Thursday, January 29, 2015

Random Quotes

Some random quotes I copied from somewhere, sometime, someplace.  Enjoy!

In times of change, learners inherit the earth; while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists. – Eric Hoffer

Everybody's got a plan until they get hit. – Mike Tyson

Nothing spoils a good story like the arrival of an eyewitness. – Mark Twain

Whoever is winning at the moment will always seem to be invincible. – George Orwell

To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first. And, whatever you hit, call it the target. – Ashleigh Brilliant

If fate means you to lose, give him a good fight anyhow. – William McFee

Resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die. – Malachy McCourt

A country can get more real joy out of just hollering for their freedom than they can if they actually get it. – Will Rogers

Today’s payslip has more deductions than a Sherlock Holmes novel. – Raymond Cvikota, U.S. writer

I wish there was a knob on the TV to turn up the intelligence. There’s a knob called “brightness,” but it doesn’t work. – Gallagher, U.S. comedian

People who have what they want are very fond of telling people who haven’t what they want that they don’t want it. – Ogden Nash, U.S. poet

A creative man is motivated by the desire to achieve, not by the desire to beat others. – Ayn Rand, Russian-American writer

Some people say they haven't yet found themselves. But the self is not something one finds; it is something one creates. – Thomas Szasz, Hungarian psychiatrist

You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, "I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along." – E. Roosevelt, U.S. first lady

Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom. – Bertrand Russell, Welsh philosopher

Blessed are the young, for they will inherit the national debt. – Herbert Hoover, U.S. president

Life is a dream for the wise, a game for the fool, a comedy for the rich, a tragedy for the poor. – Sholom Aleichem, Russian author

Everyone is a prisoner of his own experiences. No one can eliminate prejudices – just recognize them. – Edward R. Murrow, U.S. journalist

What we actually learn from any given set of circumstances determines whether we become increasingly powerless or more powerful. – Blaine Lee, U.S. consultant

Curiosity is one of the permanent and certain characteristics of a vigorous mind. – Samuel Johnson, British writer

People who don't take risks generally make about two big mistakes a year. People who do take risks generally make about two big mistakes a year. – Peter Drucker, U.S. consultant

We may need to solve problems not by removing the cause but by designing the way forward even if the cause remains in place. – Edward de Bono, Maltese author

Striving for excellence motivates you; striving for perfection is demoralizing. – Harriet Braiker, U.S. psychologist

If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved, and never will achieve, its full potential, that word would be "meetings." – Dave Barry, U.S. author

Faced with the choice between changing one’s mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof. – John Kenneth Galbraith, Canadian-American economist

Example is the school of mankind, and they will learn at no other. – Edmund Burke, Irish statesman

If you would persuade, you must appeal to interest rather than intellect. – Benjamin Franklin, U.S. statesman

‘I have done my best.’ That is about all the philosophy of living one needs. – Lin Yutang, Chinese writer

We are told that this is an odious and unpopular tax. I never knew a tax that was not odious and unpopular with the people who paid it. – John Sherman, U.S. politician

If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need. – Marcus Tullius Cicero, Roman author

Time is free, but it's priceless. You can't own it, but you can use it. You can't keep it, but you can spend it. Once you've lost it, you can never get it back. – Harvey Mackay, U.S. author

Truth, like gold, is to be obtained not by its growth, but by washing away from it all that is not gold. – Leo Tolstoy, Russian writer

A gossip is one who talks to you about others; a bore is one who talks to you about himself; and a brilliant conversationalist is one who talks to you about yourself. – Lisa Kirk, U.S. actress

Things alter for the worse spontaneously, if they be not altered for the better designedly. – Francis Bacon, British statesman

The Constitution only guarantees the American people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself. – Benjamin Franklin, U.S. statesman

The best way to appreciate your job is to imagine yourself without one. – Oscar Wilde, Irish writer

My father taught me to work; he did not teach me to love it. – Abraham Lincoln, U.S. president

A single man has not nearly the value he would have in a state of union. He is an incomplete animal. He resembles the odd half of a pair of scissors. – Benjamin Franklin, U.S. statesman

If you would like to know the value of money, try to borrow some. – Benjamin Franklin, U.S. statesman

Computers are useless. They can only give you answers. – Pablo Picasso, Spanish artist

Once again, we come to the Holiday Season, a deeply religious time that each of us observes, in his own way, by going to the mall of his choice. – Dave Barry, U.S. humorist

Failure is the opportunity to begin again, more intelligently. – Henry Ford, U.S. entrepreneur

I used to sell furniture for a living. The trouble was, it was my own. – Les Dawson, English comedian

At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us. – Albert Schweitzer, German philosopher

If at first you don’t succeed, take the tax loss. – Kirk Kirkpatrick, U.S. executive

The great majority of mankind are satisfied with appearances, as though they were realities, and are often even more influenced by the things that seem than by those that are. – Niccolo Machiavelli, Italian philosopher

The man who never alters his opinion is like standing water, and breeds reptiles of the mind. – William Blake, British poet

Monday, January 26, 2015

Domain Name Re-Registration Expense

We got a notice from BlueHost today that the domain name registration for was expiring soon.  Oh brother ..... another expense!

product description term qty price
Domain Name Registration : from 2015-03-23 to 2016-03-23 year 1 14.99
Domain Privacy Protection : from 2015-03-23 to 2016-03-23 year 1 10.99

subtotal : 25.98
total : 25.98

That's another $26.00 spent!

