Sunday, July 31, 2005

Don't bother writing to me if you have AOL

Don't send me a review. Don't send me a question. Don't send me hate mail or compliments.

Don't bother.

I won't be able to write back to you.

I hate America Online.

I hate AOL with a passion I can’t even begin to express in mere words. Everything about America Online, from its network-adaptor hijacking, to its pedophile-ridden chat rooms, to its resource-hogging interface: I hate it beyond all human endurance.

I do tech support for a living. When someone suddenly can’t access the network on their laptop, many times a view of their network adaptors will show that they’ve installed AOL on their machines over the weekend and screwed everything up. That’s one of the reasons I hate AOL.

I used to sell on eBay back when you could actually make money out of it. 9 times out of 10, any deadbeat bidders (those who win auctions and never pay up) or those who couldn’t follow simple rules (like NO CHECKS) had an email address. There’s another reason I hate AOL.

Every time my kids upgrade their AIM, that nefarious
WeatherBug and/or WildTangent and/or Viewpoint comes along, even though I’ve told them to, please, for the love of God, choose the advanced installation so they can uncheck thoese boxes. But do they listen to me? Noooo. So there’s another reason I hate AOL.

Now I have another reason to hate AOL. It comes in my email once a day:

To: tmdwarped at yahoo dot com
Subject: failure notice

Hi. This is the qmail-send program at
I'm afraid I wasn't able to deliver your message to the following
This is a permanent error; I've given up. Sorry it didn't work out.

x.x.x.x failed after I sent the message.
Remote host said: 554-: (HVU:B1)

And what does 554 TRANSACTION FAILED mean, friends? Well let’s take a look:

Error 554 HVU:B1

554 HVU:B1

There is at least one URL in your email that is generating substantial complaints from AOL members.


If you own all the domains linked to in your e-mail, please contact us to discuss more effective management of your complaint levels. You can start by setting up a free complaint loop through this form. This will allow you to receive AOL member complaints against your domain.

If you do not own the domain, please have the owner of that domain contact us.

Does this mean that your hardworking and SPAM-hating webmistress has a URL in her email that is causing grief, woe and complaints among the subscribers of this atrocity that passes itself off as an ISP? No, not at all. I get this even when my signature is turned off. There’s only one URL in the emails I send to AOL members, and that’s this:

Do You Yahoo!?
Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around

I don’t put that there. It’s put in automatically by Yahoo.

I am unable to write back to anyone who has an AOL email address, simply because the AOL SPAM team has configured their software to automatically block email addresses that have the URL in them. It is frustrating beyond belief. I wrote to support at Yahoo to let them know, but I highly doubt anything will be done about it.

So… if you are any of the following people, here’s what I was unable to write to you:

Nicole from NJ - Hi Nicole, and thanks so much for writing! Thanks for pointing that out to me. I didn't mean to imply that everyone in the pit is a moron, but rather, as stated, the larger any activity, the larger the number of morons. And yes, even as you wrote – you could apply this even to gardening! Those who mosh are not morons. Those who grope women and hit out at others who are not participating in HXC in the pit ARE. Anyway, thanks again for writing. I'll definitely edit my page a bit so people reading don’t think I’m calling everyone in the pit a moron. Thanks for your feedback!

Robert from GA - Robert - Great review - thanks! I've posted it and please let me know if you'd like any changes made. If you have the time, would love it if you'd do a follow-up on how your second go 'round at Warped went this year! Thanks again for taking the time to write such a great review.

Susan from NY – Hi Susan! I would really suggest you call the Tweeter Center in NJ and ask to speak with the office there. Randall’s Island would be really hard to navigate with a wheelchair. I’ve never been to Tweeter but their website does mention they have accessible seating. You can contact them at (856) 365-1300

Angela from MA – Yes, you are correct! I was in that group a long, long time ago! Thanks for the memories! Write back to me (not from an AOL address) and let me know how you put two and two together! Are you still making music?

Joe from PA – No.

To anyone who has an email address and is thinking of writing to me – don’t bother. I won’t be able to reply. Take two minutes and set yourself up a free email account at Yahoo, where they don’t bounce back emails, or send me a message via MySpace.


I’m not alone. These fine folks hate AOL as well:

Ben hates AOL because they spy on you

Viganos hates the stupid subnet policy too

And all these people at TechSupportGuy hate it too

Is there any reason at all to still have this joke as your primary means of internet access? Why do people still use this - I'm truly curious.

In any event, because it is becoming a daily occurrence, I am looking into another free web-based email so that I can write back to users. Hotmail is not an option because from surfing around, I've heard other people have the same problems with addresses trying to send to aol. Anyone have any suggestions?

Saturday, July 30, 2005

I'm rich! I'm rich! I'm rich!

OK, not really, but give me a break. It's my first Adsense payment!

$107.52 for a year's work. Worth it? Hell, yeah! This is my $107.52 I earned all on my ownsies. Not working for anyone else, but mine, mine, all mine!

At this rate, I should catch up to Darren Rowse by the time I'm about, say, 102.

Wonder if Warped Tour will still be around then?

Friday, July 29, 2005

Love leaves on Sundays

Everyone who matters leaves the Island on Sunday nights

The ferry swallows them as I stand behind and watch

I wait on the beach as the boat pulls away

And stay there until it's just a dot on the Sound

Whenever I cry, I remember this truth:

Love is very messy. Especially when it's a teenager.

In the absence of love, there's a chance to catch up on housework.

Love always comes back in a few days. And brings it's welcome mess with him.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Never mind bugging their cars....

... I'd much rather put a GPS tracking device in their heads.

Seriously though, I really think this is just a waste of money. And it's insulting to kids. Not that you'd want to track them. That's not insulting. I'm only half joking about that GPS-brain-chip thing. What's insulting is to actually think this is going to work.

I got a kick out of this line:

"Using our system, parents can be immediately notified, by text message, blackberry, or email, if their teen does something they shouldn't. For instance, going to a particular house or business, leaving school during school hours, or exceeding pre-defined speed limits."

Now, for anyone who was ever 17 years old, tell me that didn't crack you up. The developers of this obviously don't realize that any kid who's parents buy this because they don't want their teen driving to a certain place is just going to park their car someplace else. Or catch a ride.

