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Always do your best

One of the The Four Agreements is “Always Do Your Best”. That is a guidepost for future blog posts. Reading my past posts my writing has much room for improvement.

Thank you Google Buzz

I want to offer my gratitude to the Google Buzz team. My life has been enriched by their creation. I have saved time, rediscovered old friends and relearned important lessons about the value of communication.

It just so happens none of this actually happened *on* Google Buzz (mostly because not much of *anything* happens on Google Buzz) but rather this all occurred for me because my high hopes for Google Buzz were my inspiration for disabling my Facebook account.

I would not describe myself as a social media junkie (some friends may disagree, shut up) but I was a frequent user. I felt Social Meida was a new frontier. I was on the cusp of the paradigm shift. Endless opportunities abounded. Exciting times indeed.

As the promise of Buzz beckoned I became emboldened. I deactivated my Facebook account and struck out as a new pioneer on the Buzz Frontier and then…nothing…happened. By nothing, I mean silence. In that social media void I began to reach out via traditional methods. You know, with telephones or emails. Real conversations. With people. Using spoken words or paragraphs >140 characters. Gone were the quick quips, comments, LOLs, confusing timelines, useless email notifications about lame Facebook updates and endless Mafia Wars invites.

I enjoyed this new space. I didn’t miss Social Media. The paradigm was shifting, or not, and I didn’t care.

I still have several Twitter accounts. I still have Google Buzz. I have not, and do not plan to, reactivate Facebook.

When it comes down to it, I’d prefer to have the right conversations with the right people than to share my every thought with the masses. I wish the masses felt the same way.

National Money Hole

Sometimes The Onion is pretty funny.

In The Know: Should The Government Stop Dumping Money Into A Giant Hole?

Vacation in Italy

So…I went to Italy. It was the best time ever.

St. Peter’s Basilica blew my mind. I am still in awe. Next was the Statue of David. You can’t get your head around how amazing a statue can be until you see it in person.

But my favorite thing was Venice. Yes, Venice. There is no place like Venice and unfortunately it may not be around for much longer.

I almost didn’t go because I was too wrapped up in my own trivial drama. I am so glad I got my head on straight and made it happen.

Books: 4 Hour Work Week

The 4 Hour Work Week was an interesting read. The author, Tim Ferriss, proclaims to run his business in just 4 hours a week, take multiple mini retirements and to have completely automated his income.
I like his writing style. It is somewhat in your face. At the same time I think I wouldn't like Tim in person. That's a weird comment, but I kept getting that feeling while reading. I enjoyed the book, don't know that I would enjoy the author's company over a beer.
The first part of the book covers his philosophy, some background and a fair amount of boasting. The second (and boring part for me) covers how to make your own business automated. Interesting, but nothing ground breaking.
What I did like was the challenge to not live your entire life in a cubicle. The world is a big place. Don't work for 20 years then rely on retirement. Take time off now (he was doing up to six month or longer "retirements").
I support that idea. Travel now. Why wait? Perfect timing for me as I leave in less than 2 days for ITALY!!

Posted via email from stuarthall’s posterous

El Camino for breakfast

Business of Happiness

I just finished reading 

The Business of Happiness 

by Ted Leonsis. I recommend it! Check out the website to get some background on the author and book.

To summarize, Ted grew up in Brooklyn the son of immigrant parents. Through hard work and fortunate timing he was very successful at a young age. But he wasn't happy.  A near death experience opened his eyes to his second chance at life and he decided to dedicate himself to being happy.

Ted's theory is to not confuse being successful with being happy. He was successful, but not happy. Ted theorizes that successful people are not happy because they are successful, they are successful because they are happy.

Ted is an interesting guy. He's done a lot! His insights into his time as Chairman at AOL gave me new found respect for that company. His story shows that hard work does pay off, but that there's more to life than just achieving financial and professional goals.

After his near death experience, Ted creates a "list". 101 and things he wanted to do before he dies. He admits many items did not generate happiness (own a Ferrari), but that he created the list at 28 and he's been faithful on following through. The fact that he did follow through on his list when given an opportunity to achieve one of his goals fortuitously protected a large portion of his wealth during the dot com bust.

The book is broken in two parts. The first part is mostly autobiographical. An interesting read. The second half the author breaks down the six things he believes creates happiness.

This was a good and quick read. I recommend it!

Posted via email from stuarthall’s posterous

I’m done with Facebook

This was a response I posted to a thread on Google Buzz about why I closed my Facebook account:

When it comes down to it, I got all of the value I was ever going to get out of Facebook. I connected with people I hadn't seen in 20 years. Beyond that initial rush, Facebook has been a complete waste of time. 

Facebook can take much of the blame: Mafia Wars, Farmville etc. Complete junk. Annoying. I'm done. 

I get more value out of the ~500 people I follow on three Twitter accounts, many of which I don't know, than I ever got out of Facebook. 

Those that matter know how to reach me. No forwarding address required.

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2010 Books update & thoughts on VMware

52 books in 52 weeks may be a bit tougher than expected. I read a lot of non-fiction and technical books which tend to be longer and more dense. Novels are a luxury.

That's OK. I'm just acknowledging that fact and will continue to post reviews as I finish books. So…onward.

I went to Big Bear last week expecting the opportunity to get some quality snowboarding out of the recent storms in Southern California. Instead we had freezing rain and hail most of the day. As a result I had the opportunity to do a lot of reading and I finished VMware vSphere 4 Implementation.

If the title didn't give it away, VMware vSphere 4 Implementation is a technical book. It's difficult to review a technical book in the same manner you'd review other books. This book was middle of the road in all areas: readability, helpfulness, tips and tricks, references. That's the book review in a nutshell.

Let's switch to VMware as a technology. I've been a big fan of VMware for a long time. The new features, especially VMware View, look amazing. With the addition of PCoIP I think VMware finally has the key to delivering a streaming video capable desktop over an Internet connection. Eventually we'll all have Gigabit Internet to the desktop, but in the meantime it appears only VMware can provide a high fidelity remote desktop experience.


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2010 52 books January recap

Four weeks in and I’m at 2.5 books for my goal of 52 books in 2010.

My pace has slowed because the current book I’m reading, Mastering the Rockefeller Habits, is so good I am rereading each chapter. I am also attempting to apply some of the lessons to my business which is basically amounting to homework. It’s a process which does not allow me to consume 100 pages in a sitting. I read about 30 pages and then need to think about it for a few hours.

I don’t plan to “go back” to make up time. 52 books is a stated goal, but even more it’s a guidepost. A beacon to guide my behavior for this year.

Plus, I’ll be going to Italy in March. I imagine with 40+ hours of scheduled travel time I’ll be able to tear through a few novels for pure enjoyment.

Oh, and I ordered four more books from Amazon today. These books are all VMware related. I’m sure those reviews are anxiously awaited!

Posted via email from stuarthall’s posterous

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