October 2007 Archives

Google Reader Tells Me...


…that there is exactly “1 subscribers” (sic) to my blog. Guess who that is?

Yeah, me. It’s a character fault, I guess.

Anyway, the really cool thing about this number is not how small it is but how it was revealed.

You see, I was looking over my server logs the other day and noticed that Google’s Feedfetcher bot was out scouring the net, as it has a tendency to do. Here’s the log entry: - - [24/Oct/2007:16:33:11 -0400] "GET /BillsGrammaticallyCorrectHomepage/
BillsWords/rss.xml HTTP/1.1" 304 - "-" "Feedfetcher-Google;
(+http://www.google.com/feedfetcher.html; 1 subscribers; feed-id=10793214663991266141)

I really think that is cool. (OK, other than the fact that Google’s programmers didn’t ever think that a blog would be so unpopular as to have one subscriber, but they can be forgiven for that. After all, Google deals in quantities best expressed in scientific notation, so, again, they can be forgiven.) I mean, instead of just providing a plain Jane user agent string, The Goog’s programmers decided to provide the webmaster with something useful and relevant.

How cool—and not evil—is that?

Rands Picks My Favoritest Pen


I carry a Bum BackPacks (Hamptons, black, if you must know) messenger bag. It has four pen pouches in it, and they are occupied by:

(leftmost when viewing the bag “face” on, closest to me when I’m sitting at the airport with the bag between my feet with the opening facing to my right) Slot #1: Rotring 600 fountain pen (old style nickel finish, fine nib, ink by Parker) Slot #2: Rotring 600 rollerball (old style black finish, Cross gel rollerball refill*) Slot #3: Pilot G2, Rotring 600 ballpoint converted to stylus (old style black finish) Slot #4: Rotring 600 ballpoint (old style nickel finish, Rotring ballpoint refill), Rotring 600 mechanical pencil (old style nickel finish) (rightmost when viewing the bag… oh, who cares)

Note that in among this high-class array of writing nirvana is a lowly $1.50 retractable Pilot G2 gel ink pen.

And I love it. So does Rands.

Unlike Rands, however, I selected mine by looking at the selection on the wall at Staples and picked one that didn’t look too froo froo, was reasonably-priced, and had that “gel” thing happening*.

Some people have too much time on their hands. The rest of us… the rest of us do, too, but can’t find anything nearly so creative to fill our time with. Way to go, Rands!

Update - 2007-10-31: Other people have too much time on their hands, too. Of note, this video shows the pen and pencil brands used.

  • The guy in the OfficeMax insisted that all refills are the same, even those which say “gel.” I tacitly acknowledged his masterful knowledge of the subject, allowed himself to become bored with me, and proceeded to try finding a refill for the Rotring which had “gel” prominently displayed on the package. The Cross fits beautifully, writes marvelously, and was a relative bargain—compared to ordering the Rotring-brand refill from someone, anyway.