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Archive for December, 2006

Photo-A-Day #631 12/30/06

Posted by BenSpark on December 31, 2006

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Today Allison and I attended the wedding of my High School friend and Allison’s Book Club friend Marybeth. Marybeth and Damian were married today in Dedham MA at a beautiful church. The ceremony was very nice (I didn’t get any good pictures there).

The reception was at Barker Tavern in Scituate, MA. This was a very nice location and had the weather been cooperative I would have gotten some nice shots of the Scituate Harbor. At the wedding each plate had either a girl or boy set of Mickey Mouse Ears.

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Marybeth and Damian are huge Disney Fans.

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The cake was also beautiful.

We had a wonderful dinner and sat with a friend of Allison’s from Book club. She was very funny. We laughed and joked.

I am very annoyed at myself because I figured I had a minute or so to hit the bathroom and be back to get into the Feehan Picture (High School) but no I was gone for 2 minutes and completely missed it. When I came back out the picture was over and done with. I couldn’t believe it.

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And I was looking pretty spiffy tonight too. And don’t you just love Allison’s hair. Amanda did an excellent job today. Allison’s hair looked spectacular.

Marybeth and Damian are headed out to their honeymoon after the New Year festivities. We wish them health and happiness on their trip and throughout their life together.

Also today we hung up the curtain rods, Allison needs to hem the curtains and we discovered that the roman blinds were too wide and not long enough. Oh well, one thing to go back to IKEA. We also hung the mirror over the completed dresser. Maybe tomorrow night we will sleep in the new bed for the first time. Start the New Year off right.

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Photo-A-Day #630 12/29/06

Posted by BenSpark on December 30, 2006

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Today Allison had breakfast with cousin Annie. I went out in search of a Nintendo Wii. It was a halfhearted search because I know it is not out there anywhere. I went to Comp USA and saw a TV that I think we will buy once I make enough with PayPerPost. By that time the Nintendo Wii may be out.

Allison and I went to IKEA for most of the afternoon. We picked up a lot of stuff however. I’ve been saving specifically for the remodel. And today we put a bite into that nugget of cash. We picked up a dresser for Allison, 2 night tables that matched the dresser. We also got a sofa bed and slipcover, some under the bed crates, a rug, the curtains, and hardware for the shades.

Allison put together the under the bed crates while I tackled the night tables. I put those two together and Allison started the dresser. We put the dresser together as a team. We make a good team.

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Mostly done

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The Finished Product.

We also picked up a few little things like drawer organizers for the dresser and wooden hangers for the closet. We had a fun time taking 3 carts through the checkout. Well until I saw the total. 🙂

Maybe tomorrow we will get the curtains up and be able to sleep in the new bed.

Oh yeah, we also got an entertainment center that will be going into Allison’s current closet. I measured so it should be the perfect size.

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Photo-A-Day #629 12/28/06

Posted by BenSpark on December 29, 2006

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Today I spent the morning moving from my old closet to my new closet. The new closet is great, it has a set of shelves that were perfect for my collectibles and other stuff. Most of the morning was spent moving my Star Wars Lego collection. All in all there are 55 sets with 11276 Lego pieces. I cleaned each box and lined them up by size, recorded the set number, name and number of pieces in the set. Then I photographed each box. So now I have a full record of each set. It is a little anal but I figured when else would I do that. All the Star Wars Lego sets fit on the top shelf. the second shelf is home to some of my special Transformers Sets, including a 20th Anniversary Optimus Prime and a New Year’s special edition Optimus Prime from Japan.

So my old closet has been moved, all of my clothes fit in the three drawers so that is one piece of furniture that can go to goodwill (my old dresser). The only thing not in the closet are some comic book boxes. I have to figure out what to do with them.

this afternoon Dad and I went to Home Depot again and got a new light fixture for my closet. We also got an 80 gallon electric water heater for my Aunt Millie. We brought that over and visited with Uncle Freddie and his dog Ginger for a while. I wish I had my camera with me to take a picture of Ginger. She is a cute little dog. She is about the size of Duncan. And she sat on my lap like Duncan does.

We made the bed tonight. Probably not going to sleep in it yet, still have no shades and Erik doesn’t want to see me getting ready for bed. So we have to go search for that stuff tomorrow because now the bed is in the house and I really want to sleep in it.

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Rocky Balboa

Posted by BenSpark on December 28, 2006

Tonight I took Dad and Erik to see Rocky Balboa. Overall I liked the movie a lot. I thought that many of the things that critics disliked I really enjoyed. I like movies with a plot. I didn’t need to see Rocky fighting throughout the movie. This was a movie that Sly had to make. This movie shows Rocky going out with dignity. Rocky 5 did not do that. Rocky 5 was the worst of the series and should be removed. Rocky Balboa was a very good movie in my opinion. I liked the things that Rocky said, maybe it was sappy and nostalgic and hokey but man it made me feel good to see this movie and that is what you want with a Rocky Movie. You want to be lifted up by the heart of Rocky. And that is what this movie did. Yes there was a lot of reminiscing and exposition and very little of the fight. The movie was about the fight and it wasn’t. It was about Rocky coming to terms with things changing and not letting it change him. I was thrilled to see the montage of training and felt it could have been longer. The fight was great. I wont say what happened at the end but it was well worth watching. This was a great capper to the Rocky Series.

