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SKIING: A MILLER FAMILY TRADITION ON TOP OF THE WORLD
Skiing has been a sort of family tradition for generations. My parents started out taking us up to Camelback Mountain in Pennsylvania when I was seven years old. Later, we had a family friend who worked as a travel agent and they would book buses to take 30–50 families up the mountain together. I loved going skiing. When I was older, my father would take us out to Aspen Snowmass in the Colorado Rockies. This was just before Aspen became a worldwide ski destination, but it was certainly on the up and up. It’s true what they say, skiing in Aspen is like nowhere else in the world. It was on a pair of skis that I realized the importance of having a teacher you connect with. I had always been an average skier, but I wouldn’t say I was good until after I passed the bar and a buddy and I went up to ski Copper Mountain in Colorado. I decided to take a ski lesson on the mountain — because you can always learn more — and something that instructor said really hit me. He said, “Start your turn well before the next turn.” For experienced skiers, this is skiing 101, and if you don’t ski, this probably sounds like nonsense, but this one sentence changed everything. From that point on, I became a much better skier. I’ll admit that I’m nowhere near as good as my brother who will take on the gnarliest trails without thinking twice,
but I do love skiing. I still ski today when I can. I’ve skied all over the country, from Jackson Hole Mountain Resort in Wyoming to Bear Mountain in California. When I started a family of my own, I looked forward to sharing my love of skiing with my girls. They had different opinions on the matter.
to the mountain as a whole family for a while. Emmi just turned 9 this year, so hopefully, we’ll be able to give skiing another try. Today, our go-to ski destination is Wintergreen, Virginia. It’s a far cry from Aspen or Jackson Hole —
once you ski out west, you get spoiled — but it’s fun. If you’ve ever wanted to check it out, I recommend not going on a weekend or a holiday. It gets packed! Between the lines and the crowds, you’re exhausted by the time you actually get on the top of the mountain. But if you can get out there on a day when it’s not so busy, you can really appreciate all there is to love about skiing. The mountain air is fresh, the skies are bright, and the natural scenery is gorgeous. There’s something calming and centering when you take it all in. And after a few runs down the mountain, when we get your ski legs back and you’re in the zone, everything clicks. Your body knows what it’s supposed to do and, you feel great. And, for me, getting to ski with my family today makes it all that much better.
When we first started skiing with Dalya, my oldest, she took to it right away. We put Dalya on skis and I held my ski pole horizontally so she could grab on and stay upright. Dalya trusted me completely and I skied down the hill with her balanced between my legs. She took beginner lessons shortly after, learned the pizza/french fry techniques, and has been skiing ever since. Dalya loved skiing from the start. Her little sister is a different story. It’s funny how different kids can be. Emmi’s a lot more stubborn than Dalya. If something’s not her idea, she’s not going to do it. The first time we tried to take Emmi skiing, she was five and she did not like being told what to do. She didn’t want to hold the pole or go down the hill with me. I wouldn’t say the experience was a disaster, but we haven’t been back up
If you belong to a union or other labor-related group and want to schedule my presentation at your group’s speaking arrangement, you can do so by calling 888-694-7994 . The presentation is free of charge, offers important information for taking appropriate action in Virginia workers’ compensation cases, and everyone in attendance gets a free copy of my book, “10 Traps and Lies That Can Ruin Your Virginia Workers’ Compensation Case.” Education is the best way to protect yourself from making a mistake. So call now, before it’s too late. –Joseph Miller
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DO THEY WORK OR ARE THEY ALL HYPE?
The winter months can be dreary for folks who live in northern regions. The days are shorter and the sky is often obscured by clouds. This bleak weather can lead to seasonal affective disorder, or SAD. Depression, moodiness, and lower energy typically affect people with SAD more during the fall and winter months. The disorder has several different causes, but a primary one is a lack of sunlight, which can have an impact on your body’s internal clock. The winter climate can also reduce your serotonin levels, which influence your mood. Low serotonin can bring about feelings of depression. To address this problem, manufacturers developed light therapy devices. Therapy lights, or “happy lights,” are bright lamps that can sit on your desk or end table. They simulate natural sunlight and are marketed as mood boosters that treat symptoms of SAD. But do these therapy lights actually work or are they just placebos?
