Alaboutnothing Official Blog

March 10, 2017

Quit Smoking the Easy Way Part 1

xsmokingI am happy to report that last January marks 4 years since I last smoked a cigarette. An accomplishment I am very proud of and I am going to share with others who are attempting to quit smoking but struggling with the task. So if you are a non-smoker you might move on to another site, but then again you might wish to share this site to someone you know that is attempting to quit smoking.
I found that when I decided to quit, created the intention to quit smoking, and focused on the task at hand the solutions came my way quickly.

I was smoking one pack a day at the time, and I was going though a severe chest cold which seemed to a fairly regular event at back then. I also had been smoking for over five decades, yes folks, more than fifty years without ever seriously attempting to quit. So here is my solution to quitting which turned out to be easier than expected.

First I met a doctor that had organized a group of folks that under her supervision had quit smoking using a medication named Wellbutrin. The instructions were one pill a day for three days and then start with two pills a day and continue to smoke. When the third day arrived I had already cut down from 20 to 15 cigarettes a day. I found that I had a reaction to taking the second pill and the doctor said to just stay with the one a day. Within 10 days I was at 3 cigarettes a day and seemed to get stuck at three.

Then one day I was on my Facebook page when I saw a symbol on the right side that was a cigarette with a red crossed “X” over it. I stared at the symbol because I never click on those “pages you need to visit” symbols, but I went with a gut feeling and clicked on it. I then went to a page about quitting smoking by Alan Carr and it led me to a PDF download of a book named “The Easy Way to Stop Smoking” written by Alan Carr in 1985. I downloaded the file and read the book in one sitting. I have not smoked a cigarette since completing the book. (Thank you Allen)

Click here for a link to the Quit smoking site PDF File

What this book did for me was to point out that all the thoughts about why I liked smoking or why that cigarette with a cup of coffee first thing in the morning tasted so good, or yeah there is a chance of getting cancer, but not me, etc. The answer is those thoughts are coming from your ADDICTION! Yes your addiction is pointing out how much you enjoy smoking and how special you are for smoking without any issues and of course you are so special that cancer is not an option.

So the actual quitting was easy. I found the tough part was about 2-3 weeks later when I felt an urge for a cigarette when a situation occurred that when I was smoking, would smoke a cigarette. I have talked with other people who said this was the part that when they felt some stress, they automatically went back to smoking thinking they would attempt to quit at a later date. My though was “I did not quit smoking to go right back to it!” So what I did was I immediately noticed the situation that was causing the urge and then stopped what I was doing. I sat down and started a simple meditation where I focused on my in and out breath knowing that the urge would pass in about 20 seconds. Sure enough, it did and the next time the same situation came up the urge was non-existent. I did this ever time I had the smoking urge and eventually it was a rare event.

These days focusing on your breathing during a meditation is called “Mindfulness Meditation” and classes on how to do Mindfulness Mediation are being offered by most hospitals across the country (For a fee). If you are luck enough to live in or near Redwood City California the Insight Meditation Center offers classes for free (Donations are accepted). Check their web site for more information

Click here for a link to Insight Meditation Center Redwood City California

If you are interested in on-line classes here is a link to the Google Mindfulness online course, yes folks, Goggle has a course on mindfulness and from what we understand they support their employees in using this method to meditate. You even get a certificate when you complete the course.

Click here for Google Link

We have nothing else to talk about at this time, but we invite you to post a comment if you would like more information or have a question or two. Be sure to include your email address and we will be sure to get back to you as soon as we can. Also if you don’t want your comment made public, please include a “NOT”.

NOTHING is better than a smoke free environment!”

January 7, 2017

My Uber Journey Journal Entry – New Year 2017

Filed under: UBER Journey — alaboutnothing @ 1:35 am
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uber_logoWell folks, we saw a article that said the Uber will be giving about 15 million rides over New Years Eve and we made sure we were part of it.  It proved to be an interesting experience and we even did some research prior.  We found the between 7:00 PM and 11:00 PM we were taking party goers to the various parties through out this area.  Then we took a few hours off and started driving again at around 1:00 AM.  All of these trips were taking many happy and one fairly “woozy” passenger home from the parties.  As usual we met some awesome folks and had some great conversations.

New Years Day Revelation —  I don’t know if it was because this was the first day of a new year, but it seems that two Prius drivers broke out of the normal slow speed syndrome and decided to live on the wild side.  I was on I-280 doing about 5 MPH over the 65 MPH speed limit when a Silver Prius passed me like I was standing still.  I was stunned when I realized when had just happened.  I figured that it would never happen again, so I gave a chuckle and drove on.  Then later, I was on the Dumbarton Bridge doing the posted 55 MPH when a Blue Prius passed me doing about 65 mph.  Now we were double stunned.  We thought maybe 2017 marked the start of some secret rule that the Prius community should start speeding, but that came to and end when I had to swerve around a Prius doing 45 MPH in the 55 MPH zone.  Still an amazing start to 2017 we must say.

