More Opinion by The Springboard

THE UPRISING OF THE AMERICAN PARTY "Clearly the voters are engaged right now, at least for sure on the republican side, and what they have concluded is that the republican party has not done their job. Thus, Donald Trump gets their vote."

Friday, January 30, 2015

What's In YOUR Egg McMuffin?

In many ways I find it wholly interesting that McDonald's is beginning to suffer a bit recently since, during the worst days of the economy, McDonald's stock actually held up fairly well. I even owned it through much of that period and I was never dissatisfied with the performance of the stock.

In the worst economic period since The Great Depression, people flocked to McDonald's stores for their coffees, burgers, and of course for their world famous French fries.

Lately McDonald's has come under a bit of fire with people questioning what is actually IN McDonald's menu items? Is it a health trend, or is it something more? Either way, McDonald's is making efforts to inform the public about their products, their processes, and even dispel some myths about what's actually in their food. Quite suitably they have turned to Grant Imahara, one of the former stars of the popular TV series Mythbusters to do some exploring, releasing videos and giving consumers an inside look at how McDonald's food eventually makes it over the counter and into your mouth.

The latest one is about their famous Egg McMuffin, with perfectly round shaped spats of eggs that fit perfectly onto each and every Egg McMuffin breakfast sandwich they serve. Truth is, ladies and gentlemen, while it turns out that their French fries contain about 19 chemicals and ingredients, their eggs are simply, well...eggs.

How do they get that round shape? Being one who has spent a little time in the kitchen, this one actually never seemed to be much of a mystery to me. Put an egg in a round form and cook it and voila! You get a perfectly round and uniform cooked egg. But many people had some different ideas about this, with some even suggesting that the eggs were actually cooked into a tube form and then sliced for the sandwiches.

I actually found this one quite comical.

I think McDonald's is doing the right thing by letting consumers know what goes into anything they eat at a McDonald's restaurant. As to the lackluster sales at McDonald's stores? Personally I do not think it has a thing to do with questions about McDonald's food, but rather it is simply a natural result of an improving economy. Remember that McDonald's did quite well during the recession. Part of that was due to its economical menu, such as the value menu items.

Any time an economy begins to show signs of improvement, one of the first things to change is where and how people decide to spend their money. In other words, people begin to treat themselves. That means people will begin to look for slightly higher end restaurants to eat at. Maybe they try a Wendy's, or even a place like a Jimmy John's. McDonald's simply happened to reap the benefits of being the go-to when consumers were feeling the pinch, and now that that pinch is easing a bit, people are simply going elsewhere.

I really think that's all there is to this.

McDonald's is not going anywhere, and quite frankly I do not see them coming even close to being unseated as one of the largest hamburger chains in the industry (although Subway takes the lead in quick serve overall). What they may be going through now is not outside of their history as a company. They have experienced little breaks in their company's performance in the past. Believe it or not there was a time when their Beanie Babies deal got them through a rough spell. After that coffee saved them. McDonald's will find their way back. It's simply what they do.

In the interim if consumers get to know a little bit more about what they eat when they visit a McDonald's restaurant, I am all for this. In fact, what I really want to know is how they make those Chicken McNuggets. If ever there was a mystery to solve, for me, it would be that one. Maybe Grant Imahara has something in the works on that one? Who knows. Either way, I think this is an interesting time to see how McDonald's reacts to consumer concerns over their food, and what new idea they will bring together to save their quick serve chain once again.



Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Tim Owens Steps Down As CEO of Drinks Americas (DKAM)

There are those funny moments. You know, like when the lottery is at an astronomical jackpot and you find yourself clacking away at the calculator trying to figure out what you'd reap if you actually got lucky enough to be the winner of it all.

Tim Owens, former CEO of Drinks Americas Holdings which has a connection with Mexican beer maker Cerveceria Mexicana, and distributes Day of the Dead craft beer among a few other brands stepping down, opens me up to one of those moments.

I love beer, man.

