News from all over: Foreclosure Hell

Obama vetos “Foreclosure Bill”

The Wall Street Journal, New York Times and the Washington Post all have articles on President Obama’s plans to veto a bill that should make it harder for homeowners to stop foreclosures.  H.R. 3808, is actually the Interstate Recognition of Notarizations Act of 2010.

The WSJ went so far as to comment that this is the

most direct intervention so far into a growing debacle tied to how banks foreclose on homes.”  Regulators “have struggled to formulate a coordinated response to recent mortgage allegations, in part because they worry intervention might destabilize the fragile housing market. (Italics mine)

So we’re going to let all these people lose their homes with bad paperwork from the banks, and that will stabilize the market?  What are we working toward here, a larger homeless population?

The Post reported the bill would have made courts accept notarizations from across state lines

but as the lack of a proper paper trail in mortgage documents came to light, the idea of relying on electronic notaries triggered protests from real estate lawyers and consumer advocates.

Hammering the market

Front page of the New York Times: the fallout from the slipshod foreclosure documents across the country is

hammering the market, especially in states where distressed properties are abundant.

And The Washington Post wrote about MERS (Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems) documents being cited in thousands of court filings about questionable foreclosures and also predicts a worsening market.

If courts increasingly begin to nullify the MERS model – different judges have issued differing rulings — this could call into question the legitimacy of millions of mortgages, wreak havoc on the real estate market, spur costly litigation against Wall Street banks and ultimately harm the broader financial system. (Italics mine)

God knows we wouldn’t want to ask Wall Street to answer for anything, would we?

grassfed-gheeGrass-Fed Ghee is the perfect expression of buttery goodness. shop now and see what all the hype is about!

Full Article at the Wall Street Journal; New York Times, Washington Post

Fashion your sidebar headers in Thesis for WordPress

Drive Traffic to Your WordPress Blog

There are a couple of things you can easily do to your sidebars to dress them up. I’m sure you know by now that the control for the font (size, color, and font face) are in the Thesis Design Options. We’re going to go further than that.

To change the  sidebar color, you must add a line of code to your Custom CSS file (http://YourSiteName.Com/wp-content/themes/thesis_18/style.css/). And you can make the colors different in each of the sidebars by calling out ‘sidebar_1’ or ‘sidebar_2’.

/*Art of Rockstar Sidebar Color*/ .custom #sidebar_1 {background:#BA5A88 none repeat scroll 0 0;}  

A couple of things: when you copy and paste these codes into your custom functions file, make sure that your computer doesn’t change any of the characters you see here to something that will kill your wordpress blog.

For some reason occasionally when I transfer code from notepad to my custom_functions.php file on my server, the quotes (“) will be changed to a solid rectangle that I can not even duplicate for you . . .

To simply color the space the header is in, you must add a line of code to your Custom CSS file (http://YourSiteName.Com/wp-content/themes/thesis_18/style.css/). And you can make the colors different in each of the sidebars by calling out ‘sidebar_1’ or ‘sidebar_2’.

/*Art of Rockstar Highlight Sidebar Headers*/ .custom #sidebar_1 {background:#666666 none repeat scroll 0 0;} 


If you build it, will they come? 1 of 3

Perhaps, in the 90’s, when I first published (June 21, 1998, Laloba Press went live) it didn’t take much to be found in the search engines and to get traffic.  And to make money on the world-wide web.  (Our favorite fantasy!)

In those early years, I had a couple of gigs that went to really impressive numbers of hits in a hurry; Aerosmith.Mu being the highest trafficked website I’ve ever built (1,000,000 hits a week when I pulled it down – long story, different post; but I’ll tell you, those Aerosmith people didn’t buy a thing.  NO income from that site even with all that traffic. I did have great seats at concerts in Boston and Atlanta for years though.)

My GeorgiaMortgageMoney.Com website got a lot of attention, good traffic, and supported my family for about ten years.  At one time it got the attention of a mortgage lead generation website conglomerate who considered buying it for their use. (Great gig if you can get it, selling websites to the big guys.)

But back to my point, that whole “Field of Dreams” philosophy is a pipedream. Even in the nineties we had to do SEO, we had to get listed in those places that people looked, and we had to have something people were actually looking for.

