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Showing posts from 2010

Getting Fit In 2011 With My Friend Brent

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So one of my friends, Brent Worley has offered up a Fitness Challenge starting January 2nd ...

We're going to follow the eating plan in the The Abs Diet book ... he just got it recently, I've had it for a couple of years now.

And ...

There's also going to be a daily workout .. he does P90X, and/or Insanity .. I don't think I'm quit there yet, so I'll probably just start with the workout from the book.

The biggest thing for me is, Brent's going to start a FB group, or at the very least a thread on his blog, where those who participate can report in on our progress ... this will definitely help ... in that it adds an element of accountability to the goal ... and that's generally the key missing element for many of us, in any goal setting we do.

So ...

If you're thinking about making a "fitness and/or diet" oriented New Year's resolution, you might want to check out Brent's site (Get Fit With Brent) and consider joining us on his chall…

A Record Warm First Day Of Winter!

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Last I checked December 21st was the first day of winter. Well, it's currently about 84 degrees at Fort Hood, Texas. Not that anybody's complaining ...



We are currently about 23 degrees warmer than it is at my parent's house .. just north of Tampa, Florida.

This has already been a weird winter, and it hasn't even started yet.

That being said, I'm not going to gloat too much ... this being Texas and all. I'm working in the evenings on Christmas Eve, and Christmas day; and I expect by the time I get off work on the 24th, the wind should be blowing, and the temperature should be dropping pretty good. It will most likely be below freezing by morning.

No chance of snow though.

In fact, with this being a La Nina year, it's entirely possible we won't see snow (or much rain for that matter) all winter long. The long term forecast is warmer and drier than normal for the next 3 months. Judging just by today, we seem to be off to a pretty good start on maki…

Replacing My Blog's Comments With Facebook Comments

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I'm going to try a little experiment here on this blog ...

As of today, I will not be utilizing the wordpress commenting system. I've disabled new comments on all posts older that 1 day, and on any new posts, there won't even be a comment box down there.

Instead, I'm going to use facebook comments. If you're not logged in to facebook, it will look something like this:



If you are logged in, you can just scroll down the bottom to see what it looks like.

So why am I doing this?

Glad you asked ...

Here's the thing, this is a personal blog. Most of the people who regularly comment on my posts are either already my facebook friends; or at the very least, they're people I wouldn't mind becoming facebook friends with. In addition, since I already share all of my posts on my FB wall, many times that's where people leave comments about my blog posts anyway.

So I figured I might as well make it easy for all of you. ;-)

Now instead of separate "like"…

Are Fried Egg Sandwiches The Perfect Meal?

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It's cheap, it's quick, and it's easy to make.

From a guy's perspective, those are pretty much the criteria for a "perfect" meal.

Just sayin' ;-)

Seriously though, I love fried egg sandwiches. I make them in the morning when I don't have PT (not fun to run on a full stomach). I sometimes make them as a nice late night snack. And every once in a while, we even have fried egg sandwiches for dinner ... on those nights, I could probably write a whole separate blog post entitled: "how to feed a family of 7 for about $4".

The version of the sandwich that I've been eating lately, I discovered sort of by accident, when I couldn't find the ham in the fridge on day.

And because I sometimes like to share "recipes" here on the blog ...

INGREDIENTS:

2 Eggs
4 pieces of bread
Butter or Margarine
2 slices of roast beef
shredded mozzarella cheese


STEPS:

Heat up the pan, and spray generously with PAM
Put bread in toaster (preferably 4-slice vari…

Why Do Kids Love McDonalds So Much?

