Monday, December 22, 2008

Lipton Introduces Death Cab

Great song, of course, but it's hard to beat Lipton's introduction.

Monday, December 15, 2008

I Love Hulu!

Hulu is incredible.

They just added some classic cartoons:

He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (I don't remember this show even though I loved it as a kid)

And one of my favorite cartoons of all time:

Rocky and Bullwinkle and Frieds
this has got to be one of the cleverest shows I've ever seen-- and it's a cartoon!

PYF Challenge Finalist Profile

Another video!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Interview in the Gwinnett Daily Post!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

12/11/2008 12:01:00 AM Email this articlePrint this article 
Tim Rhodes
Snellville resident competing in saving contest
23-year-old hopes to pay off student loans

By Heather Darenberg
Staff Writer

SNELLVILLE - Tim Rhodes is learning to pay himself first.

The 23-year-old Snellville resident is one of five finalists in a savings contest sponsored by FNBO Direct, a division of First National Bank of Omaha. The six-month Pay Yourself First Challenge ends in April.

Rhodes discovered the competition while searching online for a savings account. The Toccoa Falls College graduate submitted a 1-minute humorous video explaining his desire to pay off his student loans.

"I hate being in debt," said Rhodes, a production assistant at FamilyNet, a television and Sirius satellite radio station. "When I was growing up, one of the wisest things my mom told me was never spend money that you don't have."

When he learned he was a finalist, Rhodes set a goal to save $6,000 in six months.

To begin, Rhodes and his wife, Beth, created a budget. Sticking to the plan has been challenging, but Rhodes said he already feels like a winner. FNBO Direct is matching what all finalists save up to $5,000.

The couple has been clipping coupons and searching for deals before buying items. They also decided to minimize what they owned and sold boxes of old records, VHS tapes, books - even Beth's wedding dress.

To further cut household expenses, Tim and Beth Rhodes invited Tim's co-worker and his wife to live with them when the latter couple needed a place to stay. The arrangement allowed the Rhodes to reduce the amount they were spending on bills.

Rhodes is blogging about his progress at www.pyf

The grand-prize winner will receive an all-expense paid vacation worth $7,500. The winner will be chosen on the following criteria:

n Saving the most money during the challenge, based on the percentage of the goal.

n Ranking by financial experts based on the challenger's saving skill level.

n Voting by American public via a poll on

n Adhering to contest requirements.

In the mid-1980s, Americans' savings rate exceeded 10 percent. Since 2004, the rate has averaged less than 1 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Research.

"In December (2007), we asked consumers to change the way they think about saving by automatically depositing their paychecks into online savings accounts, instead of traditional checking accounts," Rajive Johri, president of First National Bank of Omaha, said in a statement posted on the Challenge's Web site. "We're taking that challenge to the next level by launching an official contest so America can track the success of five individuals on a savings journey and learn valuable money saving tips along the way."

Rhodes' advice for those seeking to save?

"Set a budget. Stick with it. Be aware of what you spend," he said. "A lot of people can save more than they think they can."

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Terminator Salvation Trailer

McG had me skeptical. Although I still kind of am, this definitely helps:

Monday, December 8, 2008

Campaign Ad

Now, I know I've already posted this, but for some reason with both Google Video and Youtube both files were poor quality. Facebook had the best quality of the three.

And now we can embed them!!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

If You've Ever Said....

"Boy do I want to see a walrus playing a saxophone."

It's your lucky day:

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Hubble Advent

Every day until Christmas, The Big Picture will post a picture taken from the Hubble Space telescope.

Sorry I'm on this "Big Picture" kick, but I can't get enough of this incredible site.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

A Charlie Brown Christmas

If only I had known about this sooner I would have alerted this to you earlier.

I'm a fan of Amazon MP3, as you probably know.  Today, and only today (meaning about 5 more hours) they are selling A Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack for only $1.99.

Get it NOW!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

We're in the AJC!

Snellville couple are finalists in money-saving contest

Can they scrounge enough bucks to win Internet bank challenge?

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Back in June, Tim Rhodes sought out a guest on the FamilyNet television for some financial advice.
With $25,000 in student loans and a new wife, he wanted to pay off his debt — and he wanted to start paying himself first.
Shane Blatt/

Beth and Tim Rhodes of Snellville clip coupons. Tim, 23, is one of five national finalists in an Internet bank’s savings contest.

