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Projects - Salvador Dali in a lawn chair.
I'm invisible without 3D glasses.
I've had several projects that have been keeping me busy the last couple weeks (in addition to entertaining and keeping a household of friends, which never gets old, just distracting at times).

1. John's guitar.

John's guitar primedHe bought at a garage sale a while back intending to paint it. When he and his wife Liz moved, I asked if I could paint it instead. I got alcamar to sand it for me, and I applied layer after layer of latex Killz on it to prime the surface.

I'm going to use acrylics. I have a few tubes of the most basic colors that I got out of a discount bin many years ago. They're very rich colors and still good after years in the closet and in storage buildings.

I've always tended toward the surreal in envisioning possiblities for pieces I've worked on. However, it hasn't always ended up surreal. Often my theme seems kinda corny after a few days of pondering, or too elementary so I ditch it and just go with something that looks cool, like a pattern or just one simple image or two.

All in white, the shape of the guitar is very feminine, a pin-up girl's hourglass figure. It's a very sexy guitar.

My mind gravitates toward painting apples and serpents on it: apples or pomegranites for breasts, a potted plant between the hips of the guitar, sprouting an olive tree that morphs into double-helixes (sp?) that morph again into serpents to curl around the apples on the chest.

I don't know if it's too simple of an idea, or that I'd even be able to paint it well enough to make it look decent.

Out of curiosity, what would you paint on this guitar?

2. The DVD rack

the wall of pineI looked for months for a big enough dvd rack to hold all of our dvds. The ones that I could order were just plain, like mini bookshelves that would span whole walls. But none of them seemed worth ordering.

I looked in antique and used furniture stores for old apothecaries or bookshelves that I could modify to serve our needs. No luck.

So, since navydave needed bookshelves himself, I suggested that we make them ourselves. We spent this past Sunday drawing out plans, pricing wood, and later buying, measuring and cutting the wood. alcamar arrived and was generally helpful while zordac supervised. My dvd rack will be seven feet tall with a built-in step that houses a bin for by-the-door errata like sunscreen, Off, lint roller, sunglasses, etc. It'll be made out of pine (I wanted cedar but zordac said the scent would be too overwhelming) and stained to a rosewood color.

That's igorxa's sombrero on the wall above the wood and Izzy at the end of the tunnel, posing.

3. Pokertip.org

zordac has started a few blogs, mainly to keep him busy and get a little extra cash flow coming in before starting some even bigger projects. There is a been a little quibbling between us because I don't want him to waste his time on petty, time-consuming stuff, but to shoot for something bigger and a little more rewarding.

However, he has produced something that I am very proud of: drmblog.com. DRM and the DMCA are issues that he really cares about, and I'm glad that if he is spending time on a blog to make money, he's at least doing it on an issue I consider worthwhile. I also want him to take it a step further, add political activist aspect to it as well as just education and article postings. Perhaps add a discussion board and such.

I've been working on building a layout for pokertip.org. It won't be a blog as much as it will be a general help center with articles and tips and suggestions. I'll be writing most of the articles and book reviews.

The majority of poker help sites out there are just place holders for ads. They're hideously colored, flashy, and pointless. And while we will have ads on our site, I want genuine content. Online poker companies and poker chip companies pay lots of money for ads, so it should generate money very quickly. I'll read poker books, write reviews, and then have amazon redirects for

I've been teaching myself (slowly, very slowly) how to make sites more search engine friendly and using CSS. I've also been inspired by one web designer's portfolio. He uses well-selected, beautiful colors, lots of fragmentation, and cheap stock photos to make his sites gorgeous yet very simple and easy to use. His actual help pages haven't done much for me; instead I've just been comparing and analyzing the pages in his portfolio to figure out exactly what he did and why it worked.

A poker website is difficult to find a theme that's bold and assertive and casino-esque without being obnoxious. But I've tried a few options, and picked one. Let me know what you think:

potential pokertip layout

I suppose I should have broken this up into several entries, but they all fit into one subject. I might do that later after I see how long it is.

mood: over-typed
music: Brooke humming in the shower

5 Voices in a Chorus | Lift Your Voice Aloft
prodigalson From: prodigalson Date: August 17th, 2004 11:03 am (UTC) (link)
I really like the picture for the website, very nice.

I've of course never really addressed the ability to make money on these sorts of things, how is that done? Is it hits on the advertisements that get you money?

lost_angel From: lost_angel Date: August 17th, 2004 11:11 am (UTC) (link)
Yes, with google's ad-sense, it's pay-per-click. You get tasteful ads (mostly text-only) that are selected from the content of your site. That doesn't mean you get ads that you want all the time, but they're typically in the same genre as your site.

There are more options than just google adsense, but it's typically what people go with because it's very easy to set up an account. Google walks your site and then starts generating ads for you fairly soon (as long as you've got sufficient content up for them to determine the subject of your site). However, with pokertip.org, we might set up accounts directly with the online poker companies that pay lots per click or per account that signs up redirected from you.
frolicswllamas From: frolicswllamas Date: August 17th, 2004 12:08 pm (UTC) (link)
So if I click on all the ads a billion times each, that means you get more money? Does it log my ip address or something, so that you can only earn money for one click from my computer?

Because if not, I'll just start being click-happy. What is the return on this type of thing?
lost_angel From: lost_angel Date: August 17th, 2004 12:50 pm (UTC) (link)
::laugh:: It takes into account your ip address, although your ip changes semi-regularly since (I'm assuming) you don't have a static ip. If you click on the same links too often before your ip has refreshed, then it will penalize me or simply not pay me for those clicks.

But if you don't click them too often, I will get paid for them.

How much you get paid depends on the type of ads. Porn pays the most per click, but after that it's online poker companies and poker chip and casino supplies sellers. They can sometimes pay up to $2.00 a click. With adsense, google keeps part of that, but you have access to a greater selection of advertisers and the ads are always very simple text ones.
angel925 From: angel925 Date: August 17th, 2004 01:26 pm (UTC) (link)
I really look forward to seeing that guitar when you are finished with it. A lot of potential there. As for pokertip.com, I think it looks fabulous - pleasing to the eye without being cheezy.
5 Voices in a Chorus | Lift Your Voice Aloft