Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas 2010

For all those that couldn't make it to our Christmas morning gift opening, here it is.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Weather is frightful.

i'm officially sick of winter. After barely escaping the snow this weekend on a rushed trip from Chicago to Indy (botched trip to Chesterton), coming back to Charlotte has given little escape from the cold aside from a lack of snow. But if it's going to be this cold anyway, you might as well have snow.  Am i wrong?

What kind of morons run Walmart? How can you not have, at the very least, an end cap of tissue near the pharmacy section? i'm not going all the way to the paper section a half a mile away, it's easier to stop at CVS on the way home to get some.

Christmas. Creating that need to spend money on unnecessary items to make others feel loved, creating stress to find the right gift or any gift for that matter...oh well, it works for me. i don't think i stepped into a store this year for Christmas gifts, aside from one for my mom. The cats remain terrified of every truck noise that stops near our house, especially around the 7 pm UPS delivery hour. Their fear of someone coming to the front door and God forbid ringing the doorbell is frightening.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Still holding.

Does anyone know if there is a way to put money toward a particular loan within a group of Sallie Mae loans? i assume i can just send in a payment via mail and specify the exact loan to pay on, but i just wanted confirmation that this is acceptable. Yesterday, i was on hold for 10 minutes then had to do something else so hung up. Today i provided a callback number and when i got called back, somehow we got disconnected (twice). AT&T sucks as well. i just lost connection again. You rat bastards. i can't stand when a simple task take 10 times longer than it should. Decided to just send an email. Found their auto reply in my spam folder.

Speaking of email, it's that time of year when i try to clear out my email inbox. Why or how i let hundreds of emails build up is ridiculous, but i do nothing to stop it. Worthless. Also worthless is the fact that it gets dark by 5:30. i don't recall this ever bothering me before, but this year i can't stand it.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Entertainment Coupon Book App

It's finally here
i don't know if my complaint just one month ago inspired them to release their iPhone app but it is finally available. At first glance it is exactly what i expected and wanted it to be. It tells you what coupons in your book are actually useful to you in wherever area you may be. We no longer have to flip through the book and try to guess what places might be nearby. We'll see if it actually works out in the field, but it's nice to get what i want.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Coupons continue.

Good news is that we survived the half marathon. i felt surprisingly good the whole race and even had enough for a kick with the finish line in sight. i was hesitant to speed up any sooner based on past results.
After the race, we rested for a bit then went out on the town for sushi ( coupon), went to the Charlotte Symphony (Groupon) and ate Cold Stone (Groupon) for dessert. We did stop at Dick's Sporting Goods so Megan could get a new winter coat and even used two coupons there. So far, a good month saving by spending.

In other relatively good news, i only have a 5 night work week this week.

Friday, November 5, 2010


Have you ever just really dreaded something that is coming up, but you can't really get out of it? This weekend is the mini-marathon we signed up for in Charlotte. To recap, the last time i attempted to run a half marathon such as this back in Indianapolis in like May 2007, i remember reaching the 12 mile mark of the 13.1 mile race and attempting to speed up to finish faster. Eye witness accounts confirmed that after i went down the first time, i attempted to get up and run again before finally blacking out completely. The next thing i remember was waking up in an ice bath followed by an ambulance ride to the hospital. Legend has it that my temperature was somewhere near 105 degrees or so. The worst part about the whole thing, aside from not finishing the race and the stupid medical bills that followed was the fact that they put my iPod in the ice bath with me.
i wish i had thought about this sooner, but i should've made this shirt just in case for this year's race.

On the back, i'll just have my name and insurance information.

Coupons in November

We eat out more than we probably should, but it's just one of the things we enjoy doing. We love trying out new places and searching for new favorites. In an effort to potentially save money, rather than lying and saying we are not going to eat out at all, we will only eat out at places where we have a coupon.
The month is young, but so far we've enjoyed two meals out with a successful two coupons used. Order waters to drink and it's practically just as cheap as making dinner at home...ish.