What would you recommend for a savings account, he asked the financial adviser that day.
The man offered a few tips and suggested Rhodes check out his Web site. The 23-year-old production assistant from Snellville was comparing rates when a First National Bank of Omaha ad popped up touting its “Pay Yourself First Challenge.” If selected, the Internet bank would match his and four other finalists’ savings dollar for dollar up to $5,000. The winner and a guest also will receive an all-expenses-paid vacation.
The competition invited people to create a video detailing what they wanted to save and why. It could be serious, funny or anything in between.
That seemed simple enough. Producing video is part of Rhodes’ job, so creating a 60-second spot about saving would be a snap.
“I went for funny,” he said.
He and his wife sat on the living room sofa, and Rhodes talked about his $25,000 in outstanding student loans.
“I thought you had $15,000,” interrupted his wife, Beth, before leaving him alone on the sofa. He continued to nervously explain how he intended to save enough to pare his loan debt down.
In September, he learned he was one of five finalists for the national challenge: He had six months to achieve his personal savings goal.
The grand prize winner will be chosen based on:
• Saving the most money — based on percentage increase, rather than dollar amount saved.
• Ranking by financial experts based on challenger’s saving skill level.
• Voting by American public via poll on
• Adhering to contest requirements.
Anyone can meet the challengers, watch their video entry, follow their savings blogs and vote for their favorite at The challenge ends in April.
According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, Americans’ savings rate — as a percentage of disposable personal income — exceeded 10 percent in the mid-1980s. Since 2004, the rate has averaged less than 1 percent.
Liz Pulliam Weston, a columnist for MSNMoney, said there was less motivation to save because of a strong real estate and stock market the past two decades.
“Wealth was going up whether people saved or not,” she said.
In addition, Weston said that credit was easy to get.
Now it appears, people are going old school: saving more and spending less.”I think we are going back to the old days,” said Weston. “People are scared to spend money. It’s not good for the economy but people are making the decision to take care of themselves and their families first.”
That’s the whole idea behind FBNO’s Pay Yourself Challenge. They hope the competition will help reverse the trend and encourage Americans to save more.
Like many newlyweds, the Rhodes are struggling to live on a budget while paying off debt, especially in these economic times.
Rhodes wanted to save $6,000, and to meet his goal he intended to work as much overtime as he could. He’d take on as many jobs as he could find making videos for weddings and businesses, and the couple clipped coupons and ate out less often.
He questioned whether he was really up to the challenge. The harder it seemed, Rhodes said, the more determined he became.
In late November, he was about halfway to his goal.
“I’m striving to win, but I feel like just being a finalist, I’ve already won,” Rhodes said. “Because of this we’ve found we have more to save than we thought. Budgeting is huge.”
But will he be able to stick to it after the challenge?
“That’s going to be the tough part,” he said. “I don’t know if we’ll be [able to] save as much, but we’ll try to be careful with our money and be very aware of where it’s going.”

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Monday, November 24, 2008

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Big Picture

"The picture is far too big to look at kid. Your eyes won't open wide enough"

The Big Picture helps us out a little.  I couldn't recommend it more highly.


Friday, November 21, 2008

The Holiday Season is a Time For....

Lists.  Music lists, to be exact.

Paste Magazine just released their list of their top 50 albums of 2008:

50. TV On The Radio - Dear Science [Interscope]
Leave it up to TV on the Radio to craft its most upbeat, party-ready release to date as the economy crumbles, presidents change and wars rage. Dear Science is not the band's best, but tell that to the glorious beats, funky guitars and epic horns that surround Tunde Adebimpe's poetry throughout.

49. Sandra McCracken - Red Balloon [Towhee]

Listening to Sandra McCracken’s crystalline voice offers the sonic equivalent of drinking ice-cold mountain spring water at its source. Her lyrics are utterly defiant in their optimism and the folk-pop arrangements on Red Balloon are varied enough to lock in your attention from start to finish. Gorgeous, heartfelt stuff.

48. REM - Accelerate [Warner Bros.]

After years of critically lambasted discs full of messy jangle pop, the Athens trio crawled their way back from the brink with a record full of razor smart lyrics and musical throwbacks. While no Monster, it’s a vital return to their rock and roll form.

47. Laura Marling - Alas, I Cannot Swim [Astralwerks]

Whether they're her own, imagined or borrowed, eighteen-year-old Laura Marling does battle with some considerable demons on her first full-length debut: Miserable lovers, various psychoses, God himself. But despite her youth, ghastly pallor and the lovely, lightly string-and-horn touched strumminess of these songs, our money's on Marling for the win.

