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Saturday, January 31, 2009

Bad News Dogs

A quick update again, since I really have nothing exciting to blog about.

Rachel and I had our taxes done on Wednesday. We are getting a high amount back again this year, but not the same amount as last year. So, after making a list of what we owe, it appears that it may be a bit longer before I can afford that Pro Account on Flickr. But who knows, business may pick up in the coming weeks. But if someone wants to give the gift of a Pro Account to me, I would really appreciate it.

As you probably read in one of my Twitters earlier this week, Rachel's friend and co-worker may be moving in the coming months. Where to is not clear at the moment, but he knows that where he will move to, they may not allow dogs. So, since Rachel and I have thought about getting another dog, we gave it a trial run for a couple of days with his dog to have it stay here at our place to see if we could handle two dogs, to see if our dog Ginger would get along with her, and to see how she would behave around the girls. I'm glad it was not a permanent situation, because two big dogs in this small house felt like it was just way too much for Rachel and I. The dogs loved to play with one another and she did not harm or frighten the girls once... In fact, the girls loved having her around. I was in bed sick most of Tuesday when she first came over, so I was told by Rachel that the girls were giggling and laughing a lot at this new dog when they thought she was being funny. But we knew it wasn't the right time for another dog. Someday, but not now. (Ginger, our dog, is the black nosed dog. Hailey (if that is how you spell the other dog's name) is the one with the red nose-- And do you know how hard it was to take this picture?!?!?!)

Oh... And one more thing...
I will be posting these pictures and writing an blog entry about how to prevent this on my business blog later, but I thought I would show you here what happens when you let your computer(s) go and you do not clean it out.

The story is that I picked up a customers computer on Friday (1/30) and brought it back to my place to repair it. I always blow out the dust inside with canned air for the customers so the computer will not get so hot and be sluggish while I work on it. But what I saw when I opened the side panel was disgusting. So walking back into the house, I said to Rachel, "I have to take pictures of this..." because I have never seen one so terrible.



I tried to use canned air, but I knew I was going to be there for a while and wasting a lot of canned air... So Rachel said, "Use the leaf blower." It was not a bad idea. So I did, and any dust bunnies or dust buffaloes that were not budging from the canned air, were being blown out of very tight spots that I didn't know of or forgot to blow.

But I must warn anyone and everyone out there who do not know what they are doing-- DO NOT USE A LEAF BLOWER!!! I only did it because I knew what to do, where to blow in and how far away to use the blower. If you want to clean out your computer, use canned air or a little foot pump (ones use to blow up inflatable items-- which is better for the environment). If you use something else that is more powerful, and it damages your computer or any hardware-- I am in no way liable for your damage. I only did this so I could bring the computer into the house so I could work on it. But I will write more about this in my tech blog later.

So that is all for now... OH! I guess this is the last thing. I am still working on editing the video of the girls and everyone opening presents on Christmas morning, but I will have to post two versions: A REALLY trimmed down 10-minute version to post on YouTube, and a 20-40 minute version that will be trimmed down of the original 60+ minute footage that was taken. Instead of having you watch the longer version on my site, I will allow you to download it so you can pause it and do what ever you want with it so you do not have problems trying to watch it on my site... And that is all...

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

What's Going On...

Just a few things I want to write about really quick.

First, my business is slowly picking back up after a very slow start this new year. Also, Rachel and I will be having our taxes done today. I'm hoping that we get enough back on our tax rebates to pay off our bills that we are both behind on, and to have a little money left over so I can purchase the Flickr Pro Account so I can start uploading pictures for everyone to view.

I decided against making people fold on my folding@home to see any new pictures that I post, but some pictures of my girls will not appear to everyone. Everyone who has a Flickr account and ask me to be their friend on there, I'll assign you as 'Friend' or as 'Family'...and only Family will be able to see those hidden pictures of the girls (mainly for privacy issues). Even if you don't have a Flickr account, you will still be able to browse pictures on Flickr, but you will not be able to view any of my hidden pictures until I add you as 'Family'.

Next; While bored the other day, I was searching my name on Google (it's quite fascinating what you will find when searching your name-- You should try it). I stumbled across a thread my dad views and writes on about cars, and he posted a couple of pictures of the tail gate to his recent restored vehicle. I guess because the garage door at my parents place blocks my view of the tail gate, I couldn't see it. But this is what he put on there...

