Philadelphia Naval Hospital

About Michelle: Where it all began

It all began back in November of 1963 at the Philadelphia Naval Hospital. For some reason I don’t have my new born pictures, but if I ever do, I will share them. The hospital was demolished in 2001 according to Wikipedia. I have seen the building from the highway on visits to the city.

In an effort to introduce myself, I am going to share posts about myself. Not in a self-centered way, but in an effort to let you know a little about who I am. I will do this over time as I find pictures and assets that can illustrate the topic.

Philadelphia Naval Hospital
By Adam from Champaign, Illinois, USA – Philadelphia, PA Third Philadelphia Naval Hospital no date (circa 1940s)Uploaded by xnatedawgx, CC BY 2.0,

Birth Announcement

It is that time of the year again, blog redo time!

Well, it is that time of the year again. It is when I listen to my initial instinct and redo my blog to become a multi-topic blog instead of a niche blog. I joined a blogging group that told me that I HAD to have a niche. I decided to go along with the group and separate my blog into a few different topics in separate sites. Then the cares of life with elderly relatives took over. There was no time to maintain all of that. Unfortunately, some of those responsibilities are no more. 🙁 So now I am back to focus on my blog. I have multiple interest that I would like to learn and share. In addition to that I have so many photographs to share. I know that a business, blogging, web development, business model, innovation, travel photography, and personal blog might not be the best setup of a blog, but that’s OK. So with that, I have put it all back together. In the process I have destroyed a few links to my photographs but that is OK! Expect to see more posts on any topic that comes to my mind. 🙂


I have been enjoying a nice two weeks off. During this time I have taken two classes, tried multiple tea and coffee shops, and eaten out a lot.

My resolutions are to:
Learn more
Take more pictures
Share more
Eat healthier
Have negative weight gain 🙂
Enjoy life more
And to actually read the WordPress manual!

During our visit to Nando’s Peri-Peri today we were pleasantly surprised by the nice decor. Below are a few pictures.








Have 100% Focus – No, Lifelong Learner – Yes

There are so many things that I love and am interested in. Each year I decide that I am going to focus on this or that and each year I fail. I have come to the conclusion that I am not going to succeed at focusing on one thing. I believe that the multi-faceted set of interests that I have make me who I am. It allows me to be able to sit in an IT conversation and mostly understand what the IT team is talking about, but most importantly it allows me to ask informed question. It allows me to talk and execute learning and development projects. It allows me to take pictures of pretty flowers that look pretty decent.  It allowed me the ability to be able to determine how the Learning Content Management System was actually supposed to work and move it into operations. It allows me to manage projects to completion, at least most of the time. 🙂 It allows me to document requirements,  create use cases (that was a new interest), and eventually create test scripts. It allowed me the skills to be able to be the President of an ATD (ASTD) chapter. It allowed me the ability to raise a daughter that is a productive member of society.

So do I have 100% focus, NO. Am I a Lifelong Learner, YES! I can’t see going a day without learning something. I learn something from family, friends, co-workers, books, the Internet, the radio, the TV, and more everyday.

Do you have a focus issue?


My 50 Year Haircut

For those that don’t know, my hair has been natural since 1993. I have had a few trims but this is the first real haircut where there was noticeable length cut off. I am not going through a mid-life crisis 🙂 but I thought it was time to make a change. Below you will see the transformation from a lot of hair that has been very unmanageable for a very long time to something that I hope will be much more manageable. In all actuality I probably needed to use more than that dime size of product that they always tell you to use on those many bottles of hair stuff that I have purchased over the years. 🙂

I walked in with a bun and got a lot cut off. I hope that having a proper layered cut will help when I want to try one of those fancy hairdos in a few weeks. My cut was done at the Aveda Bethesda salon by Dina who I would highly recommend.

My 50 Year Resolutions

Well, I hit the big 50 yesterday. I don’t feel like it at all. In celebration of this milestone in my life, I am making a few resolutions.

  • I am going to exercise regularly so that I can lose 50 pounds. OK that isn’t realistic so I will at least aim for 30 pounds and try to get to 50. I  bought new tennis shoes so that I can exercise in style.
  • I am committed to eating a mostly vegan diet. In general, my diet is mostly vegan, but I do occasionally have the Snickers bar, cookies, and cakes that all contain some dairy or eggs. I will strive to eliminate the animal products from my diet. Sweets and sweet drinks are my weak areas.
  • I am also going to simplify my wardrobe. I have a ton of stuff I never wear in my closet. Away it goes over the next few weeks.
  • I am going to simplify in general. I don’t lead a very complicated life. It is just full of learning. Sometimes it is to much learning and I need to focus. This will be the hardest of all. I love to learn new stuff and that is what keeps life interesting. Focus Focus Focus…
I will let you know how this all works out. I don’t succeed if I do this on January 1st each year, so I am going to try a new approach. Wish me luck!

