Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas = Patriots Gear!

So, you all know besides being a geek, I'm also a huge football fan - specifically a Patriots fan. This year was great for me at Christmas. You've got to see why.

More to come on Christmas later!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Patriot's Rings: Super Cool!

OK, so here's the story. I'm sitting at my desk, dying, massive headache. Looking at what some folks are twittering because I can't wrap my brain around some design I'm supposed to be doing. Out of the blue, the founder of the startup I'm working for walks into the office. "Hey Phil. You're a Patriots fan, right?" Me: Yes! "You might find these interesting." He puts a felt bag on my desk and walks out the door.

So, as you can imagine, I'm wondering. Now, I know that he used to work for the Pats. The company got it's first round of funding from the Kraft's as well. And, seeing the felt bag, I certainly have this little flutter of suspicion. So I opened the bag... and there they were.
I reached in and took the first one out. Man! It's beautiful. And it's HEAVY. I mean HEAVY. I think it's worth more than I make in a couple of months. At least. Geesh. And in person, it is every bit as awesome as you'd think it is. But of course, I had to see what else was in the bag.

Sweet! The "Dynasty" ring. The first one is my favorite. I love its clean lines, it's simple, elegant. The third ring is awesome too though. Sparkle is an understatement. And it's huge too. Of course, it also represents the third of the three Super Bowl wins in 4 years that made the Pats a dynasty. Sweet!

I have to admit. I was a kid in a candy store. My co-workers Adam and Phillip both were acting like kids too. We were using our cell phones to take pictures of the rings for each other. Absolutely silly. It was like holding the holy grail almost. I was in awe when I first took them out of the bag too. I find it funny. I'm not someone that's given to that kind of stuff. I grew up in a house where we had visiting dignitaries in all the time. No biggie anymore. But the rings? The real rings? It was very cool & very special. Nice way to forget for a few minutes that I had a nasty headache!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

The Apple Fan Boy Mailbox

I really wish I could attribute this, but man I'd love to have this as my mailbox! Anyone want to contribute an old shell to me? I really do actually need a new mailbox.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

What does every Apple Fan Man Want? A PED!

OK. Maybe that should be "What accessory does every Apple Fan Man that wants an iPhone want to go with it? But, that was too long for the title. The answer is still the same though, a PED3 iPhone stand!

One of the things I hate is having to leave my iPod lying on the desk. And honestly, as much as I love Apple design, the dock is a *little* uninspired. Thus I think this PED3 Rotating iPhone Stand would be the bomb. What do you think?

It's sleek, it's sexy, it makes people drool when they see it. (that would include me. Yes, this is absolutely on this metro Apple Fan boy's Christmas list. Oh honey!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Yay for the Red Sox! Yay! and Sorry for Mike Lowell.

No, this isn't a delayed "hoorah!" for winning the World Series post. Though as any good New Englander should be, I'm jacked. No, this post is a "yea" for the team re-signing Mike Lowell, their World Series MVP. And, a "sorry" to Mike Lowell that he didn't hit the mega-bucks sweepstakes. Not that I'm going to cry too long for Lowell who'll be making $12 million per season. Guaranteed. Even if he breaks both legs in spring training next year and never plays another game.

But I digress. This is a Yay! for the Sox. Yay they got the guy back, keeping the middle of their order in place. Their lineup should be pretty potent again next year and the pitching will be improved.

Yay! for the Sox. They didn't spend $20 million a year and over promise on the number of years. Yay for the Sox for not bothering to go after A-Fraud, especially after that tasteless announcement by his agent during game four of the World Series.

Which brings us back to Lowell. Yay! So here's how it happened. A-Fraud announces he's opting out of his contract. What's his hope? That the $$ rich Red Sox will drive his numbers up so he can make an even more obscene amount of money for being the best regular season player in baseball. But what happened to his plan?

It breaks down this way. The Red Sox make Lowell an offer (and a nice offer, plus $3 million a year over his expiring deal) to stay in Boston. They make an offer that fits them, their need, and Lowell's age. It's a good offer. Not insane, but good. Despite the fact they know that A-Fraud is out there. Despite the fact they know the Yankees can offer big $$, they make their offer to Lowell. This kills A-Fraud.

It kills A-Fraud because he knows the Sox aren't going to pony up the $30+ million a year he wants. It kills the market for Lowell because the Yankees know that the Red Sox aren't going to (a) over pay for Lowell, or (b) over pay for A-Fraud. The Yankees make an offer, but nothing staggering. The Sox don't bite. They also don't start looking for A-Fraud. More over, everyone in New England is quite vocally saying "WE DON'T WANT A-FRAUD".

Suddenly A-Fraud realizes that he has no where to go. No place else (Angels, Mets, Braves) that can afford him is interested in what he wants. So, HE approaches the Yankees to open talks. Once the Yankees know they have A-Fraud, they take the offer for Lowell off the table. So, Lowell takes the Sox offer because he knows it's his best bet.

So, Yay! For the Sox. We've got a Gold Glove third baseman (something the Yankees can't say ;-)! Yay for Lowell! He's making $3 million a year more than he was :-D Yay! That the Yankees get stuck with the petulant, spoiled choke artist that could well be the best regular season player in the game. They deserve him!

Oh. And the Patriots are undefeated by the way. Anyone notice that?

Monday, November 12, 2007

Today we Honor

We honor those that have fought in just wars to stop power crazed dictators from taking over the world, and suffered for it the rest of their life (my father - WW II, Disabled American Veteran).

We honor those that serve their country with bravery, even in a war that is never declared (my sister-in-law and father-in-law - Vietnam).

We honor those who serve their country bravely in countries that don't even acknowledge them as equal beings - because a crazy dictator threatens a country for oil (my sister - Gulf War 1)

We honor those who serve their country with distinguished honor, seeing hell on earth, orphans injured and bloody without parents, because their commander-in-chief ordered them to do so (my brother-in-law - Serbia & Gulf War 2)

And while their may be no "just" wars, we thank the people that laid down their lives to protect our freedoms from those who sought to take over the world. (specifically those that died in WW I & II)

Sunday, November 11, 2007

WAY too Funny

I saw this when I opened my e-email this morning. Oh Lord. Please! My eyes are stinging!



Saturday, October 20, 2007

Today, I am weary.

I am weary of fighting the fight. I'm weary of being a good will ambassador in a world that I am an alien in. I'm weary of expressing love while being reviled. I am weary of teaching my children sound principles of life, while they choose to act from their base nature. I'm weary of always extending grace, when I'd like to see some change instead. I'm weary of being misunderstood when I'm doing my best to understand and to clearly express what is deepest in my spirit. I'm weary of being the negotiator - trying to reconcile different worlds - when it seems that neither wants to be reconciled. I'm weary of trying to justify truth to those who only want "truth" that is subjugated to their opinion or whim.

It does not mean that I've quit. It doesn't mean that I've given up. it doesn't mean that tomorrow won't be different. It doesn't mean that joy, love and peace won't flood my soul to renew and revitalize me. It means that today, I'm weary.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Why I Get Paid II

I get paid to prevent what happened for most of you looking at the below web site.

1. You saw the picture.
2. Your eye didn't come to rest easily (other than possibly on the picture).

Though I don't know a lot about this site, I know I won't be going back. Why? It's not the writing. Honestly I didn't really read anything. So why? *BECAUSE* I didn't really read anything. I never found the focus, the main point for being there. I'm sure I wasn't alone.

The picture is a useless construct unless it's a celebrity and there's an associated story (for the most part). I personally have no idea what the headline was associated with the picture.

Web sites need to be designed so that you can easily identify your purpose for being there - and perform that purpose. This site isn't. It's a bad design. And that's the reason why I get paid - so that your site won't look like this one.

Class dismissed.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Why I Get Paid

Nope. This isn't going to be a long rant. I'm not providing a tutorial. Just a picture. And a question. (yes, I purposely used a period and I capitalized And at the beginning of a sentence).

First, the picture. (best if you view it full size)

Now the question (2 really)
1. Where did your eye rest? (or did it?)
2. If it did come to rest, where did it?

Thank you very much. Class dismissed.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Missing the Forest for the Trees - Language and Subject matter Not Suitable for Children

I just had this conversation with someone whom I dearly love. It's hard to have this type of disagreement.

Response from earlier comment...

