: a person who you like and enjoy being with
This is the definition of a friend according to Merriam-Webster and I find it hard to argue with it. I would probably add a little more to it though. A real friend is someone who you may have long gaps between seeing or talking with – yet when you reconnect it feels as if no time has passed and you instantly pick up where you left off.
Today I want to wish a very (belated) Happy Birthday to my friend Don – he is someone who definitely fits both of the above definitions. And its crazy to think that he and I have actually known each other since we were in Kindergarten – more than four decades!
While Don and I knew each other through elementary school it really wasn’t until grades 6 and 7 when we became good friends and hung out together. Back then kids didn’t get rides to school unless it was absolutely pouring rain – so we would ride our bikes to school together and hang out after school at each other’s homes. Our intermediate school was about 2 miles from our homes so we had plenty of time to talk during our rides back and forth. Sometimes Don would juggle his cassette recorder on his handlebars and we’d listen to tapes he made of the previous weekend’s American Top 40 (I remember lots of Hall and Oates in those days).
When you have a friendship that is as long and strong as the one Don and I share, its hard to pick just a few highlights of the times we’ve shared together. Was it organizing a team in the city youth baseball league in high school and practicing together – only to see our team lose every (yes every) game over two summer seasons? Hmm – probably not. But that did happen. And in spite of the pain and agony of losing games every which way imaginable, we did manage to find fun in these games and learned how to both persevere – and laugh at ourselves – through the experience.
I think Don would agree that one of our best memories of high school was Halloween during our sophomore year. He and I decided to go all-out in decorating our two-story home for the holiday and erected a few pieces of plywood that featured life-sized witches and ghosts over the doorway. We were quite proud of our work until riding to school one day a classmate (and notorious local bully) told us that he and some friends were going to “mess up” the decorations on our house. Why? We had no idea – this was just the kind of kid he was.
We weren’t really sure what to do about it initially but a sudden teacher’s strike at the high school on Halloween day gave us the full day to prepare. We hatched a plan where we would hide in waiting on the roof of the house, wait for the bully and his gang to strike, and then counter attack with water balloons and eggs. We went to the local five-and-dime store and bought our supplies. One of us had the bright idea to add sugar to the water in the balloons to make them extra sticky.
When we got home we shared the situation and plans with my older brother and sister. They both wanted to get in on the operation to help defend the house against the bullies. Lynette and her boyfriend were handing out candy to trick-or-treaters so we stocked them with two buckets of balloons for a ground attack. Don took his position behind the plywood above the doorway and I hid on the garage roof – which was perpendicular to the walkway leading up to our house. And we waited – but not for long.
Soon we heard and saw the gang approaching our house and they were yelling and taunting us. “I thought you were going to protect your house Kaufer!” They hurled a few eggs at our garage door and approached the house. As they got closer Don stood up and cocked his arm – and I initially froze. But soon he launched a water balloon and the assault was on. I grabbed my eggs and balloons and started chucking them as fast as I could. Our front door flew open and Lynette and her boyfriend emerged with their collection of balloons and eggs. These guys had no idea what hit them. The leader saw me on the garage and attacked the fence attached to it and tried to climb it. I peered over him and continued to nail him from point blank range until he backed off.
Finally they retreated in defeat and sulked off into the night. Our job was complete. And Don’s reputation as a loyal (and brave) friend was secured – and remains to this day.
Even though Don has lived in Southern California since our college days and I’ve relocated to the Northwest, we still manage to get together and have great talks – and times – together. I’m lucky in that all of my friends have amazing senses of humor but if you were to ask Renee, her vote is for Don as my absolute funniest friend. And I don’t think my Mom would disagree. She still laughs remembering Don hanging out at our home and talking about the giant oil tankers he saw on Lake Tahoe or answering our door when we had a delivery and yelling “Mom – its for you!” (in those days the idea of an Asian-American teen with a white mom in Walnut Creek raised more than a few eyebrows among the UPS drivers).
Probably the biggest compliment you can give any friend is to say that if you need them for any reason – they will be there for you no matter the situation, day or or time. I can truly say this about Don. I’ve visited Southern California on dozens of occasions over the past 25+ years for both business and Oregon Ducks games and no matter how inconvenient or far away I’ve stayed, Don always takes time to fight through Southern California traffic to spend time together.
