Saturday, December 06, 2008

First year for Christmas lights on our house...

Wow, putting lights up on a house takes more time that I hand planned for... and the strange thing about that is it actually was easier to do than I thought it would be... due to these handy dandy plastic hooks.

Well, I'm almost done with the lights... I still need to finish the left border of the house and I think I'm going to put some lights on the bushes in front as well.  I took some pictures tonight to show my progress... I also have quite a few bulbs that are already burnt out. 

I also must thank Micah and Nathan for helping with the lights... couldn't of done it without them.  Micah's long arms and precise rooftop work helped with the top left lights on the house when looking from the street.  Thanks!

 Merry Christmas Everyone!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Rudy Giuliani robo-call that says Obama opposes mandatory prison sentences for sex offenders and murderers...

I got the above robo call from Rudy Giuliani last night. Talks about Obama and how he opposes mandatory prison sentences for sex offenders and murderers. Listen to the call for yourself above. Enjoy.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Who or what caused this financial crisis? You'll never guess...

This video amazed me. I have not checked all the facts yet, but it seems to be something everyone should watch, and I think he's right that it might change your vote and your future.  Check it out... google the facts... let others know about this. You can't believe everything you read and watch on the internet, but this feels ligit. McCain / Palin has my vote more now than ever. We will make the USA a better place and not let these people get away with this crap. If this video does only ONE thing... and if you do nothing else... make sure you get out and VOTE!
PS: This video moves fast, so you probably want to have the pause button ready to read it all...

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Sarah Palin Full Interview with Charles Gibson on ABC News

Sarah Palin rocked this interview as best she could in my opinion. Charles Gibson did not fully understand the Bush Doctrine when he asked that question, and that is where the confusion came in. The McCain / Palin ticket has my vote and I look forward to not having my taxes nearly doubled by Obama. Rock the vote republicans!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

How to download and watch your favorite TV shows and Movies

I have created one of my favorite websites to date called I feel this site has a lot of potential to not only provide top quality streaming video, but also provide offline downloadable content. It is still in its beta phase and is growing in popularity. Users favorites include Family Guy, Futurama, The Simpsons, The Riches, and The Office. The cool thing is it not only has full length TV episodes, it also has full length movies! Along with these great features are the wonderful short clips of TV shows and movies that I enjoy watching when I'm short on time or do not feel like watching the whole show. I just can't get enough of my new website, and I hope you feel the same way. Enjoy!

Friday, August 08, 2008

Slow Motion Lightning Video is Amazing!

This is the most amazing slow motion video I have seen in a long time. I am very impressed with what this camera can do and how amazing lightning looks under slow motion. I look forward to more lightning slow motion videos in the future. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Is just over 100% profit for the iPhone too excessive?

Wow, I was just reading an article and realized that a certain company might be a bit greedy...
"Analysts reckon Apple is pocketing as much as $352 per iPhone sold, based on estimates carriers pay about $525 per phone, which Apple is thought to spend about $173 to make, according to iSuppli, which tracks manufacturing costs.That means Apple could make between $12.3 billion to $15.8 billion in gross profit on the iPhone over the next two and a half years."
The article also states that analysts estimate between 35 and 45 million iPhones will be sold before 2010. At $352 profit per iPhone, that comes to between $12,320,000,000.00 and $15,840,000,000.00 in pure profits for Apple. Can we blame them for charging this much? Will the high price keep people from buying it? Probably not... It is one heck of a cool phone.

So lets just say they were to lower the price to benefit both AT&T and the end user by $100... so the total cost to AT&T would be $425 and the profit per iPhone for Apple would be $252 which is only a 45.66% profit. Not the great over 100% profit they were getting before, but still pretty good. With the estimated number of iPhone sales mentioned above their total iPhone profit would fall between $8,820,000,
000.00 and $11,340,000,000.00... how can you complain with $8.8 Billion profit?

