Freeware Link Checker and Google Sitemap Tool

I created a freeware tool that I use to check for broken links on my sites. It works quite nicely! It does the same things that Inspyder's tool does, but for free. I know there are many tools like this out there, but I ask you to try this one and let me know how you like it!

Go here to download:

Jazzy's Web Widgets

Thanks very much!


Killed a bug today...

It was a Box Elder Beetle (left), which is not actually a beetle (order Coleoptera) at all, but is truly a bug (order Hemiptera). I'm not here to discuss taxonomy - I'm writing today to discuss the killing of insects, spiders and other creepy-crawlies and why I think a man, if available, should carry out this task. I think men should really stop giving us so much crap about this - just do it.

Normally I'm not the type of person who kills a bug, or spider or whatever. I usually let them roam around my house at will, but I wasn't really sure why. I tried to rationalise it by saying things like "well, they don't eat much", or "it's probably here eating worse things I'd rather not know about." Since I have a degree in Biology, I can identify most types of spiders and insects commonly found in homes and I usually have some idea of what kinds of activities they might be carrying out in my domain. Most of the time, I consider them responsible citizens of my little slice of the world, but occasionally a critter will push it's luck and Jazzy has to give it the smack-down.

If you've ever watched a woman perform this activity you know it can be quite comical, involving copious amounts of toilet paper, a slow stealthy approach, and a lightning-quick strike. This is usually followed by repeated confirmation that the thing is not going to strike back, and discarding of the victim in the toilet. I usually watch to make sure it goes down too. Many people have observed this phenomenon and assume that women are afraid of bugs.

I say no, we are not any more afraid of bugs than anyone else... we just don't want to be connected with the act of killing. I know this is true because I'm not afraid of bugs. I'm not afraid to touch them at times when I'm not about to end their life. I've handled many insects and spiders in my life, but I don't like them in my house... at least not if they are going to be brazen enough to crawl right in front of me.

Today when I killed this poor soul, I experienced an unusually lucid emotional moment. I was genuinely sorry that I had to kill this creature, and would have rather had it any other way. I briefly thought about taking it outside, but it's 18(F) degrees outside and that would surely kill it as well. As I watched it crawl across my bathroom mirror (I know, creepy), I actually took a few moments to consider possibilities for saving it's life. I wished with all my heart that someone else could do this for me. Then I reluctantly performed the standard bug-elimination procedure detailed above. I suddenly realized, women aren't afraid of bugs at all, we are afraid of killing. I don't want to be involved with that kind of carnage. It actually put me in a bad enough mood that I had to blog about it. I also realized that the standard bug-elimination procedure is merely an attempt to disconnect myself from the act of killing. As in, "if I don't really touch it, then it wasn't me who killed it."

All this destruction is better kept out of sight, and if there was a man around I would have begged him to carry out this activity on my behalf, in order to disconnect myself even more. I would still feel a little bad about contracting a hit man, but conspiracy to kill insects is a little less serious in my mind. So men, please, no more crap about us being afraid of a little bug, just be our hit-men and do it. I (meaning you) will be much happier without the emotional baggage of being a murderer following me around the rest of the day.

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