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Paul rant articles

October 24, 2008

Full on Halloween mode

Been a busy few weeks for the family, and yes, following the last posting of the Janney clan decked out in Bronco garb, the mighty have fallen including losing 3 of their last 4. Guess we'll pack 'em away until next season. Between the Broncos and Pokes it's been a long fall already. Thank goodness for the Mighty T-Birds who swept their SWAC opponents and won their division (Back2Back). I even convinced 'ol Roddy to join me and watch East host Green River last week at Okie. He even splurged for $1 popcorn. Whatta guy.

Of course up next is one of our all-time favorite holidays - Halloween! As anyone who knows us can attest to, Halloween is a major fun-filled event around these parts. This year, the kiddos will be decked out head-to-toe in their favorite garb. Daisy is going as a witch and Caleb is a dinosaur. We promise many pics to come so stay tuned.

outta here!

Posted by paul at 06:33 PM

September 28, 2008

Denver Bronco pride at the Janney house

These colors don't run! This Sunday, our family was awash in Bronco uniforms in preparation for a morning date with the Kansas City Chiefs. Daisy donned her hyper pink Denver uni, while Caleb sported his traditional Orange Crush, Champ Bailey uniform and I kept it sort of old school with my Terrell Davis MVP attire. We were just a sight to say the least and had to snap a pic! Thanks mom for taking the picture. Oh, and if you were wondering, Sam had on a Denver Nuggets long-sleeve T. She was still waking up - lol.

janney family denver broncos

Posted by paul at 09:05 AM

September 02, 2008

Slackers R Us

So yet again Sam and I have failed our faithful readership by not blogging in nearly a month or so. Ok, quick and dirty covering the last few weeks...errr...months?

- Everyone is healthy and growing, blah, blah, blah

- Daisy started preschool today. Yes, started preschool.

- Caleb weighs almost as much as Daisy and he is walking. Nuts

- Sam is doing a bang up job in her marketing/communication/advocate role as part of the Governor's Planning Council for Developmental Disabilities. Yes, we are all hoping they get a decent acronym someday!

- Sam and I will be visiting Wisconsin in the next few weeks. Watch out!

- I'm still doing the remote thing for PayPal

- Last, but not least, Halloween is right around the corner! Yeah!

whew. now that was a quick round-up for sure ;)

Posted by paul at 06:04 PM

July 07, 2008

Photos of Daisy end up in the strangest places pt. II

Just had to share this latest use of a Daisy photo by a blogger who goes by DnB & Kiki. DnB is Drum 'n bass for those in the know. Moving on, I did a quick skim of her site and everything seems kosher so feel free to bounce on over and check out the this clever use of Daisy's pic. Too funny! ;P

Posted by paul at 09:06 PM

July 06, 2008

Birthday week with photos!

With birthday week officially behind us, July 2, 3 and 4 all saw events held for the kids, we have just enough left over in the parenting gas tank to share some photos and a brief write-up. Overall, the parties were a smash hit and we think the kids were starting to believe EVERYDAY is a birthday party. Sam made individual cakes for each of the kids on their respective birthdays (including custom Care Bear for Daisy), but we defaulted to Albertson's grocery store for the grand finale held at the Wilson's on July 4. In the end, everything worked out just fine. Enjoy the photos and btw, that's Daisy in her Wizard of Oz Dorothy costume - a gift from aunt Edie - she even tried to go to church in it with grandma on Sunday. ha!

caleb cake

daisy cake

daisy cake wilson

caleb paul birthday

daisy dress

caleb car


Posted by paul at 07:10 PM

April 16, 2008

Photos of Daisy end up in the strangest places

As I've discussed before one of the most interesting aspects of having your own web site is reviewing the associated analytics. They tell you all sorts of yummy stuff about the people that visit your site and what they do. For example, according to our Google analytics, we've had visitors from 23 different countries in the past month. It also shows you folks love cable modems as it's the #1 connection speed. You also enjoy using IE, but we won't hold that against you either.

One of the more interesting data points captured is referrers. This little detail even let's me know who is "hot linking" to images on our site. Basically, what other sites are using images directly from Janney Family. Keeping that concept in mind, I thought I'd share three web sites where photos of our Daisy have appeared...note: anything goes on the links below so be prepared (aka view these at home and not at work and no porn - I promise :)

1. Trail Riders web forum (scroll down to see the pic of Dilly)

2. UMG League Forum (scroll down)

3. Zedge forums - Nike vs. Adidas (scroll down - my personal fav)

There are definitely a few others, but I haven't been able to track down the exact page. Or, maybe the pages simply don't exist anymore. *shrug*

Either way I thought people would be interested in seeing this little slice of insight into how online images get used (or abused) depending on your viewpoint.

Posted by paul at 07:47 PM

March 18, 2008

Taking a break from the kids in Las Vegas

Ok, ok, we haven't been very good about updating our family blog. In fact we had a naked front page for awhile - yikes! Yes, we are slackers, but slackers who are very busy these days with Sam's new job, two kids and good 'ol PJ working from home. Wait a minute, I guess that last one really isn't an excuse for lack of posting. In fact, it should prompt me to write more. Strange :)

Latest and greatest news. The kids. Both Daisy and Caleb are growing, eating and pooping like any old average kid does these days. It's the cool thing you know. Daisy broke the 25lb mark a few weeks ago, which is a big deal for the Queen of Preemies. She's also crazy tall and skinny...just like her dad was until the freshmen 15, errr 20, umm 25 occurred in college. Caleb on the other hand is just a monster of a kid. His next Dr., appt., is in April and at that time we'll find out his current weight/height. Sam and I are guessing he's pushing 25lbs himself. Our sore backs tell us that. Any over/under guesses?

As for Sam and I, we just got back from a much deserved vacation to our dessert oasis - Las Vegas. As most of you know we used to visit once, even twice a year before we had kids so it was nice to get back. We stayed at the Signature MGM Grand, which was absolutely perfect. It's smoke free, non-gaming and private. This means no crowds. A rarity in Vegas. We also took in the Phantom of the Opera at the Venetian, made numerous trips downtown and did some serious shopping.

The highlight of the trip out was our unexpected meeting with world-renowned fashion designer Michael Kors of Project Runway fame. We just happen to be cruising a new shopping area, where he has a store, and low and behold there he was. Michael was very approachable and happy to take a photo with us. Check it out...

paul michael kors sam

Yes, in the background, that's his very "fierce" store in the Palazzo. We think it also helped that both Sam and I had on our dapper dudes as he did check out what we were wearing before the photo was taken. Lastly, for the geeks out there, the photo was taken with my new phone. Not bad, eh?

Overall, just a wonderful trip out that we hope to do again soon and visit family and friends the next time out. Hope you are doing well and thanks for reading our family blog!

Posted by paul at 02:24 PM

December 29, 2007

All is right with the world - Christmas 2007

For the first time in two years we'd finally settled down enough to have Christmas at OUR house for once. And what a great Christmas it was. Daisy and Caleb actually had three unwrapping sessions between our home, Grandma and Grandpa's (Rod, Connie and Auntie Jenna) and last, but certainly not least, Great-Grandma and Great-Grandpa's, which included presents from one set of God Parents. Thank you Brian and Virginia! Not bad given the size of our family and of course I don't think the kids minded one bit. By the end of the day Daisy had the unwrapping concept down pat. Good times. We also had a white Christmas here with snow in Cheyenne throughout the morning followed by another blast of snow on Thursday. Enjoy the photos and Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! See you in '08.

janney christmas 2007 daisy

caleb christmas 2007 present

daisy-christmas 2007 play house

paul janney christmas golden age book

Posted by paul at 03:42 PM

November 16, 2007

New old job and Halloween.tv sold

Hello friends and family! There are two big announcements that I'm excited to share with everyone.

The first is on the career front where I've decided to work for PayPal again as a Sr. Designer, but unlike the first time around where it was wagons west and we headed for Cali as a family, this time I'll be working from their Cheyenne office. Ok, ok, they don't actually have a Cheyenne office, but I will be working remotely from home and will be their lone Wyoming employee. Everyone knows the best designers come from Cowboy Country *wink*. Overall, it's just a great opportunity and a unique twist on the role which was something I just had to try. I spent the past week in San Jose getting my PayPal employment paperwork completed and laptop in hand. Everyone was super cool and it was great to see old friends again. It was sad to leave Sierra as it's a great environment that I will definitely miss. I made some good friends there and plan on visiting for a few games of pong whenever I get the chance. Sam will also remain at Sierra in her current role where she has grown into quite the Retail and Marketing/PR specialist for them.

The second piece of news is just as the headline stated. Over the summer I started to discuss the possibility of selling the domain name halloween.tv and as of last Thursday the sale officially happened. It was pretty exciting to have my first official "start-up" idea so to speak move on. The buyer is a good guy and I can't wait to see what they eventually do with the name. I've already purchased another domain name and someday hope to have the old site up and running again. We'll just have to wait and see what comes out of our idea kitchen.

Lastly, I have to give everyone an update on the kids. Daisy is doing awesome and is taking both gymnastics and music classes. We're still trying to find an acceptable daycare system for her, but neither we or grandma are in any hurry. As for Caleb he just keeps growing like a weed. We expect him to start shaving any day now. He's just a monster kid with an amazing sense of humor.

