Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Kid Exchange

When I first heard of the Kid Exchange in Raleigh I giggle and laughed about trading in Logan for a newer model, after The Wife shot me a look I soon found out that this is a giant event that happens twice a year and I hope I never have to go near it. If you don't feel like clicking on the link, Kid Exchange is a giant consignment sale of all things kids. It's a great way to get pretty decent clothes and toys without breaking the bank.
Since we are now in a smaller location (I know I need to write something about that, still too close to the issue I swear I'll get to it) we needed to get rid of some items and that's when we realized that Logan had what equals 7 of those Rubbermade tubs full of clothes that
we were not planning on keeping. We were trading clothes with other families but with Logan now wearing 18 month clothing when he is only 12 months we kind of caught up to our friends and have an excess of clothing. For two days The Wife went through the tubs and we ended up with two tubs of keepers, two tubs that would not sell and three tubs that we could actually sell at the Kid Exchange.

They have very strict rules on what type of clothes and what you have to do to each item and the hardest part was everything had to be in wire hangers. The guidelines mentioned going to local dry cleaners and asking for extras or recycled hangers. After driving to 6 different locations and being rejected a few times I finally found enough hangers. We also had to buy card stock paper, zip ties and safety pins. The next two days we spend hanging and pinning the cloths and attaching cards with the zip ties. I figured I spent 7 hours of my life doing this. While packing I did not realize how fast Logan actually grew. 75% of all the clothing was new born to 6 months with the bulk being the 3-6month style of clothing. After that it was a sparse selection because he grew so fast. We had only 9 outfits for that were labeled 9 months. he's finally settled down with the growth spurts but I fear how big this kid is going to be.

I get everything packed into those three tubs and head down to the State Fair grounds and see a wave op people entering into the TWO BUILDINGS carrying clothes and other baby items. As you can see from the
picture this place is huge and it is backed with nothing but toys and clothes. The other building are larger items like cribs, high chairs and bikes. I finally trek my way to the boy clothes and find the 50ft length of stand for new born. Most of the rack is already full and I have to spread my clothes out across the whole section. I noticed a theme with placing the clothes out. Most people wanted their clothes right at the beginning of the sections and as you went further along the less packed the clothes became. I'm guessing everyone wanted their clothes to be seen and picked the starting point. My philosophy became so many people are going to be going through these clothes that it did not matter.

As I keep hanging my sale items I see people bring what can only be described as a fork lift full of clothes and toys into the hanger like building. I thought we had a lot of excess but holy crap, these people made me feel like I only had a hand full of things. How can you get that much stuff and need to sell it. I understand if you have a lot of kids but at some point in time you had to think that your house was creaking and bowing at the seems from weeble wobbles, Legos and Barbies.

The size of this sale is maddening and you should see it when it is actually underway. The one time I went with The Wife the line to check out was all the way around the building and started to double back. It's just a sea of humanity within a see of clothes. It's almost sensory overload and I never ever want to go back. For The Wife it is almost heavenly but I do not wish to be involved.

Back to the original idea of this post, after I finished up tagging everything I figure we have about 150 items for sale and if we sell it all we can make over $400. If we sell half which is what I'm hoping it's about $140. If we do make that $140 we have to take out the $40 I spent on supplies and then the Kid Exchange takes $15 that means we have made we have a profit of $85. Then again The Wife is going twice, once as a seller the day before it opens and then again on Saturday. I'm just hoping to break even at that point. I've said it before, babies are a racket and I need to tap into it somehow.

How Is He Still Alive!

See that little guy to the left, for those not in the know that is Logan and some how he is still doing OK one year after his birth. Last year at this time I was in a hospital room exhausted and trying to deal with being a father. Oddly enough today is pretty much the same, the exhaustion is more from working and the fatherhood thing is still freaking me out.

Somehow he is still in one piece, has not been taken away by the state, nor has he been take by a band of gypsies tricking me into taking a sack of beans. I love being a dad, but I never thought I could be one. I'm at times not the most responsible but somehow I am managing. Even with The Wife and I now working completely opposite schedules I do not see Logan as much and it sucks, but I have to keep telling myself he loves me still and will not forget who I am.

