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Cranking Widgets Blog

By Brett Kelly

Slow Down, Sign Off, Tune Out

What's good about email? A defense.

Soda bottle outdoor bird feeder converter kit

Being able to reuse things that would otherwise be trash is obviously good for the environment and keeps clutter out of your home, but it can also lead to some inspired, uncluttered design. Recently, I spotted the Soda Bottle Bird Feeder Converter and was impressed by its simplicity.

The Meaning of the Dow Jones Industrial Average

Mickey writes in: In the last week, the Dow Jones Industrial average closed at a thirteen month high and, at the same time, unemployment hit double digits for the first time since the early eighties. I thought that the Dow Jones was supposed to represent how the economy was doing, but that’s not the case. What does it mean?

Lykta and Bubinga: What?

Dave shares what he calls, his first artistic Ikea hack. They turned out pretty classy, don't you think? "I found a Centrera Lykta Lantern in the scratch and dent room on my inaugural trip to the Ikea that opened in Charlotte, NC earlier this year. It is a candle lantern with an aluminum base and glass globe.

How Long Do You Need to Keep Records?

I haven’t thought about my 2008 tax return since April 15th. I probably would have continued to ignore it, except for the fact that last week I received a revised 1099 from one of my clients. It turns out that the form that they send me for my tax records was way off from what they had actually paid me, a fact that they hadn’t caught until just now.

Is your storage space clutter-free, organized, and protected?

No matter how few possessions a person has, there are always things we want to keep that we don’t want out on display.

Creative Cleaning with Everyday Products

This article is by GRS staff writer Adam Baker. Baker recently shared an in-depth video example of how you can save $521 when booking airfare online. Recently my 19-month old daughter managed to get her tiny hands on a ballpoint pen. Normally, this wouldn’t have been a major event. This time was different.

Interview: Productivity Tool

Writers in the blogosphere share their favorite productivity tools, from the word "no" to old-fashioned pen & paper.


In my last piece I outlined the place that the sale of fear is taking in our life. I noted the role fear plays in creating illness. I highlighted the major role of particularly guilty industries: the pharmaceutical companies, politicians, insurance companies and the news and advertising media, to name just five.

A Beginner’s Guide to The Art of Manliness: A Guided Tour

Share While many of you have been following The Art of Manliness since we started back in 2008, some of you are fairly new readers. To help you new arrivals get the most out of AoM and navigate around our extensive archives and community section, we’ve compiled this beginner’s guide. First a note: There’s a TON of stuff here.

The Art of Manliness Podcast Episode #8: Man Stories with Robert Disque

Share Welcome back to another edition of the Art of Manliness podcast! In this episode we return to our series called “Man Stories” where we interview a different gentleman every other week and ask him what it means to be a man. This week our guest is Robert Disque from Ogden, UT.

Dumb Money: J.D. the Junk-Food King

It’s been a long time since I shared a good self-deprecating story about my own financial foolishness. Let me remedy that today. For the past month or so, I’ve been buried deep in writing my book. (I have bookhead, I tell Kris — my mind is wholly absorbed by this project.) I now spend most of every day (seven days a week) holed up in my office up the hill from the house.

Investing Isn’t Just for Rich People: Five Ways Anyone Can Reap the Rewards of Investing

Quite a few readers simply tune out when I mention investments. They don’t believe the topic applies to them at all. “How can I possibly worry about investing when I can barely put food on the table?” they’ll ask. The answer is simple: virtually every single person has the resources with which to begin investing.

Integration is More Important than Features

I am working with a client that has about 10 employees. They are starting to hit a wall when it comes to productivity. While each of their systems have a bunch of nice features, none of them integrate with each other. As a result, they spend most of their time moving information back and forth.

It’s Not Rocket Science: How to Choose Your Life Partner

Image Courtesy of Flickr Blog If you are like me, no one ever sat you down and instructed you on how to choose a life partner.  Yet, this is one of the most critical decisions we will ever make in life – with potentially huge repercussions for a less-than-ideal choice.  A long-term relationship can be one of the most joyous and fulfilling experiences life has to offer.  Although you may not