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Beautiful Autumn Leaves

Filed in Autumn by on September 25, 2008 0 Comments

During our walk yesterday, I told Laura to pick up some colorful leaves for me because I wanted to take some pictures of them. There is this one area that has many of these types of leaves.

She ignored me.

Then, realizing what I had done, I asked Laura to pick up some leaves for me. She still ignored me, but at least she looked at me.

On the way back from our walk, she stopped in the area I was talking about and picked up some leaves.

I learned a valuable lesson from our walk. You can’t tell someone to do something, you have to ask them. Also, you can catch more bees by pouring honey on them than by dunking them in vinegar.

I hope that was funny for you. Here are two of the leaves we picked up.

Autumn leaf

Autumn leaf

Autumn leaf

Autumn leaf

Aren’t they cool?

The Pellets Have Arrived

Filed in Home Improvement by on September 24, 2008 2 Comments

The pellets were delivered yesterday, all four tons of them. That’s 8,000 pounds.

What did I do with all 8,000 pounds of pellets? I moved all 8,000 pounds of pellets downstairs, alone. I did that all by myself in about an hour and a half. I don’t mean to brag about my feats of strength, I really don’t.

This feat was really nothing for me, moving all 8,000 pounds of pellets, I mean. It was annoying, because the wheelbarrow had a tire that was half flat and it was dark outside, but otherwise, everything was OK. I also had to navigate through the little doggy land mines, but I mostly made it.

Wood pellets by the ton

Wood pellets by the ton

I put between 7 and 8 bags of pellets in each wheelbarrow load. At times, things got a little hairy going down the slight hill into the backyard, but again, this was but a minor challenge. When you have as much training in this type of thing as I do, it’s really simple.

Can someone please pat me on the back?

Of course I had to get a fire going in the pellet stove last night. The stove works really great, but I have to seal up the pipes again, just like the old stove. They leak slightly, which kind of stinks. I’ll get it.

The cool part is that when I am standing on the stairs between the basement and the main floor, I can feel a breeze going down, when I put my hand down towards the stairs and a breeze going up, when I put my hand up near the ceiling.

I think it’s going to work out just fine.

The Neon Showy Stonecrop

Filed in Gardening, Landscaping by on September 24, 2008 0 Comments

I took a quick little trip to Home Depot the other day to see if they had and small pines. Of course, they didn’t have any. Lowe’s had them, but Home Depot didn’t…like many things.

On the way in, I passed by a bunch of popular Autumn plants, like Mums. Have you noticed that Mums are everywhere right now. As far as I understand, Mums are annuals. I don’t deal with annuals. I think they are a little short term for me. I do like the way they look and there really are some cool ones, but as far as buying them, I don’t.

At the old house, we had some funky plant that I forget the name of. I remember that it had thick, soft leaves…the kind you could squeeze. Well, when I was walking into Home Depot, I noticed a similar plant that had those same kind of thick leaves. I decided to pick up two of them.

Neon Showy Stonecrop

Neon Showy Stonecrop

Neon Showy Stonecrop Tag

Neon Showy Stonecrop Tag

The plant is called the “Neon Showy Stonecrop.” I am pretty sure this is not what we used to have. We should have pulled that sucker out of the ground when we moved, but it was too early in the season and we couldn’t find it.

When I was getting into my car, a lady in the parking lot told me that deer don’t like these plants, which is an extra bonus.

Early Autumn In Eastern Connecticut

Filed in Autumn, Trees & Shrubs by on September 23, 2008 1 Comment

Now that Autumn is here, I think the camera will be coming out a lot more. We have many mini adventures planned.

There certainly is something different in the air. I can feel it in my bones. Just going out for a little cruise this morning felt strange. Maybe I drank too much coffee this morning, but if not, something is going on.

I, like most people, love Autumn. I am guessing there are few better places on earth to be during this season than New England. It’s not only the trees, it’s the landscape, the weather, the types of homes and the people. Everything adds up to a really great time of year. What’s especially nice is the smell in the air.

Every year during Autumn, I try to take just a few minutes out to just sit somewhere. Listening to the leaves fall and feeling the breeze is quite therapeutic. No matter what’s going on in life, relaxing on a nice Autumn day has its uses.

