Friday, August 31, 2012

Great UTV Accessories

Getting on your UTV and going for a ride can be fun and thrilling. UTVs are excellent machines for going off-roading. When you own a UTV, there are plenty of ways you can customize it. With a variety of UTV accessories, you can make your UTV more powerful, safer and more fun.

When it comes to safety, the biggest issue is enclosing the driver in the UTV. If you want to add more protection to your UTV, consider installing seat restraints, doors, cages, a windshield or cold weather enclosure. These tools provide additional protection from the elements, letting you take your UTV anywhere, anytime.

You can also add lights and mounts so you can take off for a ride in the dark. You can also add more power to your UTV with a variety of options, including suspension/lift kits and exhaust systems. If you want to make your UTV street legal, there are also a variety of options to do that.

When you want to save money and get quality service when ordering UTV accessories, check out Side by Side Parts & Accessories. They provide accessories that are compatible with all major UTV brands and also provide great customer service for all of its customers, local and international.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Google Yourself

Have you ever Googled yourself just for the fun of it?  I will forego any sophomoric attempts at humor about how much fun googling oneself might actually be.  When I have entered my name "Dick Stone" in a Google search engine, I have found a few things about me personally, things like my Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn profiles, my blog, and photos that I have posted on those sites.

In addition to finding myself in a Google search, there are a few other interesting things that I have found as well.  In Australia, there is a meat supply company called Dick Stone Pty Ltd.  There is a communications company for hire at Dick Stone Communications.  You can find fine art at  There is even another blogger named Dick Stone at  There are even more of us out there.

Then there are a few more notable folks that go by the same name as me.  In 1945, there was a pitcher for the Washington Senators.  When I was a kid, the Senators were my favorite baseball team.  Dick Stone did not have a very storied career, reaching the major leagues at the age of 33 and pitching in a total of 3 games. Stone pitched a total of 5 innings without giving up any runs

In another of my favorite sports, NASCAR, I found a Dick Stone that raced in the NASCAR Grand National Series in 1951 & 1954.  Again, not a storied career.  He participated in 4 races in 1951 and 1 race in 1954.  He didn't win any races.  His best finish was 10th and ended his career with career earnings of $125.

There were a couple other notables that came up in my search that go by my given name of Richard.  On the political front, there was Senator Richard Stone, a Democrat from Florida who served one term from 1974-1980.  He later served as Ambassador at Large to Central America and later as Ambassador to Denmark.  Lastly, there was a British Economist who won a Nobel Prize in Economics in 1984.

So, if you have never Googled yourself, give it a shot.  You never know what you might find.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Connect and Reconnect

 Have you ever wanted to reconnect with a long lost friend or maybe a family member that you might have lost track of?  I know I have.  With so many different social networks out there it can be difficult to know where to start your search.

I can give you a few examples from my own searches in the past. A few years ago I wanted to reconnect with my two best friends from high school.  I found one through the LinkedIn professional networking site.  The other one found me through Facebook.  Together we found several other old friends through various networks.

Over the years, I have found some old friends and some long lost relatives through a variety of different social networks.  I have used LinkedIn to connect with old coworkers and others that I had done business with professionally.  Facebook has been a great source for old high school friends and old family members that I lost track of.

Still, there are still some folks that I have not been able to reconnect with in my previous searches.  What if there was a place where you could go and tie all of your various social network information and email addresses into one convenient location?  Now you can with

At, you can add all of your various social network feeds and email messages in one place and view without having to log into each of the various sites separately.  You can also search the site friends and family with whatever information you have available regarding their past jobs, school, or location.  It is a great help in reconnecting with people from your past.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Are You Ready for Some Football?

Washington Redskins Cheerleader
Washington Redskins Cheerleader (Photo credit: Keith Allison)
I got home from the beach on Monday night and saw that there was a Monday Night Football game on ESPN.  It dawned on me that the NFL preseason was half over and that the regular season will be starting soon.  I suppose that I should be getting excited about the upcoming season, what with my Washington Redskins having an exciting new quarterback in Robert Griffin III, but I just can't seem to get all jazzed up as of yet.

