Windshield Wipers Talking

I love a rainy night, the windshield wipers almost speak. I’ve been thinking about life. They say: Set priorities in direction of goals. 
If you want to be a model, don’t prioritize food and living. If you want to be a podcaster, prioritize time to do it. Commit time to doing it. Nothing is automatic in life, except growing old.

As you spend time in the direction of goals they will appear ever increasingly larger in your windshield view.

The “Willing to Work on it” Attitude – Don’t be stubborn, wake up and live

How do you face change? When you are told at work there will be new ways fo doing things, do you cringe or do you get eager to find out what they are? With your spouse, when they sit you down and say they have something difficult to tell you do you cringe or do you get curious to hear what it is? I have found that adversity has one of two effects on people at work and in relationships. Let me explain them and you can decide where you stand.

One response to adversity is to ignore it. Playing aloof about the need for change is like ether, it puts a person to sleep and retards growth. At work these people react with phrases like: “Oh well, just another thing” -or- “I’m not going to do that” -or- (my personal favorite) “I already know and do all that.” These people are frozen in the past unable to change their habits and energies to be in sync with “now.” In relationships these people ignore issues of failing intimacy and assume they are right all the time. If their partner is passive and enjoys abuse of this nature, they will stay and enable the person. On the other hand, the spouse may not be so forgiving and she/he may leave the marriage. The ignorant person will make excuses for their lack of action. They will refuse to see the need for change as an opportunity to be happier in the relationship and instead … blame the other one.

The much better response to change at work or at home is what I call the “willing to work on it” attitude. When the boss explains everything will be changing, this person doesn’t have to me gung ho but they can show interest by being willing to work on it. People like this thrive in life and relationships. They don’t die when the old model of business and relations fails. They continue learning, growing, and moving outside their comfort zone*. In fact, they learn to feel relatively comfortable outside of their comfort zone. It’s quite a feat but with effort, most anyone can attain it. In a marriage, this type of person is always reminding her/his spouse that she/he cares and is willing to change as needed. There is a bit of stress here but that is not always a bad thing. The person who is “willing to work on it” will be respected more in the long run. She/he will also be far more trusted and thereby entrusted with the treasures of work and home.

The Girl With All The Gifts (2016) 2/5 – Some new takes on zombies but otherwise contrived

Usually I can see what a film is trying to do. I rate films based on that, whether they were successful. It is my perception but it’s real for me. This film was trying to imbue a child with ferocious and ingenious traits. It was akin to the recent film Midnight Special in that way.

The Girl with All the Gifts“A scientist and a teacher living in a dystopian future embark on a journey of survival with a special young girl named Melanie.” -IMDB

Cast

Gemma Arterton Helen Justineau
Glenn Close Dr. Caroline Caldwell
Sennia Nanua Melanie
Dominique Tipper Devani

Directed by

Colm McCarthy

Written by

Mike Carey, Mike Carey

Other Info

Drama, Horror, Thriller
R
Fri 23 Sep 2016 UTC
111min
IMDB Rating: 6.8

But this is just another zombie movie, like so many more before it. Someone should tell the director this has been beaten to death. There isn’t much more we want to see in zombie films, at least in new ones anyway. I will tell you what these zombies are likem since they are unique in a few ways. The communicate with one another and hang out. They can paint their faces. They are faster even than the Zombies in the film World War Z. They can go into a sort of standing sleep, like horses do.

This is a really contrived movie. I can’t help but think it was made to cash in on the zombie fans out here. It’s a sort of interesting story but never really blooms into something worth writing home about. There is the paramilitary aspect and a desire to “connect” with the zombies that never turns out well. If you’re into seeing a different take on this genre, you might enjoy this film. If you only have time for one movie, go see another one from your watchlist first.

2/5 Shamrocks

2/5 Shamrocks

The post The Girl With All The Gifts (2016) 2/5 – Some new takes on zombies but otherwise contrived appeared first on Riley Film Reviews.

Blog Stats April 2009

This is a post I’ve brought out of my archives. I used to measure my blogs’ success or lack of progress in a monthly stats post where I used the acronym “CAN” for myself as well as interested readers. Should I bring it back? Maybe, it really did work to keep me focused. Some of the links are dead, so I just put it up for fun and posterity. How do you measure your blog stats?

