Jr High Drop Out

My New Interest In Investment

I'm really enjoying my new interest in investment lately and I hope to post a bit about what I'm learning soon.


#economics #blogging

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The resurrection of JDHO

So, I've been resurrecting my old BASH-based blog for fun and pulling all the content I was posting elsewhere into it to create a single blog-of-record for myself.

I'm honestly a bit exhausted by Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, etc.... This seemed like a good way to slowly back out of it without just terminating accounts.

Anyway, I hit a nice milestone today. I can blog from my mobile phone. Given that the blog is run from BASH scripts, I consider that kinda cool. It still only posts them when the ./generateSite script is run, but I can blog on the go and not lose the moment. I'm even writing this from my Pixel phone.

It's dumb, but I'm still proud.


#blogging #technology

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 "Happiness is a p

Those of you who subscribe to my blog via either RSS or the built-in Posterous engine may see a little over 30 “new” posts to my blog.  These posts are all from April of 2004 and are imported from my old blog. There's a lot to import and no automated method for importation, so I am doing it manually a little at a time.  Occasionally, you will see a flurry of old posts. Sorry for the noise. I just want all my stuff under one roof.

Thanks for the patience.


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 "Happiness is a p

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 "Happiness is a p

Here's some advice from someone who chooses not to do it himself.

  1. Start with something about which you are passionate. Notice how “all over the map” my blog is? This is not the way to monetize your blog. Focus on a topic or area about which you have strong opinions, some knowledge, and a real interest in sharing both. Firstly, it will help you blog more frequently (a good monetized blog has at least a post a day, usually more) and secondly it will help shape your agenda (if you are passionate about it, you will have an agenda. If you don't, you probably aren't).
  2. Post new content. Make it fresh. Infuse it with your views, your personality, and your agenda. Sharing links is fine. Sharing ideas is profitable. Your ideas and thoughts should be specific. It's not enough to say “I don't like X”. Explain why. Convince your audience to not like X as well. Present facts, numbers, anecdotes, and research (preferable original research). Frankly, no one cares that you are a Democrat who hates Republicans or a Republican who hates Democrats or a cat who hats dogs or a guy who hates cancer. They care that you have a reason for your beliefs. They care to hear the reasons more than the beliefs. Let the audience learn who you are through your reasoning, your passion, and your style. You can't do that without posting original content.
  3. Socialize. That does not mean allow people to click like or retweet your posts. It means really engage with your audience. Bring them into the conversation. Not just through a good comment system, but through genuine interaction. Feature content from them. Interview or profile them. Engage them with contests and games. Ask their opinion. Make them a community. Do that, and they will return.
  4. Find inventive and varies ways to make money. Advertisements are one way. So are partnerships and endorsements. Product placements are another way. The two most difficult to create revenue, though, are donations and subscriptions. You can try them, but are far less likely to see great value. Increase your Youtube views so you can become an affiliate. Join Amazon's affiliate program. Use ads (judiciously) on your site. Find unusual ways

Notice how much of the above I don't do. Also notice what parts I do. I'm not particularly interested in profiting from this blog. I'm not opposed, but I don't seek it out. My old blog was far more profitable, still gets more daily hits even without fresh content, and still generates more money. Oh well. For me, this has always been about experimenting with words and ideas. Sometimes I get lazy and post links to interesting things. Sometimes I post my thoughts. My only hope is that in the end those who read this know the kind of person I am through my content and my writing. For now, that's profit enough.


#Blogging #How #To

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 "Happiness is a p

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Cheesy biscuits are currently being consumed

We are all guilty of it. Facebook, Slashdot, Twitter, Digg, Reddit and other social media sites have made it easy (trivial, even) to share links to good content on the web and like good consumers, we've done as we are told. We see it. We like it. We link to it on our 8 favorite sharing sites. We continue surfing the web. And isn't that awesome? I mean, we get to show our 200 closest friends exactly what we are reading in the expectation that they will appreciate it. The greatest compliment, of course, is when one of those close friends re-shares the same link. Oh joy! We inspired our friend to show others what we showed them!

