Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Take a Stand for Darfur

Sometimes, it is very hard to believe the atrocities that go on in this world. I often find ecological and health care related interests to focus on at the Treehouse,  but Darfur is different somehow. So please watch, listen, cry and then do something. Be aware and speak out against the insanity. Support the groups that are working tirelessly to bring an end to the politics of genocide. Please start with the producers of the top piece: 1800Genocide. Become more educated and horrified and Please Support: Genocide Intervention Network and Amnesty International USA

Beach Cleanup-Feelin' Good by Doin' Good

Last Saturday saw an intrepid band of volunteers gather on Del Monte Beach at the shore of beautiful Monterey Bay. I was there and we all were a part of the Surfrider Monterey October Beach Cleanup. Although we certainly expected more volunteers, I like to see the glass as half full and loved watching the folks who came walk off into the kelp-strewn, surf-tossed natural mayhem that is a natural beach on a dynamic Ocean Bay. They had their litter tally sheets and their love for this Mother Ocean who knows no bounds to her generosity in the life she gives us. It's just a little thing we can do each month to give back to that which sustains us all. When all was said and done, over 2,000 pieces of plastic, styrofoam, bags, butts, fishing line and general "yuck" was picked up in just a couple of sun-kissed hours. Hey, next month, come join us...we do a different beach every month...we'd love to see you. To find out which beach and when, go to the Surfrider Monterey site. If you aren't in the Monterey Bay Area but are lucky enough to be close to the oceans, you can get involved with Surfrider Foundation's awesome work. Check it out by starting with Surfrider Foundation's 122 Victories for the Ocean since 1/1/2006. Feelin' Good...doin' is good.
--Your friend, Ali

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A Fad? What Fad? Social Media is Now ...and the Future

I think that it was in 2003 sometime when I realized just how great that "social media" thing was... even though I really had no idea that's what it was going to be called. I just thought that it was a really good way to see what all of those people from high school were doing. This was way before Myspace and Facebook.. back then I was on Friendster.  I could feel that this way of interacting with people was going to be how it was done in the future. e-Mail was OK. Just OK... for the business guys. This was way before the revolution in mobile devices that has swept the world. The concept of instant interaction with the rest of the world was not even on my scope back then. I was just interested in what everybody else was doing with their lives.
I do understand how people could think of social media as a fad. Something that was going to fade away just like 8tracks, audio cassettes, laser discs, and car phones. I think that people think that way because they are scared of it or really just don't understand it. They fail to see the power that social media can wield. When it comes down to it, how they can make money with it.  For me, it all comes down to straight shootin'. Honest advertising... and how it can help the little guy. How it effects small, local businesses that have always had to go out of their way and spend a bunch of money to get widespread exposure. They have had to take out ad space in a local newspaper or mailer to get it out to their neighbors that they have a really great new pumpkin spice yogurt flavor. (which is awesome by the way. @myofrozenyogurt) They can now use Twitter and Facebook as real weapons for their business. The other side of the coin is that for people like myself who are fiercely loyal to businesses that I love... we can spread their messages with a simple retweet.. or by sharing their link to our friends. It helps everybody in the long run because local business is the key to everything in my mind. When local businesses are doing good then I am feeling good.
So yes, maybe Twitter and Facebook may come and go, but this way of interacting with the world is here to stay. And how about the proliferation of Blogs in their various forms . It's not a fad. It's more like a revolution. ...And here seems to be the proof!..btw.. you can follow us on twitter: The Monk, Richierich, Ali.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Rebranding America...Bono's Latest

Bono's Op-Ed in the New York Times this morning says what I've been thinking and saying over the past few months as people here in this wonderful, dynamic, blessed America have been grumbling and turning away from opportunity.

When did Americans start saying and believing "No, we can't."? Our President gave us permission in his campaign and victory to follow him in saying "Yes, we CAN!"