The number of websites listed on Google grew from 26 million in 1998 to one trillion in 2008; now, in 2010, the number of pages estimated on the web is infinite* (and growing by the day).

For about a year I made good money –  $500 to $1000 bucks a month just selling for  Don’t try this at home.  They changed their affiliate payout and my income went to zero.  I killed that site.  I should have revamped it for another personals site, but, honestly, I was sick of the whole personals thing.

The entire time GeorgiaMortgageMoney.Com was live (10 or 12 years) I made about a grand a month off one advertiser – a guy selling information on personal lines of credit.  He changed his payment plan too, so he’s not getting any press here.  It was my only ad – I was making money from the mortgage applications the site brought in, but that one ad paid all my expenses.

And there are authors who are pulling in $100K a year off their blogs.  But it isn’t like the money rolls in while they sleep.

Previous | Next “Whattya got?”

*The Official Google Blog, We Knew the Web was Big,  “The first Google index in 1998 already had 26 million pages, and by 2000 the Google index reached the one billion mark.”

Rock On!

If you build it, will they come? 2 of 3

In the movie Rebel Without a Cause, James Dean is asked, “What are you rebelling against?”  To which he answers, “Whattya got?”

So, I’m asking you, “Whattya got?”

  • Pretty pictures?  Great flash?

    No-one will discover a flash site without a name like Versace or Chanel and even those sites will make you nuts with their introductory movie and inability to really get information. Click on a link for information on the Versace Unique mobile phone, and you get a form to fill out, not information.  And then they’ve got your phone number and email address . . . I’d expect more from Versace, and they have that dreadful techno music that is going to blare over anything you might have chosen to listen to on your own.

  • How about a cookie-cutter website for real estate agents, mortgage people, or even dog-sitters?

    Those “website-in-a-box” themes that let you add your name, address and phone number aren’t going to bring you business unless you work them, and if you leave the text they came with, Google is going to consider your site spam for using the same text as the other 10,000 sites that look just like yours in different colors.

  • You have content.

    Please tell me you have content.  I don’t care if it is your personal Gay Pride rant, or your answer to Arianna Huffington, you have content and it is yours. It isn’t some other article you’ve seen and rehashed, it isn’t one you’ve plagiarized with some tricky software to steal other people’s work, and it isn’t one that is blatantly the RSS feed of someone else’s website.

Previous | Next  You wonder if it is worth the struggle.

If you build it, will they come? 3 of 3


You have to wonder if it is worth the struggle.

You have to work at being found: you have to work the SEO, the social media angle (Facebook, Twitter, et al) and create a community with which you interact.  And while you work to get your twitter followers above the number ten, and the people who get your feed in the thousands, you wonder if it is worth the struggle.

May I remind you of just a couple of bloggers who have gone on to other successes. The two that come to mind are:

Julie & Julia

A woman decides to cook her way through Julia Child’s cookbook, and blogs about it daily.  Goes to a book.  Book?  Book, movie, I’m surprised she’s not on a walking tour!

And then, a movie, by Jove.  I’ll admit, I had NO interest in the blog or the multitude of books.  I watched the movie, and while the Julia portion was wonderful(!) the Julie part could have been left on the cutting room floor.

But, do you think Julie Powell minds?  I certainly would not.  I’d take a book deal or a movie deal on any of the blogs I write on, and laugh all the way to the bank bad reviews or no.

Jen Lancaster

Our gal Jen wrote a blog (www.jennsylvania. com) which someone decided should be a book.  I read it,  “Bitter is the New Black” , and while some of it was funny, most of it was just plain mean.  Evidently that works for NAL, which is part of PenguinGroup.  And apparently she has arranged and rearranged her blog several times over, producing a new book every now and then . . . or taken snarky things she’s written since the first one was published to create the new ones.  She’s turned into a veritable industry of  . . . bitchiness.

Interestingly, jennsylvania isn’t so bitchy lately.  I don’t really believe what she says, in that I don’t believe she means it after having read her first book, but maybe it is a good thing for her karma to be putting nicer words out in the cosmos.

With those two success stories, you should realize that YOU can do anything.


