Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Amazing Hidden Secret To Blogging Success

In the past few weeks I've jumped feet first into blogging. As much time as I've put into blogging, the most time has been spent reading other blogs, and learning how to be a better blogger. Time and time again, I've read articles claiming to have some great secrets to how to make your blog a super great success. Most of these articles have covered the same information time and time again.
Reading through it all I've discovered the one secret that none of them contain. Here it is. There is no secret. Success comes down to two things; great content and letting people know about that content. These two topics have been covered extremely well by bloggers with years of experience. I can't possibly add any new insight but maybe these ideas or new to someone reading this.
First, before anything else, you need great content. Without anything to write about your blog has no purpose. If you have something you are passionate about, usually the content will take care of itself.
Presentation of the content is also very import. People won't read your blog if it is too much work to do so. Grammar and spelling are very important. So is the visual presentation. You don't want a garish presentation or text that is hard to read. This is something I'm still trying to improve upon but it goes a long way. You don't want someone to find your page and then click away without ever reading it.
But how do you get people to read your wonderfully well laid out content? You have to let them know about it. That means getting the word out. One great thing about the internet is that it is very viral. If you let one person know about your blog and they like it, they will tell another, then another, and so on. In time your readership will grow exponentially if you get the word out.
The first thing you can do is tell your friends and family that you have started a blog. They are a built in audiece. They are already interested in you. Out of pure friendship they will check out your blog. Don't just stop there. Ask them to advertise for you. If they have a blog, ask them to put a link to your blog on their blog.
Link building is one of the most important things you can do. The more links that point to your site the more access points your blog has. Submit to directories. Ask people who blog about similar topics to you to link to you. Search engines love sites with many incoming links.
Ah search engines. So much is talked about search engine optimization. SEO is about getting your page to rank high in search engines. Search engines bring in traffic from people who are looking for what you are writing about. They want your information. I won't write much about SEO because there is so much out there. The key is figuring out what you are talking about, identifying those keywords, and using them frequently. If you would like to know more just do a search for search engine optimization and you will find a plethora of information.
Another way to get your blog noticed is commenting on other blogs. The best part of scouring the net for blogs to comment on is you get to see what is working for other people. The most important thing about commenting is to keep it on topic. Nobody likes receiving spam. If you keep the comment on topic, and offer valuable insight, people will come back to your blog to see what else the brilliant author has to say.
After you have quality articles you can join socail bookmarking sites such as the ones you see in the scroll down list below this post. They can bring a ton of traffic just make sure your server is up to the task and you have something to add. Sometimes they can be a little cliquish, and shun the outsider, but eventually you will break through with your quality content. For me, I have had the most success with reddit. Use several and see what works for you.
In summary, the secret to blogging success is that their is no secret. Be wary of any site offering some unkown secret. In the long term, hard work is what pays off. Write quality content, let others know about it, and eventually you will find your audience. Be prepared to be in it for the long haul and continue blogging. Success will be yours.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Streets are for cars

Notice to all pedestrians, streets are for cars. Not too recently, great minds came up with an invention called sidewalks. Sidewalks are great things. They give pedestrians a safe place to walk without being hit by cars. You should not walk on streets except at designated crosswalks. Even when in a crosswalk, it is only safe to cross when the light says cross. Most importantly parents need to learn about the benefits of sidewalks. You might not value your life, but that gives you no right to endanger your children.
Sure, no matter what pedestrians have the right of way. But in the end, who is going to be more inconvenienced if you don't follow my advice? The motorist who has to explain to the police that it was an accident; or the dead pedestrian? Sometimes I have to question if I really feel like stopping for some inconsiderate pedestrian. Maybe when you decide to get in my way I might decide not to stop.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Cops Don't Deserve Our Respect

"Police officers are just doing their jobs." That's the common defense I usually hear for cops. Nazi storm troopers were just doing their jobs too. At least they had some kind of goal they were trying to achieve. Police are just trying to feed their own egos.
You have to ask yourself, "Why does one become a police officer?" Do they want to help others? If that was the case, he would have become a paramedic, or a firefighter, or maybe even have joined the Peace Corps. An individual becomes a police officer to have power over others. Their whole lives they felt insignificant and found the one job they are capable of doing to have power over others. If they had the skills and mental stability to get a better job they would.
Why do we as a society allow sociopaths to be the enforcers of justice? If the people protecting our streets aren't mentally sound, how can the streets ever be safe? How can we as a country entrust our freedom to people who are only out for themselves?

