Another Big Weekend in the Grand Strand

Once again, we had a big weekend. Actually, it was all yesterday. Today consists of sitting on the couch watching the Braves at the Rockies.

First up, we went to the grand opening of a new art gallery in Murrels Inlet, ID Studios. That was a fun time, with a guitar and standup bass duo playing, lots of great art and sculpture. It is mostly the work of Marina Hearle, the artist who runs it. They also have work from Eastern European artists and a few odd pieces, like a giant tapestry done by Roy Lichtenstein. We’re thinking about getting at least one piece from there eventually.

After that, we did a little shopping at Inlet Square Mall since we were right there. After that, we went to Huntington Beach state park where we walked on the causeway and looked that the birds and the alligators that were sunning themselves. When we had a fill of gators, we went and laid on the beach for a while and then got some dinner at Prosser’s BBQ. Since Vittle’s up the street closed, we didn’t have a good place for that good southern fried food buffet. We’d been by but never eaten at Prosser’s and we liked it. After getting a bellyfull we did a little more shopping at Coastal Grand Mall and got coffee’s at Dunkin Donuts at the beach before heading home. It was quit a day, leaving home in the early afternoon and not getting home until fairly late in the evening.

0 to $10,0000

Over on Full Tilt Poker, my man Chris Ferguson is in the middle of an interesting experiment. He is trying to turn an initial $0 stake into $10,000. He writes up his progress here, which includes some very good rules for bankroll management. Ferguson is my favorite of all pro players which makes sense because he’s a straight out, unapologetic nerd. He spent like 15 years in grad school, is a programmer and a geek, and he looks really good in a cowboy hat and black suit. As a fanboy of his, I’ve tried to adopt some of his style at the table. I do much better when I play like him than when I play like me.

Flying Wind Farms

I love this idea of the flying wind farms (which I found at Make). At last, the Twenty-first century gets a good science fictional idea to kick around. At first glance I thought this was going to include microwave transmission of the power back to the ground, but this plan has a tether that both controls position as well as serves as transmission conduit. I would assume there either has to be some remote control or onboard control that keeps it from becoming a flying lawnmower of death and mayhem should the tether be severed.

15 Vonnegut Quotes and More

I’ve grown very weary of these interminable top N lists of things, but here is a rare one I cared about and enjoyed. The Onion AV Club has a list of the 15 Things Kurt Vonnegut said better than anyone else. Good stuff. On Bob’s Slacktime Funhouse recently, the Lymph Node Institute did two shows that aired the audio track of Vonnegut’s TV play Between Time and Timbuktu. I have the book of the script, kind of a stew of tropes and characters from much of his work. I’m a sucker for that kind of stuff.

Two More Possums




Two More Possums

Originally uploaded by evilgenius.

The possum fun continues. The trap went off this morning and I had caught two of the damn things at once. At least this spares me one drive to the river. I don’t know how many more of these things there are up there, but this makes it five so far. I sure wish I could figure out where they are coming from.

EGC Clambake for April 24, 2007 – “The Business Plan is Love”

Here is the Bittorrent link and direct MP3 download for the EGC clambake for April 24, 2007.

I play a song from Dead Heart Bloom and give a shoutout to the Large Hearted Boy blog; I talk about Dan Conover’s post about newspapers entitled “What if the Business Plan was Love?”; I discuss sentimentality and the equilibrium of love, getting more in by letting more out; May will be interview month on EGC; I give an example from Paul Melancon why I like the interview shows; I suggest that the outrage directed towards Don Imus would better be placed against the people who prevent black people from voting; by request I memorialize the late Siderunners and then call it quits.

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To sponsor the show, contact BackBeat Media. Don’t forget, you can fly your EGC flag by buying the stuff package. This show as a whole is Creative Commons licensed Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5.

Links mentioned in this episode:

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Grand Strand Residents and Bloggers, Pipe Up!

Hey there, you residents of the Grand Strand. I’m asking a favor of you. If you do live in the area, leave me a comment on this post. If you also have your own blog, leave the URL to it in the comment, please. This is a one time request, after which you can resume lurking if you like. I got really curious about how many people reading this blog live in this area after I noticed that a recent commentor is the same guy I just read about in the Weekly Surge.

Down in Charleston they do an area specific group blog (which I think was one of the spin offs from the Charleston Uplifter meeting). If we have enough people and interest, I might could set something like that up. I’d need at least some other people to want to get involved before I would commit. The last thing I need is another half-done project. We could also do some periodic blogger get-togethers at the beach. It seems to work for group geek bonding in Charleston.

