Saturday, May 01, 2010

Saturday Night Classic Music Video

Welcome to May, 2010 as we step back in time...

Fort Wayne Site-of-the-Day

Had breakfast here yesterday. Click on Pic

Friday, April 30, 2010

Why Wait?

Here's why:

from DLM:

How Procrastination Can Make You More Productive

Posted: 22 Apr 2010 06:28 AM PDT

Some mornings, I can't wait to get to work. I jump out of bed, my mind already mulling over the various projects I want to complete. I pour myself some cereal and gulp it down in my home office while waiting for the computer to boot up.

Today is not one of those days. Outside, the sun is shining, birds are chirping and the dogwood tree is getting ready to bloom. Yet even with the windows open, my home office feels like a prison.

Call it spring fever. Call it burnout. Whatever you call it, one thing is clear: I do not want to work today.

My Revelation About Procrastination

I was feeling this way a few weeks ago, too. Despite my lengthy to-do list, I really just wanted to lay in the grass and finish reading "Switch," the latest book by Chip and Dan Heath.

Instead, I forced myself to sit at the computer and get some work done. But I kept getting distracted. I'd pull up the internet to do some research and wind up on Twitter instead – or I'd open my email to respond to a client, only to get called away by an email.

I spent several hours bogged down by one distraction after another, and finished the day with no work accomplished. Then it dawned on me: I wasn't procrastinating from work. I was procrastinating from reading. I was totally ignoring the side of me that wanted to read for an hour or two, and I was punishing myself by wasting the entire day.

It's as if one side of me said, "Not going to pay attention to my needs, huh? Well, I'm not going to let you get any work done. So there."

My brain can be tricky that way.

The Real Reason You Aren't Getting Stuff Done
We've all read productivity tips such as, "Check your email once a day" and "Unplug the internet so you aren't tempted to surf." But these suggestions are no match for an unacknowledged urge stewing in your subconscious.

If you really don't want to work, it won't matter if your internet is unplugged. You'll find other ways to procrastinate.

The same forces are at work when you forget to attend an appointment you've been dreading, or binge on cookies before you can reach for the celery. Sometimes, you just can't shut out those competing urges.

The Solution: Procrastinate More
Once I realized what I was doing, I shut off the computer and headed outside to read. I spent a lovely couple of hours that way, and later I had an easy time getting back to work -- real work, not just goofing off at my desk.

You can become more productive by paying attention to competing urges. Ask yourself:
  • What am I avoiding right now?
  • What have I been denying myself?
  • What action would leave me feeling rejuvenated and refreshed?
If your urge to procrastinate stems from anxiety or avoidance, the best solution may be to simply get to work. But if you're feeling truly burnt out or in need of a creative boost, you may be best served by taking a day of play. Cancel your appointments and head to the park, or spend the afternoon in a hammock sipping lemonade. You may not pare down your to-do list, but you'll feel much better about work in the morning. Over time, you may even get more done.

Written on 4/22/2010 by Kelly Watson. Kelly is a web copywriter and online marketing consultant who blogs about being a one-woman marketing team at Photo Credit:

Fort Wayne Site-of-the-Day

Click on Pic

Thursday, April 29, 2010

100 Google Tips

No, I didn't write this.

And I haven't tried all 100 yet.

Here's my source:

Now, have fun:

Search Tricks

These search tricks can save you time when researching online for your next project or just to find out what time it is across the world, so start using these right away.

  1. Convert units. Whether you want to convert currency, American and metric units, or any other unit, try typing in the known unit and the unknown unit to find your answer (like “how many teaspoons in a tablespoon” or “10 US dollars in Euros”).
  2. Do a timeline search. Use “view:timeline” followed by whatever you are researching to get a timeline for that topic.
  3. Get around blocked sites. If you are having problems getting around a blocked site, just type “cache:website address” with website address being the address of the blocked site to use Google’s cached copy to get where you are going.
  4. Use a tilde. Using a tilde (~) with a search term will bring you results with related search terms.
  5. Use the image search. Type in your search word, then select Images to use the image search when trying to put a picture to your term.
  6. Get a definition. If you want a definition without having to track down an online (or a physical) dictionary, just type “definition:word” to find the definition of the word in your results (i.e.: “definition: serendipity” will track down the definition of the word “serendipity”).
  7. Search within a specific website. If you know you want to look up Babe Ruth in Wikipedia, type in “ Babe Ruth” to go directly to the Wikipedia page about Babe Ruth. It works for any site, not just Wikipedia.
  8. Search within a specific kind of site. If you know you only want results from an educational site, try “site:edu” or for a government site, try “site:gov” and your search term to get results only from sites with those web addresses.
  9. Search for a specific file type. If you know you want a PDF (or maybe an MP3), just type in “filetype:pdf” and your search term to find results that are only in that file type.
  10. Calculate with Google. Type in any normal mathematical expressions to get the answer immediately. For example, “2*4″ will get you the answer “8.”
  11. Time. Enter “what time is it” and any location to find out the local time.
  12. Find a term in a URL. This handy trick is especially useful when searching blogs, where dates are frequently used in the URL. If you want to know about a topic for that year only and not any other year, type “inurl:2009″ and your keyword to find results with your keyword in URLs with 2009 in them.
  13. Use Show Options to refine your search. Click “Show Options” on your search result page to have access to tools that will help you filter and refine your results.
  14. Search for a face. If you are looking for a person and not just their name, type “&imgtype=face” after the search results to narrow your results to those with images of faces.