Empty Nesters – Phase 1 Complete!

Well,  today my husband and I made it to the culmination of Phase 1 of parenting. Phase 1 includes:

-College Graduation
-Getting a Job
-Moving Out into her own apartment (with a roommate)

While we are overjoyed about being empty nesters, we are also so proud of our daughter for her accomplishments. She has graduated,  got a nice job,  volunteers for the DC ASTD Chapter,  and today we moved her into her own apartment.

Phase 2 has started for our daughter and it is up to her to work hard and excel in life,  work,  volunteerism,  and play (at the appropriate time and not to excess of course).

I love you Lura and congratulations on your completing Phase 1 and make us proud as you start Phase 2.

Thank You to My Metro DC ASTD Chapter Friends

As it is time for me to transition off of the Metro DC ASTD Chapter’s Board of Directors (I was the 2012 President Past), I would like to thank a lot of people. Warning – The list is long! I tried to keep the thank you’s short but please know that I am so grateful for and to all of you.

Each person that is mentioned below was placed on this DCASTD-ASTD Twitter List if I could find their Twitter name, if there was not Twitter name, than I used the LinkedIn address if available to point to each person. I wanted to point any reader of this post to the special people I know and their businesses, books, blogs, and websites. As I kept finding more and linking to the items, I started to think WOW, I know some pretty smart, awesome, and influential people! I am so grateful to know all of you and to have benefited from your knowledge and wisdom during my time on the Metro DC ASTD Chapter’s Board of Directors from November 2007 – December 2012.

Thank You!

Dr. Greg Williams (+Greg Williams, Program Director of the UMBC ISD Program)  – Dr. Williams thank you so much for providing information on the UMBC ISD Program to me at the MICCA conference in ~2004. I was looking at JHU (where I have my BS) and then came to your booth. From there I applied and completed your program. During the time that I was there your program opened my eyes to a much bigger world than I was seeing as a school teacher. I learned a lot in the program and use the things I learned in the ISD program almost daily. But also thank you for the support of the Metro DC ASTD Chapter over the years. I may not have even known about the chapter had it not been for your sponsorship of the 2007 DCASTD conference. Thank you also for serving on the CLO Panel during 2011.

Sharese Essien (Program Coordinator of the UMBC ISD Program) – Sharese, thank you for sending that email stating that if you are one of the 1st 10 people to respond, you will win admission to the 2007 Metro  Metro DC ASTD Chapter Conference. Winning provided my first exposure to the chapter. Additionally, thank you for all of the other things you helped me with while I was in the UMBC ISD Program.

 Alexa Krezel (+Alexa Krezel)  – Thank you for all of your advice and encouragement over the years. You were an example of a very dedicated volunteer and you showed me the dedication that would be required to be President of the Chapter. Thank you for contributing to my UMBC final project by answering my interview questions at the  2007 Metro DC ASTD Chapter Conference.

Halelly Azulay (+Halelly Azulay, Owner of TalentGrow)  – Thank you for encouraging me over the years and that first interview with you and Kathy. Thank you also for being an example of an excellent communicator. Thank you for placing my case study on page 152 of Employee Development on a Shoestring of which you are the author.

Kathy Reiffenstein (President of And…Now Presenting!) – Thank you for encouraging me over the years and for even helping me to understand that being president was a possibility. Most importantly thank you for being my mentor over the years. 🙂

Sardek Love (President of Infinity Consulting and Training Solutions) – Thank you so much for that first meeting at ALC 2007. Thank you for the many calls and meetings over the years. I learn so much each time I talk to you. But more importantly thank you for being an example of professionalism, building a personal brand, and knowing that you need a mentoring team behind you.

Foster Rockwell (Current President of the Metro DC ASTD Chapter) – Foster, thank you so much for your support from the time we were at ESI together, to the time I was president, and even up to now as I am retiring off the board. Your guidance has been invaluable in multiple situations and I really appreciate it.

