One of Many Boring Posts But it Made Me Happy Anyway

Why are people not happy? Maybe more to the point, why are people so angry? Last Easter I gave up Twitter for Lent. I missed the vitriol for about a week then discovered I was far happier not participating in it.

I used to be one of those asshats that would post all things political across my Facebook page. One day I made an announcement that from that day forward I would no longer be posting anything that had to do with politics. I had friends that I wanted to keep friends so it was time to get over that which I could never change.

My friends know I am a Christian. They know I hate big government. What else is there to say? I’m not changing anyone’s mind by posting some meme that ridicules the other side’s belief. And there is nothing anyone will ever be able to post to make me forgo my faith or become a communist. Time to move on and take the argument to HuffPo or TheBlaze. I’m done. I’m happier.

I was floating down the river yesterday with one of the adults during our youth kayak trip. Bolivia was on our minds as it tends to be when we get together. She said that since she returned that she was even more focused on contentment.

Living in America is a wonderful thing. The conveniences are unlike anyplace else in the world. But we aren’t really that happy. People are so rushed and mad all the time. It seems most are not content. They aren’t happy with where they are and what they have. Maybe the government and the games it plays at the local and federal levels are to blame. Maybe it’s bad luck. Maybe it’s greed. Maybe this is just how a pagan culture is.

We visited a poor community in Bolivia. They literally lived at the dump. We went to visit the children and provide them with a day’s rations. We opened up a bag of chocolate milk and filled their cups. We gave them a piece of bread. The next couple of hours were spent playing with these wonderful little kids. They were content. They were happy.

I wish that the poor in America would be as content but they are pissed off that the cable didn’t get turned on today. And that makes them angry. Then it boils over and one day they burn shit down.

I don’t know if it’s easier to be angry and unhappy or what. I for one surely have my moments of discontent. 1st world problems, as it was. But over the last year I have endeavored to discover those things which make me happy and stop being an ass. I’ll always have an interest in being politically and culturally informed but there is not much I can do about any of it.

I just don’t want to be angry all the time. Surrounding myself with positive and happ(ier) people, virtual or physical, is far more pleasant.

And thus ends the third ramble. Thanks for reading.


Squidoo is Dead Long Live Hubpages

I suppose I should take a moment to express my sympathies for the demise of Squidoo. I made a lot of affiliate money with those lenses, particularly of the Halloween, costume variety. I moved as many lenses to various Hubpages accounts as practical but unfortunately they do not allow external affiliate links. Substituting for Amazon products is just not going to be prosperous. In fact most of the money I make through Hubpages is via Adsense.

Squidoo was a pretty cool community. Hubpages not so much. Google made each its bitch. I guess Squidoo got tired of it and decided to allow Hubpages more room to bend over.

Consolidating more content creation sites makes sense I suppose. Though when a Google search is likely to amount to a page full of advertising and You Tube listings I’m not sure, in the words of Madam Secretary Clinton, what difference at this point does it make?

Squidoo tried to make content creation at least fun and social. I enjoyed collecting trophies and achieving ranking. It is the last vestige of a time gone by of making money online that I enjoyed.

I’m a dinosaur of a time in the mid 00’s where money making was simple, if not easy. Where the IM world was filled with interesting characters. Nothing lasts and I knew it wouldn’t particularly when I got my first smartphone and started playing with apps. That was about the time my income from online ventures started to decline. Google shifted to a mobile world and the search algos reflected it taking many of our money making opportunities with it. The smart dudes adapted and created apps, social blogs, forums and podcasts. Those that enjoyed slinging crap ventured into Kindle books where pretty much anything goes.

Anyway, here’s to you Squidoo. Cheers to all those now adrift Squids out there creating dubious content for monetary or literary glory.

And so ends the second ramble.Thanks for reading.


Culture Shock and Mental Pushups

Indeed it is I, the web sewer magician. For anyone still on this feed expecting grand citations of the affiliate marketing variety, I fear that I will once again disappoint. Those days are sadly passed. The 00’s of web slinging glory is now a distant memory. I had little interest or inclination to remain in the game. I let Lost Ball settle into the sludge of mediocrity and despair. As you can see the resurrection is fresh and clean. Making money online will from this point forward will likely be little more than a passing reference. Plan accordingly those few hardy souls who ventured back onto this well placed collection of words seeking coin collecting wisdom.

The giant statue of Christ on the front page is not a coincidence. I traveled to Cochabamba, Bolivia on a mission trip this summer. It was an experience I will not soon forget. From the straight up tripping with altitude sickness in La Paz, Bolivia to the manual work at La Trinidad to the Sunday afternoon hiking in the Andes the trip was a blessing in many ways.

Someone asked me when I returned home what the culture shock was like in South America. I replied that the culture shock was not being in Bolivia it was returning to the U.S.

I was asked what I thought about being in a socialist country whose main ally is Venezuela. I mean, diplomatically not exactly buds with Uncle Sam, right? The thing about Bolivia is that unless you want the government you don’t notice it. Unlike America where the government seems to be EVERYWHERE.

Would I live in Bolivia? Um, no. Would I live in South America? Absolutely. Chile, Columbia, Uruguay…yes indeed. The people of Latin America are exceedingly friendly.

When I first started this blog, the name, it was really a cheeky dig at my supposed ineptness at making money online. I think now it reflects my wandering educational bent that include travel, photography including digital photo manipulation, video and web design. I’ve even delved into podcasting for my church.

Even from here I can feel your eye rolls. Travel and photography. Wow. Shocking. Isn’t everyone a photographer? Doesn’t everyone want to travel?

Yep and yep. However, given that my job offers little, excluding a fat paycheck, in the way of mental challenges, I find exploring these subjects to be enjoyable and satisfying. Photography for me is not necessarily taking the photos but is learning Lightroom and Photoshop. Though technically it is a challenge if choosing the non point and shoot selector mode. Travel is not just visiting new places but trying to learn Spanish.

Education opportunities on the web are vast. I took a web design class from Skillcrush. I know HTML and CSS but suck at Javascript. I gained valuable knowledge in coding. I may not be able to code a slider from scratch but I know enough to make changes and additions to existing code. I followed it up with free classes from Microsoft Virtual Academy. A free Photoshop and Lightroom class from Udemy was pretty good. I supplemented that with any number of great resources on YouTube. I signed up but have yet to start a class on EdX on Linux. I used to know *nix but after years of non technical office work my skills have waned.

Will any of these skills amount to a paycheck? I doubt it. I’m aging and expensive. Companies are laying off and cutting costs by using cheap labor both here are abroad. Few managers would be interested in re-tooling me when a college grad has far more upside. SO unless I freelance I doubt my academic interests will amount to more than pushups for the brain. Which is fine though I will say my ebook covers are not bad. Not bad at all. I suspect I’ll start marketing my burgeoning Photoshop skills into the affiliate marketing/ebook cesspool. Kindle is all the rage and from what I understand from various forums on the matter, is making everyone fat stacks of cash. I have a couple of “ins” when/if I choose to get started.

So ends the first ramble. Thanks for reading.