Friday, March 30, 2007

Big Stakes Search Challange

News Article here

Basically, the webmaster world is all in a buzz over this 10 million dollar challange to get a poker website ranking number one using only 'white hat' techniques. There is a lot of grey area between white hat and black hat, lots of grey...it will be interesting to see how this plays out.

If you have any interest, read any SEO forum, it is THE topic of the moment.

Intertwined with this is the story of how the guy taking the challange, Rand F. had bought a SuperBowl ad to propose to his girlfriend. He was later deneyed the opportunity. (Target even agreed to pay for it at one point, it was later revealed)

He ran the video, My Super Proposal, later on her favorite TV show instead and had a camera hidden and recording to catch her reaction...pretty good, and nationally watched 'reality video'. Notice that it has almost 400 thousand views. All of this buzz resulted in a LOT of PR for him and his business !! Great ploy.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Google Quote of the Day

You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.
- Jack London

Lighting Fixtures





When we were building our original little lagoon DAC-ART house I happened to run across some really inexpensive Pottery Barn catalog return light fixtures in Memphis. The simple sconces had missing glass shades and that was fine w/ me as I preferred them sans-shades. I got a whole big black trash bag full for $ 2.99 each. A couple of them had socket or wiring problems, but I had extras, so that was no big deal. I doubt if I will ever run up on such a super bargain in lighting fixtures again.

Occasionally I glance at eBay to see if I can find any source for a whole bunch of sconces for Phase II of this house for cheap. I often see cool antique sconces but it is usually just one, two or occasionally four. A couple days ago, I found that a guy in FL who runs an eBay selling drop-off shop has bought a whole bunch of discontinued fixtures that were pretty high-end originally.

He has about 100 of this pretty plain sconce and 90 of some solid brass exterior fixtures that I like. The exterior ones were originally $400 apiece !!

(In my opinion, lighting fixtures must be one of the most high mark-up items around. I still think there is a great biz opportunity in niche light fixtures since we have the web and anyone looking for any particular style can locate it quickly. )

Anyway---he emailed that if I made him an offer on a big lot of these lights, he could ship them on a pallet by freight instead of the usual UPS or FedEx. Not sure where I'd keep them in the meantime,.....
but I am thinking that today I'll call him and make him an offer on 45 sconces and 8 exterior fixtures. I don't want to use the glass 'fake alabaster' shades anyway, so he could ship them any ole way, without protection, ...if the glass breaks, I don't care. And I might grind off those leaf looking things.

Maybe I could wire up all the glass shades for cool party lites to run from tree to tree outdoors one day.

I am big into sconces so I don't have to have table lamps. IMHO table lamps are just a bother....cords running around, in the way, not enuf light, always wishing you had sockets where you dont have them, etc...

I like sconces everywhere. And dark rooms drive me crazy. If you want less light, use 25 watt bulbs. You don't need a ladder to change bulbs and that is especially great along staircases. I plan to even use sconces in the garage. None of that unflattering florescent light in places I'll be hanging out !

One of Light's many new uses

MIT neuroengineers' pulsing light silences overactive neurons, could lead to non-surgical treatment for epilepsy, Parkinson's

Scientists at the MIT Media Lab have invented a way to reversibly silence brain cells using pulses of yellow light.

Some epilepsy patients have implanted electrodes that periodically give their brains an electric jolt, acting as a defibrillator to shut down overactive neurons. This new research opens up the possibility of an optical implant that could do the same thing, using light instead of electricity.

Read Article

Monday, March 26, 2007

Good Movie



Nowhere in Africa
original title:Nirgendwo in Afrika

We saw a really good Netflix movie this weekend. It won an Oscar a couple years back for best foreign language film. Lasts 2 1/2 hours, but since you are at home, you can have an intermission.

"Shortly before World War II, a Jewish couple and their young daughter emigrate to Kenya from Germany to escape the Nazis. Not all members of the family are happy with this drastic change -- but going home isn't an option. Ultimately, they must all come to terms with a new life in a new continent. Director Caroline Link's epic drama won the 2002 Oscar for best foreign film."


It was in mostly German, and Dave speaks German, so that was kinda neat for him.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

DC Crazy

I am going digital camera comparison crazy. I bought a HP camera to replace my trusty R707 and I bought a model that was just a few digits up higher on the HP R series ....and everything is perfect...except...it doesn't have a viewfinder ! That means that you have to look at the LCD screen for every shot, something I am totally not used to. And, in beach-bright sunlight, it is hard to see.

The camera uses the same SD cards that I have a stack of, same rechargable HP batteries, same great features as my R707 and similar functionality. But I want a viewfinder. It not only saves battery life, it is a whole lot easier to see when zooming in and out and outside. And I am sooooo used to having one. The new one I got has 5 x optical zoom, so I was all thrilled about that, but no viewfinder.

Dave is interested in buying my pocket sized new camera from me if I get a different model, so I am doing research.......whoa....who knew there were so many different models on the market.

