All posts by Mitch Mitchell

I'm an independent consultant in many fields, so I have a lot to share.

Sunday Question – What Are Your Habits?

I have no siblings. My mother was also an only child. I moved around a lot as a kid, and as an adult, until I purchased my house, I had lived in 9 different places in 25 years.

When one pretty much grows up spending a lot of time alone, one starts picking up some interesting habits. When one follows another only child, those habits can be magnified.

For instance, I have times when I just won’t touch food. I have no idea when that mood is going to strike, but you can imagine how it messes up eating at home, or out at restaurants. There are certain foods that, in my mind, aren’t allowed to touch each other.

When I’m in the house by myself, I close the bathroom door. It would seem there would be no need to do it, but that’s how I am. I sleep on top of the bed, but when I go to bed, I have my head covered, the door totally closed to block out all external light, and every once in awhile I have to cover up the lighted clocks because knowing they’re shining bothers me. I stay up really late so that I will be totally exhausted so I can fall asleep; if I don’t do that, then a single stupid thought can keep me awake for hours.

I don’t like bugs; actually, it’s my biggest phobia, though I have many. I can’t even look at a picture of a bug, and that includes butterflies. I have different superstitions than what other people have. For instance, I count steps to make sure I end on my right foot. I count letters in sentences I hear and manipulate them so they’re divisible by 3. I have one cup that’s specifically for water, and nothing else. I believe all utensils must be washed in the dishwasher, or else they’re not sanitary. And I believe that I must have dessert, in some fashion, at least once a day; I’m betting my doctor wishes I wouldn’t stick to that one.

I have some good habits also. When I plan my time, I get a lot of things done. I actually complete projects, and if there’s a time frame, I’m usually finished early. I don’t worry about whether something is perfect before I put it out there. I’m always on time, though I had to learn not to be too early. I always wash my hands whenever I’ve been in the bathroom.

And I believe there are 3 things that every person can be judged on that I live by, and if any of these 3 are violated, you don’t get another shot: loyalty, trustworthiness, and truth. If I’m your friend, I’m loyal until you prove you don’t deserve it. I’ve actually put myself in dangerous situations to prove that my friends can trust me with their lives. And I will always tell the truth if I’m asked, won’t hurt people’s feelings if I tell them the answers, and if I feel I can’t tell you the truth, I won’t say a word; better to be silent than dishonest.

Everyone has habits good and bad. Some habits are eccentric; I certainly wasn’t about to mention all of mine. Some will protect you, more like intuition that, hopefully, you’ll listen to when needed. However, most of us will never allow anyone else to know even the most innocent of habits we have. I can understand some of them; if you’re what we used to call a freaky-deek, you just might not want to reveal what makes it so. Overall though, as I’ve reached this age, I realize that, overwhelmingly, habits are just what we develop that, in some fashion, makes us feel good in our own skin.

Do you have any particular habits that help you get by every day? Or some strange ones that might be a little bit funny? Do you have the guts to share?

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How To Tell A Post Is Spam

You know, I wouldn’t think that most people couldn’t identify spam when they see it. However, I’ve been to enough blogs and seen enough spam even on those blogs where people seem to usually monitor what’s going on in their comments area.

Heck, I know spam is getting pretty sneaky. Sometimes it’s hard to tell a good comment from a spam comment. If you’re not paying attention a new spam comment will show up on an old post, which is why I recently talked about making some posts private.

Still, you must be vigilant in fighting the great spam battle. If you don’t, not only will the spammers win, but those savvy visitors of yours that see you can’t tell spam from the real thing might decide to stay away. So, let’s see if I can help you out in some fashion.

1. Watch out for insulting spam. There are obviously trolls whose job, so they feel, is to make everyone else’s life miserable. Insulting spam is usually pretty easy to determine, though; it’s never on topic.

2. Watch for spam that’s not on topic. Maybe I should have started with this one, but I’m bringing it up now. There is spam that looks pretty good and you might miss it because you don’t read to the end. If a comment starts out intentionally evasive, it’s probably going to continue being so, or else it will introduce something that makes no sense whatsoever.

