Thursday, February 28, 2013

Kindness Snowball

Jen S has always been one to participate in and promote acts of kindness and here is another great example of how one act can snowball into a wave of kindness!  Keep up the great work and let's keep that ball rolling!

"A new co-worker was hired a little over a month ago. She just found out that I post (inspirational) quotes in our bathroom each week so she sent me a link to her blog where she wrote about it. The quotes reached her enough to write about it, then if you read the 17 comments below the post, 5 of them mention the bathroom quotes. Amazing how one simple act can snowball!"

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Wordless Wednesday


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Max Birthday Party Weekend!


We drove up to attend Max's Bday weekend festivities and we had a great time!  It's great that they have a huge house now that can accomodate lots of us at the same time and thanks to my mom for surrendering her room for the weekend as well!

It was great to finally see little Miss Hadley, she is cute as a button!  She makes lots of little noises and some not so little noises as well.  We got to see lots of smiles and even a few giggles too.  And Buddo was of course the center of attention since it was his big party weekend!  It was of course great to see Jen, David, Michelle, James, my Mom, Aunt Cathy, Maddie and Molly as well!  And thanks to my sisters for sharing 4 jars of canned tomatoes, woot woot! 

When we arrived I told Max to smile and say cheese and he smiled and made what I now call his "cheese face" and this was apparently a new thing that I started without even knowing it!  I thought it was something he always does when someone takes his picture, but I guess not.  I must have squinted and made a funny face when I told him to say cheese and it is something he repeated throughout the weekend and it is super cute especially with his little teeth visible on top and bottom.  

I know I am seriously biased, but I can't get enough of these two little munchkins.  They are so stinkin' cute/fun!  Hope to see them again soon!
Cheese!
Cheese face with a pacifier.
Max trying out the new motorcycle we got him
Smash cake fun
Looks a bit like an Elvis face...thank you, thank you very much.
Such a cute one with wifey and Molly
Check out my teeth!
Scary face!  Roarrrr!
Cute as can be!
Little Miss Maddie
Little Miss Hadley with her single dimple!
Looks like a big girl in this one.  Reminds me of Jen as a baby.
Pretty girl.
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Baby Hadley

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Wifey got Max to mimic her with the "bladle bladle" tongue
noise and he some other noises, so funny!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Acts of Kindness Update and Random Stuff












Blog Visual Fix
You might not have even noticed, but I apologize for an unacceptable visual snafu that has been on my main page since I converted over to my existing layout quite some time ago.  For the current blog posts that show on my main page, the beginning text of each blog post wrapped around a set of share buttons and it was visually unappealing.  I didn't give a whole lot of thought to it, I just figured it was an issue with the template.

The other day I said to myself, "self, why the heck haven't you tried to fix that?!"  I also noticed that none of the share buttons worked anyway, so not only did it not look good it wasn't functional either.  That is truly unacceptable.  So I manually removed the share buttons at the beginning of each post, which fixed the text issue and I added a Facebook like button to the end of each post.  Problem solved! 

Max's 1st Birthday Party
We're super excited to be heading to see our nephew Max, niece Hadley and the rest of the gang at Max's 1st Birthday party!  Luckily everything fell into place and we are really looking forward to it!

Acts of Kindness Update
I've been slacking on the acts of kindness, so when the opportunity presented itself the other night we took it!  I've always wanted to leave a big tip like $50 or $100+, but being relatively frugal it never seemed like the right time.

However, we said that once we sell the house, the $200 we get from the buyer for some household items would be utilized for the year of kindness, so since we got that $ last week it was time!  Specifically I wanted to at least leave 1 big tip and see how it felt.  We had gone to dinner at Bonefish Grill and we said if it feels right, we will go for it.  Our server Jarrod was friendly, personable, knowledgeable and very attentive so it all lined up. Given the relatively high bill, it's not an amazingly huge tip, but it was a start and still fun! 



That was inspired by something I had read online last summer called Aaron's Wish.  It was about a young guy Aaron that passed away way too early and in his will he asked his friends/family to go to a restaurant and give the server a $500 tip.  They recorded a video of the event and it was super fun and emotional to watch.  

