Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Get Motivated Seminar

Jake had the opportunity today to attend a "Get Motivated Seminar".

The Get Motivated Seminar is world famous for its energizing, action-packed, star-studded, fun-filled, spectacular stage show. The seminar is organized by Peter and Tamara Lowe.

The good. The show was a lot of fun and it included some really motivating speakers including:
  • Rick Belluzzo, Legendary President of Microsoft
  • Rudy Guiliani, America's Mayor
  • Bryan Flanagan, Top Communication Skills Expert
  • Dr. Robert Schuller, America's Best Inspirational Speaker
  • Tamara Lowe, Top Sales Expert and Author of Get Motivated!
  • Zig Ziglar, America's #1 Motivator
The Bad. In between the head liners we were subjected to several infomercials from a number of get rich quick schemes. Make $40,000 per month using our simple no risk solution that is so easy even a chimp could use it. But obviously this sales technique was effective because I estimate that a good 20% of the 14,000 folks in attendance plunked down their money. I wish them luck and I think that our fair city will be pretty well off with all of the new millionaires that we are going to have.

Despite the infomercials, I still had a great time and would recommend the Get Motivated Seminar. It was hard not to get at least a little bit motivated with the great speakers, music, fireworks and confetti.

Tell me if you been to a "Get Motivated Seminar" and what your thoughts were.

Friday, January 09, 2009

DJ And The Boys

If you are looking for a little adventure, stop by and visit our friends at DJ and the Boys.

Life can be exciting when you are living with two four-legged, high strung pals. There is never a dull moment and the entertainment is free. There is always something to investigate, sniff, chew and pee on. Adventure waits around every turn, if you are not in the middle of a nap on a comfy piece of furniture that is.

DJ is a Human. Raised by Humans.

Fuego is a Dalmation. The duties of this ancient breed are as varied as their reputed ancestors. They were used as dogs of war, guarding the borders of Dalmatia. To this day, the breed retains a high guarding instinct; although friendly and loyal to those the dog knows and trusts, it is often aloof with strangers and unknown dogs.Dalmatians have a strong hunting instinct and are an excellent exterminator of rats and vermin.In sporting, they have been used as bird dogs, trail hounds, retrievers, or in packs for boar or stag hunting.Their dramatic markings and intelligence have made them successful circus dogs throughout the years. Dalmatians are perhaps best known for their role as a fire-apparatus follower and as a firehouse mascot.

Mocha is a Weimeraner. Today's breed standards developed in the 1800s, although dogs having very similar features to the Weimaraner have been attested as far back as 1200s in the court of Louis IX of France. It is believed that Continental pointing breeds, particularly the Vizsla, and mastiffs were its ancestors. Like the Vizsla at the time, the breed was created exclusively for the nobility and alike. The aim was to create a noble-looking, reliable gundog. As ownership was restricted, the breed was highly prized and lived with the family. This was unusual, as during this period, hunting dogs were kept in kennels in packs. This has resulted in a dog that needs to be near humans and that quickly deteriorates when kennelled. The Weimaraner was an all purpose family dog, capable of guarding the home, hunting with the family, and of course, being loving and loyal towards children.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Man In The Moon

Molly teaches astronomy classes as part of her job, but she doesn't teach many astronomy classes during the winter. She decided to drag us out into the cold tonight to see what was happening in the universe. Unfortunately, there was just enough cloud cover to make seeing the stars a little difficult. We were however able to take a nice look at the moon and its craters.

The telescope we are using is an Orion SkyQuest XT4.5 Dobsonian Reflector Telescope. The XT4.5 is the smallest in the Orion Dobsonian line of telescopes. The telescope has surprisingly good optics for a telescope of this size. It comes with a good-quality 4.5" f/8 primary mirror, two eyepieces, a finder. The best thing about this telescope is the fact that it can be moved outside easily and set up quickly.

A few facts about the moon.

• How did the moon form? According to the "giant impact" theory, the young Earth had no moon. At some point in Earth's early history, a rogue planet, larger than Mars, struck the Earth in a great, glancing blow. Instantly, most of the rogue body and a sizable chunk of Earth were vaporized. The cloud rose to above 13,700 miles (22,000 kilometers) altitude, where it condensed into innumerable solid particles that orbited the Earth as they aggregated into ever larger moonlets, which eventually combined to form the moon.

