Sep 30

eXlink take 2

Hmm… seems I’ve PISSED someone off on these here intertubes by this post about the new web traffic generator social networking site from the makers of Blogmad, eXlink. [Edit: Thanks to Paul from eXlink for the correction!]

On the original post, the comment left was:

From Nope: You failed to disclose that you receive something for referring signups to this particular site.

Well, Nope. First let me respond by saying that the eXlink website is quite unclear that anyone receives anything for referrals to the site. It’s all very cryptic. Tina over at “Recommended” has a post quoting the marketing language used. (And in the interest of “full disclosure” I’m renting space at her site this week.)

Secondly, it wasn’t until after the post was written, and someone actually signed up using the link from my site, did I receive the following email from eXlink:

Congratulations! One of the people you invited has signed up to the site and you have been credited with a referral for the launch!

Remember, you can use this url to invite more people: [snipped url]

See you soon,
The eXlinks Team

So it seems I have been “credited with a referral.” I have no idea what that means. Frankly unless it involves sexual favors, or large sums of money, I don’t really care.

And lastly, Dear Nope, fuck you very much.

For you, NopeIt’s my blog, my writing, my opinions, my recommendations, and my prerogative to “disclose” or withold any information as I see fit. I pay for this site out of my pocket, and have built the entire thing from the ground up. I get to say whatever I want, whenever I want. And until those in power completely destroy our First Amendment Rights, that’s the way it shall stay.

If you want “full disclosure” from your blog authors, I suggest you head over to some corporate or politically sponsored website, say Fox News, CNN, MSNBC or the like. I’m SURE they fully disclose their kickbacks from their sponsors.*

:: laughs about having never been accused of not saying enough::

* In case you’re wondering, why yes, that is sarcasm dripping from the screen.

Sep 29

Time sails by

From the “Random Ramblings” file…

My little brother asked me a disturbing question last night:

Hey- What are you thinking about for Mom and Dad’s Christmas presents?

Uh. I hadn’t even thought about it. Christmas? Are you kidding me? It’s only Sept. emmm.. ber? Oh. Shit.

Travel plans have to be made. Are we even travelling? Money has to be saved. Yeah, right.

And then there’s The List that has to be made. People who we need to buy gifts for, and then what we should get them.

One of my new friends is really into science fiction and fantasy stuff. I ran across that site today and the front page has a link to buy The Dark Crystal. I love that movie. I’ll have to be sneaky and see if he owns it already. I really don’t know what else to do. Maybe something over at scifi.com. I’ve never been in to that stuff myself. I don’t understand the appeal. I mean, I like science, and I like fiction, but I can’t seem to get into the combination of the two. Scotty beam me up? Phasers set to stun? *yawn*

Though I do enjoy World of Warcraft. Does that make me a hypocrite?

Sep 29

Some photo album updates

P1010701I found a bunch of photos today that I thought I had lost in a recent hard drive failure. So I decided to upload some of them to the photo album while I was backing them up to my archive drive. There are updates to the Jester album, the UMB album, I scanned some older pics of Toby, and I added one for the dogs. I have a ton of pics to sort through and will be uploading more over the next few days.

P7090720P6171850
In case you haven’t met them yet, our canine housemates are Hudson, a 7 month old Anatolian Shepherd (we think), and Gracie, a two year old black lab-pointer mix.

Sep 29

eXlink

There are many blog traffic generator websites out there, I personally belong to two, Blogexplosion and Blogmad. There’s a new one on the horizon claiming to be the best thing to come to traffic generation.

It’s currently in the ‘signup phase’ now, and is based on referrals. So here’s a link for your clickage: eXlink.

Why join a traffic generator? Well… blogging isn’t any fun if no one reads what you have to say. It’s especially no fun if there are no comments. Generators bring traffic to your site, and makes it easy to find new readers, and brings your attention to other sites you might enjoy.

So yeah, sign up, and let’s see what happens together, mmmkay?

Sep 29

Blog of the Day

Received via my Contact Page today:

Blog of the Day Awards wrote:
I know you did not nominate your own site but I went ahead and added it to the
nominees and …

Your site has won a Blog of the Day Award (BOTDA)

Blog Of The Day Awards Winner

So yeah, that’s cool. 🙂 Thanks for the votes!

