Saturday, July 19, 2008

Wedding Costs

I'm not an expert, but I am experienced in this subject.

Two of my kids have had weddings and I helped out with the cost.

And I've been married twice. Let me tell you about a secret.

Spending more on the wedding has no factor on the success of the marriage.

But it may be an indication of how in tune your are with your partner. And that is very important.

DLM posted this a few days ago:

7 Ways to Cut Costs on your Wedding Day

Posted: 15 Jul 2008 03:07 PM CDT

Written on 7/15/2008 by Jim who writes about money & personal finance at Blueprint for Financial Prosperity.

Having recently been married myself, last February, I'm acutely aware of how expensive weddings have become in America. Couple that with how our economy is in free-fall and it's clear that anyone looking at a wedding in the next few years will have to keep things as economical as possible. Gone are the days when you could sell a couple share of Google and have your wedding all paid for.

Here are seven tips you can use to help reduce the cost of your wedding.

  1. Invite Fewer People
    Catering expenses are per person. Invitation costs are per person. So many of the expenses in a wedding are per person, so logically it makes sense that to save money you need fewer people. Unfortunately, it's difficult to cut your invitation list.

    So, how do you do it? Consider having a smaller ceremony that includes only family or close friends and family. If I'm friends with someone and they told me they were having a small ceremony with only family, I wouldn't feel slighted (unless I was family!) if I wasn't invited. But also consider having a non-wedding party celebration for those you didn't invite as a compromise and you'll find that caterers will charge far less per person. :)

  2. Get At Least 5 Catering Quotes

    Unless you're going the firehall wedding route, catering will be the most expensive line item of your entire wedding and so it makes sense to try to trim as much as you can here. You'll have a lot of choices and lot will have to do with your personal preferences but one thing you have to do is get five quotes minimum. It will seem like a lot of work to call up five different places and schedule five different tastings but it'll be worth it. Our cheapest quote was offered by the most professional operating and best tasting catering company and was the fourth quote we requested.

    In addition to getting the lay of the land, five quotes gives you flexibility in negotiations. The economy is bad for caterers as well (companies are having fewer catered functions) and so they'll take a few percentage points off just to get the work; use that to your advantage.

  3. Skip the Wedding Planner
    If money is no option, hire a wedding planner. For most folks, doing it yourself is the more economical, and harder, option. Wedding planners aren't all bad though, they have a network of folks they are familiar with and can potentially negotiate discounts in your favor. However, most people I've talked to who have used one say that you hire one to save you time and headache, not money. Instead, get a wedding planning book and follow the checklists they provide.

  4. Invitations
    This is another one of those "per person" charges and it doesn't really hurt to go austere on invitations and Save The Dates. You won't save a lot on invitations even if you go simple but every little bit counts. Go to a crafts store for some fancier paper, glue, and print your invitations. If you don't have a good printer, consider getting the cards printed on colored card stock and assembling something nice on your own. Finally, turn your RSVP cards into RSVP postcards, rather than cards inside envelopes, and you can save a few cents on return postage.

  5. Sheet Cake
    Instead of getting a huge ornately decorated wedding cake that's large enough to feed everyone, consider getting a smaller decorated cake and several flat sheet cakes. After the cake is cut, no one will know (or care) if it started its life as a sheet cake or the actual decorated wedding cake. The baker will usually give you a discount on the price because a sheet is far easier to make and transport.

  6. Amateur Photographers/Videographers
    This particular tip is risky but you can save a few thousand dollars by forgoing the professional photographer or videographer (we didn't use a videographer) and leveraging any burgeoning amateurs you know may. With how far technology has come, amateur photographers can do just as well as the professionals when it comes to taking stills. If they understand composition and other basic photography concepts, you probably will be happy with their work.

    The risk of a bad job is always there and it's magnified since amateur photographers likely won't be used to working eight hour stretches. Also, afterwards you might have to do the touching up yourself (or again rely on friends and family!), but you could save money by going this route.

  7. Buy Bridal Bargains Book
    Every bride I talked to, including my wife, raved about Bridal Bargains by Denise Fields. You can probably find a copy at your local library or just ask someone who recently got married. Inside you'll find a wealth of cost cutting ideas that will rival any resource you'll find anywhere. They recently released an 8th edition so it's very current on the trends and very comprehensive.
Remember, every dollar you save is one that you can blow on the honeymoon!


