Saturday, July 25, 2009
Friday, July 24, 2009
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Posted: 15 Jul 2009 06:02 AM PDTRecently, I was lamenting that there is never enough time in the day for me to accomplish all that I need to. I know I’m not alone in this because many people’s refrain these days seems to be, “I’m so busy” or like me, “There is not enough time...”
Consider all of the roles we all play. For instance, in my life, I play the role of mother, wife, writer/consultant, cook, laundress, daughter, sister, daughter-in-law, sister-in-law, friend, and last and usually least, me for me. With these myriad roles come myriad responsibilities and I’ve taken to beating myself up for not getting it all done. This creates a vicious cycle – by attacking yourself, you plummet your own self-esteem and energy and usually end of getting even less done.
It’s time to take a step back and realize that instead of focusing on all that we’re not getting done, we should be focusing on all that we are getting done. I call this the Celebrate the Small Victories approach. The intent is to give a little love to yourself for all of the hard work you put into each day. This will make for a much happier existence, boost your self-esteem by placing focus on the positive and likely make you even more productive and energetic as time goes on. You can’t lose!
Here are a few guidelines to get you started.
- Make a list.
That’s right, the age-old “To Do” list. It will get you organized and lay it all out for you. Do it on your phone, on your computer, a notebook you always have with you or a loose piece of paper. You’ll soon find your own list-keeping style. However you keep it, keep it close and easily accessible. This will be an ongoing list that you will want to refer to and tinker with regularly.
- Include it ALL on your list.
The big, the small, the seemingly inconsequential; it’s the small and inconsequential that will set you free. When you set out to celebrate the small victories, it all matters.
For example, my list as it looks today includes the following: write this article; unpack from the weekend trip; get oil changed on car; call to make one-year check-up appointment for my daughter; do laundry; order a new laundry basket; go to grocery store; throw away my beyond-dead flowers; get a hanging basket filled with beautiful flowers to hang from the deck; call back Megan and Allison; write a condolence note; pick-up dry cleaning; get some exercise; and, get the mail (yes, my mailbox is only ten feet from my front door, but it still counts as something to do). Everything counts.
In case you aren’t familiar with Elvis Presley’s band’s name, it was TCB and TCB is what we all could use a little more of. TCB means Taking Care of Business and that’s the mantra you need to approach your To Dos. Start with one of the small or seemingly inconsequential things from your list and knock it out. Today may not be the day that you write that novel, but throwing in a load of laundry or making a doctor’s appointment has a different, but equally meaningful impact. Just think if you never did laundry...at least in my house, no one else would do it, so the fact that I do it makes a big difference in all of our lives! Tackling and giving yourself credit for all of these smaller TCB moments will help you start to realize how much you really do in a day.
- Cross off/delete each and every thing you accomplish.
Take enormous pleasure in this. It feels good to cross it off, even if it’s “only” getting the mail. And if it is getting the mail, you get to cross it off and then put it back on again for tomorrow’s list. The process in and of itself is therapeutic. It increases your sense of accomplishment and highlights your productivity, even if you’re the only one taking note of these small triumphs
- Celebrate your small victories.
Congratulate yourself for everything you accomplish each day. Whether the day has ended and the only thing I’ve been able to do is get to the mail, so be it. That is still something. Sure, I’d feel like a rockstar if I’d have sewn my children some new clothes, called everyone I’ve been innocently neglecting for the past year and worked on my Nobel Peace Prize speech, but the truth is, I’m probably never going to have a day in which ALL of that gets done. How big or how much you’ve done slowly starts to take a back seat to the simple fact that you are doing.
|Written by Courtney A. E. Messenbaugh on 7/15/09. After spending most of her professional life in finance and politics, Courtney saw the light and now spends her time pursuing her true professional passion – writing. She lives in Colorado with her husband, two small children and very old dog.||Photo Credit: daveynin|
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Posted: 16 Jul 2009 08:22 PM PDT
There’s nothing like a good clean shave to start your day off right. A well-shaved face leaves a good impression with potential clients and lady friends. Unfortunately, legions of men are walking around right now with a nasty side effect of improper shaving: razor burn. We’ve all had it at one time or another- that horrible itchy feeling that pops up a few hours after you shave. Razor burn not only ruins a good shave, it just looks bad. But with the proper attack plan, razor burn and razor bumps can be prevented. Here’s yours:
What is Razor Burn?
Razor Burn: It Ain’t Pretty
Razor burn is an irritating rash that sometimes appears after shaving. In its most mild form, razor burn will be slightly itchy and create a noticeable red rash on your face and neck. In severe cases, razor burn can also produce “razor bumps.” Razor bumps are created by ingrown hairs. They look like pimples and they can itch like a mother. Ingrown hairs, and consequently razor bumps, are particularly problematic for African-American men because of their curlier beards.
