How To Subscribe To RSS Feeds

You know, it’s possible that this is one of those posts I really don’t have to do, but something is telling me that I need to make sure. What’s prompting it is that lately more than half of the spam I get asks the question “how do I subscribe to your feed.” As simple as it seems, after a meeting I had last Friday I realized that many people really aren’t all that internet savvy, and they might not even know what a feed is to know how to subscribe to it, or even where. Hence, this post. For the rest of you who already know this… y’all don’t have to read this, unless you want to see if I miss something.

You see that symbol to the right? Any time you see that symbol it means that particular website or post has what’s known as RSS, or Really Simple Syndication (sometimes known as Rich Site Summary) feed. In essence, it means you can follow certain websites or blogs that have new content with some kind of regularity in a place other than having to visit that website. You can subscribe to the feed by clicking on that orange button whenever you see it and read it whenever you want to somewhere else. I use a program called Feedreader, which is independent of a browser, and a lot of people use Google Reader, which uses the browser, but groups all the feeds in one place. There are plenty of other options as well.

On websites, you might see that orange symbol in many different places, and sometimes it depends on the browser you’re using. On Firefox, you’ll see that little symbol to the far right of the address bar. On IE 8, you’ll see that symbol on the right next to the home button on the toolbar. On some sites you’ll see that symbol elsewhere, and it might not be the orange symbol. Seems that some sites will change the color of the symbol. If you look on my blog, you see that symbol in the far right column, and underneath that you can decide to subscribe by email, which other sites also. This means you’ll get any blog posts from me through email instead of a reader; many people like that instead. Other sites will do this as well.

That’s pretty much all it takes for RSS subscriptions. And those of us who blog love when people subscribe, as we want more people to read what we have to say. I subscribe to many blogs and news sites, more than 200, although I think it might be time to pare down my list some. We’ll see if I get to that. Any questions?


I’ve Joined A Health Club

In April I asked this question on a Sunday; Do You Take Care Of Your Physical Self? I gave my answers, but I can’t say that I was overly happy with myself and the answers I gave. Truthfully, I think I’ve done a lot of stuff, but nothing close to what I should be doing.

So, I decided to join a gym. Okay, it wasn’t as easy as that. As with everything else in my life, there’s a mini story to it all.

Two Fridays ago my wife came home, upset because her gym was closing, and the one the guy had transferred her account to, since she was paid up through April 2011, was about 20 minutes away, and she didn’t want to have to go that far to workout. For probably the 10th time I suggested she visit the gym I used to belong to for about 5 years in the late 80’s and early 90’s. Back then it was called Sundown; now it’s called Gold’s Gym, and it’s about 5 minutes away, only because of stupid lights because it’s maybe a mile and a half from the house. For some reason my wife has always hated the idea, but this time she was amenable to going to have a look.

As soon as we got there I could tell from the outside that things had changed. There was a sports therapy building next to the gym, but the sports club is where the gym used to be. We walked in and things were drastically different. I learned there had been a fire in 1994, a year after I stopped going, and they changed a lot of things around. It’s way more open now than it used to be, and that’s not a bad thing at all.

This is what you see when you first walk in. It’s the front desk, but it’s also a juice and smoothie bar. You can buy both healthy and non-healthy snacks in the machine, though not too many non-healthy choices are given. You can also buy muscle building stuff that I’m not paying any attention to; I don’t need to get bulk at this point in my life.

The place has a rubber track you can either walk or run on. It has tons of treadmills and walking machines. They have a lot of Nautilus-type machines geared towards building muscle by pushing weights, though some are for toning also. They have a large free weights area, something I used to do in the past but I think I’m going to stay away from them this time around, at least for six months or so. They have workout classes with some of the latest routines like
Zumba; no, I won’t be doing any of that either. Supposedly they might have some stretching classes, but I didn’t see that on the schedule. I really need stretching more than almost anything else. And they have these other machines that work more with your own weight than true weights; my wife and I use those most of the time.

And they have these things, a pool and a hot tub. I don’t swim, and even though the woman told me it was only 4 1/2 feet deep, that’s just not happening. The hot tub might be something else, though. She said it’s kept at 103 degrees Fahrenheit, and my mind can’t figure out if that’s comfortable or not. I love Jacuzzi’s, so I’m thinking I might like the hot tub, which is only 3 feet deep, but I asked if I could wear a shirt and shorts in there, since I don’t have swimming togs, and I’m not sure I want to expose the world to this body just yet; she said yes. Now all I have to do is get over this thing about sharing a large tub, and you can see it’s large, with other people in it; I don’t necessarily roll that way. The woman there said she’d actually walk me into the pool if I ever get the urge, but I just can’t see me getting the urge. Bad memory of pools, and the last time I was in one was October 1976; ugh!

