The Scoop On Shaving With Olive Oil

olive oil shave razorI am fascinated at times by what I come across on the Internet. And as I originally posted here sometime ago, this blog will likely be eclectic, covering various interests although I know some are interested in the SEO posts. But it won’t be all about search engine optimization; that is not what the purpose of it was.

One of the things that interests me and I find curious are the different websites that make claims about what you can do with some product or other. For example, I recently came across a site that was promoting some dozens of uses for hydrogen peroxide. Now, some of these things are quite frankly, not trustworthy, while others are something I’d be willing to experiment with. Hydrogen Peroxide for germinating seeds faster? I’ll give that a try. Taking hydrogen peroxide internally to cure some disease? Are you kidding? Don’t do that! That’s a dumb idea. Yes, Virginia, while there may be a Santa Claus, there is also a lot of dumb and untrue things posted on the internet – sadly some people even believe them without doing their own research.

Now the other day, I was reading a list of ways olive oil could be used. I love using olive oil when I’m cooking, and I also use it to make my own salad dressings. I love it so much, I usually have a gallon of the stuff on hand. One of the suggestions in this particular list about olive oil uses was that men could use it to shave with.

Shave with olive oil? Well… why not give it a try… I’m willing to be a test case for my guy friends out there.. not really dating.. so not too worried if my face comes out looking like chopped liver – and if worse comes to worse, I do have some shaving cream I can quickly slather on.

After my shower, making sure my beard was “well wetted,” I dipped my fingers into the small plastic container of olive oil I had brought with me. Now – that was the first problem – it’s not easy to slather olive oil onto one’s beard with your fingers. At least it’s not like slathering on shaving cream that comes out of a can. Maybe if I had one of those brushes that like  my dad had, where he whipped up a bar of shaving soap – maybe that would be easier.

Next problem was getting enough olive oil to cover my beard entirely while trying to not let it drip all over the place. The website that suggested men shave with olive oil never mentioned that, and I never really thought of it before hand. But finally, I was quite satisfied that I had enough olive oil rubbed into my facial hair that badly needed a shave, and with a bit of trepidation, put the blade end of my razor under the hottest water I could and then put razor to face.

Well, I was actually surprised. The blades glided along and the facial hair was coming right off down the side of my face. No mince meat, no cuts, no scratchy feelings. I was at first, a little impressed. I began to wonder what the cost of slathering on olive oil was compared to buying my regular brand of shaving cream gel.

After a couple of rinses of my razor under the water is when I realized that doing this regularly was not practical or feasible, at least with the brand of razor I was using, (speaking of razor brands, that’s another pet peeve of mine – if men can standardize screws, bolts and nuts, how come razor blades haven’t been standardized to fit any brand of handle you have?) a Schick Hydro 5.

The problem is, the oil and the hairs just get clogged in between the blades. It’s pretty tough to rinse them out as they are stuck with the oil – and it no amount of holding them under the water seemed to rid the blades of them – which meant by the time I got down to doing my neck, the blade was getting to be in rough shape.

In the end, I did not get as close a shave as I would have liked on my neck, but it’s not terrible either. Maybe if one were still using the old double edged single razor blades, it would work out ok.

I was also worried about being left with an olive oil scent on my skin. I have a keen sense of smell and can say that I could not detect anything after I was finished shaving, so that was not an issue. My face did feel a little “greasy” but that did not last long either.

Whether or not olive oil is good for the skin, I don’t know – some say it is, but it’s not something I’ve worried about much.

My final verdict? I wouldn’t regularly shave with olive oil, because of the problem mentioned above with the clogging between the blades. But that’s the only reason if in the long run, it was a less expensive way to shave. But using the blades that I do, it would likely cost me much more in having to replace them more often.

One thing though – there have been many times when I’ve forgotten to put shaving cream gel on my shopping list, only to desperately need a shave and there’s not enough of it left in the can. When that is happened, I’ve used soap – and I can tell you that in a pinch, olive oil is much better than soap. Or running out to the corner store and paying double or triple the price.

So there you have it. if your wife, girlfriend, better half, or whatever asks you to try shaving with olive oil, you can now make a more informed decision – I’ve done the hard work for you. Just because I don’t mind trying new things :).


If you’re sick and tired like I am of buying razor blades that are so expensive, they have to be hidden behind locks at the pharmacy, you might want to consider “Dollar Shave Club.” They came highly recommended to me with razor blades that are of superior quality and won’t have you wincing every time you shave – while your wallet gets lighter. Find out more here.

A Free SEO Audit? Not From Me!

I’ve been seeing quite a few offers in email spam messages, offering me a “free” SEO Audit. I am sure many of my readers have also received similar offers, and perhaps you’re wondering if you should take up the offer. I mean.. it’s “free,” right? So why not?

It appears to me that most of these offers of a free SEO website audit originate in India (that’s not to say that there aren’t any legitimate SEO firms in India) where providing spam type backlink services has seemed to become an almost “cottage industry.” As I’ve reported previously, I have spoken with one of these “SEO experts” who offered a free audit of one of my websites, and the conversation was laughable. Clearly, the person knew very little about search engine optimization, or even how to get a clear picture of a website’s backlink profile.

So what is involved in one of these “free” audits anyhow? Well, from what I’ve seen, they mostly amount to a short report advising you of how many backlinks to your website that Google is reporting. This is pretty easy to do on your own, but in itself is not a real indicator of your backlink profile at all.

Where do these free “audits” get this backlink information? They simply use the ‘link operator’ in Google, for example []. Typing that in a Google search box, as of today, returns a grand total of “About 20 results.” And that even includes links from within as well. Obviously, this is no where near accurate. Using other tools, I can discover that more accurately has over 22,000 backlinks.

However, even this number does not tell the whole story, and further analysis can be done. The point is, these free SEO “audits” are pretty much useless by only providing the number of backlinks that is returned when using the link operator in Google.

