update: crappy blower still crappy!

ramblings 1 Comment »

well, I tried bringing out the finicky old leaf blower of mine to get some debris off my back lawn and guess what? yup, it won’t start. again. how lovely. the SAME problem I had the last time I took it in for repairs. I’m debating whether or not to take it back to the local Sears repair shop or just take the plunge and plunk down some serious dough for a DECENT gas powered blower.

in any case, let me reiterate one more time for those that haven’t heard yet - Sears/Craftsman products suck.

thank you. thank you. I’ll be here all week! try the veal…

my favorite khakis

internet buzz 1 Comment »

240x180I have an old pair of khaki pants that I love to wear when I want to just relax around the house. It’s one of those loose fit-style pants that have extra room around the legs and such. with the roominess and the non-constrictive feel to them, I simply feel more relaxed just by wearing them. but the problem is that my wife absolutely hates them. she doesn’t like the way they look on me. since they’re pretty baggie on me, she says that the pants make it seem like I have no “rear-end”. I try to reason with her and tell her that I would just where them around the house but she just wants them gone. come on, how does she expect me to lounge around the house without my favorite baggie pants on? there’s no way I can sit back and watch the game in just any regular style pants. it just won’t be the same!! the ironic thing is that she’s the one that got these loose fit pants for me in the first place. I just can’t get rid of my favorite pair of pants! just look at a day in the life of these pants- on a typical saturday, I put these on right before heading off to watch the kids during their early morning soccer game. and then after lunch, it’s all about the yard - mowing, weeding, trimming and raking. and then afterward, I sit back, relax and watch the ball game. these pants and I have spent many a-saturday together. we’ve got history. there’s no way I can part with them! I might have to resort to submitting a video of myself pleading my case to the public at large in the Dockers contest currently being held over at NBC.com. all videos submitted in the contest get voted on by online viewers and the winning video will end up being shown during the June 13th edition of the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. can you imagine what my wife’s reaction would be if I got featured in a nationally televised Dockers commercial with my loose fit khakis on? oh, that would absolutely be priceless!
Sponsored by Dockers

enough soccer for one day!

Family Talk, kidbits 3 Comments »

OK. four hours on a soccer field was definitely enough for this old man. watching these kids chase after a ball on a hot saturday takes a lot out of ya! whew.
unfortunately, the 7 year old’s team lost again. If I’m not mistaken, they haven’t won a game all season!! poor kids. they’ve got two more games to go. hopefully they’ll win the last two. please, for the love of all that’s good in the world! please let these lil’ kids win one!?!??!
luckily, my ten year old is on a team with some talent. they had a double header today and they easily won both. it was a bit tough in the afternoon though. man, it must have been about 90 out there. hot, hot, hot!

wholesale reseller

miscellaneous No Comments »

I recently watched a TV special that featured people selling stuff on ebay on a full time basis. It caught my attention since I’ve sold some of my things on ebay off and on in the past. probably most people have. but the difference here is that these people that were featured on the program weren’t just selling their things that they no longer had use for. no, they were reselling items that they’ve bought at wholesale. it was fascinating to learn the whole process of searching through a database and choosing items that may (or may not) have the potential to be in demand and purchasing those wholesale products in advance and in bulk. it’s sort of a gamble since you have to pre-purchase large quantities of these items before you can sell them. So, you have to do your research and be familiar with the products as well as your customer base. but with some good planning and some wise choices, small business owners and ebayers alike can make a profit reselling these wholesale items. wholesalers like DollarDays.com have made things even easier by making their items available online. browsing through their site, I’m surprised at the variety of products available and the low cost per item when dealing in bulk. hmmmm, I might have to seriously consider becoming a wholesale reseller and earn some extra income on the side…
Sponsored by DollarDays

the check engine light strikes again

it's all about me!!, ramblings 1 Comment »

the song of the day is dedicated to my car. specifically the ol’ SUV that I drive daily to and from work. it seems like everytime I take it in for routine maintenance I end up plunking down anywhere from $250 to $900 in repairs. what supposed to have been a $40 visit yesterday quickly escalated to $300. happens every time. lovely. I just hate taking this crap car in for servicing. it’s never a good day.
..well, at least I won’t have to stare at that dreaded check engine light for the time being. let’s see how long that engine light stays off this time around.
DLee - Song of the Day
Song of the Day: Ode to My Car by Adam Sandler

