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BB Guns are Fun

In the days before video games, kids actually had to go outside and play. I still make my kids play outside and don't allow TV or video games during the week.

But I digress.

In, as my kids like to call it, "the olden days," we had to amuse ourselves without the benefit of Nintendo, Playstation or Cable TV. The BB gun was a toy that amused us for hours. We'd shoot cans, apples even the occasional squirrel (rats with bushy tails).

I still have a BB gun. I still shoot at the squirrels too, especially when they're at the bird feeder. I've let my son play with the BB gun outside and he's received proper training on safety. I think it's a good toy for teaching responsibility to kids.

I have a classic Red Ryder BB gun by Daisy. AirgunDepot is a great place to buy BB guns and other airguns-even paintball guns.

If you're thinking of putting a classic Red Ryder under the Christmas tree for a special kid this Christmas, check out AirgunDepot for great selection and prices.

Just don't tell the kid "you'll put your eye out!"



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Halloween Anecdote

One Halloween when my two oldest were 3 and 4 respectively, I was taking them around the neighborhood for trick or treating. Our neighborhood is a kid's Halloween Nirvana. It's a warren of dead end streets so there's very little vehicle traffic, there are many families so there's lots of kid friendly homes, and the people hand out TONS of candy.

That night, we'd made our way around the neighborhood and were working our way back home. The kids candy baskets were full to the brim. We stopped at a house three doors down from ours where a young couple had just moved in.

As we walked up to the house, we noticed they were sitting out on their stairs. They stood up and the woman, in a syrupy voice, said, "hi kids. Since it looks like you already have lots of treats. We'd like you to do your best trick for us and then we'll give you our treat!"

"Huh?" said the four year old.

"We'd like you to do a trick, then you can have your choice of treats!" she said as she showed a large bowl full of snack sized Snickers Bars.

The three year old looked at her, then down at his full sack of candy, then at his older sister.

"C'mon Steph!" he said as he marched off towards home.

His dumbfounded older sister meekly followed and I, stifling a chuckle, said thanks to the young couple and followed my children home.

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Aquarium Supplies

We have FIVE aquariums in our house. That's right, FIVE. At last count, we had something like 68 fish. That amounts to a lot of aquarium supplies we need to purchase on a regular basis. That's why I am glad I've found a good online source for discount aquarium supplies.

Whether I need aquarium lighting, fish food or a specialty item like aqua C protein skimmers, I check out SeaQuest Marine for my stuff.

We currently only have freshwater fish, but my son wants to get a full on custom marine aquarium someday. He's been saving for one for years now. I think he's old enough to care for a marine tank, I just don't know where he'd put it!

Having aquariums can be an expensive hobby, so it's important to save where and when you can. SeaQuest Marine can help.

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Too funny

So Jeff is telling me about this guy, ODB, in the California office. He's the guy that did the lame guest post yesterday.

Seems one day ODB was driving to work and he smelled something burning in his car (He's a smoker). He looked everywhere to find the source of the smell and couldn't find it. It really drove him nuts.

Well, he gets into the office and FINALLY locates the source of the smell:



See the burn hole on the right chest?

What were you smokin ODB?

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Coupon Kathy Kuts Kash

My youngest's birthday is TODAY-Halloween. Less than an hour ago, we had the family over for cake and ice cream. My wife, as usual, went nuts with the party decorations. She gets all that stuff from the Oriental Trading Company. That's a site that has all kinds of party supplies, novelties and other assorted goofy stuff. She buys a lot of stuff from that site for the folks in her office, kids on her team and for the house. She always makes sure she uses her oriental trading coupons so she can save money when she shops.

She gets coupon codes (that's the online version of a coupon) from Coupon Kathy, a website with tons of coupon codes for online merchants.

They always have coupons for GoDaddy.com, I like that. I've been getting a few new domain names and I can get a coupon that gets me a domain name registered for only $1.99, that's a lot cheaper than the 9 bucks they usually charge.

Since I am a cheap bastard of monumental proportions, I love coupons. Why not spend an extra five minutes looking for a code that will save me 10, 15, 30 or even 50 percent off my purchase price? IT'S A NO-BRAINER!

Coupon Kathy even has coupons for FTD, the flower delivery people. Why not save 10% when buying those flowers? You're going to buy them anyway (at least you better).

My wife's favorite store is Target (pronounced TAR JAY) and she gobbles up the Target coupons like they're going out of style. Why we need another towel rack is another story, but at least she got some money off the price!

I know most men cringe when their wife says "guess how much I saved?" It's a natural reaction. At least with coupon codes from Coupon Kathy, you'll be guessing right.





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Finite Internet

I spend countless hours surfing the 'net. I stumbleupon things, I write on this blog, buy stuff, play games, read articles and blogs and even do research. The internet is HUGE. It seems infinite. Imagine all the libraries all over the world and multiply the content by a couple of bazillion and that's how big the internet is.

Imagine my surprise when I found THIS SITE.

I went to bed!

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Batteries included

What do you do when you're away from home and your Laptop Batteries crap out on you?

If you can get online (could be tricky if you can't turn on your laptop), you can go to AllBatts.com and get any one of a number of Laptop Batteries they sell. They have hundreds of Laptop Batteries from all the major laptop manufacturers.

Since I hate shopping and since you pretty much have to order Laptop Batteries to be shipped to you anyway, it's nice to know there's a one stop shop for all kinds of batteries. They have batteries for iPhones, camcorders, mP3 players, PDA's, APS Backups and even watches available.

The next time I need Laptop Batteries, I'm ordering them from AllBatts.com.

I wonder if they have gift certificates? THAT would make a good stocking stuffer. Even though most consumer electronics come with batteries included, it would be nice to buy a spare so you never get stuck.



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Red Sox Rally and Roll!

Today the Red Sox drove through Boston in Duck Boats in what the Mayor of Boston, Tom Mennino, termed a "rolling rally." I'd call it a Victory Parade, but whatever.

Jonathon Pabelbon (or is it "PapelGONE") had a grand old time dancing his version of the Irish step/victory dance for the assembled masses. I wish I had a kilt concession!
It was a GLORIOUS autumn day-not a cloud in the sky and 65 degrees. The million or so fans that showed up had a great time-not like the Patriots' Parades in February-BRRRRR.
Jason Varitek echoed a sentiment shared by many Red Sox fans. Let the Hot Stove season begin!
Some things never change!CONGRATULATIONS RED SOX 2007 WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONS!!

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FHA Loans

With all the fallout in the mortgage lending industry, the FHA loan is making a comeback. Originally, FHA loans were designed to help people who didn't have the "standard" 20% down payment purchase a home. You can purchase a home with a 3% down payment with an FHA loan.

With the advent of Sub-Prime Lending, FHA loans took a backseat for a while. Lenders were giving loans with no money down, so many folks went that route.

Now, with many Sub-Prime loans adjusting (adjustable rates are common in the sub-prime lending world) upwards, folks find they can't make the payments and foreclosures are on the rise.

An FHA loan can help these people too. There is a new FHA loan program that would allow borrowers to refinance their homes at a lower interest rate and eliminate the 3% required minimum down payment for FHA loans. This could help lots of folks with less than perfect credit and payments that are too high get back on even footing with their housing payments.



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Guest Post

The gang at Horizon Technologies gets a kick out of this site. The reason they do is because Jeff, one of the top salespeople in the company and a regular customer, goads them into looking at the site whenever I mention him. Jeff likes to tell me his tales of home improvements and his latest obsession is his riding lawnmower repairs and associated fall clean-up tasks. If you want to know everything about the mechanical deficiencies of Jeff's mower, come to the Hot Dog Truck at about 2PM any day and he'd be happy to tell you.

One of the corporate wonks out in the West Coast Home Office, a guy named "ODB" (short for Old Dirty Bastard) thinks he's got the goods on Jeff. He sent in this guest "post" as a goof on Jeff:

Dear All – I have decided to leave Horizon & pursue my
passion of owning my own business and working with grass.

Below you will find a picture of my new “Hot Dog Wagon”
I will mow your lawn & deliver you a hot dog for $ 19.99
plus tip n sh**….



Well now ODB, I guess you should leave the writing and the hot dog making to the professionals. Feel free to continue goofing on Jeff though.

