Archive for the ‘Admin’ Category

Yeah, yeah, yeah…

Friday, June 13th, 2014

I beg you to give money to people, and then stop writing. I know, I suck.

There just hasn’t been anything I wanted to write about in the past couple of days. I am working on what I thought would be a major post, but looks like it will actually turn into two major posts; however, those need to wait for me to do more research and take some photos, which probably won’t be before Sunday.

If I have a chance tomorrow, I may put up the Columbus after-action report, and possibly a list of some books I’ve read and enjoyed recently. We’ll see how things go. Watch this space.

Good men need help.

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

Yeah. I’m going to ask you to give money to a cause again. Actually, two causes.

I can’t say that I know Erik, who blogs at Live From the Alamo City, that well. That is mostly my fault. We’ve had several friendly exchanges on my blog and on his blog, and we’ve been talking about getting a group of bloggers together for barbecue. (San Antonio isn’t that far.) But life events keep getting in the way.

Anyway, Erik and his wife are going through a whole bunch of shit that nobody should have to go through. Car troubles, having to find a new place to live…

But the biggest thing is that Erik’s wife is pregnant, and their child is not going to survive. This sucks so horribly that I have trouble coming up with words for it without getting all choked up, so I’ll direct you over to this post at the great and good Erin Palette’s site. I’m pretty sure Erin got choked up as well, but since she’s already written a post, I can be lazy leverage her choke-up-ness.

There’s a YouCaring page set up for donations to help Erik and his wife with expenses. I’d like to ask you to consider donating if you can. I wouldn’t ask you to do this if I hadn’t already done so; I just wish I could donate more.


You’ll notice that Erin’s post is a twofer. I don’t know TinCan Assassin at all, either, but he’s going through a messy personal situation right now, and could also use help with lawyers and money to pay for lawyers. If you can spare some funds for him as well, I’d really appreciate it. Again, I wouldn’t ask you to do this if I had not already done so.

On the road again…

Monday, June 2nd, 2014

Heading home. Travel day. In the meantime:

1. Go read this post by Tam. There are echos in it of something some less smart person wrote a couple of years ago.

2. I didn’t realize until the middle of last week that this year is the 50th anniversary of the .41 Magnum. (Ask me about my Model 57.)

3. I took a fair number of photos yesterday while running around with my aunt and uncle (who graciously drove the two hours each way from Cleveland to spend part of the day with me; thanks again, guys!). I’m waiting until I get back to do the post-processing and uploading, but I thought I’d throw one up here that I played with last night.


I took this with the D40X and the 18-55 kit zoom. It was cropped and the exposure adjusted slightly using Shotwell on Project e. I’m actually pretty happy with the end product, though I may make a second pass over it once I’m in front of iPhoto.

Still here.

Saturday, May 31st, 2014

Just been busier than a one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest since Wednesday (and also having about as much fun as I can possibly have with my clothes on). South Texas Pistolero, I know I owe you an email.

After action report to come, probably Tuesday or Wednesday of next week. Other updates as time and conditions permit.

If you’ll excuse me, I’m going back downstairs for just a little while longer before I return to the room and dress for dinner.

Man, I have missed this (stuff).

Travel day.

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

Light blogging ahead. And just when it seems things are picking up, too.

The good news is, I’m going to get my yearly Smith and Wesson fix. I’ll report in as time permits.

In the meantime, the most recent “100 Episodes” column on the A/V Club site is devoted to “Mannix”, a series that is just at the fringes of my memory, and that I’d love to see again. (I’ve been watching for the DVDs to show up used, but haven’t had any luck yet.)

Mannix was too smooth, too ’70s to qualify as neo-noir, but more than anything else on television it did echo the flavor of its era’s most unsentimental crime novelists, authors like Ross Macdonald, John D. MacDonald, Richard Stark.

Beyond the shout out to three of my favorite crime novelists, this is a swell survey of what made “Mannix” interesting; I commend it to your attention.

