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Some things will never go out of style

Some things will never go out of style 150 150 Pedrotti's Ranch

Apple released the iPhone 4s yesterday, much to the dismay of those hoping for an iPhone 5. While I am an avid iPhone user myself, I can’t help but wonder what drives our society to crave the latest and greatest in all areas of our lives. It’s unavoidable. As long as we continue to buy the newest in technology, corporations will continue to market and sell it. It got me thinking about a few things that will never be updated and how much I appreciate their simple charms that don’t need to be updated:

Rock n’ Roll – Punk, alternative, metal or progressive, call it what you like but good ol’ Rock n’ Roll will never go out of style. Whether you’re jamming in your car or cleaning your house, any classic rock anthem is sure to get at least some part of your body moving.

Blue Jeans – I can’t think of another article of clothing that I would rather be in than a classic pair of denim blue jeans. Levi’s and Wrangler ads consistently depict the classic look as a symbol of the American lifestyle. I don’t think the easy look of jeans and a t-shirt will ever go out of style.

Baseball caps – You want to know the best accessory to go along with your jeans and t-shirt? A baseball cap. As long as the great sport of baseball is played, players, fans and even those who aren’t fans, will sport the too-easy look of wearing a cap. How can you update the cap? You can’t. It’s perfect.

Watching and playing sports – One of my favorite childhood memories is sitting in the living room after an amazing Thanksgiving Day lunch and watching football with my family. After the turkey coma wore off, we would all go in the backyard and toss the ball around. From playing catch to a game of flag football, everyone was outside playing a sport and having a great time.

Home-cooking – I can’t think about a Thanksgiving meal without salivating at the thought of recipes passed down through the ages. Generations of tried and true methods of mixing, pouring, seasoning and tasting leave every family with the perfect meal on any special occasion. The best part of it all is that it brings any family together at the table to enjoy tradition.

Some things (the best things) will never go out of style and to update them would just be a crime. As updates in technology leave us in the dust, we should all just throw on our pair of jeans, watch a football game and dream of the joys of our grandmother’s kitchen.

The Things That Matter Most

The Things That Matter Most 150 150 Pedrotti's Ranch

This weekend, Texans watched as wild fires, fueled by the drought, scorched across Central Texas. Homes were evacuated in Bastrop, Leander, Austin and right in our own backyard in Stone Oak and Selma. I couldn’t imagine having to pack up a few essential items and leave my home with my wife and son without knowing the outcome.

Would our house still be standing where we left it or would we have to start over with nothing but the clothes on our backs? As I said my prayers for the families affected by the wild fires, I selfishly thought to myself – what would I do in the same situation? All of my thoughts led me to think about what is important in life. I realized that my wife and son and those few essentials would be all I really needed. Luxury and leisure items are definitely welcomed, but there are a few things in this world that are irreplaceable, and those things are what matter most.

This week as you go through your day to day routine, think and remember about what’s important in your life. Pray for the families affected, if that’s your thing; volunteer if you can. If you can’t volunteer your time, the Red Cross and other cause-worthy organizations are taking donations as small as a cup of coffee or a new pair of pants. It’s our duty as a community to take care of one another in times of need. Most of all, tell your family you love them and live your life appreciating everything you have, you never know what tomorrow could bring.

Feeling the Tech Crunch

Feeling the Tech Crunch 150 150 Pedrotti's Ranch

In our technology-crazed lives, it seems as though we have virtually every bit of information we could ever need right at our finger tips. It’s a pretty powerful position to be in but at the same time, extremely distracting and can often make us lose sight of what’s currently important. I noticed the other night while drafting an e-mail on my computer, checking scores for my fantasy football team on my iPad and texting my wife on my phone, that I needed an intervention. Technology is great, and I am a complete proponent of using all the resources we have, but there comes a time when I need to focus on one thing at a time. Here are some tips on not letting yourself get bogged down by technological distractions.

Discriminate so you can learn to concentrate – The goal to this one is when faced with a task, ask yourself, “Can it wait?” If the answer is yes, finish the task-at-hand and then get to it. Keeping yourself focused on one task will not only keep you on schedule and productive, but it will give you some time to work on the new task with more dedication.

Don’t let your email control your schedule – It may seem like a luxury that your computer automatically alerts you when someone emails you, but it’s actually very distracting and can make it easy to start a new task without completing the first. I discovered that I can disable the feature so that I can check my email when I am ready.

Protect yourself with a password – Most social networking sites allow you to check and un-check the “remember me” box so that every time you close the browser to one of these sites, it will still keep you logged in. To avoid the temptation of checking your Facebook notifications or Twitter mentions, always keep the box unchecked so that you have to physically type in your password every time you want to get on. You’ll instantly feel annoyed by the monotony of typing your password so many times that the temptation will decrease, and you’ll want to stay away from these sites and the distractions that come with them.

One is enough – If you’re like me, chances are you have or want to own every piece of technology known to man, but just because you own all of the gadgets that this world has to offer, doesn’t mean you need to be glued to all at the same time. If you are at the office, the computer is enough: Put your cell phone, tablet, MP3 player, CD player, Walkman or anything else that could potentially distract you in a drawer, briefcase or if you’re a woman (or a well-styled man) in your purse. Out of sight, out of mind.

Hopefully with these tips, you’ll find it easier to concentrate at work and not let technology run your schedule and more importantly, your life. Sometimes, it’s best to put all of the devices away and engage in actual human interaction. Try it, it’s not so bad.

Making a Great First Impression

Making a Great First Impression 150 150 Pedrotti's Ranch

You only get one so you better make it good! This week as July makes its first impression on us, we’re taking a look at what makes a good first impression.

Unfortunately, you can make a bad first impression on someone before you even meet them if you’re late. Always be on time. The person you are meeting with will appreciate not having to wait for you. Go ahead and plan to arrive a few minutes before the meeting to allow time for travel. If you’re on time, you’re already starting your first-time meeting off on the right foot.

Before you even open your mouth, chances are you’re already being judged inadvertently on your professional appearance. This doesn’t mean you have to look like a fashion model to make a good first impression, it means that you should present yourself appropriately for the occasion. You should ask yourself if the appearance you are giving off is the impression you want to leave. For example, if you’re going into an interview, make sure you are dressing for the job you want.

So what now? You’re on time and you look good, but remember your face. Are you smiling? If you walk up with a huge positive smile on your face, c whomever you’re smiling at will likely return the gesture. Just make sure your smile is genuine and not too fake or forced. The next steps are to stand tall and with confidence, make eye contact, smile and greet the other person with a strong (but not too strong!) handshake.

After your initial greeting, it’s time for the tough part: Making small talk. To avoid lulls in the conversation, make sure you’ve done your research. Most professionals post a small bio on their website, educate yourself on their interests and you won’t find yourself without conversation.

I hope that this little tutorial will help you make a great first impression and we hope everyone has a wonderful summer season!