Doing More With Less Since 1972

Tag: ideas (Page 1 of 2)

Daily Reading List — January 5th

Lance Armstrong considering publicly admitting he used performance-enhancing drugs – My sources tell me if they'll throw in a beer coozie and two free tickets to the state fair, he'll also admit "water is wet". #obvious

DIY Edible Cookie Bra That’s Made From A Mold Of You – via @laurabower And with this, we've reached the pinnacle of Western Civilizations. Time to pack it up and head home.

crayon creatures – figurines from children’s drawings – Pricey, but cool. Hanging on to the kids' drawings and jump into the market when the price drops a little. With 3-D printing, this should get pretty cheap fast.

How Cbeyond Created a Spark in its Yammer Community – Awsum ideas here. I especially like the daily tips, and I think it's important that these come from different people!

2013 Bucket List

The only thing I can think of that I’d really like to do is rent a Brazilian steak restaurant for a night.

I don’t mean I want to have them close their doors so that my guests and I will be the only ones dining there.

I mean I want to go there for dinner, eat until I get the meat sweats, then crawl under the table using a tablecloth as a blanket and sleep until the next morning.

When I wake up I can start eating again.

Your Gateway To The Pocket Chainsaw and More

Pocket Chainsaw – Genius! Please develop a pocket band saw and forklift as well please.

A Marathon of Measurements – I’m glad someone wants to do this. Wish there were more of these guys.

2:16 Marathoner Says He Can Break 2:00 – If he didn’t have to work. I could do it too…if I didn’t weight 200 lbs, had a coach and dietitian, and more flexibility in my hips. Oh yeah, I’d like a shoe sponsor as well. Geesh.

Custom themes in Gmail – Add photos to your gmail theme…cool!

The Libraries, Studies, and Writing Rooms of 15 Famous Men – Counting down the days to the time when I will take the room I want for my office!

Choose, Lace, and Replace Your Running Shoes Based on How You Run – Hopefully this will make a bigger difference than the podiatrist did.

Twitter moves toward the news system of the future – Or, as it is known in many circles, Google+

Better With Age – This is comforting

Thinking of going this route – FIRST marathon training plan

Never-before-seen photos from 100 years ago tell vivid story of gritty New York City – Awsum.

A Simple, Responsive, Mobile First Navigation

Google Semantic Search: Bad for SEO, Good for You – Make your SEO money now!

Some Things That Aren’t The Same

People seem to get a lot of things that are similar confused and are unable to differentiate between them. I’ve noticed what ends up happening is that there’s a lot of confusion, faulty political identification, and grammar errors as a result. In no particular order, here are some things I’m aware of that aren’t the same:

  • congruent and equal
  • there, their, and they’re
  • momentum and force
  • libertarianism and objectivism
  • your and you’re (I won’t even bother to include “ur”)
  • profit and profit margin
  • country and western
  • learning and taking a course
  • VAT and Fair Tax
  • Java and Javascript
  • rugby and Aussie Rules Football
  • Hitler and anybody else you can think of
  • rich and wealthy
  • deduction and rebate
  • parenting and having kids
  • revenue and income
  • needs and wants
  • scotch and bourbon
  • it’s and its
  • solutions and fixes
Feel free to add your own or correct any I’ve listed here in the comments.

Another Daggum Link Dump!

‘Blue Christmas’ drug bust targets illegal prescription drug sales in Brevard – Big day tomorrow for mugshots!

Tools vs insight – I am Jack’s complete astonishment that Seth Godin can come up with these amazing posts for his blog on a daily basis. I would read it in a box, and I would read it with a fox.

Does Beer Affect Your Training? – I was warned not to read this, but I did anyway. Dammit.

Rethinking the Value of the Brick Run for Long Course Triathlon – And here I was thinking I was bucking the system by doing “rested bricks” on the weekends. Sounds like I may have been on to something.

How to Make a Citizen’s Arrest – Yes!

If Everyone Else is Such an Idiot, How Come You’re Not Rich? – Atlantic Mobile – Great article from someone who is NOT an idiot.

Stop Trying to Coach People Who Shouldn’t Be Coached! – This applies to so many people in so many situations. And I’ve been all four of these people at one time or another as well. I try my best to be coachable though.

Proper Pacing for Your Best Run – I’ve always just used HR control on the bike and tried to build a good run with negative splits with whatever I had left. There are some good ideas here I could definitely use to improve at different distances.

