Since I haven’t posted an originally-written update in about 20 days, I thought it would be a good idea to post up some quick thoughts about what’s been going on with the blog and some other random updates. First, if you’re craving more of my random thoughts throughout the day, then
you’re a sick individual you should follow me on Twitter @JVince81. If you want a brief glimpse at what I’m putting on Twitter these days, then you only need to glance to the right of this entry and read the tweet feed that I added to the site about two weeks ago.
As you’ll see, the feed contains just random thoughts, complaints, and observations. I’m not solving world hunger here, folks – I’m just living my life!
On the topic of what is going on with this blog there’s nothing major to update everyone on, but here is the general rundown:
First, for some reason we’ve been receiving a large number of spammy comments. Now, I write “spammy” comments because these comments aren’t your typical “click here for drugs” robotic spam comments, but rather vitriolic hate speech that is actually written by a human being. It’s really some pretty vicious stuff that has no place on a personal blog. And I don’t know how many times I have to write this in the comments section, but this always has been and always will be a personal blog. In other words, what I say goes so if you write a comment that attacks another commenter or blatantly distorts the issues presented in the various updates, you can stick your comment up your ass. Now granted, in the last year we’ve only gotten about 6 or 7 really vitriolic, arrogant, hateful comments and all of those were moderated before they made it on to the site. However, if you plan on writing bullshit and hate in the comments section you might as well save yourself the time because it’s not getting posted, period. My personal blog, my dictatorial rules – very simple to understand.
Second, I have a lot of content written and ready to be posted to the blog, but I’m waiting for the right time. For example, I have my next student loan update written and ready to go for whenever my total amount outstanding drops again (which should be in about a month – more on that in a minute). Also, I’ve been working on some other projects that are taking up some time so I’ve only been writing for the blog in my spare time.
Third, I’ve been working really hard to cull and delete a ton of the tags on this blog. If you don’t know what a “tag” is, it’s the keywords that bloggers use to help their individual pages categorize themselves and rise up in the search engines. A few years ago I utilized a system that provided a whole host of tags for specific keywords and that has bogged down and crapped up the database for the blog. As an example, if I wrote something about my old Chevy Blazer, I would get the following tags added to the database: Chevy, Chevy Blazer, Blazer, Chevrolet, Chevrolet Blazer, Blazer SUV, SUV, Chevy SUV, etc. That’s totally unnecessary. My culling process is reducing all of that gunk to two tags: Chevrolet and Blazer. That’s it – nothing more is needed. Obviously, this is a long process since there are some 6 or 7 thousand of tags in the database that need to be reviewed and deleted. I’m going through them about 250 at a time and I hope to have the project completed by the end of the year.
And the final part of this part of the update is that I’m looking for ways to freshen up the design of the blog. If you’ve been eagle-eyed, then over the last few weeks you might have noticed random updates here and there in certain design features (the addition of the Twitter feed, the lengthening of the Facebook feed, the layout change for news from the other sites that I own, change in some of the external button links, etc). However, I’ve been thinking that it might be time for wholesale change – I just don’t know how far I want to take it. If you have any ideas on how to change the design, please feel free to add them to the comments section of this post (but don’t post hate or it won’t get to see the light of day!).
That’s it for the JerseySmarts.com Update. And before I end the web-based updates I thought I might add that one of the sites that I own through Usable Web Solutions, LLC has really exploded in the last month and a half. Hits to that website have tripled and it is growing into a very respected site. I’m proud of the team that works there and plan to continue providing them with as much support as possible to let the growth continue. As for the rest of my life…
Things have been very busy. Towards the end of January my company moved its offices from Trenton to New Brunswick. That’s about ten miles less of a drive each morning for me, but the same amount of time thanks to the Route 18 traffic (which sucks). However, I tried to bypass most of the heavy traffic by changing my work schedule from 9am-ish to 5pm-ish to 7:45am-ish to 4:00pm-ish. I’m getting up earlier and leaving my house about an hour and a half earlier, but I’m also getting home right at or slightly before 5:00pm, so that’s an hour and a half earlier than the Trenton commute. The change hasn’t been too bad, but when you shift your schedule to work (and live life) an hour and a half earlier, you experience a personal seismic shift.
On my end, I’m finding that I have less time to spend on the computer in the evening (not playing around on the computer, but working on computer-based, paid projects). Also, I find that I’m totally exhausted by about 3:00pm. I think this is happening because my body isn’t used to going to bed at 10:00pm so I wind up tossing and turning for about a half an hour (though I’m totally beat right now and expect to sleep like a log tonight). It’s a change and I’ll get used to it.
Also, we’re getting towards the end of the college basketball season and I’ve been busy attending the Monmouth University men’s basketball team home games. The Hawks have struggled a little bit this season, but they’re starting to show signs of strength heading into their last four games of the season. Oh, and unlike the last few years I don’t really have a ton of pictures to post from these home games. I’ve actually been sitting back and enjoying the games instead of waiting for the perfect camera shot. However, I have taken a small handful of pictures at the games (mostly of the scoreboard after the games are over) and I plan to post them in the next few weeks.
I’ve also been hit with a variety of big expenses in the last few weeks. First, I spent a good deal of money traveling to Washington, DC for a business trip last week (granted, these expenses will be reimbursed, but I have to wait for the reimbursement to arrive). Then, I had my car crap out on me and it cost over eleven hundred bucks to get the thing fixed. And on the same day that I paid to get the car fixed, I co-hosted a fundraiser/donor recognition event at one of the Monmouth home games (which wasn’t a huge expense, but still an irregular expense in my routine budget). While all of these expenses are manageable, they are all irregular costs in my planned budget and they all hit within the same three day period. So… I’m glad that tomorrow is pay day!
Between the big shift in my personal schedule and the time I’ve been spending at the Monmouth games, my health is more or less in a stalemate. I haven’t been to the gym in about three weeks because I can’t figure out this new schedule yet, but my weight hasn’t moved too much and my blood sugar is very stable. I’m glad about the blood sugar being stable because a shift in routine combined with a reduction in the amount of medication that I’m taking could have formed the perfect storm to throw my blood sugar out of whack. On the topic of health, I purchased the Rebel Fitness Guide from Nerd Fitness a few weeks ago and I just finished reading it. Any guy who writes fitness articles and quotes the Lord of the Rings, uses Legos as a graphic tool, and frequently references the video games that I grew up playing and other nerdy topics is alright with me! I expect to begin the Level 1 Rookie workout around the beginning of March so be on the lookout for updates on how I’m progressing with that workout program.
Other than what’s posted above I don’t have many more big updates to provide right now. One of the last originally-written posts that I wrote for the blog was about finding a new church to attend that is close to where I live. Well, I’m still going to church there on a weekly basis and I find it amazing that I used to think that I didn’t have the time to go to church. Absolutely amazing. The services last about 45 – 50 minutes and when you factor in driving there and driving home, I’m only out of the house for about an hour and five minutes each Sunday morning. Who can’t give an hour and five minutes to go to church each week?! In fact, I continue to find that I enjoy going to church to listen to the homilies and the readings and so on. It’s nice – makes you feel good after you leave and gives you guidance for the week.
I’ve also been reading a lot on the NOOK, in The Word Among Us daily meditations, and random articles – so I have a lot to update on the site when I get a moment to do so! Stay tuned and in the mean time, follow me on Twitter @JVince81!