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Critique My Blog

One thing I like about blogging is finding various different blogs with varied topics. Today I found a very good resource called Critique My Blog. You can read reviews of a multitude of differnt blogs plus submit your own blog for review. Also, it is loaded with helpful hints and trip on improving your blog.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

California, the land of the sue happy idiots

Here comes another in a long line of stupid lawsuits. California is suing 6 auto manufacturers for polluting their states with greenhouse gases from the vehicles they produce. Why not sue the farmers for the cow farts? Or themselves for their own farts? Maybe I shouldn't give them any ideas. Farts may be outlawed in California soon.
Not every problem can be resolved by suing the producer of the problem. Perhaps California should be using the millions they will waste on this law suit towards fixing their problems of traffic congestion. Marlboro doesn't make people smoke, McDonalds doesn't make people fat, and car manufacturers doesn't make pollution. Individuals do. If California doesn't want to be a polluted cesspool they need to stop polluting. All this will do is waste the tax payers and auto manufactures money.

Monday, September 18, 2006

The 15% rule does not apply to delivery

Everybody knows that you tip your waiter 15% of your total bill. For the most part, this system works. If you order a coffee and a danish your bill is small and your tip is small. Order appetizers, drinks, an entree, and desert, your waiter works more and your tip is more. Works pretty well.
On delivery it doesn't work quite as well. A driver's greatest effort is usually driving to your location. Whether you order a small pizza and a coke, or you order 4 x-large pizzas, the driver still does the about the same amount of work. This is why the 15% system does not work for delivery. If you have a small order, and tip a small amount, he makes less than if he was taking another order instead.
A base tip should begin at $3.00. If the order is particularly large, then you tip more. If you have special requests you tip more. If the driver is exceptional you tip more. Most importantly, if you cost the driver time or keep him waiting you tip more. The old adage that time is money definitely holds true for drivers. The more deliveries they take the more money they make.
Nobody can make you tip more except your own moral voice. I'm just letting you know when you give 6.00 on a $5.23 order your service suffers. Drivers talk to each other. They know who the bad tippers are. If you just chose to be a bad tipper then you chose to get poor service. However, it has come to my attention time and time again people think the 15% rule applies to delivery. It simply doesn't.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Mother Nature is Helping to Improve the Illegal Immigration Situation

Story Here
Last year 427 people died attempting to cross the border, mainly from exposure. I say good. Mother Nature is helping us with our problem. Now our bleeding heart elected officials want to help them. They have introduced the Border Death Reduction Act to the senate. This bill calls for beacons where border jumpers can call for help. After being helped they would then be deported. Why bother wasting our money helping them when they can just stop ever being a problem again? It's not like anyone held a gun to their heads and told them to run out into the desert and risk their lives. The only good part of the bill is that it includes stiffer penalties for human smugglers. Still, if you don't want to go through legal channels to get here and would rather break our laws and take your chances in the desert, then take your chances in the desert. Not our problem.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

America, the land of the free

America is the land of the free, right? That is what they told us in grade school. America is the free-est country in the world. Then why are we the world's leaders in imprisoning our population? Over 2 million Americans are incarcerated right now. 60% of those people are in jail for victimless crimes. Isn't freedom being allowed to do whatever you want to do as long as it doesn't impede on the freedoms of others? Then why are so many of our fellow Americans incarcerated. Prison is the opposite of freedom. In prison you are stripped of all your freedoms.
Did our forefathers not demand that we have the right to pursue happiness? One person's pursuit of happiness might involve getting high. Another's might be gambling. Another's might be consorting with prostititutes. Whatever someone's idea of happiness is America's government has no right denying it. As long as America continues to deny freedom to those whose happiness is not popular, and does not impede on others, we can not be regarded as the land of the free anymore.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Stereotyping is not wrong

