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My Ramblings Articles

Success Requires a Good Start

October 12, 2009 | My Ramblings | No Comments
the-start

To be successful at many things in life requires a good start.  Whether its school, health, money, career, relationships, raising children, starting a business, etc.  Just like a sprinter running a race, he or she must have a good start to win, even if he or she is the fastest sprinter.
 
I often tell teenagers heading off to college to not “screw-up” their first two years of college.  Many teens party their first two years of college and end up with low GPAs.  By the time they realize their mistake it’s very difficult to raise their GPAs.  The first 2 years of college is easier than the last 2 years.  They screwed up the easy courses and now they have to work harder to get good grades in tougher courses.  If they did well the first 2 years and didn’t do as well the last 2 years, their GPAs would not suffer as much.  I explain to them that it’s imperative to have a good start!

The same goes with health.  Maintaining your weight, exercising, eating right and not smoking early in life will benefit you in the long term.  If you eat poorly, don’t exercise, smoke, gain excess weight early in life it will be more difficult later in life to reverse it than maintaining it earlier in life.

Money is also an area where it’s imperative to get a good start early in life.  Once you are on your own, manage your money correctly from the start.  Save to buy things and do not finance purchases using a credit card. Live below your means.  Pay 0ff your bills on time to maintain a good credit score.  Develop and follow a budget.  Have an emergency fund.  Put money in your company’s 401K plan.  If you have a good financial start, you will reap the rewards later in life.  Managing your money poorly early in your adult life will cost your dearly in the long-term.  If your credit is low, you will end up paying much higher interest rates when purchasing a home or a car.  Or you may be simply denied loans.  Financing things with a credit card will cost you hundreds or thousands of dollars in unnecessary interest fees.  If you have no money saved, when hard times hit (loss of job, illness, divorce, etc,) you may end up filing bankruptcy or losing your home.

There are many more situations in life that it’s imperative to have a good start.  Starting off poorly quickly leads down the road of failure where it becomes hard to reverse.

Related Article: Do You Have the 3 D’s for Success?

Video: Did You Know?

October 11, 2009 | My Ramblings | Videos | No Comments

Very interesting video below of how quickly the world is changing especially because of technology.  Enjoy!

Marc Dreier’s $400 Million Ponzi Scheme

October 4, 2009 | My Ramblings | Videos | No Comments

Below is a very interesting interview by 60 Minutes with Marc Dreier who ran a $400 million Ponzi scheme.  Mr. Dreier was a respected, Yale and Harvard educated lawyer who ran a big Park Avenue law firm.  He was initially arrested in Toronto for impersonating an officer in a pension fund to get a loan from a hedge fund when his scheme began to unravel. 

Mr. Dreier is currently doing 20 years in prison.  It’s amazing that he could get away with his scheme for so long and that people were willing to lend him hundreds of millions of dollars without ensuring he was legit and capable of paying the money back.

Video: Marc Dreier’s $400M Ponzi Scheme

Related Articles:

Monitor Who’s Talking About You with Google Alerts

October 4, 2009 | My Ramblings | No Comments

Google has a neat service called Google Alerts which alerts you by e-mail when information is posted on the Internet with search terms you want to track, like your name. You can also monitor news stories, companies, competitors, celebrities, events, sport teams, etc.

To create a Google Alert you enter your search terms, the type of web sites you want to track (news, blog, web, comprehensive, and video, group), how often you want an alert e-mailed to you (as it happens, once per day, once per week) and your e-mail address to deliver the alert.

Below are screen shots of Google Alerts setup screen and a sample email.

Google Alerts Setup Screen Shot

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Google Alerts Email Screen Shot

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For more information and to setup Google Alerts visit google.com/alerts.

Microsoft’s Project Natal for the XBox 360 is Amazing

October 3, 2009 | My Ramblings | No Comments

When I first saw the video below I was blown away.  Technology is advancing so rapidly it’s absolutely amazing.  The video below highlights Microsoft’s Project Natal, a revolutionary new way to play video games for the Xbox 360 with no controller.  

Project Natal is the future of playing video games, which is similar to the existing Nintendo Wii but way more advanced and requires no controller.  You will be able to play games where you can kick, hit, catch or trap things with voice recognition and even scan objects into the game.  This may definitely be a Nintendo Wii killer app.

Before Natal is launched, Microsoft announced it would add ways for players to connect with Facebook, Twitter and other social networks via the Xbox this fall. Way to go Microsoft!

Video: Project Natal Xbox 360

Microsoft has not announced any release date or price, however, development kits have been sent to partnering studios.  So it seems Project Natal is still a work in process. For more information about Project Natal visit xbox.com/projectnatal.

The Many Features of Google Search

October 2, 2009 | My Ramblings | No Comments

Most people don’t realize the power behind Google Search.  You can search for weather, stock quotes, sports scores, unit conversion, shipping tracking numbers, movie times, patents and much more.   Below are various search features for you to check out.  You can click on the search button to see the examples in action.

Weather

Enter “weather” followed by the city and state, U.S. zip code, or city and country.


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Stock Quotes

Enter ticker symbol into to see current market data for a given company or fund.


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Time

Enter “time” and the name of the city to see the time in many cities around the world.


