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Monday, November 29, 2010

R.I.P. Leslie Nielsen

   Leslie Nielsen will be greatly missed.  He passed away yesterday at age 84.  See more here: Blogcritics.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

You could win autographed prizes!

   How would you like to win some cool prizes?

   As I mentioned in my earlier blog post (A 'Shout-Out' for my Dad (and Stepmom), I design and maintain a website for my father, stepmother, Felix Baron, and Madeline Moore.  The website just launched last week:  They're crime thriller and erotica novelists.

   The contest runs from Monday, November 29th, 2010 until Friday, December 10th, 2010.  See contest rules for details.

   One lucky winner will receive three autographed books- The Women's Club by Michael Crawley and Laurie Clayton,  Sarah's Education by Madeline Moore, and The Persian Girl by Felix Baron.

   Go to for rules and entry.

   You may also want to check out my interview with Michael Crawley and Laurie Clayton, authors of The Women's Club on Blogcritics.

    Have fun and good luck!

Friday, November 26, 2010

A 'Shout-Out' for Meanderings and Muses

   Wow!  Two shout-outs in one day... It's so much fun to promote great stuff on the web!

   Kaye Wilkinson Barley is a Facebook friend of mine.  I have a lot of Facebook friends in the literary community, thanks to my father and stepmother.   When I was promoting the last post (A Shout-Out for My Dad (and Stepmom) on Facebook, she was kind enough to 'like' my post and comment on it.

   As she's a fellow blogger, I decided to check out her blog, Meanderings And Muses.

   It's great stuff!  She gets all kinds of fascinating writers to post on her blog.  I love getting into the minds of novelists and other writers, so I made sure to bookmark Kaye's blog for future visiting.

   If you're intrigued by novelists and storytellers in general, you'll be glad you visited Kaye's blog.

   Visit Meanderings and Muses at  Maybe I can get my dad to guest blog on the site!

A Shout-Out For My Dad (and My Stepmom)

  Today, I just want to promote my father and my stepmother.  You can't blame me for wanting to do that, eh?

  My dad is Michael Crawley, and my stepmom is Laurie Clayton.  They're both popular novelists.  My dad and stepmom have an exciting new crime thriller published by Max Crime, The Women's Club.  Read my interview with them on Blogcritics here, and there's also a link in my interview to buy the novel from Amazon.  I've read it, and it was a thoroughly enjoyable read.

  I designed a brand new website for them (and the mysterious erotica authors Felix Baron and Madeline Moore),

   On the new website, there is a lot of great content.  Read their fascinating life stories.  Read my dad's writing tips, he's helped many people become published.  Read questions and answers from all four authors, and submit your own questions!  Plus, you can read synopsizes of all of their titles on Amazon, and buy the titles via the handy Amazon shop widget.  Check it out, you won't regret it!

  The new website encouraged my dad to start a blog.  He writes about being a novelist, and ideas that interest him.  There's one post in which he defends atheism.  It's intriguing stuff.  Visit his blog at

   Of course, I'm going to take this opportunity to promote Madeline Moore's blog again, as she's a featured novelist at  What is it like to write sexy stories for a living?  Find out at

  Don't miss any of my previous shout-outs!  To my dear readers, check out the new posts I have coming next week!  Happy Friday...


Thursday, November 25, 2010

A Brief History of the Web- Part nine...

  Finally, my 'Brief History of the Web' series continues with part nine.  I'm sorry for the long delay.  I've been busy writing for Blogcritics and Dragon Blogger.  I also was busy creating a website for my father and stepmother,  More about that in my next post...

  If you've missed previous posts in my 'Brief History of the Web' series, here's your opportunity to catch up.

   In part eight, I told the tale of Mozilla Firefox, which debuted in 2004, and the other web browsers in the new browser war, Google Chrome, Opera, and Safari.  The days of IE versus Netscape are no more, but much of Netscape Navigator's code lives on in Firefox.

   Earlier in the series, I introduced Friendster, which was the launch of social networking as we know it today.

