Be appreciative for everything you have and for those that have helped you get to where you are.

To be grateful for even the smallest things in life because they can quickly be taken away.

If you love your friends and family, tell them. Don't take them for granted because they too can be gone in an instant.

Work hard but play hard. Life is only a one shot deal so make it worth it.

Be happy, because it's too easy to not be!

.o0(follow me on twitter: @tattooedmommie)0o.

Why you should never hit a burning microwave with a rake

.... everyone knows you should hit it with a broom!

.o0(follow me on twitter: @tattooedmommie)0o.

No seriously, I want it.

I mean I was raised in the land of the rising sun so what could possibly be more fitting than tattooedmommie having tattooed yakuza sticking out of my laptop?

Other than tattooedmommie having a tattooedmommie sticking out of my laptop, but I digress.

You can buy one for me pick one up here

.o0(follow me on twitter: @tattooedmommie)0o.

My office window looks out to the back yard of a rectory, literally into the back of it and partially into their wall of windows that makes up the whole backside of the house. If you're like me, you didn't really know what a rectory was, so when my co-workers told me that the first place I hit was Google. So here's what it is for those of you who don't know.

Rectorythe residence, or former residence, of a rector, most often a Christian cleric, but in some cases an academic rector or other person with that title. Many former rectories may still be referred to locally as a rectory once a church or religious organisation has vacated the property.

It's kind of cool to get the backyard view of a rectory because those clergy do some pretty cool stuff.
One day, they had someone come and replace a portion of their roof. Not exciting but it was a nice change of pace to watch.
Another day the maid (I'm assuming since she didn't wear a little collar thingy), was watering the plants outside, which wasn't overly interesting but it was kind of weird to think they have a maid.
Today one of the clergy (he was wearing a ltitel collar thingy) was cooking something outside in an electric wok. And let me tell you, it smelled awesome.

I had to resist the urge to yell out the window, "Hey Father, can a Mormon chick get in on some of that or is it for the Catholics only??" But I restrained.

Yup, those clergy are kind of interesting, let me tell ya. I don't know what they do in the rectory. But I do know two things.
First, whatever homeboy was cooking, it smelled delicious, so I'm going to generalize and say clergy must be great cooks.
Second, they do a kickbutt job on christmas decorating. The entire back all of this rectory is a tinted glass and I can see the lights from two christmas trees. Nice job!

So.. there you have it... the beginning of tales from the backside of a rectory...

.o0(follow me on twitter: @tattooedmommie)0o.

So I read a report this morning that basically there's a lot of people who have nothing better to do with their time than to risk the lives of those travelling on a plane by shinning lasers at the planes (and in one instance a helicopter) pilots.

No really, read the story yourself here

Really?? My first concern is why are there so many freakin' lasers out there? Then my second concern is, why do these people think it's funny to try and blind pilots. I mean, what about trying to blind your dad while he's pulling in the driveway, or the mail lady while she's trying to deliver your mail? But pilots?

This is another reason, of so many, why I shake my head at our society today.

.o0(follow me on twitter: @tattooedmommie)0o.

Here we are just a few short weeks from Christmas and here all I can think about is the upcoming Superbowl!
Not that I don’t love Christmas! It’s one of my most favorite holidays. It’s just that the Superbowl is so much of a stress free celebration that Christmas is. Depending on who’s playing we either have a party or we don’t. My folks don’t travel across the country to be with us on the Superbowl, although I’m so thankful that they do on Christmas – it really wouldn’t be the same. But I don’t have to go shopping months before the Superbowl for gifts to give, I don’t have to decorate (especially since it’s been years since *MY* team has played).

I guess I should be more thankful for Christmas, the true meaning and the fun. But some years, like this one, it’s much easier for me to look forward to nachos and kickoff time.

.o0(follow me on twitter: @tattooedmommie)0o.

Nerdy Christmas!

