Wednesday, December 30, 2009

This Ending Decade


According to our local newspaper are ending decade (the last ten years) has been named The Search Decade. This is because of GOOGLE, How many times have you asked a question only to be told Google It? I have, so often that that is what I do, I Google it.

Here is a copy of the local papers article:


We had the Roaring '20s and the Swinging '60s. Then came the Me Decade and the Greed Decade. The 10-year period that's about to end, say historians and social critics, was "a big-bang decade," "a historical pivot," "one huge tectonic shift."

But what to call it?

Here's a thought: The company of the decade is Google. The word of the decade is what that company lets us do. Search. The decade felt like a big white screen with those clean Google graphics and that blank box with the blinking cursor.

This was the Search Decade.

Sept. 11, 2001: Why do they hate us? Where is bin Laden?

Hurricane Katrina in 2005: Where is the aid? Who is in charge?

The economic panic and collapse in 2008: How did this happen? Who do we blame? What do we do?

And finally the election as president of a person who grew up in Indonesia and Hawaii, the son of a black man from Kenya and a white woman from Kansas: What's an American? Who are we? Where do we come from, and where are we going?

Taptaptap. Typetypetype.

Searching.

"It feels almost like Exodus," said Robin Sloan, co-creator of EPIC 2014, a prescient short film about the future of news, and us, that first screened in St. Petersburg in 2004.

"We're wandering now."

"It's ironic, but the bigger the Internet gets the more difficult it is to find a simple, accurate answer to your questions," Google co-founder Larry Page said at the beginning of this decade. "The more information there is out there, the more likely you are to get junk or lies for an answer."

He ended up being more right than even he, the Stanford prodigy, thought he would be.

The name Google comes from googol, the number 1 followed by 100 zeroes, which conjures infinity. We can find today more information more quickly than ever before. The same will be true tomorrow, and the day after that, and the day after that. The power of this capability is limited only by how we use it.

It's the paradox of search.

Said Page: "You are fighting with chaos."

The magazine The Futurist says the world population is on track to produce about 988 billion gigabytes of data per year by 2010. That's this week.

We search for music on iTunes. We search for TV on Hulu. On MySpace, Facebook and Twitter, we search for love, friends and contact.

We click REQUEST.

But where's Bin Laden?

Maybe he's in Pakistan. Maybe he's in Afghanistan. We haven't had a solid lead on al Qaida's leader since the battle of Tora Bora in the winter of 2001.

Blank box. Blinking cursor.

• • •

"The remarkable achievement of Google," Rick Fairlie wrote this month in PC Magazine, "is that it has become our brain."

Overstatement? Could be.

Try this then: "Google," Ken Auletta wrote earlier this year in his book Googled, "is the front door to the world."

The Google guys, Page and Sergey Brin, met as computer science graduate students in California, at Stanford, and in the past 11 years have gone from their dorm rooms in Palo Alto to a garage in Menlo Park to the 1.5 million-square-foot headquarters in Mountain View called the Googleplex and on to offices all over the planet.

The company has gone from 10,000 searches a day in 1998 to 100,000 in 1999 to being the world's largest search engine in 2000.

It went public in 2004. It bought YouTube in 2006. Google Mail came in 2004, Google Maps in 2005, Google Calendar in 2006. Revenues were $86 million in 2001, $439 million in 2002, $1.4 billion in 2003, $6.1 billion in 2005, $16.5 billion in 2007, more than $20 billion now. It became a word in the Oxford English Dictionary in 2006. To google. You can do it in more than 100 different languages.

Look it up. Google Earth isn't just an app.

Taptaptap. Typetypetype.

We search for news. We search for deals. We search for sex.

Our searches tell the story of the decade. They show sometimes what we need, but always what we want; sometimes who we strive to be, but always who we really are.

In 2001: World Trade Center, Pentagon, Osama bin Laden. Iraq was the No. 7 search in 2003.

The top four searches of 2004? Britney Spears. Paris Hilton. Christina Aguilera. Pamela Anderson.

In 2005: MySpace, Wikipedia, Katrina. In 2007: iPhone, Facebook, YouTube. In 2008: Obama, Palin, Fox News.

In 2009: unemployment, bankruptcy, foreclosure.

• • •

Back in May 2000, which wasn't that long ago, which was forever ago, the New Yorker's Michael Specter wrote a piece partly about Google in which he felt it necessary to define search engines: "programs that hunt for Web pages in response to specific words or phrases."

"Search and Deploy" was the story in which Page said what he said about junk, lies and chaos. Looking back, the quote can be read as almost prophetic, tautological verse:

The bigger the Internet gets

The more difficult it is

To find a simple, accurate answer

They are "utopians," the Google guys, one of Page's old professors once said, audacious and optimistic and with full faith in the power and the value of technology.

"Certainly," Brin said in Newsweek in 2004, "if you had all the world's information directly attached to your brain, or an artificial brain that was smarter than your brain, you'd be better off."

Certainly.

"The solution," he said that same year in Playboy, "isn't to limit the information you receive. Ultimately you want to have the entire world's knowledge connected directly to your mind."

The interviewer asked: Is that what we have to look forward to?

"I hope so," Brin said.

• • •

Hope.

We went in this decade from an all-time stock market high in 2000 to the worst recession since the Great Depression, from 4 percent unemployment to more than 10 percent, from unprecedented home ownership to unprecedented foreclosure.

Four-in-five Americans say household debt is a serious problem. The median household income went from $52,500 in 2000 to $50,303 last year. The percentage of us who have no health insurance went up. The percentage who trust our leaders went down.

"The Decade From Hell," Time called it, or "the Reckoning, or the Decade of Broken Dreams, or the Lost Decade." Lost control, lost security, lost ideas — like the idea that America is somehow different, sheltered, better.

