Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Irene: The Aftermath

Hurricane Irene Reaches New York CityImage by NASA Goddard Photo and Video via FlickrHurricane Irene has come and gone.  I am happy to say that we fared pretty well, all things considered.  While there are many saying that the DC area was not hit as badly as they had feared that it would, that is little consolation for those who are still without power.  For example, my sister and her family are still without power.

My power company, Baltimore Gas & Electric, posted an update on Facebook today stating that they had restored power to more than half of the people who were without power.  However, they also posted that there are still 5000 downed power lines and around 400 poles that need to be repaired or replaced. Some people may not have power again until Friday.

Back in 2003, when Hurricane Isabel came through we lost our power for three days.  It was a pretty brutal experience.  My son was only 9 years old at the time. He could not understand why he could not use all his electronic devices.  Even worse, we were not in the least bit prepared.  We had no batteries, no ice, nothing.

This year, I prepared for the worst.  I bought dry ice, bottled water, and a bunch of non-perishable foods.  Should the power go out, the dry ice would go into the freezer and refrigerator to keep the foods cold.  Some would go into a regular cooler to be covered by regular ice to keep cold drinks.  I had enough dry ice to keep things cold for three days.

It started raining here around 10:00 Saturday morning, and was steady throughout the day.  As the rain was really starting to get consistently heavy and the winds picking up, I was heading out to deliver pizza.  On my first delivery, the road I had to travel on already had two trees down.  Things gradually deteriorated as the night went on.

Fortunately, we were not very busy.  I think most people probably thought we would be closed.  There were a few people who were extra generous with their tips given the weather conditions.  My last delivery was a little more than $25.  The customer handed me $40 and as I was getting change out of my pocket he told me that given the weather to keep it.  Still others, tipped as if it were just a normal night.

Around 9:30, the rain was coming down much harder and so was the wind.  I was ready to call it a night, but they wouldn't let us go.  We were just starting to cleaning up when two more orders came in just before 10pm.  Just as the pizzas were going into the oven, the power came out and did not come back on.  I was able to head home around 10:30.

When I got home, we still had power at the house.  I puttered around on the computer for about an hour or so and headed up to bed about midnight.  The lights went off briefly for about a minute and came back on.  Finally, at about 12:30 they went out and did not come back on.  I called the outage into the power company and went to sleep.

I awoke at 6am, and the power was still out.  I went downstairs to take care of the dry ice.  One block went into the fridge, and another in the freezer.  Two more blocks went into my large freezer in the basement.  I then fired up my Samsung Galaxy tablet to check things out on Twitter and see what news I could find.

My son came down the stairs a short time later.  His first step was to try to turn the lights on in living  room.  I told him we had no power and his reply was "that's a whammy."  Then he tried to turn on our desktop computer.  His reply was "that's a double whammy."  He sat with me on the couch and started watching some DVDs on his portable DVD player that was fully charged.  He eventually went back to sleep for a couple hours.

I ventured out around 10am to see if the Wawa up the street was open as I had a coupon for a free coffee.  I also wanted to drive up to the substation a couple blocks away to see if there were any BGE trucks working on fixing the power.  There was.  Somebody from that part of the neighborhood was talking with them.  He told me that they thought the power would be back by the end of the day or within a few hours.

I picked up a coffee for me and a hot dog for my wife at a 7-11 I found that was open.  When I got home, my son was still sleeping on the couch.  After about an hour or so, we decided to wake him to see if he wanted to go to Dave & Buster's to play some skee ball.  Just as we were heading out the door, the lights came on.  All told we were without power for about 12 hours.

As we left the house, we saw a stream of water flowing in the parking lot from all of the sump pumps suddenly starting up and pumping out water.  It made me believe that a lot of the houses had wet basements.  Our's was bone dry thanks to having our basement waterproofed after Hurricane Floyd in 1999.  As part of that we had a sump pump with a battery backup.

Nevertheless, we were extremely grateful that we only lost power for 12 hours, and most of that was while we were sleeping.  I figure that if I had not gone through the effort and expense of preparing ourselves for the storm then we would likely have gone considerably longer without power.  That is usually how things work out for me.
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Monday, August 29, 2011

Music Monday-Brad Paisley & Carrie Underwood "Remind Me"

Sometimes, the longer a couple is together, the easier it is to just be there.  You have a tendency to not be quite as romantic or attentive as when you first started the relationship.  I really like this song.  Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood perform great together.  The way they shot this video is beautiful.  Oh, and Carrie looks simply stunning.