12.03.2010 |

Being the nerd that I am, when I saw this post on Mashable this morning about the QR Code wrapping paper, I knew, I just KNEW, I had to order this.

I mean seriously, how do you resist?

And in other news, I've had so much to blog about that I've gone into blogger overdose and have just done a memory wipe of all blogging topics, that's why it's been so quiet around here.

I'm sure, that will all change again soon..... or not. Who knows.

.o0(follow me on twitter: @tattooedmommie)0o.

In the past 2 months or so, I've found myself having to answer the same question over and over again.

"Why did you want to move to St. George, Utah?"

Well, here's a few of the reasons why, verbally. I think posting pictures would really show a lot of why I want to be here, but there are a lot more reasons than just the scenery.

1. It has a small town feel.
2. Kids play outside, by themselves, wihtout fear of being kidnapped or killed.
3. Crime rate is substantially lower than where I lived in South Carolina.
4. It's beautiful here, clear blue skys, vivid red bluffs & views from every direction.
5. It is situated 40 minutes from Zion National Park. 2 hours from Vegas. 4 hours from the Grand Canyon. 4-something hours from Bryce Canyon. 5 hours from Anaheim, CA.
6. It sits as a wonderful base camp for adventurous souls such as mine to travel around, camp or just day trip to see beautiful parts of our country.

My grandparents used to live here. I have wonderful memories of visiting them here and honestly, never thought I'd come to live here. I moved here briefly after graduating High School to attend Dixie State College and again never thought I'd really live here.

Now, I live here. Like anywhere, there's things wrong in the area. Is the small town immune to drugs or gangs? No. But the violence isn't nearly as rampant as it is in other places. Are there issue within the local government, sure! Pick up the local paper and you can read people complain about odrinances and laws and government officials just like everywhere else. But overall, I really enjoy this area of our country. The desert climate is perfect for my allergies.

My only regret with moving here is that I couldn't bring my friends and family with me. But, having been a military brat and living around the world, I know that true friends last through miles and family will always be in our hearts.

So... that's why I moved to St. George, Utah.

What to see some shots of St. George? Click Here.

.o0(follow me on twitter: @tattooedmommie)0o.

So, as you might have known from my first post on my blog, my Facebook account was recently hacked along with my Gmail account.

Well, the Gmail account is long gone. Bye. Bye. Bye!

But I got my Facebook back! Apparently, after I created my "New & Improved" Facebook account, something went haywire and one night when I tried logging on to my "New & Improved Facebook it said "please confirm your cell phone number". Which, I knew I couldn't do because my cell phone was attached to my old account. So, I put my cell phone number in and it then guess what it told me?

That cell phone number is attached to another account. Duh!

So there was a small little link that said "Why Am I Getting This Error?" And I click it.

The next thing I know I get a code sent to my cell phone, I put the code back in Facebook and VIOLA! My old Facebook has been given back to me because apparently hackers only steal passwords, not cellphones!

I wish Facebook would have made this known to me earlier but regardless, I am doing the much-overjoyed-happy-dance!

.o0(follow me on twitter: @tattooedmommie)0o.

Last Thursday as I was as I was sitting in the dentist chair getting impressions made for my new night guard (the whole stress, grinding, clenching thing we’ll talk about another time), my cell phone started going crazy with text messages and voicemails. Apparently, earlier that morning (5:27am to be exact), my main Gmail account sent out a nice little email spamming all my friends and alerting them and me to the fact that I had taken an impromptu vacation to Scotland (on a Thursday nonetheless) and during that trip myself and my family were mugged. So, as most mugging victims abroad, I needed money.

If only that were the end of it.

It turns out my Gmail account was hacked. My password was changed and I lost all access to basically my entire life. My calendar, my RSS feeds, my other 3 blogs, my Picasa pictures and everything else associated with my Gmail account. Then, to make things even more fun (yippie!) my Facebook account was hacked and my password changed .

