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OK, reality is starting to set in. We’re planning to move to Seattle, Washington, at the end of June / early July.

This is a fantastic thing … we’ve loved living in San Antonio, and it’s been great for us to bring up the babies. But now that Emi is finishing her fellowship, we’re ready to head back to the west coast! And Emi’s new job was her first choice … so we’re very excited about that.

NOW comes the fun part. Selling our house and finding a new one in Seattle! And planning the move … and packing … we’ve already painted the interior of our home, and have done some yard work to prepare it to look as good as it can for potential buyers. We’re signing the papers with our realtor today and then will officially be on the market on Monday.

The tentative plan is to drive to Seattle, since it will take time for all of our belongings to be shipped there anyway, and we’d have to pay for car transport, temporary car rental and airfare anyway if we were to fly.

Below is the route we are considering … should be a lot of driving, but will be a lot of fun!

  • Day 1 – San Antonio to Tucson would be the longest day, about 13 hours.
  • Day 2 – Tucson to Anaheim … dinner at Disney hotel (Goofy’s Kitchen) – 8 hours
  • Day 3 – Anaheim to Marin … see a couple old friends and show the kids SF / Sausalito – 6 hours if by I5; 8-9 hours if 101
  • Day 4 – Marin to Eugene, Oregon, via Arcata – about 9 hours
  • Day 5 – Eugene to Seattle – 5 hours


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Long ago, our ancestors were favored to have a magical guacamole tree. During the one special month of the year, the entire community focused on the harvest. The guacamole dripped from the trees, and men, women and children tried to collect as much of the treasure as possible before it hit the ground.

Unfortunately, due to an untimely meteorite, global warming and infighting due to a diminishing fan base, the guacamole tree was forever lost to us.

But all hope is not lost! My family has passed down this recipe throughout the years which simulates the amazing guacamole that once fell freely from the hillside trees.

So today, just in time for the Big Game, I will share with you the secret guacamole recipe.

First of all, start with avocados that have a little give to them … you don’t want rock-hard avocados – they need to be mashable. I usually use five large avocados when I make it.

Get out a large sharp knife and cut them through the center, to the pit. When separated, one side will still have the pit and the other will be just green goodness. Take your knife and “pop” the pit so the knife will cut into the pit a little bit … then you can pull out the pit on the knife and knock the pit into the trash by hitting the handle of the knife on the edge of the trash can.

With a spoon, I scoop the avocados into a large bowl. I then cut them up a little bit so they’re chunky, but now yet mashed.

Now, here is one of the secrets passed down for generations which I am willing to risk family banishment to share … it’s at this point that you add the salt. I prefer kosher salt, but when you mash the avocados with the salt, it makes such a difference.

Then I use a potato masher and work it all into a slightly-chunky texture, but still pretty creamy. I add freshly-squeezed lime juice, which gives it flavor and also stops the browning of the guacamole.

I add chopped-up cilantro (a pretty decent amount – just the leaves of about half-a-bunch), finely-chopped onion (I like to use red onion to give it a little more color) and two or three chopped tomatoes.

If you are a little adventurous, then chop up a couple of serrano chile peppers. Finely chopped if you want to get it all through the mix, or you can do slivers if you want to be able to pick them out. If you want them to be less spicy, then remove the seeds and veins from the inside of the chiles.

Mix it all together, and then WHAM! You have a guacamole just like my ancestors used to make, way back in our homeland of Scotland. And you don’t even have to wait for the annual guacamole harvest …

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I told my webphobic wife this morning that if she truly loved me, she’d read my blog.

Anyone want to take a bet on whether or not she will comment on this?

Instead of doing something myself, I just took code from a free site for a countdown to ASW12 … here you go if you want to add this to your site …

<iframe src=”http://free.timeanddate.com/countdown/i2x56dip/n127/cf12/cm0/cu4/ct0/cs0/ca0/cr0/ss0/cac000/cpc000/pcfff/tcfff/fs100/szw320/szh135/tatTime%20left%20to%20Event%20in/tac000/tptTime%20since%20Event%20started%20in/tpc000/mac000/mpc000/iso2012-01-08T10:00:00″ frameborder=”0″ width=”180″ height=”72″></iframe>

We’ve made it through Thanksgiving and Black Friday (not on to Small Business Saturday!) and now the season is in full swing! I feel like the holidays start toward the end of October … Anya’s birthday is October 24, so that’s kind of the kickoff for me.

