Archive | December, 2008

What a Difference a Day Makes!

December 12, 2008

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Well, you asked for it! 😉 More snow photos. I know you people in the South just love to look at these photos. As for us in the North, well…. it’s still really nice. Until Februrary; then it gets pretty old.

So what a difference a day makes!

This I took yesterday, just as the lake effect snows started to kick in.

Before Snow

And this I took this morning, just as the lake effect is starting to wane.

After Snow

In my opinion, it’s still not a whole lot of snow. (But I am quite biased, because I don’t have to shovel it). We probably have about 6 inches.

I really like days like these. It’s so cozy here at home. The kids are working on their lessons, I have a pot roast simmering all day (driving the cat beserk), I’m catching up on the laundry, and I hope to get some baking in today, too.

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Choose Your Door

December 12, 2008

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I have to say, I just love those interactive websites where you can choose various styles, shapes, and colors for things for your home, and test them with your own photo or an automated version. Home design and construction has come such a long way. How about a fancy online Door Designer? This is a cool site, hosted by Masonite, one of the premier door manufacturers in the business. I have several Masonite doors in the house, and I LOVE them.

Door Prize

You can see from the photo above that the online door designer helps choose the perfect door. You first choose your door design. There are just so many options that this took a while for me to do. There are interior, entry, and patio doors to choose from– dozens of styles! Once you manage to harness that option, you progress to door style and loads of other options, like color, height of the door, glass design, finish, and more. The neatest tool of all is the ability for you to upload your own photo of your home and view the different types of doors and how they would look in your home. It’s pretty impressive software. And it’s all free to use! Who’d have thought we could come to this point in design, where you can mix and match and preview such components of your home from the comfort of your home? Pretty cool.

Keep this site bookmarked!

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Frosty Morning

December 11, 2008

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I drove out to the country this morning. We have managed to maintain our mere 1/2 inch of snow over the weekend, but everything went back to brown and muddy after Tuesday’s (relatively) warm rains. But today, as I chugged up into the higher hills, wispy swirls of snow greeted me. It was pretty.

Snowy Road

The trees were a beautiful sight. The ones on the tops of the hills were all frosty, as if they’d been dipped in sparkling sugar and plugged back into the frozen ground. Click on the photos for a larger view.

FrostyTrees2

FrostyTrees

And so now (tonight) we’re getting heavy snow. They’re calling for about 4-7 inches, a mere dusting for this lassie (I’m from Cayuga/Onondaga County, where a storm isn’t a storm unless it’s 2 feet or more). We’ll be waking up to a beautifully-covered landscape. I intend on cooking an all-day pot roast, making breads, a pie, and finally getting to that laundry pile. But it’s been a long day for me today, and so I bid you “good night.” 🙂

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Another Cool Touch Light Gadget

December 10, 2008

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I’ve been on the prowl for cool lighting gadgets ever since I found and bought the Touch&Glow set (I blogged about that here). I am having waaaay too much fun with lighting gadgets. I’m beginning to wonder about myself…

ANYWAY! Who cares! I found ANOTHER really, really cool gadget! This time it was at the Dollar Store. I was shopping for bird seed for our new bird feeder when I saw….. THIS!!!

Touchlight4

😀

Oh it doesn’t look like much. Um, actually, there WAS something in there. I took it out. I always do that, darn! I always wind up taking photos of empty boxes. But I am so eager to try the thing out when I get home, I just can’t help myself!

This was $5 at the Dollar Store. Yes! A steal! (The Touch&Glow thing was $15). Of course,this gadget is not as high quality, but it does do the job. I plugged it into my outlet receptacle, and plugged in my lamp. I have a lamp in the Laundry Room because the ceiling fixture doesn’t work. I’m still working on the electric in the house, so we have all these lamps. These gadgets are perfect because 1) I hate touching lamps when my hands are wet, and in the Laundry Room and Kitchen my hands are always wet. 2) The touch-y gadgets are very convenient so we aren’t groping in the dark. 3) We are not wearing out the switches on our lamps anymore, which is a huge plus. Lamps are $25 or more, and I was buying new ones every few months.

OK, so here is the Easy Switch gadget in action.

TouchLight1

Touchlight3

Touchlight2

It is a wireless connection. The package says the components can be as far apart as 60 feet. I installed the switch about three feet from my lamp. (There’s a little hook you screw into the wall, and the switch can be used as a “remote” when you unhook it from the wall hanger). However, I did walk around the house a little, to test out the reception. It does work from long distances! You have to point the remote toward the lamp for it to work best. (And this could be soo much fun, shutting the lights on and off by remote when someone is in the room, heehee).

For $5, you really can’t go wrong. I love this gadget! And now I won’t have to do laundry in the dark!

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It’s All For the Birds!

December 9, 2008

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We recently got a beautiful bird feeder. Believe it or not– this is my FIRST bird feeder, ever! I’ve lived at this house for over ten years, and never bothered to get Bird Feeders for the property. Sad, I know. Well, I have redeemed myself and today the kids and I installed our first feeder! It’s the Garden Sip & Seed Bird Feeder. It’s a very classy bird feeder. I don’t think it is squirrel-proof, though. Being squirrel-proof is a rather important feature for us, because we have a LOT of squirrels around here, and they have a mean streak in them. Well, read on to learn more about the feeder and we’ll see how it performs….

birdfeederbox

Isn’t it pretty? The Garden Sip & Seed Bird Feeder comes with two “silos” and they have small openings at the bottom, for the seed and water to come out. The feeders are plastic with heavy plastic tops and bottoms in a copper finish. It’s very unique. It costs about $40 at BirdFeeders.com, and you can find it here. We decided to fill both silos up with seed and not water. It’s below zero here and the water would freeze. If the birds are thirsty, they can eat snow. haha!

