Friday, December 19, 2008

Definitely not a Ninja...

Some folks think that they have super powers, some think that they are Ninjas at heart, and some are probably just desperate. So yesterday some dude apparently has some combination of the above three and goes into a chicken restaurant with a white rag over his face (classic Ninja) and a tree branch (not classic Ninja) and tries to hold it up. Yes, he threatened an employee with a tree branch "in what police called 'strike position'." Employee however, pulls out a broom, and Ninja-dom ensues, downtown FW style. The story in the paper quotes the police spokesman as saying "the two engaged in a battle of wooden swordsmanship." Employee hits dude with a chair (who knew that Ninjas were vulnerable to WWF moves?) and dude flees. They found him hiding in a dumpster. Methinks the employee is the true Ninja. Judge for yourself in the details at Star-Telegram.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Nite Hawk Lights, out of business? Yup

I'm sometimes concerned about stuff I buy for cheap, especially on the internets. You never know if the folks you buy it from are reputable or not. I felt pretty confident about my purchase of a Nite Hawk bike headlight last year though from my LBS (local bike shop.) It was on a huge discount (about what it would be on line) and I could see why. It was the last one, in fact, there were only two lights from that maker left in the shop. So I guessed the shop had decided to stop carrying the brand. Then I noticed that the light's battery had 0103 stamped on the side, which I took to mean the date it was churned out at the factory. That's OK, it's old, but it still worked fine. It's not as bright as I'd like, and it doesn't have a helmet mount though. So I thought I would place a call to the manufacturer and see if I could buy a brighter light (or just a brighter bulb) and a helmet mount. In their FAQ, they listed a 1-888 number. Today I finally found a spare minute and called them, but the other side of the line didn't pick up saying "Nite Hawk Lighting, how may I help you?" Instead I just got "Hello," with a slight Canadian accent. Hmmmm.... Well, maybe there's a newer number elsewhere. Let's check out their Contact Us page, hmmm... No number there. (Do you see where this is going?) They show pdf's for all their manuals, so let's check there. Hmmm... It's a number that gives me "the number you have dialed is no longer in service." I checked multiple pdf's, figuring that they might have changed their number, but nope, they show the same number. I also went to the wayback machine to check the Contact Us page and I can see a number there, but it's the same one that I've called before. There is an email. I tried that and we'll see if it bounces or if it dies or if someone emails back. I guess buyer beware. There are still online places selling lights from these guys.

Update: Either there have been recent developments or my email started something at the ISP level. The webpage now simply states that the company is out of business. I did some more digging and found that they are part of a parent company in Canada that produces batteries, Infinity Trading Company. When I called a phone number listed for the General Manager, the other side responded "GS Infinity." I asked if they were still associated with Nite Hawk lights or if I had a wrong number, to which he stated "Wrong number." I looked up GS Infinity and they seem to be a company in the same town in Canada making (surprise) rechargeable batteries. It sounds like they started up the bike light/ headlamp business to move batteries but it didn't provide as much as they wanted so they shut it down. I can't say when that happened but probably earlier this year. All of the links to the site have gone down so I replaced them with ones from the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine. And yes, I guess I do have too much time on my hands.

Update #2: There are still a few businesses out there still selling Nite Hawk lights. The only one I would really trust would be, and that's not from personal experience but just from noticing that they are selling them with a batterspace battery and charger.  They should be able to warranty that.

What brings folks to the blog

So what brings folks to this blog?  There are a precious few things attractive about it.  The most compelling blog entry seems to be this one where I rant about my dealings with Leader Bikes.  If you Google it, it comes up third on the list, right behind the Leader Bike Store.  Recently, another blog entry had generated some hits from Google searches.  It's also third on the page under "We have been blessed."  That's something unexpected, and something I'm quite thankful for.  It's almost as much as an achievement as when I was listed in the top ten for "Lame blogs."  Apparently the internets have gotten lamer, because the quality of this blog obviously hasn't improved.

Monday, December 15, 2008


As you may or may not know, I'm waaay Catholic (six kids, who woulda thunk it?). In the spirit of the season, I greet you with Gaudete! Rejoice! Yesterday is commonly referred to as Gaudete Sunday, coming from the Introit for this day which begins "Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say 'Rejoice!'" Typically, this day is also marked on the Advent Wreath with a pink or rose candle. Each Sunday, a new candle is lit. The first two and last are purple, but the one for the third Sunday, for Gaudete Sunday, is pink or rose. Of course, you don't have to use purple and pink colored candles. All four of the candles in the Pope's Advent Wreath are red!

Links to:

Gaudete Sunday Wikipedia entry
Gaudete Sunday Catholic Encyclopedia entry
The Papal Advent Wreath at Catholic News Service
Music to Traditional Christmas Carol Gaudete (I can't get that melody out of my head)