Where is local journalism?

I live in unincorporated Pershing County Nevada, there are less than a thousand people in my part of the county. The closest town is one county over, about ten miles from my house, and has a population of just over eight thousand people. Over the last two years my husband and I have noticed an increase in businesses closing or relocating. The one barber shop in town specializing in men’s haircuts closed because the old dude who cut hair died on a fishing trip. The Chrysler, Dodge, RAM dealership closed because the shop manager had a heart attack on the toilet, coupled with the owner doing questionable accounting practices – without the shop bringing in real income the business failed. The Pizza Hut in town was there one day, the next day it was closed, and a month later the building was gone. A furniture store we would drive by every time we went into town moved to a smaller location. The largest HVAC company in town also moved to a smaller location. A tire repair shop that had been in the same location since Jesus wore sandals closed due to the owners not wanting to deal with a bomb threat and an actual bomb found on their property. All of this in the last year or so…Next month, the one package receiving location – think UPS Store that is not a UPS Store – is closing shop. There is no longer a FedEx depot in town and the UPS location has no customer facing storefront (they had one that was open for exactly one hour a day two years ago, but it closed).

But there is more. Businesses are not open as they were in the past. The BBQ joint that was open six days a week when we moved to town (closed on Sundays) is now only open on five days a week and reduced hours three of those days. The restaurant in one of the three casinos in town used to be open seven days a week is now only open five, and only for dinner on two of those five days. One of the other two casinos has had their restaurant closed since last December for repair/remodel – they were scheduled to open for Valentine’s Day, they did not. The chicken wing bar on the eastern side of town which was open until one AM when we used to stay at the adjoining RV Park, is only open six days a week and doesn’t open until noon on Sundays, closes at ten during the week and eleven on weekends. The three grocery stores are on reduced hours, the twenty-four-hour Walmart isn’t, and the three fast food places along the truck stop are reduced hours. The once multi-location U-Haul shop is a shell of its former glory and everywhere you look self-storage facilities are going up.

The town lost about ten percent of its population since the start of the pandemic and I’m sure we will learn it’s more than that during the next census. I will not say that the town is slowly dying, but it sure looks like the town is shrinking. And that’s not why I’m writing today. The main reason I pulled out the computer to type was a thought that has been going through my head for the last few weeks. Local journalism is dead.

Remember that tire repair shop in the first paragraph? The one with the live bomb found in their facility. Yeah – that’s what got me writing. You see, there was no news coverage of the story. There are no articles that I can link you to definitively stating that the owners closed shop because of a bomb found in their store. Sure, if you check the local police blotter for the right night you can confirm what the locals at the bar told you the night before, but you have to do the leg work. Let me set the stage…
My spouse and I were sitting at the casino enjoying a beer catching up with the staff and regulars. We had been out of town for three months avoiding the coldest part of winter. The kitchen was still closed (it closed before we left). The bartender who had said the night we were leaving was to be her last night was still there and the regular bar flies were enjoying their regular drinks.

As the night wore on the subject of employment came up and my husband remarked that the tire store was always hiring and that the person he was chatting with could always go work there. Everyone behind the bar and the rest of the people in the room all went white and we were informed that the tire shop had closed while we were gone. One of the staff told us about the bomb threat and that the bomb was found and exploded safely by the SWAT team in the large parking lot next door.

None of this was in any of the local or regional newspapers. In fact, as far as I know, my account of the story is the only telling on the internet.

We don’t have local news. You have a business that is issued a bomb threat and it’s found to be true, and the bomb located and exploded, and there is no news story? What gives? I’m working on confirming what I was told at the bar with my local sheriff’s deputy who happens to be on the SWAT team. Based on what he tells me, I’ll update this article.

Someone who commits a crime in Reno, two and a half hours away and flees to my town and is caught makes the news, but a tire store that has been in town since the dawn of time closes due to a bomb gets no mention.

When I worked in Watertown, Massachusetts my employer’s office was bombed, except the bomber didn’t know that we had moved up one floor and tossed his bomb into someone else’s laboratory. It was a stem cell research lab . The local news (this was 2004 when we still had local news) was there and, incorrectly, assumed the bomb had something to do with stem cell research. But they dug deeper and found the bomber to be the same person who tried to burn down my employer’s lab three years prior. They learned that he had just gotten out of prison for the fire weeks before he tossed the bomb… Where is that kind of reporting for the tire shop?

The tire shop that installed the tires on my backhoe…
The tire shop that installed the tires on my Airstream…
The tire shop that installed the tires on my trucks…
The tire shop that my neighbor recommended I do business with…

My tire shop.

