Barbie Singing ... Oh Christmas Tree

Hi again.

Tonight ... we had the absolute pleasure of seeing Barbie / Eden singing her astonishing version of the classic Christmas carol -- Oh Christmas Tree.

Now that we have video cameras, we were able to capture it.

Truly ... Inpirational!
I hope you enjoy it!



States ... SUCK!

You know ... if I had to operate my family on a budget where I had millions of people just handing me over money, I might figure out how to live on it.

In fact, I make money for my family ... and I DO have to learn to live within our means. And I don't make even CLOSE to what the 'states' make.

However, because of this 'economic crisis', many states are running out of money.

So much so ... that in fact they are thinking about selling public lands.

This is such a HUGE freaking slap in the face of every person who pays their taxes. Essentially, they are taking your money, and still giving away everything (and I mean everything) that you should be a part owner of.

Just check it out here.

Reading this article right now, makes me SO MAD! It makes me want to drop kick somebody.

And yet, the stupid police are still on their money sucking raids. In fact, just yesterday we drove down a 4 lane road (marked at 45 mph for some unknown reason?) where there were 4 cars pulled over. And 2 other sheriff's cars waiting to stop more unsuspecting travelers.

YOU PEOPLE SUCK! It's not enough that WE (Me and every other tax-payer) PAY YOUR SALARY! NO! That's not enough ... you continue to steal, and pillage, and destroy everywhere your greedy little hands can reach.

I am getting sick of paying you to protect me, to serve me, to help me ... and THIS is what I get in return. More taxes, more tickets, more bills, more fees!



Al Talking about the Girls


I don't want to waste your time here ... or with anything I do. However, I am loving having this video camera and playing around with it. So, in that spirit I offer this short clip.

This is a brief video of me, sharing some silly thoughts about the girls. If you're not in a silly mood ... then there's absolutely NO NEED to watch.



Christmas Gift Videos

I got a sweet gift from Christy. Instead of showing you WHAT I got, I think these videos will give you a better feel for what I got.

I lieu of the destroyed beach video (last weekend), Chris decided to give me something that works a little bit better. A Flip Video Cam ... and these clips display some of its cool-ness.

Merry Christmas ... again! What an amazing day we had here.

First of all - here is Keeley's gift video:

And Here's Kait's gifts:

And a World Debut ... Christmas 2008:

Never-before-released photos from Kaitlyn.
Here's a few shots from Kait's personal picture collection. You are the first to see them.

P.S. The dog in the photo that Kait took is not ours! We are dog sitting for a friend of Chris's that she works with. They are out of town for Christmas. Just thought you would like to know.

Christmas Greetings!

Merry Christmas from our family to all of you!


Anna Marie Island - Sun and Sunset

Hi ... and Merry Christmas!

We are sitting right on the verge of Christmas Day, and I am pretty excited for tomorrow to come. Two of the gifts we got for Kaitlyn are absolutely astonishing - to me. I am thrilled to be giving them to her.

For me, this one gift has brought back some amazing memories from my own childhood Christmases.

- The year I got a red Schwinn road bike.
- The year I got the G.I. Joe Aircraft carrier
- The year we all got motorcycles
- The year I got my Oakland Raiders jacket

All of those things, engraved into the hard wiring of my memory. I am hoping this gift really knocks her off her tushie.

Anyhow ... I wanted to write and share a little bit of the sun and fun we've been having here in Florida, in preparation for this Christmas season.

This last weekend, we traveled out to Anna Marie Island for the first time. And, in fact, I had shot about 10 minutes of video that I was thrilled to capture and share with you all.

Unfortunately, when I got home, the camera ate the tape and then I broke it in 2 pieces trying to get it to play. So, alas ... I won't be sharing one single second of the video with you.

Instead, you get the pleasure of checking out some of our pictures of this gorgeous area.

I hope you enjoy. I was sorry to hear about the nasty weather in Oregon - although - to me it sounds like I would love it. Fresh powder in the mountains seems almost as wonderful as the warm, soft, white-sand beaches here in Florida.

Merry Christmas to everyone. May God truly Bless You and Your Families in this beautiful season in celebration of His Son!


Business Woman ... On the Go!

I know it's Christmas Eve, and all, so I should be talking about Christmas-y things, but I wanted to share this little glimpse into our everyday lives here instead.

Keeley decided she wanted to see what life was like in the business world, so she dressed up as a business woman.

Here is the exquisite look she came up with:

She looks pretty snazzy - right?

