I have now arrived. I also have another (perhaps more) personal blog on Windows Spaces, Odd-Man-Out, but that is my "practice" blog. So, settle back; enjoy the read. It's going to be a beautiful day - I hope.



I signed up for Google's Blogger, and now I have a whole freaking account!

What have I done? Did I mean to do this? Look at all that STUFF I get to check out!

And, now, I need to review a couple of more TOS (Terms of Service) - Blogger AND Picasa.

Disclaimer: Google, Picasa (I'm assuming), the Google logo, and I don't know what else are all copyright/trademarks of Google or somebody - I'm sure. By reading this disclaimer (stored or not anywhere upon yours or any other servers), copyright, trademark, and all other rights, etcetera, by named or unnamed, known or unknown person(s), organization(s), entity/ies hereby agree to allow me plenty of time to get rid of the offense(s) real and/or imagined, alleged and/or unalleged before it costs me anything - including legal fees.

Just kidding. Maybe.



Using Windows Live Writer is a dream. Well, maybe. I really haven't been blogging enough to truly appreciate the application. Still, managing both of my blogs (and more on the way, I'm sure) from one app is impressive. Well, it's convenient, anyway.
Fortunately for all of you (I know, there are none of you - still, hope IS eternal), my hanging about the Digital Point Forums (my user name is MeMyselfAndI) may well have given me an idea or two about a post, or two. All I can say at this time is that the social web is here - like it or not, for good or ill.



You can also find me on YouTube - I "specialize" in an eclectic mix of music. You MUST watch Talking to the Police - Part 1 on my Favorites.
Don't forget to comment, and if anyone makes it through all of "Moozak" do let me know.



My wife had to do it, but at least it got done - there are comments on (one of my) blogs! You can check it out for yourself. Thank you, annbooton. I appreciate that. And don't forget, everyone, I love to comment, too. I'll keep you posted.



I have no doubt, with the economy worldwide spiraling into the abyss, and, consequently, so many people newly unemployed, that the greatest danger of unemployment is . . .
<drumroll, please>
To make matters worse, with unemployment is a scarcity of resources - insurance, savings. So, the important thing to remember when becoming unemployed is to avoid depression. While that might stand without saying, I am saying it because I need to research this matter, for my own health and yours. So, since I am able to edit posts, this one will be edited. I will provide all of us with some resources, albeit meager and certainly not insurance and cash. Stay tuned!



It's true, I bookmark. Like nuts! I have 307 bookmarks on my browser (Firefox). It's time to clean up - again. More on this later.
I've just started commenting, and it is going to become an addiction. So, just to give you an idea of my areas of interest here are the pages I've commented on (look for Rob't, that's my commenting name):
    So, go enter the fray, and let's have a discussion.
    Do you want a conversation? Do you have a blog? Comment here, and, if I'm interested, I'll be sure to comment - and, note, I've stripped the nofollow from this blog.



    Behind the MaskAt, I found a post concerning sponsored posts that prompted too much thinking to comment on the post itself. For those new to the idea, a sponsored post (as the term is used in the aforementioned and linked post) is a paid-for post on a blog. Typically a company pays someone to write a review of the company's product or service, and that someone then posts the review on their own blog.
    However, the article is really referencing "paid posts," posts put up specifically for remuneration. If it were sponsored, it would be a post like any other post, and the sponsor would have no say in the matter - just listen to National Public Radio or watch the Public Broadcasting System. Indeed, as you can read about on Johnathon Fields' blog, many guest posts can be construed as a "paid post" (as opposed to a "sponsored post") for a number of bloggers pay others to post, and the topic is often dictated as part of the agreement. And in terms of remuneration, is not the "exposure" on a popular blog remuneration? Come to think of it, are there any disclosures on those sites concerning same? Not that I have seen. And the buck doesn't stop there!
    What about an affiliate program, like A blogger loves a movie, "plogs" it, and, of course, puts up an affiliate link? Is not a plug on a blog, or "plog" as I'm terming it for the moment, a form of "paid post?" And that is where it really gets murky. With a paid post there is, hopefully, a disclosure - somewhere. The firms that facilitate these deals (almost?) all require disclosure on the site with the post. Is such a disclosure required by the myriad affiliate programs out there? I'm not betting on it. A paid post is most likely to be positive, even glowingly so, but isn't a "plog" on that movie going to be positive, likely glowingly so, as well?
    And what about text-link ads? Banners? Buttons? Skyscrapers? How many sites have you surfed into, say for information on laptops, and found advertising - on laptops! Did the post precede the ads - or did the ads beget the post?
    So, why single out paid posts as the bane of blogging?
    The problem, at the moment, isn't whether a post is guest, paid, or sponsored. Rather, it is with the conversation itself - there needs first to be a consensus on terms. Perhaps, there already is, and I'm just not aware of it. Still, toward furthering that conversation, I advance that:
    • a "sponsored post" is a post unrelated to the sponsor's commercial concerns; and
    • a "guest post" is - well, that can be complicated; and
    • a "paid post" is just that.
    EssayBefore I end, I strongly recommend WinExtra's post about sponsored posts.
    So, that said, ought there be a definition of "plog post" as in the example? The more I get into blogging, the more I think. The more I think the more I should be blogging, and I am sure I will have more thoughts on this as I blog on. So, where shall the conversation go from here?
    The images, Behind the Mask, by Smile My Day, and Essay, by Martin Kingsley's, both members of Flikr, are shared under a Creative Commons License.



