Showing posts with label Twitter. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Twitter. Show all posts

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Day 1019

I wonder why people like to make lists? I've never been much of a list maker myself, but I seem to wind up on a lot of them. The last time I checked, I had been added to over 600 Twitter lists. I never thought all this list making mattered until I noticed that just being added to two widely read Google lists resulted in thousands of new Google+ followers almost overnight. The only reason I mention this is that this whole list making thing seems to work both ways. Now that Entrecard has disappeared, I seems to be disappearing from a lot of lists as well. There must have been a whole infrastructure built around the inflated traffic that blog communities like Entrecard, Adgitize, and CMF brought. Now that all three of these communities are gone, I think some of the blogs and bloggers and list makers who depended on these services are starting to disappear as well. Oh, well. It was probably all an illusion in the first place. I used to think I had over 400 regular readers every day. It was probably closer all along to the 40 that Google Analytics has been reporting recently. Easy come, easy go I guess. You can still add me to your next list though. Blogs that nobody reads might be a good category.

We gave the dogs a bath today, so they'd look nice for tomorrow's Dalmatian Rescue Golf Tournament. Since it's been raining cats and dogs all day, they won't look nice for very long if I take them out for an evening walk. The park is a giant mud-hole right now. Hopefully, the rain will quit soon. The dogs still won't poop in the yard. I need to clear the water off the roof before it gets completely dark as well. Most importantly, the golf course needs time to dry out before tomorrow's tournament begins.

The Dr. Who season finale is this evening. How can you have a season finale with only four shows? I missed one of those shows too. I'll be sure to watch this season's final episode tonight, but I can't help thinking that it wasn't much of a season. I've only seen two episodes so far. Didn't there used to be 26 shows in an average TV season?

I can't hear the sump pump running up on the roof anymore. Hopefully, it's just a circuit breaker that's been tripped. I'd hate to buy yet another new pump. It seems like I have to replace these things almost every year. Unfortunately, it's still raining too hard to go up on the roof and check things out. The last thing I need right now is to get struck by lightning.

Sweet Pea is today's Dalmatian of the Day

Watch of the Day

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Day 998

I got this e-mail last night that said "Congratulations, you're one of the top 100 Twitter users in Dallas." What? I wasn't even aware that I used Twitter very much. Curiosity drove me to the website that made this astounding claim and sure enough, I was listed as number 56 among the city's most active Twitter users. I was right up there with the aspiring musicians and over-the-hill athletes. I wondered how this could have happened, and then I realized that since the Twitter API makes it so easy to turn virtually anything into a Tweet, I had a lot more Tweets than I thought. I'll have to admit that I kind of like Twitter. It's the perfect medium for people like me who like to throw notes out to sea in bottles. I've accumulated a lot of Twitter followers and I don't know any of them. I can tell you one thing. It's a lot easier to deal with 20,000 people you don't know on Twitter than 20 you actually do know on Facebook.

Janet and I met some cute Dalmatians today up at the Dalmatian Rescue kennels. The new guys, Delilah, Annie and Eli, were quite small and all three were completely adorable. Two of the three dogs were still being treated for heartworm disease, but when these little guys get well, they should find homes almost immediately. I haven't seen a more appealing group of Dalmatians since the last group we photographed.

When I went to install the new printer ink I bought earlier in the week, I realized, much to my chagrin, that I had written down the wrong part numbers and had purchased colors I already had. Now, I've got to go back to the printer store and exchange these cartridges for the colors that are actually empty. Some of you probably think that I rattle on way too much about this silly printer, but it has become a symbol of life's frustrations for me. When I first got the printer, I was fascinated by the gorgeous prints I could make. I learned how to make beautiful Giclée fine art prints using wonderful archival papers that would last 100 years. Friends saw these prints and started asking me to print things for them. They just thought my printer was a bigger version of their own printers and never realized how much trouble it was for me to prints things for them. I eventuality realized the printer was only good for making fine art prints, so I spent a lot of time printing my best images and was able to use these images to get invited to show in several good galleries. This seems like a story with a happy ending. It would have been a happy ending if I hadn't come to despise the gallery world. Making it in the gallery world made advertising seem like an honest days work. I've never seen anything more phony and contrived than the business side of fine art. So, there you have it. I had become an expert fine art printer with no desire to participate in the art world anymore. I had no desire to make Giclée prints, but my love of machinery compelled me to maintain the bulky printer and keep it functioning. A love/hate relationship if there ever was one.

