Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Forced Vacation

Hey there friends. We are on "forced vacation". We won't be back at work until Jan. 19th. We usually tend to take our vacation when the kids are on vacation so that we can spend time with the kids and do activities with them. Well, this time, that's not going to be the case. Work pretty much told my wife and I that we have to much vacation time and we need to take it now. That's great! A much need break from work. But wait, also bad... The kids will be back in school soon so we won't be able to sleep in since we will need to get up at 6 ish to get them ready for school. We also didn't plan anything since the vacation was just sprung on us. I'm so not used to the time off. We accumulate about a month vacation over the course of the year but because we're needed at work, we only take a week or two a year and anything left over, we cash in on. Well, at least this way I can get to some much needed yard work done. Which brings me to yesterday morning...

I was out, cleaning up my lawn when I get an Email from The Admin at New Dilemma, wishing me a good holiday and asking if the Mexican Mafia got to me, since I disappeared after posting the Accordion Hero game. I laughed. I wrote back, from my phone, saying that I used to do most of my posts at work (I'm a very productive employee, as you can see) and since I'm not there, I need to get used to doing them at home. I also mentioned that this one mariachi band has been circling my house, giving me ominous stares so maybe it's a good idea that I stay on the down low for a bit. lol

It's about 9:30 AM now. I'm still in bed, looking out my window. I'm going to have me some breakfast in a minute and then go back outside and get a little more work done. Since I'll be home for a little over 3 weeks, I'm sure I'll have plenty of time to get to some projects that I've had lined up since forever. No more excuses now. It's showtime. Later!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Accordion Hero!!!

Hey there. This is for all of you friends out there that are just not into the rock movement. lol

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

On a Mission: Looking for Bikes

Hey there. Last night as we were driving home, my wife and I had a conversation about Christmas spirit. It just seems to be lacking this year. We haven't decorated our house, the tree is not up, gifts still need to be obtained, and we haven't wrapped the ones we've already bought! We've just been caught up in work. We're leaving later and are more stressed out, especially over all the negative news we've been getting in regards to our pay...

Nevertheless, I made it clear to my wife that all we need is each other to have a good Christmas. We've already gotten our kids "small" gifts and we still needed to get their "main" gifts, BICYCLES!

I never had a bicycle as a kid. I don't know how to ride one. I had a scooter as a child... yes, a scooter and I don't even think my dad bought it for me. Why? Because when he brought it home... IT WAS PINK! lmao I don't know if he found it or stole it or whatever but it was pink and I remember him telling me not to worry about the color. It was something that a little spray paint couldn't fix. lol That was my dad for you. He was in the upholstery business so he made a living of fixing and modifying things. There was many a time when he would come home with some beat up couch or whatever and he'd strip it and make it is own. He was damn good at it too. Anyways, we ended up spraying the scooter this neon green color. That was months before he passed away... many, many moons ago.

So we get home, and I sneak out of the house, on a mission to get the bikes. Now, I know it's a few days before Christmas so I figured traffic is going to suck, especially around the mall area, so I take all the small roads there. I get to Sears and parking is not too bad... Only spent about a minute or two before I lucked out and parked right in front of the entrance. I walk in, briskly, and look for the "fitness" section. I see a very small display of bikes. I figured that was just the ones on "sale" so I went off looking for the bike section. There was no bike section... at least not anymore. CRAP! I go back to that little display of like 4 or so bikes. They had a princess one and a Little Mermaid one. Loved the Mermaid one for our little one, but it was too small. Only 12 inch wheels. She'll out grow that by tomorrow... so I ended up getting her the Princess one. No 20 inch bikes in sight, so I needed to get out and go elsewhere for em. Back in the car and off I go.

Parking for Toys R Us was a complete nightmare. Cars honking, parents cursing, cars dodging left and right trying to avoid hitting each other. I was surprised that there wasn't an accident. I spent a good 10 to 15 mins looking for parking. After circling for what seemed like an eternity, a monster truck, yes... monster truck, pulls out of a spot right in front of me. I stop, signal, and hold off traffic while this guy exits. Finally... I get in the store. As I walk in, I'm texting my wife about the experience. I erase what I was writing and simply sent, "I just walked into hell..."

The place was standing room only. Shoulder to shoulder. People looked like sardines, just barely able to move. Damn... and I need to get to the back of the store, that's where the bikes are. I swerve and make my way to the back. Finally the bike section... and this is what I see.

NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! I sent that pic to my wife saying that the bike section is anemic. Damn near non existent if you ask me. They had absolutely NO boy bikes. All gone. CRAP!!!! But they did have some pretty nice girl bikes. Girly girl bikes too, the ones I know that our daughter will love. So I grab the ticket and off I go to the line. Luckily, a cashier just opened as I happen to be passing by so I was only like 3rd in line, instead of like, 15th! I pay for the bike and wait for them to bring it to me. 10 mins later, no bike... 20 mins later, no bike... What the hell?!?!?! I go over the service desk and ask the lady what's taking so long. She calls the pick up guys and they tell her that they do not have any more of those bikes in a box, only pre-assembled ones. Ugh!!! I don't have a truck, I have a car... I'm limited in space, I cannot fit a bike in the car. I tell them that I need one in a box and he best goes look for one. After a min or two of waiting for a reply, I go back to the bike section. I measure up the bike, hoping that maybe I can fit it in the back seat or something. I decide that maybe it'll fit. I'll MAKE IT FIT. So I go back to the service lady and tell her that I'll take it assembled. They tried to get me to pay the extra $10 for the assembly. Bullshit! I argued with her saying that I wanted it in a box and you don't have any. Someone should have told me at the register that there were no more and then I would've made another selection (that's a lie cause they didn't have a selection... lol). A manager rolls by so I call out to him, "Hey guy! I just bought this bike. Now I'm being told that they don't have any in a box and I'm being forced to pay extra because of the store's mistake." The manager spoke to the lady there and after a min or so, he tells me that they'll waive the fee and I'll get my bike. So I go and grab my bike and leave.

I did struggle to get it in the car... holding up traffic again since someone was waiting for me to get out to take my spot. After a lot of twisting and turning, SUCCESS! Tired and frustrated, I went home, a little disappointed that I couldn't find a bike for our son. I would've rather of taken care of it all in one trip, considering that it's shopping hell right now. I get home and the kids are still up, so I leave the bikes in the car. Our little one is a little sick and she couldn't sleep until close to midnight... Once I knew she was asleep, I get up and go to the car and bring in the bikes and stash them in the closet... along with all the other gifts that we've gotten. We have a walk in closet but it's more like a one step closet right now cause of all the boxes and what not. I park the bike inside and position the other along the back wall, semi hidden, and hope that we can keep our kids out of the closet for a few more days.

2 bikes down, 1 more to go. Now, the real mission begins. Keeping it a secret from the kids. Later!

Monday, December 22, 2008

X-Mas Shopping Not Done

Hey there. The holiday rush is on! lol We have not completed our shopping just yet. We went to the mall this weekend, expecting huge lines and just enough space to walk, but it wasn't as bad. It was still bad, there were people everywhere and some stores had some pretty long lines, but overall, it was alright. We've got about 90% of the kids done and done with, but the adults that need a gift are a lot more difficult to find. We've been so swamped, we haven't even had a chance to put up a tree... let alone wrap up the gifts we already have. I think we'll get to it tonight.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

BCBG Pay Cut

Hey there. Hard times continue to strike. We've just been told that our salaries are going to be slashed 6%... I'm thankful that it's not a 100% pay cut... but I may have to start looking for a second job to pay the mortgage...

Monday, December 15, 2008

A Winter Wonder

The dark clouds and sullen sky
A somber time has come
The symphony that is to be
Cannot be be matched by one
The scattered rains drip away
Feeding our Earth life
With low winds it helps begin
To deal with all our strife
A man stands as best he can
Asking himself, "Why?"
A desolate pain a lingered stay
A broken man can die
At god's fury he yells a flurry
Of words and excuses
And with loud thunder came asunder
Thoughts that confuses
And heavy lighting always blinding
Calls out to this pain
A voice of reason never treason
Eases his mental strain
A man lies for his demise
As he gazes at the sky
A fallen angel simply unable
As gods continue to cry.


Friday, December 12, 2008

Felt Good to Pick Up My Axe

Hey there. I own a Kirk Hammett 602 guitar (KH-602 or "Skully" as Kirk likes to call it) and I haven't given it much justice as of late. I got it many, many moons ago at the Marshall store in Hollywood. The one right across the street from Guitar Center. I remember walking in and checking out the gear and fell in love with it. Felt good, felt great playing. I asked the clerk for a cable so that I can check it out. He did and after a few minutes of me playing some Metallica stuff, the clerk hooked up next to me and we jammed some songs together. After a good 30 min jam session (we were basically the only ones in the store) he asked if I was interested in taking it. Typical sales guy, pretends to be your homie then gets you buy something. I told him that the $1200 price tag was way out of my reach. Love the guitar, just not the price. He then revealed to me that he's is the owner of the store and because I'm a "cool guy" he'd give it to me for $700 and throw in a guitar case. Did this guy practically slash the price in half?!?!?!!? Instead of me pouncing on the deal, I was being a geek and asked him if he was sure about that. The guy practically said that he owns everything in the store and it's really up to him to decide how much he wants to sell things so he said it was more than cool. Needless to say, I took it. I'll never forget that guy for hooking me up. Thanks to you, owner of the Marshall store. You're one bad ass guy.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Metallica's Death Magnetic is Bad Ass

