Amazon parks their Kindle up their ass again!

One of my favorite authors, Jasper Fforde has a new book out today, Shades of Grey: A Novel.

I pre-ordered the book for my Kindle, knowing that if the price dropped that Amazon would refund the difference.
Not so!
The price dropped $1.67, not a princely sum, but to my personal amazement, Amazon is incapable of refunding the difference on Kindle titles! Their solution is to ask for a complete refund and then repurchase the title!
Just plain very weird in my humble opinion.

My book

Gah! Another day fighting the Great White Bull also known as the Empty Page, in the course of writing my book. Sometimes it's more like wrestling the book out of your mind instead of writing it based on an outline or a stray visit by a muse.

Kindle for PC

I own 75 Kindle books plus the original Kindle.
A month ago I bought a bargain basement netbook from Fry's for $199.
So, having read about the new Kindle for PC program from Amazon, I thought I would try it out.


Wow! Much better to read with (accepting the form factor differences) and viewing illustrations and drawings is now actually acceptable.

If you own a Kindle and you own any kind of PC, my advice is to go out and install this program right now. It is simply wonderful.

BizTalk 2009 the end of the product?

I got the word from a MSFT insider that BizTalk 2009 is the final version.

It has been handed off to 100 guys in India for support and will be incorporated into .net 4.

The BizTalk adapters will possibly be marketed as a separate product add-on.

Another source yesterday told me that whatever code runs BizTalk will be given to the SQL group at Microsoft.

Curiouser and curiouser!


What I learned about wearing a beret while in Paris:

1. They don't blow off of your head because they are round and hence aerodynamic.
2. They keep your head warm. (Very important when one has lost a lot of hair over time.)
3. Only young woman and old guys (holds up hand) wear berets in Paris.
4. You can buy them cheap in Paris. I paid like $6 for a wool beret.

Create a Windows 7 USB installer

There are many articles on how to create a USB installation drive for putting Windows 7 on netbooks.

Here is a free program from Microsoft that does the entire thing for you:

I used it to put Windows 7 on my netbook and it worked flawlessly.

You need to have a .iso file of Windows 7 and a USB drive of a least 4GB.

What I got out of Paris

I found a few nice French people but on the whole they were haughty, aloof and rude. I spoke with British, Finnish, Dutch and other tourists who felt the same way. The attitude seems to be that either one is French or one isn't French and if you are the latter you will be treated as a second class person.

If you eat at McDonald's in France and have wholesome natural beef hamburgers, fresh bread buns, fresh cheese, fresh French pastries and BEER you will NEVER enjoy an American McDonald's again!

Things that were closed: The Picasso Museum, the Egyptian wing at the Louvre, the catacombs.

There's a LOT of walking, which we expected, but to successfully traverse the Montmartre area you need to be part mountain goat. We did eat at the "Amelie" cafe in Montmartre and had creme brulee for dessert. It was cool that people can bring their dogs into restaurants.

The view from the top of the Arc D'Triomphe is absolutely stunning. The stairs to reach the top will kill you.

The value of whether or not to buy a Paris Museum Pass is up in the air. I guess I would say to go for it just to avoid having to stand in line at each museum to buy Yet Another Ticket.

I love cinema, but didn't feel the Cinema Museum was worthwhile.

Napoleon's apartment in the Louvre is a must see, but oddly several guidebooks fail to mention that it exists. The Louvre cafe is pricey but good. It cost 7.5 Euros for a slice of pizza which is ten dollars! We also discovered a British potato chip there that came in flavors such as Stinky Cheese with Onions, Roast Ox and Ham with Mustard.

Paris 2009 photos

My daughter is a better photographer than I am.
These are the few photos I took in Paris.

Just click "Paris 2009 photos" to be taken to my Picasa album.

I left my camera in our hotel room more often than I took it along.

The Louvre and Egypt

October 2009 the entire Egyptian wing at the Louvre, which is the largest collection of Egyptian objects outside of Cairo, is CLOSED.

Centre Pompidou and Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol's Elizabeth Taylor work was not on display due to an all woman art show being exhibited. So since Andy wasn't a woman they put his Elizabeth Taylor silkscreen into storage.

Yet another Paris disappointment. This is from our October 2009 trip.

The Paris Catacombs October 2009

CLOSED! No re-opening date was given.

We traveled across Paris to see the catacombs but they weren't open.

