Thursday, December 29, 2011

Immigrant Entrepreneur Success Story

Luong Thi Gia Hoa Ryan was born in Viet Nam, the oldest of twelve children. She worked for U.S. Government as Interpreter and Secretary during the Vietnam War and supervised local workers for the U.S. Government.

Over 250 friends gathered at the Sai Gon Plaza on Saturday November 5, 2011 to celebrate the 40th anniversary since Gia Hoa Ryan first came to America in November 1971 from Viet Nam. This was also the 18th anniversary of the establishment of the Friendship Foundation in December 1993. This was also the 6th year since the opening of the Sai Gon Plaza in November 2005.

She's a terrific lady, a dynamic entrepreneur and a credit to her new country and city.

Gia Hoa Ryan and Mayor Frank Jackson

Gia Hoa Ryan and Mayor Frank Jackson

Gia Hoa Ryan's 40th Anniversary Party
4 pages of photos and video

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas 1981 - A Flame for Freedom in Poland

It was 30 years ago, December 13, 1981, that martial law was imposed upon Poland by the communist government. Poles were aghast, horrified, frightened. And so was the man in Rome, a Polish native named John Paul II, and so was another man thousands of miles away in Washington, DC, President Ronald Reagan.

When word of the communists’ actions reached the White House, President Reagan was furious. He wanted to help the people of Poland in any way he could. At that very moment, Reagan committed to save and sustain the Polish Solidarity movement as the wedge that could splinter the entire Soviet bloc, as the first crack in the Iron Curtain.

“May I ask you a favor, Mr. President? Would you light a candle and put in the window tonight for the people of Poland?”

Read the eyewitness account of that special night

Merry Christmas

Even Santa needs to meditate and relax sometimes.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Digital Nativity

You have to like this video - the Christmas story told as if there was social media 2000 years ago.

Geek Christmas

Let's face it. As people like us make the holiday rounds, we will be on one long tech support incident. Especially if the relatives have the tech knowledge of the guy who hung these Christmas lights.

"Can you look at Cousin Mary's PC? She lost all her icons."

Can you get my wireless set up?

How do I hook up my phone/tablet/mp3 player to my computer and TV?

Why do I get these boxes popping up on my screen every 15 seconds? I swear I didn't touch anything!

So make sure you travel with a USB flash drive that has anti-virus, anti-malware, a registry cleaner and other utilities. Upgrade them to at least Internet Explorer 8 if not IE 9 and/or Google Chrome. Maybe set them up for one of the cheap cloud backup services too so they won't be calling you on New Year's Day saying their PC crashed and they don't have any backups.

And try to enjoy the holidays - even if you are left upstairs in the computer room while everyone else is downstairs drinking eggnog.

Ho Ho Ho.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Rock of Ages - for Hanukkah?

You learn something new everyday.
To me, Rock of Ages has always been an old time Christian hymn.

I learned yesterday that Jews have a Rock of Ages song too. They sang it at a ceremony celebrating the first night of Hanukkah at the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage.

See more photos and videos from the Maltz Museum Hanukkah ceremony

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Project Love

Each year Project Love honors individuals for their roles as influential persons on behalf of humanity at an annual Rescuer of Humanity Awards Dinner. This year's dinner was held on November 30th at Executive Caterers at Landerhaven.

The dinner emphasizes the Project Love theme that one person, willing to take a chance and reach out their hand, can truly make a difference.

Cleveland Collinwood High School student Imane Blaine recited her poem Pressure about student peer pressure.

See more from the Project Love Awards


After the tragedy of 9/11, New York City absorbed such a large portion of all charitable donations that many local non-profits struggled to reach their own goals. In response, Harlan Diamond and Executive Caterers rededicated their December Corporate Club luncheon to the support of local charities, especially smaller organizations without substantial resources of their own.

That first Philanthropia saw 200 guests and raised $9,000. In 2007 it had outgrown the Grand Ballroom, spilled into the Lander Ballroom, and with over 1200 guests they raised over $128,000. Each year's community response is bigger and better.

As you can see from the giant check held by MC Leon Bibb, the 2010 Philanthropia raised $141,905 for local charities. Congratulations to Harlan Diamond and his team for another outstanding community event.

Pictures and video from Philanthropia

Friday, December 16, 2011

Roy Rogers and Dale Evans

Despite being a destitute, divorced, single-mother at age 16, Dale went on to be a role model for millions of young girls, author 28 inspirational books, write over 300 songs, provoke a generation to care for special needs children, adopt five children, and live out a beautiful 50-year marriage to Roy Rogers, King of the Cowboys.

