Skyline by Alexandra Nechita

Blogs I Stalk:
Pale Frog
Dr. Candice Bradley
This Und That

Todd Vickers
Serenity Property Maintenance
John Brearton
He Who Wishes to Remain Incognito

Chocolate & Zucchini
Chez Pim

Caplinger Genealogy Forum
MultiGen Search Engine
John's Family Tree

Investments :: Real Estate
Haute Homes
Portfolio & Resume

Nerd Housing
MBZ Ponton
Get Nekkid

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

SEO & SEM Tools I Like

15 Minute SEO

A|B Split Optimizer

Abakus Keyword Analyzer

Character Counter& Word Count Tool
Calculate the number of characters in words in a selection of text.

Check Server Headers Tool - HTTP Status Codes Checker

Code Similarity Checker

Commas in Keywords
Compare unique visitors to multiple domains; trend over time.

Covario Podcasts:
SEM oriented podcasts

Dig PageRank:
Check your pagerank rank with digpagerank in over 700 datacenters.

Drupal and Robots.txt

GLYNC Add-on for Firefox:
Glync is a Firefox extension which adds historical graphs to the External Links page in Google Webmaster Tools.

Google Adwords:
PPC program where webmasters can create their own ads and choose keywords.

Google Inside Adwords Blog

Google Adwords Certification

Google Conversion University

Google Labs

Google, Matt Cutts' Blog

Google Page Rank Explained

Google Rankings Keyword Density Analyzer:
Enter the domain or URL of your website to see which are the words
and phrases it uses most, see a detailed report on their numbers and density.

Google Tools:
Blog post discussing 57 Google tools outside the scope of many of the SEO/SEM ones shown here.

Google Trends

Google Webmaster Central

Guidelines on ALT texts in IMG elements

How keyword length and ad position impact CTR and CPC on Google AdWords

Insight24 Presentations

Max Characters in a Title?

MSN Keyword Forecast Tool

Quantcast Traffic Comparison Tool:
See the web like a crawler.

SEO Copywriting:
Description of the search engine optimization technique of SEO Copywriting, including details of its strengths and weaknesses.

WebPage Analyzer:
Website performance tool and webpage speed analysis.

WebTrends Resources

Free keyword suggestion tool.

WorkTracker Labs Keyword Question Tool

Writing Effective ALT Text for Images

Yahoo!, Optimizing For

Yahoo! Search Marketing Blog

YouTube B2B Event 6-6-8

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Thursday, May 22, 2008

ELF Review: Eyes Lips Face (ELF) Sucks

A girlfriend of mine (C.A.) circulated around an email citing that this make-up business called E.L.F. (Eyes Lips Face) was being bought by Nordstrom and that they were selling everything off for $1 as they needed to repackage their product line.

Here's the email:


The make-up line E.L.F. has been bought out by Nordstrom and will be re-packaged with the Nordstrom name on it. They are liquidating all the make-up in ELF packaging and are selling everything for $1. YES ONE DOLLAR. This includes brushes, nail polish and more.

Use the coupon code: CAROLINA and get $7.50 off your first $15 of your purchase (which should cover shipping costs). Enjoy!

Sounds like a deal too good to be true, eh? Well check out the tidbit I just found on the Nordstrom page:

Customer Alert!

We have learned that some of our customers received e-mails from an unauthorized and unknown source regarding the website We want you to know that Nordstrom and are not affiliated with or the e.l.f. product line, nor with any e-mail regarding that website or product line. Nordstrom does not sell e.l.f. products.

My first of two shipments arrived today. I excitably opened the box and everything was packaged nicely. No red flags. Eager to try out my new products, I tore the wrappers off of each item.

Being a lipgloss nut, I tried that first. I put it on and immediately noticed that it smelled of harsh chemicals. Something I've smelled in the organic chemistry lab. Something gross. Okay. So it's supposed to be a plumbing lipgloss, but it has a clear and a colored side. I'd put on the colored side without the plumping chemicals. So it just stunk, and it wasn't because I'd used the plumper. Can't imagine kissing ANYONE with THAT crap on my mouth. *tosses lipgloss into trash*

Maybe it was just one of their products.

I moved onto the eyeliners. Black? Check. Brown? Check. Hmm...caps don't stay on. Color flakes and clumps. Ewwww....

Skin concealer. Weird color. Powder? Weird too. Sort of reminds me of the color of a barbie doll.