    About time to wrap this up I've only been blogging a short time. And I was (I still am) happy with Blogger/Blogspot. Still, as I am rather prolific in detail with my posts, I needed a place to "put the details." Nothing drags down a post more than superfluous detail. Nothing - other than grammar, spelling, writing style, page load speed ... well, detail can be a serious problem. Regardless, detail is akin to death on the web where every little nugget ingested must be just that - little.
    When creating a post, the blogger really must keep in mind myriad things - among them: the purpose of the post and the value for the reader. Extraneous detail always threatens to obfuscate the purpose and dilute the value. You'll note that I said threaten. Extraneous detail does not always do either or both. So, it is important for the effective blogger to organize her post: before the writing is best; before posting if the former "just isn't her style."
    While I have only a few posts, I certainly have found that my style is (arguably verbose as well) explicit. I WANT to include a lot of the myriad details that go into a "story." I also feel that those details are necessary. However, they are necessary only as reference. They are not the story itself. It didn't take too many posts (though more than a few drafts) to fully grasp the idea that a post should not contain everything. What to do? Well, quite simply, place the material elsewhere, say a "static" page.
    Blogger doesn't have that capability.
    Or does it?
    I was honored to get to take a survey from Blogger - I know, MANY people, I am sure, have been "honored" to take that survey. In that survey, I told them the same thing (in not so many words). However, while I was typing in my suggestion/concern, I realized that there, indeed, is a way to put up "static" pages.
    While you need to post that "static" page, you can edit it's date and time. This opens up a whole other matter, but I'm going to ignore that for the sake of brevity. So, once you post it and edit it's post date, then you can link to it as a static page with all of the look of your blog - because it is on your blog. Problem solved? I'm sure, not. There is the matter of the post going through the feed, and that can be a problem. Still, what are your thoughts?
    The image, About time to wrap this up, by Unhindered by Talent on Flikr, is shared under a Creative Commons License.



    This is totally cool. Apparently, I can share videos on YouTube with my Blogger Blog, and I can turn it into a post - just add text when sharing. I understand that the statement marks me a newcomer to the web, but really, this web 2.0 stuff has real potential. I'm just trying to figure it out from the inside.

    That aside, this video made me rethink what I had always believed. Indeed, I had always believed that, if you've done nothing wrong, talking to the police can't possibly be a problem - talking to the police will only "prove" one's innocence in whatever mix-up caught their attention. I am naive, or I was, or I'm not as much as I was before.

    Another errant notion I discovered among my many notions of the This Land of Ours, is that pleading the fifth amendment was never construed by the Founding Fathers as a defense for the guilty from the prying eyes of the law, but a protection of the innocent from the abuse of the police!

    I know that last sentence is difficult in that I'm propounding that I once thought the Founding Fathers desired a defense for the guilty, but it really is just an execution of artistic license. Indeed, to understand the sentence as I intend it, replace that word with protection.

    As is usual for me, I am wowed by this idea of cross platform blogging (so to speak, I should find what the actual term is for this concept - in terms of "sharing" something on a site with your own blog and posting to it all at once. It also gets me salivating at the idea of yet another blog. Sharing all my stuff!

    So, returning to the video itself, I am going to have to find Part 2 (and other parts if there are).

    I hope you enjoyed this spontaneous side of me. And don't forget to comment - I love to comment, too!


