Pet Finders

I know many are going to be confused by the title of this blog entry. It is not about "petfinders," the directory of homeless pets. Instead, this is a group of animal lovers who try to find shelter dogs and cats homes before their "big day" arrives. I think you know what I mean. These people are tireless champions of the most neglected in our society, the stray dogs and cats that you see in the streets of virtually any city in America. It is amazing how many lives they are able to save. But, regardless of how much they try, Pet Finders organization can't save them all. This is the part of the story where I come in to "save the day," in a manner of speaking.

To begin, as many who have been to my blog (before I went on my six month hiatus), I have a three-year old beagle named Ralph. Ralph is still as full of mischief as he ever was. I love him to death. But, the thing about Ralph, he is jealous of me. I have taken in two homeless dogs before. Ralph wasn't having any of it. I eventually got both into nice families with loving children. As I was sitting at my kitchen table drinking coffee (with Ralph watching me...he loves to watch me drink coffee), I got a phone call from a friend from Pet Finders. She was frantic. She pleaded with me to go to the local animal shelter and save "Dusty." "Dusty," as I later found out, was a Heinz 57 dog...a little bit of everything. But, he seemed to have a bit more of cocker spaniel in him than the other 56 varieties. So, this friend told me Dusty had until 5PM to be adopted...or else.

Well, you can imagine what that made me feel like. I told her that Ralph doesn't care for other dogs. He feels like they are intruding on his territory and he won't tolerate it. She goes on to say, "You're my last hope...you're Dusty's last hope." God, what was I to do? So, to make a long story short, I went to the shelter, looked into those very sad eyes of Dusty...and adopted him. Ralph would just have to get over himself.

So, I brought Dusty to his new home in my old Nissan truck (or I should say Ralph's truck...he won't ride in any other vehicle but that truck) and Ralph was in the back yard barking as usual when I would drive up. Boy, I'm thinking how is this going to work out. Well, it is almost as if Ralph knew Dusty was at death's door. I say that because miracles of miracles, Ralph went over to the trembling Dusty, licked his ears and, well, it seemed like Ralph was just happy to see him. They are both becoming fast friends now. They are playing in the living room with an old rag that Ralph loves for me to play tug of war with him. Now, he's got a new playmate to replace me in tug of war. And, you know what? I feel good...really good about myself today. You will too if you go save an animal, whether it be a dog cat, rabbit or whatever, at your local shelter.


Boeing Tanker

In a bitter disappointment to local officials here in Mobile, Alabama, the Boeing Tanker won out over the EADS airbus. Most had predicted that EADS would win based on all known information. This was a bitter fight that EADS-Northrupp-Gruman had thought it had won in 2008. Seattle and Chicago, Boeing based companies, filed a complaint and ultimately won the huge contract that will generate thousands of jobs and revenue for Boeing Company. Boeing's winning bid was a modified Boeing 767. As I recall, Boeing was first awarded the contract in 2004, but the contract was withdrawn because of an ethics scandal that resulted in prison terms for a former senior Boeing executive and a former high-ranking Air Force official. So, that makes it even more bitter.

Here in Mobile, we are bitterly disappointed. It is hard to lose out on a bid that you won fair and square, then lose over what many in the aerospace industry thought was an inferior design built at a rock bottom price that EADS (NorthRupp withdrew after the winning then losing the bid couple of years ago) could not match. It will be interesting how Boeing will do in building this tanker. The Boeing Tanker will be needed to quickly service the aircraft of our military. I think the needs of the men and women of our military were often overlooked in this long, drawn out fight. Regardless, the pressure is now on the Boeing Tanker to come online soon and on time. I wonder how well that will work out. I know they have the experience and the workers ready. But, Senator Pat Murray drew the eternal damnation from people on the gulf coast (the one that is still reeling from Katrina and the BP Oil Spill) by her condescending remarks about our region. When you make prejudiced remarks, they sometimes come back to bite you on the ass.

I am curious what our allies in Europe think of this sudden turn of events. Will they now feel slighted over what many consider a deck of cards stacked against EADS? That may be the case. This may cost the USA more in the longrun. I know this post sounds like sour grapes and you probably are right. It is tough to lose something of this nature when you felt you had it won. Mobile and the gulf coast region will move on now. It is very unlikely EADS will protest the bid. I think EADS has had enough. They know no matter what they do, "Buy American" is going to win out each time in this country.


Jessica Hahn and Jennifer Aniston - Really?