Google Alert – We had a passenger (Denali) today that we picked up at Facebook and it turns out that Denali just had completed an interview and was seriously looking for a new position.  We asked Denali if Google was on the list and Denali said that she was waiting for Google to get back to her, but late next week she was going to an interview down in Venice Beach.  So to GOOGLE we say “Hey! Denali is a Northern California Native and is well qualified based on my conversation I think Denali would fit nicely in the Google community.  We can’t let a So Cal company steal Northern California techie talent.”  It’s now on you Google, don’t blow this.

Driver-less Car Conversation – The driver-less car conversation goes on and now the question has arisen that if all the cars are built identical then they will all perform the same.  We thought a great test would be to take some of these vehicles to a drag strip and race them against each other.  If they are all in fact the same, then the final race result will always be a tie.

New Uber Driver Alert – Hey Nigel get it done!

We have nothing else to report at this time, but we will be posting the Google result on the Denali interview later this week.  We are in the middle of starting a Twitter movement to get Starbuck’s or any other coffee café to give San Francisco Uber drivers a discount.  (Peet’s Coffee are you listening?)

December 24, 2016

My Uber Journey Journal Entry – Christmas 2016

Filed under: UBER Journey — alaboutnothing @ 8:44 pm
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uber_chopperIt’s finally here, Christmas 2016 and we would like to send out holiday greetings and many blessings to all of our friends and we are happy to include all the Uber riders we have had the honor to serve in the last few months.  It sure has been a journey and we are enjoying every moment and we hope they are also enjoying.

It’s been busy the last few weeks with the holiday parties and travel to places all over the world.

UBER News Flash —  A Toyota Prius was seen and tracked doing 67 MPH in a 65 MPH speed zone!  Yes, I could hardly believe my eyes when I look at me odometer and saw the Prius was 2 MPH faster than the speed limit.  I then checked the plates and found them to be from Canada.  Aha!  I waved as I passed them and thought “Maybe 60 liters per kilometer is doable by Canadians.”

We are still surprised by the riders we pick up and how up-beat everyone is.  The conversations are always a learning experience and no matter what age, it’s always an exchange of ideas and culture.  One common subject of conversation lately has been the “Driver-less” cars.  Since California is demanding Uber get the proper permits and such, Uber has decided to go elsewhere for testing.  We still see the Google cars on the roadways, so they must have complied.  So far the common agreement by many passengers is that they would not want to ride in one yet, even with a driver along just in case.  Most do agree that using “Driverless” semi-trucks across the countries roadways is a great ides, but cars not yet.  The conflict is mainly that mixing driverless cars and cars with drivers is like mixing oil and water.

Uber Newbie Alert — Recently we have heard rumors that there are actually people who don’t understand how the Uber experience works.  Yes, I was shocked too, and then I experienced a call for a ride by an Uber “Newbie”.  Here is what happened – I received a pick up alert and when I accepted I saw that the pick was at Rosewood Hotel a place we pick up riders often.  So I was about 5 miles away at the Stanford Mall and we headed toward Sand Hill road on my way for the pickup, when my phone rang.  I pulled over to answer and when I said “Hello”, I immediately heard “Where are you?” No identification, but the voice sounded like a friend of mine so I said, “At the Stanford Mall on my way to a pick up”.  Then I heard, “How come you are not here and when will you be here?”  I was now confused so I said, “Who is this?”.  The answer was, “Ms Chou and I am waiting at the Rosewood Hotel and you should have been here by now!”  Then she asked “How long until you get here?” I said, “About 10 to 15 minutes depending on the traffic.”  I added that I just received the pickup notice about 20 seconds ago and I was now on my way.  Then she said again, “You should be here now and I don’t want to wait that long so I am going to cancel and call someone else.”  I said, “Okay, that is your choice and the only way I can get there now is to call Scottie from Star-Trek” and have him beam over, but that is an extra fee.” (DUH).  15 minutes later I get another pickup alert for Ms Chou and accept it, knowing that a phone call was imminent and sure enough here she was again.  She said, “Why did you accept this ride request?”  I said, because if I did not it would go on my Uber record as a cancellation and I did not want that to happen.”  She then said, “Just turn off your phone.”  I said, “You should know that you are not the only person in the universe using Uber and I was waiting for the next trip.” She then hung up.  (Probably called Lyft or a cab)

** Uber-Up  — So to Ms Chou (And any other Uber newbie) I dedicate how to Use the Uber APP instructions once you send the request.  Just know that an Uber driver will be receiving the request for pick up and you can see at the lower right of your screen how  many minutes away the driver is and this will update as the driver get closer.  Also when the drive arrives you will be notified that he/she/it has arrived and is waiting.  You have 2 minutes to confirm, and if you don’t the driver has the option to cancel.  That’s it!  You don’t need to be a rocket scientist and 99.9999% of the population has figured this out, and now you know also.