Cuba Libre! – Check out @hungrymother featured in this article!

A Food Label That Actually Teaches You About Food – There should be a “nom nom” graph on there somewhere too.

If I Ran The Band-Aid Factory

I’m sure factories that make Band-Aids have some quality control measures. That means at least some of the products they make never make it to the market.

I wonder what they do with all those cull Band-Aids. I’ll tell you what if do if i was the king of the Band-Aid factory…

It’d sell those irregular Band-Aids.

I’d charge about 60% of what high grade bandages go for, and I’d market them as “sympathy-aids.” It wouldn’t matter if they weren’t sterile, or if they were shaped funny, or if they had pictures of Dora without hair.

They’d be perfect for kids who get psychological comfort out of a band aid even if they don’t need one. Also, ever notice how all your kids want a Band-Aid every time one of the other kids gets one? Just give them one of the defective ones out of the cheap box. They won’t know the difference, and BAM! you save 30%!

Less wasted product for their manufacturer, and more money for the kids’ college funds…it’s win/win!

** UPDATE **

Thanks @MichaelSilence for the link love. And he made me think…what if you put a few seconds in the box with the premiums? That way parents could make a game-day call as to whether or not the wound needed a real bandage or just a psychological one.

You know what would be awsum? A Broadway version of “The Itchy and Scratchy Show”.

They already have the catchiest theme song in history. Let’s make this happen!

January 28th through February 17th

I haven’t had a chance to read as much lately, but here’s some stuff I’ve really liked. Hope to pick up the content consumption rate again soon!

Telecommuting: Transparency and Fluidity – I expect this to become more and more the norm. I’d also be interested in knowing what the typical turnover rate is for telecommuters. My guess is that it is significantly lower than turnover for traditional office workers. Then again, the current economy may not provide the best sample set.

Why Are You People Defending Apple? – Word. All of your applications, the content they contain, and their means of distribution are belong to us.

Chrissie Wellington on Sports Addiction – I’m more of a binger right now. I used to be a daily addict, and I plan on relapsing once again when it fits my schedule.

Why Fiverr Is Great for Online Entrepreneurs – Some good ideas here for saving money. I’m cheap.

Triathlon Is a Stupid Sport – Charlie is not a fan. I LOL’d at most of this article. Parts were funny because they are so ridiculous. Other parts were funny because they are so true.

Creating a Reading Christmas Tradition

Ana and I were discussing how cool the idea of a Book on Every Bed idea is last night, and came up with another idea. Now, we come up with all kinds of crazy ideas–some pan out, and some don’t–but this is one we hope we are able to establish in our family.

We will definitely be doing Book on Every Bed while our kids are small, but we hope we are able to continue a variation of that idea long after our children are grown. We’re going to start this year with one another. Here’s the idea:

Give every member of your family a book at Christmas. This isn’t their Christmas gift(s), just a little added something. It can be a book that you’ve read over the past year and enjoyed, a book you think they’d like, a book you want to read at the same time they read it so you can discuss…whatever reason you want. And it doesn’t have to be a freshly purchased book from the bookstore. Buy a used book. Give them a book you’ve finished. You can even check out books for them at the library. When you’re living in the same house together, you can just pull one right off the bookshelf and wrap it up!

Sure, it’s for the kids, right? Well, yeah. But I also want to learn the things they are learning as they grow up, and I want to continue to glean knowledge off of them when they are adults. So while they will definitely benefit, I really want to start this tradition for completely selfish reasons! 😛

Hosting a Kid’s Christmas Party? Include a Book Swap!

If you are hosting or attending a Christmas party geared towards kids this year, consider having them do a book exchange as gifts. You can set a limit on the cost of the books, or even make it a “used only” swap that let’s the kids exchange books they’ve either read the requisite 1,000,000 times or haven’t been that interested in. You can do this with several variations.

For mixed ages, you can do a name draw beforehand and let them exchange books “Secret Santa” style, making sure each child gets an age appropriate book they’ll be interested in. If all the kids are older (i.e. mature enough to handle it) you can even do a White Elephant gift exchange, allowing gifts to be stolen as the game progresses.

If you’re having a party for pre-schoolers, have each child bring a wrapped book to the party and attach letters to the packages with post-it notes as they arrive. When it’s time for the gifts to be opened, let each child draw a letter from a hat and match it to their gift. Opening all of the books at the same time instead of individually may help you avoid some meltdowns since they’ll more than likely be focused on their own book and not on what someone else has.

