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Time to Pack Your Booq Bag

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Python XL Model Booq Bag

Python XL Model Booq Bag

Several years ago, when 17″ laptops were still novel and new, i launched a quest to find a stylish, functional and expansive backpack.  This pack would need to be well-suited to carry both my standard collegiate fair, and also my Dell XPS behemoth, an external drive, bluetooth wireless headset, surge protector and occasionally the odd digital camera, toothbrush and a pair or two of undies (not the tighty whitey kind, if you must know).  What i discovered after much beating the streets, more web reviews and several purchases and returns later … has stuck with me, through much heavy wear, over three years in almost pristine condition.

The Booq Python bag (they make several other trendy, smaller and more popular models) came as a gift from the gods.  It not only lived up to its great reviews and excellent billing, it made me glad to be a iconoclastic geek in-training.  Last month i experienced a buckle failure and went online to see where i could buy another.  Instead of some protracted procurement process i was faced with the awing result of receiving a replacement belt with buckle in the mail, only days later.  I never purchase anything for the warranty and therefore didn’t realize that it is (warranted) for 5 years.  I just think thats’ how good quality products and service should work.  But my social philosophies aside, i am mildly impressed.

While the price point is sure to keep it out of the mainstream of backpack purchases, you would be well served to heed the age-old adage that you get what you pay for. The quality is superb.   The ballistic nylon material shows hardly a scrape.  It is uber-stylish and well received amongst the well-heeled Mac legions.  Oh, and PC people wish they had someone custom designing quality stuff for the accoutrement to their tech hardware, too.  Take heart PC gurus, i’ve tried it … thankfully, it works for our stuff, too.

The Boa - Eat Your Heart Out

The Boa - Eat Your Heart Out

I will be joining those carefree, price-be-damned, stylishly productive and couture accessorized Apple fans, as i purchase my next Booq coverings … Boa 3L & Vyper XL2 bundle, for my MacBook Pro 17″.  While i could just keep using the bag i’ve got and just swap the tech stuff out, the linings of their newer bags are a nice bright shade of red.  They got me with that one.  Hey don’t just hate, participate.  A simple click on the photo will get you to their well-designed site to examine and select what series will fit you and your stuff best.  My guarantee is you’ll be glad you did… for a very long time.

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What is Your Approval Rating?

make_me_love
Image via Wikipedia

Have you ever been troubled by living in a place where someone was a “door-slammer?”  I don’t mean just a casual heavy-handed, “i just don’t know my own strength,” door-slamming type, but rather the “you (and everyone else within earshot) needs to know and FEEL that i am disturbed, distressed, displeased and/or dis-eased by something or someone,” kinda artistic door-slammer.  Swinging doors, sliding doors, pocket doors, screen doors, refrigerator doors, microwave doors, oven doors, stuck doors, creaking doors. cupboard doors, indoors, outdoors they play them all. They generally don’t limit their artistic medium for expression to doors, either.  You’ve got drawers and dishes, pots and pans, staples and starches, or fruits in cans.

Their performances are not one-night engagements or limited runs.  The true devotees of their craft are able to contrive the motivation from the most mundane and slight.  They need no script, Director’s prodding or even audience delight.  The truly gifted are even able to elevate paper-tearing to the level of a revered discipline.  The drama can be vividly felt in full Dolby Digital Surround EX.  George Lucas would be astounded and proud.  You may find yourself ducking in your seat (any seat in the house is a good one) as the 3-D invisible images fly at you from every angle.  Political correctness be damned, the tension in the scenarios played out are reminiscent of the best of the Administration’s Enhanced Interrogation Techniques.  The choice between this horror or water-boarding is almost no choice, at all.  Passersby, as well as those trapped in the fantastic ornamentation are reticent to speak, move or even breathe.  Then one day, there are two … and the dueling doors begin … but, that’s another sordid story for another sorrowing page.

Today, you must ask yourself, “Why does this bother me, at all?”  It was in that pondering’s reflection that i found a depth of yearning and loving that i would have heretofore denied plausible or even possible.  It is often to our emotional, spiritual and LIFE detriment that we hold the thoughts and concerns of others’ feelings, beliefs and happiness in such awe that we inadvertently begin to live quiet lives of desperation, seeking for those fleeting signs (actions) of love, admiration, approval.  Many of you will not admit to it, but you base much of your thoughts, feelings and actions on the day-to-day opinion poll of your “Approval Rating.”

