Monday, September 09, 2013

Pets - Maggie Mae

In Memory of Maggie Mae (2004 - 2013)

I had to put Maggie down today because of Diabetes. She went fast and did not feel any pain even though she has had a very bad few weeks with rapid weight loss and other symptoms.
Before going to the Vet I took her to her favorite park today and she was able to chase a few squirrels and bunnies. I gave her some treats too. At the Vet's I held her and looked in to her eyes as she passed. Here a few videos from this summer and last winter.

She will be missed by all; especially Angie (her sister and me). Lorelai and Cricket too!

Maggie was the leader of the Pack!

In Memory of Lady Arwen of Wesley (1980 - 1994)


If ever you need me, I'll be right here, To chase away the sadness, And wipe away a tear. If ever you need me, I'll be two steps behind, To follow in your footsteps, And hear what's on your mind. If ever you need me, You'll never have to fear, That your presence isn't important, And your love isn't dear. If ever you need me, I'll always be around, to bring back the laughter, Where deep in your heart it's found. You'll never have to worry, For I'll always be here, To chase away the sadness, And wipe away a tear. I AM HERE FOR YOU! (even in spirit) ~author unknown

The following are pictures of Pets that belong to qualitygloggers (Friends, Family; Bloggers who visit the site): Click on picture to enlarge.

The Girls! Maggie, Angie & Katie

Grandma & the Girls

Rista - Here Kitty, Kitty! Posted by Hello

Dear Cousin Simba, there is a big Doberman that wants to meet you.
Cousin Chloe Flynn

Buddy & Pals (Kristine, Tracy & Brian)

Sugar says... Grandma, I only have eyes for You!

Schotz says... Hold Me, Hold Me Too!

The Life of Riley
Judy's Babies
Jesse - anyone want to play marbles?

"Ditto and Elsa"

qualityg has been getting a lot of cat pictures and emails with cats. No, I have not gone over to the other side, but I wish my dog loving friends would send some Pictures (i.e., Paul A, Thad B, Robbie F, Gina S, Linda L, Patti H, Greg K, John C...).
Below are Pat's Office Assistants, "Ditto and Elsa" - I've had assistants that lay around like that...

Carhartt or Cathartt??

Sophies Choice - Big John ---> I only have eyes for you

After a long walk and run--> chasing squirrels
It's time for a treat!

Mo Lovin for GHOST!

updated 3/06/06

"Bailey" Dog of The Day
This is our beautiful dog, Bailey, aka Pupadupolous. We have had this good girl since she was four weeks old. She was abandoned by her mother and we rescued her from a Doberman second chance rescue. From day one she has been the sweetest and most obedient pet a family could ask for. From Gina, Harold, Erica, Morgan & Monica.

Billy, Bella and the Girls

Thursday, August 22, 2013

I'm failing because my instructor cannot speak "English" - Shame on You!

AGGH – It continues and no one cares. Last week I stopped at my local veterinarians to pick up some medication for my dog. As I was waiting to pay at the counter a young vet assistant approached the counter and told the person waiting on me that she is so stressed out because after her first week of class she knows she is going to fail her Math class at college. “It’s just not fair, I can’t understand him and even when I ask for help he talks so fast he makes me feel I’m the problem and not him because he thinks he speaks perfect English.”
 I have written on this before (since 2006):

I told her I would not leave his class or presence until he answered my questions. You are the customer of his and it is his duty to provide you with the answers and help you need. It’s so easy for me to make a bold statement like that because our educational system does not recognize students and parents as customers. The classroom is still run by “Absolute Power” of the teacher and administrators of the college (K-12 too in many cases).
How does anyone in a so-called position of authority/leadership (Principal, Dean, Administrator, etc…) hire an instructor to teach a class who cannot speak “English” and communicate it is beyond my comprehension? As a leader you own the system (student, parent, teacher, school, society…) by which all will be impacted because you believe someone with great credentials will bring merit and higher standards (aka – charge higher tuition) to you and your school/college. WRONG! It’s really this simple  - if you and the hiring team (At least I hope there is more than one person) cannot understand the person during the interview process how in the heck will your students understand?

