Saturday, March 05, 2011

Saturday Night Classic Music Video

A Little David for ya:

Fort Wayne Site of the Day


I just discovered this a couple days ago when they started following me on Twitter. Click on pic and check out the Bistro review tab.

Friday, March 04, 2011

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Questions to Ponder

Which is worse?

Reading something and then not using what you read to make a difference?

or

Not reading it at all?

I say the first option is worse, because you have wasted time.....

Here's what I read that got me thinking about those questions, (from Jim's Marketing Blog):

How to study less and achieve more than you ever thought possible

Posted: 27 Feb 2011 01:42 PM PST

I have always found it fascinating, how 2 people can read the same great book or attend the same massively valuable seminar, with completely different results.

  • The first person uses the information she discovered, in order to make the changes required for breakthrough success.
  • The second person finds the information useful, but decides to do nothing with it.

We can either be passive consumers of ideas or we can actively use what we learn, to build a better future. We can use information in order to achieve our best results ever or become an eternal gatherer of insights and guidance, which we never use.

We live in an age where there has never been greater access to business development information. Much of this is written by accomplished, respected experts – People we know we can trust. It’s there right now, just waiting to be read and acted on.

I often wonder how many struggling small business owners would be millionaires today, if they decided to act on some of the great information they gathered; rather than simply gathering more and more ideas that they never put into action.

Photo: Josep Ma. Rosell

Fort Wayne Site of the Day


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Wednesday, March 02, 2011

An Honest Conversation(s)

This month Kathy & I will be celebrating 10 years of marriage. It's the second time for each of us and most of our kids are either married or will be in less than 7 months.

Before you say "I Do", there are some conversations you need to have with your mate.

From the DLM blog:

Things to Consider Before Getting Married

Posted: 22 Feb 2011 02:25 PM PST


After 7 years of marriage I can honestly say that I would do it again without changing much. Well, maybe we would have spent our money a little more conservatively but as far as the the decision on marriage - it was a perfect one.

Unfortunately, as I consider our acquaintances and their marriages, it's clear that all marriages are not created equal. Cheating, drug addiction, financial woes, and chronic fighting surrounds us and often times we are stuck in the middle as these people come to us for advice.

Here are a handful of things that have become common themes. My assumption is that you've already talked about religion, having kids, sex, etc. If not, you really need to open up the communication.

So before you say "I Do", make sure you have at least considered these:
  • Ability to Compromise
    There are subtle changes that most people can make in their lives in order to make their spouse happy. This is part of the never ending compromise phase that is critical.

    When single, I'd watch football games at bars every Saturday and Sunday (and sometimes Thursday). Once married, I toned it down to one day. This is a manageable change that I was willing to make. However, had my wife insisted that I give up all sports entirely, I would have resisted and eventually resented her. That resent would have spread and ultimately influenced my overall attitude towards her.

    The same is true for just about everything. The willingness of the other person to compromise today (of the lack thereof) and your reaction to it will prove to be a precedent setting event. If someone is absolutely unwilling to compromise on minor issues, you should expect the same for larger issues. Don't be shocked and appalled by it when it happens three years from now- you knew this going in and you accepted it!

  • Money
    Yes, we all want it but once we have it who controls it. My wife started direct depositing her paychecks into my account after 3 months of dating. I actually don't recommend that so soon but she was bad with money and she admitted it. For us, it was a matter of getting our credit into shape (we had 640 credit and back then, now its 800+) and we needed a strategy to pay off her college and my personal debt.

    Once that debt was paid off and we moved into our house, I turned the finances back over to her after a crash course in on time payments and credit. I never looked back. I enjoyed the strategy part of it but not the day-to-day grind of bill paying. She actually enjoyed it because as a stay at home Mom, it gave her the insight she needed to plan for grocery purchases, clothes for the kids, etc.

    So before you get hitched, what is your plan today and 5 years from now? Who is handling what?

  • Who cleans the toilets?
    Toilets and the remainder of the housework is a constant issue. It all needs to get done and it's not the most fun. Setup a plan for this in the beginning. My suggestion is a weekly rotation - perhaps you'll come up with something different. The point of this is to set the expectation on both sides so that someone doesn't feel like a housekeeper. Chores need to be shared regardless of the work and income situation. Being a woman doesn't mean the wife has to handle at all.

