If you go to buy my ebook, you may notice something’s different. I spent today re-branding the book because I was notified ‘nerd school’ is trademarked. Oh yay… I suppose I should have stuck with Nerd Party in the first place – lesson learned!
Anyway…same book, still awesome, still available to help you kick your blog in the pants! Get it here >>>
* If you’ve already bought and read the ebook I’d love for you to write a review – there’s a tab at the bottom of the product page for you to leave your thoughts. Thanks!! *
This is another call for sponsors, while still linking off-handedly to the Columbia Journalism Review. The CJR isn't sponsoring this site, but the person who is wants you to visit them, probably because they do good work there. Once that sponsorship runs out next week, the space will again be blank and I'll have to go back to posting photos of sad animals and crying babies and stuff like that until someone steps forward. Is this a form of blackmail? I guess you could say that it is. That's a nice Internet you've got there. Be a real shame if anything happened to it.
Let's take a quick minute to thank all supporters from the past and those who will support in the future. It's from your generous assistance that I can rationalize spending time fisking the latest Magic Frank nonsense, or spend the evening researching the latest rumors only to have it all come up fruitless (this has happened a couple of time, you just never heard about it because I don't like to write that nothing is happening), or generally making a pain in the neck out of myself over some of the issues we bring to the forefront here.
If you'd like to join our long and storied list of people who've helped in the past, you can do that by sponsoring Michigan Liberal for a day, a week, or a month (or, for some other period of time based on just contacting me and asking). Rates are $25 a day, $100 a week, or $360 a month. You can contact me at email@example.com, through social media, by text at 517/881-8008, or by walking up to me in person and socking me in the gut. There's also the little Paypal button off to the left that is mostly successful in donating.
I’m a designer, dreamer, and adventure-seeker. I design children’s clothing by day, blog at night, and travel on the weekends! On Melinda’s Musings I share my inspirations, travel stories, and love of yoga and books. I’m constantly inspired by fellow bloggers and designers, so if you stop by my blog please share a link to your site, I’d love to check it out!
I am an accessories designer and owner of JustLovelyThings, co-founder of a pretty shop called Fawn & Flora and I work for Passionfruit (you know that rad blog ad company!). I am extremely passionate about supporting independent, small business & the handmade community. I live in Oregon and am married to my bestest friend Brandon and our huge dog. I hope you have fun visiting while I share all the things I find, love and am passionate about!
If you’d like to sponsor Silly Grrl you’re welcome to grab a spot anytime during the month. Spaces start at just $5 and you’ll be pleased to know my traffic went from 29,000 page views in April to whats looking like 35,000 this month. Pretty awesome if I do say so myself :)
May 24, 2013 by Brad Idelkope
Filed under Uncategorized
Checking Under the Bed is a final sweep through at the miscellaneous points of interest surrounding teams in the B1G.
As we've previously discussed, Illinois Football is bad, bad, bad. Naturally, most of this piece will be about the hilarious, optimism crushing dust bunnies rolling through Champaign. No better allegory exists than Tim Beckman getting decleated by an official and then flopping on his ass on the sidelines en route to a 14-50 loss to Northwestern.
This is after being thoroughly dismantled by Louisiana Tech 52-24 at home the week before opening the B1G slate. A few boisterous member of Chief Illiniwek's tribe were giving up early into the season (From TWIS):
Louisiana Tech 52, Illinois 24 POSTGAME
If you don't get the lasagna reference, allow me to enlighten.
I seem to remember something about stones and glass houses juxtaposed with Josh Groban, so I'll cut him some slack. Who doesn't love lasagna? It's pasta cake. Think about it.
As BHJ linked to on Monday, Tim Beckman is a man's man, even on the sideline. He deserves credit for restraining himself. Because we all know Tim Beckman is a double horseshoe dipper.
We here at Maize n Brew also invite you to release your inner whitewalker and thank Illinois for allowing this glorious INTD call. Valar Morghulis, ya'll.
