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    Saturday, March 31, 2007

    Have An Idea? Get Crackin'.

    I certainly hope that you have put that quick and dirty idea that you had to make a million dollars into immediate practice, because now I'm reading about a bunch of startup companies that already have me beat.  I was especially fond of a couple of these:

    When Jason Engen was an undergraduate student at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota, he and his friends knew the challenges students faced in finding worthwhile internships. So for one of his business classes, Engen wrote a business plan detailing a concept for an internship placement service--one that would interview and screen students and match them with local companies that needed interns. "We hit a nerve in terms of the marketplace and focused 100 percent of our efforts on students," says Engen. "We started a week after we graduated, and it took off."

    Can't think of that totally awesome domain name for a new website? PickyDomains is a risk-free domain naming service that got a lot of publicity and 'blogtalk' in Europe lately despite being only two months old. This is how it works. A customer deposits $50 dollars and describes what kind of domain he or she wants. Domain pickers then send in their suggestions of available domain names. If the customer likes one of the domain names and registers it, the service gets $50. Otherwise the money is refunded at the end of the month.
    Thanks to NicheGeek for the links and info.
    'Tis possible to live your dream, people.  Just do something.


    Supporting The Locals

    As you might remember, I like to support some of the local talent here in the fine Rocky Mountain West.  Here's a contribution: featuring, coming to a micro theater near you, Drunk By Noon .
    What happens when a big shot advertising executive realizes he's been destroying the planet?

    He hits rock bottom.

    Vagrom pictures presents DRUNK BY NOON, a story of one person's attempt to build a better world, one picture at a time.

    After a life-altering epiphany, a successful Madison Avenue advertising executive abandons his profession and begins to drink. Having reached bottom, and, inexplicably, Denver's Colfax dive bars, he is determined to use his creative abilities for a different purpose: to help make the world a better place. His goal, to convince a popular local underground magazine to publish his auto-biographical comic strip, 'DRUNK BY NOON.'

    I suspect this is going to be interesting.  They don't have direct movie downloads set up yet, but I'm sure that they will.  Support the arts!


    Tuesday, March 27, 2007

    On Happiness

    Not long ago, I posted something in Single Dads I posted something on why intelligent people tend to be unhappy.  I am preparing the follow up post, but in the meantime, has posted a tiny little bit of research on the subject of happiness , and that an article in the Scientific American describes how apparently people can increase their happiness levels much like people can improve their physical fitness.
    I suppose that you have to work at being happy the same as working to achieve anything else worth doing.
    Actually, I can vouch for this approach.

    Friday, March 23, 2007

    I Must Post A Time Waster

    It's been too long since I've posted a time waster.  Some time, indeed.  Since I've been so serious and busy, working so, so hard for a living, I've decided that today, I post not just one free game, but several at once.
    Here's your link.
    That's right.  They're crazy, and they have monkeys.
    Games that you should try:
    Boxhead: More Rooms - You will be persued by zombies, but you have excellent weapons.
    Zombie Horde 3 - More zombies.  This is becoming a theme.
    There are a lot of great games on that site that you can play right in your browser.  People, take a little bit of a break from all the work.  Play a game.  I probably will.

    Wednesday, March 21, 2007

    Freelance Blogging And Time

    Freelancing.  What have I noticed?
    - I'm tired a lot more, because I seem to work a lot more.  I don't sleep less but it seems that way.
    - I think about blogging.  A LOT.  I used to think about it a lot before, now I think about writing when I get up and when I go to bed.  I find that interesting.
    - Work blogging and random time blogging are a couple of different entities altogether.  It's one thing to think "I really need to do a post or I'll lose some readers."  It's completely different to think, "I really need to do a post, or I'm going to get lose this gig!"  These are totally different animals.  I've only been doing freelance for a few days and I can see that already.
    - Time.  It seems that I never have enough.  And I like having time.
    Therefore, I'm going to fall back on what I know.  One thing is organization, which I try my best to get better at daily.
    The other thing is the Internet.
    Ah, my old friend, the Internet.
    And in my moment of need, the Internet comes through again in the form of a post by Freelance Blogging: Why You Should Schedule.
    I can speak from personal experience, I work better with time constraints, and you probably do too. If I limit my working time to 4 hours, I'm betting I'll get all the work done. I'll find a way to.

    If I don't make that distinction, my day is scattered and I'll find myself in front of the computer the whole day, doing the same amount of work.

    It would seem that people write posts just for me.  Awash with power, suddenly I am.