  Friendster launched in 2002, and became a web phenomenon by 2003.  Well, employees of eUniverse, which later became Intermix Media, took notice.  Intermix founder Brad Greenspan, Chris DeWolfe, Josh Berman and Tom Anderson launched Myspace in August 2003, months before Firefox made its public debut.

   Actually, Chris DeWolfe already owned the domain as a website for customer data storage and web hosting. in 1997 in 2000

  In February 2004, Richard Rosenblatt became Myspace's CEO, and Myspace went from a little unknown website, to a Friendster killer. in October 2003 in October 2004, after Richard Rosenblatt took the helm

     Throughout 2004 and 2005, fewer and fewer people were using Friendster, and more and more people started using Myspace.  It was a boon for musicians, because they can feature their music in their profiles.  Myspace started to generate a huge amount of ad revenue for Intermix, until Intermix and Myspace were bought by News Corp. for $580 million in July 2005. in October 2009
  By 2008, though, Facebook started to make gains ahead of Myspace in the number of users.  Now, Facebook is the Goliath to Myspace's David.  In 2010, Myspace debuted a remarketing campaign.  Myspace is now officially stylized as my______, and the site has a new look, with new features. today, with a new look

      Time will soon tell how successful Myspace's rebranding campaign will be.  Richard Rosenblatt left the company in 2006, and founded Demand Media, the company behind  In my very brief career there as a writer, I learned how horrible Demand Media is to their writers.  See the views of other former Demand Media writers- Demand Studios, 4 Reasons Why It Sucks on

     It's a little known fact that YouTube launched as a Myspace widget.

    The YouTube website launched on Valentine's Day 2005, after YouTube's success on Myspace.

YouTube in April 2005

  Former Paypal employees Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Jawed Karim founded YouTube.  They saw a need for an easy video sharing venue on the web.  The very first YouTube video was uploaded by Jawed Karim on April 23rd, 2005, titled Me at the zoo.  Here it is!

    The YouTube beta test started in May 2005, and the official launch was in November.

    By November 2006, Google bought YouTube for $1.65 billion.  Yes, that's a BILLION, not a million.

    As of November 2010, videos have been viewed via YouTube over 14 billion times.

    When 'A Brief History of the Web' continues very soon with part ten, learn how Facebook started!  Well, we all saw The Social Network, so it'll be a brief refresher course.

Friday, November 19, 2010

A 'Shout-Out' for Dragon Blogger

    Before I get into the meat of this post, I have some news to share.  It's all good stuff!

    First of all, I was offered a position in a tech support call centre yesterday.   I had to pass a number of tests of my IT and networking knowledge, plus a mock call scenario, in order to get the job.  I gladly accepted the job offer.  I'd be working on behalf of a major American ISP.   Well, Americans, at least some of your tech support jobs are being outsourced to Canada instead of India.   My 'Canadian' accent is more similar to an accent from Connecticut than an accent from Arkansas, but I have plenty of practice understanding Southern accents from talking to my dear half-sister Tori, who has spent enough of her life living in Florida and North Carolina  to sound like she's from there.   But yes, my accent is still generally Canadian (still some Londonish inflection exists from being raised by my father and grandmother), I don't really say 'oot and aboot', do I, eh?

     Anyway, my IT know-how and call centre experience got me the job, and it sounds like a pretty good one.  I start training on December 6th.   I will still be working on my freelance web design and blogging, I'm not giving anything up.   And will undergo a major overhaul in the next few weeks.  I'm going to change some of the colours to be easier on the eye, and make the site a portal for my blogging, too, not just my web design.  Plus, I'll change the colours of this blog to make it easier to read, as well.

    There's going to be no more Diary of a Lab Rat, I was withdrawn from the study, due to my low blood pressure.  But they paid me very decently for my participation!  I did most of my Christmas shopping in the past couple of days, all with 'lab rat' money.  Thank you, Kendle and Merck!   Oh, talking about Christmas, why don't you check out my Christmas Dos and Don'ts on Blogcritics?

