20141204

Book review: QBQ! The Question Behind the Question by John G. Miller

This is a book review of QBQ! The Question Behind the Question by John G. Miller.

Here’s the gist. Personal accountability is a powerful tool to get things done, solve problems, and improve quality of life. Personal accountability comes from asking yourself a few key questions. Questions such as:

“What can I do about [such and such problem, challenge, goal, etc.]?”

“How can I achieve with the resources that I have available?”

“What am I learning?”

“How can I apply what I am learning to [such and such problem, challenge, goal, etc.]?”

“How can I learn from this experience?”

The idea is that a more thorough self-evaluation will open up possible solutions to problems or barriers that hinder progress and growth, as well as gaining an important skill for stress management.

Stress is a result of our actions. Self evaluation that leads to greater personal accountability may reduce stress because a thorough evaluation may reveal that some of the stressors are uncontrollable. One can learn to let go of those stressors and seek to focus on what can be controlled. Such as, reactions to challenges and adversity. Choose how to feel about stuff rather than allowing stuff to dictate the feelings.

This could be helpful with problem solving or improving team work because targeted self-evaluation can help reveal what an individual has control of and what options for action they have. For example, asking the question, “What can I do about dinner today that will give me a mindful eating experience?” will help focus into planning a mindful eating experience for dinner. It is a very easy concept to apply.

In summary, this book is about a tool for improving life satisfaction by using carefully targeted questions for self-evaluation to accomplish goals, work through barriers, solve problems, and improve relationships. Look for it in your local public library.

20141027

My Average Running Speed over Time

This chart shows how I have maintained my speed over time. It is important because it illustrates how hard it is to improve with insufficient training. As the human body ages it is more difficult to make gains in athletic performance.


Online Graphing
graph and charts

My goal for a half marathon is to complete it in 90 minutes or less. That requires an average speed of 14.05km/hour. The closest I came to that was in February when I ran a 5k with an average speed of 13.45 km/hour.


My goal for a 5K is to complete it in 20 minutes or less. That requires an average speed of 15km/hour. The closest I came to that was in February when I ran a 5k with an average speed of 13.45 km/hour.


The likelihood that I'll achieve these goals requires a person to remain highly optimistic, and work harder and especially smarter.

20141016

#Inequality #BAD2014 #Blogaction14 #Oct16

Inequality takes many forms. Each day people throughout our community and nation face unequal challenges to access to education, healthcare, housing, fair wages, and healthy foods. These are barriers that have been built and maintained since our nation took its roots on this continent.

I believe that people deserve a fair opportunity to be successful. In my day job I work as a nutritionist for the United States’ premier public health nutrition program, WIC. Each day I see why inequality is an issue. Many of the families I see face many challenges that other people don’t even consider. Challenges like:
  • Getting their pre-schooler into an early head start program
  • Figuring out how to work and nurse an infant
  • Dealing with the stigma of being on a public assistance program
In our country we have this national sense of individualism that labels successful people as “motivated” or “driven” and unsuccessful people as “lazy”. The truth is that the so-called successful people were born into an advantageous position and the unsuccessful people were born into a disadvantaged position. Here are two examples of this:
  • All things being equal, a female is more likely to earn a lower wage than a male (Source: Gender Pay Gaps)
  • A worker that starts their climb up the corporate ladder is likely to be in the same income bracket ten years later (Source: Intragenerational Income Mobility)
Inequality is an issue because as a national community we suffer the consequences of a socioeconomic system that disadvantages much of our population. If we fully supported each and every one of our neighbors then our great nation wouldn't try so desperately to hold onto the world.

There is something you can do right now that can help. Donate to any of the non-profit charities below. Their work is to reduce inequality in their specific field of interest.

Educare Arizona’s mission is to ensure vulnerable young children and their families are successful in school and life by providing quality early childhood learning, family support and health care and by acting as an unequivocal voice for early childhood policy and practice.

Harlem Children’s Zone’s goal is simple—to give our kids the individualized support they need to get to and through college and become productive, self-sustaining adults. Realizing this goal is difficult and complex, particularly since we are working with over 12,000 youth, many of them with tough challenges.

Planned Parenthood believes in the fundamental right of each individual, throughout the world, to manage his or her fertility, regardless of the individual's income, marital status, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, national origin, or residence. We believe that respect and value for diversity in all aspects of our organization are essential to our well-being. We believe that reproductive self-determination must be voluntary and preserve the individual's right to privacy. We further believe that such self-determination will contribute to an enhancement of the quality of life and strong family relationships.

