How To Monetize Your Website

How To Monetize Your WebsiteYou don’t have to know about complicated techy stuff in order to monetize your website. If you cannot afford to hire a professional to help you do it, save few dollars and do it yourself. It just takes a little research, effort and a positive attitude. You like the idea of blogging but you’re put off by the fact that you’re not earning money from your blog. It’s possible to write unique content on topics you’re passionate about while earning cash in the process.

Put Relevant And High Quality Ads on Website

This strategy mainly works if your website generates high traffic daily although some low performing websites may benefit financially from having ads. Make sure that the ads featured on your website are related to the nature of your website. The ads should also be from companies that most people like and trust. One type of online advertising that helps you monetize your ad is affiliate marketing. With affiliate marketing you sign up with an affiliate program and you choose which of their ads you want on your website. For each sale that comes from someone clicking on your ads, you get a share of the affiliate company’s revenue.

Offer To Write Reviews for Companies on Your Blog

Another thing you can do to monetize your blog is to offer to write reviews for companies in exchange for payment. By doing this you not only make money but you help up-and-coming companies get more online exposure for their products, especially if your website is targeted to local audiences. If you write a daily blog that helps aspiring Djs, you can write reviews of the latest models of turntables and microphones.

[Read more...]

Some Ways to Cut Your Expenses

Some Ways to Cut Your ExpensesWe’re living in tough economic times and you’ll need to live within or below your means if you want to thrive financially. One of the best ways to survive financially is to cut out unnecessary expenses since it is those expenses that cause you stress.

No More Eating Out Everyday

For the foodie who loves to eat out, this may be hard for you to do but you should cut back on the number of times you eat out each day if you want to cut expenses and save money for a better financial future. Instead of eating out, learn to prepare healthy meals at home. Buy some cookbooks and search for sales at the supermarket.

[Read more...]

How To Set Up A Lab for Electronic Experiments

How To Set Up A Lab for Electronic ExperimentsAre you a hardcore geek who wants to create electronic experiments at home? Then you can do it by setting up a lab in your home for conducting experiments. Some of the most popular gadgets we use today were first developed as electronic experiments and they turned out to be money making devices for the developers. Your experiments may not become household names but you’ll have the satisfaction of understanding how electronics work.

The Basics of Setting Up The Lab

You will need a sturdy workbench and a few cabinets as well as some huge storage bins with labels on them so you can stay organized when working on electronic experiments. Install adequate overhead and task lighting in the room so you’ll be able to see clearly and avoid hazards in your lab. The main supplies you need for an electronics lab include a multimeter for testing voltage, oscillioscope, function generator, soldering iron, magnifying glasses, safety goggles, fume exhauster, pliers, glue gun, and screwdrivers.

[Read more...]

Friends and Fighting for Fitness

Friends and Fighting for FitnessI have to admit that I have tried many things in my quest to get healthy and to break away from the desk. Actually, a lot of them have worked or, if they haven’t, they have been fun to try out at the very least. A few weeks ago I talked to an associate in my field of work about everything that I have been trying to do and he told me that he is really starting to feel the effects of sitting in a chair all day and has felt inspired to become more active as well.

We kind of left the conversation at that and I haven’t really thought of it since, to be honest because we didn’t each other again until last night. Last night I went out to eat at my favorite Italian restaurant with a group of friends and he ended up coming with us. He seemed very upbeat and excited. He mentioned tome that he had taken up boxing. Okay, I know none of my bloggers have met him before, but trust me when I say that he does not look like he would make a natural boxer.

I asked him why he chose to take up boxing and he told me that he always wanted to learn it, even as a little boy. I never would have thought it, but I admit that I wanted to try similar things when I was a kid. This is the first time, however, that he’s had the motivation to actually try and do it, and his unhealthy lifestyle and lack of physical activity all day at work helped in this motivation. I can totally understand that.

He already seems pretty serious about boxing, I have to admit. So much so that he already has a gym membership, a punching bag and his very own pair of amazing boxing gloves, which is honestly very cool because those things are almost iconic. Apparently, he has been going regularly for the past month and practices a little every day. Even though he is still in the early stages, he says that he is already starting to feel different. I wonder how long it will take him to really see results in his physique and energy levels.