    Monday, March 19, 2007

    Recently I've been doing a little guest posting on a website called  What do they do?  Take a look at their first page:
    Shakadoo is a site written and created for those who love their home. Whether you live in a condo or a castle, Shakadoo has a place for you.
    Shakadoo has several different "shaks": the LoanShak, WorkShak, ShakYard, Shaktronics, Shak In Style, Shakhammer and the Love Shak, Baby (love that title).  It's an interesting community that they are trying to build there that I would recommend that you check out.
    However, don't think that my "pro" blogging job will decrease my regular blogging output.  You see, I know how to use Google.  Ah, the Internet is a wonderful place.
    There are some single dads out there that I owe a post to, though.  I haven't forgotten about you.  Expect it tomorrow.



    Friday, March 16, 2007

    Phones: Soon To Be The Most Interesting Hardware Around

    ...and Apple gasped.  Unless this is all part of the Big Plan.
    The head of Google in Spain and Portugal has confirmed that Google is working on a mobile phone. "Some of the time the engineers are dedicated to developing a mobile phone," Isabel Aguilera is quoted as saying on the Spanish-news Web site

    A Google spokeswoman in the United States released this statement when asked for comment: "Mobile is an important area for Google and we remain focused on creating applications and establishing and growing partnerships with industry leaders to develop innovative services for users worldwide. However, we have nothing further to announce."

    Google stateside has repeatedly declined to comment on rumors of a Google Phone, but the smoke has been rising lately.

    That's from, via Reddit.
    Can it be true? 
    What does this mean? 
    Will there be a battle royale between the iPhone and the GPhone? 
    My first inclination is towards suspicion.
    Yet somewhere in the distance, an almost imperceptible but unmistakable explosion can be heard, and the nature of that sound is the first salvo in the war to win the hearts and minds of first adopters and assorted technologists everywhere. 
    Google versus Apple.
    The lines have been drawn.


    Wednesday, March 14, 2007

    Surf Safely With Free Stuff

    Marketers just love to gather information about who is surfing the web and why. They're not above tracking a user's web history to learn about their interests and buying habits, but they can only do it if you let them.

    If you'd like to fight back you can learn to surf anonymously. It's easy and fun!

    In other words, use Tor.  Credit this info to Computerworld , via the Consumerist.

    I've used Tor.

    I'll use it again.

    In some cases, I don't mind websites knowing that I've been there before, and the inevitable autopopulate of my username just about everywhere, especially when I don't use Firefox.  On the other hand, there's only so much I can take.


    Monday, March 12, 2007

    Note To Employers: How To Tame A Geek

    There are many reasons to let geeks work the way they want to work. Today they work in every industry. They are the knowledge base, blood and sweat equity of many businesses. They work harder than most. They work longer than most. Their job isn't a separate "thing they do" while they look forward to going home and relaxing. Geeks *live* what they do. They eat, sleep and breathe it. They are your systems administrators, your IT team, your programmers, your web developers, your designers… and sometimes even your customer service and sales people. Anyone who understands how to leverage todays technology to increase intelligence, productivity and efficiency; anyone who stays up nights working to get better at what they do; anyone whose job is their life - is a geek. These are the most important asset your company has. For this reason, its important to give geeks what they want. Best part is, if you do, they most likely will not leave your company to work for someone who will.
    Found via Reddit, but blogged, and quite successfully, in my opinion, by Nomadishere, the Seeker of Truth.  He goes on to actually list eight ways to satisfy this distinct personality type at the office.
    Reading the article, I tend to agree with a lot of the points made; I think the post is an excellent summary.  As an employer, I would guess that following through on several of the mentioned suggestions would make any intelligent, tech-oriented, slightly compulsive but hard-working person pause before vaulting a position. 
    On the other hand, if you ARE that intelligent, tech-oriented, slightly compulsive yet hard working person, you might find an employer who actually follows the eight steps outlined in the article rather difficult to find.
    Good suggestions.  Your mileage, however, may vary.


    Sunday, March 11, 2007

    Why Intelligent People Tend To Be Unhappy (Part 1 of 2)


    Western society is not set up to nurture intelligent children and adults, the way it dotes over athletes and sports figures, especially the outstanding ones. While we have the odd notable personality such as Albert Einstein, we also have many extremely intelligent people working in occupations that are considered among the lowliest, as may be attested by a review of the membership lists of Mensa (the club for the top two percent on intelligence scales).

    Education systems in countries whose primary interest is in wealth accumulation encourage heroes in movies, war and sports, but not in intellectual development. Super intelligent people manage, but few reach the top of the business or social ladder.

    Children develop along four streams: intellectual, physical, emotional (psychological) and social. In classrooms, the smartest kids tend to be left out of more activities by other children than they are included in. They are "odd," they are the geeks, they are social outsiders. In other words, they do not develop socially as well as they may develop intellectually or even physically where opportunities may exist for more progress.

