Profile: Patrick Ball

Graduate Gemologist

Patrick Ball has devoted his career to Education. For over 27 years Patrick served the non-profit sector in various capacities at the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) including Director of International Operations, Director, GIA New York, Director, GIA Alumni Association, Director of Training, and classroom and online instructor. Currently he serves as a board member for the Flying Leathernecks Foundation at MCAS Miramar. He is internationally recognized as a leader in educational delivery, alumni membership development, and the design and implementation of digital technology for educational content delivery. A Graduate Gemologist with an expertise in diamonds and colored stones, Patrick has traveled the globe as a public speaker, project management consultant, and public relations liaison. Patrick is an accomplished writer. He has written numerous articles and writes a regular blog On the Fly and has produced several series of educational podcasts. He holds a B.S. in e-Business.

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NoteStreams By Patrick Ball

John Herschel Glenn, Jr. - American Hero

This issue of The Log Book celebrates John Glenn’s life as a Marine aviator, role model, and man of courage willing to push the boundaries of flight into space. As a test pilot, he was always pushing the limits of his machine. As a Senator, he always strived to represent his “Midwest” values; Patriotism, Family and a Faith in God. Brave and courageous Americans, this was the nature of the original Mercury 7 astronauts. They flew faster, higher, always on the edge.

Category: Biography

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Twinkies And 7up

I guess you had to grow up in the 1960s to realize that snacks weren’t always healthy fresh fruits, and whole grain products.
Our high school class of 1974 has a Facebook page with 46 members. It’s a closed group that friends only seem to post when someone from our graduating class dies. Last night I received a notification on my phone from that group.

Category: Lifestyle

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That Time of Year

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year.” Catchers are squatting, and pitchers reporting - so be of good cheer. “It’s the most wonderful time of the year.”
Hah, you thought it was Andy Williams singing about Christmas. Nope, for millions of baseball fans spring training rings in The National Pastime. A time of renewed hope and fresh starts. The season (for me) officially kicks off Monday, April 4, 2016, 7:05 pm (PST) with the Los Angeles Dodgers battling the San Diego Padres at Petco Park.

Category: Sports

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Methuselah

“My husband . . . Some people are tree huggers, mine is a tree sniffer.”
“Try it. Right here,” as I touched the smooth bare russet wood of the ancient Bristlecone Pine. “This smells like Jack Daniels Tennessee Honey Whiskey, it’s like no other tree I’ve ever smelled. It’s an aromatic blend of pine, sweet honey, and wood.”

Category: Lifestyle

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Captain Fantastic

“. . . Captain Fantastic raised and regimented hardly a hero / just someone his mother might know.” - Bernie Taupin
1975 was my first year of college, like most teens music was my world. The ideals of our small midwestern town of Cuba, Illinois was being reshaped by a record, at least it was for me.
For those who don't remember, this was the year the album Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy was released; music by Elton John, lyrics by Bernie Taupin.

Category: Music

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Charles M. Schulz Museum

I remember it like it was yesterday . . . a biting cold snowy winters’ eve. The wind howled through the trees, a grey landscape blanketed with a new-fallen snow, reflecting the dim glow of streetlights. Like fluffy white sand the snow drifted across the streets and yards. Trudging through the snow that night burned this scene into my memory for one reason, A Charlie Brown Christmas.

Category: Lifestyle

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Space Technology

An incredible convergence of technology and human ingenuity was achieved as Commander Neil Armstrong and Colonel Buzz Aldrin stepped cautiously down the ladder of the lunar module Eagle and onto the moon’s surface. “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” came Armstrong’s crackled transmission from the surface of the moon.
That sentence would resonate with millions on earth for years to come.

Category: Lifestyle

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2015 Le Tour de France

Ah, Summer! Bicycling magic is renewed for millions when the voices of Phil Liggett, Paul Sherwen, and Bob Roll, grace the television airwaves broadcasting Le Tour de France (Le Tour). When you dare to believe you’re an accomplished bicyclist, just tune into the NBCSN Sports broadcast of Le Tour in July (July 4 - July 26, 2015). Very quickly humility sets in.

