Sand Hill Cranes Calling

Not too awfully long ago, I posted about the Sand Hill Cranes who hang around the neighborhood. You can see the posting and pictures of them here.

Well ... since then we've realized (partially) why they hang out. Because some of the neighbors are feeding them food from their front porch.


I can't believe some people. Although that does explain another extremely close encounter the girls had with these cranes the other day.

Anyhow ...

I FINALLY figured out how to get my audio software up and running. And so I can post up the audio I recorded of these Sand Hill Cranes.

You should just be able to click that, and it will play in your computer. It's only about 10 seconds long, or so.

Not much - I know. But still cool.



Website Ideas from 'the Depression'


It's wild ...

I, for one, always enjoyed hearing my Grandma and Grandpa talking about life in the Depression.

You know ...

How they had to save everything they had. How they had to be frugal, and thrifty, and vigilant with their stuff.

And now - we're on the verge of something very similar. Maybe - not yet - but things could be getting close to what they were?

Who knows?

But, then I think about some of the stuff that my Granparents know, that some of the younger generations 'might' know - but they might not also?

And all the sudden, even mundane, simple things can become ideas for you to make small business websites from.

Take a look at this example:
Food Shortage

I don't know ... but it looks an awful lot like 'canning' to me.

What do you think?

Anyhow, as you can see, even old information can be useful today. Don't think for one second, that just because you've known how to do something you entire life, that other people ALSO know how to do it.

Probably - they don't!

And that's why websites work today ... because people need to know what you've known your whole life.

Here's another GREAT example ...

Did you know that 'ethanol' is not a new technology?
In fact, they've been making ethanol since the 1800's (maybe earlier). But, for some reason, everyone starts getting freaked out and thinking that ethanol is going to destroy our food supply.

Well ...

No, it's not! Sure people are using more of our food supply to try and make their ethanol. But, if they could actually work out how to make ethanol from cellulosic material, it would be a tremendous help. But can you guess how many big companies have been trying to do this over the last 3-4 decades?

Yep - not many. Not consistently. In other words ... the people who could have actually BEEN doing something about the issue - DON'T!

Oh, but now that we have a fuel crisis, and people from all over the world are trying to make their own ethanol fuel ... NOW ... all the sudden BP, and all these other oil companies, are looking into the opportunity there.

So, don't worry, there's still plenty of 'old' ideas, and markets, where you can make websites that generate income for you. You just need to 'spin' you idea, so that people today want what you're offering.

Talk soon,


Lithia Springs Park

I know you've been holding your breath, waiting for us to say something ... anything.

And the wait is finally over. You can breathe again. Only, next time, don't wait to breathe like that! Because you could die if you continue waiting for us to say something.



Now, quite a while ago, we actually discovered that there is a natural spring that's not too far from our house. About 12-15 miles - I'm not sure exactly how far to be honest.

So we took the trip over to check it out and see what the park was like.

Introducing ...

Lithia Springs Park

It's a pretty nice park with access to a real, flowing river (the Alafia River) that you're NOT supposed to swim in - and also access to a closed off, protected area that you CAN swim in.

So we went over and spent a few hours swimming, playing in the water, wandering around the area, and enjoying the playground.

It was a very cool place, and the entry fee was pretty minimal. Which was nice ... considering that everything in this state costs money to do.

Anyhow ...

Here's some pics that we scrounged up.

These first two are the actual 'Springs'. You can swim in this area, as you can see. The springs are in the second picture. They are almost all the way back toward the wall, and you can see them in the water at a depth of about 9 feet or so. They're actually covered over by a grate, so you can't really go down inside of it, or anything like that.

Here's the ominous canoe and kayak launching sign. I'm assuming you don't want to go in this water because there's most likely diseases waiting to you ravage your body in the water. and what the diseases don't get, I'm sure some alligator, somewhere would be happy to.

This is the canoe / kayak launching dock. You can see how lovely and inviting the water is ...

And here's a couple of kayakers making the voyage to 'who knows where'.

And here's a cool feature of this park ... strategically placed bat houses. Very neat to see.

