Exercise Through Doing Chores

I recently had to admit to myself that I haven’t been as active as I once was. Playing baseball really kept me in shape and when I stopped playing, I started gaining a bit of weight. I had a gym membership but I quickly realized it wasn’t for me. The idea of paying $20 a month to drive to a crowded place to torture myself for 30 minutes is not the best use of money or time.

I’ve recently realized there are a ton of chores that can be done around the house on any given day. Last week, I fixed our leaky toilet. Needless to say there was a lot of bending over. When I woke up the next morning I was very sore. Despite this, I had yard work scheduled. So I powered through the pain to get it done. I’ve come to realize that after all of this work I feel amazing though. I have more energy and feel stronger, just like after working out.

So I’ve decided that I shall find a chore to do every day and get it done. The chore will be my workout. This way, I’m killing two birds with one stone. I’ll be getting exercise as well as getting stuff done instead of wasting money and time driving to a gym.

Of course, working hard at chores is not a complete health solution. I’ll do a few curls, crunches and pushups and maybe play Wii Fit every now and then also. My target weight is 180 pounds. I’m not going to share what I currently weigh though. ­čÖé

Image Content and SEO

We all know that detailed ALT tags in your images can help SEO on your web pages, but what about the actual image? For example, let’s say that I wrote a page about “Sioux Falls”. ALT tags and image names aside, would an image of Falls Park help my SEO? I believe it would.

Google developed this type of technology to decipher what is actually in an image with their Google Goggles app. It’s also technology they will be using with their Google Glasses product. It only makes sense that Google would use this technology to also rank search results. A post that has an image of what is being written about is much better than one that contains an image that’s not related.

That being said, I think images can hurt your rankings as well. Most notably, images stolen from other websites. If you copy an image from another website, Google is able to tell. That signal may just force your pages down in the rankings.

If it actual image content isn’t a ranking signal yet, it’s definitely something that will be used in the future.

To Date or Not To Date Your Posts

Years ago, I removed all timestamps from my posts. This was because people are biased when it comes to reading a post that is old. Google indexes date information on your page too, which can cause people not to even click through to your site.


Though I couldn’t tell how much of an impact this made, there was something not right about not including a timestamp on my posts. Since readers may want that kind of information, it becomes a question about designing my pages better for the reader. So I recently reintroduced timestamps on my posts. This time though, I decided not to provide the date the post was published. Instead, I use the date the post was modified. It’s way more relevant to a reader to provide the last date your post was updated rather than the first day it was posted.

In WordPress, you can hack your theme to provide the date your post was modified by inserting this code:

Last modified:<?php the_modified_time(' F j, Y'); ?>´╗┐

Personally, I like providing this information at the end of posts. That way, it’s indexed by Google, but it’s not right at the top of the page.

Is it Legal to Use Another Company’s Logo In Your Post or Publication?

My websites have never been too decorated with graphics. I mainly focus on writing good content. But as I look around the web, I see many other websites using logos from other companies on many of their pages. For example, sites like TechCrunch or Mashable may have a picture of an Apple or Android logo when talking about smartphones.

It made me wonder about the legality of using these logos. After all, company logos are often registered trademarks. Were all of these websites asking for permission to use these logos? Probably not, since it would take a lot of resources to ask for permission to use company logos in every post.

So how are these websites able to use the logos of other companies in their posts?├é┬áThe answer actually differs with each company. When looking to use a logo for a certain company, what you’ll want to look for is web page on their site that details the legal uses for company trademarks. Apple has a page where they say their logo can be used by authorized dealers, but not by websites or other publication without permission. While Pinterest seems to allow almost any usage of their logo as long as you “don’t manipulate it”.

Another question might be “Do these companies actually enforce the legal rules they set?” My guess is, not likely. These legal pages are really designed to protect companies in the event that somebody is abusing the use of their logo. Using an Apple logo on your personal blog for an iPhone review post probably won’t raise any eyebrows over at Apple. They may be concerned if you featured the Apple logo on every page in a manner that makes your site look as though it’s affiliated with Apple though.

