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Numbers are cool. And they’re everywhere.

Measurements, calculations, logic…maybe as far back as humans could think about deep stuff, we’ve had numbers on their mind.

And in the last half century of course, there’s software. Think binary code, and a hundred computer languages, think the first work in space exploration, think EVERYTHING now: cars, phones, toasters, personal computing, and everything in between.

ax^2+bx+c=0

My father was a math teacher. One of his central messages when he would help me with my math homework:  Don’t be afraid,  don’t be intimidated by the numbers, the logic.   Take your time.  Think deeply.  Figure it out.  Good life lesson there too, come to think of it.

PV = \frac{FV}{(1+r)}
And then I learned a different type of math, different applied logic, in business school many years later.  Big picture topics like the various facets of finance and accounting. The Time Value of Money,  Percentage Gained, Lost;  Run Rates, Currency Conversions, Depreciation of Capital Equipment, and on and on and on, slowly soaking in and expanding my mind with numbers further.  Also cool.  And important when you’re trying to make a profit.

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Now lately my work has me into inventory management systems, the logic of part number nomenclature and the organization of things. Cycle Counts, Reconciling differences, Spreadsheets, Data Analysis all take up minutes and hours, churning through as the daily tasks are completed.

Yep, numbers are still cool.

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So What’s With The Home Page Pic, Anyway?

Looking at the home page picture I’m using for this blog, it occurs to me that most (all?) everyone probably looks at that image and wonders, “What’s up with that picture, anyway?  Where was it taken?  Why the fountain?  Who’s the little kid?

So to clarify, there are several things going on at once that are either symbolic or personal or both, as to why I decided to use that image on my home page.  If you’re curious, read on…

First, I really liked the colors.   I like the way the blue looks extra bright coming through the water.  I like the contracts of the red in the sweater against the blue fountain basin. I like the shimmer and the shine of drops of water in the upper left corner, I just like the whole image collectively.

Next, I like having the bit of mystery to the person in the frame.  You can’t see the face, you’re not sure why the kid’s there or what the kid’s doing.  I remember several vinyl album covers growing up that had such a feel, and when I found this photo, that’s what came to mind.

I like the relationship between the fountain basin and the title of the blog, “Half Full, All Good.”  The basin’s not full (not even half), and yet the image is cool.  It’s good.  Maybe the kid just tossed a coin in the fountain with a wish for something good.  What else would the wish be for?  And what do I wish for that kid, if I could?  All GOOD.

Finally, the fountain just happens to be in the central square of my hometown.  So paying homage to that place, to where I come from, with that picture…that just seemed like the right thing to do.

The whole picture together conveys for me the feeling I try to nurture with this site.  Cool, a little different, real-life examples of good, wonder, lessons and inspiration in the seemingly mundane everyday, from anywhere.  Find it. Share it.  It gives me peace and some inspiration.  Hope it does the same for you.

And Voila!  There you have it.

I am a Lion

I am a Lion.  Does that mean, king of the jungle?  Cowardly?  Not quite.

I’ve been a Lion since 2006.

That is, a member of a local Lions club, one of more 1.4 millions people in 46,000+ clubs established and working in 210 countries around the world.  Founded in 1917 by a group of business professionals that were interested giving something back to their communities, the fledgling clubs developed clarity of their mission soon there after.

Helen Keller attended the Lions Clubs convention in 1925 and challenged the members thus, asking them to be her “knights of the blind”, to lend their assistance and leadership to those who cannot help themselves due to disability, and especially those without sight.

For nearly 100 years, Lions have worked on projects designed to prevent blindness, restore eyesight and improve eye health and eye care for hundreds of millions of people worldwide.  But Lions’ efforts have reached far beyond blindness and other health related challenges people face.
Lions are also at the forefront when natural disasters hit. Recent events where Lions made a difference include Hurricane Sandy, Typhoon Haiyan (or Yolanda), and the massive earthquake in Haiti.  Emergency grants flow from Lions Clubs International Foundation headquarters to local Lions clubs in effected areas so that members can more quickly and effectively respond to acute and long-term needs for assistance.

When it comes down to it, it’s all about local folks wanting to make a positive difference in their communities.

The club I belong to have several on-going projects to respond to the needs in our community, responding to those in need. An annual Thanksgiving Food Drive, community outreach to provide eye exams and eyeglasses, Flag Days in local elementary schools, helping kids with disabilities, and sponsoring eye camps in west India via a sister club are channels of altruism our club is involved in.

Then there’s unique situations like the one with a lady I’ll refer to as Totsie.

An 81 year old stroke survivor once over, Totsie is legally blind, and suffering severe hearing loss.  Her modest retirement income wasn’t sufficient to afford hearing aids (which run into the thousands of dollars when new).    Our club learned about her situation via her neighbor/care-giver, whose brother is a Lion in the California central valley (a couple hours’ drive from our area).

The request was two-fold:  they were asking if our club could provide fiscal and organization support to help Totsie get hearing aids.  The members involved knew of a resource via the Lions’ Hearing Foundation  (known as Ear of the Lion) that helped people in Totsie’s situation.

We presented the request to our board, who swiftly approved funding for the hearing aides loaner program offered by the Hearing Foundation.  A few weeks later, she had her exam, and will soon be fitted for refurbished hearing aids that will provide an improved quality of life for a someone in need.

This fundamental good came to pass because one Lion knew another Lion who knew of a program that might help.  And those folks together were able to lend a hand and make someone’s life a little better.  Grass roots effort. Resources brought to bear.  A happy result that exemplifies the motto Lions live by around the world:  Where there is a need, “We Serve.”

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