Author: Michael Kwan

Super Bowl XLI: Slippery balls and funny ads

Well, another year of football has officially drawn to a close (we all know that the Pro Bowl isn’t a real competition, but if you’re still interested in watching the NFL’s version of the all-star game, you can catch it this coming Saturday). I watched Super Bowl XLI with my brother on his widescreen HDTV, complete with 5.1 home theater surround sound, so it was certainly a more enjoyable experience that what I’m used to: watching football on a plain ol’ 27-inch boob tube. The game itself had quite a few notable instances and events that are certainly worth discussing — I’ll leave the in-depth analysis to the experts — so I thought I’d quickly shoot through a few things before moving on to what some may consider to be the more important part of the 4-hour-long football game: the Super Bowl ads. After all, companies pay big bucks to get their 30 seconds of air time, easily surpassing $1 million per spot. 1. It was raining the whole game, which made for a very slippery ball. There were countless fumbles, including two back-to-back by the Rex Grossman, quarterback to the Chicago Bears. Several passes were dropped that probably would have otherwise been caught. We also saw Peyton Manning throw shorter passes and opt for the run more often than the longer bomb. This last point may be partially...

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Pho, Fur, and…. John Chow?

Today started out pretty much like every other non-working day for me. I struggled to get out of bed as noon steadily approached. I stretched. I yawned. I brushed my teeth. Little did I know that I was about to have lunch with a furry blue monster. More specifically, I was heading to parts unknown to dine on some Vietnamese pho (although it may appear that “pho” should be pronounced like “foe”, I’ve always been told that it should sound closer to “fuh”, though the majority in the cohort I’m about to describe insist that it’s pronounced more like...

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Finding cell phone deals

A big part of what I do on a daily basis is read up on cell phones and I have been doing this for about a year now. It started with tech news blogging for Mobile Magazine, and more recently, I’ve also written a series of resource articles for LoveToKnow Cell Phones. It wouldn’t be all that far fetched to say that I’m an expert on the subject, though I still have much to learn (the world of cell phones arguably progresses faster than computers). As such, I am no stranger to finding some awesome cell phone deals on the web. One website that comes up time and time again is Wirefly. According to their official company statement: “Wirefly sells surplus cell phone inventory on eBay. So you can get a great deal on a phone without a plan.” I’m a big supporter for buying unlocked cell phones and I very much dislike signing contracts. In fact, I plan on getting a new phone tomorrow (still ironing out the details), but that’s for another entry. If you live in the United States and don’t like contracts either, then you should consider getting a handset from Wirefly. Alternatively, they also have free phones, but you’ve got to sign a 2-3 year agreement for that. Come June, they’ll also have the Apple iPhone. If you’re concerned about how trustworthy they are,...

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I’ve got a favicon. Do you?

Building my brand, that’s what it is. My name is my brand, so it’s of utmost importance to my freelance writing business that people associate Michael Kwan with top-notch writing and editing in an expedient manner. As such, I was very happy to see that is now the number one result when you Google my name. To further the brand, I have installed a “favicon” on the main site, thanks to a few pointers from John Chow, the self-proclaimed dot com mogul and Google whore. The favicon, which you can see below, isn’t all that flashy, but it’ll help me stick out just a bit more than the average website, given that many internet destinations don’t have that itty bitty icon on the side. The way that the favicon works is that when you open the page in my web browser, instead of having a generic logo next to the URL (and next to the site name if you’re running tabs), you get this customized one. This also shows up in your favorites list. What I’ve noticed, however, is that it does not work with older versions of Internet Explorer. The favicon is fully functional in FireFox and IE7+, though. If you want to make a favicon of your own, I suggest you head over to the handy tool found at Dynamic Drive. It’s by far the easiest...

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What’s going on with comments?

I’ve been having some trouble with the “comment” system on this blog, and as such, have been back and forth with the GoDaddy technical staff on the matter. Let’s just say that I haven’t had the best customer service experience with them thus far (I had some issues setting up this blog in the first place way back in March). A few people have said that they get a “timed out” error, or that they are inputing an incorrect security code. Well, check out my email transcript thus far. They just keep telling me that they’re not having any issues. Are you? Email me at michael (at) michaelkwan (dot) com. ####### I’ve had several people email me telling me that the “comments” on my QuickBlog ( do not work. When they try to leave a comment on a blog entry, they get a “timed out” error message. Please look into this and rectify immediately. — Dear Michael K Kwan, Thank you for contacting Online Support. I have tested your QuickBlog site and am able to successfully enter comments. We would suggest anyone receiving time out problems, to check the security settings of their browsers and check the general browser settings at the below address. Sincerely, Jason P. Online Support Technician — I have tried commenting myself and get the following error: Your session has timed out. Please retype...

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Finally! Google loves me!

