Category Archives: Lifestyle

Anything that deals with daily lifestyle or habits.

Health

Physical, mental, family, and life health are important aspects in life.  You cannot be healthy without being well in all four subject areas. This article takes a look into each section and see how you can be more healthy starting today.

Physical Health

Who doesn’t want to be physically fit?! This is a very important asset to have. So why is physical health so important? Well, for one, it lengthens life expectancy. Live longer! It might be hard to pick up at first, but it is important in the long end. Exercise also makes you feel fantastic. More confidence, and it makes you happy. It is proven to release endorphins that make you happy. So when you’re feeling glum, go exercise. Another very peculiar thing that it does is it lets you sleep better. Most people often complain about sleeping problems, and most of those people are lazy. Exercise regulates your internal clock, and it helps you sleep much better. And last but not least, let’s not forget, it makes you look more attractive! So if you are trying to impress that one special person, why not get in shape and do just that?!

Mental Health

Mental health is very important in everyday life for many reasons. Think clearly, think faster, perform tasks better, makes speech clearer, and it just, on average, makes you sound smarter. This is a type of chain; one sets off the other, and so on. Mentally helps you think of words or sentences faster, get your work or homework done A LOT quicker, and it gives you better word choice to make you sound like a pure genius! Reading, writing and mental games such as chess or checkers all help progress this process. These are all things to exercise your mind with.

Family Health

Whether it’s just your parents or your wife and three children, it’s always good to have a good relationship with your family.Although people say they are cheerful alone, they are never as happy as they are with their family. It is key to true happiness. It is a new kind of love that must be experience. A life is wasted without family, for family is a main ingredient in the hodgepodge we call “living.” They support your decision and they back you 100% on anything, even if you’re wrong. And most importantly, they are always there to cheer you up when no one else is. Family helps you up at your weakest moment.

Life Health

A well-maintained life is very important. Inside you is the spark of true happiness, and the world is your fuel. If you have a healthy life overall, there is nothing you can’t accomplish. You can control so much more than you think. YOU have the power to shape your future any way you want! All that is needed is confidence and willpower.

Conclusion

Exercise to live your life longer and feel better.

Train your mind to be more knowledgeable.

Support your family, because they’re always supporting you.

With all of this you can become everything you’ve ever dreamed of!

Living with a Netbook for a Month Experiment

This is an experiement that I conjured up a while back, but decided to implement it now.  The experiement is giving up my desktop PC in lieu of using my netbook ASUS EEE more.

The reasons for doing this now than previously before unfolds below as follows:

1) I found myself recently playing a lot of L4D and interacting with people on hamachi getting them up to speed and troubleshooting their issues.   This is great, but then again, it is eating away at my own free time. ;p

2) The desktop PC uses over 250watts of power.  My netbook only uses 23Watts.  If I use the netbook more, I can expect to see an increased amount of savings in my electric bill.

3) I really need to use my netbook more, and breathe life into it. My desktop PC was taking away time from my little tech toy. ;p

4)  It is the season of Lent, so I figured giving up my desktop PC at home would be perfect, since it is such a time waster in most instances.

5) Giving up the desktop PC will allow me to focus more on my readings and miscellaneous studies.

The list could go on and on, but those are the top 5 reasons why I am ditching the desktop PC for a whole month, and use time diligently on the netbook.  I almost contemplated not even installing any IM programs on the netbook, but realized this would make me very lonely as I sit here night after night in my apartment. ;0

Now using the netbook, I won’t be tempted to play games, or mess with creating additional youtube videos.  I’ll be answering questions, writing on the blog, listening to music, and etc., and my hope is after these 4 long weeks I will have a great story to tell in how I have used my netbook in interesting ways.

Consider this a journey for other netbook users to aspire to.  Now I know some people don’t even have desktop PCs in their homes, and all they use is laptops.  This is fine, but a laptop is very different than a netbook in the sense it is a very portable, light weight laptop with the leanness to them.

Can I do everything I do on my desktop on my netbook?  No, but I do spend 90% of the time on the computer on the net, so yes, this low cost solution of the netbook will work wonders for me.

************************

It will be a long 4 weeks.  I may use hamachi briefly to clean out the L4D networks, but don’t expect me to stay on much to chat. ;p  Hopefully when I come back, I don’t find myself cleansed.

That is about it.  Wish me luck, and I’ll try to keep a weekly update of some sort on this journey.  The good news?  By the time I get back to my desktop PC, the new L4D DLC content will be available, and then for sure I will do some serious fragging!