Since 2002, according to Pew polls, satisfaction with the overall state of the country has declined. In 2006, according to a CNN poll, 54 percent of us considered the American Dream "unachievable."

Peter C. Whybrow wrote about this in 2005 in American Mania: When More Is Not Enough. "For many Americans," he said, "the hallowed search for happiness has been hijacked by a discomforting and frenzied activity."

Taptaptap. Typetypetype.

"In America," Whybrow concluded, "we are not as happy as we are rich."

Abundance doesn't mean contentment, and the paradox of choice — the more we have, the more we want — is not unlike the paradox of search.

Sloan's short film from 2004 points out the good and the bad of this new information overload: "a summary of the world, deeper, broader and more nuanced than anything ever available before," the narrator says — also, though, too often "merely a collection of trivia, much of it untrue, all of it narrow, shallow and sensational."

This, at the end of the Search Decade, is what we've kind of always known, only in the extreme: The more good information we have, the more bad information we have, and it's up to us to sort it, sift it, interpret it.

It's not about having information. Because we're about to have it all. It's about using it. It's about what has to happen after taptaptap and typetypetype.

• • •

What Google searches best is the static Web. It doesn't search, or at least not as well, the "real-time" Web, the social networks, the status updates on Facebook or the tweets on Twitter.

"We'll look back at a decade of having our short-term information needs fulfilled," Mike Grehan of SearchEngineWatch.com said last week. "So satisfying your long-term information need is what this next decade will be about."

Meaning.

Fulfillment.

Happiness.

Blank box. Blinking cursor.

The new search is the old search.

Michael Kruse can be reached at mkruse@sptimes.com or (727) 893-8751.

Sources: Googled: The End of the World as We Know It, by Ken Auletta; Planet Google: One Company's Audacious Plan to Organize Everything We Know, by Randall Stross; Reset: How This Crisis Can Restore Our Values and Renew America, by Kurt Andersen; The Way We'll Be: The Zogby Report on the Transformation of the American Dream, by John Zogby; The Big Switch: Rewiring the World, from Edison to Google, by Nicholas Carr; American Mania: When More Is Not Enough, by Peter C. Whybrow; The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less, by Barry Schwartz; The Progress Paradox: How Life Gets Better While People Feel Worse, by Gregg Easterbrook; "Search and Deploy," The New Yorker, May 29, 2000, by Michael Specter; "The Politics of Rage: Why Do They Hate Us?" Newsweek, Oct. 15, 2001, by Fareed Zakaria, "Rethinking the American Dream," Vanity Fair, April 2009, by David Kamp; "Lost decade," The Economist, March 13, 2009; "The Decade From Hell," Time, Dec. 7, 2009, by Andy Serwer; "The Ferality Show," New York, Dec. 14, 2009, by Michael Hirschorn.

Monday, December 21, 2009

The True meaning of Christmas


I was playing around on the internet and stumblrd across this article written by a sixth grade student. It his modern version of the true meaning of Christmas. I thought it was interesting enough to share. Its a great read, I hope you enjoy it!

Many people have different thoughts about Christmas.

Young children think of it as an excuse to get a load of presents. Parents think of it as a very stressful time of year where you're running through the mall like a crazy person.

Deep down though, we all know that Christmas is a very religious time of year. (Okay, so the young children don't yet know, but you know what I mean).

There's an old religious story about the birth of Christ that should explain the true meaning of Christmas.

Hundreds of years ago in the religious town of Bethlehem, there was a couple named Mary and Joseph. They were going to give birth to a child and they couldn't find an inn with an empty room anywhere.

I know what you're thinking "Of course they can't find a room! I'd like to see you try to get a hotel room during Christmas!"

Remember, this was before Christ was born, so there was no holiday on December 25th.

As I was saying, they walked from inn to inn for days. Finally they found a place to stay, but this wasn't an inn. This was a barn! Now I know that this seems strange, but remember: they have been walking from inn to inn, and they were getting desperate. That barn was a stroke of luck. Anyway, they decided this was the best they were going to find, so they remained there and Jesus Christ was born and placed in a manager.

Three wise men were sent to find this special child, deemed a saviour. As they wandered in search of the child, they followed the north star to make sure they didn't get lost on their journey. When they found the child, they showed their respect and goodwill through gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh (those last two are fragrant spices). Though these don't seem like amazing gifts for a baby (I mean OTHER than the gold), they'd probably be considered an iPhone, a MacBook and a Wii by today's standards.

There you go. A quick skim-over of the story of how Jesus Christ was born and the true meaning of Christmas with a modern twist.

William Shakespeare, eat your heart out!

By Jake Michaud

Grade 6

Hillcrest School

Sunday, December 20, 2009

So Much Sadness


This is suppose to be a happy time of year! Family and friends getting together, gift giving, dinners and just plain old family fun and caring. Unfortunately this year is a sad time for many, way to many. I think back to this time last year and things were good, not perfect, but real good. We were able to pay our bills do some shopping and have a nice family get together.

This year we are behind on our mortgage, shopping for Christmas is not in the mix. The business we bought in May has drained us. Like so many others we are in financial need. I have not felt this way in so many years, and I can say I don't like it, and I am open to suggestions on how to fix it. Selling the business is not an option, losing our home is not an option.

This business venture has ruined my credit so I doubt I could even get an equity loan on my house. My credit cards are maxed out and cash funds depleted. My sales have improved a little each month but its just not fast enough or high enough to cover the expenses. I have been trying to add things to draw in a new customer base but its very hard. You know the old saying it takes money to make money.

I have mentioned my breakfast special before, The $2 HOLLAR, people like it its a great bargain for my customers a real recession buster. Sales have improved from a $30.00 average to a $70.00 a day average sounds real good but the profit is only about .50 an order if careful portion control is used. I go in every morning at 4:30 A.M. and start cooking. We also have very good lunch specials and always trying out new things. Tomorrow its chicken and sausage gumbo served with rice and bread and Pasta shells surprise (hamburger helper), veggie and bread.

