Category Archives: Ideas: Good and Bad?

Random ideas that pop in my head. Some are good, some are bad — you decide.

How are people really different? – Actually we’re not!

Today I spent a couple of moments outside of a grocery store, and a casino. Two different places, same people shuffling out of the exit. I sat there wondering, how am I different from any of these people? I learned, I’m not really.. and neither are you.

To put it into perspective. 99% of everyone you know, buys groceries at a grocery store.  Once a week, or once every two weeks, we’re in a grocery store, buying food.  I do that, you do that, or someone you knows does that..  Immediately we have a connection of some sort based on the way we shop for food.

If you sit long enough in a grocery store parking lot, watching the exit, it starts to look like some sort of ant farm, where people are running about their day to day lives, almost like ants do.. We’re all part of the same scope of life.  Now, it may seem annoying that I’m pointing something out that no one asked me to point out. But my question to you is “why is it so annoying?”

Could it be true?

Do we run our lives in the same rhythm as ants? Are we really that predictable that every week, or every second week, we’ll show up in a grocery store and not think much about it?

It is bothersome, even to me, when someone points out the obvious, without be asked to do so.

Too late. I’m doing it. The reason why, is quite simple.

I don’t want to be an ant. I don’t want to predictable with my grocery shopping behaviour that way either.

But it will continue to happen, and just like you, I can justify 100 reasons why it is fine to be seen in a grocery store each week, or every 2nd week. That doesn’t change the concept.

So why is this important?

You have unwittingly have been reproducing repeated behaviour each month of your life without realising it. Don’t believe it? Start writing down each trip to the grocery store you make each month. Record the date, time, how long you were in the store, and how much you spent.  Keep a log book. Review it after 5 years. Of course, no one will do this, that would be insane behaviour. But if you did, what would you find?

Exactly my point.

We are creatures of habit, always have been, and always will be..

So when we act indifferently towards one another in public, we’re actually being idiosyncratic which is a stupid way of isolating yourself away from the world around you.

People can come up with tons of reasons why that is good. Safety, individuality, efficiency, reason, etc.

..at the end of the day..

It’s stupid.

To prove this fact, if you are a person that has ever gone camping in the wilderness.. Have you ever had friendly conversation with someone in the next campsite? Two different people, in the middle of the forest, camping, that find a common ground, to be friendly.. most people have done this..

What’s different?

Why do we have to be camping in the middle of the forest to meet our neighbour, when we can’t possibly look them in the eye when we grocery shop?

Pride, stupidity, and ant-farm behaviour gets in the way.

What a laugh. We have a better chance of meeting a new friend in an forested campsite, than we can, in a grocery store that we both visit each week or two.

If you can’t see this by now, maybe you never can. For me, I see a real problem with it.

..thats why I am blogging about it..

Life is funny that way. We all can be in the same line up at the grocery store in the cashier line, but no one dare say a friendly word to a stranger!

Social stupidity regulates the way we interact with one another, and it has been this way for decades. At what point do we learn and change things?

Just to be silly, I think I might try something on my next grocery store visit.

I am going to do something renegade, totally off the wall. Something surprising, and shocking!

I’m not going to wear a mask. I’m not going to dress strangely, nor am I going to draw attention to myself by dancing in a weird way.

I’m simply going to turn to the person behind me in the cashier line, introduce myself, and say “how are you doing today”.

When I do that, I’m sure the person is going to cycle through about 300 reasons why they should label me as a freak. I’ll know at that point, that’s more their issue – not mine. I simply broke the forever repeating cycle and chain of life by recognizing people around me without asking for social approval first.

Wouldn’t that be interesting and fun at the same time?

So, what is it I’m trying to advocate?

Be friendly to a stranger. OMG. How dare you do that?

LOL

 

 

Just so you know, I’m like you, but if I was your neighbor, you wouldn’t know it!

Every one likes to think they are different.

Questions:

A) Do you sleep in a BED? So do I..

B) Do you try to have breakfast every morning? So do I

C) Does it bother you when terrible things happen in the world? It bothers me too

D) Do you hope for a new, brighter, future tomorrow? (So do I)

How are we different? We’re not. We’re very similar. We want to enjoy life. Or are you the type of person that doesn’t want to enjoy life? (never met someone like that before).

We may look different, and be on different paths, but we both want the same things in life. Happiness, enjoyment, good feelings about our day, and more.

Problem is that you are reading this website and I’ve never had the opportunity to shake hands with you or smile at you. That is strange to me. Anyone worthwhile is surely deserving of a smile or a hand shake.

The problem is (in 2013) that community relationships are no longer important.  I could be your neighbor next door, and I bet you wouldn’t know how old I am, or what my middle name is.. Think about that for a moment.

Here you have, someone living right next you, and you’re not sure of their age, their middle name, or even any part of their history. How is any of that right? I could understand if you just moved in a month ago, but what if you’ve been living there for years?

Today’s problem is that people put walls up, and they don’t talk to one another. They do that for the sake of privacy. If a tornado or earthquake hit your home, how much would you be concerned about privacy at that point?

What if the things you cared about, and are worried about, are the exact type of things your neighbor cares about? Could it make a good conversation? Could you support each other, or is it something that will never be known?

That’s the funny thing about people.  We are so obsessed with our own lives, we don’t look around. What IF there was something you could do to help your neighbor? What IF there was something your neighbor could do that could help you?

Back in the western days, you would have had no choice but to know your neighbor. When things got rough, every one helped each other out.  They did that, because they wanted to, but most of all, because you never know when you might need a helping hand back.

AWKWARD

OMG,  How awkward is that? Asking for help from the guy on the other side of the fence? I’d rather do it myself than ask for his help. Guess what he/she is doing? The same thing! AWKWARD.

Want to know what an awkward situation really is? Two people capable of helping one another, but because of societal disconnects, neither one helps the other.

Is that logical?

Back in the old days, when someone new moved into the neighborhood, they were brought pies, the neighbors introduced themselves, and there was a community spirit.

Today, everyone segregates themselves like we’re enemies at war. Why do we do that?

…the answer will come “because it’s safer, and easier that way”

Really?

If there was an earthquake or tornado ripping through your neighborhood and your house was in shambles, and one of your loved ones was trapped would it still be “safer and easier that way?”

