Thursday, July 28, 2005

Checking In

Man, I've been so busy keeping updated that I haven't had time to write anything here. So here's a scoop of what's been going on.

Rakkasah - Summer Caravan. Shab performed at this year's Summer Caravan with a routine chock full of new material. As the 2005 Bellydancer of the Universe, and 2005 Bellydancer of the Year, the place got packed when she went on, and she didn't disappoint. Nice going lady.

My New Drum. While I was there a picked up a new djimbe(sp?). Apparently the artist that built it was from Indonesia and wanted to try something new following the tsunami's. This was his first attempt, and it was a good one. It sounds so much better than the practice drum I had been using.

Broadswords. Another day of swordfighting. I bought myself a new broadsword for yesterday's broadsword and double-stick seminar. Someone bought another for me thinking I wouldn't have one, so now I have two. The seminar was pretty fun, but man is my forearm sore.

Google Ads at I put some Google Adsense links earlier this week, and they pay a lot better than Amazon's associate program. I might actually have a way to pay for my hosting, the extra fees for the SQL Server Account, the Trademarking and the Mailing List account. A good friend of mine was worried that people might think I'm selling out by posting the Google ads. To which, my response is, I'm still maintaining the site for free, so who cares.

I finally got the ASPmail setup too, so that I can notify people when they've been linked. That's something I've been wanting to do for a long time. Hopefully that'll help keep the traffic up.

Trademarks. I finally started the very expensive process of trademarking the Moluv name and logo. There are still a few steps to go, but everything should turn out okay. With the amount of money I shelled out for this stuff (nearly $2000), I'm definitely going to be using it to sell something. Look out for t-shirts. Ooh, and maybe some lingerie. I don't think Shab will mind me interviewing underwear models. ;-)

Jiu-Jitsu. In order to make all the upgrades to, I've pretty much abandoned my jiu-jitsu classes at Ralph Gracie's school in Berkeley. I miss that class. After I figured out the mechanics behind the arm bars, though, it wasn't as challenging anymore. Winning started to become purely a function of patience. Waiting for an opponent to leave an arm dangling, or keeping the neck exposed for too long. It was still fun though. I'll probably start up again in the near future.

Mike's Married and the San Jose Grand Prix. Saturday, one of the administrators of, Mike Mulvey is getting married out here in the San Francisco Bay Area, then the new couple is moving to Miami. On Sunday, I'm going to do my best to see some champ car racing in San Jose. It would be my first for these types of cars. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Grand Prix of Sonoma

Last Sunday my mom hooked me and my brother up with some free tickets to the American LeMans race at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma. We hooked up my long-time Honda civic mechanic Sammy from Oakland Auto Works and his buddy Jeff before the race.

The coolest part about the whole thing happened when my brother and I first arrived. When we drove into the facility, we were immediately escorted to the Corvette paddock at the top of the hill. When we got there, there were Vette's galore. There were a bunch of attendants politely guiding us to our parking destination. Once we were settled into our spot, it turned out we had the best view of the track from right there. I really like my car.

Below is a photo gallery of what followed that day.

First we looked at the Ferraris.

Then we looked at the Pirellis.

Last year's GT1 champ was on hand.

This year's top 2 GT1 contenders are once again Corvettes.

The GT1 winner of the Grand Prix of Sonoma.

A brand spanking new unreleased Corvette Z06 was on hand at the Corvette paddock.

Outhouse for sale?

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Odds and Ends

The Broadsword
Yesterday in Kali, I got to practice with the broadsword for the first time. It's tricky changing striking styles when switching from stick to broadsword. We typically use "bouncing" strikes with the stick, whereas the broadsword requires a "pulling" strike. The defense changes from one weapon to the other too.

.Net Magazine
I just got an email from the editor of the UK's ".Net" magazine saying there's going to be a mention of in the next issue. How cool is that? I hope I can get all my banner and advertising stuff ready by then.

American LeMans @ Infineon
This Sunday I'm headed out to Sonoma County with my brother to watch the American LeMans race featuring the GT1 class dominating Corvette C6-R's. One of these days I'm going to get my car on that track. As soon as I have enough money to pay for those expensive replacement tires it will happen.

SFBAPC Luncheon
Today I'm going to a luncheon being held by the San Francisco Bay Area Publicity Club. I'll get a chance to meet the editor of Wired Magazine and a deputy bureau chief of The Wall Street Journal. The subject is "Working With Tech Media". Actually, I'd better go now, or else I'll be late.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Mo's Real Neighborhood

A few weeks ago a kid came by my house and saw me washing my car. He told me his birthday was coming up and that he wanted to earn some money to buy stuff for his birthday. Since then, he's been coming by every Sunday to wash my Honda Civic. He's not allowed to touch the Vette yet. :-) He's a good kid, but in the process of helping him earn some cash I began to realize what kind of neighborhood I had moved in to.

I suspect there's a lot of drug activity going on in three specific houses, but in dealing with this issue I'm presented with a couple of ethical dilemmas. I've met a couple of the guys who are probably dealing, and they actually seem kinda cool. Very respectful. Some are probably even related to my little car-washing buddy.

