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Nov 22 2004

Weblog Review

110weblogreview.gifThe Weblog Review has just rated Danz Family a 4.75 out of a possible 5.0. Both Wendy and vanvan gave the site a 4.75 rating. Both reviewers surfed beyond the blog portion of Danz Family accessible through the navigation links on the left and commented:

Different portions of the site are filled with video clips and pictures garnered from the internet, clips from speeches Don’s found worthwhile of sharing, and huge collection of links from all over the Internet. It’s a nice collection of add-ons to make this site more than “just a blog”.

Vanvan added:

Ok, I'm definitely coming back here, this family has just become really really cool...time to bookmark this site with my browser, because these guys have made a fan out of me.

Finally, vanvan provided a dose of reality:

I found some spelling mistakes and typos, so don't worry this family isn't all perfect.

My longtime friends would surely question whether I was actually writing the entries myself if there weren't spelling mistakes and typos. Thanks for the reviews. I encourage other webloggers to go to The Weblog Review and put your site in line for your own review.

Posted by Don | Comments (4) | TrackBacks (0) |
Nov 20 2004

Puppy Hug

109puppyhug.jpg

Just the happiest kid in the world, sharing the love, giving a favorite stuffed puppy a hug.

Posted by Don | Comments (10) | TrackBacks (0) |

108blogexplosion.gifI did a search for "math of blog explosion" and "blog explosion math" on both Google and Yahoo and all four resulted in nothing…not a single entry. I tried some other searches but couldn't find a good analysis of the numbers behind the workings of Blog Explosion. However, there are plenty of bloggers who have posted…shall we say, less than accurate comments about how BE works.

First, Blog Explosion requires the use of free credits to balance things out. For example, imagine if there were just three BE surfers. In one day they all surf each other's sites. They each surf two sites, times three people, equaling six visits. But they only earned the right to receive one visitor each. The equation is short three visitors. It is balanced out by letting each surfer win one credit. The equation is also balanced out by people who buy credits instead of earning or winning them. BE cannot stop giving away and selling credits. If it did, the whole system would collapse.

107numbers.gifNo doubt, winning credits also serves the purpose of getting some people to surf longer than they would normally as they are enticed by the chance of the big win and encouraged along with the occasional little tidbit. But, how much and how often credit wins are given out is determined not by the mood of BE but, rather, by the number of credits that are purchased. It is only indirectly controlled by BE by setting the price of credits. BE only has a finite number of credits to sell and give away, the amount of which is equal to the sum of what everyone earns. If too many people purchase credits, not only do they risk running out of credits to sell but they lose the ability to give away credits to encourage surfing. The solution is to simply raise the price of credits which, if my memory is correct, has not happened.

Some people have commented lately that there has been a decrease in the number and frequency in which credits are won and that the number of banners you can purchase with one credit has dropped from the originally 1 credit = 50 banners to the current 1 = 30. [Edit, now 1 = 25.] What prompted this entry was some of those people attributing this to some evil or underhanded motive by BE. Not coincidentally, the blogs of those who attributed such manipulation to BE tended towards the liberal side: corporations are bad, I'm not responsible for my life, I need the government to get through the day, etc.

I believe nothing could be farther from the truth. I believe, other than the setting of the price for purchased credits, that BE is on autopilot. The decrease in winnable credits is easily explained by the fact that people are likely buying more credits with actual cash having tired of surfing for 50 credits an hour (60 theoretically, but closer to 50 in practice) but still addicted to the traffic that BE brings to their sites. The increased number of purchased credits has simply decreased the number of credits that can be won.

As to the credit/banner exchange rate, that's almost certainly just the result of supply and demand. BE probably had a big cue of banner placement requests. It doesn't matter if the ratio goes down to 1 credit for 5 banners...by definition, the amount of banners is always set at the right amount if there are no pages coming up without banners and no huge cue of people waiting to have their banner placed.

This has admittedly been incredibly superficial. If anyone knows of a more in depth analysis, please let me know.

Posted by Don | Comments (10) | TrackBacks (0) |
Nov 18 2004

Drew's First Birthday

106firstbirthday.jpg

With the help of his grandparents, aunts, uncle, mom and dad, Drew celebrated his first birthday last week. He got to eat cake and ice cream for the first time which was followed by the opening of his presents.

