Rental Car Extras

    Over my life, I have traveled to quite a few different airports in the US and overseas.  During most of my trips, I need to get a rental car in order to get to my final destination.  I just got back from my last trip and this really made me think about how the travel industry (looking at you Airlines) is moving in this direction of buy-ups. As always, Tripp and Tyler have done it again by giving everyone a glips into how it sometimes goes down.

    [youtu.be/0FnltJ3GY...](https://youtu.be/0FnltJ3GYus)

    My Thoughts

    I have to admit as much as I enjoyed the video, I can't remember the last time I had rental car issues.  However, since travel frequently most companies have my profile on file that allows me to walk up and grab a car and drive away. Avoiding that discussion with a sales agent trying to get me to buy more. I remember when that wasn't the case and I felt they were trying to sell me every part of the car and all I got was the shell. I just remember being confused what was really included in the quote when I ordered the car.

    Airlines are in this game as well but to varying degrees based on the airline, you travel. It seems more airlines are going in this direction as well and it is really disappointing but a the same time I get what they are trying to do. They are trying to make people feel they are getting a great price at the time of purchase only to find out it didn't include everything. The worst part is all of these "fees" really add up for airlines and more than likely going to the bottom line.

    It is very common these days that if you are not a regular flyer or have a credit card for the airline you are flying you more than likely will have to pay baggage fees. Some airlines are now going to start charging customers for full size carry on's depending on the ticket you purchase (Thanks United!) Then, of course, there have been the odd one from a while back where one airline was charging people to use the bathroom. Yes, the Bathroom. I believe that didn't stick around but you can see that you need to be careful when booking travel and make sure you know what you bought.

    What are your thoughts? Do you think companies should just give you one flat cost and have everything included? Or should they give you a base price and then have you pay for upgrades / additional services.

    Air Travel in Real Life by Tripp and Tyler

    Tripp and Tyler have nailed it again with another “In Real Life” video but this time tackling¬†Air Travel in Real Life.¬† Also, I couldn’t have watched this video at a better time as I just finished booking all my work travel for January and February.

    If you enjoyed this video, check out their YouTube page where you can find more funny videos.¬† Another¬†video of theirs I posted a while back was titled “Conference¬†call in Real Life”, which again is very spot on if you are prone to having conference calls during your week.

    Net Neutrality... Really Again?

    *via Net Neutrality II: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO) - YouTube*

    Another great/ timely video on Last Week Tonight with John Oliver talking again about Net Neutrality. ¬†Wait, what? Didn’t he already make one of these?

    Yes, you are correct and I included it below for you to watch again, but it is still serious. ¬†Equal access to online information is once again under serious threat by trying to come at it a different direction. So make sure you follow the instructions that he gave at the end of the video and voice your displeasure to the FCC by visiting www.gofccyourself.com and clicking “express” to file your comment.

    *via Net Neutrality: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO) - YouTube*

    The Caballo Blanco Experience - Ryan Van Duzer

    For anyone who has read the book Born to Run or enjoys running, in general, needs to check out this series of videos that Ryan Van Duzer put together of his trek down to run the Caballo Blanco Ultra Marathon earlier this year.

    "You can't feel pain if your smiling... right?" - Ryan Van Duzer

    That was a perfect quote he had at the very beginning and was fitting since he was smiling during what appeared to be the last couple of miles at the end of the video.  Honestly, being a runner myself, after watching this video I was ready to strap on my shoes and hit the trails.

    Take note, not only is the feat of running 50 miles in a single time amazing but remember he did it all while carrying the video camera to capture this amazing event on film too.  If you are looking to be motivated you should definitely check this video out.

    Here is the entire playlist so you can start from the beginning and watch all 6 episodes.

    Finally, as amazing as these videos are, Ryan has made a bunch of other amazing videos and I don't see that stopping anytime soon so be sure Subscribe to his YouTube channel, and follow him on Instagram (you can also find him on Facebook, and Twitter).

