Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A Fork in the Road Finally

So today I am readying myself for "A Fork in the Road, Finally!"  Today I am expecting that my neuromuscular massage therapy session will be my last official type PT session under the PIP coverage through my automobile insurance.  I also have a final follow-up appointment with my treating physician who has told me that the insurance claims adjuster has been "hounding" her to finalize my treatment and rate me.  I fully expect to be rated this afternoon -- Oh, we are not talking about stars folks.

I've never really heard about "rating" the patient, you know, assigning some point value for my perceived injury.  Like, I don't know, less than 10 points or something?  How does a doctor or insurance company achieve an objective and fair value of a patient's pain or long-term injury?

You know, there are certain "functions" and "things" that I am NOT able to do without feeling very specific pain(s) in my hand, wrist and forearm.  I don't know if I've got THAT now for the rest of my life.  But, I guess that is OK considering I am an old-timer, you know?

It was on December 9, 2009 that a sort of fork in the road first "presented itself." I really thought that my hobby, my passion, my livelihood would come to an end in one abrupt tremendous moment of pain when those trunk hydraulic struts in my car failed and smashed my hand and forearm.  O-M-G!  People, some moments will stick with you forever; that is the type of moment I experienced.  I really thought my writing career had come to an end.

Why doesn't the MRI show everything? Good grief, that was a mystery to me. I've had MRIs in the past you know.  And, I've written about my painful adventures, something like trying to become the Six Million Dollar Wonder Woman or something?  You see, I've been there for SLAP Tear, Meniscus Tear, Morton's Neuroma, Achilles Tendon, and Percutaneous Discectomy! Yes indeed; ALL THAT!

FAST-FORWARD:  "A Fork in the Road, Finally!"
Well, like I said, one thing is coming to the end for me and it is like a fork in the road AND a passing of the baton, so to speak!  YOU see, I was diagnosed less than two weeks ago with trochanteric bursitis. Can YOU believe that?

Remember Gilda Radner's "It's always something!"  Yes it is.  And, how about our dear Bret Michaels, "every rose has its thorn!"  Yeah, it does.

P.S. Thanks my friends, followers, and fans for being there for the journey.  You mean the world to me.  And, I thank YOU for that.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Who IS Listening I Wonder

Have you ever paused for a moment in your daily lives, in your internet presence, to speculate as to Who is listening to you? Who is reading that message you have put out there? How many of your readership base is totally getting what you are putting out there? Are they maybe "hearing something else?" You know, not hearing what you originally intended for them to hear?

Well, I was wondering this morning "Who IS Listening?" And, more importantly "do they really get IT?" I honestly think that worldwide there is a bit of information and meaning that gets lost in translation. Sometimes you may have a humorous message and you wonder if that "humor" is totally understood?

I was curious as to what specific countries make up my Squidoo readership base, the platform that occupies a pretty good majority of my time.  Take a look at this chart.

There is no surprise here that the United States is the top country on the list; however, I might have thought the percentage would be a bit higher than 58.55%.

The Top 5 countries responsible for bringing in the readership base to my Squidoo lenses or article base include, in descending order: the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, and India.

Gosh, can I make the assumption that about 60% of my readership base will TOTALLY get what I am saying and understand the entire message?  Perhaps, perhaps not.  It's important to understand who is listening when you craft your article and message you know.

You know, it does make sense that Canada, United Kingdom, and Australia are in the Top 5! These 5 countries account for 79.62% of the overall readership base.  So, an assumption could be that, on the very best day, and in the very best crafted message or article, I might be lucky to have 80% of the people TOTALLY get what I am saying.  You know what I am saying?

So, thirteen other countries comprise 9.0% of the overall readership base: Philippines, Germany, New Zealand, Singapore, Italy, France, Netherlands, Hungary, Malaysia, Poland, Russian Federation, Spain, and Romania.

And, it is an OH WOW for me to see this particular list of countries.  You know why?  Well, I write a LOT about Eastern European topics and about Hungary, Poland, and Romania ... so that is sort of a plus for me to be connecting to a readership base from those very countries, you know?

What countries comprise your readership base?  Who are your Squidoo readers?  Who is listening to you?

