Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Social Media and Swine Flu

-Swine Flu: Time will tell on this comment, but c'mon. I am a relatively recent adopter/user of social media sites. (Facebook, Digg, Twitter, Blogspot etc.) I think the more information the better. However, we need to exercise some restraint. #Swineflu has been one of the top trending topics on Twitter for several days now. I understand the concern, and don't want to minimize any loss of life. But visit websites like the Centers for Disease control to get the facts. The site talks about treatment, and has great general information. Also check out the World Health Organization's site. Bottom line: some people are much more at risk for serious complications (the elderly, the very young), you prevent contracting this strain of flu as you would any other, you treat it as any other, and there are precautions to take if symptoms get worse.

The downside to social media, the spread of rumors, mistated facts, the possibility of panic etc. I think we are seeing it right now. As I see it the swine flu is serious, but exercise restraint, and don't panic. It's making great copy right now for news organizations, credible or not, but it should run it's course-and by the way, here is the latest information as of the writing of this blog:

Swine influenza - update 5

29 April 2009 -- The situation continues to evolve rapidly. As of 18:00 GMT, 29 April 2009, nine countries have officially reported 148 cases of swine influenza A/H1N1 infection. The United States Government has reported 91 laboratory confirmed human cases, with one death. Mexico has reported 26 confirmed human cases of infection including seven deaths.
The following countries have reported laboratory confirmed cases with no deaths - Austria (1), Canada (13), Germany (3), Israel (2), New Zealand (3), Spain (4) and the United Kingdom (5).
Further information on the situation will be available on the WHO website on a regular basis.
WHO advises no restriction of regular travel or closure of borders. It is considered prudent for people who are ill to delay international travel and for people developing symptoms following international travel to seek medical attention, in line with guidance from national authorities.
There is also no risk of infection from this virus from consumption of well-cooked pork and pork products. Individuals are advised to wash hands thoroughly with soap and water on a regular basis and should seek medical attention if they develop any symptoms of influenza-like illness.

Related links

Swine influenza web site
Daily updates will be posted on this site.

Signing off for now....Jiresell

Thursday, April 23, 2009

What a Great Day!

What does it mean to be a good citizen? Follow the laws? Exercise your right to vote? Be productive in whatever endeavor you choose to pursue?

I had a great day today! Today was the Butler County United Way's (Headquarters in Hamilton, Ohio) Spring day of Caring. Two of my co-workers from Rockwell Automation (Jim Miller and Steve Deitzer) along with David Lippert of Hamilton Caster had the opportunity to volunteer to work with the good folks at Mercy Franciscan at St. Raphael in Hamilton, Ohio. They needed some benches built for their front lobby/foyer. The people who come in to the St. Raphael Social Service Center need a place to sit as they wait to receive services, whether it is access to their emergency food pantry, emergency shelter services or outreach nursing.

We built the benches. A simple task, but the appreciation we received from Carrie Morris, their Executive Director, and the staff was so heartfelt, I couldn't help but feel like I had accomplished something. Not to mention the fact that there is tangible evidence that we produced something of value today. (I am not much of a woodworker.)

The day started with a breakfast in Hamilton, Ohio where the volunteers gathered together with multiple social service agencies who are partners with the Butler County United Way. Leaders from our community were present, and the best part of the event was seeing the United Way honor the volunteers who give so much to the community. It was a tough year for the local United Way giving campaign, but the community rallied in February through a "Campaign of Hope" to come up with the resources that allowed the Butler County United Way to continue to provide grants to the programs in the community that are doing such great work to service those less fortunate.

Why was it a great day? I was able to give my time to help a local social services center. I was able to hear personally from Butler County United Way's partner agencies how appreciative they were for the resources we were able to provide. I am humbled by the work these agencies do. It give me hope!

So here is my definition of a good citizen. A good citizen gives back. They see it as their responsibility to help those less fortunate. They Give! They Advocate! They Volunteer!

The Butler County United Way is my choice for giving, advocating and volunteering. My good friend Maureen Noe, CEO would love to hear from you! But the United Way is certainly not the only avenue. Choose a cause, make a difference!

Signing out......Jiresell

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Twitter is Cool!

I have become a big fan of Twitter. For those of you unfamiliar, Twitter is best described as a 140 character "microblog" that anyone can use via the internet, or better yet through direct texting.

My son turned me on to Twitter about 5 months ago. I actually first heard about it when multiple news outlets reported how Twitter became one of the primary places to get first hand reports during the Mumbai, India bombings last November.

I don't think anyone should depend on Twitter to get their news, however what has become very cool is that multiple legitimate news outlets are now using Twitter to send out short, quick burst of news in real-time. Check your local newspaper (i.e. Cincinnati Enquirer, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, even USA Today among many others) to see if they have this service. Also, you can find ESPN, CNN and many other media outlets using Twitter to send out news updates.