Hey, I know it's a scary world. But this whole new industry devoted to tracking our kids day and night via cell phone and cars.... it's just an industry based on fear and mistrust marketed to the upper middle class. These things don't come cheap friends. A SignalTrac Ultra is $500 for the device, and that does not include installation. Fees for different packages range from $30 to $60 per month. So if you're one of the many working slobs in this country where both parents are holding down two full time jobs and you still have no money left over after bills, you're out of luck. Guess you just have to parent the old fashioned way. Or maybe even -- horrors -- actually trust your kid.

What did our parents ever do without GPS enabled cars and phones to watch over our every move? How did we ever survive into adulthood?

Warped Tour 2006 Wish List

Warped Tour is nothing if not flexible. That’s one of it’s strengths, and what has made it a success year after year. It changes with the times, and the things that don’t work get dropped.

I’m hearing a similar thread running through a lot of parent emails, and by the end of the season I’ll put a ‘wish list’ for Warped Tour 2006. Here are some of the things those footing the bill for tickets are requesting:

The Reverse Daycare – it’s got to be bigger. Whomever sponsors it at each venue has to realize that this reflects on them as a business. A small, dinky, cramped and crowded Reverse Daycare shouts, “We are cheap bastards” to those cramped and crowded inside it. So c’mon PR Execs. Release the funds to double the size of the Parent’s Tents for 2006. Also, I’m hearing some parents are having a hard time finding it once there. Take a cue from the Marines or YooHoo, and have something large and eye-catching that floats above the crowd.

I’m dead serious here, and I’m also changing my parent review form. I’m going to start asking, “Who sponsored the Parent’s Tent?” So here's a chance to get free advertising from parents. Corporate Sponsors: You can afford larger tents, and you know it. Just choose the same size tent you do when you have your parties at the Hamptons. It does make a difference to those parents who are also your customers. And your stockholders. As a stockholder, I like to see the companies I invest my tens of dollars in put my money to good use. Nice sponsored events that promote branded customer loyalty are a good use. Bloated executive salaries and benefits aren’t.

In all fairness this is something that's probably already in the planning stages. The NY tent in 2004 was better than the tent in 2003, which was better than the tent in 2002. One thing that happens at Warped Tour each year is that things that work get improved upon; things that don't work get dropped. But if you're a parent who said "Yes" to Warped Tour based on the simple fact that they are the only concert of it's type thoughtful enough to offer a quiet resting place for parents, and then either can't find said resting place or can't get a seat in it, it makes you that much more likely to say "No" next year.

Backpacks – please, ok, please let them bring in backpacks. Really. Seriously. Let me tell you a little something about terrorists – if they want to hit Warped Tour, they will. Backpack or no backpack. Refusing to let 15 year old Janey from Milwaukee bring a backpack in is not going to keep our nation safe, OK? And those security guards you venues are paying slave wages to keep the backpacks out – they think that rule is bullshit too. Believe me. That ‘no backpack’ thing is coming to you from the same folks who fall for “They hate us for our freedom.” line. So wise up. They don’t hate us because we are free, and they can and do hit with or without backpacks if they want to. Post-911 security in New York had no problem letting 10K+ kids bring backpacks in, and they had enough security guards to check them. They need something to hold all stuff they get and the cell phones/ wallets/ sunscreen they need to bring in.

Now these things VF Corporation/Vans has no control over. But they could certainly urge their sponsors and venues a little. It ain’t like they don’t have the financial muscle to do so. Any more suggestions? Feel free to use the review form over at my website to let me know, and I’ll get that up somewhere around the end of September.

Oh, and serious wishes, kids, OK? Putting “WARPED TOUR BANDS SUCK” is just going to wind up in my recycle bin. It's not like this is going anywhere or means anything. I'm just curious what your wish list would be.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Wednesday WarpedBlogging VI

English teachers of America – rejoice! Glory, glory hallelujah, this week’s round of literate WarpedBloggers is so whopping, so wide, so welcome, so worldly, so worthwhile, so wonderful, we have to give them the respect they deserve and make them world-known. Or at least our-little-corner-of-the-world-known. I actually had a hard time this week wading through them all. And because I recognize that this is starting to get worthless, wearisome and worn, I promise to stop using “w” words in my opening sentence from now on.

I like shadows_of_noir. Not only does this blogger think for themself, but they also explain what on earth that graphic is on the upper right hand corner of the Warped Tour website. I always wondered what that was. These tired old eyes just couldn’t make it out. Please tell me I’m not the only one who looked at this:

and thought, “huh”?

It’s interesting to see the themes running through people’s posts each week. This week’s theme is sweat, cultures and the F-word.

Between the downpour and other’s people’s sweat, Marcy had a very wet day.

Apryl endured the heat and sweat as well, along with body-modification-profiling from the border guard. However she stereotypes on her own by stating that all Americans are obsessed with cute people who speak French. Oh, OK. She’s right. J'aime les hommes beaux qui parlent français. Toutefois les hommes beaux qui parlent français ne m'aimeraient pas probablement, parce que je ne peux pas parler français sans aide de BableFish. Et je donne la permission complète à tous les bloggers de langue française au rire de façon hysterique chez cependant BableFish a déformé cette phrase. Le seul Français je peux dire couramment quand je vais à Montréal est, "excusez-moi, où sont les salles de bains?"

Also soaked with sweat were Tim and Zach who went together, and really f*cking hate it when f*cking bands use the f*cking F-word in every f*cking sentence. The last line in Zach’s third paragraph had me cracking up. Really. What the f*ck.

I don’t know where Bumblef*ck, Indiana is, but they raise some very nice people there, like the gentleman who found Caitlin’s cell phone and called her mom to return it. Sadly there was some trouble at the Taco Bell afterwards from someone obviously not raised in Bumblef*ck.

Breaking out of the themes of swearing, sweating or profiling,
McDiggity dropped $40 while searching for a friend who was without cell phone for the day. I can vouch from personal experience that the worst part of trying to catch up with a lost companion at Warped Tour is the loss of money. Them darn merch booths; they’ll get you every time.

