Saturday, April 18, 2009

Gmail Goodies

What do you mean you haven't switched to G-mail yet? I admit it took a little getting used to but I really like all the options and the cost= FREE. Plus look at this from the DLM Blog:

Dumb Little Man - tips for life

Link to Dumb Little Man - Tips for Life

10 Gmail Labs Features You Must Enable

Posted: 16 Apr 2009 07:34 AM PDT

Gmail, without a doubt, is the only email application that keeps on innovating and adding new features. The introduction of Gmail Labs in June last year was a significant move in this direction and since then, it has added some amazing features which make working with the web interface of Gmail an absolute bliss.

Most of the Labs features are aimed at increasing your productivity when you are reading and answering emails. I have listed ten of them which are my personal favorites and I am sure the productivity nuts among you would waste no time in enabling them.

Go To Label
For someone like me who has a long list of labels, this feature is a godsend. I just have to enable keyboard shortcuts in the settings and then whenever I wish to go to a particular label, I need to press "g" and then "l". Then, I type in the label name, press enter and that's it.

The best thing - it auto-completes the label name as you type. A huge time saver.

Mark As Read Button
Probably the simplest of Labs' features, but a very useful one. Gmail by default doesn't have a 'mark as read' button. It's there in a drop down menu. Once you enable this feature in Labs, it places a separate button for mark as read and hence saves you time when you need to quickly mark emails as read.

If you get a lot of notification emails each day which you don't need to read by opening then this feature is for you. Sure it saves just 2-3 seconds but they do add up over a period of time.

Multiple Inboxes
One of the coolest features in Labs. It helps you divide your main Gmail interface into separate boxes which could contain emails of your choice. For more on how to implement it, read this blog entry.

Offline
It uses Google Gears to store a local cache of your email. If you lose the internet connection, you could still work in the email and when you come online again, all the things get synchronized with the Gmail servers.

Undo Send
Another exceptional feature. I am sure every one of you have regretted sending certain emails. With this feature, you won't have to regret again; but you need to be quick. The Undo button appears only for five seconds. That's the time you've got to take action.

Search Autocomplete
This feature helps you to search your Gmail more efficiently. As the name suggests, enabling this feature would bring autocomplete to your Gmail search box which helps you to get to search results quickly.

Forgotten Attachment Detector
Like the Undo Send feature, this is also aimed at avoiding embarrassment and doing the right thing the first time. It alerts you when you try to send an email whose body has something written about attaching a file but doesn't have an attached file.

Right Side Labels/Chat
If you don't work on those big 30-inch monitors then this feature should help you prevent scrolling down each time to take a look at your labels or the chat list.

Right Side Labels and Right Side Chat are listed as two separate features in Gmail. Hence you could move either of them to the right side of your Gmail.

Quick Links
This is another wonderful feature. Here's what Gmail team has to say about it.

" Quick Links allows you to create a shortcut to any bookmarkable URL in Gmail. Just click "Add Quick Link" to save a link to the page you are currently viewing. You can then jump to that page any time with one click. For example, you can add a link to a draft email where you keep your to do list, or an email with your frequent flyer information. You can also save a common Gmail search by conducting the search (let's say for "is:unread" -- which brings up all your unread mail) and then clicking "Add Quick Link."

Canned Responses
Last but by no means the least, Canned Responses is a feature for those who get a huge number of emails everyday, most of which need a similar one line reply. Save those replies in Canned Responses and you don't need to type them again. You could even create filters which automatically reply certain emails with a canned response you've saved for the purpose.

Apart from the aforementioned features, there are many more cool features in Gmail Labs. If you want to stay up-to-date with what's new in Labs then I'd suggest you to subscribe to the Gmail blog.

Cheers,

Abhijeet

Written on 4/15/2009 by Abhijeet Mukherjee. Abhijeet is an internet entrepreneur who loves writing about tech, productivity, blogging & making money online. Catch him at Jeet Blog and also subscribe to his weekly newsletter.Photo Credit: Google

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Friday, April 17, 2009

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Dieting?

Some healthy eating tips from the DLM Blog:

Dumb Little Man - tips for life

Link to Dumb Little Man - Tips for Life

Seven Dieting Mistakes You Don’t Know You’re Making

Posted: 07 Apr 2009 05:44 AM PDT

If you read Glen’s post on How to Gain Weight And Build Muscle and thought, “I wish I had the problem of trying to put on weight”, this post is for you.