So, Grand Stranders, please speak up and make yourself known. Thanks.

Tropical Possum Night


Tropical Possum Night

Originally uploaded by evilgenius.

We heard scritching in the attic a few days ago, and I went up with a flashlight and saw a possum in the corner. We got a cage trap, and baited it with tuna. Tonight I saw that it had been tripped and that some of the tuna was gone. Because of the way it was closed, I figured that the little possum might have been able to squeeze out. I redid the closing back brackets a different way and reset it.

About an hour later, we heard a big bang from the attic. I checked, and sure enough we had trapped the little booger. We drove him down by the river and let him go in the woods. At least we tried to. It took several minutes from the point the cage was opened to get the thing to actually leave. Finally it did go and went tearing off.

We went home and just for good measure reset the trap. I didn’t really expect to catch anything else. Five minutes later, we caught another one! We took it back to the same spot and let it go. Even now we can hear another one up there, so this might be a long night of shuttling possums back and forth to the woods.

Update: PS – it wasn’t until I got home and looked at this photo that I realized I let the possum go right in a patch of poison ivy. I’m lucky I didn’t get any on me.

Blue Angel Killed in Crash

From my part of the country comes this story of the Blue Angel pilot who was killed in a crash at an air show yesterday. Beaufort is on the other side of Charleston from us, down in the bottom corner of coastal SC. The story is amazing to me in that the jet went down in a neighborhood but apparently no one on the ground was hurt despite catching houses on fire. Losing a Blue Angel is sad (still not yet identified by name in the reports I’ve seen) but not losing anyone on the ground was better than one could hope for.

Techdispenser

I received an email inviting me to join Techdispenser. I was skeptical but I followed the link. At that page currently, there is nothing but an application form that requires your address and information about your site and traffic numbers. From the email:

Introducing Tech Dispenser—Computerworld’s technology blog network and news aggregator powered by the “Human Algorithm”—launching later this month.

As an active technology blogger, we’d like to invite you to participate in our beta network. What’s in it for you? Traffic and Revenue! We’ll highlight links and excerpts of your posts on TechDispenser.com and send visitors back to your site to read the full post. All you have to do is place our ad module on your site and the net revenue generated from these ads will be spilt 50/50 between Computerworld and you.

TechDispenser.com is different from the bot-powered landscape of news aggregators, because a real-life human reviews every potential network site and chooses every piece of content we highlight.

Dear god, they offer both Traffic and Revenue! A real-life human reviews the site? Wowie kazowie. Computerworld, you magnificent bastards. How could I possibly decline such a preternaturally compelling offer? My loins burn at the thought of inserting your ad module into my willing web page. Mmmmmmmm, baby.

Oprah: Flip-Flopper?

Last week I received an email from B&N.com with this title: “As Featured Today on Oprah: Scam Proof Your Life”. Is this the same Oprah who featured The Secret or a different one? Is the first rule of scamproofing your life to not buy any of the Secret products?

EGC Clambake for April 21, 2007 – “Sex, Cash and Rock n Roll”

Here is the Bittorrent link and direct MP3 download for the EGC clambake for April 21, 2007.

I talk for a moment about the tragic deaths at Virginia Tech; I play a song from Stardeath and White Dwarfs; I talk about getting a neat email from a high profile Subgenius; I mention hearing a Gentle Readers song on No Reservations and then play that song; I talk about Project Wonderful and my sleazy potential side project; I once again cite Hugh Macleod’s Sex and Cash Theory; Why I keep my day job; I play a song by Rocket City Riot and mosey.

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To sponsor the show, contact BackBeat Media. Don’t forget, you can fly your EGC flag by buying the stuff package. This show as a whole is Creative Commons licensed Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5.

Links mentioned in this episode:

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Rocket City Riot Drops

I feel paternal about this item. A long time back, this podcast was serializing the new Rocket City Riot album one song at a time as he finished them. We were doing a short interview every Saturday, which was a lot of fun. At least one of these was done with John Mark while he was in Bangladesh. Well, that album is now out and available for purchase from Magnatune. RCR was the first band I ever paid money for at Magnatune, and I’ll be doing it for this one as well. High energy indie rock and roll that not only moves your booty and makes you bang your head, but also sticks it to the man! It don’t get better than this.