The United States of America was founded on radical and revolutionary beliefs about creating a New World. Now, we are faced with the daunting and pressing challenge of leading the Old World in creating another New World...a world of peace, prosperity and care for all of our brothers and sisters. The result will be a global security and stewardship of Our Creator's gift of this Earth that we both deserve and have a responsibility to achieve.

Hoorah for those who dare to dream of a better world. Hoorah for Barack Obama. Hoorah for you in finding ways that you can take part in creating this world.

Peace to all of my brothers and is a gift...go for it! Love, Ali

Friday, October 16, 2009

I love you Mister President.

Watch CBS News Videos Online

It really takes a fourth grader to ask the question that has been perplexing me for the past couple of months.. Why do some people in this country hate you Mister President? I will always remember where I was when I found out that you had been elected the President of the United States. An office that I have so much reverence and respect for.. and the reason that I have so much respect for it is not because of the man that was in the office before you but because of my my LOVE for "The West Wing." It was on that show, during an episode that was portraying the State of the Union Address that I first heard the Sergeant at Arms yell..."Mister Speaker.... the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES!" I always wondered why I would get excited and almost teary eyed when I heard that.  Well that time is now.. Like you say in this clip Mister President... its just politics.. and some people out there just need something to hate. It feeds their fears of progress...
Well I want you to know that I'm not scared.. and this guy, me.... Loves You.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

A Call to Action?? Relax...

I woke up to Chris Brogan imploring us to "get in the game"... then Twitter informed my it was blog action day (we write a lot about the environment here and don't need a "day" to do it but will anyway...later) ... I started to think about what a two-time Olympic athlete told me when I ran for the Oregon Track Club (many years ago) ... He said, "today you may need to rest and today you may need to go hard. Whatever you do, just make sure you are stronger tomorrow because of what you do today." That Athlete was  Kenny Moore and he looks like he's followed his own advise. The trick here is to get quiet. To Meditate and listen to how your body feels... That's my call...Slow down.. We run the race for more followers on Twitter and readers in the blogosphere and fast times in the marathon of life... remember it is not a sprint... You'll need energy in the end... take it easy and help your brother with his load. Relax for a change. It will come.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Senator Snowe helps make History. Finally..

What a huge day in Washington it has been with the Senate Finance Committee moving to pass the fifth and final health care reform proposal. The measure passed with a 14-9 margin. Republican Senator Olympia Snowe was the lone republican that supported the bill. In her remarks she said.."when history calls, history calls."
For someone that is my age that statement really hit me. It seems to me that it is the people that see the importance of these moments in history are the ones that make history.. they see the consequences of not acting... and they act.  They see something that is more than themselves and they act.
When I was younger my father gave me a hypothetical situation to think about... it would always stick with me in whatever I do. He asked me what I would do if I saw someone in the street as a car was coming at them...
What would I do?  Would I wait and see what would happen? Or would I just react and do what I thought was right... When he asked me that question I couldn't really give him and answer. I was really pretty young... probably about 13 years old and I had no idea what I would do.
Now I know what I would do.. it seems like that is the attitude that makes things move forward.
By moving this bill out of committee there will be more debate on it on the floors of both houses of Congress. That is the way that this whole thing is supposed to work...
So I have to say Bravo to Senator Snowe for showing a little "out of the box" thinking... and moving things forward.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Rachel Maddow: Obama is Given the Nobel Peace Prize, Responds Appropriately and Then Out Come the Fools

Americans should be proud of electing Barack Obama as our President. He will encounter great resistance for many ugly, hateful reasons... we need to evolve a bit quicker I think. Sink the ship of Fools. There is, I've sadly come to understand, a bit more going on here than just politics. Growing up in NYC it never occurred to me that I would pick my friends and associates based on race, color or creed... I still find it hard to swallow... We really are all in the same canoe... one end will not sink by itself. Take my hand and let's go... We have things to do. There are injustices to deal with. Lawns to mow and houses to paint. Remember as a child how none of this stuff really mattered? Just Come on out and play. Now... Speak out against the madness. Speak up for Peace and Justice. Hear them call your name and do something that matters. Something for your brothers and sisters.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Health Care Coverage for the Uninsured Has Become a National Crisis