The start of the NFL season used to be a major event for me.  I was heavily into playing Fantasy Football with my brothers and a bunch of friends.  For years we used to have a make a major night of our annual draft.  We started this before all of the online sites were available to track everything automatically.  Eventually, we moved our league over to one of the online services to make thing easier.

That particular league we played for money.  In addition to that league, I would play in an additional two or three free online leagues.  I devoured several different fantasy magazines and subscribed to a couple of fantasy football email newsletters.  If there was a game on television, even if it was just the first preseason game of the year, I was watching it.

In addition to the fantasy football, my brother and I each had accounts with an off shore sports book for the purpose of NFL Betting.  I didn't do a lot of betting on it, just a buck or two here and there. I would call a toll free number and they would fax over the current odds.  I would make my selections on the sheet and fax back.  I stopped using the service when I had a couple of bets that I thought I won had been denied with them saying I never got them in.  I cashed out a buck or two ahead of the game.

A few years ago, I got tired of our annual fantasy football ritual.  I just didn't want to devote the time, money, or energy to it any longer.  I even stopped playing in the free leagues that I was a part of.  Now, I still want to watch the Redskins play, but there have been days when I was willing to do other things instead of watching the games.  Right now, I plan on taking some Sunday's to visit my son and take him out for lunch instead of watching the games.  The days of watching every pregame show and every game on television are long gone.  I have other things to keep me occupied.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Back From the Beach

Yesterday, we ended our vacation at the beach.  My son was on his summer break which began on August 2nd and was to return back to school yesterday.  So, our plan was to schedule our annual trip to Ocean City MD around his return to school yesterday.  The vacation itself was rather nice, but yesterday was another story entirely.

My son had been really looking forward to this vacation.  All summer long, he would ask us, "Where are we going in August?"  That was his way of prompting us to ask him that question so that he could respond "Ocean City."  All he could talk about was going to play miniature golf at Maui Golf and wanting to eat at Hooter's restaurant on the boardwalk.

We headed out to the beach on Thursday morning and got to the beach that afternoon.  After unpacking our things, we headed out to the boardwalk.  My wife was hobbled by a bit of a sprained ankle, so it took us about half an hour to walk the boardwalk to have lunch at Hooter's.  My son enjoyed his usual fare of hot boneless buffalo wings and curly fries.

After lunch, we did not have time to get a round of miniature golf.  We had to hit the grocery store to pick up some food supplies.  Another tradition that we have when we head out to the beach is to also attend some Delmarva Shorebirds games.  Thursday night was hat night at the stadium and my son wanted to go.  There was a fairly long line to get into the stadium.  My son, fortunately, got the last hat given out to our line and the rest of us were out of luck.  With the long drive, everybody was pretty worn out and we only made it through half of the game before we headed back to the trailer.

The next morning was a beautiful day.  We got out fairly early and headed out to Maui golf for some miniature golf.  Originally, my son told me he wanted to play two rounds of golf, which was fine with me.  At Maui golf, you pay once and can golf as much as you want before 6pm.  It took us about a half hour to play our first round of golf.  I was all set to get two more balls and play again, but my son decided that he didn't want to play again. We went ahead and got wrist bands just in case he decided he wanted to play again later.  Unfortunately, he did not want to play any more that day, or at all the rest of the week.  It was kind of surprising and a bit disappointing as he talked all summer long about playing Maui Golf.  Such is life.

The weather all week was about as perfect as it could have been.  Temperatures were in the low 80's and sunny.  We got to go to two more Shorebirds games on Friday and Saturday nights, both of which featured fireworks.  My wife was not up for going to Saturday night's game but my son was set on going, so we had a nice father-son night at the game.  We also managed to get in a few meals while we were out there.  Another staple for us is to get pit beef sandwiches at Bull on the Beach.  It was a bad few days at the beach for me diet wise as I gained a few pounds back that I had lost.  Back on the wagon today.

