Monday, April 28, 2008

The Mad Hermit Youtube Channel

Though I should have presented this earlier, for those of you who are interested, my Youtube channel can be found at:

This channel basically contains all my videos in addition to some other videos from other people that I found quite interesting. From now on, I'll include my channel in the Link section of this blog.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Too Much Coffee Man Installment - Love Hate Relationships

Love-hate relationships abound everywhere in life. And they don't have to be limited to people either.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Starbucks Tries to Reconnect With Its Roots: Will It Work?

Just the previous week, I read from a Newsweek issue about how Starbucks sales have decreased, ever since it tried to introduce new fangled breakfast sandwiches and other non-coffee products. Supposedly it was because people saw that Starbucks was losing its focus on coffee and, because of that, the chain was becoming more "low-grade" in their eyes. So, in short, I guess Starbucks started to appeal less to everyone's inner snob.

As a result, Starbucks has recently made an effort to "reinvent" itself back into its retro-roots, focusing more on coffee and less on accessory.

And, after walking into a Starbucks the previous weekend, I've experienced this new campaign first hand. First off, I noticed the new/old logo (as seen above). Basically, Starbucks went back to their original logo (minus the exposed breasts) and, for those of you who are curious about this craze, here’s an interesting article that summarizes all this.

Starbucks' Retro Logo (Business Week)

Additionally, Starbucks introduced its new Starbucks Card, which, as mentioned in one of my previous entries, was quite a boon for coffee drinkers as a whole.

So, ultimately, is this retro effort by Starbucks a good thing?

Personally, I think so. For longest time, I was getting sick of this mega-corporation trying to monopolize the coffee industry by flaunting that pseudo-intellectual "coffee culture" image that so many people secretely hate. I was also really starting to tire of how Starbucks contributed to yuppy-cizing a resource that nearly all of us depend on, whether we're yuppies or not.

For a giant of that size to try to go back to their humble beginnings in some way, shape, or form is almost inspiring. But will this help Starbucks in the long run to get their profits back? Only time will tell. But if something like this is enough to convince a coffee-drinking curmudgeon, like me, to spend money on their new fangled card, this must mean that they're doing something right. Who knows? I might even someday consider preferring them over Dunkin Donuts. But, then again, how long did it take the Red Sox to finally beat the Yankees?

Friday, April 25, 2008

Short Movie Filler Day - "Tir Nan Og"

At first, I wasn't exactly sure what this film was getting at, but after looking up the meaning of "Tir Nan Og", it became a little clearer. "Tir Nan Og" is Welsh/gaelic for the "Land of the Young".

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Starbucks Card: An Opportunity to Mooch Off an Over-Priced Corporation

I’m not here to purposely endorse Starbucks, but just to inform all you coffee-drinkers out there that they have this new gimmick that you should all take advantage of.

This new frill is their recently toted “Starbucks Card” (as seen above) and it functions kinda like a debit card, where you could charge it up with money and spend it at any Starbucks franchise.

The few things that make this card appealing are some of its additional benefits:

- As long as you use your card to pay for their fresh brewed coffee (iced or hot) you can get free unlimited refills as long as you stay in the store (i.e. I assume you can’t just get the coffee, walk out, and come back an hour later and ask for a free refill).

- All flavored shots or milk additions are on the house if you purchase a drink with your card.

- With any purchase of Starbucks whole beans, you can get a tall drink (any you like) for free.

So, in short, this is your one chance to enjoy Starbucks’ products on the corporation’s tab. I got one just the other weekend (as seen above, once again). The design’s pretty nifty and, if you get one online, you can actually customize the art to your liking.

I found this new Starbucks’ frill to be pretty useful, since just the other day, I spent a whole hour at one of their stores and I just kept filling up on vanilla ice-coffee over and over again. And, boy, was I buzzed. So, I would recommend it.

To learn more about it and to get one online, visit:

Please, note, this is NOT an official promotion. It’s just me telling you guys that if you want to mooch off a multi-billion dollar corporation, now’s your chance to do it.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

A Reading of Anne Morrow Lindbergh's "Gift From the Sea" Part Two

Below is another reading of Anne Morrow Lindbergh's "Gift From the Sea".

Monday, April 21, 2008

Basic Ways To Improve Your Writing

1.) Read, Read, Read

Good writers tend to be good readers. It kinda makes sense, since a person can naturally become a better writer simply by reading good writing over and over again. It's almost like anything else, except a little more cranial.

2.) Start a Blog

Practice makes perfect and the best practice is a consistent one. What makes good consistent practice? Forced motivation. Besides hiring a dependable slave-driver, a personal blog would be the next best thing to help remind you to write everyday. Cause if you want your blog to be successful and read, frequent updates are required. Can we say “positive reinforcement”?

