My blog on random thoughts

You can visit my main webpage where i have small web projects. My photo site shows all the fun photography I dabble in. Lastly, you can follow me on Twitter @garfwiz

December 24, 2011

This coming year, let's make the big banks and evil corporations feel the hurt!

I have nothing against the Occupy movement. I have nothing against the idea of the Tea Party. What I have a problem is with the people that complain and do nothing. In recent articles, the super rich calls us out as lazy. They say our protests are an annoyance but they don't do anything. They are part right. We are spending too much time worrying about making ends meet, we don't have the drive to act like we should.

For 2012, we need to make a statement to the super rich. Pay what we pay, or we will take it all away from you.

How do you ask? Well...
1) move to a locally based bank or credit union
2) shop and eat local
3) avoid adding more debt that you can't pay by buying trash
4) buy American
5) buy union

Will that change everything? No. But, it will start us out in the right direction.

1) Changing banks will actually take your money away from them. At my credit union, I get higher interest on my money then any big bank would give me.  Because I'm not investing thousands of dollars, big banks don't give me the time of day. If you can, move your credit cards and loans there too.

2) Shopping and eating local is harder. If you can, shop at a locally owned store that sells food grown near you. It may be a little more but you helping those that want to help you too.  I won't get in to the way our food is grown in this list, but I will in the future.

3) Start a war on the useless garbage and the substandard quality we all seem to accept. Why do we buy stuff that doesn't last as long as it should? Read the box, see what the manufacturer says it should last. In my field of expertise, I will give two examples.
The first is the promotional mattress. I sell you a mattress for $339. It has a 1year warranty. Next to it is a better made bed for $399. It has a 10 year warranty. Are you worth $60?  Is nine years worth $60?
Second is the 22" carry-on piece of luggage. For $69.99, I can sell you a carry-on that will last you about a year. You bought this same style of bag every year for the last 8 Christmas seasons. I could sell you a bag for $199.99 that will last an average of five to six years. Or, I sell you a bag with a lifetime of 3rd party damage repairs for $399.99. A bag the heavy business will never *need* to replace.  A small investment now means that you can keep your bag longer.

4) If it wasn't made here, why buy it here? In the above examples I describe mattresses that are on the bargain end of the price scale.  The part I left out is that those beds were both made by the same company in Portland, OR, by a factory I have personally visited.  However, that luggage I described is all made in Asia.  Finding luggage made on this side of the planet is hard.  Not impossible is we the consumer demand US made products.  Check out the basic things next time you are shopping and look for US made products.

5)  The last one is a little more heated in some circles.  Not all people believe unions help the worker and many believe it drives the cost of business higher.  I disagree...but you knew that already.  I am very pro-union because it does create an important set of rules that go above and beyond the minimum level of care an employer has to put in.  It levels the playing field when people get raises, ensures more people have proper medical coverage, and most importantly creates a support network for making sure they are treated fairly.

If we can do all 5 of those things, I believe we can make sure the "Job Creators" get the message we are tired of being dumped on.  No more trash products.  We gave these people their power and we can take it back!

November 21, 2011

Spirits may run low as a result of I-1183 *linked story*

Ready or not Washington, this is what you asked for!

The following news story I find to be extremely funny.

November 9, 2011

Thank you for nothing...good, at least

I want everyone to know how pissed off I am!  I thought the voters of Washington were smarter.  I knew we could not be bought.  I was totally wrong!
Costco has won and we are screwed!
I hope you are happy because I'm ready to barf.

Day of mourning to be announced later.

October 7, 2011

Post Office Woes

It's time to check ourselves and stop oppressing the Post Office budget!

Link Below:

October 6, 2011

Still NO on I-1183

I posted about this on 8/31/2011 but it is worth repeating over and over! This initiative will hurt all of us. Over a thousand jobs lost, minors will have increased access to hard liquor, and we the taxpayers lose. In towns and cities where we have cut police patrols, we cannot protect our communities from the increase in drunk driving. In stores that are cutting back staff (but making billions...don't get me started there), no one can possible stop it from being stolen off aisle 5 next to the light bulbs, and in mini-mart chains that use the loopholes to get liquor again it will be stolen and the store employees put in harms way.

Then there is the cost to the budget. Our state loses out on the sales revenue. That money goes in to educating our kids, patrolling our freeways, and paying the state government salaries. Are you listening state congressmen and senators?

This is not what Washington needs!
I beg you, vote No on I-1183

September 30, 2011

Wolf Haven Trip

We went to Wolf Haven in Tenino, WA on 9/29 and took some incredible pictures. You can check them at

Enjoy but please do not download the pictures!

