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Packing up and Moving

I’ve hosted this blog on the WordPress servers since its inception but now have set WordPress software up on my own server, so I can control a lot more how it looks and acts.  So if any of our “loyal readers” are pointing to this url (8williams.wordpress.com), please repoint your browser to www.8williams.com, or www.eightwilliams.com if you for some reason like longer domain names.  If any of you are subscribed to our RSS feed, you’ll want to update your subscription to the one on the new site as well.

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I just completed a fun project that I’ve been working on since the beginning of the year. It’s for VeriSign and launched yesterday morning. The biggest problem online businesses face is people actually completing their order. One of the big reasons people don’t complete their order is a lack of feeling that the website they’re on is secure. The rate of online cart abandonment is very high and VeriSign is on a quest to change that with their new extended validation site seal. As part of the launch of this new site seal, McCann put together a campaign revolving around Liberty Fillmore, a Cart Whisperer who travels the world seeking to rescue abandoned shopping carts (the metal and plastic, not online, kind). He’s a man on a mission and feels strongly about what he does. Who better to speak to the plight of abandoned shopping carts, both real and virtual, than the world’s only cart whisperer? Here’s a message from him…

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liberty_viraldownloads516.jpgLet’s cut to the rocky mountain oysters: this here’s one of them chainmails.
Or chain letters. Whatever. It’s galldurn serious stuff. See, the spirit of a shopping cart that was abandoned just up and takes the spirits of anyone who don’t forward this message and its correresponding interweb site onto at least 10 friends. T-E-N. An idiot’s dozen. But, fear not, it ain’t all curses and fire & coldstone. If you do forward this on to your interweb pardners, you just might get the name of your crush on your pager machine or in a text or dream or something.

The site?

www.NoMoreAbandonedCarts.com

It’s about me, Liberty Fillmore: the world’s only Cart Whisperer, a lone wolf in a world of coyotes, a sprinklefied donut in a pretendgious muffin world. I rescue abandoned carts. And this interweb site tells my story.
Please take a look-see. And look-see that your friends look-see as well.

Preciate cha!

Liberty
Sworn Defender of Abandoned Carts

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So get on over to the site and check it out. There’s some fun stuff. Currently our YouTube video, the “World Premiere”, is in 3rd place for most viewed with almost 1 million viewings since yesterday.  And if you happen to upload any of your own photos of abandoned carts you can be entered in a weekly drawing for an overstock.com gift card.

So I mentioned that I’ve been in Redmond, Washington on the Microsoft campus since Wednesday for some training on the Windows Live platform. Lots of cool things that may or may not be practical and/or applicable to the types of work I’m doing. It’s been a fun trip though. My first impression was that I couldn’t believe how big this campus is. It’s truly a campus, easily bigger than BYU. There are over 30,000 employees that work here in some 45 large buildings. It’s really it’s own city. Really incredible. I think I’ve eaten more and better food than any 3 day period in my life. Our first night, we went to this great Oyster bar restaurant but got no oysters – instead Filet Mignon that was perfect. I’m here with 2 co-workers, Jason and Buster. The next day Microsoft provided a big breakfast and then a very good prime rib and tortellini lunch with awesome deserts. Then, last night a bunch of us training attendees here, went to this great Italian restaurant in Bellevue, called Maggiano’s. Everything was served family style and included a bunch of different appetizers, great green salad, the best baked ziti I’ve had, mushroom ravioli, loin tips, salmon, calamari, oysters, tiramisu and blueberry cheesecake. There was a ton of food and it was all excellent. Unfortunately I was dumb and left my camera at home, but I do have a few pictures from a Korean guy who was here. This was quite an international group. Microsoft brought in about 35 developers from all over the world. I met guys from Mexico, Canada, Argentina, Chile, Korea, Japan, and England.

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Family Update

Well, it’s been a LONG time since I last blogged.  Julie and I have been barely able to stay awake a lot of the last month so that’s my excuse.  I am currently sitting in a conference center on the Microsoft campus in Redmond, Washington attending some training.  I’ll write about that a bit later.  The important thing though is that Julie is home alone with 6 kids.  And it hasn’t been easy.  I flew to Washington last night and called Julie to get the update.  Soren had drawn all over Peyton’s whale report that was due this morning.  Eden was busy throwing up and dry-heaving.  And the twins were both screaming.  Fortunately, there has been some help.  Megan came up and stayed the night, taking Maren with her in the guest room.  And then this morning Julie’s mom came up to stay for today and tonight and I guess a lot of tomorrow too.  We have received and continue to receive so much service.  We’re definitely blessed.

