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Showing posts from 2011

You're an Entrepreneur, Act Like It

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After recently reading an excellent piece on working for free by Jeffrey Tucker of the Mises Institute, my mind was caught up on the idea that regardless of whether or not we own a "business", we are all entrepreneurs. Let me explain.

Putting owned capital to work to produce something that someone else values is the essence of entrepreneurship, as I understand it. I own my mind and my body. I can use both to make myself a profit. If we consider our faculties as capital, and our employment of them as production, then it's easy to see why I would call everyone an entrepreneur. So what?

Act like it! Calculate your inputs, tally your outputs, maximize your profits and minimize your losses. Whether or not you deal with consumers, you still deal with customers. Your employer is your customer. You work for him just as he works for consumers. Improving your customer services skills means improving whatever it is that makes your employer, your customer, happy.

Once you begin thi…

Letter to My Family on Unschooling

I emailed this to my immediate family. It has some good resources on unschooling, so I thought I'd copy it here.

Family,

We had a 3 hour conversation with Mom and Dad on Sunday night regarding our plans to keep our children home from school. I would like you all to get familiar with the approach we are taking, called "unschooling". The purpose is not to convince you to do this with your kids, but so that you will understand what we are doing with our kids. That is all, nothing more. ^_^. I'll list a few specific resources, and then some general ones for your own perusing. And I'm happy to answer any and all questions, but keep in mind, although I'm extremely excited about this approach and the future, there's still a lot we need to learn.

What is Unschooling? by Earl Stevens
Grown Without Schooling? Interview with Jason Hunt, who was unschooled
Wikipedia entry on "Unschooling"
CNN.com report on Unschooling
Free to Socialize in Real Society by Naomi A…

Education in The 21st Century

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A study published in July showed that people have become less likely to remember things that they know are only a click away on the Internet. In other words, our selective memory has expanded to exclude things easily found via a web search. I interpret this revelation as meaning that people are selectively remembering the things that matter most to them in their everyday lives. All else are easily accessible, so why waste brain matter remembering them? Small example, I remember far less phone numbers than I used to thanks to my cloud-based contact list. I'll get back to why I started with an explanation of this study.
Things We Learn in School
When I venture into the land of memories and journey back into my school days, I can't help but wonder about what I've retained from all the things that K-12 public school taught me. I would say that 90% of what I learned was practically useless (not to mention how much of it was wrong). Reading, writing, and arithmetic have been the…

That Time I was Exploited by a Day Laborer

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Oh boy do I feel completely taken advantage of, nay, exploited! I was in dire straits. My front yard was flooding. I wasn't sure why. I figured that my irrigation system's stop-n-waste valve was broken. It's been broken before. This time, however, the lawn was soaked around that area, so I knew that digging down 4 feet was going to be super hard with all that added water weight (mud!), and it was in the middle of the week, mid-day. No way was I going to find some help from neighbors, friends, or family. I was absolutely desperate!

I called my brother-in-law, and he said he knew someone that was available to help me. They showed up in a half hour. I don't know if it was the color of his skin or his lack of English speaking skills, but I knew that he was a day laborer. I've heard about these guys, and how they like to undercut their competition, the licensed professionals. Or how they may not know exactly what they're doing. It's a risk, to be sure.

I can ba…

Post-Punitive Parenting

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My wife and I have jumped feet first into a parenting style that is contrary to conventional wisdom and everything we've done the list 6 years. It's also contrary to how I was raised. Not so much for me wife, thank goodness. That style? It's called "Unconditional Parenting", and it's creator is Alfie Kohn. The subtitle of Kohn's book summarizes it nicely, "Moving from rewards and punishments to love and reason."

Moving From Rewards and Punishments
I've spanked my son. I've put him in time-out. I've even put my almost-2-year-old daughter in time-out. I've yelled. I've shouted. I've been as mean as I can be in order to get compliance out of my children. I've been a monster, and I created a monster in my wife. She's spanked, she's used time-out, and she's been loud and controlling as well. But she wasn't raised that way at all. She adopted my approach, and did a 180. She was raised with a soft voice and a …

Google+ Doesn't Really Threaten Facebook/Twitter

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I honestly don't see how Google+ threatens Facebook. I don't think I'll ever use one OR the other. They'll be used in tandem. Does everyone you know shop at the same grocery chain? No. Which is why not everyone you know will use either Facebook or Google+ (or Twitter). They'll both grow and innovate. I'm sure 90% of their users will actively use other services as well. Now someone just needs to develop a super web app that puts all social network sharing and news feeds on one page ^_^.

Plung'd Into Square Foot Gardening

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I finally made the plunge. A few weeks ago I put together two square foot gardens. I don't know if I'll be posting updates on their progress, we'll see, but I thought I'd put this small post out there to encourage others to follow suit. My recommend'd text is Mel Bartholomew's "Square Foot Gardening". It's been an excellent resource. Here're my gardens with a list of what's in them. (I've yet to trim the weed guard that hangs over the edges. It will be trim'd someday!):


This one's got: zuchinni, squash, cantaloupe, honeydew melon, roma tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, and cucumber.


This one's got: silver corn, jalapenos, spicy peppers, string beans, red onions, broccoli, cauliflower, and cilantro.

This is my wife and my first foray into any sort of gardening. I'm sure it will be a learning experience. I've got these two boxes position'd perfectly between my rows of sprinklers. They get douse'd every night with the…

My Favorite Android Apps

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Now that I've had my Android phone for quite some time, I thought I'd list a few apps that have either stayed or been added to my favorites list. About 2 months ago, Cricket pushed out the Android 2.2 (Froyo) update, and a lot more apps have been available to me that weren't before. Here we go.

Google Reader - I've loved the official Google Reader app. I've used Google Reader on the web for almost 5 years now, and the app is a wonderful addition. I've got a folder link on my screen that takes me directly to my "All Items" list and loads the new items quickly. Must have app if you use Google Reader to follow your favorite websites

LauncherPro - This is a home screen replacement app. My favorite part about it is that it rarely restarts. Once in a while it will get into a funk and restart every time I close the Browser, but restarting my phone fixes that. The stock home screen constantly restarts, wasting all sorts of time.

Turned my Sanyo Zio into a WAP

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Hot dang! Following these steps, I was able to turn my Android 1.6 infested Sanyo Zio into a wireless access point:

1 - Rooted my phone by downloading "Universal Androot" from the Android Market.
2 - Once installed, I launched it and selected the option to "Go Root".
3 - Then I downloaded "Barnacle Wifi Tether" from the Android Market.
4 - When I launched that, it asked for superuser permission (root access). I granted it.
5 - I hit Menu, then Settings, then enabled "Skip wpa_supplicant".
6 - I changed my SSID to "collins". I exited the Menu.
7 - I clicked the Start button, then Associate.
8 - My laptop recognized it and started connecting to it. Then I hit Associate again.

Viola! I'm creating this blog post from my laptop tethered to my Android. I understand this isn't necessary for Android 2.2 and above, but Cricket has yet to release that for the Zio.

UPDATE: Cricket's Froyo release didn't include wifi tethering. The…