New food review

Posted new food review

September 13, 2011

And a Ham is branded!

Say hello to KF7ROS!
My call came up on the FCC database this afternoon and I am excited.  It's not so bad that I need a vanity call thank goodness!
Finally ordered a handy-talkie from HRO today.  I got the Wouxun KG-UV3D-2/UHF and am looking forward to making my first contact.
I'll be listening/watching Ham Nation with a different frame of mind from now on that's for sure!

73 and see you on the air!

September 7, 2011

HAM Test

Went down to the Seattle Chapter of the American Red Cross to do my ARRL ham radio exam.
The results:
Technician:    PASS
General:        FAIL  (not a surprise since I didn't really study)

I should be getting my call letters in about a week.
Now to pick out a nice handheld radio...

I'll keep you posted!

August 31, 2011

Not Another Liquor Initiative....No-I1183

I just can't belive it.  After losing not once but twice last year, Costco and it's other big store partners are at it again to put hard liquor in their stores.  Didn't they learn anything last year?  I guess not!
To keep it short and sweet:

NO on I-1183

August 9, 2011

Added option for a blog newsletter

I added an option to the bottom of my blog to signup for a blog newsletter.  I'll start sending it as soon as people signup.  I'm aiming for monthy newsletters!

The ride is coming to a close

Thursday my cousin's daughter is being moved to her sister's grandmother's house.  I'm kinda sad even though it's what she wants.  I hope she is happy.  It sucks that the move is going to be made on my birthday though.

Also that day I have my annual eye appointment...finally.  I've been waiting for 2 weeks!
The upside to this is that I will have at least one review to post.

July 10, 2011

Today we went to the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium. When we went to the zoo last year we took pictures of the two new tiger cubs, Bima and Mali. They are both playing with Mom, Jaya.

This is the "cubs" this year! They are getting huge in just a year.

We also saw the new clouded leopard cubs. They are so cute right now.

Overall the day was fantastic!

July 6, 2011

Summer Has Arrived

The wait is over! Now I can stick to EVERYTHING all day long. (Talking to the plastic bag covered machine) "Hello old friend, I've missed you."

June 25, 2011

First major photo job!

Today I shot my Aunt Debbie's wedding. I had a lot of fun and got some incredible shots. You can view them at on any internet browser.

June 22, 2011

First Bad Food Review

Please visit my food blog entry for Bronco BBQ here. I have received feedback from some people that I haven't posted anything bad, but now I can say that has changed.

Almost a week in!

We got custody of my cousin's daughter last week. I would love to say I adore her...but she has "issues" and we are here to fix them. Wish me luck!

June 9, 2011

IHS 2011 Graduation

We went to the IHS 2011 graduation at the UW Event Center to see Kelly's brother Jeffery. Pictures are being posted to the smugmug page and the two videos are posted to Youtube.

May 18, 2011

City Logging

Our neighbors had to remove a tree from their front yard. They took the limbs off yesterday and then took down the tree today. Not very often you get to watch trees come down in the burbs!

April 24, 2011

eReaders aren't done....

Just when I think that I'm done with eBook readers, I had to take back Kelly's reader. The battery just wouldn't stay charged. *sigh* We're thinking of getting another Kobo but not really sure yet. I'll have to see if that would be the best deal or if I want to just upgrade to a basic tablet and give Kelly my Kobo.

I'll keep you posted, but feel free to comment if you have a suggestion!

WHS 2011

Last week I upgraded my Windows Homw Server up to the new 2011 version. So far it's good. I miss Drive Extender only because it takes forever to assign the new folders to the drives once you put all the information in them. I had backed up all my stuff to one drive and had to put it in the right folders before I could wipe the last drive and set it up as my videos drive.

I don't see any reasons to go backwards now.

Happy Easter to All

This year I am sleeping in and then playing with a copy of Ubuntu Studio to see if I like it. If not I have a couple versions of SuSe Studio to try.

I am really looking for a workflow to proccess my pictures better.
Wish me luck!

April 21, 2011

Relaxing Vacation Day

Took the day off so I could go up north to see my great aunt for a second time in a week. We took up a book of the pictures we took on Saturday. Lots of sitting but it was worth it...we had Dick's on the way home!

April 18, 2011

New Design Template

I changed the template today so I could make the width bigger. I was tired of it being so narrow, so now I like it better!

It was a great party!

The party we put on Saturday was better then I expected. More people then we planned and lots of food! Fun was had by all.
Photos of the event (as well as past years) can be found on my photo site If you are having problems, please let me know and I will see what I can do to help you out.