I have even added fresh produce, the deal of the day 5 tangerines for $1.00, the grocery store is .50 each. Its doing OK all has been impulse sales and my produce guy has been a real help, he is selling to me at his cost to get me started. The only wrench in this one, I have to wait for the state to issue me a permit to use a scale and then wait for them to certify the scale to be able to sell by the pound, in the mean time every thing is by the each or basket. (I can't wait for strawberry season)

One of my homeless customers brought me a register report from the RaceTrac across the street, he got this from their dumpster while digging for cardboard to make a sign to fly. I was in total awe when I read this reading, not really sure if jealous or angry. The reading was from last Thursday they sold over 13,000.00 in merchandise and 41,000.00 in gasoline if this is their average they do in 4 days what it takes me an entire month to do in merchandise sales and 1 day for a month in gasoline.
This just proves what I was saying in a earlier post, The big corporate company has plenty of money to weather this recession and the small business man trying to live the American Dream is living an American nightmare.

I'm on a soap box again, sorry. I was just trying to say there are a lot of sad and hurting people out there and I think everyone should pray for them and us and your own family and friends. Pray that no one else looses their jobs, homes, family and friends. That folks stay warm and fed. That brighter and prosperous days are close by.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Mr. President..... A Message For You!




Help, I need somebody,
Help, not just anybody,
Help, you know I need someone, help.

When I was younger, so much younger than today,
I never needed anybody's help in any way.
But now these days are gone, I'm not so self assured,
Now I find I've changed my mind and opened up the doors.

Help me if you can, I'm feeling down
And I do appreciate you being round.
Help me, get my feet back on the ground,
Won't you please, please help me?

And now my life has changed in oh so many ways,
My independence seems to vanish in the haze.
But every now and then I feel so insecure,
I know that I just need you like I've never done before.

Help me if you can, I'm feeling down
And I do appreciate you being round.
Help me, get my feet back on the ground,
Won't you please, please help me.

When I was younger, so much younger than today,
I never needed anybody's help in any way.
But now these days are gone, I'm not so self assured,
Now I find I've changed my mind and opened up the doors.

Help me if you can, I'm feeling down
And I do appreciate you being round.
Help me, get my feet back on the ground,
Won't you please, please help me, help me, help me, oh.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Free Online Games



Free games are great when you have time to kill, or just can't sleep. Pogo.com is a great place to play. You may even make a friend or two in the chats(if your into that). Occasionally I get the chance to play, and a fun game is golf solitaire or boggle bash but I'm to slow for that game. This photo is of my mini on pogo. Whats your favorite game? Are you a free or paid member? Each has its advantages.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Small Business vs. The Corporate Giant

In today's economy I think we all need to make an important decision. Stand by the corporate giants like 7-Eleven and Hess or support our small business owners. The huge corporations have millions of dollars to withstand this recession while the little guy is going under and closing their doors.

A little history: I used to be a manager for 7-Eleven for 27 years. In the last few years they started to franchise here in Florida. The deal they made sound so sweet but when you did the math they are in my opinion taking advantage of the franchisee, 7- Eleven wants 48 to 52% of the profits and then you as the franchisee pay all the bills out of what is left. I did not like this and was scared of being in the unemployment line with the millions of others, so I went out on my own. This action has taken up my entire life savings, every time I feel I am making progress another stumbling block is thrown in my way.

I have learned a lot over the past 7 months, like I never concerned myself with the cost of things like straws or cup lids and napkins. Believe it or not these and many others are very costly items. I have learned the companies like Coca Cola and Pepsi take advantage and hold hostage the small business owner. You as the store owner must have so much space given to them, carry items that you just sit on, and buy large amounts to get a reasonable price to be able to compete with the big dogs. I don't know how many times I have to pay say $8 for a case of 12 pack soda when Hess or RaceTrac is selling them 2 for $5 or 2 for $6.00. How if this fair?

Beer on the other hand is regulated the beer companies have to offer everyone the same price no matter who you are. But the more you can buy the better discount you can get, therefore offer the consumer a better retail. Of course most small business owners do not have the funds to buy in a 50 case deal in order to do this. The big guns do and most of the time do not pass it along to the consumer.

Cigarettes, not only was there a federal tax increase in April but the state of Florida did an additional $1.00 per pack tax in July. Every retailer had to pay a $1.00 per pack for every pack of cigarettes in their store on July 1st. Ouch This One REALLY HURT!!! The cigarette companies offer what they call a buy-down for the space you allow them and you must sign a contract and follow their rules. Marlboro for example wants their product displayed in the shape of a T. You have to do this because you will sell more of their product than any other premium brand. Lorillard The makers of Newport want the top two shelves this can't happen because of Marlboro, unless you can afford to buy your own rack and not use the cigarette companies rack. So the perfect example is Newport if I buy wholesale it cost me 52.74 a carton or I can walk across the street and pay $44 and some change plus tax for a carton and only sell single packs. Also with the buy down you must pay the full price in advance and wait for your check to arrive once a month. In the mean time you may only be making 25 to 30 cents a pack as you sell them. The big dogs offer a multi pack discount, but of course they have the buying power, and if you buy a single pack your were screwed and they did not even say thank you. The little guy like me will offer a more consistent single pack price at a more reasonable price.

The vendors as I hope you can see have us by the balls and who are they The Big corporate giant, Go Figure! Who are the ones they pretend to have the super deals stores like 7-Eleven and Hess, the Big Corporate Giants.

Any how off my rant and back to my point. We all need to decide, shop with the small business owners, not just convenience stores but small businesses of all kinds or stand by the corporate giant and let the rich keep getting richer. It is my belief that if we shop with and do business with the small business owner we will all be doing our part in helping the economy to a speedier recovery. We will help one an other survive in a time that is destroying our lives and livelihood. We will regain self confidence and self respect. And most importantly we will be helping our fellow American.

