Saturday, November 01, 2008

Tonights Video: Chess

Here's what's going on while you are sleeping:

ZZZZZZzzzzzzzz (beat it!)

The answer to being tired is probably not more caffeine in your life, although I'm back to a can of Diet Dew as my favorite morning beverage. DLM posted this on their blog recently:

Eight Ways To Increase Your Energy Levels

Posted: 31 Oct 2008 08:36 AM CDT

Day in and day out I hear the same complaints from the same people. I hear how tired they are, how stressed they are, etc. A week will go by and those same exact complaints will be repeated, by those same people. Complaining is natural and we all do it. The key is to correct the situation versus standing idle and accepting it.

One of the more common complaints generally comes right after lunch. Yes, we're talking about the afternoon slump that occurs because something has sucked out every bit of energy you had. This lunch coma can be a huge show-stopper for some.

However, the good news is, you don't have to feel like that every day. There are countless ways to raise your energy levels quite naturally and intentionally.
  • Sleep enough
    Duh! You might not think of the obvious cause, but if you consistently feel tired in the afternoon and lack energy, it could be due to lack of sleep. Often a small adjustment of your sleeping habits can already do wonders for your energy levels. Experiment and find out what your optimal sleep levels are.

  • Get juiced up
    Instead of eating a massive, greasy breakfast, try something quick and healthy. How about some fruit and vegetable juice instead? Not only will you get heaps of vitamins, minerals and fiber, but fresh juice will put vitality back into your life for sure.

    A heavy breakfast takes far too long to digest, while a juice is light and preserves your energy.

  • Curb your caffeine addiction
    If you are a serious coffee addict you might not be happy about this suggestion. I wasn't either 20 years ago. Back then I used to survive on about 7 cups of coffee a day and eventually my addiction became so bad that I started to experience nervous heart flutters in the afternoon.

    As a result, I did the radical and cut coffee from my diet for a while. I have to say it did work wonders for my energy levels and my nervous system. Today, I'm a coffee lover instead, meaning I have to have one good brewed coffee a day to get my fix.

  • Walk this way
    A quick 10-minute walk can do wonders for a sluggish metabolism. The combination of fresh air and exercise is ideal to get your heart pumping while the blood rushes to your brain, energizing those wary brain cells.

  • Say no to sugar and carbohydrates
    These are the devils of modern fast food. Even worse, they get us addicted to all the crappy low fat produce on the supermarket shelves. Natural sugar as it is contained in fruit is so much better for you, but even so, everything should be in balance.

    Biscuits, cakes, most cereal, lollies and other high carb snacks should be banned from your household. Not only will you feel better by cutting out those fake foods, but your waste line will also thank you for it.

  • Yoga or stretching
    I love to stretch. That is probably one reason why I love yoga so much. When we stretch and release our muscles, we allow the blood to flow unhindered through the body, allowing us to energize within minutes.

    A great way to refresh your energy levels in the afternoon is to do a 10-minute stretching session. Stretch your legs, toes, torso, arms, hands, shoulders and neck with gentle movements.

  • Deep breathing exercise
    Another great way to re-energize your body is with a quick deep breathing exercise. Sit on a chair with a straight back and breathe deeply while you focus on your breath going in – going out. At the same time use a powerful affirmation to invigorate your mind and body.

    I like this one because you can do this at work without being caught by your fellow workers.

  • Essential water
    Since humans are made up of around 70 percent water, we need water to keep our life sustained. If you feel sluggish, the first thing you should look for is dehydration. Our brain can only function at optimum levels with enough hydration and when there is lack of water, the first signs of warning from the body is often tiredness, as it tries to preserve our vital energies.

    Conventional suggestions tell us to drink at least 2 liters of water a day, but this has been the cause for many discussions, because people who live in a hot climate need a lot more water than those who live in colder regions. Remember the golden rule on this, if you are thirsty, drink water.
Repeating the same behaviors everyday but expecting a different result is a fool's game. If you get tired every day, shake things up a little!

What do you (or will you do) to kick your energy levels back into gear when the afternoon slump hits you?

