All posts by Andrae

Learning technical skills by doing a project

Learning technical skills can be challenging, and often times intimidating. This can leave us feeling frustrated or inadequate. I’d like to share a technique  that may help anyone trying to master technical skills.

I’ve found the most effective way for me to learn is by actually doing a project that I am interested in. Let’s say I want to brush up on my Microsoft Excel and become really good at it. I don’t immediately search for excel tutorials and start from the beginning. I instead think about something I love. Then I think about how I can use excel to make it better or easier. Then once I have a goal in mind, I’ll search to learn the excel functions to accomplish my task. This may require me to watch excel tutorials or do some reading, to accomplish my goal. But now my main goal is to do the thing I love, and excel becomes a by product.

I love personal finance so I decided to use excel to track my finances, and use a plethora of functions to make it easy to use for myself. This has worked out great and i’ve put it in google docs and I use it with my wife to track our family expenses.

Another example is I’ve worked as a developer for a number of years and I wanted to practice building a complete site in Drupal, so the best way for me to practice was by building a site. JustRSVP.me

There is a saying “where there is a will, there is a way”. When you learn by having a project or something tangible in mind, you are providing yourself extra motivation and you are combining learning with something you love.

Let’s say you want to learn to type with all 10 fingers. This is a great goal and will save a lot of time, but to sweeten the pie do something else you always wanted to do. Let’s say you always wanted to write a book, or memorize scriptures. Then while doing your typing lessons, daily commit to writing your book or typing your scriptures. Then you immediately see a benefit for your learning while introducing satisfaction by doing something you always wanted to do.

If you haven’t done this yet, give it a try.

I’m eager to know what you think, leave me a comment. 🙂

 

Non stick – For Better or For Worse

I owned an inexpensive set of non-stick cookware that I use very frequently. I have a habit of using metal utensils which have caused my cookware to be scratched all over. This concerned me because I could see the parts where the non-stick material were scraped off. Then the thought occurred to me, “Where are the pieces of the non stick material”? To this day, I have never actually seen it in my food, or on the plate,or in the trash. The only logical explanation is that I’ve ingested it along with my food. This scared me. I wanted to know what I was really ingesting when using this damaged non-stick cookware, so I looked up the health effects.

Most Non stick cookware is made from a chemical known as Teflon which produces harmful fumes when heated and is not safe for consumption. Continue reading

God the Car Manufacturer

All throughout the bible we see examples of similes and metaphors to describe and highlight certain attributes of God.

I thought, how could I explain God to someone in more familiar terms. The thought came to me that God is like a car factory. For the purpose of this illustration I’ll use a Toyota car factory. I just know that Toyota has an excellent factory system.

Let’s cover these 4 points to see similarities between a car manufacturer, for instance Toyota, and God.

1. Toyota brands its cars
2. Toyota knows best and gives recommendations for its cars
3. Toyota issues recalls and intervenes if something seriously wrong happens to its car
4. Toyota allows you to bring in your car for servicing and alignment.

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A banquet table filled with food.

Clean and unclean meat – are God’s dietary guidelines still valid?

Before we start, let me say that our bodies were made to be very resilient. We can survive on different diets and on different kinds and quality of food. You can even go years eating various things without seeing any degradation or effects. But the question is, do you want to merely survive or thrive? It is much better to trust the diet that the Creator of the universe has prescribed and not lean on our own understanding.

Specialties

Everything that is alive was not made to be food. Creatures and plants were not all made for the same purpose, just as human have different skills, the creatures have different uses. In nature we see species that excel at certain applications. While we may never know the full purpose God intended for a certain plant or animal, we can still notice where species excel. For instance, camels and horses are excellent at transportation. Vultures are excellent at cleaning up dead meat. Roses are excellent at beauty and fragrance. Hevea brasiliensis are excellent trees that are used to make rubber. (Thanks Google)

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How to Save Money on Your Cell Phone Bill

Child talking on a cell phone

Photo by Prima Vera

Approximately every 6 months I go through and try to lower all my bills. All this takes is a call to T-Mobile, my cell phone company. Competition is so fierce that they really don’t want to loose you as a customer. Here are steps to lower your bill and get perks!

1. Go for employment or school discount
2. Ask for promotions
3. Talk to cancellation department
4. Jump Ship!

1. Employment or School discount
Find out if if you qualify for a corporate or school discount. I was able to get 10% off my bill each month because of the College I was attending. Continue reading