So it’s Halloween again and here we go again. Random kids I’ve never seen before come to my door begging me for food. And not healthy food, but for candy. And they demand it too, they ring the door-bell until I come running offering my tithing lest my house get toilet papered or they throw eggs at my house or something.

So I offer up my tithing, actually thanking the kids of coming to my house and stealing food that I had purchased with my hard earned money. Sometimes they thank me sometimes, most of the times they do not. But I continue to give my money over because it’s demanded of me. And then I say “Happy Halloween!” to them – what’s happy about it? I should call it the yearly Halloween Tax. It only affects parents with no kids, because parents with kids are out wandering the neighborhood, begging for scraps of food themselves

And when the kids come, they are dressed up like mummies, skeletons, vampires and all sorts of creatures that are dead. Much like the way that welfare kills the soul, because you are given things you didn’t earn; Halloween welcomes fake dead people up onto your porch.

Then we get strange cars driving around the neighborhood, obviously carrying kids from other neighborhoods to get candy from us. So the trick-or-treaters (re: welfare recipients) gather up in cars, drive to strangers’ houses and steal their food too. It is not about community or getting to know your neighbor. It is all about “how much food can I steal, in the shortest period of time possible.”

So this year, I once again pay my Halloween Tax, tithing my money to children and parents who – any other day of the year – wouldn’t come by my house if I were rolling around the yard on fire. But for free food, they’ll come in droves – lavish me with attention and happily walk away with my food. Then move onto the next house to steal from them too.

And the parents of these children get off with no Halloween Tax at all; because they are smart. They are out chaperoning their children through the streets. Sometimes eating the food we’ve tithed to the children. Leeches.

Happy Halloween everyone!

(Bryan at Hot Air chimes in with some cool Halloween stuff – that doesn’t involve me feeding other peoples’ kids)

Yahoo just released a new keyword tool for Yahoo Store owners that is supposed to make it easier to help us find words to bid on in Yahoo Search Marketing.

This seems like a good idea doesn’t it? Previously, it’s been very difficult with Yahoo Stores to figure out what keywords convert best for us. Now we have a tool to see that. Awesome. So what’s the problem? Here it is.

Yahoo Keyword Tool

The referrals column is for 1 month; the conversions column is for 12 months. How does this information give us any sort of valuable data as to what words are converting for us? What it does, is inflate the performance of the keywords by 12 – assuming the referrals are the same for each month. When buying keywords, is this really the analysis you want to go with? It almost seems designed to encourage people to buy keywords on Yahoo (and other PPC engines) that do not convert well.

I know Yahoo is trying to sell people on Yahoo Search Marketing; but come on people. At least give us a way to filter the dates so each column is done by 1 month, 2 months, 6 months or even 12 months. This 1 month to 12 month comparison is just a load of bunk.

In the annals of history, I don’t think anyone has come out so forcefully and said “I’m a pansy” in such a way as Time Magazine did today.

In a story listing the top 25 horror movies, Bambi came in at number 20. Is the writer at Times that sheltered? Bambi? Yeah, Thumper gives me the heebie jeebies too.

I know this story is blatant link bait for Halloween, but come on people. Bambi? I know that Time is trying to wussify our culture with this stuff but have we really sunk that low where Bambi beats out Frankenstein or Dracula or some of the other classics?

Bambi? He’s what’s for dinner. Not what’s giving me nightmares.

So the quarterly expenses were announced the other day and judging from the list, Ron Paul doesn’t own an Iphone, having only paid $180 to an Apple Store. Iphones, I believe, cost about $500 or so. How can Ron Paul fight the terrorists if he can’t even afford an Iphone?

Oh yeah, he also sent a $1,300 check Alex Jones. Yes, 9/11 truth Alex Jones.

It’s one thing to argue that Ron Paul isn’t responsible for those who donate to him (truthers, neo-nazis, etc), it’s quite another to send a payment to these people as well. Wonder if Ron Paul will be asked any questions about this payment?