The thing is that I will probably find out because we have decided to give each other a little bit of a support system by checking in every week to see what we have each accomplished. I think that it is a great idea because it will keep us both working toward even after the newness of everything wears off and we start to get discouraged or “too busy” or reach plateaus. I am one of the worst people for things like this, but I think that everyone trying to make major lifestyle changes needs some encouragement sometimes. And, it will be fun to learn a little bit about boxing from him in the end.

Shooting the Breeze with Friends

Shooting the Breeze with FriendsMy coworker, Brendan, and I have struck up an unlikely friendship. I get along with many of my coworkers and we do all hang out after work and on the weekends. That’s not unusual. Why I say this friendship is unlikely is because despite the fact that we work at the same place and both have the same interests regarding web design and computers, our other hobbies are widely divergent. Brendan is a person who likes motorcycles, air guns, rafting and playing pool. I don’t know much about any of those things.

We have become close probably not despite these different interests but because of them. I find his hobbies to be some of the more eclectic and interesting that I’ve come across. I’m not sure that he can say the same for me, but I suppose that a hiking, crossfit-training, piano-playing techie is maybe an interesting person to know. At least, I hope so.

Anyway, the reason that I mention Brendan again is that after the motorcycle riding escapade, he invited Kyle and I to go out and shoot some air rifles with him on the weekend. Kyle and I both looked at each other like “What?” but then we decided to give it a go. Brendan gave us the information since it is a little way out of town, and we promised we’d meet him there.

I’m really glad we did decide to take the trip out. The afternoon that we went the weather was good. Despite the fact that it looked a little gray and dismal early in the morning, it had cleared up to be a bright and sunny day by the time we had packed up the car for the trip. The ride was a little longer than we had planned because we thought we had lost our way and turned the car around at one point. It turned out we were right in the first place and the road was just very, very long. Oh, well.

By the time we got there, Brendan was already ready and waiting to get started. The whole time was fun and relaxing. Basically all we did was talk and goof off and then try and shoot at some cans and other targets. Kyle and I know next to nothing about how to try and it something, but Brendan was a really good teacher. He spent a lot of time explaining to us what the pellets were and ow the gun mechanisms worked as well as how to be safe.

The thing he really couldn’t teach us was how to hit the target. I am apparently one of the worst marksmen in history. It’s really not like playing a video game, in case anyone is wondering. Despite all of Brendan’s careful coaching, I was wide of pretty much everything and could not keep steady enough to be accurate. Kyle fared a lot better, and I am pretty sure that I am never going to be able to live my performance down with them.

Anyway, it was a fantastic day out in the fresh air with two great guys. I hope that we have a repeat performance sometime. But, I am either going to have to practice shooting beforehand or we all are going to have to choose a different activity. I don’t think that my reputation can survive a second performance like that one.

Healthy Day In and Day Out

Healthy Day In and Day OutI have been posting quite a bit lately about health and fitness. The reason is that so many of the people in my field, myself included, did not grow up playing a lot of team or individual sports, and we all have  jobs that are mostly indoors and sedentary.

I love my job, and I do see it as my calling in life. I am so lucky in that regard. But, the lack of activity and the constant need to stare at a computer screen can be weighing on both my body and my general temperament. As I get older, I think that I am feeling this more and more, which I why I have taken up trying new things like crossfit and playing the piano. Even that motorcycle ride a while back was a welcome break. It is really amazing what a change of scenery can do.

Since I know that many of the readers of this blog have the same career path as I do. Like me, they have probably had conversations with coworkers about the lack of time and the tiring work conditions. know that many others are coming to the same realization as I am. It took me a while, I know. And so I worry a little about the newer people who are just starting out and may not be thinking about the long-term effects of sitting at a desk typing on a keyboard all day.

The truth is that we do need to be thinking about our health and our bodies even though we are no destined to become super athletes. So much research has come out lately on everything from carpal tunnel syndrome to eye strain to posture and back problems to breathing in office air. The reports are pretty dire. They say sitting all day is worse than smoking and that it can raise the chances for diabetes, cancer, heart disease and a whole host of other big-deal health issues

These news stories and reports often offer suggestions for standing at a workstation instead of sitting, which is not at all practical in most offices. Or they offer advice on how to stay active at work and exercises to do at the desk, but this is not really enough to my mind. Doing some calf raises or stretching my arms an legs are helpful, but I am finding more and more that they are not really a replacement for strenuous exercise.

