Category Archives: Other Blog Stuff

I’m Going to Miss You My Dear Friend

Beasley-12Yesterday June 25th, 2010 at around 9:50 pm, a wonderful chapter in our lives came to an abrupt close. Baxter (Beasley) Keifer passed away after contracting an illness about 3 weeks ago.

We never did get a definitive answer from the Vet. We personally suspect that he somehow contracted a non-effusive (dry) form of FIP (feline infectious peritonitis). The symptoms all seemed to match except for the fever.

Whatever he had was a mystery, and the antibiotics didn’t seem to help, so I suspect it was viral. All his blood tests came back normal. His chest x-ray showed a shadow consistent with asthma, or a lung infection, or even possibly the early stages of primary lung cancer, but nothing definitive.

Baxter came into my life when he was about 12 weeks old, back in August, 2000. He is a Siamese cat with an amazing personality. Beasley had just turned 10 this June which is equivalent to 50 human years. We have a lot of history together.

Beasley bonded with me right away as a kitten, and right then and there, he was daddy’s kitty. When my wife came onto the scene six years later, he bonded with her as well soon afterwords, which I am told is pretty rare because Siamese Cats usually will only bond to one owner.

In the beginning, Baxter never liked other people besides me very much. He would tolerate visitors for a while, but then… out came the claws. At the time, other people saw him as a mean cat, while to me, he was the sweetest, kindest, most playful cat I ever had.

When Tingting joined us, Beasley strangely tolerated her, but that was about it at first. Within the month, Tingting worked her magic, and Beasley became extremely fond of her. In fact, after that, he became friendly to everyone! Beasley was a changed kitty. If you knew him back then, you would agree that this was truly a miracle. Anyone who would now visit would be greeted by him with affection. Baxter has been loving to everyone ever since.

He was great around Kevin and even seemed to understand that Kevin’s prodding and poking at him were all out of innocence for his age. We would take walks and Baxter would follow us everywhere, just like a loyal friend. It was almost like having a dog in cat form.

One of the last funny moments that I remember just before he got sick was when I was fixing a cracked window on our house. I had the ladder out, and Baxter scaled right up it…. All 15 feet of it. It was hilarious, and it was one of those times that I wish I had my camcorder with me.

That was typical of the joy and light that Beasley brought into our lives everyday.

The past few weeks have been absolutely heart wrenching. It was a constant roller coaster ride of hope during one day, while sliding into discouragement & heartache the next.

I spent most of my free time nursing Beasley, trying to get him to eat. Sometimes he would do okay, while other times he had to be force fed to get nutrition. He became anorexic by the third week, and gradually refused any food at all by his last two days.

The strange thing is that other than no appetite, he seemed relatively comfortable with just an occasional cough. He would still want to go outside to take walks to his favorite places. With each passing day he became gradually weaker, and his strolls became shorter.

On his last day, he was on the back porch, and even jumped off the side (forgetting that he was sick and weak)! He had a look of regret in his eyes after that one, but soon shook it off with what little energy reserves he had left, and took his short stroll over to the neighbors bush which provided him with a nice comfortable shade spot.

By that night, he suddenly began to cough hard, and cried out to us. At this point, it seems that the three of us (my wife, I, and especially Beasley) where suddenly cast into a private hell. Beasley was now suffering as he was choking for air, and trying to move to different areas of the house desperately trying to outrun the inevitable.

It was too late to call the Vet. Baxter finally stumbled into a corner and lay there struggling for life while my wife was with him. In the meantime, I had got a phone call from my sister. Tingting was desperately motioning to me to get back into the hallway, at which time I had to cut the phone call short. As I hung up the phone, Beasley took his last breath in front of my wife.

The whole ordeal probably lasted 20 or 30 minutes, but it seemed like an eternity. Tingting helplessly watched him as he took his last breath, which sounded like a pitiful whimper from a child. Now he just lay there with his big blue eyes still open, but now lifeless. In just a blink of an eye, our Beasley had passed from Yang to Yin.

When I confirmed that he was gone, she was absolutely inconsolable. It was my time to be strong for her, trying to comfort her as best as I could. I let her know that she gave Beasley the greatest honor by being there for him as he passed. As we mourn his death in this world, his birth is being celebrated in the next.