So far...
Taxco Mexican restaurant in Belmont - Buy one get one free entree. From the expiring 2010 Entertainment book.
Sake Express in Belmont - Buy one get one free entree. Printed from the Web site.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


i'm not sure if i've ever talked publicly about thresholds, but inside the deceptively small space in my head, i have set thresholds for many items that determine if i will make a purchase or not. For quality beer (outside the realm of Bud, Coors, Miller, etc), if you can get it for less than $1 per bottle, it is under threshold and i have a duty to purchase. Even better if it is a beer i know i have enjoyed in the past. Along comes the Abita Party Pack that i found at World Market. The sign said $9.99 or so and i thought, "Score that is under threshold!" then when i got rung up, it was only $7.88!! So i bought two. Then today, i went back and bought four more! A few will expire in December, but i have a feeling i can finish those (especially with guest coming to town in October). Another bonus is that it is a variety pack with 6 different taste per box so i shouldn't get sick of any of them. Almost all are enjoyable to me aside from a weak wheat beer in the bunch, but so be it.

When i'm out, less than $3 per decent beer is acceptable, or $2 for domestic. Either way, i typically find it hard to shell out money while i'm out for a beer, proving once again i value money more than alcoholism. 

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Weekend in NYC

The wife and i spent last weekend in New York City and had a really good time. i can't say we'll be planning any trips to return, but we enjoyed our time there. One of the highlights of the trip might have actually been something that is not one of the typical NYC attractions. Wherever a waiver is necessary is where Megan wants to be. One of the nights before we left, we were searching Yelp for various activities and sights to see and came across the Trapeze School New York with rave reviews. So we signed up and took a two hour course that by the end had us being caught by one of the instructors swinging from another trapeze. Pretty unique and definitely exciting.

You can read both of our full thoughts here.

Other highlights included the usual: a bus tour to see the city, Top of the Rock, American Idiot musical, a little shopping, San Gennaro festival in Little Italy, Museum of Natural History. Hayden Planetarium, Bodies exhibit. It was definitely a full weekend.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


In other Insignificant Things That Piss Me Off, how can the Entertainment Book not have an iPhone app? It is always the thing that prevents us from using the stupid thing in unfamiliar parts of town. Couldn't they partner with someone to simply notify someone that this location does have coupons available, with or without checking in. It would increase the value of the Entertainment Book significantly.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I heart NYC

After two strongly dissatisfying trips through New York City in the past, Megan and i will give it a go this September. i figure if we're not in a car we can't be forced to pay a toll to go across a bridge that we had to cross due to construction, only to have to turn around and cross the same damn bridge. i haphazardly started looking at flights yesterday and they seemed pretty reasonable (cheaper than flying to Indiana), so that 3 day weekend in September is now booked. 

For the first time ever, i have decided to actually use some Hilton points to pay for a room. i'm not sure what i've been waiting for, i guess i've been holding out for my 7-night stay in Hawaii.

Any suggestions for NYC?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

going on.

Last week was full of activities that i haven't done in years.
First, wifey and i went to the batting cages. It took me more swings than usual for the bat to go where i thought i was telling it. Although Megan claims not to be a baseball player at all, i was shocked and embarrassed when she hit better than me. i did win at putt putt, so if you're keeping track, the summer series is now tied at one apiece. Then one day i played some actual 3-on-3 basketball which last occurred sometime before 2003. For some reason, basketball left me almost as sore as dodgeball used to. Luckily, it was a quick recovery and to finish the week, i played a few hours of sand volleyball.
This week has been rough for Megan. First off, her laptop gets stolen from work which has an alarm system on the building meaning it was stolen during work hours with essentially the only possible suspects being employees. When the cops showed up to the scene of our fender bender today, we asked if they had any leads on the laptop case. No dice. 

Friday, July 9, 2010

And now it's July.

The deed is done. Cancun was fabulous. Now instead of having a smart, sexy, fantabulous girlfriend or fiancee, i have a smart, sexy, fantabulous wife!
We had a wonderful time at the resort and even with good old Tropical Storm Alex passing through, everything was perfect. Here is a link to a little video montage provided to us by our photographer:
My, my heart's like a kickdrum 
(you'll probably have to copy and paste the link to open it)

It doesn't look like we have many trips planned the rest of the year, yet.
Remember we welcome all guests*!! Free weekends fill up fast, so book your stays soon!