46. Lykke Li - Youth Novels [LL]

Those Swedes really know how to turn out pop princesses. Leading the innovative cool-girl pack on her ambitious debut, Li is the hook heavy, Euro-dance infused soul sister to friend El Perro del Mar’s lo-fi anthems. Don’t miss the kooky-good video for her slick “I’m Good, I’m Gone.”

45. M83 - Saturdays = Youth [Mute]

Smooth, buoyant energy marks M83’s fifth album, dedicated to the digital outfit’s decade of choice, the 1980s. Purged of the ironic distance that normally colors such nostalgia, the record’s expansive tracks create a sublime vision with nods toward John Hughes and other lost luminaries.

44. Kathleen Edwards - Asking For Flowers [Zoë]

This Canadian gem is a go-to for those looking for humor, heartbreak and political awareness in one rootsy package. We'd expect nothing less from a record with a song called "I Make the Dough, You Get the Glory."

43. Amanda Palmer - Who Killed Amanda Palmer [Roadrunner]

Remember Tori Amos? Palmer is like that, but throatier—a little less ethereal, a little more punk. Ben Folds produced this solo debut, which courses with anger, wit and damaged romanticism.

42. Thao Nguyen and the Get Down Stay Down - We Brave Bee Stings & All [Kill Rock Stars]
Written and recorded in the year or so after Thao Nguyen graduated from college and landed her first record deal, this debut captures all the nebulous beauty and terror of being young in the world—a smoky-voiced, riff-picking, hand-clapping mosquito trapped in the amber of Tucker Martine's rich, bubbly production.

41. The Tallest Man On Earth - Shallow Grave
Exposing Dylan imitators everywhere as stunted imposters, The Tallest Man stands atop the tempestuous spirit of his forebear and spins shimmering, fantastical tales over arrays of finger-picked guitar and banjo to forge this Americana masterpiece all the way from Scandinavia.

40. Flight of the Conchords - Flight of the Conchords [Sub Pop]
These college flatmates and New Zealand transplants turned comedy on it’s head with their hilarious sketch style show on HBO. Then, the talented musicians put out their first full length record, a rollicking sampling of bitingly hilarious tracks from the show.

39. The Dodos - Visiter [Frenchkiss]

The Dodo's Frenchkiss debut effectively combines so many typically separate elements of folk, Americana, electronic, indie and art-house into one album that it can almost feel like a cohesive, brief sampler CD through the modern landscape of indie-rock subgenres while never leaving their comfort zone.

38. Jamie Lidell - Jim [Warp]

This is no half-assed attempt at a white-boy Motown reproduction. Paste Best Of What’s Next artist Jamie Lidell’s background in electronica adds a unique edge to his sunshiny soul music. In the words of Lidell himself, “a little bit of feel good goes a long way.”

37. Johnny Flynn & The Sussex Wit - A Larum [Lost Highway]

One of the problems with the word “Americana,” is how it ignores the vernacular traditions of the Old World. Englishman Flynn has crafted a quirky folksy romp that surpasses most of his peers on this side of the Atlantic.

36. The Bridges - Limits of the Sky [Verve]

Harkening back to when music was a family affair, the beauty of this sunny debut lies in its simplicity: soaring pop songs anchored by charming hooks and bridges (no pun intended). Case in point: “Pieces” might be the catchiest tune you’ll hear all year.

35. Colour Revolt - Plunder, Beg and Curse [Fat Possum]

These Mississippi boys offer the best edge-of-your-seat energy since The Arcade Fire. Frontman Jesse Coppenbarger seamlessly alternates between a quiet moan and a roar, and his cryptic lyrics offer a new revelation with each listen.

34. Torche - Meanderthal [Hydra Head]

You'd be hard pressed to find something as alternately punishing and pleasant (at press time, our best guess was a marshmallow with—surprise!—a thumb tack inside), but Torche's latest slab of melodic metal combines the oil-and-water rivals to fine effect.

33. Santogold - Santogold [Downtown]
This wildly innovative solo debut from Santi White (a.k.a. Santogold) effortlessly vacillates between singing and rapping, gleefully hopping from one genre to the next. “L.E.S. Artistes” shines the brightest on a sonically eclectic record devoid of vacuous filler.

32. Silver Jews - Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea [Drag City]
Wistful, poetic heartland rock and psychedelic-tinged, truck-stop country tunes delivered from a lonesome mountaintop in David Berman’s wizened, exhausted Cohen-meets-Cash croon.

