Wednesday, October 13, 2010


I am and have been for a couple days now, most definitely sick. While this continues I'll be abstaining from blog posts since I have to work enough as it is with both jobs still - I need blogging time to rest. Thanks for hanging in there for me guys!

-- The only constant is change --

Monday, October 11, 2010

Industrious Times I Live In

Have I ever mentioned I'm a Gemini?

One of the traits associated with us is that we have split personalities. Usually I'm not too bad for mood swings, but I definitely have separate persona's for work and home life. At work, I'm one of the best people you could've ever hired - I'm driven, focused, energetic, etc. But damn if I can't get myself to do half as much when I'm sitting around the house.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Wanted: New Laptop; Current Laptop & Wallet Both Broke

I've had my laptop since 2008. I purchased it in August then, it was a refurb I found on sale on I think. At $500 it was pretty sweet - my wife just needed something for the road since she was going to be doing some travelling work. We of course needed to upgrade the memory, and before long Vista crashed so hard that nothing I did would work. It then ran XP for a long time until I personally ****ed that installation up hardcore. Now it runs Windows 7, which I'm very happy with actually.

Anyway, this has all been somewhat off-topic. I need a new laptop.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Local Post: Volunteer Work!

Before today, I've never done any volunteer work. When I was growing up, I just wasn't the community-helper extracurricular type. I played Dungeons & Dragons or Magic: The Gathering instead. Well a bunch of people I knew were doing this a volunteer gig today.

Travel Town Museum & Park

From Random Apple-a-Day

Friday, October 8, 2010

Verizon iPhone, 4G Networks, and more...

Hey everybody! There's been a lot going on in the technology sector lately! First, a quick poll:

Do you own an iPhone?

"Smooth as a baby's bottom." - Steve Jobs

Minipost: Commentators!

Everyone that drops by, I encourage you, leave comments! I'm always happy to see that people are listening and engaging in discussion! If your comment doesn't show up right away, don't worry it's most likely that I just haven't had time to sit down and look over all the new comments yet. So again, please, feel free to leave feedback! Thanks for reading everyone!

-- The only constant is change --

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Amazon - Free music downloads, Prime faces new competition

Hey everyone, sorry I haven't had much to talk about the past couple days, work has been pretty busy!

Hey guys, everyone likes free stuff, right? In most circumstances at least. Did you know that offers tons of free music to download? They've got a lot of stuff really cheap too. Go here to see the landing page for their mp3 deals, you won't be disappointed!

Do you know anything about Amazon's Prime service? It's $79 a year to get free 2-day shipping on pretty much anything! It's pretty amazing, which is why I assume some of the other large retailers on the web must feel so threatened. Several dozen companies have put aside their differences to create a new service called ShopRunner. Among the participating companies are Petsmart,GNC, and Toys 'R Us, to mention just a couple.

It's like Prime, $79 for a year, but it's available on all the participating retailers websites AND, the kicker, if you need to return something they pay for the return shipping for you! Even more amazing than Prime, I'd say. I'd recommend checking both these services out though since the holidays are fast approaching because both will save you a lot of money on shipping, especially if you continue shopping with the sites throughout the rest of the year!

-- The only constant is change --

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Starbucks on my mind

Check out the Squidoo lens I published today on Starbucks Via!

I've been working a bit on the lot side lately, so I really haven't taken the time to think about much besides Starbucks! We rolled out a new product today, Instant Flavored Coffee, which rocks. I'm genuinely excited about it, and if you go in sometime during the next few days all Starbucks should be doing sampling events where you can get a free tall drink when you buy a pack of Via, and a bunch of other stuff like that!

What's your favorite Starbucks drink? I drink a heavily modified version of Passion Tea Lemonade usually, but when I need caffeine I do a Venti Iced Caramel Macchiato (2 shots instead of 3) with extra caramel. It's very tasty, sugary - more like sweetened caffeinated milk really.

How about pastries? I didn't really eat pastries before I started working at Starbucks, but I've got my preferences nowadays. I love cheese danishes and very berry coffee cake, but damn I can't stand scones. They're like chewing on the desert they're so dry! The breads aren't too bad either.

Lunch items? They're expensive but occasionally I'll partake in a Chicken Santa Fe, these are the most amazing panini's ever!

Enough rambling about Starbucks for the day, maybe I'll post something more interesting later tonight when I'm not so tired and I've had some time to think.

-- The only constant is change --

Minipost: Twitter

Twitter and followers and tweets, oh my!