Luckily I have no such ambiguities when it come to Dot and Dash. I dearly love these dogs. They ought to have fun at the dog park tomorrow. A cold front blew through last night and it is at least twenty degrees cooler today. Finally, it feels like Fall!  I'm looking forward to the changing of the seasons. This Summer has been a hot one.

Camp is today's Dalmatian of the Day
Watch of the Day

Monday, July 23, 2012

Day 951

I started work on another website project today. Even though designing and maintaining websites is an important part of my business, I'm starting to wonder if they even matter anymore. A lot of people I know think that Facebook is the Internet and never go anywhere else. I've found that I've been able to reach more people in a single year using Twitter than I have during the previous ten years using my own company website. There is nothing remarkable about websites anymore. They have become just the same as the boatloads of printed brochures and collateral material I used to write before the Internet became popular. I wonder what the next big thing is going to be? I've made my living for many years by becoming an early adopter of whatever was new and fabulous. Unfortunately, I don't have a good feel for what is coming next anymore. Even worse, I'm starting to long for simpler times.

I'm starting to long for Winter as well. The heat has become relentless. The air conditioner never stops now. Even at night, the AC can't seem to manage to cool the house down to a comfortable 75 degrees. This Spring, I really thought we might have a mild Summer. Hey, we actually did have a mild Winter. It seemed perfectly plausible that an equally mild Summer would follow. Somehow, I don't think that's going to happen. Summer is half over now, and it is very, very hot.

I'm not taking nearly as many photographs anymore. The vegetation in the park is dry and brown. The animals are all in hiding under the nearest shady bush. Even the lighting is too harsh for pretty pictures. I guess I could still wait until sunset, but I prefer Spring and Fall when the sun is running on my schedule. When the last of the Spring wildflowers die, I don't know what I'm going to photograph on our daily walks.

Dash threw up again last night. I have no idea why he does this periodically. I've taken him to the vet several times and they can't find anything wrong. He eats exactly the same food as Dot, who never throws up. He doesn't get into the garbage or eat dead things either. It's all a mystery to me. When he does throw up, it's always on the carpet too. There are plenty of easy-to-clean brick floors nearby, but he seems to prefer the carpet. As soon as he's made a mess of things, he goes right back to sleep and everything's fine. It's enough to make me want to throw up.

Jewel is today's Dalmatian of the Day
Watch of the Day

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Day 595

When I was out and about today, I passed a large city truck with the words "flood control" and the city of Dallas logo on the door. Where was this truck going? I don't really think that flood control is a problem right now. We haven't had any rain in over a month. What do I know though? Maybe the guy was going to see a rainmaker.

Every once in a while a client calls and wants to make a simple change to a document I originally created eight years ago. You'd think these requests would be easy, but they typically turn into huge problems. I either no longer have the computer I used to make the file, stopped using the software I created the file with years ago, or I just erased the file completely because it was so old. I got one of these requests to go back in time again today. Amazingly, I still happened to have a very old Quark Express file that actually opened. Of course, none of the fonts used in the original document were installed on my current computer and half of the picture files had simply disappeared. As a result, a simple request to change a price list became a three hour job to recreate the entire flyer from scratch.

So, they finally passed the debt ceiling deal in Congress today and the country is no longer on the brink of going into default. Is the market happy? Apparently not. The DOW dropped 265 points. Is tomorrow going to be a good buying opportunity, or will the market drop even further? I honestly don't know anymore. I don't think anyone else does either.

I visited two different vets this afternoon. One, so Dash could get his bi-weekly antigen shot, and the other to deliver some marketing materials. My back-to-back foursquare check-ins must have alarmed some people however, because several Twitter followers wrote asking if Dot and Dash were OK. Everything's fine guys. It's just a little hot here in Dallas.

