Saturday, November 28, 2009

Holiday Spirit Blog Carnival 2009- 1st Edition

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Welcome to the First Edition of The Holiday Spirit Blog Carnival. I've enjoyed this time of year for as long as I can remember. First there was all the excitement of the kid wondering what he'd get for Christmas and how much fun you could have in this time of year. Later on this time of year become more about connecting with family and friends and letting them know how much they meant to me. After becoming a parent there was of coursed the excitement of seeing the holidays through their eyes and getting all excited again. Over the course of The Holiday Spirit Blog Carnival, I hope that you'll join me in getting excited and spreading some holiday cheer. In the coming issues (between now and shortly before Christmas) I hope to share with you all stories about how different people celebrate this time of year, family traditions, gift ideas. Last year when I chose the title for the blog carnival, I purposely choose Holiday Spirit because I didn't want to only focus on Christmas, and in fact I'd love to see some submissions on how other faiths celebrate holidays that are meaningful to them that occur this time of year. I'd love to hear how Jewish and Muslim people celebrate their holidays, it would be great if we can use this time of year to bring people closer together.

The Smarter Wallet presents Best Gift Ideas for the Holiday Season posted at The Smarter Wallet.

Carlos Sera presents A Coffee Tale posted at Financial Tales, saying, "In December of 2006 my two oldest children came home from college for their winter break. My son, Carl, was a senior and my daughter, Veronica, was a sophomore. For those parents out there that don’t know this yet, college-age children are not early-risers."

Madeleine Begun Kane presents Ms. Legal Person Answers Your Holiday Questions posted at Mad Kane's Humor Blog, saying, "holiday humor" presents 10 Steps to Avoid Christmas Credit Card Debt posted at SpendOnLife.

Matthew Paulson presents Consumer Confusion Spikes Over Gift Cards posted at American Consumer News.

Wise_Bread presents Start Stockpiling Now: Four Cheap Christmas Gifts to Make posted at Wisebread.

Carole DeJarnatt presents Gifts for the Backyard Chicken Keeper or Birding Lover in Your Family posted at Fowl Visions.

Kevin Poulis presents – An Old Time Favorite Treat | posted at

Kerry Fletcher presents Favorite interior design gifts posted at Examiner.

Andrea Jackson presents A Good Christmas gift for a girlfriend posted at BestGiftBasketsForMen, saying, "A workable answer to a tricky question. What's a good Christmas gift for a girlfriend?"

Byteful Travel presents New Widescreen Wallpaper - Snowy Sight Indigo posted at Byteful Blog, saying, "I've released a new Snowy Sight wallpaper to help get you into the holiday spirit."

NAOMI presents Diary From England: MERRY XMAS! (WAR IS OVER) posted at Diary From England.

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of The Holiday Spirit Blog Carnival using our carnival submission form. Past and future editions can be found on our
blog carnival index page. I hope that you've enjoyed this edition and we look forward to your next visit. Feel free to submit an article, give us your comments, and spread the Holiday Spirit to others.

Photo Credit: A Christmas picture drawn by my daughter Anna. It is posted at Flickr.

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Thursday, November 26, 2009

November Editon of The Family Life Blog Carnival

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! Welcome to the November 2009 edition of the Family Life Blog Carnival. While many people in the U.S. will be thinking about turkey (and various other traditional Thanksgiving dinner items) and football, there is now doubt that being with family, extended family, and friends plays a big part in the festivities. Now matter how hard times may be for some of us, we can be grateful for the family and friends that we have. I've always liked Thanksgiving because I've thought of it as a time when we can be grateful for the many blessings that we've all have. It is a uniting holiday as well, because people will be dinning at dinner tables all over America with people of all sort of denominations, with atheists, with agnostics, and our differences don't really matter so much today, its almost as if they don't exist. People travel from far and wide to be with people they care about. While the American version of Thanksgiving is held on the forth Thursday of every November, other countries have their own version of Thanksgiving, held at various times throughout the year and it is nice to think that this is something else that can unite us all, a time that we can all give thanks for the blessings we've received.

