Green Lighing

Along the summer theme we have going today…I have been spending some time out in the yard in the evenings and its the only time I can be outside all day. (Its so hot during the day) In the midwest we’re a bit nuts about our yards and making them our own, lots of people have spent a lot of money on landscaping, decks, lawn furniture, pools, lighting and grills.

So how do you reconcile your love of the green without destroying the earth? Solar power is  good start, and while there isn’t a viable solar powered grill available yet, there are solar powered yard lights. Check out these Solar Lights for your yard…how cool is that? You can enjoy your yard after dusk without ading to the electric bill. Plus you don’t have to run electric lines out to the yard and dig a trench to burry them either. Just put these down, let the sun shine and enjoy after dusk. As easy as pie.

Summer Heat

I have had my air contitioner running for 3 weeks straight because its that hot this time of year. I also curse owning a black car with dark grey leather seats this time of year. (it seemed like a good idea at the time) I can’t sit in it or touch the steering wheel for a while after I start it up if its been sitting in the sun. What do I do when I run into a problem? Like any geek I search the net.

There’s a seat cooler I ran across here that plugs into your lighter plug and cools your seat. And another innovative product is this Auto Cool Solar Car Fan to keep hot air circulated out of the car while you’re not there. I didn’t know that the air inside a car parked in the sun can reach up to 140 degrees F! (please don’t leave pets in your car ever!) This keeps air circulating so at least its as cool as the air outside. 95 degrees never sounded so good. The nice thing too is that its solar, so it works while the car is off and doesn’t require a plug into the car’s battery power or anything. So I need to go look into getting one of these.

Carlos Mencia

I just rented Mind of Mencia season 1 disk 1 through netflix last night. Its pretty good. I dig his energy on that show and some of his stuff is pretty clever.

 Also, I don’t have cable, but I saw some of Dane Cook’s Tourgasm on YouTube and it looks pretty funny too.

TV Time

Its time for me to start looking at new TVs for a few reasons.

1. My current one wigs out from time to time. Its days are numbered.

2. The HDTV digital thing is coming in 2009.

I was at Best Buy the other day looking into it and noticed that almost all the TVs they sell now are flat screen tvs. No regular TVs with picture tubes at all (except a few small ones). You pretty much have to buy a flat screen TV if you want something over 19 inches. This is odd for me because I know nothing about them, and there seems to be different kinds. Not all are set up for HDTV, some are plasma, some are LCDs. They have varying resolutions and some just look like a computer monitor. (why are they so much more expensive then?)

Here’s a neat site that I found though, that explains more about what a plasma TV is and what its good at: Plasma Televisions They explain the differences between the LCD & Plasma TVs as well as the history and the best practices for using them in your home entertainment center. Now that I’m reading through all this I think that a plasma TV would be the higher quality, longer lasting way to go. Plus it says that they can also be used as a computer monitor. Which is cool too. Check out their site for more information, its very helpful.

Scottsdale

I have relatives that moved out to Arizona when I was a kid. We thought they were a little nuts to go live where its so hot that you can’t touch the door handle on your car in the summer, but things ahve changed a bit since then. The Scottsdale real estate market has gone crazy because its so popular to live there, and avoid the opposite end of the weather spectrum; when its so cold that you can’t touch the door handle on your car without gloves in the winter. I guess they had the right idea. My cousin just had a baby, so I actually have to go out there sometime soon and visit.

Managers

I have had some good managers and some not-so-good ones. I think we all get the gamut really.

I don’t think its an easy job though. Its tough to not only produce work on your own, but to manage the work of a group of others as well. There are always multiple things going on and there has been lots of software developed over the years to try to manage these processes. One new company is called Manager Assistant and they have developed an employee management software product. This tool has the ability to track all the areas of management you work with (attendance, reviews, performance, goals, training, security & recruitment) so you have accurate records that help you manage processes and employees. Its a type of software you’re going to want to try before you buy, so I’d recommend doing the 14 day trial first, and see if this is a solution that will help streamline your management tasks and create a reliable documentation system. It looks like it is a pretty good software program.

New Tools

Some new sites I have come across this morning that I like…

1. Flickrshow – a site that takes a set of your photos (or anyone’s) and creates a slide show that you can embed in your site. Pretty cool.

2. Snapbits – for all the little things you keep forgetting.

3. Technorati – well this site isn’t new at all, but they revamped it so it looks like a new site. Check out the enhancements, especially the discover page.  

Tan

Summertime is the time for tan. And suprisingly its very popular here since I’m in the midwest and not everyone gets sun here, not even in the summer. Its been raining a lot latley. So, here’s a good site that specializes in all the stuff you would need to tan at home any time of year. See more info here about Tanning Beds & more. 

Wikipedia

This is an interesting article I found about Wikipedia. Its a good history of how it was founded and how it works now. They also go into some detail about the interesting bits of information that are in the entries. Its really is interesting to search and read up on information there. I know I’ve spent plenty of hours reading and learning also. Check out the article here.

Magazines

I’ve been known to enjoy a good magazine or two on the train. My favorites are TIME and WIRED. But there are so many more out there and quite a few are tailored to fit the needs of very specific interests that you may have. How do you find out if there is a magazine about fly fishing, knitting or classic corvettes? You can use a site like magazinepricesearch.com. Yes it compares prices, but there is a lot more information there that is useful…and its worth a look…