Earlier I was writing about the success of The Boston Beer Company and the one thing that makes Samuel Adams a great brand, and The Boston Beer Company a great company. It's Jim Koch and his love and passion for making great beer.

He's also quite keen on how to effectively run a company. That helps greatly too.

Drinks Americas Holdings has made some decent inroads getting its beer into various retail outlets such as The Fresh Market, Kroger, Walmart, and Walgreens. Even some 7-Eleven stores have taken to stocking Day of the Dead craft beer. When you're small, this is a big step. Unfortunately the company's stock price has suffered, and the company has had difficulty really turning the Day of the Dead brand into something spectacular.

I think it can be.

But that will take the leadership of someone like a Jim Koch. Someone who has a passion for beer, and who knows how to both bring that beer to market, and turn Drinks Americas into a strong player in its industry.

Day of the Dead and Drinks Americas has been a story more than 6-years in the making in a sector of the brewing industry that for many other companies has been the fastest growing sector for a very long time. When you are in beer, and enjoying double digit growth, that's something to be happy about.

So why hasn't Drinks Americas gotten there? I think, and while I am not begrudging Tim Owens, that his guidance simply was not enough to drive the company forward. His reasons for leaving were disclosed as "concerns over health issues." But I tend to think there is more behind the scenes that is happening that lead Mr. Owens to his decision than is being told.

Most of the Board of Directors is gone aside from Moreno, who is now the interim CEO of the company.

What is says to me is that there is sea change occurring. And I think with the inroads already made, fresh blood might be exactly what the doctor ordered to take this company to the next level.

It won't be easy. In order to attract talent at the CEO level you need to lay an attractive enough offer on the table. Especially if you may want to try and get someone into the CEO's seat who has a strong background with a major product launch with a larger company.

It's what made me think, just for a second. Yes. I do in fact love beer. Heck, I could probably buy the lion's share of this company and just seat myself. But what the heck do I know? I like drinking beer, and while I am passionate about the world of marketing and business, I am an investor. Not a businessman. So of course, that would not be nearly enough to take Drinks Americas to the next level as enticing as the prospect would be to at least try and do it.

I am confident that Moreno has some ideas as to where he wants to take the company next. But even still, I won't be adding any shares to my position until I know who the new CEO will be, and until I hear his ideas and get a clear view of his vision for where he plans to go with the brands and the company as a whole.

In the meantime I suppose I can sit back, crack open a cold one, and ponder the possibilities.


Gearing Up For Boston Beer Summer Sales

It is usually right about this time every year that I start taking another look at a favorite beer of mine, Samuel Adams, and that means The Boston Beer Company. This is one of those companies that I love to own, but prefer to trade. It just seems to consistently deliver for me in the way of gains if I buy a few months before the summer, and sell it a few months before the winter.

It's beer right? And people tend to drink more beer in the summer. Stands to reason? I think so, and the results of making this trade year after year so far has at least confirmed my theory on this.

Not to mention the fact that The Boston Beer Company is also a consistent solid performer, and every year I open a new position in the company, it costs me more upfront. There is also some appeal, I think, to the fact that Jim Koch loves beer, and is passionate about his business. The result is a solid revenue base, solid growth in the business, and when you have that personal touch added in—this tends to go hand in hand with solid performance.

The Boston Beer Company also happens to be, technically, the last big American brewery since Miller, Coors, and Anheuser-Busch were all bought by foreign beer companies.

I'll be watching the stock price over the coming weeks, and will begin to open my position. I'll also be watching the put options (which I prefer to sell) to make some money on that end of things as well.

With the put options I always take a look at where I think the stock price will go, and will set my strike price well enough below that so that I can essentially keep the premium paid to me, and not have to actually buy the stock. A process that I can repeat a few times while my interest is piqued in the stock and reap additional rewards.

I also happen to like the fact that a few of my summer six packs will be bought and paid for just by owning the stock and selling options on it. Best of both worlds if you ask me.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Watching Cypress Semiconductor (CY)

Back on the 21st I wrote that sometimes you simply root for sideways stock movement, and what I was referring to were stock options, and in this case Cypress Semiconductor (CY) in which I sold some covered call options for with a February 20th expiration date and a strike price of $15.

