Keeping Things Organized

2d3ef03032bfa4106c252adf14ac97b8What good is it to have a blog if you never actually write on it?
Between here or there it seems like I just haven’t had the urge to write lately in general. I’m tired. I’m in a constant state of “busy.” Business is going well, but myself and my staff are all borderline haggard due to whatever fall related maladies and never ending viruses we keep passing back and forth. The general public breathing all over you on a daily basis thing… That coupled with a few nights of less than adequate sleep and all of a sudden your immune system is compromised and it’s too late so you just cross your eyes, cover your mouth when you cough, and deal with it.

That of course leads to this.
My system for doing the taxes for the bar is very high tech and organized as you can see. I also use this awesome online paycheck calculator to simplify things yet, sometimes things are hard.
This random jumble doesn’t stop here as you can probably imagine if you’ve known me for any length of time. It also has sprawled to my counter tops, my purse, my desk… And although it’s on my to do list… Skiing and sleeping and running and eating and hugging my puppies and kissing my fiance and leaving work at work are higher priority at the moment.

The Nature of the Path

One-True-Path-1200x801The Path does not need to be hard. It can be gentle.

God did not put us all here on earth to have hard, difficult lives, although we certainly have the option for a harder path if those are the lessons our soul has chosen for this lifetime.

Some people deliberately choose a harder path– a choice to live outside of the Flow, ignore it or struggle with it. If we choose that path through ignorance or ignoring the Truth, we can correct that.

But what if we choose it for other reasons: the glorious martyrdom. A sense of self-importance. The admiration from colleagues over one’s “intestinal fortitude.”

It all boils down to Ego. What if all that fortitude stored in the intestines yields a result like colon cancer–instead of the public acclaim for which so many people strive?

The secret is to not give a damn about the outcome or the way it will be perceived by others, but to do it (whatever it is–your creative outpouring) for your-own-self.

My Faith In Humanity Is Waning


Have you been watching the news? Have you seen what some residents of the USA are doing to their own country? I feel absolutely appalled, disgusted, infuriated, speechless… I could carry on.

Would you like me to tell you why they’re doing it? Well according to one masked figure on breakfast TV this morning, they don’t know. “Something to do with the government, and the way we’re being treated”, was his response. What? Do you even know the name of our Foreign Secretary, who’s name I won’t mention because I cannot stand him.

But my dislike for him is expressed using words, conversation, facial expressions. Not petrol bombs, violence, and chaos. What does that achieve? You’re not going to be heard if you destroy your own country. Nobody will listen to you. You’re going to jail. How are you going to be heard then, exactly?

You’re complaining that there aren’t enough jobs, and not enough homes for people to live in. So your solution is to burn down businesses and homes? How is that for logic? You’re making the problem, which you complain about, so much worse.

It’s not about honor, or standing up for your beliefs. This is wrong. This is despicable, and I hope you get punished for destroying innocent people’s livelihoods and homes. You are an absolute disgrace, and you should not be able to call yourself American.

Say It In An Email or Don’t Say It At All


Okay so time’s important, right? Nobody is going to argue against me there, right? Time’s important and we get really cranky when people waste ours. Which brings me straight to my point (no small talk before and no cuddling after. This is serious business.)

Are You Just Wasting People’s Time?

How many times have you sat through a meeting, only to discover that everything discussed could have been covered in an email? 15 minutes of dedicated reading could have saved everyone and hour or more in face-time. Sometimes you can’t avoid it. Some people just love to get together and talk and tell you what they’re thinking. This is usually due to 1 of 2 things:

  1. They’re a cuddler. They like to be in close contact for long periods. The longer they are away from you, the more uncomfortable and needy they become.
  2. They want to show you they know what they’re talking about. “See how many details I know! I must be good at this!”

What If You’re The Windbag Timewaster?

Okay, shit. It’s you. You knew this day would come. You spent your teens rolling your eyes as your parents droned on, but now it’s you. You’re the one giving the lectures. What’s worse – you’re calling meetings!

“It is fun to fail” and all the ways that little saying has changed my life

via pinterest

Lately I have been enjoying the book The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. It details how she strives to find more happiness through taking on different routines and outlooks on life. One of the greatest points that I have taken away from the book so far is the saying “It is fun to fail.” Let me explain.

As a perfectionist it is definitely not fun to fail, in fact that is my biggest fear! I have hated any type of criticism, or public mistake to the point that it has stifled my chances of really growing and reaching my fullest potentional. My vocabulary was riddle with says of “Oh I can’t do that.” Or “I don’t have enough time to get this done.” What I was really thinking was “Oh, I can’t do that… perfectly the first time so I am not going to try.” And “I don’t have enough time to get this done…perfectly the way I know you and I would want it.” You see what I mean. Perfectionism is crippling.