Illinois, you are cleared to check out, please put the towels back.
Ashley said, “I want to quit my day job and support my family entirely with my freelancing. We have a TON of savings…I am currently earning about half of what we need from my freelancing…but I’m also only freelancing part-time. I want to take the leap, but I’m also thinking I should re-price my website and blog designs accordingly before I do so, which means I could lose clients. I track my time and know my hourly rate…but sometimes a website takes 6 hours and sometimes it’s 26! I want to offer package pricing, but that makes it hard, you know?”
Thanks for your question Ashley! First, you should definitely raise your prices to your post-escape rate before leaving your job. You’re right, you may lose some clients, so you want to have an idea of how many will stick around once you’re freelancing full-time. The ones looking for a quick, cheap design will probably fade out and you’ll be left with less clients, but higher-paying projects.
As far as pricing goes, I know my hourly rate and I know how long it takes to build different parts of a site. So I charge base-rate, which covers the site mock-up and revisions (to which there is a limit) and then I add on for pages, dropdown menus, galleries, ecommerce. If you look at my portfolio you’ll see I don’t list any rates. This is because every site ends up taking a different amount of time depending on the size and how picky the client is.
Here’s an example: Say the hourly rate is $50. It takes me about 6 hours to do a mock-up with three rounds of revisions, 1 hour to style a drop-down menu, and the site has 4 pages (1 hour each). That comes out to 11 hours, which would be $550.
Don’t be afraid to charge what you’re worth. There’s nothing more annoying then getting to the end of the project and realizing you paid yourself $30/hour intsead of $50 because you dropped your price and the client wanted a bunch of extras.
Samantha said, “First, how did you learn your mad web skills? Have you found that it’s fairly easy to find work as a freelancer (do most people just find you via your website)? Do you think your location matters at all when it comes to freelance work? How do you keep your freelance projects organized? I think your blog is great, and it’s really inspiring to see how you’ve gone freelance and made it work.”
Thanks for your questions Samantha (I know there were a couple more, I’m holding those for next time :)
I learned my mad web skills by making a really ugly sites on gURL pages and Angelfire when I was about 13. I would see sites with different features and look at their page source and research how to recreated what they’d done. Now I hone my skills by looking up information Stack Overflow, w3Schools and CSS-Tricks.
I’ve been working as a freelancer for about two years and my blog has been online for over five, so when I started offering design services the audience was already there. Now I don’t have to do any marketing at all – clients come to me. Because of this, most of my clients are online, so I can work from anywhere and location isn’t a factor. Though even my local clients communicate via email the majority of the time.
To keep my freelance projects organized I use two things – Google Calendar and Weave. I use Google calendar for scheduling – I set the event to show all day and make each project a different color. Then I use Weave to track tasks, hours and income.
If you have a design, blogging, freelance, coding, or aerial-related question, feel free to submit it here and I might just answer it in an upcoming post!Boy, is this stupid. Eliminating hashtags on a football field? Whatever for? The NCAA Rules Committee rule states: "All other items, including social media designations such as URL’s and hashtags, are prohibited."
I guess the reason is that it can be viewed as advertising for Twitter. This won't last, because you can't legislate behavior and people's willingness to use the most current technology. Funny: the NCAA will allow institutions to post the NCAA logo, school logos, facility name, and corporate sponsorships... but not #NCAA or ncaa.org. Someone from Twitter must have pissed off Mark Emmert.
It doesn't fit the edge of the Big Ten and social media... look here.
I think the Spartans should officially change their Name and Logo: "Michigan State #Spartans"
Man, the NCAA is logically unaware of the social norms. Love the post by Zac Ellis at SI.com: "#dumb."