  • The plan
    In talking to people, it became pretty apparent that their initial goals were in line but after the kids are born and careers take off, there is a fork in the road. I agree that all plans change and there is no way to write a script for your marriage but a lot of the confusion can be removed by having a 1, 3, 6 and 9 year plan. You should have this conversation now and then revisit it all the time. This does not mean you only review goals at these intervals. These are simply due dates.

    I am often questioned as to why 1,3,6,9.
    • 1 Year Plan: This one is obvious. After the wedding, where will you live, where will you eventually live. Who handles what, what is the combined income, what can we afford etc.
    • At 3 years: You are no longer newlyweds and you are perhaps considering kids. Heck, you may already have a kid at this point. You need a plan for that, a plan for who works, who stays home, what type of daycare, etc. This is also around the time that your first condo or "couple's house" loses it appeal. What kind of house do we want? Where? Can we afford that? How are the schools? What is Plan B if someone gets fired? Do we know what utilities cost?
    • 6 years: We have all heard of the 7 year itch. Therefore, it stands to reason that you have a plan set with a deadline of 6 years. Where do you want the marriage to be in 6 years? Communication habits, sex life, careers...everything. Talk about it now and periodically consider making adjustments based on the the success of your approach. Plans are meant to be changed.
    • 9 years: Again, where do you want to the marriage to be in 9 years? Why? What will life be like? How many kids will we have by then? Are we sending them to public school? What if someone's parent dies? What is one of us becomes seriously ill?
  • Holidays
    Just discuss how and where you will celebrate holidays. This is a battle for nearly everyone I know.

  • Discipline
    Are we spanking the kids, are we talking and coaching or are we doing both? No matter how happy you are now, if you're against physical discipline and your spouse is not, you will slowly learn to resent and dislike him/her each time a spanking is doled out. Discuss it NOW and avoid a surprise.

  • Ok, religion
    How important is it and how will we teach the kids?

  • Communications, cheating
    I don't care how many conversations you have, no one will ever openly state that they "may cheat". A key here is to be undoubtedly sure that the precedent is set for open communication. If a wife is not happy, the FIRST action on her part should be to talk to the husband (and vice versa). The only way to do this consistently is to talk; not yell, not argue, but talk like civilized people. If you become enraged every time your spouse tries to talk to you, you are pushing away an opportunity to fix a problem. Take time out and actually LISTEN. Marriage is not an argument or a punishment unless you make it one.
There are clearly a lot of other things to consider. Bad choices are going to made regardless of how thorough you plan; that's life. You wouldn't go on a 1,500 mile road trip without putting some thought into it and your marriage should be thought of in the same way. By planning and talking, the aim is to minimize the possible obstacles by first identifying them and getting them out in the open before they reach a critical, war-type, level.

What do you wish you discussed or planned before tying the knot? Feel free to leave an anonymous comment - perhaps it will help others.

-Jay

Written on 10/2/2007 by me, Jay White, the founder of Dumb Little Man and an all around average guy. Republished on 2/22/2011 and now it's 11 years! Yikes, I'm old!Photo Credit: SimonShaw

Fort Wayne Site of the Day


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Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Tech Tuesday Tip



Recently my wife wanted me to edit a couple of pictures so it would look like she was hunting buffalo.

For me it was an exercise in frustration because I don't have that type of software installed on any of our computers.

My brother in law ended up creating it, he does graphic imaging for a living.

Photoshop is the industry standard, but unless you are getting paid to use it, I would skip it and go with this suggestion from Kim Komando instead.

A free, easy alternative to pricey Photoshop


You can do amazing things with a good image editor. Take any photo you've shot. Make subtle changes to remove blemishes and improve the lighting. Or add impossible effects that are just plain cool.

Almost anything is possible with the right tool. Photoshop is the best- known image editor. It has loads of features. And it can work wonders. But it will also dent your wallet.


