Category Archives: What do you think?

I’ll tell you what I think, now you tell me your thoughts too.

What is the meaning of life? Time to realize it.

People often wonder what the meaning of life is all about. I think here was even a comedy show from Monty Python about it.

To be honest, the meaning of life, in a general sense, means you were put on the earth do DO SOMETHING. At the very minimal LEARN SOMETHING.

I must have already lost some people based on those two statements alone. Do Something? Learn Something? What does that mean? Is it referring to the fact that I shouldn’t party every weekend? Does it mean this? Does it mean that?

What the meaning of life means (in my eyes), is that you were given birth, lived your life, for the purpose of discovering yourself as a human being and doing something significant before you go. This could mean creating a picasso art painting. It could mean that you helped someone in desperate need. It could mean that you wrote a book. It could mean that you smiled to someone on the subway who was about to commit suicide that day, but because of your smile, they held on for one more day.

I think it is an indisputable fact. People were born here, for a deliberate reason. You might go through your whole life and not understand why… and then.. the day comes. Omigosh, I can’t believe it!  Something happened today that was completely out of the ordinary that I was a part of..  (Now you can see it)

I believe that the earth is nothing more than a “proving ground” or “testing ground” for souls.  Sure, they give you a body, and let you run around amuck like children, but when truth comes to shove.. they watch how you react.

What IF the earth was just that? A trial or testing ground for souls.  You are not allowed to move on spiritually unless you become a decent human being on earth?

Sometimes you don’t get all the answers you want, simply by asking questions. Once in awhile, listen to the silence around you, ask the questions and see if you can intellectually hear answers in your head.

I realize that last sentence might seem strange to someone. “See if you can intellectually hear answers in your head”

Let me clarify.

We’ve heard terms like our “alter-ego”, or our “guardian-angel”, or the “voice of our conscious”.. It is that voice that you hear in your head that seems to come from abroad.

If you slow down for even just 5 solid minutes. Block out the city noise around you.  Breathe, and think of some questions, and listen…  You might be given an answer back. Where does that voice come from? Is it you? Or from some place far away? Is it the universe?

Actually it does not matter what you hear, as much as it means, how willing you are to know yourself, what you are capable of, and what you will try to do tomorrow.

For the people that still don’t get it:

You weren’t given life, to be born on earth, to watch TV, to buy the latest cell phone, and to dine at the best restaurants.

Perhaps you were put here to develop into a real person, with some importance, to give back to society, your neighbor, family, or even a stranger. But you exist for a reason. Some people never find that reason. Some people do.. It’s actually up to you. Are you receptive to the idea you can do some good while you’re here? Or are you just here to party your heart out without a care in the world?

Having fun, is nice.

Caring about the purpose of your existence is deep, and shows that you have a heart, are intelligent, and are in tune with things.

Understanding who you are is free. It just takes some time to realize who you are…

Summer solstice: What is it, and why is it important?

Most of us have heard the term “Summer Solstice”. But what does it really mean, and why is it important?  Here are the reasons why the summer solstice is an important event, and why you should appreciate it..

In short, the summer solstice marks the beginning of summer in the northern hemisphere, but there is so much more than that..

Did you know that when this happens, it means that there is 24 hours of non-stop daylight north of the Arctic Circle?  If you lived there, you’d care. 🙂

At the same time, this is when 24 hours of darkness is experienced south of the Arctic Circle too.

Right now, you’re probably thinking, ok big deal. Two spots on earth it’s either 24 hours of dark, or 24 hours of light. Is that all this means? Nope..

In some parts of the world, namely Scandinavia, Estonia and Latvia, the summer solstice is actually the the most celebrated holiday other than Christmas.

When the summer solstice happens, this means that the sun is at its northern-most position in relation to the equator for the northern hemisphere and its southern most position for the southern hemisphere.  This only happens once per year.

Now here is the weird part… and you, yourself, might have experienced this..

During the summer solstice, people feel different.  They can’t put their finger on it, but they feel more energetic, and emotionally better.

 

We know that a sunny day makes us feel better in general, but why?

The sun’s rays allow us to use the cholesterol in our skin to be converted into vitamin D, which we need.

WHAT?

It is true.