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Justin works at McDonalds.  Every Sunday he is on an 11am to 7pm shift.  Since I have to drive him anyway, it's become kind of a habit for the girls and I to spend a couple of hours every Sunday at the Micky D's Play Place. (Note: it's a nice indoor one here in Killeen). For Jaiden and Jasmine, this is usually one of the highlights of their week.
It's hardly suprising to me.  McDonalds, especially the Play Land, has pretty much been a Morris family "tradition" for as long as I can remember. 
When Justin, Haley were little, their mom worked at the McDonalds in Opp, Alabama.  I would bring a book, buy a large Diet Coke, and sit at a table with baby Haley, while Justin played .. sometimes for hours.  I suppose playland was sort of "daddy's babysitting helper".
Even at that young age (2-3 yrs) Justin knew exactly where we were.  It got to the point, where even when we were travelling, he could spot the golden arches from about a mile out.  Seriously, …

Three Books That Helped Me Learn To Play Better Poker

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I've been playing poker for something like 7 or 8 years now. Back when I was first learning, we didn't have cool programs like the poker training network; so I turned to books as a way to increase my knowledge, and improve my game.

Here are three books that I found particularly helpful:




Small Stakes Hold 'em
Winning Big With Expert Play

Amazon.com Widgets

This was one of the first poker books that I ever bought. And as it turned out, it wasn't even about the game I was trying to learn. I was playing no limit Texas Hold 'em, and this was a book about Limit Texas Hold 'em.

None-the-less, I learned some very valuable lessons from this book .. the most important of which was when the "light bulb" went on for me ...

Poker is about MATH

My approach to the game has been entirely different ever since the day I came to that realization.

I would highly recommend this as the first book someone new to poker should consider purchasing. And actually, along those same…

Can Guys Like Candles Too?

Let me tell you something Todd:

"Chicks Dig Candles"

That's a quote from a conversation that I had with my friend Mike more than 10 years ago, when he was helping his wife with her new candle business, and for some reason felt the need to justify himself to me. I will admit, I was kind of wondering how a guy could credibly market something like candles. At the time, I was still hawking a much more "manly" product ... waterless car wash. But Mike's explanation of why, especially a single guy, might want have some candles around, sort of made sense.

Fast forward a couple of years later ...

I was a divorced guy in my 30s, and I now sold candles. I did a lot of retailing at the time, so I kept a decent sized inventory ... usually at least one of those big bookshelves, filled with a variety of different scents.

Ok, so where am I going with this?

Well, I remember this one evening. I had met a girl, and took her out to dinner. After dinner we decided to stop back…

Brrrrrr

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I was glad to have my hat, gloves and fleece on the way home this morning.



It was definitely in the low 30s here at Fort Hood this morning ... and it felt every bit that cold. Of course, I can't complain too much, as most of the rest of the country is even colder.

Actually, you know what, now that I think about it, it's pretty darn nice to live in Texas in the winter. Even though it's bit chilly this morning, by later this afternoon, the temperature is supposed to climb up to about 68.

That's darn near perfect. :-)

[todd-sig]

Spoon Feeding Baby

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At 7 1/2 months, it's time for baby Joey to start taking her meals sitting down, from a spoon.



Apparently, earlier, while taking her afternoon meal; in the manner to which she's been accustomed since she joined us in April; someone almost got dropped on the floor. I didn't catch all the details, but something about "those darn teeth", "ouch", and "that was the last time".

So, as of today, no more "boobie" (or breast feeding for you formal types) for baby Joey.

From now on, she's gonna be a high chair and little plastic spoon kinda girl during the day. And a baby milkshake fan at night.

So far she seems to be taking pretty good to both the spoon and the chair. But to be honest, it's hardly surprising to me. After all, she does have a couple of big sisters who are only too willing to teach her everything they know ;-)



Keep havin FuN!
[todd-sig]

The Repurposed Candle

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Tonight, I am thankful for my creativity.



That glob of wax you see burning in the picture above used to be one of our Mia Bella 16oz jar candles.

A couple of weeks ago, we decided to have another yard sale, and whenever we have a yard sale, we always have a table of candles set up too. We had a good day. Sold some of our "junk", and a few candles. Well, in the afternoon when it was time to clean up, we were hauling stuff inside to put it back in the closet, when 2 year old Jaiden decided that she wanted to "help" ...

Not surprisingly, she promptly dropped a couple of jars right there on the driveway. Fortunately nobody was hurt. However, a couple of the candles did get nice big crack in their jars ... woops, we won't be selling those.

My first impulse was to just throw those jars away. Then I got an idea ...

