Seattle, Day 5

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This first lot of images is just close ups found around the downtown area.  It really shows the beauty to be had everywhere you look!

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We spent the morning today really just being lazy.  We headed out for a brunch at Lola’s again and it was as fabulous the second time as the first!  Then we did a bit of shopping.   I stood in line for 20 minutes to snap a few pictures of the very first Starbucks and to grab a souvenir for a friend, but once I got in an employee explained they were out of alot of things and the truck would be in tonight so if I could come back in the morning not only would I avoid the line, they would be fully restocked.  Bonus!  From there we ducked into a little shop called The Paper Hammer.  It had the cutest stock cards, notecards, etc.  I didn’t get anything, because I just couldn’t see spending $20 on paper, but it was beautiful to look at.

We did take the time to stop back in at The Chocolate Box to grab another Moscato (to replace the take home one we ended up dipping into last night 🙂  ~  again the staff was very friendly and let me know that in Mid-January they would get another shipment and that I could call and order by twos and they would ship it to me *this makes me happy*

We took a cab home because it was a bit chilly (I feel very guilty writing this as back home they are experiencing below zero temps).  Now we are just taking some down time before I cook a fabulous meal!!  Lemon-pepper chicken with Spaghetti squash.  We plan on staying in for the evening.  We will probably play another game of scrabble and drink a bit more wine…  a perfect evening.

This has been such a wonderful opportunity, but I started missing my kids the minute I left them.  It is good to step away a bit here and there but I am definitely excited to hug and kiss them again!

In the meantime I plan to enjoy my final few days here.  Tomorrow being New Years Eve – we have a spectacular view of the Space Needle- and look forward to taking advantage of that to the fullest.  We plan to get dressed up, have dinner at home then head out for a drink. Wednesday perhaps we will do a wine tour or travel to see the mountains, then Thursday so very early in the morning I have to be at the airport.

Thank you for traveling with me!

~J.Lyn

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Top 10 Signs You Need More Sleep

Sleeping

So my littlest has been sick.

This is the 3rd day.

 Two full nights with just some really long blinks to sustain me.

What parent hasn’t been there????

Perhaps, when I look back on this it will not be very funny, but right now  the list being compiled in my brain is FANTASTICly true and therefore funny (or extremely sad depending on your stage of sleep deprivation)!

So here we go …………..

10.   There are only 4 new items in your newfeed since the last time you looked.

9.   You have managed to blink so long that when you open your eyes your mind is convinced it is the next day…. until you look at the clock and realize it has only been 10 minutes.

8.   You regularly call your children the wrong name “Sarah, Anna, Megan, WHICHEVER YOU ARE GET OVER HERE!!”  But you now just stare at them blankly not being able to recall any word associated to them.

7.  The same is (almost)  true for your spouse who has not participated in the up all night game…. for that person… there are names at the ready – but none that you can utter in front of your PG audience.

6. You are certain you are suffering permanently in a time warp, because you have made so many pots of coffee you lost count, You have poured endless cups of coffee, but you still do not feel the affects of caffeine.

5.  You have reached a new level of sleep deprivation when you have completed your business on the toilet, you can not remember whether you’ve properly concluded your business so you reach over for the toilet paper only to discover it is empty.  Wasn’t there a full roll when you sat down?

4.  You travel to the store for medicine in your pajamas, without combing your hair, no bra, possibly no panties because  r e a l l y, you are not going to remember being there anyway.   And later when someone says, “I thought I saw you at……”  You can either say, “Hmmmm… nope.  I don’t remember being there.” (no lie) or… if it is another parent.. you can just say, “Yes, my littlest was sick.”  No further explanation needed.

3.  You find yourself dressed up, hair combed sitting at a bar with a very large glass of wine in front of you.  The bartender asks, “Are you waiting for a friend?”  You don’t even bother to look up.  You reach for your glass.  Lift it in toast and say, “Nope, she is right here.” tilt and swallow.  Then you open your eyes  to discover it’s really medicine as you have caught whatever your child has.

