Click here to subscribe to the Pharr Out BlogThey say that memory starts to fade with age, and at the ripe ol’ age of 25 I am starting to feel the effects.Rewind to the summer of 2005, and there I am in the 100 Mile Wilderness of Maine successfully finishing up my first Appalachian Trail Thru-Hike. I remember the time fondly. I recall the AT friends that I finished the trail beside and the joy of having my family meet me at the end. I remember swimming in the expansive Maine lakes and being elated at my first moose sighting. Yes, it was all a very wonderful time.Needless to say, with all these positive emotions it was with great anticipation that I began the Wilderness this week, by starting my hike with a climb up Katahdin the morning of June 20th. Katahdin was beautiful, my husband and I woke up at 4 AM to begin our climb. When we rose above the timberline we could see the sun rising in the distance and a sea of heavy clouds surrounding the valley below us. It was everything I could have hoped it would be. Upon arriving back at the base of the mountain the real hiking began.The discrepancy that caught me off-guard the first day was the myriad of rocks and roots that littered the trail. Had these really been here all along or had someone added them over the past three years? My toes received as much of a workout as my legs did by hitting all those rocks. Then that evening when the rain set in the rocks and roots became like slick ice under my feet. I didn’t remember this section of trail being quite so treacherous.My second day in the wilderness, I was shocked to discover just how high the mid-Maine mountains actually were. I climbed for half the afternoon to reach the top of White Cap Mountain. That being said, I would have shaved at least 5 minutes off my time if I hadn’t been held-up by a porcupine that blocked my path and refused to let me pass. After White Cap the mountains kept coming- as did the roots and rocks- and by the time darkness set in I was still over 3 miles away from my campsite. Thankfully, my husband had hiked in to meet me at twilight and escorted me out by headlamp to our tent.The third and final day in the wilderness, I was abruptly made aware of plentiful and forceful river fords that make dry-feet a losing battle and also make me wonder what the Maine Appalachian Trail has against bridges. Finally on the way out, rain and wet shoes brought to my attention how dangerous large slabs of flat exposed rock can be.But you know, it’s funny… just like my memory slipped over the past three years, even within the past three hours I have started to forget the hazards of the wilderness and only remember the lush green vegetation, the gorgeous undisturbed lakes, amazing wildlife and incredible views. Even despite my swollen ankle, strained butt cheeks and bruised elbow, all I now recall of the Maine Wilderness is the beauty and the personal challenge.And with fond memories of trail thus far, I look forward to the surprises, pain, and happy thoughts ahead.
Credit Unions love investing in their people, but that doesn’t stop them from hiring consultants. Lots of consultants. Consultants can be great, and sometimes, they can prove not so great. With ever increasing threats from regulation, cyber security, fintechs and underling business model challenges – The question of when to hire a consultant arises more and more frequently. Over the years, Ongoing Operations has struggled to hire and find the right consultants at the right times. Luckily, we’ve found consultants to successfully serve specific functions such as babysitting (we need it sometimes) us through a solution, working us through a benchmark, or taking work off our plate. Here are the five types of situations where it’s been beneficial for us to bring in a consultant: You are in need of specialized knowledge you don’t haveMaybe you have a sophisticated fraud issue. Maybe you need some cyber expertise, a DR plan or some help on your investment portfolio. Outside consultants have specialties and depth in subjects that can help avoid major pitfalls. After all, they’ve had the breadth of solving similar problems multiple times over. In addition, they can help establish a framework or toolkit that gets you running quickly and points your team in the right direction without sticking around forever. Last year, Ongoing Operations brought in Joey Coleman, a consultant to help our team find repetitive service defects and institute a process to identify and treat service breakdowns. The results were amazing. In a single expensive day, we worked through huge volumes of experience and quickly improved many key areas. Joey helped spawn lots of light bulbs all over the organization and his depth of expertise was not something we could never organically develop. You have a major issueWhether a PR issue, a service issue, a team issue or an audit-related issue, whatever it is, a consultant