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RockStartup Christmas Special

Posted by BenSpark on December 27, 2006

The folks over at PayPerPost have put up a year in review recap and Holiday special on RockStartup. This shows their Christmas parties (think bad karaoke and many shots) as well as giving back to the community by donating toys to Watch it for yourself.

This was not a paid post. I just liked what PayPerPost has done and I am at my PayPal limit for this month.

Also if you live in Orlando or you are visiting Orlando like my cousins are then you may see the PayPerPost crew and the BBM in the in downtown Orlando.

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Photo-A-Day #628 12/27/06

Posted by BenSpark on December 27, 2006

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Today was a very busy day at our house. The move to more area within the house is coming along. This morning I finished painting the baseboards, then Dad cut in the rest of the wall paint and touched up any remaining spots that needed it. Allison and I washed all the windows. Dad and I put together the IKEA bed. That went together like a dream. Five pieces, 4 screws, bing bang boom and done. The mattress, our new Tempur-Pedic arrived around 12:00 as Allison and I were finishing the windows. The room is now cleaned top to bottom, the bed is in.

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This shows the floor better.

After lunch Dad and I went to home depot to get a few things, a ceiling light for my closet, some light bulbs and a hot water tank. When we found the hot water tanks the one we wanted was a 50 gallon with a 12 year warranty, electric. There was one, the box was open and liked like the hot water heater had seen better days. One of the Home Depot guys came around the corner while we were looking at it and said that it was probably open because people check them out that way. Then he came closer and looked in the box. “I wouldn’t buy it” he says. So we didn’t buy it. We’ll try another home depot. We did pick up the light, some felt protectors for underneath the casters on the bed, and a longer pull chain for my closet light.

When we got home the glass that is supposed to surround the light was broken. So frustrating. So Dad installed the light and is returning the cracked bowl later on. Tomorrow I can start moving my stuff into that closet. We also installed the plate rack that Allison got from Southern Home Living. We are going to pick 3 of our favorite pictures and get them done in canvas to put on that rack.

Oh and I nearly forgot, we went through the front hall to get all the bedding for the new bed and ended up rearranging everything, and yet it looks exactly the same as before we cleaned it. Yet we took a lot of stuff out of the front hall. So all in all it was a very busy day.

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Photo-A-Day #627 12/26/06

Posted by BenSpark on December 26, 2006

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today Dad and I worked on the new bedroom to get it all ready for the delivery of the mattress tomorrow. They are coming between 11:00am and 2:00pm. I called and talked to Jay at Sleep Easy and he said that he wondered if I had moved to another country. He was asking that because so much time had passed between when we bought the mattress and when I called to set up a delivery date. I assured him that no we had not moved and we were just getting the room ready for the new mattress.

Getting the room ready today consisted of adding shelves to my closet. A piece of molding int he area between the rooms. Taking off cleaning and then painting the baseboard for the heat. Painting the new trim around the baseboard. Touching up some of the spots that had been missed on the first go around. And then finally putting the doors back on and washing the doors and floor. Tomorrow I will give the baseboards one more coat of paint, wash the windows and window frames, wax the floor and assemble the new bed frame from IKEA.

Then we will look for window treatments, an area rug to put under the bed and a new bureau for Allison. We should also get me some draw liners for my built in set of drawers in my closet. Dad added wiring for a light to my closet and we just need to put in a fixture. We will probably move things in on Friday. Then we look ahead to the next room. So if you’ve been following, that is two rooms done. 4 more to go.

Taylor spent part of the day with us in the bedroom, she was very good all day. Such a calm dog, and she didn’t get any paint on herself.

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Photo-A-Day #626 12/25/06

Posted by BenSpark on December 26, 2006

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Merry Christmas all. Today Allison and I left NH and headed back to MA. We dropped off Allison’s grandparents and then headed home. We got home around 10 or 11, not sure since most time yesterday was a blur. From the two turkeys to the ham and all of the sides, we had plenty to eat and it was very good too. I love the meals at Holiday time as my belt can attest to.

Before the rest of the family came over Allison and I opened gifts with Mom, Dad, Tara, Erik and Shelby. We’ll all be eating well over the next few months as we exchanged gift cards from out favorite restaurants. Erik brought back some wonderful gifts for Allison and Mom from India. Allison and I got some much needed and appreciated gift cards for home improvement as our projects around the house are increasing. It was very nice to spend some time together as a family and relax a bit.

Then Allison and I went upstairs and unpacked from the weekend and exchanged our gifts to each other. Allison got me a bunch of great clothes from Old Navy (She knows I won’t shop for myself, I wear clothes till they fall off me and hardly ever buy myself anything new). I got Allison a CD, DVD, and a Wii points card (so she can buy some of the classic games that she’s been dying to play. We don’t have a Wii yet but soon we will be buying one.