Feeding America is the nation's leading domestic hunger-relief charity. Our mission is to feed America's hungry through a nationwide network of member food banks and engage our country in the fight to end hunger.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation is the leading nonprofit organization defending civil liberties in the digital world. Founded in 1990, EFF champions user privacy, free expression, and innovation through impact litigation, policy analysis, grassroots activism, and technology development. We work to ensure that rights and freedoms are enhanced and protected as our use of technology grows.

The ACLU is our nation's guardian of liberty, working daily in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties that the Constitution and laws of the United States guarantee everyone in this country.

National Coalition for the Homeless’s mission is to prevent and end homelessness while ensuring the immediate needs of those experiencing homelessness are met and their civil rights protected. We envision a world where everyone has a safe, decent, affordable and accessible home.

20140912

11 Steps to Organize Your Home

Two months ago I followed through with an important decision in my life and spent the day - and a small fortune - with a personal organizer.


It was the most valuable use of my time and money all year.


I had my reasons for making that decision but the truth is that my obsession with stuff was (and is) unhealthy. I didn't have the courage to face the demons that existed in my stuff alone; I needed a professional.


So I called one up.


If you are the DIY type of person you can probably find plenty of resources to get a handle on personal home organization but here is what I learned:


  • Schedule the time to do it. Schedule 8 hours. Schedule 4 hours. Schedule 30 minutes. Commit to a time and do it. The hardest part is starting.
  • Find and get all of your stuff together. The grouping part of the organizing process is easier if you have everything altogether.
  • Ask yourself tough questions like: What do I use this for? What do I have this for? Asking yourself the tough questions allows you to use your thinking brain to answer those questions rationally and you will be able to decide if you really need 300 pairs of shoes.
  • Group like with like. Books with books. Shoes with shoes. Easy enough. For the less clearly defined groups,
  • Put stuff in little plastic boxes. Clear plastic boxes have two advantages. They are see through so you can see what is in them. They have lids so that when you move it should, hopefully, be easier to pack and unpack because things are already "packed" away. Label them.
  • Optimize. Ask yourself questions about the process you follow any given day. Would it be a good idea to keep your keys near your door? Would it be a good idea to rearrange your furniture so that it promotes inner peace?
  • Minimize. Do you need 3 slotted spoons?
  • Simplify. Can you do with less?
  • Donate. There are so many charities that could use your stuff. I prefer to donate to the Humane Society thrift store but there are plenty of places to choose from. Some places (like a clothing, music, book exchange) will even pay you for your stuff.
  • Recycle. If it has that little triangle recycle symbol you might just be able to recycle it. Check with your city.
  • Trash. Just throw it away. This does have ecological consequences. The stuff we buy has to go somewhere after we are finished with it so think twice before you make that purchase.

In closing here is some motivation for you:


The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people. - Randy Pausch’s Last Lecture: Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams


Read the entire transcript of the very famous (and very good) Last Lecture here at the Carnegie Mellon site:
http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~pausch/Randy/pauschlastlecturetranscript.pdf or watch the video on YouTube http://youtu.be/ji5_MqicxSo


Interested in how to break away from loving stuff to loving life, read this great post at zenhabits.net - Love Life, Not Stuff http://zenhabits.net/love-life-not-stuff/


When to Schedule Your Most Important Work - HBR Blog Network - http://blogs.hbr.org/2014/06/when-to-schedule-your-most-important-work/


6 Powerful Questions to Ask Yourself - INC - http://www.inc.com/lolly-daskal/6-powerful-questions-successful-leaders-ask-themselves-daily.html


Organizing Your Home - Martha Stewart - http://www.marthastewart.com/275490/organizing-your-home/@center/277000/homekeeping-solutions


Sterilite 16428012 6-Quart Storage Box, White Lid with See-Through Base, 12-Pack


Some of my favorite charities to donate money to - http://www.rarehero.com/2011/12/end-of-year-giving.html


Can you recycle that? - Earth911 http://www.earth911.com/

20140725

What's the difference between the Holocaust, the Zoot Suit Riots, and Blackface

What's the difference between the Holocaust, the Zoot Suit Riots, and Blackface?

I would say there isn't too much of a difference between them. They were all points in our human, specifically western, history that were charged with ethnocentric xenophobic hateful bigotry.

The holocaust was an attempted genocide of a significant segment of the European population.

The Zoot Suit Riots were a series of riots that broke out due to differences amongst Amerikan youth, sailors, and marines.

Blackface is an offensive stereotyped caricature of African Americans.

I ask again. What's the difference between the Holocaust, the Zoot Suit Riots, and Blackface?

Nothing. There is no difference. The type of thinking that led to these events is such that

the human race is actually split into various races of varying degrees of genetic advancement

That type of thinking is wrong.

