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Blogshares of the Past

So, Blogshares is now officially passé, is it not?

Uniting Generations

Uniting generations, the MTV Video Music Awards!

madonna_britney.jpg

madonna_christina.jpg

No further comments necessary.

P.S. Okay, maybe one, and that comment is "man, wicked camel toe!" :-D

Fuckwad Customers

Sometimes you wish people wouldn't buy your software, because then you wouldn't have to put up with bullshit like this:

I need this thing sent out today without question. If you cant pick up the phone and call me at an 800 number, I'm going to dispute the charges on the credit card and go with someone who will give me results. I've got my boss breathing down my neck on this and after reviewing different mail extractors on the net, you seem to have been the best one. I can't get a phone call from you? Please call me, it will only take a few minutes.

This is in response to over an hour of both on-the-phone and via-email tech support, almost all of which has not covered problems with our software, but the customer's inability to use Excel or other basic things.

I don't respond well to being threatened, I couldn't care less about his deadline, and for our cut of $59 I'm inclined to just tell him to go screw himself. We provide outstanding support, and to threaten us with a chargeback is ridiculous and childish.

In the end, gee, we'll suck it up and provide great service, as we always do. But dammit, sometimes a single customer can really just put a stain on the whole experience, I tell ya. >:-o

QotD: Candles

Question: What is your favorite candle scent?

My Answer: I used to say vanilla, but lately I'm quite taken by a "grape" scent from Yankee Candle. It reminds me of the place I used to live in PA.

You are encouraged to answer the Question of the Day for yourself in the comments or on your blog.

The Squeeze is On

Uhmmmm…

Saut Chin, 46, was fed up with physical abuse from her husband when she grabbed his testicles until he passed out in the incident Tuesday, the Rasmei Kampuchea (Light of Cambodia) newspaper reported. … The exact cause of Ouch Yan's death was not known.

Funny that the guy's name is "Ouch," don't'cha think?

P.S. I hope the woman gets off light. Self-defense. There are very very few things that justify doing anything to a man's nuts, but beating your wife is one of them.

Reel Exploded

Just to overrule anyone's misconceptions regarding fishing reels being "simple" (as was recently explained to me by someone whose closest encounter with fishing was taking a bath with an ocean-themed shower curtain), I present this:

reel_exploded.jpg

That's the exploded view of my new Daiwa Capricorn 2500. Yup.

QotD: Extinction

Question: If you could bring back one animal from extinction, which would you choose?

My Answer: The saber-toothed tiger. Then I'd train them and sic them on people for which I don't care. :-)

You are encouraged to answer the Question of the Day for yourself in the comments or on your blog.

Canoe and Kayak

I just sent an email to the editors of Canoe & Kayak magazine:

Hi,

I'd like to do an article on Paddle Fishing (with a specific bent towards kayak fishing, or "yakfishing" as it's called).

As you can tell from various forums, one of the largest of which is at paddle-fishing.com, "yakfishing" is a growing sport and a great way in which to experience kayaking. Many fisherman who five years ago laughed at kayakers are now selling their boats to buy kayaks and canoes, which are tremendously more environmentally friendly and, of course, right up your alley!

I'd like to write an article on "Yakfishing." I've been editor of various commercial Web sites, been published in magazines like MacAddict, edited my own "e-zine" for three years, and maintain a blog at nslog.com. I'm also new to kayaking and yakfishing, but have at my disposal a few months of research and the new friendships of several "yakfishers."

I look forward to your repsonse. Thanks!

I wonder if they'll go for it. I specifically didn't mention compensation, though I'd do it for free if they wanted. Whenever I join a new community, I try to find a way to make myself "stand out" and to "make connections." Writing an article like this would do just that. I hope they go for it. Frankly, I'm inclined to think they'd be silly if they didn't. Unfortunately, if you go by their TV show on OLN (Outdoor Life Network), their view of kayaking is nearly completely limited to whitewater playboating. Maybe it just makes for better TV. :-|

Maybe I'll email the editors of a fishing magazine later… I've been out of the fishing loop for so long I wouldn't know where to start.

Extinction

Over at "bsag" the author is talking about saving birds from extinction. I'm all for saving birds from extinction if we're the ones who put them there - by building industrial centers in their prime nesting areas, for example - but if nature is the one who's ruled them out, who are we to play God (or Mother Nature, or Darwin's antagonist, take your pick) to save them?

I love nature; absolutely adore it. However, this seems a bit egotistical to me. Couldn't the money, time, and effort used to save a bird not fit for existence be better spent doing other things?