Dalmatian of the Day

Watch of the Day

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Day 520

I couldn't find anything to eat in the fridge today, so I went down to my neighborhood barbecue place and picked up some takeout brisket and ribs. Never mind that there was plenty of food in the freezer. Never mind that the shelves were stocked with tons of canned items too. There just wasn't anything I could throw in the microwave and eat two minutes later. I live on leftovers. I'm always excited when Janet cooks something over the weekend that I know will keep a long time, because this eliminates any chance that I might actually have to resort to cooking for myself. I do cook breakfast, but that's different. Breakfast is a sacred ritual that I use to postpone starting my work chores as long as possible.

I think I've finally discovered the secret to getting a lot of Twitter followers. You just follow people who do exactly the same thing you do. Once I started following other writers, my Twitter account started becoming a very busy place. For the past month or so, I think most of my new blog followers have come directly from Twitter. As busy as my Twitter account has become, I'll have to admit that I don't really understand it. It still seems like robots talking to robots. Sometimes my automated replies will trigger further automated replies on the other end. A whole little automated conversation ensues. It's weird, but you can't ignore it. All my clients want to be on Twitter now. I guess social media is here to stay. I noticed that LinkedIn almost doubled in price in its first day as a publicly traded stock. Makes me wish I could get in on the Facebook IPO, if that ever happens.

I think Dash might have eaten a dead bird. There were certainly a suspicious amount of feathers strewn around the yard this morning. I'm hoping is was a neighbor's cat that actually ate the bird and that Dash is just interested in the remaining feathers. If he did eat the bird, he'll probably throw up tonight like he always does when he eats crap. The fact that he has a sensitive stomach doesn't seem to slow him down in the least when there is something rotten in the vicinity.

Dalmatian of the Day

Watch of the Day

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Day 492

For the second time this week I went to the AT&T store to buy a 4G dongle for my laptop. And for the second time this week, I walked away with nothing. All I wanted was the 4G dongle, but the sales guy kept trying to get me to switch my home phones, internet and TV from the cable company to their own U-verse system. The sales guy didn't even seem to listen when I told him that several years ago a technician had already been out to my house and told me that my house couldn't be hooked up to a fiber optic network because the wiring was too old. He didn't seem to listen when I told him that several of my neighbors had already tried U-verse and hated it so much that they made the phone company take it out again. All he kept telling me was how much money I'd save if I switched and that he'd throw the dongle I wanted in for free if I signed up for U-verse today.

I hate high pressure sales pitches. Just put a price on it and let me decide. If I've got a question, I'll ask you, but you're not ever going to get me to make a decision on the spot. In fact, the more often you go back and talk to your manager to see if you can make me a special one day only deal, the less likely it is that I'll buy anything at all.

I'm still not even sure if I'll have any use for this high speed Internet hotspot. I got a message from my client in Germany today telling me that "Yes, I will definitely be taking photos and video at their booth during the oil and gas conference." Then I looked at the conference website again and it still said "All photography and video recording are strictly forbidden." This ought to be interesting.

Ill be happy to get Dot's bandage off tomorrow, so she can walk normally again. It takes a lot longer to walk and take care of two Dalmatians separately than it does when they're together. Dash seems to like being walked all by himself, but Dot is starting to hate the bandage. I don't blame her. It's been so wet lately that I have to put a thick plastic baggie over the bandage whenever I take her outside. Needless to say, the bag doesn't stay on very well when she sees a squirrel in the yard.

I just noticed that I now have over 1000 Twitter followers. What does one do with 1000 Twitter followers? Twitter is still a bit of a mystery to me. It seems like it ought to be useful, but I still haven't figured out what to do with it.

Dalmatian of the Day

Watch of the Day

Monday, March 28, 2011

Day 468

Well, my oscillating sprinkler lasted exactly one day after I started watering the new grass. I can't even begin to count all the sprinklers I've bought over the years. It doesn't matter what brand they are. All of them seem to last one or two years and then begin to disintegrate. I don't have much better luck with cordless electric drills, leaf blowers, or lawn mowers. Truthfully, the only tools I can really depend on are some sturdy looking fifty year old hand tools given to me by my Dad. None of these hefty steel tools uses batteries and all of them are stamped Made in the USA. It's kind of sad. The once proud companies in Indiana, Pennsylvania and Ohio that made the tools don't even exist anymore, but the tools themselves are still giving good service.

