Posts filed under ‘personal’

The Tao of Blogging: How to increase daily hits.

yin-yang

I’ve finally discovered the secret to successful blogging.

You see, the secret to successful blogging – and by successful I of course mean the number of hits you receive, not the quality of your blogging – is to not blog.  No, seriously, I have proof.

During the course of this blog, some where over a year of fairly regular posting, the number of daily hits I received steadily increased.  Of course, this is all relative, because when I started blogging my hits were exactly 0, so even one hit could be considered an increase.  But, over the months the total increased gradually until I was at a point somewhere slightly above 0; and I mean slightly.

The past few months, though, I’ve only made a handful of posts.  This was due to a combination of burnout, wanting to focus on other things, and questioning the purpose of it all anyway.  I pretty much stopped blogging, although I hadn’t yet decided what my intention was as to the future: did I want to pack it in entirely or would I start blogging regularly once again?

Even though I had stopped writing for the blog, I still checked in every so often, and looked at the stats.  Starting a couple of weeks ago I noticed my daily hits were climbing to significantly impressive (for me) new levels.  One day during this past week my daily hits made it into the 4-digit range, which was something I never expected would happen.

Part of Taoism is discovering the path of least resistance – which I interpret as a licence to be lazy.  Just kidding…or am I???

No, I am.  In the blogging world, the path of least resistance is to not blog.

Another idea in Taoism is that in order to succeed, you need to give up the attachments to succeeding, which I did a long time ago.  So, by not blogging I have tapped into the Tao and this has caused my daily hits to increase significantly.  Obvious proof of the validity of Taoism, not that it needs it.

Then again, the new found number of daily hits might have something to do with a more human element.  The posts responsible for the vast majority of hits lately have something in common.  That commonality, coincidentally, happens to be that each of these posts contain a picture of half-naked babes.  Here is a link to the post that has garnered the most attention of late:  Canadian Nationalism:  How Do We Know Who is Best?

So, this new found success can be boiled down to either Taoism or Half-naked babes.  Tough call…

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August 27, 2009 at 12:19 am 8 comments

Typical Males Think With Their…?

So, I was in the locker room of my gym today, changing and minding my own business because that’s what you do in a man’s locker room.   There were several other guys around, doing the same thing, changing and minding their own business.

There was also a T.V. situated on one of the walls.  Usually it’s tuned to a sports channel, but today, for some strange, inexplicable reason it was on Cosmo TV, as in Cosmopolitan Magazine TV.  Some serial drama that I didn’t recognize was playing.  I thought it might have been Felicity, if you remember that show, but I wasn’t positive that that’s what it was.  It was something of that ilk anyway.

As you can imagine, most of us guys in the room weren’t paying attention to this program.  It’s not typical “guy” programming, and really who wants to get involved in an hour long drama when you are only going to be in the change room for a dozen or so minutes anyway?

That’s when this line, spoken by a sexy female voice came through the televisions speakers: “…and this is what my breasts look like.”

Without thinking – at least with my brain – I turned my head towards the television screen to see what was going on.  As I did so I noticed every single other guy in the locker room turning to look at the screen at the same time.

Apparently Cosmo TV can be a big hit, even in a guy’s change room.

Now I have a question stuck in my mind, because I’m curious and need to know things.  Even useless things.  Such as, would that line have received the same attention in a woman’s locker room?  I’d like to do some practical field research into the matter, but I’m not sure that my gym would find it appropriate behaviour.  Still, I’d like to know.

Inquiring minds.  Or, if not the mind, then…?

July 28, 2009 at 8:22 pm 4 comments

Absurdity In Reality

Wow.  That was some break.  I hadn’t meant to take a break over the holidays, but, well, it just happened.  And I mean a real break from the internet, with limited logging-on and avoiding the time-consuming computer habits that I usually waste my days with.

It was nice.

