Re: Let's try this again

1

I'm off to swimpick apples.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-24-09 4:33 PM
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Aww, people made fun of you? Terrible!


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 07-24-09 4:34 PM
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I've subscribed to this thread. And I didn't make fun of you before.


Posted by: fedward | Link to this comment | 07-24-09 5:04 PM
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APPLE UPDATE:

Some churls—possibly the owners of the tree—picked bare the publicly accessible branches.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-24-09 5:37 PM
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Won't you come and comfort me, paren?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-24-09 5:37 PM
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I'm going to assume from the number of people subscribed to this and other threads, and the paucity of comments in this thread saying that things aren't working, that (a) my threats worked or (b) the bot is working for people.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-24-09 5:41 PM
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my threats worked

If someone posts a comment, the bot will be tested. Scary! Just look what you did.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-24-09 6:10 PM
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And if the bot is tested, I am tested. And then I might fail.

And I just can't let that happen, you see.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-24-09 6:11 PM
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don't make fun of me or I'll delete the whole blog

Promise?


Posted by: HamLove | Link to this comment | 07-24-09 6:39 PM
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Won't you come and comfort me, paren?

I would, if you had some apples.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 07-24-09 6:55 PM
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That can be arranged.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-24-09 6:56 PM
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Seems early for apples.

NB: This comment should in no way be construed to be making fun of neb. I'm just making an observation, with an eye to maybe learning something about pomiculture in neb's neck of the woods.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 07-24-09 7:14 PM
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There's a tree bearing ripe, delicious, shapely, juicy, firm, crispy Fujis not fifteen minutes of walking away from my very front door, each such apple just begging to be gently plucked from the branch, lovingly held in palm and visually ravished before yielding its succulent white flesh to my delectation.

At the farmer's market two weeks ago there were some people selling crabapples, but they were entirely absent last week—who knows what tomorrow will bring!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-24-09 7:17 PM
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That can be arranged.

Turns out the left over duck in my fridge and cabbage needed comforting, too.

Seems early for apples.

It is early for apples, even in California. But just a few weeks early.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 07-24-09 7:29 PM
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(a) Why was there duck in your cabbage. Why was this.

(b) You comforted the duck in your fridge and cabbage by gobbing it, didn't you?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-24-09 7:32 PM
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GET A ROOM


Posted by: OPINIONATED GRANDMA | Link to this comment | 07-24-09 7:32 PM
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|| Hmm. The fresh apples and farmer's market thread seems better than the violent death and mental health issues thread to mention this. So, I go to update Quicken and see that Rory has left WordPerfect open. I save her smoothie recipe and in doing so see a file titled "NEWT NEWT I want a pet newt." I click open to discover a five page document with:
* artistically arranged cover page
* intro paragraph summarizing the virtues of pet newts
* a page of facts not yet completed but with bullets set of for entering data on the costs of newts, their appropriate environment and food, required care, etc,
* a signature page, on which it is hoped I will sign a statement that "I, Di Kotimy, agree to allow my daughter Rory to have a pet newt," and "I, Di Kotimy agree to be responsible for some of the cost of caring for the newt"
* a closing paragraph thanking me for the time and effort I took to read her packet, whether I allow her to have a newt or not.
|>


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-24-09 7:34 PM
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Hey, I'm just trying to keep neb from pulling the plug on the blog!


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 07-24-09 7:35 PM
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17: Oh my god, that is so adorable.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 07-24-09 7:36 PM
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That's awesome.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-24-09 7:36 PM
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(a) Why was there duck in your cabbage. Why was this.

I bet you it wasn't. The whole thing is just a canard.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 07-24-09 7:36 PM
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Also, of course there was not a duck in my fridge AND cabbage. The cabbage just also happened to need consuming, and I am an inelegant writer.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 07-24-09 7:37 PM
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You could have comforted the cabbage, the duck, and me. I'm very low-calorie.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-24-09 7:39 PM
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I'm not sure I want to know how you know that.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 07-24-09 7:41 PM
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I want more cute Rory stories. Di has a great kid.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 07-24-09 7:41 PM
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* a page of facts not yet completed but with bullets set of for entering data on the costs of newts, their appropriate environment and food, required care, etc,

He's cheap, eats mostly pizza, and is otherwise fairly self-maintaining if you're not fussy about his looking a little rumpled. But if I let Rory keep him as a pet you have to send him back to NY to visit occasionally.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-24-09 7:43 PM
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Aww, thanks! I do have a great kid. However, a quick google reveals to me that a newt's diet is composed of a variety of live insects and worms. So I will also have a disappointed kid.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-24-09 7:44 PM
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26: Well, I stand corrected. A rumpled, pizza-eating newt I could handle. since Rory's planning a Broadway career, we should be able to get him back to New york plenty.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-24-09 7:45 PM
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Di, the meal worms are pretty easy to deal with, if they eat that. You keep them in a little plastic container in the fridge and have to poke around in the sawdust and there is a definite eew moment when it comes to picking them up, but I can handle it and I have an almost phobia of maggoty-things.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 07-24-09 7:46 PM
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I had a newt as a kid. They're kinda neat. You should get your kid a newt, Di.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07-24-09 7:46 PM
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Oh, and I can vouch that Ben's apples are delicious.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07-24-09 7:47 PM
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Early or no.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07-24-09 7:47 PM
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30: Oh please, you are at least partially responsible for her previous pet selection and the trauma, the trauma is still fresh! (What's the life span of a newt?)


