a city boy's guide to the south

Welcome, friend, to the ramblings of a southerner by choice.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The St. Mark the Evangelist Catholic Choir with a snippet of Bach from 11/16/11/ rehearsal.
(I'm the loud tenor)

Friday, October 28, 2011

Opt-In Email

Getting someone's permission before sending bulk e-mails is critical because without it, the e-mail is Unsolicited Bulk Email, better known as spam. The solution is to have visitors to your site join your Opt in e-mail list.

Several common forms of opt-in e-mail exist:
Unconfirmed opt-in
An uncomfirmed opt-in is when a new subscriber voluntarily gives you an email address, but you take no steps to verify its authenticity. Should a malicious user, a prankster, or a careless user give you someone else's email address, you could be considered a spammer when you start sending out offers and advertisements. The internet is largely an anonymous trading site, you need to guard against mischief.
An opt-out gives the user the option to be taken off a list. The business (you) simply send out your mailings to any address you receive, without confirmation. The footer section of this mailing will contain a link to click, should the user not want to receive further mailings.
Confirmed opt-in (COI)
In a confirmed opt-in, after a user registers with you, you send a confirmation email to the address they gave you. In a “single opt-in” you inform the user he will begin receiving your mail unless they send back a message saying they'd prefer not to. In a “double opt-in” the user applying for your content has to take the extra step of clicking an enclosed link to confirm their subscription.
There is still a debate over which approach should be used. Some marketers contend that requiring a confirmation simply amounts to asking permission twice before giving your potential customer value.. Others, still more concerned with the value of the contact information rather than sheer number of contacts, prefer the double opt-in approach.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

What Is a Content Management System?

What Is a Content Management System?

A content management system (CMS) has become crucial to running a successful RELATED TECHNOLOGIES business. Yet some business owners still may not realize the benefits of putting this technology to work for them. Below, we outline some all too common business problems and how you can overcome them by using CMS for your RELATED TECHNOLOGIES business.

Problems Your Business Faces:
The initial cost of building your website can be dwarfed by the costs for support and maintenance of the site, once it's built. Your developer may charge what seem to be unreasonable fees to change one word or one paragraph of web page content. The computer code to change the page may exist on some other computer and may not be accessible to you, or to another developer you may hire. Your old pages may have been built using static information instead of giving you the ability to change your content at will. And, what if you need several people working on your site, and all of them need to be careful not to change data that affects other workers?

Basically, you have a website with one or more of these problems:
  • You are unable to quickly update your web content for a reasonable cost.
  • Your web pages look out of date and reflect badly on your business.
  • You have no search features built in, so that you OR A CLIENT can quickly find relevant information.
  • Your website cannot grow and change as your business adapts to conditions and trends.
  • Your website has limited features- no user discussion forums, mailing list maintenance, or calendars of upcoming events

The Solution

The solution to solving your website design and maintenance problems requires the use of a Content Management System (CMS). A CMS uses a database to store, retrieve, and edit the content of your website. Each page of your site is stored as simple text – making it easy to edit, search, and manipulate.
With a CMS database, you easily add features to your site: user logins, security levels, events and calendars, blogs, news feeds, a shopping cart, and much more. All of this functionality has already been designed in to keep you website up to date. And, your content can consist of literally anything-- videos, photo galleries, recorded messages, even content streamed from other sources including news agencies to your suppliers, to whatever you imagine.

Our Solutions:

  • Our websites are created using the “WordPress” platform, by far the most popular and easy to use  content management system (CMS) available.
  • Your existing website can be ported to your new CMS based website.
  • We teach you and your staff to use the CMS so you can update your website yourself.

The Benefits:

Your site’s content will be displayed using current web standards. You will have better accessibility and your content will be “future proofed”.
Your website can grow and change as your business grows.
  • Room to grow – You decide when to add functionality and features when you and your business are ready: set up blogs and newsletters for your growing list of users and subscribers.
  • You are not trapped with a single high-priced web developer -”WordPress” is an open source software product embraced by thousands of users and developers.

Many Users, Many Places

You can have multiple users for your website. This means
  • The ability to update and change your content anytime using a web browser
  • Multiple users can change your website if you wish (you and your staff).
  • Your site is backed up on a secure server with multiple redundancies.