Come join Music Monday and share your songs with us. Rules are simple. Leave ONLY the ACTUAL LINK POST here and grab the code below and place it at your blog entry. You can grab this code at LadyJava's Lounge 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, August 28, 2011

Straight Talk on Straight Talk

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Straight Talk for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

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Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hunkered Down

The eye of Hurricane Isabel approaches North C...Image via WikipediaI have made just about all of the preparations that I can in anticipation of Hurricane Irene coming up the coast and into the Maryland area.  We have all of our necessary medications on hand.  We had bought some bottled water left from our trip to OC, and I bought another case to be safe.  I went to the grocery store each of the past two days to buy various non-perishable food stuffs.

My biggest concern is having the power go out for an extended period of time.  When Hurricane Isabel came through in 2003, we lost power for three days.  It was particularly tough on our son because he could not understand why he could not use all of his various electronic devices.  He thought he was being punished and it was difficult to assure him that he had done nothing wrong.

It was also difficult in dealing with some other frayed nerves because of the length of time it took to get power back on.  We are used to only having outages for a few hours at most, and not used to the widespread devastation that took place during that weather event.  I am hopeful that we will not lose power for very long.

The other problem with losing power is the loss of perishable food items.  I have taken steps to alleviate that issue should we lose power.  At one point in my life, I worked for a dry ice company selling a dry ice program to retail stores.  Yesterday, I visited one of those stores and saw that they were already low on dry ice.  I picked up what I could, and a little bit more this morning.

All of our devices have been fully charged, and we have car chargers at the ready should we need to recharge them.  The one last thing I picked up this morning to try to alleviate stress for my son was a power inverter.  It is a charger that plugs into your cigarette lighter, but also has an outlet so you can charge non-USB devices into it like you would your regular wall outlet.  This way, we can recharge his game system and portable DVD player.

All of our cars have been fully gassed up.  I stopped by one station to top off this morning, and they were out of regular gasoline.  The one last thing that concerns me is working tonight.  I am supposed to deliver pizza.  I am not sure what their plans are as the weather deteriorates. In the past, during inclement weather they have threatened to fire people who did not show up for work.  All of the drivers I talked to last night were concerned about their safety.

I don't intend to do anything that will unnecessarily put my life in jeopardy.  If conditions aren't too bad when it comes time to go to work, I will probably head out.  However, if things deteriorate rapidly, I will not hesitate to call it a night.  Hopefully, management will put safety over profit.  I should note it is not the store management at issue, but the franchise owners.  I hope that everybody in the path of Irene stays safe and sound.

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Friday, August 26, 2011

Post Vacation Blues

scaledImage by wader via FlickrVacations are a great way to relax and get away from things for a little while.  The problem with vacations is that they eventually have to come to an end.  Then it is back to the realities of life and the real world.

We came back from the beach yesterday to the news that a hurricane is bearing down on us for the weekend.  I hear that the grocery stores are packed, but I will need to head up there as soon as the air conditioning repair man is finished.  I am torn as to what to get and how much as I would hate for it to go to waste if we lose power for an extended period of time.

Even though we came back from our trip on Thursday, I am still technically on vacation.  I do not have to be back in the office again until Monday morning.  Though I am planning to work my part time job tonight and tomorrow.  Of course tomorrow night is when we are expecting Irene to hit the area.  How fun will it be to deliver pizza in that mess?  I am not sure whether they will close or not.

The real reason for my post vacation blues occurred this morning.  The last time that I weighed myself was Monday morning before heading to the beach.  For the next few days, I had no scale, and ate most of my meals at local restaurants.  This morning, I woke and stepped on the scale to assess the damage of the vacation.

