September 27, 2010
Portland Firefly attended Ignite Portland 9 last week and as usual, she was not disappointed by the topics and the presenters.
What is Ignite Portland?
“If you had five minutes on stage what would you say? What if you only got 20 slides and they rotated automatically after 15 seconds? Around the world geeks have been putting together Ignite nights to show their answers.”
And that is Ignite in a nutshell. 5 minutes per presenter, 20 slides each and a total of 20 presenters on a variety of topics, technical, obscure, interesting, informative, funny, varied.
The following were presenters at Ignite Portland 9 and you can view these talks by clicking on this link: http://www.igniteportland.com/
Please note that they were not presented in this order.
- Jeff Hardison – Society’s Attack on the Talented Recluse and What We Can Do About It
- Joe Hurd – Visual Mathematics
- Nova Newcomer – Love Letters to Oregon: A First Look at the Personal Papers of Oregon’s First Elected Women
- Erin Jo Richey – Brain-Computer Interfaces and the Coming Wave of Mental Telepathy
- Carl Alviani – Not Created Equal: The history and discernment of plastics in product design
- Cory Huff – How Art Stops Urban Decay
- J-P Voillequé – 5,000 Games of Solitaire: The “Casual Gaming” Explosion, Internal Narratives, and Pleasure
- Aaron Parecki – The vowel “R”, and other linguistic curiosities
- Faddah Steve Yuetsu Wolf – Gypsy Jazz – why it rocks your socks off & you wanna be groupies without even knowing it
- Michael Buffington – Trout aerodynamics and other mysterious combinations
- Zack Denfeld - How To Eat a GMO: Glowing Sushi, Vegetarian Bouillabaisse and Hyper Sweet & Sour Pickles
- Colleen Wainwright – Getting truth from here to there: a five-minute crash course in acting
- Meredith Sorensen – Powered by Banana Peels
- Alison Greco – How to stop losing your keys, your place, and your temper
- Laura Russell – How to Judge a Book By Its Cover
- Evelyn Varga - Samus: Legend of the Girl Gamer
- Jayson Falkner - Gigantic (aka Danger!) Jenga for backyard fun
- Bruce Irvin – Cool Curling
- Aaron Tersteeg – Online Community Management the Lady Gaga Way!
- Hugh Gallagher – Night of Dave Ewalds
What were Portland Firefly’s favorites? They were all outstanding, but a few that stood out to me are: Giant Jenga, The Vowel R, and Visual Mathematics. Enjoy this little entertaining educational break in your day!
And be sure to put Ignite Portland 10 on your calendar. It’s Thursday, February 10, 2011 at the Bagdad Theatre on Hawthorn.
September 25, 2010
A few weeks ago, my Son and his Wife and my 2 1/2 year-old Grandson were over at my home. We had to look up something on the computer, so we were all in my office. Since the adults were ‘computer screen’ oriented, I thought that I’d give my delightful grandson a little ‘something to do’ while we adults were occupied. I know that he loves to ‘jump’, but I didn’t want him jumping in my now crowded office, so I thought of something else that he might be able to do.
Recently I have started taking Tai Chi lessons. One of our exercises is one that is designed to improve our balance. I thought that this would be an easy and fun exercise for him to do. The exercise consists simply of standing on both feet and then raising one foot so that all of your weight is on the foot you are standing on.
Well, in my haste to give him this little exercise, I simply stated, “Can you stand on one foot?” After giving his Nonni a perplexing look, I repeated the request. “Honey, can you stand on one foot? It’s Ok, you can do it.” Once again he gave me that unusual look and then promptly complied by putting one of his little feet on top of my nearest foot and then putting his other foot on my foot as well! His look said “Is THAT what you wanted me to do, Nonni???”
There you have it! Yes, he could stand on one foot! He could stand on one of my feet with both of his!
I am still laughing!!!!! And I can hardly wait for the day that he will read this delightful story about himself and the pure joy he gives to his Nonni who loves him with her whole heart.
September 23, 2010
Ignite Portland 9 is tonight at the Bagdad Theatre in SE Portland. This event is free and you can purchase eats and beverages inside the theatre for a reasonable price.
“What is Ignite Portland?”