Written on 10/31/2008 by Monika Mundell. Monika Mundell is a passionate freelance writer and pro-blogger. Her blog Freelance Writing helps new freelance writers to get started in this exciting industry. If you like to work with Monika, feel free to visit her Portfolio site.Photo Credit: littledan77

101 Things Guys Can Do for our Wives

Wednesday night I found this list right here:

101 (Small) Things to Keep the Wife Happy

Wednesday, March 05, 2008 by Bethany

As always, I'm back to my lists. I love them. And this one in particular. Do you love your wife? Well, let me tell you, there are many ways you can keep her happy. Little things. Nothing too special. Just tid bits you can show her you care (there's big bits too. And that kinky stuff as well. And let me tell you NONE of that hurts either. So get creative). Here's a few to get you started onto a happier, healthier, wife. It can do wonders in the bedroom too, I hear.

101 (Small) Things To Keep The Wife Happy
  1. Give her a hug every day
  2. Say "I Love You" at the end of every phone conversation
  3. Remember to take out the garbage
  4. Take the kids for a walk (or drive). Alone time does wonders for refreshment.
  5. Make her her favorite drink (whether it be coffee, tea, soda, or martini)
  6. Ask about her day
  7. Make dinner every now and again (or bring home take out without being asked)
  8. Record her favorite television shows (or get Season Passes to them on TiVo)
  9. Paint her toe nails (or fingers. She might have a preference)
  10. Let her win an argument (or seven)
  11. Pick up your dirty laundry off the floor
  12. Play footsie in bed
  13. Snuggle
  14. Offer to help her carry the groceries
  15. Give her a weekend to herself
  16. Bring home unexpected small gifts
  17. Comment on her new hair cut
  18. Bring her tissues when she's sick
  19. Offer to watch the movie of her choice
  20. Clean the kitchen
  21. Spend a weekend away (again, this time she gets the house to herself)
  22. Call during the day just to say Hi
  23. Hold her hand when your out and about (that is, if you can get it away from the children)
  24. Smile the first time you see her each day.
  25. Fold a load of laundry. Or start a new load in the washer. Or do both.
  26. Trust that she knows where to go for the party next weekend (got and printed the directions).
  27. Listen when she's trying to tell you she's upset
  28. Let her take an afternoon nap
  29. Pick up milk on the way home (or whatever grocery item is always "empty")
  30. Offer to wash her car
  31. Bring home a favorite flower (or bouquet)
  32. Take out some favorite photos of the both of you and reminisce
  33. Give her a back rub (or massage her feet. Or shoulders. Or really, whatever she likes)
  34. Let her sleep in this Saturday
  35. And then make her favorite breakfast (or go out to a restaurant for it)
  36. Ask about one of her biggest wishes or dreams
  37. Leave a love note in her purse/car/wallet
  38. Buy a coffee shop gift card (if that's her thing) and leave it for her in the morning
  39. If you empty the toilet paper roll, get and place the new one
  40. Windex the bathroom mirror
  41. Take they dry cleaning in
  42. Never underestimate the power of a good night kiss
  43. Clean off the dinner table dishes
  44. Ask her to go for a walk with you
  45. Talk to each other... have a conversation about something meaningful or nothing in particular
  46. Put the kids to bed
  47. Hang that picture/shelf/candle holder you always meant to
  48. Bring home a gift certificate for a pedicure or massage
  49. Fill her car up with gas (and wash the windshield)
  50. Hershey Chocolate Kisses (get creative)
  51. Zip up or button the back of her dress or shirt
  52. Gently place a blanket over her if she falls asleep in the afternoon or on the couch in the evening
  53. Go to the pharmacy for her medication when she's sick
  54. Bathe the kids
  55. Buy her "girlie" shampoo, conditioner, and soap for the shower
  56. Make dinner reservations (complete with arrangements for a baby sitter)
  57. Don't complain if she's having one of those long phone conversations
  58. Offer to clean up her computer screen and/or keyboard
  59. Take a picture of her favorite place and send it to her (or leave it in a card on the table)
  60. Whisper sweet nothings into her ear
  61. Feed the pets
  62. Run her a bubble bath. With candles.
  63. Offer her your jacket if it is cold.
  64. Rub lotion on her hands (and hell anywhere else you want)
  65. Give her space when she needs it
  66. Ask about her work (and yes, if she stays home--ask about the children, the housework, etc)
  67. Make a mix tape (or playlist)
  68. Send funny e-mails. Either share a funny remark, send love notes, or even URLs for the funniest videos you've ever seen. It just means you are thinking of her. And she of you.
  69. Shut the door sometimes when you are in the restroom
  70. Hang up your coat after you come in (and the shoes, put them away too)
  71. Warm and pull up the car to the restaurant/store door if it is cold or raining or windy
  72. Buy her earrings. Or a necklace. A ring. Something inexpensive, but fun/beautiful/reminiscent of you
  73. Let her cry if she needs to
  74. Help get that item off the "high shelf"
  75. Rub her back as you pass by her cooking dinner (or reading e-mail. It is the touch that counts)
  76. Clean up the clutter in the living room/kitchen/bathroom--any room. Just spruce it up tonight. She'll notice
  77. Come home early
  78. Offer to cook her dinner (not on the grill. In the kitchen please)
  79. Pull out the wedding glasses and toast to your "togetherness"
  80. Sit next to her on the couch
  81. Look her in the eye and tell her how you feel about her
  82. Look up her Favorites or Wish Lists at an online store... and buy her something small from the list
  83. Take charge for the evening--corralling the children for bedtime, bathing, reading, television, etc.
  84. Ask her what one small thing you could do to make her life easier at that moment and do it
  85. Offer to paint a room the color of her choice
  86. Give up the television remote for one night
  87. Pack her lunch for the day
  88. Call her favorite girlfriend to schedule a surprise her with a girls' night/day out and about
  89. Bake her a cake/pie/muffin/favorite dessert
  90. Remember a special moment you had together, talk about it, discuss it, and share it with her (this can just be done verbally, in a letter... anything that you want to do)
  91. Tell her when she looks good. As in, "Hey, you look great in that." Or if she is wearing your favorite perfume, mention it.
  92. Fluff her pillow before bed
  93. Next time you are at a party or social gathering--give her wink from across the room. Or a knowing glance. Or a grin. Some sort of shared thought or expression that the two of you can share
  94. Find out how she likes her eggs and/or coffee. This can be valuable information.
  95. Clean the toilet(s)
  96. Take her picture when you think she looks beautiful. Even if she doesn't want you to.
  97. Open the car/restaurant/store door for her
  98. Let her pick the music in the car next time your driving together
  99. Remind her why you married her.
  100. Find a way to make her laugh. Really laugh. It does wonders for the soul.
  101. Tell her you love her. And mean it.
As always, if you want to play along with the fun and make your own 101 list regarding making you wife happy--or even making your husband happy--let me know about it. I'll give you props if you share the love. And of course, have more to add that I might have missed? Let me know in the comments. Gotta keep these guys in line!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Tonights Video: Scare Tactics

