Saturday, September 24, 2011

Friday, September 23, 2011

You Don't Need the Weather Channel

From my archives:

from the AOM Blog:


Forecast the Weather Like Daniel Boone

Technology has brought the world a long way, enabling us to consume more information in a few short minutes on Google Mobile than folks decades ago could locate in a week by plowing through books at the local library. And yet, with all this readily available information and the focus on being able to find information, the need to actually know and retain information has been decidedly diminished. There is still something to be said, however, for retaining the knowledge and skills that the men of yesteryear needed to survive, such as navigating by compass or starting up a respectable campfire. With that in mind, and with hunting season just around the corner, let’s look to the skies and sharpen up our skills in forecasting the weather.

Weather forecast for tonight: dark. Continued dark overnight, with widely scattered light by morning. -George Carlin

Now keep in mind that if the national weatherman equipped with Doppler radar and satellite imagery gets it wrong from time to time, you will too. Taking that into consideration, it is probably best to avoid making high dollar wagers with your buddies when you are confident that it will begin storming in the next few minutes. And yet, by utilizing nature’s telltale signs, you can make some fairly safe assumptions regarding what is around the corner weather-wise. Let’s take a look at some of the basics:

Cloud signs

As far as nature’s weather signs go, clouds will provide you with the most accurate indicators of things to come. Clouds are essentially water droplets or ice crystals (depending on altitude) that mass together in the atmosphere. There are many types of clouds, far too many to list, but some of the basic cloud types can indicate what weather patterns to be prepared for.

Cumulus

Cumulus clouds themselves are most often associated with pleasant weather. It is cumulus clouds that often take the shape of various characters in the imagination of creative youngsters as a result of their puffy, continuously changing appearance. While they are a sign of agreeable weather, it is not uncommon for cumulus clouds to form into cumulonimbus clouds, aka thunderheads, which are a sure sign that it is time to batten down the hatches.

Stratus

Stratus clouds are flat and featureless and often completely blanket the sky. As opposed to cumulus clouds, which are flat on the bottom and rise dramatically on the tops, stratus clouds are flat both above and below. While they usually do not indicate extreme weather to come, they do often produce a light drizzle or flurries.

Cirrus

Cirrus clouds are high altitude clouds which resemble wispy brush strokes. When the wisps curl at the end, they are often referred to as mare’s tails. These clouds are regularly associated with approaching storms, but can also come directly after a thunderstorm has passed.

Nimbus

Nimbus clouds can refer to any of the above clouds which have taken on a dark color, thus indicating high moisture levels within the cloud and rain to come. For example, a cumulonimbus cloud is a cumulus cloud that is uncharacteristically dark and foreboding, and is associated with thunderstorms. Cumulonimbus clouds often rise like towers into the sky and sometimes take the shape of an anvil, with the longer end of the anvil head typically pointing in the direction the storm is heading.

Proverbs That Stand the Test of Time

Weather proverbs are likely nearly as old as language itself, with the earliest recorded proverb dating back to the New Testament of the Bible when Jesus noted that “When evening comes, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,’ and in the morning, ‘Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.’’’ (Matthew 16:2). While some proverbs add up to nothing more than old wives’ tales, many are based in scientific fact. Here are some notable examples of the latter:

“Red sky at night, sailor’s delight; Red sky at morning, sailors take warning.”

and

Evening red and morning gray, help the traveler on his way. Evening gray and morning red bring down a rain upon his head.”

When looking west in the evening, a visibly red sky can be taken as a clue that dry weather is coming (or staying). The red sky is caused by dust particles in the atmosphere, which only occur in dry weather. Since weather systems typically move west to east as a result of jet streams, you can safely assume that this dry weather is heading your way. A morning red sky in the east, however, denotes that the dry weather has passed you by and that a moisture rich weather system is likely to follow.

“Flowers smell best just before a rain.”

and

When ditch and pond offend the nose, look for rain and stormy blows.”