    Mini When looking at producing a "static" page for my blog, I came across a feature that, while useful, presents it's own problem - from the post, The Problem With Blogger, " ... you can edit it's date and time. This opens up a whole other matter ... ." However, this is not a matter pertaining only to Blogger. I discovered it earlier on MySpace when I either edited or created a post. Some how, some way, that post wound up being "time-stamped" some eight years before I first touched a computer - January 1, 1981! I am sure that every blogging platform (and I'm betting every CMS and other applications used to publish on the internet) has the same feature - and the same problem.
    So, what is this problem? Accuracy. Research, be it for an article, a news story, a thesis - the list is way too long to enumerate - requires accuracy. There needs to be a source, and that source, when it's from the "real" world - newspaper, encyclopedia, etcetera - has a date. Arguably, time is not important. I disseminate an opinion, and, to date, no one's citing that opinion. If they do, however, and if the "meme" then expands, time can be of serious consequence. After all, time is of the utmost importance in law such as with copyright, trademark, and patent issues. Time can be quite important in terms of one's credibility, especially if that credibility depends on the topicality of one's research.
    There are, of course, measures to ameliorate the problem. Those measures apply to the consumer as to the producer. Google's cache, for instance, won't have a copy of the source before it appeared. That said, Google doesn't have the entire internet on a hard drive. Not every page, every slice of content is indexed, let alone cached. And who clicks on 'cached' in the search results. One can rely on reliable online sources for their research, but if those sources all (including newspaper sites) use the same blog/cms/other applications to publish on the internet, then how reliable are they?  One can also just log off and go to the library.
    Finally, there is one more, perhaps esoteric, concern. PayPerPost, and I'm sure other services, have certain age requirements for a blog. To wit (from their Terms of Service, 3.3, D and E):
    • Minimum Blog Age. Blogs must be live for a minimum of ninety (90) days, counted from the date of the blog's first post, with at least twenty (20) pre-existing posts written in the 90 days prior to registration with the PayPerPost Marketplace.
    • Chronological Archives. Blogs must have a chronological archive to verify age. Categorical archives will not be accepted. You acknowledge and agree that PayPerPost may also verify compliance with these age and posting requirements via a third party spider.
    December 31, 1979 6:44 P.M.Apparently, PayPerPost has considered the matter as is apparent from " ... third party spider." Still, do they check? Is the spider that capable? I'm sure that criteria such as Google's PageRank and traffic are more important. Still, if they are concerned, are there others that are as well? Or should be? Should we (as I really haven't any visitors, I guess that means just me) be concerned?
    Of course, the issues concerning research on the internet are not new. They've been around since the first citation of a web page. Still, has anyone thought ALL of this through? Am I paranoid or somesuch for the concern? Have you changed the date or the time of your blog post? Why?
    The images, Mini, by eliazar, and December 31, 1979 6:44 P.M. by richardmasoner, both members of Flikr, are shared under this Creative Commons License and this Creative Commons License, respectively.


    service with a smile Well, it's another post on services - those that I am (or was formerly) enjoying - across the world wide web.
    Up first is YouTube. As you know, this NOOB discovered that he can post to his blog from YouTube™ and embedding the video he's blogging about all at the same time. It is too cool. Well, my son and I had been complaining (amongst ourselves, of course - web 2.0 doesn't really integrate well with user suggestions, you know) about the lack of a shuffle feature on YouTube™. Indeed, I'd go into my playlist and shuffle it myself.
    After all, one of the coolest features of YouTube is that when you look up some great music - say, "Temptation Eyes" by The Grass Roots - you'll get a number of hits. Well, play one of those videos, and in the Related Videos sidebar there will be a number of other songs (and other videos) you may well have forgotten. Keep on following those related videos. I added some forty or fifty in just one sitting. How cool is that? Of course, as I like an eclectic mix of music, but, as I tend to remember things in sets (so to speak), I might add several songs from the same artist. Well, the only way I could mix it up was to edit the playlist. With a hundred plus songs, that gets tedious.
    Well now they do. Just go into your profile (or however you want to get to it), click play all on the playlist you want. When the  video starts, check the randomize box. You might need to click play all next to it, but there you go - instant shuffle. Thank you YouTube!
    As I intend to edit all of this - I do so enjoy a polished blog - I'll just state here that: next up, and quite naughty, is MySpace. They should be ashamed. Details will follow soon, and, likely this post will be split into two separate posts. Until then, get on YouTube, and get productive.
    The image, service with a smile, by debaird™ on Flikr, is shared under a Creative Commons License.