Enough Already

Time for a little fun. Tetris style.
When you get to the site, you have to
Click on the little black box on the left where it says //PLAY N-BLOX

Friday, July 18, 2008

Name This Website-41

I'm off to my last offical 3 rivers fest appearance. Local Band Night sponsored by one of my stations, Rock 104.

But before I go, I found this local site. Click here for the answer.

1 minute of Weird Video

I don't understand this. But that's because I don't want to. It's only here for the amusement of my son and his gal.

Find more videos like this on AdGabber

25 of 50 Things

This is from

Self-reliance is a vital key to living a healthy, productive life. To be self-reliant one must master a basic set of skills, more or less making them a jack of all trades. Contrary to what you may have learned in school, a jack of all trades is far more equipped to deal with life than a specialized master of only one.

While not totally comprehensive, here is a list of 50 things everyone should know how to do.

25. Make a Simple Budget – Being in debt is not fun. A simple budget is the key.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Name This Website-40

I know the fine folks that keep this one updated every day. Click here for the answer.


I hated climbing the rope in gym class. Yet that and many of the basics of fitness we, older folks, learned as a kid could help us , well get fit again.

This is from the Art of Manliness blog:

Do More Than One Stinking Pull-Up

Posted: 08 Jul 2008 11:07 PM CDT

pullup Do More Than One Stinking Pull-Up

Photo by hrtmnstrfr

I’m still haunted by my 6th grade gym class. At the beginning of the semester, all the students took part in a physical fitness test. Part of the test included a visit to the old chin-up bar. I remember standing in line nervously knowing I was about to embarrass myself. You see, I was a fat kid. My mom tried to tell me I was big boned (God bless you, mom), but I knew I was fat. And looking at that bar, I knew there was no way I was going to be able to pull up my pudgy 160 pound body with my wimpy 11 year old arms.

I watched all the skinny kids bust out pull-ups like they were nothing. “Yeah,” I thought, “Pull-ups are easy when you only weigh 75 lbs.” Maybe God was trying to humble me that day because the person right in front of me in line was a girl. Not only that, she was a prepubescent athletic machine. I stood and watched her crank out pull-up after pull-up. I lost count of how many she did.

“Okay, McKay,” the coach said, “you’re up.”

I summoned all the positive thinking I could at that moment. I convinced myself that I could actually bust out 4 or 5 pull-ups. With my newfound confidence, I jumped and grabbed the bar. It was over before it even started. I put up a good fight, but gravity and my fat middle school body beat me that day. I couldn’t even do one stinking pull-up.

Ever since then, I’ve made it a goal in life to be able to do pull-ups. Lots of them. To me, the pull-up represents the ultimate test in fitness.

The benefits of pull-ups

The pull-up is a strength building dynamo. In just one pull-up, your body calls upon the following muscles:

  • Fingers
  • Forearms
  • Biceps
  • Triceps
  • Shoulders
  • Back
  • Core

Not only will your strength in these muscles increase dramatically from pull-ups, but your upper body will become bigger and more defined. Moreover, the strength you derive from doing pull-ups will help you improve your performance in other exercises like the bench press or overhead press.

How not to do pull-ups

Many men who have trouble doing pull-ups go to the assisted pull-up machine to help them crank the pull-ups out. Don’t do it; it’s a useless crutch. If your goal is to do several unassisted pull-ups, you’re wasting your time with these machines for a couple of reasons.

First, a mental factor exists when doing pull-ups. Because you know the machine is helping you up, you probably won’t exert as much effort as you would if doing pull-ups unassisted. When you finally make the switch to unassisted pull-ups, you may still find yourself unable to do any.

Second, you don’t use all the muscles needed for real pull-ups when using the machine. When doing real pull-ups, your body has to call upon larger and smaller muscle groups all throughout your body for you to pull yourself up. A machine won’t recruit as many of these muscles. Thus, when you make the switch to doing unassisted pull-ups, you won’t have the strength needed to complete them.

The Do More Than One Stinking Pull-up Routine

A friend recommended this pull-up routine to help turn me into a pull-up machine. And guess what? It worked. In a month, I went from doing one stinking pull-up to cranking out 10 reps in multiple sets.

So if you’re ready to start cranking out pull-ups, here’s your routine.

If you currently can only do one pull-up, start out by doing 12 sets of 1 pull-up with a 45 second break between sets two times a week. Once you can do two pull-ups, begin this routine:

Week 1: 6 sets of 2 reps. 45 second break in between sets. Twice a week.