About 20 minutes after he passed, I turned on the spotlight in the backyard and we proceeded to bury him. I already had a nice spot picked out, just in case. Although I kept my composure as best I could for Tingting’s sake, my grief couldn’t stay inside for long. I barely slept that night trying to process the whole nightmare that had transpired & by next morning I had lost it too. Reality had settled in like a cold brutal winter.

Today we picked up some flowers for him to plant, and I made a marker for his resting place. It now seems to be a more fitting resting place for such a special soul as Beasley.

As I write this, my heart is aching because never before had I felt such a strong bond with a pet. I’ve had many cats and I’m no stranger to losing them at some point. It’s simply the price that we must pay in exchange for the joy that they give us during their short lifetimes.

Knowing this doesn’t make it any easier though, but this time too shall pass. Right now, thinking of those wonderful memories only amplify the fact that he is no longer physically with us. But in time, those fond memories will once again shine through as priceless experiences which enriched our lives each and every day.

By yesterday, I sensed that his time was short, and we said our goodbyes to him just in case. I thanked him for choosing us to spend his precious life with, and for the joy and companionship that this wonderful intelligent creature gave us. The night before, I had also asked my dad (who passed in 1996) to welcome Beasley as he crosses over, and to take care of him for us. I know he’s in good hands.

Baxter, you brought us joy and companionship unmatched by any other pet. I will miss your loud meow (Maoooow), I will miss your uncanny perception & intelligence, I will miss your purring as you cuddle in my lap, your hyper spells, and most of all, I will miss you, my dear dear friend. You will never be forgotten. We will love you forever.

May God bless you Beasley.

Beijing Day 1-4

The May Day holiday (international labor day) is over today (May 4th).  Tomorrow we are going to check out the Bird’s Nest, Watercube & other olympic sites.

On the first page of the gallery, you’ll see pics from the first day.  We had to register with the local police office, because we were staying with relatives (Tingting’s parents).  Failure to register when foreigners are staying with you will result in a 500 Yuan fine (about $75 USD). 😛

You can see Kevin (my son) with Tingting’s Mother.  I snapped these pics while waiting for the paperwork to complete with the local bureau.

We then had lunch at a traditional Beijing Hot Pot restaurant.  If you’re ever in Beijing, dining out for Hot Pot is a must do.  Mutton is sliced razor thin and you put it in the boiling water in the center of the table.  It will cook within a minute.  There is a special sauce that you then dip the mutton into for the full effect.  The special sauce is what differentiates the Hot Pot restaurants.  The recipies are a closely guarded secret by the restaurants.  They are recipies that are kept within the families of the restaurant owners.

These first few days we’ve been pretty much getting over jet lag & just hanging around Beijing, shopping & eating out alot.

Page 2 of the gallery shows the Birds Nest, watercube, & Olympic torch building.  We were just driving past, on our way shopping on that day.  Other Pics on page 2 are from around Tingting’s neighborhood.  Her parents live in the Haidian district of Beijing.  This building group houses many high level officials in China. Page 4 shows a few more of these, plus a family get together at another restaurant in Beijing’s Gu Lou Street.  The people in the pics are myself, Tingting, her aunts, and uncle.

Tingting & I had lunch yesterday after some shopping & our treatment was 5-star all the way by western standards.  This is the restaurant that is featured on page 3 of the gallery. Amazing food and service that I’ve yet to see matched in the states.

Even when using the restroom, there was an attendant who dispensed the soap & handed the towel for me.  What made the whole dining experience so fascinating was that when all was said & done, our bill was only 68 Yuan.  That comes out to around $18 USD!  Only in Beijing. 😛

The High Road To Beijing

 

Right now I’m flying along at around 35,000 feet with my wife Tingting & son Kevin to Beijing.  If you haven’t done much traveling, you should consider getting out there and creating some memories to cherish and look back on when you’re old & decrepit.

Every time I visit China, I experience something new and exciting.  I’ll be sharing pics and videos that I’ll be taking during my 3 weeks there.  I hope you’ll follow along and share in my experiences. 🙂

A Few Of My Favorite WordPress Plugins

You can find them here:

aLinks –
Edit 05-26-2009 – aLinks seems to be no longer supported by its developer, however you can get an updated (modified) version of aLinks here:
http://bugfox.net/blog/2008/11/14/alinks-20-bug-fixes/
A WordPress plugin that automatically links keywords in your blog post. By Sean Hickey.