Everyone is familiar with that smell that occurs after a good summer rain, when the air is rich with the smell of plant life. This is a result of an increase in air moisture or humidity, which drastically increases the strength of smells in the air and the distance they carry. Also, it is believed that the smells of swamps and marshes are held down near the surface when atmospheric pressure is high, but low atmospheric pressure allows these foul odors to rise and carry. Both the increase in humidity and the drop in atmospheric pressure associated with these proverbs are signs of wet weather to come.

Chimney smoke descends, our nice weather ends.”

Keep an eye on the smoke from that roaring campfire you just built. If the smoke rises in a straight stack, you can anticipate fair weather to come. If the smoke rises in a stack as normal, but appears to be buffeted downwards once it reaches a certain height, you can bet that a storm’s a-brewin’.

Beware the bolts from north or west; in south or east the bolts be best.”

As mentioned above, most weather systems travel west to east. This proverb simply infers that visible storms in the west are most likely headed your way, while those in the east have passed you by.

A ring around the sun or moon, means rain or snow coming soon.”

The visible ring sometimes appearing around the sun or the moon is a result of ice crystals in cirrus clouds refracting the light off these celestial bodies. Since cirrus clouds generally indicate foul weather to come, you can assume that it is time to start waterproofing your camp.

When clouds appear like rocks and towers,
The Earth’s refreshed by frequent showers.”

A reference to the cumulonimbus cloud patterns mentioned above, this proverb serves as a simple reminder that such clouds indicate that a storm is likely coming your way.

Tools of the Trade: The Barometer

Some of nature’s signs cannot be understood simply by observing them but require tools to measure. By utilizing a barometer, you can measure the atmospheric pressure which can provide you with a great deal of information on what type of weather is just around the corner. In the most basic sense, a barometer indicating high pressure in the area lets you know that fair weather is likely, while low pressure is a sign that you can anticipate wet weather to come.

Before you can get started you’ll need to be sure you have the proper equipment. Most personal use barometers are known as aneroid barometers and contain no liquid. These barometers contain a spring which is calibrated using a dial or knob located on the back of the unit. In order to calibrate your barometer properly you will need to head over to http://www.weather.gov/ and get a local weather report, which will include the current barometric pressure. Adjust your barometer to match.

While a general understanding that high pressure is good and low pressure is bad is a start, more advanced and accurate information can be gleaned from the barometer as well. The following barometer reference card, taken from Skills for Taming the Wilds by Bradford Angier, will assist you in your short term weather forecasting forays (Keep in mind that these measurements and what they indicate are only representative within the U.S. and Canada).

BAROMETER WIND WEATHER
High, steady SW to NW Fair with little temperature change for one to two days
High, rising rapidly SW to NW Fair with warmer weather and rain within two days
High, falling rapidly E to NE Summer: rain in 12 to 24 hours

Winter: snow or rain with increasing wind

Very high, falling slowly SW to NW Fair, with slowly rising temperatures, for two days
High, falling rapidly S to SE Rain, with increasing wind, in 12 to 24 hours
High, falling slowly S to SE Rain within 24 hours
High, falling slowly E to NE Summer: light winds, fair

Winter: precipitation in 24 hours

High, falling slowly SW to NW Rain within 24 to 36 hours
Low, rising rapidly Shifting to W Colder and clearing
Low, rising slowly S to SW Clearing soon and fair for several days
Low, falling slowly SE to NE Rain for one or two more days
Low, falling rapidly E to N Northeast winds heavy with rain or snow, followed in winter by cold

Source Material/Further Reading:

Skills for Taming the Wilds by Bradford Angier

The Book of Survival by Anthony Greenbank

National Geographic’s Complete Survival Manual by Michael S. Sweeney

Fort Wayne Site of the Day


Click on Pic

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Time to Unstuck yourself?

from DLM:

5 Crippling Beliefs That Keep People Stuck, Unsuccessful, and Mediocre For Life

Posted: 23 Aug 2011 09:48 AM PDT


Is it just me, or is the whole “fitting in” thing highly overrated?

