What RSS reader are you using now that Google Reader is dead?

I’m curious about what RSS reader my readers are using now that Google Reader is dead?

I’m finding Digg coming up with interesting content. A good mixture of Digg’s legacy of original content, along with an RSS reader.

For looks for me, it’s got to be Feedly! I almost forgot about it, until the other day I was looking through my Lastpass database and came across it. Logged in, then thought, “Wow, this is sure pretty!”.

What are you using?

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This habit of sitting on my ass.

I’ve slowly been developing a habit over time. It is a habit that will kill me over time.

It’s me sitting on my ass.

Everyday, in my job, I sit on my ass. For 9 hours.

Then, I get into my car, and sit on my ass on the drive home.

I get a small reprieve while I get the kids off to bed, clean up their tornado.

Then, I’m tired. And sit on my ass until bed.

What did I used to do?

I would put on my night lights, throw my leg over my mountain bike, and go ride. At least twice a week!

Over the last 6 months, it has got down to once every couple of weeks. The rides are getting shorter, I exert myself less, and I am getting fat.

Currently I’m the heaviest I’ve been in my entire life! 205 pounds! I’m usually between 185 to 195 pounds, and fit. Not now.

This post is my ‘public shaming’. I’ve got to make a change.

So, I’m doing something that I hope will motivate my round bottom…I got a used bike frame! Much like some people that get a gym membership, or a treadmill to hopefully get off the couch, a new(ish) mountain bike can do that for me!

Here it is, in all it’s glory…I’m not religious, but I pray that this will help me get back on track again…Single track that is.

May this help me get back on the trails again...

May this help me get back on the trails again…

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Seems Reasonable…

seems_reasonable
My Sigg bottle top is getting gross. But like most things, getting parts for something is difficult. Why not just throw it away and get a new one, right?

Not me, my friend…

So off to eBay I go to find a deal…

Seems like shipping costs may have gone up? haha

What is IFTTT? For my friends that keep losing their photos…

I’m always surprised to hear from my friends (mostly on Facebook), that they lost all their photos, contacts, data on their phones when they dropped them in the tub, toilet, washing machine…

But then I am reminded that when I mention cloud computing and backups, a lot of them look at me with a blank deer in headlights look. I suppose I understand, as the saying, “store it up in the cloud”, can create some confusion! Recently a relative of mine asked where this cloud was located? In space? It does sound virtual, doesn’t it? Wouldn’t it be awesome to have your photo backups located out in space?? Yes. Yes it would…

Boring Building
Source – http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/google-councilbluffs-datace.jpg

Sadly, technology is not quite there, and cloud backups are located in large warehouses like this one. How it all works is much like magic (Sorry, no magic, but epic programmers that are as smart as magicians). Most consumers really don’t need to know too much about how our data gets backed up, as much as we need to trust that it has been!

For anyone that has a digital camera, backing up your photos & videos is an important part of protecting those precious moments with your kids, family, and friends. It only takes one slip up and your slippery iPhone is at the bottom of the lake, together with the now destroyed processor. Good luck retrieving the data on there!

If you have not heard of online storage, today is the day you should learn more about it! I could point you to multiple services, and go through the pros & cons of them all, but I’m just not going to do that…There are just too many! I’d recommend a service that will be big enough to be in business for years…If you spend some time setting up an automated backup (or even manually backing up your data), it is important that they stick around a while! A few that come to mind are Dropbox, Evernote, Box.net, and Google Drive.

How long is long enough? That is a good question! Many people feel that we are in a heap of trouble as time goes on, in that we are relying on online digital backup services to stay in business so we can retrieve our data 20 years from now. Seem like a long time in the future? Tell that to your kids or grandkids when they want to see into their past, and ALL your photos are digital, and you didn’t backup the 100+Gb of photos that accumulated in the various services you were using two decades earlier…A photo album seems a bit silly today, but I have pictures 50 years old still that will probably survive another 50 years for my kids. So the moral of the story is to choose your backup service wisely, and make it as mindless and automated as possible…

Now onto how to make your backups simple…ifttt

You need to set it up, and not have to think about it again!

That’s where ifttt.com comes in! It is a site to automate your digital life! It can do so many different things for you, I can’t even begin to describe how helpful it is.

For instance, I get a daily text message with the weather, as well as when it is scheduled to rain tomorrow so I can get kids’ rain gear ready. It backs up all my photos I take with my phone automatically to Dropbox, then in turn, that backup is backed-up to Box, and Evernote. I have it email Craigslist searches for items I’m looking for. I get up to date emails for Reddit posts, I have it forward any public posts I do on Google+ and push it to Twitter, then Facebook. Hell, if I lose my phone, I can email ifttt and it will make my phone ring! Helpful as well as crucial.

Instead of spending an entire post on how to set it up, just go to ifttt.com and set up an account. It is extremely easy to set up, and you won’t be one of those friends that posts on Facebook that they lost all their photos!

Birthday Surprise! Beer of the Day – McEwan’s Scotch Ale

McEwansMy wife and I went out for a date tonight to celebrate my birthday! We went to a nice restaurant called the Mahle House, thanks to my mother-in-law getting us a gift certificate for Christmas!

The best part of the dinner was that I decided to treat myself by getting a beer, which I typically never do when we go out. To my surprise, on the menu, was my very favourite beer, McEwan’s!