P.S. I also write on a second blog, the Topicability Blog. Gosh, I wonder if the worldwide readership base for that blog is comparable to that which comprises my Squidoo lenses or article base? You think?

Monday, June 28, 2010

What the heck am I talking about?

Hello people! Have you ever had somebody ask you, "what the heck do you write about?" Or have you asked yourself, "What the heck am I talking about?" Well I just asked myself that.

In a creative sense, I've been showcasing on the Topicability Blog the Top 100 Squidoo lensmasters and lenses that are occupying the various topics or categories. You know, you can look at those Top 100 lists day in and day out and think you have an idea of what's there on top, but until you generate a Wordle tag cloud, you just can't really know.  A Wordle tag cloud really does creatively sum it all up. You know what I mean, jelly bean?

So, I turned the artistic Wordle microscope on myself today. You see, I really did have an idea of what my Wordle would say, but then again, after I ran with it, I was surprised!

Well, I had expected to see Jaguar Julie and say Hungarian front and center; however, I do honestly believe the word that is popping out of that Wordle is Art!  Yes indeed.  And, how life does imitate art sometimes or is it art imitating life?

I'd say Love and Christmas are tied for second place followed up by Best and Fashion and Showcase tied for third place.  Hungarian and Julie seem up next and then we have quite a variety of "topicable" words like Jaguar and Cat and Sweet and Designer and so much more.

What's that YOU say?  Stuffed Cabbage?  Yes?  Where do you see that?  I don't see Stuffed Cabbage or Stuffed Cabbage Rolls there, but I did spot Goulash as in Hungarian Goulash ... you know?

Lately, I've been spending more time blogging ... maybe you noticed that? I've divided up my time here on Jaguar Julie :: Blog On and On and over at Topicability. Here is that topicable line-up of  the Top 100 of the various Squidoo Topics as found over at Topicability:
  • What POPS with Pop Culture and Celebs?
  • Hey People! It's About the People Today!
  • Spotlight on Parenting and Kids
  • It Is All Local Folks Oh My!
  • Computers, Gadgets and Tech Oh My!
  • Do It Yourself this Summer
Have you caught my profiling of the top Squidoo lens, for more than a year, on Squidoo du Jour -- The Top Lens? Have you participated yet in my Hey Monkeybrain debate about Squidoo Stats -- Public or Private?

Why all the tweets on toilet seats oh my!

Good grief Charlie Brown!  I started off thinking I'd see a handful of Twitter tweets on toilet seats and then it kept going and going and going just like that Energizer Bunny, you know?  Holy mackerel Andy, but I am all weirded out this morning that SO many people are talking about toilet seats ... and NOT good things either.  Sorry, you'll have to search that for yourselves as I am not providing a courtesy link ... my grandma is stopping me from doing that.

Gadzooks, but my grandma surely taught us some etiquette you know?  Grandma wouldn't get all the toilet seat and toilet bowl humor and I can see her shaking her head, "Oh no!"

My generation of old foggies wouldn't dream of tweeting personal things like those that I saw this morning on toilet seats in page after page after page of Twitter tweets.  YIKES!  In my personal opinion, a lady just doesn't talk with a potty mouth in public.  But, hey, that's ME, folks!  I am a lady dinosaur me thinks.  And, I apologize for bringing up such a sensitive topic today.  That's OK ... I will continue on my merry way with being a lady; being as polite as I can; being as gracious as I can; being my original and unique self ... striving to be as authentic as I can possibly be ... all things considered, you know?

So, I happened to catch a forum post by somebody asking for visitors and blessings to a particular lens by another lensmaster, a multiple ID lens? Oh gosh, I thought, isn't that coincidentally interesting? That is the very same debate I have on one of my toilet seat lenses.  But, my debate, created in November 2009, is a lonely puppy, feeling empty and unloved ... ah!

You know, I do distinctly remember seeing a recent Amazon Affiliate newsletter, promoting the best toilet seats and I did think, why how topicable that is!! And, I was smiling because I had done a couple of toilet seat lenses in 2009, to talk about the brand of elongated toilet seats that we use at home.  Size, shape and style do matter after all.