Why Professional Development Is Important For Your Career

d8c1adfd5649b3fb99b2813df11db8d1I was sitting at my desk yesterday listening to the buzz going on around me.  The rest of my department were busy talking about their units of work for the term and throwing ideas back and forth

  • “Hey, check this out!”
  • “Have you thought about using a PMI with that activity?”
  • “I wouldn’t use Multiple Intelligence; kids had enough of it last year”
  • “I sent you the link I use”

Personal Learning Network.

The above example is a traditional definition of a “Personal Learning Network”.  Another would be when you meet with friends for coffee or talk on the phone with a colleague from a previous school. My definition of a Personal Learning Network is a group of people who together communicate and collaborate to reach a common goal such as a community of online GED learners. It isn’t gossiping or just rehashing your day.  And it isn’t necessarily formal.  But it does involve mutual trust and an understanding that each person is there to be both supportive and a critical friend.

Online Personal Learning Network.

With the advent of blogs and social media, many teachers have developed Personal Learning Networks around the world.  At the touch of the button I can:

The Secret Fears of Perfectionists

I’m a perfectionist. I’ve come to see that as a bad thing and, as is my nature, I’ve got to fix it. Seeing it as a bad thing has to be half the battle because being diligent about doing quality work doesn’t 7aeb9bb5cb5c69629a118c9031a544beseem so terrible. Perfectionism is a pretty glamorous problem to have. It sounds really sexy to want to be mindful about every detail.

As a student, perfectionism took a toll on my GPA. I’d turn in perfect work weeks late. My teachers were impressed. They’d say that I understood the assignment when no one else had. My papers usually dropped two letter grades before they were even read. And then, I wanted to overcome whatever impression they had of me. Did they think I was a slacker? I’d work extra hard. I’d prove myself.


This evening in my talk to the VOX teens I’ll share tools including visualization, affirmations, the use of Treasure Maps or Vision Boards, and creating time & space to think–instead of constantly cramming their heads full of blather which prevents connection with the still, small voice within–our true wisdom.

I’ll suggest to step out on faith, trust and surrender, and don’t hold the goal so tightly in your hands that you squish it out just like jello oozing through your fingers.

At the end of the talk I’ll perform an amazing magic trick.

I will receive from the group a credit card (usually it’s a gold or platinum card);a $100 bill (who knows, this is a teen group so that might not materialize, but it always does elsewhere!); and the keys to a new car. (I KNOW somebody’s daddy has given one of them a new car for graduation).

Then the two cutest boys in the room will stand up on either side of me and we’ll link arms, ready for a night on the town… fully loaded with a credit card, plenty of cash, and a new car.

And HOW will all these items MAGICALLY APPEAR at my disposal?


So often we do what we think will bring us what we want, but we FORGET to ASK for it!

Seek and you will find. Ask for what you want. Knock and the door will be opened.

What is Social Enterprise

I attended my first logging conference, the first day was an “unconference”, affectionately called “moosecamp”. This is modeled on the popular “barcamp” which is usually a day comprised of computer geeks, who initiate informal conversations on topics of technical interests (and there is usually some of beer). I was particularly interested in Sharepoint, and it was suggested that we also attend the session on Social Enterprise first as the topics are related. The majority of the conversations circled around company culture and how it related to collaborative culture when the software was introduced. Why use collaborative software?

Some companies found that there were issues of permissiveness in emails. With problems opening email attachments, due to formats used and problems with viruses it was preferable not to send documents as attachments. One such solution was to use collaborative software to share documents. There were also the capabilities of using software systems such as Sharepoint as a closed system, in the case of certain documents not everyone is authorized to see all projects. I’ll try to give a summary of some of the points

What Happened in One Year

learningOccasionally when I’m driving to and fro (as I do a lot for work these days), I get a half-baked idea in my head about something that would make a good blog update. Unfortunately I don’t ever remember these things, and whenever I’m actually sitting at a computer I’m usually feeling too guilty about my pages-long to-do list to come up with an update.

So now, because I am taking a self-enforced “lunch break” and I’m just finishing up my fries & Coke, I thought I’d write a long, rambling update with no specific topic or importance. You can’t even call this a stream-of-consciousness update because the “conscious” part is highly debatable.

First off, if you haven’t picked up the hints and rumblings lately, you may be surprised to hear that I’m pregnant. (insert sound of bombshell dropping here). That’s right – Sue is knocked up; in the family way; eating for two… I can’t think of any other silly euphemisms right now but that should take care of it nicely.

