Saturday, December 11, 2010

Saturday Night Classic Music Video

For my Birthday, I'm playing...

One of my favorite freaky songs...

Random Thoughts on Connections & Relationships

This morning I had the house to myself.

My wife Kathy works every other Saturday and this year it includes Thanksgiving weekend, my birthday and Christmas day.

We work around that, just as we used to work around my schedule when I worked in a plastics factory for a couple years.

So after sleeping in a bit, I decided to treat myself to a Raspberry White Mocha and a piece of crustless quiche at the Firefly Coffee House.

I brought my laptop and am sitting in a comfy chair reading and writing emails, blog posts, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

I think my wife thinks I'm a little nuts or obsessive at times.

But for me, given the choice of Television or the Internet, if I could only have one, I'm a web person.

And today it's fun seeing some folks send me birthday greetings via email, Facebook and Twitter.

I am not a big fan of Facebook, but "Everyone" is on it. To be honest, I signed up so I could see what my kids were up to when they were away at school. At first they found that creepy, but now that we're all adults, it's okay. Besides, I pretty much ignore Facebook except when I get an email alert.

Looking back, it was a couple years ago when my high school class of 78 was having our 30th class reunion, that I started connecting with people from my past on Facebook.

Facebook has a feature where it will let you know when one of your friends has a birthday and recently I started paying attention to this feature and sending birthday wishes to Facebook friends.

And today, a lot of them have been doing the same.

This internet and social media thing... it's fun, it's helpful, it's not going away.

I have earned a few dollars due to the connections I have made, but at this point in my life, it is not a full time profession. It is part of what I do with my life.

It is a way of sharing and giving and connecting and building relationships that matter, along with the face to face connections.

Each year, I decided how I want to give back, and I find myself volunteering to serve on various boards and committees.

I urge you to do the same, to step away from living only on-line and get involved in person with causes and projects that need you.

I sincerely appreciate the friends I have been able to reconnect with from my past, the folks who I have met in person due to the social media connections, and also those whom I may never meet face to face due to distance.

There are people who read this blog or one of the others that I write that I also appreciate and please remember this is a two way street.

You can reach me by posting comments, finding me on Twitter @ScLoHo or my email:

Fort Wayne Site of the Day

It's my birthday, so pardon me while I indulge with a little self-promotion. Click on Pic.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Age & Wisdom

Last year my wife and family surprised me with a surprise party for my 50th. Today is the 50th for my first wife, Karen (Frantz) and my cousin Brenda (Ehly).

With age comes wisdom, hopefully. From the DLM Blog:

10 Life Lessons I've Learned in My First 30 Years

Posted: 13 Nov 2010 07:02 AM PST

Many people cringe as they approach the age of 30. For some reason, these milestones tend to get people thinking. Am I old? What should I have done differently? Am I really happy with this person I married? Etc.

Second guessing is normal and I don't have to remind you of the 20/20 hindsight rule. However, as I approach 30, I'm taking a different tact. I am viewing age as a positive simply because I have learned a ton of lessons that not only help define me, but will make future years enormously successful - emotionally, professionally, and socially.

Often times we don’t realize how powerful our lives can be until we reflect and share our experiences. That is why I took some time to write and submit this article; I want to reflect on my life and be sure to enjoy the lessons learned instead of regretting whatever outcomes I didn't like at the time.

So here goes!
  • Life Lesson #1 – Let it go.
    Anger is never just anger. Anger is a cover up for fear, hurt, or disappointment. I can’t tell you the number of days I stressed myself out in my 20’s because I was angry at another person and did not want to forgive them. I literally made myself sick over it. The ironic thing about anger is that the joke is on the angry person. When your angry, it hurts you more because you have to spend your precious time and energy holding on to negative energy. Sadly, that negative energy often blocks the positive energy from coming into your life. So let it go so that you can let that positive light in.

    Appreciate the person that you're angry with and learn to live with them the way they are. If someone is constantly upsetting you, appreciate the fact that you are strong enough to disassociate yourself from them. You don't need to stick around!

  • Life Lesson #2 – It’s really not about you.
    When loved ones, co-workers, or even strangers say and do hurtful things, many times it is really not about you. People in this world have some serious issues. And, because they don’t deal with their issues, they project those issues onto you. The mother who thinks she is the worst mom will project and tell another mom how bad their kid is. The teen who thinks she is ugly will project and make fun of another teen. The boss who can’t manage his team will try to micromanage your work. So the next time someone does something hurtful to you, remember two things, they act like that towards other people as well, and it’s not about you!!

