I'll typically keep an eye on the BitTorrent tracker sites such as The Pirate Bay and btjunkie.org, just to see what's popular day in and day out. It's actually an interesting process, though there can really be a lot of junk to wade through (one way to help with this is to create a Yahoo! Pipe to filter some of the data).

In any case, on June 15 of this year, Rise of the Silver Surfer - the sequel to Fantastic Four - was released in theaters. A day or two before that, the movie was released as a torrent. Since then, with very few exceptions, this movie simply will not go away. With the DVD set for release in about a month, it's now time for the DVD rips to start hitting, so I suspect that we'll start seeing those soon.

With the primaries just a bit over two weeks away, I thought it important to mention a lesson that I learned slightly after the last election: The importance of timely material. More specifically the importance of the timely arrival of material.

If you're like myself and millions of others out there, as an election draws near, you are very likely bombarded by mailings and phone calls to tell you to vote for someone - or, perhaps, to not vote for someone. There's a very likely chance that you simply deposit the mail in the trash (or, if you're a good neighbor, in the recycle bin) without ever looking at it. This is generally what I do.

But one piece of mail caught my attention after the last election, and I thought it worth mentioning. I think that just about everyone will find it interesting.

It's no secret that I don't really care much for politicians. Sure, I understand that they are necessary and all because we can't have complete anarchy (though a little bit might be nice). Maybe they could just get their nose out of everything and we'd be okay.

But I try and keep up on what's happening here and there, just so that I'm not completely bogged down in what's happening to totally tick me off with where they've decided to get involved that they shouldn't. For instance, one of the very first entries on the blog (#6) talked about North Carolina having a state insect and how that might be a little over the line.

When they decide that zero isn't really zero is when I just have no clue.

Premiere: Californication

Now this is how colleges should sell you on your career. No guidance counselor holds a candle to Hank Moody if they are trying to sell you on the benefits of being a writer, especially one who is perhaps not the greatest at their craft and is having troubles in their personal life to boot.

Though it has been established that many people - and specifically those in Charlotte - do not read what they are signing before they sign it, many of you may well be wondering - and rightfully so - where that leaves things. What will happen if the transit tax is revoked?

First and foremost, everyone purchasing something in Mecklenburg County will save a bit of money with every purchase. That's the good news. And it's probably the end of the good news, especially if you're a resident of the county. Why? Because we've already been told that if the tax is repealed that it will be replaced by higher property taxes. The fact that the citizens don't want the tax - and by extension, the transit plan - is completely irrelevant. The council will do what they want. They showed us that with the arena, and they're going to do it again. Are you used to it yet? I'm not either - so let's see what else we can find out.

If you have connected your TiVo to the network, then there is a good chance you have seen this message. Unfortunately, there is not much help from TiVo desktop in resolving this message, which can often be the case with errors, and can make your enjoyment of TiVo, well, much less enjoyable. Luckily it is usually fairly simple to resolve.

A few months back, the Charlotte Observer ran a story about how Eastland Mall must go. Unfortunately, the Observer has this policy where all of their articles older than a week or so are no longer available online (are you telling me if the New York Times can no longer charge, the Observer can?). You can rarely even find a link to them on their own site, and when you can, they want to you to pay to get to them. It's not that I have a problem with that or anything, it's just that they make it so difficult to do - so I can't link to it. That makes it a real pain.

Anyway, I finally went to read the article, and naturally couldn't read it. So I had to dig around my own archives - which is to say, a pile of newspapers that I have sitting next to my desk - and found the article in order to give it a good read. It's actually not bad. Being that I live only a couple of miles from Eastland Mall, it would probably be good for property values. I don't know that it will happen anytime soon, but a man can dream, right?

Obviously, there are those of you out there (I'm talking about the people who actually care what the American Community Survey may represent) who do read before they sign. But these days, when buying a house requires a lawyer because of the monstrous stack of documents that would take you months to read through, and even applying for a credit card can require hours of reading if you really read every single word, do you read everything before you put your name on the dotted line?

Apparently there is a significant percentage of people here in Charlotte who don't (I suspect that there are plenty in other places too).

For those who haven't been paying attention, it's recently been verified that the petition to force a referendum to repeal the transit tax (enacted in 1998) has 48,000 valid signatures, which means a November vote on the issue is likely. So why is it an issue if people pay attention to what they are signing? Because it seems that those who asked for people to sign the petition didn't actually tell folks what they were signing, and many of those who did sign didn't bother to read. But it's also apparent that many of the people who voted for the original tax in 1998 did so based on what they were told, rather than reading the fine print as well, so the proverbial knife can cut both ways.

I've been debating for a while about whether or not to add an email subscription option, but I finally decided to do it. Using FeedBurner makes the option really painless to implement, after all, so I figured that there was no harm in doing so.

If you already use FeedBurner - and anyone using Movable Type has no reason not to, with the release earlier this year of my MT-FeedBurner plugin - then you can use this service.

I recently posted about one year of advertising here on the blog. Over that year, advertising revenue has gone up by about 50%. But over that time, what has changed? Why exactly did the revenue go up over the last year? I am certainly no expert, but I have been able to draw a few conclusions about what causes the data to fluctuate during that period.

Perhaps the most interesting time period has happened over the last month. For much of that time, I actually haven't written anything (some posts dated during that time have now been posted, because I've frantically been posting in order to catch up - but these were post-dated, after-the-fact). So during this entry, I'll cover that too. While it's been mentioned that the site doesn't make boatloads of money, it does provide an interesting look at some mechanics of how things seem to work - at least in the context of this particular implementation.

It's no secret that I don't have a problem buying things online. Just recently, I've purchased a Cisco 1721, a Garmin GPSMap 60CSX, a Garmin eTrex Vista CX Navigator and an EVGA nForce 680i SLI 775 A1 Motherboard. In other words, I don't have a problem buying online, and I don't think that you should. But there are some things that I just don't get.

For instance, the other day, I was listening to Matt and Ramona, only to hear that Matt had ordered some swimming suits from a web site. I don't think he mentioned eBay - but he may have, and I just didn't hear it. Now that's just wacky. I don't know when I first ordered something online, but I'd pretty much guarantee you that it was a computer part of some kind, and I'd also be comfortable saying that I'm not sure if I would ever order clothes online.