Capturing Ideas

I've always been a big proponent of writing down ideas in notebooks. If you've known me for awhile, or even only for a couple of months ... you know I often carry around a notebook to store ideas in.

I love ideas - and with my bad memory - if I don't write it down, I'll never remember it.

However, we have also recently used Kait's digital camera to capture some cool ideas. This is more of an artistic tool, rather than an idea tool. But, I think the concept still applies. It's good to have something handy, that you can quickly and easily use to put down any idea you might have.

Here's a couple little artsy things we've grabbed while we were out and about (and since Christy is usually into creative art, she wanted these shots for inspiration):


Outsourcing Jobs

Chris and I watched an interesting video the other night.

We actually checked the videos out from the library. The particular series we were watching, was a show called '30 Days'.

The series is about certain people, setting aside their current lifestyles, and spending 30 days experiencing the complete opposite of what they believe.

All in all, the show presents some very intriguing ideas and issues. However, there was one show in particular, that really caught my interest.

In this specific episode, the main character was laid off from his U.S. corporate job. So, he actually traveled to India, and got a job ... with the company his job was outsourced to.

It was very interesting to see everything that he witnessed while he was there. Just a load of different struggles and issues all in the 30 days.

Here's just a sample:

- In India, some of these outsource jobs are like the TOP TIER positions in their society - particularly the tele-marketing jobs (REALLY!) One of our lowest level positions, is one of their highest.

- The disparity in income levels (in that society) is mind-boggling compared to the U.S. This American came away feeling like his 'lost U.S. job' was actually an act of charity (by him) for someone over there in India.

- By being an American, in India, he was virtually guaranteed success in one of the top paying jobs in their country. Where the Indians struggled to learn proper U.S. English, he excelled - obviously.
*** NOTE - if you've lost your U.S. job, and are thinking about relocating to get another one - think about India. You will most likely have success filling one of these roles over there. And, you will most likely make good money (comparitively) to what they make. END NOTE ***

- Continuing the 'income level' discussion, even an 8 year janitorial supervisor there, still lived in a one bedroom home, with 5 or 6 other people. In other words, all 5 or 6 of these people slept in the same bedroom, which was about the size of our master bathroom. And he was a supervisor.

- Just a short walk from his office, a completely different level of Indian people were living and working in abject poverty. Literally, not a building to live in ... but rather pallets, plywood, canvas roofing, anything they could use to protect themselves from the elements.

- The male / female family roles were in a tremendous upheaval. Think ... 1950's through the 1980's, here in the U.S., all smooshed up together over the last 10 years there. It's like they are compressing 4 decades (of United States social issues) into their last 10 years. Who knows how, or what, their culture will look like coming out the other end of this transition.

Plus, there was so much more in this video. It was truly amazing to see. I highly recommend watching it, if you ever get the chance.



Ah ... Coffee

Every once in a while, we like to hit the Starbucks together as a family. Just to have a nice, relaxing treat.

Last time we all went together, Kait brought along her camera, and she let me snap a couple of shots.

So, I thought I'd share them with you:

And finally ... CHEERS!

From the girls (and the Speer Family) to you!

Until next time ...


WHEN this recession hits?

I understand times are tough, and many people are losing their jobs. I mean you can see it all across the TV news and newspaper headlines.

So it must be bad!

However, I am SO SICK of hearing people talk about ... WHEN the recession actually reaches us.

Here's what I mean - if you aren't already feeling the effects of the recession, then don't assume it's going to hit you at some point. Why in the world would you project such negativity onto yourself.

It's like the old saying ... whatever you believe you can do ... YOU'RE RIGHT!

So, why would you want to pre-suppose that at some point the recession is going to hit. While I think it's smart to plan for the worst, and make strategies you can implement to overcome those things, I also don't think a person or a business should assume things are going to get worse for them.

Anyhow, here's the deal:

There are people I know, who are doing very well right now. Their business is tearing it up, and they are so busy they can't sit still. And that's right now, in the current economic CRISIS.

But everytime I talk to them, they always ... ALWAYS ... point out that they don't know how long this is going to last.

Well, if you'd shut your freaking mouth about everything crashing down around you, it might not actually happen to you. At least that's my take on it.

Quit assuming that it's going to strike, like some deadly viper, that's patiently waiting in the bushes to tear your life apart. I am so sick of hearing this comment. Every time they say something about how well things are going ... it's ALWAYS followed by ... 'but we don't know how long this is going to last'.

Yeah! I know! And we don't how long we're going to be on this earth either?

So ...

Just STOP saying it.
Stop assuming it.