That about wraps it up for now. Hope everyone is doing well as we head into the Holiday season. I promise pictures next time we post.

Posted by paul at 09:04 AM

November 01, 2007

Two Halloween ghouls and two parents

We like Halloween. OK, what I meant to say was we LOVE Halloween. We even got married on October 30...eight years for those counting. Wednesday was no exception as Sam and I took the day off from work and devoted it to some quality haunting time with our two ghouls Daisy and Caleb, or as Daisy calls him, B-Bass. Funny, not sure where that name came from, but he's stuck with the moniker now. Onto the goodies...

As for costumes, Daisy, who was dressed as a purple leopard due to a last minute Care Bear costume malfunction, actually got in two rounds of trick-or-treating. One at Sierra Trading Post and the other after dinner in my old neighborhood. B-Bass on the other hand was decked out in his bear costume, which barely fit but held up fine for his purposes of simply posing and being cute. Overall the kids seem to have a great time and Daisy had no problems reaching into candy bowls and taking one, two, three and sometimes four pieces of candy. I think it became a game. No bowl, no interested kid is how the day transpired.

So what did mom and dad do? Well, besides escorting Thing 1 and Thing 2 as they chugged along the trick-or-treat trail, Sam spent time recovering from a cold and I decided to volunteer for my beloved Knights of Pythias Haunted House. It was a special guest appearance by the evil clown which was received with open arms by some of my old friends there. My first year working the house was 1994. Hard to believe it's been that long.

Last, but not least here's a pic of the family including fully costumed out kids. Happy Halloween!

janney halloween fun

Posted by paul at 07:57 PM

September 15, 2007

One sleepy baby

Sorry for the lack of updates. We hope to have more as we plow through OUR holiday season of Halloween through Christmas.

caleb jon janney

Posted by paul at 08:10 PM

August 04, 2007

Daisy's $4,250 bid for a comic book

In my day-to-day job I work to design eCommerce online applications that are easy for anyone to use. Don't make me think checkout flows, smart navigation, tools that will help you make a purchase decision. The simple interface atop ever more complex business rules is an every day challenge for me. Now, while I've been doing this for about eight years, yes, that long, I don't think I've ever built an interface easy enough for a two-year old. I discovered just that this Saturday morning...

I was following a comic book auction in real-time via their web site. I had just placed a bid for a book and won it and then briefly stepped away to let Sam know the price of the book. That's where I made a mistake.

While I'm not completely innocent here, since I did leave the computer up and running, Miss Daisy did what she does best at this point. Climb onto the desk chair, grab the mouse and click like a mad woman. When I got back to my desk I noticed I had placed another bid. Uh oh. Now keep in mind some of these books have gone for over 200k in certain cases and bidding is a binding contract. I started to sweat - what book did I, WE, just bid on!? OMG - it was a $4,250 bid on Mary Marvel Comics #1! I freaked to say the least. Before taking a closer look I prayed (as best a Catholic can) that we had been outbid. WE HAD! Happy dance! Happy dance!

So there you have it, an interface that's easy enough for a two year old to place a $4,250 bid for an old comic book. Hey, at least that kid has awesome taste :)

Posted by paul at 10:30 AM

July 21, 2007

A test of eBay To Go

eBay has come out with a new 'blog' related tool that let's users easily showcase items for sale on eBay, on your own blog. Since Sam and I are always selling something on eBay we thought what the heck and gave it a spin. The results can be found below for an item we are currently selling - comics, imagine that.

Posted by paul at 02:14 PM

July 11, 2007

A big thank you from a future Cowboy Joe

Sam, Daisy, Caleb and I just wanted to thank everyone for their kind words and emails regarding the birth of our newest addition, Caleb Jon. We've heard from friends and family from just about every time zone and that's been beyond cool.

Sam has officially settled back into her role as a mom, but this time around to a newborn and an active toddler. As for Daisy and I we are slowly adjusting as well. As we have with Daisy, we'll do our best to keep all interested parties abreast of the goings on here in Wyoming and our growing Janney family. Speaking of Wyoming, some good friends of ours at work purchased Caleb a Wyoming Cowboy onesie and I've just found the slippers to go with it.

Wyoming Cowboy baby slippers

Posted by paul at 07:48 PM

July 02, 2007

Caleb Jon

Please welcome the newest member of the Janney clan, Caleb Jon.

Caleb Janney

Caleb, who ended up a whopping (in our book this is big compared to the Dilly Diva), 7lbs-6oz and over 20-inches long arrived an the eve of Daisy's B-Day - July 2. Yes, we now have consecutive firecracker kids and July will forever be a busy month in our household. As for mom, she's doing great and couldn't wait to have her first real meal in 24-hours. Enjoy the pic and as always, more to come :)

Posted by paul at 09:32 PM

March 29, 2007

Spring time in Wyoming

I thought this photo of a lone car on I80, just west of Vedauwoo, courtesy of WYDOT (Wyoming Department of Transportation), did a pretty good job of showing what our spring time weather was like today. Nice!

wyoming road snow I80

By the way, for the non-locals that visit this site, that's you California and Wisconsin people, Vedauwoo (Vee-Da-Voo) is about 35 miles west of Cheyenne.

Update from 10:27 PM


A friend of mine in the midwest who read the post had this response...

"Now that's what spring is all about for you cowboys out west. I'm driving with the top down already."

What a guy. I don't think I can convince him to come shovel my drive in the morning.

Posted by paul at 04:54 PM

March 12, 2007

Harmon Hubbard on eBay

Over the weekend I missed out on a chance to own a piece of Harmon Hubbard related history. On eBay, an individual was auctioning off an 1864 Civil War Muster Roll 119th Regiment Illinois Inf. This particular Regiment just so happened to be that of Civil War Lieutenant Harmon R. Hubbard. The auction closed on Sunday with a winning bid of $47.79. I do have a copy of the muster report courtesy of the State of Illinois, but this would have made a nice addition to the Hubbard collection. Maybe next time.

Posted by paul at 06:36 PM

January 29, 2007

Bye, bye Doty...plus a new family member

It's with both relief and sadness that Sam, Daisy and I have parted with our first home. As of today, our 100-year-old Victorian dwelling in Mineral Point, Wisc., which we owned for four years, is not ours. The official sale was today, but has been the works for a few weeks now. It had been on the market since we ventured out to California and PayPal over a year ago. Bye, bye Doty.

On the family front, my cousin Heather gave birth to a baby girl today - congrats from all of us! We're very happy for you and your family!

Posted by paul at 07:43 PM

January 03, 2007

A new year and a new home in Wyoming

Just a quick note to let everyone know that we safely arrived in Wyoming over the Christmas break and have started to settle in. Daisy is slowly becoming familiar with her new room, which right now is just a giant toy room, while Sam and I finish going through boxes and make daily trips to Target for any necessities.

The trip out was fairly uneventful, but we did end up staying an extra night in Evanston, while we waited out a snowstorm. In the end our timing couldn't have been better though, as we snuck in to Wyoming before two major blizzards hit the Wyoming/Colorado region. We ended up with drifts in our front yard over 4-feet tall and 24 inches of snow before it was all said and done. A climate change to say the least.

When we have more time I'm sure either Sam or I will post pics of Christmas day, including the four TMX Elmos under the tree, and some shots of the new homestead.

'nuf said.

Posted by paul at 03:15 PM

December 13, 2006

From Golden State to Cowboy State

The official move back to 'ol YO is in full swing. We probably won't get to post a site update again until we've settled into our new digs sometime in January. But rest assured fearless Janney Family fans, we'll give you the skinny on our latest adventure as soon as possible. With that being said...

Here's wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas and the happiest of New Years.

Paul, Sam & Daisy


santa claus

Posted by paul at 05:39 PM

November 26, 2006

The real 'Christmas Story' home

As friends and family of mine can attest to, I've been a longtime fan of the movie A Christmas Story by Jean Shepherd. I even sneak in a few showings during the 24-hour marathon over Christmas on TNT, but one guy's passion for the film is pretty amazing.

According to CNN, an individual in Cleveland, the primary location used to film the movie, bought Ralphie's home - literally. What he's done is purchase the home used for the exterior shots, restored the interior to match the film, and opened it for public tours. Now that's pretty hardcore fandom. When reading the full article, Fan brings 'Christmas Story' house to life on CNN, you get the sense he's financed his project by selling replica leg lamps.

I think Sam, Daisy and I will have to add that to our list of must see locations!

Posted by paul at 09:02 AM

November 06, 2006

Daisy's updated top-10

So now that it's eight months later (can you believe it?!), we decided it was time to provide our dear readers with a fresh, new Daisy Top-10. For reference, here's the original Daisy Top-10 list posted way back in March.

10. Doggy
Right now it's all about doggies. Doggy this and doggy that. She even ventured into Cosette's lair, my parent's dog, over Halloween and snuck in some petting time.

9. Fudge bars
Since she started her adult diet sometime during the middle of the summer, she's been feasting on the finer foods in life including fudge bars. Not only are they a great way for her to bulk up, but she can devour them with merely a wince of brain freeze. Impressive.

