Sunday, December 30, 2007

POTATOES

An old man lived alone in the country. He wanted to dig his potato garden but it was very hard work as the ground was hard. His only son Fred, who used to help him, was in prison. The old man wrote a letter to his son and described his predicament.

Dear Fred,
I am feeling pretty bad because it looks like I won't be able to plant my potato garden this year. I'm just getting too old to be digging up a garden plot. If you were here, all my troubles would be over I know you would dig the plot for me.
Love,
Dad

A few days later he received a letter from his son.

Dear Dad,
For heaven's sake, don't dig up that garden! That's where I buried the BODIES!
Love,
Fred

At 4am the next morning, FBI agents and local police arrived and dug up the entire area without finding any bodies. They apologized to the old man and left. That same day the old man received another letter from his son.

Dear Dad,
Go ahead and plant the potatoes now. That's the best I could do under the circumstances.
Love,
Fred

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Rising moon, SW Harbor ME


Rising moon, SW Harbor ME, originally uploaded by -SPK.

Taken on Christmas eve.

I used a flashlight on the birch tree in the foreground to "paint" it with light so it had some depth. The moon is way overexposed, but when it's that bright - if it was perfectly exposed it would be the only thing you could see.


....oh, that's a little Christmas tree at the end of the dock.

Lonely pooch


Lonely pooch, originally uploaded by -SPK.

Taken on the docks in South West Harbor Maine. You are looking down 4 floating docks stacked on top of each other.

Throwing stones into the sea


Throwing stones into the sea, originally uploaded by -SPK.

Paige was tossing stones into the sea and I was lucky enough to capture this.

Is this good?

This is how my Gateway 450ROG screen looks this morning.

I booted her up and heard a lot of clicking and whirring. Hmm, sounds eerily familiar.

However, this time I listened to my own recommendation. Every single file has been backed up to my Western Digital external hard drive.

Now I have to decide - laptop or desktop for the office?

Poor Kaitlyn

She ran into the corner of a table at a party yesterday. One of the people who saw it said she actually *moved* the table.

Becky said she cried for 1/2 hour straight and that's just not like her, so we decided to take her to the ER and after 4 hours and an x-ray - all is OK. Just some bruising.

Whenever she smiles, it hurts her. I was trying to take a picture of her eye and she kept on smiling and wincing at the same time. :-(

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Piglet, Pooh, & Tigger


Piglet, Pooh, & Tigger, originally uploaded by -SPK.

Paige drew this on her white board all by herself.

For those who are counting she is 4 1/2.

Paige doing a headstand on the couch


Paige doing a headstand on the couch, originally uploaded by -SPK.

If this doesn't make you smile....

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Mom & Paige


Mom & Paige, originally uploaded by -SPK.

Strike on Box



You may notice in some of the photos what appears to be abborations or lens flare. This is actually sparks of hot sulpher flying in the air. I had a lot of fun doing this but the whole house smelled like matches for 3 hours.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Jott.com

After an intense 3 week test of this free application from Jott.com, my vote is in: 5 stars. If I could give it 6 stars I would. Why isn't this being talked about more? Is it just because I am in sales and on the road 99% of the time? This is amazing! First, take a peek at this video to see a little bit of what it does.



When you join, you provide your cell phone number and email address. You either upload your address book or type in your contacts. Rather then sending a text or email from the road, you call the toll free number - Jott matches your account to your address book and records your audio message. It then transcribes the message, sends it to the person who you told it to with the transcription and a link to the recorded audio and copies you on the email.

An extremely useful feature is the reminders. Lets say you just remembered that you need to order a gift for me for Christmas before the Amazon sale expires. Just call Jott, when it asks you "Who do you want to jot?" you say "Myself" or "Me". Then say "Don't forget to order the new Tablet PC for Patrick for Christmas before Friday's sale expires." Jott says, "Do you want a reminder?" "Yes" "For when" "Thursday December 13th at 7PM" "OK, got it Thursday December 13th at 7PM" Jott repeats. When the reminder is due, you get a text and an email of the transcription as well as a link to the audio.

Here is the newest feature: Calendar function. Lets say you just hung up with Boom and booked a racquetball game for Saturday. Rather than grab a pen, write it down while you are driving and lose the paper anyway, call Jott!

