Save the best parts

keys from a powerbookA friend recently gave me an Apple Powerbook to dispose of properly. When it was new in 2001, it was the very finest laptop money could buy. The starting price was $1,999. The case was made of titanium, a costly lightweight metal. (Today Apple uses cheaper aluminum.)

As I was about to take that broken beauty to Best Buy for free recycling, I opened it up one last time and thought of keeping the keys that meant something. I saved out B-E-N (one of my two sons’ names) and P-A-U-L. Sadly, I could not keep enough keys to make up my remaining family members’ names.

So before you throw that thing away, what small part can you save that will let you remember its beauty?

Related posts: Not going to buy it and Go digital.

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Ocean plastic

Japanese mouthwash on a beach in KenyaMethod came out with new soap that comes in a bottle made from ocean plastic. I’m sure you’ve heard of the Texas-sized swirl of plastic in the middle of the ocean. Method decided to make a difference and produce bottles made from ocean plastic.

Problem: Fast Company revealed that just 10% of each bottle is made from ocean plastic. I could not see that fact anywhere in the Method site.

In all fairness to Method, having 100% of the bottle made from ocean plastic would probably result in a bottle that cost $20.

If you really want to make a difference with your environmentalism, buy a large plastic pump bottle and repeatedly fill it with bulk dish soap from your local natural foods supermarket.

Photo: I took a picture of a Japanese mouthwash bottle that washed up on the beach in Kenya, Africa. Sometimes ocean plastic travels a long way.

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Love or hate

slightly imperfect stickerSome things people do drive us crazy. We have a choice on how to handle those things. We can allow them to make us hate the person, or we can let them be quirky little traits that cause that person to more loveable.

My wife and kids love me, in spite of how some things I do drive them crazy. And I love them, in spite of how some things they do drive me crazy. We’re not perfect, and we have a long way to go. And a few years ago, some of those things caused some rifts that had to be slowly and carefully repaired.

Of course some character traits push us too far and can be deal breakers. When the offending trait verges into the mental illness arena, sometimes it’s healthy to maintain a distance.

Today, I challenge you to turn around your thinking about that person’s character trait that drives you crazy. What have you got to lose?

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Get together

The weekend of October 5 and 6 was PodCamp Denver 3, a conference I led with the help of several very smart people.

It was a great time of sharing ideas and learning from each other. We broke into two groups and learned about thing ranging from the role of maps in mobile communication to the latest in search engine optimization techniques. Everything related to communicating ideas using the internet.

Even though everyone at PodCamp spends their work days on computers with virtual groups, we all see the value of meeting in real life. Sometimes, you can learn so much more in hours of face-to-face meetings than from days of virtual meetings.

The point of this post is not to talk about geeky things like what we discussed — but rather to say it’s very much worth your while to spend time with other professionals in your field. If you don’t know about where groups like that are, start by looking for them. If you can’t find any, start a group! If you live in a small town, travel to a bigger town and start a group there. Becky did.

Finally, get together with a group outside of your place of employment. You see those people enough. Even if you’re part of a huge corporation, you need the perspective of people from outside your company’s niche.

The photo was taken with an iPhone, using iOS6. The panorama feature is amazingly easy to use — if not perfect. If you click on the photo, you can see a larger version.

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