Saturday, December 23, 2006

Wireless at RDU

The difference between a good airport and a great airport is how comfortable and convenient they make your travel. Last year when I flew out of Charlotte and Nashville, I was able to use the FREE wireless Internet service at these busy airports. I updated my sisters and my children with a few emails. I made myself a valuable employee by doing a little work. Before I knew it, my flights were ready to wing me across the country.

Today I called RDU to see how far into the 21st century they have progressed. Yes, they have wireless Internet connections. Great! ...for a fee of $10. What! Why? With wireless so prevalent and inexpensive, even the McDonald's in my area have free wireless access.

Maybe if I arrive several hours ahead of my flight, I could justify this ridiculous charge. Yet, why does RDU charge? Mainly, because they can get away with it. They have so many business travelers passing through who need the service. It's like having your own unlimited supply of water and then charging people for drink during a drought.

Oh well. My flight will take almost 8 hours. I know my laptop battery won't last the trip. I'll just bring several books and my sketch pad.

Getting online isn't going to make me a million. But then getting online shouldn't cost me a million either.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Wireless .... Rabbit?

Now I have seen everything ... a rabbit that connects to the Internet to read your e-mails out loud to you, let you know if your stocks are rising or falling, tell you the latest headlines, announce the time, give you a weather forecast, etc. All this while twirling its ears and flashing lights on its body. The Nabaztag (Armenian for rabbit) is a 9-inch tall white plastic rabbit from a French company called Violet. Once you have your own Nabaztag, you sign up online and customize what you want your rabbit to do once it connects to the Internet. I don't know if it uses rabbit ears for antennas but I do know that it is wireless. This will probably be next year's got-to have gadget.

Nadolig LLawen

I don't know if you noticed how much you miss someone until they are gone forever. No way to share things that you used to share with each other. No way to have your questions answered. This has been my regrets since my parents have died. Sometimes I wonder which could be worse, being orphaned before you had a chance to build memories with your parents or being orphaned after you have built a wealth of memories?

Anyway, I was doing good until I received a card from my aunt in England. Much of my mother's family is related to Wales in some fashion --- through marriage, by ancestry. I never took the time to explore those links as I wish that I could now. There were stories that Mom would tell me from time to time.

And now I have a card that says "Nadolig LLawen", literally "Christmas Merry". How do I say this? I have lost a part of my roots. Fortunate for me, there is the Internet.

At, I found "The 'LL' in Llawen is intranscribable in English, but is produced by pressing the front and sides of the tongue to the top of the mouth and simply exhaling, so a sound similar to the 'ttl' in settle, but without the harsh 'T' sound, is produced."

I hope that you have a very merry "Nadolig LLawen" and "A Blwyddyn Newydd Dda" May you build some good long lasting memories with your family.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Leaner, Meaner Blog

I have begun reviewing all 350+ entries of this blog. Time to purge the crap posts as well as added better tags. The goal? Increase readership, increase page ranking, have more fun and become more creative with this blogging process. I will begin similar work on my other blog as well. All part of my New Year's resolution....

Monday, December 18, 2006

My New Disclosure


1) This blog covers a variety of topics: technology, business, entertainment, politics, personal thoughts, etc. The posts that you read here, including sites that I provide links to, exists because I find them of interest or I think that they might be of interest and of benefit to others.

2) Sometimes my posts are rewarded by comments, sometimes by cash, but mostly by silence.

[update May 2012: I will try to mark my unpaid posts with a period at the end of the title. "Try" being the operative word.

update Dec 2012: Since I've been receiving very few assignments, I have discontinued working with content mills. My posts no longer earn money.]

3) My disclosure does not absolve you of your responsibility as a reader. You can not accept what I write as absolute and perfect. If you have only one duty while you are alive, that duty is in protecting yourself by investigating all claims further before acting on them.

4) While I work to check the validity of everything I write about, I am not omnipotent and may not have all the facts. That is where you, the reader, comes in. Please leave comments when you find errors, even grammatical ones. This will help me create a better blog for both of us.