Where is reporting on what happened to my tire shop?

EDIT: A few days after typing this post I learned that one of two water well drilling companies went out of business as the owner, 85 years old and working every day, passed away back in December. So yeah, the shrink continues.

It’s Been a While…

We’ve been very busy building out our homestead in northern Nevada between traveling cross the country. Sadly, this means that I’ve not had as much time to update our website. That changes today. Over the coming weeks I’ll add posts about our land progress, travel in 2022, and future plans.

Blast from my past…

It looks like Uncle Mike had and used a pair of the very fen•all 880 Series filters that I used to market back when I worked for Bacou-Dalloz. This is a shade 5 wielding glass. You can see the fend•all ‘f’ next to the 5Hon each lens. This model was intended on being clipped to a hard hat brim, which is where we found it.

Estate Sale – Holstein Road and Crooked Land King of Prussia, PA

Starting Monday, September 15 through Friday September 20 – By Appointment Only.

Public Yard Sale September 21 and 22.

Call 1-702-860-1447 if interested in any of the items pictured below:

All items are being sold as is, where is. Furniture cushions are dirty as there was a cat in the house.

King Sized Master Set $200 if taken all at once and includes Chest of Drawers, Long Draw Set, 2 Bedside Tables, and Bed Frame (mattress optional).

Lamps – $10.00 Each

Additional Items will be added daily.

Which TLD is Right for Me?

Reblogged from Andrew Rabbitt @ DNSimple

So you’ve decided to build your own website and are wondering which of the 286+ top level domains [TLDs] you should use. With so many options at your fingertips, the task of selecting one may seem daunting. You’ve been online and know that .COM, .NET, and .ORG are very popular. You’ve seen .EDU, and sometimes .BIZ and .INFO – but which TLD is right for your website?

Let’s talk about popular, new, special, and not-so-savory TLDs and how to choose your own.

.COM.NET, and .ORG

.COM was one of the first top level domains implemented back in January 1985. It’s original intention was for commercial entities, but today almost anyone can register a .COM domain. .COM is so ubiquitous that many people assume a website should end with .COM, and it’s typically the first TLD searched when registering a new TLD.

.COM made up 139 million of the 348.7 million domain registrations as of the fourth quarter of 2018 see report, and is by far the most popular TLD with almost 40% of the total domain market. The next leading registered domain for the same quarter was the country code TLD .CN (China) with 22.7 million registrations.

.NET is another TLD implemented back in January 1985. It was intended for internet companies. There are no restrictions on this domain, and it’s now a general purpose domain with a respectable 13.5 million registrations. Like .COM, anyone can register a .NET domain.

.ORG rounds out the initially available TLDs from January 1985. Of the big three, .ORG is the smallest with just over 10 million registrations. This TLD was intended for organizations and nonprofits, but – like .COM and .NET – has no restrictions. Anyone can register a .ORG domain.

Note: I excluded .GOV, .MIL, and .ARPA from this post, as they’re not available to the general public. However, these three were also part of the January 1985 TLD release.

You may gravitate to these, because they’re the oldest TLDs on the internet. But you have other options, some more popular than .NET and .ORG, others more exclusive. It’s 2019, and you can be successful with any TLD.

The next group of popular TLDs are country code TLDs – ccTLDs. The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) has assigned a trustee for each ccTLD. That trustee is responsible for the policies and operation of the domain. Some ccTLDs have restrictions you should be aware of prior to registration. Examples of these restrictions include, but are not limited to:

  • Residency requirements for .EU domains
  • Can’t use names of cities in France in .FR domains
  • Must be a resident or have a company based in Japan for .JP domains

Some ccTLDs have gained support outside of the residents of their specific country. The .IO (British Indian Ocean Territory) domain, for example, is heavily used by tech innovators and startups. This ccTDLD offers a tech savvy, two character TLD that means something to many programming communities – I/O: Input/Output. Another ccTLD that’s open to everyone is the .ME (Montenegro) domain, which is typically used for personal pages.

Some popular generic top level domains, gTLDs, are targeted at specific groups of users:

  • .APP for applications
  • .DEV for developers
  • .BANK for financial institutions1
  • .INSURANCE for insurance companies1
  • .BLOG for blog sites
  • .PAGE for personal and informational pages
  • .INFO for informational pages
  • .PIZZA for pizza joints
  • .WORKS for our amazing comics howhttps.works and howhttp.works
  • .XYZ for everyone

Unpopular TLDs

While I would never tell anyone which TLDs to avoid, the below TLDs have been associated with SPAM and other shady dealings. According to Symantec, these domains are suspicious due to their use by hackers and scammers. While I won’t say you should avoid them, I will say you should do some research into them before committing.