That type of thinking leads to ethnocentrism.

That type of thinking leads to xenophobia.

That type of thinking leads to hate.

That type of thinking leads to bigotry.

That type of thinking, needs to stop.


Read this:


American Anthropological Association Statement on "Race"

20140518

Movie review: The American

This film had everything I like.


Italy.


Action.


Excitement.


Despair.


Stylish dinner jackets.


George Clooney. Seriously George Clooney plays this type of character very well. I cried my heart out at the end of the film.


The thing that I liked most about this film was that it is a tragedy. It follows the American and tells a story of his life and how tragic lonely it is; how a person like him can never be happy, no matter how hard he wants happiness or friendship.


This is a depressing film and I loved it, but I like depressing films. I won't give away any more of the plot but I suggest that you watch it.


It is one of my favorite films and I implore you to consider viewing it.




20140517

Movie Review: The Italian Job


The Italian Job is a fun film. I think that whole reason that I like this film is because they race mini-coopers. If you like mini coopers then check this film out.


Oh and also if you are a fan of Mark Wahlberg then you will probably like this movie.




20140516

Movie Review: Metallica - Through the Never



Here is the rundown of the film, Metallica - Through the Never.


If you like Metallica. You will probably like this film. 'Nuff said. Check it out.




20140515

YouTube PlayList: TED Talk Mind Hacks

Hi. I'd like to share a with you a few of my favorite TED Talks. These videos have the potential of improving your life in some significantly insignificant way.


Improve your memory. Improve your confidence. Increase your happiness.


The choice is yours.
















20140514

Movie review: Gladiator


I recently watched the movie Gladiator, starring Russell Crowe. I find that despite the depictions of barbaric violence it may be brilliant metaphor for our modern times.


In one scene Commodus, the new Roman Emperor, is speaking to his sister, Lucilla, about how the empire really works. They say that although the people don't see the victorious battles they still celebrate the victories for the greatness of Rome.


I find this fascinating because I believe it to be metaphor for our modern Amerikan society. Most of us do not see the battles that our military fights yet we as a society celebrate those victories because we believe that they are for the greater good of our nation.


Why do we believe that?


When you watch a film that has a clear distinction between good and evil, just and unjust, which side do you take? Does that hold true to your convictions and support of real life?


20140513

Movie review: Drive

This film had everything I like.


Cars.


Action.


Excitement.


Despair.


Stylish Henley t-shirts, jackets, and leather driving gloves.


Ryan Gosling.

The thing that I liked most about this film was that it is a tragedy. It follows the Driver character and tells a story of his life and how tragic it is; how a person like him can never be happy, no matter how hard he wants happiness.


This is a depressing film and I loved it, but I like depressing films. I won't give away any more of the plot but I suggest that you watch it.


It is one of my favorite films and I implore you to consider viewing it.




20140512

Sexual Abuse in the Military InfoGraphic

This infographic was sent to me and I want to share it here with you all in recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness Month (which is each year in April).



Military Sexual Abuse
Source: SocialWorkDegreeCenter.com

20140511

Restaurant Review: Los Dos Molinos in South Phoenix

Service


The service was fantastic. Everyone from the restaurant was super friendly and attentive.


Food


I ordered the green chile stew. It was delicious. It was spicy. I loved it. It comes with a side of rice and it is a huge portion. I suggest eating half and taking the rest home to enjoy later.

We also of course had sopaipillas for dessert served with ice cream. Delicious.


Cleanliness


This place was clean.


Value


The price that I paid for the meal was fair.


I would go back every day, except for Monday and Sunday because they are closed. This place reminds me of eating at the most delicious New Mexico restaurants.


on Yelp


on Urban Spoon


on Google+

20140510

Book review: How to Win Friends and Influence People

This is a great book to help you better understand how to speak to people and to win them to your cause because it is far better to get a person to want to do something than it is to make the defensive. I learned quite a bit by reading it and I apply its lessons of genuinely finding something to appreciate in people everyday.

It's available on Amazon.com

20140509

Book Review: The Ten Day MBA

If you can read this book in ten days then you will have unlocked the secrets of all of the top business schools. The information contained within this book's pages is good stuff. If you are considering an MBA or would like to learn some of the basic principles taught at business school then I suggest that you purchase this book, read it, and apply the principles that it teaches.

It is available on Amazon.com and probably any other book store with a business or self-help section.


The Ten-Day MBA 4th Ed.: A Step-By-Step Guide To Mastering The Skills Taught In America's Top Business Schools

20140508

Book review: Math Doesn't Suck

This is a great book to give to that special young kid lady in your life to help encourage her to do well in math. It is available on Amazon.com and probably for free at your local library. I highly recommend it.