Santa with the kids at the Shops at La Cantera

Santa with the kids at the Shops at La Cantera

Tonight is the Boerne Dickens on Main Street festival … we had a great time out there last year, and I am hopeful that the weather holds out for us. It’s been beautiful lately, but thunderstorms today and supposed to get quite cold tonight. I don’t mind the rain … we’re on our 8th year of drought … but if we’re going to spend an evening occupying a small-town main street, I want to make sure it’s going to be enjoyable.

Behind me, the kids are watching How the Grinch Stole Christmas … one of our favorites, though Prep and Landing
has been getting lots of requests.

Another thing … Anya wrote a list to Santa yesterday, and one of the items on her list was “Real Magic.” Sweet girl … we’ll have to see what we can do about that.

I haven’t been as active blogging as I would like to be, but I have been doing some work on the new landing page (you can check out the new refinance landing page … about to roll out to affiliates and on FB) … also working on a redesign of the Niche Report site. It’s good to stay busy!

Also, looking forward to Affiliate Summit West in January. If you are interested in affiliate marketing or internet marketing, this is a must-attend – sign up today and I’ll see you in Las Vegas!

 

I’m not talking about go shopping and pick up the dry cleaning. I have put together a couple of to-do lists … one for work, and one for personal.

WORK:

  1. Expand verticals and grow traffic sources and buyers. Expanding into insurance and more … working on site specifically for all offers and deals.
  2. Continue to work on affiliate offerings for products through ShareASale, CJ, Amazon, Google, other … also want to utilize development to take advantage of companies’ datafeeds and APIs.
  3. BLOG EVERY DAY. Whether on this site, Delta Leads, StateOfTheCampaign.com, or affiliate sites. CONTENT IS KING. It takes writing the original pieces to get traffic to the sites. This also includes optimizing the images.
  4. Take advantage of Social Media. Facebook and Twitter, sure, but I also am going to lump in live broadcast and video. I did my first live broadcast the other night (for State of the Campaign) and had fun with it … just time to expand and really establish a presence.
  5. From a geeky perspective, I need to learn more devel0pment and grow my CSS skillset. Mike Greene has been a huge help in guiding my programming, which has been a lot of fun. Website design is great, but getting the site to perform functions and interact with the user is what really sets a site apart. I also want to learn more about Thesis (the WordPress theme I am using) and try to implement the new tech skills.

HOME:

  1. Work with the kids on all activities … sports, school, home, all of that. They’re doing great – I just need to make sure I’m doing everything I can to make sure they stay happy and on the right track. Eric Anthony is now doing soccer and is enjoying third grade (he’s liking it more than second grade, I’m happy to report); Anya is still ice skating and is the little queen of her kindergarten class; and William just started ice skating as well, and is still doing TOTS basketball through his preschool. He’ll start kinder next year.
  2. Help Emi however I can with her work, and with her job search for when she finished her fellowship. She completes her NICU fellowship in June 2012, at which point she will be an”Attending” physician in the NICU. She’s currently looking at opportunities around the country, and I’m helping however I can with that. There are lots of opportunities out there, and we’re just going through the process! It’ll be interesting … we’ll have to pack, sell the house, find a new one in whichever city we end up in, and then move … it’ll be a bit of a whirlwind, but it should be fun and exciting. The kids are excited about it too, since we’ve promised them each their own room (and a little bribe) when we get wherever we go. Eric Anthony wants a pet, and is leaning toward a lizard (a green anole to be exact … I had a couple of those when I was a kid, too!) … Anya wants a goldfish or a beta fish … and William wants a dragon. We’ll have to work with William to find a more appropriate treat.
  3. Get back on fitness regimen … I’ve fluctuated a little bit with my weight, and I want to stay on top of that. The main thing is making sure I don’t eat between meals and then to consider portion control. Plus, little things like limiting beer consumption and switching from sugar to splenda in my coffee helps. 
  4. Stay on top of housework! Working from home is great, but it also gives me the opportunity to do more things around the house. Maintenance things mostly, but also I’ll need to do a lot of little tinkering things to help prepare the house for sale early next year. I have about five months or so before we’ll start the sale process, and there’s lots to do. Especially since this awful drought, our yard – both front and back – is no longer the lush green it’s been in the past. I’ll need to touch up places around the house with paint … and I’m sure I’ll find other things.
  5. Finally, sticking to the budget … especially with the move looming, we need to stay on top of this. We’ve done pretty well not spending out of our means, which is good, but coming up on a time when we’ll have to pack up and move God-knows-where, needing how much for a new down payment on a home … every penny counts.