Yes, there’s a certain comfort in going with the flow, being one of many, and following the same path as millions before you. Yes, it’s easier to not be stupid and put yourself way out on a ledge and risk your predictable and stable life. Yes, it’s fun to fantasize about one day someone walks in and “discovers” your hidden brilliance and plucks you from your normal life and drops you into the one of your dreams.


But eventually, it becomes obvious that the “discovery” will never come and that stability and security is an illusion. I know, because I’ve been there. For years I took a typical approach to my life. Follow the crowd, get a decent somewhat stable corporate job, and avoid rocking the boat by making any drastic changes. But eventually I realized three things...
  • No matter how stable or secure you think your situation is, everything can change in an instant
  • The longer you go with the flow and wait for someone to give you an opportunity, the harder it gets to break out and make changes
  • Pretty much the only future that comes with following the masses and taking the “safe” path is a life of perpetual mediocrity
Sooner or later, you begin to reconsider. I mean, no, you don’t have to be a daredevil, quit everything, and go run away in an RV – not that kind of drastic – but would a little change and excitement be that bad?

Hell, a little risk might even make you more secure.

So, you embark on your quest to stretch your comfort zone. You explore different ways to expand your horizons. You think about going back to school or traveling. You think of quitting your job or starting a business online. You consider starting a blog or finding a hobby. You brainstorm all the possible ways to break free of your everyday-average-boring life and forge a new path.

And if you’re lucky, you find something that works. No, maybe you don’t get your dream life, but maybe you pick up an interesting hobby or get a better job. Maybe you add just a little bit of color to all that mediocrity. It’s nice, but you still haven’t really changed anything in a meaningful way, and you wonder why.

In my experience?

It’s because you don’t have your mind right. You have these little devils sitting on your shoulder, feeding you lies about how the world works and how you should act in it. You probably picked up some of these ideas from your parents, others from your teachers, and still other from your friends and co-workers.

And if you let them, they’ll cripple you. You’ll go through your whole life feeling like you were meant for more than this, like you have enormous potential just waiting to come out, but never quite sure why you’re always living an average, mediocre, boring, uneventful life.

We can’t let that happen.

Below, you’ll find some of the most common beliefs that hold people back. Take a look, and see if any of them look familiar:

Crippling Belief #1: It’s gunna happen because I deserve it
Many of us grow up with a feeling of entitlement. Now I’m not talking about the bratty spoiled valley girl who thinks the world owes her something – most of us aren’t that bad.

More often, the feeling is more along the line of thinking we deserve a decent job because we got good grades in college. Or we should be paid well because we’re smart. Or we received that competitive award or internship that we worked hard for, so the world should reward us for being so awesome and hard working.

And that’s where we really get screwed up - the hard working part. When lazy people feel entitled to success it’s just sort of neurotic. If you just sit on the couch doing nothing 24/7 of course you don’t deserve success. But we live in a “by your own bootstraps” society that says that if you work hard, you’ll succeed.

The fact is none of these things mean you deserve anything. Not school, not grades, not work, not awards, not even a good work ethic.

What you deserve is equal to whatever value you can bring into the world. You can be the hardest worker in the world, but if you never create anything new and valuable with that hard work, you’ll always be held back.

And you’ll be frustrated as all hell.

The fact is people who never bring something new into the world, who never create, who create new value that wouldn’t exist without them, will live a mediocre life. Work ethic leads to massive success when it’s focused on bringing new value into the world. Work ethic leads to frustrating mediocrity when it’s focused on maintaining value that already exists.

Stop maintaining value. Start creating it.

Crippling Belief #2: Big changes take a while to happen
One of the biggest explanations people have for why they’re not successful is that building a success takes time. Sure, I may not be successful now, but if I just hang in there, keep working hard, things will snowball, and eventually everything will be alright.