People sin because they're longing for something missing. That something is God. The AFA group has no love, just the ability to be constantly offended. If you're offended that gay guys blew each other in public, fine, but your outrage won't draw them to Jesus. Love will and always does. I don't see a Jesus offended by sin. I see a Jesus who loves people right where they are. AFA wants to purify sinners before they're saved so that they don't have to experience anything naughty. Christians need to be willing to walk into sin, ignore it and love people all the way to Jesus. He can change people. We can't.

My response

I agree with most everything you said except one *small* piece. I do think your assessment of the AFA wanting to clean people up first is pretty accurate. Of course, I still think that you're jumping ahead to the AFA before acknowledging that there was a huge event with some pretty offensive behavior and the mainstream media just gave it a total pass - which as I recall was my primary point.

OK. 2 small pieces... 1st is more my opinion
Regarding outrage due to inappropriate public behavior - I would think that it shouldn't make a difference if you're a Christian or not for people to to agree that public blow jobs (gay, straight or any other way) are not socially acceptable behavior. I can't tell you the outrage I would feel if I saw someone behaving like that in public in front of any of my four young girls - and my willingness to take them to task verbally and/or physically and/or legally for such base, crude and objectionable behavior.

That being said... 2nd... my actual point of disagreement:

"I don't see a Jesus offended by sin." Really? Jesus is holy. He is completely offended by sin. He died on a cross to save us from that sin. Jesus HATES sin. Yes, he loves the people where they are ("while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us"). And yes, he purifies us. But I think scripturally, he's quite offended by sin.

Now, my complete editorial...

You've been pretty vitriolic in your attack on the AFA. While I agree with you that they aren't a perfect organization and I've mentioned that I've expressed that to them - you're so busy attacking them that you're excusing the outrageous behavior that just took place because "the AFA is mean." Well, the AFA may be mean. They may be legalistic. They may miss the mark - just like all of us that need a savior do. But at least they are trying to be a conscientious voice encouraging other sinners saved by grace (otherwise known as Christians) to speak up for the gospel and all that "gospel" means. That's pretty different than the group at Folsom Street that was encouraging people to come out and put on display their primarily promiscuous and masochistic sexual lifestyle.

Just my .02

Like I said, I love this person dearly. It was hard for me to have this conversation because I really do respect the person. We have had many great and intellectually and spiritually stimulating conversations. The person is right about Jesus waking in and loving people where they are. The person is right about "Christians" always trying to clean up people's naughty behavior. The person is right that LOVE is what draws us to the Lord. But I think that as much as part of what they were saying is right, the person was missing the real point of what I was saying (see previous post). And, I guess I just didn't want them to miss the forest for the trees.

Big Media Ignores Event - Why? NSFW - Controversial


I try not to forward stuff that I get, but this particular item got my notice and I thought it might be serious food for thought. For those of you that know I'm a Christian, you know that I'm all for loving people and sharing the good news of the Gospel with them. I think that we need to show what we believe WAY more than talk it. However, when said people show disregard for common decency as they did at Folsom Street (you can read the descriptions) - then we need to say it's wrong. Say what you will about people being able to live their lives, etc. - but this stuff goes way beyond. And it's not just a few people that were acting as such, there were 400,000 people involved.

What I found to be more disturbing was that the mainstream media didn't cover this event. There was no news of this disorderly conduct anywhere to be found. I wonder why that is? I mean, this isn't Burning Man folks (for those of you that don't know what Burning Man is - don't worry), this isn't out in a desert, isolated from the general populace event. It took place right IN San Francisco. Why weren't the people involved - or the organizers - called to be accountable for this behavior?

Last note. You may or may not agree with the organization that sent out the notice that found me. I can't say I always agree and I actually sent them an email recently for that very reason. On this news item though, there are plenty of included references, and if you're really adventurous you can do a search and find plenty more.

Don't just take my word for it, if you dare, follow the links to find out more. OH, and this is absolutely not safe for work viewing.

Click here to read an article by Kelly Boggs, editor of the Louisiana Baptist Message.

Click here for some pretty shocking photos from the Folsom Street Fair event. WARNING! These photos are EXTREMELY graphic and are provided only for verification purposes only.

Friday, September 21, 2007

TiVo Unbox - The Reason(s) Why I'll Keep Getting DVDs

Hey boys and girls. Long time no post, I know! But, I had an experience so horrible that I had to post somewhere about it. I had to say something. I had to be able to have my opportunity to rant. This is the place!

So, what did I do? I tried to get a free download from TiVo via Amazon Unbox.

Now, to help everyone have context, I've been looking forward to this. I've got TiVo and I love it. Alas, with a TiVo, Comcast OnDemand just never works correctly. It's a real PIA to rent a movie. So, when I heard about the rental feature of Amazon Unbox through TiVo, frankly, I was jacked.

Now, it's time to take advantage of that service. Grab the TiVo and here I go!

First, hey, where's that TiVo Unbox option off the main menu! I mean, after all, one of the great things about TiVo is its software, so easy my (then) 7 year old could use it. Uh, so where is it? It's hidden on a menu off the main menu. So, I've got three clicks to get there. OH, and it doesn't say Amazon Unbox anywhere until you're in the service.

Booooo TiVo. Boooo.

Well, now I've found it, so what next. Hey! I'll just look up what I've got available. Well, that part works pretty well. A good set of different options to choose from including what's new, popular, rental, free and paid for full movie. That's cool. I think I'll download a couple of those preview shows they have for free. Click! BUUZZZZ.

Uh, we're sorry. No sir. You can't download those free items without an account set up. Huh? Why? It's free isn't it? Sure, sure it is, but we're sorry sir, you have to set up an account. Ummm, TiVo my friend, don't you have my account information already? Not to be a nudge or anything, so I hate to remind you, but you bill me every month. In fact, you hit directly against my bank account. Won't that suffice? No sir. You have to set up an account. OK. OK already. I'll set up an account.

Setup Click. Account Click. What? You want me to use the email address and password that I use on the TiVo site? You're kidding right. You must know I have no idea which of my 8-12 email accounts I've used. And I think only God knows which of my 27 different password combinations I've used. TiVo Please tell me you're kidding. No, we're not sir.

Fine. Hmmm. Let's see, I guess I'll check Keychain (Mac OS X's username/password management software). Nope. Not there. Hmmm. OK. Let me check my other browser. FINALLY, I've got it in FireFox. Time to log in.

Move the letter selector. Click. Move, click. Move, click. Move, click. Oh LORD. Move, click.... (you get the idea). First the email address THEN the password. Finally, submit.

Thank you sir. Please enter your Amazon password. No, no TiVo. You have to be kidding right? It just took me 10 minutes to enter my other username and password - never mind the time it took me to find it. Yes sir. We are serious. Please enter your Amazon password. AUGH! (see previous process for password retrieval).

Finally... everything is entered. Yay! Now I can finally download the *free* video. Click, click.

Thank you! Your video is downloading, you can find it in your Now Playing list. We'll start that download anywhere in the next 30 minutes for you. WHAT!!!! Come on TiVo, you've got to be kidding me? Why do you have to wait at all? What? and I have to wait for it to finish downloading before I can start to watch it too? We didn't mention that sir? Uh, no TiVo, you didn't.

Tick, tock. 45 minutes after the download started, which is a blody 1-1 ratio of the number of minutes of the show in the download! (Plus the 15 minutes after I ordered the download I had to wait for it to start) - I finally got to watch it.

Geesh. So, now that I've finally gone through the pain, is it worth it? Maybe. It's no OnDemand. It calls for thinking about what you want to watch at least a couple of hours before you watch it. Was it nice to have on my TiVo where I could use that remote and control it? Yes. WAY better than OnDemand for that - but for me - the jury is still way out. And no extra stuff either. So for me it's still the DVD. That's my $.02. How about you?

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The Conundrum of the Modern MacPhilly

I find myself in a very interesting place politically and socially. A place where it seems I fit into no group.

Here's why...

I am too conservative for both the Republicans and the Democrats, yet far too Progressive (my leanings are Progressive as defined in the early 1900's not Liberal) for the Republicans.

I'm to Libertarian for either party, yet I certainly believe that Government should have a role, responsibility and accountability in the 21st century.

I believe that leadership should be respected. But I also believe that we should question and criticize our leadership.

