So, just what have I been doing?

February 24, 2008

That seems to be the question everyone has been asking. My in box, crammed full with people begging, pleading, “Why haven’t you written anything lately? Are you ok?” My phone hasn’t stopped ringing from my throngs of adoring fans… ok, maybe that’s just the ringing in my head… or the voices, it’s too muffled to make out. No, actually it’s more of a hum. It has been been awhile (over a month actually). And what HAVE I been up to? Well, two things. 1) I’ve really been going hard at my new hobby (being an internet marketing mogul) and 2) (almost ashamed to admit it, but) Oblivion (Elder Scrolls IV). I haven’t played a computer game in… wait, I’ll have to consult with one of those voices. Ah, yes, yes I remember… He tells me it’s been a while. I don’t know why I started playing, somehow just got sucked into it. A complete and utter time waster, but what-ya gunna do? I am proud to say, however, that I have flushed many more hours down the toilet (almost backed up on me once, but I managed to clear it) trying to be an SEO monger. Surely you have seen the links off to the right. My SEO experiment? Basically my goal at this point is to get a site together (done) and then getting it ranked, hopefully on page one of the SERPS (Search Engine Results Page(s)), (work in progress). I’ve played around with making pages a few years ago, but never really pursued it. Needless to say I’ve had to brush off quite a bit of dust on the ole html and css skills. However, as I made, remade, and then made again my site, I realized (after manually making my first “spider food” page (that would be a page optimized for search engine web crawlers)) that my approach was total crap and I needed to straighten it out and automate. To sum it all up, I needed to embrace the seedy world of… black hat <dramatic music>duh, duh, duuuhhh</dramatic music>. So to begin my journey to the dark side, I needed to learn a scripting language. The flavor of the moment for the internet, or intraweb depending on your level of sophistication, (actually, for several years now) has been PHP (oh, and I like intraweb). So got a bunch of reading material, Zend Developer Studio, and got cracking. Skipped right over the whole “Hello World!” gar-bah-shz and got right to work. And the result? After endless hours/days/weeks of slugging it out… He, he, heee. I’m actually going to save that for my next post (not as dramatic as you may think unfortunately). Hopefully Monday (I’m going to make it a several part series, I think, I’ll know how much material I actually have to work with once I actually start writing). For the moment, I’m going to slap some links below that you can feel free to ignore. I want to see how the google-monster is going to like my new approach, but the problem is, I’m having a problem getting google to pay attention and get indexing! Argh. Google likes my blog for some strange reason (though I’m sure the same can be said for everyone here at WordPress) sooo hopefully if I put links here, that will encourage the G-shredder to, well, pay attention. Oh, and if you were wondering, noooooo, I am not nor do I have any intention of becoming a spammer. This is going to be quite a challenge though. I want to rule the serps, but I need to find a kinder, gentler way of doing it. However, one may make the argument that the very site that I am trying to move up the ranks is, itself, spam, or at least a site that is contrary to the intent of search indexes. But I would have to disagree. The stuff I talk about, a digital camera, is perfectly good and accurate content that people may find interesting, which is the purpose to which indexes serve. Perhaps that should be the first article because actually, I am a bit irked at google (I never bother with the other engines so I can comment on them). Pages that are so blatantly obvious spam get ranked higher than quality pages and, because of the patent discrimination that google dishes out to new sites to the benefit of old, established ones, some sites will never get a good ranking. I understand PageRank and the need to sandbox new sites, but I’ll give a quick example. Digital cameras. Manufacturers spit out press releases about various new products. Web sites *cough* cnet *cough* with automated programs immediately swipe’em (these releases are published through rss feeds) and stick them up on their own site. Established site after established site (there are others besides cnet) do this with out modification or adding content. The result? When you search for, ohhh, I don’t know, maybe the fujifilm finepix f50fd? You get the exact same stinking press release on page one of the serps from umpteen established sites. Google is suppooose to have a duplication filter that punishes such spam-looking practices (black hatters posting the same content on a bunch of different sites) by allowing one copy to show and pushing the others way far down in the results or de-indexing them altogether. What you end up with is an almost Microsoft type monopoly of the page one serp. There are a lot of good, smaller sites out there that work hard at producing solid content, but will never see the light of day on page one because of the choke hold more established sites have. Which, because of the ranking system, sets up an almost perpetual motion machine with these sites. They’re already on page one because of their status, this causes huge amounts of traffic to go to them, which thereby only solidifies their hold. It’s not fair I tells-ya. Whew! But, as I have said before, what the bloody heck do I know? I’m just a grasshopper. So how is that for a post? My longest one yet.