Google Specifically for Education

From Google Scholar that returns only results from scholarly literature to learning more about computer science, these Google items will help you at school.

  1. Google Scholar. Use this specialized Google search to get results from scholarly literature such as peer-reviewed papers, theses, and academic publishers.
  2. Use Google Earth�s Sky feature. Take a look at the night sky straight from your computer when you use this feature.
  3. Open your browser with iGoogle. Set up an iGoogle page and make it your homepage to have ready access to news stories, your Google calendar, blogs you follow in Google Reader, and much more.
  4. Stay current with Google News. Like an electronic clearinghouse for news, Google News brings headlines from news sources around the world to help you stay current without much effort.
  5. Create a Google Custom Search Engine. On your own or in collaboration with other students, put together an awesome project like one of the examples provided that can be used by many.
  6. Collect research notes with Google Notebook. Use this simple note-taking tool to collect your research for a paper or project.
  7. Make a study group with Google Groups. Google Groups allows you to communicate and collaborate in groups, so take this option to set up a study group that doesn�t have to meet face-to-face.
  8. Google Code University. Visit this Google site to have access to Creative Commons-licensed content to help you learn more about computer science.
  9. Study the oceans with Google Earth 5. Google Earth 5 provides information on the ocean floor and surface with data from marine experts, including shipwrecks in 3D.
  10. Learn what experts have to say. Explore Knol to find out what experts have to say on a wide range of topics. If you are an expert, write your own Knol, too.

Google Docs

Google Docs is a great replacement for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, so learn how to use this product even more efficiently.

  1. Use premade templates. Use these 50 pre-made templates to track spending, keep up with your health, and much more.
  2. Collaborate on group projects. Google Docs allows for real-time collaboration, so make easy work for everyone next time you have a group project due.
  3. Use keyboard shortcuts. Use this handy list of keyboard shortcuts to save lots of time while using Google Docs.
  4. Create online surveys for research projects. Quickly and easily create online surveys for any research project that requires feedback from others. The answers are saved to your Google Docs account.
  5. Add video to your presentation. Learn how to seamlessly add video to your Google Docs page to really give your presentation or project a boost.
  6. Use the school year calendar template. Have an easy to use school year calendar through Google Docs by following these instructions.
  7. Create graphs from spreadsheets. Once you have populated a spreadsheet with data, you can easily create a graph. Google Docs allows for pie, bar, line, and scatter graphs.
  8. Create a new document with shortcuts. Learn two ways to open a new Google Docs page with these tricks.
  9. Right click to use save-as. Use the right click save-as option to save a Google Docs document on your computer.
  10. Send invitations. School shouldn�t be all about work. Find out how to send party invitations using Google Docs.


The super-popular Gmail is full of fun and fast ways to make your life and communications easier.

  1. Use the Tasks as a to-do list. Use the Tasks available in Gmail as a way to stay on top of assignments, exams, and project due dates.
  2. Use the Archive feature. One of the great features of Gmail is that it allows you to archive emails to get them out of your inbox, then you can use the search feature to find them if you need them again.
  3. Highlight mail with labels. Use labels to mark your messages. You can find them easily while in your inbox and do a search for all the messages with that label after you archive them.
  4. Never forget to attach a file. By signing up for the Labs, you can select to have the Forgotten Attachment Detector. This feature notices if you have typed something about an attachment in the body, but are sending without actually attaching anything�a great tool to save time and embarrassment.
  5. Use keyboard shortcuts. Go to Settings and enable keyboard shortcuts so you can perform common tasks at the touch of just one or two keys.
  6. Add multiple attachments. Use the Control (or Cmd on Macs) and Shift keys to select more than one file to attach to your email at one time.
  7. Use the https option. Google recommends using this option if you use your Gmail in public places like a dorm or coffee shop to add an extra bit of protection to your Internet activities.
  8. Incorporate Google Calendar and Docs on your Gmail page. Have access to recent documents used in Google Docs and get an agenda of upcoming activities you have on Google Calendar with small boxes added to your Gmail page. Go to Labs to select this option.
  9. Add a “Waiting for Response” label. If you have emails in your inbox that you are holding until someone gets back to you, creating this label keeps you from forgetting to follow up on it later.
  10. Use Canned Responses. If you find yourself writing the same type of email over and over, use the Canned Responses feature in the Labs to create a template that you you can use without having to type out the entire email every time.
  11. Consolidate email accounts. If you have a Gmail account, an account through school, and any other account you are juggling separately, combine them all into Gmail to cut down on time spent checking all those accounts.
  12. Use AIM in Gmail. If you use AIM to IM friends or partners on projects, add it to the chat feature already in Gmail to have access to both.

Google Calendar

Save yourself some time by keeping track of appointments, assignments, and more with Google Calendar.