That is why it is my sincere hope that people begging to participate in a sport of activity. It doesn’t matter if that activity is running, rock climbing, or shooting a recurve bow. There are so many things to try and to learn that one of these can become a sold fit for someone and could contribute to a longer and healthier work life. Sorry if this came across as overly concerned, but I really do want the best for people in my field. Now, back to work for all of us.

Gadgets and GIS

Gadgets and GISWe have all heard of and probably use GPS. It is everywhere, even in our cars and phones. And, I think that we all have at least a basic idea of what GPS is and how it works. GPS is a part of a bigger way of understanding the world through electronics and technology, however, that gets overlooked. That is GIS. GIS stands for “geographic information system” and it is a computer system that stores, analyzes and presents spatial and geographical information.

GIS uses spatio-temporal location as the key index variable for all information gathered in order to work. Most of the data that is used comes from 2D and 3D aerial photographs that are scanned and then analyzed for latitude, longitude, slope, aspect and other factors. This is a pretty cool way of thinking about computers and mapping and really does put a new perspective on the importance of satellite mapping technologies that we all use so flippantly to look up where the closest Thai takeout restaurant is or what a potential house for sale looks like.

In fact, GIS is so important to various fields that is is often taught as a major called Geo-informatics in colleges now or as a large component in geography programs. Books are being published not only as technical guides but on the history of the field and its development and importance. This is actually pretty cool, by the way, as it has ties to nuclear programs, if anyone ever wants to read upon it.

GIS has revolutionized the way that topography and cartography are done. The accuracy that the devices and programs used in GIS have is way beyond anything that can be done by hand or with simple surveying equipment. Even more amazing, this equipment allows for all of the mapping to be done on site and in real time. This technology includes GPS, a rangefinder and a rugged computer. It is amazing how simple and yet how powerful the hardware is. And GIS software is equally interesting as it is becoming more and more accessible as free and open-sourced material and some of the newer GIS mapping is even done through crowdsourcing.

GIS has also entered into the common marketplace in other ways. People may not be interested in crowdsourcing, but I know a lot of people who work in construction and also many people who are interested in fast cars, hunting and even playing golf. All of these activities now use rangefinders to give location, speed, elevation or other relevant data. Rangefinders are also used in places where GPS does not work. Because of this, the costs of rangefinders are starting to fall and models are starting to offer a wide array of consumer-friendly options. Interestingly, golfers hare bound by the rules of the game to only use rangefinders that measure distance. But, they have many models now for specifically this purpose. And, I know for a fact that hunters can benefit greatly from having the one of keen hunting rangefinders they can possibly buy.

Having a rangefinder is a neat addition to anyone’s home tech collection. I know it seems that almost everything is GPS-enabled now, but this is not really the case. So, whether you are a hunter or are looking to go into amateur GIS mapping for a hobby, this is a cool field to look into and a neat device to try out.

Tinkering, Thinking and Kids

Tinkering, Thinking and KidsI love all things tech, and that means that I spend a good amount of time trying to figure out how things work. It has been a predilection ever since I was a small child. You know those kids who of you look away for five minutes will have the toaster torn apart and in pieces on the floor? I was one of those kids. And, I have to admit that it took quite some time, a lot of patience on the part of my family and several toaster models before I learned to reassemble what I had taken apart.

The reason I mention this is because I read an article recently in the news about the need for children and teenagers to better learn math and the sciences and to show more interest in fields like engineering. I realized that school did help me to develop my interests in the fields, and I give a lo of credit to my teachers for that. However, the place I really learned to love learning was on the floor of our home surrounded by proverbial toaster parts.

Far be it from me to tell anyone how to raise a kid because I am not an expert at all, but I do think that part of parenting is knowing when to step back and let children get a little messy. Of course long as they are safe (and that toaster is unplugged) and not destroying anything of value or importance. And, admittedly, I have destroyed valuable things like when I decided to try and figure out my mother’s serger. Thankfully, she caught me in time and I only managed to take some of the knobs and casing parts off. Even though she stopped me in that moment, I think that my parents knew that there is nothing wrong with letting kids figure things for themselves sometimes and make their own mistakes.

