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What would you do - for 5 minutes of fame

What would you do for five minutes of fame?

Funny, I spend way too much time trying to come up with ways to build traffic to my blog by coming up with interesting stories about my life, my children and the strange or funny things I see online. But this pictures reminds me that "I do have a limit".

What would you do? How far would you go to get 5 minutes worth of fame?

Apparently this guy thinks its worth a possible life time of embarassment - after all, nothing every goes away once it has been uploaded to the internet.

So I ask you: was this a smart idea?

funny smurf fame image

His name has been withheld due to my decision to helping him keep some of his dignity......

I'm choking you - it's love

I simply desire you.....

Ah, I yearn for your sweet tender embrace. Thy scent, the sweet smell of rose peddles fill the air.... Oh how I love you. Come; let my arms hold you tightly against my bare cold shivering chest. Let me whisper sweet nothings into your ear and let us allow our hearts to intertwine in our passion as our two hearts merge and become one.

funny joke image

For some reason this reminds me of marriage.... not sure why though?

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Funny - you don't pay me for that

Please don’t take this the wrong way – I respect and admire what firemen and Police officers do. It’s a difficult and life threatening job. But in fun – you simply have to wonder if they ever think to themselves…..

I’ve been through several fires in my lifetime – all when I was a child. You can say I owe my life; my family owes their lives to the men and woman of the New York Fire Department. But while I honor and respect the many men and women – It has to be hard not to think…. “you don’t pay me enough to go in there”.

Funny face makes me feel better: silly son

Having a bad - funny face makes me feel alot better.

Having a bad day? Well just remember this: no matter how bad you think it is, someone out there has it worst than you.  Ok so it's not grammatically correct or poetic in how it sounds - but it's true.
Which brings me to a ‘thought of the day’ quote I read today at school.

"I had no shoes and complained, until I saw a man who had no feet."

funny silly imageSometimes it is all about perspective and perception. Like today - I was feeling a bit low, a bit down on the dumps and then I ran across a picture of my son: I couldn't help but laugh! He had two loose teeth (tooth) and was at his flag football practice. He was doing a very good job of giving it his all when it happened - he ran straight into a kid that had his head down. It took of a two seconds and both of them were on the ground screaming.

The kid my son was supposed to be blocking decided to run full into him with his head down. Since he was unable to see where he was goi9ng he slammed right into my sons face head first full force.  That hurt, in fact I felt pain just watching it - but even with all that my little man was strong - that is until he noticed the blood from his missing teeth.

But like I was saying: when you’re feeling down, like nothing is going your way - it's easy to complain. It's just a natural habit to sit back and have a pity party. That is until you see someone else who is or has it even harder than you do. Life is one long procession of challenges, hardships and trials - but instead of giving up: I decided to remember that things can be worse.
So in honor of overcoming "self pity" I took my sons picture and put it on a mug.

Yep, nothing like having my sons face, missing teeth and all - too remind me to be positive about my circumstances. And just in case you want to help with his college fund: please, feel free to buy a hug of my son’s funny scared face.

Send my funny son to college fund: order cup here

Adventure at Sea World: fun family vacation

Adventures at Sea World: funny family vacation

It’s a sunny day with not a cloud in the sky. The temperature is a cool 68 degrees with a mild breeze that makes you feel good in the sun but chilly in the shade – it’s my kind of day. It’s spring break and the family is going out to one of Florida’s extravagant parks: Sea World.

My son has been talking about wanting to visit sea world for about 2 years – I will be honest, it’s not my kind of thing. Ever time my son and wife mentioned “Sea World” I thought – why, it’s like visiting the zoo. I know they have some rides like the Manta rollercoaster, the Kraken and the Journey to Atlantis … but I am not a fan of coasters.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe it is all about the family experience. I believe it is about giving my children a wonderful fun filled family vacation they can cherish the rest of their lives. I just couldn’t see Sea World offering that. To me it only brought images of walking around the zoo hoping my son finds something to be interested about. And to be honest – the first hour was not looking good.

What is the first thing you do when you arrive at Sea World?

Well, on this trip it was find a nice place to eat. We stopped by the Voyager’s Smokehouse to have some ribs (by now most people know that its my favorite meal)- but taking a glance at the extremely high prices and the very small portions – my wife opted for something that was not going to break the bank. So off we went for something better.