Don also was responsible for helping one of my lifetime dreams come true: watching my San Francisco Giants play in the World Series in 1989. At the time I was living in Portland and he called me and said he had gotten ahold of tickets for the rescheduled (after the Bay Area earthquake) Game 3. The only catch was the game was the next night – I would have to drive all night from Portland to get there in time. After securing time off from work, I quickly packed a duffel bag and hit I-5 for the overnight drive. Along the way I ran out of gas, received a speeding ticket and gave myself welts from pinching myself to stay awake – but I did make it…only to watch the Giants get crushed by the A’s. But I didn’t really care about the outcome – the earthquake put the game and series into perspective. For me it was all about being at Candlestick Park for the experience and opportunity to see my favorite team compete for a championship – with one of my closest friends.
There is so much more I can say or write about Don but by now I think its clear that he’s a pretty great guy whose friendship I truly treasure. And so even though this post will technically miss his birthday by a few hours (it’s February 6th) I will still wish him a very happy day. Don: here’s to a fun-filled year ahead and I hope we have an opportunity to create more memories together.
I consider myself very fortunate to have so many friendships that have literally spanned decades. From childhood and elementary school friends in Walnut Creek, California to college friends I met in Eugene, Oregon, I have a collection of incredibly funny, smart and loyal friends who I wouldn’t trade for the world. And even though life is busier than ever for all of us and we don’t get to talk or get together as often as we used to (or would like), its still comforting to know there are people out there who you know you could turn to in need – and they would be there.
Two such people I want to feature today are my
old long-time friends I first met as a 20 year old junior transfer moving into Clark Hall at the University of Oregon in Fall of 1985, Kelly and Cami. Clark Hall was a coed dorm and the majority of the students were first-year freshmen – I was one of only 2 community college transfers. The three story dorm had boys on the first and third floors, while girls occupied the second floor.
I remember meeting Cami first – it was literally my first night in the dorms. We had organized a drinking game of “quarters” in our dorm room and she and her roommate walked by, saw the open door and asked if they could join. We quickly became friends as I appreciated her quick-wit, intelligence and easy-going personality. And believe me, Cami was easily the smartest student in our entire dorm – but was always incredibly humble and modest about this fact.
I can’t remember the exact moment Kelly and I first met but I know it didn’t take long for us to bond (even though she was a Cowboys fan) because she also had a passion for sports and more than held her own talking football, basketball and even Indy car racing.
Cami, Kelly and I all began that year with roommates who turned out to be not so compatible – so we moved after the conclusion of the first quarter. By that time Cami and Kelly had become good friends – and they decided to be roommates. In the meantime, I moved in with a Danish foreign exchange student, Niels (I’ll write about him more in a separate post).
The new living arrangements made life much easier (and fun) for all involved and we collectively spent more time hanging out and playing together. Kelly and I played on an IM basketball team that Winter and I still remind her that I remember walking to the gym together and listening to her pound the basketball with her hands over and over “because this is how you get the best feel for the ball before a game” (according to her high school coach). Even more memorable was an unusually warm spring evening that erupted into a raging spontaneous dorm party that included a game of H.O.R.S.E. on the adjacent basketball courts. We jokingly called Cami “Spud Webb” as she chucked up shot after shot (with lots of laughter).
The friendship continued through my senior year when I lived in an apartment with two other girls from our dorm (Ida and Anna – who also will be featured in a future blog post) and Kelly and Cami were nearby in theirs. I don’t think there were many (if any) weeks that year that we didn’t spend time together – whether it was going to Arnold’s for trivia and .25 cent taco night during the week or cutting loose at Rennie’s Landing and Guido’s on the weekend.
It’s easy for many friendships to fade away once college is over and people move away but luckily I’ve been able to maintain my friendships with Kelly and Cami over the years. After graduation I went back to visit Eugene a few times and we would always make a point of trying to connect at a Ducks football game or other outing.
We all attended each other’s weddings and have stayed in touch through the introduction of children, moves to other states and new chapters in our lives. Kelly and Cami both have two children – each with a son and daughter. And I can tell that both are amazing moms.
Of course Facebook makes it easier for all of us to keep tabs on each other’s lives and to provide support (or laughter) when needed. Kelly was one of my biggest supporters when I decided to again venture out on my own with a new agency (being a successful entrepreneur herself) and Cami has offered many words of support as I’ve shared parenting woes ranging from Croup’s cough to our challenges with Autism. In September 2012 we organized a mini-reunion here in Seattle for the Oregon-WSU game and it was incredibly special to be able to introduce Kelly and Cami to my children and again enjoy sharing time together before and after a Ducks football game.
