Genealogy and Connecting with my Family..

With the passing of my beloved mother earlier this year, family and friendships are vitally more important to the totally quality of my life
The following are links to my cherished passion of my family’s genealogy.
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Happy Thanksgiving

Wishing all happiness and joy as you spend time with family and friends on this day of thanks.

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Where did all the technie girls go??


Since I graduated from college in 1981 in New York, I have always worked with other technical women.

In the last 6 years, the number of technical women (ie. Software development and architecture) have dwindled.  I am baffled.

I am doing my part to change the environment by helping high school girls become aware of careers in technology as well try to get connected to other women in techology.


Some sites I have stumbled on to help in my connection seeking include:

Let me know if you know of any other places to connect.
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Steve Jobs: Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish and Connect the dots….

This was from June 2005 commencement speech at Stanford University.
It is a very moving speech which has made me think a lot about life, love and the true meaning of living.
Here’s to connecting the dots, rejection and love, living every day as your last.
Here’s an audio of the speech:
Here’s a transcript:

Thank you. I’m honored to be with you today for your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. Truth be told, I never graduated from college and this is the closest I’ve ever gotten to a college graduation.

Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That’s it. No big deal. Just three stories. The first story is about connecting the dots.

I dropped out of Reed College after the first six months but then stayed around as a drop-in for another eighteen months or so before I really quit. So why did I drop out? It started before I was born. My biological mother was a young, unwed graduate student, and she decided to put me up for adoption. She felt very strongly that I should be adopted by college graduates, so everything was all set for me to be adopted at birth by a lawyer and his wife, except that when I popped out, they decided at the last minute that they really wanted a girl. So my parents, who were on a waiting list, got a call in the middle of the night asking, "We’ve got an unexpected baby boy. Do you want him?" They said, "Of course." My biological mother found out later that my mother had never graduated from college and that my father had never graduated from high school. She refused to sign the final adoption papers. She only relented a few months later when my parents promised that I would go to college.

This was the start in my life. And seventeen years later, I did go to college, but I naïvely chose a college that was almost as expensive as Stanford, and all of my working-class parents’ savings were being spent on my college tuition. After six months, I couldn’t see the value in it. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, and no idea of how college was going to help me figure it out, and here I was, spending all the money my parents had saved their entire life. So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK. It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back, it was one of the best decisions I ever made. The minute I dropped out, I could stop taking the required classes that didn’t interest me and begin dropping in on the ones that looked far more interesting.

It wasn’t all romantic. I didn’t have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends’ rooms. I returned Coke bottles for the five-cent deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the seven miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple. I loved it. And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on. Let me give you one example.

Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. Throughout the campus every poster, every label on every drawer was beautifully hand-calligraphed. Because I had dropped out and didn’t have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. I learned about serif and sans-serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can’t capture, and I found it fascinating.

None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But ten years later when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me, and we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts, and since Windows just copied the Mac, it’s likely that no personal computer would have them.

If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on that calligraphy class and personals computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do.

Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college, but it was very, very clear looking backwards 10 years later. Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward. You can only connect them looking backwards, so you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something–your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever–because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well- worn path, and that will make all the difference.

My second story is about love and loss. I was lucky. I found what I loved to do early in life. Woz and I started Apple in my parents’ garage when I was twenty. We worked hard and in ten years, Apple had grown from just the two of us in a garage into a $2 billion company with over 4,000 employees. We’d just released our finest creation, the Macintosh, a year earlier, and I’d just turned thirty, and then I got fired. How can you get fired from a company you started? Well, as Apple grew, we hired someone who I thought was very talented to run the company with me, and for the first year or so, things went well. But then our visions of the future began to diverge, and eventually we had a falling out. When we did, our board of directors sided with him, and so at thirty, I was out, and very publicly out. What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating. I really didn’t know what to do for a few months. I felt that I had let the previous generation of entrepreneurs down, that I had dropped the baton as it was being passed to me. I met with David Packard and Bob Noyce and tried to apologize for screwing up so badly. I was a very public failure and I even thought about running away from the Valley. But something slowly began to dawn on me. I still loved what I did. The turn of events at Apple had not changed that one bit. I’d been rejected but I was still in love. And so I decided to start over.

I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods in my life. During the next five years I started a company named NeXT, another company named Pixar and fell in love with an amazing woman who would become my wife. Pixar went on to create the world’s first computer-animated feature film, "Toy Story," and is now the most successful animation studio in the world.

In a remarkable turn of events, Apple bought NeXT and I returned to Apple and the technology we developed at NeXT is at the heart of Apple’s current renaissance, and Lorene and I have a wonderful family together.