Follow the campaign! Eric C. Souza, @ECSouza on Twitter, shares his positions, views and more Wednesday nights on his “State of the Campaign” live broadcast on MIXLR. Tweets for the campaign can be followed by searching for the hashtag #ECSouza2012.

The inagural broadcast will be Wednesday, October 5, at 9pm Central time.

While in New York recently at Affiliate Summit (an international online marketing conference – #ase11 on Twitter) I sent some tweets while sitting in breakouts and keynotes. One that got a couple retweets was this …

So I figured I should follow my own notes and make a to-do list … I still need to get this put together, but one of the items will definitely be to do a better job at blogging. I think I will break my list into work and personal sections … the hard part will be narrowing down the selections to five …

Stay tuned – to-do list will be coming soon …

It’s that time of the year again … when hope springs eternal in the human breast.

Opening Day!!

This is like a holiday for me … I grew up glued to the radio, daydreaming the sights, sounds and smells as Lon Simmons, Bill King, Hank Greenwald and other greats painted the game so vividly. Of course now we can see every game on TV or on the computer (or iPhone) but to me, baseball is beautiful when broadcast by someone who loves the game, and can capture the feel of it.

There are a few things that I love about baseball … but it’s strange that one of the things I first think of is the smell of the dirt. It’s a distinct smell … freshly raked and sprayed down … there’s nothing quite like it.

Part of the excitement about opening day is that every team is starting with a level playing field. Everyone is in first place. Any player has the opportunity to step up and establish himself as a hero. Every city gets behind its club (well, except in Oakland) and vibrates with the optimism that this might be the year …

The Giants won it all last year. It was thrilling to see how it all happened, though admittedly unexpected … these castoffs and characters didn’t scream out “1927 Yankees” but they played as a team, and came together with great performances from young pitchers and team players. And they won. So, who will it be this year? Could it be the year for the A’s, with their great young arms? Or will the Red Sox blow everyone away with their new superstars? Philly will be tough to beat with their rotation, and of course the World Champion Giants look stronger this year than last.

So here we go … just a few more minutes until the first pitch of opening day …

Play Ball!

bluebonnet

bluebonnet

While driving the kids to school this morning (Spring Break is over – back to your regularly scheduled programs) I saw the first bluebonnets of the season!

As all Texans know, bluebonnets are the state flower, and only bloom in Texas.

What this means, basically, is that spring is officially here. I suppose I could have looked at the calendar to see that – today is March 21, after all … but there is something special about seeing the long stretches of these beautiful blue flowers along the sides of the long country roads.

In a couple of weeks when Emi is not on service (4-week periods of intensive work in the NICU – she has one more week on this stretch) we’ll take a drive down highway 37 toward Corpus Christi and spend a day with the kids among the wildflowers. There is a rest stop about an hour from here with a wide open meadow and a zillion flowers. That’s kinda like a dream for a narcissistic dad like me. And besides, what good is having the most beautiful children in the world (and a good camera) if you don’t take full advantage of the opportunities that mother nature provides?

OK, enough of this … I have a lot of work to get done. Working on expanding our mortgage traffic this week, along with getting home security leads moving stronger. We have a couple of sources for traffic, but need to get the buyers set up to receive them. We are doing limited Loan Mods and Debt Settlement leads as well, but mortgage is our main focus at this point.

Also, a huge thumbs-up to Mike Greene for getting the mobile MyDeltaLeads set up and sized for mobile viewing! AWESOME WORK, MIKE!


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