3.) Finding Your Zone

Some writers work well in complete silence. Others with music on. Some writers are more productive with a clean desk. Others are inspired more by the kitchen table. Some writers write better in the morning and others in the evening. Find your perfect environment to write. This would require experimentation, but if you do find your “place”, keep to it and make it your own.

4.) Reduce Distractions

Close that chat window. Keep away from the TV. Disconnect your phone if you have to. Everyone gets distracted, but not everyone has to keep getting distracted. Writers are like everyone. So know thyself and learn how to stop thyself.

That’s all for now.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Too Much Coffee Man Installment - Bad Puns

Well, it might not actually be a pun, but all I have to say is this--hey, we all have our off days...

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Five Ways to Unclutter Your Life (Advice From a Mad Hermit)

1.) Clean Your Space – To unclutter the world within, the best place to start is to unclutter the world without. Plus, it makes living each day a little easier. Trust me, everyone can use a cleaner room.

2.) Make a List of Priorities – It doesn’t have to be long. But it should be something that you take some time to do. Write down, one at a time, a few goals to set for yourself. Cleaning your room or workspace could even be one of them. When you gather your priorities into a list that you can see in front of you, life becomes a little neater.

3.) Take a Break – Sometimes all we need is some time to ourselves. A “time out” just to relax, take a step back, and gather ourselves is an invaluable option. If things are going insane around you, there’s nothing like a breather to put a little sanity where it’s lacking.

4.) Reschedule When Possible – If your calendar is too cluttered, it won’t kill you to reschedule certain things, especially if you can reschedule them. For instance, pushing back a dental check up to free up time for other things won’t kill you, unless it’s major surgery. All it takes is a phone call. So why stress out about something that you can easily change?

5.) Get Healthier Habits – Sometimes it’s low energy levels that make our lives more cluttered rather than bad time management. So, if you feel that you don’t have the energy to run the race, learn how to rest in between strides. Get more sleep. Make curfews for yourself. Are eating habits not working for you? Eat healthier. Get exercise. Cause a little bit goes a long way.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Short Movie Filler Day: The Legend of Boruta

Today’s short film is a nice animated piece that came out just the previous year (2007). From what I’ve researched, it seems to be based off of some Slavic folklore and it has a nice juicy vein of supernatural horror in it.

This film has won several awards in various film festivals and it seems to remind me a bit of another short animated film that I’ve seen entitled “The Cathedral”. The animation and effects are spectacular and, although the film is a little slow at first, it uses its pacing quite well to build suspense. Happy watching!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Artists' Showcase - Colley Cibber & FabledVerse

Just the other day, I found this excellent reading of Colley Cibber's "Blind Boy" by a young man who refers to himself as, FabledVerse.

Colley Cibber was a British playwright and poet from the 18th century and for more information regarding him, please refer to this link

FabledVerse has other videos involving the reciting of various poetic works, including such works from Langston Hughes and William Blake. He does an excellent job implimenting his voice in such a sincere and poignant way that it is hard to miss the beauty of each recited work.

The address to his Youtube channel can be found at Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Whole Tibet and China Thing

I know I'm a little late to respond to the whole China vs. Tibet argument thing that's been happening for quite a while now, but, hey, better late than never.

Anywho, with the 2008 Bejing Olympics just a few months away, the conflict between Tibet and China has been put on the public stage, especially with the protests in Tibet and China's all-too-violent response to that protest.

Lately, I have heard many arguments from the Chinese side about how the world shouldn't make such a "spectacle" of this issue simply because it's:

a.) None of the world's business.


b.) Western countries are just as guilty as China when it comes to taking over other people's land. So Western countries shouldn't point fingers.

Okay, so here's my take on these two pro-China arguments:

a.) Hey, China, since you always wanted to be the center of the world's attention, you got it!!! Oh wait? You only want the world to focus on the good things about you and ignore the bad things? Well, tough $#@#. When you put yourself up to attracting the eyes of the world (like you do when you advertise yourself as the host of the freakin 2008 Olympics), everyone sees everything about you, whether good or bad. And, when people see everything about you, they're entitled to their opinion. This is reality, China, take it or leave it. You're the one who placed yourself in this position, not anyone else.

b.) Yes, America had it's share of doing things that it was never proud of doing, like seizing land from the Native Americans. But you know what? This is old news to us. People have pointed this out to us millions of times and we're used to being accused left and right. And, you know what? At least we've tried to do something to make ammends for it (reservations, recognition of some autonomy for the Native American people, etc.). So, in short, here's the deal:

- Just because Western countries have their own baggage in their history, doesn't make what you're doing to Tibet any better.

- Again, China, welcome to our world. America's been laughed at and accused countless times for its mistakes. It's all part of being a popular country. But we're used to it by now. So, China, you better start getting use to it too and stop throwing a hissy fit.