The Holiday Spirit Blog Carnival will be starting shortly. I plan to run it every other week from around Thanksgiving through right before Christmas. With the idea being to put us all in that "Holiday Spirit" During this time the other blog carnivals run here (The Better Life Carnival, The Carnival of Productivity And GTD, and The Family Life Blog Carnival) will take their Winter Break, appearing again in 2010. This is the last "normal", non-Holiday Spirit Blog Carnival, that I plan to run in 2009. Thank you to everyone that has submitted articles for all of the blog carnivals! I hope that you'll continue to submit articles, read my blog carnivals (others as they meet your interests) as well as continue reading my blog posts. You can also subscribe via email or by RSS Feed so that you don't miss a blog carnival or any of the other posts. If you have ideas for topics or subjects that you'd like to see in future editions feel free to post them in the comments section at the end of this post. If you have any other comments, feel free to leave them as well. You can submit your blog article(s) to the next edition of the Family Life Blog Carnival using our carnival submission form. Links to past posts and the dates of future scheduled editions can be found on our blog carnival index page. You can also check out The Better Life Carnival and The Carnival of Productivity And GTD (also appearing at this blog) and look for the HolidaySpirit Blog Carnival (coming soon). Without further adieu, here is the November Edition of the Family Life Blog Carnival....

Keith Tusing presents Top Ten Fun & Free (or almost free) Things to Do This Weekend posted at CM Buzz.

Billeater presents Tips for Trimming Your Grocery bill up to 50% posted at Billeater.

Mommy's Life presents Fun Alphabet Learning posted at Mommy's Life.

KidsYogaOnline presents Animal yoga for kids: the hiss of the serpent posted at Kids Yoga Online, saying, "Get slithery with kids yoga when you slide into the cobra yoga pose. As one of the most animated kids yoga exercises, the cobra posture brings flexibility to your spine and strength to your back. Best of all, you get to hisss, just like a real snake!"

Sonja Stewart presents Life with Lots of Kids posted at Parenting Squad.

Leah Aharoni presents Mothers' Guilt posted at Ingathered.

Debt Kid presents Following up on Zero-Based Budgeting posted at Debt Kid.

ReliableWriters presents 4 Of the Most Common Personal Finance Mistakes posted at Deposit Accounts.

Wise_Bread presents Recession Journal VI: It's OVER!!!!!!!!!!!! Any Questions? posted at Wisebread.

I hope that you've enjoyed this edition the Family Life Blog Carnival. Stay tuned for future blog carnival editions as well as the other regular posts found here. You can submit your blog article(s) to the next edition of the Family Life Blog Carnival using our carnival submission form. Links to past posts and the dates of future scheduled editions can be found on our blog carnival index page. starts. Don't forget about the other blog carnivals run here (The Better Life Carnival, The Carnival of Productivity And GTD, and coming soon the 2009 HolidaySpirit Blog Carnival, as well as the normal articles appearing here and my other blog. I hope that you have a great Thanksgiving.

Other Articles of Interest...

Thanksgiving Review- Why not take sometime to review where you are with your life, similar to the Weekly Review in GTD, but with the higher altitude view on things.

Picture credit: Thanksgiving turkey, white background courtesy of davidlat.

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Saturday, November 21, 2009

3 Good Twitter Tools

I don't know about you but sometimes it is hard to manage everything in the Twitter universe (Twitterverse as some refer to it) that is why I'm happy to have discovered three tools that you can use to keep things in order.

Twitter Lists

If you're using Twitter, I'm sure that you've heard about Twitter lists already, if not you should definitely use them. Here is a good video that gives a high-level overview of Twitter Lists...

Twitter Lists In A Nutshell

Facebook has had a listing function that you can apply to your friends for a while, so it is great to see Twitter put this into production. This can come in real handy to group people by whatever keyword you might wish to assign to them. It is also a good way to be able to quickly see if anybody on that list has tweeted something that you might be looking for and it provides you with a quicker way of finding things from people that you follow.