Week 2: 5 sets of 3 reps. Twice a week.

Week 3: 4 Sets of 4 reps. Twice a week.

Week 4: 3 Sets of 6 reps. Twice a week. If you’re able to do more, go ahead. Like I said, by this time I was able to increase my reps to 10.

When you get to the point that you’re able to do more than 12, it’s time to start adding weight to your pull-up routine, like the bad ass guy in the pic.

Make sure to register for the Ritual men’s grooming products giveaway!

Download Your Free Guide to Being a Gentleman in 2008.

The Ritual Kit Giveaway Password: TripleS

24 of 50 Things

This is from

Self-reliance is a vital key to living a healthy, productive life. To be self-reliant one must master a basic set of skills, more or less making them a jack of all trades. Contrary to what you may have learned in school, a jack of all trades is far more equipped to deal with life than a specialized master of only one.

While not totally comprehensive, here is a list of 50 things everyone should know how to do.

24. Handle a Hammer, Axe or Handsaw – Carpenters are not the only ones who need tools. Everyone should have a basic understanding of basic hand tools.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Name This Website-39

Yep, I found another local, active blog. Click here for the answer.

Could It be a Sign?

That you are spending too much time on your computer? Thanks to Paul Saalfield for sending this link.

Click here and be prepared to light up.

23 of 50 Things

This is from

Self-reliance is a vital key to living a healthy, productive life. To be self-reliant one must master a basic set of skills, more or less making them a jack of all trades. Contrary to what you may have learned in school, a jack of all trades is far more equipped to deal with life than a specialized master of only one.

While not totally comprehensive, here is a list of 50 things everyone should know how to do.

23. Select Good Produce – Rotten fruits and vegetables can be an evil tease and an awful surprise.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Name This Website-38

Here's another local blog to discover. Click here for the answer, and plan on spending some time there.

100 Reference Websites

There is more to search than Google and Stumble. I found this recently at, so it is geared slightly to the teaching professions. But there are plenty of links to check out.

Beyond Google, Wikipedia and other generic reference sites, the Internet boasts a multitude of search engines, dictionaries, reference desks and databases that have organized and archived information for quick and easy searches. In this list, we’ve compiled just 100 of our favorites, for teachers, students, hypochondriacs, procrastinators, bookworms, sports nuts and more.

Dictionaries and More

When you need a quick definition or want more specialized results that display synonyms, rhyming words and slang, turn to this list.

  1. OneLook: This no-frills online dictionary lets you look up basic definitions, related words, phrases and more. You can even customize your experience with different searches.
  2. RhymeZone: Type in a word to find rhyming words, synonyms, definitions, Shakespeare references and more.
  3. Strange and Unusual References: Head to this site to look up all-vowel words, magic words, magic archetypes, how to identify unicorns and other odd material.
  4. This online translator can find words in Dutch, Afrikaans, Russian, Portugese, Swedish, Japanese, Hungarian and more.
  5. The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy: Search through topics like technology, American history, literature in English, proverbs and more to become a more "active citizen in our multicultural democracy."
  6. Word Spy: Search for a specific word to bring up funny quotations and a definition, or you can browse categories and sub categories like aging and death, hacking and hackers, entrepreneurs, jargon and buzzwords, art and design, drugs, euphemisms, sleeping or cell phones.
  7. Slang Site: Look up Web words, slang and even made up but often used words here.
  8. Behind the Names: Find out the history of your name or search names by categories like English, Spanish, mythology, Biblical names, African and more.
  9. Directory of Occupational Titles: If you’ve ever wanted to know the official name of your job, look it up here.
  10. Glossary of Real Estate Abbreviations, Terms and Phrases: Get through your next home signing by doing some extra research on this site.

Teacher References

Teacher guides like these will help you double-check facts, look for relevant quotes and get ideas for lesson plans.