You’ve tried multiple diets in the past and nothing ever seems to work. Perhaps you manage to stick to a rigid diet for a few days, but you crack before the week is out. Maybe you get into good habits, but somehow let them slide again. You know to avoid some of the common dieting mistakes – you eat breakfast every day, you drink plenty of water – but something still seems to be wrong.

Here are seven dieting mistakes that you might not realize you’re making... could one of these be the key to why your attempts to lose weight aren’t succeeding?
  1. Eating Too Little
    Many people don’t realize that eating too little will prevent you from successfully losing weight. The human body is good at adjusting to difficult conditions (it’s how we survived in the past when food was scarce). If you eat very little on a consistent basis, your body will become super-efficient in clinging onto its remaining stores of fat. It’ll also start to eat up your muscles for energy – the last thing you want, as muscle is what gives your body strength and definition.

    Nutritionists recommend that you eat at least 1,000 calories per day (men will need more). You also need more than this if you’re exercising. Don’t try to crash-diet by severely cutting calories: you’ll struggle to lose weight, and your body will pile the weight back on when you do stop dieting.

  2. Having a Monotonous Diet
    Many dieters fall into the trap of working out a few “good” (nutritious, easy-to-prepare, low calorie) meals, and rotating between them on a daily or weekly basis. Diet plans often encourage this monotonous behavior.

    The problem is, most of us get pretty bored with eating the same thing day-in-day-out. If your brown-bagged lunch is exactly the same as it was for the last four days, you’re going to be much more tempted to ignore it in favor of popping to the nearest fast food joint.

  3. Misjudging Portion Sizes
    Like most of the world, you probably shake your morning cereal straight into your bowl. It’s a bowlful – it’s the right size for a portion, right? Try weighing out your cereal next time you eat breakfast, using the recommended portion size on the packet as a guideline. You might find that your regular serving is easily twice as big.

    Get used to weighing everything: few of us can accurately judge weights by eye. Using smaller dinner plates and smaller cereal bowls also helps you keep portion sizes down, and the wonderful Crabby McSlacker has this tip about cereal:

    Do you put fruit on your cereal? If so, put the fruit in first, then sprinkle cereal on top. Magically, it takes much less cereal to feel like a "full" bowl when the fruit sits underneath rather than on top! (Portion Control, Pizza and Peanut Butter, Cranky Fitness)

  4. Making Exercise A Chore
    If I say the word “exercise”, what comes to mind? Chances are you associate exercise with something that you feel you “should” do (like spring-cleaning the house, or visiting those relatives who you secretly wish would disown you).

    Whilst seeing exercise as a chore can make you feel a lovely virtuous, slightly self-righteous glow when you do make it to the gym, it’s unlikely to help you to stick to being active in the longer term. Look for forms of activity that you enjoy and look forward to. Anything which gets your body moving and your heart rate up counts: walking, gardening, swimming, skating, rowing, etc.

  5. Impulse Eating
    This is one of my biggest mistakes and it’s a tricky one to guard against: eating on impulse. Maybe one of your colleagues has brought in a gorgeous birthday cake, or your kids have made cupcakes. Perhaps you’re making a coffee and your hand reaches for the cookie jar without you really noticing.

    When you find yourself reaching for food that you’ve not planned to eat, stop. Are you hungry, or just eating because it’s there? Don’t ban yourself from having foods, but do make yourself stop and think about it. I find that telling myself “I’ll have a cookie (etc) in twenty minutes” works well: often, I’ve decided I don’t really want it after all once twenty minutes is up. And if I do decide to go ahead and indulge, I’ll take the time to really savor and enjoy it!

  6. Worrying About Waste
    Have you ever eaten something because you, “didn’t want it to be wasted?” Whether it’s finishing up the kids’ leftovers, licking out your bowl of cookie dough or snaffling those few limp remaining sandwiches at a work buffet, that unneeded food is just as wasted as extra pounds on your body as it would be if it ended up in the garbage.

    Save leftovers for the next day, where possible, or use them for compost. In the long run, isn’t it more of a waste to stay unhealthy and overweight (and suffer potentially expensive health care, or pay for pricy diet food) than to chuck away half an uneaten bag of chips?

  7. Being Too Strict
    One final mistake that some dieters make is to try too hard. Maybe they ban a lot of foods, or get obsessive over counting every last calorie. This is a sure-fire way to end up going completely off the rails when something unexpected happens: a conference with buffet meals, for instance, or suddenly “cracking” and going on a cookie-binge.

