Saturday, January 29, 2011

Saturday Night Classic Music Video

I found this last month...

Fort Wayne Site of the Day

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Friday, January 28, 2011

Living in Real Life too

Before you had a computer and a cellphone, (if you are that old!), you had an off-line life.

In order for you to spend time online, you had to reduce time you spent doing something else.

Do you know what that was, that you used to do, before you started spending time online?

Do you spend less time watching TV?

Do you spend less time talking with your spouse?

Do you spend less time exercising?

Do you even know what you used to do with the time you created to be online?

Please use your time online appropriately.

This means different things to each of us.

If relationships are being neglected, make changes.

If there are other projects that are being neglected, make changes.

One more point on this subject, and it's about giving.

These days, my kids are grown, getting married, making grandkids and doing the things I did 25 years ago.

My wife and I have more freedom with our time than we did years ago. Yes, we both work at least 5 days a week, but without kids we really enjoy being able to pick and choose what to do after hours.

One of the things I do is give of my time. Some of the organizations that I am involved with include the Fort Wayne Central Lions Club, The Anthony Wayne Area Council (Scouting), The Fort Wayne chapter of the American Advertising Federation, The Gus Macker Basketball tournament, The Three Rivers Festival, and a few other events and organizations as they come up.

We also attend a weekly worship service at our church and have launched a couple of businesses.

And just because our kids are in their 20's, doesn't mean we are not involved with them. Between last year and this year, we have 3 weddings, another college graduation, my stepson had a daughter, his third child; and my youngest and her husband are expecting their first child.

Everything that I'm aware of right now with our kids will be over by mid-August, but they will be replaced with new things.

I challenge you to keep a balance in your online and off-line lives, use the online world as a tool, not a replacement for life in the flesh.

Fort Wayne Site of the Day

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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Video Time: Talking Cats?


Maybe not...

You decide:

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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Ready for Spring...

Nothing we can do to change the weather...

But we can learn how to deal with it.

Personally, I wish spring arrived about a month ago on December 26th.

From the DLM Blog:

How to Cure the Winter Blues

Posted: 15 Jan 2011 05:40 AM PST

I am writing this from Northern Scandinavia. It’s January and the situation outside is dark, cold, and generally without hope. It’s tough to live in a place like this, which is why I try to travel as much as possible during the wintertime, but sometimes you’re stuck, or you just want to spend one winter in snow country.

Whatever your reason is doesn’t matter, because there are ways to cure the winter blues, or at least dramatically reduce its effects.

And always remember, you are not alone in this.

With all that out of the way, let’s look at five simple ways you can cure the winter blues.
  1. Vitamin D
    Vitamin D is an interesting vitamin because the only place you can get it is from the sun. Now, you can get some from milk, eggs, and liver, just to name a few sources, but they all came from the sun in one way or another.

    When it gets dark, cold, and the snow starts falling, you don’t have a solid source of vitamin D. Your body can store vitamin D for quite some time, but most of us don’t get enough sun anyway, so our reserves don’t last.

    Researchers and experts have found that a significant portion of people living in colder, darker climates are severely deficient in vitamin D.

    This can lead to a host of health problems that I won’t go into now, but a simple way to remedy the situation is to buy a vitamin D3 supplement.

    Of course, you want to consult with your doctor before you take any of the tips in this article. Nevertheless, a vitamin D3 supplement has helped me immensely in curing the winter blues. Here is another article supplementing this thought.

  2. Fish Oil
    Fish oil provides much-needed omega-3 essential fatty acids, specifically EPA and DHA, which have huge effects on your mood, energy, heart, and even the brain development in infants.

    There are an astonishing amount of proven fish oil benefits. You see, your body cannot produce these essential fatty acids by its own accord. And the problem today is that a lot of the oils we consume (canola oil, sunflower oil, and so on) are ripe with omega-6 fatty acids.

    This skews the ratio between omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, and causes inflammation in your body, which leads to, you guessed it, health problems.

    But let’s focus on the mood enhancing effects of omega-3 fatty acids. There’s a neurotransmitter called serotonin in your body, and when you eat fatty fish, or take a high-quality fish oil supplement, your serotonin levels go up, which leads to your mood going up.