  1. Twain Quotations A to Z: Inspire (or confuse) your students by throwing out a Mark Twain quote every once in a while. You can search by subject matter.
  2. Math Glossary: Look up words and concepts like abacus, Thales’ theorem, obtuse triangle and a lot more in this special site.
  3. Biology Website References for Students and Teachers: Learn about evolution, cell chemistry, anatomy and genetics from this list of reference sites.
  4. Children’s Literature Web Guide: Look for award-winning children’s books, readers’ theatre sites, stories published online and more on this site.
  5. Charles Dickens Gad’s Hill Place: Use this quote page to search by topic, title, or phrase, or pull from The Daily Dose of Dickens book.
  6. Encyclopedia Mythica: Search for text, quotes and history of mythology, folklore and religon. Categories include Greek people, Celtic mythology and Roman mythology.
  7. American Memory: The Library of Congress’ American culture and history reference site features topics like environment and conservation, immigration, women’s history, Presidents, religion, maps, literature, African American history and others.
  8. ASL Browser: Look up American Sign Language signs here.
  9. Ditto: Search the web for all kinds of beautiful images on this site.
  10. Learning and Performance Glossary: From accelerated learning to guidance package to meta skills, this glossary is full of education terms for teachers.

Librarian References

Librarians will benefit from these great reference sites, some of which were designed just for or by librarians.

  1. A Glossary of the Humanities: Click on a letter to look up words, phrases and concepts that use references from Foucault, Burke, Frye and others as definitions.
  2. Library of Congress Online Catalogs: We’re pretty sure most librarians have heard of this site, but it’s seriously one of the best reference sites on the Web.
  3. Historical Text Archives: This site boasts nearly 687 articles and 70 books about history, especially American history.
  4. KidsClick!: This educational search engine was created by librarians and is organized by topics like society and government, machines and transportation, health and family, facts and reference, and a lot more.
  5. Library Spot: This great reference site has links to encyclopedias, Top 10 lists, business references, public libraries and a LOT more.

Just for Fun

Search for unique profanity, sex terms and ridiculously long words here.

  1. The Dialectizer: Paste a URL into the box and select a dialect like Redneck, Cockney or Elmer Fudd to have the whole site translated.
  2. The Devil’s Dictionary: This adapted version of Ambrose Bierce’s The Devil’s Dictionary contains words like brute, gallows, damn, wrath, and X.
  3. Sexual Dictionary: Look up quotes for "doin’ the wild thing" here, as well as other slang terms for sex.
  4. Grandiloquent Dictionary: Impress your friends by using huge words you found here.
  5. Roger’s Profanisaurus: Have fun looking up profane words at "the ultimate swearing dictionary."

Health Care

Instead of Googling your symptoms, use these authoritative reference sites to get drug information, find a hospital and research a disease or condition.

  1. Medline Plus: Look up anything to do with health care on this site from, prescription drugs to local resources to symptoms and diseases.
  2. RxList: RxList is "the Internet drug index," and you search by prescriptions dispensed, names searched or just by letter.
  3. Google Directory - Health and Medicine: Categories and individual web pages are listed on this Google reference site. Browse topics like health news, history of medicine, medical dictionaries or patient education.
  4. Patient Care: Columbia University Medical Center lists a number of patient resources, including tools for finding a doctor, dentist and hospital.
  5. MediLexicon: At MediLexicon, you can use the medical dictionary search, hospital search, medical abbreviations search or read all the latest medical news.
  6. InteliHealth: This reference site has an Ask the Expert section, as well as a database full of information for diseases and conditions, from asthma to digestive issues to weight management to STDs.
  7. Healthfinder: This government site features a Drug Interaction Checker, a Health Library and consumer guides.
  8. The Merck Manual: Search this online medical library for diseases and conditions and drug products.
  9. Bristol Biomedical Image Archive: Browse thousands of biomedical images on this site.
  10. Online Medical Dictionary: This simple search tool lets you browse by letter or subject area.

References for Students

From homework help to art definitions to almanacs, students of all ages will find reference material here.

  1. Online Music Theory Helper: Order flash cards or look up different theory lessons on this site.
  2. ArtLex: Browse this art terms dictionary for historical context information, definitions and more.
  3. The Works of the Bard: Use the Shakespeare search engine or browse plays by category to get references and text of Shakespeare’s works.
  4. Factmonster Reference Desk: Here, you’ll find an almanac, homework center, atlas, dictionary and encyclopedia for younger students.
  5. Little Explorers Picture Dictionary: Students learning to read will find pictures to go along with their definition results.
  6. Distance Education Glossary: If you’ve recently enrolled in a distance ed course or program, use this glossary to help you navigate your new education portal.
  7. HyperHistory Online: There are over 2,000 files on this site, on all kinds of world history topics like politics, religion, culture, science and special events.
  8. Style Guides and Resources: This reference list will help you out when you need to write a paper using APA, MLA, and other special citation systems.
  9. Statistical Resources on the Web: Find updated statistics on everything from agriculture to business to labor to housing to the military.
  10. RefDesk: Check your facts quickly and easily at the RefDesk, which features a site of the day, thought of the day, and plenty of multi-search tools.