Netbooks in review

I finally bought a netbook based on 2 reasons:
One, Fry's had the Velocity micro NoteMagix M10 Netbook on a special price of $199 instead of its normal price of $349.
Two, I realized that I would rather travel lighter on my trip to Paris with a netbook (2.6 lbs) instead of my Dell D620 (5.74 lbs, using the 9 cell extended battery and the media bay battery).
This purchase led me into the wild and woolly world of netbooks.
First of all it seems that almost all netbooks have the same motherboard in common, using an Intel Atom CPU running at 1.6 GHz with 1 GB of DDR2 (sometimes DDR3) SODIMM for memory. For anyone wanting to go beyond Windows XP (the usual OS on netbooks) to Vista or Win 7, Toshiba's netbook can be upgraded to 2 GB and HP's can go to 3 GB.
There are usually 3 USB ports, VGA out, audio I/O and LAN RJ-45 connectors on most netbooks, as well as a webcam.
Battery life is 3 hours as a rule. Claims of 6 hours of battery life are from marketing people who don't actually own or use a netbook.
Wireless is universal on netbooks with B/G being standard. Some vendors such as Sony include N.
Standard hard drives are 160GB 5400RPM SATA although HP offers drives up to 250GB and SSD as well.
While most screens are 10.2 inches HP offers one (with HD no less!) at 11.6.
Graphics engines tend to be Intel GMA 950s, although HP has begun offering the Nvidia ION.
I will admit to being biased, but having seen 10 of these lined up at Fry's, Sony's looks the best and feels much more sturdier than all other vendors. Of course you pay the price, $500 for a Sony versus $350 for a similar notebook.
I'll report in the future on how I fare traveling with a netbook.


I'll be in France in October.

You won't.

This trip was enabled by NOT buying any of the numerous name brand e-books, marketing/writing courses or other "find yourself and get rich quick!" crap off of the Internet.

Listen to your own voice and your own heart and do not get sucked into the vortex of Internet blogging hype. NOTHING you can buy off of the Internet will create success for you.

You've got to do it on your own.

Then you too can go to France.

The Netflix Culture

Check out this SlideShare Presentation: While it is interesting, keep in mind that the weakness of Netflix is that they are TOTALLY DEPENDENT on renting a product PRODUCED BY SOMEONE ELSE. So they have an enormous Achille's Heel.

HP Laptop memory upgrade

Today I took the 4gb of RAM I had left from upgrading my Sony and installed them into an HP laptop that had 2gb of RAM.

I checked on the HP model (DV9700 as I recall) and the memory looked like it would work.

Well, I removed the AC power from the laptop, took off the battery (no sense risking ANY potential voltage when installing any internal hardware upgrades to ANY computer), removed the 2 1gb PC-5300 SODIMM and installed the 2 2gb PC-6400 SODIMM.

Replaced the battery, plugged the AC back in and booted up the laptop.

Nothing! The laptop "stalled" on boot up and offered various keys to do things including opening the BIOS settings, but NONE of the keys would work!

So I thought about this and replaced the old SODIMMs into the laptop and booted up into the BIOS settings. Sure enough, the boot order had the laptop hard disk drive in third place after USB floppy and network boot! Well, let me tell you that simply will never work when you do a RAM upgrade. The system needs to rapidly boot up without hesitation in order to recognize the new RAM. (That's the non-technical explanation).

I set the laptop hard drive as the first boot up device (CD/DVD drive as second, fyi) and while I was in the BIOS, set the built in video up to use 128mb of RAM, from 64mb just for an additional performance boost.

I replaced the new RAM back into the laptop and it booted up correctly. However since this HP is only running x32 Windows it can only use 3gb which is still a 50 percent memory upgrade. Sometime in the future I might upgrade it to x64 Windows, but it was enough of a puzzle getting it upgraded to 4gb of RAM today.

More Michael Jackson Neverland Rides at CA State Fair 2009

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Michael Jackson Neverland rides at California State Fair 2009

My error! Sony's head is DEFINITELY parked up their ass!

Bah! Turns out Sony has disabled the Intel VT and the ability to enable it using the computer's BIOS on ALL of their personal computers due to some bullshit worry that consumers might get attacked from the Internet. The technical challenge to do this and succeed is about as likely as having a UFO land in your backyard and deliver a pizza.

So I am sorely PISSED since the ONLY way to turn on VT (Virtual Technology which I need for Virtual PC development under Windows 7) is to use a hack developed by Igor Levicki in Serbia. Granted Igor should be out gathering brains for Dr. Frankenstein, but I am grateful that the hack exists. I am not too happy that if I attempt it and it fails that my new Sony notebook will be turned into a brick, as in no longer working in any manner at all.

Well, stayed tuned. I don't know what I am going to do about this.

P.S. (8/26) I did the patch and it worked! Woo-hoo! I have to put on clean underwear now, but it was certainly a thrilling experience.

