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Frank Gumola - Journal | Weblog

Shout It Out Loud

David returned home from last night's Cavs game with a few gifts in tow:Seriously? Chandra Wilson and Kid Rock in Cleveland? Must be pretty cold down there, eh red?

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Minimal Bandwidth Movie Reviews

We all know how long it takes me to get my lazy ass to the cinema; here's my take on some recently watched flicks, minimally worded for you busy boys and girls:
    Spider-Man 3: Woohoo! Wait, what the hell was that crap?
    Casino Royale: Woohoo! OMG! Freeze on that ocean scene!
    Rocky Balboa: Wake me when Milo gets screen time.

He's Probably A Nice Guy

If a man you've never met before suddenly strikes up a conversation and tosses a statement about not hitting on your boyfriend, "I swear" in there, chances are he's lying.

This has happened to David and I quite a few times, and by now we simply laugh it off and engage in what undoubtedly turns out to be meaningless, yet polite banter.

In a rare turn of events, the gentleman in question was sincere, and looking to make new friends. Something the boyfriend and I have had a hard time doing since our arrival last July. Making 'bar' friends after a few cocktails is easy; making friends while sober and while enjoying those first few sips of round one can be a bit tricky, for me anyway.

Newsflash: I've got trust issues ya'll.

Our new friend and I talked about technology, Cleveland East versus Cleveland West, and the fact that David and I were so far apart in age.

I admitted to being thirty-eight, he admitted to being shocked.

The three of us ended up meeting up at another local watering hole later in the night and before saying our goodbyes, exchanged phone numbers.

He called my mobile a few days ago and left a nice little voice message. Nothing out of the ordinary, a simple inquiry as to what was going on in our neck of the woods that evening.

I deleted the message and never called the guy back.

I feel a bit guilty for not telling David.

But then again, David's not the one he wasn't hitting on, I swear.

Latest Flickr Update

YBJ in the house, indeed.

Memory Almost Full

Despite the fact that I absolutely, positively cannot stand his previous work with that damn hippie band (go ahead, I'm entitled to my taste in music) I plan to attend the Paul McCartney listening party at the Rock Hall next Wednesday evening for the following reasons: it's free, it's air conditioned, it's the Rock Hall.

Any chance to get into the Rock Hall I can get, I take.

Besides, my last visit resulted in a free one year subscription to Rolling Stone magazine.

Gift horse, mouth, etc.

I Can Has T-Shirt

Just to show him that I do indeed care, I'm ordering this in time for football season.


(this is one of mine)

See? It pays to take low tech photos.

Talk To Me

I've kept a few answering machine messages from my pre-mobile phone days; one I left myself during my first and only acid trip, one of my Mother warning me to keep safe in Chicago, and a few others left by men reminding me of extra special moments I never want to forget.

They serve as a reminder of not only my past (and my past antics), but who I've become.

Mark Craig has kept every single thing his machine has recorded since 1985.

Too bad I didn't think of this.

Of course my collection would consist mostly of twenty years of Mama Gumola laying on the Catholic guilt about my not calling as often as I should.

Some things need to be left unheard.

Offensive Behavior

One of my coworkers is a registered sex offender.

I know this because:
  • finding the information online is easy
  • a complete stranger told me causing my inquiring mind to wander the web
The complete stranger isn't a complete stranger, but someone who frequents my workplace a few times a week.

I've always Googled my dates, prospective employers, that pesky dry patch of skin on my elbow.

I never thought twice about researching coworkers and dirty little secrets.

Checking various community 'watchdog' sites reveals that I should be a little wary about walking around this neighborhood at night; one of my neighbors, he lives just across the street, is also a registered sex offender.

As is the man down the street.

And three of his neighbors.

And if I change the search query to include a five mile radius?

Time to think about moving.

LOL President

Presenting: the meme that will not die.

Hot, Bothered

I've never felt comfortable calling in sick, but that's just what I did yesterday. I woke after a night out with David, only to fall right back down into bed, dizzy, feverish and still a bit exhausted.

Perhaps a bit of bad food from the night before? Whatever it was, it kept me indoors and on the sofa the entire day. Blankets, pillows, really bad 80's movies and the attention of an extremely attentive boytoy; and I feel almost one hundred percent better.