What was the plan?

Sell the calls and hope for the stock to stay below $15. Then there is always the problem with Murphy's Law, in which, if it happens to be of any interest whatsoever to you, I happen to have a very intimate relationship with.

If I short a stock it goes up. If I go long a stock it goes down. And when I sell a covered call on a stock that has been in a trading range and sell the call above the trading range that I do not wish to sell, but simply wish to generate cash on, it breaks through resistance and goes higher than the strike price.


Not that it bothers me ultimately. I still make money on the calls I sold and I still was already in the money on the underlying stock. Still, once a stock does go in the money I like to try and generate that cash monthly.

At least for a little while anyway.

So I am watching Cypress Semiconductor and keeping my fingers crossed that a) it will drop below the $15 strike, but not go too far below the strike, and b) that in the meantime the buyer of my calls does not decide to exercise his options forcing me to sell my stock.

It is trading today so far at $15.37, which also by the way happens to be a new 52-week high.



Friday, January 23, 2015

A Sinister Christmas Penguin

My wife has a thing for Christmas penguins. There are several of them throughout the house, and even one that lights up which we have outside. I of course think the Christmas penguins are ridiculous.

"What do penguins have to with Christmas?" I ask.

My wife gives me an incredulous look, "They're from the North Pole."

Of course that statement is possibly as ridiculous as I think the penguins are since most penguins are found in the SOUTHERN hemisphere. Not the Northern hemisphere where presumably the North Pole would be located.

Ahem. In any event.

One day for a practical joke I placed two of the smaller Christmas penguins in the microwave and snapped a photo which I shared on Facebook, and of course shared on my wife's timeline as well. After she posted, "Noooooooo!" she followed it up quickly with, "They will get you one day."

"I'm shaking in my boots," I responded.

Recently there has been a video circulating around which depicts an "Elf on a Shelf" sitting at a dinner table while a young man enjoys a snack. Next to him is a small pill bottle. The elf's hand moves a bit and shuffles the bottle. The young man looks at the elf sitting next to him, but the elf is still. He turns back to his plate of food and then the elf's hand moves quickly and knocks the bottle off the table. The young man jumps out of his chair and out of the camera shot.

The video brought me to tears. But then it made me think back to the exchange my wife and I had about those Christmas penguins. Most notably I recalled her warning me, "They will get you one day."

So we decided to have a little fun with the "Elf on a Shelf" video idea and make one of our own. Only this time we'd use a stuffed Christmas penguin with beady eyes and a hat with bells. What makes the video for me is the way the Christmas penguin slowly turns towards me.

My wife was the puppeteer. Although after I went back to stop the camera, my wife came out of the back bedroom. "Ready to do the video?"

Okay, that last part was made up. But it became part of the joke when I originally posted this video to my Facebook page.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

I Think I Could Do A Good Job, Biden Says

Could you call that one giant reason why Joe Biden should never be President of the United States? What are the American people looking for in a president? Leadership, plain and simple, and a strong and intelligent and compelling reason that they should hold the highest office in the land.

I think I could do a good job.

To be fair, I don't think that, even if Joe Biden decided to run for President of the United States, that Joe Biden would have a chance in hell of ever even getting close to becoming the Democratic nominee. In fact, I think he would most likely fall very low on the totem pole in such a scenario.

The truth is that we have been suffering from a severe lack of leadership by our current president, Barack Obama, and horribly failed policies that his administration just sticks to without hesitation, and without consideration as to the impact those policies have had, and will continue to have on the American people.

Joe Biden, I fear, would be worse than even Barack Obama, if that's even possible.

At the end of the day while I think it's too early to tell who will become the Republican nominee, I think so long as Hilary Clinton decides to make a run at the White House, she will be the one to beat. But Joe Biden is not, and will not ever be in the picture. If he is, it would sort of be like the guy standing behind the people who are actually supposed to be in the picture, holding up two fingers over their heads.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Sometimes You Simply Root For Sideways Stock Movement

Options in the stock market are something I enjoy using from time to time simply to generate cash. I actually really like them. Especially when a stock is trading in a range that already has you showing a profit on paper, you can generate wads of cash doing it this way.