And You never know what kind of awesome deals you might find. At my store we offer a breakfast you can't beat. 2 biscuits and sausage gravy, or scrambled eggs, grits or hash browns, and your choice of bacon, sausage links or patty, chicken and toast for $2.00 even McDonald's can't beat that.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Ghost Whisperer


I don't see much TV because of my busy schedule, recently I discovered a show called Ghost Whisperer. This show is awesome, I keep asking myself where have I been? I came across it one night while looking for another show called Medium which I only get to see on occasion. The title caught my interest so I watched it and I have to say I really enjoyed it. (Not as much as Charmed) I have been watching for a few weeks now and I am very confused. I have found the show on four different channels so it has made it very hard to follow, with the different channels showing different seasons. I was very shocked when on Friday night I discovered the show on channel 10 and found out Melinda has a five year old son. One of the other channels just showed her husband was a ghost. I don't know what seasons are what but have come to the conclusion that I need to get the seasons on DVD so I can catch up. This could take some time as I really don't get a lot of time to just sit and chill.



If you have never watched this show I say its a must see, but stick to one channel so you won't be as confused as I.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving


I'm thankful for my mother, and
I'm thankful for my dad.
I'm thankful for my sisters, and
for all the fun we've had.
I'm thankful for my brother, Tom,
(even when he's jerky.)
But most of all, I'm oh-so-thankful
not to be a turkey.




Friday, October 30, 2009

Backyard Chickens







Tomorrow starts the construction of the hen house/nesting box, the coop part is already standing (last springs garden). I really liked the idea of reusing old shipping pallets, the designs I've seen online are very nice. The hen house can be rustic or fancy like a doll house using the pallets. The best part the wood is free and readily available, also by recycling this wood you can help the environment.






The chicks will love what ever John comes up with I'm sure. A few photos included of Lucy, Grace, Dora, and Leelo.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Chicks arrived today

8:40 am the PO called "Your chicks have arrived" perfect timing I was have a horrible morning and these 4 little cuties brightened my day. Pics will be on the way!!!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Baby Chicks On Their Way







This is the week! The expected delivery of our four baby chickens. Remember the garden from last spring, we caged them in to keep the garden rats out (squirrels) that's our ready made coop. The only thing to add is a nesting box, feeder, and waterer. Maybe a perch here and there. I did learn a lesson, when I first started looking at the chicks there was a huge variety available, when I decided this was what we were going to do the selection was limited. If your picky about what type you want order early and be prepared to wait for your new pets. Even with what was left to choose from I think I'll have some very attractive and egg producing birds. Here are some photos of the three types I selected.
by the way there are many websites offering chickens, I choose mypetchicken.com

Thursday, October 1, 2009

What to DO?

For seven years I have felt its them and then there is us. Let me explain My boyfriend and I moved in together about seven years ago. We each have children he had two and I had one that still lived at home. At first things were OK with the exception my son and I weren't included in things. They always would go places and do things and leave us out. We then had a child together and now she is 5 years old and I still feel as though its them and us (me and my son). Last night my son came home late, and you know who took the key so he could not get inside. My son is 15 years old and is in no way a perfect angel, he is not even a good sneak. In fact most of the time he gets caught because he is to dumb to hide the evidence.

Anyhow, he should not have been denied access to the main house, this meant no food or drink, no bathroom, he only had access to the foo ton in the garage room. Now His children basically have an apartment down stairs each has their own bathroom and a full kitchen separate from the main house. They can come and go and do as they please with basically no punishment (being told I'm disappointed is not a punishment in my eyes), The girl gets her belly button pierced (after being told no) and sneaks and gets two tattoos (keep in mind she is only 16). He has taken her to get birth control (thank god for small favors). The boy is 18 and stays out until 4am comes home stoned and drunk but this is OK.

My son comes home late he used to get ground for a freaking month but now he gets locked out. I believe that my son probably breaths wrong in his eyes. And I can almost guarantee if things don't change I will lose my son or We will have to move.

The only thing I have been asking for for seven years is..... The rules are the same for each child, and the punishment should be the same for each child.

We got into a blowout today about the key thing. He states his kids don't come upstairs late at night. I say why should they they have bathrooms and a full kitchen, cable TV and cell phones what the f*** do they need the upstairs for. On the other hand my son , no bathroom, no cable TV, no cell phone, no kitchen I think and say he can be upstairs all he wants!!!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Being a Business Owner Stinks!

WOW!!! I am so tired. I have worked 5 months now without a day off, going in at 5 o'clock in the morning. Owning a business is not as exciting and rewarding as I thought it would be. In fact it is very stressful. The bills just keep coming in and I'm at the point now that I am wondering how I will pay them.

My sales are going up in baby steps, but I need a giant leap. I used to work for cooperate America but now I have learned to really dislike them. Many of you know I opened my own store, I lease the building from a gasoline jobber and sell their gas for a commission. Across the street is the dreaded Walmart of Convenience stores RACE TRAC, they under cut me in prices with every move I make. I ask how do you compete with something like this, they have the buying power and the cooperate clout.

After being a 27 year employee of 7-Eleven (manager) I really believe the big guys like 7-Eleven, Hess, and Race Trac are out to put the small business owner out of business. Its kinda like forgetting what its like to be new. They are greedy and not willing to share the market area with anyone.

I think back in April I must have been delusional!!!! (LOL);)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Just Placed My order


Well school is starting soon, and I don't know how I'm going to do this. I just placed my very big order for curriculum. I have to get prepared, and still work. I think maybe I bit off more than I can chew starting my own business and all. I just don't know where the time will come from.


I'm working with high school age kids, that have basically gotten nothing out of Florida's public school education system. Its a sad day when a 16 year old child does not even know what a noun is, or how to write a complete sentence.