It sure would be nice to be able to get a G3 iPhone for only $99! And to think the profit Apple would still make at that price.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Cardinals / Royals Game

Thanks to some free tickets I was able to attend the Cardinals / Royals game last night in Saint Louis. I couldn't believe the play in the bottom of the 4th... the Royals had 2 outs, the Cardinals had a man on 1st and a man on 3rd... LaRue singled to second and all the Royals had to do was step on second... but Grudzielanek fumbled around with the ball, got to second late and then wasn't able to throw to first in time letting the run score from 3rd... in my opinion that should of been marked as an error on the score board, but it wasn't. I was happy to see the Royals redeemed themselves in the 8th inning with 2 solo home runs and came out with the win 3-2. That puts them up 2-0 for the series... get your brooms out Royals fans, we might have a sweep coming!

On a side note...
We were sitting in the outfield bleachers section and before it got dark towards the beginning part of the game we saw an extremely strange bird like creature fly across the sky. It looked like a kite at first, but it was clearly a bird and flew above the outside of the stadium on the 3rd base side from home plate all the way past the stadium and kept on going. I took a triple take on it... it was so odd looking and I noticed lots of people around us saw the same thing and were as confused as I was about it. I'm wondering if anyone got a picture or video of this strange long tailed bird that appeared to have a streamer on the back up while it was flying by the stadium? The closest looking bird I could find on Google is a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher (picture show at right). But the tail seems to spread much further apart in the picture at the right than what we saw, plus the tail seemed longer on this bird we saw last night. If you have seen this before or know what it could be, please let me know. Thanks!

UDPATE: The Royals Swept the Cardinals in Saint Louis! LETS GO ROYALS! This extends their streak to a 5 game winning streak (matches their longest of the season). One week from today (Friday, June 27th), the Cardinals are coming to Kansas City... lets make sure we sweep them again, this time at home!

Monday, June 16, 2008

My frustrating experience with this roofing company...

Russ Kasper Roof Replacement LLC. is not my favorite company. We purchased a home in Saint Peters, MO in October of 2007, and the roof had been completely replaced by Russ Kasper Roof Replacement LLC. in 2005. There is a 5 year warranty on the roof which they have acknowledged.

We first noticed a leak in our garage around late December of 2007 / Early January of 2008. We contacted Russ Kasper Roof Replacement LLC. and they sent a representative out (Michael Hatfield) to take a look at what was wrong so they knew who to send out. Everything seemed like it was moving in the right direction.

The day the roofing guy was supposed to come out he was a bit late, but Michael Hatfield had called to inform us he would be late and even came over with some supplies to re-tape and paint the dry wall in the ceiling that got wet from the leak. When the roofer (Brian) finally showed up in an unmarked mini-van he seemed a bit tipsy. It concerned me that his first suggestion was to extend the down spout from the top roof down to the front porch... I understood this would put less water where the apparent leak was, but he seemed to realize there would still be a leak in the roof. So his next suggestion was to caulk the heck out of the area (which I later found out from professional roofers you never want to fix a leak with caulk).

Needless to say, the leak was not fixed. We called them back and eventually got the same roofer to come out again (even though I requested a different roofer)... this time he said he noticed some areas that looked suspect that he didn't notice the first time and was g
oing to caulk some more. (BTW - this roofer left his own business card which says "BMR Contracting - roofing specialist" on it... so I would recommend not using them either!)

Well, this second layer of caulking again did not fix the leak. So we called them up again, and this time Michael Hatfield was in agreement that the roof needed to be pulled up and a new ice and water shield needed to be laid down and the shingles replaced.

Well, they did not show up on the scheduled date to repair the roof. I attempted to call them for about a month... their phone number, (636) 397-7797 always goes directly to voice mail... I've

never had anyone directly answer that number which is frustrating in and of itself. For about a month and a half of me leaving messages I never heard back from them. I finally gave up when their message inbox was full. I filled a BBB complaint near the end of March (yes I had extreme patients to wait that long).

About 2 weeks after filling the complaint I received a phone call from Russ Kasper Roof Replacement LLC... but this time it was from someone different... a guy named Josh. Josh had no records of the previous visits or conclusions that Michale and Brian had come up with. We were basically starting over from scratch with Josh. Josh told us he was working at a Bar and so he wouldn't be able to fit in much time for roof repair, but that he could come out and take a look at it. Josh came by at a time different than he said he was going to, (a time when we weren't at home) and he left a business card in the door which said this on the back...