31. The Walkmen - You & Me [Gigantic]
A moody, searching record from a band that’s tried on several different musical costumes since its inception, You & Me has allowed The Walkmen to find their beat, pulsing drunkenly from a heart of darkness under the blurry lights of some long-forgotten, cotton-candy-smeared midway.

30. I'm From Barcelona - Who Killed Harry Houdini? [Mute]
Still the best argument for indie-pop hyperbole, these 29 Swedes dial up some darkness to expand an emotional palate otherwise rife with exuberance. The band doesn’t mind that leader Emanuel Lundgren worries about staying a kid in his heart; they celebrate altogether, regardless.

29. Lil Wayne - Tha Carter III [Cash Money/Universal]
Without a doubt, 2008 hip-hop belonged to Dwayne Carter. After giving away countless songs for free leading up to the release of Tha Carter III, Lil Wayne proved that his saturation plan was effective, selling a million copies in a week. Fitting, as it felt like the album's "A Milli" found that many freestyle versions from Wayne's peers as well.

28. MGMT - Oracular Spectacular [Columbia]
Whether brandishing kinetic synth beats on “Kids” and “Electric Feel,” or mellow harmonies with “The Youth,” MGMT never loses its indelible exuberance and panache. It’s almost as if the Brooklyn-based duo exists in its own hyper-dreamlike world and we’re just merely visiting.

27. Liam Finn - I'll Be Lightning [Yep Roc]
Music flows in the veins of this New Zealand wunderkind. Son of 80’s pop maestro Neil Finn (of Crowded House), Finn’s songs unfold in painstakingly intricate narratives that speak to the insecurities in us all, announcing the thunderous arrival of a unique talent.

26. Lee Ann Womack - Call Me Crazy
[MCA Nashville]
If you can get past the “I Hope You Dance” stigma, you’ll find a delightful assortment of true-blue country and wistful pop on Womack’s latest. Don’t miss smoky-bar song “Solitary Thinkin’,” George Strait duet “Everything But Quits” and standout “The Bees,” based on the novel The Secret Life Of Bees.

25. Mugison - Mugiboogie [Ipecac]
Iceland’s answer to Tom Waits takes another giant leap forward on Mugiboogie, the most viscerally super-charged album of his career. With sweat-dripping Pentecostal fervor and big-top grandiosity, Mugison claws out his still-beating heart and wrings it dry for listeners. The product is a genre-shifting revelation featuring the most delightfully untamed voice in modern music.

24. Santogold and Diplo
- Top Ranking
 [Mad Decent]
A sizzling mixtape that re-imagines 
Santogold’s sound (which was pretty imaginative to begin with), Top Ranking boasts a strong Caribbean accent and a genre-jumping tracklist—the record drops young Santi White alongside Aretha, Devo, Desmond Dekker and Panda Bear, and she hangs right in there. Available at

23. Mates of State
- Re-Arrange Us [Barsuk]
More accessible than ever, indie pop’s favorite married duo is maturing. With their best effort since the sugary confection of Team Boo, the Mates lace lyrics detailing life’s battle wounds through their twee-harmony sound, encouraging contemplation while you’re swaying.

22. No Age
- Nouns [Sub Pop]
This Los Angeles duo sprawls on Nouns, transcending its guitar/drums core with cascading atmospherics and feedback loops, flying just close enough to sunshine pop for its punk-rock wings to melt into new, astonishing forms.

21. The Raveonettes
- Lust Lust Lust [Vice]
The sound of innocence lost, Lust’s sugar-coated walls of static wrap lovingly around the sexiest, most cavernously echoing early-’60s-pop-influenced noise rock since The Jesus and Mary Chain’s Psychocandy.

20. Hot Chip - Made In The Dark [Astralwerks]
Dark is clever, sexy dance music that rewards repeated listening—the more you hear it, the more you can’t live without it. The record gets bonus points for “Ready For The Floor,” one of the best songs of the year in any genre.

19. Gentleman Jesse and His Men
- Introducing Gentleman Jesse and His Men [Douchemaster]
This Atlanta power popper’s long-in-the-works debut LP echoes many heroes past and present, from Nick Lowe and Elvis Costello to the Exploding Hearts. But what the record lacks in originality it more than makes up for with hooks and hooks and hooks and even more unforgettable hooks.

18. Death Cab
 for Cutie - Narrow Stairs [Atlantic]
Death Cab’s second major-label release is a sonic feast. The drama-building atmospherics of sprawling first single “I Will Possess Your Heart” display a Radiohead-like shrewdness—an appreciation for the perfect mix of instrumental textures, anchored by metronomic drumming. You can tell that Ben Gibbard and company have plenty of steam left in their creative engines.

17. Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy
- Lie Down In The Light [Drag City]
Only after “seeing a darkness” and “learning to let go” could Will Oldham find himself in the light like this, coolly cooing about worldly balances and rightfully declaring himself “the king of infinite space.”

16. My Morning Jacket
 - Evil Urges [ATO]
The latest from one of the most inventive bands of the decade, Evil Urges finds MMJ hitting all the reverb-drenched, keyboard- and guitar-rock pleasure points while hurling one nasty, space-funky curveball that’ll leave you scratching your head in perplexed ecstasy.

15. Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds - Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!! [Mute]
The Dark Prince of Rock ’n’ roll drops his most ass-shakin’ graveyard romp yet, throbbing with enough moonlit swagger to roll the Stones right outta their high-holy thrones.

14. Langhorne Slim
- Langhorne Slim [Kemado]
His most ambitious, fully realized album to date, Langhorne Slim comes across like a gritty update of Blonde on Blonde, with Slim yelping unadorned poetry about the everyday struggles of life and love.

13. Ida Maria - Fortress Round My Heart [Waterfall/RCA Label Group]
At once deeply confessional and dangerously carefree, Norway’s latest export sings every song like she’s on the verge of breaking into a million pieces. The music holds her together.

12. Of Montreal - Skeletal Lamping [Polyvinyl]
The giddy experimentalism and collagist aesthetic of Kevin Barnes’ avant-pop outfit changes direction so frequently, you’ll marvel at the number of compelling ideas he manages to cram into an album that clocks in at just under an hour. Exhausting! Exhilarating!

11. The Hold Steady
- Stay Positive [Vagrant]
Separation Sunday earned The Hold Steady a monopoly on best-bar-band-in-the-country honors. Now, after Boys and Girls in America and the powerfully anthemic Stay Positive, they’ve become one of the best bands in America. Period. 

10. Deerhunter - Microcastle [Kranky]
Following its often noisy predecessor, Cryptograms, Microcastle mostly eschews rage for atmospherics, offering a gentler and more meditative Deerhunter. Whether it’s due to Bradford Cox’s time spent touring and releasing records as Atlas Sound or simply stylistic evolution, the gorgeous pop melodies paired with fuzzy, laidback guitars suit his proper band just fine.

9. Lucinda Williams
- Little Honey [Lost Highway]
After a career of breaking our hearts with lovelorn laments, Williams kicks off her ninth LP with unbridled glee. It’s her most sonically and emotionally diverse record ever, and her best since Car Wheels on a Gravel Road.

8. Sun Kil Moon - April [Caldo Verde]
Mark Kozelek’s comforting voice floats on a blanket of ringing guitars, a ray of golden solace peaking through dissipating springtime thunderheads;
a harbinger of struggled-for inner peace.

7. Girl Talk - Feed the Animals [Illegal Art]
Gregg Gillis creates giddy friction between disparate moods, tempos and genres—all of which hook up like drunken college kids. In an apocalyptic year, Animals sounds like the last party on Earth, one final chance to cram in every great beat, hook and riff before the whole planet goes poof.

6. Fleet Foxes - Fleet Foxes [Sub Pop]
Merely calling this Seattle band’s debut “pastoral,” eliminates countless opportunities for fun with psycho-topography: Opener “Sun It Rises” shimmers like a silvery mountain lake, “Oliver James” howls up from a glorious harmonic canyon, and “Meadowlarks” best embodies the romantic rolling knolls Fleet Foxes’ sound is most associated with.

5. Okkervil River - The Stand Ins [Jagjaguwar]
Rough, lush and magniloquent, this album is far more than a postscript to 2007’s The Stage Names. Singer Will Sheff wails “we have lost our way,” but the claim couldn’t be further from the truth on this brilliant, cacophonous cataloging of fame and misfortune.

4. Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago [Jagjaguwar]
Justin Vernon’s rags-to-riches story only adds to the beautiful depth of this folky debut. Stitched together during a self-imposed winter isolation in a Wisconsin cabin, this nine-song heartbreaker brims with a quiet intensity and a hushed vibrato that’s raw and addictive enough to leave Sam Beam jealous.

