About

I'm Mike Pope. I live in the Seattle area. I've been a technical writer and editor for over 30 years. I'm interested in software, language, music, movies, books, motorcycles, travel, and ... well, lots of stuff.

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Every act of conscious learning requires the willingness to suffer an injury to one's self-esteem. That is why young children, before they are aware of their own self-importance, learn so easily; and why older persons, especially if vain or important, cannot learn at all.

— Thomas Szasz



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Blog Statistics

Dates
First entry - 6/27/2003
Most recent entry - 7/16/2018

Totals
Posts - 2509
Comments - 2574
Hits - 2,063,655

Averages
Entries/day - 0.46
Comments/entry - 1.03
Hits/day - 375

Updated every 30 minutes. Last: 10:04 AM Pacific


  10:30 PM

One way for me to retain sanity in the face of the commercial onslaught of Christmas is to keep an ear and/or eye out for the utterly lamest, most obvious attempt to co-opt Christmas for commercial gain. This is a periodic, if not annual, tradition: previous 1, previous 2.

The bar is low, obviously, but my favorites are always the ads in which the merchant tries to establish a connection between their blatantly off-season or aseasonal offering and the holidays. My favorite so far this year is a company that offers zipline tours up on one of the San Juan islands. The premise of their ad — and this is a typical strategy — is that so-and-so is just so hard to get a gift for, so the answer is a gift certificate for a zipline tour! The ad writer in this case felt obliged to provide some backstory on the putative recipient and why swinging through the trees was just the thing for him. Presumably the simple offer of the tour was by itself insufficiently, um, compelling.

My radio listening is way down in latter years, so I'm not really sampling broadly. This is a good thing in general, of course, since it spares me exposure to foolishness like this. On the other hand, it reduces my enjoyment of this little exercise.

Got any candidates?

PS Apologies to John McIntyre for the title.

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