 

This is why we are emotionally in a better frame of mind during a sunny day. The heat of the sun feels good. The brightness is pleasing to our eyes. While all of this is going on, there is a healing and cleansing going on physically with our bodies.

I read that sunlight prevents 17 different kinds of cancer from this website.

So the more we talk about the summer solstice, the more it seems obvious that it is celebrated for a very good reason. It’s a time to feel emotionally well, physically well, and to celebrate an event that only happens once a year.

The topics about summer solstice I’ve shared so far is only scratching the surface.

So we could sum up the significance of summer solstice these ways:

1) the sun is shining on the earth this time of year, more than it does any other time of the year

2) the sun has a huge impact on our bodies, how we feel, and our emotional well being

3) We’re converting cholesterol in our skin into vitamin D for “free” because of the sun, this happens more frequently during summer solstice.

4) Certain cultures and countries celebrate summer solstice almost equivalent as if it was a “Happy New Year” event on a paper calendar. To be honest, it makes you wonder why we celebrate a paper calendar New Year more than we do a summer solstice when the latter seems to be more important to us than the former.

So Happy Summer Solstice to you!!  Until this blog post, I didn’t know what it was either. But knowing now that the flaming ball of radiation in space called the Sun is actually giving us things we need as humans to survive.. and the fact that these few days during the summer solstice is when the Earth feels it the most. Sure. Sign me on, I celebrate it too. The Summer Solstice is a good thing, and it makes me want to walk outside and feel the sun that much more.

Life is funny sometimes. We’re so busy texting and watching TV, that a simple concept like the summer solstice needs to be explained. We should have learned this in school, or better yet, from our own parents long ago.

 

 

 

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.

(ASMR) The sound of rain, how to appreciate it, instead of hating it

It is easy to hate rain.  When it rains, we get wet. Everyone loves a sunny day, so when rain shows up, it puts a damper on things (pun intended). But are those real reasons we should hate rain?

People can be strange this way. After stepping out of a nice shower, people feel clean, and they’re happy they had one. But if water falls from the sky, all of a sudden it’s a bad thing. If you really look at it, rain is under appreciated.

Rain cleans the world.  It washes away dirt. It cleanses things.  It fills up the water reservoirs in the city, so when you turn on the taps, you get water.

Ever heard of a rain dance? Native indians knew the importance of rain.  People all around the world in dry climates beg for rain. Those same people that beg for rain would laugh at people who complain about it.

The human body consists of 57% water.  So you’d think that people who can’t live more than 72 hours without drinking water wouldn’t hate rain quite as much as we all do.

“Oh no, it’s going to rain!”, is a common complaint we hear often.

It’s like listening to gorillas complaining that there are too many bananas.  Why do we complain about rain?

What’s even better, is the sound of rain. There are CD’s you can buy, just to give you the sounds of rain. There is a thing called ASMR, and I don’t know if you have heard about this phenomenon, but it finally has a name.

ASMR is an abbreviation for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response.

Never heard of it? That’s quite possible, since it’s not widely talked about.  Perhaps you’ve experienced ASMR without knowing about it.

ASMR is an experience when sound can trigger pleasurable senses in your brain, and more often then not, you logically cannot explain why.

It could be ridiculous things, like someone turning pages of a magazine. Or someone shuffling through their purse looking for their lipstick. It could be the pitter patter of rain on the window.

Good sounds, and pleasurable sounds don’t always come from Lady Gaga. Not that I have anything against her as a musician, but she does have competition for pleasurable sound, and it could be as simple as the rain.

So the next time it is raining out, rather than duck for cover, and curse at it. Take a second glance.  Watch the rain, watch how leaves and plants respond. Smell the freshness in the air. Listen to the sound, and appreciate this is nature’s way of speaking aloud.

We’ve all heard the phrase “take time to smell the roses”.

…maybe now it’s time we learn how to appreciate rain, instead of hating it.

What do you think?

 

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

Vegetable Gardens vs Mowing your Lawn!

People know how to mow their lawn. They know how to rake their leaves, they even know how to wash their driveways and trim their bushes.

What the majority of people don’t do, is grow a vegetable garden. It is surprising to me that people do not take the time to grow some tomatoes or cucumbers and save money by reaping the benefits of their efforts.  You can’t eat grass, but people spend countless hours maintaining their lawns.

