Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Sick things to do when you are Sick!

So I suppose it was inevitable that I would end up sick or in the process of getting sick.. at some point. 
My ever faithful Echinacea vitamins are doing their job, helping my immune system fight off the enemy but wow... I feel like crap...normally I can tell I am coming down with something when my coffee tastes like crap (not that I would have any idea what actual crap tastes like) ..but... anyhow yes I am not feeling great.

So since I am not doing anything today other than trying to get well again, I thought I would post some things I like to do when I am sick.  

The List!

1. Pintrest, I try to pin daily but that doesn't always work out, so when I am sick and have nothing better to do, I take some time to catch up on my pinning ... so addictive but in a good way.

2. Simming, Playing Sims3 or some other game is a great way to past time time, in fact ... one of my Sims got sick this morning.. so hoping I didn't give it to them. (Yes, I realize that's not possible.. although...)

3. Reading, Reading is such a great thing to do when sick.. or not sick, since it requires nothing but turning pages... or if you do the whole ebook thing (which I don't) then you don't even have to turn pages.

4. Watch a movie, since I rarely watch TV, I would probably put in an old movie and get comfy with a bunch of pillows and blankets.

5. Social Networking, I might not to a lot of this because if I am sick and moody I might end up saying something to someone or posting something that I might later regret.

6. Blogging, and lastly... posting a blog post about being sick and things you can do when you are sick.. is always fun. :)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A Negative Post... Sorta

So I guess this is going to be a negative post ... although not really, more like a curious thought in the form of a blog post hoping to answer a question.  Yeah, just like that.
For the last few months I have been noticing something, while reading Facebook posts, talking to friends, listening to friends talk about friends and family, and family members talk about everything else.. that people seem very bitter and have allowed themselves to become very 'pessimistic'...
Now, I get that these are not the greatest of times, the economy being what it is, jobs being what they are, but this is also not the worst time in history either, so why all the hate and frustration?

I don't really want to turn this into a negative post, since it would kind of defeat the purpose, but I would like to know why so many people seem to be so angry about everything.   Most of the problems we endure in life are caused by our own decisions, myself included, we can't always change what happens to us but we can decide how we react to it.   I know, I know, sounds very 'fortune cookie-ish' but it's still true.

It really is all about perspective, you can choose to see things as challenges and decide to keep going no matter what, or we can all just claim to be victims and talk about how unfair everything is.   The important thing, in my opinion anyway is that we do what we can for each other, after all true happiness is not found in things but in how we are there for each other.

So keep smiling!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Social Media Time Management

So, this blog post will also be about time management, something I am actively working on.   This post will deal with Social Media, and how much of a 'Time Sink' it can be.
I mean think about it, Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, LinkedIn, Pintrest ... and so on... you could literally spend hours keeping people up-to-date on all your coming and goings... and if you blog, as I do (Obviously) then you have even more to do.   So what is the best way to keep up and still use these tools?

Glad you asked... here you go.

1. Set up a schedule. You do not have to add a new post to every social network every day. This can eat up a lot of time from your daily schedule and leave you feeling just plain overwhelmed. The important thing is that when you do post, make sure it is valuable or fun content that will generate a good response from your fans and followers.

2. Create a content stockpile. As a part of your social media schedule, set up a time during the week where you brainstorm content ideas for blog posts, status updates, tweets, etc. This will eliminate any stress of having to come up with something on the spot from one week to the next. Then, when the time comes to update your posts, you can just select something from the pile and post.

3. Link your networks. When you are doing things on your own, it can be hard to find the time to post to multiple accounts. You can link each of your profiles so that when you post on one account, say your Facebook page, then it is also sent out to the others and vice versa. Tools like Buffer, Tweetdeck and even Facebook Scheduled Posts can make this happen in the background for you.

5. Get automated. One bonus of having a content stockpile is that you can use tools like Socialoomph, Buffer and Timely for Twitter to schedule its release automatically. This doesn’t mean you can put all of your social media posts on auto-pilot though, because that just defeats the purpose.
You can schedule certain things, but you still need to go back and make responses where needed and take time to actually interact with your fans.

6. Combined engagement. Other tools make it simple to monitor and update your accounts from one spot. You can use Hootsuite or Tweetdeck to create a dashboard that lets you handle multiple social media accounts from a single platform, saving you time.
Create alerts for important topics such as your company name, product names and competitors. Create Twitter Lists of your most important customers, partners and media contacts so you can monitor their activity in real time.

7. Set up topic alerts. Save yourself time from searching for industry news articles by setting up a Google Alert for specified topics. You can search through the results for news that relates to you. When you find something of interest, you can share it with your followers.

