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Showing posts from May, 2009

Can Babies Swim ?

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[caption id="attachment_65" align="alignnone" width="500" caption="baby Jaiden is not sure about getting into that cold pool water"][/caption]

Jaiden is 9 months old today. Yesterday she had one of her first visits to the "big kids" pool. It was just daddy with both Jaiden and Jasmine, so I was a little limited in what we could do (I only have one set of eyes). Jaiden spent most of her time sitting on the edge of the pool, alternating between kicking her feet in the water, and reaching down to splash with her hands. I also lowered her down into the water a couple of times; holding onto my hands; but I never let her go under. She seemed to like it, but did get a little scared the first time her feet weren't touching anything.

I can't remember exactly how old my other kids were when they learned to swim ... but I'm pretty sure it wasn't this young. I know that Johnathan and Jasmine with be taking swimming lessons thi…

The Race | DH Groberg

“Quit! Give up! You’re beaten!”
They shout at me and plead.
“There’s just too much against you now;
This time you can’t succeed!”

And as I start to hang my head
In front of failure’s face,
My downward fall is broken
by The memory of a race

And hope refills my weakened will
As I recall that scene;
For just the thought of that short race
Rejuventates my being.

A children’s race- young boy, young men,
How I remember well.
Excitement, sure! But also fear;
It wasn’t hard to tell.

They all lined up so full of hope
Each thought to win that race.
Or tie for first, or if not that,
At least take second place.

And fathers watched from off the side
Each cheering for his son.
And each boy hoped to show his dad
That he would be the one.

The whistle blew and off they went
Young hearts and hopes afire.
To win and be the hero there
Was each young boy’s desire

And one boy in particular
Whose dad was in the crowd
Was running near the lead and thought:
“My dad will be so proud!”

But as he speeded down the field
Across a shallow dip,
The …

Weather Balloon Launch

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For those who have never seen the launch of a tactical weather balloon ...




I took this image the other day when we were out on one of the West Fort Hood ranges for a field training exercise. Actually it's not just one picture, but a series of 5. I set my camera's drive to "continuous shooting", and popped off these 5 shots in just over a second, as the Marwin weather balloon raced towards the sky.

Once I got home and started processing the images in photoshop, I just made each picture in the series it's own layer (with the last shot as the background). After that, it was just a case of adjusting the layer's opacity, and making liberal use of the eraser brush, until I got the "time lapse" type of effect that I was looking for.

Launching balloons was just one of a list of tasks that our Air Force weather forecasters were recertifying their skill level on, during this one day field exercise. If you look in the picture, you can see a little white box…

Are You Over Using NoFollow?

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Is it possible for a blogger to over-use the rel=nofollow tag in their content?



For well over a year now, all the rage among some bloggers/internet marketers has been to seek out and leave comments on "dofollow" blogs, as a way to build back links and gain favor with Google.

Ironically, when you visit many of these commentators, not only is the comment section on their own blog not dofollow, but in some cases like 98% of external links in the content are also tagged with rel=nofollow.

I've been playing poker for a couple of years now, and they have a unique term for certain players ... they are called "donks". A donk is usually someone who has read a few books, and gained just enough knowledge to be dangerous; yet act as if they are already an expert ... aren't at all shy about offering "advice" to other players ... all the while still making obvious beginner type mistakes.

No disrespect intended, but this is usually the first thought that pops int…

We Adopted A Bunny Killer

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It was a bad day for our backyard rabbit family to reveal themselves.



While I was at work today, Ana went to the Ft. Hood animal shelter and adopted Pete. The white dog in the picture above. It was a good day for Pete, and our family was happy to have a new addition.

Unfortunately, the family of rabbits who apparently live in our back yard have incredibly bad timing. Our chihuahua never even goes outside. But Pete had lived with us for all of about 2 hours, and only in the back yard for the second time, when about 4 or 5 very young little bunny rabbits decided to venture out of their hole, and hop across the yard.

Ana was standing at the sliding glass door at the time. I heard her say, "oh, how cute, little bunnies" ... quickly followed by "ut oh, the dog caught one".

By the time I got outside and was able to coerce the dog into dropping the rabbit, he was off to bunny heaven.