And instead, live your life as if you wanted to keep reaching greater success and greater heights. Enjoy the good times while you have the good times. Quite destroying the positive with a false sense of negativity.


P.S. If you know me ... then please don't assume these comments are about you. I purposefully left these comments vague so that I wouldn't offend 'whomever' these comments are for. I just wanted to express a growing disagreement I have with a couple of people I talk to from time to time.


Finding Your Passion - And Work

What is it that keeps you up late at night ... dreaming, hoping, plotting, and scheming? Those are the things we should be pursuing for our life's work and goals. Instead, most of us end up doing crappy 40 hour torture tours of duty.

Why? What is it that compels us to live with mediocrity and second choices?

I have been wondering this for a long, long time. And ... truth be told I still don't know the answer.

However, after several recent lay-offs, deaths, and job losses of loved ones, and friends whom I know - I have slowly been realizing that we absolutely MUST pursue our passions. Even if we can't quit our 40 hour ball and chains, we simply HAVE TO try and go after our dreams, our hopes, and our life goals.

In fact, although I've been selling online products for the last 3 1/2 years, it hasn't been until the last 6 months that I've hit my stride with a product that I am truly passionate about, and love. The difference in the amount of product I can create, and content I can write is truly staggering. In the past 3 1/2 years I have struggled to come up with as many different ways to create products as I can, simply because I don't know my topics that well. However, now that I'm writing about something I love ... the writing, videos, audio, and content simply flow out of me because I can't keep it inside.

If we don't pursue these things we love (and that we dream about), what would we have to look back at, and be passionate about?

Take, for example, our trip last year. While it was very costly, and a bit scary, we will always have those memories.

Or ... pretend you have worked for a company for 20 years. And all of the sudden, they decide they don't need you anymore. So, they let you go. How does that make you feel about yourself? What do you do with your future after that?

But, on the other hand ... what if you had been pursuing your passions all along ... even if they were on the side of your work. You would still have a tremendous amount of positive energy, memories, and experiences to live with. Instead of a dull, listless, after-taste left over from our years there.

Go for it!


Public Auction visit here in Lakeland, FL

Today, we were heading out around town, and we just happened to drive by this public auction. They were selling a whole bunch of stuff, including ... cars, boats, a house, motorcycles, and a bunch of other personal belongings.

We got out and strolled around the auction, and I grabbed a little bit of footage of a few of the items. I thought I'd share it with you.

Talk soon!

Brrrrr ... It's freezing around here

Amazingly enough ... Florida does actually get down into the 30 degree temperature range. Even, in fact, into the 20's.

We just hit the upper 20's here the other day. And I think we were in the mid-30's this morning. Unbelievably, we were actually colder than Alaska one day this last week.

Let me tell you ... it is ABSOLUTELY refreshing!

It's like you just want to be cozy and snuggly - finally - after months and months of heat and sweat. And you're finally able to sleep under more than just your sheets. I mean, we actually got out a flannel blanket this week. How cool is that?

It's truly an amazing experience. I have been loving it.

Apparently, it comes around just once a year, so I have to enjoy it while I can.

Hopefully you're doing well? And not too much freezing going on. I just wanted to let you know that life isn't all roses and oranges and citrus fruit here in Florida. 3 days out of the year, we actually have to put on sweaters. It's rough! Well, I mean, you only need to warm up from 6 AM to 8:30 AM, but hey ... it's still cold.

Anyhow ... stay toasty! And we'll talk with you soon.



Teaching - How it really looks

So, I spent about 4 and half months as a substitute teacher this year. It's a very interesting experience, and one that was a real eye opener for me.

I am SO glad I did it! If not, I would have always wondering ... what if?
What if I would have been a great teacher?
What if that was my life's calling?
What if ... ?

However, now that I've gone through it ... I can always look back on that experience, and know that I gave it a shot.

Although I'm no longer doing it, I think I would have been a pretty good teacher. Even in my short time with some of those kids, I connected with a couple of them. Some were good connections, and others were not so good.

Christy and I recently caught a very real depiction of teaching as a career. It comes from a movie called 'Chalk'. If you've ever wanted to get an inside peak into the life of teaching, this show portrays what I saw pretty accurately.

Especially, watch the apathetic looks on all of the kids. Yep - that's absolutely accurate. The silence of the kids wasn't something I experienced very often though.

But, overall, I think this movie gives a clear vision of what teaching was like for me. Especially notice the feeling of very little redemption in the end of the movie. That pretty much summed it up for me too. I think it would have gotten better with more experience, but is it really worth it? I'm not sure?

For me, I think my passions are better suited with other things. So I opted to go elsewhere.

Alright, that's enough rhetoric from me. You can check it out yourself here.