A recent tv ad:

Last Minute Halloween Reminders

From the DLM Blog to you:

Halloween Trick Or Treat With A Twist

With Halloween tonight, kids of all ages will do what they always do on the night of ghosts and horror, they trick or treat in their neighborhood.

To combat obesity problems in young children, it is important that we as parents look for alternatives. This way, our kids can still have fun while not being deprived of trick or treating the night away.

It is a known fact that lollies and sweets are not only bad for the teeth, but also for the figure. Sweets consumed in massive amounts (as kids so happily do when they are not monitored) can become more of a curse than fun and be responsible for huge dentist bills later down the track.

You owe your kid the responsibility of looking out for ways in which they can safely consume Halloween treats without the added sugar.
  • Hand out alternatives
  • Instead of handing out massive amounts of sweets to the children who come trick or treating at your house, why not give away some fun things that are longer lasting and less strenuous on their health. Things such as popular temporary tattoos, trading cards, stickers or sugarless sweets are a great alternative to the sugar laden stuff they usually get.

  • Cook your kids a healthy dinner on Halloween night
  • Kids should learn the importance of good nutrition at an early age. By cooking them a healthy Halloween dinner with lots of protein, fiber and vegetables, they will be ideally nourished for a night of trick or treating later on. When kids are less hungry they seem to develop less cravings for sweets.

  • Follow up by taking their candy bag hostage
  • This might sound cruel, but your kids will only benefit if you take responsibility and confiscate their candy bag once they get home. Responsible adults are aware that kids need to be supervised and that includes monitoring their sweet intake.

  • Buy “healthy sweets”
  • Buy healthy sweets (if there was such a thing as healthy sweets anyway). Nevertheless, you can control the damage in some ways by buying gummy bears made of natural fruit juices opposed to artificial ingredients. Even cutting down on the size and amount of the candy you buy for Halloween can make a huge difference for the health of your child.

  • Make your own
  • Another great way to counteract sugar addiction is to hand out some home made healthy mini muffins, made with wholemeal flour and honey or little chocolate treats. Even though these are sweets too, they are certainly healthier than the bought kind because you can control what goes into them. However, this does involve some preparations but it could be a lot of fun, and if you involve your own kids in the process they could even enjoy the switch.

