Standing on the Sidewalk

Jane Lanes Home

Jane Lanes Home

I haven’t done one of these in ages.  My thanks to The Angst Guy for uploading this to the Daria Wiki.

Daria: Jane, you dyed your hair again, didn’t you?

Jane: Um, no.

Daria: And it’s green this time.  Why green?

Jane: I’ve over here, Daria.

Daria: And why are you standing there with your arms up like that?

Jane: Daria, put on your glasses.

Anyone else care to come up with a caption?

How Popular Is Your Site? Find Out With This Link Popularity Checker

im_popular_on_the_internetThis script comes from the fine folks over at Site Expert. (Oooooo, they even have a color chart.) Using this tool, you can check to see how many indexed backlinks lead to your site in such search engines as Google, Yahoo, Bing, and a number of others.

The cool thing about the tool is that is actually gives you the numbers on the result page.  Some link popularity checkers only give you the links to the search engines themselves or make you jump through hoops to get the report.  This tool actually shows you the number of indexed links back.

So tell me how it works.  Feel free to brag about your link popularity numbers in the comments if you want.

Link Popularity Checker

Don’t forget out the other tools such as our Youtube Video Downloader, the Whois lookup and the new DailyMotion Video Downloader.

Image from here: I’m Only Popular on the Internet and is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 Generic.

Have You Been Penalized By Google? Find Out With Seo Penalty

peopleA common question folks ask is if their site has been penalized by Google and it’s Googlebot.  It does happen if webmasters use too many tricks to promote their website and if and when Google catches on to what they’re doing.  Things like hiding links, overloading pages with keywords, bugging Google with update notifications, and the like will tick off the search engine giant and get your site removed from Google’s database.

Is there an easy way to check?  Head over to SEO Penalty and put the domain of the site in question in their form.  You’ll receive a rating back ranging from 0 to 10 on how much Google has downgraded your site.  Zero means fine and dandy while a ten means they’ve caught on and you need to clean up your act.

Want to know more about Google Penalty and how to deal with it?  Give this article a read.

Download Dailymotion Videos Beta Test

dailymotion_itunesI’ve been working on a Dailymotion Video Downloader for the last few days as I teach myself some AJax and jQuery and anything other weird name you can throw in there.  The code is still rough.  You’ll see the beta code output when you try it.  Please give it a try and let me know how it works for you.  If you need a video, you can try this one of the World’s Greatest Toilets found in Videogames.  I still have to clean out the beta code and fixing the download links is also needed.  *.mp4’s come down as *.h264 files.  I don’t think that’ll work for most folks.

And if you want to Download Youtube Videos, you know where you can do that as well.  That site is heading for a redesign as well.

The Public Library Of Charlotte Mecklenburg County Censors An Anti-WordPress Site


charlotte mecklenburg library Censorship

charlotte mecklenburg library Censorship

I wasn’t planning on writing about my local library this morning but my hand has been forced by their actions.  I’ve complained previously about their Internet connection in the past and met with some results.  Granted that was after literally years of complaining.  I’ve been meaning to complain about a recent experience in the West Blvd. branch where card playing for money (what you and I would call gambling) was occurring, right underneath the eye of the security guard on duty, and how I still haven’t heard back from the library administration as to why this is allowed by their policy. (That was the guard’s excuse to let it continue.)

wordpress™ wank has been blocked by the library.  That’s right.  The leading site that tells the truth about Matt Mullenweg and the sad shape of ethics over at Automattic has been censored by The Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County.

The irony of this is that their own blog is hosted on the servers.  That’s right.  The library who last year tried to get the entire Charlotte community to read and discuss To Kill a Mockingbird, a book that has been censored many times previously, as no problems with censorship and racism themselves. (Which makes for even more irony.) I guess their stated goal of “of expanding minds, empowering individuals and enriching the community” doesn’t apply when it concerns a vendor of theirs.  Can’t empower individuals when you deal with a company that believes discussion shouldn’t be open. Can’t strive to make information available to anyone who wants it when that information is locked away behind an Internet proxy.

Playing *.mkv files on WinAMP? Go with DivX

panasonic divx

panasonic divx

I’ve sat here for about an hour now trying to get *.mkv video files to play on WinAMP.  The directions aren’t that hard but they for whatever reason don’t work for me.  Maybe it’s Vista.  Who knows?

What worked for me was reinstalling DivX which has built in *.mkv support.  You remember DivX, right?  They’re the ones who used to run the Stage6 site.  Works fine for me and all I had to do was check a single box.

If you’re wondering why this post is here, I had planned on copying over the instructions on how to do it in WinAMP but, like I said, I never could get it to work.  Why waste a good post?

