Here I am, dedicating a blog post about something most bloggers regularly do: promote their blogs. Yet, is this a good or bad thing? Well, when it's your blog getting promoted, it's a good thing, right? I'm half-kidding here, but you get the point. I am constantly being asked for an add-for-an-add, sub-for-a-sub, rate my blog and I'll rate yours, add me to my blogroll, scratch my back and I'll scratch yours. The bottom line is this: I don't mind self-promotion, not one bit.
One of the things I enjoy about promoting my blog is the social networking. I have met hundreds of nice people out there doing the same thing I'm doing--working hard at attempting to communicate to the masses about topics dear to our hearts. And if having to toot your own horn every now and then is what it takes to get the word out, then toot away! Okay, well, here goes:
I am excited about several things happening at livelife365 these days, including a new advertisement that I am showcasing in this blog entry. I welcome any feedback, but would really welcome anyone wanting to use it to promote my blog and website on their site. Drop me a line if you would be interested in adding it to your site.
I also have just published a new book, this one is called "Mikey and the Mysterious Kite." It is a young adult fantasy novel about an eleven-year-old boy who discovers a magical kite outside his bedroom window. The kite has the power to transport its owner anywhere in the world, during any time period. Read how the mysterious kite takes Mikey and his friends on an adventure that includes wizards, kings, dragons, and much more. Click on the link to the right of this blog entry or visit my Products page at livelife365.com. By the way, you don't have to be a kid to enjoy this story.
My last self-promotion is a video that I have posted at Metacafe and YouTube (as well at the bottom of this page) titled "Lose Weight at livelife365.com." Watch it and let me know what you think. In it, I bare my chest to show how much weight I have lost over the past several months. The fact that I have the nerve, or gall, if you will, to remove my shirt in front of potentially millions (on a very good day in my fantasy world) of people is testimony to how much I want to share the secrets of my success in weight loss. I have several videos dealing with health, nutrition, exercise and weight loss that, I know, can help countless people. I hope this video helps get the word out.
So, to self-promote or not self-promote? After reading this blog post I will let you be the judge.
Until next time...
Saturday, May 31, 2008
Thursday, May 29, 2008
"If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete."--Buddha
I think I will call today: Pat Yourself On The Back Day. Cut yourself some slack, take a deep breath and show yourself a little compassion. Sure, spread that compassion around to others, but save a bit for yourself. I like that quote. Let me know what you think of it.
When In Doubt, Go To Vegas!
That quote is all mine, and my meaning is along the same lines with the words of wisdom from our good friend Buddha. Treat yourself to a getaway from what ails you. And if nothing ails you...then you are not human. We all need a break from the routine of life, and what better place to escape from the real world than Vegas? My lovely wife and I are by no means major gamblers, but we enjoy a trip at least once a year to Sin City. While we're there we think of little but having a good time, dining well, shopping (books for me; lots of stuff for her!), and getting lost inside the never-ending world of the casinos. Try it, you may like it. If not, go to Maui. I know you'll love that.
Why Am I Screaming At A Robotic Voice!
I don't know about you, but I have zero patience when it comes to those automated voices that try to talk to you like they are real people. You know the one's I'm talking about: you're calling customer service for something that nine times out of ten already has you a bit tweaked off. Now, while waiting patiently through a queue of recordings and lists and misdirection and bad music, you expect to be greeted by someone human, a person, a living being that can engage in conversation, no matter how primitive. But instead, all too often, we get this fake, robotic voice, programed to ask questions, pretend to understand your answer, than try to converse with you. AND THE WHOLE TIME WE ALL KNOW THAT THIS IS NOT A PERSON! Why do they do this to us? Do they really think that we don't know that this is not a real person? Is it just me, or do you feel silly talking to this automated voice? I hope it's not just me. Invariably, I find myself poking an angry finger at the Zero on the phone pad, begging, crying, pleading for a human voice to rescue me from this robotic one that is misunderstanding everything I am telling it. Please, customer service centers, get rid of this evil device and you will save the few remaining brown hairs on my head, as well as a handful of fast eroding brain cells.
Why Can't The Red Sox Win On The Road?
I haven't blogged about my favorite sports team in a long time. Sadly, I must report that the Sawks, as they call them back in New England, while owning the best home record in baseball, are dismal on the road, away from friendly Fenway Park. There are lots of theories, including travel, comfort, fatigue, fan support. All those contribute, I'm sure, but in baseball it often comes down to pitching. And on the road, the visiting team seems to blow out their bullpens more often than the home ball club. Or maybe their road uniforms fit funny. No matter the reason, they are not a lot of fun to watch while in their visiting grays.
