Tuesday, November 27, 2012

What Name to Use

I am going back and forth on what name to use on my blog and other Internet postings.  R. Bradley Andrews is much more distinctive, but seems a bit too formal in many uses.  Brad Andrews is simpler but others have dared to use the same name out there!

I thought about a clever alias, but the ones that come to mind seem to presumptive and I have already pretty much decided that I am going to live with my core ideas being connected with me.

I am shifting to the simple Brad Andrews either way, but we shall see.  What choice has everyone else made in this area?

Friday, November 23, 2012

Another Holiday Season

The holiday season has been very rough around our house for the past few years.  Things were somewhat fun when our children were young, but we had horrible times as they got older, especially since their acting out increased greatly around this time of the year. 

(See my adoption blog if you want to know some reasons why.)

This year was very quiet.  My oldest son just moved back to the area of his birth family so he and his family did not come over at all.  My wife did go down to see our youngest daughter who is the only one that lives at all close and the only other one that still talks with us.  She had a good quiet time and then came home.

We did brave the crowds at Walmart at 8pm to take advantage of some of their sales.  It is amazing what some people will do to save a few dollars.  We got a couple of cheap DVDs and my wife did most of her Christmas shopping.  I did get a cheap Targus laptop backpack, but I am not sure that it is as good as it looks like and I may just stick with the Jansport one I got cheap with a timely visit to a discount shoe store just after school started.  It seems to have much more room and a reasonable 2 compartment layout.

I doubt I will go next year, but it was an interesting experience.

I may head out to by some educational toys tomorrow at Michaels, but I am not going to do much else.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Things I Have Learned from World of Warcraft

Some things I have learned while playing World of Warcraft:

- Your perspective has a big influence on how you see your situation.  Usually backing your perspective out so you see more of the situation helps you see that you are not as bad off as you may think.

- Surviving is sometimes enough.  Many people will boast about plowing through life's troubles, but few really do so.  Most of us struggle to apply what we have to overcome the obstacles before us. 

- Deal with one problem at a time.  You may be able to jump back and forth between the many fires in your life, but you can only really address one thing at a time.

- Our injuries are often are own fault.  We often stand in junk in life instead of moving ourselves to a safe location.

- Safe locations do not always exist.  You sometimes have just tough out the bad times and get them over as quickly as possible.

- Having friends to support you is worth more than any individual skill you might have.  Getting actively healed in life can allow you to face and overcome far more than you could alone.

- Some people are just inherently obnoxious.  They will swoop in and take the thing you have been working towards, often with no remorse on their part.  They are unlikely to realize you even exist beyond being someone to tie up the troubles that are keeping them from what they want.

- Some people are inherently nice.  You can find those who want to be helpful if you just look for them.  Don't impose on them, but let them help.

- Being a giving person generally helps you in the long run.  Some people will always take advantage of you, but being willing to freely give can also open up the nice people in your life.

Who says MMOs are completely useless?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

You Must Have Motivation

It is clear that my resolution to have one post a day failed early in the year, as most such resolutions do.  A large part of that was lack of drive to generate something each day.  I can see that the things I let drag on in life are those that I am not motivated to complete.  I know this is not a deep thought, but I think it is worth noting and discussing briefly.

We will ultimately only do the things we want to do.  Some of that desire may be coerced and be the result of threats, but that is not really a good way to get quality output, whatever the forum.

This is especially true on a blog.  The writer must want to do what they are doing.  I am figuring some of that myself, though I hope to find a true reason and therefore a driver for this in the coming weeks.  Please comment if you have any thoughts on this.

Finding a Place to Fit In

This can be a huge challenge in life as groups of people form all over the place and most of those groups actively exclude outsiders.  No matter how open or closed the group seems, they will always ultimately boil down to exclude those who don't think in a certain way.

This is partially a human issue, as we are more comfortable with those that think in ways we appreciate and don't appreciate those who might truly stretch our thinking.  We also all tend to "not suffer fools well," though the definition of who is a fool is largely in our own head rather than a true, firm fact.

Consider this next time you are snubbed from some inside club or if you do the same to someone else.  Are internal concepts playing out or did the one scorned really deserve it?  I would be most of the time it is just our own minds at work and not really as much stupidity on the other end.

