My בלוג isn’t getting any cheaper!

My Monday Morning Photo Blog has caught the eye of a Web site in Israel. It’s nice to see that my humble little photos are being viewed around the world, but that link alone has cranked up my page views by an order of magnitude.

Between that and the huge amount of linkage I’m getting from the stop-action cheerleader through the hoop animation that I posted last week, I’m already way over my monthly bandwidth limit from my domain host. Although both of my blogs are hosted at TypePad, I host all photos and images at my own domain (blork.org). I got "the call" from my provider two days ago, and that was before the link from Israel.

Maybe I should set out a tip jar, or solicit micropatron funds, like Kottke.

By the way, in case you’re wondering:

בלוג צילומים של תמונות שצולמו בימי שני בלבד.

…means "Blog of photographs [photographs blog] of pictures that were photographed on Mondays only." Unfortunately, the translation is not entirely accurate — the photos are posted on Mondays only, but they are taken any day of the week.

Measuring time

Something I inherited from my Dad was the inability to grasp the passage of time.

Some battery companies put expiry dates on their alkaline cells. You see this on Duracells and Energizers, among others. Fortunately, the shelf life of an alkaline battery is longer than, for example, yogurt. In fact, the expiry dates are often so far off in the future that it seems ridiculous to even indicate them. If I buy a pack of cells today do I care if they’re best before 2012?

Imagine my surprise when I dug through my desk at work the other day looking for a AA cell for my MP3 player. I pulled up a cluster of five cells wrapped in a rotting elastic band. The expiry date stamped on the cells was MAR 2005. That’s next month!

Not that I care. I’ll still use them. But I was shocked at how much time had passed between my putting those cells in the drawer (I’ll give you a hint — it was before my last trip to Paris) and the bleak winter day when I found the need to use one.

It’s weird. In some ways the spring of 2001 seems like it was only a year or two ago. Yet in 2001, 2005 seemed like some vastly distant future.

Straight answer

Wow! I got a straight answer from a software developer today! Unless you are a technical writer you won’t appreciate how rare this is.

The question (by way of analogy so as not to give away trade secrets) was something like this:

When the chef puts fruit in the refrigerator, does he use the "first in, first out" method (FIFO) or the "last in, first out" method (LIFO)?

Based on almost 14 years experience in the software industry, I would expect to get a non-sensical answer like one of the following:

  • The chef puts fruit in the refrigerator.
  • If the fruit is an apple it might be FIFO.
  • Ask the product manager.
  • Although the FIFO is quantifiable SOFO with the GIFO the FIFO is LIFO if the BIFO is TIFO.
  • This is defined the same way as before.
  • The chef is from France.

Today, however, I got the pleasant surprise of a straight answer (LIFO) along with two unsolicited (but very useful) sub-answers.

My initial thought? Clone that software developer!

Wal-Mart in Ruins

I wish that heading were not just a play on words. Wal-Mart, who has 652 stores in Mexico, are currently building one very close to the ancient ruins at Teotihuacan. There are on-going protests from locals who object to the continuing commercialization of the archaeological site.

I’m one of those people who hates Wal-Mart for all the usual reasons. I won’t even crack open the circulaire that we get from them every week in the Publi-sac. I will, however, confess to shopping there once.

Last October, Lightspeedchick hosted a Halloween costume party. M and I attended, dressed as suave suburban swingers. In my case that involved a Hugh Hefner look, with pajamas and a silky robe.

I don’t own a silky robe. I was in a bit of a pinch and I didn’t know where the nearest Zellers was, so we went to Wal-Mart, where I procured a cheap and shiny specimen that clashed perfectly with my jailbird striped pajamas.

The party was fun, everyone looked outrageous, and all was well. I even spilled beer on my new robe. I wasn’t worried about cleaning it, however, because the plan all along was that I would return the robe for a refund!

And that’s exactly what I did. Normally, I’m an upstanding citizen of the highest order and would never condone that sort of “me first” irresponsible behaviour, but this was Wal-Mart, so I performed the act as a deliberate form of subversion.

Unfortunately, my rebellious act served only myself, as the store didn’t immediately collapse under the strain. Still, I continue to boycott the store and I hope others do too. Every little bit helps.