Okay, so the brushes I ordered have to be OK. Right? Who could screw up brushes? I pulled them out of their sleeves and took a sniff. They stunk too. Barf.

I noticed that one of the items was made in China. Oy. Make up made in China where they have no industry controls. I turned a few more products over. "Made in China"..."Made in China"..."Made in China"...yikes! Every single thing was made in China. I make a point of never buying things made in China, if I can help it, and here I was sitting with an entire of body products from the land of toxic waste.

Their website doesn't allow returns and, oddly, a site search fails to turn up a single reference to their products being made in China.

Never again will I buy something from an email touting claims such as this.


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Sunday, November 11, 2007

Stuttgart Bound

I'm heading to Stuttgart to visit my friend AA and, of course, this means I'll have to start a new travel blog. I already have a blog for Paris, so perhaps I'll have to just turn the Paris blog into a general travel blog, and then retag my Paris posts as "Paris", Stuttgart, as "Germany", etcetera. Hopefully it doesn't turn into one helluva mess. It just doesn't make sense to have a separate blog for everything. Ya know?

I'm rather excited at the culinary prospects, the quaint little villages such as Tubingen, and the fact that I'll be in Stuttgart during the beginning of their Christmas festival. Christmas shopping in Stuttgart? Every shopaholic's dream. I think that only Zurich, London, or Paris might top it, but who says I can't get to Zurich? The last night of this whirlwind trip will be a Saturday night stop in Amsterdam as I have an overnight layover. Oh the horror of it. What shall I do with myself all night in Amsterdam?

I doubt that I'll do an "all-nighter" like I did last November in the Malpensa (Italy) airport but, rather, I plan to check my bags and then, with all due haste, hop the train at AMS into the city. Can I cram an evening dinner/boat tour, a trip to a kaffee shop (or two?), some touristy sightseeing, and random walking into a single evening and get back to the airport by 6AM?

Hell yes!

Who needs a hotel at 80E a night when there's so much to do?

I will pour my limp and well fed body onto my 8AM flight and hopefully sleep like a baby until I hit Detroit. :)

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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Happy Anniversary

Today marks 7 years since the day that J and I met for the first time in person. We initially met online, as so many Silicon Valley-ites do, and our first meeting was at Printers Inc. in Mountain View. At that time I was working at my first dotcom and J was at a bigtime advertising company: if I wrote their famous three initials you'd recognize it in a heartbeat.

It wasn't exactly love at first sight for me as he was in the throes of a separation. I didn't want to get mixed up with THAT. I said, apologetically, "Let's just try to be friends", which lasted for precisely three dates. Okay, they weren't really dates as we were just being friends. So three meetings? Three excursions? Call them what you will.

I think the pivotal moment, when I changed my mind, occurred the night he was over my roommate's and my home for a dinner party and at some moment I spied him washing the dishes WITHOUT HAVING TO BE ASKED. Unprompted. I was stunned. Taken aback. I'm sure my jaw hit the ground. "Surely", I thought, "such a creature is not to be let go."

And I didn't.

Happy Anniversary Sweetheart.


Thursday, July 19, 2007

My Sweetpea...My Princess

blue eyes, pointy ears
blonde puma slinking about
sound of princess feet

(1991 to 2000)

.:. silence .:.

light breeze, long slow breaths
summer light passes thru lids
napping cats mimic

I love writing haiku. This one was an entry for the Haiku Hotel.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Mayberry in the Bay Area

I ran into a sweetheart of a man at the bank yesterday. He eyeballed me driving one of my vintage mercedes benz and asked if I'd sell it. There's always a price at which one will sell, so I said, "Yes, actually I would."

That set off a long conversation which ensued in my being invited to his house today to see the work that he and his partner are doing on his vintage craftsman. Also part of the invitation was the chance to watch the Naglee Park Parade from his covered patio and then to a lovely picnic at the park around the corner.

It was like being in Mayberry, a veritable 1950's paradise, the parade and picnic. Darling little kids riding on their bicycles, all decorated in red, white, and blue, followed by all of the mothers to babies born since the last 4th of July. There was cars and trucks disguised as "pirate ships", children launching candy out of their cannons. A firetruck, a police car, and a dog that jumped through a hoop on command. Where in California does this happen but here? I've never seen such a spectacle. And I mean that in a good way.

I took mom along today, partly to get her out of the house and partly to persuade her that we might just want to live in the house that we're nearly in escrow on in this lovely, adorable neighborhood. Seeing people in such a neighborly way is heartwarming and makes me, more than ever, want to move into our house.