Sunday night, my son started getting anxious.  While we had not talked at all about taking him back to school on Monday, he must have known.  He was starting to get awfully cranky.  Monday morning, we wanted to go out for breakfast to the Little House of Pancakes and Ribs so my son could have some bacon and pancakes.  We also wanted to hit the boardwalk one last time to get some more Fisher's Popcorn.  Unfortunately, he would have none of it.  It was over two hours of him hitting and kicking my wife and I along with dropping down to the floor.

Eventually, we were able to get him off of the floor and into the car.  By this time, any thoughts of going out to breakfast or the boardwalk were out of the question.  Instead, we headed out to our final destination.  Originally, we had considered stopping at the Golden Corral in Easton MD for lunch, but again we decided it was better to not take a chance on having one of his behavior meltdowns there.

Once we got him to school he was fine.  He got out of the car and headed to his classroom.  While we were saying our goodbyes, he started asking "Where are we going in October," which happens to be his next break.  He already knew his next break on the calendar.  In fact, he knew the exact date of October 11th.  One day back and he is already looking forward to his next break.  Typical teenager.  

Monday, August 20, 2012

Music Monday-Eric Clapton "Back Home"

Just got back home this evening after five days at the beach. It is always great to get away for a bit, but it is also great to get back home.
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!
Enhanced by Zemanta

Monday, August 13, 2012

Music Monday-Jimmy Buffett "Trying to Reason with Hurricane Season"

It has been a year since I had any extended time off from the jobs. I am tired, and in need of some rest. In the next few days, I will be loading up the car to head to the beach for a few days. As such, I find it appropriate to post some Jimmy Buffett music.
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!
Enhanced by Zemanta

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Picture This

Me and my Nikon, posted on Instagram
I have had a number of hobbies over the years.  Like a lot of kids, I collected a lot of things; baseball and football cards, stamps, and coins.  When I into my teen years, I moved on to playing the guitar and some organized sports.  One of my more favored hobbies over the years involved photography.  Photography really became one of my favorite activities.  I took a lot of photos back in the on a variety of subjects.  My favorite subjects, however, were sports and landscape photography.

During my film photography days, I started off with a completely manual Pentax K1000.  I loved that camera and it took some pretty good photos.  That camera went with me just about everywhere, especially to sporting events.  I bought as many telephoto and zoom lenses as I could so that I could take decent photos at various sporting events that I attended, mostly baseball and football, but also a few hockey and even a trip to the Ice Capades.

I read a lot of photography books and magazines back then to try to come up with new ideas and techniques to try out.  I experimented with a lot of different films and techniques to see what kind of images I could create with my camera.  The Cokin Creative Filter system became one of my favorite tools.  They had so many different filters that I couldn't get enough of them.  Black and white film was another fun thing to play with.

At one point, I actually considered trying to make a career in photography.  I had a friend who started taking ballet lessons to meet girls.  He had a recital and invited me to take some photos.  I shot a few rolls of film and he took them in to show people in his group.  A few of the people in his group liked them so much that they paid me for copies of the prints that they could have for their portfolio.  Unfortunately I never pursued it seriously as the guaranteed money of a steady job won out.

After I got married, and especially after my son was born, I lost interest in photography.  My camera pretty much set unused for months at a time.  During a particularly tight financial period, I took my now seldom used cameras to a camera store and sold them for some much needed cash.  Most of my photos at this point were simple family photos that could be taken with a basic point and shoot camera.

Then came the digital age.  A few years ago, I decided to take the plunge and buy myself a digital single lens reflex camera, a NikonD40x.  With our love affair with the Bowie Baysox, I decided that I wanted to get back into photographing sports again.  There isn't a bad seat in the stadium so we are always able to get fairly close to the action.  We also were a part of the Bowie Baysox boosters which gives scrapbooks to all the players.  Some of my photos have been parts of those books.