Hey there. My wife pleasantly surprised me with this album a few weeks back. A "just because" gift, so to speak and I after having a good two weeks of listening to it, I've decided... This album is bad ass! It's the first album in years that I can listen to from beginning to end without skipping a song. I wanted Metallica to "come back" with this album. Considering that their last few albums went away from their standard sound, I naturally figured that their new album might be another expansion of that. As a musician, you can understand wanting to expand and try new things. I didn't knock them for it, but c'mon, let's face it... it's nowhere near being their best stuff.

In comes Death Magnetic, the latest entry in 20+ years of Metallica music. It's not thier "old" stuff but it's not their "new" stuff either. It's a perfect blend of what made them who they are while continuing to expand and venture off to new sounds. Take the track, The Unforgiven III, for example. It starts off with a piano intro. Nice, melodic, and easy going. Not standard Metallica. After the minute mark or so, the band plays jumps in, with a clean sound, a little more intricate than Fade to Black, but closer to Unforgiven II. Not "standard" Metallica, but you can see them playing this. Then comes the verse. Heavy moving rhythm and lead guitars and the voice we all know and love all kept in time with a strong bass and drum. Good stuff. Perfect blend of what was done and what is to be.

Then we have a the heavy tracks like All Nightmare Long and My Apocalypse. I mention those two cause they're my personal favorite on the album. Fast, furious, and again, simply bad ass. There also is an instrumental track on the album. Suicide and Redemption is a perfect blend of 3 different songs. Each section sounding completely different from each other but sound so right together. Great stuff, this is.

I have a 2 Gig micro card on my phone. I'm very selective as to what music I put on there since 2 gigs is simply not enough to even come close to catalog all the music that I own. Without hesitation, I downloaded the whole album on my phone and play it at work, while working. lol If you guys haven't had a chance to take a listen, you definitely should. For all us Metallica fans that have been yearning for that classic Metallica sound, this is the album that should have come after the Black Album, if not before.

I haven't really learned to play any new music on guitar. Don't know if it's just that I prefer to play their older stuff like Creeping Death or Trapped Under Ice, or just plain laziness, but this album is sparking that bug in me to pick up that guitar and learn me some songs. I already started on Unforgiven III and This Was Just Your Life and it's definitely an album that I would like to learn to play from start to finish. The only album that I am able to do that with is Master of Puppets, sans solos of course. lol This may just be what I needed to get my ass back on the axe and grinding out to this album.

Take a listen to the album. Here's My Apocalypse for you guys to enjoy. Later!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Rock Band at Metallman's

Hey there friends. Man, it was a mission to get Rock Band on at our place this weekend. In a previous post, I stated that I was able to get it at a reasonable price while getting 30% cash back. Well, I received Rock Band on Thursday and to my dismay, there were no breakaway cables in the box. You need those cables to hook up the instruments to the XBOX 360. Considering that it was pretty late, I left a voice message to the store I got it at. Discouraged, I put the instruments away and figured I'll try em on Friday. Come Friday, I called again and their customer service people said they would ship the cables to me. BUT IT'S FRIDAY AND I NEED IT BY SAT!!! I figured, I'd go buy a cable and at least that way I can test the drums and guitar that came with Rock Band, considering that I got a Wireless guitar, we should still be good to go. So I get a cable at my local Gamestop and hook it up to my drum set. NO POWER! WTF?!?!?! Everything is hooked up yet the drums are not turning... Let's try the guitar. Put batteries in the guitar, hooked that up, NO POWER!!! I was getting pretty damn upset at this point. I tested out the microphone... NO DICE! Shit! I figured that maybe my USB ports on my XBOX 360 were disabled or something, so I ended up calling the XBOX 360 support line. After registering my console, the agent gave me a pretty simple test to check out the USB ports. He simply asked me to plug in my phone via USB into the ports. If the phone starts to charge, then the ports are fine. I hooked it up, and phone was charging... I was shipped a defective Rock Band! NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!

Feeling pretty bummed out on Saturday morning, since friends and family were coming over to rock out later on, I decided to call the place I got Rock Band from. I wasn't expecting to get through since the place is closed on a Saturday. Angels smiled down that morning because someone picked up. I told them the situation and without hesitation, they offered to replace all the instruments. But they were going to be shipped via UPS. Not today, friends. I told them I'd go grab them myself since I needed it that night. I grabbed my little one and off I go to Burbank, CA to get my gear. Traffic was horrible, naturally, and after going through all kinds of traffic jams and accidents, I finally get there and get my stuff replaced.

