On November 10, 2008 we said goodbye to Phillip Dean Hardwick.

He was born a month before I graduated from high school?!

I asked one of the guys at the World’s Greatest Hardware Tool Store after I saw the notice on the door. His reply, slow in coming and in a thickened voice: “Don’t mess with drugs.” Always seemed like a fun-loving, easy-going kid, perhaps too fun-loving in the end. Too young for this, at any rate.


stock taking

How many of these free web services are worth even 1¢? Which ones can’t you live without? Here’s one I never use . .

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quote of the day

Want Sandy? Tough. She’s quitting.

Users of the popular (10,000 users or so) reminder/organization service will have to go back to pen, paper, and forgetting pretty soon.

Today marks a fork in the road for this particular startup. Values of n, the company behind Stikkit and I Want Sandy, will be closing its doors. Both services will going offline at close of business (5pm PST) on Monday December 8th, 2008.

[From Values of n Blog: A fork in the road]

My comments to that post:

I feel like all the input and suggestions made by Sandy users, as well as the day-to-day reliance on it (how else to make it better) is being dropped on the floor. I guess ownership is a vague concept in web services. Does the person who owns the rackspace own the service? Or is it the people who actually make renting the rackspace necessary? Or is the programmers who built it, not knowing how it would work in real life?

Yes, the service is free, but no one asked the users who added value by engaging with it to pay for it or otherwise keep it going.

I will be thinking twice about any other services like this: I hadn’t really gotten one before this and it seems unlikely I will again.


compare and contrast

[edited to clean up flu or whatever-related quality issues]

1. The so-called welfare queen who drives a Cadillac to the food stamp office. Assume she owns it, needs it to get around, and selling it means she has to find some other way to get around, to look for opportunities or look after her family. The benefits she gets have been exhaustively determined and are inflexible, no matter that they have not kept pace with inflation or any other real costs. The cost of getting rid of it might well outweigh the one time cash she would get.

2. The highly compensated CEOs of the Big 3 carmakers who have decided to hit up the US taxpayer for a bailout. They travelled on corporate jets to meet with Congress and had no idea how much money they wanted or what they would do with it, and had no clue how refusing to fly on commercial airlines would appear to the people whose money they want (that it, the US taxpayer). What about them selling their jets? I suspect the cost of fuel, the pilot’s salary, the landing fees, all would go a long way to helping a local family in Detroit, probably more than one. (According to this, the cost for just one of the mendicants to make an appearance was $20,000.)

Ford owns five jets, GM three, with two more leased (those may be dropped). A Gulfstream IV — commonly used by these plutocrats — costs about $36 million. The CEO of Ford lives in Seattle: his jet is part of his $28 million pay package, since he uses it to return home on weekends.

If these companies are throwing this kind of money around just to keep executives happy — I know they say it’s not about money, that’s just how they keep score at that level — why would anyone want to give them any more? Or even loan it to them?