Some of these free audits may contain some information that is helpful. They may be able to pick up on some technical aspects such as duplicate Title tags within a website, along with duplicate meta descriptions. This of course is good to know, but again, it does not tell the whole story. There is no analysis being conducted on those tags, and often if there is missing information, the free “audits” won’t report on that.

The SEO audits that we conduct go far more deeply into simply counting backlinks. Yes, duplicate title tags and meta descriptions are also important to note and fix, but there is far more to an SEO audit than that. Depending on the size of the site, there is usually at least 12 solid hours of work and analysis, and quite often much much more, when conducting and completing an audit. As Google has frequently pointed out, there are more than 200 factors that go toward determining where a site will rank, and while we don’t know what all of those factors are, or how precisely they are all weighted, we want to cover as many issues as possible.

Good search engine optimization starts with the website in question. Without a good base or foundation, while you might “fly” in the SERP’s for a time, it’s quite likely you’ll crash and burn if all you’ve done is hire a shoddy “cottage industry” SEO firm to build you some spammy backlink comments from low quality blog sites.

So no, I will not offer you a free SEO Audit. My time, as well as yours – and your website – is more valuable than “free.” And what we provide is far more than simply typing [] into Google.

If you’re interested in really seeing how your website is performing and what could be improved upon as well as knowing about critical and potential problems, contact me through my business website.

My Son David: I Love You

There are times in one’s life when perhaps one does not know what the “right” thing is to do. Some private matters are best left private, but what happens when private matters spill out by another party, and false accusations are made about you?

That has happened to me on more than one occasion, and most recently, some very serious accusations have been made toward me, and I have been told, also to others who have a strong relationship with my ten year old son.

I have four sons. I love them all with all my heart. I have not been a perfect dad. I know I have made mistakes and I regret them very much. I look back at my life as a “dad,” and can see many times when I wished I handled a situation differently, or had more wisdom at the time. I do know however, that one of my highest values has been to strive to be a good dad and I think along the way, I’ve made some improvements. I am also keenly aware that I still have a long way to go, and I will never stop learning about this job of “fatherhood.”

I have also made mistakes in my personal life. There are some things I feel remorse and shame about. One of those things is an incident that occurred over the long weekend of May in 2010. I made a huge mistake. I got into my vehicle and drove after having a few drinks. I judgment about my ability to drive was impaired because I had a few drinks. I should not have driven. I fell asleep while driving, hit a curb, and got into an accident that totaled my vehicle. I was charged and convicted of Impaired Driving.

I am still paying for that mistake to this day, although all my legal fines and orders the court made against me have been fulfilled, and were fulfilled within the time frames the court ordered. My own sense of shame after the accident and the night the charge was laid was such that I felt compelled to apologize to my sons for my behaviour and for not being a very good role model that night.

I am not making excuses, but I do want to point out that I am not a serial drunk driver. I have over a million kilometers worth of driving experience. Other than a time when I was in my late teens and working a full time job while also trying to attend college full time and needing to rush between the two, I have had a total of two moving violations, both for speeding. I have gone through many random police spot checks during the course of those million + kilometers of driving. The last moving violation for speeding that I had was in the spring of 2002. The one previous to that was in about 1996.

During the time of my impaired driving charge, and up until about the following December, my living circumstances were also a struggle for me, for a few reasons that I will not get into. However, although I was trying, during that time, I had no real permanent living place.

It was a tough time.

It has come to my attention, that a person has made very very false allegations against me that have included that apparently, after I was charged with impaired driving and lost my licence and my vehicle, that I “barely attempted any contact” with my son David, who at the time was 7 years old. Normally I would not care about such a spurious allegation, but it has also come to my attention that this allegation, this slander, has been made to people who have a close relationship with David. And apparently, those people have been lead to believe this outright false statement is the truth.

I would like to set the record straight and ask some questions of you, my dear reader, whoever you might be, after I set the record straight, below. This person has also made unrelated but equally serious allegations against me as well, which I will also point to.

So Let’s Get The Facts Straight, With Some Photo Evidence:

After my impaired driving charge, which was on May 24th, 2010, I ended up staying in Orangeville for at least a week and had daily contact with my son. In addition to that, David traveled out of town with his mom for about ten days if memory serves correct, returning on June 16th. While David was in Edmonton, I continued to stay in Orangeville, looking after David’s (and his mom’s) Maltese dog while they were away. I sent multiple emails to David’s email address and enjoyed phone conversations with him while he was away.

When David returned with his mom, I returned to a trailer that had been purchased and was to be used for a “home base” for myself, prior to my impaired charge. The location of this trailer is about 15 km from Orangeville. There is no public transportation from Orangeville to the area of the location of the trailer.

While David and his mom were out of town, I contacted her asking about the possibility of me taking David with me to the trailer that I was trying to make into my home upon their return for a few days.

July Contact With David

On July 1st,  I made arrangements directly with David’s mom to have David with me, at the trailer for several days. Indeed, it was arranged that David would have a ride with his mom and his mom’s friend to my location.

In July, I introduced David to the outdoor swimming pool, which he loved and made friends with other kids at. Although I myself had arranged for and taken David to swimming lessons over the course of the previous couple of years, there was still some timidness on David’s part. However, David and I had a great time in the pool, and I was able to spend time myself with him (although I am not much of a swimmer myself), and helped him to get over his fear of the “deep end” and encouraged him to apply what he had learned. I bought him some floating devices as well as snorkeling gear toys, just to try to add some fun to his times in the pool. It was not long before David and I were celebrating together! He managed to swim the entire length of the pool, from the deep end to the shallow end, on his back! We celebrated together, and David was so proud of himself. I was very proud of him too.

Here are some photos of that time together, that David and I spent:

July 3, 2010 – David enjoying a swim at the trailer park with dad.








July 4, 2010 – David enjoying a game of catch with us, at the trailer park.

I have many more photos of that weekend with David, including the campfire we had, David eating roasted marshmallows, and having fun listening to Irish folk music while we sat around the campfire.

