Re: The Future of Tech Writing In America

Subject: Re: The Future of Tech Writing In America
From: Sharon Burton <sharon -at- anthrobytes -dot- com>
To: "McLauchlan, Kevin" <Kevin -dot- McLauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 22 May 2012 05:55:21 -0700

Actually Australia and new Zealand do produce the best quality of merino wool. It has to do with the bloodlines, and less with climate, although climate is involved.

I'm a knitter and we know strange things. You need to learn to knit so you can knit your own merino socks!

Sent from my iPad

Cell: 951-202-0813

On May 22, 2012, at 5:30 AM, "McLauchlan, Kevin" <Kevin -dot- McLauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com> wrote:

>
>
>
> Gene Kim-Eng wrote:
>>
>> Choosing and actually being able to find are two different things.
>> More
>> often than not you have to actually hunt for the US-made products, and
>> unfortunately the money I spend on things that can be found made in USA
>> pales compared to what I spend on things that can't. It takes a lot
>> of
>> socks to make up for a workstation PC.
>
> Indeed. I just bought a Dell Ultrasharp monitor. I know it wasn't
> made in Canada. Not likely it was made in the USofA.
>
> Speaking of socks... many years ago, I found that my feet prefer
> wool socks over cotton or plastics. So I stopped buying socks with
> cotton and plastic in 'em. That was good, though the socks often
> came from far away. I'm Canadian, so my preference - all other things
> being roughly equal - would be to buy Canadian. After that, buy
> American, after that, buy from away.
>
> Anyway, after I'd been wool-socking pretty much exclusively for
> more than a decade, a minor miracle happened. Sock makers (a
> few anyway) discovered Merino wool. Shortly afterward, *I*
> discovered Merino wool. My feet became tremendously happy,
> and the rest of me wanted some, too. I began actively looking
> for Merino versions of clothing items. That wasn't too awfully
> hard for sweaters and watch-caps, but ... really, how many
> sweaters and watch-caps does a body need?
>
> Years later, it's still almost impossible to find a golf or
> polo shirt made of Merino wool, but at least it's now easy
> to find athletic T-shirts and layer items (i.e., underwear
> with fancy new names) and the odd turtleneck in Merino.
> But even the ONE source I could find that makes [some of]
> their apparel in Canada was using New Zealand or Australian
> wool. The odd American site that carried the stuff ALSO
> admitted that their garments were either 100% imported or
> at least made from NZ or AU wool.
>
> Worse, several USian sites would sell me other trinkets, but
> would not ship the apparel items that I wanted. "Contiguous
> US States, only." Whether that was due to stupidity on their
> part, or stupidity on the part of [your-or-our] law-makers
> was immaterial. If I wanted Merino clothing I went back to
> the New Zealand and Australia sites and ordered direct.
>
> I can't believe that the entire North American continent
> doesn't have at least a few pockets of climate that would
> be suitable for raising Merino sheep to the caliber that
> those New Zealanders keep producing, by the millions.
>
> So, for several articles of clothing, I have a choice of
> buying (i.e., paying my hard-earned dollars for) stuff I
> don't actually want (cotton and plastics), or stuff I do
> want, but from the other side of the globe.
>
> If there's a citrus industry in Canada, it's too tiny to
> be a blip on the radar. It turns out that I get absolutely
> shivery with gustatory pleasure over Mineola tangelos, and
> the odd Clementine, and will pay almost whatever the going
> rate is to have them at whatever time of year they are in
> season in some part of the world, be that the southern US
> or South Africa. At not-far-from-sixty, I don't feel that
> I have remaining time or inclination to deprive myself for
> ideological reasons.
>
> When I wanted specific things in a new bicycle, a couple
> of years ago, it turned out that those specifics
> ("crank-forward" all-aluminum frame, and a tough Continuously
> Variable Transmission) were available only from US
> suppliers. So, a bike shop in another province (they
> were the closest dealer) got some of my money for their
> labor, and they in turn sent most of two-thousand of my
> dollars to those US companies for the parts and assemblies.
> If the equivalent items had also been available from (say)
> Taiwan, then I would have willingly paid a small premium
> (say 20-to-25-percent) to have the North American-made
> versions, but otherwise, I would have bought the Taiwanese
> items without compunction - as I would if the far-east supplier
> had been the only one. Even so, at least some components
> of the NuVinci CVT and of the RANS crank-forward bike were
> made in Asia anyway, and only assembled in the US.
>
> You may now generalize to an enormous number of other
> products. If I *want* 'em, and can get 'em from Canadian
> or US makers, I'll do so. I'll even pay a bit of a premium
> for the privilege. But if nobody in Canada or the US
> is producing - or if they choose not to make themselves
> readily findable - then I'll buy from wherever, and not
> blink. I think I'm not alone.
>
> On the other hand, if Canadian and [Canadian branches of]
> US companies stop employing technical writers, and I can't
> move into some other semi-lucrative endeavour, then I won't
> be holding out for preferred this-and-that anymore; I'll
> be taking whatever cheap crud I can manage to afford,
> regardless of where it comes from... and then I'll die and
> it'll all be somebody else's problem.
>
> Some of the young among you might put ideology first.
> Don't worry - that will wear off. :-)
>
>
> -k
>
>
>
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Follow-Ups:

References:
Re: The Future of Tech Writing In America: From: Chris Despopoulos
Re: The Future of Tech Writing In America: From: Gene Kim-Eng
RE: The Future of Tech Writing In America: From: McLauchlan, Kevin

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