Please remember - "It is not good enough to know your subject matter it is equally important to be able to communicate and have applied the subject matter for true transfer of knowledge to take place." qg

As the leader you have created a lose-lose situation for all involved in the process. You set the instructor/teacher up to fail all in effort for an end-result rating or worse yet you did not take the time up-front in the selection/hiring process to do what is right for the student (Your Customer).

I'm sure the instructor/teacher is a good person. All I'm saying is to put this person in research or another other position to best utilize his/her talents.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Team Tara - "Losing is NOT an Option"

Yesterday I ran in a race (MICHIGAN MARROW 5K WALK And FUN RUN) and was reflecting today while walking my dogs that I have run in a competitive race in the 1950s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, 2000s and now 2013. The range has been from 100 yards to a 26 mile marathon. I was not planning on running yesterday since I have not run in a race in over 10 years because of numerous wear and tear injuries (Ruptured Achilles Tendon, New ACL Construction, Meniscus Repair, Two Lower Back and Two Neck Herniated Discs, Shoulder Reconstruction, Toe Tendon Nerve Damage, Knee Nerve Damage, Calf Muscle Tears just to name a few that all are on the left side of my body except for the toe tendon damage on both feet).

However, how fortunate I am compared to the following… 

This post is about a young lady (my cousin) who just received a Bone Marrow Transfer 11 days ago who has been battling Leukemia for over 10 year and had been looking for a donor match for just as long. Because she was adopted and is Korean the search has been painstaking because of the lack of Donors from Minorities.

Please see the following link:

How can you not try and run and support her cause and the countless others that are hoping for a Donor Match. One person who was fortunate to have a Donor Match three years ago was a gentleman who approached me asking me about the Team Tara shirt I was wearing. His name is Craig Bowman and he is an instructor at Rochester College -

Craig related his story to me and educated me on the Bone Marrow process as well as how the next 100 days are critical for Tara. He wanted me to pass on his name to Tara and offer his willingness to talk to her at any time. Oh yes, Craig won a medal in the senior division.

Tara is posting her journey at this link -

Please keep Tara and other people waiting for a Donor in your prayers.

Like the Team Tara Shirt Says... "Losing is NOT an Option"

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

The Demise of Alumni Donations

One of the most valuable assets of a college or university is its alumni association. One of the critical metric's that determines the strength of a school's alumni group are the percentage of alumni who give money to a school every year. Alumni wouldn't likely hand over money to a school if they felt no affinity toward the institution. However, I do believe many colleges and universities receive large donations from alumni and others are that these donations are tax deductible. 

With all that being said I firmly predict the demise of this revenue stream for one simple reason - "STUDENT DEBT." Loyalty to one's school is a big reason for giving but if one leave's that school with a large student debt that now becomes a monthly payment for the rest of one's life not giving an annual alumni donation (at the least very small amount) is going to go by the wayside.
Why should a student give back or donate to a school or an education system that is extorting (perhaps "usury" is the better term) money from individuals because too many jobs today require a degree (many advanced).

Each month I get phone calls at home from five different colleges/universities that my children and I graduated from asking for donations. I tell them once are student debt is paid I then may give back to the college. Then and only then will I feel the so-called institution of higher learning deserves my support. 

I believe others feel the same way I do and are not giving like they used too because there children and grandchildren are strangled in debt. I guess the only thing the school will do is to increase tuition and fees thus causing not only the "Demise of Alumni Donations" but the "Demise of the American Educational System" except for a few.

Monday, July 29, 2013

"School of Choice" - You better have a good Selection Process in place.

I talk frequently about this topic (Selection/Hiring Process) and have written about it before too -

I have seen public schools in the past allow students to "transfer" into their school for headcount (State Dollars) and private schools do the same thing for tuition (Dollars).

If there is no selection process (upfront) in place to know what type of student you are allowing into your school you take the chance of having breakdowns throughout your school process/system with behavior and learning problems that create downstream productivity issues with teachers using large amounts of their time correcting these type of behaviors resulting in a few students taking all the time and the majority of students being neglected on a day-to-day and year-to-year basis. The results force parents to seek alternative schools usually with smaller class sizes.