Shortly after getting home, I nervously hook up the instruments. People were coming in less than 2 hours and I don't even know if the instruments will work. I put in all the replacement parts and hooked everything up and to my relief.... SUCCESS!!! Whew.... The kids and I got our band going and tested everything out and it all worked like a charm. That was a close one.

So how was it, you asked? Pretty bad ass, thank you. lol Family and friends showed up shortly and while it was still "early", we allowed the kids to stay up with us to enjoy the game. Once their bed time rolled around, the party started. If someone failed at their instrument, causing the band to fail, you were forced to take a shot. Liquid courage definitely got people off their asses and into the drum set, strumming away, or singing the night away. Great time, it was. Got to see some old friends, made a few new ones, all while hanging out with family. The band didn't start disbanding until after 4 AM. Great stuff. Below are just some of the snap shots of the night. Next time you're in town, you should follow the music over to Metallman's. That's really where the party is at. Later!

Here we are with our cuz, starting the night off right.
Haven't seen you since forever, buddy. Glad you were able to make it.
Damn proud of our accomplishments.
My babe, living the high life. lol
Can you tell that we are enjoying ourselves? lol
I'm telling you, a little liquid courage and everyone will start singing.
Even Metallman got into the act.
Our daughter playing guitar for her Nina. She's so bad ass, she doesn't even need to see the TV to know what she's doing. lol
I walk into the kitchen to grab a few brews and this is what I see. Don't ask me what happened cause I don't know... lmao

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Christmas Lights

My wife has been on my case to get the Christmas lights up. Now that they're up, for some reason she won't talk to me...

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Up and Running with XBOX Live

Hey there. I received my XBOX 360 on Monday. I hooked it up and I was welcomed into the world of XBOX 360. I needed a game to test out so I ended up getting Bioshock. G4 highly recommended it and I ended up getting a special edition of the game that came with a soundtrack and behind the scenes DVD. I popped it in and to my dismay, I needed a memory card/ hard drive. Aw man. I figured it would of had a small amount on internal memory that I would be able to use. No chance. Not even enough free memory for a gamer profile. What's a Metallman to do? Get his ass over to game stop and get one, that's what. After doing some shopping around, I decided that the 60 Gig hard drive was the best choice. It even came with a 3 month's subscription to XBOX Live and a headset to communicate with friends. How bad ass is that? So last night, I set the whole thing up. Welcome, METALLMANX.

That's my gamer code (or profile... I'm still not all familiar with the lingo) so if any of you out there want to get it on in Rock Band or Bioshock (that's all I have so far) feel free to add me. As an added bonus, I'll cough up 250 ECs for anyone that adds me as a friend and mentions it in the friend request. I want to take full advantage of the XBOX Live community and gamers are allowed to play with or against friends from all over the world. Later!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Cashback With Live.com

Hey there. As many of you know, I was on a mission to get Rock Band for the XBOX 360 at the lowest possible price that I can. Notice how I wrote WAS. lol After many a search, and getting tired of seeing $139.99 or $129.99 for Rock Band (that's just a little too rich for me) I turned to an online search for rebates slash cash back offers. Low and behold, Live.com offered me 30% cash back on a purchase from Ebay.com. 30% cashback! How bad ass is that!??!?! You need to have a live.com account (basically a MSN or Hotmail account) and a Paypal account to qualify and use live.com as your search tool for shopping. Once you're there, the results will post will small symbols telling how much in cash back you can receive based on the retailer. It just so happens that I'm an Ebay addict and they offered 30% cash back on any item I buy with the "Buy it now" button. I found a brand new Rock Band for $109 - 30% = Rock band bundle for about $75! That's a great deal!

I'm still a little sketchy on the details, though. It says that you can wait for as long as 60 days for the cash back to be paid out on your Paypal account, but it also said that the cash back can be paid sooner based on Paypal's discretion. Either way, you're going to get paid and I use Paypal to pay for everything online so it's a win - win situation for me. Online shopping is on, friends. Cyber Monday just started so boost your savings with Live.com. Who doesn't want cash back on their purchases. Doesn't hurt to check it out, friends. Later!

Blogs of the Month for November

Hey there friends. Here are the top 10 blogs that have dropped regularly for the past month. I plan on providing links and credits only to the top 5, but decided that I'll post a screen shot of the top ten to show some recognition to those that were close, but not in the top 5. My top 5 is changing up some, but Picture to People continues to be my top supporter, staying in that top spot for yet another month. Many thanks and 200 credits are going out to the top 5. Many thanks and keep on dropping. Later!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Is DC Killing Batman???

Hey there friends. Word has it that DC is planning on killing the caped crusader.

Dun Dun Duuuuuuuuuuuuun!!!!!

