Friday, June 29, 2012

The New Keyboard For My Tablet

I have to admit that I love blogging from my tablet. The Apps are fast and the posting is simple. Unfortnately, the keyboard options on my Toshiba Thrive are pretty limited. I finally reached my goal of finding a good keyboard option though and ordered the Toshiba Bluetooth Keyboard from my Amazon Affiliate Store ( and I am typing my first blog from it tonight. Overall the keys are pretty well spaced and it fits well in my lap. I think this will be an excellent replacement for typing from my laptop.

Being bluetooth, the keyboard will also sync to my phone as well. This will come in handy for those times that taking the entire tablet isn't a good idea, but I still want to have the note taking ability that the keyboard offers. Now that I have the introductions done, lets take a look on why I selected the Toshiba keyboard. First off, my Toshiba Tablet works well with it. The reviews on most of the bluetooth keyboards were mixed, so I went namebrand in hopes of having a better match. So far so good. The keyboard has dedicated buttons for opening the web browser, email, calendar and music programs. It also has a player controller built in with all the needed controls to enjoy media from a distance. It makes me think that getting the media dock for the bedroom is a good plan now.

The keys themselves have a great feel and are very well spaced. It doesn't feel any smaller than a standard keyboard, but the flat keys are a bit more challenging to use than the old laptop's were. The only major quirk that I don't enjoy so far is the back space key is pretty small up there in the corner. I guess they had to save space where they could, and that is a sacrifice worth making. Other than that, the standard Android controller buttons are in the lower left corner of the keyboard. Back, Home and Menu are all there for their needed times.

So, what does this mean for my blog? Probably a bit more blogging from here on my tablet and a bit less from the phone, but I will still be capturing all the images and videos that I can using the Samsung Focus S from and Red Pocket Mobile service. Which by the way, if you are looking to get a new phone, I have plenty at my Amazon store and can get you some great deals on service, so hit me up at for some help if you need it.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Shaving Money From The Budget

For the longest time, I kept nice electric razors in my drawer for daily shaving. I did this because I only had to change the blades every 8-12 months. I figured it wax cheaper than buying disposables or shaving cream every month for sure. Then, I found the Shick Hydro 5 razor. 

The razor shopping began when the Braun shaver I had for the last 4+ years finally gave up its last shave. It needed to be replaced. I was shopping and looking and didn't see much in the under $100 category that would work. So, I went the route of disposable razors and cheap Barbasol shaving cream. My face paid the price for that for a few months.

I then found my shav-ior in the form of the Hyrdo 5 by Shick. I also splurged on some Nevia shave gel that just seemed a bit higher quality. Anyway, to fast forward to today, I just placed my 3rd blade in the razor and I am only on my second can of gel.

At $2.40 a blade and $4 a can for gel, I am spending about $3.25 a month on my shaving gear. This is in comparison to the $3 a month for electric blades and $5 a month for electric cleaner. That $4.75 a month adds up to almost $60 a year. It is a small amount, but every penny helps!

Sent from my Windows Phone from GetSmartphones.Info

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Her First Recital

It is done. The first recital for our little ballerina. It was entertaining, scary, funny and even some pretty good moments of dancing. It was one of those 2 1/2 minute moments of life where you just didn't want to turn away. It was perfect.

Well, almost perfect. First off, lets talk weather... Nasty, horrible rain made driving to Everett a tough task. Even though getting to the Civic Center was a bit of a task, we did make it and only a few minutes late. Pretty much everyone was a few minutes late though.

Standing in line with everyone was even more fun. The doors didn't open until after 6:00 and we were all there at 5:45... Bad plan! But none the less, we all made it in, and found some decent seating to enjoy the show. That was what it was all about of course...

The show was great. Evie did her little dance pretty well, although I think we shall really spend some time practicing it next year. She spun and twirled. She jumped and sat. She was perfect. It was pretty apparent that she was the youngest, and after seeing the next class up, she's going to have to really want to move up to get me on board with that one.

Oh well, we will worry about that next year. For now, we are just enjoying the amazing evening that was her recital and how fun it was to share it with everyone that could make it. For those that could t though, I'll get the video encoded as soon as we get it and post it online.