Add Air Into Your Shower?

While an aerated shower head is nothing new, Australian researchers have come up with a way to put a wet shell around a bubble of air. They are claiming that their new device allows you to shower using about thirty percent less water. By installing a small Venturi tube into a standard showerhead, they are able to create a partial vacuum that sucks air into the water stream thus forming tiny bubbles in the stream. All these researchers need now is business partners to take their invention to the market.

Friday, December 15, 2006

New Trend: Self Serve Fast Food?

I sure that you have been to a McDonald's or Burger King or any one of the fast food restaurants and dealt with the counter person who has an attitude about their job. Have you just wanted to reach out, grab them by them Mc-collar and explain a few facts to them? Well, you might not be able to do that any longer. Jack-In-The-Box is trying out a self-serve kiosk where you place your order by pressing a few buttons. That's going to take the fun out of things, isn't it?

Home Brewing

Way back when I had a life and time to enjoy it, one of my most enjoyable hobbies was that of home brewing. Like baking a tasty cake, there is an art form in brewing your own beer. Do all the steps right and you have something better than you can get at the stores. Mess up just one small step in the process and you'll know it. I had forgotten those wonderful adventures (like when I had a vat of fermenting cherry beer exploded in the storage room) until I happened across And now I'll be exploring their site to see what it will take to make a pint or two of my special brew.

things could be worse...

From the "things could be worse" department, a computer glitch causes Viagra to be prescribed instead of Zyban to patients who are trying to quit smoking.

"The "glitch" caused the system to select sildenafil, the generic name for Viagra, when GPs tried to select Zyban, a drug that suppresses the part of the brain that experiences nicotine cravings, reports The Times."

Many patients complained that they couldn't get either drug to stay lit. Those smart enough to swallow the Viagra pill reported that they could never "get to the part where they could light up a cigarette anyway."

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Discouraging Day

In March of this past year, I overpaid the irs $18,000 to end a ten year battle with them. I had to get liens removed so I could conclude the divorce proceedings. My CPA assured me that I would get it back less the amount for my 2005 tax bill. No problem. But it has been a battle ever since. The irs has been claiming that they didn't owe me anything. Today I received a letter threatening levy and property seizure for the 2005 tax bill which they have now inflated to $5000. My CPA wasn't in today but his assistant simply said to pay and then they could try to get my money back. Like I have $5000 sitting around. I am so discouraged about this and everything right now. Sometimes I wonder why I even make the effort to get out of bed. Oh well. just a slight case of the holiday #$%$^@#@#$ blues.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

77 Ways to Learn Faster, Deeper, and Better

Here is a great site if you are thirsting for more knowledge, if you are working on improving yourself and your life. This great article, called "Hacking Knowledge: 77 Ways to Learn Faster, Deeper, and Better" covers Health, Balance, Perspective and Focus, Recall Techniques, Visual Aids, Verbal and Auditory Techniques, Kinesthetic Techniques, Self-Motivation Techniques, Supplemental Techniques, as well as sections on "For Teachers, Tutors, and Parents" and "For Students and Self-Studiers". Learn it, love it, live it....

A Ring For My Girlfriend

My girlfriend has been hinting around for a ring this Christmas. And I have looked at several beauties --- rings that is, not my girlfriend. Wait, I mean my girlfriend is a beauty too, but I was looking for rings, not girlfriends. I already have one and one is enough. Girlfriend that is, not rings. ANYWAY, I think that I have found the perfect ring for her and it comes out of a pink chocolate case that also has a built in camera and MP3 player and ... Of course, I'm talking about phones for girls. Were you thinking about something for her finger? What?! Do you know how hard it is to make a phone call on a diamond? I don't care how clear the gem is, it can't be done! No, I think one of those sleek phone with customizable ring ... tones from Mad4MobilePhones is what she wants. A ring for each of her sexy fingers. And if I'm wrong, I get my own ring tone ... in my ears when she boxes them.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Free At Last ... almost

I have not worked at my pizza delivery job in almost 30 days now. You don't know how good it has felt to not have to throw on my monkey suit as soon as I got home from my main job. While I have been busy with other important activities these past couple of weekends, I haven't missed spending all day Saturday and Sunday running myself and my car to death for minimum wage. It is possible that I may have to return back to the pizza place next month. For now, I am going to enjoy this break in a three year 24x7 nose-to-the-grindstone nightmare. Do you blame me?

