Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Gore in 2008

I think the Democrats might have a winning strategy brewing. They will back both Hillary and Obama to satiate the minority and women vote and dig deep into all their supporters bank accounts to flood the media with their "time for a change" theme. Unfortunately neither Hillary or Obama can win the heartland and the democrats might have figured that out by now. So the smart thing would be to push their messages until the october deadline and then throw Al Gore into the mix. Gore will easily become the #1 candidate and the democratic party can double dip into their supporters pockets for a second time (this may also explain why the campaigns started earlier). Al Gore can use his global warming fame to base his campaign on, and anyone that disagrees with it can be ridiculed and quickly swept under the rug. The media is already molding him for the presidency and his book, to be released in october, is just too convenient of a truth to not be a sign. If it wasn't for his extreme global warming stance I would consider voting for him. I think this time around he has nothing to lose and has had plenty of practice to get over his boorish tendencies. If he does win I hope he will not be able to pass his economy killing changes.

I want to see a Guilliani - McCain ticket.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

EjectEjectEject.com

My favorite blog is back and with some new ideas that might be revolutionary. Bill Whittle is an amazing writer and I look forward to getting a copy of his book, though everythiing in the book is on the webpage. His latest essay is well done though may be tough for some to follow without first reading his other essays. I recommend them all. Hopefully we will be hearing much more about him in the future.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Our Virginia Home

For all who have been asking here are some photos of the house. These photos show you before and after renovation. We are in a home that has been renovated. There are 3 pages of photos so enjoy :)

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Windows Vista

I finally broke down and bought a new laptop. My old HP ZV5120US has stopped charging and the cost of repair probably isn't worth it (I did try a new power cord with no luck). I may try a new battery since the laptop is still in decent shape. During deployment part of the hard drive failed on me. After several restores and numerous hard drive checking programs (Western Digital and Norton could not repair it) I re-partitioned the 40GB harddrive to 36GB. Lucky for me the bad part of the disk was in the upper 4GB.

I was worried about buying a new computer with Vista, but I couldn't put it off anymore. Circuit City was the best price by far, my only gripe with them is they charge taxes online…. So I bought from the store. I went with a smaller DV6365US and have been pleased so far. I spent a little extra to get the 2gb RAM and 64-bit dual core processor (though 64 bit is only available with Vista Ultimate and is a compatability nightmare), I think it will be worth it. They are still selling laptops with 512mb RAM. My laptop idling uses 1gb, so Vista is definitely only for new computers. Most of the complaints about Vista are from people that upgrade. Upgrading is not something I would recommend. The smoother/prettier eye candy interface is nice, but I was hoping for something innovative and functional. I added a weather, performance, and post-it gadget to my desktop which is convenient. I hope 3rd party developers will improve on the current downloads, it has some potential. The search bar is still hidden, though more accessible than before in the start menu, and it is much smarter, no ridiculous waits anymore. The only other notable improvement is the ability to add RAM via thumb drive or memory card. Supposedly Vista is a complete rewrite and is more secure, but I have been happy with XP for several years now. Vista is a step in the right direction but not worth an upgrade. It also isn't the nightmare many people try to make it out to be. Definitely get it for the next computer you buy and don't fall for the minimum system requirement of 512mb. 1gb should be the min with 2gb recommended.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Internet Speeds

I keep forgetting to compare Internet between moves. There is an easy online test to see how fast your upload and download speeds are here or here.
Speakeasy.net
Download Speed: 4595 kbps (574.4 KB/sec transfer rate)
Upload Speed: 1783 kbps (222.9 KB/sec transfer rate)

Cnet:
3402.8 kbps

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Opt-Out Credit Card Offers

Finally a way to stop those credit card offers. Just call: 1-888-567-8688. Rikki and I did it 2 weeks ago and are still getting some, but hopefully they will stop soon. The opt-out is completely automated voice recognition. I was actually impressed, the voice recognition was the best I've seen so far. This opt-out is probably the most important thing anyone can do to prevent identity theft.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Glamour Shots Revised

Now for my side of the story. It was painful, literally, especially those crouching photos. But, I can manage it once every 5 years I think. The prices are pretty ridiculous, the markup is outrageous. But, we did well since we didn't buy a large portrait until they gave us the "wall of fame" discount. We planned on going back anyways to buy more so that worked out really well. We also have some more coupons that we will use when we go back to buy for the parents. We did get a package deal so 5X7 or wallets for everyone. If anyone has a preference let us know. I know Rikki is working the orders for the parents.

