Thursday, July 31, 2008

Such a Twit

Every now and then I contemplate using Twitter. Whenever I look at the site, see people (especially celebrity's) updates and realize that it unveils some insane magnifying glass into another person's life I get positively fascinated.

Part of me always stops before I sign up though, because I really can't justify it in any way whatsoever. At this point I think I'd much rather just use this blog to let people know what I'm doing. Any thoughts?

Monday, July 28, 2008

Weekly Quote

My small calendar on my desk at work (provided by the awesomest drywall company in Maryland) has a weekly quote on it that I often don't read until the end of the week.

Last week's quote:

"Love is a friendship set to music." - E. Joseph Cossman

Cossman lived from 1918 to 2002, was born in Pittsburgh, and is a famous salesman / entrepreneur. He's probably best known for selling things like shrunken heads and ant farms door-to-door.

Other quotes by Cossman:

"Obstacles are things a person sees when he takes his eyes off his goal."
"Drive-in banks were established so most of the cars today could see their real owners."
"The best way to remember your wife’s birthday is to forget it once."

Friday, July 25, 2008

Just Ridiculous

This is just ridiculous, a co-worker sent me this article today that talks about some new technology. What is this new technology? CO2 scrubbers.
Scientists at Columbia University are developing a carbon dioxide (CO2) scrubber device that removes one ton of CO2 from the air every day, says the Heartland Institute.

Wow! Sounds great doesn't it? Right now you might be expecting me to say something about how it's really a bad technology for some reason, or that it's a bad idea because of some other unseen facts. Nope! But some people are saying these things...
While some see the scrubber as an efficient and economical way to reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide, many environmentalists oppose the technology because it allows people to use fossil fuels and emit carbon in the first place.

Environmental activist groups such as Greenpeace have consistently opposed similar technologies, such as carbon capture and sequestration, because they do not address what they see as the root of the problem, says the Heartland Institute.

That's what is ridiculous. Some people are actually trying to get us a few steps closer to the world of Demolition Man (sweet reference, I know!). This is why I've been growing more and more skeptical and pessimistic about the entire "green" movement and how it's gotten into every aspect of how we live. Most of the people who are really into it, really behind it, might as well have joined a cult and cut their own brains out with the way they act.

SURE creating CO2 scrubbers will encourage some people to keep using fossil fuels, or at least it gives them a reasonable excuse. However, if you're opposed to something like this that essentially does what you've been preaching for years except on a realistically feasible then you're the biggest hypocrite in the world. Everyone's going 'Green' these days, for all the wrong reasons.

(article: )

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Traffic Analysis

Just about a year go, I finally convinced Dave that we should be using Feedburner for the RSS feature of Critical Hits. I never really knew exactly why, but just from seeing other sites using it I could tell that we should have been using it for a while beforehand. Probably the big difference between using Feedburner and not using it is the metrics, you get excellent tracking of how many people you have reading your RSS feeds. These metrics also allow you to use great analysis tools to figure out traffic trends and history, and all that good stuff.

Running a website can make you fall in love with graphs. They're sexy.

August of last year we had 19 feed subscribers. That probably depressed me at the time, but not too much because I'm the kind of person who will face the reality rather than ignore it or try to convince myself that it's not true. Pretty much any given point in the history of Critical Hits I've looked at our traffic and thought, "Damn, we're doing well!" I remember late '06 I thought this and looking back at it our traffic it's very interesting to think about.

We started measuring our traffic with Google Analytics in October of 2006, and as I said I was happy at the end of that year and enjoying the site and according to Analytics we were getting ~35 visits a day. I'll have to go back and look at what kind of content we were putting up back then, just out of curiousity. Jump ahead to April of 2007 and we were starting to get a lot of google traffic (after more than a year of posting), so our traffic had jumped to ~200 visits a day.

Then in July of '07 almost all of our google traffic suddenly cut off, we're pretty sure due to updates in how Google indexed pages and just an overall cleaning up of their search system, which dropped us to about 100 visits a day on average. I remember being happy with any of those numbers, because it was just a site that Dave and I were running and we only really expected friends to pay much attention anyway. Through the end of 2007 we were still getting traffic of ~150 visits a day, and I definitely remember being happy with the website at the end of last year. Our traffic grew a little bit in early 2008, probably to about an average of 200 visits a day, then we hit some huge spikes for our coverage of the D&D Experience (thanks to Yax, and Wizards). By the end of March our numbers had grown to ~300 visits a day, which was awesome because this time it was not mostly random google traffic, it was a more quality kind of traffic.

These days, mid 2008, our average traffic is up to about 450-500 visits a day but any given day or week we'll see typical numbers up to even 800 a day with a few spikes higher than that. I'm extremely happy with how the site has been doing, and I'm still having a lot of fun with it, so thank you to any of you that are a part of that number!

I suppose the conclusion I can make, and it is something that I feel should always be kept close at hand, is that I enjoy doing this kind of thing no matter how many people are reading it. But the numbers sure do look pretty in a spiffy graph!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Late July, already?

The first time I heard the Flobots song, 'Handlebars' or whatever it's actually called, I thought it was very interesting and good. Now that it is on the radio at least 2-3 times a day, and I hear it on various stations, it is possibly one of the most annoying songs of the last few years. It's 10x worse than Linkin' Parks original CD became after months of overplaying on the radio, and in much less time too! Hands down, I no longer think it is a very good song because it cannot stand the test of repetition, it can't even stand the test of casual listening...

Not a whole hell of a lot going on these days, relaxing when I'm not at work, working when I am at work. Hopefully I'll be playing some more golf in the late summer, as I've only played once so far this year and been the driving range only a handful of times.

I've been telling myself that I'll start posting sketches here again...will I?

Monday, July 07, 2008


Our little trip to Ocean City, MD was amazing, it was Becky's first time out there because her family takes annual trips to Florida so they've never really had the hankering for closer beaches. She was expecting it to be a lot worse than FL, but she seemed to be very happy to find that it's pretty much the same except only about 3 hours away. Oh and the water is like 20 degrees colder! Once you get in it's not a big deal, but I imagine if you're used to Florida temperature oceans than this is a big shock.

It was a great trip, and I don't think either of us can believe we've been married for 2 years now. Most people joke about it feeling like longer, but it really doesn't. We're also just so extremely happy that the whole house-buying concern is behind us.

Just a short one for now, more updates coming soon!