Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

SEP 04, 2012 | 02:33PM PDT
Hi Thomas,We’re writing to let you know that we’ve removed your headline “Pest Control Guy… taking care of the little things.”Our Support team has determined that it violates our Content Guidelines (, specifically as it relates to business owner reviews. Please note that you shouldn’t be using your user account for promotional purposes.That said, we think it’s important for businesses to be part of the conversation, and have created a suite of free tools to help business owners get the most out of Yelp. By unlocking your listing and creating a Business Owners Account, you can:
– Communicate with your customers via private message or public comment
– Track the User Views on your business page
– Add photos and a detailed description of your business
– Convert Yelp users into customers by posting a Yelp Deal to your listingTo join the conversation, click here:,
Yelp User Support
San Francisco, California

Dear Yelp,
Thanks for the laugh. This pest control control guy could use it on occasion. I have decided to not fight the system and am willing to change my title to “<TITLE VIOLATION> Guy… Taking Care of the little things.
…If I could just figure out how to login…

Really… Your captcha is “Conformity”? No. Really.


Oh and thanks Greg for the “Pest Control Guy” in your Yelp Compliment. THAT WAS AWESOME. And to be completely clear, I am not asking my friends to add compliments with the title “pest control guy” in their comments.

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by Thomas B.
This post is to complete my authorship tag loop for this blog.

It has taken me far too long to do this, especially since it really is soooooo simple.

If you have a blog then you want to claim authorship.

What does Rel=Author Do?

Well if you search for “Thomas Ballantyne Completing Google Authorship” then you should see this:

So a nice fancy little image in the search results that’s what you get! If you don’t get that then let me know… I will knock some heads. Probably mine.

You can find more info about “REL Author=” from these sources:

Or watch Matt Cutts Explain it:

List of paintings by Rembrandt

List of paintings by Rembrandt (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Enhanced by ZemantaI feel about as accomplished as Rembrandt now. =)

Hey, buddy, uh…well.. I don’t know how to tell you this Kirk but your name is upside… Did you piss off twitter?

Just a fluke perhaps, but I found it funny that Kirk Yuhnke’s name was upside down on twitter.

And if you don’t follow Kirk you should. He’s a local Phoenix reporter covering morning News. Meet him at the ABC15 Live News Tweet-up they did.


Kirk didn’t do anything to make twitter upset, rather he found a site that writes text upside down for you then he cut and pasted it into his twitter account.

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German Pancakes
By Thomas Ballantyne,
June 13, 2012
German PancakeIf you have never tried German Pancakes then you are missing something divine. Often eaten for breakfast, German pancakes are a delicious way to start the day.Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 10-15 minutes
Yield: 1 Cake

Nutrition facts:
200 calories,
110 fat calories

– 1 cup Milk
– 6 eggs
– 1/2 cup of sugar
– 1 cup Flour
– 1/2 tsp Salt
– 1 tsp Vanilla
– 1 tsp Cinnamon
– 1 tsp Nutmeg
– 2 drops Almond Extract
– 1 cube butter


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Melt Butter in 12×14 pan. Remove. Heat Oven to 400’F. Blend other ingredients. Pour on top of butter. Bake 10 to 15 minutes. Cut in squares and serve.


Homemade Strawberry Syrup
By Thomas Ballantyne,
June 13, 2012
No German Pancake is complete without strawberry syrup, at least in my opinion.Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 1 minute
Yield: 1 loaf

Nutrition facts:
180 calories,
0 grams fat

– ½ lb Strawberries (about 2 cups)
– 1 Red Apple
– 1 c Hot water
– ½ cup of sugar
– Small piece of lemon peel


Blender. Heat on stove or in microwave for 1 minute.

Slice up a strawberry to top it all off.

So I just spent 20 minutes adding markup to my recipe, and stripped it out. Not cool. So much for my testing…

It’s been very interesting watching the Africanized Honeybee spread across the US. Every summer you will find public warnings going out in Phoenix and Las Vegas about this aggressive and potentially deadly bee. The following infographic gives the details in beautiful color. Note at the bottom the distance that these bees will travel to attack. In fact, one of the signs used to determine if you have an Africanized Bee problem is to see how far they will chase you.

Africanized Honeybee Infographic

As noted these Africanized Honeybees are moving north. They began in the southern states. Are now common in Phoenix, Austin, San Antonio, and Las Vegas. They are spreading a little more rapidly through Southern California and states the climates with milder winters, but they are still moving north.

If you do experience a bee problem then contact local exterminators or a bee removal company. Bee removal is often more costly, but instead of killing of the bee population the bees will be safely removed and relocated. Bee Exterminators on the other hand may simply exterminate the bees and their colonies. Due to the way bee’s carry pollen on their bodies, dust pesticides are very effective and quickly eliminate bee problems.

