Oct 13

Why is LinkedIn so Douchey?

The idea of a perpetual business card that changes as my colleagues change jobs is a great idea.

So why is LinkedIn so douchey? Be the Rolodex that that you are, Little Brother, don’t try and be something you’re not.

It’s douchey because it breaks a social contract. I’m not 100% certain exactly how that contract is broken on the platform, but I have a nagging sense that something is not quite right.

More later.


Sep 13

Little Known Holidays™

With the holidays rapidly approaching and the eminent launch of my Inappropriate Greeting Cards™ company looming I find it appropriate to share a few little-known holidays with you:

  • 9/27 – Take Your Bong to Work Day™
  • 10/12 – Switch Medicine Day™
  • 10/17 – Family Porn Day™
  • 10/18 – No Eye Contact Day™
  • 10/30 – St. Chicken Daniels Day™ (Trademark rights held by Weird Barry, of Bham, AL)
  • 11/11 – Instagram Your Naughty Bits Day™
  • 11/29 – Guess What I Put My Dick On Day™
  • 12/13 – Bing Crosby Was an Abusive, Drunken Dick Day™
  • 12/24 – I Bought You Something at Walgreen’s Day™
  • 12/26 – You Owe Me $541.37 Day™
  • 1/1 – Lawyers’ Day™
  • 1/24 – Ouch Day™ (Falls on the next-to-last Friday of the month, regardless of date)

I have many more holidays to share with you soon. Until then, Happy Take Your Bong to Work Day!!!


Sep 13

Gulf of Mexico 2013

Musings from an Adirondack chair looking out across the sound towards Navarre Beach.

The biodiversity of the Gulf is amazing. Despite the oil spills and the hurricanes and the amateur drunks life goes on.

Despite the land developers and the SeaDoos and the million dollar condos life goes on.

It’s unstoppable. I like to think we’ve done our best to fuck Mother Nature around, but she keeps on keepin’ on.

Big V’s of pelicans cruise the wind headed west. A great blue heron stalks the shallows.

During a brief cup of coffee and walk along the sea wall I watched blue crabs fiddling in the rocks, menacing rays skimming the bottom and pin fish circling the protective structure near the shore. The sand worms built a tapestry of trails in the darkness that will be erased by high tide.

The sky is low over the water, past the barrier island, and the dunes are grey and black with coarse grass. A mullet jumps twenty feet off shore.

I watched a shark tailing in the shallows last night at dusk. The wind came in off of the ocean and pushed the bait into the shore. I was reminded of fishing a shallow, weedy bay in northern Ontario. The wind was right and the bait had assembled. The walleye and pike read the wind as well. Hell, they knew it better than I did. Mine was just a notion. Luck played her part.

A gull dives and lights with some squirming thing. Unlucky in life, quick to death. Off to Minnow Heaven.

Over time I think that compressed luck becomes wisdom. At least, I hope it does.


Sep 13

Misophonia – So That’s What it’s Called

Well, they put a name to my condition over at the NY Times.


Sep 13

Things to Understand About Balsa Wood

Here are a few things I wish I had known about wood when I first started:

Don’t buy your balsa from Hobby Lobby. The “hobby” balsa is very light and not as durable as harder balsas. Balsa is generally graded as light, medium and hard based on density.


  • Light is 6-10 lbs. per cubic foot.
  • Medium is 10-14 lbs. per cubic foot.
  • Hard is 14-19 lbs. per cubic foot.

The density of wood you buy is up to you. But the light stuff is quite light. Probably too light.
I haven’t found a walk-in shop in Chicago to buy my balsa. I use the internet.
Basswood is a decent alternative, but it’s much more dense. That makes it less buoyant and also harder to work with at 26-32 lbs. per cubic foot.

Jul 13

Half Tube or Whole Tube?

I made it up to Guntersville about an hour before dark. I had to make bait quickly if I was going to have a shot at some flatheads. To be honest, I went up to get away for the night. I don’t have any business or experience fishing flatheads in a lake that size. It was a good excuse.

“Half tube or whole tube?” the bait lady asked.

Crickets are the wax worms of the South.

“Half tube or whole tube?” I repeated back. Nothing registered. I was out of my league.

“Do you want a half tube or a whole tube of crickets?” she asked again.

I figured you ordered them by the dozen or the scoop or something.

“I don’t know,” I told her.

“If you don’t know, you want a half-tube,” she said and took my cricket basket.