In my order for the curriculum, I have ordered some very basic items at 4Th to 6Th grade levels to attempt to teach her the parts of speech. Each workbook is focused on one thing at a time, like a noun or verb. I even had to go with a workbook on homophones (she is awful). I purchased my items from Rainbow Resource ( a wonderful website) and love the items developed by a home school family at Home school in the woods, another fabulous site for history tied into unit studies.


It was very difficult to decide what to get that would be approiate and hold their interest. They must do a lot of independent work, due to my job situation. They can come with me but there are a lot of distractions. I'm working on coming up with a schedule so that everything will come together. I wish business was enough to hire another employee, it would solve most issues. So if your in St. Pete, Fl. stop by my store for lunch, a drink, cigarettes, beer, or even your gas. We are located on the corner of 28th St. N. and 22Nd Ave. N. The Citgo Station. Stay away from the Race Trac those big coporate stores are trying to put the little guy like me out of business.

All sales and support will help the cause.


Well good luck to all the home school familes out there. Its hard work and worth every minute!!

Monday, July 20, 2009

WE THE PEOPLE..........................




We the people are tired of struggling.


We the people are ready for real change not just talk.


We the people are tired of being told how to live, what we can park in our lawn and what we can do to our homes.


We the people are tired of paying taxes for crappy representation.


We the people are tired of bailing out the big corporations.


We the people are sick and tired of loosing our jobs to out sourcing..


We the people are tired of high power bills, water bills, cable and Internet, grocery prices and more.


We the people are ready to join together and put pen to paper, write your congressman or representative, write your local news media, tell your story. Let the rich and powerful feel our pain, we the people need to open their eyes. What they are doing just isn't working!!


We the people may just need to have another Boston Tea Party......






Lets all be thankful we don't get all the government we pay for.............imagine how bad it would be then..


Monday, July 6, 2009

The Homeless and Panhandlers











The talk of the day here is Saint Petersburg, is an article in the Times, titled "The truth is Flexible" Very interesting reading. I actually know a few of these people that were interviewed, they work the corner by my store. Most are very nice and polite, some are really smelly and will gag you when they enter the doors. One of the females that was interviewed was bragging to me about this great article the times was writing and she said she put a plug in for my store, because me and my crew are so kind and compassionate (we give then free glasses of water and allow them to use our restrooms).








Well here's the link http://www.tampabay.com/features/humaninterest/article1015963.ece you read it and decide for your self.








My opinion for the next few days at least, they wont be making very much money....

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Summer-Swimsuit Cover Up


A bathing suit cover up can protect your skin, camouflage areas you'd rather not have on show or create a put together, stylish look to wear to the beach or poolside. There are numerous options when it comes to what to wear over your swimsuit. Some great ideas are listed below.
1. Denim shorts-your humble denim shorts make a great cover up for your swimsuit. They are generally made from cotton so they are breathable and dry quickly. The thicker fabrication makes them particularly good at hiding wet patches if you want to throw them back on over your swimsuit straight after getting out of the water. They are also fairly heavy duty, which can be beneficial if sitting on concrete or rocks.
2. Caftans and cover up tunics-most swimsuit retailers also sell a wide range of semi sheer caftans or tunic tops which cover both your upper body and the top of your lower body. You can buy them in virtually any color, but white is a very classic and versatile option. There are varieties with embroidery or beading if you want something a little bit special that can take you from beach to bar.
3. Button front dresses-dresses that button up the front make for a flexible swimsuit cover up because you can do up as many or as few buttons as desired. Look for cotton, linen or terry toweling fabrics.
4. Smocked sun dresses-these stretchy little dresses just pull on over the head and the smocked effect means they don't look all scrunched up when you pull them back out of your beach bag to put on.
5. Zip front short jumpsuits you can choose to show your bikini top or keep it covered. These are often sold in terry toweling fabric making them perfect to put back on over wet swimmers.
6. Sarongs-sarongs fold down to almost nothing to carry around and the large variety can be tied in multiple ways including ways that cover both your upper and lower body. These are also easy to whip up on a home sewing machine. All you have to do is cut a rectangle the desired size and hem all four edges. This means you can make one to match virtually any swimsuit.
7. Board shorts-these can be worn into the water with you and are quick to dry when you emerge.
8. Front opening tops-whether the top has buttons or zips this allows for flexible wearing. Over sized cotton or linen shirts are ideal.
9. Cabana pants-these pants are usually made from cotton or linen and they feature a drawstring waist for easy wearing. They are slightly transparent allowing a peek at your swimsuit. They look very classic in white.
10. Swimsuit matching cover up skirts-many swimsuit manufacturers now make a matching cover up skirt to wear over your swimsuit. Victoria's Secret often sells swimsuits that have optional cover up skirts.
All you need now is a pair of matching flip flops, a great beach bag and a trendy pair of sunglasses (assuming your already have the swimmers) to look like a goddess at the beach.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Are You Kidding Me!!!


OK so I go into work this morning and as usual look a the news headlines, my only chance to see what is going on. And I'm in shock, front page news Obama Swatted a fly.. People please do we have nothing better to talk about. Who cares if he killed a fly. They are nasty dirty and annoying. I, like, most likely, yourself would have done the same thing. I'm sorry I just don't see the big deal. I think some people just need to get a life!!!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

NEW FAMILY ADDITION


WHILE WE KNOW NOTHING CAN EVER TAKE THE PLACE OF JAMIE IN OUR HEARTS, WE HAD TO DO SOMETHING TO EASE THE PAIN MY SON WAS FEELING OVER THE LOSS OF JAMIE. THIS LITTLE GUY WHOM DOES NOT HAVE A NAME YET, WE SAVED FROM ENDING UP AT THE SPCA. WE DECIDED TO GIVE HIM A HOME AND IF WE EVER GET JAMIE BACK SHE WILL HAVE A FRIEND TO PLAY WITH.
NOW WE ARE TOLD THIS CUTIE IS HALF COCKER SPANIEL AND HALF AMERICAN BULLDOG. I DONT SEE IT! HE KIND OF HAS THE SAD EYES OF A COCKER SPANIEL LONG EARS, AND COLORING. BUT HE HAS SHORT HAIR LIKE A PITBULL (MAYBE). HE IS APPROXIMATELY 18 WEEKS OLD AND WEIGHS 24 LBS. WE TOOK HIM TO THE VET FRIDAY AND THAT WAS 300.00 AND JUST THE BEGINING.
WE NEED HELP NAMING, GUESSING POSSIBLE BREEDS. ANY AND ALL INPUT IS APPRECIATED.
