I think that future generations entering the STEM fields really need to bring with them the understanding that they will make mistakes and be wrong sometimes. That is part of the scientific process, after all. Even more, I think that a solid set of critical thinking and problem solving skills and a sense of adventure and childlike questioning of “why” things are the way they are is critical if we are going to find new ways to solve old (and new) problems.

I know that the that kind of wonderment at the way things worked caused some chagrin in my parents as they picked plastic and metal parts up from all over and tried their best to figure out what goes where.  But, I also think that the problem solving that resulted was a critical step in developing my interests and who I am today, including some of my faults (like wanting to figure out or fix situations and even people when I should only be an shoulder to lean on). I really don’t think I would be in the tech industry without that experience. I only hope that other children (and adults) take an interest in tech and also develop a desire to test and explore.

Footwear for a Good Hike with Friends

Footwear for a Good Hike with Friends    I am a desk jockey. I am attached to the computer screen, paperwork, and my comic book superhero posters. I have been gaining a few pounds since I am living an inactive life. I haven’t played baseball or football with friends in a while, and since I finally got my car back from the shop, I have not had the need to ride a bike or walk to the store. The amount of work I have can be stressful, so best believe I lifted a few chocolate bars and bags of cheesy puffs while chugging on an energy drink. Since I knew I needed to do something, I talked to my co-worker and best friend Kyle. Kyle is into nature and doing light exercise. I briefly talked about what was going on and he said he felt the same thing about the rest of us. Then, an idea popped in our heads after Kyle told me about his nature walks. He and I decided to invite a couple of co-workers to an expedition, a hike if you will. I have always wanted to go on a hike, and it would be a good excuse to purchase some new items. What can I say? I love to shop!

I needed to make sure I got the best pair of combat boots that money could buy. I visited to see if they had what I needed. It showed me how to buy the right boots for myself and so, I was ready to learn as much as I was ready to spend. The weather at the time was going to be cold, so I knew that these boots would keep my feet warm and I can have a sturdy grip on the ground with the bottom of the boots. Next, I needed to check off what I was looking for in a good quality boot. I wanted to make sure the hike would be better on my feet with a new pair than some raggedy pair I wore years ago and haven’t worn since.

I knew I needed some fit and durable combat boots. Durability is important to have because the boots can last longer, plus, I liked idea of having more costly boots and not the cheap ones I used to wear. High quality materials such as Gore Tex is something to consider. Also, it is important to wear boots that are very comfortable. Why wear a pair of boots that will just make your entire foot or toes feel suffocated? Why have boots that are too tight? You want breathing room while meeting my needs as I trek in the environment. I found an 10-inch boot that are similar to the ones worn by law enforcement and military.

I spent a reasonable amount on them. They were comfy and had odor control; the rugged leather was exactly what I needed. I wanted to be able to handle dry and moist areas on the trails we were going. Other co-workers, Kyle, and I all head out two weeks after the original planning. After the hike, I must say, I felt rejuvenated. Everyone else felt exhausted, but I just wanted to keep on walking. Thankfully the footwear I bought was perfect for a good hike with friends.

My Co-Worker and I Going On a Motorcycle Ride

My Co-Worker and I Going On a Motorcycle Ride     Ever watch movies, where the bad boy would ride his motorcycle? He would know how to control his hog and would sometimes have a girl sitting behind him, with his arms around his waist and hair flowing in the breeze. Yeah, I may not be a hot chick, but I would say I handled myself well, while my friend Brendan drove from the city to the suburbs to visit his sister and her new boyfriend.

They didn’t live far, so I was happy to know I wouldn’t have to ride with him for too long. My car is in the shop and Brendan rides his bike to work. Lucky for me despite fact that he is a 6’1”, 260 pound fella, my 5’9”, 140 pound self could handle sitting behind him. I noticed before we rode off that he wore these nice black motorcycle boots. I thought to myself that I should look into buying a pair of my own once I get my license to ride. It would be totally sweet.