3. Vampire Weekend - Vampire Weekend [XL]
Proudly trumpeting its Afro-pop influences, this scholastic quartet of Columbia grads made the year’s most rambunctiously inventive (and hyped) debut. From its pulsating musicals flourishes to frontman Ezra Koenig’s sprightly falsetto, Vampire Weekend’s infectious pop rock never strikes a false note.

2. Sigur Rós - Med sud i eyrum vid spilum endalaust [XL]
This record’s most exhilarating peaks are found in its hushed sonic valleys, especially the anguished opening strains of “Festival.” The first half of the song scrapes away all sonic clutter, featuring a minimalist aria of keyboard swells and lead singer Jónsi Birgisson’s falsetto soaring beyond heaven to an even more blissful plateau.

1. She & Him - Volume One [Merge]
Maybe it’s just a sweet little folk record—a tiny, flawless diamond. Or maybe it’s a pristine distillation of harmony and craft; 50 years of songwriting experience served up on a spinning silver platter. Either way, it’s our album of the year. Produced with touches of girl-group splendor and arranged with a dreamy, old-fashioned vibe, She & Him’s debut couldn’t be more adorable.

What do you think?  Where do you agree or disagree?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Woohoo!! Go with FNBO Direct!

FNBO Direct Rated Best Online Savings Account By Kiplinger

Kiplinger Magazine picked several banks when naming the best savings and checking accounts for 2008. Here is what they’ve chosen.
Best online savings account: FNBO Direct. I am a fan of FNBO Direct, and I’ve started moving more money into this account thanks to its 3.25% interest yield. It’s not currently the highest, but I have had good experiences with the bank since opening the account in September.
Best money market account: Flagstar Bank. A money market account is like a savings account, but will usually have check-writing privileges. Like a savings account, you’re limited to six withdrawals per month, so if you plan on writing lots of checks, use a checking account.
Best checking account: Schwab Bank High-Yield Investor Checking. This account earns 2.2% interest and free checks and debit card access.
Best money market mutual fund: Fidelity Cash Reserves. This account requires a minimum balance of $2,500. Money market mutual funds are slightly more risky that savings, money market, and checking accounts, and are not insured by the FDIC. Kiplinger points out that this fund has signed up for protection under the new law that guarantees money market mutual funds values, but that only applies to deposits before the rule was in place, not new money.
Top Picks in Savings, Checking, Washington Post and Kiplinger, November 16, 2008.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Monday, October 27, 2008

Built to Spill covers "Paper Planes!"

I'm a fan of Built to Spill, although I haven't heard much from them recently.

I found this cover of "Paper Planes" and love it.

It's about 3:30 in, but the first song is worth listening to as well. The video isn't so hot, but the music is worth a listen!

If I Had a Ton of Money....

I would totally do this too:

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Someone Voted For Me!

FNBO Direct ATM Card

October 10, 2008

My FNBO Direct ATM card came in the mail yesterday. I’m using the account for long term savings so I don’t anticipate needing regular access to the money in the near future but the ATM card will be nice to have if I need it.
I also got an email about FNBO’s Pay Yourself First Challenge, the bank’s promotional effort to encourage a higher rate of savings in the US. Here is a blurb about the challenge.
The Challenge will follow five everyday people in their quest for savings greatness by using the Pay Yourself First method. FNBO Direct will match, dollar-for-dollar1, what each of the five finalists has saved at the end of the Challenge. The grand prize winner will also be whisked away to a luxurious spa destination to restore his or her personal balance.
Pay Yourself First means depositing your paycheck into an FNBO Direct Online Savings Account (OSA). When bills are due you simply transfer just what you need from savings to your FNBO Direct Online BillPay account. Whatever’s left over - whether it’s $25 or $500 — stays in your OSA and earns an interest rate that is seven times higher than traditional saving accounts
I checked out the finalists, Tim’s video about quitting his job was pretty funny so I gave him my vote.
The link:

Thursday, October 9, 2008

If Only I Had Some Extra Money.......

Someone is selling a restored Ghostbuster’s Ecto-1 which was used in Universal Studios Florida for over fifteen years.
“This car is one of three Sony/MGM authorized Ghostbusters 1959 Cadillac Miller Meteor Ecto-1. There are the two original cars used in the films and this one built exclusively for the Universal Studios Theme parks. This car has a rich history and thousands of fans have been photographed with this car. The only major change made to this car was the roof rack. We modified the roof rack to resemble the screen used Sony Ecto-1 original car. Other upgrades are cosmetic and mechanically it’s very sound.”
So if you have $45,000 to spare, check out the auction on


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The Mornings Interview

Small disclaimer: Dan Harley's name is misspelled! AH!