We all don’t need to wait for a catastrophe to learn who our neighbors are.. At the same time, it doesn’t mean you have to bake pies or lasagna and continually shower them with home coming gifts. But a simple conversation, “Hello, how are you? Goes a long way!”

There are people on your street, very similar to you, and you don’t even know them. You could have a campfire at a campground and have better conversation with the passersby than the people on your own street that live there all year long. How does any of this seem right?

The point of this blog post is to say.. You, yourself may not want to make the first move to knock on your neighbors door, to say “Hello” or go in for a coffee.  In addition, your neighbor probably isn’t going to come to your door either.

But at 9am when you’re both sipping coffee, why not share the moment and do it together?

That’s the strangeness of society. Everyone thinks they are above, beyond, and better than the person next door. It causes a disconnect, which is pure stupid.  If you are going to live right next door to someone for the next 5 years, then it is about time you get to know one another.

Knowing your neighbor doesn’t mean you have to love them, or want to be with them every waking minute. What it does mean, is that you can both to learn how to socialize and be friends. Doesn’t mean someone is knocking at someone’s door once a week. But if a tornado or earthquake hits, you know who you could call for help (or volunteer help) ..

Don’t be afraid of your neighbors. Make the first move. Because it is obvious that if you don’t, no one will.

Comments?

What is spam and why do we have to keep seeing this crap?

The problem is ten-fold. The answer is quite easy.

Sending spam is cheap. Guaranteeing delivery is not important. If you send 5 million spams (for free) and 75,000 of those are actually read, you’ll end up with at minimum 100 idiots that will respond to the spam with a buy order.

This is why spam exists today. On the greater scale, it is not worth the return on investment (ROI). However, those few hundred idiots that respond, buy, and pay money is what keeps this circus going.

It’s 2013 and yet there are idiotic people that still respond to spam and pull out their wallets to buy a good deal that can’t be true.  Until that stops, we’re all going to have to continue to deal with spam.

What’s that you say? I can enlarge a part of my body for a simple fee of only $29.95? (Male or Female). Then I’m in.. Have you ever known someone close to you to grow a bigger or shorter nose? How about a bigger ear?

Why are people so ready to believe they can give bigger reproductive organs based on some miracle vitamin they mail order? If someone said “Our studies show, that people’s elbows grow by 300%” everyone would laugh at them. Talk about breasts or that significant male organ, and everyone becomes a believer. Why?

Our physical bodies are what we’re made with. Our DNA isn’t changed easily. Learn to accept the way you are made and stop trying to find the miracle herbal cure that will change you into something you’re not. It doesn’t exist. If spam was non-profitable, then there would no longer be spam on the internet.

Now, for you North American continent folks, or European folks, if you are beginning to think “wait! I’ve never tried spamming, is it really that profitable?”

The answer is a resounding NO!  Spammers may take 8 hours of their day, upsetting over 3 million people to make $5 USD.That $5 buys them a dozen eggs, a loaf of bread, and if they are lucky a bottle of milk.

There are much easier ways to make money than spamming people by the millions. These people, however, are already in the poor house. Their justification is that 3.5 million spams enable them to buy a dozen eggs, milk, and bread. They’re desperate people and will result to desperate tactics.

So how do we handle this type of problem?

Quite easily actually. Do NOT click on any strange links from a strange email that you receive. If you get an email that DHL first class service has sent you a package (and you’re not expecting one) do NOT click the link.

The only way spammers seem to survive is by the recipient’s stupidity and greed. Do not buy into their games. Comb through each and every email, and be suspicious of the ones you receive.

If everyone was more diligent about the email they receive, then spammers would have no ability to use trickery to find new prospective victims. That would slow spam down to a crawl.

As soon as we all stop responding to spam, schemes, and the like, the sooner they’ll stop sending them.

If you have a suggestion or comment, let’s hear it.

 

What every one can learn from the Wizard of OZ

I admit, the title of this blog post is going to seem quite strange.  Many people have either heard about “The Wizard of OZ” or have seen the 1939 movie. Not much thought is put into it though. I’ll explain how this means something in your life right now!

This movie was based on the 1900 novel “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” and it made its debut in film at the end of the Great Depression. Very few people actually realize the symbolism contained in that story and what it represents.  If you look past the entertainment value, there is plenty to learn from it.

Let’s go with some of the main characters as a quick refresher, and while I do, think about the overall picture and how it may relate to YOU or the people you KNOW:

1. Dorothy – a child lost in fantasy land, through a make believe dream, who is searching for a way “home”. As they say, home is where the heart is.. She travels through strange lands and situations, hoping to find her way home.

2. Toto – Her dog, her companion was PROTECTIVE of Dorothy

3. Scarecrow – He was missing a Brain. He was unable to THINK & REASON properly.

4. Lion – He was missing courage. He had FEAR and easily spooked.

5. Tin Man – He needed a heart. He didn’t know how to properly LOVE

Now fast forward to today. 2013, look at what most people have trouble dealing with…

Their thoughts are clouded because of too much stress. The newspapers and TV news constantly plague us with fear. Love from one another, even something as simple as “loving thy neighbour” seems strange and out of touch.

From 1939 until now, we haven’t really made much headway in life. THINK & REASON, FEAR, and LOVE seem to be things we are all obstacles in our lives, and at the end of the day, we may feel like we are as small and insignificant as Toto, but even that little dog got things accomplished.

Not much has changed in the last 74 years since the “Wizard of OZ” was shown in theatres.

That’s basically only a full lifetime of one person. There are still people alive today in 2013 that were born in 1939, that’s how short of a time span that really is…

So what can we learn from this story and apply it to our situation today?

[SPOILER ALERT – IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN THE MOVIE “WIZARD OF OZ” – WATCH IT BEFORE READING FURTHER]

All of us are looking for “Home sweet home”. The place where we feel the most comfortable. We don’t need to run away from our problems or our situations. We just need to realize that home is where the heart is and we need to appreciate the small things in life.

We don’t need to constantly be in fear.  We can think and reason, if we stop letting other people do it for us. Pick up a book and read it. Think, Reason, and come to your own conclusions about life without having to pick a side based some news report by some pundit on TV or columnist in the newspaper.  Show love for people you care about, and if you haven’t seen the movie “PAY IT FORWARD [2000]” watch that one too. It will show you how to learn to share love with people you don’t even know. As the saying goes, “love thy neighbor, as you would, love thy self.”