Niche Sites

When you need to look up highly specialized materials and facts, look to these niche sites for help with online conversions, transportation and military acronyms, legal help and more.

  1. Dictionary of Metal Terminology: Search online or order the hard copy version to find metal-related words.
  2. Online Conversion: Convert "just about anything" on this site, which understands over 5,000 different units for date, time, density, energy, acceleration, angles and a lot more.
  3. Transportation and Logistics Acronyms: Find acronyms for the U.S. government and military, supply chain systems, transportation, trucking, freight and more.
  4. Harry Potter Glossary: If you’re behind in your Harry Potter reading, use this extensive glossary to help you sort out all of the characters and unique vocabulary.
  5. Videoconferencing Glossary: Even non-techies can understand the fundamentals of videoconferencing thanks to this website, which lists definitions for words like analog signals, camera presets, bps, continuos presence and others.
  6. Everybody’s Legal Glossary: Nolo’s legal glossary is designed for everyday people who need help understanding traffic tickets, real estate forms, and "hundreds of legal terms, from the common to the bizarre."
  7. All About Jewels: Illustrated Dictionary of Jewelry: Find a picture of each gem or jewelry and learn about its minerals, fashion history, gravity and colors.
  8. Dictionary of English Idioms and Idiomatic Expressions: ESL students and curious native speakers can search this dictionary to find idioms like "part and parcel," or "gnaw your vitals."
  9. WestNet IT Glossary: Search results for IT words bring up definitions, a list of related words, animations and graphics.
  10. Travel Industry Dictionary: Look up words and acronyms like gay friendly, day rate, WAPTT, recall commission statement and more on this site.

Search Engines

Search engines are unique Internet reference guides. Read this list to find lots of search engines besides Google.

  1. Giga Blast: Giga Blast is still in beta form, but you can search websites, images and video.
  2. Cute little Ms. Freckles gives you all the tools to conduct a meta search here.
  3. Kart00: Here, you have the option of only searching English pages or the entire web.
  4. Gimpsy: Gimspy specializes in "active sites for active people." You can search by verb or action, by filling in the sentence "I want to…"
  5. This site is a link directory for Google’s custom search engine.
  6. Rollyo: This highly customizable search engine lets you enter a keyword or phrase and then select specific categories to search, like travel and hotels, health, celebrity gossip and more.
  7. Ms. Dewey: Your off-the-wall host Ms. Dewey flirts, sings and offers silly trivia or analysis while you search.
  8. Ulyssek Search Engine: You can view your results organized into categories on this site.
  9. Cha Cha: This creative search engine makes you feel like you’re sending a text from your cell phone when you search.
  10. FactBites: FactBites is "where results make sense" and is touted as a search engine crossed with an encyclopedia.

Open Source Sites

For open source materials that also serve as reference guides, use this list.

  1. DataParkSearch Engine: Use this open source search engine to find multilingual sites, pull up "fuzzy searching based on acronyms and abbreviations" and find text files, mp3s and .gif files.
  2. Wiktionary: Wikipedia’s free dictionary is a collaborative, multilingual resource.
  3. Open Library: This user-generated book catalog has over 13 million books in its library.
  4. dmoz: dmoz is an open directory project, where you can search for or edit topics and results for kids and teens, reference materials, business, health, arts and more.

Internet and Computer Reference

Non-techies and experienced web workers may want to brush up on Internet and computer terms by searching these sites and glossaries.

  1. CNET Glossary: Use this glossary to look up network terms.
  2. Glossary of Internet Terms: From ADN to Meta Tag to SDSL to cgi-bin, find definitions of Internet terms here.
  3. Chat Stuff: This short dictionary has translations for popular chat acronyms like AFK, BAK, and BCNU.
  4. McAfee Virus Glossary: Learn about online threats and computer security by browsing this authoritative glossary.
  5. Tech Encyclopedia: Look up a specific word or click to get a random definition each day.
  6. What Is? IT Dictionary: Browse categories like personal computing, call centers, cheat sheets, authentication, network hardware, compliance, Linux, storage management, Telecom, robotics and a whole lot more for tech definitions.

