Monthly Archives: September 2012

Blogging For the Newb – Part 3

How you Write

One thing that became abundantly clear, both as an observer and as in the prolific amount of times it was repeated within said reading, you better have fairly good grammar, check your spelling and proof-read your shit before you post it or you are doomed. (Yes, I said shit, we’re all adults here, come on.) And as to reading, yes, I noticed when I read a thread that had several spelling or grammatical errors, it immediately put me off my Wheaties.

Which brings me to another point. While all of these blogs that I read on blogging were insightful and informative, did they have to be sooooooooooo dry and boring?! I mean come on, would a little humour kill you? (To those of you who don’t have a sense of humour, I’m sorry, sucks to be you.)

Rant for the Day – You Do Not Have to Post 24 Hours a Day – 7 Days a Week, That’s Just Crazy Talk

Before I start my research for the day I need to get this off my chest. As I wade through the massive information highway absorbing all that I can, I discern most blogging advisers be crazy! They so often claim that you have to blog all day, every day to get the stats you need to become a superstar, etc., etc. Yeah that’s just fucking nuts and you are heading for serious burnout alarmingly fast. On top of which, if you are doing as they also “advise” and concentrating on just one topic how the hell are you supposed to keep coming up with new material all the time? Yeah, at that rate your blog’s got a life expectancy, from what I can see, about two months tops. As the tortoise said to the hare, slow and steady wins the race. No one ever did well from living a manic lifestyle, {however it’s where a lot of our substance abusers come from) but look how that worked out for most of them.

If you want to be a healthy blogger, set a pace for yourself, set a schedule and whatever you do make sure to give yourself a day off! And I cannot stress enough, if you want to become a successful blogger there’s few of us who are gonna blow up Gangnam Style. (If you don’t know the video, sorry I’m on WP .com at the moment and can’t post the link –  search youtube – Psy’s hilarious, he was also quite entertaining on Ellen with Britney Spears, he’s everywhere at the moment). The problem with any sensation is it has a tendency to blow up and then fade off. Like this list from Mitzine for 2010. It says basically if you don’t know about these things then you must have been living under a rock, personally I’m only familiar with four out of the 10 sited sites … Some are still going strong, but most were just a blip on the screen.

So You’re Going to Be a Worldclass Jet-Setting Traveller Huh – Me Too! I’m So Excited!!!

The Best Suitcase for International Travel (says who?)The most important thing for travelling overseas is that your suitcase is as light-weight as possible. You’re allowed to bring up to 50 pounds (which really isn’t that much), there’s a hefty fee for going over and if your suitcase weighs 20 pounds that’s 10 pounds you could have used for presents or better yet a new pair of shoes!

Now, if you want to bring stuff back you will either want to fly lighter or bring things that you are going to dispose of there (toiletries, magazines and the like are always good things to bring with the idea of leaving behind). I like clothes that I like but are on their last legs (especially if you’re going somewhere warm, damp or with salt water – fabrics pretty much disintegrate in these circumstances.) I generally bring 4 or 5 bikinis when I go to ‘the tropics’). So basically, if you want room, try and bring stuff you can toss or wouldn’t mind giving away. If you’re going somewhere cold same deal – try to bring stuff you can toss in a pinch. Unless you are loaded it is a baaaaaaaaaad idea to pack a suitcase full of your favourite clothes – what if it gets lost, or worse you’re like me and leave things everywhere? (Okay, you might not be like that ordinarily but remember, you’re travelling. You may be rushed, distracted, drunk and as a subsequence forget something – it happens.)

I’ve also found that generally, especially somewhere warm – you pack 4 or 5 of each item (skirt, shorts, dress …) and you either end up living in one dress for the whole time you’re there or buying something at the local Bodega as soon as you arrive and living in it all week. Hell, if you’re planning on buying loads, may want to just lightly line your suitcase and leave plenty of room to fill it.

Now when you’re leaving – don’t be in a rush. I cannot stress this enough. Don’t pull a me and dump all your toiletries into your carry-on. They threw almost everything in the garbage! I was soooooooooooo upset. It was a very expensive mistake. (Had I reviewed the international protocols for carry-on, etc. I could have bought a clue.) I like to have a photocopy handy of pertinent information, maps around where I’m staying, etc. to refer to. Remember, you may not have internet access, access to a printer and so forth and it’s so much cheaper than buying a map. However, if you want one for a souvenir, I totally get that too.