Math Doesn't Suck: How to Survive Middle School Math Without Losing Your Mind or Breaking a Nail

20140507

Product review: Sugru

This stuff is so cool. I used it to attach a clip to my Sansa Clip and as bumpers for my laptop. You really need to watch the video to get a good idea of what Sugru is and what it does. It is available for sale on Amazon.com.


Sugru SMLT8 Hardware Sealer, Multi Color, 8-Pack





20140506

Book review: Empowered

The Empowered comic / graphic novel is a fun book to read. I picked it up as a suggestion from Comic Book Girl 19's YouTube channel. I was not as pleased with it as I thought I would be but I would encourage you to watch the video and then maybe if it seems appealing to you go out and get the book. It is available on Amazon.com and wherever comic books are discussed.


Empowered, Vol. 1

20140505

Product review: Fisher Space Pen

The Fisher Space Pen bullet is my favorite pen. I use it almost exclusively and it pairs nicely with my Field Notes memo books.

The pen is especially cool because it can even write upside down.

It is available on Amazon.com and wherever gimmicky pens are sold.


fisher space pen

20140504

Product review: Anti-Monopoly

The Anti-Monopoly Board Game is a hoot and a holler of a good time.

This game is fun in that it reminds me of playing Monopoly but the rules of the game are quite different and it is actually very hard to win at this game.

In this version of the game players play as either a monopolist or as a competitor who each have their own set of rules.

But it is fun to play with friends and if you've got a couple of hours or a couple of beers that you want to work through try this game out.

It is available wherever games are sold and of course on Amazon.com (affiliate link below).

Anti-Monopoly Board Game

20140503

Product review: Field Notes "The Gentlemen's Memo Book Cover"

A highly priced leather cover

I purchased the Field Notes The Gentlemen's Memo Book Cover for myself this past end of year holiday and I love it.

If you like Field Notes then I suggest you try out this Memo Book Cover.

20140502

Restaurant Review: Jam Rock Café & Grill in Downtown Phoenix

1714 W Van Buren St
Phoenix, AZ 85007
Phone number (602) 258-1155


Service

Our server was nice and ensured that we had everything we needed.


Food

I ordered the jerk chicken with the fried corn bread, steamed vegetables, and a side of french fries. My beverage was a glass of water with lemon slices. The chicken was good; it was appropriately seasoned. The corn bread was good; it had a sweet cinnamon taste to it. The steamed veggies were good but it was mostly cabbage.


Cleanliness

This place recently opened within the last two weeks so obviously the dining area was very clean. The silverware was wrapped in the napkins in a quirky way.


Value

The price that I paid for the meal was fair.


I would go back.


on Yelp

on Urban Spoon
Jam Rock Café & Grill on Urbanspoon

20140501

Restaurant Review: Arts All American Cafe in Downtown Phoenix

1724 W Van Buren
Phoenix, AZ 85007
Phone number (602) 258-1155
artscafe.us



Service

Our server was very nice and ensured that we had everything we needed.



Food

I ordered the all-you-can-eat catfish. I ate one plate. It was served with tarter sauce, cocktail sauce, and a side of french fries. The fries were good. They had a good texture to them. The outside of the fries were nice and crispy the inside was soft, almost like mashed potatos.
The iced coffee was good.



Cleanliness

The dining area was clean.



Value

I think the price that I paid for the meal and iced coffee was fair.



Eating at Art's reminds me of eating back home in New Mexico. I would go back.



on Yelp
on Urban Spoon
on Google+

20140401

Sexual Assault Awareness Month

The month of April has been designated Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) in the United States. The goal of SAAM is to raise public awareness about sexual violence and to educate communities and individuals on how to prevent sexual violence.

Learn more here: http://www.nsvrc.org/saam/sexual-assault-awareness-month-home

20140304

My letter to the Senate RE Patent Trolls

Dear Chairman Leahy, Ranking Member Grassley, Chairman Rockefeller, and Ranking Member Thune:


We, the undersigned, are inventors, entrepreneurs, investors, and concerned citizens. We build, invest in, and use new businesses and technologies. We create jobs and keep our economy moving forward.


We urge you to push forward and support comprehensive legislation that tackles the growing problem of patent trolls: entities that prey on businesses, inventors, and end users. Patent trolls take advantage of vague patents and the exorbitant costs of litigation (from discovery costs to lawyers and court fees) to extort money from America’s businesses. And it’s not just large companies that face this threat. In fact, the majority of companies targeted by patent trolls have less than $10 million in revenue. When small businesses face dubious multimillion dollar lawsuits, our innovation economy suffers.