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Sports Scores

Enter the team name or league name to see scores and schedules for sports teams (National Basketball Association, National Football League, National Hockey League, and Major League Baseball). All sports data provided by STATS, Inc.


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Calculator

Enter the calculation you’d like done to use Google’s built-in calculator function.


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Book Search

Enter the name of the author or book title into the search box and get any book content Google has as part of their normal web results. You can click through on the record to view more detailed info about that author or title.


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Earthquakes

 Enter “earthquake” followed by the city and state or U.S. zip code to see information about recent earthquakes in a specific area. For recent earthquake activity around the world simply type “earthquake” in the search box.


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Unit Conversion

Google Search can convert between many different units of measurement of height, weight, and volume among many others.


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Public Data

Enter “population” or “unemployment rate” followed by a state or county to see trends for population and unemployment rates of U.S. states and counties.


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People Profiles

Enter the name of that person plus some identifying words about him or her to see a list of people with that name to find someone you just met or a long-lost friend.


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Synonym Search

If you want to search not only for your search term but also for its synonyms, place the tilde sign (~) immediately in front of your search term.


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Dictionary Definitions

To see a definition for a word or phrase, simply type the word “define” then a space, then the word(s) you want defined. To see a list of different definitions from various online sources, you can type “define:” followed by a word or phrase. Note that the results will define the entire phrase.


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Spell Checker

Google’s spell checking software automatically checks whether your query uses the most common spelling of a given word. If it thinks you’re likely to generate better results with an alternative spelling, it will ask “Did you mean: (more common spelling)?”. Click the suggested spelling to launch a Google search for that term.


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Local Search

If you’re looking for a store, restaurant, or other local business you can search for the category of business and the location and we’ll return results right on the page, along with a map, reviews, and contact information.


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Movie Showtimes

To find reviews and showtimes for movies playing near you, type “movies” or the name of a current film into the Google search box. If you’ve already saved your location on a previous search, the top search result will display showtimes for nearby theaters for the movie you’ve chosen.


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Airline Travel Info

To see flight status for arriving and departing U.S. flights, type in the name of the airline and the flight number into the search box. You can also see delays at a specific airport by typing in the name of the city or three-letter airport code followed by the word “airport”.



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Currency Conversion

To use our built-in currency converter, simply enter the conversion you’d like done into the Google search box and we’ll provide your answer directly on the results page.


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Maps

Looking for a map? Type in the name or U.S. zip code of a location and the word “map” and we’ll return a map of that location. Clicking on the map will take you to a larger version on Google Maps.


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Plus (+) Operator

Google ignores common words and characters such as where, the, how, and other digits and letters that slow down your search without improving the results. If a common word is essential to getting the results you want, you can make sure we pay attention to it by putting a “+” sign in front of it.


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Related Search

To search for web pages that have similar content to a given site, type “related:” followed by the website address into the Google search box.


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Fill in the Blank

Sometimes the best way to ask a question is to get Google to ‘fill in the blank’ by adding an asterisk (*) at the part of the sentence or question that you want finished into the Google search box.


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Package Tracking

You can track packages by typing the tracking number for your UPS, Fedex or USPS package directly into the search box. We’ll return results that include quick links to easily track the status of your shipment.


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Patent Numbers

To search for U.S. patents, enter the word “patent” followed by the patent number into the Google search box and hit the Enter key or click the Google Search button.


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Area Code

To see the geographical location for any U.S. telephone area code, just type the three-digit area code into the Google search box and hit the Enter key or click the Google Search button.


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Strategy for Getting Rid of Boredom While Exercising

October 1, 2009 | My Ramblings | No Comments

Like many people, at times I find exercising boring.  Over the years there were times I’ll exercise frequently, allowing me to get in shape  only to then fall off because of the monotony and boredom.  In doing cardio, I often try to read a magazine and listen to music while on the treadmill, stationary bicycle or elliptical.

My wife over a year ago purchased an elliptical trainer and recently I started using it to get back in shape.  However, the first few times I used it, after a few minutes I was bored.  I tried listening to music and reading magazines to no avail.  I hate watching the clock while I exercise because a half hour will seem like an hour. 

Fuel Fitness FE44 18-Inch Elliptical Trainer

I then read an article about an Internet Marketer who attached her laptop to her treadmill and worked / surfaced the Web while exercising.  I thought that was a great idea.  She claimed she lost considerable weight doing this.  She slowly walks while working and the weight slowly dropped off over several months.  

I attached my laptop to the elliptical with a belt and decided to give it a try.  Now a half hour seems like 10 minutes when I’m on the elliptical while using my laptop and the Internet.    Sometimes I watch videos/movies, listen to music, check e-mail, send e-mails and work on projects.  Doing this totally distracts me from the time on the elliptical and the time really flies by.  I try to do at least 30 minutes, but I usually do 45 minutes to 1 hour because the time goes by so quickly.

Ingenious Attachment Of Laptop To Elliptical

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Me On the Elliptical While Working/Surfacing the Web

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My Setup

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The elliptical I use is the “Fuel Fitness FE44 18-Inch Elliptical Trainer”.  You can see a review of it here written by my wife. 

If you are interested in a much better way to secure your laptop to your elliptical, stationary bike or treadmill then checkout SurfShelf.com.   See video below.

For more information visit SurfShelf.com.