Archives » September, 2005

September 29, 2005

AdSense Finally Paying Off

Today I finally broke the $100 mark with my Google AdSense. The $100 mark is important, because that’s when they’ll finally cut you a check. Until your balance hits that point, it just keeps rolling over from month to month. I’ve had these Google text ads on my site since June 8th, and it took until today, nearly four months later, to finally cross that magic threshold. So now I just have to wait “approximately 30 days [from] the end of the month in which your account balance reaches US$100” to get the envelope in the mail. That means I’m looking at another month before I actually get paid and this whole “I’m making money on the internet” thing becomes reality. Never mind that I net more than that in one day of going to the office, it’s the idea that counts. I’m running an average of 88 cents per day here. It’s not going to get me rich, but it pays my hosting costs of $18 a month. I can tell my family that I have an online publishing business, and that it’s profitable. And that’s a lot more than you can say about a lot of sites.

Most of the ad clicks, I’m sure, come from Google visitors. In fact, I was a little worried that I wouldn’t hit $100 before the end of the month. But then The Amazing Race started, and since my site somehow ended up with a really good Google ranking for Amazing Race Bittorrent files, I got an influx of visitors the last couple of days that tipped me over the edge. Woohoo! Go Amazing Race!

September 27, 2005

Amazing Race Family Edition (with Bittorrent links)

This is an archived page dealing with The Amazing Race 8. These trackers are most likely dead, but maybe you’ll get lucky. For The Amazing Race 10, currently airing in the US, look here. Season 6, Season 7 (which is also on DVD, so go buy it), and Season 9 are also available.

It’s that time again. Time to dust off your jogging shoes and open your foreign-language dictionaries. Time to learn how to make friends with an airport ticket agent and figure out how much to tip your cabbie…The Amazing Race is starting!

This season has got me a little worried, because this is the gimmicky season where they’re trying something new. Survivor in its 8th season went for the “All Stars” edition, bringing back former players. But The Amazing Race, for its 8th season, is trying the “Family Edition”. Instead of the usual teams of two, this time we’ve got teams of four, all of whom have to be part of some sort of “family”. When this was announced last spring, it seemed doomed to fail. The logistics didn’t seem to add up. You’re going to squeeze six people (including cameraman and sound guy) into one taxi? You’re going to have eight-year-old kids running around the streets of India? Is this actually going to work out?

Tonight we find out just how well it will work. That’s when 40 people (40!) set off from the starting line on a race that may or may not take them around the world. We’re still not sure at this point. Is the Race a little less Amazing if they spend most of their time on the Eastern Seaboard of the US? Possibly.

And, supposedly they were going to stretch the limit of what’s considered a family, at least that’s what they said while casting was going on. But, in the end, they ended up staying within pretty traditional boundaries. Number of two-parent, two-kid teams? 5. Out of 10. Then there’s two teams of all siblings, two teams of parent-and-three-children, and the last team is one guy racing with his three sons-in-law. Wacky!

Now, maybe we’ll all be surprised and this will turn out to be an enjoyable season. I know I was against the stunt-casting of Rob and Amber last year, but they turned out to be good racers and soon I was rooting for them to come in second. I couldn’t stomach the idea of them winning again, but I came to grudginly admit that they were good at the game. So maybe this season will redeem itself too. We won’t know until tonight.

Also, this must have been declared Official Amazing Race Day somewhere, because not only is season 8 starting tonight, but the long-awaited DVD of season 1 has just been released. I’ve got my copy ordered from Amazon. Do you? If not, head over there and grab it. You’ll never find a better Race than the first one, so if you missed it, you have to check it out.

I’ll be doing the Bittorrent thing again this season, with the usual disclaimer that I don’t capture the show or run the trackers myself, so if you have problems I’m not the guy to talk to. I just collect the links. Here are the torrents:

Episode 1, “Go Mommy, Go! We Can Beat Them!”, aired 2005-09-27

Episode 2, “How Do We Know We Aren’t Going To Get Shot?”, aired 2005-10-04

Episode 3, “I Don’t Kiss, I Make Out!”, aired 2005-10-11

Episode 4, “Think Like an Office Chair”, aired 2005-10-18

Episode 5, “We’re Getting Out of the Country, Girls”, aired 2005-10-25

Episode 6, “I’m Sick of Doing Stuff I Can’t Do”, aired 2005-11-01

Episodes 7 & 8, “You Look Ridiculous”, aired 2005-11-08

Episode 9, “How’s That Face Feel?”, aired 2005-11-22

Episode 10, “Don’t Talk To Me Like I Was An Animal Or Something”, aired 2005-11-29

Episode 11, “The Family Christmas Card”, aired 2005-12-06

Episode 12, “25 Days, 50 Cities, and More Than 600 Consecutive Hours as a Family…”, aired 2005-12-13

And always remember to tip your cabbie!

