Archive for October, 2009

Google Pagerank 4!!!

Saturday, October 31st, 2009

The blog is now PR 4. I know you could care less, so I made the main page entry on the root blog.

This is a big deal for me. It was a goal that I started working on about two months ago and all of the work has paid off.

The book blog, the bee blog and the star finder jumped from 1 to 3, which is nothing to sneeze at.

JT30 and HarpAmps are not listed, yet, but I suppose that they lost out. I am going to have to redo those soon.

Before Christmas I will have converted the Cat Blog, the Bee Blog and the Book blog to WordPress with optimized themes. I will also take a shot at jt30 and harpamps. I have been discouraged about playing harp, but I should really start working on them.

Google Pagerank – Halloween October 2009 | Resources for Science Fiction Writers.

Middle Earth Stumbleupon

Friday, October 30th, 2009 on the average is sending a click every 10 seconds to the middle earth map on the main page. I know this because I wrote a WordPress plugin that lets me watch the traffic, pretty much in real time. I should get about 1000 users today if this keeps up for very long

This is bigger than the cliche list hits, for a much crappier page. I noticed that stumbleupon is also sending hits to this blog. This is all very odd.

In other news I ran my guidelines link snatcher again and I have a new page of about 300 guidelines. I’ve added a dozen other links to the main menu. I now need a way to add those to the blog so I can generate traffic up as well as down the chain.

Progress Converting to WordPress

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

The Root directory here is nearly converted to WordPress. It has taken up my spare time here and even at home. I have the Bee Blog, the Book Reviews,  and the Star Directory Pages to convert, but I am not sure how I should do this. There is version of WordPress that handles multiple blogs and another that will create virtual blogs for each directory.

This conversion is the reason why I have not been blogging much lately. When things settle down here I will start converting my other websites. I also want to write a guide for converting from Blogger to WordPress, since I am now an expert on it.

The one last page to convert is my 10 Laws of SF, including the No Nazis law. One reviewer said that it was so full of typos that it hurt to read it. I see no typos, but that’s me. I am going to import it to Word, rewrite chunks and let Word tell me what is wrong. I’ll reformat it and put it up as a WordPress page, and hopefully, it won’t hurt anyone’s eyes.

One thing that I’ve noticed is that the search engines are sending much more traffic. This is due to the new templates and the use of a Search Engine Optimizer plugin and Google sitemaps. I get nearly double the traffic and it’s only been about a month since I started.

Fall Foliage

Monday, October 26th, 2009

Erica and I went galavanting up to Ulster and Columbia Counties Sunday to enjoy the color of the changing leaves.

This 200 year old church had some beautiful golden yellow maples in the graveyard.

I took some pictures of a beautiful faded blue barn and outbuildings.

There was a corn field.

More colorful trees.

A blue bench overlooking the Catskills.

A kill, which is the dutch word for brook.

We had brunch at the Beekman Arm’s – the best brunch ever!

An evil looking wooden Indian in Rhinebeck, NY.

Rhinebeck had it’s children’s Halloween parade, which was very cute.

A vendor at the farmer’s market brought his bees.

Here are all 120 images:

You can link to the picasa album at

Full 80% of all of my hits come from Google Image Search. This should help that.

Dinner at Hatties in Saratoga Springs

Saturday, October 24th, 2009

While up in Saratoga Springs for a guitar show. I was hungry. I asked a few people where was the best place to eat in town and it didn’t take long for the consensus to be obvious. I had to go to Hattie’s and get the fried chicken.

Hatties is on Phila Street and has been in operation since 1938, when the famous fried chicken recipe was invented.

Here, from their the Hattie’s Website is a picture of Hattie:
Original Hattie

Here’s Larry in front of the place, in the rain.

Here are the two lovely ladies who made sure Larry and I had a very good time.

Writing Book Reviews — How and Why

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

Bill Ward over at Black Gate has a good article on writing book reviews. It is interesting that he distinguishes between writing a book review and a book report.

I have always tried to avoid writing the plot summary flavor of book report. I have been writing my opinions on the books that I read. I like to cover the quality, and position of the book in time and genre. It is more important to write about the how, why and where of a book and let the readers find out the plot by themselves.

By the way, I am now 8 books behind in my reviewing. I may never catch up, but I want to review the Varley book as well as the three Edgar Pangborn Books that I have. I read 3 SF magazines from the 1970s and I would like to discuss them, but the stories are rapidly fading from memory, so I might not get to them.

October is “Read a Book by Ray Bradbury Month”, so I will be taking Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes to work with me next week for my annual reading of this, my favorite book of all time.

