Dec 31, 2010

A tradition continues :o)

Today was nice.

I picked my Mom up and we went out for a great lunch at a local Mexican restaurant, Margaritas included :o)  Then it was off to the movies.  What did we see, Disney's Tangled.  Why you might ask?

Since high school, I am the only one that will take my Mom to a Disney movie.  It has become a nice mother-son bonding experience, and now that she lives here again, we have resumed our tradition.

While not movies I would pick now (used to take the kidlets to these types of movies, but that was quite a few years back), we always have fun, and frankly, they do a pretty good job these days.  There are just enough references and jabs added that are at an adult level that you chuckle throughout the movie.

This is a tradition that I will happily continue for many years :o)

Dec 29, 2010

Irish Victory :o)

One of the gifts that Ken Beth got for Christmas was tickets to four home ND Men's Basketball Games.  Tonight was the first game, with the #15, 11-1 Irish taking on the #9, 11-1 Hoyas.

logo  Notre Dame 69, Georgetown 55   logo

Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center

Go Irish!

Dec 28, 2010

From Certifiable to Certified :o)

It has been a challenging couple of weeks with getting ready for vacation, training, and Christmas, but it paid off today.  After a four hour exam with 200 questions, 70 of which I marked as "review", and changing at least 10 of those, I clicked the "End Exam" button.....

And as my heart rate increased with each end of exam survey question I answered (damn you testing place!), I got the sequel server twirling circle, and then there it was "CONGRATULATIONS".

Over the next week, I hope to get back to regular blogging.

Dec 12, 2010

Bucko's Bucks - Holiday Tipping

Do you spread the wealth during the holidays?

I know we do, we have already purchased our gift cards for our mailman, garbage man, recycle man, UPS guy, and newspaper man.

Don't leave your dedicated carrier out of the holiday cheer :o)

Click Here

Sunday Silliness - Whining :o)

Dec 10, 2010

Going Underground - Talk at you next year

I have a lot going on right now at work; 90 day improvement plans, training, studying to get my Project Management Professional Certification (test is on the 28th of December), holidays and such.  So, in an effort to reduce potential stress, I am going to not post here (except my pre-loaded Sunday silliness entries), and my reading of your blogs and comments will be severely restricted.  Hoping all have happy holidays and a great new year.

Dec 9, 2010

Happiness Factors, Do You Have Them?

In 1960, Jung was interviewed by journalist Gordon Young, who asked, "What do you consider to be more or less basic factors making for happiness in the human mind?" Jung answered:
"1. Good physical and mental health.
2. Good personal and intimate relationships, such as those of marriage, the family, and friendships.
3. The faculty for perceiving beauty in art and nature.
4. Reasonable standards of living and satisfactory work.
5. A philosophic or religious point of view capable of coping successfully with the vicissitudes of life."

 I'm Happy, How About You?

Dec 8, 2010

Science Scene - Space Plane, Who Knew?

All good top secret robotic space plane test missions must come to an end, and so it goes for the Air Force's X-37B, otherwise known as the Orbital Test Vehicle 1 (OTV-1). After seven months of thrilling amateur satellite watchers with its shifting orbital flight patterns and making China nervous, the X-37B is back on the ground.

The X-37B, an unmanned robotic space plane that has been in orbit since April 22, is described by the military as a means to test new materials and sensors in space and otherwise conduct longer unmanned missions in orbital space (the plane is designed to spend up to nine months in orbit). Like the Space Shuttles, the X-37B is reusable, landing on a terrestrial runway automatically at the end of its missions.

Unlike the shuttles, the mysterious Air Force project is not designed to carry human crews. At 29 feet 3 inches, it's not very big (and kind of hard to spot in orbit) but boasts a payload bay that can ferry experiments (or anything else) into space cheaply and quickly.

Have to say this was a pretty well kept secret, I did not know anything about it.  Some secrets are safe from Wikileaks :o)

Dec 7, 2010

Science Scene - Oyster Shell Recycling

Recycling, it turns out, is not reserved for inanimate objects. An increasingly popular Chesapeake Bay program is sending oyster shells collected from restaurants, which save the shells from customers' meals, back into the bay, where they form homes for new oysters.

Oysters have been harvested to dangerously low levels.  Oysters also serve as natural water filters— on oyster capable of filtering four gallons of water per hour.