I have seen schools implode from within because no one understands that quality must be designed upfront in all processes regardless if they are in a business, education, or in a medical type of core competency organization.

Now - please do not get me wrong. Some readers may think I am advocating not taking in a student who may have learning or behavior problems. I am simply stating that many schools will take a student in without truly understanding what the student needs or has done in the past because of late records or no records being sent until the student is ingrained within the school process without upfront quality checks. Once this happens the teacher(s) must deal with all the situations on an ongoing daily manner which then impacts all the students learning because an abundance of time and effort are trying to serve a student that requires a different type of teacher and skills to really help the student learn. If the school (regardless if school of choice, private, charter or public) does not have the proper means to help a student then it should recommend a school that will meet the parent and student needs.

Schools should design a selection process where the parent/guardian must sign a contract (especially) if the parent or previous schools does not produce a record or report card) with words that state "For the first semester of school if we find out that grades or behaviors existed in the past that were not told at the point of acceptance the school reserves the right to remove the student.

Let me provide two examples that I know first hand that explains the above situations.

1) Private - A high school was subsidized by two two parishes to build the school so that there elementary and middle schools would feed the high school with students. At the beginning students from outside the two parishes were required to pay a higher tuition rate. Then things started to shift were more and more students were allowed to come from outside the parish who were paying less (some up to 50% and none at all) than the students from the subsidized parishes. Denial was rampant from the parents who were paying full tuition saying the leaders would not allow this to happen.

Slowly the truth started to come out and parents started sending their children to neighboring schools. The school eventually closed because of funding.

2) Public - There is a "School Choice" school district that has grown rapidly (Moved up in class based on student population) in the last few years where more students that attend the high school live outside the school district. It is common knowledge that the majority of behavior problems resulting in serious infractions to school code are from students that came from outside the district.

The results were predictable - Homeowners have turned down school mileages time and time again. Why? Many have told me they will not pay for school improvements for students whose parents don't pay anything toward on-going school maintenance and improvements. Some are mad because their kid(s) can't make the sports teams because the positions are going to kids outside their neighborhoods.

Teachers are upset because the same administration with their short-sighted plans trying to keep their schools afloat go for the quick money that comes from student headcount not realizing that in the long run they will lose money from lack of enrollment and mileage dollars. What makes the teachers most upset is the push to evaluate them for on-going improvement but many of their classes are stacked with students that should not have been placed in their school or class. Some of these students need special help (and it must be given) and others came to there school because they were failing in their previous school or going to be expelled or in fact were expelled for behavior problems.

So if the numbers and dollars that go up with School of Choice are so important then why is this school district imposing a new contract demanding pay cuts for all teachers.

qualityg says - "Please believe me when time must be taken to design your processes with quality upfront and to make sure the voice of the process has measures that identify problems where they can be rectified and not wait until the damage permeated the whole system."

School Administrators own the system and they have failed. Not only at the local level but more importantly at the state and federal level when it comes to education.

Saturday, June 01, 2013

Fix Education - Put Students First "Blah, Blah, Blah" - Mackinac Island Conference, Student Debt ...

Michelle Rhee at the annual "Blah, Blah Blah" MACKINAC ISLAND Conference in Michigan stated this week ““We have to begin to see education as a bipartisan issue — one that we can all come together on,” she said. “The politics of education have become more polarized than anything else.” Ms. Rhee has always been guided by one core principle: put students first.

Read the full story –

Former Governor Jeb Bush also spoke at the conference on education – “The one thing clear about former Florida governor and national education advocate Jeb Bush’s ideas about education is this: Students must come first.
He said there is nothing about Detroit’s public schools that cannot be fixed if officials focus on students, rather than teachers and politics.”

Read the full story –

qualityg says…
Each year, Michigan's political and business leaders gather on Mackinac Island for the annual Mackinac Policy Conference put on by the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce. They come together to discuss critical issues affecting the state, such as education and creating growth to Michigan’s job market.

The Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, the site of the 2013 Mackinac Policy Conference, presented by the Detroit Regional Chamber.