Previous |

My new favorite store: Frosdick of London

Unfortunately, a luxury expedition to Africa is not on my agenda this year (or even next year), but were I on my way, it would be in full “Safari Style” and I’d be shopping at my new favorite store in the whole world, Frosdick of London.

From their press:

  • launching its first line of bespoke*, vintage-inspired safari-style boots called the “Out of Africa” collection. Taking design cues from the British Colonial “great white hunter’s” classic attire, the boots are made entirely by hand in Northamptonshire, UK, using only the finest leather from Italian tanneries combined with pure cotton 20-ounce canvas woven in Scotland’s Dundee. The boots, available for both men and women, are lined with the softest calf leather for comfort and durability and trimmed with elegant, Italian solid brass buckle fastenings. The canvas uppers can also be finished in genuine Burchell’s zebra skin and ostrich leather, both ethically sourced in Africa.
  • The bespoke products will be available starting this summer with prices expected to begin at about $6,000 for boots and $4,000 for bags. Other items can be custom made and are limited only by your imagination.

No website, sorry, contact for more info.

* Bespoke (pronounced bih-spohk’) is a British English term employed in a variety of applications to mean an item custom-made to the buyer’s specification . . . the term historically was applied only to tailored clothing, shirts and other parts of men’s apparel involving measurement and fitting.

Bespoke Definition courtesy of Wikipedia

How to exploit Twitter; Sample of the best use of Twitter Info

Trying to figure out what to do with Twitter?  How to find your customer base?  Impress them, and not offend them?

Wheat Thins has a plan.  One of the best “tweetploitations” I’ve seen.  Watch:

Wheat Thins has other ads based on tweets, but this is by far my favorite.  If you’ve seen other companies really use twitter to compel brand awareness, tell us about it in the comments.

Google Instant with Bob Dylan

The very best Google “Instant” Demo I’ve seen.

You stuff your pockets while Rome is burning || I am America

I am America lyrics, performed by Krista Branch

Pay no attention to the people in the street
Crying out for accountability
Make a joke of what we believe
Say we don’t matter ’cause you disagree
Pretend you’re kings, sit on your throne
Look down your nose at the peasants below
I’ve got some news, we’re taking names
We’re waiting now for the judgment day

I am America, one voice, united we stand
I am America, one hope to heal our land
There is still work that must be done
I will not rest until we’ve won, I am America

You preach your tolerance, but lecture me
Is there no end to your own hypocrisy
Your god is power, you have no shame
Your only interest is political gain
You hide your eyes and refuse to listen
You play your games and abuse the system
You stuff your pockets while Rome is burning
I’ve got a feeling that the tide is turning

I am America, one voice, united we stand
I am America, one hope to heal our land
I will not give up on this fight
I will not fade into the light, I am America

You stuff your pockets while Rome is burning
I’ve got a feeling that the tide is turning

I am America, one voice, united we stand
I am America, one hope to heal our land
I am America, one voice, united we stand
I am America, one hope to heal our land

I will not give up on this fight
I will not fade into the night, I am America

Facebook People

I use Facebook on a limited basis for my personal life.  I enjoy seeing what other people have to say (some of the time) and try to remember that all these people wanted other people looking at their lives, or they wouldn’t post it on Facebook.  Meaning I’m not a voyeur, even if this stuff makes me feel like one.

There is a larger difference in me and them that is illuminated by the lunch I had with my 23 year-old-daughter (the one on the dean’s list at GSU).

I made a salad with spring greens and grilled salmon.  I added a balsamic vinaigrette. She added croutons, raisins, pecans and a fresh peach before the balsamic.

I put a fork in my salad, and she opened up her MAC, pointed the screen at her plate, and posted a picture on Facebook.



There’s a scene in the movie Hostage where intruders in a home invasion trigger the alarm.  One of the intruders, looking at the windows being covered and bars going across the doors, remarks disparagingly, “fucking rich people.”  These are people he doesn’t understand.  Will never understand.

Bruce Willis, the cop who will save the day, watches the same security activity from the outside and murmurs (equally disparaging, because he doesn’t get them either),   “fucking rich people.”

Perhaps you get my drift.