Blog Freedom is vital

Sep 24, 2005 at 2:35 PM
I don't post my political opinions very often. But, I have something to say:

Over the course of my lifetime, I have seen a slow degradation of the belief in the good of the founders of our country. One TV movie or news article after another, telling me that George Washington was a bad bad man. That Thomas Jefferson seeded illegitimate kids with a slave (since proven to be untrue, it was his little brother that did according to the DNA evidence). That our founding fathers were horrible men.

And you know what? It's all simply designed to degrade our belief in the finer hopes and aspirations of the framers of our country. It's as transparent as can be.

It doesn't matter.

The only thing about these men that matters a wink in the grand scheme of things is the fact that they carved the shape of our country out of nothing. They provided the basis that makes Americans assume that man is basically good, basically free, right and allowed to say so, and can pursue his/her happiness. My religion and my speech and my blog and my gun are all protected today by the simple fact that a piece of paper says that I have rights.

What happens when we stop thinking of that piece of paper as having merits? It is nothing more than an idea. What happens when we stop placing emphasis there in our hearts and minds?

Freedom of speech is vital to free society. Freedom of the press is part of that. The government wants to label any speech that is done to the benefit of any particular political agenda as a form of "campaign contribution". This is bull, and we all know it. If I say "vote for mickey mouse", I am allowed to say it by the rules laid out in our constitution. I am not only allowed to say it, but the government is not allowed to tell me that I should not say it or to consider that they have the right to tell me to stop saying it.

Their hearings to consider infringing our rights to free speech are outlawed by our consitution.

If you want to continue to be allowed to freely speak your mind, put up a fight. AskJeeves did so.

Read America's constitution. Read the bill of rights.

I am proud to belong to the country that holds that document in high regard.

Once our right to freely speak out in political forums, blogs and websites is gone, then the internet will be nothing but another commercial wasteland, peopled only by the currently sanctioned voice-boxes of our leaders.

Nothing is more powerful than open, unalloyed speech. Turns out it's more powerful than money and more powerful than all the PR and advertising in the world. People are paying attention, around the globe, to what WE are saying.

And that's why it's being taken away.

I found a great tech advice site

Sep 22, 2005 at 12:40 PM
I found a great tech advice site about computers.

Ask Dave Taylor Tech Support

I found lots of answers there that were well explained. Figured anyone else looking around there would probably find something they had been wondering about too.

My twins

Sep 16, 2005 at 2:50 PM


Here is a good picture of My girls that was taken this summer.



And here is a close-up. They are eight.

They are so cute. I tried the modeling thing with them when they were little. I got discouraged when I found their picture posted as supposed successful clients of the website an agency that had never ever contacted me or given us a job. They wouldn't give me the time of day, and I had to threaten to sue to get them to remove the picture.

Future of email

at 2:32 PM
Spam is killing email. The only way to kill spam is going to be to completely kill email. They are like conjoined twins (joined at the header?). One is healthy, capable, and smart. The other is a drooling diseased mess, blurting out things like "4extasie cl1ck~here" and "l0ngc0ck all4you!".

To enjoy the company of the one, I've been enduring the other for YEARS.

On my old job, I was the company inbox receipt point (despite my middle management position?!) and regularly received 2500 spams PER DAY, along with MAYBE 30 real emails to handle. On the weekend, it was not surprising to discover that 7000 spams had arrived. All in spite the spam blocker software.

I was also in charge of our proprietary opt-in email list. No one wants

Today, I downloaded my emails. 6 viruses, 212 spam particles, 17 promotional emails from companies that I have previously contacted, 4 emails generated by my website to let me know it'd been spidered, and 3 "real" emails from people I know.

So I had 7 real emails hidden in 242 emails I had to dig through, delete or otherwise handle. What is that - 2%? And that doesn't count what my spamblocker caught.

I have switched over to receiving nothing but RSS feeds from my daily newsletter subscriptions. I cancelled all of my email subscriptions.

RSS is something I have to go fetch. I only fetch what I want to get. No SPAM!

Basically, I am saying that I HOPE RSS feeds will replace email eventually as the way to communicate on the web. Not because spammers will stop, but because the email-receipt point will switch over to RSS. RSS feed softwares need to begin to provide a consistent and normal method for secure delivery of RSS-fed communication from only one point to another point. Bam! Replacement of email as communication method.

Anyone not getting themselves into the RSS feed market now is likely to have a tough time catching up later.

Spamless for the time being...

Until someone discovers a way to screw that up and get spam into the mix.