After 70 plus years of Bruce Wayne being Batman, the writers have confirmed that there's going to be some changes. Not so sure if a new Batman will emerge, such as the original Robin, Dick Greyson, or if his character will be lost forever. Then again, it could be a ploy to get readers to buy the comics. It's not the first time that a well known super hero has been killed. I believe that this year saw the death of Captain America and Superman. Maybe they're following suit, who knows. For all we know, we can be in for a loop when they resurrect Batman the way they brought back Robin #2, Jason Todd.

It's surprising that DC is heading this way, especially with the success of the recent Batman movies. Or maybe they're setting us up for a third Batman movie. Guess we'll just have to wait and see where the Dark Knight ends up. Later!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Bush is no Longer the President

Hey there friends. Here's a little humor to start the day off. Later!

One sunny day in 2009 an old man approached the White House from across Pennsylvania Avenue , where he'd been sitting on a park bench. He spoke to the U.S. Marine standing guard and said, 'I would like to go in and meet with President Bush. The Marine looked at the man and
said, 'Sir, Mr. Bush is no longer president and no longer resides here.' The old man said, 'Okay' and walked away.

The following day, the same man approached the White House and said to the same Marine, 'I would like to go in and meet with President Bush. The Marine again told the man, 'Sir, as I said yesterday, Mr. Bush is no longer president and no longer resides here.' The man thanked him
and, again, just walked away.

The third day, the same man approached the White House and spoke to the very same U. S. Marine, saying 'I would like to go in and meet with President Bush. 'The Marine, somewhat agitated at this point, looked at the man and said, 'Sir, this is the third day in a row you have been here asking to speak to Mr. Bush. I've told you already that Mr. Bush
is no longer the president and no longer resides here. Don't you understand? 'The old man looked at the Marine and said, 'Oh, I understand. I just love hearing it.'

The Marine snapped to attention, saluted, and said, 'See you tomorrow, sir.'

Layoffs at BCBG Max Azria

Hey there friends. Over 200 corporate employees were let go on Friday... I'm hoping that I won't have to look for a new job soon...

Friday, November 21, 2008

What I Learned From my Mother

Hey there. I received this in my inbox today and I started twitching. lol Brought me back to the days when I was a lad. I'm sure I'm not the only one. For those of you that don't read or speak Spanish, I left a very "loose" translation underneath. For those of you that do speak and understand, I'm sure you've heard more than one of these phrases from your mother. Enjoy.

The Great things mother taught me:

My mother taught me about RELIGION -
"Ay Bendito, pidele a Dios que yo no te agarre, cabron."
"Oh young one, pray to God that I don't get my hands on you, you bastard"
(I heard this from my mother, aunts, uncles, and grandmothers... on more than one occasion...)

My mother taught me about ANTICIPATION -
"Deja que llegue a la casa, pinche chamaco."
"Just wait until we get home, f*ckin' kid"

My mother taught me about about ROOTS -
"Malagradecido, cuando yo era chica, no tenia nada!"
"Ungrateful bastard, when I was a child, I had nothing!"

My mother taught me about LOGIC -
" Como que porque? porque si!"
"What do you mean why? Because I said so!"

My mother taught me about INSPIRATION -
"Si llegas con malas calificaciones te voy a dar con la chancla, cabron!"
"If you come home with bad grades, I'm going to whack you with my sandal, you bastard!"

My mother taught me about WISDOM -
"Tu crees que sabes todo, aprende a limpiarte la cola primero!"
"You think you know it all, learn how to wipe your ass first!"

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Perfect Coupon... For Lotions???

Hey there friends. I scored on a XBOX 360!!! YES! It's on it way now. I won the bid, all checks out, and it's in a UPS truck on it's way to my living room. Now, I'm on a mission to find rock band at a discounted price. I have many sites that I visit to look for deals and online coupons to use. While on one of the sites, looking for a good coupon to use (somewhere in the vicinity of 10% to 15% off my total), I stumbled upon this coupon code. Look at the top code...

You read that right, friends. That says, "JAQMEOFF". Coincidentally, it's 10% off on lotions. HA HA HA HA HA!!! Some disgruntled programmer must have added that code to score on discounted lotions when he ran out. LMAO I thought it was a prank at first but the code has a 60% success rate! Which means that some people used the code and it worked! I just had to take a break from my quest for Rock Band to share that with you all. You don't run across coupons like that everyday. Later.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Southeast Warriors Fundraiser

Hey there friends. My cuz is spearheading a fundraiser for the local kids basketball team. The kids have a tournament that they are trying to get in to during the Thanksgiving week but are a little short on funds. The fundraiser is targeting adults that would like to spend a day at Harrah's Casino in San Diego. Raffles and games will be played and food and drinks (coffee, soda, water, BEER) will be given to all participants. Each ticket is $25 so if you're interested in helping out our local kid's basketball team, please shoot me an Email and I will give you the details. The trip takes place this Saturday. You need to live in the southern California area to attend but if you want to donate any funds, please use the donate button on this page. Anyone that makes a donation of a dollar or more will have a link on my site for the remainder of the year under the "Supporters of the Southeast Warriors". Make sure you leave your online "identity" in the description so that you can get your link up. Many thanks friends and thanks for the support. Later!