2.  You have no idea how you came to be staring longingly out the window at the outside world or how long you have been standing there, but you are reasonably satisfied with the knowledge that  you can sleep standing up.

1. You can not fathom why the toilet is plugged up ~or~ why it looks like you hosted a coffee talk, but no one drank any of the coffee….

Gun Violence Prevention: Establishing a Viral Neighborhood Watch

J.Lyn
Eng 102:  Essay 3
Published Date: Nov. 11, 2012

Title:  Gun Violence Prevention: Establishing a Viral Neighborhood Watch

I. Introduction/Thesis sentence: Data mining to complete a Psychological Assessment has a vital role in reducing gun violence.

II. Topic sentence 1:  The current gun purchasing laws and how they are flawed.

  1. The actual laws and how they establish a false assurance.
  2. The actual laws and identification of their flaws.
  3. The actual laws and how to resolve their flaws.

III. Topic sentence 2: Can social media provide the data necessary to complete a psych evaluation test?

  1. Current Social Media Privacy Laws
  2. Current Data Crawlers and the assessments they make.
  3. Current Social Media Sites providing the information needed for a psychological assessment.

IV. Topic sentence 3:  The advantages of a social media psychological assessment crawler far outweighs the disadvantages.    

  1. Although there is a perception of personal information being assessed as an infringement of rights, there are no rights to information shared in public forums.
  2. Although many fear an abuse of the information being assessed, professionals are easier to hold accountable than criminals.
  3. Although not every person utilizes SMS, the percentages are extremely high.

V. Conclusion

 

 

Gun Violence Prevention: Establishing a Social Media Neighborhood Watch

 

Gun violence seems to most Americans to be an unresolvable issue. Social Media(SM) is a tool already being exploited to ascertain the information to suit the exploiter.  Most Americans are extremely vocal about their respective position on both issues, but if we quiet the voices for a moment to analyze the facts we see that implementing a SM Neighborhood Watch will result in a reduction of gun violence.

Throughout the last two hundred years the debates of gun violence have been unending and the laws have been adjusted, readjusted and changed.  Every time there is another mass shooting or incident of gun violence we are forced to face the fact – there are still flaws. To identify the flaws let’s clarify the current law.

The FBI states those unable to purchase a weapon are those who: have been convicted in court punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year or more, are a fugitive from justice, or are an unlawful user or addict to controlled substance.  An additional statute, implemented by 1998, leads us to believe that there is a mental stability guarantee on those who purchase a weapon.  It is written as follows:  has been adjudicated as a mental defective or committed to a mental institution(Statute 18, U.S.C. §922 (g) (4)).  Initially, this reassures citizens that those who are not mentally stable will not be able to purchase a weapon, but upon closer inspection two major flaws are clear.

Each State interprets and enforces this at varying degrees as illustrated in the following, “Unlike the federal law, Virginia’s corresponding law specifically requires commitment to a mental hospital to block an applicant from purchasing a firearm.”(Jost,8). Keep in mind there is no law dictating a person who buys from a state not of their own residence must qualify for both State’s regulations.  These laws do not address perhaps the most valid concern: that most people who purchase weapons for illegal activity do not purchase them through legal channels and may not have any prior court dealings.

To repair the insufficient translation of and irregular standards, all States must operate under one consistent translation and adhere to consistent standards.  This eliminates a citizen purchasing through another State to step around laws put into place for the safety of the public. With the invention of the world wide web our federal law must leave little to debate at the State level.

