Barefoot Boring Marathon Training Day 10

Google Hacked

This is creepy. I’ve been posting  about my heart rate monitor on this blog. What’s so creepy about that? Nothing. Here’s the creepy part: I’ve been receiving calls on my Google voice–my voicemail account is associated with the e-mail address for this blog–from a number that connects to a cardiac/thoracic surgeon. Isn’t that frightening!? Some bot or psycho heart surgeon is harvesting content, figuring out the Google voice number from the e-mail address, and then placing targeted, unwanted, illegal phone calls. What a Brave New World we live in.

While I don’t enjoy receiving spam calls, I don’t fret because I always file a complaint with the FTC whenever I receive them.

As for training, I ran a steeper longer hill for my intervals. This week it’s still: 10 times 90 seconds uphill at 80%-90% effort with  90 seconds of recovery. I think my training plan only has me running intervals twice a month, Thank God!!! Although, I must say that I always feel fantastic when my intervals are done.

What does tomorrow hold? Check back to find out.

 

Did Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Deserve This?

Martin Luther King, Jr.
Cover of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Part of my job is to provide instruction to community college students. Here’s what I have them do. I ask them open up Google.com. Then I tell them to search for “Martin Luther King Jr.” Then we examine the search results. Then they everyone gasps in horror and shock when they discover that one of the top ten results–usually the second or third–www.martinlutherking.org is run by Neo-Nazis.

It’s an effective device. Students realize quickly that they can’t trust Google results.

Google Sucks
Google Sucks

Just because Google ranks a page highly doesn’t mean that the page contains reliable or relevant information. In fact, it proves what I have been saying for a over a decade: Google sucks!! As a search engine, Google is a complete flop. Have you ever tried searching for something as simple as “printable haircut coupons”? If you haven’t give it a try. You will be bombarded with spammer sites that try to trick you into giving them your e-mail address and they never once take you to a page that actually has a printable coupon. It’s tragic Google has become nothing more than a promoter for link farms, spam-bots, and porn.  Was that their dream?

 

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Is Your Personal Information Safe? Dangerous Privacy Glitch in Google Exposed

Opt Out of Google Advertising Today
Opt Out of Google Advertising Today

A few days ago, bizarre ads filled my screen. Many of them aimed at women: Maxipads for instance. They appeared on Youtube & in MY private google account. Even on Spotify I received ads for Christian books and mascara. At first, I was amused. But the offbeat ads have become downright annoying. So, I delved into my Google Ad settings.

I was shocked to discover that Google pegged me as a 17 year old girl!

And it’s not just Google. I’ve had issues with Amazon as well. For instance when my WIFE was logged into Amazon. MY wishlist appeared on her suggested buys–when she clicked on the “Your Wishlist” link, MY wishlist appeared. What’s even worse was Amazon’s sending HER purchase suggestions to MY google e-mail. I received direct  e-mails from Amazon suggesting that I buy things from HER private wishlist for myself. Somehow Amazon’s cookies crossed our wish lists. Our names are different. Amazon has no way of knowing that we’re married. It’s disturbing because her personal preferences were sent to me without her consent. And mine were sent to her without my consent. The privacy hole is huge and frightening. We contacted Amazon and they have fixed the issue.

I’m sure that I am not alone. Anyone who shares a computer with someone else has probably endured similar glitches. Here’s how I was able to “Opt Out” of Google advertising.

Step 1

Step One for opting out of Google Advertising.
Step One for opting out of Google Advertising.

Log in to your account. Just below the gear/configure icon, click the link that says, “Why this Ad?

Step 2

Step Two for Blocking Google Ads
Step Two for Blocking Google Ads

A balloon will appear  it will say:

This ad was based on the email you were viewing. Ads Settings puts you in control of the ads you see.

Click on the link that says, “Ads Settings

Step 3

Step Three to Avoiding Creepy Google Ads
Step Three to Avoiding Creepy Google Ads

Click on the links that say, “Opt Out“.

 

For added privacy, you might also want to disable Flash Cookies.