That's all for now. I hope everyone has a stellar day.
Until next time...
Monday, May 26, 2008
Such a serious title for something as benign as laughter. Yes, it is, but for a reason. The need to laugh, to find humor in things sometimes unfunny, to chuckle, giggle, guffaw, shriek, snort, or titter, may be one of the best remedies for what ails you.
Humor is serious business. Huh? That's right. We need to laugh just as much as we need to eat or sleep. Think about how you feel when deprived of your recommended nightly hours of sleep--not too good, right? How about when your stomach is reminding you that you have not eaten recently, or that you have and that it was not sitting well down there. Again, not a pleasant sensation. Same can be said about those who do not get enough laughter in their daily lives. Eat, drink, and be merry. Perhaps there was something to that ancient adage after all?
One of the reasons I created livelife365 (both my website and this blog) was to be able to reach as many people as possible, sharing with them all the myriad ideals and ideas, videos and music, helpful programs and proven theories that I have amassed over the years. But the best part is that I not only can help others lose weight or eat right, gain self-esteem or proper balance, but that I can entertain them. Make them laugh. It's no accident that livelife365 offers more than most blogs or websites, a more diverse menu of entrees. I want to be able to help and teach, council and coach, share and learn, yes, but I also get a great deal of satisfaction when I put a smile on someone's face.
I have been asked,"Mike, how can you be treated seriously as a self-help guru when you are constantly acting like a goofball in some of your videos?" My response to that is: If I made you laugh, then it was worth it. Livelife365 is all about life, and the importance of living your life each day to its fullest. Yes, adhering to a healthy lifestyle is vital, as is proper mental focus and self development. But all that and not enough joy, humor or laughter in your life is an incomplete life. An unfulfilled life.
One of my favorite programs is called Triad of Balance (book coming out soon, I promise). This is about getting your mind, body, and spirit in balance as one, after working on balancing each one individually. It is easier said than done (see previous blog entry with the same title, as well as video), but finding daily laughter in your life will help your balance in each area--Mind; Body; Spirit. That, in a nutshell, should underscore the importance of laughter. The significance of finding humor every day.
Good luck, here's to a hearty chuckle today, hopefully much more than one. If you need help, visit my website and mouse over LAUGH. There you will discover dozens of, most of the time, funny videos that should do the trick. If not, let me know what tickles your funny bone and I will do my best to put a smile on your face.
If you really want to laugh at me, check out my new video, "How to...Embarrass Your Children." Watch it at livelife365.com or at the bottom of this page.
Until next time...
Saturday, May 24, 2008
I love beans!
Now there's a headline that makes one stop and look. Hey, I am not ashamed to admit that I am a bean freak, an eater of all varieties of beans: black, pinto, kidney, refried, garbanzo, lentils (which are legumes, part of the pea family), navy, and soy, lots of soy, or edamame. Why am I an unabashed lover of these colorful nuggets of protein, fiber, and taste? Well, besides protein, fiber, and taste, they are so good for you.
Beans are loaded with vitamins and minerals, like: calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, chlorine, sulfur and vitamin A. And don't forget antioxidants: the darker the bean the greater the antioxidants. Plus folate, which helps fight cancer and heart disease. Better yet, beans are a fantastic source of vegetarian protein (8-10 grams per serving), and for non-meat eaters like myself, they are just what the dietitian ordered. I eat one variety of bean or another at least once a day, be it while battling my Mexican food Jones (black beans and refried beans), or tossed in a salad (kidney, garbanzo, pinto), or as part of my nightly pile of vegetables, usually edamame. And I can't think of a better tasting meat substitute than lentils prepared just right.
Beans are also a wonderful source of fiber. And when I am not advocating the importance of beans in ones diet, I can often be found singing the praises of fiber. Lots of it. I eat well above the recommended daily allowance of fiber, which is 25-35 grams, depending on your size and caloric intake. Why? Because fiber is king: it lowers cholesterol, helps you lose weight by making you feel full longer, by digesting slower, and when if finally decides to digest, it promotes regularity. Beans are full of fiber. Depending on what kind you eat, around 5-8 grams a serving. What's not to love?
What else is great about beans and legumes? Fat. They are virtually free of fat, depending on the variety you choose. Read labels and be careful how you prepare them and beans will help you lose weight, stay fit, and live a healthier life. Also, when you have a choice, always choose organic. I have discovered some very healthy, tasty organic bean products that are canned. Check them out, read the labels, and you can find some healthy foods. Or buy a bag of dried beans and find someone who knows how to prepare them from scratch. This blog entry is all about the goodness of beans, not how to prepare them. By the way, if you find a good recipe on how to prepare them, let me know.
