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Archive for May, 2008

Writing Two Posts a Day on the idano Blog Network – Easier Said then Done

May 28th, 2008 Comments off

The picture says it all.

Car_in_Ditch Two weeks ago Today I proclaimed that I would be doing 2 posts a day around the network. I started out with a bang and kept it going for 4 days. The 5th day I did a single post. From there I went AWOL in regard to posting. In my defense I did do things around the network. I updated some sites, created a new one, and did some general maintenance.

It is work though, I will not lie. Doing regular posts is what got me the traffic and page rank which attracted the advertiser but then I didn’t do anything on the sites for 9 months. Traffic is down a little, Page Rank is down a lot (this site went from PR 6 to 3 :-( ) and I want to try to double the ad revenue that I am making now.

My hope is that by the holiday season that I am back on top again so I can cash in even more then I did last year.

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Hello world!

May 25th, 2008 Comments off

Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!

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Hello world!

May 22nd, 2008 1 comment

Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!

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Walk-in Attic Storage Area Shelving – My $100 Weekend Project

May 19th, 2008 Comments off

attic-studs One the biggest items that sold us on our new house was the fact that it had a walk-in storage area in the attic above the garage. The space measures 19′ x  7′ and the roof slants from about 7′ to about 4′. The space appealed to us because it could hold the majority of the non-clothing items that occupied our master closet in old other house.

During the week my wife and father-in-law installed drywall over the 2 walls that had exposed insulation (The walls came unfinished). I have to say that they did a much better job then I would have done and am thankful that I did not have to do it. As great as the drywall looked we still needed some shelves to effectively take advantage of the space.

The idea was to have one shelf about a foot from the top of the roof for smaller items, another shelf a little further down from there, and are large shelf that would be a little bit wider that would act like a counter. After some measuring I decided to do the shelves 8′ long and to make the two higher shelves 1′ wide and the bottom shelf 2′ wide. The reason for this was that I could buy a single piece of plywood that was 4′ x 8′ and have it cut into 3 different pieces that would use the entire piece of plywood and not have any scrap left over.

From there I got Qty 4 - 2′ x 4′ x 8′ pieces of would that would be the front & back, middle cross sections, and legs of the frame for the bottom counter. The idea was to build a frame that was 2′ x 8′ with 2 cross sections 32" from either end. This would give the plywood plenty of support. At each corner and the two middle cross sections I would have them attach to the frame at 90 degrees for the legs. I would attached the back to studs in the wall for rear support.

I had the plywood cut at Home Depot because they do it for free and it is a whole lot easier for them to do it. At home I cut the pieces for the frame and then started to cut the pieces for the legs and realized that I had estimated the legs to be 2" which in realty was two short to practically be used as a counter.

I quickly measure the height of the board that was sitting on a pair of saw horses which measured 30" so I decided that would be my new height. The only problem was that I had only bought 1 piece of wood for the legs and it was not 12′ long (I knew I should have picked up an extra 2′ x4′). I quickly went to the scrap wood pile I have and dug out 2 pieces of wood that would give me the proper length I needed. After cutting the legs I took all of the unassembled pieces of wood up to the attic.

Note: You may be wondering why I did not assemble the pieces before I went to the attic. The reason is that the door to the attic is in my daughters closet and is at a 90 degree angle to the door to her closet. If I had assembled it down stairs it would have been difficult to get it into the area. It was hard enough to get the two 2′ x 4′ x 8’s in there, adding another 2′ in depth would have made that much more difficult.

attic Once everything was in the attic I installed the top shelf first and then worked my way down. This was almost a perfect plan except for the fact that I had bought some indoor/outdoor pre-cut carpets for the floor and didn’t put those in first. I ended up putting them in after the shelves and counter which wasn’t too difficult but it would have been easier if I would have down that first.

The whole project took about 3hrs from start to finish and ended up costing $87. The carpet itself was $32 so the shelves only ended up being around $55 which is pretty cheap.

After the installation of the shelves my wife took the rest of the day to organize all of our stuff on our new shelves. I really did not think all of the stuff would fit but she did a great job with even some space left over. We still have a lot of room left in the rafters for other stuff we want to archive.

The project was fun and has inspired me to build out some cabinets and shelves in the garage now. I am just in the beginning stages of planning but that is probably on of the next big projects that I do.