I’m very proud (and lucky) to call these women my friends.
Nice clip of Temple Grandin speaking on CNN about her experiences growing up and living with Autism. It is so important to hear her and others such as Carly Fleischmann share their perspectives so that we can better understand our own kids as well as the growing number of kids who find themselves on the spectrum.
Its Super Bowl week and the city of Seattle has officially gone Ga-Ga for the Seahawks as the hype and build-up continues. There have been no shortage of Super Bowl-related articles, stories and features in the local and national media, but sometimes a fan just wants to get their hands on good ol’ fashion statistics (or in this case, very new and modern stats!) and immerse themselves in the numbers.
This is a very cool interactive infographic created by StatMilk that allows you to check out literally any individual or team stat about the Broncos or Seahawks (or any of NFL teams) and match them up against each other. There are literally thousands of ways for you to parse, filter and compare statistics using this tool – if you’re a real football stats geek, there is a good chance you’ll spend hours playing around with it.
Enjoy! And lets hope the quality of the actual game matches the hype and build-up!
Its been a full 24 hours since the epic 49ers-Seahawks NFC Championship game concluded. Today I drove Stone to see his special pediatrician in Oregon City so I had plenty of time to digest the contest and revurberations that resulted from Seattle beating the 49ers with a last-second defensive stand.
I went into this game with the attitude that it was the ultimate “win-win” scenario for me. While I wanted my beloved childhood team to make a repeat appearance in the Super Bowl and win that elusive sixth ring, I also thought I would be happy for my adopted hometown Seattle if they won the game. After all, I became an instant Seahawks fan when they entered the NFL as an expansion team. At that time they played in the same division as the Oakland Raiders and were fairly successful at beating them – so that was all I needed to like them. I also loved their early star Quarterback Jim Zorn and they way he would run around to make plays – actually not too dissimilar from current ‘Hawk QB Russell Wilson. I even created my own giant Seahawks poster/bumper sticker and insisted my parents put it on the back of our trailer when we went on camping trips and vacations when I was 14.
Yesterday’s game turned out to be as entertaining (and hard-hitting) as most of us anticipated. And as one of my friends texted me later, it was the kind of game you hate to see one team lose, because it was clear they were both such great teams.
But in the 4th quarter I read reports on Twitter that Seahawks fans threw food on injured 49er linebacker Navarro Bowman – who was being carted out of the stadium after suffering a gruesome knee injury that tore his ACL and MCL moments earlier. I was sick to my stomach reading this report. How could fans be so classless to do such a thing – let alone in a city like Seattle, which typically takes pride in its civility.
And then, after the Seahawks prevailed we all heard Richard Sherman’s rant heard ‘round the world. The news and social media cycle has had more than a day to chew this up and spit it out – long enough for Sherman to make his expected public mea culpa with a public statement and apology. Good for him. While I have tremendous respect for his abilities, I can’t say I have much for that kind of behavior. I think he was an Ass with a capital A at that moment. I’ve watched countless post-game interviews with players who made key/critical plays and can’t recall anything remotely similar to that level of poor sportsmanship. And yes I know we can’t (and shouldn’t) judge a person based on one episode, or as Pete Carroll put it today, “We aren’t perfect, and we all make mistakes.” Fair enough. As an aside, given that the Seahawks lead the NFL in PED suspensions, I think its clear that Carroll has become a leading authority in “mistakes” football players make. But thats besides the point. Back to yesterday’s game.
I expected my reaction to the Seahawks going to this Super Bowl to be similar to when they beat Carolina in January 2006 and I was genuinely thrilled for the team and region. Maybe it was because that Seahawks team came out of nowhere and wasn’t expected to be a contender that made that experience more fun. Maybe it was because the 49ers stunk that year so it was easier for me to jump on the Seahawks bandwagon. Maybe it was because it was before social media and so many obnoxious fans on Twitter. I’m not sure but the feeling was definitely different 8 years ago.
I’ve been as passionate a sports fan as any out there and as I’ve gotten older and (hopefully) more mature, I’ve tried to improve my own sportsmanship when it comes to dealing with other fan bases. I’m all for good-natured ribbing and teasing – and I’m lucky that I have friends who are fans of many teams that are natural rivals of my favorite teams who know how to give and take.