To find out more about Safe Browsing Visit:

OnGuardOnline.Gov

http://www.onguardonline.gov/articles/0042-cookies-leaving-trail-web

 

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5 or Six Ways to Beat the Blues

Sadness
Image via Wikipedia

The Winter doldrums can try to dim the brightest hearts. But Winter doesn’t have to be a somber time of sadness.

Here are five or six things I do when I’m feeling a little down. Of course, I do them without shoes on. So, the first step to feeling good is to take off your shoes! It’s the only way to feel the world.

  1. I Gobble Grateful-Fruits:
    I force myself to think of good things in my life–those are the grateful fruits. Sometimes, I think about this blog. Lately, I’ve been getting more visitors and more visitors. Knowing that other people value my thoughts, dumb jokes, and rants makes me smile. Other times, I think about how wonderful it is be healthy enough to run and hike barefoot in the Northwest.
    I hunt for anything in my life that I can be grateful for. When I do this, my mind automatically focuses on other things that make me feel good. It takes a little effort, but it works. And it sets my thoughts on the path to happiness.
  2. Project my Personal Powerhouse
    Over the years, I’ve realized that some people are miserable. For whatever reason, they have chosen dark over light. Unfortunately, when chronically miserable people enter a room, all the plants and my heart seems to wither. It can be draining to be around such people. Whenever possible, I remove myself from their presence, but if that is not feasible, I simply don’t take anything they say to heart. They are miserable. They want everyone else to be miserable. I don’t partake in misery. I hate feeling miserable.
    In general, I make it habit not to take ANYTHING personally. I fob off criticism onto bad behaviors. Behaviors change. Yes, some of my behaviors suck, but I AM MORE THAN MY BEHAVIORS. Whenever someone says, “You always….” or “You are….I ignore what follows. They are simply describing my bad behaviors. Sometimes, the person is right about the negative behavior, but I don’t bind my identity to it. True, I can be mean, cruel, and even a little evil at times, but I’m NOT and will never be a MEAN,CRUEL, or EVIL PERSON. Those behaviors aren’t my true nature. So, I NEVER attribute negative comments or behaviors to my nature. I know that I am fearfully and wonderfully made and absolutely perfect in my own way.
  3. Overpowering Optimism
    This one takes practice and effort, but it’s worth it. Basically, I eliminate negative pervasive explanations. Negatively pervasive explanations steal my power. As soon I start attributing behaviors to deep personal flaws, I lose all control. It becomes an excuse to stagnate. For example, if I miss a deadline, I don’t beat myself up about it. I admit my shortcoming, but focus on all of the other times when I did make the deadline. I also focus on the end result, the client wants quality work; so, rather put inferior work on time, I had to delay to put out something worthwhile. Don’t get me wrong, missed deadlines are NOT something I’m proud of, but I don’t allow them to chip away at my self-esteem. I don’t let flukes or even patterns of behavior for that matter parade as my chemical make-up. When I’m the world’s most optimistic person, I put a positive spin on EVERYTHING; then, it becomes impossible to frown.
  4. Shower & Shave
    This is very important, I used to neglect my personal appearance when I was depressed; now, it’s the first I tend to when I’m feeling down. There’s something invigorating about taking the time to look good. The cleansing ritual also serves as a distraction, it’s difficult to think negative thoughts when you’re proactively making yourself look better.
  5. Positive Pictures
    This is another one that takes effort, but it works. I visualize myself smiling and happy. I also force a smile–sometimes its painful, but it gets easier the longer it’s there. I also see myself on the beach or surrounded by wealth and beauty. If I’m really feeling down, I’ll go ahead and Google images for “wealth” “happiness” “joy”, etc. I also make sure that  I have the “strict” image search filter on; otherwise, I usually end up viewing porn. OK, that last two words of the previous is Secret Number Six 😉
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My Blog My Content

Valen Longfeather Barefoot RunnerAs many readers know, the content of my blog is anything but focused. So I was shocked when someone offered to buy my Website.