Name and shame, part 2.

Saturday, May 17th, 2014

Quirk Volkswagen Manchester
1100 So. Willow Street
Manchester, NH 03103

is a spamming business. Quirk Volkswagen Manchester hires people to post spam messages in blog comments. Here are some examples of spam messages for Quirk Volkswagen Manchester from just the past 24 hours:

Spam from Quirk Volkswagen Manchester.

More spam from Quirk Volkswagen Manchester.

Even more spam from Quirk Volkswagen Manchester.

If you live in the area of Manchester and are looking for a VW dealership, I encourage you to avoid Quirk Volkswagen Manchester. A business that spams is likely to be dishonest in other areas as well, and who wants to deal with a dishonest Volkswagen dealer?

Why not use the contact form on the Quirk Volkswagen Manchester website to ask them why they consider spamming blogs to be a good idea? Even better, they have a live chat system: perhaps one of their “live operators” could explain why Quirk Volkswagen Manchester is spamming blogs? (Please be polite to the “live operators”.)

If you own a blog and have been getting spam from Quirk Volkswagen Manchester, it might not hurt to report them to their domain registrar, It is interesting that they have chosen to use the “Domain Discreet Privacy Service” to hide who actually owns the domain; in my personal opinion, no legitimate business should feel a need to hide that information, and the fact that Quirk Volkswagen Manchester does gives additional weight to my opinion that they are a dishonest and untrustworthy business.

Their website appears to have been designed (badly), and may possibly be hosted, by why not drop a line and tell them that their client, Quirk Volkswagen Manchester, is making them look bad? As a matter of fact, it might not hurt to ask if they’re actually organizing the spamming for both Quirk Volkswagen Manchester and Paul Cerame Kia?

It also wouldn’t hurt to file a report with YouTube’s abuse department, since Quirk Volkswagen Manchester has a YouTube channel. I won’t link it here, but you should be able to find it pretty easily by searching YouTube.

Name and shame, part 1.

Saturday, May 17th, 2014

Paul Cerame Kia
11655 New Halls Ferry Rd.
Florissant, MO 63033

is a spamming business. Paul Cerame Kia hires people to post spam messages in blog comments. Here are some examples of spam messages for Paul Cerame Kia from just the past 24 hours:

Spam from Paul Cerame Kia.

More spam from Paul Cerame Kia

Even more spam from Paul Cerame Kia

If you live in the area of Florissant and are looking for a Kia dealership, I encourage you to avoid Paul Cerame Kia. A business that spams is likely to be dishonest in other areas as well, and who wants to deal with a dishonest Kia dealer?

Why not use the contact form on Paul Cerame Kia’s website to ask them why they consider spamming blogs to be a good idea? Even better, they have a live chat system: perhaps Melissa Roberson or one of their other employees could explain why Paul Cerame Kia is spamming blogs?

If you own a blog and have been getting spam from Paul Cerame Kia, it might not hurt to report them to their domain registrar, Network Solutions. Their website appears to have been designed, and may possibly be hosted, by why not drop a line and tell them that their client, Paul Cerame Kia, is making them look bad?

Edited to add: it also wouldn’t hurt to file a report with YouTube’s abuse department, since Paul Cerame Kia has a YouTube channel. I won’t link it here, but you should be able to find it pretty easily by searching YouTube.

We’ve got questions.

Sunday, May 4th, 2014

Over at the other blog:

What types or styles of food are missing in Austin?

What Austin restaurants do you miss?

Random notes, some administrative, for April 23, 2014.

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

Apologies for the extended radio silence. The past few days have been busy.

As many of the Whipped Cream Irregulars know, Sunday was my birthday, as well as Easter. This will not happen again until 2025.

Anyway, Mike the Musicologist came up late Friday night, rented a Silvercar, and we drove down to San Antonio on Saturday to do some gun shopping, tour Ranger Creek (which will be the subject of another post), and have dinner with Andrew and Lawrence at Bohanan’s (which may be the subject of another post).

