I take back all the

StarbucksI take back all the terrible things I ever said about Starbucks, whatever they were. Two days in a row, I've been totally surprised by the service I've received at the Starbucks on 4th Street. A little history (don't worry, it's brief): I stopped driving to work a few weeks ago and started taking the MUNI again, which means I walk down 4th Street to my office. Which means I started stopping in at Starbucks for a coffee to drink along the way. I'd say I've been in about three or four times a week, for the past three weeks. Ok, enough background...

On Monday there was some mix-up, and I waited about ten minutes for my drink. Somehow it didn't get made, they apologized when they realized, and made it immediately. Late, but not particularly upset, I went on my way. After all, these things happen. Yesterday I ordered my drink, and as I tried to pay, the woman who'd fixed the mix-up on Monday dashed from behind the espresso machine to the register before I could pay and said this drink was on them, for messing up the day before. Smiling, I left with my free latte. I smiled all the way to work, as that kind of thing really puts my in a good mood.

Today I arrive, and find the line is really long (the Oracle OpenWorld conference is nearby at Moscone). I get in it, waiting about four minutes until I get to the register. I say, "venti soy latte, please." And the woman at the register hands me a drink. I assume that they've got an extra or something, so I ask, "is this soy?" And she says, "Yes, we saw you in line so we made your drink for you." I was dumb-founded. I think I said something like, "really?!" I just couldn't believe it. I thanked them all and headed down the street with a double-big smile on my face.

That Starbucks, without a doubt, provides some of the best customer service I've ever received.

I seem to type "ww"

I seem to type "ww" into my browser a lot instead of "www" and you know what? I always get a "Page Cannot Be Displayed" error, which makes sense, sort of. Why doesn't Microsoft give you the option to "correct" that? It seems like the browser is always trying to help you out: can't find it, want to search? Want to enter an address without http://? No problem. But it chokes on a very simple, and I'd speculate, common typographical error. It would be nice if it said, "Do you mean www by chance? It appears you've only typed ww, and I don't believe that's going to work out for you." It's rare that there's something I want my browser to do that it doesn't already (aside of course from standards support, but that's another post entirely), but I find in my increasingly-rushed life, I seem to make this mistake more and more often. And it seems like it wouldn't be too hard to fix.

It's funny how many women

It's funny how many women on this list, Fortune | Most Powerful Women, have the title Chairman. Shouldn't it be Chairperson? Or Chairwoman? Or what about simply, Chair? I thought we did away with gender-biased language back in the 90's. We certainly should have.

Dave posts a response from

Dave posts a response from Jakob providing some explanation behind his "teaching kids how to author hypertext" comment. Apparently I misunderstood what he was saying, as I assumed hypertext to mean HTML, but Jakob says he was referring, "to a deeper understanding of the term than simply the current implementation." As examples, he mentions several systems with which I'm not familiar (Intermedia, NoteCards), and which he explains in his book, Multimedia and Hypertext: The Internet and Beyond. Would HyperCard fit into what he's talking about? I wish someone had taught me more about hypertext, I feel like I've missed the point completely.

A very nice piece today

A very nice piece today on Radiohead, The Post-Rock Band.

There's quite a discussion going

There's quite a discussion going on over at Metafilter about my post below and Jakob's column. And so far, it's remained civil and pleasant and interesting. Yippee.

I'm really surprised that Jakob

I'm really surprised that Jakob Nielsen, in his newest Alertbox, Content Creation for Average People, doesn't mention Blogger or even weblogs, in his discussion of Average People getting content online. He makes many excellent points:

"Even when people don't have material that the world might find of interest, they often have content to share that is very important to a few people, such as their family and friends."

"Letting users create small bits and pieces of content makes the job less intimidating than having to create a whole site all at once."

"Although most may never be great, many will be able to produce good content that will appeal to small audiences."

And I like his solutions, especially to teach content creation, but his recommended approach is crazy. He hopes, "schools will soon begin teaching kids how to author hypertext ." Whoa, hold on Jakob, why? The problem, which he even admits, is that the content that's being created isn't very good ("The vast wasteland of Geocities confirms this"), so wouldn't it make more sense to spend time teaching writing skills? Why bog kids down with HTML? Does knowing HTML make one a better writer? I don't think so.