Climb in Search Results:

Our CMS software makes it easier to optimize your search engine results. That means your site is more likely to land on the first page of Google results , which means people are more likely to find you.

Want More Information?

If you would like to see how easy it is to change a website page – have a look at our support website.
Have more questions? Contact us for a free consultation

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Coping With Daylight Savings Time

Daylight Savings Time has sometimes been compared to the act of cutting off the bottom one-inch of a candle and then gluing this piece back to the top. The implication, of course, is that no time is gained as a result of the change. I will concede that logic, sort of, but I have some deeper issues with the analogy itself. Perhaps, a more apt comparison between daylight savings time and a candle would be: “Don’t waste your candles by burning them when it's light outside”.
The human concept of time is linked to the observation that the sun is in a different position in the sky from one meal to the next. We notice that a while ago there was darkness, and now there is light; so something time-related must have happened. And, wasn't it 30 of these dark-light periods ago when the moon looked this way? Time and clocks, on the other hand, are artificial. Like all sciences, they only attempt to explain concepts larger than ourselves in terms we can understand. The only important tasks time and clocks serve is to synchronize humans to each other so that we can coordinate our business and social efforts.
Nature, on the other hand, doesn't give a bug's tuggle about your schedules. She just keeps on doing her thing, and lo and behold, the period of light begins happening sooner. But, it is only happening sooner in our human reckoning. The birds have no trouble singing at daybreak. The fireflies know when it's first true darkness. We humans should know that when it's light out, we will better be able to use our vision to hunt and operate. We know that after dark, we need the protection of burrows.
Daylight savings time is merely re-adapting your schedule to nature's true schedule. The pain you are feeling is only temporary. And, how overused is that line? I want a mocha, and I want it, now! Isn't it wonderful that they call it “SAD”? Ah, the lost feelings of winter. But, brighten up! You're on the road to recovery!
As you struggle with the groggy effects that the change-over is having on you, my suggestion is to go back to your roots. Live as the inner caveman of cavewoman of your dreams. Embrace nature's dictum that you are supposed to be up and hunting at first light. That is when the gifts and weapons you have been graced with are at their most efficient. You don't need artificial concepts to know when it's your advantage. Carpe Tunnel!
Edward J. O'Brien Wednesday. October 26, 2011
aka Ned O'Brien, aka ejjobrien
aka linuxPigPen, if you've ever played me at PokerStars

My Top 10 One Hit Wonders

My Top 10 One Hit Wonders:

10) Edison Lighthouse: “Love Grows Where My Rosemary Goes”

To be honest, I wouldn't have thought of including this song if it hadn't accidentally ended up the top listing in one of those middle of the pack, “Next 20”, Top 100 bests lists. On the one hand, you could say typical hippie love warbling. On the other hand, not many people have written a song with
“rosemary” in the title. There was just something that drove this song, a really heavy and catchy back beat.

9) Devo: “Whip It”

The first time I saw Devo, they were the special guests on Saturday Night Live. Though a bit quirky, I was intrigued by their electro, quick jerk movements as they launched into their eponymous , “We Are Devo, D E V O “. When they came back out for their second number, they countermanded with what I consider their biggest hit: “Mongoloid”. “Mongoloid” had some Jethro Tull “Aqualung” overtones. Both songs were sung in an embracing baritone with just a little too much vibrato, but touching on the subject of humans who have fallen below many folks' radar.

8) Blue Suede: “Hooked On a Feeling”

Ooga Shaka Ooga Ooga, Ooga Shaka Ooga Ooga. Having these words blare out at you for the first time while trying to put the moves on the new honey in the student union is an experience you'll cherish. Somebody at tech central had forgotten to pull the plug on the all male chorus and their burgeoning hormones gone completely side-step whacko. You could tell the lead singer was putting his all into it; he had to.

7) Lynn Anderson “Rose Garden”

Most folks today would classify this as country. But, remember, it debuted in the era of AM Top 40, and Casey Kasem. One minute you would be listening to Steppenwolf , the next: the Jackson 5, followed by Lynn Anderson, and Napolean XIV. Good times.

