Bulk Shopping Saves Calories

These days, it’s rare that I visit the grocery store more than once per week. There’s the time factor, to be sure. The cost savings associated with limited grocery shopping are also real. But I’ve found that infrequent shopping trips also have a health benefit.

When I stick to my list and don’t pick up junk items, it’s easy to stay on track. Simply stated, if the junk food’s not in the house, I can’t eat it!

Yes, I could easily get back in the car and visit the plethora of corner convenience stores, but the Walmart loyalist in me won’t allow willful acceptance of massive price markups.

What About Perishables?

I’ll admit that produce doesn’t do well when it sits around for a whole week. To combat rot, I instead buy fruits and veggies at the mid-week Farmer’s Market downtown. I can support local farmers and keep my waistline in check at the same time!

Sure, there are other downsides, too. But once-weekly grocery shopping has thus far contributed to my maintaining a healthier lifestyle, by preventing temptation to give into old cravings. ■

by Raul Lisneski
Health and Wellness Editor
Residential Life Magazine

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Drunk as an Opossum

Bringing new meaning to the term “party animal,” officers responded to a call about a drunk opossum in a Florida liquor store.

Fort Walton Beach police say the animal got into the store, knocked a bottle from a shelf, and when it broke, ingested the spilled bourbon.

Animal specialists were able to flush the marsupial with fluids, and they report it’s now back to normal. It’s unclear if the animal will soon go on another bender.

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News Offbeat
Real Stories from Around the World
by Danny Inc  
News Editor
Residential Life Magazine

What You Should Know About Infrastructure Optimization

The name sounds ominous, but the function is actually straight-forward. Infrastructure optimization (IO) is based on measuring the effectiveness and efficiency of your company’s existing technology, and discovering areas for improvement.

Effectiveness deals with how the technology complements your business goals and works into your current structure. Efficiency deals with how well the technology is serving your business.

The goal of IO is to address common concerns of small business owners, such as:

  • the vulnerability of systems and how to keep them safe
  • opportunities to reduce costs associated with technology
  • ensuring compliance of systems
  • managing resources within security protocols

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Three Main Parts

Infrastructure optimization is typically broken down into three parts:

1) Core, which is centered on platforms. Technologies in the core section are typically considered costs associated with doing business. As such, efficiency plays an integral role here, since business owners want to be sure they’re getting the most “bang for their buck.”

2) Business Productivity, which is essentially where the most useful applications are stored. Examples include unified communications, collaboration tools, and more.

3) Application Platform, which is centered around in-house application development. Aspects analyzed in this stage include data management and business systems.

Stages and Characteristics

Four stages are involved in infrastructure optimization: basic, standardized, rationalized, and dynamic.

The basic stage is problem-driven, such as how to reduce downtime. The standardized stage is reactive, commonly referring to keeping operations running smoothly. The rationalized stage takes a proactive approach that focuses on accountability, predictability, and areas for improvement.

Also considered to be a proactive step, the dynamic stage deals first with optimizing costs versus quality as it pertains to new and existing company technology, and also self-assessment and continual improvement, so the company can take a ‘cutting edge’ approach to technical innovation.

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Challenges for Business Leaders

The main challenges for business leaders and information technology (I.T.) professionals as they pertain to infrastructure management are three-fold:

Simplifying infrastructure and management. This entails nearly every business function, including compliance, innovation, customer service, employee skill sets, and even business growth.

Reducing costs and complexity. This includes technology maintenance, server sprawl, software updates, and more. This aspect directly affects the bottom line for small businesses.

Improving security. In an age of increasing cyber-attacks, business leaders are more focused than ever on preventing data breaches and staying on top of evolving threats, while still providing secure access to those who need it.

It’s important to note that infrastructure optimization is an ongoing endeavor. As technology changes, so must the business approach to IO.

by Enid Ahylhienatta
Technology Editor
Residential Life Magazine

Make Every Meal Count

“I’m skipping lunch today.” It’s a phrase you hear often, particularly from those who are trying to lose weight quickly. The problem is, that method actually works counter to its intended outcome!

