Friday, August 1, 2014

Personal Improvement – Reasons For Not Succeeding

I just read through a post about 13 reasons for not succeeding. Here are the two reasons I agree with:

• Fear – many times we will either quit or not even try because fear will keep us from going on. To be successful we must figure out how to work in spite of fear.
• Negativity – If I got paid a dollar for every time someone pointed out what was wrong rather than what was right, I would be well off. Negativity keeps us from working towards our goals. Since we get what we focus on, focus on what is positive.

Why just these two? Because it seems to me that all the other reasons are just forms of either fear or negativity. Also, if you deal with these two, you will fix the others.

What do you think?

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Blogging – Coming Up With Blog Posts

I have not been very good at coming up with blog posts lately, so I have decided to come up with a way to help me come up with things to write about. Here is what I have so far:
• Decide what topics I want to write about. For me it is the News, the Economy, the Future, Writing, Creativity, Internet Business, Personal-Improvement, Technology, and Observations.
• Search the internet for anything interesting on the topics I want to write about. I like to use Google for news and key words. I check in with Alltop for what is being written about by other bloggers. I also like to spend time on Quora and Google +.
• Start writing when I find something interesting. This is where I have been falling short lately. I keep saying to myself that what I am reading and finding is not interesting. That might not be true. It might just be that I am not in the mood to write about it, so I skip it. I am going to try to stop that and see what comes of it.
So that is the method I have devised. I am going to use it and see if it works.

What do you think?

Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Economy – GDP

The new GDP numbers came out today and the last quarter grew at a 4% rate. I do not believe the number is accurate. 4% would indicate that the economy is doing well and I don’t see it. In my area (southwest Riverside County CA.) stores, restaurants, movie theaters, and even McDonald's are empty. Traffic is still lighter than what I remember it being before the great recession. Yes, foreclosures have decreased substantially and layoffs are down, but things are not getting better. It’s as if we have hit a plateau. 4% would mean that businesses are hiring and sales are up, but I don’t see it. Maybe things are better someplace else, but here in Southern California, things are not improving. Maybe the number is an optimistic estimation that will be revised lower over the coming months? It’s not like that has not happened before. I just don’t see a recovery anyplace I look.

What do you think?

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Technology – My New Laptop

My Acer E3-111 is working well for me. I just finished taking a class at my local community college and I bought the laptop to do all of my assignments. I had to use Office extensively which was not possible on my Chromebook. I created several Word documents, several Excel spreadsheets, and a couple of PowerPoint presentations without a single issue or problem. In fact, I enjoyed using Office 2013 quite a lot and will be investing in Office 365 as soon as my trial period expires. For $250 I am well pleased with what I can do with my new laptop and I am not missing my Chromebook much. I have also not used my Mac Mini or my iPad a whole lot since I purchased my new laptop. I think Microsoft might be onto something with this inexpensive laptop, It does everything I need it to do without a problem (though it is slower than my Chromebook). So far I am well pleased and unfortunately for Chromebook, not switching back.

What do you think?

The Economy - Inflation

I was just wondering why it seemed that my parents were better off financially in the 1980’s with only my dad working then we are with two good incomes today. My dad made $60,000 a year in the 80’s. I make over $80,000 today and my wife makes over $60,000, so we should be doing way better than they did, but we are not. My parents had no problem buying four properties (we can only afford one). My parents put two kids through college (California State Universities) at the same time and paid cash without a problem (we can barely afford to put one through, and that includes borrowing to do so, and we have another one getting ready to start in a year).

How come they were so much better off making so much less? Inflation! I just ran my dad’s salary through an inflation calculator ( and he would be making $15,000 a month today, or $180,000 a year! I also never remember him complaining about taxes or the cost of gas, electricity, water, or food. Inflation has made us all poorer. I wonder if it is also responsible for so many of the problems we face today.

What do you think?

Monday, July 28, 2014

Technology – It’s a Microsoft World

I have been using my new laptop now for about two weeks and I am pleased with my purchase. My Acer Aspire E3-111 is working well, but one of the things that bugs me a bit is the boot up time. My Chromebook was supper fast, but if I just put the system in sleep mode (shut the lid) the boot time is much faster and I can live with it. Overall my new laptop is slower than my Chromebook, but it makes up for the lack of speed with all the new capabilities I have. What I have come to realize is that web apps don’t compare to having the full functioning application installed on your computer. Having access to Word, Excel, and PowerPoint is a luxury I do not want to be without. You can complain about Office all you want, but it leaves Google Drive and Open Office in the dust. In my opinion it is well worth the investment to have at least the home, personal, or student version.

