Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Simply Organized -

My wife Avery is an entrepreneur!

She has started her business of helping people organize their homes, closets and lives.  She has a new website that we put together (Simply Organized  She is starting to use social media to advertise her business as well and has put up a Facebook page for her business and has a Pinterest page as well.

Like Simply Organized on Facebook
Follow Simply Organized on Pinterest

She has already done wonders with our home in Norfolk, MA.  We have been here for a few months, and folks visiting assume that we have been here for years.

Please check out the site, and spread the good word!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Solar - it's probably better than you think

Can solar panels save you money on your cost of electricity?   If you have a sunny roof that preferably faces south-- I think the answer is yes!

I've been researching solar panels now for a good amount of time and am about to pick the installer and sign a contract...    

My findings, for a smaller roof - Sunpower makes the top of the line most efficient panels and also the best warranty on the market.  They also have a really nice looking all black panel..    If you have a larger roof and maybe don't care as much about aesthetics, you can maybe consider more of the cheaper panels. 

First steps-- understand your usage. Look at your prior bills, preferably over 12 months and figure out your average monthly usage.  The energy goal with solar: produce about or slightly above what you will use.   It's also good to know what your total electric cost over the last 12 months was, and the price per kWh you paid.  The financial goal, spend less annually on panels/electricity...

Incentives: currently there is a federal tax credit (30% of total cost) which is currently set to expire on installations not completed by the end of 2016.  Our state also gives you 1k.

Additional income: for every 1000kwh you generate, you get an SREC, which you can sell on the market, currently I believe around 250-300$ each.  If you get 6-12 SRECs per year, it's really going to help out your annual cost.  The SRECs value is going to go down as more people enter the market and get solar panels.

Buy or not:
I'm looking to buy my panels, getting a loan at about 3%, for 70% of the total cost.  My monthly payment will be higher than my current electricity bill, but my annual cost of electricity should be about half what it was, and when the loan is paid off, I should be getting most of my homes energy from the sun, resulting in no electric bills.

If you just want to save money each month for say the next 20 years...  There are many companies that will be happy to use your sunny roof space, deal with everything (including receiving the incentives) and you won't have to do too much aside from pay less per month.  It's attractive as it's less out of pocket cash flow wise, but longer term has less of a benefit.

That's the high level-- I'll give you some more details if you want to hear them.

I opted to use a local installer with a lot of experience, great customer satisfaction reviews, and they use the highest efficiency Sunpower panels.   I encourage you at least to consider them and get a free quote.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Norfolk, MA - Moving Day

We now live in Norfolk, MA!

After selling my condo in Gloucester, and not being a homeowner/landlord for a bit -- its back to the 'joys of home ownership'. Like many things in life, there are pros/cons of every choice and decision... Our new home has many of the things we were looking for, but falls short on a few as well. I now have an acre of land, and more than enough garden space! The land was once farmland and does appear to have a nice layer of topsoil.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Guide to AJAX crawling for webmasters and developers

After reading some of this guide, looks like my work is not done yet...

You've built a site with AJAX-- its dynamic, snazzy, and great -- but?  Google isn't indexing it!

Ensure you use google webmaster tools and try a Fetch as Google (with rendering) to ensure you see the page the way a Googlebot would -- and you like what you see....

Pinnacle Landscape & Design

Pinnacle Landscape & Design ( is starting to really show some nice work on their website , facebook, and flickr pages.   I had the opportunity to help Keith out with his page, and update the way his pictures were being brought in through flickr.  I got to play around with flickr api and jquery/lightbox, ensure that each of the images descriptions came through as alt tags -- and I really like how nice it works in mobile/tablet devices.  I'll probably update my own page to go this route instead of the way I did it last.
Pinnacle Landscape and Design logo

Hoping that someday I can hire Keith to do some nice work on my own home!

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Windows 7 - hide a user account from login

The user you want to disable from seeing on windows 7 login, is "Username".

Copy and paste the below registry snippet into notepad or your favorite text editor, change "Username" to be whatever user account you want to not see on windows login screen, save it as a file with .reg extension type. (ie disablelogin.reg).  After saving, just double-click to import the setting and you are done.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon\SpecialAccounts\UserList]

Monday, June 09, 2014

Johnson 1.5 hp


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Pebble Watchface - til Friday - my first watchface experimenting with the sdk

My first simple watchface for the pebble watch, i call it 'til Friday'.  It was a pretty simple app, but I hit a few gotcha's on the learning curve and getting the sdk / development environment up and running before developing this simple watchface.

[pbw] watchface download
[src] source code


Friday, March 29, 2013

Matthew Joseph Amante

7lbs, 11oz - 20.5"

Welcome Matthew!


good news of a long-awaited event will arrive soon

My sister received this fortune, and shared it with me--

Which could mean one of two things, 1) My wife of 8+ months pregnancy could soon be going into labor and we would welcome our new son into the world.  2)  My Pebble watch would soon arrive, I had received notification that it would be shipped within a few weeks.

When I got home, guess what was in my mailbox...

Which meant that the watch has arrived, but could it also mean its time to go to the hospital?

That night, my wife woke me up...  after the initial charge, it was go time.  3:03 am, March 29th. 
We headed to the hospital.


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Friday, March 01, 2013

the Melrose chapter

We moved out of our Gloucester place and a bit closer to the city.  We found a nice old Victorian home in the Wyoming Hill area of Melrose, and are starting to get settled.   We'll surely miss Gloucester and all of its natural beauty, but then again we'll probably still go up to the beach about as often as we want to.   Melrose will be closer to Boston for our daily grind, and in the end it should mean more time at home and less time commuting.


Monday, October 15, 2012

Miike Snow - Animal

Checking out Miike Snow next week at the Orpheum!