This post reports my blog stats for the month of April 2009. The purpose is to provide advertisers with 100% transparency for my blogs. The criteria is represented by the acronym CAN:

Circulation (or backlinks)
Analytics -and-
Net (or dollars earned)

Then I list some notes about my stats.
An archive of past blog stats can be found an the CAN Blog Stats archives.

Circulation (# of Google backlinks)
Postcards from the Funny Farm: was 218 is 178  (2)
Damien at the Speed of Life: was 21 is 54 (1)
Dynamite Lesson Plan: was 14 is 8 (1)
The Damien Riley Podcast: was 0 is 5 (1)

Analytics (# of visits last 30 days)
Postcards from the Funny Farm: was 6,074 is 8,919 (1)
Damien at the Speed of Life: was 606 is 508 (1)
Dynamite Lesson Plan: was 903 is 1,119 (1)
The Damien Riley Podcast: was 368 is 132 (0)

Net: was $235.38 is $386.43 (3)
Blog income sources I used.

CAN Blog Rank for April 2009:
Postcards from the Funny Farm:  6/15= 40%
Damien at the Speed of Life:  5/15= 33%
Dynamite Lesson Plan:  5/15= 33%
The Damien Riley Podcast:  4/15= 27%

Notes: Quick data analysis:
Positives
Damien at the Speed of Life and the Damien Riley Podcast increased their Circulation, and Postcards and Dynamite Lesson Plan both had a significant increase in Analytics. All blogs combined earned an almost record high Net of  $386.43.

Opportunities
Postcards and Dynamite Lesson Plan dropped in circulation. Damien at the Speed of Life and the Damien Riley Podcast dropped in Analytics.

Goals
Circulation is increasing when I have quality, relevant content people will link to. I will be writing on more topical, pillar post type issues rather than personal diary stuff.  Then I will try network with people who enjoy my stuf and asking them to submit it to social media.  My hope is that it will get linked to.  I will also be submitting some of my best articles to Article Avenue.
Analytics are decreasing when I am not posting as much.  I will make an effort to post updates every day and to comment on other sites as well as “drop” my Entrecard as much as possible.  After all, if you write something relevant and interesting, it doesn’t amount to a hill of beans if no one visits you site.
Net was huge last month.  I turned away about 50% of the sponsored post offers I received.  Unfortunately Google reduced my Postcards PR to a zero again so I am not optimistic about getting the same amount of offers.  I will continue to provide quality content whether paid or not and as always provide my readers and advertisers with 100% transparency in these monthly updates.  I see nothing wrong with doing sponsored posts when they are written well and I am recommending to you a product I believe in.  Therefore, as long as advertisers will continue to hire me, I will continue to do it.

Column: ‘Blogging from Nowhere Land’

If you find a sleepy nowhere land to live in and it’s fairly close to everywhere, you should buy a house there. Nowhere Land is highly under-rated, on the contrary, it can be quite juicy with life! Not everyone can live where it’s happening. Heck, nowadays with the internet, everything is happening everywhere, nowhere men and women are harder to find. 

cropped-profile_2015_hawaiiluau_300px.jpgDamien Riley is a blogger and podcaster who writes a column at RileyCentral.blog once a week. He has an MA in English from California State University, Fullerton, he married a princess (now his queen) and together they have 3 children.

