Sunday, February 25, 2018

Out & About: Thoughts On the Eve of March.....

It has been a very challenging Month!!

As the team at @Daily Outsider has gone dark to gear up for March 2018, I sat back to reflect upon quite a month that has been.  It was a month that I joined a paddle Out for a member of the Aliso Niguel Wolverine  Family that committed suicide.   It is a pleasure to share the images I captured as I continue to pray for his soul and the solace of his family--The Orange County Register did an excellent job putting together a story on the paddle-out.   

On a go-forward basis, I have decided to transfer the "Random Thoughts" Tagline to the team at The Daily Outsider as I will deem my weekly column here as "Out & About".  It is about reflections of engagements in the Community, our World and my continued work in support of the Daily Outsider that it has been a privilege to do-as I continue to remain hopeful that it will be in fact noticed.

It was also a It was also quite a week that we were witness to the tragedy of Parkland and the rise of the Young which I tried to support with my on-going Tweets as exemplified with this to be supportive--they are the future : 

I also captured scenes of the closing Winter Olympics Scene as I was also keen to do what I can to be supportive of the Children of Ghoutta.    This is as President Trump continued his effort to confuse as he did which was quite mind-boggling: 

Today Trump completely contradicted Tillerson's January speech setting out longterm war aims in Syria.Trump said: "We are there for one reason. We are there to get rid of Isis and go home. We are not there for any other reason, and we've largely accomplished our goal.""— Julian Borger (@julianborger) February 23, 2018

As I was working away, this I picked up from Julia McFarlane's Twitter Feed that broke my heart:

A ceasefire was agreed--however, Iran and Turkey has already said does not apply to them.  As such, the tragedy will continue with no end in sight.        

This was also a week as  I was also very grateful to have been able to share these in response to questions during a deliberations sponsored by the Walden University International Community where I serve as an Ambassador where I reflected upon what drove me to help launch to the Daily Outsider:   
  • We learn from our mistakes, yet we’re always so afraid to make one. Where is this true for you?
    • It is ok to be afraid and to make a mistake.  Aristotle noted that those who don't make mistakes usually don't do anything.    Sometimes, though, when it has to do with one's family welfare is when it is probably the toughest--and as we have to mentor our children.     Yet, what example do we have for the young if we continue to just simply stay put, accept things and never embrace change?   As such, being fearful is something I can't afford.  
  • What risk would you take if you knew you could not fail?
    • There is an old saying that we're just limited by the power of our imagination about pursuing our dreams.   I embraced this view when I decided to go after and help launch ( and I have had much second thoughts at times..) but continue to power through--this is as, for instance, I continue to be open to pursue ideas on an on-going basis.   Beyond this, one simple admonition:  To Live!!! :) :) :)   

Friday, February 23, 2018

"Out & About in @LagunaNiguelCity": Witness to Community Spirit Yet Again....

It was quite a morning after a fabulous night last night here in our Community.   I had the privilege to be witness to the talents of our Youth as Middle and High School Students performed brilliantly at the Combined Concert at Aliso Niguel High School.   I have been reflecting upon as I was witness to all in Laguna Niguel who live up to this admonition on a constant and consistent basis this morning as I finished off some notes for key leaders throughout the community on the community breakfast I attended at Laguna Niguel City Hall. 

This was a  breakfast hosted by Mayor Geneway of the City of Laguna Niguel that included representatives from our strong & vibrant Faith Community (Mission Lutheran; St Timothys; Knights of Columbus; LDS) , Schools (PTSA; CUSD); Lion Club; Rotary Club; Community Organizations (including the Botanical Preserve) -and that's a partial listing).     

I briefed the attendees on  scouting and put an initial plug for Scouting for Food 2018--as I shared how such efforts have a profound impact noting how such outreach has a direct impact at the St. Timothy's Pantry--where we serve some 4,000 families a year .  I also underscored how they can draw upon the scouts for helping to staff community projects & engagements (especially Eagle Projects...) as especially Schools are in need to help do whatever that can be done to help elevate on-going facilities.     What was especially welcome was the update on the revamp for the The City of Laguna Niguel is about to launch a corner for Community organizations..and I will ask that the District have a place on it. 

