Jim everything has a story


Well, it’s a start. I managed to get just one post posted today (besides this one) so all I have to do tomorrow is do it all over again.

Then rinse lather and repeat another 998 times. How hard can it be?

One thing I have found with this little project is I don’t quite have my workflow down even though I said I did.

It depends what computer I am on but I prefer to use a text editor. I was (and still do) use Marxico on my Chromebook for my writing and it’s great but i wish I didn’t have to use evernote to sync files.

So that part’s still a learning process.

I also blog like a hacker and use the terminal and jekyll to write.

Currently I am creating a new post - write the post and then ‘push’ to github pages for publishing.

I have yet to find the perfect text editor for my Chromebook that I like. As I have said above, Marxico is nice, but not perfect and every other one is pretty much about the same.

I am currently using a lenovo thinkpad to write this and I find that it’s just fine and regardless of OS I can use Caretwhich is starting to be my text and writing editor of choice. I just wish I could use it on the Chromebook.

What might happen is I turn my Dell Chromebook 13 into a linux machine that will allow me to use it with the Caret app as well as offer a more powerful OS.

So. it’s a start. I wrote today. This is something I could not say yesterday so I guess I am ahead of the game a little bit.

1000 posts

I have been thinking about what comes next when it comes to the future and my career online and one thing I know is that by the end of 2017 I would like to be able to make enough money to quit my job

To be honest, I am not sure if this is even possible but considering that this is just a part time job and it does not pay that much I would only need about $30/day of online income for this to be a reasonable possibility.

Don’t get me wrong. I actually like my current work. Like all jobs, some days are better than others but overall this might be one of the better jobs that I have had when I have not been self employed.

Of course, self employment is the best I think and so that’s my goal again - to be able to make enough to quit - or at very least double my income so that even if I don’t quit I have the opportunity to if the need comes to be. ## A Pivot, of Sorts

Isn’t that what they call a startup that moves another direction from the original startup idea or plan?

I have a website that in the past has earned me more than a few dollars but over time the topic and the interest in that topic is now so low that it’s almost laughable.

Let’s just sa that I picked the wrong horse in the long term.

So, I’m switching horses.

I have a very loose idea on the topics I want to write about but in the beginning it’s really just going to be throw some stuff on the wall and see what sticks.

Over time, I have a feeling that what will happen is that I will find what does work and well, do more of that.

If nothing else this will be an experiment.

I am a little different than most because I have turned off all the stats on my site. I can check google webmasters so I am not completely in the dark but I find that stats can distract from writing and you tend to write about the same topics or keywords. When you don’t have stats to worry about you can worry about the writing instead

One of my favorite bloggers writes:

I’ve said this 1,000 times before and I’ll continue to repeat myself (since I get new readers fairly consistently) but the only thing that matters when writing (publicly, privately, for personal use or professionally) is that you write. Period. Nothing else really matters.

And that’s what I intend to do. John started a site and wrote 5000 posts in one year and although I would love to I don’t think I could reach that goal so I will start at a much lower and more attainable goal.

Even 1000 articles will be a stretch as that works out to about 3 per day if I write every day.

In John’s case he wrote that he did it to see if he could not only write every day but also if he could write every day in addition to all the other stuff going on in his life.

That’s my big question too - can I do this?

I guess time will tell.

The Money Goal

I know that all bloggers or most bloggers say that you should not worry about making money as you are destined to fail but a part of me wants to make some bucks online with this little experiment and I figure a good goa would to go real small and hope to make $1000.

I think that’s a real goal. If you do the math on the hourly wage for the time writing 1000 posts (assuming an hour each) then the math works out to $1.00 per hour. I could make more sitting on a street corner with a cup. But unlike the street corner the online writing has the chance to grow past your expectations and who would not like that?

I don’t see any reason why I can’t squeeze an extra $1000 a year from now for my efforts.

On Making Time

If there’s one challenge that will be the trickiest part it will be to find the time. If I spend an hour a post and have to do about 2.6 a day to hit my 1000 a year goal then I have to find 2.5 hours a day to work.

Considering that I somehow seem to be able to fill up my days quite quickly without this new challenge I have no idea how I am going to do this. I might have to forgo some sleep to make this happen but it’s been said that if something is important to you, you can make the time.

I seem to be able to spend a fair amount of time with my hobbies so perhaps instead of screwing around with writing software and computers I will have to focus on the work instead.

I should be able to do this. My work is only part-time so that means that there’s time to write the other part. If I need four hours to work and eight hours to sleep then that means I still have 12 hours to kill each and every day. Surely I can find some time to get some writing done.