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Love and Romance or Love and Marriage

When I got divorced and was figuring out how to get over a break up, I was lucky enough to be living with a friend whose wife was a bartender. We spent many a night in that bar-a now defunct Houlihan's- and my friend did his best to introduce me around to the available single ladies.

Now I can be pretty romantic when I have to be and I had to be during those times. A freshly divorced father of three needs to put a little spice into his dates lest the ladies run screaming from the building. I must say it was interesting "getting back in the game" and one night a cute little blond bartender decided I'd be a good candidate for a neck rub.

It was a very good neck rub. I was in love.

She was also figuring out how to get over a break up so we commiserated (amongst other things) and started dating. We had a fun and romantic courtship, moved in together (kids and all) and eventually got married.

Now, our idea of a romantic evening is take out chinese food and an R-Rated movie. We still do the neck rub thing and that's better than a candlelight dinner any day of the week!

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Won and Done!

Unlike 2004 which was, until they won it, an aggravating aberration, 2007 was the year they were supposed to win it. I said it in February and all season long: the Sox had the best pitching in the majors. Pitching wins pennants and the Red Sox look to be stacked for years to come.

These are not my father's Red Sox!

WOOHOO WE DAH CHAMPS!!!!!

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Garage Storage

When I moved into my first house, I parked my 1987 Lincoln LSC Mark VII (my favorite car I ever owned) in the garage and announced "I have a garage" to all my moving helpers.

My father came up to me, leaned his head in the open window and said, "enjoy it now, today is the last day this car will ever fit in this garage."

He was right. Two homes later and I have never been able to park my car in the garage. The garage is the place where the gardening tools, bikes, outdoor toys, lawn furniture, spare lumber and everything that needs to go somewhere "for now" is stored.

Its a bloody mess. It would take several days and some quality garage storage components to straighten the place up. Every other part of my home is organized with appropriate storage but garage storage is a completely foreign concept.

I think I need the guys from CarGuyGarage.com to hook me up with some new garage storage items so I can get my car into its natural home!



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What to do with all the MONEY?

Week 8 of the NFL season was a VERY GOOD WEEK at Winning Football Picks. I personally went 8-0 on my plays for the week for a 10 UNIT PROFIT.

If you played with us every week, you'd be up 23.1 UNITS. Hundred dollar bettors have made $2310.00 and thousand dollar bettors have made $23,100.00!

THAT, my friends, is a lot of hot dogs!

If you like money and football, you need to go to Winning Football Picks and play along.

You won't be sorry!

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Cruisin for a Gift

Think back to getting your favorite present of all time and how it made you feel. Chances are, the magic of receiving your first bike as a gift is on that list. There's nothing like getting a new bike under the Christmas tree or for your birthday. It's one of those things you never forget.

XYZbikes wants to bring that magic back. They have cruiser bikes for under a hundred bucks! For that kind of dough, you can outfit your whole company! They're pitching a new concept in employee appreciation gifts: give your employees a new cruiser bike! What a neat idea.

We've already established the memory of receiving a new bike as a gift is a fond one. So if you're the boss, get your employees new cruiser bikes this year as a part of their Christmas bonus. You'll get happy, warm and fuzzy employees that will be in much better shape due to riding their new cruiser bikes.

It's a different idea, but it sounds cool to me!


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Internet Sales Letter

Writing effective sales copy to increase your sales is the name of a site I found. It has to be one of the funniest sites I've come across in quite some time.

If you have ever clicked on a "Make 8 gazillion dollars online with no work" type of ad, you have landed on a "sales letter page" designed to part you with your money in exchange for the "secret" to wealth and fortune.

For 39 bucks.

Does anyone ever buy this stuff? After reading "Writing effective sales copy to increase your sales" you will NEVER buy another e-book again.

You'll get a good laugh too.

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Samanta Shoes


This is Samanta. Samanta likes shoes. She likes shoes so much she started her own shoe company.

Samanta doesn't sell kicking work boots, she sells men's and women's dress shoes and specializes in large size womens shoes. Gals with gunboats need elegant footwear too.

What I like most about her shoes is the comfort arch construction. As a guy with flat feet, a good arch is an absolute necessity for work boots or men's dress shoes.

Samanta wants you to be comfortable AND look good. She also wants to sell you 50 pairs of shoes, not just one. Samanta wants you as a customer for life. To have that type of ambition, you need a good product and Samanta has it!


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Blog Your Blessing Sunday XXX



Luke 5:39

And no one, after drinking old wine wishes for new; for he says, 'The old is good enough.'

(I guess they never tried Beaujolais Nouveau!)

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Do you like money?

If you like money, you need to check out my Winning Football Picks site. We have won $$$$ every week. Laz is over 90% with his plays so far this season and the site is up a whopping 13 plus units. If you're a dime player, you'd have won over $13,000 with us this season!

Get on over to Winning Football Picks NOW!

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Uptown Saturday Night in St. Augustine, Florida

When most folks think of Florida, they envision sandy beaches, Disneyworld, and the urban sprawl of 20th Century development. What most folks forget is that St. Augustine , Florida is our nation's oldest city. The architecture rivals that of Boston, Philadelphia and Williamsburg. While there are plenty of sandy beaches (even some sprawl) in St. Augustine, the pre-colonial charm of the city is evident.

There is a lot of history in St. Augustine. It was founded in 1565 by the Spanish and is actually the first place a Catholic Mass was ever celebrated in the US. By 1763, Florida had become a British colony and it became a State in 1845. We all know what happened after that: orange groves, snowbirds and Disneyworld! Through all that, St. Augustine retained its charm and historical significance. It was a vacation spot for the super rich in the early part of the 20th Century, sort of a Newport South with large Spanish Colonial Revival Style Mansions which still exist to this day.

But what is there to do in St. Augustine? Well, it is Florida, so the beach is always an option. Or you could stroll the old town area an soak in the culture and history. One of the fun, ongoing Events in St. Augustine is Uptown Saturday Night which takes place from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm the last Saturday in October and November. That would be October 27th and November 24th this year. All the galleries, antique stores and bookshops have special exhibits and book signings. Street musicians perform and there are wine tastings everywhere! It's an open air party throughout the Uptown San Marco Shopping District.

I love street music festivals in general. Live music is my cup of tea and there is such a variety of performers, there's sure to be a musical genre to suit just about anyone.

There's free parking too! If you are looking for one of the best, most enjoyable Events in St. Augustine, Uptown Saturday Night fits the bill!

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Sox keep Rolling

3 down, 1 to go!

Pedroia and Ellsbury go 7 for 10 as the Sox roll over the Rockies AGAIN.

Dice-K gets them far enough and even with Lopez and Okajema giving up 5 runs to let the Rockies get close, the Sox get enough to win 10-5.

If John Lester can get them six good innings tonight, THE RED SOX ARE GOING TO WIN THE WORLD SERIES.

GO RED SOX!!!

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Brisbane Holiday

I was perusing the 'net looking for Hotels in Brisbane as we continue to plan for our next trip "Down Under" when I found some very interesting beach info on the "Gold Coast." The Gold Coast is the coastal area near Brisbane and it has some of the most stunning beaches in the world. There are miles and miles of beautiful white, sandy beaches that are home to dolphins and dugongs. Many folks encounter these gentle marine mammals while travelling to the beach from their Gold Coast Accommodation. Australia is a very outdoorsy country and is filled with opportunities for sailing, jet skiing, snorkeling, diving or just chillaxin on the beach. This is my kind of place!

There's also a slew of great restaurants in Brisbane. Restaurant 2 offers fine dining and a typically robust wine list-Australia has FANTASTIC wine. There are also, as you'd expect, a whole host of seafood restaurants in Brisbane. If you get tired of the beach and fine dining, you can take a day trip to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. While there you can hand feed Kangaroos or even hold a real live koala bear! We went to a similar place in Western Australia. Generally speaking, these koala sanctuaries rescue injured or sick koalas from the wild and nurse them back to health. Since they can't be released back into the wild, they spend their days entertaining and snuggling tourists. They're such gentle creatures. We put a Red Sox hat on one and snapped a picture!

Whatever we decide to do while staying in our Brisbane Accommodation, we probably won't have enough time to do everything we want to!

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Sox take 2-0 Series Lead

Four short years ago, Red Sox nation was awash in misery. The Yankees had beaten us once again as Grady Little left Pedro in one inning too long.

Now, Red Sox fans expect to win it all. These are not your father's Red Sox. These Red Sox are winners. There is no more curse, there is no more morose self loathing.