Don't worry, that is my dad's picture. Even though it was posted on SuperMotors, I saved it to my computer and then uploaded it onto my server. So relax, I'm not a bandwidth/picture hog.

Also while searching my name, I found Jessica's obituary on Deseret News's website. The poem in the obituary, I wrote that.

One more thing before I go to bed. I just want to remind everyone about my new tech blog. It is up, and I have been trying to post as much as I can at least once a day... But with me being sick, I have not been able to post anything. I do have plenty to write about, but it's kind of hard to write sideways on my laptop while laying in bed. Remember, if you have a tech question, feel free to write me at blog@istgeorge.com and ask me. If you don't want people to know you wrote it, that is fine. Just tell me to mark it as anonymous. So far, no one has asked anything, so I am having to come up with other things to write about. to keep it up to date.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Moving to Flickr

Although it has not been a week since I asked that question about using Flickr, I only heard back from a couple of you who follow me on Twitter. I was hoping to hear from a few followers of my blog, but I guess people just skim blogs now of days looking for only pictures and videos, instead of actually taking the time to read them.

Well, since I did not hear back from anyone who reads my blog, I went ahead and started to upload pictures onto Flickr. But within no time, I had already hit 67% of the 100MB limit upload per month. Plus, you can only see the last 200 pictures that I have uploaded onto the site. So I am just waiting until I get some green to pay for the Pro account ($24.95) before I continue uploading the rest of the photos. This will allow me to upload as many pictures as I want, create more that the limited 3 sets of photographs, and can allow everyone to view all the pictures that I upload. But since January has been a very slow month for my business, it looks like it will be a while before I can get that Pro account. But if anyone wants to help me out, you can give the Gift of a Flickr Pro Account.

I originally wanted to use Flickr to upload all the pictures that I have already posted on my Photos page, and any new pictures that have been taken since August 2008 (especially of the girls) since it takes me such a long time to create a single photo page on my website the old fashion way (1-3 hours). Plus, I plan on moving all the picture I have taken with my cell phone onto Flickr once I can. So that will do away with the Mobile page. Another reason why I am using Flickr, is that I can post a description to each picture, mark/tag where it was taken, you and I can both add tags, anyone with Flickr account (free or pro) can write comments (like Rachel, Garin or I have...), or even post Notes above the pictures itself (here is an example). Plus!!! Everytime we go on vacation or do something exciting, I can upload the photos within a few hours (of that event, and if I have an internet connection), I can also give them a title and then send a Twitter letting everyone know that there are new picture on Flickr... Huh? Not bad, huh?

So remember, if you give once a month, won't you think of me next time.........

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Flickr

My good friend Garin2010 just created a Flickr account. This has got me thinking.

Should I...
A) Pay the $24.95 fee for the annual Flickr Pro Account so that I can post all my previous pictures that I have posted on my Picture page at once which everyone can view for free. Then I could then post any future pictures (including ones that I have been meaning to post) for any one to view as long as they are folding or make a small monthly donation. This way, people can post comments, tag pictures, and even order pictures. Plus, the pictures on this pay account can be viewed from small to very large; or...
B) Post what I can to Flickr each month using the free account (100MB a month, so 25 to 100 pictures a month). The free account can be viewed by anyone, but the pictures can only be viewed in small size (according to Flickr); or...
C) Just keep doing what I have been doing since I started my website and post pictures to only look at when and if I can ever get around to it?

Let me know by next Tuesday, January 20th, because I would really like to post more pictures. I would like post them on Flickr, but if I don't get feedback, I won't waste any time and keep it the same... Thanks!

I'm With the Band

I thought that I would take a small break from writing about Windows 7 and post another short video of me playing Rock Band on Christmas Eve. I asked my dad if he would record me to show everyone that I can and do play video games, even though I suck at it and that I would prefer to do other things with my time.

I know that I suck, so I do not need to hear about it (hence the blocked comments). I know I was playing against a tween, but I have to give her more credit since she had to play more notes than I did. Even though the family was having a contest and I won that round, I ended up giving her my spot in the next round since my twin girls were getting fussy that night and we had to head home a little earlier than everyone else.


Sunday, January 11, 2009

Update Time

Just my usual updates for my blog since I do not want to write multiple one line blog updates:

1) I have installed the beta version of Microsoft Windows 7 on my desktop... This way, I can show everyone what it looks like, ease of use, new features, compatibility and other items I can post about the new OS. I have to install this beta version from scratch on my desktop. So in case something goes wrong, I still have the laptop to keep in touch.