Here is the team and their coaches. They won first place in the San Diego NJB Tournament.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A Little Discouraged

Hey there. I'm in the process of buying Rock Band for the family to jam on. The problem I'm having right now is that I own a PS2... From what I'm reading, the PS2 version of Rock Band is a watered down version of the game and there is NO DOWNLOADABLE CONTENT. That's a HUGE drag.

I've just placed a bid on a 360 in Ebay. I think I need an upgrade in systems anyways so I'm hoping that I can get this in a steal. Wish me luck. Later!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Helping Rebuild America, $25 at a time

Hey there friends. Think back on the last time that you spent $25 on something. Did you spend it on lunch or dinner? A video game perhaps? A round of exotic coffee for friends? $25 is not a lot of money and we probably spend that much on small indulgences more often than we would like to admit. Usually, the indulgence will quench our thirst, feed our bodies, or kill our boredom for a short period of time. Next time you are about to spend on an indulgence, think of the American economy. Troubled times have hit many people and many companies but one family owned business decided to do something about it.

Rebuilding of America is an investment firm that invests in America. That's right, invest in your own country. With over 25 years experience in the business, they sought out to help resurrect many of the lost jobs that this down economy destroyed. Many investment firms require a deposit in the thousands, not Rebuilding of America. They offer investments as low as $25 so that the everyday American can invest in their country. Every $25 CD (certificate of deposit) that you purchase goes towards jobs, homes, building projects that have gone bust because of funding issues. All CDs are FDIC insured and Rebuilding of America guarantees that your CD will not lose value. There is no better guarantee than that in the finance world.

How can this not be a win, win situation? With a small investment, construction workers can go back out there and build that park that was put on hold due to government funding or build those homes that are on hiatus because of their companies going through hard times. Many of us Americans take for granted of what we have and during times of turmoil, as a proud American, we should give back to the country that has provided so much. Check out Rebuilding of America and make your $25 investment today. Later.


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Los Angeles is Burning

Hey there friends. This weekend has just been horrible for southern California. Fires broke out everywhere and there has been nothing but smoke and ashes in the sky. Some nearby counties are already under state of emergency protection. I had my family in the house all weekend long, even our pets were inside. Windows are closed and we have the fans on in every room to keep cool since we can feel the heat and even smell the burning. Smoke just filled the sky and if you were outside long enough, you would start to have an ashy taste in your mouth. Check out our car covered in ashes. Ashes pretty much sprinkled through out as if it's was a light rain shower...

The smoke and ashes in the sky gave the sun an eerie red color. Very similar to the flames that blazed throughout the weekend.

I took that picture right before I went to the market Sunday morning to pick up a few essentials. I took this one on my way back because I just could not believe how ugly the sky looked. Yes, the light is green and I should have been driving but considering that there was practically no one on the roads, it was fairly safe when I took the pic from the car.

We had fires to the east of us and fires to the north of us. The only place where we didn't have any fires was south and west, and that's because the ocean is to the south of us and further west. Take a look at the skies over the south compared to the skies over to the north and east of us.

Even now, the fires are still burning and firefighters in the south land are fighting to keep it contained. Last I remember seeing on the news was that thousands of acres have been burned down and many homes have been lost. Anaheim county was supposed to be declared as a state of emergency zone and that's no more than a 15 minute drive from here. I'm keeping my eye out the window and an ear to the TV in case I see blazes or hear that we need to evacuate. Later!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions

Hey there. First off, I'd like to say thanks to everyone who reads this blog. I've been blessed to have made many new friends and have even made a couple bucks on the side. With those couple of bucks, I bought our son a PSP with all kinds of goodies. My wife and I promised him a PSP if he brought home the honor roll trophy that his school was handing out to hard working students. He didn't disappoint and brought it home. I was able to get a bad ass deal on one at Ebay and the package came with Fight Night 3 and some Spongebob game, as well as the original packaging of the PSP (receipt included) and a 1 Gig memory card. Not bad for a little over $100.