In addition to this photographic evidence, there were also other dates in July of 2010 in which I spent time with David, and when I was not spending time with him, sent him emails and had phone conversations with him.

So, between May and July, is this evidence of a father who “barely attempted any contact” with his son? But wait.. there’s more.

In July, I bought David a Buck pocket knife with a folding blade. He and I spent time together while I taught him knife safety. He and I both agreed that for now, perhaps that pocket knife should be left with me. We discussed how a knife is a to be only used as a tool, and that like other tools, there are safety rules we need to know. David and I then spent time as I taught him to whittle sticks into something we could use to roast marshmallows and hotdogs with.

August 2010 Contact With David:

I’m not much of a swimmer myself, but getting into the pool with David continued to be a fun experience. One day, in mid August, while I had David with me, and we were in the pool together, I made a “little dive” into the water in an attempt to have some fun and grab at David’s legs.  Ooops! I underestimated just how shallow the water was.. and boom.. my nose struck the bottom of the pool. Man that hurt! Damaged my nose good.

Here’s a photo of David and me, shortly after that experience, taken in early August:

David and Dad, About August 15th, 2010


I did not have David for the entire month of August, but I certainly saw him a lot, quite a number of times after sharing emails with his mother and making arrangements with regard to his and her schedule and my own abilities to have him, and the transportation that was available to me. In August, there were several times I had him on different dates, and for extended periods of time.

In addition to this, David and I spent an evening together, on a blanket, staring up at the sky at night, looking at meteors during the Perseid meteor shower. We saw some real dandies together, and “oooohed” and “ahhhed” several times, after some time of waiting patiently for the Perseid show to get going. We talked about what meteors were, the difference between a meteor and a comet, and simply enjoyed each other, laying on that blanket after a bit of a hike that we took to a very dark spot, along with some bottles of apple juice and other snacks.

In mid August, my girlfriend at the time had her older son Kade arriving from Alberta to visit. When Kade arrived, one of the first things we did was pick David up and take him to the trailer I was living at. We had a campfire all together, that night:

About August 15th, Kaden, David & Colleen, holding up my Ulster Flag at my trailer.

We had such a fun time together, but because of Kade’s schedule while visiting, we took David home the next day. I then spent time with Colleen and Kaden for several more days, but before Kaden returned to Alberta, we had another day or two with David at my trailer. We managed to get in more swimming and other fun stuff that David thoroughly enjoyed.


It was a lot of fun for me to see the big smiles on David’s face while enjoying the company of Kade, from around August 21st to August 23rd, 2010. And yes, I have photos of that time too!

David & Kaden in swimming pool. David holding soccer ball we use to kick around and the same ball I’ve taught him some basic soccer skills with. About August 21/22, 2010.

I actually have tons more photos from these days with Kaden, Colleen and David that I have forwarded on to the person that has made the hurtful and outright lying assertion that I “barely attempted to have contact” with David. I will save them from being posted here on this particular blog post for the sake of length, but I would like you, dear reader, to know that there are plenty more.  There are at least 19 more photos that I took personally, and I know there are more that Colleen took. What I am providing is just a quick overview – the fact is that I have far far more evidence to show that the claim that I “barely attempted contact” with my son David is utterly false. And utterly disgusting, to me.

End Of August And Into September Contact With David:

Shortly after the above photo was taken, along with a bunch of others I have, Colleen and I took David home to his mom in Orangeville, and then spent the last few days of Kaden’s trip to Ontario showing what we could, in what time we had, Toronto. Then dropped him off at the airport.

In late August and into early September, I again had David for an extended period of time. Again, we had a ton of fun together that included water gun fights, swimming pool fun, campfires, and some pretty cool nights too, when we needed to bundle up. Manoman, David had fun with that watergun!!

Late August, 2010. David arming himself with the water gun.


That water gun stuff was funny. Not only did he enjoy using it, when the days were hot, he loved it being used against him! He’d ask ME to fill it up, and try to squirt him with it, as he ran and tried to hide, then sneak out, daring me to actually “get him” with it.

Of course, part of the fun was that I did manage many times to soak him with it. He’d run, and twist, and turn and giggle, and laugh his head off, and yell, “Ok Dad!! Try to get me now!!” as he tore off in a run, and then peek around the side of the trailer. He also had his own sense of saucy fun too (I think I taught him some of that…):

Here, David and I were co-conspirators, as he stood waiting outside the trailer, waiting for Colleen to come out – and surprise her with a long blast of cold water from the water gun.

I won’t publish the next set of photos, but they are hilarious. Colleen exited the trailer, with a big pot of water, ready to defend herself against the onslaught of David and his water gun aiming skills… only to find herself unable to reach her target in her defense as David mastered his water gun skills.

But it wasn’t just fun we had. We had to eat too. In addition to showing David how to cook meals in a cast iron dutch oven over a campfire, or simply roasting food and yummy snacks like marshmallows on sticks we whittled with knives and remembering our “knife safety,” we also went out and bought local corn and had our own corn roasts too.

There was one occasion in late August or early September, when I had David all on my own for several days, that we enjoyed a corn roast and hamburger barbecue, arranged by the social club of the trailer park. However, this photo is of David eating corn that we purchased from a local farmer on a different occasion in early September when I had him and was spending time with him.

Now that you’ve got this far, dear reader, is this the activity of a father that “barely attempted any contact” with his son? Ah.. but there is the rest of September to discuss too.

September 2010 Contact With My Son

September 2010 was a bit of a tumultuous month for me, and I won’t get into all the details. Suffice to say that in mid to late September, I ran into a situation where I was given a choice about something, and after missing my son David very much, I chose to hitch hike to Orangeville from Guelph to see him.

It was not my initial choice, but when “push came to shove” so to speak, I needed and wanted to see my son again, and memories of the awesome times I’d just had with him, a week or so previous were still strong in my mind.

