The Unsinkable brian cork™

Brian Patrick Cork is living the Authentic Life

go on! Joanne Cork

December14

Your being on this particular email distribution indicates you have been tracking our family through Joanne’s fight with breast cancer. Your unwavering love and support has been terrific, and our gratitude has no measure.

Its been five weeks this very day since Joanne had the double mastectomy and reconstruction surgeries. As many of you know or can surmise, we were extremely fortunate having both procedures accomplished on the same table. It was a very long day, but both surgeons were outright triumphant when they found me in the recovery waiting room. Our primary surgeon was evidently VERY aggressive with surrounding tissue, but only took five nodes for testing. With all that, she was confident she accomplished our objective. I then managed to break protocol and snuck into the corridor that led from the surgical theater, so I was able to greet a decidedly dazed Joanne almost straight away. I had not relished holding her hand more since the day she agreed to go on a first date with me, and the moment she accepted my proposal of marriage, and when we brought our children into this world.

Over Thanksgiving, Audra, the Godmother of our daughters (her daughter, our God daughter, is a sophomore at Emory University, here in Atlanta) came out for a week, traveling from New Hampshire, and cooked a magnificent celebratory dinner. Terrific food and family. That week we received word that Joanne’s pathology report is clear. Joanne and Audra visited with both the surgeon and oncologist for follow-up reports where they confirmed the pathology. By God, it was one of the sweetest weeks of my life.

We are looking great and can now officially focus on healing. Joanne is still quite sore with limited range-of-motion. So, we begin therapy soon. She’s a bit self-conscious over her hair. I think she is lovely with a well-shaped head and the whole affect makes her gorgeous big brown eyes pop. But, its not looking good for the Christmas party circuit this year. NOTE: Many of you will be relieved that as Joanne’s hair began to grow back, I finally cut my own. It was shoulder length and shaggy. However, the stand and effort were made with good affect. I’ll also add that forty of my buddies also finally shaved – to the collective and immense relief of their own spouses.

More good news is that our oldest daughter Haley Anne has been accepted to Alabama. Roll Tide! The only thing that might stop her is an offer letter from Ole Miss. In addition to that, I’ve been accepted into Georgia Institute of Technology to pursue a double Master of Science in Human-Computer Interaction and Master of Science in Enterprise Transformation. These will set-the-stage for the pursuit of my PhD in Technology Transformation (and, hopefully teaching in my fourth season of life).

These are important milestones and signals that life is circling back around and reminding us that we must needs continue to be grateful at every turn, and prepared to give back to anyone that we can. A fascinating aspect of this ordeal is the community of cancer. Joanne has been befriended by numerous other women that have muscled through similar fights. Now, in-turn, she often finds herself supporting others. Along the way we have both forged meaningful friendships and relationships with a host of people that we might have never known but for the ordeal. Blessings come wrapped in the oddest form of package.

Merry Christmas. Happy Holiday. And, Happy New Year.

- Brian Patrick Cork

I dare you to Cross ME

December12

Hey Boys (defined as, Arol Wolford, Barry Morrow and Jim Eckstein*).

So… I stumbled upon a gallant group of inspired men that very much remind of you (other) three.

This group meets here in Alpharetta. I thought this was a simple small group for Bible study. However, these fellows are extremely bright, articulate, and full-on Catholics. Indeed, their focus is Regnum Christi. A far cry from the typical Southern Baptist dicks-on-the-table and tissue-box fair that defines many things Atlanta.

I joined them this morning and was instantly galvanized, inspired (kind of intimidated) and very much enthused. I immediately valued and loved the traditions and rituals I witnessed. While complicated, it occurred to me (maybe reminded) that religion is also fun and interesting. Key words: History, Perception, and Discernment.

I’m ever so confident they are taken aback somewhat by my sophomoric evangelistic “Christian-ness”; and, decidedly unschooled, at that. However, they appear determined to live-up collectively to the designs of Regnum Christi, and are pondering the appropriate training wheels for me. They have an App!

So… This is probably a big mistake. And, I may set the Catholic faith, and certainly their tolerance and patience back a century or two. But, I am going to pursue this effort with vigor – and you three are gonna help me!

I am lifting Arol up(!) today, with his dear and departed Ralph Paradise.

I know I see Arol next Friday. And, I hope Jim and Barry thereabouts.

With that, hugs abound.

NOTE: I’m having lunch with Durwood Snead on the 30th. I plan on talking about you all with enough vigor to make your ears burn.

brian patrick cork
– sent from my triumphantly and technologically advanced albeit unapologetically large iPhone 6+ mobile device

* Nope… Not Jewish. However, he would be a really cool Jewish dude.

