For the record: there was no permanent damage.

Quote of the Day

July 8, 2008 — Leave a comment

“A regressive trend plagues most organizations where the most dependent members set the agenda & adaptation is constantly toward weakness not strength thus giving power to the recalcitrant, passive-aggressive of the organization rather than toward the energetic, imaginative and motivated.”

5,040

June 30, 2008 — Leave a comment

5,040…

That’s the number of e-mails I had waiting for me to deal with in my primary e-mail account when I returned from vacation today. That doesn’t count the other 4 accounts that I don’t check that often.

That’s the number of e-mail that didn’t make it into my Junk Mail folder.

While I didn’t keep count, much of the e-mail I received while I was gone concerned my apparent need for “male enhancement” (if you know what I mean). Some of it the e-mail informed me of ways to invest my vast fortune. Did I mention the “male enhancement” e-mail?

And then there was the “real” e-mail. It’s almost all dealt with now. I’m going home the night to finish off the last few items.

So it can all begin again tomorrow, when I’m sure I’ll receive more “male enhancement” e-mail.

1. Give advice that matters in one sentence. I got run out of a job I liked once, and while it was happening, a guy stopped me in the hall. Smart guy, but prone to saying too much. I braced myself. I didn’t want to hear it. I needed a white knight, and I knew it wasn’t him. He just sighed and said: When nobody has your back, you gotta move your back. Then he walked away. Best advice I ever got. One sentence.

2. Tell if someone is lying. Everyone has his theory. Pick one, test it. Choose the tells that work for you. I like these: Liars change the subject quickly. Liars look up and to their right when they speak. Liars use fewer contractions. Liars will sometimes stare straight at you and employ a dead face. Liars never touch their chest or heart except self-consciously. Liars place objects between themselves and you during a conversation.

3. Take a photo. Fill the frame.

4. Score a baseball game. Scoring a game is an exercise in ciphering, creating a shorthand of your very own. In this way, it’s a private language as much as a record of the game. The only given is the numbering of the positions and the use of the diamond to express each batter’s progress around the bases. I black out the diamond when a run scores. I mark an RBI with a tally mark in the upper-right-hand corner. Each time you score a game, you pick up on new elements to track: pitch count, balls and strikes, foul balls. It doesn’t matter that this information is available on the Internet in real time. Scoring a game is about bearing witness, expanding your own ability to observe.

5. Name a book that matters. The Catcher in the Rye does not matter. Not really. You gotta read.

6. Know at least one musical group as well as is possible. One guy at your table knows where Cobain was born and who his high school English teacher was. Another guy can argue the elegant extended trope of Liquid Swords with GZA himself. This is how it should be. Music does not demand agreement. Rilo Kiley. Nina Simone. Whitesnake. Fugazi. Otis Redding. Whatever. Choose. Nobody likes a know-it-all, because 1) you can’t know it all and 2) music offers distinct and private lessons. So pick one. Except Rilo Kiley. I heard they broke up.

7. Cook meat somewhere other than the grill. Buy The Way to Cook, by Julia Child. Try roasting. Braising. Broiling. Slow-cooking. Pan searing. Think ragouts, fricassees, stews. All of this will force you to understand the functionality of different cuts. In the end, grilling will be a choice rather than a chore, and your Weber will become a tool rather than a piece of weekend entertainment.

8. Not monopolize the conversation.

9. Write a letter. So easy. So easily forgotten. A five-paragraph structure works pretty well: Tell why you’re writing. Offer details. Ask questions. Give news. Add a specific memory or two. If your handwriting is terrible, type. Always close formally.

10. Buy a suit. Avoid bargains. Know your likes, your dislikes, and what you need it for (work, funerals, court). Squeeze the fabric – if it bounces back with little or no sign of wrinkling, that means it’s good, sturdy material. And tug the buttons gently. If they feel loose or wobbly, that means they’re probably coming off sooner rather than later. The jacket’s shoulder pads are supposed to square with your shoulders; if they droop off or leave dents in the cloth, the jacket’s too big. The jacket sleeves should never meet the wrist any lower than the base of the thumb – if they do, ask to go down a size. Always get fitted.

Check out the rest of the list HERE.


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New Scientist.com had a great article about building your brain (you can do it!). It doesn’t matter how brainy you are or how much education you’ve had – you can still improve and expand your mind. Boosting your mental faculties doesn’t have to mean studying hard or becoming a reclusive book worm. There are lots of tricks, techniques and habits, as well as changes to your lifestyle, diet and behavior that can help you flex your grey matter and get the best out of your brain cells. And here are 11 of them.

  1. Take “Smart Drugs”
  2. Eat right
  3. Take music lessons
  4. Use technology
  5. Get a mental workout
  6. Learn memory methods from the masters
  7. Get a good night’s sleep
  8. Exercise
  9. Learn from the “Nuns Study”
  10. Pay attention
  11. Think positive

Read the entire amazing article HERE.


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It was a good morning this morning. People loved the VBS video that The Weave produced (see below). And after a week of rest in the mountains, my voice did whatever I wanted to (it’s so nice having a rested voice and being able to sing with power).