Sony FW Memory Upgrade from 4GB to 8GB

Here's the solution which I bought from Amazon for $360:

Patriot Signature 8 GB (2 x 4GB) PC2-6400 DDR2-800 SoDIMM Dual Channel Desktop Memory Kit - PSD28G800SK

Granted I've been a computer consultant for 40 years and have assembled my own computers since the mid-70s. It's cheaper in today's market to buy the core PC or laptop and then just do upgrades such as high end video boards, more robust power supplies, etcetera.

Let me tell you, it was a gamble that the above memory worked as there was nothing on Sony's site to give you a technical clue. Basically the only site I found that listed memory matched to my laptop was at However they wanted $229 per 4GM stick plus tax and shipping. So, without further ado, I started researching for a memory stick that appeared to match Crucial's. Well as shown above I found the kit on Amazon, which saved me money on the price as well as no taxes or shipping.

The memory arrived yesterday. I just removed the laptop battery and the one screw on the bottom of the laptop that covered the memory; removed the old memory and installed the new. Put the cover back on the memory, put the laptop battery back on and booted up the laptop.

After clicking on Computer and then right clicking to get to Properties, the laptop showed that it recognized the 8GB of RAM and all is well. Keep in mind that for this to be useful you must be running a 64 bit version of Windows (or whatever other 64 bit OS you might have).

The Parade

My theory regarding various states of involvement is (and you can quote me on this):

"Sometimes it's better to watch the parade than ride the elephant"

Sony's head is somewhat parked up their own ass

I bought a new Sony VGN-FW465J/H laptop for development last weekend to replace my aging Dell D620. It wasn't the optimal laptop available but I could buy it from Amazon without paying sales tax and it carried a $100 rebate, so basically I saved about $180.

However I found that I needed to "upgrade" it from the Windows Vista Home Premium x64 OS to Windows Vista Ultimate x64 in order to run Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2.

That required reformatting the hard disk drive, which of course erased all the the good and bad Sony utilities. So, upon going to Sony's site to download their utilities I discovered that because this particular model (VGN-FW465J/H) isn't sold with Vista Ultimate x64 that many of their utilities will not work under Vista Ultimate.

Of course this is total corporate bullshit.

One, why would you write drivers that only work under one particular version of Vista? Sounds like more work than just writing the driver normally.

Two, some but not all of the programs work under Vista Ultimate anyway, despite what Sony's site states.

Three, what I lack now is the ability to use the special keys for volume control and the built-in webcam which is a real pisser.

Four, Sony somehow makes it impossible to reach the BIOS on their systems.

Five, Sony seems to ship a different notebook model everyday and finding system RAM for this laptop has been a real pain it in the ass. I need to upgrade from 4 gb to 8 gb and hopefully the Patriot RAM I ordered from Amazon yesterday will work. ($75 cheaper than Crucial's RAM)

Six, there's no cable lock opening on this laptop, so if I am using it in a coffee shop and have to use the restroom, I will have to pack up the laptop and take it with me as there is simply no way to secure it.

Seven, will my next laptop be a Sony? Based on this experience, probably not.

Eight, it's not like I haven't spent money with Sony. I have two Sony Blu-ray players and have purchased 2 Sony PCs for my daughter, a Sony VAIO VGC-LS30E Desktop PC and a Sony VAIO VGN-FW290. I also have a Sony stereo, a Sony LCD TV, a Sony telephone, a Sony cell phone and probably a Walkman and God knows what else kicking around.

Cognitive Surplus

Clay Shirky, author of Here Comes Everybody, has a post (linked above) on Cognitive Surplus. This post is actually an excerpt from one of his speaking engagements.

It interested me as an unrealized concept that when we watch TV (I mean MINDLESS TV, not the news, although even the "news" is turning in mindlessness) we are spending time that is well defined as Cognitive Surplus.

Mr. Shirky better explores Cognitive Surplus than I can explain it, so please go away now and read his posting.

SharePoint sales pass the $1 billion mark

Let me tell you it's not because of anything Microsoft's SharePoint team has done. Nor have the MVP dolts passing themselves as SharePoint experts done anything to help the successful implementation of SharePoint in enterprises.

The SharePoint product needs an entirely new management team to set a strategic direction for the product that can be communicated to corporate clients and they totally need to clean up the product as it has many technical areas that need, for lack of a better terminology, repair and modification.

The Microsoft team presently handling the SharePoint product line needs to be removed right now from the top down. They simply are not providing actual improvements to SharePoint nor are they offering coherent enterprise solutions to the business community.

The MVP community needs to be eliminated and rebuilt from scratch with tangible requirements other than someone at Microsoft liking one's SharePoint blog. Nothing and I emphasize nothing, critical EVER comes out of the MVP community. Frankly it's a waste of my time to even discuss them any further.

I'll talk about the joke that is SharePoint 2010 in a later posting.