The How and the What

I plan about writing about stuff that you can buy on Amazon and then linking to it where if the item (or almost any other item) is bought after clickign on my link I get a small commission. You wouldn’t think it worth your time promoting smaller or what seems to be pretty rare items but you would be surprised. A penny here, and a penny there..

There are numerous items to write about so there’s no way in heck that I would ever run out of topics to write about. I specifically picked this topic because I wanted to be sure I would not start this project and then after a few posts have nothing to say.


I plan to share the results of my experiment here (I have to make use of this site somehow) as it will make me stay accountable and I will be able to track my progress or lack thereof.

I’m not sure what the end result will be with all this. I may have just wasted time, but in the past when I put my mind to it and either started a new site or resurrected an older one it was always worth the effort.

Here Goes…

My Current Workflow

I’ve been trying to simplify my writing workflow so that I have all my writing and work in one place rather than save files locally on each machine I own (which changes often)

So of course seeing how I am writing this on a Chromebook it only makes sense that I use Google Drive as the place where all my work lives.

I’m currently writing this in markdown which is just plain text so the files are small, and also I like the idea of having my entire site on my hard drive, as well as being hosted on github pages for free:

Alt text

I have toyed around with linux and MacOS and even Windows but I keep coming back round to using ChromeOS as my daily driver. My current Chrome OS devices are an i7 Chromebox (designed for meetings originally) and an Intel i3 Dell Chromebook 13.

I have a few other PC’s for testing and tweaking but I am finding that I am getting more work done with the Chrome Devices than spending a bunch of time trying to install software.

The Game Changer

If I had to name one tool I could no longer live without, I would have to say a good text or markdown editor.

Currently, I do all my writing for this site (and others) in markdown and then just upload the file to github’s servers.

My editor of choice on Chrome OS is Marxico as it syncs with Evernote and offers another way to backup my work. I don’t really need evernote synchronization but I figure what the heck.

I use marxico because it offers a ‘distraction free’ way to write in a font I want and offers multiple color themes I can use at my whim too.

But markdown is what really made me wanting to start to writing and blogging more - even if nobody reads it. Markdown and writing in plain text again is such a nice experience when you come from using a bloated wordpress install which is overkill for a blog like mine with a few images and some text. I’ve created sites in the past that needed a database backend and this is not one of them.

Once I have written my post or article I export as markdown and upload the files to github via the web.

markdown exported

It took me a while to realize this, but with marxi.co if you have images in your post it will include those and zip up both the images and the markdown exported file to your desktop or wherever you choose to save the file. It took me a while to figure this out because sometimes it would export a zip file, and yet others it would just export the markdown text file but then I realized that if you have images in your article or post they get added to the archive

In the case of this post I have uploaded the images to github’s servers already and then just call the images with the markdown code from the remote github site vs locally. This allows me to preview what the post will look like before it goes live:

markdown preview

I could actually install chromebrew on my ChromeOS devices and actually use git to upload and post files but I find it’s just as easy for me to upload the files to github via the web than it is to type commands in a terminal.

That’s it.

  • I write.
  • I upload any images to github
  • I check the preview to make all looks good
  • I export the markdown file to Google Drive
  • I upload the file from Google Drive to Github

Jekyll and Github Pages do the rest, and you get to see the results of my efforts.

From my Thinkpad T530

I am writing this from my Thinkpad T530 and I replaced the screen to a glossy full HD model and the keyboard to a backlit verison and the difference from the original stock version is night and day.

This upgrade cost me about $100 for keyboard and display and it’s a much nicer experience than using stock keyboard without the backlighting. If I had to pick one upgrade over the other I would go for the monitor first because it makes a very big difference from the stock and crappy display where it semed like you were looking through a screen door.

With this display, it seems like you are looking though a glass window instead and makes the computing experience a much nicer option. I thought I may have bought the wrong display when I took it out of the box, but it seems that is not the case and the replacement fit perfectly.

The keyboard I bought is a bit smoother than the previous one as it had a bit of texture in comparison to this replacement which is a bit too smooth for my taste. I am hoping that over time the keys will ‘wear’ a bit and get broken in a bit because as it sits now they feel a little too shiney for my liking.

Overall, I am thrilled that with about $100 worth of upgrades you can take a relatively cheap but still very functional Thinkpad T530 from mediocre to great. I now have a fast notebook computer that I can use for writing or pretty much anything else I do and I don’t feel like screaming every time I have to look at the crappy stock display.

If you have the $100 or so, it’s a great way to get some use out of what some would consider older tech. It might not be as nice as this but it also didn’t cost me 2 grand for a machine to write this blog post with either.

November 2 2016 Online Earnings

zip. zilch. zero.

