Awesomely Amazing Things…

Here are just a few things that are…  Awesomely amazing…


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Ideas for what to do

Ever have a day when you didn’t know what to do?  Well, some people never have those days, because they always keep busy.  Some people seldom have those days, because they are usually busy, but sometimes don’t have things to do.  Sometimes that can be a holiday.  Some people often find themselves wondering what to do.

It’s good to have a hobby.  What do you enjoy doing?  Do you enjoy taking pictures?  Do you enjoy making things?  If so, what?  Do you like making crafts?  Do you like making art?  Do you like working with wood?  Do you like sports?

What is the weather like?  If it is nice, you can do outside things, like go for a job.  You could play a sport with others.  Get a ball and play soccer, kick ball, baseball, softball, Frisbee, ultimate Frisbee, capture the flag, golf, etc., etc.  If you can’t find anyone to play with, that makes it harder.  Maybe you can go biking, hiking, boating, rafting, skiing, roller skating, ice skating, or speed walking.

Maybe you could read a good book, watch a good show or movie, or fly a kite.  Maybe you could pick up a new hobby, like flying remote controlled airplanes, or creating model airplanes.  Maybe you could put a puzzle together.  You could do a Google search, and find different hobbies.  You can find groups that meet together around your area that are interested in hobbies, or reading groups.  Check out your local library.  They often have great classes.  They may have a computer class, or a sewing class, or a photography classes.  Stores, such as sewing stores, often have classes, as well.  Your city may offer classes, too.  If you really want to get serious, you can take junior college classes, as well.

Maybe you could play a board game, or cards.  Maybe a computer game, or video game.  Maybe you could even learn to make a computer game.  Maybe you can find some way to make money, such as making something you can sell.  Maybe you could make a book, and get it published, or self publish it.

You could learn a new language, or sign language.  You could take up calligraphy, painting, drawing, photography, etc.  You could volunteer.  There are many great opportunities to volunteer.  You could help out at the school.  You could help with meals on wheels.  You could help at a soup kitchen, or an orphanage.  You could see if the animal shelter could use some help.

What do you do when you are bored?  What inspires you?

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Ideas for foods


Hmmm….  What do you think we should eat?  What should we have for dinner?  What should we have at a party?  What should we eat?  There are lots of different types of foods, and lots of different resources.  There are lots of different ways to plan meals.

For dinners, you may plan a month in advance, a week in advance, or just make whatever sounds good.  In any case, you will need to have the ingredients, and the recipes.  Where can you get recipes?  You can buy cook books, either actual books, or eBooks.  You can get recipes from family and friends.  If you have or had something that tasted good, ask them for a recipe.  You can also find many recipes online. is a good site, and there are many others you can find with a quick Google search.  If you register with these, which are usually free, you can do things like bookmark your favorite recipes, or supply ingredients you have, and be given a list of recipes that you could make.

Making dinner for the family?  You can ask family members what their favorites are, and add it to the calendar.  You can also add days where you try new dishes, and see which ones stick and which do not.  You can have the kids join in.  Have different kids cook on different days.  Pick the meals based on their abilities.

So you tried these options, and are still stumped…  Think about different types of meals, then branch out from there.  There are types of dishes from different regions, like Mexican, Italian, Greek, Sea foods, Texan, South cooking, Cajun, French (you know, French Toast, and French Fries… ;-> ), Thai, Indian, Canadian, Oriental, Japanese, English (fish and chips, English muffins), German, even Ethiopian.

You can also try different types of foods.  There are pastas, BBQ’s, sea foods, breads, meats, salads, vegetables, fruits, desserts, dessert type salads, jellos, sides, rices, beans, and different combinations of them.  You can add an appetizer.  You can add multiple courses.  You can add a dessert, or dessert salad.

There are breakfast foods, lunch foods, and dinner foods.  Sometimes you may even want to mix these up.  Some dinners, try having breakfast for dinner, such as scrambled eggs, waffles, french toast, etc.  You may even come up with your own recipes by combining ingredients.  You may get ideas from multiple recipes and make your own recipe up.  Oh, and smoothies are fun, too!

