Monday, August 31, 2009

Disney buys Marvel

Free Software - Norton spyware alternative

Another thing Norton does in their security suite is offer spyware protection. Technically the correct term would be malware. Here are some terms you may want to know

Spyware: a program that monitors your computer activity and reports to a server
AdWare: a program that creates pop ups typically to advertise
Fishing: Looking for someone's password typically to banking information.
Pop up Blocker: doesn't do anything but close windows that pop up.

Firefox and IE both have built in pop up blockers. You shouldn't install one of those.

As far as getting rid of spyware, you typically don't need something that is super active. An occasional scan will typically be enough. I haven't even needed my antivirus or antimalware software in over 6 years. That being said, I still run it. Not having some kind of protection is like driving your car with out insurance. You may go 20 years with out an accident but when you do have one, you'll be glad you have it.

Since I rarely would use the program, I'm looking for something that requires little to no resources from my PC. Here are a few that I've found that work well.

Spybot Search and Destroy: A good program that blocks internet problems and can scan for malware programs. You can download it from THIS site.

Malwarebytes: Another good program to get rid of any junk on your system. You can get that from HERE. Malwarebytes asks you to buy the program but you don't need to do that. Just keep using the free scanning as that is all you will ever need.

I have both installed on my PC since it doesn't hurt to have files as long as they aren't in memory.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Free Software - Symantec alternative

Anti-virus software is something one should never pay for. Expensive bundles like the Symantec Anti-virus or McAfee Anti-virus programs not only use way too much of your resources but also dip into your pocket year after year to renew your updates.

I would suggest AVG as a good free alternative. Go to THIS website and click "Download Now" on the free edition of the software. Even they will try to upgrade you for a cost but that will never be necessary. You should never pay for home anti-virus or anti-spyware protection. I'll provide several good anti-spyware and anti-spam protection programs later.

Free Anti-Virus by Grisoft or AVG to keep those worms and viruses away.

Enjoy!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Wedding move

Combining two lives is not an easy process. There is a lot to move, pack up, and remove. Then once you're done, you need to find a place for everything. If you're like me, you bought your house with only yourself in mind. Something that you could afford and was ample space for you and your junk. Now that there are two of us, we've got double of a lot of things.

What to do with all that stuff? Dave had a good suggestion to put it all in a storage unit. That way it is out of your house so when you come home from your honemoon, you have a clean peaceful house. Nothing is mores stressful then looking at a messy house that you will need to clean. Another alternative is to buy 15-20 rubber boxes from Wal-mart all the same size, shape, and color. Put all extra stuff in those boxes and put them in a spare room. That way they at least look decent and are out of your way.

We went with that method and bought 15 $4.50 boxes and have them in our spare room. One of these days we will go through them but until then, at least they are out of our way and look organized.

Free Software - Roxio alternative

Cd burner XP is a free alternative to Nero or Roxio. It works just as well and is available for free. You can download their software HERE. Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

9 screener available


The screener for the movie 9 is available for free at Shakefire at THIS URL. You will need to register first. If they ask, thirdconspiracy referred you.

Enjoy!

Free Software - MS Office alternative

Home software should be free! I've always stood by that statement. Business solutions require less errors therefore you might need to buy software but outside of that, download freeware. Over the next few blogs I write about free software that has been proven over time.

Microsoft Office is a great tool to write documents. It is however very expensive. For a free alternative, try Open Office. Open office will work for all average users. You can create and view all types of MS Office files. Aside from the most advanced MS Office user, all features that one would use are available and easy to find and use.

That link is Open Office.

Enjoy!

Become a PC Expert

The US government needs a bailout

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The reports by the White House budget office and the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office are expected to show the government will spend a record $1.6 trillion more than it collects this year and nearly double its outstanding debt over the next 10 years.

Looks like the US government needs the next bailout. Doubling the deficit? Obama followers are following him to our demise.

Monday, August 24, 2009

The Wedding 30

We've all heard of the freshman 15 but do you know about the marriage 30? Most guys I've talked to about getting married say that after they got married, they gained around 30 pounds. I can believe it. I was measured for a friend Wayne's wedding at a 28 in waist. One year later, for my own wedding, I was measured at a 32 in waist. Four inches in one year and we were not even married yet.

I'm going to do something about that. My brother-in-law is opening a super nice gym on Wake Forest road soon. I'm going to try and get some people from work to join with me and work out and lap swim. In addition, Marcie has agreed to put her culinary talents towards things that are better for us. Its hard cutting back when her food is so good but we can at least get rid of a lot of the fat and such.

What does that look like? For breakfast this morning, I had a breakfast granola bar, a peach, a banana, cheese, and pistachios. Oh, and a grape Juicy Juice juice box. If I only had my Dannon all-natural strawberry yogurt it would have been the perfect breakfast! That's not too hard. No trans fat in there and nothing too bad for you. Dinner will be much harder. Marcie made some meat loaf which does have some saturated fat in it. Its so good so it is hard not to want to eat a lot of it. We added a side of jasmin rice to fill you up so that helps limit the fatty intake.