How to Prevent Razor Burn
Soften the beard. A nice soft beard can be removed far more easily than one that feels like a brillo pad. Thus, the best time to shave is after you take a shower. The hot steam will soften up your beard, leaving it in primo condition for shaving. If you want to get your beard really soft, take some hair conditioner and rub it on your beard while you’re in the shower. Leave it on for the duration of the shower and rinse when you’ve finished bathing. Your beard will be as soft as a baby’s bottom.
Exfoliate. Exfoliating isn’t just for your girlfriend. Use a facial scrub or your wife’s poofy loofa thingy to remove dead skin cells and bring potential ingrown hairs out of hiding. I don’t know if it’s manly, but I’m a fan of St. Ive’s Apricot Scrub. It’s inexpensive and really makes your skin feel nice.
Use a badger brush. When you lather up your beard, use an old school badger brush. Using a brush to lather up helps get the shaving cream up under each whisker which results in better, smoother shaves.
Use a safety razor. Some people swear by the five blade razors that are out on the market today. If you can get a good clean shave with those, then keep using them. But if you feel like every shave leaves you with irritation and razor burn, consider shaving with a safety razor. For many men, the multiple blades of today’s modern razors irritate the skin more than needed. It’s overkill. Shaving with a safety razor will eliminate skin irritation and give your face a clean, healthy look because you’re just using one blade instead of several that chew up your face while cutting your whiskers.
Shave with the grain. In an attempt to get that smooth as a baby’s behind touch, many men shave against the grain. While shaving against the grain can get you that smooth feel in one deft swoop, you risk slicing up your face and causing razor burn. Also, shaving too close increases the chances for ingrown hairs and razor bumps. Shave with the grain instead. This will reduce the chances of irritation and razor burn. You won’t be able to remove your beard in one pass when shaving with the grain. That’s okay. Just lather up and make another pass with the razor. Making several passes with the grain is much better than making one pass against the grain.
Use light, short strokes. Applying too much pressure with the razor increases your chances for razor burn. The weight of the razor is sufficient to cut your beard. To keep yourself from applying too much pressure, use short strokes. With longer strokes, we tend to apply more pressure on the razor.
Use a sharp razor. Have you ever tried cutting a tomato with a dull knife blade (or watched an infomerical where they did)? Notice how instead of cutting, you end up tearing the tomato? Well, imagine the tomato being your face. Instead of cutting your whiskers cleanly, a dull blade creates a lot of drag and tears at your whiskers. This increases your chances of creating ingrown hairs and skin irritation. One of the benefits of using a safety razor is that you can change blades frequently and it won’t cost you an arm and a leg. Each blade is about $.25.
Clean the blade with alcohol. One of the main causes of razor burn and skin irritation from shaving is bacteria on your blade. Kill the bastards by wiping down your razor blade with some rubbing alcohol before you start shaving. Some companies sell fancy blade antiseptic for big bucks, but it’s just run of the mill alcohol plus some fragrance. Drugstore rubbing alcohol is all you need.
Clean the blade after every stroke. Every time you make a pass on your face, your blade is collecting whiskers and shaving cream. This goop gets in the way of the blade making a clean cut. Rinse your blade after each pass. But don’t pull a Gilded Yak and leave your shave scum in the sink. Unless of course, you’re married to Ren or Stimpy.
Rinse your face with cold water when done. The cold water helps close up your pores and reduces the probability of pesky whiskers forming ingrown hairs.
Apply a balm or moisturizer. You’ve just finished scraping a piece of sharp metal across your skin, so no matter how carefully you shave, your face is going to be a little unhappy. Aftershaves can feel refreshing, but for some men, they actually add to the irritation. If this is you, try applying a soothing balm or an aloe vera-based cortisone cream in order to reduce redness. You can find shaving balms or cortisone cream at your local drugstore.
Apply a razor bump cream. If you’re an African-American man or susceptible to ingrown hairs, there are a few products you can apply to prevent razor bumps. Bump Stopper and Tend Skin are two products you can find at your local drugstore. Both of these products help prevent ingrown hairs from forming.
Dry your blades and brush. After you’re done shaving, dry off your blade with a towel. This will help prevent the blade from dulling quickly, keeping it nice and sharp for your next shave. Also, be sure to use a holder to hang up your badger hair brush so it gets some air to dry out. A wet brush can grow bacteria that you’ll be slathering on your face the next time you shave.DownloadThe Art of Manliness Free Man Cookbook
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Tuesday, July 21, 2009
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Sunday, July 19, 2009
I am sometimes amazed at how we expect the internet and our computers to be FAST! Anyone remember the "3 fingered salute" that you'd give your PC when you encountered the "Blue Screen of Death"?