The few courageous people out there that actually do plant a vegetable garden, usually go to the local nursery, or hardware (even drug store) and buy pre-potted vegetable plants, bring them home and transplant them in their little vegetable garden.  They feel they are urban farmers at this point. They took a plant, stuck it in soil, watered it during the summer months, and picked off the fruit or vegetables that the plant grows.

Then you get the die-hards – these are the people that just buy seeds from the store, grow them in pots, or in a greenhouse, and think they are farmers, because they bought seeds in a packet and successfully planted them, transplanted them outside when the weather was nice, and reaped the rewards when they were in full bloom and producing vegetables and fruit (especially in the case of tomatoes).

Who is left?  The truly organic people. Those few people, maybe 1 out of every 1000 that knows what HEIRLOOM seeds are.. Or better yet, how to save, and create their own seeds from things they’ve grown in previous years without needing to run to a store to buy a packet of seeds.

Imagine that, you eat a watermellon, and spit out the seeds. You eat grapes with seeds, and spit them out. Slice a lemon, you have to get rid of the seeds.  Has anyone taken the time to realize that the annoying “seeds” could provide real food for you the following year?

People will say, well I’m too busy to save seeds and grow a garden, I work all day, and have to go grocery shopping afterwards.  Well what if the grocery store was in your backyard?  If you took a few minutes to cultivate some soil, plant some heirloom seeds, grow a plant, and reap what you sow, and actually harvest your efforts “FOR FREE” and save yourself a bundle of cash in the process, wouldn’t that be worth it?

I can tell you from experience this single thing. A wax coated imported tomato that was picked green, and trucked to your location and ripened along the way, will have no where near the taste.. that one that you could have grown on your own. To illustrate my point, is a frozen pizza from a grocery store (think cardboard) as tasty as one delivered to you hot and fresh?

So let’s see what we’re really asking people to do, because this idea seems so foreign to most people:

1) Get a hold of a decent seed (heirloom in a packet, or one that you saved yourself)

2) Plant it in decent soil, that has nutrients and organic material enough to feed the plant

3) Water it

4) When it produces fruit or vegetables, take them

5) Next year, repeat…

There is something so special about eating what you created.  It is true, tomatoes or cucumbers, or even beans will not grow widely in your lawn without you taking the first few steps. But if you do take the few moments outside of your internet, gaming, TV, or texting day, to actually sink a seed into the soil and ensure it gets watered.. You can reap what you sow.

People keep complaining about the economy, but savings to survive are right infront of you. GROW something, and eat what you produce. It will give you a greater outlook on life, and there is nothing better than enjoying the fruits of your labour.

Many people will suggest, “well I’m not a farmer, and I don’t know what I am doing”. Well google is there to help you. Watch some videos, do some searches, and see how easy it can be. If you are an early starter, you might kill a few young plants by accident. But at least you tried, and you are learning along the way.

Every new year that shows up, and every seasonal cycle that we experience, you have a chance at trying something new. Try to grow at least one single vegetable or fruit bearing plant, and if it doesn’t work out, learn from  your mistakes.

It doesn’t take much to sink a dried corn seed into the ground, to grow a corn plant, and get free corn.

If this is something you haven’t spent much time thinking or learning about, then perhaps it is time you did.

Freegans & Wasted Edible Food: Witness this!

Today I was at the green composting center where you can drop off your yard waste, tree trimmings, and other compost material.  When I arrived, I was stunned to see the following massive waste of food:

 

It must have been about 900 lbs of apples, bell peppers, cantaloupe, bananas, lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, even bread! Worse yet, the food wasn’t rotten. It was simply bruised in some way or another.  This food could have been cleaned, and the bad parts sliced off.  Completely edible. At the very minimum, it could be made into soups, stews, even fed to chickens or pigs.  This is good food that is left now to rot and be composted.

They had bunches of bananas with small black spots on them. Perfect for making a lovely banana bread.

The food had SKU sticker codes on them, which meant this all came from a grocery store or commercial fruit stand.

When a grocery store wastes this much raw product, it simply means they have to compensate for the loss, by raising their regular food prices.  Could this be a clear example as to why food costs are as high as they are these days?  If the grocery store is throwing out 900 lbs of food, where do they recover that loss? On your next grocery bill!

