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Jack Okorn
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Posts by jokorn

With A Vengeance

WithAVengance

Adam has produced another great read. I really enjoy the two main characters in this series. Knight and Culverhouse make a great team that you never want to see an end. Book 7 really draws your attention and you will not be let down. But if you have not read the first six I would suggest you do that first. I just received an email today from Adam that he is working on book 8. I am sure it will be another exciting read. (Completed: April 3, 2018)

Author: Adam Croft

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Self Employed Or Working For Others

Self Employed

I like many of you reading this may have struggled with this topic at one time or another? Working for someone or setting off on your own. Years ago I had a very successful business but like many businesses, I was doing something that was to soon. I started my own Internet provider company around 1998. Now if you think back to 1998 you might recall that the Internet was no big deal. Most people had AOL and were happy playing online games hosted by one company. I was running a small three phone bulletin board our of my apartment before setting off to build the next big thing. At that time I would go out to sell a website and every business owner asked me what would they want one of those for? But when I ran this company I was still working full time as a Paramedic.

After selling off the business because the big guns of Comcast and Verizon were getting into the Internet game we could not compete. But I still had my full-time job to fall back on.

I did later take a new job full-time working for schools at the Technology Director. But as things go sometimes even a forever job is not forever. That is what brings us to today’s post.

Self-employment is a way for you to secure your own future. I never heard of anyone laying their self off from their own business. Okay on name comes to mind of someone who started a company only to be put out by the very people who he hired, Steve Jobs. But he returned later with fresh eyes and made it one of the richest companies in the world.

But self-employment brings its own stresses and let downs. You may be your own boss but you have to be willing to worry about something 24/7/365. But for years since being in the technology field, I always seem to be doing work at home in off hours for the company I am with. I guess it is just how I am wired or maybe its because I owned my own business I know how important it is to keep all of the technology running smoothly all the time?

If you watch Shark Tank you will hear this statement. “If you work full time and try to have a business the business becomes more of a hobby then a real business.” So I would say if you are self-employed or you are leaning that way you should be ALL IN. We all love a safety net in our lives but when you are ALL IN you will be focused every minute of every day on growing your business.

I would like to hear your thoughts on being self-employed and what it means to you?

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International No Meat Day (Good Friday)

Fish Dinner

I remember years ago when I was a young man hearing my mother say, “No one eats meat on Good Friday!” Even if you are not Catholic and you are a human Good Friday is a no meat day. I went to Wikipedia to get the correct definition of Good Friday.

Wikipedia’s Definition:

Good Friday is a Christian holiday[1][2] commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his death at Calvary. It is observed during Holy Week as part of the Paschal Triduum on the Friday preceding Easter Sunday and may coincide with the Jewish observance of Passover. It is also known as Holy FridayGreat Friday, and Black Friday.[3][4][5]

Members of many Christian denominations, including the AnglicanCatholicEastern OrthodoxLutheranMethodistOriental Orthodox and Reformed traditions, observe Good Friday with fasting and church services.[6][7][8]

Now if we read this definition of Good Friday it does not say that we should eat fish. It says we should fast, which as you know means we should not eat anything. Funny story of me getting ready to eat breakfast this morning. I pulled out some waffles from the freezer and grabbed the pack of bacon and placed them both on the table. My wife walks into the kitchen and says, “I hope you are not even thinking of eating that bacon today!” Seeing that we have the day off today I thought it was Saturday. She said, “No Sir, it is Good Friday.” Okay anyone can lose track of a day off. I put the bacon back into the fridge. My wife was raised Catholic and I was raised as a Protestant. But remember from above my mother always told us no one eats meat on Good Friday.

I am really glad that neither of them ever read Wikipedia and seeing that we should fast on Good Friday. Rather you do or don’t really do not matter to me. I just thought this would be an interesting post. I enjoy knowing history and where we have come from. I always say we can never move forward if we don’t understand where we came from.

 

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A Healthier Me

Treadmill

I think Michael Jackson said it best with his song Man In The Mirror. If you want to make a change you have to first look at the man in the mirror, or women if you are female. As many of you know I am a long time ex-military man. When I was in basic training some years ago we were conditioned to get up early every day and work on our bodies first. Let’s face it without the body anything else you do will really not matter. I have to believe that most of us pray for our health and the health of others. Well back to Michael Jackson, this would be the man in the mirror.