In my notations earlier to key community leaders, I noted  the following two key events that Scouts can leverage for Community service hours (as well as others) :

  • Jr. Civics Workshop (Three sessions coming up--check out the City's Website--March 13, April 10 & May 8--and it counts for Service Hours both for School & on-going Scouting Service Commitments) )
  • Earth Day ((April 21))  

In addition, The Laguna Niguel Historical Society is working to spearheading a number of Community initiatives     What I found especially welcome was that The Mayor & the City manager are also available to speak to share updates (she has a 20 Minute powerpoint presentation).   It was also great to see how the City has so many fabulous programs for community engagement:   
  • March 9-11:  ; Senior Games (  
  • March 24:  Bunny Bonaza (9-12 at Chapparosa)
  • April 5 :  Meet the mayor at the Crown Valley Park Sprayground (starting at 4:30 PM
  • April 14:  High School Job & College fair at City Hall (Sponsored by the City's Youth Committee..and the Mayor reflected upon the most recent joint meeting the Council had with the Committee and how the Youth spoke out on the tragedy in Parkland and follow ups the City will be making with our new Chief of Police Services & the Fire Chief...) ((Event starts at 10 AM))
  • May 18:  Music & Arts Festival (crown valley park amphitheater)

It was also quite a moment of pride for me personally as our Board of trustees President, Martha McNicholas noted that our District is going solar and Trustee Jones noted that our District has been honored as being one of the leaders in the AP (advanced placement program).   The vibrancy of the PTSA volunteers was also ever so evident--which was gratifying to be witness to.    

It is a joy to be witness to it all--it is being witness that makes me hopeful ever more as March is before us....

Onward to March with all its' possibilities!!

Monday, February 19, 2018

Random Thoughts While On the Prowl.....

It was a challenging weekend as I attended the funeral mass of a member of  our extended Aliso Niguel High School Family who committed suicide, Kyle Escobar and as I was reflecting upon the very challenging week which saw another tragedy befalling Iran with the crash of an Airline operated by Asseman Airlines on a domestic Flight.

As I working away on the Social Media  "Grid", I picked up this from the daughter of Mir Hossein Mousavi on the plight of the people of the Middle East: 

I translated the poem and released it to Twitter over the week-end that I noted below: 

Some True profound food 4 Thought.... 

Thursday, February 15, 2018

On the Prowl....

I normally take to my virtual corner here  weekly as I work on commitments in support of the Daily Outsider--but it was a very tough day yesterday Valentine's Day.   I was on the road visiting my Mother and my Son's Mother and did not know the extend of the tragedy until I was back at my Office.   As I have been reading away, catching up on the views , I was just absolutely blown away and there are chills in my spine as I write this --As a Dad, I am proud of him.   I tweeted this out earlier tagging the leaders to ask this:  Do you hear him?      This is as I saw this on The Last Word on one of the other Student Heroes as Parkland Florida was declared the safest City in Florida.   Ted Cruz, the Senator from Texas, talked about how "Democrats" are politicizing this.   He does not understand that this is not a Democrat, Republican, Right, Left, etc. Issue.   It is a Civil and Human Rights Issue.   As a parent, I dread this day hourly as I also was listening to one of the parents that was interviewed by Lawrence O'Donnell and could not even imagine.    He's right: I am tired of praying too.   Do you hear us? 

Inaction is not enough anymore--I did see what David French of National Review talked about--but I don't understand why an AR-15 is legal and why even we can't exclude those on Terror Watch List can be excluded now?   ..and it was on Valentine's Day.

This can't be the new reality--we can do better.    Kids should not have to be worried about shootings--and the idea that kids have to even endure it is just wrong.

Do We hear them all? 

Monday, February 12, 2018

Random Thoughts: On Quite a Week Already (And it is only Monday)

The best laid plans are sometimes "laid to waste" as a result of on-going events.  I had plans to be more "upbeat" this week, but Ghouta and the new Budget announced by the Trump Adminstration threw me a curve.

I ended up helping at the Daily Outsider as  I saw some challenging reporting on #Ghouta in Syria and the erosion of Civil Liberties in the United States.   I also saw an article in the Guardian of London on life in Finland and could not help but be jealous--as the article reflects, the US Ambassador Under Barack Obama liked Finland so much he stayed there.   This is as the Trump Administration just introduced a budget that will eliminate the Corporation for National Service--I just joined the call to action and have noted it here so that all can join:

We need your help to protect national service programs.
The White House just submitted their budget proposal for fiscal year 2019 and once again, they are recommending that the government shut down the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) and eliminate AmeriCorps and Senior Corps. We can’t sit quiet while they recycle this short-sighted budget proposal!
Just like his FY18 budget, President Trump’s FY19 proposal only includes limited funding dedicated to the orderly shutdown of CNCS over the course of the next year. But eliminating CNCS funding would be a huge mistake. Instead of costing taxpayers money, national service programs actually save federal dollars - and studies show a nearly four-to-one return for society in terms of higher earnings, increased output, and other community-wide benefits. In fact, now is the time when we should be expanding investments in national service, not cutting them.
AmeriCorps and Senior Corps members are on the front lines of fighting the opioid epidemic, and are helping communities rebuild after Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. They connect returning veterans to jobs, support seniors living independently, preserve public lands, foster economic opportunity, prepare students for college, and more. Without funding for these programs, communities would suffer. You can read the full Voices for National Service statement on the President’s Budget here.
Here’s the silver lining: we have been here before. If we work together, we can protect - and even expand - investments in national service. Congress will soon begin the FY19 appropriations process and will have to make tough decisions about funding allocations - so they need to hear from all of us that AmeriCorps and Senior Corps should be a priority.
Last year, we successfully mobilized to protect funding for CNCS—and, with your help, we can do it again. Thank you for taking action with us today.
Yours in Service,
AnnMaura Connolly
Voices for National Service
P.S. Help spread the word by forwarding this email to friends and family and encouraging them to make their voices heard in support of national service. 

