Monday, February 15, 2021

Out & About With #RandomThoughts For the Week...

 Today is President's Day in the United States--and yesterday was Valentine's Day.    As I have been working away on projects, I decided to be really brief here as I hereby present the following clip courtesy the fab folks at the Farhang Foundation (which I released as a story on Valentine's Day 2021) featuring a very talented Iranian Artist, Tina Amy:

I have also been serving as an Extra Help Staffer for the County of Orange's Operations Independence Initiative vaccinating all of Orange County.   I am grateful the County approved vaccinations for all of us who are serving as I released this over Valentine's Day W-End on my FB & Instagram Feeds: 

As I close out these brief #RandomThoughts, I close it out with this uplifting note I got from UC Davis for the small role I've had the privilege to be a small part of:  

Hi Michael, to show our appreciation for your dedication to the UC Davis Annual Fund, we've made this video just for you!
 Envelope from UC Davis Annual Fund that says: Michael 

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Out & About with some #RandomThoughts For the Week-End

It has been quite a week as earlier this week I finished some notations on the 42nd Anniversary of the Revolution that brought upon Darkness in Iran--but I have also been witness to how things are great as I have been witness to quite a week in Orange County.   The image I captured above while in town yesterday epitomizes this sense of hope as  I  leave thoughts on the impending potential recall of California Governor Gavin Newsom, the Donald Trump Impeachment and other challenges for another time. 

I have joined Operations Independence here in Orange County as Orange County has embarked upon a county-wide campaign to vaccinate all--with a focus on Tier 1A ((Healthcare Workers & All other 65)).  I was able to secure my first dose due to being on Staff along with a number of close family members.

As I am away again on this quest for service, I caught this during my engagements which embraced what continues to drive me in regards to all projects including my Doctorate quest, work in Virtual Education, navigating the challenges of the Daily Outsider and other on-going projects: 

While out & About this week, I decided to capture the following  recently as I stay engaged with UC Davis --where my son is a Student.   This is a sampling of the commitment there is to our future that continues to sustain my sense of hope: 

Chancellor Gary S. May at his desk

Checking in with Chancellor May:

An Aggie Model

Dear UC Davis Parents:

As we continue operations at our Davis campus employee vaccine clinic — 1,379 vaccinations administered by the end of today — we’d like to focus on another key element of our COVID-19 response: our screening for the coronavirus on campus and in the community.

The saliva-testing protocol for asymptomatic individuals continues to draw national attention, by way of MSNBC and The New York Times, and, this week, a three-minute segment by NBC News. It shows the out-front part of Healthy Davis Together, the city-campus partnership that brought testing into the community. I am so proud of everyone involved in this effort — from the diverse array of UC Davis departments that developed the protocol, to the campus and Healthy Davis Together teams that run the testing kiosks, to the lab personnel analyzing the samples.

Today, we have a video of our own, showing what goes on after you spit in the tube, how your sample is processed at our Genome Center, and how they do it so quickly. The video is from the Finance, Operations and Administration communications team. Well done!

We are proud to share this testing model with the country and world — a system to identify infected people before they are showing symptoms, so they can isolate before infecting others, enabling us to curb the spread of COVD-19.

Employee vaccine clinic

At midweek, we expanded Phase 1B, Tier 1, eligibility at our Davis campus employee vaccine clinic to include those at any age who are at greater risk of contracting the coronavirus because of their job duties​, based on public health tiered guidelines. And we are still vaccinating employees who are age 65 and up, no matter their job duties. Appointments are required (and are being made available on a rolling basis as additional vaccine doses are obtained) in the Health-e-Messaging portal.

As we have stated, our supply is limited. We have given out all the doses we have received. We have hope for an increased supply. Keep checking our COVID-19 Vaccine Program webpage to see when eligibility will be expanded again.

If you have other options — say, your health care provider — to get the vaccine sooner than waiting your turn at the Davis campus vaccine clinic, then, by all means, go with the earliest option. UC Davis Health, for example, is vaccinating its patients who are 65 and older.

