Jul 29

So about three weeks ago, I post my previous entry to this blog. It’s all about how stress sucks and how I don’t handle stress very well. This was on a Saturday.  It was my 100th post, and I planned on following it up with a 100th postaversary celebration, but you’re getting this instead.

Monday rolls around, and I get a phone call from my dad (one of my three regular readers) who says that his Norton is telling him he can get a virus if he goes to my site.  I’m at work, so I don’t really have time to look at whatever the issue is (and I’m thinking in the back of my head that it’s probably just something screwy with Norton… or my dad).  Throughout the day, I hear from the other two people who read this blog and they both tell me that my blog is apparently an “Attack Site”.

Sure enough, every time I tried going to my site on any browser (Microsoft Internet Explorer, Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox), I’m getting a message that my computer can get a virus my visiting my blog!?!  CRAP!

Alright, so I start griping to anyone who will listen about hackers and their ilk who have fun making other peoples’ lives living hells for no apparent reason.  I am of the conviction that all practitioners of cyber-terror (spammers, hackers, identity thieves, etc.) should be publicly executed… with stones.  You know,  Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery-style.  I may actually toss a stone or two myself.  I bet you have some world-wide televised public stonings and the rate of cyber terror will drop drastically.  Just saying.

So anyway, my boss overhears me bitching about some jackwad hiding a link to a malicious site in my code, and he takes it upon himself to remove the link.  See, I don’t know anything about coding or PHP or HTML or any of that crap.  I use WordPress because I’m not supposed to know about how to do that coding crap with WordPress.  Thank goodness I have a cool boss :)

I’m all good now, right?  The code is gone and my blog is once again safe.  I figure I’m all in the clear.  Except, I’m not.  Because now I have to request that Google re-review my site to confirm that the bad stuff is gone.  See, many of the reporting sites that different browsers and whatnot rely on to determine if a site is safe to go to rely on Google for their information.  Googlebot is a web crawler, or “spider”, which scours the Internet looking for new web sites… and searching existing web sites for dangers to Google’s users.  So, unless you can prove to Google that your site is clean and safe after it has been ruled compromised, a lot of potential visitors are going to get a warning page when they try to visit your site.

This is all well and good.  I want to be protected when I visit sites, so I really didn’t have any issues with any of this.  Where my issue comes into play is with proving to Google that I own my web site.  This was not an easy task.

Google gives you like four different methods to prove you own your site.  One requires inserting some “meta” doohickie into a certain position in your sites code.  Well… that was out, because, like I wrote earlier, I don’t know nothing ’bout no stinking code.

Another method involved copying some HTML thingamagiggee into some section of your site on the server… blah blah blah.  Again… HTML… not happening.

A third option for proving that I owned my site was by adding a DNS record to my domain’s configuration by signing into the domain register and… you’ve got to be freaking kidding me.  Isn’t there an app for my Droid that I can just download… or maybe a button on Facebook I can click?

The final option is linking your web site to a Google Analytics account.  HOORAY!  I have a Google Analytics account, and I use it to monitor my web site.  I figure this is going to be easy, right?  Yeah, wrong.  I try using that method and I come to the realization that I must not have the required asynchronous snippet in my tracking code.  What exactly is an asynchronous snippet?  Well, I looked it up, and I still have no idea.  If I could figure out what a freaking asynchronous snippet was, I’d probably know how to add a DNS record to my domain’s configuration.  FOR CRYING OUT LOVE OF PETE!

Alright, so I figure I’ll just contact Google and see if they can help me.  HAHAHA!  Did you read that?  “Contact Google.”  Exactly how stupid am I?  Apparently, very stupid.  One does not “contact” Google.  Period.  Seriously, go to Google’s web site and click on “contact us” on the bottom of the page.  There is no way to actually “contact” anyone.  There is no phone number, no email addresses, no mailing address… just recommendations to go to different forums and blogs and crap.  When I first went to “contact” Google, they recommended that the fastest way to resolve my issue was to search their forums.  Have you ever searched a forum?  There is absolutely nothing fast about searching a forum for ANYTHING!

Okay, so I’m way past the point of literally pulling the hair out of my head.  There are still hairs lodged in between the keys on my laptop’s keyboard.  I figure “screw this, I’m done!”

“Oh, but it’s not fair to ask that Google have live people to help nincompoops like you,” says the tech geek who thinks I’m an idiot.  “They are much too large of a company with way too many interests.  Do you know how many calls they’d get and email they would have to respond to?”

Seriously?!?  Google is a multi-billion dollar corporation.  Their stock sells for like $600/ share.  $600 PER SHARE! Yes, I just yelled it at you.  You mean to tell me they can’t afford a customer service center… or 20?

