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Red hates technology. That's an understatement. So, she's been "clinging" to her old computer which, since it was purchased in 2012, makes it a dinosaur in computer years. But with increasing "issues" with Outlook, especially as email's the "life blood" of Red & Black, and a few scares … it was finally time for Red to once again take her ostrich head out of the sand and admit that she needed a new computer.


Luckily, many years ago, we were introduced to an amazing IT and computer expert, Shawn, who we've turned to for all things computer related. (This is one of those areas where Red has convinced herself she doesn't have the ability to understand when, in reality, she just prefers other people handle it for her.) Anyway, when Shawn started speaking in a foreign language about CPU's, RAM, OS drives, and a bunch more gobbledygook, Red knew this was far beyond her "pay grade" and was happy to turn over the conversation to Black. And while Black wasn't happy to have this new task added to her "to do" list, even she had to admit that it was easier than trying to explain to Red what it all meant. Especially as it would be years before Red would need to buy another computer, and she'd have forgotten everything by then anyway.

There was no way for Black to know that the bigger conversation was going to be about the price tag. Red went into shock when she saw the Dell shopping cart and although Black explained it was an essential business expense so not to worry about it, Red was still doing her quiet "freak out" about the cost. Especially as for her a computer's just a way to do emails, Word documents, and the occasional spreadsheet. She didn't need the latest and greatest – just the basics.

Once Black could get Red to calm down, she explained things in a way that even Red had to admit made sense. (And, by the way, was once how she answered a question about her expensive red-soled shoes to an auditorium full of high school seniors, but that's another story for another day …)

I know that you think the computer is too expensive for your basic needs, even though you use it for business and personal purposes, but that is because you are looking at the total cost. But I look at it on a cost/hour basis. I am going to use round numbers to simplify the explanation, and use a total cost of $1,000. If you use it 50 weeks/year x 40 hours/week that = 2,000 hours. Over 5 years that = 10,000 hours. Pull out your calculator and you will see that if you spend $1,000 for a computer that you use for a minimum of 10,000 hours it works out to 10 cents an hour!
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I love history and understand that “Lincoln freed the slaves,” but the Civil War was about more than slavery. It was about preserving the Union, and about states’ rights (some things never change) and westward expansion. However, once President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, the war between the states would be forever remembered as a war to end slavery. Although I’ll admit that I’d never of Juneteenth until I moved to Texas. And I was surprised to learn it took two and half years after the Emancipation Proclamation for slaves in Texas to be set free, but that explains why Juneteenth’s celebrated as the end of slavery in the United States. And why it was declared a federal holiday in 2021.


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Change is never as simple as issuing proclamations. Especially since slavery represented systemic racism, inequality, and inhumanity. Real change requires words and actions, and a change in mindset. Celebrating the end of slavery is noble, but it should also serve as a reminder of where we are and how far we still have to go. Ending racism is not as simple as saying it is wrong but recognizing that it still exists is an important start.
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Every Father’s Day , when I think of Daddy, I think about alligators and turtles. I know that might sound crazy, especially as there are so many wonderful memories, but those stand out. As does the fact that every day, he taught me about unconditional love and was always there for me. And even though he passed away over 20 years ago, the memories are as strong, both emotionally and “visually”, as if it was just yesterday. And for that, I’m so grateful.


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I know you are probably expecting me to talk about how Father’s Day is, in many ways, a form of “equal rights" since Mother’s Day was already in existence , or maybe the business aspects of it being a “ retail holiday ”. Instead, at the risk of sounding warm and fuzzy, I will just say that dads always have a very special place in the hearts of their “little girls” … no matter how old those “girls” become.

Wishing all dads a very Happy Father’s Day!

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It seems most appropriate that Flag Day falls during Effective Communication Month, or at least it does to Black, who years ago had suggested Red use race flags as a fun (and “safe”) way to communicate with her teenage daughter. From that point on, Red never looked at the “Stars & Stripes” the same way again … because she learned flags might be one of the most straightforward and effective ways to communicate – whether feelings of pride and support, messages to racecar drivers, or even to indicate your moods.


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This past weekend, I noticed a bunch of flags on my street and wondered why since July 4 th is still almost a month away. But this morning, I learned that today's Flag Day.


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Well, for someone who likes to decorate for the holidays, I would have thought you would have known all about it.


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I've heard of it, but I never really thought much about it, let alone when it is. I knew it had to do with the American flag, but it surprised me that it has nothing to do with Betsy Ross, which legend has made the first flag, although it seems there's no evidence to support that.


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If you want an interesting "story", read about why the American flag is called Old Glory . Regardless, the American flag, like all flags, communicates a message.


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I know you like to connect odd dots, but only you would see a connection between flags and communications.
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