• The moon is about 4.6 billion years old, or about the same age as Earth.

• The diameter of the moon is 2,160 miles (3,476 kilometers). The moon's mass—the amount of material that makes up the moon—is about one-eightieth of the Earth's mass.

The gravity of the moon is only one-sixth that of the Earth. That means that on the moon, Jake would only weigh about 31 lbs.

• The moon's rotation is synchronized in a way that causes the moon to show the same face to the Earth at all times.

• The moon's gravitational pull on the Earth is the main cause of the rise and fall of ocean tides.

• The airless lunar surface bakes in the sun at up to 243 degrees Fahrenheit (117 degrees Celsius) for two weeks at a time (the lunar day lasts about a month). Then, for an equal period, the same spot is in the dark. The dark side cools to about -272 degrees Fahrenheit (-169 degrees Celsius).

Sunday, January 04, 2009

New Year's Tradition

Many cultures have traditional ways of celebrating the new year. These traditions can include eating a certain food or singing a certain song. In our family, we celebrate the new year in a very special way. Our tradition is to wrap the first person who falls asleep in toilet paper. This year Uncle Dan was lucky recipient of the toilet paper treatment. That will teach him to rest his eyes for a few minutes.

We also eat special food on New Year's Eve which we lovingly refer to as "Fry Night". Molly doesn't allow Jake to have much fried food throughout the year, but she let's down her guard on "Fry Night." This year's Fry Night included, Chicken Wings, Chicken Nuggets, Cheese Sticks, Fried Donuts, and Fried Zucchini. We had a few other things ready to fry as well, but our gall bladders were pretty much at the breaking point.

On New Year's Day, we went a little more traditional with Sauerkraut and Pork.

In many cultures, eating special food on New Year's Day is thought to bring good luck. Here are a few Lucky New Year's Day food items from around the world:
  • Black-Eyed Peas and Collard Greens
  • Foods Shaped Like Coins
  • lentils and sausages
  • sauerkraut
  • pomegranates
  • Eating Greens
  • Grapes
  • Pork
  • Fish Scales
  • Bread or Cakes with Things Baked Inside
  • Eating Noodles at Midnight
  • Ring-Shaped Foods
What do you eat to bring good luck in the New Year?

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Polar Bear Club

Every New Year's Day, around the world, ordinary folks for no apparent reason don their bathing suits and take a plunge into icy water. Scribbles apparently heard of this tradition and though there was no readily available body of icy water available, she did the next best thing by frolicking in the snow.

No one really knows where this tradition started, but it likely began in Finland. Avantouinti is the Finnish word for "winter swimming". It may sound to many like masochism taken to ridiculous lengths, but it is becoming increasingly popular in Finland where 10% of the population have tried it and there are more than 80,000 regular winter swimmers who tout the therapeutic benefits of winter swimming. The typical swimmer is not some grizzled macho-type, but a middle-aged woman with a clerical job.

Safety Considerations before diving into icy water.
  • Do Not do this if you have high blood pressure and/or heart conditions that will put you at risk when you are immersed in cold water.
  • Do Not drink alcohol prior to doing this. Alcohol does not warm you up and it accelerates hypothermia.
  • Do Not stay in the water longer than 15 minutes. Body heat is lost 25 times faster in water than in air.
  • Do Not remove your clothing until swim time.
What are the benefits of taking a polar bear plunge.
1) Shocking the circulatory system can produce a warm afterglow and a transcendental state that one
literally needs to experience to fully understand.
2) It is a spiritually uplifting ritual which can surpass any normal level of comprehension.
3) It can reduce wrinkles. Drastic temperature changes and shivering skin actually exercise shallow
sub-cutaneous muscles that firm the skin.
4) You become part of history rooted in the European tradition of saunas and cold-water swimming.
5) Jumping in near-freezing water wearing little more than a pair of shorts takes a brave soul.
6) Participants build a sense of camaraderie and valued friendships that can last a lifetime.
7) It helps mentally by shortening the winter season and lifts bouts of depression.
8) It's a heck of lot cheaper and safer than walking on coals.