Anywho, I gave up on the whole blogging thing.  Figured it was supposed to be a way to relieve stress, not create stress.  I was done with the whole thing.  And every day I would try to visit the site and see that stupid warning page, and I’d get more and more pissed off.  And I’d try to research a way to get the whole -prove-ownership-to-Google-thing accomplished.  And I’d learn a little and get really frustrated and pissed-off, and I’d give up again.  Lather, rinse, repeat… for almost 10 days.

Funny thing is, if I used Microsoft Internet Explorer, I could get to the site just fine… no warnings.  Apparently Microsoft (and Norton, and McAfee, and all other leading anti-viruses) knew the bad code had been removed from my site and was a safe place to visit.  Google (and Firefox… who relies on Googlebot) apparently has no problem listing my site as dangerous, but don’t apparently have the advanced kind of technology that allows them to periodically revisit sites it has condemned to see if anything has changed.

“But that’s you’re responsibility as the site owner,” says the Google advocate.  I’m gonna have to call BS on that.  Google, on the warning page, stated that they had contacted the site owner to let them know the site had been found malignant.  I received no notification from anyone other than my dad and his Norton.  They didn’t contact anyone… they just made a decision to make my site appear dangerous to much of the online community (which I understand)… even after it was fixed (which is inexcusable).  Google has a crap-ton of power over the Internet.  You could almost call it the “Googlenet.”

As we learned from Spider-Man:

With great power comes great responsibility.

It would take very little for Google to make the entire “review” process for corrupted web sites much easier (maybe even automate it)… and that would be showing “great responsibility.”  Hell… if some random stranger wants to have my little stinking blog reviewed… I say, “Have at it!”  Why does one have to prove ownership to have a web site reviewed?

Anyway, after 10 days of short bouts of learning… intermixed with long periods of full-on rage… I finally figured out how to FTP some HTML to the server I use to prove my ownership… and I got a clean review from Google.  What exactly did I just write?  You’ve got me.  I did it once, and if I ever have to do it again, I may end-up bald!

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Jun 03

Stinking Google.  I recently wrote a post about stupid Google and how they were giving away free netbooks for people to test their new Chrome OS operating system.  Well, I never received my netbook.  Apparently I’m not the kind of person that Google felt was right to test their netbook.  I am, however, the kind of person that Google feels is right to purchase the new Samsung Chromebook.  I believe Google may be mistaken.

I received an email from Google that read as follows:

Be the first to get a Chromebook.

Since we announced the Chrome Notebook Pilot Program back in December, we’ve been humbled by the amount of interest that we’ve received from users like you.

We’re excited about the brand-new Samsung Chromebook that goes on sale on June 15. Fortunately, we’ve managed to get our hands on a few machines a little earlier, and we’d like to make these available to you, our biggest enthusiasts.

When you buy your Chromebook, you’ll also be getting a limited edition, custom-fit Chrome sleeve designed by Rickshaw so you can carry your new Chromebook in style.

Our good friends over at Gilt, the premier invitation-only shopping site, have agreed to put these Chromebooks up for sale — but only for a very limited time.

These will go fast. See you over at Gilt.

Cheers,

The Chrome Team

——————————————————————————–

A few months back, you asked to be notified about the availability of Chrome OS, which is why we sent you this one-time notice. You will not be emailed again regarding the availability of Chrome OS.

I don’t remember asking to be notified about the availability of Chrome OS.  I remember wanting a free netbook.  I don’t want to buy anything.  Nonetheless, I figured I’d check out Google’s friends over at Gilt to see what’s up.  In the back of my mind, I’m thinking a Chromebook may be pretty reasonably priced.  After all, I don’t believe the computer is able to run non-web-based software… everything is stored in “the cloud”.  You can’t download software to the computer (like an office suite or accounting software or publishing software or anything like that).  There’s not even a CD or DVD drive on this sucker, so forget having the kids watch a movie while you’re driving across the Nebraska interstate.  Sure, there are some decent free online aps that can be used online, but I like to have a hard copy of some files and applications on my computer so I can access them when I don’t have Internet access or 3G coverage (remember… this is Nebraska).  I’m thinking that I should be able to pick up a web-only Chromebook for a couple hundred bucks.

