Disability Doorway — A new Durham Region portal to assist people deal with disabilities

DisabilityDoorway.com is a new web portal that assists people with disabilities, or their families, by providing information on resources and services that could help improve their qualities of life in one place.  Durham Region wrote an article about it called “Durham man helps open doors to accessibility“.

What an awesome and well needed website Paul Feldman (Computing By Voice) – great idea!  Way to go DREN (Durham Region Employment Network) and DRLTB (Durham Region Local Training Board) for recognizing a good idea and working together to make it happen.

Be proud – you have made Durham Region and even better place to live, work and play. Way to go!

Over $10,000 in prizes to be won

Tickets $20 each and only 2500 will be sold
license # M552756

Hearts of Durham is extending our reach and as ever looking for new opportunities to support our community. This year we have decided to put together a raffle with over $10,000 in prizes. All proceeds will go to support Feed the Need in Durham – an umbrella organization that collects, warehouses and distributes food to local food banks.

Our first ever Big Hearts Raffle gives ticket holders the chance to win one of eight fantastic prizes. The draw will take place on March 31, 2010 and winners of the grand prize, 2nd prize and 3rd prize will be each given a pair of tickets to the Hearts of Durham Bee’s Knees Benefit held on April 17th, 2010 at Deer Creek Golf and Banquet Facility.

Grand Prize – Your choice of a family trip or a romantic getaway – $5,180.00
The Family Fun Package includes return airfare from Toronto – Orlando and accommodations for 4 (2 adults and 2 children) in Walt Disney World including Disney park passes. Love in the Sun Package includes return airfare from Toronto, accommodations at the exclusive Sandals resort in the Caribbean, all meals, drinks, daily activities, and nightly entertainment. Travel arrangements provided by Latitudes Plus.

2nd Prize – Home Theatre System – $3,180.00
Watch your favourite DVDs while relaxing in the comfort of your own home on your 54″ Viera Panasonic Plasma Television and Panasonic DVD Home Theatre System.

3rd Prize – $1000 VISA card – Let your imagination take you away.

5 Hearts Prizes – $100 grocery gift cards

How is the money going to be used? Feed the Need in Durham requires a refrigerated truck for safe transport of food goods throughout Durham region, as well as a community kitchen/redistribution kitchen (for repacking large quantities of food into smaller packs). Please buy a ticket today and help Feed the Need serve those in need in our community.

Hearts of Durham is a volunteer group made up of our core team of nine women and numerous other volunteers who are helping to make the community of Durham a better place in which to live, work and play. We support one charitable organization each year by coordinating various high level fundraising events.

For tickets, please go to www.heartsofdurham.com

Should You Be An Entrepreneur? Take This Test.

  1. I don’t like being told what to do by people who are less capable than I am.
  2. I like challenging myself.
  3. I like to win.
  4. I like being my own boss.
  5. I always look for new and better ways to do things.
  6. I like to question conventional wisdom.
  7. I like to get people together in order to get things done.
  8. People get excited by my ideas.
  9. I am rarely satisfied or complacent.
  10. I can’t sit still.
  11. I can usually work my way out of a difficult situation.
  12. I would rather fail at my own thing than succeed at someone else’s.
  13. Whenever there is a problem, I am ready to jump right in.
  14. I think old dogs can learn — even invent — new tricks.
  15. Members of my family run their own businesses.
  16. I have friends who run their own businesses.
  17. I worked after school and during vacations when I was growing up.
  18. I get an adrenaline rush from selling things.
  19. I am exhilarated by achieving results.
  20. I could have written a better test than Isenberg (and here is what I would change ….)

via Should You Be An Entrepreneur? Take This Test – The Conversation – Harvard Business Review.

25 Good Things About Having A.D.D.

  1. Lots of energy
  2. Willing to try things – take risks
  3. Ready to talk, can talk a lot
  4. Get along well with adults
  5. Can do several things at one time
  6. Smart
  7. Need less sleep
  8. Good sense of humour
  9. Very good at taking care of younger kids
  10. Spontaneous
  11. See details that other people miss
  12. Understand what its like to be teased or to be in trouble so are understanding of other kids
  13. Can think of different and new ways to do things
  14. Volunteer to help others
  15. Happy and enthusiastic
  16. Imaginative, creative
  17. Articulate – can say things well
  18. Sensitive – compassionate
  19. Eager to make new friends
  20. Great memory
  21. Courageous
  22. More fun to be with than most kids
  23. Charming
  24. Warm and loving
  25. Care a lot about families

This above list was compiled by staff and parents at Learning Centre Summer Camp of Children with A.D.D. July 1992 as reprinted by C.h.a.d.d. Toronto Spring 1994.

Do you drink coffee, tea or hot chocolate at least occassionally?

If you answered yes to this question, you owe it to yourself to try Organo Gold, a new line of gourmet beverages, that is as good if not better than what you drink now, plus it pays you to share it with your friends!

I’d be happy to send you a sample and/or you can attend coffee mixers where you can sample the products and find out how easy it is to get it for free and create a residual income stream for yourself that you can will to your children.

