Macbook adapter surgery: success!

cord

A couple of weeks ago I bought a replacement adapter for the household computers. The old one gave up the ghost; internal problem of some sort. So I popped on down to the Apple store.

$79 for a replacement; ouch.

But, I do really like being able to charge the computers while on the couch, and I was already there… so I gritted my teeth and ponied up.

Two days later, the dog decided that new cords are delicious. And just like that, it’s time to say goodbye to the dog. (Well, not really; but the thought did cross my mind.)

So. Given that I already decided that I need an adapter in the family room, what to do?

The default response would be to swear a few times, plunk down another $80, and figure out how to make the dog leave it alone (I’m thinking pepper spray).

But there is a more badass solution. Repair it!

A quick Googling turned up instructions for replacing the cord. 5 minutes on Amazon and we find the exact OEM part, for a whopping total of $7.39 including shipping.

adapter-open

Well dang… for 1/10 the cost, I just couldn’t justify doing it the lazy way… no, to retain the rights to my man-card I had to at least attempt electronic surgery. I buy the cord from Amazon and it’s on.

A few days later, a padded envelope arrives from China. Direct. From Friggin China.

I follow the gist of the instructions I had Googled, and within literally 15 minutes I have the adapter back together with the new cord in place. Plug it in… green LED… Score!

$80? Screw that… $8 and good as new. I guess the dog can stay.

 

Two things:

1) How insanely cool is the world we live in? When you can find a detailed walkthrough on almost any repair or build project in minutes, and when you can order a single, specific, OEM part delivered to your door FROM FRIGGIN CHINA for a whopping $7.39 including shipping. It’s truly an amazing time to be alive.

2) Fixing (or building) things is way more satisfying than buying. It makes the master of your environment, in complete command of the things that might otherwise own you. Once you start, it’s kind of addictive… I’ve got a couple of future projects percolating in the old Thinkolator already.

Got an adapter needing a new cord? Give me a buzz… this was a fun repair. I’d do it again.

2013 Experiment: Primal/Paleo(ish) Eating

Screen Shot 2014-01-05 at 8.23.19 PM

Quick thought tonight… just wanted to share an example of the kind of monthly experiments I’m talking about.

Last year around July, I felt the need to try a “reboot” of sorts. I buzzed my hair, started running, made some changes to my spending patterns, tried to cut way down on my evening beverages, and started eating more or less “Paleo / Primal”. All at once. Just like that.

What Didn’t Work

Changing lots of things at once… unless you are hitting bottom, this is a recipe for disaster — which, frankly, is why most New Years Resolutions fall apart around January 10th.

The “fresh new start” was invigorating, but when one of my new habits started wobbling, the rest were put in peril as well.

What Did Work

The hair, actually, helped me stick to a couple of my new experimental habits.

Every time I started to feel stressed out and tempted to go back to the cloud I was previously under, I would rub my head, take a deep breath, and look up and smile. Just having that one very real and tactile reminder of my fresh start was enough to lift my mood… and it did indeed help me stay the course on some of these spontaneous initiatives.

There is power in habits and triggers… set yourself up for success with any new challenge by setting up a trigger that reminds you of what you are hoping to achieve with your new direction… or if not that, set up a trigger that reminds you to take a deep breath and smile a few times a day.

You will be amazed at how much of a difference a deep breath can make!

Paleo / Primal

This will become at least post of it’s own, but I want to share just how effective this has been for me. Even though I only stick 75% to the strict letter of these regimens, I’ve dropped significant weight and feel better all over.

If you struggle with weight, energy, or are hungry all of the time — and if you are currently on the “OMG MUST AVOID FAT” train — I beseech you to give it a try. Just take a month and cut as much sugar (including bread) out of your diet as you can, and see how it feels.

Give it a month — you won’t regret it.

Preview: Monthly Experiments

experimentI documented this briefly on my old blog, but I want to bring the conversation here…

I’m a huge fan of Monthly Experiments.

Try on a habit for one month, like you are taking a new outfit for a thorough test-wear… try it on, live with it for long enough to understand how it fits (or doesn’t) into what you want your life to be.

At the end of the month, decide whether to keep the new habit, tweak it, or let it go. With just a little experiment every month you can create an entirely new life by the end of the year. Groovy.

I can’t recall exactly where I picked up this idea; but I’m all about borrowing what resonates and learning from greatness. I do recall it was from a blogger talking about his “12 for 2012” around January 2012, and the fine folks at Zen Habits do a good job of it as well. Since then I’ve tried it out sporadically (more on that later)… this time it’s on.