It’s one part exercise in narcissism, it’s another part “monitoring my business.” Whatever the case, I check out Google on a near daily basis, plunking in my name as the search query to see where I’m at. has been around since March 2006, but it recently received a complete overhaul (or extreme makeover, you could say). I checked today and after nine long months of hard work, I’ve moved my freelance writing website into the number one spot! I think that’s pretty awesome. It probably would have been easier if I didn’t have such a common name… like my friend Dylan Duarte. He’s been blogging for less than a month and he’s already number one for his name. I’ve been doing battle with that other Michael Kwan for some time. Around these parts, probably no one has heard of the Hong Kong artist of the same name (then again, most people probably haven’t heard of me either), but he’s always had a leg up on me in terms of search engine ranking. At least with that one page on the HK radio website. If you recall, my site was still #2 last month. What do I attribute this recent surge to? Well, I’ve been actively working to get links to on high page rank (PR) sites. For example, I’m one of the top commentators on John Chow...

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Meet Roy

While many work-at-home moms (collectively referred to as WAHMs for short) very much value that they don’t have to leave the domicile to make some money for the home, and in effect, can take care of the kids and the household chores without any additional trouble, it can be said that I find myself in much the similar situation. As a freelance writer, nearly all of my work is done from the comfort of my living room and/or home office. All of my correspondence with my clients is either via email or IM, so there really is no reason for me to have to go to a physical office (other than my own). At the same time, I get to stay at home with my kid… so to speak. Meet Roy. He’s our son, so to speak, just not in a biological sense. Roy (his full name is Roy O’Bunny, named after Owen Wilson’s character, Roy O’Bannon, from Shanghai Noon with Jackie Chan) is a Netherland Dwarf Rabbit as far as we can tell, but we have a feeling that he isn’t a purebred. He has characteristics of a couple of other breeds, but he’s certainly got a personality of his own. Sometimes, he just likes to chill. Even though I leave his cage door open for most of the day, he’ll oftentimes just hang out on the plank...

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Joe Public funnier than professional comedians?

The future of the internet is not big corporations and a whole lot of pre-determined mumbo jumbo. Take a short look around and you’ll see that the largest websites out there, by a huge margin, consist of user-contributed content. MySpace, YouTube… and all these blogs (Beyond the Rhetoric included). Now that just about everyone is on high-speed internet too, a huge part of our entertainment (and bandwidth) is dedicated to funny videos. Jokeroo is one such site, posting up all sorts of content including extreme videos, prank calls, movie trailers, celebrity photos, shooting games, and — of course — funny videos. The layout is pretty straight-forward, videos stream quickly, and the content is growing quickly. Check it out. The preceding post was brought to you by...

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How Much Can You Make With AGLOCO?

In case you’ve been hiding under a rock, AGLOCO is the second coming of the AllAdvantage team that flopped some time back, except this time they actually have a viable business plan, and what’s more, you can make EVEN MORE MONEY this time around. In fact, according a recent post by self-proclaimed dot com mogul John Chow, he is set to make $1,800+ a month, which is obviously no small amount to sneeze at. To recap, AGLOCO provides a toolbar that displays ads at the bottom of your internet browser window. It’s non-intrusive and has no spyware, so it’s perfectly safe. Their privacy and security settings are said to be absolutely top notch. With this “Viewbar” (which launches in 4-6 weeks), you can expect to make “between $5 and $15 a month”, but that’s not where your earnings end. Where the real money lies is in expanding your network by referring AGLOCO (which stands for A GLObal COmmunity) to other users. According to The Simmons Report (cited by John Chow), “the average AGLOCO direct referral should be worth in excess of $3,000 each.” And that’s American, folks. Now is the time to join, because if you wait for the Viewbar to launch, many people you already know would have already signed up and you’ll have a harder time expanding your network (and earning loads of free money… and yes,...

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Video: Double Dragon, 18 Years Later

I’ve been a video game player all my life, dating way back to the days of Missile Command and Defender on the Atari. But, it was only when I moved on to the legendary Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) that I really started to take gaming to the next level. It was there that I was introduced to such incredible titles as Mega Man, Punch Out, and Double Dragon. We all remember the Konami code, don’t we? I love live action re-enactments of video games (check out the Related Posts at the bottom for the Live Action Mario Bros. skit), and here is yet another classic to add to your collection. Double Dragon, 18 years later, in an office setting. Cheesy combos, explosives, weapons, and all. Enjoy! Source:TechEBlog Related Posts: –Video: Top ten ways to die in a video game –Best lesser-known fighting games –What do Kramer, Nas, and Dhalsim have in common? –Top ten signs you’re a Nintendo fanboy –Live Action Mario Bros....

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Michael Kwan
Hi, I'm Michael. By day, I'm a freelance writer. By night, I'm still a freelance writer. I'm also a proud father, a voracious foodie, an avid traveler, a gadget geek, and a thinker who thinks he might be thinking too much. Beyond the Rhetoric is a reflection of my eclectic entrepreneurial life.

Read more about me and what I can do for you.