    Where the Heck is Matt? - 2016

    With everything else that has happened in the last couple of weeks, I managed to miss that the new “Where the Heck is Matt” video that launched. ¬†I am a big supporter of the work Matt Harding does mostly because I think the overall concept of dancing in all different locations is awesome. ¬†Even though it is only a brief¬†couple of seconds he shows himself dancing at different locations it goes to show you how the world is not always as scary as everyone makes it out to be. ¬†He sums it up nicely in the caption of this new video by saying “We’re stuck on this planet together and we need to take care of each other.”

    If you liked the video be sure to check out his website (WhereTheHeckIsMatt.com) or follow him on Twitter @WhereTheHisMatt

    Also, feel free to check out what I wrote about his 2015 Kickstarter at the end of last year and his Where the Hell is Matt - 2012 video as well.

     

    Let's teach for mastery - not test scores

    *Sal Khan: Let's teach for mastery -- not test scores | TED Talk | TED.com*

    Education is something that is always on my mind as I grew up surrounded by it as well as attending school for about 16 years of my life. Fast forward to where I am today and I have three kids two of which are in the School system and a wife that is a teacher. The video below was very intriguing to me personally as I know there was a couple subjects that I wasn’t great at back in school and still am not today (cough writing and spelling cough).

    Would you choose to build a house on top of an unfinished foundation? Of course not. Why, then, do we rush students through education when they haven’t always grasped the basics?

    For those areas that I was never really great at I just accepted it in realizing that that would not be my true calling. Especially since Math came easy for me I knew that would be my route going forward. However, Sal Khan has an interesting point that what if each year I would have had to continue to be at a certain level of writing and spelling until I mastered it. Would it have changed the outcome of my first career? I am going to guess it wouldn’t as it never interested me much back then but if I was better in those areas it might change the overall trajectory of my life… Well, that is a good question and one I will never know.

    However, I look at the education that my kids are receiving and I know it is really good but could it be better if they were challenged every step of the way or at least pushed to master the subjects they were being taught before they move to the next grade? It would take a great under haul of our current education system in order to get to the perfect place that Sal Khan describes, however maybe the education system we have today should take more steps to move us closer in that direction so we can at least narrow the gap.

    What are your thoughts? Do you think making people masters in all core subjects would be a good thing or a bad thing?

    The Simple Solution to Traffic

    *via The Simple Solution to Traffic by @CGPGrey*

    I am sure some of you have known this for a long time, that the reason most places have traffic jams/build ups are because of traffic inconsistencies.  However, C.G.P. Grey does a great job of explaining it in this video that I figured it was fitting to share prior to a Monday morning commute.

    'The Adventures of Indiana Jones' by Patrick Schoenmaker

    via The Adventures of Indiana Jones by Patrick Schoenmaker.  

    Be sure to check out more of Patrick Schoenmaker’s stuff at his website.

    Hat Tip: Topher Grace

    Don't Buy Stuff you Can't Afford

    It does sound so simple, doesn't it!  I really love that video clip and was reminded of it the other day when I was reading this great article online by Joshua Becker titled "The Foundation For Financial Freedom That 10 Out Of 10 Financial Advisors Agree On".  The information in the article, as well as the short video above, is very spot on to people in today's world, in fact, my wife and I have struggled before on that very topic.

    Spending less is such a difficult step for many to take is because the solution sounds unattractive. Buying less sounds a lot like taking a step backwards in life.

    A lot of Podcasts/friends have been having guests on talking about Finances, getting out of debt, or just changing your spending habits in order to make sure you spend your money on the things that truly make you happy.

    I have actually been focused on this topic and since my day job revolves around finance/accounting it is obviously something that I am interested in.  Even more so now that my wife and I have decided that she should take a year off so we can slow down and focus on family and give our kids more attention instead of having them spend their entire day away from our house at either school or daycare.  So with that, we are even more focused on our finances as we have shifted to a one income household.  I will make sure to continue to pull together interesting resources, articles, and podcasts that I have found to share with everyone. Remember there is never a one size fits all solution but the information can help give you thoughts on how you could make it work for yourself.

