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Archive for the Diversion category

Nine tips for keeping yourself employable – The Ladders What would you do if you got fired today?

We’ve been receiving emails from Marc Cenedella, CEO & Founder at The Ladders for a while now and he always has some relevant and sage advice for how best to approach looking for work and opportunities in the new economy. Today’s message was about being prescient and proactive in looking for your next employer so we thought that we’d share his email with the Bauer Graphics community. Enjoy!

Nine tips for insuring against unemployment by keeping yourself employable:

Be thankful.
At the end of each workday, write down one thing you enjoyed or appreciated that day. Just send yourself an email with two sentences: “What I liked about today was how Abby handled the new client call. It makes me proud to be a part of her team.” Small bits of gratitude remind you of why you took the job in the first place, and help reinforce your willpower to handle the rough times. If you do this every day, you’ll find yourself being more appreciative for your work and your colleagues.

Show gratitude.
At the start of each workday, email one colleague, vendor, or partner, and thank them specifically for something they’ve done for you. Showing your gratitude to others is just plain nice, but it also lets others know what you enjoy and would like to see from them. It doesn’t have to be long: “Steve — just wanted to say that you did a great job at the planning meeting yesterday and I thought you handled the question about the 2013 budget cycle very professionally — Neal.” The world will become appreciative of you for being so gracious. Over time, you’ll find that makes working together a richer and more enjoyable experience.

Have an opinion.
Write one contrarian and one trend blog post on your industry per month. 350 words is all you need. That’s literally two minutes of talking out loud. You can talk for two minutes out loud, can’t you?

Become the #2 person in a local Meetup group in your area of specialty. Meetups are local groups that meet to discuss areas of common interest. There are over 100,000 Meetup topics that cover everything from Marketing to PHP to Business Law and more. Find one you like, start attending and contributing, and see how you can help organize. And if the right Meetup doesn’t exist in your town yet, you could even be the founder!

Keep up with the latest.
Read the NY Times Tech reporters Jenna Wortham and Nick Bilton — they write on cutting edge technology. Sign up for one of the services they mention and play with it for 15 minutes. You don’t have to love it — sometimes being able to explain why you don’t like a service or product is more valuable to an employer.

Get 100 followers on Twitter that you don’t know.
Interact with people in your industry and your area and build yourself a little safety net. It might take a week or it might take a year, but getting a community outside of your immediate work can actually feel very liberating.

Stay connected.
Once a year, reach out to your old bosses and let them know how you’re doing. Anybody who has invested the time, effort, and attention in getting your head screwed on straight will likely enjoy hearing how you’ve turned out (and take credit if the result is positive!)

Stay in touch.
Once a month, go to lunch with an old colleague, a former co-worker or a college classmate. Face-to-face, nacho-to-nacho, is the only way to keep true human relationships going. So break bread, grab a drink, or meet before work to share your experiences and trials.

Keep connections warm.
Go through all your contacts, e-mails, Rolodex, whatever and find fifty people from your industry that you wouldn’t ‘normally’ speak with in the next year. Assign those fifty people to the next fifty weeks — one person per week.

Each week, e-mail just that one person with a reminder that you exist and that you remember them: “Hey Jerry, I was just thinking about how great it was to meet you at the annual show in Chicago. I wonder if that re-engineering project of yours ever finished! Well, stay in touch, and let me know if you’re ever in Portland or want a few tips on the golf course/ Settlers of Catan / sample sales sites I was telling you about….”

The worst time to get up to speed on your tech skills, positive demeanor and networking chops is when you find yourself laid off or about-to-be-laid-off. So it’s important that you keep up your ability to find new employment just in case disaster strikes.

With these nine tips, and just 15 minutes a day — between meetings, between flights, in the car — you’ll keep yourself safe by purchasing the best type of unemployment insurance, employability.

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Bauer Graphics at the Wild Canyon Games!

This past weekend, Bauer Graphics attended the Wild Canyon Games at the Washington Family Ranch here in Central Oregon.  The Wild Canyon Games (WCG) is described as “the ultimate team based adventure race competition” and after this weekend the only adjective we’d add is ‘punishing’.   For three days the team at Bauer Graphics was pushed to the physical edge.   Afterwards, the only emotion we have to describe our feelings is one of gratitude.

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The 2011 Wild Canyon Games were held at a 66,000-acre facility in Central Oregon known as the Washington Family Ranch. A short 3 hour drive from Portland will get you to the town of Antelope which is where all communication to the outside world effectively ends.  For the next 30 minutes we were on loose gravel and/or dirt roads as we made our way to the entrance to the camp.   The following images show a few of the scenic overlooks and the awe-inspiring landscapes, but the actual feeling when you are there is simply indescribable.