Pray for my Shih Tzu

I don't belong to the religious/superstitious club, but feel free to pray for my Shih Tzu, Minie, who is going in to have a lump removed from one of her breasts and get spayed.

She's healthy and joyful and nine years old, and I truly hope she outlives me because she is my pal.

Footnote: Minie survived the spaying and removal of the tumor but a biopsy has shown that the tumor was cancerous.

I FINALLY found a Starbucks!

Yeah I know. Finding a Starbucks doesn't sound quite like stumbling across the lost city of gold or anything cool. However, I've been working in Redwood City and living in a hotel in San Carlos and to find a Starbucks where you can quickly buy coffee while not getting stuck in the clusterfuck of Bay Area peninsula traffic is a challenge.

So after a LONG spell of not having my Starbucks, here is what I have concluded:

"Starbucks is the Viagra of consciousness"

Yes, you can quote me.

WoW Login Server Is Down

11 million people paying Blizzard $15 a month and they cannot even manage to scale out their systems or do something like keep their login server running!

They must hire the cheapest IT labor that they can find, because it's obvious that they don't have anyone technically competent on their staff.

Blogger to WordPress conversion

OK, now I’m outraged!

I can appreciate people making or wanting to make money on the Internet. However there are a LOT of people struggling to find a way to create Internet based income. Unfortunately a great many sites sell you training and e-books that bring income in for THEM but not for you.

Well the entire Internet marketing scenario is a vent for another day.

However, I was rather PISSED to see that one wants-be-a-famous-blogger/marketer-someday person is selling Blogger to WordPress conversions for $97!!

That is just taking advantage of people who lack the knowledge of how to do the conversion.


So here is how to convert your Blogspot blog to WordPress FOR FREE!

1. If you wish to save a copy of your template go into your Blogger dashboard and navigate to Layout then Edit HTML. Right there is a link to let you save your template to your computer.

2. This is the ONLY point at which you MIGHT want to pay someone to help you and that is ONLY if you are so in love with your Blogger template that you want it converted to look exactly the same on your new WordPress site. Frankly there are so many WordPress themes out there that I would advise that you save your money on doing a template conversion.

3. OK! The real meat of the conversion is all that wonderful content that you have created that now resides in Blogger. Conversion of your content from Blogger to WordPress is A NO BRAINER!! You can do this! Assuming that you have set up a WordPress site, go to the Administration panel and on the Tools menu click on Import.

4. Click on Blogger. WordPress will then give you a screen of information and other details you need to read and fill in. Like your Google password so that WordPress can access your blog content.

5. So, now you click Authorize.

6. You enter your Google e-mail address and password.

7. You get a message from Google that WordPress is requesting access to your account, so you click on the Grant Access button.

8. WordPress spins around behind the curtain for a while, depending on how much content you have on your Blogger blog for importing. Eventually WordPress displays your WordPress Administration panel and you click IMPORT to complete the content importation process.

9. This was assuming that you are the sole blogger on your site, converting to WordPress where you will also be to sole blogger. If you have multiple bloggers, you can individually assign them using the Set Authors button and drop down box in the WordPress Administration panel.

There! We're all done! Hopefully I saved you $97!!

Maybe I'm confused

I'm too young to be old
too old to be young.

This week's Amazon annoyance

So, I ordered an "in stock, qualifies for Amazon Prime" book on Monday along with another book that also was in stock and qualified for Amazon Prime (2 day shipping for those who don't know what Amazon Prime is).

Book#1 arrived yesterday.

Book #2 is scheduled to arrive on Monday. A week after ordering it! So where does "Prime" come into play here?


All Has Been Explained!

I couldn't figure out why Windows 7 would not install the x64 version on my Dell D620.

Some sage pointed out that the D620 only has a 32 bit processor, so there's no way a 64 bit OS is going to install on it.

My brain must have been firing on only two cylinders that day. DOH!

Anyway in other news (Hey! Who doesn't want to read about my old and only notebook?) the main battery has failed, so after MUCH research I found one of those extended batteries that stick out of the front and sort of give you a wrist rest as well as additional battery life.

I already swap out the DVD drive for a secondary battery when I travel on a plane, so when this new big battery arrives on June 16th, I should have enough juice to almost fly to Europe without running out of power. OK, not Europe but, um, at least Mexico, Canada or the Caribbean.

I'll blog about that battery as its from one of those Internet vendors you never heard of, which usually makes my butt pucker when I send money into the vast unknown ether......

Cold Calling Yuck!

You should probably drift over to IttyBiz and read this posting about doing cold calling =>

Personally I find cold calling to be an act of the desperate when there are many other marketing methods that are more rewarding and less stressful, but to each their own.