Black people are loud in movie theaters. Oh-no he didn't just say that. Am I racist because I said that? Maybe it is a socio-economic factor how people behave in a public situation? Wouldn't that be stereotyping poor people?
Let's look at a more meaningful situation where stereotypes might come in to play. Say you are in a dark alley. To your right is a group of black males in their mid-twenties dressed like they just stepped out of a rap video. To the left is a group of conservatively dressed middle aged women. Which direction are you going? I feel confident that you chose your left. Maybe the group to your right actually did just step out of a rap video and you could of met a celebrity and had a story to tell your friends. Maybe the group of women just escaped from a mental institution and are looking for prey. You never know, but what you know already told you what the safer bet is.
Stereotypes in themselves are never wrong. Your mind creates them to make sense of the world. If you did not have built in stereotypes you would never know how to react when encountering new people. Making stereotypes does not make you a racist. It just makes you a human being using an important life skill.
The danger of stereotypes is when you refuse to let go of them. Nobody ever conforms to all of the stereotypes you have assigned to them. When you have no other information to go on then your best bet is to reference your stereotypes. But you also need to make the effort to learn about each individual. Every group of people has some really great people; just as every group has people that are absolute scum. When given the chance, take the time to really know everyone you meet. You will meet people of all different backgrounds that will make your world a much more interesting place. If you happen to talk to a black person, tell them to shut up when I'm watching a movie.

Saturday, September 09, 2006


I was watching Cartoon network of all things and saw something really dorky but really interesting. Robocup is a project in artificial intelligence where they have leagues in which people program robots to play soccer competitively. The most fascinating league to me is the one where they reprogram the code in Sony Aibo dogs to enable them to play soccer. Basically, they delete the Aibo's original program, which enables them to follow you around like a real dog would, and then replace it with a new program so it can make basic judgment calls and play soccer with other Aibo's. Picture if you can a bunch of plastic dogs running pushing little balls. They even have goalie dogs.
Although I enjoy watching little robot dogs running around playing soccer I wonder how far AI has to go. Haven't these people watched T2? If we can teach robots to play soccer how much longer is it until judgment day? I do appreciate where this technology is going. Robot dogs can play soccer for us? That's great. Robot firefighters could save human lives? Even better. Robots could go and fight our wars for us? Well, it's better than humans dying in wars. I'm just worried about how far it will go. I don't mind the idea of robots going to war; I just don't want them going to war on us.
It seems to me that if we don't be careful about how far AI technology goes, it may just get out of our control. Maybe you think it's just the stuff of Hollywood, but computer intelligence is growing at a rapid pace. It is not a question of if, but of when robots and computers are more intelligent than us. The only hope I see is that they never develop human characteristics like pride and ego and that they stay content doing their jobs. If not, surely we as a race will be undone by what we created.

Friday, September 08, 2006

A real tragedy occurring in Uganda

A couple of nights ago I wrote about how what happened in New Orleans was not a tragedy. Tonight I watched a documentary about a real tragedy occurring in Uganda that is not widely known about and even less is being done about. Over 12,000 children have been abducted and forced to join the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA). Coerced by fear and actual violence, they are brainwashed into killing machines. Typically they look for children between the ages of 5 and 12 because they younger they are the easier they are to indoctrinate.
Every day all they see is violence. All they learn about is violence. Insubordination is never allowed. To speak up is to be killed. And it's not just boys that are forced into the army. Girls are abducted too. Rape is a given for any young women. Of the escaped females, almost all have some form of sexually transmitted disease including HIV.
The children forced into the LRA are not alone in the suffering. Tens of thousand of children flee to the city's to sleep in shelters to avoid capture. Staying at home is far too dangerous. Conditions in these shelters are horrible. Packed right on top of each other they sleep like discarded trash surrounded by filth and disease. There no way they can go to school. Schools are the LRA's favorite targets. It is estimated that 80% of the population has been affected by this.
I hope by now you are wondering what you can do. First is to be aware. Now that you are aware find out more. Let others know about what is going on. Be active. Let our government know that something must be done. We spend way too much effort trying to solve the world's problems and this is one problem that needs to be solved.
Thank you for paying attention to what I have to say about this horrible tragedy.

