A High Speed Low Drag Way of Life

I joined the Marines at the age of 17. I’m 40 now. For most of my adult life I’ve worked in occupations where people shot at me or tried to blow me up, I almost always went armed everywhere I was, or I was surrounded by wild animals who saw me at the bottom of the food chain. Don’t get me wrong, it’s been a lot of fun. It has also shaped how I live.

DWP-USMC-boot camp

Combine Jack Bauer and Indiana Jones, add a fierce red beard, take away all the handsomeness and the hair, and you’ve got me.

All of this helped hone a way of life I call High Speed Low Drag Living.

The Urban Dictionary defines the term as “No extra fluff or “baggage” that is irrelevant to the person, product, or idea being described. Basically, “very efficient” or “lean and mean”. It’s a term we often used in the Marines because of its nautical connotation. A vessel with low drag or extra crap will go faster. It applies in so many ways too.

Just think about your own body. Weigh less, run faster.

What about your business? Less debt, more mobility.

These days I get shot at much less than I used to, but there are the occasional contracts I take that I often can’t reveal where I trade my button down shirt for a plate carrier. Mostly these days I help other people develop a high speed low drag life. Not everyone can afford me and not everyone is willing to pay for help in life transformation though, and that’s fine. I’d rather have the right number of great clients than too many bad ones who aren’t willing to work hard. That’s why I wrote my book on Rapid Skill Acquisition. It’s an anonymous inexpensive way to check out what I do.

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Rapid Skill Acquisition has been on the best seller lists in the areas of cognitive psychology and experimental education because it works. It’s pretty cheap too if you buy it for your tablet. Click on this link right HERE and you can check it out. If you think you’re ready for more, send me a message and we’ll see if we’re a good fit for moving you forward.

This message was written by a team of geeks, nerds, gamers, and Dr. David Powers. You can always find us at www.drdavidpowers.com. Thanks for reading!

Burn Your Underpants and Get a Stand Up Desk

You don’t really have to burn your underpants, unless you want to. It just seems like the thing people do to make a statement. You know, burning bras and underwear and such. I’d rather keep mine on, so you can too.

One of the recent posts on the Art of Manliness spoke of the dangers of sitting too long. You can find that post HERE. Go read it after you finish this one.

Basically, the lesson is that man wasn’t made to sit all day, and yet we do. Most of you sit for a commute to work where you sit in an office all day, until you sit down for your commute home, where you collapse in a chair to wind down a few hours before bed. Many of you sit for your breaks from all that sitting, either while eating, reading, or smoking. Outdoor biking excluded, most of the exercise people do involve sitting at machines.

You sit way too long. I did too. As active as my life is, much of my average working day is spent in front of a desk or at a meeting with a client sitting in chairs. I needed to make a change, so I asked my dad, who’s a construction guy, to build me a stand-up desk. Once that was finished, there was no turning back. I’ve been using my stand-up desk exclusively now for half a year. I have a stool tucked under it just in case, but seldom use it.

You can read about the benefits of a stand-up desk in other places, so I won’t bore you by repeating things. You can find another one of those HERE from Supreme Men. Instead, I’ll just talk about me. I feel better. I feel more energized not sitting all day. I feel more responsive to things going on around me, especially my kids. When I do sit down at lunch or to meet a client, it’s like a reward. If you ever come and visit my office, you’re liable to find me doing something weird, but don’t worry about it. Sometimes I do calf raises while working. Sometimes I’ll have one of my legs propped up on the desk stretching out.

If you have an office job, I’d urge you to transition to a stand-up desk. It’ll tire you out at first, but it’s a great change. There are so many options out there too. I opted for the hand-made tall table version, but you don’t have to. You can use a countertop. You can buy a desk that moves up and down based on your preferences. Just Google ‘stand-up desk’ and you’ll see tons of ideas and options available.

It’s time to take this small step backwards toward the days when men needed to be more responsive to dangers like dinosaurs and Vikings. Your all day sitting is turning you into a defenseless blob.

This is me doing calf raises at my desk. See the beard. I’m a Viking. I’m coming for you if you don’t stand up and move more.