From what I've heard, we got off pretty easy this first year, not a lot of problems expect that at times he does not like this thing called sleep or wants to sleep in our bed. I'm wondering what the next year will bring, will we get revenge for the first year or will it be similar to the first? When will he start walking and when will Lucy start living in our bedroom to get away from the whirlwind known as Logan.

Monday, June 28, 2010


Our long national nightmare is over, I found a job. The one year 7 months and 25 day search is finally done and I am working part time at another Raleigh/Durham TV station. I'm not allowed to say which station by lets just say they have a "mouse" issue. I'm currently part time with the expectation of being bumped to full time when the new budget comes out.

This has been a huge burden lifted off of me, I was to the point I thought I'd never get hired. I set out over 200 resumes and had one interview and seven rejection letters (all from one company) prior being hired. I had clients not pay me, I've had clients try and get me to work for pennies and of course I did because I'm too nice. We are losing the house (more on that later) and have had many financial struggles. This job came at the right time, we started to see some financial light and this will help us get to our goal of no credit card debt.

The job is a lot of what I've done in the past, expect this time I am an editor first and a photographer second. I don't mind that much as long as I get out in the field every once in a while. I get a little stir crazy in the edit booth if I'm in there for 11 days in a row (already happened). I don't mind being the "hybrid" position, I have a job and I'm already looking at things differently than I would have two years aog. I'm letting things just go and roll off my back. I had one photographer yell at me because I used his camera and my first day I was asked if I was an intern 3 times.

I've got to make this work, I'm just going to keep my head down and just do my job and hopefully this time I don't get laid off for economic reasons again.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Out Of Room

I've been doing this blog for over four years now and I can't believe this happened, I ran out of room for pictures. If you ever wonder how I put pictures on here, I usually scour the web for something silly, save it to my computer then upload it to Blogger. Blogger has a place holder and I am allowed a certain amount of space. For the last few post I ran into an error and come to find out that my Picasa account was full. When I was trying to do a home video business I thought it would be great to put all my video on Google video and that would be a great place to store them and use that to link them to websites. I bought a couple Gigabyte of space and all was good.Well, Google bought YouTube and that ended that fun so I started put all of Logan's photos there so we could have them and not lose them with another computer crash.

With money being tight and the addition of a Terrabyte hard drive the extra Picasa space was not needed. I'm now trying to go through and delete unwanted photos on Picasa Web. I'll have more room, but it feels weird deleting pictures of Logan. I know I have them saved on the main computer, two external drives, on my iPod and on a Shutterfly account. What's more important, a sixth place to store his photos or a folder full of random pictures.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Next Fad

I do a little bit of work with the kids at my church. It's me mostly acting stupid and trying to get the other host to break character. The kids usually come up to me before and after the show and talk. A couple of weeks ago a kid named Owen showed me his arm and he had what appeared to be those gel bands that were popular in the 80s and then a few years ago started to have "meaning" and then schools band them.

I thought it was odd that a third grader had all these bands, but he explained that they were silly bandz. If you do not have kids or are not hip to the trends of middle schoolers, they are gel bands that have shapes. The first one Owen showed me was a baseball. I looked around the theater (I should let you know the church is in a movie theater) and two-thirds of the kids had a wrist full of these bands. I'm a nice guy so last week I was comic host again and so I thought I'd go to the local chain drug store and I ask for "those stupid bands the kids love." Before I finished the woman walked over with a container of these silly bandz. She told me they can't keep them on the selves and gets calls daily asking if they have them in. That should have been the first clue. I bought three packs of ten for about $9.

I walk into the theater before the show and the kids were wondering what's in the bag. I told a couple of the older kids and I was almost attacked and ripped limb for limb as the kids wanted these bands. I kept telling everyone that they were the prizes for the games and I heard 15 voices in unison shouting "pick me!" I give in a little and let some of the kids trade for the bands. After 15 minutes I had a completely different set of bandz than I walked in with. I finally break free and we start. We get to the game show part and by that time EVERY kid knew what I had and I almost had them rush the stage to be contestants. I pick my kids and others gave me "you said you pick me." After the show I still had a couple left and then I was attacked again. I had kids who were normally the good quite onces grasping at the bag. I felt like the kids were zombies and these bandz were human brains. I was finally out and still the kids were upset, I learned my lesson that day, why didn't I think of this idea!

