William's party: I took just Bradley, Esme was at her Auntie's. Then the following weekend, Naomi, to which I took Esme as well. She didn't think much of it since they were all 4 year olds and she's 6. Not only that but Brad wanted to play with his friends not his big sister.
And after waiting 20 minutes in increasing delight, Santa almost ran past us! Never mind, plenty of other things to entertain.
We arrive at the foot of the cliff railway, a 200 feet train ride up the cliff face, but we're too early so settle for cream teas in a nearby cafe. Nice cup of tea for Dad and diet coke for them, and we all tuck into scones, jam and cream. Mmmmm.
The kids cannot believe the cliff railway, staring at the very steep rail line infront of the cab, and looking out of the rear window as we ascend. An amazing trip.
Then, at the top is a long walk around the High Town, with amazing views. Not to forget the long bridge over to the station. We spend an hour here, looking at the trains, even Thomas The Tank is here, without his face (he's having a clean, we are told).
But better, much better, we spy a black train with the name of Bradley Manor. This trills Brad to the core, he dashes over the bridge to tell people on the other side, obviously telling everybody on the way across.
We kill half an hour wating for the train in the pub on the platform, nice beer, and a big selection of bitters too! I could have stayed much longer. Esme and Bradley would have stayed till the great dane left, as it was we had to walk past it to get out. Esme took some photos of the beast, and couldn't take her eyes off it all the time we were inside.
We catch our train and wander up and down the compartments. We even saw elephants on the journey, as we went past the safari park. We break the journey to Kiddermister in Bewdley, and take an hour's wander, with a portion of chips.
Once we get to Kiddy, we have another mini train ride, and a rush to catch the last train to Bridgnorth. Two knackered kids lie on my lap was we trundle slowly through the night on the 18 mile trip. Another walk across the high bridge when we get to Bridgnorth, a walk around the High town and use our return tickets for the ride down the cliff face to the car.
On the car drive home we count the train we've been on. One up the cliff, one from Bridgnorth to Bewdley, Bewdley to Kidderminster, one mini train in Kiddy, Kidderminster to Bridgenorth. One more down the cliff. 6 in all.
Soon we're home, to tell Mummy all about it. Pity they're too tired to tell the whole story.
Unfortunately, the show was extremely quiet, a flurry of snow, perhaps put some off. The afternoon session was dead.
Still I managed to sell some sites there and then, with PayPal doing the business for me and sending out emails to me at the show telling me another had bought a blog. Most excellent. Now to take the idea further.
We didn't see them much, as they disappeared in to the play area, diving into the ball pools, sliding down the slide...
And I had to dash off just before the end for a meeting.
Happy birthday Manila. Can't believe it's five years.
And now, referer callbacks and comment callbacks to combat spam. I've been using a rough method that's been quite effective at fighting the porn referers: I'd see if the word 'sex' or 'adult' or other common porn words were in the domain name of the referer, and ban the IP. Mostly the same IP would try several times with different domain names. Obviously, it's a machine. So far, in nearly two months, I've collected just over 1,000 IPs.
Recently, though some had been getting through. Those referrals with unknown (to me) porn words, or even clean (non-porn) sites. So, I installed Thomas Creedon's referrerRemover. Which cleans up after the event. (I'll dig into this and add something so that anything banned with it goes into my ban list too.)
Luckily, I, nor any of the machines I monitor, have been targeted (yet) by the more insidious comment spam.
I do love Manila. Much easier for meatheads to use than the more complex and powerful Radio. I've just added some RPC-XML calls to my Thumbnailer plugin which now allows me to shoot a script at a folder of images and have them placed in a page, as thumbnails. Wicked. Though I wish I could write this script as a stand alone app, for my meatheads.
The Americans had established and then strengthened a military presence in countries surrounding Saudi Arabia - Yemen, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain and Kuwait. Invasion of Iraq would complete the encirclement."
This idea that Iraq was a strategic target, that it was not attacked for it's oil nor it's WMDs is fairly new to me. I've been asking why the US and UK lied about WMD, why then they thought they needed to invade Iraq. I think this is getting closer to the real reasons for the attack.
I've long thought that one day blogs will ber a legal requirement for everyone. Your web address will be in your ID card. Those who need to could check out your postings to see what type of character, or religious, or political animal you are. Also, your utility bills, credit card details, birth certificates—everything is stored there, for both yours' and the Gov's convenience. They may or may not be called blogs.
Darren Barefoot from DarrenBarefoot.com and Jeremy Wright from Ensight.org
Currently, the going price seems to be $650 for 10-15 posts per week, plus other services like putting up the blog, and the consultation involved. Nice, clean eBay descriptions of who, what and why.
They're interesting because they're pushing blogs to those who would not have considered them for themselves. This way they can hire a pro blogger who'll do some good stuff. It should be a good intro, then the company could take over themselves, and add that deeper knowledge and conviction that only the CEO (or near) can demonstrate.