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Google Analytics Missing Data – Benchmarking Tells All

May 15th, 2008 Comments off

It seems that Google Analytics has been having some hiccups in their data collection and process right around the end of April and beginning of May. They are currently processing the back data which is nice but it seems that e-commerce metrics from that time period may be lost. Users of Google Analytics have been pretty understanding and that is understandably so - I mean the service is free - but on the flip side loosing the e-commerce metrics were probably the worst metrics to have go missing.

Today I logged into my GA account and happened to click on Benchmarking and google-missing-datanoticed a dip in the graphs. At first I thought that it was my traffic that had dipped but upon closer examination it was Google’s Benchmark that dipped. While this isn’t the end of the world in regards to using their service it does bring a case and point as to “You get what you pay for”. When there is no money on the table you really do not have a voice to complain with.

Free is great, if… your livelihood doesn’t depend on it.

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Goal: 2 Posts a Day Around the idano Blog Network

May 14th, 2008 Comments off

hurdels That is my goal - 2 posts a day around the idano Blog Network.

So far I have been doing pretty good although yesterday I only did one real post but then did a pretty extensive "About Me" page over at my personal site - Dan Masters Online. That is my new personal blog and I have been doing the majority of my work/posts over there.

Along with the updated About Me page I also added my feed to the aggregated feed for all of the blogs in the idano Blog Network so it can it can be automatically listed here and so it can get some traction in the search engines. It is coming along and it is nice to have a place where I can blog about whatever I want.

There is plenty of work to do around the rest of the network but I am ramping up slowly.

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Caught in the Mud of Getting Organized

May 12th, 2008 Comments off

stuck-in-the-mud Ugh. I have slacked off on blogging around the network for so long now that things are in such disarray that I cannot simply sit down and blog when I get inspired. There are so many updates, re-orgs, and general maintenance that now I have to do 12 things in order just to do a single post done.

Today, I finally broke down and blogged here because the other post that I wanted to do about some new headphones I bought had to be put on hold. This was due to the fact that I didn’t have a blog to appropriately post to (normally I would do it here). Oh well, these are pains of growing I guess.

On a separate note I have decided that the layout of this site is going to change somewhat. The blog that resides here is actually going to become secondary to the aggregated posts from the network. So basically the latest post and a blurb from it will be the post that you see front and center and the latest post from this blog will be in the sidebar. The idea here is that I am trying to push the content from the other sites from here so they need the spot light. The perils of running this monstrosity are secondary to what is going on out there in the real world.

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Returning to the Land of the Living

May 12th, 2008 Comments off

Well it has been quite a long time since I have posted here. In Blogoshere that’s a bad thing but I am back never the less.

My drop off in posting was directly related to how busy I became both at work and at home with both house at the same time. At work I got the equivalent of a promotion (I say equivalent because I got the responsibly but not necessarily the title or the money, but both should be coming) so that kept me busy during the day which when I had free time I would blog. With the two houses it was a combination of getting loans done, getting the new house ready to move into, and getting the older house ready for someone else to move into.

Porch1 So here I am, sitting on my back porch of my new house with the majority of the move-in projects done. This is actually the first time that I have sat out on our second story porch and got to enjoy it. It is nice to be able to sit here with my laptop and type away and watch people walk back and forth to the little neighborhood park we have that is a block away.

The kids are in their individual rooms enjoying their own personal space. My mother and father-in-law were downstairs outside for a while but then retired indoors downstairs to watch TV in the downstairs family room. They eventually retired to their room that is also down stairs.

The house is really nice and has a great setup. Everyone has their own space and can get away to do whatever they need to do uninterrupted. The upstairs is where my wife and I reside with the kids. They all have their space and we have ours. We have our own family room upstairs and in the laundry/utility room we have added a little fridge and microwave so it doubles as a mini kitchen.

I feel so much more at peace in this house then I ever did in the other house. Don’t get me wrong, the other house is great but it just didn’t fit for us the way this one does. Here everything just falls into place and is comfortable.

Anyway, enough of the heartfelt commentary for right now. I will get down into the nitty gritty of everything that has been done at both houses in the days and weeks to come. There is a lot so expect to see plenty of posts.

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