I am a fool; a huge fool. I had a man at a “smokeshop” tell me about a bath salt, which was labeled “aromatic aphrodisiac”. I figured that I would buy some and spice up mine and my wife’s already stellar love life together. Lets just say, spice is not what we needed.

I tried using it and quickly found myself buying it again to use by myself. I was psychologically addicted. I cut myself off three days before the paranoid episode that sent me to a hospital.

Little did I know that my wife would feel so strongly after the clearing of heads.

I woke up one night smelling bath salts, vapor? I hadn’t smoked this stuff before ever, but the taste was too obvious; the same stuff. I roused, in a semi paralyzed state. My wife’s side of the bed was pounding in a sexual act. I heard her snoring. Someone was holding forced vapor under my nose with every breath on my side of the bed; I couldn’t move, but I did smell the vapor. It was at around three in the morning. My heart was pounding out of my chest. She still snored.

Someone lifted my upper body and placed me next to her and I was able to move around 15 minutes later.

Here’s the problem. Bath salt is a hypnotic, psychotropic, hallucinatory non-drug. The FDA doesn’t know what to do with it? Ban it. I live with the thought of who it may have been in my room that night with me and my wife, but the vaporizer/bath salt mix is dangerous.

I now suffer anxiety, paranoia, and my wife doesn’t believe me. I know the difference between hallucination and reality, This was a real happening, and the stuff is that strong.

I love my wife, but my marriage is suffering. My relationship with my son is suffering. My probation is facing revocation because of my buying this garbage.

Be warned, this is a rape substance that is probably common in the certain crowd. This is deviant.

Is anyone else out there suffering this same problem and is afraid to talk? Please comment or vote. We need to get this information out there.

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I’ve been a member of eBay for nearly 12 of their 15 years. I was there when the business analysts were saying that eBay was a “fad” that would die out as the “novelty” of an online auction faded from being new. I was there when corporate heads passed the baton. I was there when sellers could leave equivalent feedback for a disruptive and untrustworthy buyer. I was there when eBay closed their eyes to the right and needs of all involved. I was there when eBay slowly became the 7 billion dollar a year giant that it is today. I was there when eBay sellers begged their favorite online selling forum to show mercy during the biggest financial meltdown in which the world has seen since the dust bowl, yes, I was there when eBay morphed into the green eyed monster. I limped from eBay suspended indefinitely.

Hopefully, to all of you readers, you see this blog for its value. You see the principles behind why it is that I did what I did. I became the enemy to giant, which in all of those years that I had helped to groom, feed, and nurture into the 1900 dollar per second profit enigma that it is today. I’m not alone, nay, I am not, many others have also entertained the monster; many others were also dispatched at the wave of a hand, like yesterday’s rubbish. I had impulsively left a “negative” comment on a buyers forced good feedback ratio, after he had butchered mine. You know, the buyer who sells the same item under a different handle, what is it called, a competitor? I retaliated when eBay took away my freedom of doing so; yes I did it anyway. I was dealt the suspension blow in January 2010, now it’s a cold December, some 11 months later.

I have many friends who are sellers and buyers. All very concerned about the 2009- 2010 changes:

  • Higher final value fees
  • Forced stores
  • Enhanced seller policies
  • Free auction listings masking the higher final value fees
  • One way feedback
  • Detailed seller ratings
  • Power seller standings and criteria
  • And for 2011, limited case filings for non-pays

And it’s for good reason. All of the new criteria affect seller profit margins and community standing. Low enough DSR’s, and you get the joy of waking to a limited PayPal account, a limited selling account, and outsourced telephone operators who obviously have little power over your current situation, short of being robbed, and for that, eBay gets credit. In hindsight,  it’s obvious as to why.

Now is the time that I would usually say something “shocking”, but I restrain the urge. I do however want to tell you what I did do. I built an online auction of my own. I know, I know, I know. How many blogs revolve around SEO? It seems that search engine optimization is connected to almost everything web-related. All that I ask is that you hear me out; finish the story if you will and I’ll make it worth your while.