*all guests approved by a majority vote and with a clean visitation record with a revisit stamp of approval

Friday, June 18, 2010

Claiming another Phillips.

It won't be long now until we add another Phillips to the population. Oh hell no is it a little one. It will be an applesauce affiliated beautiful young lady. We are overly excited for our trip to Cancun and the impending wedding. Should be a good time starting next week.  Just four lousy work nights left.

Tomorrow morning is game 2 for the USA in the World Cup. i've watched way too much games this year. While i've never watched so many in the past, i feel like this World Cup is lacking great goal scoring and there seems to be a plethora of own goals and crappy goalkeeping. 

Of course the NBA finals nails in the coffin are put in by none other than some Slovenian Sasha Vujacic. That better be the last highlight i see from a Slovenian this weekend since they will be put in their place in less than 12 hours. 

Thursday, June 3, 2010

And now it's June.

Time flies. Fun or otherwise. Even the ten-day work week flew by. Nothing passed time quite like playing Red Dead Redemption this week. While i do enjoy playing, the fun to time-flew-by ratio just doesn't work for me. Every time i would look up at the clock, 40 minutes had gone by. i was so frustrated by the unbelievably quick passage of time, i haven't touched the game in three days.

The one thing i accomplished this week was replacing the needle on my record player. All this time i thought i was going to have to order one and there was one up there in a baggie. i just had no idea what a new working one was supposed to look like. The other highlight of the week so far was going to Carowinds. It was the perfect day at the amusement park. Essentially no wait for any ride thanks to kids still being in school and a early rain. The awesome thing about living less than 20 minutes away is we got to come home and get our bathing suits, grab lunch then head back to the water park. Awesome.

In great news, i will be in a location to watch USA take on England. In bad news, Dick's Sporting Goods was out of stock on the jersey and the only thing they did have that i wanted in my size had seems already coming undone. Must have been made in America.
Also, there is actually a chapter of the American Outlaws USA soccer supporters in Charlotte. i'm guessing it is a small contingency, but would still would be fun to watch with others that know that the world cup is happening at least.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Can't wait for June!

June looks like a fantastic month. Wedding, World Cup, not much Work.
As it stands, i am scheduled to work just 8 nights in the month of June. (Sorry Carl). How is this possible you might ask? Well, i swapped to work Memorial Day weekend for the June 5th weekend. Not my choice, but i didn't have any plans for Memorial Day so why not. Also, i am taking 3 nights off for this little wedding vacation we're taking to Cancun. What up? To be fair, i am working a 10 night stretch to finish off May.

So yeah, just over one month before we get married. Kind of a big deal. Then there is the 2010 World Cup.
Let's take a look at the USA games.
June 12th - England 2 PM ---Perfect. i have no obligations this weekend and invite all to come for the sorta-annual Beer-BQ....i immediately digress...this is lake weekend...could be a major soccer viewing problem.
June 18th - Slovenia 9:30 AM --- i work this weekend, i will be off to watch the game but it falls in my 12 hour window of off-work time, so enjoyment will be limited.
June 23rd - Algeria 9:30 AM --- This is the one that sucks.  i'm not sure who scheduled our flights to Cancun at 11:30 AM, but that essentially means i'll be watching this from the airport and could elevate or damper my initial mood in Cancun.

i almost hope USA finishes 2nd in their division so i can watch the game Sunday morning instead of the alternative which would be a kickoff time just 4 hours before the wedding ceremony.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Feeling Blue

Less than two years old, this computer is experiencing blue screen symptoms. Not sure why it works in safe mode with networking, but not in full mode. Even after a system restore of about a week ago, it still won't load. Who knows. Aside from being able to play iTunes, all i use my computer for is Internet anyway and i can do that which gives me time to consider my options. It's definitely time to finally buy a hard drive to back up all the goods (music and photos). Any recommendations on that stuff? i heard one recommendation to abandon the laptop and go for an iPad. Seems too early for me to adopt that technology.

