Tuesday, March 27, 2007

A little bit of this and that

Bozzetto asked me today why I was thinking of this particular algebra problem. You know, the one where Cavitation had to show off his big brain on how to solve. I thought I had covered that here, when I said,
Yesterday, I spend half the evening writing up a big long post, and then I realize that buried in that post is an algebra word problem. So I toss out a little post with the algebra problem. And that post gets 8 comments, whereas the one that I spent all my time on gets zero.
Apparently, this was not explicit enough for Bozzetto. Now, Bozzetto, as some of you know, is a highly paid engineer whose primary job function is to figure out obscure and difficult-to-replicate failures on extremely expensive hardware, some of which is located in far off lands. And he's actually very good at his job. Possibly the best we have in our little section of The Company. So it troubles me that my algebra word problem was too obscure for him to figure out where it came from. I'm thinking, actually, that it may have been too obvious for him to have been able to figure out. Kind of like the old, "My computer didn't turn on. I'm suspecting it's the platform power sequencing microcontroller." "Uh, did you plug it in?" "MMmm....Oh shit."

Oddly enough, I seem to recall a trip to Carl's Jr. in which Bozzetto was expounding upon how this certain set of equipment had two power cords, but only one was ever plugged in, and it was possible that a certain failure might go away if they plugged in the other one, and no one knew for sure if the hardware was supposed to need both, or if one was supposed to be a redundant backup. So we have some history of him and the "did you plug it in?" business.

I'm guessing the rest of you guys figured out where the algebra problem came from. Or from where it came, in proper English.

I had kinda hoped that The JohnnyB would be back to life with the new compooter and its fresh load of commas. He had to stop posting for a while because he ran his old compooter completely out of commas. I bet you didn't know that was even possible, but it is.

I hope he doesn't smack me for that comment. It's a good thing I live 1000 miles away.

Though I hear he's moving here, except his wife is holding him back.

Speaking of moving here, I was describing for my boss today the shape of our deck and how replacement is imminent, and she says, "Is the deck gray?"


"I think we looked at your house when we moved here. Is there a trampoline?"


"Level with the ground?"


"We definitely looked at your house. I remember the deck being pretty rotted when we looked at it."

She moved here from Santa Clarabelle around a yearish before me. And the deck has not improved any in the ensuing time.

The Mrs. heard this story and said, "So, let's start moving with replacing the deck, then." I said, "With what money? I only make about $50/month off the blog." She said, "Put out fund raiser on the blog asking people to click a whole lot more until we have enough money to pay for the deck."

I explained how that would quickly be discovered and labeled as click-fraud, and then Google would not only not pay me for any of the clicks, but they'd probably cancel my account and take back all the money I've ever made. Which would be a pain now since I've already declared the income on my 2006 taxes.

That's right, folks, Me, CherkyB filed a Schedule C for ad revenue (actually, I think I ended up with a Schedule C-EZ since I had no expenses). And then I even had to apportion it for how much I accrued while in CA and how much while in CO. I spent some time wondering if I should declare the square footage of my bar as a home office and deduct it, but I decided against that. It really messes up your capital gains exclusion when you sell the house, plus I'm not sure the primary use of my bar is for blogging. Mostly, I drink and surf the web there, neither of which appears to be deductible.

About the fork joke, MaxieC made up a whole bunch of knock knock jokes that all involved something he could see and "your momma." Like, he told me "Carrot your momma." I just selected the fork one cuz it was the funniest. MaxieC thought they were all equally funny. He didn't get the "deeper" meaning. When he's older (like 7 years older), he'll look back on this blog and laugh at what a m-f-ing comic genius he was.

Which is more than any of you will do with your blogs.

I am dangerously close to running out of Yukon Jack. That drink is just so damned tasty. And not because it's 100 proof, either. I highly recommend it despite its Canadian origins. It really sticks to your ribs.

Speaking of which, we had ribs for dinner tonight. One of the nice things about having one of those indoor grilling cooktops (Jenn-Air-like, though ours is a GE knockoff) is that you can make decent babybacks inside. The Mrs. didn't make nearly enough, though. She made but one rack, and she got 5 ribs out of that, whereas everyone else only got three. That's right, MaxieC, a three year old child, got the same number of ribs that I did. And I am f-ing starving right now.

And dangerously close to being out of Yukon Jack. I'm substituting Maker's Mark, but it's not the same.

