Tuesday, December 18, 2018

I'm Number 200,000 or Thereabouts

amazon author ranking
I haven't checked my Amazon Author ranking in some time. It's actually an interesting, humbling experience. If you've been trying to sell books online, it's worth your time to check on it once in a while, especially if those books start selling to any degree. Right now, I'm ranked somewhere around 200,000th in the world? or America, I don't know.

The first image here shows my rankings for this year. You can see that I achieved my top ranking in the spring, which makes sense, since my top title is an ACT-prep kind of book. It seems I was in the top 50,000 for a fleeting day. Hooray for me! However, my ranking seems to be trending down over the year, so sucks for me. Really, you can't get too riled up over author ranking, but I would like to stay in the top 50,000 at some point. That would give my life some meaning, I suppose.

Kindle Blogging With NewJaxWitty

Like any author, I want my words to get out there. Kindle allows me to sell my books online. The Amazon Author page allows me to post my blog content to my profile. This can be useful in order to show that I know how to write, but it's also a nice cross-promotional tool. People might show up on my website and read more there, whether or not they ever buy a book. The problem is that my blogs have mostly disappeared from my author profile. Luckily, this blog seems to work.

Most of my other websites are Joomla and https. There seems to be a problem with getting the feed in that configuration, at least for Kindle and Feedburner. I get an error when trying to validate my feed:  
Server returned [Errno 1] _ssl.c:510: error:14077410:SSL routines:SSL23_GET_SERVER_HELLO:sslv3 alert handshake failure

Monday, December 17, 2018

Skin Cancer Higher in Florida, Obviously

Being fairly new to the area, I have realized that the sun in Florida is more intense than in Wisconsin where I'm from. It seems so intense that it's probably dangerous, and I've met two people here who have had to deal with skin cancer, so it's for real. Obviously, Florida must lead the nation in skin cancer. Or not. 

Friday, December 14, 2018

Tough Times in Jacksonville

Mayor Curry's wife was talking about all the good stuff her husband has done to keep our families safe. Then she wished me a Merry Christmas. But one thing that got my attention was when she said this:
We are thankful for coming through tough times together to rebuild and restore. 
Just wondering what the tough times were.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

My Screenplay Play

Eighth Grade Ends by Brian Jaeger and Casey Palbicki
Maybe someone out there is a struggling screenplay writer like me. Maybe you've mailed the scripts or tried the pitches. Maybe you watch the typical Hollywood rehash and wonder why no one will even look at your work. I totally understand. I've written two movie screenplays and a musical play, and I've gotten no real bites. Here's a letter I wrote to someone in Hollywood who was willing to look over my work. His comments were encouraging for one of the scripts--the one he actually finished--but he wasn't in a position to help more than that. Anyhow, besides publishing the screenplays as Kindle books and hoping for the best, the guy I knew through a friend will probably be my last attempt to get them noticed.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Donuts for Dads and Muffins for Moms

An angry mom was upset about a school gathering that turned away moms looking to score some free donuts because it was Donuts for Dads. She said the kids who don't have dads in their lives should not be excluded from such programs, and that doing so will lead to bullying. The news reported that Muffins for Moms is coming up shortly, but I guess that's not enough for the angry (or hangry) mom. I don't think there's a perfect answer to this one.

Seven JSO Employees Arrested In 2018

The news ran a story about the seventh JSO employee arrested this year. Maybe it was the 7th officer, not just employee. With 2000 police officers, 1000 corrections officers, and nearly 1000 civilian employees, JSO employs about 4,000 people. Assuming seven arrests is a normal year, I wonder how that rates.

Alien Movies Keep One Website Afloat

I've gotten some attention with this blog, but I need to take it all with a grain of salt. The articles on this website are generally very specific. Besides, it's only been around a year or so. Other articles I've written have more than 10,000 views. Several articles, actually. That's a lot for websites not associated with news outlets or huge marketing campaigns. But one of my best articles, and one that's saving a website from extinction, isn't even mine.

Monday, December 10, 2018

I Guess I Moved to Ground Zero

A few years back, I wrote an article about a missing nuclear bomb that was near some places I'd never visited. No big deal. I was safe in Milwaukee, which is probably the single safest city when it comes to natural disasters, deadly animals, and nuclear bomb explosions. Now I live 150 miles south of this missing bomb.




The article goes on to discuss all of America's missing nuclear bombs. There are more than you might think. But don't worry. Not much you can do about it, like a sinkhole swallowing you up while you sleep.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Kernan and McCormick Intersection Options

Proposed McCormick and Kernan Intersection
This article may not get very many hits because no one is going to search for something that seems to be a no-brainer. But I was inspired to create an interesting design option based on a road configuration I saw in The Villages. And if anything is a no-brainer, it's that nothing can be inspiring in The Villages. But this was. With all of its uses of traffic circles / roundabouts, one intersection stood out to me, and it could lead to an option for Kernan and McCormick if we're willing to think outside the box.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Wondering How Many of us Would Break a Window for a $3,600 Louis Vuitton Bag

I bet when you park next to a car, especially a nice one, you glance at the interior. I know, you're not casing these cars, but it's just kind of interesting to note how the other half stocks their vehicles. I'm sure that even two centuries ago, people would check out the fancy horse or carriage parked in front of the general store. Sure, you could be shot for stealing someone's horse back in the day, but people still would have coveted what others owned. Today, we keep a lot of junk in our locked cars, especially if we're worried about someone strong-arming us in parking lots. That means the items we need with us stay in the car, and thugs know this. Of course, most of us don't even know if the purse inside is worth more than our entire home entertainment systems.