"Stopped by fixed your Leak if you have any further Problems please feel free to contact me at 636-397-7797."

Well, I called him up and he said he caulked the roof again... oh, and he used different color caulk so I could see where he had done the caulking. (so yes, now there are three layers of caulk on the roof) and yes the leak is still there, in the same spot, leaking just as much as it did from the begging. All I want is my leak fixed... and I wanted it fixed for free since it was under warranty, but it is appearing like that is not going to happen.

Well, Josh had a different idea after I called and left a message saying the roof was still leaking... he thought it was the siding. Well, I played along... for all I knew it could of been the siding. Josh had a Siding guy come look at... again at a different time than we had scheduled so I was not able to be there when he came. Josh was honest and let us know the siding guy said there was not a problem with the siding. Josh had now come to the same conclusion that Brian and Michael had come to. We needed new ice and water shielding installed.

After Josh had told me this, I then played the game of not being able to get any responses to my messages left on the Russ Kasper Roof Replacement LLC. voice mail. I finally got a response to one of my messages, but this time it was from someone else completely different. They knew nothing of Michael or Josh's finding with my roof and wanted to start from scratch. I said he really didn't need to look at it as we've had two different roofers come to the same conclusion, but
he insisted on starting from scratch. Well, I never saw him come out and never heard from him or any other roofer. What happened? Well, I'm not sure...

The other day, sometime late in May, we received a call from Russ Kasper Roof Replacement LLC., but just a courtesy call from a non roofer telling us they have had some communication problems. Well, that wasn't really news to us, but we just wanted to know when our roof would be fixed. He said he could not tell us that as he is just calling to tell us they have communication problems.

I left about 3 or 4 more messages trying to get a hold of them with no luck. Again about a week ago in early June we received a call from them saying we got your messages. That was it...that they got our messages. They would not talk to us about our roof or what they were going to do
to fix it. I don't understand what is going on. We asked for Russ Kasper's direct phone number, and the guy said, "I'm sorry, I can't give you that number. I was just hired to call people to tell them we got their messages."

Here is the link to my BBB complaint. As of today the complaint is still open, but it doesn't appear to be visible on the main website. The status appears like BBB is having trouble getting a hold of Russ Kasper Roof Replacement LLC. I'm not sure how long BBB will play this phone tag game with Russ Kasper Roof Replacement LLC., but I want to get my roof fixed ASAP.

BBB CASE#: 1345815

There website is located here: Please don't visit it unless you are making sure they are not the roof company for you. I have also attached the business cards I have accumulated through the process so far. I will update this post once I know more. Thanks for your time, and I hope this saves at least one person from using the wrong roofing company. Thanks! -Matt

UPDATE 06/30/2008:

Just wanted to add that the BBB has closed my ticket due to "NO RESPONSE". This is somewhat frustrating, but it appears BBB has given a new rating of 'Unsatisfactory' to Kasper Russ Roof Replacement company. I also noticed there are some additional complaints besides mine since last I looked at the BBB. Kasper Russ Roof Replacement BBB page is located here:

UPDATE 07/15/2008:
Well, I guess Russ Kasper Roofing got what they wanted... I broke down and went to a more reputable roofing company and had them fix the leak using my own $300... even though it should of been covered by the warranty. So far it hasn't rained since they fixed it, but based on what they told me it will be fixed and they have promised to come out and repair it if for some reason it was not fixed. I highly recommend this new roofing company which is GCC Roofing and they can be reached at 636-262-0349. They are very professional and easy to work with. My neighbors recommended them to me based on the great work they did on their roof.

