Tag Archives: stuff I like

Morning and Clean Sheets of Paper

I don’t know exactly when it happened, but mornings have become something I enjoy quite a bit.  I was never truly a late night party machine to begin withm as any friend of mine reading this will laugh loudly while saying, “Whoooaaaa… big breaking news there…”  I do enjoy quite a bit about the evening time, but for me it’s the winding down feeling I enjoy, not a time to getting buckwild crazy.  For instance, one of my favorite memories is when I used to live along the Connecticut shoreline, I would head down to the beach on a clear night and sit up in one of the lifeguard chairs for a while.  It was just incredibly peaceful to sit there in the darkness, maybe with some moonlight, and watch the waves lap the shore.

I think my fascination with mornings is due to the feeling that with a new day brings the chance for good, new things to happen.  There is always something inherently positive about that in my mind.  Are there mornings where I am decidedly unexcited about what lies in store for me that day?  Oh, hell yes.  Let’s not get ridiculous about this – I am not going to pretend I walk out the door each morning with the figurative bluebirds of happiness chirping upon each of my shoulders.

But there is just the fact that a new day is starting and I have the chance to make of it what I will.  This is the same feeling I have when I sit down in front of a nice, clean sheet of paper.  What will transpire with that paper is completely up to me.  It could be a mundane shopping list or a series of to-do projects requiring my attention.  It could also be a sketch or a frenetic set of ideas I am excited to get down on paper and organize for a blog post, a training program or just some insight that mysterious popped into my noggin.

It’s the promise of it all that fascinates me.  I have talked about potential before here and here, so I think it’s clear that leaving potential unrealized or without effort to achieve is something to avoid… but it still fires my imagination overall.

So as I write this very morning and think more about the good things in life, I am upbeat and ready to get moving a little bit.  OK, that could be the coffee, but it’s more likely the power of mornings.

Here’s to hoping for good things in store today for you.  That big, clean sheet of paper is in front of us all.  Give it something good.

Big, Fat, Looming Perspective

It's all about the perspective...

Today was another day of some audioblogging during my way into work. Today is yet another post about one of my favorite topics – perspective. Enjoy.

July 14, 2010 Fierce and Mighty Audioblog

And when you are looking for the photo of the chart used by Craig Weller I talk about in the post, you can find it right here.

The Quiet Drive

I have a list of things I wish I would do (or do more often), not unlike many people.  It’s a fairly simple list:

  1. Date Scarlett Johannsen;
  2. Demand recognition of my rightful claim to the Polish monarchy; and
  3. Devote more time to thinking and reflecting.

The first one got screwed up by the allegedly dreamy Ryan Reynolds and on the second one, I just need to figure out how to recreate the Winged Hussars.  Boy, I get me some of those bad boys, it’s game over.

On the third one, I used to find myself often lamenting, “Every time I spend some quite time to myself just sort of thinking over life and whatever pops into my deranged noggin, I really enjoy it, get some good ideas and generally feel a lot more relaxed.”  But you know what?  I would almost never do it.  Genius, I know.

So in around November of last year, I was getting myself ready for my morning commute which usually runs me between 20 and 30 minutes and for some reason, I decided I would do it with no music or radio.  The result?  The quiet drive, something I have done pretty much every morning commute since.  And as you can tell from the photo below… my morning commute is not exactly an eye-popping visual treat (at least not during your typical gray New England winter day).

Generally I am a morning person and so some time to think things over before the hectic rush of the day swept over me was ideal.  The commute home is just decompressing from the day and music then is ideal.  But first thing in the morning?  Not so much.

The end result of this new practice is I feel like I am making really good use of my commute time, much more so than I have at any other point in my life.  It does help that my commute is actually longer than it used to be at my old job (since that was 7 minutes door-to-door) and I can actually allow my brain to wander a bit.  I might use the voice memo feature in Evernote on my Droid to record some random thought or get down what I want to do as a blog post.  Whatever it may be, I feel like it’s almost a form of mental stretching or warm-up before the work day begins.

