Thursday, March 29, 2007

Organizing the home by "stations"

The Seven Essential “Stations” Every Home Should Have offers an interesting thought that makes some sense.

Like many my house has clutter. Clutter has a cost in making it hard to find things, in keeping a constant chaos in your life, and by filling the space it limits what you can do in your own home. And it seems to me after long reflection on it, the condition of ones home really does reflect ones inner condition. So I'm looking at ways to be more organized one aspect of which is to have less clutter.

The article linked above suggests seven "stations" every home should have. By "station" they seem to be referring to the adage: A place for everything and everything in its place This adage is said to mean that everything should have a place to be stored in and that it should be tidily returned there when not in use.

The article linked above suggests seven places they think are applicable to every home. But it is obvious to me their specific seven stations do not apply to everybody, as they certainly do not apply to me. But the general concept is worthy of consideration.

The Destination Station is meant to be inside the front door and is the place where you dump all your stuff just as you enter the house. Such as keys, coats, gloves, etc. This one makes a lot of sense and I recognize I've been doing this ad-hoc. I'm going to take a look at how I can improve this. However what happens when you use different doors at different times? Sometimes I might enter or leave the house through the garage rather than the front door, depending on which vehicle I've used.

The Communication Station is meant for messages between family members. Well, since I live alone there are no family members with which to communicate. Further in this age of ubiquitous cell phones perhaps intra-family communications can be done with SMS messages? It occurs to me though that a helpful thing would be a place to leave messages to myself. If I think of something that needs to be done, but the current moment is not the right time, what do I do with that idea? There's a need for a place to record those ideas or else they'll be forgotten, right? This could be as simple as a corkboard or a whiteboard somewhere.

The Donation Station is something I do, because I'm always giving excess stuff to the various charitable agencies like Goodwill. Like the Destination Station I've not done this as a specific "station" but it's a corner in the house where there's usually a pile of stuff getting ready to go to Goodwill.

The Gift and Shipping Station contains, not the gifts themselves, but the paraphenalia for gift giving and shipping stuff. I'm having a hard time seeing this one. Well, I do have various items like this stuffed in nooks and crannies around the house, perhaps bringing those all to one place will be helpful. But I don't ship things often enough that it's been a priority. So I wonder if there's a pre-condition to establishing a "station" of the activity being something you do regularly..?

The Education Station is meant to be a place for the kids to do their homework and other paraphenalia related to their education. For my case I don't have any kids (no family) so it seems this one doesn't apply to me. Except, I think education never ends so why does this have to be only for the kids? Why not store the adult education stuff in this station? If you do have kids it might help them get the importance of education if they see their parents continually to educating themselves.

The Creation Station is meant for artists and has all the stuff related to their art. Makes sense in a way, but I wonder about the under-theme that only artists can be creative.

The Administration Station is the home office and would have stuff related to household records, etc. This is obvious and probably most homes already have this, I have this in my home.

Some other stations that I might suggest are for Outdoor Recreation, the Home Library, etc. The bathroom could be seen as a "station" for personal cleanliness.

Monday, March 26, 2007

A little clue in finding ones calling

For several years I've felt a desire to do more with my life than the job I work in the high tech industry. In the high tech industry I've had the opportunity to participate in producing services and products which have had a large impact in the world, by helping define the World Wide Web as it is today. But it seems these things, these technological marvels, do not change anything about the human behaviors that, for instance, lead to warmongering, mass death, destruction of civility among people, environmental destruction, etc. In other words I'm in the same boat as are many others. My day job seems to not help the world to become a better place, but instead seems to help the world either stay the same as it's always been or perhaps become worse.

It may be hard for most to see this connection, I know it's difficult for me to truly grasp it. It's not like I work in a bomb factory and the direct result of my work is the tools which the military industrial complex uses to sow death around the world.

It just occurred to me the way I choose the work I perform is perhaps just as important as the content of what that work is.

I originally chose this work in technology based on interests in gadgetry. In high school when I found the computer lab (this was 1973 when high school computer labs were very rare) it was really cool working out how to make the machines do things. That fascination is what drove me to learn more, and to pursue the studies in college that eventually led me to Silicon Valley. The choices were from my head being fascinated with the workings of these machines, and from recognizing that working with machines allowed me to retreat from being around humans. My life up until then led me to deep distrust of other people and in my subconscious it seemed far safer to be around machines than around people. In other words I've chosen this career path based on a fear of being around people, and based on mental fascination.

There's a truism that what you pay attention to grows. By choosing a life path based on fear and mental fascination, that's about giving attention to those fears and mentality.

It seems that I'm not alone in making choices this way. What if "we" were to choose what we do in a different way? For example what if "we" were to make our choices from a desire to bring more peace and love to the world. Oh, and I am speaking about myself as much as anybody else.

"How"? The first step is to recognize the problem in the first place. The first step in curing an addiction is to recognize that you're addicted to something. Then once you recognize how this pattern works for you, is the path of breaking out of the mold of habitual thinking. One way is meditation since it is a way of learning to focus ones attention on something. Meditating on love should give you practice in having or being love.

Another method is to consciously partake in activities that offset your habitual patterns. If you habitually get serious, find ways to loosen up and have fun. Such as reading the comics every morning and learning to laugh with them, or to watch silly movies and enjoy the silliness.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Why do health products get tied up in multi-level network marketing campaigns?

Some acquaintances of mine are very impressed with the IsaGenix product line. They think it's wonderful and keep saying it has made a great change in their life etc. They sent me some website links including an online movie, and I went to take a look. Expecting the movie to inform me of the benefits of the product, it instead informed me that health aids is expected to become a $1 trillion market very shortly and that if I wanted to get my piece of the pie, to live richly beyond my dreams, to have a McMansion in the suburbs and drive a Hummer, that I'd better join the IsaGenix sales team.

The movie told me all that while at the same time giving snippets of information about their product line. For example it's geared to removing toxins from the body and has a very strong weight-loss story. But the network marketing part of the movie intruded into selling me on the product and has me walking the other way wondering what they're thinking about.

This isn't the first time I've had this experience. Generally network marketing programs try to sell two things in the same sales pitch. They're selling both the product and the potential for individual business ownership selling the product. I've seen this same pattern over and over.

I've looked over the product and the ingredients seem about right. For weight loss their "Natural Accelerator" product depends on thermogenic supplements. The thermogenic approach is to increase metabolism levels through supplementing with an herb of some sort, they do not use Ephedra but instead use a variety of herbs such as Ginseng, Cinnamon, Cayenne pepper, etc. These are heating herbs which mean that they increase the inner heat or metabolism strength. The increased metabolism burns off fat.

So, once again we have something which may be a great product .. but to buy the product you have to go through this sales pitch about joining up to sell the product yourself. After all, you like the product, you think it's doing good things for you, so why don't you tell your friends about it and make a few bucks on the side.

I dunno about you .. but often when I go to the store to buy something, all I want to do is buy the thing. Opening a similar store just because I bought something at the store is the last thing on my mind, usually. And in any case my friends just might be turned off from being my friend if I'm always nagging them about this wondrous new product.

It seems such a shame to have good products buried inside network marketing programs.