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I'd like to take a moment to thank egrabow.com's visitors, those reading my blog posts, reading the site's pages, downloading its resources, linking to it and otherwise driving up traffic. Ten years ago today, I bought my first domain name, giving myself only a few hours to decide what should come before the ".com". (I wanted the binary-ish launch date: 01/01/01) "EGrabow" was completely original, but, because of you, over ten years it came to mean so much. Also on tha...
The AVCA makes a comeback
It was the longest running and most popular feature of egrabow.com. The Audio/Video Component Archive (AVCA) was a database I started in 2000 to chronicle, well, the evolution of home theater. Back in the 90's, I watched DVD replace LaserDisc and VHS. 1996's top-of-the-line features became 1998's mid-line features and 2000's entry-level. Prices went down as features and versatility went up. By 2000, 1995's Crutchfield catalog felt older than it's date suggested, the vast majority of listed p...
This week, with more enthusiasm than expected, I relaunched my Audio/Video Component Archive on egrabow.com. Beyond merely putting it back up and watching site traffic increase, I've begun adding data to it too: a two-week long push to add Sony's recent car audio models (which should get the best traffic). I began with the CD head units, getting up to 2001 before going back to focus on the cassette models (not so numerous today as in 1995!). Listed with the cassette models were listed Sony's M...
Instant Traffic... Just Add AVCA!
Two weeks ago, the Audio/Video Component Archive returned to EGrabow.com. The search engines were quick to scan it and traffic immediately began climbing. Although this started as a shameless traffic grab - to stop EG's site ranking from slipping and thus boost the visibility of my novel - I admit that I enjoyed bringing it back. Of course, with great archive comes great responsibility... my perfectionism has been wreaking havoc on me, pointing out the many coverage gaps in the database, li...
Everywhere 'ya Look II
Two months after bringing back the Audio/Video Component Archive , I'm pleased to announce that egrabow.com's numbers are on their way up again. The move was a shameless attempt to boost my site rating and, in turn, benefit my novel by making it more search engine friendly. The AVCA listings are growing at a steady rate too, since I decided to use my reclaimed break time at work (reclaimed from fast food restaurants) to work on it. The more listings, the more traffic. Caffeine's traffic shot ...
Breaking News: Signed!
Darn, producer didn't file the open! Take camera 3! Center up! Cue! Cue! Is he gonna read the script or not? This just in to the egrabow.com newsroom. Ryan Grabow has signed with Splashdown Books to publish his first novel, Caffeine. Splashdown books is a small publisher recently started in New Zealand, specializing in Science Fiction which carries a Christian message. Keep watching egrabow.com for details on this breaking story. </third person> </feeling like I'm at work>
Writing a novel is a ton of work. Among this work is reading it back to yourself dozens of times (is it worded right? where are the typos? how can this be stronger?), so that by the end of a year+ the words are a soup flying around in your head 24/7. You almost promise yourself you'll never read it again... but then you do. (oh no... missed typos!) I recently gave my book its first cover-to-cover read in over a year. I still feel it has great potential. Fortunately, so did Grace Bridges f...
This month has seen the greatest transformation in my living arrangements in six years. 2005 was the year I stopped living with either of my parents and began doing the roommate thing. 2011 is the year that that ended, and now I have the place all to myself... until I move into a one-bedroom apartment anyway. Minor detail... the bills aren't split anymore and I have to make some cuts to stay afloat. The first cut: Cable TV. If you're a regular visitor to this website you know I'm not afraid o...
From Beta to Blu-ray
With all the progress I've made on the Audio/Video Component Archive in the last few months (thanks to the use of my lunch hours to enter data for it), I've decided to make a few refinements to its plan. The original 2000 plan was pretty open-ended: aside from TV monitors, speakers, and anything before 1970, virtually any equipment could get a listing. The result, as late as 2008, was a sparsely populated database that mostly featured 1994-1997 Kenwood stuff (my brand of choice at the ti...