I fully expected to have put on a couple of pounds while I was away.  It was worse that I had anticipated.  I put on six pounds while I was away.  The most frustrating part is that I usually lose about a pound or two per week, so it could take me three weeks to lose everything I put back on during my short vacation.  Maybe I shouldn't go buy groceries after all.
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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Home Ahead of Irene

CARIBBEAN SEA - AUGUST 24:  In this handout MO...Image by Getty Images via @daylifeWell, we made it home this morning from our short little trip out to Ocean City.  While we were gone, there was the earthquake that shook the east coast on Tuesday afternoon.  We did not feel it while we were out in Ocean City, though some people did.  Locally back home, we did hear from family who felt the quake.  There was little out of place in our home as a result of the quake, but there were some things that fell off tables and dresser drawers that opened as a result.

It was always our intention to head home today, though talk of Hurricane Irene was starting up wherever we went.  My son is usually only good for a couple days at the beach without television and computers.  As it turns out, he was probably ready to head back yesterday.  Plus we needed to get home today because we were expecting an air conditioning repairman to show up.We had gotten a call yesterday from my father in law checking to see when we were heading back as he was expecting things to get nasty this weekend.

They are expecting the storm to impact the area sometime Saturday into Sunday.  Yesterday, we were having breakfast at The Little House of Pancakes and Ribs.  I had bacon pancakes and a large sausage link.  Our waitress, who sounded German, was expressing her concern about the approaching hurricane that the city had made the decision to evacuate all international summer workers. They were to go to the convention center by 10am this morning to catch a bus to Arthur Purdue stadium, where they would take another bus inland away from the storm. Since it seemed that most of the workers we encountered on the boardwalk had accents, I imagine the shops on the boardwalk will be understaffed the next few days.

As we were coming across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, I received a phone call from the air conditioning repairman.  It had been raining in the area, and he wanted to see if we could put off the repair until tomorrow when the weather is expected to be clear.  Part of the work needed to be done on the outside unit, and he did not want to start the job and not be able to finish it if the rains came.  He was waiting as we pulled into our parking place and he added some more refrigerant to get us to tomorrow when we will finally have the repairs completed.

It is always nice to get a few days away at the beach.  The atmosphere is just so much more relaxing than normal.  Since the motor home we stay in courtesy of our in laws does not have cable television or internet connections, we are somewhat cut off from the rest of the world for a few days, though I do have my cell phone and table with me.  As nice as it is to get away, it is always great to get back home to sleep in our own beds. 
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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Don't Risk Your Files

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Carbonite for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

These days, everything we do is digital.  The film camera has just about vanished from existence.  More and more of us are storing our family photos in a digital format on our computers.  With our old film cameras, we could always keep the negatives and print new copies if we ever needed to.  With the reuseability of digital storage cards (I use SD cards) I frequently download my photos to my computer and then erase the card in order to shoot more photos."

Imagine how you would feel if you lost those precious family photos or important business documents due to a data failure on your hard drive and you had not had had an opportunity to make a computer backup of those files in a secure manner.  I can tell you from previous experience that it can happen.  It has happened to me on two separate occasions.  Fortunately, I didn't lose anything of great value, but I lost a lot of pictures that I will never see again.

The first time it happened to me, I had caught a virus on my computer.  It got to the point where I had to reformat my entire system.  The second time it happened, I was using an external hard drive to save all of my files.  I thought that was sufficient for backing up those files, but that hard drive eventually crashed and all of my files were lost.

That is when I was sorry I did not have an online backup  service like Carbonite  to backup my files automatically whenever I was connected to the internet.  It would have been well worth the $59 per year to have that insurance to preserve those files.  Try it free for 15 days, and if you like it use their promo code BLOGAD to get an additional two months free when you pay for your subscription.

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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Maui Golf

We made it to the beach, and the only thing my son talked about the entire drive down was going to play miniature golf at Maui Golf. It is safe to say that Maui Golf is not the greatest miniature golf course out there. The obstacles are not very difficult and there are no moving parts like windmills or the like. However, it is the course my son likes so we usually end up there.

The reason my son likes it so much is because of its name, Maui Golf. He has a real interest in the Hawaiian islands and can name most of them along with their nicknames, like Kuaui being the garden island. He actually learned all these things by watching game shows and YouTube videos. He loves when contestants win trips to Hawaii. Playing miniature golf with my son is an interesting adventure in and of itself.

