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The Problem With Reading Lists *

* Presuming that you haven’t decided that the problem with Reading Lists is that people keep Reading Lists.

For the true reader, the reading list doesn’t do its job. It certainly fails to present a snapshot of what I’m really reading at any given time. That’s because the lists only reveal books that you’re reading at length - but not too much length.

There are two types of books.The first are the books that you sit down and consume in a sitting or two. These are the most common books.


An Open Letter to Raven and Id Software

-------- Original Message --------

Subject: Lack of Female Models in Quake 4

Date: Fri, 21 Oct 2005 19:34:47 -0400

From: Kate D----- <kate@-----.ca>

To: braffel@ravensoft.comsraffel@ravensoft.commcrowns@ravensoft.com

CC: johnc@idsoftware.comAdrianc@idsoftware.comkevinc@idsoftware.comtoddh@idsoftware.comtimw@idsoftware.com,

I have been a customer of Raven and Id Software for longer than I care to remember.  I've purchased all Heretics, Hexens, Dooms and Quakes, and I've played most of them into the ground.

I love your work, and I have loved it for years.

So I was very disappointed today when I setup my multi-player options for Quake 4.  We are half-way through the first decade of the 21st Century and Raven Software have decided to take us back in time to the mid-90s.

Why are there no female multiplayer models in Quake 4?  There must be a reason.  It can't possibly be an oversight, can it?

Males aged whatever to whatever (Mature rating notwithstanding) may be your largest audience.  But I suspect that women are your fastest growing audience.  This is not the time to alienate us.

We've supported you for years, we'd appreciate a nod in our direction.


Kate D----
Toronto, ON.

Less or Fewer

What's wrong with this sentence?

There were less people on the train today than there were yesterday.

If you've read the title of this entry, then you've probably already figured it out.  Try this on for size:

There were fewer people on the train today than there were yesterday.

It's an easy rule so let's all try to get it right.  If you can count it, you use "fewer". If it's an uncountable quantity that varies in size, yet is basically one thing, (a collective noun, for those of you keeping score) you use "less".

Less sand.  Fewer grains of sand.

Less water.  Fewer drops of water.

Less waiting.  Fewer line-ups.

Less paper. Fewer pages.

That is all.

Identify Your Competition

Peach_1 I've noticed a few things about Rexall lately.  The most obvious is that they're really pushing the Rexall name.  If you don't live out west, you may never have heard of Rexall but Easterners will know their other pharmacy brands:  IDA, Guardian and Pharma Plus. 

Rexall has begun promoting them all under the Rexall name.  They're also pushing the Rexall name front and centre in their hometown of Edmonton and also in Toronto.

The other thing I've noticed is how brilliant their recent print and TV campaign is. The line of copy that goes with the peach pictured above is:

Buying something to take your temperature at the same place you buy groceries?


Bush League, Backwater Town

I was in a bit of a mood Saturday night, but it really began Friday night and it began, as so many things do, with cab drivers.  But the cab drivers aren't the point.  The decline of civilization in this city is the point.


Today's odd thing

Why does the guy at the sandwich shop think that I might want mustard on my egg salad sandwich?

Crossword Puzzles Speak to Me

Dogbiscuit I could do an entire blog on this one topic.  But I won't.

As way of intro let me tell you that everyday at lunch I run downstairs for mediocre food with my friend Allan.  And I buy a copy of the Toronto Sun. Those who know me, and know the Toronto Sun, will find this surprising.

It was Allan who introduced me to the Toronto Sun crossword.  It's way harder than the lame-ass one in the Star, and it works much like the New York Times - it gets harder as the week goes by.  (I think it's actually syndicated by the Tribune, but I don't know).

Anyway - something glorious has happened:  The Sun has started publishing two crosswords per day.  One that is like the New York Times Crossword, and one that actually is the New York Times Crossword.

Mondays and Tuesdays, I can rip through both of them on my lunch, easy peasy. Wednesday - things are getting tough - if I'm distracted or I don't have a full hour, I will only manage about one-and-a-half crosswords. Same with Thursday.  Friday, well - I don't like to talk about Friday.  Friday's New York Times crossword can take me until Monday to complete.

But that's not the point, that's just the background.  The point is that sometimes my crosswords have messages for me, and I've not deciphered the meaning yet.  Perhaps I don't have all of the pieces.

It began a couple of weeks ago, with dogbiscuits.  Now, what are the chances of two different  puzzles published side-by-side both containing the word "dogbiscuit"?  Slim, I'd say.  But it happened.  Click the thumbnail at the start of this piece, if you don't believe me.

Stay tuned for insights into Mexican food, Classic musicals and ancient civilizations.

An aside: Today's Sun had four pages of hockey coverage in the front section, about 10 pages of hockey coverage in the Sports section, and a special hockey pull-out section.  They even posted the standings.  The empty standings.  A table full of zeros.  How excited are we that hockey's back?  Pretty fucking excited.

Lazy Copywriters

Not everything that I write in here will be about Advertising and Marketing, I promise. But sometimes I see half-assed work that just makes me angry.


How long is 12 inches?

How long is 12 inches?

At an average of  1/2 an inch per month, 12 inches is 2 years.

(and a 12-inch braid is about 14 inches of hair)

But!  I have done a good deed, my ponytail plus 5 others will make a beautiful custom wig for a child.