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Photo: Fresh Watermelons

Photo: Fresh Watermelons

I thought this was funny — a grocery store using a watermelon box to sell oranges.

Canon Rebel XTi, EF 28-135mm, 1/100, F4.5, 28mm, ISO800, 2011-06-11T15:44:52-07, 20110611-224452rxt

Location: Union City, CA

Download the high-res JPEG or download the source image.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Credit me as Richard X. Thripp and link here.

Photo: Squirrel Story

Photo: Squirrel Story

6 photos of a squirrel eating bread on a bench, the last being him running away with a piece of bread across the sidewalk… funny. :)

For editing, I processed the six separate images in Photoshop CS5, resized them to 1000×667 pixels, added a 4-pixel white border and 10-pixel black border around each image, and merged them together in PhotoFiltre Studio.

Canon Rebel XTi, EF 28-135mm, 1/160, F5.6, 135mm, ISO100, 2008-10-15T13:37:27-04, 20081015-173727rxt

Location: Daytona State College, 1200 W. International Speedway Blvd., Daytona Beach, FL  32114-2817

Download the high-res JPEG or download the source images.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Credit me as Richard X. Thripp and link here.

Review of “9 Steps to Work Less” by Stever Robbins

Stever Robbins' Book

9 Steps to Work Less and Do More serves up hundreds of practical suggestions. Robbins gives you advice on everything—from how to leave a voicemail to how many umbrellas you should own (pg. 150). After reading “always leave your phone number twice” and “speak slowly and clearly” (64-65), I knew Stever was being really thorough.

Why is it 9 steps? I really don’t know. 10 is a more popular number. 7 is a lucky number. Stever Get-It-Done Guy Robbins could even have called it “12 Steps for Workaholics,” but it’s been done before.

If you’ve read other books on time management or personal growth, there isn’t much new material here. This book may be a waste of time for anyone but the casually committed, because only they are likely to find new advice here. But, considering I was provided this review copy for free and never heard of Robbins before being contacted by his secretary, I should not be so harsh. “9 Steps” is a nice read with good tips. Stever also has a good sense of humor which you will find on every page of the book. I was more anxious to write this review than to actually read the book, but had I picked this up several years ago, before discovering personal development, I would have been engrossed.

“Stever Robbins” is a weird name. Everyone who reads it thinks “Steven” has been misprinted. “Robbins” as in Tony Robbins? I thought this was a pen name at first.

I started reading this book six weeks ago, and after 40 pages I quit and lost interest. I stopped reading on “daily action packs” in the procrastination chapter. However, I do need to write this review eventually, so I’m just going on what I read and skimming through the rest. This review is going to be short.

PAGE 69: Just ignore it: “Another way to deal with a full inbox? Ignore it.” — Stever has a lot of guts to say this, and he’s right. Most email should just be archived because it never needs a reply.

PAGE 77: Example of a bad email: “We need to gather all the articles by February 1st. Speaking of which, I was thinking… do you think we should fire Sandy?” — This is an awesome example of a bad email. I might have to use this myself.

PAGE 86: Learning how to say no: “Too many yeses overcommit us.” — This is also awesome. I can’t believe St. Martin’s Griffin let Stever use “yeses.”

PAGE 90: “Stop multitasking and start focusing.” I like this advice. More often than not, writers tell you to develop your multitasking skills, when in truth, you should develop your monotasking skills. Do one thing at a time, and do it well.

PAGE 101: “A Sample Stever week.” This is a wonderful chart, and very simple. I like “Tuesday: 2 PM – 6 PM: write.” Only Stever could write for four hours non-stop. I find myself taking breaks every fifteen minutes.

PAGE 110: “When in doubt, throw it away.” I’m starting to do this all the time. When I’m done reading a magazine or a letter, I burn it. No reason to let it laze around the house.

PAGE 120: “Someday when I can afford an entourage, I’ll have a perky assistant named Okra who will keep track of everything for me. Until then, I use crutches to manage the complexities of twentieth-century life.” Sure, assistants are sexy, but 20th century life? Don’t you mean 21st century life, Stever? Perhaps you count from zero, or maybe this book was written in 1999?

PAGE 131: “The best ideas happen in the shower, because your brain is built to think when you’re doing something else.” This is why going for walks, playing music, and washing the dishes are such great hobbies. Whenever I’m stuck writing or programming, I find inspiration by setting the project aside for a while.

PAGE 143: “Movies the group absolutely does not want to see: Starring anyone whose last name is the name of a hotel chain.” But Paris Hilton is such a fine actor! I laughed at this joke.

PAGE 153: “Settle for ‘good enough” rather than wasting time on unnecessary perfection.” This is so true. Nobody cares how perfect your work is anyway. Most people don’t even examine it closely. Cutting corners is the best policy.