Oh ... and Merry Christmas!



HO-prah and 20/20 Bringing Hope to the World ... One Show at a Time

So ... I'm not a big fan of Oprah, or the News. And there are many reasons for this.

However, I just had to comment on this one ...

Here's the links:
Oprah Saves the World
20 20 - What Would You Do?

Basically, these are experiments in 'ethics'. Or, in other words, things that we, the people, should know are RIGHT AND WRONG.

In other words, Oprah and Twenty 20 are educating us on right and wrong here.
In fact ... there is going to be a WHOLE ENTIRE series of shows based on this concept. I just saw a commercial for it tonight.

There's just one problem ...

When right and wrong are constantly moving and changing, how do you know what is right or wrong?

In fact ... take a look at this Yahoo headline:
A court clears the way for a paralyzed woman to sue the person who came to her rescue.

"You can't be careless when you're helping someone without consequence ...
I would have been better off if you had not helped me." ...
But instead you should let someone else help me.

"Many think this ruling flies in the face of human nature."

Just maybe ... MAYBE ... California will re-write their laws to give more protection to Good Samaritans.


Now ... you tell me ... what is right and what is wrong? And if the lines are always changing ... then how can we know from one day to the next, where it sits?

OOPS ... I almost forgot ... The Media is going to lead the way.


On the other hand, maybe the Bible has some more timeless ideas for us to live by?


One of Our Christmas Traditions

We don't have a whole lot of regular traditions that we do for Christmas.

But one thing Chris and I have done for both of the girls, is get them each a personalized Christmas ornament every year.

While it's not always easy to pick out a topic, or theme, that seems to signify their whole year - we try and match up one ornament to what happened in their life over that year.

Anyhow ... here is what we picked up for them last year:

I'm not sure the picture came out very clearly. If you can't tell what it is? It's a pop-up tent trailer - in honor of our 40 day cross country camping road trip we did last year. We picked these up at Bronner's - an online ornament retailer.

This year ... Webkinz!
Maybe we'll put up photos of them later, but there was really only 2 options we could go with this year ... Disney ... or Webkinz.

And when the girls saw the Webkinz ornaments, they were ALL OVER THEM.

Mostly, just wanted to share with you.



Thermostat Says ...

I just checked the thermostat here in the house. It's 11 o'clock at night. I have the ceiling fan going full tilt.

Can you guess the temp?

78 degrees!

If you even think around here, you can break into a sweat.

Well, I guess we won't be getting any snow this year. I guess Santa is gonna need to borrow a pickup truck, or something. And an Air Conditioner!



Christmas Spirit

We've all been getting in the Christmas Spirit around here.

I am totally excited about some of the gifts we got for the girls - one in particular is SO COOL - I want it.

Anyhow, it's neat having the girls around, they add a lot of excitement to the whole feeling of the season.

Here's a few shots of them getting into it:

You can see a LOT of Christy in this first shot. Notice the facial expression ... It's almost like looking at a younger version of Christy.

The fairy wings are a carry over from Keeley's birthday - a month ago. Yep ... Tinker Bell let us borrow some wings.

And ... I want to say thank you Jesus ... for giving us THE reason to celebrate.

Talk soon!


More off the top

Wow! I didn't expect to get such a reaction from the Dragon naturally speaking software. So I thought I'd write up a little extra clip using the software. And in fact I'm actually recording the audio so you can see how the software works along with hearing the audio speed.

What's really cools I'm going to try and read a little bit of art journal excerpt from arch rip so that you can get an idea of how this thing actually works. A couple things I do want to say the software we picked up at target. And it actually comes with a headset microphone system that you can use. And basically all I had to do was read for about five minutes and then it started working just like it is right now.

Now you can see I'm adding in the punctuation marks with my voice. And you'll be able to hear that in the audio as well.

So anyhow I want to read a little clip from our journal that I thought was kind interesting and just give you an idea of how this all works together.

This is in regards actually to the story where Kristy and I climbed up this hill in Zion national Park and someone fell at the top of the same trail that we were hiking. So this is a portion of that story.

Toward the end of the trail we were kind of doing this speed walk. I remembered one kid with a tie dye shirt and a half and I specifically said hi to him. Later as we were getting back from going into Springdale, I see the kid there at the visitor center. I said... hey how did it go? Did you make it to the top? He said yeah I made it. I asked how was it? Did you have to hold on? He said going up no. But after the man fell, I had to grab onto the chain.