About a month ago, I received an email from one of my trade journals.  They said that since I was subscribing to the trade journals, I qualified for a free magazine subscription.  I had been thinking a lot more about my old photography hobby and decided to try a subscription to Popular Photography.  I have received two issues so far and have read them cover to cover.

I was talking to my friend at work recently, the one that I talk about Bathroom Boy and Ms. Spectacular, about wanting to do more on the weekends.  With my son being away at school, I have been wanting to do more things on my days off.  In particular, I want to go out with my camera and see if I can create great photos instead of just snap shots.  At least, that is the goal.

I discovered that there is a photography club nearby in my neighborhood.  They meet on Monday evenings at 7:30 pm.  Their next meeting is on September 17th.  I am going to try to attend the meeting to see if it is something that would interest me.  Their annual dues are $25, which won't break the bank.  They also have several photo competitions throughout the year.  Their website says that visitors are always welcome so I can check them out with no obligation.

I have recently purchased a new camera bag that will allow me to more readily have my camera with me at all times.  Later this week, the family is heading to Ocean City for a few days before my son has to go back to school.  The camera will be going as well.  I have also started following a few different photography blogs in the hopes of getting some good pointers.

If all goes well and I follow through with all these grandiose plans of improving my photography, I hope to post photos here.  I am also considering starting another blog strictly dedicated to my photography.  If and when that happens, I will be sure to post about it here.  I have already created the URL in blogger.  I am leaning towards using one of Blogger's dynamic view templates for it.  Stay tuned for more.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Mitt's VP App

Like a lot of people, I have had more than a passing interest in the Presidential campaigns for the upcoming election. While he was not my first choice, I am wholeheartedly supporting Mitt Romney for President. Consequently, I have been very anxious to hear who he would select to be his running mate. When I heard that the Romney campaign had released a free "Mitt's VP" app so that I could be alerted of his choice for running mate prior to the actual announcement I quickly downloaded it to my phone.

This morning, I woke up at 5am and turned on my local news. They were reporting that it was being reported that Romney had selected Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin to be his running mate. I picked up my phone, turned on the Mitt's VP app and saw nothing. I was going to go back to bed, but my son was waking up so I went downstairs to take care of him and watch the news.

After my local morning news, the Today Show came on. Of course the lead story that Lester Holt read was that Romney was selecting Ryan as his running mate. He then stated that the Mitt's VP app for the iPhone had confirmed that Ryan was the pick. I checked my phone and still nothing from the app confirming the choice.

A few minutes ago, I was browsing around on Twitter and saw the following tweet from @MittRomney:
I am proud to announce @PaulRyanVP as my VP. Stand with us today. #RomneyRyan2012 You guessed it, still nothing from the app on my phone. 
You guessed it, nothing on my phone from the app.

I am very happy with the selection of Ryan as running mate. I might have preferred Marco Rubio, but only slightly. I really like Paul Ryan. He can make subjects like the budget interesting and understandable. However, I have to give the Mitt's VP app, at least in my case, a "FAIL." I hope it isn't a precursor of things to come in the days leading up to election day.

Locked Out

I hate when I do something stupid.  Well, maybe stupid is too strong a word.  Maybe a better term would be absentminded or forgetful.  I tend to do most of my absentminded stuff in the morning before I have had my morning fill of coffee.  Though that doesn't mean that I am immune from it at other times of the day.  My wife says that I suffer from Craft disease-I "Can't Remember A F---ing Thing."

One example of my early morning forgetfulness due to lack of coffee actually occurred while trying to prepare my first cup of joe.  I fired up the Keurig coffee maker, put in a K-cup, and pressed the brew button.  The only problem was that I forgot to put a mug on the Keurig to catch the coffee in as it brewed.  Thankfully it wasn't too much of a mess.