I took both of the damaged candles over to the trash can, but instead of throwing them away, I used the curb near the trash can to break away the rest …

Peek-a-boo

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Day one of my new picture a day project (told ya I wouldn't be able to wait).



This first one is pretty easy ...

I'm thankful for peek-a-boo, and tickle monster, and big smiles from little girls who are happy to see their daddy first thing on a Sunday morning.

I appreciate footie jammies, thick wool socks, and the fact that the heater kicked in before I came home.

As for the good stuff, well I think the fried egg sandwiches and chocolate chips waffles that I'm about to make for breakfast should qualify.

And just for good measure, I'm pretty darn happy to be such a lucky guy that it's not even 9am yet, and I've already found so many things to be grateful for ... without even having to "hunt" very hard at all. :-)

Hope you're all enjoying your weekend !
[todd-sig]

Hunting the Good Stuff with a Picture a Day ...

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Last year, I made a valiant attempt to participate in Project365. It's a flickr group where you agree to post 1 picture a day for an entire year. I made it all the way until June (which is longer than I expected). It was a lot of fun, especially when I was in Iraq, to bring my camera with me every day and take a picture of something interesting. I kind of petered out on it once I got back home, and didn't have as much time to process images, and write blog posts in the evenings. Even so, all-in-all, it was a very positive experience.

So ...

I'm going to try to do a Picture a Day project again for 2011.

But with a twist ...

My picture a day, will also be my "hunt the good stuff".

Every single day in 2011, I'm going to post a picture of, and maybe write a few lines about, something I appreciate, something I'm thankful for, or maybe even something that's just plain "good".

I'm going to hold myself to very few "rules" ... othe…

Kids Pictures Eighteen Two and Seven Months

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It was Justin's 18th birthday today. He's a bit camera shy (like his dad), so there's just the one picture of him.



Fortunately, he's got a couple of much younger sisters who are more than happy to pose for the camera:





Gotta run ... more pictures coming soon

[todd-sig]

How I Fixed My Macbook Pro

I've had a Macbook Pro laptop for about 3 1/2 years now.  It's been a great, reliable computer.  I'd sit down, turn it on, and it would just work .. no fuss, no muss.

About 6 months ago, right after I got back from Iraq, I decided to upgrade the operating system to Snow Leopard, and at the same time install another 1GB of RAM (which I bought at the Fort Hood PX).  Both "operations" were relatively simple, and the system worked great immediately afterward.

Then a couple of months back, I started noticing little things ... for instance, any time I opened a video, the fan would kick on (noisily) and work overdrive until I closed the video.  It also seemed to me that I could hear the hard drive working more often than I had remembered in the past.

A couple of weeks ago, things really started to become serious.  My portable backup drives were not always recognized.  Programs that usually opened right up, were taking much longer (watching the spinning ball while I waited,…

What Are You Thankful For?

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about Hunt The Good Stuff. Now I'm a fairly optimistic person to begin with .. but I've found that taking a few minutes at the end of every day to really focus on the some of good things in my life, and all that I have to be grateful for, really does put me in a better mood ... and even more importantly, helps keep my stress level down during those inevitable times when "life" decides to throw a challenging situation my way.

For (too) many Americans, the last Thursday in November is the one day of the year when we actually do consciously "hunt the good stuff", and give thanks for all the blessings in our lives.

Why?

Don't get me wrong, it's awesome that we have a day like Thanksgiving that reminds people to "appreciate".

But ...

Imagine how much more pleasant our world would be if we all did a bit more appreciating every day?

By all means, take this holiday to get together with friends and family, tell people …

Philly Cheesesteak at Geno's

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We made our first foray into the Philadelphia cheesesteak wars tonight. One of the guys in the class has a car, so after visiting the Liberty Bell, and Constitution Hall, we decided to take a quick trip South, down Passyunk Ave to try a real Philly cheesesteak. Going on Saturday night might not have been the ideal choice. We ended up waiting in line at Geno's for about 20-25 minutes.

It wouldn't have been much different across the street at Pat's ... look at that line:


The waiting really wasn't all that bad though.