Why Linchpins Aren’t Safe

2092da9In his blockbuster bestseller “Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?” Seth Godin did his usual Seth-y thing by pulling together some fantastically inspirational – and totally unrealistic – ideas. In the book, he suggested that the way to true longevity in your career is by making yourself indispensable to your organization. And you do that by going above and beyond, creating unparalleled value, and in general becoming so remarkable that the organization can’t survive without you.

I know firsthand that the more “remarkable” you become, the more you are despised, feared, and outcast by your co-workers. Go above and beyond and the rest of the unremarkable workers don’t cheer you on; they detest you and do everything they can to sandbag your efforts. You are a threat to the status quo, and to the realms of ordinary folk who surround you — you know, the ones who desire nothing more than to show up for their 9-to-5 and then head home, only to repeat it all the next day. Repetition doesn’t bother them; what bothers them is anyone who dares veers outside the norm, making the rest of the worker bees look bad.

Spaced Learning Method

ea434e439f62819c536d9f4d33c11057I was fortunate enough to have a fantastic couple of days in Newcastle this week – with two impressive school buildings featuring alongside the Angel of the North, the SAGE building and the Tyne bridges in my visual memories of the trip. It’s not easy to describe Monkseaton and St Robert of Newminster – I’m afraid I was so interested in what was going on inside the buildings that I didn’t take any pictures! But each building had been carefully designed – no hidden corners, lots of curves, impressions of space, breakout areas and lots of natural light.

But school buildings are only the packaging for the learning that is going on inside. Monkseaton are using a method called Spaced Learning, which builds gaps into a lesson by including something physical, something distracting and unrelated to what is being learnt, so that process of letting the learning sink in can take place.  It’s not something to use in every lesson – after all, we all know that variety is the spice of life and learning – but it certainly seems to be having an impact on the learning that is going on. It makes a lot of sense to me, as often it’s when I’m doing something mundane and physical – usually vacuuming or ironing(!) – that something I have been reading or learning or thinking about really sinks in to my consciousness so I can make sense of it.

Is sharing important in learning?

I’ve been at the Partners in Learning European Forum this week.

It has been as interesting and inspiring as the previous Partners in Learning events I’ve been to – looking at the event and the projects through more experienced eyes and not as a competitor was a huge privilege. To see teachers sharing ideas, what’s going on in their classes, experiences and passions is an amazing thing – but begs the question why so many other teachers aren’t as open to sharing as these individuals. Hence the Shakespeare paraphrase that makes this blog post title.  I suppose one of the reasons that I think sharing is important can be summed up by another (paraphrased) Shakespeare quote:

“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy  classroom.”

TEDxLondon – The education revolution

There was a call for revolution at the Roundhouse in London.  Not thepower
sort of revolution that we have seen that involves civil unrest. Something much
more constructive and lasting – a way forward for education.  A way that gets
back to the basics of education – something that can have an impact on our
society, our economy, that values our culture and the cultures of others, that
is personal and personalised. If the bare minimum that is needed for theatre is
an actor and someone to watch (Peter Brooks via Sir Ken Robinson) and only things that enhance the theatre should be added in, then the bare minimum for education is the relationship between a teacher and a learner. I’d go even further than Sir Ken and suggest that teacher needn’t be “me” in a classroom – it could be another child, a friend, a parent, an aunt, an outside expert.  But I completely agree (and have often been heard to say!) that learning is dependent on relationships.

I didn’t fail; I got 73% but it’s not enough

While searching YouTube the other day, I ran across a video for from one of the Mom Bloggers. The video was about affiliate marketing and her experience with it. She particularly mentioned Clickbooth as a company she works with. I have been planning on getting into the world of affiliate marketing for some time now, if for nothing more than to expand my internet portfolio. So I figured I might as well take a step forward and give it a shot. When I first went to the website I spent a little time getting acclimated with it then proceeded to go through the registration process. The registration was not that bad at all, pretty straight forward and short.


After finishing it I was prompted that I will receive a notice within 72 hours notifying me if my application had been approved or not. So since there was nothing further for me to do I just sat back and waited for my email.
I received my email a couple days later. 48 hours is much better than 72 hours in my book. I read the email on my phone because that is where I screen all my messages and if need be I pull them up when I locate a PC.

Jazz recordings and Education

I listen to a lot of jazz, mostly early jazz from the 60′s and late 50′s. These are classic recordings that move me because the artists have managed to share their art with us on precious recordings.

Today too many people use iPhone to listen to music and that’s too bad because music on your iPhone is compressed and as such it loses some of its sonic capabilities. I know who has time to sit at home and listen to great music ? You would if you had a decent hi-fi system.

Jazz is my inspiration and regular listening allows me to stay motivated so now I listen to the jazz recording and learn.