What are some of your favorite foods?  How do you get inspired with different food ideas?

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Ideas for names

Do you need ideas for names?  Maybe you need to come up with a baby name.  Maybe you need a name for a team at work, or school, or a soccer team.  Maybe a club.  Whatever it is, you need some inspiration.

One place to start is by looking around.  For baby names, look at a book of baby names.  For that and names in general, you can also look on the internet.  Be sure to see what the name means.  Talk with people.  Ask them what their favorite name is, or favorite names.

If you still don’t have a good name, maybe you can combine names.  Maybe you like a baby name, but have to adjust it, because of the gender.  Maybe you are voting on a good team name, and it’s down to two.  You can take the first half of one and put the end of the other, or just add both names in one.

Another thing you can do is come up with an acronym.  You could come up with a long team name and shorten it with an acronym.  You could come up with an acronym of the people on your team.  In the computer world, they use acronyms a lot, and even include recursive acronyms, like GNU=Gnu’s not Unix.

Another thing you can use is another language.  In fact, if you just come up with something clever, you may want to to be sure that it doesn’t mean something bad in another language.  The “Nova” car, for example, didn’t sell well in South America.  It’s no wonder, though, when you know that “no va” in Spanish means “it doesn’t go.”  You may want to use a word from Spanish, or Latin, or Italian, or French–or even Esperanto, the language that no country speaks.  It’s just a language that some scholars made up.  It’s really a great language, with no irregularities, etc.  Unfortunately, no countries speak it, but I did see an Esperanto word used as the name of a computer programming module.

Be sure that if it is for a team name, that you get everyone’s opinions.  Someone may be hiding their input.  Also, you want to make it something that is fairly representative of the whole group.  If the team or club is a mixture of both boys and girls, then you don’t want it to be something specific to boys or girls, but something that applies to both.

What are some good names you like?  What are some ways you get inspired to find new names?

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Ideas for dates

So, you want to go on a date, but just don’t know what fun things to do.  There are lots of things you can do, depending on the situation.  You can go on a romantic date with one person, go on a double date, even for a formal dance, or you can go on a group date.

Food and entertainment are usually the two ingredients, though food is not always required.  A dinner and a movie, or just the movie, are common.  But what do you do if there are no good movies playing, or you just want to do something different?  The most enjoyable dates are usually more creative than just going to see a movie.

You could make a movie, instead!  Make it a group date, and make a movie.  You can have different props that all have to be used in the movie.  One person and bring them, or you can have it a “pot-luck,” where everyone brings one odd thing.  You can make one movie, or if the group is large enough, break into two groups and compete.

There are some fun sports that can work well for dates, such as roller skating, ice skating, volleyball, tennis, raquetball, dodgeball, basketball (depending on the crowd), miniature golf, and bowling.  With bowling, as well as with others, you can add a twist.  You can have the person draw from a hat each time to see how they have to bowl.  Under everyone’s legs.  On your date’s shoulders.  Blindfolded (careful…).  You get the idea.  You can even play “Calvin Ball,” where you get a bunch of sports equipment and make something up.

What about bad weather dates?  That can limit your options.  You may go to the mall.  You could go to a family fun center.  You could play at an arcade.  Depending on the date, you could go to the library.  You could go for yogurt or ice cream.  You could play board games or card games.  You could watch a video.

Steven Covey said that relationships are strengthened the most when you create things together.  Maybe you could create a craft or something together.  You could make some pottery, or draw something together.  You could work on a project or craft together.  You could play a minute to win-it if you have enough people.

If the weather is nice, you could go on a hike.  You could walk around or by a lake, river, or ocean.  You could skip rocks.  You could ride bikes.  You could ride tandem.  You could go boating, on canoes or paddle boats.  Water slides can be fun.

I hope this gets you started with your date ideas.  What are some fun dates that you have gone on?