Time to go back to work tonight after a nice week off. Only signs of the severe sunburn are some minor itching and the final stages of shedding my skin. Speaking of grossest things ever. We were eating outside at a restaurant this week when my face was in full peel mode. There was a strong breezy current blowing from our table inward toward the rest of the tables. At one point, i'm pretty sure a skin flake may have blown inward toward the other people's table. i'm sure they couldn't even taste it.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Appreciating Nothing

You never truly appreciate what you don't have until you have it. That's what they always say, or should have said anyway. In this case, i'm talking about little things that can affect your everyday life to the point of being aggravating and disruptive. Some people have headaches or muscle spasms or trouble sleeping.

i thought things were getting better with my sunburn when i was able to sleep half-way on my side last night, but then today i itched. i've never experienced such a dramatic sunburn itching irritation. At times the itch was so intense i was screaming profanities at the cats. After taking a shower (i think the spray just helped scratch areas i couldn't reach), i used aloe which felt like it intensified the itch, i took another shower to wash it off, then i even tried vinegar (desperate times call for Google searches), then i starting popping pills (some Benadryl and ibuprofen). Finally i used some CVS cream with vitamin E i found in my bathroom supplies. After thinking, i am gonna lose this battle, i threw on a shirt and left to run some errands. They sort of subsided to a tolerable point, but now that i'm just sitting here thinking about it, i feel like they're creeping back.

Just be thankful for everything you have and more importantly, the things you don't have.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Savannah Recovery

We had a really great weekend in Savannah and now i sit on the couch wondering why the hell i thought spending several hours on the beach without sunscreen would be a good idea. Fortunately it is gloomy outside because just seeing the sun makes my skin hurt more. i really just want to lie in bed until after i shed off the painful skin, but it is impossible to lie down comfortably. i keep getting cold but i can't put on a shirt. Luckily, i can justify my lazy day because i am waiting on the cable guy to show up between 8-noon.

Friendly reminder, taking sunscreen with you on the trip does no good if you don't take it with you to the beach and actually apply it.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Return of the Allied

On the road again with the Allied...

I hope someone has been keeping track of all the places the Allied frisbee has traveled.
Feel free to share your favorite Allied memory.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Runner up.

The other weekend was an amazing weekend in Indianapolis despite not winning the national championship. It wasn't too long ago that making it to the tournament was the ultimate success to the season. The drive home with a Butler painted car was filled with thumbs up from random West Virginia fans or fist pumps from unidentified cars and the occasional mocks from Duke fans. More people know Butler now. It's different to have people at work in NC know some of the Butler players names.

I got to see a plethora of old Butler friends walking around downtown or meeting up at the bars. It was like a huge unplanned homecoming.

One more trip to Indiana this weekend for a wedding and that should be it until maybe the end of the year. We have so few weekends off together, going to Indiana every time isn't what we have in mind.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Follow the Bulldogs home.

It figures that Butler finally plays some NCAA tournament games in Indianapolis and now i live 9 hours away. Fair Enough, i'll get there. While i am sad we're missing the chili cook-off this Saturday, i'm obsessionally obligated to make another trip to Indy (wouldn't be so bad if i wasn't planning on going back for a wedding in 3 weeks). That will put my 'annual' trip to Indiana count at 3 in just two months time. Oh well. Some people say this is a once in a lifetime chance, but i'm not buying that. 

If you haven't listened to Gordon Hayward's musical debut from the link i attempted to post last night, you should (link for your convenience). The best part is how he maintains the Butler Way even in rap form.
"But it's not about me, it's about the team. Going to the tourney with a full head of steam. Shits so close, it's at our backdoor. Get a few loves, we'll be in the Final Four. Not stopping there, that's not in store, push it to the limit, we want more...Too Big Yo." (not positive if i translated it all correctly)

i really do want someone to make a t-shirt that says, "the Butler Way...Too Big Yo."

