June 13, 2003

Paying Off My Car, And A Little Bit Of Plagiarism

There I sat, staring at the computer screen, my finger hovering over the mouse, wavering slightly as my mind teetered with doubt about clicking the "Submit" button.


My car is paid for. The Cadillac pimpmobile is now officially mine.

It wasn't an easy decision. But, according to my online credit union information, I had just received my latest paycheck. I had $3,000 in savings. I had $6,800 in checking. I owed just over $4,000 on the Caddy. Sure, the math was easy. I knew I had more than enough, but just clicking away $4,000 to the digital wind, without so much as a freshly salivated wang to show for it, was just difficult to do.

I don't part with money easily, particularly when the tranfer of funds exceeds the daunting $grand$ mark. $1,000 is a lot of money, according to all the zeros. And, $4,000 was four times that amount. I pondered sacrificing a spring lamb and reading its entrails to see if paying off my car was a good idea or not, but, lacking a spring lamb, or the ability to successfully read entrails, I simply opted to pay off the car.

It was a strange sensation, going out of debt on my car. I can't say the air smelled sweeter or my head felt clearer or anything, but I did feel pretty damned good about myself. I also feel quite a bit less affluent. Such is the trade-off when you're a middle-income grunt. Still, rich people, I believe, miss out on one of the greatest feelings on earth: paying the final installment.

On an unrelated note, it was brought to my attention this week that some unknown blogger has been plagiarizing my site now for quite some time. I received an e-mail from a concerned soul saying that a blogger from Norway at http://g-blog.net/user/smanchhey had been lifting my posts and claiming them as his own. Apparently, people from Norway think I'm funny or something, so please, take pity on Norway.

I checked out the site, but there were no posts to be found. I almost forgot about the whole thing until I checked my Site Meter hit list and saw an unknown URL, which I clicked. It brought me here. Apparently, it's true. I was being plagiarized.

I don't know how to feel about being plagiarized. On the one hand, it's annoying to think someone was taking credit for stuff I wrote, but since I don't make money doing this or anything, it's hard to feel anything more than annoyed. On the other hand, it's somewhat flattering to think that someone thought my stuff was good enough to claim as their own. Don't get me wrong, plagiarism is wrong and sneaky and pathetic and all that. But still. Now I can tell everyone I'm good enough to be plagiarized. And that's pretty cool.

But, please, don't plagiarize me. Think for yourself. If you want to copy and paste something I wrote, or something somebody else wrote, that's fine. But be sure to link to where you got it, or explain where you found it and who really wrote it. The important thing is to give credit where credit is due. Plagiarism in the blogosphere may not cost anybody any money (at least not yet), but don't try claiming something you didn't write. Eventually, someone is going to catch on, and other bloggers will come down on you with the wrath of Mars. That's almost worse than being sued.

Posted by Ryan at June 13, 2003 01:50 PM
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