7/28/2011

Links to Commercial Sites

For the past few months since I started this blog back up (after a six month hiatus), I have noticed a lot of requests for a link exchange. I'm not sure why. Right now, this is only a PR3 site. I was briefly (ever so briefly) a PR4 site for three weeks this month. I got a lot of requests during those three weeks. But, it seems that the requests have backed off somewhat. What has gotten bad is the people making comments with a link back to a commercial site. That is something I am not going to allow. As long as I am charging advertisers on this site, a link back to a commercial site is not happening. It's only fair. Now, some people will make comments such as "Great blog, I enjoyed it!' and then link back to a commercial enterprise. Those comments are considered spam by me and are quickly deleted. This blog holds comments in moderation. That means that the link is not made unless I approve or reject it. Lately, I have been rejecting a lot of comments that are obviously trying to get around my rule about linking back to a commercial site. I also check my Shout Box on the lower right-hand side of this blog. I look for links there also.

If you link back to your blog, a non-commercial site or non-profit organization, I will allow that in the comments section. I will not allow a link back to a business, commercial enterprise, get rich schemes or anything to do with porn. I always, ALWAYS check the links in comments. One comment had six links to commercial business sites. That one was quickly deleted. One person just this week made a good comment on my post, "External Hard Drives: Obsolete." Unfortunately, he made a link back to a commercial site. I had to delete it. I try and catch the links in the Shout Box widget. It's jut not fair to the advertisers or future sponsors of this blog. If you have a blog that is not related to any commercial enterprise, then your linking here is welcome.





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7/25/2011

External Hard Drives: Obsolete?

About four months ago, I bought a Seagate 1 terabyte external hard drive from Amazon for what I thought was the ridiculous price of just $49.99. I remember just a couple of years ago you could not get one of these for less than $200. So, I jumped at the chance to buy one those external hard drives to solve all my backup woes. It even came with a software program that automatically backed up all your data for you. Unfortunately, that program was only for thirty days before you had to pay $29.99. I felt that price was about $10 too high. I have refused to pay it. So, I have to manually back up my data from my computer to my Seagate Hard Drive. It's no big deal. But, that was before I got an email from Comcast. They have a program where they give you three gigabytes for free with their backup program (which I believe is Mozy). So, I decided you can never have too many backup programs. Three gigabytes was more than enough to backup all my data from my computer.

In fact, this Comcast program works so well, that I really see no need for my external hard drive any longer. Carbonite, Mozy and iDrive are just three online backup sites to utilize now. This external hard drive is just taking up desk space. So, the thought occurred to me, now I understand why Amazon sold this Seagate Hard Drive so cheaply. They are going the way of the Zip Drive, that long ago backup system. I think if you read this article (link), you can get a better grasp of how technology is rapidly evolving. I still remember fondly the old VCR. I'll never get over the excitement of being able to rent a movie anytime I wanted one. But, like the external hard drive, the VCR has seen its better days.

I'll still use my Seagate external hard drive to store music files and pics. Like all hard drives, they are susceptible to crashes. I'd rather take my chances with something free like the Comcast online backup program. If you blink your eyes in today's ever changing world, you are apt to miss something. It still amazes me how technology changes so quickly.





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7/22/2011

PageRank Update for 2011 - Addendum

Well that sure as hell didn't last long! As I reported in my blog post "PageRank Update for 2011" this blog was moved up a notch from a PR3 to a PR4. This happened late June. But, I did not notice it until July 4th. I had been a PR3 for almost three years. I thought the move up was well justified. Moving me back down to PR3 was unjustified in my not so biased opinion. Two updates in one month by Google? The second update took place on July 18, 2011, this past Monday. It is preposterous. It seems that blogs everywhere took a dip. I know one blog that had been a PR3 and got knocked down to PR0. I know, I know PageRank doesn't mean as much as it once did. Even Google says this. But, try telling that to advertisers and sponsors who still think PageRank is the main thing to traffic and visits back to their site. I was in the running for a huge payday from a sponsor in the three figures range. All they wanted was a link back to their site. Now? Now, I have not heard back from them. Gee, I wonder why.