Stand Up Desk

This message was written by a team of geeks, nerds, gamers, and Dr. David Powers. You can always find us at www.drdavidpowers.com. Thanks for reading!

Idiots. It’s Just Forecasting, Not Skynet.

I came across a pretty awesome online article awhile back about combat meteorologists, who are more precisely known by their official designation of Special Operations Weather Technicians or SOWT. It’s a great read and you can find the full article HERE. For our purposes though, I’d like to draw your attention to a special bit of idiocy that created the severe need for SOWT’s in the Afghanistan theatre of operations.

HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. (AFPN) -- Tech. Sgt. Rick Rohde (left) takes a wind velocity reading while Staff Sgt. Jody Ball (center) and Tech. Sgt. Jim Morello provide cover during a special operations weather team exercise near the base. The Airmen are with the 10th Combat Weather Squadron here. (U.S. Air Force photo by Chief Master Sgt. Gary Emery)

HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. (AFPN) — Tech. Sgt. Rick Rohde (left) takes a wind velocity reading while Staff Sgt. Jody Ball (center) and Tech. Sgt. Jim Morello provide cover during a special operations weather team exercise near the base. The Airmen are with the 10th Combat Weather Squadron here. (U.S. Air Force photo by Chief Master Sgt. Gary Emery)

I’d like to quote directly from the article…

“Five years earlier, when the Taliban seized power, it granted sanctuary to Al Qaeda and ruled by a strict interpretation of the Koran. No television or movies, mandatory burkas for women and long beards for men — plus no weather reports.

The Taliban considered forecasting to be sorcery. They fired the country’s 600 or so professional meteorologists, shelled the Afghan Meteorological Authority, and burned the country’s vast climatological archives.”

That’s right. They eliminated meteorologists from the entire country because they were considered sorcerers and magicians. Now, anyone who’s ever relied on a weather report for something really important like a hike or a morning bike ride knows that if these guys are sorcerers, they’re kind of at the bottom of the totem pole. Maybe Magician’s Apprentice more than magician.

This is like equating anyone who plans ahead and casts a vision of possessing some weird supernatural power. I work as a futurist. I guess this makes me a sorcerer too, I’d rather consider myself a petty dabbler of the dark arts because I don’t like to put on airs (hello Constantine!).

Constantine phone number

I suppose this kind of thinking also make Poor Richard’s Almanac the next best thing to the Necronomicon. I can just imagine Ash and his boomstick raining fire down on the farmers of the world for looking at the weather reports and planning crops.

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Seeing as how the opium trade has financed much of both pre- and post-war Afghanistan, including the Taliban’s small slice of the world, I guess they just excused these matters when it affected their finances. I find that deeply religious people of all persuasions tend to make allowances when money comes into play.

So, how does this affect you in the business world or wherever you are? I’m glad you asked. First off, don’t claim that something is sorcery, magic, or too far out there just because you don’t understand it. All tech is like that if you think about it. If there’s something you don’t understand or it looks like magic, you have several choices ahead of you…

  1. You can ignore it completely.
  2. You can call it evil and get rid of it.
  3. You can learn how it works and become a petty dabbler yourself.
  4. You can find an expert practitioner and pay them to do that thing for you.

Here’s an example employing the last two choices that I make in my own business. I learned enough skills in Photoshop to make minor corrections to photos and cast small spells on graphics. For anything more than that like creating logos or making larger modifications I pay someone. Believe me, when you find someone good enough at their skill it really does look like magic.

I hope you make the right choice the next time you encounter the unknown.

For a special treat, try the number on Constantine’s business card. When the show came out, the number would actually take you to his answering machine.

This message was written by a team of geeks, nerds, gamers, and Dr. David Powers. You can always find us at www.drdavidpowers.com. Thanks for reading!

Big Trouble in Japan (The Mask by Taylor Stevens)

I just finished reading The Mask, the latest mystery thriller by Taylor Stevens. I’ve read, nay, devoured all of her previous books starting with The Informationist. You can read some of my reviews HERE and HERE and even HERE. The last post is uber cool because I actually hosted a contest based on the main character Vanessa Michael Munroe.

