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My Town is Sick

I live in a town with 30000 people. Give or take a few thousand. Our biggest source of income as a city is coal. Next is Oil (which isn’t doing well). After that would be all types of gas. If it burns and comes from the ground we produce it. I’ve seen less and less demand for coal as the EPA regulations increase and the demand for it decreases in proportion to the regulation. This is not an ode to the boom town. The situation is hard, people will lose their jobs, people will move away. The whole point...

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I'm Quitting!!

Through with Chew I have been chewing tobacco on and off for about 5 years. Not ideal. For those of you unfamiliar with it chewing is like smoking, but much more gross. It saves those around you from the smoke. However, you become that guy with a cup of his own spit in the corner. It’s awful. Quitting Again I have quit about 4 times. Each time I swear this is the last time. Then I say “I will have just one dip.” It never is. Then I go a couple months and quit again. Every time before I have told myself that I can have just one in a couple months. It wont be a big deal. That is true at first. Then comes the craving again. This Time is Different….. Maybe This time I am telling myself never again. I don’t want cancer, I don’t want to show my kids that this is okay, I don’t want to hold my spit like a creep! On top of that I added it up and I am paying between $80.00 and $100.00 a month for the stuff. So I’m calling it quits and this time for good…. I hope. The stuff is tricky. Once you think you’ve kicked it you can be lured back in. It is gross but feels amazing. Probably like most drugs. Here WE GO!! I’m...

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This Will Not Be Fancy

What Started this Mess and What the Heck am I thinking? I have been listening to Tim Ferris’s Pod Cast a lot lately. I was listening to Tim’s interview with Seth Godin. I have no idea who Seth Godin is. However, he seems to have some good ideas. I like how he was not as concerned about money as he was with doing good and being able to live with himself. He called money “just numbers”, and ultimately making more of it takes over your life and you will obsess with making more and more of it. In addition more money doesn’t necessarily mean greater impact on society. Now that was a bastardization of what he said, but i have the podcast linked below and I would suggest going below and listening yourself. He has an interesting take on a lot of things and made me think about a lot of things from a different angle. Where Does Blogging Come In? I liked what he said in general. I don’t agree with everything he said but who the hell am I? One thing he did talk about was blogging every day. In the past I have treated blogging as a high pressure thing. I had to go from regular guy to accomplished author who everyone wanted to read and then somehow justify doing all this to myself with income...

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Our Trip To Ayers Natural Bridge

Ayers Natural Bridge As one of the only natural bridges in the world Ayers Natural Bridge is really neat to see. The river cuts right through a huge rock in the center of the park. You can walk across the bridge or wade in the river underneath it. Getting There Driving to the bridge is an experience itself. Starting from Douglas Wyoming, drive about 15 miles west on the interstate. Take the Ayers Natural Bridge exit. Then dive like what feels like forever. Really it is only about 10 miles at most. The road quickly gets narrow and there...

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Syrian Crisis

An Unimaginable Situation I really didn’t pay attention to the situation in the Middle East. I saw some horrifying pictures of murdered children last year. I recoiled at first. How do you react to something like that? I reacted in anger, but anger with who. I am not a soldier, world leader, or God. There is really nothing a person like me can do about all the insanity. I started down the road of “the good old USA doing something!” However after being at war for 14 years I don’t think more war more can be the answer. War against Who? ISIS or one of a dozen rebel groups? I have read that the US being there for so long and then pulling out may have had something to do with it. I don’t know if there is any truth to that or not. So back to the dead children. I saw the murdered children. Then I saw the Christians being beheaded. It all made me go numb. Then my wife showed me this video. It is heart wrenching and shows how it could have been my children. It’s not some random tribe. They are children and families like mine. Now I still don’t have any good ideas. I still feel helpless. I have heard that dead children have been washing up on the beaches of Europe. About the...

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Roku 3 Review

Roku 3 Review (Better late than never) We are cable cutters. We chose to lose the cable company officially a year ago. It was a smooth transition. We already had Hulu and Netflix. The only thing we really missed was Football. –Want to cut the cable yourself? We had been using a PlayStation 3 for streaming. At first it was nice. The PS3 was fast and loaded everything quickly. Recently the old PS3 started acting funny. Freezing, forcing us to resign into Hulu every time it loaded, more freezing!!! Why Not Apple TV? A few months ago we tried...