This morning, I started work on a column that'll appear in the local paper next week about accident wrecker policy. It's actually more interesting than you might think, because it involves the intersection of the private sector and a public need (at that nexus, you'll always find conflict). I started sending e-mails to every local police agency because last year our dispatch got tired of getting yelled at by various wrecker services and got out of the business of dispatching wreckers from a rotation. Now, it's a matter of the local market. One of our local governments is the village of Shepherd, most famous for its maple syrup festival. I went to the village's website to find out who is the local police chief and found ... nothing. There is no good information on the local police, who runs the joint, or how to contact these people. I went to the village staff directory to find out the name of the village manager so I could contact that person. Again, zilch. So, what's on the website? Mostly just cryptic references to EVIP transparency data.
It's a requirement for what now passes for statutory shared revenue. Local governments have to post budget data to the Internet so citizens can access it and, if so moved, show up to a council meeting and shout at the trustees. I'm all for transparency, but simply posting raw data to the Internet does little except encourage half-informed speculation. Still, it's on there, and posted at EVIP.
If you're going to post budget data to the Internet to encourage transparency, it's probably best not to call it EVIP data, because nobody knows what that means. Someone spent time in the Village of Shepherd posting data required by the state but that's probably not very helpful to the average person and not posting how to contact the police or village staff. This is reflected in a guest column at Bridge by the mayor of Linden.
So I ask this question: Is this what EVIP was intended to do? I think not. If the goal was efficiency and better government, we have lost our way and instead managed to create a new bureaucracy, and add cost and inefficiency. But we should ask ourselves, is the return on our investment such that it negates the new problem we have built? In my view this is not spurring incentivizing vitality, it is applying a one-size-fits-all-approach to the services that matter the most.
The approach to local government, like the approach to public education, has been a trend of awful for the last two decades. The funding model is completely broken, and even counties, villages, cities and townships that are well run are seeing matters spiral beyond their control. The response by the state has been terrible neglect, and an arrogance that local governments have to deal with a problem largely foisted off on them by Lansing. Lansing cuts funds, local governments have to look elsewhere for money, and then explain to citizens why they have to pick between a public safety millage or fewer cops on the beat.
As MiddleGrandGuy mentioned in comments a few days ago, the city of Charlotte is one of these. There's no reason why a city of 10,000 people should be looking at a local income tax. There's no reason why Mount Pleasant, my hometown, should have to look at one. When I wrote last year that this was a decision Lansing was forcing on local governments, I heard the next day from a former mayor of Mount Pleasant, a fiscally conservative Republican, that he agreed with me entirely but couldn't get our local elected representatives to respond. They had it in their heads that things should work one way, even if they worked in a way entirely different.
The Bridge has had some excellent commentary on this, this week. Not just from local officials, but also from Mitch Bean, who used to run the House Fiscal Agency. Basically, what it's boiled down to is that you have on one side people familiar with how local governments work saying that it's all broken (this should sound familiar, since the recent outrage in Buena Vista School District was a sign that something is horribly amiss with how schools are funded), and the policy makers who know in their heart of hearts that it works a different way.
May 23, 2013 by Hollywood Hokester
Filed under Uncategorized
With their 95th meeting on the gridiron coming up next (it's not in 2013 or 2014), it's safe to say that Michigan has had the upper hand over Illinois through the years. The Wolverines have an overall record of 69-23-2 against the Illini and rattled off a 16-game winning streak from 1967-1982. Looking at the matchup over each decade, the Wolverines only have one such span with a losing record against the Illini: the 1910's, when Michigan went 0-1 against Illinois due to a 29-7 loss in 1919.
The High: November 6th, 2010, Michigan 67 - Illinois 65 (3OT)
Most Wolverines fans would like to forget the three Rich Rod years, but in his final season as Michigan's head coach, Rodriguez led the team to a grueling and fun-to-watch (if you only like offense) 67-65 triple overtime victory over Illinois in 2010. The victory ended a three-game losing streak that had crushed the hopes built upon the team's 5-0 start that season. And more importantly, the overtime win made the Wolverines bowl eligible for the first time under Rich Rod, brought some excitement back to the football program, and re-started our bowl eligible streak that Brady Hoke will never let die.