Recipes for the soul. [and for the gut]

Stepping outside of the box, the traditional blog post you would find here, as part of life, comfort food is something almost all of us, whatever interests, culture or backgrounds we originate from. So for whatever it is you do, here’s a list of some of the best tasting stuff I’ve made for events I’ve been to in recent months. Note that I did not create any of these recipes, but only compiled those that I’ve made in the past which everyone enjoyed. For the ones people did not enjoy, please leave a comment of request.

So, why not start with dessert?

Root Beer Float cookies (with root beer glaze) – average time 15 minutes (depending on oven)

http://desertculinary.blogspot.com/2005/07/root-beer-float-cookies.html

With or without the glaze, served soft and warm, these are very relaxing. You can take a couple or down 10 and you’ll still feel satisfied. Hardly filling and taste very well like a root beer float. I recommend adding way more powdered/confectioner’s sugar, enough to make the glaze gooey that dries sort of shell like. Following the recipe will make a more watery and runny glaze.

Puppy Chow (with peanut butter) – average time 20 minutes

http://www.recipezaar.com/9370

Something about Puppy Chow, especially with peanut butter. Not quite sure what it is, but tons of people I know can’t stop eating this, even when they start to get sick. Please, do not feed to any actual animals, especially puppies and dogs.

Cheesy Spinach and Artichoke dip – average time 35 minutes

http://www.recipezaar.com/1209

This is a great appetizer for people who want something that tastes great but makes them feel like they’re eating healthy. Great for parties or small hang out sessions, LAN parties, you name it. You can set it to cook in the oven and go for a few frags against your buddies or get the house ready for a movie night. Also, a nice versatile dish for vegetarians, instead of platters of meats.

Chicken Cordon Bleu (with bacon!!) – average time 35 minutes

http://kalynskitchen.blogspot.com/2007/04/recipe-update-easy-chicken-cordon-bleu.html

For something that sounds so fancy, the flexibility of this dish is invaluable. As the recipe page mentions, you can quickly prepare the ingredients in 5-10 minutes and freeze it over night and save it for later in the week. Great for kids and family dinners, and come on. What carnivore doesn’t love bacon?

God speed, and Best wishes. (and bon appetit!)

¥

[GG] GN’s Gutbuster Thursday. Volume 5.

In light of a recent purchase of mine, my usual YouTube trolling stumbled me into this video. At first, I couldn’t stand the guy. But if you watch it ’til the end, you’ll see why I’m posting it.

This is an even better response video:

Finally, as a tribute to Will Smith’s awesome new movie (saw it last night, worth 7 bucks!!):

God speed, and Best wishes.

¥

Expand Your Creativity. [volume 1]

Have you ever heard the term: “think outside the box”? Okay, do you know the origin of the phrase? Complete this puzzle:

Draw four straight, continuous lines that connect all 9 dots without lifting the pencil off the page (or in this case your finger off the screen):

Here is the solution: Click Here for Solution

If you couldn’t figure it out, you probably assumed you had to stay inside the box. If that’s the case, you know have the first major step in thinking outside the box. Eliminate your assumptions. The rules presented didn’t say you couldn’t draw outside the lines.

How do assumptions affect our ability to create success? Write down or type out your answer or answers, and think about what you came up with. This whole post can be applied to just about any area of your life, if you apply it properly.

This is a core element of the Blue Ocean Strategy. The Blue Ocean Strategy is geared towards business, and is spoken on and written into application towards business. But even if you’re simply drawing a design in a competition, or even just for fun, this will expand the creative processes your brain goes through. (refer to my past posts on the brain: Brain Train [part 1] and Brain Train [part 2])

Some DOs and DON’Ts are as follows:

Follow sequence in your plan – if you plot out steps, follow them step by step.

Focus on the big picture FIRST, focus on numbers SECOND. – If you have a time constraint, first take a look at what needs to be done, what your mission is, then think about the time, or the money involved, then tweak it.

Get into the field – see what other people are doing, and ask questions but listen when they answer.

Build enough time into the project – If you do have a time constraint, and you feel it’s a tight one, plan for it.

Approach field work as an anthropologist – Ask questions about the things they love and hate in the particular field you’re dealing with. If you’re drawing something for a contest, you may think of this as a no brainer, but ask what they look for, what “strikes their fancy” so to speak.

Do this work in a vacuum – Don’t do this work in an environment where the creativity is vacuumed out. If you’re drawing, like our examples are following, set yourself down in an inspiration environment.

Go too fast – Haste makes waste. Going in line with making a time plan, or some sort of schedule (preferably a time plan like a guideline rather than a strict schedule) so you aren’t rushing and lowering the quality of a specific part of the work.

