Category Archives: Life

Today’s Live 42nd Happy Birthday Video Streams

#PirilloParty

How to Write a How to Guide

If you’ve ever wanted to write your own how to guide, TokenUser shares these excellent tips with the community. If you have any tips or top five lists that you’d like to share (perhaps using these very helpful guidelines), please send them my way!

Before writing a guide on how to do something, there are a couple of questions that you need to ask yourself: do you know the subject well enough to explain it in simple terms, and can you write a concise set of instructions based on that explanation?

If you are good to go on these questions, the best how to guides follow an age-old and simple principle: KISS — Keep It Simple, Stupid, or (in this case) Keep It Stupidly Simple. This will enable someone to more easily follow your instructions. I’m hoping to help you write better how to guides with this guide of my own…

[$5+ patrons can read the rest of How to Write a How to Guide here. Not a patron? Consider the benefits here!]

Top Five Things to Look for When Buying an HDTV

Since we talked about 4k screens the other day, it occurred to me that some people may not even know where to begin when trying to decide on a regular old HDTV purchase. It seemed like a perfect time to revisit the advice that Matt Smith (no, not Doctor #11, but The Matt Smith!) once shared. While this was written a few years ago and some of the details may be out of date, most of this excellent advice holds true today if you’re not yet committed to going 4k.

[$5+ patrons can read the rest of Top Five Things to Look for When Buying an HDTV here. Not a patron? Consider the benefits here!]

Ways to Make Your Home Office Smell Better

Let’s face it: our home offices and workshops tend to smell a bit stale at times. A lot of hardcore geeks don’t spend as much time on personal grooming as polite society deems… polite. We have better things to do with our time than to worry about how pleasing our surroundings smell, right? Wrong! Imagine how much happier you would be at work if your surroundings didn’t smell quite so rank!

What happens if you meet someone who could turn out to be your significant other were it not for the odd stench that clings to you from spending so much time in a sanctuary of stink? Even if you’ve succeeded in shedding the telltale wake of foul odors, maybe you’d like to invite this possible romantic interest over. Do you really want your office to smell like an old shoe — or worse? It only takes a few minutes to help freshen things up, beyond opening up the windows, that is. Here are a few quick ways to make your home office (or workshop) smell better…

[$5+ patrons can read the rest of Ways to Make Your Home Office Smell Better here. Not a patron? Consider the benefits here!]

How Do Geeks Get Healthy?

A while back, mutley had discussed his lack of fitness and his poor lifestyle choices as a young geek. I stumbled across his old post today, and thought it was quite relevant even now:

I would consider myself as living somewhat of a ‘geek lifestyle’ in that I’m indoors a lot and on the computer or on the console. It is something I want to change, however. I want to get a bit healthier, so I’m improving my diet by eating healthier and trying to cut my calorie intake.

It isn’t easy to do with this lifestyle. I’ve bought a treadmill and I’m doing a short amount on it each day on an incline to burn some extra calories and to ease my way into exercising.

What I want to know is how you stay healthy and in shape when living a lifestyle that largely revolves around physical inactivity? Are there any tips you can share on how to shed some weight or maintain your weight without having to sacrifice the lifestyle you enjoy, at least to a point?

I get you. Boy, oh, boy do I get where you’re coming from. Most of my time is spent being sedentary, also. In the past, I’ve made the effort to exercise daily. Sadly, I tend to only do this after I’ve packed on a few pounds and want to get rid of them.

What can we do differently? I may not always practice what I preach, but I do know what I should be doing.

Change your snack habits when you’re at the computer/console. Don’t reach for a sugary soda and a bag of chips. Before sitting down at your desk for the day, grab some healthier alternatives. Pick up fruits and veggies, low-fat pretzels, and even trail mix — anything that is healthier and will satisfy your need to munch your way through the day.

Set an alarm to remind you to take frequent breaks. Get up and do something. Go outside and walk/jog around the block. Too cold or wet? Stay in and take a few trips up and down the stairs. Stretch. Take your tablet or phone to a treadmill and walk your way through the day’s geeky news or your favorite vlogs. *cough* *cough*

The key is to balance your sedentary lifestyle with a bit more action and healthier food choices. Don’t do anything drastic — especially without talking to your doctor. You simply need to move that body to burn some calories and keep your body as fit as it can be. Even people who are overweight can be fit and healthy — trust me. Do some research if you don’t believe me. Keep your heart healthy, your blood pressure in check, and don’t overload your body with sugar.