Along all the walls outside of Geno's are a ton of picture of all the famous and/or otherwise important people (ie, police and military) who've eaten there). Plus as you can see in the picture above, there are big windows all around where you can look in and watch them cook.

We even learned in class how to order properly (so as not to get booted to the end of the line). Here was my order: 1, whiz, wit. translation: 1 steak sandwich, cheez whiz, wit…

Hunt The Good Stuff

So I've finished 4 days of the Master Resilience Training here in Philadelphia. One more day as a "student", then on Saturday we start learning how to teach it to our guys back home. I had intended to do some blogging about the things I'm learning in the course .. but upon reflection, this is probably not something that would convey well just by reading it on a blog (plus the course is actually copyrighted by University of Pennsylvania).

So, I won't be making daily blog posts this subject.

That said, I did have something that I wanted to share, and it's really kind of in line with things I've already talked about here in the past. It's called Hunt the Good Stuff. And basically all it is is at the end of every day, you have to write down (physically on paper with a pen) 3 good things that happened to you that day; and with each, a sentence or two of reflection (why did this good thing happen? .. What this good thing means to you .. What you can do t…

Off to the City of Brothery Love

Well I'm on the road again early tomorrow morning. This time, I get to spend two weeks in Philadelphia attending the Army Master Resilience training course. It was kind of short notice, I just found out about it on Thursday ... but this sort of thing sounds right up my alley anyway ... plus if I've ever been to Philadelphia before, it had to have been when I was a kid ... and I don't remember it.

I'm bringing a laptop with me, and the hotel is supposed to have Internet (unlike my trip to FL last month). If the class is interesting, and/or I get out to see some of the landmarks in the area, I'll try to make posts here on the blog as often as I can. I think I'm not going to bring my "big" camera with me. It's such as hassle to lug the camera and lenses on an airplane, so I think I'll just try to make due with my phone ... should I encounter anything picture worthy.

I've already been told that one thing I definitely have to do while I…

Back to Camp Blanding Florida

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Last summer I spent 5 fun-filled weeks at Camp Blanding Florida doing some predeployment training. Tomorrow morning, I'm going back again ... but this time just for 10 days; and as a facilitator instead of as a trainee. I'm thinking I'll enjoy this next week a bit better than last time.

Anyhow, I also remembered that I never posted any of the pictures that I took last time here on the blog. So, here's a few shots of some of the things that Air Force weather guys, getting trained by Army Infantry soldiers get to experience:

As you can probably guess, we shot a lot of weapons.








We also had the chance to throw some hand grenades:






I probably should have posted this first, but we did also get a whole week or Combat Life Saver training. We were actually the last class that got to do IVs (they don't teach it any more):



When we weren't shooting, or blowing things up or sticking each other with needles, we did a lot of hiking through the woods. Which means we got up cl…

My Feet Quack Me Up

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Ok, that's probably not exactly what baby Joey was thinking as we went for a family walk around the neighborhood tonight ... but you gotta admit, it makes for a better headline than "We Went for a Walk" ;-)

It was just an idea to get me up off the computer, and Ana a little bit of exercise. So after dinner, we grabbed a stroller, Jas and Jaiden put on some shoes, and off we went to enjoy the nice cool fall evening. Along the way, we picked up our neighbor and his dog ... who's lease Jaiden got to hold.



A fun time was had by all. Including daddy, who got to take a few pictures :-)



We might just have to make this more of a regular event!

[todd-sig]

Texas Spiny Lizard

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My wife Ana was over at our neighbor's house this morning, when they called me to come "rescue" them from this little Texas spiny lizard.



It turns out that it was the lizard that needed rescuing.

Apparently Mary Kay's cats had captured the lizard, and brought it into the house. It was obviously injured, but still alive. So I picked up and brought it over to my front yard.

... where of course, I had to take a few pictures. ;-)

I left the lizard out in the yard afterwards, figuring that he'd figure out on his own where he wanted to go.

A little while later, I was going to show Jaiden the lizards, so we went outside, but he was already gone. I thought the story would have a happy ending ... if the lizard was well enough to go hide, that seemed like a good sign.