8. Car chases
I suppose this is the California side of her, but whenever there's a good car chase on TV she is in the "Daisy Zone" and you can't peel her away.

7. "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory"
Mom and I are die hard "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" movie buffs, but being how Daisy is a "modern" girl she has very little time for the classic. Instead, she indulges her sweet tooth in more modern fare. Honestly, she can stay glued to this from opening-to-closing credits. Strike that, reverse it.

6. Peanuts' Singing Christmas Card
This is a more recent addition... as in over the weekend. On Saturday we braved the San Jose mall, including the Hallmark store where Sam gave Daisy a Peanuts' singing (piano playing) Christmas card to play with. When Sam attempted to put the card back Daisy freaked out. What the hey? For $5 it was money well spent as Daisy spent the rest of the time in the mall reading her card and listening to the piano music courtesy of Schroeder. She even fell asleep with it in the car.

5. Sleeping every which way but loose
Let's see, besides the usual places, car seats, high-chair, etc., she's also slept the opposite direction of her parents, feet up at the pillows, dangling over mom's legs (see pic) and her favorite, parallel to mom and dad forming an uppercase I in our bed. Hey, at least she's sleeping.

daisy_sam_sleeping.jpg

4. Airplane rides
Endless snacks, a window seat and 550 mph - what's not to like? Honestly, she's been a great little traveler and has been a joy to be with. How long will that last?

3. PBS
This was #3 before and still is...no point in changing a good thing - Teletubbies, Sesame Street, Barney, Caillou (the whiniest cartoon I've ever seen), Angelina Ballerina, Sagwa, Kipper... wow, there are a lot of shows on PBS and she really seems to enjoy them all. I think the Tubbies are her favorite because they sort of look like crazy little babies in wild outfits plus they eat that custard stuff which looks a lot like her Malt-O-Meal.

2. Mimicking mom and dad
A scary thought, eh? I suppose you need to know Sam and I. *wink* From hi's, bye's, razzys, awwwwwwwwww's and heys, she's become, as expected, one mouthy little girl. Good times.

1. Little Ms. Daredevil
If she's not attempting to climb the stairs, which she successfully navigated over the weekend under our watchful eye, she's bringing down baby gates (not sure how that happened), climbing between dining rooms chairs, mowing the lawn (j/k) or speed crawling between rooms, including couch diving, she's one fearless kid. Seeing her do this is both amazing and scary at the same time.

I for one, can't wait to see what the next eight months bring. Stay tuned.

Posted by paul at 07:37 PM

November 01, 2006

We're OK

Just wanted to let readers of JFam know that I am OK. Yes, there was an explosion outside of PayPal Tuesday night, but luckily I, along with D and Sam were in Wyoming over the weekend. Thankfully, it sounds like there were no injuries.

Explosive shatters window at PayPal headquarters

Posted by paul at 02:38 PM

October 05, 2006

A day at Monterey Bay

Fishes. The girl loves fishes...and jellyfish...and starfish...and more jellyfish. This was never more apparent then last weekend when we traveled to the coast and paid the world famous Monterey Bay Aquarium on Cannery Row a visit. We've been promising Miss Daisy a trip to a real aquarium ever since she caught site of a small one in a Dr's office earlier this year. She was fascinated to say the least. The trip to the MB aquarium was memorable and words don't really do the experience justice, but let's just say the kid was impressed with what 'ol mom and dad showed her last Saturday - more oohs and ahhs than the Fourth of July. Enjoy the pix.

daisy_janney_monterey_1.jpg

daisy_janney_monterey_2.jpg

daisy_sam_janney_monterey.jpg

Posted by paul at 09:48 PM

September 29, 2006

Broncos and Pokes and Badgers - oh my!

It's been awhile my friends. My last post was sometime in July and even that was just a teaser. I've pretty much declared this site Sam and Daisy's domain. I'm even considering changing the web address to something more fitting - i.e. daisyjanney.com or samanddaisyjanney.com, both of which seem more appropriate these days.

Now that Daisy is more mobile, Sam and I spend most of our time chasing her down. I haven't spent this much time crawling around since I hurt my back a few years ago. She does motor! She's also starting to learn the word "no" due to her fascination with the fireplace, anything sharp and electrical cords. Yes, our little girl is growing up. We're convinced Daisy's stubborness is either from Aunt Jenna or mommy dearest *evil grin*

With Sam being a key member of the Share community, Daisy little miss independent, I'm getting a chance to enjoy America's new pastime football. For my b-day, Sam hooked me up with ESPN's Gameplan (yes, she rules). With Gameplan, we've (yes, Daisy enjoys football, but only in HD) been able to watch the Badgers on a pretty regular basis along with the rest of the Big-10. Since we're back in AFC West territory we also get a good dose of Broncos and the rest of the AFC, which is a nice departure from the NFC Central. Sorry uncle Brian and our friends at Lands' End, the Vikings and Packers just didn't cut it for us. As for Wyoming, well, they are still Wyoming and we love them no matter what. We're just hoping they sneak out a win or two within the conference.

Where are the Janney's? Connie and Jennifer just returned from a fabulous, and memorable trip to Italy. Mom and dad will be out for a visit to P-town in early October, while Sam, Daisy and I will return the favor over Halloween.

See ya in another month or two ;)

PLUG: Don't forget to visit or tell friends about Halloween.tv, your source for locating Haunted Houses this Halloween.

Posted by paul at 08:30 AM

July 30, 2006

Major post coming soon

Sorry for the Janney Family neglect, but the family was on vacation in Wyoming this past week soaking up the sun, literally, and enjoying the CFD festivities that take place in July.

This is a far cry from the official vacation rant that Sam will hopefully post tomorrow, but I will tell you it includes the following: Daisy's Baptism and first plane ride, Cheyenne Frontier Days, Wyoming heat vs. California Heat, our Powerball winnings, family, family and more family, Jennifer's allergies, the Thunderbirds practice, Rockies' baseball, our Red Lobster tradition and of course - photos.

Stay tuned. :)

Posted by paul at 06:54 PM

July 01, 2006

Halloween.tv goes beta - your guide to haunted houses

It's with great excitment and pleasure that I share with the readers of Janney Family our latest web production - Halloween.tv [beta].

So what is the purpose of Halloween.tv you ask? Simple. It's an elegant solution for finding a Haunted House near you, utilizing Google Maps and Skype to make it easier then any other web site providing the same service. My hope is people, and haunts for that matter, will see this the same way and as a benefit to both parties.

To find a haunt, you simply pull up the map, find your state, click on an orange marker and from there you'll get all the details you want about that particular haunt. In addition, if a phone number is provided and you have the Skype client, you can click the phone number and "Skype out" - fancy way of saying make a call from your computer - to that location. It's that simple.

Going forward, we have plans on how we can provide more features and improved functionality when it comes to finding haunts, but also other tools and topics that would interest the Halloween community at large. With the support of a good friend, the back-end will also be more sophisticated soon as well. We should see increased performance and a cleaner way of managing haunt records. There's close to 100 records already in the XML file, which is pretty decent coverage across the US. New records are added almost daily.

Up to this point, the project has taken about four weeks and a few late nights that I'm sure Sam would rather forget. I'd been wanting to use the domain for awhile now, I've owned it for six years, and the stars finally aligned for what I felt would be a unique and fun project.

It's also been a great learning experience as I've gained exposure to the Google Map API and re-visited technologies I don't get exposure to as much as I did previously in my old role. We're also trying a different host for the site too, using mediatemple to handle the heavy lifting. So far, so good. If all goes well this summer with Halloween.tv, we might move Janney Family over.

On a final note, this project is in beta so we'd love to hear any feedback people might have about the site. So feel free to pay it a visit and drop us a line. And yes, the domain name Halloween.tv is no longer for sale.

Posted by paul at 09:26 AM

June 15, 2006

Random notes and musings from the Valley to PTown

My recent track record here stinks. P-U, I say! I've definitely been shirking my responsibilities to the site and our devoted Janney Family readers. Or, is everyone just here for the latest Harmon Hubbard updates or Daisy photos? My guess is it's the latter. Where is the love for Paul or Sam rants? No problem, I'm totally cool with that. In fact, it has come up on more than one occasion that I should build a spin-off site for Sam to offer preemie-related parental advice alongside Little-D updates.

First off, congrats to our friends Matt and Cindy who are not only having their second child, you go Matt, but what I consider even bigger news is the fact they bought a new car! I know Matt's ghetto mentality on new vehicles so this was definitely a big step for them. Nice choice too, we loved our 'ol yellar XTerra.

Secondly, I, alongside a friend of mine, have been working on a side project web site that is geared toward the general public and is seasonally relevant. For those of you who know me, you can pretty much guess what season that is. The site is a good idea and provides a better online experience then what is out there today. It's also been a nice design break from my day-to-day responsibilities. Nothing like getting the opportunity to design, build and deploy your own idea. This can be very fulfilling or masochist depending on your point of view. My hope is to having something to share within the next few weeks so stay tuned.

