Duh (but useful) Distraction Killer

You are probably aware of the “keep it simple crowd” that roams the internet. People like me who reasonably consider that many of the applications we use are far too complicated for our needs. See also this video about AbiWord:

And yes, too much complication slows you; it’s distracting. Most word processors, for example, how features that go unused even for the corporate user. And that is even truer for the home user. What should we do?

An easy solution has been simpler programs such as Abiword or Open office. They run quite well, open source, I find them crashing less often than many “professional” applications, they are easy to learn and they get the job done.

A more extreme solution is working with programs such as java darkroom, in which you can see nothing but a blank screen and a cursor with which to type. A keystroke combination will let you save and run some basic tools (spell checker, word count, that kind of stuff), or save as plain text.


Blessings that come hidden in rejection

Rejection. Failure. Losing. Nobody strives for this. There’s not one athlete that’s setting out to lose, there’s no entrepreneur whose goal it is to go bankrupt. But like some act of heavenly mercy, there is a lot of positives found in negatives, and successful people actually often are preaching the Gospel that value is to be found in failure.

Denis Waitley expressed this so well. He said: ‘Failure is supposed to be our teacher and in no way our undertaker. Failure is merely delay; in no way defeat. Failure is a short detour, in no way a dead end street. Failure is a phenomenon that can only be avoided if we say nothing, do nothing and are nothing.’

Successful persons’ marks lie in how they respond to negative situations. They are licking their wounds yet don’t quit the battlefield. They will find strength through their scars. Check out the following six blessings to soften and deal with failure, losing, and rejection.

You can clarify all your passions

A lot of people are struggling with making decisions. People creative minds usually are having their hand in multiple projects, but even jacks-of-all-trades understand that there are limits as to how thin you’ll be able to spread yourself.


People in Boxes – Myself, Labeled Again

In the past, I’ve caused some serious grief by applying labels to myself or others when I’ve been afraid or too lazy to go deep and really experience the moment. So now, when an especially challenging moment presents itself, I am consciously taking myself off autopilot… instead of acting or reacting or avoiding, I’m simply trying to BE. I’m resisting the urge to put a nice neat label on myself, others or even something as simple as an apple… or as complicated as love. But you know how it is, People put People in Boxes – Myself, Labeled Again!

I read an interesting idea that labeling only serves us as far as understanding the labeled person or thing in the simplest context. Once the label becomes ingrained, our mind closes and we lose our connection with whatever it is we’re labeling. And for me it’s the connection with myself, others and even objects that make life exciting, rewarding, worth the while…

But at the beginning of something, labels can come in really handy. For instance, I had this neighbor who was mad-scientist smart and as wired as the day is long. It was painfully obvious to everyone in the neighborhood that he had extreme ADHD. The strange part about it was, this never occurred to HIM. I was talking with him at a party once and he told he had been diagnosed ADHD – he was so excited because this discovery solved a mystery and gave him a deeper understanding and acceptance of who he is.


Climbing a Mountain – You can’t!

Long ago, before your grandparents were in this world, there was a young girl. Nara was her name. She lived near a very high mountain. Every day, at sunrise, she greeted the mountain like this:
“Good morning, dear mountain, I wish you happiness. I will climb you tomorrow.”
But she had barely finished these words when a crow perched by her window, and in a trollish voice, told her: “You can’t climb it. You are a very small child and that is a giant mountain.” So read on to learn about Climbing a Mountain – You can’t!


Always, at that time, Nara became sad. She believed she would not be able to conquer it, now, nor ever. But one day many smiling clouds arrived at her village. They covered all the sky, and the mountain top too. That way, the mountain looked smaller. That day Nara did not say: “I will climb you tomorrow” but “I will climb today.”

When the crow arrived at the window it did not find her because she was taking breakfast in the kitchen. It went there but she had gone to her room. It flew to her room, but the girl, after having put on her coat, her red woolen hat and her rainbow boots, had left the house. When it found Nara, she was already climbing the mountain. “Hello, crow,” was Nara’s greeting. “Hello, girl, what are you doing?”, replied the crow. “Going up, to the top.” “But you can’t reach the top, it’s a very high mountain.”


Newsies Songs – a roleplaying game

Hi, I did it again. Another huge project, not that huge at the Unhomeless script and also nothing compared to Newsies songs, but certainly a demanding one. And, for a change, I’m not setting up any deadline for this project, only that I want it available to the public by Christmas.