    Cut yourself some slack. Don’t see dieting as an all-or-nothing effort. You definitely don’t have to be “perfect” (however you define that) to improve your health, lose weight and get more energy.
Have you realized what dieting mistake you’re making? Do you have any of your own “surprise” mistakes to add to the list? Let us know in the comments...

Written on 4/7/2009 by Ali Hale.Ali is a professional writer and blogger, and a part-time postgraduate student of creative writing. If you need a hand with any sort of written project, drop her a line (ali@aliventures.com) or check out her website at Aliventures.Photo Credit: joguldi

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Video Time: Signs

Take 12 minutes and watch this..


Signs
Uploaded by mg02

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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Doing the Right Thing

From the Art of Manliness Blog:

Living a Life of Integrity

Posted: 07 Apr 2009 07:16 PM PDT

integrity Living a Life of Integrity

Image from Tobyotter

You’re a government employee and you hear of plans for a new shopping center and airport development. The price of property in the area is likely to increase sharply once public announcement is made. Should you tell your friend who owns property in the area and is planning to sell? Should you buy property yourself?

You’ve been really struggling in a class you need to pass to graduate. You studied hard for the final, but still aren’t feeling confident about it. Your friend took the test earlier in the day and offers to tell you exactly what was on it. Should you let him?

Your ex-girlfriend comes into town and wants to have a casual, friendly lunch. Do you tell your wife?

What would you do in the above scenarios? How long would it take you to decide? Integrity is one of those abstract qualities that we all wish to possess, but often find difficult to apply when it comes to real situations and practical dilemmas. What will we do when faced with questions like those above?

The word integrity is related to the roots of words like “integrate” and “entire.” In Spanish it is rendered “integro,” meaning whole. Integrity thus implies the state of being complete, undivided, intact, and unbroken. Such a state contrasts with one that is scattered, fragmented, and incomplete. In writing this article, I was struck by the way in which integrity pulls together so many of the other things we have discussed on the Art of Manliness. Integrity is really the bond that holds a man’s other virtues together; it is the mark of a man who has successfully integrated all good principles. His life is a unified whole.

Why Live with Integrity

It’s Easier

It may not seem like it at first blush, but living with integrity is easier than living a deceitful life. While making unethical decisions is often easier in the short term, it eventually takes its toll. There’s no real happiness to be found in struggling to remember your lies, living in fear of getting caught, and not feeling like you truly earned your reward. It’s empty and stressful. Bernie Madoff may have lived high on the hog, but did he really enjoy his wealth knowing that one day his house of cards would collapse? Living with integrity brings wholeness and peace. Your conscience can rest easy, and you can look at yourself in the mirror with pride.

It Builds Trust

A man of integrity is a man others can count on. They know he will do what he says he will do. He is promoted at work because he can be trusted with greater responsibility. His wife knows that when he says he’s working late, he really is. His friends feel comfortable opening up to him and turning to him in times of crisis. When you choose to live with integrity, all of your relationships will be healthier, stronger, and more satisfying.

It Serves as a Basis for Value Judgments

The questions given above raise some sticky issues. Every day we are faced with similar dilemmas. A commitment to live a life of integrity allows you clarity when you have to make hard choices. You won’t be at war with yourself over which path to choose. Instead, you’ll experience the confidence that comes with having every aspect of your life knit together in a unity of purpose.

Practicing Integrity

Living a life of integrity is a daily process that’s doesn’t end until your life does. Here are some ways to develop integrity:

Decide now, not later. Many men have not thought through their personal value system. They’re not sure who they are or what they stand for, and they wait until the breaking of a crisis to make their decision. At that point, it’s too late. Faced then with great pressure, you will be more prone to take the route which is easier in that moment. Decide now what you will and will not compromise on. Then, when faced with ethical choices, the decision will have already been made.

Quit the rationalizations. There’s always a million reasons to compromise your integrity. You hear them on the news every day as corporate bigwigs struggle to justify their fat bonus checks. You can always come up with justifications that seemingly make good sense and let you sleep better at night. But at the end of the day, when you place your rationalizations on a scale next to integrity, you’ll realize you sold out something priceless for a measly pittance. There’s nothing more valuable than your good name and the ability to look at yourself in the mirror each day with a clear conscience.

Don’t take the first step. When a great man falls from grace, we often wonder how he could have ever messed up so royally. The truth is that he didn’t wake up one day and decide to commit an egregious blunder. It started with a little fudging here, a tiny bit of lying there. From there he just kept on sliding down the slippery slope of compromise. Don’t compromise on the little things, and you won’t on the bigger ones.

