Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Highlights From Christmas in Atlanta

The wifey and I stayed at my sister's place in Atlanta for the Christmas holiday.  We arrived Saturday afternoon and headed back the Thursday after Christmas.

We didn't have a whole lot planned while we were there, we were just looking forward to hanging out and spending time with our niece Hadley and nephew Max and the rest of the human and fury crew.

We did end up spending an afternoon/evening at Stone Mountain checking out their Christmas festivities, which included a sing-along-ride on an actual train that circles the mountain, saw a little play/show for the kids and got to check out the Polar Express 4D Adventure.

That was pretty cool, it was a 3D showing of some cool parts of the movie complete with fake snow failing in the theater along with wind, shaking seats and some squirts of water as well.

I'd say the highlight for the kids was definitely the sing-along-train ride.  Max really liked riding on the train, as he is really into them right now and Hadley seemed to be quite excited as well!

Max singing along on the train

Hadley having fun on the train!

We also went to Bass Pro Shop to try and get Hadley's Christmas picture taken with Santa. It was one of the few places that offers a free photo, but as a result there was quite a wait and it was a weird setup.

You have to go earlier in the day to get a card that has a time slot so that you can come back and get in line later. And in order to get a specific time slot you want, you might have to wait around a bit.

Checking out the fish tank at Bass Pro Shop

So we hung out there for a little bit, took Max on a free ride on the Merry Go Round and then checked out the fish tank and Michelle/James headed back later for the terrified child pic with Santa.

Hadley "enjoying" some quality time with Santa

Here are a bunch of other fun pictures from the visit...

Awesome huge Xmas tree they got for free on the side of the road last year

Just hanging outside in his jammies

Hi Hadley!

Loved the car cart at Kroger initially...

But he got a little antsy and we added a few friends to the cart

Hadley wearing Molly the dog's scarf thing

Trying out his Xmas jammies and hat


Maddie chillin with Molly's toy

Bella in her new scratching house, or is it Grumpy cat?


Christmas morning fun, lots of striped jammies!

Jen made Gma's sauce and Marla made the meatballs...mmm!

Happy boy!

And our new Xmas tune/video for the year was Dominick the Italian Christmas Donkey! Something the wifey saw on Facebook somewhere and the kid loved it and we couldn't stop playing it. The only problem is that it stays in your head and I'm still singing it a week later and wifey wants to strangle me now!

Hee haw, hee haw, it's Dominick the Donkey!  

My sister Jen made an announcement on Xmas as well. We already knew, but still great news!

It was great to see everyone and we had a good time!  I hope you had an enjoyable Christmas as well and since it's New Years Eve, I would like to also wish you a very Happy, Healthy and Prosperous 2014!!  Let's make it the best year ever!

Monday, December 30, 2013

New Domain Name and Exciting Changes

Hello everyone!  I hope you had a great Christmas week!

The wifey and I enjoyed our time with the family up in Atlanta and I will do a post tomorrow with the highlights and lots of pictures of our niece and nephew.

In this post I wanted to highlight some changes I made over on my niche site over the past few weeks.

Back in mid-December, I migrated the site to a new domain name.  The new domain name is NicheSiteTools.com  It is only slightly different than the original URL, with the addition of the s in Tools.

When I registered the original site 2 years ago yesterday, my plan was to highlight a particular niche site tool, but over the past two years the site has evolved into being much more than that.

I was wanting to ramp things up for the New Year and I spent some time thinking about where I really wanted to go with the site.

I listen to a number of Podcasts and one of them is from the guys at Internet Business Mastery.  One of the things they stress quite often is coming up with a Single Motivating Purpose or SMP.  It is kinda like a mission statement, or reason for being.

Here is what I came up with for my SMP for that site: To share experiences, tips and tools with other like minded folks to help everyone achieve a greater level of success with their online adventures.

What do you think?  I really like how it sounds and feel it has helped me focus and it was the driver behind switching to the new domain name, which I think more accurately reflects where I want to take things on that site.

Around that same time I created a new Facebook page for the site and at the suggestion of one of my friends and subscribers over on that site, I also created a Twitter account for the site.

Admittedly, I plan to utilize Twitter more to follow and connect with others than I do to actually post tweets of my own, but I do plan to retweet and highlight relevant posts from others as well.

I would really appreciate it if you would like the Facebook page, as that is one of those things where the more likes you get the more someone else is likely to want to like the page as well.

Even if you have absolutely no interest in web sites or making $ online, I promise the Facebook page will have lots of inspirational/motivational quotes.  Who doesn't like a little motivation/inspiration from time to time?