On another side effect, as a kayaker now, I'm taking a very new position in some of the recent moves made by the "Save the Manatee" people. The STM people, seemingly, want to designate people-free waterways. Not boat- (and thus propeller-blade-) -free, but people-free. A guy in a kayak or a canoe (or a play raft) has never done anything to harm a manatee or its existence - propeller blades have. Closing off the waterways to all people traffic puts the STM people dangerously close to the nutcases in PeTA in terms of extremism.

Lake Ida Fishing

So, I went fishing today. My first day on the kayak, and in fact, my first real time fishing in the state of Florida since I moved here. My totals for the day?

3 - number of bites I had which resulted in about a three-second fight before the fish spit the lure.

2 - number of white crappie I caught (yes, a "crappie" is a kind of fish). How these little suckers thought they could swallow a fish the size of my lure is beyond me. They were 1/4 - 1/2 lb fish.

3 - The number of mystery fish I caught. I say mystery fish because I think they are redbreast sunfish but the world record is only 1lb 12oz and the fish I caught were fairly large - 10-12 inches and 1-2 lbs. My fish had much more pronounced color (a pinkish orange) and much darker "zebra stripes" down the side. I thought they were "orange perch" but there seems to be no such creature.

5 - The number of fish returned to their watery home unharmed. In case you're asleep, 2+3=5. I catch and release.

All told, a great day on the water.

Paddles: 240cm vs. 230cm

I've currently got a 240 cm paddle. I previously had a 220 cm paddle, and I'm certain that it was too short, because my hands were hitting the side of my boat when paddling, and I was making an awful lot of noise. Having read this article, I'm considering a 230 cm paddle. I really like my Bending Branches Stealth Dream Carbon Composite paddle, so I'm going to have to try it in a 230 cm version. Anyway, if you're interested in physics, the link above is a pretty simple example of applied physics, and an example of something people rarely think about when they're wasting energy paddling around in arcs.

QotD: Overrated

Question: Who is the most overrated actor? Actress?

My Answer: Ben Affleck is an easy choice. The guy's got one character. Compare him to, I dunno, Sean Penn, who may be one of the most underrated actors, and compare their roles. Actress? Brittany Murphy, perhaps. Julia Roberts is close - she's not as bad an actress, but she's far more highly rated.

You are encouraged to answer the Question of the Day for yourself in the comments or on your blog.

Tarpon 120 Mods: Rear Hatch Handle

Today I "hacked" my kayak to add a handle to the rear mini-hatch. The hatch was a bitch to get out, often requiring about a zillion screws before it'd finally come out. The problem seems to be that the threading is either not deep enough or is simply too tight, because as one side would start to get high enough to pop out, the other side would often tilt and fall right back into the threads. This is further complicated by the fact that the hatch is two inches directly behind the seat, and kayaks, though stable, get substantially more difficult to balance when you're twisted around 180° in your seat.

So, I put a handle on it to generate lift. This should solve the "falls back into itself" problem, plus, it provides another means of attachment.

t120hatch_1.jpg

QotD: Pirating

Question: How much software have you pirated?

My Answer: When I was 18, before I started my e-zine Apple Wizards, I pirated as much as anyone. Oddly, though, it was mostly for "prestige" of sorts - I rarely if ever used any of the software to which I had registration codes. Since then, I've "pirated" exactly one thing: a copy of REALbasic because I couldn't find my registration code and I needed to finish up and "Carbonize" a Sound Set-making piece of freeware I'd released awhile ago for Sound Set Central. Then I trashed the registration. Two days later, I found my original registration (and created a database so I wouldn't lose registrations again).

One of the perks of running Apple Wizards was that I got any software I needed legitimately (and free). Since I've started selling software of my own, I can assure you that I pay for everything, because I'm an honest fellow, I'm no longer a poor college student, and releasing software of your own really puts pirating into perspective.

You are encouraged to answer the Question of the Day for yourself in the comments or on your blog.

dating@work.biz

I've been a freelance software/web developer since graduating from college. That's a job you do at home, and it has its good and bad sides. One of the bad sides is that the only creature with which you can flirt is your pet (if you have one) and any girls who might be "online" at the time. (Hey, you in the back - stop making sick comments about flirting with pets - it was an attempt at being wry!)

Having a "real job" (one among people) has its downsides (many) and upsides. One of the upsides is that you get to meet cool people, some of whom are attractive gals in their early twenties.

Unfortunately, it's been my belief that it's unprofessional to "hit on" anyone whom you meet while in the employ of someone else. There are lots of arguments: it's "good customer service" or "it's fun, and that's good" or "it boosts morale" or who knows. But color me old-school - it just doesn't seem professional. No, I'm not talking about a fellow co-worker, but some person who you happen to meet while "at work."

Does anyone have any thoughts?

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