It seems that the news media is completely out of whack these days. We have historic upheaval in the Middle East (Egyptian protests, Libya protests in Benghazi and elsewhere). We have a terrible earthquake in New Zealand causing untold number of deaths. We have the Madison protest of schoolteachers right here in the United States in Madison, Wisconsin and in Ohio. So, what does the news media languish over? Jennifer Aniston, a fading somebody celebrity, and Jessica Hahn, a faded nobody ever was, is what the news media in the United States seems concerned about.

Jessica Hahn got her last "15 seconds" of fame this week on The View. It seems that Jessica Hahn decided to take on Barbara Walters, an experienced, tough interviewer of many years. Hahn brought up Barbara Walters past affair with Senator Edward Brooke, former senator from Massachusetts. Barabra Walters didn't even blink. She said the interview was "...about you, not me (Walters)." Basically, Walters brought up Hahn's past affair with former PTL minsiter and scam artist, Jim Bakker. That was a sore point with Jessica. The news media seemed fascinated with it.

Then you had, of all things, the media going bonkers over Jenifer Aniston's new hairstyle? Really? You have GOT to be kidding me. People are dying in Libya and all over the Middle East, and there seems to be a need to discuss Jennifer Aniston's new hairstyle? I don't get it. I just can't get over the obsession that the news media and a lot of the public have with so-called celebrities. I understand there is a market for selling news on the celebrities of the world. But, it just seems things get out of hand sometime. Anyway, that's my opinion.


Dish Network Hiring and Other News

I abandoned cable TV about two years ago. I was tired of the high prices and outages. But, I was particularly perturbed at the pricing. My cable bill was at $187. It seemed to rise each month. What really irked me is that I had to pay for channels that I never, never watched. Never. MTV being just one. In fact, if it was just one MTV channel, I could have ignored it. That isn't the case. They had several MTV channels. But, that is just one example. I was tired of it. I had DirecTV when was married back in 2004. I thought the picture quality was outstanding. I realized all the horror stories of satellite TV were just that; stories.

So, after being tired of the high cable bills, I thought of DirecTV. But, a friend talked me into the Dish Network. I am glad he did now. They have as many, if not more, HD channels that cable. Cable likes to tout they have more. But, the quality of programming (how many people actually watch the Golf Channel on a given day?) was subpar, in my opinion. Two years later, I can see it was among my best decisions in life. Yes, Dish has channels I don't watch also. But, not as many as cable. I am extremely pleased with the Dish Network. Some are saying that with the advent of internet subscriber networks such as Netflix and Redbox, cable and satellite are on their way toward extinction. I guess Dish Network didn't get the memo. They just recently acquired Hughes Communications, a broadband provider. The internet connection speed has always been a drawback to satellite providers. I'm not sure what they are up to now.

I do know Dish Network is hiring now, which is a rarity among American companies these days. In you live in El Paso, Texas, it is a good day. Dish is going to hire 30-50 people. Dish Network will pay $8.25-$9.25 an hour. That's not money that will make you rich. But, it is good pay for those that are unemployed. So, I'd have to say that, at least in the case of Dish, satellite subscriptions are not going to end anytime soon. That may be the case with cable. But, they really have to do something about their pricing and programming structure to entice me back.

(DISCLAIMER: I am not a paid endorser of Dish Network. Just wanted to make that known.)


Blogging: Does It Have a Future?

One of the reasons I left this blog for six months (back in July '10) was that I was bored with it. I felt as if I had said everything I had to say. I was participating in revenue sharing sites, trying to get my novel published and I actually have a life outside of the cyber world. So, I let it go for six months until I found myself missing this old blog. I had considered deleting it (very happy I didn't do that!) completely. But, I decided to just shut it down to visitors. That was a mistake. My Alexa rating was in the 150K range and PR was and still is 3. Now, my Alexa rank is the three-million+ category. It probably would have been a better idea to just leave it up. But, I seem to be slowly building up my visitor base, albeit slowly. But, I also considered that blogging was on its way out the technological door. I'm still not convinced it isn't.

It seems with the advent of micro blogging platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and MySpace, to just name a few, blogging with good solid content was considered obsolete. Why post a five-hundred word count blog post when you can get your point across in just 140 characters on Twitter? That was my thinking when I left this blog. I'm still, somewhat, in that thinking process that blogging is needless in an ever changing world of technology. I've noticed that many bloggers have given up since my time away from David's Musings. But, according to this Pew Report, in this article, the thought is that blogging is not so much in decline as it is undergoing an "evolution" of sorts.

