Tuesday, December 29, 2009

LG Chocolate Touch

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of LG Chocolate Touch. All opinions are 100% mine.

It wasn't that long ago, that your cell phone could do one thing, and one thing only. Make and receive phone calls. If you wanted to do anything else while on the road, it usually required a separate device. Sending and receiving text messages required some sort of pager. If you wanted to listen to music, you needed to carry a radio, walkman, or MP3 player around. Surfing the web, fuggetaboutit, you were tied to a computer.

Let's face it. We are living in a technological wonderland these days. Our cell phones can do more and more every day. My current cell phone, like a lot of the newer phones, can do a lot of things, but it can't do everything. I still have to carry around a couple of devices, like my iPod, to do everything I want. Now though, the folks at LG may have a complete all in one device in their LG Chocolate Touch.

The LG Chocolate Touch is designed with the music lover in mind.  It comes with Dolby Mobile equalizer technology.  Anything with Dolby sound just makes music sound so much better.  There is 1GB of internal memory that is devoted to store about 500 songs.  You can also expand the memory to 16GB with a Micro SD card.  I have a 60GB iPod that currently has 5000 songs on it that would easily fit on a 16GB card on the Chocolate Touch.  It also comes equipped with an FM tuner with song ID, and the handset vibrates and displays visual effects to the beat of the music.

Another neat feature of the Chocolate Touch is a one touch social networking making it easy to connect with all your friends on Facebook, My Space, and Twitter.  The phone is equipped with a 3.2 megapixel camera capable of both still photography and video.  You can take photos in four different resolutions and can edit the images in the phone.  The Chocolate Touch also comes with full internet capability and produces high quality mobile media, text, pictures, and video.

I currently have about a year remaining on my current contract with Verizon Wireless.  The LG Chocolate Touch is available through Verizon, so when I am able to upgrade to a new phone, I will have to check out the capability of the LG Chocolate Touch, if only for the music player capability.

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Sunday, December 27, 2009

Music Monday-Jimmy Buffett "A Lot to Drink About"

I took advantage of one of the gift cards I received for Christmas to buy Jimmy Buffett's new CD- "Buffet Hotel."  The last track is called "A Lot to Drink About."  With everything going on in the news, we certainly do.  Fortunately Buffett debuted the song at his Margaritaville Cafe in Key West and it was there on YouTube for us all to enjoy.

Come join Music Monday and share your songs with us. One simple rule, leave ONLY the actual post link here. You can grab this code at LJL Please note these links are STRICTLY for Music Monday participants only. All others will be deleted without prejudice.

PS: Because of spamming purposes, the linky will be closed on Thursday of each week at midnight, Malaysian Time. Thank you!

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Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Day After Christmas

Well it is the day after Christmas.  Time for everybody to hit the malls to exchange the gifts they didn't like and to use those gift cards.  I ventured out this morning to cash a check and to hit Best Buy to try to get the new Jimmy Buffett CD with a gift card I received.  Unfortunately they did not have it in stock.  Even if they did have it, I don't know if I would have had the patience to wait in the long line.

As I left the house, I noticed that nearly all of the snow from last week was gone.  Temperatures are a bit warmer this week and it had been raining most of the night.  I am particularly grateful for the warmer temps because the weatherman said we had over an inch of rain.  Had it been snow, we would have had another foot of snow.

The thing that was most enjoyable about our Christmas was how peaceful it was.  There was no music blasting next door and there was barking dog out back.  I guess our neighbor was celebrating the holiday with family or friends and had been away.  About an hour ago, I started to hear a dog barking.  I looked out the front window, and sure enough, our neighbors car is back.  Yep, Christmas is officially over.
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Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas Everybody!

Here is wishing everyone out there a very Merry Christmas.  I hope that you and your family have been able to spend the holiday exactly the way you want it.  For me that meant getting up early so my son could open his presents, taking him to visit both sets of grandparents, and being home early enough to watch "A Christmas Story" two or three times.  The rest of the day will be spent relaxing, though I may venture out a little later to pick up a little Chinese food for dinner.

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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Is Santa Too Fat?

It is Christmas Eve, and Santa Claus has begun the arduous journey around the globe to deliver presents to all the good girls and boys. Once again the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) is tracking Santa's progress at the Official NORAD Santa Tracker.

So, Santa has a busy day ahead of him.  I know how tired I feel after flying a few hours in an airplane.  I can't imagine how tired Santa will be from driving his sleigh for 24 hours straight.  For myself, I probably would feel better after my flights if I were in better shape and more than a few pounds lighter.  Santa is a bit more corpulent than I am, and would probably benefit from losing some tonnage.