  1. Sync up with others using iCal or Sunbird. Google lets you sync your calendar with others using Apple iCal or Mozilla Sunbird.
  2. Customize reminders. Set reminders in your Google Calendar so that you never forget an appointment again. Choose from email, pop-up, or SMS reminders and even set when the reminder comes.
  3. Learn some basic keyboard shortcuts. Change from daily to weekly to monthly view, compose a new event, and more with these simple shortcuts.
  4. Use Quick Add. Click on Quick Add and type the day and time and what you are doing to have the calendar create the event with the correct time and date.
  5. Use multiple calendars. Create separate calendars for school work, personal information, important due dates, and more to stay ultra-organized.
  6. Get a text message with your daily agenda. Keep up with all that you need to do for the day without ever having to log on to your Google Calendar.
  7. Set weekly repeats for any day. The drop-down menu only offers M/W/F or T/Th options for repeating events. Go to “Every Week” and customize which days you want the event to repeat.
  8. Get upcoming events while away from the computer. Check out #8 in this list to learn how to access your upcoming events via your phone.
  9. Add events from Gmail. If you receive an email with event time and date information, you can easily add this event to your calendar by clicking “Add to calendar.”
  10. Invite others. If you have events on your calendar that you want to invite others to join, just add their email address under Add Guests within the event.

Google Mobile

Whether riding the bus or walking to class, use Google Mobile to stay productive while away from your computer.

  1. Sync your calendar. Never be far from your Google Calendar when you sync it to your phone.
  2. Check your email. Keep your email right at your fingertips with Gmail for mobile.
  3. Access your blog subscriptions. Keep up with your blogs and news feeds that you subscribe to through Reader right on your phone.
  4. Use Google Voice to consolidate phone numbers. If you have a phone in your dorm or apartment, a cell phone, and any other phone numbers, consolidate them into one number with Google Voice.
  5. Easily find friends. Find out where your friends are and even get a map with directions for how to get there with Google Latitudes.
  6. Find out information easily while on the go. Whether you are looking for a great place to eat dinner, wondering what the weather is like, or want to know what the Spanish word for “bathroom” is, just text your information to Google (466453â��spells Google on your phone) to get the answer texted back right away.
  7. Access iGoogle. Get your iGoogle page formatted just for the smaller screen size of your phone.
  8. Read your Google Docs. Have access to all your Google Docs items right on your phone.
  9. Keep a to-do list on your phone. Use Google Tasks for mobile so you can access your to-do list any time�and check off what you�ve finished, too.
  10. Never get lost again. Google Maps is an interactive program for most smart phones that offers tons of features so you will never have to be lost again.
  11. Do a quick search anywhere. Find information with a Google search from your phone to impress your professors and your friends.
  12. Access Google Books. Android and iPhone users can access Google Books on their phones.
  13. Post to your blog. Use your mobile to post to your Blogger blog.

Google Chrome Tips and Extensions

If you are using the Google Chrome browser, then you will love these time-saving tips and extensions.

  1. Use a “Pin Tab”. If you have multiple tabs open, use a “Pin Tab” to make the tabs the size of the little icon on the left side.
  2. Don�t overlook Paste and Search and Paste and Go. These two features are available when you right-click to add a word or URL to Chrome and will save you an extra step.
  3. Reopen a closed tab. Oops! If you didn�t mean to close that tab, just press Ctrl+Shift+T to reopen it.
  4. Use the Chrome shortcuts. Open a new tab, see your history, maximize your window, and much more with these shortcuts.
  5. Take advantage of the address bar. With Google Chrome, you can use the address bar to perform a Google search, quickly access pages you�ve already visited, and get recommendations for places to go.
  6. Go incognito. If you don�t want to leave traces of where you were browsing, use incognito mode instead of having to go back and delete your history and cookies.
  7. Use the bookmarks manager. Stay organized, rearrange bookmarks, search for bookmarks, add folders, and much more with the bookmark manager.
  8. ChromePass. This tool will give you a list of all the password information stored in Google Chrome.
  9. Save as PDF. Save any page as a PDF with this bookmarklet.
  10. ChromeMailer. If you�ve lost valuable time when having to manually enter email information from a website because Google Chrome doesn�t support the mailto: function, then you will love this extension.
  11. Google Chrome Backup. Back up your personal data, bookmarks, and more with this simple tool.

Google Books

Learn how Google Books can save you time and trips to the library with these tricks.

  1. Search full text. Google Books offers full text for over 10,000 books, so look here the next time you are researching something at the last minute.
  2. Use “About this book”. At the top left of the page of a book, clicking this link will give you helpful information such as the table of contents, related books, and a map of places mentioned in the book.
  3. Create a personalized library. Click on “Add to my shared library” to start your own personalized library where you can label books to keep them organized for each class or project.
  4. Find books in your college library. Each book in Google Books has a link to find the book in a library. It can tell you exactly where to look at your own school.
  5. Use the Advanced Book Search. If you can�t find the book you are looking for, try the advanced search, which provides you with many more detailed options.
  6. Access text books. Many text books are available on Google Books, so see if you can save a trip to the bookstore next semester.
  7. Search for magazine content. Select Magazines in the Advanced Book Search to locate information from magazines.
  8. Read the blog. Google Books is constantly evolving, so stay on top of all the latest news with the Inside Google Books blog.
  9. Find books to supplement your assigned texts. Search by subject to see what books you may be able to read to get the extra leg up in your classes.