Take a look and see the types of things I've already posted there and will continue to post. Thanks ahead o' time!

And if you do happen to be interested in internet marketing, making $ online and other online adventures, by all means, follow the Twitter page and subscribe to the site via email to receive new post updates and exclusive subscriber only content direct to your inbox.

If you do subscribe, you'll automatically get my free eGuide on Keyword Brainstorming detailing how to come up with ideas for creating your own niche sites.  Pretty exciting right?  

Thanks ahead of time!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Apple 12 Days of Gifts

If you have an iPhone, iPad or iPod, you should check out the 12 Days of Gifts app in the App Store.  The free gifts have begun!

Yesterday they were giving away a few Justin Timberlake tunes.  Today they're giving away the game Tiny Thief.  I haven't tried it, but I did download it and the wifey says it's pretty fun.

I wanted to make sure you didn't miss out, consider it my belated Christmas gift to you!  Enjoy!!

Also, I just got my iPhone 5 replaced for free at the Apple Store, thanks completely to my brother-in-law David and his power of persuasion with the Apple support peeps on the phone. 

It was out of warranty, but he was able to work some magic.  I had a little black blob on all camera pics, but not any more.  Thanks David!

I just finished restoring it from backup and then I ran the untethered Jailbreak for iOS 7.x and it worked like a charm.  Feel free to give it a go if you're into the whole jailbreaking thing. 

Exotic Driving Experience Review

I've been meaning to write a review of my Exotic Driving Experience at Walt Disney World Orlando and wanted to get it in the books before the year is over.

Normally most of us will write reviews when something is really exceptional or terrible, but when things are the middle of the road we just never get around to it.  That is the case in this situation for me.

I have always loved Lamborghini cars since I was a little kid, but never really thought I'd get a change to drive one, or even sit in one for that matter.

I don't recall where or how, but I happened to stumble across the Exotic Driving Experience site and found out you can actually drive them and there are several different track locations.  The one we went to was right in Walt Disney World by the Magic Kingdom.

I was real excited on the day of and a bit nervous as well.  It's not every day you get to drive a $200k+ true exotic car like that!

My time was 10am and when we arrived there were several groups of folks driving around the track.

On this day there were multiple folks set to drive each car they had available at each time slot.  It took about 45 minutes to go through their short training video and wait for our turn to drive.  I was the first one in my group of I think 5 people that were set to drive the Yellow Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 shown with me in the pic above. 

The most important bit of advice I would like to give for anyone that is considering trying this is to go with the fully automatic mode of driving.  All of the cars have the ability to utilize either paddle shifters on the steering wheel or fully automatic mode.  Paddle shifting is like using a stick shift except there is no stick and no clutch.  You shift with the paddles right on the steering wheel

If you are familiar with paddle shifting, you might be fine, however I was not familiar with paddle shifting and have not driven a stick shift car other than when absolutely required a few times 20+ years ago.

I chose paddle shift mode because I figured I should get the full experience, but that was a mistake.  It made the whole experience a bit nerve racking.  The instructor is in the passenger seat and he tells you when to shift, speed up, brake hard, turn in on the corners, etc.  Needing to paddle shift as well as learn the track and how the car handles was a bit much.

If you choose fully automatic mode all you need to do is hit the gas, brake and know when to turn in hard in particular areas of the course.  That would have been SO much better.

It was great to have the opportunity to drive one of my dream cars and I may do it again one day, but I will be sure to do fully automatic mode. 

If you happen to be a Florida resident, they are currently offering a 25% off discount here

Monday, December 23, 2013

iOS 7 Jailbreak is Available Now

The folks at evasi0n have released the untethered Jailbreak for iOS 7.x!

There was some initial concern that the jailbreak was being released with a Chinese App Store by the name of TaiG, as that was not something that came bundled in previous jailbreaks.  The unexpected App also contained pirated software, something that the guys at evasi0n do not condone.

As a result of the concern on the part of the jailbreaking public, the inclusion of TaiG was disabled until they can work with them to remove the pirated software from their App Store. 

Even if does happen to be included, you can remove TaiG and install Cydia instead, which is the alternative app store where you can get all of your favorite jailbreak tweaks from. 

So have at it if you are a fan of jailbreaking.  I would be doing that right now myself, if it weren't for the fact that I have an appointment with the Apple store on Friday to hopefully replace my iPhone 5 due to a small black blob appearing when taking pictures with the main camera. 