This amounts to simple mismanagement at the grocery store. Not having enough SALE items, and overcharging for their food in the first place. Under no circumstance should 900 lbs of salvageable edible food be thrown out this way. At the very minimum, contact some soup kitchens, or some farmers with livestock who could use this stuff. Why let it rot and decompose?

If a truck dumped this off in a starving nation like Ethiopia or Uganda, this 900 lb waste would be 95% used.

What a wasteful society. I’ve heard about this, but never seen it before myself.

Now I have – and it’s a real shock.

People always react stupidly to life’s problems.

This happens every single day, and it is time someone points it out.  You’ve probably done this, I’ve done this, and everyone you know usually does this…

 

 

 

 

Have you ever found yourself in these silly predicaments?

1. You hate your job, so you start looking at job ads and sending resumes to them
Wrong approach.

2. Your bank account is low, the bills are mounting, so you cut back on your cellular phone plan or lower your TV channel package.
Wrong approach
.

3. Sales at work are dwindling, to get new customers, you lower your prices, put on a major SALE and advertise.
Wrong approach.

4. You had a major fight with a friend, your boss, your spouse, so you decide to go out drinking on Friday night to calm your nerves.
Wrong approach.

By now you’re probably wondering how all of these solutions to these types of problems are wrong.  See, told you, people always react stupidly to life’s problems. While all of those reactions seem like they help the situation, all they actually do, is contribute to the problem.

How can that be? You might say…

It always helps to take a particular situation, exaggerate the same “rule of thumb”, to see how the point remains the same. Let’s take a look at #5 now:

5. The titanic ship is sinking, so you grab a bucket and start bailing water.
Wrong approach.

AHA! Now you’re beginning to understand.  Our first instinct when life presents problems is to look for a quick, and easy solution.  That only works for a short time, and all it does is set you up to receive similar amount of problems in the future.

Let’s look at what your reactions just caused:

1. You start looking at job ads and sending resumes to them, you land a job, but now your new job has an entire different set of problems. You hate your co-workers, the job description doesn’t match what you had expected. Your boss is a jerk, and the company is about to be bankrupt next year.
This reaction created more problems.

2. You cut back on your cellular phone plan or lower your TV channel package.  However next month, you went over you cell phone minutes and got charged $35 extra which negated the savings you were expecting.  Since you had less channels on TV, you found yourself at the local video store paying to rent movies. You even bought a few DVD’s to tie you over. Nothing was on TV, so you went out with friends instead, it ended up costing you money.
This reaction created more problems.

3. To get new customers, you lower your prices, put on a major SALE and advertise.

While sales volume increases, your cost of goods sold (remember that term from accounting class?) has increased.  The cost of the advertising in addition to the lower sales price has basically caused you to break even.  Once you stop the sale, you find that your sales dwindle off, and you’re back to square one. All you did was waste time, energy, and effort into a short term solution that didn’t fix a darned thing.
This reaction caused more problems.

4. You decide to go out drinking on Friday night to calm your nerves.

This may have calmed your nerves, but next week you have a different fight, with the same person, about a different issue. What you’ve solved is nothing really. All you’ve done is put yourself in a situation where the same peril can happen to you again.
This reaction can cause more problems.

5. You begin bailing buckets of water on the titanic as it sinks, and you soon realize, all you did was exhaust yourself. The ship still sunk, but now your out of energy to survive in the cold water, and you perish.  You can’t save a sinking ship, so stop trying.
This reaction caused more problems.

If you’ve read this far, then you want real answers.

I will provide you some ideas, and I’d love to hear your own comments.  Whenever we come up with solutions, it is important to STOP. THINK. DISCOVER. PLAN. EXECUTE

Abbreviated that is S.T.D.P.E  (which isn’t a catchy word, so you’ll just have to get past it)

 

Here are better solutions to the previous 5 examples:

1. You hate your job.

CORRECT: Start talking to people in your industry. This is best done with strangers. People who don’t even know your name. This way you maintain confidentiality so it won’t get back to your current job. Your friends and family won’t judge you and scoff “oh look, John hates his job”.

Read newspapers, do research, network, get the information you need before making a decision on what to do, where to do it, and how to do it.

What’s that? You found out in an industry journal that some massive company is branching out into a new area that you have expertise in? Great.  Scope out the job. Read their history. Find someone that worked there BEFORE, who can talk about the place.

