A summer question regarding coffee

Why does the iced coffee cost more than the regular coffee? How can ice possibly cost $.75 or $1? It makes no sense. All I can think is that vendors are colluding and taking advantage of the temperature. Except if that were the case, then hot coffee should cost more in the winter and iced coffee would be cheaper. But you can't even get iced coffee in the winter, and you *can* get hot coffee in the summer. So really, frankly, I don't understand it.

Update: So I didn't know this but many have emailed to tell me that iced coffee usually uses more coffee (it's double brewed or they use more beans) to hold the flavor up against the melting ice. And that iced coffee comes in plastic cups, not paper, which cost more. And of course, ice costs money. But honestly, I still have a hard time believing it, especially when I've seen them "make" my iced coffee by putting ice in a cup and sticking it beneath the hot coffee spigot. That necessitates a price increase of 100%? Regardless, I'll buy it. I love it! Thanks for all the emails, guess I should have turned comments on.

megnut on BlogShares

I haven't been following BlogShares too closely -- though I think it's interesting, given my new-found interest in all things market -- so I was very surprised to see that megnut is trading at $1,186.79. Does anyone have any idea why the share price has climbed so much? On June 2 it was only trading at $358.33, what happened? While you're at it, could you also explain to me why megnut is the #1 blog in the gay category?

10 years on American Airlines

I've been an American Airlines AAdvantage® member since Wednesday, June 09, 1993, making today my 10th anniversary. Since that time, I've flown 529,909 miles. Using Fermi's "simple and intuitive way to deduce the circumference of the earth", that means I've flown enough miles to circumnavigate the globe 22 times! Using figures from AMR Corporation's
1999 Annual Report, the total cost per available seat mile is 9.39¢, which equals $49,758.36 in cost, for American. Using American's yield (the average amount one passenger pays to fly one mile) figure of 13.12¢, I've paid American $69,524.06 for all those miles, giving American a profit of ~$20,000.

Of course, "I" paid a lot more than that most of the time because the majority of that milage was accrued through consulting travel on expensive tickets. Still, ~$70,000 for 22 trips around the globe doesn't seem as insanely expensive as I thought it would be when I started all these silly calculations.

What's really incredible about all the flying I've done is that for more than a year during that time, I traveled exclusively on Continental Airlines, and probably racked up another 100,000 miles with them!

Rainy garden view

fire escape garden

Using my new .5x wide-angle lens, I took a picture of my fire escape garden for those that are interested in seeing it. It contains a lot of pots of dirt still. In the foreground you can see my petunia blend (midnight, orchid, and lilac). To the right of the windowbox, you can see the basil. Hang in there basil, the sun will come some day! At the end of the basil, there are chive seeds. No sign of chives yet. Beyond that you can see my tomato plant, which has flowers! No sign of tomatoes yet. And next to it, that long box of soil contains my climbers: a mix of pink, red, and white cypress vine and a mix of azure blue, pink, white, and rose morning glory. If all goes according to plan, the climbers will grow up along the railing of the fire escape and treat me to a bounty of blossoms, "from mid-summer until the first frost." If they actually grow, I'll be amazed. Cross your fingers!

Shakespeare on the Run

With the rain subsiding (at least for now), a fun way to take advantage of the nice weather is to check out Shakespeare on the Run's "Much Ado About Nothing" in Central Park.

As you watch the show, the next scene that is about to happen, happens about 50 ft away, and then they are off. The whole audience runs to where the scene is taking place! Every 5-7 minutes, so no snoozing during this show! The play moves between 97th St & 100th Street using trees, rocks, benches and even the audience as scenery!

Details: Runs June 5-29, Thurs-Sundays, 7pm, 97th St & Central Park West.

Minor translation problems

On the subway this morning, I was reading an ad for legal services in Spanish offering help for all kinds of misfortunes, including envenenamiento con plomo. Feather poisoning?! I thought. Of course, no, that would be envenenamiento com pluma. Con plomo is the far more common lead poisoning. I better get back to Mexico to brush up on my Spanish ASAP.

Intern for the Lafayette Project

Are you in the New York City area and looking for an interesting project? We are looking for an intern here at the Lafayette Project. Job description follows:

The Lafayette Project is looking for an intern with geek tendencies and an interest in bringing weblogs to a wider audience. Familiarity with weblogs and some technical knowledge (XHTML + CSS, or Java) is required but a willingness to learn is more important than experience.

Work will mostly involve coding and testing, other assorted tasks as necessary. You'll also have the opportunity to meet folks in the tech industry and attend events. The position is based in Tribeca (Manhattan, NY) and you will work directly with the Project Director, Meg Hourihan, and Lead Engineer Mark Wilkie. Meg co-founded the company behind weblogging tool Blogger (recently purchased by Google) and is an author and frequent speaker on weblogs. The position can be part or full-time and a modest stipend is available. Please submit a resume and cover letter to with the subject LP intern.

New site for French Laundry

The French Laundry finally has a website at and it's got information not only about the namesake but also Buchon (also in Yountville) and the upcoming new restaurant in New York. I'm a little worried about the New York venture, does this mean Keller is moving? Or is he going to just be the executive chef, "overseeing" the whole thing from CA, and transform into a Wolfgang Puck or Todd English with outposts everywhere? Gosh I hope there's never a French Laundry Las Vegas! Of course, if Keller actually heads up the NY kitchen, you know I'll start saving again. How could I possibly resist?