If Butler were to win their next two games, i would like to hear Lucas Oil Stadium chanting "Too Big Yo" and have G-Time rap it one time live for the fans.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Too big yo!

If you haven't listened to this yet, you need to. Go here:

Sorry in a rush, got to work...

Friday, March 26, 2010

Three more wins to go.

It’s no secret, I immediately hate teams that beat Butler (particularly in the post-season) and pretty much hate them until Butler ends up beating them. i sometimes even end up hating entire states just because Butler lost a few games there (NY after '02 and '03, there is a HATE on that heart).
Ever since an overtime loss to Syracuse in 2002, I have been eyeing scenarios for the rematch. I don’t think anybody else cares or even faintly remembers that game. I heard no mention of it on the broadcast last night. I suppose it was just an NIT second round game, but it was an overtime loss where Syracuse won by just one point with Butler unable to make a final layup as time expired. Last year in the South region, I was looking forward to meeting Syracuse in the Elite Eight, but neither of us made it. Back in 2003 if Butler could have won just one more game and advanced to the Elite Eight in Albany, we would have had a chance for our revenge. Finally, we met again. Syracuse loss avenged.

The whole game I was hoping it wouldn’t be another memory of how Butler played the eventual tournament champion tough, but just couldn’t pull it out. We pulled it out. Some Syracuse fans are saying how they gave us the game and while they admittedly did have some awful, careless turnovers, Butler’s defense was tough. It’s not like Butler was on fire as they were in the second half vs. UTEP, we struggled shooting. Yet we still managed to beat the best team in the Big East. Their asterisk next to this game will read that Syracuse beat themselves and didn’t have center Arinze Onuaku. Ironically, before the game nobody seemed to think that would matter much as they were predicted to win anyway. As a side note, I prefer playing a press. They don’t challenge dribbling or passes around the perimeter which usually makes me nervous. It seems to give good looks from 3 and around the free throw line. Butler played another subpar game, yet somehow managed to beat a top Big East team and #1 seed? I don’t know if I’ll ever figure out how they pull out these wins. Even against Horizon League teams all year, I wondered how they came out on top many times.

After every win against one of the big schools, they attribute the loss to how they beat themselves or if they had played their best game it wouldn’t have been close. There always seems to be an excuse when Butler beats a good team. Will Butler ever get credit for winning? Maybe after its 26th straight victory?

We beat Ohio State this year, but the asterisk reads “Almighty Evan Turner was hurt” (reasonable asterisk because he totally changes that team but we get to play them again anyway). We beat Xavier this year, asterisk reads “The clock malfunction caused them to lose” (despite a real time countdown showing our last second shot would’ve counted either way). After three more wins, Butler would be crowned National Champions of college basketball with an asterisk that reads “They have their excuses, we have a national championship.”

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Even Hitler picked Kansas

i feel like i've seen something like this before, but i still enjoyed it this time.

Sunday, March 21, 2010


i guess it may have been around a while, but i first saw this Axe Dry commercial last week and it is pretty funny.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

One down.

After playing the way i feared we’d play in the first half (sloppy, uninspired, careless), Butler returned to winning form. Not to a winning form they’ve seen this year, but the second half was more reminiscent of Bulldogs past. Limiting turnovers, hitting 3’s, and forcing UTEP to turn the ball over. A first round record setting 3-point shooting made up for Nored’s poor performance taking care of the ball and abhorrent free throw shooting (1-7). Another surprising statistic was Hayward going 0-6 from 3-point land! At the end of the game, they were practically giving him the 3 like he was Nored.

After the game i went to the IndyStar Web site and saw this headline…i thought it was going to be about Butler’s hot shooting, but was saddened to learn some dogs had actually been set on fire.

dogs on fire

Monday, March 15, 2010

Missing the NCAA first round...

For the first time since a long time ago, i will not be able to make the first round of the NCAA tournament. Yes, that does induce a mild bout of depression. Butler will have to win the first two rounds without me. Butler plays Thursday at around 4:45 pm which fortunately should allow me to watch the game before going to work. If it wasn't already a shortened week for me, i would still try and get Thursday night covered and spend the $600 to get to San Jose plus hotel and such.

