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  • Medic1455 "medic1455" - Good stuffThe taste takes a bit to get used to, and initially I didn't use enough liquid and it was like drinking sludge. With a little tweaking, this is my favorite meal replacement. Sometimes I just use water, and sometimes I'll use v-fusion. It doesn't look pretty (at all!), or taste like a foo-foo fruity smoothie, however, this stuff has really made a difference in how I feel, and that is all that matters in my book.
  • Loyd E. Eskildson "Pragmatist" - Interesting, but A Bit Short on StrategyThe title of this interesting book that greatly benefits from access to insiders refers to Romney supporters doubling down their financial support after Obama's disastrous first debate in Denver, along with Romney himself doubling down with his right-wing ideological statements and credibility. (The latter via picking Paul Ryan as V.P. partner.) Some say this metaphor could also refer to the authors' doubling down on their prior 'Game Change' about the 2008 first Obama campaign.

    Obama had been hounded as a 'socialist' from the beginning, despite modeling his cap-and-trade climate change policy on that of Bush '41, an auto rescue program more market-minded than the one Bush '43 proposed, agreeing to extending the Bush-era tax cuts for the rich (in exchange for an extension of unemployment insurance, a payroll tax holiday, etc. totaling $238 billion), his refusal to nationalize the banks when even Alan Greenspan said he should, and his not pushing for a single-payer health-care law - even though the idea originated at the Heritage Foundation and had been implemented in Massachusetts by Romney. And until recently, the 'birther controversy had raged on and on, led by potential Republican candidate Donald Trump.

    Obama had also moved to tone down the contentiousness within his circle of advisors, pushing out David Axelrod (media strategist, manager of his 2004 Senate race), Robert Gibbs (communications chief), and seemingly benefitting from Rahm Emmanuel's departure for Chicago. Yet, it was obvious after Denver that Obama was doubting himself and headed for disaster - despite his prior excellent speaking successes.

    Readers learn Obama liked Bill Clinton - in small doses, disliked 'professional blacks' (including Charlie Rangel and Jesse Jackson Jr.) as much as Tea Partiers, and that Jon Huntsman Sr. (father of one of Romney's early GOP rivals) was the source of Harry Reid's accusation that Romney had not paid any taxes in 10 years. From the other side, Romney - not surprisingly looked with disdain Gov. Christie's spending time with Obama touring post-Sandy Jersey coastline; this not only boosted Obama as working across-the-aisle but kept Romney out of the headlines as well. (Payback for Romney's refusal to pick Christie as V.P. candidate?) Others - advisor Stuart Stevens vomiting backstage after Eastwood's vapid debate with the empty chair at the Republican convention, Rick Perry's debate gaffe was the result of medication for painful back problems, and the bulk of the book's material.
  • Fr. Charles Erlandson - Up to Date Philosophy of and Advanced Primer on Finding a Job"What Color is Your Parachute?" has become an American institution. This edition marks the 40th anniversary of the book's first publication, and the book has now sold more than 10 million copies. While I don't usually review books like "What Color is Your Parachute?" I find that it's such a unique and useful book on finding a job that it's worth encouraging people to read it.

    My other copy of "What Color is Your Parachute?" is a much earlier one, and I can see by comparing it with this new edition that substantial changes have been made over the years. Unlike many other books that don't seem to keep up with the changing times, this new edition of "What Color is Your Parachute?" seems tailor-made for today's job market. In fact, "What Color is Your Parachute?" has been revised annually every single year since 1972 with the exception of 1975.

    I like the way that "What Color is Your Parachute?" has always been more than just a standard guide to how to find a job but has always helped its readers think outside the box. For example, Chapter 1 of the latest edition is titled "How to Find Hope," and hope is something American workers need in an economy that is uncertain at best and shrinking at worst. Embedded in the idea of hope is a strategy of hope and a principle to live by, which is to not put all your eggs in one basket. Instead, you should always have an alternative: two ways to describe yourself, two ways to find a job, etc. And so the rest of Chapter 1 lists 18 ways to find a new job.