Posted by Don | Comments (2) | TrackBacks (0) |

On Monday, four of President Bush's cabinet secretaries resigned, bringing to six the total number of cabinet members to resign since his re-election and to just eight the total number who have resigned from Bush's original 2001 cabinet. Some of the media have covered the resignations correctly as being no big deal, par for the course and representative of far less turnover than prior two-term administrations.

Sadly, some of the media and blogosphere have characterized the resignations as a major shakeup, as evidence of dissension in the ranks or indicative of some other nefarious goings on within the administration.

105bushcabinet.jpg

Here are the facts. After new appointees have taken their positions, the Bush cabinet will have had 23 people in 15 cabinet positions. Compare this to 29 people in 14 positions during the Clinton administration and 33 people in 13 positions during the Reagan administration. Clearly, put in a historical perspective, the Bush cabinet resignations are not at all unusual and possibly even evidence of greater loyalty and less discord among his top advisers. Continue reading for a full list of Regan, Clinton and Bush cabinet members.

[UPDATE August 27, 2007] On the very good suggestion of a commenter, I am updating this post and will update it again around the time President Bush leaves office. At this time, with the resignation of Attorney General Gonzales, the Bush cabinet will have had 31 people in 15 cabinet positions. If you consider the same 14 cabinet positions that existed under Clinton (no Secretary of Homeland Security) Bush would have had 29 different cabinet members, the same as Clinton.

Accordingly, the only accurate thing that could be said at this point is that Gonzales' resignation brings President Bush closer to historical trends in turnover of cabinet members. However, the liberal mainstream media (is that redundant?) is still trying to pitch the rats-escaping-a-sinking-ship metaphor. I haven't heard one MSM talking head or color commentator tell the honest truth that there is no story in the Bush resignations, instead they simply resort to the left-wing biased play book and provide different analysis to similar or exact facts. My favorite was when the exact same unemployment rate was described under Clinton as "strong" but under Bush it was "weak"...oops! Likewise, here, the news is full of negative headlines, stories, criticisms, analogies, commentary, etc., but the simple fact is, there still is no story.

[FINAL UPDATE Post Presidency] As of the conclusion of his Presidency, Bush had 34 total cabinet members in 15 positions. If you consider the same 14 cabinet positions that existed under Clinton (no Secretary of Homeland Security) Bush would have had 32 different cabinet members, just 3 more than Clinton. If you consider the same 13 cabinet positions that existed under Reagan (no Secretary of Homeland Security or Veterans' Affairs ) Bush would have had 29 different cabinet members, just 4 less than Reagan.

Final conclusion: the only story here is one of never ending media bias.

BUSH CABINET - FINAL Updated Through End of Presidency:

Secretary of State
Colin L. Powell (2001-2005)
Dr. Condoleezza Rice (2005-2009)

Secretary of the Treasury
Paul H. O'Neill (2001-2002)
John Snow (2003-2006)
Henry M. Paulson, Jr. (2006-2009)

Secretary of Defense
Donald H. Rumsfeld (2001-2006)
Robert M. Gates (2006-2009)

Attorney General
John Ashcroft (2001-2005)
Alberto Gonzales (2005-2007)
Gonzales Replacement (2007-2009)

Secretary of the Interior
Gale A. Norton (2001-2006)
Kirk Kempthorne (2006-2009)

Secretary of Agriculture
Ann M. Veneman (2001-2005)
Mike Johanns (2005-2008)
Ed Schafer (2008-2009)

Secretary of Commerce
Donald L. Evans (2001-2005)
Carlos Gutierrez (2005-2009)

Secretary of Labor
Elaine L. Chao (2001-2009)

Secretary of Health and Human Services
Tommy G. Thompson (2001-2005)
Michael O. Leavitt (2005-2009)

Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
Melquiades R. Martinez (2001-2003)
Alphonso Jackson (2003-2008)
Steve Preston (2008-2009)

Secretary of Transportation
Norman Y. Mineta (2001-2006)
Mary E. Peters (2006-2009)