Web Site Advice For Local Business Owners

Lately, I’ve been frustrated with the lack of├é┬ápresence├é┬ásome local businesses have on the Internet. The sites often have scant information and are rarely updated. It’s important as a business owner to not overlook the value of a good website. Here are some tips to follow.

Have your hours posted

This is the most common frustration. I often cannot find the hours the business is open on their own website. Some businesses may not include the hours on their site because they change seasonally. But it doesn’t take that much effort to make those changes.

 

Make a Google Places and Facebook page

Be sure to own your Google Places page and make a Facebook page too. Include all the information you can about the business on both. It’s another way to ensure that customers can find your business and the information they need.

 

Keep it basic

Don’t include any fancy videos, flash animations or anything else complex. Your customers just came to your site for information, and such things only act as a hurdle. I see many restaurant websites have their menus in PDF format. This is lazy! All information should be available on the site in the most basic form possible.

 

Give me an electronic method of contact

Email, Twitter, Facebook… I want to be able to contact you without having to call you.

 

As always, I’m willing to help most people in the area. Send me a tweet or leave a comment if you need more advice.

The Story About When I Got My Eyebrow Pierced

Back when I was a young 21 year old dot-com worker I attempted to get my eyebrow pierced. I wanted to be one of the cool kids and stand out from the crowd. I wasn’t going to be one of those normal looking, corporate types. No! It was a new era where rebels ruled the dot-com future. I was a rebel, and rebels have to have their eyebrow pierced.

I visited The Alley, a store on Chicago’s North Side that is known for selling eclectic items, blue hair dye, skater shoes and gargoyles. I walked in and quickly made a choice on a normal, silver hoop ring, paid the fee and signed the waiver. About 15 minutes later, the “surgeon” walked out. He was covered in tattoos and had almost every inch of his body pierced. Most people would have probably ran away at this point. Not me. For some reason I wanted to be like this guy. For I was a rebel like him. Why wouldn’t I let him stick a needle through my eyebrow?

We went into the piercing room and I laid down. The room was quite clean. I was impressed by how medical it was. My surgeon washed up and got everything prepared. Before getting started though, he felt the need to tell me how if he fucked this up I could have damaged nerves around my eye forever. At that point I felt like running, but I already paid for the piercing, so there was no turning back now.

After rubbing the area with alcohol or whatever else they use to prep, the guy put on his rubber gloves and out came the needle. Into my eyebrow it went. I remember hearing the sound as the needle pierced my skin. It sounded like an exploding grapefruit. It didn’t hurt though, and I felt a calm over having gotten through the rough part. That is, until I looked up at my surgeon’s face. His mouth was wide open and he was speechless. After a few seconds he said “OK… Dude! Don’t move!”

Great! What could be wrong? I immediately thought he hit some type of nerve and damaged my eye forever. I panicked and started to scream, asking “What’s wrong, what’s wrong?!?!” In a gentle voice he says “OK, dude? The needle took part of my rubber glove with it and it’s lodged into your eyebrow!”

I remember thinking “This is what you get for trying to be something you’re not!” as I laid there with a needle and a piece of rubber glove lodged into my eyebrow. My surgeon then says “Wow, you are healing really fast and it’s going to make this really difficult.” My eyebrow was healing over where the piece to the rubber glove was lodged. So what had to be done?

I had to lay there, while he used another needle to pick and pry at the piercing hole to try to dig the rubber glove out. While the initial piercing didn’t hurt, having a guy dig away at the area with a needle fucking hurts. This process took about 30 minutes, but it seemed like 2 hours. The guy claimed to have removed the rubber, but who knows, I could have an entire rubber glove lodged in my eyebrow today now for all I know.

I was then told it would be a bad idea for me to keep an eyebrow ring in that hole. The area was traumatized and could get badly infected. So I was refunded my money and sent home where I spent my evening keeping ice on my eyebrow.

The next day I woke up and looked in the mirror to find that the entire area around my left eye was purple and swollen to about half the size of a golf ball. I called in sick at work for 3 days. I couldn’t face other people and tell them what I had done. How fucking dorky people would think I was I told people the story? Luckily it healed over the weekend, and the scab near the pierced hole was gone. I could then get away with telling people I got hit in the eye with a tennis ball.

So much for rebel Mitch!