Showing posts from September, 2009

Long Travel Day

Ok, so I'm about to turn off my computer and pack it up. I leave tomorrow morning.

I'm very much looking forward to 24+ hours of travel time. 8-)

This is just a short post to let the "couple" of people regularly read my little blog know that I'll probably be offline for the next 5-6 days. However, once I get settled in, I expect to have an Internet connection in my room.

So ... I'll definitely be "chatting" with you again soon,

The IRS Is Not As Scary As You May Think

First an admission ...

Due to circumstances that were largely NOT beyond my control (even though I'd love to use that excuse), I just recently filed several years of back taxes. I won't go too far into the mucky details; but basically I had one tax year where I either owed a bit, or was due a refund; depending on whether or not someone was legally considered a dependent. The problem was, I was missing a key piece of information that would help make that determination.

And that's where my "stupid" started ...

Instead of just sucking it up, and paying the high 3 figure amount (really not significant in the big scheme of things) for that tax year, I decided to wait for the documentation, that I expected would allow me to get a refund instead.

Then I got even "stupider" ...

While waiting (and waiting, and waiting, and waiting) for said documentation, I subsequently ass-u-me(d) that it wouldn't be a good idea to file current year returns, since I still h…

Why Do You Comment?

A couple of Simple questions ...

What is your goal when you leave a comment on someone else's blog or website?

Do you have an actual "commenting strategy"? In other words, do you plan time for commenting? Do you "target" specific types of blogs?

What are some of the actual benefits you're realized as a result of commenting on other people's blogs?

I'm planning to do a "commenting tips" type post here in the next week or so. These are just a few of the questions that I was curious about. So I figured, rather than doing all my research out on the interwebs, I might as well ask here first.

So what's your take?


I Really Did Meet My Wife On

I've been remarried for almost 3 years now.

We sometimes tell people we met in Walmart (not exactly sure how that's "better"), but in reality, we are an online dating success story. I met Ana on

I can't remember who initiated the conversation, but I do remember that her profile name was something like "latinmommy", and was all about her and her kids (now my step-kids; Johnathan and Jasmine). Ana say that her sister actually made the profile for her ... she obviously did a good job. Which ever one of us it was who "winked" at the other first, eventually it was mutual, and we started chatting ... first by email, then more "real time" on yahoo, and on the phone.

Finally on the morning of the 4th of July, I happened to catch Ana on yahoo chat. We talked for a few minutes, then she said she had to get offline, so she could go shopping for school supplies at Walmart. Since two of my kids (Justin and Jordan) had come to li…

A Dream Board In Your Pocket

I'm a fan of using a dream board as part of an overall goal setting strategy. In fact, I've previously written about how to make your own online dream board.

But what if you don't always have access to your computer?

Or what if you're like many of us, and you already spend Too Much Time sitting in front of this silly box?

Is there anything wrong with going totally low tech?

Here's an idea ...

Next time you're down at Wally World, stop by the stationary section, and pick up one of those little pocket sized notebooks. Not the little tiny flip-up ones. One of the one that opens from the side like a regular notebook, but is small enough to fit in a cargo pocket or purse ... I think it's 4x6.

Use it just like you would your online dream board:

Put the date at the top of each page. Then divide your daily entries into 3 sections:

Today I am Thankful for …
Things I like about myself today …
My Goals and Intentions …

Make a new "post" every morning. Then, sinc…

Hilton Hawaiian Village Friday Night Fireworks

When my kids were younger, one of our favorite Friday night activities was to go down to Waikiki beach to watch the Hilton Hawaiian Village fireworks show. We wouldn't actually go to the Hilton though. The military hotel, the Hale Koa, is right next door. And with an ID card, it's totally free to swim in the pool all day long.

Usually what we'd do, is when the kids got home from school, we'd load the car up with towels, swim suits, and maybe a cooler full of drinks. Then we'd get on H-1 and head for Honolulu. It usually took us between 1/2 hour and 45 minutes to get there; depending on how much that wonderful Hawaii traffic decided to cooperate on that particular day. Since, as I mentioned, the Hilton Hawaiian Village is right next to the Hale Koa, parking was never a problem either. We just parked in the military lot, where I think the price was less than a buck an hour ... cheap fun in paradise ;-)

Some times we'd hit the beach for a little bit. That …

How To Prepare For A Military Deployment

[caption id="attachment_590" align="alignleft" width="250" caption="Dust storm in Iraq"][/caption] So what are some of the steps that a military guy (or girl) should take when they find out they'll be going on an "overseas adventure"?

And I'm not talking about your military training, or the endless checklists and appointments that your unit will surely have for you. I'm thinking more along the lines of how to make sure that your personal stuff ... and your family's, is squared away, so that you don't have to worry about it while you're over there. (depending on your job, you'll probably have enough other stuff to worry about)

Ok, let's start with the important stuff ...

A Visit to the Legal Office

Ok, first area, and I already lied when I said I wouldn't write about things that are on your unit checklist ... I'm sure this is. That said, I do have a few insights to add when it comes to things you…

How To Save Money By Getting A New Car

... well, a van actually.

[caption id="attachment_598" align="alignnone" width="450" caption="Our new Kia van "][/caption]

With a growing family, it was time to get something with a bit more room. For the past couple of years, we've had two cars. Ana drove a Kia Sorento SUV, and I had a Saturn Ion. This arrangement worked for getting us where we needed to go ... but, both cars had monthly payments.

One upside of my heading for Iraq soon, is that at least for the next 6 months, we have the opportunity to be a one-car family. (and that's where the money savings come)

We'd been considering getting a van for a while. But now seemed like a perfect time to do it. In addition to my deployment giving us the chance to just have one car; the credit market is better, so we got a good interest rate, and with the car companies trying to build their business back up, there are a whole bunch of rebates and credits out there ... even with Cash…

Can You Get Rich Blogging About Making Money?

So you know you need more income. There's always too much month at the end of your paycheck. You need to find a viable way to increase your cash flow. Well, you've got a computer ... you could start a blog ... but what should you write about? It rarely fails, when someone gets on the Internet and decides they'd like earn extra income, one of the first ideas that pops into their head is to start a new blog about making money.

I mean heck, if I'm interested in it, then other people must be too right? I'll just go copy some PLR articles, slap about 25 or 30 bright flashing 125x125 ads in my side bars, then sit back and wait for the huge checks to start rolling in. Sounds like a good plan huh?

Unfortunately, for the vast majority of people ...

Earning a Significant Income writing about Making Money Online is about as likely as Winning the Lottery

The biggest problem ... probably 99% of the people who are (attempting to) write about making money online, are NOT ca…

Is It Wrong To Use My Daughter As A Prop?

Ok, so I've been on a bit of a blog redesign kick this weekend (for those who know me, I bet you're shocked, shocked, shocked). Btw, I am seriously impressed with Elegant Themes. Not only do they look good on the outside, but back-end options panel is probably the best I've seen ... easy to change colors and layout right from the control panel; without editing any code. But I digress, sorry back to the story ...

So as I was re-doing the make money from home page on the CandleMonkey blog, I realized that I didn't have any good, no cheesy, pictures of money.

So I grabbed a $20 bill and my camera, and went to the living room where Jaiden was on the couch watching Sesame Street. Here's the result:
[caption id="attachment_575" align="alignnone" width="400" caption="You\'re never to young to appreciate Andrew Jackson"][/caption]

Jaiden thought it was great fun ... until she tried to eat my money and I had to take it away from …