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Happy New Year

Happy New Year everyone.

I wish all a safe New Year, and look forward to a prosperous and wonderful New Year!

 

fireworks

Jim

Make a personal connection today

Normally, I work 40-45 hours a week at my day job, and another 30 hours a week or so at my church, delivering spiritual counseling. As you can imagine, my time with my family comes at a heavy premium.

This week I’ve been off from my work with my church, enjoying some much-needed R&R and time with my kids.  Yesterday, while I was playing with my son in the pool in our apartment complex, I noticed another kid playing by himself, while his mother sat in a lounge chair, texting for several minutes.  After playing with my son for several more minutes, I again noticed the mother, who was now reading a book.

The entire half hour we were there, I think she said maybe 2 sentences to her son.  She divided her time between her phone and her book.  At first, it made me sad that she thought so little of the time she had with her son that she didn’t feel the need or desire to play or interact with him.  On the other hand, it reaffirmed the gratitude that I felt for the time I did have with my son.  I haven’t always felt this way; nor have I truly appreciated the gifts that I do have.

In our society, we are so inundated with communication from TV, magazines, text messages, email and elsewhere that we tend to zone out a bit.  Personal, one-on-one communication is becoming a lost art.  Several years ago, I was at a restaurant on Friday night.  I noticed a group of 5 people at a table.  What struck me was, every one of them was talking on a cell phone.  There were five friends out together on a Friday night, yet none of them were really there!  And that was before texting and email were readily available on smartphones.  Now, it’s common to see people completely oblivious to the outside world; faces transfixed at a screen about 2 feet in front of their eyes, frantically tapping out messages.

Take some time today to physically talk to someone; as in, stand in front of them and communicate.  Put down the phone, ipad, etc.  Shut of the TV and computer.  Close your magazine or 50 Shades of Grey (or other book).  Have an actual, human, face-to-face interaction with someone.  Play with your kids.  Enjoy someone else’s company.  If you find it difficult to do, don’t worry.  Instead, see it as a sign that you need to practice this much more often.

As Farris Bueller once said, “life moves pretty fast.  If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

 

Customize your Computer Desktop

If your desktop looks boring, stale, or just plain generic, spice it up!

Read on for a quick tip on how to personalize your wallpaper with a desktop slideshow made form your pictures.

Many people know how to use photos as their desktop, but here I’ll show you how to turn a group of photos into a rotating slideshow that changes periodically.  For this tip, I will assume you have Windows 7.  If you’re using XP or a Mac, you’re going to have to search the web for detailed instructions.

1) Have all of the photos you intend to use in one folder.  In my computer, I created a folder in my pictures library.  To do this, go to your pictures library folder ( My Documents -> Pictures library), right-click and select New Folder.  Name the folder Desktop Slideshow or something you’ll remember.

2) Copy the pictures you want in the slideshow into the folder.  Go to the place in your computer where the desired pictures are and select them.  You can select multiple pictures at a time by holding down the Ctrl button and clicking on all of the photos you want to copy.  If you want to copy them (make a copy, but leave the pics in the original folder), hit Ctrl-C.  If you want to move them (delete from their original location and move them to the new folder), hit Ctrl-X.  Next double-click the new folder.  Move your cursor into the empty folder and hit Paste (either Ctrl-V or Right-click then select Paste).

3) To change your desktop, hover over a blank spot on your Desktop and right-click. Select Personalize.  In the bottom of the pane, click Desktop Background.  Toward the top, you will see Picture Location.  Click Browse to the right of it.  Click Libraries -> Pictures -> Desktop Slideshow (or whatever you named the folder). Click OK.

4) By default, all of the pictures in the folder will be selected.  If you want certain pictures not to be included, click the check mark in the top left corner of the picture to remove in from the slideshow (it will not delete the picture from the folder).  Under picture position, choose how you want the picture to display on the screen.  Play around with the options to see which you like best (different options work better for different sizes of pictures).

5) Under “Change picture every:” there’s a drop-down menu that allows you to select how often the pictures rotate.  I recommend selecting 10 seconds and leave the window open.  In the background, you will see the slideshow flip through the pictures.  Then, go back and select a more appropriate interval.  If this is a work computer, select 10 minutes or more.  You don’t want to get too distracted!  Here’s an example of my desktop, which rotates every 10 minutes.  The handsome young man is my youngest son, Finley.

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You can add more photos to the slideshow by copying more pics into the folder you created.  They will automatically be added to the slideshow.

Enjoy!