Sunday, July 29, 2007

The Lights on but Nobody's there...

After the children went to bed, I curled up on the couch with remote in hand to watch a show while Mark left the house to run a few errands. The house was eerily dark because we had begun the organized packing process, and seeing that we didn't really need the extra lamps, I packed them. During the commercial breaks of "Flip that House" I channel surfed and I ended up watching a spooky scene from A.I. (a semi-recent sci-fi flick about robots). At the peak of spookiness in the movie, Haley Joel Osment, the main A.I. character, travels deep into the ocean that has taken over New York City, and proceeds to have an eerie conversation with a hundred year old blue fairy statue in what was once Cooney Island. Of course, sitting all alone in a dark apartment that picks up every creaky sound from the nearby highway, I was pretty much asking to get creeped out by continuing to watch A.I., but I was drawn to it like a fly on poop. As the spookiness reached an all time high in the sci-fi flick, I heard a loud creak originating from the kitchen which caught me by complete surprise. Freaked out, I jumped off the couch. I turned to see what the noise was in the kitchen and I saw Henry.
Henry was climbing up onto the bar stool at the kitchen counter. I said, "Henry." He did not respond. Again I said, "Henry, what are you doing?" and again, he did not respond. Speaking very loudly I asked him what he was doing in the kitchen and why he was out of bed. Again, he did not respond. Confused, I watched him as he raised his hands in front of his face and began to have a noiseless conversation. It was like he was talking to someone, using his hands to demonstrate what he was talking about, but no sound was coming from him. He nodded his head a few times in response to whomever he thought he was talking to and then nodded his head off to one side and sat still. His eyes looked glazed over and I couldn't help but to compare him to the eerie robotic, children creations in the movie. After watching him for about 5 minutes in complete awe and bizarre terror, I went over, lifted him out of the seat and took him back to his bed, where he went immediately back to "regular" looking sleep. When I asked him today what he was doing last night, he had no recollection of the incident...CREEPY!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


The Setting:
Two nights ago I opened an e-mail from e-bay. I often recieve e-mails from e-bay and had just recieved one the day before. The e-mail indicated that someone had posted negative feedback about my account and I could follow the link to resolve the issue. I clicked on the link and my internet filter immediately popped up "WARNING: SITE CONTAINS CRIMINAL INTENT". By the way, I love my internet filter it is bsafe online and it protects from all kinds of cyber space crap! Anyways, not quite understanding what happened because e-bay is not usally blocked, I then tried one more time to access the link (yes I know STUPID!!!). When my attempts were unsuccessful, I went to the e-bay page, accessed my account and then was confused to see that there was no mention of negative feedback or an inquiry against my account like the e-mail stated.

Within a few minutes, my webbrowser started clicking itself (almost like I was clicking on links but I wasn't touching it), then more windows for my web browser popped up, and then my computer froze. I turned off the computer thinking it was a simple computer glich and restarted the computer. The computer continued to do the same thing, so I shut it off and went to bed.

The next morning, Mark got on the computer to do some business and when the computer was loading, a black screen popped up and indicated that files had been removed. Mark tried to restart the computer and it completely locked up. He then completed a system restore because when we purchased the computer 2 years ago, he set up a restore in case anything like this ever occured. After 4 hours, the restore completed and then the computer stalled. It would not turn on, it would not turn off. It was fried!

We took the computer to Computer Doctors and left it there overnight. In the meantime, we had to immediately run out and purchase another computer because Mark's business is dependent on having a running computer. Thanks to Uncle Mastercard, we were able to purchase a laptop that day. Today, the Computer Doctors called to inform us that the virus that had attacked our computer was so severe that when they hooked up their equipment to diagnos the problem, it stalled their equipment too. At best, they might be able to retrieve all the files saved to our computer...might I add, these are files that we have been planning to back up before we move, but had not done so yet. Thus, any pictures taken in the last 2 years, songs downloaded, stories written, and important personal information saved is most likely lost! Because the virus attacked our computer, there is a chance that our personal financial files could have been we also have now spent HOURS contacting our credit cards and the three credit bureaus to notify them that our "identity" needs to be placed under a careful watch! Evidently the e-mail that I opened was VERY destructive...

You evil, pernitious, vile computer hackers...I have notified all my credit cards, lines of credit and the credit bureaus, if you even so much as charge a greasy hot dog on my line of credit, I will be notified and you will be stopped DEAD in your tracks. I will come after you with a vengeance and if I ever see you in person, I will beat you down, utilizing my years of aerobic kickboxing training and I will DAMAGE your personal property, (if you get my vengeful meaning). Computer Hacker/possible identity theft stealer...Your Days are numbered because now EVERYONE will know! I am watching, looking and eventually I will find you and obliterate you!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Come and Kiss me Harry!!!