The first dilemma is this. When I was a young kid growing up, my father would occasionally sell a little of this, and a little of that to help put food on the table. Where most people see drug-dealers in black neighborhoods as the worst kind of criminals, I can't help but associate it with providing for family.

Don't get me wrong. I don't sell drugs ... never have, never will. I don't allow them in my home. I rarely even allow alcohol in my house, and don't even think about lighting a cigarette up anywhere near me unless your name is E-Dog. I don't condone the use of drugs or their sale. However, what people choose to do with their own time is their business until it interferes with the well-being of myself, my family, my friends, and my neighbors. As long as they're all okay, I'm okay. The way I see it, it's not for me to pass judgement on other people's personal habits, or the people that support them.

To be frank, I have a much bigger issue with the abuse of power in law enforcement and government, which brings me to my second dilemma. Most of the people doing this type of thing in my area are young black men who have pretty much given up on the possibility of making an honest living doing reputable work. Knowing what I know about racial bias in corporate America, who am I to pass judgement on them, and turn them over to people who are even more corrupt?

Based on my experience with racial bias in corporate cultures, I can't really blame them for not seeing the nine-to-five direction as a realistic alternative. They'd have a better chance at winning the lottery or becoming an NBA All Star than becoming a CEO of a Fortune 500 company. Not because they lack the talent and ambition, but because the folks in power simply won't let it easily happen.

There's nothing worse than having the delicate illusion of freedom stripped away by mediocre superiors who are well aware of the dependence we worker bees have on our salaries. Even still there are ways to fight back against idiots like this, but in the long run, its just a waste of everyone's time. If I've learned anything from all my years of martial arts, if you have to be in a fight, you're already screwed, because the animosity takes forever to go away.

On the flip side, at least with a steady job, young black men wouldn't die so early. Here I sit with entrepreneurship as the only answer, but they've already taken that route. Damn. I guess all I can do is help my little friend earn some honest cash and hope for the best for him ... and for the rest of us.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Operation HomeOwner Phase II: Banners

Almost finished. It's nearly time to finally start utilizing the power of EBay. Here's the concept: auction off banner space at Not a complex idea, but a fundamentally sound one, I think. It's easy to figure out how much Yahoo or Google charges for ad space, but how do I figure out what to charge for ad space on my site. The answer is: I don't. Let the open market figure it out.

Comparatively, a company like Yahoo! might charge $30 for 1000 page views. If a banner gets 5000 page views in a day, the company posting the ad would have to shell out $150. On my site, I don't have the time and sales resources of a Yahoo!, and I'd just be picking numbers out of the sky if I chose a price to charge per thousand.

By auctioning off a month's worth of banner time, with no minimum bid required, people can pay whatever they want. If only one person or organization bids and wins with a flat rate of $1, they'll get to share banner space as one of 5 to 10 advertisers for over a month. Since gets maybe 15000 page views a day, that would probably turn out to be a pretty sweet deal. At the $30 per thousand page views rate I mentioned earlier, that $1 per month bid would be equivalent to paying Yahoo! $4500/day for the same amount of exposure.

Over time, though, I'd imagine that eventually the open market would recognize the value and begin bidding at a rate more in line with the value they'd be getting. It might be wishful thinking, though, but its worth a shot.

This weekend I'll start prepping the eBay offer. When all is said and done for the first round, I'll make sure to share the results.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Road Trippin: Oakland to LA for July 4th

Got some picks from my trip to LA for the Fourth of July weekend. I went down there to visit my long-time friend Eric "Big Dog" Deanda. E is one of those people that doesn't just make lemonade out of a lemon. He'll build designer cups out of the rinds, get top dollar for them, and have a 100% customer satisfaction index. Needless to say he has one of the most brilliant business minds I've ever come across, so it's always great to visit.

Oh, don't let me forget Stacey, Eric's lady, and Nancy. Nancy is Erik's mom, and the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. I've never met a more gracious hostess, and a more savvy salesperson. She's my LA mom.

After 6 long months of waiting, I finally got to see my nephew, the now famous Joshua Deanda. What a sharp kid. Great taste too. As soon as I started drumming, he started moving to the beat and tapping the table in front of him. He obviously has the Deanda trait of recognizing quality. :-)

I drove the Corvette down with Shab and we listened to the Audio CD of One Minute Millionaire. It was pretty inspiring. It really reinforces the connection between success and generosity. A good heart goes a long way towards creating success.

I also hung out with my good friend John Moss and his fiancee Veronica. Hey kids!

All us guys got to hang out at the Santa Monica pier while the lady's went shopping. We talked a little business, watched some of the street vendors perform, then went and kicked it on the beach, where there was a cemetery-like tribute to all the soldiers who have fallen in the Iraq war. It was really great to see such a grand statement being made for these heroes. Of course, they should never have been there in the first place, which was part of the message that was being put across.

After a full weekend of Eric's slammin grilled chicken, beef, links, beach bummin, and watching Spielberg's new masterpiece, War of The Worlds it was time to pose for a few pictures and put Vette in high gear on interstate 5.

Once I got home, I washed the car and went to sleep. No fireworks for me please. A pillow and a DVD will work just fine.