September 23, 2005

Carson City’s Future

Yesterday I went down to the Envision Carson City public forum to see the ideas for the future of downtown. And since this is a local thing, I posted a whole article with a bunch of pictures over at Around Carson.

September 19, 2005

IE Web Developer Toolbar

Looks like Microsoft is definitely the one playing catch-up in the browser space these days. First they came out with the IE7 beta, with features that Mozilla/Firefox/Opera have had for several years. And now they’ve released a “Developer Toolbar” whose feature set sounds almost identical to the Web Developer Toolbar that has been available as a Firefox extension for a long long time.

Looks like somebody finally noticed their numbers are slipping?

September 13, 2005

V&T Depot Sites

There’s more news today about the V&T, so I put up yet another story at Around Carson. Check it out.

Big Ass Spider

Not what you want to see in your bathtub.

September 12, 2005

V&T News

I’ve posted some news about the Virginia & Truckee Railroad over at A couple of good things about the progress up in Gold Hill and the future of Carson City. Go check it out.

September 9, 2005

Good Riddance, Summer

Another long, interminable summer finally seems to be coming to an end. This summer somehow seemed longer than the rest; well, actually, each summer around here seems a little longer than the last. But this one especially dragged on because of this heat wave we had for most of July that just wouldn’t break, wouldn’t go away. Every day that month seemed to be in the high 90’s. And then, sometimes, just for kicks, we’d spend a few days over 100. This was the summer that Reno broke a record for the most consecutive days over 100 degrees. They ended up with nine or ten in a row. But down in Carson we were a degree or two cooler, just enough to keep us hovering around 99 for most of the time. But really, at that point the numbers mean nothing. Who’s able to tell the difference between 99 and 100 degrees, really? All you know is that it’s damn hot and you want to go hide in the basement. So now that we’re well into September, and the days are getting shorter, and there’s a definite nip in the night breeze, like tonight, I can finally breathe a sigh of relief that the summer is over.

And so begins our four weeks of autumn here in Northern Nevada. Things stay like this—a little on the uncomfortable side during the day but definitely chilly at night—until around mid October. Then temperatures go into a sharp decline, and by Nevada Day we’re looking at the 30s, or even the 20s, overnight. And while I’m not exactly looking forward to the bone-biting cold of a December night, I’d definitely choose that over a sweltering, sun-beating-down summer day.

To celebrate the coming of cooler days, I’ve brought back the snow-capped mountains in the masthead. It gives us something to look forward to. The mountains seem so naked now that all the snow has melted away; they need some of the white stuff to regain their character. And before you know it I’m going to be dragging out this picture again.

So if you’re one of those that gets off on the heat, watch out! Old Man Winter is on his way. You might want to move to Arizona for a few months.

September 8, 2005

August Ormsby House Update

It’s a few days later than I like, but I’ve posted another monthly update to the Ormsby House photo gallery. This time there’s more outside progress. In fact, they’re almost done! With the exterior of the building, at least.

The August Gallery is now live. Two pages this time, OneTwo

September 7, 2005

Real Life

Been a little light on posting lately. Sorry to those dwindling few of you who keep checking back, expecting something new. But I’ve been trying some new things lately, like actually going to bed the same time as the rest of the family so that I’m not a zombie in the morning, and actually working while I’m at work. So far, it seems to be going well. Who knew?

I do have stuff I want to work on. I’ve got to put together an Ormsby House update, since it’s now a full week into the new month, and I’d like to have the August update done before October. And I have so much programming and posting to do at Around Carson that it just seems overwhelming. But, the site did hit a milestone over the weekend – the first content posted by someone other than me! Go check it out…five photographs by Kurt Marko, proof not only that a couple of people are noticing what I’m doing over there, but also that the home-built PHP I wrote for posting photos actually works! I can dig it!

But, I need to build a way for people to post to the main blog there. And that means switching away from Movable Type and over to WordPress, and tying the authentication in with PHPBB’s user tables, and that task is just so astonishingly daunting that every time I start on it, I have to go lie down. I’ve got to get it done, though, because allowing everyone to post stories and write comments is supposed to be the heart of that site, and I’ve got to step on it and get something going before the Nevada Appeal beats me to it. I’ve got the jump on them, but only by a little, I’m sure.

Plus, Sam is back at the office with me, and he’s at that age now where he wants all attention on him at all times, so it’s hard enough to do my normal work, much less slip in a little personal time. So don’t go away, real life just happens to be getting in the way of the web right now. Things will shift again soon, I’m sure.