So, have you had your beans today? Try to make beans a part of your daily diet, like I do. You'll be glad you did.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Please check out these videos I recently added to my website,
I hope you enjoy them. In fact, let me know what you think by using the Messages
tab at the top of the page, or clicking on Contact Us. I welcome and value your feedback. Peace.
Links Mike takes you on a tour of his extensive links page
Sharebuilder 401K A new advertiser that helps you invest for your future.
Stub Hub Another new advertiser. A great place to buy tickets online.
No-Hitter Mike talks about the recent no-hitter by Jon Lester of the Red Sox.
Mike Has A Senior Moment The title says it all, watch and laugh.
Zazzle A great place to buy merchandise online.
Mike Walking and Talking: Your Time on Earth You won't want to miss this one.
It's What's Inside That Counts The importance of inner beauty.
Sunday, May 18, 2008
How much time do any of us have? Time on earth? Eight decades, if we're lucky, maybe nine? When you're in your twenties, eighty or ninety years of life seems like a lot of time, doesn't it? And it is, I guess, from a twenty-something's point of view. How about for folks like myself, in their early 50's? Eighty years looks a bit less large. In fact, it looks like a number that is fast approaching and too close to just around the corner.
No matter your age or how eighty or ninety years looks to you in the scheme of things, the purpose of this blog entry (and the attached video, for those who prefer watching and listening versus reading) is to emphasize the importance of time. More to the point: our time on earth. Because no matter if you live to 100 or leave this rock way too early, the thing that will shape your days while alive, as well as fill those days with purpose and meaning, is what you do along the way. What you do each and every day.
Life is precious. Like is boring. Life is amazing. Life is difficult. Life is fun. Life is horrible. Life is happy. Life is sad. Life is the most beautiful thing in the world. Life...is life. There are things that occur every second in this world that make us cringe, shake our heads, cry, and wonder how this could possibly be happening. And yet during that same day, if we are lucky, life will show us how utterly wonderful it is: a cute puppy, a random act of kindness or heroism, a stunning sunset, the love of another human being. My point is this: no matter what life is handing you or how the problems of the world make you feel, you have an obligation to yourself, to the rest of the six billion souls who inhabit this planet. You have to try. Work hard. Strive to be the best you can be. Be kind, caring, considerate. Work to right wrongs, help others, set a good example. But mostly, you have to make YOUR LIFE as complete and fulfilling as possible. By doing all that YOU can to make a difference, to leave a positive mark, to grow and learn and take personal accountability for your actions, to balance your mind, body, and spirit, you are taking care of self. And if everyone did just that--made themselves the best person possible--the world would be that much better a place. Now I'm not saying all that is wrong with this world will suddenly be right, but a lot of it will be. Think about it.
But remember, be it ten years or one hundred, this is YOUR time on earth. And what I feel when I think about that is this: I do not want to waste it. I will not allow anyone or anything to stand in the way of all I want to do during my time here. I embrace this time on earth because it is MY time; as it is YOUR time. And as for me, I want to leave a mark, a legacy, a positive impact. Make my eight or nine, hopefully, ten decades the best they can be. And when I close my eyes at night and it's just me and my higher power, I want to be able to say that I worked hard every day, tried to make a difference, helped others as best I could, and lived my life during my time here on earth to its fullest. And I want you to be able to do the same.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Can you believe this weather? We are teetering on the verge of hitting 100 degrees, and for this time of year, that is way too warm. What can you do except kick back and kick on the AC, and focus on the things you can control, like the thermostat. Can't fight the weather, it never listens.
I'd like to give a few shout outs to some nice bloggers I've met over these past few weeks. Jessica at All About Habits, for some very kind words and excellent feedback on my site, livelife365.com. Check out her blog; you'll be glad you did. Very informative, great diet and nutrition information. Speaking of diet and nutrition: Visit Iowa Avenue, when you get the chance. This is a tremendous site, dedicated to healthy living, diet and exercise, nutrition, you name it--all those great things that I advocate on livelife365.com. Thanks, Lisa! Another excellent site, a spin-off of Iowa Avenue, is Healthy Lifestyle Bloggers. As the name implies, this is the place to be for tips about weight loss, fitness, healthy recipes. All these sites are loaded with informative videos and supportive offerings and tips from the best health bloggers around. Check it out, you won't be disappointed. I have links for all of these sites right here on my blog and at livelife365.com.