But would we want him to?  I was driving into work this morning and listening to Grandy and Andy on the radio.  They were discussing a recent story about a group called Santa America who is trying to encourage their members to lose weight and embrace fitness.  With the obesity epidemic in thsi country, they want Santa to be a good example for children.  The president of the organization states that his goal is to reduce the size of Santa Claus by 25%.  They even want those Santas that are in shape but wear padding to give the appearance of a rotund Santa to stop wearing the fake fat. 

For those not familiar with Grandy and Andy in the DC radio market on WMAL630, Grandy is Fred Grandy, former GOP Congressman from Iowa, a vegan, and actor best known for playing Gopher on The Love Boat.  Andy is Andy Parks, a 50-something, conservative who could probably fill out a Santa suit without the need for padding.  Parks' take is that it is just another case of political correctness gone too far, while Grandy (the vegan) thinks it's a good idea.

Callers into the show were kind of a mixed bag.  There were a few folks calling in that pointed out that the original St. Nicholas has traditionally been depicted as a tall, slender man with a long coat.  Other callers agreed whole heartedly with Parks, some even stating that they felt it was just another example of the constant attacks against our traditions.

I do not want to disparage the work of the group Santa America.  They do a lot of good things.  Nor do I want to minimize the problem of obesity.  However, I tend to come down on the side of wanting to see a belly on Santa, even if it is fake.  I will probably have to leave out a couple extra cookies for Santa tonight, and maybe an extra large glass of egg nog. 

Monday, December 21, 2009

Music Monday-Jerry Reed "Please Come Home For Christmas"

I would have liked to have found The Eagles version, but Jerry Reed does a pretty good job of Please Come Home For Christmas.

Come join Music Monday and share your songs with us. One simple rule, leave ONLY the actual post link here. You can grab this code at LJL Please note these links are STRICTLY for Music Monday participants only. All others will be deleted without prejudice.

PS: Because of spamming purposes, the linky will be closed on Thursday of each week at midnight, Malaysian Time. Thank you!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

I Hate Snow

Mother Nature has blessed me with a rare Saturday night off.  No pizza delivery this evening as everything is shut down.  It is kind of a shame because I really could use the money, but even if the pizza palace was open tonight I don't think I would be going anywhere.  We have had 14 inches of snow so far and it is still coming down.  This was the scene from my front door a few hours ago.

I went out about an hour or so ago to start the process of digging out.  There is now a path that I can walk from the house to get to the cars.  Tomorrow morning I'll work on car #1 and car #2 in the afternoon. I have decided that I am too old for this shit. It made me wonder what happened to all the young bucks with strong backs who wanted to help out their neighbors.  I guess it could be worse.  My parking spaces are situated so that when the plow comes through, I only get a small pile of snow pushed up in front of my space.  I feel sorry for these neighbors who got a big pile blocking them in their space.

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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Neighbor or Nuisance

We live in a townhouse here in Bowie. The problem with townhouses is the close proximity to your neighbors. As a general rule, I want to be a decent neighbor.  At the very least, I want to let my neighbors be and respect their rights and space.  At the same time, I would expect them to be considerate of mine.

Being in a townhouse, I do not reasonably expect that I would never hear anything that goes on next door.  For instance, there have been times when I have heard people running up the steps next door.  Other times, you can hear the stereo blasting next door.  It is reasonable to hear a little bit of it, it is not reasonable to feel the walls vibrating, or to hear it late at night.

There is one neighbor that I am having a rather difficult time with of late.  It is a fairly young guy, or group of guys that are renting the house next to us.  There are a couple of issues with these guys in regards to noise.  First, is the music.  The other day, I came home from work a little before 7pm.  For nearly two hours, the stereo was blasting to the point where I had a hard time hearing the TV in the room I was sitting in.  I went next door to ask the guy to turn the music down and I could still hear it for another half hour.

They also have a dog.  They put the dog out on the deck for hours on end.  The dog will sit outside and bark for an hour or more.  I have had to go next door at 11pm to ask them to bring in the dog that had been whining for over an hour underneath my bedroom window.  According to the City of Bowie code,
Public nuisance animal shall mean any animal which unreasonably annoys or threatens humans, endangers the life or health of other animals or persons, which reasonably causes offense to human senses, or which substantially interferes with the rights of residents, other than its owners, to enjoyment of life or property.
The term “public nuisance animal” shall include, but is not limited to, any animal which:
(6) Excessively makes disturbing noises, including but not limited to, continued and repeated howling, barking, whining or other utterances, causing unreasonable annoyance, disturbance or discomfort to neighbors or others in close proximity to the premises where the animal is kept or harbored;
As I have said, we have gone next door to complain about the noise multiple times on both the music and the dog.  Yet, they continue to be oblivious and repeat the same actions time and time again.  I have yet to get to the point of calling the authorities to complain.  Although, I did email animal control to inquire about the regulation on barking dogs, and they sent somebody out to speak to our neighbor.

