barbeque goodness

ramblings 2 Comments »

yummy beef brisket
after being in desperate need for some genuine comfort food, some coworkers and I headed out to a fairly new barbeque place for some texas-style beef brisket. it was oh so good. I’m now basking in the hazy warm glow of a tummy stuffed with barbeque. oh, I can’t move now. will someone please wake me in a couple hours?

custom printing

miscellaneous No Comments »

With a family that includes three kids and countless relatives living within driving range, we find ourselves always in need of printed invitations. there are birthday parties, anniversaries to celebrate, family cookouts, get togethers during the holidays and of course family reunions to organize. I’ve recently been looking at VistaPrint to print all future invitations for me. they’re widely known for their business card printing service but folks may not realize that they also provide custom labels, personalized greeting cards, promotional items, custom stamps and notepads. They’re pretty versatile in what they can do for their customers. and with the convenience of the internet, you can customize your item online quickly and easily. I like the variety of paper types, colors and designs that are available in putting together a party invitation for example. and the cool thing about VistaPrint is the fact that they also allow you to upload your very own design to use in printing your personalized item. so you no longer need to stick to a pre-designed template and express yourself in a truly original way. be sure to browse their site for some great ideas. I’m also thinking of getting some colorful sticky notes with my handsome face pre-printed on them. heh. nice one, eh?

Alec lost a tooth! hooray!

Family Talk, kidbits 3 Comments »

finally!! we were all wondering when Alec (the 7 year old) was going to lose is first tooth! you can see him in the photo holding a ziplock bag with his tooth in it (all ready for the tooth fairy). the tooth fairy later dropped by that night and left him two bucks and a new Wii “Nunchuk” that he wanted.
Alec lost a tooth! hooray!

I went back through my blog here to see when my oldest son lost his first tooth and according to this old photo, he was around 6. here’s the link to the old entry.
ethan and his tooth sept 2003
“two year old” Alec is in the photo as well.

filter out spam

miscellaneous No Comments »

in the business world, time is of the essence. nowadays, potential clients no longer have the patience to wait that long for a response before moving on to another company. so stop wasting all that precious time sifting through all your spam and junk mail. clear out your inbox so that you can quickly and effectively get down to business. with AppRiver’s SecureTideâ„¢ spam filtering service you can simply and easily cut down the number of spam cluttering up your inbox. founded back in 2002, AppRiver now protects over 26,000 customers worldwide from spam, harmful viruses and junk mail. and when you no longer have to deal with spam, you can then devote all that extra time back on your clients. it’s that simple. free yourself from spam today.

free subscriptions

ramblings No Comments »

here are some freebies for all of my regular readers here. as always, thanks for visiting the blog. hope you are having a wonderful memorial day weekend.

free subscription to one of the following: Cycle World, Car & Driver or Woman’s Day
click here to sign up.

or how about a subscription to America’s #1 video game magazine, Electronic Gaming Monthly?
Electronic Gaming Monthly focuses on new electronic games for console video game units, including the Nintendo, Super NES, Sega Genesis, Sega 32x, Sony Play Station, and portable game systems such as the Nintendo GameBoy, Sega Game Gear. EGM also features regular columns on the latest game releases as well as special sections devoted to movies, records and other subjects of interest to the male youth market.
click here for the tradepub.com link.

also check out Kraft Food’s great free publication - Food & Family Magazine. the magazine is chock full of recipes, tips and latest kraft news.
click here for a free subscription to Food & Family

and finally, Mercury magazine is offering free subscriptions to Home magazine.
This magazine is edited for the American home owner and home enthusiast. It serves as a remodeling and decorating resource for the home owner interested in learning more about architecture, building remodeling, decorating, furnishings, landscaping, products, entertaining and tabletop decorations. It also includes the latest names, developments, and sources within the home improvement field.
click here to subscribe to Home.

enjoy. and if you do sign up for one of these, please post a comment here to let me know. thanks.

Heart Library

miscellaneous No Comments »

After hearing about a relative of ours recently being diagnosed with tachycardia, we’ve been spending time on the web learning as much as we can about the medical condition and the various forms of treatment for the disease. Tachycardia is essentially when your heart rate is faster than normal. there’s an informative website that focuses on heart disease called the Heart Library. the site is an extension of St. Jude Medical and features educational videos hosted by physicians as well as helpful patient stories to illustrate various medical conditions. I’ve found the site very helpful and provided answers to the questions I had about our relative’s recent diagnosis.

two favorites on Hulu

movies and TV, ramblings 2 Comments »

it always happens, doesn’t it? you’ve got cable with over a hundred channels and you still got nothin’ to watch. well, have you tried Hulu yet? you can always find something to watch on Hulu. and it’s not just short clips like on youtube. Hulu features full episodes of your favorite TV shows and even full length movies. yup, that’s right, movies. it’s like “movies on demand” except it’s free!

and check this out, here are two all time favorites of mine just in case you’re hankerin’ to watch something right now..