A commemorative 2-DVD set was issued on November 5, 2011 in conjunction with Roy’s 100th birthday.

Did you know that Dale's first marriage was to Thomas Fox when she was 14 years old?

Or that The Roy Rogers Show debuted on December 30, 1951 and aired 100 episodes until 1957. Stars of the show were: Roy Rogers and his horse Trigger, Dale Evans and her horse Buttermilk, Pat Brady and his Jeep Nellybelle, and Bullet The Wonder Dog.

See more fun facts about Roy Rogers and Dale Evans.

Cleveland Clinic Medical Innovation Summit

The 9th annual Cleveland Clinic Medical Innovation Summit was held October 3-5, 2011. The focus was State of the Heart: Cardiovascular Technologies and about 1,000 senior executives, investors, entrepreneurs and clinicians gathered at Cleveland Clinic to discover the future of medicine.

3 sessions stood out for me. The Top 10 Medical Innovations for 2011, the Vice-President Dick Cheney session and the Jeopardy game with IBM's supercomputer Watson.

More from the Cleveland Clinic Medical Innovation Summit

My Cleveland

An Indian-American (Mike Srestha) playing a Spanish song (Feliz Navidad) at a Christmas event at an Irish Catholic Church (St Colmans). That's my Cleveland.

An Asian-Indian group called Project Seva has been working with St. Colman's Church at West 65th and Lorain since 1999. "Seva" means "Selfless service" or "To serve humanity" in both Hindi and Punjabi. Serving Humanity is one of the pillars of the Sikh faith.

Volunteers of Project Seva have been serving the community for many years. Last year, Project Seva served over 125,000 pounds of food in 3 churches and the American Indian Education Center.

Witnessing the neighborhood people so thankful to receive a hot meal and some Christmas cheer was a real eye opener.

See more from Christmas at St Colman's.


Do you know about MedWish?

As the result of an experience he had in Africa even before he became a doctor, Dr. Lee Ponsky started MedWish in his garage. Simply stated MedWish takes supplies that would normally be discarded, but are still of good quality and in good working condition, and sends them to third world countries where they are saving thousands and thousands of lives.

What a great idea and project.

I learned about it at the annual Project Love Rescuer of Humanity Awards

Some amazing people were honored.

Gifts for Geeks

Last chance to get Gifts for Geeks in time for Christmas. Free shipping too!

ThinkGeek Use Your Brain

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Hard Drive Shortage

“The availability of Hard Drives has decreased dramatically since the floods in Thailand caused many manufacturing plants to close. At this moment, Hard Drives are under worldwide constraint and there are no Hard Drives in Canadian distribution. Any device with a Hard Drive in it may be under constraint. Therefore, pricing will fluctuate without notice.”

I have seen prices go way up and some "one to a customer" limits.

How about you?

Sunday, December 04, 2011

WIN Cleveland Party

We should have photos and video from the WIN Cleveland Holiday Diversity Party at City Hall up soon at ClevelandPeople.Com.

The photo above is most of the WIN Ambassadors with Mayor Jackson in the Red Room of City Hall before the event.

If not STEM, where are bright students headed?

I’ve noticed an interesting phenomenon over the last few years and recent events have added more data to the thesis.

We all know that the US is lagging in producing students in STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics – disciplines. This will lead to a huge competitive disadvantage in the global marketplace.

At a recent City Club speech, Adobe co-founder Chuck Geschke told how Adobe was having a very difficult time finding properly educated people from the US to fill their science and techie positions. They have to go overseas to find enough candidates.

At local NEOSA events and from direct conversations with people in the tech business it is apparent that companies are desperately seeking talented programmers, engineers and other STEM-type people.

When are schools and parents and students going to do something about this? When companies are fighting over a single Dot Net developer for example, don’t you think the educational system (public or private) would work to produce graduates with these skills. High-paying, white-collar jobs are just waiting for applicants.

Read the other interesting trend and listen to the One Minute Podcast

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Lebanon Day in Cleveland

The first Lebanese Independence Day took place on November 22, 1943 in remembrance of the liberation from the French Mandate which was exercised over Lebanese soil for over 23 years.

In 2011, the first Lebanon Day in the city of Cleveland was celebrated. The Lebanese flag flew from the top of Cleveland City Hall and a special ceremony was held in City Hall Rotunda.