That stuck with me. Was she doing me a favor by not letting me buy too many? Or was she really saying, in that polite Southern way, “If you don’t know your ass from a hole in the ground, it don’t matter how many crickets you buy.”

I didn’t make good bait. All except for one of the bluegills that I caught were better than 10 inches. Too big for the gear on hand. On a different mission it would be a great problem to have.

I lay in the cockpit of my father’s sailboat, gently rocking. The remainder of my half-tube of crickets chirped on. I waited for the drag to start peeling, five beer buzzed, alone, sun coming up. Whether or not you know your ass from a hole in the ground, a half-tube is probably sufficient.


Jul 13

Long Ear Sunfish

I’ve been creek hopping all around Birmingham for the last week. Plenty of little redeye bass to be found. Although now I understand they may be splitting the species into redeye and warrior bass. Not sure how to tell ‘em apart.

These long ear sunfish are beautiful and aggressive.

Alabama Long Ear Sunfish

The creek across the street from ChartCapture HQ is full of ‘em.


Jun 13

The Art of Punk – Black Flag – Art + Music

This takes me so far back. First thing to do when you get new Chuck Taylors? Add the Black Flag logo.

“My name is Raymond Pettibon and I designed this motherfucking thing.”

I wish I hung onto a lot of my old punk flyers. Eventually after being taped and re-taped they just fell apart.


Jun 13

Alabama Wandering Adventures

I got out on Friday after work and walked down to Little Shades Creek. An appropriate name for a shallow trickle. My people in Southern Virginia would call it a branch. Up in Chicago we might call it a creek. Down here I can’t tell that anyone has much of a use for it, but it does hold small redeye bass and beautifully colored longear sunfish. It’s also directly across the street from my office and a good option for a lunchtime dabble.

I didn’t bring my fishing gear. Just an initial scouting mission. I ran into a large softshell turtle in the shallows, basking in the sun. He wasn’t bothered at all by my presence and made no effort to move even when I stroked his smooth, leathery shell.

Little Shades Creek Softshell Turtle

The doodlebugs set up a subdivision in the sand next to the bridge piling. They craft little cones that ants and other insects stumble into and have a hard time getting out. The doodlebugs toss sand in the air with their heads to keep their prey slipping back down the sides and into their waiting jaws. For those who haven’t coaxed doodlebugs the method is simple.

Put you face down close to their den and say “Doodlebug, doodlebug come out from your home.”

The vibrations of your voice are enough for them to think something is close by and they begin to throw sand into the air, hoping to win the lunchtime lottery.

Doodlebug holes on Little Shades Creek

On Saturday I moped around the house in the morning. Bacon, fried new potatoes and toast. That’s my South in a nutshell.

I got out in the afternoon to the Sipsey River where comes out at the Smith Lake Dam. They pull from the bottom of the dam and the water is around 48˚ year-round. It’s stocked monthly with rainbow trout. I wanted to find some spotted bass in the mid-water where it warms downstream.


The turbines hadn’t generated in a few days and the water was very low and very cold. I watched trout ignore my lures. When they’re generating this stretch goes up 15 feet quickly. They sound a horn just prior. They’ve built stairs along the river route so that the brash, deaf or unlucky have a chance when the water rises.

Sipsey Wildreness

Further down river I got into mixed habitat. Still a few trout, but more spotted bass, bluegills, etc.

I tried for a full 30 minutes to pull one of two spots of of this log jam. They just stared me down and giggled. Yeah, right pal. The water is just too clear. From my understanding when the water rises it’s much easier to fish. In the chaos of the deluge they can be fooled.

The most amazing, and un-photograph-able sight was when a half dozen 15 lb. striped bass raised hell upriver, chasing trout, bream and bass alike. I threw the box at ‘em. They just laughed.

On Sunday I went out to visit my friends Curtis & Wanda. They’ve got some acreage with a pond that is as well-manicured as a Rich Woman’s Dog. I’m surprised Bill Dance hasn’t filmed there yet, it’s just that ridiculous.

Alabama Largemouth Bass

Kind of silly even to take a pic of a 4.5 lber. It’s just that kind of pond.

More to come as I hit some new water. I’ll either run way north or way south next weekend.

I have closed all comments on this blog. If you want to say hey, tweet me at @heysambennett.


Feb 12

Great Minds: Enrico Dini

Why not make a giant 3D printer and print houses? (That’s a rhetorical question.)