Saturday, December 05, 2009

Saturday Night Classic Music Video: John

Elton John did the classic John Lennon tune....

If Lennon was alive today, he would be 69. Instead on December 8th his fans will mourn his death (1980).

Fort Wayne Site-of-the-Day

I discovered this site last month. Click here to go there.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Video Time: Movie Quotes

One of the most difficult tasks my wife and I face is deciding which movie to rent. Sometimes we'll revert to a classic:

Fort Wayne Site-of-the-Day

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Thursday, December 03, 2009

Less Worry

We are caught up between two very busy holidays right now, and there may be some pressure in your life due to family gatherings, Christmas parties, etc.

A couple months ago we had a conversation with one of our kids about how to manage their time traveling to see everyone for the holidays and urged her to follow this advice from the DLM blog:

Should You Care What Other People Think of You?

Posted: 02 Oct 2009 06:29 AM PDT

Even the introverts amongst us – myself included! – are social beings. It’s natural for us to pay attention to what other people might be thinking. The problem is, worrying about what other people think can lead us to take on too many commitments, deny our true goals and passions, settle for a life of “people-pleasing”.

On the other hand, paying no heed at all to how others might be thinking of us can lead to professional and personal relationships turning sour.

Here are some steps that’ll help you find a healthy balance.

Step 1: Pay Attention – But Don’t Worry
Worrying rarely gets you anywhere in life. Don’t spend time feeling unhappy or anxious about how others might be thinking of you. Try not to let your emotions cloud the issue here, and don’t spend time trying to “mind-read” other people.

You’re often your own worst critic – and frankly, most people have far too much on your minds to care whether you’re slightly over/under-dressed for a situation, for instance.

Step 2: Does Their Opinion Matter?
Stop caring what random strangers think of you. If you like to sing as you walk round your local park, and someone passing gives you a weird look – it really doesn’t matter. Their opinion isn’t going to affect you in any way.

The same goes for all sorts of situations. For example, a problem that many overweight people have when they’re trying to get in shape is that they’d like to go to the gym or to an exercise class, but they’re worried what people will think of them. Ask yourself “can what they think hurt me?” or “does their opinion matter?” until you feel confident enough to go ahead with what you want.

Step 3: Use the Feedback

If you get a negative reaction from a key figure in your life, like your boss, then pay attention. If your boss is fanatical about keeping a tidy desk and you couldn’t care less, it’s worth adjusting your behavior – especially if your boss scowls every time s/he sees your desk.

Don’t make assumptions about what other people are thinking, though: make sure you really do have evidence. In the absence of any real evidence, try assuming the best! For example, if someone sends you a rather curt email, assume that they were just in a hurry – don’t start worrying over whether they dislike you.

Step 4: Put Your Goals First
Perhaps you have very different goals to your family and friends. Perhaps you’re keen to get a great grade in school, but your friends think you should just join them in partying and having a laugh. It doesn’t really matter what they think: your goals should be more important than their opinion.

The same goes for all sorts of situations. Maybe you’ve ended up in a career you hate because it’s what your parents wanted you to do. Your goals should never be dictated by other people.

(If you don’t have any explicit goals, that might be why you’re prone to worrying about what other people think – because you don’t have your own plan for your life. You might want to read 11 Useful Tips on Setting Goals and Achieving Them.)

Step 5: Value Your Values
If other people scoff at your values, ignore them. Perhaps you’d like to read more about personal development and self-improvement, but you’re worried your friends would just laugh at you if they found out. Maybe you’re keen to do your best at work even when the boss is away – but everyone else thinks you’re an idiot for not joining them in slacking off.

Whatever the situation, make sure you’re holding tight to your values, rather than being swept along by other people’s. Many people will actually be impressed (even if they don’t say so) – because you’ve had the conviction to stick to what you believe is important.

Step 6: Remember That You Don’t Have to be Popular

Life isn’t like high school: it doesn’t matter if you’re not popular. You can’t please everyone anyway – so don’t even try. Say “no” to commitments that you don’t want to take on. Be willing to do something that goes against the crowd, if it’s what you truly believe in.