Harry Potter, I am here waiting under the mistletoe! Come and give me a Kiss...

I dressed as Cho to attend the Harry Potter Book 7 Release party that was held at the local university. I cut my bangs, wore stripes because I thought they looked british and I wore my robe! Although I did not win the costume contests, I did win the hearts of many little Harry Potters...of course I had to first place them under the imperius curse! hehehe...ok, I got the book at 12:01 am, read until 3 am and then woke up the next morning at 9 am and continued reading until the evening. I finshed the book and am dying to dish about when you finish the book, e-mail or call me and we will talk Harry!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Crazy Pumpkin on the Loose!

Today I was away from the house for just over an hour. When I returned Mark came to me and told me that he had a crazy story for me. He said that he had placed Theodore on the downstairs carpeted area to play and had gone up to the computer to work on business. A short while later he heard the distinct shuffling/padding of little baby hands and knees on hard wood and then a few loud banging sounds. Apparently our little Theo had climbed the half flight of stairs to the main level of the home, crawled over to the kitchen and began pulling items out of my cupboards....AGGGHHH! Can you believe that? Now my cupboards were totally unorganized and I had to spend all that time re-organizing my cupboards. If that baby is going to climb the stairs and crawl around the house unattended, he should at least learn that he should NEVER mess up my cupboards. hehehehehe...ok really, he shouldn't be climbing stairs unattended...I know.

Also I know it isn't Halloween yet, but being the bargain yard saler that I am, I found this little costume for 2 bucks and I had to buy it, and put it on my little Teddy right away, and then make him crawl around in it, and then laugh endlessly at his little pudgy pumpkin butt moving around the house.
Get this off of me right now you bunch of Nutters! --Theodore's Thoughts

Wednesday, July 18, 2007



Sike (ok, seriously, when is the last time you heard that word?)

For real, thank you for your input, it was a very difficult decision, so...

We are heading to UTAH!!! Since we have been paying rent of 1650 a month for the last 2 years, it will be nice to have a huge break on that...we plan on moving in with my mom and bummin' it...and by bummin it I mean: doing the yard work, re-fixing (because we already fixed it) the ceiling, patching up this and thats, and may the father permit (not the holy father, but my father) I will attempt to de-junk, de-clutter and re-organize the garage. Yes, we will be giving up a life in paradise to move in with my parents. Some may see this as we are moving backwards in the game of life, but I like to see it as a strategic move in a complicated game of...yadda, yadda, yadda....we are moving home, that is all there is to say about that.

Reasons for this choice:
We will be relocating to Utah around the last week of August. We feel that this is the best decision for us because a large portion of Mark's financial management clients are in Utah, Regal a financial brokerage has offered Mark to be a broker through them in Utah and they offered him a substantial pay increase, Mark's family and my family are in Utah, and...Utah is now the home of an IKEA!!! (which also happens to be within 30 minutes driving distance of my mom's house)

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Buying, Bargaining, and Bypassing

This blog is a continuation of the previous yard sale tip blog.

The trickiest part of garage sale-ing is the Bartering. When do you buy? When do you Bargain and when do you simply bypass? This is my favorite part of garage sale-ing. Whether stated or not, there is a certain degree of garage sale etiquette.

For the Sellers:
On the seller's side, a seller needs to ask a fair market value for the used belonging. For example, since clothing is the most common good sold at a garage sale it is the easiest to define. The seller needs to take into account the quality of the item and the wear and tear. For children's clothing that has been gently used and show very minimal signs of wear the going price at a yard sale is roughly around a dollar a piece. If the item is in brand new condition then a seller could possibly fetch 2-3 dollars a piece. However, in most cases for worn articles of children's clothing the average rate is 50 cents a piece down to 25 cents a piece. You are probably wondering how you find out what the going rate for an item would be. Simple, if you plan on having your own garage sale, spend a few Saturdays stopping at local garage sales and then you will have a rough idea of what you should price your goods. After viewing 5-10 garage sales it will be apparent to you who is asking too much and who is asking too little. Old Summerill Proverb says: A seller who desires to gain too much will be a seller who ends up earning too little.

For the Buyer:
Just as sure as there is a clear Seller's etiquette, there is equally a buyers etiquette. Everyone out there wants to get a good deal. Whether the buyer or the seller, both want to walk away feeling that they "did good." As a buyer, it is your choice to decide whether the seller is selling the item for too much or just right. If you feel the item is a good deal, pay the money; however, if you feel that the seller is asking a little too high, ask the seller to lower the price. If you are non-confrontational, an easy way of having the seller lower the price is to ask, "Is there any way you would lower the price a little?" Most of the time this question will allow the seller the freedom of feeling they could lower the price and still get what they want out of the item. If you don't mind a hard barter, ask a more aggressive question by pinning down a price. "Will you take 2 dollars for these items?" Most often the seller will either agree or meet the buyer somewhere in the middle of the two prices. I have found that the second method almost always fetches me a lower price, but it definitely takes a little bit more moxie out of the buyer.