Soccar Field at The Episcopal School?

Episcopal School of Jacksonville Soccar Field
With an upcoming trip in the works to the Episcopal School of Jacksonville, I went onto Maps to check out my route. After being sure of how I'd get there, I decided to take a satellite tour of the campus. I was kind of looking for parking, since I think I've parked in the staff lot here in the past. As I navigated around the campus, however, I saw what almost looked like a parking lot on a soccer field (or soccar field as I renamed it). What is up with that, Google Maps?

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Male Fashion and Lifestyle Blogging

Glenn Robinson jersey
I wanted to see what other Jacksonville bloggers write about. It's mostly running, momming, and fashion/lifestyle. Real estate, art, and food are in there, too, but those end up being fashion and lifestyle, as well. Spellcheck doesn't think momming is a word, but mommying is really more of a helicopter mom thing. Another time we'll get into it. Also, almost all local bloggers are women. Men are too busy driving their big pickup trucks around town. I started to thinking that maybe what we need is a guy fashion and lifestyle blog. Or one about pickups. But I don't own a pickup. So fashion it is.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

We're Taking Local News To The Next Level

There's an ad for a local morning news show that ends with the declaration, "We're taking local news to the next level." It's one of those statements that sounds pretty cool, like "We have nothing to fear but fear itself," but the meaning is actually just as unclear. Almost as vague as commercials I see during the news, like "It's huge," or "Don't settle for less than you deserve." But you have to think about them, and most people don't bother doing that when it comes to catch phrases. I realize it's supposed to be a metaphor, but news it literal, so that's how I'll look at it to try to understand the tagline.

A Porsche Cayenne For My HOA

I'm still debating how I feel about this one. A few weeks back, I saw a Porsche Cayenne with my HOA advertising written all over it. Kingdom Management. I don't have anything too bad to say about the company, unlike those who have rated it on Google. More than likely, those folks ran into the wrath of not paying HOA fees or getting caught parking an RV in the side yard. Then I got my yearly HOA bill, and I thought about that Cayenne again, wondering about the purpose of it and how Kingdom Management manages its own budget.

How Does Brucelli Sell Online?

Brucelli JAX
As a web designer and small business owner, I'm always interested in ways to promote my brand. As a concerned consumer, I'm worried about my credit cards or bank accounts being assaulted by digital thieves. I was able to consider both when I stopped by the Brucelli marketing website today.

Alignable For Local Businesses: Three Cities In

I got an initial invitation to Alignable from a former student when I was still living in Wisconsin. The idea seemed like a good one and came at the right time, since I'd recently been laid off. I was also trying to take my career in a new direction. But Alignable has been a bit of a disappointment in a long line of time-consuming disappointments when it comes to running my own business.

2017-2018 Grace Lutheran - Jacksonville JV Basketball

Grace Lutheran Jacksonville JV Girls Basketball 2017-2018
I had all these photos I took of my kids playing basketball for Grace Lutheran here in Jacksonville, but I never posted them to my main blog, so I figured I'd add them here. I am currently purging my Flickr albums because my free storage got nixed. Neither of my kids are tall, but they both work hard. Coaches did a great job getting kids a chance to play and gain experience. If you're looking for a private school in the East Arlignton/Intracoastal East/Arlington/Mayport area of Jacksonville, then check out Grace.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Kernan Forest DR Horton Stucco Problems

stucco on DR Horton house in Kernan Forest, Jacksonville, FL
I typed the above search phrase into Google and didn't come up with much. I did this for two reasons: our house has a couple of replacement windows, and a house down the block just had a window replaced. That doesn't seem too odd on the surface, but stucco problems are below the surface. They're also, when you find them, probably beyond the time frame for litigation. So do homes in Kernan Forest / Jacksonville have problems that are the result of shoddy construction back in 2003-2005 (and before), or is this all just normal wear and tear? And if there are problems, should previous owners and inspectors be expected to know?

The Catastrophe of Success

I was watching a Kirk Douglas interview by Dick Cavett from a few decades ago on the Decades Channel, and Douglas was discussing a Tennessee Williams quote about the catastrophe of success. Kirk's own story was that he had been saddened when he returned to New York and got a suite on the 25th floor of a hotel overlooking Central Park. He had reached the success he'd hoped to achieve, yet it wasn't enough. Douglas's advice was to always have the next goal ready. Of course, catastrophe of success is a fancy way of saying resting on your laurels, but the truth for those of us who have never fully realized our potential is that life becomes more of a catastrophe of near success, and that's probably even worse than getting there and feeling empty.