Where is it written that every citizen should have health insurance? Or every child should get periodic physicals? Or pregnant women should have regular prenatal exams? Nowhere! Yet common sense tells us maintaining one's health is vital. And having health insurance encourages people to do the right thing, such as getting regular checkups and needed attention before situations turn critical.
It's a matter of having "coverage" and not just "access" to medical attention. Not convinced? Let me explain.

We all pay

Anyone can walk into a hospital and receive care in an emergency. That's "access." But if the person has no insurance, the cost is allocated in part to the patient and in greater part to those who have insurance -- to the tune of nearly 20 percent of their premiums. If the patient has insurance -- "coverage" -- then the cost is borne by the patient's insurance plan and the patient. If everyone has coverage, you and I stand to pay less for our insurance -- and for other products.

Business Basics 101

So why do we care that nearly 48 million Americans are without coverage? Or that the number of uninsured Kentuckians is approaching 700,000? Or, that eight out of 10 are working and are too poor to pay or have no plans available? Well, first of all, because people should stay healthy. And, second of all, because businesses need workers who are what I call "action ready" -- physically, medically, and psychologically ready. (They also need educated workers, but that's a different problem.) Unhealthy workers do not motivate businesses to expand or relocate new businesses to areas where the work force is not "action ready."

Taking control

Certainly, there is a cost associated with getting everyone insured. So why change? Because, as the saying goes, "You either pay now or pay later, but rest assured, you will pay." Indeed, we are paying -- right now! And the cost is only going to increase unless we take control. In these uncertain economic times, some think the cost is being deferred, if not completely avoided. Any number of small employers say they can't afford health insurance for their employees. And many workers are choosing food and fuel over health care, assuming they have a roof over their heads. Yet everyone is paying the price. More than 25 percent of the cost of a new automobile is attributed to employee benefit costs. And that cost reflects both the wellness of the manufacturer's workers and the 20 percent up-charge noted earlier for those without insurance. Add to the equation indigent and emergency-room costs that are increasing exponentially, and the total tab begins to look like the national deficit.

Where the action is

Something has to be done. Just as buildings and equipment have to be maintained, so does our work force. And, while presidential candidates campaign on the subject of health care reform, any number of states are actually doing something about it. Tennessee has launched Cover Tennessee to provide schoolchildren, the elderly and small-business employees with affordable health insurance and medication. California has proposed a plan that is stalled in the legislature, but the governor continues to bang the drum in support of adoption. Massachusetts now requires coverage for all its citizens, just as any number of states require no-fault auto insurance.
Still others are moving ahead to address the need, such as Maine, with the Dirigo Health Reform Act, which is aimed at improving the quality of care while containing costs. And Community Care of North Carolina, a provider-led health care network, has gone statewide to ensure patients have a primary care doctor and a medical home where chronic diseases are monitored and treated -- all in the name of improving access and quality of care while saving millions.But while it's tempting to think everything can be done at the state level, the reality is that action needs to be taken at every level.

-R. Brayton Bowen is a business consultant with The Howland Group, a strategy consulting and change management firm based in Louisville. He is also author of "Recognizing and Rewarding Employees." This article appeared in Business First in April of 2008.Reprinted by permission.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Choosing To Be Healthy-An Active Lifestyle and Good Food. Eating Out Guide

Choosing to eat healthy, workout, and live an active lifestyle is not always an easy decision.  Although ideally we would all love to be in great shape, and eat nothing but health food all the time, realistically our busy lifestyles take over, and don’t always allow for that choice.  Here are a few helpful tips & tricks to eating healthy, even when we are on the go!

