Monday, August 31, 2009

A little blurb I read about overcoming negativity

As I probably mentioned before, I have lots of little things written on paper that just clutter up our house, so I'd like to put these things (quotes, stories, information, etc...) online, note the source so it doesn't look like I'm trying to steal the writing as my own, and then I'm going to toss the paper. Actually, I'm going to use the other side of the paper for grocery lists or phone messages or whatever, then I'm going to recycle it, but you already knew that.

So this story is called "Negative? Who? Me?" and it's from Doreen Hatfield, CEAP, director of EAP, from Family Services of the Chautauqua Region.

"One cross word, gloomy mood, or sarcastic remark can escalate to a hostile, conflict-ridden work environment. Morale decreased and productivity suffers. Communication comes to a halt and employees stop working well together. The ramifications are far-reaching and too harmful to ignore.

"So what do you do when you recognize pessimistic attitudes spiraling through your workplace?

"PROTECT YOURSELF! It's always good practice to take some self-inventory. Ask yourself, "Am I a 'carrier'?", "How do I respond when negative people try to bring me down?", "Do I have the courage and conviction to confront a negative employee?", "What do I do?".

"We often speak of early intervention when dealing with children's problems. It is just as important to fight off negativity in the workplace by addressing it early on."

The rest of the paper just goes on to inform readers about what they should do if they want to attend a workshop on overcoming negativity. But I thought what they wrote about above was pretty brilliant. It's just a little reminder of a few things: 1) Are you making the work environment hostile? (I know a few people who should take that message to heart!), 2) Is someone else making the work environment hostile?, and 3) If someone you work with is making the work environment hostile, are you letting it drag you down? If so, maybe it's time to check your attitude. (I know it's time to check my attitude because I know I let the negativity around me get me down.)

(Side note: my computer is saying that the word "children's" is spelled wrong, but it is, in fact, correct. Children is the plural form of child, the "apostrophe S" denotes possession, so there is nothing grammatically wrong with that word!)

Friday, August 21, 2009

Those purple boxes hanging in trees

A couple years ago while driving in Pennsylvania (around the Erie area, I think we were on our way to Ohio) we started noticing some weird purple plastic three-dimensional triangle-shaped boxes hanging in trees. We had no idea what they were, but we steadily started seeing more and more of them. This spring I noticed that one had been put up on my way to work, and I think there are some along the thruway headed toward Buffalo, but I still didn't know what they were. I figured they were some type of environmental project and asked a few of my sciencey friends if they knew what the boxes were...but they didn't.

So in the conservation building at the fair this year I saw a little leaflet that described what they are! So now I know! And because I want to put this paper in the recycling bin so it's not cluttering up our house, but I don't want to lose the info, I'm posting it on my blog. I'd like to find a picture of one of the boxes but I'll probably just have to stop and take one myself. Here are the facts listed on the card:

Q: What's purple, sticky, and hangs in an ash tree?
A: It's a detection tool that's being used in your state and 46 other states across the country to survey for the emerald ash borer (EAB) beetle. For convenience, we call these detection tools "purple traps."

Q: Who is conducting the EAB survey?
A: The US Dept of Agriculture's Animal & Planet Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and State Depts of Agriculture or Natural Resources are cooperating partners in the survey effort.

Q: How do the purple traps work?
A: During EAB adult flight season, beetles fly around ash trees, nibbling on leaves & looking for a mate. If an EAB lands on the purple trap it will get stuck in the glue.

Q: Is the purple trap safe?
A: The purple traps pose no risk to humans, pets, or wildlife, however the non-toxic glue can be extremely sticky & messy if touched.

So now we know that the purple boxes are traps for the Emerald Ash Borer Beetles. I know they're "only bugs," but it seems a little inhumane to trap the bugs (and other flying creatures, like bats and birds?) in that manner.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Sunset at Lake Erie

We've seen sunsets all over the world, but still some of the prettiest ones I've seen have been right in Dunkirk. I took these today...