Category Archives: Sustainable Living

place to put stuff about organic gardening and stuff

Free eBook: Microsoft Lync Server 2013 Step-by-Step for Anyone

Another free resource for those of us SharePoint people who are looking to also bring Lync into our social computing world!

*** UPDATE: This FREE eBook Microsoft Lync Server 2013 Step-by-Step for Anyone has been updated to RTM and is now available for download at the URL below …

Matt Landis, Microsoft Lync Server MVP, has compiled a series of great step-by-step articles on Microsoft Lync Server 2013 Preview into a FREE 90-page eBook titled Microsoft Lync Server 2013 Step-by-Step for Anyone. If you’ve previously downloaded earlier releases of this eBook, Matt has now released an updated Rev 5 with new content, so I strongly recommend downloading this tremendous resource again. This eBook demystifies the installation and configuration process for Lync Server 2013 for standard and enterprise features, and includes topics on Installation, Monitoring, Persistent Chat, Resiliency, Enterprise Voice and Lync 2013/Onenote 2013 client integration.

Do It: Download your free copy of Microsoft Lync 2013 Preview: Step-by-Step for Anyone today!

Why Doesn’t Your City Have Curbside Composting?

nearly 100 cities now have curbside composting.

But Waste Management, which makes money off hauling and dumping our waste, sees this as a threat to its business model. And it’s quite a bit of money. Waste Management’s revenues for just the second quarter of 2012 was $3.46 billion. "Their business model is based on controlling the landfills and ensuring that a lot of materials go there," Peter Anderson, executive director of the Center for a Competitive Waste Industry, told Earth Island Journal.

Free Kindle books for the Homeschooler

This is just awesome.  I love technology and it has brought learning to a point where it has never been more accessible than it is today.  Sometimes I wish I was a kid again.

I’ve had several Kindles for a while now and received some great resources for my professional career thanks to Microsoft’s Downloadable content for eReaders.  But it doesn’t stop there.  A couple of months ago I won a Kindle Fire at a Microsoft event.  Already having an iPad and the previous Kindles, I basically toyed with it for a few weeks and rooted and hacked it to run Icecream Sandwich OS.  Then I found this little gem:

Project Gutenberg: Children’s Book Series (Bookshelf)

How great is it that?  All sorts of children’s books right there in the palm of your hand.  So my daughter now has my Kindle Fire (she calls it her mini-iPad) and has access to all of these great stories.  She loves The Bobbsey Twins.

And it doesn’t stop there.  21 American Literature classics that are free on Kindle is another great resource.  She’s not quite ready for Little Women but how great is it to know that these classics are available to her when she is ready.

And that’s just the start…

The National Academies Press announced last year that all the PDF versions of its books will be available free to download.

Topics include:

And while PDF is sometimes hard to read on a Kindle, I love the Calibre eBook Management program by Kovid Goyal because not only does his program do conversions of .pdf to .mobi, he gives his amazing software away for free.  I use this program on a regular basis for loading all of my reading needs into my Kindle/iPad.

It’s not all learning of course.  Since we’ve got a Netflix account, she can also watch the Electric Company streamed right to the Kindle Fire, along with several other great educational series.  I know it’s not a free resource, but at $8 a month, it’s tough to beat.

Wash Your Organic Produce. No, Really.

Always wash your food, gross stuff happens in our food supply chain:

According to Sonya Lunder, a senior analyst with the Environmental Working Group, the answer is an unequivocal yes, for several reasons. One is what the produce industry refers to as "pesticide drift": The wind can—and frequently does—blow chemicals from nearby conventional fields onto organic crops.* Pesticide contamination can also happen in the warehouse, since many produce companies use the same facilities to process organic and conventional products. In that case, companies are supposed to use the label "organically grown" instead of "organic," which can mislead consumers. "The labels are really confusing," Lunder says. "When people say they’re transitional organic, there might be traces left in the soil. If you see no-spray, they still might be using synthetic fertilizer, for example."


And let’s not forget, even with Organic, there can still be Toxins in your Compost.

The Work-Life Balance Myth

So I was spending a few minutes researching some other stuff and this article caught my eye:

Amy Wrzesniewski is a professor at Yale who studies work patterns, and has identified what she calls “orientations,” or psychological motivations, toward work. They are three: Job (money), career(advancement, power, prestige), and calling (meaning, purpose and fulfillment). Not surprisingly, individuals with a calling orientation tend to have higher life and job satisfaction and miss fewer days of work, she found in her research.

Why? When your job is a calling – and if you are lucky, you are in such a job now or remember when you were – time flies by. There are times you don’t want to go home. The best part of the “work-life” balance equation is the work.

Basically what this boils down to is, “Do what you love, love what you do.”  When I was teaching at the local community college, I always told my students that my goal was to never work a day in my life.  Not that I would quit my job of course, but that as Confucius put it: “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”

I think that I am fortunate in that I really do enjoy working with technology.  I spend my free-time setting up test servers in my home office.  Before I got married my dining room table held an entire server farm.  I always want to know about the latest technology and find myself attending SharePoint Saturdays and SoCal Code Camp on the weekends.

This even creeps into my hiring decisions.  One of my standard questions as a hiring manager is, “How did you first get into computers?”  Their answer and their attitude are one of my main factors in deciding between two qualified candidates.  Hint: saying you got into computers because you heard it was a good money is not the right answer!