I read as much as I can possibly unearth when it comes to two of my favorite television shows; but even I didn't see the ending of last night's Desperate Housewives coming until the scene played out.

I'm still disturbed by the fact that such a strong character would choose such a weak escape from 'reality'. I know, it's fiction. I know, it's a television show.

Still, it bothers me.

A great deal.

BBC Diners

Pete Burns' Cher impressions alone make the video worth watching.

Touch Up

Found on MetaFilter: a fantastic, free Photoshop plug-in.

Before Filter Application

After Filter Application

This is a pretty keen find. As some of you know, every single photo on my Flickr acount is taken with a Razr. Not exactly high tech. Still, using this plug-in allows me to give the photo the look I think it should have.

This afternoon I found a tutorial that does a good job of simulating HDR techniques using only a single JPEG.

Get your creativity on, kids.

Food Stamp Challenge

"Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) stood before the refrigerated section of the Safeway on Capitol Hill yesterday and looked longingly at the eggs.

At $1.29 for a half-dozen, he couldn't afford them.

Ryan and three other members of Congress have pledged to live for one week on $21 worth of food, the amount the average food stamp recipient receives in federal assistance. That's $3 a day or $1 a meal. They started yesterday." - Washington Post

Mr. Ryan is posting his progress for all to read.

From a recent post:
    "I’m feeling much better today. Yesterday, I didn’t eat anything at all until lunchtime, and that really took a lot out of me."
I really want to believe something good will come from this. Sadly, I don't believe a week of this is long enough for the people involved to fully comprehend the situation.

Maybe the parties involved should be forced to live on minimum wage for a month as well. You know, to get the full effect.

Vintage Cleveland

In an effort to satisfy my seemingly never ending visual craving for all things fashion, I logged into my Flickr account and began viewing profiles and random sets of photos.

Searching for "Cleveland Fashion" returned some interesting results; one set caught my eye immediately.

From the user's profile:
    "The United States Census Bureau has ranked Cleveland the poorest large city in the nation with 32.4 percent of the population below the poverty line. Don't be fooled, the pictures contained within this page are not documents of a bygone era or economic hardship. SGS chronicles modern living in Cleveland. We have a deep respect for the Density of Life and all the beauty that Randomness places upon us.

    While the nation's gaze is fixed on an unattainable pixelated dream, a new Wisdom has been birthed in our beloved City. We have opened our eyes to a new reality; a reality that rests behind the textual veils of Commercial Speak and Government Data.

    Knowing now that the mountaintop is Cleveland we welcome you with Loving Tolerance. Our Mercy and Humility is a gently polished pearl within The Golden Den.

    As a gift to those who have left us and those who will never come; we present you with digitized reproductions of the Gateways to Wisdom.

    Enjoy your journey and embrace scarcity wherever you may find it."
Pouring over each and every one of the 409 photos in this set is certainly one long, beautiful journey.

Cute, Cuter, Cutest

Cute is the quizzical look on his face when he finds a peppercorn in one of the sandwiches I prepared for his lunch.

Cuter is the way he disassembles his meal, only to discover the lone peppercorn piece.

Cutest is the knowing grin he gives me upon realizing I've been taking the peppercorns out of his midday snacks for almost two years.

Orange Is The New Paris

Dear Paris,

While I'm certain you've received some wonderful advice on how to cope with your impending jail sentence, I'd like to offer some advice from my area of expertise: wearing that orange jumpsuit.

I've never had the unfortunate experience of wearing such a garment, but I do know a little about fashion, and enough to help you pull off such a look.

I've seen you in shades of citrus, girl. Tsk. Tsk. Get a good tan before you get to the big house, because you may not see enough daylight while there to pull off the color in question.

Accessorizing that monstrosity is not going to be permitted. That means no belt. So, let's make sure you get a proper fit upon arrival. May I suggest a high waist? The fit flawlessly flatters your female assets.

Let's ponder pegging. While the pegged pant leg may be a thing of the past; I'm positive you can bring it back. And with a vengeance. Just be sure to watch the circulation; bulging vein covered ankles look good on no one.

If the garment you're required to wear is short sleeved, spend your free time gnawing away at the cuffs. The end result will be akin to the unfinished edge of even the most glorious Chanel skirt, and you will be amazed at just how much time flies by on achieving such a look!