  • .XIN
  • .GDN


At the end of the day the choice is yours. Some TLDs, like many ccTLDs, .BANK and .INSURANCE have restrictions. Unless you meet the requirements, it’s best to stick to more easily acquired TLDs.

Whether it’s a .IO, .APP, or .PAGE, DNSimple can help you buy your domain, connect it to your content, and operate it through records management. With over 286 domains to choose from, the opportunities are almost limitless. Visit DNSimple’s List of TLDS today to register your domain.

  1. Both the .BANK and .INSURANCE domains have special requirements. Information on these regulated TLDs can be found at fTLD Registry Services Inc 2

Sales and Marketing Go Hand-In-Hand

Be it either a one dollar product or a million dollar product, a healthy sales pipeline is key to the success of any sales person. Since 1999 I have worked in the fields of personal protection equipment, book publishing and distribution, food safety analytical test kits, data deduplication appliances, medical laboratory software, domain name services solutions, and consulting services. Over the years I have learned that focused and targeted marketing efforts can result in actionable leads for the sales team to convert to new business, thus growing revenue. This short blog post is going to focus on several marketing campaigns I was involved in that resulted in an increase in sales for my teams.

Back in my Bacou-Dalloz days I was tasked with increasing revenue for their emergency eyewash line. Emergency Eyewash is a product that is mandated by the Code of Federal Regulations – 29 CFR 1910.151(c) and acceptable equipment defined in ANSI Z358.1. The regulations state that works in areas where eyewash is required must be able to activate such devices within ten seconds of the hazard and the device must provide a minimum of fifteen minutes of washing capability per incident. 

While not all eyewash is made the same, all must meet the performance guidelines of ANSI Z358.1. This means that the products either need to be price sensitive or truly innovative in order to grow sales in a well-defined market where OSHA often dictates placement and companies are forced to install the products. 

Our solution was to target owners and corporate level team members of prospective clients with a laser focused campaign reminding them of the regulation and outlining the features of our truly innovative portable eyewash stations. We did this through the use of a rather expensive at the time promotion. We targeted 10,000 business owners and safety officers with a talking greeting card that, upon opening, said “If your workers can’t reach an eyewash station by the end of this ten second message you are in violation of emergency eyewash regulations.” Along with the card was an offer for a free plant evaluation and details about our eyewash stations.

This campaign was incredibly successful. To send over 10,000 cards at roughly seven dollars each (printing, postage, and handling) was a huge line item on the budget and one of the most expensive non-trade show campaigns we had done in emergency eyewash at the time, but it paid for itself in increased revenue and new business.

This campaign put actionable leads into the queue of the entire eyewash salesforce.

When I moved from protecting people to protecting the global food supply we again used laser focused marketing to target the right customers with truly innovative products. Very similar to emergency eyewash, mycotoxin testing is a regulated industry with the USDA and FDA mandating the testing of foodstuffs and establishing action levels for the various mycotoxins. The AlfaTest® Mycotoxin Testing System has been on the market for decades and is the industry leader when it comes to screening for this carcinogenic fungal byproduct. 

The goal of marketing is to provide sales with actionable leads in relevant industries. We accomplished this by attending industry events where food growers and food processors attend to make decisions. We also joined industry organizations relevant to the food and feed industry.

By leveraging trade shows and organizational memberships marketing was able to supply sales with a constant stream of actionable leads. 

Food safety, at the time, was a very print centric market. This meant that a well thought out advertising campaign could also educate possible users and generate additional sales leads. Working with the team we came up with an all-inclusive media plan that targeted the global food production and distribution supply where mycotoxin testing is critical.

In the end the efforts of marketing kept a steady stream of leads in the sales pipeline and allowed for growth of the product line even in an economic downturn. 

While consulting for a data deduplication company, before the word deduplication was common, we needed a way to reach possible customers to convert them to users. At the time everything was migrating to virtual tape libraries as cost for spinning disk was dropping to the point where it was competitive with magnetic tape. Virtual tape libraries with data deduplication, in theory, could put petabytes of data in a single storage array. 

The goal of marketing was to penetrate new market segments including healthcare and education. This was the mid-2000s and email marketing was all the rage. So to email marketing we turned to generate leads.

It worked and eventually the company was acquired by a large disk manufacturer.