On a very cold, rainy night, I packed a bag, walked 45 minutes over to Highway 6, and stuck my thumb out at about 8PM. Unfortunately for me, there was not that much traffic that night. I needed to my son though.

Shivering, cold and wet, I arrived in Orangeville about 5AM the following day. I have to admit, I did meet some interesting people while hitch hiking to Orangeville in order to see my son. And I spent several days with him there, while also working and trying to strategize business plans with his mom.

No, I have no photos of that particular occasion, but I do have written records as well as email correspondence to back it up.

If my above account IS correct, is that a dad that anyone could rightfully claim that had “barely any attempt” to contact his son?

Ah October.. Autumn.. Contact With David

I was struggling personally, I admit during September. I managed to get some things straightened out, so I thought. And next thing we know, it is October! What kind of contact did I have with David in October? Quite a bit actually. We all know there is a long weekend in October here in October. Did I “barely have any” contact with David that month in that year, 2010? Well…. you decide if that was the case.

It’s a crappy photo, I know. But that is David, with me, on the long weekend in October of 2010. It was also my birthday that weekend.

We spent that weekend together, saying good bye to the trailer for another season (actually, another season never happened, but that’s another story), and having fun with the fond memories we created together over the past five months. The swimming pool was now closed (it’s in the background) and it wasn’t warm enough to even think about swimming. It was jacket, hoody, and fleece weather. Even during the day.

We also too advantage of the fact that we still had some opportunities, before winter came and the snow would fly, to go bicycling yet again.

That is David on the left, Colleen in the “middle,” with my bike on the right. That long weekend of October was a weekend of trying to fit in all the things I had done with David together, over the past months, into one weekend, and all the things I had hoped to do, but wasn’t able to. It was a bit of a mad scramble, also needing to close up the trailer for the weekend, and talks about maybe, just maybe, we could cross country ski into the trailer during the winter months, and retrace our steps, and see the differences. between the warm months and the cold months. There were a lot of hugs, a lot of laughs and smiles as we reminisced about the previous months we had enjoyed.

Unfortunately for me, I still had not really gotten any further with getting  a place I could call my own. My love for David, and my priority that he was to be included in whatever life I had, and whatever home I had, was and still continues to be, one of the most important things in my life.

So now that you’ve read about May, June, July, August, September and into October (and I have even more that I have not presented here), do I look like a dad that “barely ever attempted contact” with my son?

Ah.. Winter Is Coming And I’m Still Not Settled – Contact With David:

For me personally, I was disappointed in myself. In May, it was my goal to get settled, have  a place I could call my own, and get on with my life, a life that included my son David. David was a huge priority to me. At the same time, one has to live, work, and try to maintain relationships too. I did the best I could. I’m sure that in retrospect, I can be criticized, and I am quite willing to listen to that criticism and consider advice.

I don’t have photographic evidence at my finger tips, but into late October and then November, I have fond memories of having David and emailing his mom to make arrangements to see him.

We did some more bike riding together. I have one memory that is very fond, and for which I was so impressed by, that I emailed David’s mom.. it was about late October, when David helped me put together some Ikea furniture. I’m pretty lousy when it comes to those idiotic diagram (ok, idiotic to me) instructions, and David and I had to put together about four different pieces of furniture, relying on Ikea’s instructions. I could not have done it without David.

Maybe it’s his experience with Lego kit building.. I am not sure, but having David help me figure out Ikea furniture instructions was awesome. We built several pieces of furniture together, with David being the “understander of the instructions.”

I bragged in an email to David’s mom about how amazing David was.

In early December 2010, the period in question  where I apparently had “barely any contact” with David, was about to end. Some other things events were to occur, which were sad for me on the one hand, but would force me in a sense, to return to Orangeville, and leave other options I had hoped for, far behind.

On about December 5th, I advised David’s mom of this fact and her reply to me was that I was most welcome to try to figure out some things, with David in my presence as he apparently wanted even more of me in his life.


Questions to The Person Who Has Made False Statements:

Why? What’s in it for you? Why did you make the false statements against me? You’ve had intimate knowledge of what is true. Why did you make the false statements against me? Why did you make those false statements to some of David’s relatives and people he has a very strong relationship with, being in a position that you are to sway their opinion of me?

Do you have low self-esteem issues?

Why, if you truly thought your statements were correct, why did you not bring them up with me personally? I have records of conversations with you, and at no time did you EVER suggest to me that you had a concern about my time, or my desire to spend time with my son, was a concern to you? Instead, you smeared me with others who David has a relationship with, and lead them to believe things that are not true.

Why? I do not understand.

I have tried to understand; this is not the first time you have done and said such things about me. Indeed, recently, you accused me of some other despicable things, that my eldest son was privy to. You accused me in the past of making holocaust denial statements, and then when I challenged you on your statements, you continued with your lies, and lied about what had actually occurred 7 years ago.

I pointed out to you the facts of the matter here, wherein my business partner wrote an open letter about the allegations:

When you were challenged on the discrepancy between what you wrote and alleged, you came up with a lame excuse; something about your memory not being very good.. but you never responded to the fact that you seemed so able to make the false allegations in the first place. Your apology was to me was trite. I don’t accept it.

What is your purpose in making these false allegations against me and to people who have a strong relationship with my son David, and who I hope he always will have such a good relationship with? What is your purpose in lying about me? I love my son very much, and I do believe the evidence is there, over the years, that I do. I have not been perfect, but he’s always been a huge priority to me, more than many will ever know. What is your purpose in making statements that are slanderous and libelous against me?

I’m not a psychology major, but based on what I know about you, I think you have very low self-esteem, so you need to find a way to put others down, to make yourself look good. I’ve discussed this with you, and you’ve admitted to me privately that you might need help with some communication and lying issues.

I won’t say who you are.. but even with the preponderance of evidence that I can provide in response to your allegations, you have shown zero remorse for what you have done. You have shown absolutely no sense that you understand the hurt and distress you have caused, with this one example of false statements and lies, and there are actually many more. I have plenty of evidence to show, over the years, that I’ve tried my best to attempt to come to resolutions about some things, but you will not maintain them.


