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Journal Journal: Verbiage: Umbrella fixed

A good umbrella is always appreciated. I've gone through a few, and lately purchased my second Shedrain umbrella from Amazon to replace the first that i had lost.

Somehow, this one managed to break before i could lose it. It worked perhaps once, but then would no close properly and was broken on one part. So, i sent an email to Shedrain asking for help:

I bought item 2052-CHAR on 3/19/14. (

Starting with the second use, one of the metal joints that extend the canopy detached from the rest and the umbrella no longer open or closes properly. ( i apologize for the poor explanation, i do not know how to explain it.) I can send a picture if you would like,

Is there a way to fix something like that? I would like my umbrella to work again. It's a pretty neat umbrella.

That same day, i received a reply:


Please send a few pictures and I will see how we can help.

Thank you,

I responded with

Sure, attached are pictures taken from my phone.

And here's a video on Youtube:

I love my mac. :)

If you want any other images, just ask.

And attached 7 images. To which he responded:


Thank you for the pictures. I do not think you would be able to repair the umbrella. Please send it to the address below and we will repair/replace it and ship it back to you.

ShedRain Corp
Attn: Dept W
8303 NE Killingsworth
Portland, OR 97220

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Thank you,

I sent it in a little bit later and received back a fixed umbrella. Not only was the broken part fixed, they added a number of hooks between the two coverings. So far, it is working nicely. My only cost was the price of shipping it to them.

It seems they gave back the same umbrella because my name, address, and phone number were still on the handle (taped on sheet of paper).


When i post the emails i send, i am "afraid" that i sent something silly, or feel apprehensive about sharing the personality i add to my emails, which can change by whom i am sending it to or simply the mood i am in. I know it's not a problem (until someone proves me wrong in the comments :) ).


Unrelated side note Started Book 5, Chapter 9 in LoTR.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Verbiage: Storium

I found Storium from it's Kickstarter page , via a write up on MakeUseOf's rss feed. (As an aside, i just saw makeuseof's homepage, wow that's ugly!)

In short, one user makes a story and at least one user plays it. The story is in a world and presents challenges, the players decide how to respond and can play some cards defining their strength sand weaknesses. That is, the storyteller does not have complete control of the story, perhaps just the direction. More information can be seen on the How to play page.

I pledged the $10 for the beta access to check out what it is, and i am thinking of becoming a member. The only benefit of member is that the first year is $20 instead of the expected $25. Truthfully, the $5 saved doesn't justify the gamble, but i am enjoying the game.

As of right now, the Kickstarter project has only 12 hours left. Doe this form of storytelling interest you?

Update: Changed "at least two users play it" to "at least one user plays it".
Changed "i just saw the homepage, " to "i just saw makeuseof's homepage"

User Journal

Journal Journal: Links of the day: Male gamers/female avatar, yawning

Can you tell a person's gender by their video game avatar?

the male gamers with female avatars ultimately gave themselves away: they moved backwards more often and stayed further away from the group than women playing with female avatars.

Men playing with a female avatar also jumped an average of 116 more times than their female counterparts.

All i can say is: Wow.

Yawning to cool the brain The study seems dubious, but it does remind me of a Simpson's episode where the reason given is "to keep brain from freezing".

User Journal

Journal Journal: Verbiage: "If..then" and a comma (2) 2

I believe that in an English if statement, using then and a comma is redundant. I have been challenged on this, told i am incorrect, and shown many examples otherwise.

Strunk and White's Elements of Style (PDF) does not use "then" after a comma. For example

If the interruption to the flow of the sentence is but slight, the writer may safely omit the commas.

While the book does not list the rule, the style of the book itself shows its application. I feel vindicated...and terribly ashamed at my egregious use of commas.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Chronicle: Found known decade-old bug in LWP

Trying to use perl to connect via https with WWW::Mechanize and then LWP::UserAgent, the script returned an error that the server closed the connection. That "server" meant the proxy server. I finally figured that one out that one after telnetting to the proxy server myself. It was a simple test, but not so simple to figure out that it was the test to do.

To make a not so long story even shorter, it's a decade-old bug with complicated solutions already fixed in Debian

Now's a good time to go back to Linode and try that $50 off coupon again. (Instead of applying those patches and whatnot.) It'd either get me a month and some of really easy access to a server, or, perhaps, use hourly billing. If hourly allows me to easily setup an environment, that $50 would last qwuite some time. :)

User Journal

Journal Journal: Verbiage: Wikipedia's talk section

Reading Wikipedia's articles without the Talk section is like basing purchasing decision from Amazon without reading the reviews.

Although i left Wikipedia some time ago it contiuosly comes up in Google searches. Recently, i saw an article listing myths within which was listed the Tongue Map. Wikipedia has an entry which is refuted in the Talk section. I eventually got to Common Misconceptions (and its own interesting Talk section) which can be an amusing read.

Just now i was looking up Vinculum as a possible name for the fraction bar. The Talk section points out there is no source for it.

Wikipedia being inaccurate is old news, obvious to anyone who knows a subject. But if you do not know the subject and accuracy matters, be sure to read the Talk section.

A completely unrelated side note: While writing this i glanced at the clock which said "1:01:01" and did a double-take.