And finally, our Scion XB. We have lovingly named it ... Mogwai ... after the nice gremlin. Being it's a Japanese car, and all, we thought it was fitting.

All right - we'll catch you soon.



How to 'Pick' a Website Idea

Oh NO ... !

Not this topic A G A I N! Please ?!

Sorry, since you know me, you gotta hear my thoughts on it.

If you're not interested you can scroll down for more interesting stuff.

Anyhow - I got an interesting phone call from a friend today. And our discussion got me to thinking about 'choosing' a website idea.

Here's the straight up scoop, as far as I can tell ...

At first, when you're just starting out researching a topic, and it could go either way ...

Yes (do it) or No (don't do it)!
If you are really passionate about the topic - I say just DO IT!

However, if you want to actually see if it will work, here's what I do ...

1. I send visitors to my site.
2. I ask them to give me their biggest question about 'that' topic.
3. If about 10% of people DO give me a question - I go for it.
If 10% don't, I don't, unless someone asks me to help them do it anyhow.

In my experience - if this type of person is willing to give you a question, they are more likely to purchase a product as well. Of course there's more to it than just that, but this is where I begin every site I plan on researching for long term potential.
Alright, just a quick thought.

Talk soon,


You won't see this in Florida

Looking through some old photos tonight, I stumbled across this pic from somewhere in the Gorge.

You won't see anything like this here in Florida.

I don't think there is an elevation change that is this big on the entire Florida peninsula.

However, we had a cool experience with the Sand Hill Cranes, today, that you wouldn't really have up in Oregon. And if we can get the pictures off the phone, we'll show you.

So - what's the best option?

I don't know ... maybe traveling back and forth between several places to live?

Oh yeah, but we're broke! That's right. I forgot.


More news...

So I know that it has been a little while bit I still wanted to share some photos with you all from the last month.
It was quite the happening time for us here as we had a couple of birthdays and all the festivities that go along with that! Fun times. So lets not waste any time, here are some photos!
Here is Kait on her Birthday! 9 years old!!
For their birthdays the girls get to pick an activity for the family to do and they get to pick a place to eat or something that they would like to eat. Funny how they always end up choosing to go out to eat, anyway. Kaitlyn's favorite place to eat is IHOP. so after a day of playing at Cypress Gardens we went to IHOP for a breakfast dinner, at Kait's choosing.
Then it was back home for icecream cake and opening gifts!

I think that she had a great time and we were all worn out by the end of the day. So I guess that makes for a good birthday.
The week before Kait's is my birthday and I deciding that bowling would be fun.

This was the first time that the girls had been bowling and even tho there was lots to learn they had so much fun and are begging us to go again.
For some reason I did not share this photo the last time that I posted. To many others I guess. This is one of my favorites from when my sister and her girls were here.
And here are a few other random ones for good measure!
I may have to redo that street sign shot on a day that is more sunny than cloudy. I had a brighter sky in mind when I had this shot in my head. And by the time that I finally got out to take it it was very cloudy.
And this is the end of my post!


Sand Hill Cranes hanging around the Neighborhood

I was talking with my Dad the other day on the phone. And then we hear this strange squawking noise blasting through the neighborhood. Dad even heard it over the phone.

It was these things ...

They're Sand Hill Cranes.

This particular group likes hanging out around our house and our ponds. Just this morning they woke us all up right about 8 AM. It's almost like having a rooster - without keeping the flock and getting the yummy eggs.

They're ALMOST annoying. I mean, they are annoying when they wake you up in the morning. But, really, they are pretty cool animals.

I thought you'd enjoy seeing them.
They stand about 4 feet tall - or so. And they are dang loud when they do their 'squawking'.

This is the rough and tumble crew crossing the street out here. You don't want to meet up with these guys in a dark alley. Actually, they'd probably run from you, but when you're up close and personal - they definitely look like they could do some damage with those long beaks.

I actually recorded one audio clip from them - but I don't have the player hooked up yet. When I get it, I'll try and add the audio for you.