It seems reasonable. After all, no one (but those Jersey Shore people) gets famous overnight, right? Everywhere you look, there are stories of successful people persisting when there was no hope, trudging forward one weary step at a time, unwilling to quit, clinging fiercely to their dreams, manifesting success through sheer power of will.

It’s inspiring...but it’s also deceptive.

Yes, becoming successful often takes time and yes, you should slap anyone who claims to have the “secret” to overnight success. But it’s not because after you pay your dues the clouds will suddenly part and you’ll be handed that one lucky break that you’ve earned through years of toiling.

It’s because, in the beginning, you do everything wrong. You do things that don’t work and screw things up royally. Most of us get beat up by the journey for a few years until we figure out the right path. It’s not about working hard until it happens. It’s about struggling to figure out how it works for you and working through all the mistakes in the process.

In other words, you’re not waiting on the world to present you your opportunity. The world is waiting on you. It’s not the action of working that leads to success. It’s the action of seeking solutions to the last set of mistakes you made to find the best path from where you are now to where you want to be.

Yes, persistence is important. Yes, learning takes time. Yes, it’ll probably be slow and painful. But the sooner you learn, and the more you focus on solving your mistakes and moving forward intelligently, the sooner it will be over. So get busy.

Crippling Belief #3: My current situation is secure
A lot of people are crippled by a thought process that goes something like this:

I’d really like to do something different. Find a new job, start my own business, kick off a new blog – I’d love to forge my own path. But I don’t want to rock the boat because my current situation is secure. I’ve got a decent job. I’ve got a decent income. There’s a chance of career advancement in the next 3 to 5 years. Sure I hate it, but I need the security for me, my family, and my future...

And that makes sense. Why throw away your secure situation for a huge risk, a huge gamble, that could possibly lead to the independence and freedom you really want?

Unfortunately, 9 times out of 10, that security is an illusion. It’s fake. That security just doesn’t exist.

Ask any number of factory workers about job security. Many of them worked at the same job and the same company for years. They were extremely hard working and good at their job. But overnight their jobs were replaced by machines, the factories downsized, and all their hard work, time, and security disappeared in a blink of the eye. And what were they to do? Their skill set depended on factory jobs that no longer existed...

But many people say, “but I’m not a factory worker...I have more transferable skills.”

Heh.

That’s always the fall-back plan in job security. In the unlikely event that I get fired, at least I have a set of skills that are transferable.

But here’s the thing about transferable skills. Most common “transferable skills” basically everyone has. Yes, things like communication, writing, organizing, web savviness, managing, and spreadsheet-making are useful in almost every work situation, but almost every person in the work force could claim those same “transferable skills.”

And it’s a simple question of supply and demand. If everyone has the same skills you can prove you have, then those skills aren’t all that valuable to the marketplace – and that makes people expendable.

Real security is tied directly to the skills and knowledge that you have any that you can prove you have. Saying you have good writing skills is one thing. Having a well-written blog that demonstrates your writing skills is quite another. Saying you are a good salesperson is one thing. Having a spreadsheet of your successful sales data is another.

Real security means not having to rely on one job, or one career, or one boss. Real security means owning your market value and that means having actual valuable skills that you can prove objectively.

If your situation is different than that, then your security is an illusion and you better start working on building your own security as soon as possible.

Crippling Belief #4: I’m already smart, skilled, and talented
So, let me guess:

You’ve always been pretty smart and pretty good at a lot of things. No, you haven’t been featured in Time Magazine, but your teachers loved you in school and your family and friends think you’re swell.

Maybe you’ve won some sort of recognition or award even for something you’ve done – and it went straight to your resume.

You believe all of that makes you different. When you set out to get success, get a great job, start your own business or blog, you believe things will be easier for you than all of the other half-wits out there. Unlike them, you are talented and if they can have success you’re guaranteed to succeed.

...good luck.

I wish I could say this thought process amazes me, but I had this same damn mindset for the longest time. That’s why something like 80% of people believe they are “above average,” which is obviously impossible. But because we tend to be deluded into believing we’re different, because we believe we’re smarter, skilled, more connected, or more talented, we’re just about guaranteed to succeed.