Our team is going to win the World Series for the second time in my lifetime.

For the second time in three years!

In the most tightly played game of the post season so far, the Sox prevailed again. Schilling pitched crafty ball, Okajema was lights out in relief and Papelbon slammed the door, thanks in part to a baserunning brain fart by Matt Holiday.
"Hey Matt, wanna get away?"

Mike Lowell scored after he hustled to third on a JD (he doesn't suck anymore) Drew hit and scored on a sacrifice fly and also drove in the winning run with a sharp hit down the leaft field line.

Sox win, Rox lose.

SOX IN 4!!!!

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Phone Card Cash

For those of you who are looking for a way to make a few bucks online, there's a new phone card affiliate program that might suit you. Basically you think up a catchy domain URL and the folks at E-trepeneur will set up your e-commerce ready website to sell prepaid phone cards.

You choose the products and set your pricing. It's cheap to get started and you're really only limited by your own marketing abilities.

Think of how you could advertise and convert sales with your site and get to it. Anyone savvy with SEO or other online marketing efforts can probably make some serious cash with this.

Since it costs so little to get started, most folks can afford it too. The biggest barrier to people starting their own business is start-up funds. At less than a hundred bucks to get going, it's a safe bet. You can earn big commissions with this phone card affiliate program and your risk is limited.

Maybe I'll get out of the Hot Dog business and hook up with the phone card affiliate program instead.

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Link Love Thursday IX

Today's Link Love goes out to some newer members of the Link Love Community on Blog Catalog.

Remember Link Lovers, SHARE THE LOVE!

Enigmanuts has the wildest blog header I've seen. I've been HYPNOTIZED!

Cozuni has a little bit of everything on her blog.

Chrissy Jo likes to talk about how she feels about stuff, when she's not making vegetarian meals.

Floyd gave me an award! He unlocks the Secrets of the World and Ancient Wonders.

StephanMiller is a make money online guy with way too much time on his hands.

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Squish the Penny

I'm willing to bet almost everyone has smashed a penny at one time or another. You see a penny press machine at just about every museum and tourist attraction in the US. It's a fun and inexpensive souvenir.



I got my first smashed penny at Pier 39 in San Francisco when I was about 11 years old. It had a picture of the Golden Gate Bridge on it. I had never seen a penny machine before and I thought it was pretty cool that I could crank a lever and squish my penny. I'd put pennies on the railroad tracks before and gotten misshapen, indistinguishable blobs of copper, but not a uniformly squished and imprinted penny. It cost me a quarter to smash my penny. Nowadays it costs a buck or more-still a cheap souvenir! My son has dozens of them. He gets one everywhere he goes that he finds a penny machine.

I suppose a hand cranked penny press machine is a good investment for the souvenir peddlers out there. It's tough to break them and you don't need to stock any inventory-the customer provides their own penny. All there is to do is empty the machine of its profits.




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Sox Sock Rox






The Red Sox took game 1 of the World Series! They're going to win again tonight too!

My NEW FAVORITE PLAYER, Dustin "Peanuts" Pedroia (we call him "Peanuts" because he reminds us of Charlie Brown-see the resemblance?) smacked a home run on the first pitch of the bottom of the first inning to set the tone as the Sox went on to CRUSH the Rockies 13-1. You know the Sox are kicking butt when Julio Lugo has three hits on the night.

GAME TWO TONIGHT- SOX IN FIVE!!!!!!!

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Solar Savings

Solar power is the best power source. It's clean, infinitely abundant and free. There are solar hot water heating systems, solar cells that generate electricity, even solar powered air conditioning.

I'll bet solar powered air conditioning would come in handy in the desert.

They're making huge industrial sized solar powered air conditioning systems for large institutions. These systems can also be used for heat. A hospital or a hotel that has air conditioning can now harness the power of the sun through the use of solar absorption systems and save big bucks on their energy costs. Depending on the state tax cuts available for installing such a system, the return on investment can be as little as two years. That amounts to some serious energy savings when you consider the life span of the system. Believe it or not, in some parts of the world, nearly HALF the air conditioning units in service are solar powered air conditioning systems.

How cool is this? Free energy, zero environmental impact, good return on equipment investment and a properly cooled and heated building to boot. Solar powered air conditioning is the way to go.

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It's Curtains for me

After a long day at the Hot Dog Truck, I hustle around getting kids where they need to be before my wife gets home. She took the day off last week and did "some shopping." She was very evasive about what she bought.

Last night, after the Red Sox game, I went up to bed. My wife had fallen asleep long before the game was over. When I opened the door to our bedroom, I noticed new curtains! In the morning, I mentioned the how much I liked the curtains and she just laughed.

She'd hung the curtain rods a week ago and I hadn't noticed.

For a week.

She had a side bet with our daughter as to whether I'd notice the curtain rods or not.

My wife won.

They've all been laughing at my expense all day.

I guess I need to pay better attention.

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Go Live Mobile Goes Live

With the influx of mobile, web enabled devices, more and more people are taking the internet "on the road" with them. You literally have all the functionality of the internet in the palm of your hands. This has created a wireless explosion and a dramatic increase in interest in mobile web technology. I could write this blog on a mobile web device if I wanted to. Mobile website design and mobile website hosting are "the next big thing" and a wap site is something everyone will access and use before long.

Wap is short for "Wireless Application Protocol," a simpler internet browsing application designed for use on wireless devices. Wapsite hosting and design are growing by leaps and bounds and the design and graphic capabilities are getting more and more sophisticated every day.

Virgin Mobile is a pioneer in this new technology and they have just launched Go Live Mobile which allows people to create ringtones and wallpapers from their wireless device. You can also earn money when someone downloads a ringtone or wallpaper you've designed. This is going to be a big business before long and soon the reach of the internet will go even further bringing the full scope of social networking to wireless devices. I wonder if we'll all have to duck out of the way of all those wireless signals flying around our heads?

Leave it to Richard Branson and Virgin Mobile to blaze new trails. Wireless blogging anyone?

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World Serious!

For the second time in the past 3 years, the Red Sox are playing game 1 of the World Series at Fenway Park. The game starts at 8:36 PM EST and I'll be watching on my brother's new 52" PLASMA! I can't recline in his recliner or I'll be asleep by 9 PM!

The late starts on these games guarantee a very groggy Red Sox Nation tomorrow morning.

While the Rockies were a hot team down the stretch, they've been cooling off for 8 days while the Sox finished the Indians.

My World Series predictions:

JD Drew (who started UN sucking with his heroic and clutch grand slam in game 6 of the ALCS) is going to shake off a sub-par season and have an MVP like performance in the Series.

Jacoby Ellsbury is going to make a game changing play on the base paths.

Manny Ramirez will jack 3 Home Runs.

Josh Becket will shut out the Rockies in Game 1.

Red Sox in 5!

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Greeting Cards Scholarship Contest

Everyone knows I like to make a buck. I came across a great way for high school or college kids to make a few bucks, $10,000 to be exact, for college.

We've all probably opened a greeting card and thought "hey, I could write this stuff." Now is the chance to do it and WIN A $10,000 scholarship!

Gallery Greeting Cards, the folks who print business Christmas cards (the ones you get from your Realtor, your insurance company etc. at Christmas time) are having their first annual greeting cards scholarship contest. All you need to do is design a business Christmas card. The contest is open to high school and college students over age 14 who are legal US residents. Sorry, no entries from Maine accepted-Maine always gets the shaft! The entries can contain original drawings or photos and text. A creative, witty would be college scholar can get an extra ten grand for school if they win!

I used to send out hundreds of business Christmas cards when I was in the mortgage business. Each broker had a budget for the cards and the postage and we were REQUIRED to send cards. We'd spend the better part of a day getting our mailings together. We'd even pay the office admin a few bucks to sign them for us. I believe my company ordered our cards through the Gallery Collection. Little did I know that my kids could get money for college from the same company!

If you are a kid (or have a kid) over 14 and college is in the future, you should check out the greeting cards scholarship contest and give it a whirl. You have nothing to lose and $10,000 for college to gain.

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Bar-B-Q-tees

In my quest to find every schlocky hot dog related commercial on YouTube, I found this corny old gem. I just love the old school "announcer voice guys" that are in many old commercials. Similar to "educational movie narrator guy" whose authoritative voice over makes you think "hey, I better pay attention to this," the "announcer voice guy" has a bold, loud voice that screams "BUY THIS PRODUCT."

