Archive for April, 2012


A Few Good Anime

I went on a Anime kick some time ago, and I thought that there would be an endless sea of great anime to watch…sadly I only found a few, but the few good ones were great!

#1 Anime Show

Cowboy Bebop: About an interstellar bounty hunter with a past, awesome moves and great supporting characters.  The show has an odd deepness to it that leaves your extremely melancholy after you are done with the series.

#2 Anime Show

Samurai Champloo:  Three travelling companions travel across Japan to find a man that smells of Sunflower seeds…yeah if I read that before I saw the show I would not bother, the fighting scenes in this show are superb, and the comedy and serious conflicts mingled all together make the show a timeless classic!

#3 Anime Show

Gunslinger Girl:  This one is a lot of melancholy feelings.  A government agency turns orphans into assassins, they had terrible lives before they became assassins but the life they now have is that of killing and seeking approval of there “older brothers” who are their partners and caretakers.

#4 Anime Show

Deathnote:  This one was a lot better than I expected it to be, a really smart guy finds a notebook that can kill if a name is written in…that is enough of the premise, no?

So after these shows I have been hard press to find something that had really good story line and does not go all, end-of-the-world, weird on me with nothing making sense halfway through it.  I say a few anime post in WordPress and couldn’t keep us since I have only seen so few, but here is my two cents on some great anime!

 

So I am at my computer trying to think of something to write cause I love getting more people to talk about the battle against mediocrity, I also love hearing others stories, but I am looking at my tablet and seeing in my notes that my total debt is at $25,027.  And while I know that is a good amount of money, at the same time it really is not! It just is not, an extra job,  longer hours, something can be done, and it is driving me nuts sitting here are the computer when there is something that can be done!

I’m gonna run outside, jump in the car and go looking, I will find something…and then I will have something interesting to blog about!

If you are in Drumheller, AB and you hear rocks fly and the engine roaring that would be me!

This is my next brainchild for a book.  In all of my time helping people with computers they are most impressed by the fact that Icould get something done.  Sometimes it took a lot of mumbling and furious clicks and cutting and pasting but I get the result I need quickly.  It may not be a perfect work of art each time, but with computers and the internet that is not always a desirable quality.  It is about getting done what needs done and moving on or improving the task incrementally.

My book has topics on sundry items such as:

  1. Requirements for Guerilla Computing
  2. Old Computers
  3. Assessing Needs (in technology)
  4. No Fear (of technology)
  5. What is not Guerilla Computing
  6. The Almighty Google Blitz
  7. Technology is a Helper not a Contractor
  8. The Right Device for the Right Job
  9. The Ever Present Poser
  10. Learning and Growing Pains
  11. Multimedia
  12. Torrenting
  13. Social Media
  14. The Unholiest of Time Sucks
  15. Becoming a Webmaster
  16. Learn about Spaces..Giga, Mega, and Kilo Bytes
  17. Be Healthy
  18. Programming (If you really want to get in the think of it!)
  19. Zombies
  20. Brand Wars
  21. Open Source Software (OSS)
  22. Portable Apps
  23. Backing Up
  24. Networking

Now this is not a book that will teach you all these things in depth, but will give you exposure to the vast array of things many computing guerillas are well versed in and helps them be extremely productive.  Granted many people would be happy to get someone to do these things for them, but I know there are a lot of people out there who want to get their hands dirty and jump into the chaotic jungle that is Guerilla Computing!

When I was a kid we had an acre in Utah that my dad wanted to use as a garden, for many years the land behind the creek was untouched, it just had a bunch of weeds and rocks and what not.  When he decided it was time to use that space as a garden none of us kids were excited, it just meant a lot of work.

We pulled all the weeds and brush and other vegetation, then it was time to pick rocks.  We had a wheel barrel and we would fill it as much as could to where we could still handle the wheel barrel.  How I hated doing that, it seemed like it was something that was pointless and would never end.  But we did finally get enough rocks out to start a garden and it was awesome!