6) Napolean XIVThey're Coming to Take Me Away'

... ho ho to the funny farm, where life is beautiful all the time and I'll be happy to see my friends in their pretty white coats and they're coming to take me away! Ha ha. Yes, people actually bought $0.79 plays of this insanely catchy ditty. At least the vinyl discs the plays came on could be used as frisbees when you tired of the song.

5) Brewer & Shipley: One Toke Over the Line

The top entry on the list of songs from the “Love” era where the artists claimed, “Oh no! It doesn't mean that!” Well, what you talking about? Of course, it does! The only one of those songs I'm willing to give a pass to is “Puff, the Magic Dragon”. Being “one toke over the line” is apparently a loose interpretation of a Damascan expression, used in Europe during the spice trading days. And it means being a bit beyond where you thought you were. Which is exactly what we've been saying.

4) Iron Butterfly:In A Gadda Da Vida”

17+ minutes of non-stop, inter-orgasmic, stoner pipe organ. So majestic, it was even featured in its own skit on a Simpson's TV episode.

3) Mountain:Mississippi Queen”

The original cowbell song. It inspired Will Ferrell enough to get the Mark Twain Award for his sterling performance in the beloved “More Cowbell” skit on Saturday Night Live.

2) Buffalo Springfield:For What It's Worth”

Stephen Stills, Neil Young, Richie Furay, and Jim Messina and they only managed one hit between them? I kind of like Neil Young's “Mr. Soul”, and “Broken Arrow” equally as well as the song they are most well known for. Still, the band made it into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, so they must have been doing something right.

1) Norman Greenbaum:Spirit in the Sky”

Enough with the jokes about the guy with the Jewish name writing the ultimate Jesus song. What drove this song was the same ambitious and horny bass line that drove ZZ Top's “La Grange”. Just good old American blues played with enough sass to cut through 13 shots and a beer.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Fuel Efficiency

Fuel efficiency is simply how well your car uses the fuel it is burning in your engine. Every fuel has a “potential energy”: the potential to affect other objects when provoked. In your car's case, the engine wants to change the fuel's potential energy into enough “kinetic energy” to move a piston, which then turns a crankshaft, which then turns a gear, and so on until the energy is transferred all the way to your wheels. Or, to put it in another way, the fuel's chemical potential energy has been converted into work.

There are two ways in which the fuel efficiency of your car is measured. The one you are probably most familiar with is miles per gallon (MPG), i.e. I can go 27 miles if I have 1 gallon of gas. Of course, in the rest of the world, execpt for Britain and the U.S., the standard is kilometers per liter.

If driving through Canada, you' may notice signs on the gas pumps that will say, “With our gallon, you get more.” Technically, this is true, The Imperial Gallon is bigger than the U.S. Liquid gallon. The Imperial Gallon is 10 pounds of water at 62 degrees Fahrenheit, while the U.S. Liquid gallon weighs in at 8.33 pounds of water at 60 degrees. This figues usually to 231 cubic inches in volume measure.

There is probably a program, somewhere, that will calculate this difference down too the drop. But just knowing you will be getting 1 2/3 more pounds of gasoline is useful enough. And just for odd notes, there is also a U.S. Dry gallon, which is apparently 1/8 of a U.S. Winchester bushel. Yes, that is the information I have been seeking. What a tremendous way to lead off on the definition, sirs. We have been seeking this information. And apparently you can't mix water and grain, as there is no useful reason to convert between these 2 unique American gallons. Because, now, wait for it, a dry gallon is 268 cubic inches. It seems sometimes dictionaries don't want to lead off with the clear answer first.

On Carbon Based Life

LifeGem Memorials will then turn your
loved one into a beautiful diamond.”

Advertisement for LifeGem Memorials--
specialists in turning human
remains into diamonds.

When I die, I'll be hard-pressed
to turn into a diamond

a yellowed husk of half-gram weight
estoppelled by my sojourn

from claiming polish, fit or lustre
quality or clarity

unfit to live among the stars
or any singularity

And what will Mr. Saint Pete think
when I, mortal, uncoil?--

he'll treasure gems of better cut
and send me to a mohel

to facet forty days and nights
in carborundum, tempered

by blasts of heat upon my seat
until I shine, then pester

him to try and smuggle me
past borders, snugged in colon.