Why are you so willing to tell lies about me? I love all of my sons, and that includes my youngest son David. I would die for him. So what is in it for you to libel and slander me? And persuade others, who my son has a relationship with, and who my son respects and loves, to believe such utter falsehoods about me?

What is your point in doing that? For what reason?

Personally, I think you need help. I wonder if you, as good a person as you are other in other respects, should even have contact with my son, when from a deeply moral position, you are willing to tell lies, smear me, put me down, But if you can so easily tell lies, without having any thought for the future potential of devastating consequences, I don’t understand whatsoever. I have fought for my son, and for the very existence and ability of his two parents, to parent him. Why would you tell such lies about me?

Questions to The Person(s) Who Has Heard False Statements:

If you are reading this, and have some knowledge of what I am talking about, quite likely you might have been the recipient of a few emails – one in which I requested you be a mediator. I’m not stupid nor am I unable to understand that you might have some biases yourself. I get that. It has been my goal to get issues straightened out. In private, if possible. When it comes down to what I love, and value… I will tell you, I will fight. Maybe I fight the wrong way at times. I don’t know. I love passionately, and sometimes end up being hurt passionately. What has been said to you, and what you have been lead to believe, I feel very very hurt about. i would not care if your name was “Joe Blow” from Newfoundland, but you are not “Joe Blow.” You are a person my son admires and likes.

I know my son admires and likes you. He loves you. I respect that. I don’t want to change that. I’ve asked you for help in the past, and then I I know I further asked you, when in a condition of my own hurt and feelings of betrayal, wrote some things in utter frustration and under the influence of alcohol, that did not come out right. I know that. I am sorry for that. My attempts were however, very sincere. I love my sons, and I love David; I know for a fact that my three older sons will vouch for my adoration of David. I’m pretty sure that although I’ve made mistakes, my three older sons will vouch for me and my love for them, and I’m very sensitive to mistakes I’ve made, and I strive to do better.

That is also my personal commitment to my relationship with David, and there is NO TIME in his life, when I “barely attempted to contact him. Why a person would say that about me, I do not know. In some ways, I saw David as a way to correct some things about me, that I might have not done so well with my other three older sons. For anyone to accuse me or lead others to believe something opposite is simply disgusting, hideous and disgraceful on their part. And when shown the evidence, and unable to provide a sincere apology that indicated true remorse on their part, I don’t know what to say to that.

It is hurtful to me, it is horrible to me, it is a hurt and a despair that I cannot explain, to think and realize that a person close to David, and to you, would make such outrageous statements, and lead you to believe something for their own personal interests, their own psychological problems, and not admit to the truth.

I don’t get it. But then, I’m a guy that spent the greater part of four years in a hospital when I was a kid, and there was lots about life, and the reality of life, that I never “quite got.” When you are a kid, and the kid next to you gets wheeled out of the room, and never returns, you learn some things at a pretty early age. Games and bullshit don’t matter anymore. Social games become totally unimportant.

Questions For The Reader Who Just Happenchanced To This Post

Do you have values? Are there things that you agree are just not what one does? Perhaps making some personal stuff is one of those values. I understand. But what happens when it just never stops? And you know.. and you learn.. some hideous lies have been told against you, for the sake of some other person’s self esteem issues, or psychological issues? I don’t know. I don’t have the answer to that. I know we have a court system, and going to court over all of this is not out of the question to me, but I also know that doing so creates it’s own problems too. Without going to court, the other person is more than welcome to state their own case here, or wherever they feel there is a form for them, and allow me to respond. I don’t mind nor am I against that.

But as an objective person, based on the above, the evidence I have provided, do I look like a dad that “barely had any contact” with his son from May 2010 to December 2010? Do I look like a dad that had no interest in his son? I know there are some “deadbeat dads” out there, but I’m pretty sure I’m not one of them. But when you hear or read, “so and so made barely any attempts to contact their son,” what is your first impression?

Ah.. another deadbeat dad. I get that. But I’m not a deadbeat dad. I sure am not perfect, and I still have lots to learn, but I’m not a dead beat dad that barely had any contact with my son.

This insinuation, along with other utterly false allegations hurts me. I hurt more than you might know. The person that has made these accusations has refused, even after being provided with the evidence that their insinuations are not true, to show any true remorse. Their response is an intellectual response, a response of trying to find some little way an “i” might not be dotted correctly or a ‘t’ not crossed right. There is no remorse.

There is no remorse for the damage that they have done. I’ve actually put myself out there, to others, and my sons, and asked, “how can I be a better dad. Please tell me,” and have been sincere, and I am positive, that although my older three sons can have lots of stories to tell how I wasn’t a good dad, they can also say that I improved, learned, and tried.

To My Son David:

I do not know the motivations of others in attempting to put me into a light of someone that barely made any attempt to contact you. It makes no sense to me. I do not love you more than my other three sons; I love you all equally. I watched my eldest son with pride, drumming, and showing his skills … and pride wells up in my, and tears in my eyes come to the surface, that I cannot stop.
I think about my second eldest son, James, and the stuff he has been through in his life, the things he has conquered, memories of taking him to a speech therapist when he was younger and yet today, to listen to him, he is a man who could teach elocution lessons. He thinks, and has his own major skills.

I think about my third eldest son Colin.. he looks so much like me, and yet in many ways we are different, but we love each other. He’s an emotional passionate guy like me, he’ll fight, but he loves… he’s willing to use his fists, but he sheds tears too. When he was younger, we found rocks together, that just seemed to be meant together, a “sign” of us being “special together.” I love him. He loves me.

And you know what David? I was stupid. After you were born, I worried about those three boys of mine, having issues learning I had a fourth son.. boy was I dumb!!! When they realized I was telling the truth, and not joking around, they got serious, “Ok dad.. take us to him now,” they demanded. And they loved you. And they ganged up on me, when you were about three years old and I called you their “half brother.” They told me in no uncertain terms, that I was never to refer to you ever again in my life as their “half brother.” You are “their brother.”