Something I have on order is a dash-cam.  I want to capture the “I own that real-estate lane changers” on video and then post on here.  I have also seen a few close call accidents and figured that if I had one on video it might help the police is solving the case.  Once I was stopped at a red light and a car from behind me swerved around me and sped away through a busy intersection.  I was amazed no one hit him/her/it as they went through and down the street.  So when I get it installed I will be posting some test videos.

We have nothing at add except “Happy Holidays to all and to all a good night!”

** Update – Our new catch phrase will be “Uber-Up” for people who have not used Uber.

December 5, 2016

My Uber Journey — The Start

uber_logoWe are back and loaded with about a thousand pounds (hash tags) of notes starting a new phase of AAN posts.

About three months ago we started driving for Uber.  At first we were a bit fearful about it because throughout entire career (50+ years) we were software developers and manual labor was not part of the job description, so we researched it until we found everything we needed.  One of our limitations was we did not own car that could be used, but then we found a way to lease a car from Uber, and overall it’s a great deal.  (Limitation eliminated).  We won’t go into details because we don’t know if this option is in all the cities across the US.  You need to check in your area.

Once we decided to go ahead everything simply fell in place in just a few days.  When it came time to go get the car, we did an Uber ride and the guy (Old friend) who picked me up had been doing Uber for 3 years so we chatted the entire way and he gave me some great tips.  We used his driver id as a referral so when I hit me 100 ride we both got a great bonus.  It was funny, because just when I completed my 100th passenger ride within a few minutes he called me.  We weren’t keeping count so it was a surprise.  The 1st words we heard were “I am dancing around my chair because you just completed 100 rides!”  I laughed and said “Wow, already!” Sure enough my bonus had been deposited.  I said, “We need to meet and celebrate at Starbuck’s in a few days.” (We did).

Once we picked the car and signed the paperwork we were on our way to an awesome experience.  We call it a journey because this feels like a new part of our life, a life extension so to say.  One of the parts of being a software developer the last 10 years was that we mainly worked from home over the web.  It is convenient, but the part of doing software for me is the people contact not only solving issues by coding.  (The phone is not the same a face to face).

So this was the main reason that got us past our fear, and when we completed the 1st pick-up and drop-off, the fear disappeared in a heart beat.  We knew this is exactly what I will be doing for a long time to come.

Here we are in the San Francisco Bay area where Facebook HQ, Google HQ, Apple HQ, Uber HQ, and about a zillion other “.com” companies reside and of course Stanford University.  Then there is the diversity of people from all over the world coming to visit and to live or go to school.  Yes folks, this is an awesome journey.  I can only quote Emma from New Zealand who was visiting her daughter on her way back home.  She said “This is an exchange in cultures and a sharing of ideas between people of the world.”  (She nailed it)  It’s a matter of talking directly to another human, not via text, but with eye contact and feeling and sharing our energy.  Of course many things we share are common, but the uniqueness is the icing on the cake.

We plan to document my Uber journey with observations I make along the way.  For example Uber does not push for rider’s tips on a completed ride, but we once picked up a Stanford Student at Trader Joe’s and when we dropped her off she gave me a banana as a tip.  Know what?  We were hungry so we peeled it right there and started eating it as we thanked her.

So now when we start my day we get in the car and take a few deep breaths and think. “Who are we going to meet today and what new places will we be discovering?”  It is always a surprise we must say.

We would suggest to you all out there in cyberland that if you enjoy people, have some rime on your hands, that instead of becoming a couch potato try out Uber or at least research it and see if it fits you.  If you decide to do it please use my driver Id. as a reference (5ZZEQH3UUE) when you fill out the online application.  We will both share a nice bonus when you complete your 100 trips.

We have read some “bad” things about Uber, but in my opinion it’s great.  Not perfect, but they always updating the driver application, and their support has been very good.  What they do need is some formal online training.  There are some U-Tube video’s that are okay, but we would suggest maybe in the major cities a one day seminar covering how the “ap” works and answering questions.  We am still finding new stuff.

We have nothing to ad at this time but maybe someday you will visit the Bay are and when you do an Uber ride we will pick you up.  If any of you have a question please leaves a comment and we will get back to you.

