Retractable dog leashes I do and don’t recommend

TL;DR: Flexi retractable leashes are superior to the Alcott or Wigzi brands.

I’ve been using Flexi brand retractable leashes for two decades. But after a few years either the internal spring breaks or the tape or cord is frayed to the point it breaks. So with anywhere from two to four dogs in my house during that time I’ve had to buy quite a few leashes during those two decades.

A couple weeks before Christmas 2017 one of my Flexi leashes broke. So I drove to my favorite pet store, Pet Food Express, and was surprised they no longer stocked the Flexi brand. I could have found another local store that carried the brand I had been using for close to twenty years or ordered from Amazon or another web retailer. But I want to support local businesses whenever I can so I decided to try one of the two brands they now stock.

I bought two Alcott retractable leashes. The first thing I noticed is the buttons to lock the leash to a fixed length were awkward to use compared to the Flexi model I had been using. That however was a very minor issue. What wasn’t a minor issue was that at the end of the first week both leashes had stopped retracting the tape all the way with one inch left dangling. And every day the amount of tape not fully retracted increased. By the end of six weeks it was one to two feet as you can see in this picture:

Alcott retractable leashes after six weeks.

So I wrote to Pet Food Express about my unhappiness with the product. I got a reply twelve hours later telling me to take the broken leashes back to the store for replacement or credit. That sort of customer service is why I try to support local businesses. I decided to try the other brand they now stocked: the Wigzi retractable leash. That brand was more disappointing than Alcott. The nylon tape is far too thin and flexible. The tape constantly folds in half longitudinally which causes it to bind when retracted. When not folding in half the tape twists into a tight spiral as my dogs stop, sniff, pee, then circle each other as they resumed walking. Neither problem happens with the stiffer nylon tape used by Flexi. And to top it off after two weeks the Wigzi leashes were also no longer reliably retracting the tape all the way.

I hated doing it but I went to the nearby big box pet store and bought two Flexi retractable leashes. Two weeks later they haven’t given me a single problem. Bonus points for a locking mechanism that is much easier to use than the other brands.

I am surprised that an ISP (serversaustralia.com.au) is ethical

I received an email a few days ago telling me about an opportunity for me, as a customer, to obtain a discount on other services an ISP provided. Since I wasn’t a customer I told them shove it where the sun doesn’t shine. I was surprised to receive a response from someone in the organization telling me this:

Please accept our sincere apologies for the Marketing communication you received. This was an inadvertent error. Your email address was accidentally added from our support desk ticket system from tickets you had open with us last year that you sent to the abuse@ email address. It won’t happen again. I am deleting your record from the system.

That type of response is so rare that I feel compelled to write about it. If the majority of companies behaved similarly we would have far fewer problems. I’m looking at you Facebook, Google, and every other ISP.

Does Robert Murray, who owns “Murray Energy Corporation”, shove coal up his ass?

Rumors I’ve heard suggest that Robert Murray, the owner of “Murray Energy Corporation”, likes to shove clumps of coal up his rectum for sexual pleasure.

Obviously I just made that up and don’t really mean it. But I felt compelled to write this in support of first amendment rights after I learned that the aforementioned individual decided to sue comedian John Oliver and the “Last Week Tonight” show: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZvUp5f2ThPc.

Mr. Murray is the type of individual I would not piss on if they were on fire. Society is better off is such “snowflakes” are culled from the herd.

Laura Ingraham thinks worms are the same thing as viruses

Laura Ingraham, a prominent right-wing blowhard, on her radio program said

I’m just getting very confused about the nature of this enemy. Is it those scary little worms that Drudge always has on the Drudge Report? The scary little Ebola worms? Is that the real threat to national security?

This is a person who graduated from Dartmouth college. Proof positive that a college degree is not prima facie evidence the holder is intelligent. This was my comment to the article:

I sincerely hope that the professors and administrators of the “Ivy League” universities are deeply ashamed when they think of Laura Ingraham, Rick Santorum, George Bush and the other cretins upon whom they bestowed degrees. Of course I also sincerely hope to get a date with the actress who plays the wife of Nick Brody on the television series “Homeland”. I expect my hopes to be dashed upon the rocks.

My favorite movie theater has made me sad

What follows is an email I sent to the operators of my favorite movie theatre: Camera Cinemas.

The Camera Cinemas theaters get 99% of my movie viewing business. I especially value the independent, documentary, and foreign films shown at Camera 3. Today I watched “The Notebook” at Camera 3. So I was dismayed to find “Second Opinion: Laetrile at Sloan-Kettering” listed on the page for upcoming films. Mr. Merola’s film is a documentary only in the most narrow sense. See, for example, this review or this one.

Or read any of the articles by Dr. David Gorski about this ideologue.

I love thought provoking films. In the future please consider whether you should give screen time, and thus legitimacy, to a “documentary” (scare quotes intentional) that espouses such extremely fringe ideas.