The coffee making fiasco only happened once, well nearly twice but I caught myself the second time.  Most of my early morning forgetfulness involves keys, as in, forgetting to put my keys in my pocket before heading out the door to work leaving me locked out of my car and my house.  Fortunately, each time this has occurred, the wife has been home and I had my cell phone with me so that I could call and wake her up to let me back in.

I had another incident with getting locked out of something when I got my current car.  After the car salesman dropped the car at our house, I was checking things out.  Most of my recent vehicles had automatic locks so that you locked the car by pressing a button on your key chain.  This one has good old fashion manual locks.  As you can probably guess, I put the keys down inside the car, shut the door, and locked the keys in the car.  We had to have roadside assistance send out an emergency locksmith Calgary.

Of course, getting locked out of your car or house isn't the only reason you might need a locksmith Calgary.  Our house is getting up there in years.  We had a front door lock that kept sticking.  Sure, we could get in, but it was getting harder and harder to turn the key.  Another problem is that my wife suspected that her sister, who had a spare key, was sometimes visiting our house when we weren't home and helping herself to a thing or two.  So, we ended up changing the lock on the door.

I haven't had any recent bouts with my early morning forgetfulness.  I try to make sure that before I head out the door that I have everything I need before closing the door.  That means patting myself down to make sure I have the keys and the cell phone. Still, my wife still maintains that I am suffering from Craft Disease as I tend to forget some small details of conversations she claims we have had.  At least I haven't locked myself out of anything recently.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Olympics Coverage

China vs. Austria in Olympic Beach Volleyball....
China vs. Austria in Olympic Beach Volleyball. The Austrian team are sisters. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I love the Olympics.  I especially love cheering for the red, white, and blue of the United States.  The thing about the Olympics is that you get to see a lot of sports that you wouldn't otherwise give a hoot about any other time.  It is a good thing it only occurs every four years, because that is about as much gymnastics and track and field than I can handle.  Though I have to confess that I don't think I can ever get enough of women's beach volleyball.

For close to two weeks now, my routine has been to have the Olympics on television as I go through my evening routine.  The only problem with watching the prime time coverage of the Olympics is that everything is on tape delay since the games are in London this year.  In a lot of cases, I have known the results of most of the events before the broadcast began, but I have still enjoyed watching the competition anyway. I think it should become a permanent rule that all future Olympic games should be held in the Western hemisphere so that I can watch the games live in the evenings. After all, this is America dammit!

OK, I am actually kidding about that last couple comments.  This isn't the first time that the Olympics have had a lot of tape delay for the prime time broadcasts here in the states.  The big difference is just how much more we are connected these days.  In the past, it wasn't too difficult to avoid seeing or hearing the results prior to that evenings broadcasts.  Now it is just about impossible.

Early in this year's Olympics, I gave up on trying to be kept in the dark regarding the results.  The culprit ended up being my smartphone.  I have a number of news apps on my phone, along with Twitter and Facebook.  The event was when Ryan Lochte won the gold medal in the Men's 400 meter individual medley and Michael Phelps finished in 4th place.  My phone buzzed and I had a breaking news alert from my USA Today app staring me in the face.  At that point, I just started tweeting every Olympic update that I liked.

Still, I watched the event and enjoyed it.  Same with many of the other events that have taken place during this Olympiad.  In fact, I am watching the Olympics as I am typing this.  Currently, platform diving is taking place, which I actually do not know the results.  And yes, I will definitely be watching the broadcast of the gold medal match of women's beach volleyball between the two US teams of Misty May-Treanor/Kerry Walsh vs Jen Kessy/April Ross even though I know who wins.  Thank goodness the 2016 games will be in Rio de Janeiro in four years.  Maybe there will be some live broadcasts in prime time.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Friday, August 3, 2012

Save with SAVE

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

Have you had an opportunity to take a family vacation yet this year?  We haven't yet, but we will in the next few weeks.  I have to say that we are not too adventurous when it comes to our vacations.  Each year, we head east across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and head to Ocean City, MD.  My father in law has a mobile home that we stay in during our visits, so it saves a lot of money by not having to pay for a hotel.