   I'm also working on a website for my dad and stepmom, authors of The Women's Club.  See my Blogcritics interview of them here.  The website should be live in a couple of weeks.

   And, my Blogcritics articles are now being syndicated on the websites of major American newspapers!  Here's a link to my Ladies Who Love Coach Bags rant in the Seattle Post Intelligencer.   I'm also a featured writer in Google News.  Google News keeps an updated list of some of my articles here.

   I'm sorry for my delay of my ever popular 'Brief History of the Web' series, I hope to continue with another part this weekend.

   In the meanwhile, this is the continuation of my 'Shout-Out' series, this time for Dragon Blogger.  The site is run by Justin Germino.  He also runs a few other great blogs and websites, you can check them out here.

   Dragon Blogger is an excellent source for technology and entertainment news.  Justin contributes most of the articles, but I also contribute original articles, and so do several other great bloggers.  

   I recommend that my dear readers bookmark Dragon Blogger, not just for my articles, but also for Justin's and for all the other great content on there.  The site is updated multiple times a day.

   If you'd like to follow my 'Shout-Out' series so far, here are my previous ones:

   Look forward to more of my 'A Brief History of the Web' series, soon.  Plus, I have more articles planned for Dragon Blogger and Blogcritics.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Get your shots!

   I had a doctor's appointment yesterday.  Among the matters I took care of was making sure I got my flu shot for this season.

   I'm not afraid of getting influenza myself.   Chances are that I'd be in bed for several days, and then I'd be relatively fine.  I got my flu shot as a public duty.

   I'm generally healthy, but the others you may pass the virus to may not be.  You may be a carrier even before you have symptoms.  Consider the elderly.  Consider people with AIDS.  Consider cancer patients.

  Maybe you'll pass the virus to someone else who IS healthy, but they'll pass the virus to someone who isn't.

  My father, like me, understands the importance of immunization and herd immunity.  He got his general flu shot AND his swine flu shots last year.  But over New Years, he was hospitalized with ANOTHER strain of the flu virus, and he came down with pneumonia, as well.  We were afraid that he wasn't going to make it.  He's 73 years old and he has type two diabetes, in a rather severe form.

  But thanks to the good folks at the hospital, he survived and lived to tell the tale!  Sure, you can't be immunized for every single viral disease out there, or every single strain.  But the more immunizations you get, the better.


   A lot of people do get unpleasant side effects from vaccines, but that's no reason to shun them.   Nothing in any vaccine 'causes' autism, and autism isn't something to be banished, either.  Autism does a lot of good for humanity.

  I can tell you what DOESN'T do good for humanity.  Measles!  Mumps!  Rubella!  Polio!

  My father remembers when polio was a big deal.  His cousin and best friend died from the disease in the 1940s, I believe.  Polio is now very rare in the developed world, but polio still exists.  All it takes is for some people from the developed world to visit the developing world and NOT get their shots, and then BINGO!  We'd have a polio epidemic again!

  Measles, mumps, and rubella, all diseases that can be deadly, even in otherwise healthy people, are all on the rise in the United States and Canada.

  You wanna know why?  Because far too many parents watch that Oprah and listen to that Jenny McCarthy.  

  I try to refrain from too much profanity on this blog, but now I'm so pissed off I can barely contain myself.  
wesome website.
   These are real lives and real people who are being affected.  People are DYING because of Oprah and Jenny's stupidity.  If you lost a loved one to rubella, you'd be mad, too.

   We can totally eradicate certain deadly diseases, but only if as many people, adults and children, get their shots as possible!

   Do the whole entire world a favour, and get as many immunizations as possible.  Immunize your children.  Tell adults to do the same.  Spread the word!

   Get informed, and read these links.  Especially the Jenny McCarthy Body Count.  That's an awesome website.

  I've got a busy week ahead of me!  I'll try to continue my 'A Brief History of the Web' series by Friday, at the latest.  In the meanwhile, check out Blogcritics and Dragon Blogger.  TTFN!