Did you catch the June 17th Topicability blog post, Stuck on the toilet oh my?
You know, I know, because I do talk about A Quiet Toilet by Comfort Seats and take 2, Quiet Elongated Toilet Seats by Comfort Seats.  So, I get the subtle humor of it all that the toilet ads keep playing out for me day in and day out.
Hey ... see those first TWO elongated toilet seats by Comfort Seats?  YEP, those are authentically the very toilet seats we have in our home ... the light yellow one and the light pink one!  Hi, grandma!  Yes, I was being polite about toilet seats and the toilet humor that I shared in all those YouTube videos. Hope you got a chance to see it!

Oh, by the way ... I won't be asking for any blessings on my toilet seat lenses. A special thank you to all the visitors and readers who took time to weigh in on that TOPICABLE debate of elongated vs. round!  Ah, I was obviously flushed with excitement to have you all drop by.

And, I do apologize for having to make a commentary like I did earlier ... you know about the etiquette of sharing too much information on toilet seats and toilet bowl humor on Twitter.  Sorry folks!  Oh, I guess, when you've got to go, you've got to go ... but let's keep that between ourselves, shall we?  Cool, ;)

Oh, Oh ... see ya ... I have to go you know?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Why all the ads for Brussels Sprouts

Good afternoon everyone! It's about dinner time for us in Jacksonville, Florida. I can smell the aroma of the cajun-spiced roasted whole chicken wafting from the kitchen and have about another hour or so to be subjected to the killer smells. Once a week, I generally prepare a roasted chicken; sometimes it is cajun-spiced and sometimes it is more of a lemon-pepper chicken.

Sometimes I will prepare brussels sprouts as a side dish to go along with the roasted chicken; sometimes petite red or new potatoes; sometimes a salad; sometimes mixed vegetables. Haven't exactly settled on those side dishes yet, so I think I'll let hubby pick when he gets home.

I've definitely decided not to fix brussels sprouts tonight as I've had my plate full of brussels sprouts today. No, I've not been eating them all day. However, I have noticed that the search engines have over-heated with brussels sprouts the past couple of weeks. Wow! Somebody must have gotten the word out that this mini cabbage head was a hot property or something! Everyone has jumped on the bandwagon to be either talking or advertising for brussels sprouts! It is the wildest thing you know?

Here is a screen capture of the ads from today's search on Yahoo. In the screen capture, you will see the actual placement of the ads at top and at the sidebar. Below the lavender line, those are the ads that have been appearing at the bottom of the search results. They have got you coming and going!

What is pretty wild about all this, is I was JUST asking on June 2, 2010, in my blog post, Why all the ads for Stuffed Cabbage? And, there is that same website again, that was previously advertising stuffed cabbage, and now is advertising brussels sprouts recipes!  I'm wondering, have you noticed this happening with your food topics?  Have you lost significant traffic lately?  Have you searched and found ads for your food topics?  It is wild I say!

In my Saturday, June 19, 2010 blog post, Who grabbed cut and ate the cheese, I touched on a variety of observations connected to brussels sprouts.  Several forum posts talked about this green vegetable and mini cabbage head.

You know, life can sure be wacky! Once upon a time, a vegetable was just a vegetable. And, then, along came the internet! Now, a vegetable is a hot commodity for ads! Isn't that remarkable?

P.S. Yes, I * Love * Brussels Sprouts - Get Some 5-Star Fabulous Recipes! And, I do so love Hungarian Stuffed Cabbage Rolls -- Find out about my grandma Julia Nagy's secret ingredient for stuffed cabbage rolls.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Who grabbed cut and ate the cheese

Say people!  As Saturdays go, this one started off like any Saturday of recent experience.  Hubby is off now going round and round on the golf course with the usual suspects, hitting and chasing that silly white ball over the river and through the woods and into 18 holes.  Gosh, what a lovely sport!  I think I need to take it up and hit a few balls and knock the crap out of some silly balls ... you know what I'm suggesting?

The morning has progressed with a visit to freshen up some puppies, feed the cats, and pop that laundry of hubby's into the washer to see if I can hook up with some fabulous finds, or not. I'm hoping for at least a twenty dollar bill; I'd like fifty, but hubby doesn't usually carry fifties or hundreds, at least NOT since we had a rent-paying tenant who didn't have a checking account, so he liked to pay in cash in a dark alley ... oh, kidding!  He ran out of cash and excuses and has moved on to grace somebody elses' path and door.  Thank you Jesus!