Living nowhere has its advantages. I live in a town called Victorville and it’s conveniently seated 2 hours South of Las Vegas and about one hour from Los Angeles. The only thing to do here is going to movies and go out to eat. We have the basic corporate chains: Olive Garden, Applebee’s, Chili’s, and Red Robin. These are great places to eat, I’m not knocking them. Living in the high desert dusty sands of Victorville can have its advantages though.When you want to go to see a film, Cinemark holds the monopoly up here. Tomorrow I’m going to see a novelty showing of the original Planet of the Apes, which will be insanely fun. Still, we don’t get indie films up here and the theaters cycle in the trendy blockbuster stuff week in and week out. This is fun, as long as I can get someone to go with me. My wife used to be gung-ho for any film I wanted to see, I remember driving way “down the hill” (This is a colloquial term for driving South down the Cajon Pass toward Los Angeles and Orange County.) On that date we drove about 90 miles to the UC Irvine move theater to see Jennifer Lawrence in an indie film called Winter’s Bone. Over the years, her mind has become more closed to crazy indie films like that, especially the horror and goofy stuff I’m reviewing these days: ie; Tusk, Swiss Army Man. So, I have taken to seeing films like these with my daughters or by myself at home. If I review a trendy blockbuster, it’s likely I saw it with my wife. Horror or goofy, I probably didn’t.
We have a mall up here that is first class. I still like to shop at Barnes and Noble, even though I really don’t read. If I have a general interest like lowering blood pressure or another sort of fact sheet, I might look up a free pdf online and read it in my Nook. Otherwise, I’ve learned I don’t have as much patience for books these days. I push myself to read other peoples’ blog posts but books are sort of on the back burner for now. The last novel I read was Nos4a2 by Stephen King’s son “Joe Hill.” He also wrote Horns which was a horror that I truly loved. There is an amazing food court and a Starbucks kiosk. I’m an avid coffee drinker so I love to get a Starbucks on my app. Every purchase earns me stars and enough stars gets me a free drink. Starbucks is a holy word in my house. My wife and I must spend 10K there a year (guesstimate). They have a See’s Candy store in there where I have bought my wife Valentine’s Day candy for years. The line is never unreasonable. I used to live in Orange County and I can tell you there is almost always a mile long line in those malls for See’s Candy on Valentine’s day.

There are a few parks up here that are pleasant to hang out at. They are hot in the Summer though. I think anyone living up here learns a way to get wet and stay cool. I have my pool. It costs me a lot to keep up but I love it so I spend happily. Jumping in a pool up here on a 108F day is akin to a religious experience. In the evenings, I enjoy my jacuzzi that I usually heat up to 101F. Kids love playing at the park. There are regular “ice cream man” trucks that jingle by. One plays the Music Box Dancer song by Frank Mills and I always love hearing it. Liberty Park is a great place to have an impromptu picnic. Several times we have picked up a box or friend chicken, some drinks and sides, and laid down a blanket for a tasty lunch. The kids get to play and we can lay around with our laptops or just lay on each other’s stomachs and have a nap.

I guess when I say there is nothing much to do here I mean cultural things. There are no playhouses or theaters. There is a community college but no University. I say it’s no wonder why so many denizens up here succumb to drug use. Crystal Meth and Heroin are a couple of the big ones. I’m sure LA and Hollywood have problems with more expensive drugs. I guess that’s why I started blogging a few years after I moved here. I could connect with people all over the world through the blog software Wordpress. Facebook wasn’t invented yet so there was still a little prestige and mystique in blogging. Nowadays when I say I’m a blogger, some people equate that with someone addicted to social media. The blogging I do is far more content oriented. It is social but I seek to leave the world a better place with the articles I leave behind. Facebook is more about liking your friend’s son’s Bah Mitzvah (sp?).

As a teacher, I get breaks throughout the calendar year. My contract is from August to June with some weeks off in-between. Even when we were struggling financially years ago, my wife Sarah and I made sure to plan and take family vacations as much as possible. We still do. This past Summer we went to Hawaii, OC Beaches, we’re going to Vegas in a few days, and tons of movies, restaurants and other stuff. We really do live like Kings. Still, before anyone go resenting us, trust me we live month-to-month and both of us have hefty student loan payments. Our son can’t qualify to waive his college tuition, so we feel sometimes on the outside up here. I don’t ask for anyone’s sympathy but I would appreciate a level of respect that we made choices to get where we are and there are always consequences whether you make choices for college of not. It’s called adult life.

It’s a sleepy place I live in but I recommend a place like this for life. We aren’t a stone’s throw from anywhere but we can get in the car and be somewhere pretty quick. And so do you see the value of living in nowhere land? Oh I almost forgot, the traffic is virtually non-existent.

Ceiling Dreams

motivationsforlife:

Illumination by @neverwearthem

Whoever wrote “The sky’s the limit” wasn’t indoors. This photo sort of describes the way I feel today. There are so many things I want to be doing but as I am getting older, I find I haven’t the time to make them real.