I have promised myself I am going to quit paying any attention to PageRank and Alexa. Yeah, the icons are still there. Eventually, I will just delete them. Right now, I'm just completely mystified by Google. There appears to be no rhyme or reason to their rankings. The fact Google upgraded themselves from PR9 to PR10 tells me all I need to know about this sham of a ranking system. The adsense being disabled should have been a clue to me. I still haven't gotten over that. But, to hell with them now. I was a PR4 for about three weeks!!! What kind of idiocy is that?!?! Google thinks they are invincible. Nobody is invincible. Someday, Google will find this out.


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7/18/2011

The Greatest Generation Summary

Right now, on Hub Pages, I am doing a series on the "Greatest Generation." This is in reference to Tom Brokaw's book "The Greatest Generation." The generation that fought and defeated Nazi Germany is, in my mind, unequivocally the greatest generation. Why? It's very simple (and I think this summarizes it), if not for the generation of WWII, there most likely would be no Jews on earth or any other minority group. Hitler, had he won the war, would have eliminated all minorities, mentally disabled or physically disabled people. He would have also eliminated all dissenters as well. Losing the war was not an option for "The Greatest Generation." They had to win. There was no other choice. Some may argue that the USA would never have submitted to Hitler and Nazi Germany. But, Germany, as we now know, was developing the atomic bomb and a launch platform that would have delivered it to the east coast (New York City most likely) of the United States. How long would we have lasted after our cities resembled Hiroshima? We would have sued for peace most likely. I shudder to think what our terms for peace would have been.

The name of the series on Hub Pages is "Letters Home from the Greatest Generation." You can read Part I by clicking HERE. I am working on Part IV now. I expect to publish it sometime this week, probably on Saturday night. It is a tribute to my late Uncle John who died at age 89 this past January. These are letters to his mother (my grandma) and his sweetheart, Alice. Some are quite graphic as well. So, reader beware if you are the squeamish type.

The Greatest Generation is oft times up for debate. Some say the generation of our forefathers during the American Revolution were the greatest generation. Some will say the generation of the Civil War, the generation of the Civil Rights protests and so on. All have valid arguments. But, Hitler and Nazi Germany were the most dangerous regime this world has ever known. Six million Jews are proof these people had to be stopped. Germany had suffered greatly at the hands of Allied bombing campaigns. So, I suppose one could argue that Germany would have simply settled for pre-War boundaries. But, Eisenhower made it clear; unconditional surrender was the only objective. I think the conclusion is clear. The generation that stopped a madman, a man intent on world domination and ethnic cleansing, is without a doubt, truly "The Greatest Generation."




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7/14/2011

Mixing Concrete for Mailbox

We have finally begun to get our share of rain here on the gulf coast. It rains practically every afternoon now. I'm not complaining, of course. We have been under drought conditions for most of this year. But, with our daily rainstorms comes the expected problems. One such problem was my old mailbox. That mailbox has been leaning toward the road ever since I moved into this house six years ago. I knew eventually it would need repair or outright replacement. This past Saturday, I came home from lunch to discover my old mailbox was leaning further than the Leaning Tower of Pisa thanks to a violent morning thunderstorm. I knew I could no longer delay the inevitable. So, a decision had to be made; repair or replacement. I opted for the former. I think the old wood post has a few years left in it. The mailbox itself has a dent. But, I don't care about that. So, off to Lowe's I went.

The hole had already been dug from the previous owner. So, I decided not to fix something that wasn't broken. But, I wanted this fix to last a few more years. I decided on concrete. The problem is that I have never worked with concrete in my life. I found a 40lb bag of Quikrete. Now, for most people, this doesn't sound like a big deal. I have never been what you would call a "handyman" around the house. But, I felt I could do this. So, I got the 40lb bag, a 5lb bag of small pebbles to place on the concrete once it was dry. I wasn't exactly sure how to go about this. So, I read the instructions and it stated 3 liters of water for the 40lb bag of concrete. I tried that but it wasn't enough water. All I had was an immovable sludge. So, I added more water until I had the consistency of oatmeal (which I detest by the way). I mixed it really well with the pipe I had and started pouring it around the post of the mailbox. I then got one of those plastic knifes you use to smooth out icing on a cake (go ahead and laugh) to smooth out the concrete.

I'm proud to say that a retired bricklayer, down the street from me, complimented me on the job I did. He said he couldn't have done a better job himself. I don't know if he was just joking or what. But, the old mailbox with post is set solid and still has a few more years of use left in it. I even got some Thompson's WaterSeal to spray on the post to prolong it's life as well. And, while I was at it, I got some Gorilla Glue so I wouldn't have to worry about the shaky mailbox falling off the post. It is solidly on the post as well. Based on the financial condition of the U.S. Postal Service, it is entirely possible that this old mailbox and post could possibly outlive this venerable government agency.