In addition to a second site, and recent family visits, there's also been external interest in the Harmon Hubbard section of the site. Again, can't say much on this yet, but my hope is I can share more, later this summer. It's been exciting working on the details of this to say the least.

In wrapping things up, how 'bout them Colorado Rockies? Gotcha! You thought this was going to be about Daisy. There are like a million posts about her. Sheesh. Anyway, I have to admit, thank the baseball gods for the Washington Nationals. Today capped off a 4-game sweep, on the road mind you, of the Nationals. It's a nice rebound from the fiasco we saw on their west coast swing, followed by a nasty skid at home. Even with the rough May, early June, they're only two games out of first. Not bad considering we're nearing the All-Star break in about a month. Speaking of All-Star game, we'll kick-off our All-Star Petition for Matt Holliday now. Everyone team gets at least one player on the roster. Might as well be Holliday.

Thanks for tuning in.

Posted by paul at 01:23 PM

May 16, 2006

Daisy enjoys a yummy apple - photo powered by flickr


Our daughter Daisy enjoying an apple.

For the last few days I've been toying with the idea of using flickr to handle the heavy lifting of hosting some images for Janney Family. For those of you unfamiliar with flickr, it is a web site that allows you to store, search and share you photos across the web. What it also allows is direct posting of an image to your blog, like the one to the right. This post is my first attempt at using the service and so far it's pretty easy to do.

There was some work involved in getting the generated code just right. But otherwise, there was little effort on my part other than uploading the photos, giving flickr access to my blog and creating some copy. I'll be experimenting with this approach over the coming weeks - maybe Sam will too.

Last, but not least, click on the photo to learn more about my virgin flickr profile and see what the site is all about if you're not familiar with it.

Posted by paul at 09:17 PM

May 13, 2006

Less Daisy more metrics about Janney Family

First off, thank you Sam for keeping the updates and new posts coming on Janney Family over the last few weeks. Also, thank you to everyone that has responded to the posts about Daisy and our northern California exploits. It's made our transition out here that much easier and allowed us to keep in touch with friends from coast-to-coast.

For awhile now, since about the time this site turned a year old, I've been wanting to share some insight into JanneyFamily.com and the type of information we know about our visitors - muwhahahaha. Really, it's not as evil as it sounds, and for a site like this, it's more of a general curiousity. So, without further delay on to the stats, which, unless specified, are from Jan. 1 through today courtesy of Google Analytics.

1. According to Alexa, our site ranks 1,006,711 in total internet traffic.

2. Since Jan 1, 2006 we've had 2,655 visitors and 7,415 page views

3. The homepage is the most popular page of the site with 1,194 entrances

4. The Harmon Hubbard section is number two with a mere 526

5. The most visited individual post has been the one about Sam's Nike shoes

6. Outside of the US, the site has had visitors from Germany, India, Italy, Sweden and France to name a few

7. From the US, California tops the list for visitors' origin follwed by Wisconsin, Wyoming and Oklahoma. Colorado is fifth - thanks Jennifer. :)

8. Direct request (743 visits) is the top referring source with MSN at number two (300)

9. Internet Explorer is the top browser followed by Firefox and Safari

10. Some of the search terms people have used to find the site: Ultrasound Girl, Andersonville hospital, Mineral Point, Jumperoo and my personal favorite baby thug

Hope you enjoyed the glimpse into the site. Who knows what the next year will hold?

Posted by paul at 02:27 PM

April 14, 2006

San Francisco trip leaves mixed emotions plus free money!

Greetings Janney Family fanatics (aka Daisy-ites)! It's always great to take some time out of my busy week and drop a post that's a little out of the ordinary for this site. The topic today, our second visit to the city by the Bay - San Francisco.

Unlike our first trip to the "city," which ended up coming to an abrupt halt after 101 unexpectedly turned into the heart of downtown SF, we had a highly experienced traveler and knowledgeable city slicker at our side - Daisy's aunt, my sis, Jennifer Janney.

Having her join our motley party gave us the confidence boost to venture into the belly of the beast again. OK, it wasn't really the belly of the beast, just Fisherman's Wharf, but you'll see what I mean. What made the trip so memorable wasn't the incredible views of the Bay, including the Golden Gate bridge, the Wharf itself and copious amounts of clam chowder in a bread bowl, no, it was the fist fight that broke out in the middle of the street between two guys in their late-40s, early-50s. I'd have to say the latter took the brunt of the punishment, including having his glasses knocked off. For anyone out there who wears glasses, including myself, you know how embarrassing this can be. Needless to say, in true "city" fashion, the fist-a-cuffs came to abrupt halt after a parking attendant intervened and the younger of the two sped off in his hybrid.

Wow. I felt kinda bad for the older guy, and given that today is Good Friday, I'll just have to keep my fighting style advice for him to myself. If nothing else it was definitely a trip we'll never forget. Here's a pic of Aunt Jennifer, Samantha and Daisy at Fisherman's Wharf.

jennifer sam and daisy janney in SF

Ok, ok, I'll get to the free money part of the post now. Yesterday I ducked out of work early and on my way home along the I-680 northern corridor I noticed a larger number of police heading onto the southbound route. Furthermore, once I was on 680 it appeared that 5-10 vehicles were parked in the middle of the freeway. Once home, I learned what had occurred about 15-minutes prior to my arrival on 680, was that a high-speed chase of bank robbers had just blown through there. The robbers, in there haste to make a quick getaway; decided they would also dispose of any incriminating evidence, namely, the cash. So here it was the start of rush hour and free money was floating around the highway. Forget about watching Cops this week, I think I've met my quota already.

Time to the end this post on a more positive note. Enjoy some more pics of Daisy J! You can tell she's getting her mom's taste for luxury handbags and purses. Fuggaboutit!

coach diaper bag baby

Daisy whats up?

Posted by paul at 02:22 PM

April 04, 2006

Blink and you'll miss it

Following a rather uneventful Final Four - what the hell happened there anyway? Thank you and good bye George Mason. I decided to check-in with my beloved Colorado Rockies and see how they fared on Opening Day 2006. Much to my surprise they pulled out the W, on the road and against a division foe nonetheless! 1-0 starts aren't that unusual for Colorado, but doing it away from the friendly confines of Coors field is.

The best part about the win is the fact it's the one time all year they sit atop the standings, when done in alphabetical order. Don't believe me? Here's a screenshot from Yahoo! standings.

nl-west-standings

We'll see how this holds up as the year goes on. Batter up!

Posted by paul at 04:29 PM

March 09, 2006

Yikes! A five minute filler

Here's a quick pass on what I can construct and spew out in only 5 minutes

Daisy is doing well. She's getting bigger and stronger everyday.

We've moved into our new digs in Pleasanton. Super nice and we love it! My commute is OK, but it does piss me off sometimes.

A monster big thank YOU to Connie (Mom) for helping us move over the weekend. We could not have done it without you.

Work is insane right now and my brain is slowly turning to mush.

I was interviewed by LCCC's Wingspan for their big 30th Anniversary issue coming out this spring.

Sam is doing well. She loves being able to take Daisy for walks again.

shew!

Posted by paul at 11:51 AM

February 18, 2006

The Janney's hit Santana Row

Today was a big day for Miss Daisy as she finally got her first taste of shopping with a trip to San Jose's Santana Row. First and foremost, this is an outdoor shopping district and secondly, we walked it early Saturday morning and only window shopped - no in-store fun was had. Sam used our cell phone to snap a quick pic of me 'n Daisy so everyone could enjoy a momento of this historic occasion.

Daisy and Paul Janney Santana Row

Posted by paul at 03:05 PM

February 17, 2006

You are only as good as your last state

Anybody that knows Sam and I are aware of our nomadic lifestyle. In the past seven years we've lived in four different states including: Wyoming, Colorado, Wisconsin and most recently California. During this time something funny happens when you relocate and start to socialize with your new counterparts.

What you quickly realize is that you're associated and known for the last state you lived in. For example, now that we're in California, I've been asked if I'm a Packers fan, no, am I fan of the Badgers, yes, or Marquette, no, and last, but not least, can I get bring some curds in, maybe? And when I lived in Wisconsin, I was constantly harassed about the Broncos, having never been privy to a real winter, which never occurred in Wisconsin either, and amazed at the fact I'd never had or heard of a curd - so it goes. Most people in Wisconsin had never heard of a Jackalope or Rocky Mountain Oysters either.

Now the real kicker is that I'm a Wyoming native and Sam is from the Show Me State of Missouri. Not that anybody cares as this is secondary to the last state you lived in.

It's gotten so bad, I'm actually contemplating making up a new "formerly lived in state" every time I meet somebody new. It might be kind of fun to hail from Vermont or Kansas next time just to here "do you know Ben or Jerry?" Or, "What's it like living where Dorothy is from?"

Oh well, just had to post about this odd social behavior I'm noticing. This, coupled with the fact my sister found this reaction from people pretty hysterical, made this an easy subject to waste 10-minutes on.

A few other shout outs before I log off.

1. Happy belated Birthday to this site! 1-year-old yesterday. Read Sam's first post that day.

2. Get well soon (great) Grandma Wilson!

Posted by paul at 09:14 PM

February 11, 2006

Heritage to auction Civil War items and rare books

Not all Janney Family posts can be about Daisy, right? Anyway, this site receives a good number of Civil War enthusiasts to the Harmon Hubbard section and this is finally a post for them.