  • Hand out candy points
  • To encourage awareness in your children about the damage excessive candy consumption can cause, why not present them with a neat candy point hand out. For every piece of candy they hand to you after Halloween, they can collect money to buy something they really want. Naturally, you want to stay reasonable and not hand out big dollars just for the sake of it.

    Alternatively, create a local candy point collection trade within your neighborhood.
    The collected candy can then be used for visiting sick children in a hospital and giving them a small treat (health permitting of course).

  • Change the trick or treat emphasis with craft bags
  • Instead of sending your kid out the door with a cheap, environmentally unfriendly plastic bag, encourage them to make their own trick or treat bag for the occasion. A bag that can be used for many other things and reused for years to come is the perfect solution.

    This will have two purposes: first, you will change your child's emphasis on Halloween by taking the focus from collecting sweets to creating something long lasting and furthermore, it gives you a chance to bond with your child if you take part in the creative process.
Halloween is an exciting time for children and perhaps some adults too but even so we should be responsible what we allow kids to snack on while still getting the maximum amount of fun out of the day.

Tell us your trick or treat tips and what you do to stop your kids from scoffing themselves with candy.

Written by Monika Mundell. Monika Mundell is a passionate freelance writer and pro-blogger. Her blog Freelance Writing helps new freelance writers to get started in this exciting industry. If you like to work with Monika, feel free to visit her Portfolio site.Photo Credit: tomeppy


I eat chicken 7 or 8 times a week. Never did come up with a good answer to this question. From a recent email I received.

Why did the chicken cross the road?

BARACK OBAMA: The chicken crossed the road because it was time for a
The chicken wanted change!

JOHN MC CAIN: My friends, that chicken crossed the road because he
recognized the need to engage in cooperation and dialogue with all the
chickens on the other side of the road.

HILLARY CLINTON: When I was First Lady, I personally helped that little
chicken to cross the road. This experience makes me uniquely qualified
to ensure right from Day One that every chicken in this country gets the chance it
deserves to cross the road. But then, this really isn't about me.

GEORGE W. BUSH: We don't really care why the chicken crossed the road.
We just want to know if the chicken is on our side of the road, or not. The
chicken is either against us, or for us. There is no middle ground here.

DICK CHENEY: Where's my gun?

COLIN POWELL: Now to the left of the screen, you can clearly see the
satellite image of the chicken crossing the road.

BILL CLINTON: I did not cross the road with that chicken. What is your
definition of chicken?

AL GORE: I invented the chicken.

JOHN KERRY: Although I voted to let the chicken cross the road, I am now
against it! It was the wrong road to cross, and I was misled about the
chicken's intentions. I am not for it now, and will remain against it.

AL SHARPTON: Why are all the chickens white? We need some black

DR. PHIL: The problem we have here is that this chicken won't realize
that he must first deal with the problem on this side of the road before it
goes after the problem on the other side of the road. What we need to do is
help him realize how stupid he's acting by not taking on his current problems
before adding new problems.!

OPRAH: Well, I understand that the chicken is having problems, which is
why he wants to cross this road so bad. So instead of having the chicken
learn from his mistakes and take falls, which is a part of life, I'm going to give
this chicken a car so that he can just drive across the road and not live his
life like the rest of the chickens.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN: We have reason to believe there is a chicken, but
we have not yet been allowed to have access to the other side of the road.

NANCY GRACE (CNN Host & former prosecutor): That chicken crossed the road because he's guilty! You can see it in his eyes and the way he walks.

PAT BUCHANAN: To steal the job of a decent, hardworking American.

MARTHA STEWART: No one called me to warn me which way that chicken was
going. I had a standing order at the Farmer's Market to sell my eggs
when the price dropped to a certain level. No little bird gave me any insider

DR SEUSS: Did the chicken cross the road? Did he cross it with a toad?
Yes, the chicken crossed the road, but why it crossed I've not been told.

ERNEST HEMINGWAY: To die in the rain, alone.

JERRY FALWELL: Because the chicken was gay! Can't you people see the
plain truth? That's why they call it the other side. Yes, my friends, that
chicken is gay. And if you eat that chicken, you will become gay, too. I say we
boycott all chickens until we sort out this abomination that the liberal media
whitewashes with seemingly harmless phrases like the other side..That chicken should not be crossing the road. It's as plain and as simple as that.