2) Not only do I post videos on my blog to play in the Windows Media Player (both on Windows and the Mac OS with a plug-in), but for those who have a Mac (and iPhone and iPod touch), I will be posting videos on my blog to play in the QuickTime Player. I am still experimenting with this idea to get it working right before I post my next video.

3) Why didn't anyone tell me that the videos were not working. I posted the wrong code on the other blog where I post the videos. I fixed it now, so you should be able to watch the past 3 videos... If anything is not working, let me know.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Christmas Eve

As your read in The Holidays - Part 2, we went over to my aunt and uncles house to celebrate the holidays with the family (on my dad's side). Well, I took video and here it is. The first part of the video is of my cousin Zach who was dared to put on an elf suit (in the flesh). Oh, everyone loved that as you can just hear my family laughing in the background.

The second part of the video is of most of my family telling what they did to Pay it Forward this holiday season. I tried to record everyone telling their stories, but because of multiple reasons, I had to trim some of the video out and to trim it down to 10 minutes.

The part that I was hoping to get in the video is of my cousin Charley (who it states on the PiF website is the one who donated the PiF wristbands) telling everyone about how many e-mails he has received so far from random people who have received a wristband and had something nice done for them. There was another part about how he paid for the items for person behind him at a convenient store. That person was a reporter who wanted to do a big cover story about this PiF program and the convenient store. The owner of the convenient store refused to let them partake in being involved because he said that "if word got out of this happening here [at that convenient store], people will come here and be expecting that kind of goodness"... Which is a good idea now that I think about it. For example, you are told great things about a business (say a restaurant) from someone else, you go there expecting that same type of service, are not treated the same way and you never go there again-- The business would lose business later on because of that.

To tell you the truth, at first, I did not want to partake in this Pay It Forward with my family. I thought it was just another task for me to do... But now that I have done it, I can't wait to get more wristbands next holiday season and to have the girls help me hand out more gift cards to strangers. I know-- I know. I don't have to wait for the wristbands or for the holidays seasons to do something nice... I plan on doing nice things all year long. It does make you feel good...

Well, here is the video. Sorry to blabber on like that.


Monday, January 5, 2009

The Holidays - Part 6

On Sunday, December 28th, Rachel and I packed up some clean clothes for our little trip out to Wendover for the night. We packed up my parents truck to use it for the drive out there (better gas milage). Well, while we were sitting on the couch waiting to leave, the girls went to look out the back window at my dad in the backyard, so we booked it out of there so they wouldn't be upset when they saw us leave the house.

We took off from my parents house and decided to get something to eat for lunch (even though it was 5PM) at Super Salad. I don't care what anyone says, Super Salad is much better than Sweet Tomatoes by far! After that, we headed on our way out to Wendover for the night.

On the way out there, the sun was just setting. So at the next rest stop, I pulled in quickly and took a couple of pictures. Well, we made it out to Wendover shortly after night fall. Checked in, got ready to go out on the game floor and have a little fun with Rachel (she's my good luck charm).

After playing some of the slots, I finally found a Money Storm machine that was available. Sat down, started playing it. Rachel, not much of a gamer, started playing the machine next to me. She tried putting her players card in, but it wouldn't take it. She then noticed that the person sitting there before, left $27 in the machine. I told Rachel to cash out and to play it after putting in her card. She played it, and lost it all since she had no idea what the game was about (I didn't either) and then sat there while I was still gaming. Well, an employee of the casino came up to Rachel and asked if she was Rachel. She said yes, the lady then asked if she played that $27? She said yes, and the lady said that is illegal since "the money wasn't hers (it belonged to the person before her)". As long as Rachel could pay it back (which we could and did), there wouldn't be any charges pressed against her... I'm sorry, I see this "finders keepers, losers weepers". So if you ever sit down to play a slot machine and there is money left in it, cash it out before placing your players card and money in that machine.

Well, that ruined Rachel's night. Looks like we won't be staying at the Peppermill again... "Ruining your fun, at your expense." After losing my money ($50) later on, I decided to call it quits on the slot machines... For good! (This is my New Years resolution... Except for card tables, which I have never played on before... so I am good.)