There is a belief that you need to spend ten’s of thousands of dollars to get a great hi-fi system. To this I say “bullshit” ! You can get an excellent hi-fi system for under $2500 if you know what you’re doing. The key is to take some CD’s of some of your favorite music down to a local hi-fi dealer and listen to them on some systems. By the way if you like rap or other overly produced music a good hi-fi system won’t make a damn bit of difference.


Calling it Quits on The Bachelor

Reality TV stars, Jake and Vienna from ABC’s The Bachelor, have called it quits after a lengthy engagement, of what—four weeks? I’m not sure—I don’t read tabloids and I certainly don’t follow the comings and goings of celebrities, or others for whom fame is bestowed upon based on a reality show stint. I am, after all, an educated woman, with a master’s degree, which means that I only read literary fiction, and my TV watching is limited to educational programming on the PBS channel.

I think I did stumble across The Bachelor one night while searching for the educational show, and I might have watched it for a few minutes. It’s entirely possible that I stayed with it until the first commercial at which point I did get up from the couch—to make popcorn. When the commercial was over, it occurred to me that I’d already missed the first fifteen minutes of the educational show, and since I had the popcorn….

Ok, I watched The Bachelor from beginning to end that night, but only as an educated observer of current trends. When it was over, I had to remind myself that it was indeed 2010, because what I witnessed was quite appalling. The premise of the show is that 25 beautiful young women will compete for the attention of ONE debonair single-guy, known as the bachelor. Each week the bachelor picks only those women for whom he feels most compatible with and the others are sent home. That happens all the time in real life, right?

Domain Name and Hosting for Online Business

I strongly recommend registering Domain name and hosting at different companies. It’s usually due to the fact that companies which focus on hosting has a higher domain registration fees and also offer less domain management features.

On the other hand, companies that focus on domain registration, doesn’t have a great hosting service.

Besides, when you have two different companies, you always lower the risk and are able to diversify.

For domain registration I recommend Namecheap or Godaddy. I have been using Godaddy for years. Lately I tried Namecheap and it’s far better than Godaddy.

You don’t have the annoying sales funnel Godaddy follows while you register at Namecheap. Also Godaddy has bad customer service as far as I know.

So get yourself a good domain name from Namecheap and a stable hosting from Hostgator.

Announcing a New Social Sharing Group

Social sharing is a powerful thing. I’m constantly telling people that social media is a fad! At least the term “social media” is a fad. People are social, and media is always going to be talked about, so social media is just our natural way of talking about things that are happening, or things that we like.

Social networking, social bookmarking, and social media promotion are all terms that any blogger or marketer needs to be very familiar with. I’m issuing a special invitation for you to consider joining a social sharing group powered by Posterous through which socially savvy (and unselfish) marketers can mutually share links across a broad range of social platforms.


Here are the rules…

  • I will be more of a giver than a receiver, sharing for at least 3 people for every sharing reuqest I make.
  • I will not submit direct affiliate links, though links to posts and pages that include affiliate links is acceptable.
  • I will not ask for sharing of the same link twice.
  • I will send no more than 1 email per day with my requests.
  • I respect the rights of all to choose what they consider worthy of promotion and relevant to their typical readership.
  • I realize that being a member is a privilege and inactive members may be purged from the group.
  • If I am accepted, I pledge to never, ever, ever kick an innocent llama in the neck… or an alpaka. Yaks are fair game.
  • If all of that sounds good to you, then by all means, apply today! Oh, and of course it’s free. That’s how I’m able to have so many stinkin’ rules! Which reminds me, I plan on keep the group at 200 people or less. It’s a “soft limit” but that’s the goal.

How to Use RSS Feeds to Build Backlinks to Your Blog

Bloggers are always looking for ways to create more back=links to their blog to help boost their blog’s SEO. RSS feeds are a simple and effective way to generate back links to your blog, but the best part of all is that it’s somewhat automated. So, for once this is not a strategy that is going to add a bunch of new tasks to your ‘to-do’ list. Once you’ve submitted your RSS feed to several directories your links will remain there working for you into the future.

Let’s first take a look at what an RSS feed is, and then we’ll walk through setting up a custom RSS feed that will generate lots of relevant inbound links to your blog. RSS, which stand for really simple syndication, is an XML feed composed of the content of your blog, in a list of your posts that readers can subscribe to. Using an RSS feed reader the content of your blog is pushed to the reader in a convenient, easy to consume format rather than their needing remember to go to your blog to catch your latest post.

Now that we’re clear on what RSS is, the next step will be to submit your blog’s custom RSS feed to RSS Aggregators or Directories, so now every time you update your blog or any of the other profiles that you included in your feed, those feeds will be updated as well. Here is a link to a site that has the top 55 RSS feed directories.