Of course, there are a few people in life who you might want to be popular with – your spouse, your kids, and your boss, for example. But in general, most people’s opinions and thoughts about you are unlikely to have any real effect. Plus, if you behave as “yourself” and people don’t like you – would you really want them to be your friends anyway?

Do you find yourself worrying about what other people think? How do you work past these worries? Are there times when it is appropriate to pay attention to how other people think about you?

Written on 10/02/2009 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 ( or check out her website at Aliventures.Photo Credit: jonrawlinson

Fort Wayne Site-of-the-Day

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Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Video Time: Mr. W

Classic Clip to put a smile on your face:

Fort Wayne Site-of-the-Day

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Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Get Er Done

Here we are in the final month of 2009.

You and I have had 11 months to accomplish what we intended at the beginning of the year. And odds are that there are one or two items left to accomplish. Here's help from the DLM Blog:

What Are You Putting Off? How to Get On With It in 3 Steps

Posted: 28 Nov 2009 07:07 AM PST

Most of us put things off. Sometimes, we put off getting started or making progress on big projects... and other times, we put off small tasks that sound simple on paper but seem like a big effort to do.

The problem is, the more we put something off, the harder it is to get going on it. Our resistance to doing it gets greater and greater ... and often, the task becomes more difficult or more unpleasant the longer we put it off.

Maybe we’re putting off a trip to the dentist because we’d rather not have to pay for any treatment (but the longer we leave it, the more it’s likely to cost). Maybe we’re putting off phoning that disgruntled customer (but the longer we leave it, the more likely they are to get even more annoyed ... and get in touch with our boss).

Whatever you’re putting off today, here’s a three-step process to getting on with it.
  1. Figure Out Why
    Firstly, there’s always a reason why you’re putting something off. Don’t dismiss your reluctance or resistance to something as being “stupid” or inexplicable. It might not seem logical, but there’s often a good reason behind it.

    Get honest here. What’s the benefit of not getting that task done?
    • If you don’t start your diet, you can keep on eating whatever you want, whenever you want

    • If you don’t read that book for school, you’ll have more time to play computer games

    • If you don’t make that phone call, you won’t have to face possible rejection

    • If you don’t start writing your novel, you’ll never have to face up to the fact that you might not be as good a writer as you want to be (yet)

    • If you don’t quit smoking, you won’t have to go through withdrawal symptoms and you’ll still have your stress-relief
    Just figuring out the reason why can help you break down your resistance to the task. If you admit that you’re putting off that phone call because it’s scary (not because it’s going to take five hours or cost you a fortune in call charges or something), it’s easier to rise above your fear.

  2. Break It Down
    The next step is to break your task down. A lot of the tasks we put off are difficult because we’re not clear about what we actually need to do to complete them. We’re not just putting off acting – we’re putting off the hard thinking work that needs to go in.

    By breaking a task into bite-sized chunks, it’s much easier to cut down the resistance. If you have “write my resume” on your task list for today, you’ll almost instantly start feeling reluctant to do it. You’ve got no idea how much work needs to go in, and you don’t know where to begin.

    Instead, break that task into chunks, perhaps like this:
    • List all my qualifications

    • Find the dates and details for my work history

    • Email two potential referees to ensure they’re happy to provide a reference

    • Brainstorm about the skills I’ve gained from volunteering
    ... and so on.

    It doesn’t look so daunting now, does it?

  3. Take the First Action
    The third step is to simply do the first task on that broken-down list. Don’t think too hard about it: the more you think about how much work it’ll be or how much you dislike it, the more difficult it will be to get started.

    Just take the plunge! Jump right in and get going – and you’ll find that your resistance to the task vanishes almost straight away.
Bonus Step: Get Over Yourself
If you still feel stuck, this might be why: In a lot of cases, your reason for resisting a task might simply be that it seems, well, boring or hard or not much fun at all.

Sometimes, you just have to get over yourself and accept that you do have to do some hard things in order to reach your goals. In fact, most goals worth achieving will not be easy 100% of the time.

