Happy Easter!

To all of our friends and Family,
We hope that you all have a very Happy Easter!


Let's finish this old wildlife tale

I forgot about finishing up a story I had started quite a while ago...

You can re-read it here if you want.

Towards the bottom I talked about an adventure we had with a psychotic manatee.

Remember this fact - they can weigh about 2000 pounds.

A while ago, we made the 90 minute trip over to Crystal River - which is on the Gulf side, north of Tampa a bit. Christy's folks were with us. After driving around for an extra half hour, we were finally able to track down the canoe rental place we had used once before.

By the way, they also allow you to do snorkeling with the manatees - if you're interested in that idea.

Here's a pic of our trip out:

Oh... I guess it's just a picture of me looking funky. Oh well!

Christy, the girls, and I were circling around the little island trying to see the manatees as best we could.

We had been paddling around the snorkeling area, where we got a couple of sightings, but we wanted to get up close and really personal. You know... we wanted to smell their minty-fresh, seaweed breath, as their face broke through the water's surface, and they took a huge gasp with their lungs. (Kinda like people always do when they get real close to whales.)

As you cruise around on your boat, you can kinda tell where the manatee are because you can see large swirls in the water, where their tales swish close to the surface. So, we continued around the shoreline and came up a short distance from a tell-tale swirl. We slowly, carefully approached the exact spot where we had seen a swirl.

It looks like the smooth, flat circle in the upper left portion of this photo

In a split second - the entire canoe started rocking and heaving back and forth. Imagine being an ant, riding on a peanut shell, inside of a boiling pot of water. That's kinda how the rocking and rolling felt. It was totally frightening and unsettling. It creates this massive, sucking, empty pit in the bottom of your stomach.

We realized we had snuck up on a manatee, and freaked it out. And it wasn't thrilled having us right over it's back.

It was truly scary. Just thinking about this gigantic animal, that could just flip us over and crush us like miniature, 'girly', twig people. Of course my blood pressure shot up instantaneously. And I'm pretty sure my eyeballs expanded to two-to-three times their normal size.

Christy was like...
'Um, let's get out of here... right now!'

And I - trying to downplay it, and pretend like it didn't scare me, was like...
'Uh, okay, if you really want to?'

Of course, I was thinking, like... 'let's move over there onto the shore for a minute'.

And, of course, the girls are like...
'COOL! That was TOTALLY WICKED! Let's go back in there! What are you doing? Why are you paddling away? That was the coolest thing ever! Come on, you guys, let's go back over there.'

Kaitlyn, later, told us that she wants to go in there and snorkel with them.

WOW - was it ever awesome! But me, after wetting my pants, agreed with Christy and paddled away from the spot, and asked if we could go back to shore so I could change my shorts. Not something that I'm proud to admit, but that was a very cool, and yet very frightening experience. Although I don't know if I want to try it again, it was worth feeling every heart-pounding second.

Come on - You absolutely have to give it a try with us.
I'm sure you'll love it.


Small Business Thoughts

It's funny...

I find it strange to write about this topic, and yet I LOVE to write about it.

Websites - are a big passion for me.

Recently, I've been working on improving several of mine, and my sales are going up.

One of the sites I wanted to share with you - covers a rather strange topic...


Not baseball bats, but rather the flying kind.

What's weird to me, is that I actually charge people money to know this kind of information. That's true! Honest! And people actually pay me, for what I know. That's true as well! Honest!



I first discovered this topic while doing research on 'houses'. I was thinking about making a product about home renovations, and I noticed the topic of bats kept coming up in some of my searches.

From there - I went and looked at 'bats' and tried to figure out what was going on with them. Soon after that, it became clear that there was one key question a lot of people had about bats.

And so - I decided to test out the market with a quick little one page website. I set up the site and sent website visitors to the one page. And I started getting a response right away. So I knew it was going to be a good topic to create a product for.

It's taken me about 6 months now, to finally be able to start creating my product. But I expect to create it, and start selling it in the next month or so. I'll let you know how things go as it progresses.

