The Total CIO - Andy Blumenthal

Sep 16

Decide To Win

This was an interesting sign + sticker in Washington, D.C.
It asks to Stop Fighting Congress or perhaps stop the fighting in Congress.
The point is to come together and collaborate for a better decision, rather than have bad decisions made by just one side or have indecision altogether.
The New York Times had an Op-Ed over the weekend called The Great Unraveling about how we are living amidst hatred, fighting, disintegration, disease, and disorientation. 
And we are watching it as if dazed and confused—paralyzed as a nation taking maybe a baby step here or there, but with seeming no solid committment to do anything to really change, improve, better, or win. 
Scared by lost lives and treasure since 9/11…we cannot bear to lose or waiver in our resolve because of weariness or despair.
Their is a lot to get done…for ourselves and future generations.
We’ve got to stop fighting our demons and each other and instead face up, man up, to the myriad of global problems that confront us. ;-)
(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Decide To Win

This was an interesting sign + sticker in Washington, D.C.


It asks to Stop Fighting Congress or perhaps stop the fighting in Congress.


The point is to come together and collaborate for a better decision, rather than have bad decisions made by just one side or have indecision altogether.


The New York Times had an Op-Ed over the weekend called The Great Unraveling about how we are living amidst hatred, fighting, disintegration, disease, and disorientation. 


And we are watching it as if dazed and confused—paralyzed as a nation taking maybe a baby step here or there, but with seeming no solid committment to do anything to really change, improve, better, or win. 


Scared by lost lives and treasure since 9/11…we cannot bear to lose or waiver in our resolve because of weariness or despair.


Their is a lot to get done…for ourselves and future generations.


We’ve got to stop fighting our demons and each other and instead face up, man up, to the myriad of global problems that confront us. ;-)


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Sep 15

[video]

Doctor In Context

I took this photo in the doctor’s office. 
No, this is not my doctor, but a statue of one on the countertop.  
What’s funny to me is how he looks in context of the bottles and anatomical models all around him.  
Either the doctor has shrunk or the other things are really huge.
My dad used to tell me that doctors only know what G-d tells them, so we should pray that G-d gives them the wisdom to help us. 
And my grandfather used to say in German that “G-d is my doctor.”
Maybe that’s why the image of the doctor is looking up—to get the guidance from the one above to help us. 
That’s the intersection of medicine and faith—where truly big things can happen. ;-)
(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Doctor In Context

I took this photo in the doctor’s office. 


No, this is not my doctor, but a statue of one on the countertop.  


What’s funny to me is how he looks in context of the bottles and anatomical models all around him.  


Either the doctor has shrunk or the other things are really huge.


My dad used to tell me that doctors only know what G-d tells them, so we should pray that G-d gives them the wisdom to help us. 


And my grandfather used to say in German that “G-d is my doctor.”


Maybe that’s why the image of the doctor is looking up—to get the guidance from the one above to help us. 


That’s the intersection of medicine and faith—where truly big things can happen. ;-)


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Sep 14

Who Can Resist

It’s the age old image of an angle sitting over one shoulder telling you to control yourself and do what’s right and a little devil hanging over the other telling you to indulge and do whatever you want. 
The New York Times says that regardless of the push and pull of these two forces in our lives, we can learn to show restraint and stay goal-oriented.
By seeing the long-term rewards of good behavior, we can avoid pigging out in the moment. 
With Kids, it’s called the Marshmallow Test—those who can resist eating a marshmallow for 15 minutes, get two marshmallows to enjoy later!
For adults, it may be that those who avoid the cake and ice cream today will live healthier and longer in the future. 
In Yiddish, there is the term sitzfleisch that refers to our ability to sit still and get our work done. 
The point is that if we can distract and distance ourselves from the indulgences of the moment, we can focus on the important things we really want to achieve with our lives. 
Of course, this is always easier said than done, because the two forces are both powerful and can be convincing.
For example, how many times can you hear, “Enjoy life a little, you aren’t going to live forever” or “You’ve worked so hard, you deserve a little break”, or “Come on, no one is perfect”…before you give in to a little excess? 
We are all tested in life, and we must try our best to pass as many as we can with flying colors—probably success is a healthy balance between living a little today in the here and now and working and saving abundantly for tomorrow’s marshmallows.
(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Who Can Resist

It’s the age old image of an angle sitting over one shoulder telling you to control yourself and do what’s right and a little devil hanging over the other telling you to indulge and do whatever you want. 


