I don’t feel like putting out a Quick Hit post tonight, but I wanted to stick to my schedule. There are only have a couple of links in my buffer that I really want to share, so they’re going to wait until I have a few more (or I’ll post them on Saturday, we’ll see).
Anyway, I’ve been asked a few times how I fill a buffer of “valuable or important or cool or funny or weird or awesome” things that grab my attention to share every week. It’s not that complicated, really. Google Reader is my friend, and really easy to use if you have an account with Google. I use it to skim around thirty blogs every day (that number changes based on activity). Not all of them post every day, but some post several times a day so it evens out.
When I say skim, I mean it. Usually, I read the title and then maybe scan the first paragraph or two to see if I want to go any further. So, out of the fifty or so posts I see every morning or afternoon, I might read twelve to fifteen. And from the sixty to one hundred posts I read every week, I share five to ten. So, not that complicated.
Of course, there are a handful which I don’t skim. I read just about everything they post, and I think you should, too.
- Seth Godin – Genius man of marketing, with insights that apply to just about everything in the world today. Brilliant with his brevity, saying so much with so few words.
- Radley Balko – Balko is a tremendous, and award-winning, source of criminal justice and civil liberty investigative journalism. He has been a biweekly columnist with Fox News, a policy analyst for the Cato Institute, a senior editor for Reason magazine, and now is a senior writer for Huffington Post. His work on police militarization is unfortunately unmatched.
- IKEA Hackers – I’m a confessed IKEA junkie, and the ideas that they come up with on this site range from bizarre to brilliant.
Anyway, I’ll be back to the usual schedule next week. Thanks for indulging me.
- Is it OK to settle a debt for less than the amount owed? It’s legal to do it, and thanks to the recent recession a large number of people have learned how to game the system. Usually payments are stopped, and the credit score is sacrificed, to gain some negotiating power with the lender. Still, even though it’s legal and happens frequently, is it ethical? Is it something that followers of Jesus should be doing? As a finance coach, and a Christian, I never advise anyone who comes to me to not pay on a debt if they can afford to pay and still keep themselves healthy, safe, and productive. Honor your agreements, but feed your family first.
- It’s been a while since I’ve mentioned the TSA, but a couple of juxtaposing posts by author Christopher Elliott made me want to bring them up again. First, he suggests that there are five things you should never say to a TSA agent. Then, after a bit of backlash from that post, he suggests that there are five instances that you should stand up to the TSA. I think the main thing Elliott is trying to point out is that attitude makes a lot of difference when dealing with these situations. I agree with that. My recent trip to Nashville required me to fly, and I got the chance to experience the new nude image scan devices. No, I didn’t opt out. Yes, I did ask for a souvenir print of the image. No, the agents didn’t respond to my request.
- A Florida Sheriff’s Deputy claims he could smell marijuana in a car traveling 35 mph and with the windows up. They should consider drafting him into the Justice League. What happened after he used his super sniffer was described as “going a little too far” by the Deputy’s supervisor, but it makes me glad I don’t live in Florida, and it’s the kind of thing that makes me worry about our future.
Is there something valuable or important or cool or funny or weird or awesome out there I missed this week? I can’t hit it all, but you should let me know about it by dropping me a line or sharing it in the comments below! I’d appreciate the heads up.
- Comfort is a big idol in our home. A lot of the decisions I’ve made have been swayed by how uncomfortable the choices were going to be. That meant our home was uninviting for a long time, because I don’t like to be surrounded with a lot of people or noise. It also meant that I avoided opportunities to lead others, because I’m uncomfortable being responsible for anyone other than myself. Of course, that meant that I missed out on a number of chances to grow and learn and find purpose in my life, because the really important things in life all happen when you’re outside of your comfort zone, and Michael Hyatt wants to encourage all of us to visit there more frequently. So next time a tough decision comes up, I need to be willing to choose the option that makes me the least comfortable. You should, too.
- We only have a television to watch an occasional movie or to play the Wii, so we don’t have cable and we don’t use an antenna. (An antenna? Really? Are we back in the 80’s?) That means we haven’t watched any of this year’s Olympic games. Even so, there is no way I could have missed Michael Phelps huge achievement. Fact: He’s earned one medal more than Argentina has in its 112-year Olympic history. Want to know more? Here are 21 other astonishing facts about this astonishing young man and his 22 medals.
- Based on what I’ve read so far, I find myself liking Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait. He seems like a stand-up guy who is actually working to change the culture of the Anaheim city government in such a way that encourages kindness, service and freedom. He and Newark Mayor Cory Booker should get together and create a how-to series on city leadership. Unfortunately, Mayor Tait’s efforts don’t appear to have filtered down to the Anaheim PD quickly enough. It will be interesting to see his short-term and long-term responses to the situation surrounding the protests. I pray that he finds the wisdom and courage he needs as he goes forward.
- Allow me to be mean for a few seconds here. I want you to take a few moments and really evaluate the friends that you spend the most time with. Are they the kind of people that you want to be like, or are they just a bunch of losers that are fun to be around? You will be the average of your five closest friends, so it’s important that you’re spending time with the right people. Think about your life as an exclusive club. The people and activities you let past the red velvet rope at the door need to be helping you set the atmosphere you want inside. Keep the negative influences out, and implement strategies to bounce them out when they sneak in. Kick the losers out like Dalton at the Double Deuce.
Is there something valuable or important or cool or funny or weird or awesome out there I missed this week? I can’t hit it all, but you should let me know about it by dropping me a line or sharing it in the comments below! I’d appreciate the heads up. First person to identify the movie reference above will receive an official Bodey-Bonus-Buck worth absolutely nothing, and my gratitude for actually paying attention. Thanks.