selling out again

Over the course of the past few years, I must have received a few dozen letters from people suggesting that I try to incorporate advertising into I suspect that they were thinking that if I was making some money with the site, I might be more inclined to do a decent job. Or, maybe they were just thinking that at least ads would take up some space that would otherwise be filled with my self-indulgent, often paranoid drivel… At any rate, I’d thought about it over the years, and always came to the same conclusion — the presence of ads wouldn’t enhance the overall experience that I’m looking to create here at I had thought, however, that it might be neat if I could somehow work something out with Amazon so that if I linked to something that they were selling that I could make a few cents on resulting sales, and perhaps even generate enough each year to pay for the hosting of this site.

Well, when I was stuck here at the coffee shop yesterday afternoon, unable to work on my scripts (because I’d forgotten to install Word on my new laptop), I got on-line and filled out an application to join the Amazon affiliate program. And, just now, I got the word from Amazon that passed the test. (Apparently they decided that my readership was reliable enough, and that my references to “ball shaving,” “monkey taints,” and the “ejaculation ray” didn’t in themselves constitute a complete lack of merit.) So, I am now happy to announce that anytime you follow a link from this site to a product for sale at Amazon, and then buy that item, I will get a very small cut. More importantly, I wanted to let you know that from now on any suggestions that I make should be viewed with a great deal of suspicion. (I will push the boundaries, but hopefully not too far.)

So, if you see me hawking something like “State of Fear,” the new Michael Crichton bullshit bestseller about the big lie of global warming and it’s proponents, the environmental terrorists, please do me a favor and put together a posse to hunt me down and remove my blogging hand.

If, however, you find me suggesting that you purchase truly great things, like the new Daniel Johnston album “The Late Great Daniel Johnston: Discovered Covered,” or Brian Wilson’s long awaited “Smile,” do yourself (and me) a favor, and buy it immediately.

I love you all so very much… I don’t think I say that often enough, but I really do.

Posted in Mark's Life | 6 Comments


I hadn’t been planning to say anything about the tsunami that recently claimed the lives of over 120,000 people in Indonesia and it’s neighboring countries. I didn’t think there was much that I could add to the conversation, except maybe a critique of Bush’s wavering commitment to the international relief effort. Someone who reads this site just left a comment though, asking if I knew anything about the various not-for-profit organizations that are providing aid to the victims, and which ones might make the best use of her contribution. While it seems to me that I’ve seen a comparative analysis of these groups in the past, however, I can’t seem to find anything on-line now. So, I’m turning to you folks. If you have any information, please leave a comment…. Here’s the note from Chris:

OK, Mark, A different topic. I came here hoping there was a discussion of relief efforts regarding the tsunami. I look to your blog for the voice of studied, logical, well-considered reason (no pressure). I am hoping that you or some like-minded readers would have some advice regarding which relief organizations are more likely to get relief to the victims with the least amount of overhead. Does anyone have any knowledge of which groups are best? I am thinking of sending money to ONE of the following: Oxfam (currently out ahead of the rest of the pack), CARE, or UNICEF. Anybody have any suggestions? I try to google for this info but get nothing other than more bad news. Just tell me where to send the check and it is so totally in the mail. Oh, congrats on your new laptop, I am writing this on my new laptop.

Happy new Year everybody!!! Oh, by the way, GOD is FUCKING DEAD!

I recall reading a scathing analysis of the United Way at some not-for-profit watchdog group not too long ago, so I know that there’s someone out there looking at the industry, and monitoring the effectiveness of their efforts (and how much they pay their executives), but I’ll be damned if I know where to look right now… Thanks for you help.

Posted in Other | 5 Comments

now that i have the place to myself

Hey, I don’t know if anyone’s still out there (I just looked at the webstats program and it appears as though readership has fallen off by one hundred people a day since my last post, putting today’s audience at almost zero), but I just thought that I’d stop in and say “hello.” Hopefully, I’ll have time to say more later, but right now I’ve got my hands full trying to get this new laptop of mine (a Mac PowerBook G4) up and running… I hope your holidays are going well.

…As for the laptop, no, I didn’t get it for Christmas. (I did, however, get a rather generous cash grant from my parents for a new Living Room rug. (They didn’t like the idea of Clementine learning to crawl on the well-worn, flea-embedded, dog slobber-soaked thing we now have in front of the couch.)) I bought the laptop myself with the money I’d saved up from my freelance writing job. (I needed to buy it by the end of the year so that I could write it off against my earnings.) Speaking of the writing gig, I’m way behind and I have a half-dozen scripts due by the end of the week. In light of that fact, I guess I should be bringing this post to an end… Wish me luck.

Posted in Mark's Life | 14 Comments


I’m cleaning house and waiting for the in-laws. How’s your holiday going?

Posted in Mark's Life | 9 Comments

pirate baby

(thank you Kristin for the photo)

Posted in Photographs | 3 Comments


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