I needed to ask one of my clients a question today. The e-mail reply came from Abu Dhabi. He said he wasn't sure about my question, but he'd ask his boss as soon as he got back from China. Jeez. How did I ever get these jet setting clients? Other than the one trip I made to pick Janet up at the airport, I haven't ventured more than five miles away from my house in over two months.

I finally seem to have acquired a respectable number of Twitter followers. What do you do with Twitter followers anyway? They all seem to have gone to Barnes & Noble and bought a book of aphorisms so they can Tweet quotes day and night. I'm not much better though. All I do on Twitter these days is flog old stories that I've written on my website. Maybe it would be better if I just went back to telling people what I ate for lunch.

Dalmatian of the Day

Watch of the Day

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Day 441

I got a phone call today asking if I'd be interested in writing an annual report. Definitely! Before spending a lot of money on the company annual report became a corporate faux pas, I used to get a lot of this sort of work. Now, most companies just stick a cover on their 10-K report and claim that they are saving the shareholders money. I'm actually kind of surprised that anyone still does a full blown annual report with an editorial section anymore, but I'm certainly happy to get the job.

I also decided to run an advertisement for my own company, which is something I do even less frequently these days than write annual reports. You'd think, since I'm in the advertising business myself, that I'd be a little more enthusiastic about self promotion. Unfortunately, most of the money I've spent on my own advertising has just disappeared down a black hole. Since the very beginning, most of my business has come from referrals. It's time to give advertising a try again though. I'd like to expand the veterinary specialty side of my business and I've just about run out of veterinarians that I know personally.

Dash certainly knows plenty of vets personally. I've been taking him to the vet every other week lately. After yesterday's false start, I was determined not to forget his appointment again. I put a post-it note reminder on my computer and we arrived right on time. I have this elaborate appointment calendar on my computer that I can update via e-mail or even using my cell phone, but I seldom remember to look at it. Old fashioned yellow sticky notes seem much more effective. The computer calendar just seems to remind me of what I've already forgotten when I finally get around to looking at it.

I need a Twitter strategy. Google Analytics is telling me that almost 10% of my web traffic is already coming from Twitter. Maybe it's time that I started taking Twitter seriously.

Dalmatian of the Day

Watch of the Day

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Day 438

I think I'm coming down with a cold. Actually, I know I'm coming down with a cold. I knew it the moment someone sitting next to me at last Wednesday's animal rescue meeting mentioned that she had a cold and shouldn't really be there. If I'm within fifty yards of someone with a cold, I usually catch it. The only reason I'm relatively healthy is that I don't really spend much time around other people. At any rate, I've been walking around in a fog all day. I took some antihistamines this morning to stop the runny nose, but all they did was make me sleepy and leave me with a weird buzzing feeling in my head.

I went to the storage warehouse after breakfast this morning and brought home some empty boxes that I plan to fill with things in the office that I haven't used or even looked at in a long time. Most of the boxes are for collectibles that were important at one time or another, but are now just gathering dust. I still love to collect things, but I ran out of room a long time ago. Somehow, I've got to get a handle on this mess. Here's a plan. I've always been good at acquiring stuff. Janet is equally good at getting rid of it. Maybe when we get old, we could have a tidy little business just selling off what remains of all my accumulated crap on eBay.

I think I'm finally starting to understand what Twitter is all about. Rather than just sit around passively as a motley crew of self-proclaimed SEO gurus and spammers start to follow you, it is actually possible to go look for people with shared interests yourself. I did a search today for people with the word Dalmatian in their profile and found quite a few interesting folks who followed me back almost immediately. I wonder why there are so many people on Facebook and Twitter who are obsessed with Dalmatians, but almost no bloggers? I've only run into one other blogger who has a Dalmatian. Maybe Dalmatians just aren't very conducive to writing.

Dalmatian of the Day

Watch of the Day