AWeber Pluginhttp://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/aweber-wordpress-plugin
Aweber allows you to subscribe people to an aweber list when they register or post a comment to your blog. By Guru Consulting Services, Inc..

Google XML Sitemapshttp://www.arnebrachhold.de/redir/sitemap-home/
This plugin will generate a sitemaps.org compatible sitemap of your WordPress blog which is supported by Ask.com, Google, MSN Search and YAHOO. Configuration Page By Arne Brachhold.

InstantUpgradehttp://www.zirona.com/software/wordpress-instant-upgrade
Upgrade your WordPress installation with one simple click via the InstantUpgrade panel. Attention: This is a BETA release; if you don’t know what that means, you shouldn’t be using this software. By Alex Günsche.

Lucia’s LinkLovehttp://money.bigbucksblogger.com/
Where a commenter has commented at least some number of timeslinks are made “dofollow”. User interface permits blogger to do follow author link or links inside comments. By Lucia Liljegren.

NextGEN Gallery Widgethttp://alexrabe.boelinger.com/?page_id=80
Adds a sidebar widget support to your NextGEN Gallery By NextGEN DEV-Team.

Odiogo Listen Buttonhttp://www.odiogo.com/download/wordpress/plugin/odiogo_listen_button_latest.php
Give your blog a voice! Add a “Listen Now” button to your blog so your readers can listen to your posts and download podcasts. Free Sign up. By Odiogo.

SimplePie Corehttp://simplepie.org/wiki/plugins/wordpress/simplepie_core
Does little else but load the core SimplePie API library for any extension that wants to utilize it.  By Ryan Parman and Geoffrey Sneddon.

Sociable Zyblog Editionhttp://www.zyblog.de/wordpress-plugins/sociable-zyblog-edition/
Automatically add links on your posts to popular social bookmarking sites. By Tim Zylinski.

TinyMCE Advancedhttp://www.laptoptips.ca/projects/tinymce-advanced/
Enables advanced features and plugins in TinyMCE. By Andrew Ozz.

WordPress Database Backuphttp://www.ilfilosofo.com/blog/wp-db-backup
On-demand backup of your WordPress database. By Austin Matzko.

WP-HopAdhttp://hopadplugin.com/
Provides a simple way to sell clickbank products via customizable HopFeed ad blocks. By HopAd Plugin.

WP Ajax Edit Commentshttp://ajaydsouza.com/wordpress/plugins/wp-ajax-edit-comments/
Allows users and admin to edit their comments inline. Admin and editors can edit all comments. By Ajay D’Souza.

He’s On The Move Again

Moving the Online Business Blog

Like a true nomadic free spirit, James Brausch has picked up and moved his blog once again. He is now located at http://www.diegonorte.com. So what’s up with all this moving around? Perhaps he’s so fed up with our current fascist regime that he’s decided to disassociate himself from us gringos here in the U.S. 😛 If you don’t know what I’m talking about, go read some of his recent posts. He’s hit upon some very good points.

Or perhaps there’s another reason behind it. Diegonorte can be branded without necessarily having to be associated with James Brausch. This makes the business very sellable without the personal name in the domain. I’ve been lurking around diegonorte.com for the past few days and I’ve noticed that the picture in the upper right corner of the blog has changed a few times. Hmmmm, another possible clue that this could be the case?

Maybe for a nominal fee, the Brausch team will be selling ready made internet businesses based on his own proven model to his clients. An online version of a franchise. Instead of seeing the big McDonalds “M” in every city, you’ll be seeing the big “B” everywhere. Maybe an internet franchise called Blogger King, heh-heh.

Ok, maybe I’m stretching my imagination a bit, and obviously I’m referring to the business model itself that would be “franchised”, but James has always been an innovator. I wouldn’t rule out anything, whether it seems too far fetched, or too obvious. I smell some big changes ahead in the Brausch empire. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out.

