Friday, September 24, 2004

The NEW Swiss Army "Knife"

Hats off the Victorinox and one of their latest/greatest ideas:

No knife, so there's nothing for the TSA to confiscate. But with its retractable ball point pen and LED mini light, this 64MB USB jump-drive is very much in tune with the modern day world.

Anyone who's ever owned a swiss army knife's just gotta love this thing! (And what better way to demonstrate that I now know how to post pictures on the ole blog.

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Tuesday, September 21, 2004

What Next?

On his "Nether Lands" album from so many years ago, Dan Fogelberg asked the musical question, "Where do you go when you get to the end of your dream?" Now, in the premier issue of AdvantEdge Magazine, self-improvement guru Earl Nightgale asks a similar question: "What happens when you run out of goals?"

For many people, success has a real down side ... Getting there. As counter-intuitive as that may seem, many (most?) people are far better at striving for success than enjoying it. To quote Nightingale:
"A person often feels when he's accomplished everything he's worked and struggled
for so long to achieve, he finds himself depressed more and more of the time ...
In fact, everything is finally just as he'd planned it for so many years. And
for no reason that he can put his finger on, all the fun and enthusiasm has
strongly disappeared. He's listless and unhappy and he can't think of a single
reason why."
Well the reason why is simply this - there's no "What Next?". After a lifetime of striving for success, where DO you go when you get to the end of your dream.

Now some may say this is a pretty high-class problem to have. And it is. But that doesn't mean it still isn't a problem. Fortunately, the answer is pretty self-evident:
  1. Congratulate yourself on your success to date.
  2. Get yourself some new goals.
  3. Start working on them with all the vim and vigor you can muster.
So what goals are YOU working on?

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Thursday, September 16, 2004

A lack of sleep could cost you plenty

Here's an attention-grabbing excerpt from an article by the same title as this weblog entry in the September 2004 issue of the Humana e-Plan Professor newsletter. (Full article at http://www.humana.com/visitors/article2_1.asp.)

"Fatigued drivers cause an estimated 10,000 motor vehicle crashes each year - with 1,500 deaths, 71,000 injuries, and $12 billion in economic losses" (according to an estimate by the National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration).

But if you can't figure out how to get a few more hours of shut-eye each night, here's what Human suggests to at least improve the quality time of your sleep:

  • Establish a regular bed and a standard waking time for weekdays and the weekend.
  • Resist the temptation to sleep in on Saturday and Sunday.
  • Have a regular bedtime routine, such as relaxing in a hot bath, reading a book or listening to soft music.
  • Make sure your sleeping area is dark, quiet, comfortable, and cool.
  • Sleep on a comfortable mattress and pillows.
  • Reserve your bedroom for sleep and sex. Move your television to another room.
  • Finish eating at least two to three hours before you go to bed.
  • Exercise regularly and try to complete your workout several hours before you go to bed.
  • Stay away from caffeine - coffee, tea, soft drinks, chocolate - close to your bedtime.
  • Avoid nicotine, such as cigarettes and tobacco products.
  • Avoid alcohol close to bedtime.

And if you're not too tired already, consider taking their Are you a drowsy driver? quiz. (On second thought, if you're too tired, then maybe you BETTER take the quiz!)


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Tuesday, September 07, 2004

"Amzanig"

This wild notice has been running around one the Internet and in and out of people's email boxes and, well, I couldn't believe it either!

I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdgnieg

THE PAOMNNEHAL PWEOR OF THE HMUAN MNID

Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.

Amzanig huh?

Amzanig, indeed!

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Friday, September 03, 2004

"Beer-loving bear knows his brand"

This was the headline from an article in the August 20th edition of Canada's National Post newspaper! Subtitle:
"Bruin sleeps it off after downing 36 cans of Rainier".
As reported in the paper, it seems that a certain black bear was recently found "reclining on the lawn - presumably with a splitting headache and a craving for a cheeseburger" at a Washington state campground about an hour or so northeast of Seattle. The story continues:

"The bear, estimated to be about two years old, broke into campers' coolers and, using his claws and teeth to open the cans, knocked back the beers."

Apparently, the bear tried one can of Busch beer before finding the Rainier brand more to his liking! (Busch is a mass-market, discount beer, while Rainier, owned by Pabst Brewing, is a premium ale sold only in the Pacific Northwest.)

"We think it's a testament to the quality of our brand," said Neal Stewart, senior brand manager with Rainier Beer.
The story continues,
"Assuming the bear weighed a typical 500 pounds and drank the 36 beers in about two hours, it would have had a blood alcohol level of 2.58mg/100 ml. That concentration of alcohol in the blood is more than 30 times the legal limit for operating a motor vehicle - if the bear were human. And had a car.

"Rainier appeared to make a lasting impression on the Baker Lake bear. It returned to the campsite the day after its binge and was lured into a trap that was baited with doughnuts, honey, and two cans of Rainier.

"Wildlife officers were able to capture and relocate the bear."
Too funny, don't you agree?!

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Thursday, September 02, 2004

Coaching = Defrag

You're obviously PC-literate. If you weren't, you wouldn't be reading someone's weblog entry, now, would you?! So when I ask if you're at all familiar with the defrag program on your computer, you probably are, as well.

What is Fragmentation?

According to www.techcareonline.com/os/glossary.htm, fragmentation, and the need to defrag is defined as such:

When a file is too large to store in a single location on a hard disk, it is stored on the disk in discontiguous (not adjacent) parts or fragments. This fragmentation is "invisible" to the user; however. The locations of the fragments are kept track of by the system. Over time, disk access time can be slowed by fragmentation since each fragmented file is likely to require multiple drive head repositionings and accesses. (There's nothing you can do to prevent fragmentation from occurring in the first place, by the way.) A disk defragmenter is a utility that rearranges your fragmented files and the free space on your computer so that files are stored in contiguous units and free space is consolidated in one contiguous block. This also improves access time to files that are now contiguous.

This fragmentation process is almost exactly what happens to a person's mind when he or she has just too much stuff to think about. Maybe it's work-related; maybe it's life-related. Regardless, what happens is that over time, is that our brains get fragmented and, just like our computer:

  • we get sluggish
  • we can't seem to access important information as readily
  • we can't seem to find any free space
  • we make a lot of chunking sounds
  • we start running short of RAM
  • we freeze up and need to be more frequently rebooted
  • we start seeing all sorts of unusual errors popping up

You get the point, right?

Coaching = Defragmentation

To follow the analogy, then, what the defragging does for computers is what coaching does for people. Think about that. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to organize all those partial thoughts running around your head? Wouldn't it be nice to consolidate your thoughts in a way that brought you clarity and resolve for extended periods of time instead of just for fleeting moments? Wouldn't it be nice if you were able to work harder with less stress and strain because you better understood things in a larger context?

Take a moment and check to see if your computer needs to be defragged. Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Defragmenter > Analyze. And while your computer's running that diagnostic, check in with yourself to see if you could benefit from working with a coach. (Clue: You find yourself saying, "Yeah, I really do GottaGettaCoach!")

And you're waiting for ... What?

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