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Friday, June 22, 2012

Just Fell In Love With My Thrive All Over Again...

I've been looking for a new laptop solution for a few months now and frankly haven't found many options. Until last night.. I was strolling through Target last night grabbing a few last minute gifts for Jozy's birthday on Saturday when I saw it... There it was, in a locked case, on CLEARANCE! The Acer Netbook that I'd been watching on Amazon was on CLEARANCE! Not just a decent price mind you, but almost 40% off the Amazon/Retail price!

I started thinking and trying to justify it in my head. As a matter of fact, I was contemplating going down and grabbing it while Ara and Evie napped. Then a funny thing happend. I started to think about why my Toshiba Thrive didn't fill my needs, and except for photo editing, it does. The next step was what might my new "netbook" do that my Thrive doesn't? Well, first off, typing blogs on this thing is a pain in the butt. Then working with Word or Excel is a pain too. Of course, entering information in to web forms also sucks.. Wait, there's a pattern here - the keyboard on the Thrive, although customized, is a pain.

For giggles, I popped over to the desktop computer in the corner and swiped the wireless keyboard adapter out of it and guess what... Flawless! It popped right in to the USB port and I was off and typing. As a matter of fact, I'm doing this blog from it right now. I haven't even tried the mouse yet, but I can't wait to see how that handles the internet browsing. If this is going to behave more like a PC for me, I will figure out a way to sync content from my phone later, and just enjoy the fact that I now can use my Thrive in the last way that I couldn't before and bank up that $250 for another day... Now, does PogoPlug make a Windows Phone app?

I'm off to search for it now...

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Being Dad...

Father's Day. It is that day where thank you's are given for the little bit that we are able to help raising our children. I never think I do enough to help, but somehow at the end of the day, our child is safe and she is happy. I guess that's enough for now...

I guess my goal in life is to be half the man that raised me into a man. Peter, Dad, is the most amazing man that I have ever had the pleasure of sharing company with. He is easy going when needed, but has a way of coaching instead of demanding, that sets him apart from anyone else. His even level demeanor just makes the great things amazing, and the terrible things very bearable.

His kindness is one of his many assets. His determination to make things work is one thing that I have carried on through every speed bump, trial and tribulation that has come across my path. Another attribute that I try to put forward every day is his caring. He walked into a house, saved a mother and two struggling kids from self destructing.

From walking into our lives, to 25 years of marriage, Dad has been there for us through everything. From the shattered dreams of a 10 year old that was promised a trip to Disneyland that would never happen, to my high school graduation. From struggles in college to my wedding day. Dad has made every day better.

I guess as I think of Father's Day this year and count back to my first 2, I certainly hope that I am close to following what he has taught me. Patience, kindness and most of all, unconditional love. It is the kind of love that only comes along once in a lifetime, and I was lucky enough to have someone like him not just tell me about it, but to show me how it was done.

So, Dad, I doubt you'll ever see this, unless Ara forwards it to you, but thank you. Thank you for everything that you have done. Thank you for everything you have taught me. Thank you for being the kind of man that I hope to be everyday. And most of all, thank you for loving me as your own, because that's what I am, yours.

Sent from my Windows Phone from GetSmartphones.Info

Saturday, June 16, 2012

A Day At The Strawberry Festival

Today started out rainy, drippy and just muggy. Our plans of sneaking off to the zoo were definitely out, but maybe a quick trip out to the Marysville Strawberry Festival would be ok. So we headed north to check it out.

The festival was the usual fair time fun with a ton of community booths, people hocking weird stuff and that once in a blue moon a booth jumped out at us with something cool.

The booth that one the day though was the nail art booth with the polish and templates to paint shapes on your nails. Kelsie was awesome and even painted a butterfly on Evie's tiny nails. Needless to say, we'll be visiting soon and entering Kelsie's name in the box online. If you are reading this, you should totally check it out also.

We sat down to lunch and found the largest elephant ear I have ever seen... And yes, we did finish it... Other than that, we found John and the kids there, enjoyed the celebration and escaped before the rains came. What a great day.

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Friday, June 15, 2012

The Next Goal... To Tri...