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Ideas for parties

So, you’re going to host a party, eh?  Well, you are going to want to keep those guests entertained!  There are many things that you can do to entertain your guests, depending on age and other factors.  Hopefully you can find some ideas here and/or get some inspiration that will help you come up with some great ideas for the perfect party.
As with brainstorming, you may want to start by listing your constraints, or an outline of what you want to do.  Is there a theme you want?  Who is the party for?  Is is your son or daughter’s birthday party?  Maybe a party for teens, or adults?  Do you want decorations and a theme, or is it more of a casual get together?  Maybe it’s a date, or a group date?  Maybe you could even throw a surprise party!

To get ideas for a theme, think of the likes and interests of the person who the part is for.  What do they like to play with?  What toys do they have?  What did they ask and/or get for Christmas?  What did they give others?  What type of Valentines did they give out?  What do they do in their free time?  What are their favorite movies or TV shows?  Who are their heroes?  Do they like sports?  What are their favorite hobbies?  Do they like animals–ponies, horses, hedgehogs?  You could even branch out for theme ideas and look at kids their age.  What do they have on their backpacks?  What do they like?  What games do they play at recess, or board games they play at home?  What video games do they like?

Are you having lunch or dinner with the party?  What types of food?  Are you going to have pizza?  Are you planning on having a birthday cake?  Will you have ice cream?  Will you have an ice cream cake?  What about snacks?  You could have some Chex mix, or finger foods.  Are there dietary restrictions of any of the guests?  Would folks like a fruit tray or a veggie tray?  Maybe you could do a pot luck and ask people to bring something to share.  This could be a casual “whatever you want to share to much no,” or you could assign out drinks, main dishes, sides and desserts.  Are you going to take care of the meats, for a BBQ, napkins, plates, forks, drinks, etc., or have someone else bring them?

Where will the party be?  Do you want it at your house, or outside?  Do you want it at a park?  Do you want to have it at a pool?  If you have it outside, what will the weather be like?  You should be prepared for that sudden storm that blows in unexpectedly.  You should have a plan B.

What types of games do you want?  Board or card games?  Maybe you can have people bring some, like a game pot-luck.  What about active games for kids?  Maybe you could play pin-the-tail-on-the whatever your theme is animal, or duck-duck-goose, or tag.  There are lots of variations.  Maybe you want to play kick-ball, soccer, volleyball, frisbee, ultimate frisbee, or have a treasure hunt?

There are lots of great party ideas on the internet.  What are some of you favorite party memories or ideas?

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Ideas from problems

Sometimes ideas come from thinking about things, or brainstorming, and then a new idea comes to us.  Another way that a new idea or invention comes about, however, is by looking at a problem, and then coming up with a fix for it.

Sometimes solutions to problems come almost accidentally.  Take, for example, penicillin.  When you are sick for a while, you may go to the doctor and they may say that you need to take penicillin to get over your sickness.  What is this penicillin, and how was it invented?  Well, it wasn’t a bunch of scientists and super computers crunching a formula and manipulating atoms and DNA strands.  Actually, it was found by accident.  Penicillin was found in mold on cantaloupe.  It was tested, and found to cure sickness!  So often inventions are a lot of trial and error.
Thomas Edison and the light bulb is another great example of trial and error.  In his own words, “I have not failed.  I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”  That is what he said about his many failed attempts to make a light bulb.  Just think how different the world would be if he gave up after 9,982 failed attempts at a light bulb.  We would all be left in the dark–literally.
Levi jeans are a good example of someone who saw a problem and made a fix for it.  In 1853, Levi Strauss, a 24 year old from Germany, came to the California gold rush selling dry goods.  Someone asked what he was selling.  He said he had canvas for tents and wagon covers.  “You should have brought pants!” someone told him, so he made pants with the supplies–and the rest is history.
Another invention that came from a problem was 3M’s Scotch Tape.  Cars were painted with different colors, but the tapes either stuck too tightly, or not well enough.  Richard Drew had an idea to make tape that was sticky enough, but not too sticky.  He got permission to use the 3M laboratories, and invented Scotch Tape.
Another problem solving invention is the ice cream waffle cone.  In September of 1904, at the World Fair in St. Louis, Missouri, an ice cream vendor ran out of stuff to serve the ice cream in.  A neighboring booth was selling waffles by Ernest Hamwi.  He rolled his waffles and offered a way for the vendor to continue selling his ice cream, instead of closing up early.
So, as you go throughout life, instead of being disappointed as problems arise, look for those golden opportunities.  What other problems do you know about that have become new inventions?

