Saturday, December 31, 2005

Tomorrow is the first day of the rest of your life...

Tomorrow is the first day of the rest of your life...

DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!!! Here we are going into another New Year; a time of reflection on the year gone by and setting goals for the upcoming year. Speaking of goals...here are a few tips for setting goals.

  1. Set realistic goals - it is important to set goals that you can achieve
  2. Don't set the bar too low - on the other hand, don't set your goals too low; they should be just out of your reach but not too far that you will never be able to accomplish them
  3. Write your goals down - out of sight = out of mind; make sure you write your goals down and keep them in plain sight so you can focus on them daily
  4. Set deadlines - your goals should have deadlines attached to them, this adds a sense of urgency
  5. Two types of goals - I always try to have at least one short term goal and one long term goal that I am working toward at any given time
Remember this: "If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail!" Start the year off right and make a plan, set some goals and enjoy life. Whatever your goals are for 2006, I wish you much success and a very HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Friday, December 30, 2005

New Year's Resolution

New Year's Resolution

I have only one thing to say about New Year's Resolutions. I am not making any this year! That's it... period! Every year it's the same old thing, everybody makes a big list of impossible resolutions. Most of the things on the list never get accomplished...so what's the use?

Instead of a usless list of impossible resolutions I will just promise myself one thing this year. I will try my best to be a better person each and every day. This means I will smile more, take time to stop and smell the roses, be more loving to my wife and family and strive to be a better Christian in my daily life.

Sounds easy enough, doesn't it? Not really, old habits are hard to break and you know the devil will be throwing road blocks in my path. However, I realize that God will give me the strength to overcome these obstacles and will show me the way around the roadblocks.

Pslams 54:7 "For he has delivered me from all my troubles, and my eyes have looked in triumph on my foes."

OK, so maybe that is a New Year's Resolution after all? At least it's not a long list of promises I know I can't keep. Do yourself a favor this year, make your resolutions reasonable. Set goals that you can accomplish, you will feel much better about yourself.

I wish you a Happy and Blessed New Year.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Kudos To My Wife

Kudos To My Wife

My wife, Christine, really loves Christmas. It is her favorite time of the year and she goes all out with her decorations and dinners and gift-giving. I don't know where she gets the energy to keep the pace this time of year. She works during the day then does all the Christmas shopping and wrapping. The only thing I had to shop for was her presents. She also decorates our tree and home for the Holidays and cooks up a great Christmas Eve dinner and cookies, etc. Watch out Martha Stewart!

In addition to all of this extra stuff for Christmas, she never misses a beat with her usually busy schedule of babysitting the grandkids and niece and nephew and running to football games or marching band practice to support the young ones in their school activities.
Christine really is an amazing woman, I want to take this opportunity to publicly thank her for all that she does.

This year was exceptionally beautiful. The house looked like a page out of a magazine and we had 15 people over for dinner on Christmas Eve. the meal was delicious and everyone loved their gifts. Then Christmas day we had 4 more people over for another wonderful meal and gift exchange.

You would think today the day after Christmas would be a day of rest...but no way. Christine is off and running again, she is out with her sister and niece at the mall. I don't know how she does it all.

Thanks Honey...I love you very much!

Sunday, December 25, 2005

2006 Is Almost Here

2006 Is Almost Here

Thanksgiving and Christmas have come and gone and another New Year is almost upon us! Time for goal setting and resolutions. I will have a New Year Resolution post soon.

I have a new blog for the new year: Bed & Breakfast Experiences. Check it out when you get a chance, it's all about the experience of staying at a Bed & Breakfast instead of a Hotel or Motel when you are traveling. It's an experience you will never forget.

New for this week: Be sure to visit my current renter "
Gamer For A Laugh".

Click on the screenshot of his blog in the left margin. This is a wonderful blog for all you gamers; hosted by a Shout Box regular, FuzzBuck Fuzz. You'll find some interesting posts here as well as FREE games and great links.

I hope everyone had a fantastic Christmas and I wish you a Happy and Blessed New Year.

Friday, December 23, 2005

The Inn at Ragged Gardens

The Inn at Ragged Gardens

Here is another great Bed & Breakfast to stay at in the mountains of North Carolina.
The Inn at Ragged Gardens is a warm, antique-filled, beautiful place to visit. The Hyatt family has restored this turn-of-the-century home in downtown Blowing Rock and your stay there will be memorable.

Every time we have tried to stay there it has been completely booked. So make your reservations well in advance. Some good friends of ours have stayed there and told us that they really loved it. We have taken a tour of the rooms and hopefully will get to stay there on our next trip to Blowing Rock. You can get a nice look at this lovely Bed & Breakfast on their website: The Inn at Ragged Gardens .

This charming Inn sits on an acre of enchanting gardens and their gourmet breakfast includes the use of herbs and flowers organically grown in their own gardens.

To find more information about Blowing Rock visit their website: Information on Blowing Rock, NC . If you know of a great Bed & Breakfast please share it and leave a comment.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Another Great Bed & Breakfast

Another Great Bed & Breakfast

Here is another great Bed & Breakfast located right on the waterfront in Manteo, North Carolina. The Tranquil House Inn is our favorite place to stay when we go to the Outer Banks. It's not far from Nagshead, and it is home of the 1587 Restaurant, with world-class chefs! What a wonderful dining experience, the food there is outstanding!

We have stayed there a couple of different times and really enjoyed it. My favorite thing about The Tranquil House Inn is the wine and cheese they serve in the afternoon on the back porch overlooking the water. It is so peaceful and refreshing to sit there and chat with the other guests as you nibble on cheese and drink some good wine.

Here is the link to their website: The Tranquil House Inn.

Manteo is a quaint little town and a great place for a walking tour and it's just a short ride to Nagshead, Kitty Hawk and other tourist attractions.

While you are there be sure to check out The Lost Colony, a musical theater under the stars, about the first English Colony here in NC that vanished without a trace! Here is website for The Lost Colony.