And my favoritest WarpedBlogger of the week is cool mom Trish, who is the mother of not only the happiest 10 year old last week, but the happiest 10 year old who’s also one killer artist.

As far as Warped Photobloggers, Gabe has some nice photos of the teeming mob. And not only does EvilMonkeyCult sound like the type of religion that I’d like to join, it’s member Luke has some great movies and pictures of the day as well.

Who’s blogging on the other end of the stage? The lovely and talented Eternia blogs her soul with the same honesty that makes her music so damned, well, honest.

Lots of discussion this week on differences and cultures. If I believed in astrology, I’d say there was something in the stars. I could write something meaningful and unifying on all of this, but I’m just not that deep of a person. I’ll just end where this all began, with the first WarpedBlogger, Captain Dan. I love this blog and always have a hard time trying to decide which of the week’s posts I’ll write about. This week’s was easy. This post covers neither sweat nor the ubiquitous F-word, but is behind the scenes look at the E.I.Y Culture. Very, very interesting.

That’s all for now kids. There are so many more but I’ve been pretending to work long enough, and have to get back to my real job. It was a hard choice deciding who to put in, and I had to cut a lot out of my list simply for the time factor. I could have made this post twice as long, really.

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, July 25, 2005

Only if you put me back where I belong.

Found this ego-boosting goodie over at ProBlogger, one of my favorite sites.

You can abuse Google all you want too. Make them say whatever you want. This is better than that Burger King Submissive Chicken thingy.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Should I take my kid to Warped Tour?

I’ve been having an email exchange for a while with another mom. She’s still not sure about taking her kids to Warped Tour. She’s very much like I was back in 2002. She keeps going back and forth.

She’s also a Libra. Now, I’m not a big believer in this whole astrology thing, but one thing about us Libras – we can’t make decisions if our lives depended on it. It’s incredible. We’ll have a million and one opinions about everything, but don’t ask us which restaurant to go to for dinner.

Obviously I’m very pro taking your kids to Warped Tour. Actually, I’m very pro taking your kids places they want to go, especially when they’re at the ages when they’re pulling away. The biggest reason is because they’ll remember it when they’re grown up.

Here’s a story I remember about being 15.

I was nuts about horses. Absolutely, positively nuts. Anything and everything about horses, I loved. And I loved horse races. Not so much the races part, but the horse part of it. I used to keep lists of the horses that were winning at the race track. I’d keep lists of which jockeys rode which horses. I’d keep lists of what the track conditions were like. Yes, I was a little obsessed, but I was also trying to teach myself how to make a database for a school project, and figured the task would be easier if I was using data I was interested in.

After a few months of doing this, I was convinced that if I went to a racetrack, I’d win money. I asked my dad to take me. He kind of laughed, said it was a waste of money, only losers gambled, etc. etc. etc. But I kept begging. So finally he gave in. Our relationship was a little strained at the time, and I think he thought if he did something I wanted to do, it would bring us closer.

When we came home with $2,517 more dollars than we went there with, it did.

I think even if my database hadn’t worked, if I had been dead wrong on each horse I bet on instead of dead right, it still would have been a good thing for the two of us.

He did something he didn’t want to do, just for me. He gave up a whole Saturday, when he didn’t have many free Saturdays, to do something just for me. Something that meant a lot to me, and something he thought he’d hate.

Our first race, he bet the smallest amount, even though I knew the horse/jockey combo was a done deal. When we won, he bet a little higher the next race. And a little higher the race after that. By the end of the day, we were betting all of our money. It was great to see him get so excited. He really got into it. He was really interested in how I was picking the horses. He was really curious about how I gathered my data. For a whole day, we had something to talk to each other about. And for months afterwards, he bragged about me to anyone and everyone, and told the story ad nauseum at family dinners.

I never forgot it.

It meant a lot.

Was it the end-all be-all change in our relationship? No. I was 15. We still had years of fights ahead of us.

But it was something I remembered. It was something I knew he did just for me.

And it’s a story that now I tell ad nauseum at family dinners. Along with the stories of taking the kids to Warped Tour.

It means a lot to them. Let them go. They’ll remember it forever. They'll remember you did it just for them.

P.S. For any kids reading this, and I know you're out there, there's a flip side of this story too. For years my dad asked me if I wanted to play golf with him. I kept saying no. In all fairness, after years of losing at Monopoly and Chess to the man, I felt I had no self-esteem left for him to destroy. But now that he's gone, I honestly regret that I didn't let him teach me. I should have played golf with him. It would have meant a lot. It would have been something I did just for him. So if your parents want to do something that means a lot to them, bite the bullet and say yes. When they're not around anymore, you'll be glad you did.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

First award

I got an award.

Many thanks, Cover Zone!

True, it's no Webby.

But it's my first. And it means a lot to me.

I don't win many things. I once won a free weekend trip for two to NY. I've gotten a few magazine subscriptions. My biggest and proudest award was about 20 years ago as an honorable mention and printing in The Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest book*.

Now, the experts on the left would scoff at my award. But to me it's a big deal. I'm old enough to remember a time when awards and webrings were cool things online. I'm stubborn enough to still apply for them. And I still think they're cool.

And you know what? So does my target audience --> moms.

Moms love awards. Moms love webrings. Moms are the ones who, after working a full day and getting all the housework done, are giving up their free time playing Canasta over at Pogo to search out what this Warped Tour thing is all about. OK dads too in all fairness, but the bulk of the email I get comes from moms.

And mom's websites are chock-full of awards and webrings. Interestingly enough, let me tell you a little something about SERP and webrings.

Way back during my golden days of Google-#3, I had a link to a webring for Women of Strength and Inner Beauty. And when I had that link there, I had 24 Google-recognized inbound links. During a revamp of my index page, I accidentially deleted that ring code. I didn't even notice that I had done it. And when I fell down to Google-#9000 something, my backwards links fell down to 4. I think losing that little code is part of my drop. That WOSIB thing online is a biiiigggg deal to moms. It's back up now. I was horrified to have deleted it. That WOSIB thing online is a biiigggg deal to me too. I love WOSIB.