Consumer Research and Public Information

Use this list to find customer reviews, a currency converter, small business directories and more.

  1. Search all kinds of government information here, from public safety to jobs and education to taxes to voting.
  2. Pricewatch: Look up low prices on computer hardware, electronics and other gadgets here.
  3. Small Business Big World: This is the "almost free" site for finding local and international small businesses.
  4. Kelly Blue Book: Here you’ll find all kinds of consumer information about new and used cars.
  5. XE Currency Converter: Transfer euros, USD, Canadian Dollars, UK pounds, Algerian dinars, Chinese yuan and any other currency here.
  6. Hoovers: Hoover’s is "your one-stop reference for business information," and you’ll find industry overviews, business reports, and a lot more.
  7. ZoomInfo: Research an industry or company by using this business search engine.
  8. Stock Market Yellow Pages: Search for stocks on this search engine, which pulls results from Forbes, Yahoo!, Wall Street City and other sites.
  9. SeatGuru: View layouts of airplanes so that you can easily pick your seats on your next trip.
  10. Zillow: Find homes, get mortgage information and search loans on Zillow.

News and Pop Culture

Discover pop culture references, a sports almanac, new literature guides and more in this list.

  1. Who’s Alive and Who’s Dead: Keep track of which famous musicians, performers, actors, athletes and political figures are alive and which ones are dead.
  2. Search by genre like rock, jazz, pop, world, rap or blues.
  3. Dictionary of Pop Culture References: From A to Z, you can find words, phrases and characters from pop culture.
  4. Encyclopedia Smithsonian: Browse topics like Japanese art, astronomy, horticulture, popular entertainment, domestic life, conservation and more on this authority site.
  5. Energy and Energy Conservation: Find new and archived articles about energy conservation here.
  6. Internet Broadway Database: Look up directors, actors and more for all Broadway shows here.
  7. Grove Music Online: This site is "the world’s premier authority on all aspects of music."
  8. bibliomania: Over 2,000 classic texts can be found on this site, as well as reference books, study guides and links to buy books.
  9. Sports Almanac: From the Olympics to hockey, you can find everything there is to know about sports history and players on this site.
  10. Newsknife: This reference site ranks the top news sites by each particular story, by month, homepage resources and other categories.

22 of 50 Things

This is from

Self-reliance is a vital key to living a healthy, productive life. To be self-reliant one must master a basic set of skills, more or less making them a jack of all trades. Contrary to what you may have learned in school, a jack of all trades is far more equipped to deal with life than a specialized master of only one.

While not totally comprehensive, here is a list of 50 things everyone should know how to do.

22. Recognize Personal Alcohol Limits – Otherwise you may wind up like this charming fellow.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Name This Website-37

They say the Three Rivers Fesitval brings a lot of people back to Fort Wayne. It does something else too. I recently set up a Google Alert for the TRF and have found more local websites.

This one features an event that I has helping out with on Saturday.

Click here for the answer.

Final Bit of Hot Dog News

A link to this story appeared in my email at lunch time today.

While the Three Rivers Festival was hosting the first annual Dog n' Suds/WILD 96.3 Hot Dog Eating contest
with a top prize of $500, there was another contest in South Carolina.

Our Rules were simple. 5 minutes to eat as many as you could. Top 3 winners get $$. Each of the money winners ate at least 12, the big winner gobbled 14 in 5 minutes.

The other contest in Greenwood, South Carolina rules: 12 minutes to eat as many as you could. That's more than double the time. Winner gets $100 bucks. If the winner could eat at least 20, he would get an extra $100.

Their winner only ate 16 in 12 minutes. That's only 2 more than our winner, and 4 more than our runner-ups, yet he had more than twice the time.

I guess if we pit our top contestants against theirs, we would win. What do you think?

How to get Fired (or not)

Last week, we cut our sales staff. Not that we wanted to, heck we could double our sales staff if every one of them did what they are supposed to do.

What is a salesperson supposed to do? Make more money for the company than the company pays you is a good start. Beyond that, ask your boss or a mentor for good reasonable goals that include a time frame and a plan of action.

On the other hand, if you want to be a loser.....

12 Ways To Become an Utter Failure at Work

Posted: 09 Jul 2008 12:34 AM CDT

Written on 7/09/2008 by Tim Brownson, of A Daring Adventure.