People really can be stupid at times, but some of that can be changed if we will learn to listen and identify things a lot better.  Honing our own communication skills is also quite valuable.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

And You Rely on the Police to Protect You?

I read an interesting story this morning:

San Jose's non-response policy catches alarm industry off guard

The San Jose Police Department decided that they would stop responding to burglar alarms since so many of their responses were for non-events.  I wonder if the people in that city pay an "alarm monitoring fee" as we must.  That would be a double-whammy - pay for something you don't get.

So much for relying on the "police protection" your taxes are supposed to be paying for.  Just leave a sign out for the burglars saying, "Ignore the noise, no police will come."

This is the modern state at work.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Keep Pushing On

It is quite easy to set a goal and fail at it.  I know that for certain as I have done it many times.  The point is not whether you fail during your attempt, but it is whether you quit along the way.  Instead of quitting, get yourself back up and keep on pushing onward.  It is definitely easier to quit, but you will get success, of some kind, if you refuse to quit!

Some goals should be abandoned if you realize they are not worth achieving, but only do that with a conscious thought, not just because things are hard.  Make sure your goals are good ones.  If they are, never quit!

Saturday, January 07, 2012


A while back I heard the story of how to fit many stones into a container.  Start by adding the biggest ones, then smaller until the container is full.  Adding in the reverse order will end up filling the container much faster with less getting in.

This is a lot like our day, but I think the base analogy and our lives have to be adjusted a bit.  The higher the priority, the larger the pebble.  You can't totally fill things with the high priority items or you will only be able to fit in a few low priority items.

Instead, do things in layers.  Do a couple high priority things, then some medium and finally some low priority items.  Repeat this process and you will fill the container that is your day with much more.  It will allow you to accomplish many things, but to be much more efficient about it.

Some high priority items may not get done as fast as they should, but it will all get done quicker overall.

The only tricky part with applying this to life is that things keep being added to our incoming pile.  We just have to adapt to this and live with a layered approach to get more things done.

At least that is my theory now!

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Building a Habit

I have proven how hard it is to build a new habit.  I completely forgot about blogging yesterday, blowing my attempt to post once each day this year. 

This demonstrates how hard it is to do something new.  Our existing habits will push to keep their active status, making it hard to fit in the new item.  I could say all kinds of clever ways to use post it notes, electronic reminders and other things to help keep us on track; but it ultimately comes down to a matter of repeatedly doing what our new habit is.

It is also important to keep pushing at the new habit.  It really doesn't matter that I missed one day.  The real point is to start posting something on a daily basis, even if specific days get missed in the process.

I would encourage all of you to take the same approach.  Aim at good goals, but don't quit if you seem to not hit them at first!

Monday, January 02, 2012

Allow Cheap Ebook Upgrades

A big flaw I see in purchasing ebooks is that you normally cannot receive updated versions at a reduced price.  I can understand completely why you don't get cheap upgrades for printed books, but it seems completely unreasonable that I cannot upgrade version 4 of a technical book to version 5 without buying the entire book again.

Companies really need to consider this and find a way (say for 10-20% of the full electronic book price) upgrade a book when a new version comes out.  I suspect that many of us will refuse to pay full price for a new version, but would consider a price like that as a reasonable cost to get the new and updated material.

A True Purpose

One tremendous advantage of having a relationship with the Creator of the universe is that my life can have meaning far beyond the relatively short time I am in this world.  He has the proper perspective to direct me to the things that will use my life for the best effect.

I pity those who think they are really all alone in this world.  Our life has no true value in the long run if it is nothing more than just a batch of chemicals.

I would encourage any of you reading this to work on your own life mission and goal statements, but to make sure those are built on a foundation of performing the will of the One who made it all.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

A New Year - A New Goal

I am not a big fan of New Year's resolutions, especially since those things made in a fit of passion tend not to have true sticking power in our lives.

I am going to break that view though and resolve to post something here every day in 2012, provided I have access to do so.  As with many bloggers, this has been a "when I feel like it" effort and that has made for very sparse posts and very little to read on a regular basis.  I doubt many people read it, but I figure getting into the regular habit of writing will both help me write better and should make the content more interesting to others.