Her newest book did not disappoint. I have to admit though that I’m pretty biased. Stevens is one of my favorite authors. I read books by a lot of the other big names like Lee Child, James Patterson, and Nelson DeMille, but Stevens’ book are the only ones I keep and collect.

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This current book launches with the immediacy of a battle and never lets up. My first thought is, “Oh crap! What’s  Munroe gotten involved in now?” It keeps me tense the way a true thriller should. Many books slow down and have their yawn moments at some point but not this one. It rolls on and on from the first page to the point that when I’m finished with it, I need a long nap just like the main character.

Aside from the action, intrigue, and bone-jarring fights, this one also pulled at my heart strings as well. Munroe is a person completely unused to forming attachments and letting her guard down. This time she does and it doesn’t have a fairy tale ending. It’s still good to see her happy for a while. She smiles, laughs, and even jokes. It doesn’t seem like her, but she really deserves for it to be her life.

Stevens’ work and her characters have been compared to so many others, but I feel like people are just looking for labels to define her into a grouping with Bourne, Lisbeth Salander, and other characters. I’ll say this about it…yes, it is a lot like those others except for the fact that it’s better.

If you’re looking for a great summer read and a new series to delve into, you can’t go wrong with Taylor Stevens.

This message was written by a team of geeks, nerds, gamers, and Dr. David Powers. You can always find us at www.drdavidpowers.com. Thanks for reading!

Don’t Kill Your Customers with Poor Word Choices in Marketing

I came across this ad in a construction magazine and did a double take. Before I go further and explain, glance at it and tell me if you can find the problem.

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Do you the word choice I’m talking about?

PREMEDITATED

Sure, it doesn’t have to mean anything evil, but you have to carefully consider the word choices in your marketing and what your customers will think on first glance. Do a Google search for premeditated and what will most of the finds show you? I did, and, aside from the results showing the definition of the word, other results spoke of murder, killing, and death.

Even scarier, this image of Dexter in his contractor garb is one of the nicer ones that showed up with the same search…

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Is this what you want your customer to think of when all you want to do is replace the vinyl siding on their home? Are you really planning excellence or something else? I mean, think about it, as a contractor, women are inviting you into their homes with sharp tools.

Connotation is a very real and serious grammatical tool to be aware of. Always consider it with your copy.

This message was written by a team of geeks, nerds, gamers, and Dr. David Powers. You can always find us at www.drdavidpowers.com. Thanks for reading!

Is It a Lifestyle or Just Something You Do?

I like to bike. No, I love biking. I’m getting ready to move to a new city. When my wife and I were house/apartment hunting we chose a place had bikeable areas nearby over places that were both bigger and cheaper.

Where I live right now I bike to work almost every day. I bike to the nearby stores. I bike to my parent’s house. I even bought a child trailer so I could throw my briefcase and other work stuff into the back. I know from experience that I can haul 4 long comic book boxes (almost a 1000 comics) in that trailer. That’s nigh 200 pounds.

Lake Moultrie trail

The thing is, I don’t rack up a lot of miles although I bike so much. I probably won’t in my new place either. I have friends who regularly go out and bike 15, 30, or even 50 miles a day on multi-thousand dollar bikes while wearing spandex unis with pockets on the back. Then they don’t touch their bike again until it’s time for their next bike workout.

That’s the big difference between us. I bike because I love it. It’s part of my lifestyle. I pride myself on biking more than driving. For many of my friends it’s just a workout. Their bikes are nothing more than pretty kettlebells.

If you have something you enjoy, consider making that transition from plain old thing to a lifestyle. It might make a huge difference for you.

If you need more of a reason to move further into the biking lifestyle, check out this article on how biking to work will make you happier and healthier.

This message was written by a team of geeks, nerds, gamers, and Dr. David Powers. You can always find us at www.drdavidpowers.com. Thanks for reading!

Colorworld, Death Touch, and a Superhero Cult

I read a blog recently about what to do and not do as a vendor at conventions. The article specifically referenced comic book conventions, but the principles hold true at most any gathering where you’re selling things, from a garage sale to a vendor floor. I just finished reading both that blog and a book by Rachel Kelly that I bought at a convention for many of the reasons cited in the blog.