Eating-Out Guide & Guidelines
  • Request all sauces & dressings on the side, and then use them sparingly.
  • Avoid added fat!  Avoid fried foods.  Choose steamed, baked, broiled, boiled, poached or grilled instead.
  • Avoid restaurants that are “all you can eat” or pride themselves on large portions.
  • When ordering a salad, don’t be afraid of being picky; ask for extra vegetables and no croutons and dressing on the side. 
  • If it is OK with the rest of your party- ask the server not to bring bread (you will save 200 calories or more)
  • Plan ahead, pick out what you want to eat before arriving to the restaurant and stay focused.  Don’t let other people in your party effect your food choices.
  • Have a low fat, high fiber snack (fruit, raw vegetables, or yogurt) before you go out to eat so that you avoid feeling too hungry, and prevent the temptation to over eat.
  • Ask for the waiter/waitress to pack ½ of your meal in a to-go box before bringing it to the table.  (will save you ½ the calories & will provide you with lunch for the next day)
  • Eat your calories, don’t drink them!  Order water or non-sweetened iced tea instead of soda or juice.
  • When ordering soup, choose brothy, vegetable soups like minestrone over creamy soups like clam chowder.  You will save yourself hundreds of calories, and be careful of sodium.
General Guidelines-
  • Mexican Food
    -Ask for whole beans instead of refried beans ( avoid the extra fat)
    -Order a tostada without the fried shell
    -Order the vegetable or chicken fajitas and hold the sour cream, cheese and tortillas.
  • Italian Food
    -Skip the bread before your meal, order a side salad instead
    -Opt for marinara sauce instead of Alfredo, and always ask for the sauce on the side so you can add it yourself.
    -Ask for some steamed vegetables to be added to your meal.
    -Limit your wine consumption to 1 glass (200-300 Calories per glass)
  • Chinese or Thai Food
    -Avoid fried foods or any dish in a heavy sauce (sweat & sour)
    -Ask the server for your food to be steamed instead of fried.
    -Skip the rice and noodle dishes, choose a dish with vegetables instead
  • Sushi
    -Avoid fried rolls like spider rolls or crispy shrimp rolls.
    -Avoid extra fats like cream cheese and cream sauces.
    -Ask for the chef to use brown rice instead of white rice.
    -Order rolls that are wrapped in seaweed instead of rice.
    -Order a side salad or a cup of miso soup (a very healthy choice).
    -Skip anything tempura fried.
  • American Food
    -Avoid fried foods, onion rings, French fries, and stuffed peppers.  (These don’t count as vegetables, but good try!)
    -Opt for a vegi burger instead of a traditional hamburger, and ask for it to be wrapped in lettuce instead of a bun.
    -Eat your calories, don’t drink them, stay away from calorie packed sodas, milkshakes, chocolate milk and even juice.
    -Don’t cave into the craving for dessert!!!  But…if you must, share 1 dessert with 2-4 people.  Opt for a berry cobbler, or sherbet instead of chocolate cake or cheese cake.
    -Always order a side salad or steamed vegis on the side INSTEAD of French fries or cole slaw.  (Remember dressing on the side!)
Most of all, remember to enjoy your food, taste it, savor it, enjoy it. 

-This article was submitted by Sarah Sanders who is the Owner of OmOasis in Monterey, CA. OmOasis is a Full Service Yoga and Wellness Studio on the corner of Cass and Webster in Downtown Monterey, CA offering classes in Vinyasa Flow, Power and Karma Yoga, Spin, Pilates, Personal Training and Nutritional Consulting. There you will also find a Boutique with Workout/Yoga Clothes, Gifts and handmade jewelry. 831 917-0177/

Friday, October 09, 2009

Global fisheries are in bad shape from decades of overfishing. Our Oceans Need Your Help

