventura/Santa Barbara): 1,063 structures destroyed (December 2017)
#14 Atlas Fire (Napa/Solano): 783 structures destroyed (October 2017)
#20 Redwood Valley Fire (Mendocino): 546 structures destroyed (October 2017)
(source: CALFIRE plus Camp Fire incident update; as of 11/21/18)
THIRTEEN MONTH TALLY (only from top 20):
  • Fatalities: 120
  • Structures: 26,905 structures destroyed (excluding "minor structures" i.e. guest houses/"granny" units, barns)
Law firm Morrison & Foerster has prepared a handbook for individuals, families, and organizations affected by the fires. I've looked at it and it is comprehensive and definitely not a sales pitch. The firm provides it pro bono and it is current as of 11/20.

It was also quite a week as another Earthquake hit Western Iran.     I caught this tribute to Iran which is a beautiful song in Farsi that pays tribute to that land:

Onward to December with all its' possibilities...

Thursday, November 22, 2018

On This Thanksgiving 2018.....

I could not believe that it has been almost a month since I wrote in my "Corner" here.   It has been a profound month in many respects as I took stock of all that I'm thankful for--and I could not think of a better way than to headline this brief retrospective with Peanuts as I pay homage to all the Mothers of Gaza, the strikers in Iran, all who are imprisoned for Freedom around the World--including Nasrin Soutodoeh in Iran and the reporters in Myanmar--and salute the longest political prisoner in Iran, Mr. Abbas Amir Entezam, as I read excerpts of his autobiography recently.     

There is a lot to be thankful for as I reflected upon our World with images from my Daily "Virtual Rounds" Around the Grid-Onward to a new Month & a New Year

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Friday, October 26, 2018

#Random Thoughts: On Achieving a Milestone of 600 Posts!! :)

It is my 600th Post here in my Virtual Corner--and it has been an interesting journey.

I was on the road out and about in the Community over the last number of weeks.    I decided to begin headlining my 600th Post with an image of this young man who created a skateboard to encourage people to dream--he is a local orange county young man who was at the Orange County 5th District Disaster Preparedness Expo--and won on Shark Tank!!    It is just simply one example of what is truly possible if one puts their mind and embraces upon the Art of the Possible!!!  What was also so crucial to note was how we as a community, as a country and as a World must truly embrace the need to be prepared no matter what as it seems the focus on our climate is not as critical as it should be:

I have been reflecting upon why I began this journey over the last number of weeks.   As I have written before, what led me to take to the web was to do what I could to make a difference by thinking about our World in a different way--whether it was the war in Iraq, the predicament in Zimbabwe or the plight of the less fortunate here in America-- It has been quite a journey with stumbles every step of the way.   At times, I have wondered whether this journey is actually worth it as the thoughts I have written gets lost in the maze of the billions of websites out there and of course the labor of love I have had a hand in developing and nuturing--the Daily Outsider and how it has evolved.    But the urge to serve  and make a difference is something that continues to keep me motivated.

This month has been especially momentous in more ways than one.     I reflected upon it recently note I drafted for Purdue Global for the Annual Virtual Serve-A-Thon:

I have had the pleasure to serve on the Pantry Staff at my Local Catholic Parish for the past 4 years. Over the past 4 years, I have seen a growth in the number of clients we serve which continues to be tragic and irritating to be witness to. What gives me continued hope, though is what I see at the grassroots level to solve it. As an agency of the Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County, we are at the forefront of this work in collaboration with Second Harvest.
Hunger is a profound problem in our world and in our Country. I have seen estimates of an estimated 42 million people in the United States who are considered food insecure. In Orange County, California the figure is around an estimated 301,000 People--116,000 of them are children. I joined Second Harvest’s 35th Anniversary Open House and what they noted in how many meals they helped serve through the network of 190 agencies blew me away: 25 million. This can’t be possible unless there is a commitment by the community, by leading community partners (including Starbucks, Kroeger and Walmart) to make it all possible. Please enjoy this Visual Essay of my visit (and if you pay close attention, you may see someone familiar):

My Service adventure continued later on with My 24 hours of the Virtual Serve-A-Thon as it began with helping to "staff" the annual fundraiser for Our Fathers' Table (where I serve as an OFT Angel) whereby we helped raise funds for the mission of ending homelessness. It continued as I attended the Laguna Niguel Military Support Committee Meeting (where I serve as a member) as we gear up for a tribute to the military and thereafter culminating in joining the Aliso Niguel HIgh School PTSA meeting where I serve as a co-chair of the Teacher Mini-Grants Committee whereby we approved a little over $ 7,000 in grants for our teachers. I produced a Visual Essay of it all here:

I continue to firmly believe that everyone can do what they can to make a difference through donations, spearheading food drives or volunteering at their local food drives. May we all be witness to the day that no one goes hungry in our midst.