Skip steps – If a baseball player skipped a step while running to home plate, the consequence to his action will be simple – he’ll trip and miss home plate. You’re going for a home run, run through all the bases without missing a step!

Too locked into current mindsets – Take time to think, without thinking about others in the field. If you’re drawing something, don’t think about other people’s drawings. Don’t think about any drawings. Just think about your own. Create a vision in your mind, visualize your completed drawing, and do it. However, you will eventually need to make some sort of comparison, but only to see what has been done, so you aren’t copying something else.

_________________________

This is all part of the Blue Ocean Strategy. I highly, highly recommend you research it, buy a book on it if you can find one, or watch some videos online. If the place or company you work for is having any seminars or speakers on Blue Ocean, GO TO IT. You will reap major benefits. It will not be like any seminar or lecture you have ever been to, and it will be fun – guaranteed!

The book “Blue Ocean Strategy” is published by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne and you can find it at any bookseller.

Another great post I stumbled across is here: http://techiteasy.org/2006/12/05/nintendos-wii-the-blue-ocean-strategy/

Please comment with feedback on your experiences or anything you know about Blue Ocean Strategy as well!

[ Source: The Change Agent Group ( changeagentgroup.com ) ]

God speed, and Best wishes.

¥

Staying “off the grid” [volume.2]

As my intentions were for the second volume of Staying “off the grid”, I would like to present to you part of the inspiration for the interest in this lifestyle: 30 Days by Morgan Spurlock, and in this episode, 2 big time “waste consumers” live in a small off the grid experimental area with other people who are accustomed to living off the grid. Whether or not you agree with the lifestyle, the show itself is very entertaining, and offers things other than how to live an off the grid lifestyle. Please watch:

This was the ONLY place I could find this video, so for the MySpace haters out there (you know who you are ;-) it’s ok.) try to grin and bare it. You don’t need a MySpace account to watch, this is a direct link to the video page. Enjoy!

30 Days – Off The Grid

God speed, and Best Wishes.

¥

Metal Gear Solid 4//Fighting Zombies to Feel Good, Inc.

This week in lieu of several things, I’ll be delaying Staying off the Grid volume 2 until next week.

To mix things up a bit, this will be the first “multi-post” from me. This format may or may not appear again, but is definitely necessary this week.

First off, today is the LONG awaited and anticipated release of Hideo Kojima’s 21 year old masterpiece, Metal Gear Solid 4. It’s an honor having the release fall on the day I post here, so I felt only obligated to post tribute to it.

For those of you that will be playing it today, congratulations! I’ve been a huge Metal Gear fan since the late ’90s and think it’s one of the best game series out there. Kojima truly satisfies his fans, while appealing to a broader and broader audience with each game he releases. Note that the AC!D series for PSP isn’t strictly done by Kojima, he only oversaw the projects.

In retrospective, I would like to post this video which is probably the single best trailer in video game history. For those of you that aren’t fans, all you need to do is read a review on Metal Gear Solid 2 and it will all make perfect sense, although it is very enjoyable anyway:


_________________________

Amazing games aside, time for some inspiration of another kind.

One of my previous blog posts got a comment yesterday asking if they could use a picture from the post for a book they’re writing about blogs. He left an e-mail address and I decided to be all crafty and grab the second part of his e-mail and try it as a website. Well, it’s one of the coolest things I’ve stumbled upon in my entire e-life. You have to check it out:

http://www.wefeelfine.org/

Have you ever felt like there is just no one that relates to you? Well, granted this site is still growing, I was shocked at the depth and amount of contributions in this multi-colored “dot cloud” like applet that collects everyone’s feelings, thoughts, comments, whatever little snippet they decide to type up, with an optional picture, and generic details about themselves, like age group, weather, country, state, city, and emotion. You can punch in your info and a specific date to see if you felt the way someone else did on that date.

I totally and randomly stumbled across this one, and I love it.

If you haven’t had the pleasure of listening to Feel Good, Inc. by Gorillaz, please do so now:

song: http://search.playlist.com/tracks/feel%20good%20inc

video: http://youtube.com/watch?v=01C4RPEinM4

I tried searching one of the biggest nationwide days for emotional feelings – 9/11 – and the results were astounding. Some people make subtle references to their pain of the attacks, while others may not have even thought about it. As light or dark as it may be, it is a fantastic website that has many goals, and I greatly encourage you to promote it so it can grow.

A much better and complete description can be found here:

http://www.wefeelfine.org/movements.html

And what a cool name for a site too.