Mulholland Drive

The Big Lebowski

you can find more on hulu.com

HDTV for Father’s Day

miscellaneous No Comments »

Banner1you know, I don’t think father’s get enough credit sometimes. “mother’s day” seems to always overshadow “father’s day” in terms of media buzz and overall attention. yes, mothers are an extremely vital part of a family unit but dads seem to always get the short end of the stick. well, I don’t know about you but I’m determined to make this Father’s Day a special one for my dad. I’m not sure if he really knows how important he has been in my life especially since us “guys” really don’t express ourselves verbally all that well. for us “men”, it’s all about action, or something physical and real rather than “feelings” or “emotions”. so, to express my respect and gratitude, I’ll be getting my dad an HDTV. It’s a great present nowadays since the whole nation will be converting over to HD only broadcasts by the beginning of 2009. even Charter Communications has gotten into the act with their very own Father’s Day in HD contest. for those special fathers in the Charter cable service area, their children can enter the special contest for a chance to win their dad the nation’s biggest HDTV along with FREE Charter HD service and The Charter Bundle for life. that’s an awesome prize for ONE awesome dad. all you have to do to enter is write a convincing essay that explains why you think your dad deserves the 65″ LCD Flat Panel 1080p HDTV. all entries must be received by June 6th to be considered for the contest. besides the big winner, four lucky runners-up will receive Charter’s Biggest Bundle and Charter’s HD service FREE for one year. yeah, I know, every dad is special and deserves a big HDTV so why not go ahead and enter your dad in the contest and win him something special for Father’s Day?
Sponsored by Charter Communications

family fun at work

Family Talk, kidbits 1 Comment »

familyday-may08-wide

my employer had their annual “family day” this past weekend. it’s the one day out of the year where they squeeze in a whole bunch of carnival rides and games onto the property and allow the families of their employees to come and have some fun. I took my older two boys for the day and they had a blast, of course. I mean, you really can’t go wrong with free entertainment, free food, free cotton candy and free snowcones. plus, the weather was absolutely perfect for something like this.

familyday-may08-hogdrop01

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truck covers and tarps

miscellaneous No Comments »

as gas prices continue to skyrocket with no relief in sight, truck and SUV owners are desperate to find ways to save fuel. current owners of larger vehicles don’t seem to have the option of getting rid of their gas-guzzlers since dealerships won’t accept them as trade-ins and the general car buying public are all pretty much looking to downsize. so truck and SUV owners will have to make do with what they got, essentially. one simple way for truck owners to improve fuel economy is to get a tonneau cover for the bed of their pick-up. a tonneau cover can help reduce aerodynamic drag and improve gas mileage by as much as 10%. and a great place to purchase truck accessories like truck bed covers is Agri-Cover, Inc. they have a great selection of products ranging from truck snow plows, dump truck tarps, roll up covers to tailgate seals. Agri-Cover, Inc prides itself on getting their customers the best U.S. made products for their truck or agricultural equipment at the best prices.

lamest chorus program. ever. for reals.