That’s how much money I made online today. Somebody did order somthing though - a lightbulb for a car so I might make about a dollar or less tomorrow but for today the actual earnings is squat.

Oh well, It’s just day 2 of this little experiment.

November 1 2016 Earnings

Day 1 of my big adventure to make a living online and I made a whopping $2.80 in amazon commissions selling one of these:

Crucial 16GB Kit (8GBx2) DDR3L 1600 MT/s (PC3L-12800) SODIMM 204-Pin Memory - CT2KIT102464BF160B

It’s a start. I’m writing more and more and starting to promote amazon products more and more. I like to work with Amazon because you never know what people buy and whatever it is I do get a small commission as you can see above for my first day of trying to make a living online.

@(Jim)[earnings make money online]

a fresh start (again)

Do you ever wonder if you could do something?

For me, my goal is to make a living by writing.

Easy right? push keys on keyboard and out comes the money.

At least that’s how the marketers make it sound when they want you to buy their product telling you how they made money online. I have no doubt that I can’t make a living with my keyboard.

All it takes are 2 things:

  1. time
  2. determination.

That’s it.

How much money do you want to make online?

I think the holy grail would be $100 per day - pre tax. That’s a pretty good middle class income in the US. If I can average one hundred dollars a day that would be enough to allow me to quit my job and write full time. And by full time, I really mean that I want to write part time and get paid full time.

Now what?

I have no clue. But I’m going to start to document my journey to see if I can’t get to $100 a day over the next decade. Yes, I said decade.

This will take some time. I’m not going to try any tricks or tactics. I’m just going to write about things that interest me and see if I can’t turn my ramblings here (and on other sites) into cold hard cash. As it’s being November 1, and the month of Namowrimo I figure that now is the perfect time to start this little project of mine. To be completely honest, if I was able to make $60.00 a year to pay for this domain name renewal I would be happy - let alone one hundred bucks.

Of all the sites I like to visit that are popular it’s that they have one voice (I hate multi-author sites) and a lot of content. I’m done worrying about visitors or stats or any of that.

For now, I’m just going to write. I’ve done everything but write - I have tested every text editor and blogging software ever made in hopes of finding the perfect writing environment and I have yet to find nirvana. But I sure did waste a lot of time when I should have been witing.

This post isn’t much, but it’s a start.

@(Jim)[writing make money onine make a living writing]

Untitled document

I am thinking about going all in with Google Docs as my writing tool of choice and let the gabriel jekyll add on do the heavy lifting for me.

image alt text

I can then edit the same post and continue my writing at a later date too. It’s kind of cool when you think about it.

I thought I would not like this but now I am not so sure.


Welcome to StackEdit!

This is a test of writing in prose and I have to tell you it’s pretty good.

Hey! I’m your first Markdown document in StackEdit1. Don’t delete me, I’m very helpful! I can be recovered anyway in the Utils tab of the Settings dialog.

I guess I could just use stackedit to write with and get some writing done too. I

don’t really mind just writing in prose. I do not need an app to get some writing done it seems Screenshot 2016-10-24 at 10.37.55 PM.png

We are getting there.


StackEdit stores your documents in your browser, which means all your documents are automatically saved locally and are accessible offline!


  • StackEdit is accessible offline after the application has been loaded for the first time.
  • Your local documents are not shared between different browsers or computers.
  • Clearing your browser’s data may delete all your local documents! Make sure your documents are synchronized with Google Drive or Dropbox (check out the Synchronization section).

Create a document

The document panel is accessible using the button in the navigation bar. You can create a new document by clicking New document in the document panel.

Switch to another document

All your local documents are listed in the document panel. You can switch from one to another by clicking a document in the list or you can toggle documents using Ctrl+[ and Ctrl+].

Rename a document

You can rename the current document by clicking the document title in the navigation bar.

Delete a document

You can delete the current document by clicking Delete document in the document panel.

Export a document

You can save the current document to a file by clicking Export to disk from the menu panel.

Tip: Check out the Publish a document section for a description of the different output formats.


StackEdit can be combined with Google Drive and Dropbox to have your documents saved in the Cloud. The synchronization mechanism takes care of uploading your modifications or downloading the latest version of your documents.


  • Full access to Google Drive or Dropbox is required to be able to import any document in StackEdit. Permission restrictions can be configured in the settings.
  • Imported documents are downloaded in your browser and are not transmitted to a server.
  • If you experience problems saving your documents on Google Drive, check and optionally disable browser extensions, such as Disconnect.

Open a document

You can open a document from Google Drive or the Dropbox by opening the Synchronize sub-menu and by clicking Open from…. Once opened, any modification in your document will be automatically synchronized with the file in your Google Drive / Dropbox account.