10 Tips for Creating Secure Passwords

If you do anything with computers, you deal with passwords and you probably have a handful of different passwords for different sites and systems. The best password is something that you will never forget, but even your family or closest friend would never guess.

In my experience people either have extremely secure passwords like J!*xurQ1# that are so difficult to remember that they have to write them down (which defeats the security of a password) or extremely unsecure to start with, like Jonny (the name of their spouse). The goal of this post is to give you some ideas on how to generate secure passwords. The tips start out with some simple ways to come up with terms and end with ideas of how to combine these terms into secure passwords.

It should be obvious that you shouldn’t directly use any of the examples shown here. However, some of these ideas should be useful in generating your own secure passwords.

Here are a collection of tips for creating useful passwords.

Use Different Character Classes – Many systems require that your password be from a variety of character classes. The letters a to z are one character class, A to Z is another, 0 to 9 is another, and the symbols are a fourth. In general the more character classes you use in your password, the more secure it is. So “guitar” is less secure than GuiTar which is less secure than Gu1T&r. One simple way to add different character classes is to capitalize all vowels or consonants.

Use Letters from a Phrase – Use the first letter from each word in a phrase, line from a song, etc. “There’s a hole in the bottom of the sea.” could become Tahitbots.

Numbers From Word – Use your phone keypad to convert a word to its numerical equivalent to use as part of your password.

Keyboard Patterns – Creating terms from rows of adjacent keys. 12345 is not very good, but \][po combined in the ways specified below can make for a secure password that would be very difficult to guess and is fast to type.

Use More Than One Word – Single word passwords are easy to break. If a hacker runs a program to try a bunch of words from the dictionary they shouldn’t be able to figure out your password. Choose words that you will remember, but that someone else won’t be able to guess. So a password like shinynail or flyingrock or tallwater are more secure than single word passwords.

Ideas for Passwords – Sometimes coming up with a password can be pretty difficult. Keep in mind you need to choose terms that you won’t often talk about. Here are a list of ideas to help come up with words:

Choose two objects from a picture that you’ll always remember. For example: a drawing at your grandparents house, the illustration from a children’s book, a painting at an art museum, etc.

Choose two terms from a memorable purchase. For example: bluev6 (first car), thinibm (first computer), gold3crt (engagement ring), 7ftgrand (piano), pinedoor (first house), sunshore (honeymoon destination).

Look through a catalog and choose terms based on something you see.

Look up a random article on Wikipedia and choose a word found or related to a word you find in the article.

Separate Your Two Words With Symbols and Numbers – For example: pine&1&door, kit!2!cat, etc.

Modify the Password For Each Site – In theory, the most secure password strategy is to use a completely different password for each system. In practice, this means you’ll have to write them down. By choosing a secure password and modifying it based on where it will be used, you can keep from having to write passwords down, but still have a slightly higher level of security. Here are some examples showing how they were created

blue.Mv6 for Amazon.com – blue and v6 from first car. M from the second letter in site name.

blue.Av6 for SAP logon – same as above.

thin!5!ibm for Amazon.com – thin and ibm from first computer. 5 from the number of letters in the site name.

Multiple Passwords for Different Types of Sites – Another option to keep from using the same password on every site is to use two or three passwords based on how secure the site is. For example, your banking sites might all use derivations of the bluev6 password. Ecommerce sites might all use a derivation of a different password and community type sites might use a third. The goal is to make sure that a rogue administrator at a forum you frequent isn’t able to get to your 401k.

Date Based Component – Some systems require you to change your password every 180, 90, or 60 days. (One client had set up their system to require a password change every 30 days!) If you are familiar with the cycle, you can add a date based component to your password and change it each time it is required. For example J10 could be added when you need to change your password in June of 2010.

via 10 Tips for Creating Secure Passwords : Productivity501.

You Know You Are A Bully When…

My Mom once told me that she felt sorry for me and other Mothers in my generation because although we had far more toys that made the work easier, our most important priority, our families and in particular raising children, was far more complicated because everyone’s rules were different now.

Children in my era learned and were expected to follow the 10 commandments and although none of us are perfect, we strove to be.   When we didn’t play nicely in the sandbox, our parents loved us enough to tell us so, make us apologize and try hard not to do it again.

Lately I’ve had the unfortunate pleasure to see adults bullying other adults in business, and it makes me wonder how they could’ve been raised to maturity without learning how fundamentally wrong it is, in fact, not even recognize that they’re doing it, so when I ran across this article by Sharon Bar-David, a very talented public speaker, I thought I’d pass it along…

You Are a Bully If…

You may be a bully and not even know it. While some bullies actively target their victims in malicious, planned ways, most bullies have no clue that others view them as such! 

So, in the service of honest self-examination, I invite you to use the following questions to ascertain whether you may, unfortunately, be a bully. (Note: this is not a full, comprehensive list).