100 days ago I was tired of looking for ways to sell and made the decision to buy a domain name and THEN research building an online auction. I tried about 3 or 4 thousand domain names before I found one that I liked: Bidpops.com yes, I have been making a lot of blog and forum noise lately, but it’s different because I am one of you. I’m a regular guy who bent one of eBay’s three billion rules and took the unfriendly boot, lost my red star, and found my money tied up for 180 days. They started it, but I’m determined to finish what they started.

I next contacted a development company and tied up the loose ends. They would ensure a high quality site for sellers and buyers and I would make sure that the best features that were lost over the years, were to be returned to their rightful place: in an online auction.

I listened to my friends voice their concerns for long enough to be in touch with what they wanted. Moreover, I knew how I had felt. I built it. We went live on Thursday night December 9th, 2010. Bidpops was born! It was born for us, everyone whose concerns over their margins, their feedback, their rating, wonderful sweet all of us. I made it for all of us; with 10 years of unlimited hosting. But we need now to populate the site with items. Buyers can’t buy what is not there. Sellers, it is YOUR turn. Post those items for sale! Your day is here and now for the next ten years, you finally have the power to change things. Bidpops.com offers:

  • Two way feedback
  • Your choice of several ways to get paid
  • Fifty cent flat rate listings, billed monthly
  • No final value fees ever
  • Goodbye DSR’s
  • No membership fees
  • Equality, every member is a power member (we don’t give a kindergarten star)
  • Lower cost stores for flat rate items and high volume sellers
  • 50 free (No money at all) auction listings just for joining (Your reward for reading the whole blog)

I think with a good array of product offerings that sellers will show up looking to buy, but I will still be advertising all the way using SEO, radio, TV, magazines, bumper stickers, and walking into local businesses handing out my card.

You all asked for an answer to the problems, now I took it and made it so. It is all of our job to make it what we want it to be: A safe place to buy and sell that doesn’t make us feel upset half of the time. It’s here for you at htttp://www.bidpops.com make it your own and make it fun. We did it!

Being an entrepreneur for the last 18 years, I shouldn’t have felt so ambushed when I found out about crowd funding. The idea is simple: Many “supporters” throw their money into your hat for your idea. The people don’t have to be friends or family, you should have exhausted those first before going to the crowd funds, they could be anyone in the world. Far be it from me to not appreciate this strategy. Typically, the  people who offer to help are like minded people who believe in your success with your idea. Sometimes the ideas are good and sometimes they are bad, but hey, why not at least put it out there.

The first fund that I came across was at Crowdfunder. Crowdfunder wants to see your business idea. They will need proof that you are seeking them out as a last line of opportunity, but seem to be easy to work with, at least, they were very easy to apply to. Be prepared to upload your plan in detail, proof of your reasonable need, and wait. If approved, your idea and need will post. People will see the post and give or pass, either way, what’s the issue with that? When the full amount has been taken in, your funding will be sent to you via PayPal, minus PayPal fees and a small percentage for making the plea for you. They seem very professional.

The next fund that I happened across was Peerbackers. This site is relatively new, but definitely on my list to watch as a successful enterprise. Right now, the ideas that you submit are perused within five days, then, if chosen, you are placed on the site. Social networking can be used to help advertise your needs, if you so desire, but keeping it all in the public domain can give you a feeling of acceptance. Once again, the fees are also PayPal and finders fees for the site admin. Easy to use, a big plus! Friendly for business ventures rates this site 5 stars!

Next, for the creative people out there, go to Kickstarter, they fund creative projects ranging from novels to movies, yes movies! The backers have donated up to 200k for a good project. Don’t be shy, do you have a talent for Anime, a penchant for paperback writing, are you future mogul of movie producing? If you are, you’re in the right place.

The fact is, there are many crowdfunding sites out there that have been doing business silently in the background and gaining popularity:

  • Kapipal~ Funding anything from weddings to businesses
  • Rockethub~ Funding creative projects
  • Seedmatch~ For business start ups, they’re based in Germany
  • Spotus~ Fund helping freelance journalists to get paid for stories
  • Greedy or needy~ Cyber panhandling, begging, or other
  • Go Fund Me~ Personal needs from medical, plane tickets home, or whatever else

And the list goes on.