Use those nails, girl. Stuffing removed from your mattress can easily double as shoulder pads. Just slip a small stack under your bra strap and you're good to go. We're not trying to recreate the Dynasty look; but enough padding to bulk up those shoulders may make the other inmates think twice about causing a catfight.

No bra? No problem! Ask one of the guards for some scotch tape.

You can do this, PH. And with my tips in mind, look fabulous the whole time.



Where's Wi-Fi?

I picked up a copy of Cleveland City Living 2007 today (not to be confused with this Cleveland City Living).

David and I enjoy perusing the available loft-style apartments and unique living spaces when these advertising supplements are published.

Adding the phrase 'loft-style' to your dwelling description apparently affords you the right to increase your rent a few hundred dollars. Still, the spaces are quite gorgeous.

Page thirty-three was of special interest to me. I already know that Mayor Jackson has the desire to make Wi-Fi readily available throughout the city; I didn't know how many businesses near my home already offer free wireless internet service. Using this page from CNET provides even more results.

This is great news for me and my laptop.

Time Lapse Tribe

Now this is cool. From the Plain Dealer video archive:
    "Watch as the Cleveland Indians and Jacobs Field grounds crew battle the Seattle Mariners and the snow."
Also, this is probably the only way David can get me to sit through an entire baseball game.

Treat Her Right

Happy Mother's Day, Mom!

Peach Package

Stan Peach recently held a t-shirt giveaway. To get a shirt, one simply needed to email Stan a request.

My request (along with the others that made the cut) is posted on the site. I decided to let the artist choose which shirt to send. I informed Stan that I "look best in blue but would certainly rock pink".

The shirt pictured here arrived in the mail today.

Organic cotton never smelled so good.

More Million / Billion News

By now you should all know about my love for all things Gavin Bellour.

From a recent MySpace bulletin:
    "Hey Y'all,

    The Million / Billion song 'MILK & HONEY' will be featured on the final episode of KING OF QUEENS this coming Monday (5/14) at 9pm on CBS.

    The full song will accompany a montage of clips from the show's 9-year history.

    King of Queens creator, Michael Weithorn actually dropped us a line personally to let us know how much he loved the album and that if the song was around 9 years ago, he and the show's star, Kevin James, decided they would have used it as a theme.

    Oh well, next time i guess ...

    In the Meantime, set your Tivos and snuggle up with a loved one. The montage will air at the end of the show around 9:25ish."
With Gavin's blessing, I uploaded this short video about the band to YouTube. Enjoy.

Rapture Wrap Up

Local Cleveland filmmaker Johnny K. Wu's latest creations are featured in today's Plain Dealer.

I only recently found out that Mr. Wu is a resident of my neighborhood, and thanks to a brief conversation with one of the actors from his film The Rapture, I know where I might find him on any given Saturday night.

Note to self: carry a head shot at all times.

Mr. Wu kept a weblog documenting the filming process of The Rapture, and it makes for some interesting reading.

Here's the current trailer making the rounds at Cannes this week.

MDI is currently seeking unsigned Cleveland bands interested in submitting music to be included in the final release of the film. Get your groove on, kids.

I'll be busy perfecting my red carpet stance; because there's no way I'm missing auditions for his next feature.

What Towel?

It's been the week from hell, kids.

Ever since the boytoy and I moved to Cleveland, I've felt as though we've been fighting an uphill battle just to keep our heads above water. This week brought about a string of bad luck (there's really no other way to describe it) and I honestly thought about throwing in the towel and moving back home to Warren.

For about a minute.

I took a long walk along the beach, let the water lap at my toes, and got a good look at the city while the sun went down.

I just let the negativity go away. I filled my mind with his smile, thoughts of our future together, and realized that anything worth having isn't always easy to obtain.

But seriously? I wouldn't wish the week I've had on my worst enemy.

OK, yes I would. But only that one person.

Cleveland Rocks N' Runs

2007 Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon Promo Video
From the site:
    "The Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon announced a new partnership with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum to promote and celebrate the 30th anniversary of the marathon on Sunday, May 20.

    The Cleveland organizations, which both bring thousands of people and millions of tourism dollars to the city each year, will work in conjunction to promote weekend events and offer reciprocal discounts and promotions to one another’s constituents. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum will also staff one of the water stations along the course.

