Monday Oct 12, 2009

[Poll] Would you pay for on-demand conference session streams?

As is the case with a lot of us due to budget constraints, I enjoy my share of virtual conference attendance via live streams with integrated chat functionality. This is good. It’s cost-effective. It enables a lot of us to remotely attend and participate when we otherwise can’t fork out the dough to physically attend, and this travel-less approach is eco-friendly.

I’m incredibly grateful to conference organizers who enable this kind of remote attendance, but would love to see multi-channel streams/chats that enable even deeper conference participation. I’d even support a pay-per-session capability. How about you?

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Friday Apr 03, 2009

Things that warm my heart...

  1. A colleague receiving well-deserved recognition for his amazing contributions, brilliance and eagerness to share it. Congratulations, Joe Mocker, for your latest title of Principal Engineer! Not only is Joe able to solve the toughest technology problems, but he does it with such a friendly, humble style.
  2. A boss who is willing to persevere through the industrial strength red tape and ridiculous volumes of work by taking the time to ensure his staff are taken care of and rewarded. See #1. Thanks Will.
  3. Celebrities who have a soul and genuinely care about others beyond themselves. Well handled, @MrsKutcher!
  4. People who are willing take the time to share tips based on their own challenging experiences. Thank you Katy, for your "After the RIF notice, before you leave" blog post.
  5. Corporations who get that community tools are for building authentic relationships with members -- real human beings that share commonality -- in the community. Kudos to @cbs4denver for getting this! One of my favorite tweets of yours: "cbs4denver Hello all, we're just sitting down for our afternoon editorial meeting. Please join us." Every day, via Twitter, they invite their fellow neighbors into the news room to pitch ideas on what the collective "we" want to talk about. I love that.
  6. This blog, and folks who follow it. Micro-blogging on Twitter is all well and good, but there's nothing like carving out un-rushed time to write down complete thoughts.
  7. And lastly, via my home girl, Mary's blog (you'll want to have your lighters ready and someone you love next to you before you click play):

(For Burlington, MA Peeps) Shout out to Dan Ditucci, Selectman Nominee

If you are a Burlington, MA resident, you have an opportunity to vote for Dan Ditucci as Selectman tomorrow. Here's how.

In addition to Dan being an integral part of the Burlington community since before there were paved roads (seriously), he's a family man, a Burlington small business owner, passionate about the direction of his community, and the father-in-law of Liz DiTucci (one of Sun's strongest program managers).

All the best, Dan! :-)

UPDATE: Via @ditucci"He won!" Congratulations, Selectman Ditucci!!! :-D

Monday Mar 16, 2009

Effective Workout Buddy Plan

I'm not the athletic type. Not even close. Even tho' I am physically active, getting and staying in shape via routine workouts is a tall order.

Last week, I paired up with Thin Guy on a workout routine that seems to be working. Here's the gist of it:

  1. Both workout buddies need to complete and report a workout every 24 hours
  2. If one doesn't report a workout by that evening, the other has to complete their buddy's workout that evening (ick!)
  3. No early banking or making-ups of missed workouts
See how that works? For most of us, it's easy to not take time to take care of ourselves. It's easy to let ourselves down, but not so easy to let others down.

It's only day four for Team BWMB (@ditucci figured it out), but thus far we're winning 4-0. :-)

A couple tips:
  1. Twitter makes it easy to record your workouts. I do this by tweeting my status to @twitfit
  2. Pick a partner who knows your weaknesses that are likely to sabotage your cadence. Mine just effectively pulled me out of the vortex of distraction:

Friday Feb 06, 2009

Doodle 4 Google Art Competition

Via @SaraD, there's still time for US teachers & K-12 students to register for "Doodle 4 Google" -- an art competition for students to design a Google logo & possibly win a $15k scholarship and $25k technology grant for their school's computer lab.

Saturday Jan 24, 2009

What's on your "Stop Doing" list?

Via Jim Grisanzio's blog, I just read Matthew May's post titled "2009: Don't Just Do Something". As with most people, it resonates especially well with my current place in life (from a career, family and personal growth perspective).

The post examines an individual who's "hard-wired energy level was riding herd over his mental clarity, enabling a busy yet unfocused life."

He received the following suggestion from his professor: "[Construct] a lesson in the form of an assignment she called “20-10”: Imagine that you’ve just inherited $20 million free and clear, but you only have 10 years to live. What would you do differently—and specifically, what would you stop doing?"

An excellent lesson in self preservation by \*really\* focusing on what matters most and should be addressed sooner than later. The "Stop Doing" list is in essence the Yin to the "To Do" list's Yang. We should have both. Every company should have both.

Off to create my "Stop Doing" list...

Tuesday Jan 20, 2009

My Father The Cyborg Part II

For those following the journey of my father's road to battling his Parkinson's Disease (PD) via Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS)...

The first and most intense part of the surgery, to wire the brain, on January 5th was a success despite the extreme risk associated with his specific case. The state of his disease, coupled with his age and 20 year old artificial (but in fine working condition) heart valves introduced complexity -- complexity that his anesthesiologist felt extremely uncomfortable with since part one of the multi-hour surgery requires the patient to be awake and locked in a seated, upright position. This positions limits the anesthesiologist's access to airways and ability to perform chest compressions, if the patient needs rescuing. Despite the risk, my father chose to move forward with the DBS.