Do you ever…

1.    Withhold information from others that may affect their performance
2.    Ignore the opinions of others, especially in public
3.    Remind others repeatedly of their errors or mistakes
4.    Humiliate or ridicule other people’s work
5.    Engage in gossip and rumours
6.    Make insulting/offensive remarks about others
7.    Ignore, exclude or isolate others
8.    Persistent criticize other people’s work and effort
9.    Tease people or make sarcastic comments
10.   Demonstrate spontaneous anger (possibly raising your voice, even shouting)
11.   Claim other people’s work as yours
12.   Make practical jokes
 

If you answered ‘yes’ to any of the questions, there’s a good chance that you are a bully. My suggestion: shape up ASAP! 

(PS for the effects of bullying on others and on the business, visit the Resources section on my website)

How to Revise an Email So That People Will Read It

How to Revise an Email So That People Will Read It, an article by David Silverman, HarvardBusiness.org includes a checklist to consider when revising:

1. Delete redundancies.
 Say it once. That’s enough. If you’re repetitive, the reader will stop reading and start skimming. (Like you probably just did.)

2. Use numbers and specifics instead of adverbs and adjectives. ”The project is currently way behind schedule on major tasks,” is not as clear as “The project is 3 weeks late delivering hamburger buns to Des Moines.” (If you don’t have numbers, still get rid of the adverbs and adjectives.)

3. Add missing context. Does your reader know that hamburger buns in Iowa are required for the company to collect $37 million? If you’re not sure, remind them.

4. Focus on the strongest argument. Should those hamburger buns get shipped because the delay is embarrassing for the company, because it’s costing children their lunch, or because it’s costing the company tens of millions of dollars? Maybe all three, but one of those reasons (and it depends on your reader) will be enough to get buns on the road.

5. Delete off-topic material. The best emails say one thing and say it clearly. One-subject emails also make it easier for the recipient to file the message once they’ve taken action, something anyone who uses Outlook to manage tasks appreciates.

6. Seek out equivocation and remove it. ”It was the best of times, it was the worst of times” works for Dickens, not status reports.

7. Kill your favorites. Is something in your text particularly pithy, amusing, or clever? Chances are, it’s not. If it sticks out, it’s probably a tap-dancing gorilla in boxer shorts — hilarious when you thought of it, embarrassing when it gets in your manager’s inbox.

8. Delete anything written in the heat of emotion. Will this sentence show them who’s been right about the hamburger buns since the beginning? Yes? Cut it.

9. Shorten. Remember the reader struggling to digest your message on the run — a BlackBerry or an iPhone gets about 40 words per screen. What looks short on your desktop monitor is an epic epistle on their mobile device.

10. Give it a day. 
With time, what seemed so urgent may no longer need to be said. And one less email is something everyone will thank you for.

THE BRICK

Good one Louise!

A young and successful executive was traveling down a neighborhood street, going a bit too fast in his new Jaguar. He was watching for kids darting out from between parked cars and slowed down when he thought he saw something. As his car passed, no children appeared . Instead, a brick smashed into the Jag’s side door! He slammed on the brakes and backed the Jag back to the spot where the brick had been thrown. The angry driver then jumped out of the car, grabbed the nearest kid and pushed him up against a parked car shouting, ‘What was that all about and who are you? Just what the heck are you doing? That’s a new car and that brick you threw is going to cost a lot of money. Why did you do it?’ The young boy was apologetic. ‘Please, mister…please, I’m sorry but I didn’t know what else to do,’ He pleaded. ‘I threw the brick because no one else would stop…’ With tears dripping down his face and off his chin, the youth pointed to a spot just around a parked car. ‘It’s my brother, ‘he said. ‘He rolled off the curb and fell out of his wheelchair and I can’t lift him up.’

Now sobbing, the boy asked the stunned executive, ‘Would you please help me get him back into his wheelchair? He’s hurt and he’s too heavy for me.’

Moved beyond words, the driver tried to swallow the rapidly swelling lump in his throat. He hurriedly lifted the handicapped boy back into the wheelchair, then took out a linen handkerchief and dabbed at the fresh scrapes and cuts. A quick look told him everything was going to be okay. ‘Thank you and may God bless you,’ the grateful child told the stranger. Too shook up for words, the man simply watched the boy! push his wheelchair-bound brother down the sidewalk toward their home.

It was a long, slow walk back to the Jaguar. The damage was very noticeable, but the driver never bothered to repair the dented side door. He kept the dent there to remind him of this message: ‘Don’t go through life so fast that someone has to throw a brick at you to get your attention!’ God whispers in our souls and speaks to our hearts. Sometimes when we don’t have time to listen, He has to throw a brick at us. It’s our choice to listen or not.

Thought for the Day:

If God had a refrigerator, your picture would be on it.

If He had a wallet, your photo would be in it.

He sends you flowers every spring.

He sends you a sunrise every morning Face it, friend – He is crazy about you!

Send this to every ‘beautiful person’ you wish to bless.

God didn’t promise days without pain, laughter without sorrow,sun without rain, but He did promise strength for the day, comfort for the tears, and light for the way.

Read this line very slowly and let it sink in…

If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.

Pass this message to seven people except you and me.

You will receive a miracle tomorrow ( just do it)!