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Encasing Insects Part 2

Where We Left Off Our first round of encapsulation didn’t go so well. See this post to follow the drama that was Round 1 of our encapsulation adventure. Though the first project was a disaster we didn’t give up. We watched the videos which I included in part 1, and learned some new ways of doing things. Google is your best friend when picking up a new hobby so I recommend you go there after reading this. This post is in no way exhaustive. Encapsulation Techniques There are several ways you can go about encasing a bug. There is the technique that uses two pieces of Plexiglas on top and bottom, and the fill a mold and try to get it to look good method. The latter does not require a buffer so that is our preferred method. If you look online there are many ways to encase all kinds of things. You can get complex and involved as you want. Because we aren’t reselling any of our projects I don’t really want to get too crazy. Our Process Our process: Find a creature. Dead or alive (dead is best for not having to kill something, alive makes it easier to position the creature.) Soak creature in rubbing alcohol (this accomplishes the killing part of the process as well as preserving them). Prepare the mold. Clean it, make sure...

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Encasing Insects Part 1

How it Started Last year my son became obsessed with epoxy resin encased insects and other creatures. We ordered him all the kits we could find on Amazon (within reason) for Christmas. Beatles, spiders, insects, anything we could find that wasn’t ridiculously priced. Some were rare and expensive. With this we also bought him a kit to make his own. Amazon has all kinds of molds, resin, hardener, and releasing chemicals. You can get as elaborate as you want. We bought this Easy Cast kit, a few molds, some tweezers for positioning, and a spray chemical that helps the resin release from the mold. It really doesn’t cost much to get into. You can get a lot more into it if you want, but to just play around a little bit isn’t very expensive. Our First Attempt Our first try was pretty bad. My son found a big spider. We soaked it in rubbing alcohol while we mixed our epoxy resin. I started by filling up the mold half way. Then we put the spider in there and immediately poured the rest on top. We positioned the legs with tweezers we bought him in a kit and let it set up. This did not work very well. The spider had curled back up and our efforts to make the legs look right had created a ton of bubbles. If...

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Angry Birds 2

New Take On A Soon-To-Be Classic I played Angry Birds back in the day. When it first came out it was awesome. You might remember those days. It was a fun game that didn’t ask a lot. It did however make you want to pull your hair out from time to time. I quickly lost interest. It was fun, but you can only knock things over with birds so many ways before its boring. I didn’t bother with the other games Rovio came out with. Angry Birds Star Wars, Angry Birds in Space, Etc. My kids loved them. I just couldn’t get into it. So I don’t know what made me try Angry Birds 2. From what I’ve seen it’s pretty fun. It’s the same premise. Hit things with disgruntled fowl. They all have little powers. The red one can knock things over with some kind of red burst. The Yellow one still shoots through wood. It’s all the same but different enough to keep you interested. New Additions to the Game The explosions are more 3D. The pigs and parts occasionally fly at the screen. There are new Birds with new abilities. You can fight other players with the new Arena Area. All of this seems like it will help the game to stay enjoyable for longer. They also have “spells” now. You can make all the blocks ice or make it rain rubber ducks. You quickly run out of spells though, and have...

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First Day with Windows 10

Installing Windows 10 Installing Windows 10 was simple (with an asterisk). The asterisk being I did not wait in line. I accidentally stumbled upon a little trick to avoid the queue. I clicked on the create a USB tool. Once it downloaded the program gave me the option to “Install on This PC”. There it was. I used this little gem to update all of the PC’s I needed to. If you don’t want to wait I recommend you try that out. Initial Impression My initial impression was “Damn I wish I hadn’t told this thing to wipe everything.” Followed quickly by “This is Amaze-balls!” It’s awesome. Windows 10 takes everything I hated about Windows XP, 7, and 8 and just gets rid of it. It finally makes it feel like Windows is in this century.   I love the look of it. I love that the search bar is in the lower left just waiting for me to use it, or not, I’m in control (to quote Pierce Hawthorne). I love the updated and customizable start menu that doesn’t take over the whole screen!           I love that everything looks modern and minimalistic. Finding things at first was a pain. The pain quickly subsided when I started using that Search Bar or (Cortana). While I hate the name Cortana, because it’s obviously a rip...

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