I voted for Bush (mostly because I couldn't stand the thought of voting for Kerry - I live in MA after all), but also believe he should be impeached.

I empathize with the social ethos of liberals and their desire to touch all people, but also believe that the government shouldn't be involved in all aspects.

I empathize with the principles of a free-market economy, freedom of speech, the bill of rights and the right to bear arms. I also believe that when people violate those liberties should be held accountable.

I don't believe that government should legislate internet content (like porn for example) - but I believe that porn is degrading, demeaning, morally objectionable and injures everyone (including those that view it) that it touches.

I believe that no child should be left behind - but I believe that No Child Left Behind is bad policy.

I believe that teachers should be judged by standards (both siblings are teachers by the way) but don't believe that teaching kids to pass state tests is the way to educate children. (neither do the siblings)

I believe that I should have the option to choose where my children are schooled - without having to pay a premium to educate them out of the public school system. (Note: my kids are home-schooled now).

I believe in a personal and loving God. I believe that his love extends to all people. I believe that all people are created in his image. I believe that God is merciful and forgiving. I also believe that God is just and truthful. I believe that he is holy and has provided standards for us to live by. I believe we'll be held accountable to those standards.

I believe that I'm NOT perfect and that God will judge me along with everyone else. Until then, I believe that I'm responsible to tell everyone I know that God loves them and believes in them - even if they don't believe in him.

I don't believe that all religions are the same, but I believe that I am supposed to love everyone even if they don't believe what I believe.

I believe that greed is bad, but free markets are good. I do not believe that free markets are God.

I believe that no person should be homeless - especially in the US where we have so much.

I believe that no person should be without health care - but don't believe that the government should run universal health care. (talk about VAST inefficiency)

I believe in the freedom of religion - not freedom from religion.

I believe that politicians should have term limits.

What do you believe?

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Pizza - You tell me, is it right?

What Your Pizza Reveals

People may tell you that you have a small appetite... but you aren't under eating. You just aren't a pig.

You are a very picky pizza eater. Not any pizza will do. You fit in best in the Northeast part of the US.

You like food that's traditional and well crafted. You aren't impressed with "gourmet" foods.

You are generous, outgoing, and considerate with your choices.

You are adventurous and independent. You should consider traveling to Thailand.

The stereotype that best fits you is geek. You're the type most likely to order pizza to avoid leaving your computer.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Blowing Kisses to Daddy

So, I come home from work the other day. As I'm walking up the steps to the side door of the house, I hear the little one (17 month old Sophie) chanting "da da, da da". I open the door and most of the family is in the kitchen, and Sophie sees me. So, I smile at her, say 'hi' and she starts walking towards me. Then, as she's walking towards me she starts blowing kisses with the 'mmaa" kissing sound.

Tell me, what daddy on earth doesn't melt with their adorable auburn haired, blue-eyed, porcelain skinned, little baby almost running up to them blowing kisses? Sigh.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

You are the measure of my success!

I have decided to become one of the next "big" internet personalities, because my goal in life requires the scope of reaching thousands and thousands of people.

Part of that goal is to make everyone I come in contact with realize how awesome they are and to motivate them to be the best they can be. To break out of whatever box they're living in and experience new and fulfilling vistas in life.

In order to do that, I need to know what I can do to best serve you. I would like to start with the friends and build. How can I make your life so much better, help you to feel so incredible that you are willing to refer me as a person and persona to your friends? What can I do that will make you so excited? What value can I offer you? Let me know and help me to help you while reaching the world!

The Seminar Cometh! Find your destiny!

Here's the first promo for my seminar. If you're in NE - feel free to stop by!

It's going to rock baby.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Here's an eye opener

Check out this link if you want to know which candidate you agree with. The scary part? Guliani was a -27, McCain -10. Obama was a +2. Ron Paul was the closest with me. Must be the whole kind of libertarian vibe or something.

Monday, July 16, 2007

PhillyMac and the Family Z - Slip and Slide

A lovely video of the kids. Check out Sophie sitting at the end of the slip and slide splashing.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Meet Mi Familia!

Just about all of them. Nice sun-lit video this time!


(Man, isn't my wife just a babe?)

What's your Sunday about?

So, what's Sunday about to you? Is it another day of work? Part of the weekend when you can get stuff done? Is it a day of rest for you? A day that you chill? A day for family? Is it a day of worship? Is it a day when you stop to thank God for everything he's done in your life? Why is that?

For my family, it's a day of worship and it's a day of rest. Yes, many times it's a day when we get to see family too. But first - it's a day of worship. It's a day to get up (almost as early as I do on a week day), get ready, then go with joy up to the house of the Lord. We pack up the kids (no easy feat), head to church early (because my wife and I are both on the worship team) and get ready to party. Yes - party. It's funny. One of the things that I have the hardest thing sharing with people that aren't connected as much into the supernatural realm is that where I go to church, it isn't boring. Anything but. No, church isn't an aerobic workout, we don't have folks swinging from the chandeliers (well, we don't have chandeliers and our ceiling it s good 30 feet high so it would be quite the feat to get there and quite dangerous to swing...). But, you never know what might happen. :-)

You see, where I go, it's not about religion, or formulas. It's not about how you're dressed or who you know - except for if you know God. And knowing God, how awesome He is, what He's doing, where He's going. It's a party because we like to celebrate that all of our burdens (guilt, fear, worry) and our sins (anger, bitterness, resentment, idolatry, and any type of sexual sin) have been taken from us. It's a party because we like to celebrate God's mercy and His grace (his favor that goes out before us), we celebrate what he's given us, what he's done for us. It's a party because we get to celebrate his LOVE. The love that transcends everything else. It's just a time to celebrate Him. And, we'd all be happy to celebrate Him even if we didn't have all the other stuff because He's THAT awesome. Really.

So, Sunday for us is a day of rest. It's rest in God, in taking time to rest in him and his promises. It's a time to thank Him for everything he's done. And, it's also time for rest because God wants us to take a rest from our labor. See - He really is looking out for us.

Some of you may disagree. It's OK. Have at it. Some of you may think I've taken leave of my senses - you wouldn't be the first. Some of you may think that I'm another one of those Christians that's so heavenly minded I'm no earthy good (um, yah, no). Some of you may think I'm a hypocrite (as opposed to a hypogriff). You should ALL think that I'm not perfect - because there's never been a truer statement - it's why I need a savior. Like everyone in my church I'm not perfect, I'm being perfected. I haven't arrived, but I'm on the journey.

Here's what I can tell you. I know what he's done for me. I know where I was before I met Him. I know how I didn't even bother waiting for the weekend - I just was out getting wasted virtually every day. I know I was unhappy, I know I was unfulfilled. I know that I had little wisdom. I know that I was wretched. Really - the word applies. And now that I know I'm not. I know God has made me not wretched anymore. He's removed my guilt. He's given me a hope and a future and a purpose. So, that's why on any given Sunday, you'll find me joyfully going up to the house of the Lord to thank him for what he's done.

So, that's what Sunday is about for me. What about you?

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Play the Game

I'm a life long learner. I'm a voracious reader. I'm always looking for ways to become a better dad and husband. I'm always looking for ways to deepen my relationship with God. I'm always looking for ways to unlock the incredible person I know I was created to be. So, tell me what you've got!

I got the idea here from Chris Brogan but I'd love to know from you...

1. What I can do for you? I'm always happy to make any knowledge that I have available if you ask.

2. What can you teach me? I'm ready to listen to what you have to say... especially if you're someone who's gotten funding for a startup!

I'm ready - how about you?

PS If you want a glimpse of my perspective - CHECK HERE. And if you live in New England - you can come to the seminar FREE on August 12th. Just ping me for more information!

I had to do something a little different anyway...

You'll see what I mean.

Let me know if you want to see it the other way! phillymac [at] Who loves ya!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

MeToday 7/11/07 - Meet the Comic Relief

Here it is. Another video from the homestead. This time my wife provides the comic relief instead of Halle...

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Phillymac and the Family Z

Yup - just chillin' like a villin with the girlitas while Shannie is away.

And yes, I will post a real post again too, but for now, catch me on




Monday, July 09, 2007

Welcome to the Neighborhood!

OK, it's not as good as me with Halle - or maybe just Halle alone, but it is my MeToday!

Have fun!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Saturday, July 07, 2007

The picture I spent three hours on. Geesh.

