fodder for the masses

Thursday, August 25, 2005

frugal from froogle

The retail operation
We have been lagging behind. We neglected retail. People need retail. You need retail.
Now we're officially retail savvy - having made serious in roads into the science of online selling.

eBay was the first to be experimented with, and we are now claiming the ability to list stuff. In fact, if I get really lazy, I have a copy of TurboLister around here somewhere that does it all for you, including, I think, uploading images and anything else that might be needed.

Look out for an announcement of our first eBay auction, which, I believe, will contain about a decade's worth of Penthouse Black Label edition that I seem to have managed to prevent Yvonne from throwing out.

Meanwhile, finding things to auction hasn't been as easy as I thought - something to do with me being the hoarder of the household, although I have been eyeing off half a dozen pairs of stud fly jeans that look like never fitting me again, no matter how far I swim.

Following Ebay came the brilliant CafePress, who do all the work for you, for a price. Products include t-shirts, caps, coasters, mousemats, all manner of gear, all available with your design.

Seems a good thing to be able to upload an image and then simple dial in what products it should appear on. Anyone wants to buy it, CafePress supply the blank, do the printing, and post the product. Can't complain about that.

Then came Froogle, the well known retail offshoot of Google, and the place we have been all day today setting up the latest in retail bad taste - the Zoetrope Froogle store, open right now, in an experimental format, but open.

Go there right now, buy an expensive t-shirt with some putrid logo on it and we will all be happy.

Don't ask me why the thumbnail image isn't available - do I look like I know how it works?



Wednesday, August 24, 2005

From retro to cutting edge

No sooner do I start doing raptures about the oldie but goodie - IRC, reminiscing about how things were simpler then when we all used the same method of communication, a time before had decided to try and be all things to all people, and wanted to charge for the idea as well.

A time before version one million of Messenger, or whatever version number it's at. Maybe it just feels like it's version one million, I can't say for sure, I don't have it running on this machine.

At all.

I did have. I hated the bloody thing looking at me all the time. Had to consult experts on how to make it go away - never to appear again. In fact I used two methods to kill it off - AdAware also has something that will kill it for you too.

It's popular in the house, just not with me. Step sons use it all the time, keeping contact with people who live next door, down the street, people they just spent all day with. Seems harmless enough - if you ignore the almost certainty of a kiddy grabber being around on some channel somewhere.

I wanted them to convert to the old bare bones IRC, just a simple thing, mIRC as the client, no high tech stuff. They couldn't do it - they were worried they would lose out on all the smilies and shit that is an essential part of it all. So sorry.

Then came Google
Yesterday Google announced, and released, their version of an IM, Google Talk. Naturally it has already been downloaded and is awaiting some decision on what I should do with it - should I install it and actually interact with someone? Should I install it and ignore everyone? Should I install it just for the telephony component alone? Getting warmer, but I still have to think about it.

Yes Mildred, it really does come with , and that puts it right up there at head of the class. Gets my vote just for being brave enough to enter that market, one that Skype usually guard with gusto.

I've been hanging out at Skype a bit - trying to figure if I want the beta “SkypeIn” - the drama being, in my mind, that they want me to download and install the other bit of Skype before I can get out the old credit card and actually pay for this new thing. Still thinking. Still thinking how much I feel like doing all that just so some fool can ring me at local rates from anywhere on the planet.

But, we were discussing . We like Google Talk. We seem to like most Google products actually, even if Google is being seen as the new “dark lord” of the industry - much as Microsoft is, was, should be.

Still leaves me with the vexation of “install / don't install”. A problem that won't find a solution today.

Solutions to the IM dilemma are on hold while we deal with yet another Google product Froogle, who have been good enough to inform us that the feed we ran in there, ostensibly to sell tshirts off the site, is, while not valid, almost valid, and close to being able to be published.

The wonders of modern - everything.



Tuesday, August 23, 2005

retro - IRC, again

IRC, IM, and family
Its the sort of day where you get so pissed at looking at how much you have to do, how many projects you are supposed to be testing for sensibility, how many customer sites either under construction or awaiting updates, updates that the site owners will never be able to do because the fixed in their minds ages ago that they would never be able to pick up basic HTML, therefore they never will. The sort of day where it really would have been satisfying, on a mild scale to have been able to complete a few of those things, not find more things to add to the list.

It might have been complicated (the day that is) by the morning swim session dragging on for an equal personal best (PB to my dweeb friends) of 60 laps - 60 laps makes for 3 kilometers of swimming, makes for sore shoulders, makes for 'swimming pool ears' - a condition that renders me incapable of hearing anything Yvonne says - some would say a very opportune condition.

60 laps has complicated the day for me before - by the time I stagger home, shower, rehydrate, reinvent myself, it's well over half way through my working day.

By the time I have cleared the mailboxes - messages from people rather keen to see their sites up in cyberspace and creating yet another timewasting experience for anyone unlucky enough to view them - by the time I have cleared all those, composed and sent numerous variations of the same theme - 'get nicked, you're paying bugger all, and I will get to it when I can' - by the time all that is done, followed by the obligatory check of some up market crack sites (you never know), by the time I've checked out Forgetfoo's wonderful collection of babes, a man can find himself devoid of any imagination at all.

