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Friday, February 27, 2004

circling my brain

I have yet to see or hear an explanation of how allowing same-sex couples to get married is going to rend the fabric of our society. All I've seen or heard are rants that it is a "bad" thing or that it will lead to polygamy (!?!), but no actual detailing of what, exactly, is allegedly wrong with it. I completely fail to see why gender matters in a marriage at all -- procreation is a bullshit reason for marriage because that implies that only breeders should be allowed to marry. How does the marriage of Tom and Harry or Mary and Ann in any way, shape, or form harm anyone?

Why are the democrats succumbing to the killer in the White House's agenda, anyway -- like a Constitutional amendment is really going to be an issue in this election? Bushie keeps shifting focus from his shitty and murderous regime to stuff that titillates the media, and Kerry and Edwards just play right into it. Why can't they just have enough guts to say this issue is irrelevant and move on to, say, all those kids flunking all those tests, or all those people dying for nothing in Iraq, or the slimy way the pretender has of destroying our environment by slipping things in ... would love it if the Dems would show some courage.

And why is everyone so upset over a floppy boob? I haven't heard anyone ranting over how that whole song/skit was actually a depiction of violence against women. Nope, just silly rants over a semi-bare boob. And all of a sudden Howard Stern is too much? Puh-lease ...

What is with this: "He is the Thought Leader ... ?" What the frell is a Thought Leader? What's wrong with "Intellectual," or "Innovator," or "Authority ... ?" Or even "Thinker?" "Theorist?" Thought leader sounds like a term some executive coach made up to sound like she knows deep things. What does it mean, really? Do people thinking thoughts sit around in some circle while someone conducts thoughts? Sort of like being a band leader? Or a ring leader?

How much longer until spring?
posted by lee on 02/27/04 at 02:24 PM

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Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Dubya,  the Post Turtle

This came my way today ... I have no idea where it originated, but I think it's pretty funny:

While suturing a laceration on the hand of a 70-year old Texas rancher (whose hand had caught in a gate while working cattle), a doctor and the old man talked about George W. Bush being in the White House.

The old Texan said, "Well, 'ya know, Doc, Bush is a post turtle."

"What's that?"

"Oh 'ya know," the old man said, "when you're driving down a country road and you come across a fence post with a turtle balanced on the top, that's a post turtle."

The old man saw a puzzled look on the doctor's face, so he went on: "You know he didn't get there by himself, he doesn't belong there, he can't get anything done while he's up there, and you just want to help the poor stupid bastard get down."
posted by lee on 02/24/04 at 09:36 PM

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Sunday, February 22, 2004

i think i smelled just fine, thank you ...

She has such a love-hate relationship with bathtubs.

posted by lee on 02/22/04 at 02:18 PM

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Thursday, February 19, 2004

Laurie Lipton Screaming Flowers

One of the stranger home pages I've seen in a while: Laurie Lipton's Official Website. I particularly like The Goblins, on Gallery screen 4. Her stuff is mostly macabre charcoal and pencil drawings.
posted by lee on 02/19/04 at 08:53 AM

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Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Google AdSense—a scam?

Today, I received this message from Google:

Hello Lee,

It has come to our attention that invalid clicks have been generated on the ads on your web pages. We have therefore disabled your Google AdSense account. Please understand that this step was taken in an effort to protect the interest of the AdWords advertisers.

A publisher's site may not have invalid clicks on any ad(s), including but not limited to clicks generated by a publisher on his own web pages, clicks generated through the use of robots, automated clicking tools, or any other deceptive software.

Practices such as these are in violation of the Google AdSense Terms and Conditions and program polices, which can be viewed at:


The Google Team

Like I have any control over how visitors click on my ads? Like I even have that much traffic, or even make much money off of them: I never got paid monthly - and Google only pays monthly if your take exceeds $100 per. I don't know how to program automatic clicking robots or whatever else they're accusing me of doing. At any rate, I wrote this to the "AdSense Team:"

You sent the message quoted below [quoted from the message above], but did not tell me what, exactly, happened. I have never violated any of the terms, etc. and if a visitor to my site has done something such as repeated clicks, how can I prevent this? This suspension is extremely unfair especially as you provide no way to appeal it or dispute it or even figure out what is going on. Please let me know what is going on and how my account can be restored -- especially since your ads are still showing up on my websites even after disabling my account--this is not right.

They sent this non-reply:

Hello Lee,

By disabling your account, we feel that we have taken the necessary measures to ensure that invalid clicks will not continue to occur on your site.

