You are in the Brett Bugle archives right now. The HOMEPAGE is much more important.
Had planned on doing a "Year In Review" for my December 31st entry, but no, my time instead was spent on visits with Danielle and Mary Ann and the Quest Church singles group.
If you're interested, you will have to do your own "Year In Review" by scanning each month in 2006 in your own ambitious way. Have fun with that.
If you want to have lunch with me today, you'll have to come to Georgetown (Kentucky). That's where I'll be, on the last workday of 2006.
In 2007 I might give up my programming career and just start charging people to be their party photographer and videographer.
All you Bugle readers who are not family members probably don't know that today would have been Mom's birthday. But Mom's been gone for exactly 2 months. That's one of many things that she and I have in common.
Several people have asked what I'll be doing for Christmas, so let me just post my answer here for everyone to know: I have no plans; I'm not going anywhere or doing anything.
My default plans, as always, are to download and watch lots of TV shows and movies using broadband Internet.
There are two things I have put off doing for way too long, and now today they're both kinda done. One is updating this website, which you see that I'm doing right now. The other is sending Christmas cards, which I have mostly finished this afternoon.
So I guess you want to know what I've been up to since the 18th. On Tuesday, I went to work in Danville, and my boss gave me a $40 cash Christmas present to use for a massage at Lexington Healing Arts Academy. On Tuesday night, Tyler Cottrell called at 18h15 to see if I'd want to buy a reduced ticket for a UK basketball game that begins at 19h00 (and I said no).
The next day, Wednesday the 20th, the Jehovah Witnesses finally came to my door. I've seen quite a few Mormons since I've owned this house, but I'm pretty sure no JW's have come around yet. Well, today, two attractive young women knocked on my door, so I spent 40 minutes chatting them up. Found out that the one named Tonia is a database programmer at Chase downtown. The other one, Stormy, didn't talk much.
On Wednesday night, Rob got me out of the house to join him and his gang at Comedy Off Broadway, where we watched a few comics perform. In my opinion, the funniest part of all the acts was when Dwight Slade wanted more laughs from the other side of the room, so he said to them, "lower your expectations; if I were funnier, I wouldn't be working CHRISTMAS WEEK!"
Wednesday also saw the arrival of my 5-gallon award from Central Kentucky Blood Center. Want to know what you get from CKBC once you've donated your 40th pint? You get a letter that acts as a Chick-Fil-A voucher; you can trade it for 2 free combo meals. Nice.
Yesterday and today (12/21 and 12/22), not much has happened because I've been pressuring myself to send out some Christmas cards. I wish I'd started earlier so that I could get out more than 43 cards, but oh well. The final tally on this year is 43.
In a few hours, Danielle and I are going to go to a bowling party at Southland Lanes. I will dominate the alley, yes.
Tonight I took Dawn to see an advance screening of Rocky Balboa at Regal Hamburg. Ace Weekly did a crappy job of filling the seats this time around; all the other Ace Weekly screenings I've attended have been packed full and even overbooked. But this one, no.
As far as the movie is concerned, it's fine. Go see it when it opens on Christmas Day if you have nothing else to do.
Boy, these kids today...
On Friday night, I attended the company Christmas party, and the early part of the evening was all about having food and drink with my coworkers in a civil, happy fashion. But then we all went out to a bar called Arnie's On The Levee, where a large group of my female coworkers wanted to dance with me.
No problem, right? Some people call me a good dancer.
Actually, dancing at a bar is nothing at all like dancing at a ballroom dance. So I felt really out of place, not knowing what to do as the crowd became a big united mass of grinding and rubbing and thrusting.
But I can't say it wasn't fun. Everyone was loosened up, pushing the memories of their stressful misdemeanor-probation-caseworking lives into the Ohio River. I got to thinking, "I'd love to take some dance lessons from some of these attractive coworkers."
What's extra amusing to me is that the most recent Zits comic strip expresses my bewilderment pretty well. Wish I could find a clearer copy of the strip to share with you, but, oh well, here it is.
More about making money with my blog: some bloggers put a "tip jar" on their blog, in order to solicit donations via PayPal. I have no interest in that, but I have come up with a way for you to support this site without spending any money at all.
