Professors – Ways to Be Wise When Traveling (Before and During)

Since I am writing this article about how to be wise when you travel (and I am on the road at a professional conference) the ideas are quite fresh in my mind. If you travel as part of your academic responsibility, then you will find these ideas helpful.

Let people know you are on the road so they will not expect you to get back to them as quickly. You can leave this information in a message on your outgoing voice mail and, if you are going to be out for an extended period of time, set up an email responder, as well. (Note: If you are going to be out for one or two days, then my suggestion is NOT to annoy people who email you with a return email that says that you will be out "until tomorrow afternoon" or the like.)

Answer voice mail as you travel so it's not all there when you get back in town. This means you must have a voice mail system that is easily retrievable. Make it a point to return voice mail within 24 hours of when you get the message, if at all possible.

Keep up with your email as you travel. Not doing so is even more onerous than taking the extra steps to be able to access it while you're on the road. There are several possibilities:

  • you can have all your email forwarded to a web-based email system;
  • you can set up your laptop to access all your email (and either leave the original message on the server or not);
  • or you may use what I use, GoToMyPC, which lets me access my home office computer from any other computer. That way, I'm answering my emails just as if I am in front of my main computer. It's convenient because all my deleted, saved, and sent messages are right there where they belong and all attachments I might need to send to someone are easily accessible.

Create a productive environment for yourself when you are traveling. Some ways to do so include:

  • If you are traveling by car, make sure you have all the items that will let you be comfortable and productive while on the road.
  • If you are traveling by plane, then make sure you have noise-cancelling headphones and the kind of work that can easily be retrieved while sitting in an airplane seat.
  • Once you arrive at your hotel, take a few minutes and get it set up. I will often move tables around to create a L-shaped workspace. I have also been known to take 100 watt light bulbs with me when I go to Las Vegas (or stay at a W Hotel) because the lamps are so dim that it's very difficult to see and get reading and work done. Learn what works best for you-and then create that environment as much as you can.

Join loyalty programs whenever possible and then maximize your use of those particular airlines and hotels. There are small (and sometimes large) amenities that go along with being a member of a program. If at all possible, aim for the elite status which really gives you worth perquisites (including leverage) when traveling.

You're a professor. You're smart. You need to travel to conferences, to conduct your research, to learn, to share your knowledge, and to expand your horizons. So now, be wise about traveling by putting one or more of the ideas in this article into practice and move closer to peaceful productivity as a way of life.

Since I am writing this article about how to be wise when you travel (and I am on the road at a professional conference) the ideas are quite fresh in my mind. If you travel as part of your academic responsibility, then you will find these ideas helpful.

Let people know you are on the road so they will not expect you to get back to them as quickly. You can leave this information in a message on your outgoing voice mail and, if you are going to be out for an extended period of time, set up an email responder, as well. (Note: If you are going to be out for one or two days, then my suggestion is NOT to annoy people who email you with a return email that says that you will be out "until tomorrow afternoon" or the like.)

Answer voice mail as you travel so it's not all there when you get back in town. This means you must have a voice mail system that is easily retrievable. Make it a point to return voice mail within 24 hours of when you get the message, if at all possible.

Keep up with your email as you travel. Not doing so is even more onerous than taking the extra steps to be able to access it while you're on the road. There are several possibilities:

  • you can have all your email forwarded to a web-based email system;
  • you can set up your laptop to access all your email (and either leave the original message on the server or not);
  • or you may use what I use, GoToMyPC, which lets me access my home office computer from any other computer. That way, I'm answering my emails just as if I am in front of my main computer. It's convenient because all my deleted, saved, and sent messages are right there where they belong and all attachments I might need to send to someone are easily accessible.

Create a productive environment for yourself when you are traveling. Some ways to do so include:

  • If you are traveling by car, make sure you have all the items that will let you be comfortable and productive while on the road.
  • If you are traveling by plane, then make sure you have noise-cancelling headphones and the kind of work that can easily be retrieved while sitting in an airplane seat.
  • Once you arrive at your hotel, take a few minutes and get it set up. I will often move tables around to create a L-shaped workspace. I have also been known to take 100 watt light bulbs with me when I go to Las Vegas (or stay at a W Hotel) because the lamps are so dim that it's very difficult to see and get reading and work done. Learn what works best for you-and then create that environment as much as you can.

Join loyalty programs whenever possible and then maximize your use of those particular airlines and hotels. There are small (and sometimes large) amenities that go along with being a member of a program. If at all possible, aim for the elite status which really gives you worth perquisites (including leverage) when traveling.

You're a professor. You're smart. You need to travel to conferences, to conduct your research, to learn, to share your knowledge, and to expand your horizons. So now, be wise about traveling by putting one or more of the ideas in this article into practice and move closer to peaceful productivity as a way of life.

New Year Gifts – Innovative and Different

What things come to your mind while thinking of the right New Year gift? It can be a show-piece, or any similar item. We can think of something different also – say a photo-book, a personalized mug, or a simple T-Shirt.

Create canvas print

A nice photo, printed on canvas and framed as per your choice, is the right option for a nice New Year Gift for the occasion. A gemstone will not be as precious as a canvas print of the favorite photograph. In case your friend stays far away then you can send a roled-out print. The rolled-out print has extra one-inch white space to use while framing. Someone close expect something personal and what's better than mounted and ready to hang – canvas-printed photograph. The frames are made out of high-quality wood which is best to hang and portray. It will definitely bring a sweet smile on the other person's face all year through.