When the video was posted online it went viral and people wanted to donate so that that his friends and family could do more $500 tips in Aaron's name and apparently they're on a tour around the country right now to keep it going!  They're recording video of each $500 tip and it's very fun to see.  How cool...they are not anonymous or random act of kindness, but like I said before, any act of kindness is great, whether random or not!  I would love to do that at least once this year!

To support the cause, I decided just now to create a PayPal account to be able to accept donations and I put a little donation box in the right hand column.   100% of all proceeds donated will be utilized to support our year of kindness.  It would be REALLY great if we can get enough $ to do something similar, to really make a memorable day/week for some unsuspecting/deserving person or perhaps lots of people!

Any amount large or small would be greatly appreciated and I will be sure to post about any acts of kindness that we do either here, on our Facebook page or both!  Thanks ahead of time and let's keep those kindness ideas coming!

 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!



Happy Valentine's Day to the BESTEST wifey!!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Happy Birthday Max!

Max is 1 year old already!  Crazy...It's been super fun to see him develop, but it's time to slow things down a bit.  This is a fun age and he seems to be having a great time, so let's pause things a bit where we're at!  Here are some highlight pics from the past year when he was visiting here and the videos were from a recent visit to Max's pad.  Happy Birthday Buddo, can't wait to see ya next week!







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Fun in the tunnel

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Dancing Max

Friday, February 8, 2013

Jimmy Buffett Jacksonville Concert Feb 7, 2013



This was our first Jimmy Buffett concert and I have to say, it was well worth it!  We are not hard core Parrot Heads or anything, but we've always been big fans of his music, his laid back beachy party vibe and we missed him when he was in town a year or two ago and didn't want to miss it this time.

We heard ahead of time to be sure to check out the tailgaters and they were certainly in full effect.  The arena in downtown Jacksonville is right next to the Jaguars stadium and all the lots were open for parking/tailgating and it appeared that many had been setup for all day festivities. 

We arrived around 7 for the 8pm show and it was dark by then and I didn't want to snap flash shots of random people, so I instead grabbed a few from the jacksonville.com site to share and I also included a few of my own videos.

If you get the chance and like his music even a little, I'd definitely say go check it out!  If you can make a whole evening of it and the weather is good, by all means, get a group and tailgate as well!


Had to include this one for Sandy/Jen S.  They love to do pictures with their tongues out and I immediately thought of them on this one!

One of the many tailgating setups.

Being a fan of community shots, this was quite an interesting contraption.  However, I bet it results in more spilled shots than anything else.  Looks fun though, but I'd be careful not to chip a tooth!  :p


 More partiers, complete with a little kiddie pool and a big fin on their vehicle as well.  

 It appeared to be pretty close to a sold-out show, good times!

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Changes in Latitude

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Southern Cross, my Mom's favorite

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It's 5:00 Somewhere

Monday, February 4, 2013

iOS 6.1 Untethered Jailbreak Now Available!





Brought to you by evad3rs, the iOS6 untethered jailbreak is now available!  Thanks guys!!  Be aware, the site will probably be overwhelmed most of today since so many people have been waiting for this!

What is the best way to jailbreak your iOS 6 device?

Planetbeing recommends the following steps below, be sure to temporarily disable your screen lock code before proceeding. 

1)  Make up a backup with iTunes.

2)  Restore the device with iTunes.  Select "Set up as new device" on the device itself during the setup process after the device is restored. Do not select "Restore from iCloud backup" or "Restore from iTunes backup" yet.

Note:  When I tried to do this step the first time it told me that "there are purchased items on this iPhone that have not been transferred".  So I had to go into iTunes and in the file menu button all the way in the upper left, I selected show menu bar.  Then under the file menu I went into Devices and selected 'Transfer Purchases'.  It told me my PC wasn't authorized, since this was the first time I was using iTunes, so I went into the Store menu and selected 'Authorize this Computer'.  After entering my Apple ID/password I was then able to go into Devices and 'Transfer Purchases' successfully and could continue on with this step. 