I can’t think for you, but some of you might be saying “Well, how could I possibly find someone that use to work there?”

Think about it. Resumes are posted online.  Websites like linkedin.com carry histories of where people use to work.  Old forum posts from 5 years back might have someone signing their name with a title of the company and then they are signing their name with their new signature.    If there is a will, there is a way, create your own ways.

People that no longer have any ties to companies they use to work have volumes of helpful information that could tell you whether or not it would be a great place for you to work. Heck, people even post publicly about it. “I use to work at XYZ” – they brag about it like credentials on the “About Us” page of a website.

Ask them how the company was doing before they left. Why did they leave? Are they sorry they left? Would they ever consider returning?

2. Your bank account is low, the bills are mounting.

Really? Is your financial situation going to greatly improve by lowering your cell phone bill or TV channel package to only save yourself $50 a month?  Is that the real issue here, you’re only short $50 and your life would be so much better saving that tiny bit of money?

“But it will help, at least right now” you say.

CORRECT: Come up with a long term plan of action FIRST.  Begin executing that longer plan to get you out of this long term problem.  When time permits, (and time always does permit) you can make small changes SECOND.

Obviously your income isn’t matching the expenses you want.  Most people will say “you want too much, you’re living outside of your means.”  While that is true, a better idea is to INCREASE your means.  Raise your income.  That’s better than just lessening the desires for things you want.

3. Sales at work are dwindling, to get new customers, you lower your prices, put on a major SALE and advertise.

Ask yourself first: Why are sales dwindling?  What is the real issue here?

Some people may say “well XYZ is taking our business”.  Well if you are selling the exact same products as XYZ and you lower your prices, don’t you think XYZ will take notice and lower theirs as well, until someone gives in?

CORRECT: Perhaps the product or service you are selling is the real issue.  Perhaps you need to find some products that are EXCLUSIVE to your store.  Maybe you can create a value added service that XYZ competitor doesn’t have.  This is the longer term solution that will help your business.

Customers don’t always shop on price. Often they will shop based on novelty, by recommendation, or perceived value (not just price).  Look and think outside of the box.  If you come up with some real creative ways to reach these customers that XYZ is unable (or unwilling) to copy, then you’ll have people clamoring for your product or service.

4. You had a major fight with a friend, your boss, your spouse, so you decide to go out drinking on Friday night to calm your nerves.

What happens the following Monday? Perhaps another major fight. What will be your solution? Next Friday go out drinking with friends again?

The question is why did the fight occur in the first place? The “details” of the fight isn’t the answer to this question either.

But why?  Who was tense? Who was intolerant. Look at the bigger picture. The details themselves are trivial. Problems happen all the time, that’s normal, and everyone knows that.. But for a fight to erupt means:

CORRECT: Someone is stressed.  Maybe someone simply has a bad personality defect.  Can something be done to lower that person’s stress load, so they are less likely to be so tense?  In the case of a personality defect, you can’t change the person, so maybe it is time to get away from them.

5. The titanic is sinking

CORRECT: Grab a life jacket, and get off the boat as safe as your best options permit. Did I really need to say this?

People always react stupidly to life’s problems.

You don’t need to react stupidly.

Think before you act. Plan ahead for a longer term solution and get the process rolling FIRST.

When you get time (and you will get time) you can do some short term solutions SECOND.

This is the key to avoiding reoccurring pitfalls and traps in life. It will hinder similar problems plaguing you in the future.

Your comments?  I hope you have some. I’ve given you plenty of food for thought here.

Other people want to hear what YOU have to say too.

Commodore 64 and what we’ve lost along the way.

I read a tweet linking to http://www.retrocomputers.eu/2012/01/04/your-commodore-64-memories/ which basically is asking people about their Commodore 64 memories.

I tried commenting on that blog post, but it didn’t seem to have a save button. So here goes my first trackback. Let’s see if this works.

In response to “It would be great to hear your response to this brilliant 8 bit computer”

My reply:

The best thing about the Commodore 64 is that all the users had the same hardware. It meant software had to be dynamic and unique. No one told you to go out and buy more RAM or get a better video card.

If your software didn’t work in a standard C64, it didn’t get sold. That simple. As a result, software was written tight. Every last byte was carefully chosen due to space limitations.