Despite every effort of giving enough information to Google to prove that I was the owner of my Google account, apparently I couldn’t convince them. Seriously though, who knows the exact date they started using Google services? Do you? Because that’s the type of information the form requested!

I’ve emailed Facebook at least a dozen times with not even an canned response in return. From reading other posts it seems that once you lose control of your Facebook, you’re hosed.

So… I did what every normal person would do… create a new one! Of course!

Now, I sit and rebuild my online life.  So welcome to my NEW & IMPROVED (not by choice) little segment of the internet!

.o0(follow me on twitter: @tattooedmommie)0o.

Strawberry is my son’s class pet that he named. Remember that? Well, last Thursday I walked into my son’s classroom and Strawberry wasn’t looking so hot. As in, I think fish aren’t supposed to float vertically, not good. I figured that Strawberry would be gone when I picked him up, but when I arrived that afternoon, Strawberry was still doing the vertical dance of the dead. When my son noticed me peering into the small bowl he quickly reassured me, “Mommy, Strawberry is sick and Ms. Teacher is taking him to the doctor.” Well, I have to admit, 

I’m glad Ms. Teacher told them that, because frankly, I wasn’t prepared to explain the whole death thing, especially not without a drink or two.

So, fast forward to this morning…. And guess who’s back from the doctor? You guessed it! Good ole’ Strawberry.

So I’ve successfully avoided dunking my 4 year old in a small tank of reality… let’s see how much longer I can keep this up!

My son’s class (4k) at school (daycare) got a new class pet. Because isn’t the first step to instilling a life of responsibility is to introduce a fish to a group of 4 year olds and hope that their attention span lasts long enough to remember to feed it that afternoon?

So, the class pet is a little, red, beta fish.

And this little, red, beta fish has enabled my son’s genius to shine.

He is a genius. His teacher recognizes it. Why else would she have chosen his name suggestions for the new fish if it weren’t born from true genius?

But more importantly, than the fact that my son was the one to name the fish, it was the reasoning behind it.

Nik: Fishy is red and itty, I name it ‘Strawberry’!

I suppose now, I’m going to have to prepare myself for his eminent future as a rocket scientist or a doctor, obviously. Not to mention up my monthly contribution to his college savings fund, how else are we supposed to pay for all those PHD’s and ABC’s that follow people’s names that have the super smarts like my son has?

Oh, strike that, I guess I have to START that college savings fund.
And yeh.. he may not get all the ABC’s behind the name (or he may!) but I still think it’s super cool he named his class pet.

I've been programming for over 5 years now and it was just within the last year that I found the need to validate an checkbox list control. I'm telling you, never had a need! Now I know why I never had the need, it was because it was a premonition of what a pain it was going to be until I found this little snippet of code below.

Actually, here's the deal. There is not a standard "Required Field Validator" control for checkbox lists standard in your toolbox. So what you do is you use a Custom. Validator and add an OnServerValidate attribute calling the procedure below. (however for my blogger purposes the < and > were replaced with [ and ])

[asp:CustomValidator ID="cvAlarmType" runat="server" CssClass="ErrorFont" OnServerValidate="AlarmTypeCBL_ServerValidate"][/asp:CustomValidator]

Then add the following code in your code behind.....

Protected Sub CustomValidation_ServerValidate(ByVal source As System.Object, ByVal args As System.Web.UI.WebControls.ServerValidateEventArgs) Handles cvAlarmServices.ServerValidate
             Dim i As Integer
        i = 0
        For Each item As ListItem In Me.checkboxlist.Items
            If item.Selected Then
                i = i + 1
            End If
        If i = 0 Then
            args.IsValid = False
            Me.CustomValidator1.ErrorMessage = "Selection Required"
            Me.cvAlarmServices.ErrorMessage = ""
        End If
    End Sub


Now, one "gotcha" I've noticed is that if you are using other validation controls on your page and you have a validation summary that is popping up, well, the popup stops working for some reason.  But hey, when I figure that one out, I'll be sharing the info!!

