Archive for the 'ramblings' Category

Greedy or ignorant?

Periodically, I come across auctions on eBay in which the sellers are being either extraordinarily greedy or incredibly ignorant of the price points of the items they’re selling.

Someone is currently selling a collection of A Country Practice articles for $199.99 AUD. Most of the other items they’re selling are either auctions with $0.95 starting bids or “Buy it Now” items with reasonable (<$10) prices. But they’ve decided that their collections of A Country Practice and Neighbours articles are going to be lucrative. Meaning they think ACP and Neighbours fans are suckers. If I were going to pay $200 for a collection of articles, it damned well better be a massive collection, not the couple of dozen articles they have on offer. That’s not to say that I wouldn’t like some of the articles in the collection but certainly not enough to fork out $200, even if I had $200.

I also have to wonder at people who sell something like a fan card, which would fit in a regular mail envelope and cost regular mail postage, with a shipping charge of $6. I realize that eBay is all about making money but really?

[edited to add on September 5: Surprise, surprise. They haven't managed to sell those clippings yet so the latest price is $49.99.]


The lucrative world of Aussie mags…

I like to do the odd bit of bidding in eBay (usually on Australian magazines, I’m sure you can guess why).

Some of the magazine auctions must have their respective sellers just shaking their heads at how high the bidding goes. It has me laughing for the most part, even when I’m outbid, because I’m usually watching two or three people duking it out over a magazine when each person really wants a different part of the magazine. They *could* conceivably share articles with each other and keep the price of the magazines down to something reasonable.

Usually, the people jacking up the price of the magazine are looking for completely unrelated articles and will not be outbid come hell or high water. Other times, you can see that they’re after the same thing. I’ve only once been fighting over the same articles, with someone who was after Penny Cook articles (usually we’re after different articles) — sometimes you just want to yell at the other person to just stop bidding and you’ll share the articles. LOL There’s an auction on right now for a magazine that had a couple of ACP-related articles. I was considering bidding on it but today I see that the bidding is currently at $51.00. Both people seem to be fighting over a Rachel Blakely article that isn’t even a page long. Now, I’ve been known to pay a pretty high price for some magazines but those generally had either multiple articles or a much coveted article/poster.

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I suppose it’s a sign that somehow or another this little really insignificant blog is turning up somewhere in the search engines but I could really do without the drive-by blog spammers. Blog spammers are people who hunt down blogs where they can post their crappy links to their crappy, half-assed sites (usually gambling ones in this case). Right up there with people who spam guestbooks and referrer logs.

They’re all idiots, I tell ya. Complete idiots, the lot of them. So much so, in fact, that a couple of them decided to bombard this blog with 120+ spammy entries today. Wasn’t that nice of them? [bastards!]

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Competition is good

Just learned that Yahoo is improving their Mail Plus! service to something that actually makes me think kind thoughts about Yahoo for a change. I wonder if it is in response to the competition waiting in the wings from Google’s Gmail which offers (or rather will offer, when it is publicly released — it’s in beta testing right now) 1GB of email space. In any case, it all now makes Hotmail seem really crappy in comparison.

The way it used to work was that a regular Yahoo account used to get you 4MB of space for free. You could upgrade to a 10MB mail box for $9.95 a year or 25MB for $19.99 a year. And could add some additional extras for an additional minimal fee (e.g. I was paying $29.95 for the 25MB mail box with the ability to use multiple email addresses within the same Yahoo account and increased filtering capabilities). All of that was known as Mail Plus!.

Now, Mail Plus! only costs $19.95 a year and comes with a 2GB mail box and no graphical ads (that’s what makes me actually almost like Yahoo now). Don’t know if that means no ads at all ever but right now it there are none. Even if all they did was get rid of the graphical ones (especially the Java and Flash ones), I’d be a happy camper.

Gotta love unexpected improvements. My hosting company recently improved my hosting plan to an obscene amount of space and bandwidth and actually reduced the monthly fee in the process. I like this trend towards offering more for less. :-)

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Adventures at the Bytown Cat Hospital

Dropped off Mots at the vet’s this morning to get his teeth cleaned. Nothing major but they have to put him under in order to do it. He hasn’t had to have general anaesthesia since he got neutered when he was a baby and he’s a lot older than that now — I’m worried about him there. He gets very stressed out by the vet clinic and his anxiety has been escalating with every visit (which is why I avoid taking him as much as I can). This time I even had to wrestle him into the carrier, which I never have to do. It breaks my heart every time.

The first time I took him to the vet, I was able to hold onto him for a few minutes before he freaked out and turned into a feral bobcat, all teeth and razor-sharp claws. He slipped out of the exam cubicle and into the cat-themed gift shop next door before anyone could catch him. It took five of us (one vet, three vet assistants, and me) to corner him and get him into the carrier. The next time, they actually had to spend more time patching me up than examining him because he got me good with his claws (I was taking blood thinners at the time so I bled a lot). Now, we don’t even dare open the carrier door — they have dump him into a bag and then mask him to knock him out a bit just to give him a checkup. He’s scary when he wakes up after that, let me tell you. Growling, hissing, spitting, and lunging at the front of the carrier. Scares all the other cat owners in the waiting room. LOL But then he’s a pathetic little creature when he realizes he’s really going home — the change from wild creature in the clinic to sorrowful baby as soon as we get in the cab is startling.

Have to leave him there today until after 4pm and I’m finding myself decidedly uncomfortable in my own home. We’ve been together since a couple of weeks after I moved into this apartment — this is the first time since he arrived here that I’ve been in this apartment without him here and I feel very, very alone. Weird, eh? Can’t imagine how bad I’d be when (no, IF because he’s going to live forever, dammit!) he’s no longer here. :-(

Hopefully he won’t hold this vet visit against me for too long.

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