Aria

The title sounds like a whimsical name doesn’t it? "Aria" is the brand name for Fitbit’s new weight scale. I mentioned a while back that Shawn and I have really gotten into using our Fitbits. Shawn decided to buy Fitbit’s new , code named Aria, to help track our fitness and health. It was a little more than you’d spend on a regular scale but overall not terribly expensive. I actually got a little excited at the prospect because 1) I’m a geek, and 2) I usually have to weigh myself at the gym. It would have been nice to track my weight progress via the app. I say ‘would have’ because It was an absolute flop. The device was simple in design and aesthetically pleasing; however, getting it to work properly was such a struggle we finally gave up and are sending it back. Talk about product fail!

Shawn actually felt like his view on the company as a whole was tarnished, which is why I bring it up today. He asked me if I felt like the whole line of products was cheap because of our experience w/such a shoddy scale. I didn’t necessarily feel the same but it did get me to thinking. How often does a first time experience tarnish a brand’s view or image? I’d imagine quite a lot. For myself, I’m more irritated than anything. We really like Fitbit as a whole and to experience so much frustration over a simple product was disappointing.

Part of me falls back on the adage, "if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it." And to keep things in perspective, this is a first world problem. No one really needs a scale that connects to an app. We’ve gotten by since the invention of the scale with the non-connected versions just fine. Yes, the convenience is nice but therein lies the problem. If you are bringing a product that deals solely in convenience to market, you really need to make sure it doesn’t overshadow the most important aspect, convenience! We wasted nearly 45 mins trying to get it to work properly. Forty five minutes!

I don’t feel my view of the company has declined, but I doubt I’d ever rush out and buy any of their new products again. I’d still recommend Fitbit bands but I’d obviously steer clear of the scale.

Stat

Sooooo, in all the domestic bliss, I forgot to mention I’m moving into year 11 of this here blog thingy. Eleven years. Other than masturbation, I don’t think I’ve kept up with anything in my life that long before. (You laugh, but I am not joking.) All these years later and I’m still at it. Granted, not as fast and steady as I used to be, but that is ok.

I was pleasantly suprised to see I still get a decent chuck of blog traffic, even with my lower postings as of late. Ironically, posts about Cooper often get the most hits.1 Google+ has updated their analytics engine and it is truly amazing the scope of data they capture now. Most of my traffic is still direct, meaning people load my feed or come directly to my site. This one stat was the most surprising and humbling. Thanks for reading my madness. Really, I’m tickled people still enjoy my rants. Sadly, brettcajun is STILL the best referral source within the blogosphere. How that dirty cajun manages it is beyond me. A big surprise was Joe.my.god’s blog. Apparently, I’ve been getting a ton of new referrals from his blog. I read him daily (and so should you). Towleroad made the top 10 for what I think is the first time ever. I attribute the later two gains to my increase in comments on their sites. My lack of interest on FB has to be captured somewhere.

Out of social media referrals I got another surprise. I get almost as many clicks from Google++ as I do FB. twitter is a very distant third. FB used to dominate this area. I’m glad to see a more even shift as I continue to use FB less and less. When I factor in the referrals between blogger and plus, Google+ dominates.

My keywords are always a hodge podge as my blog tends to jump all over. Let me just list the top 10 for the past 30 days …

Eye problems behind a computer
vision problems optometrist
SF Moby
Moby zipper
Sex with Moby
Grindr Rules
Gubbmint
adult archives
Ok porn
bloggers in SF

Yes, that is the top 10 ways new vistors have found me in the last 30 days. lol To be fair, the ratio drops significantly after Sex with Moby. The latter I assume relates to the other Moby btw.

Yeah, I continue to blog and yeah I know it’s probably considered passe now but I never did respond well to peer pressure. Le blog continues to enrich my life and is my chronicle in attempting a life well lived.




  1. Being upstaged by my own dog! The nerve. []

Moved

I’m all moved to my new site now. Unfortunately, I was unable to merge the old blog. Apparently, WordPress only supports xml imports up to 2megs and mine was 9megs.

