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food for thought

Farewell my son

July 9, 2012 — 107 Comments

I have, sadly, got to a point in my life which I never wanted to.

That point, is essentially that my only child, my son, will never see me again, until he is 18.

I’ve bent over backwards to try to keep up my contact, but the last time I “got” to see him meant that I paid $348 to not see him…thanks mostly to my ex.

The legal side is beyond a joke: the current demand from my ex is that anyone who I expose him to must be reviewed by Dec’s latest (and I note latest, she switch them out) child psych.

I can not move forward in my life with my ex demanding who I live with (that’s another clause she seeks..she doesn’t like Kel…no supervision), or who I see, and yet that is what she now demands.

She tells my mother, lying, that she wants less to do with me, and yet she demands court orders that will dictate anyone I see until Dec is 18 must be reviewed by the court.. She seeks to demand to dictate my life (who I see) for the next 9 years. That’s BS.

The reality is that I have lost my son due to my ex’s demands as she seeks that the court support her simply disliking Kellie with no come back.

I love Declan, and I want to see him so very much.

But I will make it publicly clear: Michelle Riley (of Melbourne Water) now denies this and given her games I’m willing to give up my son to put an end to this, no matter how much this hurts me.

To Declan, when you are old enough to read this and understand this: I’ve never stopped loving you, and your dad/ daddy always will. But your mother and mine marriage was a joke, apparently, and she never cared much for me.

I’d hope Dec when you are older and read this that we could talk or be close again.

The bleak Christmas

December 13, 2011 — 40 Comments

So I face a Christmas this year without seeing my son, for the first time in his 9 years.

For legal reasons I can’t say much at all, but I can say that I can’t even get confirmation that if I send him a Christmas present he will be given it.

I will say publicly that I love him and miss him.

He has always been my life, and always will be.

Merry Christmas to all, and I hope I didn’t bring anyone down.

The next site is ready to go. Indeed the template seems 99% there and we’re not launching yet because I never launch a site without some serious content up.

It’s going up within the next 2 weeks.

But I digress.

The new site covers a niche. It’s opposite to The Inquisitr which was always about volume.

I’m not saying volume is wrong but this site will never scale like The Inquisitr. What I’m hoping is that the CPM’s are so much higher that we can build strong traffic, but traffic that pays far higher rates.

I’ve already been asked by friends why not do a similar model again (like Inq) I mean, 8m+ page views in the third year were and remain awesome.

Maybe I’m a sadist, but I love a new challenge. I love taking on a new model and seeing if it works. Sure I could repeat what I’ve done before, but where is the fun, and challenge in that.

The new site is different, and a risk, but in many ways that’s the joy of it.

What I will say is the template is 99% finished and the team is starting to post. But we won’t launch until later this week or early next week. When I launch, I launch with content.

Thanks to everyone who has encouraged me, sent me good wishes, and also been my friend. I know that what I do for a living is a bit nuts…least the banks always tell me that when they refuse me money :) But each time I start a new site, I am for higher traffic and more support than the one before. I can only hope that you all like it and will support me once again.

This site won’t appeal to everyone, but we will own an unmet niche, and I’d hope define a new media niche that hasn’t ever seriously been covered before.

I’ll be back in a week with the launch. Wish me luck :)

Increase the CGI budget for the BOM :-)

Uploaded with plasq‘s Skitch!

Slippery Rudd Wins Again

November 27, 2009 — 7 Comments

With all the bruhaha over the Liberal Party meltdown, far too little attention is being given to what was a masterful stroke on the way to the thousand year censored Rudd Reich.

Rudd caused the issues in the Liberal Party, although at the same time, Turnbull was stupid enough to take the bait. By constantly hammering away at the Liberal Party, Rudd forced Turnbull to negotiate on the ETS, knowing full well what would eventually happen.

I may not like Rudd, but by god he’s a clever politician, and credit where due.

Turnbull should resign, not simply because he tried to railroad ETS support through the Liberal Party room, but because he even decided to negotiate to begin with.

Everyone knew there was divisions, and the stated policy previously was that the Libs would wait until after Copenhagen. But Turnbull couldn’t stand even the most basic pressure in the media from Rudd to force his hand, and caved quickly.

Despite his previous role as the head of the ARM, I don’t actually dislike Turnbull as a potential PM. He is most definitely smart, and well qualified to handle the finances of the country. But as a politician he has failed once again, and nothing will save him now.

The question though is can the Libs save anything coming into the next election?

I remember when Hockey was the NSW Young Liberal President (long term readers will know that I’m a former Liberal.) He would sell his sole for power then, and I have no doubt that he will now.

