Autumn Leaves

Autumn is my favorite season. Crisp breezy air, leaves changing color and the golden sunlight glistens. Earth tilts on its axis to create this gilded color. The apples fall from the tree, squirrels snatch hazelnuts and bury them for winter. Autumn marks the calendar for back to school supplies and football games. A brisk walk in the afternoon kick starts the heart and soul.

“Wild is the music of the autumnal winds amongst the faded woods.”

– William Wordsworth.

5G – Cyber Threat Webinar

A benefit being a member of Women in CyberSecurity (WiCyS) are the hosted webinars. This webinar presented by Katie Grzywacz (Lockheed Martin Associate Fellow), was an informative presentation. The webinar provided an overview of 5G compared to prior network services from 1G through 4G.

5G Features
  • Enhanced Mobile Broadband (EmBB),
  • User Reliable Low Latency Communications(URLLC),
  • Massive Machine Type Communication (mMTC)
5G Technology Changes

This new technology improves the network and is highly configurable, providing improvements in speed, coverage, and reliability. The primary rationale for 5G over 4G is supporting the increasing demand from the internet and devices that are mandating more bandwidth compared to the 4G platform. 5G uses different types of antennas, operates on different radio spectrum frequencies, connects more devices to the internet, and delivers ultrafast speeds.

Potential 5G threats could occur due to policy changes, the supply chain process, or improper management of the network. Legacy communication architecture is more vulnerable to attack from malicious actors. Spectrum sharing could provide more opportunities to attack the communication network.

5G is more flexible, people can connect to the internet with more devices and bandwidth is not an issue. 5G is a new technology and an improvement over 4G. 5G opens the airwaves for more internet-enabled technology, wireless sensors, mobile devices, and improved data transfer. This is a broad overview of the webinar. I recommend viewing this webinar because it explains the architecture changes and how it is an improvement over 4G thoroughly. The presentation is posted on BrightTalk for WiCyS members.

MONET AT ÉTRETAT

Seattle Art Museum (SAM) Exhibit

This exhibit is displayed at the Seattle Art Museum through October 17, 2021. Paintings by Monet and his contemporizes of the landscape at Étretat, France, during February 1883. Étretat is a fishing village and resort on the Normandy coast.  I am adding the Normandy Coast to my bucket list.

Claude Monet was a painter from France and the founding father of Impressionism for painting. Monet is known for his landscape paintings.

It has been close to two years since I visited the SAM, due to the Covid virus. It was a welcomed treat and joy to see this exhibit. I snapped photos only of Monet’s paintings. These were my favorite paintings from the Exhibit.

It is extraordinary to see the sea; what a spectacle! She is so unfettered that one wonders whether it is possible that she again become calm.

Etretat is becoming more and more amazing. Now is the real moment: the beach with all its fine boats; it is superb, and I am enraged not to be more skillful in rendering all this. I would need two hands and hundreds of canvases.

Claude Monet

Sidewalk Art Design

Creativity

Creativity is implementing your imagination and ideas into reality. Creativity is visualizing the world differently, seeking patterns and connections between unrelated ideas, processes and events. Creativity makes life more interesting and fun; it triggers our imagination into discovering solutions and enhancing our daily lives. Nurturing our creativity is essential and new research demonstrates how creativity impacts our lives worldwide. Everyone has the capacity to be creative.

Why Creativity is Important:

  • Creativity generally leads to more opportunities
  • Creativity increases self-esteem
  • Creativity reduces stress
  • Persistency morphs into optimism
  • Breaks down barriers
  • Fuels positive emotions in people
  • Creativity adds fun and adventure

Creative people discover how to improve processes and solve issues via persistence and refusing to give up. Embracing ones’ creative power challenges people to thinking and experimenting with other people, ideas, theories, and best practices, whether in business, school, or in their personal lives. Grab your chalk and draw!

20th century French artist,  Henri Matisse  described creative people as curious, flexible, persistent, independent and adventurous. Take a look at how these qualities will help you succeed in your professional, personal, and college life.

International Dog Day 2021

“The Dog Days of Summer”

The month itself gets its name from Caesar Augustus, adopted son of Julius Caesar. We have always associated the month with heat and humidity and refer to this time of year as the “dog days of summer“.

International Dog Day is held on August 26th each year. This celebration was initiated by the International Fund for Animal Welfare with the goal of caring and protecting the rights of man’s best friend. The day has its origins in National Dog Day, celebrated in the United States since 2004.

Historic Port Gamble

Port Gamble, Company Owned Town

A popular tourist destination is filled with unique textile, antique and gift shops, mouth-watering restaurants, and a historic theater. Many of the businesses are located from original New England-style homes that were restored, and adding the town’s general store. A former sawmill town, Washington State’s oldest company-owned town founded in 1853. Port Gamble is a National Historic site. Before closing in 1995, the Port Gamble Mill was the oldest continuously operating sawmill in North America.