I was sitting here looking at something that I would call a mystery, but it really isn't a mystery ... it is the story of popularity, traffic, the internet, and other people who like that story of popularity and want that traffic too ... thinking the road is paved with gold.  Writing on the platform of Squidoo has been a marvelous experience for over 4 years.  The ideas for more Squidoo lenses literally keep exploding out of the top of my head, but I have paused for a moment to notice a mystery.  And, I put a lid on my head to contain those ideas temporarily.

People are talking about how the power of Squidoo has attracted a lot of attention worldwide.  People are talking about traffic suddenly and mysteriously disappearing from their top topic lenses.  Holy Topicability Index Batman!  That's life, you know!  Have we not seen this happen for years and years?  That people will focus on a cool topic that seems to be a cool topic only to them or to only a few people.  And, then they will love and nurture and develop that topic.  Then, BAM!  One day that topic hits the bigtime. "Why, I want a piece of THAT action!"  Yes, others notice and want in on the action.

On June 3, 2010, I penned a JaguarJulie Blog On post asking "Why all the ads for Stuffed Cabbage?" It was a natural curiosity I had that in the beginning, it was perhaps Martha Stewart and me talking about the virtues and delicious taste of stuffed cabbage rolls. Then, pretty soon ... everybody's talking about delicious stuffed cabbage rolls. Don't you just love the internet, I ask?

So ... BAM! The latest foodsy candidate for all those ads, ads, ads is another gas-producing vegetable, Brussels Sprouts! Oh, I love love love Brussels Sprouts and have written a delicious page to celebrate all those 5-star fabulous recipes for preparing brussels sprouts.  What is most curious, about all this hot air on the internet, is to see a website that I recognize!  First, they loved stuffed cabbage, now they are loving brussels sprouts ... keep your eyes peeled for more from idealhomegarden !!!

Who grabbed cut and ate the cheese I am wondering? This is where I want to show that my thought pattern hit a brain f*rt and started thinking about cheese. You see I dropped by a Squidoo lens that was asking which kind of CHEESE you like on your burgers! Ah, cheese -- I love cheese, but had to start cholesterol-lowering meds so that I could still love my cheese! For me, cheese is such a favorite food, well that is in addition to stuffed cabbage rolls and brussels sprouts oh my!

My favorite cheese is blue cheese ... it can be quite stinky! Oh, I almost forgot, I also love love love limburger cheese ... a shameless plug that stinks, no it's yummy!

Now, here is where this will all make a little sense ... I am attempting to pull this blog post together for you! Who grabbed cut and ate the cheese I am wondering? I picked the fork in the road to venture onto Amazon and search on "Who Moved My Cheese?" as they say it is "An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life."  My first observations made me ask, why is that book not rated as a 5-star book?  It was that curiosity that made me read the reviews.  And, for that I am quite thankful this morning!  You see, I really really really needed a good laugh.  Let me share it ...
Usual cheesey stuff, March 30, 2010 by nr8209
This review is from: Who Moved My Cheese? An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life

This is a typical meaningless self improvement book. We were forced to read it at a previous company. Basically if you think you are so bad you really need help from this book I would give up now and head for the nearest cliff. I much prefer the parody Who Cut The Cheese? - An A-Mazing Parody about Change (and How We Can Get Our Hands on Yours) by Stilton Jarlsberg - a much more satisfying read.

You know it is encouraging to note that Google is always tweaking the algorithm to bring in the most relevant and spot-on search results. I'd like to think that when I am searching on my favorite search engine of Google that they are giving me premium search results. We all are pulled in so many different ways these days. Thank goodness for the fabulous Google. Huh, oh yes there are other search engines out there these days. Hmmm, remember what I said about working on a cool topic, nurturing it, and developing it until it hits the popularity index and then BAM! Others are on the bandwagon? Others are noticing that top traffic cool topic. In February 2008, I penned a fun debate that I think YOU will love. Be sure to express yourself GOOGLE vs. YAHOO -- Which side are you on? Ah, I do love Google you know!

P.S. Ah I am a woman you know! Yep, that is really me in that profile picture -- no mysterious avatar to make you wonder who the heck I am! Oh, and quite incidentally, I am a blonde and blondes do have more fun! Are we having fun yet? Tell ya more later. Thanks for dropping by today. Love ya!