So I am seeking the advice of my wise readers.  A recent City of Bowie newsletter stated that they do not recommend confronting the offending party.  So far, this is what I have done.  My question would be am I just a grumpy old man or am I justified in my complaints?  If justified, at what point do I cease going over to ask them to quiet down the music or dog and call the Compliance Office and have them deal with the neighbors?  

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Yamaha PDX-60 Docking Station

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Yamaha. All opinions are 100% mine.

I am a huge music fan.  Always have been, always will.  For most of the past 30 years, I have had jobs in an office building.  Unfortunately in a lot of those buildings, I have never been able to get very good radio reception.  So for a lot of those years, I have had a CD boom box on my desk to listen to my music.  I used to have to lug around binders of CDs.  I was always limited to whatever I happened to have in my possession at the time.

So you can imagine how thrilled I was when the iPods came out.  About four years ago, I bought the 60GB video iPod.  I was no longer confined to the CDs that I could carry, but could carry my entire music collection in my pocket.  Nirvana!  My iPod has become almost a constant companion for me.  I especially enjoy taking it with me on plane trips since I can put the earbuds in and avoid any conversations with a chatty seat mate.

I also enjoy sitting in the living room listening to music while working on the computer.   When doing that, however, I don't normally like having the earbuds in so that I can hear the phone or have conversations with the family.  That's where a good docking station like the Yamaha PDX-60 comes in.

The PDX-60 takes advantage of Yamaha's yAired wireless technology.  The speaker is small enough to be placed just about anyplace without being in the way, or it can be moved easily from one room to another.  Your iPod can be charged and/or listened to in either the docking station itself or in the yAired cradle.  The cradle allows you to hold your iPod in your hand to select the tunes to listen to without having to be next to the docking station itself.  A pretty cool feature in my humble opinion.

There are a lot of choices for you if you are looking at a nice docking station for your iPod or iPhone.  The best ones are not cheap.  The Yamaha PDX-60 retails for about $300.  If you are in the market for such a device, you owe it to yourself to check out the PDX-60.

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A Budding Young Capitalist

I was reading a trade journal yesterday at work about the owners of the candy.com website. In the journal, their was a side story about a young entrepreneur who they named as their first "Candy Kid."  He sounds like an impressive young man.

The young man is Miles Louison is an 8 year old from Aurora, CO. He has started his own business called The Dessert Company and he makes candy sushi from candy, fruit roll ups, and rice krispy treats.  He started his part time business in March of 2008 at the ripe old age of 7 years old.

For being named their first Candy Kid, Miles received a $500 shopping spree to stock his business with supplies.  He has also been recognized as 2009's Young Entrepreneur of the Year by the Minority Business Development Agency.

One of the things that impressed me about the story isn't so much the early success that Miles is having.  He seems to have a pretty good head on his shoulders.  His parents make sure that he uses the proceeds for anything he sells to purchase his own supplies.  Other profits are put in the bank towards his college fund.

He also has the makings of a young philanthropist.  In the first year of operating his business, he took $30 of his profits and donated it to earthquake victims in China.  At a recent local fair, he took $42 of his proceeds and donated to the Susan G. Komen foundation.

In an era where we decry the youth of our day, it is always good to find a nice story about a kid.  Miles is learning valuable life lessons at an early age on what it takes to run a business.  His parents should be commended for the job they are doing with him. Let's hope capitalism is still thriving in this country when Miles graduates from college.

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Monday, December 14, 2009

Music Monday- The 12 Days of Christmas

It is less than two weeks until Christmas, so I will be going with some Christmas music this week and next for my Music Monday choices. Here are John Denver & the Muppets with "The 12 Days of Christmas." By the way, if you were to give the gifts of the 12 Days of Christmas, it would cost you $87,403. You can just send cash.

Come join Music Monday and share your songs with us. One simple rule, leave ONLY the actual post link here. You can grab this code at LJL Please note these links are STRICTLY for Music Monday participants only. All others will be deleted without prejudice.

PS: Because of spamming purposes, the linky will be closed on Thursday of each week at midnight, Malaysian Time. Thank you!

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Saturday, December 12, 2009

A Perfect Christmas Gift?