We now have five crickets. We gave up naming them after the first three. Number two is dead (drowned in the water dish), so only two of the five we have right now have names. They never seem to sing, though.


Rhonda said...

speaking of ad sense...
how many times can a person click?
Once a day per different ad or just once a day or just one time per ad even if it's the same for days on end?

What was your grand total last year of earnings for your c-ez?

Nava said...

The JohnnyB is not going to smack you as he is too forking busy playing Civilization IV and conquering The Himalayas or something like that.

Not only did he stop blogging, I am not sure he even reads your blog anymore.
And so, as a loyal Stepford wife, I updated him about mentioning his name in vain, and he gave that dangerous smile and a light nod of his head, that often harbingers bad results to whoever the nod-smile combination is aimed at.

So, you might want to reconsider Thursday evening.

CJ said...

There's a long story for the power supply related issue. The short version is that the redundant supplies for 220V setup turns into a must-have for 120V setup. The long version involves chasing after some long term failure using systems that were thought to be good after 2+ years of usage. It morphed into somewhat-random spontaneous reset issue specific to certain parts, systems and apps combo. These systems never had the extra power cords attached/setup or they would have been plugged in. It turns out documentation describes the two power supply connections as redundant in the first few pages and then clarifies the mandatory requirement in the middle of documentation.

Moral of that lesson: It's not always a good idea to assume what we read first is everything we need to know...

Hence, an algebraic equation resolving to 6/9 might not be as simple as it seemed... especially when "i don't know why" was also used to describe those equations...

CherkyB said...

And that, dear blogreaders, is why we don't let Bozzetto blog anymore.

CherkyB said...

In response to Rhonda, no one really knows the answer, as Google is quite protective of their click-fraud detection heuristics. So what we really have to go by is the AdSense terms and conditions plus various anecdotal evidence gleaned from people who have had their AdSense accounts terminated due to suspected click-fraud.

In general, advertisers pay google only for unique clicks. So if one person clicks the same ad twice, google isn't supposed to get paid twice, and thus the AdSense-hosting blog isn't supposed to get paid twice. I don't know how exactly they detect this other than that AdSense used to lay a cookie on you every time you clicked on an ad. It may also lay a cookie on you when you view an ad. I'm not sure they even still use cookies, cuz I looked just now and only found ones for "conversions" (when people switch to Firefox).

They also appear to mine IP address data to get around people who regularly clear their cookies (i.e., anyone who actually wants to do large-scale click fraud). This can be problematic if you work at a big company that has a firewall and proxy-server, as the proxy-server presents only a handful of unique IP addresses to the outside world. So, you and your 5000 co-workers all share about 10 IP addresses, and if your coworkers start clicking from work, it looks like too many clicks from the same account, gets labeled fraud, and your AdSense gets terminated. This happened to a co-worker (the Spanklio blog, which is in my link list of dead blogs).

(Bozzetto can some day explain how he lost his account - it was a blatant violation of the terms of service, which he never read, but let's just say they really, really, really frown on you clicking your own ads multiple times every day.)

So, my guideline has been to only click one or two ads per post. If there hasn't been a new post, don't click the ads because they're probably the same ads that were there when the post was first put up. So far, no one has lost an account following this guideline. And never click from work if you work at the same place as the blog owner, as there are likely to be many people from that domain reading the same blog.

As for earnings, I was paid out a grand total of $111.81 in all of 2006, though I actually accrued a total of $203.70. The $111.81 represents all earning from April through October. Then I made another ~$92 in Nov. and December, which were really good months because the ads paid more (Christmas retail season has a lot more ad pressure, apparently), not because I got more than the usual number of click.

Ad revenue has been slowly picking up as I gain more and more regular readers. I don't actually average $50/mo, though. Probably more like $30. But the trend is up.

Anonymous said...

Your current home was on the market for a year or more before you purchased it? Wasn't that a red flag...

CherkyB said...

If Fort TomCollins were San Schmose, it would have been a red flag. However, average time on the market for homes in my price range (slightly more than double the median home price for the area) is around a year. And they had it priced about $150k higher for the first few months. There aren't that many buyers in that price range, and many of those that are are looking at brand-new, custom construction in one of the many subdivisions that were ranch land 2 years ago. We needed a house to move into in 4 weeks, so we needed to buy a used house.