The New York Times says that regardless of the push and pull of these two forces in our lives, we can learn to show restraint and stay goal-oriented.


By seeing the long-term rewards of good behavior, we can avoid pigging out in the moment. 


With Kids, it’s called the Marshmallow Test—those who can resist eating a marshmallow for 15 minutes, get two marshmallows to enjoy later!


For adults, it may be that those who avoid the cake and ice cream today will live healthier and longer in the future. 


In Yiddish, there is the term sitzfleisch that refers to our ability to sit still and get our work done. 


The point is that if we can distract and distance ourselves from the indulgences of the moment, we can focus on the important things we really want to achieve with our lives. 


Of course, this is always easier said than done, because the two forces are both powerful and can be convincing.


For example, how many times can you hear, “Enjoy life a little, you aren’t going to live forever” or “You’ve worked so hard, you deserve a little break”, or “Come on, no one is perfect”…before you give in to a little excess? 


We are all tested in life, and we must try our best to pass as many as we can with flying colors—probably success is a healthy balance between living a little today in the here and now and working and saving abundantly for tomorrow’s marshmallows.


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Sep 13

6 D’s Of Cyberwar

Popular Science had a interesting article that spelled out the six D’s of Cyberwar:
On the offensive side, you want to destroy, deny, degrade, disrupt, and deceive.
"Unlike World War II code breaking, cyber attacks offer the potential to not just read the enemy’s radio, but to seize control of the radio itself."
- Step 1: Infiltrate the enemy’s networks and communications and gather/exfiltrate information.
- Step 2:  Compromise the enemy’s information either by:
1) Corrupting the enemy’s information, planting misinformation, sewing erroneous reports, and causing poor decision-making. 
2) Taking control of their networks, disabling or jamming them, and disrupting their command and control or harming their critical infrastructure and causing mass confusion, destruction, and death.
Examples are “not merely to destroy the enemy’s tanks, but to make them drive in circles—or even attack each other” or to cyber attack an enemies control systems for electricity, dams, transportation, banking, and so on. 

With the ability to steal information, sow misinformation, seize control, or even stop the information flow altogether, cyberwar is not just another weapon in our arsenal, but “a tool to help achieve the goals of any given operation.”
On the flip side, you want to defend against the enemy’s use of cyberspace to hurt us.
We need to continue to get serious about cyberwarfare and cybersecurity and become the masters in the information domain, and quickly. ;-)
(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

6 D’s Of Cyberwar

Popular Science had a interesting article that spelled out the six D’s of Cyberwar:


On the offensive side, you want to destroy, deny, degrade, disrupt, and deceive.


"Unlike World War II code breaking, cyber attacks offer the potential to not just read the enemy’s radio, but to seize control of the radio itself."


- Step 1: Infiltrate the enemy’s networks and communications and gather/exfiltrate information.


- Step 2:  Compromise the enemy’s information either by:


1) Corrupting the enemy’s information, planting misinformation, sewing erroneous reports, and causing poor decision-making. 

2) Taking control of their networks, disabling or jamming them, and disrupting their command and control or harming their critical infrastructure and causing mass confusion, destruction, and death.


Examples are “not merely to destroy the enemy’s tanks, but to make them drive in circles—or even attack each other” or to cyber attack an enemies control systems for electricity, dams, transportation, banking, and so on. 

With the ability to steal information, sow misinformation, seize control, or even stop the information flow altogether, cyberwar is not just another weapon in our arsenal, but “a tool to help achieve the goals of any given operation.”


On the flip side, you want to defend against the enemy’s use of cyberspace to hurt us.


We need to continue to get serious about cyberwarfare and cybersecurity and become the masters in the information domain, and quickly. ;-)


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Sep 12

Vitamins R Good 4 U

I like this advertisement for Vitamin Water. 
It is on the side of a dispensing machine. 
The colors, the flavors, the energy brands…all very appealing. 
Their “Zero” drink is especially good for the calorie conscious of us. 
My desk draw is full of these…chug a lug. ;-)
(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Vitamins R Good 4 U

I like this advertisement for Vitamin Water. 


It is on the side of a dispensing machine. 


The colors, the flavors, the energy brands…all very appealing. 


Their “Zero” drink is especially good for the calorie conscious of us. 


My desk draw is full of these…chug a lug. ;-)


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Sep 11

Got Flashed

Crazy day…true story.
I was going out to lunch in Washington D.C. today minding my own business…
When two young women were coming down the block in the opposite direction.
As they got closer, they started to giggle…
And then all of a sudden, at point blank range, one of them lifts up her skirt.
Both of them crack up and run off. 
I am not often left speechless, but this was definitely a new one on me. 
Let’s just say, my wife told me that I have some “splaining” to do this evening! ;-)
(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Got Flashed

Crazy day…true story.

