News for January 2007


Radiation tri-blade 30.january.2007 - Still working on modifying code to accommodate Google's new Custom Placement Packs. Progress is slow but steady.

Yesterday's revenue was highest of the month, but (as we know) one day does not a trend make. I think it was merely coincidence.

While I have open the various web pages (using Dreamweaver), I briefly review each page to verify out-going links are still valid. Unfortunately, link-rot seems to be a (sad) fact of the webmaster's life.

I cannot tell you how frustrating it has been to find & code a helpful link into a page .. only to discover (later) that it has rotted away.

You'll never find a bad (rotted) link to a Radified page .. (unless it was mis-coded) cuz I never delete pages (uh, unless a judge orders me to, that is).

Ideally, it would be nice if I could review each page (for link-rot) every 3 months. Every six months however, seems to be closer to the norm. And sometimes I don't get around to reviewing some guides for an entire year.

I try to use plenty of links, cuz they show I've done my homework. (Which I have .. cuz I try to limit my discussion to things for which I have first-hand experience.) Anyway, there's a downside to using lotsa links .. and the guides are getting spiffed up .. (whether they like it or not.)

I'm cranking thru them, staying focused like a laser beam. Once I get into a rhythm, a flow, I'm a coding madman. (The espresso doesn't hurt, either.)

On another note .. it's raining here in Laguna today. Kinda melancholy outside.

Here's a weathered, melancholy thought on the subject of co-parenting (for which I have plenty of first-hand experience): It's hard enough (to a raise a child) even without any animosity, resentment or hostility. You certainly don't need anyone trying to make it any more difficult. That's one of the things I've learned this past year .. the other is...

Radiation tri-blade 29.january.2007 - Been working on modifying code as detailed in previous post, regarding Google's new Custom Placement Packs.

From researching this topic, I learned advertisers were unable to target their ads to individual web pages or directories of pages, being limited to entire sites. (Which seems odd, no?)

Google therefore devised a program called Ad Placement, which is designed to allow advertisers to target specific pages & directories (as they *should* be able to).

Google allocates 159 "custom channels," which publishers (such as myself) can use to offer ads on individual pages (such as the one you're reading now), or entire sub-directories (such as all pages contained in the Ghost guide).

Publishers first have to figure how best to allocate their limited quota of custom channels. (One for each guide seems a reasonable strategy.)

The remainder of today's entry is continued in Ye Olde Rad Blog. See here> Modifying Code to Accommodate Google's AdSense Custom Placement Packs

Radiation tri-blade 26.january.2007 - Received an email today from the nice folks at Google. (They really are nice). As you can see, I host their ads, which generates revenue that helps pay the bills. Their note said:

Dear Publisher,

After a recent review of your site, we would like to include radified.com in our custom placement packs program. Custom placement packs are selections of individually-reviewed sites designed for our largest brand advertisers.

We would like to feature your site more frequently in these advertiser packages, but to do so, we need you to place more image and text-enabled medium rectangle ad units (300x250) on your site.

The medium rectangle is the most demanded size among our brand advertisers that utilize these packages for both text and image ads.

These advertisers want to ensure they reach visitors on high quality sites like yours, and are willing to bid more for ads prominently displayed on these sites.

The remainder of today's entry is continued in Ye Olde Rad Blog. See here> Custom Placement Packs for Google's AdSense Program

Radiation tri-blade 24.january.2007 - Long-time Rad readers may recall the days when I was with Wendy (seems like ages have passed since then), back when she was working on her Masters degree in Film Production from USC,...

... the world's best (and oldest) Film school (due primarily to its industry connections, which include the likes of Spielberg & George Lucas, who actually graduated from USC Film school himself).

Today I got a note from her mom (Nancy), saying Sidney (Wendy's step-dad) sold the boat, the Escape, a 45-foot all-wood schooner, built in 1933, during the heart of the Great Depression...

... the most beautiful boat you've ever seen. Here's a picture of Nancy and Sidney aboard the Escape. Did I mention it's all wood?

The remainder of today's nautical post is continued in Ye Olde Rad Blog. See here> Sidney Sells Schooner Escape to Frenchman

Radiation tri-blade 23.january.2007 - Been unable to log into the site (which suketh). My web host (Lunarpages) has been the recent victim of brute force hacking (< which is actually a pretty cool thing, uh, long as you aren't the one getting hacked).

They claim everyone was sent an email (which I never got, or accidentally deleted) instructing them to change their password, or Lunarpages would change it for you.

I think their blanket password-change didn't go very well, cuz their (toll-free) tech-support line has been busy for days. (And I've never seen it busy before.) Anyway, I finally managed to get a password that works, and it's good to be able to log into the site again.