    The Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon, one of the 50 oldest marathons in the country, begins at East 13th and St. Clair and ends at St. Clair and East 12th street, just blocks from the Rock Hall entrance. Runners pass the state-of the-art facility on their 26.2 mile journey, as well as other points of interest including the Rockefeller Park, Browns Stadium, Jacobs Field, Ohio City and more."
Darn. I should have started training months ago.

Oh, snap! I can get him to run for me!

Scissor, Sister

All I want out of life is money, fame, and a hair dresser capable of turning my unmanageable locks into the most happening of styles.

I slept in this morning (When don't I?), which meant less prep time in front of the mirror.

My hair has reached the length known as 'problem' and I decided to not waste precious minutes applying liquid cement. Forcing the product of my follicles to defy gravity on a daily basis takes time, energy, and a three-way bathroom mirror. Which, thank Homo Depot, I have.

Two steps into the door and I hear praise for the new look from a co-worker. I, of course, not being able to take a compliment at all, laughed it off and murmured something about being late, blah, blah, blah.

Then I got home and the boytoy began brushing his fingers through the 'do.

Now I know what the cat feels like.

Kidding aside, I thought about my 'should I shear it' situation. I have sported the same style for almost ten years.

It started in Chicago. I asked a co-worker who cut his hair. I went to the same barber the entire time I lived in the city.

And made an appointment the morning I moved out of the city.

Then, in Richmond, Virginia, I did the same. I was a repeat customer of a lovely female stylist for four years.

Besides being damn good with scissors, her lavender oil temple rubs and chamomile tea chats kept me going back.

Now I've found an incredible place here in Cleveland. Putting green, beer, and cable television. You can get drunk and play golf while waiting for your highlights to dry. Isn't that right, David?

So even though I'm all set to say goodbye to a few inches of skull fur, I'm loving the attention the longer hair is bringing my way.

There's one thing that bothers me: I have a small stripe of gray. I'm allergic to most hair color products and believe me, the process of testing them isn't pretty.

A stylist once dripped color on my wrist in passing. I immediately wiped it off, but a burn mark surfaced minutes later.

So, I either need to find a new style I can pull off at thirty-eight (cut away the gray), or let it grow for now and face my fear of aging.

Gracefully, of course.

And I Mean EVERYthing

(via the horizontal scrolling blog of Urban Outfitters. No, really.)

Walking On Broken Glass

Buzzfeed links to a Daily Mail article about Annie Lennox's daughter Lola throwing a party that got a wee bit out of control. The article states:
    "Party-goers daubed graffiti on walls, broke pictures and lampshades, tore apart books, urinated and vomited on carpets, flooded the kitchen and had a pitch battle in the garden."
Annie Lennox released an official statement on her MySpace blog:
    "Please bear in mind that it is grossly exaggerated and contains numerous inaccuracies. It is typical of the kind of misrepresentation and misinformation we 're constantly fed by the press.

    My family's privacy has been violated and I feel disgusted...The supposed "family friend" who helped create this is no friend of mine."
As tempting as the notion is; I don't have the energy to search MySpace for Lola's profile. Besides, I'd feel a bit creepy.

Though I'm sure it will turn up sooner or later.

Gimme³ A Gift After Midnight

"Get your Momma something pretty."

I printed these words on about a dozen sheets of paper and slipped them into silver picture frames, strategically placing them around the store. My boss loved the idea, and sales for the month increased noticeably.

This was many years ago in Chicago, one of my retail memories.

Design Mom is currently giving away Mother's Day gifts from May 7th to 11th.

Read the rules, leave a comment, and you just might get your Momma something pretty, and for free.

This Is How You Remind Me

A man with one leg kicked me from behind this morning.

At first I thought it may have been an accident. Upon turning around I realized he had dropped his wallet and his kick was a cry for help. He couldn't speak and used one of his crutches to point to the wallet.

At first I was irritated, then ashamed that I allowed myself to get the slightest bit angry.

Either more mentally challenged unfortunate souls are moving into the neighborhood, or I'm just now becoming aware of their presence.