I also realized that it is, for better or worse, a Microsoft world. 90% of computers are still powered by Microsoft. Yes, Smartphones and tablets are making an inroad, but if you have to do any serious writing or work, then it’s a Microsoft world. Is Windows and Office the best system out there. No, but it is the “standard” and you lose a lot of capability when you use a different system. I for one have been persuaded to come back to Windows. Plus, the $250 price tag was a bargain. I have a fully functioning (though not super powerful or fast) Windows machine that lets me do everything I could ever want to do for the price of a Chromebook. This might be what does Chromebook in.

What do you think?

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

World News – Venezuela

Things just keep getting worse in Venezuela. Not only is inflation over 50%, but things are starting to grind to a halt. Basic necessities like food and toiletries are not being produced or imported so they are running out. Sales across the board have collapsed and so factories are now starting to close down. Car sales are down 75%! One car dealer has stated that they have not sold a car in months and have only survived because of providing repairs. Unfortunately, parts are running low and that may not keep them afloat for much longer.

Socialism does not work. You can’t take from the rich to prop up everyone else. The rich just don’t make enough money to make that possible. Unfortunately so many countries are on the same path to ruin. True capitalism based in the rule of law is the only economic system that works. Is it perfect or fair? No, but there is no other system that works. Everything else eventually collapses. Just look at Venezuela (or Greece, or Argentina).

What do you think?

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Monday, July 21, 2014

Technology - My New Laptop

I have been using my new laptop for about a week now and I am pleasantly pleased. Is it possible to have a fully functioning Windows laptop for $250? Yes is it and my Acer E 11 proves it. I bought the laptop from Amazon for about $250. It has a newer model Celeron Chip in it which does not require a fan, and so it is remarkably quiet as a result. Now it does take much longer to boot up that my Chromebook did, but it is not so long that it bothers me. I have found that once I boot it up, and if I leave it in sleep mode when I am finished, when I come back to it, it gets up and running quickly. I just shut it down at night when I finished with it. So far all my usual programs work well. I use Chrome as a browser so I have all the apps and features I used on my Chromebook at my disposal. What I am most happy about is being able to use my music scoring program (Finale) on it. I thought my new laptop would be under powered to use my music scoring program, but so far I have been able to use it to score just about anything I want to write. I have a trial version of Office 365 that I am using. I am pleased with how it works so I am going to purchase it once the trial period is over.

For $250 this laptop has performed above what I was expecting it to. I think Chromebooks have a problem. If you can have a fully functioning Windows machine for $250, then why buy a Chromebook for about the same price? I think Microsoft decided that they need to own the low end or they will lose a significant portion of market share. So how can Chromebook compete? Unless they figure out how to offer as many features as Windows does for even less, I don't think Chromebooks will make it. In fact, if you go and check on the Amazon web site, Chromebooks are not the number 1 seller any more. Low cost Windows machines are (and the Acer E11 is sold out).

What do you think?

Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Economy – The Movie Business

I just took a look at how well the movie business is doing and things do not look too good. This year is on track to being one of the worst in 5 years. Is this the canary in the coal mine giving us a clue as to how the economy is doing?? Or is this just reflect that “Hollywood” has lost its ability to get people to buy movie tickets? I think it is a combination of the two. I think people have less and less money to spend because of inflation and the fact that the economy is not recovering. I also think that “Hollywood” is running out of idea that are worth watching. I for one have not been to the movies much this past year. There is nothing that I want to see in the movie theater. I am good with waiting for the movies I want to see to be available as rentals. The time span between movies being in the theater and being available for rental is getting shorter and shorter, so why spend the money when all you need to do is wait a few weeks? Add this bit of data with all that is going on in the world and I think that we are going to see things grow worse. Hold on to your hats, things might start to get interesting.

What do you think?

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Friday, July 18, 2014

Creativity – Being an artist

I spent some time going over Seth Godin’s posts. I like reading his stuff because he is an artist. That is, he creates things and then sells them or gives them away. Is that not what an artist is? We all have the potential to be artists. All we need to do is create stuff and then either sell the stuff we create or give it away. You also do not need to make “artsy” things like paintings, crafts, books, or music, or anything else like that. It can be anything. If you create cars, or homes, or provide a great service, you can be an artist as well. Just create something and provide it to the public. Then you are an artist.

What do you think?