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-24-09 7:48 PM
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Apparently, Parenthetical has comforted newts. Along with duck and cabbage.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 07-24-09 7:49 PM
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I've always loved the fact that they close Tilden Park's South Park Drive for newt migration.

"Sorry, you'll have to drive around. The newts have the right of way."


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 07-24-09 7:50 PM
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33: What previous selection? Did you guys have a mouse? I've forgotten.

I dunno about life span of newts. But it's basically a lizard. Seriously, you don't get as fond of them as you do of mammals.

(Our current mice, one of them is freaking 2 1/2 years old. The other's almost 2, I think. They're both thin and I keep expecting them to drop dead, but nope. They're the immortal mice.)


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07-24-09 7:52 PM
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According to google, newts can live like 15-20 years!!


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07-24-09 7:53 PM
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Get a newt, Di! Tonks, who comments here sometimes, got her kids the Bearded Lizard they wanted, despite being somewhat creeped out by the live feeding situation, and has grown to love the little bugger so much. Get the newt! With a grant proposal like that, you can resist?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07-24-09 7:54 PM
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36: A rat. She read a Ratatouille post at your place and then followed some PK mouse posts for awhile and then decided she wanted a rat. He made it just over a year and naturally died when she was away at her dad's and we kept him in the freezer until we could hold a proper funeral and bury him in the yard. It was an open casket...


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-24-09 7:55 PM
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has comforted newts.

No, we had a box turtle that we found on the side of the road. It's still going strong, ten years later, even though it didn't eat for an entire year once.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 07-24-09 7:56 PM
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Um, by "him" I mean the rat. I never stored her dad in the freezer or buried him in the yard. Alas.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-24-09 7:56 PM
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38: Before we got the rat, my practice group leader had her just about sold on the bearded lizards. The live crickets really, really freak me out.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-24-09 7:58 PM
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Crickets are really obnoxious. They're noisy, they get loose, etc, etc. Go with meal worms.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 07-24-09 7:59 PM
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I need to find her a vegetarian reptile.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-24-09 8:03 PM
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I've never understood the appeal of reptiles as pets. In college my sister and a few of her friends all had reptiles: lizards, a snake, a gecko, someone may have had a turtle. I don't know what her friends did, but after her lizards died, my sister got a cat (which, sadly, died of cancer a couple of year ago).


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 07-24-09 8:06 PM
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I have absolutely no technical abilities, but I do have a question about the bot before I try it. Is there a way to unsubscribe?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-24-09 8:08 PM
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You could start her off by buying her a copy of "Right Ho, Jeeves," and see if Gussie Fink-Nottle puts her off newts.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-24-09 8:10 PM
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The live crickets really, really freak me out.

It's weird what bothers people. The only thing that would bother me about the crickets is that I like crickets, and would have to remind myself of the food chain. But on the other hand, I have painfully vivid memories of childhood puppy-feeding responsbilities that involved the most nauseating mash of canned dog food you can imagine. The smell, the appearance, the texture -- oh my goodness was it horrible.

Still just as vivid 20+ years later as it was at 2 a.m. or whatever ridiculous time we were up feeding them (rescue dogs, no mother).


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 07-24-09 8:13 PM
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Di, based on the memo you've described, Rory really deserves a newt.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 07-24-09 8:15 PM
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47: and see if Gussie Fink-Nottle Spink-Bottle puts her off newts


Posted by: OPINIONATED AUNT DAHLIA | Link to this comment | 07-24-09 8:20 PM
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49: And I hardly ever manage to say no to her about anything. But crickets really could counteract her cute-spell.

(Anyway, does Newt deserve her?)


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-24-09 8:25 PM
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I bet if you find a newt in the wild and put it in her hand, it'll pee on her. Then say "still interested?"

This happened to my youthful interest in toads. I still wanted one but I wanted to keep it outside, and my dad said I would have to build a cage for it.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 07-24-09 8:49 PM
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That's an excellent story, Di. And now if you don't get her a newt forthwith, I'm going to FedEx her a puppy. Probably a Labrador, but maybe a Husky if I'm feeling like you deserve extra punishment.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 07-24-09 8:55 PM
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Why do I capitalize dog breeds? I really do wonder.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 07-24-09 8:56 PM
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Aw, Ari, I would love a lab or a husky! I couldn't properly care for them, though.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-24-09 8:58 PM
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Probably because you're Canadian.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07-24-09 8:58 PM
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56 to 54. Di is neither Canadian nor a capitalizer of dog breed names, as far as I know.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07-24-09 8:59 PM
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Fedex the dog to Labrador - they could use the company.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 07-24-09 8:59 PM
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I couldn't properly care for them, though.

Not a problem with a newt! It's a win-win.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 07-24-09 9:05 PM
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Maybe you should just FedEx her a newt. Or perhaps a Newt.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07-24-09 9:08 PM
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Just no crickets, okay?


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-24-09 9:11 PM
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Apparently they can live on bloodworms, Di, which, despite their macabre name, aren't actually that gross. They also like slices of fresh-water fish, and I know you've been dying to hone your sushi skills. And best of all, they only need to be fed every two or three days. A Lab or Husky will demand food twice/day, so you're getting off easy with the newt. Oh wait, there's more: some newts will eat earthworms. Which, I suppose, means that you'll save money on sustaining the cute little beastie. In the end, I'm willing to bet that Rory will handle the feeding if you pick up the tab. Have you considered that as a counter-offer?