Are you on Twitter?

I am, if you hadn't noticed the giant widget thing over there on the right. If you haven't already, follow me! I network with other bloggers and if I see a tweet of yours regarding your blog, I'll retweet it to my followers. Never know who will take notice and fall in love with your content!

-- The only constant is change --

Monday, October 4, 2010

Minipost: Do you... Squidoo?

If you don't you should! It's kinda like another form of microblogging! You can use it to make money for yourself too, or donate the royalties to charity. It's super easy to do. You can check out my first lens ever here! Or if you're interested in signing up, use this referral link and help a brother out as you help yourself! Thanks for everyone's continued support as I expand my little internet empire!

-- The only constant is change --

Minipost: Sleep Tech

I wanted to mention this but it didn't feel like it warranted a full post. Skullcap, hops and valerian, a combo that's a potent sleep aide. I can usually wake up from 2-4 hours sleep no problem, but I knocked a couple of these back one day to, "get more restful sleep" I thought and ended up waking up four hours after my body was up and going. They might not have the same effect on everyone, but damn they blew me away when I needed it. Check em over at Puritan's Pride.

-- The only constant is change --

Sleep Tech Part Two: Lucid Dreaming

Have any of you ever experienced lucid dreaming? A dream where you know it's a dream?

I've always been fascinated by this concept, ever since I first learned about it a few years back. I can't say I've had much success in performing it, since I've followed some ideas on how to do it but have had little luck.

Off on a tangent here, did you guys see Inception? I did, a couple times. It really rocked my world. It actually wasn't until I saw this movie that I experienced my first - and so far only - lucid dream.

I was lying face down in my bed. I had just woken up, it was sometime in the morning and my mouth felt numb. I looked down and saw that my teeth were falling out of my skull! I quickly thought, when was the last time I went to the dentist, how did my teeth get this bad; plainly, what the **** is going on here?! This doesn't happen. Your teeth can't just up and fall out like this. It's too ridiculous. This has to be a dream.

That thought woke me up. It was still dark out. I went back to sleep. But the dream is almost as vivid today as the night I had it. I haven't experienced such dreaming again, but I'm always trying new tactics out.

If you've had any experience with lucid dreaming, please do tell. If you know any tactics that help, pass them on. Maybe I'm crazy, but the idea of being able to control your dreams and to utilize that time spent unconscious occasionally seems awesome.

-- The only constant is change --

Here's a bunch of resources on the matter since I don't have much first hand experience:
Wikipedia Article
DreamViews Dreaming Community

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Minipost: StartKiller

Do you use the start button? I don't - I always hit the win key. I have Windows 7 so it's much easier for me to press Win and start typing what I need. Therefor the Start button just gets in my way, I like lots of room for program buttons on my task bar. If you feel the same way or just want to try out a nifty little program, StartKiller takes the Start button off your taskbar. It works in pretty much all Windows versions.

-- The only constant is change --

Sleep Tech Part One: Polyphasic Sleeping

Everyone's talking about it.

My polyphasic sleep schedule.

Hey everyone. It seems nowadays everybody is talking about polyphasic sleep. If you haven't heard of it, here's a quick rundown: a monophasic sleeper has one rest time, the big chunk of the day they spent producing z's where a biphasic or polyphasic sleeper sleeps less at a stretch, twice or several times a day, respectively.

I don't know quite where I fit into all of this. If you didn't know, I work two jobs and spend a lot of time writing and researching otherwise. Most days I sleep 2-4 hours at night and maybe another 2-3 hours in the middle of the day; I get about 18-20 waking hours per day in usually.

It was really hard to get used to. When I first got my second job I was downright exhausted constantly. Now, having done this for going on seven months I really like it. I get a lot done (or not done sometimes) every day, I've also become talented at sleeping. That might sound strange but I'm serious; it used to take me a while to fall asleep at any given time but now I can put down my head and be out within minutes.

Some people have asked if my health seems to have deteriorated and the answer is: I don't think so. I have a rather stout immune system to start and I'm very in tune with what's going on inside. If I run a couple days in a row with only an hour or two sleep at most I can feel illness sneaking up on me. With a day's rest I can be back to normal, no problem.

On a side note it really slays me nowadays when the girls I work with complain about being tired when they woke up three hours ago and spend, at most, 10 hours per day conscious. I'm not exaggerating those numbers either -_-

Maybe over time I'll have more thoughts on the subject. For now, what do you guys think? What sort of schedule rules your life?