Monday, June 11, 2012

Iron & Wine - Love Vigilantes


Tuesday, June 05, 2012

SVG conversion with Vector Magic

The power of scalable vector graphics, is the image is represented with math instead of pixels, which allows the image to be resized without losing quality.

Today I came across this site, Vector Magic, which can be useful for converting versions of pixel images into SVG, it works best with a logo or something drawn versus an image like a  photograph.


Monday, June 04, 2012

Coconut Records - West Coast


Friday, April 27, 2012

MTB - mountain bike research

Thinking about picking up a new or used bike to hit the local trails(Dogtown/Ravenswood primarily) this year-- My trusty old Giant Yukon ('96) has been a great bike, but its probably time for a major overhaul.   Some things have changed over the last decade in the world of mtn bikes, and i'm coming up to speed with the latest and greatest -- while trying to also keep costs under control. 

Disc brakes -- similar to motorcycle and car brakes, pad brakes are hard to find on intermediate+ bikes today...  stopping power seems to be good, but it does feel a bit different....

Suspension -- front suspensions are pretty popular, you get some extra shock absorbancy for downhills, but they are actually wasteful when you are on flat pavement or climbing uphill as some energy is lost.  some front suspensions have a 'lock-out' feature which allows you to lock your front fork solid.  rear suspension seems like a bit overkill for what I need, and it also adds costs and similar energy waste in most of the cases.  Front and rear suspension seems to be most important for big jumps/drops, or mountainous downhill which I'm not really into (yet?).

Wheels - the 29er... the standard 26" wheel is being seriously challenged by a larger wheel, the 29" aka 29er.....  It makes the ride feel a bit different, and I think deserves some consideration as I make my choice...
Gears--  some folks are jumping on an old school single-gear 1-speed bandwagon, personally I'm not seeing the appeal here -- i'll stick to my 18 or 24 speeds and rapid fire shifting...

thoughts?  I haven't decided yet if the 29er or front suspension is something I would enjoy-

Here are some that are in the running....

I ended up with a 19" aluminum frame 29er created by Motobecane, it includes a front suspension fork by Suntour (XCT V3 29) with 100mm of travel.  The front fork is considerend entry level, but it does have 'lockout' which allows it to be locked and perform similar to a fixed front suspension althoug it is most likely heavier.  The rear derailler is Shimano Deore, front Shimano Alivio -- it has Shimano Alivio rapid fire trigger shifting and a 27 speed Shimano cassette.  The wheels are 29" with quick release hubs, and it comes with Tektro Novela disc brakes.  Looking forward to giving it a spin! Some more detailed pics.

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Sunday, April 08, 2012


$("#today p").live().on("click", function(event){
alert("and again, it ticks.");


$("#resume doc").on("click", function(event){

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Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Gloucester MA last frost date

With an exceptionally warm spring so far, everyone is thinking about gardening a bit earlier than usual. The above map source shows Gloucester probably in the clear in early May for the last freeze of the year. Historically it looks like the record for the last 32 degree low is May 7th. I typically plant around memorial day, but am considering some earlier planting this year with some lettuce seeds already in the ground, and some peas/beans right behind.

Indoors, I'm starting up Tomatoes(Cherry and Big Boy), Basil(Italian leaf and Thai), Cilantro, Sage, Parsley and Peppers. Chives, Thyme and Sage from last years garden seem to have come back and are already growing!

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Monday, April 02, 2012

Hubway Hotspots

North Station and Gov't Center are the stations I use most frequently -- but I imagine cambridge street and the northend stations may see some visits this year.  This screenshot is taken from they iphone app called Spotcycle which gives you realtime updates to how many bikes are available and how many empty dock slots are available.

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Monday, March 26, 2012

Angus and Julia Stone - Silver Coin


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

market demand for your major

while the ideals of doing what you truly love may make the workday more enjoyable -- the problem is the market needs you.

Top 50 Occupations with the Most Openings

Top 50 Occupations with the Most Openings w/ College degree

Top 50 Highest-Paying Occupations by Median Hourly Wages

maybe you would love to do something like this?

Courtesy of National Data Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics Survey and CareerOneStop is sponsored by the U. S. Department of Labor,
Employment and Training Administration


Sunday, March 04, 2012

The Challenge of the Sea

We can't control the winds or weather ahead- we can learn about the forecast, currents and tides, but the variables are too many to understand them completely-- you need to be ready to change the plan.

I was not born at sea, and spending many years of my life on land and on calmer rivers and ponds, a degree of intimidation exists whenever I cast off from shore. Your preparation and initial judgement only take you up to the decision point, and once you set off -- there are only two options: turning around and giving up, or pushing forward and succeeding.

The sea has challenged me, and built my strength in a way which no course or classroom could. While some focus on their strengths and continue on with their weaknesses, I prefer to squash my fears, using all my strengths to do so. The fundamental driver of success is determination and knowing you can do it. You won't do it right the first time, but you did it. Next time you'll do it better, building upon each experience-- adjusting your course.

So what are you afraid of? Yourself.

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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

do something great today

Today, not anytime this week, but today -- do something awesome.

I don't care what it is, I don't care if its for work, or for play, but just get out there and do it. Do something great!

After you do, find the biggest piece of paper you can find. Write it down. Celebrate, because today, was, a good day.


Monday, February 13, 2012

Copper Mountain, Colorado

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Monday, February 06, 2012

Smarty Pig,,

Dedicate a savings account to your goal, and even better -- auto deduct from your checking account so you are forced to meet it. Smarty piggy banks.

Aggregate your accounts within your own banks website, or check out

Learn about your student loan debt, and your repayment options from

If you have personal finance tools that you use regularly and speak highly of, I'd like to hear about them.


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