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 07-24-09 9:18 PM
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Did she get to you people first or something?


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-24-09 9:20 PM
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Everyone deserves a vigorous advocate, Di.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 07-24-09 9:22 PM
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SEE MOM, EVEN YOUR SMART-YET-UNMOTIVATED INTERNET FRIENDS THINK I SHOULD GET A NEWT!!!


Posted by: OPINIONATED RORY | Link to this comment | 07-24-09 9:23 PM
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I used to be a newt.


Posted by: knight who formerly said something or other | Link to this comment | 07-24-09 9:24 PM
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Well, we'll have to see when she completes the memo. Maybe after she does her research she'll decide on a bird or something.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-24-09 9:28 PM
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Well if you really want to show her how the world works, you could reject her initial proposal because it doesn't conform to some arbitrary style guidelines.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 07-24-09 9:38 PM
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Hey, if you post a comment about how adorable your kid is you can't be that surprised when everyone sides with your adorable kid.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07-24-09 9:38 PM
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Fair enough. And there is some comfort, truth be told, in seeing that I am not alone in being utterly weak in the face of her charms.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-24-09 9:47 PM
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I keeping thinking I should start a chat sesion with
unfoggedbot@gmail.com and watch the comments scroll by in real time, like TweetDeck (or #IRC).

Fascinating insight: Preview formats data as
July 24, 2009
but post


Posted by: Econolicious | Link to this comment | 07-24-09 10:36 PM
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Fascinating insight:
Preview formats dates as
July 24, 2009
but post formats dates as 07-24-09


Posted by: E du jour | Link to this comment | 07-24-09 10:38 PM
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I vote newt if the memo gets completed. We had anoles growing up. One morning we noticed an egg. We ended up contacting the Brookfield (or Lincoln Park? I can't remember) Zoo, and they were shocked the lizards had mated in captivity. They also gave a bunch of advice and took a lot of interest. Alas, no baby lizard, but hey, it was cool.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 1:53 AM
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73: Huh. She really wanted to breed her rat before he died -- witness the miracle of life! it's educational! A dozen rat babies did not seem like a good idea. A single egg, though...


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 5:19 AM
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A newt seems a step down from a rat, in terms of interest and interactivity.

OT - who's going to be spending the afternoon (morning? whatever) watching Le Tour on Mont Ventoux? Wiggins is only 15 seconds behind Armstrong ...


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 5:35 AM
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re: 75

I probably won't watch it (pub lunch planned) -- but I hope Wiggins can take him. A podium finish for Wiggins would be great. Doing well in the general classification of the Tour is such an amazing achievment.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 5:40 AM
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Another vote for the (not my) newt for Rory. The grant application isn't just cute; a kid who'll do that will probably not let the newt die by not feeding it. Demonstrated commitment should be rewarded.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 5:48 AM
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will probably not let the newt die by not feeding it

Shit -- this just reminded me that I have not fed the damned fish all week. I don't deserve a pet newt!


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 6:00 AM
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74: A friend of mine had a rat that gave birth, ignored the babies for a day or so, and then ate them. The miracle of life isn't all it's cracked up to be.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 7:28 AM
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The Tour's exciting though!


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 8:02 AM
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80: Yes, it is. I like these Schleck brothers. Fuck Armstrong and that little dancing Spaniard (but I don't think anything is going to happen). Wiggins is struggling right now. Rooting for him too.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 8:20 AM
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Oh Bradley! He's killing himself to stay with that group - twice slipped, twice got back. Can hardly bear it.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 8:24 AM
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OK, now he's gone I think. Just has to stay within 32 seconds of Frank.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 8:27 AM
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*23


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 8:28 AM
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Done I think, by a few seconds.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 8:28 AM
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Yay!


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 8:31 AM
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I logged on this morning and then received a bunch of queued messages followed by one last one saying I'd been unsubscribed from the thread. Clever!


Posted by: fedward | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 8:40 AM
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As for Rory's grant proposal, I'd negotiate terms with her but she's probably got you on the merits. We have a "proper aphadavid" from my girlfriend's niece attached to our fridge, based on her insistent requests that I tickle her, and my refusal to do so without a signed affidavit that she really wanted me to do so. She was eight. She left out the year, so we were tempted to take it over this year on the same date and commence with more tickling.


Posted by: fedward | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 8:43 AM
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A single egg, though...

Requisite hand-waving for anoles being reptiles and newts, amphibians, and anyhow it was apparently very unusual that they produced an egg in captivity.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 8:52 AM
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Yes, in captivity they usually lose their instinct for keeping domesticated fowl.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 9:28 AM
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saying I'd been unsubscribed from the thread

Weird! Had you?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 9:29 AM
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I, for instance, am still subscribed.

I got a bunch of email from the bot.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 9:29 AM
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Hm, you really are unsubscribed. Purposefully?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 9:30 AM
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I subscribed again this morning, then unsubscribed before logging out of iChat. That it only took one message to subscribe this morning does corroborate that I was unsubscribed with no effort on my part overnight. I have just subscribed again.


Posted by: fedward | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 10:40 AM
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Otto's so right. It's a teaching moment!


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 10:48 AM
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Yes, in captivity they usually lose their instinct for keeping domesticated fowl.

This is like a scientificky way of saying that even amphibians stop having sex after they get hitched, right?