My answer to that profound query proved longer and deeper than i had ever considered.  I loved my partner.  I wanted her to be happy.  I wanted to be responsible for that happiness.  I wanted to be liked and appreciated.  I wanted to have harmonious and joyous interactions.  I wanted to have great, guilt-free sex.  I wanted to live in a place of relaxation and tranquility.  I wanted the whimsy and thrill of romance.  I had started to believe my press clippings (the things others say to you to induce you to perform along certain lines that they feel will bring them joy) i.e., “you’re the greatest, all i need is you, you are my world, i can’t see what my life would be like without you, you’re everything i’ve ever prayed for, … yahdah, yahdah, yah.”  The physical slamming of a door, any door or any thing else was not the true irritant.  It was rather, that i was being judged and rated (in my own mind) by the object of my affection, with each heart-stopping slam, horrific paper rip or mind-numbing pregnant pause (we didn’t talk about those, did we?).  I was allowing myself to be devalued by the imaginary polls, that didn’t even work to accomplish the afore-mentioned hopes, when they were ‘up’ or my numbers high.

Loving YOU should be a daily, selfish indulgence.  Your joy must be the preeminent cause du jour.  Quite often, the actions of such decadent revelry will take on visual appearances that others may believe to be the inciting of plummeting rose-petalsnumbers in your Approval Rating, poll of polls.  To this we emphatically reply “SO WHAT!?!”  Why should actions that you cannot control (small or large, real or imagined) dictate to you your current or future thoughts or actions, especially those which do not make you feel good?  Either a) they don’t know you, at all or b) they wouldn’t like the real YOU if they did or c) YOU don’t know or love YOU or them enough to present yourself from your purest, unadulterated form which is that of supreme joy and joyous yearnings … Happy.  Maybe, d) All of the Above.

So, great.  Now that we’ve got that whole annoyance thing sorted out, we can get about the business of Living In Full Enjoyment (LIFE).  We can release ourselves to Dream Big … Live Bigger.  We can envelope ourselves in the goodness that is our birthright and invite all those we love to come inside, to experience the YOU that everyone would love to know.  Your Approval Ratings are certain to soar.  The fix is in, YOU are the only and best judge!

Wishing for you Abundant LIFE!

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How Would You Spend $1,000,000?

opengear-one-million-dollars

The most common answer i have heard to this question is very revealing.  First, let’s assume that all of the people i’ve asked this or have heard answer this, did not have one-million dollars.  The general reply goes something like the following:  after spewing out a few of the top-of-mind toys, trinkets, homes and vehicles, the awkward silence begins… i inquire further about the remaining several hundred-thousand dollars.  This is when it gets really sweet … “I don’t know, but i bet i’ll know what to do with it when i get it.”  Imagine someone saying this about a motorcycle or a starring role in a Hollywood movie or a trillion-dollar debt or the partner of their dreams.

Admittedly, having a million dollars and being a millionaire are two uniquely different states of being.  Being a millionaire is probably much more work (thinking) than most people really want to embrace in their lives.  Having a million dollars, i contend, for most is much like having a pony or a puppy or any other thing the acquisition of which demands of us something more than the original picture might have suggested.  Nonetheless, we fiddle around the margins of enjoyment in the fleeting moments of achieving the goal, which much sooner gives way to the fragile frustration of dull responsibility and infringement upon one’s sense of freedom.

$1,000,000

$1,000,000

Narrowing the focus and being specific and clear about what we really want in our lives, is certain to produce monumental (and tangible) results in very short order.  For instance, instead of saying you want to be a millionaire, you might start with … “I would like to have more money than i know how to spend.”  While that’s still pretty general, it’s probably a lot closer to what your true heart’s vibration is signaling.  You get what you ask for from LIFE (God, the Universe, Higher Power), based on what you really feel (the desire of your heart) rather than just the words you dribble from your mouth.  The words of protestation of our desire for wealth are much like the haggard and woefully ineffective pick -up lines spouted by pikey ne’r- do-wells in watering holes from Harlem to Harvard and from Oakland to the Outback.  The results are artfully similar.

Through experiences, your life has provided you with sufficient contrasts to set your heart (that inner voice) on a path of attraction to (and of) that which will best fulfill your pursuit of joy and happiness.  That outer voice (distractions) is often mesmerized by the latest fad, catch-phrase or hype.  Words like “rich” and “famous” cloud the clear signal coming from our heart (spirit) that says things like, “Wouldn’t it be nice if I could work for someone I like?” or “Wouldn’t it be nice if I could go to a movie and dinner on a weekly basis without concern for money?” or “Wouldn’t it be nice if I could take a vacation once a year?”  These are the longings that are likely to be in the range of those that are most dear (and consequently most vibrationally powerful) to the average citizen of the USA; maybe the world.