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We signed in, received our wristbands, went to orientation and the vendor fair then spent the rest of the afternoon planning and setting our alarms for the 5am Triathlon and GeoCaching events. As we were settling into our bunks, we looked outside and saw that the night sky had exploded with stars. At 10pm, we packed up the cameras, tripod and 5 members of team Bauer Graphics and made the long journey to the top of Communication Hill (2140 ft). This hill would eventually be the last leg of our Creek2Peak journey on Sunday morning, but for now, it was doing a pretty good job of kicking our asses. The last 1/8 of a mile is nearly straight up and ends with the following view:

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There were millions of them! I don’t think I’ve ever seen that many stars in my life outside of Red Dead Redemption. After catching our breath for 30 minutes we collected our things and made our way back down ending the day just after midnight.

The next day started at 4am after our bunk house had turned into a fart-n-snore factory. I packed my bag and changed into my gear and waited for the rest of the crew to get ready. By 5:30am we were off to breakfast for and then to the check ins for our respective events. Simon, Ellen and Brendan took their places at the Triathlon while Rudy, Aaron, Derek and I walked across campus to the sports facility to prepare for the Geocaching event.

For the next five hours we would be climbing the hills of the Washington Family Ranch to elevations of nearly 4000 feet. Our team broke into two teams of two; Aaron and Derek went to the hills in the west while Rudy and I went due south to find caches in the valley. What started off as a trip down into a valley turned into Rudy and I heading towards one of the highest peaks at the camp. Word of warning to all you iPhone 4 owners, trying to use the GPS unit in the phone for GeoCaching is like trying to thread a needle while sitting in the back of a truck. Get yourself a good GPS unit before heading out and get a plan of attack ready before your trek into the wilderness so you don’t end up stuck on a devil’s backbone. By “Devil’s Backbone” I mean that we had worked our way up a ridge to a point where there was a sharp, steep grade on one side and a 1500 foot cliff on the other.

After making our way back down to safety we encountered a pretty significant problem. We’d been turned around from our original position so much that we couldn’t place where we were and how to get back to camp. While the iPhone 4′s GPS couldn’t find a broad side of a cavern-sized barn, the compass app worked like a charm and after 45 minutes of additional climbing we crested a hill and saw the ranch once more. Rudy and I, humbled by our journey, were nearly silent during the entire decent into camp. Within 30 minutes Derek and Aaron returned with several cache numbers in tow. All of team Bauer was safe, sound and accounted for.

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When we left the geocache area we ran into the rest of the team who let us know that we had done much better than expected in the Triathlon event. Ellen did a great job swimming and Simon finished the mini-marathon with a respectful time but it was Brendan’s racing ability that put us over the top. In a heat of 103 riders, Brendan had finished 10th. After the first event, Bauer Graphics stood in the top 25 of overall participants at the 2011 Wild Canyon Games.

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Dear everyone,

I’ve been spending a lot of time going through the Bauer Graphics blog as we prepare for our official-grand-re-launch of the site in April. Bauer Graphics has had a blog going for over five years and in that time there has been a few posts talking about personal exploration and others dealing with overcoming everyday workplace adversity. I wanted to share a few blog posts with you that sum up the atmosphere and philosophy of my myself and everyone we look to bring on at Bauer Graphics:

“You’ll be told in a hundred ways, some subtle and some not, to keep climbing, and never be satisfied with where you are, who you are, and what you’re doing. There are a million ways to sell yourself out, and I guarantee you’ll hear about them. To invent your own life’s meaning is not easy, but it’s still allowed, and I think you’ll be happier for the trouble.”

“Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

“We can get off of it at any time. It’s only a choice. No effort, no work, no job, no savings, and money. A choice, right now, between fear and love.”

“You must not only condition yourself to be open and willing to receive what you want but you must also ASK FOR IT! You need to ask for what you want with total passion, intention and belief. Don’t complain or be a victim. Be positive, optimistic and full of enthusiasm and joy.”

Have a wonderful morning, afternoon and evening everyone. Looking forward to launching the new site soon.

Sincerely,

___________________________________________

Neal Bauer
Bauer Graphics, Inc.

email • neal (at) bauergraphics (dot) com
cell • 503.968.7699

http://www.bauergraphics.com/bg_capabilities.pdf

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Proud sponsors of the ++Good Games podcast

This month Bauer Graphics has made an investment in the future of video games by sponsoring the ++Good Games podcast on iTunes, podOmatic and Mevio.