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Ideas for mobile apps


So you want to make a mobile app, but you don’t know where to start?  There are a couple things that would will need to make a mobile app.  You will need (1) to know how to create a mobile app, and (2) an idea of what to make for your mobile app.

First, let’s start with how to make a mobile app.  If you already know how to make a mobile app, you can skip down to the section that says, “Second, let’s come up with an idea of what to make.”  If you do not know where to start, that all depends on what level you are at in programming.  I’ll start with the one extreme, where you know nothing about programming, and work my way to how to program for mobile devices.  If you already know some of this stuff, you can skim along until I catch up with your level of expertise.

If you know nothing about programming, then let’s start with a definition.  Programming a computer is giving a computer instructions on what you want it to do.  It’s the recipe to follow.  Let’s start with how to program a Windows computer, but similar concepts apply to Mac computers as well.  To tell a computer what to do, you can click on buttons, like the start button, then click on a program to run, like Microsoft Word.  You can open the File Explorer and move files around.  You can create directories, and you can rename files, etc.

Another way to do this is to type in commands at a DOS (Disk Operating System) prompt.  To bring this up, you can press Windows-R to run a command, then type cmd and press enter, to bring up the DOS Command (cmd) prompt. You should see a prompt that shows something like C:\>.  This is the current directory (“\” or root director, in this example, on the C drive, which is the first drive.  A and B were historically floppy disk drives, but are now no longer used.).

From DOS, you can type HELP to get a list of the commands you can tell the computer to do, such as COPY, to copy a file to another directory, DATE to get or set the date, DIR to get a directory listing of all the files, DEL to delete a file, REN or RENAME to rename a file, MOVE to move a file, ECHO to echo words to the screen, etc.

Type ECHO HELLO WORLD then press enter.  It should say HELLO WORLD back at you.  However, there are not a lot of commands that you can perform in DOS.  The web takes advantage of another programming language called JavaScript.  You can learn JavaScript by tutorials you can find by searching on Google, and probably YouTube as well.  One place that I’ve found that is great for learning JavaScript is  Just do what it says, and pretty soon you will be able to program in JavaScript!

Now if you want to do Mobile development, Android’s SDK (Software Development Kit) is based on Java (not to be confused with JavaScript), and Apple’s mobile platform is based on the C languages, specifically Objective-C.  You can either learn these languages and develop for these platforms specifically, or you can use a platform that you can develop to that will then port over to the different mobile platforms like Android, Apple, and Microsoft.

If you want to use one platform that works for all mobile apps,  here is a good article about some of these tools, including RhoMobile (based on Ruby, which you can learn at codecademy, as discussed above), PhoneGap (based on JavaScript and HTML), and Appcelerator, which is supported in HTML, PHP, JavaScript, Ruby and Python (PHP and Python can also be learned at codecademy).

Second, let’s come up with an idea of what to make.  You could start by seeing some sample code, and seeing what you can do, then branch out from there.  You could make a game.  You could start with an idea similar to one game, and branch out from there, or take two games and take aspects of each, or make your own new game from scratch.  You could find a program, and solve it with an app.  You could make an app that tracks things for you.  You could look at different hobbies, especially ones you are interested in, and make an app for that.  You could look at apps that are out there, and make one better, or make one that is missing.  You could create the app that you’ve wished was there but wasn’t.

Enjoy!  There are so many things that could be done!

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Ideas for Brain Storming

One way to get inspired is to do some brain storming.  Get a white-board or flip chart or a bunch of pieces of blank white paper, preferably large pieces of paper.  Jot down ideas about what you are trying to do.  Getting another person or two involved that know you and/or know the area that you are trying to brainstorm in can be very helpful.  Don’t get too many people, however, or it will just slow things down.

