My Grandfather’s Obituary

James Patrick Tolan
James Patrick ‘Jim’ Tolan
March 26, 1934-Dec. 12, 2007
James Patrick “Jim” Tolan, 73, died Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2007 at his home in Hermiston. Recitation of the rosary will be held on Friday, Dec. 14 at 7 p.m. at Burns Mortuary Chapel in Hermiston. A memorial mass will be held on Saturday, Dec. 15 at 11:30 a.m. at Our Lady of Angels Catholic Church in Hermiston. Burns Mortuary of Hermiston is in charge of arrangements.

Mr. Tolan was born March 26, 1934 in Long Beach, Calif. to Harry and Helen (Bertleson) Tolan. He lived in Long Beach, Ellensburg and Wallula, Wash., and in Echo, where he graduated in 1954. He played basketball on Echo’s 1953 state championship team and played in the East/West Shrine game as a senior in 1954.

He married Dorothy Jean Shockman in 1954. She died in 1973.

He worked for U.S. Gypsum in Pilot Rock, at the Creamery in Hermiston, as a self-employed meat cutter in Stanfield, as a meat cutter at a grocery store in Milton-Freewater, for Hill Meat in Stanfield, at a grocery store in Pilot Rock, and then back to Hermiston as a bookkeeper for Shockman Brothers and at the Hermiston Herald before health problems forced retirement. After retiring, he worked for Eastern Oregon Mobile Slaughter part-time.

He married Sue (Ammons) Owens in Hermiston in 1981. In 1989 he received a heart transplant. Jim enjoyed hunting, fishing, and wood cutting.

He is survived by his wife, Sue Tolan of Hermiston; sons John Tolan of La Grande, Casey Tolan of Hermiston, and Scott Owens of Riggins, Idaho; daughters Colleen LaFrance of Colorado Springs, Colo., Lori Shaw of Lake Stevens, Wash., Deb Harris of Bend, Lisa Lilly of St. Joseph, Mo., and Karla Wenning of Keizer; brother Bill Tolan of San Francisco; sisters Myrna Garvey of Ellensburg, Wash., Marjorie Galloway of Kennewick, Wash., Sonja Gulliver of Saginaw, Mich., and Pat Tolan of Kennewick, Wash.; 21 grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents; first wife Dorothy; and sister Maureen Duncan.

Memorial contributions may be made to Vange John Memorial Hospice, 1050 W. Elm Ave. Ste. 220, Hermiston, OR 97838 or to the Echo Quarterback Club, P.O. Box 54, Echo, OR 97826.

Matt Cutts on Snippets

Good info…especially for noobs…

I Hate Writing, so Why Do I Have a Blog?

I have had several friends ask me why I even have a site/blog if I hate writing so much. There are 5 main reasons:

1. Someday, I hope to stop hating writing and actually put some useful information on here that will help other people. Blogging about SEO and bitching about Google is way overdone, so I probably won’t go that direction even though I’m not half bad at it ;). Maybe I’ll find something to write about like photography or trying to lose some weight (yeah, right…like those aren’t overdone).

2. Alot of what we do at BootsnAll revolves around things relating to WordPress. I use this blog to learn about the software and keep up with updates so that we can make good decisions on upgrades, plugins, etc. It’s a good playground where I can blow things up without anyone caring. FAlbum is a good example of something that can blow up easily…

3. My family can easily find my photo album.

4. Reputation management. I rank first for my name and I hope that I always will. There’s some guy in California that appears to be a pretty good cinematic artist who is taking up quite a few spots in the SERPs, so I may have to fight to hold my spot. I want people to find my site if they’re looking for me. I don’t have many enemies (jk Mika 🙂 ), so hopefully nobody bad comes looking for me.

5. Because everyone else has a blog…

My Amazon Wish List

For those people who keep asking what I want for Christmas…
My Wish List

Reasonable Theory or Bad Math?

I had a little “discussion” with a friend of mine earlier tonight on our way home from a local SEO meetup. We were discussing the scalability of a product’s sales relative to how much of the search market share a site or sites can get for a given term. I’ll use “buy red widgets” as an example.

Let’s say that according to competetive intelligence, (something like Hitwise) there are x searches (PPC & organic combined) for “buy red widgets” and Site A gets y visitors off of those who searched for “buy red widgets.” As the owner of Site A, you know that you really get 1.5y visitors off of that search term and a reasonable assumption would be that there are really 1.5x overall searches for “buy red widgets.”