Here’s the worship set we did (with iTunes links):


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Of all the great DIY projects at this year’s Maker Faire, the one project that really caught my eye involved converting a regular old $60 router into a powerful, highly configurable $600 router. The router has an interesting history, but all you really need to know is that the special sauce lies in embedding Linux in your router. I found this project especially attractive because: 1) It’s easy, and 2) it’s totally free.

So when I got the chance, I dove into converting my own router. After a relatively simple firmware upgrade, you can boost your wireless signal, prioritize what programs get your precious bandwidth, and do lots of other simple or potentially much more complicated things to improve your computing experience.

Read the entire article HERE.

HT: LifeHacker


1. What are you really thinking about today?

“As you think, so shall you become.”

2. Simplify.

“It’s not the daily increase but daily decrease. Hack away at the unessential.”

“If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done.”

3. Learn about yourself in interactions.
“To know oneself is to study oneself in action with another person.”

4. Do not divide.
“Take no thought of who is right or wrong or who is better than. Be not for or against.”

5. Avoid a dependency on validation from others.
“I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and you’re not in this world to live up to mine.” “Showing off is the fool’s idea of glory.”

6. Be proactive.
“To hell with circumstances; I create opportunities.”

7. Be you.
“Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.”
Read the entire article HERE.

HT: The Positivity Blog

The Get Out Clause

June 19, 2008 — Leave a comment

Many people are uncomfortable with the march of the surveillance state – but a Manchester band has used it to their advantage.

Unable to afford a proper camera crew and equipment, The Get Out Clause, an unsigned band from the city, decided to make use of the cameras seen all over British streets.

With an estimated 13 million CCTV cameras in Britain, suitable locations were not hard to come by.

They set up their equipment, drum kit and all, in eighty locations around Manchester – including on a bus – and proceeded to play to the cameras.

Afterwards they wrote to the companies or organisations involved and asked for the footage under the Freedom of Information Act.

“We wanted to produce something that looked good and that wasn’t too expensive to do,” guitarist Tony Churnside told Sky News.

“We hit upon the idea of going into Manchester and setting up in front of cameras we knew would be filming and then requesting that footage under the Freedom Of Information act.”

Only a quarter of the organizations contacted fulfilled their obligation to hand over the footage – perhaps predictably, bigger firms were reluctant, while smaller companies were more helpful – but that still provided enough for a video with 20 locations.

“We had a number of different excuses as to why we weren’t given the footage, like they didn’t have the footage. They delete after a certain amount of time, so if they procrastinate for long enough, they can claim it’s been deleted,” Mr Churnside said.

HT: Telegraph.co.uk

RSS: Embedded video

1. Decide that fine is bad.

Fine means you aren’t growing or swimming, which means that you are shrinking and sinking. Fine is being average, it’s being defeated, and it’s giving up. Fine means that nothing outstanding happened to you today and you should know that you deserve something miraculous in your life.

Fine is also a relative term. A billionaire could feel fine about making only 2 million dollars today, or a middle class man could feel fine about having 3 square meals today. A poor person would be delighted out of their mind at a couple million bucks and a starving person would jump up and down at the thought of 3 square meals. The point is to decide what’s fine for you and do everything in your mind to exceed this level.


2. Relationship with self.

You’re worth more than diamonds, castles, and spaceships and it’s taken too many perfect coincidences to bring you here. On this day, when you become conscious of your self-worth, and acknowledge it as being more than you have ever said it to be before, you are having the greatest day of your life.

3. Upgrade yourself.

Become conscious and aware of your skills, talents, and character traits. Make it a point to become a little bit better. A better person, friend, artist, investor, parent, writer, or anything else that is important to you.

When you’ve chiseled your character, sharpened your skill, or expressed your talents more so than ever before, you will have the greatest day ever. Such self-improvement, sitting on the shoulders of all previous self-improvement, will allow you to have the greatest day ever.


4. Create huge possibilities.

I’ve mentioned that striving for greatness could lead to a misfire and leave you off at awesome instead of best. Keeping this principle in mind create the biggest goals, dreams, and possibilities that you have ever made for yourself or your life.

Think bigger and better than ever before. It is right now, during the planning and within the possibilities that you will have the greatest day of your life.


5. Love your hardest.

Love with more energy and passion than you have ever loved before. Listen harder, spend more time, and create greater workability in your relationships than on previous days.

Do something unique, caring, or fun for the ones you loved. Just love them with all your might. When you’ve loved harder than you’ve ever loved before, you will have the greatest day of your life.

6. Positive self-talk.

Be optimistic in the way that you talk to yourself. Your mind will absorb the way you speak to yourself and process it as fact. Make sure those facts are aligned with greatness.

When you’ve had the best conversations with yourself, you will be able to have better relationships, achieve more, try harder, and be happier than ever before. With the best positive self-talk you will have the greatest day of your life.

7. Be God-like.

Religion aside, think practically. On this day you will act more God-like. The practical thing to do is to be as giving as you can with your time, wisdom, and strength.

That’s what God does right? Gives selflessly, without expecting anything in return, and with love for his people. When you’ve given more than you’ve ever given before, you will have the greatest day of your life.

Read the entire article from DumbLittleMan HERE.

HT: DumbLittleMan