Fast start-up is another consideration, plus I want one that uses SD cards. All this research takes tons of time, plus I am looking at refurbished models when I can find them (better track record). Frames per second is another consideration--I want fast and fast start-up or you miss good shots. I sent a Canon back to Amazon once due to such slow start-up.

And, I ordered an Epson (said I'd never buy another Epson) oversized printer today. I need to be able to print our house plans at a larger than 8 1/2 x 11 size and it cost a blumin' fortune at the print shops. I figured that since Heather and I had been discussing makeing 12" x 12" scrapbook backgrounds in pdf format, and we'd need to do trial prints. Seemed it sorta made sense to get one PLUS I got an email from Epson that they had this printer on special, refurbished ones, free shipping at $199. (Reg about 500 bucks) So I ordered it. Trouble w/ Epson printers, esp this one, it seems, I need to do at least one print, of some sort, a day to keep the print heads from clogging. Please remind me.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Spring Break

Christoper Pridgen, my bro Stephen's oldest son, and his girlfriend , Courtney of Hattiesburg came down this past weekend. Since Miller's condo was empty I was able to let them stay there. Chris is graduating this May from Mississippi State. His degree is construction management. Not sure that is the exact name, but similar. Courtney is going to Barcelona, Spain for a semester. (She is gonna love that...I promise)

We had good, sunny weather for the weekend and I am so glad for their sakes.

On Sat night we all went over to Mary & Jerry Nasello's house and cooked pizza and watched Borat. Jerry and Mary are WAY into making ho-made pizza and have this sourdough starter and 4 bread machines so they can have the dough all risen and ready to be rolled out on these huge wooden paddles. They have hot tiles in the oven all heated and ready so after everyone makes whatever kind of pizza they want, the pizza can be slid off the paddle onto the hot tiles to cook in the ovens.




Dave and I went to the grocery and got all sorts of pizza toppings, plus Mary had a bunch on hand too.


She had big zipper zip-locks so everybody got to take their leftovers home....which was plenty.



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On Sunday, Dave and I went to Tacky Jacks in Orange Beach which is an on the water, outdoor hang-out/restaurant and Lisa Christian was playing guitar and singing out on the deck. It was really sunny, but there was still a bit of a chilly breeze in the shade. Dave joined her w/ his harmonica for one number and I videoed it with my little HP pocket digital camera.

There were several dogs there with their owners, some sitting in bar stools beside the owner but one cute little fellow was in an isle between tables and up on his hind legs asking for a bite to eat.






Frustrating

I did this long post last night and then when I went to publish it, there was a Blogger glitch and text, photos, etc...all went away. Anyway--today is sooooo sunny and pretty, that I want to go get the rest of the anti-fire ant granules (doesnt that sound better than POISON) today and put it out with the spreader. I have on a swim suit so I can begin to get a little sun and then I can put the spreader thing in the mini-storage till next year.

I will go back and re-do weekend photos, etc...later.

Dave Perry & Lisa Christian at Tacky Jacks

Tacky Jacks on a Sunday afternoon in Orange Beach, Alabama. Lisa singing and on guitar and Dave playing harmonica. March 18th, 2007.
For more info about Orange Beach, visit, http://www.orange-beach-alabama.net

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Sorry...

for irregular posts. I just seem to always be so busy. And since I want to be able to do this Phase II house addition, I am pretty focused on the earning money part of my life right now. Another thing is that since Heather works for me every day now, I am more mindful than ever of all the projects I have going on, and getting my part ready for her to do her part.

Tonight is ZZ Top at our new outdoor amplitheater. It is a 'rain or shine' event...and rain is predicted...luckily I won a huge umbrella from Vision Bank the other day, so it may come in handy. Temp is in the 70's, so that is perfect for outdoor concert. Opening act is Robert Fortune Band.
Rockers for sure.

Last weekend I went w/ Dave to a fund raiser fish fry on Pcola Beach. He took photos as he does the newsletter for the organization. I took a few too. I didnt realize that those would be my last normal looking photos w/ my tough little HPR707. Later that day or maybe the next, it started taking photos that look like Andy Warhol paintings. Very art-sy but not useful for most projects. I read forums for hours, tried everything suggested, but to no avail. So, I went to Amazon and ordered it's successor yesterday. Amazon really does have great prices on stuff. This one was 52% off MSR.

I can't use my own Amazon links (for commission) as it is against the terms of service, so I use WEVL's Amazon link to initiate the purchase. That is my old volunteer, listener supported, indy radio station in Memphis.

Anyway--the new camera, Hp Photosmart R817, is identical size as my old one, same SD cards, same rechargable battery (this is good as I have extras) BUT it is 5X optical zoom instead of 3X , in same little pocket size. I still have my great 10X Toshiba, but it is too large to keep in my purse 24/7.

I think I certainly got my money's worth out of my original HP R707. It is the one that went to Europe w/ me summer before last and I think I have used it every day since.