Handy Google Services and Apps

These other Google products will help you save time by offering you everything from alerts to online collaboration to help working with data sets.

  1. Google Alerts. Sign up to get email notifications any time a topic you designate shows up in Google search results. This is a great way to stay current with a project or news story.
  2. Google Desktop. Keep a clock, weather, news stories, Google search box, and more all within easy reach when you use Google Desktop.
  3. Google SketchUp. If you need to draw 3D figures for class, use Google SketchUp to do so easily and free of charge.
  4. Google Talk. This versatile app is more than just for IMs. You can switch to voice, do a video chat, and send texts, too.
  5. Google Images. Google has an incredible image search feature that will provide you with tons of high-quality images you can use in presentations.
  6. Google Translate. Don�t spend time looking up stuff in books, use Google Translate to get foreign words translated right away.
  7. Google Wave. This brand new Google product shows great promise for anyone collaborating, but especially for those in school. Communicate, create documents, and more�all in real-time.
  8. Google Finance. Business students can keep track of markets, news, portfolios, and more in one place.
  9. Google Toolbar. Have easy access to Gmail, Google search, bookmarks, and more with this toolbar available for Internet Explorer and Firefox.
  10. Picasa. Manage your photos and even incorporate them into your blogs and emails with Google�s streamlines photo manager.
  11. Google Squared. Find facts and organize them with this search feature from Google Labs.
  12. Google Fusion Tables. If you are working with data sets, then you will love this program that will allow you to upload data, create visual representations, and take part in discussions about the data.
  13. Blogger. Create a blog as a part of a project or just to stay in touch with friends and family in an easy way.

Fort Wayne Site-of-the-Day

Click on Pic

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

7 Habits

from the DLM Blog:

7 Habits of Highly Excellent People

Posted: 24 Apr 2010 10:04 AM PDT

Are you driven in life? Do you love to excel? I believe all of us do. We are born to be the best we can be and to make the best out of our lives.

When I was in high school, I wasn't exactly the kind of student teachers would like. I was truant, didn't do my homework and did badly on my examinations. I was lazy and unmotivated in school. However, after a while I realized that this wasn't who I wanted to be. This wasn't the life I saw myself leading. People around me were judging and negative, and I had enough of all of that crap. I had enough of being discriminated against and I decided to turn everything around from then on.

So when I entered University, I began to get my act together. For the 3 years I was in Business School, I was on the Dean's List (an honor roll for the top students in the faculty). I eventually graduated as the top student in my specialization of marketing and was awarded with accolades for being the most outstanding student. When I started working, I entered one of the top companies for marketers, a Fortune 100 company, and led my business portfolios to record breaking results in the few years I worked there.

Then 2 years ago, I left my regular job to pursue my true passion in personal development. I started The Personal Excellence Blog where I share my best advice and help others achieve personal excellence and live their best lives. It has quickly established itself as a trusted and coming-to-age personal development blog, having 3-4k readers a day and being featured by prominent media, including

After years of striving for personal excellence, working with top people in their fields and observing top people in their fields, I realized that there are universal habits that enable people to achieve excellence. As Aristotle would put it, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.”.

These habits aren't "ingrained", or "genetic"; they are habits that anyone like you and me can cultivate. Just like Stephen Covey's 7 habits will help anyone become highly effective, these 7 habits of highly excellent people will help anyone become excellent. I find that as long as anyone practices these habits, excellence is always a given. And I'm more happy to share with you these habits in this article today. Here they are:
  1. Have the end in mind.
    This is the same habit as Stephen Covey's 1st habit, and with good reason. Everything starts with the end - the goal or the vision you want to fulfill. If you don't know what the end is, then there's no way of getting there, is there? Imagine getting into a cab. What do you first do when you get into the cab? Maybe you say hi to the taxi driver, then what? You tell the driver where you want to go, so that he can take you there. Similarly, you need to know what is the end you want to reach in order to get there.

    Hence, it's critical that you form clear goals of what exactly you want. What do you want? What is the end you envision? What are your personal goals and dreams for yourself? Personally, I have a vision board beside my bed where I have my dreams plastered over it. These dreams include developing The Personal Excellence Blog into one of the top personal development blogs, running my international personal excellence school, speaking to tens and thousands of people in seminars, achieving world peace, finding my soul mate, hitting the best seller's list with my books, and so on. These dreams remind me of what exactly I want and drive me forward every day.

  2. Do what you love.
    When you do something you love, it's like you have unlimited fuel that keeps you going- day after day. The hunger to excel in it is just greater than if you do anything else. Every day, I'm endlessly driven to build and write at my blog, because it's for a cause I believe in. Helping people grow and live their best life is the one thing I know I want to be doing for the rest of my life.