A side note related only in that it is unrelated: Started Book 3, Chapter 9 in LoTR

User Journal

Journal Journal: Verbiage: Oe the two-letter Scrabble word

So, a friend made a typo in a message changing "of" to "oe". Looking to make a witty response and remembering that oe is on the Scrabble two-letter word list, i went to check it's definition on Google by searching for define oe.

OE "is" a word "&" IS in the official scrabble players' dictionary. MAking it aq LEGAL WORD for use in SCRABBLE, As well. --- So, do u think sCRABBLE allows u to "CHEAT" as well?? smh!!! NO ABBREVRIATIONS are ALLOWED in SCRABBLE "or" words with friends.

Seeming a bit odd, i followed the link to Merriam-Webster, which has it as an abbreviation for oersted and biographical name for Kenzaburo Oe.

Trying to find the word brought me to which has

Is oe a scrabble word?

No Definition of 'oe' Found - It's still good as a Scrabble word though!

Who knows, maybe i'll look it up in The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary (Third Edition) when i get home. (There is a Fourth Edition out there, but it's not what i happen to have.)

User Journal

Journal Journal: Verbiage: My Amazon Kindle 2

I bought an Amazon Kindle (received 11/15/13) after receiving a coupon for $40 off. For $29 dollars, the device seemed quite nice and the e-ink display is all its cracked up to be. They said it was valid for a limited time, so i grabbed it.

Afterward, i googled* at the time and found* that there was a $60 promotion as well. I wondered if i should have canceled and waited for the $60, but i didn't. Who knows if that would have worked anyway? Regardless, it's well worth $29.

I replaced it once (received 12/7/13) after the bottom of the directional button stopped working smoothly. It had to be pressed firmly to make it work, which was inconvenient. I reported this to Amazon, and added that i tossed the Kindle to the floor (carpeted, from maybe knee-height) which might have led to ti not working. The rep said that he would replace it as a one-time thing, and that was nice.

Since then, i have gotten a chip in the display, though i am not sure how, but i am okay with it. A few days ago i picked it up, and half the display was frozen. Resetting it didn't work, and now i have a new one on it's way (estimated delivery 4/16/14). Amazon is very nice about the one year warranty, and replaced it with two-day shipping. Yet another reason why i love Amazon.

I use the Amazon to read things in the tub. I highlight stuff to review later online, and together with Kindle for the PC and Mac, the Kindle is great for research.

* Links are examples, and not necessarily the one i used.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Chronicle: Sunday drive to Cleveland 2

My matzoh came as part of a larger shipment headed for Cleveland together with the other Detroiters who ordered from the same place. A driver was dispatched to pick it up, but 5 boxes of special (raichayim shel yad) order (2 for me, 3 for my sister) was missed. Instead, we got the regular (chabura) matzo. So, i decided to drive to Cleveland myself on Sunday. As i told my sister, "i have a need, i have a Sunday, what the heck".

In general, i drive to Cleveland once a year to go to Telshe for the high holidays. I know the road well (Southfield->75->280->80/90->90->Euclid->Sun). This time, however, i needed to go to Cleveland Heights, and going through Wickliffe would have been out of the way. Knowing this, i went to Google Maps for the way. My sister couldn't find her GPS device, so, i just went with the GM printout.

The directions say to go from Coventry to Cedar Glen. Cedar (didn't see the Glen) was closed in that direction. Not knowing where to go, i called a friend in Wickliffe who directed me. It didn't work, and i ended up driving up and down that part of Euclid for an hour or two before i realized it. Eventually, i got through again, and they told me to go up Mayfield. I found it on my second pass, and go to my destination shortly thereafter. It would have been faster for me to go "the long way" and go to Wickliffe, then just take Euclid to Taylor. Me and my bright ideas.

I am terrible at following directions...any directions. I was on a team with a friend, he being a programmer (doing Java at the time) and me doing the database. As the database needed to process something and he knew how, he started explaining to me the step-by-step instruction that would have to be followed. Completely bewildered, i stopped him, and tried to explain to him i cannot understand that step-by-step directions. He though i was pushing him off or something, and i explained it to him again. He relented, though i don't think he ever believed me. I need to know the overall picture and only then the small details.

Anyway, i got more LotR goodness, in Book 2 Chapter 4 now.

Sometime after the movies came out, i downloaded and watched them. I just didn't follow the story at all, and gave up before finishing them. Sometime later, i picked it up again and watched it again getting the entire story. Well, the movies' version that is. The movie is all about action and perhaps some reluctance. The book is all about wavering and perhaps a little action sprinkled about. The story is so much easier to follow as everything is explained and it is easy to get into.

I have my own thoughts on Tom Bambadil now, glad i finally "read it" in the original.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Chronicle: Today is a good day to troll 2

Perlmonks has polls, switching mostly one a month. Wasting time, i posted to the currently current poll thread (and many others as well, which strangely enough became a live poll.

On good old greenie, i trolled not too successfully, but realized people seem only read the first line of the post, or gave up when trying to make sense of the second.

It's like Slashdot is more of a playground. I'm trying to enjoy it before the beta destroys the last vestige of normalcy here.

Edit: Changed title from "Silliness" to "Chronicle". I should have followed my own advice and written the title after the entry.

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Man is an animal that makes bargains: no other animal does this-- no dog exchanges bones with another. -- Adam Smith