I hate to admit it, but this is how pathetic my life is.
I have been an amateur astronomer for a long time now. When you get the astro bug as I have, you want to enjoy a few of the astro goodies that are available to enthusiasts.There is an online astronomy buy and sell web site known as Astromart. It has been a great boon to guys like me, you can save a great deal of money buying gear used as opposed to paying the full new price. I also briefly ventured into a small side business making and selling parallelogram binocular mounts.
Astromart began as a free use site. Then I suppose the cost of upkeep for servers, and at least an IT guy or two, eventually meant that the site had to start charging people for the service. It started off if my memory serves well (and it is suspect) around 5 bucks per year, then over time has increased to 15 bucks a year. There are also other means of support. A guy like me that was in effect a small manufacturer was considered a Blue Dealer, I don’t even honestly remember the rest of the support level structures they have, but there are several.
Now as I mentioned early on the site was free, and slowly progressed to a pay site, which slowly but persistently increased in price. The Blue Dealer, which I was, had a built in loop hole. In that you bought a block of ads for a certain fee, and as you used up your ads you just bought more. Having these ads in your pocket from the Blue Dealer status secluded you from the ever pervasive “Support Astromart” push. Let it be known I did not set up the system as such.
Well, I only needed to use a few of the ads. Once my binocular mounts started selling they were hot for a while. I had more business than I could honestly keep up with. As I am a family man, and was working full time as a commercial diver. What spare time I did have was dedicated to being in the shop slaving over these mounts.
At some point I decided to quit making them. If I placed an ad, I’d get more work than I could honestly handle, plus over time the cost of steel and hardware kept going up, or in some cases became no longer available. Toss in the fact that my shop is not air conditioned, and there is a lot of cutting, welding, and slaving over each and every part, being built from scratch. I finally decided to not post anymore ads, though I would still make a few by request, as word of mouth turned out to be a pretty good seller. I did not sell a lot more mounts after I decided to formally quit, but the requests did trickle in here and there.
Anyway, my interest in the site waned. I pretty much have all of the necessary items I need to enjoy my time under the stars. I am no longer interested in being a dealer. I no longer have any use for their forums. Many an online community requires the existence of moderators, and moderators tend to generally rub me the wrong way with their authoritarian Barney Fife tendencies. So I was reduced pretty much to a bystander, with access to the site, because of my Blue Dealer status. I did not in any way profit from or benefit from their site. I would drop in from time to time and browse. That’s it.
I tried to login yesterday and it was refusing my pw. So I used the online chat system to see what was up. Apparently they had decided that guys like me, that had the Blue Dealer status, were gaming the system. A system that they themselves had put in place.
Enter Herb York. The owner of the site. I have seen many an altercation with this guy on the site. He is somewhat a cross between a brutal dictator and a Clint Eastwood itchy finger. Also, though I have never seen the guy, he demonstrates much of the “little man” syndrome. I’ll bet you a cold beer he stands around 4′ 4″ tall. There is no dialogue or reasoning with the man. He is as cold and unforgiving as the Arctic ice.
They did not try to fix what they perceived as a problem. There was no attempt to notify or intent of discourse, they just deleted the accounts in question, and that was that. I know better than to even try to reason with the guy. With Herbie there is no rational discourse. Unless you are the getting down on your knees and begging for forgiveness type, or willing to wag however much $$ he is demanding today, to access his site under his nose. I am willing to do neither.
I repeat, I did not in any way profit from or attempt to profit from this site after my decision to quit being a dealer was made. I may have been open to some sort of change of strucure, or new system, but was denied the opportunity.
Herbie, being the dictator with a Clint Eastwood itchy finger, as most are, is always quick to eliminate any dissent at his site, and refuses to allow audience with his immortal self. So, while I was suffering just a tad from the sting of being deleted and dumped, all of my ratings being forever gone, I realized that “I have a fucking blog” I have a voice. All I have to do is use it.
Right or wrong, I was aware that I was able to avoid the yearly taxation they wanted. I figured at some point they would change the system to accomodate that, but I was never notified of any such intent. I am sure much better people than me were cleansed from their site. I am also sure I have been dumped by better people than Herb York in my life. It took me all of two seconds to delete the website from my browser, I will miss Astromart, a little, but it will pass.
I’ll bet there is a Herb York support group out there somewhere, I will have to Google that.
Herbie, I have been done with you and your site for some time. I was just unwilling to admit it.
Oh, and Herbie… stick it where the sun don’t shine. I don’t feel much better, getting that out of my system, but at least I was able to have my say. And that is something.
I have never had as much trouble with getting paragraph spacing just so, as I have had in this post…it was initially a copy/paste job from word pad, so that could be the problem.
EDIT: Just for shits and giggles I Googled “Herb York Astromart” Here is just a bit of what I found:
There are many more, but these few trend towards my experiences and what I have seen of others. Turns out there really is a Herb York support group out there. It lives in the blogs and posts of those who have run afoul of ole Herbie.
Nuther Edit: I just had a look at ole Herbies Twitter feed. Sickening bastard. I should have known from the way he handles his business, he is a RWCRFM. (Right Wing Conservative Republican Fundamentalist Moron)