National Civic Hacking Day

This is a nationwide day of action founded by the Code for America Brigades, the U.S. Small Business Administration, and Secondmuse, in collaboration with various federal government agencies. Thousands of people across the country will implement their hacking skills for good, and volunteer to complete a number of challenges that invoke creativity, technology, and innovation to strengthen their communities.

How People can Participate in National Civic Hacking Day

  • Learn How to Code
  • Attend a Civic Hacking Event
  • Use #Hackforchange on social media

Onsite at a civic hacking event, share photos and videos to inspire others to participate in National Civic Hacking Day. Happy Hacking!

Little Lacey

For 19 years Lacey, a muse for Mews News, a tortoise kitty with a loud meow warmed my heart and others. Her quiet demeanor and playfulness even at the age of 19 surprised me. She had a hearty appetite for cat food, tuna and popcorn until her last breath.

She passed away September 8, 2020. She is survived by her owner Julie and her little brother Alexander. A Memorial Service was held this morning in the garden. Cheers to a long life!

DNS Design Using Amazon Route 53 Webinar

My review and takeaways on the DNS (Domain Naming Service) Design Webinar on Amazon Web Services (AWS) Route 53. First, I found this webinar informative and easy to follow the instructor and PowerPoint slides. This webinar demonstrated how to configure Amazon Route 53 DNS services and Amazon Virtual Private Clouds. The webinar covered these four points.

• DNS in AWS Overview
• Route 53 Resolver with AWS Services
• Route 53 Health checks and Routing Rules
• Route 53 Resolver Rules and Endpoints

I did increase my knowledge on Amazon’s DNS Route 53. It is a scalable domain naming web service. It can be used to map domain names and integrate with many AWS resources within the cloud architecture. To learn more about Amazon Route 53 DNS architecture, check out this web site link https://aws.amazon.com/route53.

Macro Monday Community Pea Patch

Posting photos from my summer stroll at Magnuson Park in Seattle. This is a community garden with a view of Lake Washington. The flowers and produce are abundant this summer day. Some of this produce will be donated to a local feed bank and there is also a school project on this site.

Seattle Give Camp Hack-a-thon

One of my projects is serving on the Board of Directors for Seattle Give Camp starting this year. I have been an IT volunteer since 2013 in the role of project manager, which means I wear many hats. A typical hackathon mandates different roles and teamwork from everyone.

This year our annual October event will be an online due to Covid-19. We are also moving the website to a new host and adding new features. Our hackathon is 2 1/2 days and we tackle a group of projects for local charities. There is plenty of work to complete before October 23rd. Currently, I am working on the social media piece. Next, we will be evaluating and selecting approximately a dozen projects.

Everyone on the Board is adapting to the digital transformation and communication style. It is challenging, creating new norms and technical design tools in 2020.

Macro Monday Blackberries

Posting photos from the Pacific Northwest, blackberries on the vine. Blackberries are a sweet summer treat in the summer. I bake a few blackberry pies or add them to my smoothies for breakfast. A few facts for the blackberries.

The blackberry is an edible fruit produced by many species in the genus Rubus in the family Rosaceae, hybrids among these species within the subgenus Rubus, and hybrids between the subgenera Rubus and Idaeobatus.

Blackberries offer many health benefits, including:

  • vitamins and minerals like C, K, and manganese
  • high in fiber
  • may boost brain health

Mentor Mentee Benefits

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.

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

My first boss outside of college was my first mentor I realized years later. He taught me to be selective of the battles I fought and 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 critical political alliances are in the workforce. You can be an outstanding worker, but if others do not see your brilliance, your career will stall.

As I mentor, I have seen people I have mentored develop to become better 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 fun. 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.

The reciprocal benefits for mentors and mentees provides the opportunity to reflect on ones own goals and practices, exposure to new perspectives and expanding ones self worth. I am grateful for the mentors who took the time to guide me through my professional journey. For my mentees and mentors, thank you for your feedback and time.

Whirlwind Crazy 2020

The year 2020 has not been like anything I planned for Phase 3 in my life map exercise. Foreign and domestic travel are limited to a few places. Visiting friends in person is at 6 feet away. Forget hugs or handshakes with humans not within your family or pod. It is considered high risk behavior.

I now have Covid-19 stories. Starting with a bathroom shower project that took six months to complete, to a package from downtown Seattle that took three weeks to be delivered. The pants I ordered took the scenic route from California. (It’s complicated) Then the pants were too big. Ugh! Scheduling a dental appointment requires not being out of Washington state for 14 days and not experiencing any Covid -19 symptoms.

Part time or full time work opportunities are sketchy at best. Professional networking is virtually online using a variety of platforms, Zoom and Team are popular. On the positive side, I have received many free training or low cost opportunities, including Covid -19 contact tracing on Coursera via John Hopkins University. Working from home is now the accepted trend for many companies. Back to school is virtual or hybrid for many students. Virtual online fatigue is common, as is loneliness and boredom.

I continue to adjust my near future a month ahead. Forget the one to three year plan, five is obsolete. Staying focused is a challenge. Celebrating my birthday is with one friend at a time. Thrilled to have friends to venture out with wearing our masks and face shields properly.

Practicing gratitude and working on a few non-profit projects within the Seattle community; plus updating my technical skills. I am Zooming in with Meet Up groups and friends. These friendships have endured the pandemic. Summer walks and bike rides provide the opportunity to photograph nature and life. The splash of color in the neighborhood soothes the soul. People saying ‘hi” is not taken for granted! Not even mind mapping year 2021.