In December, the House took a significant step in passing the Innovation Act with an inspiring, bipartisan majority of 325-91, and the President followed by stating his intention to sign the bill.


Now we are calling on the Senate to follow the House, and the President, and pass a bill that addresses the real dangers of our patent troll problem. The proposed S. 1720 contains strong transparency provisions and will rein in bad-faith demand letters. Though less comprehensive than the Innovation Act, it is an important first step, and it should be moved forward immediately together with other pending Senate bills.


We need to increase transparency in the litigation process, starting with demand letters and patent ownership; we need to control the costs of litigation by, when appropriate, shifting fees and limiting expensive discovery; we need better programs for challenging bad patents; and we need to protect end-users and consumers.


The patent troll problem affects us all—from those of us who create technologies, to those who use and invest in them. We expect a patent system that encourages innovation, and we rely on a robust innovation economy unimpeded by toxic litigation. Patent trolls overshadow both needs, so we urge you to pass meaningful, bipartisan patent reform that will strengthen and protect American innovation.


Sincerely,




Join me in calling on the Senate to pass strong, bipartisan patent reform https://trollingeffects.org/join via @trollingeffects

20140222

Product review: Acer laptop

A couple of weeks ago my laptop (an old Lenovo running Lubuntu) was stolen. That meant that I had to buy a replacement.


I bought an Acer Aspire and here is my review.


What I Liked:


  • The price. I paid $300 for it.
  • The size. It is small and light enough to be compact. It is large enough to feel like you're using a full size keyboard.
  • The battery life. It seems like it lasts long enough for me to do all of my #GTD stuff in one sitting.

What I didn't like:


  1. The pre-installed OS was Linpus. Not only was I unfamiliar with Linpus but it was also a text-only interface. I need to have some sort of graphical user interface (GUI) to be able to do stuff. I used my HP Elitebook to download Linux Mint onto a flash drive and I installed that on my new Acer.
  2. The RAM memory was shipped with only 4GB. I bought an 8GB kit and installed it. It runs great.
  3. The touchpad was hard to use at first. It had this weird click function where I'd press down on the touchpad and the whole thing would click. I don't like that. I now use a USB mouse and disabled the touchpad - I like that much better. I also ended up changing the setting that allowed me to use a touchpad like a more normal touchpad where you could tap it and it would register as a click. I like that better than the default setting.



Find your very own HP Elitebook on Amazon.com:


HP EliteBook 8470p Intel Core i5 3230M(2.60GHz) 4GB Memory 500GB HDD 14.0" Notebook Windows 7 Professional 64-bit

20140209

ASU Football 2013: year in review

This was a fun year for me & Sun Devil football. Aside from sitting behind the world's tallest ASU fan (not pictured), it was a fun year. I liked what I saw from the team and I hope that Coach Graham's staff continue to practice what they preach and serve the ASU football community with honor and integrity.



Sacramento State

5 Sep 2013




It was an easy win for the devils and a fun game. They were wearing my favorite uniform color combination - class maroon with gold helmets and pants.


Wisconsin

14 Sep 2013




Although controversial1 I'm glad for the payback from a few years back in Madison2.


1: ESPN - Wisconsin stumbles on bizarre play


2: ESPN - Jay Valai saves win for Wisconsin with block on extra-point attempt


Stanford

21 Sep 2013


Stanford can play some ball.


USC

28 Sep 2013




This was probably one of my favorite games because it was a good old fashioned butt whooping for a USC team that hadn't lost in Tempe since before Pete Carrol coached there.


Notre Dame

5 Oct 2013




This was such a disappointing game - but only because I hate when Notre Dame wins a football game.


Colorado

12 Oct 2013




Another easy win for ASU; this was not the year of the buffalo.


Washington

19 Oct 2013




UW was hyped up but they fell flat.


Washington State

31 Oct 2013


I did not watch this game, we went out dressed up in search of treats.


Utah

9 Nov 2013


I did not watch this game.


Oregon State

16 Nov 2013




Another good time at Sun Devil Stadium!


UCLA

23 Nov 2013




I watched most of this game on TV and it was great to see ASU win the PAC12 South Championship.


Arizona

30 Nov 2013




This was a great game because ASU led the entire game and there was little if anything that the #Mildcat fans had to cheer about.


Stanford

7 Dec 2013


Stanford was such a good team this year. They played a complete game.


Texas Tech

30 Dec 2013


Not sure what happened here. Texas Tech showed up to win a football game.


Find your own ASU Football jersey on Amazon.com