Create nice photo-book

How about the memorable events of your life printed in a photo book. You may take lots of time to create one but the other person will really understand your feelings and efforts put together. A nice photobook is treasured till the time of death. It is indeed the most special New Year gift for the most loved person. Some photo-sharing sites help create memoirs out of your memories and photobook is one of them.

Personalized mugs

Get a nice photo printed on the mug and place the order as per your choice. The photo sharing site will print that photo and create a nice magic mug as New Year Gift to your kid.

Name Calendars

This is the most special New Year Gift. One can choose among the various photographs to be printed for different months on the calendar. Put the names to be printed on each page of the calendar. These names may be of different person or for the same. The income will be worth adoring and worth a million dollar gift for the closest person on earth. In fact, you can simply place the calendar on the work-desk of the person concerned-for a beautiful surprise.

These are some of those personalized New Year gifts which are meant to strengthen your relationship, friendship and whatever relation you are in.

Health Conscious Cooking Schools

Cookery school is a relatively modern concept that proves to be an exciting holiday option. Though the classes revolve around culinary art, they do not offer graduate degrees and are not accredited institutions. They are usually restaurants, hotels or snack bars. Cooking school tours are perfect vacation options, as they help tourists to acquire a local experience and try their hands at cooking local dishes, while traveling and shopping. Health conscious cooking schools tours provide details regarding various cooking styles that help retain food value and nutrition.

Many people follow diet plans that may be self created, recommended or decided upon by their physicians. They are planned, keeping in mind the nutrition needs and food preferences. Health conscious cooking school tours revolve around cooking classes that are meant to teach people about the food options that safeguard the interests of health conscious people.

Established hoteliers and restaurants often make health conscious cooking school tours available. It is important to make reservations in advance, as these classes are not walk-ins. Most of these classes have a minimum number of attendees to enable the in- house chefs and nutritionists to concentrate and interact with all the participants, individually.

These classes teach the tourists to prepare easy, healthy and delicious meals. Such classes are available for amateurs and professionals, separately. This allows enthusiastic visitors to learn to prepare basic health conscious dishes, whereas professionals can opt for the gourmet preparations. In case these tours are a part of overseas vacations, rather than a weekend activity, people need to enquire about availability of English speaking staff. Tourists need to be attentive to their visa terms and should carry all relevant documents. Tourists may book a health conscious cooking school tour or ask travel agents to include such activities, as part of their vacation plan.

Old School Online Gaming

Ever wondered what your parents and the adults played for fun back in their day? Or before the existence of Nintendo Wii's, Playstations, and World of Warcraft, what were the games that people played with the computer? Online gaming back then was not as high-tech as what you play now but they delivered the same amount of fun that today's online games give you. Take a journey down old time geekery and see what was deemed as hi-tech back then:

1. # TradeWars 2002
A space game developed in 1984. In TW2002, the player is a galaxy trader where the main objective is to gain control of a limited set and amount of resources, as you travel in different sectors of the galaxy. Using your earned wealth in trading, you can upgrade your spaceship, get better weapons and fight for control of planets and starbases.

2. # MUDs
Also known as Multi-User Dungeon, this is a text-based multiplayer real-time virtual world that started in 1978. It combined elements such as role-playing games, hack and slash, player versus player, interactive fiction, and online chat with a fantasy setting populated by fictional races and monsters. The objective of the game is to slay monsters, explore a fantasy world, complete quests, go on adventures, create a story by role-playing, and advance the character.

3. # MUSHes
MUSH, generally called a Multi-User Shared Hallucination, is somewhat of a text-based Second Life where you can create anything you want, be anyone you want, and do anything that you want in a multi-user game. With the popularity of MUDs in the 1980s, many variations emerged such as TinyMUD in 1989. MUSH was then created by Larry Foard who used TinyMUD's code and added a different programming language.

4. # Hunt
The old school Before Doom, created in 1985 by Conrad C. Huang and Gregory S. Couch, is represented using ASCII characters on an 80×24 terminal screen. Hunt is a multiplayer game where each player wanders around a maze, killing off other players using guns, bombs, and slime. Players can also form a team. The maze, when destroyed, regenerates over time, during which "deflectors" appear, changing the direction of the projectile. Sometimes a "wandering bomb" appears, exploding when contact is made.

5. # Empire 3.84
Considered as the grandfather of all Internet games, Empire 3.84 is a risk-like conquer-the-world game with its original version appearing in 1971 on a PDP-11/45 mainframe computer at Harvard University. It gained popularity for being cited as one of Sid Meier's inspiration for Civilization PC game series.

6. # BBS Door Games
Since the technology in the old days was pretty much text-based, online games back then usually were also text-based games played over the modem on an amateur-run bulleting board system (BBS). Supporting only one phone line, there was not WiFi back then, so players usually had to take turns when playing, but still they can compete against each other.

7. # FIBS
The First Internet Backgammon Server pretty much tells us what it is, it's the first backgammon server on the Internet. Started in 1992, it has become one of the most popular online games to play backgammon against other players around the globe.