Dystonia and other movement issues on Oprah tomorrow

So although it is not a secret, many of you have little or no idea that I have a neurological condition.  I “suffer” from both a non-stop tremor in my left hand and that hand also has a dystonia.  You don’t know about this not because I am ashamed or maxed out on drugs but because it doesn’t define me, personally or professionally. 

This started 9 years ago this month.  In April of 2000 my left pinky started twitching, then within just a few weeks it was a full on tremor.  Only my left hand.  I have been poked and prodded by doctors from all across the country.  I am a national research project.  My blood has been cloned for research.  No one can name what I have or say why I have it.  I have a collection of symptoms that don’t fit any mold.  I was actually told for a few years that I had young onset Parkinson’s.  Talk about scary.

Since this adventure started I have been busy.  Raising my family.  Meeting and marrying an incredible man.  Getting my Bachelor’s degree.  Almost done with my Master’s now.  Three books out last year.  One in the works for this year.  All those things, and still managing my condition.  It doesn’t hold me back.

Sometimes it slows me down.  I have learned to control my stress above all other things.  This is by far the biggest influence on my symptoms.  When stress is high (or I let it get out of hand) my hand will simply lock shut.  How’s that for a sign to slow down?  Oh, like I said it’s my left hand and I am left-handed.  Sometimes it’s for an hour.  Been as long as a few days of a locked hand.  Not cool.

All of this to get here, watch Oprah tomorrow.  Hear the stories of those affected by things like this.  I am so blessed that my symptoms are as mild as they are compared to some of the people with similar battles.  I am so blessed to have a supportive family that helps make sure my stress is in check.

Become motivated by these folks, see what they overcome and how they refuse to be brought down by a condition they happen to have.  Maybe you will be inspired to support stem cell research or other means of research to combat these issues.  Maybe you know someone and can point them toward a support system.



Dr. Oz and Michael J. Fox - Oprah.com

XRM Virtual User Group – meeting one a huge success!

We just completed our first meeting and it was a HUGE success.  Yes, we had a few audio issues, totally losing it at the end.  However, Bryan Nielson is a rock star and finished with some impromptu slides to communicate what was going on.  We had 59 attendees, and that is huge for any user group, but for first meeting of a virtual group, you guys just rock!  Thanks so much.


What I learned is that we will need two main tracks for our group.  Maybe each track meets monthly, two weeks apart.  We will sort those details out.  So, we need an XRM 100 series, starting with a solid understand of CRM itself, then how to take your ideas and move into XRM dev.  Then the deep nerd sessions, deep technical sessions to make CRM disappear and XRM take shape.



Link below to the recording from today.

XRM Virtual User Group - recording


All kinds of communities.

Where you live, duh, bound by geography.

Kids’ schools, um, common theme, KIDS and their education.

Work, yup, professional.

What other communities do you belong to and why?


The professional community can be so many things.  I really (really) enjoy watching the success of others.  One of my jobs as an employer is to build and grow my employees, professionally and personally.  To lead by example, work hard when hard work is needed, play hard when it’s time and above all, family comes first.  I extend this into our professional user group community.  The glue that holds these groups, these communities together, is that drive to get better.  To grow your skills.  To be around like minded people that have that positive look, that drive and desire to do better.


This is easy in a traditional user group.  Monthly newsletter.  Monthly meeting.  Pizza.  Soda.  Code. Books.  Pretty cookie cutter. 


Virtual groups are growing in popularity.  There are several reasons why a virtual would make sense over a traditional.  Sometimes geography is really an obstacle.  Do you know how hard it is to get speakers to take 4 flights just to GET to your remote location?  Sometimes it is a special interest group, SIG, that has a decent following, but not enough in any single place to have an on-ground meeting.  These virtual groups are really taking off.  Some people are getting there conference content fix, since as a virtual, the bigger names are easier to get, with no travel involved.  The travel budgets all around have been cut, so this helps a lot.  Heck, sometimes even an hour drive to find a meeting close-ish to you can be too much if your job has been cut.


Where do you belong?  What professional community do you call home?  Why?  Where do you want to go in your career?  Find the community that can guide you there, there are a ton of them!