I always sell options contracts. I never buy them. Or at least I rarely do.

Cypress Semiconductor is one such stock that has been trading rather nicely in the past month or so, and so I decided it was time to generate some additional cash and sell some contracts on the underlying stock.

I made a pretty little penny, and I want to do it again next month as well on this one. I sold covered calls with a $15 strike price for February. It is trading today at around $14.15 and the expiration is of course about 30 days away.

So I am keeping my fingers crossed that the stock continues to rise a little bit of course, but also trades a bit sideways until the calls expire. The beauty of these things is that even if the stock is at $14.99 on the day of expiration, it is unlikely I will be called. I get to keep my shares, continue to earn dividends on them, and when I go to sell March contracts hopefully I'll be close enough to the mark to sell them at a $16 strike price.

Best of all worlds.

The key for me is simply to get as much out of any stock I own as I possibly can. That's the plan for Cypress Semiconductor. There's another currently on my radar, but I don't like the market price right now for it's calls.

In due time. I am patient, and the contracts I sold for Cypress should more than allow me some time to wait to pull the trigger on the other candidate.

Photo credit: Image is from Springboard Images.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Baked Manwich Chicken Thighs

When you think of Manwich® sauce the first thing that typically comes to mind is a sloppy Joe sandwich. But in my house my wife happens to love Manwich®, and so my job becomes finding different ways to incorporate Manwich® sauce into our cooking dishes.

For this recipe it's pretty simple. We're just going to use about 3 1/2 pounds of chicken thighs. Put the thighs onto a prep pan (I use old and worn out cookie sheets) and then drizzle a little bit of Worcestershire sauce over them. Next, add some seasonings
Here is what I use:
  • Goya® Adobo seasoning
  • Onion powder
  • paprika
  • pepper
That's it. I like to keep it as simple as possible. The chicken by itself has a lot of flavor, and so does the Manwich® sauce we will
incorporate into this dish.

Layer the seasoned chicken thighs into a greased 13x9 casserole dish. Next slice an onion into rings. Lay the sliced onion rings on top of the chicken pieces in the dish. If you are like me and love onions, be liberal with them.

Next, pour the Manwich® sauce over the top of the chicken and onion mixture. Just drizzle it as evenly as possible.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and bake this dish for about an hour or until the chicken is done. That's pretty much it. This makes a fantastic dish and if you like Manwich®, it gives you another way to enjoy this sauce.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

A Note To My Delivery Guys

From time to time we all will order something to be delivered for dinner, whether it be a piping hot pizza or some Chinese food, or some other cuisine. I have made a habit out of tipping my delivery people very generously, 20%. I look at it this way. I am able to stay at home, stay in my creature comforts, and you are saving me time and energy not having to trek out or have to cook at home.

I appreciate that, and am willing to pay for that.

But something I do not advocate is a delivery charge. This is a decision that you, as a business has made to expand the reach to potential customers. There is a benefit to your business by providing delivery, because at the end of the day I see it this way.

Had you not offered delivery, you probably would not get a sale from me.

So your business is benefiting from my business directly because I have chosen you as my source to have something delivered to my door as opposed to having to go out and get it.

I should not have to pay you for my business.

And that is exactly what a delivery charge is. It is a request from your business for me to pay you for my business. This delivery charge will be deducted from my generosity.

I get that there are a lot of people out there that will still think that tipping their delivery driver a buck for their time and effort is appropriate, and it is probably what started the whole delivery charge trend, as well as, of course, gas prices.

I would rather you incorporate your cost of doing business with me into your price. Plain and simple. And that is the way you should be conducting business.

As a rule, if there is a delivery charge added to my total I deduct the delivery charge and calculate my 20% tip based on the total minus the delivery charge. My thinking is that the delivery charge is not put directly into the driver's pocket, but the owner's pocket. So the argument that gas is expensive is moot. The driver is paid an hourly wage plus tips. Not an hourly wage plus tips plus delivery charges.