    Their emotional development, characterized by their ability to cope with risky or stressful situations, especially over long periods of time, also lags behind that of the average person.

    Adults tend to believe that intelligent kids can deal with anything because they are intellectually superior. This inevitably includes situations where the intelligent kids have neither knowledge nor skills to support their experience. They go through the tough times alone. Adults don't understand that they need help and other kids don't want to associate with kids the social leaders say are outsiders.

    As a result we have many highly intelligent people whose social development progresses much slower than that of most people and they have trouble coping with the stressors of life that present themselves to everyone. It should come as no surprise that the vast majority of prison inmates are socially and emotionally underdeveloped or maldeveloped and a larger than average percentage of them are more intelligent than the norm.

    This was posted on Scribd, by Bill Allin, who is a sociologist who is most certainly more experienced than I on topics in this realm.  Thank Digg, where one can find many articles worth reading.
    I would say this.  Read the article.  Think about it.  Then, steel yourself for the Part 2, coming soon (assuming that I can find the original posting), where I will explain to you in minor detail why this might be correct, and how a person can change this tendency without losing their mind, shunning society, and dying, finally, a broken old man on the street.  Or a broken old woman in some other way.

    Friday, March 09, 2007

    A Simple Man Shouts Out

    Without expecting much, I took a gander at my little blog's statistics, and was impressed, shocked, and humbled at the most recent response to this collection of thoughts and information that I post for you, my humble readers.  


    I've compiled a short list of the places across the world that have visited POW - the blog over the course of the last nine days.  Here we go!


    Miami and Crestview, Florida, Fort Collins, Aurora, and Denver, Colorado, Cincinnati, Ohio, Long Beach and Bakersfield, California, Poland, London, Sheffield, Egheim, England, India, Chile, Reston and McLean, Virginia, Long Island, Grand Island, Commack, and Manhattan, New York, Elkhorn Wisconsin, Dallas Texas, Ontario, Canada (along with another Canadian location), Norway, Dublin Ireland, Plymouth Massachusetts, Detroit Michigan, Australia, Chicago Illinois, Germany, Annapolis and Silver Spring, Maryland, Beijing, Guangdong, Jiangmen, and Shandong, China, and Norway.


    My.  God knows that I left some out.  This leaves a LOT of locations out, but that's to be expected.


    What's particularly encouraging is that a lot of you are repeat readers.  I truly appreciate this.   It would seem that this side project to which I toss a shocking amount of time and energy into is beginning to catch on.  I can't thank you people enough.


    Come back often, and stay for a while.  It's great to have you here and it's great to see you.   If you're so inclined, feel free to click on one of my sponsors, on the Charity Network Badge on the left and make a donation, or click on one of the websites listed on my Mess O' Links.   You'll be seeing a lot more changes as I continually make improvements.


    Do you want to do a shout out?  Feel free to leave your location and websites, if you like, in the comments.

    Thursday, March 08, 2007

    Sarbanes-Oxley: What They Think

    I don't often spend a whole lot of time checking around for Sarbanes-Oxley (or Sarbox, or Sox, or whatever they call it where you work), but I found this post in Reason Magazine by Radley Balko on the topic quite interesting.

    One-half of the duo that created the most suffocating piece of anti-business legislation in recent history is backtracking:

    Was Oxley aware, his questioners asked, that the law that he and Senator Paul Sarbanes, a Maryland Democrat, rushed onto the books five years ago after the collapse of Enron and WorldCom had contributed to a sharp decline in listings on U.S. stock exchanges? And, knowing what he knows now about the cost and effects of the law, would Oxley — who retired in January after 25 years in Congress — have done it any differently?

    "Absolutely," Oxley answered. "Frankly, I would have written it differently, and he would have written it differently," he added, referring to Sarbanes. "But it was not normal times."

    Mr. Balko makes a good point (you can read his blog here).  However, let's be honest - as suffocating as Sarbanes might be, let's be honest - Sarbanes created jobs where there were none, forced compliance on some of those that... weren't so honest, and all around might not be such a bad thing.  The jury is still out on the legislation, in my humble opinion.  And it is quite humble.

    Of course, without Enron and WorldCom, we probably wouldn't have Sox.

    See Enron: The Smartest Guys In The Room.

    I marveled at the gall.

    Tuesday, March 06, 2007


    I love the Internet, and I especially love the free, useful things that I find here.