It was probably a mistake, someone at the jelly wristband factory made a batch that was deformed and instead of throwing them all out the manager gave a few to his kid. One looked like a star or something and the other kids thought it was awesome. The kid comes home and asks for more. The manager parent gets the idea to sell them and try and make other shapes, and a fad is born. The company is making money hand over fist and then comes the competitors and all is great but like all fads by the time we hit September the fad will be over.

Look at all the stupid kid trends, Beanie Babies, pet rocks, mood rings, garbage pail kids, zhu-zhu pets and countless others. Why can't I get one of these ideas, sure it would be a firework type ride but at least I could make something off of it. Start the fad, sell to a larger company and see it fall to ruins. Isn't that the new American dream? Create something worthless that will make money? Now I just need that idea.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Social Media

I've had a year and a half problem trying to write on this blog, I don't want to be depressive and to be honest I have had a form of writers block as well. The words have not flowed as much as I liked. We few new things have helped out, what became a free laptop, Wireless connection in the house and some hope has started to get me wanting to write. It's a whole lot easier to sit on the couch and watch a TV in front of me instead of at a desktop where I had to turn around to watch a movie.

Also I started a new blog and I think the creative juices flowing. I'm writing about music in my life. It's not going to be about reviews or even what music I like. It's going to be about when I hear a song it can take me to a place in time. The first post is about the song The Power by Snap. After that I have created three other post that will be released of the next few days.

I did post the first link on Facebook and I had someone tell me it was an interesting concept and wanted to know if I wanted help getting exposure. I responded any help will be appreciated but to be honest, I'm not doing this to make any kind of money or have any real kind of fame. I just want to create the creativity flowing and this has been a great stress reliever.

I understand social media is the new thing but at times I think we are putting way too much into it. People are making careers out of tweeting and blogging. How, I have no idea but it just seems to be a glorified networking thing. Most of the time I see people trying to use Facebook or Twitter for a means to an end it comes across as annoying and pushy. "Hey I've got some new stuff you will want." "I just read an article that will improve your business."

I am the worst at networking, I'm so bad I lost a card to a connection that could have possible gotten me a little work. For me this is a hobby that eats up time and forces me to try and use skills I am lacking... typing and getting a message across. Would I like to make money doing this? Sure, but I'd rather not turn this hobby into a faux career. I already have a hard time trying to do freelance video.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

When Did I Walk Into A Sit-Com

Yesterday was one of those days where I keep looking around for the studio audience. I just felt like I was in a bad sit-com and could not get out. It started and pretty much ended with Logan. The Wife was getting him ready for a bath and handed of a naked Logan to me. Guess what happened next, my stomach started to feel warm and wet, I got pee-ed on. Then I felt like I was changing shirts and pants all day. I got pee-ed on again this time it was on my pants and underwear and no I did not pee myself and blamed Logan.

Logan also is dealing with a nasty allergy cold that turned into an infection. He is stuffy and full of mucus and I ended up changing three more shirts that were covered in snot. Also he has a bacteria that could lead to pink eye. I've been without insurance since December 08 and have become a little bit of a hypochondriac. With my allergies and now this new development I keep checking my eye seeing if I have pink eye. "Oh no, I have watery eyes and they are sore!" I run to the bathroom and wash my hands every ten minutes and then look at my eye, rewash my hands and start to worry again. I should work my day up into a script and try to sell it to one of those bad parent sit-com's on ABC or CBS.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Lost Fill In

With King Tom a little busy I said I would become a middle reliever and do a blog post for this weeks Lost. I just got back from a trip to Ohio less than two hours before the show started so I hope I can do King Tom justice.