Surprisingly, with such a high score, you might assume Denard led the team to victory. However, even though Denard put up big numbers through the first three quarters, it was Tate Forcier who climbed off the bench and led the team through the fourth quarter and overtime. Forcier eventually helped score the game-winning points with a 2-pt conversion pass to Junior Hemingway in the third overtime.
With a score like that, numerous records were broken, some good and some bad: Roy Roundtree set Michigan's single-game receiving yards record at 246 yards, Denard Robinson and Tate Forcier combined to set Michigan's single-game passing yards record at 419 yards, and Illinois's 65 points are the most ever allowed by a Michigan defense (just outscoring the opponents worked for once, thanks Rich). There were many more, but I won't list them here. I think another one the Wolverines set was "Most Wins by a Michigan football against Illinois in 2010," breaking the previous record of zero.
Check out some highlights of the awesome offenses and pathetic defenses here.
The Low: October 29th, 1983, Michigan 6 - Illinois 16
Coming into the 1983 showdown against Illinois, Bo Schembechler had never lost a game against the Illini. Both teams came into the game undefeated with hopes of a Big Ten Championship and a trip the Rose Bowl on the line. Unfortunately, the Illini's defense stifled the Wolverines and Michigan lost 16-6. The Wolverines would ultimately finish second in the Big Ten in '83. Since I wasn't born yet, I'll let the highlights speak for themselves here.
The Other Important Games: Both Ties (1985 and 1992)
Everyone knows ties are liking kissing your sister, and the sentiment couldn't be any more true for Michigan in its two ties with Illinois. In 1992, the Wolverines went undefeated at 9-0-3, won the Big Ten, but only entered the bowl season ranked #7. With two other ties against AP ranked #3 Notre Dame and #17 Ohio, a tie against unranked Illinois definitely didn't help the Wolverines ranking. Even though the tie ensured Michigan's Big Ten title and Rose Bowl bid, a win against the Illini could've propelled the Wolverines into the National Championship discussion, since they most likely would have entered their Rose Bowl victory against #9 Washington with a higher ranking.
However, the 1985 tie had a greater effect on Michigan's chance at a National Championship. In 1985, the Wolverines finished the season 10-1-1, with the one loss coming against #2 Iowa who won the Big Ten that year. The Wolverines won the Fiesta Bowl against #7 Nebraska and finished the season ranked #2 behind the National Champions, the Oklahoma Sooners. It becomes interesting because the Sooners finished 11-1 that year, the record the Wolverines would have had if they hadn't tied Illinois. Maybe an extra win sways voters to lean towards Michigan in the final polls. Who knows. All I know is I'm glad ties are a thing of the past.
May 23, 2013 by Anthony Mammel
Filed under Uncategorized
Championship teams are built from the inside out, regardless of what system you run. Michigan transitioned from Rich Rodriguez's what-the-hell-am-I-looking-at defense to Greg Mattison's 4-3 under, and the move to a consistent defense has lead to an increase in depth and talent across the defensive line.
There are still some voids that need filling. First, Michigan couldn't get to the quarterback without overload blitzes in 2012: it needs weak side defensive ends who can get around tackles. Second, there is a lack of elite talent on the strong side, where no one is creating separation in the race for playing time.
Michigan already has weak side defensive end Lawrence Marshall on board, which means the WDE recruiting will come down to elite players and elite players only. The staff will probably only take two strong side players if their names are McDowell and Hand.
Already In the Bag: Lawrence Marshall
Marshall is Michigan's newest commitment, pulling the trigger on an unofficial visit to Ann Arbor on May 11th. He's a weak side defensive end all the way, possessing enough length and explosiveness to become a serious pass rusher down the line. He's a fringe three- to four-star player because he's extremely raw and is a touch less explosive than someone like Taco Charlton.