It was so nice, in fact, that it has been difficult convincing myself to return to my internet hobbies, including reading blogs and writing for Canadian Fermentation.  On the other hand it’s good to be back.

My original plan was to write a post about how much I love my readers and then talk about the impressive absurdist literature I read during my break- including Bulgakov, Christopher Moore and Don Cherry – to show off what an intelligent and condescending creature I am, but instead I want to share with you, Dear Reader, a moment of absurdity that I experienced in REAL life.

Real life?  That’s crazy!

I know, but bare with me.  In the end it will all make sense.

There I was, Dear Reader, being a good boy and taking care of a list worth of errands, running helter-skelter through the highways and byways of my neighbourhood.  Minutes later I was finished.  To congratulate myself on a job well done I decided to hit Tim Horons and grab a double-double for my walk home.

At this point I realized that my bladder was about to explode – yeah, I’m a little slow – so the first thing I do is head for the bathroom.  I test the handle to see if it’s locked, but it rotates, so I push the door open.  I’m about to walk into the room when I notice something like this:

catsass

OK, not exactly like that, because it was a man’s ass that I almost face-planted into rather than a cat’s.

Yeah.

There was this guy, bent over with his ass facing directly towards the door wiping away.

W.

T.

F.

I decided that I did not need to use the bathroom that badly.  I went to the counter to order my coffee and broke out laughing at the absurdity of the situation.  I didn’t  stop laughing for the next ten-minutes or so.

Seriously, how often do you get such a welcome when walking into a room?  Sure, it was a bathroom, but you still don’t expect The Hairy Ass treatment when entering.

I started to convince myself that this clown was doing this on purpose; the door was unlocked and he was perfrectly positioned .  I stopped trying to convince myself that it was on purpose, though, because that train of thought just started to piss me off, rather than make me laugh at the absurdity of the situation.

It’s much funnier to think that some fool was caught in an embarassing position, rather than some pervert getting his jollies out of literally making an ass of himself.

I have to admit, though, that I feel much better now that I’ve shared my experience with you, Dear Reader.  I needed to get it off my chest.  It was a situation that was too silly to keep unto one’s self.

Enjoy!

January 9, 2009 at 12:29 am 5 comments

How To Stimulate The Economy

I recently spent time trying to figure out a way  I could  help stimulate the economy.  All the experts say that the best thing for me to do is  spend lots of money buying things I don’t need.   We need to keep the wheels of the economy greased.  Or is that greasy?

I spent the weekend looking around my place  figuring out what old, useless items I could replace.  One thing kept coming to my attention: the cats.

My cats are older models and, quite frankly, aren’t running with the pep that they used to have. I know cats sleep a lot, but twenty-three and a half hours per day?  That seems a little excessive even by cat standards.  It was obviously time for some new, younger, more modern cats in this household.

“Out with the old and in with the new,” is our civilizations battle cry, after all.

catbelly(Many people ask me what it means when cats expose their bellies.  They seem to think that it means that the cats are comfortable with their environment.  Actually, it means that your cats are mentally handicapped and have forgotten which way is up.  It is time for a new cat.)

As anyone who has  delved into cat acquirement knows, the first step is to decide on the model of cat you wish to purchase.  Personally, I have a soft spot for the Asian models – such as a Balinese, Japanese bobtail or something from the Hello Kitty line – as they tend to run longer on less food than North American cats.  Check out this video that  shows the ease of maintenance that is required of Japanese cats:

I began by checking the classified section of my local newspaper.  What a disappointment.  Most of the ads were for free cats, which defeated the purpose of obtaining new cats in order to stimulate the economy.  I noticed, though, that there were several ads for exotic models, such as Main Coons selling for $500.  Main Coons are a little more cat that I’m used to, but they have a solid body and are able to take a lot of wear and tear.  I called the number and inquired how much they would give me for trade-in.  They laughed.

Apparently cat breeders don’t take trades.  They informed me that there is no money in the second-hand cat market.

I was shocked.