*sigh* I just set it up the way it was before so nothing has really changed. All the old links were kept intact as well so I guess there is that.

Now I get to finally fire 1and1.com and their shitty customer service!

 

Mobile II

I’ve been tinkering with converting my blog to an app on Android. No, I’m not taking up Android programming, you can find a few sites online that will convert and compile it for free, albeit ads included. So far, I’ve created three very basic but different versions. All three are just wrappers.1

The first one is via WP-Appmaker and I like it the least. It renders very well but has no push notifications so you have to manually update it anytime you want new data. IMHO this completely defeats the purpose. The only real option you have is to sort posts by category. Considering it forces ads on you (I understand why) it should include more options.

The second one is with JoeMobi and had the most potential. Creating the app on their site was very buggy and time-consuming. If you forgot to fill out a required field or it didn’t like what you were trying to upload, you’d  get an error. You think have to start all over from the very beginning. This one also renders w/ads but it includes push notifications. Push means the app would update itself anytime I post something new. It was also the only one that supported comments directly from the app vs having to link out to the web and then post a comment. Sadly, I couldn’t get the in-app new comment part to work. However, unlike the other two, you could see existing comments. It also works with a Blackberry if you have one of those.

The third one is thru Conduit. It’s not bad. Choosing or creating your own unique colors and layout were much easier to use for a novice. Unlike the others, it does not force ads on the reader. Conduit was the only free one to offer the option to include your twitter feed as a separate tab. This one would be perfect if they ever added comment support.

There were about 6-7 other sites that do the same thing but they were mostly geared toward businesses and charge some pretty hefty fees. I don’t have the money for such things right now. One worth mentioning was Mippin. It was unique in that you could tie in FB fan pages, twitter, picasa, flickr, etc. They charge a flat $99 fee for a two-device app. Sadly, it still doesn’t support comments.

Don’t get me wrong I’m not complaining about the 3 above as they are free! But, you also get what you pay for. I wouldn’t have minded the in-app ads had they given me the option to make a portion of the revenue after a certain point. Yes, I realize that’s how they make their money but ads for such basic wrappers is kinda overkill IMHO.

I’ve included links to the apk files for all three versions I created. If you’re on an Android device, just select the links below. As mentioned, they are very basic but feel free to play with’em, if ya like. Also keep in mind, you’ll have to click the allow unknown installs on your Android device before it will let you install them. There is NO SUPPORT with the apps. If you don’t like, simply delete’em off your device. They are too basic to cause any problems but I can’t guarantee they’ll work with old versions of Android.

 

The WP-Appmaker version

 

The JoeMobi version

 

The Conduit version

 

If I ever decide to upgrade them, I’ll post a new update.




  1. meaning it’s just wrapped in a user interface []

Comments

So I’m considering disabling my janrain plugin and switching to Intense Debate. I’m taking feedback from anyone who has used Intense Debate as an end user and/or on your own site.

This really only affects folks that log in via universal log-ins like Google+, OpenID, twitter, etc. Those of you who have your  own log-ins here, won’t be affected.1  The janrain plugin is easy to install but the back end setup takes more programming knowledge than I have to keep it running correctly. Plus, every time one of the big players update their api’s I end up having to start over with fixing it on my end. I don’t really have the time to screw with it. I like janrain because everything remains in-house, meaning all my comments are stored in my blog, not on someone else’s servers. This removes any problems with people not being able to comment if afore mentioned other servers go down.

There are a variety of comment management systems out there. I don’t like Disqus as I always have problems trying to use their platform from mobile devices. For whatever reason, the log-in mechanism never seems to go thru. Even worse, the comment box doesn’t seem to come thru as an actual box so I can’t activate the keyboard to type. Since about 70% of how I access blogs these days is thru mobile devices, I sure as hell ain’t planning to shoot myself in the foot. lol

Intense Debate seems to be very tightly integrated with WordPress. Instead of trying to hold all my comments, they sync with my WordPress installation. In simple terms, they keep comments added thru their platform on their servers but they also sync with my WordPress installation. In a nutshell, this means I get to keep my old and new comments. And, if I ever decide to ditch the platform I still keep all my comments. But wait, there’s more! I also don’t have to worry about mobile comments as my mobile plugin uses the WordPress built in comment system, which gets synced! I remember way back when I migrated from Blogger to WordPress, I lost all my comments. They didn’t have an import-comment function then and to do it manually was more headache than I wanted to research. Intense Debate also offers a variety of log-in options built into their platform. That means I don’t have to manage it on my own. You could still leave comments via your favorite universal long-in.