My super swell brother-in-law David has a way with the Apple folks and was able to convince them to give a one-time replacement for the issue even though my phone is out of warranty.  I have my fingers crossed that all will go as planned and I can get it replaced for free. 

If all goes well, I will jailbreak my phone this weekend.  Right now there probably are not a ton of tweaks and apps designed for iOS 7, as the jailbreak just came out yesterday, so there is probably no urgent rush. 

But if you're like me, you'll be excited to do it now anyway, just cause you can! 

Enjoy and I'll again wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

We'll be heading to hang with the family for Christmas in the ATL and wanted to wish everyone out there a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! 

Here is a picture from last time we met up for the 4th of July.  The kiddos are so much bigger, can't wait to see em!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Angry Birds Go!

Rovio, makers of Angry Birds released Angry Birds Go! today.

It looks very similar to Super Mario Kart type games.  I just installed it and so far so good.  Looks fun. 

It is free on Android, iOS, Windows Phone and Blackberry.

Check it out if interested!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Thanksgiving Weekend Recap

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving weekend.  We enjoyed ourselves, with a quick afternoon Turkey lunch with the in-laws on Thanksgiving day and then we headed over to the Disney Pop-Century Resort at Disney World through Sunday.

We went to Downtown Disney for dinner Thanksgiving night and you would never know it was Thanksgiving.  Lots of people, festive party atmosphere and all restaurants/shops were open as normal.

We had dinner at Paradiso 47, which is one of the places we always like to go when we're there.  It is a Latin / Mexican type place with a loud festive atmosphere and good food/drinks. Lots of Tequila to choose from, but not a big fan of Tequila.

Friday we had a marathon day at the parks with a 1 day Hopper Pass.  That allows you go to as many of the 4 different parks as you want in 1 day.  Our initial plan was to do Animal Kingdom in the morning and Epcot in afternoon/evening, but we actually ended up also throwing in the Magic Kingdom after dinner.

That was the best decision we made, because the holiday lights and festivities at Magic Kingdom are really over the top!  From the moment you walk down Main Street USA is all decked out with wreaths from one side of the street to the other and the castle is at the far end all lit up.  It is really a site to see.

We avoided the light parade at 9pm and instead hit a few rides like it's a Small World (ack), Haunted Mansion and we also checked out the new area in FantasyLand, which was mostly centered around the Little Mermaid movie/characters.

Afterwards, around 9:45pm we headed to the area right in front of the castle and saw a pre-fireworks show where they project various movie and holiday scenes onto the castle along with sound/music and that was really amazing!  I have no idea how they turn the castle into a makeshift movie screen, but it really seems to come to life.

I captured a few of the different individual scenes like a GingerBread house, Xmas presents, etc.  Those were just a few still shots.  The video scenes where they appeared to make the castle completely transform and move at various points really made you just say WOW.  They really know how to do it up right for the holidays!

That was a bit of a long day, but really we were more awake than we ever have been before when hitting the parks.  Typically when walking around all day we're exhausted by around 9pm, but because we really weren't rushing to hit a ton of rides and didn't wait in a lot of long lines and the weather was nice and cool, it wasn't bad at all!

According to wifey's FitBit, we actually walked 12.5 miles that day and boy did we feel it afterwards.  Luckily we weren't real sore until Sunday, which is when we left.

On Saturday, I had a pre-scheduled Exotic Driving Experience scheduled for 10am.  That is a race track within the Disney area where you get to drive a luxury sports car such as a Ferrari, Lamborghini, etc.

I decided on the Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4.  I've always been a fan of Lamborghini's since I was real little and being able to drive one is one of those things I never really thought I'd ever get to do.  So when I found out something like that was possible and it was right in Disney World, wifey told me to do it up!

I will do up a separate review of that experience, but I'll include a picture or two of that as well.  It was fun, but surprisingly more nerve racking than I expected.  I made the mistake of selecting to use the "Paddle Shifters" to switch gears rather than doing a fully automatic mode and it took a lot more concentration than I expected.

It was certainly an experience I won't forget and I may do a similar one again some day, but next time I will choose full automatic mode for sure.
We then headed back home Sunday morning and began cleaning the place up for visitors coming in town this week and setup the Xmas tree.  Mom arrived Tuesday night and her sister, our aunt, Kathy and John will be arriving Wednesday night.  They'll be staying until Monday, with a quick trip over the weekend for them to visit their sister Shirley celebrating her 80th birthday.

Lots going on!  Then the weekend after we have the wifey's Xmas party on Friday and the Buffalo Bills/Jacksonville Jaguars game festivities the rest of the weekend here in town.  The weekend after that it's off to Atlanta to hang with the family for Xmas!