Friday, June 5, 2009

Our Family Pet Is Missing


Sweet and Loving, our little Jamie has gone missing. Jamie likes to dig and she dug her way out of the back yard around 9:30 P.M. We have posted fliers, and ads and no luck yet. Both my son and daughter are very upset and miss her badly. Everyone please cross your fingers, wish us luck, and if you pray add Jamie to your prayers so she comes home soon.

Monday, May 25, 2009

ADD THIS ONE TO THE DUMBEST CRIMINAL LIST











$562.00 WORTH OF SCRATCH OFF LOTTERY TICKETS STOLEN AND PLAYED RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE VIDEO CAMERA. WHEN CONFRONTED HER ONLY RESPONSE WAS I DONT THINK THAT WAS ALL ME. TOMORROW I GO TO SEE THE STATE ATTORNEY AT 3PM. I WILL MOST DEFINATELY PRESS CHARGES. I DONT CARE HOW HARD TIMES ARE, YOU DONT BITE THE HAND THAT FEEDS YOU!!




Sunday, May 24, 2009

CHOCOLATE BEAUTY TREATMENT


Close your eyes and think of chocolate and you can almost taste the brown bliss melting in your mouth. But did you know, that apart from being a heavenly delight for the taste buds chocolate is sublime for your skin as well? It's not hard to imagine when after a hard week's work your feet are killing you and they are looking ugly! The solution is at hand. All you have to do is pamper your pretty footsies with a chocolate pedicure and let the red carpet be rolled out for your highness please.
BROWN BATH FOR YOU:
The royal treatment begins with a therapeutic chocolate foot bath where your feet are soaked in warm scented water while you sink back into a soft cozy couch. Tea tree oil is added, so you can smell its refreshing aroma and relax in the knowledge that tea tree oil-one of nature's best anti-septic and anti-infective, is cleansing your feet of all the microscopic creepy-crawlies. Your beautician buffs and clips your nails and shapes them. The very essential and often missed nail cuticle cream is applied and in go your feet into the warm therapeutic bath for the cuticles to soften. This is to allow for the next stage to be worked on: the cuticles being pushed, shaped. This finishes off the classic pedicure routine. More is yet to come in the chocolate fondue pedicure. A chocolate scrub is applied on the feet which is then massaged with soft steady and masterful strokes to remove the dead skin cells. A scrubber is brought on to scrape off the particularly hard spots where you shoes have wreaked havoc on your patient feet. The final flourish is the chocolate mud mask that is applied on your feet and legs. This mask is a superb glow enhancer and ridding the skin of dullness, it adds shine and luster. The pedicure is wrapped up with a massage using a cream containing cocoa butter! Check out nearest salons if they have it on their beauty list.
DELICIOUS INDULGENCE:
Unlike before when chocolate used to be berated as junk food, dark chocolate is now considered a health food as it contains powerful antioxidant properties. Cosmetics manufacturers are now jumping onto the bandwagon to cash in on this. Increasingly, they are adding chocolate as an ingredient in their skin care products. Chocolate skin treatments have become the latest craze causing beauty salons to introduce a variety of such treatments. If you are wondering how well these chocolate masks and wraps work, you should know that chocolate considerably softens the skin thanks to the cocoa butter it contains. Secondly, the antioxidant properties in cocoa prevent free radicals from damaging the skin's elastin, collagen and other protein. So that means a goodbye to wrinkles! It's not just the feet or the skin, indulging in a chocolate treatment leaves you toned, glowing and feeling happier. There's no scientific proof for the happiness. Let's assume it's one of those good things that yummy chocolate does to us. Sigh!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Spyke; Victim of Bird Nappers

I forgot to mention running a convenience store never has a dull moment. This story happened it my parking Lot!!!