Have you ever felt like no matter what you do, it just isn't good enough?  If so, then maybe you have thought about giving the gift that this guy gave his little woman.  I guess the moral of the story is to appreciate what you have because paybacks are a bitch.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A Case for Gun Rights

Advocates of gun control laws, usually liberals, want to restrict the right of law abiding citizens to own guns.  They argue that by restricting access to guns, then crime, particularly violent crime, will be reduced.  They believe that the police department should be the ones to respond and prevent criminal activities from occurring. 

With all due respect to our law enforcement officials, more often than not, they are unable to respond in time to prevent a crime from occurring.  Take the case of Donna Jackson, age 57, from Oklahoma.  Donna Jackson was home alone while her husband was working a night shift when a man tried to break into her home.  She called 911 asking for help.  While on the phone with 911, waiting for police to arrive, the man broke into her home.  She shot and killed the man.

We do not know what the intent of the intruder who entered her home.  It may have been a simple robbery.  She could have been sexually assaulted or worse yet, killed.  You can hear in her voice in the news clip below that she is scared.  She does not relish the thought of shooting another human being.  After shooting him, she sounds distraught at the thought that she may have killed him.  I believe that most law abiding gun owners would feel the same way.  One thing we know for sure, had gun control advocates had their way, she would not have been able to protect herself and would be a victim today.

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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

John Lennon 29 Years Later

It was 29 years ago that my favorite Beatle was gunned down in cold blood by Mark David Chapman.  I was devastated that day.  I still miss him.  RIP John.

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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

EPA and Carbon Dioxide

Jim Inhofe, United States Senator photo portrait.
A couple days ago, I alluded to hearing Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK) on the Grandy and Andy show on WMAL 630 here in DC. Inhofe made the statement on the program that the cap and trade legislation that was passed in the House and proposed in the Senate was dead and would not pass. He did express that even though the proposed legislation would not be passed, we should be concerned about the Obama administration attempting to regulate, rather than legislate, carbon dioxide emissions.

On Monday, the legitimacy of those concerns were realized when the Environmental Protection Agency declared that carbon dioxide is a health hazard. This ruling paves the way for the EPA to use the Clean Air Act to regulate the emissions of power plants, factories, and transportation.  The White House's denies that the EPA ruling has absolutely nothing to with Barack Obama's trip to the global warming summit in Copenhagen, but it sure is convenient.  Further proof that the administration is willing to do anything it takes to push it's leftist agenda, even if it takes bypassing the legislative process.

The truth about carbon dioxide is that it is vital to life on the planet.  All plant life needs carbon dioxide to grow.  In turn, that plant life uses that carbon dioxide and in turn produces oxygen through the process of photosynthesis.  It is part of the miracle of the balance of life on planet Earth.  The vast majority of carbon dioxide emissions come from natural sources and very little from the sources they seek to regulate.  The EPA even states that if we were to achieve the goals set forth in previous global warming conferences like the Kyoto Protocol, it would have little to no impact on global temperatures.

There are some things that the regulation of carbon dioxide emissions will accomplish for our country.  We can expect to see all of our energy costs increase.  That may not matter for some folks, but for the middle and lower income households will be impacted to a greater degree.  We can expect to see some manufacturing jobs move overseas to China and India where they will not be subjected to the same degree of emissions control.  What with unemployment currently at 10% officially, do we really need to see more Americans out of work?

Below, you can see Senator Inhofe's response to the decision by the EPA.

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Monday, December 7, 2009

Music Monday-Jimmy Buffett "Who's the Blonde Stranger"

Whenever it gets cold, I need to hear some beach music. Since we got our first snow on Saturday, I gotta have some Jimmy Buffett. This is the story of a married Texas couple who head out to the beach for vacation. While there they both fall victim to temptation.  Jimmy Buffett and "Who's the Blonde Stranger."

Whos The Blonde Stranger? - Jimmy Buffett

Come join Music Monday and share your songs with us. One simple rule, leave ONLY the actual post link here. You can grab this code at LJL Please note these links are STRICTLY for Music Monday participants only. All others will be deleted without prejudice.

PS: Because of spamming purposes, the linky will be closed on Thursday of each week at midnight, Malaysian Time. Thank you!

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Sunday, December 6, 2009

Christmas Carols for Kids

Saint NicholasImage via Wikipedia
I have talked numerous times about my son and his love of music.  While he primarily listens to country music, he also likes to listen to children's music.  On the children's music side, he likes things that he see on the PBS Kids channel like Maya and Miguel or The Raggs Kids Club Band. He also likes the Kidz Bop type music with kids singing popular songs.

Well, yesterday he was asking me to download a kindergarten Christmas.  I could not find it, but I was able to find 60 Christmas Carols for Kids on Amazon.com.  It features 60 all time favorite Christmas carols performed by the Countdown Kids. There are traditional religious songs like Joy to the World, The First Noel and Silent Night. There are also modern popular favorites like Frosty the Snowman and Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.