This is one thing I am trying to do on my blog…I am trying to take pictures during different times of the year. I always wonder what this time of year was like or that time of year was like. I have a horrible memory when it comes to this kind of stuff. I do remember that last year in New York, the leaves were still falling at the end of October.

Here are some photos from today. Remember, most of the leaves around here are still green. There are a few though that are turning. The following pictures are on the road right down the hill.

Early Autumn Trees

Early Autumn Trees

Early Autumn Tree Tops

Early Autumn Tree Tops

Man On Motorcycle Crashes

Filed in Automotive by on September 23, 2008 0 Comments

I was on the way back from Home Depot this afternoon, when I approached some commotion. As I pulled up a little further, I noticed a motorcycle on the side of the road, kind of crumpled up. It was laying on its side.

On the other side of the road, I saw a few people sitting next to a bald guy talking to him. He seemed to be wearing motorcycle riding clothing. I came to the conclusion that either he hit a car or a car hit him. There was a gas station right in the middle of the scene. I am just glad he was ok.

What strikes me as odd about the state of Connecticut is that there is no motorcycle helmet law. From what I have observed so far, about 1% of riders here actually wear helmets.

The law here states that if you are a motorcyclist, 17 years old or younger, you have to wear a helmet. If you are bicyclist, 15 years old or younger, you have to wear a helmet. I guess they put the lives of older individuals in their own hands. I suppose that’s ok.

The whole thing is weird because in New York, the law pretty much states you have to wrap yourself in bubble wrap every time you leave your house, no matter what you are doing. Seeing people fly by on the highway at 80mph with just sunglasses on is a little unnerving.

Are Fireplaces Obsolete?

Filed in Home Improvement by on September 22, 2008 0 Comments

First of all, let me just tell you how much I hate the word “obsolete.” I hate it almost as much as I hate the words “green” and “organic.” Gee, how much can we overuse these words? I didn’t use one of my lights today, therefore I am running a “green” company. Hmmm.

Basically, everything is obsolete these days. I mean, is my car obsolete just because there is something better out there? Is my telephone obsolete just because there is a new model? Ok, I’m sorry. I don’t want this blog post to sound like a rant, even though I can rant with the best of ‘em.

I was in the pellet stove place the other day waiting to talk to someone about when my pellets can be delivered. Remember, they aren’t answering their phones? By the way, the delivery was scheduled for today, but no one showed up. Basically, the day was spent working and looking out the window. I might stop by to visit them again tomorrow to see what they have to say about this.

Anyway, while I was there pretending to look at some stoves, I noticed a sales guy walking by. He asked if he could help me when I said yes. I asked him what the little door in the floor of the fireplace is and what it is used for. He replied, “Well fireplaces are basically obsolete…everyone is getting inserts.” I felt like saying, “Look you little pissant, I didn’t ask you whether or not fireplaces are obsolete. I asked what the little door was.” But, me being me, I didn’t way that. I just kept my charming smile and got an answer after he tried to sell me an insert.

Just in case you wanted to know what the little door in the floor of a fireplace is, it’s a clean out. Instead of shoveling the ashes out of the fireplace, you can just open the door and push them down into the hole. Then, you can go downstairs and shovel the ashes out down there.

I think the word obsolete is obsolete. So there.

Global Internet Traffic – The Cyclical Nature Of The Web

Filed in Internet by on September 21, 2008 1 Comment

I have often wondered if there is some grand resource out there for those of us who are interested in internet traffic trends by industry. It would also be helpful if this data were returned to me chronologically. Daily would be ideal.

If you run your own websites as part, or all, of your business, internet traffic trends are of great concern to you. Some days, your websites seem to be over performing. This is great and it’s very easy to get used to. The entrepreneurial spirit in you goes into hyper-drive. Well, what goes up, must come down. The only problem is, on the internet, there are way too many variables that dictate website success to ignore any “downturn” in website performance. If there was just a way to gauge whether it’s the industry as a whole that has taken a downturn or if it’s just your one website.

Personally, I have seen rather predictable ups and downs in traffic. I remember back over the Summer, during the holidays. On July fourth, web traffic was anemic, only to have an upswing shortly thereafter. I suppose you could just let your website be and hope for the best, but any business owner worth his/her salt isn’t going to sit idly by and watch outside forces play such a strong role.