Tony Abbott…well, the positive is that he’s a man of his convictions, and although I don’t support all his convictions, I’d rather a leader or PM who stands by what he believes in vs sell them out at the drop of a hat.

But likewise Abbott suffers the same affliction that some in the NSW Right suffer: a contradiction between their economic and social policy. They believe in the market and small Government (well in theory, the only difference between Howard and Rudd on socialism is who gets the money, as opposed to not spending a lot of it at all), but likewise they seek to impose a Christian right view point on morals.

Of course the Liberal left is the rank opposite: they believe and support the nanny state, but likewise have a more libertarian view on social policy.

My problem has always been that I fit neither, and it was one of the reasons I was happy to quit the Liberal Party many years ago. I support the right on economics, but I support the left on social policy.

I shouldn’t have to make that choice, because both wings of the Liberal Party contradict each other. If you are for free markets, you should be for liberal social policy (because the idea of small Government should extend all policies.) If you believe in socialism, then perhaps you should believe in interfering in social policy.

There have been some smaller parties challenging the norm. The LDP, who I’ll always happily vote for, unfortunately seem destined to never gain a seat in Australia. The Pirate Party (of which I’m a provisional member) is a two issue party, but both issues fit nicely with my libertarian view of the world. Even the Sex Party is getting there…well, aside from their ridiculous policy that 50% of all seats in parliament should be for women. Don’t get me wrong, if 90% of parliament were women, I’d have no problem, but imposing quotas based on sex vs merit = epic fail and is indeed sexism in itself.

I’m nearly at the point that I might not take my next vote seriously. I’d say I’d dummy vote except that saying that is illegal in Australia (another travesty in itself.) All I see is gray when what we need is something better.


November 2, 2009 — Leave a comment

just a quick test to see if we’re working

In case you missed it: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times (or why we’re with Rackspace)

I don’t want to revisit again what happened, but suffice to say we had our worst day since maybe month 2…and the first week of the month (and September in general, but not as bad) was epic fail.

Now on Rackspace so benchmarking load times, and doing everything I can to make the site as quick as possible.

As I type this, the front page loads in 9.57 seconds, and give or take the time its loaded it’s sometimes faster, sometimes a little slower. The bulk of the readable content though is up <6 seconds, and that’s a huge improvement.

Posts are an issue. Content is up <7 seconds but the full page is way too long (18s). The biggest problem is JS-Kit, and loading icons for each comment, for example hits to FriendFeed for icons can add 5-10 seconds to load time. I’ve asked them for the option to cut the icons out, crossing fingers.

With both pre-loaded (so cache in play) I tried to benchmark the load times against Mashable and TC
Mashable: front: 32.63 page: 24.69
TC: 16:56 page: one page 8 seconds then hang, the next 11.25 then hang with half sidebar missing.

The choice of the two was important because both are on Rackspace…and we beat them, despite less resources. We can do better though, and we will :-)

I should have known that when I wrote this post about The Inquisitr that the word comfortable in it was a mistake. I’ve never done comfortable well. There’s a thrill in blogging about where the next hit comes from (not unlike drugs), the next biggest high, the next level and hence we’re rolling the dice today.

We’re offering five blogging positions in a range of roles. Details on Darren Rowse’s Problogger here.

They’re hard to describe, and using the term entry level in the title for this post might be slightly disingenous, but likewise it’s something close to that. They’re something like an internship/ entry level position, and they share some qualities such as experience, exposure etc. But likewise we’re paying for them, be it not at the top of the market, but given dozens of networks including some of the big players hire “interns” like there is no tomorrow and pay them zilch, the positions offer some money. Compared to what I’m hearing from bloggers writing for content sites offering rev shares at the moment the rate is actually fairly high as well given what they are getting.

As we drive forward to 3 million page views a month (we did 1 million at 2pm on the 8th this month, our best week and a bit on record) we’re looking for ways to grow even more, so I see these positions offering benefits for us and each blogger. We obviously get more content, different views and hopefully interesting posts, and in return each successful candidate gets experience at the top end (while these aren’t I’ll hold your hand jobs, I’ll certainly be taking an active role in guidance), some extra money, and either a top level job with us one day (may not happen, but it’s an option depending on performance and our finances as a result) or a stepping stone onto something better.

We treat all our bloggers equally irrespective of their pay rate, seniority, experience or what not, and these positions will be no different, although they do come with lower posting requirements.

If we fill these spots our regular posting compliment rises to 10, and add another 3 on top for occasional guest/ CPM spots.