Fast forward to just last year (2011) and none of my jobs panned out.  So I went to work with my brother and dad at a oil services company and guess what my main job was!  Picking rocks where the oil companies had dug up farmers land to lay oil pipe.  That too seemed endless, but I would get a stretch done and then be directed to another stretch to pick up even more rocks.  Lucky for me we had vehicles that we could put rocks in instead if wheel barrels.

It may seem funny, but I really miss that.  I loved that I knew exactly what to do, and I was being paid well to do it.  It seemed very tedious but you could see a result at the end of the day, and money came in so it all ends up for the better.  That was nothing like it is now, doing sales, blogging, making apps.  It is like picking the rocks and then really hoping that someone might think it is worth a couple bucks.

If at the end of the day I have an anxiety to do a whole lot more, I know that I did not make the $100 bucks or so that I need to make in a day to be okay for taking care of my family.  I know that the path I am on is for the better and I will be happier that I choose it and worked hard at it, but man I wish that it was just like moving rocks again!

This should be my family motto.  Not that we are jerks to each other all the time (there are those months…), but if we are on a constant pity party it is only a matter of time before you hear someone in my family or friends finally say, “Suck it up Princess!”  Even more unpleasant is when my older brother just half listens and says “Poor Michael, poor, poor Michael.”  Whenever the conversation hits a lull.  I was thinking one night that I really do need to suck it up, but I know that I will be gun ho for a few days and then I will burn out, and to-do apps only help so much, I need some way to gauge my habitual health, keep track of all those little things that need to be done daily for emotional, spiritual and financial health.

The idea slapped me in the face, it is so simple, we all know those graphics in computer and video games that show your health and your shields, I could make an app (I am thinking it through right now) that takes wither or not you did a habit or chore or what have you and based off the number it will have a widget on your android desktop that shows your health and shields!

My biggest problem is that when I have hope in something that I have done or in some situation to boost my income or improve my life and it falls apart, I tend to shut down and literally do nothing for a period of time, making things worse until I finally just suck it up and do all the little things that will bring me back to full steam.

The app will have a check list with the following items:

  • Wake up on time (whatever that might be) +1
  • Brush teeth morning +1
  • Read Scriptures +1
  • Reading something good +1
  • Working out for an hour (must be at least an hour) +1
  • Breakfast +1
  • Lunch +1
  • Dinner +1
  • Chore 1 +1
  • Chore 2 +1
  • Chore 3 +1
  • Did not waste time (especial to starting something leisurely and allowing it take up too much time) +1
  • Go to bed on time +1
  • Brush teeth night +1
  • Self improvement +1
  • Abstaining from an addiction +1
  • Multiday project +1
  • Write in Journal +1
  • Did not complain (this is harder than you think!) +1
  • Work hard, honestly and diligently at your employment +1
  • Did something social +1
  • Morning prayer +1
  • Night prayer +1
  • Couples prayer  +1

 

This is something tailored to a religious person, but the principle of the app is universal.  Also these items are really tailored to me, but I think that everyone can benefit from making sure they do all of these things.  The biggest benefit I see from this is that you have a graphically representation that will let you know how you are doing, is your little game character struggling and almost dead?  If so, why?  Then just start doing those little things.  I am not a person that will say if you are busy you are successful, but this little things are not much and they make a huge impact on your day to day living, I know that some things hold more weight than others but why not try to get them all in your habits?

The tricky part to this app is that it will calculate your health by tallying the last 7 days, since little things need to be habits and good things done for yourself have a short shelf life, but if you have been good at doing them over the last week you are more built up to take on life for the present day, and if you slack the prior weeks cannot help you, just the last seven days.

I am really excited about this app and hope that it is a big help to me and to anyone else trying to fight the mediocrity of their own lives.  Yes all these things might seem mediocre themselves, but how much worse is it when we do not do these things?

