I'm in the money

Adsense earnings It was just 2 blogs ago, that I said my target was for this website to have gained 1¢ of revenue by the time I left for Canada. With 2 months to go still, here comes the money baby. Read it and weep. 9 months of teaching myself HTML, and then building this website: people told me I was crazy. That I was wasting my time. Fuck you all. This site is now a money-making venture, and I am in the money. As stupid as it sounds, this 1¢ actually put a smile on my face for a long time yesterday. Not that I made this website for money, but I have now gained some return on 9 months of time invested!! Fucking rock 'n' roll.

eBay sold total £326.12 On top of this windfall, my eBay efforts have so far yielded a return of £326.12. After 6 days, and a little encouragement shall we say, I even got my money for the DVDs off this guy in Poland. Add on the £200 that I gained just by taking some pennies to a money counter at the bank, and this has been a pretty successful 2 or 3 weeks, seeing as I haven't done a second of gainful employment. 3 of my NFL jerseys even sold to the US, so 5 of the lots I've sold on eBay have now been international sales. Living off Tesco Value baked beans, I'm pretty happy with the direction my finances are taking right now. 1¢ baby!! This website is now officially a money-making venture!

New Orleans Evacuation Onto more serious things. In the passed few hours, the mayor of New Orleans has ordered evacuation because of the impending hurrican Gustav. This is a picture that I took from nola.com last night. Two things stand out for me here. Firstly, why the hell haven't they opened up the other carriageway for outgoing traffic? Maybe keep one lane free for people going into the city, but surely things would be a lot quicker if they used the other side of the road. The second is, you didn't learn a dime from Katrina did you? These are vehicles leaving the city centre, yet how many trucks do you see. Just like you get idiots in London roaming the city in 4×4s, what purpose does a truck have to that many people living within a city? This is why I say, whatever nature does, people will refuse to yield to the warnings. You would think that after Katrina, people would realise the impacts of global warming, and change their lifestyles in order to do whatever is in their power to minimise the chance of it happening again. Yet this morning Hurrican Katrina UK time, Mayor Ray Nagin described this as "the storm of the century." Sorry to disappoint you Ray, but if this picture is an indication of how little notice those worst affected by global warming are taking of the environmental decline, then 50 years from now, hurricane Gustav will be but a gust of wind. It's common knowledge that an increase in global temperature, caused by inefficient human activity, is leading to an increase in the frequency and velocity of tropical storms. Yet if this is a picture of how little those worst affected are doing to improve their lifestyles, then we really have no chance. If we don't yield to the warnings that nature is giving us about the impacts that global warming will have, then just like 3 years ago, Katrina was one of the worst natural disasters ever seen, it could potentially pale in comparison to the impacts of Gustav. I don't know yet, I am writing before the hurricane hits Louisiana, if it does at all. But if its the worst hurricane they've ever seen, by 2011, it will probably have been beaten again. And this, will be an ever-evolving pattern, until quite simply, New Orleans is no longer habitable. This article Hurricane Katrina from the National Center for Atmospheric Research demonstrates this increase in tropical storms, concluding that they have doubled in frequency in the past 100 years. What happens then, though? Is global warming going to stop at the borders of Louisiana? It's spread would ultimately lead to a planet inhabitable by humans. Every year as the consequence of global warming intensified, less and less would mankind have the ability to survive on planet earth. And just because we have sped up the cycle of a changing environment, human evolution will not accelerate to keep up with it. We will essentially we left behind by a changing planet we cannot keep up with. So although Gustav might be flavour of the month right now, the reality is that until people yield to the warning of nature, Gustav could become a daily reality. To quote Stephen Hawking from January 2007:

"Waiting until the ill-effects of global warming become obvious will be too late; action must be taken now. The warming process could run out of control, as "positive feedbacks" in the earth's natural systems magnify it. That could lead to the planet coming uninhabitable - turning it into a hot dead one like venus, which has long been know to have suffered the ultimate greenhouse effect."
The only thing I disagree with in this statement: Waiting until the effects of climate change become too obvious. He said those words in 2007. Katrina is just one example of how obvious the effects have become. Even here in the UK, we've had a minor earthquake and severe flooding in the past 18 months, and we're a country that typically does not suffer from natural disasters. How can the effects become any more obvious? Allowing the ignorance of mankind to prosper is the real tyrant here. If we allow things to continue as they are doing, we will everyday be playing what I like to term, a 'global warming death lottery'. Natural disasters will occur with the frequency, that you will hold your breath just to reach the end of each day, not knowing if and where a disaster will occur. Is this really the world we want for future generations?