Soon as I say something like that (a quote from the bible with the word “thy in it”) it makes people on guard, worried that I’m going to be preaching here. I’m not.  Sometimes we just need someone to point out the obvious. Most people will watch a movie like this without putting much thought into what it truly represents.

In 1939 the movie was a symbolic representation of what society is lacking. 74 years later, the general population is STILL lacking these qualities, or at the very minimum, most people don’t know how to handle them.

There were a couple of other important characters in that movie, that you may be able to relate to:

1. THE WICKED WITCH OF THE WEST – That is a fancy way of saying “Your boss at work”, or “Your Mother-in-Law”, or some other person who hates you unconditionally whether or not you deserve it. Don’t let these people scare you into submission.  Stand up for yourself and what you believe in.

2. THE WIZARD – Yes, this is the guy pulling on the levers behind the curtain, showing you how afraid you should be. Fire, spooky faces, thunder, and noise. Could this be our conditioning to fear the unknown and learn to end each day in fear? It was Toto, that tiny dog that revealed him.  In life, we feel like we’re small and tiny in the grande scheme of things. But as Toto showed us, be protective and don’t allow the wool to be pulled over your eyes.

When I was 6 years old, I loved that 1939 movie.  Fast forward many years later, I now realize, I should have paid more attention to the symbolic points of the movie. Those symbols represent my current day, and I see history repeating itself all the time.

If you’ve made it to this part of the blog post, then congrats. You’ve proven yourself to be a thinker. Now all you need to do is look around you, and see how much fear, lack of courage, love, and whatever else you may be missing.

I fully believe “what every one can learn from the Wizard of OZ” is simply the following:

a) Love

b) Compassion

c) Intelligence

d) Courage

e) Home is where the heart is

Sometimes we all need to be reminded about basic things like this and that is only fair. Everyone needs that sometimes.

What are your thoughts?

 

Valentine’s Day Ideas: How to make it special

If you are looking for ideas for Valentine’s Day, you’ve come to the right place.  This is a great list of Do’s and Don’ts and helpful advice.  Learn how to make this holiday special for that special someone.

On Valentine’s Day, DO NOT:

– DO NOT take your date out to a nice restaurant without making prior reservations. You’ll look like an egghead when they tell you there is a 2 hour wait, or that they are fully booked.

– DO NOT call a restaurant the day before, or the same morning of Valentine’s Day and try and get a reservation. Their phone system was already lit up with people who are trying to make reservations at the last minute. This is something you should have done a few weeks ago.

– DO NOT run to the card store on Valentine’s Day and expect the “right” card to be on the shelf. It’s already been picked through by then. You should have bought your card a minimum of a week prior to that..

– DO NOT do only “predictable” things. A restaurant, flowers and/or chocolates – those are simple cheesy attempts at proving how you love someone. Think of something new, out of the ordinary, and be creative.

– DO NOT order a bouquet online unless you see it first. Many of these online flower stores have “terms and conditions” which state that they can substitute the online bouquet for something similar. Actually visit a store, find a bouquet of flowers, pick it out yourself, and ensure the one you chose is the one that will be delivered. Why? Often they’ll substitute something of equal value which translates into a wilted mess with half dead flowers.

Here is a list of “DO’s” for Valentines Day:

– DO figure out your game plan a couple weeks in advance. You know it is coming, so why not make preparations as soon as February 1st on the calendar hits?

– DO take time to find that special card ahead of everyone else. Want to see a team of frantic men? Just visit any Valentine’s Day card display on February 14th, and watch about 12 men clamaring around the same cards on display at the last minute.

– DO book a special restaurant reservation well in advance. This way you can show your date that you made advance preparations for dinner at 6pm, and you won’t be sitting there looking at the hostess as an avalanche of couples get told “Sorry, we’re busy tonight, there is a 2 hour wait. You can have a seat and wait over there.”

– DO buy a gift. A dinner out, and a card, is the minimum that almost anyone can do.  Buying something (does not have to be expensive) but a little wrapped gift of something special can totally surprise and entice your date into realizing to you took him/her seriously on this special day.  The reason is simple. Choosing a nice restaurant is fairly easy. Picking out a card is fairly easy. Finding a nice gift that the person will treasure the rest of the year, is something totally unexpected and appreciated. It doesn’t have to be a diamond ring either. Find out what his/her birthstone is, for under $200 you can have a ring with their birthstone on it.  It is no secret, if it is jewelry related, it is often the right day for this type of gift.  Otherwise, it could be something like a little porcelain figurine, a stuffed teddy bear, something that says “I love you”.

SOME ADVANCED IDEAS

– Personally, I would NEVER EVER dine at a restaurant on Valentine’s Day for the simple fact that the restaurant is going to be overcrowded, filled to the maximum. The food and service is less likely to be at par when the restaurant is so busy. Do you really want to have that romantic dinner around 50 other couples trying to do the same thing?  The chances your steak will be cooked wrong, or the fact that your drinks will run dry before a refill is a lot more likely during the busiest dining night of the year.  The next idea can remedy this potential problem:

– Ask your date if they are willing to celebrate Valentine’s Day the night before, or the night after, to make it “that much more special between the two of you”.   Valentine’s Day is about attention and appreciation for the person you care about. The timing is less important. Remember, your date is less concerned about whether or not they have dinner on Feb 14th, but more so, how they are treated and appreciated during that special holiday.

– Valentine’s Day is about the “thought that counts” and the effort involved. Sending a cute text message like “I love you” or “will you be my Valentine?” may be a good starting point. But everyone knows it took you 5 seconds to thumb that into your phone. Every girl knows, for instance, having a bouquet delivered to the house, means you actually had to choose one, and order one. You don’t have to spend a ton of money. Just put some thought and effort into what you do, and they’ll love you even more. However, it has to come from your heart.

– Dinner out on Valentine’s Day is nice (with advanced reservations). What is extra nice, is a guy, who can’t cook, who tries his best to buy the groceries ahead of time, and follow a recipe for his special mate.  Whether dinner comes out good or not, it doesn’t matter. “Oh, honey, you tried, it’s good. I can’t believe you went to the effort” is what you’ll hear.

——–

So by now this Valentine’s Day blog post should have your thoughts running. Be creative, spend a little time thinking ahead, and you should be able to easily come up with someone special for that person in your life.