The only problem I can foresee is a user conflict if/when I switch over. Even when using universal log-ins, WordPress creates an internal user account on my blog tied to your email. I don’t know if a different platform like Intense Debate would understand if it’s the same user account or try to create a new one, which would generate a conflict. I sent Intense Debate an email asking how it would work since I couldn’t find anything in their FAQ or support pages.

Wish me luck!




  1. This means you still have access to all the “private” stuff I post from time to time. heehee []

Banned

Someone got banned by my spam blocker today. lol Apparently, his IP address was being used to hammer my admin account in an attempt to crack my blog. tsk, tsk! heehee I’ve removed the ban as I know it wasn’t him but I’m tickled it was his IP address.1

As a reminder, if you find you can’t access le blog, email me and I’ll look into it. A good first-step is to try to access it from a different location or internet connection. Spammers often hijack open wifi points and/or unsuspecting users and use their computers to do all their dirty work. I see it time and time again sadly. While few sites are truly hack-proof, a few precautions go along way to keep out the bad guys.

Don’t randomly open links/files in emails that you weren’t expecting, even if it is from someone you know. If you use Chrome, they do a good job of blocking malware sites but it’s never 100% foolproof.

Don’t fall for “your account as been locked or suspended, here click on this link and verify your info…” scams. You can do like I do and manually type the link into your location field of your browser of choice. That way you know you aren’t being spoofed.

On a follow up to that, most email clients allow hover functions. Meaning if you hover the mouse over a link it shows a tiny pop up window that displays the actual link. If it is different, in any way from the one displayed, don’t click it.

When you aren’t using your computer/laptop, shut it down . The old adage about ruining your pc by turning it off/on too much is really nonsense. You’d have to do this a 100 times more than the average user to really cause a problem.

At the end of the day, do like my Maw-maw always said, “believe none of what you hear, and half of what you see.”  In other words, if it sounds suspicious don’t just click it like an idiot.  lolol

Oh, and welcome back Brett.




  1. A prime example of why you should never use your default admin account in WordPress. []

Heavy Roller

Well, my listing today on Amazon and I have ten, yes count them, 10 whole subscribers! lolol I didn’t really expect anything major mind you. 🙂
I also discovered changing the RSS feed being pushed to Amazon is very VERY easy. I was a tad worried how I could mantain control over certain types of content that isn’t necessarily for public consumption. *snicker* You very long time readers know what I mean.
I also have a lot of random drivel that I don’t share. One of the ways I keep myself blogging is I try to log on at least once a day (or so) to post my meanderings, basically “dear diary” sort of stuff. While completely boring and mundane, it keeps me talking not only to myself but to you. I didn’t want all that cluttering up everyone’s stream.
Annnnyway…. I just tweak the feed link on my dashboard for Amazon and hit publish. I can custom string basically any category1 that I want. *whew* So far it has handled pretty much everything I’ve thrown at it. I added categories, hid categories, etc and it worked. Most excellent.
I’m also trying to expand my list of blogs I read again. It’s been so long since I’ve followed anyone new, I really need to start blog hopping2 again. I really miss having personal blogs to follow and keep up with. I’m down to about 10 and that’s fewere than my first month all those years ago.
On a side note, I’ve been checking my site analytics and after filtering out FB, Google+, and twitter, Large Tony is still the number one referal to my blog. And ironically enough, brettcajun was a distant second. I guess I should pop over and thank them for having such loyal blog jumpers. hehehe And speaking of Brett, he is ever the attention whore of the blog world. 🙂 It seems he and Jimbo are having a war to see who can flame the other the most.



