Continuous Improvement

We always need to hone how we approach our life. Do we go to work each day and hope that everything will be exactly the same? I hope not. I hope we each have a bit of us that strives for continuous improvement. I hope we ask ourselves: How are we doing? Are we succeeding or failing? Where did you own it? Where did you lead?

Each and every day we are training for our next day, week, month, year. Our current stamina helps us to be able to go into the next day, and the one after that. We build our learning from one day, and it helps us in that next tough meeting, presentation, or dilemma we are trying to solve. I am a fan of continuous improvement. I think it is the way we learn more about ourselves. If we were not on the track to grow, learn more about ourselves, and be better, than what is ultimately the point? We should all want to be better. Better at work, better with our significant other, better with our families. We all have something to learn, and these learnings help us to grow into ourselves.

There are times when I do not want my life to change. I like where I am at and change just feels like my comfort level, and day-to-day will be grossly different. Sometimes though different might just take us to the next level and we are better for it. What we know changes. We have to get to know new people, projects, and problems to solve. Maybe the newer folks are not as fun, or the problems cause us to want to pull our hair out, but in the end if we are growing and learning it brings us to a better place. Sometimes it is just hard to see that better place. Through it all, we grow — whether by¬†learning new skills, or more patience.

Thus continuous improvement. It brings a smile to my face that we each have an opportunity to work hard each day and be better. To learn more. To be better. Bring it. Learn more. Be a better you.

HELP: Best site for eBooks?

Yesterday I wrote about my treadmill. I love it, with one exception it does not have a book holder. It has a tiny ledge that fits an iPad or eReader. Here is my dilemma: I am old school. I still check out books at my local library. I have investigated and most of the books that are on my list are not available on the eReader app available from my library. So I started the exploration of other paid eReader apps. Here is what I found:

Amazon: You have to own a Kindle ($59 and up), then you can pay $9.99 a month for their Kindle Unlimited Library, but most of the titles that I am looking for you must have an Amazon Prime account ($99 a year). However, you can only check out one book a month with Amazon Prime. If I am already paying $9.99 a month, and their better selection is with the Amazon Prime eBooks, then how is this a good deal at all? Here is a good recap of what they offer.

Oyster: I signed up for a free trial (caveat: their website says the free trial is 14 days, once I signed up the site emailed me and said my trial was only 2 days). It is $9.95 a month, but most of the titles I want to read are not available in their app.

OverDrive: Part of the Oregon Digital Library Consortium, it is free to me, but again the selection is slim to the list of books I want to read.

3M Cloud: Part of the Multnomah County Library, it is free to me, and the selection does not have the list of books I want to read.

I struggle with my dilemma. If I can go to the library and check out a book for free, why is it so hard to find a good selection of free eBooks? I have a hunch if I want to keep reading while I run, I will have to either have Chris rig some sort of book attachment, utilize at least 5 different eBook apps in order to find the book I want to read, or start to pay $$$ for each of the books I want to read. If I can find almost any song I want on Spotify for $10 a month, why is it so hard to do the same for eBooks?

What do you do? Do you have any ideas for me? My goal is to continue to read my average of 10 books a month, cheaply and easily, and potentially now on my iPad. Help!

Jeans: Wash ’em or freeze ’em

I love learning new things. It is actually one of my favorite things. What is not to love about growing your mind with information and letting your universe grow a bit each day? Even if the new knowledge is a bit on the random side. A few days ago I learned something new about jeans. Some of you may say: Wow, how clueless you have been all these years, how could you not know about it? Yet, it is a fascinating dilemma for me. I have known folks that dry clean their jeans and others that iron their jeans… but this is different:

Freezing your jeans.

Yes. I mean it. I mentioned something to Chris the other day about fading jeans and he said: “Maybe you should freeze them.” Huh. I was a bit stunned. He said he knows someone at work that does it. How have I been on this earth for well over three decades and I have never heard of freezing your jeans? It is real. No joke. There is an entire movement around not washing, but freezing your jeans. Seriously. If you do a Google search you will find countless articles about how and why you should freeze your jeans. They are quite descriptive. Levi’s has even been promoting it.

Maybe I am old school but it kind of grosses me out. I think about all the places we sit, I think about the crotch, and I think of all the places we eat and that our jeans often absorb the smells of our surroundings. I would want to wash them just as a sort of detox from where my jeans have been. Not to mention that I wash them because after one wearing they get stretched out. A wash brings them back to the shape that I want, and while my many washing might mean the color eventually fades, what is wrong with that?

Who thought of freezing your jeans? Have you ever tried it? What is next… the microwave?