GRANDPA: In my day we didn't ask why the chicken crossed the road.
Somebody told us the chicken crossed the road, and that was good enough.

BARBARA WALTERS: Isn't that interesting? In a few moments, we will be
listening to the chicken tell, for the first time, the heart warming story of
how it experienced a serious case of molting, and went on to accomplish its
lifelong dream of crossing the road.

ARISTOTLE: It is the nature ! of chickens to cross the road.

JOHN LENNON: Imagine all the chickens in the world crossing roads
together, in peace.

BILL GATES: I have just released eChicken 2008, which will not only
cross roads, but will lay eggs, file your important documents, and balance
your checkbook. Internet Explorer is an integral part of eChicken 2008. This
new platform is much more stable and will never crash or need to be

ALBERT EINSTEIN: Did the chicken really cross the road, or did the road
move beneath the chicken?

COLONEL SANDERS: Did I miss one?

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Tonights Video: Chain Reaction

This is from this website.

Office Politics & Halloween

Seems like I alternate between this site and my Collective Wisdom site as to where I post the latest from Harvey MacKay.

This week, it's here:

Harvey Mackay's Column This Week

Unmasking your office Halloween costume

Halloween costumes bring out the real character hiding behind the grey flannel suits—male and female. We don't sponsor a costume competition at our company, but I know it's a popular employee activity at many companies.

Wouldn't it be helpful if folks would just wear their costumes all year long, so that you could figure out how best to work with them? Let me give you some examples of common disguises. First, the shady characters:

The pirate loves to take your ideas, your lunch, your stapler—anything of value that can save him time and effort. In the meantime, you've been cheated of your possessions and occasionally the credit you are due for your work. Yo-ho-ho—protect your treasure chest from this co-worker.

The clown makes a joke of everything. A sense of humor is one thing, but the pranks and pratfalls get old after a while, especially when the boss doesn't think they're funny. Make sure this goof-off knows you take your job seriously and stay out of tiny cars.

The ghost is always present and never there. She hovers in the background and makes others nervous. What is she doing? Is she spying on you? Are you in trouble? The creepy presence hinders productivity, spooks workers into second-guessing their abilities, and leaves an aura of uncertainty. Don't let this spirit possess you.

The vampire sucks the life out of any project he's involved in. No matter how well researched, how thoroughly considered, or how obvious, Dracula can sneak up and destroy your project, deflate morale and generally be a pain in the neck. Keep garlic handy to fend off the vampire in your office.

The wicked witch may not wear a pointy hat, but you can be sure there's something brewing as she cackles at your ideas. Her broom sweeps away all good.

The caveman refuses to try anything new. He won't update his skills, thinks technology is a passing fad, and carries a big club to deal with those who disagree with him. Don't worry about this guy reinventing the wheel—he's still trying to figure out what a wheel is for.

The French maid/Chippendale dancer, also known as the office flirt, has been the cause of many involuntary resignations, outright firings and some very messy divorces. If your company has a policy on fraternizing, pay attention. If not, and if your job outlasts your fling, your reputation has probably taken a beating.

On another rack of the costume shop, you'll find where the positive people in your office hang out.

The police/firefighter comes in to save all kinds of difficult situations. He isn't afraid to put himself on the line to right a wrong. He can put out a fire or make sure the bad guys don't get away. Don't be afraid to ask him for help if you need to be rescued.

The angel just knows when to offer help, without looking for any credit. This creature brings special skills when miracles seem necessary. She provides moral support when you're ready to give up, stays by your side until you can move forward, and then gets out of your way. Angels earn their wings but don't expect any payback.

The nurse/doctor is a lifesaver who can take an ailing project and restart the heartbeat. She can diagnose a problem and recommend appropriate remedies. Whether the fix is a bandage or major surgery, you want this person on your care team.

The superhero seems to appear out of nowhere and only uses his powers to do good things. It doesn't take a searchlight in the sky to call for help—this guy can sniff out trouble. Don't look in a phone booth for your superhero—he's doing his job quietly and will show up when he sees a bad situation.

The cowboy may seem to defy all the rules, but he is actually an independent thinker who is willing to take some calculated risks. The cowboy is not reckless, but has good instincts and can depend on old fashioned horse sense to iron out a mess. Round up a few cowboys when you need to get pulled out of a rut.

The cheerleader encourages you when you have lost all your enthusiasm. She is as excited about winning as you are, and supports your team through thick and thin. She's a good sport.