Fortunately for me this week's show is about one of the best characters on the show, Hurley. He's funny, when it's a Hurley show we get answers and his character is just plain interesting. Not only do the fans like him, but it appears that the island is a fan of Hugo as well. In the past Hurley has been the Haley Joel Osmond of the show and has seen dead people on the island. Michael showed up and we learn that dead people trapped on the island because they can't move on (almost a cop out to one of original theories about the island). I've had the impression the island wants Hurley to be the new Jacob and all the other candidates are there to play a supporting role in this play.

Hurley has always followed but over the last couple of seasons he has started to find his voice and is becoming a leader. Now Hurley is to the point of deceiving people to get a solution, taking everyone to the Black Rock just to blow it up and telling Richard that he saw Jacob. We have seen this before and it usually turns bad (Ben and Whidmore come to mind). Will Hurley be strong enough to not divert and become corrupt, will he throw the ring into the mountain to end the rain of Sauron... wait, I just slipped into Lord of the Rings. I hope Hurley continues to listen to the more reliable dead people and become the ruler of middle earth... I mean the new Jacob.

I'm interested in seeing how the meet up of fLocke will go, seriously how can anything good happen from this. I know its a show and most likely everything will "work out" but seriously I hope the writers do not mess with me.

Before I move on I should probably talk about the sideways world, I love the fact that Hurley is successful and not cursed. He seems to be the only one not haunted by something. I think the writers kind of forced this episode. I still don't know why they killed Libby off, but they had to explain the whole Libby in the same insane asylum thing. For the first time I could have not done with the Hurley story off island. It was great to hear Hurley mention an alternate universe. In his own way he has become the common fan voice in the show.

The secondary story involves, Desmond and his special powers in both realities. I have a theory on this, based on the fact that Dez can see Jacob, well at least teenage Jacob. So far three people have seen this "vision" fLocke, Hurley and Desmond. Obviously fLocke because he is the man in black, yet why Desmond and Hurley. If this were an S.A.T question it would look like this Sayid is to fLocke as Desmond is to Hurley. When you see sideways Desmond gun down Locke it shows he knows something and Locke had to die. As I laid in bed after the show I kept thinking about these two character's interaction and each knows what has to be done. fLocke needs Desmond gone and Desmond has to kill fLocke. This will become the new Ben v Locke for the remainder of the series.

Here are some random thoughts that I could not fit into the two main stories:

Interesting to see Jack just give in completely, he wants to lead and "fix" everything. I have no idea what Jake's new role will be but I'm starting to like him again.

I was listening to the BS Report podcast, Bill Simmons and Chuck Klosterman were talking about Lost and it was interesting to hear them talk about how violent this show is, but the violence is only used when necessary and that makes it more shocking. Well Ilanna getting blown up was unexpected and shocking. This lead Ben to maybe give a nugget of information. "Island was done with her, makes me wonder what will happen when it's done with us." Klosterman also mentioned that he hows that the show ends by the plain just blowing up and everything was for not. I hope this is not a clue into that idea.

Really Richard? When Ben is the first person to join your group you still think it's a good idea? That story line can only end in pain.

Sawyer has been one of my favorite characters but he is slowly becoming a Kate on the show, he keeps saying the same lines and keeps doing the same annoying things. Come on, progress his character already.

Finally on the above said podcast it was mentioned that both guys would watch a Sawyer and Miles cop show spin off. To be honest I would watch the first few episodes no matter if it was a great show or not. ABC, make this show happen!

I hope you enjoyed and the King will probably be back next week.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Holy Mother Of Crap!

I took two weeks off from writing about Lost because I had a bad couple of weeks. When I say bad I mean the worst possible weeks. I'm feeling a little better and then I watched Sundown and things blew up! In the previous two weeks we learned about how Locke always lived under the idea of you could not tell him what to do. Well in the sideways we learn his life was kind of pathetic and then he finally stopped living by that mantra and moved on. Then last week we learn about Jack and his reversal from a man of science to maybe a man of faith. He wants the island to fix him.

This week we learn about Sayid's sideways life. To be honest not that interesting till the end, more on that later. Any time the story revolves around Sayid there is usual lots of blood and people getting hurt and tonight was an uber dose of this. First we get a kung fu fight between Sayid and Dogen and then he stabs faux Locke and more killing later with Sayid turning "evil." What do you expect to happen The Others? you tortured him and then tried to kill him multiple times. Did you think that was not going to turn him? If that happened to me and then faux Locke offered to bring back my love a la Star Wars prequel I would probably do it.