I got a new job

Today I started working at Aver's Pizza as a delivery driver. I really don't want to be a delivery driver but at least I have money in my pocket until I find a quality job. So if you happen to live in Bloomington, maybe you would like to order a pizza from Aver's. Try to remember to give the driver a good tip. They work hard and brought you your food because you didn't feel like getting it yourself.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Hurricane Katrina wasn't a Tragedy

A predictable event can not be considered a tragedy. New Orleans is a gulf coast city. Also, they knew when, not if, a large hurricane hit the levees would not hold. I feel no sympathy. Many times I think to myself that it would be great to live in sunny California. Then I remember, "oh yeah, California is on a major fault line, sooner or later, everyone living there is going to die." Then I quickly decide I would rather not live there.
I have lost everything to events outside of my control. Two and a half years ago I lost everything in a fire. There was no way for me to know it was coming. Next thing I knew everything I ever had was in ashes. If I wanted to feel sorry for myself I could consider that a tragedy.
I understand what it feels like to lose everything in moments. I have also experienced the unexpected loss of loved ones. The major difference is I had no control over it. That is the tragedy of life. You lose the most important things to you and have no control over it. So why the hell should I feel sympathy for the irresponsable residents of New Orleans?

This post was inspired by Panthergirl calling it America's Holocaust here.

Neat Things

Who doesn't like neat things? I guess it depends on how you define them. So if you define neat things as ddr, life as a web b.s. student, and technobabble, maybe you should check out Neat Things.

Feedback on my car list

I posted my car list on and this is the thread about my car list. First of all, my list is an enthusiast's list. It is not a business list like the Forbes list. Several of the vehicles on their list aren't even cars. A truck has no place on a car list. Also why would you say a list is the worst ever if you can't even give one reason why? I wrote my list because I want feedback but that is the worst feedback ever. "Worst list ever" is absolutely meaningless. If you have a better list let me see it.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Stephanie is an artistic mastermind!

I added a link to my sister's deviant art page. She is really creative and worth checking out. In other news there is news about my job search. Finally, I am starting to get interviews. Nothing is certain yet so I'll keep my mouth shut for the time being.

10 Greatest Japanase Import Cars Of All Time

This is my personal list of the 10 greatest japanese import cars of all time. Whenever a list like this is made someone is bound to disagree. Please feel free to let me know your opinions. This is not the 10 best, fastest, or most likely to win in a race. In my opinion, these are the 10 greatest cars when you combine performance, value, historical impact, and overall mad jdm hotness.
10. Acura NSX- This car only makes it to number 10 because of its price tag. It may not be the fastest car on the road but it will leave the longest snail trail behind it.
9. Miata- Definately not a fast car in a straight line but its lightweight and nearly perfectly balanced. The only major downside is that it is considered a girls car.
8. S2000- Cool in much the same way without being seen as a girls car. Add in the mighty veetak and you might just be able to beat someone in a straight line.
7. 240sx- Cheap, lightweight, rwd, and easy to swap a sr20 motor into for mind blowing turbo power. Played a big part in the explosive popularity of drifting.
6. RX-7- Well balanced and twin turbo power. Nearly a perfect car but hampered by peoples fears of the rotary power plant.
5. Corolla GT-S- The venerable hachiroku. Everything a cheap car should be. Light, balanced, rwd, and modifiable. What the 240sx is to drifting in the us, the 86 is to drifting period.
4. Evo- Ever since the first Gran Turismo, every fan boys dream. The ultimate street car. Now that Mitsubishi has brought it to America it is no longer a dream.
3. STi- Same as the above but with more torque and fit and finish.
2. MkIV Supra- Capable of over 1,000 hp on a stock block. Dyno's is where this car shines. Plus the Fast and Furious has forever enshrined this car as the car to have.
1. EG Civic- Probally the slowest car on this list stock. Wrong wheel drive. Just another pos grocery getter. Doesn't matter. We wouldn't be talking about imports if it wasn't for the Civic. It is the car that made the scene. Everybodies mom had one and and then everone and there mom was racing one.