[ Sources: Stealth/Action/Video Game creation virtuoso Hideo Kojima ; WeFeelFine.org ]

God speed, and Best wishes. [woobwoob too]

¥

Staying “off the grid” [volume.1]

We all need a Social Security number, but who said we actually have to use it?

If you’re unsure what living “off the grid” refers to, think of M. Night Shymalan’s The Village. Complete disconnection from the rest of the world, especially corporations and the government. That’s true living off the grid, however, today that’s near, if not impossible for almost everyone, so I’ll bring you monthly tips on how to keep yourself as best off the grid as possible.

What’s the benefit from staying “off the grid”? Hopefully you’ll find your own personal reason(s) as you read through these posts. I can think of one thing that most of us can enjoy with little to no fear of having a shaded knock at our doors.

First, the basics;

Before I begin, I want to say: stop, using, Google. They index everything you search, and while it may be anonymous, if you have to use it, do it at a library.

  • Financial: No checks, no credit cards. Green = good, pay for everything in cash and change only. Don’t get a bank account, get a piggy bank. Also, loans or anything that require your information to truly optional places of financial standing are something you should avoid. Save your money and store it securely.
  • Security: Invest in a good ol’ fashioned Louisville Slugger, not an alarm system. Some alarm companies (Brinks, ADT, not necessarily them however) have the capability of monitoring the activity of their systems without any malicious activity having to go on, not to mention that’s another place where some of your most sensitive information goes. Look at the bright side, an alarm system offers no physical defense. Baseball bats, now, that’s another story. Be creative with a homemade alarm system. Get in the green mentality and recycle those noisy soda cans in a unique way.
  • Health: This one’s tough. Hospitals are nice, but if you can manage to find the right free clinic and take good care of yourself, you won’t have to give anything more than your name and a place for them to send the bill, which brings me to my next point.
  • Mail: Get a post office box, and have ALL of your mail go to that. An average post office box costs a little over $100 a year. Not bad at all for personal security. Not to mention any spam that you catch is diffused by the simple change of your box number, instead of having to move.

While that may be a short list, it takes a good effort to implement into your life. Please comment on this post with your experiences or if you have any suggestions.

[ Source: experience ]

God speed, and Best wishes.

¥

Brain Train.

Have you ever felt stupid? Seriously, in any given situation, you jst feel like you’re a complete moron. We all have, unless of course pride gets in the way. What about pride? Do you have enough pride to warrant self-denial? Probably not if that’s true. However, these are, in fact very common. Everyone of us experiences things like this on a daily basis. Yes, even you.

It’s all about brain cells. Until about 10 or so years ago, researchers didn’t actually know the brain created new neurons all the time – this is true, and you can encourage it. The usual “exercise and eat well” blah blah advice is included, but it’s only a portion of the training you can start doing to, literally, get smarter.

Ask yourself this: “If I could see my brain right now, would it have any holes in it?” If you sit down and think about the fact that it is possible, it’s a pretty scary thought. I’m sure we’ve all heard or seen the “this is your brain on drugs” ad campaign of old, where the young woman smashes an egg with a frying pan. Well it hit the nail right on the head.

This is your brain due to various events that may affect or have affected your life:

http://amenclinics.com/bp/atlas/

Doctor Daniel Amen is one of the most experienced and knowledgeable brain doctors today. With 25 years of experience and a passion to informing people on how to heal their brain, rest assured this stuff is solid gold.

I stumbled upon his research when a family member told me about his program on Public Television. I watched the latter hour of his 1 1/2 hour speaking session, and it was brilliant.

To summarize what I saw, I’ll tell you a little about the parts of the brain he talked about.

First in his talk was the prefrontal cortex. This part of the brain deals with things like, judgment, social behavior, personality, reasoning; general emotional type activity. If you’re an awkward or angry person, there’s a chance, not 100%, but still a chance that this part of the brain isn’t getting enough exercise.

Yes. Exercise can heal your brain. It increases blood flow, and we all know how blood is needed throughout the body, so why not boost the travel of it? Attention problems, people with ADD and like issues could have a damaged prefrontal cortex – that has been proven to be taken to a more mild level just with a 15 minute job per day. Procrastination is another related thing to the prefrontal cortex.

Another very interesting thing he mentioned was he mentioned research that flat out showed the advantages of exercise over Zoloft. Not only that, but fish oil, or Omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon and a supplement called Coromega (I take this, I highly recommend it – it’s not gross at all!) does wonders to brain healing. Everyone should definitely be taking Coromega (NOTE: talk to your doctor first).