Now, I’m off to watch Burst Angel. 😉

CTRL-ALT-DEL Tells Us Where Those Who Type In ALL CAPS Will Wind Up

capslock_abusersTim Buckley, the creator and artist behind the webcomic CTRL-ALT-DEL, tells us where he wants to send those who abuse their CAPS LOCK key and type in all capital letters.  This is part of a recent webcomic and upcoming poster entitled The Nine Layers of MMO Hell.

So what’s your beef about playing MMO’s?

Comment #600 And Then Some

comment-or-dieComment #600 goes to Magerine2 on the 50 Things NOT to do at Hogwarts post.  I missed Comment #500 in there somewhere but it;s been awhile since we hit #400.  We already have comment #601 with my follow up on the post.

Most commented post has got to be the one about How to Solve “Invalid Update Control CTF File” Errors on AVG with 140 of them currently.  Someone asked recently so I looked around.

I still have a ways until I change the subtitle.  Only at 1,430 posts.  I’m working on it though.

Getting Paid to Ring the Bell

shirley temple bellringer

shirley temple bellringer

Yup, it’s almost Christmas time again. Where has the year gone? I’ve already started thinking about ringing the bell for the Salvation Army again this holiday season.  This makes the sixth year I’ll be doing so I believe.

And, yes, I get paid for doing so.  Before you get upset about that, I’ll point out that what I make gets used to keep me going and afloat.  I don’t make much during the year and most of the other bellringers, many of them area homeless, don’t either.

Not sure where I’ll be this year.  I’m shooting for the Macy’s again since there’s a library near by and it’s a location I can walk to without much issue.

What got me thinking about this, besides some of my local clients asking about it, is this recent post about bellringers.  The following is the comment I left about my experiences.  I copy it below since it appears to be a WordPress blog and I don’t want to lose the comment due to any Akismet censoring.

Just to clarify, some of the bellringers do get paid for their time.  I’m one of them.  Being a three time stroke survivor, my doctors will allow me to do little physical labor.  While I do a little webhosting and consulting that pays the rent and medical bills, this barely covers my expenses during the year.  I actually look forward to the 6 weeks with the Salvation Army every year as 1) it gets me out of the house and in the public interacting with folks and 2) what I earn myself helps me out greatly.  Most of the rest of the bellringers are area homeless men and what they earn helps them out as well.  New clothes and shoes, leasing a storage locker for a year, a new radio, bus passes for a few months, presents for their own children, etc. are some of the things that these men buy with their money.

Not every market is like this.  They do it like this way here in Charlotte every year because there aren’t enough volunteers to cover.  One a typical day, we have 60-100 spots with buckets with maybe 1 or 2 manned by volunteers.  Saturdays are better but still there’s less than a half dozen groups.

Most folks assume that I’m a volunteer.  Many of the bellringers fool folks into believing so but if asked, I tell the truth, explain why I do so and mention the lack of volunteer coverage.  There’s usually some shock when I first mention that I’m paid.  Either that or an assumption that I’m actually a Salvation Army officer who’s just out of uniform.  After taking the time to explain, I’ve yet have a single person get mad at me though.

I have two beefs though.  The first is the Target situation.  I’m assuming that the company you discuss in your post is Target.  Most folks praise WalMart for allowing the Salvation Army to contain to ring in front of their stores but this isn’t cut and dry.  Five years ago, they were allowed to ring each and every day during the season.  Last year, we had a total of 5 days.  I’m not privy to numbers but this is thousands of dollars lost in their fund raising.  Next time you visit a local WalMart and notice there no one is ringing, please take the time to mention your displeasure that they days have been reduced.

The other beef I have is with folks who brag about their bellringing.  I’ve lost count how many times I’ve had to listen to “I had to ring for two hours three weeks ago in front of a supermarket.” from folks and how they expect me to kiss up to them.  I ring for 9 to 10 hours every day for 31 days.  For my normal spot, I have to go into the mall about through half of it to reach a bathroom.  They come prepared with coffee but mine gets cold after a bit and I have to pull myself away from the kettle to go get another cup.  They spend most of their time talking on their cellphone while I keep mine off so I can do what I’m there for.  They don’t show up while I’ve missed only a single day in the 6 years I’ve done this.  They’re standing next to the kettle having a smoke where a homeless man would be fired if an army officer caught them doing that.  It’s really sad that I have a supermarket across the street from where I’m usually stationed and, when they have volunteers, they don’t put any real effort into doing the best that they can.  The homeless men who normally get that spot outdistance themselves and pull in a lot more money then those volunteers, even after pulling out their pay.


I rambled for a bit.  Please excuse any typos.