OK. Here's the original.

Here's the Photoshopped version. Sigh. So much time too.

So, was it worth the effort?

Another day - another Video!

Yup, it's my "metoday" for Hope you enjoy it. The pictures are right above this post!

Love that Bayley!

Friday, July 06, 2007

Meet Chloe - She Likes Bunnies!

Well, you've met Sophie - who's very cute- now meet her adorable (in her own force of nature type of way) sister - Chloe!

History in the Making?

Political Radar is Posting this headline: Ron Paul Tops McCain in Cash on Hand. Are we seeing some history in the making? Can we dare hope?

Check out the article here.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Meet Sophie (she's cute!)

4th of July

I could tell you about it - and I may - but better that I show you. Check out the video!!


Tuesday, July 03, 2007

The Natural

Chloe, age 4, the Natural. "Dad can you turn on the TV for me? And dad, remember, I *love* you."

Really. All by herself. Unreal.

Monday, July 02, 2007


No. iDON't have an iPhone. My contract with Sprint ends in December. I don't feel like paying $350 to get out of the contract ($175 for each for my and my wife's phone) PLUS kick out another $1,200 for two phones PLUS the $129 x2 ($26) for the bluetooth headset). I'm saving for next year after MacWorld when Rev v2 should be out (over 180 days from the initial release).


Sunday, July 01, 2007

Ever want to be a superhero? Now you can be!

Nah - this isn't some theological post, it's really just a cartoon character!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Vacation? Really

Much to my surprise, people want to hear more about my vacation. Of course, the problem is - as with many things - the more time has separated me from my alleged vacation the less I remember. I think, but I'll try.

For instance, I mentioned the ride to finally get to the resort and indoor water park. The fun really started when we got there. Well, fun if you were a kid anyway. Whomever coined the term "family vacation" obviously never had a family. Thus the title of my last vacation post. Why would I say such a thing? Because I HAVE a family and trust me, it was no vacation for me. It was probably less so for my wife. The kids? They thought it was great - but for mom and dad it was "welcome to the Zannini Family Traveling Road Show."

Putting aside the hurting on the family budget that our two days in the fake, indoor Florida sun cost us - let's think of what it cost us in effort. Like, say planning. It's safe to say that two days away with four kids takes about the same amount of primary and contingency planning as one of the Apollo moon missions. Maybe more. After all, NASA only had to worry about three adults and on Apollo they had bathroom facilities built right into the space suits. Not the case for the family in the trusty family van. But boy would that have been nice.

As parents, we all know the drill, the thrill and the dread of the words coming from our little precious treasures "I HAVE TO GO TO THE BATHROOM!" Of course, it's usually said immediately after we've gone past the last exit for 10 miles on a stretch of road where not only is there no rest stop, but the sides of the road either go up 50 feet of blasted rock facing on one side or down 50 feet on the other. The question is - what do you do?

Me - I pray. I think even if I didn't have a religious bent to me anyway, this is a place I would still pray. I'm praying for a lot of things, like for example, the wisdom to understand WHY we just let the kid drink the one liter juice bottle we had packed for her. Or maybe I'm wondering - why didn't we have her go to the bathroom * before * we left the house? I'm also praying that when we got the van we were smart enough to have gotten the seats Scotch guarded. I'm praying for the capacity to become a real life McGyver, and trying to figure out how to build a porta-potty from the baby's portable high chair and the cup-holders from the front of the stroller. Most of all I'm praying that every state trooper for the next 10 miles either falls asleep or has just had someone in a bright red sports car go by them at 100 miles an hour - that way no one will notice the gray Grand Caravan going by at 90 because the kid is now saying "Daddddddyyyy! I hap to go bad!"

Yeah, right. Vacation.

Vista SP1 Delay won't hurt Enterprise - DUH

And why is that you might ask? CAUSE NOBODY HAS IT INSTALLED. Don't just believe my rant - read it for yourself.

Computer World article

Don't Consume before Bed Time - Nightmares May Ensue

Yikes. It just keeps getting scarier.

Will we be a "sweet land of liberty" much longer?

Sunday, June 24, 2007

It's no fluke.

So, Friday we went on a whale watch. This was the picture that was on the white-board in the kitchen when I got down stairs for breakfast. Thus, welcome to an 11 year old's (my eldest Halle's) rendering of a whale watch - and what the whales are doing (yes, that is a disco ball they've hung off the bottom of the boat).

The only bummer is that you don't see part of the picture that was erased by my 4 year old Chloe that showed other whales saying "Let's paaaaarrrrttteeeeeeeee". Unreal that Halle girl. Pictures from the whale watch to come...

Thursday, June 21, 2007

"I met Nick Pedro, I met Nick Pedro"

So, Shanna and the girls went to Wal-Mart the other night to do some grocery shopping (yah, I know it still sounds odd to me too - but it's a Super Wal-Mart so it has groceries) as a quick hit before we got into our busy weekend. While she was shopping Halle (miss "I have to know everything that's going on") spotted Nick Pedro in the store and ran back and told the wife. So, being the rabid American Idol fan that she is - and wanting to mortify her daughters, she stalked him until he was in an aisle that she needed to go down for something. Then, nonchalant and all introduces herself (in this semi-manic) fashion to Nick Pedro, shakes his hand, told him she voted for him all night (not much of an exaggeration) the last night he sang. While this was going on, the girls (smartly) stayed back because they didn't want to really be associated with her. They waved and said hi though. Ah, what celebrity does to normal seemingly level headed people. What a trip - my wife Shanna - Nick Pedro groupie...

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Why I Podcast

People wonder why I take the time to sit behind a mic and do a podcast. They wonder what can make it worth the time I spend away from my family, or I loose in sleep. Well, read the following email (name withheld) and you'll understand WHY I podcast. It's not just me being silly - it's me doing for others what God has done for me.

Phillip, thank you so much for the opportunity to collaborate with you on the Martin Luther Pod cast. I hope i don't get too mushy here but back when I emailed and called you I wasn't holding out much hope for my future as a writer and only sat and listened to pod casts while eating and feeling sorry for myself listening to other people's writing's. Now, thanks in part to you giving me this opportunity, I have been given another chance at my dream and full credit goes to you for putting my name out there in the literary world. You did my script justice and I loved the sound effects, they were perfect! If you want me to collaborate with you on any other biographies please let me know and I will be happy to do them. I cannot wait to hear the next episode of Martin Luther and I am definitely looking forward to Pocahontas and especially Tutankhamen.
Thanks again, God Bless and keep pod casting,

So, any chance I might have to impact someone this way, I'm willing to take a few hours out of my life. The cool thing is, it isn't the first person that has done something because of the podcasts, there are actually two people that started their own podcasts after listening to the show as well. There are others that have sent in recommendations and when I've responded and done one of the proposed subjects have written to let me know how that impacted them - to let me know how it made them feel a part of something bigger - that made them more aware of their capacity to contribute. Really - what else can I ask for? My whole purpose in life is to see people become what God has made them to be. To see them reach out and touch what is possible in God and in their lives. The reason why I podcast isn't just to entertain, it's to reach people. I just pray like the Apostle Paul did - that I may speak boldly that the name of the Lord may be known and lifted up.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

There is no such thing as a Vacation with Four Children - Unless You've Left them with the In-Laws

Well hello all (the three of you that read this blog I imagine). I've returned from "vacation" with the family. And, as the title of the post indicates I think the word vacation is a misnomer at best.

Now, for purposes of full disclosure, the vacation got off to a bad start. Unfortunately we needed to change our plans at the last minute to attend a funeral for my wife's step-brother's wife who just recently passed away due to cancer. And yes, it was not fun, and yes, we'll miss Susan. I will for certain, she was one of my favorite in-laws. But believe it or not, that wasn't the worst part of it. It was the travel.

We live south of Boston (about 40 miles give or take). The funeral was south-west of Hartford, CT. The vacation spot is in Danvers, MA - right on the border (literally) of NH. So, 2 1/2 hours of driving to the funeral, the funeral, grave site, collation afterwards - then 2 - 2 1/2 hours of driving to the resort (with the indoor water park - which was the reason we were going).

You know what it sounded like...