Eating at the Spice Mill: The place looks nice. The names of the meal sound fancy... But the food... let’s just say they forgot to and any spice to the meal, it’s all just decor. I’ve had better food at McDonalds. And the price: I could have eaten three days at McDonald's. So if you visit sea world – go ahead and skip the spice mill if you want to eat something fitting the occasion. Tip: when at Sea World – bring lots of cash to spend on food, If I visit Sea World again – I am going all out and trying the “Sharks Underwater Grill & Bar”…. Sometimes you have to splurge. I just hope it doesn’t disappoint like the Spice Mill.

Sea World has more than what I expected:
If there is one thing I would most definitely suggest for people to see at Sea World – it would be “A’lure the call of the ocean” show at the Nautilus Theater.

The show ‘A’lure the call of the sea’ was wonderful. The entire show is an acrobatic shock to the eyes and a wonder to the mind. Granted you get that cheap theatrical feel when it starts but after 3 to five minutes into it the flying acrobatics stunts keep you enthralled with the shows wonder.
I was amazed and my 14 and 9 yr old were mesmerized with the show. I admit, some of the stunts some of the men were doing reminded me of the old kung fu movies I used to watch as a kid. The running up ropes, performing all sorts of flips and more was captivating, not to mention the part where they soar above the crowd (so glad we got front seats).

Second best Sea World show is: ‘Clyed & seamore take Pirate Island”. It’s a show with sea lions and two other animals. It’s very funny and the actors are wonderful – especially when they have to adlib when the animals refuse to do what is expected. The beginning the show starts with a mime that escorts people into the stadium seats and does a very good job of poking innocent fun at the audience he helps direct to seats. It’s indescribable – you simply have to see it for yourself.

Who goes to Sea World and doesn’t see Shamu?
With a small disappointing argument ( I was not going to get wet) we figured out an amicable solution to our seating arrangement. Well they wanted to get wet and Shamu did not disappoint. They are soaking wet. I feel bad for the three year old that was standing on his father’s lap right in front of us. The father had to carry out his crying son who got a boat load of water splashed in his cute little face.

Odd thing to see: I think I saw a group of Shamu whales walking down the strip?
One of the oddest things I've seen today is a group of stuff whales. I saw 3 blue, 2 red and one black Shamu walking ahead of me. At first I thought it was coincidence but the closer I got the more obvious it became: it was a family all wearing group t-shirts and each was carrying a stuffed giant Shamu....Interesting. I am a frugal individual so it shocked me to think that each individual family member needs a 4 foot stuffed shamu.

But after thinking about it – that’s what these little family vacation trips are all about. You eat too much, are amazed by the wonders you see and yes – you should expect to spend way too much. After all, wonderful family memories are priceless.

Celebrities teaching GOOD money management tips

Usually celebrities are looked upon as big spenders – the epitome of excess. And while for most this may be true, for some it is the complete opposite of what is portrayed in the rag magazine we so love to read to learn about the lifestyles of our favorite stars and celebrities.

Celebrities teaching ‘GOOD’ money management tips:

Ashley Greene takes pointers on cash-crunching from her dad.
The actress told Marie Claire that just because she was in the successful "Twilight" franchise it doesn't mean the fame has gone to her head.
"I'm lucky because my dad taught me to be frugal and save," said Greene. "And that's important because I want to know that I don't have to take an acting job for two or three years if I don't want to and that I'll still be able to make my house and car payments and buy food for my dogs.”

Jay Leno doesn't spend any of the money he earns from "The Tonight Show."
The late-night host revealed in a Parade column that he only spends money from comedy routines.
"When I was a kid, I had two jobs," wrote Leno. "I worked at a Ford dealership and at a McDonald’s. I’d spend the money from one job and save the money from the other. That’s still the way I am now. I live on the money I make as a comedian, and I put all the TV money in the bank. I’ve never spent a dime of TV money—ever."

Mariska Hargitay is always saving up money because of her poor upbringing.
One of television's highest-paid TV stars told MORE she always has money on the brain.
“I make a lot now, but I don’t feel that way, because I was poor and had no money for a lot longer than I’ve had it," said Hargitay. "As an actor, if this show ends next year, then what? As an aging woman, then what? I’m saving money to live on, for the future. There are not that many roles for women, and I’ve been blessed with one of the great ones.”