If you have any ideas that could add to this list, that you’ve done, that could help someone else out, please leave a comment.

P.S. I wrote this blog post on Jan 16th. As you can see, Valentine’s Day is less than a month away. Start planning as soon as you can, you’ll be glad you did.

Being rich is boring. Receiving an inheritance and being wealthy sucks.

If you are rich and wealthy and found this blog post, then you’re lucky. Personally, I watched a documentary on how rich kids who inherit fortunes get bored easily. That makes perfect sense.

For regular people, everyone thinks that if you are born into money, life must be so easy and they look down upon you. You’ll have servants in your life who give you a fake smile, which you see through, because the family has money.

From an early age, you are taught, to respect money and how lucky you are to have a family with fortune, but how lucky are you?

What IF, you were ready to make life more challenging, and wanted to be important in your own way irregardless of your family path?

All of this is possible! Being rich does not have be boring, and having an inheritance does not have to be such a burden if you use it the right way.

So what could you do with your fortune?

Always giving money to charity just to gain tax deductible donations is boring. But it doesn’t have to stop there..  Perhaps you are not using your fortune the right way.

What if you..

..do something out of the ordinary? Find a struggling entrepreneur, a business person in need of funding. Make their dream come true. Who knows? Maybe a small investment on your behalf ($50,000) could double in the next couple of years, and at the same time, you helped someone else who needed the money to get started?

Investing in the right people, even on a gamble, for a wealthy person can turn into a WIN-WIN scenario.

If you have wealth, use it in a creative way. Enjoy your gift and share it with other good natured people (even strangers) who can help it grow.

Strategically using your wealth to financially back a struggling entrepreneur could have unexpected rewards. Think about it. Why let your money sit in a bank account, when you could invest $50,000 into a sole proprietor who has the talent, but no funds?

I’ve never understood that about rich kids. They have more money than they can spend in their life, yet they don’t seem to seek out the people who could really use their help. I’m not talking about charity. I’m talking about the silent majority of new start up business entrepreneurs. People that have a dream and want to get there, and are looking for that “angel investor” to help them make it come true.

I already know, if I won the lottery tomorrow, that is exactly what I would do.. I’d give a bunch of money to charity, but I’d also reserve some money for helping out a struggling entrepreneur who could really use the help. The bonus here, is if it paid off in the long run, together we could generate more money and help charity even more.

Want to know where I’d start?

Two places:

http://www.indiegogo.com        or        http://www.kickstarter.com/

Both of these are project proposal websites that have posted business plans. These entrepreneurs just need is funding. You could send them $5 dollars or $5,000 dollars.  There are rewards for your contribution, (or you can be anonymous too).

Seed money is a beautiful thing to a project. Problem is, that everyone expects banks to be the only source of funding.

What about wealthy kids who have inherited their wealth and want to help build something?

Why does life suck?

Someone, out there, is eventually going to type into a search engine “why does life suck?” and they will be hoping for an answer.  In this blog post, I will answer that question, or at least do my best..

Life sucks, in general terms, because people wake up each morning hoping that every new day will bring something different. A new idea, a new thing to marvel over, something that will make yesterday seem like the stone ages.

The reason life can sometimes “suck”, is because most of us are caught up in this circular warp. We’re forever going to bed at similar times of the night. We’re waking up at similar times of the morning. We’re drinking that similar coffee, and having that similar breakfast to start the day off..

We work the similar jobs, or go to the similar school, and then have that similar wonder each day that passes “why does life suck”.

If you, as a person, have never thought that… “why does life suck”.. then I have no idea why you were able to search out this blog post, or why you are reading this far in…

..but for everyone else.. here’s the answer to your worries..

“WHY DOES LIFE SUCK?”

To be honest.. life doesn’t stuck. Perhaps your perception of life sucks. That means, you’re in the wrong lane of the superinformation highway of life. It means you need change, and need it now.

Even if your life seems manageable, it’s still creating this “it sucks” feeling in you. This is a key time to look at life around you, and instead of blaming life, learn to decide why you have allowed an environment around you to be created this way.

Does life suck, or perhaps you, as a person, have allowed it to suck?

It sounds like I’m giving you answers in riddles, but to be honest, sometimes life works that way.

In short, I can tell you why “life sucks” today.

..it is because you didn’t change the path significantly yesterday..

THAT’S RIGHT.  Your yesterday is the reason you are feeling, seeing, and experiencing today.

So when someone gets upset about the way their life is going “today”, the real answer is embedded in the way they acted “yesterday” or the week before, or the week before that…

You are experiencing life today, because of what you neglected to do yesterday.

It is as simple as that. Sorry to be the bringer of bad news (and remember the adge: don’t shoot the messenger)

..but if you really look at it. Today, the way you feel about it, has a significant reason for happening, based on yesterday, a few days back, a few weeks back, or a few months back.

To change this situation, so “life doesn’t suck any more” is quite easy…

Make a significant change today, of any sort, so that when tomorrow shows up, it may become a different day as a result of your change.

It could be anything.. here are some examples of how to achieve real change

1) Quit your job: (be careful with this one, unless you have a for-sure opportunity elsewhere)

2) Say goodbye once and for all to that annoying friend

3) Spend a solid 2 hours learning about a new talent, or trade that you are interested in – work at it

4) Re-arrange your habitual duties. Are you the type of person who wakes up, pours yourself a coffee, and sits on youtube each morning? Well the next morning, avoid youtube, pour yourself an orange juice, and walk around the block instead.

…DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT IF YOU WANT DIFFERENT RESULTS…

So if you realise “today” only happened because of what you did “yesterday” perhaps tomorrow, “life won’t suck quite as much any more”

Think of what you  want for the future, and know, that your actions today, really do dictate tomorrow.

Hopefully some of this helps.

Phones and computers are enslaving people.

So now we have smart phones and everybody can be connected 24 / 7.  Is this a good thing? Who’s the nerd now? Just cuz you may believe that you are not a geek, doesn’t mean you’re not a geek. If you are walking around with an iPhone in your purse, and you’re constantly checking your email messages everytime the phone beeps…

Apparently you are exhibiting the behavior of a nerd.

Seems like I’m trying a little too hard to call out the guilty here.

But really look at the situation.

Is e-mail THAT important? Can’t it wait until you return to the office, or go back home?