Any one that knows me probably has an idea that last year I completed the Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic in rather easy fashion. Sure it was a long two day adventure, but I made both days in about 7+ hours of saddle time. I was going to try and start training to complete the 2012 STP in one day, but between finances and training time, the plans were dashed by February when the ride sold out. I have spent thr last few months trying to find a new "goal" for my training, but kept coming up empty. Today, however, I found something that is a complete challenge, and a winner.

Tomorrow is a fun day in Monroe. The 2012 TriMonroe happens at Lake Tye park. It has a few different classes available and it looked like a bit of fun, if that's the right word for it. The first "open" class is a pretty simple setup, and it is one that I think I am going to run next year...

There are three stages to the Monroe Tri open class race. The 3.5 mile run would be the most difficult for me. I haven't run more than a half mile in 5 years. The 1000 yard swim shouldn't be too much of an issue, although I've never done a competitive swimming event. We'll just have to see if I can swim or not. The last section, and probably my strongest, is a 13.2 mile bike ride around Lake Tye. Its the same route that I trained all last summer on and can ride in about 35 minutes.

I usually do better with fitness when I have a serious goal to shoot for, and this seems like a pretty good one. I'm not sure if I can or can't do this, but for right now, the TriMonroe is the big goal for the summer of 2013!

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Monday, June 11, 2012

A Quick Weekend

This is going to be a very quick update of the week. How about starting with the fact that I am totally missing my laptop for my wedding cut and edit. I have a feeling if it was still up, that I would have been sorted and half edited by now. As it is, I finally went back to the dark days and just bulk copied the folder and will just use deleting as my "cut" on this one.

Of course, just because computers are being a pain doesn't mean that life is all bad. This weekend we snuck in to Big 5 Sporting Goods to take a peek at their camping stuff. We didn't find much camping stuff that we couldn't love without, bit we did find the Monkey a fishing pole. She is still talking about fishing with Grampers though, so one more pole might be needed soon.

After a fun morning, we dropped Evie at Uncle John's and went to see a movie and visit the casino. The movie was fantastic! The Avengers completely lived up to the hype. The casino wasn't quite as fun, as most of the "penny" slots that we love are getting up near $1 to play. We blew a quick $50 and headed for the door.

Saturday ended in a wonderful way with a Subway dinner and all of us snuggling on the couch watching Matilda. Life just doesn't get much better than that. Oh, and a side note... I have my PlayStation 2 up for sale if you know of anyone that wants it...

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Monday, June 4, 2012

Weekend Files: The Wedding Ahoot

On Saturday, I shot the first wedding that I've done in a few months. The day was a bit nerve racking, but it really came together nicely. I logged almost 1500 shots in nearly 10 hours of shooting. It was a very high count, but impressive considering the challenges of the day.

We start out with the fact that the groom was 25 minutes late dressing, then not all the right people were there for the formals at the start. Then, by being late, we missed our dry window and the rain began to fall. This was not looking good. The ceremony had already been moved from the gorgeous outdoor setting to a catastrophic indoor one. Black room against bright outdoor light is never fun, and frankly horrible to shoot, but that's what I was given.

The ceremony was a challenge, but I flashed up and made it through with some good shots. The group shots then finished out the early afternoon and it was off to a stellar reception. The DJ was phenomenal, though I thought it strange they didn't play period music for their 20's theme while dinner was served, but she was still fantastic.

The dancing, events and fun went smooth as silk throughout the afternoon and as the day ran a few minutes longer, we headed out to Moon Mansion in North Bend for a few last shots. The day ended great with the short drive home and a flip through the images.

I was super happy with the results, and can't wait to get to the cut down and edits. I'll post a link here soon when I get then done if anyone wants to see them.

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Evie's New Ride

It is actually about a month old, and really wasn't new when we got it, but Evie's new bike trailer sure was a hit the first time out. We took it out Friday for a few laps around the lake. The trailer felt great behind the bike and Evie sure had fun with it.

After a few laps, we pulled in and hit the swings while Mama finished up her walk. It was a good little venture out. Hopefully, we can land Ara a bike soon so we can start some rides like the Centennial Trail or maybe Green Lake.

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