We took a short video of us setting it up and hanging it outside. We’re quite proud of our little home movie. Watch and see how it works!

The weather has been bad this week, icy rain and horribly windy. So I haven’t seen any birds at the feeder yet (it would help if I checked more frequently, too). No squirrels with machine guns yet, either!

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Nightmare on Elm Streets

December 9, 2008

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I just love the Home Inspection Nightmares section at This Old House. Wow. For some reason, looking at these photos makes me feel a whole lot better about my house. I am a little paranoid– I’m afraid the government gestpo will come strorming into my house, throwing me in prison for not having my light switch EXACTLY four feet up from the floor. Then I look at these photos, and waves of euphoric relief wash over me.

Check this out.

outletrageous

Wow.

Just wow.

And this one. Um, what’s the use of having and maintaining gutters of you’re going to do this?!

gutter

Oh there are many more goodies at the website. Browsing them is almost as good as browsing I Can Has Cheezburgers!

This photo and this photo courtesy of This Old House.

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It’s Not Only The Newspapers That Are Changing

December 5, 2008

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If you follow the news, you’ve no doubt heard that the traditional media newpaper outlets are seeing record losses. More and more people are getting their information from the Internet. I am extremely happy to see it, as I believe that there is more freedom on the Internet than in any other media form today.

But as the newspapers fold, so does the advertising. I have been seeing a trend, despite nayayers who say that a downward economy spells doom for media outlets. Not the Internet, anyway. Actually, for those of us who rely on the Internet for our information and for ou livelihood (like me), we will be seeing an upward trend, as advertisers intend on shifting their focus to the Internet for their market.

This is a good articles from the eMarketer:

In our latest projections, released in August, eMarketer saw online advertising growing from $24.5 billion in 2008 to $28.5 billion in 2009. eMarketer benchmarks its online ad spending projections against quarterly reports by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), which uses PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) to conduct its surveys. For the first half of 2008, the IAB reported 15.2% growth for online ad spending, which is in line with eMarketer’s predictions.

Another factor confirming our predictions is that the combined growth rate for first half online ad revenues among the top four US portals—Yahoo!, Google, AOL and Microsoft—was 19%.

Although most of the following projections from a range of different analyst firms and researchers are likely to be high, since they were published before the recent outpouring of negative financial news, there is still a consensus among many analysts that spending growth for online advertising will continue to show double-digit gains in both 2008 and 2009. eMarketer agrees.

It agrees with my own thinking that in times of a weak economy, advertisers will spend even more on advertising. A sluggish economy means sluggish consumers; strong advertising is meant to shake the consumers from their depression and get them to spend.

eMarketer makes some excellent points:

Marketers should rightly ask, “What is behind the bullish projections for online ad spending, especially when most traditional media are taking the financial equivalent of body blows?” The seven reasons are as follows:

  • The Internet is inherently more measurable and accountable than are traditional channels.
    The Internet allows for better, more-granular targeting than do other forms of media. That reduces media waste and can save marketing dollars.
  • The Internet is interactive, thereby allowing for a higher degree of engagement with consumer and business prospects and customers.
  • Particularly among younger consumers, the Internet is accounting for a larger and larger share of total media time; numerous studies demonstrate that teens, millennials and other younger cohorts are spending more time online per week than they are watching television.
  • The Internet plays into the consumer-in-control movement and therefore provides new opportunities for marketers to be a part of their conversations about interests, attitudes, shopping plans and even brands.
  • New Web 2.0 phenomena such as blogs, social networks and Twitter provide marketers with the potential to gain rich insights into consumer behavior and attitudes (the Internet is like a perpetual focus group on steroids).
  • The Internet, unlike any other medium or channel, allows marketers to reach prospects throughout the entire consumer buying cycle, from initial awareness through pre-information-gathering to sales and post-sale feedback and support.

This is good news to me– for one, I have relationships with online advertisers. I like it that the market is opening up to me. I want more advertisers to work with me. And two, this also means that companies will become more competitive; they will work a little harder to please the consumer and offer better deals and better service. So a sluggish economy, while not exacty great news, does have it’s benefits. Consumers should always be spending wisely, but now we have some leverage as well. Everything is shifting from the more traditional (and limited) avenues of information and advertising to the more instantaneous and broader avenues of the Internet and telemarketing.

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A Day Off… Kinda

December 3, 2008

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I’ve been married 20 years, today. Cannot believe how quickly the time has gone by. I’m giving myself the night off from blogging, and most likely from dropping Entrecard cards. So see you all tomorrow! 😀

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The Bad, Bad Beagle

December 2, 2008

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We have a beagle. She’s really cute, her name is Daisy. She’s so personable and perky, but she can be pretty pesky at times. (And what is it with me and “p” words today?!)

Anyway, Daisy has this penchant for shaking herself loose from her confines and wandering the busy streets our our town. All our neighbors now know that the happy-go-lucky beagle meandering down the street is our pesky beagle, Daisy. I’ve gotten to meet some nice neighbors this way. 🙂

But our streets are horribly busy and I am terrified that a car will hit Daisy (I don’t think cute dogs are covered by car insurance, either). We try our absolute best to keep her tied but… you know how beagles are.

I saw this video and immediately thought, “DAISY”! As a matter of fact, this dog is so amazing with her escape technique that I really wonder if this dog is Daisy’s long-lost twin! This beagle looks and acts just like our Daisy!

So here’s a word to the wise: your beagle is smarter thah she looks. lol. JUST WATCH!!! OMG!!!

URL to video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VnBjQDeZPag&eurl=http://videos.komando.com/2008/10/21/&feature=player_embedded

And here’s the Harry Houdini of beagles. OMG OMG!!!

URL to video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y3YR_DfnYpE

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