He'll tell me then to kiss his ass,
and I might just oblige him.

I'll climb right in and trust for once
as I eschew my fate,

those puckered cheeks won't up and say
Oh, what ameliorate!

Dilma Rousseff

On Jan 1, 2011, Dilma Rousseff was sworn in as Brazil's first female president, in what many considered a referendum to continue the social and economic policies of her predecessor, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. Mr. da Silva had appointed Ms. Rousseff to be his chief of staff and is thought to have hand-picked her as his successor as well.

Ms. Rousseff wasn't the first female president from South America, that honor had already been taken by Eva Peron. What is noteworthy is that she was the latest in a growing swell of female world leaders elected in recent years. Not only does this list include Ms. Rousseff, but also Cristina Fernández de Kirchner of Argentina, Michelle Bachelet of Chile and the German chancellor, Angela Merkel.

In what is perceived as voters having sent the message that they preferred giving the governing Workers Party more time to broaden the successful economic policies of Mr. da Silva, Ms. Rousseff, who has no elected political experience, is expected to continue the policies that lifted millions of Brazilians out of poverty and into the lower middle classes.

In June of 2011, her top adviser resigned under suspicious of scandal and as a result, some are now questioning the strength and stability of her administration. Ms. Rousseff's handling of the scandal is viewed as having been too passive a reaction and seems to have affected her popularity.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Shop In America Now!

Shop In America Now!

Sign Up to Services In USA and get immidietly own USA address!

One of my favorite jobs to do online is English to English translation. I am often confronted with a well-meaning text that makes no sense whatsoever without transcendental meditation. I mean, you literally have to yank the answers right out of the blue psychic karma. One of the earliest examples of this endearment was my introduction to an outfit who called themselves Services In USA. They were promoting a service I had no idea was needed. They were going to be your America experts, citizens of the world! Shop in the USA today!

You gotta dig these self-taught entrepreneurs. They've got the guts and the instinct to preach that America vision and follow it up with action. I, for one, have never had a problem shopping in the U.S. , quite the opposite. And, this is America and doesn't it work like that everywhere? It had never occurred to me, that people would need help in getting our goods.

Why would it be hard for citizens of overseas nations to get our goods? The answer that seemed obvious was that they must be from the countries of doom. Persona non grata nations and others that just don't like us. But now through new-found American ingenuity, this problem was going to be solved. Then it struck me, this must be the electronic age equivalent of the more traditional Halwallah guaranteeing the passage of goods, if I skim just a bit off the top. I was now assisting in setting up the world's farthest-flung Halwallah site.

Shop in America Now!

You can shop in America now, by getting your own U.S. street
address, when you sign up at Services In USA!

You will be able to order merchandise from any U.S. website and have the items shipped to your new California, America address that Services In USA sets up for you. Services In USA will then re-ship the items to you, no matter where you are!

We help you when a store insists on PayPal, or a credit card, or when the store will not do international shipping. For oversize shipments, Services In USA also offers parcel shipping for lowest costs.

You will enjoy convenient, international shopping, as well as discount shopping rates, and shipment consolidations. And, we have great customer service!

Let Services In USA make your U.S. purchases for you today!

For your convenience, Services In USA accepts international wire transfers and PayPal.

Above is a revamped landing page I recently had the pleasure of translating for a client. His “I've got the concept, can't speak the details precisely your language, please help me job doing”, request was enough to convince me to do a write-up for him.. I've included his original landing page below, If you are interested,

I thought I remembered hearing a few years ago that some boutiques or online stores wouldn't ship to addresses in certain parts of the world because of uncertainty about both payment and delivery. Things could disappear, or get held up in customs, or even get confiscated because they were American goods. A little spreading of the Halwallah1 amongst local chieftains usually could lead to a more assured delivery. And here I was, helping spread the tradition over even more far-flung avenues!