Does a message from someone need to pop up on your smart phone while you are moving down the aisles of a grocery store?

Is it a life and death situation that if you don’t reply to someone 5 minutes after you left the house or office? What if they have to wait until tomorrow morning to get your response? Is everyone’s life hanging closer to financial ruin if we don’t respond instantly?

At what point do we all becomes slaves of technology? Why is it no longer socially or financially acceptable to leave the computer, to leave our phone, and just walk around in the open world without constantly checking for incoming email?

It’s a sad joke if you really look at it. We stopped living our own personal lives, just because technology is here.

Recognize the problem. It’s obvious.

What spawned this post, is that I was talking to someone recently that was bragging about how she gets her email on FOUR different devices.  “I get it on my phone, I get it on my iPad, I get it on my Laptop, and I get it on my Desktop”, she stated and then grinned.

I looked at her, like she was someone in need of a therapist. She had this idiotic happy look on her face that she gets the opportunity to re-read each message four times as it comes in. If I handed her a fifth device, I think she’d be ecstatic.

It’s akin to zombies walking around saying “more brains”

Only these zombies are saying “more email devices”

Thankfully the portable internet-enabled toilet never was created, but Microsoft tried!

What is twitter, facebook, and the internet really about?

Twitter is much different than Facebook, and if you haven’t tried it yet, look at what you have been missing! Some people wonder why Twitter and Facebook are so popular these days. Everyone hops onto Facebook to check out their friends and family, their status updates, etc.

For the most part, it seems like a big waste of time. You’re telling people about non-important things about your life, and you’re reading their status updates or tweets about nonsensical stuff, or so it seems.

Facebook is about talking to “your family and your friends”

Twitter is about talking “to the entire world” (and also just your family and your friends, if you want)

When you write something on Twitter, everybody usually can see it. This invites strangers to make comments about your tweets. This is a great way to meet people from all walks of life. You can talk to people that you’d normally pass on the street.

Take a step back for a moment – and really look at what Twitter can offer you.

You’re actually conversing with people. Real people. People who you don’t have to go and have a coffee with, just to know them or learn more about them. You don’t geographically have to be in the same city to know what makes them tick.

The internet is a huge place. You’ll meet many idiots. At the same time, you’ll meet one in every 1,000 that is worthwhile talking to..

I’ll share my story.  I avoided twitter. I’m not one of those fast thumb typists on my cell phone that wants to tweet.

I felt like I was missing something. I deliberately opened up a twitter account to see what it was all about. What happened next was totally unexpected.

You are hundreds, or thousands of miles away from someone, and all it takes is a few tweets or sentences here and there for you to realize you’ve met someone intellectual with a real persona to them.

What if, you will never meet for coffee, as friends, but know, there is someone else out there with the same brain power, sense of humor, strength as a person as you?

Could it be possible to be friends with someone you have never met?

I still have problems understanding why, but I met this person on twitter named @MercStarChild on twitter.  To be honest, all I did was read a few tweets from her, and I immediately recognized she was a person of substance. A thinker. Someone who feels she can express herself in public, without worry about what everyone else thinks.

I am much the same way.

Now there’s a small problem. When one person compliments another, right away it seems out of the ordinary. “Oh, he must like her”, or “he’s only saying that because he has an ulterior motive”.

Stop.

What if, I am just paying her a genuine compliment, as a decent human being who deserves praise and recognition for who she is?

(which is exactly what I am doing).

So let’s get back to the subject of this blog post:

What is twitter, facebook, and the internet really about?

It is about meeting people across vast geographical regions that you may not have been able to meet otherwise.

It is about finding that diamond in the rough. That worthy person to talk to, who may be on the other side of the country, who is like you.

It is about bringing people together, without people feeling like they are alone with seeing life a certain way.

It is about how I met @MercStarChild and loving her odd tweets as she talks about her family, whether it be good or bad.

Real people are scattered around the globe. It is up to us to find each other, and talk to each other.

So maybe now, you know what the underlying reason of twitter and facebook, and what the internet is really about.

It should be (and will always will be) connecting like minded people together.

I’d love to hear your comments

Be dynamic and learn to adapt in order to survive. GET RICH QUICK!

 

Surviving this depression requires you to be dynamic and have the ability to adapt to this economic downturn (who are we kidding, it’s more than a downturn, it’s a slow but steady collapse).

Many people reading this probably have full or part-time jobs. Problem is, most people are having a hard time just keeping their cell phones working, rent paid, and groceries bought.  You feel wealthy when you are able to fill up your gas tank.  When it comes time, if we’re lucky, we have a few dollars left over so we can rent a DVD, buy some stuff at Walmart, or order a pizza on Friday night.

What happened to get rich quick? .. There is a lot of false promises on the internet, but those that are attempting getting rich quick are using deceptive marketing tactics in order to rob you of your hard earned money.

Get rich quick marketers use marketing taglines like the following:

 “I can show you how to make $21,000 in the next 21 seconds for only $21.00 !”

If there was an easy method to get rich quick, do you really think they’d be spending their time to tell YOU how to do it? Absolutely not!  They are attempting to get rich by selling false opportunities to suckers who send in $20 or $30 to buy into the scam..

So what is the answer?

First of all, don’t look into get-rich-quick schemes unless you are willing to be let down.. hard..

Instead, create something of value that no one else has..  Do you have a certain talent or persona that you can create or share on the internet that people will see value in?  There are plenty of ways to share your knowledge on the internet and get paid by doing so..

For instance, if you are an expert at making scrambled eggs, then make a Youtube video doing it, and do it with a smile. If your video is that great, and your method is worthwhile, you’ll get thousands of visitors, and you can gain the benefit of advertising Google Adwords ads that pay you a few cents every time someone clicks one..

What about creative writing? Do you have the ability to put words and feelings into print, much like I am doing with this blog? If so, consider starting up your own blog. It’s definitely not going to make you get rich quick, but it surely will make you a few cents a day while you are away, if people are reading your posts.

What about photography? Have a camera? Get some great shots and find a way to list then on www.gettyimages.com

If you are computer savvy, there are hundreds of people in your neighborhood that could use your help, even for a $25 fee.  Share what you know, with your neighbors who are lost and could use some assistance.  Perhaps they don’t know how to operate their computer or install the latest updates. What if they want to create a website and don’t know where to begin?  Lend your talents for a fair price, and that becomes a win-win situation.