I love being able to one-click-share things I enjoy with my friends, but I regret what it's done to me. It's turned me into a medium and turned me away from being a source. Sharing is wonderful. It's immanently human, and I don't mean to suggest we should stop. But I do mean to ask what happened to all the great original content. My friends share link after link and they have stopped (mostly) sharing the contents of their own minds. I miss that. I have smart, funny, insightful friends and I have always enjoyed hearing their thoughts in the past. Sadly, Facebook has nearly ended that. All I get now are links to others' content, snippets of mundane life (“Bob checked in to Starbucks” and “Sally likes Farmville”), and the occasionally clever, but ultimately meaningless, status update. I appreciate knowing what my friends like and what they are doing, but I appreciate more knowing why they like something and why they are doing something.

Take a moment to post a short paragraph or two talking about something original. I understand writing can be hard to start. Maybe I can help. I'll post four writing ideas below. Take one. Hell, take all four! Just take a moment to post something on the web that came entirely from your own head. If you do, I promise to link to it. ;-)

  • Look around you. Pick one thing (a strawberry, an interesting chair, your favorite shirt, the waiting room, or the dream home in your mind) and describe it. Make sure you are specific. Describe the colors, the textures, the shapes and smells, the taste of whatever you've picked as the object of your writing attention.
  • Think back to something memorable. Describe it narratively. Think about your last day on a job, the time you went to a store with your grandmother, the crucial sixty seconds of a game, the first time you saw your child, or the peaceful lunchtime walk you took. Pick something, and share it. Talk about how you felt, what you enjoyed or hated about it, or how it impacted your life.
  • Pick something you know how to do well. Explain the process of doing it. Whether it's setting up a JBoss server, making an origami swan, fighting for freedom, running for public office, linking your blog to Facebook, or buying a car, there is someone who will benefit from what you know. Share your knowledge and make the world better. Be specific. Don't forget any steps or assume any knowledge. Step through the process procedurally.
  • Think about something you believe, but cannot prove fully. Explain why you believe it. Do you be believe cell phones cause cancer? That America is on the wrong path? That roses are overrated. Adults are just obsolete children? That Tom's blog is a waste of time? That Buffy the Vampire Slayer was the best show ever? That XHTML2 is better than HTML5? Well then, take the time to explain why you believe it and how that believe changes what you do.

I look forward to seeing what you write. Now, I'm off to Red Lobster, where I will take a pic and post it on Facebook with little surrounding content. I mean, let's face it. MY mundane activities are interesting, right?


#Blogging #Writing

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Cheesy biscuits are currently being consumed

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#Blogging #Writing

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McDonald's on Lynnhaven is a joke


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McDonald's on Lynnhaven is a joke

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Because you were certainly wondering

I'm trying out the new Superiors Android App.  It's a third party app that allows me to manage my Posterous sites and groups.  It also allows me to explore my subscriptions.  Not a bad app, I think.  If you have an Android device, you can get it for free in the market.  Coolness!


#Blogging #Technology

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Because you were certainly wondering

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#Blogging #Technology

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The obligatory Danville Red Lobster pic

I had posting plans, but rather than post what I'd intended, I will share the exchange I just had with my daughter.

Cadence:What are you doing?
Me:Writing.
Cadence:About what?
Me:Just about what I'm doing.
Cadence:Oh, you mean like being lazy on your iPad and eating unhealthy chips?
Me:Ummm, yeah, I guess that's about it.

So, I guess her post idea seemed funnier and more honest than mine.

Hope everyone is having fun back in VB and elsewhere. Danville is as Danville always is. The oh-so familiar basement is still my Fortress of Solitude from the the redneck Lex Luthors of the world.


#Blogging #Family

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The obligatory Danville Red Lobster pic

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The obligatory Danville Red Lobster pic

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The obligatory Danville Red Lobster pic

I hope you like this, but you probably won't.
You probably think that you're cooler than me.