This is the problem with computers today. It’s too easy for lazy software developers to just tell you to upgrade to a faster machine to make up for their laziness and poor coding skills.

I remember the first time I heard actual digitized music coming from the Commodore 64. It wasn’t a .MID file, it wasn’t the SAM speech synthesizer, it was actually a rendition of “Everyone was Kung-Fu Fighting”…

Actual Song

C64 Version

 

Apparently it really put the synthesizer chip to a real test. The programmers of that little demo had to block out the video screen with random colors and use all of the buffer space just to play the song.  It was said that they had used every last byte, had programmed the entire thing in hexadecimal machine language, and there was barely any bytes left in the machine to spare.

We were pleasantly shocked by the effort involved.  What was incredible about it, wasn’t the 8 second clip of the music playing, it wasn’t the fact that the C64 was able to play it.  It was the fact that these talented programmers were able to get the Commodore 64 to do something that no one had ever seen before.

That’s what the world needs more of, real special programmers who work for software development firms where the market departments aren’t dictating what the IT departments are doing.

People do not understand most of what goes on in large corporations with software development. I think I’ll have to leave that for another blog post at http://lifeisfunny.freethrills.com

But hats off to Andy @ Retrocomputers for bringing up the topic and thanks to him @andytuk for the tweet !

 

Hope for the New Year — is it realistic?

 

To be honest, I want to believe it too — a New Year — New Hopes, the year to come is going to be totally different than the year that just passed. My question to you is — is it realistic?

Honestly no. This year is just going to be just like last year.  The calendar makes little difference in our lives. So what does that mean?

The only way this new year is going to be different is if we MAKE IT DIFFERENT. Since most of us are locked into a circular routine (go to sleep, wake up, work, come home, sleep, then shop on our day off)…

The calendar itself can’t help change our lives. Yet inevitability every New Years Eve we begin with some weird expectation that things will be different. I am sorry to burst your bubble, but that honestly isn’t the way that things work.

So is the celebration of New Years and the concept of making  New Years Resolutions just a bad idea? No… of course not.. If you have made up your mind to stick by a New Years Resolution, then you should keep to your word.

It is no secret that people come up with a New Years Resolution as a pivot point in their lives when they admit to themselves, “this is the last time I will do THIS, or this is the last time I will do THAT”.

The biggest problem with resolutions are not in the resolutions themselves — they have complete merit. The problem is with the people announcing their resolutions to their family and friends without keeping true to them.

Don’t feel despair reading this article.

Most of us have been exactly where you are right now.  You want your life to be better in the upcoming New Year, so you make resolutions not to repeat bad habits.

The concept is noble. You have probably tried this before as well. Many people give it a shot for a New Years Resolution and then give up a few weeks later, only to say, well next year I’ll do it.

The time is now. It has nothing to do with a holiday or a specific date. If you are serious about dropping a particular part of your life that you are not proud of — then today is just as good as any day.

If you have any comments about this, then please bring them on — I’m very interested in what people have to say…

 

 

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.

Celebrities Die: Why is that a big deal?

 

CELEBRITIES DIE – SOCIETY IS IN SHOCK – WE WANT TO KNOW MORE – AND WE PAY ATTENTION – BUT WHY?

So the latest is that Farah Fawcett and Michael Jackson both died on the same day. But neither one was making huge amounts of money before their death. Now that they’re dead, everyone wants to know about them.

Why is it that society cares more about the dead than the living?

I know the way I am writing this, it seems like I’m uncaring or that I have no compassion.

But at some point we have to realize, when you start being interested in someone "after it’s too late" and after they are already dead, then there is really something wrong with that.

The funny thing about Michael Jackson in particular, is that the majority wrote him off as a freak for all his plastic surgeries and for being charged with child molestation.  How many jokes was he the punch line of?

But he really did bring a lot of music to the masses — he was great at what he did.

The famous moon walk came from him — he deserved a lot better than the credit that society gave him.

Now he’s dead, and everyone seems to care more than they ever did.  Michael Jackson went bankrupt, and many people thought it was funny. A celebrity in despair knocks them back down to our level, and yet we’re all a bunch of nobody’s that enjoys it when that happens.

Society isn’t healthy when this kind of mindset seems appropriate and acceptable.