Remember: I’m not a doctor! I’m just a geek who spends too much time behind a screen — just like you!

For some great fitness tips, check out what my brother Ben is up to on YouTube!

How Do Geeks Get Dates?

“Harry” (name changed per request) is a Patron who is trying to find himself a date and asked my advice. You, too, can become a Patron and receive priority answers to your questions!

Time to ask a question well outside of the bubble of tech, yet still incredibly important to life: geek dating. I’m sure I am not the only one out there, but I am a geek who has trouble meeting women who share common interests. I’ve tried online dating and let’s just say that’s been less than successful. All I want to do is find a common interest female geek in my area. It shouldn’t be that difficult. Any tips?

Well, it isn’t as difficult to find someone as it is to maintain a relationship.

Be yourself.

Join “real” groups; stop using dating sites.

Get involved in things that interest you.

Go to events; get out of the house.

Find others with similar interests.

And, jeez… don’t be shy about what you want. Only you know what you want, and if you don’t tell someone you might want to be with that you’re interested… they’ll never know.

“No” isn’t the end of the world. Plenty of fish in the sea.

Take heart: your problem probably has nothing to do with your self-identity as a geek, either. Plenty of geeks find suitable mates every day… and you can, too.

I don’t know where you live, but… if the pool is small, don’t expect miracles.

How Do Geeks Get Dates?

What is Your Best Childhood Memory?

Sam is a Patron who is curious about what went on just a few years ago when I was a wee lad! You, too, can become a Patron and receive priority answers to your questions!

What is your best childhood memory, and why is it important to you?

I don’t know if I’d say it’s a single memory, but I used to love the first few days of summer vacation before the age of 14.

From that point forward, I was working during the summer months and at school throughout the rest of the year.

I’ve been working for a while, eh?

I suppose that remains important because it reminds me of a time when I didn’t really have the same stressors. Homework was simple in comparison to the worries that face me now as an adult approaching the mid-way point.

My continued fascination with Star Wars, LEGO, et al remains a connection to the past in my present and future – if only to serve as a constant reminder that I can still enjoy my adulthood through my own childhood memories.

What is Your Best Childhood Memory?

What Type of Games Should Kids Learn to Play?

Patron George Barrett is interested in kids and their early gaming years. You, too, can become a Patron and receive priority answers to your questions!

When you introduce your child to gaming, will you show him/her the classic games from the NES era, or let him/her discover them for his/herself if it develops as a personal interest whilst playing the current games?

This is actually an easy one to answer, George. I’m sure that at a very early age, Baby Pirillo will start being introduced to educational games. There are so many great ones out there that teach little ones everything from hand-eye coordination to counting to reading and back again.

Once s/he is old enough, our child will be allowed to choose their own path with most everything in life… including gaming. That’s not to say Diana and I won’t provide guidance, of course. It’s not like the child will be given free reign to do things that are simply not appropriate. But I would never “force” my child into doing things that I prefer instead of what they would choose.

Yes, of course I’ll show off the old-style games. I’ll also help him or her check out the latest MMORPG or FPS (at the right age) if that’s what they’re into. Heck… maybe the kid won’t be into games at all. Instead — Lord help me — my child could be a huge sports fanatic like my Dad and brothers. Maybe s/he will prefer to play instruments, or plant a garden with Mommy or want to cure cancer.

Whatever our child is interested in — be it games or sports or music — we will do our level best to nurture that passion and help it to grow.

What about all of you? How would you answer this question?

What Type of Games Should Kids Learn to Play?

How Do You Deal with Anger?

SnackPack asked:

How do you deal with anger? Is there anything in particular you do — or anything you know to not do?

We all tend to get angry at times, some of us more so than others. Knowing how to cool down and manage these emotions is critical to relationships with others and how you perceive yourself, even. Anger that is uncontrolled can turn very physically dangerous.