- Dad, how long is two hours?
- Dad, has it been an hour yet?
- Dad, are we out of Massachusetts yet?
- Dad, are we in CT yet?
- Dad, I'm thirsty.
- Dad, can you put on Jonathan Park (a series of audios that the kids are listening too for home schooling that's all science related and very well done...)
- Dad, can you put on Jonathan Park?
- Dad, can you put on Jonathan Park?
- Can we listen to Jonathan Park yet?

That was in the first 20 minutes. And that was the *good* part!

More to come (maybe provided I've sufficiently recovered) later.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The Plight of the Democratic Candidate

No, I'm not bashing Democrats unfairly. This is one place that the Republicans have never been hypocritical. They're richer, they're happy about it and they don't apologize for it. The Dem's on the other hand... not so much. Here's part of an article you can find on John Edwards

"The problem now facing the Democratic presidential candidate is whether the pileup of headlines, including the latest regarding hefty fees from university speeches reported Monday by The Chronicle, threatens to obliterate Edwards' dominant campaign theme. The former senator, who has been portrayed as the champion of the poor and the son of a humble mill worker, now faces the possibility that voters will have a different image: that of a millionaire trial lawyer who talks one way and lives another.

With months to go before the first primaries and caucuses, the growing perception about Edwards highlights a danger of modern presidential campaigns: In the 24/7 media environment, a few maelstroms of unconnected and unexpected headlines and images can quickly gather momentum and morph into a political storm that obliterates even a carefully crafted strategy and message.

"It's outrageous. He's trying to come off as Mr. Populist and Mr. 'I'm trying to help the poor,' and he charges $55,000 for a speaking fee? That's ridiculous,'' says Dick Rosengarten, Los Angeles-based publisher of the California Political Week newsletter. "Combined with the haircut, who's in charge of this guy's campaign? What are they thinking?'' "

And thus the plight of every Democratic candidate - how do we make believe that we really care about the poor - but still enjoy our millionaire lifestyles? (For reference - see my MA senators John Kerry and Ted Kennedy..)

Aww - John, nobody believes you? No kidding!

Monday, April 30, 2007

Overcoming the Pain of Childhood Loss

This was a conversation I had in a chat session today...

Jane: As an animal caregiver, if Malfoy gets lonely, I can Ferret-sit also :P

Phillip: I'll keep that in mind.
though he's usually pretty good left by himself.

Jane: You've trained him well, have you? Better watch it. Heartless Bastahds (editorial note: that's "bastard" to everyone that isn't in New England) become lovable when exposed to animals. Especially injured animals :P. L8r.

Phillip: Not a CHANCE!

Jane: lol!

Phillip: Besides, I had animals as a kid.

I had a pet gerbil named Snooper. Little bastard up and died on me - I was crushed. I was waiting on the steps for my dad to come home so I could take him to the vet because he'd been really lethargic for the past day. I kept thinking - if we could have only gotten there (to the vet), he'd be OK (before he croaked)- or he would have still been alive (after the fact). I was devastated over that little rodent. Never again. Closest thing I have now is my computer mouse - that's all I need thanks!

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Meet Malfoy - My Ferret

Yes, I know, not everyone has a ferret - and I really don't either except for this cute little stuffed one that I have at work. Originally I was going to award people on projects I was the design lead for the "furry ferret" award, but the idea never really worked out. Instead, he's become my mascot.

So, how did he end up with his head wrapped? Well, I sit in an oddly configured cube space at the office - one shared with another person. My cube-mate, who's name is Edi, is a fascinating woman who has a great sense of humor. Thus, one day while I was out getting a root canal (ooo! fun!!!), Edi wrapped Malfoy's head in sympathy. I couldn't help but laugh when I came in the next day.

Of course, since then Malfoy has had various different looks. I've got them all captured and I'll start (with this picture) posting them. I guess it just proves that it's fun to have a ferret.

Oh, and if you're wondering why Malfoy... well, you need to think for a moment!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

The Luck of the Irish?

Check this out...

Sox wearing their St. Patrick's day uni's in late April to honor Red Auerbach . Sure enough, Red's still got it (even though he's dead) and the Sox rally back off of Mariano Rivera to win 7-6.

Only one thing - they look like a bad Christmas tree ornament experiment!

Monday, April 09, 2007

Yahoo! I can fit into my shirt

Yes, I know I promised pictures (and I have them), and I even threatened to start a new blog for this (and I haven't), but I figured I do an update (for both of you that are reading this...)

Good news! I've lost around 6-7 lbs and my waist is down to 39" (don't ask me why I fit in size 34 pants - but I do - and no, they're not all under my belly. Anyway, it's awesome and I'm making good progress. The most fun is the fact that I can fit into a couple of shirts that I got at Christmas and now the buttons don't pull across my tummy! Yippee!!!

I'll keep more coming.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

HA! Take that Viacom - and all the rest of you!

Check out this report on You Tube's traffic. Seems like those copyrighted clips aren't that big of a deal! So, bite me Viacom!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Someone with Everything... and Nothing

Well, the official report is out. Anna Nicole Smith (America's latest obsession that took over the news channels - how sad is that by the way) died from an accidential drug overdose.

No, it wasn't drugs like cocaine or something like that, it was the OTHER nine prescription medications that she was taking that did her in. Medication for pain (serious medication for pain). What pain was she in? What had she done to her body - other that the huge implants that I'm sure massively stressed her back - that would cause that much pain? But, I'm stopping too soon.

It seems that Anna Nicole was also taking a couple of different anti-depressant/anti-anxiety drugs, and had been at least since the death of her son. Of course, being that she just had a baby, I could see something for a couple of days to deal with post-partum - but NOT a couple of weeks for the most part. That just isn't normal.

But we're not done yet. Anna Nicole was also taking human growth hormones - for longevity. Think about that. She was taking weight loss drugs - this a woman who had just had a baby 2 weeks earlier. Folks - that's wrong. Oh, yes, and one of my favorites was the drugs she was taking for alcohol withdrawal. So, hmmm, was she drinking right up till the birth of her baby? I mean if you're still taking the drugs for withdrawal - that makes it a pretty recent event - yes?

And still, there are more contributing factors. For example, Anna Nicole had an abcess in her *butt* from all the shots she was getting. Now boys and girls, I've been in the hospital for surgery. I've gotten so many shots in my butt that they had to flip me over to the other side because they ran out of places to put a needle in. Here's the thing. The abscess didn't form in the past couple of weeks. It indicates long term abuse. Constant shots of whatever kind that she was getting.

Lastly, it seems that Anna Nicole was fighting a fever and some intestinal problems. OK. Is anybody really surprised at this? Considering the massive abuse that this poor woman put her body through - I'm surprised it didn't happen earlier.

Now, am I happy that this poor creature died so young or so suddenly? No. But I also don't think it was sudden either. Anna Nicole Smith was the creation of US popular culture. She was everything that a star was supposed to be. She was beautiful (even without the implants - she was a pretty woman), she was a porn star - now something seemingly idolized by American Pop Culture, she had money, LOADS of it. There was literally nothing this woman wanted for, except one thing. And that's why she had everything - and nothing.

The one thing that Anna Nicole Smith, movie star, paparazzi magnet, millionaire and mother didn't have was something you can't buy. It was peace. She was a woman with no self-esteem. She was lost without the cameras following her. She wallowed in every excess, some to attempt to satiate lust, some to attempt to drown the pain that her lusts caused her. She drank to kill pain, she drugged to stop drinking. She was in pain because of the way she abused her body - she drugged to stop the pain. She was emotionally unstable, and she drugged to find some type of normalcy. Her life rather than being a triumph of a small town girl that made it big - is a tragedy of a small town girl that chose the wrong path that led to her literal destruction.

This ladies and gentlemen is the reason why the tenants of Christianity loom so large in this day. Love. Love for yourself the way God loves you. Abstinence from premarital sex. Moderation in drinking (though some would argue it's even better not to drink at all), and for that matter moderation period. Humility rather than attempting to be idolized. If Anna Nicole had just been able to grasp that God's love for her would help her, that his instruction would benefit her - she might still be alive. Of course, in order for that to happen, someone in the body of Christ would have had to live their life out loud. They would have been able to not be a caricature. They would have had to love - and carry the presence and love of God in a big enough way so that Anna Nicole would have asked about it.

I don't think we did. So, tragedy happened.