Spam-o-licious links: finepix f50 f50fd 12 f50 battery finepix noise ninja f50 ccd fujifilm finepix
p.s. once they have served their purpose, I’ll probably go back and delete these (assuming I remember).

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Behold! The dancing banana!

A Hello Kitty assault rifle, yes it is true.

January 18, 2008

I’m sorry, but I am compelled to share this. Over at digg there is a blurb about a Hello Kitty assault rifle. Here is the picture. Hilarious.

Woo-whoo! It snowed! (again)

January 18, 2008

So I either wasn’t paying attention to the weather dudes, or they once again screwed up another forecast because I was definitely not expecting this at all. It didn’t seem cold enough for it. It was nice though. It was the fluffy, cotton ball type snow. The 1st pic is of the leftover damage caused by the ice storm. The 2nd, although it may look like a pond, is really just a low spot where water collects. And the others are pretty self explanatory. If your wondering why all the trees (because of my tunguska post), fortunately the lumber-asses didn’t touch the ones immediate next to where I live, though you can see the clearing through the trees in the last two pics.

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Again, feel free to ignore this link (finepix f50fd). Like I said, I’ll get around to posting something on this later. Of course, I think I said something to that effect the last time so technically this would be later. But, eh, time is suppose to be relative, right?

So you say you have a frog who rides a motorcycle, and picks winning lotto numbers?

January 14, 2008

Here is a short post. I saw this on the late night news, did a quick search, and turns out I’m only about 4 days late on this one (but you do have to admit, I am getting faster with the topical stories). So there’s this frog in Thailand who apparently likes to ride a toy motorcycle and, until recently, was picking winning lotto numbers. The numbers appear on her belly. However, for some reason, because she seems to have lost her ability to pick the winners, she has been grounded from her favorite activity. Eh? Punishing the amphibian because she ain’t producin’? That’s cold dude. She should give the finger to the man and speed off into the sunset. The story is actually pretty funny (which you can read by following the link [pist, look <– that way]).

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My open letter to McDonalds

January 13, 2008

To whom it may concern:

In reference to your recent multi-million dollar ad campaign were you showcase two young gentlemen who clearly suffer from some degenerative neurological disorder doing something that I can only assume is some form of rap on what appears to be a street corner…

Stop it.

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I am quite loathed in posting this, but…

January 13, 2008

Only because these pictures make mine look sooo bad. Sure, they most probably have professional SLRs (I assume of the digital variety) and it is quite clear that many, if not all, of them know their way around the ole Photoshop-o-graphicis, so I shouldn’t feel too sheepish about my stuff, right? Still, though, I can’t help but sit here at my idiot box (my computer), sighing the sighs that come with that green color on your face. But hey, some of my images are pretty good. Yes, only a handful out of the roughly 7k I’ve taken with my Fujifilm FinePix F10 (a compact digital). But still… right? I suppose none of us should feel too envious, it’s just a matter of working within the strengths of your camera. Have a camera that just takes bad pictures? Use the same excuse that “artists” with no talent use and call it “a study in abstract”. Try to incorporate that into your work. When someone asks, just say, “Of course that’s how I wanted it to look!”. I ramble too much. I actually stumbled across this site on, oddly enough, stumbleupon (the social bookmarking site). The site it called, outdoor-photos.com. Load it up, turn out the lights, and be mesmerized. Oh, ps – for some reason when I was getting these ready in the Photoshopper, they came out darker than they actually are (if you were wondering when looking at the site).

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Ok, so keeping with my current theme of horribly late topical commentary.

January 9, 2008

Well, maybe not completely late. What caused me to think about this was Christmas, but my complaint has nothing to do with that. Hershey Kisses. Prior to last Christmas, I haven’t had one in years. Maybe even closer to a decade. I remember that I would pop those things in my mouth like popcorn. Sometimes I would line my molars with four of them at a time and then chomp down (and of course they had been in the freezer). They tasted great, smooth with a chocolatey aftertaste. Good enough that is was worth (to me at least) the extra cost over the generic pasty garbage that would only mascaraed around as chocolate. So you can imagine my surprise when, years later, I bite into a Hershey Kiss this past Christmas and uuuuuuuhhh! What happened? It was the same gritty, pasty, nasty aftertaste cat litter detritus of all the other pedestrian mucky-muck that you won’t even flush down the toilet. It was bad enough that I found myself checking the next piece (I’m a bit like Homer Simpson that way) for that white stuff you find on really old, bad chocolate. Not there. Of course, I knew that I wasn’t eating stale chocolate, but my mind just won’t accept what my tongue was telling me. If I had sharp Photoshop skills I would make a picture of a biohazard bag in the shape of a Hershey Kiss. I blame Wall street. In this never ending pursuit of the all-mighty dollar, they have allowed the hallmark of the Hershey company to go into the crapper. Good job. Of course being the growing cynic that I am, I am forced to wonder if this is a simple profit increasing strategy of is it more involved than that. Perhaps a drop in the quality of milk chocolate (in general – not just the kiss) is part of a larger effort to push people towards the more expensive dark chocolate (my current love affair). Ah, what do I know. I’m just a grasshopper.

