Saturday, November 24, 2007

300 members of the Michigan Wood Carvers make canes to support Veterans - Updated 11/23/07 - Family of Four Generations of Veterans receive Cane


Last August 29th I posted the story below that was sent to me by my cousin Rizal Baysa. Rizal sent me an Email today that is a great Thanksgiving tribute a family of patriots.

Here is the Email,


This Thanksgiving Day my son Jeffery, My Grandson Christian and I gave thanks by presenting Rizal Baysa's cane to WWII Purple Heart, Bronze Star recipient PFC Michael Zulick at his daughter Ann Carrico's house in Clinton Twp. The gathering represented four generations of Veterans (WWII, Vietnam, Persian Gulf, and Iraq). Although not required of her, Ann gave a generous donation to our cane project fund.

God & Country
Lean On Me

PFC Zulick,

In a small way of showing appreciation for your service to our country, the Michigan Woodcarver's Association wants to honor you by presenting you with this cane. No matter what the reason for the injuries you recieved that requires the use of support, be it mental, physical or both, we want you to know that we respect the sacrifices you have made. Please don't compare your injuries with other Patriots and remember "All gave some and some gave all". Hopefully your experiences at Normandy, Central Europe, The Rhineland, and the Battle of the Bulge will be shared with your family and all those you come in contact with that are thinking of serving our country. In these later years as things get a little wobbly please use our cane to lean on. Included on your cane is a decal representing our POW"s & MIA's. Please keep all of them in your prayers, just as we also keep them in ours. May bless you.

Your cane head was carved by: Rizal Baysa

Decals and woodburning by: Harold Joseph

Very Respectfully,

Harold R Joseph

Michael Zulick was a member of the 507th Parachute Infantry Regiment and jumped into Normandy, on D-Day, as a part of the famous 82nd Airborne Division.

Here are some pics of the family who received the cane and fine craftsmanship from Rizal who designed and created the cane.

Please read below for more information on this wonderful group of people.


Carvers' canes support vets
Michiganders' labor of love honors those wounded in Iraq, Afghanistan

This Quality story was sent to me this morning from my cousin Rizal who is part of a group of Michigan Wood Carvers that are making canes for the soldiers wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The effort is spreading across the country so I would urge you to forward this story to Veteran groups in your area so they me be able to participate in this wonderful effort to thank those men & women who are serving their country.

Below is another link on the reason why these Carvers' are doing this project.

Thank You Michigan Wood Carvers!!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Does a low IQ = a low grade? & "Learning is Fun"

I hate labels, once you get one it can never go away especially when it is substantiated with a written document or test result. Within the educational system this starts in the early grades when a student receives an IQ score. A score of 70 is considered borderline Cognitively Impaired (CI). To know more about IQ scores go to

I bring the IQ score up because I was faced with a statement recently that said she has an IQ of 50 there is no way she can have an A- on her report card. Are you doing her work?

The student in question is in special education and is in the 9th grade. She can barely read or write and at best can copy notes when I write them from overheads or PowerPoint presentations.

While taking these notes (I alter them for her understanding and capability) and while she is copying them I explain what it is she is writing about. I do this because when it comes quiz or test time she will recognize key words as opposed to trying to read and answer questions on the test. I usually alter the test by providing a 50/50 chance on multiple choice questions and explaining essay questions in more detail by using an example that takes one of her interests into account rather than the subject presented. Her answer will provide enough information if the concept the teacher is teaching is obtained.

I always check with the teacher first and explain in more detail by writing on the test or verbally explain. A teacher has never once told me that this would be wrong or incorrect.

When we work on projects I have the student provide me information in their terms and interest and then I jot them down usually in a bullet type report. Providing more information would be tainted with my words and understanding which I try to avoid.

So does this mean I'm doing her work? What the hell does an IQ score have to do with an Autistic or CI student anyway? The IQ test and score is one way to test intelligence, but in the Special Education World the test has little validity when it comes to measuring the special or visual intelligence of an AI or CI student. Why, because ...

People would be amazed if they understood the sensory powers of an AI Child.

When I informed the teacher I may be altering the way I teach his student (per my boss) he was upset because he said the girl deserved the grade, she did all her work (participation, notes and worksheets account for many points) and causes no disruptions in the class. He told me I was verbally and visually providing concepts so the student can learn just as the regular students (I hate using that label).

It becomes more confusing to me if I am helping too much when I see the same person and others telling me I’m helping too much when they provide other special education children (That do NOT require a one on one aide) in the same grade with written out vocabulary words, completed art projects and worksheets.

