SquawkAbout Bloglets

This is a collection of some of the items of interest from my SquawkAbout Blog so they will not be lost but will have a home of their own.

Fascinating Facts

(Appeared on Geoff's SquawkAbout Blog - Feb 19, 2009)

When you start to look too hard at coincidences, things can get pretty spooky. The assassinations of Presidents Lincoln and Kennedy for example:

  1. Lincoln was elected in 1860, Kennedy in 1960.
  2. Both were killed on a Friday.
  3. Both died in front of their wife.
  4. The successor of both presidents was named Johnson.
  5. Andrew Johnson was born 1808, Lyndon Johnson 1908.
  6. Both assassins were killed before standing trial.
  7. Lincoln's secretary was named Kennedy.
  8. Kennedy's secretary was named Lincoln.
  9. Both secretaries warned their President not to attend the fatal event.
  10. Booth shot Lincoln in a theatre and ran to a warehouse.
  11. Oswald shot Kennedy from a warehouse and ran to a theatre.
  12. Both President's surnames have seven letters.
  13. Both assassin's names have 15 letters.

Extracted from Martin Avis' Newsletter :-

More often than not, Less is More

(Appeared on Geoff's SquawkAbout Blog - Feb 25, 2009)

Why is it that so many Internet Marketers and so called "script writers" will never use one word when forty-seven, or better still ninety-seven, will do?

Has it something to do with the idea that we, their readers, are savouring every word they write, or that robotic search engines value content, content, content, irrespective of quality? Do they think that their prospective customers will escape if they are not mesmerised by an endless barrage of words that sell, sell, sell, over and over again.

Surely we have all been frustrated by this overkill, but let me give you an example, just as it happened to me. A year or so ago I had an idea to start a forum about the good old days. I went to Google to find a program and in a few seconds, found a clear heading that appeared to be what I was looking for. I read the first couple of paragraphs and, yes, this was just what I wanted. I was ready to buy... there was just one question - HOW MUCH WILL IT COST ME?

I read a couple more paragraphs, still convinced, but HOW MUCH? I started to scroll down looking for the price, down and down, down down down through paragraph after paragraph of more convincing content and buy now buttons.

Frustrated and annoyed that I was being manipulated I left the site, and that marketer lost an almost certain sale. I never went back.

Do you feel annoyed by the blatently obvious over-sell and excessive word padding of so many IM sites?

My little Grandson put it in a nutshell. He came home from school with a gold sticker on his shirt. I asked him what it was for and he said, "Maths." (That's Math in USA) I said, "Are you good at maths?" He said, "Yes, ask me a question."

So I posed a question about apples cut into quarters and shared with his Mummy and Daddy, Grandma and me, and I asked him how many apples he would have left. He immediately gave the right answer and quickly followed up with,

"But don't tell me the story, just ask me the Question."

Another might have said, "Cut the crap!"

Susan Boyle - An Unforgettable Performance

(Appeared on Geoff's SquawkAbout Blog - Apr 21, 2009)

I guess it's a sign of our vintage that we find little to amuse us on TV these days. Apart from British programmes like 'Time Team' and the 'Antiques Road Show' I find little of interest. We have a copy-cat programme called 'Australia's Got Talent, but I have never seen it. I do enjoy a couple of Aussie shows, 'The New Inventors' and 'The Collectors', and I watch the News, but that's more out of habit than choice.

In the days of radio, when I was a kid, we used to listen to a programme called 'The Australian Amateur Hour', where aspiring performers sang or played their best. It launched a number of promising careers, but that show died, along with popular music as we knew it, many years ago.

Susan Boyle's performance on 'Britain's Got Talent', last week, has created quite an international stir and I hope her astonishing performance rewards her well, without doing her more harm than good.

For me, it was the change in the attitude and the expressions on the faces of the judges and the audience, when she started to sing, that made her performance so memorable. The amazing quality of her voice really made the judges and the audience sit up and take notice. Their expressions changed from bored cynicism to astonishment and excitement as soon as she started to sing.

If you would like to see this memorable performance again, click on Dream Video.

Rumours suggest that she has been invited to make a recording, that she has been invited to visit America and even that sales of tickets to see 'Les Miserables' skyrocketed after her performance. One thing is sure, news of her performance spread like wildfire around the world in a few days via the Internet.

Good luck Susan! You really have got talent.

Yaro Starak's Membership Site Masterplan

(Appeared on Geoff's SquawkAbout Blog - 26 Apr, 2009)

On Monday 27th April, 2009 Yaro Starak is releasing a new FREE report, The Membership Site Masterplan.

The Masterplan is a 72 page report that teaches how to plan, launch and profit from a successful membership site. It is pure content, plus an invitation to join Yaro's six-week membership site training course.

The training course will be by subscription only.

Announcing the release, Yaro said, "I'm really looking forward to releasing the masterplan because I know it's going to help a lot of people realise life changing income online by launching a successful membership site."

Click here for the free report.

Click here to download the Membership Site Masterplan free report

Make Own Wine?

(Appeared on Geoff's SquawkAbout Blog - Apr 30, 2009)

How to make own wine is a question that lots of wine lovers are asking. There is a growing interest in learning how to make wine at home and it seems that apart from the economic reason that you can make own wine for less than $1.00 a bottle, many new enquirers like to do things for themselves and want to see how it works.

Let's face it, people have been making their own wine for centuries, and like home made beer, the quality of home made wine has improved tremendously in the last couple of decades. Improved recipes and methods, and a greater scientific understanding of how it all works, accounts for the difference.

Unlike the home brewed beers of the 60's, you will hardly ever find a poor home brew these days. The quality is consistently good and equal to or better than the bought varieties, and so it is with wines.

Still, there's a fine line between making outstanding wine that everyone will love and making five gallons of vinegar. You have to get the right recipe and the right instructions to help you to make a home-made wine that will win praise from your guests.

Cleanliness and sterilisation of bottles and brewing equipment is extremely important. If you make a mistake, and it doesn't turn out right, you might have to drink it all yourself, and that would be a pity, wouldn't it?

It is most unlikely that you will have a disaster like that if you learn about how to make your own wine. Get good advice from someone who knows from experience how to do it and follow their advice. Plan what you are going to do, how you are going to do it and where you are going to do it. Be prepared and have everything ready in advance. You will be pleased that you did.

Most importantly, have fun. My 9 year old grand daughter gets in the kitchen with her grandmother, making cakes, and she has fun. (They both do.) She mixes the ingredients, pours the mixture into the cake tins, shapes the biscuits (cookies) and helps in every way she can.

She has fun every step of the way, and all the time looking forward to the delicious cakes that will come out of the oven. (We all do) And, you know what, they have never had a flop yet.

Making wine at home is pretty much the same. Read the recipe, follow expert advice, have all the ingredients ready and have fun. You can't go wrong!

You can read more about making your own wine here at my Squidoo Lens

Llangollen Canal Holiday Cruise

(Appeared on Geoff's Squawkabout Blog - May 17, 2009)

Our cruise on the Llangollen Canal last year is the subject of a new Squidoo Lens, complete with photographs taken on that trip. You can see the Lens here, where you'll also be able to see video/slide shows of the trip.

You might have followed our Llangollen Canal holiday last year, when we were with Will and Pamela Aslett on the narrowboat "Charlton". We featured it on our holiday website. If so, I am sure you will enjoy revisiting the canal in that lovely part of Britain.

To go to the Living Family History Home Page click here.