Great food, people and entertainment. See pics and video of Lebanon Day in Cleveland

Music and dancing from Lebanon Day

Find a Christmas Tree? There's an app for that

Looking for a fresh tree? Are you frustrated with not finding what you want as you try "hit-or-miss" visits to the local holiday retailer who happens to have trees for sale? Do the trees you see seem brown with envy and dry as toast?

Wouldn’t it be great if you knew where to find a real, honest-to-goodness "mom & pop" tree lot with a lush, green, and fresh smelling selection to choose from. Now, with My Tree Lot Finder you can minimize your time and effort in searching in the cold for that special tree.

My Tree Lot Finder for Android OS smartphones and tablets is free of charge and can be downloaded from: or the Android Market Place.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Show this to the Apple Fanboys

Samsung has a great commercial that pokes fun at the oh-so-cool and hip Apple fanboys (and girls)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Dan Coughlin's Pass the Nuts

He's Baaaaaack!

And for all of us who felt sad when we finished Dan Coughlin's first book Crazy, With the Papers to Prove It: Stories About the Most Unusual, Eccentric and Outlandish People I've Known in 45 Years As a Sports Journalist
because we wanted more, relief is here.

Pass the Nuts: More Stories About the Most Unusual People and Remarkable Events from My Four Decades As a Sports Journalist is the same format as the first book - lots of short (typically 2-6 pages) stories of interesting people set in a Cleveland that many will remember.

Coughlin not only lived these wild stories but has the ability to tell them so well that you can almost smell the stale beer and cigar smoke as you read them.

You will read stories of the big names in Pass the Nuts. People like George Steinbrenner, Ted Turner, LeBron James and NFL Hall of Famer Gene Hickerson and his close personal friend Elvis Presley.

But you'll also get tales of lesser-knowns that will have you smiling, shaking your head and asking "Did they really do that?" Times sure have changed.

I particularly liked the stories from legendary Cleveland watering holes and restaurants like the Theatrical, Blue Fox, Carney's Bar and Pat Joyce's Tavern. These also lend credibility to the book.

For example, I have friends who were at the Theatrical that St. Patrick's Day when former Indians owner Dick Jacobs covered everyone's tab for 3 hours. Likewise, my uncle spent a lot of time at the Blue Fox and his stories are consistent with Coughlin's.

It's another fun book from a fun guy.

Pass the Nuts review

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Cleveland Indians Mascots play at Snow Days

Fox 8 Sports Reporter Allie LaForce took on the condiments in pool.

Cleveland Indians Mascots Ketchup, Mustard and Onion try the games in a warm-up area at Progressive Field as part of the Indians Snow Days. Mustard lost to Ketchup in pool and then to Onion in Air Hockey before giving up.

Pictures and Video from Snow Days

Ice Skating at Cleveland Indians Ballpark

The Frozen Diamond was built at the Cleveland Indians Progressive Field to allow for a hockey game between Ohio State and Michigan St Ed’s vs. St Ignatius and other teams. The general public can also skate there as part of the Indians Snow Days.

Pics and video from Snow Days preview

Indians Snow Days Battle

The Great Lakes Geek races down the Batterhorn at Progressive Field during the Cleveland Indians Snowdays. Take that Missy!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Adobe Chairman Chuck Geschke

Chuck Geschke, Chairman of the Board and Co-Founder of Adobe Systems, spoke at the Cleveland City Club in October.

He has the unique perspective of being in Silicon Valley from the beginning. He was with Xerox PARC until he and John Warnock left and created Adobe.

Geschke told stories from the early days at Stanford Industrial Park and the push that became ARPA after Sputnik. Many of the "ARPA Brats" ended up in the Stanford Industrial Park which became Silicon Valley. Geschke recalled that in 1976 while at Xerox PARC he had a personal computer with a mouse, e-mail, Word-like word processor, Ethernet connectivity (courtesy of his officemate Bob Metcalfe) and a laser printer.

When he learned that his and John Warnock's InterPress graphics language might not become a Xerox product for 7 years, they started Adobe. He told how Steve Jobs wanted to buy the entire company but they only wanted to sell their products.

Fascinating stuff from one of the pioneers of the industry.

See more from Adobe's Chuck Geschke

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thank you Veterans

In 1789, General and President George Washington spoke these words,
"The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional as to how they perceive the Veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their country."