Check it out and tell me if you agree!

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Gimmee Some Promo Swag

When I was in the phone biz, we used to get all kinds of promotional items to give away to prospective customers. We used to call it "swag."

I still have pens, yoyos, stress balls, even mints from those days. Since time immemorial, companies have given away promotional items as a way of marketing their product or service.

Gimmees.com is a site that has thousands of promotional items for sale. They have stuff I never knew existed!

The funny thing is, lots of promotional items are just silly toys for adults. Everyone loves them, though. If you ever go to a trade show, the most popular booths are usually giving away the coolest swag.

A quality promotional item won't close the deal, but it builds a lot of goodwill and gets you more prospects to talk to.

Maybe I'll get some promotional items for the Hot Dog Truck. Maybe one of these snack helmets!

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Dangerous Slide

I Stumbled on this photo at the Art of the Prank.



And I thought HOT SLIDES hurt!

Without Stumble Upon, I'd never find some of this nonsense. How would you find a picture like this? You could Google "cheese grater slide" and you'd find it, but who the hell would ever think of doing that?

The internet is chock full of wacky stuff like this. Stumble Upon has allowed the masses to find it. It's either sheer genius or a tremendous waste of time!

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Florida Vacation Homes

Where does the MVP of the Super Bowl go to every year? DISNEYWORLD! Every kid, heck every adult, LOVES DISNEYWORLD. I'll be heading there in a few more years with my youngest. For a while there, we were heading there every year for vacation. The kids love it.

There's lots of other cool stuff in Orlando too. It's a schlocky vacation paradise. I wish we'd purchased a condo or villa in Orlando ten years ago. The appreciation on the home and any rental income we realized would have paid for all those vacations. As we get on in years, we're getting more concerned with investments and my wife wants to invest in Real Estate.

Orlando is a vibrant community with lots of economic opportunities for Real Estate investors. The folks at Bardell Real Estate in Orlando specialize in Florida villa sales. They can hook us up with a Florida vacation home that would be a solid investment.

Orlando continues to grow at a rapid pace, so investing in Real Estate there is a fairly safe bet.

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Sox Talk

The hot topic of the day at the Hot Dog Truck isn't all the construction, it's the Red Sox. The Sox versus the Rox starts tomorrow and Red Sox Nation is buzzing.

I'm personally still psyched they won it back in 2004. To have them back in the World Series only three years later is almost surreal. They are going to win too. This is a team of destiny, I've been saying it all season.

Everyone is upbeat and smiling at the Hot Dog Truck when they talk about the Sox. Even the grumpy old bastard types (the ones who still think these are the "old" Sox who'll break your heart every time) are almost giddy with anticipation about tomorrow night's Game 1.

I don't know what to tell my kids. When I was growing up, the Sox always choked and the Patriots were a joke. My kids have seen three Super Bowl victories and a World Series Championship in their short lives. They think their teams are supposed to win!

I just keep telling them, "these are not your father's Red Sox!"

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Construction Update

They are literally ripping apart the parking lot around me. There is a huge hole where they've dug a foundation about 20 feet from my truck. The lot is no longer paved-it's now packed dirt. There is limited parking and the noise of the machinery doing this work is deafening.

Sounds like it would impact business negatively, doesn't it?

Nothing could be further from the truth! The delightful autumn weather has kept the hot dog loving populace coming out in droves to the Hot Dog Truck and they don't seem to mind the noise or the mess as long as the best hot dogs on the planet are there for them. I've also made inroads to new locations. Once I have a solid location lined up, I'll announce it here.

I have found over the past few weeks how much my silly little Hot Dog Truck means to the hot dog loving locals. Many folks are saddened by the eminent departure from the current site, but hope to have an even better location come spring time.

In the mean time, the best hot dogs will still be available at the Hot Dog Truck!

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Virtual Phone Solutions

Not too long ago, it was considered "revolutionary" that telephone services were allowed to compete. The "old" AT&T or "Ma Bell" was the only game in town and your telephone service cost whatever the phone company told you it cost.

Then came competition for Long Distance telephone service. Remember all those annoying calls you used to get at dinner time with offers to lower your long distance rate to "only" 18 cents a minute?

Next local service became competitive. The government basically ordered the phone company to allow other companies to install local service. While this was going on, the internet was in its infancy.

I sold business telephone services for AT&T, Bell Atlantic and others. The idea was to get businesses to purchase "bundled" services of local, long distance and data. We wanted to sell T-1 lines to businesses so they could plug in their expensive, feature rich phone systems that they paid upwards of six figures for. They'd also hook their computer networks into the T-1 lines for fast internet access.

We made piles of money as did the guys selling the phone systems!

Now, thanks to Business VoIP , all that is coming to an end. Smart business owners don't want to spend big bucks on telephone hardware or telephone services. They want an easier, less expensive solution like Packet8 Virtual Office.

Now, all you need is an internet connection and some phones and the rest can be done online! All the features of a fancy schmancy phone system are on the Packet8 Virtual Office servers. You manage system expansion, extensions, calling features and any number of functions by yourself. You could also opt for professional on-site support services.

The best part is you don't need to shell out money for a phone system AND you get unlimited calling anywhere in the world for a flat monthly rate. Whether you have one small office or a global business, you can have one virtual phone system for everyone. You can also expand and contract your Packet8 Virtual Office as your business needs change. All this without spending a fortune on an expensive and maintenance laden phone system. And no complicated T-1 installations from the phone company either. A broadband connection is all that's needed.

If things had been this easy when I was selling phone services, the phone company wouldn't have needed me!



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RED SOX MARCH ON TO WORLD SERIES!

They did it! after being down 3-1 in the series, the Red Sox powered their way back outscoring the Indians 30-5 in the final 3 games of the series to earn the right to play the Rockies in the World Series.

Even my favorite whipping boy, J.D. Drew, got into the act hitting a first inning grand slam in Saturday's game. Sorry about all that "J.D. Drew SUCKS" talk all season guy, YOU ROCKED in a big spot! Even Eric Gagne got into the act Saturday pitching a perfect ninth inning. You still suck though, Eric. Any schmuck can close out a game with a 10 run lead!

Dice-K came up huge Sunday and we're ready to take on the Rockies.

ON TO THE WORLD SERIES (and another week and a half of sleep deprivation)!

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Medicscan - Your Medical Card Scanner

Everyone knows it can be a real pain in the ass to go see a doctor. The amount of hoops insurance companies make you jump through is ridiculous. First you need a referral from your primary care doctor. Then there's the paperwork. Every time you see a new doctor, you have to fill out reams of forms and you'd better have that medical card with you.

I don't blame the doctors, they're forced into the bureaucratic paper shuffling by the insurance companies. Anything they can do to reduce paperwork is a good thing for them and their patients. That's why every doctor's office needs a Medicscan medical card scanner.

The Medicscan + ScanShell 800N is a small desktop device that plugs into any PC. It scans both sides of a patient's medical card and store's it in the doctor's office computer. The scanned image can be emailed or exported to third party applications. It can even be used to scan a new card.

This may not seem revolutionary, but it WILL cut down on paperwork. A referring doctor can email your info to the next doctor and eliminate some of the paperwork. You'll still need to fill out forms, but it will cut down on the number of forms thus saving the patient and the office staff valuable time. It should also reduce the stacks of paper in the files.

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Blog Your Blessings Sunday XXIX

**If you want to make your own Church Sign, go to Churchsigngenerator.com . **



Proverbs 8:19-21

My fruit is better than fine gold;
what I yield surpasses choice silver.

I walk in the way of righteousness,
along the paths of justice,

bestowing wealth on those who love me
and making their treasuries full.

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If you like money....

It's week 7 of the NFL, that means more Winning Football Picks! We've posted a winning record for the season, earning a WHOPPING 14.3 UNITS PROFIT!

If you like football and if you like money, you need to check out Winning Football Picks before you make any wagers today.

You'll be glad you did.

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New Location Options

As you know, I need to scout a new location for the spring. One option I'm considering is an actual physical location. I'd need working capital to get that sort of thing going I'd need special Restaurant Financing. There's a great company called Advance Restaurant Finance that offers easy documentation loans for restaurateurs who wish grow their business.

I'll be sending them an email to buy one of these!