One approach is to start by writing what you want in the middle of the page, then draw lines out around it, like a star, with different ideas branching out of it.  From these, you can then branch out ideas out of this.  For example, you could write, in the middle, “Story.”  Then draw lines from there pointing to “Mystery,” “Romance,” “Sci-Fi,” etc.  Then, from “Mystery,” you could put “Murder,” “Hidden Treasure,” “Robbery,” etc.  This can also be done online with tools such as

Another, similar approach is to make a list, or lists of lists of ideas.  This can be a bulleted list or lists of ideas.  Don’t worry about order for now, just write them down as they come.  By not worrying about the order, etc., you can make sure you get all the ideas.  If you worry too much about priorities, you may inadvertently miss out on ideas that don’t come because you are taking too much time worrying about format and priorities.  You can priorities ideas later.

Either way, make sure that no idea is shot down.  Just write it.  Even if it makes no sense, it may spark an idea from someone else which may lead to the big break-through that you were looking for.  Eventually you should wind down the brainstorming session and come to an agreement on what idea or ideas should be pursued.  If this doesn’t come right away, you may need to “table” this–leave it, and come back to it in a day or so.  Sometimes inspiration comes while sleeping, or showering, or doing something else.

Keep all the ideas.  You may want to keep a notebook of ideas.  Ideas that don’t seem interesting today may seem interesting in the future.  Look back on these notes later on to help bring ideas back to your mind.  You may continue brainstorming at a later date where you left off.

What inspires you?  What brainstorming techniques have you used and found productive?

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Ideas for making money

Want to make a lot of money, but just don’t know how?  Here are some ideas to help get you thinking.  There are a lot of ways to make money, and here is an article that shows eight ways that people made money–lots of money–and how they did it.  Use these history lessons to spark ideas on how you can make it into the next article about people who have struck it rich…  Here is the article: 8 Ridiculous Ideas That Made People Ridiculously Rich

Here are the eight items listed, along with some of my thoughts:The pet rock was an example of big mark-up.  You grab a rock from off a dirt road, paint a face on it, and sell it!  Why didn’t I think of that one?

The yellow smiley is a crazy story.  The inventor made $45 out of it, sold the rights, and two brothers made over $50 Million in sales!  Lesson to be learned–a simple idea can be overlooked as worth $45, or, with the right spin on it, and with the right vision, could be a $50 million plus idea…  Vision, hard work, and putting the right spin on a simple idea can make it happen.  But if you don’t see the vision, you could be leaving alot of money on the table…

The story of the wacky wall walker is an interesting story.  It shows the need to take risk.  Risk is, well…. risky!  The idea originated from China, and the rights were purchased not for $45, but for $100,000.  That’s a big chunk of change for most of us, especially knowing that it could be a dud, and you could end up with $100,000 less than you had before, and a bunch of slimy toys that nobody wants.  There are many risks that people make, that do not pan out.  This one actually started out just limping along, not making much money, but eventually became a fad, making about $80 million.  So, a few lessons here.  First, sometimes it takes a big risk.  Risks, however, don’t always pay off.  Second, even after the risk, they had to endure.  Things didn’t take off right away.  They had to keep at it.  If they gave up too soon, they wouldn’t be where they are at now…

The story of is an interesting one.  A funny photo starts a web page.  Others contribute to it, and eventually the site is sold for $2 million.  It continues making money, with book sales, etc.

