Blog Archives

Don’t Be So Quick To Judge Others

Here we are.  The last story of the week of “Personal Experiences” week.  After seeing Denton’s article on his tatoos and his own personal experience with stereotyping, I just had to chime in with some of my own experince that I found myself in.  This is story number 7!

Read on the last story of Personal Experience Week!

Don’t Be a Tool. Learn For Yourself, Seriously.

The Internet is an awesome place.  Due to technology, I could be instant messing with someone on the other side of the world.  It can help you send your message to the masses, and during your adventure, you will find lots of awesome information like news and tutorials to improve yourself.

Along the way, you meet all kinds of people.  Some are really smart, and some are just lazy or stupid.  During my adventure, I’ve come across something very annoying as I started to answer people’s questions whether it is from Email, blog, YouYube, or even the hamachi networks.  This is story #3.

What is the third story about? Click me.

Personal Experiences Week

These past few days I’ve done a lot of listening, whether it was friends, family, or just people I interact with on the internet.  What I’ve come to realize is that everyone has a story to tell from their own personal experience.

Don’t you hate it when you are at a social gathering, and you are about to tell a story and then your friend or perhaps your Mom or girlfriend jumps in and takes over the story and finishes it for you?

Or better yet, you are telling about a project you did at school or work and you said “I did this and I did that” only to have your colleague nudge you to say “No, he meant we did this and that …”.  So you just blush and continue right?  Or do you start to collect resentment?

Read on to see more

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!)

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[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.

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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.

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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.

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[GG] GN’s Gutbuster Thursday. Volume 4.

Well, it’s that time of the month ladies and gentlemen. No that’s not what I mean! I mean, it’s time for GN’s Gutbuster Thursday!

To kick things off, I would like to share an oldie but goodie. It’s mild, but it’s a classic:

Wii Injuries 2: Wii Harder:

The Matrix: Deleted Scene:

This shows, truly, why Trix should remain for and only for kids:

And for the nostalgic, Weebl was kind enough to pay tribute to one of the best videos of the 80s:

http://www.weebls-stuff.com/wab/paper/

[ Sources: YouTube ; LegoRobotComics.com ; Weebls-Stuff.com ]
God speed, and Best wishes.

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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.

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Brain Train. [part 2]

Briefly, I would just like to apologize for being absent last week. However, due to the events I promise you better information than what was available last week.

Also, I have two shout outs: One for all the Indy fans out there! I hope you all enjoy the movie today (or last night) as much as I’m sure I will this weekend. Secondly, a dedication to a very special someone who has loyally read my articles and grown to become one of the single most important things in my life. You know who you are. : ) Thank you for everything.

On to this week in That’s GN:

Have you ever done something, and later you realize you have no idea why? This is commonly dubbed as an “impulsive action” or usually something you do that you “didn’t think about”. How would you like to be in better control of, not only your impulses, but know how to tap into the impulses of others?

You have three brains, similar to what we discovered last week. What we’ll talk about this week is the survival part of our brain, that controls involuntary actions like breathing and our heart beat.

There are 6 stimuli, or, “attractions” that need to be understood about our “old brain”. It has been dubbed the old brain since every living creature requires it, and in fact has it, to sustain their life. The other 2 brains we as humans possess, many other mammals and creatures do not. Let’s divide these stimuli into points:

1: Self centered – To illustrate, please watch this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=–Fwjtd_KxI

This is an example of the old brain lacking communication with your other brains, thus working on instinct rather than incorporating and reason into the decision. Thus the humor of the commercial, since anyone in their right mind would make a different decision.

2: Contrast – Our old brain easily picks out differences, or contrasts such as night and day, near and far, black and white.

3: Tangible – Things we can touch and feel whether it be physically or something we perceive to be real, despite how unrealistic it is to our minds (in other words by sight), it can appeal to us. Here’s another commercial that will give you an exaggerated idea of this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=67MuBNnJC60&NR=1

While we know it’s (most likely) impossible to get the strength to push a car over a cliff from an energy bar, the point is well made, that this energy bar will give you a very good dose of energy. Instead of telling the consumer it does, they make the idea tangible by appealing to your tangible senses.

4: Beginnings and Ends – Please read this passage out loud:

“Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a total 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.”

How long did it take you to read that? Surely not very long compared to if it was unscrambled. In addition to this point, YOU MAY NOTICE THAT IT’S PROBABLY EASIER TO READ NON-CAPITALIZED SENTENCES SINCE CAPITAL LETTERS ARE NON-FEATURELESS BLOCKS yet sentences with letters having more variety in ascending and descending fashion are easier to differentiate between letters.

5: Visual – Aristotle said the mind needs an image to think. This is fundamentally entirely true. You can first think of when we hear a loud crash, you might think someone is breaking into your house. You naturally visualize on impulse someone breaking into your house, so you think of that. When we see an image, a split second process occurs.

To explain, there are actually two reactions that occur, and each follow a separate path through your brain. Both paths start at the thalamus where they split. The faster reaction path goes to the amygdala which specializes in reacting and triggering what you would consider the emotional fear. The second path travels to the cortex first, where the information received is analyzed using information from the other parts of the brain, then to the amygdala. The first, faster path produces an immediate “instinct” like reaction 250 times faster than the second path, which determines whether or not the reaction is actually needed. In this example, the loud crash could be a harmless cat, instead of a robber as our immediate reaction might tell us.

Even though the reaction differences are so fast, 250 times is still much faster. Coupled with that reaction speed, once an emotion is turned on, it’s difficult for the cortex and your reasoning to turn it off, so fishing for this sense makes your “hook” difficult to unhook.

6: Emotion – Do you remember where you were and what you were doing on 9/11? For the more experienced audience, what about Apollo 13 or Kennedy’s assassination? I remember where I was and what my family said exactly during the morning of 9/11. Our old brain makes associations with emotion. Very few of us weren’t heavily impacted by 9/11, and most of us probably remember exactly what was happening when we actually heard the news, not necessarily when it actually happened.

—–

Whether your talking to someone, giving a sales pitch, or even picking someone up, keeping in mind these 6 stimuli will give your message more attraction to that instinctual part of your brain. Why is that such a big deal? When something appeals to your involuntary senses, it makes more sense to your voluntary senses to move forward or progress in that direction; it makes it more reasonable to come to an acceptance of it.

[ Sources: http://www.neuromarketing.com ; Entrepreneur.com – Is there a buy button? Inside the brain. ; Serendip.BrynMawr.edu – The Role of the Amygdala (paragraph 4) ]

God speed, and Best wishes.

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