D-Day 2009 65 years later

I think that for this massive event that established a foothold on the beaches of France, it is interesting that while the US lost 2300 combatants, only 19 French died that day.

You read that right. Nineteen.

Body for Wife

I just visited and think that its owner James Fell is both funny and smart when it comes to getting into shape.

In other words, he doesn't buy into the miracle pills or the magic machines or the other marketing BS. He's very good and you should leave my site right now to go have a laugh and get informed on his site!

Memorial Day, 2009

"Only the dead have seen the end of war" - George Santayana, 1924

(Not Plato! Wrongly attributed to Plato, even by book editors who should know better.)

This was his response to Woodrow Wilson's description of World War I as "the war to end all wars".

Why People Hate Marketers!

You should head over to

and read Chris Guillebeau's excellent article "Why People Hate Marketers!".

HOWEVER! Chris seems to belong to the "let's keep each other's asses covered" club.
When I pointed out that one of the commentators, Sonia Simone does several marketing gigs including "Marketing for Nice People" with Naomi Dunford for which she and Naomi charge the princely sum of $197, Chris emailed me back that he knows Sonia and Naomi.

He did not publish my comment. So perhaps his ethics are a facade rather than truly sincere.

The Fluent Self - Yesterday's Hustle

I received this link yesterday from a well known blogger who should know better than to fall for this stuff.

Here are a few choice quotes:

"The super genius Laura Fitton (aka @Pistachio) has 30,000 Twitter followers even though she has never made it be about the numbers and has said over and over again that it’s not about the numbers.

And, as happens with super-famous people who are also really busy and fantastic at what they do, her rates are through the roof.
Just for (horribly depressing) perspective, normally an online seminar about this stuff with Pistachio runs (gah!) in the $400 -$800 range.
So I basically had to beg and plead and explain that my blog readers and my beloved clients and all my Right People totally need this.
And — astoundingly — she very kindly agreed to lower her rates by a gazillion percent or something so that you could be a part of this. Which is freaking amazing. And I will love her for this forever.
Pretty great.
So the cost is $49 for a 90 minute call (including Q&A) and the recording."

Yeah, right. Some 20 or 30 year old something is pulling in $400 to $800 for a 90 minute phone call? I'm sorry, but did I miss reading ANYTHING that would make this person and this entire hustle have a bone of credibility?

Hey, for $800 I will personally spend the whole day with you reviewing your marketing plans and helping you increase your income.

Project Mojave - The latest hustle

Here’s the carnival barking from Clay Collins: (The horrid videos/site hustling is here:
Mojave Goes Off the Market on Friday at 11:59 PM

There are only 93 PM spots left. And Mojave goes off the market
this Friday, at 11:59 PM. If you're planning on joining but just
haven't gotten around to it, there's no time like the present :-).

The first 25 spots in Project Mojave were gone in 5 minutes. And
since then, all the other bonuses have long since gone. Which is
unfortunate, because a lot of people wrote in and were like "I just
signed up . . . did *I* get one of the bonuses." And I had to say
no. Which made me feel bad.

So we're extending the bonus offer. If you get in on Project Mojave
*before* 11:59 Eastern TODAY, you'll get the following. No matter

--A copy of Clay's "Virtual Assistant Hiring Exam" (this is the
EXACT same test I give to my virtual assistants before hiring them;
a $37 value).

--Access to Laura Roeder's "Backstage Pass to Twitter" (a $197

--A copy of Dave Navarro's "30 Hours A Day: How to Add Hours of
Productivity to Every Day" ; a $97 value (this isn't even on
the market right now).

--A copy of Jonathan Mead's "Reclaim Your Dreams: An Uncommon Guide to Living on Your Own Terms" (a $24.95 value).
OK, so as usual these wonderful bonuses sound like crap to put it mildly. I won’t waste your time with why I think that.
The price? $97 a month and since it’s a 3 month course I’m imagining that you get charged the entire $291 up front.
So in a nutshell I’ll be ice skating with Satan before I pay these guys a nickel, as they truly have no track record and are just doing the usual “incredible value” BS.

the bluebird by Charles Bukowski

(I think about this poem early in the morning before I've had any coffee, or turned on my computer to begin annoying the world. I just sit at my desk curling my toes into the fur of my Shih Tzu who sleeps at my feet.)

there's a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I'm too tough for him,
I say, stay in there, I'm not going
to let anybody see

there's a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I pour whiskey on him and inhale
cigarette smoke
and the whores and the bartenders
and the grocery clerks
never know that
in there.

there's a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I'm too tough for him,
I say,
stay down, do you want to mess
me up?
you want to screw up the
you want to blow my book sales in

there's a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I'm too clever, I only let him out
at night sometimes
when everybody's asleep.
I say, I know that you're there,
so don't be

then I put him back,
but he's singing a little
in there, I haven't quite let him
and we sleep together like
with our
secret pact
and it's nice enough to
make a man
weep, but I don't
weep, do

Yet Another Interview

Jesus Christ! I had to do a face to face interview in Redwood City today, and let me tell you that driving to Redwood City from Folsom is much less enjoyable than having a root canal done!