At the bottom of the front page here (the entry page of LexJB.com), there is a Google search box. It is tied to my Google Adsense account. If you were to use it for your normal searches, and you found yourself choosing sponsored results instead of "organic" search results, well, you'd be doing me a favor. And don't worry, I PROMISE you that I do not see searches from that box in my logfiles. Really! You can see for yourself (by looking at the address bar of the results page) that the searches are conducted at Google.com and not LexJB.com. Google will store your request, not me. Then, when you follow a sponsored link, Google will pass along a small commission of sorts because the search originated on my blog.
NOTE: I make no money from the searches themselves, and I make no money from you following links to "organic" search results. You're only supporting my writing if you choose the sponsored links on the search result page. See how that works? Pretty simple; costs you nothing but time. But please don't go nuts with the electronic tip-jar, or else they'll take it away from me.
Now that I have a little more experience with using my blog to make money, I want to give you a progress report. I've learned a few things.
First thing I'm learning: there does not seem to be BIG MONEY to be made on an online journal like mine. The big money goes to the junk-page builders who set up fake pages and fake domains in order to catch all the websurfers who are looking for high-priced services like lawyers or insurance. Since I never talk about class-action lawsuits or mortgage companies here on the Brett Bugle, I will not be attracting lots of high-paying-ad clickers. It may be possible for me to get that big money, but it would take a lot of work, and I'd be competing with thousands of people who not only have the same idea but also have a much bigger headstart.
At this point in my Google Adsense career, I've earned about twelve bucks total. The ads that are currently displayed on my lyrics pages are getting clicked occasionally, so the money is trickling in. I might be averaging about 25 cents a day at this point, yikes. That gets me about 90 bucks a year for just doing the same blog I've always done for free. (It's possible that those numbers will jump sky high once my new domain is freed from the harsh filters of the "Google Sandbox.")
So, with that said, what have we got to lose? If you have a website idea that will bring in lots of eyeballs, definitely get yourself a domain because this program will easily cover your expenses. It's clear that the money's out there if you have the right audience. Suggested topics: hotel reviews / film school stories / travel advice / financial news including debt or credit or insurance
But even if you DON'T have the right audience, just post some advertisements and forget about them and you might make some spending money anyway, for doing nothing. Something for nothing!
A week ago, I wrote about Mary Ann and her camera phone, and since that time, I have retrieved the blood-center photos I took on her RAZR phone that day and have gotten her permission to post one. Today is a good day to do it because today is Mary Ann's birthday. If you know her, be sure to wish her a good one.
My workload had dropped off to almost nothing for the past three months, so I've had to live off my savings for the most part. But now my workload is picking up considerably, which means I might be able to afford to send Christmas cards now.
If you are one of my lunch partners, I will inform you here that I'm working in Richmond KY today and will probably be spending my whole week working instead of having lunch with you.
In other employment news, I knew about but did not attend a casting call for the movie Lessons Learned. At the beginning of this month, I saw an announcement in the paper which said that "part of the movie will be filmed around Lexington," and I ignored it. Now I wonder if that would have been my big break, if I gave up a seven-figure salary in entertainment by staying home.
Have you ever found yourself hating a song when you first hear it, but then it grows on you, and now you really like it? Of course you have. I wonder if your two examples match my two examples.
The first song I can remember changing my mind about is "The Glamorous Life" by Sheila E. I hated it, but now I like it. Imagine that!
The other song I absolutely couldn't stand to hear when it hit the airwaves: "One Thing" by Amerie. Avoided it for a long time, until one day this year, at Rachel's house in Destin, when I saw this Cinemax commercial and started loving the song. Bingo bango, I am now a big fan of a song I hated.
Oh, speaking of changing my mind, I have a funny story. When I got the idea to write this blog entry, I thought, "that might be kinda interesting." And now that I have written it, I have changed my mind and am now thinking, "this qualifies for my Top Ten Most Boring Blog Entries Ever."
Was back at work today, in Georgetown KY.
Overheard a client give his date of birth as 10-28. I thought of Mom and wanted to cry.
Yesterday I learned all about the item that Mom had bought Rachel for Christmas, by finding and calling a store that was listed on Mom's credit-card bill. Unfortunately, they don't have any left, so if I want to get it for Rachel, I think my only option is eBay. Guess the time has come for me to make my first eBay purchase ever.
