goatee-stroking musing, or something

What a bunch of stupid Fiskars …

effin fiskars

On the left, a very worn blade from a roughly decade-old Fiskars paper trimmer. On the right, one of the replacement blades you can get at Staples. Note the extra lugs stopping the new-style blades working with the old-style cutters? Bet they think they’re really clever little Fiskars for coming up with that planned obsolescence move.

It’s nothing that a steady hand and a rotary tool can’t fix, though …

computers suck

Google Contacts – ISO dates, please

I’ll just leave this stinker here, shall I?

google contacts quite failing to understand ISO standard dates

goatee-stroking musing, or something photo

The 9″ Circline – aka “the bastard bulb”.

I spent — no, wasted — two hours traipsing around big-box stores looking for a replacement for this. I bought the light fitting at Lowe’s, but do they stock the tubes? Do they chook.

The Circline seems to be an especially weird idea. It comes in a whole bunch of odd  sizes, but most stores only stock 8″ and 10″ replacements. If I’d known that, I wouldn’t have bought the light in the first place.


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o canada

Twice the price ain’t twice as nice

HP 35 from $43 HP 35 from $84

computers suck

Pibow; it’s official – normal USB cables don’t fit

I’d noted previously that a standard USB micro-b power plug doesn’t fit into a Pibow. I’ve measured the opening in the case at 10.4 mm. This is what the spec says for the Micro-B plug:

A conforming cable can be up to 0.2mm larger than would fit into the Pibow. The rather weak excuse given by the designer is:

My Micro-USB cable doesn’t fit!

The Pibow supports a wide range of svelte, stylish micro USB cables, we recommend on [sic] of these. We may be able to slightly widen the aperture to include more cable. We don’t intend to support cables with large sleeves though, they just look naff 🙁

While I had the vernier calipers out, I measured all the USB connectors I could find. Not one was under 11 mm, way out of spec, and completely unlikely to fit in the Pibow.

bike stuff

My very standard bicycle is not a standard bicycle to the city

I have had a nice BASIL basket on the back of my bike:

With that, it has had all three of Syd’s requirements. But there’s a problem; with the basket on, it doesn’t fit into my bike locker:

These Cycle-Safe lockers taper down to a narrow point, so basically anything other than a stripped-down bike won’t fit. The city says of the lockers:

Locker dimensions
The space inside of a locker is approximately: 1.2m (4 feet) high x 1.9m (6 feet, 5 inches) deep x 0.9m (3 feet) wide at the door and narrows toward the back of the locker. Most standard bicycles will fit inside. Longer bicycles such as tandem bikes or some recumbent bikes will not fit into the lockers.

“Most standard bicycles will fit inside”? Grah. If there’s something more standard that a Dutch bike with a basket on the back, I don’t know what it is. I have to go back to my makeshift solution — a too-tall basket lashed on with bungees — and deal with it biting my bum as I ride. Sigh.

computers suck


Got a couple of spare NOOKcolor Charging Cables, since (grar! gnash!) it uses its own special twist on the USB Micro-B connector that just doesn’t work with anything else. They came in a middling size box, and then each cable was packaged thus:
That’s a 120×75mm box with 70×70mm blocked out, leaving only 50mm for the cable. Stay wasteful, Barnes & Noble …

goatee-stroking musing, or something

for perfect hotel sleeping …

  • ensure that the ventilation system sounds like an idling Morris Minor
  • insist that the alarm clock has a brightly-backlit display that won’t turn off, and is curved, so light will leak out no matter what you block it with
  • smoke alarms must have a flashing LED bright enough to cause retinal POV trails.

Yes, Downers Grove Doubletree Guest Suites, I’m talking about you.