Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Worth Reading

Cody Heitschmidt of LogicMaze proudly spent 4 years serving in the Marine Corps with Darrell Carver. Please don't ever forget them, no matter what you think of the conflict they are involved in.

Below is a short article about a Marine shot 4 times and then fragged in Fallujah. The sacrifice by all the Marines and soldiers in Operation Al Fajr--including those who fought in the April battle--brought extraordinary results. Fallujah has turned from hornet's nest into one of the more peaceful cities in the triangle. Indeed, the excision of the terrorists in Fallujah is directly correlated to the overall drop in violence and the spectacular election. Semper Fi
The Few <>
The path Darrell Carver chose out of his Salt Lake City high school was similar to that taken by other overachieving classmates. He'd married his high school sweetheart when he was 20, had three wonderful kids by the time he was 27, and was leading an elite team for his company by the time he was 28, sating his mild addictions to fitness and hunting when the occasional free hour presented itself.
But Carver followed a calling imbued in just a sliver of the population. On November 20th, 2004, while most of his peers were in office parks earning money with keyboards, Darrell Carver was approaching a tin-plated door in the heart of Fallujah, Iraq, with his rifle stock held firm in the crook of a shoulder tattooed with "USMC" and two terrorists praying to end him on the other side.
Gunnery Sergeant Carver is a member of an elite slice of America that has emerged on the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq: the warrior class. Drawn from across the socio-economic spectrum by an uncommon confluence of duty, adventure, and martial spirit, this all-volunteer cadre has demonstrated that it belongs among history's elite fighting units.
That men like Carver choose to serve in combat arms, a deadly profession in which few transferable civilian skills are gleaned, says a lot about the fabric of the country. Before September 11th, America carried a soft and feckless reputation among its mortal enemies. Beyond low-risk tactics skewed toward technology-cruise missiles, invisible bombers-they concluded that America had no will to fight. Now those enemies are meeting America's core
strength: young men with an innate desire to carry rifles for a living.
The ferocity and direction of the attack into Fallujah shattered the enemy's initial defensive plan. It was left to infantrymen like Carver to rip the terrorists out of closets and bedrooms were they had scattered in small packs.
On one side of the doors stood men who believed they would be judged how they lived. On the other lay men who believed they would be judged on how they died. How these two groups of men, who were more alike than different as boys, had traveled tens of years and thousands of miles to kill each other was best answered by the professional philosopher. For a professional warrior like Carver, combat was the natural culmination of moral divergence. A murderous enemy had infected Fallujah. Politicians could not excise them. Marines and soldiers could.
Fallujah had been parsed into familial nicknames. Clearing the Upper West Side had been hard enough, but when Carver's platoon was sent to help the effort in Queens, a particularly nasty corner of the city near the Euphrates that was littered with corpses of Iraqi "collaborators" who had been executed, it seemed as if a terrorist was hidden in every third house, hell-bent on dragging a Marine into the ground with him.
It was "tiring work," as Carver puts it. For most Americans, the office is a cubicle tract where conflict is limited to harsh emails. For a Marine, the office is a smoldering, stinking, ear-splitting arena filled with young men who are trying to kill each other.
The battle was an intensely personal, face-to-face fight inside individual rooms where the screams often muted the gunfire and the crawl spaces muted the American technological edge. This meant that a Marine had to burst into a room with his rifle shouldered, steady his barrel on a concealed target, then break the trigger before the screaming lunatic trying to ambush him could manage an aimed shot and a proper "Allahu Akbar!"
If anything, the madness of it just made the Marines angrier. Everything in Fallujah was upside-down. Religious leaders demanded violence. Stray cats feasted on fallen men. Zarqawi had constructed a torture chamber twenty-five feet away from a small amusement park.
Even the smoke settled strangely. In his first firefight on November 20, Carver charged into a room behind a grenade. The acrid dust had climbed the walls and spilled across the ceiling, broiling in the top half of the bedroom instead of falling. He heard the terrorist shuffle toward his men. Instead of dropping into a firing position that might have exposed him, Carver leapt up into the smog and onto a bed. He ended the threat.
In the second house, the door swung open and there were two terrorists lumbering toward Carver like zombies in some horror movie. He and the other force reconnaissance Marines had honed their shooting skills over hundreds of hours and thousands of bullets. Four bullets did the trick.
The day was an hour old.
The Marine team crept down the hallway of the third house in a human centipede stack bristling with rifles. Carver had moved into point position and now he stood outside another door wondering what the hell was waiting for him inside. Hundreds of doors opened already. Hundreds more to go.
He opened the door with his left hand, keeping his front sight post moving with his eyes. Someone coming out of a closet, firing an AK-47. The flat, booming report reverberated under his body armor. Carver had to shoot the terrorist several times before he flopped onto the spent casings.
Now more firing from behind the door on his left. Two rounds slammed into his thigh and another passed clean through his calf. They felt more like baseball bats than hot needles. Carver wheeled to maintain his balance and center his weapon. Saw smoking holes in the door. Another bullet popped through and smacked his shoulder, ending any hope of remaining on his feet.
It was an enemy grenade that saved him. Without it, Carver would have tumbled inside the room, into the kill zone. Instead the grenade came bouncing out toward his boots, as mesmerizing as a giant wasp, and blew him clear out of the room.
Twenty-one minutes later Navy doctors were plucking dozens of fragments from his body and sewing the four quarter-sized holes. Twenty-one hours later Carver checked out of the field hospital with a crutch in his armpit instead of a rifle and the hazy memory of a phone call to his wife, Holly.
Holly got the call in the afternoon. "Honey I got hurt," her husband told her. Of all the casualty notifications given to family members, a phone call from the wounded warrior is the best. Phone calls from doctors or officers are bad. Doorbells are the worst. Darrell was now one of the twelve thousand casualties in Iraq. One of the lucky ones.
The untold story of war is the burden shouldered by the families. Devotion to their soldiers is well known. But the hidden buttress of an all-volunteer war is devotion to the cause. Families are serving the country every bit as fervently as their soldiers. Without their commitment to the war, second and third deployments to Iraq would be zero sum decisions for soldiers. "If he had to go back (for a third tour), I support him," says Holly. "It is worth the sacrifice of separation to help the people of Iraq."
The costs of the war on terror may not be spread wide, but they are deep. Families like the Carvers are willing to shoulder the costs of the national interest for the lowest risk-adjusted wage in America and zero fanfare. In other societies, warriors are motivated by externalized power. Ours are motivated by internal duty. Geopolitics aside, the country should be thankful that it has cultivated a tiny warrior class that can dominate an overseas battlefield while upholding its best values.
Owen West, a trader for Goldman, Sachs, served with the Marines in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Happy Holidays