Yes I am one of those people who:

  1.  Didn't pre-order my Droid X
  2.  Wants a Droid X
  3.  Will be heading to my local Verizon store at 8am to get my Droid X
  4.  Will be totally frantic if I walk out of that store without a Droid X

It just so happens that I have some appointments on Thursday that I had to take a vacation day from work to do. When I realized that Thursday was the release date of the Motorola Droid X, I had to take advantage of it for one reason and one reason only.

My husband pre-ordered his Droid X from Best Buy and I want to get one before him.

Sure, I want the phone but why go so far as to plan ahead and pre-order when I can spend my morning on a treasure hunt like adventure, only the treasure isn't gold, it's the Droid X!

Well, okay so I've kind of cheated, I talked to a rep from my local Verizon Store and basically set an appointment with him to pick up my Droid X at 12:30, so it's not like I'm digging on exotic beaches or threatening Verizon sales reps for it.

But will that stop me from driving to the other Verizon stores after dropping my son off at 8am to see if I can get one before 12:30? Hell no!

Bring on my Droid X!

PS. Could I possibly link to Droid X anymore???

  • I am not a domestic diva.
  • I dislike dishes and mopping.
  • Laundry is not edgy.

There, I said it. I came clean. I feel better. Please don’t judge me so harshly. It’s not really my fault that I’m a pampered, not-really-in-touch-with-the-whole-domestic-thing wife. I mean, it started out innocently enough, who would have thought it would have lead to all this?

See, back a few years ago… 8 years ago to be exact, I married my wonderful Greek man. I essentially tied the knot in the rope that bound me to no longer live my wild ways and started down the path of domestication. Let me explain....
When I got married, I didn’t know that shortly after moving into our first house, we were going to move my husband's Father in with us. When I found out, I was ecstatic (that is after I freaked out and realized there was no way to avoid it). But, as life happens, we all must do things that take us a little out of our comfort zone. So, my Father-in-Law, who is known by anyone who is anyone, as “Pop” moved in and in a few short months everything had settled down and I realized that having him with us really wasn’t as bad as I thought.
I mean, he’s Greek so he is a great cook by nature (no, really, I think it’s in their genes). He's retired and basically has two hobbies:
1.       Grocery Shopping – not because he likes to shop, but my theory is, he likes to find the best deal he can on meat. Then when he finds the one place in the 100 mile radius that he travels with the best price per pound, he laughs methodically which is how he subliminally sticks it to the other 6 stores that charged pennies more per pound! He’s Greek, being cheap frugal is his nature.
2.       Sudoku – Seriously, this man is a Sudoku machine! His mind is a calculator (again, he’s Greek!)  But really, after a hard day of trying to negotiate with the Bi-Lo Meat Man to lower the price of rib eye steaks, you have to do something to unwind right?
But back to the story…  
So, since he really didn’t have anything else to  fill the day and he really didn't mind cooking (did I mention he used to run a restaurant?), Pop would cook dinner for us during the week and occasionally sweep and mop the non-carpeted floors (if only I could have convinced him that vacuums are fun). Then, he started a morning routine of unloading the dishwasher that he so happily loaded the night before after dinner.

See, most of this additional housework he was doing started when I was on bed rest with my son. And it just kind of carried over. And frankly, anyone in my house that wants to do housework, well, who am I to stop them!

Well, Pop is gone. He’s gone back to Greece to visit with his family for the next 4 months and something days and frankly, I’m counting every hour until his return because after 8 years of being pampered and having basically only vacuuming and laundry to take care of, well… I miss the old Greek! What can I say, I mean I’ve always cleaned the toilets and such but when you add on the nightly chores of cooking dinner and cleaning up behind yourself, well, frankly, I’m thinking that is just a little too much to ask!