To prevent criminals from purchasing guns… it is time to face that there is no way.  We can create laws until we are blue in the face and all we are doing is creating more hoops for law-abiding citizens to jump through.  What we need to do is look outside the box to determine if there is a way to identify people who pose a risk to the safety of others. Implementing the SM Neighborhood Watch would identify these people

Before we move on, it is crucial to discuss another path that has been reviewed to identify person(s) who are a high threat to the safety of others; the divulgence of psychological records held by certified Psychologists.  There is little argument that these records should be kept confidential, but when gun violence occurs and investigation brings to light evidence of forewarning, it exposes how little is being done on a preventative front.  Utilizing the information provided in public social media sites eliminates the imposition of patient/doctor confidentiality.  Both Jost and Szalavitz voice another concern that is relevant to our proposal of a SM neighborhood watch; the discrimination of the mentally ill and the potential for them to suffer the consequences of an incorrect or expired label.  Once data has been collected and a preliminary assessment made, a red flag would be assigned to the individual.  A certified psychologist would be responsible to follow up with the individual to complete the Psychological Assessment and recommend treatment/make a diagnosis.  This red flag would not be public knowledge-it would only prevent the purchase of a weapon-eliminating these concerns.

So let’s return to the thoughts that were being pieced together.  Yes – this means your social media site will be assessed.  This is the moment the thought transposes into an outraged shout, “That’s illegal, it infringes on my privacy, it can’t be done and wouldn’t provide enough information to make a proper assessment!!”

Let’s first address the current laws pertaining to online privacy on public social media sites.  Let me repeat: laws pertaining to online privacy on public social media sites.   Just in case the hypocrisy of the sentence hasn’t jumped out I will elaborate.  There is no law guaranteeing privacy of information that is posted in a public forum. As depicted by Privacy Right Clearinghouse there are policies that employers are adding regarding what employees can or cannot post about their work, but as far as protecting the information that is placed on these sites, there is nothing, for those who chose to leave their information on a public setting.  For those who have tightened their securities/ changed their privacy settings, they are protected by the privacy settings they have selected.  For the purpose of this proposition, we are exploring the benefits of evaluating public information, not taking up the war of accessing all user information.

Next let’s face the statement, “It can’t be done!”  Data mining, also known as web crawling, embedded its roots in the very invention of Social Media Sites(SMS).  According to the Hills Shire Times, a company called Media Monitors “[is] capable of capturing 250 million online conversations a month… using key words, phrases, issues, names and other search criteria, our web crawling technology logs on to thousands of internet sites and downloads relevant content continuously.”  This particular company began its data mining effort to provide a solution to cyber bullying. Is it really so much of a stretch to consider the same solution for the general security of the citizens of this country?

One example is not sufficient to establish that it is common practice to utilize information provided in SMS.  Many companies and entrepreneurs believe in the integrity of data mining and bank on its accuracy.  In 2007, Carbone revealed that “82% of [college] admissions officers use Facebook in their recruiting”.  Five long internet years later and it is outstanding the number of companies and groups mining data to assist in qualifying (or disqualifying) someone for an approval process.  Protalinski’s findings in his article, “Facebook can be used to predict academic success, job performance” supports this statement.  He summarizes a study that validates the evaluation of social media sites as a more correct and composite view of an individual than even a direct one and one interview.

We have established that data mining public forums is legal and has been occurring since the beginning of SMS. The final statement under review is “[SMS] wouldn’t provide enough information to make a proper assessment!”  In essence we need to know can a psychological evaluation be conducted on SMS?  “Psychological assessment is a process of testing that uses a combination of techniques to help arrive at some hypotheses about a person, their behavior, personality and capabilities.”(Framingham) This is done through interviews and observations and if necessary standardized tests such as career-testing, teacher-made tests or projective tests.  This information is gathered and assessed by a certified Psychologist, then recommendations for treatment or diagnostic decisions can be made.

This is not the first time this question is being asked.  Research has already been done and the conclusion reached.  Bai, Zhu and Cheng published their research paper titled “Big-Five Personality Prediction Based on User Behaviors at Social Network Sites”,  that determines the information provided by social networking sites is not only enough to fulfill the required information for a psychological assessment, it is more consistent and the database provides a larger timeline for a more thorough assessment.