I'll put them in my eBay watch list. I'm interested in how much they get. Not that I'm going to auction myself off, too much work right now, but eBay is a good indicator of the price the market will pay for anything. Funny that they are both Canadians?
I do, I really do love Firefox. Mostly I love the tabs, and the way I can drag the current URL from the address bar into folders in the bookmarks toolbar (there's lots more there too) and pop-up blocking. And passwords, all saved for me (I'm not too worried about security here—my bank and eBay details aren't stored).
And the extensions (though lots aren't updated yet for this new release).
Latest version of Opera (another browser, said to be even better than Firefox—I'm still to enamoured to consider looking at another lover at the mo).
Check out some extensions for Firefox.
Image Zoom still awaiting the update for Firefox 1.0
Ad blocker does what it says on the tin
IE viewer, see what a page looks like in MSIE from the rightclick menu
Search tools! I'm trying these out, there's just too many new ones! Finally installed All-in-one search button 1.1
Web developer. Obviously.
Tabbed browser. Fan-fucking-tastic!
Fire FTP. Brilliant, free ftp app.
Tweak network. Wow. I thought I was fast anyway, but...
Their servers are being hit too hard, I'll wait a week or so, before really playing with the extensions.
For sure Google adsense is nickel and dimes for most, and for some (like me) the height of crassness. Rather like putting adverts on the door of one's car, or one's letterheads. (I'm such a blog snob.)
Product endorsement is pretty hard. Easier to say one doesn't like something, much harder to say one likes something, and keep that up. Think how many products one comes into contact with. Many aren't liked and discarded, those that are kept are kept forever. I just couldn't keep on and on and on, endorsing a product, it'd get pretty boring, and very transparent.
However, I've got to think of a way of writing about flower delivery. Mother's day delivery of flowers. Sending flowers to say "sorry," sending wedding flowers, delivering bouquets, sending bunches of flowers, flowers, flowers, lovely flowers.
Oppposite is how much it would cost for me to buy the Google adwords for flowers and flower delivery = £44,000 a day Or £1,320,000 a month! I can't afford that, not that I've got a UK flower shop anyway. But I'd love to get a revenue share of the click throughs. "Har, Har, Har! Bloody flowers! Lovely flowers!" I'd be certain to say every month the cheque dropped through the letterbox.
So, if you want to be as big as Bill Gates, start a blog about flower delivery, floral delivery, and ordering flowers and the rest of those £3.00 click through bids.
You'd need 25,000 click throughs, so 5,000,000 good hits per day (the low industry average @ 0.5% click through, some sites have reached 5%).
And sometimes Google gives up to 90-100% of the revenue, sometimes more than 100%. We're talking big numbers here. Now, how do I write stuff about flowers to achieve 5 million hits a day? Hmmm. I'd better sleep on that. I'd better sleep hard, since I know not a jot about the damned things. Flowers? They grow in the ground and look pretty.
|Traffic Estimator *|
|Keyword|| Clicks / |
| Average |
| Cost /|
|florida flower delivery||1.7||£2.92||£4.96|
|flower delivery in uk||5.9||£1.20||£7.04|
|flower delivery online||11.0||£2.06||£22.56|
|mother's day flower||0.2||£1.68||£0.39|
|mothers day flower||0.6||£1.36||£0.84|
|online flower shops||3.4||£2.22||£7.53|
|uk flower delivery||38.0||£1.27||£47.92|
|"flowers for delivery"||9.9||£2.63||£25.97|
|"flowers for mothers day"||0.4||£1.45||£0.55|
|"flowers on line"||23.0||£2.84||£65.14|
|"fresh cut flowers"||6.9||£1.55||£10.66|
|"mother's day flowers"||0.6||£2.18||£1.37|
|"next day flowers"||2.4||£1.69||£4.05|
|"send flowers online"||6.6||£2.44||£16.11|
I'll still say that these services and much of the blogging industry is becoming too difficult for too many, remembering that many coming to blogging have zero technical and usually very low internet experience.
He pointed out that is is indeed simple to get a subscription feed for searches. Too simple for my hurried eyes! There's an orange XML icon top right on any returned search. I see so many of these these days, I must be blind to them. Still, I can't get any such search feed to validate, thus I can't sub to them.
Yet, I can sub to exactly the same search criteria feeds in pubSub and the newer blogDigger. And I still cannot figure out how I can do such with Technocrati, I figure that there isn't such a feature there.
Again, I must emphasise that both Technocrati and much more so, Feedster are very opaque and difficult sites. Sure some things are easy, simple searching for instance, but others, for time pressed techies like me, are too detailed or too simple. For non-techies, well...
Saying that, the power of Feedster's advanced searching is wonderful if ever I needed such power, which I don't think I do at the moment.
I wonder if it's a case of Jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none? If blogDigger and pubSub can do search feeds, and do them so painlessly, and seemingly do nothing else (to my racing eyes, anyway), perhaps Feedster are doing too much.
