July 17, 2009

eBay sellers hidden profit source?

Filed under: Economics, Humour — Tags: , — Nicholas @ 12:24

Jon, my virtual landlord, has had a love-hate relationship with eBay for a while. This morning, the “love” phase seemed short and under-used:

Bought a magazine yesterday. Four bucks. Seemed like a good deal. Auction notes that out-of-USA losers should ask for an invoice to get their shipping rate. Thinking that shipping would be, oh, I don’t know, another four bucks or so, I figured what the hell, and use the Get Reamed Up The Ass Now button to buy the thing.


Twelve bucks.


Thinking that this was, perhaps, a one-time thing — just a spot of bad luck — I looked around today for another book that I would like to have. Found the book. Brand-new reprint of a rather old book for twenty bucks. Again, a decent deal. Shipping to Canada? Twenty. Two. Dollars. So, no book for me.

No wonder there’s a recession, the dumb wankers.

Speaking of wankers: I took at look at the new Schwarz plane book and thought “what the hell.” So I started the online ordering process. Shipping to Canada for the book and a set of DVDs (on a topic that shall remain nameless)? Thirty. Two. Dollars. Cap-and-trade this, wood-boy. I did not proceed with the order.

What the hell is wrong with these people?


I’ve found some eBay sellers like this: they seem to feel that the extra labour of filling in a customs sticker requires them to make a profit of 2-3 times the actual cost of shipping. After getting burned that way once, I’ve always been careful to check shipping costs before bidding.

When I requested Jon’s permission to use his email on the blog, he replied with this:

I guess so. What I sent is not nearly as memorable as the first draft, though. I originally had something in there about how, after Obama nationalizes their health care, I hope the eBayers all get scrofula and schistosomiasis and itch for the rest of their lives; but then I looked up scrofula and schistosomiasis to confirm the spelling and decided that wishing those on anyone, no matter how much they distend my rectum with their take-it-up-the-ass shipping rates (Rectum?! Damn near killed him!), was just a bit over the top.

(Cross-posted to the old blog, http://bolditalic.com/quotulatiousness_archive/005593.html.)

How addicted to the internet are you?

Filed under: Humour, Technology — Tags: , — Nicholas @ 12:22

Lore Sjoberg provides you with an easy checklist to discover how bad your addiction may be:

If the ancient Egyptians had the internet, there would have been 11 plagues in Exodus, with “unreliable DSL” tucked in between the frogs and the lice.

It’s a pain when your DSL goes down, but the bright side is that it gives you a chance to rate yourself on the Internet Dependency Scale. Just compare your actions to those listed below and you’ll know what sort of pathetic digital symbiont you really are.

Stage 1 Internet Dependency

Immediate reaction: Check the wires, see if you can steal a neighbor’s Wi-Fi, then get up and do something else.

What you do while waiting for the connection to come back: Read a book, watch a movie, go for a walk. Is this a trick question?

If it doesn’t come back in an hour: Call your service provider, then go back to whatever you were doing.

(Cross-posted to the old blog, http://bolditalic.com/quotulatiousness_archive/005592.html.)

Tall photographer/Swedish girl gang mashup

Filed under: Humour — Tags: — Nicholas @ 12:19

Trust The Register to be on top of shocking stories like the “tattooed Swedish devil girls who jumped a cyclist”:

Well, by an amazing coincidence, El Reg had its roving snapper on the streets of Örebro on 8 July, and although he was able to capture the action, his images were subsequently lost – for reasons which will become evident.

We did, however, get in touch with the Great Satan of Mountain View which, by an even more astounding coincidence, happened to have an Orwellian black Opel prowling the leafy suburbs of the Swedish town on that very day.

Google eventually agreed to provide its original uncensored Street View images of the assault, which we have forwarded to the appropriate authorities in the hope the merciless vixen attack pack might be brought to justice.

With bonus linkage to yesterday’s photography story.

(Cross-posted to the old blog, http://bolditalic.com/quotulatiousness_archive/005591.html.)

QotD: CanLit

Filed under: Books, Cancon, Quotations — Nicholas @ 00:08

To mark Dominion Day (as you’d expect a squaresville loser like me to call it), the New York Times asked 11 Canadian expatriates to write on “what they most miss about home.” The cutting-edge funnyman Rick Moranis riffed on toques and beavers and the lyrics of God Save the Queen, raising the suspicion he’d simply recycled his beloved Dominion Day column of 1954 — which is not just environmentally responsible but very shrewd given New York Times rates for freelance contributors.

But thereafter the expats got with the program. The musician Melissa Auf der Maur, after years in the “American melting pot,” pined for “the Canadian mosaic.” But the great thing about the Canadian mosaic is that it engages in “a national conversation about literature like a big book club,” so the bookseller Sarah McNally said she missed “the pride and simplicity of a national literature, which probably wouldn’t exist without government support. We even have a name, CanLit, that people use without fearing they’ll sound like nerds.”

Multiculturalism, government books, using phrases like “Canadian mosaic” with a straight face, hailing the ability to say “CanLit” with a straight face as a virtue in and of itself . . .

[. . .]

Canada has done everything David Rakoff, Sarah McNally and Melissa Auf der Maur want—not least in their own fields. It taxes convenience-store clerks to subsidize books and writing and publishing and that wonderful “national conversation about literature like a big book club” in which everyone’s membership dues are automatically deducted from your bank account whether you go to the meetings or not. And still Mr. Rakoff and Ms. McNally and Ms. Auf der Maur leave. They applaud the creation of a “just” and “equitable” society, and then, like almost all the members of the Order of Canada you’ve actually heard of, they move out. Despite commending the virtues of a social “safety net” for you and everyone else, they personally can only fulfill their potential somewhere else, without one. Usually in a country beginning with “Great” and ending in “Satan.”

Mark Steyn, “Why do you leave the one you love? Our ‘funny creative people’ adore our social safety net, not that they stick around to use it”, Macleans, 2009-07-16

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