Anyway it was the usual footsie blah blah chatter about what they need, how retarded they are, how vague they are and what an unbelieveable God-like SharePoint expert I am. Yawn.

The highlight of the day was going off of my diet to In-N-Out for a #1 Double-Double.

There's a great new post by Johnny Truant over on Naomi's site: You should be over there reading it NOW instead of loitering here. I mean what if someone saw you actually looking at this site? Are you retarded? Get out of here!

Do You Own The Complete Set?

Do you have the complete package of books, bloggers and social media?

Escape From Cubicle Nation by Pamela Slim
The 4 Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss
Career Renegade by Jonathan Fields
Me 2.0 by Dan Schawbel
I Will Teach You To Be Rich by Ramit Sethi
Built to Last by Jim Collins
Dream It. List It. Do It! By
This Year I Will by M. J. Ryan
Refuse to Choose by Barbara Sher
Life Coaching Handbook by Cindy Martin
The Obvious Expert by Elsom and Mark Eldridge
Critical Thinking by Paul & Elder
When Organizing Isn’t Enough Shed by Julie Morgenstern
How You Do Anything Is How You Do Everything
Jeffery Gitomer’s books
Seth Godin’s books

I have all of these books. Some are inspirational, some are useful and some are a total waste of tree pulp.

Have any of your books moved you forward today?

Let us not forget the blogs; I “know” Pam Slim, Tara Hunt, Robert Scoble, Naomi Dunford, Johnny Truant and many others through both email and/or real life meetings.

Have any of your blogger contacts or websites moved you forward today?

Have you tweeted today or visited LinkedIn or updated your Facebook/Squidoo/MySpace pages?

Has any of your social media moved you forward today?

All of the above are great mental comfort foods that make you feel good.

In the end though, not a single one of them will be a magic bullet that gives you money effortlessly.

Today is one of those days when I turn off the computer, leave the books unopened, and find a quiet place to mentally paint upon the canvas of silence.

Maybe that will move me forward, maybe not.

I’ll take the chance.

Brazen Blogger BS

So having see a few Brazen Blogger logos on sites, I headed over to and signed up, figuring that at some point I too could be a "Brazen Blogger".


To quote: "Become a Brazen Blogger: If you are in the age range of 18-35 or blog for your company, submit your feed through the Syndication tab."

So if you are the advanced age of 36 or even older, evidently your blogging and input is worthless.


Angels and Demons vs Star Trek

OK, I just got home from Angels and Demons and in a nutshell, it sucked. 15 minutes into the film, I was wishing I had decided to go see Wolverine instead of this loser, and I say that as a big Tom Hanks fan.

On another note I caught a really late showing of Star Trek at the local IMAX and it was great! Practically non-stop action through the entire film and all of the charactizations were spot on.

On a side note, I had to explain to my 22 year daughter (who saw it with me) who Leonard Nimoy is...

Worst freebie for bloggers yet!

OK, is it just me or does this seem pretty retarded? This is off of Twitter, and perfectly displays the true shallowness of the blogosphere and some of its noted bloggers:

pamslim getting excited for wild journey on aircraft carrier with @guykawasaki @penelopetrunk @charleneli @techcrunch @scobelizer and others.Thu, May 14 18:02:06 from TweetDeck

What next? A ride in a Humvee in Iraq? A free Ferris Wheel ride to promote a carnival?

This "Gosh! We're going to spend the night on an aircraft carrier!" is pretty lame for adults.

Maybe their next invitation will be to do some waterboarding of prisoners in Gitmo.

I am only concerned that pamslim is "off message" by attending this farce. The other bloggers IMHO have been "off message" for a long time, and I really could care less about them.

#SacTweetup May 12, 2009 - Now the truth can be told!

Well I got to the Aura Restaurant ( early to check it out and have a multiple event (daughter's 22nd birthday, belated Mother's Day, boyfriend about to graduate, and me picking up the tab).

So we had a few drinks and some excellent appetizers at the bar while awaiting the arrival of the boyfriend. Prior to eating dinner, I asked the owner if they could bring out something for my daughter's birthday. Now normally every single restaurant on Earth does not charge you for the cupcake or whatever they haul out for a birthday. In this case, at the end of the meal, the waiter delivered HALF a slice of Tiramisu with a candle on it and said "The owner told me to bring this over, but we have to charge you for it as we need to account for it." They charged me $8 which is what I would have paid for a FULL slice of Tiramisu. Anyway, with drinks the whole bill came to $130, but based on their cheap ass deal with the $8 charge for the Tiramisu, I will never return for any meal, business or personal.