Now where were we, oh yeah, the suitcase!

This article was very informative about what to look for in such a suitcase.

This article was somewhat helpful but keep in mind it was written in 2008, when you’re looking for information about products, be sure to consider when the article was written – a four-year-old article on luggage is probably only going to be mildly relevant in this situation.

Went to Bentley Luggage, usually one of my preferred bag and luggage places, that site was not very helpful.

There is a big push on hardshell luggage at the moment and I must admit that aesthetically it does look better and, as well, it’s easier to clean after the fact, however they tend to crack easily and cost a bundle.

Okay finally found what I was looking for basically. The best bang for my buck was Heys Luggage, but $600! Yeeeesh, okay gonna keep looking.

A lot of times, I find the best bang for my buck in Toronto is Kijiji. Usually when I seek out a product, first I find out what it is that I want, once I’ve narrowed it down I usually inevitably end up finding someone on Kijiji who will distribute it for far less than the original price. For instance, my last coffee table, I first saw it listed for $175, I ended up getting it for $60, including delivery. (I have had two horrible experiences with Craig’s list and I will in no way endorse or use them. I find that most people cross-list in any event and I also hate the fact that they pictures don’t show up as thumbnails. You have click on each individual ad to see a picture.

Definition for the day: Thumbnail

I found this really convoluted, see for yourself!

Definition from Wikipedia: Thumbnails are reduced-size versions of pictures, used to help in recognizing and organizing them, serving the same role for images as a normal text index does for words. In the age of digital images, visual search engines and image-organizing programs normally use thumbnails, as do most modern operating systems or desktop environments, such as Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, KDE (Linux) and GNOME (Linux).

Girlie’s definition: As their name insinuates, small, thumbnail size pictures beside something (usually an advertisement for a product) that gives you an idea of what you are looking at before you have to open up said advertisement or whatever.

(Oh yeah, like with everything on the web, don’t forget that Wikipedia is written by people for other people and a lot of time the definition, idea or “fact” is not substantiated. Wikipedia is a good resource but remember if you are seeking facts, try and glean as much information from as many resources as you can and then cross-reference them. If one steadfast point recurs over and over it’s more likely to be a “fact” you can bank on.)

Newb tip: If you are searching around the net and you come across a page you like, bookmark it right away (if you don’t know about bookmarks or other things to do with your search engine, spend some time hovering over the pictures – or clicking on the arrows beside them, this is a great way to learn about any new computer program you are trying to learn). Nothing worse than finding something you think is awesome and because of early Alzheimer’s being unable to find the site again for two hours, or not at all. You can minimize windows but often this gets really cumbersome, and or your computer freezes or whatever and once again, poof, the link is gone. (I also write all of this stuff to remind myself. I have to leave a post-it for myself for where I left my glasses when I go to the bathroom … which I can’t read because I don’t have my glasses …)

Back to the matter at hand, okay so you’re an awesome Canuck and you’re getting ready to go travelling:

For all official information you can go to

But really, it doesn’t matter where you are for international carry-on it’s best to contact your air carrier for details. There are standard acceptable dimensions and most suitcase stores worth their salt have a measuring stand where you can insert your carry-on and see if it cuts the mustard or some way of calculating this. Your suitcase proper is less relevant, doesn’t matter size or shape, just weight usually.

Specific Dimensions were given by Air Canada

Carry-on Bag Limitations

Carry-on bags must be small enough to fit easily into an overhead bin or beneath the seat, because luggage isn’t allowed on laps or in the aisles. Most airlines allow bags up to 45 linear inches in size, or measuring 9-by-14-by-22 inches. The airline ticket counter usually has a measuring station so you can check that your bag is small enough and check it if necessary, although additional fees might apply for checked luggage.

I found this article by Jenny Harrington on very helpful:

“Personal Item Limitations

Personal items include purses, laptop bags or tote bags. Some airlines do not count diaper bags toward your carry-on or personal item limitation, because it’s considered a necessary item for the infant. Personal items must still fit into the carry-on restrictions for international flights, because the items still require stowing beneath a seat or in a bin during takeoff and landing. Medically necessary equipment, such as canes, walkers and wheelchairs, typically doesn’t count toward your carry-on or personal item limitations. Coats, umbrellas, camera bags and small purchases from the airport also aren’t usually considered part of the personal item limitations.