  1. or not []
  2. jumping from blogroll to blogroll exploring friends of friends of friends, so to speak []

Know Thyself

People really crack me up sometimes. They say perception is 9/10’s reality but there are also times when you need to use your head for something besides a hat rack. I just had a rather odd email conversation with a distant Facebook friend who was pissed at me for not knowing what was going on with him. Apparently, he’s been going thru some drama and updating FB with it. It was somehow my fault for not knowing. I saw him online, sent a polite message, and proceeded to get attitude because I was being jovial. Excuse the hell out of me!

On a similar rant, a while back I had another FB friend (who found me thru twitter) get pissy with me because I didn’t want to have cyber sex with him over cam. I first politely explained it wasn’t my thing even if I thought he was attractive. Sex over cam is so 90’s and boring to me. I realize it may be fun for some but that doesn’t mean everyone is into it. Finally after like the 4th or 5th push to show my junk, I got rather direct and let him know it was never going to happen. He has since unfriended me, to my delight.

So yes, all these sites can be wonderful mechanisms for communication. But lets face it, none of us only friend people we actually know in real life. Hell some folks have thousands, even hundreds of thousands, of friends on these sites. It is unrealistic to think every one of your “friends” keeps up with your every update. Frankly, it borders on impossible for anyone who has a life offline. For myself, I’m not so foolish to think everyone on my list knows everything I post. Most of what I post on FB and such is absolute drivel anyway. lol That’s when I’m even on. Most of my updates on FB come from my Google++ account (or twitter).

Yes, I have some nice friends online whom I’ve never met. I have some I’d love to meet someday as well. That still doesn’t mean I’m all up in their grill 24/7. If I’m a real friend to you or vice versa, then I’ll take the time to talk, text, email, or see you. in person. In person isn’t always possible but a friendship is only as good as the effort you put into it, not what you get out of it. And posting online is not what I would call effort.

The sex thing is funny. But again, don’t get all twisted because not everyone is into the same thing. I clearly have no problem with sex and/or hookups. That doesn’t mean every profile I have online is filled with a insatiable desire to get laid. Even still, if I politely decline 2 even 3 times, take the hint.

At the end of the day, just use your brain people. Don’t get pissy because some random stranger doesn’t know you’re having a bad day/week. Be happy someone actually took the time to reach out to you in the first place.

/ rant

Why

Well, after 30 some odd texts, emails, comments, etc from my last post, everyone seems to be curious as to why. Why I listed with Amazon. Lawd, you’d think I announced my blog was ending! lol There are several reasons actually. What? You think its an easy one-liner? Pssshaw! When am I ever that one-sided? lol

One, I feel a little bit guilty for dropping off for so long in my regular blogging. I know I probably shouldn’t but I do. In the last few months I’ve had quite a few folks1 stop me in person or comment online to tell me how much they really missed my blogging. It was very flattering and humbling after all this time to still have complete strangers stop and share their love of my blog. It gave me a warm fuzzy feeling deep inside.2 I had one guy stop me in Starbucks, he was visiting from out-of-state, and share how much he enjoyed my blog. Two different guys came up to me at Folsom (and I was only there about 2 hours) to tell me how happy they were I was blogging again. I even had a a couple guys on Scruff message me to introduce themselves and tell me they liked my blog. There have been others but the point is I started feeling guilty. Primarily because I know exactly how they feel. I’ve been very disappointed at times over the last 10 years when some of my favorite blogs ended. Whether I knew them in person or not didn’t matter, I had spent a chunk of my life getting to know them thru their blogs and it was disappointing to lose that contact. So to realize I’d sort of done the same thing made me feel a bit guilty.

The irony here is I don’t really follow that many personal blogs anymore. Primarily because so many of them have ended. I have a very small dedicated group that I still read. Most of the blogs I follow these days are news/tech sites. I still keep up with some folks via FB, twitter, Plus, etc but even that is losing it’s appeal for me.

I am truly flattered and humbled that people care and listen to what I have to say. It makes me feel honored and proud that you take the time to follow me when there is so much content (in so many places) out there these days. I’ll admit the desire had sort of left me for awhile but I’m finding that I really missed it. I get such a sense of well-being when I settle into blogging mode and being back in the saddle has really made me see how much I missed it.