    It has been shown that omega-3 fatty acids fight depression very effectively. Drug companies have made billions from this discovery by selling serotonin enhancing drugs, such as Zoloft, Prozac, and Paxil.

  3. Nutrition
    Let’s face it, you probably aren’t eating as healthy as you could. This happens to all of us, especially if you’re even slightly depressed living in a sunless time of year.

    Your diet doesn’t have to be perfect. It’s okay to eat your favorite foods from time to time. The problem arises when you go overboard.

    The first step is to eliminate as many unnatural food items from your diet as possible. This includes processed foods, sugar, junk food, and so on. I think you know what I’m talking about.

    The foods that make me feel good are grass-fed beef, organic chicken, wild fish and game, fruits, vegetables, and berries. You won’t always be able to find organic or grass-fed food, and that’s okay. Do your best, and take it from there.

  4. Light
    Even though we talked about Vitamin D and sunlight above, it still can make a huge difference in how you feel if you go to a tanning salon to get some light on your skin.

    It has even been proven that tanning salons can relieve depression and give your body a vitamin D boost. There’s a lot of conflicting advice out there whether or not tanning salons are safe. Some say they cause cancer, while others say they don’t. Do some research, ask your doctor, and make your own choice. I personally do not think they are harmful if done in moderation, but again, I urge you to do your own research and form your own opinion.

  5. Activity
    When winter arrives, I usually bunker up at home and try not to go out if I don’t have to. But there are a lot of great activities you can engage in when it’s winter such as ice hockey, skiing, sledding, or just going out with friends for a night of bowling.

    It’s easy to talk about these things, and they sound good on paper (or on the computer in this case), but how do you actually incorporate them into your life? The best way is to take things one step at a time. Don’t make big changes unless you really want to.

    Maybe you feel compelled to start with your diet and remove one bad food a week. Once you start seeing your energy soar, you might try going to a tanning salon, or even trying a few natural supplements.

    It’s all about small steps and steady progress.
What are you doing to keep from going stir crazy while cooped up this winter?

Written on 1/15/2011 by Henri Junttila. Henri blogs at, Wake Up Cloud, where he shows you how you can earn money online ethically. You can also get the Passion Blogging Guide, which is free, but really shouldn't be.Photo Credit: bandita

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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Tech Tuesday Tip

Note, this is part one of a 2-parter...

Sometimes at work, my coworkers come to me if they have a problem with their computer.I don't have all the answers. But I am always looking for them.

This is from a newsletter I get each week Windows Secrets. One of the best ways to make sure your computer is functioning properly is to keep all the software up to date. I'm not talking about buying the "latest & greatest". I'm referring to the free updates and upgrades....

Two great security tools get free updates

Fred Langa By Fred Langa

Two outstanding security apps, Microsoft Security Essentials 2.0 and Secunia Personal Software Inspector 2.0, are now available.

The original versions of these programs were great, but the new versions are even better; they're must-have software — and they're still free!

Beefing up Microsoft Security Essentials

In December, after a four-month beta test, Microsoft quietly released a major revision of its impressive and free Security Essentials anti-malware tool. The new version is slowly being rolled out via Windows Update, but you can — and I think you should — grab it right away.

MSE 2.0 is a nearly total rewrite of Microsoft's security tool. Although there are some visual changes in the software (more on that in a moment), the most significant enhancements are under the covers.

The most important change: MSE 2.0 now uses heuristic malware detection in addition to the same definitions-based malware detection methods employed by MSE 1.0. Heuristic technology has been around for years and is designed to detect new malware based on behavior, thus protecting you against threats that aren't yet in the definitions database. MSE2 calls this feature behavior monitoring. (See Figure 1.)

MSE adds Heuristic and network monitoring
Figure 1. Microsoft Security Essentials 2.0 broadens its protections with the addition of behavior-based heuristic malware detection and network-traffic filtering.

Another major change, also shown in Figure 1, is network inspection, which monitors network traffic, looking for suspicious activity and network-based attacks. It works by hooking into the Windows Filtering Platform (WFP) that's part of Win7 and Vista. (You can read more about Windows Filtering Platform at an MSDN site.)

XP lacks the built-in WFP services, so unfortunately, MSE 2.0's network inspection is not available on that OS.