    I have a coaching client who has tried to start 4-5 different ventures before (one at a time), and he was never able to succeed in any of them. Why was this the case? It wasn't that he was stupid, or that he was lazy. Ultimately, the reason was because he wasn't passionate about the things he was pursuing - he was just chasing money. The nature of the business didn't appeal to him emotionally. This is not to say starting businesses because you want to earn money is bad - all I'm saying is it's important that you love what you want to do first and foremost.

    What is it you love to do? If you are not sure what your passion is yet, then what is something you are most eager to try at the moment? If you can choose to do anything, what will it be? Your love and interest are fuels that will drive you towards excellence.

  3. Work harder than anyone else.
    I don't know of anyone who has achieved excellent results who hasn't worked hard for them. A big component of excellence is hard work. Sheer, unadulterated hard work. We can streamline processes, choose effective strategies and steps, but ultimately the hard work will still have to come in. Fortunately, if you are doing what you love (step #2), work wouldn't even be work at all.

    In the past year since I set up The Personal Excellence Blog, I have spent countless hours, including weekends, building up the blog and writing high quality articles for readers out there. All these have paid off in their own way. I'm not saying you should abandon all social life because that defeats the purpose, but you will have to dedicate yourself to making your business a success. This year in 2010, I intend to increase my efforts even more compared to 2009, and I know it's going to pay off.

  4. Make use of every moment.
    Every moment counts. Excellent people know that time is highly valuable. There's this quote by Donald Trump which I read in one of his books, and I absolutely love it. He said that time is more precious than money, because you can earn back money, but you can't get back time. That is absolutely true.

    Hence, I'm always making sure that I'm maximizing every moment. If I'm commuting over a distance, I'll pick up a book or listen to a podcast. If I'm out waiting for a friend, I'll take the chance to do something meaningful for the time being. If there are some pockets of time, I'll take out my laptop and do some work.

    Note that this habit doesn't mean working like a hog, 24x7. That wouldn't be a true application of this habit. Making use of every moment also refers to knowing when to rest and rejuvenate when it's needed, because this will help us walk the longer mile on the path of excellence.

  5. Take action to achieve your results.
    Living a life of excellence means being a proponent of action. Many people often say "The sky is the limit". My personal philosophy is the sky isn't the limit; we are the limit. Whatever we do or don't do will determine how much we can grow or achieve. If we want to grow and achieve great results, we need to take the equivalent actions to reach the results we want.

    For example, many people agree that having press and media feature their business can greatly benefit them, but they believe it only happens when you are prominent enough. While that's usually true, I refuse to let that stop me. I took proactive steps to reach out to the press, writing my own press release and creating a strong story angle so the press would want to feature me. To date, I've been featured in the press for almost 20 times. To read more about how to be featured by the press, you can check out my guest post at Problogger: How To Get Featured By the Press (Repeatedly) Even If Your Blog is New.

  6. Continuously upgrade yourself.
    Learning never stops. There is always something we can do to become better. We may have great skills and knowledge today, but no matter how great they may be, our skills need to be continuously developed. Excellent people are always learning, reading, exposing themselves to new knowledge, new people, new contexts and developing their skills. If you have played role-playing games or RPGs before, you would know that the characters need to be leveled up to get stronger and progress to the next level. Likewise, we need to always be leveling ourselves up to achieve excellence.

  7. Ask for feedback.
    No matter how much we try to improve, we will have blind spots. Blind spots are things about ourselves that we don't know about, and we can't improve on things that we are blind to. Asking for feedback is one of the fastest and most effective ways to improve.

    For everything I do, I make it a point to gather feedback. For example, when I was in my previous job, I would often ask my manager and peers for feedback on how I could improve. With my friends, sometimes I would have a random feedback session with them on how I can do things better. As I run The Personal Excellence Blog, I would invite my readers to send in their feedback, either through comments, emails or private messages. Sometimes the feedback is predictable, sometimes it's not and many times it leads to an epiphany on some level.

  8. Strive for #1 in what you do.
    ... Wait, you didn't think that there would just be 7 habits in achieving excellence, did you?

    There's 1 final habit to become a highly excellent person - that is, to strive for #1 in what you do. No one's going to achieve excellence if they aim for average, or mediocrity. Excellence comes from aiming for the top - being #1. This #1 should be better than whoever is #1 at the moment, because it will spur you on to work even harder. You will only achieve great results when you set high standards for yourself.

    For example, I aim for The Personal Excellence Blog to be the top personal development blog, both in terms of the quality of content and traffic. Whenever I write my articles, I make sure I'm giving the best value that can ever be offered in that topic. Because of this, readers recognize the value of my articles and have spread the word to their friends and family. This has helped the blog to grow quickly and establish itself as a trusted and coming-of-age blog in personal excellence.
These habits have helped me to achieve excellence in my life, and as long as all of us practice them, we will achieve excellent results. Feel free to share your comments - I'll love to hear what you have to say. If you have any questions, I'll love to answer them where possible too. I don't claim to have the answers, but I'll most certainly offer my perspective and help where I can.