#Blogging #Family

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The obligatory Danville Red Lobster pic

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#Blogging #Family

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Posterous

Posterous rocks!  I like their android app, too.

https://market.android.com/developer?pub=Posterous


#blogging #technology

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Blog Migration

So, I've debated it, but tonight decided that I'd port over my old blog to the new site here.  Becuase the old blog was a homemade set up, there is no automated porting.  I could write something to do it automatically, but it would ake a bit and frankly, I may choose to drop the useless entries (there are a few that serve no purpose and are hold overs from a very old way of doing things.  I wll be doing a few at a time.  I moved 1 month (February of 2004) over tonight.


#blogging

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Getting DDOS'd on the blog

They have a way to protect my sites from it, but it requires that I change my DNS record. Being as I'm at GenCon, I don't have access to my DNS server. Oh well, hopefully they find the attackers and kill them soon. :)


#blogging

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Needs vs Wants

Needs are relative, but wants are absolute. It's helpful for me to remember that.

Right now, I need to go to bed, but I want to keep playing with my blog. Good night.


#philosophy #blogging #me

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It's Alive!

After repeated attempts to rewrite my old blog software, consider this my tossed in towel. I ain’t doing that when tools like Posterous.com make it so easy to do all the things I wanted to write myself. So to that end, know that Jr High Drop Out is the new Digital Elite.

I won’t be migrating posts from the old site to here, except maybe as an occasional repost. Instead, the old site will stay up as reference and the new site will be where all the cool kids go for the latest in Tom-related news and stories.

Enjoy!


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I miss having my blog pulpit

…from which to cast dispersions on the world around him.


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Cold Spaghetti and Late Nights Alone

Wife's out on the town with Meghan. I'm home with Cadence eating cold spaghetti and typing blog entries into a text editor.

"Bored Now"


#family #blogging #food

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Understanding the Audience

So, a recent online poll on my blog showed that 70% of you found yourselfs allied with Milton Friedman, both socially and economically. In an effort to better understand the audience, I did some quick research and asked a few questions. Turns out, his work "Free to Choose: A Personal Statement" was among his most respected works and well represented his views late in his life. So I bought it. To balance the order out, I also bought "The Communist Manifesto" and to make the myself appear falsely academic, I added a book on the philosophy of language called "Naming and Necessity". My proof follows:

If anyong out there wants a copy of these books, you can get them here:

Next up? Select works from Mikhail Bakunin to better understand a social/economic theorist closer to my current position. It'll be interesting to read the arguments for the claims I've been making.


#blogging #economics #politics #academics #books

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Gravitas

I've been told my blog lacks that certain sense of gravitas needed to be considered real social commentary.

To those doubters, I say "I'm rubber and you're glue, what you say bounces off me and gets you a pick ax in your spinal column, bitch! Bring it! I'll kick yer doubtin' ass!"

Ooo, I just remembered I have Take the Lead upstairs to watch. Antonio Banderas dances for the kids. How can this be bad? It's like Dead Poet's Society had sex with Flashdance and this movie was its illegitimate love child.


#blogging #movies

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Yet still the written word is my enemy

For some reason, everything I've written in the last month has been a dissappointment to me. I think my head is just elsewhere. The seed ideas are good enough (though they have come with less frequency in this past month), but the actual entries are hardly my best, in my opinion.

Maybe the problem is related to those government mind-control experiments the CIA did on my in the 60's.


#writing #blogging

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Cadence is sick

Just an fyi, I've not been blogging as much in the last few days because Cadence is a bit ill and I've not had much free time. Once she's better, I'm sure things will pick back up.


#blogging #family

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NASA digs me

Well, to be fair, I don't know whether they dig me or just like laughing at me. All I know is that I've had 115 visits to this blog from NASA this month alone. I just thought others would find that interesting. I did. Maybe they are reading my UFO blogs.


#blogging #ufos

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Lessons my blog taught me about my writing

Unless you are writing concrete poetry (poetry whose visual layout is part of the art of the work itself) the words should be layout-neutral. Seems obvious, I know, but it's a lesson made clear to me in my recent reorganization of this blog. I have entries that reference the entries above and below them. I have entries that are not discreet (that is they rely on another entry being next to them). These entries are among my weakest in content now that they can be read on their own and even when grouped with other entries, they draw the readers attention from the words to the form when they reference an entry that should be directly above them but no longer are.