Analyzing the current laws, identifying the flaws and proposing that to reduce or eliminate gun violence we implement a SM Neighborhood Watch thus far sounds good. So why hasn’t it been put into place?  There are 3 disadvantages that we must confront and assess in comparison to the advantages.

Although there is a perception of infringement of personal information we have proved that is not the case.  It is important to reiterate that it is not being proposed that we cross into private settings to obtain data.  The data mined would solely be mined from public settings.  This is a non-issue.

I concede that there is a legitimate fear in regards to data being abused, I propose however, that professionals are less likely to risk their livelihood and they are much easier to hold accountable than criminals who are violating laws to obtain weapons and then using those weapons to perform illegal acts.

Then there is the hard truth that not every person utilizes SMS.  When talking about America it is rare to be able to truthfully propose there is anything we share 100%, but comparatively the statistics show18-29 year olds are accounted for at 86% and 30-49 year olds are represented at 72%(Brenner).  Dr. Michael McDonald reports that 61.6% of the nation turned out to vote in the 2008 Presidential election.  So the amount of SMS users in the lowest percentage is still over 10% higher than the amount of citizens voting.  A very large percentage of the whole could be assessed leaving just a narrow gap of information, one that would decrease every year as teenagers are already at an astounding 80%(Brenner).

All offenders of gun violence begin with a first time.  Referencing court records in these instances offers no prevention.  An offender does radiate hints to the social world around him and social bystanders do notice.  In most cases of gun violence, those closest to the offender(s) describe a fear of the person directly or a fear for their personal safety.  “The connections we have to one another – our social capital, our ability to seek and receive support from other—is the most important weapon we have against violence”(Szalavitz).  When you consider our “social capital” our wealth multiplies exponentially in the realm of SMS like Facebook.  Tapping into this wealth—having it assessed—will navigate the treacherous ground that other solutions have not been successful in and eliminate the flaws in the current system.

In order to reduce gun violence, we should begin implementing a National SM Neighborhood Watch.  Algorithms designed to pull relevant information to complete a psychological assessment from SMS would provide more comprehensive and accurate results than a standard psychological assessment due to the length of time data has been compiled.  This will provide us with an unrivaled advantage on the war on gun violence and violence in general.

Works Cited

Bai, Shuotian, Tingshao Zhu and Li Cheng. “Big-Five Personality Prediction Based on User Behaviors at Social Network Sites.” ARXIV, Cornell University Library. Eprint arXiv:1204.4809. Apr 2012. Web. 4 Nov 2012.

Brenner, Joanna.  “Pew Internet: Social Networking (full data)”.  Pew Research Center. Pew Internet & American Life Project.  17 Sept 2012.  Web.  8 Nov 2012.

Carbone, Nick. “Party Poopers. Colleges Admission Departments Stalk Your Facebook.” NewsFeed Time. Time, CNN, 27 Feb 2007. Web. 22 Oct 2012.

Fournier, Ron. “Bush Condemns ‘Evil’, Not Gun Laws.” AP Online, 16 Sept 1999. Ebscohost.

Web. 8 Oct 2012.

Framingham, Jane. “What is Psychological Assessment?” Psych Central. 23 Apr 2012. Web.

6 Nov 2012.

Jost, Kenneth.  “Gun Violence: Are Stronger Measures Needed to Protect Society?”

CQ Researcher, 17, 457-480.

Lamm, Dottie.  “Commentary: Gun Control; Walk the Walk – With Petitions.”  Colorado

Women 12.12 (2000). ProQuest. Web. 5 Oct 2012.

McDonald, Michael.  “2008 General Election Turnout Rates”. U.S. Elections Project. Dept of Public and International Affairs, GMU. 31 Mar 2012. Web. 8 Nov 2012.

“National Instant Criminal Background Check System.”  Federal Bureau of Investigation.

U.S Government, US Dept of Justice, 2012. Web. 13 Oct 2012.