Do other women really do this? EVERY DAY? I commend you. Because being a mother is hard enough. Holding down my day job is hard enough (and right now harder than most times). Cleaning the toilets every week or so is hard enough. Spending Sundays in my bedroom folding clothes while watching Real Housewives of New Jersey is hard enough! But now… cooking and cleaning EVERY NIGHT?!?! 

Ludicrous I tell you!

So, as you drift off to sleep tonight, if you think you hear the faint sound of sobbing and the echo of "Pop... come.. home!...."... yeah it was me. 

Note to self... and to all others that have beat their heads against the wall with this problem.

When you are using data source controls in a formview (specifically the edittemplate), the controls are bound by the order they are on the page. Not by, oh say, the order the data source controls are placed or by any attribute that you can assign an order to - just by the position of the controls themselves.

Why? I'm not sure... another reason why I like to do all the work in code, although dragging and dropping a control is nice, it sure makes controlling when things are bound a lot more confusing.

This is just my friendly programming tip of the day, now I can go figure a way to get the keyboard impressions out of my forehead.

Take a moment this weekend, between burgers and beers, to remember those that have fallen while serving in our Military. If you have the honor, thank someone you know who's currently serving!

At least, that's what I plan on doing because my life wouldn't be the same if it weren't for each and every one of them.

Thank you Daddy for your service, thank you Mike for serving. Thank you to all of the Military men & women I don't know but admire, nonetheless.

Dis and DAT!

3.24.2010 |

Hello from your friendly, neighborhood DAT Volunteer!

Oh, you don’t know what a DAT Volunteer is? Well, let me tell you! Because once you know, you might want to become one, too!

DAT is one of the many acronyms that the American Red Cross uses, which stands for Disaster Action Team. The quoted purpose of a Disaster Action Team Volunteer is to “assist the Red Cross in delivering its mission to provide relief to victims of disaster and help prevent, prepare for, and respond to emergencies”.

Sound exciting? It is! Even more so than the technical definition of it!

In real world terms and my very limited experience, basically a DAT Volunteer is a member of an elite, covert (okay, we’re note elite or covert, but it sounds so much more secret agent that way) group of Red Cross volunteers who are trained to go out to any type of disaster and assist those in need. In my area, the most common disaster that we are called out to is fires. When someone loses their belongings or their entire house to a fire the Red Cross DAT volunteers are there to provide basic needs – food, shelter, and clothing.

It’s a very hands on and exciting group to be a part of. The volunteers that I’ve worked with so far are amazing. We are on-call whenever we sign up to be, meaning that if we can get called whenever the fire happens, if that’s 5 PM or 3AM. But, most of all, the rewarding part of being a member of the DAT volunteers is that you feel that you are out on the front line helping someone who, at that very moment in time, needs someone. And you are that someone who can help them.

So, is this a recruitment blog post to try to get others to join DAT? Sure! I’m sure your local chapter of the Red Cross needs DAT members as much as mine. But, in reality, not everyone is made up to be a DAT member. From my understanding, there are things that can be hard to deal with when you are responding to fire and other disasters. So, if you don’t feel that DAT is your gig, volunteer your time to the American Red Cross in other ways, there are so many things that they need help with that I’m sure they could find something that you’d enjoy.

So.. go volunteer! With the Piedmont Red Cross or another agency you feel is important… it’s for a great cause and for me personally, it’s brought me a huge sense of pride to be able to do so and I hope it does the same for you.

Looking for some free reads? Even if you don’t own an e-Reader (*cough* I do! *cough*), you can download these free books from Barnes & Noble. And NO! You don’t need a Nook or Kindle to read them. Barnes & Noble also offers a free download (it’s always free) of their e-Reader software. You can use it on your PC or Mac, your iPhone/iTouch or Blackberry!

So stop complaining that you can’t afford books, these are free.. get them before they’re not offered anymore!

By the way, when you create your account I can share books that I've purchased with you on your device as well!