Anyway, we took off on the open road. The sun was shining bright against the tall, green trees and birds and other beautiful creatures were enjoying the early morning climate. When I asked Brendan where he purchased his boots, he told me how difficult it was to determine which ones he wanted and needed. He read some reviews on Brendan talked about the great comfort level he was feeling while wearing the pair of buckle boots and a great deal he was able to get them. I can’t tell you how jealous I felt when I first found out he has a license to ride a motorcycle, a beautifully custom-made bike, and some sweet motorcycle gear. I knew I just had to do something to get what I felt was rightfully mine!

After coming back from his sister’s house, Brendan and I went on the website he was talking about and it was amazing! Now, the boots I wanted (yes, I still wanted them) was a pair of buckled boots. There are pros and cons when buying this type of boots, but I wasn’t going to let it make me feel hesitant. First of all, they are long lasting. Who wants to keep buying pair after pair of pricey boots? Also, they have a strong structure in how they were made. While feeling protected, I must say, they are comfortable. Once I read “cushioned insole,” I knew I had to jump on.

It can be difficult these days to look for the comfy boots you have been dying to wear.  These boots are expensive! Almost $150 for a pair because of the quality and amount of material used to make them. I could not think of another disadvantage, but I do know that when I finally ordered them, they would make me grin from ear-to-ear.

When I finally received the pair of boots by delivery, I was speechless – I was ecstatic! They fit like a glove and they smelled so good. I love the smell of clean leather boots in the morning. I’ve been using them for riding practice these past couple of weeks. Brendan and his sister’s boyfriend Frank have been patient with me. I guess you could say I was born to be wild!

How Us Techies Enjoyed The Above Ground Pool

How Us Techies Enjoyed The Above Ground Pool     While the weather is still warm, I would love to go for a swim. Not only is it a great way to cool down, but I am able to get some form of exercise while having fun with friends. The guys at Madison Web Works and I wanted to look into something along the lines of an above ground pool. We make decent money, and one of the co-workers was already planning to purchase what he needed for one. All of us wanted to help out, so, we all chipped in for a sweet pool from a certified ground pool dealer. We didn’t have experience in purchasing an above ground pool, so we checked out a website for safety and cost advantages.

One of the co-workers and I visited a helpful buyer’s guide at First, we had to make sure we knew the type of ground pool we wanted to “pool” our money into (pun intended). An above ground pool is a perfect option based on our wants and needs, budget, size, and location to install the pool. Usually, homeowners get the in-ground pools, but above ground pools are becoming more popular over time, especially with families. Above ground pools cost way less than in-ground pools to install. Maintaining an above ground pool can be expensive as well as pay yearly taxes whereas an above ground pool does not require such; these types are tax-free.

Above ground pools are safer because the in-ground pools can make it easier for pets and children to fall in and drown. Above ground pools come with safety features to lessen those chances such as child-proof stairs and a raised pool profile. Either pool can keep you cool in the warm weather. My fellow co-workers (and techies) and I agreed how much better above ground pools would be for us.

If you want awesome customization to your pool, it is easier to do so with an above ground pool. Once finished, in-ground pools are just that after construction. With an above ground pool, you can add accessories and other customized parts. Also, maintaining this type of pool is a dream. They are easy to clean and do not take as long to make sure it is in the right shape versus a in-ground pool. As I said before, we are trying to save money, so by saving money from maintenance is a good feeling!

I had to keep in mind of the disadvantages of having an above ground pool compared to the in-ground pools. First of all, it won’t blend in as well in our co-worker’s backyard. Some people do not like the look of an above ground pool since it does stand out. We don’t care really, we just want a place of our own to swim and party in! Which brings to the second disadvantage. Above ground pools are usually smaller than in-ground pools. So, I have to measure the circumference, depth, etc and talk about the specifications of the pool. We all decided on the type we wanted and decided to throw a little “bash” for employees and our friends and girlfriends.

I took my girlfriend to the party and we all enjoyed ourselves. The cool water that hits the skin once you come in contact. A barbecue of yummy steak, hot dogs, and burgers were cooking, and of course, ice cold beer was served. What can I say–us techies know how to have fun!