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7/08/2011

PageRank Update for 2011

I started this blog way back on April 5, 2008. I honestly had no gameplan for this blog. I just wanted to share my thoughts on things, my life and current events. When I started this blog up, I had no idea what "PageRank" meant. I soon discovered to bloggers and web site owners alike, this PageRank thing was the "holy grail" among people. I really didn't think much of it. I mean, it was nice to get people to visit and comment occasionally. But, I honestly was doing this for my own amusement. In Septemeber of 2008, I noticed something unusual. I went from 0 PageRank to a PR3. I can't tell you how astounded I was by that revelation. I thought I had to do all sorts of SEO, backlinking, paid advertising, blah, blah. I didn't do anything. But, I got that PR3 fairly quickly. So, I figured I'd be getting a PR4 fairly soon. To quote a rental car commercial; "Not exactly."

I started actively trying to get my PageRank even higher. But, no matter how hard I tried, nothing worked. So, there that PageRank sat...PR3 just blaring in my face for THREE YEARS. This past Monday, after a day of grilling out for July 4th, I came in to check out my blog for reasons I can't remember. I noticed something odd. My PAGERANK WAS NOW A PR4!!!!! Again, I was astounded. Now, I confess I worked at getting backlinks this time. But, I did not spend an inordinate amount of time doing it. But, I did notice something....many different sites were linking to me. That baffled me as well. I really had given up on my PageRank ever getting higher than a PR3. I really didn't care any longer. But, just when you think it won't happen, it happens. I don't know if this is Google's way of making up to me of disabling my adsense account or not. Ok, I doubt that. Google doesn't give a damn about an obscure little blog like this one. But, since the Adsense ads are now gone, my PageRank went up. Who knew?

Now, I have visited other blogs that have had a decrease in their PageRank. I am fully aware of that possibility happening to me as well. Yes, I know PageRank is not viewed as being important as it once was on the internet. But, tell that to sponsors. The PageRank is still the standard to advertisers. This may just be a temporary little uptick for this old blog. Then again, who knows what will happen? I don't understand how Google operates (such as disabling my Adsense account for "invalid activity"). They are as secretive as any government intelligence agency. But, for right now, I'm going to enjoy this little uptick in PageRank. It may just last until the next update. But, again, so what. I can say I had my day in the sun.








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7/05/2011

Twilight Zone: Where Is Everybody?

Just to show how old I am, I remember when the Twilight Zone series was on the CBS (I think it was CBS....could be wrong) lineup each week. Yes, it was in black and white. I can't watch it in color for some reason. There are episodes that were "colorized" for some reason. I just can't watch Rod Serling smoke those cigarettes in color. It was those cigarettes that ultimately killed Mr. Serling. He was a young 50 years old at the time of his death. After the Twilight Zone, Rod Serling went on to host "Night Gallery," an equally macabre horror series. But, to me, the Twilight Zone was the better of the two. Humor was mixed in with political statements that didn't really come across as political. For example, a lot of the Twilight Zone episodes dwelled on nuclear annihilation. The Cold War was really "hot" during this time period. That reflected in many of the episodes.

I suppose everyone has a favorite episode of the Twilight Zone. I have always liked "Willoughby." I liked "Walking Distance" as well. But, my favorite episode has to be "Where is Everybody?" It involved a man that woke up from a sleep, found himself in a military uniform and struck out into an unfamiliar town. The problem was that there was no one around. Coffee was still hot at a cafe, jukebox is playing, newspapers were in the rack, and other signs of life. He became paranoid, striking out at everything. He just lost it. Finally, he pushes a "walk button." As we later find out, it was actually a panic button. He was part of a military experiment to test the effects of isolation for a manned trip to the moon. "Where is Everybody" stuck with me as a kid and on up to my adult life. I eventually wrote a novel somewhat similar to this. "Diary: Alone on Earth" is due to be released in ebook format sometime this year. I quit trying the traditional publishing route or self-publishing.

"Where is Everybody" is my favorite Twilight Zone episode as I stated. It is difficult to pick just one. I like most of them. But, "Where is Everybody" is the one that had the most effect on me. I find the entire plot, storyline fascinating.




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