    David di Michelangelo I understand MySpace, perhaps, has some responsibility toward it's membership, especially considering millions of them are minors. However, they overstep the line when they disable a bonafide link because it (quoting from the MySpace page): " ... was very naughty, and, much like head lice, had to be eliminated .. it's one of the following reasons: - The link was spam! ... - You almost got phished! ... - Viruses are not fun! ... There's plenty on the Internet "
    Well, MySpace, the link in question was on my blog on MySpace and was to this blog. There's no spam here, and the link itself wasn't spam as I, myself, placed it on the blog you allow me to post. I don't have any phishing. There are no viruses (or malware, etcetera). Indeed, were there, it would be a problem for Blogger (or Blogspot), hence a problem for Google  (I have no real access to their code to plant a virus or do some phishing, etc.) - they own the platform, and I have to obey their TOS. Speaking of terms of service, the link, in no way violated the MySpace TOS. And I've seen plenty (and will no doubt see plenty more) of the crap on the internet. This blog may not be the finest content on the web, but it is far from crap. And no one on MySpace, going through my blog on MySpace, is going to be able to follow a link to this blog. And EVERY outbound link on MySpace goes to a disclaimer page! Why disable my link?
    In fact, if MySpace weren't run by a 'bot, they'd know that this blog actually has content. All I was doing was trying to draw attention to this blog. It does, after all have a VERY limited audience. And I'm not writing just for the practice! Okay, it is, in part, practice, but the operative word in the previous statement was 'just.' I want some readers. I want some socialization. I'm also poor, and I want a lot of money, but that isn't going to happen. Still, is it to much to try and draw attention to your own work?
    Finally, all (including Mister MySpace, Bot, et. al.), I understand that MySpace has a right, by their TOS, to pretty much do as they please without any recourse for me. And that's fair? Another matter altogether I want to explore in detail at another time. So, what do you think? Did MySpace blow it? Is MySpace really just a 'bot/spider/script/whatever? Is this censorship? Is The Odd Man Out really that bad?
    Do comment. I love to comment, too.
    The image, David di Michelangelo, by kck_start on Flikr, is shared under a Creative Commons License.



    Well, MySpace removed the block on my outgoing link to this blog from mine on MySpace. I can only guess that, because I removed all of the links from previous posts and posted a new link in a new post, MySpace apparently thought I was spamming. The world may never know.
    SPAM, SCAMS, AND WHAT? 02/05/2009
    I've spent far too long on this post already, and you don't get to see the work. That isn't the point of this post. So, what is the point? Well, added to so much good news - just this morning - and a bit more bad news - yesterday - I have received a most helpful email. Well, it's helpful neither to you nor to me in and of itself, but it did just get me back into writing and posting. The real title to this post ought be "2 Ways Not to be Scammed With 3 Ways to fight Spam" or somesuch. Unfortunately, that is long enough to be a short blog post or a long tweet (not that I tweet - yet).
    The email, an obvious twist on the Nigerian 401 Scam, actually amused me. To quote:
    ... I reside here in New Braincells Texas ...
    I actually had to look that up. I'm good with geography (believe it or not I had, at one time, memorized all - yes, ALL - of the Soviet Socialist Republics back when there was a Union of them), but New Braincells just seemed to be an odd name. A quick search on Google Maps turned up nothing.
    Another thing that amused me was that a Nigerian 401 scammer was warning me against other Nigerian 401 scammers! I guess the economy is rough enough that even the scammers are having a hard day of it. To wit:
    ... that those people that is contacting us through emails are fake ... to email you and tell you to stop dealing with those people,they are not with your fund, they are only making money out of you ...
    Apparently, those people are persnickety - I was warned no less than six times throughout the email. Still, here is the amusement: the person warning me that I should avoid "those people" directed me to a certain "Barrister Levis Monk" whom she found when she traveled to Nigeria (after she had paid over $20,000.00 - to no avail) to claim her contract funds of $5 million. His email is in Romania! Oh, she had to pay $520.00 for her "IRS permit." What the !@#$ is that?
    So ...