My goat ate my cigarette butts

Sep 15, 2005 at 3:38 PM
My goat, Ike (or is it Abe? - long story), ate my cigarette butts right out of the ashtray on my kitchen window-sill. Then he snuffled up all the remaining ashed that he'd spilled out onto the tabletop below. Then he tried to steal my lit smoke out of my hand.

When I asked if he needed to go to the vet today, my neighbour laughed and said no. He's a goat. He's able to eat just about anything without getting sick. I'm still worried.

Hopefully, Ike/Abe/Goat will decide to quit. I'm quitting as soon as I run out of my current supply, so I guess he's gonna have to. I hope he's not gonna be as grumpy as I will, or we might end up butting heads.

DMOZ is dying - per SEO forum

Sep 14, 2005 at 2:06 PM
According to this Search Engine Guide article, DMOZ may be dead.

DMOZ is not alone. Even the ever-applauded about.com wrecked their usefulness when they started allowing pop-ups and banner ads, etc... AKA search-suicide. I sure don't use it anymore.

I can't help but wonder where directories fit into the future of web search. Are they even useful anymore to anyone EXCEPT the SEs? And what replaces them when they go?

No client or web user I know uses directories to search anymore. No one.

No client or web specialist I know submits to directories anymore unless they're looking for natural search placement through crawled directory links. It's common knowledge that they rarely draw their own traffic. Even Yahoo! isn't worth the money anymore without the additional benefits.

Partially because of the decline in usefulness and partially because of the nature of a commerce-driven web and it's effect on the search engines, I can foresee the possibility that directory listings may not be a factor at all in search engine placement five years from now. Then the directories would really die, as they are presently standing on the shoulders of a fickle search giant.

Ms Rowling's got a point

at 12:57 PM
I love the Harry Potter series (I think it's a return to good writing for children, etc...) as do many. However, I have just discovered that JK Rowling and I have something in common. She is fighting for the rights of Czech children labelled as mentally ill.

Now I think even more highly of her.

Why I am homeschooling

at 12:44 PM
Here is yet another reason for me to be wary of placing my kids in the psychiatry-controlled environment of public school. The strange and crazy things that the psychs do to children are beyond me. These parents were following their psychiatrist's advice, and ended up doing something grossly negligent. Parental responsibility is a HUGE factor here, but WHAT KIND OF "EXPERT" recommends caging children???

Relax - I'm just kidding

Sep 12, 2005 at 5:20 PM
I accidentally donated my favorite shirt to hurricane relief. My homeschool provider is out helping hurricane victims. Two of my closest friends can't be reached, they are out helping hurricane victims. My ex-husband is sending his money to help Katrina's survivors instead of me.

This puts me in the odd position of being jealous of the survivors of a natural disaster.

Right now, someone in Mississippi gets to wear my favorite shirt, have my ex-husband's money, and get advice from my two best friends while my homeschooler helps their kid! At least I can be assured that the hurricane victims standard of living should shortly be what my daily life was a few months ago.

[TO make up for my tasteless, classless remarks above, let me please urge everyone again to donate to Katrina Recovery efforts. More tetanus vaccines are desperately needed.

Search Engine Friendly

Sep 10, 2005 at 7:30 PM
What exactly is friendly?

Since SEs are just HTML readers that are trying to think like a user, that means SE friendly is two things, and only two things:

HTML-friendly
User-friendly

You're over half-way there and will save all of us SEO people time (and yourself money) if you just:

1. validate your code against the W3C standard (totally free)
2. write your pages with the user's enjoyment and purpose in being there in mind.

Sure, SEO has a lot more involved in it than that, but you'd be surprised how often people arrive (saying they've tried everything) with absolutely botched code and text that looks like someone typed it straight out of a keyword analysis tool (or no text at all!), expecting a magic cure.

Claiming my feed

Sep 9, 2005 at 10:19 PM

No Need to Click Here - I'm just claiming my feed at Feedster

My little sister is cooler than me

at 9:42 PM
My little sister sent me some new pictures of her. They rock:

LIBBY

LIBBY




This is my favorite.

She is sooooo much cooler than me all of the sudden. What the hell. I was the one with seventeen pounds of makeup on and looking so fricking young and great and it wasn't very long ago. It was just.... oh, yeah! TEN YEARS AGO!

Delia is back from Louisiana

at 9:39 PM
My friend Delia is back from Louisiana. She was helping with recovery, but had to return to her job.

Here's a picture I took of Dee.