Let's review why missing the post season stings so much for me. The following list shows the year and locations i've traveled to watch Butler basketball over the years in the post-season.

'01-02 - Syracuse - Sitting in a sea of orange, the Bulldogs are defeated by Syracuse in the most exciting overtime game i've seen Butler lose. God-willing, revenging that NIT loss to Syracuse this year will send Butler to the Elite Eight for the first time. 

'02-03 - Birmingham/Albany - Quite possibly the trip that cemented my devotion for Butler basketball. As a 12 seed, Butler beat the 5 seed Mississippi State on a runner in the lane by Brandon Miller then went on to beat the 4 seed Louisville to make the sweet 16. Then we took a trip to Albany to watch the Bulldogs fall short against Oklahoma.

'03-05 - off years for Butler

'05-06 - Florida State - Starting to get back on track, Butler makes the NIT making it down to play Florida State in a game they could've won.

'06-07 - Buffalo - Butler again wins two games (over Old Dominion and Maryland) to get to the Sweet 16. Followed them to St. Louis in a great game against an NBA-bound Florida that eventually won their 2nd straight NCAA tourney. Butler lead with under 4 minutes to go.

'07-08 - Birmingham - Back to Birmingham where Butler easily advanced over South Alabama only to fall to Tennessee in overtime. Butler had their chance to win this game, but just could not convert. 

'08-09 - Greensboro - The selection committee was generous in having Butler play just up the road from Charlotte. Unfortunately, they looked too young and just did not have the usual Butler way about them and loss to LSU in the opening round.

'09-10 - SAN JOSE - Quite possibly the farthest possible desination from Charlotte other than maybe Spokane. The second strike is that the game is on Thursday when i have to work Thursday night. Strike 3 comes when i am already returning from a trip so it's tough to request more time off. Damn the man.

The good news is the final four will be in Indianapolis and fortunately i am already off the April 3rd weekend.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Unfrozen Cave Man...

One hundred thousand years ago, a caveman was out hunting on the frozen wastes when he slipped and fell into a crevasse. In 2006, he was discovered by some scientists and thawed out. He then went to Notre Dame and became... Unfrozen Caveman Luke Harangody.

Seriously, he always reminds me of a cave man every time i see him. 

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


After watching last night's Butler/Wright State game in Indy, there was a huge sigh of relief from college teams on the bubble of the NCAA tournament. An even louder sigh of relief came from me. i was truly scared to attend a Butler game against a Horizon League opponent after they had gone all year without a loss. It would have been added fuel to the fire of my belief that something i do during the course of a game or season is going to impact the outcome of Butler games. Fortunately, i did just what i needed to do and we won without a problem.

Made it to Chesterton. Never did figure out what brought me home this week aside from poorly planned Indiana trip with Megan and a few events that seemed like good timing had their been a major reason for the visit. We'll see what we can do.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Sampstar's App Essentials

This is the current basics of what make up the current Sampstar's App Essentials. 

Yelp - has always been my favorite place for writing/reading reviews and in the past month or so they totally revamped their app to make it much, much better. i'm still not sure about the buzz around the "Check in" feature on these apps. It may just be that i don't know many people out and about to care who is where. One thing that just looks cool is the monocle feature where you hold up the iPhone in whatever direction and it shows you what is that direction and how far.

ScoreCenter - It was months before i realized it was actually Score and not Sportscenter. Anywho, when i first got this app, i don't believe it did all alerts (maybe) but now you can set alerts for game start, each quarter and final or just final. You can also arrange the sports or scores you want to see first and select your favorite teams that will be displayed on top.

TripIt - This little guy just makes it easier to find your travel information. Rather than looking through the email to find what airline you are flying this time, you simply email your flight itinerary to the tripit address and it recognizes your email and puts it in an easy to read format by trip.