I hope these tips will help you, I did not even know about some of these, until doing the research for time management, so I will be implementing some of these great ideas.   I think though, the important thing to think about while implementing these ideas is make sure you don't turn into an 'Automaton'... keep everything real and interesting and most important, interesting to you!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

4 Great Tips for a Better Night's Rest


I am so not a morning person, though I often wish I could be, I listen to friends talk about waking up early, going for a jog, or just waking up and feeling refreshed.
I don't know about you, but the first thing I do when I wake up is head for the coffee...  I have tried going to sleep earlier.. I still wake up tired, I go to bed late, I wake up tired, I sleep in... and guess what?  I wake up tired. 

So part of my 'unofficial' 2013 resolutions is to figure out how to get a better night's sleep and stick with it.
I recently did some research and found these tips... I am hoping to apply to my schedule.


1. Stick to a sleep schedule: Go to bed and get up at the same time every day, even on weekends, holidays and days off. Being consistent reinforces your body's sleep-wake cycle and helps promote better sleep at night.

2. Pay attention to what you eat and drink: Don't go to bed either hungry or stuffed. Your discomfort might keep you up. Also limit how much you drink before bed, to prevent disruptive middle-of-the-night trips to the toilet.

3. Create a bedtime ritual: Do the same things each night to tell your body it's time to wind down. This might include taking a warm bath or shower, reading a book, or listening to soothing music — preferably with the lights dimmed. Relaxing activities can promote better sleep by easing the transition between wakefulness and drowsiness.

4. Get comfortable: Create a room that's ideal for sleeping. Often, this means cool, dark and quiet. Consider using room-darkening shades, earplugs, a fan or other devices to create an environment that suits your needs.

#1 and #2 are a definite necessity for me... because I have no sleep schedule, I often have to force myself to go to sleep because I am a night person, and unfortunately all my best ideas, thoughts and inspirations always seem to arrive when I should be sleeping.  So that, I need to work on.

I got these tips over at so head over there if you need more info, as for me.. I will be trying to implement these tips into my schedule!


Saturday, January 26, 2013

Old movies and Me....

I don't know about you, but there is nothing more relaxing than lounging in a nice comfy chair, or couch... munching on something munchable.....or a drinking big mug of coffee, hot chocolate or tea, and watching an old black n white movie.

I know the arguments against, I have heard them before, 'Black and White movies are so boring' or... 'Not enough action' or... 'I don't get it'.

 For me old movies from the 1930's 40's and 50's are perfect, the violence was minimum, all the sex was suggestive instead of having to sit and watch people have sex in the movies today, which is just awkward.    I mean if you want to be a man's man who's better than Bogart or ... Cary Grant?  And the ladies wow.. Grace Kelly, Veronica Lake... seriously? Talk about hot!   If you want to know what 'cool' is today, look back then, those icons are the ones who 'invented' cool.

After watching HD and crystal clear digital videos.. 3d and every other piece of technological wonder... it is refreshing to sit back and watch that beautiful silver screen, the lighting... so rich.   Yeah, I'm sold.
So the next time you order a movie, try an oldie... give it a chance.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Women in Combat

Okay, so I suppose most of you already heard the news by now that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta will lift the ban on women in combat (opening approximately 237,000 positions to women across the services).  

I have heard a lot of opinions on it, so naturally I have to give my opinion.

I have no problem with it, and after reading some of the comments other men have made regarding it, I definitely agree with the decision.   
The arguments against it have been things like, 'You realize, if they are captured they will be gang-raped...(as if every man who is captured and tortured is any less horrific) ... or ... 'Women are weaker than men, so they will not be able to perform in that role.'  My opinion is yes, women do tend to be weaker than men physically, but that does not mean they will not be able to perform, they go through the same training as men, they train with weapons the same as men, so I see no reason they would not be able to perform their duties as well.   Besides, if they cannot perform their duties or carry out a given mission, they will be dismissed just like any man that cannot perform their duties.

So if all this is true, then what is the problem?   

I think, it goes back to the basics, men want to feel as though they are men, they don't want to have to compete with a woman, they want to rescue the woman, they feel as though they need to protect them from harm, and so therefore it will cause disruption and cost lives.   Perhaps, that is true, but change is always uncomfortable at first, but it's how we grow.   I am sure these conversations were the same when African Americans wanted to serve, they said it would disrupt the unit, and it did, but we got past it.    The same was likely said about women wanting to vote, 'they are too emotional and irrational, it will never work.' and now women decide elections.  

What it really comes down to is, women should have the same opportunity, as men do, to fight for their beliefs, and for the people they care about.


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

An Unconventional Artist

While going through my magazine collection the other day I came across a 2011 issue of Digital Photo Pro Magazine.  Now, I realize why I never throw magazines out, I had somehow missed this wonderful article featuring an incredible photographer Brian DeMint.

