Saturday, March 29, 2008

Twin Boys! (Cats)

We are now the proud parents of twin baby boys!

From left to right: Manny (Ramirez) and Brady (Tom Brady)

Here they are in action!

More Photos!

Amazing Archer

There is pretty much no limit to what people can do. Check out this video from "America's Got Talent:

I love the reaction she gets from David Hasselhoff.

OK - just one more amazing video from America's Got Talent:

Thursday, March 27, 2008

100th Blog (In Review)

This is my 100th Blog. Ever.

100 Blogs in less than 2 years, which averages to about a blog per week. Not too bad!

Lets review some of the best blogs.

Personal Favs:
Don't Discard!
Cable Doesn't Do This
Less is More & Doing What You Love

Most Commented Blogs:
Pachelbel Nightmere (9 comments)
Test Drive - Round #1 (9 Comments)
Pumpkin Carving (9 comments)

Random Older Blogs:
Insurrection Insomnia
Wedding Miracle!
Costa Rica in a few images

Monday, March 17, 2008

From Russia with Love

Siberian Cats Everywhere!

Some little known facts about Siberian cats:
- They are not full grown until they are 4-5 years old
- At 4 months old they are the size of your normal cat
- When full grown, they are HUGE (not pictured)

I had no idea how big a 25 lb cat would be (plus they have a lot of hair).

These cats are also hypo allergenic and have the personality of dogs. How many other cats can you actually give a belly rub?

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Lessons in Self-Confidence

In a time when maybe it's easier to water down your personality than risk "putting yourself out there" here's a great video! This guy really defines the phrase "go if you're going!" He doesn't leave anything off the table here. And from what I understand this performance took place in 2006, so we are talking about a modern day performance.

If you make it to the end of the song he will reward you!

I think this is great! You see too many people so insecure, and often they are the ones who try to put down others around them.

This band is called MIKA and I found them through Josiah Leming's American Idol performance. After having seen MIKA, I think Josiah did a great job with that song. Josiah caught the nation's interest (I think) because he was unique and really put it all out there.

And as a joke, here's Josiah's future hit:

That's a joke because Keane is already well known, thought Josiah's style reminded me of them a lot.

Friday, March 14, 2008

The U.S. and Money

During this unofficial recession, who isn't thinking about money?

Here are two of the more interesting pieces of data I have come across while searching for financial info. I could blog volumes about each graph, but I won't, they are pretty fascinating by themselves.

Source: 1989-2004: Arthur B. Kennickell, "Currents and Undercurrents: Changes in the Distribution of Wealth, 1989-2004," Federal Reserve Board, Jan. 30, 2006, Table 1. 2005-06:

So the wealth in the U.S. is split evenly 3 ways, the top 1%, the next 9%, and the bottom 90%. I believe this should be eye opening. I think it can be attributable (at least to some degree) to the fact that many people are going through the motions and clocking in, some people are constantly improving their skills to move into skilled labor, while very few others take another step and separate their labor from their income. You can only work so many hours, but intellectual property can earn limitless income without labor (think of patent holders, inventors, and business owners). You can't possibly believe that Warren Buffet, Bill Gates etc. are making 1,000,000 times other individuals incomes because they are working 1,000,000 times harder, they are putting their efforts into a totally different area. In stead of working or laboring, they are thinking and building. Napoleon Hill coined the phrase "Think and Grow Rich" he never said "Mindlessly Work Hard and Grow Rich" or "Be Lazy and Grow Rich".

Now - I am more concerned about the next graph.

Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis, National Income and Product Accounts, Table 2.1, Personal Income and Its Disposition.

As you can see the personal savings rate is in negative territory! I think many people are living beyond their means. It's now part of our culture, part of entitlement, part of irresponsibility, part of instant gratification, part detachment from reality, part gilded age (it's all a facade) - and it's great for the economy. In fact one could argue that the GDP is over inflated because we have compromised our own personal finances faster than we are truly growing the economy, but that's a whole other discussion. But clearly - the party's over - at least in the short run for a correction. And at the end of the day, there should be a lot of individual responsibility to run a home like a business. Instead, I believe personal debt is at an all time high, never mind saving for retirement. We'd rather spend today than save for tomorrow. In fact, our brains may be wired that way! And that may be the most amusing part. As far as we think we've come, to some degree we are still programmed in the animal kingdom. But those animals seem to do fine without ANY money!

(This blog really took some turns, even I didn't know where we'd end up!)

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Cincinnati Blizzard (In Pictures)

Hoooray!!! Today marked the 1st time since I have been in Cincinnati that we actually got some "real" snow. Our official measurement in an open field was 12". Snow drifts were up to 2 feet against our house! Here are some great shots from today!

Since it was a blizzard, everyone bundled up, including Shelby!

Even I got bundled up:

Oops! Looks like we should go out the front door, the back door looks snowy!

To get around, you need to travel like the Eskimos!

Doggy sitting in the snow! (where'd the paws go!)

Shelby and I take a break from the action!

Matt - we are going to need you to clean off the deck. It had about 18" of snow on it!

It sure was fun to have some real snow. Of course shoveling the driveway wasn't any fun and we didn't even finish it! We also have a lot of snow on the roof that I'll try to rake off tomorrow.

Sure makes me wish I lived in a warmer climate - maybe in Central America where it's 85 degrees year round! Who would want to leave there! :)