Controlling confusion?

Researchers have been investigating what it is that causes us to forget things. You might think that memories fade over time, some more quickly than others. Yet, what brain researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have found is that it is more from other thoughts and memories that actively interfere with parts or even an entire memory. Like when you remember a movie but can't quite remember the name of the lead actor. If this is the case, how then to we control this self induced confusion? I'll search and see what I can find...

Jelly of the Month Club

December is usually an interest month at my main job. During the first week, the assistant to one of the VPs would go around to the guys to sign up those who wanted to play golf with the upper management and the owners. This Christmas get-together would mean having the following Friday afternoon off for this activity. Of course, the women in the office weren't happy about not being asked. And there was a little resentment for having to working while the boys played. So a couple of years ago, the women were given appointments at a local spa during that same afternoon as their Christmas get-together. Saturday would be the Christmas party for all and life would go on.

This year is different. Owners and the most of upper management are about to retire. All year we've watched them cutting expenses here and there, like firing a few long time, loyal workers. Monthly profits remained relatively constant since the savings was being funneled into their holding company. Hmmmm, I wonder why? No matter, as part of the savings this year, not only was "Family Day" canceled, there will be NO Christmas party! However, everyone at the top loves to play golf. So yesterday all salaried people were given the choice to play golf or get a $50 gift certificate. It's said to be a show of appreciation for the unpaid overtime that we've put in this year. For many of us, that overtime would be measured in weeks. So, um, thank you? There's also a rumor that both salary and hourly workers might get a certificate to Jelly of the Month Club later on this month. The way things have gone on around here, I'm thinking that the flavor is going to be KY.

Monday, December 11, 2006

american right litigators, wesly snipes and irs

I read a story a couple of days ago about how Wesley Snipes pleaded not guilty in his tax case. What caught my eye was that he is getting his tax advice from lawyers with American Right Litigators. A few years ago, I used the same company who is radical in their approach in dealing with the irs (I know I'm supposed to capitalize but why give crooks any more recognition that they deserve). In any case, I didn't have the financial resources to continue. So I had to overpay the irs by $25,000 to get things settle for my divorce. I have yet to get that money back but my new cpa says he is working on it ... or so he has been since March. I hope Mr. Snipes has better success than I have.

creating video blogs

The blog world began when someone said, "Let there be text." The people rejoiced and it was good. But then they cried out, "Let us have sound." and podcasts came forth. As the bandwidth did multiple, the multitudes shouted, "Let us have moving pictures with our sound." Lo, video blogs sprang from the bosom of the Internet. Yet the people did lament, "How do we make a video blog?" And yea, folks of Blogger put forth a tutorial at And it is good.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Is That Email To Good To Be True?

The last thing that you need dancing through your head this holdiay season are nightmares of someone who scammed your personal information. Read my article about how to protect yourself from emails that promise to make you rich. Consider it my small gift to you. Let me know if it helps or if you have further suggestions.

IRS Blocks Aid to Families of Dead Firefighters

It's bad enough that there are people who risk their lives to keep the rest of us and our families safe. It's sad when they lose their lives during that battle to protect us. But isn't it a crime when our own government steals the money that we have given to help the families of those fallen heros? Case in point is the money raised to help the families of the five fighters who died in October. IRS is preventing it from getting to those families unless it can get a cut of it.