The Pew Report states that blogging did decline among teenagers, those in the 18-33 year old age groups there was a modest decline in the blogging world. However, the good news is that blogging actually increased among the older generation from 11% to 14% from late 2008 to 2010. As I stated earlier, there is acknowledgment in the report that blogging has reached its peak. This is the way things are in the USA. But, also, the report states that Wordpress is still growing with over 6 million new blogs in 2010! That is a remarkable number. While Twitter will continue to grow, missing tweets from friends is not unusual particularly if they have a large following. While Twitter is easy to get a point across, it is also void of any meaningful conversation with it's limit of 140 characters.

So, by most reports, blogging is not on its deathbed. It is undergoing a transformation to another era, a new generation of bloggers. Twitter, and the popular social networks have their niche in the internet world. But, blogging, at least for now, is here to stay.


SocialMonkee - A New SEO Tool

Building backlinks to your pages is an essential part of SEO (short for Search Engine Optimization) for two reasons. The first reason is that it helps your pages get indexed faster, which is very important because you want the search engines to find them as soon as possible and crawl them regularly. The second reason is that it helps your pages get higher search engine rankings for the keywords of your choice. The more backlinks you have, the better. Period.

However, building backlinks can be a time-consuming, boring process. You can outsource the process to an agency and pay a lot of money... Or you can do it yourself with SocialMonkee! SocialMonkee is an instant backlink builder allowing you to build 25 unique backlinks, every day, FREE! All links are on unique C-Class IP addresses and domains. Imagine being able to create 25 unique backlinks every day, with the click of a button, FREE! Well, you can stop imagining...

So, 25 unique backlinks every day... That's a total of 175 backlinks every week, 750 every month. If you upgrade, you will be able to build 100 uniques backlinks, 3 times a day! That's a total of 2,100 backlinks every week, 9,000 every month! The good news is... you can get a Premium Account, FREE. All you need to do is to refer 12 members, and your account will automatically be upgraded. If you're not really into referral marketing, you may upgrade right now for a low one-time fee. I haven't bought into the Premium account yet. But, I very well may do just that if this works out for me here and on the revenue sharing sites in which I participate.

Submitting a page to SocialMonkee via the members area takes under two minutes, but there's an even faster way! They created a Firefox plugin that allows you to submit your page to up to 100 sites in just a few clicks, using nothing else than Firefox! If you have a Premium Account you will also get access to link reports and RSS feeds, which are great to keep track of your backlinks and get them indexed fast. Submitting your RSS feeds to RSS submitters is actually a very important step in link building.

I strongly suggest you join SocialMonkee now while it's still free. Do yourself a favor and CLICK HERE. I don't get excited about "free" online or offline. But, I am excited about this. CLICK HERE. You can thank me later.


Retirement: Seven Years Later

As I have said from the very outset, of this blog, I retired from the federal government back in November 2003. I remember the exact date because it was on a Friday the 13th! That kind of made me a bit anxious, superstitious old goat that I am. I was moving up to where my in-laws lived (yeah, I know...big mistake) with my wife (now ex-wife). I was ready for a fresh change. I got change, but it sure as hell was not fresh. Enough of that. This post is about my retirement.

Initially, I enjoyed everything about retirement. I enjoyed not getting up having to go to work. I enjoyed not worrying when I had to go to sleep (I worked mid-shits, midnight to 8AM). The fact I would not have to face people I didn't like at work was a big plus as well. I had time to do things I have wanted to do for many years, such as writing. Retirement is great if you are a hunter or fisherman. You have time to do all those things. But, I am neither. I have hobbies, such as the aforementioned writing and I love to tinker with computers. I now do a little light computer maintenance on the side to make extra money. All that eventually has gotten old (except for the writing). On the negative side, I don't get to see my old, dear friends, from work, on a daily basis like I once did. I miss that. I still feel odd not being a part of the workforce. I still get up early. I just can't sleep past 6AM. I have to get up. I usually go get some breakfast and coffee at the drive-up at McDonald's or some other fast food restaurant. I feel...a little envy of those getting there early on their way to work. I know that sounds strange. But, I'm trying to be honest here.

I guess my main point on retirement is that it is something to look forward to at the end of your career. With the exception of my mortgage, I am now debt free and seem to have more money these days than when I worked for a living. That's an incredible statement, I know. But, I planned well for retirement. The fruit of that planning is paying off now. So, bottom line, am I enjoying my retirement years? Truthfully, I can only answer that with a yes and no. Yes, because of all I've stated such as being relieved of the stress of working. No, because of all I have stated such as missing old friends. I see my old pals ever now and then. But, things have changed between us. I can't explain it. It is just...different.