Save a document

You can save any document by opening the Synchronize sub-menu and by clicking Save on…. Even if your document is already synchronized with Google Drive or Dropbox, you can export it to a another location. StackEdit can synchronize one document with multiple locations and accounts.

Synchronize a document

Once your document is linked to a Google Drive or a Dropbox file, StackEdit will periodically (every 3 minutes) synchronize it by downloading/uploading any modification. A merge will be performed if necessary and conflicts will be detected.

If you just have modified your document and you want to force the synchronization, click the button in the navigation bar.

Note: The button is disabled when you have no document to synchronize.

Manage document synchronization

Since one document can be synchronized with multiple locations, you can list and manage synchronized locations by clicking Manage synchronization in the Synchronize sub-menu. This will let you remove synchronization locations that are associated to your document.

Note: If you delete the file from Google Drive or from Dropbox, the document will no longer be synchronized with that location.


Once you are happy with your document, you can publish it on different websites directly from StackEdit. As for now, StackEdit can publish on Blogger, Dropbox, Gist, GitHub, Google Drive, Tumblr, WordPress and on any SSH server.

Publish a document

You can publish your document by opening the Publish sub-menu and by choosing a website. In the dialog box, you can choose the publication format:

  • Markdown, to publish the Markdown text on a website that can interpret it (GitHub for instance),
  • HTML, to publish the document converted into HTML (on a blog for example),
  • Template, to have a full control of the output.

Note: The default template is a simple webpage wrapping your document in HTML format. You can customize it in the Advanced tab of the Settings dialog.

Update a publication

After publishing, StackEdit will keep your document linked to that publication which makes it easy for you to update it. Once you have modified your document and you want to update your publication, click on the button in the navigation bar.

Note: The button is disabled when your document has not been published yet.

Manage document publication

Since one document can be published on multiple locations, you can list and manage publish locations by clicking Manage publication in the menu panel. This will let you remove publication locations that are associated to your document.

Note: If the file has been removed from the website or the blog, the document will no longer be published on that location.

Markdown Extra

StackEdit supports Markdown Extra, which extends Markdown syntax with some nice features.

Tip: You can disable any Markdown Extra feature in the Extensions tab of the Settings dialog.

Note: You can find more information about Markdown syntax here and Markdown Extra extension here.


Markdown Extra has a special syntax for tables:

Item Value
Computer $1600
Phone $12
Pipe $1

You can specify column alignment with one or two colons:

Item Value Qty
Computer $1600 5
Phone $12 12
Pipe $1 234

Definition Lists

Markdown Extra has a special syntax for definition lists too:

Term 1
Term 2
Definition A
Definition B
Term 3

Definition C

Definition D

part of definition D

Fenced code blocks

GitHub’s fenced code blocks are also supported with Highlight.js syntax highlighting:

// Foo
var bar = 0;

Tip: To use Prettify instead of Highlight.js, just configure the Markdown Extra extension in the Settings dialog.

Note: You can find more information:

  • about Prettify syntax highlighting here,
  • about Highlight.js syntax highlighting here.


You can create footnotes like this2.


SmartyPants converts ASCII punctuation characters into “smart” typographic punctuation HTML entities. For example:

Single backticks 'Isn't this fun?' ‘Isn’t this fun?’
Quotes "Isn't this fun?" “Isn’t this fun?”
Dashes -- is en-dash, --- is em-dash – is en-dash, — is em-dash

Table of contents

You can insert a table of contents using the marker [TOC]:



You can render LaTeX mathematical expressions using MathJax, as on math.stackexchange.com:

The Gamma function satisfying $\Gamma(n) = (n-1)!\quad\forall n\in\mathbb N$ is via the Euler integral

Tip: To make sure mathematical expressions are rendered properly on your website, include MathJax into your template:

<script type="text/javascript" src="https://cdn.mathjax.org/mathjax/latest/MathJax.js?config=TeX-AMS_HTML"></script>

Note: You can find more information about LaTeX mathematical expressions here.

UML diagrams

You can also render sequence diagrams like this:

Alice->Bob: Hello Bob, how are you?
Note right of Bob: Bob thinks
Bob-->Alice: I am good thanks!

And flow charts like this:

st=>start: Start
op=>operation: My Operation
cond=>condition: Yes or No?


Note: You can find more information:

  • about Sequence diagrams syntax here,
  • about Flow charts syntax here.

Support StackEdit

  1. StackEdit is a full-featured, open-source Markdown editor based on PageDown, the Markdown library used by Stack Overflow and the other Stack Exchange sites.

  2. Here is the text of the footnote.