Deadra Welcome (+deadra welcome, Author of the Concerning Learning Blog) – Deadra, thank you for all of your support from when I met you at ALC to when you became Director of Professional Development during my term as president, to when we became Mentoring Partners, all the way up to now as we talk about instructional design, business, restaurants and any number of things. I have learned at lot from you as you are an excellent example of a Performance Consultant, Instructional Designer, and leader.

Tiffany Prince – Thank you for your support during the year that I was president and thank you for all of our after EC meeting conversations.

Darlene Brady Christopher (+Darlene Christopher, Author of the ASTD Inforline Facilitating in the Global Virtual Classroom) – Thank you Darlene for your support and being the talented Virtual (Synchronous) Programs person that you are. Thank you for the excellent webinars during the time you were the Director of Virtual Programs.

Sylvia Benati – Sylvia, thank you so much for greeting me at the door of the Metro DC ASTD Dinner Program in 2007 and welcoming me to the chapter. That was one among many things that I have to be thankful to you for over the years which include advice on being president of the chapter and also for the implementation of the Mentoring Partnerships program during my term as president.

Annabelle Reitman (Author of The Workplace Creative Responses Blog and the book Career Moves) – Annabelle, thank you so much for all of your encouragement since I have met you. Thank you for your encouragement during the time I was president and also thank you for implementing the Mentoring Partnerships program during my term as president. Additionally, thank you for these words in your book Career Moves, chapter 8-

“You can integrate volunteering into your plans for achieving professional goals. By volunteering for leadership in professional organizations you not only reap those standard benefits but also expand your WLP career and continue your professional growth…Identify your goals and needs before you volunteer.”

 I think I can say that I have fully taken this advice.

David Heckman – Thank you for being a great example of a VP of Finance does. Even though I wasn’t ever even thinking about becoming the VP of Finance for the chapter, when I finally did, you were the example.

Mirella Addante (Owner of Just Fur Pets) – Thank you for teaching me how to carry out the VP of Finance roll. After our conversation, I felt very confident that I could competently serve in this role.

Lisa Cohen – Thank you for sticking with me as VP of Finance in 2011. I know it was a lot of work and please know that I appreciate everything that you did for us keeping us organized and in compliance with local, state, and federal regulations.

Diane Elkins (Owner of Artisan E-Learning) – Diane, thank you so much for your leadership and skills in our website transition from SquareSpace to Wild Apricot. That was a huge transition and with your leadership, it became a reality in 2011. Thank you also for your support of the Free Agent SIG.

Andrea Evans – Andrea, thank you so much for being a model of poise and grace as the Membership Outreach Director for the chapter and thank you for such great Networking Events.

Robin Altice (Owner of Robin Altice Photography) – Robin, thank you so much for your great ideas about the Chapter’s communications and your support. With your vision the eFlash became the Beltway Bulletin and other communications improvements occurred. Keep taking those beautiful photos.

Lorraine Barclay Nordliner (Owner of Nordlinger Consulting Group) – Lorraine, thank you for your support as the Director of Sponsorships during my term as president.

Paul Signorelli (Paul Signorelli & Associates)- Thank you for teaching me about non-profits and the importance of treating a non-profit like a business during your ALC sessions.

Mallard Owen – Thank you for your support before I was president until after.

Karen Mack (Onwer of Karen Mack Management Consultants, LLC) – Thank you for being a consistent and vocal supporter. Every time that I saw you, you expressed strong words of encouragement. I really really appreciated that each time that I saw you.

Cheryl Berthau (Past President, Maryland ASTD Chapter) – Thank you for that talk of encouragement over dinner before I decided to run for president. It helped give me the confidence to know that this was not an impossible feat.

Kia Poe (Past President, San Diego Chapter) – Thank you for the great conversations about the things I could do with the chapter. The things that you did with the San Diego chapter sounded awesome.

Veronica Adams – Thank you for your support and creating the Diversity SIG.

Diane Smith – Thank you for all of the great dinner programs you put on as Director of Programs.

Trish Uhl (+Trish Uhl, Owner Owl’s Ledge, Past President, ASTD Chicagoland, Author of 10 Steps to Successful Teams) – Thank you for the eternal encouragement and being such a great person to all of the ASTD people out there.

Gina Urgena – Thank you so much for your support of the chapter over all of these years.

Tony Bingham (ASTD, The New Social Learning) – Thank you for the meeting at ASTD headquarters before my term started. It was invaluable.  It meant so much to me to have a conversation with you about the things that I wanted to do for the chapter. Thank you for the time you invested in me.