So, to wrap this up, because I tend to go on way too long, my award means something to me. It shouts "I'm a mom who make a website directed at other moms" and/or "I really like awards and people who give them" to my target audience. They recognize me as one of them. So thanks, Cover Zone! It really, really means a lot to me! If you love webrings as much as I do, The CoverZone runs more than a few you may want to check out.

*My contest entry: "As I look back on all the loves of my life, none was as overpowering as that of Claude, the boy in my seventh-grade English class, who's eyes were as green as the swimming pool my mother had installed the summer before she was put in a wheelchair, and was thus too preoccupied to concern herself with it's general maintenance." If you don't know what this contest is all about, you won't get it. But if you do, you'll agree that's one horrible opening line.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Friends tell friends about Tell A Friend


This was so scary I wanted to link to it right away. In a nutshell, JenSense has an important post about a certain 'Tell-A-Friend' javascript pushing their own adsense to webmaster's pages. If you are an Adsense publisher and you've ever had a 'tell-a-friend' applet - or ANY kind of a third party java applet on your site, you'll want to read this.

And be a friend, and tell your friends too.

Shame-based self promotion

I’ve mentioned a few times before how beneficial a Myspace profile is in bringing website visitors. It begs repeating, because it truly has been a powerhouse, both in traffic and networking.

I don’t spend hours and hours at Myspace. Generally I’ll drop by once in the morning and once in the evening to check messages, bulletins and blogs. What I’ve found is in addition to the networking and traffic aspects, most of the people there are truly nice. Artists who I think would not have the time send me very thoughtful notes, with comments in them that prove they actually read my site, and not just skimmed the surface. I’ve been amazed at what’s there. True, it behooves any artist to actually connect with their fan base, but superficial phoniness is easily detected. If someone is mentioning one line I wrote way deep down in my website, you know they were actually there.

Other websites have noted the power of MySpace in website promotion as well.
Bob Baker’s blog references a good tip on the spinme blog advising bands to register a URL pointing to their MySpace profile, and a comment on this post brings some important Myspace etiquette as well.

This thread over at SitePoint Forums starts a discussion on it. Again what’s important is that any type of site using MySpace for promotion needs to have content relevant to the user base there. The original poster runs a website offering notes and study guides, which would have a receptive audience at MySpace. It will be interesting to follow up on this thread to see what he reported.

An article at
Transworld Business reports on two companies using MySpace to promote their ventures, and also mentions IceLounge which is appearing as the new MySpace for skaters. The CSMonitor writes about the heroes of my youth R.E.M. using MySpace to connect with fans, as well as reporting on a new site named iFanz. I tried to sign up for a free test account at iFanz, however they require a credit card in case your list grows beyond the free membership level. I just wasn’t comfortable with that.

Now… how all this will play out with with Fox’s consumption err purchase of MySpace remains to be seen in months to come. With that announcement came the inevitable fake profile of Rupert Murdoch, which is a riot.

Fake and spoof profiles are everywhere. Those are fun because their owners will leave in-character comments on your profile, and you can leave “in-character” comments on theirs in return. Some of my favorites are
Agent Smith, Willie Wonka, Napoleon Dynamite, Al Swearengen from Deadwood (whom I am afraid to add as a friend for fear of his hilariously foul language), Charles Darwin and of course, George Bush.

You have to be careful with the fake profiles though – sometimes what you think is a spoof is a misguided attempt at adoration. Recently I saw a profile for an organization that was so over the top, so Conservatives for American Values-esque I thought it was a spoof profile and left my own in-character comment. Much to my dismay I realized afterwards that this person actually admired this organization so much they made a profile as a sort of shrine to it! Oooopppsss. My bad! Thankfully they were graceful enough to just delete my comment. And no, I won't link to it. They were classy enough to just quietly remove what I wrote, so I'm not having you rotten kids visit their profile and annoy them. I know you too well!

There are shares of horribly designed profiles there. Light pink text on pale orange backgrounds has been spotted on more than one occasion. God-awful animated gifs abound, as well as cursor trails, flashing and scrolling text, and every other geocities-website induced atrocities you can think of. And I’m not even going to touch on the hoards of young women there who feel the need to post rather scandalous pictures of themselves. I guess it’s to be expected, but c’mon ladies! Have you no self-esteem? Or perhaps it’s a matter of too much self esteem.

But getting back to the original gist of this post, the MySpace is for nothing if not self promotion. Blogs, groups and bulletins are full of people promoting their latest album, blog, website – you name it, people are promoting it. MySpace has become the ultimate DIY self promotion machine.

I’ve started it as well, however I just don’t feel comfortable to do it as much as some. That word “spam” always creeps up, and I’m so afraid of ever being considered a spammer. I will send out a bulletin once a month asking for link requests, and I’ll give a pitch here and there on groups for my site if I feel the thread warrants it.

I’m a rather shame-based individual though, so I can’t go too overboard with it. I’d probably wind up with three times as many visitors and inbound links if I’d step it up a bit, but I’m still afraid of that dreaded spammer-label.

So in the interim, I’ll just scout around for more fake profiles to add as friends. That’s still my favorite part of MySpace.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

I don't care. I will not give up my coffee

But something tells me if I took up acid, my house may be more organized.

Wednesday WarpedBlogging V

It’s the third day of the week, which means it’s time for round 5 of Wednesday Warpedblogging, where we wave off the witless, the weak, the watered-down, the wearisome, the without-Thesaurus bloggers of America in search of those able to translate memories into readable text.

In the official Warped Tour blog, Captain Dan reports on the inconsistencies of logic displayed by the undead.

Is “cellar door” truly the most beautiful phrase in the English language? I’m not sure. I’ve always been more enamored of “buy one get one free”, but that’s just me. In any event, cellar door lists the best and the worst of the day, as well as a warning to those of you who punch in the pit. Don’t make her tell you twice.

Missmal’s calling it quits and has pledged this to be the last Warped Tour. Definitely our loss, ‘cause it’s a great review. Stilettos?? Please, Lord, if you exist, please let me find the blog entry of whomever the fool was wearing stilettos.

Also calling it quits is Wendy. In case you are wondering, she did not have a good day.