Also this whole crazy Claire thing is creepy great, and I can't wait for her to try and kill Kate. You know it is happening and it's going to get all crazy. This makes me wonder if Rousseau was "in the fold" with Smokey. I'm hoping this gets addressed in a later episode because it is just too not be a coincident.

We have also got a little Survivor Lost going on here and the sides are starting to form. On the side of faux Locke/evil is Sayid, Claire and Sawyer on the side of Jacob/good we have Jack and Hurley then the current neutrals are Jin, Sun, Miles and Kate. I know I'm not the only one to noticed this but at the end when the survivors of the smokey attack walked out Kate did not get a head nod fro faux Locke. I think he doesn't want Kate and truthfully who would. I put Sawyer in the evil camp, but I have a feeling that he is going to split and go his own way as usual.

Oh Kate, why do you screw everything up? She is the worst kind of bad penny and I think faux Locke knows this. Think about it, she screws everything up. When Kate told Miles she was going to see Claire I knew she was going to blather on about Aaron and now she may die. Kate needs to learn that forcing the issue is not her strong suit and needs to maybe go with the flow for a while. She got in the way with Jack then Sawyer, wanted to take care of Aaron even though she has no connection to him and that's just a sample of her idiocy.

Back to Sayid turning all Jack Bauer in every universal plain. I loved the fight scene with Keamy the gangster. You just felt that he was going to go all 24 on the room and he did. Keamy tried to plead but was killed for the second time, not a good track record. The look in Sayid's eyes when Ben tried to rescue him was great, total crazy and totally looking for blood. I was surprised he did not stab Ben.

The battle lines for the island have been drawn and it looks like it's Jack and Hurley against everyone else. Now to the more random thoughts:

Boomerang in the house is always a bad idea.

I missed the creepy sounds of smokey followed by total destruction.

I guess not having the money was a bad thing for Jin.

How is everyone able it keep getting back into the temple? Seriously, everyone has been waltzing in and out of that place, some fortress.

Little something from previous weeks. I think the lighthouse belongs to Jacob and the cave is faux Locke's. We saw organization with Jacob and I think the randomness in the cave is a trait of faux Locke. When asked about the numbers faux Locke had no idea what they were about. We learned they are degrees. Why everyone is important is still up for debate.

I think Adam and Eve are Jin and Sun.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Tricky Door Knob

The Wife came home and wanted to take a drive and go out to eat. We ended up going to our favorite Mexican restaurant in downtown Wake Forest. I started to enjoy our favorite downtown spot and I started to hear a child, and I could not tell if he was screaming or crying. Then we heard two kids and I looked at The Wife and said "They must be having a good time." The sounds turned frantic and we heard banging. It was not a party instead two kids were trapped. I see a mother run past us saying "I didn't know they had locks on the doors." Where are the kids and how did they get there.

I never thought I'd hear this but a five year old and seven year older sister locked themselves in a bathroom and could not get out. How does this happen? I know a three year old that can has figured out one of those child proof doors. Even Velociraptor can open doors even this kid can do it. I am just amazed by this, two kids and they are stumped by a round doorknob. Then the kid told the owner that he needed to fix the door. Hey kid how about being smarter than a dog.

Then that comment from the mother still shocks me. "I didn't know the door had locks." If she did know about the locks would she have to stay with the kids so they could get out? Wouldn't they watch and learn to see what the mother is doing? I fear for these kids, if they can not open a door with a lock they are going to end up like the aliens in Signs.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Zombie Episode

Hurley asked Sayid "You're not a Zombie are you?" Well tonight's Lost, What Kate Does, was a zombie for the first 50 minutes. The writers brought back the old tired story lines and added a bad action movie feel to it. Sawyer was angry and did his own thing, Kate did the wrong thing and followed Sawyer because she can, Jack turned back into the leader that tries, The Others are mysterious and no one knows if they can trust them and as usual not a lot of answers.

