Amazing to me, China doesn’t really look different then the us

when I was eleven I traveled around the world with my parents for my dad’s job. Back then everything was new and different. Today everything looks like a US city with tall buildings cramming against the sky.

First its amazing that things change that much in the world. You would think that people would want something to stay the same over time but that doesn’t really seem like that it the case.

Its also amazing that China looks so different from what I thought it would be.

day one staring!


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Movies that work

We watched the movie Sunshine Cleaning last night and frankly it was a brilliant movie. I loved the way they brought together the story lines around what people expect and frankly get out of life.

  • The shallow former friends.
  • The father struggling with the fact that this wife left him (a really nice way to put him) alone to raise two girls
  • Two girls that found their mother
  • Add to that a troubled young son and a relationship that should have ended years ago (destructive for both).

In the end the various plot lines tied together nicely to produce an excellent movie. From Julie/Julia to this movie Amy Adams continues to show that she has more range than Hollywood is aware of.

All in all I recommend this as a must see movie!

(PS Netflix – you rock – what a great idea and service).


Time to be thinking, new years resolutions

Last year I had three big goals

  • Lose weight
  • Blog as often as possible
  • Exercise

So its nearing the end of the year – how did I do?

  • 10 pounds lost from Jan 1 to today – hopefully won’t gain it all back on Thanksgiving day
  • 480 blogs for the year (two different blog sites) so nearly a blog a day for the year on both sites.
  • I’ve walked over 600 miles this year

So what are next years goals? Stay tuned!

PS – no reviews today 🙂

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OK one more review but I have to do this one!

Recently I’ve purchased a couple of items online that had issues. Both times I purchased them from Amazon. Now in the past I have purchased items that ended up being defective and have fought with the company for months (not Amazon – traditional retailers) finally giving up my quest for a repaired product (which I suspect was the retailers goal all along).

So i bought a router and a Kindle. Both of them worked but then died. The Kindle after nearly 9 months, the router well within the 30 days of original purchase. I would expect for the router a fairly routine swap, which honestly it was. The person was kind, efficient and got me up and running within 24 hours (shipping my new router overnight). In my book that was great customer service. They even provided a pre-paid UPS label to ship the router back to them – my cost, 0$!

With the kindle, being that it was nine months old – I feared for the worst. Well I have to say the customer service was kind, considerate and I had a new kindle on my doorstop yesterday.

I work in a customer facing, customer service profession and frankly I will be an Amazon customer for a long time now. I will look to Amazon first for anything I want to buy – simply because I know they have my back.

Kudos’s to Amazon support and returns. You guys rock!!!!!

I’ve spent a lot of time over the years complaining about service (EBAY, PAYPAL and Vonage to name a few blogs I’ve posted) but this time I had to post about a great experience.


Touch pcs are they truly the future?

I’ve now played with three different modes of touch pcs – a netbook (ASUS) the HP Touchsmart notebook and desktop units. I have to say that touch technology is an amazing process – but in most cases it is waiting for the killer applications. So for you developers out there – here are a few ideas to start the juices flowing!

  1. finger painting – who among us does not fondly recall the days of finger-painting. But what about digital media figure painting where we could take any number of pictures and media items and decorate them for our own use?
  2. finger editing, my fingers are too large to act like a precision mouse – what if the application let me edit with my fingers and allowed my fat fingers to interact with the editing process?
  3. Road less traveled – let me expand and contract within my mapping application using only my fingers.
  4. allow for camera interaction (capturing off physical screen gestures)

The world is my touch screen – now help me interact with it!


Product Review (i know – again) and revisiting Activewords

I am a huge GPS nut. I love mapping (geocaching etc). From TOPO maps to street maps I truly enjoy knowing where I am (and where I am going). As a traveling consultant I frequently find myself in parts of cities looking for customers, that I have never been in before. Which really explains my love of GPS’s and mapping programs. Recently (with the pending death of MSN) I decided to try a new mapping program. My first choice would be a program that would amp satellite views as well as physical maps. I decided to try the Delorme packages.

  1. great mapping package
  2. Easy to use
  3. recognized I had installed in on a netbook and installed “netbook” mode
  4. Voice was clear and easy to understand.

Overall the package was is a great addition to my mapping toolkit!

More on ActiveWords

I’ve been using this product now for about 8 months. In that time I’ve gone from having the product installed on one computer to having it installed on 8 different computers. I am using Live Mesh to share my settings files between all the computers so that I can use the same command on each machine. I am addicted. i suspect once i really learned how to use ActiveWords the product has really started to save me time and effort. I have code words that launch my web sites and tools whenever I need them. This is a must have product. The only thing I do not like is that fact that the inkpad doesn’t work on 64 bit machines.

This tool is beyond time saving. It is time creating!!!!!!!!!!!


Why are people so angry?

The golden rule says “treat others as you would have them treat you.” It amazes me that people start right out with the negative rather than focusing on what has gone right to date, and then asking the hard questions.

But people think its ok to be rude, to yell. Which points out an interesting communication pattern that humans have, that other animals do not have, BLAME. Why is it always someone else’s fault?

The other day I was talking with someone about a problem. Rather than acknowledging that they in fact had some level of responsibility in the problem escalation it became my fault. Sad.

Another interesting twist of communication is the telling someone else to tell you something trick. Its demeaning for the person the message is meant for – it means that they are not worthy of receiving direct communication from them.

finally, the starting out with the negative. It just never works. I am just as guilty of this one as the next person is.

I believe in Santa Claus – he appears right after thanksgiving and leaves on Christmas. But what he brings to all of us is a gift. Remember to smile at the person walking by you. Remember to tip your hat and greet people. Remember to open doors. and of course, for the next few days forget those bad habits above and spread cheer and joy!