Or, as I advised Scott, Feedster needs better navigation, a site map and better copy writers. And a sit down with the UI and somebody's mum ";->"
Saw some fireworks at the Rugby club, took a trip to the Hayfield, Aberdare Park and the Cwmdare Country Park. But my camera batteries ran out, so only took a few pix to prove it. Most of the time was spent indoors, watching Esme and Brad play.
Perhaps Saddam's idea of Oil-for-Food in Euros was another reason for the war. And putting pressure on Saudi Arabia was not so much about throttling the terrorist's funding, more about pressure on OPEC to keep the dollar.
Still the words used in this Venezuela article, even if it's a tabloid cheap shot are 'fighting talk.' Re: OPEC (and Iran) switching to Euros, "the immediate effect would be a massive devaluation, perhaps sparking of domino-effect devaluations worldwide in US$-related foreign reserves and foreign debt calculations."
Will Isreal pull the US into a Middle East war, a war over the petrodollar?
Will bin Laden's threat to bankrupt the US come true?
Tune in next week ";->"
The Russian Sunburn anti ship cruise missile. Now in the possession of Iran.
I could waste hours here, staring, with a funny grin on my face. (Too much detail, Steve!)
SAAB: the official archive of small and animated boobs.
Guardian: The theory runs that within a decade, standard cathode ray tube TVs, VHS videos and DVD players will be history. In their place will be a home entertainment system in which one box wirelessly streams audio, video, web and television content to a series of flat screens and handheld devices throughout the home.
"Jock Gill, a former adviser on Internet media to President Clinton,
says blogs work for Jupiter because they create trust and build
connections with readers. "You do business with people you trust, and
blogs help create that trust," Gill said."
Bringing in business they may not have otherwise got. The 50,000 page reads per day is nothing compared to the rest of Jupiter's site, but those hits are bringing in sales leads.
I've added my photo to my profile, claimed my blog, but still it doesn't show on any searches. It used to, I know, though that was a year ago or so when I looked last. I guess one doesn't expect to be dropped.
Weblogs.com was the only service I bothered pinging, mainly because Radio did that as a matter of course, along with the Manila sites I host. Though I think that weblogs.com isn't being used by many of these services any longer, probably because it's mostly broken (as it is yesterday and today when I looked) thus, I need to ping several services. Thus, any search in the blogosphere needs to use several services to be complete. This is the Balkanisation of the blogosphere.
Setting up a Pubsub search feed is easy, or it is for me as I've done it several times, sure it could be much, much easier. But setting up a similar service in Technorati and Feedster... Well, I can't.
Feedster: while I am in their index and I'm in there PDQ, and for this I'm very grateful and appreciative, setting up a search feed is again, impossible. Wait, I think I've found it. Boy, Feedster's navigation sucks. Worse: the feeds won't validate! Neither in Dave Winer's nor bad boy's atom/RSS validator.
And to claim my feed in Feedster I need to:
Pubsub: I love you. Though the terminology used in your website is a little blog-geeky. If only you picked up more blogs in your radar. And if I could edit out livejournal results. Mind, you seem to be the only ones who draw on livejournal. And right now, the site is off-line. (I'm having poor luck with these RSS service at the mo :-(
The long and short of searching the blogoshere: far too complex, far to annoying.
Listening on the internet, reading my usual sites, I figured that Kerry would pull it off.
Now, I'm realising that I've been reading people like me.
we rise not so early, since the night before he kept on shouting down the stairs, "I can't get to sleep because I'm so excited."
Esme asks her mum, why she's only two presents? While denying that she's been downstairs at all. "Bradley's got lots more than me." "It's Bradley's birthday."
And soon, we tear into the presents. Or rather Brad does. It's all over very quickly. Too quickly.
It's not long before I'm untangling wires, to get the toys out of their display cases, and putting batteries in things. Rather cursing that we haven't enough of the right sort of batteries. Typical!
Later his cousins come around and we have a good old play. They're already dressed as vampires and witches. (Bradley's birthday falls on 31st October.) Then we go to Wonderland in Telford Town Park for their Trick or Treat party. Lots of witches and Frankensteins.
Years ago I wouldn't have thought I'd buy my kids such stereotypical toys, particularly guns and tanks.
A bussy Saturday morning, and we always manage to attract a few hangers on who are as surprised as Amanda at the fishing technique. Scatter some bread, use the net to scare the ducks, and soon the water's boiling with carp.
Esme likes to see the crowd, more than the fish. Though she does yelp and squeal when she's fishing as they get away, too. But it's the crowd that she likes.
We went to Toys-R-Us in Shrewsbury to find Bradley some presents for his birthday. Always a stressful time for me and my credit card.
It was Esme's tractor that was nicked, we left it out on the car park... My fault I guess. It was quite worn, rusty and rain and sun pock marked. I suppose it was kids, but you never know.