Naomi Dunford (from the must-read small business marketing blog IttyBiz) puts this way better than I could:

Every time you don’t want to do something, think you shouldn’t have too, or find yourself using words like “uncomfortable” or “nervous”, run your excuses through the Fourth Grade BS Detector.

Would an entrepreneurial 10-year-old agree with your logic or would they hear, “But I don’t waaaaaaaaaaaaaaanna”?

Choose your next actions accordingly.

(Naomi Dunford, Introducing the Incredible Business-Building Bullshit Detector, IttyBiz)

What are you putting off today? Why? How does it break down? What’s the first step? Tell us about it in the comments!

Written on 11/28/2009 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 ( or check out her website at Aliventures.Photo Credit: SuperFantastic

Fort Wayne Site-of-the-Day

Time for a blog. Click here to go there if you like babies...

Monday, November 30, 2009

Can you get rid of paper?

And should you?

One of the promises of the computer age was that we would not need paper anymore.

We would read things on our screens and monitors, save digital files, and save the rain forest too!

Yet, I find my life filled with paper. Computers have actually made it easier to print and use more paper than the old fashioned typewriter!

Perhaps, however we can use less paper with these tips from the DLM Blog:

Using Technology to Organize Your Life Without Paper

Posted: 24 Nov 2009 07:57 AM PST

Paper is everywhere in your life: in your car, in your mailbox, in your bookshelves, and even stuck all over your monitor. You may not know it, but reducing your paper use by becoming more comfortable with current technology can lead to a more organized way of life. The majority of successful people in this world live uncluttered, organized lives.

Wouldn’t it be great to have everything you need electronically so it’s easy to find? No more tearing the house apart or digging through the garbage to find a piece of paper that may or may not have been thrown out. No more relying on paper that can’t be replaced if lost.
  • Books
    Transitioning from regular paperback/hardcover books to electronic books may at first seem like the most expensive paper saving technique. However, electronic books not only save paper, but they save you loads of space and the cost of purchasing bookcases, bookends, etc. That leaves you with less furniture to keep tidy and more living space in your home.

    An e-Reader is a small handheld device that allows you to download and view millions of different books. The current average e-reader is about the size of a standard hard cover novel and holds up to 1,500 e-books. If you are used to owning and storing a huge collection of books, then being able to pack them all into one e-reader will save you a heck of a lot of space in your house.

    Let’s say you go to a bookstore and the book you are looking for is out of stock. You’ve wasted your time and gas for nothing. What if you’re sitting in an airport and your flight is delayed. You just finished your book, and are left with nothing to read. In both situations all you would have to do is download the book onto your e-reader wherever you have a wireless connection.

  • Magazines
    Do you really need to read magazines? Hasn’t pretty much all of the information you are reading been posted on the internet already? The broad availability of information on the internet has drastically reduced the need for magazines over the past few years.

    If you must read them, most popular magazines have electronic versions available on their website for a nominal amount of money.

  • Newspapers
    I almost forgot about these things. I hate to be advocating for a cause as newspaper companies are going under, but the internet has taken over the need to purchase the daily newspaper. Google homepages,, or your news website of choice is the go to resources for daily news. If you are paying for the internet, why would you need to pay for newspapers?

  • Sticky Notes
    Every day you write down notes to yourself. Whether it’s jotting down someone’s phone number or a note to “Pick up milk”, a smart phone can be the solution. Smart phones are wireless devices with email and internet capabilities, and most often have a full keyboard.

    Smart phones are pretty much the standard when buying a new cell phone. Many times people don’t think they need a smart phone because they aren’t aware how its features can simplify their lives. With a full keyboard, you can easily take notes and type in someone’s contact info. If you use Outlook or Entourage, you can sync (have current information in two places) your notes and contacts so they are available on your computer as well. Remember, even the most basic cell phones have a note taking feature on them. So instead of writing notes on paper, type them into your phone. Your phone is one of those things you won’t accidentally throw away.

  • Notepads
    Every student takes notes in their courses. Well, all the ones that want to pass do. What happens if that notebook suddenly goes missing? I’ve got a three-step process to taking, organizing, and backing up your notes.

    1. For those of you in class, bring your laptop and take notes. There were a few times in college where I wrote notes and couldn’t understand what I wrote. With typing, you avoid this issue.