This is gouging the customer and screwing the delivery guy.

I will grant you that very few people probably provide for a 20% tip to delivery drivers. But that being said, I want you to tell me what your product costs and let me decide how much I think that is worth. If you find that the cost of providing delivery is not correlating with the revenue generated from it, simply raise your prices, but leave the delivery charge off the table.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Not So Dead Celebs

Perhaps it's just me, but I don't quite understand the fascination of some people to post celebrity death hoax posts. I mean, I get it in some way. The Internet is a place that is driven by content, and these days much of that content equals some form of a payday. Practically everyone who plays on the Internet has at least some sort of blog—or is operating in some other revenue sharing circles from YouTube to places like HubPages, Daily Two Cents, and Elitevisitors just to name a few.

Even if there is no money involved, some people are just fascinated by the number of people who may simply like them, or share something they post such as is the case with Facebook and Twitter.

So in that way I get what the underlying motivation is to post about a celebrity's untimely demise. Still, I also find it to be a bit morbid of a fascination. To me death is no laughing matter no matter who it is.

The latest victim of such a hoax was of course Ricky Martin who recently posted a picture of himself on Twitter in which he titled Sunset in Heaven, letting his fans know that he is indeed still alive and kicking...

Well he is. His career may be another matter.

Which leads me to another bit of a thought on this whole trend of celebrity death hoaxes. I sometimes wonder if some of the motivation is to take someone like a Ricky Martin, whose career has clearly gone on the skids a bit, and at least get people talking about them again. In other words, are there sometimes PR staffs involved in this sort of thing?

Either way, it is still something I find disturbing, and it happens to be a trend I wish would just go away. The death of the celebrity death hoax post would be the one death post I'd like to be true.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

His Arm Signaled A Turn of Events

I find myself constantly going back to that age old school of thought that truth is stranger than fiction. Sometimes news stories come around that just sort of provide another example of confirming that some things you just can't make up. Stories like one a few years back where a would be burglar was found naked, stuck in a ventilation shaft. Apparently he disrobed, oiled up, and made his way through the shaft until he got stuck.

He thought the oil would be good lubrication to get him through a few of the tight spots.

Ahem. Seems that did not quite work out for him the way he intended. But it made for one heck of a story nonetheless, did it not? Even, if I remember correctly, the reporter who did the story was having a bit of a tough time keeping a straight face.

Who wouldn't?

And there was another story of a man in Wisconsin who after, admittedly, a little bit of excessive drinking decided to mow his lawn only to have his lawn mower being less than cooperative in that effort. It wouldn't start, and so of course the most logical thing to do would be to go into the house, grab your gun, and unload a few rounds into the thing.

Haven't we all wanted to do that from time to time with a few things?

Enter Arthur Lampitt who had an automobile accident 51 years and wound up having a 7-inch turn signal lever from an old Ford Thunderbird lodged in his arm. The lever apparently went unnoticed, and so far as Lampitt was concerned, he didn't even know the darn thing was there.

Until he was trying to lift something and something popped.

It was of course the turn signal lever from the accident. It was apparently removed without incident at his local hospital after a procedure which only took 45 minutes to complete. Arthur Lampitt and the turn signal lever are both fine.

You really cannot make this stuff up!

It makes me wonder, at times, as I sit trying to figure out the latest thing to come up with for a fictional tale why I even bother? Hell, just start sifting through the newspapers and I am sure something stranger than anything I might otherwise come up with will be right there in front of me.

Unions Are Full of Donkey Poop

My wife started her new job at a local grocery store. She will not be a cashier, but rather will be working in the pharmacy since she has 28 years of experience there. She also will be starting far above the minimum wage.

None of that is the point.

We will call her store Weber's Fine Foods to protect the identity of both my wife, and the store she works for.

The fact is that Weber's Fine Foods is a union store. And as such of course she will be required to join the union to work there. So with that there is also a union orientation, which is really code word for "presentation and propaganda spewing."