This caused me to move to medical laboratory software – an area where tradeshows, events, and print advertising have maintained healthy sales pipelines for over 40 years. The marketing team sought out shows that focused on each major product line: anatomic pathology, clinical pathology, blood banking, molecular pathology, dermatopathology, cytology, etc. Events in these industries brought qualified leads to the table. One event in particular, AMP, brought leads that became sales for me personally. 

To summarize, every marketing department needs to find a strategy that works for the products for which they speak. Be it emergency eyewash and food safety where regulations guide purchase decisions to data deduplication where cost per byte stored is a factor or medical laboratory software were lab specific features and workflows rule the day; marketing must work with sales to establish and maintain a healthy sales pipeline. 

The Case for Business Insurance

If you own a home and carry a mortgage, chances are you have homeowners insurance. If you own a car and are licensed in any of the United States, except New Hampshire and Virginia, you must have automotive insurance. If you are a renter it’s a good idea to have renters insurance. Many people have either personal or employer-provided life insurance. In most cases, when issues happen, be it an automotive collision or a tree through the roof of a house, insurance is there to help recover costs and repair the damage. 

I own a home, own vehicles, get sick, and will eventually die. I also own a small business. I have homeowners insurance, car insurance, health insurance, a life insurance policy, and business insurance.

Every business owner should consider insuring their business, especially if it is a sole proprietorship or small company with few employees. A sole proprietor is the business and bears all the financial responsibility of the business – profit and loss. There are several types of policies that small businesses should consider.  

  • Professional Liability Insurance: Protects the business in the case of a lawsuit while performing services, even if no mistakes were made. Generally, these policies cover alleged negligence, defense costs, libel or slander, copyright infringement, independent contractors, claims and damages.
  • Commercial General Liability Insurance: Protects your business from another person or business’s claims of bodily injury, associated medical costs, and damage to property. These policies typically cover bodily injury, damage to third party property, advertising injury, electronic data liability, medical expenses, defense costs, and actions of full time and temporary staff.
  • Property Insurance: Protects your business assets including furniture and equipment as well as inventory and revenue.
  • Workmen’s Compensation Insurance: Protects the business by providing wage replacement and medical benefits to employees injured on the job usually in exchange for mandatory relinquishment of the employee’s right to sue.

We have a combo policy for our small business called a Business Owners Policy which includes General Liability, Property Liability, and Indemnity insurance. Specifically our policy covers:

  • Business Income: If something happens beyond our control that impacts our cash flow we can file a claim for that lost revenue.
  • Employee Dishonesty: If a member of our team causes financial harm, we can recover that through our insurance.
  • Medical expenses for injuries sustained while conducting business (1,000,000 per incident).
  • Personal and Advertising Injury (Slander and Libel).
  • Inventory and Operational Property (at our location and in transit, such as when we travel to conventions and events).
  • Damages to spaces other than our primary location where we conduct business, such as a hotel or exhibit hall where we are attending a trade show or event.
  • Employment / Fiduciary Liability back to 2012.
  • Building: While we have homeowners insurance, and operate out of our home, that policy will not cover our business – most will not. This policy protects our home against any claims resulting from our business operations.
  • Business Personal Property: Computers, Shelves, Displays, etc…
  • Electronic Data Processing: Our website. If our site goes down and causes us to lose revenue we can file a claim to recover not only the site but the sales lost during the outage.
  • Sudden Equipment Breakdown
  • Fine Arts: all the artwork we have commissioned over the years is insured at replacement cost.
  • Business Record.
  • Damage caused by sewer or drain backups.
  • Acts of Terrorism.

It’s a pretty extensive policy and only costs less than $100.00 per month. In my opinion, it is a good use of business capital. Any of the above would be far more damaging to the business than the deductible.

I would not drive my car without insurance. I will not operate my business without insurance. I hope never to have to make another claim against our policy, but I know that it’s there if I do.

If you are looking for a small business policy, contact me and I’ll put you in touch with our insurance agent.

Why Your Financial Institution Should Use a .BANK

Repost from https://blog.dnsimple.com/2018/12/why-use-bank/

Previously, we talked about why financial institutions partner with DNSimple to meet their .BANK domain hosting compliance needs in Why Financial Institutions Migrate their .BANK Domains to DNSimple.

In our second installment, we’ll go over why financial service providers – banks, investment firms, payment providers, and other verified financial institutions – should use a .BANK TLD. You’ll love the mix of branding, exclusivity, and security offered by a .BANK domain.