Tampa Bay's best-known and, possibly, most accomplished bird is missing.
Its owner, Mike Mularz, says someone stole the macaw named Spyke from outside a St. Petersburg auto shop where he works as a mechanic.
He's desperate for her return.
"That's my child,'' he said. "I've never had kids and I've never been married. She's my lifetime companion.''
Mularz, 45, was getting ready to leave work about 6:40 p.m. Monday when he set Spyke on a car parked in front of Dan's Auto Service and went into an adjoining minimart to change clothes. In the four minutes he was inside, Spyke, who can't fly, disappeared.
A bird hunt is on. Mularz is seeking information about a man seen on surveillance tape buying a pack of Marlboro Ultra Lights at the Citgo Quikmart around the time Spyke went missing.
Mularz has distributed fliers with a still shot from the tape, as well as a photo of Spyke, asking anyone with information to call him. Mularz is convinced the man in the photo knows something. As of Wednesday, St. Petersburg police had no suspects.
The thief "thinks he just stole a parrot. He doesn't realize he's stolen a bird known from here to Canada,'' said Tim Frazier, a bird lover helping in the search.
In a place where pirates are king, the 16-year-old blue and gold macaw stands out like royalty. She's a fixture at the annual Gasparilla party and Renaissance Festivals, posing for photos and kissing passersby.
"Spyke has more friends than I do,'' he said.
Those in motorcycle circles call her the "biker bird.'' Poker runs. Biker fests. She shows up at them all, usually perched on the handlebars of Mularz's Harley.
Spyke has full run of Mularz's Largo house and enclosed pool area. Though her wings aren't clipped, she never learned to fly, Mularz said, because she has spent her life in captivity. A bird cage collects dust out back.
They ride his motorcycle almost every day. She loves the breeze in her feathers, he says. In the car, she hangs her head out the window like a dog.
Four years ago, Spyke started writing a column for Born to Ride, a magazine out of Brandon distributed to 25,000 motorcycle fans statewide. Spyke the Riding & Writing Parrot describes Spyke and Mike's adventures. Here's a take from the current issue:
After a few days of beating the streets and working the bird thing, Mike decides to take an evening off and hit the bars in Ybor. … A few of our friends show up and soon I'm popping the tops of many Bud cans.
Her beak comes in handy.
Debbie Galletti, who owns the magazine with her husband, Ron, said Spyke has a strong following. As strange as may it sound, she considers the bird part of the staff.
"The bird has a personality,'' she said. "You can tell when it's not having a good day or if it's happy.''
Mularz figures Spkye must be confused and afraid away from home. They've been almost inseparable since she was 2 weeks out of the egg.
Mularz looked forward to growing old together. Parrots like Spyke can live to be 80. Now he isn't sure.
Spyke is microchipped and has a blue breeder's band on her leg with the initials MD PF507. Mularz has called local veterinarians and pet stores on the chance someone might hear or see something.
Friends remain hopeful.
"She's too famous of a bird not to get found,'' Frazier said.
Times staff writer Dalia Colon and researcher John Martin contributed.


The Good News!!!
Spyke has been returned to Mike, and I can tell you "You will never see a happier Man".
Way to go Mike and Spyke we are happy you have been reunited!!!


Mike and Spyke are together again.
Spyke, a well-known blue and gold macaw, went missing earlier this week from an auto shop in St. Petersburg.
On Thursday, Spyke was back home on her perch.
"I'm very relieved,'' said owner Mike Mularz, a mechanic at Dan's Auto Service.
A strange series of events led to Spyke's return.
Seth York, one of Mularz's customers, works at a nearby Pet Supermarket. On Tuesday, the day after Spyke disappeared, a guy came in and said he needed food for a parrot his friend had found. He left his phone number in case York heard something about a lost bird.
The next day, York, 19, and his mother, Kathy York, saw a report on Bay News 9 about Spyke's snatching. They recognized Spyke as the bird at the auto shop and thought of the man who came in the pet store.
Kathy York called Mularz, who phoned the man, who lives about 2 miles from the shop at 2801 22nd Ave. N.
Within an hour, Spyke was home.
"She came right to me and wanted to give me kisses,'' Mularz said. "She fluffed her feathers like she was really excited.''
Mularz, 45, isn't asking questions. All that matters is his friend is safe.
The parrot is well-known in the community, appearing at motorcycle events, Gasparilla and Renaissance festivals.
Mularz said he plans to split the $1,000 reward he offered among all the people who helped with Spyke's return. Seth York said he didn't need a reward but offered this compromise: "Maybe he can fix my car.''

Almost A Month

OH MY!!! Its been almost a month and I have been putting in 14 to 16 hours a day in the new store. I'm SOOOOOOOOO tired!!!!

Well there is way more to running your own business than I thought. Its a huge difference from working in the corporate world, where there is always someone to tell you what to do.

I like it a lot, but I'm ready to sleep for a week. I will try to remember my camera and gets some pics to share. I'll add it to my list of a million things to do. But I will plug it in somewhere in the middle so hopefully it won't take so long to get back here and post.

I'm off for a little nap, I hope everyone enjoys their holiday weekend, and if your out and about in Saint Petersburg, Fl. Stop by and enjoy my huge selection of hot and cold deli. We even serve chicken gizzards and livers............

Sunday, April 26, 2009

One Week Away!!

Well its really only 5 days away until my opening of my store. I have been so busy you wouldn't believe. 12 days training with the oil company, getting all the permits and licenses, meeting with vendors, and that's only the beginning!!!

I decided to take a little break in getting caught up with grading all the home school assignments. I'm also trying to get a head start on the lesson plans for the next couple of weeks. ( thank goodness school is almost done for the summer).

I'm very excited and can't wait to get in there and get things set up rearranged and running.

Well I'm back to grading papers!!

Until next time have a GOOD ONE!!!!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Its Been A Long Time!

Its been a long time since a post. I have again been extremely busy.

But I have great news!! With all the bad out there about the economy, I actually have GREAT news.

I have purchased my own business!! I officially open May 1st. Just to fill you in, I have worked for 7-Eleven for 26 years (more than half my life). And now I am taking a leap of faith and going out on my own.

Yesterday was my last day, Today I had to do loads of running around trying to tie up loose ends. I am so excited I can barely contain myself..

Every one Wish me Luck and Great SUCCESS!!!!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Perfect Florida Weather mixed With some Backyard Fun

Wow! We've been so busy the last couple of weeks I've hardly had time to do anything. Aunt Lori and her family were down for 11 days from New Hampshire. So we spent a lot of time with them, work has been extremely busy, and trying to keep up with the homeschool thing I've barely had time to breathe. So today, I decided it's time for a little backyard fun, with the weather being so perfect here in Florida at least my part anyways. Jenna and I adjourned to the backyard, while she was playing in the sand, water and on the slide I was busy taking pictures for my eBay auctions. The sun was really bright and I could barely see the screen on my laptop but we had a great time.


My oldest daughter Alex and her baby came home and joined us in the backyard and then the fun really started. As you can see by the pictures it looks like we have a couple of trailer babies on her hands. Soaking wet and covered in mud they were having a blast.


