Deirdre Saoirse Moen

Sounds Like Weird

Project Runway: Miss USA

21 July 2006

I’m going to join the throngs of people who are sad about Malan being out. He not only has some good ideas of design, he also has heart. Unlike Vincent, he also had the grace to point out that of his team, he should be the one who would be out because it was his vision.

Last year, the judges called Santino a coward when he was team lead and suggested one of his teammates be the one eliminated. But this year Vincent gets a pass? What’s up with that?

The only thing that should have saved Vincent was the fact that Tara Conner happened to like his Joan Jetson knockoff dress. His dissing of Angela was not only unprofessional, it showed that he didn’t do his job as team lead. True, Angela was ineffective, but she did try to collaborate, which is more than Vincent did.

In the end, Vincent had a badly-constructed garment, a horrible experience (“worst day of my life” unbelievable), and no one but himself to blame for it. It’s obvious why Vincent had to leave fashion before: he can’t get along with people, and he hasn’t learned.

A lot of people disagree with the winner, but it really wasn’t about the best dress, it was about the most appropriate dress for Tara, and I think Kayne and Robert really nailed it.

Edited to add:

Thanks to Vincent’s commentary on Blogging Project Runway, I’m going to retract my criticism of Vincent above. Also, at the time I wrote the above post, there were a few bits of the episode I missed because I was out of the room (like where Angela was lobbying Kayne), nor had I seen the first episode yet.

Given that, I’m with 60+% of the other Project Runway fans that Angela should have been the one axed (about 20+% think it should have been Vincent, and 5% Malan, but Malan has shown himself to be a surprising fan favorite). The presentation of a design was also a part of the challenge, and she didn’t present one too. While neither Vincent nor Angela were shown as being good at teamwork, I think the episode’s editing was unfairly harsh on Vincent. That said, it’s a show, you know? Editing must go on.

Having looked at Angela’s web site, and read up a bit more, I genuinely think that Angela is insufficiently talented for PR. It’s possible that she may surprise me — it’s happened before.

Thanks for the corrections, Vincent.

As Tim would say, carry on.

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Some Comments About Shopify

19 July 2006

Shopify has been touted as one of those Rails apps that’s going to change the face of the web. I don’t think so, and my comments about why it wasn’t appropriate for me (for went completely unanswered.

Since others may be considering shopify, here’s my critique:

  1. There’s no easy way to charge tax only in one vicinity, but not others. In the US, if you charge tax in your state, you may not charge it in others. Canada, where Shopify was developed, has both a national GST and a provincial one, so its tax structure is fundamentally different.
  2. There’s no practical way to charge actual cost for shipping. But that’s what I do already (though I ship priority mail and charge for the median zone price for that weight with an estimate of box and packing material weight). In shopify, shipping rates are a function of state. Priority mail rates do not break down by state, but rather by zip code ranges. Frequently, these do not follow state boundaries. Yet, with web services, calculating actual cost should be easy, right?
  3. Most e-commerce sites are poorly designed for people selling one-offs. Honestly, I wasn’t expecting a lot (because it is fairly unusual), but sometimes a store consists entirely of one-offs. Like mine.
  4. No API, thus no easy way to develop add-on tools, e.g. bulk info uploaders, especially handy for those of us selling one-offs.

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Patriotic Gestures, Real and Imagined

29 June 2006

I’m writing about my annual thought-experiment, so that some of you can play. I’m posting early so that the Canadians can also play on Canada Day.

Given the recent near-pass on the anti-flag-burning law, I’d like to propose the following: if you happen to see anyone wearing a flag or “USA” or anything like that over the next few days — ask them where said garment or accessory was made. (In my experience, they don’t know. I’ve never seen one actually worn that was made in the US, fwiw.)

Personally, I’m far more tired of people wearing “patriotic” gear made in some sweatshop in a third world country than I ever could be of people burning the flag. It’s faux national pride, and I think it’s time we called attention to it.

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Jim Baen, 1943-2006

29 June 2006

It’s funny how you can feel a great sense of loss when someone dies that you’ve never met — and I wonder, given the number of conventions I’ve been to, how it came to be that I’d never met him. Some of my favorite books were published by Baen.

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My Publisher in Hospital

21 June 2006

My story, “A Sword Called Rhonda,” was published in the popular Chicks in Chainmail series from Baen books. Unfortunately, Jim’s had a stroke. While we’re all pulling for him, strokes are very serious things, especially when they leave someone in a coma for days like Jim has. Having seen my late husband in a coma from a stroke, I have at least some sense of what everyone’s going through, though grief is very personal.

From the update Patrick Nielsen Hayden forwarded, it sounds like it is Very Bad News.

So, in the spirit of Esther Friesner (the Chicks editor), we definitely want the prayers and hamster wheels spinning on this.

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RailsDay 2006

19 June 2006

Well, I missed it (busy doing things I couldn’t move in time), but I thought I’d see who used which plugins for Railsday, just to see if there were any cool new ones.
Here’s the list. (deleted because outdated)
I got it by checking out the source for all the projects and trawling through the vendor/plugins directories.

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