When Jott answers, say "Google Calendar". Jott repeats "Google Calendar". Beep. "Next Sunday 7:15 am racquetball at Northwood in Palmer with Boom." Boom! Just like that, it's on your calendar with the text that was transcribed and the correct date and time.

Check it out at www.jott.com

Friday, December 7, 2007

Holiday spirit

We had our office Christmas party last night at Starters Riverport in Bethlehem, PA. A bunch of us ran outside to feed our meters and Melissa found this note on her car:



A server from Starters found them! Wow, in south side Bethlehem? A good deed? Is everything alright?

Sunday, December 2, 2007

It reads:


gee-thanks, originally uploaded by -SPK.

You could spend $9,999,818.88 more without increasing shipping.

Wow, thanks.

I wonder how many people have taken advantage of that!

Financial health, or financially unhealthy?

I read an interesting article in the LA Times today about how Americans are tapping their home equity (the value in the home vs. the loan owed to the bank) to pay for things like credit card debt, trips, etc.

The article was more informative and didn't take any sides. Here are two quotes that made me angry and realize that people will say anything to make money.

"If you paid your mortgage off, it means you probably did not manage your funds efficiently over the years," said David Lereah, chief economist of the National Association of Realtors and author of "Are You Missing the Real Estate Boom?" "It's as if you had 500,000 dollar bills stuffed in your mattress."

He called it "very unsophisticated."

Anthony Hsieh, chief executive of LendingTree Loans, an Internet-based mortgage company, used a more disparaging term. "If you own your own home free and clear, people will often refer to you as a fool. All that money sitting there, doing nothing."


That's when it hit me, what the problem is: Education. Lack of it. Let me back it up with facts:

You have a $300,000 mortgage and are paying 6.5% for 30 years. Your payment includes principal (the $300,000 the bank gave you) and the interest (the money the bank makes when you borrow). Your payment? $1,896.20

That's made up of $1,625 of interest and $271.20 of principal in the first month of the loan. Yeah.

See, mortgages are structured so the bank makes most of their money in the beginning of the loan and much less at the end. So, what do banks want you to do? GET ANOTHER LOAN!

What would happen if you did not get another loan, rather - you put an additional $200 towards your mortgage every single month?

What I didn't mention yet is that when you pay extra on your mortgage each month, that extra goes directly towards your principal and since the bank's interest is just a percent of principal - over time you pay less in interest. But how much less?

How does $103,450 sound in savings? Yep. And your reduced the length of your mortgage by 6 years and ll months.

Here's the breakdown for you non believers: Your extra $200 per month ended up being $55,200 and because you didn't pay interest on that amount, you saved $103,450 in interest. (your $300,000 is always the same)

I guess you are now "a fool" and "very unsophisticated".

See, the real issue here is that people have not been educated on finance. In most high schools, kids are not taught simple finance. Balancing a check book, loans, interest, taxes, investing, etc.

When I was buying our house, I lived on this web site. Karl's Mortgage Calculator, and I can honestly say, it was the first and so far the last time that I actually donated money to a website that asked for it. I heard Joe Biden say something that I think really fits here: "...don't tell me what your priorities are -- show me your budget and I'll tell YOU what your priorities are."

Saturday, December 1, 2007

"Scrubs" suprise

What is this? Is this blog becoming the "feel good blog"?? I liked this a lot.

It's December 1st and we are in the holiday spirit at the Kaine house!

This is a MUST WATCH!

http://www.elfyourself.com/?id=1127514394


Thanks Brenda for sending it to us.

What is better?


What is better?, originally uploaded by -SPK.

Here is a sitemeter screen shot for my blog, if you can see about half way down the person was searching for "what's better big or small nipples". How lucky was he that he got to this blog?

What makes you ask that?

Here is a funny and R-rated story of a fellow blogger, jkirlin.

http://jkirlin.blogspot.com/2007/11/submitted-for-your-consideration.html

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Kaitlyn's Koins


Kaitlyn's Koins, originally uploaded by -SPK.

There were so many coins that they got bored putting them in their piggy banks. Poor girls.

Kahlua & Cream Experiment


Kahlua & Cream Experiment, originally uploaded by -SPK.