Don't reach for that credit card just yet. Try GIMP. It's a free image-editing program. And it has an impressive set of tools. It can handle nearly any editing task.

Like Photoshop, GIMP is complex. It has a steep learning curve. In fact, it may be too much for a beginner. But if you've found other programs lacking, this is what you want.

Cost: Free

Link: www.gimp.org

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

Fort Wayne Site of the Day


In previous years, this event occurred in September. They've moved it up 6 months. Click on Pic for details.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Video Time: Bee Bottles?

I found this Saturday. About 500,000 others have seen it too:

Fort Wayne Site of the Day


Media Monday continues. This week there are actually 2 Fort Wayne based stations, one I listen to the other I don't. Wanna guess which is which?

Click on Pic.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Make Room for Silly

I read this yesterday from the DLM Blog.

Hope you enjoy it as much as I did:

The Happiest Day of a Dying Marine's Life

Posted: 25 Feb 2011 10:12 AM PST


A few weeks ago, while packing up after a speaking program for a high school’s support staff, I had the privilege of chatting with one of the custodians. His name was Frank.

Frank shared with me a story from his childhood, starring his father, a career Marine. The family operated pretty much as you might expect under the head of a someone who’d spent his whole life in the service and saw action in two wars. The kids had buzz cuts. The household was in perfect order. And when Dad spoke, you listened.

One day, during a family drive, Frank’s father came to a stoplight. He abruptly put the car in park and announced, “Alright everybody! It’s time for a fire drill -- everybody out of the car!” The rest of the family was temporarily stunned, but what choice did they have? An order was an order! Within moments, they joined the 5-foot-8-inch spark plug outside and did several laps around the parked car. Then he commanded the eldest son, who was only 13 at the time, to get in the front seat and drive.

“But Dad,” the son exclaimed. “I don’t know how to drive!”

“You can drive. Let’s go!”

Well, the son did what he was told, and after a few shaky, herky-jerky blocks, the dad ordered the car to a halt, saying with a chuckle, “You’re right. You can’t drive. I’ll take it from here.”

The family’s shared laughter lasted for miles and miles and years and years. According to Frank, from that day on, his dad was a changed man.

Frank’s father died last February from emphysema. While he was in the hospital, in the middle of his final battle, the old man reflected back on his years. With tears in his eyes, he declared that day to be the happiest day in his life. Not the day he was married. Not the day his kids were born. The day he ordered the Chinese fire drill. The family that was with him on that memorable day was with him as he shared his deathbed reflection. And that night, he passed way.

Not only had Frank’s dad seen war firsthand -- with an abundance of wounds to prove it -- he also watched his brother die in the attack on Pearl Harbor. At the time of the famous fire drill, his duty to turn boys into men and train them for war weighed heavily on him.

It’s hard for me to imagine the burden he carried and the nightmares that must have perpetually haunted him. But what a testament to the power of a small rebellion! Imagine it with me: a disciplined, serious, strait-laced Marine who one moment is navigating the family station wagon and the next is circling it wildly with reckless abandon, amidst a chorus of silly giggles and hearty chuckles.

Today, there are many people who are being asked to do more with less. Our world is still wracked with war. We hear story after story of people losing their jobs, their homes, their battle with cancer. Perhaps you are among them.

Life isn’t easy. Sometimes it seems too hard to bear. But no matter how hopeless or heavy it seems, hang in there.

You see, as difficult as things can get, I am encouraged and inspired by the fact that sometimes, a tiny action -- a decision to zig instead of zag -- can be more powerful than corporations, governments, or an army of powerful tanks.

So even if the cause seems lost or a solution out of sight, try instigating a small rebellion. Who knows? A random act of silliness may just turn the tide and turn today into the happiest day of your life.

Written on 2/25/2011 by Jason Kotecki. Jason is a cartoonist, author, and professional speaker. Jason and his wife Kim (a former kindergarten teacher) make it their mission in life to fight Adultitis and help people use strategies from childhood to create lives with less stress and more fun. Stop by www.KimandJason.com for more tips for escaping adulthood.Photo Credit: Jason Kotecki

Fort Wayne Site of the Day


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