Amazon went out of their way to e-mail me this important product recommendation:


I didn’t even buy that bird guide from them. I just rated it because I am the kind of person that has opinions on bird field guides. (The Stokes guides are easily the best organized and have the best pictures, says me.) So…therefore I want a phone?

Here is a list of tweets I am not interested in.

  1. Tidbits from the conference you’re attending
  2. Anything about Conan O’Brien
  3. Retweets of any of the 4 million Hulk streams
  4. Real-time reactions to the TV show you’re watching*
  5. More than like three hashtag jokes in a row
  6. Your flight status

Thank you.

*Unless I am watching the same thing.  In which case, you should definitely tweet about it.

1. Do not examine USB drive.  Instead, guess a proper orientation and attempt to insert.  Note that USB will not insert during this step.

2. Assume original orientation was wrong.  Rotate 180 degrees.  Attempt to insert.  Note that USB will continue failing to insert.

3. Return to original orientation.  Attempt to insert.  This time, it will work.  Do not seek an explanation for this.

My apologies, four people who ever have or perhaps ever will comment on this blog: I’m getting a ridiculous number of spam comments so I’m modifying the comment settings a bit.  It’s supposed to post your comments immediately if you have ever commented before, but your comment may get held for moderation.  This should kill off spammers but be a slight unfriendliness to actual humans occasionally.

Hey also, I move into my new house Monday.  I’ll endeavor to share some pictures and generally keep you posted.

I’m also changing feed readers.  I give up on Bloglines.

Listen, I really really wanted to like Bloglines and used it for years.  Today was the last straw: I realized it was not picking up this very blog.  That seems inexcusable.  This is a very basic wordpress blog.  WordPress is only the world’s most complete and widely-used blogging software.  What more do you need from me, Bloglines?  I have endorsed you.  I have supported you.  I have told classrooms full of open minded college students to start using Bloglines.  No more.

The problems:

  • Constantly dropping feeds.  I notice a blog hasn’t updated in weeks.  I check the site.  They’ve updated, all right.  Bloglines just didn’t bother to let me know.  This is the basic duty of a feed reader, right?
  • Frequent unresponsiveness.  I click a feed, I wait and wait, and then it’s done loading with nothing to show for it.  Sometimes when I re-click, I see items.  Sometimes, they’re gone.  Thanks, Bloglines!
  • Bizarre errors.  I always get the thing where I log in and every one of my feeds has 9,999 “new” items.
  • Can’t see LiveJournal feeds.  (Well, who can blame them?  And anyway, I want to follow like maybe two feeds in there.  But still.  No excuse.)
  • Utter lack of technical support.  I wrote them probably a dozen times to ask about the problems.  Never got a single response.

Honestly, I would’ve bailed on Bloglines a long time ago except that I didn’t want to adopt Google Reader and rely on Google for yet another vital web service.  But Google Reader has shown me none of these problems.  (Yet.)  I’m open to other feed readers, totally.

End: complaining about a free web service that has largely benefited me for several years.