The slinky is one of many examples of accidents that are witnessed, that turn out into very profitable ideas.  Another similar example is the Post-It notes.  With the slinky, a Naval engineer accidentally dropped a tension spring and watched what it did, copied it, and created the slinky.  With the Post-It notes, the glue didn’t stick enough, but they found that it worked well as post-it notes, and they took off like crazy.  With the slinky, it’s also interesting to note that he was worried that it wouldn’t sell, so he staged the first sale.  I’m sure they would have sold without this, but it’s interesting to wonder if sometimes a fake sale, or something similar, is needed to prime-the-pump.  This blog is about ideas, and inspiration.  This may not fit exactly with what you are looking into, but it may be just the inspiration you need.  It’s also interesting to note that the inventor and his wife had difficult times, and were separated, and he joined a cult, but that she held it together and eventually sold it.  It points out that even after the idea takes off, you still need good business sense and a level head to keep things going.  This reminds me of the movie “The Social Network,” about the creation of Facebook.  It’s very intense, even with ClearPlay, but very interesting.  It reminds me of the strained relationships involved in the movie, and in getting Facebook where it is today.  I thought it was interesting that the movie was named after a book about the same thing, called “Accidental Billionaires” (with a B, not an M…), because they “accidentally” became billionaires.

The story of the snuggie hows the importance of advertising.  $10 million in infomercials lead to about $200 million in sales.  Once again, it’s hard to say with that one.  What if they didn’t take off?  They’d be out $10 million, and have a bunch of worthless Snuggies.  But they risked it, and it paid off.  Not only did they pay the money for the advertising, but the advertising was silly stuff.  These things may be sold often as gag-gifts–but hey, if it makes money, that’s what matters in the end.

The million-dollar home page is an interesting one.  Some kid did some brainstorming, and boy did it pay off!  He figured that to get $1 million, all he needed to do was have a web page with 1,000,000 pixels, and get advertisers to pay $1 per pixel.  All 1 million pixels were purchased in under a year.  Besides the great idea and timing, he also used the charity card.  He said that this was to help him get money for college.  Well, it worked!  So maybe you need to see if there is some angle where you could have a charity cause for your idea?

The story of how Beanie Babies made it big is interesting as well.  No advertising, and these bean-bag babies make billions.  With a B.  How did they do it with no advertising?  Well, not only did they not do advertising, but they made them with different personalities, and limited the supply.  Supply and demand–that’s the equation.  With only a limited supply of different personalities, the demand for those went up, and thus the price.
This is what Honda does as well.  It only makes so many cars, keeping the demand, and the price, high.  Nintendo does the same thing.  Apples does it as well.  Lots of companies do it. Ty did this, and had different personalities.

Here are some other ideas that probably made some people well-off, and make me think–why didn’t I think of that?

OK, so I’m dating myself here, but Cabbage Patch Kids sold like crazy.  They were similar to the beanie babies, except they went one step further.  Instead of limiting supply, they made each one unique–and the rest is history.

The Elf of the Shelf is really a big thing.  It’s one of those things that I thought–why didn’t I think of that?  Sell a little toy elf that “watches the kids” during the day, then each night goes to the north pole to report to Santa how everyone is doing, then the next morning shows up in a different spot–plus a book to go along with it.

RedBox really gave Blockbuster a run-for-their money, and just about put them under, in my opinion.  RedBox was an idea where they took an existing use model and removed lots of overhead.  No store-front needed.  This is also what Dell did–no stores, just direct purchases directly to Dell.  Amazon did the same thing.  No store-fronts.  Everything is direct.  With RedBox, they replaced the store with a vending machine, basically.  They also placed them strategically at grocery stores and McDonalds.  This is a great example of Win-Win (see Steve Covey’s 7 Habits book–great book).

NetFlix did something similar to RedBox, but instead of replacing store-fronts with vending machines, they used the postal service.  Eventually they went to the streaming model as well, removing even this layer–so they just have the internet to distribute the movies with.

As we mentioned, Amazon got rid of the store-front, to make the overhead very small.  When the creator of Amazon heard about the huge growth in internet sales, he moved from the east coast to the west, started Amazon, and the rest is history…

Facebook is an amazing story of making lots of money as well.  See the movie “The Social Network” (I watch it on ClearPlay).  It is an intense movie, about the relationships–good and bad–and the people who made it to the top.  Just when it seemed like there was nothing else that could be invented, and all the ways to make money had been tried, Facebook made it to the top.  The movie is based on the true story in the book “Accidental Billionaires.”

What are some ways that you have been inspired to make money?  What ideas haveyou seen where you think–why didn’t I think of that?

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