Did you know that as of Aug 2011:

There are 22.7 million military veterans in the US
39.1% of veterans are 65 or older
1.4% of veterans are under age 25
6 states account for 36% of the Veteran population in the US - California, Florida, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas and Ohio
8.1% of veterans are women but that percentage is projected to double in the next 25 years
The average age of all veterans is 60
The average age of Gulf War veterans is 37
The average age of Vietnam War veterans is 60
The average age of Korean War veterans is 76
The average age of World War II veterans is 84

Thank You to all Veterans!

Visit the ClevelandSeniors.Com pages for Veterans, Police and Fire

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Better Broadband equals Better Lives

Better Broadband equals Better Lives - that's what Graham Richard, the former mayor of Fort Wayne, Indiana, said at the OneCommunity Broadband Workshop last month.

OneCommunity and NTIA, the federal agency overseeing nearly $5 billion in broadband stimulus investment, sponsored a 3-day event titled Mid-Course Workshop for Broadband Awardees: Accelerating Deployments & Driving Towards Sustainability Conference in Cleveland, Ohio.

On the third day of the event, a panel of experts spoke on Technology is Changing the Way We Live, Learn, Work and Play.

The panel was moderated by Lev Gonick, Vice President for Information Technology Services and Chief Information Officer at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. Lev is also President Emeritus of the Board of OneCommunity.

Panelists included

Sari Feldman, Executive Director of Cuyahoga County Public Libraries

Brad Chilton, Chief Technology Officer at University Hospitals and former IT director at Eaton Corporation and TRW

Graham Richard, Former Mayor of Fort Wayne, Indiana and named to Government Technology magazine's "Top 25 Doers, Dreamers & Drivers" for Public Sector Innovation

Scot Rourke, President and CEO of OneCommunity and Winner of the Intelligent Community Forum's "Visionary of the Year" award

Some interesting comments from people in the middle of the broadband revolution.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Regionalism in Cuyahoga County

Moderator Tom Beres, Pepper Pike Mayor Bruce Akers, Orange Mayor Kathy Mulcahy and Woodmere Mayor Charles Smith

For those who came to the Corporate Club hoping to hear of monumental proposals to merge suburbs into the central city of Cleveland (a la Louisville, Indianapolis, Columbus, etc.) they were disappointed in the mayors' plans.

But regionalism has to start somewhere. The investigation of the pros and cons of merging some services of the 4 communities is a necessary first step in the discussion. The 4 communities currently share a school district and senior and recreational programs. Years ago they, along with Hunting Valley, made up Orange Township.

See more from the Regionalism discussion at Landerhaven

Cleveland's Best Year Ever

What do you think would be Cleveland's best year ever?

Sports people might say 1948 or 1964.

Music fans might say when the Rock Hall opened.

It was interesting to hear what Albert Ratner, Co-Chair Emeritus of Forest City Enterprise, said was our best year at a recent program called Globalizing Cleveland at the Corporate Club at Landerhaven.

The year? 1904.

See why

Thursday, October 20, 2011

St Louis Cardinals - Cleveland Indians

Unfortunately, it's yet another October that Cleveland Indians fans are watching other teams in the World Series. I thought I'd share some images of Busch Stadium, home of the National League champion St Louis Cardinals, from a fun trip we took to the Gateway of the West.

Whereas Progressive Field in Cleveland has a statue of Bob Feller, the greatest right-handed pitcher in baseball history and there are rumors that a statue will be built to honor slugger Jim Thome sometime in the future, Busch Stadium has several statues like the statue of Dizzy Dean above. They also have one larger statue of Stan 'the Man' Musial.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Casimir Pulaski Day

In 1985, The Ohio Legislature officially declared October 11th to be General Pulaski Memorial Day in honor of his contributions to Poland and the United States. The U.S. House of Representatives voted unanimously on October 8, 2009 to award citizenship posthumously to Casimir Pulaski.

Members of the Polish-American community in Cleveland gathered at the Cleveland City Hall to honor Pulaski.

After the march from City Hall to the Pulaski Cannon, Councilman Anthony Brancatelli mentioned that it was Congressman Dennis Kucinich's birthday (65th) and the group sang a chorus of Sto lat (100 years)

Great Lakes Shipping

WASHINGTON, D.C. (October 18, 2011) - The Great Lakes maritime industry today released the results of a year-long study of the economic impacts of the entire Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway navigation system. The study was commissioned by members of the marine shipping industry, in partnership with U.S. and Canadian government agencies. Martin Associates of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, a global leader in transportation economic analysis and strategic planning, was retained to conduct the study.