The only difference is the label, my student got an A-. Because there is no way this student could get an A in any subject according to her IQ score. If she had gotten a “C” no question would have raised. Why does an A- cause so much trouble? It is easy because it is a label that parents or others can say "See my child is not stupid," but the bureaucracy says she is so end of story.

The saddest part of this story is that when I explained to my student that I would be changing my method of teaching she became visibly angry and said “ You make learning fun.” She did not care if she got an A- or a “D” nor do I, we just want to have “Joy of Learning” no more no less.

That may be the best compliment I ever received in my educational career. Yes these students are very special and I am humbled by them each day.

We are heading into Thanksgiving break and I am most thankful for the continual learning that takes place each day I am with such special students.

Read my other ASD posts by clicking the ASD label below this post.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Patience My Ass ...

Before I started studying “Systems Thinking “and “Profound Knowledge” I used to react like one of my favorite poster's in the Army (hung over my bunk more than 35 years ago). It was a poster of two skinny Buzzards sitting on a branch with one saying to the other “Patience My Ass I’m Gonna Kill Something.”
Click on Pic to Enlarge

I suppose when your young and in the Army this type thinking was not unusual or maybe it was. Anyway over the last 25 years I have learned that Patience Truly is a Virtue.

I now believe if one is patient and vigilant many doors of opportunity that open and close can be analyzed in a more constructive environment as opposed to the out of control and impatient thinking associated with having little patience. Without patience it won’t matter how many times the doors of opportunity open and close because you won’t see them anyway.

It's funny how that works, when you are young and have the time we are very impatient to get on with our lives. However, as we age we have more patience with not as much time left to do all we want to do in our lives.

Monday, November 12, 2007

The Importance of a Management Log

For the past 30 years I have kept a Management Log. I usually started a new one each year. The tools required for entry are a pen, and pencil and spiral notebook (cheap investment for such a large payback).

I call the entries “Liners” because when I wrote them it was usually just a couple of lines with dates, facts, figures, observations and comments from internal and external customers.

I always kept one on myself and for those direct reports that required constructive feedback for evaluations and some immediate request from above on how I see my people or some immediate accomplishments when putting a list together for performance appraisals downsizing and very rarely a bonus.

During the day I always had my spiral notebook in a handy drawer where I could open it quickly and make an entry. If I weren’t at my desk or out of town I would use Sticky Notes, Small Notebooks, Emails and Voice Mails to myself for entry later.

Speaking of Emails - When you receive good comments (bad too) and information you should save and print these emails in both an on-line and hard copy folders. This is a great way to document and best yet it serves as a reminder for someone including yourself when memory becomes an unreliable source of information and is open to debate.

The entries always had the date, subject and person if applicable. At the end of each month I would summarize my entries for each direct report and then by quarterly and then annually. This seems like a timely effort but it is not and it saved many a job from downsizing.

I was always prepared when an Email or phone call came wanting information on my team or one of my direct reports. Responding in a timely manner with dates, quotes, people, data and information put my folks first and foremost.

I also did it for those senseless rating and ranking sessions that are still common today. No one hates them more than me and there have been a number of times where I refused to join in on the party.

For more on Performance Appraisals read my post at

When I did play I was able to present information on my people where my peers could not. Speculative and verbal praise will not match up with objective and meaningful data and observation. I could go back to the first quarter and supply value-added information where others had a tough time remembering last week. This type of data and information is critical for Performance Appraisals.

Question --> Most people I encounter hate Performance Appraisals. When so many people hate the same thing does that not tell you something is wrong? "It inherently is wrong, it just plain stinks."

It is every managers job to support their people first even before themselves.

I still keep logs today for each person and student I work with so that I can learn and provide meaningful measures and objectives. It does not matter what profession you are in when keeping a Log.

P/S – I also keep a log on myself when I was reporting to upper levels because I knew they would not.

It's amazing what costs so little in time and money go such a long way.

Do it for your people, do it for yourself.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

American CEOs & China Product Recalls - Who is at Fault? more recalls (Aqua Dots) ---> I just have one question

Updated 11/08/07 When will the Global Consumers Respond?

U.S. safety officials have recalled about 4.2 million Chinese-made Aqua Dots bead toys that contain a chemical that has caused some children to vomit and become comatose after swallowing them.

Scientists have found the popular toy's coating contains a chemical that, once metabolized, converts into the toxic "date rape" drug GHB.