Some years ago I started a regimented workout plan and lost a lot of weight. I was feeling great and making great strides in creating a better me. Then life hits! You lose a job or maybe a loved one? And you stop worrying about yourself and begin falling into some form of depression. So I stopped working out and just went into the surviving day to day life.

Well, new jobs can bring a lot of happiness to anyone. Life begins to look positive again. Then add to this, people believing in you and bringing you into their team makes a person feel even more secure in life.

So I cued up the song Man In The Mirror and began to look at myself in the mirror. What looked back at me was a middle-aged man who looked slightly overweight and really out of shape. So I knew I wanted to Make That Change.

I started setting my alarm for 3:30 AM. Remembering that I am a VET and I know that working out in the mornings always works best for me. I started hitting the treadmill every morning. At first, it was a half mile, then a mile and now I can get in two miles before hitting the shower and heading to work.

Now when I look into the mirror or step on a scale I can see that I am making that change. I would like to live until I am in my nineties or hell maybe even a hundred who knows? But I know one thing for sure. I will do my very best to never let anyone take me down again. I always want to take care of my family first then me. And life is to short for any of us to carry around another person on the legs that were given to carry only ourselves.

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Ebook or Paper Whats Your Choice

EbookorPaper

I have a lot of people who because I read a lot ask me what is my choice when it comes to Ebook or Paper? Well, my answer normally is whatever I can get my hands on. To be honest ever since I got my first Kindle about five years ago I have mostly read using the device. One pro I have with the Kindle or any Ebook reader is that I can always have my next read right in my hands. I keep a folder on the Kindle called Current. I use this folder to keep my next five or six books lined up and ready to go. There are times I grab another title and read it before going back to my folder. One downside with the Kindle or EReader is that at times you might want to read and if it is dead you have to wait for it to charge. This is why I have two, ever serious reader should have two or more devices to read on. And with Amazon, the devices will sync to the last page read on any device.

So why in the picture above is there a paper book? Glad you asked. Revert back and you will see I said whatever you can get your hands on. I started reading The Mortality Doctrine and finished the last book. I checked Amazon and found the price to be higher than what I wanted to pay. So I did as many readers will do and turned to the library. I was told they have the hardcover and asked if I wanted to borrow it? I said, of course, it saves me money and I get to read the next book. What I enjoy about paper books is first it never needs to be charged. And second I enjoy placing the bookmark into the book and seeing how far you have left. I know the Kindle tells you where you are at but its just something I have always enjoyed.

I have many people tell me they don’t like a Kindle because it has no smell. What? Yes, books have that certain smell to them and the feel of the pages. But have you ever picked up a paper book and thought it was too large for you to ever finish? Well with a Kindle every book is the same size. Not total page counts but just the feel of the Kindle never gets bigger. It’s really all in the mind folks. Reading is something you do mostly for yourself. When we buy a larger story for the same price of a smaller one we are just getting more for our money. Don’t ever allow size to be a factor for not reading something. I would have never read many of Steven King’s books because they can get awful wordy.

In the end, read whatever you can get your hands on. Reading has given me many hours of alone time spent in so many places and allows me to escape from many places I may never visit. I also feel that reading will keep your mind firing on all neurons. And my best thought is there is never any commercials that I have to fast forward over.

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Amazing Anniversary Weekend

Put In Bay

My wife had no idea where I was taking her for our anniversary. She was even more lost when I told her we were taking our bikes. I don’t think she had any idea until she seen the ferry boat landing. Then she turned to me and said, “I bet I know where we are heading?” Well, the ferry made it pretty easy at this point. But I didn’t tell her the final part of the surprise.

She figured out the final part of the surprise when I asked her to grab the bag from the back seat. She looked over from the passenger side and asked. “Are we staying on the Island?” We didn’t do that on our first trip to Put-In-Bay. I said yes. Then I told her that is one reason for the bikes. The hotel asked me not to bring the car over because it gets crowded on the weekends. We parked the car in one of the extended lots and headed for the ferry.