I spent Easter Sunday with family, eating an excellent ham from the Noble Pig and a very good cake baked by my sister. (I don’t remember which cookbook she got the recipe from, but I thought it was very good; perhaps she’ll post here and update.)

Then on Monday, MtM and I took the Silvercar to Dallas, where we did some more gun shopping (including a stop at Cabela’s, but not that one), had a very good lunch at Chop House Burgers, and did some shopping for tacky souvenirs of pre-revolutionary America at the 6th Floor Museum shop.

So Saturday through Monday were jam packed. (For the record, I did not buy any guns. Though I was really tempted by the Sig Sauer 1911 22 at GrabAGun. I was also tempted at one of the San Antonio gun stores that had a couple of Nylon 66s, but I just can’t bring myself to pay $350 for one, even if it did have a scope.)

(Edited to add: Also, $1,300 for a K-22, even if it was an early post-war gun with the box, seems really really high.)

Anyway, I’m back and trying to get caught up on blogging. Profuse thanks to MtM for organizing the weekend.

Why I do this.

Friday, January 31st, 2014

Because, for all the stuff that I pitch up against the wall that doesn’t get a response, sometimes I get somebody like a favorite author or the guy who directed that movie I really really want to see dropping in and engaging in the comments.

I cannot lie: I live for those moments.

Tell me again about how blogging is dead.

(I know today’s posts have been mostly short throw aways. I’m working on what’s turned into a very long post that may actually have some original thought to it. That may go up tonight, or more likely tomorrow after I’ve had a chance to sleep on and proofread it.)

(My 11th grade English teacher told us we had to footnote everything in our term paper because, as 11th grade English students, we were incapable of original thought. Let’s see if I can do any better this many years later.)

Toes in the water.

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

Sorry about the short blogging quasi-hiatus there.

After work on Friday, I drove down to San Antonio for LoneStarCon 3, the 71st World Science Fiction Convention. It was a swell time. I got to hang out with several friends, including Mike the Musicologist, Andrew the Colossus of Roads, RoadRich, and Lawrence, who was doing a land office business in books. (Who says people don’t read any more? I covered the table for him a little bit, and by Ghu the books were flying off the table like snow crab legs at an all you can eat Chinese buffet.)

I haven’t been down to San Antonio for reasons other than medical for years, and hadn’t been on the RiverWalk since LoneStarCon2. I’d forgotten how nice the RiverWalk is, even though the vendors make things a bit crowded. (I don’t remember there being as many sidewalk vendors there last time I was down. But I’m getting old, and memory fades.)

Mike the Musicologist did most of the meal planning. Breakfast for two out of three of the days we were there was in the Marriott Rivercenter, mostly for reasons of timing. However, it is a pretty good buffet; I’d go so far as to say, with the custom omelets and made-to-order waffles, it comes close to being worth $20+tax and tip. Especially since I really didn’t see any breakfast places near the hotels or along the Riverwalk. (McDonalds and Whataburger excepted. There was also a Denny’s across the street from the Rivercenter; but literally the first thing I heard when I got to the hotel was that a mutual acquaintance of ours got food poisoning from the Denny’s bacon.)

The one non-Marriott breakfast was at the Magnolia Pancake Haus on Embassy Oaks, which was packed to the gills. We waited 40 minutes for a table, but the Munchener Apfel Pfannekuchen was worth it. I’d love to go back (and maybe try the wild mushroom hash) but I’d make sure I brought a good book.

(At some point in the near future, I want to do a post on how tablets, and especially the iPad, are transforming the restaurant industry, with Magnolia being one of my examples.)

