Thursday, December 15, 2011

Catherine Eva Jakubowski

Catherine Eva (née Kasperek) Jakubowski , born June 26, 1911 in Chicago, Illinois, died at her home on December 12, 2011.  She was preceded in death by her husband, Frank Jakubowski and her son Dennis.  She is survived by her son Bernard Jakubowski, daughter Charlene Lyford and her son-in-law Richard Lyford; her granddaughters: Kathy Jakubowski and Eva Lyford, and her great-grandchildren: Mary, Eric, Elliot and Oliver, and her great-great-grandchildren: Nathan and Mia.

Catherine lived in Chicago, Illinois until 1967. She was employed at Zenith Radio and after she retired she moved to Lake in the Hills, Illinois and was active in many community organizations. She was a founding member and long term president of both St. Margaret Mary Parish’s Forever Young Seniors and the Lake in the Hills Senior Citizens. In 1995 she became a full time resident of Houston where she resided with her son Bernard. She was an active member of Catholic Daughters where she ran the plant sale for the fall craft show at St. Luke’s, HUGS, The Fun Bunch, South Belt/Ellington Chamber of Commerce, AARP Chapter 4341, and the Red Hat Chapter:  Le Chapeau Rouge.

Catherine was always delighted to have such close friends from these associations and very much enjoyed her outings with her friends. Her family is grateful that so many of her friends also visited during her final illness. She loved gardening, reading biographies, playing Bunco, Tripoli and poker and dining at local restaurants.

Visitation is Thursday, December 15, from 6:00 pm until 8:00 pm, with a Rosary being prayed at 7:00 pm at Niday Funeral Home on Beamer Road.  The Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11:00am Friday, December 16, at St. Luke the Evangelist Catholic Church, 11011 Hall Road in Houston.  Catherine will be placed to rest with her husband and son at St. John’s Cemetery in Fox River Grove, Illinois.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Why I'm an Apple Fan Girl

Airport Express
We have a 2005-era apple G5 which is blindingly fast for offline gaming but suffers from wifi inadequacies. This weekend, mom gave me an old Airport Extreme she wasn't using anymore (one that I gave her as a holiday gift in 2008, natch) and I undertook to get the G5 a better connection speed. Even I was surprised at how much better it turned out. results after the changes

The following instructions assume you have a healthy, secure wireless network already in place.
Airport Utility
  1. Factory Default Reset on the Airport Express as noted here
  2. Launch the Airport Utility. Wireless networks in range will appear - your existing network and the Airport Express.
  3. Update the firmware on the Airport Express (if needed)
  4. On your main wireless unit base station (in my case an Airport extreme), select Manual Setup then go to the Wireless tab. Check the box next to "Allow this network to be extended" then click Update to apply the change.
  5. On your airport extreme wireless unit, select Manual Setup then go to the Wireless tab. Change the Wireless Mode drop down to "Extend a wireless network." Select the Wireless Network Name corresponding to your existing network. Select your existing network's Wireless Security from the drop down menu. Finally, enter your Wireless Password for your existing network and Verify Password also. has more details, and an explanation for how to do this with the Airport Setup Assistant.
This didn't take long at all, but as it is a simple alternative to a wireless distribution system I thought it was worth sharing. It demonstrates that even 3 and 6 years out, Apple equipment retains a lot of value and ease of use.

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Saturday, June 18, 2011

These are a few of my favorite apps

As a working mom I rely on my iphone apps to manage my to do list and my calendar and well as to entertain me. Here's a few of the apps I would be sad to live without:

GeniusScan - converts photos to pdfs. Great for handling expense report receipts.

NPR News - great for when I'm traveling and want to find the local station. And pledge drive free!

Amazon Mobile - great for price checking to see if that sale price is really a deal. 

Find my iphone - As household tech manager I need to keep track of the enterprise assets.  I save over $175/year vs. the AT&T Family Map service by using this free app - and it allows me to send a message to the device, play a sound on it (even when it is set to silent), or wipe the memory remotely.

Dropbox - all my important docs, available anywhere I am. (Here's an invitation to dropbox for you.)

Apple remote - I usually can't find the remote but I usually know where my iphone is. It works with Apple TV only.

Google Voice - I try to protect my specific mobile number so I can control when it rings. And more importantly, control when it doesn't ring. More about Google Voice (when it was aka Grand Central) in a prior post.