Earlier today while on the road, I had a chance to confer with an Army Veteran.  She was a retired nurse who was suffering from PTSD.    She recounted how she lost so many of the kids she could not save.    It stuck a  cord in that whatever challenges one may have-and I have had a few continuing to be supportive of the evolution of  The Daily Outsider and dealing with challenges just like any ordinary face,  I continue to remain hopeful about our World.    This is spite of what I have read daily on the Migrant Caravan, what we were witness to in America in the aftermath of an assassination attempt of Major Democratic Party Figures in the United States--including two Ex-Presidents.  Although the facts are not known yet as I write this, I am prepared to call it an attempted assassination--had it not been for the security procedures in place.    If in fact--as the right claims, it was a hoax, whomever did it must still be held to account.    As Former President George W. Bush so eloquently noted, terrorists have to be right once--and Words matters.   I hope that President Trump understands that.    Unfortunately, indications are that he does not.    

As I finish these thoughts off in between commitments, I remain thankful beyond words as I am safe, my child is safe and my family is safe.    I am sure, as Vala Afshar noted so beautifully,  this Father who was giving his children a bath in War Torn Syria, would give anything to have whatever challenges I or many in my shoes may have:  

It will be a challenging November as I will have the privilege once again to serve as a Deputy Registrar serving in the upcoming Mid-Term Elections to be witness to Democracy in Action.   This is as the Team at the Daily Outsider will be dark in the properties--although the Daily Outsider Corner at Google will have periodic updates along with the curated Daily Twitter Feed.    I look forward to reflecting upon the Elections and what to expect as I wish all in the United States a Happy Halloween and a fabulous November Ahead!!


Friday, October 5, 2018

Out & About with Brief Weekly Thoughts...

It has been quite a first week!!!

It has been quite a week for the work at the Daily Outsider.   The team decided to be in a 'retrospective" mode as two notations were released this week on  the Main Daily Outsider Property.   It was also great to be witness to my hometown, Laguna Niguel, celebrated National walk to school day!!!

For me, though,  I took great comfort as I had the privilege to be at JFTB-Los Alamitos being supportive of my Unit's major project in helping to launch the Military History Museum here in Southern California which I am proud and privileged to share images of:  


As the first week comes to a close, a solid reminder from one of the key people I follow, Vala Afshar, was worth noting:

Remaining Hopeful....

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Out & About w/Brief Closing Thoughts

It has been quite a month and quite a quarter.  It has been challenging to be witness to the unfortunate political discourse, the continued profound challenges in Iran (a particular focus of mine).  But, I continue to remain hopeful as I have been witness to the continued generosity of spirit.   I produced a Visual Essay reflecting upon the Quarter from a snapshot of my Digital Collection I've got in support of the Daily Outsider as  I decided to "book end" my quarter--as I also did some work in support of the team at the Daily Outsider:

 Of all that I was witness to--nothing was more a sense of pride than when i saw my Son's name in the Eagle Scout Wall of Honor at the Orange County Council: 

Onward to the New Quarter with all its' possibilities...  

Monday, September 17, 2018

Out & About As a New Week Dawns......

I was on the road most of the week-end on Community Projects--as I also was supportive of the work at The Daily Outsider.      I produced two Visual Essays on my engagements throughout the weekend as a new week dawns.    It is witness to such that continues to keep me hopeful in spite of some of the challenges this week: 

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Out & About w/ Brief #RandomThoughts on this #9/11

I'm a little upset at myself as I try and do a weekly Out & About in here in My Corner.  It has admittedly been an interesting and challenging few weeks--but as Today is 9/11, it was important to "drop in" with some brief thoughts

Our team at the Daily Outsider released guidance courtesy of the team at 9/11.ORG about how all can make a difference.  As with other days of service and giving, I hope that that all embrace this sense of purpose.    Today, also, was not a day to be "overtly" political.   As for me--like all around the World of my generation-- I remember that day as if it was yesterday--it is still not believable.     I could not help but take comfort in this thought : 

Despite all the odds, one has to believe that there is a brighter tomorrow--and it will be better.   It is at time very challenging for me to live up to it in light of the headlines I see coming out of Iran--but more on that later on.     This is as I also remember another milestone which seems to be so distant now--The Oslo Peace Accords and the promise it represented to all.    Rabin, Peres, Arafat, Warren Christopher are all gone--and it seems as if peace seems to be as elusive as ever especially as the Trump Administration decided to close down the Palestine Mission in Washington in the aftermath of cutting funds to UNRWA:    

I hope I'm closing this on a rather high note as I continue to believe:  

Monday, August 27, 2018

Out & About ....