Sometimes when you look into something cool it can be real, it’s when you don’t look around and check, you’ll want to kick yourself. As for me, hell, I think I’ll try to get some assistance with commercial advertising with one or a few, after all, it is up to the people who is worthy or not. If you try to raise funding for anything with one of these sites, leave a message and let us know, the community would love to hear what you have going on.

I see by the clock on the wall that it’s time to finish this one up. I hope you all have a great holiday season. I look forward to seeing you all at Bidpops.com when we get the site fully up and running December 2010! Remember, Bidpops, will be the online auction with no final value fees, fifty cents to list any item, and no membership fees.

William

Green is the way to go, or so we’ve all been told. We are inundated with photos of oil soaked birds and dirt covered coal miners; we’re reminded of nuclear accidents at Chernobyl and Three Mile Island. We get to see satellite photos that blast big oil companies. They all show the result of our demand for electricity. They subliminally tell us that, ultimately, we’re to blame. So, go green, right? Seems simple, make sustainable energy from existing sources like solar radiant light, wind, or inertia. But many don’t think of the new costs. I know that some of you are thinking money right now. New green energy can be prohibitively expensive to set up and maintain. But this isn’t the only cost of green.

To begin the story we need to think components. We need to think about solar cells, wind turbine towers, banks upon banks of batteries, power inverters, and metering systems. We need to think differently. We need to think deep inside the components. Now we’re talking.

Let us go deep enough to at least see the tip of the iceberg. Deep enough to find the metals and minerals that are needed to build our green energy systems and green technologies. So, we’ll start with a short list:

  • Lead
  • Fluorspar
  • Beryllium
  • Cobalt
  • Tantalum
  • Niobium
  • Platinum
  • Gold
  • Silver
  • Magnesium
  • Graphite
  • Indium
  • Antimony
  • Gallium
  • Germanium
  • Tungsten
  • Lithium

The list is obvious, and implies an oxymoron. Big oil companies pump oil by the millions of barrels out of the deep earth. Coal mines strip the earth and destroy mountain tops. People put their lives on the line for these energy producing fuels. Meanwhile, a lead mine pulls this dangerous metal out of the ground to be put into batteries, backups, and eventually, who knows where. Platinum group metal are being mined feverishly in Russia to produce components for sustainable energy. The list is actually huge. What about when those minerals and metals deplete? Now, I don’t worry about people salvaging platinum, gold, or silver, but what about lithium, tantalum, germanium, and the others? How green is your green?

From a technological standpoint, green energy is cleaner, but still leads down the path to big companies making big profits off of our desire to have the newest and most technologically advanced of whatever it is that we own. The components truly save money, and pollutants are kept in better check, however, green is not always safe, not always affordable, and the story is never simple.

We are pushing for greener cars. I personally worry about accidents where acid burns from batteries are a prominent danger. I have seen the disfigurement of burn victims. I worry about lead contaminants leeching into our clean water; from batteries ill disposed of.  I think of lithium and how it is proven to have psychological effects on people. I think that we aren’t versed enough on the scientific side to understand even what we mean when we say that we are going green. I worry that we have a short term view. Not to say that our reasons aren’t sound. Saying that our green may need to be greener, that is the point.

In light of this, I beg, I truly beg that green conscious people understand the details. I began thinking green is green, but as it turned out, I needed to know more. I did find several websites offering green energy, books, DVD’s, and instruction, and decided that knowledge would be needed first. My green was going to be the greenest.

Now I’m as guilty of collecting tech as the next guy; I have eight cellular telephones in my box in the garage. I wanted the newest, best, and fastest. I have updated my stereo a few times, with nothing being wrong with the old one. My dad used to say, “there’s nothing wrong with the one you have”, I remember. Now i see the wisdom in his words. I’m not happy with some of what I see being called green. My great friend Wally hooked me up at Build wind Turbine,  they have a collection of great books and DVD’s to help understand the best of green energy, the right and greenest components, and insight to help deeper understand the impact of deciding to go green.

Are we saying that we’d like to do something about all of this, or are we jumping on the bandwagon to fit a mob mentality? If we truly want to go green, this is the starting path, but if we are trying to gain constituents, think again. This is a real problem.