I’m pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn’t been fired from Apple. It was awful-tasting medicine but I guess the patient needed it. Sometimes life’s going to hit you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love, and that is as true for work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work, and the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking, and don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it, and like any great relationship it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking. Don’t settle.

My third story is about death. When I was 17 I read a quote that went something like "If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right." It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself, "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?" And whenever the answer has been "no" for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something. Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important thing I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life, because almost everything–all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure–these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

About a year ago, I was diagnosed with cancer. I had a scan at 7:30 in the morning and it clearly showed a tumor on my pancreas. I didn’t even know what a pancreas was. The doctors told me this was almost certainly a type of cancer that is incurable, and that I should expect to live no longer than three to six months. My doctor advised me to go home and get my affairs in order, which is doctors’ code for "prepare to die." It means to try and tell your kids everything you thought you’d have the next ten years to tell them, in just a few months. It means to make sure that everything is buttoned up so that it will be as easy as possible for your family. It means to say your goodbyes.

I lived with that diagnosis all day. Later that evening I had a biopsy where they stuck an endoscope down my throat, through my stomach into my intestines, put a needle into my pancreas and got a few cells from the tumor. I was sedated but my wife, who was there, told me that when they viewed the cells under a microscope, the doctor started crying, because it turned out to be a very rare form of pancreatic cancer that is curable with surgery. I had the surgery and, thankfully, I am fine now.

This was the closest I’ve been to facing death, and I hope it’s the closest I get for a few more decades. Having lived through it, I can now say this to you with a bit more certainty than when death was a useful but purely intellectual concept. No one wants to die, even people who want to go to Heaven don’t want to die to get there, and yet, death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because death is very likely the single best invention of life. It’s life’s change agent; it clears out the old to make way for the new. right now, the new is you. But someday, not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it’s quite true. Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice, heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

When I was young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole Earth Catalogue, which was one of the bibles of my generation. It was created by a fellow named Stewart Brand not far from here in Menlo Park, and he brought it to life with his poetic touch. This was in the late Sixties, before personal computers and desktop publishing, so it was all made with typewriters, scissors, and Polaroid cameras. it was sort of like Google in paperback form thirty-five years before Google came along. I was idealistic, overflowing with neat tools and great notions. Stewart and his team put out several issues of the The Whole Earth Catalogue, and then when it had run its course, they put out a final issue. It was the mid-Seventies and I was your age. On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous. Beneath were the words, "Stay hungry, stay foolish." It was their farewell message as they signed off. "Stay hungry, stay foolish." And I have always wished that for myself, and now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you. Stay hungry, stay foolish.

Thank you all, very much.

, ,   – June 2005
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Next steps..

What’s the next step in my journey?
Where should I explore?
How can I make a difference?
What can I learn and manifest a creation to help others in a positive and healthy manner?
What can I do to increase my happiness?
What can I do to help you?
How can I give without killing me?
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Seeing you..

If I saw you now,
   I would be flustered and filled with emotion,
If I could speak,
   I would tell you how much I admire and miss you terribly,
If you could hear, 
   you would know that I was sincere and my intentions honorable and noble.
If you would be near me,
    I would be filled with happiness and joy masked by a sense of shyness because
    my secret dream had come true.
If you would speak to me,
    I would listen.
If you cared,
    you’d be close and my friend forever.
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Living in the Now…

I have found that my perspection and value of time has become more important.
Not the New Yorker in me that walks fast and gets things down like a fire sale.
I am more conscious of what I am doing and how and why it matters.   
At home, I treat every family and friend as a jewel, always keeping it shiny, grateful for every moment with them.
Being outdoors, I make sure to look around and see as much beauty in the smallest things.
I try not waste my time on hate and anger, although when I do encounter it I try to defuse or get rid of it quickly.
Unfortunately my discarding is more like a major explosion.  But this just my release. 
My pent up emotions are gone, and hopefully never to return.
Regrets?  I avoid regrets.  At this point in my life I only have one.  I have been working hard to resolve that one.
But maybe we are suppose to have some regrets.   Maybe regrets are lessons we need to learn and never forget?
Regardless what illness or situation we are in, now is all we have. 
I want to make a difference in every moment I have been blessed with.
……………..S ……………………….
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Readings on Multiple Sclerosis