In the midst of the dinner, I went upstairs to check out the SacTweetup. I spoke with a few Tweeple I knew, and headed back down to my meal. This morning several of the people I spoke with asked if I had been there, which means that a) They were more drunk than I realized or b) I must have had on my cloaking device or used The Shadow's power to "cloud men's minds".

There are several items of good news from the SacTweetup though: 1) I didn't have to post bail bond money for anyone; 2) I did not wake up in a foreign country married to someone that I did not share a language, politicial or religious view with. After the third time that I had happened to me I stopped drinking hard liquor at social events. OK, I stop at the third or fourth drink, but beyond that lies dangerous territory. 3) My daughter met an interesting Twitter person in the ladies room although I can't recall her name. 4) It appears that a good time was had by all, although in following up the names of Tweeple there, there is a split. Either one Twitters daily or practically not at all. Sigh.

That's it. Trying to finish my Twitter book for publication today.

Support Johnny Truant!!

Please visit this poor fu*ker's site and send him some kind of support cash.

Financing a guy this funny is worth the payback in karma.

Things Amazon has done to piss me off this week

(I already posted some of this previously, but I am irritated and haven't had ANY COFFEE yet so just be aware that I could reach out through your computer screen and take your coffee!)

First they came out with the Kindle DX for $489. It's cool, I would like one, but once again they were too cheap to really think through the total technical specifications or hire a designer to make it look cool.

I think Jeff Bezos designed all the Kindles on his Etch-A-Sketch. Seriously.

I own a Kindle one, which is dying with a line right up the middle of the screen and the occasional lockup where it just stops responding. Amazon's solution to an out of warranty Kindle one? Send them $180 and they will send you a refurbished Kindle one with a 3 month warranty.

Totally unacceptable. They should offer us early Kindle adopters/loyal customers (I spend THOUSANDS on Amazon yearly) a discount on the DX, whether you own a Kindle one or a Kindle two. Yeah no one else in the technical business does that but so what?

The other thing they did, and I kick myself for going through this because I have fallen for this before, is ship a book I ordered on Thursday to arrive on Monday. Fine, except that I paid the extra $3.99 for one day shipping so that it would arrive on Friday. This always happens, no matter how early in the day I order. It is such a standard occurrence that I feel like it is a scam.

OK, that's it for my Amazon rant. My good Amazon news is that I have been reading the Assassin series by Robin Hobb on my Kindle because Amazon offered a slew of FREE Kindle titles recently. Of course they were all the first book in a series, so if you got hooked with volume one, you were probably going to get the rest of the series. That's how it worked for me and the Assassin books; the first one was free and I bought the second and third ones. In fact, I have grown to enjoy the writer enough to consider other titles by him/her (Robin Hobb? Are you female or male?).

Kindle DX and Amazon customer loyalty

I own a Kindle one. This is immaterial but I spent thousands a year on Amazon. Yet Amazon has no concept of rewarding customer loyalty.

For Kindle one owners, there was no offer to buy a Kindle two at a reduced price.

For Kindle one and two owners there are no incentives or discounts to buy the Kindle DX.

I don't know what Amazon's thinking is unless they figure they are the only game in town and that once you have bought any Kindle you are commited. Well if Congress passes the internet tax, which is one incentive to purchase from Amazon, customer loyalty might change.

I have a year and a half old Kindle one that is rapidly failing. It has a vertical line up the center of the screen and often cannot move to the next page in a book. Yet the only offer one can get from Amazon regarding this type of issue is to sell me a refurbished Kindle one for $180!I'll stick with my failing Kindle one until it dies. At the moment though, there is no reason to consider an "upgrade" to either the Kindle two or the DX.

I think Amazon needs more customer awareness no matter how much one spends annually at Amazon.

Think Again before buying Think Big

(I've posted this review on Amazon, but I doubt that it will see the light of day.)

Think Big! There! I just gave you the ENTIRE book for free. I’m not kidding.

The author Michael Port promotes thinking “big” as a way to create a worldwide revolution that will make everything politically correct. You will also benefit from this revolution by being blissfully happy and possibly even create some wealth along the way.

Mr. Port, born in 1970, missed the “worldwide revolution” of the late 60s and early 70s that promoted most of the same philosophy. He acknowledges the cubicle workplace, the cookie cutter suburban homes and the watch TV/go shopping lifestyle of America, but his sole recommendation for breaking out of that scenario is to “think big”.

The way he writes, I presume that at the end of this worldwide revolution that we will all be sitting around a campfire, singing Kum-ba-ya and making smores.