We understand that you wish to receive specific information regarding the invalid clicks we have observed. Due to the proprietary nature of our monitoring system, we cannot disclose any specific details of these clicks. We would like to reassure you, however, that we have thoroughly re-reviewed your account data upon receipt of your response and have reconfirmed that invalid clicks were generated on the ads on your site. According to our policy on this matter, we have disabled your account in order to protect our advertisers.

With regards to your question about the ads still serving on your site, there may be a delay of up to 48 hours before all of our servers are informed of the change.

As outlined in our program Terms and Conditions, Google reserves the right to terminate any publisher's participation at any time.


The Google Team

Hmm, so ordinary rules of business don't apply, huh? I sent this reply:

You did not answer my question. You gave a generalized statement about invalid clicks, but never made a specific charge. I'm not asking you to reveal who or from what ISP the invalid clicks came, only to tell me what,
in this instance, actually happened. You disabled my account, yet you continue to serve ads on my sites, without telling me how I'm going to be compensated for displaying your ads on space I own. Nor have you told me whether or not you are going to compensate me for the clicks that were valid -- I am assuming most, and probably all but one, of them were. You also have not told me how I can appeal this decision -- what is my recourse? You also have not told me what I can do about visitors to my site who, for example, may click the same ad more than once -- how can I control this? Don't you have controls in place to handle this -- even my ten-year-old weblog program has controls not to double-count the same visitor ... Am I to assume that businesses should NOT advertise on Google because Google lacks the controls to protect advertisers against fraud? I certainly will let my clients know if this is the case, and that they should either cease advertising on Google or greatly limit their Google AdWords campaigns.

When will I get paid for the January and February clicks?

I'm assuming that Google will screw me over for the bucks they owe me for running all those ads.

If Google can't protect its advertisers from fraudulent clicks, why the hell would anybody run campaigns on the AdSense network? What a waste of money.

What really bothers me about this is that Google has zero accountability. That's not even ethical. And you know, I bet they don't give the advertisers their money back for these allegedly fraudulent clicks. Advertisers are probably told Google can't release their proprietary secret algorithms etc. so "ya gotta pay what we say ya gotta pay." When I ran an AdWords campaign, their click claims never even came close to what my log files were showing me (like they claimed 25 clicks and my log files show only 5 or 6 visitors -- something is just not right!), so I became convinced that the program was laced with too much bullshit non-accountability to waste any more money on.

I wonder how long it will take until Google screws over a critical mass of micro publishers who retaliate by sabotaging the AdSense program. I'm not advocating this, mind you, but I bet it won't take long before this starts happening.
posted by lee on 02/18/04 at 09:17 PM


basecamp—finally, a PM tool that’s actually usable

37Signals created a cool, affordable project management tool that we, and our clients, actually use. Check out Everything Basecamp. Even newly launched and missing a couple of things, it's lightyears ahead of MS Project and just about any other PM tool I've tried to use. It's a hosted application, so it's totally fun to see new features just suddenly show up as they finish them. I need to take a half a day and use this tool to plan out, or finish planning out, To-Do lists, Milestones and all, at least five of our major projects. Hmm, that leaves me wondering if there is a master milestone/to-do list in the works ...
posted by lee on 02/18/04 at 05:01 PM

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Sunday, February 15, 2004

cool site

Pablo Picasso : Le site officiel is very nicely designed (I wish I understood French).
posted by lee on 02/15/04 at 10:03 PM

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Friday, February 13, 2004


orangeguru // wild visual blogging: pictures are great. The poetry? No comment. An interesting site by Dieter Mueller, who I THINK currently hails from Munich.
posted by lee on 02/13/04 at 10:24 AM

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bill maher writes ...

Bill Maher has a blog now (saw it on the spotlight section of the MT home page -- brand new blog and it's already up there; how ass-kissing is that?) Anyway, you can try to read his entries -- the type is white on blue and so small it looks like he's paying by the byte, jeez. (Cruddy design.) Sometimes Maher is funny and sometimes his jokes fall flat, but at least he thinks before flapping his jaws. I like him better than I ever liked Dennis Miller (before Miller lost his mind and bent over for the Bushies) and I used to like Miller a lot. Back in the days when HE thought before flapping his jaws.
posted by lee on 02/13/04 at 10:11 AM

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Sunday, February 08, 2004

a link to a lot of interesting exhibits

WebExhibits is a gateway to interesting sites (some more complete than others) such as "Calendars through the Ages," "Pigments through the Ages," and "Butter." "Butter" has an article about how to make ghee. Look for the "Art Optics" exhibit -- which is all about the theory that has art historians in a tizzy.
posted by lee on 02/08/04 at 06:25 PM

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