Yahoo Opts Out Of Being Cool

Thanks to Gary at the Balboa Theatre (whose little newsletter is great) for this warning:

On March 28, Yahoo! Groups set everyone’s account to the “Have your advertisers send me mail” option no matter what folks had previously
elected as their preference. Because this has gone from an opt-in service to an opt-out one, if you are a member of a Yahoo! Groups-based email list (or, I
assume, if you have a Yahoo! e-mail account) and have no desire to surrender your inbox to a deluge of mail from Yahoo!’s advertisers, you have to tell them that you don’t want this mail within 60 days — if you don’t say anything, they will just send it.

Here’s how to do it:
– Go to Yahoo Groups ( and sign in.
– Go to My Groups and click on Account Info, verify your password if it asks you to, which will bring up your Yahoo ID card.
– Click on ‘Edit Your Marketing Preferences’ and change all those Yes’s back to No’s.
– Click ‘Save Changes.’

Busy Buzzy Week

I’ve been working a lot of long days lately (Thursday, Monday & today) getting the next version of Central Booking ready for public enjoyment. Fun work except when I’m flyin’ a bit too fast & loose and drive the engineer on my team, Emin, nuts by editing things directly on the future production server instead of pulling them down & FTPing edited versions back up. In my defense I will say that I was just making small changes, many of them related to Moveable Type which I only have on the production server.

After spending much of the last two days installing and configuring Moveable Type, I am more in love with it than ever. Ben and Mena have done an outstanding job. For those comfortable with very basic Unix commands (mkdir, chmod) who want a powerful, flexible content management system with a great, adjustable interface and good documentation, this is an ideal solution.

So, it’s 10pm. I got home at a little before 9pm, I’m pretty tired, I’ve been at the computer many hours over the last two days, and what am I thinking? Oh yes, you know it, “Hmm, maybe I’ll just upgrade my blogs to MT 2.0…”

Silly Dinah. Maybe I better just finish migrating from Blogger first, eh? Um, or even finish getting all that hand-coded content I created pre-Blogger in here? Heh. Erm. Yes, I’ll just go get on it, shall I?

Why are Windows PCs such little tubs of shit?

I am so ready to buy a Mac. All I needed to do tonight after I got home was connect my little flash card reader to my computer and transfer off my pictures from SXSW so I could lend the camera to Edmond. I even have the software disk that came with the damn thing.

I have restarted 5 times. Reinstalled the software 3 times. Still the stupid brick can’t see the device.

On a Mac, I would plug the cord in the USB port and it would just work. Don’t believe me? Read this account of making the switch from PC to Mac.

My goddamned computer has me practically in tears and using language that would make a sailor blush.
I’m tired & stressed.
I’m broke.
I’ll probably be broke all summer if not for the rest of the year.
I have $9000 in credit card debt.

No Mac for me. Not these days.

So, universe, how about if this piece of shit computer would just work how it’s supposed to, huh?

I love public transit.

Yesterday I left my company car at work and rode the train home. It was fantastic. I spent the time reading through the SF Weekly and noting in my planner* events & exhibits I’d like to see. Very relaxing. My bus ride home was easy and I had a friendly chat with George, a 1971 graduate of Humboldt University, I think in Computer Science, who is currently living a rough life, mostly on the street. Despite being on the way to the clinic to have his face treated from having been “sucka punched”, he was cheerful, funny and upbeat. “I’ve been through some stuff, but it keeps life interesting!”

This morning I walked the few blocks over to Van Ness in the lovely sunshine and caught a bus that came within a minute of reaching the stop. The bus developed a problem with leaking refrigerant and when someone pointed it out to the driver, in the next block he rolled down his window and called across to a Muni person sitting in her truck. About 5 minutes down the route, another bus pulled in behind us and our driver said “Okay folks, my bus has a problem. Just change to the bus behind me.” We all trooped off the first and onto the second which continued the route. Total time lost: less than 1 minute. Rock on, Muni!

I walked off the bus, across the street and onto the train. Total elapsed time from my house? About 15 or 20 minutes. Once on the train, I took an upstairs seat and settled in with my bag** as a desk. En route, in the morning sun, I added into my planner all the contact information from the business cards I collected at SXSW. At my station, I walked off the train and onto a free shuttle which dropped me off a couple blocks from my office in Santa Clara. During the ride & the walk, I took care of a tedious phone task: calling PacBell to have an old bill discrepancy cleared up.

So I arrived at work relaxed and with some silly little busywork chores out of the way, having enjoyed sunshine & smiles from the drivers & conductors along the way. Ahhhh… much better than driving.

*I use Life Balance and Datebook+ on the Palm OS (Handspring Prism hardware).

**The Clive Traffic is my bag of choice. Comfortable, with a wide strap across the chest. Convenient, with a clip to unhook the strap so you can pass it around your body & reclip to provide a secure work surface (the back of the bag) in your lap while riding the train. Note: move your mobile phone from the strap pocket to the side-of-bag pocket so you don’t have a lump behind you.

Bike Bags & Boobs

I’m havin’ a bitch of a time finding any info on whether or not busty women can comfortably wear bike messenger bags. Anyone got any experience one way or another? I just keep thinking of my old car which had the seatbelt mounted in just the wrong place and made me feel like it was trying to saw me into being an amazon archer.

I don’t want to just get some old cheapie school backpack a) because they fall apart too fast and b) because they have no style. Oh and I am experiencing serious geek toy coveting towards those Timbuk2 bags, but I just walked down to the Harley dealership on Van Ness and tried one on and it is as uncomfortable as I feared.

Chapter Foo, in which I begin to appreciate Microsoft products a bit more…

I usually bad-mouth IE5 because it took a great leap backwards in its support of Cascading Style Sheets (dorks!) and Windows 98 is frequently irritating (backwards compatability, my ass), but something has happened which has given me a new appreciation for them. I just got home from a hard week at work and sat down to grade my students final projects (so I can be done with this working two jobs nonsense) when I discovered that my trackball had died. Well, more accurately, that the wheel which directs the cursor up and down had died. I can click the bottom 20 pixels of my screen anywhere I want, but anything else is out of the question. I could have switched to a mouse. I could have gone out and bought a new trackball (though, really, Kensington, this ought to have had a much longer lifespan). Instead, I’m navigating the web and my computer with keyboard commands. So far, it’s working really well and I’m rather impressed. It’s also giving me more appreciation of the web experience for those who find mousing difficult. It’s probably better for my hands too!