On February 20-21 Heritage Galleries will be holding a two-day auction at their Dallas, Texas headquarters that will include the only known copy of Union Major General George Meade's (1815-1872) first report of victory at Gettysburg. Also included is a metal bust of Lincoln measuring 53" high. The style of sculpting was popular during the last years of the Civil War. Heritage accepts bids via online and phone as well. View the complete catalog and details

Posted by paul at 03:30 PM

February 07, 2006

Our favorite beach hosts surfing contest

Unbeknownst to me and Sam, one of the most dangerous surfing contests in the world is held at the only beach we've frequented as a family, since we've moved here. Apparently, the annual contest held at Half Moon Bay is one of the most dangerous on the circuit given the following hazards: Sharks frequent the area, waves crest at 25 feet, and a ridge of jagged rocks lies between the participants and land. Who woulda thought, the place we take Daisy to on the weekends is so deadly? Guess we won't be swimming there anytime soon. View pictures of the event held today.

Posted by paul at 05:09 PM

February 06, 2006

Daisy takes up reading

Mom snapped the following pic of Daisy 'reading' her book the other day, while she sat up on the couch. She's able to stay put for a good 5-10 mins., between the seat cushions and seems to have a blast doing so. She's already reading more than dad.

Daisy reading book

Posted by paul at 07:37 PM

February 05, 2006

Nearly a month into our California life

In four days we'll have officially been in California for one whole month. Can that already be? Is that really possible? I can already see me re-visiting this post in eleven months thinking "has it already been a year?" Since leaving Wisconsin, for the most part, it's been a relativly smooth transistion for all three of us. Daisy was able to get her synagis shot on time and Sam has already memorized her way around the northern part of San Jose, Santa Clara and Milpitas. She's even ventured into Sunnyvale whether she realizes it or not. There's really no way to tell way city your in most of the time.

Even after 30-days into it, we're both surprised by what we see out here on almost daily basis. For example, yesterday, we had our first encounter with in-road flares set-up to alert traffic to a closed lane ahead. It's amazing to see people going 70 mph dodge what look like sparklers sitting in the road. We've also visited the western edge of the United States (Pacific Ocean) on two seperate occasions in a nearby town called Half Moon Bay (pics coming soon). This has become one of our favorite things to do as a family since there's no concern about Daisy being closed in with card-carrying influenza members of society.

As for the new job at PayPal, I'm slowly catching on to things and am learning my way around our product line. As was the case with Lands' End, it's always educational and surprising to learn how complex the business rules are behind a web site. I guess that just speaks volumes about the simplicity of the customer-experience itself.

Up next for the Janney clan is our big March 1, move to a more permanent residence in Pleasanton. We're all looking forward to getting our items out of storage and back into our hands. Grandma Connie is flying out to give us a hand unpacking, or, to babysit Daisy while the two of us unload boxes and sort thing outs. Getting this major undertaking out of the way will be a huge load off our minds.

Posted by paul at 10:27 AM

January 19, 2006

Family photos and Daisy update

Yes, it's been awhile between posts again, wonder why? Anyway, we finally got around to downloading photos taken over the past month or so and couldn't wait to get them posted online. Not only did we visit grandma and grandpa Janney in Cheyenne over the holidays, but I also heard from some old high school classmates who enjoyed seeing what the Janney clan had been up to. So without further delay, enjoy the photos. As for the Daisy update, she went to the Dr.'s today, never fun, but her weight was 11.12lbs, only 4 ounces shy of the big one two. Way to go Daisy!


Sam and Daisy Janney

Mom and daughter lounging around at grandma and grandpa's.


Connie and Daisy Janney

Grandma is already preparing Daisy to take over her role at St. Mary's. Keep up the good work Little-D.


Paul and Daisy Janney

Dad and daughter cheer on their beloved Denver Broncos to victory over the former Super Bowl champs in San Jose - go Broncos! Yes, those are matching outfits.


Daisy shows off her head control

Last, but certainly not least, Daisy strikes a pose and shows everyone how high she can lift her head. What a cutie!

Posted by paul at 09:50 PM

January 12, 2006

Safe and sound in California

Just wanted to drop a quick note letting everyone know that Sam, Daisy and I have safely arrived in good 'ol San Jose, California. From a travel standpoint, the trip out west from Wisconsin was pretty uneventful with Daisy only getting worked up a few times from being in her car seat too long - she is going to be a great traveler just like her Auntie Jenna.

Between here and Wisco we spent the holidays in Wyoming w/ newly crowned Grandma and Grandpa Janney who had their fill of Miss Daisy. Having mom and dad babysit was a nice break for Sam and I as we took full advantage of their time making it out dinner, long drives and even the movies!

As for San Jose, it's interesting to say the least - a far cry from little 'ol Mineral Point that's for sure. So far we've found Safeway, Target a gas station and both of Daisy's new Dr., officies. I'd say we're batting a thousand so far! As for our new residence (temp., housing) it isn't a 100-year-old Victorian home, but it is a nice little slice of property that is more than decent for the time being. We welcomed the modern features with open arms to say the least. Most importantly, it included two parking spaces as well.

Enough for now ... I'm sure I'll post more when I have time.

Posted by snitzer at 09:27 PM

December 20, 2005

Our new adventure begins today

This will probably be the last post for awhile as today, is when the movers arrive and start packing up our belongings - it's actually already started. Sam, Daisy and I are hopeful things will turn out well and that this was a good decision for all of us. I guess only time will tell. We'll officially be outta here tomorrow and maybe even on the road to WYO! Anyway, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all! If there's one thing I know for sure, that is these posts can only get more interesting as we begin '06.

Posted by paul at 01:16 PM

December 15, 2005

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

Ok, not really. The snow that we've been receiving over the last 48 hrs., which totals around 6-7" has finally tapered off. I'm also beginning to recover from 3-shoveling trips that include not only our wrap-around-corner sidewalk, but also our driveway and front and back steps. If you don't believe me, here's a pic of the backyard. Yes, I'm sure we'll miss this. ;)

snow

Posted by paul at 08:37 PM

A true California post

In the spirit of my previous rant titled 'A true Wisconsin post' a friend of ours out in California, Cindy Cleveland, sent us the following California viewpoint along the same lines. Again, below are some of the highlights from the CA-version of "...you might live inů" Quite frankly, some of these scare Sam and I. Thanks Cindy!

You make over $250,000 a year and still can't afford a house.

A really great parking space can move you to tears.

Everyone who lives here knows that hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and snowstorms are way worse than earthquakes, which are, after all, over almost as soon as you realize what's happening.

Your governor is the Terminator.

You have a very strong opinion about where your coffee beans are grown, and can taste the difference between Sumatran and Ethiopian.

Your car insurance costs as much as your house payment.

That pretty much sums it up, like totally!

Posted by paul at 08:50 AM

December 13, 2005

Dad and daughter strike a pose

Nothing much to say about this post, other than enjoy the photo of me and Little-D.

daisy and paul janney

Posted by paul at 09:51 AM

December 10, 2005

Our Victorian Wisconsin home for sale

As with any career move there are pros and cons. This has never been truer for Sam and me when we mulled over my departure from Lands' End and imminent jump to PayPal. One of those cons is having to sell our 100-year-old Victorian home in Mineral Point, Wisconsin. It will no doubt be sad to close the door on what was an amazing first home. Granted, we've only been squatting out our current residence for a mere 3-years, but for Sam, it has been the longest time she's spent in one place since her childhood. Having to sell this home will no doubt be sombody's gain. So, if you know anybody who is interested in a century-old beauty, feel free to pass them our realtor's way. This post is also an opportunity for us to share our home with those that haven't had an opportunity to see past pictures or the means to stop by and say Hi! So without further ado here is a write-up of our home, courtesy of our agent, accompanied by a few interior pics of casa de Janney for visuals.

Do you dream of living in a pristine Victorian home but require practicality as well as function? Do you crave original woodwork but aren't willing to sacrifice the convenience of a modern kitchen, finished basement and new drywall? If so, this home is for you. A gorgeous 100+ year old Victorian in Mineral Point, just blocks from downtown restaurants and shops. Original oak floors, built-in shelves and hutches-you just can't find a new home that was built with such attention to detail. You'll love to cook in this large remodeled kitchen with stainless steel appliances and original GE tin cabinets. Three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a beautiful deck and garden make this practical as well as charming. And with a new water heater and new central air system you'll be cozy and comfy all year round. Don't wait-your dream home won't be available forever!

photo of kitchen
Kitchen with stainless steel appliances and original, 1920's GE cabinets.

photo of living room
Main living room with large bay windows - perfect for a 9' Christmas tree.

photo of master bedroom
Master bedroom with ceiling fan and two closets.

Posted by paul at 02:20 PM

December 09, 2005

A true Wisconsin post

It's not often that I send on e-mail forwards, let alone come across one funny enough to talk about here, but I received one today from my good friend Al, that made me LOL and is worthy of a post. Not only was it pretty darn humorous, but it was very timely given today was my last day at Lands' End.

