I'm proud to say that this blog has been running for three years now. I never expected to still be writing, but blogging has a special appeal to my creative and analytical sides as well as my Leo side that likes to get some attention. I take joy in knowing that I can make an impact on the world by making people think. I also like making people laugh, (or chuckle), and allowing others to get to know me better, but it does expose myself to people knowing too much about me, (like Facebook does, but in a different kind of way). I've also had a few nasty comments from people who hide behind the veil of internet anonymity.
It's interesting how I come up in theTop 5 on Google search results for…
This is my 371st post. So far TIN has had 51,359 page views which amounts to around 47 per day. Google says that there are only 1,794,466 websites more popular than mine! The average visitor spends a minute per visit and 85% just bounce in and out, perhaps not finding what they were looking for from searching on Google. (Or perhaps they don't like my picture). Repeat visitors make up 11% of the visits. I even have human subcribers that are a subset of the number shown on the right of the page. That number includes automated subscribers. I have more readers and more random visitors than I ever would have imagined.
Lots of article ideas still in the hamper, so don't expect me to stop writing anytime soon, but I don't think I'll ever be consistent in how often I write or what types of things I write about. I keep talking about redesigning my blog, and it just never happens. Part of me says why mess with a good thing(?), while another part of me hasn't had time to do it perfectly. I don't want a half-baked redesign. (To start, if anybody can help me figure out how to make the center column wider on Typepad, I would be grateful).
Now that TIN is three, I expect it to start paying its way, so it has new advertising. I make about $5 a month so it doesn't do much to defray the blog hosting fee I pay, but I don't care. One expert told me that with the Google page rank of 3 that this site has, I could make $100 per month with the addition of some text link ads. In the meantime, please click on an ad or two after you're done reading. Think of it as a tip.
On a side note, I have one person in Tempe, Arizona who seems to be in the process of reading every blog post I've ever written. I'm curious to know who you are since you are the first person who has ever done that.
It is here. It has been more than two months since the historic day when we elected our first African-American president. And now the time has come for the most glorified and needed leader in modern history to take the reigns of the most powerful nation on earth. This event has me excited, hopeful, and cautious all at the same time. I was ecstatic on election night and almost couldn't believe the result after eight years of presidential hell with Bush/Cheney (or should it be Cheney/Bush?). We have elected a leader who we can respect and look forward to. But I worry that the problems of our country and our world are so serious that we may be putting too much faith in Obama as a miracle leader. We should not forget that he is only human. Obama, (although confident), understands better than many of his supporters do, that he needs help from experienced, knowledgeable advisers.
Obama's election was so much more than just the election of a minority candidate in a major country. Three years ago, I said while watching the TV show "24" (which had a black U.S. president,) that it would be 10 years before we had a black president in reality. I've never been so glad to be wrong. Much of the success of the candidacy was Barack himself and the "Yes We Can" message. Not in a long time have we had a leader with the ability to move his audience to tears. His eloquence and charisma are sometimes hard to believe. As Obama spoke to accept his nomination, I watched celebrities like Jesse Jackson and Oprah Winfrey choke up and journalists in tears. I find his genuineness and intelligence as his best attributes, but I too was moved by his convention speech. People of all races, ethnicity, and education levels came together. By being "different", Obama was able to transcend our differences and bring us together. We are all Americans regardless of our background. Just his unusual name provides added comfort for those of us with non-mainstream names. More importantly, Obama has been able to gather the support even a large portion of those who voted against him and differ from him philosophically.
Obama's election was a product of a well-run campaign team including David Plough and David Axelrod, one that took advantage of many marketing tactics, (which warms this marketer's heart). These included grassroots efforts, internet sites for small private donations, social networking, and a consistent message. But it was the man behind the message, a calm, intelligent leader who kept the ship sailing in the right direction. He never wavered and he stood up to attacks against him and his ideals. It's ironic that in a way, we owe Obama's inauguration to the failed policies of the Bush administration. Bush opened the door for a presidential candidate from the Democratic party. Even people who might have otherwise factored race into their vote decided that we really did need competence and change no matter what the color of the candidate.