If you have a favorite Bed & Breakfast please leave a comment.


Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Winky-Dink

Winky-Dink

If you are not a baby boomer you may not remember Wink-Dink. This was one of my all time favorite TV shows. It ran in the 1950s on Saturday mornings. The name of the show was "
Winky-Dink and You".

This was actually the first version of today's interactive video games. You could buy a kit with a piece of plastic that stuck to the black& white TV and the deal was you could then draw on the screen and help Winky-Dink out of jams he would get into. If he needed a ladder to climb you simply had to draw it on the screen. There would also be letters at the bottom of the screen that you had to trace to form a secret message.

The kits cost only about 50 cents if you order them from TV or you could buy a kit for around 3 dollars at the local toy store. The picture above is from: TV Party website. You can find all kinds of neat information there about your favorite old television shows.

Saturday mornings used to be filled with great TV shows like "Winky-Dink and You", "Sky King", and "Ramar of the Jungle", just to name a few. If any of you are old enough to remember these classic shows, leave a comment and share your memories.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

More About Bed & Breakfasts

More About Bed & Breakfasts

Here is some more information about Bed & Breakfasts. This will be a continuing series of posts about the Bed & Breakfast Experience. Here are a few useful links:

Click Here to Locate a Bed & Breakfast - Directory for U.S. and Canada

10 Tips for First Time for First Time Bed & Breakfast Guests - Tips

Directory of World Wide Bed & Breakfasts - World Wide Directory

What every good Bed & Breakfast host should offer:

  • Friendly service and a great breakfast
  • Tips on where to go in the area to sightsee or to get a good meal
  • Historical information about the Inn or the surrounding area
  • Some hosts offer recipes they use in the Inn
  • A list of area churches and service times
  • Good conversation



We stayed at a The Inn On Main Street several years ago in Weaverville, North Carolina and without fail every year we get a friendly email from the owner thanking us for staying there and inviting us to come and visit again. That's a real nice touch.

Our stay there was wonderful. The Inn Keepers, Nancy and Dan, came out to great us as we arrived and were very warm and friendly. They showed us around their Bed & Breakfast and were very good hosts. We asked them where a good place to eat dinner was and they gave us several choices.

The Inn On Main Street was just a 15 minute drive away from The Biltmore House where we planned to visit the following day. Nancy and Dan told us the best way to go and also had some brochures available for us. After a day of walking around The Biltmore Estate and the streets of Asheville, it was great to come back to the quaint town of Weaverville and relax on the porch with the other guests at The Inn On Main Street.

The next morning we had a wonderful home cooked breakfast of frittatas, made-from-scratch muffins and fruit. We really didn't want to leave this wonderful place, but our weekend was over and we had to return to reality. We look forward to returning there again for another relaxing weekend sometime soon.




Monday, December 19, 2005

The Bed & Breakfast Experience

The Inn On Main Street - Weaverville, NCThe Bed & Breakfast Experience

The next time you are traveling, instead of the same old boring hotel or motel room, treat yourself to The Bed & Breakfast Experience. You will love it! My wife and I always stay at a Bed & Breakfast rather than a Hotel or Motel; it is a world of difference and a refreshing experience.

Pictured here is "The Inn On Main Street " in Weaverville, NC. We stayed there when we went to visit The Biltmore House, just a short drive from this wonderful Bed & Breakfast. (Coming soon a review of our stay there.)

What is a Bed & Breakfast?

Typically, a Bed & Breakfast is a privately owned home, which offers a place to stay for the night and a home-cooked breakfast in the morning. Thus the term, Bed & Breakfast. Usually the homes are older, historic homes and may only have 3 or 4 rooms available. Sometimes family members or other guests share the bathroom; however, many of the newer ones have private bathrooms now.

Bed & Breakfasts are usually very quiet and many will not accommodate children under 12, so if you have young children this may not be for you. On the other hand, if you are looking for a nice romantic getaway...leave the kids at home and enjoy!

If it's a romantic inn that you are looking for go to: I Love Inns for a list of the top ten romantic Bed & Breakfasts in 2005.

Bed & Breakfasts have been around just about forever. Monasteries used to serve as Bed & Breakfasts and some still do. People in Europe and England have been staying at Bed & Breakfasts for centuries. Here in the United States, we can trace the Bed & Breakdfasts back to the days of Pioneers. Then during the Great Depression many families opened up their homes as "Boarding Houses" to earn extra money.

After Hotel and Motel chains starting popping up everywhere, the Bed & Breakfast kind of faded away. If you know where to look, you can still find a great Bed & Breakfast just about anywhere you plan to go, here or abroad! Once you have experienced the home-cooked breakfast and genuine hsopitality of the inn-keepers in a quaint little Bed & Breakfast, you will never want to stat at a Hotel or Motel Again!

Coming soon: Our favorite North Carolina Bed & Breakfasts

If you know of a great Bed & Breakfast, please leave a comment and share it with us.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Old Guy's Treehouse

Old Guy's Treehouse

My renter this week is a friend from the Shout Box at Blog Explosion. He has a great blog, I read it all the time. He recently gave his blog a new design which is awesome. (I couldn't beat him in battle of the blogs before...now I'm afraid to even try!)

Old Guy says, "You won't find anything controversial here, no politics, no swearing, no pictures of people running around naked, however I think that if you pour yourself a coffee and have a seat, maybe spend a little time, you might find something you like."

So do yourself a favor, and stop by Old Guy's Treehouse...tell him that cmmdtp sent you from Ramblings and Rhetoric. I'm sure you will enjoy his blog. You can click on the image on my side bar in the Rent My Blog section to go to Old Guy's Treehouse.