Thinking about the user’s intent when searching for “buy red widgets,” let’s assume the following (obvously there are probably more intentions, but keeping it simple here…) :

a% will buy if the price is less than $50
b% will buy if there is free shipping
c% will buy if they can get it shipped to them by the day after tomorrow
d% will buy if they think they can trust the site that they land on
e% are just price shopping and will not buy right now

Whether we have 1,000 searches or 100,000 searches for “buy red widgets,” these percentages will remain pretty constant long-term.

Now, let’s say that the owner of Site A knows that m% of visitors (whether it’s PPC or organic search) from “buy red widgets” actually purchase a red widget given that he has the pricing and shipping policies that he does, which gets users to buy based on their intent. The owner of Site A decides to turn Site B (which he also owns and is an authority site on widgets) into a store that also sells red widgets. The owner expects that, given the authority, age, research, etc. of Site B, it can get 200% more traffic than Site A for “buy red widgets” and Site B will have the same pricing and shipping policies (for the sake of having a constant in the setups).

Here’s where the argument discussion comes into this. What I see happening is that the following equation can be applied to determine sales associated with searches for “buy red widgets” to Site B no matter how many searches there are or what percentage of the market a site has because, as noted above, in the grand scheme of things, searcher/buyer intent does not change just because there are more or less searches :

2(1.5x)m = # of estimated sales

My friend was trying to convince me that the more searches there are for “buy red widgets,” the lower the conversion rate becomes. IMO, there’s no way that the conversion rate would drop or be lower on Site B just because it gets more traffic. One thing he was assuming was that the total number of red widgets that would be sold relative to the number of searches was a constant figure. The reason that doesn’t make sense is that searches and intent of the searchers doesn’t change just because the volume of searches or visitors increases. If more visitors end up on a site that fits their intent, more people will buy. If fewer searchers find sites that fit their intent, fewer people will buy.

Maybe I’m off base…thoughts?

It’s becoming a Mac world

I’m sitting here at the airport in Colorado Springs waiting for my flight back to Phoenix. Looking around, no less than half of the laptops in use in this area near gate 3 are MacBook Pros. Many of the users are older, and most likely business travelers. It’s nice to see so many people making the switch. I even see two old guys with gray hair and beards reading Macworld magazine…

Firefox Add-Ons Problem

I made the mistake this morning of letting Firefox upgrade itself on my desktop without doing any digging around to see if people were having problems with it. Normally I do that, but I had stopped worrying about it for Firefox. Stupid me.

Upon restarting Firefox, it appeared that the theme I use was gone. Then I noticed my plugins weren’t showing up. After attempting to look for updates or settings and having FF lock up on me, I was pissed. There’s no way I’m reinstalling this thing…too many settings and add ons that would be a bitch to recover.

I jumped over to my laptop and started searching around (was going through withdrawls without my normal FF setup). After digging through a few sites and seeing posts about it without any solutions being presented, I started looking for similar problems happening with past updates (those would have had enough time for a solution to be presented). That search led me to this. It worked…woohoo.

Corrupt extension files

Files that store information about the extensions you have installed can sometimes be corrupted. Deleting them can fix a number of extension issues; they will be regenerated the next time you start Firefox. [5][6]. Exit Firefox completely, then open your Firefox profile folder (read the linked article for its location) and delete these three files:


I’m an SEO Dark Lord…

From the SEOMoz SEO Quiz…wasn’t really *that* hard…

SEO Dark Lord – 99%

Are you an SEO Expert?

Transmit Rules

I really enjoy some of the Mac-only software that I use on my laptop. For some reason,Transmit has been fun to use since the first time I downloaded it. I know that it’s *just* an FTP program for most people, but it’s probably the best $30 I’ve ever spent on software. On my desktop, I use WinSCP, which is nice, but does not compare to the elegance of Transmit.

I opened it tonight and was prompted to download their latest version, 3.6. Upon checking out what the update includes, I see that it now supports accessing my Amazon S3 account. I use S3 as an additional layer of backup for my photos, music, and other data. So far, it hasn’t been as smooth as I would prefer, but JungleDisk has at least done a decent job of allowing access to S3. Now that I have access through Transmit, I think I’ll be uninstalling JungleDisk 🙂

I’m really tempted to try Coda, Panic’s web development tool. Check out their site too…pretty good, clean interface (Homepage could use a little better indication of what each icon is for, but the section for each app is nearly perfect IMO).

Best DVD Writer Deal Ever?

From – after $4153.01 savings?

DVD Writer Deal