Oh, if you're cooking rice, give jasmin rice a try. Once you start cooking jasmin, you'll never go back to normal long grain rice again.

White Peach

You've never had a peach till you've had a white peach. Like their yellow counterparts, they have all the same texture and makeup however they are always so much more juicy and sweet. You get a good white peach and you will never go back.

The problem is, they're kind of hard to find. A good alternative is the saturn peach. You don't get as much fruit out of it but it tastes just as good. When you're lucky and you do find them. Score! My hands are mess now as I dive into one. mmm, mmm, good!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Jayden is born

7 lb 6 oz
21 in
blond hair
9:36 am
8/21

These are all traits that describe my new nephew Jayden. He is very good looking to be just born.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Jayden

Amy is going into labor now. If you read this today, please pray for both her and Jayden's safety.

Oh, and I was right! I picked the right day for Jayden's birthday.

Tuesday - Amy
Wednesday - Daniel
Thursday - me
Friday - dad

Brasa

Marcie and I went to Brasa steakhouse last night. After that, I've come to the conclusion that we don't get our money's worth from a buffet. Even with a $20 off coupon, it was still way to expensive for the quality of food and how much we ate.

For those who don't know, it is a meat buffet. Guys walk around with meat stacked on swords. If your coaster is on the green side, they would offer you the meat of your choice. If it is on the red side, then they leave you alone.

The cooked pineapple was amazing as always. If you go there, make sure you get some of that!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Wedding Guest Book

Having a guest book is nice to know who attended your wedding. You will probably get some presents that didn't have a tag therefore a lists of guests that attended can be nice. You are however not required to have a plain book with just lines in it. I've been wanting to do a Kodak photo book for a while and this was the perfect opportunity. Sam and Angela also had a good idea on their guest book. They bought a coffee table book and had people sign around those. Both are very similar however if you decide to do it this way, make sure the gust book attendant informs the guests that they should print their name so that we can read it. We will have our thank you cards out in two weeks (we're waiting on our pictures to come back) and we've got two presents that we don't have a person attached to.

Oh! We were stumped on what to put on the front of our book. I looked around the internet since "guest book" doesn't look really great. I found most guest books just said "guests" on the front so that is what we ended up doing.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Wedding Slide Show

One thing that is not uncommon is to have some kind of slide show before your wedding or during your reception. Typically it will be pictures of you and your spouse throughout the years. Its fun to see where you were and what took place to get you to where you are now.

This is a chance for you to show your artistic side even if you don't have an artistic side. While most people's slide show looks like a power point presentation, you can have a professional movie quality slide show with little to no effort. There is a great website called animoto which takes your pictures and puts them in a slide show with really cool transitions. We downloaded a hi res DVD iso so that we could take it anywhere. Here is the low res version to get an idea of what to expect. (you'll want to turn off the sound... we just chose that song because it was the longest)

video

All you have to do to get something similar is upload photos, pick a song, then click remix. It will auto sort your photos in a way that has the best transitions. It uses some kind of software for that. The final product looks really great and the cost is really low. The only downside is you can only play one song. If that song is short, you may not be able to play all of your pictures. If you know how to splice mp3s together, you could do that and upload that to animoto. That should work.

My mom has some software that came with her mac for editing dvd videos. She removed the sound and the animoto logo at the end of the slide so it looked like we did it. If you don't have a mac, you can still do it. Do a quick Google search and you'll find any kind of free software you can imagine. I don't have any suggestions for you since its been about ten years since I've had any need to edit video. I can only imagine that the software out now would be much better then what I was using back then.

Remember, home software is free if you know where to look. Don't ever pay extra for a computer because it has certain software on it. That's just a way for them to get more money out of you.

Disclaimer: Obviously you don't want to download anything illegal and with all the shareware and freeware that is out these days, you should never have to.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Wedding Hair

One thing most people do is dress up and do their hair nicer then they normally would. Since I never do... anything to my hair, I didn't really know what I was doing. You eventually get a style that seems ok but after a few hours, you may not like it any more.

One suggestion I would make is a couple of weeks before the wedding, dress up and go on a date. Do your hair like you think you'll want it on the wedding day and see if you still like it at the end of the night. I probably wouldn't have put gel in my hair and Marcie would have kept her bangs down if we did it again. Yes the day is special but we are still ourselves. That just wasn't our style. Remember, your pictures will be around for a long time so you want to look your best. Sometimes that takes at least one practice run.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Red Meat

Marcie and I made a beef brisket the other day. It came out 100% red and we thought it wasn't done. After putting it on the grill, it still didn't change colors so we eventually just ate the dry now overcooked meat red. We were thinking it was red because we made it as a stew.