We also had an excellent meal at Moroccan Bites (I loved the lamb shank and the chicken bites) and a pretty good meal at a place called Charlie Wants a Burger. (I had the pulled pork sandwich. And wings.) Sunday night we went to Fogo de Chao…which, you know, is Fogo de Chao. If you want huge amounts of roasted meat, you know what you’re getting into. For reasons I won’t discuss here (think Tim Cahill’s rule #6, corollary 1), I just had the salad bar. Which is actually a reasonable thing to do at Fogo de Chao (especially since you also get to eat the fried polenta, bananas, and cheese rolls), and I didn’t feel ripped off at $22.50. (I did feel gouged by the $3.25 iced tea. Note to self: water next time.)

(If you think you detected a trend, you may be right: Moroccan Bites and Magnolia have both been on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. Guy Fieri may have problems running a place of his own, but as far as recommendations go, he’s batting 100% with me.)

Oddly enough, I bought more t-shirts (three) than I did books (two). Of course, one of those shirts is a gift for my brother. And one of those shirts I don’t actually have yet (they’re shipping it). And one of those books I bought mostly so I could support my friends. (I would have bought more books, but nobody had any Robert Frezza. “The Whistling Pig” was the theme to my last few months at 4LCC.)

I do want to say a few words about the best thing that happened at the convention. I don’t like bragging about famous people I know, mostly because I’m always afraid someone will ask them about me and they’ll say “Dwight who?” (Or, if they’re talking to Gardner Dozois, “That a–hole Dwight?!”)

(If you’ve never met Gardner in person, let’s just say he has a puckish sense of humor.)

But I digress. The best thing that happened at the convention is that one of my closest friends in the world won the Hugo Award for Best Novelette. That put the cap on a pretty swell weekend.

Congrats, again, Pat.

Don’t be evil. Again.

Thursday, July 25th, 2013

A while back, I wrote about the Knife Depot and their battle with Google’s Adwords people over selling “assisted opening” knives. The Knife Depot lost their Adwords account because they refused to cave in to Google’s demand that they stop selling (not just advertising, but selling) “assisted opening” knives, which are legal in every state of the Union.

Dan Lawton over at the Knife Depot was kind enough to share a couple of his followup posts with me. Adwords restored the Knife Depot’s account in May, but imposed a requirement that the Knife Depot couldn’t have “assisted opening” knives on any of the landing pages.

Then Google yanked the Adwords account again…this time, because Google has a problem with “throwing knives”.

Could you injure someone with a throwing knife? Sure, in the same way you could injure someone with a baseball, a frying pan, a brick, a bottle, a rabid cat or a slew of other projectiles that can become weapons if paired with malicious intent.
However, a throwing knife is poorly suited for criminal activity. These knives are generally large, making them hard to conceal; they have blunt edges and they’re damn hard to throw with fatal accuracy.

I have no joke here, I just wanted an excuse to post this:

But wait, there’s more! You know who else doesn’t like knives? Yes! Facebook!

But surely Google has learned their lesson, and these policies are being applied equally to all vendors? Unlike the “assisted opening” advertising ban, in which Google allowed big vendors like Amazon and Walmart to advertise those knives, while cutting off the Knife Depot and smaller vendors? Right?

Hahahahahahahaha. Nope. Google is still operating on the same double standard they had back in March – the same double standard that was openly called out by a Google employee in internal communication – and refuses to offer any explanation of why certain vendors are allowed to advertise “assisted opening” knives, “throwing knives”…or “herbal incense”, for that matter.

Thanks to Mr. Lawton for bringing my attention to these posts. And, as a side note to people who want me to write about their stuff, this is the way to do it: Mr. Lawton sent me a nice, personalized email summarizing his posts, politely suggesting that I might want to write about them based on my previous coverage, and even provided some evidence that he’s actually read more of the blog than just that one post. He had my curiosity when I saw the email; by the time I finished reading it, he had my attention.

(For the record, the Knife Depot hasn’t given me anything – money, knives, gift certificates, or anything of value – in exchange for this post. Nor have I asked for anything.)