For a twist, have each child bring two books to the party–one for their friends and another to be donated to a local library, book drive, or other charitable organization.

A Book On Every Bed

Here’s a great idea–make sure a book is the first thing your children unwrap on Christmas morning!

The easiest way to do that is to make sure Santa leaves the book at the foot of their bed. I can’t imagine even the most anxious kid being able to pass up the opportunity to unwrap the first gift they see on Christmas morning.

Start a tradition: My hope is that other families will enjoy a tradition that revolves around reading together. I further hope that librarians, teachers, bookstore owners and literacy advocates spread this idea as far and wide as it will go, making it possible for any family that wants a child to receive a book to get one.

Cutting Back on Screen Time

From today’s Tennessean, Dr. Frank Boehm calls for replacing t.v. time with book time:

If we began to encourage our children to replace screen time with reading books, they would be more able to counter ignorance in themselves and others by being able to enter conversa­tions with real facts rather than sound bites from television programs and the Internet.

I won’t pretend our kids don’t watch any television. They do. But we’ve found it easier to limit their tube time by getting rid of cable and only using a Roku player to stream Netflix. This allows us to limit what they see to very specific programs and zero commercials. An added benefit of using only a streaming player is that when a show ends, it’s over. There aren’t any “Coming up next…” announcements. Pea usually gets up and turns the television off when her show ends, saying, “We don’t watch t.v. all day.”

It’s been good for us (the parents) as well. We watch considerably less television now. Gone are the days of flipping through channels looking for something to watch. The only time the television is on at our house is when we sit down to watch a specific movie or an episode or two of a television program we’re streaming after the kids’ bed time. If you thought DVD was the best way to watch a series, you should try streaming it!

Again, no commercials, and we spend a lot more time reading and talking than we do staring at a screen.

We’re also saving a ton of money. For the cost of one month of cable we were able to buy the streamer to connect to the television, and Netflix is less than $10 per month. Cutting cable completely may not work for every family, especially if you like to watch sports live, but we love it!

Image Credit

My Next Great Idea – The USPS Stimulus Package

After reading this article on the USPS losing $8.5 B (yes, that’s $500 million AFTER THE DECIMAL PLACE!). With all the hyperbole over evil corporations, at least their management has to answer to shareholders…at least they have to answer to someone. I was talking about it with a couple of people on Twitter:

[blackbirdpie id=”3124711739363328″]

[blackbirdpie id=”3116082235711488″]


Obviously, they aren’t huge fans. Come on…what’s a few billion amongst friends? But then I saw these articles about the Swedes storing emails and texts and our own government  getting ready to grace us with an Internet Czar and a light bulb went off…

USPS Stimulus package!

Just set up (yet another) federal agency to track and log every single piece of electronic communication. This will have the (un)intended consequence of forcing…err…encouraging people to go back to sending coded messages through the USPS and hoping they are delivered within a few days. Think of how many USPS jobs this could save or create!

I’m The Mayor Of Snoozville

But I may have some competition soon, because Foursquare is on the fast road to becoming the most boring, why-do-I-need-this app around. Ditto for every other location based check in app.

However, I have some ideas that would make these apps way better. I only do solution formulation, not implementation…

1) Allow custom groups

Example: The guys on my rugby team could start a group that allows people to check in to training sessions and matches at the different venues we use. You could even give bonus points for making both weekly training sessions, the match, and the after match social. Tie start times in as well. This would encourage people to not only show up to get their coveted attendance badge, but also to show up on time (big issue with rugby players).

2) Allow people to throw their support behind a mayoral candidate

Example: Let’s say I go to the gym four days a week, but I can’t oust the mayor of the local YMCA because he goes 11 times, five of those being just to shower before work in the morning so he doesn’t have to use his own hot water. It would be cool if I could rally The Missus and a workout partner to throw 1/2 of their check in points towards my campaign. This would encourage people who go to the same venues often to socialize with other people who attend a lot. It would also encourage competing factions, branded t-shirts, and eventually a #4sq civil war.

3) Custom badges

It’s 2010, and there still isn’t a “Mayor of Your Mom” badge. Where are our priorities? Put the community to work building new badges and throw them out on a badge marketplace. Let the usage of the users (they could give negative karma to a badge they don’t like/want) decide which badge getting missions are worthy of surviving.

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