This week I saw this video on reddit.com that inspired me to take these shots. You put Kahlua (they used Tia Maria) on a saucer and add cream. The alcohol reacts with the Kahlua and almost looks like it boiling.

I hope you like! Please make sure to look at the other three in the set as they are all so different!

Here is the video if you want to check it out:

http://www.5min.com/Video/Tia-Maria-and-Cream-Experiment-122626

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Ahhhh, a good ol' politician at work

This is really funny until you think about why it's funny. Because its so damn near real!

Autumn snowfall


Autumn snowfall, originally uploaded by -SPK.

We enjoyed our first snowfall in Easton this weekend. In this photo, I used a 150mm lens and focused half way between me and a beautiful Oak in her autumn colors across the way. Hope you enjoy it.

She fell asleep eating popcorn and watching the race

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Frost (not Robert)

Frost on (some flower I don't know the name of)


Frost

This morning everything was covered in a thick layer of frost and when Paige got up and looked out the window, she thought that it snowed!

I ventured out with my Sigma 150mm macro lens and snapped a few pictures of a few blades of grass and some flowers just CRUSTED in frost.

Finishing the basement....

Click on the picture to advance forward...

Halloween Pictures

Click on the picture to advance forward....

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Talk about EXTREME sports.

These dudes are sick!!!

Rust


Rust, originally uploaded by -SPK.

This was taken in Maui about 100 yards from the ocean in the front of an abandoned house. It is the driver side door of an old Honda Accord that was apparantely left there to rust away.

Here is another angle.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

English just isn't enough

Even though there are hundreds of thousands of words in the English language, we still could use some more. Here is a list of words not in the English language that have great meanings:

Kaelling - Danish: a woman who stands on her doorstep yelling obscenities at her kids.

Pesamenteiro - Portuguese: one who joins groups of mourners at the home of a dead person, apparently to offer condolences but in reality is just there for the refreshments.

Okuri-OKAMI - Japanese: literally a "see-you-home-wolf". A man who feigns thoughtfulness by offering to see a girl home only to try to molest her once he gets in the door.

Jayus - Indonesian: someone who tells a joke so unfunny you can't help laughing.

Spesenritter - German: a person who shows off by paying the bill on the firm's money, literally "an expense knight".

Kamaki - Greek: the young local guys strolling up and down beaches hunting for female tourists, literally "harpoons".

Kanjus Makkhicus - Hindi: a person so miserly that if a fly falls into his cup of tea, he'll fish it out and suck it dry before throwing it away.

Giri-GIRI - Hawaiian pidgin: the place where two or three hairs stick up, no matter what.

Pelinti - Buli, Ghana: to move very hot food around inside one's mouth.

Dii-KOYNA - Ndebele, South Africa: to destroy one's property in anger.

Hanyauku - Rukwangali, Namibia: walking on tiptoes across warm sand.

Tartle - Scottish: to hesitate when you are introducing someone whose name you can't quite remember.

Vovohe Tahtsenaotse - Cheyenne, US: to prepare the mouth before speaking by moving or licking one's lips.

Prozvonit - Czech and Slovak: to call someone's mobile from your own to leave your number in their memory without them picking it up.

Hira Hira - Japanese: the feeling you get when you walk into a dark and decrepit old house in the middle of the night.

Koi No Yokan - Japanese: a sense on first meeting someone that it is going to evolve into love.

Cafune - Brazilian Portuguese: the tender running of one's fingers through the hair of one's mate.

Shnourkovat Sya - Russian: when drivers change lanes frequently and unreasonably.

Gadrii Nombor Shulen Jongu - Tibetan: giving an answer that is unrelated to the question, literally "to give a green answer to a blue question".

Biritululo - Kiriwani, Papua New Guinea: comparing yams to settle a dispute.

Poronkusema - Finnish: the distance equal to how far a reindeer can travel without a comfort break.

Gamadj - Obibway, North America: dancing with a scalp in one's hands, in order to receive presents.

Baling - Manobo, Philippines: the action of a woman who, when she wants to marry a man, goes to his house and refuses to leave until marriage is agreed upon.

Dona - Yamana, Chile: to take lice from a person's head and squash between one's teeth.

Oka/SHETE - Ndonga, Nigeria: urination difficulties caused by eating frogs before the rain has duly fallen.

Pisan Zapra - Malay: the time needed to eat a banana.