UPDATE 08/19/2008:
I thought this story was over, but I got a message about a week ago from someone from Russ Kasper Roofing... I was skeptical, but decided to call them back and see what they had to say. To my surprise, the guy picked up my call immediately (it didn't go straight to voice mail!). This new employee told me he was hired basically to resolve all outstanding BBB issues and mine was one of them and he wanted to see where we stood. I told him the condensed version of the above story and that we ended up fixing the roof with a different company for $300.00. He then asked if we would like to be reimbursed for that, to which I of course said yes as our roof was under warranty. He then proceeded to offer to reimburse us for the drywall ceiling repair in our garage. I was somewhat in shock and disbelief after all that I've been through. He did indeed show up the very next day with $300.00 in cash. Persistence pays off and Russ Kasper Roofing eventually did the right thing, but I can't say I would use them again for my roof.

The same employee came out to our house and reimbursed me for the drywall fixes which ended up costing $100. I am impressed with the responsiveness of the new employee and the way Russ Kasper Roofing ended up handling this situation. I just wish it hadn't taken this long and this much effort.

Monday, June 09, 2008

iPhone 3G sounds pretty good to me...

First impression of the Apple Keynote today... a little dry... but then I remembered it was the WWDC... the Developers conference... so all the software demo's made more sense. I'm a developer myself, so I enjoyed to see what could be done with the API and SDK, but at the same time I was mostly just waiting to hear the news about the new specs. One application that did catch my eye was the application... that was pretty awesome! And it was truly a live demo because the Royals were playing the Yankees... I checked it out. I wonder what kind of fee will charge for such an application? Or do you think there will be ads?

These are my favorite features, past and present included:
  • 3G Network
  • WiFi
  • Built in GPS
  • Widescreen iPod
  • Rich HTML Browser
  • Visual Voicemail
  • Digital Camera
  • Photo application
  • $199 Price
As long as I can work this new low price into my budget and figure out how it will affect my current family plan with Verizon... I think I'm gonna go for the iPhone. I have one month to figure out my budget so that it will fit in with the iPhone price and monthly plan. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

China Earthquake

Since the earthquake that happened not to far from my home I have been tracking data from pretty regularly. The data on the 7.9 quake and all the aftershocks is unbelievable. I'm not sure if it is normal to have this many aftershocks or not, but it seems like a lot in my book.

As of this post, there have been a total of 47 earthquakes around the area. That count includes the initial 7.9 quake and the near after 6.0 quake (15 minutes after).

List of quakes in the area of the initial 7.9 quake is found here (note that as time goes by the quakes will fall off this list as they only keep about a weeks worth of historical data on this page).

In about 2.5 days there have been 47 quakes in this area averaging 5.12 in strength! All have been 4.4 or higher. So basically there has been a significant quake every ~1.2 hours since the initial 7.9 and 6.0 quakes. I can't imagine what it would be like to be trapped in ruble and having to endure after shocks every hour or so. There are many brave people risking their lives to save others. I hope the shaking calms soon for them.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

My Craigslist Search Helper

I have always enjoyed the simpleness of using to buy and sell items in a local venue. There were just a couple things that bothered me and I have attempted to build upon them with the use of Yahoo! Pipes and JSON. I'm a software engineer by trade, so I was interested in playing around with Yahoo! Pipes and the JSON technology... and some friends of mine had suggested that needed better search results... something more like Google and it needed to include the images when available. Using the RSS feeds and some regular expressions, I was able to produce some search results that have the date, title, description, and images when available. So feel free and try it out. Let me know what you think of it and what improvements you would like to see. It is still a work in progress, so be looking for enhancements!

CraigsList Search Helper

UPDATED 06/18/08: I have added some beta sorting options that allow you to sort the results by price from high to low or low to high. These only work for results that include the price in the title text. Those without the price get sorted as if they have the lowest price. I have also added a lot more cities and states to my site. I hope you enjoy the changes. Thanks.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Earthquake in the Midwest (131 miles east of St. Louis)

A magnitude-5.2 earthquake, centered 131 miles east of St. Louis, Missouri, shook southern Illinois at 4:36 a.m. (5:36 a.m. ET) Friday, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. People as far north as southern Michigan and as far west as Des Moines, Iowa, reported feeling the quake.
My wife and I woke up early this morning to hear and feel our house shaking. The TV on the dresser was shaking... I could not believe it... at first we thought it was our dogs wagging their tails ( two 95lb labs ), but I read the news this morning and it was a 5.2 earthquake in Southern Illinois! I would estimate that the house shook for approximately 5-15 seconds. Scary to think what would happen in a larger Earthquake.