Went back to the room to decide what we wanted to do. We were getting hungry, so we went down to their restraunt and took a seat. Since we were not given or asked what we would like to drink, plus the prices on each item was incredibly expensive; we got up after after waiting 5 minutes, left and drove over to Pizza Hut. Ordered our own Personal Pan pizzas, and came back to the room to eat. After dinner... Well, lets just say I'm trying to keep this blog "family-friendly"---- so, uh, we went skiing! There, I said it. You happy? ; )

Monday, December 29, 2008
In the morning, we had to be out of there by 11AM. Got ready for the day, packed up our stuff, and checked out. Another longer story short-- don't stay at or visit the Peppermill, ever!

Went to McDonalds for breakfast, but they were then serving lunch. So we had to get something to eat at Smith's grocery store. After getting breakfast, we then headed back to Salt Lake. Got back home, and the girls were happy to see us.

All I remember about the rest of that Monday is that Rachel and I had a spaghetti dinner with my mom, dad, the twins... and Snickers (the family dog). Then I helped Rachel's sister, who stayed a couple nights at our place and was watching our dog Ginger, fix her computer while she was in St. George and I was still in Salt Lake

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Stockings! Stockings! Stockings!

Before you start reading, I need to explain some stuff first.

The video below was filmed on December 22nd, 2008, the day before the blog entry "The Holidays - Part 1" takes place.

Because we were heading up to Salt Lake for the holidays, we had to do everything earlier in St. George last year. So instead of seeing what was in our stockings the night before Christmas (like Rachel's family does and has done for years), we had to do it on December 22, because we were having the family Christmas Eve party on December 23rd. Confused? Don' be... Just sit back, relax and enjoy the video.


Saturday, January 3, 2009

The Holidays - Part 5

You will have forgive me on a couple of things before I start writing. First, it's been a few days since I have been able to blog because it's been hectic around here. Second, because it has been hectic, my mind is trying to focus on the future, and so some of the small/fine details about the past are slipping. But I will do my best to tell you all that I can, so here it goes...

Saturday, December 27th, 2008
I think I slept in that day, but what I do remember is that this was date night number 2. We had plans to go The Gateway Mall the night before, but we ended up going this night instead. We had plans to go to dinner and then a movie.

We arrived and parked on the north-end parking lot (trying to park under ground was not an option with all the traffic). Went into the shoe store and then I went into the Apple Store to buy new earbuds with a microphone for the iPhone, so I could make phone calls using my iPod touch, Wi-Fi and an app called Truphone (for the touch). The app is like Skype, but Skype hasn't created one, so I downloaded this free one instead. This way, if I am out in BFE and I can't get a signal for my cell phone, or I forget my phone while in town, and if I can find a open Wi-Fi, I can make an outgoing call. Plus, I can use the iPhone app Shazam to find out what the title and artist of a song is (but I need wifi for that to work as well).

After making a couple of calls from my iPod, I headed up to the upper level to Lane Bryant, where Rachel was at, picking out new clothes because my parents gave her a gift card to that store for Christmas. Thank goodness I had my iPod to play games on because I had to sit and wait for Rachel to try on clothes. I feel bad for the other guy, he had nothing. Ouch!

After Rachel found what she wanted, we made a quick stop into a kids clothing store that was on the second level as well. Then while heading over to California Pizza Kitchen for dinner, we purchased our movie tickets to the movie Bedtime Stories. Since we wanted to get to the 8 o'clock show, and because there was a 30 minute wait for 2 people at CPK, we walked over to Jason's deli. After we ate there, we walked back over to the theater and watched the movie.

Once the movie was over, we walked all the way back across the mall in the 20-30 degree coldness. We used the parking vouchers my aunt gave me after working on the computer (sorry, Rachel and I are a couple of cheapo's an I am not paying $7 to park for the entire time we were there), and headed back to my parents by dragging State Street in the family mini-van. Oh yeah! But because it was cold out, we stopped at 7-11 for hot chocolate, made it back safe, and then went to bed.

This Is Jessica...

Last month, I told you about my sister Jessica. I also said that I would try to scan and post a picture of her while I was up in Salt Lake during the holidays...

Well, I forgot.

So the other day I asked my brother to scan and e-mail me any picture. I had forgotten about this picture. This was taken, I believe, in June 1998. The little boy in Jessica's arms is her son (and my nephew) Daniel. He was about 5 month old in this picture, if I am saying the correct date of when this picture was taken. In a week, he will be 11. Wow! I'm old!