Brande Jackson of Lokahi Outreach endured the spiritual and olfactory assault of a slaughterhouse to add 750 more to the ONE Campaign. There are some great pictures of the booth here.

And who’s my favorite WarpedBlogger this week? Why, it’s none other than Mosie, the greatest grandmother in the world, who posted her day here and here, along with some great pictures. And might I add that this was not Mosie’s first Warped? She’s done it before. Any parent who refuses to take their kid to Warped after reading Mosie’s blog deserves to be horsewhipped.

That's all I had time to search for this week. I'm sure there were other great blogs out there, but the demands of my job took over. Unless I can get a corporate sponsor, sadly work comes first. Life is just so unfair!

Speaking of sponsors, I’ll just add this thought. Why aren’t any manufacturers of sunscreen products Warped Tour sponsors? Wouldn’t it make sense? Why not pass out free sunscreen packets and skin cancer awareness to the concertgoers?

What is the one thing people repeat over and over and over? Answer: that they got burned. It’s time for WarpedTourMom to nag at you kids, so sit down, and no one is allowed out until I am finished.

• More than a million people will be diagnosed with skin cancer this year.

• One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of their lifetime.

• One person dies every hour from skin cancer, primarily melanoma.

• The incidence of melanoma is increasing rapidly in women under the age of 40 being the most common cancer in young women aged 25-29 and second only to breast cancer in women aged 30-34.

If you have fair skin, like I do, and burn easily, like I do, and have gotten sunburned, like I did, you are at a high risk of getting melanoma.

Like I did.

It’s not fun. Yeah, yeah, I know, it can’t happen to you.

I thought the same thing. And then it did.

Please wear sunscreen. Not just at Warped Tour, but every day. It’s not worth it, seriously.

1 in 5 people diagnosed with melanoma will be dead within 5 years.

At Warped Tour there are booths for AIDS prevention. There are booths about breast cancer. There are booths about smoking. For Warped Tour 2006, I’d like to see a booth about skin cancer.

Our ozone layer is too damaged to protect us. And as we lay in the sun under it, we are dieing.

Don’t smoke. Practice safe sex. Perform breast self examinations. And educate yourself about the sun.

I’m done ranting. You can go outside and play now. But put on sunscreen first.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

New York Warped Tour Bands

During an email exchange with a friend, I was asked who I wanted to see
at Warped Tour this year. Sadly, the jury is in. My back is in no shape for me to go this year, so I won't be there. However my list still remains. Thought I'd share it with y'all. If I were well enough to go to Randall's Island next month, I would go to see, in no particular order:

Who Why
Go Betty Go "Worst Enemy"
The Dead 60's "Riot Radio"
DORK C'mon. It's DORK
ShiragirlC'mon. It's SHIRAGIRL
Eternia "Stereotypes". And because I love her video diary. And because she's a kind soul.
Q-Unique "Father's Day"
Dub Trio "Casting Out The Nines"
Jen Urban and the Box "Needy"
Monty "Hearts Bleeding"
Ordinary K "Hello"
Remedy for Ruin "Round One"
Darkbuster "Danny Boy"
Robby Roadsteamer "The Hand I Beat Dogs With". And just to watch my husband's face during "I'm Sorry Your Cat Has Ass Cancer"
Like Yesterday
The bands I wasn't able to find to add to the page Because I feel guilty
Too many more to name Because I'm running out of time and need to go. And also, because each and every one is so unique, I do love them all.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Yeah. What they said.

This guy and this guy.


In both lists, there's only one true answer. It's #9 in Stuntdubl's. I'm a play it safe kind of girl. Hence, the correct answer is: the blue pill.

Seriously though, it is true that the amount of confusion and contradictions you see as you browse seo and serp forums puts the there were no wmd's vs. the wmd's were moved debates to shame.

As far as how this relates to my Google woes, I think I'm just going to let it slide. I could spend hours and hours and hours reading every blog and forum out there and come out twice as confused as when I went in. I've submitted to every directory I can think of, and now my next step is to try and build links with music sites. By the time I'm done that, Warped Tour will be over for the year and I can stop obsessing over how much Google traffic I've lost, and work on fixing that horrible bands page. I'll have the luxury of a 6 month block of time before the Warped Tour 2006 traffic starts to pick up again.

I think part of my problem for the Parent's Guide is I'm in just too much of a niche. I'm in a niche of a niche. Not about Warped Tour itself. Not about parenting itself. But directed towards parents of young teens and preteens who want to go to Warped Tour. However, they are a large force, and the parents who do manage to find my site are eternally grateful (as are their kids who get a "yes" answer out of them after reading the page). So I dunno. The information in the forums and blogs are great if you are looking to make a living on the web. For those of us who have some knowledge we want to pass on to others, and think the internet is a good place to do it, it becomes a despair of choices type thing.

This isn't to say that I'm going to stop reading them. I'll read them and use the knowledge I find in them every day until my site comes up at least on the third page of google for my keywords. However I will pass on right now that the best piece of advice I received wasn't on a seo or serp blog or forum, it was actually on a music forum.

When I went down to serp position 9000-something for my keywords, I was told to just set up a profile, link it to my website, and get bands to add me as friends. Within 2 weeks I had gone up from 9000-something to 200-something. Also oddly enough, my myspace profile was immediately assigned a PR5, if you can believe that. It's since jumped down to a PR2, however just that myspace profile got me out of the netherworld. Just wanted to pass that on. Learn from the experts, but never underestimate the power of youth-driven social networking.

Note to self: look up definitions for the following terms because I don't have a clue what they mean:

-ros links
-302 hijacking

(a short while later)

OK I get 302 hijacking but the other two I'm blonde over. Anyone?

Sunday, July 17, 2005

So very, very out of touch

What's wrong with this picture?


get a clue

Saturday, July 16, 2005

11 things I love about Bill Frost

1.) He mentioned my website in his article.
2.) He mentioned my website in his article.
3.) He mentioned my website in his article.
4.) He mentioned my website in his article.
5.) Cool last name
6.) He mentioned my website in his article.
7.) He mentioned my website in his article.
8.) Really good Warped Tour article that I'll add when I get to my other PC.
9.) Did I mention that he mentioned my website in said article?
10.) He mentioned my website in his article.
11.) He mentioned my website in his article.