Side view of the africanized honey bee

Side view of the africanized honey bee (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Have you ever been in the middle of doing a big project and your tool breaks? I imagine that in certain situations this could be even more annoying, like cliff hanging in the Alps and having your ice pick break. Not going to find another one of those near by. Well in pest control having a hose break can be more than just annoying. A broken hose means no more money making while its broken. It could mean a long trip back to the office and then a return trip to finish the job. That is going to put a wrinkle in your schedule for sure. Which could mean even more work on rescheduling the rest of that day’s route.

Wouldn’t it be easier to just BE PREPARED?

So take note. Carry the few items above in your truck and you can turn a quick headache around. Spend the 10 minutes and $20 to build a pest control hose repair kit and you will save hours later. And Time is Money. Be prepared.

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If you came across a snake the looked like a rattle snake, sounds like a rattle snake, but had no rattle what would you do?

Golden brown coloring with a black lining. The color is the same as some common Arizona rattle snakes. And the rattling noise is an unmistakeable indicator of danger. But this rattling snake has no rattle. While it’s tail vibrates and the sound makes the performance complete, the noise is actually coming from this glossy gopher snake’s mouth. But the rattle snake sound is so convincing, which makes mimicking it the perfect defense mechanism. The gopher snake will even flatten out it’s head a bit to try and pull back into an aggressive stance to really sale the rattle snake act.Well Bill, our Bulwark Birthday Boy (see Bulwark’s Facebook Page), came over to confirm that this rattle-less rattling snake was not an AZ Diamondback and that it was indeed a Gopher snake.Bill is actually more qualified to determine this than we suspected. He apparently use to milk Rattlesnakes for their venom. The venom sells very nicely as it’s part of the costly anti-venom formula. Bill paid for college this way.

Does a AZ Gopher Snake Bite?

The aggressive rattling sound and strike pose certainly do the trick in warding off enemies. Even after knowing it wasn’t a poisonous snake, I had my reservations about picking it up once it struck it’s pose. But in truth, the gopher snake rarely bites people. They are actually a great ally to Phoenix exterminators because they eat common dessert rodents. And there are a lot of rodents in the dessert. Plenty of mice intrude residential properties each year in Arizona. So after a quick measurement (measuring about 4 feet) and deciding that the snake isn’t dangerous to humans, we will be putting him back out there to fight the good pest control battle. Long live the Gopher Snake.

P.S. If it looks like I am straining a little bit, I am, the snake has a lot more muscle than you think …for one so bendy and flexible.

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How often does it die?

Who wants SEO to die? Google. Why? If we stop grabbing the free candy then maybe we will buy the search ads.

Pest Control Guy = Professional Killer

I have the solution. Trust me on this… I kill things for a living. I can help kill SEO. The problem is that most don’t understand the solution… If they want SEO to die then we need to kill the Search Engine.

Search Engine Optimization… So long as there is a search engine that ranks websites based on an algorithm then there will be those that optimize their sites to meet or beat the algorithm and rank their websites in search results.

Image of Google & Yahoo offices in Haifa. Both...

Image of Google & Yahoo offices in Haifa. Both located in the same building (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Google 的貼牌冰箱(Google refrigerator)

Google refrigerator (Photo credit: Aray Chen)

You play too dirty… You play too clean… You play too much?

Moderation in all things is a great motto, but when you set out to build a boat you want it to float. Is there such a thing as building a boat too well? So google wants relevant content to win. They make measurements. People figure out these measurements. SEO’s adjust. The problem here with over optimization is that what Google has deemed okay in the past could now potentially be over optimized??? Is it really going to help to be “under optimized”?

So many business owners are just now coming to realize that ranking in the search engine’s isn’t a fluke. As these new business owners catch on and get a clue they will begin where so many have begun in the past, and now those tactics may hurt you?

I have long believed that Google would penalize any site with a perfect score. As the algorithm is secret, in order to score a perfect score the site owner would have to be cheating. There comes a point when people just need to stop focusing on what google is doing to tweak their algo. It’s a market of ups and downs. You invest one week in links to find their value gone the next. And then the value picks back up. You are playing a market. If you like the game play it. I believe your best bet is play by the rules that google sets and by the spirit of their law. They are pretty honest in what they tell you they want. Really the whole mess of things is pretty gray. Sadly, if Google judgement day hits, they are most likely going to quietly rule and behead you and the judge and jury remain behind hidden doors.

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So it’s not everyday that a group of pest control guys get together and don’t have any bugs to squash. So the next best alternative is Dodge Ball. Yep. A group of grown men have out their differences on the dodge ball court… and here is the video for your viewing enjoyment.

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