Yesterday I got an e-mail from one of the folks at, asking if I’d add a link to their site on my rail down there at the left under “gear retailers.” The guy offered to sweeten the deal by sending me a discount code for 20-25 percent off valid for the rest of the year.

I was sorely tempted — this is as close to having a sponsor as I’ve come in nine years of blogging — but in the end I decided to follow the dictates of my employer, which is: no freebies from the folks we cover. Even though this blog is hobby (well, addiction, but still), I suspect people who know me as a newsman would hold me to the standards of the biz. And I’m sure my bosses would, if they had any idea I even had such a blog.

The funny thing was, I already had a link to — in my “gear reviews” category. Clueless dolt that I am, I had happened across the site while seaching for gear reviews and had gotten it into my head that it was primarily a review site rather than an online retailer.

I haven’t cut any deals with any of the retailers listed down there. I just linked to the ones I’ve had good experiences with. Since I got a pretty good deal at just a couple weeks back, I had no qualms about moving the link down to the retailers category.

So there you have it: My heart is pure, untainted by the ravages of commerce. Until the offer of a 50 percent off coupon comes in. I can be bought, but not cheaply.