Original Offer Withdrawn

Firstly, I must apologize for not being more clear in my last post. I clearly gave the impression that I wanted to offer Xingla Pro as part of the James Brausch intern package. This was not only James’ impression, but also the same gained from my readers. Here’s a quote from a very well phrased comment made by Trevor Neuman in the last post:

“Jack,

I can’t see James going for this offer… a key aspect of his Intern program is that it doesn’t cost his interns anything at all… and a 50% off special simply doesn’t fit that criteria.

Cheers!”

Both Trevor and James are correct of course. But… the intention of my offer was to make my product available at discount to any intern member as a benefit or perk for being enrolled in the James Brausch intern program. This isn’t intended to be integrated into the program itself.

Blog carnival submissions are one of the intern tasks in the program, so I was merely trying to establish relevancy to the product and it’s application to intern members who may wish to incorporate blog carnival submissions into their own procedure.

The sticky point that I didn’t consider thoroughly enough before making the offer however, was how I would validate who was an intern member and who wasn’t. This would be impossible without James’ help and would require an arrangement via email with one of his staff members. -bad idea.

The purpose of the offer was two fold:

1. The obvious one – it would increase revenue & exposure for Xingla Pro

2. It would add an extra incentive for some to enroll into the James Brausch Intern Program

It seemed like a cool idea at first, but lesson learned… consider all angles first before tossing an offer out on the table. And be careful how you phrase things when creating an offer.

Taken in the context that the intern program would be changed with a paid product would certainly be breaking a promise to his members as James eloquently put it in his response. He’s right of course, if that were the case. The last thing James would ever do is break a promise to those who put their trust in him.

After reading back through my previous post, I can now see why people got this impression. James, I appreciate you taking the time to respond! Now it’s time to put my tail between my legs, skirt away, and get on with the business of internet business! 😛

Some Very Cool WordPress Plugins

WordPress plugins for your internet business blogI was surfing around some of my favorite blogs today & I came across two different posts relating to some cool WordPress plugins that I never paid attention to in the past. The first one I discovered was noted in Mohamed Bhimji’s Blog called alinks. This awesome plugin will automatically create a link from any keywords that you choose. As you noticed above – Mohamed Bhimji and alinks were both auto-generated by alinks. Somehow, I missed Mohamed’s post on the 16th and I’m glad I found it. I immediately installed this plugin and started creating my keywords.

This is especially valuable for creating some back links to your other products and web sites. Alinks will automatically update your entire blog to show the proper back links from your chosen keywords. For example, I have a number of posts that references AmazingCloaker, my url link cloaking product. In one instance, every reference to AmazingCloaker has been automatically updated to link to my product website.

You may have also noticed that the keywords such as “AmazingCloaker” only auto links once within a post. Another smart feature to prevent inadvertent anchor stuffing, which would have a reverse effect on your SEO. You can even opt to not display keywords past a certain date. Oh, did I mention that it’s FREE? This is a definite “must have plugin!

Then I was off to Kenton Newby’s blog. As usual Kenton always has great posts to read, and today, coincidentally, he had posted an article about a couple great plugins that he’s added to his arsenal as well.

The first one is called KeywordLuv. This cool little plugin allows your commenters to insert keywords into the Name field without being flagged as spammers. For example, in the “Name” field, you would insert your name, then an “@” symbol followed by your keyword phrase. For example, if you wanted to use the keywords “Internet Business Blog” as your back link anchor text, and your name was Joe, simply type in (without the quotes) “Joe @ Internet Business Blog”. Everything after the “@” symbol is stripped out into anchor text for your back link, which corresponds to your website info that you then enter into the URL field.

In order for this to work, you need to become “dofollow” friendly. By default, WordPress uses the “nofollow” tags which doesn’t give responders the full benefit of the back link from their comments. I downloaded a “dofollow” plugin called Lucia’s Linky Love Plugin which seems like an excellent “dofollow” plugin. It has many features such as minimum response requirements and other things to discourage link spammers.

The other plugin that Kenton mentioned was WP Ajax Edit Comments. This allows you to edit your comment within a certain time after you have posted to the blog. I can think of many times when I’ve responded to a blog post, submitted, and went back to read it only to find spelling errors, or something phrased wrong, but it was too late to change it. WP Ajax Edit Comments will solve that problem for your readers.