Just my two cents.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Why Do You Write?

Every writer must eventually ask themselves why they write. Everything represents something when it comes to being human, whether we like the idea or not. Humans are a very symbolic race and every day we are immersed in symbols and, in many ways, driven by things that are symbolized by other things.

There have been countless writers and poets who have waxed poetically on what it means to write. In fact, many have intermingled and overused the words “soul”, “essence”, and “spirit” into the definition to such an extent that the craft of writing is deified beyond what it really is.

To some writers, writing could represent their desire for fame or recognition. For others it could go as far as representing their value as a human being (“I am valuable because I have the gift of writing.”) or their means of distinguishing themselves from everyone else. Some writers may have more lofty altruistic definitions than others, while other writers may sway towards the practical.

But the question, here, is this—if you’re a writer, what does writing represent to you? Or, more to the point, why do you write?

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Things I Learned From Being Sick

These are just common sense things, but since I've recently been sick this whole week, I might as well allow everyone to profit from my experience, in some way or another. Just think of it as a good reminder to everyone who already knows and good advice to the few who actually don't.

When sick with cold-like or flu-like symptoms, remember:

1.) Orange juice and vitamins are your friend. Still take vitamins even if you don't feel like it and drink juice EVERY chance you get.

2.) Sweating is very good. Do it as often as possible (with common sense of course).

3.) Stay in bed as much as you can even when you don't feel like it. If you're body begins to ache from being in bed too long, take a small walk around the house, but don't over do it.

4.) Calling the doctor as soon as you can, for major sickness, is NOT a sign of weakness. It's a sign of common sense. If you really feel sick, don't try to "muscle" it out alone for a few days.

5.) If your pounding head's preventing you from sleeping, Advil is your friend.

6.) When your doctor gives you medicine, namely antibiotics (like for a sinus infection), finish ALL OF IT. Even when you feel "better" keep taking it.

7.) Try to eat at least 1 small thing during the day, even when you don't have an appetite. This small thing should namely be something light, like a cup of soup or an orange. As long as you're able to keep food down, some nourishment is better than no nourishment at all. Plus, it can help flush the system.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Amadeus Home Music School

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Enjoy the privacy and professionalism of one-on-one expertise. Experience the results of a school that merges classical teaching traditions with cutting edge educational styles. Amadeus Home Music School has everything you need and more. For more information, feel free to click the link below!

*Note: This post is sponsored.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Being Sick Sucks!

Sorry for the lack of updates these past few days! After getting hit hard with the flu, I've been devoting nearly all of my time towards recovering and in getting a last minute freelance assignment done.

To at least give you something more than just words, I've included a glamorous snapshot of myself from Monday just to give you an idea of my condition, along with a practical solution towards relieving a runny nose. Enjoy!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Short Movie Filler Day - "Synapse"

Synapse is an award winning student film that explores the process that occurs between cause and effect. Overall, the best part of this film, I think, is the first part where it initially opens the question. Honestly, if it wasn't for this part, I think I would've just seen the rest of the film as just another abstract teen angst piece. What say you?

Thursday, April 3, 2008


There was a Super Mario Brother's movie. Then a Double Dragon movie. Then a Resident Evil movie. And then a Doom movie. And a bunch of other video game movies that came out in between them all that aren't worth mentioning. Now, BEHOLD we have Pac Man: The Movie (the ultimate parody of every video game movie)!!!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

"The Impulse" by Robert Frost


by: Robert Frost (1874-1963)

It was too lonely for her there,
And too wild,
And since there were but two of them,
And no child,

And work was little in the house,
She was free,
And followed where he furrowed field,
Or felled tree.

She rested on a log and tossed
The fresh chips,
With a song only to herself
On her lips.

And once she went to break a bough
Of black alder.
She strayed so far she scarcely heard
When he called her--

And didn't answer--didn't speak--
Or return.
She stood, and then she ran and hid
In the fern.

He never found her, though he looked
And he asked at her mother's house
Was she there.

Sudden and swift and light as that
The ties gave,
And he learned of finalities
Besides the grave.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Earning a Living Online (AGAIN)

Here's another article that I found about some of the misconceptions regarding the idea of earning a living online. Below's the link:

7 Common Misconceptions...

All in all, here's the basic reality check from my end of the line:

- Ever since beginning this blog, I have only made about $45 from payperpost.

- In terms of Adsense revenue, so far, I've only made close to $2.

- All in all, most of my money, as a freelance writer, comes from working freelance gigs and NOT from this blog (even with Adsense, payperpost, decent promotion, and frequent updating).

So, my point is simply this: earning decent money from blogging is hard, but getting money from going out and finding freelance gigs and building up a writing portfolio is easier. That's at least the fruit of my experience.

Yes, the latter can be more time consuming than the former, but WORK is WORK--there's no going around it.


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