Friday, February 29, 2008

Google Analytics

My brother (babaBrian and Internet Video of the Day) told me to add Google Analytics to this here blog and I'm glad he did. It's a lot of fun to see what brings people in. I don't particularly care how long they stay or what pages they visited, but the Google search information presented is fascinating.

For instance, since I've added Google Analytics, there have been 9 Google search referrals. In all the following, the quotes mark the keywords used and are not included in the actual search box. If you type in "earnings strategy" as a search, my blog is miraculously #1! I'm also the #1 result for "how to profit when option assigned." I'm #2-#5 on the rest so far ("google share implied volatility," "grmn strangle earnings," "implied volatility profiting earning seasons," "options assigned," and "svnt blog"). The financial posts are evidently the most popular. Perhaps I should get back to that topic again.

I can see how Google Analytics would be helpful for a serious website looking to bring in advertising revenue, track the sales process, or something similar. Mostly, though, I think it's just fun and interesting to see which random searches find you.

Dungeons and Dragons

I was featured in yesterday's Internet Video of the Day, which was quite fun. I am indeed playing Dungeons and Dragons for the first time on Saturday. I'm really looking forward to it. My friend's wife helped me create an initial character and told me about some of the basics. Since then, I've been reading up in more detail on the D&D Wiki.

I still have quite a few questions, and I'm sure some things will end up being like the Free Parking in Monopoly - things aren't always done according to the rules. It should be a fun experience regardless.

In other nerdy news, my hard drives arrived! I think I will install them on Sunday. I'm quite excited. I just hope I don't lose all my data when I try and expand the raid array.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Computer Upgrades

I placed an order on Newegg yesterday for two more 750GB hard drives for my fileserver. I'm very excited because they arrive tomorrow! Newegg is fast! I'm thinking of making a trip up to Microcenter at some point in the next couple of days to get a new north bridge fan. I figure as long as my machine is going to be off while I add new hard drives and the like, I might as well get rid of the one loud fan that's in the box. I still need to figure out exactly how to expand a linux raid5 array, but that should be fun. Also cool: my hard drives were each part of a combo deal, so I get two free USB drives - one is 2GB and the other is 4GB. Perhaps I'll actually use one sometime.

I also did some research for my next primary machine while I was shopping. I've picked out a likely case and memory, but beyond that I ran into some troubles. There wasn't any clear best choice on processor/motherboard/graphics combinations. In the end, I decided that since I won't be buying a new machine until at least June, that I'll postpone any research until then, too.

The only lasting decision I made was to name my new computer Nora. In fact, this will be the first computer I will have named. I chose the name when it immediately popped into my head when Newegg asked me what I should name the wish list of parts I'd created. So, I'm not sure what the significance is yet, but Nora has some potential to be special.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Thoughts on Prostitution

Let me start this by saying I have no plans to ever pay for sex. I've been watching Boston Legal recently, and this has gotten me thinking about laws and arguments. Thus this post.

My thought process started by looking for a good defense. First, it may be possible to characterize the transaction as paying for time during which sex just happened to occur. Undercover police officers would word things to avoid this possibility, though. Then I wondered if it were legal to hire someone to keep you company (an escort, which seems to be legal) only with the understanding that sex would be a recreational activity. A clever prosecutor could still charge you with sexual discrimination or harassment (do these crimes require the apparent victim to file a complaint?), but at this point you'd be paying for someone's time, rather than paying for sex.

This got me thinking about general hiring restrictions. If I pay a woman to spend time with me and perform sexual acts, I am hiring someone to perform a service, just like any other employer. Where does the restriction on purchasing some services come from, then? It is illegal to hire someone to kill, but killing is already illegal. What other services, that aren't already illegal themselves, are illegal to hire for?

Perhaps I should actually read relevant laws and case studies. That just seems like a large waste of time to devote to something that will have no practical application in my life, though. Oh well.

Monday, February 11, 2008

The Republican Caucus

On Saturday morning, I woke up early (before my alarm went off, even!). I went to Blue Valley Northwest High School at about 9:30 am for the Republican Presidential Caucuses. I learned in line that this was the first time Kansas has had caucuses in 20 years and that they were seen as a cheaper alternative to full primaries. Unfortunately, this resulted in 1/600 as many voting locations. They had to hold two sessions because there were so many people, and you have to wonder how many didn't stick around to hear that everyone in line would be allowed to vote. I got there late enough that I had to stand in line for about an hour, but I was able to vote in the second session.

Standing in line was actually more fun than participating in the caucus. There was good conversation in front of me and behind me, a crazy old man, and a conspiracy theorist right next to me. The crazy old man kept saying I was the future of the Republican party and that I have to write letters supporting the candidates for various offices. I didn't have the heart to tell him that I'm mostly Democrat. One of the guys in front of me was an old official in the Republican party, too, and had some interesting facts about what was really happening. And then there was this lady that brought her husband's voter registration card hoping for a second ballot because he just had surgery and couldn't make it. I really hope she wasn't given a second ballot, but if she was, I'm definitely going to be stealing a few voter registration cards next election!

All in all, it wasn't as great an experience as I'd hoped, but it was still an enjoyable Saturday morning. I got to show my support for Ron Paul while reminding myself of why I hate most politics. Has anyone been to a major Democratic event? Did they question the patriotism of Republicans? This was the part that annoyed me the most: We started the caucus part with the Pledge of Allegiance, after which the guy on stage quipped, "Do the Democrats even do that anymore?" Thankfully, he got a few upset howls among the applause. Ugh.