mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Coming up short...

Megan McCardle has a post about women who won't date shorter guys. Despite the fact that she starts out discussing a women who will only date short guys, she blames it on the guys, saying that it's mostly that guys don't want to date women taller than them.

As a short guy, I disagree. First of all, guys tend to be less picky about who they date or are willing to date than women - I can't find the study despite several seconds of googling, but I remember a while back an economist studied speed daters and found women tended to want to meet 25% of guys they talked to, while men wanted to meet 50% - what made the study interesting was that those percentages stayed the same even if the quality of the potential dates changed. I mean, lets face it - there is a considerable number of guys who will pretty much date anything that moves, so it seems unlikely that guys are going to pass up an attractive woman because they are taller than them - unless they have a really good reason.

While it's not scientific, I've known women in the real world who refuse to date guys shorter than them, and I've seen plenty of profiles on online dating sites with women who say the same thing.

Which brings me to my theory - if guys generally date women who are their height or shorter, and avoid women who are considerably taller, it's not necessarily because of their preferences but rather as a response to women's preferences. If you are a guy, and you notice that women who are taller than you almost always turn you down, you are going to tend to gravitate towards women shorter or of similar height than you, because you figure you have a better shot at them. I know I do - if I'm looking at a profile on an online dating site, and I'm on the fence if it's someone worth contacting, and I notice that they are short, it will usually make me more willing to give them a shot - because every woman who I've gone past email to phone or an actual meeting has been my height or shorter. Which, granted, is a very small subset, but still...

Which brings up the second question - if it really is women who are refusing to date shorter men, should they be? As a short guy, it doesn't thrill me that a large subset of the population of single women refuses to date me based on a physical characteristic that I can't control - I mean, there are so many other, better reasons not to date me. Then again, I certainly have certain physical characteristics I prefer in women - some of which are under their control (like weight) and some of which aren't (age, race).

So I guess the best I can do is ask women to at least consider thinking about looking at shorter guys - maybe accept a date with one, or turn down the "height" section in search if you use an online dating site. Maybe you'll meet someone really cool who you wouldn't have met otherwise, and will decide that that outweighs the height factor. Maybe you'll decide that you were right and height is important to you.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Adventures in Timonium Hamfesting...

So last weekend was the Timonium Hamfest, one of the largest hamfests on the East Coast and one of the only ones that runs more than 1 day. It also happens to be about 15 minutes from Casa De Mad, my sprawling 2-bedroom estate. In previous years, I hadn't sold at it, but last year - after a few auctions where I bought a bunch of stuff - I decided to tailgate outside one day. I did quite well last year, but was really really cold.

So this year I spent the extra couple bucks and got an indoor basic space, the cheapest indoor space, for the whole weekend - it was only a few bucks more for Sunday. It was definitely worth it - I got to come in Friday night to set up, didn't have to take down Saturday night, and didn't get 3rd degree windburn from standing in a parking lot for 8 hours. The only glitch was that when I picked a spot out, I think I was looking at the map upside down, or thought I was on the other side of the building - I ended up on the far side of the building, furthest from the entrance, and away from most other sellers. It didn't seem to hurt traffic or sales, though, and it made it easy to unload and load up, especially on the last day, since I started taking down an hour before the end when you could bring cars into the building - I was able to pull up to the doors and have a short walk to load the truck.

The other nice thing about being inside was that outdoors opens at 6am but inside doesn't open until 8am, so I could shop through the tailgaters for a while. Didn't find much, though - a $1 wireless b netgear bridge (for hooking up wired devices to a wireless network) and a $5 Orinoco Gold wireless laptop card - 16-bit, for old laptops.

So how did I do sales wise? Quite well - I grossed basically a mortgage payment. How much did I net? Who knows - I'm not great about keeping track of that kind of stuff, especially taking into account things like the cost of gas for buying trips. But in a sense, it doesn't matter - everything I sold I already had bought and paid for, so all I can do is try to get as much money for it as I can - it's not like I can return it. I learn what sells, and that helps me the next time I'm buying. I remember a while back watching one of those "flip this house" type shows, and one of the rare flippers who actually knew what they were doing stated that you make money when you buy, and the best you can hope for is to not lose it before you sell it. It's the same way with reselling electronics.

The other thing that was good is I slightly reduced the amount of stuff in my house, which is good. Winter tends to be a very slow period for selling - few 'fests, and small ones - so I've bought a bunch of stuff, and am literally tripping over servers, pc's, and other inventory. I've run out of room in my basement storage area and have stuff stacked in my hallway and the family rooms. Aside from making me look like I'll be appearing on next week's Hoarders on A&E, it means I have limited room to buy new inventory when I have the opportunity because I don't have a place for it. Last week I had a chance to buy some very cheap year-old pc's with widescreen monitors from an online auction of a mortgage scam that the FTC shut down - I bought one lot of 7, but would have bought more - they went cheap - if I had a place to put them.

Last year I started buying stuff more aggressively, and found a few new (but not guaranteed) sources. I also started selling at more 'fests to sell that stuff, and to give me something to do and see new places. I hope to continue to do that - I'm debating about a couple that are coming up in the next few weeks in PA and DE - and definitely want to do a bunch over the summer. I've built up a ton of inventory, and would like to get rid of it so I have money in my pocket, and so I can see more of the floor of my house. I'd also like to be more selective about what I buy, so I have less stuff sitting around - but that isn't always an option, since when opportunities come you have to take them - sometimes you have to gamble on stuff that may or may not be easy to sell, sometimes you buy a huge lot at an auction because you know there are a few decent sellable things in it, and sometimes you know you are not going to get a chance to buy something like that again.

So I'll probably have a houseful of crap for a while, but hopefully also a little more in my bank account.