    Chapters 3-14 go on to describe in detail the heart of "What Color is Your Parachute?" which are the 5 survival skills you most need today. These are the following:

    Attitudes Necessary for Survival (Chapters 3-4)
    Advanced Job-Finding Techniques (Chapter 5-9)
    Advanced Job-Creation Techniques (Chapters 10-12)
    Inventory of What You Have to Offer the World (Chapter 13)
    Each One Teach One (Chapter 14 on teaching others survival job-hunting)

    The book concludes with 4 appendixes on Finding Your Mission in Life, A Guide to Dealing with Unemployment Depression, A Guide to Choosing a Career Coach or Counselor, and a Sampler List of Coaches.

    As you can see, "What Color is Your Parachut?" contains much more than just basic job-hunting skills that you can find anywhere else or that you probably already know about. It also gives you a philosophy of job-hunting and of thinking about yourself, as well as advanced techniques for finding a job. For example, Chapter 3 gives advice on how to positively use and think of the time you have when you're looking for a job, and Chapter 7 is all about how to network in this world of social media. It's refreshing to think of the positive uses of the social media, and this chapter demonstrates yet again that "What Color is Your Parachute?" always strives to represent the best current practices for finding a job and thinking about job-hunting.

    I especially like the whole idea of Chapters 10-13, on job-creation techniques and inventory of what you have to offer the world. Rather than seeing oneself as a passive and pathetic looker for a job, why not think of oneself as a creator of a job? In our modern economy it's very possible to do this: it just requires you to think differently about who you are and how jobs are described and offered. Even before I had read this updated version of "What Color is Your Parachute?" my wife has done this very thing at least twice. By thinking about her whole set of skills and experiences and using her ability to network, she's talked herself into at least 2 (maybe 3) jobs over the past years, even creating and setting the terms for her jobs.

    In summary, "What Color is Your Parachute?" is an excellent choice for anyone who finds himself in the unenviable position of having to find a new job. While that's never a pleasant situation, "What Color is Your Parachute?" will give you greater confidence and hope that you can find a good job, even in a downward economy.
  • Sarah Soda - Got to look in the trenches from a different vantage point, fun read.Ever read a book and feel the author is holding back for the next book? Not at all the case here, this has everything; the current, the future, the reality, and the fantasy island of higher education.
    As a higher education professional of 15 years, and as a parent of a senior in dental school, I read it cover to cover. As a professional, it raised great questions such as: Does the institution make the student or does the student make the institution?". Well, in a lot of instances, the students are losing the accreditation of programs for schools by the students lack of ability to perform to standards of generations past. The students are definitely making, and unmaking, some institutions. Which led me to the question, what is social media and technology making of the students, cognitively?
    The author states "Student should have equal chances of graduation no matter where they go to school. If they don't have the same shot at getting a degree, they should take that into consideration before they plunk down thousands of dollars for their freshmen year. "Agreed, but the problem is, you can't tell a student anything. Try. It ends up as reverse psychology. As long as someone is graduating, they would have no reason to think it wouldn't be them. That's where a parent comes in. In the absence of a wise parent, or despite one, marketing material and a student's overconfidence in judgment skills will step in to fill the void. There are so many schools that a student can attend for 30-50 thousand a year where they have to do little more for acceptance than open the door and qualify for an aid award.
    Author gives the example of the student whose mother pays 75% of her income in rent and can't afford the 500 deposit; hence requests it waived by the institution. The administrator tries to talk the parent into community college for the first two years in the parent and student's best interest, but the parent is not having it. This example of the entitled nature of some is so much more common than can be imagined for everything from grades to every possible staple of existence.
    Parents have no money saved, not that they have no money, just that they have none saved, and have students who go off to overseas school adventures while tax payers who will never get out of the country are paying for it in taxes to subsidize the award packages. These students will then graduate, and occupy wall street to demand their tuition back because it should have been free in the first place, or at least someone else should have paid for it.
    I enjoyed the "college experience of the future passage", an a la carte itunes MOOC world wind education tour, shortening the processes for some, losing others entirely. I thought the book pulled it off very optimistically, because as I was reading I kept thinking about the narcissistic tendencies created by the social media and technology. I bought this book on Kindle and I feel like I should be mailing the author a check because I got way more socratic inquiry than my money's worth.