I also decided to show you a garden update. The pole bean plants are getting pretty little purple flowers, everything else looks lush and green and coming along just fine. We're in the process of fencing it in with chicken wire due to those cute little furry tailed garden rats that most people call squirrels, everything I've tried has not worked, I can't keep them out. The rain barrel finally arrived and we got the gutters installed, all we need is some rain.



The eBay pictures I took, most of them turned out good. So far I've managed to get six auctions listed, I still have some more to go. It's been several months since I've been able to list anything because I have been so busy, that I'm on the verge of losing my power seller status. So if you like vintage jewelry you can hop on over to eBay and check out my store and maybe do a little shopping. Here's the link if you're interested http://stores.shop.ebay.com/YesterYears-And-Today__W0QQLHQ5fAuctionZ1QQ_sidZ639289147QQ_trksidZp4634Q2ec0Q2em309






















Saturday, March 7, 2009

Hunting For a Sharks Tooth

Yesterday, we ventured down south to Venice, Florida. Now of course its only an hour and a half drive from here in Saint Petersburg, but I have never been there. We had two vans full of people and decided on Caspersen Beach to look for shark's teeth.
If you look at the pictures you can see everyone there was in the same position, bent over and looking down. Everyone is in search of the same thing, the treasure, and excitement of finding a sharks tooth. We did get lucky and found quite a few, mostly small ones, if they were human teeth you might call them baby teeth. There were some very nice people there, one man came walking by and handed my son a hand full of teeth. Most of the people there had a special digging tool with a basket like sifter thingy on the bottom. Us on the other hand we had two kids sand toys to use for sifting, when we asked we were told you buy the others at the local hardware store. So just a suggestion, stop and get one you will have more luck with your search for the shark's tooth.
All in all we had a blast, ate some lunch, looked for the teeth, got a bad sun burn and I can hardly walk today. If you ask would I do it again. I would answer yes, but with the aid of 200 block sunscreen if there is such a thing.
















Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Scientists discover the cause of Gray Hair!!

This is GREAT NEWS!!!!


Going gray? Scientists uncover the root cause
Finding may lead to better products to prevent, reverse the process
By Irene Klotz
Discovery Channel
updated 3:36 p.m. ET, Mon., March. 2, 2009

Attention parents: It's not your kids that are making you go gray. Your hair is simply building up too much hydrogen peroxide.

Bottle-blondes may be a fan, but hydrogen peroxide, which is produced naturally in the human body, interferes with melanin, the pigment that colors our hair and skin.

The body also produces the enzyme catalase, which breaks down hydrogen peroxide into water and oxygen. Or at least it does for a while. As we age, catalase production tails off, leaving nothing to transform the hydrogen peroxide into chemicals the body can release.

So, as hydrogen peroxide builds up, we go gray, concluded researchers at the University of Bradford in the United Kingdom, who last week published the results of a study in the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology's online journal.

Reversing the process
"This new insight could open new strategies for intervention and reversal of the hair graying process," wrote the study's lead author John Wood, who died last month.

The studies were based on analysis of cell cultures of human hair follicles.

In addition to lacking catalase, the follicles of gray-haired people also had far fewer hair-repair enzymes, which in turn drove down production of melanin, the scientists found.

Genetics play a role as well, causing some people, such as Caucasians, to gray earlier than others, like Asians.

Scientists suspect the same mechanism also may be responsible for a condition known as vitiligo, where white spots appear in the skin.

"It gives you insight into how we age in general," Gerald Weissmann, professor of medicine at New York University, told Discovery News. "They got the molecular basis of aging down pat."

Skin cells produce small amounts of hydrogen peroxide as part of the body's oxygen cycle. The chemical serves to kill bacteria.

Scientists are hopeful there may be a way to remix the chemical soup to keep color in our hair, which no doubt is of interest to a hair-care industry that will be worth about $42.5 billion worldwide by 2010, according to a market report published last year by Global Industry Analysts.

Weissmann predicts it won't be long before products to remove hydrogen peroxide from the hair — and the body in general — are created.

"The rule goes when basic science is discovered it is quickly followed by a product," he said.

URL: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29468796/

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Battle Of Ballast Point - A Civil War Reenactment

Today we got out of the house for a little while and ventured down to Fort Desoto Park for the 10th annual reenactment of The Battle Of Ballast Point. Very cool, this was my first time ever going to a reenactment. I enjoyed myself a lot. While I was there I took 244 photographs and I had a hard time choosing which ones to share with you. It was quite the day, wandering through the camp, watching a trial and execution, and then the main event the battle. The folks that took part in this event deserve a huge round of applause, they did a fantastic job. The guns and cannons sounded so real it was, I would imagine, just like being there.
A brief History on the Battle:
The Battle of Ballast Point took place in Tampa, Florida on October 18, 1863. A Union raiding party, landed at the current intersection of Gandy Boulevard and Bayshore Boulevard, under the protracted diversionary bombardment of the city of Tampa and Fort Brooke by two ships, one the Tahoma" and the other, to be named. The Union divisions marched up the Hillsborough River to what is now Lowry Park and burned two notorious blockade running ships, the Scottish Chieftain, and the Kate Dale, owned by the future mayor of Tampa, James McKay. Escaping capture by mere minutes, with members of his crew in tow, James McKay sped to the city of Tampa and warned all of the landing party and the fate of his ships.
After burning the ships, the Confederate forces were alerted to the raiding party's location, and commenced pursuit. A confederate cavalry unit (Oklawaha Rangers) caught up with the Union raiders, finally and a full engagement ensued. The union soldiers came under direct fire as they boarded their dinghies, in a tactical retreat.
Lives were lost. Prisoners captured on both sides.
Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Ballast_Point"
THE CAMP




























THE PRISIONERS







THE TRIAL











THE EXECUTION







THE BATTLE