Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Weekend Part 1

So far, not what I expected.

Friday night, got some food poisoning most likely from some soup. I'm not one to get sick, so this was more frustrating than anything else. Unable to keep anything down, it was a restless night.

And I just unlocked the bathroom door which we were accidently locked out of for about an hour today.

However, this past week I got a request to review a book which I received yesterday, which I'll do this weekend. I also received a cd from a friend that I'll listen to and review too. Hope your weekend is going better...

Friday, March 21, 2008

Arthur C. Clarke Video

Hat's off to Kim Komando for featuring a video of the day in her daily newsletters. (Click here to sign up for her free newsletters).

Here's what she is featuring today:

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Electronic Rudeness

I resisted getting a cell phone until I inherited a Tracfone when my Mom passed away in 2001. I did not need one and neither did she. It was just a "security measure" that she took with her when she was out and about.

Now that I'm back in the business world, everyone in my family has their own cellphone and at least two webpages (including Blogs, MySpace, Facebook, etc), and at least 2 or more email addresses. (I gave up Instant Messaging a few years ago and resist texting too).

The latest from Harvey Mackay addresses this issue:

You can be high tech without being highly offensive

All I wanted to do was to see a film in a quiet movie theater. The lights dimmed, the movie started, and suddenly I saw the light. And that's when the problem of modern technology and old-fashioned courtesy and respect for other people clashed.

The person sitting next to me took out his BlackBerry to check messages. Instead of being engrossed by the film, I became distracted by the bright light emanating from my neighbor's technology. Every 15 minutes or so, he'd take out his BlackBerry to check messages, ruining my concentration on the movie. I wasn't sure whether to ask him to stop being rude, which would have caused another distraction, or just let it go. I decided to let it go, but I ended up seeing three-quarters of the film.

There is no question that computers, cell phones, BlackBerrys, global positioning systems and personal digital assistants make our lives easier. These high-tech gadgets enable us to access information, search the web, be available 24/7, find the easiest route to an unknown destination, and stay in touch with friends and colleagues. In short, many of us think we couldn't live without them.

But I wonder what price we pay in civility for this technology. As Walt Kelly's Pogo once said in a classic comic strip, "We have met the enemy and he is us." The problem isn't the technology, but the people who use the gadgets without considering the rights of others. Some users forget that people have the right not to be interrupted by another's phone conversations or distracted by their tech toys.

Often I find that these high-tech wizardries promote rudeness. People yell when using their cell phones on most urban streets, on public buses and airplanes, in doctor's offices and elevators, disrespecting other people.

James Katz, the director of the Center for Mobile Communication Studies at Rutgers University, noted, "If anything characterizes the 21st century, it's our inability to restrain ourselves for the benefit of other people." Cell phones are all about me, me, me, and forget about you, you, you.

Recently, at a restaurant a close friend of mine received a call from her 21-year-old son, asking her where the hot chocolate mix was located in the kitchen. A table of six sat paralyzed while she directed him through various cabinets to locate the hot chocolate. Was there another way for my friend to handle this but take the call at dinner? Was this an emergency?

Cell phones, of course, can be helpful during an emergency but can also cause problems. Some states now have rules against driving while talking on cell phones. Most experts say that this is distracting and causes accidents, but most people think these rules don't apply to them. And most law enforcement personnel have placed little emphasis on enforcing these laws. Since driving while on a cell phone can trigger traffic accidents, these laws should be stringently enforced.

I've written about rudeness before and remember fondly that one of my columns on "A cure for the rudeness epidemic" triggered many responses from people frustrated by their co-workers' or friends' incivility. That problem has only intensified, and the latest technology exacerbates the issue.

The noted 20th century social historian Eric Hoffer once wrote, "Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength." I think people who shout when using their cell phones, holler in elevators, sit in movie theaters accessing messages, are trying to appear more important than the rest of us. Their rudeness really says, "Look at how important I am." It's time that the other person's rights for silence in a movie theatre and other public places are respected.

Here are my suggestions:

  • The next time you're about to get on your cell phone or use your BlackBerry, look around and see if anyone is going to be disturbed. Don't touch that dial, make that call or shout into your phone unless you know you're in private and aren't disturbing anyone.
  • If you're in a busy restaurant or an elevator, call the person back or step outside so you don't disturb your fellow diners or other people.
  • If you must use the gadget, do so in a quiet, unobtrusive way because the world doesn't revolve around your needs. How you treat and respect other people says volumes about your character.

Mackay's Moral: Technology is no excuse for rudeness

More information and learning tools can be found online at

Saving Rivers and Connecting with others

This is one of two blogs that are updated daily by me (now that I'm back from vacation). The other is Collective Wisdom and there are clickable headlines on the right side of this page.

Today at lunch while checking email, I noticed an e-mail from Abby Frost, who came across this website due my posting yesterday about the three radio stations I work for including WGL, The River.

According to her website,, Abby has been very actively working on environmental issues here in Fort Wayne and the area. Check out her site and tell her I sent ya!

By the way, I have known Abby for a couple of years, but never knew about this side of her. I didn't even know her last name until today. It turns out she works at Tri-Angle Park, where my wife and I often go on Friday nights!

Yes, it is a small world and getting even smaller.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Rock 104, Wild 96 & The River

Looking for a connection to Fort Wayne Media?