Office Halloween costumes: They're not just for October 31!

Mackay's Moral: The trick is to treat co-workers well.

Churches, Iceland and Pictures

See these two church buildings? Go ahead and look. The other day I found this webpage and what caught my attention was the first picture featuring a church in Iceland where my son is for another 3 weeks.

If you like pictures, then go over here to my picture blog.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Tonights Video: The Climbing Beagle

You have to see it to believe it!

Go South to Save

As I was online today I found the following:

Station Sells Gas For $1.98/Gallon

Owners Closing To Show Support For Environment

That headline is from August 1st, 2008 in Missouri. However in Fort Wayne on Monday I filled up for the bargain price of $2.46.

At least I thought it was a bargain. Today it was $2.34 at lunchtime. UPDATE: $2.29 at 4:15 this afternoon!

My office is in Waynedale. My home is Northeast. There is about a 10 cent per gallon savings if I wait until I'm on the south side of Fort Wayne, no matter what the average price is in town.

Have you used Google Docs?

No, it's not a medical website. Google is trying to overtake Microsoft and others by offering free alternatives to Microsoft Office programs and they are stored on line. The city of Washington DC is converting to Google Docs. DLM wrote this:

How To Work with Google Docs

Posted: 23 Oct 2008 07:10 AM CDT

I am a longtime fan of a blog named Digital Inspiration. Recently, they hit on a topic near and dear to my heart when Amit listed a ton of great ways to work with Google Docs.

For those unfamiliar, Google Docs provides a way to create and edit documents from the cloud. That means that you can do a lot of typical word processing, spreadsheet work, and presentation creation without installing any bulky software on your computer. That also means that as long as you can remember your Google password, you can retrieve your docs from any computer connected to the internet; the same is true for anyone else that you invite to collaborate with you. I use this all the time for my blog and project work.

No matter if you are a Google Docs user today or if you are new to this stuff, the tutorial will help you a great deal. Here is a sample of the questions he answers:
How do I upload all my Microsoft Office documents from the desktop on to Google Docs?
I am sending a Google Docs document to a large mailing list. Is is possible to track who read the document and when?
Forget the mailing list, I am just sending a document to my immediate boss so how do I if he really opened my document?
I wrote a long document in Google Docs in English but my client is insisting for a French version. Can we translate Google Docs documents online?
I have been using Google Docs for at least a year and this article taught me a lot. Check it out at Google Docs Guide: How to do Stuff with Google Docs.

If you need even more tutorials on Google Docs, here are a couple of sources that I found last night; both are pretty good.
  • Google Docs in Plain English: YouTube video that is kind of corny, but it introduces you to the basic concept.

  • TeacherTube: This is a link to a search on TeacherTube that contains a ton of video tutorials on Google Docs.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Tonights Video: Casino Time?

There continues to be talk in town that the Mayor is attempting to bring a casino to Fort Wayne.

If we get one, you want David Blaine helping you pick the numbers.

Halloween Fun

From the Art of Manliness Blog:

8 Ways To Scare The Heck Out of Kids This Halloween

Posted: 27 Oct 2008 12:24 AM CDT

2008-10-26_2329 8 Ways To Scare The Heck Out of Kids This Halloween

Halloween is this Friday and soon little goblins and ghouls will be wandering about, looting you neighborhood of its sugary booty. Just because you’re too old to go door to door, doesn’t mean your Halloween fun needs to end. While the time for treats may be over, the time for tricks has just begun. Scaring the daylights out of kids is a deeply satisfying pastime. While some men go all out by transforming their lawn into a graveyard and their home into a haunted house, you need not spend that kind of money or time to produce some high-quality scares. With only a few cheap props and a little imagination, you’ll have the kids jumping ten feet in the air. Here are 8 ways to frighten the living daylights out of kids this Halloween.


297048314_a1fb734bcf 8 Ways To Scare The Heck Out of Kids This Halloween

Image from Strict Papi

This may very well be the easiest and yet most effective way to scare trick-or-treaters. Dress up in a scary costume and then sit on the porch as still as a statue. On your lap, place a bowl of candy with a note attached that reads: “Sorry we’re not home. Please take one piece of candy.” As kids approach they won’t know if you’re real or fake. When they reach for the candy, spring to life! Growl, howl, reach out for them, or yell, “I told you to only take one piece!” This is an especially good way to give the snotty kids who grab big handfuls of candy a little comeuppance. My in-laws tried this stunt last Halloween, with one being a witch and the other a warlock, and found great success.