Kristen Bell uses coupons while she grocery shops.
The "House of Lies" star admitted on "Conan" that she's very frugal.
“I use a lot of coupons," Bell told late-night host Conan O'Brien. "The best coupon you can get, possibly in the world, is the Bed Bath & Beyond coupon.”

Zooey Deschanel's finances revealed the actress doesn't splurge One of the most money-conscious stars is Zooey Deschanel.
After the "New Girl" actress and ex-husband Ben Gibbard split last year, her finances were revealed in court documents obtained by TMZ.
Per month, the actress, who was worth nearly $3 million last January, will spend $2,000 on clothes, $800 in utilities, and $300 for phone and email. She even donates $1,500 a month to charity.

Fix America's Inequality by teaching America to be cheap?

I read an interesting article By Noah Smith - How to Fix America's Wealth Inequality: Teach Americans to Be Cheap.

Below you will find a large segment of the article. While I find that I agree with much that he has to say, I also find it difficult to believe some of what he proposes. For instance: the problem the poor have is not lack of money and therefore the need for redistribution is required for the poor and middle class. The truth is that poor people and the middle class (that have incomes – jobs) have money – they simply choose not to save or invest wisely.

Yes, the economy broke, the financial market crashed and yes it makes it very difficult for many today. But with that said – what were we the poor and middle class doing in the 80’s, 90’s and the boom years of the economy? Were we saving? Were we investing? I dare say, we were not, most people were spending and many middle class people were using their homes as credit cards in order to spend more.

Though, I do agree with him that we need, as a whole – poor and even the middle class, we need to change the way we think about money, finance, saving and investing. We can redistribute all the money we want – but the truth is most people will be right back in their financial trouble once they burn through all the redistributed wealth.

So how do we fight the inequality of wealth we have in America: as I always say – with knowledge. But read the segment below and you tell me what you think?

The math of wealth is actually pretty simple: It all boils down to four things: 1. How much you start with, 2. How much income you make, 3. How much of your income you save, and 4. How good of a rate of return you get on your savings.

So one obvious thing we could do to make wealth more equal is - surprise! - redistribution. It turns out that income redistribution and wealth redistribution have much the same effect on the wealth of the poor and middle-class. Income redistribution is probably a bit better, for two reasons. First, people with higher incomes tend to save more, meaning they build wealth more rapidly. Second, people with higher incomes tend to have less risk aversion, meaning they are more willing to invest in assets like stocks (which get high average rates of return, although they are risky) rather than safe assets like savings accounts and CDs that get low rates of return.

In other words, giving the poor and middle-class more income will boost the amount they are able to save, the percentage they are willing to save, and the return they get on those savings. Part of the reason America's wealth distribution is so unequal in the first place is that our income distribution is very unequal.

But there are reasons to believe that redistribution can't fix all of the problem, or even most of it. If you do the math, you discover that in the long run, income levels and initial wealth are not the main determinants of wealth. They are dwarfed by savings rates and rates of return. The most potent way to get more wealth to the poor and middle-class is to get these people to save more of their income, and to invest in assets with higher average rates of return.

What can government do to get middle-class and poor people to save more? Higher interest rates don't do the trick -- people didn't save more in the early 80s when interest rates were stratospheric. High stock returns don't do the trick either -- in the booming 1990s, people actually saved less, seeming to prefer to "let the market do their saving for them."

Instead, the answer is to change America's culture of (not) saving. This sounds hard, but actually it is probably very doable. For years, behavioral economists such as Richard Thaler have been studying ways to "nudge" people to save more. The most famous "nudge," which has been endorsed by President Obama, is to make employee pension plans "opt-out" instead of "opt-in". But there are plenty of others. In lab experiments, just giving people information on how to save money makes them save a lot more.

This means that more financial education in public schools is a must. I'm not talking about teaching kids the Capital Asset Pricing Model. I mean what Bob Shiller calls "basic Suze Orman stuff." How to make a monthly budget. What "saving" and "borrowing" mean. How wealth builds over time. How to avoid borrowing lots of money at high interest rates (e.g. credit cards and payday loans). Etc. The new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau can help a lot with this too, by preventing companies from tricking poor people into taking out high-interest debt.