This morning Julie and her mom took the babies to the doctor.  We’ve been pretty excited for this visit just to be able to see how much they’ve grown in the last 6 weeks since their 2 week check-up.  I knew they’d grown quite a bit, but I was surprised by how well they’ve done.  Roman is 10lbs 2 oz and Maren is 9lbs 5 oz!  And they went from -3% (not even on the chart in other words) to 30% height and weight.  So they’re really packing it on and the doctor said they look super.

And we care because…?

Check out this story from the Tucson Citizen newspaper.

Can you believe that?  Actually, I can.  This story is completely infuriating to me.  Since when do Mexican government officials get off coming to America and calling for a change of laws that are “unjust” to their constituents???  I guess, since President Bush and many of congress, including my good old former representative (from when we lived in Salt Lake), Chris Cannon, have decided to stay soft and even give in on many key illegal immigration issues.

Of all the statements in the story, there is only ONE valid one:  “Amparano said the Mexican legislators are already asking the federal government of Mexico for help for Sonora.”  WHAT???  ALREADY???  That’s what you’re SUPPOSED TO DO, Mexicans.  @#$%$@!

Every single quote from a Mexican official in that story smacks of “You are responsible to take care of us”, like these:

“Mexico is not prepared for this, for the tremendous problems” (Well that’s MEXICO’S problem, right?)

“What do we do with the repatriated?” he asked. “As Mexicans, we are worried. They are Mexicans but they are also people – fathers and mothers and young people with jobs – who won’t have work in Sonora.”

But maybe the most twisted arguments are the ones that appeal to our sense of family:

“We are one family, socially and economically,” she said of the people of Sonora and Arizona.”

and even worse…

“He said the Arizona law will lead to “disintegration of the family, as one ‘legal’ Mexican parent remains in Arizona and the other returns to Mexico.”

Personally, I think it’s about time that we saw some common sense immigration laws being made in the U.S.  Heck, we sure don’t see any of those in Utah, nor from what I hear, in Texas.  What happened to the days back when I was in high school in Texas when a local McDonalds got raided by INS and EVERY SINGLE EMPLOYEE got shipped back to Mexico because they were here illegally?  We laughed about it back then, but I’d sure love to hear of a story like that now.  So a great law, removing the source of income for the Mexicans, is passed, but now we have to listen to (and read about) Mexico crying about it.  And undoubtedly, this will lead to liberals crying about the “injustices” and lack of compassion we have for others, and calling for change.  It’s unjust when we enforce the laws, and just when we look the other way?  How twisted is that?

Oh man, I am SOOOO tired today. I swear, the twins have been up all night the last 2 nights, not to mention the time spent eating regularly every night since we brought them home, and it’s really starting to take it’s toll. Julie and I are both dragging. We were warned by other parents of twins how little sleep we would get with 2 babies, but I just don’t think you can understand or prepare for it until you’ve experienced it. My experience has allowed me to formulate my TWINS theory (an abbreviation for The Widening Increase of No Sleep, of course 🙂 ). This theory states that as the number of babies increases, the amount of sleep attainable by the parents decreases exponentially to zero. In other words, we’re not getting half as much sleep as we did with 1 baby. We’re getting far less. Given this theory, I can’t imagine what it must be like to have triplets or, heaven forbid, quadruplets. Those parents must seriously be walking zombies.

Happy Birthday Logan!

Logan is 4 years old today! He wants to go to Chuck E. Cheese in Sandy for his birthday tonight, so we’ll be braving the mass of children and cheap rides and games tonight! Anyone who wants to is welcome to join us. By the way, I worked at Chuck E. Cheese in high school in San Antonio for a year or so. I could turn out a mean pepperoni pizza! But the highlight was the few times the regular Chuck E. didn’t show up and I got to BE Chuck E. Cheese! Up on stage, dancing around, sweating like CRAZY! Woohoo!!! Actually the real highlight was probably making 2 large sausage pizzas for Shaquille O’Neal who had a weakness for Chuck E. Cheese sausage pizzas. He was from San Antonio and would come in often the summer before he was drafted and believe it or not, would order 2 large sausage pizzas for himself and then challenge us to a game of the arcade basketball game that was back with all the games. You know, the dual kind, like this:

I beat him once. But of course, Shaq’s never been a great free throw shooter anyway.

So anyway, sorry for getting off track! I doubt Shaq will be there tonight, but WE will be, to celebrate 4 great years of our little boy. They got off to a rough start. I will forever have awful memories of seeing our little baby boy a few weeks old, literally just skin and bones, hooked up to tubes and monitors as he suffered with RSV in the hospital. It was a scary experience (and the main reason I’ve said we’re not taking our twins out of the house, except to go to the doctor, until spring). But he pulled through and has always (well, ALMOST always 🙂 ) been a delightful little boy to have in our home. Here are some of my favorite pictures of Logan through the years. We love you Logan! Happy Birthday!

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