Until a couple minutes later when Mary Kay knocked on the door.

Apparently the cats had come across the street to my yard, retrieved "their lizard", and were now playing with it in her back yar…

Hawaii Beach Sunset

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I think might start a series on this blog called "pictures that are on my wall"

This sunset shot; taken in early 2009 at Paradise Cove, along the south shore of Oahu, was among the last "scenic" pictures I took before we left Hawaii.

... and yes, it is hanging right on our living room wall.

I've honestly never considered selling any of my pictures. But if I ever did, some of the scenery from Hawaii would probably be were I'd start. Not really stressed about it one way or another though ... I take pictures for fun ... and enjoyment.

Speaking of which ... I hope you enjoyed this nice tropical view wherever you happen to be on this fine fall Sunday afternoon.

[todd-sig]

Do You Believe in the Butterfly Effect?

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Ok, I'll admit the main reason for this post is so that I could share the picture of the Monarch butterfly that landed in our front yard the other day. ;-)

But, it also gives me a chance to talk a bit about the idea that even little tiny changes in our thoughts and attitudes can potentially produce significant differences in the kind of results we get out of life.

Kind of my "positive mindset spin" on the butterfly effect

Napoleon Hill said: "Thoughts are Things"

Every physical thing you see in this world, started as an idea/thought in somebody's mind.

Some people say that our thoughts actually attract things into our lives. And even deeper, the type of thoughts that we have attract like situations and thoughts.

Here's an example you can run on yourself to see what I mean ...

Ever been having a really bad day .. to the point where you can't concentrate on anything else .. and things just seem to be getting worse and worse? And when you ask yourself, …

I Love Spaghetti Night

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Do have a dinner meal in your family that is kind of the "fall back"? You know, the one that you eat at least once a week ... and the one that invariably provides the answer to the question "hmmm, I wonder what I should make tonight?"

In our family that meal is spaghetti.

As far as I'm concerned, it's pretty darn near the "perfect" meal.

It's easy to make, doesn't cost very much, and everybody likes it.

Plus, the leftovers often taste even better than the night it's first served.

No real purpose to this post.

Just covering my bases in case any of you ever invite me to dinner some day.

If you make spaghetti you can't go wrong. ;-)

Keep havin FuN!
[todd-sig]

Retiring and Moving to Florida

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Nothing is official yet, but we're pretty much decided that somewhere between this time, and Christmas next year, I'm going to go ahead and retire from the Air Force, and move back to Florida.

We had a great time visiting with family and friends when we were just there for my brother Craig's wedding. And after a bit of contemplation, it just kind of makes sense that it would be much easier to have these sort of visits if we actually live there ... as opposed to having to travel 1200 odd miles.

It also means that instead instead of freezing my butt of in Afghanistan next winter, I'll be able to head over to the beach and see scenes like the one in the picture above ;-)

I don't really mind deploying ... but with young kids, and the fact that this would be the first one that's totally "voluntary" (as in I no longer "have to" be in the Air Force to earn my retirement pay ... I'll have 22 years if I get out next December) ... I just can'…

How To Be As Happy As A Baby

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Living with small children in the house, I'm reminded on a daily basis how simple life really is when you're a baby.

Joey is just over 5 months old, and she has to be one of the happiest little girls I've ever met. She spends a significant portion of her waking hours laughing and smiling at whoever happens to be in front of, or holding her.

It got me thinking. Wouldn't it be great if we could all be that happy, that often?

I wonder what the "secret" is?

Here's a start ...

Babies are Interested in Everything! They're constantly taking in their surroundings; and learning from what they see, hear, smell and taste. They don't prejudge anything. Every minute is an amazing new adventure.

Babies are Not Shy about Showing Appreciation for those they Love! Have you ever seen a baby's eyes light up, and the big smile they get on their face when they look at mommy or daddy? There is never any doubt at all about whether or not your baby is happy to se…

We Had Two Birthdays Last Month

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I've been a bit lazy about taking pictures lately ... and apparently I also tend to blog much less frequently without the benefit of pictures.