If you have a commute that is 15 minutes or longer, I highly recommend giving it a try.  At first it can be odd without the constant distractions you have become accustomed to of music or talk radio… but after a few days, it becomes a great fit like a perfectly broken in pair of jeans.

And maybe… just maybe… it will be the solution to my Winged Hussar dilemma.  Seriously, I need me a Polish cavalry to wreak some serious havoc, people.  CRY HAVOC AND LET LOOSE THE DOGS OF WAR!

The Polish Winged Hussars bringing some sweet justice.

Stuff I like: Making green fun

I’m not exactly Joe Treehugger.  Don’t get me wrong – I don’t think people should be wasteful, we should avoid polluting our beautiful planet and all of that, but I’m not going to be jump in people’s grills and scream about it.

But this here is pretty damn cool:

These are the “Efficiency Leaves” on the 2010 Ford Fusion Hybird, the Motor Trend 2010 Car of the Year.  As you start up the car, the leaves are not present and the more fuel efficient your drive style is, the more the leaves sprout on the screen.  If you start hammering the gas pedal like Lindsay Lohan doing shots of Ketel One, the leaves begin to disappear.  Simple right?

A bit of video showing this all in action:

Sweet.

But what really got me thinking about how this bit of snazzy technology makes being green fun was a review of the car on MSNBC.  The money quote:

Failure to drive in a way that cultivated this garden sparked howls of outrage from the back seat, where my kids complained I was killing the leaves as they disappeared. So while it would be easy to dismiss the efficiency display as a silly gimmick, it is a hard-to-ignore reminder that with just a bit lighter pressure on the pedal, the Fusion Hybrid can get spectacularly good mileage.

So while it can be a rather nice (and sort of fun) little visual indicator for the driver, just think of how anyone with kids could benefit from this given the anecdote above.

It also does my patriotic heart a world of good to see a very innovative and clever idea come from an American car manufacturer, especially since it is all wrapped up in an attractive package to boot.  That’s the American dream – smarts in a sexy package… you know, kind of like me. ; )  BOO YAA!

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Stuff I like

The world is full of cool stuff – really and truly.  As I find said stuff, I plan on sharing with you, gentle readers, because that’s just the kind of incredibly awesome guy I am.  Read on and hopefully something here will be of value to you.

Evernote

Evernote is a cross-platform program used for taking all kinds of notes.  Sounds simple, right?  Here is where it gets good: you can take the notes on:

  • the Evernote web site;
  • on a Windows or Mac version you download to your computer; or
  • on your iPhone, Blackberry or Android phone.

Then, your notes are synchronized across all of these platforms so you can access them wherever you are.

I have the Android version (and so I am guessing the iPhone version is about the same) and since I always have my Droid with me, I can pop in notes any time a moment of inspiration strikes.  These include text notes, voice notes or even taking pictures to create new notes.  The notes can then be tagged, places into a variety of notebooks and so on.  You can even upload handwritten documents or PDFs to keep everything you have all in one handy spot.

And guess what?  It’s free.  There is a premium version that gives you more storage and uploads, but a lot of people can make a ton of use of the free version (like I am doing, although I am giving a lot of thought to going premium).

Lifehacker

I’ve been reading Lifehacker for a little while now and it’s one of the better sites that focuses on a variety of “lifehacks” such as better ways to organize yourself, great computer/tech tips and basically anything else that will help make your life run a little more smoothly.  It does have a bit of a techie and computer leaning to it, but not to the point of it being so nerdy that you feel like you need “Linux rulez!” tattooed on your backside.

The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth: The Surprising, Unbiased Truth About What You Should Eat and Why

I recommend this book by Jonny Bowden to everyone I know.  It’s a very easy read, well-organized by food type and with a clear explanation for why each of the 150 foods were picked for the list.  What refreshing about this book is that it’s not something with the typical agenda you find with some nutritionists (i.e. “All red meat is bad!  Just eat whole grains!”).  Also, it’s useful regardless of your eating style (vegetarian, vegan, high protein, etc.).

Absolutely Everything About This Photo:

Well, almost everything about this photo… just not the eventual tongue-lashing my girlfriend will dish out after seeing this.  Love ya honey!