The e-mail forward in its entirety was Jeff Foxworthy'esque and played into the "..you might live in Wisconsin" Listed below are some of the highlights of the joke, which are extremely appropriate even if you've lived her for only four years. Some of these are pretty true for Wyoming as well.

If your local Dairy Queen is closed from November
through March, you might live in Wisconsin.

If your town has an equal number of bars and churches,
you might live in Wisconsin.

If you know how to say Oconomowoc, Waukesha ,
Menomonie & Manitowoc, you might live in Wisconsin.

Your idea of a traffic jam is ten cars waiting to
pass a tractor on the Highway.

You often switch from "heat" to "A/C" in the same
day and back again.

You can drive 65 mph through 2 feet of snow during
a raging blizzard, without flinching.

That pretty much sums it up, oh yaw?

Posted by paul at 09:05 PM

December 04, 2005

A new career move takes us out west

For those of you not within shouting distance of myself, Sam or our immediate family, you may or may not be aware of the big changes heading our way in the coming weeks. Recently, I accepted a position as a User Interface Designer, at PayPal, an eBay Co., out in San Jose, California. Anybody that knows myself or Sam knows that we're avid eBay'ers and this is a tremendous opportunity that I couldn't pass up from a career standpoint.

What this means for our Janney clan is probably one of the biggest life adventures we'll ever encounter as a family. My last official day at Lands' End is this upcoming Friday, while our move will begin two weeks later with an extended holiday vacation between Wisconsin and California at mom and dad's in Wyoming. Needless to say, the grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins are excited that Miss Daisy will be making her first extended visit to the Cowboy State over Christmas. It's an encounter that will happen sooner rather than later, which is a very good thing. My first official day at PayPal is slated for mid-Jan.

In addition to the move, we've had to make some tough decisions including giving up both dogs. Neither pup fared well with Daisy at home and the additional stress and strain on the two, with the impending move and close quarters in Cali., wasn't something either Sam or I wanted to put them through. Besides the dogs, we'll be selling our beautiful 100-year-old Victorian home in Mineral Point (more on this in a future post dedicated to the house).

Why do this you ask? Well, there are a number of reasons, but like I stated earlier it's an opportunity that I can't pass up. Taking a position at a company like a PayPal is something I've always wanted a shot at. I guess you could say this is my chance in the 'bigs.' Sam has been an amazing friend and wife through all of this and I'm confident that no matter what, the three of us will do fine - hence Sam doesn't wander off at Golden Gate Park (family joke). Anyway, enough rambling for now as I'm sure both Sam and I will dedicate more than enough posts to this topic in the upcoming weeks. Until then - happy Sunday.

Posted by paul at 06:45 PM

December 01, 2005

A Christmas Story in HD

Truly all was right with the world last night as TNT presented one of mine and Sam's, and soon to be Daisy's, all time favorites in beautiful HD - Jean Shepherd's masterpiece - A Christmas Story. I've seen the flick about a million times, but never before did it look or sound so good. It was definitely a good time at the Janney house last night and thank you TNT.

Unfortunately, we'll miss out on the the 24-hour looping in HD over Christmas eve and Christmas day as will be visiting my parents in Wyoming where the words Hi-Def conjures up thoughts of auditory-challenged geriatrics and not quality video signals. I'm sure we'll survive somehow. Happy Thursday.

Posted by paul at 10:37 AM

November 29, 2005

Daisy's first Christmas gift - Norwegian booties

Leave it Daisy's 2nd cousin once removed, Ryn in the UK, to be granted the distinction of having given Daisy her first ever Christmas present! What an honor to say the least. I'm sure auntie Edie will be jealous :) Even Sam and I are little shocked that we were beaten to the punch on this one, especially when you consider that were notorious early openers ourselves. Hey, what's wrong with Dec. 13 anyway?

So what did Ms. Daisy receive as her first present? Why a pair of warm and fluffy Norwegian booties of course. These nifty ped protectors are pretty snazzy, with soles made of Elk leather known for its ability to be soft, strong and resistant to water. There's even growing room allotted for her as they are sized for 6-12 months. Granted, if Daisy has the Janney feet gene, she'll outgrow these in about two months. The little Buddha is already creeping past 10lbs and when stretched out, reaches 23".

norwegian booties

Way to go Ryn and thank you for the very special gift. Lastly, thanks also go out to Edie as well, for the relationship clarification between Ryn and Daisy. And yes, in case you're wondering, Edie is muy jealous but happy for little-D!

Posted by paul at 08:00 PM

November 26, 2005

Tukey day at Janney manor

First off - Go BRONCOS! What a win on Thursday, eh? I for one always enjoy an extra helping of stress on Thanksgiving and for the second time in the history of Denver football, they more than provided it with an OT victory over Dallas. Both the Mrs., and I donned our Bronco jerseys on Thursday morning, usually a sure fire jinx in the world of sports, but all was well at the end of OT following Elam's chippie from the five. The Orange Crush come away atop the AFC at 9-2. Now we get to kick back and watch the rest of the AFC West play catch-up.

As for dinner, it was sad not having the folks in town, but changes in schedules led to the late minute scratch from the list of attendees. Sam, Daisy and I pressed on and made the best of it with a full Thanksgiving dinner including grandma Eileen's famous red & white salad, sweet potatoes, upside down turkey and the ever popular pumpkin pie topped with Sam's homeade whip topping. What a feast!

As for Daisy, her Turkey day meal consisted of 3-ounces of Infamil Lipil formula with iron. I swear, somedays you can hear that kid growing. On Friday she took her first big girl bath in her tub. Big girl is code for no more baby swing needed to support her when bathing due to her size now. I'll just step aside and let the pic do the talking. Stay classy San Diego.

daisy_janney_bath

Posted by paul at 09:36 AM

November 23, 2005

Good news and bad news about the site

First the bad news, I somehow blew away the photos folder from the web site. This, on top of having to rebuild the hard drive, was really the icing on the cake. Sam and I only have what's left on Shutterfly now for photos from the past 6 months - very depressing.

The good news is we can always take more pictures! Also, on the geek side of things, in conjuntion with our intern at work, I was able to get cruft free URLs working for the site. There are some practical applications for doing this, but I won't bore anyone to tears. Lastly, I converted the site from SHTML to PHP! Anyway, happy Thanksgiving and enjoy the first of many new pics to come of baby Daisy and the rest of the family.

daisy_smile

Posted by paul at 08:27 PM

November 19, 2005

Nike shoes + Star Wars + lunchboxes on Ebay - oh my!

A rant dedicated to just the plain curious. Listed below are my latest ebay auctions I have up and running. I posted these four today and plan on having 8-10 up and running before the weekend is over. I've been slacking lately and this was my way to get back into the swing of things. Take a peek and see if there's anything you like - who knows, maybe I'll cut you deal.

The items include rare and collectible Nike shoes, vintage metal lunchboxes, including a 1967 Superman and 1965 Peanuts (w/ thermos), and more recently some hard to find Star Wars Revenge of the Sith action figures. Overall, just some really great stuff to unload on Ebay.

Posted by paul at 05:01 PM

November 17, 2005

Happy as a Daisy

Sam happened to snap this photo yesterday of Miss Daisy grinnin' away and we just had to share it.

happy_daisy

We also received more good news on her health the other day as well, as she was semi-graduated from her birth-to-3 class already. Both her Social Worker and Physical Therapist thought she was right were she needed to be for her adjusted age of two months. Needless to say we were, and still are, some mighty proud parents. You go Daisy.

Posted by paul at 09:10 PM

November 14, 2005

The Janney's are back online

One new hard drive later and we're back on cyberspace (i love that word). I'm still not convinced it wasn't a basic software problem that required a simple fix, but oh well. We only lost all photos and music in the Dell debacle of '06. On the bright side, I was able to do a complete, fresh install of Xp Pro - minus all the bloatware that Dell tacks on before shipping it out. It now runs like a champ and is very quiet. Goodbye Outlook Express and AOL! Ugh, now back to those photos.

Posted by paul at 08:01 PM

November 13, 2005

Janney.tv domain name purchased

In an effort to ensure the Janney name is kept safe and spam free in the online world, I went ahead and purchased janney.tv the other day. No exciting content underneath the URL just yet, as its current function is simply re-directing to this site. Who knows what I'll put there someday - maybe just a media library of janney family clips and movies.

Posted by paul at 11:23 AM

November 11, 2005

Not alone in my Dell debacle

I guess I can take some solace in the fact that others are/have gone through what I'm now experiencing with Dell unsupport. Check out the following Sept. 30 article from Business Week detailing issues with Dell customer service.

Also, my buddy Matt Cleveland sent me a news article last night of a known issue Dell is having with capacitors in their PCs currently as well. Thanks Matt!

Posted by paul at 08:59 AM

November 10, 2005

My failed Dell hard drive

Some very sad news to report from the janney family computer home front. Last night, I experienced a complete hard drive failure on my less than eight-month-old Dell computer. What makes the situation even worse, is that following four hours of getting bounced around Dell's Hell of a customer service experience, I quickly realized I potentially won't be able to salvage anything off of it - including photographs. This is extremely disheartening considering what Sam and I managed to capture over the summer. On the bright side, the best of the best photos, including hi-rez images, are posted on Shutterfly where they are safe and sound.