Times are tough. The economy in 2012 is the worst that it has ever been recently.

How can someone like you survive it?  I’ll tell you, for free. Make $20 here, and $100 there, and that  is all it takes to stop you from being sucked into the undercurrent of the financial collapse we’re witnessing.

Opportunities you may never have considered before when times were great..  are paramount to financial survival now.  Take the time to recognize your financial situation, and what you can do to mitigate your circumstances. You’ll be glad you made a few dollars while sharing your talents..

This is not a time to be shy. If you have something to offer, then offer it loudly. Get those contracts and jobs. Work hard. Many people out there that are getting laid off are puzzled on what to do next.  Don’t be them.  Work with what you’ve got.

Writing this particular article was easy, but difficult at the same time. I’m aware of what is going on around me in society, and it’s hard to admit. Everyone needs to think about survival these days and making an extra $100 a month can make or break someone.

I’d really appreciate it if you would take a few seconds to share your comments, I’d be interested in hearing them.

Best of luck to you, and your family. We’re all going through it in one way or another.

Youtube videos can’t go viral when a user chooses the wrong license!

This is an ironic example I came across today on Youtube. If you make videos yourself, don’t let this happen to you.

Quite simply, someone got legitimately upset, when the advertised price of the Baltimore Sun was $2.12 but a particular store was charging $3.12 instead.

Armed with a video camera, the person walked into the store and confronted the staff about it. He said that the video would be put “all over Youtube and that it would go viral”. After the initial shock, the staff proceeded to do something quite surprising (watch the video to see for yourself).

Now, as of the time of this writing, the video only has 58 views. That’s not very viral, is it?

Watch the video and read my explanation below as to why the initial standard Youtube license chosen for this video was incorrect.

There is something that is not understood by people who shoot videos and want them to go viral. There are two different licenses that each Youtuber can choose to release their video under as follows:

Standard License (reuse NOT allowed) :

While fair use laws still exist, this is a much more restrictive license.  It basically means that the video uploaded may be accessed through Youtube and it cannot be incorporated into other mediums (like in someone else’s video, tv program, etc) in its entirety.  For instance in this blog, I can embed the video, but the person still has to go use the Youtube service to watch it. If Youtube decides to remove the video, or the person deletes their channel, or get if they get suspended, the video is lost forever.

In addition, some parts of this particular video, the camera was held “sideways”.  Someone else might want to edit the video and fix that. According to the standard license, the moment you import that video into your movie maker software and start making changes and subsequently re-distribute it, you’ve violated the standard license agreement.

Ever see a television program where they reference a video, but they don’t play the entire thing? Some of the time it is simply because the video on Youtube has a “standard license”, so all they can do is use little pieces under fair use laws to reference the video. Do everyone a favor and use Creative Commons License, it makes a world of difference!

A MUCH BETTER OPTION:

Creative Commons License (reuse allowed):

You retain your copyright and other users get to reuse your work subject to the terms of the license.  Which basically means that the video can be incorporated in part, or in WHOLE, as part of another work (like someone’s own video, TV program, etc).

If you want something to go viral, I highly suggest you release it under the Creative Commons License.  You will have a lot more people interested in using your video and helping it spread.  Not everyone wants to link back to your Youtube channel. Some people want to redistribute the video their own way, by broadcast, by adding it to a DVD compilation for example, etc.

 

To encourage your video to go viral,  select “Creative commons license” when you upload it.

Content creators would love to use your creative commons video to help you spread the word. Give them that opportunity.

Writer’s Block: How to overcome it.

 

 

 

 

I am not a professional writer. It doesn’t matter; writer’s block is something that happens to the best of us.

For instance, have you ever bought a birthday or anniversary card and rather than just sign your name, you attempt to write a little paragraph or two?  Instant writer’s block. How do you possibly put your emotions and personal feelings into a few short sentences?

Writing a business letter? How about a rebuttal letter to a newspaper article? Any of these can stimulate writer’s block.

Let’s discuss what writer’s block actually is, and ways to overcome it.

 

Writers block is publically defined as:

Writer’s block is a condition, primarily associated with writing as a profession in which an author loses the ability to produce new work. The condition varies widely in intensity. It can be trivial, a temporary difficulty in dealing with the task at hand. At the other extreme, some “blocked” writers have been unable to work for years on end, and some have even abandoned their careers. It can manifest as the affected writer viewing their work as inferior or unsuitable, when in fact it could be the opposite. The condition was first described in 1947 by psychoanalyst Edmund Bergler” [excerpt from Wikipedia]

(While we are on the subject of Wikipedia, please consider donating to them they are a fantastic resource).


These are my ways to deal with writer’s block:

AVOIDANCE

Avoiding writer’s block can be done by a variety of ways. Being refreshed and having a good sleep are key. Get a good night’s sleep the night before, and be refreshed when you begin writing. If you are half way through a literary piece and you find yourself struggling, take a break and come back to it in a few minutes. Go grab a coffee, munch on a cookie, whatever it takes to put your mind at rest for a brief period.

 

ENVIRONMENT

Create an environment where writer’s block is less likely to occur. This means, don’t write in a situation that is likely to cause distractions.  TV and radios can’t be blaring. Traffic noise can’t be causing a problem for you either.  People running around the office or the house can be distracting as well.

For instance, it might be wise for you to use time during the office lunch hour when the employees are away to compile your difficult letter.  Or don’t write that blurb in that birthday card inside the post office while people are coming and going while you sit huddled in a corner.

Writing a novel as a full time job? Modify your sleep schedule so you sleep in late in the morning, and you go to bed late at night. You’ll find that when the city seems to quiet down for the night, it is a very peaceful time to write.  Dogs are no longer barking, loud motorcycles aren’t driving down the street. Phones aren’t ringing, and the rest of your family is asleep.  This is a golden time to write as long as you, yourself, isn’t tired.

 

MINDSET

Your mind must be in a creative mood.  We all get moody for various reasons.  This could happen due to nutrition, stress, even simple interruptions.  Each and every day there are periods where you will be in a good, bad, happy, or even a creative mood.  Don’t write while you are in a bad mood unless it is a customer complaint letter. 🙂

When your mindset is right, AND the environment is friendly, you’ll be able to write without having writer’s block. It is that simple.