As a life coach I speak to lots of people about self-development. It’s one of the cool things about my job; I actually get paid to help people make their lives more fulfilling. However, every now and then somebody will say something along the lines of, “Yeah I know what you mean, but that sounds like really hard work.

They’re absolutely right! Self-development is indeed a life long process but so is brushing your teeth, eating healthy food and breathing. Guess what else is tough - being miserable, unhappy and unsuccessful.

Do you think people with those traits got where they are by accident and taking things easy? Of course they didn't, they worked damn hard at it. They didn't become over night failures, they committed themselves to a lifetime of zero-growth and bitterness, especially in the workplace.

I wouldn’t normally do this for obvious reasons, but just in case you’d like to join their ranks, I’m going to offer you 12 tips that will guarantee a lifetime of misery at work.
  • Demoralize
    Always make sure that the first thing you say when entering in the morning and the leaving the office in the evening brings everybody down. Examples could be “I see the economy has taken another turn for the worse”, “The CEO is planning another round of head cuts according to Sue in HR” and “I knew I shouldn’t have come to work with this bug the kids gave me, 3 people have died from it already in our neighborhood.

  • Holidays
    If you need a big day off, don’t risk booking it in advance. If you ask for July 4th off, management may say no. Phone in sick at the last minute (from the beach). Don’t worry; somebody will cover for you even if it means they have to leave their family to come into the office. It’s not a charity you know, and anyway it’s not your fault they only get to see their sick Grandpa once every 4 years.

  • Horde
    If you have any ideas that will help all your colleagues perform more efficiently or be more successful, pretend you’re a squirrel and keep them to yourself. They’re your ideas; you earned, plagiarized or stole them. We’re not living in Russia or China or some other Commie country you know, nobody gives you hands out of cash. Let your motto be” “To have and to hold”.

  • Undermine
    If one of your colleagues has a great idea in a meeting, never forget to ridicule it. Point out every way it can and will fail. Tell everybody how a similar suggestion failed in your last company and everybody lost their jobs, homes and ended up in jail. If it’s a really good idea, don’t be discouraged, just treat it as a challenge and undermine even harder.

    If all else fails, tell them about how when you worked at Enron they had that very same idea. The gold standard is not just to get the idea thrown out, but the have the person that suggested it ridiculed and hopefully fired.

  • Gossip
    Tell Ian and Bob that Jay thinks they’re both jerks. Then tell Amanda that Lucy fancies her boyfriend and has been making eyes at him. Then tell Jay that Ian slept with the boss’s wife at the Christmas party but told her his name was Jay. Send a letter to Bob swearing undying love and sign it Ian and so on and so forth. This stuff doesn’t have to be technically true, as long as you have a hunch, that makes it all perfectly legal and above board.

  • Brown Nose
    Always leave the office 30 seconds after you manager and get there 30 seconds before he arrives. Everybody in the office will cotton on to what you’re doing, but the manager will be in blissful ignorance and think you’re committed to the company cause. Roll your eyes at the boss whilst shaking your head every time somebody leaves early or arrives late.

  • Undermine
    Spend hours on Facebook, MySpace and dating sites looking for dirt on colleagues. When you find something, accidentally send an e-mail with the link to the entire company. If that’s too risky borrow somebody else’s computer or just print pictures off at home and surreptitiously stick them all over the office when it’s empty. Blame Colin from dispatch.

  • Porn
    When surfing for porn, always make sure you’re logged in under somebody else’s username and password and preferably on their computer too.

  • Drinks
    If you have a communal fresh coffee machine and you notice it’s getting low, make sure you top yours up quickly otherwise you may be the one to have to fill it up. If you have a fresh cup, simply pour that away and then finish off the good stuff. The same goes for the water bottle. It’s not your job to change it if it runs dry. Just make sure you fill 4 or 5 cups to take back to your desk when it gets very low.

  • Cell Phones
    Never ever turn you phone off at a meeting even when requested to do so. If it rings, simply hold up your hand condescendingly indicating everybody needs to be quiet and nod sagely as your mum tells you that Aunt Enid has lost her reading glasses down the toilet again. If anybody else’s phone should ring, roll your eyes; sigh heavily and then say in a low but perfectly audible whisper “disgraceful”.

