Sharon Plump is a Groundskeeper with the Facilities Department at Cerritos College.  When she is mowing, edging, and trimming, Plump is smiling – even when no one is looking.  This woman’s mantra is, “I love my job!”

Johnny Paycheck’s Country music hit “Take This Job and Shove It!” chronicles an employee who hates his job, has had enough of the boss, and tells him so in no uncertain terms.  This song became the battle cry of the American blue collar, white collar, no collar worker in the 1980s.  Plump’s  uniquely positive, upbeat attitude toward her work makes her the antithesis of Paycheck’s antagonistic employee.

Passion for gardening and the outdoor life began when Plump was eight.  She learned her gardening and landscape skills from her grandmother.  When she graduated high school, Plump took a job as a bank teller.  It took one day for her to realize she was in the wrong business.  Even though she is a people person who is eager to serve, she found it very difficult to deal with difficult people and their money.

Plump left the world of high finance and took a job with a landscape company.   She likes to challenge her body so being a groundskeeper allowed her to be outside, gardening, and interacting with people.  “Gardening is a free stress reliever,” says Plump.

Plump was serious about her new career, taking classes and obtaining certificates in landscape maintenance.  Even when she was employed at other southern California colleges, she always had her eye on Cerritos.  She knew about the college because her mother was a Cerritos College graduate.  When an opportunity to work with the Cerritos Facilities Department was posted, Plump did not hesitate to apply.

Sharon Plump was the first woman groundskeeper hired by the Cerritos College Facilities Department.  Facilities Manager Tom Richey is very proud to have been the one to hire her.  “Sharon is one of my best hires,” says Richey.  The boss is also proud to let you know that Plump was awarded Employee of the Month after only six weeks – faster than anyone else in the department.

Richey recognized a special spirit in Plump.  He assigned her to the college Quad so that she could interact with students who hang around the Student Center, especially the athletes.  Plump may be maintaining grass and flowers, but garden fairy is also scattering the spiritual pixie dust of her positive attitude and timeless wisdom.



Plump and fellow teammate Donnie Hawkins believe it is important for employees to make the effort to reach out and show students and teachers respect by developing relationships.  Students often thank them for their hard work, letting them know how much they appreciate what it takes to make the campus clean and attractive.  “One little girl brought me a box of my favorite chocolates,” Plump revealed, “just because she thought so much of what I did for her campus.”

The Facilities Department company jackets are emblazoned with the words Facilities Team.  Richey says it takes a lot of work to communicate the vision of the department to employees these days, “Everyone has a different idea of what the work is.”  Older people have a different view of the job than younger people.  Communication is the key to getting the job done.  Not only does Richey have to communicate his vision to his team, but he also has to get the college instructors and Trustees to realize the vital role of his department.



Plump and Richey share a core vision – that their facilities department is the foundation of the education process at Cerritos.  Without the work of custodial, plumbers, groundskeepers, painters, and tradesmen, the campus would not be well-maintained, would not be a comfortable work and study environment, and no one would want to be there.  Plump points out the people judge the inside of a college campus or restaurant by the way it looks on the outside.  She believes that people make snap judgments based on appearance.  “Sometimes, they don’t even make it inside because of the way it looks on the outside.”

Sharon Plump and the Facilities Department Team work very hard to make sure everyone who steps on the Cerritos College campus will like what they see, want to come inside…and decide to stay.



Portfolio Potpourri

Thank you for viewing my online digital portfolio.  I hope you enjoy your visit.  Please check back from time-to-time for my content updates.

The projects viewed here will offer a variety of my interests and showcase my abilities in writing, recording, photographing, videotaping, and editing multimedia productions.  I am proficient in a variety of multimedia production software, and can post content across multiple social media platforms.  My main interest is in creating original content in a variety of genres.  I especially enjoy interviewing people and finding their unique story, then bringing it to light as a part of our global living history.  Frankly, my dear, I love weaving a great story anytime, anywhere.


Build A Better Burger was an open assignment with no specific subject matter required.  The concept is original and utilizes content photos from various free photo sites on the web.


Gary Numan CD review composition, song posted through Soundcloud.


My photographic section features architecture and organics found on the Cerritos College campus in Norwalk, California, as well as the Professional Dancers’ Society Gypsy Robe.


Morgan Brittany – I interviewed Brittany before her performance of The Lincoln Portrait with the La Mirada Symphony in La Mirada, California.  Content for both podcasts was recorded by me, then edited in Garageband, as required by assignment.

Opinion – content was written and/or recorded by me, then edited in Garageband, as  required by assignment.


All photos were shot by me on either a Sony NX30 video camera using Photo Mode or on my Samsung Galaxy S3 phone.