PAGE 166: “TIP: Hold an anteater by the hindquarters when combing its snout. KEYWORDS: anteater, comb, grooming, snout, thumb-reattachment incident.” Anteaters are so vicious…

PAGE 179: “Cut out the small talk. Let’s face it: we don’t have time for superficial relationships.” I disagree, small talk is the foundation of human relationships. As Data on Star Trek TNG noted, it fills awkward conversational gaps and aids in human bonding.

PAGE 195: “Get on someone’s radar screen by having frequent, though not necessarily lengthy or deep, contact.” Do you mean small talk, Stever? I thought you hate small talk? Perhaps you are confused.

PAGE 206: “Access to people is valuable…” This is so true. You can’t make babies alone.

PAGE 216: “Come visit me on the Web at www.SteverRobbins.com…” — He wanted to say “it’s ten times better than www.StevePavlina.com!”

PAGE 218: “ACKNOWLEDGMENTS: Case Princes provided his apartment and his computer with amazing 2560×1600 monitor.” I love big monitors too. I have a Samsung 24″ widescreen LCD with 1920×1200 pixels. But 2560×1600 doesn’t actually tell us anything. The monitor could be a 19″ CRT with the resolution set extremely high. Please consider these technicalities in your next book!

If you wanted a proper review, I don’t have one. I’m just passing off a bunch of scribbled notes as a review. Now go buy this 5-star book. I know it’s only been two months, but we are expecting many more books from you, Stever!

100 Ways to Tell You’re a Follower

1. Your Twitter name has your birthday in it.

2. Your car has a “My child is an honor student” bumper sticker on it… and you don’t even have kids.

3. You bought an iPhone for the camera.

4. You’re a Roman Catholic because “that’s where the power is.”

5. You bleach your jeans to make them look old.

6. You registered faaaceboook.com and you think it has value (it’s available… 3 a’s and 3 o’s).

7. Your computer’s desktop background is a picture of Barack Obama.

8. You buy Girl Scout cookies.

9. You have a tattoo where nobody can see it.

10. Your car’s rear-view mirror has teddy bears hanging from it.

11. You’re a straight gay-rights activist.

12. You believe the capital of Montana is Hannah.

13. You registered your first MySpace account in 2010.

14. You wear a fake diamond ring… and keep the real one in a safe.

15. You have a Mac because all artists have Macs, right?

16. You are a Unitarian Universalist.

17. You say age is “just a number.”

18. You believe Al Gore invented the Internet.

19. You started a blog on Viagra to make money.

20. You put your career before your family.

21. You go to the gym. (There are so many better ways to exercise… like mowing the lawn or building something. And you just know the exercise machines are hooked up to a generator and the owner of the gym is selling electricity back to the power company.)

22. You use “Scotch Magic” tape for good luck.

23. Your cell phone’s ringtone is “Für Elise.”

24. You bought General Motors stock in 2008 for “the long term.”

25. You believe the U.S. healthcare system is “the free market at work.”

26. You think Saddam Hussein was responsible for the 9/11 attacks.

27. You just bought a new xD Picture Card for your digital camera.

28. You pay to download music.

29. You have an unlisted phone number.

30. You have the electric company average your bill out over the year. (What are you, a baby?)

31. Your office is at “Panera Bread.”

32. You live in “Vancouver, Canada.” (And I live in “Ormond Beach, United States of America.”)

33. You believe 2000 was the beginning of the millennium.

34. You believe “free download” means what it’s supposed to mean.

35. You have cable Internet but you pay $15 a month for dial-up just to keep your old email address.

36. You believe all websites start with “www.”

37. Your answering machine message is a popular song.

38. You constantly refer to “The Matrix” when talking about everything.

39. You believe the square root of 2 is 1.5.

40. You started smoking at 18 and drinking at 21. (Actually, this might make you a leader because most people start at 8.)

41. You believe cancer is cured by radiation. (Hahahahahaha…. sucker! NOW YOU DIE!!! Google is your friend.)

42. You believe “42” is the answer to life, the universe, and everything.

43. You think the IRS must be constitutional. (OMG EPIC LOLZ :big-grin: )

44. You believe in unconditional love. (All love is conditional. “Unconditional love” is called “being a doormat.”)

45. When you want to eat something American, you get a pizza. (Thank you Archie Bunker.)

46. You believe “you get what you pay for.” (OH GOD WILL THE LAUGHS NEVER STOP :big-grin: )

47. You’re offended by the word “nigger.” (“Nigger” stopped being offensive in 1999… the same year THE MATRIX was released… free your mind!)