Then we prepared for everyone who was going to visit. We had My Uncle Richard, Sally, Erik’s parents Howard and Bonnie, Aunt Luann, Nicholas and Lindsey, Uncle Jim and then later we had Carissa, Chris and Aunt Donna come over. We exchanged gifts and had a nice time with everyone. We took Chris, Carissa and Donna on a tour through the renovations. I also showed cousin Nick around too.

We did miss seeing Grandma and Grandpa as they are both sick with Bronchitis. They sent along their gifts and today Tara and Mom are going down to visit them. By 11:00pm we were dead tired and called it a day. Until Next Year. Merry Christmas.

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Mom with a pashmina that Erik brought back from India.

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Chris left his sweatshirt at home.

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Our Annual photo by the tree.

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Merry Christmas 2006

Posted by BenSpark on December 25, 2006

From my family to your family. Wishing you a Merry Christmas.

I will probably not post today because of the holiday. The only PayPerPost message today went up at midnight because I really liked the opportunity and wanted to make sure I got it. But that will be all I am going to post today. Be with your families and enjoy the day. The Photo-A-Day will be taken but might not make it up till tomorrow. Merry Christmas to all. I’m going to bed.

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Photo-A-Day #625 12/24/06

Posted by BenSpark on December 25, 2006

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Today was Christmas Eve. We were in NH visiting with Allison’s parents Dan and Marcia. Her grandparent’s John and Eva came up and Allison’s brother Nate and his wife Sarah were also here. This morning Allison and Marcia went to breakfast with one of Allison’s friend’s Tina and Dan went down to MA to pick up John and EVa. I stayed at the house and got some blogging done. The family has been pretty supportive of the whole PayPerPost blogging stuff. I posted my daily allotment of blogs for PayPerPost plus some reviews on FlatWater Bookstore and a couple of posts here on The BenSpark.

I know I made the aStore with Amazon and the FlatWater Bookstore was going to go away. But I realized that I had two blogs and that meant that I could now blog 4 PayPerPost posts each day. So on the FlatWater Bookstore I have a post that reviews a movie, a product or a DVD that I choose form Amazon and sometimes a story about why I like that particular product and in between I have my PayPerPost posts. I also realized that I can only earn $500.00 a month and so have to be careful not to go over that amount or else I have to get a Premium PayPal account. And that means that PayPal would get part of every transaction. I don’t want that to happen so I have been keeping track of my earnings each month to make sure that I get as close to $500.00 and not over.

Once everyone came back to the house we hung around and had some hors devours and I went and got gas from the Stop and Shop (Details of that adventure are posted in this message.) and Then Nate and Sarah came over. about 3:45 we piled into the two cars and headed to Piccola for dinner. Piccola is a fine Italian restaurant in Manchester, NH, right on Elm Street. They have been in business for a few years now and no matter how much they expand the business they still do not have enough room because there are so many people who want to eat there. We had a 4:00pm reservation so we got in before the rush and were even able to park out front. That is a rarity. I had a very tasty Lasagna (one of my all time favorite meals) and I ordered a Lemon Drop martini. Usually they are very much like drinking lemonade that you know has some liquor in it. However this drink was made with limoncello and it was STRONG. While at the restaurant I took this picture.

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On the way home we passed the Photo-A-Day picture of Santa on his chopper. That has to be my favorite front lawn decorations ever. I went searching to buy one on Ebay. I found one for $39.00 plus 19.95 shipping. Not too shabby. Then I found a Santa Mickey on a motorcycle with Pluto in the sidecar for $59.99. I found a different one of Santa on a motorcycle too. Upon further investigation I see that the inflatable Santa on a Chopper is available at Wal-Mart. But I couldn’t find it at Wal-Mart online. I will have to keep my eyes open for an after Christmas Sale or something.

When we got home we exchanged gifts. We all had a lot of fun giving each other gifts. Nate and Sarah were awesome in their gift choices with a movie night package for us as well as a Quesadilla maker. We are very excited. Dan and Marcia helped me out with some money towards one of the toys I will be buying myself int he near future. I haven’t decided which one to get first. John and Eva got some scratch cards and Eva had a good time scratching them off. No big winners this time.

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Clyde got into the excitement and tried to help us open our gifts as well.

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Since Dan and Marcia are moving to Florida, we thought it would be nice to get them the Entertainment Guide for South Florida. Well Nate and Sarah had the same idea.

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Dan got some nice black shoes to compliment the pair of brown ones he already had in the same style. I understand that. I too buy two of the same thing when I find what I like and what works for me.

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After we exchanged gifts we had dessert, more than 8 people could possibly eat was laid out before us. There was bread pudding, apple crisp, cookies from a cookie swap, chocolate pie and various other things. We were still fairly stuffed from Piccola so we went light on the desserts.

After Dessert we watched the cartoon version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Then TBS began running 24 hours of A Christmas Story. We watched the first showing and now it is time for bed. has some fun stuff about A Christmas Story including e-cards and a gift guide quiz.

A Christmas Story Gift Guide

A Christmas Story is based on the works of Jean Shepherd

If the books are anything like the narration of the movie (Which was done by Shepherd) I think I will love them.

A pretty full day all in all. Merry Christmas Everyone!

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