I really do wish that we were in a better financial situation so that we could try something a little different.  If we ever do get to that point where we could do something like that, we would have to find a program like SAVE – San Antonio Vacation Experience.  SAVE partners with hotels and attractions to provide folks with discounts to save money on a vacation to San Antonio, TX.  

Alamo04.jpgSan Antonio would be a great place to take a family vacation because they have something for everybody.  First, I would have to go check out The Alamo.  They have a couple of different discounts on tours ranging from a trolley ride to helicopter tours.  They also have an IMAX theater where you can watch a movie about the Alamo.

Of course having a kid and wife means that we would also have to find things that they would like to do as well.  Not to worry as there are plenty of theme parks and activities.  If the family is into rides and things like than, they have the Six Flags Fiesta Texas park.  One of the things that we would definitely want to visit Sea World San Antonio.  I love those places.

arneson-river-theater.jpgAnother thing that we would want to check out is the San Antonio River Walk.  It is a park that is adjacent to the San Antonio River banks.  They have plenty of walkways where you can walk along the river and check out the beautiful scenery.  It is loaded with loads of shops and eateries.  The walk connects several of the attractions together.

The SAVE website has a lot of great Limited Time Offers to check out if you are looking for a special deal.  Naturally, SAVE has a social media website so that you can keep up with them on Twitter.  You can follow them at @SAVEinSA.  If you are considering a vacation, check out SAVE and all they have to offer.

Visit Sponsor's Site

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


You can be addicted to a lot of things.  When you hear about addictions, most people think of being addicted to something harmful or bad for you.  Things like drugs or alcohol.  In reality though, you can be addicted to just about anything, even things that on the surface could be considered positive or helpful.

I have, on occasion, felt like I might have a bit of an addictive personality trait.  Take for instance my current desire to get my weight down to a healthy level.  On the surface, that would appear to be a good thing, and in the long run it is.  However, I have become obsessed with weighing myself to track my progress.  Usually, I weigh myself first thing in the morning, every morning.  As if weighing myself every day wasn't bad enough, I often find myself weighing myself a couple times in the evening to get a feel of how my day went.  It's insane.

My latest obsession if relatively minor.  The good thing is that it isn't something that is physically addicting like drugs, alcohol, or smoking.  When you start those using those things, you start out for the feeling you get from them.  Unfortunately, the body starts to crave those things and they become a physical need.  When you try to get off of them you can suffer from withdrawal symptoms.  Sometimes the withdrawal can be as bad as the habit.  I once went through really bad headaches when I tried to cut back on caffeine.

Obviously, physical addiction is a horrible thing to go through.  However, perhaps more insidious, are addictions that creep into your mind and reside there.  One such addiction would be addiction to pornographic materials.  It is an addiction that can strike just about anybody.  Last year, I read the story of Christian Contemporary Music Artist Clay Crosse and his wife and how they rebuilt their marriage after Clay confessed his addiction to pornography.  It was a very moving story and proof that porn addiction can strike anybody.

Crosse's story was one that I could relate to.  Like Crosse, I was exposed to pornography at an early age.  At first, it made me feel good.  Eventually, I found myself wanting to view it more and more and wanting to see more intense scenes.  I actually even went to a therapist about it.  She helped me see that I tended to be drawn to it during times when I felt depressed or overly stressed.  Recognizing those cues and learning to take other actions to divert myself away from those things is an ongoing process.

I do not know what the overall porn addiction statistics are, but I am sure they are significant. There is no question that addictions can be an awful thing to go through.  Keep in mind that if you even suspect that you have any kind of addiction, you are not alone.  There is plenty of help out there to help you so do not hesitate to reach out and find the help you need.

Enhanced by Zemanta


Related Posts with Thumbnails