My free-time is always a factor but I’m finding ways around that as well now. I can’t promise I won’t have lapses again but that’s life. Life first, blog second has always been and continues to be my approach.

Another reason is flat out geekiness. I love the idea of having my blog content being so readily available in such a cool format as the Kindle. For someone like me, its a bit awe-inspiring seeing my blog on an Amazon page. Never in a million years would I have ever dreamed I’d grow up to actually have people pay attention to what I say. For you long time readers, you get it I know.

Three follows closely behind reason two. Its not so much adulation as appreciation. One person asked if I wanted fame. I’m sure there is a small facet of that mixed in but honestly, I don’t feel its a driving force. It isn’t so much that I want people talking about me as much as I like knowing that people care enough to follow me. I guess that’s sort of the definition of fame but in a different context. I’ve never been a popularity blog.3 And frankly, I prefer my attention up close and personal. lol Aaaaanyway…I don’t see that changing anytime soon.

Of course, I write knowing people are reading but my content is usually for me and I’m simply sharing with you. I don’t think I’ve ever sat around and just tried to think up ideas to blog about. Often times, I forget many of my ideas because I don’t take the time to jot them down when they pop up. Lawd knows I’m rarely w/o something to say.

On a funny note, one lurker called me a sell-out. I’m a bit surprised by that because my blog is still completely free on the web. And $0.99 a month is hardly big business for the convenience of getting my madness on your Kindle device. lol Hell, who knows if it will even go anywhere.

Lastly, since my blog readership has dropped off somewhat, I’m hoping to revive it with a new avenue of distribution. Hopefully, over time people who have drifted away will realize I’m back at it and tune in for their weekly dose of my nonsense. Looking forward, you can definitely expect some discussions about Spike, work, my life in general, and probably some stuff dealing with my most recent break-up. No, not dirty details but definitely about things I learned and am still learning from it. Of course, my random and unexpected nonsense will be ever present.

Thanks again for those loyal folks who have stuck with me. I hope to not let you down.

Moby

 




  1. mostly unknown to me at that []
  2. No, not there, get your mind out of my gutter! 🙂 []
  3. Unlike another blog I shan’t mention. heehee []

Amazon

Well, I’ve gone and done it! My blog is now officially available thru Amazon.com for download to your Kindle device of choice. For the amazingly bargain basement price of $0.99 per month you can now get my madness automatically downloaded every time I post an update. Yes you read it right, per month.1

First, I didn’t choose the price, Amazon did. While you can still (and will always) get my blog perfectly free on the web, you can now fork over a measly dollar a month for the convenience of having it updated automatically for you if you wish.

Second, this was not about money but exposure. For such a small fee I’m clearly not looking for profit. It is my hope to increase my user base. I’ve only been back at it steadily a short time now, yet I’ve already had several people reach out to me and tell me how much my blog has meant to them. It’s been a humbling experience to say the least.

Depending on how well it goes, I may at some point decide to disable my internal subscription service. It’s become very laborious to manage and keep up with. For now, nothing has changed. My RSS feed is still available directly from my blog for free. The Kindle route is about convenience and hopefully, more exposure.

Last but not least, my content will still be my normal ramblings, opinions, ideas, pet-peeves, etc. From what I’ve seen, nothing I post or write about comes anywhere close to violating any of Amazon’s TOS. I don’t foresee any need to censor myself. If it does, it is easy to manipulate what enters my RSS feed.2  I am not sure how pictures translate to Kindle devices so I will still need to work that out.

As for content, from what I’ve seen on some of the listings so far, most of my content is perfectly acceptable. The only real difference you might notice is reposting content from my old blog. Since my old blog isn’t tied to the new one, I may from time to time repost some of my older more significant posts.

That’s it. A big welcome to any new readers and a big thank you to anyone else subscribing thru!




  1. It is only available on actual Kindle devices vs. the Kindle reader app than can be installed on many mobile OS’s. []
  2. Amazon loads my blog via the RSS feed. []