In a recent entry I mentioned three different neighbors. Today I will mention a fourth, my next-door neighbor Mary Ann. It was my great pleasure to spend the afternoon with her; we ate lunch at Good Foods Co-op, and then we both gave blood at Central Kentucky Blood Center. That was quite a surprise, for her to want to go with me.
I had suggested CKBC to her because I was prepared to give my 40th pint today. So, being so agreeable, Mary Ann gave her 1st pint today (and I gave my 40th). Woo-hoo! I am an official 5-gallon blood donor. Bring on the party!
Pictures are only available on Mary Ann's camera phone — I did not have my Powershot G3 camera with me.
Yesterday, I found out that my actress sister appeared on last week's episode of Desperate Housewives. Why didn't she tell me sooner?
Let me try to get a little bit caught up here; there are a lot of little anecdotes I've been wanting to post but haven't made time to write — until now.
ZACH: a neighbor boy who lives three houses downhill from me, he's always ringing my doorbell to get me to throw a football or a frisbee with him. I've mentioned him here before as the boy who likes jousting on bicycles, but I'll mention him today in order to give you this funny new catchphrase he invented: "kiss your prayers goodbye." Oh, and Zach also loves to say "what the crap" when he is frustrated by his lack of throwing skills.
SHAY: a neighbor girl who lives two houses uphill from me, she will join me and Zach sometimes in the front yard and be our tree-climbing expert. She doesn't have a catchphrase, but she did teach me that, at her school, "cool" stands for "constipated overweighted out-of-style loser" and "jerk" stands for "junior educated rich kid." I know you'd want to know these things, so I'm publishing them here.
SHERYL: the Spanish teacher who lives across the street from me, she has surprised me recently by joining me, Zach, and Shay in my front yard for random activities like pseudo-football. She's really nice, and I was most pleased when she brought me a slice of pumpkin pie, out of the blue, for no reason at all.
JENNIFER: Danny's wife seems to be fascinated by my eccentricities. During my Thanksgiving visit, she laughed at me twice when I was not being funny. The first time was when I referred to breakfast cereal as a travel snack, and the second time was when I was discussing the free bowling coupons in my local paper. Both of these things caused J to crack up when I least expected it. Hope I can learn to act normal when I visit her again. Laughter is almost always welcome in my life, but not when it confuses me.
DANNY: my golfing cousin was so very very bored on the day after Thanksgiving. I wish I was a decent golfer. I would have been thrilled to kick his ask up and down the golf course instead of pursuading him to take me to WolfChase Galleria mall. Unfortunately, my golf skills are weak.
ROCHELLE: it's a shame that Rochelle lives in NYC. When she returns to Lexington, she brings so much light and happiness to our quiet little town. She hosted a big get-together at her Mom's house on November 25th and showed everyone how easy it is to do so.
TANYA: on November 26, I accompanied Tanya on her shopping quest, and we visited Third Street Stuff, Jonk, and the Versailles Flea Mall. What I most want to mention, though, is that she told me I look better now because I've "filled out." I asked her, do I have a double chin now?
ARIANA has kept herself way, way off the radar for a while, blocking my attempts to keep in touch. However, she recently sent me a little package containing a sympathy card and other stuff. How great is that? I thought I'd never hear from her again.
ROB: my former coworker has now become my drinking buddy. I don't drink, but he gets me out of the house to go drinking with him anyway. The other night, we were at Grapevine, and I was making waves with a college guy by flirting with his girlfriend. No guys ever feel threatened by me, which is why I have no problems singing to women or flirting with women or asking women to dance even if their men are hovering over them. Nothing ever comes of it, and it was obvious that nothing would have come of me and pink-sweater girl at Grapevine. Oddly enough, though, when college guy started repeating that he would make sure I don't cross the line, Rob joined the conversation and became like a menacing bodyguard. Then Rob's brother Steve saw us and joined us, too, so it looked like I had 2 big bodyguards. So college guy then rushed inside to grab 2 big guys who might defend him, and instantly, my innocent interactions with pink-sweater girl had turned into a mob scene on the sidewalk. I couldn't believe it; this was all happening over NOTHING. And, thank goodness, ultimately, nothing violent happened because a lady bartender persuaded college guy to leave. What a night!
Okay, good, I have been wanting to share those stories for quite a while. Now I just need to get the motivation to post more pictures and movies from the past month.