I immediately thought about what I have written over the year.  Rifling through the archives, I found posts about ghost encounters, an interview with a fictional reptilian from Star Trek, a remarkably handsome long haired fellow ranting about Vibram Five Fingers on a YouTube Video, some silly jokes, a few Podcasts with too many sound effects, and even crappy poetry.

I have, of course, slanted all my content and media for this blog toward barefoot running and what it means to me. But I must admit that some of my “popular” content was written with keywords and search engines in mind. I used the keywords as a writing prompt–similar to the way I write sonnets, I start with the end rhymes, then write the lines. I never published anything that I could not spin into a worthwhile post. As you can tell, I speak my mind and I do my best to be transparent and honest about my affiliates–even going so far as write “shameless affiliate plug” next to affiliate links.

The offer to buy my Website forced me examine the blog. Looking at it, I realize that impressions and affiliate income isn’t my main goal. I want to express myself and I don’t want to box myself into writing posts from a list of keywords. I HATE blogs like that and I HATE how dirty SEO has rendered Google and other search engines useless.

It’s time to get uncomfortable; it’s time for a change. I started it off with an ultra conservative haircut. And I’m continuing it with this blog.

The disquieting truth of life is that everything is transient. People, pets, prizes,and possessions sparkle bright in the darkness for a bit then fade away. There’s something that seems inherently sad about that. Buddha said that the pain of impermanence/transience arises from attachment. We cling to the world, our lives, our relationships, our families, our possessions, and accomplishments. We expect them to remain present, predictable, and permanent. They aren’t. When the earth rumbles and land beneath our feet sinks, we scream and claw at crumbling dirt instead of floating into the Great Abyss.
It’s odd that I find myself compelled to shake my personal universe, to write about my personal life, “to explore strange new worlds, to seek new life and civilizations, to boldly go where no barefootedly written split infinitive has gone before.”

Since I don’t always wear shoes, barefeet will stomp through my posts. But on the whole, the writing for my blog will not be as instructional or as heavily “barefoot runner”; instead, it will shift to the “life” part of “barefoot runner’s life”. I will, from time to time, write how to posts or offer tips about running without shoes as learn them. And I will also preserve the content  and media that I have already produced. I hope you continue read. I hope you comment, and I hope you become a new friend not only in cyberspace, but also in real life.

May you be happy, may you be healthy, may you live with ease.

–Valen

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The Truth about Google’s Don’t Be Evil Empire

I know that this is NOT a barefoot running related post. But it affects the barefootrunnerlife.com blog.

Unfortunately, Google Adsense has decided to blacklist my account, which means I am banned from including Google Advertisement on this site or on any site I develop in the future. Adsense has NOT given me a reason for banishing my account. I found out when I tried to log-in and was greeted with DENIED access because of “unauthorized” activity. Google rejected my requests for an explanation. I made an appeal, but my appeal was refused; again without any explanation.

I did some research and discovered that other site owners have been victims as well. They suggest that an error in the Adsense Click-fraud algorithm is to blame. If people who visit your site click on ads and don’t buy or stay on the ad page very long, Google flags the click as fake. Apparently there are also software bots that can be sent to a site and which imitate clicks on the ads. This is outrageous!!! First of all, isn’t the whole point of the ads to get clicks? Second of all how is a Website owner supposed to control how his or her visitors use the site? It also makes it child’s play for crazies, criminals, and hackers to revoke other people’s adSense accounts. All they have to do is visit your site and randomly click on ads or send a bot your way. It’s a death-blow because it will get your site banned from Adsense forever!

Worst of all, Google doesn’t offer any warnings. So, if hackers or misguided users target your site, you’re done. Even if you had a chance to see that activity, there’s nothing you can do. You’re at the mercy of the Google tyrants.

Before Google kicked me to the curb, I was happy to use their search, maps, ads, and other products. In fact, I even made a video tutorial about how to plot a running route with Google Maps. Only now do I realize how crooked Google really is. Google had brain-washed me to promote their products for free.

The more I learn about Google, the less I want them taking pictures of my backyard, reading my e-mail, and eavesdropping on my phone calls. Although this Goliath offers convenience, the price is far too high. He can stomp on whom ever he wants.

This video explains it best.