You are currently browsing thearchives for February, 2008.

NYC Subway Achievements

Posted on Friday, February 29th, 2008 at 3:49 pm

NYC Subway - MTABeing a frequent passenger of the ever famous NYC Subway system, I've observed and learned quite a few things. To many, travel time underground either means "time for a nap," or "time to get some work done!" For others, it's a session of leisurely time for themselves where they read a book, play their PSP, solve sudoku puzzles, or listen to their iPods. For this entry's sake, I'll be talking about achievements and productivity.

I can't remember how many times I've had so much work to do for school, I could only complete them on my way to class. The typical travel time for me is around 1 hour, and when you're in a rush, trust me, you get more done than you think. I also see people studying for exams, quickly scribbling the day's due assignment, drawing things, and more.

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Posted In: General Stuff, Productivity

Starbucks Shutdown Destroys Lives

Posted on Thursday, February 28th, 2008 at 3:28 pm

Starbucks ShutdownWell, it doesn't exactly "destroy" lives, but definitely causes an inconvenience. Thinking about it, living in New York, there are more Starbucks locations than many other store chains (McDonald's?). I read an article yesterday in the Metro newspaper (cover story) of how Starbucks closed down nearly 7,100 of its U.S. stores for 3 and a half hours to "retrain" its employees.

So, yea, the article expressed how caffeine addicts get annoyed at things like this, but still "life goes on." I guess that means Starbucks hasn't exactly brainwashed its customers to absolute loyalty. Other coffee shops stayed open during that time, and places like Dunkin Donuts and such received a nice rush of customers - for 3.5 hours at least. People are saying that this was more of a marketing act rather than an actual attempt to jump the customer service and satisfaction by making the best espresso you've ever tasted in your life.

I do believe that what Starbucks did was definitely good since it boosts the excitement of its employees, and reassures customers that their coffee will be done just right. I've been to enough meetings and gatherings in the retail world to know about these kinds of things. I don't think a huge corporate like Starbucks would risk losing an ounce of business for 3.5 hours, especially with over 7 thousand stores!

"Starbucks is losing ground every minute of the day. Now they're just another store -- they're like the GAP of coffee. By closing their stores, they're trying to say, 'We're restarting!' But there's got to be a better way than that" says CEO of R.I.M Public Relations, Richard Laermer. I still like my Vanilla Bean Frapuccino, so as long as that's around, they've got my business.

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Posted In: General Stuff, In the News

Stay On Track, Keep a Calendar & Stuff

Posted on Tuesday, February 26th, 2008 at 9:25 pm

It's surprising to me to see how many people actually don't keep a calendar, or at least some form of it. I don't mean iCal or some other calendar application on your computer, but rather, something in print, or at least on your Smartphone/PDA. I own an iPhone that I use to keep track of to-dos, events, meetings, and birthdays, but even that can't help me if I need to keep my long-term goals in tact.

When 2008 hit, I did something I've never done before; a long hand written list of tasks and goals to be achieved and accomplished all throughout the magnificent year. I have over 30 items on my list, mixed of both long term goals like improving my photography portfolio and my gadgets loot, and short term goals like obtaining my driver's license and purchasing a new computer. I stuck this list on the wall right above my 24 inch iMac, and I look at it every time I am on the computer, wake up, and go to bed just to remind me that I have work to do, and I better be on it!

I can happily say that I have slowly but progressively been checking off things as I go along, one of which was me launching this very blog, One Fused Life, once and for all! Staying on track is not an easy task - we humans aren't exactly built to be working machines right off the back. Here are a few tips on how to plan for things and not forget by periodically reminding yourself. More after the jump...

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Posted In: Productivity, Tips & Tutorials

Why Business Cards Don’t Suck

Posted on Friday, February 22nd, 2008 at 7:00 am

Chances are, if you're a consultant or some kind of a professional offering services, you have a business card. If not, you better be planning on getting/making one sooner than later. Business cards are an essential tool of communication, getting a job, setting a good impression, spreading the awareness of your existence, amongst many other things.

Okay, you may be wondering why the heck I'm writing about the importance of business cards because it's all obvious to you, but apparently, some people just don't get it! Business cards can make or break you. Whether you have one or not, or how good or bad it is, sets the first impression on the person you hand it to. Handing your business card to the other person and shaking hands is the first step of you being acknowledged, and creating a connection. More after the jump...

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Posted In: General Stuff, Productivity, Tips & Tutorials

Let’s Live In a Tree House!