But I have been genuinely surprised at the level of outright hostility I’ve observed from local Seahawks fans at 49er players, coaches and fans. Local sports talk radio routinely refer to Jim Harbaugh as “Douchebag” and I’ve lost track at the number of times I’ve heard Kaepernick referred to as a “thug” (or worse).
And I suppose all of this is considered fair when it comes to sports – especially in the build up to such a big game. But even after the Seahawks prevailed and punched their ticket to New Jersey for the Super Bowl, I’ve been surprised to see so many Seahawks fans take (seemingly) as much glee in the 49ers loss – as in the Seattle win. I’ve seen very few comments by Seahawks fans about what a great game it actually was (or kudos to the 49ers for pushing the #1 seed to the brink). Maybe that’s expecting too much? I guess I truly don’t understand because even when I sat in Candlestick Park and watched The Catch knock out the truly hated Cowboys and propel the 49ers to their first Super Bowl, my first thought wasn’t too taunt Dallas fans (even as an immature 16 year old). My only thought was about how the 49ers were going to the Super Bowl!!! And the fact that they did it against a team that had knocked them out of the playoffs so many times earlier in their history made it more gratifying of course.
I sat through a similarly thrilling game when Oregon played Auburn for the BCS Championship in 2011. And just as my 49ers lost in the closing seconds of yesterday’s game, my Ducks lost late when Auburn kicked a field goal on the final play to pull out the victory. We had been sitting among Auburn fans and they were passionate – and extremely civil – throughout the game. After the kick was made, two Auburn fans who had been sitting in front of and interacted with us throughout the game turned around and shook our hands and said “great game – it’s a shame when it comes down to a fluke play (referring to the controversial Michael Dyer run – which set up the game-winning kick).
Last November I sat through the Ducks stumbling through a tough loss to Stanford in Palo Alto – another game when the final result was still in doubt in the final moments. And after this game Stanford fans around me patted me on the back, shook my hand and talked about how impressed they were with Oregon’s resolve at the end of the game.
Both are examples of what I call winning with class.
The Seahawks will be lining up against the Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl and there is no player or quarterback I respect more than Peyton Manning. He has been the epitome of professionalism throughout his career and has excelled beyond expectations on the field after returning from what many considered were career-ending neck surgeries. I would be very happy to see Peyton win his 2nd Super Bowl and earn his rightful spot among the top 5 all-time great quarterbacks. So its not like the Broncos are an easy team to root AGAINST in this Super Bowl.
Its been well-documented that Seattle sports fans have only been able to celebrate one major championship – the SuperSonics NBA crown waaaay back in 1979. And this is the reason why I thought heading into yesterday’s NFC Championship Game it would be cool if the Seahawks finally brought home the Lombardi Trophy to the Emerald City.
I’ve long believed that every fan base deserves to experience the feeling of at least one championship. Given the amount of energy, emotion and passion fans put into their teams, they deserve that ROI once in their life. And there is no doubt that Seahawks fans are some of the most passionate in the NFL – the 12th man is no joke.
So at the end of the day I guess I’m still going to pull for the Seahawks to win the Super Bowl so I can see this city celebrate. I just hope they (and their fans) handle it with class.
Thousands of years after Plato, are we treating special education students any better than Greeks and Romans would have?
After all of the hard work of getting a company off the ground — from setting up inventory and fine-tuning services, to hiring employees and creating a website through the help of a digital marketing firm such as Kaufer DMC – businesses need to be sure they are doing everything they can to attract and keep customers. As Brawn Media notes, blogging is now a key part of the marketing success of a company. However, not all blogging is created equally. To ensure a blog works for them to attract new customers (rather than drive them away), business owners should follow these five blogging best practices:
Get to Know Your Customers
In order to be successful at blogging, Brawn Media says, business owners need to really know their customers and clients. For example, a blog on a trendy and fashionable online clothing boutique website should be lighthearted and fun and focus on the latest must-have outfits, as opposed to long, drawn-out missives about how cotton is made. This is the type of writing customers want to see, and it can entice them to stay on the site and place an order. On the other hand, companies that sell electronic devices, such as computers and smartphones, can write blogs using more technical language, likewise of a Windows hosting service.
Check Your Writing Before Posting
Yes, business owners are busy, and yes, they may not feel they have the time to proofread their blogs, but misspelled words and typos can be a definite turn-off for customers. Errors such as these can cause potential customers and clients to click on the “X” button and take their business elsewhere. Company owners who are too swamped to proofread should hire someone to do it for them. The benefit is definitely worth the added expense.