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Funny Tee Shirt


I Stumbled on this picture here. I have been really getting into Stumble Upon lately and I occaissionally come accross gems like this one.

I remember when we were in Europe and we were driving through the Alps from Switzerland to Italy. We went through Swiss customs and everything was very formal. The customs officers were in full dress uniforms and checked all passports. They were officious and polite and very "by the book."

About two miles down the road, we came to Italian customs. The customs guy had his shirt unbuttoned, his Uzi over his shoulder, cigarette dangling from his lips, one arm around a very attractive girl and a bottle of wine in his other hand. His counterpart just waved us (and everyone else) through. Quite a contrast!

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Mortgage Bond

You see the term "licensed and bonded" on company signs everywhere. Not many people know what "bonded" means, but they feel comforted by the phrase. It conveys a sense of protection and stability.

When I was in the mortgage business, we had to fill out a form for our surety bond company. A mortgage broker surety bond basically guarantees that if the broker screws up and violates the law, the company is protected from fines and penalties. For instance, if a broker failed to give their borrower the proper disclosure documents and the borrower complained to the appropriate state agency, the agency would give the broker or the brokerage house a fine. A mortgage surety bond would pay for the fine.

There are, unfortunately, some unscrupulous and dishonest mortgage brokers. I worked with a guy who was arrested for fraud. He was lying to customers about the rates they'd be paying and doctoring their paperwork after it was signed. He spent time in jail and paid a hefty fine. Another guy I worked with was fired because he was running a scam where his friend would verify employment for borrowers so they could qualify for "low doc" loans. Several of his borrowers had their loans called by the lenders and it was a big mess. In both cases, the brokerage house was protected by its surety bond.

There are also large national lenders (like Ameriquest) that have been accused of fraud and deceptive lending practices. The company is facing a class action lawsuit. A surety bond won't help them as bonds don't cover the scope of actions alleged to have been committed.

Overall, surety bonds provide protection but they may not protect against greed and stupidity!





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Bill Gates' Advice to Teens

Some of you may have seen this before, I have too. This is Bill Gates' advice to kids in America. The wisdom is good. I have this list posted on our fridge. Rule 1 is often quoted by yours truly. I'm also a fan of Rule 7!

Rule 1: Life is not fair…get used to it.

Rule 2: The world won’t care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.

Rule 3: You will NOT make $40,000/year right out of high school. You won’t be a vice-president with a cell-phone, until you earn both.

Rule 4: If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss. He
doesn’t have tenure.

Rule 5: Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grandparents had a word for flipping burgers-they called it opportunity.

Rule 6: If you mess up it’s not your parents fault, so don’t whine about
your mistakes, learn from them.

Rule 7: Before you were born, your parents weren’t as boring as they are
now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes, and
listening to how cool you are. So before you save the rain forest from the
parasites of your parents’ generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.

Rule 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life
hasn’t. In some schools they have abolished failing grades and they’ll give
you as many times as you want to get the answer right. This doesn’t bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.

Rule 9: Life is not divided into semesters. You don’t get summers and
Christmas break off, and very few employers are interested in helping you
find yourself. Do that on you own time.

Rule 10. Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to
leave the coffee shop and go to work.

Rule 11: Be nice to nerds. Chances are you’ll end up working for one.

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Hot Dog Combat Boots

I need new work boots. I like a substantial boot that will protect my feet and will also be comfortable. I am, after all, on my feet all day.

In my quest to never go to a store, I have found many places to shop for shoes online. I was googling Rocky Boots the other night and came across CopShoes.com. They offer all kinds of footware for police and military applications and they carry a full line of Bates Boots and Rocky Boots. The prices are good and they offer free shipping.

These boots are real life combat boots! They are very comfortable and offer great support. Perfect for a Hotdogman like me. You have to figure soldiers need good shoes because they're on their feet ALL THE TIME. That's why I want a good pair of Rocky Boots.

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Fun Stuff

I'm always "Stumbling" onto fun stuff. I found this cool road sign generator and made this sign.



You can also make this cool medal.



Or this receipt.


Or this wedding chapel sign.


I just love goofy stuff like this. We were goofing around with this tonight and made some pretty raunchy stuff. You can have loads of fun with this and you might even make something for your site. You can generate all sorts of custom signs HERE.

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Protection Dogs

Our dog Bailey is a good watch dog. She's an 80 pound mix of Pit Bull, German Shepard and Labrador Retriever, what I call a "North American Mutt." We have one of those "invisible fences" around the perimeter of our 1 acre wooded lot, so she's pretty much got the run of the place. The fence perimeter is about three feet from the front door so when someone she doesn't know comes up the walk, she stands there and barks aggressively. She has freaked out many a solicitor, cable guy and a few of the neighbors too. Nobody gets in our house without her say so!



If this dog charged at you, you'd freak out too! She'll stop acting aggressive on command too.

She is GREAT with kids. She would never harm our kids (or any kid), she loves to lick them-especially toddlers. Our three year old loves her and she has no fear of dogs having known Bailey all her life.

Having a good watch dog is, in my book, better than any alarm system. Most burglars just won't mess with a house that has a big dog. They'll just move on to the next house if they hear a threatening "woof."

Many folks are realizing this fact and getting protection dogs as family pets. German Shepherds, Dutch Shepherds, and Belgian Malinois are all good protection dogs and are great family pets too. Each breed is loyal, gentle with their family and they're all great watch dogs. These dogs run about a hundred pounds and would scare the crap out of anyone who may be up to no good on your property.

CCK9.com offers these breeds for sale as personal protection dogs. They'll fly you out to their facility to train your new dog too. Every one of their dogs is unconditionally guaranteed for health and you must be completely happy with your dog or you can return it!

We had a German Shepard when I was a kid. They're terrific dogs. I'd get another some day because they fit the bill for a good protection dog.

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Link Love Thursday VIII

Everyone needs a good laugh now and then, so this week's Link Love goes out to some funny bloggers from my Bumpzee Day in the Life Community and my Link Love Community on Blog Catalog. Each of these sites will be sure to make you chuckle.

The Astonishing Adventures of Lord Likely
- Imaginative, irreverent, excruciatingly detailed and hilarious! This writer has quite an imagination and a flair for story telling! Rapidly becoming one of my favorites.

J 4 Jokes- A collection of jokes. Some funny, some stupid. But there are lots of them!

Weird Websites- Even though the author spells "weird" wrong in the title, this is a good one. Find all sorts of bizarre stuff on the internet here.

Idiot Brain-A blog that looks at the incredibly stupid things people do. Funny AND true!

Funny Stupid Short Videos
- The title says it all.

The Paradox that is Elmer Q Gooseburger
- Crazed Brit humor. Brits have a good sense of humor. I got one to marry me, after all.

Pay a visit to these blogs for a good laugh. Check out the Bumpzee Day in the Life Community for lots of other good blogs too.

If you want MORE LINK LOVE, check out the Link Love Community on Blog Catalog and the Link Love Community on BumpZee

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Mixin the Nana Cookies

My Nana makes outrageously delicious chocolate chip cookies. When we were kids she'd bring a few dozen over every time she visited. My mom used to hide them and ration them out because they are so good, my brother, my dad and I would eat them all in one sitting. Sometimes after school, if we knew there were Nana Cookies in the house, we'd go scouting and search for them. If we found them, we'd hide them on mom! It became quite the sport!

Nana used to send me "care packages" of cookies when I was off at college. They were a favorite "late night munchie" of my friends. Everyone LOVES Nana Cookies. They are a part of our family and she's passed the secrets on to me!

Nana doesn't cook much any more. After all, she's 94 now! She did give me the recipe. It's your standard butter, flour, sugar and brown sugar toll house cookie-with a twist. The twist is she grinds the walnuts to an almost powdery texture so they're distributed throughout the dough. First the flour must be sifted so it's fluffy. Nana likes to cream the butter very thoroughly. An electric mixer is also good for this, it almost becomes whipped butter when it's done properly.

Nana always used a good stand mixer like the Hamilton Beach® Eclectrics® Mixer since the bowl is anchored well. When I use a hand held mixer, sometimes the bowl goes flying around. Nana still has a Hamilton Beach® Mixer that must be 50 years old. The new Hamilton Beach® Stand Mixer is much better though. It's a lot quieter and more powerful too, offering 12 settings so you can "customize" your mixing.