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 11:21 AM
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I just checked my chat history and it says I was unsubscribed from this thread at 7:33 a.m. I was not awake at 7:33 a.m.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 11:26 AM
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68, 95: The kid's really going to be crushed if she ever hits the "real world." A few months back, she wrote a letter to her principal complaining about the injustice of a collective punishment. Rather than properly demonstrate the standard response of persons in authority to complaints by the powerless, the principal reprimanded the adult responsible for the collective punishment and apologized to Rory's entire class with promises that measures were taken to assure that such injustice would not be repeated. Honest to God, I don't know how she does it.

The fact is, she'll get the newt -- but not because she's adorable or earnest. No, she'll get it because I know one day she will have amassed the sort of power which will make me very glad to have stayed on her good side.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 11:28 AM
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Wacky.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 11:31 AM
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Speaking of trying new things, I'm thinking on this cash for clunkers thing. I have a qualified vehicle that's probably worth only a couple grand. So, lets figure a $2,500 bonus for buying a car now. I'm thinking it isn't worth it because that's basically only a 10-15% discount on a new car and we are pretty certain we've got at least 3 years left in this one. Plus, new cars (at least the cheap ones) tend toward ugly and I really like the old school boxy Jeep look. And, environmentally speaking, I don't see how getting an extra 10 mpg would offset the consequences of a new car, especially for someone who takes 3 weeks to burn a tank of gas. So, I'm thinking of waiting and seeing if there isn't something nicer in 2013.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 12:44 PM
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100: I took a bit of time looking at the CARS FAQ and found (1) that I'm completely ineligible for it anyway, as my twelve-year-old, beat-up city car is rated at 25mpg; (2) that if you drive an SUV and buy a new SUV, the improvement in mileage only has to be 5mpg to get the full $4500 rebate, a number that seems comically low.

I'm not sure I'll ever spend any more money on a car anyway, since I seem to be a magnet for other people's bad driving. My car has been hit six times WHILE PARKED (not counting another time where I suspect it was hit again in a place it was already dented). Plus the uncounted times people have backed over the front bumper and just driven away, leaving it scratched if not mangled. Plus a couple of moving accidents where people just flat out didn't see me. My dad's analysis was that I must be "snakebit."


Posted by: fedward | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 1:16 PM
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Is this bot written in a properly tail recursive language?


Posted by: W. Breeze | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 1:41 PM
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No. It's written in Ruby.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 1:42 PM
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Asking for your current subscriptions by sending "subscriptions" to the bot: enabled!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 1:48 PM
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101: Maybe you have an Illinois Nazi Party bumper sticker or something.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 2:15 PM
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Ruby's not really one of my languages, but according to the source browser there's at least an add_element() being used within the Message::new() method:

# File lib/xmpp4r/message.rb, line 25
25: def initialize(to = nil, body = nil)
26: super()
27: if not to.nil?
28: set_to(to)
29: end
30: if !body.nil?
31: add_element(REXML::Element.new("body").add_text(body))
32: end
33: end


If nothing else that makes it look like you should be able to do things the other way around, something like:

m = Message::new(to, nil).set_type(:normal).set_id('1').set_subject(subject)
p = REXML::Element.new("body").add_text(body)
# deal with h, b, and t as in the example
p.add_element(h)
m.set_body(p)

IANARube, etc.


Posted by: fedward | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 2:21 PM
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Huh, yeah, so it does. Kind of odd, since neither the Message class nor any of its superclasses defines an add_element. I'll give it a shot.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 2:23 PM
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And I definitely tried something using add_element before and it didn't work. Maybe add_element isn't chaining-friendly; that could have been it, I guess. (uninformative traceback.)


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 2:27 PM
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W00t.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 2:28 PM
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that if you drive an SUV and buy a new SUV, the improvement in mileage only has to be 5mpg to get the full $4500 rebate, a number that seems comically low.

Why? A change from a 15 mpg vehicle to a 20 mpg vehicle is a 25% improvement in amount of fuel used. A 5 mpg improvement is only negligible in already very fuel-efficient vehicles.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 2:28 PM
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I 108 HTMLized in pidgin and not-HTMLized in gchat, so I'm declaring this success.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 2:28 PM
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iChat does appear to support the HTML version, but I don't know what it does about formatting. Or embedded links.


Posted by: fedward | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 2:30 PM
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110: From 15 mpg to 20 mpg is a 33% improvement.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 2:31 PM
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Embedded links: success. Italics? Stripped, ignored, or superseded by other iChat behavior.


Posted by: fedward | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 2:32 PM
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110: From 15 mpg to 20 mpg is a 33% improvement.

No, not in fuel used, and if we used the sane system of "gallons per mile" instead of "miles per gallon" to characterize fuel used this would be obvious.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 2:35 PM
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115: Got ya.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 2:40 PM
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superseded by other iChat behavior.

This. I have iChat set to reformat incoming messages. Turning that preference off reveals bold and italics in just the few messages I looked at.

New bot: success!


Posted by: fedward | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 2:42 PM
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110: I find it comical when it comes wrapped in a "green" flag, which is at least part of the language being used for the program. To qualify for the full $4500 if you drive a passenger car and replace it with another passenger car, the difference has to be 10mpg, and the old car can't be rated better than 18mpg. From 18-28mpg is a much better improvement than from 15-20.

From the FAQ it appears that you could even go from a 15mpg passenger car to a 20mpg SUV and get the full $4500 credit, even though you're actually replacing your vehicle with one that's heavier and has a higher center of balance, thus increasing both wear on the roads and the likelihood of injury in an accident (single-car or otherwise).