So an alliance formed that began collecting shells from local restaurants and returning them to the bay. Now one year old, the Oyster Recovery Partnership Shell Recycling Alliance has at least 50 participating establishments in the Maryland-Virgina-DC area and has collected nearly two million oyster shells in that short time—enough to plant potentially more than 20 million oysters back into the bay in the next year.

Sounds like a win-win to me.

Dec 6, 2010

Are You Committed?

Commitment: that “subtle little thing” that is not such a “little thing.”  We know when we have it; we know when we don’t.  

Commitment means we get people to get results for their own reasons verses compliance, which means we get others to do things for our reasons.  Some people call it getting “buy in.”  Some people ask, “How do I empower my team?”  

The answer again; commitment! Committed people get more results, more efficiently, with fewer mistakes, while building better relationships, inspiring higher levels of trust, and communicating more effectively.  Committed people also respond to feedback better, have greater accountability, they enjoy what they are doing and also enjoy working with others in the process.  

How do we get ourselves committed and stay committed? How do we engage others to get committed and then build on their level of commitment? 

Dec 4, 2010

Just in time for Christmas

Now, with the Crayola Crayon Maker, kids over can take their left over crayon bits and create wild new colors with the use of a 60 watt light bulb.
It works like this – the tiny crayon nubs are placed into the melting tray and allowed to melt down. Two color combinations can be done at once and when ready can be poured down into 4 crayon molds.
If you have young kids, relatives, or grandkids, this may just be the cats meow :o)

Dec 3, 2010

Beer - Going to the Dogs?

Kwispelbier (which means tail-wagging in Dutch) is brewed from a special blend of beef extracts and malt, giving it the smooth & meaty lager taste that dogs love so much. A spokesman for the brewery says it's marketed as, "A beer for your best friend..."
The beer is non-alcoholic.
Now, we just need to find a way to have them earn money, because there is no way I am supporting animal beer habits :o)

Dec 2, 2010

Dwell or Move On, It Is Your Choice :o)

How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. We all know the saying, but we often fail to apply this lesson in our lives. If you view the elephant as one giant goal that your whole life depends on, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. Why not enjoy the bites along the way?  I know that this is one of my personal strengths, taking an issue and breaking it into parts and tackling the parts.  I keep the bigger picture in mind, and have two-second celebrations along the way.

However, if the elephant is something that has annoyed, angered, or upset us, and we are ruminating on it, enjoying bites along the way can be counter-productive.  "Studies show that dwelling on irritating feelings and episodes amplifies their power in our minds -- a real source of unhappiness. If I take a moment deliberately to distract myself from bad feelings, I help alleviate them." -- Gretchin Rubin, The Happiness Project.

I know that I am not one to dwell on things that have annoyed or angered me.  Depending on the size of the issue, it is a matter of talking/thinking it out in a matter of minutes or hours, or over a period of days.  Once I have made my decision, then it as "hasta la vista" to the ruminating and dwelling.  Time to move on and tackle a worthy elephant.

How do you deal with the elephants in your life?

Dec 1, 2010

Science Scene - CFL or LED?

Not yet made the transition from incandescent to compact fluorescent, no worries - LED is on the horizon.

For years we have been watching as LED technology has improved and the cost of LED replacement bulbs has gotten lower and lower. Compact fluorescent bulbs have become commonplace, which has been instrumental in saving energy and lowering electricity costs for millions of consumers. But still, we've been waiting for LEDs to reach the point where they start being widely used. And now, it looks like that point may be here.

By the middle of 2011, a new 12-watt LED bulb from Osram Sylvania is scheduled to be available from all Lowes stores.

The Osram Sylvania Ultra A-Line LED bulb produces 810 lumens. This compares quite well with a standard 60 watt bulb (the one I checked is listed at 830 lumens). The LED bulb uses 12 watts, versus the 60 watt incandescent, wich is an 80% energy savings. And the LED bulb should last 25 times as long as a conventional bulb.

The biggest remaining question will be consumer acceptance. Does the LED bulb provide an adequate distribution of light, without the "hot spots" and dim areas characteristic of some earlier LED bulbs? And, is the color rendering of the LED good enough to make it an acceptable substitute for an aincandescent bulb? The A-line bulb has a color temperature of 2700 Kelvin and a color-rendering index (CRI) of 91. (An incandescent bulb has a perfect value of 100.) Most fluorescent bulbs have a CRI ranging from the low 50s to the high 80s, so the quality of the light should be quite good.