All three of them talked about amongst themselves, and approached me, and told me that in no uncertain terms was I ever to call you their “half brother” ever again.

I had tears in my eyes and a smile on my face, as I listened to them. I guess I did something right, among the many things I had done wrong.

Your dad loves you, David. For any person to ever make a claim that I “barely attempted contact” with you is absolutely wrong, a total lie, and something I cannot explain. I am sure your mother, in reviewing emails, correspondence, and other activities will vouch for this. I am sorry that there are people that you have a relationship with, would even have that sense or idea  of me. It is disgusting, and yet I must respond due to the relationship to you of the person that has made such idiotic, untruthful statements, for their own purposes. And this person is in a position to have a lot of influence over you, and to influence even just subconciously, even if its for a short time, and influence relationships I have with others that also love you.

I am sad that this person appears to have no remorse, no regret, and no concept of the hurt that has been caused by their statements. I wish I could protect you from this person; a person that would make such statements and slander me and our relationship.

I hope that maybe, someone will see the light.. and perhaps encourage this person to get some psychological help. I hope that this person will do no further damage to relationships that I might have, that you have. I will fight for that.

I love you, David Hugh Scott. And there have been times in my life, when things have been screwed up.. but I have NEVER forgotten about you, and I hitch hiked to see you, to be with you, and made arrangements for you to know how important you are to me. I continue to fight for that, to this day, David. You are awesome. I am sure your older brothers, who have also been through some crappy times, at times, know, and will speak for me, as a dad that loves you very much, and they know how much of a priority you are to me. They know, and I sometimes get afraid they will be jealous of how often I speak of you to them…. and yet, you know how often I speak of them, to you.

I don’t care who the person is; I will not put up with ANY person, telling lies, and uttering falsehoods about you, and how important you are to me. Indeed, I have years worth of evidence (not that you will need it yourself, but for anyone interested, it is there) of my love and devotion to you, along with also trying to deal with business and other personal matters.

To the person that has made these utterly false and hurtful statements and refused to ackowledge the hurt that it has caused… screw you. I’m done with you. I’ve defended you, I have many records of that, I have kept many things private, you have failed to show any remorse, you will hang on to my mistakes that I have made, and use them for your own personal advantage, while failing to acknoledge your own over the years, you are guilty of slander and libel toward me when it suits you.and I’m sure, you are simply trying to find and look for ways to intellectually defend yourself.


Which is fine. Go for it. I have my tears as a record, when you wanted to use them, your lies, your utter crap, and my loyalty to you … even when you lied. Today, I AM a bitter man, and you are more than welcome to hold that bitterness against me. Don’t you dare ever fucking hold that bitterness against me, in regard to my son, the son I worked so hard to make sure I had, the son that his mother wanted to adopt out and not tell anyone about, the son that I was told was miscarried in a toilet and my feelings were used, and I stuck by the mom.  Many times.

The lies that some have been told and lead to believe about me are utter and absolute crap, and I will hold you responsible for them. You have never ever given me an apology that is real, and with a sense of remorse.

You are no friend to me and my son David.You have no idea the hurt and absolute anguish you have caused. You have shown no remorse for your lies. I have a bazillion records of emails and attempts to get things straightened out with you, in good faith. You have so often and far too often, replied, or not replied, in totally bad faith.

You have shown no remorse for what you have done. Zero. I don’t know what your agenda is. Your false agenda ends now, however. If I have to go further, I will. I will, for the sake of my son. I will not put up with what you have said, written, or implied and you think there are no consequences. You have stolen from me, awesome moments and memories of me and my son, for your own purposes, and with your own smears.

i am not putting up with it anymore.

It is not a competition, it is not a struggle for who is right, it is not any of that.. I’ve already done what is right, even when life’s circumstances have gotten in the way.. David and my other sons that have older, have meant the world to me. You, however, keep getting in  the way, and use my efforts, and turn them around, and lie about them. And make me look bad, when you should not.

Your criticisms of me are welcome. Please feel free to comment.

Do I look like a dad that “barely ever attempted contact” with ANY of his sons, let alone the fourth one, who today is ten years old, and who just the other day, I showed him how we make home made “chips” – what some call “french fries,” as we did thing together.. cutting up potatoes, frying them in lard, eating pizza and our “chips” together, while watching a movie?

And my little boy and I, got out the bench press, and the dumbells, and worked out together..and laughed, while I encouraged him, and he could flex his muslcles and say to his mom, “Hey mom, feel the rocks I somehow grew in my muscles?” while he laughed.


What sort of person would tell others and try to make others believe, that I “had barely no attempted contact” with my son? I don’t know


Bounce Rate – Does Bing Provide More Relevant Results?

I am personally finding better results when using the search engine Bing recently. However, Google still has a huge gigantic market share of search results and I doubt that will change anytime soon.

I realize that my opinion is subjective – what does “better results” actually mean? Well to me, it means I am getting results that are relevant to what I am actually looking for and that is helpful to me based on my search query in the first couple of pages of search results. What does it mean to you? My own opinion was unscientifically confirmed when I took the “Bing Challenge” as well.

I wondered if there was an objective way to determine the “quality” of search engine results or the relevancy of them, based on data that I have. And for that, I turned to Google Analytics and used the data that Google provides me with.  I’m also thinking that the measure of bounce rate might be an interesting measure to use. For visitors that are referred to sites from either Bing or Google, which visitors stick around more often and which do not? There are some suggestions in the SEO world that Google uses the bounce rate of visitors to a site as one of the many factors in their search results algorithm to determine rankings for any search term.

According to Wikipedia:

Bounce rate (sometimes confused with exit rate)[1] is an Internet marketing term used in web traffic analysis. It represents the percentage of visitors who enter the site and “bounce” (leave the site) rather than continue viewing other pages within the same site.