Mentor Benefits Insight

Mentors

Having mentors throughout my career has been an enlightening experience for me. Mentoring others has been equally rewarding. Mentoring can be within a formal program or occur informally. A mentor – mentee relationship is a commitment between two people.

The role of a mentor is to encourage the personal and professional development of a mentee through the sharing of expertise and knowledge. The mentoring relationship is developed through mutual trust, respect and communication. Both parties agree to meet regularly to exchange ideas, discuss progress and set goals for further development. Mentoring is a process.

Benefits

Guidance from a mentor can offer a mentee the opportunity for personal and professional growth. Mentors can offer advice on how to develop ones strengths, develop new skills, or expose them to new ideas and ways of thinking.

Benefits for Mentees

  • Increased self-confidence
  • Exposure to new and different perspectives
  • Increased self-awareness
  • Developing their communication skills
  • Increasing their personal and professional networks
Confidence and Self Awareness

My first manager after college graduation was my first mentor I realized years later. He taught me to be selective of the battles I fought and told me to take my seat at the table, I earned it. Those words of wisdom have guided me throughout my life and career, especially with the “imposter syndrome”. Another mentor guided me through the maze of office politics in the federal government. I learned through her how political alliances materialize in the workplace. You can be an outstanding employee, but if others do not see your brilliance, your career will stall.

Insight

I have observed people that I have mentored develop to become outstanding speakers or improve their technical skills. Watching a mentee give her “Ice Breaker” speech in Toastmasters, thrilled me to the core. Watching another mentee learn cyber skills was rewarding. Through mentees, I have gained technical expertise and honed my leadership skills. Mentoring is more than the transfer of advice, knowledge and insights. It is relationship building.

Feedback

The reciprocity for mentors and mentees is an opportunity to reflect on ones personal and professional goals, exposure to new perspectives, and recognizing ones self worth. I am grateful for mentors who took the time to guide me through my professional journey. Thankful for the mentees and mentors who guided me through the labyrinth of life.

Water Bubbles

I have enjoyed bubbles since I was a child. In the summer, I would play with my soap bubble wand and spray bubbles across the yard. A simple pleasure on a hot summer day in Central Washington.

Walking by a water fountain in Edmonds, Washington on Friday; I discovered large water bubbles floating in the fountain. Numerous bubbles. It was a hot summer day filled with smoky air from the forest fires. A gloomy morning. I saw this as a photographic moment capturing bubbles and water drifting. The bubbles provided relief from the stagnant air and grey clouds. I was smiling. Sharing the fun memory.

Recalling memories from my past. Enjoying today gives me happiness now, and this too will become a memory tomorrow.


Check Point: Form W-4 Withholding Tax

Time to check your tax withholding. Last tax season was a shocker to many tax payers; they owed the IRS for the first time. The tax withholding is not calculated by deductions anymore. The W-4 bases tax withholding based on filing status and has for a few years. The IRS and your employer expects you to change your form to reflect your filing status and consider any annual tax deductions, i.e., Child Tax Credit or Educations Credits that lower your tax liability.

Allowances are no longer used for for the W-4 form. This change was meant to simplify, and be more accurate. In the past, the value of a withholding allowance was tied to the amount of the personal exemption. Presently, you cannot claim personal exemptions or dependency exemptions due to changes in IRS tax laws.

You should consider completing a new Form W-4 each year, or whenever your personal or financial situation changes. Review your tax liability if you receive a raise, change jobs, or if your family household changes in size. You can change the information on your W-4 any time throughout the year,. I recommend taking time half way through the year to see if you are still on track. Update the Form W-4 as needed, to ensure your employer withholds the correct federal income tax from your salary. Not withholding enough taxes can lead to a penalty, and taking out too much for taxes can result in a penalty.

The links below provide more information on the W-4 Tax withholding form. There is a link to the IRS online Tax Estimator tool. It is a good idea to research tax laws annually. The IRS web site is a valuable resource. Plus, it is free to use.

Form W-4, Employees Withholding Certificate

IRS Tax Estimator Tool

Summer Escape

Summer in the Pacific Northwest is a treat, Generally, not too hot or humid. A few days this summer records were broken. We are back to the norm currently. A day trip to Whidbey Island to reconnect with friends after two years was wonderful. A day of laughter and joy as we dug for gooey ducks and clams for lunch.

Gradually, meeting friends who are fully vaccinated. Outside dining capacity has increased. I hope outside dining continues and becomes a year round option. I prefer fresh air and the dog friendly atmosphere. Taking one day at this variant phase. Wishing everyone a beautiful summer.

Embrace this moment, life and your dreams!

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