Web Content in Real Life

As website owners have been trying to find the right mix of content – or words that people would actually want to read – for their shopping sites, I encountered an example of this going in the other direction. I saw an in-store display of online content in the teen section of a department store. These short, helpful articles added to the shopping experience, and ideally convinced customers to buy the nearby products.

Pardon My French

Whenever someone utters some profanity – almost always words we have heard before – and follows it by “pardon my French,” my first thought is that what they said is not French. Sometimes I even say that. This is not just something that bugs me, but I wanted to know where it came from. It seems to have evolved from a general animosity between the English and the French. The context for this expression is that anything coarse or vulgar is French. But it makes no sense that Americans say this.

Naming Things 101

I came across a podcast with a name that someone thought was overly clever. It was from a Chamber of Commerce and someone was proud of their slightly punny name. There was one problem. They sacrificed meaning for the joke. A podcast is about sharing information to a broader audience than might otherwise hear from you. And what did they call it? The Echo Chamber.

Woman Arrested for Cooking Naked. In a Stranger’s House.

A woman in Arizona broke into a stranger’s house and was standing in the kitchen. Naked. Cooking. She thought she had broken into her boyfriend’s house. She was unsure which was his house, as they had only met a few days before at the Circle K. She was pretty sure his name was Mike.

12 Years A Blog

I started another version of this blog 12 years ago. It has been on various platforms and on various domains. It is filled with missing photos and broken links, because on a personal blog with nearly 1500 posts, it is just not worth tracking all that stuff down and fixing it. Most of the recent posts have limited outside links and images, so I won’t have to worry about this kind of thing 12 years from now.

Even Google Knows It’s My Birthday

A couple of years ago I made my birthday private on social media because I no longer wanted to participate in the birthday industrial complex driven by social media. Consequently, that means that I only get a handful of birthday calls and texts from people who don’t need a reminder that today is my birthday. But the number of commercial messages has increased. My dentist, my insurance company, my university, an app I’ve never used, and even an airline have sent birthday messages. There is even a Google doodle on the search page with a birthday graphic and alt text that says, Happy Birthday Jeff, when you roll over the graphic with your mouse. I guess I can’t avoid the birthday wishes in the digital world.

Who Shares Your Birthday?

Growing up in a time before there was internet it was hard to know who shared your birthday. If I were a bigger sports fan, maybe I would have had some sports book that listed all the baseball players’ birthdays. But I had to rely on Dynamite magazine and books like TV Stars of the 1970s. I was not able to find anyone who shared my birthday. I had to accept proximity, as Sally Struthers, Gloria on All in the Family, was born on July 28. About 20 years ago I discovered that I shared a birthday with a famous young wizard because the author of this new series gave him her own birthday. And today I can easily find a list of 230 people who share my birthday.