RunKeeper - Started with TrailGuru, ended up with this one. Uses the GPS to track your runs outside, keeping time/pace and such. Sometimes has miscalculations in running routes, but usually seems pretty good.  Now allows you to manually enter workouts you missed or did on the treadmill. If only i could remember to log all runs, it would be even better.

Dropbox - A nice little program that gives you up to 2GB free to store music, pics or whatever online. It automatically syncs with other computers you have and your iPhone. You can also share with others. Join Dropbox via this link and they might give me some extra storage.

Animoto - This app makes a 30-second video montage with the photos of your choosing.
An example: our cats

Evernote - previously mentioned.

Other useful apps to have:
  • PhoneFlicks - Manage your Netflix que via your phone
  • myWireless (AT&T app) - easily allows you to view and pay your bill as well as check your minutes
  • U-verse TV - allows me to program my DVR from afar
  • Flixster - simple way to find movie times and watch previews
  • TweetDeck - when i do use Twitter, this is nice. it also allows me to view and update facebook status as well. 
  • RedLaser - One of two apps i think i have actually paid something for, this is just fun when i'm at Target scoping out the clearance end caps. It checks the price on Google and locally supposedly.
  • - if you're in to budget tracking, this works nicely. 
  • Cardstar - allows you to put all your annoying loyalty cards from the wallet or key chain into your iPhone. It only works at places with a hand held scanner device from what i can tell. It works at CVS, but doesn't work at our gym unfortunately. 
  • iheartradio - picks up 106.5 in Charlotte and 94.7 from Indy. Allows me to listen to Bob and Tom without the static of the radio at work. 

Monday, February 22, 2010

Can you Google something on Bing?

i'm gonna have to Bing that.

Will it ever be synonymous with Google?  Maybe in due time if this whole cashback thing works out.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Take you to the vet.

So a few days ago on the road leading to our subdivision i first noticed a dead deer on the side of the road. Every time i drove by there was a swarm of vultures or whatever birds circling around and picking at the deer. Yesterday morning i even saw a wolf having a snack.

This morning when i came home from work, i saw what was left of the deer and had to take a picture. To the left was the regular pic and below is just a cropped pic taken and edited with the iPhone. Yummy!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

MLS Gear?

For all those MLS fans out there, there is a pretty good sale going on here for various jerseys, shorts, shirts, etc. i wish there was a local or even a regional MLS team near the Carolinas, so i could claim some allegiance, but instead i have to resort to Chicago as my go-to team as i was taught growing up.

So who wants to come to Charlotte to watch some futbol? The Mexico-Iceland international soccer exhibition at Bank of America Stadium will be held on March 24. i kind of want to go, but kind of don’t care. Who knew Iceland even had a soccer team? However, based on my desire to someday be a true US soccer fan, i could go just to root against Mexico. We’ll see.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Seems Illegal

i had my sorta-annual eye exam the other month and during that visit received the usual reminders that i should change my contacts out more often and what not. Upon corneal evaluation, the eye doc was concerned about some minor problems in the eye caused by overuse and wanted me to follow up in a few weeks to see if there was any improvement.
When the time came for my follow-up, i called and told them i didn't really think i needed a followup appointment. They said they could reschedule and were insistent that i come in and told me it should just be a $30 copay. Fine, i went in and the eyes looked fine. Then a few weeks later in the mail i get a bill for $184 featuring two corneal photographic evaluations and an office visit fee. "You Bastards!" i probably said out loud.

After contemplating just paying it, i decided i would go in and complain about the unnecessary procedure and wasting my money. What else am i going to do on my off week?

So  i go in and when i tell them why i am there, she goes in back and tells the office manager. As i sit there prepared to just pay the stupid bill not knowing what i'm expecting them to do, she comes out five minutes later and tells me, "Oh you weren't supposed to get a bill. Usually the insurance covers these things and if they don't, we just write it off." Shocked and satisfied, i leave. i'm no expert, but is that not some sort of insurance fraud? Send some high bill to the insurance, take what they give and just ignore the rest of the jacked up cost?

Either way, i'm $184 less poor than i would've been.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


In honor of the doppleganger stuff on Facebook, i found this graphic amusing. 