I watched a four hour movie tonight on TV about Michael Jackson and thoroughly enjoyed it. But that’s because he’s dead, and I’m interested before "it’s too late" and I don’t get another chance.  But — the fact that he’s already dead — makes it too late already. Showing interest in his life, after he’s dead, makes me a hypocrite and same with the rest of you who are now interested in knowing his life story after it’s too late.

There are only two times that society idolizes a celebrity — when they are reaching the top — and when they die.

This is plain wrong — but that’s how society works. None of us in our wildest dreams could even imagine being the one to bring music to the masses when Michael Jackson was the top of the charts. Do you realize how hard it was for him?  But every mistake in his life had to become public knowledge.  Everyone had the opportunity to judge him.

Celebrities do not have it easy. Every move they make — every public sentence they say — is out there to be evaluated, re-evaluated, judged, taken apart in pieces and analyzed. Any normal citizen of society could not handle that — but our attitude is that — they’re celebrities, they’re rich, they have to accept what is coming to them.

Listen to me closely.

It’s not celebrities that should be judged.

It’s society..

For we have it ALL wrong.

We’re the ones that need a learning lesson.

Respect celebrities – give them leeway to make mistakes, and stop being so critical judging them. Above all, let’s hate the intrusion they get in their lives — they should be able to live their lives off-screen without us watching their every move. If any of us filled their shoes by gaining success and popularity, we’d want the same thing.

I hope one day, people have a higher respect for celebrities than we do — if that ever happens, it means civilization has evolved.

P.S.

Michael Jackson, rest in peace. You did wonders in your time, and it’s time you rested without any of us judging you anymore.

Economy, jobs, and unemployment for 2009

Well, irregardless of what you are watching on TV, there is no secret that everyone is feeling the effects of the economy, job losses, and unemployment this year, 2009.

It was just a few months ago, we were all celebrating New Years Eve — everyone was hoping this year would be better — well frankly it’s very clear — 2009 is about economic survival.

That’s right.

Holding onto your job (if you’re lucky enough to have one) — putting food on the table, having shelter, and keeping that used car running as long as you can, is about all you can hope for to have a successful year.

Everyone is cutting back.

They are ordering food less, and eating in restaurants less..

They are avoiding tourist attractions, and staying local, near home.

They are lowering their cell phone plans. They’re cutting back on Cable and Satellite TV packages.

We’re removing the “extras” in life that we’ve all taken granted.

A dollar saved here — a dollar saved there — and we feel better about our situations.

So what’s the answer? When will this economy improve?

As soon as we all stop saving our money, and we start spending it! Isn’t that ironic?  In order for the economy to improve, we must go back out there and live lavish carefree lives. Buy stocks, go on Vacation, order food in or visit a restaurant 3 or 4 times a week.  Once that happens, and everyone starts spending — guess what? JOBS GET CREATED — not lost!

So…. who wants to be first? Who wants to bankrupt their wallet and then wait and see if it works?

Well not me — and probably not you..

So guess what? The economy will get worse. Hundreds of thousands of jobs will be lost or cut-back.  Unemployment will rise, maybe even double what it is now in the next year or two.

Then that spells the right conditions for an Economic Depression.

About 2 years ago, I remember going through a fastfood restaurant, ordering a Deluxe burger, fries, and a drink. It came out to $8.96 and I couldn’t believe that cost.  Probably 80% of that was profit.

Now the same restaurant, is touting their dollar menu. Their normal meal combo is only $3.99 – Probably 35% of that is still profit for them.

So what does that mean?  Large Corporations who have been making huge profits all along — now are making smaller profits — but they will ride out this Recession which may very well soon be a Depression.

But the little guys — the regular middle class of society, are going to go through life changing experiences. We have to sell that second car or truck. No more boats or ATV’s.  Our channel line up will dwindle. We’ll only use our cell phone minutes in emergencies.  No more travel to remote destinations. Save, save save. Pay bills, and get hounded by credit card companies.

The best thing you can do, is stop watching the news, and talk to your neighbors, friends, and family members. That is where the real story is…

TV media will go on and on all day long about how well things are, how things are short term, and how things will improve.  But that’s selling optimisim to the masses. Luckily we have the internet, YouTube, and blogs to really reinforce what we all see.

I don’t need a TV with scripted news anchors telling me something different than what is actually happening out there.

Be careful, and good luck.