Head, Meet Wall
As novel #1 enters the home stretch to publication, novel #2 is still making its slow journey toward "becoming a thing." The Day The Rain Came Back (DRCB) is an almost two year-old project now and it hasn't progressed like I'd hoped. The first storyline I developed didn't pan out, and the second entered the writing stage but stalled. Throwing some vacation time at it this week was supposed to get DRCB back into gear, but I ended up stamping "meh" on what I had so far and decl...
Back in the freezer
This is a follow-up to my last post: "Head, Meet Wall" . A few weeks ago, I decided that my second novel needed a do-over, tossing out much of my work for The Day The Rain Came Back. I've since reclaimed a high degree of confidence in the second novel, which now has a very different storyline but is built around similar concepts. It isn't far from re-entering the writing stage - albeit back at chapter 1. Unfortunately, August is becoming pretty unfavorable to my schedule. I'm prepar...
The day of home ownership has finally arrived... is what I would say if I had enough in the bank to meet closing costs. Alas, student loans continue to weaken the local economy (my local pocket) and ownership is out of reach for the moment. The day of apartment rentership has finally arrived... and this is still a landmark. First lease. First security deposit (and incentive to reduce the number of thumbtacks I put in the walls, not an easy task LOL). Oh yes, and no roommate. No one turning do...
State of the Novel Address
My fellow spec-fic fans, Our industry stands at a crossroads today. All our paperbacks are being outsourced to Kindles, while phenomena such as NaNoWriMo are driving up the costs of getting noticed by publishers. If you want to resist the future, Congress, and if you care about my approval rating, you should pass this bill right away. <say optimistic thing> <say optimistic thing> Oops... channeled Obama for a minute there... I again find myself in the process of editing my n...
A Break in the Weather
Money's been tight for the last eight years. It began with major work on my first car, solidified with a troublesome second car, and has been maintained ever since by a magical income-expense gap, driven mainly by high student loan payments. Lord willing, the largest loan will be gone in 3 1/2 years and take my economic crisis with it. Praise the Lord, it seems I got a preview of what that will be like... For reasons I haven't questioned, that loan gave me two months off from payments. In...
Even people who enjoy driving have to admit that road trips get a bit tedious. There are big, flat states. There are long highways with few offramps, where the only lights after dark are those of the other cars. Suddenly... BRRRRRR RRRRRR RRRRRR. You slow down as you approach some well-lit plaza: A marker of progress. A transition along your journey. Probably a toll-booth. Thanks for visiting New Jersey, now pay for it. :) I've been editing Caffeine for 2 1/2 years, driving a long, fla...
DOOM is a Lie
Today my "published" status is settled. Caffeine, through Splashdown Books , is now available in print through Amazon and Smashwords. Big thanks to Grace Bridges and everyone else who helped me reach this point. Praise the Lord. If you are a reader of the e-book, or someone who'd been holding out for an old-fashioned paperback, you can now support this work and own your very own copy. Let's see if the CC-licensed version really will boost sales. I, of course, hope and pray for succe...
Mark II, Year I
It's almost been a year now since the Audio/Video Component Archive returned to EG. I changed some of its rules, tweaked the format, and threw random snippets of downtime at building it up again. The results are very good and, importantly, web traffic is back up. Besides adding new data (the old electronics catalogs bought from eBay were very helpful), I've been altering most of the listings to fit the new format. The number of "improved" listings has just reached 1,000 (out of...
Before I hit RESET
I expect the promotion of Caffeine to continue for some time, but the more-intense editing stage is long over. Next month all of my energy will switch to my second novel, The Day The Rain Came Back, which had been thrown back to square one. However, there are two more Caffeine-related things I want to do while that book is still fresh in my mind. Already in progress, I'm writing a sort of author commentary for Caffeine, a bit like the director commentary you'd get with a DVD. This is real...
Careers Past, Present, and Future
Well, it's been a while since I talked about my fondly-remembered run at Wendy's. Excuse me while I vomit. With that out of the way... I started as crew in the Patchogue, NY Wendy's when I was in high school, and I left as a supervisor 6 1/2 years later (1999 - 2005). The departure happened to fall on my 23rd birthday (what a way to celebrate!), and it was only two days before I moved to Florida. At 6 1/2 years, that first job had the distinction of being my longest-running one. Until ...
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