    Do Schools Kill Creativity?

    *via Do Schools Kill Creativity? | Sir Ken Robinson | TED Talks - YouTube.*

    Seeing how school has just started for my kids I was reminded of this video I ran across a couple years ago. ¬†There is a lot of good points in the video to ponder about specifically how the education system is structured today and where/how we are currently emphasizing specific topics. ¬†I agree with the presenter that there is a problem with how the education system is structured today and the priorities that they are instilling in our youth. ¬†It is something that is easy to point fingers as I feel everyone has an opinion on how the education system should be structured and what should be taught. ¬†That is where it starts to break down though as there is too many opinions on it. ¬†Additionally, it is something that can’t be fixed overnight and has a lot of moving parts to the overall educational system. ¬†That isn’t to say nothing should be done, I think one of the problems and solutions is to just realize that education isn’t a one size fits all as each person learns differently, is more interested in specific topics and on top of that learn a different paces.

    I would love to hear what your thoughts are on Education and Creativity.  Do you feel we have an issue today or are we doing the best we can?

    Hope you enjoyed this presentation as much as I did, here are two of my favorite quotes:

    “If you are not prepared to be wrong you will never come up with anything original”

    We are educating people out of their creative capacities

    Watch The Spring - 10 years of charity: water

    The Spring from charity: water on Vimeo.

    via Watch The Spring - a film by charity: water | charity: waterDonate - Give The Gift Of Clean, Safe Water | charity: water

    Yesterday, charity: water published the video above as part of celebrating that the non-profit has been around for 10 years now helping to solve the water crisis for 10 years.  That is an amazing accomplishment and this video takes you back to the beginning of how Scott Harrison started the company.  In fact, it takes you a bit further back to how major dots in his life which probably and ultimately led him to create the company.  Hearing his story again is always so powerful and moving and never gets old.  The whole video itself is so powerful and moving and the message is very simple:

    Clean water changes everything.

    and the organization has a simple goal of ensuring:

    No one on earth will die from dirty water.

    ###Why do I care about charity: water I have been a big fan of this organization for a while now and one of the main things that drew me to it was how transparent they were by investing/figuring out ways to give donors confidence in what they are doing. ¬†Some examples are showing a Google map of all the¬†Completed Projects¬†by using GPS or¬†Building Remote Sensors¬†in order to report on the water flowing at any of their projects, at any given time, anywhere in the world. ¬†Not to mention, the 100% model, this was such a radical change back when charity: water was started as it was the first of it’s kind to help promote confidence that a charity would not misuse the funds it has been given for project purposes by really requiring them to figure out another way to obtain funds for Administrative purposes (e.g., salaries, office space, computers). ¬†That idea was so powerful of a change that I have now seen it starting up at other non-profit organizations.

    Cw horizontal white

    I can’t wait to see what happens with this organization¬†in helping solve the water crisis in the next 10 years.

     

     

    How to make work-life balance work

    via Nigel Marsh: How to make work-life balance work | TED Talk | TED.com

    I stumbled upon this older TED talk (was recorded back in 2010) and felt it worth sharing. I think it is a topic is still very relevant today as most employers always talk about how they are giving employees great work-life balance. However, one point that Nigel Marsh points out is the following:

    Certain job, and career choices are fundamentally incompatible with being meaningful engaged on a daily basis with a young family. - Nigel Marsh

    Seeing how I have a young family at home I can relate how each employees definition of what Work-Life balance should be and should look like can differ drastically. As I have only worked at a couple companies through out my career, I know each has had their own version of work-life balance and I would say each had good and bad parts to it.