Secretary of Energy
Spencer Abraham (2001-2005)
Samuel W. Bodman (2005-2009)

Secretary of Education
Roderick R. Paige (2001-2005)
Margaret Spellings (2005-2009)

Secretary of Veterans' Affairs
Anthony Principi (2001-2005)
Jim Nicholson (2005-2007)
James Peake (2007-2009)

Secretary of Homeland Security
Tom Ridge (2003-2005)
Michael Chertoff (2005-2009)

TOTAL Updated = 34 people (15 positions)


CLINTON CABINET:

Secretary of State
Warren M. Christopher (1993-97)
Madeleine Albright (1997-01)

Secretary of the Treasury
Lloyd Bentsen (1993-94)
Robert E. Rubin (1995-99)
Lawrence H. Summers (1999-01)

Secretary of Defense
Les Aspin (1993-94)
William J. Perry (1994-97)
William S. Cohen (1997-01)

Attorney General
Janet Reno (1993-01)

Secretary of the Interior
Bruce Babbitt (1993-01)

Secretary of Agriculture
Mike Espy (1993-95)
Dan Glickman (1995-01)

Secretary of Commerce
Ronald H. Brown (1993-96)
Mickey Kantor (1996-97)
William M. Daley (1997-00)
Norman Y. Mineta (2000-01)

Secretary of Labor
Robert B. Reich (1993-97)
Alexis Herman (1997-01)

Secretary of Health and Human Services
Donna E. Shalala (1993-01)

Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
Henry G. Cisneros (1993-97)
Andrew M. Cuomo (1997-01)

Secretary of Transportation
Federico F. Peña (1993-97)
Rodney Slater (1997-01)

Secretary of Energy
Hazel R. O'Leary (1993-97)
Frederico F. Peña (1997-98)
Bill Richardson (1998-01)

Secretary of Education
Richard W. Riley (1993-01)

Secretary of Veterans' Affairs
Jesse Brown (1993-98)
Togo D. West Jr. (1998-00)

TOTOAL = 29 people (14 positions)


REAGAN CABINET:

Secretary of State
Alexander M. Haig Jr. (1981-82)
George P. Shultz (1982-89)

Secretary of the Treasury
Donald T. Regan (1981-85)
James A. Baker III (1985-88)
Nicholas F. Brady (1988-89)

Secretary of Defense
Caspar W. Weinberger (1981-87)
Frank C. Carlucci (1987-89)

Attorney General
William French Smith (1981-85)
Edwin Meese III (1985-88)
Richard L. Thornburgh (1988-89)

Secretary of the Interior
James G. Watt (1981-83)
William P. Clark (1983-88)
Donald P. Hodel (1985-89)

Secretary of Agriculture
John R. Block (1981-86)
Richard E. Lyng (1986-89)

Secretary of Commerce
Malcolm Baldrige (1981-87)
C. William Verity Jr. (1987-89)

Secretary of Labor
Raymond J. Donovan (1981-85)
William E. Brock (1985-87)
Ann Dore McLaughlin (1987-89)

Secretary of Health and Human Services
Richard S. Schweiker (1981-83)
Margaret M. Heckler (1983-85)
Otis R. Bowen (1985-89)

Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
Samuel R. Pierce Jr. (1981-89)

Secretary of Transportation
Andrew L. Lewis Jr. (1981-83)
Elizabeth H. Dole (1983-87)
James H. Burnley 4th (1987-89)

Secretary of Energy
James B. Edwards (1981-82)
Donald P. Hodel (1982-85)
John S. Herrington (1985-89)

Secretary of Education
Terrel H. Bell (1981-85)
William J. Bennett (1985-88)
Lauro F. Cavazos (1988-89)

TOTAL = 33 people (13 positions)

Posted by Don | Comments (8) | TrackBacks (0) |

I wanted to post two last photos of our Autumn Blaze Maples (Acer X Freemanii) changing colors for the fall. But other than the pretty colors, I wasn't too excited about the photos and figured, if I wasn't too excited, then anyone else viewing them would be completely unimpressed. So, I mixed them up a little which I, at least, like a little better.

104compositemaple.jpg

If you are curious what the pictures looks like unscrambled click on "Continue reading."