I just felt like sharing a little bit about how the whole process works out, and how these obscure little ideas can really have a big impact on your life.

You know... one little topic can have a small affect on you. But if you throw together 5-10 of these things, then all the sudden, you're talking about a lot of little things having a big impact.

I might make more from my websites than my teaching job this month... SICK!

Talk soon,

Teachers... Your 1st Amendment Rights Are Under Attack

Hi everyone,

I am stoked about this!

I haven't been teaching long, but I've definitely seen and heard the discussions. I actually remember some killer debates in college about this topic.

I am thrilled to see that someone in Hollywood is taking this bad boy on...

Check it Out!
Watch the 'Super Trailer' OR the 'Teaser Trailer' OR even the 'Bill O'Reilly' Interview

Say what you want about the theory...

BUT the fact is, this is a violation of First Amendment Rights.

It's exciting to think this debate could become huge. And it could actually have an impact in my lifetime.

It's about freakin time!



Home sweet home


It looks like things may be settling down on the home front.

We ended up putting in an offer on another home. The seller accepted our offer. We had a home inspection today, and for the most part everything looks pretty good - other than a few minor issues with the place, which we think won't be too bad to deal with.

Anyhow - here are some details.

In Oregon, our home sold for over 200 thousand. It was a little over 1100 square feet.
It was a well-built classic from 1980.
Here was the old place in Oregon
All-in-all it was a fantastic home, and it treated us well for 8 years.

Here's a little bit about our new home....

We are getting it in the mid-150's. It was built in 2003, with over 1500 square feet.
3 bed, 2 bath, and a family room, plus a 2 car garage.
This is one of the homes I wrote about in a previous post, it's the home on Sangria Pass.
This is a photo taken from just outside the front door. Looking into the entryway and
into the living room. It is all tiled in big 18x18 in Tiles. Something that I will have to get used to because it does not feel as cozy as I think a living room should. But it is very popular here in Florida.Also you can see the door way to one of the girls bedrooms on the left.
This is a photo taken from the living room looking into the dining room and kitchen. the kitchen is so much bigger than the house we had in Oregon. I love that. There is also a little eat in area in the kitchen but you can not see it in this photo. And it has a big pantry! So much storage. Got to love that!

Another look at the kitchen.

This is the other living room walls and looking back down towards the door way and the girls rooms. You can see the window of the second bedroom in the back of the photo. This is the window that is in the front of the house.

Here is the room that is behind the french doors off of the living room. It used to be a screened in porch. But the old owners finished it out and made it in to another room. we will use this for our office/art room! And you can see a bit of the back yard.

And this is looking out of that room back into the dining and living rooms.

This is the Master Bedroom. the door way on the left leads to the living room and the door way in the middle is the master Bath. The door on the right, that you really can't see in this photo, is the huge walk in closet that the girls really would like to have for a hide out! Again not the best photo but really there is just walls and windows on the other side.

And here are the crazy girls already trying to claim that space for themselves.

And here is another really cool part, the master bath! This tub is so huge that the girls have decided it is actually a swimming pool! It will be waiting for you Sissy!! No worries you can even fill it all the way up!

Here you can see the sinks and shower for the master bath. On the other side of the shower is the toilet, nicely tucked away so that you don't have to look at it if you are soaking in the tub! Someone was thinking when they came up with that design feature!

This one is not all that exciting but part of the home anyway. this is the laundry area of the garage. With the left over tile and grout from them having just redone all of that and the carpets in the house. So it is all fresh and new inside! They also painted the entire inside but I will most likely be redoing that myself.

So - we just thought we'd share a bit more about what is happening here.

We're pretty excited, because we'll finally be free of our 'neighbor of love'. And the girls won't feel so trapped, doing absolutely nothing, inside the tiny little apartment. While the payments seem a little scary, it's really not that much more than our rent payment anyhow - about $100 more per month - but now we'll be able to write off a bunch. We are set to close on the 28th of this month. So thankfully we will not be moving in in the heat of the summer like we had to do when we moved in here in the apartments. That was no fun.

Al & Chris