We’re kidding ourselves. The difference between believing that you could be better than everyone if you just put yourself out there and actually becoming more successful than them is like the difference between being really good at NBA Jam and playing professional basketball.

It’s one thing to imagine the potential world where you’re the great success you believe you could be and actually building that real world success.

The bottom line is this: if you don’t want to be perpetually mediocre, you have to be serious about building value in the “real world”. You’ll need to commit to ignoring theoretical things like “if I put myself out there, I could be great.”

Your potential is pointless. Potential by definition does not exist. The only thing that exists is what you’ve achieved in the real world. Anything without a tangible result – all your elusive talents, skills, and possibilities – just doesn’t count.

Crippling Belief #5: I’m not good enough yet

There is an opposite crippling belief, though. Maybe you don’t think you’re smart enough, skilled enough, or talented enough to start making real achievements in your life. Well, at least not yet.

You need to learn more, have a bit more experience, get a couple more connections or find a different situation. You’re meant for something great, but there’s a bunch of stuff that you need to do first before you can really make something happen. You’re good, you’re just not good enough yet.

And you know what? You’re right.

But then again, no one is “good enough.” The most successful people in the world aren’t “good enough.” In fact it is precisely that feeling of not being good enough is what motivates many people to do more.

It’s not a barrier, it’s motivational dissatisfaction.

The totally not kept secret is that you can’t wait yourself into action. The more people wait for something to happen before they can act the easier it is to find something else to wait for. I see it all the time in online business. People wait until they know how to set up a beautiful website. Then they wait until they know the best traffic strategies. Then they wait until they have the perfect lead generation bribe. Then they wait until they have a successful blog. Then...well, you get the idea. There’s always something to learn or do before actually selling something.

Waiting to get good enough to act never works and it’s not even smart. People don’t actually learn from studying, not in a way that lasts. People learn from mistakes. People learn from all the little and big failures that steers them to the right path. Waiting to be good enough is just being afraid to fail, which is a shame because failing is precisely how you’ll become better.

So, don’t be crippled

The real lessons here are ones you’ve heard a million times. Take immediate action and build as much value as possible. That’s really it. And as most advice, it’s much easier said than done.

And some of the path forward is obvious. But if you ask me, the root thing we need to do is change the standard we hold ourselves to when it comes to our own lives. We need to own the value we provide the world. We need to do whatever we can to take action immediately. We need to stop giving ourselves credit for potential and focus on giving ourselves credit for the things we’ve achieved in the real world.

And if we haven’t achieved much, we should be grateful when we realize it because that’s when you’ll have to start achieving...

...because you’ll know the other option is a life of mediocrity.

Written on 8/23/2011 Joey Weber. Joey teaches people how to improve themselves while getting paid to do it (that sexy intersection of personal development and online business) over at Find Your Damn Purpose. Photo Credit: Hudson Gardner

Fort Wayne Site of the Day-Trolley Tour


This is the day for the annual Fort Wayne Museum of Art Trolley Tour.

Every day leading up to the event, I have been featuring an organization associated with this years tour.

Get details by going here, or just show up!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Fort Wayne is a Terrible Town


That is what some folks say.

Maybe it's the numerous Mens Health Survey that say we are stupid.

On the other hand we rank #3 in sexual satisfaction. And #23 in overweightness.

I wonder if it's all tied together, but that's not really what I want to talk about.

Usually people who have a negative attitude about, well just about anything.

I disagree.

Fort Wayne is not a terrible town.

Maybe it is my age, or perspective that time gives, but I really think that we are much better than the naysayers believe.

My family moved here in the 1960's when I was 6 years old and I stayed until 1978 when I took my first full time radio job.

I returned in 1980 for about 3 years, but came back for good in 1998 after my Dad died.

I wasn't planning on staying, but when I met my wife and she showed me what she loved about Fort Wayne, I was hooked.