can help by bringing their expertise to attack a problem efficiently and effectively. Sometimes it takes an outside individual to demand the attention of boards and management teams, driving them to get down and dirty quickly in order to put an issue to bed once and for all.You need to deliver bad newsI don’t love this one, but a lot of times consultants are brought in to deliver bad news or critical messages. Having an outsider take the ire of a committee or board is a great way to deflect the pain, deliver the message, and move on. The team, board, or auditor may dislike the person for a long-time to come because they delivered an uncomfortable lesson – but either way – you are free to join in the cause with your colleagues while accomplishing a key task. You need improvement in a specific areaHiring a consultant to help you improve in a key area is a great idea. Having the awareness of a particular goal or differentiator, then finding an expert for the purposes of fine tuning or tweaking what you are already good at, can really help your credit union move from good to great. We have seen this work firsthand by helping credit unions with network designs, cyber security roadmaps, disaster recovery plans and many other areas. As consultants these are great projects too – they push us to get better when someone is already a believer and good at what we do and we can always find more ways to define success and improve for our clients! You’d like to provide training for your teamMaybe you just did a core conversion or maybe you are trying to improve your digital experience. Either way, it may make sense to hire a consultant who is skilled at training people, and who can coach your entire staff at once (or individually). A coach, trainer or consultant will not only have the materials to facilitate learning quickly they will often have scorecards, frameworks, and how-to materials that accelerate the learning much faster. There is nothing better than getting 20 stories that prevent 20 problems. Innovation is often just the next conclusion based on the last path taken – a consultant can help you see 20 more paths down the road that you then don’t have to stumble through!These are the five types of situations in which we have benefitted from hire consultants. A lot of these situations can be interconnected. For example, you probably desire someone with specialized knowledge to attack a specific problem or train your team in a specific area. If you are wondering whether you should hire a consultant and you can link it back to one or more of these five reasons, then chances are, you should go for it.Working with a consultant in pretty much any area of the credit union can help contain long-term costs, train your team, establish frameworks, deliver hard messages, and help you achieve success much faster than organically learning and fumbling along your journey! 26SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Kirk Drake Kirk Drake is founder and CEO of Ongoing Operations, LLC, a rapidly growing CUSO that provides complete business continuity and technology solutions. With its recent acquisition of Cloudworks, Ongoing Operations … Web: www.ongoingoperations.com Details read more
“[The social aid] will be provided for two months, in line with the state of emergency period announced by the government’s COVID-19 task force,” the President said during a virtual limited Cabinet meeting on Tuesday.Read also: Jakarta’s poor at risk as city drags feet on COVID-19 social assistanceJokowi added he had instructed the Social Affairs Ministry to distribute staple food packages to Greater Jakarta residents.He went on to emphasize the importance of the program for the people. The government is set to distribute social aid for low-income families across Greater Jakarta affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, which is putting the region’s underprivileged at a higher risk of slipping into extreme poverty during the crisis.The aid, comprising social assistance funds for 3.7 million poor families and 200,000 staple food packages, will be provided by the central government and Jakarta administration.President Joko “Jokowi” said on Tuesday that the central government would prepare the funds for 2.6 million families, while the Jakarta administration would distribute money to the remaining 1.1 million. “[This] has to be right on target. The beneficiaries should be determined by their name and address, so it will be precise and accurate,” Jokowi said, adding the government should involve regional administrations and neighborhood and community units in the distribution.The President also demanded that the assistance be distributed as soon as possible. “Use practical methods that don’t hinder the process. Micro, small and medium enterprises [MSMEs] should be reached, as well as traders in traditional markets and ojek [motorcycle taxi] drivers.”Read also: Government to reduce ‘mudik’ travel by disbursing social aidThe social assistance is a part of the government’s social safety net programs valued at Rp 110 trillion (US$6.7 billion). A portion of the funds will also be distributed to 10 million families in the Family Hope Program and 20 million others covered under the staple food program.Jokowi said the government would speed up the distribution of assistance under both programs, as well as increase it by up to 25 percent for the Family Hope Program and 30 percent for the staple food program.The social safety net programs also include free electricity for 24 million households under the 450-volt ampere (VA) category and a 50 percent discount for 7 million customers under the 900 VA category for three months starting April.The government has also increased funds allocated for the pre-employment card program to Rp 20 trillion from the initial budget of Rp 10 trillion, covering 5.6 million laid-off workers, informal workers and MSME owners.Topics : read more
ALLISON PARK, Pa. (AP) — No.No, you can’t stay up until past midnight to watch the World Series.No, you can’t hide under your covers with the iPhone that I shouldn’t have given you yet and listen to the game on the radio.No, this isn’t a lazy summer evening when it’s barely dusk by 9 p.m. and when you can sleep in until 11 tomorrow. This is a school night in late October and you’re in middle school now and besides, you have reading to do and you’re already too cranky when we get you up in the morning.No, actually, your late, baseball-loving grandfather never did it. The World Series was played during the day back then. The daytime. Yeah. Amazing, huh?No. I don’t care if you love the Red Sox and I don’t care if you want to see Manny Machado play in his first World Series. No, I don’t care that David Freese was on the Pirates until the Aug. 31 trade and is back in the part of the postseason that made him famous in the first place.A rainbow is seen over Fenway Park before Game 2 of the World Series baseball game between the Boston Red Sox and the Los Angeles Dodgers Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018, in Boston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)No. Go to bed. It’s almost 11. You’re almost 12.No, no, no, no and no.Also: Get off my lawn, you damn kids!___Baseball, you’re spewing out parental agita like balled-up pieces of clothing from a T-shirt gun with this thing you’ve been doing lately with the concept of “late” — by which we mean late game starts in late October and, very occasionally since 2001, November.Yes, it’s called the Fall Classic. But we’ve started living in an era when Mr. October could conceivably be Mr. November, and The Boys of Summer are now quite squarely The Boys of Harvest and Hayride Season.Fine. The baseball-industrial complex has gotten used to that, as evidenced by all the cool cold-weather gear worn this week by the Red Sox and Dodgers that undoubtedly will be bought as holiday gifts by all of us wannabes already anticipating the arrival of pitchers and catchers in February.But it’s the late starts — and, by logical extension, the late endings — that are chafing the horsehide of some fans, particularly those of the parental variety. In these days of dinnertime darkness and fall-semester academic commitments, the National Pastime has become the National Past-Your-Bedtime.Exhibit A: Game 1 of the 2018 World Series began on Tuesday night at 8:11 ET and ended nearly four hours later, on Wednesday morning, at 12:03 a.m. ET. That’s a school night, Commissioner Manfred. One of your key target demographics needs to finish its homework and brush its teeth.Baseball wants and needs to corral younger fans. That much is certain. The game’s leaders have said it themselves on many occasions, and tried to act accordingly. So much of baseball’s imagery and continuously reinforced mythology is kid-based and family-focused.This makes sense both tactically and strategically. That’s not only the audience that the leagues need for business purposes right now, but it’s a population of sturdy American saplings that will preserve the game and position it for coming decades in a landscape of far flashier sports.So why, then, ensure that the electrically charged season climax is either a) off limits to those who live in stricter households or b) a source of scratchiness between parents and kids otherwise predisposed to love baseball together and not have it come between them?Yes, you need to have night games. Yes, the networks call some of the time-slot shots. But a 7:05 p.m. start seems to work just fine for many of 162 games during the year, so why not now?That extra hour could make all of this accessible to so many more people and ensure that your family fans, tucked away in their homes with Halloween pumpkins out front, are shouting at the screen together and not at each other.Take it from those shouting up at you from the parent-child trenches: This is probably an issue that warrants a committee or a task force or a bipartisan commission, if not a special prosecutor.