I'll keep everyone posted on this continuing saga. P.S. my parents faced this same issue with their Dell laptop. Eventually, they wrote Michael Dell personally asking for a refund. Go figure.

Posted by paul at 04:51 PM

November 08, 2005

Going Pink! Prematurity Awareness Day, November 15

Thanks to the March of Dimes, November 15th has been designated Prematurity Awareness Day.

November 15th will be a day that we both hold very near and dear to our hearts because we owe so much to the March of Dimes and the research they have conducted, which has played a huge part in the saving of our daughter Daisy's life. Like many of you, we were ignorant of the facts of prematurity, that 1 in every 8 births is due to prematurity and of those born early, roughly 80% survive.

In honor of Prematurity Awareness Day, we have turned the background of the Janney family Web site pink and placed a banner in the lower right-side nav to honor the pink and blue. Feel free to click on the banner, or links in this post, to learn more about Prematurity Awareness Day and what you can do on Nov. 15 to raise public awareness.

This is our way of thanking the March of Dimes for their endless quest to help save the lives of these tiny babies, and for teaching us what love, medicine and hope can accomplish.

sam_daisy

     11.08.05 / Daisy Janney / born 07.03.05 / 2lbs-8oz / Samantha Janney

Posted by sam at 09:10 PM

November 06, 2005

Halloween at Janney manor + Daisy photo

It's been awhile since either Sam or I have posted, so there a few things to catch up on.

First off, Halloween and what went down at our infamous corner home. Good stuff...

Ma 'n Pa Janney made the trek from out west for the weekend, which freed us up to decorate in the same fashion we've become known for the last 3 years - pumpkin tree, strobes and of course a lot of tombstones and pumpkins in the yard. The new addition to the display was a full-size skeleton hanging from the front porch. I was a little worried about smaller kids would react, but I don't think they even noticed. It's funny, but most of the kids react to the strobes more than anything else. In fact, every year it seems like, one or two of them swear to Sam that we have ghosts on our second floor.

After it was all said and done we had gone through almost 20 bags of candy and close to 250 trick'er treat'rs! It was the most successful night we've had since moving to Mineral Point. It also helps we live on a high-traffic corner.

Now for your Daisy fix...

As for Little-D Janney, she continues to chug along the road of life and grow, grow, grow. We'll have an official weight and height on Tuesday following her home-health nurse visit. Other than that, she's started to react to both Sam and I on a regular basis by tracking us visually and letting out little smiles here and there. Her feedings have also gone well as every now and then she chugs down 90cc's (3 ounces). She's also cut us some slack at night, but sleeping anywhere from 5-6 hours at a time. I know mom is very thankful for that. Enjoy the latest pic of Daisy doing what she does best!

Posted by paul at 11:07 AM

October 23, 2005

Spring cleaning in October

If you haven't already noticed I did some sprucing up of the site over the weekend - lord knows it desperately needed some TLC. Not only did I add the archives by category section, which I already mentioned, I also replaced the header graphic, cleaned up the primary navigation, added the My Yahoo feed link in the right nav and am now diving into making the javascript pop-ups more accessible. whew!

And all of this was done to ensure you the reader, has a better experience.

Posted by paul at 03:08 PM

October 19, 2005

View rants by category now available

Just wanted to let visitors know that I've now added the ability to view rants by category to Janney Family. This allows you to view all posts in a particular category without having to hunt and peck for them across the site. For example, if you want to see only posts about Daisy you can now do that here or at the bottom of a new post like this one. Lastly, you can find the full category listing in the right-hand nav for added convenience. I'll be tweaking this feature over the coming weeks including the look and feel of the category pages themselves. enjoy :)

Posted by paul at 01:43 PM

October 12, 2005

Rising to the top on Google the SEO way

First off, if you're looking for news on little Miss Daisy Janney you've come to the wrong post. This rant is completely dedicated to everyone's favorite topic - SEO. What is SEO you ask? Search Engine Optimiazation is what that be, or at least stand for. While the topic itself isn't all that interesting, the end results can be.

I think I've addressed this geek issue before on past posts - PD (pre Daisy), but I figured it was high time to revist and see where things stand. The reason SEO is important for a web site is that in applying some basic mark-up techniques, you can increase your ranking on Google. The latest example of this applied technique can be found when you do a search for "janney family" on Google. On the first page of results you'll notice janneyfamily.com comes up in the first few records (first or second), which is exactly what you when executing SEO for your own site. Most published studies show that users very rarely venture past the first page or two of results on Google, so you want to try and hit as close to #1 as possible. There is an alternative to SEO and capturing top-page billing and that is by paying for advertising space.

SEO Tips:

- Buy a targeted domain name (ex. sports.com for sports).*
- Name directories and files relevant to the page content (/sports/)
- Use page titles that are relevant to the page content (Sports)
- Create a relevant meta description
- Craft and create content that is relevant to the topic being discussed
- When creating content use rich keywords that people would search on
- Cross-link content on your site (site map anyone?)
- Keep content in visible page area. i.e. Don't suppress under pulldowns
- Use clean, standardized mark-up
- Utilize heading tags for what they were intended for <h1><h2><h3>
- Keep your content fresh and up to date. No one likes a stale site
- Check/track the amount of spidering Google has done to your site
- Get listed in the open source dmoz.org search index
- Have quality referral links coming into your site

*Of course finding, and even affording, a quality domain name is hard to come by these days - especially in the dotCOM space. An alternative would be to see if .net or .tv is available as these are usually cheaper and easier to obtain.

Lastly, there are also a number of do nots as well, but that discussion is better suited for a future post.

Hope this helps! btw, Daisy is over 8lbs now :)

Posted by paul at 07:29 PM

September 27, 2005

Not made for t.v.

Ok, before you continue reading please note this has nothing to do with baby Daisy and everything to do with one of the main focuses of this web site - Harmon Hubbard.

Recently I was contacted by a television crew out of the UK who is putting together a documentary about relatives of Civil War veterans and wondered if I'd be interested in being interviewed. Of course I was interested, but the downside was I would have to fly to Virginia for the interview - not going to happen. Needless to say, my unwillingness to travel meant no airtime for me or the site.

Maybe next year? :)

Posted by paul at 06:05 PM

July 16, 2005

Where are Paul and Sam?

Yes, it's been sometime since anything new has appeared on Janney Family, but it's been an amazing rollercoaster of emotions the last 5 weeks for us, family and friends. Needless to say, I hope to get back to updating the site more frequently in the coming weeks and begin to fill in everyone on what we've been, are still are, going through.

Both Sam and I wanted to personally thank everyone for their support over the past weeks as it has been a huge help in keeping us, and Daisy, strong during this bump in the road to parenthood.

More to come...

Posted by paul at 08:41 AM

June 12, 2005

The rojo baby wagon and summer flowers

Yes, Paul and Sam have been slacking again on updates to the 'ol site. But, this week was a busy one with both of us finally recovering from a serious case of the flu. Sam was eventually diagnosed with bronchitis (yes, I spelled that right the first time), while I hacked and sputtered my way through the week as well. Neither one of us are 100% still, but we were able to find time to get a new "baby-safe" vehicle, which was a major task we wanted to wrap-up. The end result of a 3-month search was a used red Saturn - pictured below.

And it's been so far so good as this vehicle has been a great buy and met our expectations from a comfort and power standpoint. It was bittersweet for both Sam and I having to part with the Acura RSX, but we knew it wasn't going to be baby friendly and was pretty rough on my old man back. The VUE on the other hand, meets all of our baby requirements including latches in the center seat for added safety and easy access to those inevitable runny 'Janney' noses. Nothing like being a two SUV family! You can see the blank tank in the garage.

I also wanted to share an image from one of our gardens. Below is a pic from one of the many Japanese bushes along the side of our house. These popped a few days ago and really sprang to life this week from all the rain and humidity. Enjoy.

Posted by paul at 12:26 PM

May 22, 2005

Content added to About Us section

Both Sam and I have had a couple of requests for an expansion to the "About Us" section including a photo showing the two of us together so here you go! The pic was taken at a friend's house earlier in the year during a wedding party for one of Sam's co-workers/buddy's. Lastly, we added a few additional "about us" paragraphs as well to the page, but nothing too revealing.

On a side note, we saw Star Wars Episode III - Revenge of the Sith today in nearby Platteville. Being a Star Wars dork myself since '77, I'd have to say overall the movie was surprisingly decent. My Jedi brethren seem to agree as well - see for yourself at IMDB. Just my two cents, but if you can survive the first 15-minutes of corny droid dialogue (includes everyone's favorites "roger! roger!") you're in for a 2 1/2-hour treat! Yes, a pre-trailer pee break is a must.

Posted by paul at 03:04 PM

May 16, 2005

Search function added to site

I finally added one of the "must have" pieces of functionality to the Janney Family web site today - search. This nifty little tool is provided by Google and is free. At this point, it's only present on the blog related posts as I'm still trying to figure out what the best location is for it across the site. Try it out and enjoy!