I was going out to lunch in Washington D.C. today minding my own business…


When two young women were coming down the block in the opposite direction.


As they got closer, they started to giggle…


And then all of a sudden, at point blank range, one of them lifts up her skirt.


Both of them crack up and run off. 


I am not often left speechless, but this was definitely a new one on me. 


Let’s just say, my wife told me that I have some “splaining” to do this evening! ;-)


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

9/11 Remembrance

“Never Forget Project" - 13 years after the tragic events of 9/11.
2,977 American flags at local university in Washington, D.C. 
Question: With all the weighty terror threats aroud the world, including the latest and largest from ISIS—is never forgetting the same as doing everything possible to make sure it doesn’t happen again?  
(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

9/11 Remembrance

Never Forget Project" - 13 years after the tragic events of 9/11.


2,977 American flags at local university in Washington, D.C. 


Question: With all the weighty terror threats aroud the world, including the latest and largest from ISIS—is never forgetting the same as doing everything possible to make sure it doesn’t happen again?  


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Okay For A Drive By

So, having grown up in New York, I’ve definitely heard of a drive by shooting, but never a “drive by meeting”. 
Until a colleague asked me, “Okay for a drive by?”
A little taken aback, but I was available (and figured not in any imminent danger by his type of “drive by”), so I agreed to meet for a few minutes. 
The meeting was quick, like a car whizzing by, but we discussed what was needed and accomplished the immediate goal. 
Personally, I prefer when someone is driving the meeting, rather than having a drive by meeting, but we all need to be agile to whatever the day brings. ;-)
(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Okay For A Drive By

So, having grown up in New York, I’ve definitely heard of a drive by shooting, but never a “drive by meeting”. 


Until a colleague asked me, “Okay for a drive by?”


A little taken aback, but I was available (and figured not in any imminent danger by his type of “drive by”), so I agreed to meet for a few minutes. 


The meeting was quick, like a car whizzing by, but we discussed what was needed and accomplished the immediate goal. 


Personally, I prefer when someone is driving the meeting, rather than having a drive by meeting, but we all need to be agile to whatever the day brings. ;-)


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Sep 10

G-d, Thinking Of You

I saw this on the side of a car and liked it—simple and to the point:
"Praise G-d"
My father used to tell me that “There are no atheists in a foxhole”—basically every one shits their pants when that tank rolls overhead.
There is a tendency to turn to G-d when we feel we need him—when times are bad—but then sort of forget about him when things are okay again, and we feel like we have it all under control.
Even when things are bleak, it can be easy to lose faith in anger and despair. 
So challenge #1 is to remember him in good times and bad—we are in his hands, always. 
In terms of how we praise G-d?
Some do it in prayer, others in deed.
That leads to challenge #2—to speak and act with consistency and sincerity. ;-) 
(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

G-d, Thinking Of You

I saw this on the side of a car and liked it—simple and to the point:


"Praise G-d"


My father used to tell me that “There are no atheists in a foxhole”—basically every one shits their pants when that tank rolls overhead.


There is a tendency to turn to G-d when we feel we need him—when times are bad—but then sort of forget about him when things are okay again, and we feel like we have it all under control.


Even when things are bleak, it can be easy to lose faith in anger and despair. 


So challenge #1 is to remember him in good times and bad—we are in his hands, always. 


In terms of how we praise G-d?


Some do it in prayer, others in deed.


That leads to challenge #2—to speak and act with consistency and sincerity. ;-) 


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Sep 09

Head Ripped

Took this photo today in Washington, D.C.
Someone drew this funny face on a USPS Priority Postal Sticker. 
But the top was ripped off…ouch!
And so it ends up looking like he’s screaming that somebody ripped off/open the top of his peabrain head. 
I love a little creativity…where’s my fix? ;-)
(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Head Ripped

Took this photo today in Washington, D.C.


Someone drew this funny face on a USPS Priority Postal Sticker. 


But the top was ripped off…ouch!


And so it ends up looking like he’s screaming that somebody ripped off/open the top of his peabrain head. 