This threw a monkey-wrench into my plans.  Five-hundred dollars was more than I  planned on spending for my new cats.

Next, I went to the animal shelter and asked the man at the front desk to see his newest models.  After giving me a questioning look he took me to a large room of shelves filled with cats.

There were a lot of second-hand cats available, and although I was not as interested in that market, I have to admit that some of the used cats were in good shape!  Plenty of the used cats had been previously owned for less than a year – I assumed that meant that the original owners could no longer afford payments and the cats had been repossessed.

fuzzycat(When your cat starts to become unfocused, it might be time to consider a new model.)

I noticed a couple of kittens in one of the display cases and immediately fell in love.  One was a long-haired black kitty with big, green eyes, while the second one was a short-haired orange, sporty looking model.

It was time to negotiate.  I feigned disinterest so that my opponent wouldn’t suspect my true desire.

“They are a little small,” I said.  “How fast do they run?”

“Oh, you know, they’re quick little buggers,” he responded.  “You’ve gotta keep an eye on them.”

“Hmm.  I don’t know.  Are they good to take off-road?”

“What?  What do you mean, off-road?”

“You know, like on road trips.  Do they travel well?”

“Uh.  I don’t know.  How would I know that?”

“I just assumed you would know your stock.”  I gave a sigh, and let my eyes wander over some other cats hoping that the attendant would think I was losing interest.  He was good at his job, unfortunately, and stood his ground.

“We prefer to find a home that will take both of these guys.  They are so attached to each other that it would be a shame to separate them.  Would that work for you?”

I shrugged.  “I suppose that would work.”  I yawned.  It was time to get to the nitty-gritty of the negotiations.  “I already have two cats that I’m looking to trade-in.  How much do you think I could get for them?  I’d have to get enough to make the price of these two reasonable in order to make a deal here today.  I’ve got my eye on a hot tabby at one of your competitors and they are willing to knock 50% off the price if I trade them my old cats.  Can you match that?”

The attendant stared at me for several moments – I assumed he was contemplating my offer – before responding.  “Uh, let me get this straight.  You’re trying to replace your old cats with a couple of kittens?  That’s just not right!”

I grinned.  “Ahh, you got me. What I’m really trying to do is stimulate the economy by spending money on some new cats, but I can’t afford the prices.  I was hoping to get a discount by trading in my old cats.  Think you can help me out here?  I’d really like to take these two off your hands.”

The attendant cleared his throat.  “Well…uh…that’s a…uh…great idea, but we don’t take trade ins.  When people get cats it should be for life.  Some people are irresponsible and leave their cats behind when they move and force their former pets to become strays, or they abandon them at shelters for both good and not-so-good reasons.  That’s where most of these cats come from.  Sometimes people don’t realize the commitment it takes to care for animals, and they lose interest.  Some of these cats were Christmas presents for young children, and the parents have no clue as to what it takes to be a responsible pet owner.  They figure it’s a cat and cats don’t require much care, so it will be easy.  They soon realize that cats do require care, and it takes money, time and commitment to give the cats a good life.  You should never get someone a cat as a present, especially kids, unless you are sure that they want to have a cat live with them, and they are able to care for the cat properly.

basketofkittens(New cats may look like they are easy to maintain, but actually take a lot of work.  Kitten-evil is a much more intense type of evil than regular evil.  Adult cats usually have a little less evil motivating their behaviour, but take just as much attention.)

“Sounds good,” I said, having blanked-out half way through this fella’s speech.  “So you won’t give me anything for my cat’s then?”

“No, no trade-ins”

I nodded.  This changed things, but  I was still determined to stimulate the economy.  “Well, how much do these new cats cost?”

“It’s all by donation.  You decide how much you want to pay.  We mostly just want to find these guys a good home.  They are expensive to upkeep, though, so as much as you can give would be great.”

I decided that it was my duty to spend some money.  Since I really didn’t need four cats I made a donation to the cat shelter instead, and left the kittens where they were.  The attendant said that this was probably a good idea.  I wrote a check and headed back home.

