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Modern Day Prince Charming
December 11, 2009
My wife wrote a poem for me not too long ago, I have been meaning to post it here. I absolutely loved it and want to share it with everyone. My wife is the world to me, and without her I do not feel I would have made it to where I am today. Thank you so much for the poem.

Modern Day Prince Charming
(by Amanda Kelley)

My husband is my hero, just listen to this
For the reasons are more than just a fairy tale kiss.

His white horse is a patrol car with flashing lights
And like a true hero for justice he fights.

His shield is his badge made of gold
Greater than any story ever told.

The gun on his hip takes the place of a sword
He wears as proudly as any Lord.

His armor is in the form of a bullet resistant vest
that i pray every night will protect his chest.

He's looked at with honor and integrity
and yet always aware of his pressing authority.

You see he's my Prince Charming in every single way
Just fine tailored for the modern day.

Hammer and Anvil Explained
November 21, 2009
  Okay, so it has been quite some time since I posted an update, and since my last post was about a hammer and anvil, I figured I should elaborate more on that.
  I am hoping this spring to be able to build a nice sized shop building, one which I can work on a car if I need to but what I really want to put in it is a forge. I have always been fascinated with metal work. I took metal working in high school and ever since I have wanted to have my own foundry and forge. So many people now work with wood, but a true blacksmith which can turn a black piece of iron into a beautiful work of art is becoming a rare find. Another things I would like to have alongside that would be a small forging trailer which I could take to shows with my wife. I would be able to share the knowledge with some young minds and maybe get them interested, as well as turning out some knives or swords and shields for a nice profit.
  If anyone wants to help me get started in this, it would be much appreciated. I need a shop building, a forge, an anvil, a foundry setup and a metal lathe would be nice too!
Hammer and Anvil
August 12, 2009
Is it a new story idea? Is it a new craft project? Perhaps it's synonymous for an outlook on an aspect of life? I'll leave everybody wondering for a bit before I post what I mean. Cheers!

Windows 7
August 11, 2009
So I decided Sunday to download the release candidate for the new Windows 7, set to be released commercially in October. The release candidate (RC) is available to download for free from Microsoft. Weighing in at a whopping 2.5Gb, the download took me about three hours. I had to make a Windows Live account, no biggie, to receive my trial activation code which will allow Windows 7 to run until June, 2010. After spending a quick few minutes burning the image to a blank DVD, it was time to get started.

First Impressions
I must say, from the moment I booted the installer I was impressed. I wasn't able to just upgrade from XP, it required a fresh install. Thankfully, I didn't have to wipe the hard drive. The install was fairly quick, about 15 minutes, and was a nice change to the slow, hour long process of XP. On the first start up, Windows had no trouble installing all of the necessary drivers. After entering the desktop, I was first a bit dissatisfied. Looking at my screen, it looked almost identical to Vista, which I couldn't stand (Vista's flaws are pointed out in plenty of other places, no reason to get into that here.) Anyway, a took a couple of minutes to look around and realized it was not Vista at all. Although she may not be much different under the hood, the changes that were made were definately in the right place. Menu's flowed smooth, response times were excellent and everything on the screen was super easy to read. A quick read over the website showed me how to retrieve my old files and settings from my now gone XP. W7, instead of just deleting the old settings, moved everything into organized folders inside one windows.old folder. A quick copy and paste and W7 rearranged everything properly into the new settings system, which was a good thing because I would have never got things in the right place! I had all of my old documents, emails, favorites and music. All that was left was to change my background and I was right back to where i started, only in a brand new ride! Install to finish was easily less than an hour.

Lasting Impressions
Okay, so I have had Windows 7 running for about three days now. I've not had any major complaints. I was a bit confounded with the new start menu at first, again I never really had much use for Vista, but  I am figuring it out and the old XP style just seems bulky now. I haven't installed many programs yet, so I am curious how well it will handle my three pages of stuff I had before. One thing I found myself liking was the larger icons on the desktop. For as long as I can remember, when you made your resolution bigger, your icons got smaller. Now with my screen at it's max, the icons still seem very large. What first felt odd quickly changed into an operating system that felt like it was tailored for me. I have taken to it very naturally, much faster than I thought I would. To be perfectly honesty, I thought I was going to hate it. Tons of features which I thought just sounded like fluff really are innovative. The taskbar now displayed only an icon, but when hovered over it will pop up a small, unobtrusive window showing you exactly what the icon is. It was great compared to the old days of frantically clicking through the myriad of open programs trying to find the one you want while simultaneously causing your screen to lock up because it doesn't like the flurry of changing windows!
How about that little system tray down in teh bottom right? Remember that little guy where all of those annoying "needed" programs would camp a little icon in the way, constantly popping up saying "New updates ready to be installed" or "Click here to destroy your computer!"? Well, now they can't pop up any more! All of them are crammed into one, little arrow which opens a holding pen of sorts that keeps all those pesky varmint at bay! that in itself is just ingenious! Stupid Java updates!

Times are changing. XP is becoming dated, as much as I hate to admit it, and it is time to move on. Vista was not the ship to do it in, but 7 will take you anywhere! I hated the idea of XP. it took me months before I finally got happy with it. I hated Vista so much I refused to use it. I have embraced Windows 7 with arms open. I won't be returning to XP unless I just happen to find that one old program which I desperately need to run and it refuses to work. I'm not really looking forward to the $300 price tag for W7 Professional, but I think it will be well worth it, which is hard for me to say. I encourage everyone to switch. At the very least, grab the download, back up your XP data, and give it a try. If you don't like it, you can reinstall XP and restore your backups. I am hopeful that my experience is just going to go up from here and I believe yours will too! Hurry though, the trial download comes offline sometime this month!

One more thing, it also has built in parental controls which includes time control, game rating systems, and complete control over exactly what programs can and can't be opened!
The Trumpet's Call
July 28, 2009
     Jack surveyed the open field before him. he stood on top of the crest of a rolling hilltop, looking out to the west, towards the next crest about one thousand yards away. This was his time, he thought. This was where he would earn his honor and to have his name sung in the halls of great men. This was his time. Jack stood in line with thousands more just like him, all lined up abreast of each other and in rows hundreds deep.
      Jack stood there, his old, cracked wooden shield in one hand and his father's sword in the other. Although not much of a sword, it was considered very fancy for such a poor farming family. The overall sword was about thirty-two inches in length. Along the lower end of the blade was jack's father's name, engraved with date of the battle in which he had been slain. The hilt was wrapped in sheep skin leather, which provided for a good grip while being able to absorb the shock of clashing against another sword or shield.
     Jack clashed his sword and shield together with the beat of thousands. Every man screaming for all he could, attempting to dishearten the fighting spirit of the men on the next ridge, which equaled numbers near their own. the battle horns were sounding, alerting everyone to be ready to charge in. Jack took one last look to his left. He stood next to his childhood friend, Miles. Miles was a blacksmith, and so had much better equipment. While jack only had the ragged farm clothes he always wore, Miles had crafted a crude but effective breast plate, a metal shield and a sword, which to be perfectly honest, lacked any real talent. Jack always was amused by just how much better his own sword was that that of the local blacksmith's, and today was no different. He chuckled slightly, but only slightly, for he knew there was a good chance neither one of them would survive. The ones in front never do, yet the two of them stood proud to be there, ready to defend Ireland yet again from the tyranny of the English King.
     The English army sounded the trumpet call to charge. jack took a deep breath, waiting for the trumpet to sound. The trumpet sounded, and as Jack took the first step forward, he thought of his family one last time, raised his sword high above his head, and charged in.

Another short story by me. Enjoy!
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