Friday, July 15, 2005

What's a girl gotta do to get a Google ranking around this place?

So, so discouraged.

It's been two months now since I fell from that golden #3 position.


Out of all the keyword combinations, it's the "warped tour" search string that is the most important. It's really not the most competitive of terms. "Warped Tour". Not like there are thousands of competing sites strictly devoted to it. But the results are really interesting. Here are today's top ten ranked pages for a Google search using the keywords warped tour:

1 and 2.
Duh. Obviously that should be first. Interestingly enough Google only gives them a PR of 4 and they only have 30 Google-recognized backwards links. Yet there really is no other site that should have position 1.

Duh again. Another no-brainer. They've been at it for so long. I'm glad to see them back on page 1 again. Back in May for some reason they did a huge drop briefly. Sandbox maybe. In any event they are holding at a PR4 as well, although they've got beat with 93 official backwards links. And I love them forever because they linked to me.

Now this one is really interesting that it comes up in position 4. It's a really great review, don't get me wrong. Honestly it's one of the best Warped Tour reviews from a surfing standpoint. Little text, lots of pictures. Fast enough to hold a web surfer's 10 second interest before making that decision to click back or next. However, it's a review of the 2000 New Jersey event. So what makes that a position 4 rank? PR/backwards links are PR4/BWL12. Not incredible numbers. I jumped up to the main site. That's PR5/BWL74 which is probably what's giving them their position, but I still find it odd that a five year old review comes in at 4.

If I were Google, this would be my choice for the position 4 rank. Fanscape is the official marketing company of Warped Tour. PR4/BWL' oddly enough.. 0. That's odd, because so many webmasters are running the official Warped Tour news applet on their site. Wouldn't that make it BWL(infinity)?


Expletive deleted. Oh come on. Here's what's so weird. BWL lists as having a link to them, but they don't. Weird, weird, weird, weird.


Ok another no-brainer. It is RollingStone after all. But again this makes me very confused about the whole PR/BWL theory that everyone pounds on. This is PR0/BWL0. Again, it is RollingStone, but if the PR/BWL theory is correct this should be way down.


Now, exactly how does a news site get a PR4 when the BWL is 0? Is it because it's Yahoo? It has to be. However, this is a Reuters news feed, which means that every lazy newspaper Entertainment Editor picked this up to run, and it's duplicated on all the newspaper websites. So that blows the whole "avoid duplicate content like the plague" theory of Google positioning.

Yeah, as it should be. Official soundtrack.


Expletive deleted yet again. However, as opposed to so many other ticket sites, this one actually offers content. PR5/BWL...460? What? All the BWL's are from their own site. C'mon Google.

From an SEO standpoint, none of this makes any sense, and it goes against the rules of everything I've been reading from the experts at the blogs listed in the sidebar, as well as various SEO forums. What about Vans? Wouldn't they come up on page 1? How about PETA2, Truth, Samsung, Cincular... other sponsors who have high ranking websites closely affiliated with Warped Tour. This is all just too confusing for me.

144 and 145


Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Wednesday WarpedBlogging IV

Welcome to the fourth weekly Wednesday Warpedblogging, where those who show the ability to coherently explain their Warped Experience get a little love.

Captain Dan returns with a vengeance, and in his 7/6 post explains his absence. None of my scenarios, however. It’s the webmaster’s fault! Now, who ever heard of a webmaster who doesn't work weekends and holidays? That's against the rules!

I never want to run into Tulip or Twisted while out doing errands for fear I’d show up on their blog. I’d definitely fall into some fashion don’ts post.

Jason risked a really bad cold drink headache by pounding down strawberry margaritas in the Beer Garden and Joel shows amazing time management abilities. Wow, indeed.

Ingle actually took the time to review the bands in her post… and to do a great job of it to boot, while rainydaypsycho writes an open letter to the 10K+ in attendance.

AmyDials spreads nasty rumors. Visit her blog and repeat everything she writes.

I don’t know what was in the light of shakarosey’s bathroom, but she’s a braver woman than I for getting so close to it. Speaking of health safety, please have all the free safe sex you want by taking all of spicyofloggins’ condoms so they can see the bands.

Sure.. you could find better photos than sloanro’s, but would you find better captions? I think not! Chris has a nice album, but the mother in me just does not approve of that driving.

That wraps it up for this week. Are there more? Of course there are, but I just don't have time to hunt them all down. If you feel you've got a warpedblog that should get a little attention, feel free to drop me a note at tmdwarped at yahoo dot com and I'd be happy to feature you next go 'round.

How to WarpedBlog: A tutorial

Just in case you’d like to be added some Wednesday, I thought I’d put a few pointers out there.

Own a blog.

Write in the blog using proper punctuation and spelling. Occasional typos are ok. Occasional punctuation errors are ok. Occasional typos combined with occasional punctuation errors are OK. Massive combinations of both are disqualifications.

Same for 133t spelling and/or sTICkY cApZZZZZZZ. Or over-useage of ZZZZZZ in place of the letter “s” for plural words.

Purchase a Warped Tour ticket from a Warped Tour approved ticket vendor.

Attend Warped Tour. It is mandatory that you visit every stage. Yes, you heard me, every stage.

Go home.

Turn on computer.

Log into blog

Write blog entry using the following template:

Today I attended Warped Tour at (insert location). Mention a few words about who you went with. Insert funny anecdote about either a) drive to Warped Tour or b) events leading up to your attending Warped Tour or c) a combination of a and b

Write a maximum of three paragraphs on the big-name bands you saw. Write a minimum of three paragraphs on the smaller bands you saw. You want to have this to look back on in years to come for your “I knew them when…” stories.

Go to the tents and the booths. Talk to people. Get their names and myspace usernames and/or websites, so when you write about them later you can link to them. Hopefully they’ll return the favor.

Write at least one paragraph on the most bizarre person you saw at Warped Tour. Alternately, write at least one paragraph on any combination of bizarre people seen at Warped Tour. Also add a few lines of how nice a certain person who you expected to be horribly stuck up was, and how horribly stuck up a certain person who you expected to be nice was.