I think the type of information I am talking about is available over at ComScore, but I believe you must pay for that. I suppose I could trot over to Alexa and type in one of my competitor’s URLs to see how their traffic has fared during the past few weeks, but Alexa’s website traffic stats are notoriously unreliable. They are built upon the Alexa toolbar, which is geared much more towards some groups of internet users, rather than others. Let’s just say that computer geeks gravitate towards the Alexa toolbar, but soccer moms don’t. Tech website traffic is going to look a heck of a lot higher than pottery websites. There may some value in the site across industries though, since those Alexa toolbar people would visit various types of similar websites.

I will continue to look for an answer to this little issue I am having, but in the meantime, if you know of any industry based traffic trend sources, please post a comment.

New Business Idea – Create Appliation Templates

Filed in Business by on September 21, 2008 0 Comments

We have no shortage of ideas when it comes to making money on the internet. If you would ever like to discuss them, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment. We will surely reply…simply because we love this stuff.

Now, I am generally going to talk about business ideas we wouldn’t get into for one reason or another, but rest assured, we have seen these type of ventures make money with very little start up cost. The reason I am only going to talk about ideas we won’t do is because we need to have some sort of competitive edge in the industry. We do a lot of profitable things “behind the scenes” to keep those prying eyes away. I guess you could call this the free stuff.

This idea is basically creating templates for successful web applications. If you are into launching websites, you probably are aware of the issues you can have when it comes time to make your new website look presentable. You know as well as I do, many of the web’s best applications come with a “bare bones” template and it’s up to the template designers to pretty these sites up.

Just to give you an example, I was looking for a premium WordPress template a few days ago. I came across a few websites that had some good ones, but the designs fell off a cliff when I got to the second page of Google results. Actually, now that I think about it, there are only two design firms I am aware of that I would actually get my credit card out for.

So, knowing that there are about a zillion popular web applications out there and knowing that there is a demand for premium templates, don’t you think if would be a good idea to make some money while the opportunity is staring you in the face?

Ok, so how do you do it when you have absolutely no design experience? That’s easy. The internet is full of awesome design firms based in Russia and India. Get in touch with them, lay out your plans, have them complete the projects, but be sure to get the license to resell the end product. Then, start up your own blog with all your designs and get ready to sell. Open up a store front that sells digital media and do a little SEO. By the time you are done, you’re in business.

My Last Celebrator Doppelbock By Ayinger Brewery

Filed in Food & Drink by on September 21, 2008 0 Comments

Oh what a sad time it is. Have four days gone by already? It seems like just yesterday.

I remember that time I walked into the local beer store and brought home my 4-pack of Celebrator Doppelbock By Ayinger Brewery. Do you remember that? If not, you can read about it right here. It was just four day ago.

It’s a very good beer. Its mood changes with whatever is on my fork. I don’t generally drink my beer while eating, but I decided to give it a shot last night. One minute it was a great beer, the next minute, not so great. Overall, I was totally happy with this beer. Farewell.

Celebrator Doppelbock by Ayinger Brewery

Celebrator Doppelbock by Ayinger Brewery

A Business Idea – Start Selling Wood Pellets

Filed in Business by on September 21, 2008 5 Comments

I keep trying to tell anyone who will listen that they should get into the wood pellet selling business. I mean it. If you want to get into a “carbon-neutral” business, start selling wood pellets.

The demand for wood pellets has been rising like absolute craziness. There are no licenses and no classes to take. All you need to do is get a truck, find a vendor, put an ad in the Yellow Pages, get a garage and start making money. It’s pretty much a year round business now. You’re crazy…CRAZY if you don’t listen to me on this one.

I visited a website the other day checking out all different brands of wood pellets. This place sold and delivered to the entire state of Connecticut. They prided themselves on having the most diverse and best quality wood pellets in the state. Well, when I got to the order page, guess what? Every single brand of wood pellet was sold out. Even the pellet stove store I bought this pellet stove from stopped answering their phone. Now, you have to leave a message and they will get back to you. I had to stop by in person yesterday just to speak with them.

I am not sure about the margins for selling woods pellets, but I would guess they are flexible. You could probably make up for a lot in delivery charges, but I would expect the rest is pretty easy. Just think about it…if there were blogs back when people started delivering heating oil, you might have seen a similar post.

I swear, if someone doesn’t start doing this, I will.