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Wednesday, 2019 July 24, 09:24 — merch

I ain’t Zazzling any more

You probably haven’t noticed the absence of a link in the upper left, “buy 2D printed objects”, which went to my catalogue on Zazzle: shirts, mugs, posters. The number of sales I made through that was not zero, but it was far smaller than the number of things I bought myself!

Four years ago MC Escher’s heirs complained that my descriptions of two shirt designs included language like “The underlying geometry is closely related to that of Escher’s Circle Limit series,” so Zazzle hid them until I removed Escher’s name. No, wait, they didn’t do that, they irrevocably deleted the designs without warning, saying (until I raised a fuss) only that they violated an unspecified copyright.

Last week my step-family had a gathering at a resort in the Rockies, and I ordered a personalized mug for each of them. (Here is a hint at what they look like.) Zazzle was unhappy with the address I gave, but both Google and Apple Maps recognized it, so I said go ahead. When the package reached the town, it was bounced back for “insufficient address”. I then learned from the lodge’s owner (indirectly, through the family member who booked it) that USPS does not deliver to that street. (I wish I’d thought of General Delivery.) Fortunately this was well before we were due to get there. I suggested to Zazzle that, when the package came back, they try FedEx or UPS. They instead reprinted the order and sent it by Express Mail.

I go to the gathering, stay for a largely miserable week (insomnia), come home. Two days later, some iteration of the order is successfully delivered, I don’t know how. (The order’s tracking link shows only the first attempt.) So now the mugs are cluttering up a stranger’s kitchen; I hope the stranger finds them pretty. I point out to Zazzle that I told them twice that I wanted the package to arrive no later than Friday July 19. They tell me how to return it. I explain that everyone I know left that county on Saturday morning; I will not ask the lodge’s owner or the new occupants to do my errands.

We are really sorry about the various issues you have had, we would really appreciate the chance to try and make this right.

Please let us know if there is anything at all we can do for you. If you have any further questions or concerns please respond directly to this email and I would be happy to assist. Thank you for visiting Zazzle.

I don’t see how it can be made right. They can send mugs to the intended recipients separately, but I’d rather wait for the next gathering and present them all at once.

So. I haven’t tried Cafepress, and there must be other similar services. Have you experience with any of them?

Tuesday, 2019 June 4, 17:11 — blogdom, me!me!me!, neep-neep

all the world’s a wiki

I toy with the thought of converting this here website to MediaWiki (which my host supports), as I am more efficient at editing there than at writing raw HTML in vi.

The wiki’s first articles would be:

  • Two-dimensional design
    • Hyperbolic tilings
    • Arrangements of the color gamut in the plane
    • Curve-fitting
  • Three-dimensional design
    • Ray-tracing
    • Solid printing
  • Posthuman speculation
  • Political speculation
  • Linguistics
    • Diachronics
    • Writing
    • Conlang

I’d continue to report new thoughts here, and then integrate them into appropriate articles. I wonder whether MediaWiki and WordPress play well together. I’m not aware of any personal website that combines blog with wiki, but it seems unlikely that nobody does it.

And now I wonder whether a wiki on my home box would help me keep track of the little files I write as notes on this topic or that, and the PDFs that I download to read someday, and the

Sunday, 2019 March 10, 21:15 — merch

a token creation

I got a notice from Zazzle that if I don’t post at least one new product in every fifteen months they’re going to charge me a Non-Contributing Account Fee. So here’s one. I can spin more variations on this theme until the cows come home.

Wednesday, 2019 February 27, 13:57 — me!me!me!, medicine

vision imperfect

This morning I saw a series of flashes (both bright and dark) in my left eye, along a peripheral arc. They’ve stopped for now but I also have some new floaters. I have a recurring urge to clean off the spectacles I’m not wearing!

Saturday, 2017 September 9, 20:01 — merch

a poster


Sometimes I search my blog for this picture and scratch my head in puzzlement that it’s not here, before remembering that I posted it on Google Plus back when I used that.

So here it is. Stephen Guerin (the shaven one) displays his canvas print of one of my designs.

The colors came out better than I hoped, in stark contrast to a couple of mugs with related designs that I got from the same shop.

Wednesday, 2017 February 8, 20:20 — merch

Klein bagel, mark N


I’ve had other designs made in steel but not this one. (The sintering leaves the steel highly porous, so liquid bronze is brought in by capillary action to fill it; the result is about three parts steel to two parts bronze – if I understand right. Hence the color.) (Later: I was mistaken: the steel powder is not sintered but glued; I guess the bronze burns away the glue.)

While it was on its way to me, I thought of some improvements. ( . . more . . )

Tuesday, 2016 May 31, 13:12 — bitterness, technology

hilarious title

On a private mailing list, a novelist asks for suggestions: what technological hobbies might a bright teenager have, in Oakland circa 1975? Chemistry sets were mentioned, among other things.

I may have had a chemistry set at age 8 or so; memory is spotty. A few years later we got an electronics kit, consisting of a collection of elements in Lego-like blocks. There was a booklet, starting with easy things like a light switch and an electromagnetic telegraph relay. (Maybe I thought the latter was easy because Dad and I had made one, about the same time as the possible chem kit).

Then on the next page was an oscillator or something. No explanation of why it was an oscillator. I thought, well, if I can’t see for myself why it’s an oscillator, evidently I’m not cut out for this stuff; so I quietly abandoned it.

My adolescence in a nutshell.

Of course it never occurred to me that perhaps there was no explanation because I was not expected to understand an explanation; I was expected to treat the oscillator as a black box. (Not that I had the concept of “black box”, either!)

Oh well.

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