We put the dog inside, but over the next 30 minutes, two more rabbits hopped back int…

How To Store Your Lawn Mower

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Image via Wikipedia Ok, so it's Saturday, and apparently the grass grows pretty quickly here in Texas. So, earlier this afternoon, I decided it was time to mow the lawn.

I went outside to one of our storage closets and took the lawn mower out. As I was pulling it down, I noticed a little bit of liquid on the ground, but didn't really think twice about it.

... until I tried to start the lawn mower, and my arm almost came off when the cord got stuck after about 2 inches!

That engine was not moving at all; totally seized up. So it was hardly a surprise when I opened up the oil reservoir to find it dry as a bone. I immediately filled it up with oil, and spent about the next 45 minutes helplessly pulling on a cord that wouldn't budge. Then I gave up.

Later on this evening, I was actually just about to head down to the store to buy a new lawn mower, when I decided to give it one more try. I guess it just took a couple of hours for the oil to work it's way through, becaus…

Ana's New Candle Business Cards

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A couple of weeks ago, we got a great lesson in networking from a lady that Ana met while our kids were playing in the ball pit at McDonalds. They had talked for almost an hour, and the lady was nice enough to have given Ana some advice on schools and good neighborhoods to live. When it was time to leave, she simply said

"let's keep in touch, here's my card".

It turns out that she's a Mary Kay consultant ... it said so on her card.

When we got in the car, I pointed out the Ana (who is new, and therefore a bit "cautious", when it come to promoting our business) that we had just witness some very good "soft" networking. Her new friend didn't try to sell her anything ... heck, they didn't even talk about makeup. But, now if Ana does ever have the desire to purchase some Mary Kay makeup, you'd better believe that business card in her wallet is the first place she'll look.

Because of this lesson, we decided that it would be a good…

3 Reasons Why Failure Is Good

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"Success is going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm."
--Winston Churchill


Most adults go through life with an almost constant Fear of Failure. Which is kind of ironic actually, since learning how to fail is almost a Requirement for eventually becoming Successful.



How often have any of us experienced set-backs which at the time, seem like the end of the world, but in actuality are often the stepping stones to the things we really want?

Here are 3 reasons why failure can actually be a good thing ...
Inspiration
I know, I know, that sounds totally counterintuitive. But think about it, when you're trying something for the 3rd, 4th or even 100th time, "I intend to succeed This Time" can actually be a pretty strong motivator.
Humility
Let's face it, we all have times where our heads get a little to big for our own good. A small failure here and there can serve as a very useful breaking mechanism to bring us back down to earth.
It's the best way to…

Essential WordPress Plugins

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Image by alohateam via Flickr

When I decided to start over with a brand new blog, one of my goals was to streamline the amount and type of wordpress plugins that I have installed and activated on my site. Just like with wordpress themes, there are so many cool plugins out there (with more coming out every day), that's it's tempting to use hundreds of them.

But, there is that old statement about Too Much of a Good Thing.

So, I decided to cut down to just the essential plugins that I felt I had to keep. Fortunately, since Justin Tadlock's hybrid theme includes quite a bit of built in functionality, I was even able to cut out a few that I previously considered must-haves.

So with out further ado, here are a few plugins that I just couldn't live without ...


CommentLuv - I’ve been using some version of this plugin since it first came out. When someone leaves a comment, it adds a link to their latest blog post. Not only is this a good way to “reward” people who take the time…

Time To Stop Spending Money Start Earning Income

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I never realized how many "tools" I would need (or at least think I need) to be an effective Internet Marketer.

I've been blogging for a couple of years now; and have had a profitable part-time candle business for even longer. But last year I decided to learn a bit more about niche Internet marketing. Fortunately, Ive had a bit of success building stores that promote the ebay partner network. Since last fall, I've had 3 figure deposits to my paypal account every month. And almost every penny has gone back out ...

With an easy to access source of "extra money" sitting there in the pay pal account, I've felt free to build my toolbox. I've purchased quite a few ebooks, joined a couple of membership sites, gained access to a ton of PLR content, and picked up some very useful marketing and promotion software/plugins.

Well, today I've made a decision that I have enough ... for now. For at least the immediate future, I won't be purchasing a…