You can go to the entry page of the company I work for, Summit City Radio and click on the logo for each of the three radio stations and you will be taken to their website.

Once there, you can save it in your favorites or bookmarks and listen on line too.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Simplifying your Life

After a few weeks of working with a web designer, my wife's website is now live and accessible.

You can view it for yourself at

As of this moment, it is best viewed in a Firefox Browser. There are a couple of bugs that are being taken care of for those of you that still use Internet Explorer from Microsoft or Safari from Apple to surf the internet. But all the pertainent information is there.

I have met several Life Coaches over the past couple of years, and I could explain the differences but I'll let you explore for yourself.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Cleaning out the few hundred emails I have received while on vacation, I found this bit of wisdom from Harvey Mackay:

When stress turns to distress

Aren't vacations wonderful? But returning to work following a vacation can be stressful. Fighting traffic in the middle of a snowstorm or the middle of the summer, for that matter, can be stressful. Might as well face it, stress can pop up at the best of times, making them the worst of times.

First, a disclaimer: some stress is actually good for you. Deadlines, assignments, goals, teamwork and achievement—none of these come without some stress. Plenty of people thrive on stress, and many claim they work better under pressure. After all, the only difference between a diamond and a lump of coal is that the diamond had a little more pressure put on it.

When you feel the frustration levels going up, it might be time to take a break or take a brisk walk and focus on something that makes you happy. You should try to remember you don't have to accomplish everything in one day.

These days, who doesn't need a little stress relief? We all seem to be hurrying some place important most of the time. The Center for Spirituality & Healing at my alma mater, the University of Minnesota, offers these 10 stress-busting tips:

  1. Be completely present for whatever you are doing.
  2. Include something you consider beautiful in your life on a daily basis. For example, fresh flowers.
  3. As often as possible, participate in activities you enjoy.
  4. Keep your pace relaxed—that includes when walking, working and eating.
  5. Take a break after meals to relax.
  6. Go outside once a day if possible, and enjoy the simple things in life—the scenery, the weather, etc.
  7. Take notice of the tension in your body during the day. Breathe deeply and gently stretch any area that feels tense.
  8. When you catch your mind racing and worrying, breathe deeply and gently shift your focus to something in the moment.
  9. Wear comfortable, loose clothing whenever possible.
  10. Don't hold your feelings in day after day. Find a safe place where you can express and embrace them.

Dealing with your stress is central to your well being, both on the job and after hours.

It's important to recognize the signs of an unhealthy level of stress. In "The 10 Minute Guide to Stress Management," author Jeff Davidson identifies some of the symptoms: anger, irritability, anxiety, depression, muscle pain or tension, headaches, high blood pressure, sweaty palms, rapid heartbeat, dizziness, cold hands and feet, shortness of breath and chest pain.

I'm not trying to stress you out with this list, but you need to be aware of what's happening if stress is seriously affecting you. Don't neglect your physical symptoms or your health. That only adds to your stress.

How much control do you have in a stressful workplace? More than you may think. Sometimes it's as simple as a change in attitude or getting away from co-workers who complain about everything. Eliminate procrastination from your vocabulary. Organize your workspace so that you aren't frustrating yourself looking for items or information that should be at your fingertips. Ask for help when you need it, and offer your help to others when appropriate. Concentrate on the end result instead of the annoying details. Break projects into workable parts that aren't so overwhelming. Try to remember why you wanted this job to begin with, and if those reasons are no longer valid, think about a different work situation.

Over the years, I have collected a small library of wise words dealing with stress management. Here are some of my favorites:

  • Accept that some days you're the pigeon, and some days you're the statue.
  • Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them.
  • If you lend someone $100 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.
  • No one cares if you can't dance well. Just get up and dance.
  • When everything's coming your way, you're in the wrong lane.
  • Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened.
  • We could learn a lot from crayons. Some are sharp, some are pretty and some are dull. Some have weird names, and all are different colors but they all have to live in the same box.
  • A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery along a detour.

Mackay's Moral: Stress often gives a little thing a big shadow.

Chillin' In Indy

It's St Pat's Eve. The last night on the road and we are in our second location for our second night in Indianapolis. In about 90 minutes, we'll be eating with Jon & Tiff. Tomorrow is our 7th wedding anniversary and we'll head over to the Claddagh, about a block away from our hotel, and also make a stop at Shapiro's for corned beef to go, and maybe a stop in a McDonald's for an Iced Coffee.

In the meantime, here's one of my favorite Irish stories, sent this weekend by Kim Komando:

A man stumbles up to the only other patron in a bar and asks if he can buy him a drink. "Why of course," comes the reply. The first man then asks: "Where are you from?" "I'm from Ireland," replies the second man.

The first man responds: "You don't say, I'm from Ireland, too! Let's have another round to Ireland." "Of Course," replies the second man. Curious, the first man then asks: "Where in Ireland are you from?" "Dublin," comes the reply.

"I can't believe it," says the first man. "I'm from Dublin too! Let's have another drink to Dublin."
"Of course," replies the second man. Curiosity again strikes and the first man asks:
"What school did you go to?" "Saint Mary's," replies the second man. "I graduated in '62."

"This is unbelievable!" the first man says. "I went to Saint Mary's and I graduated in '62, too!"

About that time, in comes one of the regulars. "What's been going on?" he asks the bartender. "Nothing much," replies the bartender. "The O'Malley twins are drunk again."

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