    If you don’t design your life someone else WILL design it for you and you may not like their idea of balance. - Nigel Marsh

    For me, I work for a company that is fairly flexible in my opinion. I won’t say everything is exactly how I would imagine my perfect day but they value family and that helps for where I am at in my life. I think for my personal situation it is trying to balance my own definition of how I want work/life to balance out on a daily, weekly, monthly basis given my situation, job, priorities. It is a constant balancing act between all of those points which is why there isn’t a one size fits all solution and you just need to make the most of it.

    What is your definition of work-life balance?

    Everything is a Remix: Star Wars Edition

    I really can’t say enough great things about Kirby Ferguson’s work as I have written about it before (Everything is a Remix¬†and Everything is a Remix Remastered and Kickstarter). However, he put together a new remix video around how Star Wars The Force¬†Awakens is just one remix after another. ¬†As always Kirby does an excellent job researching the topic and then putting the story/details altogether. ¬†If you enjoyed his other videos this one will not disappoint either.

    Now if you are like me and enjoy Kirby’s work you might like to know that he is trying to produce more of these mini “Everything is Remix” videos but he needs your help. ¬†So he has created another¬†Kickstarter¬†project to hopefully help raise some more funds to tackle projects like these through the rest of the year instead of creating projects for other organizations. ¬†He has already met the Kickstarter goal of $5000, which is great news because people can snag a really cool shirt and help support the project. ¬†However, with 22 days to go, the hope is that should allow enough time to try to help him reach at least the first stretch goal of $20k so he will have the funds necessary to produce another addition to the Everything is a Remix series.

    Obviously, I would encourage everyone and anyone that found the original series interesting to back this current project or more specifically check out his Patron site to fund more of his work ongoing.  I have been following him for quite a few years now, I mentioned before and am definitely going to throw some more support his way.

     

    Can you really tell if a kid is lying?

    via Kang Lee: Can you really tell if a kid is lying? | TED Talk | TED.com

    If you have kids you will definitely¬†enjoy the first 10 min of the video as Mr. Kang Lee says we should celebrate when our kids start to lie. ¬†Wait… what! ¬†I know but I don’t want to spoil the video so watch it and hear what else he has to say on the topic. ¬†Also, the best slide in the video is where he shows the accuracy of which groups of people (e.g., parents, parents of other kids, police officers, judges, child protection lawyers) can tell if a kid is lying.

    After watching the video do you feel confident in being able to catch your kid or other kids lying?

     

    One of those days trilogy

    I stumbled across these videos a while back and forgot to share them as they are really amazing, especially if you enjoy skiing. ¬†In fact, the videos don’t seem really fitting anymore since all of the snow was gone long ago in Minnesota.

    However, my Brother’s family and my parents are out in Colorado this week skiing and while talking with them last night it reminded me that I had these videos in a draft post from a while back. ¬†Watching these videos really makes me want to hit the slopes as it reminds me and makes me miss the time I used to spend skiing with my family in Colorado and Utah. It seemed like for a while there we used to go every year over Christmas break as a kid. ¬†Not only did those trips create my love for skiing but thinking back it was a time that we got away from our normal day-to-day¬†school (or work for my parents) with the only care (or care I had) was being the first and last person on the slopes every day. ¬†Then at nights we just relaxed by a fire, played board games or watched TV.

    I am always reminded of that tradition whenever I see pictures of mountains or other people skiing.  It is just amazing how those triggers bring me back to even my first time skiing in Colorado when I was in 5th grade.  Now that I am thinking back to then, I will see if I can dig up some old pictures to share another time, but until then enjoy these really awesome videos.

       

    Finally, if you made it this far, is there a place you used to go as a child with your family that when watching a video, looking at someone else’s pictures, or even just talking about something remind you of that time? ¬†I would love to hear about the place and what seems to trigger that memory the most.