Some interesting results

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Irish Cultural Garden

Four new monuments were dedicated at a special ceremony at the Irish Cultural Garden on Saturday October 8, 2011. The Garden was lush with greenery and flowers thanks to Charlene Crowley and her team of volunteers. The Lennon fountain was flowing and the weather couldn't have been better.

Photos and video from the celebration

Photos of all 12 Irish cultural monuments. How many of the Irish cultural figures do you know?

River Shannon in Cleveland?

The Shannon River is closely bound up with Ireland's social, cultural, military, economic and political history. It is the longest river in Ireland at 240 miles and divides the west of Ireland from the east and south.

Cleveland, of courses, is divided into East and West by the Cuyahaoga River. But did you know that Cleveland also has a River Shannon?

See where it is in the Cleveland Photo Quiz

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Hewlett Packard and the Cleveland Browns

Turnover at the top is often indicative of poor records. Just ask the Cleveland Browns.

The eras with stable head coaches (Paul Brown, Blanton Collier, Sam Rutigliano etc.) and quarterbacks (Otto Graham, Frank Ryan, Brian Sipe, Bernie Kosar) were the winning teams. It's probably both cause and effect.

Is this what Hewlett Packard, with yet another CEO change, has in its future?

Listen to the latest Minute with the Great Lakes Geek and Go Browns (and HP)

No visas for Poland?

I was at the Casimir Pulaski day celebration at Cleveland City Hall yesterday. General Casimir Pulaski was a Polish soldier who came to America and helped George Washington defeat the British in the Revolutionary War.

You may have seen Pulaski Square in what used to be Mall C in downtown Cleveland. The cannon monument got moved to near the Free Stamp when Medical Mart construction began.

During the ceremony I learned a disturbing fact. Joseph A. Drobot, Jr., the 27th President of the Polish Roman Catholic Union of America spoke about General Pulaski’s contributions to the American Revolution but then said that Poland is not included among the 36 nations that have US visa waivers. 28 of these nations are in Europe including England, France, Latvia, Estonia and Slovenia.

Poland is a member of NATO, supports US military operations, is a member of the EU and has met all standards required by the US.

So why does the process keep getting stuck in committees?

You can skip to near the end of this video if you just want to hear about this issue.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Hungarian president Pál Schmitt in Cleveland

Hungarian President Pál Schmitt visited Cleveland Ohio on September 17 and 18, 2011.

On Saturday September 17, he visited Cardinal Mindszenty Plaza and placed a wreath at the statue of Cardinal Mindszenty and at the statue of the Hungarian Freedom Fighter.

Photos and video of Hungarian president Pál Schmitt in Cleveland

On Sunday September 18, the president visited the Hungarian Cultural Garden, the statue of Lajos Kossuth, the Father of Hungarian Democracy,in University Circle and attended Mass at St Elizabeth of Hungary Church on Buckeye. He then attended a special reception at the Marriott downtown.

Ukrainian Heritage Park

The dedication of the new Ukrainian Heritage Park in Parma was September 24, 2011.

Before that there was a parade down State in Ukrainian Village.

In addition to many Ukrainian-American youth, social, religious, arts, community and dance organizations, the parade participants included five community high school bands: Parma Senior High School, Normandy High School, Valley Forge High School, Padua Franciscan High School, and Holy Name High School.

Pictures abd video from the Ukrainian Village Parade

Slovak Festival in Cleveland

The Cleveland Slovak-American community came together for the annual Slovak Festival sponsored by the Cleveland Slovak Radio Club.

Check out some of the music from the Culkar Combo and the band Fakt.

The word 'Fakt' is Slovak for "Really?" or "Are you kidding me?"

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wabbit Season - the people have spoken

Summer's over and so is the contest to vote for your favorite Year of the Rabbit sculpture. 19 of the 24 Rabbits received at least one vote. The Rabbit that got both the most votes and the most first place votes was Ralphie Rabbit at 1419 East 40th.

Here are the Top 5 Rabbits that you voted for:

Ralphie Rabbit at 1419 East 40th
Metallago, Heavy Metal Rabbit in Asia Plaza
Patches at East 30th
Garden Party at 3601 Chester
Blue Snow Bunnies at East 30th

You can still view most of the Rabbits in the St. Clair-Superior neighborhood. See photos of all the Rabbits and read some of the comments.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Vietnam remembered

I first met Luis Martinez when he was nominated for the Cleveland International Hall of Fame.

