I love small downtowns. I like vibrant cafes (which iOS insists should be
auto-corrected to cages) and shops and restaurants. The thing is, they need
your money. So if you spend your time chasing a dollar off all time you get
what you asked for: Walmart.
Of course if you like big box stores, crummy restaurants and jobs overseas
then have at it.
If you haven’t tried Facebook Insights yet… do! It’s not as powerful as
many other tools but it’s dead simple. Tweak your page, check to see what
the result was. This isn’t revolutionary but it’s easy which is often even
Country-of-origin labeling (COOL), a 2002 idea that was written into law in the 2008 Farm Bill, is a technical barrier to free trade and therefore violates trade agreements the United States has with other countries including Mexico …
One of the best things you can do for a better life is learn to read food labels. How much sugar is in that anyway? What is corn syrup? Do I need triglycerides (no)?
The World Trade Organization is essentially saying that US consumers don’t need to know where their food comes from.
In Europe the food is clearly marked. You can choose to eat foods locally or not, it’s your decision.
Clearly the lobbyists from China, Canada, and Mexico are embarrassed by comparison with US food products which is truly amazing given how *awful* US agribusinesses are in terms of quality.
Buried below a short discussion of Linden Labs’ Second Life is a good
litmus test described as the milkshake test. It’s very simple: yes,
it’s cool, but what problem does it solve.
Seems like a simple question but look around at all the gadgets and
apps and businesses and you start to wonder. Of course the hard part,
the genius is if you will, is solving a problem people don’t know they
“LAST year I had to have a minor biopsy. Every time I went in for an appointment, I had to fill out a form requiring my name, address, insurance information, emergency contact person, vaccination history, previous surgical history and current medical problems, medications and allergies. I must…
My assumption is that medical care and fitness will receive the attention they deserve in automation and disruptive simplicity.
After that, on to mortgage and escrow companies. Another pit of paper-despair and waste.
We moved back to the US last spring after 3 or so years living in Europe. We liked it there. We moved back for a variety of reasons. We’re not anti-US or anything but we liked the pace of life, the trains, the food better. Someday if life and finances work out we may move back.
On return though we are asked often “are you happy to be back?” and clearly the implication is that of course we would be. And there are some benefits. But honestly? No. Not really. And when we answer truthfully you can see shock and hurt and bewilderment.
So people: don’t ask a question if you don’t want to hear the answer. A much better question “how is the transition” or “what’s your favorite part being back”? Those are easy (hard and family are the respective answers) and we can still be polite.
Living in Europe for a few years taught a valuable lesson: trains are good.
It’s not just that they are more efficient in fuel than cars and that it
reduces traffic and congestion. And you can read or listen to music or even
have a picnic on a train.
The real value is that trains tend to concentrate population. Sure, in
Europe this was either true before and the trains were the after effect or
if trains did cause density then it happened over decades.*
The US could use decent trains. Having us live a little closer leads to
restaurants, shops, pubs, a community. Riding in a train is a communal
activity, you negotiate with people for seats, you politely help people
Rather than roads, spending should be focusing on what will work for the
Interesting rant. Some places are dead on, e.g. don’t worry about the language, all good develops can switch. Some places are obvious: networking is important especially as you move beyond the initial job or two.
But there are good tips here including grooming (which is not as simple as “wear a suit”). Grooming means looking the part and the part can change depending on the audience. Not being defined by your job is another good one although if you figure out how, let me know.
I started this blog with the idea of doing one small thing a month, one habit, one new thing to make my life better, more focused, sharper. That evolved into a fitness blog for that part of my life (http://fitnow.posterous.com). But I am returning to my roots this month.
For November I am going to get in the habit of checking Mint.com daily and categorizing all spending. I have made a sizable amount of money over the years but I live hand to mouth, paycheck to paycheck. I don’t like that. So November is about two things:
1. When you watch and measure things, it gets better. Simply watching my weight tends towards awareness and weight loss. Watching money will make me aware of where we spend it.
2. This should set us up for a budget.
We’ve never had a budget, we just go for it. Every financial guide says have one, my wife says to have one, but I hate the concept. Time to grow up a little. Incrementally.