-- The only constant is change --

Resources and other stuff:
Steve Pavlina's Site
A blog about polyphasic sleep"
More info at Supermemo

Minipost: BloggersBase

Hey everyone, if you have a blog of your own and you're looking to help spread your words check out Bloggersbase!

It's something like an online magazine where your blog posts can compete to gain readership. You can set it up so your RSS feed automatically generates blog posts there - very easy to repost the stuff you put on here.

I'm not an expert of the topic, heck I'm still learning about it myself. Why don't we learn together!? Do me the favor and follow my affiliate link too, they have cool prizes and rewards and there's nothing like a little brotherly love!

Join BloggersBase

Hoping for the best here, good luck guys!

-- The only constant is change --

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Finally! Laundry detergent, homemade edition.

I'm posting this today without photos because my editing rig is on the fritz. I'm going to edit the article to add the photos tomorrow. If you follow at you can hear as soon as I've finished the edit tomorrow!

Hey everyone, I've been saying over the past couple days I was going to post my laundry detergent recipe, so here it is! I've been making this since 2006 and it has saved me hundreds, if not thousands of dollars to date. I've lived in a few states in the past four years so at times the ingredients for making this have been harder to come by. That said, here's what you'll need to make this awesome stuff.

• Fel's Naptha Bar Laundry Soap. This isn't sold in any stores local to me so I had to order it online and have it shipped to a local Ace Hardware.
• 20 Mule Team Borax. A general laundry booster, even if you don't like the end result of this detergent you can use borax to clean many surfaces and to help your regular detergent.
• Arm & Hammer Washing Soda. Again, a general laundry booster, you can use it pretty for most of the same things as Borax.
• 2 Gallons of water. I usually throw my gallon jugs away on accident so typically I buy new ones each time I make this. If you save your jugs you can save even more money with this.

You start out by put six cups of water into a very large pot and set it to medium heat. While this is warming up, cut 1/3 off the bar of Naptha and either grate it or chop it down into smaller bits and throw it in a food processor. I do the second method because it's so much easier. Grind it up until you've got a fine powder with a few larger chunks of soap left. Mix this into your heated water until it is completely dissolved.

Now that's all dissolved, measure out ½ cup each Borax and Washing Soda. Slowly, without increasing the heat, stir these in. If your water is simmering at all it is too hot and this stuff will foam up like mad. Take your time stirring it in as if you stir too violently it'll also foam up. Once foaming starts it's really hard to work with this mix.

Anyway, once you've got everything mixed in let it settle down for a couple minutes, then slowly increase the heat until the mix is boiling. Boil for 15 minutes. While it's boiling heat up another quart of water until it's somewhat hot. When the mix is almost done pour the hot water into a bucket (something 3-5 gallons will work) then add the mixture and stir. Then add enough cold water to bring it to two gallons. Mix it all until it's well blended then let it set for a full day. If done correctly the whole thing will gel!

That's pretty much it! You'll use ½ cup per load and it won't get all sudsy but it works really well. It will separate when it's sitting around since we don't add any stabilizers or anything to the mix so you'll need to shake it up before using. Like I said before if you don't like the end result you can still use the borax and washing soda to aide your regular detergent and you can rub the naptha onto stains to help remove them.

Thanks for dropping by everyone, sorry to keep you waiting on the topic for longer than expected!


• 1/3 bar Fel's Naptha, ground to powder or grated
• 1/2 cup Borax
• 1/2 cup Arm & Hammer Washing Soda
• 2 gallons water

• Heat 6 cups water, mix in Naptha until dissolved
• Mix in Borax and Washing Soda until dissolved
• Bring to a boil for 15 minutes then remove from heat
• In a 3-5 gallon bucket put 1 quart hot water, add soap mixture and stir
• Add enough cold water to make two gallons, mix thoroughly and let sit 24 hours
• Enjoy!

-- The only constant is change --

Minipost: Prey Project

If you own a laptop or one of the smarter mobile devices available out there, you should really check out the Prey Project.

Prey is an advanced, open source application that could help you recover your portable device should it ever be lost or stolen. You can find out more about it on their website.

-- The only constant is change --

Roast Chicken!

So I wrote this post last night everyone, since I was roasting a chicken and felt I should share my tactics because a roasted chicken is delicious and something everyone should know how to cook.

Hey guys! So, I'm roasting a chicken for dinner tonight. Roasted chicken is one of my favorite foods and it's so cheap! It was on sale the other day for about 77 cents per pound, so I grabbed two, one of them being almost 7 pounds! A bird this size will feed me and my wife for a few days which is great because we are broke. Anyway, here's how I roast a chicken!

