Sunday, November 17, 2013

Respect


If they respect you, respect them. If they disrespect you, still respect them. Do not allow the actions of others to decrease your good manners, because you represent yourself, not others.

~Mohammad Zeyara


Sunday, November 10, 2013

How Do We Thank Our Veterans?


Veterans Day, 2009. Oregon State University.

Some veterans bear visible signs of their service: a missing limb, a jagged scar, a certain look in the eye.

Grandpa Lewis - what a handsome young guy!

Others may carry the evidence inside them: a pin holding a bone together, a piece of shrapnel in the leg or perhaps a sort of inner steel: the strong soul forged in the refinery of adversity. 

My Papa looking at his WWII medals we found hidden in a closet. Who knows how long it had been since he laid eyes on them last. 

Except in parades, the men and women who have kept America safe wear no badge or emblem. You can't tell a vet just by looking. 


What is a vet? 

They are the police officers who spent six months in Saudi Arabia sweating two gallons a day making sure the armored personnel carriers didn't run out of fuel. 

Josh. Middle East deployment #5. 

She or he is the nurse who fought against futility and went to sleep sobbing every night for two solid years in Danang. 

He is the POW who went away one person and came back another or didn't come back AT ALL. 

My friend Josh and his KC-10 crew, Middle East deployment.

He is the Quantico drill instructor who has never seen combat but has saved countless lives by turning slouchy, no-account rednecks and gang members into Marines, and teaching them to watch each other's backs. 

Trey Escobar and his flight before a Middle East deployment.

He is the parade riding Legionnaire who pins on his ribbons and medals with a prosthetic hand. 

He is the career quartermaster who watches the ribbons and medals pass him by. 


My dear friend Noah, who although doesn't like to hear it... has survived so much. More than most. We're grateful he's home safe with his wife and soon-to-come baby!

He is the three anonymous heroes in The Tomb of the Unknowns, whose presence at the Arlington National Cemetery must forever preserve the memory of all the anonymous heroes whose valor remains unrecognized with them on the battlefield or in the ocean's sunless deep. 

Former Marine Corps General Conway. Marine Corps Ball. 2009.

He is the old guy bagging groceries at the supermarket, aggravatingly slow, who helped liberate a Nazi death camp and who wishes all day long that his wife were still alive to hold him when the nightmares come. 

Veterans Day, Oregon State University. 2009.

My friend Mike, deployment to Korea. 

He is an ordinary and yet an extraordinary human beings. Women and men who offered some of life's most vital years in the service of their country, and who sacrificed their ambitions so others would not have to sacrifice theirs. 

Medal of Honor recipient, Gary Beikirch and his beautiful wife, Lolly.

They are a Soldier, Marine, Sailor or Airman, and also a savior and a sword against the darkness, and they are nothing more than the finest, greatest testimony on behalf of the finest, greatest nation ever known.

So remember each time you see someone who has served our country, just lean over and say Thank You.

We did a Christmas gift-box drive for deployed troops a few years ago. A friend's elementary class wrote hundreds of thank you letters to soldiers. 

That's all many people need, and in most cases it will mean more than any medals they could have been awarded or were awarded.

Marine Corps Ball. New York City, 2009. Medal of Honor recipient, Brian Thacker. 

Two little words that mean a lot, "THANK YOU". 


God Bless Our Veterans!

If you haven't seen this short video yet, I highly recommend it. A military veteran struggling with homelessness, addiction and poverty literally transforms in front of your eyes. Click here


Monday, October 28, 2013

Wedding Photos 88 Years After Getting Hitched



A centenarian couple who have been married for 88 years have finally got to take the wedding photos they couldn't take when they were first married. Wu Conghan, 101, and his wife Wu Sognshi, 103, married in 1924, and have been together for almost nine decades. I'm not sure it gets any cuter than this.


Wu Conghan, 101, and his wife Wu Sognshi, 103 are pictured in Nanchong, Sichuan Province, China





(HAP / Quirky China News / Rex USA)

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Startup Coffee @ Galvanize, Denver



Calling all Denver entrepreneurs! 

Meet us for coffee and treats on Friday, October 25th at 8am

Nothing fancy or formal - just entrepreneurs enjoying good conversation and meeting each other. Help us make this city a smaller, more interesting place!