I am starting a new feature on my website that will showcase guest videos from other performers that either asked me to put them on my site, or just videos that catch my eye. The first one is: "Fired Up, Ready to Go," by Bergevin Brothers. It already has thousands of hits on YouTube, and after listening to it you will quickly understand why. Not only is the topic--who else, but Barack Obama!--newsworthy and important, the tune is very good. Why, you may ask, would I want to share space with what could be perceived as competition for my own political music video, "Pick One"? Because this is not a competition, it is the opposite, in fact. This election has inspired hundreds of songs because people understand the importance of whom we elect as our next president, and the unprecedented candidacies of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. So,I offer this challenge: all you Clinton and McCain music makers drop me an email! Send me something that tickles my political funny bone or sets my toes a-tappin', and I will add it to my "guest video" feature. Until then, watch and listen to "Fired Up," and, of course, "Pick One."
Lastly, speaking of the music of this presidential primary season. Check out the informative article written by Nekesa Mumbi Moody, the music writer for the Associated Press.
Nekesa interviewed me while researching this article, that appeared in hundreds of online sites, like Yahoo News. Alas, she did not include me in the main article (I was edited out), but was kind enough to add a link to my site at the end. Thanks for the shout out, Nekesa! I appreciate it!
That's it for the first installment of Odds and Ends. If there are any topics that you would like me to write about or make a video about, please add a comment in this blog or use the Contact Us or Messages tabs at my website, livelife365.com.
Sunday, May 11, 2008
Stress. It's everywhere, it seems, at times. Waiting for you at your workstation, lurking behind that pile of bills, taunting you for not working out, reminding you that life is filled with challenges, issues, problems. These days my life has been filled with more stress than the norm. Working too many hours, physical pain (I have a chronic shoulder problem that will eventually need surgery to remedy), relationship challenges (nothing major, just the everyday give-and-take of fifteen years of marriage), job issues, to name a few. I have been so stressed out, as they say, that I decided I had to do something about it. So I made a video.
Now, I make videos all the time. My website, livelife365.com, is a vlog, or video blog, which is all about vids. And since my videos are based on programs or events or issues that I have lived through, I understand the genesis of each and every one of them. In other words: I practice what I preach. Except now I am battling this stress mess and in dire need of some advice. Well, Mike?
Check out one of my recent "how-to" vids titled: "How to...Manage Stress." Then check out a dozen others, but do that only after you have watched the one about managing stress enough times to, well, manage your stress.
Okay, I will. Be right back.
(that sound you hear is Mike munching on healthy, non-buttered, popcorn while enjoying a very well-made video about stress management)
Wow, that was good. I like the part about how exercise helps to reduce stress. Also how stress is a part of our lives, and we can never really get rid of it. We just need to work on managing it.
Great. What else?
Relaxing with a nice cup of green tea, trying not to think about things. Enjoying a good book, taking your mind away from your problems.
All good advice. Anything else?
Yes, as a matter of fact. Get out and work on a hobby, like gardening or a musical instrument. Wow, I'm feeling better already.
Nope. Meditation. Yoga. Sitting outside, catching some sun. Listening to a water fountain, or the ocean. Relax, think good thoughts, get away from it all.
Man, sounds wonderful. So, how do you--
Hey, I'm not done yet. Talk to a friend or family member on the phone. Laugh. Think positive thoughts. Hang around positive, funny, happy people.
Dare I ask...anything else?
Glad you asked. Eat right, take a nice walk, lose weight, feel better, and manage your stress.
Get a good night's sleep. Always. Six, seven, eight hours. Whatever you need. It's different for every one.
I don't know about you, but I'm starting to feel more relaxed.
See? It works. You just have to do it. Work on it, every day, every way.
Just like livelife365.com, that what you're saying?
Exactly. Think about it.
And I hope this helps.
Check out the video: "How to...Manage Stress" at livelife365.com and at the bottom of this blog.
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
I am proud to share with you my recent press release for my music video, "Pick One." Read it here or visit Myprgenie.com (there you get photos). Enjoy!
We Must "Pick One"! Who? Hillary Obama! New Music Video Just Released
Release Date May 06, 2008
If you have any questions regarding information in these press releases please contact the company listed in the press release. Please do not contact MyPRGenie Inc. We will be unable to assist you with your inquiry. MyPRGenie Inc. disclaims any content contained in these releases. Our complete disclaimer appears here.
-->CHICO, CA May 6, 2008
If you can't decide on a candidate in this year's presidential election, then vote for Hillary Obama. Who? Watch "Pick One (the music video)" and find out.