Write About Things Other Than the Business
While it might be tempting to use a blog as an opportunity to crow a bit about the business and how amazing it is,Hollis Thomases of Inc.com strongly advises against it. In fact, making the blog all about the company or how great the owners are is really unattractive to readers, and will inspire them to shop elsewhere. Instead of making the blog all about them, business owners should try to teach, inspire, or help their customers.
Update Your Blog Regularly
Customers definitely notice how often a blog is updated, Inc.com notes. If the same old blog about Capri pants has been sitting there on the online boutique website for months, it sends a message that the company is not staying up-to-date on the latest styles, and is being run in a rather ho-hum fashion (no pun intended.) This can cause customers to head elsewhere for their clothing purchases.
Make it all Look Good
Before their eyes even begin to read the text, potential customers will notice the images and photos that accompany a blog. Because of this, fellow Internet marketing consultant David Riewe notes that businesses need to be sure their blogs are chock full of clear, eye-catching and appropriate images. A blog about the enormous popularity of cupcakes needs photos of mouth-watering baked goods, not a couple of blurry images of Hostess cupcakes. Good-looking images will help keep readers on the site, and encourage them to spend their money there.
Many Oregon Ducks fans (myself included) were extremely optimistic that this would finally be the year they could break through and win that elusive BCS Championship. Heading into the season we had two potential Heisman Trophy candidates in Marcus Mariota and De’Anthony Thomas. Most of the offense from last year’s record-breaking team returned. There were a few questions about a defense that lost 3 starters to the NFL but we’ve bought into the Ducks “next man up” mentality and assumed there would be little drop off (especially given how much playing time Ducks defenders get with their rotating scheme).
Oh, and Chip Kelly left for the NFL but Oregon stayed true to form and promoted homegrown Mark Helfrich from Offensive Coordinator to Head Coach (following the path of Kelly, Mike Bellotti and Rich Brooks). The bulk of the assistant coaching staff – many of whom who have spend literally decades in Eugene – also remained intact. Chip brought the Ducks defensive line coach with him to Philly but left the rest of the staff intact and the cupboards incredibly full of talent.
In fact, surveying this team before the season (and during its early run through September) it was safe to say that this Ducks team was vastly more talented than the Oregon team that ran the table in 2010 on its way to the BCS Championship. There are more weapons and depth on this squad. It looked scary good. Good enough to finally challenge Alabama or any other team that would emerge out of the SEC.
Or so we thought.
Stanford gave the Ducks a cold shower reality check for a second straight year and appeared to dash Oregon’s BCS championship dreams. But a week later USC gave the Ducks new life by upsetting the Cardinal in Los Angeles. For the second time in November, the Ducks were again in control of its own destiny – if not for the BCS title game, then at least for the Pac-12 title game.
Leading up to the Arizona game, much was made (in the media, social media and fan boards alike) about comments made by Ducks Josh Huff and De’Anthony Thomas regarding the Ducks potential to play in the Rose Bowl. At the time, I didn’t read too much into them as I thought the wounds from the Stanford loss were still a bit raw – and I want the Ducks to be aspiring for the BCS Championship game.
The thing is, sitting at #5 in the BCS rankings at the time, the Ducks still did have an outside chance at reaching the BCS title game. Yes they would need some help by having those undefeated teams ahead of them lose, but they already saw with the Stanford loss to USC that crazy things do happen in November. If Oregon simply took care of business, worst case it would have a chance to win its second Rose Bowl in 3 years – something that seemed unimaginable as recently as 2005 to most Ducks (and fans).
But they didn’t take care of business in the desert and were outplayed from the first snap of the game. They suffered their worst loss since 2008 and fell out of contention for the Pac-12 Championship and most likely, a fifth straight BCS bowl game.
How and why did this happen? I don’t have the answer and remain puzzled how a team with as much to play for as Oregon did could come out so flat and unfocused. One has to look at leadership within the team and coaching ranks – its only fair.
Predictably many fans and pundits are up in arms about the state of the Ducks after this unexpected (and disheartening) defeat. Some have called it the end of an era for Oregon. Others are already calling Helfrich a bust and/or “Chip Kelly” wannabe.
There is no doubt that Oregon is at a critical stage with its program. The Arizona loss was on par with the Ducks disastrous performance in the 2006 Vegas Bowl, where they seemed disinterested and unfocused and got waxed by a BYU team that came ready to play. At that time, I worried that the Ducks may have gotten too soft and were too spoiled by the influx of (then) crazy amenities such as video games in the locker rooms and new uniforms weekly.
