Monthly Archives: October 2005

Lower Burns Park Halloween trick or treat report, 2005

Costumes seen this year: a princess, Morticia Adams, a unicorn, some football players, Winnie the Pooh, a pirate, plus others I didn’t tally.

Kid count: about 20. There was candy left over.

Duplicate count: one (a kid in a scary mask).

The pumpkin: innovation of the year was to add freckles to it by poking holes in the skin with a pushpin so the light shines through.

Weather: beautiful until about 7:15, then just enough rain to dampen spirits.

Saul’s take: he decided not to go out and instead gave out candy. But Murph dropped by with some candy (his house only got 2 kids) so we were net positive for the evening.

Technorati Tags: , ,


Jakob Nielsen on weblogs

Does he even have a weblog? What kind of recommendation is this? on Weblog Usability: The Top Ten Design Mistakes

If you have the urge to speak out on, say, both American foreign policy and the business strategy of Internet telephony, establish two blogs. You can always interlink them when appropriate.

By that calculus I should have a few dozen weblogs going all at once. Nope, sorry. Better to keep the number of channels you are sending to down to a reasonable number and not try to endlessly subdivide and subclassify your efforts.

Technorati Tags: ,

Caribou coffee in food and drug mart hours

Store hours

Monday to Friday 5 30 am to 11 00 PM.

Saturday 6 30 am to 11 00 PM.

Sunday 7 00 am to 10 00 PM.

(734) 222-0205

Furniture and fixtures are in, but as of this writing not open yet. 

UPDATE: 11/3/05

The store is open. Already it is very busy. Apparently the neighborhood has needed a place to go grab a coffee for a long time, and the old Food and Drug Mart spot was a cornerstone of the neighborhood for a long time. Two posh moms pushing SUV-sized strollers were spotted at Granger carrying Caribou cups today.

It’s not huge inside. There are enough seats to handle the morning takeout traffic, but it’s not quite spacious enough to use as a regular study spot. When I sat down Tuesday morning I shared a table convivially with three other people with laptops.

I’m not thrilled about the coffee. It tasted a bit burnt – I might have gotten the dark roast. I haven’t had a latte yet. They didn’t have fair trade coffee on the menu though they promised that they did treat their coffee farmers well. I do prefer all in all the coffee at Cafe Verde, which is alas a 30 minute hike or a 15 minute bus ride.

If you want to catch the inbound #5 bus, leave the cafe at about 9 minutes after the quarter hour, cross Packard, and wait at the stop. Be sure to leave enough time to cross Packard because it is very busy there.

UPDATE: 5/10/06

The store is still a neighborhood fixture. They provided coffee for the Burns Park Run. Now that the students are gone it’s less busy late at night. It’s a hassle that they charge for wifi, and I’m sure I’d be in there more often if I didn’t have to pay for it – as it stands it’s the cafe I go to when I don’t need to be on the net.

Halloween Trick or Treat hours for Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County, 2005

Monday’s Ann Arbor trick or treat hours are 5 to 8 pm.

The rest, from the Ann Arbor News Friday paper

# Ann Arbor Township:6-8 p.m. (general rule of thumb)

# Augusta: Not available.

# Bridgewater: Recommended times: 6-8 p.m.

# Chelsea: 4-6 p.m.

# Dexter: 5:30-7:30 p.m.

# Freedom: Not designated.

# Lima:Not available.

# Lodi: Not available.

# Manchester: Downtown businesses 5-7 p.m. On Halloween, not designated.

# Milan: 6-8 p.m.

# Northfield Township: Recommended times: 6-8 p.m.

# Pittsfield Township: Not designated.

# Saline: 6-8 p.m.

# Saline Township: Not designated.

# Salem Township: Not designated.

# Scio Township: Not designated.

# Sharon Township: Not designated.

# Superior Township: 6-8 p.m

# Sylvan Township: Not available.

# Webster Township: Not designated.

# York Township: Not designated.

# Ypsilanti: 6-8 p.m.

# Ypsilanti Township: 6-8 p.m.

# Livingston County communities: 6-8 p.m.

Technorati Tags:

Gmail “star” patent?

My search logs showed me two hits on this weblog for this phrase, but I was unable to come up with any patent details.

Does anyone know whether the “star” feature in Google’s GMail mail product is the subject of a patent? The idea is that you can mark a message as starred or interesting without a page refresh; it shares a lot of day-in day-out use with the Flickr “favorites” star.



Technorati Tags: , , , , , ,

H. J. Jackson’s “Romantic Readers – The Evidence of Marginalia”

Looks like a good book for fans of writing in the margins.

From the Yale Press web site:

When readers jot down notes in their books, they reveal something of themselves—what they believe, what amuses or annoys them, what they have read before. But a close examination of marginalia also discloses diverse and fascinating details about the time in which they are written. This book explores reading practices in the Romantic Age through an analysis of some 2,000 books annotated by British readers between 1790 and 1830.

This period experienced a great increase in readership and a boom in publishing. H. J. Jackson shows how readers used their books for work, for socializing, and for leaving messages to posterity. She draws on the annotations of Blake, Coleridge, Keats, and other celebrities as well as those of little known and unknown writers to discover how people were reading and what this can tell us about literature, social history, and the history of the book.

The U of Toronto news release at the time includes this from Jackson:

Jan. 20, 2004 — The act of writing in the margins of books – which today is generally considered vandalism – was accepted as a privilege of ownership in the 18th and early 19th centuries, says a U of T English professor.

“No one really gave it a second thought and more often than not it was considered a good thing,” says Heather Jackson in Romantic Readers: The Witness of Marginalia. “It made the books more valuable and it was actually seen as an attractive option for readers to add to a book by writing inside it.”

Technorati Tags: ,

Slow conversations

Every so often the conversational pace in Vacuum picks up, and when that happens inevitably it causes someone to unsubscribe. I'm hovering at about 200 people on the list, which is just about at the limits of what a reasonable discussion group with no pre-set agenda can focus on.

I had a good conversation with Tom Munnecke the other day about how online conversations are structured. Tom and I both had the benefit of using the Confer II system back in the day, Bob
Parnes's conferencing software that could reasonably have 200 people talking about 15 different topics and not get the conversations crossed. We did not decide what had replaced conferencing as a workable online medium. (For a history of Confer and other Ann Arbor style conferencing tools, see A Partial History of Computer Conferencing in Ann Arbor by Jan Wolter.)

What Tom did suggest was that there could be a deliberate effort to slow down the pace of communications, so that rather than dash off an instant reply you would wait a bit before responding. These "slow conversations", by analogy with the "slow food" movement, would move at a steadier pace and would allow more reflection.

While I cannot with Yahoo Groups automatically put into force the suggested rules at "Slow Conversation Rules" what I can do is deliberately introduce a bit of delay into responses to this topic, so that if it starts to get going there will be something other than an instant flurry of activity and then nothing more.

What sort of slow conversations do you have and how can you build into your life the kinds of steady interactions that don't demand an instant hurried response?