Archive for the ‘Self improvement’ Category

I have mentioned the OLPC (One Laptop Per Child) program in the past. Here In South Carolina some 500 laptops are going to distributed to children in Marion County according to South Carolina Superintendent of Education Jim Rex. South Carolina is the first in the nation to use the privately funded program. Funding for the laptops going to Marion County schools comes from Greenville executive Erwin Maddrey and Charleston business woman Linda Ketner. This is so generous of them and can make a huge difference in the lives of the children who receive the laptops. The laptops are easy to use and have features such as a small keyboard designed to fit small hands, built in camera, stereo speakers and a microphone. These laptops are virtually indestructible being mostly water proof and kid proof. Students in 4k to the fifth grade are eligible to receive one. I would like to personally thank both Mr Maddrey and Ms Ketner for their generosity. Hopefully others or the state legislators will step up and get started on getting these computers into the hands of all the students in the state that can not afford one of their own.

Though I did not go on to college like I should have, instead joining the U.S Army at a young age I should have went to college and every young person who can should go. We have a terrible track record at the present with huge drop out rates for high schools especially in big cities. Do not be one of them.

Are you thinking of going back to school or continuing your education? If not you should be. For a University that teaches with a hands on approach you can’t go wrong with Kettering University. They have made the “A Best Midwestern College ” by the Princeton Review. They have also garnered an award from U.S News and World Report. They are the number one ranked University in the nation for Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering according to its [
U.S News and World Reports] annual “America’s Best Colleges Guide for 2008″. This is a great school with outstanding engineering co-op programs. Just the place to get you started off on the right foot and on your way to success in the business world and life. There is little opportunity for drop outs anymore.

They have college level cooperative education programs. This type of program has existed since 1906 and was first instituted by Kettering University in 1919 when the school first opened its doors as the School of Automotive Trades. Co-op programs are unique in the fact that you get hands on training with actual companies and you can make money from them as an employee while you are still learning. Sometimes as much as sixty five thousand dollars to keep and use as you see fit. Kettering is unique amongst colleges that offer co-op programs in the fact that they place students in their freshman year in companies and rotate them between school and their co-op job every three months. This insures that you won’t be bored and can apply what you learn in the classroom on the job almost immediately. You are encouraged to stay with the same company throughout your undergraduate career so you have plenty of time to hone your talents and skills thus increasing your value to the company and your seniority with them.

A degree from Kettering University can be the first step to a lifetime of ?success with great pay and benefits. A degree in industrial engineering from Kettering will take you a long way in life. Industrial engineering is not the only choice you have either. You should visit their home page and contact them for more information. You will never regret having an education, something no one can ever take away from you.

I am making it official. I am or have quit smoking cigarettes. The last cigarette I had was while watching a Wednesday night basketball game a fortnight ago. Making it official already leaves a gnawing feeling in my gut just thinking about it. My problem is that I actually like smoking but know it is bad for me. And this time I am going to demand of myself that another method of smoking not take its place, like cigars or a pipe. And defiantly not any left hand rolled cigarettes either.

What started out as a feel bad day where I did not even go outside until nearly three in the afternoon and deciding upon a lark that I was going to try to make it through the end of the day without smoking. Well I made it though that day without a lot of problems as I spent very little time out of the house and even though I was smoking I forbid it in the house. It did create a good bit of friction between myself and my son when he was still living at home cause he would sneak and smoke and think I wouldn’t know it. I grew up in a house that always had smoke in it and had that ashtray smell. Its funny cause I tried my best to talk my momma out of smoking to no avail as she smoked her Winstons from the time I was a child until the day she passed on to the hands of the Lord. I hated them back then and the way they smelled and the acrid smoke burning at my eyes and nose. But by time I was a teenager I was smoking them myself. First off we would steal a few out of mom or pops pack and sneak out back or into the woods for our smoke. About that time we also would smoke rabbit tobacco from a corn cob pipe. Then onto Prince Albert or Velvet tobacco either hand rolled or in the pipe.

By that time we had already been caught a couple of times and punished to no avail. Pop tried to wipe out the urge to smoke by forcing us to smoke a cigar each. Only problem with his reasoning there was that we had been smoking harsher smokes than that so it did not have the desired effect of getting us sick. I always had some money because I would work doing anything I could such as grass cutting or onto the fields where I picked beans, squash, tomatoes etc to pay for my habit and they were cheap back then. When I started smoking cigarettes were 3 packs for a dollar here in South Carolina and even cheaper in North Carolina which is only a short ride for us. Mom and Pop would stock up by spending twenty bucks and getting 8 cartons of cigarettes. And they both smoked the same brand so there wasn’t the problem of one smoking more that the other and running out before the other did.

Well enough of that as it is long past and nothing can be changed. The only things we can change are what lies in the present and the future. I wasn’t actually planning on quitting at all. As a matter of fact I have a full carton of my full flavor non filter cigarettes in the freezer. I quit with two open packs in my pockets. Even carried two lighters, a zippo and a bic. I kept lying to myself that I would allow myself a smoke after a certain length of time or after a task was completed. Then I would lie some more. My wife brought me a few handfuls of after dinner mints from her job and they helped me some. I did see exactly how much smoking is just a useless habit and how I would reach for one after ever little task or while waiting on something. I would open up a program and light a cigarette – take a few puffs off of it and lie it in the ashtray – Next thing I would do was pick it up to see it had burned nearly to the end wasting most of it while I was busy.

There are lots of methods of smoking cessation and they are proven effective but for me it was easiest to quit cold turkey. As long as I smoked any I was going to smoke a pack or two a day, or at least burn that many up as I am not sure how many I would waste while working on a web page or other task on the computer. I have my computer in my own private out building so I could smoke all I wanted to down here.

My advise if you want to quit would be to first thing make up your mind that you really want to quit. Then forbid smoking inside your house force yourself to go to a garage or outbuilding to smoke and especially in the winter time you are more likely to hurry back into the house where it is warm. That one by itself will force you to cut down on the amount you smoke. Plus if you share the home with anyone else you will be doing them a favor as second hand smoke is deadly too.

Maybe looking at what it is doing to your lungs will help you. It helped me once before as I had a relapse of smoking after going 20 years cigarette free though not entirely tobacco free. I found some pictures online at QuitSmokingSupport. I had a pair of pictures showing a healthy lung compared to a diseased smokers lung and every time I would reach for my smokes (I had them next to the pics) I would see the pictures and not light up. Another thing is not to worry that if you quit you will gain weight. Which would you rather do gain 10 or 12 pounds or have smokers lungs shortening your breath and life.

I would be glad to talk to you and try and help you get your mind right for quitting cigarettes at almost any time. I would also love to hear your stories and experiences quitting smoking. If you want to talk just leave a comment and tell me so and I will get back to you. I did it and it wasn’t too bad just hard at points when you automatically reach for them like after eating. You can do it and you will feel better for it also. I can already tell my breathing is better. And thats just 2 weeks into a lifetime of no longer smoking.