“Plan to Monitor Bullies: Web Crawling Proposal.” Hill Shire Times. 8 Nov 2011, pg 6. EBSCOhost. Web. 23 Oct 2012.

Protalinski, Emil.  “Facebook can be used to Predict Academic Success, Job Performance.” Friending Facebook. ZDNet, 22 Feb 2012. Web. 23 Oct 2012

Szalavitz, Maia. “After Aurora, Questions About Mass Murder and Mental Illness.” Time.com.

Time Healthland, 31 Jul 2012. Web. 18 Oct 2012.

Wasserman, Edward.  “Killing as a Troubling Cinematic Art Form.” Guelph Mercury(ON) n.d.:

Newspaper Source Plus. Web. 15 Sept 2012.

Whitney, Craig. “A Way Out of the Gun Stalemate.”  New York Times. 25 Jul 2012.  25.

Ebscohost. Web. 9 Oct 2012.

“Workplace Privacy and Employee Monitoring.” Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, Sept 2012. Web. 24 Oct. 2012.

9 Random Things to make you Smile

So is my breed becoming extinct??  Am I one of the few that >really< enjoys the fabulousness that is these ridiculous posts on facebook:   “9 random things about me”   – perhaps I just have extremely funny friends and family, but when I come across these it is an invitation to the funny competition that you could not possible indulge in as fanatically if it were face to face!  I certainly look relatively insane as I walk around looking at my phone holding my stomach and covering my mouth while praying that I don’t snort too loudly! (For those of you keeping track – I do not have 3 arms, I’m just a Mom.)  Alas, I wish more people put their intellect to the test and develop their own list!!

So anyway, here is my current list.  Please take the challenge to your page and share a smile today!!
1. This is really an impromptu method of procrastination so I have an excuse not to work on my homework.

2. I don’t drink much, unless you consider Cavit’s Moscato, then I don’t drink much until the bottle is uncorked.

3. Everyone “knows” I don’t like cooking, but the truth is I just don’t like the hum drum every day deciding what to make. Give me the time to play and endless ingredients and my little heart swells with contentment. 

4. I am the epitome of Grace – NOT! I don’t mind it though, as I see it as comic relief. I just wish I hadn’t passed it on to my sweet, little mini me…

5. I save all my humor for 20 minutes after it is needed. It allows me to laugh at the situation for a much longer period of time than others.

6. I really dig genealogy… and puns.

7. I operate my very own blog, little known fact. Littler known fact, one of my posts was promoted by WIXX.

8. God. I love my family. In that order. I am so extremely blessed.  My heart is so full with gratitude, appreciation and love for those around me.

9. Best for last, eh? Hmmm…
I collect The Day Spa De Pere Gift cards the way some collect crystal or baseball cards. Why? You ask… Because some day I am going to take a whole week and NEVER leave there. I am going to get every service. And when I am done they will have to sop up the puddle of comfortable that I become and call my husband to pick up the remains. *sigh, I can’t wait!

Monday, August 19th, 2013 *Ah Ha!!!!

So did my measurements today and I am down 4.2lbs and I have lost 4 inches!!!

 

No Program. No pill.  No shake.  No meal plan.  No signing away of the firstborn to pay a monthly fee for some magical remedy.

 

Just two simple things to focus on:

 

TRY to eat GOOD FOOD OFTEN throughout the day

  • *I try to drink only water  – – I do have a cup of coffee or two in the morning, but I use organic honey (this should look like paste not melted gold) and not sugar!!  Now – I know you are like *gah! no sugar?  can’t do it!* BUT you CAN!!!
  • *I am trying to stick to snacking on only things I could get from an orchard or garden – and snack often during the day.

KEEP MOVING!!

* walk, literally get outside and walk – if only for 20 minutes – every day.  Now usually about 4-5 times a week I am doing  about 3 miles.  This takes about 45 minutes.  I am going to try to up this this week to walking for an hour doing the *Core Walking* I wrote about here –

Saturday, August 17th, 2013 *Core Walking.

and I want to do it 5 times this week.  PLUS add in JM’s 30 day shred this week as many times as I can get in!!!