I also find the $10,000 payment to Anita Andrews interesting. Googling that name tells me that she trains the grassroots to go out and support Ron Paul. Curious if she tells them to attach “9/11 truth” to their Ron Paul placards or not? And, until now, I was always told that the grassroot Ron Paul efforts were independent of the campaign. Hmm.

(H/T: Hotair)

Update: Oh yeah. From the same link. Please allow me some cheap giggles:

Kum & Go

Tee hee hee! Kum and Go.

Update: The $1,300 payment to Alex Jones (yes, that Alex Jones – confirmed) is a “partial” refund of his $2,300 donation. Paul’s campaign refunded part of it after discussion online. Interesting that Jones’ money isn’t good for the campaign but Ron Paul appearing on the radio show is just dandy.

All webmasters try for more links more links and more links. Obviously you want them to occur naturally – but sometimes naturally needs to be helped along a little bit.

A decent way I’ve found to getting links is to write testimonials for local businesses that have a web presence. We wrote one for Busy Beaver Express and they put it online with a link to our website. You can’t ask for more than that, can you? Cost 0. Time invested: 1 minute. Value of Link: priceless.

Of course, this is a very limited way to gather links because, frankly, how many local businesses does a web based company really need? We just started using courier services recently after I got tired of our tax payments being late. The $8 courier fee is far more pallatible (sp?) than a $500 late payment/interest penalty from Uncle Sam.

Give it a shot. If you deal with a local small business with a web presence; that is a link waiting to happen. You just have to give it a little push.

Let me preface this piece by saying that I think Walmart is a great business concept. It sells goods available at hundreds of locations for cheaper prices so we all save money by purchasing from them. Others can argue whether Walmart is beneficial or not; I don’t really care. It’s a free market and Walmart is winning in their industry – everything else is just sour grapes.

There isn’t another company that I’m aware of that employs people who serve no actual purpose to the company. I’m talking about greeters, of course. They do nothing for the company, they don’t make the experience better; I’d even argue that some of the them make the experience just a little creepy. They serve no real function to Walmart. They don’t stock the shelves, they don’t checkout customers, they don’t help customers find items; they just stand around and say “Hello!” and get paid for it – and from my experience there this weekend they get paid for following me around for just a little bit too long.

Anyways, back to my story. I don’t shop at Walmart as much as I used to. We just got one down the road from me, but I’ve been finding that I go to Publix more and more often, even though I can get the same stuff cheaper a few miles away. So this weekend, I decide to go grocery shopping at midnight. Nevermind the overly creepy greeter I encounter tonight; I’m sort of used to that.

But I buy everything I need, including meat and fruit. The fruit, as always, is cheaper than Publix, but it doesn’t taste as good either. The bananas have a slightly different texture and less taste as if farmed if in lower quality farms or where-ever. The broccoli tasteless and not fully green like I’m used to from Publix, either. All-in-all, disappointing fruit and vegetables. Sad.

But it’s the meat products at Walmart that always disappoint me. It seems that, no matter what I choose, the meat is dry and has a weird aftertaste that makes me wonder what these things are being fed before served to us. Every beef product I’ve bought at Walmart lately has this same strange quality  – or lack thereof.

So, I guess I’ll have to do my shopping before 10 pm now and wander down to Publix for my groceries. No more midnight shopping though, I think I’ll miss that. Nothing quite like having a store to yourself and the stock people and the strange greeting people.

I usually don’t do SEO posts. I certainly don’t out sites for spamming. But this is getting out of hand and I’ll confess to a little bit of sour grapes up front.

I only noticed this because this site consistently ranks #1-3 for any keyword it wants. So my natural curiosity played a role here and in the space of about 10 minutes I found out that this site is spamming Google by using link counters to get inbound links from sites. This would violate Google TOS on a variety of levels, you’d think. It’s an obvious scheme to get a higher Page Rank by forcing people to link to your site. You’d think Google, with all its power, could at least find these links and diminish their value as they are known to do to sites that are known link buyers and sellers. But alas, not the case. I know this has been reported many times to Google in the past year, yet nothing is done.