Exclusive branding

Internet users associate specific TLDs with expertise – .IO for technology companies, .INSURANCE for insurance providers, .EDU for schools, and .BANK for financial institutions. Using .BANK with your branch name provides a higher level of user confidence without needing to educate your audience, and the opportunity to brand yourself like never before.

It’s an exclusive name without exclusive costs. There’s also the added bonus of a premium domain name, and the security of multiple levels of verification. Using .BANK domains assures customers that their financial institutions are technically savvy, and serious about security, branding, and consumer trust.


In our previous post, we talked in detail about the security requirements. Let’s talk a little more about why those matter.

A .BANK domain has certain requirements to ensure security. Of course, you could have a similar security level with a .COM, but that doesn’t mean you can always trust them. A .BANK has to undergo verification, and providers can’t have a .BANK without this rigorous process. These technical requirements are mandatory to protect financial institutions and their customers, and by using .BANK, the registry guarantees the provider adopts these techniques. A .BANK domain is a win/win for financial institutions and their clients.

Get started

.BANK DNS management through DNSimple provides financial institutions with the tools for secure online communication and dissemination of information. You’ll have increased cyber security protection, a global AnyCast network with real time DDoS defense, multi-factor authentication, and SSL security certificates.

DNSimple makes it easy, and less intimidating to set up and manage .BANK domains. We take care of everything for you, so you can take care of your clients.

Ready to get started? Get in touch with our Sales Director, Andrew, and we’ll get you up and running.

Have more questions? Visit our .BANK hosting page, or take a look at our previous post.

Creative Data Mining with zone.vision

Your DNS records reveal more about your company than you think, especially if you’re using cloud services.  To verify your identity, Microsoft, Google, Cisco, Atlassian, Docusign, Dropbox, SalesForce, and more use a TXT record to make sure you’re an administrator on a company domain.

As a sales engineer, you can use this information for those meetings where you’re headed in blind.  It happens!  Sometimes you don’t have enough discovery to really have a quality conversation with a customer.  Here’s some tricks to use https://zone.vision (from the folks at DNSimple) to see what DNS is announcing to the world. Continue reading “Creative Data Mining with zone.vision”

Products over the years…

Back in 1999 I accepted a position with Uvex Safety Eyewear as a marketing assistant. During my time we launched the Uvex Genesis line of polycarbonate safety spectacles. This product revolutionized the industry as it had all the adjustment features of other styles, replaceable lenses, and multi-material technology for comfort.
Why do I bring this up now? The products I’ve marketed in the past crop up everywhere in my day to day life. Every time I go to the oral hygienist for my cleanings they wear Uvex Genesis. Every time I go to Home Depot I see fend-all emergency eyewash – who could forget the Pure Flow 1000. I helped grow the fend-all product line over 10% in my first year as product marketing manager.
After leaving the world of personal protective equipment I moved into food safety. I also relocated my home to a place sixty miles from Uvex, or I would still be there today. Though VICAM I helped farmers, packers, regulators, shippers, and universities screen foodstuff for mycotoxins; the byproduct of fungal molds known to cause harm to humans and animals.
Every time I go to the grocery store I see the various brands that I know use the VICAM mycotoxin testing system to ensure that harmful levels of toxins don’t end up in the food supply. All tree nuts, ground nuts, corn, cereal grains, milk, wine, beer…all tested using VICAM to ensure the global food supply is free of dangerous levels of mycotoxins.
Ten years ago I relocated and again changed career paths to be closer to my new home. I accepted a position in the marketing group at Psyche Systems, where I worked with an awesome team to improve patient outcomes by providing physicians accurate and complete laboratory reports. Psyche develops software for medical laboratories hand in hand with doctors…doctors who I see on a regular basis use Psyche software.
Currently, I’m working with the team at DNSimple, who provides enterprise-class DNS management through automation. DNSimple allows you to buy, connect, and operate your domains at a professional level using powerful domain automation or their intuitive web-based application. Every time I visit a host of websites I take pride knowing they resolve with DNSimple, and that I’m contributing to the inner workings of the internet.
From safety eyewear, emergency eyewash, mycotoxin testing, and laboratory information systems to domain management tools I see the products I’ve marketed since leaving university almost on a daily basis. I am proud of the products I’ve worked with over the years. From protecting people through the best personal protective equipment, protecting the global food supply through mycotoxin testing, individual and community health through LIS software I’ve done much to improve people lives.
Now I am working to make people’s domain name management simple. I’m looking forward to 2019 with a renewed spirit and am setting myself up for a successful career path.