Sep 29

We interrupt this program for an important announcement

STOP IT!

STOP making me scared for my future. STOP IT NOW!

If you missed it, the Senate passed a bill yesterday that not only TRAMPLES on the Bill of Rights, it laughs in the face of the Geneva Conventions. There’s a great article written by Molly Ivins that does much to explain exactly what this bill does. (Thanks Kristy for the link.)

I am sick of the “religious right.” I am sick of this dysfunctional bi-partisan system. I am the furthest thing from a Republican. But I’ve discovered that I’m not a Democrat, either.

Democrats are pussies. They can’t stand up and speak their mind. They are not organized. They are not REPRESENTING me or my friends… you know those of us who believe that our rights are inalienable. That the President does NOT have the right to start wars, name enemy combatants, detain and TORTURE anyone he deems worthy. That he DOES have to have a search warrant to listen to our phone calls, read our emails, arrest us or otherwise wipe his ass with the Constitution.

I am really sorry for everyone who lost a loved one in the attacks on September 11. I really am. It was devastating, and awful and worthy of revenge.

Enough is ENOUGH. Do you think any of the 3000 people killed that day would approve of what is happening now? Do you think they would agree that the thousands and thousands of Afgani and Iraqi civilians that have been killed by our troops is still not enough? Do you think the loss of 2500+ American soldiers would be ok with them? I don’t think so.

Our government is failing us. Miserably. And what’s worse, we sit around talking about it… watching bobbleheads run their mouths on any one of our 500 cable channels… but no one is DOING ANYTHING!

Bill Clinton got a fucking BLOWJOB and did what nearly every red-blooded man on the planet would do, he lied about it. The entire world fell apart. Called for and received his impeachment.

Where are those people now? How much more will they let Bush get away with? How long before the Democrats grow spines and put a stop to this shit? How long before even the Republicans become embarrassed?

To my foreign readers, I am ashamed. I am ashamed that we are the unfunny joke of the world. I am ashamed that we are pushing an idea of democracy all over the planet, when our own is NOT WORKING.

I guess the bright spot is that within two years, we will no longer have a democracy to worry about.

And just because it’s not posted enough, and not read enough, and not committed to memory… I’d like to include here the text of the first ten amendments to the Constitution, aka, The Bill of Rights:

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Amendment II

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

Amendment III

No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Amendment V

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Amendment VI

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.

Amendment VII

In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

Amendment VIII

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Amendment IX

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Amendment X

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled program already in progress…

Sep 28

The Record Contract; Part IX: Decisions, Decisions

Error messageSpending a few week days, and most of my weekends in rehearsals for a couple of weeks caused a lot of stress for me at the radio station where I was working. During this same period, my supervisor, Becky, got a promotion and was now in charge of two stations. Her replacement didn’t really care for me or my style. She was much more type A, by the book and lists, schedules, and plans oriented than I.

Actually, I think everyone on the planet is more schedule and plans oriented than I.

At any rate, I began having a lot of time conflicts with events that I was supposed to attend for the radio station, and rehearsal.

When it came time to go into the studio, I would need to take 4 weekdays off. I had already used what little vacation time I had and my new supervisor told me in no uncertain terms that I was not going to be allowed to take those days off.

I appealed to Becky, who loved me. And while I know that she was in the right, at the time her refusal to intervene on my behalf devastated me.

It seemed that I was going to have to decide between recording this project with the real potential of a record deal, and a job that I absolutely loved with the radio station. It didn’t pay much, but the fringe benefits were amazing… I met anyone and everyone that was anyone in country music and many pop stars, I went to almost every concert in town, free cds… it was an amazing job.

But I could BE someone in country music that people working in radio stations would enjoy meeting. I could write songs and hear them on the very station where I worked.

There was really not much of a choice. I had to give up my job.

Sep 27

Philosophy Wars

I like this concept. Bloggers putting up articles describing some particular mindset or philosophy and readers voting on the said articles.