Have a great time no matter what you are celebrating!!!!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

jeepsandstuff.com - SEO

We are still cranking on the jeepsandstuff site. Things have really begun to click on the search engine optimization campaign. It was a little bit of a learning experience as LogicMaze did not design this site and we have never optimized a Yahoo store. But, just like every other site we have ever been given a budget to increase quality traffic for, it is working in leaps and bounds. jeepsandstuff.com has literally become a major player in the highly competitive online marketplace for jeep accessories. Google, MSN and Yahoo are all indexing all the pages and we have got them very good rankings for several highly competitive search phrases. We are going to continue working on this site for the long haul and you can bet that they will become one of the largest online retailers in Hutchinson Kansas.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Kansas City Menus Restaurants

One more thing for anyone following KansasCityMenus.com. Here are some of the terrific restaurants which are hosted on their site. Check a few out!

Monday, December 19, 2005

Kansas City Menus Optimized

Search engine optimization for KansasCityMenus.com has been completed. Of course, when a page on the internet is updated it takes various amounts of time for the different search engines to re-index the page and update its ranking.

So now we check for results, please click the search term for the current results. At the time of this post KansasCityMenus.com ranked the following on MSN Search:

Also at the time of this post, KansasCityMenus.com ranked the following on Google:

Of course these results already show an increase in ranking from the time we first started work on this site. Check back frequently to see further results and future postings about Restaurants in Kansas City, and see why Hutchinson, Kansas offers the best website optimization in the state.

