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Category — Blogging

Wheezyrider slide show is worth a look.

I made this out of photos swiped from Peter Sever’s blog (which you can get to from the slide show page). Peter approves. Here’s the link: http://ripple.ca/wheezy/

May 23, 2009   1 Comment

Fred’s beloved pet passes


Madge made it to the ripe old age of 18 and she lived up to her name. A class act. Madge was completely blind in her final years and at the end, very, very frail, but she was in no pain. She spent her last day napping in the sunshine and purring when visitors came to pet her goodbye.

Our neighbour Fred is going to miss Madge, but no cat could have had a better home or been more loved. Sorry for your loss, Fred.

May 20, 2009   No Comments

Bye, bye Google ads

Google says it didn’t like the click activity on my site, so it has decided not to pay. No big deal. I just wanted to find out how it worked and planned to remove the ads this month anyway. I like the site much better, ad-free.

What I get out of the experience is this story. I started Google ads on this site and MacMemos.com on Jan. 1st (same Google account for both).

The clicks for the first couple of months totalled less than $120 and Google never pays unless the total is over $100 and withholds payment for another 30 days past that point. Not exactly a get-rich-quick scheme. Except possibly for Google, if it routinely disables small accounts without paying. Are unpaid funds returned to advertisers? Who knows?

After signing up for an account, and after there are at least $10 worth of clicks in your piggy bank, Google asks how you want to be paid. It can mail you a cheque or direct deposit to your account. I chose the latter, so Google asks for the bank account number and does a test deposit to see if it works. For some reason, the amount that appeared was not one cent but 44¢.

As it turns out, 44¢ is what I made on the whole experience, but the fun part was seeing what kind of ads my site would draw. Sure enough, if I wrote about Macs, computer ads would show up. An article on the public library brought in book ads, and so on. Sometimes I couldn’t see why a particular subject was being advertised, but most times it was apparent.

There are ways to block particular ads, if you want to. For example, if I was selling T shirts, I could block competitors selling their T shirts on my site. When Christian book sellers began to monopolize my ads, I blocked their source and they stopped appearing quite prompty.

Of course, it’s a no-no to click ads on your own pages, so I never did that. Why the account was suspended, I’ll never know. Google doesn’t tell, but I’m glad it is gone and my site is ad-free again.

March 6, 2009   2 Comments

A cover story by John Robert Colombo

far-cryCasting about for an image to use in a  header for one of JRC’s blogs I found a promising Hubble photo of the Orion nebula. John wanted something a little “out there” and fun for the site and he was pleased with the result.

Today, I received an email letting me know that the image was receiving further use, this time on the cover of John’s latest title. Click the thumbnail for a closer look.

Here’s the information that came along with the cover shot:

A Far Cry is a new collection of poetry written by John Robert

Colombo. The composition of these poems took place during

the calendar year 2008. The sweep and depth of treatment of

subject and topic are bracing. There is a memorial for designer

Yves Saint Laurent and a description of Malta’s prehistoric

temples. Included are considerations of the composition of

the human brain as well as of the complexity of love. Poets

are recalled: Akhmatova, Cavafy, Darwish, Outram, Rilke,

Whipple, Whitman. Nostalgia is served with descriptions of

films noir, specifically actress Patricia Jessel, Dr. Ordway the

Crime Doctor, and Chester Morris as Boston Blackie. Word

play and love of language and odd bits of learning are everpresent.

Here is a book that celebrates in an imaginative and

idiosyncratic manner the extrania of life.

John Robert Colombo is nationally known for

his collections of Canadiana. Among his latest

publications are Footloose (a consideration of

Gordon Sinclair’s travel books), Whistle While You

Work (a collection of essays written since 2000),

The Big Book of Canadian Ghost Stories (a compilation

of psychical experiences with commentaries), and End Notes

(a volume of poems composed in 2007). Reacting to some

passing criticism, the noted cinéast Reg Hartt made the

following statement: “The truth about Colombo is that he has

the wisdom of an old man and the enthusiasm of a young


Cover design: David Shaw

Cover image: Detail of Orion Nebula, Hubble Space Telescope

February 22, 2009   4 Comments

Cellphone plans are a Valentine heartbreaker

heartbreaker-cellphonesA briefly entertained gift idea has been dashed by my reading of terms on available cellphone plans. The offerings are so slyly devious that I feel like taking a shower. I just can’t put anyone I love into the hands of such an unsavoury lot.

February 7, 2009   2 Comments

FYI: Ad revenues for January


Not enough to earn a payment yet, but a third of the way there. Cheers!

February 1, 2009   No Comments


google-pinLearning how Google ads work is a kick. The basics are quite simple but signing up to be paid involves waiting for a PIN number to arrive by snail mail. Sure enough, the postcard arrived today.

This blog and my Macmemos.com blog attract completely different advertisers, so the Google content analysis works well. I have chosen to run text ads in the middle of the page and an image ad in the right column, as you see.

Once an ad guy, always an ad guy, I guess.

January 29, 2009   No Comments

Ever heard of the interrobang?

interrobangIt’s a combined punctuation mark with a name derived from the fact that questions are interrogative and that programmers call exclamation marks “bangs”. I like it, but doubt that it will gain widespread use. It would make a nice tee shirt design, though, especially in white on a dark background, don’t you think?

The Fritz font by Christian Schwartz provides the nice example shown here.

September 26, 2008   No Comments

My advice about Webserve.ca: Don’t!

If your search term was “Webserve sucks”… you are on the right track.

When I signed on with Webserve.ca as my web host back in 2004, service was reliable, support helpful and prices competitive. Things had changed by the time I left in 2008. My site was often down for extended periods of time and support was, shall we say, less than helpful.

A big fire trashed the Webserve operation in July, but I was patient, feeling that the fault was not theirs (although better backup systems could have been in place). Service deteriorated long after the fire damages were overcome and I had to go elsewhere by the latter part of August.

Although Webserve was failing to provide the service I had signed up for, they dinged me $25 to shut down an automated renewal that I could not prevent (because their service was down, of course). I would not advise anyone to give credit card information to this company. Without it, they could not have imposed the ridiculous closing charge on me, nor could they have renewed my annual account without permission.

The Better Business Bureau notes that Webserve’s web site falsely claims BBB membership and gives Webserve.ca an unsatisfactory rating due to unresolved customer complaints.

Your best bet is to stay away from Webserve.ca and to plan a change if you are a customer now.

FYI, I moved my account to HostPapa.ca. It doesn’t gain me anything if you choose to do the same, but I find the prices better than Webserve’s, the support superior and the service more comprehensive. I only have a month’s experience with HostPapa, but so far, I’m happy.

September 21, 2008   19 Comments


Is there some way that the Windows logo can be expressed as type or is it only possible to make the Apple logo this way?   

September 7, 2008   No Comments