103maple.jpg

102maple.jpg

Posted by Don | Comments (1) | TrackBacks (0) |
Nov 14 2004

Winnie the Pooh

Due to the change in web hosts, I never got to post Drew's Halloween pictures. He dressed up as Winnie the Pooh. So, better late than never, here's Drew doing some push-ups to get pumped for the big night; sitting in his saucer handing out candy; and being just as cute from behind.

101winniethepooh.jpg

Posted by Don | Comments (7) | TrackBacks (0) |
Nov 13 2004

Bull Attack

We all recently visited the family farm which is rented out to a really nice family. They have a bull. For whatever reason, they "kept" the bull separate from the rest of the heard. Here is the bull in his pen:

099bullone.jpg

We wanted to get closer to the bull to get some photos and approached his pen in our usual loud boisterous family manner. The bull was less enthused about our visit. He tried jumping/rammed the gate on our right. Then he tried jumping/rammed the gate on our left. Then he succeeded in jumping/ramming through the gate on our right:

100bulltwo.jpg

The whole thing was pretty funny to us city-dwellers, but we were grateful the bull was not of the same temperament as my grandfather's bull, Abernathy. Abernathy would not have messed around with trying to flee but, rather, would have attacked through the fence that was in front of us and which would not have required two tries to knock down.

Posted by Don | Comments (2) | TrackBacks (0) |
Nov 11 2004

Veterans Day 2004

                     It is the soldier, not the reporter,
                     who has given us freedom of the press.

                     It is the soldier, not the poet,
                     who has given us freedom of speech.

                     It is the soldier, not the campus organizer,
                     who has given us the freedom to demonstrate.

                     It is the soldier, not the lawyer,
                     who has given us the right to a fair trial.

                     It is the soldier, who salutes the flag,
                     who serves under the flag,
                     and whose coffin is draped by the flag,
                     who allows the protester to burn the flag.

                     - Father Dennis Edward O'Brien, USMC

098veteransday.jpg

On this Veterans Day, my words are far too insufficient to express the level of gratitude I have for each of America's 25 million living veterans. I can only say, inadequately: Thank You.

Posted by Don | Comments (4) | TrackBacks (0) |

While pumpkins apparently have the ability to suck the life forces out of Drew, there is something absolutely hilarious about putting on Daddy's shirt.

097inmyshirt.jpg

This is also one of the last photos with the mop-top before it was cut for his first birthday and family photos.

Posted by Don | Comments (4) | TrackBacks (0) |
Nov 10 2004

Host Change Complete

The changeover to the new web host and update to MT 3.121 is complete. Comment notification and MT Blacklist are now working for the fist time ever.

I highly recommend my new host TotalChoice Hosting for all your website and blog hosting needs. They have an unheard of combination of terrific support, tons of features and options and low prices.

Also, I can't recommend highly enough the fine people at Moxie Design Studios. Julie has proven herself not only a phenomenal designer but also a highly skilled technician. I could not have made the move to my new host without her assistance.

I'm off to clean up a few items, like apostrophes that have universally turned into question marks, and some other minor backend odds and ends.

Posted by Don | Comments (2) | TrackBacks (0) |
Nov 2 2004

Changing Hosts

I was going to post something witty and intelligent about voting. But, instead this is a notice that I am in the process of changing my web host from the problem-a-week-we-don't-really-want-anyone-running-blog-software host ReadyHosting to the already-impressed-with-their-support-and-MovableType-friendly TotalChoice Hosting. The last straw was my site being down (or up but not functioning) every weekend this month and RH only figuring out they had a hardware problem by little old me repeatedly telling them they've got a problem.

The icing on the cake was when they put up a green light on their little server status page after they replaced their hard drive since, after all, it was spinning just fine. They apparently weren't concerned about the fact that my site (and presumably others) stored on that new hard drive still weren't working because they didn't have the software associated with that drive up and running. But, hey, that little detail shouldn't get in the way of their bogus uptime stats now should it? Arrrgh!

Feel free to keep commenting, the transition should be relatively seamless to visitors.

Posted by Don | Comments (2) | TrackBacks (0) |