Talk soon!


Got my eyes on this Inflatable Kayak


One of our plans, when we moved down here ... was to be able to go boating more often. And so far, we've been able to go out a few times. But when I saw this boat, I instantly thought how cool something like this would be down here in Florida. There are SO MANY great spots where you could us a kayak like this. We could have used this on several of our local trips around Central Florida.

Anyhow, I thought you might like to see it.

I haven't bought it yet, and I may not. But ... ever since I saw it, I've been slightly droolish.

And the price isn't that high, as compared to some of the other canoes we've looked at. I think the ease of transporting it, and the fact that each one fits 2 people + plus has room for more storage in the back could work well.

My biggest concern is the quality and durability of it. And how long it would last if you build it and tear it down time, and time, and time again.

So, yeah ... I'm thinking about it.

If you think that's cool? Check out this boat:

It's a little bit pricier - about three times more - but I think the folks at See Through Canoe have something to be impressed with. It inspires me a little bit anyhow.



Special Christmas Gift for Kaitlyn

I know ... I know ...

Christmas has come and gone. However, I wanted to share a neat gift Kaitlyn picked up on her own. And the picture comes from her partner in crime - Keeley.

Kait received a bit of money from her Grandma. And almost instantly, she knew exactly what she wanted to get with it ...

Not a Webkinz toy.
Not a Barbie.
Not a Tinker Bell Fairy.
Not any of those normal, girlie kid things.

What she wanted most was this super soft, micro-fiber bath robe from Target.

So, there you have it ... some practicality in a family full of dreamers.

The picture is Kait, giving a big hug for the sweet gift.

With Love ... Al and the girls!

A 25 foot World War II Icon

This just happens to be one of my favorite videos.

As part of our continuing Florida travel saga, we traveled down to Sarasota last weekend. It is a very neat town, with all kinds of great beach access, and a nice vibe to it. If I were to move here again, that is definitely an area I would explore more fully.

Anyhow, an iconic World War II picture has been embodied in this 25 foot statue. And the amazing statue is on display in the public park, by the marina, until March of 2009. We had to stop and take some pics, and get a few moments of video.

I hope you like it. And I hope the veterans out there really get a kick out of seeing this great, great image.

All the best!



I've lost my motivation - More Florida Beach Video

It seems like ... every time I get free time to do something, I lose my motivation to do ANYTHING.

It really bites!

Thankfully, when I don't seem to have the time, I do actually get some things done. I guess it all doesn't really balance out in the end ... but at least a little bit of something gets done.

Anyhow, here's the next video.

This one is another part of the beach you saw in the last video. This one has a little more historic context to it.

I have 2 more vids I'll be posting, but I can't reveal my entire hand all at once.

By the way - if anyone has an inclination to proof-read my latest website product rough draft, please let me know. You can post a comment, and I'll see about getting you a rough draft copy.

I am looking for some help proof-reading, if you feel so inclined.

It pertains to a topic called ... 'ezines' ... also known as auto-responders. I need to know you (personally or as an acquaintance), in order for you to read it though - please. It's a 60+ page digital book.

It's not quite done yet, but getting very very close.

Talk soon!


Boca Grande Island Visit ... Take One


I know it's been awhile. And I apologize about that. I didn't get much of a chance to do anything else this week.

However, we did head out for a nice LONG trip last weekend, and so I grabbed a few short video clips.

This is the first of them.

Here we visit Boca Grande Island. This is a Florida State Park beach.

Notice the people playing in the water near the end. It was actually a slight, touch nippy -- but once you get used to it -- not a problem.

Anyhow, I wanted to share a little bit with you for now.
I do have about 3 more clips to add as I get them done.

Talk soon!



Keeley Torture ... Oh So Cute!

I had to include this video of Keeley.

Chris and I both loved the way she looked in this shirt and these pants. So I took a quick 20 second clip of her giving me some 'Keeley' attitude.

It's pretty cute to see how she reacts when I torture her like this.



The Girls on New Year's Night 2009

Hi ... and Happy New Year!

I shot this video last night just after midnight, to ring in the new year. Actually, I wouldn't have done it, but I thought the way Kait was wearing her hat was totally cute.

So I shot it anyhow.
I hope ... those of you interested in the family, enjoy it.

I am noticing that we are starting to get a LOT more viewers that I don't personally know. That being said, we are still planning on putting out a lot more posts about ourselves.

However, I just wanted to let you know ... if you're reading ... the content of this site is mostly about my family. I do offer some opinions about other things from time to time ... but for the most part you're going to be seeing the Speer family.


This is my fair warning.

Thanks -- Blessings, and Happy New Year to you!