Now we want you to see: Hazel did stick her finger in the cake. She got it all over her arm too. I just wasn't fast enough to catch her licking it off.

March 29, 2011

I hate falling behind here!

Well it's been too long since I posted as usual. So now I will give you a quick roundup of what's been going on.

First off, I still am watching in hope for all the problems in Japan.

I finally found a pair of shoes at Norstrom Rack. A pair of white Nike Air Max whose pictures are going up soon. Just need one more pair of regular shoes and a pair of work shoes.

Kelly and I had a great 8th anniversary last week.

That's about it. Anything else and I'll post it here!

March 8, 2011

New restaurant experience

Drove out to east Renton to find Carl's Jr. and see how they rate. The food was really good, but a bit on the pricey side. The place also seemed a bit slow for dinner. Maybe no one knows they are there.

Played around at the Renton Ross, Marchals, and at Fry's...didn't find anything I *needed*, but got some good ideas for the future.

February 23, 2011

Back to WHS basics

Well in light of the fast approaching beta expiration of Windows Home Server "Vail", I rolled my WHS back to version 1 for now. If the RC turns out to be decent I might upgrade to the final version via Technet later this year. Better to be safe right now until we know the best ways to replace drive extender for storage.

The picture are up from our trip

We went down to Vancouver yesturday to put together the aforementioned baby furniture. Beautiful drive down along I-5. Was decent to put together, but over all not too bad. The trip back was full of rain, snow, and indigestion resulting in multiple stops. Not a huge fan of the Vancouver Mall Taco Time now though.

The photos can bee seen, as well as all the others I've posted, at

February 22, 2011

Speedy Delivery & Assembly Service

Today we head south with this furniture. Found a great deal, but now we have put it together. Long drive but it will be worth doing it, if only for the opportunity to take more pictures of the family. Now we can say we have better pictures then the rest of you! *Evil Laugh*. Also, I can hopefully get farther in to my current book on the 3 hour drive.Cryptonomicon.

February 16, 2011

Slowly killing the carbs and food-like foods

I finished reading "Why We Get Fat" by Gary Taubes and have decided to try to move towards the eating advice given.  I'm going to start slowly because most of what I need to cut tastes so good!  I hope to start getting my weight down a bit and this might help me do it.
I followed it up by Michael Pallen's book "In Defense of Food" and that is helping me in ways to eat better as well.

Baby furniture shopping is hard

Spent 2 days already and going in to a third looking for a decent crib and add-ons for my cousins grandson (wow that makes me seem old). Lots of crappy stuff out there! Were are all the quality baby items anymore? The kid can break them all already. Well hopefully today goes better.

Picked and dumped

Got selected for the panel, went in for first day of trial, all were excused! Trial postponed for 30 days. I didn't want so sit on a sexual assault of a minor case anyway. Back to the grind Thursday. BlogBooster-The most productive way for mobile blogging. BlogBooster is a multi-service blog editor for iPhone, Android, WebOs and your desktop

February 10, 2011

Day 3.....and still going

Now in to day 3 of jury duty and I'm still here.

Getting to know all the good restaurants in Kent Station though.

February 7, 2011

Jury Duty is dull

I have decided that jury duty is a bit dull. But, I do get $10 a day...(insert fake cheer here)

Well more to come once it's over. Talk to you Wednesday...maybe

BlogBooster-The most productive way for mobile blogging. BlogBooster is a multi-service blog editor for iPhone, Android, WebOs and your desktop

February 5, 2011

Finally the eReaders are bought

We settled on two sharper image literati readers to take care of Mom and Kelly. I am thinking of a Kobo for myself since they are smaller without the hardware keyboard and use e-ink to save power.
The patches look great and set well.
Found out I will be going to jury duty Monday but it's not that bad...except that I have to be up at 5am

Well off to work I go. Making magic in my wake BlogBooster-The most productive way for mobile blogging. BlogBooster is a multi-service blog editor for iPhone, Android, WebOs and your desktop

January 26, 2011

Another busy day

Spent the morning making high quality version of my zoo and porch bird pictures to post on Micro Stock Photo.  We'll see if they like them.

Next, we went shopping for eBook readers.  So far the Kobo and the Nook look the best.

This afternoon, my older brother came over and helped us fix some potholes on our driveway.  They look good so far.  Now to wait 3 days for them to cure!

January 19, 2011

Taxes Done and eFiled!