Sign Up with Services In USA and get immidietly own USA address and start shopping today. Purchases can be ordered in any website in US.Then items are shipped to your own address and we forward your merchandise to you anywhere.We offer convenient,international shipping for each our customer.Customers get benefitsshipment consolidation,discounted shipping rates and great customers support.

We offer also Shopping Assistance to make a purchases from USA websitethat do not accept
international credit cards and sending merchandise only tointernational billing addresse.For yours oversized shipments Services In USA offer PArcels Shipmentservices for lower prices.Services In USA accept paypal,wire transfers and will make the purchases on your behalf.

1. Halwallah is a made up word and I have no idea if it exists.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Exactly What Is 'Gastric Bypass NO Surgery"?

Eating Glucin Pudding with “NO” Surgery

Sometimes as a copywriter, you come across a chance to to write copy for a product that is truly revolutionary and actually helps the lives of those who need this product the most I had the opportunity once to write a FAQ landing page for such a product.


Oftentimes as a copywriter, you are called upon to produce text for products which may leave you feeling a little dubious. The text below was the landing page of a FAQ I developed for a company that essentially sold its jello derivative as the natural alternative to gastric bypass surgery.


We as copywriters have to leave our mortal core and take on the dreams of the people who will be using our product. What do they see when their eyes close to look at their visions of heaven? How can we be love counselors or pitchmen, if we can't internalize these longings? I'll try to speak their words. What will they whisper to themselves, or refuse to whisper at all? Do they speak differently when speaking to groups or to friends? How will they go about putting their best faces on their longings and disappointments? Indulge yourself in their dreams and escapes as they see themselves thinner and more attractive. What are the subtle triggers to their tears, and how can we instantly soothe them? Go back to high school, and revisit every incident you witnessed. See the hurt persons face. Feel that pain. Know her desires at the moment.

Do we as copywriters have the ability to divorce ourselves from our preconceptions and take on the persona of the people who will be listening to our words? It is only the willingness to leave the comfort of a stable persona and assume these covert identities that enables us to be effective counselors and pitchmen. I try to imagine myself writing their diary. What would they be saying about their condition solely to themselves? What will they tell friends that is different from what they will think in private, and what do they want to hide from the world at large? Put yourself in these embarrassing situations, torture yourself with the cognitive dissonances you imagine these people having. Then learn how they put their embarrassments and fears into their back pockets, then function, knowing those secret desires and cravings, and self doubts will rise again.

Without further delay, I present: “What is Gastric Bypass NO Surgery?”. A or B?



What do we mean by "gastric bypass NO surgery" ?:

KonaLabs™ Natural Gastric Bypass Formula is a new way of creating a natural GASTRIC BYPASS EFFECT in the stomach. Tested in Europe for the past six years, it works without the expense or risk of surgery. Simply take it with water in the morning and it quickly expands in your stomach leaving you feeling full. You'll want to eat less, up to one-half of what you ate before. As a result, you take in fewer calories and start losing weight from day one.

KonaLabs™ Natural Gastric Bypass Formula also helps eliminate cravings. The patented ingredient, ╬▓-Glucin®, helps balance your blood sugar levels almost immediately, leaving you with fewer cravings for sweets and snacks Surgery, alone, isn't capable of this. With our program, you not only eat less, you eat healthier as well!

Eat less from day one:

Because the formula physically FILLS your stomach, it reduces the amount of space available for food. You find yourself eating up to one-half of what you did previously, and yet you still feel satisfied. You reach a calorie deficiency: burning more calories than you take in. And you feel more energy! All without surgery!

Safer and healthier than gastric bypass surgery:

Over 27,000 users worldwide have now benefited from this formula. Since its introduction, the Natural Gastric Bypass Formula has achieved an overwhelming 90% success rate. Satisfied users continue to post YouTube videos sharing their stories and their successes with us. In comparison to standard bypass surgery, the Natural Gastric Bypass Formula is faster, healthier, and much less risky. And best of all, it costs only a fraction of the $15,000 or more you could spend on surgery and there are almost NO SIDE EFFECTS or complications.

KonaLabs™ Natural Gastric Bypass Formula gives you the weapon you need to win the fight against obesity. Following our formula, you will lose weight. You will look better. And your health will improve, easily and naturally. We put the power to succeed in your hands.