Is there anything I should add to that list?  Anything I should take away?  Any app suggestions for this particular app?  I have not even started it yet, but the planning phase is exciting so I think the whole app will awesome!  Thanks for reading!

It so easily slips our lips that we hate our jobs.  We hate our bosses, we hate this that and the other…I let the hate word slip all time and I was thinking that it is simply unfair.  I don’t really hate my job, sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t .  But the hate feeling is that I am not in control or in power.  I hate being in debt.

I try to think that if my boss was not my boss would we be friends, I think we would and I think that of most of the bosses that I have had.  The jobs were not that bad either, I just could not speak my mind cause I had no power, or at least I did not feel that I could.  To be less mediocre I need to not just say I hate everything that doesn’t make me happy in the moment.

Now if nothing good happens and it is a rut, yes I hate that situation, the job may be part of that and if so then I need to leave the job or modify the situation somehow.

Just one last thought before going to bed!

So I am in a rut, have been for a few months now, I figure if I can sell my truck I can rent the community center rooms to teach some computer course and make a profit…but no one will even look at it, what am I doing wrong!?

Since I read the post from my friend about blogs and all the good things that they do for the writers and readers, I decided that I will dissect the problem that does so easily berate me.  I owe $26k in student loans for my wife and I and one credit card.  I feel weighed down and beaten by this fairly small amount of debt, I cannot speak my mind (except for on this blog and to my wife), I cannot move, I cannot sleep well, I can’t even let myself jog to get the stress to go away.  So I must ponder and write and muddle through a way to eliminate this debt.  Here are some brainstorming ideas that I have had.

Selling everything I can:

I have put my Bronco up for sale,

http://alberta.kijiji.ca/c-cars-vehicles-cars-trucks-1994-Ford-Bronco-SUV-W0QQAdIdZ365143432

had one bite but no one serious and it has been over a month.  I was hoping to get $4k for it but now it is up for $3500.  My wife is fine with selling the car we have too when we are closer to moving back to Utah and I would say we could also try and get $4000 for that vehicle.

I have two great working laptops but one is from 2007 I might get $300 for that one and the newer one was $600 originally and I might get $300 for that one as well.  My wife had been selling books and all others kinds of little stuff that we own but it is bringing in very little.

All of this might knock out the credit card but then we would have no vehicles and I would not have a computer to work on…or at least I would have to work on my wife’s Mac mini and my netbook where the battery prongs are busted so it has to be plugged in to work…and there is no way I could do Android development on it….

Thus the selling everything would not really get us all that far ahead.  If I tried this route we would have no cars and no computers to do any of the work that I am currently doing to try and beat this thing.

Extra Jobs:

This seems like it would actually be the better bet.  Although I am discouraged since I have applied to wash dishes, at a 7-11, and at a Tim Hortons coffe shop, and none of them have expressed any interest.

I have networked like crazy and could get a job as a community director, which pays slightly more than my current day job…but it is endless meetings and then trying to motivate people to care at all in the community…and in this rural oil rig working town, does not seem very plausible.

Working on the Computer:

This has been the thing I have sunk the most time into and the most hope for success.  Android app sales bring in about $20 and the ads are starting to bring in close to $20 month…so not much there, wish this app stuff was available when I was kid and had to use my dad’s compilers to try and make anything…This is not a lucrative venture right now and I am not sure how to change that.

This is my resume app of sorts on the Android Market

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.hart.hartsoffice&feature=search_result#?t=W251bGwsMSwyLDEsImNvbS5oYXJ0LmhhcnRzb2ZmaWNlIl0.

I have also written one Kindle book, just seeing how hard it would be, and it is not hard at all, but the selling of the book has proven to be rather difficult.

http://www.amazon.com/Pushing-the-Van-ebook/dp/B007L5ZP8O/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1335757556&sr=8-1

And lastly I have been doing computer consulting and tutoring which brings in $25/hr, while this is a really sweet gig I cannot get up to 4 appointments a day, which is what I would need just to supplement the day job.