    2 Ways Not to be Scammed With 3 Ways to fight Spam

    Your spam filter IS your friend (especially if you're using a POP address), but you must process it. With my POP3 address (at least I think it's 3), I download my messages from the server to my hard drive where I view them with my client, Thunderbird by Mozilla. However, with the service (cable internet), I also get spam filtering from the ISP that I log into online. Still, with web-based mail (and I have those, too, though I rarely use them), the only difference is that the spam folder is part of the folders you're viewing when you're checking your mail.
    1. Check your spam folder daily. This should go without saying, but it is really quite amazing how full some people will let their spam folder become. Then it's impossible to deal with. If you check and process your spam folder daily, you will get less spam.
    2. Whitelist your contacts and not much more. First, check the From line, then check the Subject line, and, finally, read it, if you want. If you truly want the contact (be it a company newsletter or whatever) then whitelist it. Follow the instructions with your client - be it POP or web - and allow THAT address. However, it doesn't hurt, especially with mailing lists you've just joined, to let messages continue to go into the spam folder. It will give you a feel for whether you want to remain on the list or not. And if you do, whitelist the sender.
    3. Look for the unsubscribe. If there's a link or text instructions so you can unsubscribe, then do it - if you don't want those messages. If the message has no discernible way to unsubscribe, opt-out, or just plain remove you from their list - and you don't want the mail - delete it.
    That is the process I use for my mail. The results have been astounding - well, in my opinion. Whereas I once received more than forty messages a day that I didn't want, I am down to less than half of a dozen. Of course, this fluctuates, as I am always signing up for new things then opting out of the list later. I believe that my email address gets sold by some of the list holders, so I receive mail from others. Even so, I spend a minimal amount of time on spam.
    So, where are the two ways not to be scammed?
    1. Limited amount of spam. If you practice the above process on a daily basis, then you've placed the numbers game on your side. The less spam you receive, the less chance you will be conned.
    2. Deleted suspect email. Instead of reading every email arriving in your box, you delete those that you don't want - because they're from people you don't know, the subject is, well, odd, or there is no opt-out.
    I could go on and on, but the important thing to remember is: keep track of your incoming spam, and be suspicious.



    I posted just recently that MySpace had, arguably, censored my MySpace blog by disabling outbound links to this blog. I then corrected the post, so to speak, with another post that MySpace had, apparently, re-enabled the outbound link(s). In fact, I even postulated that MySpace had merely just flagged the links as spam for I had three links to this blog on three different posts.
    Well, MySpace did it again, and I'm not taking any heat on this instance. There is only one link (indeed, it was the only link I had to this blog after I removed the others), and now it is disabled, too.
    Apparently, according to Marcos, MySpace has a problem with Blogger. I'm thinking that, at some pint, MySpace will have a problem with Blogger's owner - Google! This doesn't bode well for MySpace. Of course, I could be reading this backwards. Perhaps, MySpace is "punishing" Google for some (unknown to me) injustice that, arguable, MySpace inflicted upon itself with all of the spamming, phishing, and God-knows-what that goes on there. Still, Google IS the search engine of choice, and MySpace is going to have problems. As if they don't already.
    So, I've posted one last blog (funny that MySpace terms each post a blog) on MySpace. Also, I posted a bulletin on MySpace wherein I pointed out, perhaps, the two most important issues concerning MySpace's insular behavior:
    • The web was (and is) built on links; and
    • Isn't this the same thing that happened with AOL?
    Speaking of AOL, I cut my teeth online with that service. Speaking of AOL, their proprietary browser provided for much of the same "features" as MySpace - trying to trap users in the service, trying to provide every service imaginable to their users, hyper-insularity - including "scrutinizing" outbound links.
    Where's AOL now? Where is MySpace going?

    Saturday, November 21, 2009

    I'm busy working part-time (delivering pizza) as well as job hunting, writing, working on my upcoming website (check it out here: - but it's not ready, yet), and more. So, as I haven't posted in quite some time, and, since the days of this blog may well be numbered, I thought I'd share just a little.

    While I won't go into detail, the following is a product description that I wrote. Retailers, wholesalers, manufacturers, and others take note: I can do this for you.
    Bush Furniture's Comfort Zone Cart, model number MM50500-03, is a mobile small/home office desk from their Jagger collection. This is a stylish, modern desk in lift cherry finish of particleboard, fiberboard and/or solid wood components. It is ready-to-assemble and carries a 6-year manufacturer's warranty. This mobile work station is on casters and features adjustable monitor and CPU shelves for comfort and utility as well as a retractable keyboard shelf. Numerous shelves and storage spaces organize the peripherals, electronics, supplies, and more of the small/home office. These are accessible from the front or either of both sides. Open storage for up to 54 CD's in a pair of front facing, flanking racks is also present. Several pass-throughs help hide and organize cables and wires. A large lateral file drawer, centered low at the front of the desk, holds either letter or legal size files. Both the keyboard shelf and the file drawer use ball bearing slides. Nominal dimensions are 49” high, 59” wide, and 31” deep.
    A search for the above product will provide a number of results, but none of them is as good as this.
    Yes, I write.
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