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Faithful Freinds June 10, 2006

Posted by Pontiff in local search, Pontification, Search, Usability, user interface.
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This morning I woke up to find Lola, our St. Bernard, had passed away in the back yard. What was I supposed to do? I'd never actually thought about what one does with a 170 lbs animal. Add to that my wife and three small children were returning from buying birthday presents for our 2 year old. Lola, was the size of a horse and was lying pretty much where the children would be frolicking. I felt certain they would notice .

My wife had had a particularly trying day and loved that dog. I did too. What I wasn't going to do was deliver this news on the cell phone where she was sure to have a complete breakdown.

I don't know why but I called my mother who suggested that she would send my 75 year old father over with a shovel at which point we would dig. I pointed out that he needed to pickup some dynamite because in Nashville you hit solid rock between 2 and 3 feet pretty much anywhere. I live in Green Hills and the bedrock is about 14 inches down which would mean we would have to build a tomb. Anyway the web was no help. zero..So through word of mouth I find Chuck and Faithful Friends. He was prompt and thorough and sensitive.

I appreciate what he did today. I'm pretty sure he thinks I'm insane because I a nightmare vision of Marissa and the kids driving up just as we had Lola on the stretcher.

Why am I blogging this? There was no service listed anywhere online in Nashville such as Faithful Friends. If you don't believe me take a look yourself. However it only took two phone calls to narrow in on Chuck. Why is that? Moreover I seriously doubt I was the only person who has ever turned to the web for help finding something that seems like it should be coming up on Google and Yahoo. Chuck's website is brand-new and I hope this post can help someone in similar circumstances.

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Tagging = Mofoo cubed March 15, 2006

Posted by Pontiff in Category, goodness, mofoo, Pontification, tagging, tags, Usability, user interface.
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“But seriously now. If you are serious about using the web and getting the most out of it .. you are aren’t you? I mean I need to know if you are because if your aren’t a serious web user who is willing to make the sacrifices needed to … I might look bad talking to you. Worse I might lose precious mofoo I’ve spent weeks accumulating. So please tell me. We can still be friends only in the non-blogging world… you know.”

“Pontiff why are you so angry? I just said that if you want to get the most from your web experience you need to start tagging. Why did that send you around the bend again? Dude you’ve got to get a grip.”

Web 2.0 = mofoo bullshit March 15, 2006

Posted by Pontiff in mofoo, Pontification, tags, Usability, user interface.
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There’s a lot of yadda yadda about Web 2.0 and blogs being the new way to talk to your customers. Add in all the blogger’s congratulating each other for being cool and part of the “new conversation” one couldn’t be faulted for believing it. But the truth is its not really a conversation the way most people envision it nor is much of this all that usefull to anyone …. yet.

It will get there no doubt but I fear the arrival is terribly slowed by the amount of victory dancers crowding the halls effectively barring the new blood with much needed new thinking . Forging something really useful for normal folks requires an influx of people who don’t spend their time sucking up to other online denizens whom they believe posses mofoo (foo foo dust and mojo) which can be bestowed if only they can copy and and paste enough verbal groveling and genuflecting me tooisms.

The quest for Mofoo is the substance powering this web resurgence and no doubt about it will be the gum to grind things to a halt.

A conversation implies that one can interrogate the other and receive useful information in return. It also implies to me at least a shortcut to formal learning or coursework in order to gain insight into a problem. One has a conversation with ones doctor for instance. “Hey doc, I have a runny nose and feel like shit, what do I do?”

These days that conversation would end up with a prescription but very little useful information. Why? Well have you had a conversation with your doctor lately? No? You mean they don’t return phone calls and you end up trying to explain yourself to a hostile semi literate office worker whose main job is to tell you to call during office hours which are 10 AM to 1:45 PM Monday, Wednesday and every other Friday except in August when the office is closed except for an hour on Thursday.

Well that’s the modern world and thankfully we have the internet to help. I mean I have a runny nose and feel like shit so I decided to find out about this drug called Zyrtec. I could have called my doctor but it was after 2:00 PM and I wasn’t up for the battle with the “medical office worker” skilled at keeping you at bay till you get better or die of other causes.Web 2.0 to the rescue. Right?

I can tune in to the “conversation” on some cool blog with lots of mofoo. Right? Mofoo dudes and dudettes will give me great insights and real human experiences others just like me have had with Zyrtec. So how do I plan to tune into mofoo central? I’m not a search expert because being a search expert is the same thing as doing research and that is the same thing as work. Work is what you do at the office. The net is supposed to be where you get mofoo embued folds clamoring to have a ‘conversation’ regarding your everyday thoughts, feelings and experiences.

I”m not looking for information on how to combat the bite of a south American Bugubugoobo snake but just some info on how to stop a runny nose and if maybe just maybe Zytec could help. Google Blog search to the rescue.

Feast your eyes o seekers of Mofoo and blogging bohemians:.

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The same kind of garbage comes up on Technorati and the worst was on Icerocket. Icerocket not coincidentally is also the blog search enjine with the most Mofoo.