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Update on the Hot Dog Truck

A little over a week ago, I told everyone my landlord kicked me off my spot. He gave me three days notice to move my business. He's building a car wash on the property and there is no room for the Hot Dog Truck or customer cars. I will not be at the same spot in the spring time. Massachusetts Law requires I be given 30 days written notice. I have not moved and have still not been given proper notice. My lawyer is handling the details and his advice to me has been "go sell hot dogs." Well, my lawyer informed me today that I will be staying in the same spot until the end of the year. He made the landlord see the error of his ways (ie he threatened to sue the pants off him) so I can stay! I had planned to close for the season on December 21, so this is perfect!

I will eventually relocate; there are plenty of spots for me and the best hot dogs on the planet. I will NOT be open in the winter, period. I've been open the past two winters and it's a "break even" proposition" at best. Plus it's friggin cold! If I do my student teaching, I won't reopen until the school year ends.

I'd really LOVE to open a small "hot dog joint" in a "real" location someday. I'd call it "The Hot Dog Truck Diner" and it would most likely do very well!

The journey continues......

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Parking or Flying

In the movies and on TV, whenever someone is driving somewhere, they invariably find a parking spot right in front of wherever they're going. It doesn't matter what time of day it is or how much traffic there is, there's always a parking spot for the main character, even at the airport. Heaven forbid they use a parking garage, but that probably wouldn't do much for the continuity of the movie.

Too bad Pro Park America can't get a movie product placement deal for their many garages throughout the country. If they had a deal, we'd see more parking garages in movies and more realistic parking by characters. Even though Pro Park America offers convenient parking options at airports and garages all over the USA, their rapid shuttle services can't compare to the unreality of a parking space out front.

I live near Boston, a city notorious for its parking woes. If you can find a space, you will most likely pay big bucks. Heck, it costs $40 to park at Fenway! And if you tourists want to "Pahk the Cah in Hahvahd Yahd," Harvard Square parking is not much cheaper. Parking and tickets to Fenway are so expensive, it's actually cheaper to fly to Baltimore to watch the Sox play at Camden Yards!

We did just that a few years ago. I was spending time with friends out in Western Mass and a bunch of us drove to Bradley international airport, parked the car (we didn't use Bradley Airport long term parking as we just flew down for the day), flew to Baltimore and cabbed it over to Camden Yards.

There were no parking spots in front of the park.


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Keeping the Faith

My Red Sox have dropped 3 games to the Indians and face elimination going into game 5 Thursday. The series has been all about two 7 run innings: the 11th on Saturday night and the 5th on Tuesday.

After such a fun and successful regular season where the Sox led wire to wire it is hard to stomach going home.

With Beckett pitching Thursday, I like the Sox chances. The bats will need to wake up if they hope to have a miraculous comeback a la 2004.

It's so hard to make it to the ALCS and most Sox fans think anything short of winning the World Series is failure.

Eric Gagne will take a lot of crap in this town for his UN clutch performance last Saturday and Manager Terry Francona-who has done a superb job- will undoubtedly hear it too.

I'll reserve MY VENOM for the post season.

KEEP THE FAITH!

GO RED SOX!!

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New Location with an Unsecured Business Loan

I'll be needing a new location for the Hot Dog Truck next spring. In fact, I'll most likely need a new truck. I could use available cash or I could get an Unsecured Business Loan to buy a new truck. Another option is to get a storefront location. Either way, I'll need money to get things rolling.

EZUnsecured.com is a lender I've been scouting in case I need to get some cash fast. They offer great service, easy process and, most importantly, FAST FUNDING. With a 680 FICO Score, they can get money to a borrower quickly and at very competitive rates.

Being able to move quickly when there is a business opportunity is tantamount to being successful. Like the old saying goes, "he who hesitates is lost."

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Alka Seltzer

All the events regarding the tenancy of the Hot Dog Truck over the past few weeks (not to mention the 3-1 deficit the Red Sox face in the ALCS) has left me with indigestion! Thankfully, it's not a problem for patrons. Nothing beats Alka Seltzer for indigestion. I found some classic commercials for Alka Seltzer on good old You Tube. They just don't make them like this any more.

There are two Commercials so wait while the video pauses.

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Coupon Mall

I live about a mile and a half from one of the "premier malls in the USA." Lucky me. That still doesn't keep me from doing as much online shopping as possible. I avoid the mall like the plague.

I'll usually make a stop at the mall near Christmas time to pick up a few items. I like to go on a snowy night because the place is deserted-I have it all to myself. If it were like that all the time, I'd shop there more.

Before I hit the mall, I'll go to GoGoShopper.com for some coupons to use at the mall stores. They have coupons for all the biggies.

The real savings are found at the online stores. Whether I use GoDaddy coupons for my next domain name purchase or homedecorators coupons for some new mini blinds, I save real money for something I want/need to buy anyway.

Since I'm a world class cheap bastard, I look to save at every turn online or at the mall.



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MORE WINNING FOOTBALL PICKS!

On my Winning Football Picks site, Sunday week 6 saw both Laz and the Hotdogman turn a profit.

Laz went 2-0 with Jacksonville and his three team Teaser for a 2 UNIT PROFIT! Laz's total profit for the year is sitting at PLUS 6.9 UNITS with an out of this world 88.8% WINNING PERCENTAGE! Laz also went a stellar 8-2-2 on his pool picks.

Hotdogman, with his characteristically "busier" card, went 5-3 on the day for a 1.6 UNIT PROFIT bringing his season total to PLUS 7.4 UNITS with a solid (and profitable) 56% WINNING PERCENTAGE! The Hotdogman went a pedestrian 5-5-2 on the pool picks this week.

OVERALL Winning Football Picks IS PLUS 14.3 UNITS ON THE SEASON!

If you like money, you should play our picks!

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Backgammon Masters



I ran into my old college room mate last week at a soccer tournament. We got to talking about the "good old days" in our apartment. I remember spending many a late night playing backgammon. We'd play for a penny a point and sometimes someone would win two or three dollars on a big night.


My old roomie mentioned he couldn't find a good backgammon opponent these days and he wished we could get together and play once in a while.


I told him about BackgammonMasters.com, a great site where players from all over the world can get online and play the game. They also have Poker, Blackjack and Perudo. It doesn't matter where in the world your partner is either as BackgammonMasters.com supports 12 different languages. I could be playing on an English screen with someone in China playing on a Chinese screen! My Italian cousins can't play on the site in Italian yet, but it won't be long. They've got 12 languages supported now and plan on adding more and more. They're even going to add site support in multiple languages soon too.

New players can brush up on the rules of Backgammon too.

We're both signing up at BackgammonMasters.com and we plan to get together online for a weekly game of backgammon. It will be fun playing with someone who knows the game.

For more information please visit http://www.backgammonmasters.com.


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500th POST!

This is my 500th post! It's hard to believe this little adventure has come so far in such a short time. Since my 400th Post, I have done many PayPerPosts, started my Fenway Flashback series of posts, joined the "You Comment, I Reply" movement, started two Link Love Communities, shared my Rainy Day Escapades, nearly been ILLEGALLY evicted, won A PILE OF CASH, and found quite possibly the FUNNIEST PICTURE IN THE WORLD!

Thank You to EVERYONE who has visited this site. It has been a fun journey and this has become a great part of my life. On to 600!

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Financial Recruiters

There are a lot of unemployed mortgage brokers out there. I personally know quite a few. The crash in the housing market and the subsequent downturn in mortgage financing has caused some mortgage lenders to go out of business and left a lot of folks with sound financial experience looking for work.

Lots of displaced mortgage professionals will use an executive job search firm. There are still jobs in corporate finance for people with a sound financial background. There are even entry level corporate finance jobs for people who are smart and willing to learn.

Even if you haven't been displaced by the market, if you are a finance professional looking to improve your station, you should seek out an executive job search firm to help you identify the best opportunities available to you.

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Awesome Blog List

One of the members of my Day in the Life Community on Bumpzee has started the Awesome Blog Listing. Bob of the Secret Money Blog wants to build the largest link list ever. Maybe he'll come and join the Bumpzee Link Love Community or the Blog Catalog Link Love Community.

C'mon in Bob. Spread the love, share the love.