Rikki's ego is swollen since the owner is going to hang one of our photos on the wall for 30 days. We get to buy it at 50% off, saving about 500$. Did I mention the markup is ridiculous? They also gave us a slideshow (250$) which is here:

Full resolution 57 MB

I'm not sure how well my server will handle the big files. Try the full resolution but I expect most people will have to download the 2nd one. Be patient, my old server is a bit slow. Go watch a movie while it downloads :-p Email me if you have problems and I can make it small enough to go over email.

Glamour Shots said they would call us when the wall portrait is up so we'll go check it out then and order some more.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Glamour Shots Continued

After posting about our wonderful adventures at Glamour Shots yesterday I got a call from them. The owner of Glamour Shots in the Greenbrier Mall looked at portraits yesterday. She liked our photos and wants to put one on the stores Wall Of Fame. If Nathan and I agree to this then we can have either a wall portrait or a family collage at 40 to 45% off. The price would include mounting and framing. The store would request that they have the photo for 30 days so that they may keep it up on their wall. WOW talk about totally having a big head. Nathan and I will head back to the store this weekend to figure out what we want.

This morning our pictures were delivered. Just two days after our photos were taken. I am totally excited. The photos look great! I called Nathan to brag because he is at work.

I am so glad that we decided to get photos taken :) It was so worth it.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Glamour Shots

Our 5th Anniversary is up and coming. I wanted to get some professional photos taken to have something to look back on and remember what we looked like and to see how much we have changed. There are 3 places in the Greenbrier Mall that take photos. I stopped at two locations to take a look and see what their setup was. We decided to go with Glamour Shots. They photograph plenty of adults, couples and families. The other location that we checked out seemed to be more for toddlers and children. We made an appointment for the following week.

The entire process for hair, makeup, photos and then picking out photos took 4 hours. The women get their hair and makeup done for the photos. We decided to do three changes for the photos; white shirt and jeans, black shirt and jeans and then a semi-formal picture with Nathan in his whites and me in a cute dress.

Our photographer did a wonderful job. We weren’t sure if we were going to get a good photo for our family picture. Yes this does include Angel. The family photos came out great. Angel was well behaved too. She sat with Nathan and I as pictures were being taken and she didn’t look petrified or run off.

Our second outfit change brought new poses and unique photos. We had a silhouette picture taken and some profiles. Angel was good and stayed in her kennel and didn’t whimper at all.

Our third outfit change brought on more poses and more unique photos; one of which Nathan and I requested. Nathan actually thought of a good one; to recreate our favorite wedding photo every 5 years. So our photographer did that for us.

At the very end of our session I got to have a couple of photos taken by myself.

When we were shown our photos it was very difficult to choose which ones we wanted to purchase. We couldn’t purchase a package for each of the photos but were able to get a thumbnail black book of all the photos for free. Once the photos we did purchase come in and Nathan and I can see them, we may actually go back and reorder a larger photo.

Nathan and I want to thank our Glamour Shots crew for an amazing job. Thank you for allowing us to recreate some old memories and for creating some new ones. We appreciate your time and personal attention to details. Thank you!

For anyone who reads this blog and is the Tidewater/Hampton Roads area, if you are thinking of having some professional photos taken and are interested in Glamour Shots I have a coupon for $100 off between photos and fees. This offer is only good until the end of the month and you have to have this refer a friend coupon. Please e-mail either one of us for the specific info.