Does anyone know a single father?

at 9:32 PM
OK. My best friend Rick is the ONLY single father I know of. We're not talking about sharing with the mom separately, we're talking about handling the full burden of raising kids because the MOM is a deadbeat. We're not talking about widowers, either, because that's a whole 'nother thing. We're talking about Mom's so screwed up that she's not mom, and you're the father taking care of the kid all by yourself.

I've seen the reverse time and again. I have NEVER seen anyone else in Rick's shoes. If there are stories out there of other single Dads, I want to know.

It could be a societal thing - Maybe there is a serious problem with the way that the state runs child welfare, because when a Dad's messed up, the mom gets the kid. BUT when the Mom's messed up, does the state stick that kid into foster care normally?

I want to know your feelings on this.

Today is Katey's birthday

at 9:23 PM

HAPPY BIRTHDAY KATEY!!!!!

Katey is my sweetie. I have been the closest thing to her mommy since she was littler than two because her single father was my best-friend and roomie. HIs name is Rick.

My relocating across the country has made me have to spend three months without her. It's been agony. Rick's sending her out to be with me next month, and he will probably end up However, in the meantime, is a picture of her (center) with Aurora (right) and Miranda (left), my two daughters.

Demented Tumor Cow

Sep 7, 2005 at 2:16 PM
Demented Tumor Cow comes down to my house from a field that's on the other side of the hill. She seems to have strayed away from some local herd. She arrives every night at around two in the morning, has major diarrhea all over my yard (that somehow manages to smell like burning plasticene methane-coated ass), and leaves when my dog Tucker chases her.

She has a huge tumor over her left eye, completely obscuring the features on that side of her face. She's a white and brown cow, quite normal looking. Totally unafraid of me.

She shat all over my dog when he chased her this weekend. Took me an hour with a hose to get him clean.

What do you do about something like that?

I took a picture and demented tumor cow - it came out dark and blurry. Fixed up in photoshop it looks like one of those bigfoot or UFO pictures.

Here it is.

My Picture

at 2:05 PM











One of my girls painted this picture. I'm posting it as my logo. I don't know why I need one, but it just seems like a good idea.

You don't have to pay to get into Yahoo!

Sep 6, 2005 at 7:12 PM
Most of you know this already, but I just want everyone to know. There is NO NEED to pay to get into Yahoo! search. The bots that altavista and others had are still out their 'trolling, but are now doing it for their new boss under new names (and with some alterations, etc). I don't think you should have to pay for entry and THEN pay for clicks (PPC without the benefits), so just get a yahoo account and submit your site through free submit.

You say: How? Here's a link that tells you all about Yahoo!.

Or, just snoop around Yahoo for a while and figure it out yourself. Paid submission to a SEARCH engine is just WRONG WRONG WRONG. Goes against the whole concept of the word "SEARCH", in my mind...

Help Victims of Hurricane Katrina - Public Service Announcement

at 5:50 PM
As at 9-11 and the Tsunami, the Volunteer Ministers are pouring out to help victims of Katrina.

Here is what the Sherrif's department of Vermillion Parish in Louisiana had to say about the Scientology Volunteer Ministers (ON FRIDAY the 2nd of September):

" They are experts in handling human misery and assisting the rescue workers and other relief teams to get the job done. They should be allowed on any and all lines within Louisiana to further assist in reliev[ing] the devastated survivors and to help us rebuild southeast Louisiana."



During 9-11, Scientology Volunteer Ministers were amongst the few civilian organizations allowed to assist from within the barriers because of their no-nonsense, practical and real assistance.



There are thousands dying or dead. Whatever your religious beliefs, donating to this church -- this group that does such as amazing job helping others in time of need -- is urgently needed.



And, if you want to join the effort, you do not need to be a Scientologist. You can show up and they will accept your help:



Contact them at vm@volunteerministers.org for more information or call the Mission of Baton Rouge to find out how you can help.

Scientology Volunteer Ministers Disaster Relief
Scientology VolunteerMinisters

Hurricane Katrina Relief Effort

Or send donations directly to the Mission of Baton Rouge.

Two Scientology Volunteer Minister close friends of mine are there right now, Shelly and Delia. They are both working hard, along with hundreds of others, to assist the refugees.

Here is what Shelly said to me in an email:

"Please help. If this disaster was in your area, you would need to depend on the generosity of others. Right now, WE are the 'others' that are being depended on."

Please help them. Thank you.