There's the 'use the lipstick once and throw it away' lady, the 'I may have one tooth but I can't stop smiling and drooling' man, the 'I'm blind as a bat but refuse to wear glasses and feel my way around' senior citizen, and the tattooed freak who resembles Julia Roberts and her bushy brows from Pretty Woman. He (yes, he) lisps and has breasts.

Times might be tough, but even I know when to shut the hell up and stop complaining.

Times Two

From today's NYT Style Magazine, a few noteworthy links in photo form.

Fine Thanks, You?

I haven't much to write about this evening, so I'll simply mention a few things:
    I'm working more, and I can't seem to get enough sleep lately. Lack of sleep adds to my stress level, which we all know needs to go down. Way down. Yoga class on my next day off.

    Again, left the mobile at home. Upon retrieving messages, found out Mom still doesn't understand voice mail can't be heard by me until I check the messages. She asks questions and waits for me to pick up the phone. Bless her heart. Yet, (as previously mentioned) she recently mastered texting and today I got the famous family pizzelle recipe.

    I adore my gift from my friend Patty and am making use of it at this very moment. No. Get your own cool friend named Patty.

    My Monday after-work plans might have changed, thanks to Tim. I said might have changed. I'm going to do my best to be there.
Now go for a walk, or something. The weather's beautiful. Race you to the beach?

Homo Don't Play That

The small art gallery just down the street from my apartment is gone. The spot is now home to urban style clothing, faux (but cute) designer sunglasses, and incense.

I've seen the owner pass out grand opening announcements to each and every car at the nearby traffic light. Red light? Have a flier. Green light? Please don't run over my robe, I'll kindly get out of your way.

David and I were returning home from an afternoon of coffee, fruit smoothies, and quiet time when I walked passed the storefront window.

I noticed Green Tea incense wrapped in ribbon.

It is important for you to know that anything wrapped in ribbon and labeled 'Green Tea', 'English Garden', 'Gardenia', or 'Lavender' will get my attention. And if it smells good? Sold.

David knows this and does his best to keep my wallet from harm's way. He'll even plan our walking route accordingly, keeping me from impulse purchases. Remind me to tell you about the Hello Kitty skull and crossbones bejeweled belt buckle, in blue.

The boyfriend's mind must have been wandering a bit yesterday afternoon because before he knew what happened he was taking two steps forward, alone. I was in the store making my purchase.

I was asked to peruse the triple extra large t-shirts. I declined. A weave? No thanks, I'm really not interested. But thanks for noticing the huge alternative lifestyle sign on my forehead and welcoming me inside anyway. Just the incense, thanks.

What's this? A free sample of mystery body oil? Score.

I returned to David's side, it couldn't have taken more than three or four minutes to complete my purchase. I commented on the pleasant attitude of the owner and made a mental note to go back for some sunglasses.

I'd love to show my support for this new neighborhood business by purchasing more wearable goods; it's just that I really don't have the desire to wear a shirt that fits like a dress.

Cover To Cover

I'm a sucker for this HEROES stuff.

Entertainment Weekly
has released five different HEROES covers hyping the final episodes of the season. Placed side by side the covers reveal a bigger picture.

Examine the covers closely and find a few fun clues.

Excuse me, I'm off to the newsstand.

LOL Enough Already

If LOLCats had a television channel, what would it look like? Clearly, this.

Another recent discovery: LOLKottke.

Spin Sin

From Wikipedia: (The video) is set to be premiered May 17, 2007 via Total Request Live.

I never bought the cd (until recently). I didn't know she did this. I'm not very amused.

Still, my foot's tapping to the all too familiar beat.

Mama, Just Killed A Meme

I left my mobile at home this morning and just now got around to checking my text messages. First one of the day:
    "I'm in ur mallz. Buying ur capri pants and drinkin ur mocha."
She's getting good, but pray my Mother doesn't discover Twitter.

The It List

I've been tagged by Tim, who was tagged by Mel, who was...well you get the picture.