We could not have asked for a better weekend. The weather held up nicely and really the Island was not overcrowded because we found it was the end of the season. In our normal adventures when we go away we had to visit the winery and we found one brewery that was out of most of the food on their menu, we found out later it was their last weekend to be open for the year. Oh, the bikes you ask? Well, we rode them around the entire Island and had a good time just exploring on our own.

You don’t have to wait for your anniversary to take a weekend trip. We take a few a year just to unwind from the day to day grind of life and spend some alone time with each other.

Last note. Sorry I didn’t blog while we were on the Island. There was no desk in the room and I am not one for typing long posts on the iPad without my trusty keyboard. So I thought I would just wait until now and give you the update.

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Bikes Are Loaded Up

Bikes Loaded

It took me awhile but I got the bikes loaded onto the car. These are times I really miss having my truck. I guess if you are used to using a bike rack it would not be as hard to get the bikes onto the car?

I could tell when I took the bikes out of our basement that we have not used them for some time. I first had to hose them off and get the cobwebs off. Next, I had to get the tire pump out and fill the tires. I also found out that I am really not in great shape. I took each bike for a ride to the end of our road and my body was yelling what the heck!

But we should be out of the house soon and be hitting the road. I will let you know later in a post how and if the bikes made it to where we are going.

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Weekend Trip With Bikes

Biking

Each year at this time I wonder where I will take my wife for our anniversary? This is our 13th year of marriage and each one of those years we have gone somewhere. This year I thought I would think outside of the box. I knew where I wanted us to go but the planning was a little more in-depth then past years.

Where we are going you can rent bikes, but I thought since we have our own bikes why rent them. But since I no longer have a truck how would I get the bikes to the location with us? I looked into buying a bike rack for the car but really didn’t want to spend the money for a test run. So asking around I found someone at work that said he would lend me his rack. There are nice people everywhere. He is a bike rider and was excited about my idea.

I must say my wife is a little nervous. This morning I wrote up my travel plans and what we may be doing today and tomorrow. I placed it on the table and told her she can see my plans if she would like? She told me that I have never let her down for our weekends away and she didn’t want to read it.

Well, I have to get away from the computer and get the bikes out and the rack on the car. We hope to be leaving our house soon to spend some needed time away alone. Keep watching the blog for updates on this crazy weekend trip.

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Collaborative Learning

collaborative-learning

Collaborative learning is a great way to teach for the 21st century. Today’s largest companies create and move their businesses by using collaborative meetings. Companies such as Google, Apple and Microsoft have teams that meet often to come up with the next big thing. Even programming companies work on large code projects with many programmers coming up with ideas and each writing a piece of the code.

Today’s education, for the most part, is leading this new way of educating children from elementary to high school and even in the college setting. With the help of great tools such as interactive whiteboards, Google Suite and Office 365 and much more. Smartphones can also be a great collaborative learning tool. The focus is getting students to learn together much like the businesses of today.

I enjoy walking into a classroom and seeing a teacher walking around the room and assisting the students in learning in group settings. The day’s of the teacher standing in front of the classroom and lecturing have been put back into the dark ages of education.

If you do teach or even lead teams in a business find ways to have each person or student contribute to the overall lesson. You will find great rewards when you see how much your students or staff know.

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Teaching for Modern Times

Tech Teaching Tools

Teaching students to be prepared for the modern world is a hard task. Teaching using technology can be default because it is ever changing. Adapting to those changes can be a challenge. But as you can see from the picture above many great tools have been created for us to use in our lessons. I try to adopt at least one new tool a year to help with education. You also have to have a good clear vision when adopting new tech tools. You never want to have your students feel that they are on tech overload.

I like to see a blend of online learning with a mixture of book and classroom instruction. This way we can reach all types of learners. Some students will learn better at a self-pace while others strive to keep pace in the classroom. Using a good mixture of both will keep all of the students engaged on the subject matter.

I do believe in digital notes. How many times have you wanted to refer to a note to find you left it in the office or classroom? With digital notes and using a tool such as Evernote or Google Keep, I can always have my notes on every device I carry. Besides, it is easier to carry my phone in my pocket then carry around my paper notebook.

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