I love a little creativity…where’s my fix? ;-)


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Ebola On The Move

Watching this video of an ebola patient escaping quarantine and the panic in Liberia, it is hard not to be concerned about it coming here. 
Additionally, with a third American infected with Ebola overseas coming back home for treatment, and the CDC retesting a Miami patient negative for Ebola after having shown some symptoms, the stakes seem to be going up with this deadly disease. 
Just last Friday, GovExec reported that Ebola has a 18% chance of reaching the U.S. in September.
Moreover, if the outbreak is not contained the risk of it coming here is said to “increase consistently.”
My daughter asked me the other day why commercial flights to/from the infected countries (not including aid delvieries) have not been cut off for now to help prevent the spread of the disease and save lives.
Unfortunately, I did not have a good answer to this, except that certainly, there are economic and social implications to those countries in the short-term, but what are the potential costs to countless other global citizens if we do not do everything we can to adequately contain this outbreak?  

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal) 

Ebola On The Move

Watching this video of an ebola patient escaping quarantine and the panic in Liberia, it is hard not to be concerned about it coming here. 


Additionally, with a third American infected with Ebola overseas coming back home for treatment, and the CDC retesting a Miami patient negative for Ebola after having shown some symptoms, the stakes seem to be going up with this deadly disease. 


Just last Friday, GovExec reported that Ebola has a 18% chance of reaching the U.S. in September.


Moreover, if the outbreak is not contained the risk of it coming here is said to “increase consistently.”


My daughter asked me the other day why commercial flights to/from the infected countries (not including aid delvieries) have not been cut off for now to help prevent the spread of the disease and save lives.


Unfortunately, I did not have a good answer to this, except that certainly, there are economic and social implications to those countries in the short-term, but what are the potential costs to countless other global citizens if we do not do everything we can to adequately contain this outbreak?  

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal) 

Sep 08

I Drive This Way (NOT)

I took this photo in downtown Washington, D.C. 
Unlike the Google Car, which is purported to drive itself…this one let’s the rider sit on top (that’s a joke people)!
Doesn’t matter if you bend the roof with your butt. 
The view is much better from on high, and it’s oh so comfortable on the white aluminum with your pants bottom shining it up. 
Maybe this is a give-a-way for the next carathon or something equally prizeworthy. ;-)
(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

I Drive This Way (NOT)

I took this photo in downtown Washington, D.C. 


Unlike the Google Car, which is purported to drive itself…this one let’s the rider sit on top (that’s a joke people)!


Doesn’t matter if you bend the roof with your butt. 


The view is much better from on high, and it’s oh so comfortable on the white aluminum with your pants bottom shining it up. 


Maybe this is a give-a-way for the next carathon or something equally prizeworthy. ;-)


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Sep 07

That 70’s Chandelier

So what can I say…I like this crazy pink 70’s chandelier. 
It is not traditional, certainly.
But it is colorful, cool, and happy.
It needs the right furniture and wall accessories so as not to look cheap.
Feminine trendy and hippie nostalgia come together to light up the place.
Definitely not for everyone, but it’s distinctive and makes you look—and that’s the point. ;-)
(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

That 70’s Chandelier

So what can I say…I like this crazy pink 70’s chandelier. 


It is not traditional, certainly.


But it is colorful, cool, and happy.


It needs the right furniture and wall accessories so as not to look cheap.


Feminine trendy and hippie nostalgia come together to light up the place.


Definitely not for everyone, but it’s distinctive and makes you look—and that’s the point. ;-)


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Handbag All Alone

I took this photo of this neglected bag in Starbucks today.
Someone just left their handbag on a chair and went off to line up for coffee with their significant others.
I’m not sure they needed to save the table given that the place was fairly empty this morning.
However, it did strike me that this bag was all alone, far from pretty much anyone, and no one was watching it!
Also, not only was this handbag left unattended, it was also completely open at the top, sort of inviting double trouble. 
As you can see, no one else seems to be paying much attention…so if someone wanted, I think this large, full handbag could’ve been a crime statistic in a moment. 
Trust is nice, but this handbag is crying out for company. ;-)
(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Handbag All Alone

I took this photo of this neglected bag in Starbucks today.


Someone just left their handbag on a chair and went off to line up for coffee with their significant others.


I’m not sure they needed to save the table given that the place was fairly empty this morning.


However, it did strike me that this bag was all alone, far from pretty much anyone, and no one was watching it!


Also, not only was this handbag left unattended, it was also completely open at the top, sort of inviting double trouble. 


As you can see, no one else seems to be paying much attention…so if someone wanted, I think this large, full handbag could’ve been a crime statistic in a moment. 


Trust is nice, but this handbag is crying out for company. ;-)


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)