People clearly are going to buy whatever they want anyway; I think the bill doesn't provide enough incentive to get past the desire for more weight, power, and vehicle height and into something that's actually safer and more efficient. The way it's written it's as much an SUV Manufacturers' Welfare Bill as it is any sort of environmental improvement.


Posted by: fedward | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 2:57 PM
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You know what would be nice in the new bot, though? Post numbers.


Posted by: fedward | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 3:03 PM
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Also if it hadn't just disconnected.

Getting the comment numbers would be a lot more complicated that the current method; the comment number is neither reported in the RSS nor stored in the database, but would have to be reconstructed from the number of comments already in the database for the post to which the comment is attached.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 3:05 PM
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115: Similarly, I find "slowness" is more amenable to a lot of the mental calculations you are likely to do than speed/velocity is.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 3:06 PM
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120.2: nothing could be simpler.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 3:07 PM
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Actually, Sifu, the present, numberless way is simpler.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 3:09 PM
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123: and uses nothing to represent the comment numbers.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 3:11 PM
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And what you're saying is that nothing doesn't adequately discriminate among the possible numbers, is that it? You want a more perspicuous representation.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 3:12 PM
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From 18-28mpg is a much better improvement than from 15-20.

But not a much better improvement than 10-15mpg. At any rate, it's not obviously not "green". Obviously the ideal green thing would be for everyone to buy a Prius, but as a realistic policy option, couldn't this be leading enough people to buy a slightly more fuel-efficient vehicle to make a difference?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 3:14 PM
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When will the Unfoggedbot be available as an iPhone app?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 3:22 PM
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You can already use iChat or something similar on an iPhone, Jesus.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 3:23 PM
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Why? A change from a 15 mpg vehicle to a 20 mpg vehicle is a 25% improvement in amount of fuel used. A 5 mpg improvement is only negligible in already very fuel-efficient vehicles.

Environmentally speaking, wouldn't a 5 mpg efficiency improvement be equally cleaner, regardless of the baseline?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 3:23 PM
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Because I have an iPhone now, you know. I'm watching a baseball game on it! So great.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 3:23 PM
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130 wasn't meant to be an answer to heebie's question, just in case you couldn't tell.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 3:24 PM
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I was just unwillingly unsubscribed from a thread! SOME BIZARRE.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 3:24 PM
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Why, when I was your age, we had to hit Refresh hundreds of times a day to see whether new comments had been posted. And we liked it!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 3:24 PM
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Trying to get people to live a greener lifestyle is like trying to get people to stick to a diet. If you have access to the things that make it easy, and it fits how you see yourself, people will do it. Otherwise they won't.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 3:25 PM
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I want something special with a cool icon and spiffy interface all its own. Is that too much to ask?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 3:25 PM
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129, meet 115.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 3:27 PM
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Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. And it claims to have received messages from me that are the same as those it sent out (thus containing a link, thus fit to unsubscribe...).

I hypothesize that gmail, but not pidgin (based on the htmlless form of the message) is, like, bouncing stuff?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 3:27 PM
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Fortunately, this is moderately easily remedied, at the cost of introducing some constraints in the form of the subscription messages.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 3:29 PM
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Hello 115. Pleased to meetcha.


Posted by: 129 | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 3:32 PM
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Gallons per mile is hurting my brain. Wouldn't we want to switch to quarts or cups?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 3:34 PM
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Hogsheads per light-fortnight?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 3:35 PM
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About this much per oh, this far or so.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 3:38 PM
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A shyster nickel per country mile.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 3:39 PM
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118: Yes, the bill was clearly crafted to differentially favor the SUV/truck side of things.

I somewhat comically discovered that I qualify (and just as I am in fairly desperate need of a car). I had assumed that our old minivan missed by 1 mpg (and commented on it here last weekend). Literally en route to the dealer last weekend, I stopped and opened the hood and discovered what I always knew, that I had actually bought the bigger engine way back in the day so my mpg was 18 not 19 and therefor qualified. Looks like you can actually do it starting Monday. I can see from preliminary discussions with the salesman that we have different interpretations on how this will work:

Them: Come in with clunker, qualify it, if you have car in mind (and we do in all the specifics) pay sticker and you'll get your rebate.
Me: I come in and negotiate buying a new car at agreed to price. Then I say, "Here's my clunker", qualify it and get my rebate.

The difference being who ends up with the "typical" discount for the car (in this case $1,000 or so), the dealership or me. I'm not that aggressive* in these things and at some level it does seem kind of dickish to quibble when I am ripping off the taxpayers getting a few thousand back anyway. But of course that's what they want me to think!

*I get to test that in about 2 hours when an eBay auction on a PC item (which is somewhat unusual) that I specifically could really use ends. It seems that you need to be semi-pro to win eBay auctions these days. Last night I was sitting on an old road map that I wanted to get for my father (and that had generated almost no interest) and I got aced out in the last 10 seconds (and yes I had done the maximum bid thing).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 3:53 PM
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144.last: In general that is not necessarily a bad thing, since I otherwise might end up buying a lot of crap. For instance, after the auction, I looked more closely and saw that my father's town was not even shown on the map.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 3:56 PM
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I wish I knew why this dang thing keeps getting disconnected. It really is most vexing.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 4:10 PM
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I hypothesize that gmail, but not pidgin (based on the htmlless form of the message) is, like, bouncing stuff?