The second part, performed yesterday, was also a success. This step was to embed the battery in his right shoulder and connect the wiring. Since things went so smoothly, he was able to go home a few short hours after the procedure.

The next part, set for February 3rd, is to enable the battery -- a non-invasive procedure that requires no surgery. The reason for the break in between this step and the above procedures is to allow the brain tissue that was affected during the surgery some time to heal.

Once the neurostimulator is turned on, our hope is that the Parkinson's tremors and muscle stiffness will go away so my father, in conjunction with his neurologist, can begin dialing down his plethora of medications.

It's not often enough that we hear of such amazing medical triumphs. I'm hopeful and inspired by every facet of my father's journey -- your kind thoughts & prayers, the DBS technology and those who've poured their energy into it's creation, the amazing team of exceptional medical experts who have committed so much time and willingness to take risks so my father can experience a vastly improved quality of life, my extended family who doesn't bat an eye to drop everything and focus on what really matters in this life, and my father who looked the risks squarely in the eyes and bravely chose to move forward with such conviction. My family and I are endlessly thankful for all of it.

I'll post another update once next hurdles are cleared.

Sunday Jan 04, 2009

My Father The Cyborg

My father is a walking medical technology wonder. His entry into the cyborg world began in 1987 when artificial mitral and aortic heart valves were implanted to repair damage caused by childhood rheumatic fever.

He has had Parkinson's Disease (PD) for about 15 years. His meds are tapped out, not terribly affective and now require meds to counter the growing list of side-affects from the PD meds -- an ugly, snowballing affect. If all goes well, he will have a neurostimulator implanted, via a procedure called Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS), tomorrow. If successful, the neurostimluator will short circuit the abnormal brain signals that cause his PD tremors and rigidity; which in turn, will hopefully enable him to dramatically simplify his buffet of medications and enjoy a more comfortable, normal life.

Since DBS is a rather new technology (approved by the FDA for treating PD in 2002), it's still considered radical by many. Getting him to this pre-op point has been a long road -- kudos to my Mother for doing so much legwork. Now, we hope for physical stabilization until tomorrow AM so his rock star Neurosurgeon, Dr. Aury Nagy, and the rest of the amazing medical team can do their thing! :-)

A million thanks to those of you who have sent such kind thoughts, words & prayers to a man you may never meet. I am eternally grateful!

More on DBS (it's not gory, but does comprehensively convey the how amazing this technology is):

Wednesday Dec 31, 2008

My Favorite Watercolor

By my 14 year old daughter.

Tuesday Dec 16, 2008

Happy Holidays from the Emoticarolers

Many thanks to the feed readers out there who make this humble blog look popular and to the real humans out there who drop by and visit from time to time. Wishing you all the best!

Thursday Nov 20, 2008

GM Goes Viral With Their Message

Wow. GM knows they need to pull out all the stops to ensure their dire message can compete with mainstream media. A few of their key points that I've seen via email, their website constructed solely for this topic and the YouTube video:

  • Their $25 billion request from congress isn't a bailout, but a bridge loan
  • "We can lend $25 billion now...or lose $156 billion later."
  • "What will we do?"
  • "Collapse is imminent if we do nothing."

While there are wildly mixed reviews on the hairy situation, their approach to leverage every communication channel known on the planet is helping to churn awareness of their side of the story...and heated conversation.

Interesting times.

Friday Nov 14, 2008

The world's most well-known puppies

Ah...puppies & video -- the perfect combination to go viral. I first heard about the San Franciscan fur balls from Alec via Twitter a week ago. Since then, millions around the world have tuned into the popular pooches' UStream.TV show and thanks to them being a feature story on the Today Show this AM, they're bound to widen their reach.

The puppies have all been adopted -- kudos to the puppies' family for opting to adopt out the puppies to qualified families. Per the Today show story, UStream.TV plans to send the puppies with a web cam to their new homes. I may just have to tune into the four-legged variations on The Truman Show.


Live Broadcasting by Ustream

Tuesday Nov 11, 2008

And in the "Things that are random" category...

...miscellaneous stuff (no need to try to find the commonality between any of them):

50 things about Barack Obama (I was surprised to hear that he smokes & had a pet ape).

This holiday season's hot toys (I'd better warn Mr. S to start shopping early for my Wii Fit)

I'm not sure when this happened, but MTv shares it's video collection. Now, I can re-enact those "love-sick teen crying on the couch while watching MTv after breaking up" moments in my life when I'm hard up for entertainment:


Gratuitous cat video. Don't worry, it's not paralyzed, just "interesting":

Tuesday Oct 07, 2008

Tadpole Update

The batch of tadpole eggs from June is still producing frogs. I must have missed the lesson in school that the rate they mature varies wildly. Since it's now fall in Colorado & since the night temps are expected to drop below freezing this week, I setup a small indoor tank to rescue 12 slow growers and provide a fun learning experience for the family (plus, I'm a sucker for critters in need).

I'll release them into a local natural pond (their native habitat) when it's warm -- let's just hope the family enjoys the charming sound of their nightly serenades in the meantime.

Friday Sep 26, 2008

The sweetest poem ever written...

...by my incredibly sweet and creative 7 year old niece. :-D

About

Sr. Community Engineering Program Manager/Acting Director for Sun's external social networking sites (blogs, forums, wikis, etc.). Skrocki's personal blog, LinkedIn.

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