Monday, June 14, 2010

What the heck old crow or a blackbird

What the heck old crow or a blackbird? Today, I was looking up on Wikipedia to check out that wonderful reference for a blackbird and I ended up being a little bit MORE curious than I originally thought!  You see, when you check that reference, you will find a BUNCH more links to other blackbirds!

Next, I looked up the Wikipedia reference for crow as I was thinking that might help to answer my question.  Oh my word!  Have you ever checked out just how many species of crows there are?  There surely are a lot! 

I read there in that Wikipedia reference that "crows have also been known to imitate the human voice, just like parrots. Crows that have been trained to 'speak' are considered valuable in parts of East Asia, as crows are a sign of luck."  Oh, too bad I don't live in East Asia, I thought!

Oh, and reading further on, did YOU know that "in the UK, the crow is considered a pest when in a large community and under certain conditions can be shot under a number of general licences issued by DEFRA."  Oh me, oh my I say!  And, did you know that "a group of crows is called a 'murder'."  Well fancy that.

You see, we had decided to take an early morning ride on hubby's motor scooter ... and that early morning ride morphed into a full-blown motorcycle ride on a day that definitely hit 100 degrees!  He had to stop twice to fill up his gas tank, so that tells ya that we rode a LOT!  I'm not going to tell you about our ride just yet because I am seriously thinking about maybe doing a Squidoo lens or two ... and don't want to let the cat er blackbird or old crow out of the bag just yet.  You know what I'm saying?  Don't want to give away MY topics just yet.

So, at that first gas station we stopped at, hubby was inside a wee bit too long.  I didn't get a chance to share my laughter with him as it played out.  You see, up in the tree was this old crow making lots of noise.  The next thing, that crow flies out of the tree with two mockingbirds zooming into his old butt!  Golly gee those mockingbirds could sure accelerate, I thought!  Next thing you know, there are two old crows up on the power line.  And, now there are some 5-6 mockingbirds making short order of them crows.  I tell you, it was the most hilarious thing I had seen thus far that day!  One of the mockingbirds had been standing guard before all the ruckus took place.  I think the way it was looking, I could understand a "murder of crows!"  Get it???

Well, I might be having a difficult time distinguishing an old crow or two from a blackbird, but I do know an old buzzard when I see one! Say hello to an old turkey vulture! Hello YOU old buzzard YOU!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

What the Old HECK is Trochanteric Bursitis?

Ah, yes indeed! What the Heck is Trochanteric Bursitis? Oh, it is also known as Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome and that is a huge Oh My! Oh my for me; Oh my for YOU ... some day. Yes, my friends, some day you too can experience the oh no moments of Trochanteric Bursitis!

It was Thursday, June 10, 2010 when I first got the diagnosis of Trochanteric Bursitis from my orthopedic doctor, Dr. Hakim. I really LOVE my doctor as he's been there through thick and through thin with me. He was my crack, expert surgeon for a SLAP Tear major repair surgery on my left shoulder and the Meniscus Tear repair of my left knee.

Do you know something? The reason I am making a point to write this blog post today is to NOT waste any more time on getting this word out there. The word is this, do not hesitate on going to see your doctor at the first sign of hip pain! And, do NOT think because you have hip pain that it means a hip replacement ... you know ... that you would delay seeing your doctor because YOU are so sure it will be a major thing and it is a hip replacement that is part of your problem. That is the very reason I waited THREE years to see my doctor. I was so sure that because my mom has serious hip pain, coupled with my great aunt having to have had two separate hip replacements on the same hip. Well, I think you get what I'm saying, right?

So, I do hope that if you do have any hip issues, that you are fortunate enough to get treatment right away. And, I do hope, for your sake, that you do not need a hip replacement! But if you do, God speed to you in your recovery. And, if you'd like to celebrate a fabulous lady out there who obviously has great hips, stop by my humor page on Hips Don't Lie! Oh, you probably guessed it ... Shakira! Yes, Shakira Shakira ... for her, her hips definitely do not lie!