Doctors say "GHB is this drug that in low doses actually causes euphoria," "In higher doses, it can cause people to go into a coma. It can cause seizures. It can cause something known as hypotonia, where all your muscles just become very flaccid.

Ok, here is my question. If all the toys in the recalls were produced in the Middle East what would we call this activity?

Updated 10/13/07 - Winnie the Pooh! Shame on You!

More than 90,00 Children's products, mostly imported by J.C. Penney Co. were recalled this past week becasue thy contain dangerous levels of LEAD.

The retailer also recalled 19,000 Deluxe Wood Art Sets made in Taiwan and Vietnam, and 2,400 Breyer stirrup ornaments manufactured in China, for the same reason, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said Thursday in separate statements.

About 80 percent of the world's toys are made in China, the biggest exporter of consumer goods.

The CPSC Thursday recalled four other products that may contain excessive levels of lead. CBRL Group Inc. asked consumers to return 7,800 Chinese-made Princess Magnetic Travel Art Set Lap Desks sold in Cracker Barrel Old Country Store locations from April to August.

Kipp Brothers recalled 10,000 Bendable Dinosaur Toys manufactured in China. Riddell Inc. called back 2,500 Chinese- made Collectible ''Jeff Gordon'' Mini Helmets, based on the one worn by race car driver Jeff Gordon. Flaghouse Inc. recalled 2,400 Kidnastics Balance Beams made in Taiwan.

Updated 9/28/07 - Thomas The Train Engine

Toys and children's necklaces made in China were recalled Wednesday (9/26/07), including five more items from the popular Thomas & Friends Wooden Railway product line, because they were found to contain dangerous levels of lead.

The complete story can be found at


9/05/07 - update - Barbie, Fisher-Price toys in latest recall The Barbie recall involves about 675,000 accessories made between Sept. 30, 2006, and Aug. 20, 2007. (still making bad toys in spite of earlier recalls) The model names, product numbers and affected date code numbers can be found at the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission Web site

8/22/07 - update - The Consumer Product Safety Commission announced yet another recall of dangerous products manufactured in China due to toxic levels of lead. SpongeBob SquarePants address books and journals are being recalled today for the dangerous amounts of lead in the paint on the spiral bindings.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission announced yet another recall of dangerous products manufactured in China due to toxic levels of lead. SpongeBob SquarePants address books and journals are being recalled today for the dangerous amounts of lead in the paint on the spiral bindings.

Let me start off this post by making it perfectly clear that I am not bashing China. I am bashing the American CEO Carpetbaggers who deal with CHINA at the expense of our Safety and Health. And, I don’t want to hear how many good products outnumber the bad.

Who are the designers and engineers of these products? Who decided to pay for cheap labor and who is ultimately responsible – Yep it’s you the highly compensated CEO Moneychangers who cares about nothing except their own EGO and the Country Club Membership.

I went to buy up some dog food last week and as I picked up some chew bones I glanced to look where they were made – CHINA. Picked up a different kind – CHINA. Moved down to some Jerky – CHINA.

Yes, I already knew about the dog food, toothpaste, kids toys drugs … but I was not aware of how many other dog products like dog-toys and treats were from China.

Speaking of toys I would like to give a shout out to Mattel for being such a money hungry whores. And a double shout out to you other companies that deal with China without any safety and quality controls.

I heard an American CEO Idiot after the Mattel Scandal on TV the other day; he said “We are all picking up our quality control efforts when we receive the goods from China” – WRONG! They should be responsible and must take the loss before being shipped. I guess Process Improvement doesn’t come along with Chinese Products like they did with Japan.

From this point on I will try not to purchase products sponsored by American Companies who will not set safety & quality standards (enforced) with China so that they can earn a quick buck.

For years we have been dealing with outsourcing from India, Mexico, … At least they were not trying to kill our children and our dogs (we have our share of scum’s like Michael Vick & all you other manly men who are dog fighters & supporters).

To all you American CEOs that are dealing with these substandard death producing products from China your time is coming because when it affects someone in your family or from someone’s family in Congress then you will understand what it is to go the rest of your life in “LIVING HELL.” I feel sorry for your American Employees who are innocent causalities with your greed.

All I can say is I can’t wait for EMINENT DOMAIN to take place in China and they can take your companies, technology and products to supply the rest of the world (not including USA) at your expense. It will happen.

I don’t care how big the Chinese Market is and how Companies need it to survive in the "competitive" global marketplace. It is not worth one child’s health and the life of one of our dogs.