That is nuts, I have not even had a free second to think about Xmas gifts and it is already Dec 3rd.  I guess it does make a big difference with Thanksgiving being so late this year.  Anyhow, hope you all had an enjoyable Thanksgiving holiday and here are a bunch of pictures from the weekend!

Downtown Disney

Paradiso 47 Tequilas
Love all the great visuals at the T-Rex restaurant

Disney Animal Kingdom


Epcot decorations

Magic Kingdom

Main Street USA
Disney Castle Holiday Lights
Fireworks Finale
Gingerbread Castle
Christmas Packages
Wifey's favorite pic

Exotic Driving Experience

Off I go!
Back Home

Buddy and Wookie's first Xmas with us

Monday, December 2, 2013

Market Samurai Half Price

If you are at all interested in Keyword Research tools to further your online business ventures, definitely check out my post today over on my other site:


Market Samurai is normally $149, but from now until Friday, Dec 6th, 2013 at Midnight PST the price is only $75.  The makers of Market Samurai have only offered this discount 1 time before in the last 5 years and it will not be offered again any time soon.  

If you're been in the market for a keyword research tool, now is the time to pull the trigger.  If you have no idea what I'm talking about, then you probably have no need for a keyword research tool and you can safely go about your day completely disregarding this post!   

Either way, I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving, for all those folks in the USA!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Holiday Festivities and Deals

Wow, where de heck did the time go?!  I really can't believe it is Thanksgiving week already!

It seems like I'm late with my annual holiday post, with all the stores having their decorations up weeks ago and deals already in progress.

I've seen lots of folks following suit and decorating early as well, which I'm cool with.  If you're going to spend all that effort to decorate for the season, might as well get to enjoy it for longer.  Let's not let it linger for months into the new year though, not pointing any fingers here...MOM...

Anyheu...Let's kick things off with a huge listing of holiday TV shows and movies!

Holiday TV Show / Movie Listings

That is a pretty great list with shows listed for every single day between Nov 26th and Dec 26th!

When it comes to shopping, I really despise dealing with the crowds, traffic and frustrations of going to a store and either not finding what you're looking for or finding that all the good things are already sold out.  Then it's back home to shop online, which I should have just done in the first place!

This year I'm going to try and remember this and shop 100% online, except maybe for the smaller stocking stuffer type things.  I think I will be MUCH happier and have better results that way as well, we'll see how it goes!

Amazon Holiday Deals

Amazon is definitely my go to place and they have some great deal pages I've been checking daily, which I will include here so that you have them all in one place.  They already kicked off an entire week of Black Friday deals and they will also be having a Cyber Monday week all of next week as well. 

Best Selling Products - Updated Every Hour

Hot New Releases - Updated Every Hour

Top Gift Ideas

Most Wished For Items

Top Rated Products

New Deals. Everyday. Handpicked By Editors

And now is the perfect time to sign-up for an Amazon Prime free 30 day trial as well.  If you do so, you'll get free 2 day shipping on everything you buy between now and Christmas day, in addition to unlimited streaming of movies and TV, similar to Netflix and access to the Amazon Kindle lending library as well.  

Black Friday Ad Scans

The go to spot for Black Friday ad scans is http://bfads.net  You can either use the browse button to scroll through to the store you're interested in or just search in the box at the top.  Another very handy feature on that site is that you can choose deals by category.   You can select TVs for example and within that category you can search for specific brand names and can sort the results by price. 

On the individual store pages on that site, they also list when the sale starts.  For instance, the sale at Best Buy starts at 6pm on Thanksgiving day, while the Kolh's sale begins at 8pm on Thanksgiving day.  It seems there is no more waiting until Black Friday, with Thanksgiving being so late this year, the stores need to get those sales in sooner.

Additional Tip

In addition to all the great deals online, another benefit to purchasing online is that you can usually get additional cash back by shopping through the website of your credit card company.

Discover for example has a 'Shop Discover' site where you can browse through the various companies, click on the store BEFORE you make any purchases and then you will get an additional cash back credit of between 5-20%.

If your credit card does not offer that option, you can do the same thing by going to the Fat Wallet holiday cash back page, sign up for an account and click the store BEFORE making any purchases.  Many stores are offering additional cash back bonuses for the holidays.

Hope you enjoyed this year's edition of the holiday deals and festivities and hope you all have a nice short work week or perhaps the whole week off and get to enjoy the time with family and friends!

Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Hanukkah to all the Jewish peeps out there as well!

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