Julie/Julia confirmed that suspicion for us. Evidently, if you don't dry the meat, it will never brown.

There you go. Meat stays red unless it is dry while it is being cooked.

Yobaby Take 2

I tried the second one today. Apple. It tasted kind of like a cinnamon apple with a hint of Golden Grahams. The trick is you need to mix it all before you take your first bite.

If the berry kind is as good as the apple, I might actually buy it again.

Wedding Decorations

Decorations can be very expensive. The more you do yourself, the better off you will be price wise. With that being said, unless you are like Marcie and can picture things in your head with out seeing it some where, you'll probably want to consult the wedding mags that I mentioned in an earlier blog. Remember, if you're the bride/groom, you won't want to worry about anything on your wedding day. I felt pretty much like cattle being told where to go the whole time. We had people setting things up and moving things around. On that, if you plan to do things yourself, find a friend or consult your church's college class. I'm sure most of the guys there would love to make a little bit of cash by setting things up for you.

Southern Wedding Magazine will be putting out their next issue in September. They are great for having lots of ideas and very few advertisements. Once you have your idea, you'll want to make a plan for it to all be done. A lot of the flowers can be picked up from the farmers market. They're much cheaper then a florist and the flowers are always fresh. The people there also seem to be really nice and willing to do above and beyond to make your day special. Micheal's sells tulle and other ribbons and cloths you can use to decorate also. They are also a great place to find fake ivy or other running green plants.

Shop around some of the outdoor places at the mall. Some times you will find good deals on lanterns or other yard type of things. My cousin did something like that at her wedding. She had a row of yard lanterns and they looked really nice at night next to a string lit gazebo.

If you're having a winter wedding, things just got a lot easier. One of the nice things about a winter wedding is that the decorations are already out. The church will often be filled with poinsettias and other greenery. You'll have Christmas banners up and everything will be looking very nice. A little tulle and there is nothing more to decorating.

Friday, August 7, 2009

yobaby

I love yogurt. I'm always looking for a better tasting yogurt that has a milkier texture. I was at Target today and found an interesting yogurt. Yobaby is a yogurt to help babies develope. I figured it would be good since babies can't have a lot of the preservatives that they put in adults yogurts. Plus, the yogurt was called yo baby. That's what I said to Marcie the first time I saw her. I used to use that one on all of my pick up attempts. I'm just kidding... but its still a funny name.

It was ok but weird. It had the fruit on the bottom which was normal. Then the middle was soft as I would hope but the top had a strange almost icing texture and was slightly yellow. It was ok I guess. It was no Dannon All Natural Strawberry but I'll eat it.

Speaking of, I got 2 packs of Dannon All natural as well. Yum!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

My Princess

I like to joke around with Marcie about being a princess. If anyone knows her, you will know she is both athletic and artistic. Neither of those stereotypes include princess type of behavior. I think its funny now that Jaime is giving princess a new name in her current study. Marcie is really enjoying it so far and is wanting to be a princess. On our honeymoon, she would rather be pampered at a resort then go off and have an adventure at some ancient Mayan ruins.

Jaime however is showing that an actual princes is a lady with responsibilities. She can't run around collecting dingle hoppers and doodads. She is an ambassador for her kingdom representing her king. Who is Marcie's King? You're probably thinking me since I'm so kingly but it is actually the one true God. The creator of all things and the one who through his fairness and justice created both heaven and hell. When you become Christian, you develop a relationship with God and become one of his children with equal inheritance to his riches.

You get to heaven not as a result of works but it is a gift from God, so that no one can boast of his own merits (Ephesians 2:8-9). Remember good people go to hell all the time. Make sure you accept the gift of Salvation that can only come from God. Ask me or a pastor what that means. It will change your life.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Happy Birthday

A very special Birthday wish for Marcie. I love you!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Random End Cap Grabber

While Marcie is the add clicking queen, I have been informed that I am the king of picking up random crap stores put in their isles and end caps. It is always random and things you don't see every day so why not take a look. Today I picked up this cool flaming flower for Marcie's birthday. You light the middle which creates a huge flame. That flame lights six smaller candles which causes the flower to open up. Not sure how it works but I can't wait to try it this Wednesday.

On a separate note, it is really hard to get Marcie a surprise on her birthday when she knows where I am at all times. I decided to get something different that I knew she really wanted. She has been talking forever about needing a mirror in our room. I was going to get her this jewelry box/picture frame thing that she really wanted but Wal-mart didn't carry that item any longer. While looking on line, I found out you could get a full length mirror that doubles as a jewelry box. Score! I hope she likes it. She was really excited and since I'm mean, I put it together, placed it in our room, then put a sheet over it and said she couldn't look at the mirror till Sunday (tomorrow). That sounds fair right? On Wednesday, I'll give her the key to the thing and she can start using the jewelry box. That is her official birthday so lets make the present official.