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I'm a geek working as a distance learning specialist for a large corporation.

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You know, I was going to write a whole post about the specifics of stuff I loved about The Avengers. You've already seen my spoiler-free gushing (assuming you have doneThe Avengers (2012) with spoilers, and new things on the internet

Somewhere around 35 years ago, I caught my first episode of Doctor Who. I watched a man with a very long scarf run around offering people jelly babies in prettyThe Doctor Is In

In the 7 day challenge, today’s topic is: Embed a legal youtube clip that I either found today or created myself. Then tell everyone about the clip and related information. I consideredTelling Time - 7 day challenge

I enjoyed the original Cheaper by the Dozen. [tag]Steve Martin[/tag] is one of my favorite comedic actors, and [tag]Bonnie Hunt[/tag] combines sweet and funny better than almost anyone. Adding [tag]EugeneReview: Cheaper by the Dozen 2

I came across a post tonight by a professor at the University of Georgia. He uses his response to a recent post on the NPR blog All Songs Considered asChanging morality to fit the technology

Out of the ashes of our future destruction, a new hero has been born. Gabriel Bright. Beacon of hope. Defender of justice. Burdened, as are we all, with the knowledgeThe Birth of Gabriel Bright - DC Universe

10 Simple Changes That Save Gas | The Wisdom Journal All 10 of these tips are good, and relatively easy to accomplish. Here are first five, with my own thoughts. ForHow to spend less on gas

I'm willing to bet that you've heard of Jon and Kate Plus 8, even if you don't watch the TLC program yourself. It's getting a lot of publicity lately, ledJon and Kate Plus 8... plus 10 million... minus one

Video, Music, Podcasts, Audio, and Multimedia WordPress Plugins « Lorelle on WordPress This is a great annotated list of plug-ins for WordPress users trying to add video or audio of anyMultimedia Plugins for WordPress

2theadvocate.com | Suburban | Deputies: Owner shot out man’s tires when he couldn’t pay for gas People are so screwed up. Take a second and write down the guy's license plateMan steals gas; Man shoots cars tires

If you thought he was gone, you weren't paying attention. He's back! He's opinionated! He's Australian! He's spent more time thinking about pop culture than is probably healthy! And that last bitTIDBABSH 2: Part 2: Return of The Australian

Slice of Scifi - Science Fiction TV & Movie News, Interviews & more » The New R2D2 Projector Got a home theater? Don't care about picture quality, but want your own"Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi"

I mentioned this a while back, but this guy decided to use the power of the internet to break Star Wars up into 15 second segments and have people submitStar Wars, like you've never seen it before

This is pretty funny if you've ever been addicted to Tetris. Mike, you should enjoy this. It doesn't really get funny until about the 1:00 mark, though. [kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/SYRLTF71Sow" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /] [tags]YouTube,Tetris humor

The fall TV season is upon us. Are there any shows out there worthy of watching this year? Any guilty pleasures you've just gotta have? Anything that just drains theFlashing Forward to Fall TV

What I’ve been thinking

I’ve been quiet on here for a couple weeks due to some time pressures. Lots to do during the lead-up to Christmas, as I’m sure you can all understand. I had it all planned out – a full week of vacation to get it all done – but then some problems at work forced me to give up most of my “free” time. The week after Christmas was spent running around to stores with gift exchange related activities and trying to catch up on my online reading.

Basically, I’ve been too tired to blog.