More than 1,500 people will spend the next three days at the luxurious Grand Hotel listening to a variety of business, political and keynote speakers. Blah, Blah, Blah. I’m not opposed (except for the cost to taxpayers) to trying to come up with plans of action and strategies but year after year we hear and read the same thing and nothing changes except the continued failure of our education system and the rising rate of student debt that faces our country.

I am so tired of the posturing on both sides of the political party and the hostage holding they do when it comes to critical issues like education and how much taxes we pay. They won’t be happy until we are “truly” a second class nation that continues to spiral downward when it comes to future of our children and the foundation of our country.

Here is the crying Mantra for folks to talk about education and everyone says yes, yes, and yes and that is to put students first - Blah, Blah, Blah...

Look -yes of course we must put students first but that is NOT enough! There must be a partner ship and I have built a process to do this called the Cabrini Dream Mentor Program Click Here - . It is based on the simple partnership concept that follows:

Click on Pic to Enlarge

Please click here for more...

Rochelle Riley the Detroit Free Press Columnist wrote that Governor (Michigan) Snyder said “It's about the kids. That’s the way we need to start this. It’s about helping these kids grow,” said Gov. Rick Snyder, who said he made multiple visits to EAA schools. “This is a big deal, changing the lives of those kids.”

Ms. Riley writes about the Educational Achievement Authority (EAA) school system in Detroit where they have taken some controversial educational concepts and are applying them to measure change on how their students are being taught.

"The biggest difference in the EAA and other schools is that it eliminates grade levels and instead teaches children based on their learning levels."

qg says... Good for them and Dr. Deming would be proud!

See Full Article -

Student Debt
I read this on 5/31/13 …
On July 1, more than 7 million college kids will see their federal student loan rates double unless Congress reaches a compromise to avert the looming hike. Given the recent track record of the legislative branch, that may not be a comforting proposition. But in this case history offers a glimmer of hope. A year ago, amid a tight presidential campaign, Barack Obama was able to use the presidential bully pulpit to pressure Congressional Republicans into postponing the planned rate spike for 12 months. Now, with federal subsidies again set to sunset in a month, Obama gathered a group of college kids in the sweltering Rose Garden Friday morning in a bid to force Republicans to bend. “If this sounds like deja vu all over again, that’s because it is,” Obama said. “We went through this, and eventually Congress listened to all the parents and young people who said, Don’t double my rate.”

To read the full article –

I believe any student who has student debt from a “so-called” Institute of Higher Learning should not have to pay the loan back unless Institute of Higher Learning can prove they are cost efficient and effective.

The following chart compares Institute of Higher Learning

For-Profit Institute of Higher Learning
Non-Profit Institute of Higher Learning
Types of Education
Inclined to focus more on technical or vocational education
Inclined to be more academic or research-oriented
Types of Degrees
Variety from associate’s to doctoral degrees; can more rapidly implement degree programs in critical areas such as information technology, health care, or security studies
Choice from associate’s to doctoral degrees
Length of Program
Highly flexible schedules that sometimes allow students to finish faster; graduation rates are typically lower than non-profit schools
In-classroom education can take years, but online components may accelerate program completion
Typically more expensive than non-profit counterparts. Student loan defaults are higher
Costs fluctuate, with state schools usually costing less than private schools

The difference between For-Profits and Not-for-Profits colleges is the school mission. For-Profit colleges operate like other businesses. They are backed by investors, and they work towards a profit. Not-for-Profit schools may charge similar tuition prices, but all of the proceeds are put back into the schools.
For example – Most State and Private colleges/universities are publically (government) funded.

Non-profit private institutions receive far less government funding, but they are still considered non-profit because the money they bring in goes straight back into the school to improve their programs, hire well qualified faculty, maintain their campus facilities, offer student services, etc.

For-profit private schools (University of Phoenix, ITT Tech, Everest, Kaplan, Sylvan, etc.) are corporations. The money they bring in doesn't go back into the school; rather, it goes into the pockets of the corporate owners and investors.

Thanks for allowing me to vent - Blah, Blah, Blah…

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Our Education Systems must develop a Hive/Colony Mindset

When and where did our education system go astray? When I started school there was no pre-school, head start or pre-kindergarten. Graduating with a Bachelor degree was not yet a must after high school and a graduate degree was not in vogue.

