Category Archives: Spawn of Satan


I logged into the Facebook web application for the first time in many moons.  I don’t often visit Facebook, and when I do I tend to use the iOS app.

I was struck with how awful the web application is, and it surprises me that a company which is essentially in the business of internet advertising could be so oblivious to best practices in UI design.  (But what is even more astonishing is that as consumers so many people put up with it!)

I found it frustrating to navigate due to all of the visual clutter, and the app invitations and other ads were off-putting instead of tempting or inviting.  Just my opinion of course.  But it sure seems like a lost opportunity as the Facebook premise of remaining in touch with friends and family is a good one, and a cleaner UI with better nav options could make this application much more valuable and, in the longer term, more attractive to advertisers.




The company for which I work relocated its corporate operations from Northern California to Dallas, Texas several months ago.

Dallas is not my favorite travel destination, and this is almost certainly due primarily to a visit made in early August when the weather was punishingly hot and a perverse twist of fate left me stranded in town for a day longer than desired.

It is January and I’m now back in Dallas for a business-related visit. The weather is much more obliging, and while I experienced a delay with my airport shuttle it was of short duration and I am now safely settled at the Intercontinental Hotel.

This hotel isn’t nearly as posh as the previous lodgings at the Grand Hyatt located inside DFW airport. It is quite adequate to my needs, though, and the mad Bay Area lover in me was tickled to find a familiar San Francisco brand represented in the bath products (Agraria)and a small coffee maker in the room – something the Hyatt puzzlingly did not provide.

These are the idle thoughts strolling through my mind at 2:06 am, when I ought to be asleep in preparation for some excitement tomorrow but instead am sitting in bed with iPad on my lap.

20130106-020910.jpg Grand Hyatt at Dallas-Fort Worth Airport

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

christmas tree

Late last month I received a birthday gift that was the wrong size, and with Christmas shoppers out en force I was dreading the task of handling the exchange.

But this morning I decided I had better handle the task.  I needed a new sweater, the current collection becoming somewhat threadbare, so I convinced myself that it wouldn’t be so bad if I arrived in the morning before the after-church crowds descended.  I braced myself all the same for the unpleasant task of shopping in a brick-and-mortar shop.

I arrived a bit early, and was chagrined to see that shoppers were lining up outside of the shops waiting for the tell-tale click of the lock before charging forward, credit cards in hand.  Once the locks were snapped open, and the hordes rushed to tables to rumple the merchandise, I observed with some surprise that the crowds were not nearly as snippy and grabby as I had anticipated.  I was able to find a sweater and manage my exchange swiftly, and after picking up the few odds and ends remaining on the Christmas shopping list (mostly in the stocking stuffer category), I gladly tripped back to my car and deposited my numerous bags in the trunk.

I noticed that my back ached something fierce, and I recalled that this ache tends to recur when shopping in stores.  I do not have this ache when I walk the dog, or when I stroll to a restaurant, and never when shopping online.  I’m concluding that this is a malady associated with the Season of Shopping which has come to typify the Christmas experience.

At war

I was extra busy last week, working late into the night on a few occasions, and as so often happens to people who push their bodies too hard I have succumbed to a virus.  (That is, I’m assuming it’s a virus, though it might be bubonic plague.  Except no telltale buboes.)

I have to admit to a fascination with viruses.  Even while trying to rest and groaning in discomfort from the symptoms of an influenza virus there’s a part of my mind engaged in wondering, what’s going on in my cells?  What strain is this – what proteins are spiked along the surface, and why is it that I am susceptible to this particular strain but not another?  Why does Joe have symptoms but not Jane, even though they live together in the same house, sleep in the same bed, and regularly engage in other involving exchange of bodily fluids?  In short, what is it about the receptors on one cell in my body which made it receptive to the virion?

As a consequence of this fascination, I find I cannot hate viruses.  Not even the virus currently inside my body, attempting its version of world domination by finding good cells in which it can replicate.

I have a fever, and I know it’s generally functional for this to occur.  The symptoms I experience are in large part a result of my generally-healthy body’s attempt to return to homeostasis.  Sure, if my temp remains high for an extended period of time I must do something to prevent the types of serious damage that can occur (think of, the brain boiling – which would be a very bad thing).  My general sense of fatigue, too, means my cells are at battle against the invading army.  I know my army will ultimately prevail, and simply need to be patient.

I don’t know exactly why I felt compelled to write about this.  Maybe it’s the fever giving dictation.