These two new features alone make MSE 2.0 a worthwhile upgrade, but 2.0 also offers some additional, less significant improvements.

Better integration with Windows components

On all versions of Windows, including XP, MSE 2.0 integrates better with the operating system and other security components. For example, the new software checks to ensure that a firewall is present and active; it offers to turn on and configure the Windows firewall if no other firewall is found.

Also, you can now limit how much CPU time MSE consumes during a scheduled scan. The default is a maximum of 50% CPU utilization. But you can set it as low as 10% (should you want the scan to have minimal impact on other tasks) or as high as 100% (if you want the scan to complete as quickly as possible). (See Figure 2.)

MSE CPU limit
Figure 2. MSE 2.0 lets you control how much CPU time the software can consume during scheduled scans.

Using the Advanced settings, you now can force the quarantine folder to empty itself after a set amount of time, from days to months (as shown in Figure 3).

MSE time-based quarantine limits
Figure 3. If you wish, you can set the quarantine folder to clean itself out periodically.

You'll notice in Figure 4 that MSE 2.0's new visual design (top) has not strayed far from the original (bottom). This freshening is mostly decorative — and that's good, because MSE remains extremely easy to use; there's nearly nothing new to learn.

MSE interface, v1.0 and v2.0
Figure 4. MSE 2.0's interface (top) looks a bit more graphically sophisticated than 1.0's (bottom) but retains the original's functional simplicity.

Multiple paths to installing MSE 2.0

In the past, Microsoft has used both MSE's built-in update mechanism and Windows Update to roll out updates (see Microsoft Knowledge Base article 975959), and it's a safe bet that this upgrade will use the same mechanisms. But as of this writing, none of my PCs had been offered version 2.0 — neither automatically nor by any other means.

Wait for MSE 2.0 to be offered if you wish, but I recommend grabbing it right away. It's available either from the MSE home site or Microsoft's MS Download Center. It's the same software in either case.

MSE 2.0 will run on 32- and 64-bit versions of Vista or Win7 and on 32-bit XP. It's the same MSE 2.0 setup whether you're installing it new or upgrading from MSE version 1.0.

A nice touch: If you're already running MSE 1.0, you don't have to uninstall it first. Just download and run the 2.0 setup — it will handle the uninstallation of the earlier version for you.

Another nice touch: The 1.0 uninstall is complete. Everything, including version 1.0's original /Program Files/Microsoft Security Essentials folder, is deleted. In its place, MSE 2.0 installs a wholly new folder called /Program Files/Microsoft Security Client.

If you're running any antivirus tool other than MSE 1.0, you should uninstall it before installing MSE 2.0. (This is standard procedure; in general, you should never have two security tools trying to do the same job at the same time.)

The safest way to handle the transition between security tools is to download the MSE 2.0 setup file and then disconnect your PC from the network. You can do this by turning off or disabling the connection in software or by physically unplugging the network cable.

Exit all nonessential software; ideally, you want nothing but the operating system and your current antivirus tool to be active. Then, with your PC safely isolated from the network, uninstall your old antivirus tool. Reboot when you're done.

After the reboot, start the MSE 2.0 setup program and let it run to completion. When it's up and running, you then can reconnect to the network and resume using your PC normally.

Once installed, MSE 2.0 immediately updates itself with the latest definitions and offers to do an initial scan of your PC. Let it do its thing; once it's set up, MSE is one of the least obtrusive security tools you can use.

MSE 1.0 was a winner, but I personally think Version 2 is the best free AV tool, period. Highly recommended!

The Windows Secrets Newsletter is published weekly on the 1st through 4th Thursdays of each month, plus occasional news updates. We skip an issue on the 5th Thursday of any month, the week of Thanksgiving, and the last week of December. Windows Secrets is a continuation of four merged publications: Brian's Buzz on Windows and Woody's Windows Watch in 2004, the LangaList in 2006, and the Support Alert Newsletter in 2008.

Publisher:, 1218 Third Ave., Suite 1515, Seattle, WA 98101 USA. Vendors, please send no unsolicited packages to this address (readers' letters are fine).