Firstly, thaw this baby out ahead of time. I had planned on making chicken for an early dinner but had to push that back by, mmm, three or four hours! I hadn't anticipated this, so just keep it in mind for the future. Anyway, after thawing it I scooped the giblets and neck out (they usually stuff these things inside the chest cavity) and threw them in a small pot of water and set it to a low heat to steep for the next couple hours.

Next you rinse the beast down under cold water, inside and out then dry the outside off really well with paper towels - and make sure you drain the cavity, don't want to accidentally pour salmonella water all over yourself.

I follow a real simple way of preparing the bird - I take a cooking oil, canola this time but sometimes I use olive oil - and rub down the bird like you're giving it a really weak massage. After coating it with oil you probably want to wash your hands before handling spices and such. Next I sprinkle it liberally with pepper, a bit of salt, then some garlic and onion powder. Being Italian I think I put garlic on everything. Anyway, you've done one side of the bird, then flip it over and do the other side. Make sure you don't rub it or move it too much right now or you'll mess up the distribution of spices.

Lastly, I cook my bird directly on the oven rack. Some people might be like, "ewww gross" but really, if you clean it first it's no different than anything else. Put it on the middle rack BREAST SIDE DOWN with an 8"x12" pan underneath to catch all the drippings. We do it breast side down so all the juices will settle into the meaty part of the bird. Roast that sucker at 350°F for 20 minutes per pound. I crank the heat up to 450°F for the last 15 minutes of the cook time to help brown the outside of the beast.

While we wait for the bird to cook scoop the giblets out of the water where you've had them simmering for a while. Save this water because once the bird is done you're going to take the drippings pan and mix these two liquids together. Then you take flour and add it, I do it one spoonful at a time, to the liquid and whisk them together until you've got gravy. This will be the best gravy ever. Use it generously.

At this point turn the heat off and let it set on the rack for about 20 minutes so the juices can settle. Prepare some side dishes if you haven't already and after your time is up, carve into it and enjoy! Also, here's a chart to help with cooking times.

Cooking time (unstuffed)
2½ - 3 pounds | 50-60 minutes
3½ - 4 pounds | 70-80 minutes
4½ - 5 pounds | 90-100 minutes
5½ - 6+ pounds | 110-120 minutes


• Buy chicken
• Rinse chicken with water, put giblets in pan with water and simmer
• Coat in oil, pepper, light salt, garlic and onion powder
• Roast on oven rack, breast side down, middle rack with a pan under it to catch drippings
• Mix giblet infusion with drippings, whisk in flour until gravy has formed
• Eat!

-- The only constant is change --

Friday, October 1, 2010

Sleep talker in our midst.

I was going to make laundry detergent today, really! It didn't work out that way though. Yesterday my wife got sick quite suddenly and we spent last evening in the ER. I ended up staying up much later than I was supposed to and passed out for a very long night's sleep. When I woke up today, sometime late after 11am my wife had just woken up herself. She didn't go to sleep until 7am though so I'm not sure how she was able to do stuff all day and go teach dance lessons tonight without even taking a nap. Anyway, this post is on a bit of a tangent right now!

Baby steps back to where I was though. Have I mentioned I talk in my sleep? I don't do it every night, but I do it fairly frequently. Last night my wife actually wrote down the stuff I said, maybe you guys can help me decipher my mind? First,
"Don't fail windows 32 Australia"
Quickly followed by,
"Delete that or it will destroy your computer"
I'm beginning to think the forums and meme's I witness are infiltrating my subconcious. I'm not sure where the Australia part came from, maybe it's because I watched an Australian movie last night.

Next up,
I'm sorry... I can't think of the name of it now."
This was completely out of the blue and apparently a few hours after the first comment.

Lastly, the dog was laying on the sheet over me and I was trying to writhe around and move it or something so I told him in a very polite voice
"Buster, wake up."
At which point I shoved him off of me and rolled him with the sheet,
"Thank you."
Then went back to sleep.


It never ceases to amaze me the things I do and say in my sleep. Hopefully you find them entertaining because I haven't got much left for today! The rest of the day was spent cleaning the house and tending to my sickly wife until our friend came over and we watched the Stargate movie - awesome as usual! You should really check it out and actually, I'm gonna leave this right here. Thanks for dropping by guys, hope I'll have that laundry detergent for you tomorrow!

-- The only constant is change --