3)  Jailbreak your device.  First disconnect the USB cable from your computer.  Go to http://evasi0n.com/ and download the correct version for your particular computer.  Launch the executable file and then re-connect your USB cable and select Jailbreak.  It will take a minute or two and then will tell you to go into your device and click the Jailbreak icon.  It was on the screen to the right of the main screen for me.  I clicked that, it rebooted a time or two, said it was 'Finding offsets...' for approximately 7 minutes and then it rebooted one more time and then it seemed to hang at the Apple startup icon for a few minutes.  I then did the home/power button reset and things came up fine. 

4)  Open up Cydia on your device to allow it to "Prepare the filesystem".  Once that is complete, go back in and your device is now jailbroken!  Congratulations!  Now you can go back into Cydia and download various apps and tweaks.  The first time you launch Cydia after it prepares the file system it will ask you 'Who are you?'.  This page says when in doubt, choose 'Hacker' as that setting is needed for some tweaks, which is what I picked. 

5)  Start iTunes again and select "Restore from this backup" to get everything back on there.

Be patient while the jailbreaking process is running, don't start iTunes or Xcode in the meanwhile. The best is to not touch the computer until the end of the jailbreaking process. 

If you run into any problems, here is a page listing some known issues.  

Since there are so many people running the jailbreak today, Cydia is quite overwhelmed and you will probably get an operation timed out or internal server error when trying to download apps/themes through Cydia.  But you can at least look at the tweaks/apps/themes out there and put together a wish list of items to download when things calm down a bit.  The first one I tried to download was the Chuck Norris Facts for Siri, cause who wouldn't want to have that?!  But like I mentioned, due to the overwhelming traffic, I'll have to wait a bit or keep trying.  Since I'm impatient, I'll keep trying.

With some persistence I was able to get my first Cydia app SBSettings and it is very cool!  Here is a screenshot showing what you can do with it:



I set it to enable by double clicking the status bar and it will give the IP of your phone on a WiFi network, on your regular carrier network as well as showing you available memory and it also allows you to customize which easy access buttons you want to put in there. 

I added buttons for Brightness, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Data so you can quickly turn those options on and off without having to dig into your settings app to find them.  There is a lot more you can do with the app, for instance you can hide any unwanted/unused icons that you normally cannot remove, you can have the app remove your cell phone carrier name in the upper left, etc. 

Here is a prior post I did listing some cool free tweaks you can do with your jailbroken phone and here is a post I found today listing the best jailbreak apps in Cydia.  

This was my first jailbreak of an iOS device, since it's the first iOS device I've owned.  I rooted my previous Android phone as soon as I could and really I just want to do it because I can.  I rooted the Android phone to remove Ads and to be able to utilize the phone as a WiFi hotspot, but since I can already do that with my iPhone 5 on the Verizon shared data plan for free, it's more just to see what else I can do with the phone as far as tweaks and customizations.

By the way, it is legal to do.  You might have read articles recently saying it is illegal to unlock your phone, but that is something completely different.  Unlocking allows you to move your phone from one carrier to another.  Jailbreaking allows you to install software outside of the normal Apple Store software channel.

Will you be jailbreaking your phone?  If you've jailbroken devices before, what are the must have tweaks/apps that you need to have?  At long last, let the fun begin!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Weekly Recap













Happy Friday!  This was a much longer week for me than normal due to the new outsourcing company that I work for changing our normal 2 telecommute days to 1, but really it wasn't too bad.  Friday is here, I'm home and life is good.  I'm trying just to go with the flow and look on the bright side of everything, 1 work from home day is better than none!

I wanted to do a quick recap on what's been going on this week, highlight a few tid bits of info I think might be helpful to you and talk about what's coming up in the next few weeks.

House Sale Update
One good bit of news we got was that we finally have a closing date on the sale of our old house!  Yay!  It is next Tues, Feb 5th at 10am. We cannot wait to be done!  I took great joy in calling the gas company, power company, water company, lawn service and pest control services to let them know I will be canceling all of them as of our closing date!  That will be a big savings not to have to shell out ANY more $ for that house.  We've been through a lot with the short sale on that house over the course of the last year, so it will be a huge relief to put that behind us for good!