NO JUST CAUSE: Childhood Abandonment and Murder



In a world gone insane trying to justify sin, Jason Bohn’s attorneys use his childhood as defense for the brutal murder of girlfriend Danielle Thomas in their New York apartment.  Her body was on ice in the bathtub four days before police found it.  Thanks to CBS and the Freedom of Information Act, we can hear the eight minute cell phone recording of Bohn strangling Thomas to death.

Poor little Jason Bohn was abandoned by a career-obsessed mum who went off to have a highly successful life in publishing, without child in tow.  Bohn’s abusive dad turned him on to cocaine.  His grandmother cared for him until she was placed in a nursing home.  Bohn went into foster care where he was documented as a very angry, violent young man.  The good news: Bohn grew up to be an attorney.  Instead of ‘Young Man Triumphs Over Childhood Adversity,’ the plot twisted.

A psychiatrist/consultant for ‘Law and Order: Special Victims Unit,’ testified Bohn suffers from ‘Intermittent Explosive Disorder.’  Bohn apparently did not know what he was doing as he stomped, bludgeoned and strangled Thomas.  Add Bohn’s well placed notes, and call to an ex-girlfriend stating he was completely drunk and blacked out, and a gullible jury could float this boat.

Frankly, my dear… no matter what psycho-babble defense you spin, Bohn intentionally chose to kill.  He warned Thomas that he would kill her and her little dog, too.  At what point does someone not realize they have another person’s body in their hands and they are harming that person?  At what point do the words, ‘You’re killing me!’ lose their meaning?

I weary of people abdicating responsibility for their actions because they had a hard life, their parents didn’t love them, they were bullied, and my personal favorite, they were too rich to know the difference between right and wrong.  What dollar amount is attached to that level of irresponsibility?

Man always knows what he is doing, no matter how heinous the crime.  Man always seeks to avoid the consequences of his actions.  A young child commits a transgression of innocence.  Parents and society train the child in the way he should go.  That older child knows how life works, is without excuse, and the penalty phase kicks in.  It has been that way since Cain killed Able.

When society buys into perversions of justice and common sense, we are lost.  When anything can be used to justify anything, we are lost.  Reading this story, I fear we are lost.

MORGAN BRITTANY: Marriage and The Two Actor Household

Actress and political commentator Morgan Brittany and stuntman Jack Gill first met in 1980 when they were both working on the successful TV series The Dukes of Hazard. Morgan had been warned that stuntmen were nothing but trouble. When Jack tried to chat her up, he recalls, “She was a bit frosty.”

Once Morgan and Jack started talking they never stopped. These two straight-arrow actors had a proper “no living together” engagement, followed by a big family wedding. That was over 30 years ago. They never stopped working, and they never stopped being married – to one another. Morgan and Jack even raised two children who are “in the biz.”

In a world of Hollywood shack ‘n’ rack relationships and cheater scandals, these two have as normal a life together as you could imagine. I just had to ask, “How do you do that?”

Morgan attributes the success of their marriage to having only actually been together five out of the 32 years of their marriage.  They have very busy schedules that often keep them miles or continents apart. One of the drawbacks of a two actor household is that you can never really make plans. Things change and plans require instant rearranging by a very understanding partner. Fortunately, Morgan and Jack understand one another, and the love each has for their craft.

Morgan considers herself fortunate to be married to a guy who is not only well respected in his craft, but is well respected in his personal life. It is a very good life.

And that’s a wrap!

ACTIVE MINDS – Survive Suicide, Take Back Your Life

Suicide – the number one killer among Baby Boomers and young men age 17-25.  As a Boomer, I grew up being told that we had everything to live for – economic prosperity, advanced technology, medicine that treated illness and prolonged life.  As the parent of a Millennial, I believe my child has even more reason to live.   If everything is so great, why are people choosing to end their lives?

Among Boomer men, the reasons for suicide range from economic devastation to catastrophic illness to loss of a beloved spouse.  Among younger men and women, suicide is prompted by depression, self-esteem issues, and loneliness.  Men and women are both susceptible to suicide, with men four times as likely to attempt suicide and succeed.  The method of choice for men is hanging or firearm.  Women tend to consume pills or use less traumatic methods of demise.  Women attempting suicide are generally crying out for help rather than being intent on taking their lives.

Family and friends left behind are devastated by the loss of their loved one.  Once the initial shock of the loss passes, they are consumed with guilt.  Many spend the rest of their lives trying to make sense of what they believe to be a senseless and selfish act.  They live with guilt for not having “been there” for the victim.  They forever wonder if there was something they could have done or said that would have prevented the suicide.

Active Minds is a national organization with chapters on college campuses.  The organization is run by students for students.   Johnny Estrada, president of Active Minds – Cerritos College, says that many students like him have attempted suicide and failed.  They have come to terms with their past mental state and sought help.  They have decided that speaking about the unspoken, the stigma of suicide, is the best way to dispel the shame associated with mental illness.  These are the survivors.  They want to help others take back their lives!

