Thursday, August 6th, 2009
I took some photos this evening of the I-75/N Main re-construction.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
News flash — Progressive Roofing (937-554-7964) is scummy enough to send out poorly edited (e.g., "Dayton based buisness [sic]"), unsolicited SPAM by fax. Of course if you're desperate enough that you can afford only $249 to repair your roof, their "$249 Leak Stopper (some restrictions apply)" might be just what you're looking for.
Wednesday, August 12th, 2009
Trash
Trash

I happened to look out the window as I was sitting at my computer working and I saw a guy toss a plastic bottle onto the sidewalk and then get into a car with his family. Sometimes I wonder just who it is that litters since I know that my family certainly taught me that littering was wrong. Well these are the kind of people who litter — this guy and apparently also his family, who didn’t think anything of his having done so.

Trashy people
Trashy people

I decided to go pick up the bottle, and by the time I got to it, these trashy people had driven up to the traffic light at the end of the street. Rather than try to chase them down I took out my cell phone and snapped a photo of their car. Don’t know if they saw me doing so. Probably they didn’t give a damn even if they did. I was too far away to get a clear enough shot to read the license plate, but next time, if there is one, I’ll get closer.

The trashy guy’s bottle ended up in my office’s recycle bin.

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

I just got an inexpensive tripod, so I decided I’d experiment with some night photography. Here’s a fun shot of the Dayton skyline at night from my balcony:


(Click to embiggen)

Wednesday, August 19th, 2009
Click to read my review of this book

Although I’ve been lax in updating the “What I’m reading” section of my website, I have, in fact, continued to read quite a bit, most recently a fun book by Michael Arditti, The Enemy of the Goodread my mini-review of it.

Wednesday, August 19th, 2009
Today’s bonus blog post consists of some photos of the flowers on my balcony plus a bonus shot of a nearby building’s rooftop pool, abandoned for the moment because of the rain.
Click on any of the above photos to embiggen them.
Thursday, August 20th, 2009
Dayton Daily News FAIL #3 (See DDN Fail #1 and #2)
Useless DDN search field:

Useless DDN search results:

Useful Google search results:

(Click any of the above to embiggen.)

My friend John was quoted today in the Dayton Daily News in a piece by Joanne Huist Smith about a planned historical marker for famous lesbian Daytonian Natalie Barney. He told me about the article, and so I went to the DDN website to look for it. Entered “Natalie Barney” in the handy dandy search field at the top of every DDN webpage, clicked on the “SEARCH” button (powered by YAHOO!) and got…   nothing related to Natalie Barney whatsoever.

So I popped over to Google and searched for “site:daytondailynews.com Natalie Barney,” and sure enough, the article for which I was looking was the very first result.

So what does this prove? Well, first, it proves that Google’s better than YAHOO! for searching, which is no big surprise. But it’s yet another illustration of the Cox Ohio media team’s web-ineptness. How difficult could it possibly be for them to come up with a search function in-house that includes the articles published most recently on their own website? Yes, they’re no New York Times (they’re really no New York Times!), but why wouldn’t they want to copy some of the features of nytimes.com?

This illustrates something else as well, namely that Google News, instead of being a threat to newspapers by aggregating their content, is actually an asset to newspapers by making it easier for newspapers’ readers to find the content on newspapers’ websites. Plus it shows that Cox Ohio made a poor bargain when they chose to out-source their search to YAHOO!.

Friday, August 21st, 2009
My co-worker Anita brought her new daughter Addy into work today, and Anita also brought ice cream for a certain big baby Anita works with who kept pestering Anita to bring ice cream. Thanks, Anita!
(Click any photo above to embiggen)
Sunday, August 23rd, 2009

I’m sure some people (probably many of the same people who’d be surprised a church like mine does river baptisms) would say this cool October-like weather in August means global warming isn’t real. What they don’t realize is that it isn’t global warming but rather climate change and unusually cool August days are not evidence there’s no climate change (plus what about the unusually hot summer in the Pacific Northwest?). At any rate, the show must go on, and Cross Creek’s annual river baptism did go on, as witnessed by the photos I took.

Monday, August 24th, 2009
Seems to me that anyone who talks about “traditional marriage” ought not to have an untraditional one himself.
Saturday, August 29th, 2009
Dayton Daily News FAIL #4 (See DDN Fail #1, #2 and #3)
On today’s DDN homepage is a link to an editorial:

But if you click the link, the page doesn’t exist:

(Click any of the above to embiggen.)

Earlier this month I wrote about an annoying Dayton Daily News fail involving the search function on their site. This morning I found that in addition to it’s sometimes not being possible to use their search to find stories you know exist on their site, it's also impossible to rely on the links the DDN staff themselves put up on their site.

As you can see from the screen shots to the right, one of today’s “Stories you’ll want to read” is an editorial that declares that “Ohio pensions already cost enough.” Well, for once, this was indeed a story I wanted to read (many of the stories they think I’ll want to read, I really have no interest in), so I clicked on the link… and found myself on a helpful page that told me they couldn’t find the page I requested and perhaps the story I wanted was “an older news story” and thus no longer available except in the DDN archives. Brilliant.

Also, don’t try going to the DDN Opinion page, where the top listing under “Local editorials and commentaries” is this same “Ohio pensions already cost enough” article, because the link there also does not work.

And, God forbid, do not try typing “Ohio pensions already cost enough” in the (un)helpful search box at the bottom of their “We can’t find the page you requested” page, because if you do, you’ll be redirected to a page that says “Page Not Found — We’re sorry. The Web address you entered is not a functioning page on our site.” How helpful is it to include a search function on your 404 page when the search function DOES NOT WORK!!

Rule #1 of web development, Cox Ohio Media — whenever you update something on the web, go test it immediately afterwards. No one’s perfect (I don’t even claim to be), and because we all make mistakes, we need to check our work. I’m no newspaper guru, but I understand that in the olden days, this was often done by a proofreader. I do develop websites myself for a living (and yes, sometimes make mistakes), but every single time I create a link, I check it after publishing it to make sure it works, especially if it’s a link I’m highlighting (as in something such as “Stories you’ll want to read”).

The Dayton Daily News, a never-ending source of material for my Web design (bad) tag.

Monday, August 31st, 2009

I’m not allowed to call people names on esrati.com, but on my site, I may do as I please, and I just have to say—especially after hearing people agree that the 2nd Amendment means individuals have the right to bear any kind of arms whatsoever, including nuclear ones—that some people are truly idiots.

 
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david@davidlauri.com