Silver Bells

You go outside at night and everything is shiny and sparkly. My neighbors have actual silver bells that they place in their car for the holidays. These bells from Germany once belonged to the grandmother of my neighbor. My neighbor is in her seventies and plans to pass this heirloom on to her daughter. I think that it is great to invest in memories like this. But it also got me thinking about investing in silver itself as a commodity. I understand that demand for silver has outpaced the supply since 1990. Shouldn't this make for a good investment? In doing a little research, I found that Monex Deposit Company (MDC) will let you purchase silver or other precious metals. You can arrange for personal delivery or have your investment stored at an independent bank or depository. And MDC has been in business for over thirty years. As a possible money maker, I think silver warrants further investigation.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Miss Those Special Times With My Children

When my children were young, we would make our own Christmas decorations. I fear that my ex has most of them buried in that environmental controlled building known as her sister's barn with a lot of my other valuable stuff. If you have children, perhaps you know about the joy of creating special knick knacks and of the fun of being together. Anyway, here is a great site for creating 3D snowflakes. Enjoy!

More Gifts Ideas

When my son was very young, I bought him one of those electric cars. You know, the one that cost over a hundred dollars, you drive, wreck and not worry about the auto insurance. What did my son do on that joyous morning? He played with the box. That taught me an important lesson. The next year, he got another box and I got a hundred dollars' worth of Gin. The lesson is that you got to give appropriate gifts that are great. So what gifts are you going to give? Come on now! The clock is ticking! The days are flying by! Christmas is approaching faster than a drunken fat man on an icy hill. May I suggest holiday gift baskets from The price is great and the selection will handle anyone on that list of yours. If nothing else, having the founder appear at the corner of your screen and talk to you is worth the visit! But hurry!!!

Iran Fears

China is not the only government fearful of what its citizens might do if they have a little knowledge. Iran recently sought to protect its power by preventing its citizen from accessing "on the basis of the Islamic Republic of Iran laws". I know this is the 21st century but there are still power structures that need people to blindly follow ...

Thursday, December 07, 2006

A Very PPP Christmas

A year ago, if you had told me that I would be making money with my blog, I would have given you my extreme skepticism for a Christmas present. But in the past five months I have made a little over nineteen thousand dollars, with another three hundred on its way. This has made my end of year budget much easier to deal with. And I will be able to give better presents to my family and friends. Hopefully, this market will continue and next year I can treat myself to a goodie or two. Of course, that will depend upon how naughty or nice I am. ;)

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Increasing My Page Rankings

The pressure to become popular was such a pain for me in high school. Early on, I just gave up on the idea and concentrated on surviving my school work. But it was a small high school --- only 450 students. So in a couple of years, I had become recognized for my percussion playing in the HS band and for my advancement into senior mathematics during my sophomore year among other things. As I think back on those days, my rise in popularity in high school was easy compared to task of raising the popularity of my blogs. In fact, I feel like I'm simply running against a brick wall as I work on my Google page rankings. What am I doing wrong?

Today I happened across this article entitled The Best Way to "Increase Link Popularity". After reading that, the gates of heaven opened up and angels sang. Well, not that dramatic. But I have a better idea of what I've got to do and a better understanding of the process. Let's see how quick I can raise my page ranking now!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


Now that I'm in the blogging world, I have met quite a few very interesting people. One of them is Colleen who recently created BuyMeBlog about the best and worst shopping deals that are on the Internet. For example, she wasn't too keen with JC Penny's sheets. While she liked the 330 thread count, they began to pill on her. Wait a minute. I know that I'm just a guy but wait a sateen minute. My sheets have only one thread that's woven over and over on itself. But 330 threads? That's not a sheet, that's a mattress! And what's this pill? Sometimes I get carried away and my sheets end up in a ball. But to get them in a pill ... wow! And with 330 threads no less! No wonder she wasn't happy. Fortunately Colleen found what she wanted with a king sized 600 thread count sheet. 600 threads? King sized must mean how high it is on the bed!

But there is more on her blog than just thread counts. She has also written about windows (that I bet are blocked by those king sized sheets) and about knives (so the family can cut their way through the sheets to the windows no doubt). I'm looking forward to reading more of her shopping experiences. And if you give a sheet about shopping, I'll bet you'll want to visit her site too. When you do, tell her that I said hi!