Geoff Woliner – Thank you for arranging the day of meetings at ASTD before my term started. It was invaluable. And thank you for your support of the chapter as our Chapter Coach during my term.

Cami Best-Jones – Thank you for talking with me during the time I came to visit. But also thank you for all of the great conferences that you manage and that the chapter is a part of.

Jennifer Homer (ASTD Career Development CoP) – Thank you for the time you spent with me when I came to visit ASTD. I really appreciated the time that you took with me to talk about the various ASTD communications vehicles.

Carol Goldsmith (The Discovery Coach) – Carol, thank you for the time that you gave doing the resume review and coaching after one of the 2007 dinner programs with Janet. It was great and so many people felt they got so much out of the time with you. Thank you for your encouragement during my term as president. And thank you for taking me through a coaching session. Your skills as you asked me probing questions were top notch and I know that I was experiencing something special from a special person.

Janet Spadola (The JAS Group) – Janet, thank you for the time that you gave doing the resume review and coaching after one of the 2007 dinner programs with Janet. It was great and so many people felt they got so much out of the time with you.

Phillip Power – Phillip, thank you so much for all of your support over the years.

Neal Henderson – Neal, thank you so much for your support over the years. Thank you for leading the Leadership SIG.

Philip Martin  – Thank you for all of your encouragement from before I was president and up to now. I really appreciate it.

Last but not least, thank you to my boss, Patrice Collins. During my terms as President-Elect, President, and President-Past as she encouraged me and supported my work with the chapter and has also provided much needed advice. Patrice, thank you so much for your support.

I hope I haven’t left anyone off, but please know that if I did it wasn’t from lack of trying to remember.

I have benefited greatly from everyone above and would like to say a since heartfelt Thank you for your contribution to my professional development and growth.

For more information on the Metro DC ASTD Chapter, please navigate to their website.
For more information on ASTD, please navigate to their website.

2013 Year of More Photography

During our trip to San Francisco in September I took way to many pictures, about 1,623 to be exact. Before the trip I purchased a Canon Rebel EOS T3 DSLR camera. I read the manual for the camera, tried to cram on how to compose a picture, use the aperture,  change the shutter speed and much more. By the time I got out there all of the information turned to mush and I used the automatic settings a lot. I did try to experiment with the aperture settings a little.

Internal Debate: Taking the Perfect Shot the First Time vs Post-Processing

Before I left I also had a few internal debates regarding Taking the Perfect Shot the First Time or Post Processing.

Somewhere I read that Ansel Adams actually did post-processing when he developed his real film. So, I thought if it was good enough for Ansel, it is good enough for me. As I was writing this, I looked that quote up and found that I was not the originator of that sentiment. Apparently this is a debate that people have in real life, I found two blog posts that seem to represent the essence of the debate.

“Mr. Adams used post processing as a tool to bring his creative vision to a print –he did not use it as a crutch to compensate for poor technique… 

If you are justifying your post processing by claiming that Ansel Adams did it, or would have done it, then you are taking the man completely out of context! A big part of being a photographer is learning about all of the things that influence an image before you press the shutter release.”


“Is it cheating?

And at the end of the day the digital darkroom (post processing software) is a modern extension of the original darkroom, and even has some of the darkroom techniques (or digital versions of) like dodge and burn and unsharp mask included in it.

I think the digital darkroom is just the next evolution of the original darkroom.”

The Decision

I agree with both John and Mandy! I decided to take so many pictures that by sheer luck I should have at least one picture that was a beautiful picture. Remember all of the things I read moved right out of my head as we flew the 6 hours to get there and started to experience the beauty of San Francisco and the surrounding areas!
Thus 2013 will be the Year of More Photography. I will keep learning about photography (actually re-learning, my father had a 35mm camera when I was younger that he would let me use and I have actually developed real film two times in my life) so that I can take a great shot with little need of post-processing BUT also I would like to be creative with my photos because I will never be Picasso, Matisse, or Renoir and this might be the closest I can get to being an artist. 🙂

A Picture

Below is a picture of the Transamerica  Pyramid with an older building in front of it. If you know the name of the older building, please let me know. I thought it was a decent shot. I love the contrast of the old with the new. And also love black and white photos. So the photo below has been processed in Snapseed with the Black & White – Contrast setting.


Transamerica Pyramid, San Fancisco
Transamerica Pyramid, San Franciso, 9/2012