Second, what is called the cingulate area of the brain, has influence on things like opposition without reason and error detection. Error detection, meaning when someone starts to see all of the negative things in someone or life in general, or they pick out everything that’s wrong. One thing he said is if you know someone like that and you want to get back at them for something, just move something on their desk, they’ll freak out. Of course he was joking about doing that, but it was worth the laugh. Reverse psychology is something that works very well on people with low cingulate activity. He suggested telling the person the opposite of what you want them to do, of course not in an obvious way. Be tactful about it.

Seratonin levels was something he emphasized when talking about the cingulate functions. If you recall my article on sleep when I joined The Underground, I talked about seratonin. When it gets dark, seratonin is released in our brains, causing us to get tired. If you force yourself to stay up, there’s a good chance you’re dealing damage to your cingulate. That is to say, you don’t necessarily have to go to bed when it gets dark out. Also, exercise majorly boosts seratonin levels. Work hard and rest well!

What about food and diet? Absolutely important! He listed 10 things that you can fit very easily into your diet, none of this crazy stuff from special markets and organic food stores – every day regular stuff. I didn’t catch the whole list, but I got most of it. Number one in my opinion was the green tea. While he said caffeine actually is not good for your brain, he said to drink green tea – obviously caffeine free is better than the caffeinated, though both are very good for you. It provides you with energy, and relaxation of focus, so he said it’s like a perfect supplement! Which I agree. My suggestion is, carry a few sticks of honey with you to give it some flavor.

Also on the list were oranges, avocados, spinach, red bell peppers and of course fish oil, found in salmon especially. Most of us probably eat something from this list quite often – though you shouldn’t over do it either. “Everything in moderation.” Balance is vital. He said that red bell peppers actually have a significant amount of vitamin C over oranges, if I recall correctly, and are much healthier for you than green peppers, which is sometimes more common in restaurants and fast food.

He also talked about another area of the brain, but I missed that section. I plan to re-watch it sometime and pick up what I didn’t see, but until then keep this information dear to you, because if you do feel you suffer from any thing like depression, bad attention span, personality issues like anger or awkwardness, you should definitely implement some of these steps. Of course, make sure that you talk to your doctor before taking or eating things you haven’t taken before. I’m personally allergic to avocados, even though I love guacamole.

Finally, it’s very important that you note:

THIS IS ALL FOR GENERAL INFORMATION PURPOSES ONLY. Get a medical exam if you feel something needs to be done. Also:

SUFFERING FROM THE MENTIONED ISSUES DOES NOT MEAN YOU HAVE BRAIN DAMAGE. It certainly can’t hurt to take at least some of these steps to improve your brain health though.

Either way, don’t do drugs, get good sleep, get exercise, but most importantly:

Take care.

[ Source: http://amenclinics.com/ ]

P.S.: My apologies for all the head and brain cliche, I seemed to let them get aHEAD of me…..

God speed, and Best wishes.

¥

Legally Ludicrous.

A close relative of mine recently found 2 interesting news reports in a nearby paper:

———-

[to protect the identities of those involved, substitute names will be used. use your sources to find them if you need to]

APRIL 10 – “John Doe, 17, [Town], was charged with burglary and theft on April 3.

On Aug. 11, 2007, [Town] police received a report that [Business], on [Street] in [Town], had been broken into and that an undetermined amount of cash had been stolen.

On further investigation, police found that the boards over an old window had been pried off.

On Nov. 29, 2007, Detective Sgt. [Sergeant] interviewed [John Doe] who reportedly admitted to breaking into [Business] and taking about $30 from the cash register.

He faces up to 12 years in prison if convicted.”

———-

Here is a report from a newspaper in a next door city:

[again, the names have been changed]

APRIL 17 – “A [City] man was sentenced to 12 years in prison for the sexual assault of an 8-year-old girl.

[Offender], 33, formerly of [Address], was convicted of one count of first degree sexual assault of a child after a February jury trial in front of [County] Circuit Judge [Judge].

At that trial, [Offender] was found not guilty of charges of second-degree sexual assault of the same child.

At the April 1 sentencing, [Judge] also ordered eight years of extended supervision.

The assault of the girl took place in [Different City] in October 2000.”

———-

One wanted probably just wanted a video game. The other, well… And both get the same sentence.

Right now I’m writing a 12-page research document on similar, ridiculous incidents, however, regarding file sharing, the RIAA, MPAA, etc. Its purpose is to inform and open the minds of people with influence who are either out of control, like in this situation, or people who are uninformed. We all know how crazy the RIAA and MPAA are, as well as their supporters (includes some politicians; we love you Lieberman!……….)

I urge each and every one of you – do not make uninformed votes, write to your governors, make your voice heard.

“A water drop is little on it’s own, but without every single drop, there would be no water.”

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,282 other followers