Special Restrictions

In some instances, your carry-on baggage weight can impact the amount of checked luggage you can take on international flights. For example, United Airlines imposes a 44-pound limit for economy class passengers and a 66-pound limit on business class passengers for both carry-on and checked bags when traveling to Asia and the Middle East. Call the airline before travel to verify there are no special restrictions for carry-on luggage when traveling to your specific international destination.”

However, I couldn’t find a date on said article … so I’m not sure how current it is.

With my suitcase I got so excited that I didn’t even consider the dimensions I just really liked the colour (which is soooooooooooo important), I’ll use it for years to come for other things and I can put it on my Sears card and not have to pay all at once. I love Sears. Note: Almost everyone at the airport has a fucking black suitcase, it is so much easier to get a different colour, or put stickers on yours, or put neon tape on it … or something to distinguish it from the sea of suitcases that come down the luggage carousel.

Now where were we? Oh yeah, my new awesome suitcase! (Don’t forget to silicone treat, I cannot stress this and/or scotch guarding enough!)

Silicone is a further protector but not entirely necessary unless you’re anal like me.

As to the suitcases, sometimes a big year-end sale is the winner. This time it was Sears. It really does pay to spend some time to shop around before you buy.

Note: I would also advise this when booking your trip, go through a travel agent. They’re awesome, they’ll do all the leg work for you: find you the best flight; get you any information you need, (like luggage restrictions, etc.); pick out your seat for you (only idiots sit over the engine hub) etc. If you don’t know, get a recommendation – do you need to be close to the toilet perhaps? Are you slightly claustrophobic, then you’ll want an aisle seat. And no, you don’t have to pay, they get their money from other folks, but that’s another article entirely. One day, I will have my own personal travel agent as I fly around researching articles for you guys … ah, I can’t wait!

Oh yeah and, if you use a travel agent all of the information I just put above can be gleaned from them. However, again, consider the source and do your background research 😉

Happy trails!

Rant for the Day a la WordPress

Rant for the Day

Hazzah, I can centre text!

Deleting Images from your Header Choice Selection – No not from the Header Proper but all the files listed here.

So I finally figured out how to change my header but all the other images I used and discarded still show up. Of course I can’t simply click and delete, no that would be too easy.

Aha, wasn’t as hard as one would think – you delete it from your media library. Now be careful it has all your images here so, if you used ones in articles and delete them, you’ll sever the link.

It really is no wonder we get frustrated and end up quitting or neglecting our blogs. You know, if I were WordPress I’d make the beginners’ platform a lot easier to manipulate and set up and just flat out tell them “but hey, if you really want to go turbo and use our .org site you possibilities are virtually endless.” (Of course this won’t happen because when you break down the mechanism you realize that they are helping to assist the web hosting sites that “do all of this for you”.)

This PHP, FTP, SEO, meta management, etc. is really intimidating and it’s no wonder people are just putting up Facebook pages, and using Tumblr or whatever when WordPress makes it so difficult for you to utilize features that are standardized on other platforms. Now I understand why people are saying blogs are so yesterday, etc. I think they’re horribly wrong and I still believe I can actually eventually earn an income without having to inundate my page with ads, banners and other assorted crap but I also admit, it’s early days yet.

Oh hey, but first, let’s see if I can figure out how to centre text *smacks forehead*.

First link:

Are you kidding me?! A whole list of quicktags and nothing about that. Next there was this:That just scared me with it’s coding talk. I ran away fast.

Finally! (Not on a WordPress link might I add).

Now I wonder how long it will take me to figure out how to rotate an image? (Jumps to net – rant ya later!)

Blogging for the Newb – Part 2

(… and other assorted blatherings because I’m of the “Oh look, something shiny” crew).

(I was going to put a youTube link here to but no matter how much I tried it wouldn’t let me. I finally realized that I can’t embed video into my blog but it still didn’t explain why the link below *points finger and indicates* did work. I’ve spent the good part of day trying to figure that out so this blog entry is, at least partially, thwarted but I thought I’d get it out there.)