One can log into Gmail and see the log of messages one has received, even if one was using a third-party client to log into that Gmail/XMPP account. I'd guess that there's some sort of proxying happening at the Gmail/XMPP gateway that allows for flappy connections, but then determines that you're really offline after some number of messages and sends that offline message to the bot. At least, that's the sort of thing I'd look for in the docs if I were inclined to research it.


Posted by: fedward | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 4:13 PM
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One can log into Gmail and see the log of messages one has received

Logging in as the ubot, even, I saw no record of having received the relevant messages, even, nor do I see myself as having covertly sent them in my own account, even though the bot thinks it's received them. & I see myself as having received all the messages, from my gmail account, that I received on my pidgin account—so it's weird.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 4:20 PM
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144.last: you need a sniping site. Try auctionsniper.com.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 4:21 PM
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it also just said that it got an empty message from me. sigh.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 4:21 PM
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149: Yes thanks. I have not done much on eBay in a long time*, been reading up on it and see that it basically involves outsniping the snipers.

*I was fascinated when it first came out. That is why I own the unlikely games of "Body Boggle" (Twsiter-like Boggle) and "Boggle Bowl".


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 4:27 PM
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Perhaps your fascination in fact attaches to the Boggle family of games.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 4:28 PM
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151: or sniping with the snipers, really. Outsniping, eh, what are you going to do.

Snipers are actually kind of nice, because you set a price and then stop thinking about it, as opposed to constantly checking and worrying.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 4:29 PM
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I acquired and am reading Woman's World. A bit of description: A few hundred yards further on is Stonehouse Street, where you can get a fish supper, or a stolen radio, or a hangover—or a girl friend who plays the banjo and laughs nearly all the time.

Sounds good.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 4:32 PM
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I don't ever place auction bids except in the last 15 seconds. I'll use buy-it-now if it's available and the price is within my range, but otherwise I set reminders in iCal and do the sniping manually if the price is still right. I probably win about 40% of the auctions I place bids on this way.


Posted by: fedward | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 4:39 PM
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152: It was a conjunction of fascinations. One of the most interesting aspects of the Internet in general (and eBay specifically) , is how it served to connect folks with niche interests. Old road maps are an example, something I'd look for at estate auctions, and in antique and old book stores*, but not often found. Now whether my life is better for their easy availability is my wife's to judge.

*In my experience true antiquarian map dealers (although I love their wares) are the snootiness elite assholes in the pantheon.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 4:40 PM
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Your checking of iCal is sensitive to fifteen-second intervals?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 4:40 PM
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155: I thought I was prepared to use one click bidding (which requires at least one earlier bid) to counter sniping, but somehow when the deal came down I was looking at the wrong view. And thinking about it, it probably does not work as I assumed. "We automatically raise your bid by one increment" probably does not get you above the Max Bid that just came in, right?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 4:45 PM
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157 - No. I usually set a reminder for T-1 hour to check the early bid price. If it's worth continuing I set one for somewhere in the 5-15 minute mark (depending on what else I'm doing), and then from the five minute mark I just watch the clock manually. I make sure I'm logged in with about a minute to go, and then try to time my bid carefully to avoid getting re-sniped by somebody else who's doing the same thing.


Posted by: fedward | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 4:47 PM
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I was trying to decide if there would be any downside to adding 2 minutes to any auction if there are any bids at all in the last 2 minutes (and again and again until no final action). Clearly advantageous to sellers as a class, but it also helps a motivated buyer (I guess the answer to that is be sure of what you really will max out at before the event). Seemingly the most disadvantaged would be buyers not able to be at their computers at auction close.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 4:54 PM
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And losing an auction is nothing like losing The Game, anyway.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 5:01 PM
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161: nosflow doesn't like the game.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 5:35 PM
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160: There's talk ... around ... of new auction sites that are set up this way. A one minute increment, though, from what I've heard. This is all in the context of eBay's recent significant decline in web traffic, due in part to buyers as well as sellers who are frustrated by sniping.

The only site I've heard about (don't recall its name) that's doing this even as we speak is, I believe, still quite small.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 5:41 PM
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162: I don't mind the game. It's the players I don't like.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 5:42 PM
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I HATE THE GAME!!


Posted by: OPINIONATED 50 CENT | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 5:48 PM
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The Game?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 5:49 PM
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The game is the game.


Posted by: Avon Barksdale | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 5:52 PM
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||

My landlord, who lives next door, just came by with a big bag of just-picked plums—apparently there's a plum tree in the backyard, or more likely two, since some of them are teeny tiny things and others are larger—Mirabellen and Zwetschgen?—who knew. And now I'm sitting down to enjoy some du puy lentils with roasted broccoli and Early Girl tomatoes and a rouille (saffron courtesy Becks).

Summer!

|>


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 6:06 PM
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The park just got a hybrid Ford Fusion. It's pretty awesome.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 6:15 PM
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Neb, how did you not realize that there were two plum trees in the backyard? I live in an apartment complex and I've got the two fig trees on the margins staked out. Not to mention all the semi-wild tiny plums on my favorite walk.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 6:15 PM
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The backyard is, as I was once told when I wandered into a backyard in Berlin, "NICHT FÜR DIE MIETER!!!". We renting plebs are, for some reason, not supposed to be back there.

It's really really really too bad because it's large and lush and verdant and, apparently, fruitful, and it would be extremely pleasant to sit out there of a summer day reading and drinking pastis or something horribly pretentious like that.