Saturday, December 17, 2005

Digital Phone

Digital Phone

We live in North Carolina and the majority of our family live in Connecticut and Florida. Every month our long distance phone bills have been outrageous. Finally I decided to give Digital Phone Service a try. FREE long distance, how can you beat that?
Time Warner Cable Digital Phone Service since I was already using their Road Runner high-speed Internet service anyway and love it. I was told there were so many people requesting digital phone service that there was a one-month waiting list before it could be installed. WOW -- that's unbelievable. Oh well, I guess I could wait one more month.

The long anticipated installation day finally arrived and I took the day off from work to be here when they came to install my new system. The TWC guy was here right on time and made short work of the installation.

It cost me $95.00 a month for Road Runner high-speed Internet service and Digital Phone Service. That may sound expensive, but it is not. I was already paying $44.95 for Road Runner anyway, and if you add in the phone bill and the long distance phone charges on top of that it came out to a whole lot more than $95.00.

We have had Digital Phone Service now for several months and we are very happy with it. There are many different Digital Phone Services available, see what you have in your area, sign up for it and dump your long distance carrier. You save money and be much happier!

The Chronicles of Narnia

The Chronicles of Narnia

I just got home from seeing the Chronicles of Narnia and have to write about it. What an awesome movie! Disney was taking a chance with a cast of unknowns, but they pulled it off. Having read all seven books several times, I had visions of what Narnia would look like in my head. Today when I saw the movie I was amazed to find that Narnia looked exactly like what I expected it to.


My vote for the best performances go to Georgie Henley, who did a wonderful job as sweet Lucy; and Tilda Swinton who potrayed the cold-hearted White Witch. The cinematography and visual effects were great as well.
Filmed in New Zealand the countryside makes a spectacular backdrop for the movie. Director, Andrew Adamson (of Shrek and Shrek 2) did a fantastic job. Liam Neeson was the voice of Ashlan and may very well be the only name you recognize in the credits.

Speaking of the credits -- don't be in a hurry to get up and rush out of the theater as soon as the credits appear on the screen, because there is still a little more to come. One final scene kept the audience standing in the aisle and stopped the mass exodus from the full house.
I can't wait for the sequels, you know it's not going to end there. If you never read the books the movie was complete in itself, but for those of you who are in the know...there is still much more to come!

I highly recommend this movie as a must see. I only hope that the Christian symbolism is not lost in all the excitement. The movie is rated PG but some of the battle scenes may be a little scary for real young children. Narnia is a combination family film and action-adventure thriller. I totally loved the move!

Watch trailer here: http://www.apple.com/trailers/disney/thechroniclesofnarnia/

Friday, December 16, 2005

This is Not a Holiday Tree

I received this via e-mail and do not know who it originated from...but I love it.

This is a Christmas tree. It is not a Hanukkah bush, it is not an Allah plant, it is not a Holiday hedge. It is a Christmas tree. Say it... CHRISTmas , CHRISTmas , CHRISTmas Yes. CHRISTmas - celebrating the Birth of Jesus Christ!!! If this offends you...too bad. Get over it.

Take a stand and pass this on !!

Surfing and Lurking While Working



Surfing and Lurking While Working



I have come to the conclusion that bloggers are great at multi-tasking! Just stop by Blog Explosion any time of the day or night and you will find several regulars hanging out in the Shout Box chatting away. Many of the people there are at work and are lurking while working! They drop in from time to time to chat with their Shout Box Buddies or keep an eye on the exciting FRENZY game that pops up every few minutes.

If you don't know what a FRENZY is then you need to stop by Blog Explosion and find out. It's a great game and really easy to play, all you have to do is select A or B when it pops up and you can win credits, it's a 50/50 chance of winning with nothing to lose!

I am at work right now as I write this post. Here are just a few of the things I am doing simultaniously.

  • Working - my job is webmaster for our radio station's five websites, I am also Assistant to General Manager, and Assistant to National Sales Manager
  • Posting entries to several different blogs
  • Checking my email at work and home
  • Chatting in the Blog Explosion Shout Box
  • Surfing websites at Blog Explosion to earn credits and cash in Christmas contest
  • Keeping an eye on Shout Box Frenzy so I can earn credits when game pops up
  • Playing Battle of the Blogs at Blog Explosion to earn credits
  • Listing my blog on Blog Rocket at Blog Explosion to attract visitors
  • Visiting other blogs at Blog Rocket to earn mystery credits and read other blogs
The list goes on and on, but I really must get back to work. You get the idea. If you want to learn how to become a great muti-tasker -- start blogging! If you want to have fun blogging and meet other wonderful bloggers -- Join Blog Explosion, it's FREE and lots of FUN!

If you are surfing and lurking while working, leave me a comment, I'll visit your blog in return and leave a comment.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

There Ain't No Santa Claus

(This is a poem my mother wrote many years ago, in honor of my mom's memory I am posting it here today since this is the Christmas Season. We miss you mom, Christmas just isn't the same since you have been gone.)

There Ain't No Santa Claus

By: Clarice Clark


When I was ten, my Mama said,

"You're old enough, my child, to know

There ain't no Santa Claus,

Your Pa and me are very poor,

We can't afford no toys.

There'll by no baby doll for you,

And no cars for the boys."


I left for school that day

Feeling very bad.

My teacher saw my tears,

And asked,

"Why are you so sad?"


I told her what my Ma had said

She didn't seem surprised.

She sat me down, and dried my tears,

Then looked me in the eyes.


"Your Ma is right," she told me,

"Santa is not real.

He's a spirit, don't you see?

A loving, giving spirit,

That lives in you and me.


And Christmas isn't just a day

For getting lots of toys

It's for celebrating Jesus' birth

And peace for all upon the earth."


Well, Christmas morning came around,

A knock came at our door.

There stood teacher, loaded down,

With packages galore.


She said,"I live upon the hill

With neither kith nor kin,

I thought I'd spend the day with you,

If you'll just ask me in."


She had a gift for Ma and Pa,

And race cars for the boys,

But best of all a baby doll,

And several other toys.


I hugged my doll, and went to Ma,

And whispered in her ear.