___A family room north of Pittsburgh shortly after 11 p.m. on a frosty Wednesday night in late October 2018. The Red Sox, bolstered by J.D. Martinez’s bat and the acrobatics of Andrew Benintendi in left field, are about to take Game 2 of the series.On the floor, wrapped in a blanket like an oversized convenience-store burrito, lies an almost-12-year-old baseball fan who spent the earlier part of the evening beseeching his father to let him stay up and watch. And watch he did, raptly — through about the sixth inning. At this moment, as the Sox’ second victory of the day (remember that 12:03 a.m. ending in Game 1) approaches, he is fast asleep.Eight hours later, on Thursday morning, some of his first words as he begins his daily resistance to getting out of bed and getting moving for school are these: “Who won? I fell asleep.”We tell our stories of baseball-saturated summers under the covers with transistor radios (then) and smartphones (now). And we smile, knowingly, at the pleasant, American subversiveness of it all — kids who loved and love baseball so much that they instigate mild rebellions to avoid bedtime and get their fixes.Yet we are also the country where, a few years back, a book called “Go the __ to Sleep” became a best seller thanks to a wave of parental purchases. Bear that in mind, Major League Baseball, as you decide on start times for the games we once dreamed of playing in and now would like to let our sweet but occasionally combative children watch unfettered.Until then, when it comes to late-October baseball, there are going to be a lot more answers of “no” to your future core audience than you’d probably prefer.Now get off my lawn. Seriously. There’s frost on it, and it’s dark, and it’s slippery. Plus, it’s a school night and I have to go the __ to sleep.___Ted Anthony, director of digital innovation for The Associated Press, writes frequently about American culture. Follow him on Twitter at @anthonyted A rainbow is seen over Fenway Park before Game 2 of the World Series baseball game between the Boston Red Sox and the Los Angeles Dodgers Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018, in Boston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) read more
Motorola has already launched a few phones with full-screen 18:9 displays this year to stay up-to-date with the industry trend. However, the industry has quickly moved on towards notched displays following the iPhone X. Most companies have jumped on the notch bandwagon, including Motorola’s parent company Lenovo with its recent Z5. It looks like Motorola isn’t far away from its own notched phone and some leaked live images this week seem to confirm the Moto One Power may just be that phone.We’ve been hearing about the Motorola One Power for a while now and just earlier this month a whole bunch of specs leaked out giving us an idea of what to expect. Now, some leaked hands-on images have surfaced, revealing the alleged mid-range smartphone from different angles. The reporter mentions that this is a prototype of the Moto One Power, so the final product may look a little different. The biggest highlight here is the presence of a pretty wide notch, similar to the iPhone X. There’s also a vertical dual camera system on the top left corner on the back. The Moto One Power may also sport a fingerprint sensor on the back embedded in the Moto logo. On the bottom, the prototype sports speakers on each side of a USB Type-C port. A lot of the elements here seem to inspired by the Lenovo Z5, which wouldn’t be too surprising. Some of the rumoured specs also sound similar to the Z5, including a Snapdragon 636 chipset powering the Moto One Power and an 8-megapixel front-facing camera.advertisementAs per a leaked spec sheet that surfaced earlier this month, the Moto One Power could bring a Z5-like 6.2-inch Full HD+ (2280×1080) display with a 19:9 aspect ratio. Meanwhile, the dual camera setup may include a 12-megapixel primary sensor and a 5-megapixel secondary camera for depth. The spec sheet added a 4GB + 64GB configuration, but it’s still unclear whether more options can be expected. Unlike the Z5, however, the Moto One Power could house a bigger 3,780mAh battery.Notably, rumours suggest this is going to be Motorola’s Android One smartphone, which sounds great considering Motorola hasn’t had the best track record in pushing out timely Android updates for its phones. So what we could see is a pure, stock Android 8.1 Oreo phone in the coming days that promises monthly security updates and Android P and Q in the future. There is no word yet on when the Moto One Power will be unveiled, and the phone may just look a lot different from the leaked images above. We should know more in the days to come. read more