Since the last payment we have received from our online activity was 17 cents last July, it hardly makes sense to call what we are doing a "business".  Rather, at this point we just have a potentially expense hobby!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

The "Lack of Time" Problem

As I whined about a few days ago, I just don't have the time to putter around online like I'd like to.  For example ....

I wanted to post an article on the 40th anniversary of the stupid "Roe vs. Wade" decision to BuyingNirvana.  Unfortunately, (okay .... actually "fortunately"; I need to get my priorities straight!), life and family intruded, and I was only able to get the article posted today, a few days after the event.

Even now, as I type this, my eldest son is sitting next to me, trying every few seconds to get my attention to watch some YouTube video on Paw Patrol toys battling a giant spider, or something like that.  It's yet another "Engineering Family" video that my son seems to love.

So I have to ask: have any of the "successful bloggers" achieved their success while also raising a family?  It seems to me that blogging is a profession for young adults or single people, retirees even, but NOT for anyone with a spouse and kids vying for their time.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015


Before starting on my attempt to build websites online, I never realized that I may be lacking a vital commodity necessary for my success, namely Time.

I'm a married guy with a wife and two kids, and a day job that at times can be challenging.  The only time I can work on my websites is when I get home from work.  Unfortunately every second I spend online is time I'm taking away from my family, and believe me, after just a few minutes they resent it!  So my websites remain in the pathetic state of disrepair you see them in, day after day.  And "great ideas" never come to fruition, because of the lack of time.

It doesn't help that I went about this all the wrong way, attempting to make money writing articles for other people's websites.  If you're going to invest the time to write even a mediocre article, you ought to have your own website where you can keep it, and tweak it in the future, if so inspired.

Now I'm trying to clean up the mess I've created, before my work gets lost. 

In the meantime .... my wife wants to go out for "cupcakes", (seriously!), Kuya wants me to see a booklet they created in class today, and Dodong is biding his time, patiently waiting for when I'm deep in thought to have an accident or emergency of some type, disrupting my work.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Streams of Income

I recently came across an article describing a blogger who had saved $400,000.00 in seven years.  His blog, , describes how he earns and saves money.

One of the first things you'll notice about his blog, (if you read it!), is that he stresses multiple streams of income.  He calls them "side gigs", which I guess you could call part or one-time jobs.

I've been an advocate of multiple income streams ever since I first heard about it on the FTMDaily podcast.  Unfortunately I haven't been too successful at following my own advice!

Currently our prime, (realistically ONLY), source of income is my job.  This puts us in a precarious position; if my employer should get a bug up his or her butt, (which seemed likely in early 2013), then suddenly we are economically left out in the cold!  Not a great position to be in at all!

We are doing much better these days at getting income FROM our condo in South Carolina rather than putting money INTO it, but it will still be several years before that investment becomes productive.

Finally .... there are our attempts to make some money online.  How is that going?  Ugh!!  All we've done to date is determine that writing articles for others is NOT the way to go if you want to make any money.  We still haven't figured out affiliate sales, and should Adsense pull a fast one on us, (which they have a horrible reputation for doing), our few pennies we do earn online would dry up completely.

Honestly, ever since we moved to Georgia a little over three years ago, our net worth has gone DOWN, as we periodically raid our savings to pay off one silly expense after another.  Hopefully this will turn around soon!

So, to reiterate, this is our "multiple income stream plan", and how well it is working for us to date:

1. My job  -  99.99% of our income comes from here.  Very lucrative, but potentially unstable.

2. Our Condo  -  refinanced now at a better rate.  As long as this stays rented, and the renters don't trash the place, it gives us a slight amount of income.

3. Our blogs, webpages, and other acts of online futility  -  this is COSTING us about $100.00+ a year.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

More of Our PAA Posts Have Been Deleted!

More of our posts at PAA have recently been deleted.  Grrr!!

This is discouraging, because we were linking to those posts from other blogs/posts.  Now we have to go change all those links.  What a hassle!

The irritating part of all this is that we starting posting to FoK and PAA because of the promise of PASSIVE income, namely, write your article once, and potentially get paid for it forever.  It was bad enough when the admin of those sites stopped paying on articles more than six months old.  Now he is also removing articles from PAA.