3. Set your spam filter to move a comment with even one link in it to your spam folder. Sure, every once in awhile you’re going to get a legitimate post in there, but what I’ve seen most often is someone following up a post with a link in it with a second post saying “hey, my post didn’t show up”, or something to that effect. I hope everyone checks their spam folders.

4. One line comments. Unless you know the person, you should probably just delete all of these anyway. Keeping something that says “nice post” is an insult to your blog, and is most probably spam.

5. Check out the email addresses. Most people aren’t using Hotmail anymore, but even if they are, if the name before “@” doesn’t make sense it’s probably spam. If the name you’re given is of one sex but the name in the email address is of another sex, it’s probably spam.

6. It used to be that spam didn’t come with images, but now it does. Make sure you read the comment instead of relying on the fact that there’s now a gravatar attached.

7. Now spam can come in your name. That used to be an easy tell as well, but some of the more sophisticated spam can read who the author of the post is and add it to their comment.

8. If the comment is written to the “webmaster”, it’s spam. Who really uses the term “webmaster” anymore anyway?

9. If the post is in another language and you’ve only ever written in one language, it’s most probably spam. Back in the day I used to copy some of those messages into translation websites to see if it was saying anything pertinent; just scrap it and move on.

10. Finally, if you’re not sure, even with these tips, you can always test the waters by sending an email to the email address. Write a short post saying something like “just seeing if this email is valid before I allow the comment on my blog.” If you get a rejection back, or heck, if you get nothing back, consider it spam and kill it. Even if it’s not really spam, if the person on the other end doesn’t respond, then they probably had no intentions of coming back to your blog, in which case you didn’t need their comment anyway.

I hope that helps. Of course, if you have Akismet on your blog it will help even more.

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Frank Kern’s Core Influence – The Beginning

My friend Kelvin swears by this guy named Frank Kern, who’s one of the top internet marketers in the world. I have to admit that I don’t know as much about him as I probably should. Anyway, Kelvin’s been trying to get me to look at this guy’s stuff for awhile now, and I’ve kind of poo-poo’d it off, not because I thought it was a sham or anything, but because time is not always my friend.

Anyway, I decided to finally follow him up on one of the links he provided where I could check out a short free video. It’s a link like this one, and let me get through this post before you think about clicking on it.

I clicked on the link and it took me to a 90 second video with Frank standing in front of water with waves splashing on the beach asking me to opt-in to this site so they can provide me with a link to a video. He also says I’ll have to do the double opt-in, as they’re going to send me an email so I can fully confirm.

That part is done, and now there’s a second page that comes up. Truthfully, as I write this, that’s where I am. There’s a short 2 1/2 minute video I’m supposed to watch first, then the main Core Influence video, which I guess is pretty long. Kelvin says it’s a great start and fully endorses it, so I figure I’ll go ahead and give it a shot. For full disclosure, by the time you read this I should have finished the video, as it’s the long holiday weekend here in the United States, and y’all know I write some of these ahead of time.

This means that at some future point I may have something more to say about it all. Now, about that link I gave you before. It turns out that there’s a Core Influence 2, and to get to see that you have to have at least 3 people click that link and decide they want to opt-in to see the original Core Influence video. Now, I’m not sure yet whether I’ll even want to see the second video, but you know, both videos are free, and it’s only the second video you have to do a little bit of work to see. So, if any of you are predisposed to click on that first link, all I’ll say is I’ve provided the conduit, and I’m good to go.

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Automatically Install WordPress Plugins

Man, the things you can learn. I’ve been using WordPress for over six years. There’s a lot of things I’ve learned along the way.

One of the best things about WordPress concerns plugins. They add functionality to most of the things we do, and when they work they’re great. When they don’t work we just get rid of them, plain and simple.

They’re easy to get to. Most of us will see something about one we want to try on a blog. I’ve written about many plugins on this blog including No Self Pings and All In One SEO; it’s not always positive.


I just learned something new about plugins. Turns out you don’t have to go anywhere to download one and then load it onto your site before you can do something with it. You can bypass all that noise and load it directly onto your blog through your plugins area in your administrative area.

What you do is click on Add New, and it takes you to a new screen most of you have probably never seen because I hadn’t. Then you use the search menu there to look for your plugin. If you know the name, you type it in there; if not, and you’re looking for a plugin that might do something specific, type that in.