So ...

I'm going to bring back a modified "picture of the day". Here's the trick ... while I'll try to take more pictures, the ones I post here won't necessarily be new. If I have a day where I left my camera at home, I can simply dip into the 10,000+ images that are currently sitting on my little hard-drive.

Today's pictures are actually from last month (see, told ya I've been lazy).

We had two birthdays in August. I took pictures at both events. But for some reason, I just never got around to processing and posting them ... until now ;-)



This first one is the cake that I got Ana for her birthday celebration. It's not polite to tell a woman's age, but I bet you can probably figure it out ;-) Ana has alway been a big Tinkerbell fan ... which as I've stated before is probably appropriate …

Small Children and The Power of Laughter

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Some people look at me like I'm crazy when they learn that at 41 years old, among my Seven kids is a 2 year old, and a 5 month old.

It's not surprising. I've heard many parents openly express the thought that small children can drive you nuts.

I'm not entirely unsympathetic to the idea.

However for me, especially lately, my little ones tend to have the exact opposite effect. If anything, having young kids in the house is a bit therapeutic.

Take yesterday, for instance ...

a bit of background: We've got an inspection coming up at work, so the hours are getting longer. My brother's wedding is in a week, so we're getting ready to embark on a plane trip to Florida. And to top off an already stressful week or two, we had a couple of unexpected bills show up.

So not unexpectedly, I arrived home at about 5pm in a bit of a grumpy mood. I was ranting and raving about some silly thing ... and Ana (proving yet again why I love her) was not ranting back, but simp…

Home Business Does Not Always Mean Online Business

Do you Need a computer to make money from home?

This is a question I've been doing quite a bit of thinking about lately.

Now, obviously I'm sitting here right now at my computer, typing out a post about home business; so my answer has to a best be a qualified "maybe".

That being said, I've had a part-time business for well over a decade. And I really do wonder, would I actually have a bigger bank account right now if I had spend Less Time on the computer over the years?

Primarily because the business model that I chose back in 1999 is Network Marketing, I really do think that the honest answer is Yes.

You see, I'm in the "people business".

And while it's definitely been profitable to learn how to use the right key words to drive traffic to websites; enabling me to meet people from all over the country, and the world ... when you get right down to it, sitting in front of this silly little screen for hours a day, is just not the most effective way…

How To Make A Custom Facebook Welcome Page

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Ok, so you want to make a Free custom landing page for your Facebook fan site, huh?

Well, here are a few prerequisites:


You know at least a little bit of basic HTML/CSS
You have access to some sort of image editing program (ie photoshop)
You have your own webhosting account, or other place from which you can link to images
You're a somewhat creative person with a bit of extra time on his/her hands


Even if that description above doesn't sound like you, all is not lost. There are some pretty cool Facebook page builders starting to pop up. Something like pagemodo.com looks like it's probably a great solution for most people ... I was actually going to use it build my page ... but then I remembered that I'm way more adventurous than that! :-D


So for any brave souls who didn't click the pagemodo link, and are still reading this ...

Here are some step by step directions for how I built my first custom facebook fan page


Go into the "edit" section of your page, and c…

My First Custom Facebook Fan Page

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I've made facebook fan pages before, but never really did anything with them. I'm almost embarrassed to admit that I was a bit intimidated by FBML (facebook markup language). And now that I've made my first custom designed landing page, I'm more even more ashamed that it took me so long.

If you know basic HTML, you can easily use the Static FBML tab on your facebook fan site to make a unique landing page.

Here's a screen shot of the page that I made:


Or, if you want to see the page "in person", just follow this link:
Plain Black Hoodie on Facebook

... and while you're there, if you feel the desire to click the "LIKE" button, I'd be most appreciative. ;-)

I built this fan page to support one of my niche blogs Plain Black Hoodie ... which btw, is a pretty good example of relatively simple, and low traffic website, that actually makes pretty good money. This new facebook page, and a new twitter account is part of my strategy to increase the …

Ironic T-Shirt Alert

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Ok, so I picked this t-shirt up at Walmart the other day. It was on the sale rack, and when I got up to the cashier to get my items rung up, it turned out to only be $3 ... I'm quite the bargain hunter lately.