Another great thing about lists is that you can see the "public" lists of other tweeters that you follow. This can give you a peak into why people are followed. If you're following someone you can see the lists that they've created, so if there are key words in their lists that you're interested in, you might want to follow the people on their list or the list itself. This is another great way to meet people with similar interests to yourself or to meet people knowledgeable about topics you wish to learn more about. Further more you can look at the lists containing various tweeters and see other possible connections and people that you might want to follow based on the key words of the lists that they're in. You can also create "private" lists, if you don't want the world to see tweeters on a special list of yours.

Lists are also another way for people to market themselves on Twitter. If you get a reputation as in expert on a certain topic than people will be interested to see who is in your list for that topic.


Listorious is a site dedicated to Twitter lists. They have all kinds of interesting lists from Twitter that you can check out. If you're into sports you might want to find out what players are twitting from the NFL or the NBA. If there is a celebrity that you're a fan of and would like to follow, you're likely to find them in some list here. In the technology and worlds of social media there are various lists from Pete Cashmore and Robert Scoble to be found here. There are also lists about charities, nonprofits, and a whole host of everything under the sun. This site can help you add a little more fun and focus to your twitter experience. And of course you can follow Listorious on Twitter too.

Friend or Follow

Friend or Follow is really handy for getting an overview of who you're following on Twitter that isn't following you, as well as who is following you that you're not following, and those that you follow that also follow you. I've read all kinds of articles about people's strategy on who they will or won't follow, and because there are so many people on twitter you'll eventually want to come up with some kind of strategy for how you handle the who you follow topic. Personally, I don't wish to follow spammers and people that are overly obscene or offensive. I will sometimes follow people that have different and even opposite beliefs to my own because you never know when you might learn something and I know that I don't own the market on anything, so it is good to be open. There are various programs out there that will auto-follow people that are following you, theoretically cutting down on your administration in Twitter, but I don't do this because I've seen spammers, would be 'porn stars', and other people that I would just assume not follow. Because I don't always follow people right back, I find that there are a lot of people that will follow me and drop me before I've had a chance to see if I want to follow them or not. Then there are those that follow you, wait for you to follow them and then they drop you, so it can come in handy to see who is all three of your groups on twitter.

With Friend or Follow you can get a csv file of...
  • People that you follow that don't follow you back
  • People that follow you that you don't follow back
  • People that follow you that follow you back
This can give you a snapshot that you can use to compare where you were when you took the snapshot to where you are at some other point in time. If you're someone trying to build a twitter following this could be very useful. With the files being in csv format, you can slice and dice like you would with any other Excel file and use them in all kinds of creative ways. If you're tweeting for business purposes and are using some kind of Customer Relationship Management software (CRM) there is probably some way that you can import/export the files for use in your software. Those of you marketers out there can probably see the potential if you think about it for a moment or so.

Well, I hope that you find all three of these tools useful. They can really help you to try to keep some kind of order in the chaos that is twitter.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The November Edition of The Better Life Blog Carnival

Welcome to the November edition of The Better Life Blog Carnival. As I prepare for The Holiday Spirit Blog Carnival, I thought that I'd publish one more edition of The Better Life Blog Carnival. This will be the last edition of this blog carnival that I will publish this year. I enjoyed publishing The Better Life Blog Carnivall over the year and look forward to seeing all the great submissions next year. This edition includes over 30 articles all to help you live a Better Life, so there is bound to be something for everyone.


Tisha Tolar presents Getting Bored With Yourself? posted at Empowering Mom.


Edan presents Park City Ski Resorts posted at Park City Condo Lodging, saying, "Find out all about Ski Resorts in beautiful Park City, Utah, site of the 2002 Winter Olympics."

Alvina Lopez presents Traveling Cheap When You’re a Student – Here’s How You Do It posted at MasterDegreeOnline.