Backscatter At The Airport


Coming to an airport near you soon, it's ... BackScattering TV. Been amazed when security makes you stand in a cabinet so they can look at you like this -------->

Don't be alarmed! It's for our protection. Your image is not to be printed or saved or posted on the Internet or traded. That's what the government said in written statements. And I believe everything they say. In fact, there are plans to blurry out the naughty bits. We don't want the security personal enjoying their job too much. Besides, you have nothing to hide now do you?

Monday, December 04, 2006

Protected Audio Into Plain MP3

Imagine if you bought a CD and the company would only let you play it on one specific CD player. You couldn't play "your" CD on your car system or your computer or on any other CD player. This is pretty much the deal when you download music from iTunes or Wal-mart, et al. Thanks to Digital Rights Management (DRM) and music companies fearing that they're not making their investment a million times over, you are stuck to play "your" song on one and only one device. Yes, yes, there are pirating issues that this is all suppose to thwart. In end, DRM does nothing but frustrate the honest person. That's not the goal of technology. Click here to read about converting protected audio into unprotected MP3. This link is provide for educational purposes only!

a way around the Great Censorship Wall of China

You have probably heard about how the Chinese government has been forcing Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and others to censor their web sites. After all, has else can a government protect itself? And with billion potential customers, these companies are choosing to comply albeit reluctantly. All except Wikipedia that is. Since Wikipedia isn't concerned with making money with their site, the Chinese government has no way of forcing them to comply. And I don't think blocking the site is an option...

Sunday, December 03, 2006

No iPods for North Korean Children This Year

The US government is working to put trade sanctions against North Korea that include iPods, Rolex watches and jet skis. The bad news is that these sanctions may be in place before Christmas. The good news is that the North Korean children don't celebrate Christmas per se. The bad news is that the sanction list is mainly high dollar items. The good news is that the North Koreans are too poor to afford anything on the list anyway. The bad news is that their leader, Kim Jong Il, isn't poor. The good news is that he and a few other friends and family are the only ones to affected by the sanction. The bad news is that I have no more good news. And the good news is that I have no more bad news....

Internet search engine by faces

Near the end of September, I read about a Swedish researcher, Jan Erik Solem, who plans to launch unique search engine based on people's faces. He has developed patented methods that create 3-D models from 2-D pictures. So theoretically, instead of searching on text, you can search by pictures. While I have found the site itself at, it is still under development. The idea sounds great so I'll be checking back. Hopefully it will be online soon.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Vote for My Friend's Entry

My good friend, thedawnsters, has entered a photo contest at In my opinion, her photo "Opposite Eyes" is the best one of all the selections. But don't take my word for it, go to and vote for yourself!! Voting will end approximately midnight GMT (7pm EST), on Sunday, December 3rd, 2006. If you're not a member, you'll need to register first to see the pictures and vote.

nearly famous?

Does making it into print make you famous? Because of PayPerPost, I have done two interviews. The last one was for Dan Tynon of PC World magazine. Yesterday, I received an email from his editor asking to set up a time to have my picture taken for the article. While I'm not photogenic, I am willing to risk the effect on someone's camera. Still, is the article going to be a favorable one? Is it going to help me? Will I soon be dancing with Paris Hilton, jetsetting with Bill Gates, chatting with Oprah? Me, a mere mortal? Time will tell ...

13 Dec 2006: Update to story is here

Friday, December 01, 2006

Business and Life Coaching

Sometimes in running a business or in keeping track of your busy life, you get sidetracked and lose the focus needed to achieve your goals. Here is where a good business or life coach comes in handy. It is amazing how well another set of eyes, another constructive voice, another reassuring set of hands can help in getting your life or business back on a more rewarding journey. A bio of a coach can be found at You may find yourself wondering what Mr. Jordan can do for you. Depending upon how much guidance, support and encouragement you want, you'll probably want to visit his site.