I bought it for him but it looks like I'll be using it more now that I've came across this. Final Fantasy Tactics. What a bad ass game. I had this game back in the day during my PS One days. I used to spend hours playing this thing and on some occasions, well past midnight trying to navigate my way through the world of Ivalice and get the bottom of all the corruption. I never finished the game, since it got rather difficult and I think my game was scratched, so when I walked into a Target store a few days ago and saw this game on clearance, YES CLEARANCE, I just had to buy it.

The PSP version has more features than the original PS version and right off, you notice the revamped intro scene is redone using CG graphics compared to the blocked looked that was present in the PS One version. It also has voice overs so that was definitely a nice addition.

From what people have told me, there are a few hidden job classes that were not present in the original game and that it's a challenge to be able to unlock them. I've only just started the game not too long ago and already all the job classes, story, and characters have come back to me.

Speaking of characters, even the sky pirate, Balthier, makes an appearance in the PSP game. Considering that Ivalice is the same setting as Final Fantasy XII, it fits right in that Ramza and crew would bump into the famous sky pirate of Ivalice. I can't wait to finally get through the game. I'm determined to find out how this game ends and what part the antagonist, Delita, plays in all of it. His character is a bit of a mystery after chapter one and I need to know what that bastard did to start a war! Later!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Hooked on Phonics. You Gotta Love it.

Some five-year old students are learning to read.

Yesterday one of them pointed at a picture in a zoo book and said,

'Look at this! It's a frickin' elephant!'

I took a deep breath, then asked...

'What did you call it?'

'It's a frickin' elephant! It says so on the picture!'

And so it does...

' African Elephant '

Monday, November 10, 2008

Veteran's Day Sale at Sears

Hey there friends. As you can see from my previous post, Autumn has finally decided to bless us with it's presence here in southern California. The winds have picked up and clouds started to hover and chilly temps are beginning to be the norm. Luckily for us, Sears plans to keep our bodies warm with their annual Sears Veterans Day Sale .

The scenery during Autumn is beautiful. Leaves of red, green, and yellow flutter in the sky as they tumble to the ground, grey clouds fill the sky while golden sunbeams create their silver lining. It is just stunningly beautiful. But if you're not properly dressed, then you can't go out and see it. That's where Sears comes in. They have the Sears Veterans Day Sale going on right now so now's the perfect time to pick up a sweater for you and your loves one. Especially since you can get up to 60% off his and hers sweaters and outerwear. That way you're ready to go for that afternoon walk with your loved one to enjoy the scenery. Check out this David Taylor sweater I found for me.

And this cool Classic Elements hoodie for my wife. She can never have too many of these.

The sale runs from November 9th - November 11th. Autumn will be here for a few more months but the Sears Veterans Day Sale won't. Better hurry and catch the sale while you still can. Later.

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Strong Winds Are Blowing in Southern Cali

Hey there friends. This weekend was just full of howling winds outside our home. So much so, that the wind destroyed a canopy tarp that I had outside. The wind literally cut it in half Saturday night. It woke my wife and I up several times too, since it seemed to come out of nowhere and surprised us in the middle of the night. I got up, and looked outside and the trees were swaying and leaves were falling. My wife said to me, check on the bunny, he's probably cold. I checked and he looked fine, but I figured,you better go out there and cover him up. I sleep in boxers, people. I don't sleep covered up for some reason. Maybe it's cause I don't feel comfortable.

Anyways, I walk out there, half asleep, and cover the rabbit cage with three towels. It was freakin' cold. I didn't realize how cold it was until I was walking back in the house, in boxer shorts and still half zombiefied. I got up two more times that night, once to check on the rabbit, and second time because this loud snap woke me. I look outside and this is what I see...

I was also worried about our new avocado tree. My wife's aunt gave us a tree that she nurtured from a seed (or pit) and it's a good 7 feet tall now. She definitely has a green thumb. The tree is still young though, and the trunk is awfully thin so I was afraid that maybe the wind might snap it in half. Luckily, it's still in the pot so I was able to place it against the wall of the house to avoid it getting heavily blasted by the wind. I checked it yesterday and it seemed fine. Now I'm a little reluctant to plant it since I don't know if the winds are going to continue. I don't want our new tree to freeze to death, let alone be snapped in half. That'll suck be big time.

The winds continued through Sunday. I brought the rabbit (which still does not have a name. It's interim name is "Fluffly". We took it to PetCo when it was little but their "rabbit expert" said it was too young to be able to tell the sex) inside the house and he chilled in there all day. Better than a cage with wind blowing in your face. Odin stayed outside. I should have brought him inside. If the winds are still bad tonight, I'll let him come inside for a bit. He never got the concept of being house broken so I dare not let him spend the night inside. lmao At least he has his dog house to protect him.