Written on 4/24/2010 by Celestine Chua. Celes writes at The Personal Excellence Blog, where she shares her best advice on achieving personal excellence. Her blog is read by thousands a day and has been featured by CNN, Today, and other prominent media. Get her RSS feed here and add her on Twitter @celestinechua.Photo Credit: Grégoire Lannoy


Fort Wayne Site-of-the-Day

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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Tech Tuesday Tip

I doubt if I'll do this every Tuesday, but for the non-techies, here's some tips.

Oh, and while I'm not a really techie person, I am a curious person, if your main browser is Internet Explorer, you need to explore other options like Firefox, or Chrome.

This is from the site:

Mozilla Firefox – the best browser with many nice features. And by adding some of the awesome extensions available out there, the browser just gets better and better. But look under the hood, and there are a bunch of hidden (and some not-so-secret) tips and tricks available that will crank Firefox up and pimp your browser. Make it faster, cooler, more efficient with some small tricks bellow.

1. Make more screen space.

using mozilla firefox small icons Some Firefox Small Tricks You  Should Try

If your feel your screen small you can make your icons small to increase screen space. Go to View –> Toolbars –> Customize and check the Use small icons box, click Done button to apply.

2. Keyboard shortcuts.

It just takes a few minutes to learn these, but once you do, your browsing will be super fast. Here are some of the most common (and my personal favs):

  • Spacebar (page down)
  • Shift-Spacebar (page up)
  • Ctrl+F (find)
  • Alt-N (find next)
  • Ctrl+D (bookmark page)
  • Ctrl+T (new tab)
  • Ctrl+K or F6 (go to search box)
  • Ctrl+L (go to address bar)
  • Ctrl++ (increase size)
  • Ctrl+- (decrease size)
  • Ctrl+W (close tab)
  • F5 (reload)
  • Alt+Home (go to home page)

3. Mouse shortcuts.

Sometimes youre already using your mouse and its easier to use a mouse shortcut than to go back to the keyboard. Master these cool ones:

  • Middle click on link (opens in new tab)
  • Shift-scroll down (previous page)
  • Shift-scroll up (next page)
  • Ctrl-scroll up (decrease text size)
  • Ctrl-scroll down (increase text size)
  • Middle click on a tab (closes tab)

You can see all Firefox Keyboard and Mouse Shortcuts

4. Auto-complete website address.

This is another keyboard shortcut, but its not commonly known and very useful. Go to the address bar (Ctrl+L) and type the name of the site without the www or the .com. Lets say google. Then press Ctrl+Enter, and it will automatically fill in the www and the .com and take you there – so cool!
For another domains:
  • .net ( Shift-Enter)
  • .org (Ctrl+Shift+Enter)

5. Tab navigation.

Instead of using the mouse to select different tabs that you have open, use the keyboard. Here are the shortcuts:

  • Ctrl+Tab (rotate forward among tabs)
  • Ctrl+Shft+Tab (rotate to the previous tab)
  • Ctrl+1-9 (choose a number to jump to a specific tab)

6. Delete items from address bar history.

Firefox ability to automatically show previous URLs youve visited, as you type, in the address bars drop-down history menu is very cool. But sometimes you just dont want those URLs to show up (I won’t ask why). Go to the address bar (Ctrl+L), start typing an address, and the drop-down menu will appear with the URLs of pages youve visited with those letters in them. Use the down-arrow to go down to an address you want to delete, and press the Delete key to make it disappear.
Note’s: You can using this tricks to delete remember username or remember forms.

7. about:config.

The true power users tool, about:config isnt something to mess with if you dont know what a setting does. You can get to the main configuration screen by putting about:config in the browsers address bar. You can using about:config to Make Firefox run faster than 10 times or installing any plug-in on Firefox 3.5 and more…

8. Add a keyword for a bookmark.

Go to your bookmarks much faster by giving them keywords. Right-click the bookmark and then select Properties. Put a short keyword in the keyword field, save it, and now you can type that keyword in the address bar and it will go to that bookmark.

using keywords for firefox bookmark Some Firefox Small Tricks You  Should Try

In example, when you typing tips, tricks or tutorials in address bar then will be show

9. Speed up Firefox.

If you have a broadband connection (and most of us do), you can use pipelining to speed up your page loads. This allows Firefox to load multiple things on a page at once, instead of one at a time (by default, its optimized for dial-up connections). Heres how:

  • Type about:config into the address bar and hit return. Type network.http in the filter field, and change the following settings (double-click on them to change them):
  • Set network.http.pipelining to true
  • Set network.http.proxy.pipelining to true
  • Set network.http.pipelining.maxrequests to a number like 30. This will allow it to make 30 requests at once.
  • Also, right-click anywhere and select New -> Integer. Name it nglayout.initialpaint.delay and set its value to 0. This value is the amount of time the browser waits before it acts on information it receives.

10. Limit RAM usage.

If Firefox takes up too much memory on your computer, you can limit the amount of RAM it is allowed to us.

  • Go to about:config
  • Filter browser.cache and select browser.cache.disk.capacity
  • Its set to 50000, but you can lower it, depending on how much memory you have. Try 15000 if you have between 512MB and 1GB ram.