How it Works

To make this really change your reality requires a bit more than the monthly equivalent of a new year’s resolution.

These are experiments.

First, you need to have an idea of what you hope to accomplish… just trying to see what it feels like? Wonder whether you can do it for a whole month? Wonder if just doing this for a month will have some external effect Zen Archery style?

All of these are valid… just know what you want to experience, so that by the end of the month you can learn and grow.

These experiments don’t have to be “every day”, but you do need to be specific about what you are setting out for yourself. Note: avoid vague things like “3 times per week” — if that’s the idea, pick a schedule: I will exercise on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays (for instance). It’s far too easy to let things slip to “tomorrow” when you are not specific on the front end.

Commit in public, if at all possible. State exactly what you plan to do, and how people can check up on you… and then hold yourself responsible for reporting on the results, whatever happens.

IF you bail partway through the month, that does not equate to failure — but reflect on why you dropped that month’s experiment.

Was is just not for you? Truly? Then do you know yourself a bit better now? Great now what’s next?

Was it just too hard? Why? Almost anything is possible if it is important enough… so have you learned something about your real priorities?

Live True

And finally, this is not supposed to be about trying to make yourself into something you think you’re supposed to be.

This is about learning how to become your true self, even if you don’t know exactly what that is right now. If after a month something does not ring true, then feel happy about setting it aside and saying “I am not a runner.” It’s also about learning to interpret the inner voices properly… if something keeps popping into your head, there is a reason for that — you will be more content when you find that reason.

My 12 for 2014

I have the beginnings of a list worked out… I only have to lay down the tracks one month ahead of the train, so this list will grow based on my first few experiments. Some may also move months as life dictates. In any case, here’s what I have so far:

Jan – Write every day (for public consumption)
Feb – Dedicate 3 hours/week to connecting with friends
Mar – Draw Every Day (and post online)
Apr – Short daily meditation
May – No TV or “random web reading” of any kind

Incomplete, I know… actually I have dozens I want to try out, and the hard part will be waiting until (for example) April to try out daily meditation… Still, I know it’s best to start with one and build momentum month on month.

So to be specific, I have 4 places at the moment for my daily writing to emerge. This is great for me, actually, as it lets me experiment with different styles throughout the week.

Here’s my current writing plan:

  • Personal growth experiments, inspirational ideas I come across, experiments in work-life balance, and projects I undertake (including thinking about a lifestyle business) will live here.
  • Everything I learn about startups as I try to help build Coursefork (my friend Brian‘s company) will be shared at SteveReaser.com. 
  • My work writing will appear on the (soon to be renamed) Coursefork blog; these will be me in a jacket and tie, but still very much me.
  • Personal bits and pieces that don’t fit into one of those broad themes will continue to land on screaser.blogspot.com, as I need to get them out of my head.

Final Thought

The reason this is so exciting to me is that it is, at it’s core, about creating the life that you want. Monthly Experiments are a great way to move, one step at a time, from the life that landed on you to a life you will be ecstatic leading.

Life has a way of being amazing when you focus on what you love.

New Years: Pure Hope

11654306293_f179d6b03e_cQuick thought…

Tomorrow this blog will start for real; but I’m sitting here watching the countdown to the ball drop in NYC and I can’t help but share a feeling that hits one of the main themes behind “It’s Always Morning” as it exists in my head.

Hope.

There are hundreds of thousands of people, right this very moment, in Times Square. Most have been there all day, at great personal inconvenience and perhaps cost. Others watch from home, and forego sleep to mark the moment…

Why? Why do we even take note of the sunsetting of one year and the birth of another?

Hope.

That’s the thing. We are oddly wired as a species to look for the light at the end of the tunnel… there are always reasons we could look back at the year before and get depressed.

But… at least tonight… all of the millions of people around the world that are watching the countdown to new years are looking *forward* and not *backward*. Tonight, we believe.

We believe that the future will be better, that we will be truer to ourselves, that we can be the person that we want to be and make the change we want to see in the world.

And you know what? We can.

The world is an amazing place when we focus on what we love, what we care about.

Let’s create the lives we want for ourselves. Let’s create the world we want to live in.

(Image credit: John Piekos – http://www.flickr.com/photos/jpiekos/11654306293/)

Goodbye 2013. Seriously.

8262414788_7599a91fea_cHave been blogging very very sporadically over at screaser.blogspot.com for a while; the plan is to shift that over here, with an invigorated and invigorating focus.

2013, frankly, sucked. 2014 will be awesome, and I’ll be sharing it here as I create it.

 

(Image credit: Bingee – http://www.flickr.com/photos/10292253@N06/8262414788/)