I said wow will good job! Not even realizing the man he was talking about was a real person. I had thought it was his dad or one of his teachers telling him some story about a person falling off so he got freaked out when he had the whole law. But no, he was actually telling me the true story and I didn't even realize it.

And so you can see how the software works its fairly fast. It's keeping up with me pretty good. And you can see pretty much else all worked out as I've gone along speaking to you. Know what I did was IE actually spoke this into the where the notepad software. And then I'm just going to copy and paste it into the blogger writing screen. Anyhow catch you soon. Bye-bye commission .


P.S. - here is the audio file. You should be able to click this link, and it will open up inside your computers default audio player. Probably Windows Media. All I ask is that you don't click, and click, and click this link - PLEASE! If you want to hear it - please listen and save it to your computer. Otherwise you'll be using up my bandwidth ... I know picky ... picky ... right? Just asking - thank you!

Audio File from Transcript


off the top of my...

hello everyone,

This is kind of a test of the urgency broadcast system. I wanted to test out this new speech to taxed software and I thought this would be a great place to sample it.

So everything that I'm saying to you right now it's coming from my voice and not for my fingers. Which is kind of cool. However I don't really have a whole lot but I want to say because I haven't been feeling all that inspired lately. But I'm totally digging this new software is really cool!

The great thing is even the punctuation is coming from my mouth and the lying rates.

I'm not really trying to bore you your only give you a good sample of what this can do so I'm going to actually read a small bit of text.this would be really quick though. It comes from a sales letter for one of my chicken products.

I have a strange chicken topic to share with you today. I hope you don't mind. When you think about it, chicken poop is a pretty nasty subject. But some people get all excited to bring up the topic.

Why are they excited?

Because chicken who makes an excellent fertilizer or your garden, dirt, and soil.

Chicken and you were is a great source of nitrogen, phosphate, and potassium -- all of which are excellent fertilizer ingredients.

So there you have it this entire post has been written with my voice. I know there've been quite a few mistakes, but I think it was a pretty cool test to run any how.

So until next time, have a Merry Christmas and I'll talk with you soon.


My little Tom Tim

Here is another of our Christmas Decorations.


Christmas photo

I know that I have not done a photo a day in a long time but here is one that I just took today. Enjoy!


Oregon Closes the Amazing Race

Christy and I haven't been following the Amazing Race for several seasons now. However, we just started catching this season's shows about 3 days ago.

We only got through about 5 episodes watching on the internet.

But then, we heard that they were finishing this season in Portland. So we had to skip ahead and catch the last show.

How cool, for us, to be able to see some of our old stomping grounds. This picture is from the CBS website - and unfortunately - there's not a better shot showcasing Oregon's beauty.

But still ...

MMMMMM !!!!!!

The memories.

Anyhoo ... you can catch the last show at this page.

Check it out - AND if you have any pics of Oregon, I'd love to see 'em.



Typing 100 miles an hour

Last time ... I talked about a cool new tool that I just learned about for the first time the other day.

This time ... I wanted to share something with you that I've known about for a LONG time. And I've even tried it before, but with very limited success.

You see, last time I was trying to do this with a different software ... a name brand I don't even want to mention here.

BUT ... this time ... I actually splurged and bought the real deal.

What is it?

Dragon Naturally Speaking - the software.

What does it do?

It lets you talk, and then it decodes your spoken words into words on the computer.

You talk ... it types.

The really cool thing about this particular software, though, is that it actually seems to work. I was planning on giving you a sample with this post, but we're doing some rearranging, so it worked out easier for me to type it.

I'll give you a sample soon. No edits, just straight up talking to typing.

Anyhow ... for the price ... this is an OUTSTANDING tool to help you create products for selling online.

Just thought I'd share.


Oh ... and a P.S.

A couple people are asking me if I'm getting all commercial, and promoting a whole bunch of products, and making money on them with the comments I've been posting up?

Well - if you aren't clicking on the links to my products, then NOPE, I don't make a single cent off of this site. Now, the links to the right, are sales products - and sometimes I do put links to my products in my posts. Most of you already know about all those, so that's not a big deal ... right?

BUT - this post, and the post about the Livescribe pen - I don't get a thing. PLUS + You'll notice there aren't a whole bunch of Google links on these pages. If I had those on here, I would get paid for them ... but we don't plan on doing that either.

I am just sharing them with you for ideas, and for sharing.


Cool New Tech Tool

I carry around notebooks almost everywhere I go.

At work they actually think I'm kinda nerdy, because of my notebooks, and all the stuff I write down.