    #WednesdayWeeklyPrompts - Memory

    A Brother Jogging

    I was telling my wife last night about how running at night sometimes plays tricks with your mind.  Most of the time it is when someone suddenly comes up out of nowhere and is walking/running at you, behind you, or just someone in the shadows of their house porch coughs or starts talking to someone on the phone.

    That reminded her of this great video she shared with me by comedian¬†Michael Jr. and I couldn’t help myself but pass it along.

    via A Brother Jogging - YouTube.

     

    Conference Call in Real Life

    As I have been in what seems like a day full of meetings today, of which most were conference calls, I was reminded of these two great videos by Trip and Tyler that I stumbled upon a while back.  If you have ever been on video calls or just normal conference calls I am sure they will resonate with you too.

    The newer of the two videos, “A Video Conference Call in Real Life” is spot on to all of the issues I have encountered in the various video conference calls I have had.

     

    Below is the original “A Conference Call in Real Life” by Tripp and Tyler¬†and is very accurate in Conference call issues as well as just talking on cell phones some days.

    Hope you enjoyed the Friday afternoon humor.  Do either of these remind you of the conference calls you have been on lately?

    Running to Refocus

    Here it was 9:30 pm at night and I was just going to quickly finish writing a blog post I had started a couple of days back, but I was stuck and it felt like it was taking me too long to write. ¬†It wasn’t just flowing out like some of the ones last week did. ¬†Then I realized that it is getting pretty late and I really wanted to get a run in tonight.

    So…. I went for a run.

    During my run, I reflected on how I have been having so much momentum with this blog and I should have just finished that blog post since I haven’t made a post since last Friday. ¬†Once I completed my run, feeling refreshed and motivated, I was reminded of a quote about why running appealed¬†to Bernd Heinrich who was being interviewed in a video series titled “Why We Run” (video is at the end of this post).

    It appealed to me because I could do it all the time where every I was, no matter where I could always run. - Bernd Heinrich

    This year as I have refound my love for running I have tried to embrace a quote like that. ¬†I have been running on some cold days and very dark nights. ¬†However, for me, it¬†is time well spent and the motivation I feel from going for a run is just too good to pass up. ¬†Now I know I didn’t publish the actual blog post I was working on but I was stuck and needed to run away for a while. ¬†In fact, as a result, of my run, I realized it helped motivate me to write/share something instead of having it feel forced.

    Now for a question, when you get writers' block, or writing seems slow, doesn’t flow, or feels forced how do you get through it or refocus? ¬†Leave me your thoughts or tips in the comments as I would love to know how you refocus.

    via ‚ÄúWhy We Run‚ÄĚ - Salomon Running TV S03 E01 on YouTube.

    A simple way to break a bad habit by Judson Brewer

    I saw this Inc. article last night by Shana Lebowitz called “This TED Speaker Has Revealed the Best Way to Break a Bad Habit”, and thought it would be fitting to share the TEDMED video that the article was referencing. ¬†Judson Brewer is talking about Habits and the groundbreaking research his team discovered that can effectively help break bad habits. ¬†Since I had a post last Friday titled “Power of the Habit”, I felt that this video seemed along the same lines and worth the share.

    via Judson Brewer - TEDMED.

    Where the Heck is Matt? - Kickstarter

    I stumbled across a video of Matt’s a couple years back and at that time posted about the video titled¬†“Where the Hell is Matt? - 2012”¬†. ¬†I think the thing that interested me most then and now is the simple yet creative idea. ¬†Travel around the world to some places people would never think of visiting and show a quick gimps of how those people are just like us and when asked will dance silly just like us.

    Fast forward a couple of years and Matt is ready to start traveling/dancing again and is going to create a new video for 2016.  So to help fund his project he has a Kickstarter with a couple twists as well.  So check out the video and information below in hopes that the 2016 video is created.

    Check out the full details of the KickStarter here.  Also, to stay up to date with what Matt is doing you can follow him @WhereTheHIsMatt or stop by his new website for more information and other older videos at wheretheheckismatt.com.

     

     

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