Posted by paul at 09:18 PM

May 10, 2005

I've still got game - sorta

Over the past two weeks I've delved back into a pastime I hold near and dear to my heart. What is this pastime I've drudged up you ask? Why it's basketball - aka roundball, hoops, suicide, call it whatever you want, but to me, getting back into the flow was a big deal. Following substantial weight loss (about 50lbs) and rehabbing through multiple back injuries, I've been pretty fortunate to even have an opportunity to bang with the big boys during lunch.

Now here's where things start to get interesting...you quickly realize what it now takes to push your body for 40-50 minutes up the floor following a six-year hiatus. A helluva a lot.

Game 1- twisted ankle that flared up and kept my hobbled for one Saturday. Game 2 - burning lungs, followed by coughing episodes every time I laughed hard, which is often. Game 3 - finally score some points and only slacked up court on three or four plays. Game 4 - no points, but kept pace with everyone and played solid D. Game 5 - points plus kept pace for all games - it's the small victories that count.

Needless to say, the games have been very competitive and the work out tremendous - Coach Forsythe would be proud.

Queen of victory - pray for me.

Posted by paul at 06:49 PM

April 22, 2005

Paul's shoe fetish

As Sam can attest to, I've really been into shoes (kickz) lately - no not in that way either - geez Jennifer! Over the past two years or so I've constantly been complaining to Sam about the lack of unique styles that are available to men in a sneaker. For example, you always see great designs and unique features on women's sneakers, but guys tend to get the shaft when it comes to anything other than a basic swoosh.

Well, in my world, that has changed big time. I've latched onto my latest collection craze with a mad fury - sneaker collecting. These aren't you're everyday shoes either. Some of the "holy grails" have limited production runs of 25 or less and can exceed 1k on the secondary market. Most of the time, these shoes are produced for special events or anniversaries - NBA All-Star game, Charity Events, Adidas 35th, or contests even. Getting your hands on a pair can be as difficult as hunting down an elusive liger (props to ND).

I've only recently started my own collection, with the help of Jennifer in Denver, I've acquired three pairs from the Adidas 35th anniversary series (Boston, New York and Roc-a-fella), the latest LeBron style and more recently, picked up the Adidas 1 smart shoe which comes embedded with a microchip aimed at meeting your needs based on walking/jogging habits and terrain. This is a pair I'll definitely give a work out too, unless I sell them first on eBay.

Posted by paul at 06:48 PM

April 08, 2005

The NCAA tournament champ

Just taking this opportunity to gloat for a moment... Today, I was awarded the traveling "Bracket Buster" trophy for winning our NCAA tournament company pool! Finally, after roughly 15 years of bitter defeat I came out on top. The cash haul was pretty decent considering we had over 100 participants. I also set a new all-time tournament record for overall points. My final four did not contain Michigan State, but I did have the other three - Illinois, Louisville and North Carolina with the Tar Heels winning the big dance.

Sam held her own up until the last week, as for the first two saw her hanging out in the top-10. She eventually lost her dark horse in Kentucky and fell about 20 spots - tough loss. Hopefully next year it will be her turn to buck the odds and become the NEW record holder.

Baby update: Both Sam and baby are doing well as we groove into week 17.

Posted by paul at 07:12 PM

April 04, 2005

The hits keep on coming

First off, yes, we're back from our Wyoming vacation and have both begun the re-hydration process and have already unpacked in record time. It was a great trip out west that saw not only one, but two baby shower parties come to fruition. Mad thanks to everybody that was involved in pulling that off! It was all, very much appreciated. Now, onto the update...

March was quite a busy month for janneyfamily.com as we registered 38,600 hits. Granted, these numbers aren't for unique visitors, but it's still a pretty cool number when you consider the fact the site went live only two months ago. I think for all of February we had only 2,000. The site has also received feedback from one Civil War author and two profs of Civil War history. It's even forced my parents to be online more. Sorry pops for taking time away from the Drudge report.

As for what's next, Sam and I hope to stick with the site updates at least through the baby's due date and I for one, will try to get some more pics online and maybe some new features as well. As with anything, it all comes down to time and resources.

Thanks for the support!

Posted by paul at 01:41 PM

March 22, 2005

Name the baby?

Update - March 23, 2005

It appears the auction has been taken offline. Last I saw there were two hours left and the bidding was up to $5,000. If hear or see what happened I'll post it here. Lastly, since the auction was pulled I removed the link as well since it's no longer valid.

Ok, now I've seen everything... Name the Baby auction on Ebay. Sam's only response when seeing this auction was, "wow, two grand would really be nice!"

Posted by paul at 07:02 PM

March 21, 2005

Photo section removed

If anybody wondered where the photo section went to, I've temporarily taken it "offline" for a redesign. I've been reading a couple of tutorials on how to customize my blogger tool to handle a photo album experience. So until then, no photo section. Bummer.

Posted by paul at 07:48 PM

March 15, 2005

Baby update, site stats and WYO

It's been a little slow in the Janney household the last few days so there hasn't been much to write about. Both Sam and I have been very busy at work and when we get home she's usually ready to have dinner and then take her evening "nap," while I head into our dungeon and tinker with the site or post an item for sale on Ebay. FYI - it's called collection downsizing (CD) in preparation for a baby.

Speaking of baby and Sam, her next doctor visit is on Monday. It's still too early for an ultra sound, but they will listen to the heart again. Sam has promised a posting following her visit. As for her "evening" sickness it seems to have retreated a bit and we hope the worst is behind us.

As for the site, we're only a little past the half-way point in March and you, the users, have put up some BIG numbers - some of which are worth sharing. As of March 15, JanneyFamily.com has registered over 26k page hits (hits don't equal unique visitors, but that's a different story) with the highest day being March 9 at 4882 visitors. I THINK March 9 was the day the Harmon Hubbard section was listed on a major Civil War web site, which would explain the spike in traffic. Also, for the morbid, or just plain curious, I recently posted an image of Harmon's headstone from the Galena Cemetery in Kansas.

Last, but not least, Sam and I will be spending time in 'ol YO the last full week in March. We're totally looking forward to a nice break and being treated to a home cooked meal in mom and dad's new kitchen. I'll be sure to take pictures for the site.

Yes, I know, enough already...later.

Posted by paul at 09:43 PM

March 13, 2005

Janney Family site updates

Over the past week I've made some updates to the site from both a functionality and editorial standpoint that are noteworthy.

On the functionality side of things, I've added a font size control, which now appears in the header navigation, an XML feed option in the right-hand nav and streamlined the footer URIs and primary CSS file.

As for new editorial content, I've made a number of additions to the site including an entirely new "about us" section (still very rough), an image of Harmon's headstone in Kansas, portfolio pieces to my resume, a site map and of course, a few links to some of my favorite CSS sites AKA PJ Time Killers.

My hope is the next editorial update will be of the baby kind from Sam.

Pups gone wild: Almost forgot this fine piece of new content, here's a video of our dogs "playing" with a toy (2.2mb). This was taken with a new digital camera. Not too shabby, eh?

Posted by paul at 04:41 PM

March 02, 2005

A big thank you

It's pretty amazing what one little web site can do! I've heard from more Janney relatives in the last 24 hours than I have in 30 years. Both Sam and I just wanted to thank everyone for the recent, kind words of encouragement. This is an exciting time for both of us and we're happy to share our experiences with everyone - even overseas if need be :)

Today is Week 11

Posted by paul at 06:50 PM

March 01, 2005

/.'ed again!

Yes, I am king of my "uber-geek" buddies, again. For the second time in less than a month I had an article I submitted to /. posted! This act has sort of become a running contest among my UI peers at work. Unlike my last post, which I posted as "anonymous," I created a handle so I had proof this time around.

slashdot article

Posted by paul at 07:52 PM

February 25, 2005

The monitor fizzle

Finally up and running again... albiet on a brand new PC. On Sunday I awoke to a monitor on the fritz - literally. All it kept doing was making this weird buzzing sound. This continued to occur following all the standard "Mr. Fix-It" approaches I could think of including: Turning it on and off, unplugging and plugging it back in, and last but not least, hit every button on the front panel including degauss (sp?). Hell, I even think I smacked the thing a few times, but all my efforts were to no avail. :(

So what did I end up doing?

What any sane man would do, he let his wife talk him into buying a new, screaming computer!! Monster power + monster monitor (20" LCD 16x9) made for a very happy boy again. This was just a smart buy, considering the former, 7-year-old PC was running on life support and was going to peter out at any minute. The application it seemed to enjoy running was the infamous 'blue screen of death.'

All I can say is let the good times roll!

Posted by paul at 04:11 PM

February 17, 2005

Janney Family up and running

The site is finally taking shape with new additions added to the Harmon Hubbard section including his obit and discharge paper. Both sources provide additional background information on Harmon, and what he did post-Civil War.

Besides keepin Harmon in check, I also added the contact us form and cleaned up the footer links a bit.

All-in-all putting this site together has been a great experience. Although I think my wife would disagree with the amount time I've devoted to making sure it kicks ass. But even she is starting to agree it's really come together.

Posted by paul at 02:01 PM