Archive for the category “Lifestyle”

Too many ideas? Here’s help.

I recently read the book Making Ideas Happen. If you are an idea person, or know one who needs help putting their plans into action, please read this.

The book makes the point that ideas are worthless. “Try to sell one”. Ideas that have been put into action are valuable.

Learning to be biased toward action is what this book by Scott Belsky, founder and CEO of Behance, wants you to become.

The author offers a simple plan he calls the “Action Method“. He believes that every project in your life can be broken down into one of three categories. And he also believes that everything you do is a project.

The categories are

  1. Action Steps
  2. References
  3. Backburner Items

Rather than give you my interpretation of his thoughts, follow this link to a website that explains the Action Method as well as many other productivity enhancers.

K.I.S.S. (Keep it simple, sweetheart)

“Innovation is about solving people’s problems in a way that’s meaningful to them in the context of their lives. “

I like the way this guy thinks. Innovation is not always the new discovery; sometimes it is simply rearranging what you already have to better suit your needs.

Some folks seem bent on devising new products and techniques just because they can with hardly any real grasp of how it might actually benefit someone in their everyday life.

After reading this, I believe most folks would feel encouraged to become innovators, making simple things that simply make our lives easier.

An elephant never forgets.

Erwin, Tennessee, is a small village tucked into the picturesque Smoky Mountains of east Tennessee. It has the distinction of being the site of the only public execution of an elephant. 

In 1916,  Mary, a trained performing animal, had killed her trainer. She was executed by hanging at the local train yard.

Erwin has some other distinctions. Here’s a link to Wikipedia.

Here’s the link to the article about Mary.

Finally! A use for a Prius.

The internet is full of people with opinions. This piece of the web is no different.

I’m sorry if you’re offended, but I think the Prius is butt ugly. 

I couldn’t think of a better way to say that. Again, sorry.

But it is not completely useless (anymore). Someone has made it into a platform for one of America’s favorite pasttimes: camping.

That’s right; you can now turn a small, slow and ugly road machine into a tent.

I wonder if the battery packs will power a reading light all night?

Here’s the article.

Book Review:” Gracenomics”. Sounds Good. Comes Up Short.

Gracenomics: Gracenomics: Unleash the Power of Second Chance LivingGracenomics: Gracenomics: Unleash the Power of Second Chance Living by Mike Foster
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I’m sure the author means well, but going on and on about grace without mentioning the author of grace, Christ, is meaningless. It becomes just another self-help volume and offers no hope for life change.

I’m sure Mike Foster has seen his share of gaffs by the Christian community. I have, too, and I’ve been the instigator as well. But without knowing where life-changing grace comes from, I’m just trying to keep a set of laws, which is what grace from God through Jesus frees us from.

I was excited when I saw the trailer. I thought I might like to use this series for our small group meeting. I bought the Kindle version and started reading.I heard someone say once if you’re talking about salvation/ grace you better get to Jesus in the first couple minutes. This doesn’t, at all.

Maybe that’s not Mike Foster’s point. If that’s the case. good on him. Join hands and let’s sing We Are the World, cause that’s where this is headed.

Save your money. Read the gospels. Call your mom and tell her you’re glad for all she’s done for you.

View all my reviews

Two great truths: You’re not special. It’s not about you.

In a recent commencement speech at Wellesley High School in Massachusetts,  English teacher David McCullough, Jr. told the graduating class that “they were not special“.

His speech went on to let the kids know that although they were not special, they were, as our founders said, endowed with inalienable rights, including the pursuit of happiness.

I remember opening Rick Warren’s book, The Purpose Driven Life and being surprised by the opening line: “It’s not about you”. 

In talking with His disciples about who would be greatest, Jesus cuts through the confusion and grounded his followers by telling them “If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all”.

Self sacrifice, service to others, the pursuit of happiness. All qualities of a life well lived.

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and can cost up to $940 million when it comes to knocking off a whole town.

For years, cheap imitation products from China have plagued purveyors of the original goods.

This imitation has been received with open arms by the residents of the original.

Yes, residents. 

Hallstatt in Upper Austria is one of the nation’s precious jewels. Nestled deep in the beautiful Northern Limestone Alps…
Chinese metals and mining company China Minmetals Corporation spent $940 million to build a replica of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed village that recently opened its doors to tourism.

Here’s the story.

Jesus encourages His followers to have faith. I feel like I come up short. Evidently, I’m in good company.