Kristen Garcia presents Make The Most Out Of Any Vacation posted at The Happy Mother, saying, "In our current high stressed world, it is more important than ever to have a nice, relaxing vacation."

Personal Development

Cody Butler presents Personal Development Success posted at Dream Life Coaching Blog. Ask your questions., saying, "Article detailing the basic principles of personal development success."

Mike King presents The Key to Personal Development. Belief posted at Learn This.

Tiffany Colter presents
Balance, Not Deprivation
posted at Hidden Leaks, saying, "A balanced life comes not from depriving yourself financially, but finding the middle ground that allows spending AND saving on a reasonable basis. This article shows you how."

Broderick Durisseau presents Overwhelmed? posted at Broderick Allen - Personal Growth and Enjoying Life's Journey.

Relax presents Knowledge can become your enemy if you are not careful (The Curse of Knowledge) posted at The Wise Curve, saying, "Common sense tells us that knowledge brings power. But do you know that knowing too much might do you harm?"

Arin Vahanian presents Why Life is About Choice posted at Super State.

Lucky Balaraman presents How To Find Happiness, Step 1: posted at Calm and Cool.


lkodanko presents How to Still Be matter how long it's been! posted at Words On Wendhurst.

Weight Loss

Lucky Balaraman presents Get the Weight Off Your Mind in 10 Minutes a Day posted at Calm and Cool, saying, "If that title has the ring of a typical fitness course to it, there's a good reason. There are a lot of similarities between mental fitness and physical fitness. A mind burdened with useless attitudes is as unhealthy as a body blanketed with layers of fat. And wouldn't you know, just like there are guaranteed prescriptions for bodily fitness, there are indeed several foolproof prescriptions for mental fitness. It's two of those mental fitness prescriptions that I am going to touch upon now. They are uncannily similar to certain prescriptions for physical fitness. You'll see..."

Productivity And Focus

SpiKe presents The 80/20 Rule And The Importance Of Value posted at Organize IT.

Tisha Tolar presents You Must Be Able to Say No posted at Empowering Mom.

Erick Simpson presents Disconnecting - Time to Quiet the Noise and Refocus posted at Managed Services.

Sue presents Abraham Hicks Says "There Are No Wrong Choices" posted at Helping Your Entrepreneurial Spirit Create Self, Create Health and Create Wealth.

Customer Service

Ben presents Eight Ways to Beat Bad Customer Service posted at Money Smart Life.


Erika Collin presents How to Prepare for a Pandemic: 100 Tips, Tools, and Resources posted at Masters in Health Care.

Joel Gray presents Healthy Cooking for Special Diets posted at Health Tips 101.


Billeater presents
You want Tips? You Can't Handle These Tips!
posted at Billeater.


Mike Batey presents Jivamukti Yoga posted at Yoga Mad, saying, "Created by David Life and Sharon Gannon, Jivamukti yoga is a yoga style that combines physical, spiritual and philosophical aspects of traditional yoga. The Jivamukti method of yoga is one of the nine internationally recognized styles of Hatha yoga, the other eight being Ashtanga, Iyengar, Viniyoga, Sivananda, Integral, Bikram, Kripalu, and Kundalini."


Matthew Paulson presents How to Stay Relevant on the Job and Reduce Your Layoff Risk posted at American Consumer News.

Money And Finance

debt kid presents 3 Books that Changed my Financial Life Forever posted at DebtKid.

Jack Schmidt presents 7 Tools For Your Money Belt posted at SectorMatic Money Journal.

Frugal Living

MoneyNing presents Inheriting Generations of Frugal Living posted at Money Ning saying, "Think ahead and do something for your future generations. Start saving."

MoneyNing presents How to Deal with Frugal Advice posted at Money Ning saying, "Don't just skip the article if you think it doesn't apply to you as it might be useful later on in life."

Homemaker Barbi (Danelle Ice) presents Are Frugal Sacrifices Worthwhile? posted at saying, "Are Frugal Sacrifices Worthwhile? It is important to look at your large goals and make sure that the way you live now is helping you to get your money to be meaningful for you."