Hence the reason we have the old IRC channels up and running - they're always a blast, always viewed around this child / teenager infested area as the 'old way' of IM, hence the reason I like them even more.

I have always loved the bare bones approach of IRC, that and the fact that it has 'history', something solid in the communication evolution, something not simply skinned and reinvented, to be hocked off to an unaware public.

It's the sort of day perfect for all of those things and totally inappropriate for doing anything constructive. Although, I view IRC as constructive, it's a place I would get to share my views on things if I wasn't checking every nick and address thoroughly looking for undercover police trawling for kiddie fuckers.

But, IRC does not a living make. Swimming does not a living make. In fact I suspect swimming will be off the daily agenda, replaced by the bike again by the time my doctor, whom I have the pleasure of seeing (a female) later this week, has measured me, weighed me, discovered that, even on an average distance of 7 kilometers per week I have lost not a gram in weight. She won't be happy. She will make that well known. I will be back on the bike.

Maybe then I will get enough time to finish a few things. Maybe.



Friday, August 19, 2005

one week less

winter shorter by one week
Probably the only good thing to come out of winter is the lean towards thoughts of warm time, warm ladies, as demonstrated, post below.

Problem is, soon as it warms up I get back into thoughts of the very same place, the very same lady because it's warm.

Why fight it. Good thoughts are handy to have anytime. Especially with a brain like mine.

Another week down, only a couple more to go before winter is officially over, and we slide in to spring.

I like to think I'm still young enough to leap about with glee come the spring, but I do fear I'm bullshitting. One thing I do notice about spring is that every now and then you get to smell it - it sort of sneaks a whiff up your nostrils and you know for sure that's spring.

Love it. Waiting for it.

Still remain resolute in my thoughts of Prima though. Doesn't seem to matter what the season is.

Mr BTK gets sentenced
Don't start bleating to me how weird I am - it's all in your mind. You think I have a few dark thoughts check out the BTK (Bind, Torture, Kill) guy who copped a reasonable 10 life sentences this week.

That's someone who really is hanging off the planet, sort of slid out an open door somewhere near the edge of the planet and now is just hanging there by his fingernails.

Go here for the Post's own take on the thing.

The New York Times has a piece on it as well.

This is a man who is right up there with “not well”, and, just to emphasis my thoughts about most preachers being of a very loose moral standing, this guy was a preacher.

Makes me feel all warm and happy that yet another preacher has bit the dust.



Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Winter blues

Cold invokes thoughts of Prima
We used to try and spend a month of the Australian winter hiding in the , hopefully, usually, in the arms of one of those beauteous creatures that inhabit the place.

Inevitably, if you like it or not, you fall for the place, for the women.

We did plenty of trips over there. Enough that the white lard arse Australian females found it necessary to spurn any of us upon our return. Punishment for overlooking their (in only their minds) considerable good looks and wit. Neither exist.

Fact is any white critter is going to feel threatened by a Filipino female - look at the comparison: the is lithe, athletic, good looking, sexually active, and able to hold a conversation. Most can even play a mean game of billiards / snooker, well enough to relieve you of some decent money if you were silly enough to put money on it.

On the other hand we have the hard faced Australian 'equivalent' - brought up to believe that she is destined for greatness, an easy life, unlimited food and to be worshiped from the date of marriage till the day she moves you out.

When you sense the day / week / month turning to shit what you do is remember the great times you had, remember the great women you loved and use that as the fallback for the days when things are less than idyllic.

That's probably where you need the memory of someone like Prima.



Thursday, August 04, 2005

London doesn't get bombed..

Must be the tasers
Seems the Brits are doing a seriously good job of cleaning up the mad nig-nog brigade, having managed to grab a few suspects in a very public fashion.

I, for one, am a big fan of the and the “come out with nothing on or we'll come in after you” approach.

Seems, unlike their US counterparts, the English actually do manage to get their man / men, and they do it well.

All we need now is for them to set up something like in the North Sea and carry out some seriously good there.

Perhaps subscribe to the same airline that the US use to ferry prisoners all over the World looking for some place to land with good interrorgation facilities.

Only in America would you find evidence of such a money wasting, time wasting scheme.

A good way to tour the World though.

Mobile dominance
It's like fixing the space shuttle this mobile stuff. As soon as you manage to cater for one type you find another format that needs looking at.

The much needed revamp of the mobile site is almost done. Was almost done until we investigated , the most popular mobile action happening in Japan. I-mode is here in Australia too, so we figured on a bit on dedicated content, including the much vaunted "QR's" - barcodes containing URL and email data, and all manner of content set up to be scanned by mobile devices.

We even sport one on this site - check it out in the sidebar here, just waiting for some petite young lady to come along, scan it into her phone, then ring me to confess her obvious desire.

This hasn't happened just yet you understand, but is expected to happen anytime in the future. The sooner the better.

Japanese school girls aside, the barcodes have unique value. Included on a business card they allow instant transfer of your details into any phone, saving the tedium of trying to enter all the data on a screen the size of a matchbox.

I am impressed.

The marketing side of me sees so many opportunities I have been forced to slide into a induced stupor this very afternoon just to deal with it.