  • Life Lesson #3 – Others have gone through the same problems that you have today.
    This is one I am still working on because I am a pretty private person. But I have to believe that when you go through things, one of the main reasons is to help others at one point and time through the same obstacle. The problem is that everyone wants to put on the mask that their life is grand, secretly hiding away any perfections. If no one knows your true journey, they can’t seek you out for help. It’s not an easy thing to do; it’s not like your Uncle Joe shouts out to everyone ‘Hey Everyone, I’m in foreclosure, now let’s eat.’ BUT, if he did, he would attract others that have been through the same experience, and could change a life for the better.

  • Life Lesson #4 – Enjoy it now.
    As I look back at my last 29 years of life, there were so many special moments that came and went. I wish I would of sat back and enjoyed the moments more. Absorb the good times because they are the first things you forget.

  • Life Lesson #5 – Power of Persistence
    There is something about the power of daily focused effort that seems to be a common theme in successful people. It’s the difference between ball players and NBA players, the difference between a writer and an author. While everyone else is watching TV the ‘persisters’ are making daily deposits towards the life of their dreams. Are you? When I look back, the times that I felt most accomplished were when I applied daily effort towards a goal and achieved it.

  • Life Lesson #6 – I get it now when people talk about having passion as a requirement for excellence.
    If you want to excel as a fashion designer, working towards that goal should generally win over other other distractions. When presented with the opportunity to watch TV or hang out with friends instead of working to, if you constantly choose those distractions over working on fashion, you must consider that fashion is not your passion. I am not saying that you can't relax, but I'm saying that before you choose a life goal or a 'passion', be sure it's something that you, in your heart, really enjoy and love doing.

  • Life Lesson #7 – Relationships can be your greatest teacher.
    I feel that everyone should do a lessons learned exercise after each relationship AND after every couple of years in a marriage. Each relationship is a reflection of yourself (whether good or bad). Subconsciously it’s a reflection of our deepest insecurities and needs. And if you really take the time to reflect the good or bad times, it is a window into your soul. Taking the time to review your past will be time well spent.

  • Life Lesson #8– Don’t sleep on the power of the internet
    There are thousands upon thousands of people making a good amount of money online. The BEST thing about online business is that is has no face. So you can no longer say your being judged by your race, background, lack of a degree, etc. The internet levels the playing field. Quality content speaks louder than your religion, skin color, etc. Start looking into the power of it today.

  • Life Lesson #9 – Don’t be a“put off’ person.
    I spent many years putting off things because I was waiting for the situation to get better or for 'something' to happen first. News Flash – I bet you can think of a hundred reasons to keep living how you are today and not changing; SOMETHING will always be in the way or be a reason to delay. Don’t put off your happiness. If you can do something that makes you happy today, without ruining the lives of others, then do it.

  • Life Lesson #10 – What you say/write is your own lesson.
    As I write to you, I write to myself because what comes out of us either verbally or in the written form is often the thing very thing that we (ourselves) need to work on.
Thanks for taking the time to read. While I love the fact that I was able to share my outlook with the readers of DLM, this simple list has helped me put my life into perspective and it has raised my awareness to areas that I need to constantly work on. Where is your list? Is it only in your mind and easily forgotten and overridden?

Written on 11/13/2010 by Nashunda Bolden. Natasha doesn't have a website or anything to sell. She just wanted to share her life with us.Photo Credit: Mr.Thomas

Fort Wayne Site of the Day

Click on Pic

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Money Time

From the DLM Blog:

Important Financial Truths You Should Always Remember

Posted: 18 Sep 2010 08:23 AM PDT

Do you have dreams of an early retirement? Being mortgage free? Being completely debt free?

If you're like a lot of people, financial independence is right near the top of your long-term-goals list. I've spent a lot of time over the past few years reading and learning how to achieve my goal of financial independence sooner rather than later. There is a lot of financial advice to be had and everyone seems to have an opinion on where to put your money, how to spend it, and how not to spend it. No matter what I read though, successfully getting ahead financially boils down to a few simple truths.

So whether you're looking to fast track your way to financial independence or are at your wits end when it comes to your personal finances, re-familiarizing yourself with these 7 financial truths may give you a fresh perspective.
  1. Nobody cares as much about your money as you do.
    Mindlessly handing your money over to a fund manager, investor or banker is never the best idea. We may feel that because they have the training, experience or fancy job titles that they know what's best for you when it comes to your money. Sometimes they're right but sometimes they aren't. Truth is they just don't care that much about it. Take control, become empowered and while you may not become intimately familiar with the inner workings of the financial system, knowing where your money is and being able to make informed decisions is one of the best things you can do for your financial future.