Don’t get caught in Google’s Inbox

October26

This is the beginning of a cautionary tale.

I am an Apple evangelist that loves Android. I really like my iPhone 6, and keen to test Android 5.0 aka Lollipop. I put Chromebooks into the hands of hundreds of students every year. I’m a Google Shareholder. While I prefer Apple’s OS X and iOS “Mail” email client, I feel that, ironically, Google’s Gmail for iOS App looks better on my iPhone than Apple Mail.

Email was created decades ago as a “dumb pipe” where a carrier exists to simply transfer information to-and-from between users without the ability to add services and applications or serve as a “smart” gatekeeper between what the user sees and doesn’t see. Thats called “mediation”, and its a key word. The idea behind email is that it’s an unmediated communications medium. Sending and receiving information. Simple for users. Not profitable for service providers.

This was the issue for AOL, Earthlink (Mindspring), and a host of others, and certainly, Google, with its (current) Gmail. Carriers want to resist becoming dumb pipes because there’s no money in it. A pipe is a faceless commodity, valued only by reliability and speed. In such a market, margins sink to zero or below zero, and it becomes a horrible business to be in.

inbox-appGoogle’s new Inbox App is a product by a company that holds a monopoly on Internet advertising (recall all the “evil empire” talk – that Google has squashed because it owns you and how you derive information from the internet). Inbox is an alternative interface to your Gmail account, rather than something that requires starting over with a new account. This is another attempt by the company to mediate your dumb email pipe which drives absolutely no value for Google. Google exists to mediate the unmediated. That’s what it does.They’re not in the business of improving the experience of email with a free product such as Gmail. They’re ultimately in the business of finding more subtle and effective ways to deliver ads.

Repeat: “recall all the ‘evil empire talk’ – that Google has squashed because it owns you and how you derive information from the internet”.

I can appreciate the brilliance of the “invitation” strategy introducing Inbox. It feels exclusionary; but it’s not. It is manipulative. They tried the same shenanigans with Google Wave (see below). I received six invites, and declined all of them, for now. Inbox strikes me as very similar to the new email test AOL (Boy… does that take me back. How many people actually still use AOL?) deployed almost two years ago.

That said, pinning-down the name “Inbox”, was insidiously crafty and well done on Google’s part. The name defines the product.

eMail presents us with a love-hate dilemma. We need it, but the process is time-consuming, and rarely fruitful. eMail “battles” are the worst. Almost as bad as the, “Starbucks Death Dance”, when it comes to networking (by the way… I’m boycotting SBUX because they won’t let me use Apple Pay). I noticed about three years ago that I text and chat (in various forms) with the people that I am most productive with.

The bottom line is that it’s a more radical mediation between the communication you have with other people and with the companies that provide goods, services and content to you.

The positive spin on Inbox is that it brings way more power and intelligence to your email in-box.

The negative spin is that it takes something user-controlled, predictable, clear and linear and takes control away from the user, making email unpredictable, unclear and nonlinear.

I’m sticking with Apple Mail and my Apple eco-system friendly array of iPhones, iPads, Powerbook Pro’s and iMacs, for now (but will use [current] Gmail in a back-up pinch). Gmail will eventually disappear like Google Wave, Google Reader – and, probably Google+. Apple Mail does what I want it to do. I don’t want to use an App that only lets me do what the company behind it will allow me to see and do.

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork

Norman Lear Lives

October21

I had never paid much attention to Lear.

I feel that his brilliance was lost on me because most of his work was accomplished in the ’70’s and ’80’s. many people were certainly entertained, but I suspect most may have failed to appreciate what was happening between the lines.

I genuinely enjoyed his interview with Katie Couric (https://screen.yahoo.com/katie-couric-interviews/yahoo-news-interview-legendary-sitcom-044210555.html).

perhaps my favorite aspect of the exchange was his estimation of the people that worked with him, Carroll O’Connor, in particular. Lear is a fellow with some grounding.

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork

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What’s All This About?

"What am I looking at?", you might wonder.

Lots of stuff.

Meanwhile, here, I discuss events, people and things in our world - and, my (hardly simplistic, albeit inarticulate) views around them.

You'll also learn things about, well, things, like people you need to know about, and information about companies you can't find anywhere else.

So, while I harangue the public in my not so gentle way, you will discover that I am fascinated by all things arcane, curious about those whom appear religious, love music, dabble in politics, loathe the media, value education, still think I am an athlete, and might offer a recipe.

All the while, striving mightily, and daily, to remain a prudent and optimistic gentleman - and, authentic.

brian cork by John Campbell





photos by John Campbell

 

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