But as I said, I have been reading, and I’ve been thinking about a lot of stuff. I thought the last day of the year should be a good time to throw my thoughts at you once again. Here are some of the topics I’ve been thinking about lately:

  • Materialism - most of us get more stuff than we need at Christmas, and spend more than we should getting things for others. And yet we usually still want more. That’s just stupid. (Related thoughts)
  • Money - partly due to the above, and just as a condition of where I am in life right now, getting serious about personal finance is becoming a major topic for me. “It’s about time,” my father would probably say. He’s right, too. It’s not like I’ve been irresponsible, but the fact is I’ve made a couple big mistakes and then had a couple surprises foisted upon me in the last few years. I’m still doing okay, but definitely need to change my path. It’s starting to work, too. My net worth curve has recently started to curve in the right direction again.
  • Children - I have two young children that (happily) occupy a lot of my time. I’m frequently amazed at what they learn, and at what they teach me.
  • Influence - I recognized years ago that people have a larger influence on others than they realize, both directly and indirectly. The easiest example to give you would be the overplayed, but excellent, movie “It’s a Wonderful Life” with Jimmy Stewart. (If you’re one of the three people on the planet who haven’t seen it, basically, this guy wishes he’d never been born, and an angel lets him see what the world would have been like without him. Major changes happen.) Little things you say and do can have large influences on others, especially if you are seen by them as an authority figure. If you think no one cares what you do – you’re wrong. Someone sees you as either a positive or negative example in their life, and is influenced by your words and actions, whether you’re aware of it or not. If you’re a parent, for instance, your influence extends far beyond the obvious impact you have on your children. Here are a few examples: your children’s friends, other parents, young couples thinking about parenting who see you interacting with your children in a store, your children’s teachers, your co-workers, your relatives, the people your children will meet when they get older – and indirectly, the people all of the above meet. Your world isn’t as small as you think.
  • Influence II – Mass Media – In many ways, mass media runs our lives. It’s scary.
  • TV - Heroes (don’t forget to read the online comics!), Battlestar Galactica (new night and time!), 24 (2 night/4 hour premiere!), and Smallville (Jan 11th at 8pm!) are all returning in the next few weeks. I’m looking forward to all of them, among others. A lot of people laugh when I say I watch Smallville, but it really is a well made show. It has been great to watch the characters develop through the seasons into the icons we all know.
  • Talents - How do we encourage the building of talents in ourselves and others? I started thinking about that with respect to my children, but then realized it applied to me as well. I know I have talents that haven’t really been developed, and I’d like to start. I want to help my kids identify their talents and encourage them appropriately.
  • Technology - this is very close to the antithesis of my first point above, but I really want a computer upgrade and a few other gadgets for the house. The only reason I’m holding off is my second point. I can’t justify spending close to $1000 (on the low end) for stuff I don’t really need, however much I might want them. I am getting to the point, though, where I have to rebuild my current machine. Wacky stuff is happening periodically and it just needs a good “cleaning” to straighten it out. I’ve put it off for a long time because I hate going through the hassle of reinstalling Windows, then all the patches, then all the software. Plus I keep thinking I’m going to lose data because I forgot to back up a certain directory that looked unimportant at the time but actually holds all my “save games” or config files or plug-ins or something. (The technology problem that truly bugs me, though, is at work. My current laptop just isn’t doing the job for me anymore and my IT team refuses to believe me and order me a new system, even though my boss is willing to fork over the dough. I can’t even get them to replace my fuzzy monitor.)
  • Learning technology – with the merger of NETg and SkillSoft earlier this year, the content provider space now has a huge new leader. I hope it works out for customers as well as it should. I also hope to be able to focus more on blending the formal and informal learning opportunities that are out there. I’d love to start using wikis for some documentation projects, discussion groups for distance training, and podcasts for on-demand information, for example.
  • Vacation - I need a real one. One where I go somewhere else and don’t worry about work. Preferably for a month (yeah, right). But then… see the second point above. It’s hard to go anywhere without spending at least a couple hundred dollars. Eh… maybe in 2008.

So there you have it. Some of the topics I’ve been thinking about lately. I wouldn’t be surprised if some of them become posts of their own next year. And I’ll still have movie and tv reviews up from time to time (though I seem to be the only person who reads those). For what it’s worth, I’m also thinking about making some new static pages on the site.

What thoughts have occupied your minds these last few weeks? What’s important to you? Drop a comment and let me know (comments are moderated and may not appear immediately).

I hope you all enjoy your New Years celebrations! Welcome, 2007!

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