The concept of taking turns is lost on him. He will play from the tee until he knocks the ball in the hole. Most of the time, he doesn't even wait for the ball to stop rolling before he hits it again.  Keeping score is also a mute point with him, but we do it anyway.  It doesn't really matter what the score is, because he doesn't seem to have a competitive bone in his body.  Though he does get excited when he gets a hole in one.  I learn a lot about play from that guy.
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Monday, August 22, 2011

Music Monday-Zac Brown Band-"Toes"

I know I highlighted a Zac Brown Band song on Music Monday two weeks ago, but I am in beach mode. Some time this week I will have my "toes in the water, my ass in the sand" so I am just going to roll with it.

Come join Music Monday and share your songs with us. Rules are simple. Leave ONLY the ACTUAL LINK POST here and grab the code below and place it at your blog entry. You can grab this code at LadyJava's Lounge 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!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Almost There

Obstructive sleep apneaImage via Wikipedia
It has been almost two months since I had a small health scare.  I was carrying two garbage bags out to the curb for trash pick up when mgr whole left side started tingling.  It shook me up enough that I ended up taking a sick day and went to the doctor.  Though I did sit in the car and contemplated going to work.

My first thought that day was that I might have been having or getting ready to have a stroke.  Since that day I have had a series of tests done.  My blood work up revealed that I had a Vitamin D deficiency.  I have had two sleep studies done that revealed that I am suffering from mild to moderate sleep apnea and will need to use a CPAP machine.  Both of those put me at risk for heart attack or stroke.

About two days before the incident, I was feeling rather poor and tired.  I decided that I needed to get serious about changing my diet, start eating right and lose some weight.  Earlier in the year, I had lost about 20 pounds, but fell back into my bad habits and quickly gained about 15 pounds back, making me like a lot of people who struggle with weight.

I am glad to say that I have been feeling a bit better these days.  I have not started the CPAP machine yet, but estimate that I will get the results from the most recent sleep study in a couple weeks.  At that time, I should be able to start that treatment making me feel even better.

These days, my diet consists of a lot more fruit, a lot of salad, and I usually only consume meat with my evening meal.  Occasionally, I will add a protein or nutrition bar, and some nuts.  I have more or less cut out all junk food and alcohol.  I am supplementing my diet with Vitamin D supplements and a multi-vitamin for men over the age of 50.

I had been hoping that I could get down to under 200 pounds before we headed off to the beach this week.  This morning, I looked down at my digital scale to see a reading of 201.5 pounds.  It has been several years since I have been under 200 pounds, but I am almost there.  Ultimately, I would like to lose another 20 pounds or so, but I am happy with the 25 pounds that I have lost since the incident.

It is hard to change bad habits.  In the past, I have been able to lose a lot of weight, but each time I did so, I would lapse back into those bad habits and gain it all back and then some.  However, in the past I had never had a health scare that forced me to take stock of things.  In the past when I decided to lose weight it was tied to vanity and wanting to look better.  I am hopeful that my health scare has prompted some permanent behavior change.

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Saturday, August 20, 2011

It's Bloody Hot in Here

A typical home air conditioning unit.Image via WikipediaIt has been fairly miserable here in our home the last few days.  We have been without air conditioning since Wednesday morning.  If you have ever been in the DC area in August, you would understand why Congress goes on recess for the entire month of August.  The heat and humidity here can be unbearable in August.

The genesis of our air conditioning issues actually goes back a little more than a week ago.  I got home from work on Thursday night and noticed the temperature of the house as I walked in the door was a little warmer than usual.  I put my hand against the air vent and did not feel any cold air coming out.  I went down to the basement  and found that one of the coolant lines that connects to the inside unit was icing up.  Thankfully, that night it was fairly mild with low humidity so we were not uncomfortable.

Fortunately, we have BGE Home's Smart Service Contract which gives us priority for scheduling and covers a lot of labor and some parts.  They were able to get a technician to come out the next day.  He said our unit was low on refrigerant and added it to the outside unit.  He did not check to see if we had any leaks in the system.  I guess this is routine when the system is a little more than eight years old like our is.