3-day weekend and spring break

As we begin a three-day weekend, we are again urging everyone to avoid gatherings except with people in your own households. And we also have spring break travel and testing guidance for students and employees.

Travel guidance — All members of the campus community should continue to avoid all non-essential travel. Employees and students who are planning on traveling out of state should plan to self-quarantine for 10 days upon returning, per state guidelines.
Testing guidance for students living in the Davis area — While travel is strongly discouraged, if you choose to travel during spring break, you are expected to get tested every three to four days during the two-week period PRIOR to your departure date and AFTER you return. It is critically important for symptom-free students, especially those who have traveled, to get tested regularly. This is how we can identify and isolate people who have the virus. Testing at the ARC will remain available throughout spring break for those who are not traveling.
Continue to wear your face coverings and adhere to all of the public health guidance helping to protect us during the pandemic.


Students living in residence halls should follow the same travel and testing guidance as above. In addition, any student who leaves their residence hall to travel during spring break will be required to self-quarantine for 10 days upon their return to campus.

With evolving state and county guidance, the campus may also need to modify the guidance for the campus community prior to spring break; we will communicate any updates. You may also visit the COVID-19 Testing page to access the most up-to-date information.

Checking in elsewhere

Tell us how we’re doing — Next week, employees will receive an email invitation to take the fourth annual UC Davis Academic and Staff Satisfaction Survey, to provide feedback on campus services that you used in 2020 as part of your job. This year, in lieu of gifts to respondents, the university will make a $1 contribution to one of three emergency funds that support students, staff or pets as a token of our appreciation. Your input truly makes a difference.
Happy Lunar New Year — It’s the Year of the Ox, as of today, a time for (remote) celebration. For me, it’s also a time to reflect on and condemn the increased racism and xenophobia, and violence and hate crimes against the Asian Pacific Islander community over the last year. We turn, as always to our Principles of Community: “We affirm the dignity inherent in all of us, and we strive to maintain a climate of equity and justice demonstrated by respect for one another.”


11 months in

We are teaching and learning in new ways. We are working in new ways. We are wearing face coverings, staying 6 feet apart and washing our hands frequently.

We are doing research, including clinical trials, and caring for the sick. We are sharing our expertise in virtual symposia and other online programming.

We are testing. We are vaccinating. We are screening for mutations and variants like those we discussed on yesterday’s UC Davis LIVE.

We are standing up to the challenge, doing all we can to help fight the spread of COVID-19 in our university and community.

And we will continue fighting. Yes, infection rates are declining — but we are not done. We see light at the end of the tunnel, but we must be steadfast in our efforts to get there.

Thursday Thoughts Video, Click to Watch



Gary S. May


Campus Ready, It takes all of us.

As we prepare to return to in-person instruction in the fall, we announced this week we had a record number of applications for admission: 105,850 for freshman and transfer admission, up 11.7 percent over last year’s 94,763, contributing to a record number of applications for the UC system as a whole.

The diversity among our UC Davis applicants is impressive. Here’s what Ebony Lewis, executive director of Undergraduate Admissions, had to say: “Our future Aggies come from all walks of life and reflect a broad diversity of thought, experiences, communities and backgrounds that embody a spirit of inclusive excellence.”

Among California residents seeking freshman admission, 36.7 percent are from historically underrepresented groups (African American, American Indian, Chicano/Latino and Pacific Islander), and among domestic students seeking transfer admission, 34.5 percent are from historically underrepresented groups.

Among California freshman and California Community College transfer applicants, 41 percent are from low-income families, and 42 percent would be in the first generation of their family to graduate from a four-year college.

I had the pleasure to drop a note to the UC Davis Chancellor and he was gracious enough to send a very kind response back--I told him that it is the least I could do in my response as I told him that I looked forward to the pleasure to shake his hand in appreciation someday.

Remaining every so hopeful.....