Speaking of the site, I just received notice that Lunarpages debited my account for another year of hosting. (I pay extra for a dedicated IP.) So it has been one year since we moved the site to the new host. My how time flies when you're having fun.

In other news, I played dad last weekend. (Coolest weekend yet.) At church this week, they had a big blow-up, castle-looking play-thing, for kids to climb thru .. like a giant, inflated, bouncy, obstacle course. Doncha know he dug that.

I take him there cuz it's the fun-est church in Orange County for kids of all ages. There are several playgrounds (for him to climb on), and (every Sunday) they dispatch dozens of balls onto the field (must seem like heaven to a 2-year old) .. to kick, throw & chase. (Yeah, we sung some songs together, too.)

Again I offered to donate my time to his mom, who claims he is too young to be spending so much time away from her. I am trying to work with her (tho my friends insist I'm being too nice), so I offered my weekend, .. long as I could take him to church on Sunday. (Seems like a good deal, no?)

Surprisingly, she rejected my offer, claiming she didn't think it was good for him to be "going back and forth." Seems she wanted it her way, .. or not at all. (< a common theme)

"He's been going back and forth for over a year now," I reminded her, ".. and seems to be thriving. Millions of kids go back and forth."

That was Friday. When she rejected my offer the third time, I got frustrated and said, "Well then, I guess we'll see ya Sunday night." (Note: she had him the last 4 weekends, which included both Christmas & New Years.)

My friends claim she doesn't realize how good she got it. (My lawyer said the same thing.) Here's a quote from one friend (a girl) who said:

"I know many girls who would give their right arms for what she has. She has a beautiful boy - and let's be honest: he's drop-dead gorgeous. He's healthy and happy.

Her son has a dad who actually wants to be part of his life - many dads don't - and contributes financially - again, many don't. And you're trying to get along with her.

I know many women who would *love* to have a son like hers, but can't. An afternoon at a fertility clinic - where people are spending 20 and 30 thousand dollars for a *chance* at what she has - would do her a world of good.

That's what *I'd* be telling her. She needs to grow up. Let's hope her family and friends can talk some sense into her."

Radiation tri-blade 14.january.2007 - Got a call from my brother yesterday, saying, "We got a call from your ex. She claims her therapist has diagnosed you as a sociopath..." [You can't make up this stuff, folks.]

The message went on to say, "I'm not sure exactly why she called, cuz she was vague, talked real fast, and never asked a direct question. But it seems she was looking for dirt on you."

My brother (who lives in Chattanooga) said he asked her, "What exactly do you want from me? Do you want to know if he kicked cats as a kid?" Toward the end, bro said she asked him to keep their conversation confidential, claiming I didn't need to know.

My brother responded, "I told her *absolutely* I was going to tell you. 'He's my brother,' I said. How can you *ask* such a thing? I never even *met* you... [He sounded agitated.] I'm not gonna keep secrets from my brother with someone I never even met." [Told ya: you can't make up this stuff.]

The remainder of today's entry is continued in Ye Olde Rad Blog. See here> Rad the Sociopath

Radiation tri-blade 13.january.2007 - Cold today. (The kind that blows right thru you.) I hit the club for a sauna .. to warm my bones. Mere days ago I was hiking topless in shorts, and sweating. Now I can't seem to get warm. Weird weather we been having.

The bug had his second birthday this week. I was thinking of taking him to Disneyland, which is a birthday tradition I concocted for myself. But everybody I spoke with felt he's still too young to truly enjoy such an outing. (Note: kids under age 3 get in free.)

We ended up doing practically the polar opposite, and spent most of our time surrounded by nature. I managed to find us some nicely wooded areas (.. tho not quite up to Yosemite standards).

We also hit the beach, where he takes great pleasure in feeding Cheerios to dozens of hungry pigeons & seagulls. When the Cheerios run out, he chases the brazen birds up and down the shore. (Long as he has Cheerios, they chase him.)

The remainder of today's entry is continued in Ye Olde Rad Blog. See here> The Bug's 2nd Birthday

Radiation tri-blade 09.january.2007 - I feel good today. Not just physically, either, but emotionally, too. "Happy," I'd even venture to say. Wonder why. Been laughing again. Making others laugh, too. (I can be funny, at times.) Hope it lasts.

Along those lines (maybe not) .. The Good Shepherd opens with a boy who plays a young version of Matt Damon's character, Edward. Young Edward finds his dad lying in a pool of blood .. moments after he commits suicide (he heard the gunshot come from the upstairs bedroom).