I downloaded it yesterday for $3.69.  My son wanted to go to church with my wife this morning and wanted to have it on CD to listen to.  The original CD release of 60 Christmas Carols for Kids was a 3-CD set, but I was able to fit all 60 carols easily on 2 CDs.  Since I was delivering pizza until midnight last night, I was up until 2AM burning his CDs, but he was happy.

If you have kids that enjoy children's music, then I highly recommend this CD.  It is a great bargain and fun for the kids.  As a matter of full disclosure, I do have an affiliate account with Amazon, so I would receive a small commission of any sales that occur from the link below. 

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Saturday, December 5, 2009

Oh The Weather Outside Is Frightful

I really need to get a job like the weatherman has.  Where else, besides Congress, can you be wrong more often than not and still keep your job?

We are expecting our first snow of the season here in DC today.  Yesterday, the forecast started with a chance of up to an inch. Later in the day, it grew to a chance of 1-3 inches.  This morning, my part of town has a chance of 2-4 inches, but the snow wouldn't start around here until sunset.  Here is the scene outside my back door as of 11:00 AM, about 6 hours before sunset.

Of course the very mention of snow in the DC area brings about widespread panic.  This morning, I had to do my usualy ritual of going to the bank to cash my pizza delivery paycheck and pick up something for dinner.  The store was much more crowded than usual.  People have to run out and stock up on milk, bread, and toilet paper in case they get snowed in. 

I don't expect it to get too bad out there.  We haven't even had our first freeze of the season so roads are fairly warm.  I am hoping that the inclement weather will bring out the best in people when I am out delivering pizza tonight.  I can always use the extra money.
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Friday, December 4, 2009

Jon Stewart, Al Gore, and Climategate

I don't particularly care for Jon Stewart and his style of humor, however, when he is mocking Al Gore and the news of Climategate, I can bear it for a bit.

Stewart is correct that the hacked emails do not prove that global warming is false.  What it does show, is that the global warming proponents are not about the scientific method, but rather pushing an agenda.

Meanwhile, Al Gore has canceled his scheduled speech at the upcoming climate change conference in Copenhagen next week due to "unforeseen" changes in his schedule.  Right, Al.  Climategate has nothing to do with you not attending a conference that you have made the driving force of your life since you lost to Dubya in 2000.

I heard Senator Jim Inhofe on the radio the other morning and he asserts that the cap and trade legislation is dead.  That was the genesis of his "We won. You Lost. Get a Life," comments to Barbara "Call Me Senator" Boxer.
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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Tracking Blog Traffic

When I started this blog in August of last year, I decided to use statcounter to keep track of my traffic. It has some nice little features that I would like to look at from time to time. It was fun to look at the map to see where I was getting visitors. When I first started trying to build traffic, I joined a couple different blog advertising communities like entrecard and my personal favorite, Adgitize.

For the longest time, I was getting the lions share of my traffic from entrecard and Adgitize with the occasional visitor coming from search engines.  About a month or so ago, I read a blog post on how much info that particular blogger was getting by adding Google Analytics to their blog.  I added analytics to my blog a little more than a month ago, and it has been very interesting to see what blog posts are generating search engine traffic.

Prior to November, I was probably averaging between 80-100 page views per day.  At the beginning of November, I wrote a post on an Avon Sharper Image Camcorder that my wife gave me for our anniversary.  That post has received nearly 2000 page views from internet search engines. I also found a link to that post on yahoo answers in response to a question on the camcorder.  Somebody else copied and pasted the text of that post in response to the Yahoo answers question.

The next most popular post was one on former biology teacher Tiffany Sheppard turned porn star Leah Lust.  There have been a couple hundred visitors to that post.  I won't go into a lot of detail on some of the other popular posts according to my search engine traffic.  During the month of November, I averaged nearly 200 page loads per day, primarily due to the Avon Camcorder post.  My highest traffic day was a total of 321 pageloads.

That was until yesterday.  I came home yesteray evening and looked at my traffic on statcounter.  It said I had over 1300 page loads today.  I thought that couldn't possibly be correct.  One post that had received a about a dozen hits, the Real Reason Rio Beat Chicago for the Olympics was suddenly getting a ton of traffic.  Upon further investigation, I discovered that  on the Golf Vacation Insider website thay had posted a story called The Real Reason We'll Be Watching Olympic Golf From Rio and Not Chicago which contained a link to my post. 

It is amazing to me to see how one post can all of a sudden start sending visitors your way. 

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