To read the full article go to: money finance

10 teenage millionaires that inspire me

I don’t know if I should feel optimistic or sick.
Here are a few stories of what a child can accomplish if they put their minds, heart and hands to work. Life is part work, luck and gutsy effort – what is your excuse for not achieving more?

10 Teenage Entrepreneur Millionaires

Adam Hildreth
In 1999, at only fourteen years old, Adam Hildreth together with his six friends launched the famous English social networking site Dubit. Dubit became one of the most popular websites in 2004. By 2005, Dubit had a net worth of more than 3.7 million dollars. Adam later founded Crisp thinking, which developed software that protected people from online predators, online harassment and spamming. He is ranked 23 in the top 100 richest young people in the UK according to the 2011 Sunday times rich list.
Adam Hildreth is estimated to have a net worth of 38 million dollars.

Sean Belnick
When he was only 14 years old, Sean Belnick created, an internet retailer for all types of furniture. Sean Belnick began with an initial investment of 500 dollars and ran his business operations from his bedroom. In 2004, he moved into his first warehouse and by 2009, he had more than 702,000 square feet of warehouse space from the initial 40,00 square feet. In 2010, bizchair had sales of more than 58 million dollars.
Sean Belnick’s net worth is reported to be 42 million dollars

Fraser Doherty
Fraser Doherty is the CEO of Super Jam. This Scottish young star was taught jam making by his grandmother when he was 14 years old. He started producing jam and selling it in the neighborhood. He left school at the age of 16 to fully concentrate on super jam. In 2007, he began supplying super jam to 184 Waitrose stores. Nowadays Fraser Doherty currently supplies to all major UK stores and had sales of over 1.2 million dollars in 2011.
Fraser Doherty is worth 2 million dollars.

Cameron Johnson
In 1994, at only nine years of age, Cameron Johnson began making money by selling invitation cards. By eleven years old he had saved up enough money to form his company, Cheers and Tears. Cameron then participated in several ventures including creating EZ mail, an email forwarding software,, an online advertising company. By fifteen years old, he was receiving monthly cheques of up to 400,000 dollars.
Cameron Johnson’s net worth is currently 3.2 million.

Ashley Qualls
Ashley Qualls is an America entrepreneur who made her first million at the age of seventeen. She did this by taking an 8 dollar loan from her mother and creating a website, in 2004.The website focused on providing HTML tutorials for young people and providing free My space layouts.
Ashley Qualls is valued to have a net worth of 8 million dollars.

Chris Phillips
Chris Phillips made his first million when he was only 17 years old through dot5hosting. This website was used to register domain names, supply hosting space and hosting several e-commerce sites. By the time he was 19 years old, this British teenager was making over 10 million dollars annually.
Dot5hosting currently has a net worth of 2 million dollars.

Juliette Brindak
Juliette made her millions after launching the website Miss O and Friends when she was still only 10 years old. The site, which targets mostly teenage girls, is filled with celebrity gossip, games, quizzes and lots of feature articles. She has also launched a line of Miss O and friends books.
Juliette Brindak is currently the CEO and editor of her site and book line and has a net worth of 15 Million Dollars.

Catherine and David Cook
At only fifteen and seventeen years respectively, Catherine and David Cook came up with the social networking site, My Yearbook in 2005. The site has over 5 million users and has survived the Facebook domination.
My Yearbook has a net worth of over 20 million dollars whereas this brother and sister duo have a combined net worth of 10 million dollars.

Tyler Dikman
When the internet was still picking up, Tyler Dikman who was only 15 years old founded Cooltronics in the year 2000. Cooltronics’ main purpose was to provide lessons to computer and internet users on how to get rid of computer viruses and how to upgrade your home PC. Subscriptions and advertising brought in the dollars for this lucky little man.
Tyler Dikman is currently valued to be worth 3.7 million dollars.

Farrah Gray
Farrah Gray started selling body lotion at the age of 6. At 13 years old he founded Farr-Out Food which in a period of one year had received food orders of over 1.5 million dollars making him a millionaire at 14.
Farrah Gray is the youngest person to have a Wall Street office and is estimated to be worth 20 million dollars.