These clear signals are losing strength and being watered down by the incessant drumbeat of the inconsequential side-show that we allow to take center stage in our LIFE.  It is no wonder we feel such a sense of frustration and loss of control when mired in the rhetoric of politics, a faltering economy, death and mayhem.  Those things are not where the larger part of our being (our heart) is drawing us.  In fairness, if indeed you feel a strong attraction to being a millionaire or having a million dollars, i suggest that you begin immediately to feed that focus with both your time and curiosity.  Your homework for tonight is to quietly and considerately begin to answer your own query … “How would you spend/apportion $________________.00.” You’ll need to get good numbers on how much the items and/or services will cost or earn.  For instance, you might want to know how much interest would accrue on any deposit of funds you might make.  How much interest do you earn on one-million dollars?

Yesterday, (exactly one month after my EarthDay (birthday)) i reached a milestone by becoming a millionaire! It was indeed a most fulfilling, rewarding and elating experience.  I learned what it was like to spend $3,000,000.00 (US).  I also learned that a more accurate description of what occurred is probably apportionment.  Once you become a millionaire, you won’t be inclined to view your resources as things that are spent (wasted, reduced, minimized, relinquished or gone) that includes your money.  Rather, all resources are apportioned and assigned to maximize enjoyment and flow.

Most importantly, i learned that in the seconds before i hit the subjective benchmark and the seconds that immediately followed, i was spiritually, physically, mentally and emotionally no different.  I understood then, as i do now that the trophy of success is HAPPY and the mandate of LIFE (Living In Full Enjoyment) is to BE the journey!  (BTW, $800,000 compounded monthly @ 4%, without annual additions, earns $2,716.08 per month  … in case you wondered … 😉 )


Dream Big … Live Bigger!

Financial Calculator

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This is only a Test

hear_no_evil_see_no_evil_speak_no_evilLast week, i caught myself.  I was preparing to complain about the driving of my kindly chauffeur du jour.  I paused momentarily to consider how readily the thoughts of her seemingly poorly acclimated vehicle maneuvering techniques, managed to land the truck squarely in every newly uncovered pothole in a very wide street.

In that moment i wondered, “how quiet would my day be, if i never spoke of any one’s failings, misadventures, calamities or foibles?”  Hmmm, interesting premise for a Hollywood movie.  Anyway, i’ve started living the “TEST” and i must say it’s been insanely challenging, fabulously rewarding and fairly quiet/serene.  Therefore, i challenge you to discover the other side of that wondering.  Go ahead, it’s only a TEST.

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It’s The Journey, Stoopid!

life highway signLeaving from your door each day you set out, ultimately to arrive home in the evening or morning from a day’s labor, errands, visits or the like. The unveiling of the “stuff in the middle” is neither assured nor inevitable. The details that spring upon you as the day unfolds, gives rise to anxiety, anger, frustration, fear, laughter, joy, hope, satisfaction and dissatisfaction or any combination of a broad range of emotional possibilities. At the end, you are home, as you had planned.

Upon reflection, you assess the day’s unfurling as worthwhile … at least enough to do it again the next day. The happenings of LIFE occur in between the known variables of origin and destination. Yet, so much attention of our society is focused on the evaluation of LIFE based on the perceived proximity to a destination. Through that logic, leaving from your origin (and ultimate destination, in this case) should probably be considered ill-advised, as your proximity to your destination increases, putting you further from your goal… home.

the journey unfoldsHaving stumbled upon this self-inflicted lunacy, I began to be intentionally irreverent and disrespectful with myself in private conversation with … of course, myself. Some time ago a politico coined a term; “It’s the economy stupid,” in addressing what is and should be the obvious and main talking point concern of that campaign. So, one morning as I meandered through yet another waking routine, I shocked myself into a state of “presence in the moment by declaring “It’s the journey, stoopid!”

I no longer leave the house to arrive, anywhere. I leave for the experience of the journey. Certainly, I have a general outline of exciting points and sites I’d like to experience and explore. Yet, moreover, I give myself to the fluidity of the unexpected, unplanned and most rewarding of gifts to be bestowed upon humanity … choice. I find God, the Source, the All, peace, serenity, joy and happiness in the daily drama and circumstance of the choice, made manifest in the minuscule shaping of a moment.

We offer for consideration, leave this moment for the full experience of another; an experience and growth that can only be known in the journey of your choice.

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The Different Difference

apple-orangeDIF•FER•ENT*

1.        not alike in character or quality; differing; dissimilar

2. not identical; separate or distinct
3. various; several
4. not ordinary; unusual.