Choosing the Right Smoker for Barbecue Party Guide

Choosing the Right Smoker for Barbecue Party GuideGetting into the party mood is easy, if you know the tools. You put on the grill, add some drinks and great music – you’re all set for the party. I enjoy the backyard parties that I get invited to and also host in my yard. The party is simple to set up and the food is hearty and filling, and the overall mood is in an upbeat, making you feel relaxed and happy. When I have time around, I make it a habit to get down my grill and give it a look over, oil it and do whatever is needed to make it in top working condition.

This year I’d the shock of my life when I found that the grill was damaged beyond repair. I’d been having it for such a long time that I felt very sad losing it. I was mentioning about it to my friend who instantly suggested using the new range of smokers available in the market. I got interested in them naturally and wanted to know all about them. If you’re a novice user then be sure to check out reviews and guides of electric smokers.

Here are some of the things I found out about the smoker.

  • Smokers are available in different sizes and shapes and also price ranges;
  • The price and the fuel type are main deciding factors in buying a smoker;
  • There are a few main types, namely wood, charcoal, gas and electric smokers;
  • In the most basic form like the wood or charcoal smokers, you need to be quite attentive checking on the fire and looking out for the temperature constantly;
  • The gas or electric types need not have to be given that much attention;
  • The smokers below $400 are best, if you’re new to using barbecue. If you don’t like tending the fire, an electric or gas smoker is best. Once you are used to it and get the hang of it, a bigger and expensive one can be bought;
  • If you don’t mind the expense, looking at the smokers over $400 will give you a wider choice range. Mind you, the prices may well go over $1000, but with the higher price you also get to smoke plenty of food at the same time. Both hardwood and electric types are available and mostly used for competitions.

Smokers offer you a diverse range of choices as you get different types based on just the fuel you use and there the types that vary according to the temperature you use. You can smoke food to as high as 225 degrees Fahrenheit to as low as 60 degree Fahrenheit for cold smoking foods like jerky, cheese or fish.

You can find these features in most of the electric smokers available. Smoke Hollow electric smoker is a good choice in this aspect. The automation is by far the best feature I like in the smokers. You can select the temperature, set the time, and just load on the meat and turn on the smoker. It’s just like you use a microwave. But make sure you check on the pros and cons of all products before you commit on one.

Workout for Geeks, or How to Gain Muscle Tone

Workout for Geeks, or How to Gain Muscle ToneI spend a lot of time working with computers. If you wanted someone to design a website for you, or give you the latest information about Apple, Macintosh, the Internet and other technological stuff, then I’d definitely be your guy. All that time spent sitting in front of a monitor really isn’t good for a person though. Back when that James Gandalfini guy from The Sopranos died, I started taking notice of things like blood clots in people who sit for too long. It’s an epidemic, a true silent killer that just kind of sneaks up on a person, and something that got me pretty worried.

So, I decided to finally get more active. Not that I didn’t already go for walks, or sometimes ride a bike, or things like that. But there’s a big difference between just moving around and putting your body through an amount of activity which will be enough to make a difference in your health. While searching for a way to get my whole body active, I happened to find an article about Crossfit training. What I read sounded like exactly the type of workout I was looking for – no weights but lots of activity while trying to get as many different muscle groups in the body as possible involved in every workout.

I was so impressed with what I saw that I decided to try out Crossfit. I’ve been happy with the results so far, but it is one of the most intense kinds of exercise I’ve ever done, and the workouts almost always leave me sweaty and in need of a change of clothes, even if they are relatively short in length. Because there are no weights involved, Crossfit really isn’t about building mass. I suppose I could add them if I wanted to, but I’m really looking to get lean and build muscle tone, not increase my mass exponentially. That’s an easy thing to do with Crossfit, because so much of the body is working in a session.

I can feel it every time I work out too; the way my blood flow increases, the way it just feels good to do, even if it does make me smell bad. One thing nobody told me about, though, was that lactic acid tends to build up in muscles when you put them through heavy exertion like that. Neither the article I read nor the people did I talk to about Crossfit told me that particular detail and it was a painful lesson to learn. If you decide to take up Crossfit, then you should know that a cool-down period after your workout is essential to getting that acid out of your muscles, and stopping you from feeling sore for days.

Also, and this should be a no-brainer, you absolutely must stretch thoroughly before pulling off a Crossfit workout. Because so much of the body is involved, there are lots of little ligaments, tendons and muscles that can get pulled out of alignment or even permanently injured by exercising without stretching.