Monday, July 22, 2013

Summer School

They have summer school for everything these days, not only traditional education but for: cooking, football, cheer-leading  sororities, fundraising, it can go on and on, any way for our fine educational institutions to generate a buck or two.

Recently I attended a summer school for bloggers on the internet, a MOOC (Massive Online Open Course) if you will. Here it is:

Section I: How to Make Time to Blog – creating a blog / life balance

Arianne Foulks of Aeolidia
Blair Stocker of Wise Craft
Andie Powers of Assemble
Megan Reardon of Not Martha

Finding the time to manage your growing blog and have a balanced life can be quite a challenge for most bloggers. Between blog post scheduling, guest bloggers, photograph editing, and seeing your loved ones, it can all become very overwhelming very fast.

During our first panel discussion, we’ll have some real talk with some of our area’s most experienced bloggers and web professionals. We’ll talk about the available tools to help you manage your blog and also find out their answers to the eternal question, “How do you do it all?” Come prepared to ask your own questions about managing your own blog/life balance for our Q&A session.

I am sure some colleagues were also taking this section with aliases. Because they kept using the words: “engaged”, “seamless”, and “data-driven” in the discussions.

Section II: The Myths and Realities of Monetizing Your Blog

Marie LeBaron of Make and Takes
Melanie Biehle of Inward Facing Girl
Moorea Seal of Moorea-Seal

We’ve all heard the promises: “Make money with your blog!”, “Buy our system for guaranteed blogging success!”, “Convert your followers into GOLD!”

The truth is, most of the things we hear on the internet about making money with your blog are just plain not-true for many creative bloggers. So what does it really take to make money with your blog? During this panel discussion, we’ll ask some of our favorite bloggers about their experiences with selling advertising space, affiliate programs, promoting products for profit, and the truth behind some of the more prevalent myths floating around the internet about monetizing your blog. Be sure to bring a list of questions about making money with your own blog for the Q&A session with our panelists!

One thing I quickly found out, I know more about blogging than the Panelists. Also, you certainly do not have to be intelligent to write a blog – yours truly is a fine example.

Bottom line; if someone tells you they are an expert in blogging, do not believe them. Also, MOOCs are extremely overrated.

My next summer school course begins next week: ”How to convince someone you are an expert”.  I am eagerly awaiting to see who the panelists will be for this one.

ROBERT JOSEPH DOLE was born 90 years ago today in Russell, Kan . He earned two Purple Hearts,  then became a Kansas House member, Russell County attorney, U.S. House member, senator, Senate majority leader, Senate's longest serving Republican leader, RNC chairman, presidential nominee, champion of the Americans with Disabilities Act. President Clinton, awarding Leader Dole the Presidential Medal of Freedom, in the East Room in 1997: "one of our nation's most distinguished World War II veterans, who has spent the last 50 years of his life building America ... During a fierce fight in Italy's Po Valley, Second Lieutenant Bob Dole was going to the aid of a fallen comrade when a shell struck him down. He would bear the burden of that terrible injury from that day forward. His recuperation was long and uncertain. Yet Senator Dole turned adversity to advantage, and pain to public service."

FROM MO'TOWN TO NO'TOWN - Detroit on Thursday became the largest American city to file for bankruptcy, a historic move sure to ignite complex battles in coming months with creditors, pensioners and unions who stand to lose significantly as the state tries to rescue a city whose failure Gov. Rick Snyder said was 60 years in the making. The basic reason Detroit needs to do this is pretty simple. In 1950 there were 1.85 million people in Detroit. In 1970, it was 1.5 million. In 1990, it was a million flat. By 2010, it was down to 710,000.

Experts said the filing will initiate a new round of battles in federal court, potentially setting national precedents on matters ranging from whether bondholders get repaid when cities run out of money to whether public pensions, previously thought to be sacrosanct under the Michigan Constitution, are protected in municipal bankruptcies.

Not everyone agrees how much Detroit owes, but Kevyn D. Orr, the emergency manager, has said the debt is likely to be $18 billion and perhaps as much as $20 billion. For Detroit, the filing came as a painful reminder of a city's rise and fall. ... Detroit expanded at a stunning rate in the first half of the 20th century with the arrival of the automobile industry, and then shrank away in recent decades at a similarly remarkable pace. A city of 1.8 million in 1950, it is now home to 700,000 people, as well as to tens of thousands of abandoned buildings, vacant lots and unlit streets. From here, there is no road map for Detroit's recovery, not least of all because municipal bankruptcies are rare.

BIG IDEA: STOCKS STILL CHEAP? - Based on estimated Q2 operating earnings, the S&P 500 P/E is around 16, which implies an earnings yield of just over 6 percent; the earnings yield is the inverse of the P/E. That is down from over 8 percent at the peak in late 2011 but still above the 5.5 percent average from 1988 to 2008. The implication: There is still some room from a valuation perspective for equities to rise more than profits.

BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK – Birthday wishes and thoughts this week to: Kate Beckinsale (40), Bob Dole (90), Bill Bradley (70), Peggy Fleming (65), Don Imus (73), Mick Jagger (70), Helen Mirren (68), Michael Richards (64), Sally Struthers (65).

THE NEXT BUSH - George P. Bush starts small amid high expectations, Bush, 37, says he's more than just a famous surname. Both his grandfather and uncle were presidents; his father, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, may run for the White House in 2016. George P. Bush is running for state land commissioner, a post unfamiliar to most Texans, because he says it best suits his skills, not because it could launch him to bigger things in the largest Republican-leaning state. 'It's a legacy that I embrace and that I'm not going to run away from ... But certainly, in this campaign, I have to identify myself and talk about my own track record.' .. Bush said he considers himself an asset to the party's Hispanic outreach efforts. ... Bush has raised $3.3 million since November even though no Democratic candidate has emerged for land commissioner. A Democrat hasn't won any of Texas' 29 statewide offices since 1994, the nation's longest streak of single-party dominance.

JULY IN THE GARDEN - The heat gives both plants and people a bit of a break, but there are still plenty of basic maintenance tasks to do. As the weather gets warmer, schedule your gardening for early morning and late afternoon when the air is cooler and the sun not so intense.

Deadhead your flowers.
Deadheading 101 -- Keep deadheading. For the most flowers and tidiest garden, deadhead daily. Some gardeners take a few minutes each morning, making it part of their daily routine.

Discipline Watering
Keep up with watering chores. While you're at it, give your trees, shrubs, and perennials an occasional hosing down from top to bottom to wash off dust and pests.
Keep new plantings well-watered.

When annuals or perennials get leggy or scraggly, consider cutting them back by one-third or more. With some plants, this not only makes them look neater, but it also often encourages a fresh flush of growth and/or bloom.

Fertilize any acid-loving plants and any that may be showing an iron deficiency; for example, young leaves may appear yellow-green with dark green leaves. Acid-loving plants include azaleas, gardenias blueberries, and camellias.
Fertilizing Plants -- Fertilize containers. Constant watering flushes out nutrients. Fertilize tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants for best growth, especially in upcoming cooler months.

Harvesting Vegetables -- Keep up with the harvest from your vegetable garden. Be sure to pick small and often. Tiny filet green beans, for example, need picking daily. And be sure to remove rotting or diseased produce from the garden. They act as disease magnets.

Mow regularly, your best defense against weeds!
If you have a garden journal, keep up with it. Most garden journals drop off as the season progresses, but it's a useful tool 12 months of the year.
Plant late-summer flowering annuals and perennials, as well as heat-loving tropical and sub-tropical plants.

MLB POWER RATINGS – At the All Star Break here are our top five baseball clubs:
(1). St. Louis Cardinals    (2). Boston Red Sox    (3). Oakland Athletics    (4). Pittsburgh Pirates   (5). Detroit Tigers

Top five teams in trouble:
(1). Houston Astros   (2). Miami Marlins    (3) Milwaukee Brewers   (4). Chicago White Sox   (5). San Diego Padres

THE SWAMI’S WEEK TOP PICKS – (MLB) July 27; Detroit Tigers 5 Philadelphia Phillies 3; (PGA) July 28; Luke Donald to win the Canadian Open. Season to Date (14-8).

WELCOME TO THE WORLD – Jackson Christopher Krich, born July 18 to Allison and Chris Krich. Mom and son are doing well, Dad is another story. J

MARKET WEEK – The Dow and the S&P 500 are coming off four straight weeks of gains, despite a mixed Friday, and the S&P 500 is currently on pact for its best monthly gain since October of 2011. Quarterly earnings are likely to be the key influence on the markets, with the busiest part of earnings season occurring this week and next.

DRIVING THE WEEK – Obama speaks Wednesday at Knox College in Galesburg, Ill. followed by remarks at University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg, Mo. He is also scheduled to speak this week in Jacksonville, Fla. ... House Financial Services has hearing on the PATH Act on Tuesday at 10 a.m. ... Senate Banking subcommittee has a hearing at 10 a.m. on Tuesday on bank holding companies and whether banks should "control power plants, warehouses and oil refineries" ... Senate Banking subcommittee has a hearing Tuesday at 3 p.m. on GSE reform ...

Senate Banking has a hearing Wednesday at 10 a.m. on the Johnson/Crapo GSE reform bill ... Existing homes sales Monday at 10 a.m. expected to rise slightly to 5.27 million ... New homes sales at 10 a.m. Wednesday expected to rise to 485K from 476K ... Univ. of Michigan consumer sentiment at 9:55 a.m. Friday expected to rise slightly to 84.1 ... Former Goldman Sachs trader Fabrice "Fabulous Fab" Tourre expected to testify this week in the SEC lawsuit against him over soured mortgage bonds ... Friday is the deadline for Senators to submit proposals to Senate Finance to keep any tax breaks in a tax reform bill.

Next week: Jack Ass of the Month and summer vacation.

Until Next Monday, Adios!

Claremont, CA

July 22, 2013

#IV-14, 171

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