Most Talented: Da'Shawn Hand
Capable of playing on both ends of the line, Hand will likely end up on the strong side, where he can make more of an impact in the run game. He isn't the consensus overall number one, but he's a consensus top five player because of his combination of length, brute strength and sheer explosiveness. He comes off of the ball faster than Marshall and is nearly as strong as McDowell despite weighing only 255 pounds. He isn't the next Jadeveon Clowney by any stretch of the imagination, but he still has massive upside.
Under the Radar: Gelen Robinson
The younger brother of future NBA player Glenn Robinson III, Gelen is a a poor man's Brandon Graham. He only stands at 6'1" and might end up at linebacker, but he plays bigger than his listed height and has above average burst off the line of scrimmage. He's an all-state wrestler, which automatically puts him under the category of technician.
Most Likely to Commit: Malik McDowell
Michigan has been up and down in Malik's recruitment, but recent trends have the Wolverines moving up. McDowell could end up at the strong side defensive end spot or the three-tech defensive tackle position; he's currently pushing 295 pounds and will need to clean up his frame if he wishes to stay on the outside. He's a true 6'6", giving him plenty of length to deal with tackles if he ends up at the five-tech, and he's more explosive than the majority of prospects his size. He would be the best in-state defender to commit to Michigan since Brandon Graham and could easily end up being a five-star player.
Pipe Dream: Andrew Williams
When was the last time Michigan went into the South to pluck an elite defensive end? Greg Mattison has been on Williams for quite some time now, but I still don't see him leaving the area when he has offers from Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, LSU, Oklahoma, Ole Miss and countless others.
The One Who Got Away: Old Lawrence Marshall
At one point Marshall was committed to Ohio State, and Brady Hoke was losing all of his precious in-state recruits. Weeks later he was decommitted and considered a lock to end up in East Lansing, where he was seen visiting for weeks in a row. He visited Michigan once and committed immediately after, sending Spartan fans into their usual THE WORLD IS ENDING AND MICHIGAN IS CHEATING rants:
Yeah, it seems a little shady. Fortunately, UM's sterling history of integrity in such matters makes them above suspicion.
They are cheating. Color me shocked. The return to the good ol Ed Martin days at U of Money.
The NCAA and the media are both complicit in UM's hype machine. What can a school like Michigan State do? Not much.
He used us for girls, parties, and basketball games. End of story.
Perhaps dantonio needs to stop being such a white knight when recruiting these kids and put the pressure on for once.
So, yea. Michigan is much better academically and has an elite staff assembled, but they're cheating, man. The commitment of Lawrence Marshall was sweet. Very sweet.
Michigan adds McDowell and Hand to the class, giving it a small yet extremely versatile group of young defensive ends. Notre Dame fails to overtake Michigan for McDowell down the stretch, and Virginia Tech loses out on Hand after Jabrill Peppers does his best to recruit his fellow five-star to Ann Arbor. I rejoice, and Brian posts muppets over at MGoBlog.
Lawrence Marshall decides that Michigan isn't for him, opting out and heading to East Lansing. Malik McDowell realizes that 3-4 defensive ends make bank in the NFL and rushes to Notre Dame, where he becomes yet another we-almost-had-that-guy guy on another team's roster. Da'Shawn Hand picks Virginia Tech, forcing Michigan to reach and offer Gelen Robinson and a handful of lesser-known ends. I throw my hands up in the air and wonder why Michigan's clear efforts to pay these kids under the table aren't working.
Final Prediction For the Position
Lawrence Marshall stays on board, Malik McDowell goes blue before the start of his senior season, and Da'Shawn Hand picks favorite Virginia Tech. Yes, I predicted that Hand would end up at Michigan weeks ago, but things have changed. They could change once again if someone like Jabrill Peppers picks up the phone to say something like, "Hey, uh.. you could crush the passer and I'll pick off whatever he throws up out of desperation. You can even get in on my next rap video, which won't include us dancing around like goons in a shed." I'm hoping said phone call works, but I'm counting against it as of now.