Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Some of the links I keep in my sidebar are a little racy, one way or another, and I don't apologize for that, not one bit. Try them, and if you don't like them don't go back. The latest one- You'll Wish You Hadn't Clicked... is truly different, and you should exercise extreme caution about visiting it. For one thing, it's most likely illegal wherever you live to see what is shown here. For another, the subject depicted is profoundly and depravedly unnatural and may just blow your mind. Think about this for a second- what could be illegal for you to see? It does not involve anyone under the age of eighteen, nor does it in any way suggest the participation of anyone under the age of eighteen. Nobody, no matter how they might try, could say that it has anything at all to do with children, because it doesn't. If, by chance, it is legal for you to view this stuff, you will need to be over eighteen yourself. Let there be no doubt about that. So what could be illegal for you to see? It isn't state secrets. It isn't a beheading. It isn't the real story of how our president is yanked about like a puppet by cynical, greedy, lying murderers and other associates (oh, quit whining- this statement has always been true, and will always be true, no matter who is in office). It isn't what Alvin and the other Chipmunks get up to when they're not making records, so far as I know. All I can tell you is it is almost as disturbing as politics, and not quite as insulting as TV. I myself see no particular inherent harm in the acts displayed here, but I can't bring myself to say they are harmless either. Seeing these things could easily lead to insanity and blindness. Go and look, if you want to, but remember I warned you.

So much for the news that wasn't fit to print- on to the important stuff:
In an attempt to bankroll my bad habits (travel, unmonetizable studies etc.) I have taken employment with a small and growing online bookseller in a nearby town. One of the reasons I got the job was that I billed myself as a book nut and a small-scale trader in books, and though I have no intention of halting or even slowing down the buying/selling aspects of my book addiction, I cheerfully signed an agreement today, one clause of which says I won't do the same thing outside work that I do at work- sell books. How could I so blithely sign a damned lie that even the other party to the agreement knows very well CAN'T be true? I don't know... I guess it's just one of those things we all do for the sake of manners and which employers feel they have to enforce on the outside chance that we might get caught doing something really wrong- like stealing customers or false-bidding. You know, bad things. Even going into the same business in the same way would be bad. But that's not what I do. Really, the agreement is intended to keep me from using what I learn on the job to do competing business on my own, not to keep me from casually disposing of books I may pick up but don't need to keep. In other words, it's to keep me from running away with my employer's business secrets and using them to beat the company out of it's own business- and clearly I won't be doing that. I don't sell online, except very occasionally in very small quantities (never more than one or two items at a time, and usually niche collectibles offered at relatively high prices) on craigslist.org and even when I do that, I don't usually ship books to customers, opting to offer them almost exclusively for local pickup, since I find the struggle to get paid online or by mail more trouble than it's worth. Most of my book dealings involve buying at low prices around town (Goodwill, library sales, garage sales) and trading them in at Book Buyers for a higher trade credit than what I paid in cash. For a small investment in time and effort, I realize about twenty or thirty percent "profit" in store credit. My main reason for shopping for these books in the first place is to find what I need at the low prices- I sell the stuff I buy cheap but don't want to keep as a way of financing purchases of items I do want to keep. I don't have any regular sort of business selling books, and don't seriously contemplate ever having one, so I don't see my street-level exchanges as a threat to the business for which I work. While I think I'm morally and legally in the clear on this and feel utterly OK about it, I welcome your comments.
399 New installment of the story of my fictional Show Church
398 Garden Report
397 Shopping Plan for WonderCon 2008 (Moscone Center, San Francisco)
396 Short comparative review of Journey Without Maps, by Graham Greene and a book about the same trip Too Late To Turn Back, by his cousin Barbara Greene
395 A rundown on my existing and new links- just a few words of description and points of interest
394 Travel hopes

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