 

7/22/2013 8/19/2013
183 178.8 -4.2
43.25 42.5 -0.75
43.5 42.5 -1
39.5 39.25 -0.25
12 12 0
12 12 0
25 24 -1
25 24 -1

All this with my focus being eating better and just moving!!  Love it!

Excited to get back into routine with Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred to see how much I can accomplish with a work out added in!!   However,

My Focus will still be =

eat Good Food Often throughout the day and Keep Moving!!!  

I will report back at the end of the week for sure (if not sooner!!!)

😉

~J.Lyn

 

 

 

 

What dreams are made of…

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Dreams1
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Dreams2
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Dream2 upclose

Dream on.. and then get up and do something about it!!!

This beautiful ship was visiting our small little world and brought with it a bounty full of fuel for the imagination!  It was fabulous to just sit and watch children and adults like glaze over from the possibilities of this ship!!

All the more reason to get out and take a walk… you just never know

what you may find!

 

 

~J. Lyn

Giving : those in need vs Those in NEED.

I need to take a few minutes to catch you up on this rant….

So recently in the city that I live  a fundraising group called Altrusa held their Back to School Fair.  IF your family qualifies (which must be determined at the end of the previous year of school), they have volunteers that will walk your children through the local YMCA which has all these different stations with all the supplies your child will need for school, including gift certificates to cover a large part of the cost for tennis shoes.  It is amazing.  It is fabulous.  My family doesn’t qualify, but we did once and at that point we really needed the help so now I think it is fabulous (but you may want to hold your applause).

So a few days ago on facebook I see a video ad for this great charity.  Then I see some photos promoting the event.  The problem??  In the photos and ads other people in the community who don’t quite qualify  have recognized the children and know the families in the ads.  THEY are the same families wearing nice clothes, driving nice cars, and their children are in expensive programs.  So… yep… even I got upset.

Then I felt bad.  The old Catholic guilt crawled up my spine and whispered in my ear.

So then I posted this on my facebook:

Not trying to be preachy but something I have recently had to remind myself…
It really isn’t fair to criticize those in need or to try to deem others more or less worthy of help. I lost interest in Extreme Home Makeover when I realized that they weren’t just out for the good of the action – they had qualifiers. My focus since that revelation has been to give because giving is good and it isn’t my place to judge those who receive or HOW they use it. I don’t care if someone takes an item at my rummage sale and sells it for more – they must need it. I don’t care if someone takes my gift and resales it – they must need to do it and my gift was to them to do as they pleased – not so I could be reminded of my own greatness by limiting others. I still get upset when I see abuses, and being a vocal person – I am sure you heard me. But this is my own gentle reminder it is not my place to judge.

Then the memories began to swamp me.  Once upon a time, My husband and I welcomed into our home a woman and her kids who we thought were in NEED.  We found out later that the Mother’s NEED was to live out of our home for free, with free cable, free a/c or heat, free space while she bought designer sunglasses and dresses and took her kids here, there and everywhere.

I depend on Karma to kick that woman in the ass, even if it waits until her children are safely out of the way.

But in the meantime, I see her and her fake attitude and fake sincerity conning people.  People I don’t know well, but I do know.  I have kept my mouth closed.

So here is where I need you all – give me your input, thoughts, advice…..

Is it on other humans to police and be vocal about abusers of the system or do you believe that we should do our best not to judge and let things resolve themselves??  

Let me hear you!!!

~J.Lyn

Parents, Humans… lend her your ear!!!

 

If you are a parent, wait, if you are a HUMAN – – – – >  please take the 18 1/2 minutes to watch this.

It is information everyone should hear.

 

http://eatlocalgrown.com/video/11895-kids-food-allergies-gmos.html

 

The line as a mom that really echoes…

“It’s about progress, not perfection.  Do one thing.”