(sorry, must be philosophical Monday)

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Team Blog : New: XRM Virtual User Group

I was invited to be a guest blogger on the CRM team blog and today my post was published. 


Go have a look, but if you’re a regular here, you already know what its says.  However, this is to nudge you over there on a regular basis for the goodies they post there.

Thanks to the CRM team for offering us some chatter on the new group.


Microsoft Dynamics CRM Team Blog : New: XRM Virtual User Group

HIV and AIDS cases rise 22 percent in D.C.

(totally getting on my soap box here)

Wow, how scary!

We KNOW how this is transmitted.

We KNOW how to prevent it.

We KNOW how awful this virus is.


Yet, we're still passing it around?

Come on people, can't we slow down and think about how to leave this earth a little better than how we found it?  And leaving a world infected with AIDS is not leaving it better.  Talk to your kids, your friends, your partners (if you're close enough to be doing the nasty, then you sure as hell are close enough to have THE TALK).


This is preventable.  Let's prevent it.

(rant over, link to story below)

HIV and AIDS cases rise 22 percent in D.C. - AIDS- msnbc.com

Convergence- What.a.week.

Take away the last minute decision to go in the first place and the whole she-bang was awesome (even the sore feet from standing/walking all day long was ok).


XRM was EVERYWHERE.  Like all over the place.  Sessions.  Solutions.  Talking and sharing ideas.  I love the camaraderie we are getting, challenging each other to do better.  Sometimes a friendly rivalry too, but  still all in the name of better and better innovation.  Since we've been XRM-ing for a few years now, this was really super cool to see.


We talked to hundreds (maybe thousands) of people about XRM and the new XRM Virtual User Group and how we could all help each other.


Come join us at the site, sign up, join the forums.  We are pushing to get our inaugural meeting to be full of great content and engaging.


See you there.

NEW XRM Virtual User Group

We all know I have a thing with helping our professional community.  We also all know I am easily bored and easily distracted by shiny things.  Add those together and some pretty cool things can happen.

XRM Virtual User Group is un-officially open for business.

A while back, several months ago, I had been receiving emails from our book readers (thecrmbook) with questions about how to use XRM.  I loved the fact that the book gave them loads of info, but they all seemed to be wanting more.  Not that the book was missing anything, but more that the book inspired more of them.

A couple of weeks ago, I was introduced to Shan McArthur again.  He is my new hero.  He was preparing his sessions for Convergence this week and had this cool tool.  The tool looked good and knowing I was brewing this group in my head for a while, I mentioned it to him, more as an opportunity for him to join than anything else.  He came back with a sweet offer.  Let me build this site for you, using our cool XRM solution AND demo it at Convergence in front of your target audience.  How could I say no??  I would have been crazy.  His team has plugged away and made us a great site, using the very technology we are preaching about.


Thanks go out to Ben Riga for pushing this through and getting us our CRM Online credentials so quickly.  And thanks to my husband David Yack for his book that got this inspiration off the ground and his work helping us get off the ground (and putting up with manic wife for a couple weeks).


(We will be an official INETA group very soon)

Press Release here

Free event in Denver- Mapping/Geospatial Solutions

Got an email from my friend Steve Milroy telling me about an event he is involved in coming up in Denver on the afternoon of April 21 at the Denver Microsoft office.

Steve is a really smart guy (really smart) and is big into geospatial technology (fancy word for maps, see, smart guy, big words).  He is presenting an afternoon full of cool stuff, there's the registration link below.


Quick sample of the agenda....

Overview of Location Enabled & Geospatial Solutions

· Power of Location

· Geospatial Trends and Standards (OGC etc)

· Microsoft Geospatial Platform (Products and Capabilities)

· Scenarios & Demonstrations

· Commercial

· Government

Visualization Capabilities

· Overview of Geospatial Visualization

· Virtual Earth

· Overview

· Imagery Features

· VE 3D

· Virtual Earth Server

· Virtual Earth APIs

· Related Microsoft Tools

· Demonstrations

Mapping/Geospatial Solutions with the Microsoft Platform