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

What would you do in these circumstances

In a January 9, 2010 blog post, Reflecting on 2009 -- It was a pain-FULL year for us!, I eluded to some of the difficulties that we had experienced over the past couple of years with, of all people, tenants. A little bit of what I had to say six months ago:

It's been a cost to us of some $20,000 plus out of our pockets for non-paying tenants. This has been a really tough "issue" for us as we have not wanted to evict these families, yet we have bills to pay ourselves. It would be too much information to talk any more about these rental matters ... just suffice to say that we are quite charitable people.

You see, I didn't share everything. We went through with only one eviction which ended up costing us a bit more than originally thought. That particular female tenant left us with a messy clean-up and probably not quite $10,000 in total losses. Unfortunately for us, with all the losses we incurred, we still had to pay out of our pockets on our income taxes! That's what I don't get, among other things.

It's pretty doubtful that we can expect to recoup any of those losses from that female tenant as we learned that she also owes a previous landlord about $6,000 for unpaid rent and damages.

Now, talking about that other tenant!!!! Here is where I would pose the question of my readers, "What would you do in these circumstances?"

You see, you really need to hear a bit more of the story to understand all the angst that I am feeling today and why I was unable to sleep much last night and over the past week or so. Last week, I got a phone call from our insurance company for the rental house. I thought that was odd. When I asked hubby about it that evening, he told me "You don't want to know!" Well, YES, I did. It seems the non-paying tenant that finally moved out at the end of 2009, he has secured an attorney! "Huh? I wonder if THAT attorney knows that he owes us over $20,000 in unpaid rent?" I replied.

So, for those of you who follow my Flickr photos, you may have seen that big old water oak that took out the tenant's van. There are lots more pictures of that water oak meeting the van and doing damage to the rental property.

It was, I guess, fortunate for us that our rental home insurance did cover the damaged driveway along with the damage to the carport and side of the house. The "proceeds" were nominal, but did help us to pay to have the repairs made. We then dug into our 401k to secure additional funding for fixing the interior of the home, to clean-up after the non-paying tenant.  And, we opted to NOT rent again, but keep the house "empty and clean" so that we can sell it and recoup our out-of-pockets costs AND losses from the non-paying tenant(s).  Hey!  That house is for sale!

I don't know about homeowner's or rental insurance, you know, about why they would not have paid for the tenant's damaged van. My hubby did say, at the time of the damage, that this tenant had NO insurance on his van which was totaled.  That tenant had someone take away his van and was paid some money for the van's tires, parts, and engine.

Well, it appears that said, non-paying tenant has secured an attorney who is now calling us and trying to submit a claim to our insurance company to pay for that van. "Hmmm," I said to my hubby, "I wonder if that tenant has told his attorney he owes us over $20,000 in unpaid rent?"

We have sure heard a lot in the news over the past year or so about tenant rights.  What the heck about landlord rights?  What can we HONEST landlords do about these tenants who are playing the system and going from one landlord to the next and NOT paying rent.  How the heck does that happen?  And, more importantly, how do these PEOPLE [the non-paying tenants] actually live with themselves? Do they have no sense of decency?

"What would you do in these circumstances?"  You know, I really need to bite my tongue these days and not say, "I told you so" to my hubby.  At these times, it is very important that I project understanding rather than personally want to kick the butt of that non-paying tenant.  You know???

"What would you do in these circumstances?" Take ... one, two, three, four!  So, time for a reality check I think?  Yes, let's get a life already!  Failure is NOT an option.  This is no time for tact, you think?

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Why all the ads for Stuffed Cabbage

For nearly three years, I have been actively writing and blogging about my favorite comfort food, Stuffed Cabbage. Well before that, I was doing lots of buzzing and sharing of my grandma Julia Nagy's Hungarian recipe for stuffed cabbage rolls as I've always said that her Hungarian stuffed cabbage rolls were the very best!

Over at Squidoo, I have been conducting polls and duels debating whether Hungarian is better than Polish stuffed cabbage recipes. And, I've talked lots and lots about how I really think Martha Stewart has done her part to popularize the Polish recipes for stuffed cabbage. Are you already a fan of stuffed cabbage?

Why do you think stuffed cabbage rolls are so popular?  Do you think it is because of Martha Stewart or perhaps because Jaguar Julie has talked about stuffed cabbage so much?  Which recipe is your favorite for stuffed cabbage?