So what’s this project about? A traditional, pen-and-paper, roleplaying game with influences and inspiration from Horatio Alger, Dickens, Victor Hugo, Jules Verne and Mark Twain. You know, in a roleplaying game you pretend to be someone else, usually fighters, wizards, clerics, and thieves. Only in this game, you could be a newsboy or newsgirl from 1890 to 1910, living on your own in the fictional city of New Paris, USA. (more…)

Under Pressure Lyrics? That’s how you fix it

It’s 7:30 PM. You are working on some stuff due tomorrow, 9:00 AM, and you have enough time to make it. But then a red light pops up in your mind. Yes, that other task you chose to procrastinate and had forgotten… guess when they want it done? I don’t mean coming up with the Under Pressure Lyrics? That’s how you fix it.

Told you.

I know I sound like a mother, teacher, and boss, but it happens to be true: you must avoid procrastination. Had you done it when you had the time too, now you would not be facing this crisis. Some people may say that they love to work under pressure; I’d say that many of those only work when pressured enough.

Do you love tight deadlines? Good, just do stuff as soon as possible and try to beat your record every time. That’s all the pressure you’ll ever need or want.


Cornell To Do List Experiment

Have you noticed I’m a to-do list affiliate? Seen that white and blue square box below? Some weeks ago I bought the ebook. My first impression? Well isn’t this nicenfor my Cornell To Do List Experiment?

Todoodlist = To-do list + Mindmap


That’s the to-do list for the next academic year in a nutshell, and what captivated me in the first place. I knew mind mapping since my earlier seminary years but now at Cornell, things are slightly different. Then I used the technique to help me understand Philosophy, Theology and prepare essays. Later as a high school teacher, I used it to prepare classes, and even for presentations and now, pursuing my Master’s in Education, it totally different gain. But then again, at both tasks the mindmaps were successful.

So I liked it enough to choose it to be one of the firsts products I’d promote in my newbie blog.


Do you believe in Science?

We do, most of us anyway, yet not with the strength of our fathers. They saw the marvels of science transformed into technology: railroads, steamships, antibiotics, the airship, the plane, radio, television and last but not least, the Internet.

Yet at the same time, children are no longer safe roaming the streets, we are aware of every crime, villages that once had a vibrant cultural life are now transformed into TV watching drones and then plugged into the Internet. And let’s not forget the atomic bomb or even the conventional bombing that hit Guernika, Amsterdam, London and destroyed Hamburg and Dresden. Last but not least, an increasingly endangered nature.

Science is not really about that. Science is knowledge. But, the fact is, most of us judge science not by its capacity to predict anything, nor by being structured or follow any method, but by the cool things it brings to us.


You Have 905 Days Left

On December 4, I began the “101 things in 1001 days” challenge – so far so good although I just remember I skipped breakfast and that’s one of my things not to do… I’m just gonna pick a few out and say why I’m doing them, and hopefully, you can share some of your “things”.

Do more volunteer work Right now I am involved in helping people prepare for the GED test, I do chat with them and answer emails once a week when they have questions about their educational challenges. But I want to do more, I would like to increase my work with BestGEDClasses.org and be active at least 3-4 times a week.

Spend 3 hours a day with my mom for 365 days (0/365) – I live with my parents so seeing my mom isn’t a problem, spending time with her is. Sometimes I forget that my dad works nights and isn’t downstairs keeping her company, so while I sit up here procrastinating to the best of my ability, she’s downstairs on her own.


The 1000 Calorie Diet: Can You Survive?

One of the best ways to lose weight is to count calories.  However, is this something you can continue doing safely?  Obviously, the answer depends largely on the person, their body type, and personal weight loss goal.

It is believed that a 1000 calorie diet is only suitable for someone who has a minimal amount of weight to lose and does not engage in strenuous physical activity on a regular basis.  On the other hand, if a person is very active, trying to survive on a 1000 calorie diet could end up doing damage to their bodies instead of helping them become healthy, fit and trim.

This being a measuring element, the first step to take is to gauge how active you are.  To begin with, you don’t have to be a work-out freak to need more than 1000 calories a day.  For example, if you ride your bike to work, take the stairs instead of the elevator, or do any kind of physical labor, the 1000 calorie diet won’t be right for you.  However, if you’re more housebound, or tied to a computer in your cubicle at work, then it may be something that would work for you.