How big time savers do it - A plan for success?

How big-time savers do it

Studies show 5 characteristics of people who manage to follow up on their good intentions to save. Here's what they can teach the rest of us.

If saving more money is one of your goals, you're not alone: In surveys, most Americans list saving as one of their top ambitions. But many don't know how to get started.

Saving more, after all, tends to be a big, general goal, and experts suggest that we are more likely to meet our goals if we break them into small, manageable steps. Bringing lunch to work, for example, can be a step toward reducing weekly food costs. Similarly, being more specific in how you plan to save, whether it's from earning more money or cutting back, can also make it easier to take those small steps.

Successful savers often mention five strategies when asked how they manage to put so much money away

No. 1: They started slowly

Overcoming the initial inertia that prevents many of us from saving can be the hardest step. That's why starting by saving just a small amount can get you on the path toward bigger savings. Nicole Mladic, a 30-something communications director in Chicago, couldn't afford to put away a big chunk of her salary when she was in her mid-20s, so she started saving 2%. A few months later, she raised it to 3%, then went to 4%, and she eventually reached her goal of 10%. Today, her net worth is more than $90,000

No. 2: They read about financial and economic news

A survey by HSBC Direct found that people it calls "active savers," -- about one in five Americans -- tend to pay attention to financial news. That might help keep them generally aware of and savvy about money as well as teach them about basic principles of investing

No. 3: They save regularly, often through automated systems

Online banking makes this technique easy: Sign up for monthly transfers into a brokerage or savings account. You can also transfer funds directly from your paycheck so you never even see the money, which means you won't miss it. Check in with your human resources department -- you might be able to set up an automatic savings account through your employer in addition to your automatic retirement savings

saving money children

No. 4: They find saving pleasurable

This trait might sound counterintuitive: How can anyone enjoy saving money, since doing so essentially prevents the pleasure of a purchase today? But some people -- especially successful savers -- naturally feel more pleasure while socking money away rather than spending it, since they know they are building financial security and they can spend it someday. If you don't feel this way about saving, you can teach yourself to, by focusing on how much financial security means to you each time you add to your savings accounts

No. 5: They began saving as children

The HSBC survey found that most active savers have been saving money since they were young and that they learned the value of saving from their parents. While adults who didn't receive those lessons can't change the past, they can pass on better lessons to their own children by talking about finances and family budgeting often. Doing so would put them in the minority: A Charles Schwab survey found that only about 20% of parents frequently talk to their teens about family budgeting and spending decisions, and just over half of parents teach their teens how to save regularly

One idea that combines these strategies is to encourage elaborate family discussions about what you will do with all the money you are saving. For example, if your savings goal is to take a family vacation to Belize, children can draw pictures of the rainforest, parents can crunch some numbers, and soon you'll be snorkeling in the coral reefs.

By Kimberly Palmer, U.S. News & World Report

Child saves family: saving not hoarding

Saving not hoarding: Child saves Family

My personal story about money; how a child that was saving or hoarding and a hungry family.
As most of you know I grew up poor. I lived a hard life and my family of seven brothers and sisters and my single mother. It was obvious to most – just by looking at us, that we were struggling and at best we were barely making due. Poverty was a constant in my home and in the neighborhood that we lived in.

I remember this one time when I was a very young boy, how in my innocent desire for wealth (to have money) and to escape from the constant emotional hardship of poverty – I started stealing coins from my mother’s purse. Trust me when I say that it was not out of malice, though I clearly understood that I was doing something wrong, my childish intension was simply to have money to save.