"Do not shop the non-union stores like Aldi, Walmart, Sam's Club, or Whole Foods." They go on to say that "every dollar spent in a union store is a dollar spent toward ensuring the future stability of every union employee and employer."

Ahem. Waders please. And it is beginning to stink in here a bit.

How much does Weber's Fine Food's pay their cashiers? $8.00 an hour. How about another local discount grocer in the same union local? $7.25.

Average starting wage of a Walmart or Sam's Club employee? Around $11.75. How much is the average starting wage for a cashier at Aldi? $12.00. How much is the average starting wage of a Whole Foods associate? Around $10-$12.

So tell me again how the union is ensuring the future stability of every union employee and employer when every union employer is below the radar when it comes to employee wageswhich by the way are further reduced by union dues?

Your union if full of donkey poop quite frankly and every indication is that working for a non-union store pays better, from the start and to the finish. But unions don't like to spout off numbers. Rhetoric is so much easier to spout off. And so long as they have captive audiences? All the better.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Sometimes Even I Can Put My Foot In My Mouth

It happens to the best of us from time to time. Saying downright stupid things is, at times, simply par for the course. And I am not free from doing it as well now and then. Of course, depending on who you may happen to be talking to, perhaps it happens more often than I would ever care to admit here.

"It is better to be thought of as a fool, than to open your mouth and prove that you are a fool."
I can't remember where that quote came from. But it stands to reason, does it not? So it happened the other day as I was having a conversation in the office regarding the New Year's that my wife and I, with my mother in tow as well, spent at the Hollywood Casino in Missouri.

"Did you win?" asked one of my esteemed colleagues.

"No," I replied. And then it happened. The statement of the century. The one that proved I was a fool when I opened my mouth and the words just flowed out.

"If I don't win, I either break even or lose."
Yep, there you have it. I said it. A completely and totally brilliant statement. Naturally there was a long pause, and then the laughter began. I sat like a puppy dog with his tail between his legs, and probably blushed a little bit.

I could only counter with, "At least it is, for the most part, a reasonably true statement."

That was my effort at a recovery. Of course I am sure it did nothing to fix the entirely foolish statement made just moments before. Ah well, what can one do except accept his own humility and just go with the flow and laugh along.


Friday, January 2, 2015

Questions About Child Shooting Mother

Obviously the story of the 2-year old who accidentally shot his mother at a Walmart store when he obtained her gun and it accidentally fired, killing her, is a tragic one. As is always the case in situations like this, the gun control people tend to come out of the woodwork if for no other reason than to shout as loud as they can I told you so. Guns are dangerous and should be banned.

I do not advocate for gun control laws, and certainly do not advocate for barring responsible citizens from carrying legally obtained weapons. But that's another story.

There are a couple of questions that come to mind, for me, as I think about the tragic events that unfolded in this case. For one, what was the mother doing, and for what length of time was she doing it, that the child could have had time to, unnoticed, reach for and fumble inside the purse to get hold of the gun?

My second question is why was the gun safety not on? Surely, despite the gun getting into the hands of the 2-year old, whatever was going on that the mom was so distracted not to notice, it would not have gone off.

Thirdly, why would any responsible gun owner not only leave a purse with a loaded gun in a shopping cart with a child? More importantly, why would you leave your purse unattended? It was obviously unattended long enough that she didn't even have a watch on her child that he was able to get the gun in the first place. Who else could have gotten that gun?

How many people have their purse's stolen?

I am not going to come right out and make any accusations as to the mother as I simply do not know all of the facts in the case. But certainly I think (and hope) that further investigation is ongoing to determine what exactly the mother was doing at the time the shooting occurred, and how long the child was unattended before the shot went off?

There is more to this story, I think, than just an accidental shooting.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Online Earnings Restructuring

At the start of the new year, many people set goals, or resolutions for the coming year. Things they would like to change, or things they would like to accomplish. I never resort to the making of resolutions mainly because they tend to be words on paper, and usually nothing more. That said, with the recent major issues arising out of Bubblews, which was a primary source of online income, I have decided that going into 2015 some changes need to be made to the way I intend to make money online through the new year.