11. Reduce RAM usage further for when Firefox is minimized.

This setting will move Firefox to your hard drive when you minimize it, taking up much less memory. And there is no noticeable difference in speed when you restore Firefox, so its definitely worth a go.

  • Go to about:config
  • Right-click anywhere and select New-> Boolean. Name it config.trim_on_minimize and set it to TRUE.
  • You have to restart Firefox for these settings to take effect.

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Monday, April 26, 2010

Before the sign....

When I used to be a renter, I had pretty good luck. Nothing too weird. The worst was actually dealing with the apartment complex that my Mom moved into in 2001.

Three weeks after she moved in, she died of a heart attack.

The managers would not let us break the lease.

It took a letter from my lawyer, (this was before I was involved with Social Media), to get them to wake up to their stupid policy.

Aside from death, renting can have advantages if you follow these tips from the DLM Blog:

8 Things to Look for Before Signing a Lease

Posted: 23 Apr 2010 09:22 AM PDT

Take it from a New Yorker who knows: there are few things in life as frustrating, infuriating, terrifying, maddening, nerve-wracking, and capricious as renting an apartment. I lived in seven different places in New York City over the span of five years, and after touring countless moldy studios the size of storage closets, apartments where the bathtub was located in the kitchen, and spaces where the smell of cat urine practically made me pass out, I can safely say that I’ve seen just about all there is to see—save, perhaps, a chalk outline on the kitchen floor.

Some of the places I lived were good choices, others not so much. But if there’s any upside to living in an apartment where your neighbors play salsa music until 2 a.m., it’s knowing that you won’t make the same mistake twice. While features like natural light, closet space, and distance from public transportation are all important, there are other, less obvious things to consider. City dwellers, recent college grads, and apartment hunters of all kinds, take note: when you’re searching for your next home, here’s what to look for to ensure that the next twelve months of your life are pleasant ones.
  • What’s the neighborhood like?
    It’s not just about safety—if the street is lined with bars or restaurants, you could be in for some noisy evenings. If there’s a school across the street, expect raucous crowds of kids in the mornings or afternoons. If there’s construction nearby, be prepared for noise, dust, traffic problems, and possibly pests. See what kinds of businesses populate the area, and decide whether you want to associate with their customers. Take it from me: apartment upstairs from Italian restaurant = good; apartment next to off-track-betting parlor = bad.

  • Is the apartment structurally sound?
    Examining small details can tell you a lot about how the apartment has been maintained over the years. Are the floors warped, stained, or scuffed? Do the kitchen drawers glide properly? Are the cabinets and counter-tops plumb? Do all the doors shut and latch, or are they misaligned? Are the window frames new, or are they old and leaky? If the apartment has carpet, does it look like it hasn’t been cleaned in years? Especially in older buildings, these are subtle clues that indicate the apartment hasn’t been properly maintained or repaired over time.

  • How’s the electricity and plumbing?
    Turn on all the faucets—they should provide warm water right away and have good water pressure, and the drains shouldn’t clog. Check the light switches and light fixtures—you shouldn’t hear fizzing or popping, which could indicate faulty wiring. Are there enough electrical outlets? Where in the rooms are they located? One per room is not enough for a technology addict, and could necessitate extension cords, in turn causing fire hazards. Are the outlets grounded? (In many old buildings, they’re not.) Check to see whether the apartment has a fuse box or a circuit breaker, and find out what kinds of lightbulbs the fixtures use, making sure you won’t be stuck buying expensive specialty bulbs.

  • Do the appliances work?
    Appliances such as refrigerators, heaters, ovens, and dishwashers are usually provided and serviced by the landlord, so turn them on and make sure they function well. If they seem old and/or beat up, don’t be afraid to inquire about a possible replacement. Make sure to note what kind of heat the apartment uses; is there a radiator, an electric wall unit, or a gas heater? Steam heat is usually free, but unreliable. On the other hand, gas heat is expensive, but usually controllable via a thermostat. If you’re responsible for paying your own heating bill, find out how much you’ll be spending each month, and watch out for drafty windows and doors that could waste money.

  • Are there signs of vermin?
    Look inside cabinets and drawers; are there mouse droppings or roach dust? Look under sinks; are there gaps in the wall around the pipes where bugs could crawl through? Is there a gap between the floor and the walls of the apartment for bugs to crawl in? In the common areas of the building, are there obvious rodent or insect traps? Any signs of pest infestation—ants, moths, rats, mice, or roaches—should give a renter serious pause. This includes seeing actual dead roaches in the kitchen sink. (Trust me on this.)

  • Who are the neighbors?
    Try to see the apartment in the evening, when neighbors are more likely to be home. Can you hear their televisions or appliances through the walls? If you can’t meet any neighbors, ask about them. Do they have pets? Do they have small children or infants? Consider how you’ll fit in with the current group of tenants; if you like quiet, a building composed mainly of college students could prove too noisy. If you like entertaining or playing music, a building of families or other quiet types would also be a bad match.