His presidency has a broad impact beyond politics. It has instilled hope in countless minority individuals that our country is more open-minded than we may have thought. It has helped undo some of the damage from the xenophobic prejudice that arose after 9/11. And it means so much to our elder African Americans who withstood so much hatred and mistreatment generations after their ancestors were enslaved. Even if a significant minority of our people is not race neutral, at least we know that those who look past color and ethnicity are the majority. This should make us feel even more proud to be Americans. Despite all our problems and shortcomings, we have become a model nation in a way. Many other so-called progressive countries will not elect non-mainstream ethnic candidates for decades to come. We are fortunate that we have this diversity to begin with, and we are now stronger for being more accepting of it.
But an Obama presidency will not instantly solve all of our problems including wars, the environment, and the economy. There is much to be done and there are no easy answers. Obama is not a king or a dictator who can control every political move. Even if he could, he does not own the answer key to the test this nation is under. He will need the help of Congress but politics as usual will most likely rear its head. Additionally, Obama is not perfect. Given all the weight that has been placed on his shoulders, he may encounter some failures, ones that should not weaken our support for him. Given the circumstances, we will have to sacrifice in ways that Americans are not used to. For those of us alive today, like no other time in the history of our nation, we need to remember that we're all in the same boat. "Yes we can" will only ring true if we all truly try.
I wasn't alive when John F. Kennedy entered the Oval Office, but today will be a great day in my life, one that I will hopefully be able to tell my grandchildren about. I wish my father was around to see this as it was his political views and upbringing that have led me to develop the political beliefs I have, the ones that are so well represented by Obama. Nevertheless, I and millions of others will watch and gain hope and renewed strength to do our part to help our country become great again.
First off, I want to say Happy New Year. It's not belated though. The new year is still taking place, (even if it will be over before we know it).
My first post of 2009 is about people doing what they're not supposed to do or not doing what they're supposed to do. I'm not talking about New Year's resolutions. Everybody talks about those. Rather, I'm talking about actions that are taken every day, ones we must deal with because they lead to results that are undesirable. They affect what society has to do. I would say that many of the daily activities in which we partake are done as a direct consequence.
If this was an ideal world with respect to how people behaved, there would be a lot more unemployment. If people were honest and didn't steal, we wouldn't need locks, safes, computer security systems, or policemen. Just think. Life would be easier though. You would never need keys, could move your friends car or take care of their house while they traveled without any prior planning. We wouldn't have any security hassles at the airport, wouldn't need to sign when we used our credit cards. You could have left your cookies un-licked at the school cafeteria table without worrying that your friends might eat them. On the business side, contracts would be much shorter. We would need far fewer lawyers. (Such a shame). Kids wouldn't have to be taught to not talk to strangers and parenting
would be immensely easier. Hitchhiking would be an interesting,
stress-free experience. My personal utopia angle on this is that we wouldn't need computer passwords, (which have ruined my life)! Could you imagine? The world would be so much more efficient.
On the flip-side, we would have to find other jobs for all the people that design and manufacture security cameras or for any people whose duty it is to secure or protect someone or something. On a different front, most people in white collar jobs have to do a lot of follow-up. This is only because other people don't do what they're supposed to do as expected. If everybody did their job like they're supposed to, there would be fewer managers to oversee what we're (not) doing.
But life would be a lot less interesting if everybody was forthright and did what they were supposed to. There wouldn't be any funny criminal stories in the papers. We wouldn't sharpen our senses in sniffing out spam. We wouldn't have as much to complain about and we'd probably be more vulnerable to dangerous wild animals or aliens. I say that it's good that there are people who don't do what they're supposed to. It probably leads to innovation and great ideas both in trying to perform illegal activities and in trying to defend against them. It probably accounts for a significant portion of our economy.
I'm not advocating that you don't do what you're supposed to do, but next time somebody steals your Garmin out of your car, maybe this post can help you laugh it off. And in this bad economy, many of us should feel fortunate that we have jobs. Many of them depend on human dishonesty.