My post The Goodbye is up against some other posts. Stop by and vote for me!

http://www.notbean.com/content/phiBlogWar.php

Sep 27

The Record Contract; Part VIII: Pressure Rising

Sunday morning, Mama Sharon knocked on my bedroom door. I was a bit hungover, definitely hadn’t had enough sleep and was a bit annoyed at being disturbed.

“Hey Superstar, you’ve got a phone call.” Sharon had taken to calling me that since the auditions. In fact, the night that I got the phone call telling me that I had been chosen, Sharon had fashioned a giant aluminum foil star to affix to my door, and put streamers in the hallway. She was fun like that.

I stumbled down the hall way in to the living room to pick up the phone. Mama Sharon had muted the television and sat across the room making wild gestures and laughing silently at the state of my hair.

“Hello?”

“Paul, it’s Matt.” Uh oh.

“Yeah?”

“You have no right to fuck this up for anyone. You can not be gay. You can not let anyone think you are gay. You can’t be seen in gay bars. You can not be seen with a boyfriend, or even being around anyone who is obviously gay. You will ruin everything. I have waited too long and worked too hard to let some queen destroy everything.”

He hung up on me.

I’m going to let you all in on a little secret about my personality. It usually takes a lot to set me off. I can take a lot of bullshit for a long time, and while I won’t say that I keep completely quiet about it, I don’t lose my cool often. However, there are two things that will send me into instant orbit.

  1. Walking away from me during an argument.
  2. Hanging up on me.

I guess it has something to do with the idea that it’s no longer a discussion when someone walks away or hangs up. It’s someone screaming at me and not allowing me the courtesy of screaming back.

When I set the phone down I hit Mach Three. And it took only a moment’s explanation before I had Mama Sharon adding rocket fuel. I’m sure we made quite a pair stomping around the room and yelling things like, “How dare he!?” and “What right does that self-righteous asshole have to say such things?”

Mama asked me, “What do you know about him?” I tried to tick off the checklist of ‘facts’ that I knew. His father is a minister outside Chicago. He tries to keep his distance from the rest of us. I didn’t know where he lived, he never talked about his personal life.

Mama said, “So, here’s a thought… how does he know anything about the Connection?”

It suddenly clicked.

“Oh my god, that’s it! Matt is gay. He’s GAY. No wonder he’s so freaked out. He can’t stand that kind of attention anywhere near him.”*

I called Matt back.

“Now you’re going to listen to me. You had your chance to say what you wanted, now it’s my turn. I will go anywhere I want, with anyone I want, anytime that I want. If I want to throw on eyeliner and shadow, tease my hair and strut around town in a leather harness, I will.** There’s nothing you, Delious, or anyone else can say about it. I have spent the last 21 years pretending to be someone I’m not, and I’m ready to be me, and no scared preacher’s kid who can’t accept his own homosexuality is going to stop me. So you can either shut the fuck and get over it, or you can call Delious, out me and convince him that I shouldn’t be in this band and we’ll both get over it.”

Matt interrupted me at this point. He may have been crying. “I don’t want that to happen. You and I are the only guys who have the voices to make this project have a chance at working. But I still think we should be careful to not get labeled as fags.”

It was at that moment that Matt and I became friends. It was at that moment that we became a team.

* I’ve given Matt plenty of time to object to my writing about this. He never responded, and while I don’t wish to intentionally out anyone ever, I find it morally reprehensible in fact, I know that Matt isn’t exactly closeted. His family knows (a story that I’ll tell later) and anyone who knows him personally is clued in. What I do know is that Matt is again pursuing a record contract and I don’t want to cause him any trouble. However, the fact that Matt is gay is materially important to the rest of this story and those that follow. You can now maybe understand the pickle I was in.

** Ok.. it was just that one time, you don’t have to keep bringing it up!

Sep 26

Photo Blog

Ring of Fire Sunflower photo from http://bozettetc.blogspot.com/This week’s Featured Site, Pictures from My World reminds me of my love of travelling. I’m so jealous of all the places she has been. Her photo blog is well designed and the photos range from landscapes to wildlife closeups.

It’s just reminded me that I have been meaning to add a bunch of my photos to my album. It’s always something.

Throw some clicks her way and enjoy some great pictures!