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Out & About with #RandomThoughts On Iran


Bridge Over Karoun River, Southern Iran 

"ChelSouton" Bridge, Isfahan 

Hafez Mausoleum, Shiraz 

Darkness descended upon Iran 42 years ago this week.     The iconic Bridge in Southern Iran, the Iconic Bridge in Isfahan and The Mausoleum of Hafez in Shiraz are what Iran is and what it can be.  It was simply heartbreaking when a second cousin of mine lamented the darkness on the tragedy that continu8es. .

I finished off some #RandomThoughts earlier on the eve of that day on my Instagram Account:

Monday, February 8, 2021

Out & About with a brief #RandomThought

It has been quite a year--and this is only February as I wanted to "break the ice" here in my Virtual Corner--This truly struck a cord as the weekly commitment to the Daily Outsider continues.

I have the privilege to serve in "Operations Independence" which is the Orange County COVID 19 vaccination project.     As I wanted to share this as a brief #RandomThought, I look forward to a mid-month set of #RandomThoughts later on this week.

Please #StaySafe, #BeWell, #WearAMask!!

Monday, February 1, 2021

#RandomThoughts On this 42nd Anniversary of the Iranian Revolution

As I begin a challenging month, I wanted to share some brief #randomthoughts which I released to my Personal Facebook Wall--as Maya Neyestani, the Iranian Cartoonist who's work is regularly featured on IranWire, Deutesche Welle depicted the true realities: 

Earlier, I shared a note from Mr Reza Khandan, the husband of Nasrin Sotoudeh نسرین ستوده (who himself is under a suspended sentence & is out on bail) , on a painful note on the plight of prisoners in Iran right now and especially the women's prison--It is just hard to read--and recently I bought a license of the movie on her life that's now available on Amazon and watched it again-as I am hearing reports that the fascists now want to steal the Imperial Crown Collection now--on top fo all that they've done to plunder Iran over the past 42 years. The world must know the true realities and I am in awe at his courage and the courage of all who've had to be at the forefront of struggle for Iran's Freedom ever since 42 years ago when Khomeini returned to Iran that began the darkest period that has burnt three generations beginning with my parents' generation. The suicide of a 14 year old child who was a street child selling bottled water instead of being in School really shook me up. While I tried to process this latest in a long list of tragedies that has befallen that beautiful land that endowed us with what the West knows as Rumi, Hafez, Saadi and yes first taught the World thru the teaching of the prophet Zartooshtt the three simple admonitions of Speak Kindly, Think Kindly and Act kindly (that I periodically share during my weekly walkabouts), I revisited this powerful song from a year ago that was song by Rojan with lyrics by one of the greatest contemporary living Iranian Poets & lyricist, the great Hadi Khorsandi...It is titled the "cries of mothers" as the lyrics reminds the fascists' holding Iran hostage - epitomized by the sarcastic laughs of Rouhani and Zarif, what they've done to Iran --and gives voice to the mothers who lost their loved ones..and says we mothers will not forget and are made of Iron...that the Mothers whose legacy go back 5,000 years--As I hope I did justice to a brief synopsis of the lyrics, the scenes it captured (and so proud of the ones producing it utilizing I believe Prisma.AI as one of the opening scenes shows the Mother of Satar Beheshthi who was murdered during the Green Movement and Narges Mohammadi--whose Book White Torture I'm reading and can only read one page at a time as it is so hard to read--and who's now been banned from leaving Iran to go see her children)--The fascists' are gearing up in Tehran to deem Khomeini's home coming as a celebration--as everyone else in the know deems it as the era of torture (Daheh Zajr) as Corona rages on, hunger and suffering increase...all those of us in the know can only do is to make sure we do our small part to give voice to those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice and continue to ask that the almighty grant all the strength and the wisdom to overcome..and as I conclude, a note of apology for any run-on I implore all to stay safe...and to keep the faith......


Here is the original Facebook Posting:

Earlier, I shared a note from Mr Reza Khandan, the husband of Nasrin Sotoudeh نسرین ستوده (who himself is under a...

Posted by Mike Pouraryan on Monday, February 1, 2021