Taxes and Roth IRA Changes for 2013
First off, I started on my taxes this week after getting our W2s and I noticed something.  If you contribute to a Roth IRA, the max amount you can put in per person went from $5000 in 2012 to $5500 for 2013.  That was the first I heard of that.

We have our Roth IRAs through Vanguard and I highly recommend them if you want to set one up.  When I went to check our accounts, they were automatically set to pull out $5500 next year instead of $5000, which is what I went in there to do anyway.  So that was cool.  Just wanted to make you aware of the higher limit and if you already have a Vanguard account setup that way, I wanted to let you know they'll be taking out $500 more this coming year. 

Speaking of taxes, if you use TurboTax, be sure to get the 35% discount from Bank of America.  You don't have to be a customer to get the discount.  I think I'm pretty much done with ours and Dave Ramsey would be proud!  We owe $28 this year, which is about as close to being even as possible. 

As Dave says, the goal with taxes is to always break even.  That way you're not giving the government extra $ throughout the year interest free, just to get a big refund the next year.  It's better to get that $ in your pocket throughout the year.  This is the first year we've made a conscious effort to get as close to even as possible and it feels good that it worked out.

You can play with the IRS Withholding Calculator to help you out, but the easiest way for me was that since we were consistently getting about 2-3k back on most years claiming the max of 0 on our W4 withholding, I decided that for me I would claim 0 for 1/2 the year and 1 for the other half and that is what got us to owing $28 this year.  It was as easy as that in my case.  Your mileage may vary, be sure to do your own research.

iOS 6.1 Jailbreak Proceeding As Planned
All indications are that the iOS 6.1 jailbreak is proceeding according to plan and as of right now it should be released in the next few days with Super Bowl Sunday being the target.  I found this link on how to repair if you're planning to jailbreak your iPhone.   How to prepare for the coming iOS 6.1 jailbreak

Looking ahead....


 








Next week the plan is to successfully get through our house closing on Tuesday and celebrate, then we have a Jimmy Buffett concert to attend on Thursday evening.  We're not die hard Parrot Heads or anything, but we have always been a fan of his laid back beachy living style and we hear the whole event is a sight to see.  We missed it when he was last in town, so we're glad he's coming back around!
















Our Nephew Max is turning 1 on the 9th!  Hard to believe he's already one.  He's been having so much fun lately going from crawling, to pulling himself up to recently being able to walk a bit on his own!  He is a very happy boy now and loves to play.   His birthday party is the following weekend and we're really hoping to be able to attend!

The wifey has to report for Jury duty potentially next Monday and as long as she doesn't get picked or only has to report for a day or two, we'll be good.  We were planning to fly, but prices doubled and to save some $ we'd drive instead now. 
















So we're hoping to be able to see Max and our new Niece Hadley as well, since she'll be attending the festivities!

We were also considering a trip to Hawaii for a vacation this year, but I think we've decided to go back to our original plan, which was to go next year for our 10 year anniversary.  We're finding there is a lot to plan ahead for as far as picking an island or deciding between potentially 2 different island, picking the excursions, etc.  And from what we had on our initial list, we're also finding it is quite pricey.

It's great we broke even on taxes, but since we don't have a big tax refund this year and didn't plan ahead, as well as having the additional uncertainty with my job situation, we think it would be better to plan for this type of trip and save up to be able to do everything we want to do.  Also another downside would be the traveling that far west again after we just did San Francisco last year.

So we're thinking Mexico, since that was our initial plan and so far we're real excited about this very cool Monkey Jungle Place where they interact with you!  Here is a random photo of strangers:














How awesome is that?!  No guarantees they will come to you, but it seems to happen to most based on pictures!

So that's where things are right now!  I've been really meaning to get back to my acts of kindness, but it really is true that once the holidays are over and normal life kicks back in it is more difficult.  Please help me out my showing acts of your own or give ideas on our Facebook page.  I have one idea, but it will take a little more effort to figure out. 

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you all have a great weekend and enjoy the big game on Sunday!  Since the Ravens beat the Patriots for me, I'm rooting for them. But really I don't have a huge preference.  Enjoy!

 
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