With Computers, PDAs, Internet and social networks in a variety of modes I would expect most of our children to be college and career ready as never before in our nation’s history. Yet, according to national studies the opposite is true (75 Percent of Students “Not Ready” For College). What's going on?
In my humble opinion, there is no system in our schools (public, parochial, charter, community colleges, four-year colleges, vocational). All of our schools should have a common aim and must be interdependent upon each other using a “Hive/Colony Mindset (working toward the common good)” with cooperation and communication vital for success.

Unfortunately, our education system continues to be sub-optimized and chaos reigns with a “What’s In It For Me” attitude that runs rampant through each school. Schools are closing at a rapid pace and charter schools are popping up in laser fashion. My concern is by “What Method”? Are we to continue to force parents to send their children to poor producing schools?

A big problem that exists is the competition between our schools at every level from K-20 and the most dangerous is the competition between schools in our nation, states, dioceses and districts. Cooperation is what is needed so that our whole system succeeds, and then competition can take effect. Did you ever stop and think about all the so-called leaders involved in our educational system. Look at your own school. Is your school’s purpose “really” defined? How many leaders are involved (Superintendent, Principles, School Board, Unions, Parent Groups and State and Federal Government) in setting policy? Who is/are the true leader(s)? There has and always will be an on-going struggle between state and federal rights when it comes to education (among other things).

Why is there not a national effort to find the best run school systems and replicate them across the country with a well thought out designed plan for implementation? Why are there no national/local leaders with real authority?

The new Common-Core Standards are the latest attempt to fix the education problems. In concept I believe they are an excellent idea. However, I will tell you that Teachers while supportive of the common core standards have not been given the training or support to generate the enthusiasm or leadership to make it happen.

Saturday, March 02, 2013

The "Jesus Syndrome" is alive and well

During my years spent in the business world I never had a fondness for outside consultants. Most of them seemed to gather information from internal workers and then in a fancy fashion produce a glossy report that costs millions of dollars and gave it to the executive team for implementation with the offer to guide the working team through a change or transformation. It was just hard to understand why the company would spend so much money to an outside group when the answers were right under their noses.
Often the outside consultant’s suggestions were met with barrier ridden internal anguish that literally stopped any kind of process improvement efforts that might benefit the customers. I was an internal quality and process improvement consultant for years and my team also met roadblocks and anguish at every level of the organization when change was needed.

Dr. Deming said “Change comes from outside the system.”
What I learned the hard way was that it takes a systems thinking person/team that can see the end-to-end- process and how all the parts are interdependent upon each other to improve the overall process/system for the benefit of the customers. Just as important the finding from this type of analysis must be made in an unemotional manner where the outcomes benefit the system as a whole. This thinking cannot be met with internal people/workers who are blinded as to how the changes will affect them personally.

However, the actual work and changes that must be done requires the subject matter expertise of the internal workers since they know how best to do the job. The key is to mesh the outside analysis with internal expertise and to educate and partner with each other as to the benefits of the whole through the eyes of the customer. This takes a strong leader to make this happen and the work cannot be delegated by the executive team. They must lead the efforts for lasting change to take place. If they do not have the time to do this then the change is not required. What could be more important?
Dr. Shewhart said Changes that result in improvement come from application of knowledge.”

Over the years I called it the “Jesus Syndrome.” Luke 4:24, 28–29

24 And he said, Verily I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country.

28 And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath,

Image result for And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath,

29 And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong.
Our Education System in the United States is riddled with this kind of thinking both within a school and then with the school’s home district. Administrators, Counselors and Teachers are convinced they each have the answers and any kind of change will only result in failure. Perhaps as I have found it has to do more with additional work and comfort zone than it does with the change.

Note: When I mentor students about College and Career Readiness I often hear a parent say " See he is telling you the same thing I have been telling you." You see because I am from outside the system the student tends to believe me more than the Parent.
What the stakeholder’s folks need to understand the lasting change that must be done needs to be done in a systemic manner that requires a team effort that must be done in the summer where time is more readily available and then the probable changes/solutions need to be tested in the upcoming school year.
Another Bastion of resistance from any outside change or interference is in the Federal, State and Local Government. The best example of this type of inexcusable representation of leadership is what is going on in Washington with Budget Plans -
Look at the City of Detroit who for years and years will not take ownership of their problems and refuses to understand systems thinking and what it means to represent their customers.