George Clooney grows a moustache

George Clooney has been spotted sporting a grey moustache.

George Clooney shows off his new moustache during a basketball game
George Clooney shows off his new moustache during a basketball game Photo: SPLASH NEWS
The actor, regularly known as the world's sexiest man, is currently in Puerto Rico. He is training for his latest film, where he plays a US soldier who fights the enemy using ancient Chinese mind techniques. He has grown the moustache for the role.
Clooney, 47, had hidden in his hotel on his arrival but popped out of his room to play basketball with friends.
The Ocean's 11 star is starring in Men Who Stare At Goats, a war film based on British writer Jon Ronson's satirical novel.
The book details a secret unit established in 1979 by the most gifted minds within the US Army.
Defying all known accepted military practice and the laws of physics, they believed a soldier could adopt the cloak of invisibility, pass cleanly through walls, and kills goats just by staring at them.
They were known as the First Earth Battalion, and it also details some of the stranger national secrets at the heart of US President George W Bush's War on Terror.
Clooney will play Lyn Cassady, who claims to be a former member of the unit who was reactivated in the wake of September 11, with Ewan McGregor playing a reporter who stumbles upon the story.
Jeff Bridges is also set to play the founder of the programme with Kevin Spacey playing a former soldier now running a prison camp in Iraq.


Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Mark Wahlberg Talks to Animals

I know you guys have probably already seen the SNL Biden/Palin debate parody.  You guys may have seen this, but for some reason I found it really funny:

Monday, October 6, 2008

In Other Third Grade News...

I was on Mornings today!

Hopefully I'll be able to post a video by the end of today!

Pay Yourself First Challenge Press Release

Six-Month Savings Journey Kicks-off for Five Challengers from across the Nation

FNBO Direct announces finalists for the Pay Yourself First Challenge

Last update: 9:28 a.m. EDT Oct. 6, 2008
OMAHA, Neb., Oct 06, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Five finalists from across America embark on a six-month savings journey today as part of the FNBO Direct Pay Yourself First Challenge, a national online savings contest that follows real consumers as they overcome their saving challenges. The finalists, chosen from over 150 entrants, have savings goals that are familiar to many Americans: paying for college tuition, preparing for a new baby, buying a larger home and paying off student loans. Americans can follow the Challenge by reading the finalists' blogs, downloading podcasts, posting comments and voting for their favorite finalist at
The timing of this challenge could not be more fortunate for America's "savings-challenged." In the mid-1980s, Americans' savings rate exceeded 10 percent. Since 2004, the rate has averaged less than 1 percent (Source: U.S. Bureau of Economic Research, March 2008). "Americans should be doing more to save for a rainy day," said Liz Pulliam Weston, the Internet's most-read personal finance columnist. FNBO Direct has teamed up with Weston to bring an exciting element to this challenge. According to Weston, the nation's personal savings rate fell below 0 percent in 2005 -- something that had not happened since the Great Depression. "It is now more important than ever for consumers to save more of their hard-earned money," said Weston. And that is what the Pay Yourself First Challenge is all about -- helping consumers build sound saving habits.
"I'm excited about the Challenge because I hope it will inspire and encourage Americans to save more," said Weston. "And I look forward to helping our Challengers on their savings journey by offering sound, time-tested financial advice -- and have a little fun along the way," she said.
Meet the Pay Yourself First Challengers
The Pay Yourself First finalists represent a good cross-section of Americans who are struggling with many of the same savings problems, such as setting up and sticking to a budget, paying off debt and controlling their spending. Meet the Pay Yourself First Challengers, watch their creative entry videos, follow their savings blogs and vote for your favorite finalist at
Challenger Tim Rhodes speaks on behalf of all five finalists when he says "I've never mentioned 'saving money' and 'fun' in the same sentence before. But now, after meeting the other Challengers and Ms. Weston, I realize that learning about and sharing new saving tactics can be really fun and ultimately really rewarding," he said.
What can they win?
After working hard for six months to build a savings balance -- FNBO Direct will match each finalist's savings dollar-for-dollar up to $5,000(1) -- and the grand prize winner and a guest will be whisked away to an all-expense paid vacation to a luxurious resort and spa destination to restore his or her personal balance.(2)
Media Assets
-- Learn about the FNBO Direct Pay Yourself First Challenge at
-- Additional video of Mr. Rajive Johri, Ms. Liz Pulliam Weston and the five Challengers is available upon request.
About FNBO Direct
FNBO Direct ( is an Internet bank that offers consumers innovative online banking products. FNBO Direct is part of First National Bank of Omaha, a subsidiary of First National of Nebraska, Inc. First National of Nebraska has grown into the largest privately owned banking company in the United States. This all-American bank celebrated 150 years of banking excellence and commitment to community with a recent nod for a seventh year in a row as one of the 2008 Working Mother 100 Best Companies.(3) First National and its affiliates have $21 billion in managed assets and more than 8,000 employee associates located in 35 states. Primary banking offices are located in Nebraska, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, South Dakota and Texas.
Copyright (C) 2008 First National Bank of Omaha. All Rights Reserved. Online Savings Accounts offered by First National Bank of Omaha, Member FDIC. Deposits are insured to the maximum permitted by law.
(1)FNBO Direct will match what each finalist saves, up to a maximum of $5,000 per finalist. See Official Rules for details at
(2)The Grand Prize winner will receive an all-expense paid vacation, worth up to $7,500. See Official Rules for details at
(3)Working Mother magazine named First National Bank of Omaha one of the 2008 Working Mother 100 Best Companies. This is the seventh consecutive year First National has won the award.
SOURCE: First National Bank of Omaha