  2. Spend less than you earn.
    This one seems pretty obvious but for a lot of people it's simply not happening. The only way you are going to get out of debt or make advancement on your savings is to spend less than you earn. That's really all it boils down to.

  3. Shop around and simplify where it makes sense.
    While there is a strong push to simplify your finances by having everything in one place, sometimes consolidating just doesn't make sense. This ties in with the first point in that you should spend some time getting to know the different products out there. Does one financial institution offer better mortgage rates? Does another financial institute have much lower interest rates for personal loans or lines of credit? Simplify and consolidate but only when it makes sense.

  4. You need to pay yourself first.
    This doesn't mean give yourself money to go out and buy a new sweater or jacket or new a computer or phone. What this means is that before anything else (bills, groceries, gas etc...) you put an amount of money away into savings. Initially this may be a very small amount and that's OK; it's something! When you can, increase the amount you're saving to 10%, 15%, 20% or more of your income. By doing this you are consistently making progress on your goals even though there may be something a lot more fun you could do with that money.

  5. Budget budget budget.
    Yes it's the dreaded B-word. Budgeting doesn't need to be difficult but it does need to be realistic. A budget that doesn't accurately reflect your spending habits and expenses won't be a useful tool at all to get you closer to realizing your financial goals. A budget will help you to see at a glance where your money is going and where you can possibly reduce spending to improve your financial situation.

  6. Wants are not the same as needs.
    In reality there are very few things we really need. For the majority of people, once adequate food, shelter and clothing are provided almost everything else classifies as a want. You may think you need cable TV or a cell phone or a car but there are several people who manage to get by everyday without any of these things. So before you make another purchase ask yourself a few simple questions:

    • Is this a need or a want?

    • Can I delay this purchase to see if it's really what I want?

    • Can I get this item cheaper somewhere else? (library, second hand, borrow from a friend).

  7. Using cash when you can is best.
    There is something about handing over physical cash that is a tad more painful than handing over a plastic card. If you have $20 to spend on entertainment this week you'll likely think twice about spending $15 on movie rentals Monday evening when you know you've already made plans for Friday. Using credit is a slippery slope. You don't see a running total and $8 here and $20 there doesn't seem like a lot but after 30 days those small purchases can add up to a lot.
As with most things, when it comes to your finances you need to do what works for you. If you try to use a system that you end up fighting every step of the way it won't be effective and you'll simply end up frustrated and annoyed. You can get out of debt and you can speed up your financial goals. Just be realistic, take control and keep everything in perspective.

Written on 9/18/2010 by Sherri Kruger. Sherri writes at Zen Family Habits, a blog celebrating all things family. Sherri also writes on personal development at Serene Journey, a blog dedicated to sharing simple tips to enjoy lifePhoto Credit: meddygarnet

Fort Wayne Site of the Day

They meet Tomorrow. Click on Pic.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Video Time: Gotta Chair?

Take a look:

Fort Wayne Site of the Day

Something special going on this weekend. Click on Pic

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Tech Tuesday Tip

I've never had a laptop stolen. But just in case.....

This tip is from Kim Komando. I installed the program last week on my laptop.

Track your stolen laptop for free

Owning a laptop is a great convenience. It lets you work, have fun and connect with people from anywhere.

But with this mobility comes danger. I'm talking about theft. It's bad enough when someone steals from you. But your laptop likely has tons of personal information.

This is why Prey was developed. It's a free program that works to track your laptop should anyone try and steal it.

As soon as the thief turns on the laptop, Prey will try to broadcast its location. Even if it isn't connected to the Internet, Prey will try to find the nearest open hotspot.

All you need do is send the laptop a message from your phone or another computer.

Prey gives you a slew of other features as well. You can take screenshots to see what's happening on the screen. You can hide personal information like stored passwords remotely. You can even activate the Webcam to get mug shots of the criminal.

Cost: Free

System: Windows XP, Vista, 7, Mac OS X


Note: This program can cause a false positive with some antivirus programs. Don't worry; it is virus free.

Fort Wayne Site-of-the-Day

Click on Pic

Monday, December 06, 2010

The Value of Social Media

Lot's of companies like to measure the Return on Investment or ROI on everything they do.

The radio stations I work for do this as an exercise in ROI with the I being a Time Investment.

And we have changed some of our priorities as we look at the amount of time it takes and the financial reward, then we decide who should do it.

I look at it this way:

If a business wants to remain hidden, they better stay off the internet, never print business cards, don't put a sign on your door, window, or building, and forbid the employees to tell anyone what they do or who they do it for.