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Big day?

Today is a big day. Two big addresses to the nation:

Barack Obama vs. Steve Jobs

For a successful state of the union, Obama should just address Jobs. get it? jobs. Forget it.
So which will have a greater impact on my future? My money is on the leader of Electronics in the Free World. Sorry Mr. President of the USA. While i don't see my need for something like the iTablet or whatever the big announcement is, lets just say i didn't see my need for an iPhone. i'm sure Obama will promise jobs and a health care plan we can all agree on, but really everyone will still be wondering how the Apple announcement is going to change the future or just wishing Obama wouldn't be interrupting their regularly schedule programs.  

In other news, check out this winner. This lady was charged with 3 DUIs in one week after 3 accidents. Amazing.

Movie Notes:
  • After a small string of good movies seen at the theater (Blind Side, Avatar), "Legion" was just off the mark. It was actually pretty good up to a point, but then i felt they kind of gave up. It's hard to imagine the world can be saved by the child of a white trash girl who got knocked up and having a hero character with a southern accent just doesn't work.
  • Megan's need for Dexter has caused us to increase our Netflix from one to three disc at a time. Weeds Season 5 to follow.
  • If you are looking for a good instant Netflix movie, try "Milk."
Random notes:
  • With Megan working the night/morning shift this week (approximately 2am to 10am), my wake-up times the past few days have ranged from 2am to 4am. Of course when you go to bed between 6 and 8 every night, it's not so bad.
  • When someone comes to your door advertising a security system, how do you answer when they ask, "Do you have a security system?" It made me nervous and makes me want to get our security system a little quicker. They're clever.
  • Millie had her foot re-splinted yesterday and so far, it is still on.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Here's a little video of Millie gimping around after jumping/falling off from the loft. She looks so pathetic when she walks using just 3 legs. Ironically, before we got Millie, someone from work offered me a 3-legged cat but when i asked Megan if she wanted another cat, she turned it down. i guess it was just meant to be.

Turns out she has a "mid shaft complete fracture of her fourth metacarpal bone in her front left paw" and she'll be splinted for the next 4 weeks. She must have known she was going to get spade and de-clawed this week.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

iPhone App of the Post

Evernote has essentially replaced my need to carry a notebook in my back pocket. Not only does that preclude me from a literal pain in the ass or spiral ass indentations after being seated for extended periods of time, it allows me to access thoughts more easily via the Evernote Web site. i just need to remember to tag things more often so i can find them once i accumulate more clutter than i want to visually sort through. However, the search feature is great at searching within notes.

With this app, you can record notes via text, voice or picture. It also tracks where you make the note in case you have a location-based important reminder. 

In honor of this recommendation, here's one of my beer reminders made in the past 6 months.

Hopefully, i'll remember not to buy this particular Starr Hill beer again...our initial reactions:
"first drink taste like urine or what I imagine urine taste like - megan
"hmm. taste like urine mixed with twigs and leaves." -sam

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Christmas Lapses.

Ever since i learned the humor/entertainment that can be derived from the simplest activities when caught on a time lapse video, i've been a fan. So if you weren't present this year when Megan and i opened presents and you weren't (except you Megan), here's a time-lapse recap:

(the cats kind of make it amusing)

Thursday, January 7, 2010


One more night of work this week which was actually a shortened week due to a 2-night vacation to Snowshoe, West Virginia for some skiing...actually snowboarding. For the second time in my life i got on a snowboard. This time went much better and i actually never traded it in for skies. i even successfully made it down a Blue.

The first night may have been the coldest weather i've ever been in. Unofficially, the windchill was in the negative 20 range while we were out there!! Fortunately the next day was slightly warmer and a newly-purchased face cover helped. i don't know that i'll ever do skies again.

Fortunately for me, we had Michelle with us who specializes in lacing up snowboots and snowboarding lessons. This is a video of Megan when she was self-teaching herself  on the snowboard last year. i love her excitement when she comes to a stop. It was too damn cold to take pictures this time around, so i have no proof that i was able to snowboard.