So the word ‘useless’ keeps popping to mind. It took a few hours — really no shit — but I got some info that was sort of useful. For all you mofoo seekers who think you can get some by pointing out something stupid like “hey, if you knew X, Y or Z you would have done R, P or N” then guess what? You can in fact get mofoo that way. Saying stupid and obvious things in ‘conversations’ with other like minded people (there are about 1400 dedicated mofoo seekers and bestowers on Earth which falls short of the 300 million people who use email and sometimes search the web) is a sure fired way to get more mofoo. But my point is that I shouldn’t have to know R, P or N in order to use Web 2.0. It should work without special secret knowledge. I should be able to use common search or at least one of the specialized mofoo search engines staffed with cool cats who can ‘ tag’ and other things to fill up all the free time left on Earth to get real information and be able to easily filter out all the mofoo bullshit being put out on blogs.

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Don’t believe me huh? Then feast your doubting eyes. February 2, 2006

Posted by Pontiff in city planning, nashville, NashvillesNews.net, Pontification, trial lawyer, Urban Planning, Usability.
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Calling all trial lawyers in Nashville!!
Hey!!! You!! That’s right you there behind the ambulance…..

Over here!the sign

So its probably good I didn’t go to law school. I’m really too simple minded for the profession. Lawyers are all right handed. They would say this is a pity but not something you can sue the city over. Besides even if you could someone has to die first. I believe this kind of thing is a lawsuit waiting to happen. I mean people are sued (and found liable) because they have a swimming pool in their back yard that doesn’t have a pad lock when some wino drowns while fleeing an attempted armed robbery after drinking a bottle of tequila . MacDonald’s is liable for scalding some woman’s crotch with 8000 degree coffee even when they have a huge sign saying “This Coffee is Very HOT.”

So why is the city not liable and suable [sic] when the inevitable occurs? No doubt tragedy will stricke while a left handed person is day dreaming and gets confused by the existence of this sign and believes it has some meaning in terms of crossing the street. Is the city of Nashville not at fault when they erect THE STUPIDEST SIGN EVERY CREATED FOR THE PURPOSE OF HELPING PEOPLE CROSS THE STREET IN THE WORST TRAFFIC ON EARTH?

It gets worse.

.bank_of_nashville_sideThis is the view for pedestrians on the other side of the street.

If there was some benefit to this, the stupidest sign on Earth in the worst traffic on Earth, then it’s surely lost to people on the exact (not diagonal but directly across ) side of the street who also could derive some benefit from a sign. And indeed they do have such a sign only it is facing the WRONG WAY.

Now when I say this is the worst traffic on Earth people who’ve never driven through Green Hills probably think I’m using hyperbole or exageratting. I’m not THIS IS THE WORST, MOST HORRID, TRAFFIC IN THE SOLAR SYSTEM AND ITS NOT ENOUGH THAT THE EXISTENCE OF PEDESTRIANS IS ACTIVELY IGNORED IN NASHVILLE THEY’RE DIRECTING THEM INTO TRAFFIC WITH SIGNS POINTED THE WRONG WAY.

So while the city has all the legal and bungling protections the Supreme Court can bestow do all these businesses? Do they have any responsibility to at least write a letter or email someone about the stupidest sign on Earth in the worst traffic on Earth.

Nashville’s user interface part II February 1, 2006

Posted by Pontiff in nashville, NashvillesNews.net, Pontification, Urban Planning, Usability, user interface.
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I’ve asked several level headed types — chiefly my beautiful and brilliant wife — their opinion of the signage issue which I rightly see asĀ  left-handedĀ  vs. right handed and oppression of the aforementioned left-handed minority. Also I’m looking to belabor a point when I don’t really care what they think and I need a way to start an argument.

“Where is it that my left-handed dyslectic logic fails?” (I forgot the part about dyslexia so add that to the list of minorities oppressed by the insensitive user interface design in Nashville.)

If you can spell you will already see something is wrong with me beyond left handedness and general lack of anything better to do than rail against poor working folks trying to make a living by showing us where to cross the street even if they sometimes break the monotony by leading left handed dyslectic types into traffic.

Marissa: “I know which side of the street is south.”

Me: “How?”

Marissa: “I’ve lived here all my life.”

Me: “Huh. What if someone just got to town.”

Marissa: “You can see the interstate sign from that corner.” (note this is typical right handed logic.)

Me: “So to cross the street here you have to look at an unreferenced sign and deduce your north south orientation? Also I lived here all my life before I moved away and couldn’t begin to tell you which direction is north, south or whatever.”

Marissa: “That was before they had interstates.”

Me: “Honey, assume you’re right. You’re not but assume. There’s no difference between the North or the south side in terms of safety. Someone decided that they’d save money by printing up these signs and slapping them on random telephone poles. One sign fits all. Use the South side of the street. Why not east?”

Marissa: “Whether the sides are the same is not relevant to how you can tell which is which. There is no east side of that street. Why would you make a sign that says to cross on a side of the street that doesn’t exist?”