This led me to embrace this I ran across from the great Carl Sagan.  It seems to me that we on Earth Seem to forget how insignificant we are and how we should work to elevate--not discourage: 

 I do want to end this though on a bit of a high note with this image of Iranian Atheltes as they entered the Winter Olympics during opening ceremonies: 

Today is also officially President Lincoln's Birthday as we in the United States will honor all Presidents on President's Day Week-End later on this week.   I picked this compliation of thoughts from President Lincoln thanks to the great work yet again from Jonathan Lockwood Huie as I go "Dark" here in my "Corner" for the Week:

If you look for the bad in people
expecting to find it, you surely will.
- Abraham Lincoln

The probability that we may fail
in the struggle ought not to deter us
from the support of a cause we believe to be just.
- Abraham Lincoln

To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men.
- Abraham Lincoln

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Random Thoughts: On @SpaceX; The Future; #Iran & Other Thoughts.....

It has been quite a week as I wanted to take some time to reflect.   I  caught the launch of Falcon Heavy by SpaceX that the team at the Daily Outsider released the launch.  What blew me away was how the Tesla with Spaceman was released--and Elon was right when I caught his interview on how it was all Fake!!  For those of us Geeks, it was great though!!!  Elon Noted how "crazy things can happen"--easier said that done no doubt. 

Beyond the beautiful day we were witness to, there was the usual "stuff" out of Washington that our team also released a Notation on.    There is also Iran as I captured these while on my "Grid Walkabout":  

This first one depicted one of the leaders of the current Government in Iran, Ahmad Khatami--who has at least 10 jobs I am directly aware of.   At a Friday Sermon, he called for the execution of the leading opposition figures under Arrest:  Mehdi Karoubi, Mir Hossein Mousavi and Zahra Rahnavard.  These three were the leaders of the Green Movement violently crushed in 2019.   The left of it is Mir Hussein Mousavi who reminded all that those who steal from the poor to enrich themselves will be held to account.   This is as the image below captured the plight of the Islamic Republic right now including the notion of the Supreme Leader itself discussed by a leading Iranian Analyst from London (discussed in Farsi): 

As I finished off projects for the Daily Outsider and hope that all will be of interest, I picked this up on one of my Community Initiatives which I have the pleasure to contribute to. I wish all a fabulous rest of the week and a fabulous weekend!!! 

World Community Grid
Monthly Email Digest
Dear mpouraryan,

Congratulations, you've earned a Silver badge for your contribution to Mapping Cancer Markers
Feb 6, 2018 - You just earned a Silver badge for the contribution you've made to Mapping Cancer Markers. Thanks for your participation, and we look forward to your continued support!

Thanks for all your support,

The World Community Grid Team
You are about 2 days away from earning your Bronze badge for Outsmart Ebola Together!
Check your Status
Your Contribution
Registered: September 26, 2010
Run Time: 269 days
Points: 523,087
Results: 925
Last Result: February 06, 2018 
Go to Your Contribution

Learn about our Research
Smash Childhood Cancer Help Stop TB FightAIDS@Home - Phase 2
View More Projects

Monday, February 5, 2018

Random Thoughts: Reflections & Thoughts....

Well, a Superbowl is yet again history--The Philadelphia Eagles Won.    I did not watch it as I am not a Football Fan--I could have as it was being streamed live on Amazon Prime.  For me, the film Concussion with Will Smith totally sealed the deal.   Justin Timberlake did the half-time show--without Janet Jackson!! 

I had also been working away as I finished off some major Twitter Curation epitomized by this:

I also worked away as  I had the pleasure to be supportive, yet again, of the team at the Daily Outsider on a rather challenging World.     The Notations to be published should be interesting and engaging for all with the live feed of Al Jazeera & Sky News along with the daily updates on Twitter.

I decided to be a a "tad" different as I captured these thoughts on the eve of a challenging week ahead:

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

Friday, February 2, 2018

Random Thoughts: On Quite A Day.....

    On a brief Prowl for the W-end as I saw this "hit" my timeline....some admonition from Dr. King...wishin' all a great w-end..and a fab Wk ahead...
    this thought from Dr. King....I pray that we all have the courage to undertake actions because it is right...make it a great one friends:
    Cowardice asks the question - is it safe?
    Expediency asks the question - is it politic?
    Vanity asks the question - is it popular?
    But conscience asks the question - is it right?
    And there comes a time when one must take a position
    that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular;
    but one must take it BECAUSE it is right.
    - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.