Personal

Great content. No business model.

This site has always been a hobby. A “labor of love” as the cliche goes. It’s not a business, even though I have to report what meager earnings I make to the IRS, paid in the form of self-employment taxes. If this were a business, it would be a failing one. There’d be no way I could pay myself for my time. But that’s not why I’m doing this.

But that also doesn’t mean I’m against making money. Not at all.

My attempts to monetize Jammer’s Reviews have been minimal, to the point that I wonder if I’m stupidly leaving money on the table. (Probably not that much; my audience isn’t actually that big.) But my revenue-generation efforts have existed in their minimal form for a long time. I’ve had Google AdSense on the site for many years, and back in the day I used to be in the Amazon affiliate program — before it was discontinued years ago in my state because of Amazon’s then-refusal to collect state sales taxes. (It has since been restored, which was itself a number of years ago, but I never bothered to take up the program again. Earnings there also had always been meager.) (Read more…)

Sobering and trivial reflections on a 25th anniversary

Every five years in March, I seem to write this same article reflecting on the history of Jammer’s Reviews and/or the unstoppable passage of time. This marks the fifth of those five-year articles. That I’ve done this website for 25 years and am still doing it is something worth noting. I will continue to take note every five years (as long as I and my website are still here), because they provide markers for myself even if no one else cares. I looked back at some of those previous anniversary articles and grinned while taking the trip down memory lane.

But it feels different this time, because as I check in today, the COVID-19 crisis continues to escalate in the United States and across the world. Had I written this even three weeks ago as I’d originally planned, I might not have mentioned the coronavirus at all. Yes, it was definitely already happening and was a serious concern, but it was still a slow march seemingly far away, something to keep an eye on but not all-consuming. Things have escalated quickly. (Read more…)

My review as ‘Doom’ gets a reboot

doomA screen shot from the 2016 reboot of Doom.

I have to admit the headline above is intentionally misleading, because it makes this missive look like a review of something new rather than a look at something old. But although Doom has indeed been rebooted, this is not a review of that reboot. Rather, it’s using the reboot as an excuse to offer up my retro reminiscence through the Doom mania of the mid-1990s through my own personal lens, the only period of time which I could be considered anything close to a “gamer.”

Although I have a deep affection for the classic video games of the 1980s and ’90s, I can probably not be called a “gamer” — even though I’ve probably played hundreds of hours of video games. (I won a trip to Florida in 1993 by absolutely crushing my competition in a high-scoring contest of the original Super Mario Bros., although that’s a whole other tale for another time.) In my mind, “gamer” represents a more modern definition that implies multiplayer shooters, RPGs, or at the very least sports. Wii Bowling — probably not so much.

Yes, I own three versions of Nintendo, going from the 8-bit original to the second-generation 16-bit Super, and then skipping several generations to the original Wii, the latter for which I own perhaps three games and would break out usually only for (mostly drinking-based) parties back before my kids (and my friends’ kids) were born and we had time for such things. But I don’t consider those platforms ones that would make me a “gamer,” and besides, my game-playing days were left behind with those early-generation Nintendo games in my teenage years. (Read more…)

Reflections upon 20 years and the elasticity of time

clockI’ve always tried not to take time for granted. Even in my mid-20s I was keenly aware of how old I was, how much older I was getting and how quickly, and was always questioning whether I was older than the guy in the beer commercial, who represented some sort of ideal youthful adult age within the ultimate demographic. I knew even then that it was a silly notion to care about, but I also knew that one day I would wake up and not be young anymore. That somehow didn’t stop me from wasting a lot of time. Maybe I do take time for granted.

My years as a 20-something single guy disappeared long ago (the “20-something” longer ago than the “single guy”), but in retrospect that period in my life lasted for a long time, and it’s strange to think how long I was locked into that routine. I spent the better part of a decade living in the same cheap apartment and going to the same job. (Even if the job title changed a few times, it was still essentially the same deal.) Without a doubt not coincidentally, these were days that marked the most active period of my online reviewing activities. (Read more…)

Checking in for 2014, Part 2

I’ll tell you what, ladies and gentlemen: I didn’t think October, which is almost over, could possibly have gotten here as fast as it did. My last post was in January, days after my little girl took her first steps. Now she’s running around at full speed, getting into everything, speaking in phrase fragments, making pretend animal noises on demand, eating with a fork, and all kinds of fun stuff. Yesterday we took her to the zoo with her cousins. So times flies, etc., etc. (Read more…)

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