Zoom insolvency email Moving on from preaching about the impacts of global warming, to how I'm about to fly all around the world. I started off my day on Friday receiving this email from Zoom Airlines (click to enlarge). The last two times I've flown over to North America, most recently on the way to Mexico and back, have been with Zoom. And there would have been a fair chance I had flown with them when I go over to Canada this time as well, so I've dodged a couple of bullets here. If this had happened 6 weeks earlier or before, I could be stranded in New York City if it had happened in the 4 weeks I was away, or had it happened even earlier, I would still have lost out as they don't seem to have the resources to refund passengers. Similarly, had it happened even two weeks from now, then there's a chance that I could have already booked to go back to Canada this time, which could have again cost me in the hundreds of £'s. So I dodged a couple of bullets, although according to this BBC report, about 45,000 didn't. It may now mean I'm a lot more careful in booking my Canada flights this time. If not Zoom, I was planning on booking with Canadian Affair. Though when one domino falls, the others soon follow, so I think I'll wait a few weeks before booking. Even if the Zoom Airlines price does go up, I'm not sure it's worth the risk considering the trouble low-cost airlines are now apparently in. I really don't want to lose hundreds because an airline goes bust once I've booked.

On the subject of Canada, today is the 31st of August. I was told by the resort that I had an interview with when I got back from Mexico, that I would have a response by the end of August. I did say I would contact them after I finished writing my last blog entry, although when I looked back over some emails, I thought it best to wait. I will though tomorrow be making an effort to get some kind of response. I don't know if I'll email them to look less pushy, or just call them so I get an instant response, but I will be making an effort to find out, one way or another. Whether it is a yes or whether it is a no, I need to know so I can get on with my planning, which among other things, will involve booking flights, which is why I could've dodged a bullet with Zoom going bust this week rather than next. Tomorrow will be D-day though. If I have a job set-up, a big, big pressure will be lifted from my shoulders, so it's time to hold my breath and pray. All going well, by the end of tomorrow I could be all set. If not, then its right back to square one.

Now I've made a little further progress with this site since I last wrote a blog. The links page has once again been updated and now includes a section dedicated to webmaster forums and currently includes the 3 that I've found most useful. Although since I added those three, Ozzu has also been quite helpful, so I may also add them if they continue to impress. And I have added a link to Stickam, the service I am using to host my live webcam, as well as linking directly to this link from the webcam page. Speaking of the webcam though, I've had an idea. Currently on this website, on the homepage beneath the 'Welcome to Jro's World' graffiti, there is a picture of me and some text. Then I have a separate webcam page. But as I have said before, why would anyone want to visit the webcam page? It's only really there as a novelty that I worked out how to add, not because it will provide anything for this site. So first I got thinking, why not incorporate the webcam into the homepage. Rather than having it as a separate page people have to specifically navigate to, which they are unlikely to do, I can have it at the bottom of the homepage. If I happen to be online when someone comes to the site, they will scroll down, see I'm there, be like huh, so he is a real person, then move onto the rest of the site. It would be a way for people to see the webcam, see what I was doing, then be able to leave. Like watch it for 20 seconds, and then leave, but it would just be an insight into what I was doing, without having to navigate specifically to it, because I cannot see why anyone would do that. Then I got thinking, how about if it is the centerpiece of the homepage. I know it is possible to display photos on the webcam player. What if I was able to set it up so that if I am here and online, then the webcam feed plays live, where as if I'm not, then the picture that is currently there would be present on the player instead. It would be in the same place as where the picture currently is, and would maybe be a bit of a wow factor for viewers when the first thing they see on the website is a live webcam. It would be a personable touch, as if I am there, before people have read anything on the site, they would see who I am and what I was doing, more than a picture does. It may encourage people to continue to look over this site. I'll have to think this over. At the moment I really see the webcam page as something of a novelty, that no one will really ever visit. If I could incorporate it so people saw it without having to specifically visit it, then it might have more use, so I'm going to think this one over. I may instead though have a webcam on the homepage by the next time I write a blog.

Staying with the website for a minute longer, I have now read through all the philosophies that are linked to from my profile page. And my god, what a disappointment. I kind of felt as I was writing them, they were revolutionary thought in some way. That I was saying things that people had never thought before, and I would really be opening their eyes. When I read back through though, they were actually pretty rubbish. There was no maverick in them like I recall, and they were actually pretty boring. I think it's lucky they're hidden away in a corner of the website that not many people will visit, because really, they aren't worth reading. They're linked right below the my story section that I read through recently, but in terms of what I expected from them both, they're poles apart. I do now only really have to read the money saving, hostels and links sections of the site, until all of it has been read at least once. And I don't worry thay they're going to cause offence like I thought some of the old blog entries would, even though in reality, they were much tamer than I remember them when I wrote them. I'm sure there will be some gramatical fuck-ups I need to change, but I don't worry anymore that I have written something somewhere on this site that I'll really regret. I think it's all people friendly. Well the extras page is an exact opposite of that, and could get a lot of people hating me, but I'm not even sure I'll keep that, so I don't think it really counts. I'd blame the people reading it, for reading a page called 'extras'. Get a life! How bored must you be to read a page entitled extras?