At Ignite, 20 presenters will each make a 5 minute presentation with 20 slides for their presentation. That means there is 15 seconds for each slide, so the talk is very fast paced. The subject matter is varied and the presenters are well-informed on their topic. And it is just a whole lot of fun!!!
Let me give you a web link to it so you can better understand this fun informative event. http://www.igniteportland.com/
It gets crowded, so come early, or watch the live video stream tonight via the weblink. But please note that the video stream is no substitute for the thrill of being there in a room with a lot of positive energy!
Here in Portland, last night was a beautiful first night of fall night.
There was a lot of dark blue sky showing through high white fluffy clouds. And then there was this incredible luminous full moon high in the sky with a nearby brilliant planet for an accent jewel. It was beautiful!
Portland Firefly really enjoyed the evening and it was especially fun because I could see this entire heavenly view from the comfort of my living room, thanks to my great skylights!
September 22, 2010
Today is the first day of Fall, 2010. Fall officially begins this evening at 8:09 pm. The beginning of fall is determined by the exact time that the sun crosses back over the equator. Tomorrow will be the first full day of fall! Is it time to start thinking of Christmas shopping yet?
September 14, 2010
Papa Murphy’s Pizza is having customer appreciation days on September 14, 15, 16, 2010 .
A large pepperoni pizza will cost just $4.99. You can add additional toppings for $1.00 each.
Be sure to take advantage of this wonderful offer at your nearest Papa Murphy’s Pizza Parlor. www.papamurphys.com.
PS: When I went to pick up my pizza today, I learned that there is no limit on the number of large pizzas you can order for $4.99. I was also allowed to substitute another sauce and chicken instead of pepperoni for the same special price…..
September 10, 2010
Tomorrow is September 11th. 9 / 11
Where were you that day? How was your world changed?
At the time, I was an active Flight Attendant for a major United States carrier. Yes, one of the ones that lost planes, crew members, and passengers. And no, I did not know anyone on board any of those historic flights and even though I lived in NYC for a number of years, I did not know anyone who was murdered in the attack on our country that day.
I was at home between flights thinking about packing for my regularly scheduled flight the following morning when the phone rang before 9:00 am. It was my Mother calling to the midwest from her California home. She did not greet me with “Hello.” But her anxious voice said my name, and then,”Is that you? Are you home?’ Then with audible relief in her voice “Oh, thank God! Are you alright?” I was puzzled and probably replied something like “Yes, I’m alright. Why wouldn’t I be alright?”
She then said “Don’t you know what is going on?” I said, “No. What is happening?” My mother then asked if I had the TV on. When I said, no, she told me to turn it on. When I asked her, “what channel?”, she said, “Any channel.” I watched the attacks in unbelief trying to wrap my mind around what my eyes were seeing…. trying to process the visual information that just didn’t want to process mentally. To this day, when I watch the documentaries of the attacks, I still cannot totally comprehend the magnitude of the events of that day.
It reminds me of my reaction to the plane crash in Sioux City, Iowa years earlier. Over and over I watched the news reports trying to imagine the horror inside that plane as the plane tore apart while on fire . You will recall, many passengers survived finding themselves alive in the tall Iowa cornfield that graced the runway. The cool moisture of the tall cornstalks may have had a beneficial effect on the flames. Remember that whenever the fuselage of a plane ruptures you are provided another possible exit; take advantage of it. But believe me, no Flight Attendant will have to tell you that!
The attacks of 9/11 were very well planned . I know that they were in the planning for many years and a lot of money was spent in their careful planning. I am convinced that I had six of the terrorist/hijackers on at least two different flights of mine and that I personally spoke to at least 4 of them on separate occasions during their reconnaissance flights prior to 9/11. A chilling retrospective thought.
The first time was out of Florida. This small-in-stature middle eastern man was a passenger in coach sitting about seat 10A on our MD-80 aircraft. The flight was moderately light, about half full. At that time we were still serving drinks and meals in coach! After we finished the meal service, this man told me that he was in flight school in Florida and that he would like to go look around the cockpit.