That's why tools like Blogger are so valuable. You can get your content online (and more of it, more often, easier, so you're writing more and improving every day) without needing to know HTML, without worrying about creating a whole page, a design, or a site. You just write, click a button, and your voice is online. It's as simple as that.

Ok, the blue was fine,

Ok, the blue was fine, I got used to it. The reddish-orange was actually quite nice, much like a shirt I admire, but this color? This horid, burning-my-eyes-out-it's-so-damn-bright-yellowey-green? No. At this color I must draw the line and say, Please, for the love of God, bring back the Yellow!

One should never look a

One should never look a gift horse in the mouth.

Speaking of, what is the history of that strange phrase? I'm sure it pre-dates the Monkees. Are its origins based in the wild west, when people would give one another horses as gifts? Was it considered impolite to look in their mouths? And if you got a gift horse, why would you look in its mouth? To see if it had teeth? Gingivitis? Braces? Fillings? Or maybe something in a horse's mouth indicates its overall health, so you look to make sure it's healthy? Because you sure as hell wouldn't want to accept a gift horse that's going to die on you. Then you'd have to bury it, and bury a gift horse is a pain in the ass. When my speculation ceases to amuse you, look here for the real answer.

I found out what the

I found out what the word is, it's more of a sentance: I see a camera, I take a picture. That's the word today.

Made some changes to the

Made some changes to the domain servers, shouldn't effect access, but it may, so consider yourself warned...

You know what I enjoy

You know what I enjoy the most about a TWIX bar? The fact that it's a *cookie* bar. And cookie = tasty and fun. It's not a *candy* bar. Candy = bad and makes you fat and ugly and evil. Cookie! Woo hoo! What a treat. Be sure to check out the Mixed Trivia, FAQ, and Science(!) information.

Food and Drug Administration approves

Food and Drug Administration approves abortion pill Wow, after all this time, I never thought the FDA would approve RU-486, especially with the increasing fervor of the anti-choice contingent these days. A less-invasive, non-surgical abortion is an important option that should be available to all women, not just Europeans. Though I fear its cost of approximately $300 puts it out of reach of far too many.

What's the word? Please help

What's the word? Please help me, I don't know. I really don't.

And because I'm thinking of

And because I'm thinking of poems, and poetry, and because it's autumn, and because I like to share the things I like with you, I offer this link: Keats' To Autumn. Enjoy this "[s]eason of mists and mellow fruitfulness" for we've only one month or so left, before the rains and snow drown us with winter, and all grows cold and dormant.

More links, to Auden (via

More links, to Auden (via Nick) at the W.H. Auden Society and to poetry (via Denise) at The Academy of American Poets. Get your fill of all things audenical and poetical at the sites, yummy yummy. I recommend this handy poem search if you're looking to send a special love poem to your web honey.

Got any Irish blood in

Got any Irish blood in you? You can search for your genealogical roots at this Irish Geneology page. I'd hoped to turn up more on my family names of Hourihan and Moriarty, but I don't really have enough information to take full advantage. If you know your Irish ancestors names, you can search for birth and marriage records. Of course, it costs money, but isn't that cheaper than flying there? Meeting Tom this past weekend's got me all thinking about Ireland, in case you're wondering...

Happy birthday to you, happy

Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, you look like a monkey, and smell like one too.

Hearing authors read their works

Hearing authors read their works aloud is one of my favorite pleasures. Unfortunately, with so many of my favorite authors dead and buried, it's one in which I seldom indulge. A site like could help me with this problem, except the navigation on the site is poor and it's difficult to locate ones favorite authors. When I clicked on Poetry, I was given a big page full of recommended authors, and it wasn't until the bottom that I found a link to "click here for more authors in poetry," which lead me to an alphabetical listing by author. While I appreciate their effort to expose me to fresh new voices, I really just wanted to find Auden, to find out if I could hear him reading one of my favorite poems, Musee des Beaux Arts. Sadly, it's not one they offer.

A sucker for more domain names

Wowzers, I guess somewhere along the way, I forgot to uncheck a box at asking them not to send me email. And in a way, I'm glad I did. Today I received this email in my Inbox:

As a valued customer, is pleased to offer you a FREE, 1-year domain name registration of the domain names, and to express our appreciation of your business!

All I had to do was click on a link and bam! they were all mine. It was that easy. Of course, they're hoping to upsell me on all kinds of services, which I don't need. Come to think of it, I don't need all those domain names either. Oh well, I guess I'll just point them to for now.

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