It all started innocently enough. The first time it happened was when I noticed that my mother was leaving some change in a bowl near her bed. I had just finished having one of those “no we don’t have money” debates with my mother when I noticed the change sitting there. Without thinking I grabbed a quarter and walked away. I was scared, I was frightened but whether my mom say me and let me sly or even if she didn’t – out of fear I put the quarter in a secret place and I waited.
At first I expected my mom to come looking for her quarter, after all money was always tight in our home and every penny counted. After a few days of anxiously waiting for my mom to home and bite my head off for stealing I came to the realization that I had gotten away with it. The next thought that popped into my head was – since I did it once can I do it again? It was a logical thought after all, since there were so few things you can buy with a quarter.
 After awhile it became a regular habit, I would pass by the bowl full of change and I would reach out and grab a quarter, a dime, a nickel – pennies never fancied me, and I would walk away hoping my mother would not notice. After awhile my small stash started piling up. I could no longer keep them in my small secret place, so I moved them to another location. As I was moving the coins under cover of darkness (a night while everyone was in the living room watching T.V) I came to an astonishing revelation: I was rich.
I know, it sounds foolish but I was a child. I soon found myself secretly taking time to count my coins, stacking them up by their specific coin and staring at them with awe. The more I played with them the stronger the desire was to make my small mountain of riches to grow. As I worked on making my ‘riches’ grow my frequent trips to my mother’s coin bowl was becoming noticeable. My mother began to ask my brothers and I about her missing change. I know she knew it was one of us, but in my childlike innocence I still believed she had no clue what was happening was done by me.
My mother’s response to the growing disappearance of her loose change was to stop storing her money in such an obvious easy to reach place. This left me with only one option – to secretly sneak into my mother’s room, fight every instinct I had that told me that this was wrong and I would take the coins I sought from her purse. I found it easier to swallow because my innocent childlike thinking and a logical answer to the guilt I felt for taking money from my mother. I told myself that it was ok, that what I was doing ok because what I was doing was for the good of the family. I wasn’t stealing, I was saving money, I was storing it up so that I could continue to grow rich so that I could one day save my mother and my brothers and sisters from poverty.
It had become such a regular occurrence that my small pile of coins were starting to grow, it was no longer safe where I was storing my coins and of course – I had this ever increasing desire to count my money. Thinking back, I was like scrooge – I would sit there counting my money, my coins neatly stacked in even piles and I dreamed of the day I would be rich enough to help all of my family.
For some reason I decided that I needed a safer place to store and hide my money. I also wanted a place I could have easy access to it so that I could count it, look at it and enjoy it. I decided that the only place I could use was the door to my bedroom. A few months ago my older sister had accidently kicked out the bottom panel of the boor and it was fixed by placing two metal sheets on either side of the door. The empty space between the two sides was a perfect place to put my money. I spent days figuring out how to unscrew the panel on the inside of my room and how to set it up that it was secure yet easy to open when I wanted to count my money.
It was a beautiful set up, every day after school I would sneak into my room and quietly remove the panel and I would stare at my riches, I would neatly stack them and I would count them as I added more to my riches. I was a wonderful thing – I was rich, I was a secret spy, I was living ever Childs dream or at least what I thought at the time was every child’s dream.
That is until my dream came crashing down. One day after school I was in my room counting my money when someone suddenly knocked on the door. It was my older sister, out of fear I started to place the panel back onto the door but my hands were shaking and I was doing a very poor job. My sister was getting suspicious and started even knocking harder. When I finally finished and started opening the door my sister kicked the door wide open. We were both surprised to hear the loud clanging noise that came from the door as it slammed against the door. We both started screaming as I tried to keep her from investigating and she was trying to find out what I was hiding.
Before I knew it my mother was there and my sister was explaining to her about the noise and my suspicious behavior. My secret stash had been found, my riches were being scooped out by the handful and to make it worst, I was overwhelmed by the guilt I felt. After sometime my mother came into my room and she asked me why I was stealing money from her. I explained to her my need to be rich, the desire to save her, my family from the poverty we were in. She spent a good long time explaining to me that stealing, even with the best of intentions is wrong.
My heart was broken, my guilt was overwhelming and I felt a heavy loss for the riches that had been taken from me. I had only one solace, my mother explained to me that we had no money for food that week and that the money I had saved ( I was grateful she didn’t use the word ‘stole’) will feed the family very well. I had somehow saved fifty dollars and that was just enough to buy food to keep us going. I had lost my riches, I had let my mother down but in the end I had accomplished my goal – I saved my family. Even if it was only enough to keep us feed for one more week – the child had saved them all.
I know, it’s a long story – but it is all true. I am not saying that I was right for stealing change from my mother. But I do believe that it could be possible that there was a higher purpose. Every time I wanted to spend that money I wouldn’t. Every time I thought I should stop I didn’t. And just when we needed it most – it was found out and my family was able to survive from the money a small child had put aside.
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