Then I spoke out loud and clear

For everyone to hear.


"Now tell me Ma,

You still believe

There ain't no Santa Claus"?

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Self-Destruct Text Messaging

Self-Destruct Text Messaging

Here's a cool invention, just like Mission Impossible. Staellium, a British company, has come up with a way to have text messages sent from cell phones to self-destruct 40 seconds after they are read! What will they think of next?

Read the full article here.

Kate Moss: Style Icon of 2005?

Kate Moss : Style Icon of 2005 ?

Model, actress, drunk, cocaine addict, nymphomaniac; these are just a few of the things you might find on Kate's resume. Now she can add "Style Icon of 2005" to her list of accomplishments.

I just don't get it, what's the attraction? To me she looks like an anorexic, burnt out model; yet Grazia Magazine has voted her the Style Icon of 2005.

I'd like to hear from you. Do you think she is a trendsetter in the fashion industry and worthy of the title Style Icon of 2005?

Please leave a comment.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Advertising -- Does it really work?

Advertising - Does it really work?

We are deluged with advertisments everywhere we go, especially this time of the year. I'm curious to know if these ads really work? Please leave a comment and let me know if you have ever bought anything specifically because of an advertisment. Be sure to also tell me what type of ad it was.

  • TV
  • Radio
  • Newspaper
  • Magazine
  • Email
  • Website or blog banner
  • Internet pop-up ad
  • Google Adsense
  • Direct mail
  • In store advertisment
Remember there are less than two-weeks till Christmas...why are you sitting there reading this blog when you should be out shopping?


Monday, December 12, 2005

Want To Get Closer To Your Spouse?

Want To Get Closer To Your Spouse?

Try doing this if you want to get closer to your spouse. Join a Bible Study group together. That's right, I said Bible Study.

Chris and I have been together for 13-years and we have noticed that the times we are happiest is when we have been participating in a Bible study group together.


Right now we are a little upset because we haven't been able to meet on Sunday nights with our church group that is doing the Disciple Bible Study program. We have missed several weeks due to the hectic pace of the Christmas season! Hopefully, we can get back into it the first of the year again.

Not only will you get closer to your spouse by doing Bible Study but you will also get closer to God. There are all kinds of study groups available, a good place to look is within your own church. There are also many studies available online or at Christian bookstores.

We have found that by participating in small group Bible Studies we get more benefit. There is interaction between the members of the group and you get to hear different opinions and interpretations. The study we are in now comes with a great deal of homework also, but that is good because my wife and I do it together and learn from each other.

Give it a try; dust off your Bible, open it up and start reading. Then join a group and discuss what you have read. Do it together with your spouse and I guarantee you will become closer together because of it. Read, believe, be changed!

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Shout Box Hall of Fame

Shout Box Hall of Fame

My renter this week is "
Shout Box Hall of Fame", which is a second home of the infamous BE-Shoutboxers. On 'heavy demand, three fellow shoutboxers and Belgian Brighton created this blog. There was much controversy at first and some arguments followed but the blog goes on and has a growing list of contributers. Every shoutboxer can post here, speak & write about her/his dull life. But mainly have a second home.

It's a great addition to the blogosphere, so take a few minutes to drop by and visit the "Shout Box Hall of Fame". There's a plethora of great posts just waiting for you to read. If you want to join and be a contributor, follow this link: How to join SBHOF.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Blogging Etiquitte 101

Blogging Etiquitte 101

I have only been blogging since Sept. 2005; but I am amazed at the number of blogs and subjects blogged about that I have found. I joined
Blog Explosion and frequent their chat room, The Shout Box. It's a great community of bloggers and I have made some good online blogging buddies. I have also learned quite a bit about blogging from the people there. One thing I have noticed is that we can all benefit by being "Click Buddies". See my post and learn what a Click Buddy is. I love to surf the web and visit other people's blogs. I beleive we all should adhere to the etiquitte rules I have listed here when visiting other blogs.
  1. Don't just surf to earn credits, make sure you read at least one post on the blog you are visiting
  2. Leave a comment
  3. Be nice, remember the whole world can view your comments
  4. If someone leaves a comment on your blog, reciprocate and visit their blog. Make sure you follow the first three rules above while you are there
  5. In the case of Blog Explosion, take the time to visit the renter on the blog you are visiting and again, follow rules 1-3 above while you are on that blog
  6. Battle of the Blogs is a great feature of Blog Explosion, so also take a few minutes to vote on the battles that are going on
  7. When you are in the Shout Box or other chat rooms be nice. Bloggers have feelings too. If you must argue or say negative things about someone else, take the discussion out of public veiw. Send an email or IM the person, keep the squabbles private.
If we all abide by these view simple rules of etiquitte, the blog world will be a much nicer place, and we will all benefit. I look forward to your comments. I'll see you in cyberspace.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Why Do People Smoke?

Why Do People Smoke?

There was a big discussion earlier in the Blog Explosion Shout Box about smoking and smoker's rights. I tried to stay out of it because I have strong feelings on the subject. My mom just died a few years ago from cancer. Did she smoke? Yes, even after chemotherapy she continued to smoke. Did she know better? You bet she did, she was a Registered Nurse and knew the dangers of smoking! My dad died when he was only 50-years old, he died from a heart attack. However, I'm sure that smoking 5 packs of Lucky Strikes a day was a contributing factor to his death! Her second husband died from lung cancer, but she continued to smoke.

Why do people smoke, I just don't get it? I tried it when I was a teenager, mostly because of peer presure, but I hated it. My fingers and clothes always smelled of smoke, I couldn't stand it.

I remember buying cigarettes for my parents when I was just a child, 20 cents a pack now the price is somewhere around 5 dollars a pack, that's ridiculous!

Why do you smoke? Here are some answers I received when I asked folks this question.