[click thru to listen to the song. warning - NSFW]
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a new way to fundraise

miscellaneous 1 Comment »

year after year, it’s the same routine: the kids bring home their school fund-raiser packets for us to purchase wrapping paper (in the fall) and chocolate bars (in the spring). every year, it’s the same deal. you know, I think the Lee household is completely stocked up on wrapping paper for the next decade. and taking a look at my waistline, I don’t think I need any more chocolate bars, thank you very much. but hopefully this will all change now that there’s a new online service that can help schools raise money in a new and exciting way. SchoolPop updates school fundraising to the modern age. no more worrying about your kids going door to door to sell products or hassling your coworkers with order forms. with SchoolPop, all you have to do is shop at participating online retailers like Wal-mart, target and Macy’s, and portions of the proceeds will then go to your school’s account. it’s that simple. it’s no wonder that SchoolPop is the top school fundraising program in the U.S. with over $200 million already collected for 30,000 schools and nonprofit organizations. for those interested in getting their school or NPO involved with the program, call the SchoolPop customer care number at (888) 200-2088. you can also head on over to their website, schoolpop.com for further details.
Sponsored by SchoolPop

Ethan at work

Family Talk, kidbits 5 Comments »

the ten year old had a blast at the company’s Bring Your Child to Work Day this past thursday. He, along with 138 other kids, learned all about our industry and participated in some fun learning activities. they also got a whole bunch of freebies - pens, pads, magnets, t-shirts and even some laboratory gear to wear at home. check out lil’ Ethan modeling his new outfit:
ethan in safety gear
he told me at the end of the day that eating lunch with his dad at the cafeteria was one of the highlights of the day. he also loved eating ice cream and caramel apple pie during the afternoon snack break. ..ahhh, like father, like son - it’s all about the food!! :P

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a special thursday..

ramblings, kidbits 7 Comments »

I’ll be bringing my ten year old to work with me thursday for my employer’s annual Bring Your Child to Work day. This will be our first time participating in the event so I’m not sure exactly what to expect. I believe the kids will be involved in a half-day program designed specifically to help them understand what we do here at work. shoot, *I* probably need to attend the presentation so that I can a better understand what we do here!! :P anyway, after the planned events, the parents will get a chance to take the kids to the cafeteria to ..umm, show them what it’s like to eat at work .. I guess. probably not that much better than their cafeteria at school. THAT’S why I PACK my lunch everyday! :P anyway, my son is excited and hopefully he’ll get a good glimpse of what the working world is like.

photo greeting cards

miscellaneous 2 Comments »

cardsdirectnowadays, digital cameras are pretty much a given. everyone has at least one at home. but it’s what you do with them that really matter. anyone can take and post photos of their children. as you can see here on my blog, I’ve posted a whole slew of them over the years. but recently, I’ve been printing up some of my favorite photos as customized Photo Cards. creating a special greeting card with a favorite family photo or an nicely captured moment of your child is a fantastic way to use and express one’s creative side. and I believe it means a lot more to someone when they receive a custom photo greeting card rather than a pre-made card that can simply be purchased at any ol’ drugstore. The other nice touch with customized cards is that you can print out your own personalized message or even the recipient’s name directly on the card. online services like cardsdirect.com have made it simple for parents and even grandparents to custom design their own unique cards on their website. you no longer have to have a degree in computer science in order to do these things. in fact, we recently made some neat little thank you cards for my son to send out to his family and friends with a great picture of him posing with all the presents he received for his birthday. with cardsdirect.com, you can be confident in knowing that you are getting the highest quality cards at the best prices. head on over to their website to learn more.

tent camping… in the living room

Family Talk, kidbits 3 Comments »