Editor in chief: Tracey Capen. Senior editors: Fred Langa, Woody Leonhard. Associate editor: Kathleen Atkins. Copyeditor: Roberta Scholz. Program director: Tony Johnston. Contributing editors: Yardena Arar, Susan Bradley, Michael Lasky, Scott Mace, Ryan Russell, Lincoln Spector, Robert Vamosi, Becky Waring. Product manager: Andy Boyd. Advertising director: Eric Gilley. Subscription manager: Revia Romberg.

Trademarks: Microsoft and Windows are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation. The Windows Secrets series of books is published by Wiley Publishing Inc. The Windows Secrets Newsletter,, Support Alert, LangaList, LangaList Plus, WinFind, Security Baseline, Patch Watch, Perimeter Scan, Wacky Web Week, the Logo Design (W, S or road, and Star), and the slogan Everything Microsoft Forgot to Mention all are trademarks and service marks of All other marks are the trademarks or service marks of their respective owners.

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Monday, January 24, 2011

You Have To ASK

Great advice from the DLM blog:

The Power of Asking for What You Want

Posted: 13 Jan 2011 06:39 AM PST

Getting what you want out of life isn’t always easy. You can spend weeks, months or even years working on your goals. That’s a lot of effort and planning just to get from point A to point B. Worse still are the people who do nothing but wait around hoping that what they want will just appear in front of them.

There’s a better way to get what you want, just ask for it. The old adage that the fastest route between two points is a straight line applies here. Asking for what you want is easier and works faster than any plan you could come up with.

My Story of Asking for What I Want
Sometimes asking for what you want can really surprise you. After I graduated college, I got a full time job and began my career. About a year into the job I had an opportunity to travel through Southeast Asia. This travel was not for work, it would have been a personal trip for 30 days! I was in a bind. Traveling through Asia had always been a dream of mine. However, I knew I couldn’t just quit the job I tried so hard to obtain.

I tried to think through my situation. I realize that most jobs in America only allow two weeks of vacation per year. In fact, I don’t think I had seen anyone where I worked take any time off whatsoever. But I wanted both a job and travel so I racked my brain figuring out a plan to make it work. I realized I had only one option: to ask for what I want.

I had no doubt in my mind that I would get a “no”. No one expects their employer to allow that much time off just to travel. But to my surprise, I got the OK. The only stipulation was that I would be put into a different position when I got back. I was completely satisfied with the arrangement. A few months later, I was in a plane half way over the Pacific on my way to Thailand. And the best part was, I felt reassured that I had a position when I got back.

The biggest reason most people don’t try asking for what they want is fear. They fear rejection or they fear that they’ll ask in the wrong way or say something stupid. Asking someone for something you want can be a scary thing to do, but it’s a lot better than waiting for it to just happen. And with a few tips, you can make your experience a lot better.

Here are a handful of things I did to help get the response I was looking for.
  • Be Assertive
    There’s something about combining confidence with control that gets attention. People really respond positively to it. You’re probably going to be nervous asking, but that’s normal. Relax as best as you can and be confident. If you ask in an assertive, polite way, you’re more likely to get what you want.

  • Know what you want
    The more specific a request you make, the easier it will be for both you and the person you’re asking. If you appear indecisive and unsure in what you want, your request will come off as weak. Part of success in asking for what you want is showing the person how much you really want it. Show this by being specific in what you want. Plus, being specific is just polite to the person you’re asking in case they have to work around your request.

  • Be Flexible
    Being specific in what you want is important, but so is being flexible. When I asked for my time off to travel, I had to accept the different position when I came back. If I had been rigid in my demands, I wouldn’t have succeeded. It wasn’t ideal for me, but it was acceptable in order to get what I wanted. If you’re prepared to compromise, you’ll succeed too.

  • Be prepared for a “no”
    Asking for what you want isn’t a silver bullet for success. Oftentimes, you’ll receive a “no” and you have to be prepared for that. Years after my travels through Southeast Asia, I thought I would ask for similar time off from a new employer. I asked for a month off to travel and got a “no”. However, they did spend several days in consideration so I think it was pretty close to being accepted. I had to settle for a regular two week trip instead. I didn’t get what I wanted, but nothing bad happened to me by asking.