You’ll come up with a list of plugins that pertain to your topic. If you knew the name of a particular plugin, it will be at the top. All you do is look to the far right of that plugin, click on Install, and the rest is history. All you’re left to do after that is click Activate, and you’re all set.

I can’t believe that all these years I’ve gone through the process of downloading a zip file to my computer, opening it up, moving the file out of there to my computer, having to upload… well, I’m betting y’all know the process as well. This is drastically simple, and it lends itself well to trying out a bunch of plugins and getting rid of them pretty quickly.

There you go; once again, we’ve all learned something new and easy; don’t ever try to say I don’t ever teach anything around here. 🙂

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Three Weeks Of Working Out; Progress?

As y’all know, two weeks ago I wrote about joining a health club. It’s actually been 3 weeks of working out, and I thought I’d share some things with y’all to this point.


Frankly, I feel a lot like this cat most of the time. I keep having people tell me “it’s only been 3 weeks” or something goofy like that, but man, I’m about as tired all the time as I was before I started working out, only the reason I’m tired is different. And I’m sore all the time as well; okay, that’s not quite accurate. I’m either sore or tight, feeling like I need to constantly stretch, and when I do stretch nothing happens. This is where my dream of being rich comes back into play because I’d have a full time massage therapist (someone told me I should stop saying ‘masseuse’ because Americans supposedly don’t like being called that) to take care of these types of things.

Not counting today, I’ve been a participant with this health club for 21 days. Out of those 21 days I’ve gone 17. Some people have said that’s too many days, but I’m looking for results. Now, out of these same 21 days I’ve worked out twice at the club on the same day twice, and another time after spending 90 minutes at the club I then went on a 90 minute walk at the lake. So, out of 21 days I’ve had 20 hard work out sessions; whew! Saturday was the first day when I really did absolutely nothing except feel some pain; okay, I’m supposed to say ‘sore’.

What am I doing? My routine always starts the same; walking around the track. My knees hate me from all those years of bowling, so I try to get them warmed up for what’s coming next. Sometimes it’s only 3 to 5 times around the track; sometimes it’s 15 to 20 minutes. Doesn’t matter to me; I walk until my knees say they’re ready for the next stage.

Here’s where deviation comes in, and this is one of those points that all my “expert” friends keep throwing at me. They say you have to shake things up because your body gets used to the same routine over and over. I think it’s kind of early for my body to be used to anything, but so be it. There are different things I could do and different things I actually do. There are two different sets of workout machines, some of which I mentioned in the first post. I know how to use one set completely; the other set, my wife and I are learning a piece here and there. I finally figured out how to use the one piece of equipment that’s supposed to help tighten my abs, and I’m up to 100 sit ups on that one, though my stomach screams at me each time I’m finished. I mix up the weights; sometimes I do very low weights but lots of reps, 30 or more, other times I do heavier weights, usually 10 reps.

Do I know what I’m doing? Heck no! Am I showing any progress? Well, it depends on what you want to look at. My wife and I didn’t take any measurements when we first started, so I have no idea if I’m smaller now compared to 3 weeks ago. However, we did have measurements from last June, and I’m smaller in some areas and not smaller in other areas. My stomach hasn’t shrunk one bit. My thighs have fallen drastically, which isn’t bad, but my shoulders have gotten larger; not quite what I want, but it’s not so problematic. My weight hasn’t gone down a single pound, and my glucose is still pretty high, although on the days where I worked out twice I’ve had a low number after the second one. And all my other measurements are pretty much the same as last year; oh well, at least I still have something to work towards, right?

I was asked if I’ve changed my eating habits. I keep saying I thought if I worked out that it was supposed to overcome my eating habits. I guess not; seems to indicate that if I changed my eating habits it would work much better than just working out. Frankly, this might be a lot of ado about nothing, but who really knows? I can’t say I feel better, but I can say that I’ve felt better than I do with the soreness. However, I’m still giving it the full 60 days to see if there are any real benefits, so don’t fuss as me for not giving it a real shot. And I expect within a couple of weeks to modify my eating habits in some fashion; hey, I’ve already given up my 1:30AM meal (y’all know I stay up late).

Oh yeah, the hot tub; that’s a tale for later in the week. So stay tuned.


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