FEMA: What to do during an Earthquake...

I just felt another Earthquake from work... I wasn't sure at first...thought maybe the A/C turned on or someone walked by... but sure enough... it was a 4.6 in about the same spot the 5.2 was earlier...

Earthquakes near that area

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

First Royals Home Opener with Crown Vision produces victory!

The Royals were able to come out with a win on opening day at Kaufman Stadium against the struggling New York Yankees. Here is a photo I found someone had posted on showing the Crown Vision in full action! It looks amazing! The article on also mentioned that we need not worry about the signature crown on top of the board, as they saw it in pieces ready to be put on top of the board in good time. I hope the Royals can keep their undefeated streak at home alive at least for the next 2 games and complete the sweep of the New York Yankees. Go Royals!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Dominos 555 Deal verses 777 deal (Part 2 of 2)

Size of the 14 inch pizza (large) = pi * (7^2) = 153.93804 square inches
Size of the 12 inch pizza (medium) = pi * (6^2) = 113.097336 square inches.

153.93804 - 113.097336 = 40.840704 square inches less per pizza 555 deal compared to the 777 deal.

40.840704 * 3 = 122.522112 square inches total missing in the 555 deal verses the 777 deal.

If you take the amount missing from the 555 deal and divide by the total square inches in the 777 deal you get the following...
122.522112/461.81412 = 0.265306119
0.265306119 * 100% = 26.53% less pizza in the 555 deal verses the 777 deal.

$7 * 3 = $21
$5 * 3 = $15

It is $6 cheaper to get the 555 deal... so lets find out what percentage cheaper that is...
6/21 = 0.285714286
0.285714286 * 100% = 28.57%

So, the conclusion is the 555 deal cost 28.57% less than the 777 deal, but you only lose 26.53% of the pizza... therefore making the 555 deal a better deal, but not by much.

Just to hit it home... here is the price per square inch for each deal indicating the 555 deal gets you the most pizza for your money. Enjoy!
555 deal - $15 / 339.2920 sq. in. = 0.0442 ~ 4.4 cents per square inch
777 deal - $21 / 461.814 sq. in. = 0.0454 ~ 4.5 cents per square inch
444 deal - $12 / 235.6194 sq. in. = 0.0509 ~ 5.1 cents per square inch

I've been told that they actually charge $5.55 per pizza for the 555 and $7.77 for the 777... that would change the math a bit... see the following...

555 deal - $16.65 / 339.2920 sq. in. = 0.0442 ~ 4.907 cents per square inch

777 deal - $23.31 / 461.814 sq. in. = 0.0454 ~ 5.047 cents per square inch
444 deal - $12 / 235.6194 sq. in. = 0.0509 ~ 5.1 cents per square inch

It still leaves the 555 deal as the best option, with the 777 in second place, but the margins are not as big. Thanks!

(See Part 1 of 2 for more information)
Note: Delivery charge, Tip, and/or taxes have not been taken into account

Monday, April 07, 2008

Dominos 444 Deal verses 555 deal (Part 1 of 2)

The claim is that the new Domino's Pizza deal of 444 is a 'Recession-Buster' deal... lets find out...

The area of a pizza is calculated by 3.14 (pi) * radius squared...

Size of the 10 inch pizza = pi * (5^2) = 78.5398163 square inches

Size of the 12 inch pizza (medium) = pi * (6^2) = 113.097336 square inches.

So there are 34.5575197 square inches less per pizza in the 444 deal.
34.5575197 * 3 = 103.672559 square inches total missing in the 444 deal verses the 555 deal.

If you take the amount missing from the 444 deal and divide by the total square inches in the 555 deal you get the following...
103.672559 / 339.292008 = 0.305555559
0.305555559 * 100% = 30.555555559% less pizza in the 444 deal verses the 555 deal.

$5 * 3 = $15 for the 555 deal.
$4 * 3 = $12 for the 444 deal.