There are multiple companies, local and national who are using the service to get information out on their products. It is also great to find Celebrities and Sport Figures regularly updating via the service. Check this article for some great recommendations:

I like watching trends on Twitter. Next time you are watching TV, especially some of the more popular shows like American Idol, Lost etc. Bring up Tweetgrid, and click on trending topics. You can watch in real time the reactions of people watching the shows-very entertaining! You can also use tools like this to search keywords for subjects you may be interested in.

However, the best part of Twitter is finding people who are just plain funny. I follow over 70 people, companies, news outlets etc. By far my favorite-obxlaw.

So check it out: And check me out:

By the way, this is an independent opinion. No one from or it's affiliates asked or paid me for this endorsement...LOL

Signing off for now.......Jiresell

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

C'mon Starbucks.....

Dropped son #2 off at soccer training tonight and decided to drop by Starbucks for a cup of coffee. The Starbucks is 20 yards from a Caribou Coffee, but decided to use my Gold Card. (10% off etc.)

Pull up to the drive thru (Note it is 7:30pm):

Starbucks: "Welcome to Starbucks, would you like to try one of our coffee/roll combos?"
Me: "No thanks."
Starbucks: "How can I help you?"
Me: "I'd like a tall decaf coffee." (7:30pm)
Starbucks: "We no longer sell decaf coffee in the evenings."
Me (In my head): "WTF!"
Me: "Really!?!?"
Starbucks: "It was a corporate decision."
Me: "Hmmmm"
Starbucks: "I'd be happy to make you a decaf Americano."
Me (In my head): "I don't like Americano style."
Me: "I'd really like a decaf coffee."
Starbucks: "We'd be happy to fresh brew you a pot, it will take about 4 minutes."
Me: "That would be great."

Editorial Comment: A+ for service at the local store and they gave me the coffee for free.

Message for Starbucks Corporate: No decaf coffee in the evenings?!? Isn't that when people want the stuff? C'mon...

Oh, by the way, please train your team members to put the top on the cup so that the hole is not on the leaks!

Signing off...Jiresell

Monday, April 13, 2009

Random Musings

We returned from Colorado this Saturday night and had a chance to catch up on some TV sports before I had to leave for a business trip Sunday evening. Two particular events really caught my attention, and both events had ended with results that were both unexpected and ultimately very disappointing:

-As it became clear that Tiger Woods wasn't going to make the run to catch up to the leaders on Sunday at the Master's (certainly not for lack of effort on his part), I found myself rooting for Kenny Perry. I was in Milwaukee in 1986 (where were you?) when Jack Nicklaus won his last Master's at the age of 46. Kenny Perry's run at the age of 48 was amazing, and with a two shot lead with two holes to go, I thought I would see him break Nicklaus' record for the oldest Master's champion. But a case of the "pull hooks" with his irons left the door open for Chad Campbell and Angel Cabrera, and ultimately another pull hook on the final playoff hole gave the Championship to Cabrera.

-Kenny Perry was the second disappointment for me this weekend. I'm not a hockey fan, but living only 30 minutes from Miami of Ohio I had to watch the finals of the NCAA Frozen Four hockey championships. Miami of Ohio has never won a championship in any sport, and were up 3-1 against Boston University with 3 minutes to go. With the championship practically clinched, Miami of Ohio gave up two goals in the final minute of the match, and ultimately lost in overtime 4-3. Crap....

Signing off.......Jiresell

Friday, April 10, 2009

Thoughts on a Trip to Colorado, From the Eyes of a Midwesterner

Returning home from a whirlwind trip to Colorado. As I am sitting in a Fairfield Inn in Independence, Missouri (of course booked with Marriott points) my mind wanders to highlights of the trip:

-Why don't they sell plain Dorito's in the Midwest? Whenever I get a chance to go to Colorado, I have to visit the local grocery store to get the plain, corn flavored Dorito's. I don't need nacho cheese, or blue cheese/buffalo flavored tortilla chips. Give me good old fashion corn. My message to Frito-Lay...SELL THESE IN THE MIDWEST.

-Boulder, Colorado has to be the most beautiful town in the country. The Colorado University campus has maintained a consistent architectural philosophy, with even the newest buildings having matching brick exterior to the rest of the campus. Sitting in the foothills of the Rockies, the views are unbelievable. Also, I know that 28,000 students plus attend the University, but it has the feel of a much smaller University, which for me makes this school very appealing.

-I'm a novice skier at best, so Breckenridge was the place for me. 6 runs down the greens on peak nine, lunch at the Ten-Mile House on the slopes is perfect for me. Then go to town, dinner one night at Giampietro's Pizza, the second night at Rasta Pasta. The owners of Rasta Pasta throw together some strange combinations into their recipe's, but it's all good!

-Driving across the Midwest, I have decided that Kansas must be the longest State in the Union, and is the home of the largest of everything-Van Gogh Painting, Prairie Dog, Windmill Farm.....

Signing off....9 more hours to drive in the morning-----------------Jiresell