 

INSPIRATION

Perhaps both your mindset to be creative and the environment is right, but for some reason, you’re not having any inspiration.  That’s an easy fix. Think about what you’re about to write, and find someone, or something, to inspire you.

For instance, if you are planning on writing a fiction novel, go read a fiction novel that you didn’t write. Watch how the words and descriptions you are reading seem to turn your brain on to thinking about these things. Descriptive words from someone’s writings can inspire your brain to start thinking along those lines.

Thinking about writing an excerpt in a birthday card and having trouble? Look in your memory box for previous cards written to you. Read them.  If you put your brain through the exercise of experiencing something, it will become inspired to create like minded things.

 

With the foregoing being said, I’m going to re-define writer’s block MY WAY:

“Writer’s block is a condition that anyone can experience when attempting to write. It is a situation where the brain is not able to create or concentrate due to a wide variety of factors. The mindset must be right. The mind must be inspired.  Finally, the environment must be suitable for the writer to thrive.  When all conditions are favorable, it is impossible to experience writer’s block.” — Jason  http://lifeisfunny.freethrills.com

So the next time you are experiencing writer’s block, look at your environment and take some action.  Small changes can remedy that situation.


😛 Scientists are working a new medication in tablet form that will alleviate writer’s block.
— That’s a intended joke. But who knows, might that even possible some day?


Is there something I’ve missed? I’m experiencing a little writer’s block at this moment and need to hear from you.

Your Comments?

New Year’s Eve Party Ideas

The best part of every new year, is that we bring it in the same way.  A celebration!  Good friends, good times, good music, good food and drink, what a better way to kick off this holiday? If you’re throwing a New Years Eve party this year, now is the time to start thinking ahead.  There are things you can do to make your party a real hit.

What everybody always does (yawn):

a) Put out food and munchies

b) Have mixes and ice

c) Has the stereo going with decent music

d) Watch the apple drop (east coast), or the space needle drop (west coast) on TV

e) Invite a bunch of friends over. Watch as the night progresses and people drink themselves silly.

That’s often usually good enough – and fine, but wouldn’t you rather do something a bit more special this year?

Here’s some New Years Eve party ideas:

1) Setup a group game like Pictionary or Win, Lose, or Draw.

Basically all you do is get a whiteboard (with dry erase markers) or even a chalk board will do
Visit a thrift store, and you can find actual Pictionary cards, or even simple Trivia cards can work too, where the answers can words you have to draw

The idiotic drawings people inevitably make bursts the room into laughter, almost every time.

2) Karaoke

No body wants to sing at the beginning of the night, but by the time the night is over, everyone finds themselves wanting to be on the mic.

Karaoke machines are cheap these days. You can pick one up for under $100, they usually connect to your big screen TV with RCA cables too!

They need CD+G compact discs, but these are easily found. Just contact your local Target, Walmart, or Best Buy – they know what you are looking for..

3) Who am I game

Everyone gets a piece of paper taped to them with a famous person written on it.  They can only ask questions that yield a yes or no answer.

For instance, if you had Elvis taped to your forehead or your back. You’d ask questions like, “Am I man?”, “am I a musician?”, “am I alive or dead?”

Certain famous people would yield interesting questions, and interesting answers. Think of controversial famous people and it’ll be a hoot.

4) Quarters: Drinking Game

All it requires is a quarter and a cup.  Each player tries to bounce a quarter off the table. If they succeed in getting it to land into the cup, they

can appoint anyone else to have to take a drink.  If the player misses, they take a drink.

5) Make up the best man

First two male contenders.  Each man goes into a separate room, and the room splits off into two teams. Try and see who can create the best wo-MAN with makeup.

There are hundreds more – you can Google them into your heart is content.  Planning one or two of these for your guests will make the night a lot more memorable and generate a lot of laughs.  Get creative and think of some ideas that you think your guests would be willing to do..

I’d be interested in hearing any of your own ideas that you’ve tried before, and turned out to be a real hit. For me, the Win, Lose, or Draw / Pictionary idea works well every time, but we only do it after people have a buzz on and their guard is down.  It is not something you want to try too early in the evening.

Have a safe, fun, New Years Eve!

Your comments?

People – and the do gooder attitude

With this blog post, I’m going to take a different turn. I want to be open and honest to call out certain people (let’s see if you are one of them).

People Type #1: “Saved by attendance”

Saved by attendance people are those that go to Church, feel they are saved. They have a Bible, they read the Bible, and go to Church every Sunday. Not only do they go to Church, but they ALWAYS contribute to the offering. They know the 10 commandments and live by them (or so they think). They pray, they believe in God. They are members of a local Church, and believe that all you have to do is believe in God, or Jesus, accept him into your heart, and you’re saved.

 

 

 

          WRONG. WRONG. WRONG.

 

 

 

I suppose the pastor of the Church hasn’t had the opportunity to explain this to you yet, but God doesn’t take attendance. If God exists, he’ll be a lot more interested in the way you live and conduct your life – not who was sitting in the piu, or what type of offering or donation you gave to the basket.

There are people (by the thousands), who think that God somehow takes attendance at Church every Sunday, just like elementary or middle school. He doesn’t. Yes, it could be considered by some, that it is God’s house — but if he exists, he can see past the superficial being that you are.

To explain in detail:

IF you are someone that attends every service, AND gives a generous amount to every offering – that is not enough, because both of those are superficial acts. Even a murderer could attend Sunday Church and give generous offerings — does that mean they will be saved?

No – the truth is quite simple. How you live your life on a daily basis. Not how you live your life on Sunday – or how you put on your best Church clothes or what type of offering you give. Those that don’t even go to Church, or give an offering, but do a kindness to their neighbor, stranger, or fellow citizen have a much better chance at the gates of heaven than you do..

BE VERY CAREFUL that you’re not following a stereotype. “Have a bible, go to Church, give an offering, I’m saved”. I am surprised about the amount of people that live in this plastic concept that there is a simple road to heaven this way.

HERE’S WHERE I CAN EXPLAIN THE DIFFERENCE

The same Church person will generally have a routine, and after they’ve dressed up, attended the sermon on Sunday, gave at the offering, they will leave the Church and go out for a family breakfast at a local restaurant. I know this is true, because Church generally gets out at 10:30am, and by 11:15am, ALL RESTAURANTS ARE PACKED EVERY SUNDAY BY PEOPLE IN THEIR CHURCH CLOTHES.