Black Gate Writing Book Reviews — How and Why.

1and1 Hosting problems

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

I have been making some small amount of money off of pages based on eBay rss feeds. In the last 24 hours or so 1and1 disabled an important function that allowed these apps to work. It looks to cost me a few hundred a month so it is time to change hosting companies.

This is very frustrating, as there are lots of applications that use this function. 1and1 might have to fix this, but I won’t stay around too much longer if they don’t.

Sell on Good News

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

I worked for almost 15 years at Lockheed Martin. I still have some Lockheed stock form those days. This morning Lockheed Martin announced better than expected earnings and the stock dropped 4 and half points.

I know that this is no unexpected. Stocks go up on bad news and down on good news, but that doesn’t mean it makes any sense to me. In the book I read about the Dutch stock market (Confusion de Confusiones by Joseph De La Vega) in the 17th century there is an explanation for this. I understood it at the time, but I could not explain it now. It is a very basic fact about free markets, but I still don’t get it.

Hugo Voting

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

Steve Davidson turned me on to the fact that there is unusually low turnout for the annual voting for the Hugo Award, which is like an academy award except that it is for SF.

I did a little research based on Steve’s model for “Rocking the Hugos” and I was able to discover that in recent years it has taken under 20 votes to get a nomination on the final Hugo ballot. Although there are more than 500 nominations for each category, the minimum to get on the ballot was 17 a year ago. That means that all you need to appear on the final Hugo ballot is about 20 nominations. Once on the ballot you could have a real shot at winning a Hugo or at least boosting sales with a “Hugo Nominee” banner on you book, magazine or short story.

The gotcha is that it costs $50 to get yourself a voting membership in the World Science Fiction League. People who would gladly spend $50 on a weeks worth of smokes decide that it is not worth it to hack the system. You get all kinds of bling and extras for that $50, but $50 is too much.

Unless I can find 20 people with $50 burning a hole in their pockets, I can give up on “Best Short Story” this year. I would have been an honor to be nominated.

A Celebrity Staged Reading of The Twilight Zone’s “The Masks”

Monday, October 19th, 2009

Oct. 27 there will be a reading of “The Masks” down in NYC. It’s at 6:30PM at the Paley Center, on 52nd between fifth and sixth. $50 makes it outside my budget, especially that I might cost me $75 to park down there plus another $20 in tolls and parking. Also since I don’t get home from work until almost 6pm, there’s no way to make it down there in time.

It would be a good thing to see if I lived in the city, though. Ida Lupino directed the original episode.

Lucie Arnaz, Laurence Luckinbill, Katharine Luckinbill, Robert Walden, and Fritz Weaver
and special guest Anne Serling-Sutton (Rod’s daughter) will be there.

A Celebrity Staged Reading of The Twilight Zone’s “The Masks” | The Paley Center for Media.

When the Frost is on the Punkin

Thursday, October 15th, 2009

It is cooling off and Summer is gone for a while. I love the rustic old poem by James Whitcomb Riley – When the Frost is on the Punkin. Here’s one of the stanzas:

They’s something kindo’ harty-like about the atmusfere
When the heat of summer’s over and the coolin’ fall is here—
Of course we miss the flowers, and the blossoms on the trees,
And the mumble of the hummin’-birds and buzzin’ of the bees;
But the air’s so appetizin’; and the landscape through the haze
Of a crisp and sunny morning of the airly autumn days
Is a pictur’ that no painter has the colorin’ to mock—
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock.

Comparison of Google Adwords to Project Wonderful

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009

I wrote a short article on advertising for small websites comparing the relatively unknown advertising page Project Wonderful, to Google’s advertising options. It’s over on my Blog’s Eye site.

Blogs Eye – Comparison of Google Adwords to Project Wonderful.

PermaFLOQ PF-07001 Never Clog Drain

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009

I’m sorry, but the upstairs bathroom sink drain is slow, in spite of using a ton of Drano. I saw this today and I am considering buying it.

At $35 plus shipping it’s too expensive, but I can’t help but admire the ingenuity of the design.

This Machine Kills Fascists

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009
There was a picture today on a blog that I read of Woody Guthrie playing his guitar.

On Woody’s guitar is sticker that says “THIS MACHINE KILLS FASCISTS”.

I took the sticker, corrected for perspective as best as I could with  my very limited PhotoShop skills, and printed out the results.

I am going to glue it to the top of my laptop.

Here is the result. Feel free to print out a copy for your guitar, amp, computer, or hybrid car. Extra credit for sticking one to your local voting machine while not being watched (Woody would have liked that).