Ulead, my favorite maker of reasonably priced video editing and 3D graphic builder software, has been bought by Corel (makers of the infamous Corel Draw product which has not been as competitive with Adobe as they would have liked). I don't know where they found the money, but they also bought Word Perfect and Intervideo (they make some excellent DVD player software). I had occasion to talk to their customer service folks this morning (afternoon their time) because two of Ulead's upgrade products were lost in my disk crash, and I'm finally getting around to replacing them. Turns out only one of those was within the warranty replacement period, they said they were sending a link to re-download but two hours later it has not shown up. I'll have to call again. The second one, version 8, was out of its replacement period, but that's okay, I still have the previous version, and there's an inexpensive upgrade to Vista-ready version 11 which will work with anything version 6 and up. I'll grab that when I get home.
Also made an appointment for a week from today to take the car in for a re-paint. And made reservations for a rental car - turns out there is an Enterprise office next door. I've used them before and was happy with the service. The price is a little higher than some other places, but not enough to overcome the "walk next door for the rental" convenience.
If the first contact with someone is by:
1. Seeing them: All you have to go on is what they look like. You may be attracted or neutral or repelled by what you see. But you know nothing about anything but the surface.
2. Hearing them: You have both a voice and unless they are reading someone else's work, you also get a glimpse into their minds. You may also get a minor clue about what they look like because voice often reveals gender, ethnicity and native language. But not always.
3. Reading their writing, seeing their art: This gives you a peek into their brains and (depending on the content) souls. Thanks to the common use of pseudonyms, you can't rely on their names for any clues. Vocabulary and subject matter may give clues to their ages, but not necessarily.
For me it's always an adventure to meet someone a second or third way, after having met the person already in one of the other two ways. Sometimes it's an enjoyable adventure, sometimes not. Sometimes it's a surprise, sometimes the second and third contact fits well with your impressions from the first one.
Recently I was reminded of a variation of #3, stumbling across a sober, educational essay by someone I've read a lot of - and all the prior work was light comedy. Kind of like when I found out the first electric blender was invented by one of my favorite 40's band leaders.