Friday, December 15, 2006

Fun at Burger King

When I visit Burger King, I usually use the drive-thru, and I always order the sausage, egg, and cheese Croissanwich. And every time, the voice answers back "a sausage croissant?" After a couple of times, I quit answering "Yes" and just continued with my order.

This last time, I was taking my daughter out for breakfast so we dined in. I asked the loser kid (you know that a 20 something working at BK at 8:30 AM on a weekday isn't a college student - it's his career) behind the counter for my usual. Instead of the expected response, he said "You know it's actually a croissant."

I looked at him for a second, and then I went off. "Oh my god! Did you just correct me? Did you just correct a customer? Don't you think I can read the menu? What does it say? Turn around and look! It says CROISSANWICH, not croissant! Some suit at corporate spent a lot of time and money coming up with that name, and 20 lawyers worked to copyright it, and you are correcting me? It's just a croissant? If I want a Whopper, do I just order a fucking bun? Manager! Can I get the manager here? Get this zit covered kid away from me and my food, and get me a god damn croissanwich!"

Well, that's what I wanted to say. But, because my daughter was with me (and to avoid the inevitable spit in the food), I just said "Oh, the sign says croissanwich. You may want to correct it", and I went on with the order.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Fun with Aggregators

For a long time, I used Bloglines to read blogs and news feeds, but I switched to NewsGator back in the spring. I liked the interface better - especially the fact that an article wasn't marked read as soon as I looked at the list. It was tough when I got behind on something and there were 40 or 50 articles to catch up on. I had to read them all at one sitting or risk losing them.

NewsGator never automatically marked anything read, which I liked. I would read the article and mark it manually. However, it wouldn't save articles until I got to them; it would only show the articles currently in the feed. For example, Techmeme only lists their last eight articles in their feed, but they may push out 20-30 a day. Whenever I checked that feed, it always contained 8 articles - the last eight posted. I missed untold numbers of postings. Their support team said that they were going to fix it, but nothing happened for months.

Yesterday, I switched to Google Reader. They made some improvements over the earlier version I tried a while ago, and so far I'm quite happy with it. It is the best of both worlds in that it remembers all of the articles until I get to them, plus it doesn't mark the whole list read (unless you want it to). Also, it will mark a single article as read when I click the heading to read it.

I'll see how it goes.


I forgot to mention that I had a real tough time getting the OPML file containing all of my feeds out of NewsGator. First, I had problems saving it. Then, when I tried to import into Google, I was told that there was a file error. Turns out NG had included a body tag pair in the file. I removed those and the import ran. However, for some reason it only loaded the first 45 feeds. I found that a character in the 46th feed entry had been changed to a box. Windows displays this character when the code points to an unprintable one. It could have been anything, even an ASCII 00. Anyway, I fixed it and tried again. It got farther down the list, but stopped again on another box character. I found eight more before all feeds were loaded. Google did a good job of reading the categories, so I didn't have to mark anything.