A couple months ago I was introduced to a blog called “300wordsaday.com

The posts have always been meaningful. Today’s especially so.

Without further ado, go here to be encouraged.

Water. Coffee. Time: Another installment in our delight of all things coffee.

Here’s a short video titled “This is Coffee”, sponsored by the Coffee Brewing Institute, circa 1961. (Run time 12:32)

Start your day with “warmth and vigor” in that “world that often forgets to stop”.

Sit your jittery self down, have a cup of java and watch this trip around the world that celebrates our favorite morning drink.
“In the romance of evening, when young dreams glow softly, coffee is always a perfect companion.”

Watch for the vacuum method. It looks a little dangerous. You’ll also see the “pour over” method used in one shot. Evidently it’s all the rage in coffee houses now.

Here’s a neat way to do it inexpensively at home.

Beyond a shadow of doubt…

Remember making fanciful hand shadow creatures at night for entertainment. Was it last night?

It doesn’t matter. Look what happens when you expand the idea: it becomes art.

“I sculpt shadow with light or sometimes light with shadow, but both function in essentially the same manner. I take objects and carve and place them in relation to a single light source. The complete artwork is therefore comprised of both the material (the solid objects) and the immaterial (the light or shadow).”

The artist is Kumi Yamashita.

Go here to see a gallery of her work on the Demilked website.

Or here to her website.

No dear, there aren’t any monsters under your bed; they’re in the toilet!

A bit of whimsy for the home bathroom.  These vinyl stickers may be that touch you’ve been looking for…or not.

A true legend, Doc Watson, dies at age 89

If you have never listened to the music of Doc Watson, do yourself a favor. Whatever mood you’re in, you’ll appreciate his smooth, commanding baritone, his masterful touch on the guitar and his ever present wit.

From a Seattle Times article: “Overall, Doc will be remembered as one of America’s greatest folk musicians. I would say he’s one of America’s greatest musicians,” said David Holt, a longtime friend and collaborator who compared Watson to Lead Belly, Bill Monroe, Muddy Waters and Earl Scruggs.”

The music world did lose a legendary talent.

Here’s the story about his passing.

Here’s a wiki article about him.

J.S. Bach’s Goldberg Variations available for download-free

“First published in 1741, J.S. Bach’s Goldberg Variations is often considered the most ambitious composition ever written for harpsichord. ”

Here’s the story. This material was released under the Creative Commons Zero License which puts them in the public domain. How nice.

Beautiful music. Written for harpsicord and performed, in this instance, on piano.

You can stream it here or download it here.

Bonus: Read through the first link to find where to download all of Bach’s organ music.

Hindsight is always 20/20- reminder to back up important files

It’s easy to get complacent about all things virtual: bank transactions, downloads, internet security.

Just a word to the wise to prepare for trouble before it comes. 

Backup important stuff. Store treasured photos a couple different places online and/or  on another hard drive.

A short article about an Amazon.con Trojan Horse virus and a free safety scanner download from Microsoft.

Go here for the article.

Go here for the Microsoft download.

For those with an artistic bent, encouragement.

A great commencement speech at the University of the Arts 2012, Philadelphia.

Advice from a writer who’s been doing what he does for a while.

Interestingly enough, he never acquired a degree.

Is your job killing you? Maybe.

The Atlantic recently reported about an Australian study that concluded that:

“people who sat more than 11 hours a day had a 40% higher risk of dying in the next three years than people who sat less than four hours a day. ”

Sounds serious, and unless Australians are significantly different than folks in the states, we should probably pay attention. The good news is that, according to the study,  exercise can help.

Here’s a link to a designer that’s taking this news very seriously and has come up with his own remedy. He’s not going to take it sitting down, you might say.

Helpful tip to battle summertime bugs

Baseball, picnics, the beach. All those wonderful things we enjoy when the weather warms up. It’s easy to forget about the other things that tag along: mosquitoes, flies and scorpions?

Well, maybe not scorpions around here, but if you have a pesky pest around your house, here’s a tip to help you reel it in.

Don’t you love it when you find another use for something you already have around the house?

Whoa, Big Boy! Maybe you should take 10

Do you find yourself grasping at every little snippet of time, trying to do more? Are you gittery when there’s nothing to do right now?

That’s definitely not me, but if those descriptions fit you, go here to find  1o Reasons to Slow Down.

The author says better decision making, efficiency and increased productivity await those who find virtue in s-l-o-w-i-n-g d-o-w-n.

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