1Password is an essential productivity app for managing passwords, membership programs, software licenses, serial numbers... and more, if you can think to do it. Data is encrypted and secure backups can be made also.

Foursquare is a clever game which lets you compete with your friends for points, and see tips and deals at places you visit. Some refer to it as the meta tagging system for the world, but if you aren't a geek nevermind that and just enjoy the game

Post a comment below to let me know what your favorite app is - and more importantly, why!
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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Quick tips for writers

Exterior view. Bronze tympanum, by Olin L. War...Image via Wikipedia
I get asked occasionally for my thoughts on writing professionally. Most of my writing output is technical documents but the same principles apply there as in any creative endeavor. Here's some tips that will help to improve your writing:
  1. Read a book called The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron - it has some excellent discussion of how to manage the creative process.
  2. Think about how you want to manage the business of creating words in a certain order. Do you need copyrights? How about a copyleft? What happens in the long term based on short term decisions made now? 
  3. Have you covered the basic tools of writing - getting the grammar and spelling right, citing your sources properly, providing diagrams and page numbers? Editors and reviewers will need to be managed - their time and attention are valuable to you, so make the most of it by grammar-checking and spell-checking before you ask for outside input. Read your own work through at least once before asking anyone else to.
  4. Write in the present tense. Look at the written works that you admire and analyze them: is a ratio of 4:1 sentences relating to present:past a good one? How about 6:1? What is your goal and how can you make that happen in your writing?
  5. I recommend signing up for twitter. Being forced to be interesting in 140 characters has improved my writing and that of many others.
  6. Write every day, a lot, all the time. Re-read what you wrote and don't fear to ignore ideas that merit it and pursue the ones that rise to the surface. Creative destruction and the death of ideas still in their cradles is as necessary a part of the process as is the nurturing and indulgence of good ideas. 
"There is no real ending. It’s just the place where you stop the story." — Frank Herbert

    Thursday, January 6, 2011

    Manufacturing a holiday

    Early in November, I saw that American Express was starting a holiday - a very gutsy move. I haven't seen the birth of a holiday since Sweetest Day was promoted in the 1980s. I was curious to see what it took to make a holiday work - and to see what would work. Right now, I get the day after Thanksgiving off of work, but I haven't always. And anything that promotes the holiday status of that day after Thanksgiving is a great thing in my book.

    Small Business Saturday - involved communities
    Why though would AmEx want this holiday? First off, many small businesses I shop at have declined my AmEx in the past - my understanding has been that the merchant fees for AmEx are a barrier to them. It has gotten to the point that if I'm dealing with a small business, I don't present my AmEx anymore. So by AmEx promoting this holiday, and engaging their cardholders to promote it (for a $25 statement credit), they can put pressure on small businesses to expand their payment offerings. That's a smart move by AmEx.

    Secondly, AmEx wants more small businesses to accept AmEx. Getting AmEx cardholders to push for acceptance is smart, and hosting an event like Small Business Saturday is a good move too. According to AmEx OPEN's Kim Moon, AmEx logged more than 100,000 point-of-purchase promotional materials downloads from their Small Business Saturday Facebook page, and over 10,000 small businesses signed up and received advertising on Facebook through this program. That's a wonderful expansion for AmEx into a market they've been limited in before.

    Thirdly, this campaign was really amenable to social media tactics. In response to my inquiry to @AskAmex, I found out:
    • 1.2 million people joined the movement and helped spread the word by “liking” Small Business Saturday on Facebook.  American Express had pledged a significant donation to Girls Inc. tied to the number of “likes” on Facebook, and based on the popularity of the Facebook page, Girls Inc. will receive a $1 million donation for programs to empower young women to become entrepreneurs.  Nearly 30,000 tweets were sent using the hashtags #smallbusinesssaturday and #smallbizsaturday.  This includes consumers spreading the word about the national movement and business owners promoting offers they created specifically for the day.
    • 41 elected officials declared November 27, 2010 “Small Business Saturday.” This includes the Governors of Kentucky, New Jersey, New York, Oregon and Utah and the Mayors of Boston, MA; Boulder, CO; Lincoln, NE; New York City; Phoenix, AZ and Topeka, KS. 
    That's pretty neat. It makes me wonder what other kinds of holidays might be appropriate for my industry - or for any specialized area. Perhaps those founder's day parades of my youth weren't so silly after all. American Express is apparently happy with it, as they're continuing small business marketing efforts with their Make a Small Resolution campaign for 2011.

    This post was originally published at Biznology.
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