  • Who is the landlord?
    The person showing the apartment is likely to be a broker, leasing agent, or the superintendant, meaning that person has a relationship with the landlord. How does the landlord handle service requests? Is there a superintendent on-site, or will you have to wait for repairs? Is there regular exterminator service, or are tenants expected to monitor their own homes? Is the apartment managed by an out-of-town owner, a large real-estate conglomeration, or a private family? While management companies may be more hands-off with their tenants’ day-to-day habits, small landlords are usually quicker to respond to repair calls and more receptive to negotiation. If you have a smart phone or time at home before submitting an application, try googling the landlord’s name. It’s possible that his or her other tenants will have expressed opinions on message boards or review sites like Yelp.

  • In what condition will you receive the apartment?
    It’s common for the landlord to paint or make minor repairs between tenants. Sometimes you can even request specific things, like replacements for old linoleum or additional deadbolts for the door. Be sure to know exactly what improvements—if any—the landlord plans to make, and incorporate that agreement into your lease.

Now for the bad news
It’s highly unlikely that you’ll find an apartment that fits all these criteria and your budget. Know what’s most important to you, and make sure those needs are met. Perhaps you can put up with noisy neighbors as long as the apartment is bug-free and has a gas stove. Perhaps you’re an infrequent cook who doesn’t mind worn-out appliances as long as you have plenty of grounded electrical outlets. Finding an acceptable rental property is always a compromise, but as long as you know what qualities are non-negotiable for you, you can dismiss sub-par candidates right away. There will always be other apartments for you to choose from, and there will always be someone even more desperate just waiting to scoop up the one you just rejected.

Written on 4/23/2010 by DivineCaroline. DivineCaroline a place where people come together to learn from experts in the fields of health, spending, and parenting. Come discover, read, learn, laugh, and connect at Credit: gbsk

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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Day Dreamin'

It all starts in your mind.... (from DLM)

If You Had A Fresh Start, What Would You Do?

Posted: 03 Jan 2010 06:45 AM PST

Today I'm going to take you through a daydream (you might call it a "thought experiment"). So grab a mug of your favorite beverage, get yourself comfy, and read on...

A genie appears to you and explains that he's going to take care of everything for you for three months. The bills will all be paid, your job will be done expertly, your dependents will be looked after, your house will be kept clean, your goldfish will be fed. For the next three months, you're free. When the three months are up, you have the option of starting a new career, moving to a new city, or even leaving behind friends and family.

The genie has just two conditions:
  • You have to try at least one thing you've never done before (but have perhaps always secretly wanted to do) during those three months

  • You have to spend the three months doing things that you want to do, rather than things you feel you should do.
Ready to begin?

What Do You Do During The Three Months?
Grab a piece of paper, and write or draw a few things that indicate what you'd do with three completely free months, to do whatever you want with (remembering that at least one thing has to be something you've never done before).

Your list can be absolutely anything you like. It'll probably include some things where you've said "If I won the lottery, I would..." or "I wish I had the time to..." or "If I started over again, I'd..."

Here's some examples, big and small, of things you could write on your list:
  • I would travel around Europe for a month.
  • I would read a bedtime story with my children every night.
  • I would finally start to get fit.
  • I would learn a foreign language.
  • I would take a computer science class.
  • I would start writing a novel.
  • I would volunteer at a homeless shelter.
  • I would get back in touch with some old friends.
  • I would visit all the art galleries in my home city.
  • I would go to the theater every week.
Don't limit yourself here - even if something would cost a lot of money, put it down! (Genies can pull dollars out of thin air...)

What Would You Do Afterward?
Once the three months are up, would you go back to your job?
Would you go back to your home city?
Would you stay with your family and friends?

Of course, your experiences during those three months would have a strong bearing on those questions. For example, if you're currently in a strained relationship with your partner and children because you rarely spend much time with them, you might find that you all get along much better after they have three months of your unstressed presence! If you've never traveled outside your country, you might find that you want to live on the opposite side of the world.

Even so, if you know that you would hate to go back to your current job, or dread returning to your house, then write that down.

Making It Real
You may be wondering what the point of this is. After all, there is no genie. No-one's about to come and take care of your life for you while you swan off for three months...

But, think about this. What would it take for you to be able to have a three-month sabbatical - or even a month off? It might mean saving up for a while, either cutting back on spending, or working some overtime. It might mean some tricky negotiations with your boss. But don't rule it out as a possibility.

I read Escape 101: The Four Secrets to Taking a Sabbatical or Career Break Without Losing Your Money or Your Mind a few months ago. I'd already made the decision to leave my job and freelance then, but for anyone with a "traditional" job - especially if they have kids too - this is an excellent book. There's also a blog, Escape 101. If you think that taking a career break, or designing the lifestyle of your dreams, is impossible, try seriously looking into the possibilities.

Look back at that list of what you'd like to do: you can start on some of them right now. If you want to write a novel, how about finding just a spare hour, twice a week, to get started? If you want to go to the theater or to museums more often, how about picking one to visit this weekend?

It's easy to put off chasing our dreams because we become so busy with the things we think we should be doing, or worse, with the things we've just somehow ended up doing - without any conscious thought about it. Start taking control again today.

What would you with your three free months? How can you make your daydreams real?

Written on 12/11/2008 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. Republished 1/3/2010
Photo Credit: pniak adam

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