For those Shut Down:

In your quest to bargain for a lower price, if you have been shut down, either walk away from the item reckoning that you could find it at another yard sale for cheaper or just pay the cash. Feeling that you got what you wanted and you would probably not find it anywhere else for cheaper.

Garage Sale-ing is like exercising, the more you go, the easier it gets. For more tips and info on garage sale-ing, see my previous post or e-mail me directly.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Create Your own Garage Sale Success

Do you have unwanted, gently used belongings laying around your house that you can't bear to simply throw away? Is your house unsightly, marred with piles of odds and ends that seem to have no place to go? What you need is to have a Garage Sale. I know what you are thinking; A garage sale is a waste of time and energy for the small amount of pocket change you claim at the end of the day. I am here to tell you that you are wrong! Now is the time to De-junk, De-clutter, and re-create the sanctity of your home.

Top Tips for Garage Sale

1. Plan 2-4 weeks ahead
Allow ample time to organize your un-wanted items. During this time, zone off your house. (i.e. bathroom zone, bedroom zone, kitchen zone, family room zone...etc.) Decidicate 1-2 days per zone. Enter the zone and scan your items. For every item in the zone, ask yourself, "Do I use this item at least once a month?" If your answer is no, my suggestion is to sell it because you probably won't miss it once it is gone. The exception to this rule is keepsakes. But, be wise what you deem as a keepsake...because in all honesty, some stuff is just clutter!
2. Designate a Center of Operations
Like any large plan of action, there should always be a center of operations. This is where you will bring all your yard sale items from each zone to be priced and kept neatly until the great day! Having a space for yard sale items helps to cut down on the day before preperations because all your items will already be organized by zones, and priced and neatly kept in one area. So make sure when you bring items into the operation center, you keep the items organized by zone...resist the urge to just toss the items into the pile because then you will have the headache of having to sort through your yard sale items....more work means less fun!
3. Post Alluring Advertisement
This is the key to luring garage salers to your home in droves. This is truly the key to making the big bucks! Post your signs 4 days to 1 week ahead of time. This is important because it will allow people to plan on attending your sale and it will hype up the buyer; thus, priming your buyer to spend, spend, spend. Make sure your signs are simple to read. Use large letters to indicate Where, When, and What....Keep it to those three pieces of info. The worst yard sale signs have too much info. You do not need to list everything you are selling on your card board sign. Make sure that your letters can be read from at least 20 feet away. So make a tester sign and then walk 20 feet away and see if you can read it as you run by. If you cant, try again.
4. Set the Stage
Since you have already priced all your items and organized them by zones, all you will need to do is procure the tables and tarps you will be using to neatly display your belongings. NEVER throw your belongings on the ground or stuff them in a box. If the buyer cannot see how clean and neat the item looks, the buyer will not feel the yard sale temptation. So, get up at 6 am, set up your tables, organize the items on each table or tarp by zone.
5. Set a Bank Station
Make sure you start the day with two 5 dollar bills, 8 one dollar bills and 8 quarters. 95% of the time, this will be adequate. Make one station where people come and pay...DO NOT ROAM! Sit and allow the shoppers to shop, while you focus on totaling each buyer's purchases. It is also helpful to have plastic grocerie sacks with you so you can pack up buyer's purchases and have near your pay station tempting treats (these act as impulse buys). I have found that just having two options is best...perhaps something salty, and something sweet!

If you follow the above tips, you are sure to double your yardsale money! I have used these techniqes over and over again and found them to be fool proof, success finding tips of the trade! -Erin, an avid garage saler

George and I attacked the yard sale world to day by following my tips of success. We lured in shoppers with our big signs which we posted days ahead of time. George sold caramel popcorn and of course, Spam Musubi. As Mark likes to say, we made out like bandits!!!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

A 3 dollar ticket, a Diet Pepsi, and a movie theater that smells like Butt!

At first when you add up the equation of a 3 dollar ticket, a Diet Pepsi, and a movie theater that smells like butt you would most likely presume that the movie I viewed would be less than spectacular....well think again, Harry Potter and the Order of the Pheonix was Stupendous! I went this morning with my sister, her husband, my cousin's wife and my hubby. In fact, I was so excited to see Order of the Pheonix and I was positive that the entire community would feel the same way, I took extra precaution to procure an adequate seat for the show by showing up 1 hour and 45 minutes before the show. I was a little surprised to find that noone else was waiting in line, but I held my ground. At 45 minutes before show time the line was bustling with a whooping 3 people, so the theater attendents opened the doors and allowed us to reserve our seats. I was pretty surprised that the theater was only half full when the movie started, but I have to say busy or not, this movie was the best!