Finally, speaking of retirement, I saw a report on Yahoo about the best places to retire outside the USA. I've never considered living outside the USA for any number of reasons. But, they give good insight on living in retirement in places such as Buenos Aires, Argentina. They refer to it as the "Paris of South America." There are four other places you can check out also. They all sound nice. But, I think I'll be stay right here in the good old USA.

***Editors Note:  You can read about my Retirement:  Ten Years Later <<right there


The eBook Route

As I have stated previously (and before my six month vacation) on an earlier post, I have decided against going the traditional route of the large publishing firm to get my novel published. After about two years of trying through literary agents who have no use for unpublished authors to publishing houses who only want to print books from some celebrity's latest drug rehab failure, I have given up my dream of getting published that route. As I look upon it now, it was all a pipe dream. I see that now. I did give a hard look at self-publishing. But, I quickly discovered for the vast majority of self-published authors, the only people making money are the self-publishing companies. The fees are just astonishing! I also discovered (not the hard way, thank God) that many are simply scams. I have seen where some self-publishers charge up to $20K to get a book printed, proofread, formatted and distributed. I don't care who you are, that is too damn much money.

Instead, I have decided to go the ebook way of publishing. I should have done that a long time ago. I had been thinking of this since my talk with a writer around Thanksgiving of last year. I have almost decided on the company that will do this for me. I had no idea there were so many different formats for ebooks. This company will do all the conversions and will correct any errors it finds. All for about $150.00. I don't think that can be beat. They even assign the ISBN for you. The announcement, last month by Amazon, that ebooks outsold paperback for the first time in their history, sold me on going this way to get my novel published. This is on top of the announcement July 2010 that ebooks had outsold hardback books for the first time. The writing, literally and figuratively, was on the wall.

So, my novel (Diary: Alone on Earth) will at long last be published in April. That will be two years to the month I finished the novel. It has been a long journey fraught with adventure...and disappointment. How will it sale? I have no idea. But, at least, it "will be out there." I hope you will consider giving it a look.


Another Review of Revnue Sharing Sites

As I stated just over six months ago, the reason I was leaving this blog was due, in part, to my participation in revenue sharing sites (RSS). I felt, at the time, this blog was just a waste of my time. What I did not expect was that I would miss this old blog. However, as I will explain further, revenue sharing sites do have their drawbacks. This is particularly true of the most popular sites that share revenue with their authors. Another reason I left was that I needed to devote more time to getting my novel published. I have decided on another avenue to get this deed done, once and for all. I will talk more on this in a future post.

There are many revenue sharing sites. Some are not worth the time to even register. Some are more valuable just for backlinks. Still there are some good sites out there in the internet world. I think one that qualifies for this category is SheToldMe. You get 100% of the revenue. But, the problem is that there is not much in the way of traffic as compared to the other two RSS I will mention here. I have gotten traffic from this site. But, I have been on this site for about eight months. In that time, I have made about $3.00. Now, my case is not indicative of everyone. I want to make that clear now. But, just exchanging email with others, this site lacks in consistent traffic to generate a passive income.

The other two big players in RSS are HubPages and Xomba. Hubpages (HP)is mystery to me. I read of many people who say they make hundreds, some make thousands of dollars a month on HP. I guess I am just running in the wrong circle of people. I have met a few who consistently make about $20.00 a month on HP. But, I don't personally know anyone who makes money in the hundreds of dollars on HP. Adsense placement is well developed on the "hubs" you create. However, I personally only make about $5.00 a month on HP. It may be my topics. My overwhelming topic of choice is Politics. I get a good number of visitors. But, strangely, I get few clicks on ads. Most of the ads are relevant to the hub content. Same thing for hubs I make on creative writing and job interview hubs. I don't get as much traffic on the creative writing hubs. But, I get lots of traffic on the job interview hubs. Again, little in the way of clicks. I don't understand it. Another thing about Hubpages; they have rules that are seemingly arbitrary in nature. You can get in trouble even if you follow their rules. It doesn't make for a pleasant experience there. My time there may at an end before much longer.

My greatest success has come on Xomba. I get lots of traffic and get a fair number of clicks. Xomba is in the middle of a "makeover" of their site. I like all the improvements thus far. Things had gotten a bit stale there. But, I really enjoy my time on Xomba. Sure, they have rules. But, all their rules are well stated and there is no confusion over what they are. Everything is spelled out clearly for you. The thing about Xomba, you can make booksmarks there and get traffic. Each bookmark now must have at least 100 words in the body of the post. I think that is a good thing. There was only 50 words until just recently. The article word count has increased also. Again, this is a good thing. If I had to pick what I consider the best RSS, it would definitely be Xomba.