Honorable mentions- Integra TypeR, Civic Si, CRX, Eclipse GSX, 300zx, and Skyline GT-R.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Heres a geeky little comic quiz I found

1. Which comic company is your favorite? Image remains my favorite. They gave creators a place to truly profit from their work and gave an alternative to the big two.
2.Who is your favorite character and why? Mr. Cole Cash a.k.a The Grifter. Mostly just because Jim Lee draws him so cool but also because I can relate to his attitude and ideals.
3. Do you prefer villians or heroes? I prefer heroes because villians are usually one dimensional. Also by definition the villian is the one doing the wrong thing. In a Afgahanistani comic Osama would be the heroe and Sgt. Rock the villian.
4. If you could be any comic character who would you be? The obvious answer is Longshot. No matter the situation the luckiest one will come out on top. Like maybe I can't beat the Hulk with my strength but if he slip on a banana peel and crack his dome open then I'm the lucky winner.
5. Comic Books to Movies: Do you prefer it when the movie sticks to the comic story line or strays off with their own creative license? You have to accept that comic books and movies are two different mediums and the story needs to be told in different ways. That being said, the movie should still respect the source material.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Second post of all time

Not much has happened since yesterday. Haven't done anything on the job front. The good lord got one day of rest so why shouldn't I. Tomorow I will have to get real hardcore about job hunting. Of course, if anyone out there is looking for a hard working great guy to hire in the Bloomington area I just may be your guy.
The sad thing about realizing my job prospects aren't so good right now is that I decided to drop my online classes I was going to take. I would have to buy books by Monday and make 2 more payments so I dropped them. In the big picture its not that big of a deal because I can still finish my associates before leaving Indiana. I just worry if my education gets put on the back burner it may stay there.
I guess I should tell you about my education goals. My plan is to finish my associates in Business Administration while Abby attends Indiana. Staring next semester I plan to take Japanese at IU. After Abby applies to graduate school I will tranfer with her and get a Bachelor's in International Business and probally another major in Japanese.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

My first post

This is my first blog post ever. Maybe you already read the about me but I will tell you a little about my self. I am a 29 year old male that just moved to Bloomington, Idiana. I moved here because my girl transfrered to Indiana University as a psychology student. Other than her and my 4 year old son I don't really know anyone here yet. My neighbors seem nice but I haven't really gotten to know them much.
The biggest thing in my life right now is looking for a J-O-B. It seems there are a million worthless minimum wage jobs but not very much of anything else. Being that my girl feels it is absolutely necesary for my son to be in day care minimum wage is not going to cut it. Usually I can at least get a job as a delivery driver and make almost decent money but I've put in 8 or 9 applications and haven't even recieved a call yet. Maybe I just need to give it a little more time. I've only been looking for a little over a week.
Before I lived here I lived in Germantown, Maryland. Germantown is in Montgomery County which is a suburb of Washington, D.C.. I lived there since 1991. Pretty much it's a shithole but it was my shithole for the last 15 years. Before that I moved around a lot as a kid and it was nice to have an area that felt like you knew it. That is the hardest part of living all the way out here. I feel like I don't know anything about it. I don't even know where to look for a job because I don't even know where anything is.
Anyway that is the situation I am in now. In the future I would probally expect a lot of opinionated ramblings. I might be opinionated but given enough time, I can usually get people realizing that I'm right. Unless your my girl Abby. She always tells me my opinions are ignorant, close minded, and foolish. However, she's always wrong so her opinion doesn't matter. I love her anyway.
I'm sure by the end of this nobody is still reading but if you are let me know.