All posts by Tony

Hello! I'm Tony. I'm a Husband, Father, Friend, Blogger, Country Radio DJ, and proud Dance Dad. Faith, Family, and Technology...this is what matters to me and it's what I write about here.

Pride In Accomplishment

You see it all the time in little kids.  That pride in accomplishment when they conquer something new.  The look on their face when they realize that they did it all by themselves.

Learning to tie a shoe.  Writing their name for the first time.  Picking out their clothes and getting dressed all by themselves.  If you’ve been around kids at these times you’ve seen first hand the pride they can feel.

I had one of those pride in an accomplishment moments today. After doing research and following some guides on the internet I successfully set up Plex Media Server on our home PC.  It involved changing router settings and some settings in our computer.

It was a project I was unsure of at first but I got it working.  Now I can stream any movie stored on our PC to the TV’s in our house.  I can also access and watch any of our movies on my Android smartphone and my Android tablet.  Pretty cool.

It got me realizing that as an adult I’ve had fewer of those pride in accomplishment moments.  Most of them have come after home improvement projects.  The kind like painting a room where you work really hard and when you’re all done you just sit there in the middle of the room for awhile taking in the fruits of your labor.  Maybe you can relate.

I’m going to be actively looking for ways to challenge myself to learn something new.  To accomplish something that initially I thought might not seem possible.

When was the last time you felt pride in something you accomplished? What was it?

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Spending or Investing?

Spending and investing… two words that I’ve always associated with money.  Something that I read last night now has me associating those words with something else: time.

For Lent this year I gave up watching television each night from 9-10 and instead have chosen to use the hour for reading.  One of the books I’m currently reading is Dan Miller’s48 Days To The Work You Love“.

In chapter 4 he made a statement and asked a question that got me thinking.  In fact, I should probably go back and re-read the rest of the chapter as I couldn’t stop from thinking about the question.  This is what he wrote, “Time is the only resource you can never recapture. Are you spending or investing your time?”

Definitely something to think about.  There are parts to my day where my time has just been spent.  The biggest offender would be my commute. However, I am beginning to change that over to investing by listening to educational and inspirational podcasts.  I also realize now what a big waste of time watching television can be.

The parts of my day where my time is being used as a good investment? The time spent with my family.  Evening meals at the dinner table.  Time spent helping my kids with their homework or projects. The time I spend writing my thoughts here and now an extra hour each day to read.

There are 168 hours in every week.  Are you spending a majority of it or are you investing it?

 

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Using Amazon Customer Reviews

Today I offer up a tip on how to use technology when making buying decisions.  It’s to use Amazon customer reviews to see what people who already have what you want to buy think of it.  Whether I plan to buy something from Amazon or not I usually check with their reviews.

Amazon has a 5 star rating system.  You can see at a quick glance in bar graph form how the product rates.  They’ll show you the most helpful comment and the most critical comment (as voted on by people reading the reviews) right up front.

Amazon Android App Customer Review

You can then read all of the comments and can filter by most helpful or newest.  I usually go with newest in case a company makes changes to a product to address initial consumer issues.

There’s also a neat “Customer Question & Answer” section where you can ask a specific question to people who already own the product you are investigating.

Amazon has a mobile app for both Android and iOS users.  You can use the mobile app to scan the UPC code of a product you see in a store.  It’ll then pull the item up in Amazon’s inventory where you can see what they sell it for and read the customer reviews.

One word of caution.  You do need to take a critical view of each review.  If it’s a bad review is it simply because someone didn’t read the directions or understand how to use the product?  Were they being to harsh in their review?

A personal example would be when I was researching the Fitbit Force.  Several reviewers commented that it was hard to get the band to latch when putting it on.  Other reviewers said it was fine after you got the hang of it.

I decided that I’d prefer it be a little more difficult to put on as it likely meant it would be difficult to fall off.  After wearing one for several months I can tell you I have no issues putting it on or taking it off.

Using Amazon app reviews is a great way to use technology to make wise buying decisions… and maybe even save yourself a little money.

Do you use Amazon reviews?  Ever left your own Amazon review?

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