Dog Tired And Running With The Pack

NEWS FLASH: To friends and family everywhere.

You may have noticed that I have not been able to make any of the highly amusing and personally insightful posts that I had promised when I started this blog.  Heck, I haven’t been able to post even a line or two just to keep you updated.  I’ve been really busy getting an education, honest.  As I near the end of my first semester at Cerritos College, I am exhausted, but committed to staying the course to acquire my degree.  I also take great comfort in knowing that the 17-21 year olds next to me who are sharing the experience are just as tired as I am.

Entering the academic world again has been much like childbirth – a woman suffers like crazy during the process, but is ready to do it over again because the joy outweighs the pain.  Frankly, I have a vague memory of what it was like in high school to have back-to-back, coincidental assignments due.  Nevertheless, I notice that even after all these years, teachers/professors have still not gotten together ahead of time and chosen different due dates for their projects.  It’s probably prohibited by their contract.  Either that or they had chips, salsa, and hearty margaritas one night, threw a burrito at a calender, and selected their project due dates with the help of the cosmos.

My sleep schedule this semester is quite deja vu – a four hour maximum, just like my rock ‘n’ roll days.  However, the emotional thrill is not quite the same.  Getting up at an ungodly hour of the night, flipping on the lights and computer to work on Photoshop assignments or dredge the nooks and crannies of the web for a research paper does not carry that unique adrenalin rush of flipping on the lights in a recording studio and prepping for the day’s session.  Thankfully, my office does not smell like those recording studios, permeated with the aroma of cigarettes, Heineken, and ganga.  Instead, I deeply inhale the warm fragrance of fresh espresso and cinnamon.  Then as I knock back another Five-hour Energy drink, I muse that if only these had been around when I was in rock ‘n’ roll, we would have never gone home!

Surveying the sea of student faces on campus, I see the same sparkle in their eyes as I do in mine – the sparkle of desire to achieve the goal set before us of getting the necessary credits to move on to university.  Although… I could be mistaken.  That gleam could be the glaze of total exhaustion that heralds a 24-hour sleep cycle as soon as we walk out of our last class on the last day of school.  Till that moment, we’re all dog tired and running with the pack!

I will refrain from posting a selfie on my blog with a glowing, yet fatigued, grin…just so you will know it’s me.

SUICIDE – You Cannot Come Back

Ask anyone, either they have been personally affected by suicide or know someone who has been affected by suicide. Since 2010, suicide has been the number one cause of death among middle-aged Americans. Over half of the suicides are completed with a firearm. It is estimated for every suicide completed, there are almost  25 attempts – an average of one person dies by suicide every 16.2 minutes. There are also three female suicide attempts for each male attempt. It is suspected that the emotional state of women often leads them to attempt suicide as a cry for attention rather than a true desire to end their life.

Suicide has typically been viewed as a problem of teenagers and the elderly.  However, the surge in suicide rates among Baby Boomers is surprising.  From 1999 to 2010, the suicide rate among Americans age 35 to 64 rose by nearly 30 percent, to 17.6 deaths per 100,000 people.  That was up from 13.7 percent. Although suicide rates are growing among both middle-aged men and women, men are far more likely take their lives. The suicide rate for middle-aged men was 27.3 deaths per 100,000, while for women it was 8.1 deaths per 100,000. (The New York Times)

Family members of suicide victims are left behind feeling hurt, confused, angry, betrayed, and guilty. Most blame themselves for not being able to stop the suicide from taking place. “I just wish I could’ve talk to him one last time,” said Rosanna G. in response to her brother’s suicide by hanging. The families of suicide victims feel they were robbed of their loved one.  Many blame the loved one for being selfish for taking their life and not thinking about how that single, final act will ultimately affect those left behind. “It’s been four years and I still haven’t recovered,” Osiris B. admitted about losing her best friend to suicide.

The signs are usually there, if we really look for them. If any of the behaviors listed below occur, reach out and do all you can to help prevent the person affected from taking their life. Not every who is depressed will take their life, but they do need a helping hand to overcome the stresses of their are under.

Listed below are a few signs to look for according to suicide.org.
• Appearing depressed or sad most of the time.
• Talking or writing about death or suicide.
• Withdrawing from family and friends.
• Feeling hopeless.
• Feeling helpless.
• Feeling strong anger or rage.
• Feeling trapped — like there is no way out of a situation.
• Experiencing dramatic mood changes.
• Abusing drugs or alcohol.
• Exhibiting a change in personality.
• Acting impulsively.
• Losing interest in most activities.
• Experiencing a change in sleeping habits.
• Experiencing a change in eating habits.
• Losing interest in most activities.
• Performing poorly at work or in school.
• Giving away prized possessions.
• Writing a will.
• Feeling excessive guilt or shame.