In season two and three there would be a great show followed by a set up show that was less than stellar and as a zombie episode this was definatly a setup. We are going to hopefully figure out what happened to Claire. We did see what happened to Claire in the alternative world of Lost and how Kate and Claire stories are intertwined. The biggest surprise in this reality was seeing Ethan as her doctor. The line I enjoyed was him say he didn't want to stick her with a bunch of needles. In season 1 that's all Ethan did was stick and tried to deliver the baby. To be honest that's the only interesting thing in the alternative reality.

During most of the dialogue between the Losties and The Others was not interesting and rather bland. We did learn that Sayid is somehow infected with "darkness," of course that leads probably everyone to wonder if the same happened to Ben and if this is one of the reasons that Faux Locke was able to come back. What exactly is thid darkness, who knows and right now I don't care, just let him turn and move things along. The twist in tonight's show was that Claire was somehow infected and has turned. This could explain why she is hanging with Christian, but at the end she looked more like Rouso than anything else.

Where this is going I have no idea, but I'd give this episode two thumbs down. You would think the Lost writers would have learned that Kate shows are not that interesting. Kate is much better as a supporting character and not the lead. Her flashbacks/forwards/sidways are never that great and yet they she has to be near the top of the leader board for these.

Lastly Sawyer did do something interesting, he took responsibility for the death of Juliet. His character has been based on blaming others for the problems in the world. Is this his change, Jack appeared to be given a chance to change and finally help people instead of getting them killed or injured (Sayid getting shot, Juliet's death, that car crash back on the main land etc). How is this going to effect everything, will Sawyer see through Faux Locke or will this new change make him blind and Faux Locke will be able to control Sawyer. I've written enough about the worst episode ever this fine series, onto the randomness:

The writers stole a page from the Simpson's Homer The Great episode with Aldo and Justin playing Lenny and Karl. Justin/Karl would start to give out "important" information followed by Aldo/Lenny saying shuuuut uuuuuup!

I'm glad they ended the translation bit. That got old real quick.

Clare and Kate could have gone on a Thelma and Louise type run and that would have made this a better episode.

I guess Hurly is no longer the leader. The shortest but best leader of the Losties.

In the last week recap show it was mentioned that the book found on the dead one armed French man was about Abraham and Isaac. It was written as if the narrator was a defense attorney for Abraham. Could this be a clue to the story behind Jacob and Faux Locke? Could somehow Jacob be his father and he somehow actually killed his "son" and Faux Locke is pissed about being killed and wanted to show Jacob what it felt like.

Name Ideas

If you have not been contacted by or have heard through the grapevine, The Wife is starting to sell Pampered Chef. She is gone head first in and already been to a conference and has 8 shows booked from now till March. As she is sitting here I am being poked with a Pampered Chef 5" utility knife (an all purpose knife and is only $38.00) until I put a link to The Wife's online site. Man that knife is sharp!

At the above said conference she was given an idea and I am involved. The new spring and summer catalog has a grill line and guess what? I am now having a Pampered Chef show. The only problem is, it's a Pampered Chef show. I know guys sell and buy Pampered Chef, but it is not a guy friendly name. The Wife has already started asking people to come to my yet unscheduled show and an idea came from it.

Brian, a guy from our life group, made a comment we need to have a formal name and then have it "sponsored" by Pampered Chef. Like;
Meatapalooza 2010
presented by Pampered Chef

See that gives it a manly feel but we all know that Pampered Chef has something to do with it but we get to grill out and eat some kind of meat and possible buy cool stuff to make grilling even better.

The thing is I need is more ideas on what to call this show. The above is one option but here is a list of others and pitch in your own in the comments. If you suggest the winning name I'll get The Wife to give you a free citrus peeler or one of those bag closer things. The current list of names are:

Meatapalooza 2010
Grilled Meats Fest
Get In My Belly Special
Fire Made It Better, The Outdoor Addition
Grillageddon, A Meat Thing

Share and you might be invited, who am I kidding if you have ever met me, The Wife is going to invite you. I might even get a giant grill out of this... tax right off because it will be used in shows. HOLLA!