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March 22nd, 2004

Economics with Kozo
or Thanks for the Tip

     Three weeks ago, started its first and hopefully last pledge drive asking for charitable contributions from its vast readership of five people. The decision was not made lightly, but it proved to be fortuitous because right after the pledge drive began, the bills came rolling in. Let's tally up:

  • Cost of 2004's webhosting: $60
  • Cost of one month's extra webspace: $15
  • Cost of February's extra bandwidth: $108
  • Cost of a new webhost for 2004 to avoid a monthly $130 bill: $120.
  • Cost of an Ekin-style haircut: $50.

     Subtracting the Ekin-style haircut (It was a business expense, dammit!), the grand total for March's non-movie watching expenses was $303. If we factor in the April bill from the former webhost, we can round up site expenditures from March/April to approximately $400. This is money the Webmaster did not have previous to March 1st, 2004.
     Well now he does. Thanks to the generous spirits (and wallets) of 57 individuals, received a grand total of $1001 during the two-week pledge drive. Minus PayPal fees, the adjusted total is $957.59. Again subtracting the March/April expenses, the money left over is $557.59. Factoring in the $20 blood money owed to site reviewer Sanjuro (don't ask), the total is adjusted to $537.59. Hell, even if we factored in the Ekin-style haircut, the money left over in's bank is $487.59.
     Actually, scratch the last expense—I was kidding about the Ekin-style haircut.
     With $537.59 in the official treasury, the site can suddenly do lots of things it couldn't do before. For one, it can now promise to stay online indefinitely, and by this I mean it'll remain in its current snarky glory for at least the forseeable future. No content will be cut for the sake of space. The site won't be downsized to become text-only. The current amount of pictures on the site will remain, and now we can choose to add even more if we want to.
     Also,'s insane bandwidth problems should be solved by the new webhost, which features something called hotlink protection. That means this: all the fine individuals who steal bandwidth from are now SOL. Woo hoo! Yep, I can now effectively stop the numerous Xanga zombies and forum-addicted people in Asia who were using's image URLs to decorate their pages with even more pictures of the Twins than they previously had. When I'm bored I sometimes visit these forums where people say, "Look, I found sum pics of Ah Gil and Ah Sa! Sooo cute!" This is followed by a post saying, "Uh, I cant see u pics. Pls I want 2 soo much!" Then more back and forth ensues as said forum posters wrangle with the difficulty of not being able to hotlink pictures from Meanwhile I cackle on my end of the World Wide Web. Words cannot accurately describe how satisfying this newfound power is.
     Okay, maybe that was a little cruel. I bear no grudges against those who use 1337 speak, that is unless they pwn me in "Unreal Tournament". Then you will taste my righteous fury. With a rocket launcher.
     For a period of time, I was actually worried about the site's future, and about if I had to shell out $400 to keep it afloat. Now, thanks to the kindness of strangers, I don't have to. I'd like to thank all those who took the time to donate from the absolute bottom of my heart—which contrary to popular belief is actually larger than a walnut. Really. It takes actual conscious effort for someone to e-mail someone else with well-wishes, let alone part with $12 of their own hard-earned money. Even more, they're giving it to some faceless guy on the Internet who routinely rips movies that other people cherish wholeheartedly. He also likes a lot of movies that other people hate, which leads to the occasional e-mail which asks him what he's smoking. And there are the occasional times when a reader and I will agree—which is cosmic harmony of untold proportions. But I digress.
     The big question is now what? Though I'm tempted to use the remaining money to go buy a Perfect Grade RX-78 Gundam GP01/Fb (only $300 including shipping), the donations were given to me in good faith that I'd use them to actually help the website out. Which is what I will do, though how is still uncertain. Normal operations can be kept up, i.e. simple updating and any future bandwidth costs (which will be less than $100 monthly, or the Webmaster will go postal). Perhaps some of the money can even be used for review DVDs. Now if I waste money on a copy of Feel 100% 2004 (which hasn't happened yet, though it probably still could), I can now feel better knowing that it was you, the readers, who paid for the DVD of a movie which probably couldn't serve as a drink coaster, let alone an actual film. The onus of buying crap will be off me, though I still took the time to watch it. It seems there's a catch with everything.
     But even more, what I will do is find a way to make sure that the site can remain online for a good long time. How? I'm not entirely sure. There's the age old idea that I can somehow make the site worth the time and effort put into it, but the moneymaking possibilities of a site like this are still beyond my limited understanding. There's the ad banner idea, which will get explored. Also, I'll one day open up a webstore to sell t-shirts, only because I personally want one myself. If anyone else wants one, I'll make $3 off it. Heck, I'll probably give more away then I actually sell, thereby using up some of the pledge money that's remaining. Sadly, the amount left probably won't last long if I use it on dedicated site expenses (Personally, I'm hoping it'll take me through the end of summer.), but it's more than I could have done a month ago. And for that, I'm truly grateful.
     So, if you were one of the people who donated, you should be receiving an e-mail or snail mail thank you, even if it takes the better part of the next few months. You've all already been added to the Sponsor Page, unless you specifically asked not to be, in which case I'll just have to remember that you were one of the people who saved's bacon. It may be a cliché, but the site is still here because people actually care to visit it. The number of vistors fluctuates, but they're still pretty high, and in truth it's sort of a waste to simply have the traffic and not use it for something. That something is unfortunately a mystery, but I'll try to figure out what it is, if not for myself then for the people who ask the exact same question. Among those people are my parents, who also have opinions on just about everything else that happens—or doesn't happen—in this meager existence I call a life. Most likely, I'll be using some of the Pledge Drive money to figure out what that next step is.
     But also, if nobody minds, I'd like to use some of the pledge money to buy some dinner sometime. Some Korean barbeque would be nice.

-- Kozo, 3/22/2004


Life with Kozo

The Featured Graphic
It's Hamtaro, the little animated hamster dude who's the cornerstone of his own toy line, comic book series, and probably an entire line of cosmetics for preteens. Hamtaro can be seen on Cartoon Network, though the Webmaster has never personally watched an episode. He also doesn't own any stuffed animals, gashapon, or even a simple sticker bearing the likeness of the cute critter above. All he has is this animated gif, which he thinks is so cute that he simply MUST share it with people. Obviously, this is a man in need of help.
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The opinions expressed within are merely the musings of the Webmaster, and as such should be taken with the requisite grain of salt. If you disagree with an expressed opinion please feel free to contact him here. If you feel he has insulted your favorite popstar, you can still contact him. However, your chances of receiving a reply will be reduced by half.
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