A little baby will never know her mother. The mother's life ended prematurely. But we can make it so that the other Anna Nicoles out there don't suffer the same fate. It's not just the famous, it's the people all around us that need us to LOVE LARGE. Don't preach, don't witness, don't where a "top ten reasons to be a Christian button" - LOVE. If we love, people will notice. When they do, love more. They'll ask. Then tell them why you love.

Now go get em.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Free at LAST! Look mom, no hair!

I'm tired as hell, haven't slept the better part of two nights, but I wanted to put this up. Look mom, no hair! Tis true - I shaved it all. :-D No more a slave to resin or anything else! At least for a couple of weeks. I'm going to enjoy it for now, and see how it goes. I'll also see if I can get a picture in the daytime. Something has got to help...

Friday, March 16, 2007

Employment, Fairness and Opportunity

I just got done reading a friends blog a minute ago. I honestly didn't know quite where to start to even begin to respond to her. But before I go on, let me set the scene.

My friend is a bright, loving, funny and intelligent person. She loves computers, she is well read. She's probably taken more college courses than I have - and in subjects that I couldn't pass even if the teacher spotted me 30 points. She also happens to be legally blind (she has sight but requires some pretty serious glasses to be able to see not even quite adequately) and requires a walker (just like the one my mom has) to get around well.

Well, this friend works for people referred to her as a housekeeper as way to supplement her virtually non-existent income from the government. Which, because of what her medicine costs - and because the government covers it, is the place she is currently in.

Awhile back, my friend mentioned to me that she scored a cat sitting gig for someone. So I thought, cool! And I was genuinely happy for her. During the course of our conversation, she mentioned what she was getting per DAY. So I thought, hmmm, that doesn't sound right and I did some quick research. Turns out that what she was making a day is less than what a cat sitting company makes a VISIT. Not a long visit, just a visit. An hour visit is worth even more, and let's just say that the day rate a cat sitting company gets is about 10 times what my friend's rate is. Needless to say, I was flabbergasted. However, I really didn't want to rain on my friends parade. She LOVES animals. She loves to hang with them, groom them, feed them - you name it. Of course, given her experience with most humans, I completely understand the reason why she likes animals. At least the animals don't act like complete A*HOLES to her. But I semi-digress.

Recently, my friend informed me that she was going to be cat sitting again. Of course, I'm happy for her. I'm thrilled really. It's exciting to see that she's doing stuff and that for her, she's got a fairly good gig. But man, the fact that she was only getting what she was getting per day was just PISSING me off. I felt like the people that she was sitting for were taking advantage of her. I felt like it was unfair. And, let me say un-categorically, in my view that hasn't changed. I do; however, have a much better understanding of my friends view - and very possibly her employers view.

To whit, and to be short. My friend's view is that being blind and/or disabled, she constantly gets screwed, employers are willing to get someone else to fill her position in a heartbeat, and she has to take what she can get and be happy. Of course, considering that she is paid cash and her job competition is the huge pool of illegal aliens in the area she lives in, I can see her concern.

The employers (both whom seem to be older, one a senior and the other older than me at least), aren't as much doing what they are doing for their pet as much as they're saving some money AND doing something that benefits their pet. If they can't save money from putting the animals in a kennel - it's not worth it to them. OK. That's their choice. Of course, being older, they have a different view of money too. Like my mom for instance, who thought she was getting screwed because the guy (who did the job as a favor for my brother and worked dirt cheap) was charging her $16 an hour. Yah. Well, my dad never made more than $10 an hour, so you can understand where she was coming from. And while my friend's employers know money better than that - they didn't get houses in the area where they live without doing fairly well for themselves - they still know the value of a buck.

Before I go on to the rest of the story, I also want to say that her main employer treats her very well and pays her pretty fairly as a housekeeper. She pays her hourly - which is great for my friend - rather than by the job, and she pays her at a more than fair rate for unskilled labor (like, a tad more than the roofer got at my mom's house). I want to be clear on that. As far as that goes, it's pretty good.

Back to the rest of the saga. It seems, unfortunately, that my sense of justice and wanting to let my friend know (in my opinion) she was getting screwed caused a major meltdown and threatened to send her into a depression. This was something that I was concerned about, and it was the reason that I approached the conversation so carefully. For example, I didn't say "Hey friend, do you know that you're getting taken advantage of?" It was more along the lines of, "Just checking, but do you happen to know what cat sitting rates in your area are?" Of course, as soon as she saw the rates - she filled in the first sentiment herself, and as I mentioned this caused her a good deal of distress - which of course I never intended. Ah, you know the old saw "the best laid plans of mice and men..."

So, needless to say when I saw my friends blog I was oh, I dunno. I can't say I was upset, because I wasn't. I can't say I was stunned, because I've known my friend for going on two years now and I get how she responds to things. I can say that I was disturbed. Not because my friend was upset, but because how the SYSTEM in general has beat her down and convinced her that she should only take what she can get. Yes, you heard me.

My friend is someone with passion, and in her earlier days she fought the great government dragon for truth, justice and the right way. Hell no, not the American way, who's government do you think I'm talking about? And, during that time she was shat upon. And that my friends is NOT right.


My friend's upbringing was a little traumatic (understatement), and because of that she is still working at "normalizing" her responses and understandings of some of the world. And this is where I think she is having a misunderstanding. In her blog post she ranted about the unfairness of society to disabled people. And, I can't say she is completely incorrect. What I can say is that MY FATHER WAS DISABLED. So, I'm familiar with what that means. True, my dad worked as a disabled person that wasn't acknowledge as disabled until he retired as a disable veteran. So, he didn't have that discrimination to deal with. But you know what? He had just as much discrimination to deal with as any disabled person or person of color, especially being of Italian heritage at the time he grew up.

My dad was discriminated against because he was a filthy wop - as was my mother. Even in the private school my mother went to (no, my grandparents weren't rich, my grandfather was a taylor who worked hard and scraped to make ends meet, but they sent my mom to the local catholic school), they were happy to take my grandparent's money - then treat my mother like dog crap. Unfortunately, in the 1960s it wasn't much different where I grew up. I was picked on virtually my entire grammar school experience because I was Italian. High school I was just picked on because I was short and fat - thankfully I finally fought my way through that crap by my senior year though.

So, here is where my friend's understanding breaks down a bit. I don't think that she realizes what all of us - regardless of race, color or disability - go through to get where we are. In part of her post she talks about her very bright friend who graduated with a 3.9 gpa and got interviewed by the CIA - but was rejected because he was blind. So now he sits living as a ward of the state, in his bedroom, in his parent's house, and eating himself to death. Hang on, let me get the fiddle out.


So, because he was rejected by one agency, by one company, he quit? What's with that? And, so what if he contacted more than one job. Why did he quit? Does he think that any of us - maybe with the exception of some people that go to Harvard or Yale and are born with a silver spoon in their mouth - don't get rejected? Can I tell you how many jobs I applied for before I got my first job in computer science? Or how long I had to wait? And back when I was looking for my first job, there was no internet. There was no virtual market. I went out and pounded the pavement. Company to company. I remember many days going to a city and going in and out of buildings, filling out application after application. Hitting every company in an office tower, and every company I could get to in a particular district. In a suit. During the summer. Carrying around a briefcase. Making call after call. Sending out resume after resume - the old fashion way - by TYPING them and using real paper envelopes. Was it easy? No. Did it work? HELL NO. It took me over a year to get a job and that was only because I had someone I went to school with refer me!

But here's the point. Her friend gave up. He shouldn't have. He should have stayed in touch with people he knew. He should have checked around with them. And here's the thing, I've emailed with this guy (though I didn't know the whole story). He's bright! You know what? With what he knows he can get a job. Sure, he's got special needs (though they can't be much more special than the woman that works where I am that has a guide dog AND a wheel chair because she's not physically able to walk), and yes that narrows his options. But does that mean there is no opportunity? NO. It means he has to work harder to find it. So, to her friend - DON'T GIVE UP. Is it going to be easy? Of course it isn't, but for anything worth it, it rarely is.

Now, as for my friend herself, why does she accept what she does? Simple fear. And she DOESN'T need to have it! OK, so her current employer doesn't want to pony up more dough. Fine. Like I mentioned to her, that's why people jump companies in a career. It's easier to get more money going somewhere else that needs to fill a need than in your current company in many cases. Does she have to give up her job? No! Of course not. But, what she can do is get a camera and take a picture of her sparkling work - then make a flyer!

