Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all!!

I got Kate a new laptop, sorely needed. I also managed to bring her over to the dark side by also getting her an Apple iPod Touch (a part of my multi-year plan to eventually get her fully into the Apple fold). We called Abbie this morning via Skype and saw them and their presents.

Jack got so much stuff its hard to calculate, but it looks like Lego, Iron Man and clothes are the highlights. (He Loves the Redskin helmet that Frank went all the way to FedEx Field to buy him, so thanks for that, Frank, he loves it!)

I did well, got a bunch of stuff like a mini helicopter, iTunes, a battery pack for my iPhone, clothes, "Despicable Me" DVD, a very cool wool hat (Thanks Mom and Dad!) and other assorted goods.

It even snowed this morning, no accumulation, but tomorrow we might get a few inches.

Thanks GG and PapaJohn for the Legos!

Uncle Frank and Debbie got him a Redskins helmet, he LOOOOVVVEEESSS it.

Oooooh, Lego Star Wars!

Helping Papu with unwrapping his present.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Funny Book and a Neat Idea

I came across this illustrator and he made a book through this web site. I love this idea, so I think I am going to create a character and make up a story so I can make a book like this too!

Hilarious Pic of the Day

Dog + Cupcake = Funny Picture


So about a year ago I heard about Square, which was started by one of the co-founders of Twitter, Jack Dorsey. Square is an upstart with some lofty goals, but fills a solid business need.

For years, the small guy/entrepreneur has had to struggle with how to take credit card purchases, but didn't want to invest heavily by renting the machine that reads cards and paying that monthly fee to use their service.

Square has bypassed all that by waiving the monthly fees and giving you a free reader that is much more compact. The catch is that you use it with only certain cell phones, but the list is growing every day. As of now, you can use it on these phones (iPad, iPhone, iPod touch (2G+), Motorola DROID and DROID X, HTC Nexus One, Droid Incredible, Evo, Desire, and Hero (with Android 2.x update), Samsung Galaxy S series, Intercept, LG Ally and Dell Streak. So its not like you can't find a cell phone, plan and carrier that you won't like.

On my iPhone.

I signed up online and within a few weeks, I confirmed my account by filling out an online form and then received a note saying my reader had shipped. Two days later it arrived in the mail. The reader is less than the size of a book of matches and plugs into the headphone jack on your phone.

The Square Reader

I downloaded the software (free on iTunes) and was off and running. I charged myself a dollar by swiping my card (it took three swipes, but that is because I am not used to how fast to swipe it), plugged in my info and signed right on the screen with my finger. Sent myself a receipt through email. I was amazed at how easy it is to do this.

Square charges 2.75 percent of the transaction and a .15 cent fee for transaction, so that is how they make their money. But considering the convenience and the lack of a monthly fee and no big, bulky reader to lug around, its a great system.

I think this company has a future. The credit card companies may have to step up their game if they want to compete if this catches on.

Dancing StormTroopers

Waaay back a long time ago, the Grateful Dead were big, I went to a Dead concert and find their music fun to listen to, but I'm more of an Allman Brothers fan. What's not to like; easy to listen to, good jams and they have their own peace-rock vibe.

I also like Star Wars. Loved it as a kid and now that I have a kid of my own, I am rediscovering all of that joy through Legos, Star Wars and other kids games.

I was running ideas in my mind when I came up with a fun mash-up by recreating the original Grateful Dead Dancing Skeletons with Storm Troopers.

Here is Jack modeling is a shirt I made for him with Clone Troopers on it:

Yes, nephews Jacob and Joshua, I will be making a shirt for each of you with Clone Troopers in the near future!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

It's A Girl!

We went to get a sonogram and found out its going to be a girl - WooHoo!!!
Now we have a full "set". Jack is excited he is going to have a sister.

(Still thinking of names)

Pizza Smells Like Happiness

We sit down for some pizza late last week and Jack says,"Mmmm, Pizza. Smells like,... happiness." I grabbed my phone and asked him to say it again, but of cours he hammed it up the second time. Its still cute, though.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Cookie Frosting

Everyone knows cookie frosting makes you hyped-up. Kate took a video of the kids (Ellie and Jack) horsing around when they were making their cookies in Raleigh last weekend.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Thanksgiving in Raleigh (Rolly)

The cousins together.

I know, its spelled to sound like rally, but its pronounced rolly. Gets me every time.

After visiting Atlanta over the Thanksgiving holiday, we made a trip over to Raleigh to see more family ad have a big turkey dinner at Abbie and Jasons new house. Jack loves to visit with his cousins, thinks they are fun to play with and they all get along very well.

Ellie is growing into a little girl who is very sweet and is a pleaser, always wants to help in some way and likes anything that is fairy-related and pink. Nate is his own man, asks lots of questions and is really interested in Spiderman. He will also eat just about anything, he puts Jack to shame as far as eating habits go an will wolf down just about anything you set before him.

The kids spent a lot of time playing ,so at bed time, they were pooped, I don't think Jack had a nap at all during our trip, so he was cranky once or twice, but held up really well, considering.

An example of when one of the kids runs out of gas. They just lay down for a minute and boom, they are out like a light.

Nate gnawing on a drumstick on Thanksgiving.

We all found ways to keep ourselves occupied, Kathleen discovered the Nintendo DS that Nate usually plays and I think she is hooked.

Grandma playing with the DS while the kids look on and offer advice.

Ellie and Nate.