Time For A Design Change

It’s been over 6 months since I’ve been running my blog, which also means 6 months for the design. It’s time for a change! This design is getting old on my eyes and it has a few problems that have crept in recently. Most noticeable is the problem with the Google ads. They like to flash at the top of the page when the site is loading or when using the tabbed sidebar. I’m really not quite sure what the new design will be…hell, I don’t even have any cool ideas right now. I need a burst of creativity to hit before I get started, but I also want to get a new design as soon as possible. I’d set a goal for the end of the month, but I’m going to Sacramento for a week so that won’t work. I’ll say by June 14th a new design will be alive and kicking!

Speaking of new designs…my friend David Branson has become a WordPress user and will be working on a design of his own. Right now he’s using one of the stylesheets created for the WP community in place of boring default one. When you get a minute check out his site, Deacon Blue.

Rain, Rain, Go Away

I always thought it was “April showers bring May flowers.” It has rained almost every single day in May so far. It helps out the golf season in the long run, but prevents it from really kicking off. Thursday was my first time out and I shot a 49, which wasn’t too bad for not having swung a club yet this year. Then I went out Friday with Jere and Steph and shot a 51. Both rounds I really fell apart on the last two holes. I’m driving the ball suprisingly well, but my putting is horrible. I just don’t trust the flat stick right now and it’s killing my game. I’m playing in two golf leagues again this year, so I should have plenty of opportunities to work on my game.

Gmail Me

Gmail accounts are going for anywhere between $50-250 on Ebay. Check it out for yourself. Since they are not available to the public I know a lot of people want to see what the new email service is all about, but come on. Do you really need to pay for an account that will soon be free?

If anyone has an extra invitation, I wouldn’t mind a Gmail account of my own. 😉 😉

Update: Bill (see comments) gave me a Gmail account!! 😀

What's In A Post Title?

The title of a post can be very important. A good title may catch a visitor’s eye and spark their interest to read the post. That reader may like what they read and become a regular visitor. A title relating to the post will rank highly with search engines because the post title is used as the page title and as an H1 HTML tag. If a post ranks high with search engines, it will attract visitors who may be searching for information on a particular topic. This may also lead to an increase in regular readers.

I’m not trying to say that increasing the reader base is the goal, but it is always a plus. As most people with a blog or personal site would agree, we don’t do it to become popular or gain readers. We blog because it gives us a unique place to voice our opinions or work out our thoughts. At the same time, these opinions or thoughts are public information via the web and therefore can stimulate discussion or help someone.

With that said, I’m curious as to how others create the titles for their posts.

Do you create titles that are “Google-friendly”? What I mean by that is the post will turn up when people search for common things. By creating a misleading title, it could cause the opposite of what I discussed above. A post could be ranked higher than it should be. Many people will end up visiting the site just to see what their search turned up. This situation is bad for the Internet.

Should a post title be the first thing that comes to mind or something that has some quality thought? I think that both strategies can be important in different situations. There are many times when a first thought is the best thought, but times when a post deserves a great title.

Do you create a post title before writing the post or after? If you create the post title first, you may try to model the post to match the title, straying from the original intent. A title added after the post is writen should be a better fit.

I usually try to create a catchy title relating to what I write about in the post. My goal is not to rank highly with Google, but I won’t complain if I do rank up there. For some reason the majority of my titles are the first thing I fill in on the post form, but I think I’ll try to change that in the future. I also try to create a title that is a play on words, which is always fun to come up with.

What’s your strategy for creating post titles?

Sit & Go Success

After the worst losing streak of my UB career, I’ve switched from playing .25/.50 limit hold’em to playing $5+.50 no limit hold’em sit & go tournaments. I played OK in 3 or 4 over the past few days, but didn’t get much help from the cards. Today though was a different story…I took a 1st and a 3rd in the last two I played. It’s a lot more exciting playing in these one table tournaments, so I think I’ll keep at it. It can only help my game for home tournaments…right?

Update: Just took a 2nd!

Update #2: …and another 2nd.

Update #3: Tried a $10+1 SnG (much tougher competition) and finished 4th, one place out of the money.

Update #4: Took 2nd in a $10+1…I’m done for a few days!!

Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World

Master and Commander - The Far Side of the World (Widescreen Collector's Edition)I’m not a big fan for old time war movies so I’ll try to review this movie for it’s value and not on personal taste. With that said, it’s a good movie, but not “The best movie of the year” as the cover claims.

Russell Crowe did an excellent job as Captain Jack Aubrey, or “Lucky Jack” as his crew referred to him. He played the part of a leader like few others could have done, but I’m starting to expect that from Crowe after all of his other successful films in the past few years. The plot revolves around Crowe’s ship (British) being stalked by a French vessel. Crowe takes it personal and attempts to return the favor.

Overall, the acting was very believable and the actors fit their parts. One thing that blew me away was the sound effects during the battle sequences. My new surround sound setup was thumping! For this reason I’m bumping my grade up to a B-.

DVD Menu Music

First off, I know I haven’t had any in depth posts in quite awhile, but if you’ve been reading, I’m sure you know that I’ve been busy moving. I hope to get back to posting my thoughts and ideas on various topics, so without further ado…

What’s up with the menu music on DVDs? On every DVD that I can think of, the music is about a 15-20 second long clip that is repeated over and over again until you either play the movie or mute the damn thing.

Seriously, it has to be one of the most annoying things ever. I don’t know about everyone else, but when I pop in a movie, I don’t sit there and wait for it to come up to the menu. I usually run to the kitchen to make a snack and get something to drink. It doesn’t take long before I start hearing the same short tune over and over again.

Most DVDs today are packed with special features, which I’m sure take hundreds of hours of work create and test. Producers (or whoever works on the DVDs) spend all of this time and they can’t come up with a full song to play while on the menu? Is it a standard now because it’s been done this way for so long? Or maybe I remember all of the annoying main menus and never notice when there is actual music or even silence.

Does this bother anyone else? If not, put Kill Bill: Volume 1 in your DVD player. Once it gets to the main menu, I bet you can’t leave it sit for more than 5 minutes.

Top 10 April 2004 Searches

At the end of each month, I post a list of the top 10 keyword combinations (searches) that visitors have used in a search engine to get to my site. It’s not a popularity list, because “poker chip tricks” and every possible way to search for that would dominate my top 10. These are the funniest, weirdest, or craziest searches that have resulted in a visit to my site. The searches listed are exactly as someone typed them into a search engine.

Here’s the list for April 2004…enjoy!

Continue reading “Top 10 April 2004 Searches”

Kill Bill: Volume 1

Kill Bill, Volume 1I was pleasantly suprised by how good this movie is. I wasn’t looking for much after the previews I’ve seen, but I should have known better for a Quentin Tarantino film.

The story revolves around Uma Thurman’s character, “The Bride.” She once was part of an assassination crew, who turned and attempted to kill her on her wedding day. Roughly 4 years later, she wakes up from a coma and is out for revenge. The movie makes an abrupt halt at the end, which is to be expected since this was volume 1 (2 is in the theaters now).

The martial arts and all of the sword fighting are fantastic in this movie. The acting is exactly as I’d expect for a weird movie, but it really adds to the overall effect. One neat thing about the movie is that it is told in a series of chapters like a book, so events are skipping around. It’s a very nice touch.

Since I can’t wait to see how the story ends in Volume 2, I have to give this movie a B+.