Category: Sports

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Diamonds In The Desert

Raise your hand if you’ve heard of or remember the futuristic design of the 1950s dubbed the Googie architecture movement? Stay with me, you may be surprised.
Entering Las Vegas, Nevada, from California on Arrowhead Highway/Highway 91, now called “the Strip,” you can still find remnants of roadside America from its motoring past. One of the not so ubiquitous treasures is the Diamond Inn Motel built in 1940.

Category: Travel

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The Dreamer

“I would rather attempt to do something great and fail, than attempt to do nothing and succeed!” - Robert H. Schuller
Dr. Robert H. Schuller passed from this life on April 2, 2015, but what remains in my spirit is that spark this dreamer lit in me years ago.

Category: Lifestyle

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Programming your Mind

For a moment, picture your mind as a blank slate just waiting to be coded. Is it possible to re-write the firmware that is your minds operating system? Is your firmware open source code or a closed system? What determines the built-in software that is our mind (our firmware)? Or as individuals do we have the free will to program our software from experience?

Category: Lifestyle

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Magic Words

"It is our attitude toward life that determines life's attitude towards us.”
I must have been about nine when that quote first entered my subconscious, growing up in Cuba, Illinois.
I’m proud to say that I’m a life-long learner. A student of the game of life.
All these years I’ve read and listened to many authors and speakers with a twist on the same message.

Category: Lifestyle

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Habit’s For Life

Habit is the link between goals and accomplishments. With patience, persistence, and predilection you can teach yourself whatever you choose to learn through the power of habit. Earl Nightingale said it so simply, “We become what we think about, but the thinking is up to us.” Yes my friends, believe it or not, it’s a choice.

Category: Lifestyle

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Gemology: Species

Recently, I was invited to do a presentation on gemstones for two local North County San Diego clubs: Treasure Seekers of San Diego, and the Temecula Valley Prospectors. Their principal hobby is panning for gold, however some dabble in mining gemstones. We had an enthusiastic audience decidedly interested in learning more about gemstones, a proverbial “gold mine” for educators if you will.

Category: Science

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New Tricks

You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” I’m sure you’ve heard that mind-numbing cliche many times. Well, I’m here to say that education is not a bag of tricks and humans are not dogs.
You see, to remain young and active, life is about learning and teaching new skills. In today’s educational lingo it’s called “skill development”.
So - I’m learning to play the guitar.

Category: Lifestyle

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The Gemstone Spinel

In the world of gemstones, people desire rarity and beauty. There is no better way to achieve both of these goals than with nature’s treasure, a fine spinel. Once distinguished as history’s most under appreciated gemstone, spinel’s eminence is rising meteorically.

Category: Science

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A Jade's Story

Don’t be alarmed, yes, it’s me, I’m the ravishing beauty on your wrist, and my name is Jade. I know just what you’re thinking - how can this possibly be - this bracelet is talking to me? I am what your species calls a mineral; one of over 3,000 known minerals, and a gem among gemstones. Most call me Jade. Grab a seat and let me tell you my story.

Category: Science

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Spring Is In The Air

For millions of fans spring rings in The National Pastime; baseball. A time of renewed hope and fresh starts. The season officially kicked off Sunday, April 5, 2015, with the Chicago Cubs battling the St. Louis Cardinals at historic Wrigley Field on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball. Don't be fooled though, it's the magic of radio that still captures the vivid detail and excitement of a game.
Listen carefully and you will hear the melancholy sounds of baseball on the radio. . . "Two and two to Harvey Kuenn, one strike away. Sandy into his windup, here's the pitch: Swung on and missed, a perfect game!"

Category: Sports

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Baseball on the Radio

That ball is – “Slicker than boiled okra" – that's how Red Barber described a baseball that a fielder was unable to get a grip on. The 2015 baseball season is underway!
"Oh Doctor!"

Category: Sports

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They Were All Stars

At 18th and Vine history comes alive at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City. Johnny - a docent - was seated in the lobby, a felt fedora atop his head, wearing a fine vest, a large turquoise ring on his right hand, and high gloss shoes, Johnny took the time that day to share the following tale he heard Buck O’Neil spin many times.

Category: Sports

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Eunice R. Miles: Gemologist

This segment is about reminding our readers how women continue to make a difference in the jewelry industry. Recently during the Las Vegas show a question came up about Eunice Miles. My first thought, that would be a great segment for Ask A Gemologist.

Category: Biography

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