Over the course of 2010-2011 the team at ++Good has talked with developers and individuals that are actively pushing the craft of video games forward including Tim Schafer and Lee Petty of Double Fine Studios, Localization Specialist Thomas Lipschultz from XSeed Games as well as voice actors like Liam O’Brien and Kat Steel who have graciously joined the program.

The ++Good Games podcast has been celebrating the best games, the best developers and the greatest experiences this industry has to offer and has worked tirelessly to share what has made the games industry so exceptional these past 40 years.

We at Bauer Graphics are proud to have the opportunity to support a program that moves an imaginative industry forward and we are glad that we could help them level up.

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Get a Good Night’s Sleep – Every Night

I am one of an estimated 75 million people in this country that have problems falling asleep, staying asleep or getting enough sleep. With kids and an older, incontinent dog, I can’t even remember what it feels like to get a good night’s sleep. After searching the internet for the better part of three months it appears that I am not alone in this dilemma.

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There have been numerous studies that have shown that getting proper sleep every night can mean better mood, sharper concentration, higher productivity at work, a stronger immune system and even an easier time managing your weight. It sounds like the wonder-drug for most of what ails us is a little vitamin Z.

So, with that, I am going to actively try out each of the following “Sleep Hygene” recommendations from sleep experts over the next 30 days:

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(photo courtesy of Malias)

• I you can’t fall asleep within 20 minutes, get up and do something boring until you feel sleepy
Sit quietly in the dark or read the warranty on your refrigerator. Don’t expose yourself to bright light while you are up. The light gives cues to your brain that it is time to wake up.

• Don’t take naps
This will ensure you are tired at bedtime. If you just can’t make it through the day without a nap, sleep less than one hour, before 3 pm.

• Get up and go to bed the same time every day

Even on weekends! When your sleep cycle has a regular rhythm, you will feel better.

• Refrain from exercise at least 4 hours before bedtime
Regular exercise is recommended to help you sleep well, but the timing of the workout is important. Exercising in the morning or early afternoon will not interfere with sleep.

• Develop sleep rituals
It is important to give your body cues that it is time to slow down and sleep. Listen to relaxing music, read something soothing for 15 minutes, have a cup of caffeine free tea, do relaxation exercises.

• Only use your bed for sleeping
Refrain from using your bed to watch TV, pay bills, do work or reading. So when you go to bed your body knows it is time to sleep. Sex is the only exception.

• Stay away from caffeine, nicotine and alcohol at least 4-6 hours before bed
Caffeine and nicotine are stimulants that interfere with your ability to fall asleep. Coffee, tea, cola, cocoa, chocolate and some prescription and non-prescription drugs contain caffeine. Cigarettes and some drugs contain nicotine. Alcohol may seem to help you sleep in the beginning as it slows brain activity, but you will end end up having fragmented sleep.

• Have a light snack before bed
If your stomach is too empty, that can interfere with sleep. However, if you eat a heavy meal before bedtime, that can interfere as well. Dairy products and turkey contain tryptophan, which acts as a natural sleep inducer. Tryptophan is probably why a warm glass of milk is sometimes recommended.

• Take a hot bath 90 minutes before bedtime
A hot bath will raise your body temperature, but it is the drop in body temperature that may leave you feeling sleepy.

• Make sure your bed and bedroom are quiet and comfortable
A hot room can be uncomfortable. A cooler room along with enough blankets to stay warm is recommended. If light in the early morning bothers you, get a blackout shade or wear a slumber mask. If noise bothers you, wear earplugs or get a “white noise” machine.

• Use sunlight to set your biological clock
As soon as you get up in the morning, go outside and turn your face to the sun for 15 minutes.
I’ll be posting with successes and failures from my experiment. Keep in mind what works for me may not exactly work for you, but with our own experimentation I’m sure we’ll both be getting more rest than we are right now.

I mean, really, what could it hurt?

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Web Designers vs. Web Developers (Infographic)

Let’s be honest. Being a web developer or a web designer doesn’t exactly give you an edge with the pretty girls (or guys) at your local pickup bar. If you were a part-time firefighter or investment banker, maybe. Nevertheless, the feud continues between web designers and web developers over which profession is the true calling. Like the yin and yang, these two are in constant battle to prove their dominance over the other, even when they work closely together.

Here is an infographic of the differences between web designers and web developers.

Click to enlarge.

Web Designers vs. Web Developers (Infographic)

Infographic by: Shane Snow. Shane Snow is an entrepreneur, writer, and recent Columbia MS/Digital Media graduate. Visit his personal site and follow him on Twitter @shanesnow.