Taxes are submitted and getting a decent amount back.  All of it goes to pay off credit cards though :(
Also sent in some incentive points to get verified.  Hopefully that means I can get some more money for March bill payments.  My goal is to get these cards paid back down after Christmas and birthday spending.

Finally the W-2 arrives

I can now do my taxes...cheer I think

Finally sun!

Well it's my last day off in my long on-off vacation. Doing laundry, paying bills, and birthday shopping for Mom. Went downtown yesterday for a gift with Kelly. Today we go to the mall. I just hope I find what I am looking for.
Ends up today will be the pre-shopping trip to Verizon. BlogBooster-The most productive way for mobile blogging. BlogBooster is a multi-service blog editor for iPhone, Android, WebOs and your desktop

January 18, 2011

Another Day off

Nothing much planned for the day.  Grocery Shopping, pay my Macy's bill, check out cell phones so I know what I want to get in a few months.

Any ideas?

January 16, 2011

Lower the flag to half needle

I don't usually care about sports but even I am sad about our lose to the bears. We had a good run from what I heard.
On the upside, it isn't raining at the moment. BlogBooster-The most productive way for mobile blogging. BlogBooster is a multi-service blog editor for iPhone, Android, WebOs and your desktop

Enterprise to do right thing?

Enterprise Rental Car won't charge you for not charging...I don't believe it.
They forget to tell you that the Volt, like the Prius, is a high price rental. At $100-$200* per day, I would still expect to be charged if I don't. Now to find an extension cord to go from the hotel room to my car.

* Rate based on added options, insurance, and how well you bargained you daily rate.

Official "What the..." link of the day

This is just too much!

Computer repair day two

On to day two of servicing my cousins laptop. Today is the day for fine detailing and then the long final cleanup. It's going to be hard to replace some of the missing Dell applications but I think I can do it. BlogBooster-The most productive way for mobile blogging. BlogBooster is a multi-service blog editor for iPhone, Android, WebOs and your desktop

January 15, 2011

Aunt Katie’s 50th

Went to my Aunt Katie’s 50th birthday party tonight.  Got a few pics posted on my photo site ( and 1 video that I’m putting on Facebook as well as on a special webpage( ).

January 14, 2011

Too much rain

Still hasn't stopped raining yet.  Checked the website this morning and the local rivers are at stage 1 or 2 all around my work.  That is not how I want to get more time off!

Finished getting my Windows Home Server Vail Preview machine working again.  Easy enough fix but it would have been nice if they would have told somebody ahead of time.  The Connect site doesn't say anything!  Hopefully the newest beta refresh doesn't ruin it totally. 

Keep planning to get my shoe collection orginized and recataloged so I can sell what I don't wear and publish the pictures for what I'm keeping.  Still hoping to find people to just swap one-for-one but I'm not gonna hold my breath.  Maybe I can afford some new pairs from the sales of old.  If I'm really lucky I can get some new camera or sports gear too.  Depends on what people are willing to pay.

Well off to get ready for another day in the Mattress department.

January 13, 2011

Floating Away

Raining like crazy today! I guess it's better then snow. First day back to work from my 5 day vacation.
Went with my mom yesterday to spend her 2 Fashion Bug gift cards. I recommended Catherine's or Lane Bryant but she was focused. The manager was as rude as ever. I would have thought after the last run in they would have learned. Sigh!
On the up side, the spaghetti sauce we cooked came out excellent!

January 12, 2011

6 month rollup for what's been going on.

August:   Got a new computer since the motherboard on my last one died in the middle of a BIOS flash.  Another HP from Fry's and I like it.  Turned the old one in to a Windows Home Server with a new motherboard.  Also bought a Technet Standard subscription.  For my birthday we went to Point Defiance Zoo.  Pictures availible on my photos page
September:  Kelly also got a new computer to replace his Mac G4 running OS 10.4 (Tiger).  For his birthday, we went to Woodland Park Zoo.  Pictures availible on my photos page
October:  Not much of interest except finding a pair of football pants at Ross.
November:  Going to to my least favorite time of year.  Work gets slow for me but crazy for the rest of the store.  Hello late hours, goodbye sleep.  Also had some of the worst snow in a long time.Thanksgiving was nice and quiet.
December:  No snow and crazier hours!
Christmas was again nice and quiet.

January (month to date):  Taking some time off this last weekend and more next week.  Had a jury summons, but court was canceled.  Not to worry though, I got a new summons for Febuary....sigh.

New year, new comitment to my blog

It's 2011 and I am going to try to post here more often. I have a few ways of reminding me and I'm turning them all on!
My next post will be an update of what's been going on for me in the last 6 months