In other words, I need to get back to what worked well in the past before Bubblews sort of captured my full attention and took over other efforts to make money online. I also need to look at new potential sources of revenue I have found that need a little bit more of my attention in order for the full potential of income to be realized.

You can think of making money online as a business. We all have something we do to make money online, whether it be writing on social media, or revenue sharing sites like WebAnswers, Bubblews, HubPages, or sites like this, or selling a little piece of our talents. Crafts we sell on eBay, for example, or designing things to sell on places like Zazzle. Some of us even write books which we publish through places like CreateSpace or the Kindle publishing program. Some of us also write, record, and distribute original music. Whatever the thing is that we do that makes us money through online efforts combined can be considered our own little business of sorts.

Businesses need effort and time. Businesses need nurturing and promotion. And sometimes businesses need to undergo a little bit of restructuring in order to fully maximize and capitalize on their full potential to succeed.

So, here are some of the goals I intend to follow through on in the restructuring of my own online money making business of sorts.

  • Increase the number of posts written for The Springboard.
  • Promote my original song "102 Idle Stones" more effectively and more vigorously.
  • Release other singles to add to the success of "102 Idle Stones," with a high concentration on international markets.
  • Establish a strong presence on sites likes PersonaPaper and Elitevisitors and continue to look for other revenue sharing sites that offer a place to write and share and earn.
  • Increase my efforts at WebAnswers which was a major source of online income in the past.
  • Revisit HubPages and reestablish relationships there.
  • Increase my designs and promotion of products offered through Zazzle.
  • Increase my presence in all forms of social media like Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus in order to maximize any promotional efforts I may wish to accomplish for any facet of my "online business."
  • Consider establishing a presence on eBay.
  • Increase my promotion of products sold through my affiliation with Amazon and continue to look for any other affiliate programs that offer a good deal of potential to increase earnings opportunities.
  • When writing, write more indepth articles, especially through HubPages and The Springboard.
These are just a few of the ideas I have going forward that, done right, should be able to more than make up for, and I even think surpass the earnings that I found possible through a site like Bubblews. The truth is, even though Bubblews earned very well for me, I have to wonder how much I missed out on simply taking that for granted, and letting everything else fall by the wayside in the process?

I think 2015 will not only be a good year for making money online. It will be the best year ever for making money online since I have been forced to return to getting down to business.

A Castle Not So Far Away

Truth is, who doesn't want to be famous? I mean, we all want at least our fifteen minutes of fame, right? And once this wonderful world we call the Internet opened wide up, suddenly the prospect became more and more possible.

Maybe not to be totally famous the likes of household names like Jim Carrey or Jimmy Stewart...
Or Jimi Hendrix for that matter. But to at least hold a piece of the pie. We can write. We can publish music. We can make videos and post them onto YouTube hoping to latch onto the coveted "viral video" that somehow makes its way to shows like Tosh.O.

Why do I post my cover songs and originals to the Internet, and write about them here? Why NOT? It's my fifteen minutes of fame. It's a fulfillment of a long held secret desire to be a beloved rock star, adorned by fans, and having women pass out at my very presence before them.

And I want that castle. The one in the picture. A few covers and posts about it away, hey? A few songs written about hey? It's in the cards. It is within reach. It's not such a crazy dream is it?

Okay, it is. I'll admit. I am also a realist you know. But what the heck have I to lose by putting myself before the masses, getting just a few pennies, a few minutes of fame, maybe having some young, gorgeous adoring fan pass out before her computer at the stroke of the first note...

Here's my Coldplay cover of "Don't Panic." Enjoy, and allow me my moment.

This really has been a weird post hasn't it? Definitely outside the realm of money, politics, or any other serious thought. No matter. Onward and upward and I shall you all on the other side. Hopefully from the topmost bedroom of one of the turrets in my new castle no less.

Photo credit: Image is from Pixabay