"Do you want your home to sparkle like this? Call me! 999-555-1212 20 years of experience says I can do it for you too!"

Of course, my friend is limited because she's blind and has to rely on public transit. No problem, when a potential customer calls then find out if they're close to a stop. If they aren't, say thanks but I can't make it - do you know anyone that is near public transportation that might need some help? Bing! There you go, you even get a lead out of it. And, because they're coming to her, she can set the rate she wants - for cleaning or pet sitting.

Of course, my friend is trying to get out of the cleaning game right now. And I'm all for it. She's trying to get qualified to start training people on computers. I KNOW she could do that. Heck, she could do that with her eyes closed and her hands tied behind her back. Hmmmm, of course she does have an advantage in the eyes closed thing...

I still think that my friend has lots of opportunities - especially in the virtual world we live in. As long as she's willing to continue to train herself (like she does), I know that she could do work of all sorts - it's just a matter of believing she can - AND - asking for some help getting started. If there is one thing I've found about my friend it's that she is fearless with anything around a computer or using any software. With a little education, and without the need to replace her income doing what she's doing immediately, she could have some great opportunities to get some work for herself. Will it be easy? No. Will it be fast? No. Will it be worth it if she can sit in her home and make as much money for sitting at her computer as she does for having to shlep all over the metropolitan area she lives in and bust her hump? YOU BETCHA!

So, yes. This has been a long diatribe (otherwise known as rant). I know that what I've said will be looked at as being insensitive or possibly as me just being ignorant. I'll say no to the first, possibly to the second. But you know what? I just know too many people that have achieved so much because they had the right attitude about it. And especially in my friends case - she's got the biggest door opener ever on her side - GOD. And let me tell you, if God can take care of me, he can take care of my friend. And no, it's not all about attitude or positive thinking. It's got nothing to do with the mythical "law of attraction" that is talked about so much in motivational circles (the law of attraction works because the people that are practicing the principle of fixing a goal clearly in their mind and moving towards it are IN MOTION - nothing gets attracted to them - they just get out where they can run into the things that are appropriate for them!) What it is about for her - and me - and maybe you too, is finding out what God has for her. For looking at the gifts he has given her - then being in motion to put those gifts into action.

Oh, one last thing. Is it fair? No. Like I tell my 9 year old all the time when she says something isn't fair - "get used to it, life isn't fair." And it's not.

It's not fair that we live in a land where even if you're disabled, blind or whatever, you still have more opportunity than any other country in the world. It's not fair that my friend who lives on disability wages from the government is STILL getting a wage that is over double the yearly wage in India - in what she makes PER MONTH. It's not fair that we've been born in a country with freedom, with a democratic government, with liberty to speak our minds, with broadband access to the internet, with public transportation that is reasonable. It's not fair that we've been blessed by not living in gulags, that we haven't been disposed of because of our race or disability, that we haven't been put in a caste where we are considered "untouchable." It's not fair that we haven't been wiped out in a genocide, it's not fair that we have so much food, it's not fair that we have clean water to drink, it's not fair that we don't have 93% unemployment like some countries, it's not fair that we don't live under a cruel despot. There is so much that isn't fair that I barely have touched the surface of it - but - I rejoice that I've been blessed and I try to at least live well enough to be a blessing to those that live in circumstances that are not as favorable.

To wrap, I'll say this. There are still going to be people that discriminate. The road will not be easy. I don't have all the answers. God does. He didn't leave his people in Egypt. He didn't leave his people in Babylon. He's not going to abandon us either. Love God, love people, do your best, don't quit. And in all things - rejoice!

Monday, March 12, 2007

NO Kidding: Sun Blamed for Warming of Earth and Other Worlds

This is the literal headline on a story...

Sun Blamed for Warming of Earth and Other Worlds

NO KIDDING. Really? I can only hope that the writer did it on purpose... Here's the link to the article, you decide....

Live Science Article

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Now *THAT* is a cute baby.

Need I say more?

You Know You're Really a Geek When...

You wake up on a Saturday morning because you've been dreaming (literally) of a GIMP vs. Photoshop feature comparison and not having it fully resolved in your dream wakes you. Sad but true.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

It's Sophie's First Birthday!

Yes - this adorable totally cute little baby is now one year old! Hard to believe isn't it? Man, time flies. And yes, she always has had that much hair! (check the picture on 10-10-2006.

I love my baby. Hmmm, maybe we'll have another one...

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Ann Coulter and the Hypocricy of the Media

Listen, I'm not going to say that what Ann Coulter said was polite. It wasn't. And I'm not going to say that I haven't called someone a faggot in my lifetime because it ain't true (for it to be so, you'd have to delete my four years of high school at an all boys school where you called people a douche-bag, faggot or slooon (fat whale) at least half the time) and to say so would be a lie.

Here's a link to the video at CNN

What I am going to say it that the media in general is composed of a bunch of hypocrites. These people say the politically correct thing in front of the camera and they're just as bad as anyone else when they are off the air (camera or mic) as anyone else is. Just look at all the crap they gave President Bush I when he called someone a "chicken-shit" at a time he didn't think the mics were on. Like NO ONE in the media has called someone a chicken-shit or anything else - probably worse - when they were off mic, right?

Again, it wasn't polite. It certainly wasn't PC. But it isn't something that people don't do on a regular basis. To blow it up like this is ridiculous. Ironically enough, I think that the perfect result is coming of it too - the target of the remark John Edwards (whom nobody thinks is a homosexual to the best of my knowledge) is making political hay and campaign $$ out of the whole thing. So, main stream media - stop making believe that your undies are all clean and let's be honest about this. You're just as bad as Coulter, you just don't want to admit it.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Captain - There be whales here!

Well, it was time. Time for me to open myself up for the derision of the masses, for those with whole other people living inside their bodies and longing to be free! Yes, I'm officially a whale. But inside of me somewhere is a slender person that's trying to get out.

I, officially, weigh more than I EVER have in my entire life. I think that I'm around 187-188. (sorry, this bathroom scale is a little variable) Which you may be thinking - that ain't to bad! And I'm thinking - I should be around 155! So, I'm freaking FAT!

Have I always been this way? Hell no! In college I ran cross country. Even at age 43 (just 3 1/2 years ago) I was fit and trim. Heck, last year before I messed up my knee and had to get surgery I was a good 20 lbs or so lighter than I am now. (See picture of me slim here!)

But... A couple of factors have caught up with me. Time (hey, at 46 it don't come off nearly as easy as it goes on - know what I'm talking about?) and lack of time. I have allowed myself to be controlled by all the forces around me, compromised my diet and I haven't worked out. So, it's all my fault. And, therefore, I am taking full responsibility. And now, it's time to fight back!

So, what can I do? I can do what I've always done. Kinda. Here's the reality - at 46 the pounds do NOT melt off like they used to. And, I don't have the time to go out and run like I used to, nor can my body take that kind of pounding anymore. (Ask my chiropractor, he'll tell you). So, I'm going to modify my diet and I'm going to work out. I'm going to take the best of what I've learned in all my years and I'm going to make it work for me. And if you're interested, you can make it work for you too!

What I'm going to do is create a new blog to track what I'm doing. There's going to be a public record of my success on the journey. Why? So that you can have success too! I hope that once you see what I look like now and what I'm going to look like in a few months you're going to be inspired! I'll tell you all my secrets (if I have any) and tricks. If you're interested, come back and find out more!

PS Shortly there will be pictures of my corpulent self here (along with one of me skinny!)

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Huzzah! Another Boy in the Family!

Some brother-in-law I am, geesh. It's taken me almost a month to get this post up. I guess that's what happens when I get stuff at work and it gets lost in the onslaught of work email.

Still, better late than never! So, CONGRATULATIONS to my brother-in-law Daryl and his lovely wife Carla on the birth of their second boy, Cameron, and the second boy on my wife's side of the family! (Her older brother Kyle and his wife Kerri have 2 girls and of course, we have 4)! So, obviously everyone in the family is thrilled.

Enough chatting - now pictures! (PS, the other little boy is my wife's godchild, Colin).

The more things "change" the more they stay the same.

Politicians will be politicians...

Trust NONE of them!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

The Earth is on FIRE!? Then Again, Maybe Not.