Take a step back people and get over yourselves – you are not that important. There is more at stake than your insecurities and self-esteem.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Why I Still Like Girl's Basketball - Season Over

To read the six previous seasons click on the label to the left on the main page where where it says "Girls Basketball" or click
Tryouts are over and it is now time to build a team that lost 8 seniors - Ouch! We had a good summer camp with better than expected results that provides an outlook with promise for the upcoming season.
With any new young team we will struggle against bigger and more mature teams but we will let each team know they have been in a game. The coach is implementing new offense - RACK ATTACK and defensive schemes that fit our athletic abilities.
Stay Tuned...

Updated - 12/1/12 - RIP Big John

We had our first game last Thursday. We lost the game. The big gap was that our trusted friend and scorekeeper was not there for the first time in over 10 years. John passed away a few months back and I miss him dearly. He was a good friend who accompanied me on scouting trips and we had a blast rating the concessions stands at each game we attended. The following tribute was made to John at his funeral:

Mr. Noland (John) was an avid supporter of the Lady Monarchs Girls Basketball program, driving to any location we played, in any weather, regardless of his own commitments. He had been a member of the Cabrini Lady Monarchs as a scorekeeper, scout, and friend and assisted with scorekeeping going back to his daughter's Brandi and Amber's playing days in CYO as 5th -6th graders. He frequently adjusted his work schedule at Ford Motor to fit in his basketball duties. He was faithful in bringing all the coaches their "Away game meals" that his wife Sandi would graciously make prior to long rides to Cardinal Mooney, Waterford, or wherever. He served our program for over 10 years after his last daughter graduated, and his absence will leave a gaping hole in our program. God must have been starting a new basketball team and needed some help. He found a good man to do so!
He will be missed at our games as we look to the scoring table but will remain in our hearts forever.

Updated 12/29/12 - Christmas Tournament

Our record is now 3 wins and 2 losses. We beat our cross-town rivals on 12/21/12 and then had two games in a Christmas Tournament. We got blown away in the opening game by 30 points and came back and won last night's game by 20 points.

A couple of our girls were unable to attend the first game but that was no excuse for the lack of effort and intensity that was put out by our team (we were down 18 - 3 in the 1st quarter).

The practice in between the games stressed defensive pressure, blocking out and basic fundamentals were pounded in to the team.

The team responded the way we hope to play each of our games for the second game and it showed.

Updated 1/23/13 - Half Way

We are currently 4 - 7 at the mid way point of our season. We won an overtime thriller last night to get our first league win and hopefully that will get us going for the remainder of our season. We have some very tough games in the next few weeks and we will have to play our best to compete and win.

The good news is we see progress in some of our players that is vital because they are Sophomores and Juniors.

Updated 2/16/13 - Still Struggling - but two in a row

Our record is now 6-12 but we have won our last two games. Last night was Poster night which is always a fun night made better with a nice crowd and a win. Honoring our three seniors was also part of the event.

We now have one game remaining before the State Playoffs begin one week from Monday. We have a Top 5 team in our District but first we must win our first round game.

Updated 2/28/13 - Season Over

The Season is over and we finished 7-14. We won our first District game but lost to a state ranked team. The girls played hard (down by 4 at half) but we just did not match-up well with the team that pulled away from us mid-way through the 3rd quarter.

The Banquet is in a few weeks and then it is back to the drawing board on how to improve this team going forward. Hopefully maturity and some good off season work ethic will get some players to be ready for next year.

Saturday, January 05, 2013

2012 Most Popular Posts

2012 is gone and I would like to thank the 76,000 plus visitors to my Blog this past year (up 29,000+ from last year). I hope the information I have provided has been useful and beneficial.

As I look over the stats the following are the most searched on topics within my site for 2012:


Mar 22, 2007, 2 comments
Oct 7, 2006, 5 comments

Thank You and Best Wishes for a New Year!