Kansas small business marketing

Can it be done? Can a small town business in Hutchinson Kansas compete with the big boys in the world of marketing? Yes! Yes! Yes!
Check it out, Carol Norris started www.skincarebycarol.com to offer the world a product that she knew was top-notch, she knew if we could get the word out, that anyone that tried Dechant Mineral Makeup would continue to use it. She came to LogicMaze and we built her a site and we are marketing it for her right now nationwide. The site was launched to the world less than 2 weeks ago, now I ask you to got to www.msn.com and search for "mineral makeup". If you don't think that is a competitive keyword look at how many results MSN returns. I know she is only number 11 today but if you are at all interested, set a reminder in your Blackberry and come back and check on it in 2 weeks, number "1" is the only acceptable long term goal!!!!!!

Friday, December 09, 2005

Optimizing Kansas City Menus

Today's project, Search engine optimization for KansasCityMenus.com. KC Menus is a great site, especially if you live in, or travel to, Kansas City; and you happen to be hungry. Of course, no one can remember all those great websites that make life easy, so we use Google, MSN, Yahoo, and many other search engines to find those sites for us. KansasCityMenus.com wants to be at the top of the search results when someone is looking for a restaurant or restaurants in Kansas City, Kansas. That's where LogicMaze comes in. It can be a complicated process, but I can briefly explain the basics. For the first step, I am taking their existing site and optimizing the pages with keywords to be easily found by search engines. This involves not only modifying text you can see on the page, but modifying the code, or language, of the page as well. Step two is creating a buzz about the site. Similar to information being spread by word of mouth, search engines rate the buzz of a site by how many links point to that site. So by simply telling you here to dine at a Good Kansas City restaurant we are starting that buzz to make them the best. Check back to see how popular KansasCityMenus.com becomes...

A quick test...

Hi everyone, this is my first post. Actually, to my shame, this is the first time I have ever blogged. I am a web designer with LogicMaze WebDesigns in Hutchinson, Kansas. I have been on the internet for 12 years, or since right before the major boom of commercial sites. I have seen the internet grow from 14kbs amateur sites, mainly designed with background colors and text, to today's commercial sites, designed for high speed access and intense media. I designed my first site (a personal homepage) in 1996 and have grown with the internet since then.

Today I utilize a toolset of high end animation, layout, image, and photo applications to bring your website to life. You can be sure that LogicMaze & it's design staff will continue to design the most functional and up to date sites on the market. We stay up to date with current software, the latest techniques, and the newest features to bring you the best possible website. And now that I have blogged, I feel that I will be caught up on new web trends for awhile. Be sure to check for new posts on individual sites I am working on, and see the design process in work. Also be sure to visit the LogicMaze site, the best designers in Kansas.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Internet Marketing starts to take hold in Hutchinson Kansas

It's slow, real slow, but.......
We are finally getting folks around here to realize that just having a website is not enough. we are getting daily calls from folks who have heard about our marketing/search engine optimization campaigns and the want us to do something with their site. We will keep our progress posted here as well as other projects. Right now we are working on increasing traffic/sales on 8 sites and seeing drastic improvements in visitors. It is slow and steady work, it just can't be done right for $9.99 and simply submitting your site to 10,000 search engines. You can really get burnt in the world of quick fix website marketing, if anyone has questions about it, give us a call and we will talk to you ( an actual person will talk to you) about what we can do, how we will do it and how much it will cost. We also have actual people, small business owners, who have employed us to increase traffic and sales, on limited budgets, and we will be glad to give you references. Anyhow I am rambling, Good Luck to everyone. Logicmaze

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Website Redesign

Mennonite Manor is a retirement community based in South Hutchinson, Kansas. They are a long time client of LogicMaze's and we have all decided it is time for a redesign. Why do you care? I don't know if you do, but I think it is worth discussing because of the type of site it is. Everyone wants "cutting-edge", tons of flash animation and graphic intense stuff on their site nowadays. Is that right for a faith-based retirement community? I think it will be fun to see where we end up with this redesign, the folks at Mennonite Manor want a more modern look, we will just have to find the right balance. Stay Tuned!!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Our web Clients

I was looking at our clients list today and wondering who I should pursue as the next client to take it the next level with a marketing plan. I still haven't decided, I get wrapped up in my mind developing the basics of the perfect plan to take a specific client to the big time. We truly enjoy being a part of a small town business growing. We also know that a successful business in our community helps everybody and what a great way to increase our tax base, we get more dollars in Hutchinson and don't have to deal with the problems of more people. Maybe the Hutchinson/Reno County Chamber of Commerce should pursue a plan to help our businesses succeed on the web!? this will definitely lead to another post!!!!!!!