He uses the phrase “think big” over and over on every single page, which gets to be very tiresome in attempting to find any worthwhile content in this book. Occasionally he writes something along the lines of “Oh my! Did I just say that out loud?” Evidently as a former actor (you can look him up on he is still carrying around a lot of excess ego.

Mr. Port was born into wealth and he has wealth. So there’s no risk on his part in advocating that you change YOUR life by quitting your job, risking your money on starting a new business, or leaving your relationship. This is basically just another slick, well promoted happy talk book that does not move you forward with your life.

I received numerous blog recommendations for this book from Seth Godin and many others, which is usually a warning sign when the blogosphere promote one of their own as the next important person/book. So, against my better judgment, I bought the book.

I suppose that writing a negative review of this non-book is “thinking small”.

More gibberish

I earn my living as a consultant specialising in Microsoft technologies, mainly SharePoint, with an occasional foray into BizTalk.However I don't love or worship Microsoft, nor do I have any desire to be "certified" or become an MVP.I'm not a Microsoft fanboy. I'm a critical cynic that's often just outspoken.I got a call today from a recruiter saying I wasn't getting a job with one particular company because the guy I interviewed with felt that "I wasn't RESPECTFUL enough towards Microsoft!"
Sounds like an ass kissing company anyway so I probably wouldn't have fit in. Ha!

Redesign and the end of "Blah Blah"

I've given a lot of thought to the state of blogging and imho, it pretty much sucks.

We lack a deep knowledge about those whose blogs that we follow, with possibly a few rare exceptions.

So with that thought in mind, I plan to redesign my blog site and possibly even move it to a hosted scenario.

We'll see.

Stay tuned.

Susan Boyle - AMAZING!!

My God! It was so worth finding out and repeatedly viewing this video. There are multiple versions on YouTube, but this one is available for viewing in HQ. There is another one though that has the lyrics posted with it.

Please go view the entire clip if you haven't seen it. It is inspirational and totally amazing!

Makes me cry everytime I view it. :)

Magpie - viral marketing for Twitter

Here's a viral marketing service for Twitter that is very transparent if one follows thousands of other Tweeple:

Seesmic Desktop versus TweetDeck

Apologies to Loic Le Meur, but the current beta of Seesmic Desktop doesn't hold a candle to TweetDeck!

I had just heard a podcast raving about Seesmic while at the same time, the podcasters indicated that they based their rave review on other media sources! Hmm.. sounds a bit like PR BS to me.

No Twitter for Hitler - This video will make you laugh out loud.

OMG! This is the funniest video that only Twitter users can truly appreciate!!

Twitter performance

Obviously Twitter is on to a good thing, but they certainly need to build up their infrastructure as their performance is inconsistent and just plain sucks!

BumpTop - A new Windows UI

BumpTop is a new and at the moment free UI for Windows. Still requires a strong graphics card to take advantage of its interface though. They plan to charge $29 for a premium version of this UI one day, but for now it's free.

TwtrCon - A Twitter Mash Up

Twitter for Business Hotel Nikko, San Francisco May 31, 2009

You can attend for free if you get 10 other people to buy a ticket.

As I am about as social as the Unibomber, that isn't going to work for me.

Twitter and Marketing

Having way too much fun with Twitter, which comes as a surprise as I thought I would never use or find any value with the service.

My Twitter profile is at:

I also found this great free book on self marketing by Dan Schawbel:

If Fallout 3 doesn't start, try this

Turn off Skype. It will not start up if Skype is running.

Even so, be ready for random, patternless crashes. I can spend an entire evening on Fallout 3 without a crash or I can get a crash every 5 minutes. Weird.

Also if you decide to purchase and download the add-ons for Fallout 3, be prepared to continually download them and delete them until a copy actually arrives on your desk from Games For Windows Live. THEN once you actually have the files, you have to move them to the Data folder under Fallout 3. It's a real mess, trust me.

The add-ons are interesting and do give you some new weapons and armor.

Leslie Gelbman isn't much of an editor

Leslie Gelbman is the head of the Penguin Group's Jove imprint. The recent title "The Ghost War" has this quote on the inside cover:

"Only the dead have seen the end of war" -- Plato

Totally incorrect! Have the people at Penguin even HEARD of the Internet?

'Yet the poor fellows think they are safe! They think that the war is over! Only the dead have seen the end of war.' -- written by George Santayana, Soliloquies in England, Soliloquy #25, Tipperary - as an answer to Woodrow Wilson's 'war to end all wars' speech. Often attributed to Plato (as in the epigram of Ridley Scott’s Black Hawk Down), following a mistake in General Douglas MacArthur's farewell address to cadets at West Point, as well as numerous other historic errors relative to this quote.