  • It helps me think
  • It is relaxing
  • I am not alone when I smoke
  • It is like a reward to myself
  • It's fun
  • I smoke because all my friends do
  • I enjoy it
  • It tastes good
Cigarette smoking is the single most preventable cause of premature death in the United States. Each year, more than 400,000 Americans die from cigarette smoking. In fact, one in every five deaths in the United States is smoking related. Every year, smoking kills more than 276,000 men and 142,000 women. (Source: Center of Disease Control.)

Annually, exposure to secondhand smoke causes an estimated 3,000 deaths from lung cancer among American adults. Scientific studies also link secondhand smoke with heart disease. (Source: U.S. Environmental Agengy.)

Advertising for smoking has been banned for over thirty-years now, yet smoking among teens continues to rise. Just look at the television or movies and you will see why. Actors and actresses who smoke on screen are potrayed as succesful and beautiful, often in sexual situations. You hardly ever see smoking shown in a negative context.

What is it going to take to make people realize that smoking is bad for your health? By smoking you are taking years off of your life. When you are gone will your family say you died from cancer or was it suicide, maybe they will just say you died from stupidity!

Be a Click Buddy

Be a Click Buddy

I talked about this in the Blog Explosion Shout Box. Everyone thought it was a good idea so here's the deal. Let's help each other out. Wendy did this on her blog and I have seen a few variations of it lately. I think it's a great idea to increase traffic and comments.

Add the button I created to your blog to support this campaign. You can link it to this article if you like. Then all you have to do is surf blogs like you do anyway and while you are there take a few minutes to read the posts. Then leave a comment on the blog saying that you are a "Click Buddy". Next visit the blog of the person who commented before you, and leave the same comment.

This way we will get more traffic to our blogs, we will get lots of comments and you may even make a few friends along the way.

Become a "Click Buddy" today.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

The Lost Phone

The Lost Phone

My wife and I have a tendency to misplace our cordless phone and seem to spend quite a bit of time in search it. The good news is there is a little pager button on the base section of the phone that we can push and it will send a signal that causes the handset to beep enabling us to locate our lost phone!

Wouldn't it be great if we could have such a device for people? We try to be good Christians, but day to day life tends to get in the way. Often, we get lost just like the cordless phone. If only someone could just push a button and send a signal so we could be found again when we get lost.

In "The Parable of the Lost Sheep" we see that God is like a shepherd and will look for us when we stray and He rejoices when we return!

Luke 15: 4-6
"What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost."

We can take comfort in knowing that there is a way to be found when we get lost. It is much better than a paging device on a cordless phone. Like the sheep we have a Good Shepherd watching over us.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Who's Blogging While At Work?


Who's Blogging While At Work?

OK, admit it...how many of you reading this post are actually at work now? It's amazing how many people are blogging or surfing the web when they are supposed to be working. Let's play a little game. If you are at work now...leave a comment here and then visit the person's blog who left a comment before you. At the end of your comment say, "CMMDTP sent me, and I am supposed to be working now!" Make sure you take a few minutes to read the blog you are visiting.

Kudos to Wendy's Whimsies, this is a variation of what she did on her blog. Great idea Wendy, it's fun, you get to visit new blogs and you will get lots of comments on your own blog. So let's go...leave a comment then visit the next blog.

Here are a few tips if you are at work now.

How to Look Busy at Work

  1. Have a job-related window ready : If you are doing something on the computer that you shouldn't be doing always make sure you have another window open that you can quickly switch to in case someone comes in and intrudes on your privacy. A good idea is to have the company website open.
  2. Never, ever empty your in-basket: A clean desk and an empty in-basket is a sure sign that you need more work to do. Always keep something in your in-basket or a stack of papers on your desk so it looks like you have a lot to do.
  3. Always carry a piece of paper with you: Make sure you always have a piece of paper with you at all times. Even if you are just getting up to go to the bathroom, carry something with you so it appears that you are on an important mission.
  4. If you should happen to get caught playing a game on your computer don't try to lie about it. Justify it by saying you were taking a quick break to relax and refresh your mind so you could be more efficient.
  5. Walk at a quick pace, this makes it look like you are in a hurry and very busy.
  6. Make sure you arrange your office so your back is not to the door, you really don't want people sneaking up behind you.

These are just a few tips...I'm sure you have some great ideas that you could share. Please leave your tips in the comment section, and remember: DON'T WORK TOO HARD!

Now leave a comment here, then visit the person's blog who commented before you. Make sure at the end of your comment you say, "CMMDTP sent me, and I am supposed to be working now!"

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

A DateThat Will Live In Infamy

A Date That Will Live In Infamy

When I was in the U.S. Navy from 1968-1970 we were pulling into port one day at Pearl Harbor and up in the sky we saw hundreds of Zeros. Bombs were dropping in Pearl Harbor and smoke and flames filled the air. It was an incredible scene...very sureal! Had we somehow entered a vortex and gone back in time? What was happening? It turned out to be a movie that was being made - Tora, Tora, Tora. I can't even imagine what it was really like that day when this really happened.

It has been 65 years since that infamous day on Dec. 7, 1941, when Pearl Harbor was bombed! Has anything changed since then? What have we learned?

For one thing, there haven't been any more World Wars since then. However, there is still violence, war, hatred and persecution all around the world.

National Geographic has an excellent webpage about Pearl Harbor Day, Click Here . Go to the interactive attack map for the story of Pearl Harbor.

President Roosevelt said:
"Yesterday, December 7, 1941 - a date which will live in infamy - the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.."

If you would like to read President Roosevelt's speech from December 8, 1941, Click Here.

The United States Military was taken by surprise in 1941, even though there were many indications that the Japenese might be planning an attack. Are we any more prepared today for a surprise attack? What about September 11th? We were caught off guard again; have we learned from that?

I don't have any answers, just many questions. What are your feelings on this. Please leave a comment and let me know if you think we have learned anything since Dec. 7th, 1941. Are we any more prepared?