Global fisheries really are in bad shape. Due, quite simply, to decades of overfishing.
In an accelerating battle over the fate of one of the last great lions of the open ocean – the bluefin tuna. Its succulent flesh is so popular in sushi that its very existence is threatened. A single bluefin – they typically grow to eight feet and 800 pounds – may sell for $100,000 in Japan.
Such price tags, and humanity’s hunger for protein, have put a bull’s-eye not just on bluefin, but on scores of other species as well. Nine of 23 tuna species worldwide are “fully fished” – meaning catches should not be increased. Four more are “overexploited” or “depleted,” according to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
The tuna’s plight is shared by many marine species now being hunted by large, modern fishing fleets that use satellite tracking and sophisticated fishing gear, scientists say.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

The Moments..The Miracle of Mindfulness

I just saw this... and it really struck me. The day to day things that we just roll right over and forget. We just move on to the next thing. I forget to take the moments for what they are... they are my life. 
I have been reading a lot about Positive Psychology recently.. and it really is amazing me. I never new that the study ever existed.
I am going to be mindful today. Taking everything in and trying not to take anything for granted..

Im going to see my family right now. Getting on a train for Southern California. Excited to be with the people that I love.. something that I used to take for granted... now I'm just going to take each moment at a time...
Have a Good Day. Smile at someone..

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

An SOS from Sting for the Prince's Rainforest Project

Tropical forests may seem a long way away, but they play a vital role in our lives. They operate as the worlds natural air-conditioning and thermostat systems and produce much of the rainfall essential to the worlds growing population.

Rainforests absorb nearly a fifth of all man-made CO2 emissions but they are currently being destroyed at the rate of a football pitch every four seconds. When these forests are burnt -- for agriculture or mining, for example -- they release stored CO2 back into the atmosphere, pushing annual CO2 emissions from tropical deforestation above those of the global transport network.

It is for these reasons that HRH The Prince of Wales set up The Prince's Rainforests Project with the clear ambition of 'Making the trees worth more alive than dead.' On May 5th, the PRP launched a worldwide campaign to raise awareness of this issue. This is where you can play your part. We are looking for a global gathering to show this is something people care about.

Our Oceans Need Your Help

Global fisheries really are in bad shape. Due, quite simply, to decades of overfishing.
In an accelerating battle over the fate of one of the last great lions of the open ocean – the blue-fin tuna. Its succulent flesh is so popular in sushi that its very existence is threatened. A single blue-fin – they typically grow to eight feet and 800 pounds – may sell for $100,000 in Japan.
Such price tags, and humanity’s hunger for protein, have put a bull’s-eye not just on bluefin, but on scores of other species as well. Nine of 23 tuna species worldwide are “fully fished” – meaning catches should not be increased. Four more are “overexploited” or “depleted,” according to the United Nations’ Food
and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

The tuna’s plight is shared by many marine species now being hunted by large, modern fishing fleets that use satellite tracking and sophisticated fishing gear, scientists say.
Please see The End Of the Line and the Riz Khan Fishing crisis series.  
Another important thing to do is to join Surfrider. The work they do is award winning and membership is worthwhile for anyone who cares...and since you've gotten this far, that's you! Thanks!

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

The Most Terrifying Video You'll Ever See?

This is Greg Craven (high school science teacher) chatting for nine minutes plus about global warming. Perhaps some food for thought? what about it? Ready to do something about it?

Monday, October 05, 2009

National Health Service and Cancer Treatment Here and in the UK

We are going to find a better way to care for our sick and elderly...

What it Takes to Care about Health Care-Shame on Humana

This is an old clip from Michael Moore's "Sicko". I remain determined to make a difference on an issue that is about compassion and morality and Not about Politics in an ideal world... So we go on and see the evidence and my friend Michael dies as a direct result of the practice described in this confession. We do what we can and your Donations have helped us reach more people with the truth.

I Consider it an Honor.