 

December 31, 2015

The 25th Annual Remote Developer Ugly Sweater Competition Final

Filed under: Back in the Day — alaboutnothing @ 9:07 pm
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Finally we have a winner after several recounts since Christmas Eve Day

HAPPY_2016jpg
Congratulations to Roberto who is this year’s winner and will get a 1st prize check of $7.25 (Thomas has your check). Normally he would have received a trophy, but since the trophy was an ice sculpture it melted on Christmas day. It was one of the best “CDS095” images ever made from ice and because CDS095 freezes up once in a while, the material fit the subject matter. The good news is before the melt-down a small cube was saved and placed in the refrigerator in the cafeteria. The bad news is, there was a small Christmas celebration and the cube was used to cool a drink. (Next year we need a freezer on hand just in case).

Plans are already in progress for next year and because Joe S. had the drink that used the small trophy cube, he is in charge. Voting for the trophy image will begin on January 5th.

We have nothing else to report except to wish everyone we know a Happy New Year and the same to everyone we don’t yet know.

Just too clear up any questions on the amount of the 1st prize check which is normally $10,000.00. This year’s check is a net amount with the following expenses deducted: The daily fees for renting the voting machine, which was on hand for five days of recounts, the sculpting of the trophy, and operating fee (Don’t ask) all came out to $9,992.75.

December 16, 2015

The Voice Final 2015 — Jordan Smith wins it!!!!

Filed under: The Voice — alaboutnothing @ 2:44 pm
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Jordan Smith
Jordan Mackenzie Smith is an American singer and musician. In December 2015 he won season nine of the singing competition The Voice, which brought him to wide national attention. Wikipedia
Born: November 4, 1993 (age 22), Whitley County, Kentucky, KY
Parents: Geri Smith, Kelley Smith
Another GREAT season for The Voice and way to go Jordon!!!  This guy was way above all the other contestants.
We have nothing else except to wait for Jordon to be in concert soon.  See you soon Aaron.

 

October 27, 2015

Our Awesome Friend in Need in Ohio….

Filed under: General Nothing — alaboutnothing @ 2:54 pm
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gofundmeThere is a person I worked with who I also consider a friend and she needs some help right now.  She is fighting cancer and her family is supporting her, but as we all know when you start Chemo it gets really expensive and she needs the help on the medical bills.  A post went out locally in Ohio and I am taking it to another level and asking the cyberland folks to give a buck or two, or three or four.  Anything helps.  (Prayers included)

Here is the link to >>>> “Stomp Out Cancer!” <<<<<<<<<

I don’t think we have ever asked for help for a friend, but you know there are thousand out there in cyberland that could sure use a little something to help them along.

God Bless everyone of you that donates a few bucks and God Bless everyone of you that say a prayer for our friend.  We have nothing to add except Namaste.

 

October 12, 2015

The Voice 2015 Fall Season — Let the Battles Begin!

Filed under: The Voice — alaboutnothing @ 1:22 am
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VioceFinally our favorite format of The Voice – The BATTLE Rounds.  The blind auditions we great, but our favorite part of The Voice is the battle rounds.  This is what sets The Voice apart from other vocal reality shows and with the great talent this year is going to be way over the top.  The judge / mentor steals are also going to be interesting.

We have nothing else to report except to say to you all out there in cyberland, see you tomorrow night for the start of the battles.  Thank you for not smoking while visiting and if you were smoking, why don’t you think about quitting? (Scroll down to the Quite Smoking the Easy Way Post a few days ago)

October 9, 2015

The Voice 2015 Fall Season

Filed under: The Voice — alaboutnothing @ 11:15 am
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voiceHere we go again and just when you think The Voice can not get any better, it does !!  The 1st week of “blind auditions” proved to this reporter that this will be the best season ever of The Voice.  (We say this at the beginning of every season.) The judges are a perfect group topped off with Gwen returning and with the addition of Pharrell back season.  They seem to be having fun and some of the banter is really funny.  Hard to believe that Adam is having a tough time forming a team and has started slowly, but Pharrell and Gwen are really pushing to get contestants, along with Blake and of course Adam.  Talent wise, WOW, this season has started with the “Concert every night” theme and we are enjoying every minute of it. Tough to pick a favorite this season, but we are still looking for the “wow” ones.

We have nothing to report except that we were converted back to following So You Think You Can Dance this past season and we enjoyed it immensely.

June 12, 2014

Richard Dunn went viral with this Video from Vegas

Filed under: Consumer — alaboutnothing @ 10:12 am
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Richard looks to be all by himself and stuck at McCarren International Airport in Vegas so he decided to make a video…

We have traveled through many airports and been stuck a few times, so now Richard has given us an idea as to how to make the time go by faster.  Thanks Richard!

 

We have nothing else to report….

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