I walked in my door and noticed that the old, useless cats were asleep on the couch.  I put a handful of treats between them, figuring that they would notice when they woke up and  might wonder if Santa had visited and left them presents.  Unfortunately the fat one woke up first and ate all the treats before the skinny one could get any.   I guess that’s why he’s the skinny one.

December 10, 2008 at 4:19 pm 4 comments

Why Can’t I Be You

Ahhh.  If only I were other people.

Other people seem to be able to divest the inner turmoil that disrupts my thoughts to the outer world in a more succinct manner than I ever could.  Damn them and their fine communication skills.

For example, if I were David Suzuki, I would have written this article to explain how I feel about our current world view and the economy.  I recommend clicking the link and reading the article.  If you are lazy like me, though, here’s a good summary paragraph:

“Even stranger, economists believe this behemoth can grow forever. Indeed, the measure of how well a government or corporation is doing is its record of economic growth. But our home—the biosphere, or zone of air, water, and land where all life exists—is finite and fixed. It can’t grow. And nothing within such a world can grow indefinitely. In focusing on constant growth, we fail to ask the important questions. What is an economy for? Am I happier with all this stuff? How much is enough?”

If I were David Suzuki I would also kick the ass of an Australian.  Just because.  I know you know what I’m talking about.

The article is written in support of the new book, Managing Without Growth – Slower By Design, not Disaster, by economist Peter Victor. The Toronto Star also had an interesting editorial article about Victor and his new book.

I would have written this book if I were an economist named Peter Victor, and if I were Carol Goar I would have written an article about it for the Toronto Star.

But, I’m not.  I’m just a guy with a blog and nothing better to do than wonder what it would be like to be David Suzuki; David Suzuki kicking an Australian’s ass, and writing articles about the environment and the economy.  Ahhh…what a life!

December 9, 2008 at 2:43 pm 2 comments

You Know It’s Going To Be A Good Day…

You know it’s going to be a good day when…

  1. Cat 1 wakes you up at 4 a.m being sick on your bed.
  2. You get out of bed to clean it up and step in a different pile of sick that Cat 2 has already strategically placed at the exact spot where he knew you would be putting your foot down as you rolled out of bed.
  3. While working on cleaning up the two piles of cat-sick, Cat 1 decides to target a stack of books for his second sicking of the morning.
  4. You rush over and push Cat 1 away from the books just as the cat lets loose, so that the puke spews out over a larger area than originally intended by Cat 1.
  5. Although Cat 1 is pleased at having puked all over your light-coloured carpet, he is pissed-off that you disrupted his original plan.  He decides that you will not be allowed to sleep for the rest of the morning.
  6. Cat 1 starts chasing Cat 2 all over the place, including straight across your prone body, as you are laying in bed, trying to get another couple of hours of sleep before that damn alarm goes off.
  7. Although you know yelling at cats has absolutely no affect on their behaviour, you do it anyway.  All the yelling does is make it less likely that you will fall back asleep anytime soon, as you are now totally wound-up.
  8. You vow to look up the number of the local animal shelter.  You tell the cats about your plan.  They appear unconcerned by your proposition.
  9. The alarm goes off.  You haven’t been able to get back to sleep.  You notice that both your cats are curled up at the foot of your bed, looking extremely comfortable and content.

pottycats

(It has been scientifically proven that cats exist to torture humans.)

November 19, 2008 at 3:28 pm 6 comments

Redux: Canadian Beer Experiment

As previously mentioned, in celebration of the upcoming one-year anniversary of Canadian Fermentation I have decided to edit and reintroduce some of my favourite early posts.  This was the fifteenth Canadian Fermentation post.  It helped define the future direction of Canadian Fermentation.

I’ve edited the intro to the experiment, but the body of the text remains the same, since I wrote it while actually conducting the experiment.  Editing the text would invalidate the important scientific findings. I have also added a picture.