Garden is planted

Though it rained once again this weekend, I didn't let it stop me from planting my urban fire escape garden. This summer's theme is "Italian" as I've got a tomato plant and a nice row of (soggy) basil. I also planted a window box of pansies and some small pots of little coral and pink flowers for the sill in the living room. Sitting on the fire escape, contentedly transplanting while watching the clouds build for the afternoon storm, was the nicest Saturday morning I've spent in a while.

French Laundry anniversary

It's hard to believe that it's already been a year since my magical dinner at the French Laundry. Actually, since I've been a lazy poster, it's a year and a couple days, but that's beside the point. The point is it's already been a whole year since that superlative culinary experience and I can still imagine what the food tasted like on my tongue. Will there ever be another meal that's as good? Dear readers, stay tuned to find out. I've got some big plans for my tummy when I'm in Paris later this month.

Hodgman on food

John Hodgman, former professional literary agent, is now a food columnist (my dream job!) for Men's Journal. In April he went In Search of the Next Big Fish. In May, we discover him Rediscovering the Lost Art of Bitters. And a quick search yields many more results, including an article extoling "the Lobsterwich - the perfect summer sandwich." Move over, Steingarten, there's a new man on the block!

Road Runner Sports at Amazon

Amazon seems to be teaming up with everyone. Today I noticed Amazon's now partnered with San Diego's Road Runner Sports, my favorite place to buy running shoes. RRS used to be an all-catalog outfit and they won me over the very first time I called them, in 1990. I'd seen the shoes I wanted in the local running store in Cambridge (MA). I called RRS for a price quote. The price was the same as the local store, so I told the guy on the phone, "Thanks but I don't want to order them."

He asked me, "Why not?"

"Because the price is the same as the store nearby and I could get them today, without paying for shipping."

So he lowered the price by $10 and overnighted the sneakers to me for free. Yup, I like RRS. And I like them even more integrated into Amazon's super-duper shopping and recommendation engine.

This week, a list

Pretty in Pink pedicure

It's sandal time of year again, and you know what that means, time to get your feet in shape! If you're looking to splurge, the Sweet Lily Spa in Tribeca is offering a new Pretty in Pink pedicure ($55 for 60 minutes). Your soles will be soaked in a cocktail of grapefruit, mint, and essential oils and the treatment also includes reflexology and of course, application of polish. Your feet will smell delicious for days.

Remaindered linking!

I've been invited to contribute to Jason's sidebar of "Remaindered Links" for the next few weeks. I've been posting up a storm, though my contributions aren't distinguished from Jason's so you'll have to guess who's whose. I like the idea of being able to point to something neat without having to write about why it's neat. Perhaps if this experiment goes well, I'll add my own remaindered links to megnut. In the meantime, be sure and check in there for links on things like CSS, hypertext, and the American Chestnut Foundation.

Update: Mike writes in to point out that if you read the remaindered links via an RSS reader, you get the author information because it's in the feed. So there you go, not so secret after all.

Things we do for love

People will tell you the key to any successful relationship is compromise. Without the ability to compromise, long-term love affairs don't make it beyond short-term trysts. Compromise done well is like any negotiation, the trick is to give so that in return you get something you want. In that vein, I'm going to see The Matrix: Reloaded tonight. I didn't like the first Matrix. But I also don't want to go alone to the premiere of Seabiscuit this summer. No wonder people say relationships are hard!

Cyberarts/eNarrative slides

Here are the PowerPoint slides from Saturday's talk at the Boston Public Library [108 KB] and here is the HTML version. There's not much different in here from the last few presentations I've posted. The session was very interesting and I learned a lot from my fellow presenters, especially relating to hypertext. Looks like I have lots of reading and research to do!

More info on today's talk

I've found some more information about today's weblog roundable on the eNarrative site (well actually my mom did, thanks mom!) The session is entitled, "weblog to webtale: living and writing as electronic art" and will take place at 3 PM in the Raab Auditorium at the Boston Public Library. In addition to me, there will be: George P. Landow (Hypertext 2.0), Dave Winer (Radio Userland), Noah Wardrip-Fruin (The New Media Reader), Mark Bernstein (Tinderbox), and George Fifield (Boston Cyberarts Festival). Oh, and it's free!

Best of NY food

It's that time of year again when the "best of" lists are out. Here's's Best of New York 2003 food. Local spot Jefferson won Best New Neighborhood Joint. I haven't eaten there yet, but have been meaning to. Now I'll have to get on it before it becomes too crowded!

War is peace

Apparently a Norwegian parliamentarian has nominated President Bush and Prime Minister Blair for the Nobel Peace Prize. I can't think of anything more 1984-like in my life. It's like the culmination of all the propaganda we've been dealing with. Anyway, the link is to a GOP site which lists an email address and postal address where you "can send a letter of support for the nomination of George W. Bush and Tony Blair for the Nobel Peace Prize to the Norwegian Nobel Institute." Of course, one could also send a letter conveying shock and outrage at the mere suggestion of such a thing. Unless you believe we've always been at war with Eurasia.

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