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More random stuff from that metaphorical neurological cluster in cyberspace known as Toxic Drums. Google still has these bizarre ideas about the domain name having a significant relevance to the content of the site and seems to direct drummers and toxicologists ad infinitum. I made up the last bit by the way. A characteristic of Toxic Drums is that you have to work out if what you read is satire, sarcasm or deeply meaningful.
I tried making a New Year's resolution of sorts: To do one page a day at least! The trouble is I am exhausted, confused, desperately anxious and suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome and Chronic Fatigue. That's on top of crashing and burning financially.
So please use the site whenever you want to go to Amazon (go to the main page, click on "Book Reviews" at the top and then on the relevant Amazon banner) or if you want chocolate or magazine subscriptions or vitamins and minerals. Whenever you actually want stuff then clicking through from Toxic Drums is no more expensive for you and I get a dribble of dosh. (That sounds disgusting.)
Well the New Year's resolution has been fairly successful and there are a lot of new pages for this newsletter! Mostly it's fairly random but I still hold out hope that it will all start to crystallise one day. On the subject of crystals there is a blokey in Spain called Cristóbal Vila who has a studio called Etérea and he does 3D graphics thingies. He has now been added to the Arbitrary Art page. His beautiful 3D animations (including an Escheresque one with wood & snakes and one that is a visualisation of numbers in nature) are a wonder to behold and you should take a look at them just to enhance life's experience in the universe (He's at the bottom of the Arbitrary Art page at the moment. Why? Just because I add things at the bottom. I think I should change the order and add things to the top in the future. Or should I intermittently randomize the content? Let me know!)
Obviously Sam's in a rambling mood today.
Ok - I started out with the idea that folk like chocolates and sweets and things and decided to do loads of advert pages for such delectable delights. I created a delicious page called Chocolates, Sweets & Candy (that gets the Americans involved too :) which you should bookmark if you are a chocoholic. Since the 1st January I have added Chewbz, Candywarehouse, Candy.com, Old Time Candy, zChocolat, NutsOnline, A Quarter Of..., Thorntons, Chocolate Buttons, Green & Black's, Montezuma's, Vosges Haut-Chocolat, Melt, Prestat Chocolates and Chocolate NOW! to the page. These are in addition to Cadbury Gifts Direct, Chocolate Trading Company, Fudge Kitchen, Handy Candy, Love Hearts and Tesco (who do chocolate and sweets too - more scandalous news about them later!) which already existed. So that was not bad going. I have to get to be more efficient at producing these pages though because I am too fastidious and it takes far too long.
Google's presence on Toxic Drums!
Searching Toxic Drums is now possible too with the help of a Google search box on the Navigation page. It used to cost money to have one of these but now they make it available through the AdSense program for free. Better than that I get paid if someone simple clicks the adverts which occasionally appear (they use the "pay per click" model which is nice). There is one small downside. A "paid for" search box will log the entire site whereas the AdSense one only returns results from Toxic Drums that Google has logged in its worldwide log. So new pages can take a while (months sometimes) to appear in the search results. However, it is useful and possibly a revenue generator as well. I have also added Google Ads to some of the more visited pages because it does seem to generate a little cash flow. One small note of warning here - Don't do me the favour of rapid fire on Google Ads because Google has sophisticated ways of detecting abuse. Incidentally I am also forbidden from encouraging visitors to click the ads! So I wouldn't do that would I? I mean if folk just occasionally clicked on an ad when they saw one it would be like a kind of micro-feed into my account. I like this idea. It gets the commercial gits where it hurts them the most and gets me where I like it the most :) But you really mustn't click on the adverts unless you are genuinely interested and I refer you to the top paragraph of this newsletter for interpretation of this. Example pages of where I have added Google ads are What is XTR-TB? • UK Budget 2009 Tax Hike • Toscani Benetton • Timeless Studios • Ten Billion Cows • Serendipity • Rafferty & Beefheart • Money From Thin Air • List of Magazines • List of Amusing Web Sites • Icthus Fish • HTML Stop Line Break • Doubling System • Senlab Labeling Software • Cheer Me Up • Google Search Engine Optimization • Get a Job • Fishy Fish Things • Something Interesting • Doubling Simulator • Double Bind • Civil Debt Recovery Scheme • Fish
So there is now a SEARCH FACILITY on Toxic Drums.
So what else is new on Toxic Drums. Well I spotted a police tractor. What? I didn't actually believe my eyes at the time so I did some research and discovered there is one such vehicle. More about that on the Police Tractor page. That is not exactly a coincidence but there was a very real coincidence that I encountered described on the Coincidence No 1 page. I'm hoping to have a lot more one day. An encounter rather than a coincidence is described on the Civil Debt Recovery Scheme page as well as providing an insight into what this is and what to do about it if you are ensnared by the Mafioso Tesco or any number of other "too big for their Boots" (pity I haven't an advert page for them yet) high street shops. I discovered something amusing during the month of January and that was that Toxic Waste Candy turns out to be actually toxic. So I had to put a page on Toxic Drums called Toxic Waste Candy is Really Toxic! Since the last newsletter two brilliant and innovative musicians have sadly shuffled off their mortal coils. So there is a mini obituary to Gerry Rafferty and Captain Beefheart. It makes me less sad at the prospect of leaving planet Earth anyway. On the subject of death I got quite worked up some time ago about the issue of anorexia. I wrote a blog page which was a serious (and profound) rant with a few choice words in it. It drew a lot of spam comments which was one reason I got rid of it. This was on the original Toxic Drums WordPress blog which I disposed of because it was too much like hard work understanding and maintaining it. Blogger came along (Google's really easy blog platform) and I tried it out. Someone told me they were looking for the article on anorexia and couldn't find it so I dug out the old copy and put it on the new Blogger Blog as Anorexia in an insane culture. Other recent Blogs include STOP PRESS: New Terrorist Organisations Located!, Student riots in London on 9 December 2010, Ben Brown interviews Jody McIntyre, Reply to Max Hastings on Assange, Civil Debt Recovery Scheme, Toxic Candy turns out to be TOXIC! and Fishy Fish Things. For those of you paying attention you will realise that a couple of those are subjects which have dedicated pages. Let me explain: Sometimes I just want to write something (Blog like) and the blog is the easiest way to do it without all the work around html, css and formatting associated with creating pages. So unique blog pages get created. Then, when I do a new page on the web site I often put a taster on the blog just as added search engine fodder and - and this is the important bit - so that people who "follow" the blog can be notified of new posts. Another thing I do is Twitter pages. I do also just do Twitter sometimes but I find it useful to advertise new pages via Twitter too. (See the page Google is Mind Boggling for how useful twitter is.) So go to the Toxic Drums Blog now and press the "Follow" button. Then go to your twitter account and follow "samspruce". That way you get to know what is happening as it happens.
Two things left to mention. I produced the Fishy Fish Things page which is a slightly weird page about a few fish things like songs, metaphors and chocolate. Even I don't quite know what to make of it. But I trust the universe and it knows what's best. [Shifty eyes scan left and right.] Hmm, I'm not so sure about that. Then finally the wonderful Elvira Atsuko wrote three more book reviews for Toxic Drums: Artemis Fowl (First in the Artemis Fowl Series by Eoin Colfer), Artemis Fowl and the Arctic Incident (2nd in the series) and Artemis Fowl and the Eternity Code (3rd).There. That's it for this month!
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