I didn't know he was a two-time Purple Heart Vietnam Veteran - I just knew about his great work in the Cleveland Hispanic community.

He wrote a tribute article about a young friend who died in his arms in Vietnam. He sent it to the Chicago Tribune in hopes of having it published on Memorial Day. The article did not make the paper but we thought it should be published.

It begins:

I tried to keep your son alive that night in 1970. Our Corpsman, "Doc" Coonfield, pronounced him dead but he was a MARINE. I just couldn`t accept the fact that one of us, a good guy, had been killed.

Oblivious to the growl of weapons blindly seeking revenge against an invisible enemy, I kept pumping his heart and blowing air into his mouth trying in desperation to bring him back to life. Our unit, CAP 2-7-10, operated in an isolated area, perhaps a 30 minute flight South of DaNang. We agonized what seemed an eternity for the arrival of the med-evac chopper.

In the meantime another Marine, the dog handler, snapped; he shook uncontrollably the way a person can when overcome by horror. By the time the thunderous apparition found its way to us through the hostile night air I had been overcome with rage.

As we loaded the helicopter and it lifted off, I unleashed my contempt at the perceived delay with pitched profanity and a gesture of disrespect as it disappeared into the black of night.

Read the rest of this gripping tribute from Luis Martinez

Monday, September 26, 2011

Ivan Bezugloff

For those of us who knew Ivan we probably knew about his life with horses (dressage) and publishing (his horse magazines). He was an early adopter of desktop publishing and was always searching for the proper font and often Cyrillic typefaces.

I met him in the Greater Cleveland PC Users Group and those are my recollections.

But he had another career before that I was just reminded of by an e-mail.

Here it is:

I was interested to find your online article about Ivan Bezugloff; just this past Saturday I bought (at an Amateur Radio "swap meet" in Adrian, MI) a voltmeter his second firm -- IB Instruments -- had made. Interestingly, it is the world of dressage that remembers him, not electronics, there having been thousands of small companies that existed only a few years in the 1960's - 1970's. But your article was a memory passed on.

The voltmeter still works.

With best regards,
Cortland Richmond
Ada, MI

Pretty cool. Read the profile of Ivan Bezugloff

Post any comments about Ivan that you may have and we will include them in his profile.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Divine Comedy by Dante

What better place to hear readings from and discussion about the classic Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri than the Italian Cultural Garden?

That's what happened last week.

Dr. Paola Basile and Sculptor Sandro Bonaiuto discussed the classic and read selections in Italian and English.

Pictures and videos of Dante's Divine Comedy in the Cleveland Italian Garden.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Halloween Election Predictions

I was just working on a Halloween Virtual Store for ClevelandSeniors.Com and ClevelandWomen.Com. Lots of costume ideas, decorations, party stuff - as expected.

I looked at a previous store and saw the John McCain and Sarah Palin masks. This isn't a prez election year so I didn't expect much along those lines but there are a bunch of Obama masks such as

but there are also some that may be reflecting the current political mood a little more like this one

I recall some pretty nasty George W Bush masks too.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

International Entrepreneur Awards

Award winner Stella Moga-Kennedy of Le Chaperon Rouge

The 2nd annual TiE International Entrepreneur Awards were held in a ceremony at Windows on the River. The awards were created to recognize the achievements of international entrepreneurs helping to reshape and rebuild Ohio's business landscape and to highlight how international entrepreneurs contribute to the local economy.

The stories of the finalists and winners were truly inspiring.

Photos and videos from the TiE International Entrepreneur Awards

Friday, September 16, 2011

Cloud Connectivity from CIOs

What good is having apps or data in the Cloud if you don't have good connectivity? US broadband speeds have lagged many much less technical countries. Is that a concern for Cloud computing? And what is an acceptable level of downtime for Cloud computing?

The Great Lakes Geek asked these questions to a panel of CIOs at the NEOSA CIO Symposium. Check out the interesting responses from Greg Kall, CIO of Summa Health Systems and Bill Blausey Jr., CIO of Eaton Corporation.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Ukrainian Garden

The Ukrainian Cultural Garden was the host for the 64th One World Day.

Hundreds enjoyed the beautifully refurbished Garden and the rededication of the statue of Lesya Ukrainka on its 50th anniversary and the 140th birthday of the poetess.