…so talking like this, means I know something — don’t believe me? Go to your local iHOP Pancake house at 10am on a Sunday and watch the sudden crowd in Church clothes that appear at 11:30am – it’s very obvious.

Now that being said, and agreed upon..

This same Church crowd that visits the International Pancake House at 11:30am after Church has let out, will do certain UGLY and UNGODLY things:

1) They will honk and give curse expressions with their hands and arms while in bumper to bumper traffic

2) They will be selfish and try and race to get into a parking spot without concern to the other vehicle in the same lot, irregardless if they have their 80 year old mother with them.

3) They’ll sneer and think they’re above people of different color, race, financial position, or social status. You could almost hear them talking to their kids, saying “We were at Church, look at that drug addict bum. We were at Church, look at that FAT disgusting person. We were at Church, what would the Lord think of that gay couple?”

———-

So if you are one of those people, who go to Church every Sunday, and thinks God takes attendance — he doesn’t. He’s not watching the offerings you gave, as much as he’s watching how you conduct yourself outside of his house. Your thoughts, your demeanor, and not what clothes you wore to iHop are what matters.

I am really tired of seeing hypocritical people that believe that to love thy brother is to love one’s self is a concept to live by.. Immediately thereafter walk out in public and think their obligation ends as soon as they leave the Church steps.

God doesn’t take attendance – but he knows.

People Type #2: “I’m good because I did this simplistic action”

This is the most dangerous type of person. Those that aren’t necessarily “Bible thumpers” – excuse the rude comment, so I can prove my point. It sounds derogatory, and I don’t mean to be so obvious about it. However, it helps to make a clear line between people that believe in God, and that’s why they try to do the right things, verses people who DON’T go to Church regularily, but think they’re equally entitled to similar entitlements.

These are the people that walk around thinking “I’m good because I did this simplistic action”

Here’s a few things these people do, figuring they are worthy in life, of getting their just desserts later by simplistic actions:

1) They see someone standing on a concrete island at an intersection holding a cardboard sign saying “God Bless, Please Give. Hungry” — They immediately roll down the car window, hand $5, and figure not only did they do a good deed for the day, that proves something to themselves and everyone else they’re a decent person. After that split second donation, they can continue on their life path for the next 6 months and not feel guilty.

TRUTH: Most of the time (90% or greater), you’ve just handed your $5 bill to a professional con-artist / scammer. While you sat in traffic for that 2 minute RED light, what you didn’t see, is that he’s been there for the last 58 minutes, and found that everytime the light turns red, he gets $2 to $5. Over the course of an hour, he makes $40 to $50 for standing there with a cardboard sign. The problem is, he had a job, but quit it, and left for this business. He saw that making $19 an hour was peanuts. He’d rather pretend to dress in old clothes, stand at an intersection with a cardboard sign, and make double his annual wage.

Look closely. You might see the latest iPhone bulging in his pocket, or a chrome bicycle a few yards away.

2) People that travel in urban city areas and see an unkempt person, dirty, struggling and hungry and hand them spare change. What you don’t often realize is that same spare change will buy a case of beer of a 1/5th of Vodka that same night. When you give spare change to an individual, it doesn’t mean they are going to use it to make photocopies of their resume for a badly needed job.

Yet these same #2 people “I’m good because I did a simplistic action” will walk away smiling. I gave this person $2 for no reason, just to help them [buy wine] and that means I’m good.

WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG

You would have been much better off giving your $2 donation to the local soup kitchen, who turns that $2 into food (instead of wine or beer).

You walk away thinking you’ve done great, by giving a homeless person spare change.

Instead, you’ve enabled them to purchase alcohol or drugs, and without you, they may have been unable to afford those substances.

So if you’ve reached this point in this blog post, my question to you is:

Which of these are you?
PEOPLE OF TYPE #1: NICKNAMED “Saved by attendance”
PEOPLE OF TYPE #2: NICKNAMED “I’m good because I did this simplistic action
PEOPLE OF TYPE #3: I don’t fit into either of these. I’ll explain below in my comment

A huge percentage of the population, can usually fit into one of these 2 categories.

For me, I’m type #3 – which I haven’t discussed, but soon will.

Your comments are appreciated.

MagicJack: It’s on TV – so it must work right?

If you’ve seen the numerous commercials for MagicJack — the little USB phone thingy that plugs into your highspeed connection via your computer and gives you unlimited local and long distance calls, you’re probably wondering if it works.

Well if you do a massive amount of Google searches and spend time reading as much as you can, you will find that the majority of the people DO say that the MagicJack works and is well worth the money.

So how do they do it?

Well – I can tell you.  Basically the MagicJack is cheap to manufacture when you buy them in the hundreds of thousands.  The cost of the hardware, wholesale wise, is fairly cheap.

The problem begins with:

a) Marketing

b) Support

c) The network the needs to convert this internet traffic into analog phone line calls, where these calls are placed via the internet and converted over to the regular phone lines..

Now, to be honest, I really do not have any insider information whatsoever. I am approaching this issue from a completely logical standpoint.

If “I” was the MagicJack people (which I am not)… and I wanted to get my device into the hands of many, I’d offer it at a break-even cost… Sell as many of them as I could in Year 1 and Year 2…

Then in Year 3, I’d raise the cost and go into profitability.

What does this mean for the consumer? They’re getting a great deal in the ramp up stage.

What could this mean for MagicJack if I am right?  Well they are building a very nice little consumer empire, which could result in lots of future profits…

So who is behind the MagicJack, where is it going, and why is it so cheap?

Well Dan Borislow is named the inventor of MagicJack.  He’s not new to the Telephony business. However, he is a Thoroughbred RACE horse owner and breeder, which means he’s got a gambling streak to him.   So he must be betting the odds that MagicJack will make it to the finish line, and be a winner.

Now I found a good article about MagicJack’s Network that explains the behind-the-scenes technology that has to exist to make MagicJack work. It also mentions that $17 MILLION DOLLARS has been invested in MagicJack.

So Today’s cheap offering, and service quality is great for consumers.

BUT! Expect the near future (next year, or the following year) to yield some surprises.

So while its cheap, go get a MagicJack and enjoy.

Just get ready for new announcements coming your way, once the user base hits the numbers they are anticipating.

Not every great deal lasts forever.