48. You believe the 1st amendment lets you take pictures at Walmart.

49. You read “The New York Times” (herein referred to as “The Nazi Times”).

50. You still hyphenate “email”… and you use “Micro-Soft” products.

51. You go to college to get a good job. (There are plenty of good reasons to go to college… scholarships, fraternities, Pell grants, networking, dating, student employment, getting out of the house, discounted movie tickets… But you’ll need a lot more than a 4-year degree to get a good job. Something called EXPERIENCE.)

52. You write about personal development. (OH NOES self-deprecating humor.)

53. You believe Judaism is a race. (It’s a RELIGION. If we call it a race HITLER wins.)

54. Your favorite website is LOLcats. (I CAN HAZ CHEEZEBURGER?)

55. You sent your CASH to Haiti, just like George W. Bush told you to.

56. You’re fat because you had kids… or you have bad genes. (It’s called GLUTTONY, and it’s a mortal sin… join the club.)

57. You believe Barack Obama (Barry Soetoro, citizen of Kenya) is making the economy recover.

58. You follow Scobleizer on Twitter.

59. You’re still using Tweet This even though I haven’t updated it in a year and it’s broken in WordPress 3.0 (I’LL GET AROUND TO IT EVENTUALLY).

60. You quit your job after reading The Secret.

61. You believe in THE POWER OF INTENTION. (Note to Wayne Dyer: next time listen to your publisher and call it THE POWER OF ACTION.)

62. You believe there is a lot of money in selling clothes on eBay… hand-made clothes.

63. You have a Nintendo DS, a DS Lite, a DSi, a DSi XL, and you’ve pre-ordered the 3DS.

64. You believe “When I’m 64” will never apply to you. (SURPRISE SIR PAUL YOU DID NOT DIE YOUNG.)

65. You believe hard drives last 10 years. (You’re lucky to get 2.)

66. You judge cameras based on the number of megapixels.

67. You pay for satellite radio.

68. You pray out loud.

69. You wrote an article on your blog titled “69 ways to improve your love life.”

70. You believe 70 mph is the MINIMUM speed on I-95.

71. You refer to the ‘net as “the Internets”… and it’s not a joke.

72. Your nest egg consists of paper Confederate money.

73. You have a Wii and it’s the funniest thing ever. (Thanks Nintendo.)

74. You believe children in Africa are starving because they’re UNMOTIVATED… if you had a million dollars, you’d send them all a copy of The Secret in Swahili.

75. You believe in global warming. (SUCKER!!!)

76. You are “emo.”

77. You believe “The Simpsons” will never get old.

78. You give people cash for their birthday and then get the same amount back for your birthday.

79. You have a vanity license plate.

80. You have a SoHo in SoCal.

81. You believe ZIP codes are meaningless.

82. You have a .me domain name. (Yes I know Thripp.me is available, but I have enough crappy domains already. Besides, I don’t want “Thripp Me” to become a meme.)

83. You talk about memes…

84. You use LightScribe blank CDs. (OH GOD THEY’RE SO EXPENSIVE AND THEY FADE OUT IN UNDER A YEAR.)

85. You use Adobe Photoshop because “that’s what everyone does.”

86. You live in New York or London because “that’s where the power is.” (Repeat of #4, I know.)

87. You run for president every four years… and you’re 27.

88. If you could just get your car up to 88 miles per hour…

89. You identify as bisexual because it doubles your opportunities.

90. You replaced all your lightbulbs with CFLs. (Enjoy your mercury poisoning, SUCKER!!!)

91. You do background checks on your friends.

92. You use Parcel Post when mailing blank CDs because Media Mail is for pre-recorded media only. (SUCKER!!!)

93. You have nothing to fear because you have nothing to hide.

94. You believe that the best thing to do when arrested is to talk to the police. (SUCKER!!!)

95. Your chihuahua is named PRINCE TACO and you make residuals on stud service.

96. You believe diamonds are a girl’s best friend.

97. You laugh at any measurement of distance from 4 inches to 10 inches.

98. Your ass has its own Congressman.

99. You think 99 is as funny a number as 69.

100. You think you can write a list of 100 things without a sex joke and without calling your readers suckers. (It’s really hard because you’re all suckers… it’s so difficult to come up with original ideas. :smile: )

Constitutional Morons

There are a lot of morons out there who believe the U.S. Constitution gives them privileges and protections that simply don’t belong to them. Here, I will examine the Bill of Rights in brief.

First, the first amendment:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Little do most morons know that this amendment is barely worth the paper it’s printed on. Even the third amendment is more important than this piece of crap.

Notice that is says Congress SHALL MAKE NO LAW abridging the freedom of speech. It does not say that you have freedom of speech, because more often than not, you don’t.

For example, you have no freedom of speech on the Internet because every website you visit is owned by other people… except your own website. Even then, your hosting provider or ISP has the right to censor you. You have no freedom of speech in businesses or residences because those are not public places. The owner has the right to kick you out.