Posted on Thursday, February 21st, 2008 at 2:45 pm

FINCA BELLAVISTA - A Sustainable Rainforest Community

With today's world going super hi-tech and technological, it's good to see that nature-dwellers and adventure seekers are still out there! A recent article on Inhabitat.com talked about FINCA BELLAVISTA, a sustainable rainforest community preserving around 300 acres of rainforest. What's more perfect than this for those individuals who are ecologically minded that love to live in sustainable environments?

So yea, these guys have a pretty neat sustainable energy use going on by using natural sources of energy, hydroelectric and solar power being some of them. Building a house here requires you to have a few things that aren't really optional like a system to capture rainwater, and a system to manage human waste. There's a power grid system that delivers energy to these houses through underground cables and such, virtually eliminating all electric costs for citizens of FINCA BELLAVISTA. Now you've probably got a few questions in your head. More after the jump...

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Posted In: Green & Environment

Photoshop Tips & Tutorials – On its way!

Posted on Wednesday, February 20th, 2008 at 11:00 am

So I've been a bit busy with school, work, and all that good stuff, but I've put some things together to write up some Photoshop tutorials for you guys. So far, I am working on a tutorial to create really sleek reflections and shadowing, including some lighting tricks in the background. I am also working on a neat way to make a spotlight absorption effect with text.

There are definitely some more tricks on the way, both beginning and intermediate, and some advanced ones every now and then, too!

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Posted In: Tips & Tutorials

Movies, Sleeping Late, and School

Posted on Wednesday, February 20th, 2008 at 1:01 am

Lately I've been watching quite a few movies both in and off theater. I was over at a friend's house for a sleepover and we watched The Shawshank Redemption starring Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins. This movie was made in 1994 so it's not exactly the newest one of them all, but definitely a good film. The storyline is quite catchy especially if you like good character development, and a happy ending! I'd strongly recommend you watch this if you haven't (considering it's around 14 years old).

Sleeping late, and sometimes not sleeping at all has been a common doing of mine, but I'm slowly pacing myself and getting into a good sleeping pattern where I don't sleep as late, but get a maximum amount of work done. It's good that I haven't had much to do with design jobs lately, but I still have a few projects I am working on for myself, and some friends. I hope to jump back into design and get some clients for some quick work, but I don't want to put too much on myself. School is turning out to require a lot more time from me than I thought. More after the jump...

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Posted In: Film & TV, General Stuff

A Traveler’s Life

Posted on Thursday, February 14th, 2008 at 3:08 pm

Lately, I've been thinking a lot about traveling, and living by it. Imagine having no permanent home, living as a modern nomad - that would be pretty scary and exciting at the same time! Having no permanent job/source of income and shelter can be quite the challenge for many, and I don't think many have the guts to go for something like this.

One type of person that I could see doing this is a Photographer. Traveling and experiencing every corner of the Earth, while capturing beauty, style, culture, nature, and more. There are also different types of "traveling" people where instead of never having a permanent home, they reside in homes for short periods of time. This could be due to having a job that requires a lot of relocating, or if this person just can't stand being in a single environment for a long time. More after the jump...

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Posted In: General Stuff, Photography, Travel

Getting back to the gym, LOST, etc.

Posted on Monday, February 11th, 2008 at 12:11 pm

Well, I've finally made the plunge yesterday and went to the gym in the morning with a friend of mine. We did a couple of miles on the treadmill and the bikes just to get warmed up, and then we practiced some Jiu-Jitsu moves since we've both really into MMA (mixed martial arts) and stuff. It was kind of strange since we practicing on the mats where people usually stretch, but it was awesome nonetheless.

I'm definitely going back tonight after I get back from class! I miss the feeling of being in shape, and feeling strong and confident about myself. This has been a part of the 2008 resolution, so it's one more thing I can scratch off my list, but I must stay consistent! Must not get lazy and give up! More after the jump...

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Posted In: Film & TV, General Stuff

Design School – Prestigious vs. Not So Much, Part 1

Posted on Thursday, February 7th, 2008 at 2:08 am

Web Design, Graphic Design, and any other field of "design" can be studied in schools these days, but there lies one question: Will a $30K yearly tuition make a you a better designer than a tuition of $5K? The conclusion of this answer is mixed, and can be somewhat relevant.

These days, everybody knows that going to a prestigious Design School, rather it'd be for fashion, web, print, or multimedia, will probably land you a better job at an agency. Now I am questioning the validity of this "basic knowledge," and exploring how far perseverance can take you, especially in today's quickly advancing world.

Throughout my experience with studying design in school, I have come to a number of conclusions on various ideas, including: Creativity, Jobs after college, Experience vs. Diploma, and Success in general. Basically, it all comes down to who you are, and what kind of a person you develop yourself into. More after the jump...

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Posted In: Design & Code, General Stuff, Productivity