Archive for May 2011

Major League Gutter Cleaning Review

Published on May 23, 2011

I like reviewing services that I feel do a good job for me, so I thought I’d post some quick thoughts on a gutter cleaning service I hired this morning. Before going to work today, I noticed that the upper rear gutter on my house was overflowing (it has been this way for quite some time). As a result, I looked around online for recommendations on who could come clean them out for me. I would typically do it myself, but (a) the gutters are higher than I have equipment to reach, and (b) the upper roof line is too steep for my liking. After a brief search, I found a number of people recommending Major League Gutter Cleaning, so I gave them a call.

For the low price of $50, they came out and cleaned out all of the gutters around my house (something I’m not sure has ever been done). The owner came out this morning (an almost immediate turnaround), and he completed the job in just 15 or 20 minutes. If you live in the Triangle area in North Carolina, and you’re looking for someone to clean your gutters, I highly recommend this outfit. They also do power washing and window washing as well, which could be useful. Here’s the contact information:

Major League Gutter Cleaning
(919) 783-4271
Owner: Pete Weist

Unfortunately, I can no longer recommend this service.

Reading Order on the Web

Published on May 13, 2011

One minor annoyance I have always had while surfing the web, is the non-standardized order in which you consume a website’s content. Two pertinent examples spring to mind. First, are the “post navigation” links that you find on many websites. Out of the box, WordPress uses a link pointing to the left to indicate older posts (example: « Older posts), while a link to the right indicates newer posts (example: Newer posts »). This design decision no doubt stems from the humble beginning of the blog: the journal (as in the pen and paper variant). In English, we read left-to-right, top-to-bottom; and in a pen and paper journal, newer entries are always “to the right of” older ones. I’m sure this is one reason why WordPress themes come as they do. I have always taken the opposite stance, however. Digital entries on a site are not (in my mind) the same as handwritten entries in a journal. So I have always used a link pointing to the right to indicate older posts, while a link pointing the left indicates newer ones. In short, the newest content appears “first”.

My opinion changes with my second example, however. The Twitter timeline presents the newest tweets at the top of your home page. This seems like a major design flaw, since I am seemingly shoe-horned into reading tweets in reverse order. My typical modus operandi for reading Tweets is to scroll down to my last known position, and work my way back up to the top of the page. This is really bothersome to have to do. I’d love to have an option to have the newest stuff appear last, so I could consume the content as it was presented to me.

I take a similar stance in Google Reader. I used to browse items in “newest first” mode, but I stopped doing that since I would see stories in reverse order. After switching to reading items in the “oldest first” mode, I’ve been much happier; it feels much more natural to me. I’m not sure why I feel so differently about two remarkably similar items, but I do.

Which order do you prefer? Is there a “right” way to do it?

Merchants Millpond State Park

Published on May 3, 2011

Last Friday, I took some time off from work to visit another one of North Carolina’s State Parks. This time around, I checked out Merchants Millpond, up in Gates County (in the northeastern part of the state). This may be one of the most beautiful parks I’ve been to. One may canoe or kayak in the pond (canoes can be rented from the visitor’s center), and though I didn’t do that on this trip, I’ll definitely be back to do so.

The pond is home to the American alligator, with this location being at the northern extent of their range. I didn’t see any alligators on this trip, but I did get a chance to see quite a lot of other wildlife, including wild turkeys, a number of skinks and lizards, several snakes, turtles, and plenty of birds. I’m sure you would encounter even more wildlife while canoeing around the pond.

As usual, I took my camera along with me and took some photos of the park. I highly recommend visiting this gem in the North Carolina state park system.

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