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About the Author

Wix is a free website builder tool for quick and easy creation of quality Flash websites. Follow them via Twitter as @wix, and subscribe to their blog where they post useful articles for website owners.

SourcedFrom Sourced from: Six Revisions

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Elecom Actrail headphone removes wire clutter from your iPod Shuffle

wireless headphone for ipod shuffle

Portable music players may let you enjoy music on the go, but the disorderly headphones cable suspending all over the body just messes up the tidiness. Providing a solution, Elecom has developed wireless headphones, named the “Actrail,” for the iPod Shuffle to offer clutter-free music to the listeners anywhere, anytime. Integrating a 3.5mm jack on the side to keep the Shuffle in place, the Bluetooth headphones replace the regular over-the-head band with the dorky wrap-around-the-back-of-your-skull design to attract the trendy users. Measuring 112mm in depth, 150 in height and 57 width, the wireless headset weighs 46g only and supports 30mW input and 20Hz ~ 20kHz playback frequency zone. Priced at ¥4,200 (about $50) a pair, the Actrail is available in Japan with pink and white color options.

Continue reading…

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Trying to predict the future…

…is a discouraging and hazardous occupation.

Like a majority of the earth’s population, I am a big fan of the machinations of Mr. Arthur C. Clarke and his writings. He is considered one of the greatest science fiction writers of the 20th century and he also had a penchant for predicting the future with some high level of competency. While many of his predictions seem outlandish his thoughts on telecommunication were remarkably prescient.

Case in point, this Horizon video from 1964 where Mr. C. delivers some mad-Nostradamus-style-predictions on the world of today.

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“Who am I?”

The teaser poster for season 4 of the AMC Originals series ‘MadMen’ was released last week. The poster is at once familiar, simple and says a tremendous amount about what’s to come:

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Don Draper is starting over and has all the tools he needs; his suit, his phone, and his cigarettes. In addition, he has established his footing and is looking towards the future.

For those who haven’t seen season 1-3, we aren’t going to spoil anything. What we do highly recommend is placing the first three seasons on your Netflix, by picking them up at Amazon.com or by getting a ‘season pass’ on iTunes. Because of the time period and superlative writing, this series will be worth watching again and again. We here at Bauer Graphics can’t recommend it highly enough.

The executive producer of MadMen, Matthew Weiner, recently told Entertainment Weekly that the new season is “…about stripping away the things these people think define them. Once they’re taken away, they just may have to look at who they really are.”

The new season begins Sunday, July 25 on AMC.

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10 YouTube URL Tricks from MakeUseOf.com

E3 2010 is upon us and with it comes a bevy of new game trailers and videos to upload, watch and share. For the better part of three days, I have been working to find ways to better embed and clean up some of the videogame offerings on YouTube.

That was when I stumbled across this article on MakeUseOf.com that had several hints all in one place. Here are some of the tricks that can save you loads of time and make your video embeds more professional.

View high quality videos
Youtube gives you the option to switch to high quality videos for some of the videos, however you can check if a video is available in high quality format by appending ‘&fmt=18′(stereo, 480 x 270 resolution) or ‘&fmt=22′(stereo, 1280 x 720 resolution) for even higher quality.

Embed Higher Quality Videos
While the above trick works for playback, if however you want to embed high quality videos you need to append “&ap=%2526fmt%3D18″ and “&ap=%2526fmt%3D22″ to the embed url.

Link to the interesting part of a video
Linking to a video where the real action starts at 3 minutes 22 seconds, wondered if you could make it start at 03:22? You are in luck. All you have to do is add #t=03m22s (#t=XXmYYs for XX mins and YY seconds) to the end of the URL.

Hide the search box
The search box appears when you hover over an embedded video. To hide the search box add ‘&showsearch=0′ to the embed url.

Embed only a part of Video
Just append ‘&start=30′ to skip first 30s of the video. In general you can modify the value after start= to the number of seconds you want to skip the video for.

Autoplay an embedded video
Normally when you embed a Youtube video and load the page, the player is loaded and it sits there waiting for you to hit the play button. You can make the video play automatically by adding ‘&autoplay=1′ to the url part of the embed code.

Loop an embedded video
Append ‘&loop=1′ to make the video start again without user intervention after it reaches the end.

Disable Related Videos
Publishing your content in the form of Youtube video? Don’t want people to see other people’s content that may be related but may as well be in competition to you? Just add ‘&rel=0′ to the end of the url part of the embed code and you just turned off the related video suggestions!

For more hints on how to get the most from YouTube, head on over to MakeUseOf.com for the complete list.

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