My Critique:
Of all the Potter movies, I think that they are starting to capture the true intensity of character emotion that the books encapsulate. Clearly this movie was the darkest (in cinematography and content) of the 5 Potter movies released thus far, but I don't think the dark tone of the film is a negative point. I think it intensifies the dark presence of Lord Voldormort's return. I would also give a two thumbs up to the women who played Delores Umbridge, Bellatrix Lestrange, and suprisingly Luna Lovegood...they all nailed their roles! And I might add that Potter is becoming quite the little hunky...hehehe.. Of all the Potter movies thus far, I finally felt like I was watching the true Harry Potter story and not just watching a bunch of actors trying to capture a great book. If you haven't seen the show yet, run...not walk...right now and see it! Tell me what you think...

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

To Move or Not to Move...

To move or not to move that is the question....No I am not talking about us moving to wherever we are going to move, but which piece of furniture should go or not go. Mark and I refinished a pine hutch a few months ago and I have been considering selling the piece. But we are once again at an impasse...Yes, whether I sell a piece of furniture or not is quite the quandry. Here is the Hutch, what do you think?

Sunday, July 08, 2007


During Mark's business trip to Utah he unfortunately found out that the company that he sent his investment planning business through was going to close its doors. (ie. Brookstreet went under because of a couple of bonehead brokers in Florida who had a $170,000,000.00 oops.) Feel free to look up this business transition in the wall street journal or any other business editorial. Anyway, a little over a week ago Mark was forced to then find another firm to send his business through. Immediately all the brokers that worked through/for Brookstreet were then on their own to find new representation. Because Mark essentially works for himself this isn't quite the same as being layed off, but it does change our perspective on where he works and which other brokers he works with. Many of the brokers Mark worked closely with have all chosen different firms as their new representation, so he just has to choose who he now wants to work with and exactly where he want to be located. Since the breakdown of Brookstreet, Mark has had a few reasonable offers and we have narrowed down the choices to three:

1. My sister's husband has a wonderful, successful firm in Washington state. They have offered Mark the opportunity to work with them and their group of brokers. Thus, we would move to Washington and live there for quite some time...I like this idea because I really like the apple and cherry orchards, the cost of living (buying a home) and I like my sister...sometimes...hahaha just kidding...hahaha.

2. Mark has been offered to partner with a few brokers in Utah County that were also Brookstreet brokers and have now had to find new representation. Together they would keep all their brookstreet clients, but they would just be under a new brokerage. I like this idea because I am starting to like to quilt and my Mom, who lives in Utah County has quite the quilting set up...and almost Mark's entire clan lives here so I know he really wants to be closer to them, and I absolutely love to play with my friends in PG!!!

3. The most bizarre of all offers came from a man Mark has worked closely with over the last two years. He recently returned from a sabbatical in Dubai and is leaving to work at a university in Nigeria. He has offered Mark a full time teaching position in the business program at this university. I like this idea too because we would have summers off from mid-April to mid-August where we could stay with family, we would be able to see an area of the world that we would otherwise never visit and the living costs are almost completely free (the university pays for it all) so we would be able to save nearly 90 % of what he he would be able to complete a PHD while working at the is a 3-4 year contract.

So the purpose of this blog is to get your opinion. Over the last few days we have discussed each of the choices till we were hoarse and we are still at an impasse. Let me know what you think, and hopefully it will get us closer to a decision.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Over the last three weeks we have been traveling all over. First we went to Utah for Mark's business conference and then on our way home we stopped in San Francisco for the day. The day after we returned from Utah, we left for Hawaii (the big Island) to visit my Grandma and my auntie and uncle. We had such a great time visiting family and sight seeing. This post is full of pictures from our trip to the big island and extended family photos.
This home once sold for under 50,000.oo dollars after my grandfather died. The bugga' wen buy da house an den paint um up and go fo' sale da house fo' two seventy fi!!! Translation: The man who bought the house only painted over the termite infested walls and is now trying to sell the house for 275,000.00! I have so many fond memories of running around this house with my cousins. It was nice to bring my grandma back to look at it. Grandma enjoyed seeing the house and she noted that she loved that house and had many good memories from that home. On our way from Kona to Hilo (one side of the island to the other) George and I hopped out of the car to look at Akaka Falls. These waterfalls are some of my favorite falls on the island.
Here Baby Aley (my cousin's baby) is climbing over our Slug Butt Theodore (not much of a crawler yet). Right before this picture, Aley was kissing Theodore and Theodore's face was a little bit more pleasant.
Here is Rachel's baby, Shae, and Theodore posing for the camera. I think their mouths and noses look a little bit alike.