For instance, some lights are marketed as having “5,000 lux” or “10,000 lux.” There is a big difference between the two. Normal daylight (not direct sunlight), has the equivalent of 10,000–25,000 lux. Direct sunlight can have anywhere from 30,000–100,000 lux. Average office lighting puts out less than 500 lux. In order to be effective, you need a lamp with at least 10,000 lux. After about 30–45 minutes of use, you should notice a boost in mood and energy. While therapy lights are safe and come with few side effects, they are not suited for extended use. Many lights come with a warning not to use them for more than an hour at a time. Using them for longer than an hour can cause eye strain, headaches, and irritability.
Therapy lights are not a cure-all. They can help, but they’re a short-term solution. If you feel the effects of SAD or experience depression, consult with a health professional to determine what solution is right for you.
The answer is both. There are a lot of therapy lights on the market, but they’re not all equally effective. The difference is their output. While most lights attempt to simulate sunlight, some devices have weaker output, which means your body and brain won’t respond the same way they do when in natural sunlight.
Ordering Coffee Just Got Easier How Starbucks Helps the Deaf Community
If you’ve ever visited a Starbucks coffee shop, you’ve likely heard a patron rattle off a drink order that was more specific than your grandma’s pecan pie recipe. For example, they might say, “I’ll take a Grande, four-pump, nonfat, no-whip, extra-hot mocha.” Without missing a beat, the barista scribbles the order on the cup and starts making the drink. Orders like this one are a mouthful for even the most seasoned Starbucks guru, but for deaf people, it can be difficult to even order a cup of black coffee. Adam Novsam, a deaf utility analyst at Starbucks headquarters in Seattle, set out to address that difficulty by heading the launch of the company’s first deaf-friendly signing store. Operation The store’s grand opening took place in October in Washington, D.C. Its overall success relies primarily on its purposeful operation and design elements. In 2005, the ASL Deaf Studies Department at Gallaudet University created the DeafSpace Project using design elements, such as space and proximity, sensory reach, mobility, light, and acoustics, to address potential challenges for deaf people. Starbucks’ signing store incorporates these aspects of DeafSpace to make their store more accessible. For customers new to sign language, the store features some high-tech options for assisting with communication, ordering drinks, and receiving beverages at the handoff counter, including digital notepads
and a console with two-way keyboards for back-and-forth conversations.
Aprons All store partners at the signing store are proficient in ASL, whether they are hearing, hearing-impaired, or deaf. However, deaf partners wear special green aprons embroidered with the ASL spelling of Starbucks. What’s more, these aprons were created by a deaf supplier! Education For hearing customers who aren’t fluent in ASL — even those just ducking in to grab a cup of coffee to go — the signing store offers an opportunity to learn something new. For example, they can learn how to sign a word like “espresso” in ASL merely by reading the chalkboard above the register with the “sign of the week.” Starbucks’ decision to make their product more accessible has benefited thousands of customers all along the East Coast. Hopefully, as time goes on, other corporations will choose to follow suit so we can make a more deaf- friendly society.
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Gaming With Your Kids Why You Should Pick up That Controller
Video games are present in an increasing number of American households. The Entertainment Software Association found that in 2018, 70 percent of parents reported that games were a positive activity in their children’s lives, and 67 percent even play alongside their child at least once a week. Some of you may already be regularly gaming with your kids, but for the rest of you, here are some things to keep in mind. Why Gaming Together Matters Studies from the University of Pennsylvania, Harvard, and UC Berkeley have shown that video games can have many positive effects on a child, from encouraging critical thinking and social skills to imparting the value of perseverance. Beyond these life skills, video games can also be a way for you to better connect with your child. As game designer and New York Times bestselling author Jane McGonigal, Ph.D., writes, “Games
your child plays on, there’s a nearly inexhaustible list of games to choose from, and some are more child-friendly than others. At the very least, research the Entertainment Software Rating Board’s (ESRB) rating of a game to make sure its content is age- appropriate. When choosing a game, it’s a good idea to keep your child’s interests in mind. Do they enjoy creating things? Games like “Minecraft,” “Super Mario Maker,” and “Scribblenauts Remix” can act as a great sandbox for you and your child’s imaginations to run wild. Does your child love to solve puzzles? “Snail Bob 2,” “Snipperclips,” and “Portal 2” will have you and your child thinking outside the box for hours. Want to engage in a little friendly competition? “Mario Kart,” “FIFA,” and “Bam Fu” are all excellent choices.