When I inquired what type of aircraft he was training in he replied that he was going to be a Captain on a 767. I found that almost unbelievable knowing how much our Captains have to go through in order to become qualified on the wide-bodied aircraft. And the years of flying that were needed for them to become senior enough to hold a Captains bid with the major air carriers.
I politely told him that I would check with the Captain, but I knew the answer even before saying I would check with the Captain. I asked him for his boarding pass so I could present it to the Captain and I remember his unusual name –Hani Hanjour. I remember the conversation well, because it was such an unusual request. Sometimes we would allow children to come to the cockpit during flight when there were none of the security cockpit restrictions that are now in place. After making the Captain aware of the request, I told the man that he was welcome to stop by the cockpit after the flight to visit with the pilots. He never did stop by the cockpit. I confirmed that he was Hani Hanjour from the photos I saw later of the terrorists.
The other incident occurred out of Newark, probably in early August, 2001. You will recall that one of the 9/11 flights departed from the Newark airport. There were five middle eastern men on my Newark-St. Louis-San Francisco flight; three in the rear of coach, one near the front of coach, Marwan al Shehhi, and one in First Class. Same type of airplane – an MD-80. I was working in coach and three of them had seats across from the back galley, but were very interested in the boarding process. They were standing up in and around the rear galley, blocking the aisle to the rear lavs and just generally “in our way”.
I recall that there was a lot of conversation ( in Arabic) between them and again, this is behavior out of the ordinary, so I remember it clearly, even several years later. All of them did not speak English and finally one of them asked me if there were still passengers coming on board. I told him that we still had twenty minutes before departure. With a very concerned look on his face, Mohammed Atta asked me if the “flight was going to be full? ” I remember replying very matter-of-factly, “We are always full, if not overbooked out of Newark.” He replied something like, “even on Tuesdays?” I said “Every single day, every flight I’ve ever worked out of Newark has been full.” He was very concerned by this bit of information and it prompted more intense conversation between the three men.
You will recall that 9/11/01 was a beautiful warm late summer Tuesday. Even during the recon flights during the summer of 2001, they already had the date of September 11th established.
The rest of our conversation went like this: He (Mohammed Atta) asked me about other American carriers out of Newark that flew to San Francisco. I told him that I just didn’t have that information and that they would have to check another carrier. I now firmly believe that it was my comment to Mohammed Atta that prevented the loss of one more American Airlines plane and crew. I believe that my remark “Every flight I have ever worked out of Newark has been full.” caused the terrorists to rethink their plans and change from American Airlines to United Airlines. I am sorry though for the terrible loss of crew and passengers of the United Flight 93 that the terrorists hijacked out of Newark. By the way, United Flight 93 was also scheduled to fly from Newark to San Francisco which is the same route that my flight took the day I had the terrorists on board for their recon flight.
Mohammed Atta was the ringleader terrorist and the reconnoissance flights in August , 2001 were their means of finalizing their terror plot.
You will recall that September 11, 2001 was a bright and beautiful Tuesday. This means that they had their plan in place MONTHS before the actual attacks. He actually asked about the loads on other air carriers and I told him he could check, but I had no way of knowing how full other carriers were on certain flights. You will recall that all of the hijacked flights were carrying very light passenger loads.
One of the men I spoke to on this flight was Mohamed Atta, the terrorist pilot who flew American Airlines Flight 11 into the first World Trade Building Tower.
Hani Hanjour was another of the terrorist pilots; he flew the American Airlines flight 77 into the Pentagon.
Marwan Al Shehhi was one of the terrorists on my Newark flight’ he was the pilot that crashed the second plane, United 175, into the second world trade tower.
I never used to turn my TV on in the morning. Now, I turn it on most mornings, just to get the news.
I will fly my large US flag on 9/11. It is a day we need to honor our country and those who lost their lives.
Will you please fly your flag also?
September 8, 2010
I like to play some card games on the computer and I have gotten pretty good at some of them…. but I have also figured out how to ‘manipulate the cards’ if needed so that I can win. Some may call that cheating. I personally don’t care what you call it… I do it and I win. So there!
But in the ‘game’ of life… (aha… here comes Introspective Firefly), especially when it comes to fighting Cancer … there is no cheating or ‘manipulating the cards’ . We must play the hand that we are delt. Some play it poorly, some play it vigorously, some play it slyly, some play it with elegance and grace.