The idea is to list 10 random yet interesting facts about my life (a mini 100 things updated - apologies to those of you who already know some items from the list), and tag ten other bloggers at the end of the post. I'm not certain anyone will find this interesting, but here goes:
  • I love large bodies of water but fear being on them. I adore boats, and would love to befriend a Lake Erie boater this summer; yet I'm terrified of what could possibly happen. I'm not a good swimmer. Still, sex on a yacht is never out of the question.
  • I own one article of red clothing, a Homestar Runner t-shirt. I sleep in it.
  • I have a brother who, until a few nights ago, I hadn't talked to in over six years. We're cool, thanks for asking.
  • My Mother and I share a clairvoyant connection. We also see dead people. She's cool with it, it freaks me out. Especially lately. Stop it, Ma! I'll call, I'll call!
  • This is one of my younger brothers. Baseball is on hold, his son is his world. I couldn't be more proud.
  • I have yet to sit through an entire Adam Sandler movie. Next!
  • I still cry thinking about the loss of a childhood pet. Miso's no replacement, but I'll be damned if you think we're parting any time soon.
  • I cook. A lot. And sometimes, for a living. I like to bring my work home with me. I'm sorry I can't be more specific. Legalities, and all. You know how this blogging thing works.
  • My sister dated, and lived with, one of Mike Tyson's bodyguards. It happened in Vegas. She'd like to keep it there. No, I can't get you an autograph or tickets to a fight, sorry.
  • This took longer than originally anticipated and I burned the salisbury steak. Happy?
And now I gleefully tag thee (Please note - there are people I will not tag for privacy reasons, respect in full effect): Alex, Betty, Brian, Cyrus, Daniel, Fredo, Jeffrey, MJ, Ron, Shel

Table The Label

How on earth did I ever miss this?

When I was a kid my Mother took me to Randall Park Mall quite a bit. During my early teens I was permitted to take the bus to the mall alone and would spend a number of Saturday afternoons exploring the complex. It kept me busy, and out of trouble.

My time there also introduced me to the wonderful world of electronics and sparked my interest in computers and computer gaming. I'd often spend entire Saturdays in the company of the staff of the Electronics Boutique (now EB Games) tinkering with the TI or Commodore 64 computers. I still remember the three staff members who'd basically babysit me by letting me have full reign of the store and any console I wanted to get my greedy little hands on.

One day while en route to EB, I noticed that Mr. T was going to be signing autographs at one of the mall's bookstores. I told Mom, and both of us being huge fans of The A-Team, we decided to attend the signing.

I'm still creeped out by the memory of Mr. T leering at my Mom. But yeah, it totally happened.

And yeah, she totally blushed.

Frankie And The Angry Russian

I've been working in the customer service industry since I was eighteen.

There was a brief time I worked midnights at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit; sitting at a computer terminal typing in what reports should be printed when, then I would deliver the reports to various offices throughout the complex.

If I remember correctly, that was my only non customer service related job.

So, I've got about twenty years of dealing with the public under my belt. I know how to handle the pleasant, cheerful, irate, and the occasional imbecile.

But for the life of me I can't figure out The Angry Russian.

I see this young woman about once (rarely twice) a day, roughly six days a week. Things got sour the day she asked me if I was lazy.

Lazy. Me. The man who worked three jobs for six months when he first moved here just to get back into a bit of a comfort zone. Lazy. I repeat the word because of the shock it has on me upon hearing it directed to me.

I keep hoping it was a mistake on her part; a language issue. She does speak broken English, and with a bit of a struggle.

When she walks through the door, I get a glare. She gets one as well, but not from me. Her poor wardrobe choices cause anyone within her immediate vicinity to cringe. Her foul language causes customers within earshot to complain.

Today I smiled and completed the transaction praying The Angry Russian wasn't in the mood for small talk. I've been lucky lately.

The Angry Russian slurred her words and dropped a few F-bombs. I called her on it with a simple yet firm, "Language!"

"Language!" must translate to "Set your inner lioness free," because she began to growl and purr at me.

If she so much as winks at me tomorrow, it's on.

For Every Success There Are Ten Failures

The man behind one of my favorite websites just launched Fortuitous.

From the entry titled Launched:

"Since I left the working world, things have gone really well. Things have continued to grow in every aspect but I've had to learn a lot in the process. I recently realized there are a lot of people trying to make a living from blogging but there aren't a lot of sites with basic business advice for people doing it. I figured maybe it'd help some people out if I wrote up how to find a good accountant or lawyer, when to start a LLC, and how best to manage advertising."

I have no interest in making my living via blogging but the site promises some interesting reading, to say the least.