Other evidences of the greatness of summer: the ravishing muskmelon I purchased and which (paradoxically) I ravished.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 6:18 PM
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reading and drinking pastis or something horribly pretentious like that

If that's horribly pretentious I don't want to be whatever the hell the opposite of horribly pretentious is.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 6:20 PM
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Why is the bot down again? This is mysterious. Also mysterious: why is nohup.out empty?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 6:20 PM
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172: Racelitist.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 6:22 PM
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171: Ah, now I see. I retract the bad things I thought.

172: Kinda what I was thinking. Though that might be because there actually is a bottle of Pastis in my cupboard that I toted home from France for such purposes.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 6:22 PM
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175.2: in our cupboard lies Ricard, awaiting similar pursuits.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 6:24 PM
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I'm going to eat the remaining ~55% of this melon now. It'll be glorious. Damn.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 6:25 PM
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176: Cheers to pretentious drinks!


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 6:26 PM
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My cupboard houses St. George's absinthe. I endorse it.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 6:26 PM
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Heh. Unfogged is hereby the pretentious blog. In case nobody noticed.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 6:33 PM
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If I had a bottle of St. George's, it wouldn't be in the cupboard.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 6:35 PM
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Where would it be?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 6:40 PM
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In front of me.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 6:42 PM
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It could be in front of you, in the cupboard.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 6:44 PM
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I have no cupboards in front of where I sit. And it's such a handsome package, I'd hate for it to be unseen. Anyway, I'm going to treat myself to a bottle as soon as I finish this here project and am officially unemployed on hiatus a househusband. Question is, should I get an absinthe fountain? I'm inclined to think I should.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 6:48 PM
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169: You should bury it somewhere deep enough to really confuse an archeologist from 2807 or something.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 7:03 PM
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186 was me.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 7:05 PM
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I sniped with 4 seconds left, but lost to someone who had come in with 12 seconds to go and had a higher Max Bid. My impact was to make them pay $15.00 more than they would have otherwise. It was already marginally over my original "maximum" price. (And the plums were probably sour anyway.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 7:16 PM
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And now I'm sitting down to enjoy some du puy lentils with roasted broccoli and Early Girl tomatoes and a rouille (saffron courtesy Becks).

Did Becks get the saffron from me?


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 7:23 PM
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She did not.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 7:24 PM
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188: My impact was to make them pay $15.00 more than they would have otherwise.

The seller thanks you.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 7:30 PM
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191: She already came into the room and did.

I jest.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 7:33 PM
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192: Ha! You jest, but really, if the buying public is obsessed with procuring desired items at the cheapest possible cost, we're doomed. Doomed, I say.

Eh, auctions are a weird game, and I tend to stay away.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 7:38 PM
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You should bury it somewhere deep enough to really confuse an archeologist from 2807 or something.

Heh. "This find indicates that the Basketmakers were not only sedentary agriculturalists but skilled autoworkers as well."


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 7:51 PM
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188: I sniped with 4 seconds left, but lost to someone who had come in with 12 seconds to go and had a higher Max Bid. My impact was to make them pay $15.00 more than they would have otherwise.

That's why you scavenge the barely noticed items, or you buy it now. The problem with Ebay is that lots of sellers use straw bidders to drive up the price if you bid; the increased activity causes the sellers the software to boost the item's visibility, which means more people people bidding, whereupon the proxy shows up again.

The only way to stay out of the loop is by sniping, which annoys normal people who figure a given item can't have that many people interested. And the item wouldn't have that many people interested at that price, if it wasn't for straw bidding. Since Ebay makes money off the value of the item, they have no interest in putting a stop to the practice. So you're better off just treating it as you would a flea market in the real world - if you can't get the item while you're 'there', forget it.

max
['Oy.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 8:00 PM
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Further to 193. I believe I'll say a bit more about this. The fact is that people who procure scarce, hard-to-find items have done quite a bit of work to do so. They need to be compensated for the labor they've put in, and the knowledge they've accrued.

It's taken me a while to come around to this view: when we're talking about material that really is fast disappearing, those who seek it out and make it available are providing a goddamn public service.

Ahem, anyway, many of the sellers of scarce material I'm acquainted with have a bottom-level price at which they're willing to part with the thing, and they can, yes, have a real attitude when provided with a counter-offer that's unsuitable, if not an insult. I understand this.

Oh. And an additional $15 multiplied by 1000 or 2000 items per year adds up. Really, don't let these jokers who bid get away with paying too little. The seller is just going to close up shop that way, then his or her stuff becomes unavailable altogether. Witness the slow death of eBay; you don't think the things people have offered there just disappear in a puff of smoke, do you? Naw, they go private.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 8:01 PM
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And it's such a handsome package, I'd hate for it to be unseen.

Really, is no one going to touch that?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 8:01 PM
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193,195: I tend to stay away

Me too for years, but I just happened to be searching for typical resale on a specific laptop model to help make a decision on repair/abandon on our broken one, and stumbled on this one for sale on eBay without a HD or OS. Made to order since my HD is fine, but that is not that uncommon of a situation, so it got a fair bit of interest from us bargain seekers and sold for 2.5x the price it was at when I noticed it. (Or maybe what Max says.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 8:04 PM
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197: You go ahead and touch Jesus' package if that's what you want. You don't have to ask our permission.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 8:05 PM
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195, 196: In short, a one time deal with kind of fortuitous (or unfortuitous) timing, so not sure the general lessons apply in this case. I am curious what it's "Buy It Now" price had been.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 8:11 PM
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198: Oh, I'd been confusing the computer-bidding story and the antique-road-map bidding story.