Monday, December 05, 2005

Score One for the Kingdom

Score One for the Kingdom

The other day my wife, went into a store looking for a new Nativity scene for us. She searched all through the store and finally found one, only partially assembled, way in the back corner. Christine, not being very shy, immediatly marched to the front of the store and asked for the manager. When the manager appeared she read him the riot act! Good for you Christine, score one for the Kingdom!

What is wrong with this world today? Now everyone wants to say Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas; you can't take the Christ out of Christmas! Jesus is the reason for the season! Where would all of the retailers be today without Christmas? Many stores do 50% of their annual sales during the Christmas season! I say let's not shop in the stores that say Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas. Another thing, don't be sending me a Christmas card that says Merry Xmas, because I will send you a long letter in return.

It's not just Christmas that is under siege, but rather religious expresion in general. I found this GREAT website: www.savemerrychristmas.org, take a minute to check it out. Following is an excerpt from their website:

The primary goal of the Committee to Save Merry Christmas is to preserve the culture and tradition of the vast majority of Americans that celebrate and honor Christmas. Christmas is a nationally declared federal holiday that has been observed from the inception of our nation.

In the past several years, the term “Merry Christmas” has been deliberately and intentionally excluded from major retailers. The words “Merry Christmas” have been deliberately and intentionally removed from their decorations and advertising. Taking their place are non-celebratory phases like “Seasons Greetings” and “Happy Holidays.” When did it become offensive to display or say, “Merry Christmas”?

This intentional and deliberate exclusion of “Merry Christmas” in advertising and decorations is extremely offensive to the culture and tradition of Americans who honor and celebrate Christmas.

Each Christmas season, every kind of decoration, advertising gimmick and sales promotion is directing the public to purchase their merchandise for the Christmas celebration...all the while never mentioning the word, "Christmas." This deliberate and intentional substitution of “Merry Christmas” with un-celebratory phases are thoughtless, condescending and hurtful.

Should you--the purchasing public--who honors the American tradition and culture of Christmas, continue to purchase Christmas gifts from these stores when they deliberately and intentionally refuse to acknowledge Christmas? Our committee believes you should not! We, instead, encourage you to shop where the values and meaning of Christmas are cherished.

You can download their flyer here: www.savemerrychristmas.org/fly-Sears.pdf

Please join in and help save Merry Christmas!

Christmas Light Dilema

Christmas Light Dilema

Reminiscent of Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase - Christmas Vacation) Sunday I spent two-hours untangling Christmas lights and climbing up and down a ladder to decorate the outside of our house. I was having a great time smashing my finger with a hammer and nearly falling off the ladder! Anyway, I finally finished the project and was ready to plug it in and see the results of my labor when I discovered there were just a few items missing.

I could not find the extension cord to run from the end of my string of lights to the power source. I also couldn't find the handy-dandy little gizmo that screws into the outside light socket and converts it to a plug! These were two critical parts of the project. After tearing the storage shed apart and much cussing, I still came up empty handed.

No problem...I'll just run to the dollar store, they should have what I need. Well, after wandering around the dollar store for a half-hour I was still empty handed. They only had indoor extension cords and no handy-dandy gizmos. I was too tired to drive all the way to Lowe's or Home Depot where they were bound to carry exactly what I was looking for, so the lights will have to stay unlit for another day or two until I make the trip to the store.

Isn't preparing for Christmas just so much fun?

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Kairos-Prison Ministry

Kairos-Prison Ministry

My wife and I were active for several years in a prison ministry. Life kind of got in the way, and we are no longer active. However, I still maintain the Kairos of North Carolina website. Kairos is really an awesome ministry and if you want to experience the power of the Holy Spirit at work inside of prison walls then seek out a Kairos organization near you.

Here is a little information about Kairos:

Kairos is an interdenominational Christian ministry whose programs are designed to be presented in state and federal men's and women's correctional institutions in the U.S. with adaptations for other countries and languages. This ministry is governed by the national board of Kairos Prison Ministry, Inc. with headquarters in Winter Park, Florida. The ministry is conducted, in cooperation with the chaplains of correctional institutions, by teams of laity and clergy who are selected, trained and certified by area governing bodies of Kairos and approved by correctional institutions as citizen volunteers.

Kairos Prison Ministry is a ministry by persons drawn from a broad range of denominational churches. Kairos volunteers have experience in renewal movements within their churches which focus on small group dynamics, share and prayer groups, personal witness and vulnerability in Christian community. It is a continuing ministry. The primary objective of the 3-day short course is to prepare selected residents for life in an ongoing Christian community.

The official Kairos website is here: www.kairosprisonministry.org

New Tenant: The Rock Bitch

New Tenant: The Rock Bitch

Please take a moment to visit my new tenant this week, "The Rock Bitch". She is a low maintenance gal with a high maintenance personality, she loves rock n' roll and deejays on Hard Rock Radio Live. I knew there was something I liked about her blog...I also work at a group of radio stations in Raleigh, NC. K97.5, Foxy, and The Light.

When you read "The Rock Bitch" you will find a variety of topics. I was just reading her blog and noticed that I also lived in Willingboro, NJ the same time that she did! What a small world. So visit "The Rock Bitch" and tell her that Mike sent you from Ramblings and Rhetoric.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

YourName.XXX

YourName.XXX

The domain for sex sites was approved in June and final negotiations over how it should be run were due to conclude in early December... read the full article here: BBC NEWS .

I am interested to hear what everyone thinks about this. It's a shame there is no way to do away with porn sites altogether but I think it would be great if all porn sites were forced to have the .xxx domain name. Then it would be easier to block them. However, I doubt that it will happen that way. There are many porn sites that have become well established using the .com domain address and I'm sure they won't want to move to a new domain.

Let me know your thoughts on this...leave a comment.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Voice Activated - TV Remote Control

Voice Activated - TV Remote Control

You may ask, "Why are Americans so overweight?" Forget about our terrible eating habits and lack of exercise, it's because we are so LAZY! First of all we spend hours every day vegetating on the couch or recliner watching TV. We don't even have to get up to change the channel thanks to the remote control. If that's not enough, here is the ultimate gadget for lazy people. The Voice Activated Universal Remote Control.