When you make a comment on my blog, you forfeit all your rights. I have the right to delete your comment or edit it however I want. I also gain key information about you such as your email address, website, location, ISP, and IP address. This is my space and my rights trump yours.

You don’t have the right to hand out fliers or demonstrate at Wal-Mart, even in the parking lot. Unless you live in California, whose state government affords you additional rights.

The government has the right to regulate the “time, place, and manner” of your speech through the use of free speech zones which may be far away from where you would like to demonstrate. This is often done at political rallies and has been authorized by federal courts.

If you are soliciting, all your free speech rights go out the window. Commercial advertisements can be banned even in public places.

Just because you have the right to free speech does not give you the right to slander or libel people. Many types of obscene, offensive, and defamatory are not allowed based on local or state laws.

If you write a letter to the editor of a newspaper, does your “free speech” give you the right to have it published? Of course not. Whenever you are contributing to a venue that is not your own, be it a newspaper, magazine, book, T.V. show, or website, you waive all your rights.

Also note that the first amendment didn’t really kick in until 1925, when the Supreme Court ruled it applies to state houses. Before that, states and local governments were free to abridge whatever they wanted.

Moving on… The second amendment upholds your right to possess firearms even if you are not in a militia, although gun-grabbing nuts will tell you otherwise. The last half says “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” This was affirmed in the 2008 Supreme Court case “District of Columbia v. Heller.”

The fourth amendment protects you against unreasonable searches and seizures, but only when you are under duress. Policemen are free to knock on your door and “ask” to look around, even when they are armed with pistols and clubs. They call it “knock and talk.”

The fifth amendment protects you against self-incrimination, except when it comes to the IRS. If you steal a car, you’re guilty of grand theft auto AND not telling the IRS. Also, the “nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation” part is called eminent domain, and “just compensation” is usually 50% below market value.

The sixth amendment guarantees your right to an impartial jury, but since juries have no power, what good is it? If they convict you and recommend a sentence of 1 year, the judge is free to sentence you to 10. Juries do have power, but jurors don’t know it, so they’re useless.

In cases involving more than $20, the seventh amendment gives you the right to a jury. Yeah. Good luck with that.

The eighth amendment protects you from cruel and unusual punishment. That’s why we use the electric chair. Nothing cruel or unusual about that.

The ninth amendment protects rights not mentioned in the Constitution. Oh really?

The tenth amendment gives all other powers to the states or the people. Another useless amendment.

Don’t even get me started on the rest of the Constitution…

Photo: Pikachu for You

Pikachu for You

The last of nine photos with Amour. She’s handing a Pikachu doll to her friend Jerica. This is actually a remote for an old Pikachu VCR… it has play, stop, fast-forward, and rewind buttons on Pikachu’s hands and feet, a power button on the Pokemon’s stomach, a remote sensor on the back of his head, and AA batteries inside.

Jerica and Amour couldn’t help but laugh. :grin:

I wish Amour good fortune in her modeling and psychology career, and the same for Jerica in her field of study.

Canon Rebel XTi, EF 50mm 1:1.4, 1/1000, F3.5, 50mm, ISO200, 2009-11-02T09:41:27-05, 20091102-144127rxt

Location: Daytona State College, 1200 W. International Speedway Blvd., Daytona Beach, FL  32114

Photo: Clothing Optional

Clothing Optional

NO this is not a nude beach. It’s supposed to be funny. At least I think it is. I didn’t see any nudity there. :blindfold:

Canon Rebel XTi, EF 28-135mm, 1/200, F3.5, 33mm, ISO100, 2009-01-11T14:11:06-05, 20090111-191106rxt

Download the high-res JPEG or download the source image.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Credit me as Richard X. Thripp and link here.

Photo: FLY FLY FLY!

FLY FLY FLY!

This group of three birds is about to become two. The one that is taking off doesn’t like the other birds. So he is going to fly away from his problems. Unlike most humans who run away.

Canon Rebel XTi, EF 28-135mm, 1/400, F3.5, 28mm, ISO100, 2009-01-11T14:07:27-05, 20090111-190727rxt

Download the high-res JPEG or download the source image.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Credit me as Richard X. Thripp and link here.

Photo: DIE DIE DIE!

DIE DIE DIE!

A wrecked yellow truck. The driver claims to have suffered extensive soft tissue damage, but we all know that is just an excuse to sue.

Canon Rebel XTi, EF 50mm 1:1.4, 1/400, F4.5, 50mm, ISO100, 2009-01-28T15:13:14-05, 20090128-201314rxt

Download the high-res JPEG or download the source image.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Credit me as Richard X. Thripp and link here.

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