Monday, May 2, 2016

52 Weeks to a Simpler Life – Tip #32 – Stop Sending Christmas Cards or All Greeting Cards

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No! It's not even close to the new Christmas season as I compose this article. But, I did say to stop sending ALL greeting cards. So, what am I the Grinch Who Stole Christmas . . . and Birthdays, Anniversaries, Thanksgiving, Mother's Day, Father's Day, etc.? No! I'm not. I'm simply the guy helping you to simplify your life and, while you're at it, be more frugal and find better uses for your hard earned money.

This IS the 21st Century the last time I checked. The Internet has been in full force for the past 20+ years. Email has all but replaced handwritten and even typed letters not only in our personal lives, but our business lives as well. In most cases, a “digital signature” now holds the same weight as a hand signed document. Schools, much to my dismay, have stopped teaching cursive handwriting in many places with more following suit. Our lives are busier and more complex than they've ever been. Fewer and fewer people have wired phones in their homes and more adopt wireless communication everyday. In case you haven't looked, the “Brave New World” is upon us.

So, why are you, if you haven't already made the switch, still back in the 20th Century?

Monday, April 25, 2016

Photo-of-the-Week #260 - Sunrise On The Atlantic, New Beginnings, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, January 2009

This is IT! For all of you who have tuned in each week for this simple feature I've called my Photo-of-the-Week, this is the 260th photo article. I said this is it, because after 260 consecutive weeks or five years, I'm ending this series. And, NO, it's not because I've run out of photos. Believe me, I have several thousand photos to continue choosing from. I'm simply tired and bored with producing this particular weekly article . . . READ MORE

Saturday, April 23, 2016

52 Weeks to a Simpler Life – Tip # 31 – Simply Solitude . . . You Time

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Do you ever feel so exhausted and drained at the end of a day you simply want to curl up in a little ball and hide in a hole or closet or anyplace away from the world?

If you do, you're certainly not alone. We live in a complicated world, a nonstop world of work, demands, pressures, stress, chores, text messages, emails, phone calls, appointments, family requirements, traffic, job responsibilities and it's endless.

Remember when we were kids and our parents had all that pressure and took care of most things for us? A big deal back then might have been homework, a class project, athletic team practice, asking someone to the prom, hoping to be asked to the prom, what to wear to the prom and chomping at the bit until you could get that drivers license.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Photo-of-the-Week #259 Reconnecting – Uncle Pete's House, Garfield, New Jersey, September 2013

I've decided to end this Photo-of-the-Week series at the five year mark. That will be at the 260th post of weekly photos. This is #259. I have no particular reason for ending this series. I still have thousands of photos left and I'm always taking more. I simply feel like taking a break and coming up with something new. I'm thinking it may be video instead of still photos. Stay tuned and you'll be surprised as much as I may be with whatever I come up with. So, there is still one more photo in this series next week.

Yesterday, Saturday April 16, 2016, something occurred that hasn't occurred in more than 20 years. As a matter of fact, something occurred that probably hasn't occurred in possibly as many as about 50 years.

The 20 year marker was that my two younger sisters, Lois and Denise, and I met and spent several hours together. I've seen each of them during those 20 years. They've seen each other during those 20 years, however, the three of us hadn't been together at the same time and place over those years. My, how the years have flown and how we've changed (please note, I didn't use the word “aged”). . . READ MORE

Friday, April 15, 2016

52 Weeks to a Simpler Life – Tip #30 – Buy Used and Save Money

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Buy used? You mean buy someone else's problems? How does that make my life simple. And, how will I save money? I'll end up spending a lot of money on parts and repairs.

Yes! I'm saying buy used. Certainly, there are some things it doesn't make sense to buy used, especially if they are low cost items and the difference between buying new and buying used is not significant. I usually figure I'll buy anything under $100 new. Especially, if the seller of a used item want's $50.00 to $75.00 for a used version, I'll buy the item new.

However, when you're talking about higher priced items, buying used will often save hundreds to thousands of dollars. Yes! I'm even including items that may need repairs. I've found when I'm looking for cars, professional recording & video equipment (my profession) and many other household appliances, I have probably saved way into the six figures over my lifetime. That includes any repairs I may have had to make. 

Have I ever been stuck with a lemon? Yep! However, I've owned six new vehicles out of about 24 vehicles total during my lifetime. I've had significant problems with four of the six new vehicles. Even with warranty service, they cost me both time and money. That's the nature of almost anything.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Photo-of-the-Week #258 – A Different Perspective, Duck, North Carolina, March 2008

Another water theme photo. I've always like this photo because it represents a different perspective and a kind of juxtaposition.

This photo was taken from the beach under the Duck Research Pier, US Army Corps of Engineers, Field Research Facility in early March (we call that winter) 2008. A good friend has a timeshare beach house not far from this pier that I have had the good fortune to utilize occasionally with a group of friends. . . READ MORE

Saturday, April 9, 2016

52 Weeks to a Simpler Life – Tip #29 – Take Some Staycations

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The recently coined word “staycation” has become so widely used that it was added to the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary in 2009. The earliest tracked use of the word dates back to 2003 and was coined by a Canadian comedian. It became a fairly common word in 2008 during the economic crisis that gripped the U.S. that year.

The word simply means, instead of planning and traveling somewhere for a vacation, one simply stays at home, saves the travel expenses and occupies the time doing any number of a wide variety of activities you either procrastinate about, gloss over or, simply, never thought about taking advantage of in your particular location.

Believe it or not, most of us bypass so many opportunities in our homes and, uniquely, “in our own backyards” similar to the concept described in the classic, short book, Acres of Diamonds, by Russell Conwell. Simply put, there are all kinds of “treasures” wherever you are. We all tend to take these unrecognized treasures for granted and don't even realize their existence.