March 10, 2013 Leave a comment

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The Blog Is Over

February 18, 2013 1 comment

To set the tone…

The blog is over.  It’s going to be a thing of the past in around a week.  But, fear not!

After fifteen hours slaving over my machine, I’ve begun hosting my own blog.  Yes, is now a thing.  So, go there and subscribe to that blog, because it’s going to be a much better experience than this one has been.

A lot of changes, you won’t notice; most of it is for me to better-utilize SEO and, hopefully, monetize my content.  The more people I can get to find my blog, the more people click the ads I can now plug into my self-hosted blog, the more money I make from my blog, and the better content I can deliver to you, my readers.

Anyway, click any of the links here, and it’ll direct you to my new blog at

My Apartment in Taichung, Taiwan

February 11, 2013 2 comments

I moved to Taiwan in January 2008; after almost two years, I went back to the USA.  Then I moved back in October 2010.  And then I moved back to the USA in December 2011.  And, now, I’m back in Taiwan, again, since this past August.  I have always lived in the City of Taichung, always in the same general vicinity (within walking distance of Little Europe).

The first time I moved here, I was clueless.  I came with a friend of mine, who had been here before, and he pretty much took the reins.  We moved into a 5th floor walk-up on the top floor of an older building.  It wasn’t bad, mostly because the total cost of rent/fees was TW$7500 (~US$240 at that time).  However, if you can imagine how much fun is it to go grocery shopping on a scooter…imagine then having to walk up 100 stairs to get them into your place.

The second move wasn’t hugely different.  I moved in with a couple of friends of mine, into a 4th floor apartment in a building with an elevator.  The rent was TW$12000 (~US$400 at the time), a third of which was mine.  Unfortunately, of the three rooms, one had an on-suite bath and the other was twice the size of mine.  The greatest frustration wasn’t the apartment, itself, but what I perceived as unfairness regarding the rent.  The guy/girl in the room with the on-suite only had to cover 1/3 of the rent, same as me, in the smallest room, farthest from the bathroom.  Moving out was not a hard decision for me.

Truth be told, I just hate roommates.  I can live with a lover or a girlfriend but…roommates really drive me insane.  I like my stuff where I like my stuff; I may have a unique style of organization but, when it gets messed with, it really pisses me off.  Sure, it looks odd when you lift an envelope off the messy coffee table and see my keys there, but if you move those keys to the clean kitchen counter, I will never find them.  So, from then on, I made a vow: no more roommates!

Back in April 2012, I decided to come back to Taiwan.  Being the planner I am, I hopped on Tealit to see if I could find anything available to rent.  And I hit the jackpot.  Two girls were living together and both planned to move out in August; they were trying to sell off the stuff in the apartment and find someone to rent the space, to help out the landlord.  I told them I would take the lot – they could just leave everything in the apartment and I would pay them a lump sum for all of it.  The rent for this new apartment was TW$12000 (~US$410), just like the last place I’d lived, except this place was on the 12th floor of a building with security guards.

When I arrived in Taiwan, here’s what it looked like:

The cost of everything you see – couches, coffee table, TV, laptop, tables, mats, a fridge, a washer, a dryer, shelves, et cetera – was TW$15000 (~US$520).  It was a steal, considering my original apartment in 2008 cost me almost TW$50000 (~US$1600 at that time), because I was a newbie and didn’t have a clue what I was doing.

After a couple of weeks of working on the place and getting it more my-style, it looked like this:

And that worked pretty well, for a while.  Come November, I had changed it, again, to what you see here:

The new fridge was a huge score – cost me NT$2000 (~US$70), including delivery.

And, finally, around Christmas, I got my arrangement almost-perfect:

I rearranged my furniture, floating absolutely everything I could; got a new 42″ TV, which cost me TW$13000 (~US$450), and am feeling extremely comfortable in my living arrangement.

I don’t get cable, because 97% of the channels in Taiwan are all-Chinese, and the three channels that have English are broken up by commercials (even HBO).  So, I took the laptop I bought off the previous tenants and hooked in my two detachable hard drives.  Currently, my 2TB drive houses 1100+ movies and my 3TB houses 11000+ television episodes.  I basically run my own private pirate network.

I liked my place when I moved in, but I love it now.

My Mother Gets the Best Christmas Surprise Ever

February 9, 2013 Leave a comment

This is a video from December 17, 2011.

This video was taken by me after a 32-hour trip from Taichung, Taiwan, to Little Rock, Arkansas.

After being away one the other side of the world (Taiwan) for a year, I surprised my mother by coming home (to the USA) for Christmas – it took two months of planning with my father to keep her in the dark.

She had no idea I was coming home.

You can see the look on her face at 1:23 – it’s actual disbelief – she couldn’t believe her eyes.

She later told me that she thought it was so impossible that I was standing there, she wondered if it was just someone who looked like me.

It took a good 5 or 6 seconds for it to even register that I am really there.

She really had no idea that I was coming home and, to this day, it’s one of the best Christmas Surprises I’ve ever given anyone.


Trying to Better Understand SEO as it Relates to My Content

February 3, 2013 Leave a comment

Anyone who reads my blog knows that I do a lot of compiling/analysis of data.  Usually, it’s not directly related to me, personally: today, it is.

I have my blog, which you’re reading, as well as my YouTube Channel.  Feel free to check it out.

My blog has been active since May of 2011, but it never got more than 500 hits a month until last July, where it peaked at around 700.

My former YouTube Channel had some term violations from back in the early 2000s, so I was unable to monetize it; as such, I made the new channel I mentioned earlier.  My current channel got three times as much traffic this last month as my former channel, and once I download and re-upload my most popular videos from my old channel, and place them on my new channel, I’ll see the new channel’s hits really increasing.