Hopefully I am playing it with elegance and grace.
I am now in the ‘big time tournament’.
September 7, 2010
“On Saturday, April 24th, the Opera Company of Philadelphia teamed up with the Reading Terminal Market Italian Festival for a large-scale “Flash Opera” event! Over 30 members of the Opera Company of Philadelphia Chorus and principal cast members of LA TRAVIATA performed the famed “Brindisi” in the aisles of Reading Terminal Market, entertaining hundreds of Philadelphians, and proving that the perfect accompaniment for all things Italian is a little Verdi! The Opera Company sincerely thanks members of the Opera Company of Philadelphia Chorus and cast for generously volunteering their time and talents.”
To enjoy this bit of ‘Market Culture’ click on the following link…. Be sure to turn up your speakers!!! Oh, by the way, this song is known as the ‘ drinking song’ from La Traviata. That is why several cast members are raising their cups of cuppachino or coke while singing! “La, laaaa, la la laaa, la la la la la la la la laaaaa.”
September 5, 2010
Well, here we are approaching September. And September is Swift watching month here in Portland. For those of you who do not know what Portland Firefly is talking about, I shall explain.
Portland is on the flyway for a type of bird called Vaux Swifts. They migrate from Alaska to Mexico every year and use Portland as a stopover on their long journey. These little birds like to roost inside of old hollowed out trees or very tall chimneys.
The old chimney at Chapman School in North East Portland has been a favorite roosting, resting place for these acrobatic birds for many years. And they do put on quite a show in the evenings just before they dive inside the chimney at night to go to sleep. It is this aerial show that brings Portlanders out for the free event!
These birds are predictable as to the time they go to sleep at night and so Portlanders bring out their blankets, their picnic dinners and we sit and watch the spectacular show.
The Audubon society provides information on this event and here is the link to their website. http://audubonportland.org/local-birding/swiftwatch/swift-watch
If you enjoy watching the International Space Station flyovers you can also coordinate an ISS sighting with your Swift watch. Go to this website for the ISS sighting times in Portland: http://spaceflight1.nasa.gov/realdata/sightings/cities/view.cgi?country=United_States®ion=Oregon&city=Portland
So choose a night to attend and perhaps you will see Portland Firefly there…. our family makes it an annual event!
PS: This school is in a residential area so please be sure to respect the property of the local homeowners ~ don’t block driveways and take all trash back home with you. Enjoy!!!
September 3, 2010
Well, today signifies the last weekend of Summer. In Portland, we have had the coolest summer in 17 years; hopefully our fall will be warm so we can continue to enjoy our beautiful outdoor scenery. We are hoping to go to a couple of parks for walks and picnics and just enjoying each other and nature.
But…. Portland Firefly will be hanging her beautiful large American flag outside early on Friday morning. One last summer’s chance to show my patriotism. I hope you will remember to fly your flag as well!
Have a great weekend!!!
September 2, 2010
September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month….. Need I say more??
Probably not, but here goes anyway…..
Teal is the color for Ovarian Cancer –so Portland Firefly has been wearing a lot of teal lately. I make sure to wear it whenever I give my speech.
Here are the symptoms again…
• Ovarian cancer, sometimes called “the silent killer,” is not silent. Symptoms such as bloating, pelvic or abdominal pain, feeling of fullness or urinary issues, can be subtle but are usually present early.
• When symptoms like bloating, abdominal pain, feeling of fullness, or urinary problems are caused by ovarian cancer, they tend to be persistent, and a change from normal.
The symptoms of Ovarian Cancer will be a change from how you feel normally and will continue over a period of two weeks or more. Some other symptoms may be extreme fatigue, constipation or diarrhea, a feeling of nausea, increase in waist size, back or leg pain, reflux type symptoms. Many women are mis-diagnosed with irritable-bowel syndrome which causes a detrimental delay in treatment.
Most women know that they are sick in a way they have never been sick before. Do not wait. See your gynecologist immediately and ask for a pelvic and rectal exam, a transvaginal ultrasound, and a CA-125 blood test. Some doctors may also order a CT Scan which may show the presence of ascites or fluid in the abdomen.