Hooked on her, and on Fort Wayne.

Now that our kids are all married off and living on their own, we've decided to stay.

This past weekend I visited the Johnny Appleseed Festival.

The weekend before, it was Tourist in Your Hometown weekend.

There are always more things to do than I have time for.

Believe it or not, one of the reasons we live in Fort Wayne is also that we like to leave town.

It could be a short trip to the Grabill Fair which we did this month.

Or a weekend trip to Indiana Dunes and Illinois and back again.

We've made trips to Ohio, Michigan and other parts of Indiana and explored Bed & Breakfasts all over the region, all is possible because we live in Fort Wayne.

I often will run into people I know, or those that know me on a daily basis, because I get involved and reach out.

(Sidenote: I'm more of an introvert than extrovert, but I push myself because I also like people and those connections.)

I could go on and on, but what inspired me to write this today was an awareness of a project that Nick Arnett is embarking on to make our area even better. It's called 12 Cities 12 Months and you can learn more about it by visiting the website.

In the past 12 months, I've been involved due to a couple of connections. I was nominated and selected as one of 101 Connectors in Northeast Indiana. I am also on the Citizen Advisory Panel for Vision 2020.

I have to admit that when I first heard about the Vision 2020 project I was a skeptic. But over time, I have seen the value and now am wondering how to make it real. That's what Nick's journey is all about.

What are your thoughts on Fort Wayne?

Fort Wayne Site of the Day-Trolley Tour


One of my families favorite events is the annual Fort Wayne Museum of Art Trolley Tour.

Every day leading up to the event, I am featuring an organization associated with this years tour.

Get details by going here, and to visit today's site click on pic.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Join The Cool Kids


And not just kids.

Adults too.

Of All Ages.

With one thing in Common.

A desire to learn more about Social Media.

The last Tuesday of the month is when we have the Social Media Breakfast Fort Wayne.

We almost always have it at the Northeast Indiana Innovation Center. (Map is here).

The cost = free.

We ask that you reserve your seat by signing up via Eventbrite since seating is limited to 80 due to the size of the room.

Keep tabs on the Facebook page here: http://www.facebook.com/smbftw

Fort Wayne Site of the Day-Trolley Tour


One of my families favorite events is the annual Fort Wayne Museum of Art Trolley Tour.

Every day leading up to the event, I am featuring an organization associated with this years tour.

Get details by going here, and to visit today's site click on pic.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Better Than Dancing With the Stars

It's Monday.

That means ABC will be alternating between Bachelor Pad and Dancing with the Stars for the next 9 months.

I'm waiting for the season premiere of House on Fox.

If you really want to see some dancing, go here: http://pogpog.com/v/the-greatest-dance-number-ever-filmed/

Fort Wayne Site of the Day-Trolley Tour


One of my families favorite events is the annual Fort Wayne Museum of Art Trolley Tour.

Every day leading up to the event, I am featuring an organization associated with this years tour.

Get details by going here, and to visit today's site click on pic.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

What A Mess?

I saved an article that Chris Brogan wrote about relationships that I believe all of us should read.

It starts with...

Untangled

Posted: 14 Sep 2011 03:03 AM PDT

Tangled fishing line

We go about our lives quite tangled up with other people’s lives, whether we want to admit that or not. We carry with us tangles from our past connections, and tangles from worries about future events that haven’t even unfolded yet. These tangles affect our choices and decisions and feelings all the time, if we let them.

Untangled

This has been on my mind for a while, as I’ve been learning to see my own tangled self. I wrote about taking back your strings not too far back, but with the context that we let other people twist us up with their own choices. The more we come to see this, the more we can help ourself get untangled.


Continue reading on his site.

Fort Wayne Site of the Day-Trolley Tour


One of my families favorite events is the annual Fort Wayne Museum of Art Trolley Tour.

Every day leading up to the event, I am featuring an organization associated with this years tour.

Get details by going here, and to visit today's site click on pic.