“If I Could Only Eat Your Brain”

1972563714_079d156256 8 Ways To Scare The Heck Out of Kids This Halloween

This is a slight variation on the statue method. Here you dress up as a scarecrow and sit slumped in a chair, as still possible. You then repeat the steps above. You might try building yourself a sort of scarecrow stand for extra effect, although I would imagine that standing on that for long periods of time would be quite uncomfortable. If you want to take the scarecrow trick to the next level, try placing several truly fake scarecrows (just get some straw and stuff your clothes) along the pathway. You’ll be situated somewhere in the line. After the kids get their candy from your accomplice and start walking away, jump out and scare the beejesus out of them.

“Leafing so soon?”

283263246_cc07232164 8 Ways To Scare The Heck Out of Kids This Halloween

Simple, economic, frightening. It doesn’t get any better than that. Get a giant orange pumpkin leaf bag, the kind people use when raking leaves (you can use a giant black garbage bag, but it will look a little more suspicious). Sit inside the bag and stuff the rest of it with crumpled newspaper or packing paper (you can use actual leaves but you might end up sitting in there with some creepy crawlies for company). Then take other leaf bags and stuff them. Place the leaf bags along the walk or randomly on your lawn. Position yourself in a bag by the porch. The trick-or-treaters will innocently pass by the fake bags, and when they get to you, you’ll pop out and scare them senseless.

“Rest in Peace”

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Image from Mich Mazier

Humans seem to be hardwired to have a fear of coffins. Thus, they make the perfect Halloween prop. While you might imagine that constructing a coffin would be expensive and difficult, one can be made with only foam board, duct tape, and paint. After you build your coffin, place it on a table or on the ground of your porch. From here you can employ various scare techniques. You may want to simply lie in the coffin with the lid on and pop up as trick-or-treaters arrive at the door. To add an extra layer of fright, try lying in the coffin with the lid propped up. Cover yourself with a black sheet. Then cover the sheet with candy. Attach a note to the lid that says, “Please take a piece of candy.” When the kids grab for the loot, sit up.

“The Scary Stalker”

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Here’s another simple and effective method for creeping kids out. Dress like the grim reaper and stand like a statue on the side of your porch. After the kids get the candy from your accomplice inside, simply start following the kids off the porch, trailing behind them, reaching out for them, and moaning. Very creepy.

“Let Me Give You a Hand”

remote1 8 Ways To Scare The Heck Out of Kids This Halloween

Remember “Thing” from Addams family? This is what we’re going for. Get a very large box, such as one from which a dishwasher came. Cut the flaps and turn it over so that it now looks like a table of sorts. Cut a hole in the “table-top.” Get a cloth and cut a hole the same size as the table hole and place the cloth over the box. Now take a big flimsy plastic bowl and cut a hole in it, just big enough to fit your wrist and hand. Sit under the table with your hand sticking through all the holes. Have an accomplice place the bowl over your hand which is now sticking up through the tabletop, and fill it with candy, enough to cover your hand. When trick-or-treaters reach into the bowl, thrust your hand up through the candy!

AAAAAAAH!!!!! It’s a Box of Raisins!!!!

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There’s nothing scarier to a kid then reaching into a bowl in hopes of finding Snickers and coming up with a box of raisins. Or those black and orange taffy candies. I shudder to even think of it.

Art of Manliness Pumpkin

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Plagued by raucous adolescent young men who are too old to be trick-or-treating? Place this pumpkin outside to scare these boys into doing the thing they fear the most: “Manning up!”

Finding Folks

In my email last week was this article from Bob Rankin:

Free People Finder Tools

people search tools There are a myriad of methods to search for people online. Some sites suit stealthy searches; like background checking, public records access, or finding out if any of your neighbors are convicted felons. Others will return a phone number, street address. And of course there are sites that speak to the most basic of human desires: the need to connect with others.

People Finders: Name, Address and Phone Number

Let's look at some other free tools to ferret out information about others. One of the more popular methods is using Google to search. It has become a well-known phenomenon that people will often "google" the names of their dates, perspective employers, employees, tenants or neighbors. Googling an individual's name (or even a phone number) can yield a host of (sometimes surprising) information about a person. Google yourself every once in a while to see what turns up, especially in the News and Images categories.

Infospace is another free search tool. Infospace does what those thick, antiquated phone books do, only better. You can do yellow page and white page searches and can search for individuals by last name, first name, and geographic location.