Content is king. Those entries of mine that offer new opinions or information are my most popular. By. A. Very. Large. Margin. Regulars occasionally appreciate the entries in which I link to interesting things elsewhere, but most readers, including regulars (yes, both of you!) prefer original content. It is my college papers, my how-to guides, and my religious commentary that get the most attention from visitors. OK. I get the hint. I'm not gonna stop linking to cool things I find, but I'll try to put more original content online.

I don't have a voice. It takes a while for a writer's voice to coalese, and from my writings on here, it appears mine has not yet done so. What is a writer's voice? A writer's voice is that distinctive tone and language that let's a reader identify a writer by the words alone. Poe has a clear voice. Read some Poe, and I garuantee that you will be able to pick out his work from a crowd without benefit of byline. I seem to change voice depending on topic and mood. I'll need to spend some time pondering that.

Less is more. By nature, I ramble. I'm learning to rein that in a bit. Brevity is not my strong suit, but my most recent posts show that I'm learning to be more dense in my writing. I consider this a good thing.


#writing #blogging

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AWStats in Ubuntu

I've been using Webalizer for purusing my logs to see what visitors frequest my site. Webalizer is a good free software application for getting a quick overview of site trends, but I wanted more detail than it offered.

I consulted the Great LazyWeb (via his esteemed oracle Google) and was given a vision that I should install awstats.

To install awstats in Ubuntu all i had to do was "sudo apt-get install awstats". Afterwards, I modified the /etc/awstats/awstats.conf file to point to my apache logs for the log location and to a directory I created called awstats for the working directory (ie, where it puts everything). Specifically, the following bits from the conf file are the bits I changed:

LogFile="/var/log/apache2/tomde.access.log.1"
LogType=W
LogFormat=1
SiteDomain="tom.digitalelite.com"
DNSLookup=1
DirData="/var/www/awstats"

There were two small gotchas for the uninitiated. First, when I tried to run it with the command "perl awstats.pl -config=tom.digitalelite.com -update" it told me it couldn't find the file awstats.pl. Well, a short find command later and I discovered that Ubuntu put it in the /usr/lib/cgi-bin/ directory. So I changed my command to "perl /usr/lib/cgi-bin/awstats.pl -config=tom.digitalelite.com -update" which worked like a charm. The app ran and did...nothing that I could see. Thus the second small gotcha. Apparently all that command does it compile the log data into a database format for it to use later for report generation. So I found the commands to run for each report (again, the Great LazyWeb provided me the guidance I sought, Oh Great LazyWeb, Thou art grand indeed.). It suggested that I could run some particular script that would run all the reports at once, but I could not find it, so I took all the commands for each report, copied them into a single shell script and ran that. The shell script looks like this:

perl /usr/lib/cgi-bin/awstats.pl -config=tom.digitalelite.com -update
perl /usr/lib/cgi-bin/awstats.pl -config=tom.digitalelite.com -output -staticlinks > awstats.tom.digitalelite.com.html
perl /usr/lib/cgi-bin/awstats.pl -config=tom.digitalelite.com -output=alldomains -staticlinks > awstats.tom.digitalelite.com.alldomains.html
perl /usr/lib/cgi-bin/awstats.pl -config=tom.digitalelite.com -output=allhosts -staticlinks > awstats.tom.digitalelite.com.allhosts.html
perl /usr/lib/cgi-bin/awstats.pl -config=tom.digitalelite.com -output=lasthosts -staticlinks > awstats.tom.digitalelite.com.lasthosts.html
perl /usr/lib/cgi-bin/awstats.pl -config=tom.digitalelite.com -output=unknownip -staticlinks > awstats.tom.digitalelite.com.unknownip.html
perl /usr/lib/cgi-bin/awstats.pl -config=tom.digitalelite.com -output=alllogins -staticlinks > awstats.tom.digitalelite.com.alllogins.html
perl /usr/lib/cgi-bin/awstats.pl -config=tom.digitalelite.com -output=lastlogins -staticlinks > awstats.tom.digitalelite.com.lastlogins.html
perl /usr/lib/cgi-bin/awstats.pl -config=tom.digitalelite.com -output=allrobots -staticlinks > awstats.tom.digitalelite.com.allrobots.html
perl /usr/lib/cgi-bin/awstats.pl -config=tom.digitalelite.com -output=lastrobots -staticlinks > awstats.tom.digitalelite.com.lastrobots.html
perl /usr/lib/cgi-bin/awstats.pl -config=tom.digitalelite.com -output=urldetail -staticlinks > awstats.tom.digitalelite.com.urldetail.html
perl /usr/lib/cgi-bin/awstats.pl -config=tom.digitalelite.com -output=urlentry -staticlinks > awstats.tom.digitalelite.com.urlentry.html
perl /usr/lib/cgi-bin/awstats.pl -config=tom.digitalelite.com -output=urlexit -staticlinks > awstats.tom.digitalelite.com.urlexit.html
perl /usr/lib/cgi-bin/awstats.pl -config=tom.digitalelite.com -output=browserdetail -staticlinks > awstats.tom.digitalelite.com.browserdetail.html
perl /usr/lib/cgi-bin/awstats.pl -config=tom.digitalelite.com -output=osdetail -staticlinks > awstats.tom.digitalelite.com.osdetail.html
perl /usr/lib/cgi-bin/awstats.pl -config=tom.digitalelite.com -output=unknownbrowser -staticlinks > awstats.tom.digitalelite.com.unknownbrowser.html
perl /usr/lib/cgi-bin/awstats.pl -config=tom.digitalelite.com -output=unknownos -staticlinks > awstats.tom.digitalelite.com.unknownos.html
perl /usr/lib/cgi-bin/awstats.pl -config=tom.digitalelite.com -output=refererse -staticlinks > awstats.tom.digitalelite.com.refererse.html
perl /usr/lib/cgi-bin/awstats.pl -config=tom.digitalelite.com -output=refererpages -staticlinks > awstats.tom.digitalelite.com.refererpages.html
perl /usr/lib/cgi-bin/awstats.pl -config=tom.digitalelite.com -output=keyphrases -staticlinks > awstats.tom.digitalelite.com.keyphrases.html
perl /usr/lib/cgi-bin/awstats.pl -config=tom.digitalelite.com -output=keywords -staticlinks > awstats.tom.digitalelite.com.keywords.html
perl /usr/lib/cgi-bin/awstats.pl -config=tom.digitalelite.com -output=errors404 -staticlinks > awstats.tom.digitalelite.com.errors404.html

After running that script, suddently awstats provided me just what was promised. Not as simple as webalizer, but not too difficult either. And the details it provides are greater than webalizer! I am pleased.

Now, go forth and do as I have done that we may show glory to the Vision of the Great LazyWeb in out words and deeds.


#howtos #linux #blogging

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AWStats in Ubuntu


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Leaving for China in about 20 hours

I expect to have internet access for at least the last two weeks of the trip, but the first week is sketchy. I don't know that I'll have access. Once I do, I'll be posting blog entries and checking email as time permits.


#family #china #blogging

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No foolin'

Note how nice I was. There were no stupid April 1st postings.


#holidays #blogging

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Geek Pr0n

So, I'm re-reading my own blog (ego much?) and I scanned the title below "F-Spot and gThumb" and all I could think was "ewww". It's like geek pr0n. "So I was rubbing her F-Spot with my gThumb, suddenly she had a kernel panic...four times!" I got problems. :-)


#blogging #linux #technology

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This Site

Denise is out all night at her parents becuase her grandparents are in town and I was supposed to be playing D&D all night anyway. Now I'm home alone, bored, and I've changed the theme and content of this site drastically. I should go to bed, but I probably won't for a bit longer.


#blogging #gaming

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My site is born

It's official that my site now exists. Expect great and wondrous things. I love dashing expectations.


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