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

I hate to tell you all this but last night I witnessed what must have been the lamest chorus program in the history of mankind. you see, our elementary school somehow feels the need to add incentive for the parents to come to the quarterly PTA meetings so they schedule various events to coincide with the meetings like student awards, skits and yes, music from the 4th & 5th grade chorus. Look, I understand the turnout to the PTA meetings wouldn’t be as large without these added presentations but there’s got to be some accountability for the overall content and quality. I have no problem with the PTA meetings themselves but come on, we all got things to do and to prolong the time at these meetings with under-rehearsed, off-key performances just makes things all the more painful. it’s obvious that the problem stems from the music teacher. I’m sure she’s a kind, caring teacher but frankly, she just needs to go ahead and retire. Look, I know there are budget restrainst, limited resources and limited time for the kids to rehearse but there are still things that she could do to make these performances less cringeworthy. first and foremost - time. keep things short and sweet. this teacher does not know how to do this. for some reason, this woman wants to fill up 20 to 30 minutes where 5 minutes would do just fine. if there isn’t enough time to rehearse with these kids, why try to forces them to learn 10 songs? obviously most of these kids didn’t even know half the songs last night. just rehearse TWO songs with these kids over and over again until they get them right. another thing she could do is STOP singing along to prerecorded CDs. singing along to prerecorded music is SO LAME. how is this an actual performance when these kids are singing along to a boombox?? the least she can do is act like a proper music teacher and lead the kids with a piano. from what I gathered, the theme last night was early rock ‘n roll music like “Rock ’round the clock” and “The Twist”. but then, inexplicably toward the end of the long, excruciating program, she had three kids come up and sing “In the End” by Linkin Park!!! WTF!!! and again, they sang along to the Linkin Park CD!??!!! if these three had some semblance of some sort of talent it’d be one thing but they had zilch, nunca, nada and they didn’t even know some of the words for goodness sakes! who’s idea was this and how does this crap song fit in with the 50’s rock ‘n roll theme? someone please explain the logic??? and that’s NOT all!!! afterward, one of the kids that sang (can that even be considered singing?) Linkin Park, continued to hog the spotlight by playing the drums along with his dad on guitar (who looked like a Grateful Dead tribute band wannabe) and his dad’s friend on keyboards for a rousing rendition (NOT) of …wait for itCarry On Wayward Son. AGAIN, what on earth did we (the parents) do that was so bad that we have to sit there and endure such lousy renditions of moldy oldies??? the Kansas cover really put this over the top. it was wrong on so many levels. what’s the relevance of performing “Carry On Wayward Son”??? is there some sort of link to the 50’s theme that I’m missing here? and isn’t showcasing this one kid’s lack of talent a bit one-sided and inappropriate for this particular forum? Now, if the rest of the chorus had been incorporated into the epic 10-minute performance of “Carry On Wayward Son”, I would have given the music teacher some slack but the kids in the chorus weren’t involved and so the inclusion of “Carry On Wayward Son” really didn’t make any sense to me. can someone please talk some sense into this woman? am I the only parent that thinks these overlong chorus performances are a huge waste of time? Do I have to resort to getting myself elected onto the PTA board in order to save ourselves from future crappy chorus programs? oh the horror. oh the humanity. oh my ears.

Stark Museum of Art

miscellaneous No Comments »


Museums are absolutely fascinating to me. I loved strolling through museums when I was growing up. there is so much to learn about the world and it’s so easy to grow up sheltered and not be exposed to the vast expanse of information outside of a child’s daily routine. that’s why I make sure to routinely make special trips to various museums with the kids in order to open their minds and expand their view of the world. whether it’s natural science, natural history or the art museum, it’s always a worthwhile visit each time we go. one museum that we’re planning on heading out to sometime this summer is the Stark Museum of Art. the Stark Museum features an extensive collection of American Western art and artifacts as well as collected works by Native Americans. one exhibit that I’ve been wanting to see for a while now is the works by H. S. “Andy” Anderson who is best known for his wonderful woodcarvings. his carvings of Old West characters are well known and one of his carvings was even given to President Franklin D. Roosevelt as a gift at one point around World War II. the Stark Museum of Art is only one of the few places where one can see Anderson’s amazingly detailed carved figures. other noteworthy artists being shown at the museum include Frederic Remington, Paul Kane, Thomas Moran and Albert Bierstadt. Bierstadt did some wonderfully elaborate western landscape paintings back in the 19th century. Bierstadt’s paintings are still popular to this day with multiple exhibitions throughout the Unites States. the Stark Museum is a huge facility that boasts over 15,000 square feet of exhibit space and the property itself covers a whole city block. there’s a ton of fascinating works of art to see there and I’m looking forward to our visit later this summer.

end of the spring season

ramblings, Family Talk, kidbits 1 Comment »

soccer-trophy-may08

the kids celebrated the end of the spring soccer season over at their coach’s house. a splendid time was had by all. we had food, a trophy ceremony and a parents vs. kids soccer match.

..and yes, the parents won. :P

soccer-with-coach-may08

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oh, to age like Jon Bon Jovi

miscellaneous No Comments »

you know, aging gracefully is tougher than it seems. why can’t we all look like Jon Bon Jovi at 46? I mean, have you seen the guy lately? the man looks even better now than he did back in the 80’s! why can’t I age like that? middle-age is hitting me like a ton of bricks. there seems to be a ton of physical issues that us men have to deal with during this phase in our lives. our bodies don’t seem to be as strong and flexible as they once were. we certainly can’t eat like we did back in college. and yes, some of us even have to deal with thinning hair. it’s hard enough as it is dealing with our middle-aged bodies but to not be able to join the 80’s hair band revival without doning a full-on wig is simply not right. so it’s good to hear about a recent procerin clinical study that shows that there’s a natural nutritional supplement that can help reduce the loss of hair. yes, old age is inevitable but that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to look like it.


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