Check out the boys camping out! nah. not really. we WERE planning on taking the boys out on a camping trip this weekend but we decided to postpone it to a later date. basically time wasn’t on our side this time around. hopefully we’ll do some REAL camping sometime soon. In the meantime, I set up our new tent in the living room for the kids to try out. whatdoyathink?
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just another rite of passage

it's all about me!!, ramblings No Comments »

after posting about getting tickets for my son and I to go see Journey, I realized that I’m basically bringing things back full circle. kind of like a rite of passage. As I mentioned before, I get a chuckle out of thinking back about the first concert I’ve ever attended and how lame the bands were (The Monkees, Herman’s Hermits and Gary Puckett). the funny thing is, Ethan, my oldest, will most likely be thinking the same thing of Journey (plus Cheap Trick and Heart) when he looks back on this experience. I can imagine it now - “man, my dad took me to see some old farts playing some old 80’s tunes for a huge crowd of gray haired moms and dads reminiscing about the good ol’ days. man, that was soooo lame!” he’ll probably even post about it on his blog one day when he’s a dad and thinking about taking his own son to see a concert. ahh, the circle of life…

email newsletters

internet buzz 1 Comment »

over the last few years, the number of blogs have exploded. you can probably say that everyone and their grandma has a blog of some sort somewhere on the net. and it’s understandable. with free blog hosts like blogspot, wordpress and vox, it’s so simple for just about anybody to create a blog. and yes, starting up a blog is a piece of cake but the test for all bloggers is to be able to stay at it and write quality posts consistently over a sustained period of time. not only that but you also need to have the ability to attract readers/visitors and then somehow keep them coming back for more. it’s a lot harder than it looks. and with millions of blogs all over the world wide web, keeping a substantial number of readers interested in your own blog is very challenging. there are a lot of ways and methods to reach out to your regular readers and I’m not going to take the time to go through them all. but there is one tried and true method that I’ve seen used by a lot of bloggers lately. it’s the email newsletter. major bloggers like stereogum and blogging mix all maintain email lists and send out newsletters on a regular basis. for the most part, the newsletters highlight the best posts from the past week and some even include exclusive content to increase the value of the newsletters. but the main objective is the same in all cases - it’s to get readers to visit your site again. newsletters can reach people that RSS reeds sometimes can’t. email newsletters go straight into a reader’s inbox and so some may say that newsletters have a better chance of getting read than a RSS feed. whatever the case, an email newsletter option is a great feature to offer your readers. Zookoda is a free service that offers blog owners an easy way to set up and send out email newsletters. with customizable forms and newsletter designs, you can create emails to match the look of your site. and with opt-out/opt-in subscriptions feature, Zookoda maintains your mailing list for you so that you can focus your time on content instead of constantly updating your list of subscribers. it’s a great service for bloggers and I’m definitely planning on using it for my music blog in the near future.
Sponsored by Zookoda

happy b-day Alec!

Family Talk, kidbits 4 Comments »

Here’s the birthday boy. He had a fabulous birthday. after a family cookout with the grandparents, Alec and his brothers spent the afternoon exploring the wonders of Wii. don’t worry, we already have time limits in place so that they won’t “OD” on gaming. plus, they had soccer practice that afternoon so that helped in getting them away from the television and out in the warm spring air.
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the mom of three

miscellaneous No Comments »

I find myself complaining and whining from time to time about my workload and the stress that I’m under but when I think about what the wife has to deal with each and every day, things tend to come back into perspective. I really don’t know how she does it. our three rambunctious boys have the ability to reduce the average man to tears in under 60 minutes flat. don’t get me wrong, they’re smart, sweet and funny kids but like most brothers, they’ll fight and bicker with one another to no end. the sound that they can create among themselves can drive you insane. so going to work can be a sort of “sanctuary” for me at times. I can actually hear myself think and be productive which rarely can be done with all the chaos at home. but I have to hand it to the kids’ mom. she keeps the household under control and is essentially the heartbeat of the family. we (especially me!) can’t function without her. through the years the kids and I have realized this and as mother’s day fast approaches, we’re trying to plan the perfect day for her. the day will begin with me and the boys preparing breakfast in bed for “mom”. the cooking and cleaning will be covered by us for the rest of the day. and since she rarely gets time for herself, we’re thinking of sending her to a day spa where she’ll get her hair done along with a facial, manicure, pedicure and a relaxing massage. I’m also going to help the kids enter the “Celebrate Mom For Who She is Contest” over at 1800Flowers where they’re offering over $30,000 in prizes. all the kids have to do is tell all about their mom and send along photos and/or videos with their story before the april 20th deadline. a panel of judges will pick finalists that will then be open for final public voting. grand prize winners will then be announced May 9th. it would be so great if the kids could win their mom a trip to a resort out in California or that $1000 bluefly gift certificate. whatever the case, hopefully she knows that she is loved. :)

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