If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, information and loving relationships are the best defense.
It is perfectly understandable to have fear, be paralyzed and not know what to do next.
The best advice I can give to anyone who starts this path, of which no one really wants to start, is to first and foremost take care of yourself.
Don’t worry what others think or do or don’t do.  It really doesn’t matter who it is (parents, siblings, friends).
Their ignorance or fear is not your problem.  Your dance card with fear is full enough.
The next best thing about this diagnosis is that you focus on what’s good for your health and ultimately your happiness.
Besides getting good doctors and medical support (ie. medication, etc.), summon the support of your family and friends.
Quite frankly distance yourself from those that  don’t support you unconditionally at this time.
I sometimes see this illness I great gift to get really SEE that which is helpful to you and that which drains you.
Take care of your emotional, mental and physical health is of utmost importance right now. 
   Actually it has always been.   You, just like I was, really never fully understood it.
After the recent news on some developments in MS, I decided to start blogging about it.
If I can reach and help one other person, it is all worth it.
Wikipedia has a lot of source information as does the MS Society (see links below). 
Keep your reading light in the beginning. 
There are a lot of unknowns, but a lot of great people. 

Start your journey one step at a time, for it is truly a journey to happiness, not a death sentence.


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Advances Cited in Research on Multiple Sclerosis

Advances Cited in Research on Multiple Sclerosis
New York Times Article – Published: July 30, 2007

Medical researchers have made a significant advance in understanding multiple sclerosis, a common neurological disease that causes symptoms ranging from muscle weakness to paralysis.
The disease is one in which the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the electrical insulation of nerve fibers. The cause is part genetic and part environmental, but researchers trying to identify the relevant genes have endured repeated frustration. Their approach has been to guess what genes might be involved and see if patients have abnormal versions.
This guesswork has produced more than 100 candidate genes in recent years, none of which could be confirmed except for long-known variants in the mechanism used by the immune system to recognize proteins that are foreign to the body.
In three articles published online yesterday in The New England Journal of Medicine, three teams of researchers say they have identified, by separate routes, new genetic variants that contribute to the disease.
One team used a new, advanced gene-hunting method called Whole Genome Association, which has racked up a string of successes with major diseases in the last few months. The other teams used the candidate gene approach, but because all three teams identified the same gene, the researchers say they are confident they have opened a new window into the cause and possible treatment of multiple sclerosis.
The gene makes a substance called the interleukin-7 receptor, a protein that enables cells of the immune system to respond to a control agent. Researchers believe the receptor is part of a biochemical pathway involving many genes; defects in any of these genes may lead to the disease. It is now possible to explore the pathway, they say, in the hope of devising treatments to correct the disease-causing process.
The new research is the product of several large teams at universities in the United States and abroad who have coordinated their publications and pooled their data for analysis.
The leaders of the Whole Genome Association Study include David A. Hafler of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston; Stephen L. Hauser of the University of California, San Francisco; and Jonathan L. Haines of Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville. The two candidate gene studies were headed by Dr. Haines and Jan Hillert of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm.
Because the course of the disease is unpredictable, clinical trials are hard to conduct, said Dr. Kári Stefánsson, chief executive of Decode Genetics in Reykjavik, Iceland. “But once you have an ironclad discovery, as I believe the interleukin-7 receptor is,” Dr. Stefánsson said, “then you have the motivation to endure the expense of a long clinical trial.”
The full list of principal investigators participating in the Whole Genome Association study is as follows: David A. Hafler of the Brigham and Women’s Hospital; Eric S. Lander and John D. Rioux of the Broad Institute and Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Stephen L. Hauser and Jorge R. Oksenberg of the University of California, San Francisco, Alastair Compston and Stephen Sawcer of the University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine; Margaret A. Pericak-Vance of the University of Miami School of Medicine and Jonathan L. Haines of the Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
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Life House – You and Me

This song’s lyrics speak to me….
Lifehouse – You and Me
This is lyrics from

what day is it
and in what month
this clock never seemed so alive
I can’t keep up
and I can’t back down
I’ve been losing so much time

cause it’s you and me and all of the people
with nothing to do
nothing to lose
and it’s you and me and all of the people
and I don’t know why
I can’t keep my eyes off of you

all of the things that I want to say
just aren’t coming out right
I’m tripping inwards
you got my head spinning
I don’t know where to go from here

cause it’s you and me and all of the people
with nothing to do
nothing to prove
and it’s you and me and all of the people
and I don’t know why
I can’t keep my eyes off of you

there’s something about you now
I can’t quite figure out
everything she does is beautiful
everything she does is right

you and me and all of the people
with nothing to do
nothing to lose
and it’s you and me and all of the people
and I don’t know why
I can’t keep my eyes off of you

you and me and all of the people
with nothing to do
nothing to prove
and it’s you and me and all of the people
and I don’t know why
I can’t keep my eyes off of you

what day is it
and in what month
this clock never seemed so alive

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