I have been asked by some really great friends of mine if I wanted to contribute to a blog that they are involved with.. and my answer was YES!  I would consider it an honor.
Then I started to think of what I thought that this would be about... what I could contribute to this place.
I think that I could bring my unique view from the treehouse. I have found this place to be one of the most positive places that I have ever been in my life.
I am really looking forward to being apart of this place, sharing the things that I see on a daily basis.... being apart of a movement that is bigger then myself. We can all make a difference in the world around us. It really dosent matter how small. It just is.
I will see all of you soon.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

We Make a Difference- keeping our eyes on the health of the planet and it's citizens

This is my first post for Jazzmonk's From the Treehouse with the Ocean View (FTTH). I believe in this blog because the purpose of FTTH is to raise spirits, raise consciousness, raise in our own way (all friends who contribute here) to make the world a better place. Take back the Net. Use the power. Stand Up!

There is so much good to tap into and our purpose is to share that goodness as we find it on the Web, in our workplace, in a book, in meditation, heard on the street...the underlying current of life and the universe is LOVE and it's everywhere to find and share.

Remember, you hold the power, you make a difference. We need you here. Please read this will remind you of what you already know. We are in this together. The Rabbis Gift

See you soon...keep smiling! Ali

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Blogging-A Moment to Reflect: and Thanks to the Influencers

I've had this blog for 5 years (I knew it was a blog because of the name-obvious) and had never really done much more with it than keep a loose, sloppy diary (that's fair). I remember when I had a Blogging is an electronic, web enabled, high speed, twitter integrated journal?...I'll stop. Been reading Chris Brogan religiously and have jumped into Darren Rowse's ProBlogger to be part of the community. Like Seth Godin's stuff especially. The style... Yeah, the style. I seem to like this stuff... we built a site CumulusMedical to help people get accurate information about health care reform and give them access to the Microsoft and Google platforms to create on line medical records to help them keep track of things and maybe provide critical information in an emergency.
  .. half way through the project we accidentally got locked into an interactive blog/forum concept that we have not found our way out of yet (I hope you'll join us)... but how much can you take in?
I read Guy Kawasaki's commentary on twitter and the like and more is absorbed... here's what I know. I am better informed about the things that matter. I run Google searches on subject that interest me and have a bunch of followers who share my interests  thanks to Tweetadder and schedule my posts (which have been reduced dramatically by suggestion - to be more spontaneous - really a natural thing for me)  with Oomph . ..I am having fun. Got some affiliates through: Linkshare_88x31McroBtn
and now have started another couple of blogs: TechG2
and a brand new day- …time for a change to get a feel for a different format.. and there is that old Opera Blog that needs some soap and water... so on we'll go...all resources appreciated.
Looking at firestart and some other things as well... took the wealthy affiliate course in affiliate marketing and now know someone is making money around here..:).. let's see what happens next... no more mafia sign-ups or get 10,000 followers fast for me... gonna be a blogger..'s the pay-off... everyday someone says, "I love your background (or comment or article). You helped me see the world differently"
I played rock 'n roll for a living and stood in line for my fair share of use and abuse, but I had these values that were intuitive and now they form the framework for what I freely express... and only one person so far has invited me to do something that is just not physically possible...Thanks!

OctoFinder Verified

Dr. Greg Talks Health Care Reform and the Ride to Remember

Dr Greg's Ride to remember is  done. Each of the 3280 miles was ridden in memory of a particular person. On Monday, September 14th, the good doctor began a 3,000+ mile bike ride – one mile for each patient lost in the last 10 years. Dr. Greg commemorated their lives and let their families and the rest of the world know that Wishard patients are not forgotten.  "I've pedaled nearly 3200 miles in order to remember our very special patients, family and friends who will remain with us forever", said the good doctor. The 40 day ride begin in Santa Barbara and ended in Charleston, South Carolina.  You may follow Dr Greg's wonderful work on twitter (@ggramels) or by accessing his blog. Thanks Doc!

Friday, October 02, 2009

The Sweeper

 By Alison