We started with a 7-day pass to see if I’d even go to the club, and I went 6 days out of 7, though a few of those days I barely made 30 minutes, and one day, Sunday, I made 10 minutes because I twisted my knee and it wasn’t getting better trying to walk it off. We then decided to officially join on Sunday, and now we have a contract for a year. I’m going to work hard on making myself go at least 3 times a week, and my wife loves working out, so if I have to wait until she gets off work to go, so be it. But as it gets warm I also know I’m going to want to get walks in at the lake. No matter; I know I need to exercise this summer while I’m home, and if I’m paying for it, I’m hopefully going to get it done.

These days I border between being outright sore and being really uncomfortable. I don’t feel good after working out, and I don’t feel juiced; sorry Zig, but those endorphins aren’t quite popping for me yet. But I’m going to try. I have a guy working with me for 60 days to see if I show measurable improvement; man, I hope something changes. I need to do this; I’m 50 and diabetic, my doctor says I need to lose weight, and I need to help the medication work.

Okay, your turn; what are you gonna do?

Esprit by Spirit ET-8 Folding Treadmill

Esprit by Spirit ET-8 Folding Treadmill

Price – $1804.05


Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2011 Mitch Mitchell

The Oatmeal

I have no idea how I learned about this site, but it’s so unique that I just had to share it with you.


It’s called The Oatmeal, and it’s a collection of articles, cartoons, quizzes and news that’s presented in a unique way. What I’m stunned about is that it’s ranked really high, yet I’m just hearing about it, and I’m betting it’s fairly new to most of you as well.

A good example of an article on this site that’s also educational is called How To Use A Semicolon, something I use often, but see very few other people using. It’s a training article with images, and very simply teaches people how to use semicolons. There’s even dinosaurs in the article; when’s the last time you saw talking dinosaurs teaching you anything (don’t even go the Barney route)?

As you’ll see, the articles are also presented in a totally different style, with cartoon headers rather than text. Frankly, if I had an artistic bone in my body, I have just the type of warped humor to be able to pull the same type of thing off.

Me being me, I wondered how they made any money off the site, since I can’t find any advertising. They have an online store, where they sell items with their logo on it and other stuff associated with their brand. I’m betting they do well; heck, I’ve been tempted to buy something myself, but keep wondering where I’d put it and how long it would last before my wife snatched it and hid it on me. Also, some of the articles end up being products themselves, being created into posters.

What else is there to say? Check the site out, and obviously this isn’t a paid review, since how the heck could they pay me when they don’t know me? The Oatmeal is a lot of fun; give it a shot.

Morgan Avery 5911 Home Radiance Home Sweet Home Candle Collection - Oatmeal Cookie and #44; Apple Pie and #44; Strawberry

Morgan Avery 5911 Home Radiance Home Sweet Home Candle Collection – Oatmeal Cookie and #44; Apple Pie and #44; Strawberry

Price – $46.13






Anniversary #13; Hanging In There So Far

Today is my 13th wedding anniversary. I realized yesterday that I’ve never written about my anniversary before, and since I’ve had this blog 3 years now and my business blog 6, and I’ve been writing my newsletter for 7 years, I find that kind of incredible.


We actually met on December 7th, 1994; she doesn’t remember the date, but I do. I was working at a health center and she came in as a patient looking to see if she could save money on some dental work she needed done. Y’all might not believe it, but she actually pursued me at the time; I couldn’t do it because of medical privacy laws. My dad always thanked her for that, because he said he couldn’t see me asking her out first. Hey, all four of my long term relationships began with the woman asking me out first; isn’t that something?

We’ve had a lot of fun over the years. I’ve told her I’m Roger Rabbit to her being Jessica Rabbit; she laughs at me all the time. Our first real date had us going to a Chinese buffet, where I had an encounter with tofu that caused me to spit it out and kept her laughing and crying for almost 30 minutes. There’s been a lot of incidences like that over the years; she’s a great audience.

That picture you see above is, of course, from our wedding. She made that wedding dress; the woman has talent. I still have that suit; doesn’t quite fit as well as it did when I bought it, unfortunately. I got a lot of enjoyment out of that cake, which her father paid for, but which I ordered from my favorite bakery, Harrison Bakery; those folks need a website. My friend Scott took this picture, and that’s his daughter Krystal to the left; great kid. Okay, I just have to say this; cake, mmmmmm…

Later today we’ll be going to the Spaghetti Warehouse for dinner because, oddly enough, they sent us a coupon for half off our meal for our anniversary; I didn’t even know they knew when our anniversary was. This is a great way to do business, that’s for sure.