The juxtaposition between max's 195 and my 196 is pretty funny. Different!


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 8:13 PM
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201: The roadmap was just a warmup, it was 8 or 9 bucks total. I was just surprised to be sniped on it last night. There are a lot of them available "Buy It Now", but the one I was going for just happened to be from my father's state in the year of his birth.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 8:20 PM
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I was just surprised to be sniped on it last night.

They're lying in wait.

Yeah, if you want the thing, you have to come up with a max bid to which you're willing to go, and register that. I know you know that. (It doesn't hurt, also, to contact the seller to say that you're interested in any future such item, if he or she has a price. The seller may like the possibility of bypassing eBay fees.)


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 8:33 PM
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why? who?

if you are xxl, why would you do this? Burglary is the only explanation I can think of.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 8:49 PM
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I don't understand 204.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 9:00 PM
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slightly drunk. ebay suggested that I may want to bid on a huge, ugly T-shirt. The seller has a large selection of nearly new hideous T-shirts, with this one kind of expensive. XXL by itself seems kind of sad, but to combine that with hideous and often stupid screen prints on tube shirts? I figured that a burglar selling clothes he had stolen seemed like the simplest explanation.

This one actually seems better graphically, but Fat Albert themed clothing in XXL?


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 9:28 PM
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201: The juxtaposition between max's 195 and my 196 is pretty funny. Different!

Someone has the item 'Auto/motive Emis/sion Controls by Motorcraft [1976]', a 120-page softcover manual. The page view counter says the item page has been viewed three times, in seven days. There are three days to go. Item page says shipping expense is 10 bucks. It's the only one of those manuals on Ebay. No Buy It Now, no bids. Item is listed as an opening bid of a dollar. OK. I bid 1 dollar, 10 dollars max (which, when shipping is included, comes to 20 dollars, fairly close to the highest amount I'd be willing to pay). It's not a rare item - it's an item that doesn't get listed much because no one wants it.

About 10 minutes later, someone comes in and bids me up, even though no one has looked at the item in a week. Huh. And there's been one additional pageview. OK. So I wanna find out what the max bid this other person has put in is. So I bid 12. Got it. Hrmm. 10 minutes later, this same person (who is new to Ebay in the last 30 days, and who has won 100 auctions), comes back and bids me up again. He bid one dollar over. I bid again. He comes back, one dollar over my max again. Huh. OK, so I go one last round, and he comes back and bids it up to 30 for the item (plus 10 bucks shipping). I decline to bid further; I wasn't expecting to win after the intial bid, and now I figure the other person is a fool, or a straw bidder, particularly since this person has bid this item up to more than twice the original face price. It ain't that kinda rare.

So I bookmark it. Come a week later, it turns that person was the only really remaining bidder (No! Really?) and as buyer bailed on the contract (No! Really?) and quit Ebay. No suprises there. So the item has been relisted, in the same fashion, with no Buy It Now. GRRRR.

If the SOB seller had wanted 30 dollars for the fucking manual, he coulda just said that to start with. But since he tried to cheat me, I'm not going to be trying again, and I've noted his name as someone to avoid in the future.

On the other hand, if someone snipes me, they did so because they actually wanted the item. Well, OK then, I can deal with that.

max
['If it ain't rare, it can be had via Buy It Now at a reasonable if you dig deep enough into the listings, so I use that.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 9:47 PM
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I don't see what people have against sniping. Sure, it burns when you're outbid in the final seconds, but apparently someone else wanted and/or could afford the thing more than you. As a buyer, bidding early is against my interest even in an honest auction (i.e., not what max describes). And as a seller, I can't really see grounds for complaint. I've certainly made plenty of money for sellers in the last few seconds of auctions. I'm kind of fascinated by eBay as a tool for determining the monetary value of things, and the timer on the listing page enhances that function by facilitating sniping. You have a bunch of people wanting something; what is it worth to each? 3, 2, 1... Auction ended, value assigned.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 10:19 PM
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I'm kind of fascinated by eBay as a tool for determining the monetary value of things

This is, in terms of economic theory, pretty much the whole point of auctions in general, is it not?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 10:38 PM
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208: You have a bunch of people wanting something; what is it worth to each?

I suspect a lot of people want to charge a certain value, so the seller either sets their required opening bid too high and gets no takers, or/and then they set it too low, and the item goes for less than they wanted for it. That might (or might not) be the price it would sell at otherwise, but it's less than they wanted.

If people are sniping, they're not engaged in a bidding war that drives up the price to above what the seller wanted and expected to get for it.

max
['Deflation sucks.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 07-25-09 11:25 PM
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This is, in terms of economic theory, pretty much the whole point of auctions in general, is it not?

Right, the beauty of eBay is that it's exponentially vaster and faster than traditional auctions.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 07-26-09 12:00 AM
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208: I don't see what people have against sniping.

I was more surprised than "against". In fact I just did it successfully an hour or so ago. In practice it seems to make it more like a silent auction with some preliminary open bidding to set a floor than a "going, going, gone" auction (which you would get if you auto-extended auctions with any action in the waning minutes). For instance, on the one just now someone came in after me (I was 13 seconds, they were 7 seconds) with a bid above the bid at the time but below my max (popped my price up by about 4% but still left me about 4% below my max). No complaints, but I still think I'd prefer the other (not necessarily due to a rational assessment).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-26-09 12:34 AM
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