Even better than that, it matched the pair of light blue shorts that I also bought that day (even though I had no intentions of getting clothes when I walked though the Walmart entrance ... funny how often that happens).

Anyhow ...

All is good, until I'm sitting here at my computer today, reading my twitter stream, and seeking out interesting new people to follow on twitter.

Suddenly it hits me that there might be just a tab bit of irony in my choice of "uniform" for this particular activity. :-D

Happy Wednesday!

[todd-sig]

The Over Tired Toddler

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It seems almost counter-intuitive, but Jaiden is always much harder to put to bed at night when she did NOT get her nap during the day. And I have good evidence that it's not just her, as all of my other kids were the exact same way. In fact, I'm not sure there's a more difficult person in the world to deal with than an over-tired toddler ... ok, maybe ex-wives; but that's a whole separate blog post. ;-)

Jaiden hasn't quite gotten to this stage yet, but one of my "favorite" things I remember my other two girls doing when it was bed time, and they were too tired, is the blubbered words that just don't match the scene ...

Cry along with me: "IIIII'mmm Nnnnoootttt Ttttiiirrreed" ... while rubbing their little red eyes, and trying to keep them open.

My current toddler is still just at the point where she rips all the sheets off her bed, and throws her baby dolls (and most of the rest of her toys) over the gate at her door, before finally …

My MacBook Pro Dual Monitor Mashup

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[caption id="attachment_1990" align="alignnone" width="450" caption="My setup - MacBook Pro, 20in HP monitor, Apple bluetooth keyboard"][/caption]

I hooked myself up with a dual monitor setup yesterday, and as I was putting everything in it's place on the desk, I was struck by how little brand loyalty I seem to have. Here's what's on my desk ...

MacBook Pro laptop
20" HP widescreen monitor
Apple bluetooth keyboard
Microsoft Mouse
Maxtor portable hard drive
i rocks card reader
Canon headphones
Lexmark Printer (out of the picture)


... oh yea, and also out of the picture is my Android phone

It's probably not what the salesman at the store would have set me up with, but it works for me.

The laptop itself is over 3 years old now. I recently upgraded to the operating system to Snow Leopard, but otherwise the only real signs of age are few smudged letters on the keyboard ... which is actually part of the reason that I picked up the bluetoot…

Less Marketing More Networking

[pullquote]How do we go about standing out from the crowd in our overly commercialized society?[/pullquote]

For over a decade now, I've always had some sort of part-time business to help supplement my military paycheck. Over the years, we've obviously had some "up" months, and some "down" months; but all-in-all it turns out that I'm actually relatively good at what I do. ;-)

Which is why it's kind of tough to admit that for the past year or two, I've been in a bit of a "funk" when it comes to my home business. I've "tried" various new methods of making "more" money; in addition to (or more often at the expense of) things that I already know (based on past success) work well.

Even worse, for some reason lately, I just can't seem to make a decision and stick to it for any significant length of time.

I've been racking my brain trying to figure out what the problem might be.

Then it hit me ...

I've been…

Our Day at the San Antonio Riverwalk

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Even though we've lived in Texas for over a year now, we just made our first visit down to San Antonio earlier this week. I had to run Jonathan and Jasmine down to the airport anyway, so they could catch a flight to Reno, to visit their aunt and grandparents. Over the weekend, we decided that it might be a fun idea for all of us to go down; since I had put in for two days of leave anyway.

We drove down on Monday afternoon, via the "scenic route" ... we went over to Lampasas, then took Hwy 281 South, almost all the way to the San Antonio airport. Along the way, we drove through a couple of interesting little small towns, including Marble Falls (which is a place we plan to visit again when we have time to stop and explore).

After we dropped the kids off for their flight, we stayed the night at a TLF (or "family room") at the Lackland AFB billeting. At only $41.50 for the night, it was only about 1/2 as much as any of the hotels in town ... plus we had a refri…