After the technician left, everything seemed to be working fine.  That is, until Wednesday morning.  As I was in the laundry room getting clothes for the day, I heard the inside unit running, but it didn't sound right.  Sure enough, I looked down and noticed ice on both of the coolant lines.  Another call to BGE Home.  They sent a technician out the same day.  This one checked for leaks and the diagnosis is that we needed a new coil for the system; nearly $800.

We were told that they would have to order the part.  Unlike our first day without air conditioning, the past few days have been particularly hot and muggy.  We have had window fans in all of the windows to try to create a breeze and keep the temps reasonable, but couple the heat with the constant threat of thunderstorms each day has required us to occasionally close the windows to keep the rain out.  There have been a couple days where the temps have risen above 80 degrees in the house.

The lack of air conditioning has been particularly hard on the wife since she does not work and is home all day.  She has said that I have been lucky because I have not had to deal with the problem in the same way that she has.  I certainly understand her frustration, and I would be miserable as well if I had been home during the hottest parts of the day.  However, I am not quite sure that I fully agree with her assessment that I have been "lucky."

The first night that we were without air conditioning was Wednesday night.  It was pretty uncomfortable when I got home from work.  That night was the night I had my second sleep study, so while my wife and son were home with no air conditioning, I was in a hospital bed.  Granted I had a cool room, but not exactly what I call "lucky." 

Her other argument that I was "lucky" is that I got to go to work in an air conditioned office.  Then last night, I had to go to my part time pizza delivery job.  By the time I got home, after a couple of waves of thunderstorms rolled through, the outside temperature had dropped to around 65 degrees.  It was cooler outside than inside the house, but part of the problem was exacerbated by my wife using the oven.  Still, I did miss the worst of the heat within the house.

The technician was supposed to come out with the new coil today to repair the unit.  I got a call from him this morning informing me that they had sent him the wrong coil, so it could not be fixed this today.  He is going to come out later to add refrigerant so we can have air conditioning while we wait for them to get the correct part.  We are going to try for a Monday morning repair if they can get here fairly early before we head to the beach.  Otherwise we may have to wait until we get back later in the week.
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Friday, August 19, 2011

My Enabler-Coinstar

CoinstarImage by slakistan via FlickrOn a week to week basis, I do not have a lot of extra cash lying around.  Between the mortgage, the other monthly bills, and the daily living expenses, it pretty much takes about my whole paycheck.  I do have a couple of little savings devices that I use for when I want to save for something special.

The first one is a method that I read about in Neal Boortz's book "Somebody's Gotta Say It."  In one of the chapters in the book, Boortz lays out the Dollar Bill savings plan.  The plan calls for you to carry only carry currency in denominations of $5 or greater.  All singles get put aside for savings.  So, every time I have a group of five $1 bills, they go into a coffee can.  It can add up quickly.

I also hate carrying around a lot of loose change.  At the end of every day, I take whatever loose change I have and put it in another coffee can.  My credit union has a coin counting machine, so whenever the can would start to get full, I would take it up to the credit union to cash them in for the extra cash.

Now, that extra change goes somewhere else.  Ever since I got my Kindle, I have been actively adding content to it.  In order to support that habit, I take my can of coins up to my local supermarket and cash them in at the Coinstar machine.  Instead of cashing them in for cash and paying the service charge, I get Amazon.com gift certificates to add to my Amazon balance.  These are little things, but they help me to treat myself every now and then.  
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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Vacation Time

Taken July 7, 2002 on location, of the Delmarv...Image via WikipediaI have been looking forward to this week since the beginning of July.  On July 5th, we had to take our son back to school for his summer school session.  The summer school session is the longest session that he has without a weekend home, a little more than seven weeks.

I was particularly concerned about this particular session, not only because it would be so long and we would have to wait so long for him to come home, but because there would be some changes to his routine during the new session.  He does not respond well to change.

The main reason I was concerned was because he was going to be moving to a new classroom.  He had really connected with his first teacher and one-on-one aide when he started at the school last November.  While the school must have thought he was ready for the change, I was apprehensive to say the least.

He was scheduled to come home from school tomorrow, but we received an email from the school nurse on Monday.  First she informed him that she had found his glasses on her desk and that they were bent to the point where they could not be worn.  In six weeks during the summer session, he had broken four pairs of glasses, only one of which could be repaired.