Small Town Shops on the Internet

A quilt shop in Hutchinson Kansas, can they get on the internet and compete? Can they actually make good money selling their products to the world. Just wait and see, Cottonwood Quilts is actually a huge Quilt Shop in Hutchinson and has been selling quilting supplies online for a couple of years. We have convinced them to devote some marketing dollars to their website and from our research we are incredibly excited about the idea of truly exploding their sales. Stay tuned and watch as the progress begins!

Monday, December 05, 2005

a jeep accessories education

Several months ago we started optimizing for www.jeepsandstuff.com a Jeep accessories online store run by some local folks who honestly run a top-notch operation and take care of their customers like a small town mom and pop. We didn't design the site it is a Yahoo store and honestly the first couple of weeks gave us fits. We had success in MSN and Google but it was like Yahoo hated it's own product. Anyhow the whole reason I am writing today is because it is really working. Since we started on the site visits have more than doubled and the page views/ visit ratio are steadily increasing. Oh yeah sales are way up too! We are continuing to work on it, it's a never ending process, don't let anyone tell you they can spend a week optimizing your site and you will dominate search engines, it just can't happen that way. They competition will continue to improve their rankings and your glory will be short lived!!

Friday, December 02, 2005

LogicMaze releases new Mineral Makeup Website

Our newest release is for Carol's Skin Essentials. It is a full service online store for mineral makeup and they have a great skin care line . Anyhow check it out feel free to post comments on what you think. We will begin an intensive marketing process and they will see incredible benefits. Check back soon.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

What the !@##$ is Search Engine Optimization

Goto www.google.com or www.msn.com or www.yahoo.com and type in the search box what you think people who trying to find your product/service would type in!! Did your website come up on the first page?? If not, you need SEO. You can spend months trying to figure out how the engines work and what you need to do to get up in the rankings and then spend years doing it and continuing the process or you can spend a little $ and have someone do it for you and reap the rewards. Can you get ripped off by someone who claims to know how to market your site?DEFINITELY!!! We won't! www.logicmaze.com will lead you to real people, who honestly care about your success on the internet. Give us a call or shoot us an email and give us a chance to prove our integrity to you.

"I need more people to come to my website!"

"I need more people to come to my website!"
Here's the story:
Those of us who spend our days marketing and optimizing websites thought when we got into this business we would hear this phrase all the time! Here in Kansas we have realized their is another step to the process: first we have to get people to realize the potential, we actually have to got to people and say "Hey don't you want more people to visit your website", before we sign them on as Internet Marketing clients. There are some exceptions!!!
www.jeepsandstuff.com came to us and hired us on to market their site and it is going great, visits to the website are up and sales are as well.
But honestly most folks around here either don't think about or don't realize it's possible or just don't understand it enough to take the next step. We can help: www.logicmaze.com

Small Town Internet Utilization

We at Logicmaze have this contention that most businesses that are on the internet( in our area at least) are not even beginning to tap the potential they have. www.skincarebycarol.com is a small town business that is just getting on the web and will be the exception to the rule, here's why:
They are going into this knowing they have to market their site!!!!!
We will launch this site sometime in the next week and just wait and see what will happen. We at LogicMaze understand the ins and outs of internet marketing and couple that with the fact that the folks at skincarebycarol.com have a good budget dedicated to us to market the site and we will all see the launch of a successful internet business.
So Many businesses have a great product or service that their website doesn't serve at all. I would love a chance to see the web traffic of any of the thousands of websites based in Kansas, I bet most of them aren't even track visits let alone conversions. The root of the problem is Website designers who either don't understand Marketing or don't take the time to discuss the importance of it with their clients. Anyhow I am rambling just watch www.skincarebycarol.com in the next few months, you will see what a little marketing can do for a small town business.

I am actually gonna do this

I started this in march and have decided to go ahead and start doing it actively. Here's a new site of ours www.dwightseffort.com check it out pretty interesting if you are in south central Kansas, completely irrelevant if not. I know noone knows about this blog yet but I will start driving people to it soon. when you get here cut loose! I will continue to update sitre we have released and topics that are of interest to me and maybe you, maybe not.