Write about the best thing that happened to you on Warped Tour. Also write about the worst thing that happened to you on Warped Tour.

Wrap it all up by waxing philosophic on the sorry state of punk today. If you’re under the age of 25, write how much (fill in the genre) is ruining the scene. If you’re over the age of 35, write that one story about the back room at CBGB’s and pray your kids never find your blog.

Ping your blog so I’ll find you.

If you don’t see your post on a Wednesday Warpedblog, just drop me a line.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Further proof of brain damage

Conversation from the rear of the car whilst driving:

Son’s girlfriend: What’s that thing over there?
Son: Splish-Splash. It sucks. We went there when I was like 10
Step-son: Yeah, it sucks
Son: I hated it there

Me: Excuse me, bu-

Step-son: How would you know? You didn’t go on any of the slides!
Son: Because dude! It sucked!

Me: Um, you two, we-

Step-son: You stood in line for like 40 minutes and then backed out.
Son: Because the slides sucked!

Me: Wait, you guys-

Step-son: And then you just wanted to sit down and wouldn’t walk anyplace.
Son: My feet hurt!


Step-son: (silence)
Son: (silence)

Me: We never went to Splish-Splash. We tried to get in one day, and they were so crowded they were turning people away. You two are arguing over something that never happened.

Son: Whoa.

Conversation whilst flipping through radio stations in the car:

Son: There’s no good music.
(flip to rap station)
Son: You’ve got to get the CD player fixed
(flip to pop station)
Son: These stations suck
(flip to depressing classical music station)
Son: (In PBS-y type voice) You’re listening to Funeral Dirges on 101.4 with your host, Raymond
Car passengers: haha hahah haa hahaha

Several weeks later

Son to girlfriend: There’s no good music on any of these stations
Son: My mom still has not gotten her CD player fixed
Son: Wait, I have to find this one station. They play funeral dirges with this guy Raymond, and… wait… does he really exist or did I make that dude up?
Me: You made that dude up.
Son: Whoa

Saturday, July 09, 2005

You guys make it all worthwhile

I see you guys, don't think I don't.

In between laundry and dishes and making beds and feeding cats and paying bills, I sit at the computer and have a cup of coffee.

I jump over to my stats to check my referrers.

And I do read the bulletin boards where you guys are coming from. You're posting on fan boards, on skating boards, on movie boards..... you guys really spend a lot of time on message boards. But hey, that's OK.

I see your message threads. And they all go like this:

Poster 1 complains about parents not letting them go to Warped Tour
Poster 2 says, hey, send your parents this link. I did and now my parents are letting me go
Poster 3 says two hour later, thank you, my mom/dad loved that site, and now they said yes!
Poster 4 says, that's a really cool site, I'm sending this to all my friends
Sudden flurry of referrals from Yahoo Mail, Hotmail, and AIM and Yahoo Messenger

I see you. Thank you. I really, really appreciate you guys. You make it all worthwhile.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Wednesday WarpedBlogging Volume III

Welcome to the third Wednesday Warpedblogging, where your gracious webmistress weeds through the banal, the pointless, the child-obviously-left-behind ramblings of the masses to bring you the few literate Warped Tour bloggers.

I’ve found a few more blogs about and/or related to Warped Tour, and you’ll see them in the sidebar to the right.

As for those who actually have a life that doesn't revolve around Warped...

Jerry honestly isn’t a drunk, he just forgot that all important nose area when applying sunscreen. JessK endured the burn as well, along with elbow jabs from fangirls.

Katrina provides a list of important mosh pit do’s and don’ts, while Katie just lets her fists and feet do the talking, and joy's friend loses half a toenail but learns an important lesson about appropriate moshpit footwear.

I had to google what a bilagaana was but, white or otherwise, Carmen’s ucky bilagaana experience sounds just plain gross. Not her photoblog though, which shows the teeming mob in all it’s glory. IdleThreat has a swarm of great pictures as well.

Speaking of great pictures, I don't know which I like more... the writing or the photos in underbelly's post. This is my favorite blogpost of the lot. No wait, it's lazymatt's. Or is it nate's?

Cory's blog doesn't mention if her dream came true, but at least it sounds like she had a great day.

For those of you yet to blog your day, here's a tip: If you're going to follow the lead of these other warpedbloggers and write more than the standard one line post about how much Warped Tour rocked, why not tag your posts so it will make it easier for other bloggers to find you in the future.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Paging Captain Dan....

OK, so what’s the deal with Captain Dan this year? Prior years, the Captain Dan blog was updated nanoseconds after Warped Tour ended each day.

All right, I'm exaggerating a bit. But c'mon. Dan, hon, if you’re going to have a blog, and – more importantly – have it hosted on a website that gets insane traffic levels, you gotta update it. Please. We’re begging you.

You ok Dan? If you don't update it, I start to worry. That's what moms do. We don't hear from you, all sorts of scenarios start to float through our worried little minds.....

Scenario 1: He forgot sunscreen. He's hospitalized with infected 2nd degree burns
Scenario 2: He forgot to drink enough water. Dehydrated and disoriented, he's wandering lost somewhere in Phoenix
Scenario 3: He got knocked out in the pit.
Scenario 4: He hooked up with some floozy parent in the Reverse Daycare.
Scenario 5: He got e-coli from eating undercooked hamburgers at the BBQ. Didn't you visit the Peta2 booth? Those things will kill you.
Scenario 6: He got e-coli from not using anti-bacterial lotion on his hands after using the Port-o-Potties. Didn't you read my suggestions? Those things will kill you.
Scenario 7: Hit in the head from an errant baseball at the MLB batting cages
Scenario 8: Manipulated by cute Marine recruiter into joining the few, the proud, the brave

I jumped over to Feedster to see if anyone else was as worried as I was. Maybe Captain Dan could be the next "Ian Turner is missing". But nope, other than myself, one "Captain Dan sux", and one person who did nothing other than copy his stats, the blog world is quiet on Captain Dan's disappearance since 6/29. Could this be a conspiracy? Has the blogging community, jealous over his attention, somehow conspired to kidnap Captain Dan and hold him hostage until Fall?

Scenario 9: Jealous over his attention, prominent music bloggers have somehow conspired to kidnap him, and hold him hostage until the Fall.