This handy device will control your TV, VCR, DVD, Cable and Satellite with just the sound of your voice! What will they think of next? If you simply can't live without one of these visit: http://snipurl.com/kfa2 .

You can program the voice activated TV remote to control the volume, change the channels or turn on by your verbal command. You can even program it to scan your favorite stations.

I suppose this device was actually invented to help people who have problems seeing the small buttons on the remote, or perhaps those with other ailments such as MS or Arhritis. However, I'm sure that there will be lots of fat, happy couch potatoes scarving these up all across America!

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

NaNoWriMo - What Was I Thinking?

NaNoWriMo - What Was I Thinking?

Today is the last day of November and I was supposed to have 50,000 words written for NaNoWriMo. What was I thinking? For those of you who have no idea what I am talking about visit The National Novel Writing Month website.

It seemed like a good idea when I first heard about it and I got off to a really good start with over 4,000 words in the first week. Then life got in the way; visits from out of town relatives, Thanksgiving preparations, picking out a Christmas tree, Christmas shopping, work, etc. I soon discovered that to write 50,000 words in 30 days is an awesome undertaking and to do it during the busy holiday season is just plain crazy! Sadly, I have ended up with only about 10,000 words for my novel.

You might think of this as a failure. I am disappointed because I did not reach my goal, but the optimist in me is excited because I finally got started on that novel I have been putting off for years. Now I have nearly 10,000 words completed and a great story line working! So this was not a failure for me but rather a stepping stone and I want to thank all those other crazy writers from the Blog Explosion Shout Box who talked me into doing this. I will be back again next year for the madness!

Monday, November 28, 2005

Christmas Tree Lights

Christmas Tree Lights

OK...we went to the tree farm last week and picked out a GREAT Christmas tree. It even fits in the living room this year, didn't have to trim it down when I got home.

Now the real fun begins. I go out to the storage shed to find the Christmas decorations. OH MY GOODNESS...can all of these boxes really contain Christmas decorations?


I end up lugging in a dozen boxes all marked Christmas. I find the box with the lights for the tree and discover that many of them do not work. That's funny, they worked last year just fine. Well, maybe I can just replace a bulb or two and they will be ok? Of course not, what a silly idea. There are six strands of lights and each strand has a different type or size bulb. They are not interchangable, that would be much too easy. Anyway, I can't figure out which light needs to be replaced because there are a bunch that are out. I would have to change every one until I found the one that controls the rest of them. Don't have time or patience for all of that. I will just run to the store and buy new lights!


The guy at the tree farm said that it would be better to run the lights from top to bottom instead of going around and around the tree like I have been doing for decades! He said it is better for the branches on this type of tree. OK, I'm willing to try something new. I try the new method of stringing the lights and finally get it just right.

Oh, oh...here comes my wife; now she has to get her two-cents in and starts to rearrange all of the lights!
At last -- the lights are up and look GREAT. Now for the rest of the decorations. We go through the same thing every year; my wife asks me to help her decorate the tree, but it never fails that she ends up moving at least half of the decorations I place to a different spot! That's ok, the tree always ends up looking wonderful. I will take a picture after it is finished and post it here for all to see.

If anyone has a GREAT idea on how to pack the lights away for next year I am open for suggestions. I usually end up with a big tangled mess that I have to sort out, not an easy task. Best solution I have found so far is to wrap each strand individually with a rubber band to keep them seperated.

Please leave your comments and suggestions. MERRY CHRISTMAS.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

I'm Sick of Cindy Sheehan

I'm Sick of Cindy Sheenan

As if we have not seen enough of Cindy Sheehan, now she has a book coming out! It seems that she had been blogging and a publisher liked what she wrote in her blog so now she has a book,
"Not One More Mother's Child".

I'm sorry that she lost her son in Iraq, but she has taken this way too far! Her son Casey, enlisted of his own free will and had actually re-enlisted after his tour was over. Cindy Sheehan is a publicity hound and an attention grabber. She should be proud of what her son did...he was serving his country because he wanted to. She is tarnishing his reputation and good name by pursuing her own agenda.

Her husband has filed for divorce and her in-laws have publicly stated that they do not agree with her views. Cindy Sheehan has a book tour planned and when she is not harassing President Bush by camping out in Crawford, or getting arrested in Washington D.C., she has been making the rounds as a public speaker.

War is hell, and people die in wars. That's a fact of life, so get over it Cindy! Your son was a patriot and a proud veteran, let him rest in peace!


Saturday, November 26, 2005

Welome Ficken Chingers

Welcome Ficken Chingers

This week I have a new tenant, please welcome Angie and take a few minutes to visit her blog, Ficken Chingers. Just what does Ficken Chingers mean? Read the explaination here: http://tinyurl.com/9xv9k

Angie says about herself: "I am a 34 year old wife and mother, desperately trying to stay 'cool', but failing miserably. I would relive the 80's if I could. I love all things 80's. I am addicted to tv and blogs... I tend to write about silly things so if you are looking for a serious blogger, I ain't yer girl."

Do yourself a favor and pop on over to Angie's blog, you will find it refreshing to read. Tell her that cmmdtp sent you from Ramblings and Rhetoric.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Who needs pumpkin pie, just give me the cool whip!

Who needs pumpkin pie, just give me the cool whip!

Here is my best picture from Thanksgiving. No, she is not going mad and foaming at the mouth. Ashley is learning how to eat cool whip directly from the can!

Wax On, Wax Off


Wax On, Wax Off

If you haven't heard the famous words of advice,
"Wax on, wax off", given by Mr. Miyagi to his young karate student, then you missed a classic movie. I'm referring to "The Karate Kid," starring Ralph Macchio as Daniel-san. Pat Morita played Daniel-san's sensei who taught him karate while making him perform seemingly unrelated chores like painting a fence, sanding a deck and waxing cars. Mr. Morita died of natural causes on Thanksgiving Day, at the age of 73, in his home in Las Vegas.