Stop whining and try these tips from the DLM Blog:
Posted: 09 Jul 2009 09:04 AM PDTAlthough the internet has been mainstream for over a decade now, high speed internet for everyone is still a distant dream. A huge number of users are still on dial-up. Those on broadband aren't always satisfied with the speed either. Everyone desires a faster web. Google wants that too. Having said that, there are always certain workarounds which could add some swiftness to our web browsing. This article talks about nine such tips. Some of the tips help to increase the speed of your internet connection while others are productivity hacks which help you to get things done on the web quickly. The end goal is to help you become a more productive internet user.
- Use Google Chrome
Google Chrome is without a doubt the fastest browser on the planet. It opens up quickly, doesn't crash often and brings up web pages faster than other browsers.
Although it is still relatively new and doesn't boast of features like Firefox, you should definitely use it as often as possible. I personally use both Firefox and Chrome and have found Chrome to be much better performance wise.
- Set up OpenDNS
OpenDNS is an excellent free service which not only speeds up your internet connection but also provides an extra layer of your security to your connection. Apart from that, it has some other cool features like parental filters, opening pages from keyword shortcuts, auto-correcting mistyped urls and more.
Here are the detailed instructions for setting it up on your computer.
- Learn Keyboard Shortcuts
Keyboard shortcuts could speed up your internet browsing by a great deal. Be it your email, your feed reader or your browser, using only the keyboard to navigate will always save time.
Here is an excellent website called Keyxl which is like an online database for keyboard shortcuts. Just search for the app and you get the corresponding keyboard shortcuts. Be it Gmail, Google Reader, Firefox, Google Chrome or any other app you could think of, you'll find the keyboard shortcuts for that app on this site.
- Use a Download Manager
If you frequently download stuff from the web then a download manager could save you loads of time. A download manager usually comes with many advanced features which could make downloading files a breeze for you.
There are many good download managers out there which you could try. Lifehacker has a list of five best download managers. Go, take a look.
- Prefer reading in your feed reader
RSS feeds are a great way to consume lot of information at one place. It also saves the time you would take to visit all those sites separately. Hence try to get into the habit of using it more often to read content on the web.
- Use Tidyread or Readability Bookmarklet
If RSS is not your thing and you love visiting websites and blogs then you might consider using Tidyread or the Readability bookmarklet to speed up the rendering of web pages.
Both these apps strip the web pages off the heavy things like scripts, images etc and present content with better readability.
- Use the Hyperwords Firefox extension
Google Chrome may be faster but my love for Firefox isn't gone yet. And it will remain my browser of choice until Chrome has extensions like Hyperwords.
Hyperwords adds loads of things to your right click inside the browser which provides easy access to a lot of information, thereby saving time and helping you become a more productive web surfer.
- Make Firefox faster
Staying with Firefox, those using it would know that it tends to become slow and nagging over time. But there are ways to make it faster. You could consider creating a new profile, uninstalling useless add-ons or clearing preferences of installed add-ons.
- Use a Password Manager & Form Filler
I have written about some awesome password managers before. Most of them come with built-in form fillers. Apart from securing your passwords, they save you time by filling web forms and quickly generating secure passwords for your new online accounts.
This morning, I was at the Firefly Coffee shop, which is where you'll find me nearly every Sunday from 8:30 to 10:30am.
But it was pretty quiet inside today. And they are not the only ones that have been slow this week.
Most restaurants in Fort Wayne that I have stopped in or talked with have been slow. Why?
Well, we are smack dab in the middle of summer which means vacations and trips out of town. But we are also wrapping up the final weekend of the 10 day long Three Rivers Festival.
I went to 2 events this year, a concert sponsored by one of my radio stations, and the Bed Race, also sponsored by one of my radio stations. At the Bed Race Wednesday, I spoke with the Executive Director of the 3RF and she told me that the food vendors are very happy, they were about a day and a half ahead of last years sales. I grabbed my dinner downtown that night from some of the vendors, from the area known as "Junk Food Alley", and was disappointed in what I ate. I'm not sure what I should have expected, but I was cheap and the food was not worth the price I paid.
I was looking for food that I could not get at a regular restaurant, so I avoided the pizza, hot dogs, and the like. I also avoided the stand set up by Bandidos because they are local and I can go there anytime I want.
But back to my original question.
When we have an event like this in our town, how much does it hurt the local restaurants and business owners because money is spent on out of town vendors at Junk Food Alley, instead of with our neighbors who are here 52 weeks a year?
I'm not suggesting we stop the Festivals, but does anyone have any good ideas on how to stop the hurt?