Learning the search algorithms by scientific method

Sep 5, 2005 at 7:51 PM
Every day, I read well-educated people in the search engine optimization business talking about how to beat the algorithm with one magic trick or another perfect solution. What a ridiculous methodology. "The Search algorithm can be beaten with this doo dad..." "Try this trick to immediately beat out everyone else in the search engines", "Hire us and we'll apply our mysterious magic to get you into a guaranteed first place..." BLAH BLAH BLAH. These are alchemists and witch doctors. These are not experts, no matter what they say.

The simple definition of "algorithm" is the step-by-step procedure involved in problem solving. The search algorithms are just that. An attempt to solve the problem of "too much information out there" by culling it down to a few "perfect" results with finite rules. It is a science with set and understandable goals. Therefore, optimization -- real optimization -- could not be a simpler task.

Trying out new "tricks" to beat a methodically planned algorithm designed only for one purpose is madness. It is like trying to learn how to build a nuclear reactor by reading tarot cards.

The only way to properly build a system of management for an algorithm is to use scientific method.


Now, not everyone who is in SEO is a quack. But most are. If you're an SEO person reading this, simple statistics tell me that you are probably a quack.

However, the relative minority of us are scientific about it. Some of us must use carefully planned research tools, study our diagnostic machinery, carefully pull and test code, and run tests, both within the system and in live media.

Some of us are natural Einstiens in this science. Without ever having to scratch out the details in pen, we can often see right to the heart of it and quickly edit code in the fly, creating just the right result. That is not magic, it is science from web geniuses, and should not be mistaken for quackery. None of the SEO geniuses out there are remotely likely to win a nobel prize for it, but they are in demand none the less.

Those of us searching for the base point in our experiments can easily see already the apparent effects of the search algorithm, they are readily available to us in the form of our search results. The very "problem" of placement that we are trying to solve, is in fact the key to solving it. These are your measurable results. These are your petri dish.

There are a few differences. Because search is not a natural science, it's world varied somewhat from the natural world:

Time - in SEO, time is measured in crawls, not hours. How often does the engine crawl that page? That is 1 (one) SEO time unit.

Distance - In SEO, distance is measured in rank only.

Weight - in SEO, weight is measured in inbound links, or file size.

Velocity - In SEO, velocity is measured in how many code changes are made per unit of crawl.

We can easily define the levels of importance placed on each factor involved in SEO placement through a process of titration done within those results. Change one small factor only, and change it in the minimum even amount per crawl on your experimental page. See what the effect is on your rank. A change in rank is the known and predictable "reaction". Then you can calculate the exact effectiveness level of that form of optimization, per unit.

You can also learn to importance the algorithm of a particular SE places on certain factors by broadening your scope, study the code behind an entire test page of search results, or hundreds of such pages:

As an example, the difference of links from 1st place to 100th across 100 search terms should tell you how many more links you need to be first in your keyword. Apply that constant to your search term's variable (the inbound links from your competitor) and voila, you have a known. Of course, there are more variables and more considerations, but at least you have a starting point to work from.

Easily, deductions can be made doing this. Provable deductions.

Since the only constant in search engine ranking is the ranks themselves, I posit that the only statement so far that can be considered an absolute in the search optimization field is:

The variable is the only constant.

New Hope for New Orleans

at 7:29 PM
My friend Delia, along with many other of my friends and acquaintances, are all volunteering all along the gulf coast these days. Some are in Mississippi, some are in Louisiana. My friend Delia is like a little sister to me and was under my wing for several years -- is also right in the heart of New Orleans right now.

To Delia, my dearest:

Wear the yellow T-Shirt with pride and work double hard, as you are volunteering for the both of us. Keep safe, keep dry, and please help as many people as you can. I love you so much. You are a sister to me. Thank you for being there. - Kisses, Desi





To my friend Robin (and her children and her mother):

I am so glad to hear that you have safely gotten out of the city. While it is unspeakably sad that countless people were not so lucky, I am so happy to hear that you are safe. I was terrified to hear of your ordeal in the Dome, and saddened to know that the police in New Orleans were so remiss. And I know that once order is again achieved, the criminal slime that damaged the rescue and safety effort will be prosecuted (or voted out of office as the case may be).

Thankfully you and your loved ones have all escaped that place. If you need someplace to stay, you can stay with me (getting all the way out here to Oregon might be some work, but the offer is out there!). I wholeheartedly wish a safe and full recovery for yourself, your family and your city.

Bless you! - Desi





My hopes for safe passage, finding the right people to help, giving them the help they need, and getting to everyone who needs it go out to the Scientology Volunteer Ministers, the Red Cross, and every other organization presently up to their knees in silt and sadness.

Best,

Desi