Teaching is an electric car. You can go for miles if you charge up. If not, well uh you get it. You can’t always be going. I have learned this over years of doing it. If you fill up though, you can give a lot. That’s why I try to pamper myself and come to the party planned and ready. Kids are amazing but they can sap your energy like anyone else. Go into the game eating your wheat it’s I say. That’s what I’ve been doing and I see the results.

Blogging is probably one of my most fun yet hard to discipline dreams. On paper it sounds so simple:

rileycentral.blog – Syndicate my projects and write an online diary.

rileyfilm.reviews – review a movie a day

damienriley.com – record and produce a podcast a week

These are my goals and dreams I share with thee. Almost habits ;) Good ones at that. Keep on trucking Riley (I tell myself) one day it will pay off.

Seeing dreams on the ceiling isn’t a squat, it’s actually a hell of a lot taller than you think.

Whats This About Getting Rich Through Blogging?

When I tell people I “blog” part time they immediately blurt out one of three responses: They, 1) seem confused and ask what blogging is, 2) want to know how much money I make -or- 3) ask if I can get them making money immediately.? For this reason, I usually don’t get into the topic of what has become my part-time job.? On the other hand, I use my PayPal card often (a card bloggers get paid through) to buy my wife, kids, and friends stuff like pizza and Baja Fresh (Baja tacos in the photo were paid for through blog money)? .. that’s enough for me to feel successful!? In fact, it’s amazing to me that I get paid for writing and tweaking code!? That, to me, is blogging.? This is probably due to the fact that 1) I don’t do it primarily for money, 2) I love to communicate and broadcast ideas, and 3) I prune my blogging to fit into no more than 15 hours a week (strict personal guideline).? I read an article tonight a Stumbleupon friend sent me that decries blogging as a “get-rich-quick” method.? I’d have to agree with that.? You won’t get rich quick doing it.? Having said that, you can make “fun money” through writing and tinkering with code and graphics.? I couldn’t ask for more in a part time job.

I did my time in college earning a BA, MA, and a teaching credential in California, one of the most rigorous states for credentialing.? I have a great job as a teacher and I work 185 days a year developing young minds.? What more could I ask for?? Well, there is something and I am doing it: blogging.? I have developed, after over 2 years, a method of setting blog goals and strictly organizing my time to create income as I go.? When I did my 2008 taxes I saw that I made nearly $3,000 blogging … it adds up!? Who would have thought you can make that kind of money writing about things like: appetite suppressants? If I was seeking a full time income, this would be disappointing but I am not.? Without my job, what would I write about?? Beyond that, I feel my blog helps my career.? Reflective journaling has been proven study after study to be an ideal habit for leaders in their fields.? I don’t blog to escape my life, my blog is integrated with my life.? Reading my blog you get life as I see it and I wouldn’t want to sit around in pajamas raking in millions through my blog.? Furthermore, I get comments and emails all the time from readers who tell me my “journal” has helped them in some way.

This year I hope to make more than last year but it still won’t be enough to pay my student loan each month.? One of my blog tenets is “100% transparency” and I publish my blog stats every month.? I’m not seeking to get rich blogging but I am seeking to get rich-er.? My college degrees, my teaching career, my 3 children and lovely wife make me rich in ways far beyond money.? I am comfortably writing about that every day and broadcasting a weekly podcast every weekend.? One part of my individual earning method is having 4 blogs instead of just one and scheduling post deadlines for myself throughout the week.? This allows me to have more variety in advertising pull and all I am doing is journaling, in essence.? I have been a mentor to a total of 11 people formally since I started this.? I tell them all I don’t know how to get rich at this, I only know how to manage time and tasks to write good content and and make some side money.? No one has backed out of being my mentee after hearing that.

In conclusion, If you read blogs to learn how to get rich, don’t waste your time on mine.? On the other hand, if you want to compare notes on how to get tacos and pizza and take your wife out on a fancy date once in a while, you would definitely profit from reading and listening to my stuff:

http://www.rileycentral.net/ – My thoughts on psychology and inspiration
http://www.rileycentral.net/ – My personal blog
http://www.rileycentral.net/ – My teaching reflections blog

What’s your take on blogging?