To his credit, Mike Bellotti righted the ship and Ducks started rolling again in 2007 with Chip running the offense. Like this year’s team, that Oregon team seemed destined for the BCS Championship until a knee injury to their Heisman candidate QB derailed the season (sound familiar?). Even though that Ducks team went on to lose its final 3 conference games (and what seemed to be a stranglehold on a Rose Bowl berth at least), it rallied for an impressive Sun Bowl win with its 4th string QB.
Oregon is at a totally different point with its program than it was even 3-4 years ago. Instead of coaching up a bunch of 3-star recruits and beating teams with seemingly better talent, its now landing 4 and 5 star recruits who dream of winning national championships. The opening of its football facility this past summer raised more than a few eyebrows with its opulence but most of us simply shrug and acknowledge the football facility “arms race” is simply part of competing at a high level in today’s world.
But what kind of Ducks are playing today compared to 3, 5, 10 or 15 years ago? And is there reason for Oregon fans to fret about the future of the program?
Well, if fretting means worrying about if the Ducks will ever win a BCS Championship then yes, then that is legit. Winning a national football championship is CRAZY HARD and takes a ton of things to go right to even be in the position to potentially win one. As a lifelong San Francisco Giants fan I had my heart broken on countless occasions when they failed time and again in the playoffs (and World Series). I honestly didn’t think I’d ever see them win a title in my lifetime but I’ve seen them win two in the past four years. Crazy.
So if you’re the kind of fan who can only enjoy or appreciate Oregon Ducks football if you think they will win the National Championship, then good luck with that. I’ve been a fan since 1986 and love my Ducks because they are fun, exciting and almost always competitive. Do I get frustrated and disappointed when they lose games I think they should win? Of course. But I’ve also learned over the years that its too myopic to simply view your team’s loss from a one-sided perspective. Sometimes teams do lose…but most of the time the other team simply plays better and wins.
Oregon has a rookie head coach and rookie offensive coordinator. Have they made mistakes this season? No doubt. But as I’ve reminded other Duck fans, Chip Kelly made his share of mistakes as well. His rookie season featured two losses as well – including losing on the road to an unranked Stanford team where the Ducks couldn’t stop the running game of Toby Gearhart and watched the Cardinal score nearly 60 points on them.
The past four years for the Ducks have been amazing and magical – but they also came at an ideal time from a conference standpoint. Overall the Pac-12 was down across the board. USC struggled under Lane Kiffin. Washington is still trying to join the upper echelon. Stanford was really the only serious challenger for the Ducks but that has changed. With the exception of Cal, which is truly atrocious, the Pac-12 is much more competitive. New coaching regimes at UCLA, Arizona State, Arizona are paying dividends. And that sleeping giant at USC will wake up again soon. Getting through the conference unscathed will be nearly impossible for any team (in my opinion). The BCS playoffs come at a good time for both the Ducks and the Pac12.
Time will tell if the Ducks will remain among the national elite or slide towards the middle of the Pac-12 conference. But I like their chances. For now my message to fellow Ducks fans is to “Keep Calm and Duck On.” Enjoy the ride because it could be so much worse.
Here are a few final points of perspective:
* Stanford was also a preseason top 5 team and lost two road conference games to unranked teams. Nobody in Palo Alto is calling for David Shaw to be fired.
* Alabama lost 3 conference games in 2010 and had to settle for a non-BCS bowl. They regained their focus (and haven’t lost it yet).
* Auburn didn’t win a single conference game a year ago – and is one win away from a spot from the SEC championship game. Like Oregon, they promoted their previous offensive coordinator (except in his case he got one year at Arkansas State to learn how to be a head coach).
* Cal just completed its first ever 11 loss season – and barely beat Portland State – only 4 years after being a top 5 BCS team.
* Florida – which was ranked #3 in last year’s BCS heading into the Sugar Bowl – just lost to FCS Georgia Southern and will finish with a losing record and NO bowl
* Oregon’s Fiesta Bowl opponent Kansas State lost to FCS North Dakota State and wasn’t even in the Big 12 hunt
* Mark Helfrich really is in a no-win situation. If he wins its because he’s using Chip’s system and players. And if he loses he’s considered a lousy coach who is failing where Chip wouldn’t.