Physiggoomai - Ancient Greek: excited by eating garlic.

Baffona - Italian: an attractive moustachioed woman.

Layogenic - Tagalog, Philippines: a person who is only goodlooking from a distance.

Rhwe - South Africa: to sleep on the floor without a mat while drunk and naked.

Shvitzer - Yiddish: someone who sweats a lot, especially a nervous seducer.

Gattara - Italian: a woman, often old and lonely, who devotes herself to stray cats.

Creerse La Ultima Coca-COLA EN EL DESIERTO - Central American Spanish: to have a very high opinion of oneself, literally to "think one is the last Coca-Cola in the desert".

Vrane Su Mu Popile Mozak - Croatian: crazy, literally "cows have drunk his brain".

Du Kannst Mir Gern Den Buckel Runterrutschen Und Mit Der Zunge Bremsen - Austrian German: abusive insult, literally "you can slide down my hunchback using your tongue as a brake".

Tener Una Cara De Telefono Ocupado - Puerto Rican Spanish: to be angry, literally "to have a face like a busy telephone".

Bablat - Hebrew: baloney, but is an acronym of "beelbool beytseem le-lo takhleet" which means "bothering someone's testicles for no reason".

Vai A Fava - Portuguese: get lost, literally "go to the fava bean".

Rombhoru - Bengali: a woman having thighs as shapely as banana trees.

Tako-NYODU - Japanese: a baldy, literally an "octopus monk".

Snyavshi Shtany, PO VOLOSAM NE GLADYAT - Russian: once you've taken off your pants it's too late to look at your hair.

via

Just the two of me

Taken at the Forks Elementary School as the girls played. We just chatted a while then went about our way.

Enough about me, here's more

I was tagged. Here goes.

4 jobs I've had:
-Petroleum Transfer Technician (gas pumper)
-Landscaper
-9-1-1- dispatcher
-EMT

4 films I could watch over and over:
-Top Gun
-Shawshank Redemption
-Three Amigos
-Matrix


4 TV shows I watch:
-The Office
-Cops
-Dirty Jobs
-Heroes

4 places I have lived:
Caldwell, NJ
North Plainfield, NJ
Flemington, NJ
Easton, PA

4 favorite foods:
-Chinese
-Pasta
-Soup (Becky rocks at soup!)
-Grilled Vegetables (Eggplant)

4 favorite colors:
-Black
-Autumn colors

4 places I'd love to be right now:
-Australia
-Ireland
-Alaska
-African Safari

4 names I love but couldn't call my children:
-Danny
-Shayne
-Aiden
-Padraig
(all because I have girls)

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Pac Man Pumpkins!


I wish I would have thought of this! Found here.

Family Picture


Family Picture, originally uploaded by -SPK.

There aren't any markings on this picture, but I am guessing that I was maybe 3? That's me on the left with my shorts up to my nipples. Thanks, Mom!

That's Shawn all the way to the right and Scott in the back. Not sure who the hot babe is between me and Shawn, but it looks like she got into a fight with a candy bar and she won!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Our last day on Hawai'i


Our last day on Hawai'i, originally uploaded by -SPK.

This is a stitched-together panoramic photo comprised of 15 different shots. I used the free program AutoStitch to compile the shot and Picasa to do some cropping, etc.

You must look at the large shot to get an idea of how large this photo actually is! www.flickr.com/photo_zoom.gne?id=1778844105&size=o

Friday, October 26, 2007

Maui near Wailea


Maui near Wailea, originally uploaded by -SPK.

One of the things I really loved about Hawaii was how different the coast was.

This was taken less than a mile from our white sand beach on the Grand Wailea resort and here you can see the black lava rocks and small mountain in the back.

This was taken at 6:50 am and Beck and I both said how weird it was to have the sun rise BEHIND the beach not the other way around. (see, we're from the east coast)

Here are the rest of the Hawaii pictures for your viewing pleasure.

reflection of me


reflection of me, originally uploaded by -SPK.

That is me in Anastasia's glasses. I just liked this one and thought it really showed the quality of the 150mm Sigma macro lens. You must see the large size to get the idea.



Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Biker Night

Biker Night

This was taken at my company conference in Maui, HI last week. (did I have to put HI there? I swear that I'm not rubbing it in - there could be another Maui, right?)