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Kiwi Holiday

The next time we go to Australia to see the wife's family, we're going sailing in her cousin's 42 foot catamaran from Sydney to New Zealand! The trip is going to take weeks, but it should be one helluva good time. My wife has another cousin in the greater Auckland area, so we might look for a cheap hotel in Auckland while we visit there. If we have the time (we want to be traveling for two months-January and February) we'll travel throughout New Zealand and see the countryside.

There are great mountains in New Zealand. The Southern Alps is a breathtaking mountain range that could take years to explore fully, we'd probably just grab one of the many cheap hotels in New Zealand and go exploring at our own pace.

I don't think we'll make it down there for the Rugby World Cup (its this week) but there is always lots of sailing and mountaineering to be done. We both love Australia and we're very excited to see New Zealand and find out what New Zealand accommodations are all about.

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Football Sunday

Visit Winning Football Picks today to get the best FREE NFL PICKS anywhere!

If you like money, you'll play with us today and every week!

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African Hunting Safari

I do a lot of fishing. I've only been hunting twice in my life and I never even shot the gun. I do like venison and I'd bag a deer if I had the opportunity. I eat meat and I won't apologize to anyone for it, even my vegetarian 14 year-old. I like meat.

For those who think hunting is cruel, hunting, killing and eating a deer is a lot more ecologically responsible than buying some rib-eyes at the market and in many cases reduces an over crowded population that can become a public health threat. Deer are way over populated in my area.

I'm not so sure about trophy hunting though. I did see a special on the Science Channel that presented a strong argument for trophy hunting in Africa. Its premise was trophy hunting has economic benefits to poor African communities and, when properly managed, helps prevent overcrowding by certain species. An African hunting safari, sounds cruel and it may be, but it's something I'd like to do.

I don't know if I could shoot an animal that I wasn't going to eat, but I'd love to go on an African hunting safari nonetheless. I think I'd bring my camera instead of my gun though!

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Blog Your Blessings Sunday XXVIII

When the Yankees got bumped from the playoffs and the Red Sox moved to the ALCS, this passage came to mind.

Psalm 58:10-11

The righteous will rejoice when he sees the vengeance;
He will wash his feet in the blood of the wicked.
And men will say, "Surely there is a reward for the righteous;
Surely there is a God who judges on earth!"


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13-6?

I can't believe they lost. I am sooo tired.

Eric Gagne SUCKS!
So does Javier Lopez.

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B-Dry System Wet Basement Waterproofing

My wife manages her parents' rental property here in town while her folks are living out in Nevada. Whenever it rains, the tenant calls and tells us the basement is flooded. We dread the call and it invariably comes because the basement always floods.

They are in need of serious basement wall repair over there due to the large volume of flooding over the years. Our house is on a hill, so we have not had problems with basement flooding. My first house practically had an indoor pool in the basement, so I'm glad I don't need to deal with it anymore!

There are plenty of companies that do basement waterproofing and it's a tough job for "do it yourselfers." If your basement floods, B-Dry Systems is the company to call.

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A Red Sox Prayer

Here's one making the email rounds:

Our Father, who art at Fenway...
Baseball be thy game.
Thy Kingdom come,
Playoffs need to be won,
On Earth, then on to the Cask 'n' Flagon.

Give us this day, a perfect Papi,
And forgive us our losses,
As we forgive those,
Like Bill Buckner.

And lead us not, into desperation,
But deliver us from any losses.

For thine is the Power,
And the Glory,
To beat the Indians,
Forever and ever....the Yankees suck

A-men!

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Red Sox Take Game 1 !!!!

CC Sabathia imploded tonight. Manny's stats tell the story: 2 for 2 with 3 walks (2 given up by Sabathia) with 3 RBI; two of his RBI came on bases loaded walks! Not a recipe for success, CC.

Beckett shut down the Indians for 6 innings despite giving up a wind aided, 1st inning home run. Even Eric Gagne got into the action, striking out 3 in the 9th to "save" the 10-3 victory.

SOX WILL SWEEP! On to Saturday!

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Military Clothing for your Butt


I like a nice butt on a woman. My wife has a nice butt which I constantly "pat." Sometimes she likes it, sometimes she punches me.

"You'd be more upset if I didn't pat your butt all the time," is my usual reply to the punch.

She has a whole bunch of what I call "nice bum" pants. They are pants that accentuate her cutey booty. She even has some army pants that I absolutely LOVE. When you think of military clothing, you probably wouldn't picture a curvaceous tush like the one pictured here, but that is the "end" result.

Go to BDU.com for military clothing and special military pants that make the butt more appealing. They have a double layer of fabric in the bum that helps firm things up down there and make people think "nice bum, where ya from?"

It works for guys too, but I'm not putting up any pictures of THAT!


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Bon Bons

I have many of these old drive-in movie theater trailers published on this site. This is the latest one. These are very campy and you could argue that this video isn't very PC. I love the animation though and the fact that these ads aren't too slick like the ads of today. Enjoy.

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I hate the Dentist, but I love Discount Dental Plans

The dentist has always frightened me. I just don't like getting drilled and poked and scraped. That is why I take good care of my teeth, so I can spend as little amount of time as possible "in the chair."

Dentistry can get expensive too. Some folks have dental insurance, but discount dental plans are gaining popularity. The reason is many folks can't justify the expense and hassle of having dental insurance. If I didn't have a family, I'd LOSE MONEY on our dental insurance because I just don't have anything wrong with my teeth and I haven't had a cavity since I was 12.

If something were to go wrong, having a discount dental plan would be a good cushion. I'd save up to 60% on regular procedures and discounts on specialty procedures too. Of course if everyone flossed their teeth like I do, dentists would go out of business!

Seriously, discount dental plans can be a good thing. Part of the challenge is finding the right plan. Dentalplans.com lets you find discount dental plans that are available in your area (you can even check to see if your dentist honors a particular plan), it lets you compare plans on an easy to use chart and you can join right on the sight.

Many discount dental plans cost less than a hundred bucks a year. The money you'd save on one procedure would pay for the plan and then some.

So if your without dental insurance or aren't sure if you are getting the best bang for your buck out of your dental insurance, you should look at the choices discount dental plans could offer you.



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Link Love Communities

Some of you have seen my Link Love Thursday posts. Now I have a new Bumpzee community dedicated to link building. I started a similar group on Blog Catalog too. The Blog Catalog Link Love Community and the Bumpzee Link Love Community will provide a forum for like minded, wanna be link builders to get together and exchange links.

If you want to meet other link building bloggers and exchange links, join the Bumpzee Link Love Community and the Blog Catalog Link Love Community today.

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Wealth Expo 2007

I like money. Most people do. I also like to make MORE MONEY wherever and whenever I can. The old saying "it takes money to make money" is partly true. If you have money, you can make money with it by investing wisely. That's what Wealth Expo is all about, making money with money.

Next weekend in New York City from Oct 19-Oct 21, 2007, at the Javits Convention Center, Wealth Expo will take place at the following times:

Friday, 10/19: 1 p.m.-6:30 p.m. EDT w/ a cocktail hour to follow

Saturday, 10/20: 9 a.m.-6:30 p.m. EDT w/ a cocktail hour to follow

Sunday, 10/21: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. EDT (no cocktail hour)

Basically, there are a bunch of lectures and "breakout sessions" presented by companies that offer advice and insight into investing and growing wealth. The first lecture session, being presented by Proctor & Gamble, is called “Designed to Grow.”

Note to would be investors: Have Proctor & Gamble stock in your portfolio. The company almost always pays dividends and the value of the stock has grown at a greater than 10% clip since the company went public over 100 years ago. Past performance may not be an example of future results, but as my former father in law (who worked for P&G's paper division) was fond of saying, "in good times and bad, you still have to wipe your ass!" The company just keeps growing and getting more profitable every year. BUY P&G! Listen to what their people say about good growth companies. You'll be glad you did.

The first "breakout" session, presented by Best Choice Software, Inc., is called “Making Money in the Markets Is Not That Difficult- We Will Show You How.” Without even going to that session, I can give you a sure fire tip (see the preceding paragraph). Seriously though, the more you can educate yourself about investing the better. This session would be helpful to many investors, particularly beginning investors. Knowing the mechanics of the market is important as is money management and a sound strategy. This session promises to be a good introduction to these concepts.

Wealth Expo is free to attend and is sponsored by MyWallSt.net: Your Financial Social Network. The entire weekend is chock full of informative lectures and breakout sessions that will leave any attendee more informed about their investments. If you're going to be in New York next weekend, it's definitely worth attending.