Mike Foster, creator of livelife365.com, has just released his latest studio recording, lampooning the too-close-to-call contest for the Democratic nomination between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. A spirited mix of Americana, Country, and County Rock, "Pick One" is a toe-tapping tune you'll be humming all day, while the lyrics have you nodding in agreement. Foster's suggested solution of Hillary Obama as the candidate, revealed at the end of the video, is not to be missed.Inspired by his interest in two exceptional and, in obvious ways, unprecedented candidacies, Mike "wanted to write a song that would not only entertain and make you laugh a little, but also call attention to this remarkable electoral season. I started playing around with the names and went from there." The enjoyment he finds in performing, especially singing and playing guitar, shines through in this well-produced music video that could well have America singing along with its bouncy melody and catchy lyrics.The production of a thought-provoking parody of the 2008 political scene is only one example of Foster's work found at livelife365.com, a video-driven website dedicated to healthy living, personal development, and entertainment. With a background as a writer and stage actor, and clearly possessing an eye and ear attuned to what is happening in the world, he shows considerable promise as a singer/songwriter and videographer. His efforts include an interesting collection of short films related to a wide variety of topics, ranging from nutritional and dietary advice to motivational and self-improvement tips, from humorous vignettes and observations to sober reflections on the sometimes painful lessons he's learned in life. You can even find information on sports, current events, and hobbies like book collecting. His major focus is on maintaining a careful balance between and within your physical, psychological, and spiritual dimensions.
Watch the "Pick One" video at:www.livelife365.com/ or www.youtube.com/livelife365
Listen to the MP3 at: www.soundclick.com/livelife365
Tags:elections, hillary, obama, clinton, barack, primaries, mccain, bush, presidential, music, music video, funny video, democratic elections, republican primaries, livelife365.com
Sunday, May 4, 2008
What is irony and why am I blogging about it? Here's one definition:
Irony is a literary or rhetorical device, in which there is an incongruity or discordance between what a speaker or a writer says; and what he or she means, or is generally understood.
In modern usage it can also refer to particularly striking examples of incongruities observed in everyday life between what was intended or said and what actually happened.
Let me give you the short version, or at least the version that applies to me and this blog entry. In case you haven't noticed, and there is a very good chance that you (and 99.9999% of the rest of the free world) haven't, I recently recorded, and posted on every video site imaginable, a humorous political song called "Pick One." It is a lampoon about the tug-o-war of a primary race between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, with a little Bush and McCain tossed in for balance. While it has received positive reviews and the feedback has been very encouraging, the amount of hits on all of the aforementioned sites has not been what I had imagined. I'm not sure why. Maybe it's too long, or the music is not every one's taste. Or maybe it is just not the type of entertainment that is successful on a broad spectrum. This is, after all, a country that finds shows like "Dancing with the Stars" and "American Idol" entertaining, and amazingly popular. Now, I'm not dogging (too much) these types of shows, just stating that they are not my cup of (green) tea. And maybe "Pick One" is not theirs.
Now, I have far from given up on "Pick One," especially with the promise of a summer filled with this nip and tuck race between Hillary and Obama. And I am still promoting my video with gusto, but my creative spirit must go on. So I make more videos, write other songs, and post them every few days. One video I recently posted is the first of several I have planned for a funny "How-To" series, called: "How to...Get Slapped by a Woman." It is funny in a wow-look-at-that-guy-getting-smacked way. And it is blessedly short (0:16). It also took almost no time to create, and definitely cost next to nothing. Here comes the ironic part...it has gotten almost as much attention on Funny of Die (a comedy video-sharing website, for those of you unfamiliar. Check it out, by the way, it is fantastic!) as "Pick One" has on all those other sites. More ironic: the slap vid has only been available for your viewing and guffawing pleasure for a few days, while "Pick One" is crawling toward the end of its second week.
My point, and I do have one, is this: Isn't that ironic? Or just fickle? Or eye-opening? Or...(fill in the blank). "Pick One" took weeks to make, cost a few bucks for studio time and video editing, and the end result is a polished product. "Slap Mike" (I'm paraphrasing here, folks), by comparison was whipped up one Sunday afternoon, filmed, edited, and popped on my website by that same night. Ironic? More like: bizarre. Or funny.
The bottom line is my videos are being watched, which helps promote my website, which is why I create a wide variety of videos in the first place. My goals have not changed, they still remain: to share information with as many people as possible; to help others; to entertain. And the thing that I must remember is the viewing audience cares not a whit about the cost or time it takes to produce a video, only that it is something that they want to watch, enjoy, and, hopefully, share.
Think about it.
View "How To...Get Slapped by a Woman" at livelife365.com or at bottom of this page. Enjoy!