Going Beyond Screen Time
make it easy to build stronger social bonds with our friends and family. Studies show that we like and trust someone better after we play a game with them — even if they beat us.”
Whether you pick up a controller yourself or just watch your children play games, the most supportive thing you can do as a parent is reinforce the skills they are learning.
Find the Right Game Finding the right game to play with your child can be a challenge. Regardless of what platform
Understanding that the same creativity and determination that gets them to the end of a level can be applied in the real world is be a powerful thing for a child’s development.
Joe’s Monthly ‘SOUL SNACKS’
Just as exercise strengthens the body, tough times strengthen the soul. –R.L. Brody When you don’t crave the approval of others, you are truly free. –R.L. Brody
• 6 egg yolks • 3 tablespoons sugar
• 2 teaspoons dark rum • 24 packaged ladyfingers • 1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate shavings, for garnish
• 1 pound mascarpone cheese • 1 1/2 cups strong espresso, cooled
1. In a large mixing bowl, use a whisk to beat together egg yolks and sugar until thick and pale, about 5 minutes. 2. Add mascarpone cheese and beat until smooth. 3. Fold in 1 tablespoon of espresso. 4. In a small, shallow dish, combine remaining espresso with rum. Dip each ladyfinger into mixture
5. Spread half of the mascarpone mixture on top of the first layer of ladyfingers. Top with another layer of ladyfingers and another layer of mascarpone. 6. Cover and refrigerate 2–8 hours. 7. Remove from fridge, sprinkle with chocolate shavings, and serve.
for 5 seconds. Place soaked ladyfingers at the bottom of a walled baking dish.
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Inside This Issue
Coming Down the Mountain page 1 Do Therapy Lights Really Work? page 2 Ordering Coffee Just Got Easier page 2 Why Parents Should Play Video Games page 3 Soul Snacks page 3 Book Review: ‘Do the Work’ page 4
‘DO THE WORK’ Overcome Resistance and Get Out of Your Own Way
Few modern authors have a resume as colorful or textured as Steven Pressfield. A graduate of Duke University, the best-selling
“Do the Work” is a follow up to it, prescribing Pressfield’s antidote to resistance — you guessed it: doing the work.
author served in the Marine Corps, drove tractor trailers, taught school children, and worked as an oil field roustabout — all before penning his first published work. Having struggled as a writer for 17 years before seeing his first paycheck, it’s no surprise that Pressfield has plenty of wisdom to share when it comes to making long- term dreams a reality. Pressfield first addressed the challenges aspiring artists, entrepreneurs, and athletes face in “The War of Art.” This guidebook lays out Pressfield’s core philosophy that a creator is their own greatest enemy. It’s in this work that he first coined his idea of “resistance,” Pressfield’s word for the self-defeatist attitude that causes so many great ideas to be left on the drawing board.
Compared to its predecessor, “Do the Work” is a quick read. Though it’s less than 100 pages, what this guide lacks in length it makes up for in specificity and approachability. The book is laser-focused on helping anyone who is undertaking creative endeavors to identify their own resistances and overcome them. Combined with Pressfield’s no-nonsense delivery, every page is filled with the distilled, biting wisdom of a man wholly dedicated to his craft. Pressfield manages to strike a tone that is stern, humorous, cynical, and at times even whimsical without missing a beat. You can feel the author smirking at you through the page when he tells you, “Stay stupid. Follow your unconventional, crazy heart.” He dares you to pick your pen back up and return to your drawing board. “Do the Work” crackles with the tempered passion and biting wit of a learned master. If you’re looking to reignite your creative spark, “Do the Work” needs to be a permanent fixture on your nightstand.
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