Now, I need to look into getting a new tarp to replace the ripped one. Looks like I'll have to measure it to see what size I'm going to need. I've been complaining that it doesn't feel or look like Autumn yet. It's been extremely hot and sunny here in California, even though we're in November. Looks like mother nature decided to give me a good dose of what I asked for. lol Later.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Lay-Away Program Only at K-Mart

Hey there friends. Times are tough. The economy is not booming and cash is on a short leash. Thanksgiving is coming up and the mother of all holidays, Christmas, is fast approaching. You don't want to disappoint the family on Christmas day because cash was short. What's a family on a budget to do? Luckily for us, K-Mart has the solution.

K-Mart is the only retailer that has our backs. They understand the trying situation of our economy as many of us consumers are having cash flow issues. However, they are the only national discount department store that offers a lay-away program to help in tough times. They are the only ones that are willing to work with us instead of turning us away. The Kmart Lay-Away program is extremely easy to use. Click on the link above, enter your zip code and the web site will search your area for a local K-Mart store that offers the service. You then visit your the store and shop. It's that easy. Whether you need help in obtaining that one hot item, such as the Playstation 3, or various smaller gifts for family and friends, your local K-Mart store is there to help.

This could not have come at a better time. I mention the Playstation 3 because my son has been asking for one for well over a year, but I just can't spend over $400 without causing a huge dent in our monthly budget. However, with the Kmart Lay-Away , obtaining one is a lot more manageable. The lay-away program allows you to simply take the item or items to the lay-away desk, leave a small deposit and make payments on it every two weeks until you pay them off. You can pay it sooner, on weeks where you have a little extra cash, or you can extend it the full 8 weeks that the program allows. When all is said and done, your items will be waiting for you at a K-Mart desk while other shoppers are scrambling to find and pay for their gifts.

You got to give it up for K-Mart. For going against the grain and offering such a holiday saving program while other retailers removed their programs. Check it out friends. This is definitely a program that you want to take advantage of. Assure yourself, your wallet, and your family that Christmas will be great because you took advantage of the Kmart Lay-Away program. Later.

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Another Great Reason to Love Guitar Hero/Rockband

Hey there friends. I'm a music lover. Can't get enough of the stuff. So when Guitar Hero first came out, I thought it was great. You're simulating playing a guitar and it does a pretty damn good job at having you strum when you're supposed to. But that's not the point of this post. I'm here to write about the effect that the music in Rockband and Guitar Hero has had on my kids.

Nothing beats hearing your three year old walking down the hall singing, "Slow ride, dun dun, take it easy, dun dun, slow ride". lmao How great is that? My wife even has her as a ring tone. I don't want to instill my, or our style for that matter, of music into the kids. They listen to what they like and we let it be. Case in point, The Offspring's latest single... I can't stand the damn song. They play it over and over but the kids love it. So I let it play so that they can enjoy it.

Anyways, I love the music selection in both of these games. It exposes the kids to wide array of music. The Donnas, Metallica, Pantera, Jimi Hendrix, KISS, Guns N Roses, Queens of the Stone Age, Slayer, Soundgarden... The list goes on and on... And the kids ask for their favorites to be played. "I want to hear Black Hole Sun.", "Oh that's Black Magic Woman! Leave it there", "I love One!" These are just some of the phrases that I hear at home or in the car. Just last night, my daughter walks up to me says, "My friend at school can play Jordan on Expert and get 5 stars!!!!" Of course my son and her start debating about her friend being a liar cause Jordan is a pretty hard song to play. She then mentioned Buckethead.

Buckethead. I haven't seen that guy since forever and look what resurfaced him. My kids arguing over a game. He's been around since like the late 80's and for my kids to be mentioning Buckethead, and saying that he's cool, astounds me. This is music before their time. Santana, Buckethead, Iron Maiden, Ozzy, Queen, these are all great artists that my kids would not be exposed to as much as they are because of the music on these games. Yeah, they would hear Iron Maiden when I played it, but they wouldn't know who it is or the name of the song. They would know of Iron Maiden as "a band my dad likes". Now, Number of the Beast is one their favorite songs. Because of that, they venture off to listen to the rest of the album and enjoy other songs that otherwise they would not be interested in. I can now say that my kids are Iron Maiden fans, as well as Metallica fans, and Santana fans and Buckethead fans.

I love it. Anything that will expose music to the youths of our nation is great. And even though the games are a challenge to complete, the bright spots are definitely in the music. Just for the hell of it, because I'm feeling a little nostalgic here, here's Buckethead's Jordan as it's played in Guitar Hero II. I chose this version because even the mighty Buckethead created a solo just for this song. From what I hear, it's the only studio version of the song. You only hear live versions of this song so for him to do a studio version for a game says something. So without further delay... Here's Jordan. By the way, this is not an actual person playing the game. He's got a computer trying to do it cause it's so damn hard. lmao Later!