Thankfully, most of the stuff I write down is journaling related. That way - when I get older, and seniler, I'll be able to look back over my life (in paper form) and TRY to remember how things truly happened. Needless-to-say ... I've written hundreds of pages over the last few years. I probably write more NOW, than I ever wrote in school.

That's why I was pretty impressed by this neat new techie tool. It lets you write and record audio all at the same time. So that if you were taking notes during a meeting, or something important, you'd be able to capture your own notes PLUS the audio from the event.

AND ... it ties them together. So - you could click on a note you wrote one day, and this tool knows the exact audio to play at the moment you wrote the note.

It's pretty cool!

I know this is kinda advertising like ... however ... I am a VERY STRONG proponent of note taking. So I can vouch for a handwriting system like this. And I can totally see how this could be used for a small business niche website.

I think they focus a little too much on the school aspect of it - but I guess if that's the only market they can get to look at it - then oh well.

Just thought I'd share.



Kung Fu Banshees

One of my new favorite shows ... is Kung Fu Panda.

There are some amazing one liners in there that just blow my mind ...

Anyhow ... the girls had a short kung fu session with their Grandpa Miller while they were here.

The fighting was fierce ... and we thought someone might not survive.
We rate this PG - for some mature Kung Fu Scenes.

But ...

In the end, everything worked out well:

Legend tells of a legendary warrior whose kung fu skills were the stuff of legend.

It is said ... he was so deadly, in fact, that his enemies would go blind from overexposure to pure awesomeness!!

I see you like to chew. Maybe you should chew... ON MY FIST!!

They were no match for his bodacity!

There is no charge for awesomeness... or attractiveness!

I know ... I know ...

A lot of blood, guts, and gore.

But you gotta put it out there like you see it.



A Top 10 Destination ...

I caught an interesting arrticle on Yahoo today.

10 places to see, in the U.S., before you die. Nice!

Anyhow ... one of the places just happened to be the 'Oregon Coast' - Highway 101. No surprise there, because there are stunning views all over the coast.

However ...

There was one little tidbit of info that I thought was very interesting:

"The entire coast is public land..."

Let me tell you - you WON'T see that in Florida! Sure there are plenty of public beaches - but even still - you gotta PAY to park and get to 'em.

I don't know this personally ... but apparently in the Florida Keys it's VERY difficult to find public beaches. Miles of water and beach - but only a few places open to the public. (Please correct me if I'm wrong about that?)

Anyhow ... I just thought I'd share that little bit of info with you.

Oh ... I almost forgot ...
Here's the article, in case you want to check it out:
10 Places to see in the U.S.

Also - Photo is the Heceta Head Lighthouse near Florence, Ore.
Source: Stuart Westmorland/Getty



Money and Me

I'm no money mogul ... although Christy and I have had fairly good success at staying above the waterline over the years.

So ... I guess, in some ways, we consider ourselves ... experts! Ha Ha

Anyhow ...

I did read a cool book not all that long ago. And we've been implementing it for the last few months.

It's called ...

The Storehouse Principle
By Al Jande and Van Crouch

It's a pretty good book. It's a quick read, and definitely worth taking a look at ... in my honest opinion. You can pick it up at

Basically - if you boil it down to it's essentials, it says this:

Much like ants live (as the Bible points out) ... storing up little bits of food and provisions throughout the good times ... so that they 'have' savings in the future when needed.

In the same way ... we need to set aside a small portion ... everytime, all the time ... of all that we make, so that we are also prepared for the future.

Mostly, I just wanted to let you know a little bit about what I've read recently. And put a tickle in your ear to check it out as well.


What's there to write about?

I've always liked to write. And there have even been times, when people told me I write pretty well.

Now ... I'm no Grisham. There's only one.

But, I'm trying to develop my writing skills.

In fact, I've actually written stuff on the internet that's brought in thousands of dollars.

And yet ... I am still having a heck of a time honing my writing chops into solid, attention-grabbing content.

However ... like anything worth doing ... if you really WANT to do it, then it's worth doing right. Right?

So, I continue to methodically plod along, almost like pedaling my bike across town ... one stroke after another ... and eventually I plan to arrive at some higher level of creative expression.

Until I get there, though ... thanks for sticking with me.

Here's some of my favorite online writers and inspirations:

Matthew Furey
What's crazy ... is this guy lives about 20 minutes away from me. I'm planning on meeting him someday - when my writing gets good.

Joe Vitale
Hypnotic Writing ... I love it!