A bounce occurs when a web site visitor only views a single page on a website, that is, the visitor leaves a site without visiting any other pages before a specified session-timeout occurs. There is no industry standard minimum or maximum time by which a visitor must leave in order for a bounce to occur. Rather, this is determined by the session timeout of the analytics tracking software.


So, I’m using Google Analytics as the tracking software. Presumably, the bounce rate that Google uses in their tracking software is based on the same definition if there is one, that they would use in any part of their algorithm that uses Bounce Rate as a factor in their SERP’s.

I examined 6 different websites, all in totally different niches that I have access to their Analytics reporting. Four of those sites are directly controlled by my business, while the other two are clients of mine. The results were interesting to say the least. And the results beg the question: “Is Google truly the best search engine providing the most relevant search results for the user’s search terms and phrases?”

Is it possible that indeed, Bing provides superior results?

There are problems however, with using Bounce Rate as a measure of whether or not a URL was relevant to a search result. We’re told that the lower the Bounce Rate, the better. If we assume this is true, then Google has a bit of a problem.

On the other hand, a high bounce rate could mean that a searcher found exactly what they were looking for when they clicked through to a URL from a search result. If they found exactly what they were looking for; an answer to a question, a solution to a problem, or an article of interest that gave them pause for thought, they might not be clicking around the site they landed on for more information.

But let’s assume for now that a low bounce rate is preferred and how the Google engineers may have determined that a low bounce rate is a preferred as a measure of relevancy.

Let’s take a look at the data Google provides. This is for the dates between August 29, 2012 and September 29, 2012. These six sites have in common that they get a minimum of 1,000 unique visitors per month, with a few of them significantly more than that.

Site #1:

  • Google Bounce Rate: 35.94%
  • Bing Bounce Rate: 16.83%

Site #2:

  • Google Bounce Rate: 41.16%
  • Bing Bounce Rate: 37.07

Site #3:

  • Google Bounce Rate: 21.47%
  • Bing Bounce Rate: 14.56%

Site #4:

  • Google Bounce Rate: 6.98%
  • Bing Bounce Rate: 3.61%

(Above numbers are very enviable no matter who wins and I was very surprised at how low it was)

Site #5:

  • Google Bounce Rate: 11.88%
  • Bing Bounce Rate: 26.43%

Site #6:

  • Google Bounce Rate: 44.31%
  • Bing Bounce Rate: 23.81%

In five out of the six website analytics data that I took a look at, there was a significantly lower bounce rate with visitors coming from Bing than those who arrived via Google’s search results. Granted, Google also provided a significantly higher number of referrers overall, but it generally matches the market share of each search engine.

So, if Bounce Rate is a determining factor in how well accepted a site is to a visitor, is it not interesting that Bing Results seem to indicate that they are providing better results overall as visitors are finding for whatever search term they used, some motivation to stick around more than Google users?

Of course, the answer could be more complex as perhaps the demographics and some other characteristic information of the users need to be taken into consideration as well. Having said that, although I’ve provided results for the top six of the websites that we monitor Google Analytics data for, the results are typical for all of the sites that we monitor.

I’m curious as to what you find when you compare the Bounce Rate of visitors to your site that have been referred by either Google or Bing. And how would you interpret these results?

I am also curious as to how these numbers stack up against each other from periods prior to the major Panda and Penguin updates. I took a cursory look and interestingly to me, there was not quite as much of a spread between Google and Bing – which indicates to me that in Google’s “quest for quality,” they haven’t achieved it in their war against whatever they are warring over and making significant changes in their SERP’s (yes, two of the above sites were hit by either Panda or Penguin).


My Journey To Trying Mansaf

mansafYears ago, when I first started the blog, “Ianism,” most of my posts were about classical liberalism, libertarianism, and included some “debates” with opinion of both the left and the right. There were also posts about some of my own personal achievements, discouragements and of course, about my awesome sons and their achievements as well.

After some years (about five years ago), I got tired of the debating of politics and philosophy, met a woman, and thought that might be the end of “Ianism” although I kept renewing the domain name but took the site offline. Much has happened over those five years: Things unfortunately did not work with that relationship, my children are now five years older, my business has moved slightly in a different direction and I spend more time on search engine optimization projects although that has always been a major part of what I like to do.

Some things have not changed: I remain a classical style liberal in the sense of what liberalism originally meant and see no answers or logical proposals from either those on the left or right. I still enjoy writing, and to that end, some months ago, I decided to put “Ianism” back up. Mostly, I’ve written about search engine optimization here although that was not my goal when I did so. I planned on having an eclectic blog (against the advice of many who blog and say that a blog’s theme should be consistent and topical).

So with that in mind, I am now on a journey to try Mansaf. What is mansaf, you ask? It is a traditional Jordanian dish that includes lamb simmered in a special kind of yoghurt, along with rice, spices, pine nuts and almonds. How I discovered this dish is a bit of a story in itself that involves what I thought was a hilarious youtube video, followed up with some curiosity. But the beginnings probably go back even further.

Middle Eastern Food (My First Time)

I originally came to know of middle eastern food, the very first time when I was about 13 or 14 years old. My Northern Irish but Canadian resident father enjoyed trying different types of food himself, and one day, while we were out on a drive together, pulled into a small restaurant in Toronto somewhere. He wanted me to try a falafel – something I had never heard of but my dad had eaten before. When  tasted these balls (I had no idea what they were made of back then, and it would be some years before I discovered it was chickpea or garbanzo bean based), inside a pita bread wrap with a sauce along with onion, lettuce and tomato, I absolutely loved it! Occasionally, my dad and I would return to that restaurant over the years to have a quick lunch or snack of a falafel.

Later, I discovered a restaurant on my own when I was spending time in Toronto, working, at a corner along Lawrence Ave. E. That was well over 20 years ago, and I have no idea if the place still exists, but I was a regular when I was working in the area and during their open hours. It was then I was also introduced to Tabbouleh salad, which I love to eat.