They do sound pretty cool.
It's a lot like an alien creature hanging around outside your house.



Taking you back to bring catch you up

So it has been a very long time since I, Chris, have posted anything on this old blog. I was not feelin the love for the blog for a while but I think that is may have returned. Who knows for how long but it is good for now. So here we go...

My Sister and her two youngest came for a visit last June.
We had not seen them in 4 years so it was very, very good to have them here. They were able to stay for 3 weeks but it was not nearly long enough. We did lots of fun stuff and went all over Florida. well maybe not all over but we got to show them a fair amount. At least our little corner anyhow.
Here are the girls being goofy!

We took them over to our favorite Gulf Coast beach, Clearwater Beach, for a day. The older 2 girls had fun swimming and trying to catch the fish with their hands. And the younger 2 had fun swimming and playing in the sand.

We went to this really fun place called Picasso's cup.
We found this place shortly after we moved here and were saving it for a special time to go there. You go in and pick a piece of pottery and you get to use all their supplies to paint it however you would like. Then you leave it with them and they glaze and fire it for you and you get to go back and pick up you beautiful finished piece. Here we are painting our pieces.

And here are the finished pieces and their proud creators!

And Carla
I painted one also but since I was the one taking the photos there are no photos. Guess that I will have to do that sometime.
We also took them to the Atlantis Coast. Cocoa Beach and a little farther south of there to Sebastian Inlet State park. Great beaches!! We were able to spend a weekend there actually and it was lots of fun! We spent most of our time in the water and so there are not that many photos. This is Sebastian Inlet State Park.
So here is the coolest thing... The night before they were to leave, Carla decided to paint a tree in Keeley's room that she had told her she would paint while she was here. Keeley had asked her to paint it before they came and after they were here there was so much to do and so little time that we just did not think that we could do it. But at the last possible second Carla pulled it out. She worked for about 4 hours or so and finished it at like 1:00 in the morning. It turned out sooooo cool!
Here is the progression of it coming together.This is the how she started. She drew the tree on the wall with a pencil and the we painted the blue around it.This is her starting to add the color to the bottom of the trunk.
Here she is painting one of the branches. And here is how we got the leaves on. Started with a sponge painted leaf the we went over it to fill it in with a brush.
And here is how it looked when she finished it. Is this not the coolest tree that you have ever seen!! She did such an awesome job. So when Keeley went to bed that night she realized that Auntie would be leaving the next day and that her tree had not been done. So imagine Keeley's surprise in the morning when this wonderful tree was on her wall! She was speechless! She really loves it! She has a fairy room and this is the tree that the fairies live in. We will paint the rest of the walls the light blue on the top and a green on the bottom in with gentle rolling hills! That was Keeley's vision for the room and she loves it.
Well this is not a complete catch up but it will have to do for now. Hopefully it will not take me as long to post the next time around.


Website Sales Info

Hey guys,

I know you probably get sick of hearing about this ... but ... I love talking about it.


Anyhow - about 6 months ago, I had a product that I was selling for $27 on one of my websites. It was selling okay.

Then, I raised the price up to $37, and I started selling a bunch more.

Wierd ...

I thought so.

However, it seems to be a strange phenomenon, that people don't really value stuff as much when it's cheaper. Especially free stuff. Everyone wants free ... but they NEVER do anything with it if it's free.

At least that's been my experience on the internet.

Never-the-less ... I had a different product that I had lowered my price on down to $17 for the last 2-3 months. I expected my sales to go up because of the big price drop I was giving.

However ... my sales remained pretty flat during that time. In other words, I didn't see a big jump in the amount of sales even though I was offering the product for $10 less.

So, I finally decided to put the price back up to $27 yesterday.

And guess what happens when I jack up the price?

I've gotten 5 sales since I did that. I normally get about 1 or so per day.

What's the point Al? If you ever sell stuff on the internet - don't just assume that people are going to want to pay a lower price for it. I can't explain it, and it's very wierd, but sometimes you have to charge more in order to get people to take your product seriously.

OK - thanks for reading.