I may try other revenue sharing sites in the weeks and months a head. But, HubPages and Xomba are my main two right now. I don't see that changing right now. If you enjoy writing, I encourage you to give revenue sharing sites a try. If you can make money at something you enjoy, that makes it even sweeter!


Super Bowl Sunday

For a change, I am actually interested in the Super Bowl. The reason for that is due to the fact my favorite NFL team, the Green Bay Packers, are in the Super Bowl. I've been a Green Bay fan since way back in the day. I rarely watch the NFL games unless Green Bay is involved. If I do watch the Super Bowl, it is due to the ads. I lost interest in the pro games when the salaries started skyrocketing and the players seemingly lost interest. That is just my opinion, of course. I prefer the college game. There is more pageantry, more excitement and more interest since "State U." is playing. Again, that is just my opinion. Anyway, I plan on watching the Super Bowl today in its entirety. It should be an exciting game. It should be a very close game. I think Green Bay pulls it out at the end. I really worry about the Steeler's defense. I just believe Aaron Rogers can overcome it.

One other interesting item of note; U.S. Steel is warning its workers not to call in sick if their shift is during and after the game. The unusual warning by U.S. Steel was met with some disdain by the steel workers union. I would imagine some sort of radio broadcast will be made available to those working during the game. I don't know if that is feasible or not. I would think there is so much noise in the manufacturing of steel it would be impossible to hear the broadcast. There will probably be a lot of bathroom breaks during the game.

The sad thing is that this is the last football game of the season. I love college football. It is just my preference as I stated above. It seems during these long winter months that the game of autumn is eons away. But, it is amazing how quickly the months fly by. Major League Baseball just doesn't interest me that much. I loved it when I was a kid. But, now, I can't even remember the last time I watched a baseball game. I am already eagerly waiting for the football season to start again in about six or seven months from now!


Things Learned in the Past Six Months

In my six month absence, there have been several things I have learned. One, of course, is that I missed this blog. I have participated in several revenue sharing sites, such as Xomba, HubPages and Snipsey. Now, I have to admit I have not made a fortune on any of these sites. They are quite restrictive in what you can post and not post. I have freedom to basically post whatever I wish on this blog as long as I stay within the confines of rules set forth by Blogger.com.

When I left this blog, I felt that blogging was on its way out the door. I was wrong about that in some respects. It seems with the advent of iPad and other ereaders, there is more demand for information out there. Blogging itself was stagnant back in 2010. I was getting bored with it all. Plus, I had to deal with some jackasses who whined about what I posted here on my own blog. That is behind me. I would be remiss not to mention the effect that instant micro-blogging sites such as Twitter has damaged the art of the blog. It seems that people think they can make a point with hyphenated words in 140 characters these days. A lot of people seem to think they can. But, I simply disagree (although I do have a Twitter account). But, I do think blogging has seen its heyday. I'm not even sure how long I will continue this blog even though I am back. But, I don't plan on leaving any time soon.

I also learned that one should never ignore warning signs that you body gives you. In late September of 2010, my stomach was sending signals that I should have heeded. As it turns out, I had to have emergency gall bladder surgery. My gall bladder was swollen so large, it nearly burst. It had gotten so big with gangrene, that surgeons had to delicately take it out. That was a learning experience I will never forget. It almost cost me my life. I urge you to never ignore warning signals your body sends to you.

Finally, I learned that getting my novel published was not going to be done the old conventional way. I had hoped to get it published by a big publishing house with the aid of a literary agent. I was delusional to this was going to happen. Now, I am convinced the only way is to go the ebook route. It is the wave of the future. In fact, Amazon stated just a couple of weeks ago that it sold more ebooks than paperback books for the first time. That was an earth shattering moment in the publishing world. Like the dinosaur, the hard copies of books is dead. They just don't know it yet.


I'm Back

After an absence of over six months, I decided to open David's Musings back up. Why? Well, basically, I missed my old blog. Sure, I participate at a bunch of revenue sharing sites now. That was the main reason I quit posting here. In fact, when I left, I had made up my mind that I would never be back. Funny how life throws curve balls at you. Regardless, here I am.

I intend to post weekly now. I may post once a week or three times or even more. It is up to me. I got to the point I felt I HAD to post 4 or 5 times a week. No longer being the case, I now feel I no longer will feel guilty if I don't post. I just let little things bother me. I will be back using Entrecard again after I get a few more posts online. I also will be doing sponsered postings as well. I had refused to do that in the past. So, to all subscribers, and regular readers, I am back. Look for another post soon.

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