For me, I am lucky; when I lose my cool, I’m able to get over it quickly. Sure, I’ve been known to rant — y’all have seen video evidence of that. But that’s just it… I rant. I don’t direct my anger at anyone. I simply spout off about whatever it is I’m pissed about in a healthy way and then get over it. I don’t let it get to me, you know?

I’ve also been known to walk away. That helps me detach from whatever the situation may be, think about it rationally and calm down so that I am able to go back and deal with things. Sometimes, you just have to back the hell off before you say or do things you may later regret, or which may seriously hurt someone.

What about all of you? What do you do to calm down? Beat up a pillow? Throw wet noodles at a wall? Stick pins in a doll?

How Do You Deal with Anger?

Is Online Education Any Good?

Madison is curious about her education options:

Are online classes and degrees just as good as a traditional classroom setting?

It really depends on the school and the person. There are many excellent online programs from reputable schools. When looking for one, do your research and be sure they’re accredited and have good feedback from others.

As far as you – there are many people who have thrived in online classes. You have to be intelligent, of course, and easily able to grasp the content without the benefit of one-on-one instruction.

You also have to be highly disciplined in order to make yourself study and complete assignments when you should. With online classes, students have a lot of temptation to blow off what they should be doing for classwork to do any number of other things, either around the house or out in the world.

Make a decision as to whether you feel YOU are prepared for the challenges of online classes. If you are convinced you are, then look for a reputable school that has the program you’re looking for. Good luck!

Is Online Education Any Good?

What Keeps You Going to Work?

Shelley asked me:

What makes you do the things you do every day? Why do you push yourself? What is it that makes you want to keep going every day – even when the going is tough?

The short answer is: YOU. All of you – the community – is what keeps me pushing myself day in and day out.

I’ve said a million times that building a good community is everything. It’s why I do the things I do. That’s the reason I get up in the mornings and head into my office. Y’all make me strive to change things for the better, find new ways to engage and keep making sure everyone is able to easily communicate with each other.

Is it always easy? Of course not! People’s needs and interests change. Google changes the way we find websites. Facebook changes the things you do and do not see on your feed. Haters hate. Whiners whine. Some days I do what everyone does at some point – question if what I’m doing is worth it.

You know what, though? The answer to that is always a resounding YES!

Why do YOU do what you do? What drives you each and every day?

What Keeps You Going to Work?

Is Google Plus Dying?

Matthew Rappaport seems to be concerned about what’s going on within Google’s social sphere:

Is Google+ still alive and what do you hope to see announced for it at Google I/O?

It’s not dead – yet.

I have little patience for the typical jingoistic navelgazing that often seems to come with some of Google+’s most vocal supporters, though.

I don’t eat, sleep, or breathe any single social platform, though – nor does my life revolve around any single company apart from my own.

For Google I/O, I’d hope to hear more about how they’re going to continue to improve the Android experience – and, with just about every change they make, Google only reinforces my positions early on regarding their platform (despite me being perceived as persona non grata by many whose personal identity is tied into a piece of fucking software).

Is Google Plus Dying?

Would You Spend Your Life Savings to Stay Young?

Paul Sheriff writes:

If we could stop the aging process or reverse it, at what age would you choose to stay? Also, if your newborn daughter caught up to the same age as you and you only had the means for one of you to stay young (say the pills were $50,000 a year), would you keep her younger or yourself?

I don’t think of myself as an age, so any given number is completely irrelevant. I never long for the days when I was younger, and I don’t ever long for the days when I’m older.

That, and I probably wouldn’t buy pills at $50,000 a year.

I wouldn’t pay for anybody to be younger, either, though I would probably pay for someone to live twice as long if they so wished.

Would You Spend Your Life Savings to Stay Young?

Do You Have Any Fears as a Parent?

Peter Friess asked:

What is the biggest fear that you have for baby Pirillo?

I fear the unknown.

There are so many variables are at play, and so many things could go “wrong.”

I fear that my child will not find happiness, or that others will woefully attempt take it from him/her.

Diana and I will both do everything in our power to make sure our child is happy, healthy and well-adjusted. S/He will be loved beyond belief, and will be secure in that every day of his/her life.

At the end of the day, we will have to hope that’s enough… just like all of you do.

What about everyone else? What is your biggest fear as a parent?

What is Your Biggest Fear as a Parent?