Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Feed permanently redirected

Just a quick post to point out that the feed is now permanently redirected to ...

Monday, January 15, 2007

Site Moving

I've moved the site to, and publication at this feed URL will cease. The new site is shiny and clean and powered by Ruby on Rails and safely out of the BlogSpot ghetto. I think I may even update it once in a while.

If you, dear readers--both of you--would like to come along with me on a magical voyage through dorkery and infrequently-produced prose, please point your feed reader to .

Head Monkey in Charge

Friday, September 29, 2006

An open letter to the Google Reader developers

Congratulations on the new interface, it's fantastic. I tried the old UI for about ten minutes before going back to Bloglines, but so far I'm really impressed with the update. All the little details really add up to a great experience, particularly the keyboard shortcuts, the beautiful clean design, and the speed.

A few minor issues I'd like to raise:

1) There doesn't seem to be a good way to scroll a long post when you're advancing through posts using the j and k keys. If the post extends off the bottom of the screen, you have to take your hands from the keyboard, click the post with the mouse, and use arrow keys to read the whole post. I'd be ideal if "j" could somehow smooth-scroll through the long post when pressed again, or could jump down a certain number of lines rather than to the next post. Perhaps this is best addressed with a separate key, though.

2) I find the most common use scenario for me is to go from subscription to subscription, opening each one and scrolling through the posts. Given that skipping from sub to sub is one of the most important actions (at least from my perspective), it's a little annoying to have to hold the shift key to make it work, and to have to press one key to move to the next subscription and another to open it. Bloglines uses "s" to skip to and open the next unread subscription, which works pretty well.

3) When using the "share" feature, the default text it dumps into Gmail is pretty bad. Low signal, high noise. It just looks like a pile of marketing.

4) Occasionally the keyboard commands lose focus, or something, and none of them work.

Details I really like:

1) The "Next" bookmarklet. It took me a moment to understand what it did. This is a deceptively simple but extremely powerful idea--it blends the notification and "placeholder" features of RSS with the rich design and individual character of a web page. Plus, the sites you like get to keep their ad revenue.

2) Starring and tagging functionality, while non-revolutionary, is very cleanly implemented and easy to use.

3) Overlays (when refreshing, etc) are a nice touch.

4) The subscription selector is mind-blowingly awesome, both in terms of UI and usefulness.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Falling Prey to the Hideous Marketing Onslaught That Is Paris Hilton

I think the message here is that if you dare to dream that Paris Hilton will pretend to pork you so everyone you know will think you're awesome, then your dream just might come true, if you live in a music video.

Also, you should consider the possibility that some people whom you know might consider boning Ms. Hilton to be a net negative. Make sure you assess your social scene correctly before aspiring to receive make-believe-pity-fucks from manufactured celebrities.

What the hell is the matter with you, Reality? Why do you insist on fucking with me like this?

Sunday, August 27, 2006

I, for one, welcome my new cute overloaders

For me, this is basically the same as winning the World Series.

I'd like to dedicate this post to Bradley and Kim and Bailey, and wish them good luck on their trip.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Pretty absurd

Would you call this "gang-snorgling"?

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Theo Chocolate

Last summer, my wife and I went on a tour of the Theo chocolate factory in Fremont. Very cool place, very cool people, and it was really inspiring to see a local company making something so complex, with so much art, with such consideration for ethics, and at such a high degree of refinement.

I was briefly obsessed a few years back with the idea of making my own chocolate from scratch (after seeing Chocolat, lamely enough--terrible movie but it made me hungry). It didn't take a lot of research to find out that:
  1. if you're just some guy, you really can't get cacao beans
  2. the equipment required is non-trivial: tempering might be within your reach, but conching will not
So, I gave up on that dream, but gained a lot of respect for those who know what they're doing in the field of chocolate-making. It's kind of like being an astronaut: lots of people want to be that when they grow up, very few actually get to.

When we were there, they were only producing flavored chocolates--they hadn't started making their pure chocolates yet. The flavors were genuinely interesting: coconut curry, chai, coffee, bread (which provided sort of a salty crunch).

Anyway, long story short, ever since that visit, I've been crazy with anticipation for their single-varietal fair-trade bars that they were not yet selling, and they finally started showing up at PCC. 85% from Ghana, 74% from the Ivory Coast. The 74% is particularly good--more complex than probably any chocolate bar I've ever tasted.

And they make it in my city. Very cool.