Thursday, January 18, 2007

News: Farewell, Art Buchwald

He was the quintessential mensch, the Bob Hope of political columnists. Honor him by reading a Buchwald tome this month, OK?

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Weather: Crack-a-lackin'!

This morning all the leaves of the magnolia tree northwest of the public library across the street were encased in a shell of ice. You could reach up and tap on them (if you're over 5-6 in height) and they'd crackle. Chillin' and brilli'n'!

Weblogs: The iPhone user experience - A first look

"iPhone is revolutionary, not a big surprise coming from Steve Jobs. He knows how to gather a tiny team of brilliant young minds and work them half to death until they innovate beyond any reasonable expectations. He has the common sense to know what will ultimately find favor. And he has the hardened-steel man parts to take a chance and roll with it. What’s a pity is that so few others in this industry share those triple strengths."

(Bruce Tognazzini, founder of the Apple Human Interface Group and self-claimed inventor of the "pinch" touch-screen interface feature, breaks from recent tradition to give a highly positive review of the intuitive interface of the Apple iPhone.)

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Web: I love the smell of Google in the morning

I saw some anonymous firm was dialing my home line day in, day out, so I Googled "VERIFICATION FR" in the 616 area code and got a link on where dozens of their telemarketing victims had entered their research findings, divulging the pesky culprits' practices and identity and how to get on their do-not-call list. God, I love Google! Usually.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Email: Evidence of Guilt? [MG]

That worm [O.J. Simpson sure] can muddy (sully) and clarify the waters at the same time. What a scumbag!

Web: Jack Bauer kill count

(Fans of the TV show 24 can view and comment on Jack's 40-plus body count every season, including the Palm Treo 650-detonated bomb in Season 5.)

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Press: Pesos-for-pizzas chain defiant despite outrage - HC

Houston Chronicle: "Pesos for pizzas. It seemed innocent enough. But after a Texas pizza chain this week began accepting Mexican pesos in exchange for piping hot pies, the company was flooded with thousands of e-mails.

'What you are doing is unpatriotic. THIS IS AMERICA NOT MEXICO!' one message read. 'Get the hell out of this country!!!!' said another. 'This is America where the currency is the U.S. Dollar. If you want to accept the peso, go to Mexico!'

But for Elizabeth Perez, who on Friday was awaiting her pizza order at a Pizza Patron restaurant on Airline Drive in Houston, it just makes good business sense. Why not, she said, spend leftover pesos in the United States instead of waiting until she returned to Mexico?"

(If you define America by parochialism and bigotry then I understand these pseudopatriotic ingrates. But if you define America by brotherhood, civility, tolerance, and innovation -- not to mention free-market capitalism -- then it makes perfect sense to accept any currency and to provide any customer service that a business chooses to do, esp. when it proves wildly successful and makes customers happy -- even if it peeves hatemongering bigots.)