Her other concern was that on Monday he refused to get off the floor.  He kept saying, "I have lost so much weight."  He must have heard that from somebody at school, but the nurse did express her concern as he has lost over 30 pounds since starting school.  He had also started to refuse to eat his favorite snacks.  For all of those reasons, it was decided that we would pick him up a couple of days early.

So, yesterday, my wife went out to the school to pick him up and bring him home.  Unfortunately, he has come home to a hot house as our air conditioning is out, and we have to wait until Saturday to get it repaired since they had to order a part.  Plus, I had to go get my second sleep study done last night, so I was not able to spend as much time with him as I would have liked to on his first night home.

I can't say for certain that the change in classroom teacher and aide had anything to do with his behavior during the summer session.  I do know that in the first seven months he was there, he didn't break a single pair of glasses, and to completely break three pairs in six week is saying something.  We also do not get the same feedback from his current teacher as we did his former one.

Miniature golf-club and ball.Image via WikipediaIt has been our plan since we learned his summer schedule that we would spend a few days at the beach next week.  We have access to a mobile home in Ocean City, so we will head out one day next week for a few days.  He has been looking forward to it for a long time so he can go play some miniature golf at the Maui Mini Golf Course.   It isn't the greatest miniature golf course out there, but he likes Hawaii, so that is where we will go.

Of course while we are out there, we will go down to the boardwalk and hit some of our favorite Ocean City eateries like Bull on the Beach where they have some tasty pit beef sandwiches.  While we are there, we will probably spend an evening or two at Arthur Purdue Stadium to check out a couple of Delmarva Shorebirds baseball games.  I can hardly wait.
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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Jim Thome-600 Home Runs

Jim ThomeImage via WikipediaI have been a baseball fan nearly all my life.  When I was a kid, my father used to take me to a few Washington Senators games until they moved to Texas to become the Texas Rangers when I was 10 years old.  My hero from those days was Frank "Hondo" Howard.  Howard was one of the more feared batters during his day and hit some titanic home runs.

When I think of some of the all time great home run hitters, a lot of the usual names come immediately to mind; Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, Reggie Jackson and a few others.  One name that does not immediately jump out to me is Jim Thome, who did something the other night that only 7 other baseball players have ever done; he hit his 600th career home run.

The top 10 home run hitters of all time are:
  1. Barry Bonds-762
  2. Hank Aaron-755
  3. Babe Ruth-714
  4. Willie Mays-660
  5. Ken Griffey, Jr-630
  6. Alex Rodriguez-626
  7. Sammy Sosa-609
  8. Jim Thome-600
  9. Frank Robinson-586
  10. Mark McGwire-583
The thing about Thome that has stuck out in my mind during the steroid era is that unlike some of his contemporaries in the list above there has not been an inkling of scandal or implication that he has used performance enhancing drugs.  Still, because of the era in which he played, there will be those who will look at his career with suspicion.  Unlike some of his contemporaries who had large swings in statistical performance, Thome's career has been a model of consistency, workman like effort.  Congratulations to Jim Thome for a fantastic career.
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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Too Much Good Stuff

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of ampm for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Do you like Sweepstakes, especially one that does not cost you anything to enter?  Do you have an ampm near you?  If you answered yes to both of those questions then you are going to want to enter ampm's  Too Much Good Stuff sweepstakes.

All you have to do is go to their Facebook page in the Too Much Good Stuff link above, like them, and then you can enter the sweepstakes.  Once you "like" them, then you can click on the Too Much Good Stuff link on their Facebook page to enter the contest.  Once you register (be sure to check their official rules to be sure you are eligible) you can enter their instant win slot machine game.

Just spin to win.  ampm is giving away 15000 bottles of Pepsi Max and 10000 corn dogs in their instant win game.  If you win one of the instant prizes be sure to print your winning voucher and head to your closest ampm to redeem your prize.  While there check out their great selection of food and snacks and quench your thirst at their Thirst Oasis featuring 24 different fountain drinks.

But the free food and drink is only one of the reasons to play the instant win game each day.  Every day you spin to win you are automatically entered in the grand prize drawing for a vacation in Las Vegas. In addition, you can win great prizes like Apple iPod Touches and Nanos, Apple MacBook Air, and the Apple iPad. You have nothing to lose so check it out. 


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