Anyway, it’s a special day, and I’m happy to have made it to 13 years. Truthfully, there’s a lot of people who never thought I would ever get married; I’m betting they’re still surprised. lol Meanwhile, let me help give you a little bit of motivation saying that you can do anything you want to in your life. Try to tell me this isn’t cute:

Wedding Cake

Price – $75.00






Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2010 Mitch Mitchell

The Roller Derby

I tend to be a creature of habit. I don’t try a lot of new things because, well, life has been fairly good. I certainly don’t eat exotic things, and I don’t often go to things that I’m not accustomed to.

So, how is it that I found myself going to the roller derby? Because my friend Scott wanted to go after reading about it on Twitter through one of my friends there, Mel. I’d actually never met Mel, but sat behind her at a Christmas party last year while she was working this long gray dress; hotness all around. Anyway, she’s the public face of roller derby in the area, and she’s got the face for it. She believes in it so much that she actually got this tattoo on her side within the last few weeks; nope, wouldn’t be me, but she gave us a public viewing, which we get to show here.

Of course, anyone over 45 remembers roller derby because it used to be on TV all the time. Some of us remember the movie Kansas City Bomber with Raquel Welch; stunning, I must say, and pretty believable. Back in the day, we thought roller derby was fake, and I guess one has to own up to the fact that there was always a bit of entertainment mixed in with what some claimed was a sport. Many of the participants were acting like bad people, which made you wonder just how real it was.

These days, it’s quite real, and very little like it was back then. For one, it’s more of a woman’s movement than a mixed gender thing like in the past. At the event I went to, there was a men’s game, but it was a pick up game of local guys who just wanted to try it out. Truthfully, they weren’t very good en masse, but there was one guy really good on one team, and it showed as his team beat the other team by almost 100 points. Once they were done it was time for the home team, the Utica Clubbers.

What’s the idea overall? I had Mel explain it to me, which worked wonders. By the way, I’m not as large as this picture might make you think I am; it’s all about perspectives (although, after seeing it, I did join a gym; that story will be later).

You have two teams, of course, and the bulk of the team is supposed to stop one person on the other team. They are known as blockers. Their purpose is to try to keep the individual person on the other team, the one who scores all the points, from passing them. That person is known as a jammer, and you can tell that person because she’s got a star on her helmet. Most of the time each team has two jammers so that one can replace the other for a breather. The final piece is known as the pivot; I learned about this position later on. This person is the one whose job it is to keep an eye on where the jammer is and to let everyone know the jammer is coming and where, so they can try to block the person. I’m not going to get into much more of how the game is played, but if you’re interested you can check out this roller derby game link.

This was an interesting event for me. The crowd reminded me of the type that would show up at an independent wrestling circuit. The picture you see of the guys in big blue hats is indicative of a lot of what I saw, although most people just sat in the stands. There was a women dressed like a purple bee. There was one in a sequin top, tight short skirt with a tail. There was one I was intrigued with because she reminded me of a fantasy nurse with bright blonde hair that was indicative of what you might have seen in the 40’s, very stylish. There was a guy wearing a monkey around his neck.

There were a lot of kids there. There were signs pulling for both the team and their favorite players. Even the referees had fans; that doesn’t happen in any other sport I know. The team in pink in these pictures actually came to Rome, NY, where the event was held, from New Hampshire; that was stunning to me. It’s not really a league, as they don’t keep statistics; it’s more of a universal club. This club has 6 teams in multiple states, and sometimes they go to other states to both play and watch others play.

My friend Scott, who took all the pictures you see here, talked me into it by saying we’d go to the casino afterwards; I’m so easy to bribe. But I had a wonderful time, and met another Twitter friend I’d never met, Meghan, and one I did know, Frank; I’m giving their real names rather than their Twitter names, as that’ll be on them if they read this. I also met this guy who played in the men’s game named Jason, whom I saw a video of in the production Rocky Horror, as he played the main character and was very good in it. And after the initial band that was playing when we got in there, which was hurting both my ears and my feelings (angry rock/punk music; Mel said it was too loud also, as I was feeling like an old guy), this guy named Deaf Geoff, the DJ, was playing some music that was fantastic, and then I learned he’s actually legally deaf; think about that folks!

Of course Scott didn’t get all the shots I wanted, but I think there’s enough here overall to show some of what it was all about. Turns out Mel wasn’t skating that night in a match, but she was a referee for the guy’s game, which is why she’s in the outfit she’s in. We stayed for the first half, when the local team was ahead; they lost later, but I guess it’s not about winning or losing, just having fun and women showing that they’re not shrinking violets for anyone.

Hey, they had nachos, and I got to play poker later, though I was card dead so poker wasn’t as much fun as normal. Still, it all works for me; I may even go again some day.

Might, that is. 😉