* Not to rub it into our Friday rivals, but consider the plight of Oregon State fans the past five years. Twice they have simply had to win the Civil War to advance to their first Rose Bowl since the 1960s. Twice they’ve had to watch us celebrate. And this season they lost to FCS Eastern Washington and just gave up a school-record points and rushing performance to a UW team that started its 2nd-string QB. Ouch.
What do I want for the Ducks? Of course I’d love to see them compete for (and win a national championship) on a regular basis. But I know that’s extremely difficult for any program to do consistently – just look at teams that are “supposed” to win regularly (see: Texas, Notre Dame, Michigan, etc). My standards have always been: play hard, be entertaining, represent the University of Oregon well (both players and coaches) and be competitive. If they fulfill those on a consistent basis then I know the program is maintaining the success its built over the past two decades.
Now this is a very cool idea: Wings for Autism at SeaTac Airport on Jan, 25th
Wings for Autism is an airport rehearsal specially designed for individuals with autism spectrum disorders, their families and aviation professionals.
The program gives families the chance to experience the process of taking a flight. They arrive at the airport, check in at the ticket counter and
receive their boarding passes, go through TSA security, board a plane and even experience taxiing.
Space is limited. The event is free but registration is REQUIRED.
Click Here to Register: http://www.thearc.org/wingsforautism/SEA-TAC
A generation ago, scams came to our doors via mail including details on pyramid schemes or get-rich-quick plots. Today, the same scams arrive at our digital doorstep, but they’ve hidden their intention so that you have no idea what you’re getting into. ID Analytics suggests that no less than 10 thousand different identity theft rings in the United States are eager to get your name, Social Security number and credit card information. How can you be sure an errant email poses a threat?
Your Country Needs Your Information
It’s easy enough to create an email account that looks like it came from a government domain, then demand that the recipient send out anything from their address to their bank details to “the IRS.” After all, getting the rights to an official-sounding email name like “irs.support.gov” requires only creating a bogus website to get the domain rights. Internet Crime Complaint Center’s annual identity theft report notes FBI email scams cause $5 million of losses in 2012, with about 50 reports per day. The solution? Ignore any email, even one with a government suffix, that asks for information directly. Not only are government officials forbidden to communicate sensitive information by mail, but the FBI and IRS can get your personal information much faster than by email.
Mobile and Social Media Marketing
If you sign up for mobile marketing alerts from a retailer or “like” a store’s Facebook page, you will likely receive notifications via social media and texts about special offers and discounts. Most of the time, these are just marketing tactics from stores you trust, but scammers can take advantage with mobile and social media phishing to get your personal information. If you receive a social media notification or a text message from an unknown person or number, don’t click on any links provided, even if it says something familiar about a brand or store you use. If it’s irregular or you didn’t sign up for it, it is probably a phishing scam.
Work At Home
Most people who have clicked around on the Internet have seen the advertisements for the stay-at-home moms who made $30,000 last month with this “one weird trick.” Many more have seen similar scam emails show up in their inbox offering quick wealth with minimal work. Fraud.org suggests you find out the exact details of any potential employment, including contacting both employees and customers to find out if it is kosher. Remember that when it sounds too good to be true, you can be sure that it is.
I’m A Relative, And I’m In Trouble
A recent email scam that has been circulating the Internet targets senior citizens by having the scammer pretend to be a grandchild or relative in a perilous situation. A common trope is that the grandchild was on vacation in Mexico and ran out of money to buy a plane ticket home. This may not work on seniors who saw their child just the day before, but for those who have not been in touch recently, the email generates a great deal of concern and a willingness to pull out the wallet. Minimize the threat from scam emails and bogus social media accounts by looking into identity protection services via LifeLock. Their Twitter page is full of tips and tricks consumers can use to stay secure. Emails pose a threat to your financial well-being, but scam artists understand that social media can be used just as effectively.
Some emails you receive when you post information online, such as a sale on Craigslist, have you jumping for joy. In some cases, a person is willing to drastically overpay with a cashier’s check and have you mail them the change. Craigslist has a running tally of scams on their site. Be sure to deal with locals you can meet in person to ensure the deal is legitimate. Remember that banks hold you responsible for check fraud, not the scammers.
Report any suspicious emails or social media notifications you may get to the administrator, and check for secure sites that start with “https,” not “http.” As long as you use the Internet with caution and don’t give any information to an untrusted source, your information should stay safe.