What caught my eye other than his creative photos was how the story began - 'It's suppertime when Brian DeMint returns from his 12-hour swing shift at a rural Missouri power plant—unless, of course, he's working the overnight. He usually grabs a slice of pizza and kisses his wife, but then he gets to work again. Unlike most folks in Joplin who work two jobs, DeMint doesn't moonlight as a fast-food worker or a security guard. His other job is fashion photographer'

Amazing, a guy working a non-creative, typical job, somehow comes home from work, likely tired, and where as most people would probably sit down and watch some TV and eat a doughnut ... Brian not only goes back to work but has to somehow find this creativity that is so evident in his photographs.

DeMint later says - "I don't consider myself a commercial photographer, I turn down nearly all assignments unless I'm given complete creative control. I loathe parameters and prefer my unconscious mind to take me where it likes—before conformity, logic or marketing kick in. I rarely, if ever, preplan a shoot. For me, the modus operandi is that the model shows up, and I get ideas on the fly and we shoot them. The ideas are influenced by all the visuals floating around in my brain at that moment."

When asked to describe his passion DeMint replied with - "I would be more apt to call it an obsession, all my spare time is engaged with something associated with fashion photography: shooting, editing, studying, experimenting. Even when I watch movies, I pay so much attention to the makeup, the attire and the cinematography that I'm often clueless about what's happening in the movie."

Seeing his work, I was surprised by his equipment as well, I had expected him to be using a Hasselblad or some other high end Digital camera set up, but as revealed in the article - 'He recently traded in his Canon Digital Rebel for a Nikon D90 with a kit lens.'
He mentions -"An 18-55mm, I think, is all I need. Well, that and the chicken warmers. You know, those $7 silver dish-reflector lights with the clamps? I get mine at Wal-Mart because they have a 10-foot cord instead of a 6-foot cord. They run about 20 cents more, but I feel a guy has to splurge sometimes to get the equipment he needs."
Since that was 2011 I imagine he probably has upgraded his equipment by now, although it certainly wouldn't surprise me if he hadn't.  This guy could shoot great photos with a Vintage Brownie Camera! 

I really enjoy reading articles like this, about a 'typical' small town person who has a burning passion that drives them to excellence while everyone around them just keeps doing the daily grind....and I am reminded why I keep those magazines!

You can visit his site here:

Monday, January 21, 2013

Martin Luther King Day 2013

“The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral
begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy, instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it.

Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth.

Through violence you may murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate.

Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.

Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Magazine Hoarder

Today I started 'Part 1' of going through my huge magazine collection and putting some in boxes until I either figure out if I want to keep them or if I finally stop being a - Magazine Hoarder.. and feed them to the recycle container.  
I have such a hard time letting magazines and books go... so many great photos and stories!  I need to make some room for more, of course so boxes it is...

Friday, January 18, 2013

Blogging for You and Me

I have been blogging for at least a few years now, I remember sitting in a doctors office reading a magazine, and came across an article about blogging and thought it sounded very interesting, so I decided to give it a go. When I created my first blog, I wanted it to be about things I found interesting, personal adventures and experiences, photographs and just fill it with everything I loved... but after visiting a few 'how-to' sites I came across 'how to bring in more traffic' or 'how to make money blogging' and I got caught up in it all, and I found I hated it, I became obsessed with getting more traffic, that the whole reason I wanted a blog in the first place went out the door...and I quickly got bored and deleted it.  

A while later I decided to start again, this time promising I would avoid all of those sites and do it my way, and I did.  I started a blog which aimed to spread the word about organizations that helped others, in a hope to spread compassion.  It was something I very am about, and the blog lasted years, but slowly it began to seem more like I was reporting rather than sharing my own opinions and experiences and being involved in the process...and like the first it slowly died as I lost interest in reporting daily 'news'.

So at this point you are probably thinking... 'maybe you just don't enjoy blogging' right?  Well, not true, I look at this as a journey, and these 'mistakes' are not just my own, I have heard many well-intentioned bloggers say the same things.  The important thing is not to give up.  So, now here I am with a third blog.... you may be wondering how long this will last?  For as long as I can type.... I have decided to make this blog about everything I love, and hate.

Here are some random thoughts about blogging and some things I have been noticing seems as if the majority of blogs now days are either Photo blogs or art blogs trying to get their stuff viewed and sold (which I don't have a problem with) or 'how-to' type blogs trying to teach you how to make money with your blog or what to write about.  I am wondering if others have forgotten the purpose of Blogs...   I mean do a Google Search, in fact I will do it for you, CLICK HERE ... you will find sites offering to teach you how to blog, or make money or create an audience. 
While I don't have a problem with those things, I think people need to get back to the basics, sharing your own thoughts, not reporting, or trying to create an audience so they can click your Adsense.
Blog because you love to write, blog because you feel inspired or alone, happy or sad, because you want to share your interests, blog for you and for me so I can read your stuff and comment, but make it important to you, no matter what you do.  See ya next time!