You can find the full blog post HERE, but I wanted to cite several of the principles as they applied to the Colorworld booth.

Colorworld-2 and 3

Keep your head down at your table. Rachel and her husband were fully engaged with customers. I walked by and spoke to both of them several times and never had to work or even ask for their attention.

Not being able to describe your book or product. On one of my many walks by their booth, I finally stopped and asked Rachel what Colorworld was all about. Her well-practiced response was perfect. She had an elevator speech synopsis of the book and a longer explanation if needed. Not only that, but she succinctly answered all my questions as well. Indie books are all over the place at cons and many are poorly written, so it’s hard parting with my money and taking a chance on one. Rachel made it easy to hand over my cash (twice!).

Not rewarding your fans. I met Rachel at the Myrtle Beach Comic Con and bought Colorworld. I ran into her husband a month later at X Con and bought the next two books in the series. Rachel wasn’t there because she was at a book fair the same weekend. But guess what, he not only had a stash of autographed copies (just for me, I know it!) but I walked away with a metallic bookmark as a gift.

Think outside the con. One of the reasons I became endeared to Rachel and her family and am well on way to becoming a rabid fan is because in speaking to them they allowed me a glimpse into their crazy yet awesome lifestyle. We actually share a lot of similarities. A brood of four homeschooled kids for one. Two families with that many kids at home all the time…that’s a group of parents in need of a recovery group and a nice vacation. I also found out that they all live out of an RV and travel from con to con, living the nomadic life for a while.

So, suffice it to say, Rachel and her family are the perfect con vendors. They hit a lot of cons already, but if you’re hosting one, I’d suggest inviting them. They’re the kind of vendors that class up a con. They have a well managed and decorated booth. They sell a quality product. They engage with the audience from the perspective of vendors, parents, and kids. They’re quick to jump all over social media helping promote cons they attend. Invite them. Offer them a free booth. Ask them to do a talk on what it’s like living like carnies but at cons.

Now, about that book. I just finished reading Colorworld, but I’ve already purchased the next two books in the series and plan on tackling them soon. The book is an expertly written piece of prose. The grammar is tight and the story flows perfectly. I’ve read some indie works where I would actually sit down with a red pen and mark down the errors. My only marks in this book were quotes and other instances I wanted to remember.

The book is about superheroes, but not the kind of supes you see in Marvel or DC. This book is about a much more realistic possibility for developing abilities beyond the norm. As the book stated, “Manifest latent abilities. That’s what we call abilities that manifest during hypno-touch which are above normal human capability.” It feels so realistic that I found myself wanting to test the plot and see if I could develop powers. I do have pollen allergies, you know. You’ll understand that aspect when you read the book.

I got caught up in the characters too, so much so that I got really pissed when a certain guy in the book did something to our heroine that I didn’t appreciate.

The book is also about more than powers and abilities. Remove all that and it’s a novel about a broken family and how a young lady spit on by life finds love.

Here’s my recommendation, my call to action, if you will.

  1. Go Like the Colorworld site on Facebook. Actually, visit their website HERE to click on all their social media links.
  2. Find out which cons they’re headed to.
  3. If you’ll be at one of those cons, go meet them and buy a book.
  4. Buy a t-shirt from Rachel’s husband as well, if for no other reason than that the Big Iron Bad Ass graphic looks like me.
  5. If they’re not too busy, hang out and talk to them a bit.
  6. Mention them on social media and talk about how cool they are.
  7. If you can’t make it to a con to buy from them in person, you can still buy the books on Amazon right Colorworld (Volume 1)HERE.
  8. Once you fall in love with the books, go back to their website and check out their awesome mashup art pieces mixing the Colorworld with other popular people like Doctor Who and Batman.
  9. Now that you’ve fallen in love with the family, you notice at the bottom of their website store that you can do more and help support them on their awesome journey as well.

And there you go. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go look for someone with hypno-touch.

This message was written by a team of geeks, nerds, gamers, and Dr. David Powers. You can always find us at www.drdavidpowers.com. Thanks for reading!