Here’s a basic breakdown of all my numbers, since last July:

Overall Monthly

WP: WordPress – WPC: WordPress Change – YT: YouTube – YTC: YouTube Change – TC: Total Change

The growth has been fairly decent, over the last six months; I’ve tripled my monthly viewership, with most of my traffic coming from YouTube.  In other analysis, I’ve seen that most of my blog hits come from search engines (Google, particularly) while most of my channel hits come off YouTube, itself.  Over 80% of my blog traffic comes from Google searches, while Google searches make up less than 1% of my YouTube traffic.  My plan is to start to blog about my videos, because WordPress has better SEO and overall searchability, on Google, compared to YouTube.  Hopefully, this will correspond to an increase for both the blog and the channel.

My audiences are completely different, between the two venues, as well.

Take a look at my Top Ten WordPress Blogs versus my Top Ten YouTube Videos.


As you can see, the majority of what’s read is always what’s read; I have entries on my blog that have never been read and others, like any you see in these Top Tens, that I see get read every day.


My videos are completely different; people tend to watch whatever is new, more than things they search for (with the exception of the Top Two).

I can draw some conclusions from this.  Many Google searches result in sending readers to my Archives, not to specific articles; this is because I use simple tags that, when compiled, lead people to me.  I do worry I have too many tags, though I’m not entirely sure how it works.  I’m very new to SEO.

Now, for those who have read how disgusting my blog is, you’ll see the same pattern above.  3/10 of my hits are related to sex, strippers, prostitution, and the like.  My paper on Aristotle’s views on Spartan women is one of the highest-ranked on Google, so lots of people researching for their own papers come across it, and surely use it.  Same goes for the work on sociopolitical statistical correlations.

But then there’s YouTube.  It’s obvious to me that the Top Two – the Christmas surprise and the video of my apartment – are found through people searching on YouTube, or having it recommended after they watch other videos.  However, most videos get hit because they are new.  All the “white videos” in the January column will be off the Top Ten by this spring.

And then, there’s the locations of my traffic.  Check this out:


Again, we see the difference in content, as it relates to hits.  My blog gets slammed by people in the Philippines and people in Australia, but when it comes to my videos, they don’t watch much; this is because they are almost-all reading my works I mentioned earlier, about sex.  Taiwan is the really interesting statistic, though.  People in Taiwan do not watch my videos, but they’re a substantial portion of my reader-base.  This tells me that I get a lot of expatriates in Taiwan, reading what I write, but since they live in the same world I do, they don’t see the exotic appeal of my videos like people in the US/UK do.  Regardless, my American audience dominates both charts, which makes sense: I am American and my blog does tend to be Americentric.

So, why have I written all this?  Simple.  I want to find ways to increase my hit-count and try to make some money from advertising.  I’ve had a hard time getting AdSense to work here, but I think once I get my own domain name and a better template, I can really link up my content and get what I want out of this.  Sadly, even with 4,000 hits a month, that’s really small potatoes.  I mentioned this to my friend, just the other day – how, ten years ago, I’d be pumped to think that a few thousand people are reading/watching – but, now, it feels like so little.  Granted, it is a lot more than it was six months ago…but I also know that I need to increase my total hit-count to 30,000+, a month, to really benefit from it, financially.

Part of this is because of the nightmare of advertising.  A lot of ads only show up for American audiences – half my YouTube views don’t display ads, because there are no ads for the location that is viewing it.  I’d hope I could get some ideas for other methods of advertising, to better serve my blog and my readers.  Ideally, I’d like to have relevant ads; travel sites, such as Travelocity or TripAdvisor, could be a perfect fit, since more than half of my traceable views since last February have been one of those three blogs mentioned before: my blog gets anywhere from 200-500 sex tourists a month, and whether I like that or not, there’s no reason not to make money off them.  Yes, I recognize the irony.

So, before this kicks over to 1000 words, let me say, “Thank you for letting me rant.”  Hopefully, over the next few months, you’ll see all these changes implemented, and it’ll be a better overall experience for everyone.

Simple Energy Consumption Analysis

February 2, 2013 1 comment

Here’s a look at how the energy generated on this planet gets consumed:


Our planet creates around 500 Exojoules of consumable energy, each year.

While only encompassing almost 32% of the overall global population, China, the European Union, and the United States of America use over 50% of its total consumable energy.

Combining only the EU and USA, while not even encompassing 12% of the total population of the planet, they use a third of its consumable energy.

The USA, having less than 5% of the total global population, uses nearly 20% of the consumable energy on the planet.

Making Soup in Taichung: My Minestrone Recipe

January 28, 2013 Leave a comment

I don’t eat soup, but I know a lot of people do.  Without a doubt, my favorite soup is a minestrone.  It’s hearty and flavorful; it’s rare to hear someone say they dislike minestrone, so it’s a very safe bet.

One fun thing about Taiwan is getting ingredients – for example, I couldn’t find celery or beans today.  I used cucumber instead.  Here’s the breakdown:


Bullion cubes
Tomato sauce
Pork belly
Italian Seasoning


First things first: you need a pot and a good-sized frying pan.
Put 8 cups of water into the pot, along with the right amount of bullion cubes.
Chop your pork belly (or bacon) and fry it in the pan.
Add some salt and pepper to the meat.
Chop your veggies (carrot, cucumber, spinach, garlic).
Break apart your noodles.
Add a tablespoon of Italian Seasoning to the pot.
Add a can (around two cups) of tomato sauce to the pot.
Once the pork is browned, add the carrots, cucumber, and garlic to the pan.
Stir it for five minutes, then add it all to the soup pot.
Add the spinach and corn to the pot.
Add the noodles to the pot.
Stir it for five minutes, then turn off the heat; you’re done.