    Clipboard2Phone is a simple script that emails the contents of your clipboard to your cell phone with a key combination you define. Especially useful for sending phone numbers to your mobile - which will most likely make that number callable in one click - Clipboard2Phone comes in handy for quickly transferring any kind of information you need on the go, like a todo list, shopping list, driving directions or just a reminder to your future self.

    Sometimes, I don't know what I would do without Lifehacker.   I'm pretty sure that they already know that I have a serious tech-crush on them.

    Here's the link


    The Freakanomics Blog has an interesting post on anti-depressants where they conclude, at least by one account, that they do.

    This is an obviously important question on many fronts, especially since SSRI's are among the most heavily prescribed drugs in the world, and because their safety and efficacy have lately been seriously questioned.
    So it would be helpful to know if, at the very least, anti-depressants decrease the probability of suicide. In this new working paper, Jens Ludwig, Dave E. Marcotte, and Karen Norberg conclude that they do indeed.

    Everyone that takes any medications, especially ones that are designed to affect your brain, of all things, should find out all of the side effects of those meds before they take them. 


    Monday, March 05, 2007

    Free Stuff For Kids

    KidsDomain has put together a massive list of freeware for kids, sorted by subjects such as Art, Science, Math, Creativity, etc.

    There is a lot of stuff here, and it's all free. Try building a train diorama, or printing out one of dozens of free coloring books, or check out the free card games (Caveman Cards, anyone?). This would be a great site to visit with the kids for a few rainy/snowy day activities.

    I am so all over this.  If Kids Domain can keep kids occupied in a healthy, educational, and creative way, they certainly have my support.  I will be quite pleased to give them a try, and will probably blog the results, knowing my general geekitude.

    Friday, March 02, 2007

    I'm NOT Seeing 323 This Weekend

    In case you were wondering, that's 300 plus 23.  I like Jim Carrey, and I like Frank Miller, but that would be a bit much for a weekend.
    Yes, I did get that from Wil Wheaton.  Yeah, that's the former Star Trek guy .  I'm a geek.  I read him regularly.
    Now on to the entertainment: I have a friend who does quite a bit of writing for a living.  Well, maybe not for a living, perhaps it's more part of what she does, along with sleep, eat, engage her brain, and make her best attempt to have a good time, tempered with casual conformity to what she considers to be rational society norms.  This is all a roundabout way of saying that she wrote this well-considered review of Frank Miller's 300, which sacked a theater near you recently.
    Frank Miller's Hot Gates
    by Carol Borden

    Only the hard. Only the strong. A feeling's been gnawing deep inside me
    for a while. A feeling that maybe Frank Miller's hypermasculine
    antiheros and faceless, breast-thrusting women are exactly what they
    seem, not just sketchy parody. After reading 300, Miller's 1998 account
    of the Spartans at Thermopylae, I don't have any doubt: Miller means it.
    His aesthetic is fascist.

    Fascism isn't all jackboots and Ilsa, She-Wolf of the SS. Sometimes it's
    well-hung Spartans toting big spears. In this case, 300 is beautiful
    with art worthy of a picture book. Lynn Varley's goauche-like washes and
    thick spatters of rain, blood and ash are lovely. Some panels look like
    ukiyo-e woodcuts, and Miller demonstrates a fluid line reminiscent of
    Will Eisner.
    That's in the Cultural Gutter.  I imagine it will eventually show up on my blog roll, since posts like that remind me of why I like to blog sometimes.
    I think she write good.

    Thursday, March 01, 2007

    You Mean Social Networking Has a Dark Side?

    Before going online to post those pictures of you and your friends dancing atop a table at Senor Frog's, know that your debauchery will probably pop up on many more screens than you intended. Potential employers, school administrators and admissions officers, and vindictive exes can see them too, and decades from now, when college is a mere memory, those photos will still live on the Web.

    A generation of young people has grown up using the Internet as a personal diary. But faced with the reality that photos and information floating in cyberspace could come back to haunt them, many 20-somethings are thinking twice about what they post on the Internet.

    Wait.  There's more.
    People in the public eye have long been bitten by their Internet alter egos. Last week, 20-year-old "American Idol" contestant Antonella Barba came under fire after alleged topless photos of her surfaced on the Web. In November, Miss Nevada USA lost her crown after pageant officials found half-nude pictures of her on the Internet.

    Most 20-somethings don't have a record deal or jeweled tiara at stake, but they do have burgeoning careers, and their Internet personas can come back to burn them in professional situations.

    I don't know what the Internet masses still involved in endless September would do without ABC News to chronicle this important, yet often overlooked and critical information.
    Here's a tip.
    If you do not want millions of strangers aware of the nuances of your personal life, it is rarely advisable to specifically share that revealing personal data on the Internet.
    Image:The More You Know.jpg



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