Awhile back I penned (ok, virtually penned) that the earth was heating up. Please forgive me - I made the mistake of only trusting the mainstream media feeds (and worse yet - data from the UN) I had been seeing. That is the problem I guess with trusting a group that I have found on the whole rather un-trustable.

So, here is another link for your consideration. I like this one, data - data - data.

Don't get me wrong friends - I believe that we should take care of the earth. I think that the initiatives to get rid of a lot of the fossil fuel burning energy sources is good. Heck, if the tree huggers can create enough fear and social awareness that big corporations actually start doing something now - GOOD! Especially since they should have started doing something 30 years ago. BUT, at the end of the day, I really don't need the fear and the guilt trips to do what I should do. And neither should you, which means that the big companies shouldn't either. After all, aren't we the ones that the big companies are comprised of? If we do the right thing, then at some point other people that will do the right thing should percolate to the top as well, and they should do the right thing.

At the end of the day, it's not who's right, it's what's right. Let's all do what's right.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Me and Swiss Miss

I was just making a bit of "instant mocha coffee" at work. You know, coffee from the burning urn + Swiss Miss. So, I'm looking at the package as I'm making my cup and I see "with CALCIUM." And I'm thinking to myself, man do people have diets that are so deficient now that calcium in your hot cocoa is a selling point? Sad man. I mean, really, how pathetic is that?

Friday, February 16, 2007

To Be 6 Again - The Truth of the Matter

I received this email from my wife this morning...

A man was sitting on the edge of the bed,
observing his wife turning back
and forth, looking at herself in the mirror.

Since her birthday was not far off, he asked
what she'd like to have for her Birthday.

I'd like to be six again, she replied, still
looking in the mirror.

On the morning of her Birthday, he arose early,
made her a nice big bowl of Lucky Charms,
and then took her to Six Flags
theme park. What a day ! He put her on every
ride in the park; the Death Slide, the Wall of Fear,
the Screaming Monster Roller Coaster... everything
there was. Five hours Later they staggered out
of the theme park. Her head was reeling and her
stomach felt upside down.

He then took her to a McDonald's where he
ordered her a Happy Meal with
extra fries and a chocolate shake.

Then it was off to a movie, popcorn, a soda pop,
and her favorite candy,
M&M's. What a fabulous adventure ! Finally she
wobbled home with her
husband and collapsed into bed exhausted.

He leaned over his wife with a big smile and
lovingly asked, Well Dear,
what was it like being six again ??

Her eyes slowly opened and her expression
suddenly changed.

I meant my Dress Size, you dumb ass !!

The moral of the story: Even when a man is
listening, he is going to get it wrong.



To which I replied...

Harrumph! The only thing I have to say about that is that it was typical that the female didn't clearly state what she thought "I'd like to be A six again" and even though the husband did everything he could to try and respond to what he perceived his wife's wishes were, he still ends up getting vilified in the end.

Now, could somebody bring me a drink and the remote?


To which my thoroughly enlightened wife replied...

Blah, Blah, Blah.


HA!! Isn't it typical.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Attack of the Germs - The Joys of Parenting

Man. February has been one *itch of a month. It started with Chloe then Sophie coming down with the 24 hour puke your brains out bug - on back to back days. Which, if you have a child you know also equates to back to back nights - with little to no sleep. Then (even though this isn't a germ and it's not about parenting) Shanna got all four wisdom teeth out on the same day and was totally wiped out for a couple of days. Hmmm, come to think of it, there is some parenting in there and ANY of you that have a spouse know that when they are sick (yes, even you too women!) that they're like one of the kids. Of course, I'm happy to do stuff for my honey - including telling her to park her butt and rest. Damn that woman can be stubborn. Of course, she'd need to have some serious constitution to live with me in the first place.

Moving on. So, Shanna just starts to recover on Friday when we notice that Bayley (the almost 9 year old) has crashed out on the sofa in the middle of the day. Oh yah, we noticed that because she only had the energy to freak out a little when Shanna had to call 911 because the baby started choking up blood in the middle of the day. Yah, 911. That was interesting. I was at work, but it was quite the scene from what I heard. No worries, baby is as right as rain. But man that scared the *hit out of us I'll tell you.

Anyway, Bayley crashing mid-day is something that doesn't happen. Saturday, she starts with the puking. And she's nothing like Chloe and Sophie. Poor kid just pukes every hour for 24 hours straight. I was exhausted just taking care of the poor thing. Sunday she finally stopped throwing up, but she was still really hot. We were ready to bring her in - but being that she stopped throwing up and some IB cooled her down, we figured we were out of the woods. Thing was, she was still off her feed - the kid wouldn't eat. This persists through Monday and into Tuesday. Shanna was starting to get upset because she hadn't had the equivalent of a piece of toast since Sunday. Then, Bayley starts spewing again and Shanna takes her into the pediatrician. Hey! We think she's got appendicitis! No fracking way. It was odd, but it wasn't presenting the way the doc thought it should, so he gave her a shot to stop the puking. She came home, slept a little and began to feel fine. Wednesday morning - she actually eats. Yea! Wednesday evening - sorry, my tummy feels weird, has 2 bites of dinner - doesn't even ask for desert. Rut ro.

So now, Wednesday night, we're wondering - do we take her in for the cat-scan? Ah the joys of parenting. Up all night, cleaning up puked on floors, bleaching out buckets that have been puked in at night, dragging kids to doctors, calling 911 and having fire trucks and police cars turn up. Man, what a gig. Of course, the flip side is great. I got hugs all day long on Valentine's Day from my posse of chiquitas!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

And there was MUCH Rejoicing!

Our good friends Steve and Rece just finished the adoption process for these two beautiful little girls. The process was long (5-6 years) because of all the corruption in the system they had been in. But boy, was it worth it. My wife Shanna and I are completely thrilled for all of them. We know those girls are getting great parents (heck, we'd let Steve and Rece take care of our kids if anything happened in a New York minute), we know they'll love their new home. We also know those two girls are going to be totally loved AND they won't be spoiled. The Bible says to rejoice with them that rejoice. Well, we're rejoicing and we're glad the two girls are here to stay. Congrats Steve & Rece!

Monday, February 05, 2007

Heard as the Kids were Singing

For whatever reason the girls were singing
Christmas songs today while they were
Moving some books onto a bookshelf
That had been moved.

During their Christmas medley they
Started singing Rudolph the Red Nosed
Reindeer. Of course, kids have a
Particular way of singing everything and
In this case it's by adding little comments
In during the breaks of the song.

Ex: Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
Had a very shiny nose (like Pinocchio)
And if you ever saw it, you would even
Say it glows (like a light bulb!)

So, eight year old Bayley is singing
the lead with 3 year old Chloe providing
The comments. All I have to say is please
Refer to a previous post on Chloe singing.
Anyway, here's how one spot came out.

Verse: All of the other reindeer, used to
Laugh and call him names (Yippee!)

Sigh. Is this in any way an indication that
I'm just not doing a good job raising my
Child? Have I somehow gone wrong?
Nah, she's just a bossy and cheeky little
Blighter she is!

Saturday, February 03, 2007

The Inadvertant Creation of a Porn Star?

Shanna, Halle, Chloe and I were sitting in the kitchen. Me on my work laptop, Halle was on her BlueBerry iBook (thanks again Mark!), Chloe was being Chloe, doing different stuff and Shanna was doing some cleanup.

While Shanna was pouring some cleansing agent from the big bottle to a smaller spray bottle she accidentally tipped the bottle to much and spilled some on her shirt - thus had to take it off. Stay calm here people - besides, this isn't the funny part yet.

Moving on. Shan was lamenting that she didn't have a shirt downstairs and the baby was sleeping upstairs in our room. So, she was in fact walking around half naked (again, calm down, she was in a bra). Anyway, as she was going to put her shirt in the laundry, she made the off handed comment that she was nakdid! (a Chloe-ism for naked) But, not like she had a hot body or anything ;-) To which (here's the punchline...) Chloe replies - "I've got a hot body I need to get nakdid!"

And thus ladies and gentlemen, in 10 seconds Shanna completely ruined 11 years (starting with Halle) of character building, teaching the girls purity and it's benefits. Yikes. Scary how fast kids will catch on to the things you DON'T want them too.

And NO - Chloe is not going to follow that career path! But we're certainly going to be more careful with our word selection now - aren't we.