TAKEN FROM:{C953F937-0437-4AC2-85E1-C8A7509EDB05}&dist=hppr

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Tomorrow, It Begins

Tomorrow, the Pay Yourself First Challenge begins. Please check out the site and subscribe to my blog here.
To say I'm excited is an understatement.  I can't wait.
And be sure to vote for me while you're there. :-)


Thank you guys for your prayers for Daniel.  On Monday he was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.  He spent a couple days in the hospital getting his blood sugar back to normal and also getting educated on the changes that he would need to make in his life.

He's taking it amazingly well-- I'll admit I'm more freaked out about it than he is.  He's a great kid, and is a lot cooler than I was when I was 13.

He decided to screw up some graduation pictures:
And this one too.
One of my favorites-- he looks like a hobo. :-)

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Fun with Truth Talk Live

There's this radio show that airs on FamilyNet (the satellite radio channel), that 95% of the time I absolutely cannot stand: TRUTH TALK LIVE.

There are many reasons why I do not like this show.  You'll get an idea of how bad it is just by some of the topics they have on the show:

  • Should Sarah Palin's pregnant daughter get married?
  • What in the World is going on?
  • What's the BIG deal about evolution in public schools?
  • Can Prayer END Abortion?
  • Which Presidential Candidate makes you feel safe?
  • Did Jesus really rise from the dead?
  • Should a Christian ever sell a billboard ad to an Adult establishment
  • Why Black Americans should have doubts
  • Should societies protect Animals over Babies?
I could go on.  But I'll spare you.

Then one day, this topic came up:

Yes, that was the topic.

So, to be as sarcastic as possible, I posted this (you may have to click on it to see it):

I of course got some feedback

And posted back.

Fun fun for everyone.  But whether you like Palin or not, isn't this question pretty ridiculous?  Especially in our current times, especially for a one hour radio show?

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

PYF Challenge Kickoff in Omaha - the Pictures! Pt. 2

During wardrobe, this came up as a possible outfit I was going to have to wear.

This was me bringing Sexy back.

More from the photo shoot!

We also did a shoot at a really old bank safe.  It was pretty awesome.

An adorable picture of Beth.

Jean-- a pretty awesome person we met there.

Phil and his wife Teresa.  He is one of the contestants and is a pretty incredible guy.  Check him out at Prime Time Money.

Dave-- another contestant.  He is an awesome guy too.Check him out at Three60 TV.

The entire group minus Kristen (but her husband Michael is there to take her place).
In a day or so I'll let you know a little more about the PYF Challenge.  Remember, the big kickoff is October 6.  I can't wait!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Music Builds Tour - 09/20/08

Jars of Clay opened, and sounded awesome.
As usual, Switchfoot mopped up.

Because they wouldn't allow us pictures with the band afterwards, I got a picture with the next best thing -- someone Stephen and I referred to as "Fake Jon Foreman."  This guy had us fooled once.

Third Day was there.

They told us to pull out our cameras and wave them-- I took a picture of it and liked it.

Then, everyone came back out.  Pretty awesome.

Stephen and Alison, great friends, and it was all because of Stephen that I was able to go.  THANKS MAN!!

I dont' have many pictures of them (or any at all, none of them turned out really well), but check out Robert Randalph and the Family Band.  They were PHENOMENAL.