Anyway, too bad you can't see it, but I'm wearing leather chaps. And, yes, they are assless. ALL CHAPS ARE ASSLESS! Do you have any idea how many people commented about my assless chaps? Like 1000 at least.

That's me on the left with my new tattoo, Todd, Amy, Rich, and Boom on the right. More of my shots to come, but Amy emailed this to me today and I loved it!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Maui


Maui, originally uploaded by -SPK.

I've officially been awake for 26 hours and watched the sun rise in Philadelphia and set in Maui today.

This place is heaven!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

I'll be here tomorrow!

You can see more pictures of the Grand Wailea here.

I am getting picked up at 3:30am tomorrow and getting whisked away to Maui, Hawaii for my company's incentive trip where I'll spend 9 days at the Grand Wailea on Maui, then jet off to the big island of Hawai'i for volcano hikes and boat excursions.

Keep an eye on my Flickr account here to see the pictures as I add them. See you all when I get back!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

My buddy


My buddy, originally uploaded by -SPK.

Me and Paige at Strawberry Acres this weekend. She is definitely my buddy!

Strawberry Acres Set

Click on the picture to advance....



Wednesday, September 26, 2007

There are no ugly women?!

You gotta click to enlarge this one, kids.

iPod Touch Update!

As a follow-up to this post, the iPod Touch is on the way to our house!!!!!

Date/Time

Activity

Location

Details

Sep 26, 2007 2:17 PM


Int'l shipment release


INDIANAPOLIS, IN






1:16 PM


Int'l shipment release


INDIANAPOLIS, IN






6:17 AM


In transit


INDIANAPOLIS, IN


Package available for clearance


1:13 AM


Arrived at FedEx location


INDIANAPOLIS, IN






12:35 AM


Clearance delay


INDIANAPOLIS, IN





Sep 25, 2007 2:51 PM


Departed FedEx location


ANCHORAGE, AK






1:39 PM


Arrived at FedEx location


ANCHORAGE, AK





Sep 26, 2007 3:01 AM


Package data transmitted to FedEx









Sep 25, 2007 10:58 PM


In transit


SHANGHAI CN






10:39 PM


Picked up


SHANGHAI CN


Package received after FedEx cutoff


Wait, so iPods are made in CHINA?

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Walking billboard


How do you explain this to the grandkids after a few mergers and companies go out of business?

Why oh why do people do this to themselves? For more ugliness, go here.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Far from home


Far from home, originally uploaded by -SPK.

Me and Kaitlyn


Me and Kaitlyn, originally uploaded by -SPK.

I have to say, it's kind of nice when Becky picks up my camera and takes some shots. I do have to say that she's a natural at it as well, I'm sure she got that way from her Dad or Joel.

Shadows of a Pier


Shadows of a Pier, originally uploaded by -SPK.

Taken in Belmar, NJ under the fishing bridge. I loved the way the sun made this pattern on the sand.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Can you imagine working for a company that has a little more than 500 employees and has the following statistics:


- 29 have been accused of spousal abuse
- 7 have been arrested for fraud
- 19 have been accused of writing bad checks
- 117 have directly or indirectly bankrupted at least 2 businesses
- 3 have done time for assault
- 71 cannot get a credit card due to bad credit
- 14 have been arrested on drug-related charges
- 8 have been arrested for shoplifting
- 21 are currently defendants in lawsuits
- 84 have been arrested for drunk driving in the last year


Can you guess which organization this is?

Give up yet?

It's the 535 members of the United States Congress. The same group that cranks out hundreds of new laws each year designed to keep the rest of us in line.



source

Someone's getting fired!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

That little dot? Yeah, that's EARTH

This is the first image ever taken of Earth from the surface of a planet beyond the Moon. It was taken by the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit one hour before sunrise on the 63rd martian day, or sol, of its mission. The image is a mosaic of images taken by the rover's navigation camera showing a broad view of the sky, and an image taken by the rover's panoramic camera of Earth. The contrast in the panoramic camera image was increased two times to make Earth easier to see.

more here

Friday, September 14, 2007

Bored?

Click this link to see - in real time - what images people are posting to their blogs.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Fight Back!


DSCN3211, originally uploaded by skelastic.

Who knew?