Canadian Science

To Canadians, especially stereotypical Canadians, beer is more precious than ambrosia.  We like to think that beer from Canadian companies – whether or not they are owned by Canadian interests – is superior to the beer of other countries,  particularly American beer.  Although this may be true in a general sense – who could argue that Labatt’s product isn’t better than Bud? – these rules are thrown out when we talk about microbrews.

For many Canadians our national identity is tied to our appreciation and production of beer.  This fact led me to the question: Can drinking Canadian beer make a person feel more Canadian?

There was only one way to find out: experimentation.  For purely scientific purposes  I acquired a six-pack of Molson Canadian, and, by drinking it, would discover if I felt more Canadian. Here’s a beer by beer summary of my findings.

molson

(Is there anything more beautiful than a bottle of beer with a picture of a red maple leaf on the label?)

Beer 1: Due to some previous experience with beer, I didn’t expect much after Beer 1. My expectations were met. I’m not a big fan of Molson Canadian in the first place, it’s an OK lager, but I’m not a big fan of lager in the first place. I wasn’t feeling very much more Canadian after my first beer. I wasn’t feeling any less Canadian either, though, so all in all the first beer has to be considered a success.

Beer 2: Beer 2 proved to be just as bland as beer 1. On the other hand I did start to feel…something. A slight thrill? A movement towards joy? A full bladder? All of the above, actually. Beer 2 was a good step, and I felt I was on the path towards feeling something, whether or not it was a feeling of being more Canadian was yet to be determined. On to beer 3.

Beer 3: Beer 3 was pretty kick-ass. Not only was I able to drink another beer, but Frosty the Snowman was also on T.V. That’s what I call ‘win-win’ — the best part was when the policeman swallowed the whistle. Also, in ‘Frosty’ there is a reference to Saskatoon. How cool and particularly relevant is that? After beer 3 did I feel more Canadian? I think so. My head was feeling a little lighter, and I started to care a little less about what people thought about me. No, wait, that sounds like I’m a little less Canadian. Crap. Never mind, let’s see what happens after Beer 4.

Beer 4: Before I realized it Beer 4 was gone. What the hell happened? Where did it go? Well, I know where it went, into my belly. And then my blood stream. But another great surprise was that Team America World Police was on TV, a movie I’ve been wanting to see for awhile. Sweet. So, do I feel more Canadian after drinking 4 Molson Canadians? Maybe slightly. I’m feeling a little more euphoric and quite proud, since Team America makes fun of American bravado and since according to some being Canadian means that you are NOT American. So maybe I should ask myself do I feel less American? Do I? Do I feel lucky, punk? Sure, what the hell.

Beer. 4.5: ‘Malignant narcissicm. hahahah.

Beer 5: The whole experience was great….until I saw the vomiting scene in Team America. Damn. Way to kill my buzz….

Beer 6: My bladder is full and I need to go pee but I’m still watching Team America. How long can I hold it for?? Wait, wait, pull it together. OK OK, let’s get focused and relevant. Does drinking Molson Canadian make me feel more Canadian? After six beers, I’ll have to say no, my bladder is full and that’s all I can think about. So, no. I’m not more Canadian. Unless having a full bladder makes you more Canadian, and I haven’t seen anyone claim that before.

Conclusions

I consider this experiment to be a success. It took considerable toll on my body, but for the sake of science it was worth it. I conclude that drinking Molson Canadian does not make me feel more Canadian, and since this is the most Canadian of beers — sort of since Molson is now  Molson Coors, an American company —  no matter how proud a Canadian is of his or her ability to drink a lot of Canadian beer that it does not make one feel more Canadian.

Here are some recommendations for future research: Imbibing a 12 pack of Molson Canadian. trying different brands of Canadian beer. Try a different form of alcohol, such as Canadian whiskey.

November 8, 2008 at 6:25 pm 3 comments

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