The 3rd six-week challenge is back on.

June 8, 2010

I said I would take one week off before starting the third challenge, but I took an additional week off because my knee was still acting up. However, it’s time to get back in the saddle again, so tonight started the first exercise routine. As I noted in my last exercise article, I am reusing the workout routine that I obtained from the Concept 2 rowing website, so this will allow me to compare how well I do during this challenge compared to the last.

Free Credit Score

June 7, 2010

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– 7-day trial of Trip Safeguard Credit Monitoring with email alerts
– $25,000 of Identity Theft Insurance
– 24/7 access to credit report and credit score
– Customer Support with credit report Q&A

Darkness: the novel (rough draft)

June 6, 2010

Thank you for visiting my first online novel.  Below you will find the easy-to-use navigational index for the story that links you to the various chapters in the book.  As this is a rough draft, there are errors in the text.  If you find any errors, or have comments on the story in general, please feel free to share your thoughts at the end of the chapter.  My intent is to finish editing the novel and provide the readers with a finalized version that they can download for their own enjoyment.  Thank you once again, and enjoy the story.


Chapter 1:  “A Cry in the Dark”

Chapter 2:  “Lost in the Woods”

Chapter 3:  “Home Away from Home”

Chapter 4:  “Long Ride Home”

Chapter 5:  “The Missed Stop”

Chapter 6:  “More and More Questions”

Chapter 7:  “The Awakening”

Chapter 8:  “Not Alone”

Chapter 9:  “The House”

Chapter 10:  “Enter the Darkness”

Chapter 11:  “Footprints”

Chapter 12:  “There’s No Place Like Home”

Chapter 13:  “From One Point to Another”

Chapter 14:  “Turning the Page”

Chapter 15:  “The Long Good-bye”

Adventures in Landscaping

June 5, 2010

Following a failed installation of new sod by a local landscaper, I took it upon myself to rebuild a section of my yard from scratch.  I started the process in 2009 by testing two separate grass seed products to see which performed the best.  The two products I chose were Pennington’s Smart Patch and Scotts Turf Builder Grass Seed.  In 2010, I sectioned off the troubled area of the yard and applied the grass seed with new soil, as well as worked to decrease the amount of erosion in the area by upgrading the planting bed in front of the house.  The following links will walk you through the steps I took in rebuilding the lawn as well as chronicle the progress of the new seed.  My hope is that this will help you in your own adventures in landscaping.

(I will continue to update this section as new pictures and steps are taken.)

Part 1:  This is what the yard looked like before, during, and after installation of the sod in 2009.

Part 2:  In this section, I discuss the products chosen for the test patches and show images of what the lawn looked like after application.

Part 3:  The grass starts to grow.

Part 4:  One month since being planted.

Part 5:  Six weeks after planting.

Part 6:  Two months after planting and the first snow fall of the season has come. 

Part 7:  After two blizzards, the snow has melted and it is time to examine the condition of the test patches.

Part 8:  Applying fresh soil and seed to the yard.

The end of the second 6-week challenge

May 25, 2010

It’s hard to believe, but 6 weeks have come and gone already.  Here are the results:

For starters, I didn’t achieve my goal (again).  By week 4, I had lost 3 pounds and I was on my way to success, but then something changed.  Week 5 sent me up a pound, and then two more by Week 6, leaving me right back where I started.  However, all was not bad news.

Chest:  I lost 1.84 inches around my chest if you compare the base measurement with the results from Week 6.  If you take a 3-week moving average, I lost 0.73 inches.

Stomach:  I lost 2.08 inches around my stomach if you compare the base measurement with the results from Week 6.  If you take a 3-week moving average, I lost 1.17 inches.

Waist:  I lost 1.59 inches around my waist if you compare the base measurement with the results from Week 6.  If you take a 3-week moving average, I lost 0.33 inches.

Buttocks:  I lost 0.5 inches around my buttocks if you compare the base measurement with the results from Week 6.  If you take a 3-week moving average, I lost 0.44 inches.

Not too bad, even if you use the 3-week moving average.  I did have a problem near the end of Week 6 by agitating something in my right knee on Thursday.  It was hard enough to walk on Friday, so I was not able to get my last day of rowing in before the challenge ended.

Using the exercise workout guide that I found on the Concept 2 website was handy as it provided a wide range of routines, making the challenge more interesting (as compared to doing the same exercise every day).  In fact, I’ve decided to use it again starting next week.  That way, we can directly compare my performance over the past 6 weeks to the next.  I am giving myself this week off as a reward … as well as a chance to let whatever I did to my knee to pass. 

Over all, it was nice to be on a rowing machine again.  Other than maybe the Elliptical, there is no other machine I would rather use to exercise on than a Concept 2 rowing machine.  If you ever have the chance to use one, I highly recommend it.

Make Money Online: SEO

May 25, 2010

SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is a website development and management technique to make sure your site reaches the top of the common search engines.  A higher ranking on the search engines means the more likely traffic will be directed to your site.  You can spend a lot of time and effort experimenting on how to maximize your web presence, or you can tap into the resources and experience from a SEO company.  If you choose to take it on by yourself, there are a slew of free videos on YouTube that will show you some tips.  Or, if you want more detailed step-by-step advice, there are SEO ebooks available online free for you to download.  Simply search for “SEO help” to get started.

Ex-New York Giant Lawrence Taylor’s arrest for rape

May 7, 2010

One of my favorite football players ever – Lawrence Taylor – has found himself in trouble with the law again.  The current allegations include prostitution and rape. While I hope that these allegations are not true, it would not surprise me if he is guilty.  As the article sums up so well, Taylor has always had a troubled life.  I wish he (and others who fall into this fame trap) would have someone next to him to help him make he right decisions in life.

Ex-New York Giant Lawrence Taylor’s arrest for rape sad commentary – Peter King –