Normally, I try not to bog down my blog with too many plugins. You’ll find people out there that have nearly every widget and plugin under the sun running in their blog. I’m always wary of what consequences that this could cause in regards to search engine indexing or just bogging down the mySQL server. However, the above plugins seem to be very friendly not only to me, the blog host, but more importantly, to you the reader as well.

If you have a blog, do yourself a favor and check them out! 🙂

A Sudden Turn of Events

Tick…tick…tick… That’s the sound of the clock in the background as I’m sitting here in the hospital delivery room with my wife Tingting. The big day has arrived! Tingting seemed to be showing signs of labor yesterday (April 19th) and I took her to the hospital maternity ward to have her checked out. They suspected early labor, but since we are only 5 minutes away from the hospital, they let us go back home to see how things go.

Tingting got pretty much zero sleep last night so it was back to the hospital at 8:40am this morning. Our doctor told us that today is the real deal. The plan – induce and manage the labor and have the baby today. He induced labor at 12:15pm today (April 20th).

Her labor pains were getting pretty excruciating around 4:30, so we had an epidural for her. Now she’s resting comfortably, and she’s a much happier girl. It is now 9:26pm and she is dilated to only 3cm. Will he be an April 20th baby, or a 21st baby? Hmmm, time will tell.

Needless to say, Xingla Pro’s is on hold for the moment while we eagerly await our new arrival. If Kevin arrives tonight, then I will be uploading to Kunaki tomorrow (April 21st).

I’m writing this as Tingting and her mother are napping in the background. She’s waking up now, so I’ll be back to add to this post later if Kevin doesn’t make his grand entrance before then.

Well, back to my wife’s side. Wish us luck!

Trash Your Internet Business in 7 Easy Steps

Trashing a perfectly good internet business is not always an easy thing to do. It takes effort. This is something that comes easy to only 98% of the population. For the other 2% it can be quite the challenge. Do you think you’re up to being a 98%er? Perhaps you could make it into the top 98%. The black belt 98%ers can even trash their business before it gets started. Sure you could simply wear a button that says “I’m a 98%er!” and make people think that you’re in this group, OR… you can take action today and become a true honest to goodness 98%er. Here are a few tips to help you get there.

1. Educate, educate, educate!
The first step to master on the road to the top 98% is to find every hyped up product that you can find which shows you how to make $10,000 a month without a website, and no work. If you happen to start feeling the urge to take action on any useful information that you happen to stumble upon, close the ebook immediately, store it in a safe place, and buy something else. Rinse & repeat.

2. Maximize Your Time
In order to feel a real sense of accomplishment, you need to find something to make you busy. If you feel yourself being sucked into the 2% group by doing something crazy like creating a blog, building a webpage or a new product, simply navigate to the nearest forum and find salvation in the latest debate on Google’s newest update.

3. Prioritize The TV
No serious non business could ever survive without the TV. TV is an absolute must if you want to stay plugged into the land of the lost and comfortable.

4. Be Your Own Boss
For those who have somehow stumbled into self employment, you need to be a hero. Don’t let self employment slip into becoming a real business. After all, a business runs itself. You can’t allow that to happen in order to be self-employed. Be sure to do everything yourself so that you remain in a self imposed J.O.B. rather than creating a real business.

5. Do What The Other Hucksters Do
So you parted with your cash for an ebook just to discover that you bought a pile of rehashed B.S. that you can find in any forum for free. Heck they got your money, why not do the same? Change a few words and stick it back out on the net. You’ll build a real “reputation” for yourself.

6. Avoid the Procedures
Having procedures in place would only create a real business. The best thing to do is to grab your business by the seat of the pants and wing it. After all, you’re doing everything yourself anyway. Who the heck needs procedures?

7. Don’t Let ’em Push You Around
Customers can be a real pain. They always want stuff. They not only want your products, but they occasionally have questions or need help. Can you believe the nerve of some of these people? They give you their money and now they have to gall to expect some value in return. So how do you get rid of these pesky people called customers? The answer is really quite simple. All you have to do is ignore them. Ignore your customers long enough and they will eventually disappear. This technique works every time, guaranteed!

Well, there you have it. You now have all the knowledge necessary to secure a life in the 98% club. Do you have what it takes to be a 98%er, or are you going to wuss out and defect to a life of freedom, abundance and joy? The choice is yours.