Thursday, April 23, 2009

This ain't no 'LOL cats' blog

So I went and posted a picture of one of our cats, The Kitten, for my Wordless Wednesday submission yesterday.

Don't worry, now. The Hawg hasn't gone soft. I still prefer dogs to cats and I'll not take to posting photos of cats with cute slogans on them such as "You will respekt me authoritah" or "Awl you birdz are be long to me" or "I will cill u in u sleep."

No, I just really like The Kitten. She's a fine animal. I just wonder what we'll call her in July when she's a full grown cat rather than just a kitten.

Is there a point to all this rambling? Is there ever? Does it matter?

Actually, I do have a point. For one thing, I'm out to promote one of my favorite ideas as of late, Tell Me Thursday (click, click, clickety, click that link, kids). The purpose of that site is to provide a spot for people to explain their Wordless Wednesday entries. Honestly, more people need to participate in that fine endeavor.

Second, that composite photo of The Kitten was made possible by a little program called The Gimp -- an open source program that's a lot like Photoshop. Unlike Photoshop, however, The Gimp is totally free.

I'm constantly amazed there are a lot of people out there who aren't aware of all the great, free programs that are available on the Internet. For example, one of my favorite programs is Evernote, a handy little program I use to take notes and access them from anywhere I have an Internet connection. As I've mentioned before, I'm a public relations guy and do some freelance reporting, so the ability to take notes at home or at work and access them later is invaluable.

Oh, and if there's a Web site with some great information on it, I can just clip it into Evernote. The same goes for emails, photos and -- heck -- just about anything. Since getting Evernote, I rarely use a notebook unless I'm going out of the office for an interview.

Meanwhile, my systems stay virus free thanks to Avira AntiVir, spyware is kept at bay with Spybot and I rather regret buying Microsoft Office when the very good OpenOffice is available.

I love cool, free stuff. Who doesn't?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Wordless Wednesday -- The Kitten

Head on over to Wordless Wednesday and submit something of your own!

Monday, April 20, 2009

How the hell does this happen?

You've got to give it to Iran -- when they go out and put a nut in charge, they don't mess around.

That President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (hereinafter referred to as "Jed" because I don't want to type "Ahmadinejad" again) is a piece of work, isn't he? I won't get too deep into the merits of the U.S. entering negotiations with a man who's crazier than a sack of rabid weasels too much because that topic has been beaten to death.

I can't help but point out, however, that he seems to be consulting a Magic 8-Ball when it comes to foreign policy, however. How else can you explain the actions of a fellow who's talking about conciliation with the U.S. when he's not tossing racist remarks out at a U.N. anti-racism conference or his government is tossing journalists in jail?

How conciliatory can this cat be? Is compromise even possible when you're dealing with a guy who's ape-shit crazy? Should the U.S. even trust this fellow when he says the sky is blue?

Again, Jed's sanity and trustworthiness has been questioned for years and I won't bother hashing through all of that again. Here's my question, however. Let's say you're the guy who gets to plan the U.N. anti-racism conference. You've got world leaders in Geneva for a week to talk about racism and (ideally) how to get rid of it.

At what point do you think, "Hey, let's let ol' Jed speak before any other government officials. That's a great idea!"

Wasn't it obvious that Jed would open his fat yap and ruin the whole event for everyone? Did someone think he'd back off the Jews this one time and play nice? Did Jed even understand that the conference wasn't designed to promote racism? So that one week conference ended pretty early as a bunch of ambassadors walked out of the thing in disgust before the event even got off the ground.

Honestly, how the hell does stuff like this happen? No wonder the world's a mess.


Raise your hand if you're completely confused by the stuff that Entrecard is up to these days. Yeah, that's what I thought.

Your old friend, The Hawg, is rather at a loss. My traffic has dropped quite a bit, my ad rates are low and a lot of Entrecard members just seem irate. Frankly, I'm starting to wonder if that whole site is worth the trouble anymore.

I'll recap the events of the past few weeks for those asking "huh?" and "what?" out there. Entrecard, once upon a time, was based on the simple idea that people would get credit for visiting members' sites and could purchase "ads" with those credits. People were happy and there was much rejoicing.

Ah, but sites can't function forever without money, seemingly, so the Enterecard folks got the idea to start selling paid ads. The only problem, of course, is that the paid ads knock out the ads purchased with Entrecard credits half the time. This has caused much grumbling and strife -- that healthy Entrecard traffic has slowed down and even blogs like this one that don't accept paid ads are watching their ad rates dwindle.

There's enough grumbling out there, in fact, to cause people to look for other sources of traffic. I've been doing a bit of that and have found some luck with BlogExplosion and I'm hoping to get a bit of traffic from Facebook.

I've run across some great blogs on Entrecard and will likely spend some days dropping cards, some days not giving a damn and some days just dropping cards on blogs I like. I'm having trouble staying too serious about the site, however, and the old days of dropping 300 cards have ended.

Frankly, that's probably for the best -- I'd rather linger around and read blogs than do a bunch of reciprocal dropping, anyway.

Music Monday -- Cameo

For extra triple fun, see if you can spot LeVar Burton (who played Geordi La Forge on Star Trek: The Next Generation) running around in this video. Long live the 1980s!

Come join Music Monday and share your songs with us. One simple rule, leave ONLY the actual post link here. You can grab this code at LJL Please note these links are STRICTLY for Music Monday participants only. All others will be deleted without prejudice.