It is $3 cheaper to get the 444 deal... so lets find out what percentage cheaper that is...
3 / 15 = .2
.2 * 100% = It costs 20% less to get the 444 deal...

IT'S A SCAM! You pay 20% less for 30% less pizza! It's a better deal to do the 555 deal! They also have a 777 deal... I have not done the math on that one yet, but be looking for a later post to find out if it's a better deal than the 555 deal.

(See Part 2 of 2 for more information about the 777 deal and overall price per square inch)
Note: Delivery charge, Tip, and/or taxes have not been taken into account

Connection has timed out when trying to hit Google...

Over the past couple weeks I have been getting this error message saying, "The connection has timed out" when trying to reach google related websites such as and ... I even got it the first time I tried to login to blogger to write this post. It has really been frustrating and I'm beginning to wonder if it is a problem with my ISP (Charter Communications) or if Google is truly having problems? In any case, I have been forced to use Yahoo! when I am unable to access Google. This is disappointing and I hope that my issues will be resolved soon. If anyone has any suggestions on ways I can remedy this problem, please let me know. Thanks!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

The Kansas City Royals Sweep The Detroit Tigers!

What an awesome way to start the season. 3-0, 1st in their division, undefeated and a sweep of the team picked to win the world series this year! All this, done while on the road. Greinke pitched a great final game of the series and came out with the win. I look forward to seeing more games won by Greinke this year.


Monday, March 31, 2008

Mobile phones 'more dangerous than smoking'

Brain expert warns of huge rise in tumors and calls on industry to take immediate steps to reduce radiation...

Friday, March 28, 2008

My TV Converter Box Coupons arrived in the mail today!

Well, I had a nice surprise in my mail box today when I picked up the mail. My two TV Converter Box coupons had arrived. I have a picture of them attached to this post. They can only be used at certain stores, but the list seems to cover a wide variety. I hope that the $40 comes pretty close to covering the cost of the Converter Box... or else I'm not sure I'm going to use them. Anyhow...was wondering if anyone else had gotten theirs? If so, which Converter Box did you buy with them if any?

Apply for yours now if you haven't already here:

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Crown Vision Panels are in place!

Not much to say here but WOW! MLB's largest High Definition LCD video board! I will definitely have to make a trip to KC for a Royals game if not just to view this amazing HD screen in person. Go Royals!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Super Tuesday Morning...

Well, today is the big Super Tuesday. Voters in 24 states are going to at the very least narrow down the playing field for the 2008 presidential election. I was reading a CNN article about Super Tuesday which stated an interesting fact about the state of Missouri.
"Missouri is one of the nation's most reliable bellwethers in presidential politics. For the last century --1904 to 2004 -- it has voted for the winning presidential candidate in every election but one: going for Adlai Stevenson over Dwight Eisenhower in 1956."

I hope for record voter turnouts across the nation today. Please do your research and don't let the media polls or peer pressure sway your vote. Stick to your gut and vote for the person that you would honestly like to see as our next president. This is our chance to express our inalienable rights as citizens of the United States of America. Let your voice be heard and get out and vote!

Friday, January 18, 2008

How to get AdBrite to work on your Office Live Basics website

Well, this turned out to be easier than I originally thought it would be.

  1. Create a separate blank .html file in notepad named adbrite.html
  2. Paste your AdBrite code into the adbrite.html file and save it
  3. Upload your adbrite.html file to your Document Gallery in your office live basics account
  4. Add a HTML module to your office live basics page where you want the AdBrite ad to be placed
  5. Put an < iframe > inside the HTML module like this (note that size of iframe will differ depending on what size ad you are placing, and be sure to replace 'your_domain_name_here' with your actual domain name... in my case it was '')
    < iframe src="http://your_domain_name_here/Documents/adbrite.html" height="100" width="800" frameborder="0" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" > </iframe>

And there you have it. You can now put AdBrite ads on your office live basics pages. This same method works for many other things you might want to embed into your site. Using the same method above I was able to get my statcounter code to work for office live basics. It will also work for google adsense ads. I hope this helped.