Not just dreaming of sailing anymore


I’ve been dreaming of sailing in the British Virgin Islands for a while now.  I even posted on how to plan a sailing vacation.  Well, I’m not just dreaming anymore – we decided to go ahead and do it.  The question is just which month and exactly how much are we going to spend on airfare!

I took a liveaboard sailing class a year ago September in the British Virgin Islands and loved it – I blogged about it.  (Remember the entries are in reverse order.)

Here are some reasons to sail in the BVI:

  • It’s beautiful.
  • The snorkeling is awesome.  I’ve seen turtles, octopus, squid, barracuda, … in addition to the regular coral and fish.
  • You can always see land.
  • All the islands have beaches with great sand and beach bars.
  • Sun.
  • Warm water.  Even I don’t get cold after a couple of hours in the water.
  • Everybody there is in a good mood.  (Probably because they are all on vacation. 🙂
  • Boats.  Sailboats.
  • Sailing.  Crossing the ocean silently with the wind in your hair and the sun on your face.
  • People.  Everyone is ready to sit back, have a beer and laugh.  Or dance.  Or party.
  • Willy T’s.  The bar on a boat.
  • Foxys.  The beach bar.
  • Great weather.  It’s the same 75-85 all year around.
  • The place on top of the Baths with the great hammocks.
  • The Baths.  Who doesn’t like scrambling through rocks and caves.  Especially caves that are open to the sunlight!
  • Good food.  Conch fritters, anyone?

I’m very much looking forward to going back!

Book review: Encyclopedia Prehistorica Dinosaurs and Sharks

These two books make great presents for boys.  Our son got his first one when he was five years old and he loves them.  Each page has a great big pop-up in the middle and lots of smaller pop-ups in the corners.  There’s also lots of interesting information – I usually just read a couple of sentences per page.

What makes people friends?

This isn’t a post about how to make or keep friends.  This is about an article that dives into the pyschology of friendship.  So if you don’t like analyzing things, skip this post!

What makes people friends?  How do we choose who we are friends with?  The bottom line according to Friendship: The Laws of Attraction:

We become best friends with people who boost our self-esteem by
affirming our identities as members of certain groups, and it’s the
same for both genders.

In English, that means that if we think of ourselves first as moms, we will probably either hang out with moms or people that tell us we are good moms.  If we think of ourselves first as engineers, we will probably be best friends with engineers or someone who tells us we are great engineers.

Once you’ve found your best friend, there are four key ingredients to friendship:

  • self-disclosure – we share personal information and wait for the person to disclose equivilent personal information.  For example, I share that I’m having a hard time dealing with my brother and you share that you are having a hard time dealing with your husband.
  • supportiveness – friends listen to those problems and support their friends either by commiserating, offering advise or just listening.
  • interaction – you have to talk, email, write, … it doesn’t have to be in person.
  • positiveness – nobody wants to listen to rants all the time.  People want to feel good so they tend to hang out with people that make them feel good.  (I had a friend who told me she loved hanging out with me because I always made her feel good I was so upbeat.  I had never thought about it but I found myself thinking about all my friends and how upbeat they were or weren’t after that!)

So knowing all that probably won’t help you find or make friends but maybe it will make for an interesting, postive, supportive interaction with your existing friends.

Negative Google Ads Associated with YOUR Name

I ran across something interesting yesterday.  If you search for "Joe Vitale" (the author of The Attractor Factor) in Google, the top two sponsored ads are extremely negative:

  • Joe Vitale Sucks      Don’t buy anything from Joe Vitale until you read this.
  • I was scammed 37 times      These websites are absolute scams I will show you the ones that work

Now these are sites that paid to be put at the top when someone searched for "Joe Vitale."  They didn’t show up when I searched for Vitale.  Nothing on their websites mentions Joe Vitale and nothing I found anywhere suggests that Joe Vitale is either a jerk or a scam artist.

A couple of salient points come to mind:

  • Obviously, these people have found it financially advantageous to buy ads for the words "Joe Vitale" – they are assuming people that have read his book or heard about it might think he’s a scam or at least have enough doubts to read their websites.  (I did.  I thought, wow, is he a scam artist, and I clicked on the link and looked for information and couldn’t find any but in the meantime I read their website and saw all their ads.)  So these people drive traffic to their website by picking names that people might believe are scam artists.
  • Poor Joe Vitale.  These people are making it look like he’s a scam artist and as far as I know, there’s nothing illegal about it.  The second one doesn’t even say anything about Joe Vitale – it just says "I was scammed 37 times" when you search on his name.

I don’t know whether to be impressed or horrified.  Luckily when I search on my name there are no sponsored links, good or bad.

Book review: The Secret

First off, there are three versions of the Secret by Rhonda Byrne:

  • the book, The Secret.
  • the audiobook, The Secret.  This contains many different people’s voices, presumably from the movie version.
  • the movie, The Secret DVD!  Most of the reviews you’ve seen are about the movie.

I listened to the audiobook version.

I think how you are introduced to a book greatly influences how much you like it or at least how open you are to liking it.  I first heard about The Secret from a group of friends who watched the movie together and they couldn’t say enough good about it.  I was supposed to beg, steal or borrow a copy to watch!  So I downloaded the audiobook version.  I enjoyed it but if I hadn’t listened to The Attractor Factor first, I would have dismissed it all as hokey.  The Secret introduces the law of attraction with a lot of hype and very big promises.  They make it seem like it is possible to wish a bike or a winning lottery ticket into existence through sheer will power.  Now while I believe that remaining positive and open will mean that many more opportunities will be available to you than if you are always negative, I don’t think you can wish tomorrow’s winning lottery ticket into your hand.  So while the audiobook was uplifting and positive, it was a bit unrealistic.  So, I wonder, if I’d read this negative review first, or if I hadn’t learned about the law of attraction from The Attractor Factor, I wonder if I would have liked The Secret at all?  Would the negative review have set me up to think negatively about it, would I have concentrated on the hokiness and would I be writing a really negative review now?  If so, it just goes to show you that thinking positive brings positive results (I enjoyed listening to the book) and thinking negative brings negative results (I might not have made it through the book!)  On the influencing positively side, The Secret made the top ten list at and The New York Times.  Does that make you want to read it now?

Solitude is good

Do you need time by yourself?  Most of us do whether we realize it or not.  I had a friend who used to call it "me time."  Whenever I started getting short with people he’d say I was missing my "me time."  I finally figured out he was right.

A few years ago I had a roommate who was around most of the time.  (And he was loud!)  I used to go into work late or come home early every day just so I would have some time alone in the house.  If I have some alone time in the morning, my whole day goes better.  I used to think it was because I hated feeling like I got up to go to work but now I think it’s because I just need some time to myself to contemplate the day before I get going. 

It doesn’t have to be first thing in the morning.  Back when Frank worked nights I used to get Jacob up in the morning, feed him and dress him and then we’d read stories until his grandparents picked him up.  Then I’d have my alone time.  (As a side note, Jacob doesn’t remember those mornings.  He was only three years old.  I find that really sad because we really enjoyed them.  I’ll keep the good memories for him!)

Ester Buchholtz wrote The call of solitude in Psychology Today where she says modern day society with all its connectedness, cell phones, internet, etc, is intruding on our alone time and we don’t even know it.  But just because we don’t realize that we aren’t getting our "me time" doesn’t mean that we don’t need it.  She says one of the main problems is that we associate solitude with loneliness.  Anytime we are alone we think we are lonely.  I certainly know people that are always bored if they are alone (or they turn on the TV in order to not feel lonely) but I also know people who really enjoy hiking or hunting by themselves.  Her article is long but worth reading.