Don’t justify the means for the end. This is probably the most popular rationalization for breaking with your integrity. In reality, the journey towards an accomplishment or decision is just as important as the destination itself. Even if you are richly rewarded at the end, if you cannot look back on the means used to get there with anything but shame, your victory will be hollow indeed.

Take personal responsibility for you life. At the heart of integrity is the ability to own up to the fact that you are in control of your life. You are responsible for both your successes and your failures. Nobody else but you.

Living a Life of Integrity

Integrity is a value that we should strive for in all areas of your life. Here are some of the areas and situations where it should always be applied:

Integrity Within Yourself

I once read an acquaintance’s blog in which he wrote of running into someone at a bar and struggling to remember what story he had told her about himself. Apparently, he enjoys telling people that he meets at bars and such that he is different people-a pilot, a doctor, a soldier, etc. He said that it sometimes gets hard to remember who he told what.

While this is an extreme example, how many men do you know who act like social chameleons; they are a different guy with you, a different guy at home, a different guy at work, a different guy when traveling, ect. Instead of being a single self, they live as multiple selves, transforming into who they think each group wants them to be. William James, the philosopher and psychologist, said that men have “as many different social selves as there are distinct groups of persons about whose opinion he cares.”

Even if you aren’t outright lying like my acquaintance, turning on some alternate persona in different situations can be exhausting. You end up feeling fragmented and confused as to who you really are. No relationship should require you to pretend to be someone you’re not. If people don’t like who you really are, why would you want to be friends with them in the first place?

The first step towards integrity is being honest with yourself. Be who are. Say what you mean. Do what you say you will do. Don’t just walk the walk; talk the talk.

Integrity at Work

  • Put in 40 hours of work for 40 hours of pay. You’re getting paid to do a job, not goof around. There are of course exceptions; you may be done with one project and have nothing to do until you get your next assignment. But if you’re supposed to be working on something, you shouldn’t be watching March Madness games.
  • Don’t take credit for others’ success. Never take someone’s idea and pitch it as your own. And don’t jump on a wagon at the end of a successful ride that you didn’t contribute to.
  • Be transparent. Make your deals as transparent as possible. Don’t leave out things that the other party is going to hate you for later when they figure out what they really signed.
  • Don’t steal supplies. Yeah, the corporation you work for doesn’t pay you enough. And yeah, no one is going to miss that box of paperclips. But it’s still stealing, buddy.
  • Avoid situations where you’ll have a conflict of interest. If you’re caught in something that prevents you from making completely honest decisions, get out.
  • If your company pressures you to make unethical decisions, walk away. It’s not true every man has a price; a man of integrity prizes his character above monetary security. Is it possible to make it in your career field while having true integrity? Yes, but only if you’re the best at what you do. You’ll always need to be a cut above the guys who take shortcuts to get ahead.

Integrity in Your Romantic Relationships

  • Be an open book. Don’t keep secrets from your significant other. Even if the secrets don’t affect her, if she finds out you’ve been keeping stuff from her, it will erode the trust between you.
  • Avoid emotional cheating. Having integrity in regards to physical cheating is a given. Harder is avoiding emotional cheating, a straying that seems more innocuous at first, but easily leads to the corporeal variety. If you find yourself sharing more of your thoughts and feelings with a female friend or co-worker than you do with your wife, it’s time to take a big step back.
  • End a relationship when you know it’s over. If you’re dating someone and have reached the point where you know you two don’t have a future together, don’t keep dragging her along because you’re afraid to end things. Break up with her like a man.

Integrity with your Friendships

  • Keep your promises. Always, always follow-through with the things you have said you will do. A man’s word is his bond. If you tell your friend that you’ll hang out with him, and then the girl you like invites you over–too bad. You already made other plans.
  • Don’t talk smack about other people. Saying something behind someone’s back that you wouldn’t say to their face shows a distinct lack of integrity.
  • Be the vault. When friend trusts you with confidential information, lock those secrets away. Nothing erodes a friendship faster then a breach of trust in the secret department.

Fort Wayne Site-of-the-Day


Monday, April 13, 2009

Video Time: The other 364 Days

So yesterday you thought the Easter Bunny was cute. Watch out...

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Sunday, April 12, 2009

Video Time: The Real Easter Story

A reminder that today is not really about Bunnies & Eggs.

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