In his dad's hand, young Edward sees a sealed envelope, which he (secretly) slips into his pocket, telling no one. Moments later, his mom arrives on the scene and we never hear of the envelope again .. until .. the end of the movie...

... at which time we see a fully-grown Matt Damon breaking the seal and opening his dad's final message. Inside he finds a letter. A voice-over (by Matt Damon, devoid of emotion) reads aloud its contents .. as we watch him put a match to it.

As the letter burns in the ashtray, we hear the opening line of his father's letter, > "It's true what they say about me..." And by the end, we discover that Edward turned out *just* like his dad.

The remainder of today's entry is continued in Ye Olde Rad Blog. See here> Parental Modeling & Becoming Our Parents

Radiation tri-blade 08.january.2007 - I often get mail on the subject blogs and blogging, from readers interested in joining the fray. My thoughts:

I think *everybody* should contribute to the online collection of information we call the web, cuz everybody has an area of expertise, which can help those in need. It's good karma and we all reap what we sow.

But I advise against blogging primarily for profit, cuz you can never be sure that what you write will generate an audience, much less produce an income.

If you have a passion about a certain subject, and want to share what you've learned with others > great! But if you merely want to earn cash, there are usually better options.

The remainder of today's entry is continued in Ye Olde Rad Blog. See here: Blogs & Blogging

Radiation tri-blade 04.january.2007 - Last night, while I was playing Rad dad here at the ranch,.. the bug's mom called to check and see how the little guy did during the day (thinking he'd be asleep). She was concerned that it was well past his bed time, and he didn't seem tired.

Normally she nurses him to sleep (he's not weaned yet), and well, I don't have the equipment for that. So I must improvise (wear him out .. which takes time).

She volunteers to come over and knock him out, in ways only she can. I say, "Cool, come on over." (noting she has never offered to do this before).

When she called, I put her on speaker-phone, so the bug could hear his mom talking. He heard our entire conversation, and recognized her voice (smiling at times), but seemed reluctant to believe his mom was inside the little phone. (He's not yet two years old).

The remainder of today's culinary entry is continued in Ye Olde Rad Blog. See here> "Dada call milk"

Radiation tri-blade 03.january.2007 - Saw Children of Men last night (at the Big Newport) cuz of its strong reviews. But it was weird. Real mind-bender. Dark. Depressing. Apocalyptic.

Weirded me out. Wasn't prepared for such a strange movie > In 20 years, women can no longer have babies. Nobody knows why (pollution, maybe). Different from most other movies I've seen.

Also saw The Good Shepherd (on the giant screen), afterwards .. to try to get my head screwed on straight again. I liked that one better (a more normal flick - reviews here). Interesting, entertaining, altho I found it a little slow.

The story takes you into Yale's secret Skull & Bones society. My brother went to Yale (in the '80's). Wonder if he's a "Bonesman". Would he would tell me if he were?

We grew up in a suburb of New Haven, not far from Yale. I took a 13-week SAT prep course from grad students at Yale (back in the day). They taught practice questions (algebra), such as:

"If Billy has two pounds of Columbian pot, which sells for $40 an ounce; and Tommy has a half-pound of Panama Red, which sells for $65 an ounce; and Joey has a quater-pound of Maui Wowie, which sells for $120 an ounce, and they mixed it all together .. how much would the average ounce sell for?"

Mom paid for the course. I smoked the SAT. (Little pun there.)

Radiation tri-blade 02.january.2007 - Happy New Year. Feliz Año Neuvo. Hope your New Years eve was more exciting than mine. 2007! Woohoo! Wonder what Radness this year will bring.

I took a hike today (alone) > Laguna Coast Wilderness Park .. good way to start the new year. Fresh air (fresh start). Summer-like day (wore shorts & t-shirt). 5 miles.

I enjoyed today's hike better than the one on Christmas, cuz today I didn't have to keep up with Tom & his wife (who pressed the pace, which wore me out). Today's hike was more leisurely, thru an area more heavily wooded (oak trees).

There's something grounding about a stroll thru the woods. Maybe cuz it's something our ancestors did for countless generations before us. I grew up in Connecticut, where there are lots of wooded areas .. at least there were .. back when I was there (many years ago).

Not many wooded areas available here in SoCal .. certainly not without jumping in the car and driving for a while. Emerson wrote much on the therapeutic value of spending time immersed in Nature .. as did Thoreau.

When I returned to the car, which was parked at the trail-head, there was a note on my windshield, slipped under the wiper .. from a girl named Lisa, who I met on the trail. I asked her for directions. Still can't figure out how she knew which car was mine.

Pretty handwriting. Artsy. Left her phone number. Says she has more info for me about other trails I might like. Hehe, I bet. =)