Sounds silly.

Flip it over.

If a business wants to get exposure to people who might become paying customers, then do the opposite, including social media.

Our radio stations have Facebook accounts which is a start. Several of the employees also have Facebook accounts and some of us are also active on Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and other sites.

But for those people who still think Social Media is a waste of time, check out this post from Chris Brogan's Blog:

They Will Never Understand

Posted: 02 Dec 2010 01:30 AM PST

People who ask what the ROI of using social media is will never understand the value (not the ROI) of things like Facebook and Twitter. I asked my gang of friends and colleagues and contacts and potential customers and clients (because in my world, they are all mixed together) a question on Facebook. Here’s what I got back:

facebook advice 1

Facebook advice 2

Facebook advice 3

Facebook advice 4

And Look at THIS from Peter:

Facebook advice 5

Peter’s advice actually goes further than I can screen capture (because I’m not smart at using Skitch enough to do so, at least).

People who ask you about ROI won’t ever see that there’s a huge value in my being able to know all this about Berlin before I show up. That is, unless you tell them about human business, and about how building relationships matters, and what you’re working on is much bigger than just straightforward sales.

Am I wrong?

Fort Wayne Site-of-the-Day

I'm going to do a series called Monday Morning Media....

Click on Pic.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Maybe it's time?

If you are dreading tomorrow because it's another Monday, and you hate what you are doing, then perhaps this is for you, from the DLM blog:

How to Know When to Quit

Posted: 27 Oct 2010 09:53 AM PDT

How would you feel if someone called you a "quitter"?

My guess is – not good. You might feel hurt, guilty or upset. You almost certainly wouldn't feel proud of yourself.

Quitting gets a bad rap. We're often encouraged, from an early age, to stick with our projects at all costs – even when we're totally fed up. You might have come across quotes like Napoleon Hill's "A quitter never wins and a winner never quits."

Frankly, that's nonsense. Lots of successful people achieve their real goals by knowing when to quit. You could waste years of your life beating your head against a brick wall – when the real way forwards was to quit, and start something new.

I like the way W.C. Fields puts it:

If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There's no use being a damn fool about it.

So how do you know when to try again – and when to quit? Here are four warning signs that make quitting a perfectly valid option.

You Just Wish It Was Over
Maybe you're engaged in a long project – like studying for a degree, or working in a particular career. If all you can think about is the day when you'll finally graduate from college, or finally retire, then it's worth thinking about whether this is the right course for you.

Almost every project we undertake will have some less-than-fun moments. But if you're working towards your real goals, the process will generally feel worthwhile and interesting.

There's No End in Sight
Do you feel as though you're going round in circles? Perhaps you're slogging away in a particular job, but it's become clear that you're not going to get that promotion you hoped for. Maybe you've been working on a novel for the past five years, but you're not really getting anywhere nearer to "finished".

Of course, not everything we do has an end point – and that's fine, so long as you enjoy what you're doing. But if you're thoroughly fed up, think about whether there's an end point which you can reach or not. It's probably worth sticking out your final year in high school so that you can graduate – but it's not worth staying in a job you hate if there's no route forwards.

You're Not Gaining Anything New
If you've been engaged in one particular project for a while, are you still getting anything out of it – or has it just become a habit? I've given up a magazine subscription that I used to enjoy, because I was finding that the articles were very beginner-focused – and I'd moved on from that stage.

You might consider quitting:
  • Particular groups or classes where there's nothing new to learn
  • Hobbies which you used to enjoy but have lost interest in
  • A job which was once exciting but now feels stale
Your Priorities Have Radically Changed
What was right for you five years ago – or even one year ago – might not be a good fit now. Various life events may have seen your priorities change: perhaps you've started a family – or your kids have left home.

If you took on a particular project, goal or hobby in the past, it's worth considering whether it's still something that you want as part of your life. You might, for instance, quit an expensive hobby so that you have more money to spend on your growing family – or you might leave a hectic job in order to have more time with your aging parents.

There is absolutely no shame in quitting. In fact, it can take a lot of maturity and bravery to stand up and say "I quit".

If there's something in your life that's holding you back, what's your first step towards quitting it?

Written on 10/27/2010 by Ali Hale. Ali writes a blog, Aliventures, about leading a productive and purposeful life (get the RSS feed here). As well as blogging, she writes fiction, and is studying for an MA in Creative Writing.Photo Credit: bark

Fort Wayne Site-of-the-Day

This is where you're likely to find me and my wife on Saturday evenings for the 5pm Contemporary service. Click on Pic.