  • People want to help you
    Before you ask for what you want, realize that people want to help you. It is rare for someone to respond negatively to a well-thought out polite request. Most people get a good feeling by helping another person out. Plus, they’ll probably remember a time when they were in a similar position. If you keep this in mind, you’ll be more confident. And that will get you one step closer to getting that “yes”.
Remember, if you don't ask you won't receive.

Written on 1/13/2011 by Steve Bloom. Steve is the writer behind Do Something Cool where he blogs about travel, motivation, personal growth and adventure. He's always looking for ways to make life more interesting. Get tips on living life to the fullest through his Facebook fan page.Photo Credit: danielle_blue

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Sunday, January 23, 2011

What's 4 Lunch?

As I look at my week ahead, I have 3 lunch appointments, but the rest of the week...

How to Make Great Packed Lunches for Work

Posted: 13 Jan 2011 09:32 PM PST

A lot of us are in the habit of buying lunch out each day. I don’t mean we’re all enjoying three-course lunches with wine – for most people, it’s just a sandwich and maybe a bag of chips and a drink from the nearest store.

The problem is, when you’re sinking a few dollars on lunch five days a week, every week, the cost soon adds up. Buying a sandwich out is probably costing you around $3-$6 a pop; making that same sandwich as home would likely cost about a third of what it does in the store, around $1-$2.

So why don’t more of us brown-bag our lunch? In most cases, I think it’s simply habit. Of course, there’s always the excuse that we’re too rushed in the mornings – but that’s pretty easy to overcome.

Finding Time to Pack Your Lunch
Firstly, you’ll probably spend just as much time standing in line at the store as you will making a packed lunch at home. It only takes five minutes to put together a sandwich (I used to make my sandwiches whilst cooking my oatmeal for breakfast!)

Set your alarm clock ten minutes early, and you’ll have plenty of time to make yourself some lunch. If you find it really hard to get out of bed in the morning, you can make sandwiches ahead of time and freeze them (don’t include lettuce or other salad greens if you’re freezing sandwiches). Just grab one out of the freezer before you head out the door to work, and it’ll have defrosted by lunch time.

Storing Your Lunch
If you’ve got a fridge at work, keep your lunch in there. It might be a good idea to label your lunch bag with your name and the date (that way, no-one’s gonna accidentally scoff it, or chuck it out).

If you don’t have access to a fridge, just keep your lunch in an insulated lunch box that will stay cool. You can get these for a few bucks, and if you refrigerate them overnight, they’ll keep your food cool and fresh till lunchtime.

Avoiding Sandwich Boredom

As well as the perceived “hassle” of packing a lunch, many people feel that it’ll quickly get boring. Don’t fall into the “ham sandwiches again?” trap: vary your lunches to keep them interesting. Here’s some ideas.
  • Sandwiches: There are loads of different types of bread to try. Pitas, tortilla wraps and bagels all transport well – and using different breads will encourage you to vary the fillings.

  • Salads: Instead of a sandwich, why not make a big salad for lunch? Include some lean protein (like cold chicken, boiled egg, tuna or prawns) and some carbohydrate (pasta, rice or couscous work in many salads, or just take a few crackers to eat on the side).

  • Leftovers: An incredibly simple way to make lunch with next to no effort is to cook a bit extra at your evening meal the night before and pop it in an air-tight box. I’m very partial to cold stir-fry; if you’ve got access to a microwave at work, you’ll have even more options. (If you're reheating rice, make sure it's been kept completely chilled until you reheat it.)

  • Extras: Try to include a piece of fruit or a handful of veggie sticks with lunch – too many of us don’t eat any fruit or vegetables during the workday. You might also want to throw in a treat like a cookie or a small bag of chips. Look out for multibags of “treat sized” portions – far cheaper than buying candy bars and chips from the vending machine at work.
If you’re stuck for packed lunch ideas, have a search on Google – there are hundreds of sites packed with great suggestions. You can also buy books of packed lunch recipes, though these tend to be aimed at parents making lunches for their kids.

Do you buy lunch out? Is it really a convenience or treat – or just a habit? Could you save $2 or more a day (that’s $10 a week, almost $500 in a full working year) by taking a packed lunch to work?

Written on 9/17/2009 by Ali Luke. 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. Republished on 1/13/2011.
Photo Credit: shawn campbell

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