I went w/ Mark Berson...Chamber Pres. to a very cool fund raiser last Sat night. Great concept. It was for a local private school. Someone had given them a Gees Bend quilt. The whole theme of the party was built around the quilt. All the different grades (it only goes to 8th I think) had made mosaic items inspired by the very colorful and very graphic quilt. The art teacher there must be very high energy and creative. I met her briefly.
Anyway, the tickets were 60 bucks each, but worth it. The food was from Cosmo's, our best restaurant, hands down. I ate 3 octoupii that evening in this great seaweed salad that was on the sushi table. I think Cosmo's little fried fish tenders were the best I have ever tasted in my life. Their crabcakes are the BEST.
The big tented bar in the center of the room was all premium brands, Grey Goose, etc...and they were set up to mix any cocktail you could think of. No waiting lines.
The school had hired a real auctioneer for the higher dollar items, and there was a ton of silent auction stuff around the perimeter of the room. Everything was color co-ordinated to the theme of the quilt...jewel tones.
The stuff the kids had made was outstanding and an oval mirror that I liked went for something like $600. I think it was made by the 4th grade.
They also auctioned a Mustang convertible, a Mercedes, and some sort of 4 wheeler thing.

Yesterday I got my planters on the porch planted and all ready for spring/summer. They came from Momma & Daddy's house. I love them, antique and they have a built in water reservoir in the base. I replanted all my window boxes too. I am lovin' this weather.

Tomorrow night is Biz After Hours party at a new car dealership down here, well, old dealership, new facility.

OK--maybe I can add some photos later today. I am suppose to have lunch w/ the owner of Island TV Network today and do a ton of other stuff before i go w/ Dave to ZZTop tonight.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Remember the Flea Circus ?


Professional wrestlers will soon be fighting for space on tiny mobile phone screens thanks to Cingular Wireless.

The top U.S. mobile service provider, owned by AT&T Inc , plans to announce an agreement with World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. Thursday to sell everything from ringtones with famous wrestlers' voices to graphics and videos, including weekly matches and the annual spring tournament.

Hopefully Roller Derby will soon follow.

Read More

Invisible Man

From WIRED:
Adobe working at new technology to detect if a photo has been manipulated.
The company hopes to develop a plug-in that will detect if a photo has been changed at all since it was taken. According to Farid, this is possible because cameras don't record all the pixels needed for a color image, but instead estimate some colors through a process known as color reconstruction, or demosaicing.

A camera's demosaicing process creates connections between pixels, and "when an image is re-touched, it is likely that these correlations will be destroyed. As such, the presence or lack of these correlations can be used to authenticate an image, or expose it as a forgery," Farid writes in an explanation (.pdf) of the technology he is developing.

See some famous examples of photo published in 'history' and the press that were manipulated.
Look at photos and click 'return to story' to read the ...err story.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Go Here March 9th

to get free chips.
http://www.impossiblygood.com/

Get Humans


Great BIG list of contact numbers to speak to humans at many of the USA's major companies, ISP's, etc...
http://gethuman.com/us/

This Explains it All

"The local vets said the cow was probably suffering from a disease but others said Lal was a tiger in his previous birth," Ajit added.

45 chickens missing in 2 months in farmers barnyard....
Live chicken eating calf on a farm in India.

Roving Priest


Mobile confessional for Roman Catholic priests.

Fancy Website.
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Monday, March 05, 2007

Attention all Lawyers:


Metal Barrel Revolving on Pipe Adds to Playground Thrills ( Popular Mechanics , Oct, 1924)



Hung lengthwise through the center on a horizontal pipe, a revolving metal barrel has proved a popular addition to the
playground equipment of a park in Pasadena, Calif. Attempting to stand erect on the barrel requires almost acrobatic skill.

I'll bet it does.

Ahead of the Tymes

Becky G. sent me this bit of fascinating history:

After having dug to a depth of 10 meters last year, Scottish scientists found traces of copper wire dating back 100 years and came to the conclusion that their ancestors already had a telephone network more than 100 years ago.

Not to be outdone by the Scots, in the weeks that followed, British scientists dug to a depth of 20 meters, and shortly after headlines in the UK newspapers read: "British archaeologists have found traces of 200 year old copper wire and have concluded that their ancestors already had an advanced high-tech communications network a hundred years earlier than the Scots."

One week later, "The Advertiser", a Lafayette, Louisiana, newspaper, reported the following: "After digging as deep as 30 meters in cane fields near New Iberia , Gaston Boudreaux, a self taught archeologist, reported that he found absolutely nothing. Gaston has, therefore, concluded that ...
300 years ago Cajuns were already using wireless."

Large Bike


Wheels of soccer balls. Sorta clever, but you'd have to ck air pressure many times over instead of just once per tire.
Man on Soccer Bike

Beer Belly is Back in Fashion



Drinks too pricey at your favorite recreational location ? ... or outlawed, as in some State Parks ?
Drink responsibly, ya hear?
Beer Belly
funny website

Saturday, March 03, 2007

What is the Color of SEO ?








Can you see a trend in the top headers of these well known SEO & PPC Marketing blogs/websites ?