Feel free to ignore what’s below, seriously. I’ll be writing more about it later, but basically it’s just a little hobby of mine. I want to see if I can get a website I made to rank at least on page one of Google’s results page. One way of doing that is to “drop” links to your site around the internet. I’m having trouble getting Google’s spiders to visit my site on regular basis. Sooo, if I take advantage of Google’s infatuation with wordpress.com by dropping a link here, when the spiders come crawling, they will discover to the link to my “other” site and hopefully stop by for a visit.

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Horrible ice storm! Power out, trees down everywhere!

January 8, 2008

Ok, so may it happened about three weeks ago and I’m just now getting around to posting some pictures. Ya, I seem to have developed a bad habit. I have a lot of topical stuff to write about, but by the time I actually get serious, it’s no longer topical and who cares. So anywho, we got smacked by that ice storm that made the news. Fortunately, we were without power for only about three days. But still, pee-whew, three days, no power, below freezing temps, not comfortable. It was quite the glass paradise while it lasted. The pics here really don’t deliver. I really reduced the quality so it wouldn’t take forever and a day to download (some people do still use dial-up, me included). Here they are. If someone wants to see a high-quality one, just let me know.

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Someone needs to thaw out the Republican Party (or at least Rudy Giuliani)

January 6, 2008

So I was watching the debates yesterday and all I can say is, holy cow. Someone needs to thaw out the Republican Party, or at least Rudy Giuliani. I think they believe that it’s the 80’s and the US is still facing off with the USSR. So Giuliani believes that we need to grow our military (which was already costing us around $300B before Iraq) to a 300 ship Navy, 200k Marines, and (I think) around 500k regular Army? What war is the Republican Party planning for? The reality is that our current forces are just fine. Yes they are strained under the current conditions, but (I’m sure much to the angst of the warmongers) at some point, this little venture will come to an end. What enemy is so grand that we need such a military? If I’m not mistaken, Russia is second in military spending at (again, I think) $30B. Before Iraq (by the way, pronounced “ear-rock”, not “eye-rack” [just a pet peeve of mine]) we were spending around 10x the number 2 nation and these guys want to spend more? We already carry a big stick, the biggest stick on the planet in fact and they want more toys? Yaaa, hold on, I’ll get my wallet. This gun-slinger diplomacy really irks me. Time and time again, it has been shown that engaging, trade, building wells, schools, hospitals, blah, blah, blah has been far more effective at making friends than pointing a gun at people. I remember during Bush’s reelection that one of the things “those people” kept saying was that the Democrats “just don’t get it”. How almost prophetic.

Tunguska all over again

December 20, 2007

Right next to were I live is a somewhat densely wooded area and just beyond that is a prairie-like clearing. Thick brush, raspberry and blackberry bushes, and honeydew draping off of everything. The place is truly unworldly. Especially when you can get there early in the morning to watch the mist ebb and flow. Some of my best pictures came from that area. Well, awhile ago it pretty much all came to an end. In an effort to control the undergrowth, a lumber company was hired to clear it all out. I assume that part of the deal was that they got to take the trees as well. An absolute massacre. Almost all of the old-growth trees were removed and, from the looks of it, any of the younger trees that were in their way were just mowed down with a bulldozer. It was like standing at the battle of Gettysburg or Omaha beach during D-day. The bodies of the dead and wounded were strewn about everywhere. There is actually a slope down to the prairie so you didn’t get the full scope of it all until you reach the crest. Even the most anti-environment Rush Limbauh Dick Cheney love child would be taken back at the contrast, from Lord of the Rings to the face of the moon. I’m all for proper forest management, but this is just terrible. Unfortunately, the dimension constraints of this here blog really doesn’t allow a good show of it all. But here are a few pics. The before shots can be seen in my early hop through the prairie post. Again remember, I am a grasshopper.

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