Andrew Cowan presents Moving to a smaller apartment - Personal development - frugal living posted at Andrew Cowan, saying, "I recently moved to a smaller apartment which has been beneficial in more ways than just the financial. That said, I am "making" $300/month from my decision to downgrade my apartment. Money in the bank!"


Jack Schmidt presents 10 Ways to Fuel Your Own Economy posted at SectorMatic Money Journal, saying, "SectorMatic Money Journal: Personal Finance - Everything for the Big Spender on a Budget. Now you can live like a fat cat, even if you're on a money diet. Laugh all the way to the bank with Jack Schmidt and SectorMatic. It's for you!"

Sonja Stewart presents The Casserole Club Makes a Comeback! posted at Parenting Squad.

That concludes the November edition of The Better Life Carnival. You can submit your blog article to the next edition of The Better Life Blog Carnival using our "Submit an entry to “The Better Life Carnival” carnival submission form. Past posts and future editions can be found on our "Blog Carnival index for “The Better Life Carnival”blog carnival index page. We hope that you'll stay with us through the Holidays and check out or other posts as well.

Photo Credit:
Ponta de Areia courtesy of rsocar

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Thursday, November 5, 2009

Bertone Beatle Bonanza


I'd like to say congratulations to Bertone Beatle Bonanza on the podcast's 5th anniversary.  A few years ago this was one of the first podcasts that I listened to and have been listening to ever since.

On Halloween the 5th Birthday show was uploaded, a real treat at over 3 hours and 19 minutes for fans of the show and Beatles fans!  Guest on this special episode include:
  • Eric Parashos- a former administrator of the "Shabby Road" message board and writer for a Beatles parody website, and occasional co-host
  • Chris O'Dell- the inspiration for the George Harrison "Miss O'Dell" song, and author of "Miss O'Dell", a former Apple (the Beatles record label) employee and Beatles friend.
  • Woody Lifton-  a former host of "Pop Goes The Beatles", organizer for the "Beatles Tribute Cruise" and administrator for "Best Beatles History"
  • Joe Johnson-  a host of "Beatles Brunch".
To eliminate any confusion upfront if you go to the podcast site you won't find five years of podcasts.  This is because the show started out as a college radio broadcast and later evolved into an early podcast.  Jousha started doing a Beatles broadcast when he was in his early twenties. He has an amazing knowledge about the Beatles, especially when you consider he wasn't even alive when the Beatles were together! 

A semi-regular segment on the show are episodes called "Wednesdays With Wings" where all the Wings songs are being played from the beginning onward. in each segment one Wings song is play before or after Joshua gives some commentary about it.  As with most of us, life happens and there have been times when there were no Wednesdays with Wings but episode 49 was recently released.  Since Paul McCartney has released the most material of any of the Beatles, I wonder how long it will take to get to his last CD?

The first episode that you can find at the site has a date of October 17, 2006 and included an interview with Pete Best (the drummer before Ringo). You might enjoy some Beatles Christmas in July in September, which includes Christmas messages that were recorded for Beatles fans over the years. The show has interviewed some interesting people so far talking to Denny Seiwell, Rod Davis (from the Quarrymen, John's band before the Beatles), May Pang (famous for "the lost weekend" with John), Laurence Juber (from Wings), Nancy Andrews (one-time fiancee of Ringo), and others.  September 9, 2009 was a big day for Beatles fans and Bertone Beatle Bonaza did three different episodes related to this special date.  On 999 Beatles remasters were released along with a Beatles version of Rock Band. 

I'm a huge Beatles fan and have really enjoyed my journey with Bertone Beatle Bonaza. If you have the time and the money you can take a cruise with Joshua and other Beatles fans in March 2010. May Pang and Nancy Andrews are both scheduled to be there. By the way Joshua did manage to dig up the first episode (which was broadcast on October 30, 2004). Congratulations to Joshua on five years of shows.  Here is hoping that the next five are just as great, if not better.

Photo Credit:  My iPod