Project Wonderful

Here’s an interesting project that I found completely by accident. A kind correspondent/listener who sensed I was down and wanted to cheer me up sent me a link to the Crimson Dark web comic. It looked interesting but I wasn’t in the moode to start at the beginning on such a thing right now. What I did think was interesting was the ad box, which had a little money value on it that said “You’re ad right here, $0.80” or whatever the value was. I followed the link, which took me to Project Wonderful.

It’s got an interesting bidding mechanism for placing banner ads. It’s kind of like combining Adsense with eBay. You place a bid for a banner ad on a site, and for the duration that you are the highest bidder your ad shows. I’ve been thinking I need to start doing advertising for AmigoFish and rather than doing Adsense, I figured I might as well start with this. Thus far, it seems like an interesting experiment. I put some money in an account, fixed me up some 117X30 pixels banner ads (learning how to create animated GIFs with Graphic Converter for the first time) and let it rip. I put in bids on most of the ads with the tag “podcast” in the system. Some are working better than others, but thus far I’m getting a way better cost per click than anything I’d have been able to have got via AdSense. I’ll do that too, but I’m having fun fiddling with it at this point. I like the mechanism, and it seems like a really good way to extract value for content creators.

There are downsides, though. One is that the day I created the account, I signed up to be able to sell advertising. I figure I’ll put something in that dead space in my header and see how it works. At this stage of the game though, you have to be approved before you can sell ads. They say that it will take around two weeks for that approval to happen. It’s been 10 days, and I’ve seen incoming traffic on this site from Project Wonderful admin pages, but still no hookup. I continue to wait impatiently.

The other downside is in the approval side. As an advertiser you can configure it to auto-approve all bids, approve advertisers the first time or every time. It’s much like the options you have as moderator of comments on a blog. I’ve put in a dozen bids to mostly podcast related stuff. Most have been approved, a few are still pending, and one has rejected me. I have no idea why and emailed them to ask why, that’s still pending. I have to say, though, the rejection actually felt kind of personal to me. Although I’m more sanguine now and I’m reaching out to find out what I can do differently to be acceptable, my initial reaction was “What the hell? How dare they reject my ad!” Because of the way it is set up, it just felt like a repudiation. I’d think that usually you reject ads because you find the ad or product objectionable. I’m interested in finding out how my benign little project could offend anyone.

I’ll be following this experiment and will periodically update how it is going. So far, it looks interesting. When I finally get approved, if you want to join in the experiment and put your own banner on here for a while, let’s fire it up. It’s an easy process to join, PayPal them some money and place some bids. This process is banner ads steered by the invisible hand of the marketplace, which is neat by itself. One of the side effects (which could be pleasant or not) is that it does give you a direct and real world metric of the valuation of your web page as an advertising property. Project Wonderful seems to mostly have a lot of webcomics using it currently, and a few are making some reasonable money. I’ll be keeping my eye on this.

Home Alone

I’m on my own recognizance for the night. My original plan for this evening was to go off and see Grindhouse but after the big weekend and also the rock show Tuesday night, I’m tired and ready to just hang around the crib for a quiet evening. I’ve not been blogging much and podcasting not at all so I aim to do some of both of that tonight. I may watch some vlogs and maybe one of the guy films on the DVR, and otherwise just chill. In these situations, I always have great plans when it is abstract and then zero ambition when the time finally rolls around. No ambition is where I’m at now.

Siderunners Final Show

The Siderunners will be having their final show tonight at the Beat Kitchen in Chicago. If you can make it, this would be the one to see. Show starts at 9 PM CDT, 2100 W. Belmont, Chicago, IL – (773) 281 – 4444   It sucks that this is the last one, and it makes my screwup that kept me from seeing them in Wilmington NC last fall that much dumber. At least I got to see them in Chicago once.

High Activity Weekend

No blogging lately. We’ve had a house guest and been busy entertaining around the Grand Strand. Here’s the whirlwind overview of what we’ve done.

We’ve eaten at Bummz; strolled around Broadway at the Beach; gone to Huntington Beach State Park; gone to Brookgreen Gardens; meandered on the boardwalk in Murrells Inlet; eaten at the Divine Fish House watching boats pull in and out of the dock; watched The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada; gone to a production of Crazy for You at Coastal Carolina; grilled out; eaten at Uno Chicago Grill; and taken in a Myrtle Beach Pelicans game at Coastal Federal Field. Whew!

Tomorrow our friend leaves but we’re also driving up to North Myrtle Beach to the House of Blues to see the Flaming Lips. All told, I’m ready for a quiet evening at home but the chance to see the Lips doesn’t happen every day so we must pursue it. Big times.