Bad news people, if you’re just on the .com site, it’s very limited and if you ARE going to transfer over to .org of course that’s some complicated programming b.s. too. FTP – File Transfer Protocol … for instance. (Remember, everyone’s out to make money. If you have it, use it! I don’t have that luxury. Plus you have to consider the cost of the domain, host, etc., etc. versus the profit – which in this case and for the foreseeable future is likely to be negligible at best.)

Now what was I rambling about again? Oh yeah, it let me insert this link *points accusingly at link below* but not the “Oh look something shiny” one WTF? Anyway, that wasn’t the point of this section (even if I did waste a day trying to figure it out …)

***** (still haven’t figured out how to centre text so this will have to do for now)

And if you have not seen Finding Nemo, I feel bad for you, oh and if you really want to up your game, it just came out in 3D! Now where were we?

As defined by urban dictionary


“Someone who is new to the activity that they are currently partaking in. Very often this term pertains to gamers using computer games. Contrary to popular belief, a newb and a n00b are not the same thing, as a newb can and will get better where as a n00b will partake in activities meant mainly to aggravate other players.”

newbs deserve a chance to grow and become better.

As a noun.

“You jump with the space bar, don’t be such a newb”
“Obviously, this item is better… newb.”
“Since your just a newb, I’ll help you out.”

In case you didn’t already know.

Blogging does not really have one straight definition, I talk about that later on.


If you want to make money most people say, you must commit to writing on a daily basis. You must be focused, willing to invest a substantial amount of time and some money to your blog and you CANNOT come and go as you please. Successful blogs generate daily revenue by maintaining interest from their readers and advertisers alike. (How often you should write is another contentious topic.)

If you’re placing ads, Ad Sense from Google is the way to go, this is not up for debate.

In here I will have links that detail every topic so you can go back and read in detail about the topic without having to search around the net. Please note, I do not necessarily agree with everything that stated in these links and I plan to directly juxtapose some of the advice given, but I want you to have choices without being overwhelmed. I’ve just picked links that seemed to have the information I was looking for without being too extensive.

Hopefully this will expedite your education – good luck!

For example, here’s how to build a successful blog.

As I will state time and again, if you know absolutely nothing about blogging, or computers in general – you’ve come to the right place, for the most part, neither do I. And remember, there is no such thing as a stupid question. Feel free to ask me anything and I’ll try my best to find the answer. As well, this is me learning as I go so any constructive criticism, advice or just plain kudos are all welcome.

(Oh, word to the wise, don’t write a page-long entry in your WordPress and then close out of the window before saving or publishing … d’oh! I write all my stuff in Word first and then put it on my blog, that way you have a back-up if need be and all the links there so you don’t have to keep going back and forth. As well, I back my stuff up on an alternate hard drive. You may even want to have a printed copy of everything you write if that makes you feel better. Remember there are no rules cast in stone but be sure to find something that works for you.)

Second of all, I would really make sure you have a good firewall and internet security system in place, yes it might be a little more time-consuming in the short run but it beats hell out of paying $300 to have your computer wiped and possibly losing all your information.

If you’re good with all of the above and are relatively comfortable in your present surroundings, let’s move on together shall we? (Yeah, I’m scared too.)

Okay so we’ve come to the decision that this is it, this is how I’m going to change my life, this is how I’m going to lose the repression of the Monday to Friday, nine to five burden and write a blog and make money doing it and I’ll be free, free!

Oh but wait a minute, how do I do that? Well apparently it all works from banners and hits. People read your blog, advertisers see that people are reading your blog and they advertise. People click on these advertisements from your blog and then you make money – easy peasy! (Oh wait, did you say people read my blog? Yeah, I know, I haven’t figured that part out yet either.) Not only do they have to read, but they have to keep coming back, that means not only do you have to hook the reader but you have to leave them hanging for more. (I am for the time being holding off on the whole banner thingy, etc. because I’m going to a conference this weekend and I want to see if there’s a way to do it without polluting my page with advertising …)

Which makes me wonder, so if I’m writing a blog is it protected in any way from plagiarism or can anybody just saunter along and just casually yoink my words verbatim and repost them? Hmm, I think that’s a question for much much later.

See you tomorrow!