I wonder if any of the Yankees will be there? They're free....





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Link Love Thursday VII

As many of you MUST know, I write Pay Per Posts. A lot of them. I am literally Blogging for Braces (I have two with braces)! I am on a pace to pay for the portion of the braces that isn't covered by insurance by mid October! That should leave me plenty of time to do some Christmas Shopping with my PPP earnings!

This week's Link Love goes out to some other "posties" who are doing Pay Per Posts to help fund their needs or dreams.

One Old Green Bus- Sue and Matt want to buy and refurbish an old double-decker bus to tool around the countryside in. When they get it rolling, I hope they visit the Hot Dog Truck!

Tricia's Musings- I don't know where she finds the time to do PPP's; she's got about 20 sites!

The Wired Kayaker- He runs the Pay Per Post Community on Bumpzee. I think he's posting to buy his next camera or camera related gadget. Or maybe a new kayak.

Mummified Times Five-This Aussie Gal, Tina, has five kids like me. I know why she's doing PayPerPost-she's probably blogging for braces too!

The Richest Man on Earth
-If he wants to get rich, he better get posting!

If you want MORE LINK LOVE, check out the Link Love Community on Blog Catalog and the Link Love Community on BumpZee

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If Ignorance is Bliss, what is Wedded Bliss?

As you may know, I am married. For the second time. Some call that the triumph of Hope over Experience. I sometimes wonder what it would have been like to have a fancy, Southern Style North Carolina Wedding.

Then I slap myself and smarten up. I live in Boston fercryinoutloud. The only way I'd have a North Carolina Wedding is if I married a gal from North Carolina.

I married a Canadian Brit, we got married on the beach. In sideways rain.

Maybe we should have gone South and had a North Carolina Wedding. At least it would have been warm rain.

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Mac Poker

My wife's friend likes to play poker online. She wins. She likes to play in poker tournaments. She wins. She's won a few bucks playing poker.

She told the story of her recent trip to Vegas. She went to a local casino off the strip and sat down like she was clueless.

"I was the only woman at the table and everyone was bending over backwards to help me."

She played naive and then cleaned the guys out!

She was over tonight and I asked her what her favorite online poker site was. She plays on Poker Stars because they "are reputable and they actually pay you." I showed her Mac-Poker, a site about playing poker online on Mac Computers. The first thing she said was "why the f___ would you have a Mac?" Then we read the review on Poker Stars (there are lots of reviews on Mac-Poker) and they gave them a good rating too. Unfortunately, Poker Stars has not perfected their Mac platform yet, which prompted her to say "another reason not to get a Mac! Seriously dude, if you win enough playing poker, just buy a f___ PC!"

Lucky for all the Mac users out there, Mac-Poker reviews a bunch of sites that have Mac platforms to play poker online. We checked out a few of the other reviews. Fulltilt Poker is another site she likes.

"It's also a reputable sight and they get celebrity poker players a lot too. But if I can't play on Pokers Stars, I wouldn't ever get a Mac."

OK. So she doesn't like Macs, but she knows her poker. She liked the famous poker players page and wants to be on it someday!

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Is there anything you can't buy online? How about an Aluminum Christmas tree-or a REAL one!

Christmas seems to be the theme tonight! So I'll continue to expound on how much I despise shopping. There are certain things you have to go shopping for though. Food is one. I know you can buy food online, and I have, but you still need to go to the super market.

But I like to buy online whenever I can, especially if it's a good value.

Halloween is coming so we'll run out for a pumpkin. I don't know if you can get one of them online or not, but buying a pumpkin is fun. We go to a local farm, revel in the outdoors and bring home the pumpkin.

We go through the same routine for a Christmas tree. Except it's colder and when it's cold, it's harder to revel. Plus, we never tie our pumpkin to the roof. So I got to thinking and I said to myself, "Self, can you buy a Christmas tree online?"

I'm not talking about an Aluminum Christmas tree, but the real deal. I don't have anything against Aluminum Christmas trees, although this one is kind of neat:
The idea is that floor space isn't gobbled up by the wide bottom of the tree-that means you can fit more presents under (?) it. I kind of like the idea of that!

I definitely wouldn't want a tacky Aluminum Christmas tree like this one:



Good lord, is that ugly!

A tastefully done Aluminum Christmas tree like this one wouldn't be bad.



Out of the three trees, I'd go for this one. The tacky one would leave me shell shocked Christmas morning and I'd be afraid I'd knock the upside down tree over (possibly more than once). This last one looks like a real tree. I kind of like the idea of not chopping down trees and conservation and all too. But still, there's nothing like a real tree.

And yes, you can buy a real fresh cut Fraser fir Christmas tree online! They cost about the same as a tree you'd buy at the side of the road too. Leave it to Hammacher Schlemmer!

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Red Sox March to Playoffs!

The Boston Red Sox will play the Cleveland Indians beginning Friday Night for the right to play in the World Series against either Colorado or Arizona. The barnstorming Yankees (who still suck) blew their load just getting to the post season and didn't have enough pitching to force another Yanks/Sox showdown.

The key to victory over the Indians will be whether Josh Beckett, Curt Schilling and Dice-K Matsusaka can out pitch Sabathia and Carmona. I wanted the Yankees to push the series to 5 games so Sabathia would be tired versus the Sox.

The hitters will have to hit too. Big Papi and Manny Ramirez are ON FIRE, let's hope they stay that way! It's about people playing big on the big stage-and there's no hitting duo bigger and badder than Manny and Papi.

I hate this long layoff between the ALDS and the ALCS. I'm too filled with anticipation. Once the series starts, I'll settle into a rhythm. A good baseball rhythm. In the meantime, I'll read up on the stats, the players and I'll take another look at the match ups from this season.

Friday can't get here soon enough.

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Reclining while Shopping

I hate shopping. I only go to the store to buy stuff when I absolutely have to. Most stores in our area are stocked with nitwit teenagers who don't even know how to make change, let alone offer solid advice on what I am looking to purchase. I am on a continuing quest to never have to go to a store to buy anything (except food) whether it's a computer or a leather recliner.

I found an awesome leather recliner at Wholesale Furniture Brokers. Nothing could be more appropriate than shopping for a leather recliner from your leather recliner! There is a large selection of leather recliners and the prices are excellent too. You should check it out.

Who in their right mind shops for furniture online? I say who wouldn't. You can keep your stores in crowded shopping plazas with the traffic and the parking. Give me my laptop and my leather recliner and I'll never go to a furniture store again.

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Hot Dog Pizza

They keep trying to do new things with pizza. I like stuffed crusts, deep dish, thin crust-pretty much all kinds of pizza. This ad for Pizza Hut in Korea shows how they use a hot dog in the pizza crust. I like pizza and I like hot dogs. I don't think I'd like this...

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LED Christmas Lights



We have a unique Christmas tradition in our house. It all started the first year we moved in. We have a cathedral ceiling in our living room so my wife thought it would be fun to get a really tall tree. Sixteen feet tall to be exact. We needed to bring an extension ladder in the house to decorate it. I needed to saw the branches off it to get it OUT of the house (we brought it in wrapped in that Christmas tree netting stuff).

So we had this tree set up with just the lights on it. The kids were all in the living room watching TV and my wife and I were in the kitchen when all of a sudden a very upset looking 6 year old son came running in and said, "the Christmas tree fell. ON SHELBY!" (then 3) We rushed into the living room to find our three year old girl pinned on the couch by the gargantuan tree. She was OK and we righted the tree and tied it down so it wouldn't fall again. Since that Christmas, as per tradition, our tree has fallen down every year.

We have broken some lights every year too. This year we have decided to get new lights and I'm getting some of those new LED holiday lights for the tree. These babies are so tough a truck could drive over them and they wouldn't break. They're 90% more energy efficient than regular Christmas lights too. HolidayLEDS are the best LED Christmas lights on the market. They last twice as long as the brands you'd find at some department store and they're weather proof too so you can hang them on your outdoor trees.

Everyone knows I like Led Zeppelin, now I like HolidayLEDS LED Christmas lights too.


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The Hotdogman on TV

Here' the Hotdogman on Roadside Stories
CLICK HERE TO VIEW

Have you ever played the Punch Buggy Game? If you have, check out the Official Rules to the Punch Buggy Game. Check 'em out even if you've never played before, it's a classic road trip game for your summer travels!