Postcard moment for Cleveland

The Syrian Cultural Garden was the staging ground for the Parade of Flags at the recent One World Day. The cool part was that a group of women, in various ethnic costumes, started an impromptu dance around the Garden as Syrian musicians played.

Women in costumes of Croatia, Estonia, India, Korea, Poland, Syria and more.

Check out the pics and video of the dance in the Syrian garden

Friday, September 09, 2011

Let's Roll

The 10th annual Support Our Troops Luncheon was held on September 8, 2011 at Windows on The River.

This year, which also marks the 10th Anniversary of the 9-11 attacks, the luncheon had a very special keynote speaker, Mr. David Beamer. Mr. Beamer is the father of Todd Beamer. Todd is the young man who rallied the passengers of United Flight 93 together with his cry "Are you guys ready? Let's roll!"

Mr Beamer had some very harsh warnings for us all - the enemy is out there, infiltrating our way of life.

Bob Hope's nephew (also named Bob Hope) was another speaker.

User Groups and 9-11-2001

Here is the transcript of the Great Lakes Geek one minute podcast on User Groups and 9/11.

I remember 10 years ago after the terrorist attacks on 9/11 that we were all looking for some way to help the victims. I received a message from a friend in New York who indicated that the emergency personnel were short on PC hardware because much was lost or damaged.

I brought this to the attention of the volunteers of Computers Assisting People (CAP) and we adapted the words of Flight 93 hero Todd Beamer and said ‘Let’s Roll.’

I sent out a message to some other user group leaders and they all wanted to assist. Bob Kwater in Dayton was ready to hop in his car. Many of us were making plans to make the trip to New York with our equipment to assist.

Then we got the word that the authorities needed to limit travel into the area and that even our shipments of PC gear would not reach their destination in a timely manner. So we called off the New York plans and spread the word to the other user groups.

We weren’t able to directly assist but the willingness of so many to drop everything to help was a great example of the ‘users helping users’ philosophy that has been the mantra of user groups since the 1970’s. Groups like CAP have extended this to the next level – ‘users helping the community.’

Hopefully we will be free of such tragedies in the future and user groups will be able to focus their volunteer efforts to helping their communities.


Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Free Windows Office 365 eBook

In case you haven’t logged on to GreatLakesGeek.Com yet today, I wanted to let you know that you can download Microsoft Office 365: Connect and Collaborate Virtually Anywhere, Anytime by Katherine Murray as a free eBook.

Haven't had a chance to read it all yet but the Table of Contents and what I've read so far is promising. Office 365 and the Cloud are a whole new approach.

The official blurb says: "Microsoft Office 365: Connect and Collaborate Virtually Anywhere, Anytime is all about cloud solutions for small businesses, focusing on the core software services (Microsoft Exchange Online, Microsoft SharePoint Online, Office Web Apps, and Microsoft Lync), and demonstrating ways you can create, manage, and lead teams effectively using the communications and collaborative online tools."

Grab it here:

Of course if you already went to GreatLakesGeek.Com or follow the Geek on Twitter or Facebook (@greatlakesgeek) you'd already have the book

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Kardiac Kids

Landerhaven was transformed into Browns Town on August 18 as the 1980 Kardiac Kids took the stage. Coach Sam Rutigliano and players Greg Pruitt, Mike Pruitt and Don Cockroft were led in discussion by Chanel 3's Dave Chudowsky.

They talked in depth about the 1980 season - including, of course, Red Right 88.

It's interesting to hear their opinions after so many years and their thoughts on Art Modell.

Check out the Kardiac Kids at Landerhaven

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Hurricane Irene and Internet

As Hurricane Irene prepares to batter the East Coast, federal disaster officials have warned that Internet outages could force people to interact with other people for the first time in years. Residents are bracing themselves for the horror of awkward silences and unwanted eye contact.

FEMA has advised: “Be prepared. Write down possible topics to talk about in advance. Sports...the weather.

Remember, a conversation is basically a series of Facebook updates strung together.

(Just a joke of course)

Friday, August 26, 2011

Dan Coughlin Profile

Even if you haven't run into Dan Coughlin at a bar or read the hilarious stories in his book, you can tell just by looking at him that he is a fun-loving character.

The official ClevelandSeniors.Com profile of Dan Coughlin is now up.