Knee Now a couple of blogs ago I made the point that for the first time ever, I was unable to complete one of my runs. I went out again last Friday, and managed to complete my route, in a pretty good time. That doesn't mean it wasn't without pain though. The same injury on the same knee was causing a lot of discomfort the whole way round, again meaning I couldn't push myself as I'd want to. And again, since I got back, it has given me a lot of shit, especially trying to negotiate things such as stairs. And I'm actually considering getting to a doctors to get it looked at. It has to be 12 or 13 years since I sought any medical help. But I can feel something is definitely wrong in my right knee, and it'd make financial sense to get it seen to now where medical care is free, rather than once I start travelling and have to pay for any attention, because I can feel something just isn't as it should be. Since Friday, I almost feel as if my leg isn't even straight. That my right foot is naturally sitting at an angle that it shouldn't be doing. I don't think I actually will see a doctor, but common sense tells me I should.

Cycling girl What I will then do, is almost certainly lay-off running for at least a week, maybe even 2, to let it rest and hopefully heal up somewhat. And in the absence of running, I need another way to burn energy. I was sitting in the sauna at the gym yesterday, talking to someone who had just cycled down from London to Brighton. And I'm thinking, what a good idea. It's about a 60 mile trip one-way, but what an awesome way to spend a morning. Now I'm seriously considering doing that just for the hell of it once the weather clears up. Maybe sometime this week. Just cycle down to Brighton, and depending on how I feel when I get there, maybe even cycle back again. That's an awesome idea. I got stuck in the sauna with the same hot chic in the same bikini as last week. So again I sat there for way longer than I should've done. And again regretted it for the rest of the day. But it's impossible to leave when you're talking to a girl that hot. Science has proved that.

One thing I forgot to mention about changes to this website, are changes that aren't noticable to the viewer, but I got told about the value of adding <meta> tags to pages and editing the <title> tags to try and get the pages listed as highly as possible in search engines. By all accounts, it may well make very little difference. But then it could have some impact, so I have edited the titles and added <meta> tags with descriptions and keywords to all the main pages. I may go back through old blogs and do the same, although that does sound something of a hassle though. Starting with this blog entry though, I am going to be adding description and keywords tags to the blog entries I write. This all came about in a thread I started about webcams located here on Webmasters Help. It's awesome how on these forums, people are looking through my site and giving me advice on issues completely irrelevant to what the thread is about. These forums have been invaluable over the past couple of weeks. I'm making a lot of progress based on the advice people are willingly giving me over these forums. I think a lot of the time they're probably owners of the forums, who will benefit from increased advertising revenues from happy webmasters who revisit. But then I think some people just volunteer to help for no reason. Either way, I am finding these forums to be a great assist in progressing with this website.

Dmitri Medvedev and Vladimir Putin Just before I finish off, I want to clarify my stance on Russia that I wrote about in the last blog entry, because I don't think that I explained myself very well. The US, more than any country on earth, has preached to the world about capitalism. And to have capitalism, you need a market. Now I don't necessarily agree that a perfect market is possible, but according to the text-books, to have a perfect market, you need two things, perfect knowledge and perfect competition. Perfect competition being defined as having so many players in a specific market vying for consumer attention, that price is minimised and the product or service provided is mazimised until an equilibrium between these two characteristics is reached to consumer satisfaction. The more competitors there are in a particular market, the better it is for the consumer, the people. It is the US whom has preached this capitalist philosophy to the world. Yet they attempt to garner a monopoly in world power. And when dealing with a company or a country, one that has too much power can lead to the same problems. If a company has too much power, they have the power to abuse consumers, treating them badly and charging them excessive prices. If a country has a monopoly on the world, as the Russian military US likes to think it has, then they too have the power to abuse. They can abuse less powerful nations, whom have nowhere to turn. Let's take Microsoft as an example of a monopoly. How have they garnered the absurd profits that they have over the years? Because they dominate the software industry, they can charge prices for products such as Windows, and Office, that will receive them reveues billions of £'s beyond cost. They are abusing the consumer by charging excessive prices. Yet because they have a monopoly over the industry, the consumer has nowhere else to turn. Translate this to national power. The US has been abusing its status as the worlds only superpower since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Whenever they don't like something a country does, they impose sanctions. They invaded Iraq and Afganistan, and for the people of the world, for a country to have such power cannot be a good thing, as it makes them unanswerable for their actions, as people have nowhere to turn. If Russia was enable to emerge once again as a superpower, the US would no longer have a monopoly on Russian military world power, and would mean, just like in the capitalist market place that the US has preached, that they could no longer abuse their power, which is ultimately better for the people. In an ideal world, every one of the countries in the world would have an equal power (there is no exact number of countries. Look it up, it's quite interesting reading. Russia has just named two more states, so the waters are even more murky). This would mean that no one could abuse their power, or alliances of opposing nations would be able to overcome them. This is obviously an unrealistic scenario, but put simply, 2 superpowers is better than 1, 3 is better than 2 etc. With China emerging, and Russia growling, with the exception of rivalry reaching the point of military conflict, it will ultimately be better for the people of the world if Russia can once again emerge a powerful alternative to the US. It no longer makes them untouchable, and that is why I applaud their actions of recent weeks. The US are the ones who have for years preached to us the benefits of capitalism. But the same fundamentals apply in international politics, where having one entity gain a position of dominance, is to the detriment of the consumer.

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