*definition according to Dictionary.com

Today I choose to be different.  Not better, different.  There is no measurable ruler that says that i have attained different.  The concept of whether you are doing or have done different is all about self-policing.  No one can say that you have not done enough different to say that you have not achieved it.  Some things can be visibly seen by others and other things cannot.  If you feel different about yourself, then you have done different.  If you feel different about another being, then you have done different.  If you decided to eat a salad at the restaurant rather than fries, you have done different.   No one can tell you when you have succeeded or failed to be different.

So, do or be something different today than you did or were, yesterday.  The quest for different is a journey that is uniquely yours.

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Peachy Season

peaches2

Summertime was made for pie or is it the other way around? Either way it’s peach season!

There is nothing like the sweet smell of ripe Georgia peaches filling the air in summer. It does not matter if you live in Georgia, get them at the grocery stores or find them selling on the side of a country road; fresh peaches are a great choice fruit of this season.

Peaches contain a generous amount of potassium,vitamins C and A. Having diuretic and laxative properties, peaches aid in the stimulation of the digestive juices.

Peachy Custard Pie is a great compliment to a poolside novel, break from the stresses of a long days of successes, or end of a delicious meal.

PIE CRUST

2 Cups of fine wheat flour

3 tbs butter

2 tbs water (give or take)

Mix the butter into the flour with fork.  Add enough water to paste to keep it together, but not too sticky.  Mix with knife, forming a ball.  Roll out evenly to fit pit tin/pan.

Place Pastry in pan.

Take 2 large or 3 medium fresh Peaches, thickly slice and cover bottom of  pie crust and set aside.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees

CUSTARD

Place in mixing bowl…

3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup milk (soy or almond)

2 egg yolks

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg

mix together to cream consistency.

dust peaches with sifted flour.

Pour mixture over peaches and bake till firm.

custard-pie-n-ice-cream2
Serve with your favorite Soy or Rice Ice cream or enjoy alone.

Allow to cool before cutting.

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Gotta Start Somewhere!

vegburg_friesIf you have ever had a desire to become a vegetarian, vegan or just a more health-conscious eater, here is a great tip to get you started.

You don’t have to go vegan or vegetarian (for that matter) cold turkey! Do it gradually. If you are a red meat and pork eater, cut that first. Your body has the hardest time processing these meats. Instead of ground beef, try ground turkey or Boca Meatless Ground Burger. It has a wonderful texture and it holds up very well when you cook it. You can use it for just about anything you use ground beef for. If you want a hot dog, Morningstar Farms (MSF) makes great hot dog products. They make great corn dogs and mini corn dogs as well as veggie dogs. You will never even know the difference. Instead of eating hamburgers, try a veggie burger. Both Boca (www.bocaburger.com) and MSF (www.morningstarfarms.com) make great veggie burgers. Depending on what you have a taste for, you can find a veggie burger to suit you. They cook up wonderfully if you have a George Foreman grill or similar quick-grilling device. You should also try the MSF Breakfast Sausage. freshfruitvegetableTastes just like the pork version. It is wonderfully seasoned and the texture is great. Grab a biscuit and a patty of sausage, ‘honey-chile’ you’ll be in heaven! There are also great chicken and beef strips for fajitas or salads by MSF.

For your other meats, eat the boneless, skinless kind. Bake, broil or grill your chicken and turkey. If you must season it, Mrs. Dash (www.mrsdash.com) will never let you down. There are plenty of varieties to suit your taste. If you must use salt, use sea salt. It comes in course grind and fine ground.

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Change Affirmation

i create the reality that i desire to have with the incalculable power of my mind and will.

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An “Ah-Hah” Moment

One Day Crowds Will Cheer ... just keep showing up.

So, i’m feeling sorta melancholy 2Day.  Started off the day with slightly less than vibrant enthusiasm for confronting the challenge that drove me to a deep sleep, after hours  of wrangling, hopeful for a glorious morning resolution, sparked by the dawning of freshness in a new day.  Yeah, right.  Still, i wrangle.

In a brief timeout search, for new ways to conquer the web design issue cum consuming force, i stumbled upon what is to become my awareness for the day and foundation for a hopeful tomorrow.  I was enlightened in reading a blog post over at schmutzie.com, entitled “Keep Showing Up”.  I thoroughly enjoy participating in the day-by-day, moment-to-moment, revealing communications that serve as sign posts and guiding stanchions to funnel me into the greatness of ME.

So, today i took with me into my marathon business strategy/planning meeting for our latest seminar series, an attitude of gratitude and the pugnacious fervor to just keep showing up.  It was a joyous outcome (i do so enjoy those) that rode the waves of a refreshing “Ah-hah” moment.

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Money Affirmation

Money flows to me and through me, easily and frequently.