Wednesday, April 30, 2014


Professor Zelikow (University of Va) in his lecture "The Emerging Governance Gap" said >  "People don't change unless they think there is something better in its place".  I used this quote recently in our SVP Cincinnati consulting session with Su Casa  (Non Profit assisting Hispanic population in Cincinnati).  Change is tough and requires a positive attitude when it is forced upon you.

Life circumstances outside your control will pressure you to change.  You can either accept that change or resist it.  Envisioning the positive and accepting/coping with the negative is a first step in creating the necessary attitude in the change management process.

The world (and it's history) shows one certainty - that change will happen.  It can either happen with you or without you.  What you can control is how you deal with the change.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014


What a moment in time - Jenna is now officially graduated from University of Cincinnati College of Nursing.  While I must admit attending any graduation ceremony (listening to over 2000 names being read) can be tedious, looking back on it I'm glad Jenna wanted to attend.  The "Pinning Ceremony for UC Nursing" was an added two hours but worth it.  Learning that UC's College of Nursing is the OLDEST accredited Nursing program is quite a heritage for Jenna to be a part of. 

Sunday we moved Jenna out of the Clifton poverty and she will transition from our house to her own abode once she finishes her Nursing accreditation test and starts at Christ Hospital in oncology.  The month of May will be a spring into new adventures.

Today was my own "graduation" having finished the last quiz and survey for the 14 week history course (92 lectures) I was taking on-line.  I have earned the Distinguished Student Award (85% or higher on the cumulative quiz scores).  I have enjoyed this more than the library videos "Great Courses"  ( 

So in a small way, I join Jenna in graduation.  She however was "Cum Laude".  Well done Jenna!!  You surpassed my college performance.  Good to see the generations improve.  :)

Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter Season

Yesterday was a wonderful  Easter Sunday. A sunny 70 degree day that the family and A.M. spent outside.  There were activities with Badminton and even flying kites.  The new "dog water fountain" has been installed.  With the soft sound of water bubbling and the wind chines echoing, our back patio has transformed into a spring time oasis. 

Friday, April 18, 2014

Knowledge Nazi

At the Vistage meeting yesterday, A.S. talked about a situation where I.T. vendors were being swapped (i.e. Web host and designers).  "It's tough, when the outgoing vendor is a Knowledge Nazi", he said. Barriers to competition include intellectual capital and, in this case, willingness to transfer information technology assets. 

The information age might very well be called the age of knowledge.  Military intelligence has turned the tides of wars.  The recent press about advance knowledge of intent to buy stock by institutions provided opportunities to beat the order to the seller and profit by selling to the institution at a higher price.  Censoring information provides politicians an advantage in swaying public opinion. 

Those individuals that "hoard and hide" knowledge are appropriately called Knowledge Nazis.  Monopolizing information is a way to exert your power over others - in a way attempt to make others "dumb".  That is why freedom of the press is paramount to individual freedom.  In George Orwell's book "1984" the government had the Thought Police - or again "Knowledge Nazis". 

The internet is a shining light in a darkness of censorship and propaganda.  A ubiquitous and free internet access would serve our society the very best of countering the Knowledge Nazis of today.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

You are History

I have two remaining weeks (of the 14 total) of study of the on-line course "The Modern World: Global History since 1760  by Philip Zelikow (University of Va).  The best part is the final three weeks are about the years I have been around (1950 - 2014).  Funny how one gets interested in history - when they are history :)

So what have I learned?  What "take aways" would I say expanded my present day awareness?

(1) Conflicts and Wars are inevitable and.........  don't be complacent and think WWIII will never happen.
(2) Empires are gone - Nation States are going
(3) History is all about situations, problems, solutions (or options) that people act upon (e.g choices)
(4) Choices are framed by our ideologies - political beliefs, values, and community thinking
(5) Economics (Land and Labor) drives the engine of choices 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Blogging Fatigue

I noticed over the years many dormant blog sites - the tendency of a blogger to "run out of gas" after the newness wears off. In fact this blogging fatigue can be seen this year in my own activities with only 23 entries year to date.

There wasn't blogging per se in the 1800's - instead it was diaries.  My  great grandmother (Mary Jane Castanian) was an 1800 blogger.  On my last visit back to Kansas, I decided to read some of her diaries.  They are four 12 by 6 ledger books ( 1879 -1918) with each page showing a month (one line written per day). 

Even Mary Jane got "diary fatigue" early in the journals when in 18?? there are 3 blank months.  However with a new years resolution, she was able to overcome this critical period of potential "diary discipline dearth" and continued the routine of writing in her journal.  Dad described her pattern each evening, sitting in her rocker with an oil lamp balanced on one knee with the journal and pen on the other knee. 

What a great inspiration to follow and get over my own period of blogging fatigue.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Bracket Statistics

This year I will come in dead last (8of 8) in the March Madness family bracket contest.  The official contest run by D'Lane through website has been recorded since 2008 (I was last in that year also).   I did have a moment of glory in first place in 2010 when I was lucky enough to pick Duke as the Champion.

This year everyone became a statistician when Warren Buffet insured Quicken Loan's Billion Dollar Bracket Challenge.  Everyone that talked about the probabilities cited incorrect statistics - but they had the concept right -  it wasn't going to happen.  The chance of randomly predicting the outcome of the main draw's 63 games is one in 9,223,372,036,854,775,808  (you could round it to 9 quintillion and be close enough).  Now the other variables are that no one picks totally randomly (and rightly so).  Also Warren Buffet limited his risk by insuring only 15 million entries. 

Actually there was one non entry on Yahoo's Bracket site that perfectly picked the first 36 games but was foiled by the Dayton/Syracuse matchup (Dayton upset Syracuse).  But even his bracket must have been picked "from the heart" since he had Michigan and Michigan St. as the final two.

Actually the best part of this years March Madness is that the word Quintillion was actually said more than it has been said in the last "ump-tillion" years combined. 

PS  - Quintillion is any number with 18 zeros behind it  10^18.   And for those mathematicians in the group that is a million times a trillion  (10^6 * 10^12)  =  10^(6+12) = 10^18

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Spitting Image

Today the Ancestry DNA test results arrived. The "spit" test I sent in March 5th to supplement the research I have been doing on the Family Tree was a way to try to validate and find the history prior to Capt. John Wisner who fought in the revolutionary war (at least on one side - 50% - of the genes).  The best guess from family stories handed down is that there was likely German (based on the surname) and Russian (based on the Castanien branch).

Here was the best estimate from Ancestry DNA:


So much for the German theory......   looks pretty much like Great Britain with a little Irish.

I'm glad to see a pinch of Italian or Greek since I love that cuisine. 

Ultimately you could say I'm a "mutt"  or in food terms "Heinz 57" varieties.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Great or Grand

God delivered to Julia and Tim a girl today.  With that event a new branch of the family tree spouted and several branches became great or grand (or both).  My personal promotion was to "Great" (Great Uncle).  D'Lane and Ann received the honor of "Grand" but the nickname may not include the official word.  This seems to indicate in family tree hierarchy that "Grand" exceeds "Great". 

There is no question, though, Great Grandma and Grandpa deserve the real honor - simultaneously "Great and Grand" :)