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So I’ve been waiting for a good Xbox game to come out. No, I didn’t buy Halo 3. I hate first person shooters as I’ve said few times before. It did peak my interest though since it was an event game, so I watched some hour long video of some fat guy playing it over on Gamespot. It confirmed everything that I hate about first person shooters. The stupid hidden objects, can’t tell where you are being shot at from, oddly placed barrels to get in your way, no character building, etc. At least Gears of War had an awesome commercial. Didn’t make me buy it, but it sure made me -want- to buy it.

So anyways, yesterday I downloaded Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords from Xbox Live Arcade. 1200 points ($24? 50 points/dollar right? I forget now). And I was playing it for a few hours.

So the game is really just Bejeweled where you fight monsters and do quests. The quests are, from what I’ve seen, go there kill that (insert generic reason here). I did get a quest where I had to kill – don’t be shocked – 3 monsters to complete the thing and get the reward. The RPG element in the game is that you can level up your character and make him stronger. The different monsters you fight have different abilities which they can powerup by collecting gems from the board (matching 3 or more of the same color) and use their powers against you. Your character also has special abilities to do the same. I chose a knight so I’ve been leveling up my hit points and my attack power, which helps me do more damage.

So I’m fighting these monsters and trying to figure out the rules (I turned the tutorial off) and I get the fact that 3 or more skulls in a row cause damage to me, but I seem to take damage by other methods. But I’m doing okay (I’m not a Bejeweled fan anyways so take this into account) but the repetition is stupid. Yay, I’ve killed a Skeleton and got some experience points. Maybe a piece of equipment. So, let’s go kill more of them and do it all again!

Or not. Maybe I’d rather shoot myself in the head first. Really, come on. Every fight is exactly the same. Either you get lucky and get a ton of jewels to kill the monster or luck works against you and they kill you. I won’t deny there is an element of skill and pre-planning here but not it’s not quite enough to keep me interested.

One thing that I think could have improved the game is more puzzle varieties. Why is it always Bejeweled? Why not make like I’m fighting a bat in a Zuma type environment – shooting marbles before it gets me. Or, spelling words when fighting a monster to do damage. Or, making potions similar to Alchemy. A little variety would be nice. Bejeweled still gets old after a while. Yeah, going up against a skeleton instead of a rat is nice, but it’s still Bejeweled. I dunno, I’m not a game maker but variety is key (for me, at least) in video games. And I wish it existed here.

I played a much better version of this type of game a few months ago. It was called Bookworm Adventures. Where you are a worm dude spelling out words to defeat monsters and save the girl. There is some skill there. The better your vocabulary the better you’ll do. Yes, the element of luck is there as well (damn J’s) but your success is almost always determined by your ability to spell the longest word you can. Better monster animations, better power-ups, exactly the same linear gameplay. Except Bookworm Adventures also has a good sense of humor and cute dialogue. Want a simple adventure game? Bookworm Adventures is where it’s at.  No, I don’t believe its on Xbox Live Arcade yet, but it should be.

As for this, it’s passable (I’d maybe rate it a 5 or a 6) but not quite my type of game.

So, you need a drink? But recently had surgery and can’t drink alcohol? And exactly how badly do you need said drink?

Would you take it … anally? Alcohol enemas are all the rage these days, apparently. Tammy Jean Warner loved her husband so much that she gave him a sherry enema which elevated his blood alcohol level to .47 – almost 6 times the legal limit. He died, of course and she was charged with negligent homicide but those charges have been dropped because of lack of evidence.

The jokes are too easy here and way too graphic, so please feel free to insert your own. All I know is I cannot look at Sherry the same way again.