Do you know how much these stinking Chromebooks are selling for?  The Samsung Chromebooks were selling for like $500!  Seriously!!!  I could get a decent real laptop for $500… why in the hell would I buy a web-only Chromebook for that price?  I’m thinking Google and Samsung may have a little bit of crack-smoking going on at their corporate offices. Plus, now I’m getting all kinds of stupid spam from Google’s friends at Gilt (notice how close that is to guilt… and jilt?).  note to self: unsubscribe from Jilt Gilt

Of course… who knows… maybe these Chromebooks do some pretty amazing stuff.  If they did, I’d be able to go on and on about how great Chromebooks are.  But in order to rave about them, I’d actually have to try a Chrome OS machine out… and I’m not going to drop 500 hard-earned bills just to see if a Chromebook is actually worth $500 hard-earned bills (which I highly doubt).  If only Google would have sent me my free stinking netbook when I applied for it…

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Apr 17

I like free stuff.  I really, really like free stuff.  Google has been giving away free CR-48 computers, and I want one, because they are free.

ChromeOS

Yeah... it looks like a plain old laptop

I want one.  I have wanted one for awhile now.  In fact, I sent Google my information so that I could participate in their “pilot program”.  I think it was in January that I “applied” for one of these cool devices… which are absolutely free, by the way.  Almost everything I do with a computer outside of my job is Internet based.  I watch stuff on YouTube (owned by Google).  I check my Gmail (owned by Google).  I use the Google Chrome web browser (owned, of course, by Google).  I read blogs on Blogger (owned by Google).  Although this blog is not hosted by Google, I do use Google Analytics (owned by Google) to track traffic to this site.  Most of the little short stories I have written I store in Google Documents (owned by Google) so that I can work on them from any computer with Internet access.  Google Calendar (owned by Google) helps me keep my life semi-organized… at least in theory.  My phone is a Droid (more Google).  I put all of this information on my application to the pilot program.  I figured I would be a shoe-in to test one of these little bad boys out for Google.  Yet, I haven’t received one on my doorstep yet.  Damn it!

I applied for the pilot program on a weekend.  I remember coming to work the following Monday, and one of our phone techs was carrying a new netbook.

“What’s that?” I asked.

“It’s one of them new-fangled Chrome OS computer thingies,” he said.

“Hey, I just applied for the pilot program this weekend,” I said.  “How do you like it?”

“It’s pretty neato,” he replied.  “It starts up real fast, and it’s quicker than snot on a skillet online.  It even has one of thems fancy webcams.”

“Wow, cool,” I said, starting to feel a little jealous.  “How long ago did you apply for the pilot program?”

“Oh, I reckon it were a couple a months ago.”

“And what did you say to impress them,” I asked, “you know, to get them to send you one?”

“Oh, I just said silly stuff,” he said.  “I told them that it’d be neato to have one and that I’d scream it to the world how great they was and whatnot.”

I just stared at him.  Seriously?  He put something stupid like that and he got one?  Now I knew I was a shoe-in, because my reasoning seemed so much more intelligent.  I knew mine would arrive in the mail in a few short weeks.

Well, short weeks have turned into long weeks, and the pilot program is over.  Stinking Google.  I even own some of their stupid stock.  Now I’m just pissed.  In fact, my coworker doesn’t really talk like a redneck hillbilly, I just wrote him like that out of sheer jealousy.

Well, looks like I’m going to have to get rid of all of the Google in my life.  Guess I’ll have to switch to Yahoo! for my mail and calendar… and stop watching YouTube videos… and stop reading Blogger blogs… and find a way to monitor my blog other than Analytics… crap.  This is going to take a lot of work.  You know, it would be a hell of a lot easier if Google would just send me a free CR-48.

Seriously, please send me a free CR-48, Google.  I know that someone at Google will see this post, ’cause I’m gonna tag the hell out of Google in it.  If you send me one… I swear… sigh… I’LL SCREAM IT TO THE WORLD HOW GREAT IT IS!!!

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Mar 18

I have really big plans for this blog.  Someday, I will make enough money with this blog that I can spend all of the time that I now devote to my job doing nothing more than bitching about stuff here all day.  You know what they say, do something you love, and it won’t really be “work”.  Well, bitching is about the only thing I do that I really enjoy, so this has to be the answer to my prayers… at some point… right?  Oh please, let it be so.

Okay, so to make money with a blog, you have to… uh… COME ON!  There has to be a way to make money with a blog! Every once in awhile, I put a link to something on Amazon on here.  I’m an Amazon Associate, which means I can get commission if someone clicks one of those links and actually buys something from Amazon.  I have been an Amazon Associate for about two years, and I have actually made some money doing it.  Of course, I haven’t seen any of that money yet.   Amazon won’t actually pay anything out until you have built up at least $10 in commission… and I haven’t hit that mark yet.  In another three or four years, I should get my first $10 check from Amazon.

$10

I’m stoked!