Back in the early 90′s my good friend Dave and I went camping on the West Coast of Vancouver Island in a place called Tofino. It’s beautiful! Trust me when I say if you ever want to visit Canada, Tofino & Long Beach are a must stop on your trip.

Anyhow, when we were setting up our trip, we didn’t have a cooler, and needed to find beer that we could drink warm on the beach. The guy at the beer store suggested McEwan’s. Ever since I’ve had such fond memories of my times camping there, and have considered it one of my favourites.

That is until a couple of years ago, when I was told that this Scottish classic wasn’t being imported into Canada anymore.

That is until I saw it on the menu today, on my birthday!

What a great birthday present for me. :)

A Football Coach teaching Tolerance and Inclusiveness

Today I was moved by an article I read over at Delancey Place. The excerpt speaks for itself, so I won’t go into too much of the content, as I recommend going there to read it for yourself.

Having grown up in a hockey & football focused high school, I have a pre-conceived notion of what the boys were raised to be like by their coaches. I ran into aggressive, sometimes violent classmates that loved to fight, intimidate, and gang up on other kids that were not part of their small circle of like minded friends. Being a soccer player, into trumpet, and having friends in drama, I was a target myself of bullying. Luckily for me, I had an athletic streak, and had a way to talk myself out of getting the shit kicked out of me. Many other kids were not so lucky…

When I read this article, all I could think about was how I wished that this coach’s program would be taught as a mandatory course in all high schools! I was blown away…And, I really questioned some of my beliefs on why I lump everyone involved in these sports into the same box. This coach seems amazing!

Here is a short part of the excerpt. Click through the link at the bottom to read the entire article.

In today’s encore selection — as reported by Pulitzer Prize winning author Jeffrey Marx in Season of Life: A Football Star, a Boy, a Journey to Manhood. Gilman High School in Maryland has a highly successful football team. And its coaches have a few unusual rules — such as an ironclad rule that no Gilman football player should ever let another Gilman boy — teammate or not — eat lunch by himself. And the requirement that players constantly base their thoughts and actions on one simple question: What can I do for others?:

“What happened that first day at Gilman [High School] was entirely unlike anything normally associated with high school football. It started with the signature exchange of the Gilman football program — this time between [head coach] Biff [Poggi] and the gathered throng of eighty boys, freshmen through seniors, who would spend the next week practicing together before being split into varsity and junior varsity teams.

” ‘What is our job?’ Biff asked on behalf of himself, Joe, and the eight other assistant coaches.

” ‘To love us,’ most of the boys yelled back. The older boys had already been through this routine more than enough times to know the proper answer. The younger boys, new to Gilman football, would soon catch on.

” ‘And what is your job?’ Biff shot back.

‘To love each other,’ the boys responded.

“I would quickly come to realize that this standard exchange — always initiated by Biff or [defensive coach] Joe [Ehrmann] — was just as much a part of Gilman football as running or tackling…

Click to continue to read the full excerpt!

Smartening up where my Remember The Milk (RTM) lists are concerned!

Remember the milkI have been a Remember the Milk & GTD user for a few years now. I absolutely love the marriage between them and their efficencies. Having said that, I have a confession to make. I find I am now starting to ignore GTD as a productivity tool, and it is not Remember the Milk’s fault! The fault lies solely on me. I’m getting lazy and complacent…

One thing that GTD doesn’t seem to address for me, is what happens when my lists, tasks, and projects become just like me. Burnt out… Overwhelmed… Scattered…

The solution is sitting right in front of me. I am a horrible weekly review user! Horrible! In fact, I can’t recall the last time I did a weekly review… I have gone from location and context specific lists, to simply sticking my tasks into a calendar type thought process. I mentally figure out when I want to attempt to complete the task, and add a due date to the task. Then the day comes up, and I don’t bother doing it as I have put too many random things to happen all on the same day. Did this really need to be done today? Ya, probably not. Just hit postpone, that’ll get rid of it…

GTD says not to rely on calendars for that reason! It is about tasks that I may want to do, to ones that need to be done on a certain day…

A quick online search brought me to http://hamberg.no/gtd/ with a short GTD review to help get me back in focus…

Here is a snippet from the article discussing the Calendar.

Calendar

calendar_picThe calendar is for things you have to do on a certain date or at a certain time, and nothing else! That’s right; no putting “install Bonzibudddy” on your calendar for next Wednesday if you just think you want to have it done then.

But… why‽

By only having items which really are time and date sensitive on your calendar it will be more useful, since it will actually tell you the things you have to do a certain day without being “diluted” with other items. The thing you want to do, but that doesn’t need to be done at a certain time will be on your next actions list any way, so you will be reminded about it and have the chance to do it anyway.

So, it is time for me to start asking a better question of myself when I have a new task…It is not going to be “When do I want to start this task? And, when do I want to be reminded to start this task?” It needs to be, “What is the next action step for this task, and in what context do I need it to be part of?” If it has a due date, I’ll apply it, but other than that, I need to develop the mentality that my contexts lists need to be trusted!

This week, I am going to do a weekly review, for the first time in probably 6 months! And, I’m going to re-jig all my tasks to be tagged with their appropriate context. And then?

Well, stop looking at my due dates & reminders for my Next Action Lists, and start looking at the Contexts and Getting Things Done.

Hopefully this tweak will move me from being a complacent GTD’r to a more efficient one!