Nazanin Radcliff as she had to say goodbye to her Child after Furlough
Nasrin Soutodeh Goes back on Hunger Strike: An Update from her Husband Reza Khandan 

On the Moral Bankruptcy of the Islamic Republic:  The proliferation of Houses of Prostitution in Mashad catering to Iraqi Tourists 

August 2018 is drifting away into the history books as I am writing this.   The team at the Daily Outsider decided to go dark through Labor Day here in the United States as it finished a Virtual Property-Wide tribute to Senator McCain and as the team gears up for September which will be available later on Monday.    It has also been an extremely challenging week as I captured what I have noted above from my on-going daily forays on Social Media assessing the latest out of Iran.

I begin with Nazanin Zargari-Radcliff.   She was on a trip to Iran to see her parents and introduce her parents to their grand daughter.   She has been on the staff of the Thomson Reuter Foundation and was picked up as she was leaving On Iran on trumped up charges and has been detained ever since.   I have had the pleasure to be supportive adding my voice to agitate for her release.  She's one of a multitude of dual nationals that the Judiciary in Iran has detained--She was all of a sudden given a three day furlough and then again hauled off to Prison.    This is as Nasrin Soutodeh has begun an hunger strike to protest her detention and the continued harrasement by the regime against her family and supporters.    It is just absolutely irritating to be witness to it.

As the regime continues its' repressive moves to stiffle dissent, protests are continuing.    The regime is trying desparate moves including window dressing moves like impeaching the Economy Minister--who has virtually  no power as key levelrs of State Economic Power are controlled by the Supreme Leader.    What I find absolutely abhornet and sickening is how over the 30 years that the Supreme Leader has been in charge, Iran earned over 1 Trillion dollars in Income from Oil Exports.    Yet Iran is absolutely broke.    According to the regime's own statistics, out of the 24 Million Households, some 6.5 Million live in absolute povertry.   12 Million Households only have one breadwinner.   Over 21 Million People are unmarried as they cannot marry due to the dire economic circumstances.   The rate of divorce continues to skyrocket as the regime continues its' misadventures in Syria, Yemen, Lebanon and Iraq continue.    What I found so sickening is how Larijani, the Majlis Speaker (and one of the richest men in Post-Revolutioanry Iran), said how it was an absolute obligation to help the children of Palestine--as Street Children in Iran work in order to support their families with no end in sight.    It was even more sickening how the 94-year head of the Guardian Council, Ahmad Janati, noted how he cried at the scene of Somali Children--yet he implores people to eat one meal a day and to be patient as to everything is going to be all right.  It was even more horrific as Rouhani, the President, came out and asked people to be patient and to set aside "differences"--as he has presided over a collapse of the currency, inflation continues to skyrocket, laborers are not being paid and the prison rolls continue to expand ever more.   I will not even bother to talk about the comical show put on showcasing the fact that they had produced a new aircraft--which turned out to be a repainted F-5.  This is as the regime gave me Iranian Sovereignty over the Caspian Sea--even though both Rouhani and his Foreign Minister, the Smooth-Talking Used Car Salesman Javad Zarif, denied it as I underscore the simple fact that #WeWillReClaimIran.       

Of all the agony I have been reviewing and assessing, the one that truly sickened me was the third headline as reported by a number of Media--the proliferation of houses of prostitution in Iran's holliest City, Mashad.    From the reporting I reviewed, Iraqi men flock to those cities and frequent such houses.   Mashad is one of the richest cities there is--and  yet such depravity must occur.    The two lowlifes in charges there have no sense of accountability for this as no one does in the regime--BBC Persian's Rana Rahimpour noted this as she underscored her frustration about Mrs. Radcliffs' predicament--what we all share.    This is just one in the latest in underscoring the total lack of moral legitimacy of the Regime that has continued to torment 80 Million Iranians.    It led me to think about and revisit David Brooks' writings to see whether these subhumans in charge in Iran understood even the mere idea of character--which they do not:

Despite all that goes on, there are still rays of hope and sunshine.   One example of it was this young man that created a school in Iran to cater to Street Children--and had to resort to an online fundraising campaign due to no funding from the regime--the regime has funds for useless religious institutions, foreign adventures and yet, nothing for schools.     As I write this, I could not pull up their website--which has led me to believe that somehow the regime has cut them off as the founders' video went viral throughout the Iranian Diaspora--I could not personally figure out how to support him as his fundraising page did not allow for any foreign contributions.

As I close out August, one thing I was quite proud of was the privilege of being supportive of a gathering of Korean War Veterans of the 40th Infantry Division at JFTB-Los Alamitos.    I produced a brief Visual Essay on it which I view as a high note to "book-end" my latest "Out & about":

I will not forget what one of the Veterans told me:   I'll do it all over again--Duty, Honor and courage in action.  If only the subhumans in charge in Iran truly understood these.

Onward to September with all its possibilities....