The pictures are great, though. Everyone posts band pictures on their blogs. From an old fogey standpoint, they all start to look the same after a while. Captain Dan posts pictures of the fans, which is really what Warped is all about.

A new update to the Warped Tour site is the Warped Compound, which as well is rather scarce on info. They did mention on 6/29 that they were having computer problems, but I’m a little puzzled by the simple “hi” post on 7/2

Well friends, off to surf the blogs! Tomorrow is wednesday so I'm trying to wade through the WARPED TOUR ROCKEDDDDDD posts to find the few that stand out.

10:20 PM - Update - Fear not, Captain Dan fans -- he's back! We can hold off running his "Have you seen me?" picture on the back of Monster Energy Drink cans for now. There are new updates for the missing days between 6/30 and 7/4. But where was he during that time? He's not telling, lending credence to my Scenario #4. I'm heading off to bed now but a brief scan showed the 7/4 entry is a loving tribute to the loving moms and dads who hang out in the Parent's Tent. Go ahead and share the love.

Monday, July 04, 2005

American Hero

Thank you, Amber
Thank you, Amber Dean.
Working the graveyard shift at Denny's must really suck.
But I'm glad you were there.

I cried so hard when I read this. Before my son was born, missing child stories upset me. Once I became a mom, they kept me awake at night. Seriously. I know that most child abductions are due to custody interference, but there's always that fear.

All parents have fears of their child being abducted, but at the same time live in that "It can't happen here" state of mind. It happens to other kids, in other states. Our kids are safe. We know where our kids are.

When we hear of a missing child, we start to compare our lives to the parents.

It's shameful, but true. It's a internal talisman to keep our kids safe in our own minds, because the reality that it could happen to our kids is just too horrifying. We don't tell anyone that we are comparing ourselves to those other parents, because that would be victim-blaming. That would be horrible. That would make us bad people. But quietly, internally, we do. To keep our kids safe, at least in our own minds.

"They hired a homeless handyman. I'd never do that. My child is safe."
"They were swingers. I'd never do that. My child is safe."
"They let their kid walk to the park by himself. I'd never do that. My child is safe."

These shameful horrible thoughts we keep in our heads, to save us from being that mom or dad on CNN. Crying, holding pictures of their missing child, a huge chunk of their soul cut out and missing, bleeding emotionally in front of Paula Zahn, their entire life laid out before us, the "good" parents, who compare them to ourselves, in the hope it will keep our kids safe.

They took drugs, they drank, they partied.
They breathed.
It can't happen here. It can't happen to us.

The fear doesn't stop when they are teenagers, either. Actually it gets worse then. They are on their own so much. They close out huge areas of their lives to you. You snoop, and you pry, and you question, and you hack, and you drill. But no matter how much you snoop, pry, question, hack, drill, they keep a part of themselves separate. They have friends you don't know about. You hear a name mentioned in passing.

"Who is that?"
"A friend."
"Where did you meet him?"

And you fear. It's something you hold onto, and something that creeps in every time they go out. Everytime you see them chatting online. No matter how old they are, you worry.

And, even though you hate yourself for it, you compare, so it will never happen to you.

Until one day, God forbid it does, you pray there's an Amber Dean out there. Some bone-tired exhausted mom working the graveyard shift. Probably putting up with loads of crap from the customers. Who had to do that mom work before her shift, and probably is coming home to more mom work afterwards. But who still takes the time to look twice, to notice something's off, something just doesn't feel right. And goes that extra step.

I hope there's an Amber Dean out there for
Dylan too, where ever he is. And if any of us ever need her, I hope there's a Amber Dean on our side as well.

Fuel for my addiction

I read way too many blogs

I read a lot more than those listed to the right.

I have bookmarks for cat blogs, funny blogs, politicial blogs, computer blogs, virus and adware blogs, tech support blogs….

It’s become pretty bad.

Last night I found BlogExplosion. Now it’s going to get a lot worse.

I’ve never been big for those !!!!traffic explosion!!!! type sites, where you surf a few member sites to get a hit on yours. I think most people just click click click their way through to get their credits. And I tried them in the beginning, but I got tired of click, click, clicking my way through 20 other !!!explode your traffic!!! type sites only to get one 30 second hit to my site.

Oh but this is so different.

It’s for bloooooogggggggsssssssss

I surfed through a few last night and have already added three more blogs into my bookmarks.

I'll be featured on that Intervention show soon.....

(fade to black)



Warped Tour Mom sits in her office, surfing through her IKeepBookmarks links of blogs

Cut to sink full of dirty dishes

Cut to cats crying next to empty food bowls

Cut to overflowing laundry baskets

Husband enters office, "Babe, did you get a chance to call the insurance company today about that bill?"

Warped Tour Mom: "Yeah, hon... um.. hang on a sec.."

Cut to Warped Tour Mom posting a heated comment about the G8 summit

Son enters office, "Mom, can you drive us to Blockbuster?"

Warped Tour Mom: "Ok, um, hon, hang on ok, 10 minutes?"

Cut to Warped Tour Mom adding yet another bookmark about SEO

Cat enters office, "Prrrang? Prrrt! Meeeooowwww!!!"

Warped Tour Mom: "Get down!"

Cut to Warped Tour Mom knocking cat off desk, adding 50th comment to post about Sandy D's retirement and what that means for a women's right to choose.


Cut to family sitting in living room.

Husband: It's gotten out of control!!

Son: You said you'd drive us to Blockbuster yesterday and you never did!!

Cat: Prraaaanng! Prreettmeeeeooowww!!

Warped Tour Mom: (crying, screaming) I can stop whenever I want!!

(fade to black)


Interventionist: No one is mad at you. You have to understand they are frustrated by your blogreading.

Warped Tour Mom: (screaming) I have to get back! Ian Turner is missing, damnit!!!

Interventionist: You need to realize your obsessive blog reading is just covering up for some emptiness inside you.

(fade to black)

Cut to Warped Tour Mom entering luddite-esque rehab with no computers. Looking pale and drawn.

Warped Tour Mom: I'll do this for them, but I don't think I have a problem.

(fade to black)