My Own Experiments

Over the years, my own appreciation for a wide variety of different culture’s and world regions taste and style in food has grown. Although there are times when there is nothing better than my own “traditional” meat and potatoes, or fish and potatoes, along with Ulster Fry for breakfast, I have learned to try and enjoy many others, including Indian curries, Carribean, and Middle Eastern foods. In order to enjoy them whenever I want, I’ve had to learn to make them on my own. I can’t say that every dish I make would pass the test of being completely authentic, but they are pretty close, I’d say.

When you decide to try new things, it’s amazing what you discover, and how different tastes, spices, bitters, sweets and sours can all go toward a wonderful culinary experience. I love chickpeas on their own, but I also love adding spices and cooking with curry, or mixing them with other beans and using my own homemade Italian dressing over top.

Hummus became a favorite of mine as well. I can eat it on its own using a spoon, or as a dip with vegetables like celery and carrots, or spread on crackers. One can adjust the spices as they desire, and it makes for a great snack that is also very healthy.

So How Did I Get To Wanting To Try Mansaf?

Over the years, I enjoy reading history and current events. One of the countries in this world that has always intrigued me is Jordan. Stuck in the middle of a very “hot spot” on this earth, we don’t hear much about Jordan, but from what I’ve read, it’s a beautiful country and there is a relative peace and respect between the different religious groups that reside there. Jordan is a small country but has accepted refugees of both Muslims and Christians from its neighbours, and it seems to me, has tried to be a “calming” influence in the region. I’m no expert by any means on middle east politics, although I like the foods I have tried. Jordan just has always been a country that has interested me.

When I began to write this post, I mentioned that there was a humorous youtube video involved. The other night, I came across a silly but humorous video of some guy “fooling” people into thinking he was a woman while the song “Call Me Maybe” was being played. It’s a bit racy to say the least, but the reactions in the video are quite funny. At least I thought so. Its probably not a video that you want to watch if you’re easily offended by an extreme degree of immodesty, and certainly not something that I pursue, but I couldn’t help but chuckle when I watched it. It was also my first introduction to the song; although I love music, most of what I listen to is “older” stuff, and I seldom have a radio on.

The title of the video caught my eye though. It is named “Call Me Maybe – Carly Rae Jepsen (Chatroulette Version).” I wondered, “what is a ‘chatroulette version’?” and decided to Google it. Turns out that it was the mechanism the videomaker used to shock people in the first place and make the video. Out of curiosity, I went to the website, and thought I’d see what it was all about. Well, most of it seemed pretty stupid, and a waste of time, but I did end up having a conversation with a person from Germany named Lucien, who happens to have relatives here in Canada. We talked for a bit, discussing music and other subjects when Lucien had to leave.

A few moments later, I had the pleasure of conversing with a Jordanian named Ali. This was a great conversation, as we both respectfully discussed just about every subject from politics, philosophy, learning, life dreams, and telling each other about our families. And it was during that conversation that I learned about Mansaf, with Ali sending me to a webpage about this very delicious looking dish.

In my further research, I discovered that this dish is not just about eating a meal, but the traditional way of eating it is about showing hospitality and bonding with those you are supping with. Traditionally, one shares the dish with others, using their fingers and following certain protocol including being careful to not put your fingers against your mouth, only the food, using the right hand while the left hand remains behind your back. This video explains more, including how Mansaf is prepared:

Considering the “meaning” behind serving the dish to others, out of a sense of hospitality and friendship, I was quite honoured when Ali invited me and suggested I visit Jordan and he could share Mansaf with me. We both may come from different cultures and even different systems of beliefs, but it was obvious that the belief and desire for the wellbeing of our fellow man was quite evident, and I very much enjoyed making an acquaintance with Ali, and look forward to getting to know him better, while also letting him get to know me better if he so wishes. Ali seemed very interested and curious in all manner of subjects as well as quite knowledgeable, characteristics I admire.

After having made his acquaintance, I do hope that one day I could be able to travel to Jordan and eat Mansaf with Ali and his family. Unfortunately, I think that day would be quite some time away. In the meantime, I still do want to try Mansaf, even if I have to make it myself.However, there is a challenge.

The Challenge – Jameed

Traditional Mansaf requires an ingredient called Jameed, a type of yoghurt made from goat’s milk, and then dried into very hard balls. It is then reconstituted with water when it is to be used for eating or cooking. Drying it out was a way to preserve yoghurt when there was no refrigeration. However, learning how to make Jameed is not easy, as apparently many families guard their recipe closely.

I have not been able to find a source for Jameed anywhere near where I live, so it would appear I have to learn to make it myself. I do have access to goat’s milk, but I don’t know how to make yoghurt. But I can learn. But then, I do not totally understand the drying process of the yoghurt in order for it to become Jameed, so perhaps some experimentation is in order – but traditionally, it is dried outdoors, either in the sun or the shade, and it might be a bit too late in the year here in Ontario, for that.

First things first; I will need to get some goat’s milk and learn to make yoghurt with it. Then I will try to figure out how to make Jameed with my yoghurt. Then, I will study and see if I can make Mansaf with some wonderful tasty Ontario lamb that I buy from a local farmer.

If I am able to visit Jordan, I will certainly accept Ali’s invitation to eat Mansaf with him! If Ali is able to visit Canada, I hope he will accept my invitation to visit with me and I will feed him well, too – perhaps if by then I’ve learned to make Mansaf, with a non traditional Canadian version of it! :) We’ll see how much progress I can make on trying to learn how  to make it.

Finally – thank you Ali for the introduction to you and your family’s lives in Jordan. The time we live in is pretty amazing, when we can communicate with complete strangers so far away, and learn more about each other, and form friendships that go beyond borders.  And thank you for letting me know about Mansaf and your invitation of hospitality towards me. It is very much appreciated.

Now, onto learning more about Mansaf, but tonight I will have a simple but tasty North American style hamburger, with onions, tomato, lettuce and mustard.