You know, it was not that long ago that I was checking my daily Google Alerts on stuffed cabbage and what did I see?  Holy mackerel Andy, but I saw that stuffed cabbage rolls have now hit the Nigerian market ... say, you know you've arrived when they are talking about you in Nigeria!  Let's hear it for stuffed cabbage rolls!!!!

So, something else that I've been noticing for longer than a month is the fact that my high traffic to my ever popular Stuffed Cabbage page has been a little off. When I do a Google search, I see that my lens is #1. I do a Bing search, and again my lens is #1 for stuffed cabbage. However, it is when I do a Yahoo search for stuffed cabbage that I discover what I think has happened to my extra traffic.  You see, I'm not the top search result on Yahoo like I am on Google and Bing.  And, it would appear that there is some competition for traffic from LOTS of advertisers!!!  Take a look at this screen capture that I have provided from my Yahoo search.

First of all, do you notice just how many ads there are for stuffed cabbage and stuffed cabbage roll recipes? What the heck is that all about? Do you get it that stuffed cabbage has hit the mainstream of popularity? OK, next ... do you notice some of the websites going after the traffic/hits for stuffed cabbage? I am looking at the top ad ... ... And, even more interesting when you do a Who Is search you see it is a ValueClick website.

Gosh, what do you make of all that ...  Why all the ads for Stuffed Cabbage? If you want the scoop on Stuffed Cabbage and what secret ingredient my grandma added to her recipe, drop by article - it's a five-part series. Check out the various polls, the various stuffed cabbage roll recipes, and drop me a line in the guestbook. Let me know you found me!

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Algorithms and long tails oh my!

You probably didn't know it just by looking at me, but I was a Math and Natural Sciences major when I was enrolled in college, Ohio Northern University to be specific.  Yes, looks can be deceiving.  You probably thought for sure that I was a fashion major, yes?  Ah, that's OK because I do have a keen passion for fashion on many a good day.

Well folks!  I was directed this afternoon to check out a recent Matt Cutts video explaining the importance of the long tail.  Huh?  A long tail?  I must admit that I have been hearing more and more about long tail searches and long tail search engine optimization ... and while I get it, the theory, I don't necessarily get everything about it. But, that's OK ... I'll bet that YOU don't necessarily get it and won't necessarily be getting it for some time into the future.  So, you and I really need to figure that out!  Sooner rather than later.

So here I am once again exploring my short tail searches for algorithms ... one thing leads to another. Here is a play out of my journey ... First, I've searched Google on "long tail" yes, really! I know that is a rather short search term. I naturally gravitate to the Wikipedia reference for "long tail" as behind Google [Google has always been #1 in my book!], Wikipedia rocks for me.  "The long tail refers to the statistical property that a larger share of population rests within the tail of a probability distribution than observed under a 'normal' or Gaussian distribution."

So, wow, that is some reference page as it is not meant for the typical blonde, I think.  I am thinking back to those two semesters of Probability and Statistics at ONU! C and B; not my usual A.  I should have paid closer attention to the professor!  Who knew that I would need that at this advanced stage in my life?

I scanned through the technical information on the Wikipedia reference and stopped at "see more" which directed me to swarm intelligence. A word jumped out at me; i.e. stochastic ... as I remember using such a term for a fountain solution that a former company developed ... using that in my marketing literature!

My eyes were next directed on that page to example algorithms ... and that my dears is where I was heard to utter [not udder], "Holy Cow!" You have GOT to check out all those example algorithms; you won't believe all those algorithms!

Next ... I was into reading about Ant colony optimization and before you know it, I got into something rather scientific too, the Firefly algorithm. Now, I truly get fireflies but never would have guessed that there would be an algorithm based on their behavior. It is just frigging amazing!

Something that also stuck with me as I read about the long tail today was how Google can tweak their algorithm with over 400 tweaks in a twelve month period of time. I think that sounds like a lot. So, my action plan is to get me up to speed on understanding long tails and perhaps algorithms too.

What is an algorithm? "An algorithm is an effective method for solving a problem expressed as a finite sequence of instructions."  And, what the heck is a long tail?  Do you get it?  Algorithms and long tails, oh my!!!

You know, I think I missed my calling! I should have been a Senior Algorithm Engineer.