Yahoo has a free people search tool that lets you input information about a person like name, address and email. offers the ability to do a reverse address and reverse phone number searches.

Other free search sites like Pipl and ZoomInfo search a variety of sources -- social media, business info, public records and aggregate the results.

There are sites available for more specific purposes, such as genealogical research. allows you to create a profile to search for individuals with whom one may be related. With, users can compile "family trees" -- information about relatives garnered from immigration, military and other government records on the living and deceased. A free trial period is offered.

People Search: Social Sites

Sites like or E-harmony are two of the more popular commercial dating sites, but you can also connect or do some digging for free at places like Myspace, Facebook and other social media sites. These can be great resources for getting in touch with the long-lost, but you usually have to request permission to "befriend" someone to see their full profile.

Some unfortunate employees and job seekers have found that postings on Facebook and Myspace can cost you a job. So think twice before posting provocative pictures, or detailing drunken deeds, especially if you have a public profile. Students may want to do a little cleanup of their Facebook, Myspace, LiveJournal and other social media profiles before venturing into the business world.

Of course there are dozens of social media sites, so you might want to try a tool like Serph or PeekYou that searches multiple social sites and combines the results. And Summize will help you discover that people say the darndest things on Twitter.

People Search: High School and College Friends

high school classmates High school and college friends can often be located with or These are legitimate and useful sites, but both have been known to use spammy techniques to advertise their services. Have you ever gotten a spam email with a subject like "A friend has searched for you, click here to connect"? Clicking the link sends you to the site, where you are prompted to enter your name and age, and then a search is initiated. The results will often list various people who purportedly have searched on your name. The catch is that you have to join the site as a member to get information on your schoolmates.

Be wary also of sites that spam you with not-so-subtle messages like "One of your friends has a crush on you!" or "Five people in your neighborhood are looking for you!? These sites are gimmicky or fraudulent, as is the case with any business that advertises via unsolicited emails. Some sites will ask you to enter your mobile phone number, then send you all kinds of advertising, and you end up paying for text messaging spam that can be hard to stop.

If you don't want to lay out cash, try searching in Facebook first to find schoolmates, or find your school's website and get in touch with the alumni association.

People Search: Criminals, Sex Offenders and Public Records

sex offender database Want to know if there are any dangerous criminals living near you? I suppose you could search Hoovers for the names of anyone in the banking industry, or Thomas for the names of politicians. But let's stick with convicted felons for the purpose of this article...

One good resource is the searchable sex offender databases available for the USA, Canada, and UK. You can use these databases to see if a sex offender is living in your area, and take any necessary measures to protect your children. Depending on your locale, the database may include the name, address, photo, date and description of offense, age of victim, the address of the offender's employer, even the offender's vehicle and license plate info. You may think it unfortunate that sex offenders have to be tracked and stigmatized, but the reality is that the rehabilitation rate for sex offenders is low. claims to search for individuals in your neighborhood that have criminal records, civil filings, traffic and minor offenses. So how does this site get away with listing such information? Technically, all of the records are public information. There is a disclaimer on the site which cautions against making assumptions about a person's guilt or innocence based solely on the fact that their name may appear in a search. And that's good advice, since my sample searches on this site turned up incorrect info on some names, and failed to list some known felons, when cross referencing with other known reliable sources.

Intelius is a paid people search tool that offers the ability to search by name, address, phone number and other criteria. For varying fees, Intelius can sometimes provide a person's age, current and previous addresses, unlisted numbers, cell phone numbers, background checks, and property ownership info. Much of this information is in the public domain, and can be found if you know where to look for state and local records databases. Some information may only be available in paper or microfilm documents at county courthouses. Access is usually free, but the time it takes to get the desired information may make it worthwhile to pay someone else to do it.

Publisher Information:
AskBobRankin World Headquarters
Airmont, NY 10952, USA

Visit to browse or search ALL the articles, or ask Bob a question.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Tonights Video: Bill Withers

Found this the other day. Step back in time to 1972:

The Blue Screen

As we prepare for Halloween Friday night, most of the kids knocking on our door will have no idea what the Blue Screen of Death was.

I guess Windows (even Vista) has been getting better over the years.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Tonights Video: Why I don't drink Bud

First the original:

And now a revamped version:

Name This Weeks Local Website

Time to play! Before you click here to go there, can you guess the missing letters without the help of Vanna White?