Associated Content
Some good general writing tips.

Adventurous Writer
More writing tips to spark your creativity.

Any other ideas?

Let me know!


Toll Road Park

Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures of this park. Although I'll try and get some next time we go.

Do you remember ... I told you we were out running around on Sunday afternoon. Well, the sun went down at about 5:30'ish. And the reason we had been driving all over St. Pete was because I had heard of an 'amazingly' tall bridge in town that was SO TALL that it would scare the snot out of you.

So ... part of our adventure was spent finding that bridge. It wasn't until the end of the day we finally found it.

It's simple (of course) - but I didn't know that until we actually found it.

Basically, you take I-275 through St. Pete (southbound). As you head down - you are forced to take a toll road across the bay. It is THIS toll road that IS the bridge.

Anyhow ...

It turns out that the bridge isn't the best part.

On either side of the bridge are little parks. And you can get off of the road and stop at the parks after you pay your toll, and as you're driving across this 5 mile long bridge.

So we stopped at the park on the north side of the bridge - and caught an amazing sunset. We also discovered that it was a GREAT place for the girls to explore while we relaxed. Maybe a good place for a picnic too. And it also appears to be a GREAT place to launch a canoe or kayak from.

We'll let you know sometime.

Anyhow - I just wanted to shoot out another quick update.

Talk soon.



Photo a day #18

While this is another cheat ... I'm not sure I really care.

These animals were photographed at the park I mentioned yesterday. I wanted to include them, but I thought I'd spread it out over a couple of days - to buy myself some time, since we've been sick (and tired) since Sunday night.

I hope you like the pics anyhow. I thought they were kinda cool.

Catch ya soon!



Photo a day #17

We dropped Chris' folks off on Sunday.

And since it was still early in the day, we decided to take a drive around the St. Pete area - to see what we could see.

We stumbled across this interesting area at Boca Ciega Bay(?). I'm not sure if that was the name of it. I'll check.

Anyhow ... we wandered around there for a couple of hours exploring their wooden boardwalk, and the wildlife.

Here's something you'll see A LOT of in Florida ... raised boardwalks. I assume it's so the dangers of poisonous and freaky animals are lessened. But I'm not sure about that yet.

Thought I'd share a couple shots of it.



Busch Gardens - Tampa, Florida PLUS Photo a day #16

Well ... Chris' folks were leaving soon, so we saw them off with quite a bang.

We went to Busch Gardens, in Tampa, Florida with them. While there is a LOT to say about this park - there's really only one thing I want to say at this point ...


This is a SWEET ride. Here ... take a look:

This is the first - AND the biggest drop. The ride is 200 feet high, and it's a 90 degree drop.

Let me tell you ... just when you think ... this can't go on much longer, well it seems to just keep going.

It was absolutely scary! And thrilling - all wrapped up into one emotional ride.

OUTSTANDING - is one of the few words that can describe it.

Better yet ... Kaitlyn did this ride with us. See below - for proof!

Plus - the ride isn't even over after that ... there's another sweet drop-off at the end and an awesome water spray zone.

The videos were pulled from our camera phone. I LOVE that feature ... by the way.



Photo a day #15

And this oughta catch us up for a few days ... anyhow.

I know some of you have been waiting patiently for us to quit being so lazy.

Anyhow ...

Keeley's birthday - # 7 - was yesterday. The 20th.

We had a pretty big day, with some exciting gifts and other events. But I just wanted to put up one shot. I'm sure there'll be more coming along soon.

This one gives you the theme and the 'bodacity' of Keeley all wrapped up in one shot. I thought it was kinda cute anyhow.

Talk soon ...



Photo a day #14

This is another shot from the cell phone.

I am so thrilled by this little tool that I had to throw in another shot.

This one's even more incredible considering the fact that it's a VERY SPECIAL car.
It's a Lambourghini. It may be hard to tell from the picture, but let me guarantee you that's what it was.

I have maybe seen one or two of these cars driving on the road my entire life.

It was pretty sweet!

This is about as close up as I can make the picture. Sorry!



Photo a day #13

Here's where things REALLY start to get interesting.

Christy's Dad showed me how to send pics from our mobile to my email. This is something I've been wanting to do for months, but not known how.

Alas ... I finally learned that we have the technology.

Cost to do? I'm not sure yet - but I know if it's cheap I'll be doing this kind of thing a whole heckuva lot more.

How cool!

Anyhow, here is today's picture ... Kait sitting down reading.