Monthly Archives: August 2015

Fear the Walking Dead? Or Does Rick Grimes Have Another Mouth to Feed?

Fear the Walking Dead? Or Does Rick Grimes Have Another Mouth to Feed?

The mashup of a guidance counselor and a divorced English teacher doesn’t scream ‘power couple’. And it doesn’t need to, but it doesn’t say ‘survivors’ either. In the pilot of AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead we are invited into this couple’s life as they try to make their relationship a family at the cusp of a zombie apocalypse. It’s the Brady Bunch with a gritty, modern day, George A. Romero twist. Imagine Marsha waking up in a shooting gallery and you’re there. Oh how times have changed!



Challenges for FTWD

The series has challenges to overcome. The challenge as described at screenrant:

“The biggest hurdle for Fear the Walking Dead will be establishing itself as a series that’s different enough from The Walking Dead that it’s warranted, but also remain similar enough that the series’ huge fanbase will tune in. It’ll be a tricky line to toe, but with many of the same creatives from The Walking Dead involved with Fear, it should be able to achieve that balance.”

That’s not it. No.

The challenge is to make me care about this family. I don’t and I’d be fine if they died. And I am not alone. I didn’t get any buy in. I didn’t get the opportunity to care. The challenge is to develop the characters at the risk of dragging the plot. Elisabeth Vincentelli of the New York Post says,

“The first two episodes are creepily suspenseful — they’re great examples of how effective a slow pace and a moody atmosphere can be.”

So the challenge is to get buy in for the characters. Dysfunctional family of underdogs lead by a pair of struggling academics isn’t enough. Fans of the franchise are going to tune in. FTWD, don’t abuse that.


Take a lesson from the Master, Stephen King.

I say, let it drag. I’ll hold out. Stephen King, the master of horror, will not even get into the main plot of a story until about 100 pages in. He knows the key to great horror is character development. He knows if the reader embraces his characters, then the reader will experience fear when that character faces the inevitable horror ahead. A perfect example if this is the pilot of The Walking Dead. We were introduced to this new world through Rick’s experiences and we were bonded to him through them. We discovered the apocalypse with Rick. His family became our family. FTWD is asking us to adopt a new family. But there is this huge divide, we know what is going to happen and they don’t. As Vincentelli says, “viewers are always a step or 10 ahead of the ‘FTWD’ characters.” We really just want to know details of how the apocalypse came to be, this family is just incidental.

Fear the Walking Dead Zombie

Lexi Johnson as Gloria – Fear the Walking Dead _ Season 1, Episode 1 – Photo Credit: Justin Lubin/AMC


Art imitating life imitating art

I am hopeful. I really like the opening to the pilot. I love that the season is picking up at the beginning before everything went down. In the opening scene Nicky wakes up to an apparent Zombie-Land. He was looking for his friend Gloria. As I watched I expected a flashback to “the real world”. I thought to myself, wasn’t this supposed to start before the outbreak? Then Nicky gets hit by a car. Good citizens come to his aid and the camera pans up to reveal “the real world”. I love this scene. it reminds us that art imitates life and life holds true horrors. I was awed by the similarities between the scene of a zombie apocalypse and an abandoned building overtaken by addicts.

Best case scenario is this spinoff is the first of many (so hoping for this), just like Law & Order and CSI. Worst case, it is the newest member of the family depending on Rick Grimes for survival.

Smart Excel Shortcuts


Smart Excel Shortcuts

It’s Saturday morning. For as long as I have been blogging my blogs have had different names but, one has lasted through the bunch, Assume Wisely. In college, I saw a tee-shirt that read, “Assume Responsibility.” I thought It said, “Assume Responsibly”. It was clever, one too many assumptions can be as bad as one too many drinks. It’s the type of humor an econ major would appreciate. Assume Wisely, is an extension of this idea, with an enlightened perspective. The concept is assumptions should be refined in libraries or places of meditation, not bars.


I have blogged under keyword targeted domains. Nothing really ever came of it. Now I am considering, I’m not going to keep up with more than one blog. Keeping both is not an option. Should I have two blogs?  Assume ResponsiblyI want to, but I really can’t split my focus. That has been my issue in the past, dividing my effort too many different ways. I need to focus like an arrow. Arrows are devastating because all their weight and momentum is focused on one point. The more you can focus the better.

I have to choose one.


Saturday afternoon (nap-time). I am leaning towards I have several reasons.

  1. AssumeResponcibility and assumeWisely don’t have any meaning other than to me. It’s a brand that doesn’t have any weight.
  2. There are roughly 33k searches for excel shortcuts. Even if there were comparable search volume for ‘assumptions’. What would they be looking for? Nothing I can help them with.
  3. Buzzsumo  is showing that this is content that is shared. I think it is a viable niche.
  4. I have done extensive research over the last two days looking for an alternative. I don’t see one in the excel search space.
  5. I like the clarity of having a domain name that matches the content of the blog. It is easier to search. It provides clarity of purpose, of why.
  6. Ranking on Google search is a key part of my strategy.
  7. But is should be third, the collective authority of the sites that rank for the search, ” excel shortcuts” is low.

I am working my way through Pat Flynn’s backlink strategy. As I review the resources he shares I will share my thought here relative to the info market for excel shortcuts.

Saturday night. Just came back from the pool and the family is watching Bob the Builder before we go on a Jammy (pajama) walk. We take night time walks before the kids go to bed. While I was at the pool I realized that I might want to look at pursuing my email overload solution. I need to create wow-content for my excel site from scratch, the benefit here is that the wow content for this email solution is almost done. Unfortunately, it isn’t a solution people are searching for. It is also not something anyone is terribly interested in sharing. Email overload is an enormous productivity killer, i’m surprised.

Monday afternoon. I’m Mr. Excel Shortcuts; I am now the owner of I finally accepted that this is a brand i want to develop because it meshes well with my background and experience. I thought I could swap out domain names on my bluehost site. I was so wrong! I almost I crashed the site and couldn’t access the wp-admin. So is it’s own site. After all that thought I have two blogs . . . for now. Soon-ish I will migrate the content so there is one site.

Tuesday morning (2am). I thought I finished with Pat Flynn’s backlink strategy, but i guess that isn’t the case.  So I reviewed it again. This has to be my third pass on this post and I’m still pulling new information and taking notes to re-read it again. This is dense solid content. I have one main takeaway with two large to-do items from this last pass.

Content is king, and design is queen. Great, wow level content has to communicate visually. I need html/css pages and posts. Need! Last night I learned how to import a template html page into my wordpress site. I even edited the html directly. Big win. It looks great! Visitors will be able to download my excel shortcuts mindmap. I need to know how to do that within wordpress. I spent some time looking for videos and found nothing.  So, I need to relearn html/css. (1) Design is queen. (2) Learn html/css. It should take me 7 hours at Codecademy.

So, the question is how much time is too much time to dedicate to learning a skill?

How much html can i get away with not learning?