I suppose it is just a matter of time before he starts removing articles from FoK.

The moral of this story, boys and girls, is that if you are going to write articles that you would like to keep, post them to a site YOU control.  Otherwise, like me, you'll be in a panic someday frantically copying them before they get deleted!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Is Writing Online for Money Dead?

The Crazy Texan, admin of PAA, has just posted an interesting article: "Online Writing: Shift Your Focus".  His point is that the days of amateur writers such as myself tossing up an article to a website here and there and actually getting paid some real money for it, (more than a fraction of a cent), are over. 

Sadly, I agree with him.  Once PAA and FoK lost their Adsense account, (curses on you, Lords of Adsense!), my last hope for making money with articles vanished.

In another of his posts, "More Ad Work", he comments on how difficult it is to find an honest ad program that will actually pay.  I can relate to this frustration!

On my blogs I have tried adding various ad programs to generate a buck or two.  The best paying to date appears to be Adsense, but like Crazy Texan I am getting ripped off by them: they recently took money out of my account for "illegal activity".  (From $3.00 to about $2.50; there's NOT a lot of money involved here folks!)  Chitika to date has been a complete bust.  I haven't even earned a penny with them.

AdFly seems okay, but their pay rates are so skimpy, considering that you're making your readers go through an irritating ad page.  I think I have accumulated have a cent with them.

Pathetically, my largest payments to date are still from that pyramid scheme known as Bubblews.  I got two $25.00 payments from them over a year ago.  Since then they have stopped paying, but it was fun while it lasted. 

Is every site online part of the "great hustle"? 

Saturday, January 3, 2015

How We Upload Music Videos to YouTube

Many years ago we started a blog, , where we were storing clips from unusual CDs on various hosting servers.  Over time, (sometimes quicker than you'd believe!), the hosting servers dropped our files, making our blog kinda useless.

The concept of storing music clips online has been resurrected thanks to YouTube!  All you need to do now is add some images to your music file, and upload it; YouTube will store your file indefinitely, as far as I know.

This is what we do to create a video file to upload to YouTube:

1. Find the .MP3 file you want to create a video from.  If your file is in .WAV format, use a service such as to convert it to .MP3.

While maybe not absolutely necessary, .MP3 files are a lot smaller than .WAV files, so if you are going to keep lots of songs you'll use much less disk space.

2. Once you have your .MP3 file, use the Windows Live Movie Maker program to add some images to it. You'll have to fuss with Live Movie Maker for a while to figure out all the options, but once you're happy with your work, under the "save movie" drop down from the weird icon on the left of the toolbar, choose "for computer", and you will be able to save a .WMV file.

(NOTE: this is accurate as of 01/03/2015, but Microslop loves to update their software in a incompatible way, so when you read this your options may be different.)

3. Now logon to YouTube and upload your new movie!

Here's an example of a music video we just uploaded:  Tokyo Subway, Ken Still  ( )

Friday, January 2, 2015

Busy, But Nothing Much to Show For It Yet

For the last few days I've been trying to clean up our various blogs and websites while I have the time off from work.  Progress, if any, has been slow.  Not the least of my obstacles has been a nasty head cold I picked up after all the nonsense that occurred last weekend.

These are the things I am trying to accomplish:

1. Continue the "A Day in a Year in a Life" posts, but this time put them on my blog.  I chose to stick them there rather than PAA, (where they were for most of last year), because PAA seems to be getting unstable again; the admin has been deleting old posts for obscure reasons, (at least to me!).

2. Update/Cleanup .  The main goal here has been to improve the page, as the purpose for the other pages, (drive views to old articles), has evaporated since FoK and PAA no longer pay views on articles older than 6 months.  So much for passive income!

3. Update/Cleanup .  This blog, amazingly, seems to actually get some views, so I'd like to keep it in the best shape I can.  I recently added some music from Ken Still to the blog, music which as far as I know you can find nowhere else!

4. Make money with AdFly.  This is a service that sticks an ad on your links, like this: AAAAHHH!  The trick is to balance between making a fraction of a cent here and there, and not to piss off any prospective reader in the process.

5. Make money with affiliate sales.  This we are attempting at , but as you can see if you read the FAQs, we have been spectacularly unsuccessful.  I'm not sure where I am going to go with that website.  Right now, it is mostly serving as a landing page for AdFly links when you click "Give Us Money", (or something like that), or when you click on a link to a deleted PAA post.

6. Do something, (what?) with .  Possibly I'll put the drooling rants I used to put on PAA here, but more probably I'll do little or nothing with it.

Lots and lots and lots of things to do, and just wee bits of time to accomplish them in!  I'm not sure how successful I'll be at any of this, but I'll give it a go.  And if, miraculously, I stumble across some way to make a bit of money in the process, I'll let you know!