  • Deny
    Admission is a sign of weakness. If you screw up blame somebody else, anybody else, everybody else. Good people to blame are anybody that no longer works in your office, the timid office mouse that never fights his or her corner or anybody that has been within 100 feet of your desk within the last 6 months.
So now you can see that being unsuccessful can be really hard work. These tips will help you get there, but they need to be fine-tuned and worked on for years and years. Of course you could do that or you could work on being the best person you can be. It really is your choice.


21 of 50 Things

This is from

Self-reliance is a vital key to living a healthy, productive life. To be self-reliant one must master a basic set of skills, more or less making them a jack of all trades. Contrary to what you may have learned in school, a jack of all trades is far more equipped to deal with life than a specialized master of only one.

While not totally comprehensive, here is a list of 50 things everyone should know how to do.

21. Parallel Park – Parallel parking is a requirement on most standard driver’s license driving tests, yet so many people have no clue how to do it. How could this be?

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Name This Website-36

Have you been there yet? Not just in the virtual world, but the physical world too? Click here for the answer.

Before You Get Engaged...

Studies show that money is one of the leading areas of conflict leading to divorce.

Here's a great checklist from the Art of Manliness Blog:

5 Personal Finance Discussions To Have Before Getting Hitched

Posted: 10 Jul 2008 11:59 PM CDT

money-newly-weds 5 Personal Finance Discussions To Have Before Getting Hitched

Photo by mbtrama

When a couple gets married, they’re not only joining lives, they’re joining bank accounts. Each person brings to the relationship different attitudes and ideas about money. One of the keys to a happy and successful marriage is to get on the same page with your spouse about finances.

Here are 5 things that a couple thinking about getting married should consider before getting hitched.

1. Review your credit history and debt together

Before you get married, sit down and look over each others’ credit report. One person’s bad credit score is bad for the both of you. You don’t want to find out when you apply for a loan that your lovely wife racked up thousands of dollars in credit card debt to pay for a shoe shopping habit while in college. By then it’s too late. Finding out each others’ credit score before you apply for a loan can help you decide whether to leave the person with the crappy score off the loan application so you can get a good rate. If you don’t do this, you’ll end up like this guy:

The guy is kind of a douchebag when he says he wouldn’t have married his wife if he knew her credit report. But the commercial gets across the point that it’s important to know each others’ credit report before getting married. It will help you make decisions when taking out a loan.

2. Discuss financial goals

Find out each others’ financial goals and attitudes about money. Is your wife a spendthrift or a frugal monger? Does she want to save for a down payment on a house or does she want to be a renter? You can preempt money tension down the road by getting your goals and attitudes out in the open from the very beginning of your marriage. If one of you likes to spend and the other likes to save, your marriage isn’t doomed, you’ll just have to come to a compromise. Establish what this compromise is going to be at the beginning of your marriage.

3. Decide whether to have joint or separate accounts

The choice to have joint or separate accounts is entirely up to your personal preference. Each has their benefits and drawbacks. It also doesn’t have to be either/or. Many couples have a joint account for home expenses and maintain separate accounts for personal ones.

If you do decide to open up a joint account, make sure you both are aware of how much is in the account. You don’t want to have pay unnecessary overdraft charges.

4. Draft a budget together

Budgets aren’t sexy. They’re tedious and boring. Creating a budget with someone else makes it even harder because each of you have different priorities on spending money. While you might want to allocate more money for entertainment, she might want more money for groceries.

But creating a budget together is vital. It will help bring your spending habits more in-line with each other. It also makes BOTH of your aware of what’s going on in your finances instead of just one person being in the know.

I recently found a great (and FREE!) spreadsheet program based on the envelope budget system. It’s simple and easy to use. Download it, sit down with your gal, and get to cracking on a budget.

5. Decide who is going to head up the finances

The days of having the man have sole control over a couple’s finances are over. Couples these days often choose who is going to tend to the bills and bank accounts based on who has more of a desire to do it. It always seems that within a couple, one partner has more of a knack and interest in it than the other. If neither of you are inclined to head it up, you can always divvy up the tasks equally. Still, things tend to run smoothest when one person takes on most of the responsibly. But even if one partner does the lion’s share, the other spouse should be kept actively abreast of what is going on and be a part of all major decisions. You don’t want your wife to die and suddenly realize you have no idea what the state of your finances is.

Quick Links to Hot Dog Eating Contest

Click here for another perspective on the 3 Rivers Fest Hot Dog Contest Saturday, which is where this photo came from.

And I have a complete list of the results here.