Details are here:  http://thinkglobalinstitute.org/event/startup-coffee-galvanize/

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Halloween in Denver - Amy Winehouse Doesn't Cut It





Remember that Halloween when I was Amy Winehouse? Yahhhh. That was crazy. I had just hopped off a plane from Greece and I was so jet lagged, I was stumbling around Tempe like I was high. I actually still have some of those temporary tattoos left. 


I'm at a total loss for this year's costume. I am living in Denver, which means no more tank tops and shorts. This place will be freezing by that time!

If I could get away with it, I'd be the Stay Puff Dough Boy, Michelin Man, or maybe even Fat Bastard from Austin Powers. I'd be so warm! 

Any ideas for cute costumes that I can keep warm in??

Friday, September 27, 2013

Denver - We're Comin' for You

Exciting news!

After an amazing 2 week long trip to Denver, we've locked it in as our first accelerator city of 2014. We decided quickly that we wanted to try living there for at least a year.... so that's what we'll do! We have an apartment in downtown Denver, overlooking Coors Field and the gorgeous skyline. 

No trip to Denver is complete without a jaunt to Boulder to do some breath-sucking hiking. We're sea-level people... Hiking well above a mile elevation was hard!!!


We even got passed up by a chihuahua!!! Twice!!!


It made me feel better when the big dog laid down and refused to move. I felt his pain.


Beautiful Boulder


Our amazing friends Erin and Brant. We made it to the Royal Arch! Woot woooot! (camel hump-day style)



Here's that little jerk again. His name was Turbo. Jk. I adore him!


We stopped together again.


Right before the big flooding of 2013 - we were very lucky to be staying in an unaffected area.


Very cool art museum. I wonder if I could have a house like this someday? Steve?? Start building.


Dr. Evil (me) and my two pets.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Dive Deep and Swim Far. How you can share your self-respect, new power and experience for good!



"Be not the slave of your own past. Plunge into the sublime seas, dive deep and swim far, so you shall come back with self-respect, with new power, with an advanced experience that shall explain and overlook the old."
       ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson


What doesn't come naturally to me:
small talk
patience 
staying up late
numbers
asking for help


The biggest one in my life right now: asking for help.


Me! Raising my hand! I need help!!

Now, I'm not in some terrible situation, drowning in debt, losing a leg or fighting off life-monsters with a small butter knife.

Quite the contrary.

As you may know, we launched our nonprofit. Think Global Institute.  We have been working on this day and night, night and day for 1.5 years. Steve created the idea in his big brain while I was still working full time.

His motivation was so pure, which is why it works. We were making NO money and working ourselves to silliness to ensure women entrepreneurs had a place to come when they had questions. 


Things like this make every step worth it

We wanted to empower them outside the classroom, and it just wasn't being done without our efforts. In my professional life, I was the "face"to these women. I was the one they reached out to with questions, difficult questions about life, and wants for more support. I had no resources to do so at work, so Steve and I did it on our own time. And yes - our efforts went a long way. But we were tired



Steve's weekly Skype with a woman entrepreneur and her team in Buenos Aires

We knew we could do more, but I had a full time job, albeit decreasingly fulfilling.

The loss of my job catapulted us into action to make Think Global Institute a full-time life for us. We have worked so hard to make sure what we created was   a) even wanted by women entrepreneurs in developing economies   b) sustainable    c) scaleable    d) something we truly believed in.

When the answer was a resounding YES to all 4, we launched. We have been successful up until this point, but we cannot be martyrs to continue to succeed! We have reached the point where "bridging" funds are needed from an outside entity while we finalize the last aspects of our own funding model. 

This means, we will be self-sufficient and self-funded. We eventually will not rely on donations from the kind hearted souls in our universe. 

But for now. We need it to continue. The amazing, huge, impactful things we can do with a small amount of money is mind-blowing even to me, and I'm right on the front lines!

Will you share our humble request with friends or family? Will you give? Even a small amount HELPS. If nothing else, please read our story and learn about the journey we're on. 

Women, on a whole, are a terribly underutilized force for change, good, progress and success. We know that each woman has the ability, intelligence and courage to achieve the level of success they dream of.

There is such strength and tenacity in every woman, which is ignited immediately when they are empowered, safe and supported.

Here is my difficult ask of the morning: Please Help. Give. Gift. Support. Empower. Share.

THANK YOU! 

p.s. Did I mention you get to pick out a sweet gift if you do give? :)