    2. Organize your notes in folders on your computer’s desktop. The top level should be for the semester, and then within that folder should be a folder for each course. Inside each folder should be a file for each day. I would keep the naming format simple, for example, “date – quick summary of what was talked about”.

    3. Backup your files every night to be sure they are available in case of a problem. There are free services that offer online backup of your files, which make everything easily accessible should your computer turn against you.
    If it is available to you, you also have an option of using Microsoft OneNote 2007. You can create a new notebook, and add pages for each day.

    After the college years comes the real world of work. Depending on your business, it may or may not be the best practice to bring a laptop into every meeting. If you can bring your computer into the meeting, by all means do so and take notes. However if you cannot bring your computer into a meeting, transfer those notes to your computer as soon as possible.

    Time is usually something you don’t have a lot of in the business world, so don’t bother typing. Use a scanner to scan notes, and then use your organizational skills to appropriately file them in your computer for easy access.

  • Bills
    Chances are a lot of you are doing this already, but if you are not, start paying any bills you can online. If there is the option to go paperless, do it. Most people elect not to do this, leaving them with a pile of unopened bills each month. If there is ever a need for a hard copy of the bill, you can usually print out a past statement which should be available to download from your account.

  • Checks
    If it weren’t for paying rent, birthdays, holidays, and other gift giving situations, checks would be of no use to us. Most banks offer great electronic methods of paying all of your monthly bills. If you need to pay money to a person, Paypal has become the standard for sending and receiving money online. Anytime you are thinking of sending someone a check, send them money through PayPal. Setup is easy, and you can even configure your cell phone to send money to others.
Getting comfortable with current technology is the key to reducing your paper use. Practice using one tip weekly to get accustomed to doing things differently and more efficiently. Added bonus: Not having to take the garbage out as often. That’s something we can all benefit from.

Written on 11/24/2009 by Jay Scarrozzo. Jay is the author of Go Ask J and owns his own computer service company. He has a BS in Computer Information Systems and believes that new technology can be used by all if taught correctly. His blog focuses on providing new technology news that everyone can understand and appreciate.Photo Credit: burgermac

Fort Wayne Site-of-the-Day

A few more Media Mondays. This is one of my stations. Click here to go there.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Every Day

you and I have a choice.

A choice of attitude.

A choice of actions.

A choice of inactions.

And each new day, each hour, every minute, every moment, we are making choices.

This past week, was filled with some unexpected decisions to make. Starting Wednesday morning at 3am when I heard my wife rush to the bathroom.

In the middle of the night I decided to myself that I would make our families Thanksgiving dinner. So when my wife called me later in the day, apologizing for being sick, I told her no problem, I'd do the cooking this year.

I used her recipes, which she shared with me that evening while she was fighting a fever. And as I put together the various dishes, I decided it was fun.

The next day, Kathy was feeling better, but we kept her away from any food prep. My son and his girlfriend came in the morning and "Mad" helped prepare the pomegranate cranberry sauce.

Then later when I needed a third hand, my daughter Rachael finished the potatoes and gravy, as I carved the bird. All in all, it was a wonderful gathering of family and blessings.

Friday, Kathy and I went out to see the movie, The Blind Side. Through out the film, you see choices being made and the outcomes.

Saturday, the recently engaged daughter organized a dinner with the parents, and for some reason she was nervous. I'm not sure why, it was low key at a local restaurant with 3 sets of parents and baskets of burgers.

Sunday, I had lunch with a friend and he shared how the elevator in his building was out of order again. As he was muttering to himself as he was climbing 4 flights of stairs, he was met by an elderly couple who lived on the 6th or 7th floor.

This elderly couple were helping each other down the stairs one step at a time with some difficulty. In the meantime, my friend Ron who turned 68 this month was humbled and thankful for his health.

See, like I said at the begining, you and I have a choice to make, all the time. If your life is not going the way you want, make some changes.

First, change your attitude.

Then change your actions.

Finally, you will change your circumstances.

Fort Wayne Site-of-the-Day

This event is Saturday. Click here to go there.