Greater Lansing Real Estate

The Gratitude Journal

As you likely know this weeks challenge to to journal every day. I’m glad that I’ve been successful everyday, but if I am honest I have been successful at doing so this entire year!

What is new for me is the keeping of a separate “gratitude journal”. I’m not sure where I first heard about the practice, but if you read up on productivity, life hack, and minimalism topics (like I have a tendency to) it will undoubtedly come up.

Originally I tried to incorporate it into my daily journal, but found I just wasn’t making time for it and it wasn’t called out enough. What has been working for me is to do the gratitude journal 1st thing in the morning which helps set a more positive track for the day, and then journaling about what happened during the day right before bed.

If you’re not keeping a “gratitude journal” I would strongly encourage it. Even though it’s only been a few days it’s still fun to read, and they help bring a smile to my face.

How to find and replace text in a string using Perl

To replace specific text in a string with other text, using perl, the syntax is…

$fullString =~ s/$findString/$replaceString/;

Weekly Challenge 2: Journal

Hope everyone who participated in the 1st weekly challenge had great success, and is excited for this weeks. Feel free to continue to keep up the 1st challenge as there may be future ones that build off of it 😉

For week 2 the challenge is to journal daily. Whether you call it a journal, diary, log, or chronicle the point is the same: to record your daily experiences so that you can reflect back on them. Plus, someday it may be interesting for your kids or family to read about your daily life after you’re gone.

But what to journal? Anything you want really, but here are a few ideas:

  • Your feelings or workout
  • What you had to eat
  • What you did that day
  • What you’re grateful for
  • That you’re doing this crazy weekly challenge some guy named Mark came up with

But where to journal? Choose what you will, but my preference is the Day One app for iPhone and Mac. Other options could be Evernote (cross platform), Journey (Android), or good old paper and pen.

Again, you may be asking what the challenge is if you’ve been a long time journaler, but if you’re like me you may have tried and stopped or been quite inconsistent. Here’s a chance to build up that consistency, and like the 1st weekly challenge this may be a foundational habit to challenges coming up. 😉

To join the challenge click here or go to my goal page where you can find it and join in. Each day when you complete your journal entry, be sure to “check in” on

Apple vs FBI

So my mom asked my opinion on the current standoff between Apple and the FBI over their insistence on building a back door into the iPhone “just this once” (wink, wink, nudge, nudge). As I said to her…

I completely agree with Apple’s stance. Once they create such a method to circumvent the security on the phone, I guarantee it will be ordered to do so from now until eternity. That is unless you believe everything the government and law enforcement tell you. In that case, then yes it will be just one time (wink, wink, nudge, nudge).

Let’s also address certain politicians insistence on “opening up” security and “using our heads”…

START: Sarcasm and Contempt
Yeah, let’s open up security all over the place. In fact, then no one will ever be able to transmit anything securely ever again. Hint: “open up” just means lets build in a vulnerability, a bug – intentionally!! You didn’t want your credit card info submitted securely now do you? Probably should let the gov’t be able to scan all your photos and financial documents, and travel plans, and basically anything that’s stored digitally. Not like that’s everything now a days.

Not that hackers or “bad guys” would take advantage of that or anything. Gahh!!

END: Sarcasm and Contempt

Weekly Challenge 1: Nothing Alaming

Welcome to the first in a series of weekly challenges. This first one is “nothing alarming”, and anyone should be able to do it.

Simply pick a time you’re comfortable waking up. Set an alarm, and wake up when it goes off.

What’s the challenge here? For some it may be waking up to an alarm. But here’s the kicker… No using the “snooze” and you have to wake up at the same time on the weekend (and tomorrow if you have it off).

To join the challenge search in for “WC01” or go to my goal page where you can find it and join in. Each day when you wake up to your alarm, be sure to “check in” on

Join my weekly challenge!

I would like to invite all of you to a little series of weekly challenges! Doing something for a day doesn’t provide much benefit. Asking to do something for an entire month may be too much…

But we can all do something for a week. Who knows. You may like it!

My goal is to post each challenge on Sunday right here on and provide a link to the goal on where you can check in each day, chat with others participating in the challenge, and follow your progress.

At the end of the week, if you want to keep up the challenge as a regular habit keep it around. If you want to just move onto the next do that.

What are these challenges going to be? Who knows. Some may be easy. Others more difficult. They could be heath, diet, or productivity related. They may even be categorized as something else.

Your first challenge is to go out and download the app from the iTunes App Store or the Play Store, create an account, get logged in, and follow me so I know you’re playing along.

The first challenge will be posted Sunday.

Giving Thanks

As I sit here in the last hour or so of Thanksgiving I can’t help but reflect back on the many things I have to be thankful for…

For a wife that supports me whether it’s for work, new endeavors like real estate, or giving me time to work on projects for the family.

For being able to wake up to the smiling faces and “morning hugs” from my daughters. The ones who can make everything right in the world even if everything leading up to that point has been sh!+.

For family holidays like days of old. I may have passed out for an hour or two, and I could care less about people’s physical ailments, but it’s hard to explain how happy it makes me just to be around family on holidays. It’s how we grew up, and it’s how I want the girls to grow up.

To have a roof over our heads. Actually, our choice of roofs with the “new” house and the “old” one on the market. Paying off the house is probably one of the best things ever as it gives me the piece of mind to know that, while I want to unload it, I don’t have to do anything… but seriously, if you know someone please let me know. That said, I am beyond excited about the “new” place. I just love the 9′ ceilings, amazing kitchen, the privacy behind us, the changes being made, excitement to open the pool, and being in the same neighborhood with our friends.

For a growing family. We welcomed 2 new members of the clan this year and I was beyond honored to be asked to be Godfather to my niece. Family was such an important part of growing up that I hope the girls one day appreciate it.

For work and the mind and body to do it. Whether it’s software development, real estate, telecommunication, or even work on the house I love coming up with solutions that make my client’s lives better. While any one of them can be exhausting I’m glad to have the ability to do what needs to get done. To be a do’er. To make a difference.

Hoping you have much to be grateful the rest of this year and in the coming year!

Access a Console (including CYGWIN) from Notepad++

If you’re regularly in Notepad++ you may find the NPPConsole to be a huge help. With it you can access a windows console or even cygwin if you prefer (I do). To get started…

  1. Download the NPPConsole Plugin
  2. Extract the dll to your n++/plugins directory
  3. Restart Notepad++ if it was already running
  4. Use the Plugin Manager to make sure the plugin is available

If you want to just use the Windows console (DOS) you should be all set. To integrate with CYGWIN…

  1. Choose Plugins -> NppConsole -> About…
  2. In “Command to run” enter: C:\cygwin\bin\bash.exe ${–login -i}
  3. In Line number pattern after file name enter: :${LINE}

iPad 2 Black Screen Of Death

Tried to turn on our iPad today and got nothing but a black screen. If you would take it into a dark room you could tell that the back light was going on and off, but other than that it was just black. Tried a hard reset, and even did a full factory restore from the PC to no avail.

Then, I found this helpful YouTube video, and apparently the secret is just to beat the thing! Watch and see. It worked for me.

Windows Batch File (.bat) Not Running

If you’ve ever accidentally set batch files to open in a text editor, and now are unable to run them anymore you have to use the registry editor instead of the Control Panel file associations. As pointed out in this article

  1. Click on “Start”->”Run” and type in “REGEDT32” and press Enter to start the Registry Editor.
  2. Find the following key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FileExts\.BAT\UserChoice
  3. Delete the key named “UserChoice”