"The Karate Kid" earned Pat Morita an Acadamy Award nomination for best supporting actor. Three sequels followed the first "Karate Kid" movie and Mr. Miyagi's "crane kick" from the end of the first movie was mimicked by a whole generation of young fans!


Before "The Karate Kid", Pat Morita appeared on "Happy Days" as Arnold. He also made appearances on "Sanford and Son", "Mash", "The Odd Couple", "Murder She Wrote", "Bay Watch" and "Magnum P.I." just to name a few.

Morita's life story would make an interesting movie. He was born in California to immigrant fruit pickers. When he was a child Pat was hospitalized with spinal tuburculocis. Unfortunatly, when he got out of the hospital it was bad timing. During World War II, he
was sent to an internment camp along with thousands of other Japanese-Americans.

I grew up watching "Happy Days",
and being a martial-arts student myself, I loved "The Karate Kid" movies! Mr. Miyagi was an unforgettable character and a GREAT teacher. Another Hollywood legend passes away...Pat Morita will be missed.


Thursday, November 24, 2005

Call Waiting -- It's Just WRONG!

Call Waiting -- It's Just WRONG!

"Can you hold a minute, I'm getting another call?" How many times have you heard that? I think it is just WRONG! In other words, "There might be somebody more important than you calling, so I would rather talk to them." Now tell me that is not rude!

Who invented call waiting anyway? I'm all for multi-tasking but in this case it's just WRONG. We have call waiting on our phone, but I just ignore the beeps. I figure if it's important they can call back later, if it's not important then I'm not missing anything anyway.

So next time you hear that little beep in the middle of a conversation, just ignore it.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

American Music Awards

American Music Awards

In 1973 Dick Clark created the American Music Awards as an alternative to the Grammy Awards. All genres of music are honored at the AMA. This year marked the 33rd annual award ceremony. It was held at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California.

Winners included: Will Smith, Gwen Stefani, Black Eyed Peas, R. Kelly, Miriah Carey, and Destiny's Child.
Click Here for the complete list of winners. The show was hosted by Cedric the Entertainer and there were many GREAT performances.

I didn't see the whole show, but I catch some of it. Cyndi Lauper and Sarah McLachlan did an awesome job singing together and got a standing ovation from the huge crowd! I also saw my man Santana perform with Los Lonely Boys, another outstanding live performance.


One thing that was missing from this year's show were many of the winners! I think it is just WRONG and very disrespectful that so many winners did not show up to accept their awards. Among the no shows were R. Kelly, Michelle Williams and Beyonce Knowles, Green Day, Kelly Clarkson, Black Eyed Peas, Eminem and 50 Cent. I know all these folks have busy schedules, but if you are nominated for a prestigious award you should adjust your schedule to show up at the ceremony! Shame on these no shows!


Photo by Mark J. Terrill/AP

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Blogging Gear Christmas Gifts


Blogging Gear Christmas Gifts

If you are know someone that is addicted to blogging, there is still time to order some great Christmas gifts from my
Blog Addicts Online Store.

If you order by December 8th your gift can still be delivered in time for Christmas.
Great selection of t-shirts, ball caps, sweat shirts, coffee mugs, hoodies, etc. Check out the store today: Blog Addicts Online Store . Designs were made by your blogging buddy JustPureMood.

Have a safe and happy holiday season.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Christmas Tree Tips

Christmas Tree Tips

It's that time again; the day after Thanksgiving is the official start of the Christmas Season. The malls will be mobbed with frantic shoppers and people looking for Christmas decorations. We always have a real tree and part of the fun is going to the tree farm and picking out the perfect tree for Christmas. (If you are into artificial trees, this article isn't for you.)

Here are some tips for picking that perfect tree:

Plan Ahead

It's a good idea to decide ahead of time where you are going to place your tree. Measure the height and width available (my wife always picks the biggest tree and we end up having to trim it down when we get home). Bring a tape measure with you when you go to choose your tree. Don't forget to measure the tree stand also. If your tree stand will only open to 3 inches you don't want to buy a tree with a 5 inch trunk!

Tree Placement

Avoid placing your tree in a high traffic area or near a heat vent or fireplace. You don't want people bumping into the tree as they walk past it or tripping over the cords. You certainly don't want your tree to dry out or burst into flames from being next to a heat source.

Fill a Bucket

Before leaving to pick up your tree fill a bucket with lukewarm water. Then when you get back you can set your tree in it outside. A fresh cut tree will be really thirsty the first couple of days. It's a good idea to leave it outside in the water bucket until you are ready to bring it in and start decorating.

Be Prepared

Bring a pair of gloves with you to protect your hands and an old blanket or sheet to put the tree on while transporting it. Don't forget the tape measure and some rope in case they don't have it available where you purchase your tree. It's also a good idea to bring an unbreakable ornament with you so you can test the tree and see if the ornament hangs straight or if the branches are too close togehter.

Picking Your Tree

Here are a few things to consider when looking at the trees. Of course you want one that is straight and has a nice shape. The needles should be green and shiny not brown and dull. If you shake the branches they shouldn't fall off. There are many types of trees and some are easier to decorate than others, so keep that in mind when tree shopping.

Have fun and Merry Christmas to you and your family.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Walk the Line


Walk the Line

We went to see Walk the Line today and I have to say it was a GREAT movie! If you are a Johnny Cash fan this is a must see. Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon do an excellent job playing Johnny Cash and June Carter and they did all of their own singing in the movie also.

This is a story about music, drug addiction, infidelity and love. It is filled with great songs and it brought tears to our eyes; a wonderful romantic tragedy. The movie is 136 minutes long, but well worth it. We didn't want it to end.