There is also Google Ads.  I could have a list of stupid links on the side of my blog with Google ads and I would get paid every time someone clicks one of those links.  Happy Stinking Joy doesn’t really have a lot of visitors, and, at this point, I’d rather have you stay and read my thoughts than get distracted by the ads on the side and leave my site.  Also, it would mess up my ultra-professional layout… or something.

I haven’t exactly had an onslaught of individual advertisers approaching me with bids for some of the precious real estate on my site.  I guess rant sites aren’t real popular with traditional advertisers.  Before I’m going to see any real revenue from this site, I’m going to have to get more than a handful of people coming here on a daily basis.

Most popular blogs seem to fall into a couple of categories, the first of which is the “expert” blogger.  You know, these are the Seth Godins of the world who share all kinds of free insight into crap that they are experts about.  Their whole ploy is to give you “free advice” to make you feel like a friend, and then they try to sell their books to you or try to talk you into hiring them to do consulting or speaking engagements.  Well, my forty-one-years of life have not exactly led me to become much of an expert at anything.  I know a little about a lot, but a lot about little.  I have been too busy chasing the next-step-up in middle-class pay to stay with any one company in any given field for more than a couple of years.  If your current promotions and pay increases aren’t getting you where you want to be: quit, and maybe the next job will take you where you want to go.  Of course, the next job never does.  So, I’ve had the opportunity to work with all kinds of interesting people in many different fields, but I haven’t stuck around any of them long enough to actually have become an expert at anything.  I’m an expert bitcher, but companies aren’t going to hire me to give a “bitch seminar” to their workforce… at least not yet.  I figure if I pray about it long enough, God, if nothing else, will get tired of me asking and either give it to me just to shut me up or strike me dead…

Strike me Dead

… either of which would lead to no more Monday mornings dreading work.

The other major category of successful bloggers seems to be those who cover current events.  Whether it be Perez Hilton covering the latest embarrassments of the rich and famous, or any of the slew of Yahoo! bloggers covering the latest in world events; people who get the story first tend to get a following.  I think this may be the route I need to follow.  I need to get the hot stories first.  Of course, I live in Nebraska, so the celebrity fodder may be a little out of my grasp.

Miss America

Ooh… Ooh… Miss America is from my part of Nebraska, so I could dedicate my blog to digging up all of the crap I can to humiliate Miss America I did a little blog about Miss America right after she won and it was actually one of the most visited rants I have posted!  But… I have a pretty strong suspicion that Teresa Scanlan is almost as squeaky clean as you would think a Miss America should be. I bet she actually believes what she says she believes, and I don’t think that “Miss America thought about skipping church once because she was just too tired to go, but then she prayed about it and changed her mind” will draw a lot of visitors to my little site.

*

*

So, I’ve got to find a way to get the latest and greatest news before anybody else.  This is a “must” if I ever want to make this thing my sugar daddy.  Okay, so here it goes:

Breaking news… Charlie Sheen has gone insane!  The impact was devastating.  Damages are estimated… oh, great, my kid just looked over my shoulder and informed me that this is old news.  Okay, I guess I need to find something a little more “hot”.

Alright, I just did a Google search for “breaking news” and I don’t think I’m going to be able to go this route.  It seems that all of the “news” sites already have the breaking news covered.  The news sites and a bunch of Twitter people.  I don’t tweet or chirp or cockadoodledoo… or whatever it is that those people do.  I’m not quite hip enough for that.  Besides, all I’d be able to add to the Twitter conversation would be unique things I’m experiencing.

“It’s windy in Nebraska… again!”

Windy Trees

See, it just doesn’t work.

Hmmm… I gotta figure something out.  Okay, I know, I could just make kind of creative news stories.  No, that wasn’t “make up news stories”, it was “make kind of creative news stories”.  There’s… uh… sort of a difference.

Breaking news…. There is a humongous oil leak in the… uh… Gulf of Istanbul.  Yeah, and it’s causing infertility in the… uh… Great Northern Spike-Backed Whale.  Oh, you should hear the sad song those poor whales are singing at this moment.  It would make you cry.

PETA

Okay... yeah... I don't know what Alicia Silverstone being a Vegetarian has to do with "funny whale oil leaks" either, but a Google image search came up with this. I love Google...

This just in… apparently the oil spill was caused by… uh… Miss America!  Yeah, that’s it!  Apparently Miss America was on a diplomatic mission to Alderan and she and her entourage accidentally knocked over a big oil thingie in the Gulf of Istanbul.  Anti-American sentiment is through the roof in the countries bordering the Gulf… and by Great Northern Spiked-Back Whale lovers around the world!  Check back to this site often for more of the latest…

This just may work 😉

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