Excel at the Sales Job:

I am currently in a sales position at the computer store for which I work, have been trying since the beginning of April and nothing good has come of it, it took me a week to convince one guy to buy a tablet, while that one guy is really happy, the boss is not.  I got three books from the public library on how to sell but they have only helped me a little bit, I still need to read through all of them, but still I need some money for April and for May!

My Failures…

So these have all been my failures of how to whittle down this debt and get ready to move back to Utah.  I would love to monetize on this blog, but I am not well versed in that either.  So after writing this entire blog post I am not any farther ahead, but at least all my cards are on the table, and it might be that I just need to fold and try something else all together.

Thanks for listening blog-0-sphere!

The other day I heard a kid just bawling to his parents cause he wanted to go to a friends house, he gave the most pathetic arguments and it sounded like his world was coming to an end.  It made me think of all the times that I whined as a kid and how pathetic I must have sounded.  Then I thought of my prayers lately, I am bawling to God to help me in my financial situation, to help me get over this hump in my life, that I want to move from this rural town cause I hate it here so much.

The answer I feel that I am getting is to work, yes I can move away from here, but not in an immature whiny hissy fit.  Don’t keep deluding myself that the grass is greener somewhere else, because it simply is not, I left Utah because I could not get enough work and I came here to Drumheller Alberta Canada to cash in on all the work here and now find myself in the same situation, so the problem is not the place but it is entirely me!  I have to learn to succeed here, then I can move and succeed there.

I suppose I need lessons in success, the Dave Ramsey and the Dan Miller stuff has been motivational so far, but I have not been doing whatever else it takes to get more work.  I am blessed now with a full time sales job that is currently feeling like a big curse…I don’t what I am doing, I don’t know how I will do anything for it tomorrow, time moves too fast because I have no plan and feel like I am groping in the dark just hoping that something good will come about.  My pathetic plea and whining to God is that I don’t see what that something is, and I don’t see or understand anything great coming in close future.

Just some thoughts when I heard this kid bawling his eyes out and I just wanted him to shut up and get over it…any thoughts on this?

I went to visit the Social Media site that I like far more than Facebook, I hope most of you thought of Google + as soon as I said that.  But a good friend from the 48 days forums commented about why blogging is good, even if no one reads your blog.  All the reasons were spot on for what a blog does for me.

It helps you put your ideas in writing, and as you write you can find out how to modify your thoughts to do something in the real world.  It is a great way to vent, it is a great way to join a real conversation about something that is important and meaningful to you!  And I get just as much value from others blogs, they help me make better formulated ideas for my own blog and my life.

I am really grateful for those who are following me, I have gotten notifications that I now have more than 20 followers!  It may be cheesy but this gives me hope, a lot of hope and drive to keep on writing on this blog.

2012 will be my best year ever because this is the year I will get out of debt, I may be encompassed with despair at the moment over my financial situation, I may feel trapped and lost my appetite for life yet again… but at least I am doing something right here right now.  I hope everyone else is doing the same, I firmly and deeply believe in the principle of plenty, others success in no way, shape or form detract from my own, if anything others success can magnify my own and especially if I am instrumental in those others successes!  I wish everyone could be debt free so I could walk down the street and if some guys (or gals of course) are talking in front of their garage and have a neat idea, that we can all come together and work on that idea.  Create better cars, make the internet better, be involved in politics to the point where we actually change something in the nation we live in for the better.

Besides Facebook is turning into the glorified, centralized chain mail and “I’m bored” forum…and don’t even get me started on those stupid games that I keep getting invites to!  When I see I have 5 messages waiting for me on Facebook I am never excited, it is almost always meaningless dribble that I don’t care about…but when I see I have 5 messages in my WordPress dashboard, I am rejuvenated with more hope and excitement that some good will come of all that I am doing in front of my laptop.

I thank you all again and plea that you continue blogging and thinking and writing! I’m loving this!