There is also a page of photos of Dan Coughlin with people like Don King (in photo above), Lou Holtz, Mario Andretti and Clevelanders like Nev Chandler and Casey Coleman.

He has some intersting comment about Art Modell, Lebron James and modern sports in general.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

One World Day

If you have never been to One World Day (this is the 64th) you have to go. Here are the details:

Enjoy the Cultural Gardens, the majestic Parade of Flags and more.

12 noon - 1:00 PM Free, Narrated tours of the Gardens

1:00-2:00 Re-dedication of the statue of Lesya Ukrainka in the Ukrainian Garden.

2:00-3:00 Entertainment in the Ukrainian Garden (Dancers, singers, etc)

2:00-3:30 Parade of Flags starting at the Syrian Garden

3:30 - 5:00 Posting of Flags, One World Day Opening Ceremony, Naturalization of new US citizens, Ethnic Kitchen

Free transportation around the Gardens by Lolley the Trolley all afternoon

Free parking along MLK Blvd.

One World Day 2010 Photos and Videos

Friday, August 19, 2011

Google Error

Error messages have always been cryptic and often useless for trouble-shooting.

I ran into an interesting Google error message the other day. A search results page did not come up. Instead a page with the Google logo came up with the following message:

502. That’s an error.
The server encountered a temporary error and could not complete your request.
Please try again in 30 seconds.
That’s all we know.

"That's all we know"? It's almost refreshing in it's honesty. Still not helpful but ...

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Shared Birthday

Lots of people share their birthday (though not the year) with someone famous.

In my case, I share my birthday with the IBM PC. The IBM PC is younger though - it was introduced in 1981.

The blessing of IBM transformed the PC from a hobbyist's machine into a business machine. Soon offices all over the country would have IBM PCs on their desk, often with a screen burn in of the rows and columns of a Lotus 123 spreadsheet on the green or amber monitor.

The Great Lakes Geek reflects back in this One Minute Podcast.

Asha for Education

At the Indian Independence Day event I learned about a non-profit group called Asha for Education. Basically they collect money and volunteers work on projects to help the underprivileged in India.

It was started at UC Berkeley in 1991 and now has 12 chapters in India and 48 in US. Asha Cleveland started in 1996 and dispersed about $20,000 in 2010. It's based at CWRU. Learn more in this short video.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Glenville Parade

The annual Glenville Parade was on Saturday. It goes down East 105th from Superior to St Clair then hangs a left till 88th where the Festival begins (Sam Miller Park).

There were the usual politicians (mostly candidates for judge) but you can tell it's not a major election year because the bigwigs weren't there. They will be there next year.

Wayne Dawson was the Grand Marshall. The Shaw High School Marching Band was a highlight.

The Parade the Circle creatures (like the one in the photo) were a big hit too.

Pics and video from the Glenville Parade.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Cleveland Asian Festival

I finally posted the photos and videos from the 2011 Cleveland Asian Festival. It was a great 2 day event and over 30,000 people attended!

Great performances, food and people.

7 pages of Photos and videos from the Cleveland Asian Festival

Sunday, August 07, 2011

MS-DOS turns 30

Last week MS-DOS turned 30 years old. On July 27, 1981 Microsoft bought Q-DOS from Tim Patterson for $50,000. The onetime fee, as opposed to ongoing royalties, was a brilliant business move for Microsoft

Remember the rumors about Gary Kildall flying his plane when IBM came calling for CP/M? The Geek does.

Listen to the latest Minute with the Great Lakes Geek for a trip down memory lane.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Opera in the Italian Garden

I have never really acquired the taste for Opera. Some of the popular songs are terrific (Pagliacci, Carmen, Nessun Dorma, the Three Tenors, etc.) but I can't always get into the more difficult selections.

Last Sunday at the Italian Cultural Garden over 1100 of us saw a terrific performance of about 20 opera "hits" by the artists of Opera per Tutti (opera for all). That's Mezzo-soprano Paulette Penzvalto in the photo above.

It's a perfect setting for opera and people brought wine and cheese and picnics for the event.

TV personality Jan Jones was the surprise Narrator and she did a great job with some difficult Italian pronunciations.

Here are 5 pages of photos and videos of the people and performances from the Opera in the Italian Garden

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Too hot to be an Irish Wolfhound

I felt sorry for this poor Irish Wolfhound at the Cleveland Irish Cultural Festival

It's been a hot and muggy summer and all that fur didn't help.

So he did the smart thing and found a fan.

Good boy!