Who owns the processes for these kinds of products mentioned above – yes Management owns the system and the CEO & BOD (Don’t think I don’t mean you too) head up the management team.

I would like to also mention that American CEOs are NOT worth (VALUE) as much as they think they are or as much as some Wall Street Stock Trader Kiss Ups & CNBC Brown Nosers keep telling them.

Please tell me I'm wrong, send me the Calculations for the past 5 years that convince me you are Value-Added as much as your salary indicates.

How can your salary be justified, if you are a 20 Billion Dollar Company or a 20 Million Dollar Comapany why do you make so much and your employees so little. How can you be at a company for less than five years and make more than 50 employees together who have been there for 20 -30 years.

Let me ask a few of my own Value-Added questions:

1) Have you met your numbers? - You said you would increase production or sales value by 8%. You were wrong it came in at 4% and the Market rose by 6% and you still get big time money. Why?

2) Do your employees think you are worth your salary as opposed to what they make?

3) Do your Customers think you are worth your salary as compared to the Quality of your product or service?

Another Example of the Demise of American Management.

Additional Information Sites:

The US Commerce Department provides some good information “Essential Advice for Doing Business in China” at this site

Pet Recall at

Toys Recall at

Mattel Inc. Financials at and there is no list of the Board of Directors (BOD).

China Boss of Recalled Toys -

China's food and drug regulator said Wednesday (8/21/07) it would meet regularly with its U.S. counterpart to crack down on counterfeit pharmaceuticals and boost product safety. See Site


I'm Not Alone!
This site was sent to me by KS. - Check it out.

Friday, November 02, 2007

What Does It Say on Your Shirt? Why can't she read?

It’s the Administrators Fault

I received an Email the other day from a mother of an Autistic boy in second grade. Her son is about to be mainstreamed and she asked me what I thought was the most important thing he should learn? It is a timely question because today a10th grade student asked what it said on my shirt.

It’s a good question, what was your first thought? Mine too, yes “Reading” It is not only the most important tool an autistic student should learn but also any student.

We are all aware of the problem. You probably know someone who can’t read. If you don’t drop by your local public high school or ask your child or someone who is in education.

Being able to read should be a pre-requisite for ALL other learning. There should be a special mandate that says in order to pass 5th grade (I’m being gracious) one must be able to read at third grade level and above. Those students below grade level reading must have a “measurable” and “meaningful” plan in place to emphasize reading until the student catches up with his/her peers. I’m including autistic children who are mainstreamed in this proposal.

If the student has not caught up by 7th grade 75% of the classes scheduled should involve some manner that teaches Reading. Why because when they are sent to high school they might be good athletes in gym and can draw great in art and can sing in choir. They need these type of classes to provide self-worth as they continue to learn to read before they leave high school.

To me “Reading is the gateway by which all learning takes place and it is the input for all outputs."

We need to snare reading problems by the time a student is entering second grade. I know by now most of you are saying tell us something we don’t know.

OK, I’m tired of copying notes for high school students who can’t read. However they are experts at copying. They sit and stare at books and fret the chance they may be called on to read. If they sense it, they will cause a disruption even if it requires them being thrown out of the class. I wonder if anyone has done a correlation study to determine if students getting expelled or thrown out of class can read?

What will these kids do when they graduate? Oh yes, I don’t care what law or requirements you put in place there will be special compensation given for most if not all the students who can’t read. So what will they do? READ your newspaper and see where your tax dollars are going, or better yet, go for a walk and see … The next time a high school educator tells me I’m getting to close or the student is being dependent on me to get his/her work done I’m going to tell them someone should have worried about that problem a long time ago. Your system has allowed these students to fail and by the time they get into high school it is too late.

The administrators know it’s too late and just want you to keep pushing the student through because there are too many coming up behind.

I’ve got to go now and type up a paper for a student who can’t read or write a paragraph. However, the student was able to verbally tell me his thoughts on the question or what the answer should be or provide information on the topic at hand. Yes I will type this report and yes I will copy the notes (not for studying but for getting points toward a grade).

I will ensure the students that I work with get some “Joy in Learning and some Self-Worth.” Please don’t get in my way. These students have suffered enough.

For all you Administrators who allowed and continue to let children go through the system should be ashamed, but your not, you think it is someone else’s fault.


Another example from qualityg that shows “The Demise of American Management.”

Oh yeah, my shirt said Lady Monarchs Basketball.

For more examples on the "Demise of American Management (quote from Dr. W. Edwards Deming) click on the label below this post.