Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Picture Post October 10, 2013 at 09:46AM

Itook a walk in the park. Very relaxing and, on the weekend, more people to chat with. This is the same park as the waterwheel. Entry cost is $1. #dave365i


Sunday, October 06, 2013

A room with a view

Abeautiful view. I love the look of this new building up the street. I plan to sketch it someday. You'd think this was in Paris but of course the Chinese characters are a dead give away. Inside is an upscale coffee shop and shopping center. #dave365a


Friday, March 08, 2013

"Write Great Blog Posts in 5 Easy Steps"

Totally fictitious chart
5Easy Steps? Really? I think not. I'm so sick of reading these headlines. "Five easy steps" my foot, I can't even get out of bed in five easy steps, let alone write a great blog post using this method.

The power of Numbers

Once upon a time someone came up with this cleaver trick of including a number in their blog headline. (And when I say "once upon a time" here, that's only a year ago, which is ancient history in the great Internet timeline.)

"They" claimed numbers got more attention. (Odd ones are best "they" say, but I don't have any substantiated evidence of that. Who is "they" anyway?)

Numbers, the blogists1 told me, got people curious, got people clicking, gave me more web traffic, which would result in greater ad revenue, and more money in my pocket. Really? Yeah, shamefully I tried it. No great traffic increase here that I'm seeing.

Am I missing something?

Let me re-read the "they" advice. Ah, here it is:
You must include"easy" in the heading. That's a surefire way to get the click-n-read people flocking to your website.
I'm doubtful.  Are readers so lazy to believe that writing content is as easy as 1-2-3?


Yeah sure, adding numbers and including "easy" in the title worked for a while, until EVERYONE was doing it. Strange thing about web traffic recommendations, they are like stock recommendations . . . totally worthless. By the time the recommendation reaches my ears, everyone is buying it, so the stock (or method) is already inflated and buyer saturated. Same is true with ideas on increasing web traffic and better SEO2.

Now, whenever I see a number in a heading, I simply skip it. It's impossible to numberize3 everything. It's too subjective, too simplified, and simply childish.

I hope you bloggers out there are convinced now.  When you include numbers in your blog headings people aren't clicking anymore.

So stop it!

Although. In retrospect.  The title of this blog post included "5 Easy Steps" and that got you here,  didn't it?

Maybe numbers have more power than I'd imagined.

No sense in being pessimistic. It wouldn't work anyway. - Anonymous

Dave's definitions:
  1. blogists: A class of people who incessantly blog about a single subject.
  2. SEO means "search engine optimization" or better said: What appears at the top of a Google search. Everyone wants to be at the top but only a few people make it, in fact, just one.
  3. Numberize: To number steps in a blog heading. Numberization is the senseless act of numbering of those steps.

Sunday, March 03, 2013

The D10 "dozer"

Going way back, Eric and I got a chance to drive a D10 "dozer" for an hour.

It's very cool to feel the power of these monsters. Contrary to what you might think, these mammoths haul, doing 50mph or more. You control them like a tank, with hand levers on the right and left.

You don't have to do anything you don't want to do, but you may miss out on future opportunities. -Benjamin Franklin

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Chinese New Year 2013

The west tracks time using the Gregorian calendar while the East (China specifically) tracks time using a lunar calendar. The West celebrated the turn of the year on January 1st but the East celebrates on February 10th.   So 2013 arrived in the West earlier than the East. Strange but true.

The start of the new year in China is known as Chunjie (spring festival). It lasts almost three weeks. Last night was the end of 2012 and the beginning of 2013. The most remarkable aspect of this crazy celebration is the fireworks. Fireworks shoot into the dark sky from every corner of the city blocks. Fireworks are set up next to residential buildings, so close that you have to close your windows to prevent the sparks from flying inside your apartment.

With this background knowledge you might wonder why a photographer would risk his life atop a 13 story building during this crazy four hour long event. Ah, glad you asked. It's all just to capture a photo of course. What I didn't realize is, the fireworks explode right at my eye level. I had to stand behind a brick wall holding my cable release to capture these pictures. I was afraid that the sparks would damage my wide angle lens. One fireworks display surprised me so, the sparks hit me and I jumped back behind a door and dropped my cable release.

The celebrations last way past twelve midnight. They go until two or three in the morning and beyond. Even now (it's the next day at two o'clock in the afternoon) there are large explosions throughout the city.

These displays are not controlled by trained experts of large corporations nor are there requirements for the purchase or release of these canon-like works. No, rather common families spend $500-$1000 on fireworks to shoot off the night of the 9th. These are not firecrackers or even cherry bombs and sparklers. Little kids pass by 4'x 4' planter-box sized crevasses full of explosives. The loud canons blast colors into the sky 20 or more stories high and shoot sparks in a 200 foot radius. These are full on fireworks displays handled by uncle and grandpa after over drinking at the Chunjie meal. This is serious stuff I'm talking about. And everyone has them. Each family tries to outdo the next.

Next time (if there is a next time) I'll wear full body gear before venturing out into the crazy world of a Chinese New Year celebration, especially atop a building where the apex of the explosions occur.

One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it's worth watching. -Anon

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Picture Post

Originally just a pink building against a blue sky, but then I took some liberties with color.


Friday, February 01, 2013

Picture Post

Ilove these cute scooters. They come in every color of the rainbow, you don't need a license to buy or drive one, and you can park them anywhere. Plus, they're electric and last several days before needing a recharge.

Very convenient transportation. 


(Taken in the Yunnan provence, southern China.)