When you skip meals, your body goes into ‘starvation mode,’ and will actually store fat. So, while you won’t necessarily gain weight, you will likely not lose any in the long-term. You might see a one pound loss the next day, but this is not something that can be sustained over a period of several weeks.

skip-meals

Instead of skipping meals, shift your focus to the ‘total picture,’ and make food choices based on nutrition. Rather than a morning bagel, consider adding some vegetables and low-sugar fruits to your breakfast.

Your body will reward you for these smart choices, which will translate into a better mood, increased self confidence, and many other benefits.

As you continue this process (and add daily exercise), it will become easier by the day to finally reach your fitness goals. Keep up the good work!

by Raul Lisneski
Health & Wellness Editor
Residential Life Magazine

Running Hot and Cold

Cornelius Young likes the temperature to be just right. So when someone adjusted the thermostat in the the 33-year-old Minot, North Dakota man’s mobile home,  things got a little crazy.

Police say Young punched his fiancée’s brother in the face, then threatened him with a knife. The unidentified man threw a children’s toy at Young in self-defense. At some point, police say Young’s boo jumped on his back and bit his ear in a vain attempt to distract him.

Young is charged with felony terrorizing. He has a December 7th court date.

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News Offbeat
Real Stories from Around the World
by Danny Inc  
News Editor
Residential Life Magazine

Put Your Dukes Up

Dear Suri, I love to fight. It sustains me. I wake up in the morning pissed, and I go to bed full of anger and hatred. Oh, I have full control over my outward emotions. I won’t make an issue unless someone else does. But then I always take it overboard. It’s rarely physically violent, but I would tongue-lash you like no one’s business. I’ll say stuff that’ll make you cry.

Now, everyone keeps their distance from me. I’d love to be closer to people, but I also love to fight. I’m not going to give that up. I’ll start arguments with people I don’t even know!

And don’t bother with your psycho-babble horseshit. This isn’t about fear, frustration, depression, hurt, trauma, upheaval, or any of the crap. No one I know has died, I haven’t had a breakup, or jost a job, or anything like that. I don’t need anger management.

I’m actually a pretty happy guy. I still like to go to the movies, hang out with friends (those who haven’t disowned me yet), and all that stuff. I’m just not going to be disrespected, is all. I’m not going to sit idly by and let someone walk all over me. That’s never going to happen. — Furious in Fairfield

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Dear Furious, “Loving” anger and outward offense presents an opportunity for self-reflection and improvement.

Often, when we look introspectively into scenarios affecting our lives  really focusing on an objective, “full picture” approach  we are able to determine the root causes of concern, and any undesirable behavior that stems from it.

It may be beneficial, then, to investigate and evaluate current conditions, and find solutions that will promote and enhance harmonious relationships with the people you encounter on a daily basis. Good luck! ~ Suri

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Suri Says™
by Suri Syrtauwnya
Advice Editor
Residential Life Magazine

Red Handed

Dear Suri, I’ve had it! I know my neighbors were stealing my newspaper. I had a suspicion for a long time, but my wife said “maybe some animal is taking it.” I wanted to tell her that was horseshit, but I didn’t. But it’s horseshit. It was no animal. Not a wild animal, at least.

So I did a test one day. I put together a newspaper of sections from past newspapers, and included a “you are being watched” note. I don’t have any way to actually record my front yard, and I’m not going to buy a surveillance system just for that. But it worked! The thefts stopped!

But now part of me wants to find out who was doing it so I can get some recourse. Oh, I’m not going to do anything stupid. Just maybe rough ’em up a bit. Teach ’em a lesson, you know? What do you think? — Victory in Vergennes

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Dear Victory, Theft — no matter the degree — brings with it feelings of violation and broken trust, not unlike the seven stages of grief.

It is important, however, to keep close control of your emotions and take care not to allow the incident to escalate into actions you’ll most surely regret later on.

Communication remains the key to any successful relationship — whether romantic, professional, or, as in this case, neighborly. Taking a moment to calmly collect your thoughts will help you make a sound decision that will ensure positive interactions for years to come. ~ Suri

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Suri Says™
by Suri Syrtauwnya
Advice Editor
Residential Life Magazine