Two tips

Do you live in the Berkeley area and have a car to wash? I recommend the Car Wash Benefit for the Options Recovery Services, which takes place every non-rainy Saturday morning and early afternoon. The wash is thorough, the service is friendly, and the money goes to a good cause. (I took a few pictures of the scene.)

Using a single website like travelocity to compare airfares used to be enough for me. Lately, I've started using Cheap flights and more with the Booking Buddy airfare comparison tool to help me a whole slew of travelocity-like sites.

A Bible in my Palm (Pilot)

Last night, I picked up my Bible for the first time in a little while. I read my small travel Bible, which has the tiny print needed for portability. Looking for a more legible way to read scripture in bed, I looked for an online Bible to access from my phone. (I've gotten to enjoy reading the BBC News online, so I figured that reading the Bible online might work too.) I found, which was good for some basic access but did not strike me as suitable for extended reading. I decided this morning that it was time to install Bible software on my Treo 600 so I can read the Bible without having to access the internet. The helpful review Bible Software for Palm OS review and comparison got me to try Olive Tree Bible Software. I've downloaded and installed the free King James version. I'll decide whether to shell out $16 for the (New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) module.

For reading the Bible on my notebook computer, I'll use - Bible Study Tools because the website gives access to the NRSV. I wish the Bibletoolbar for FireFox would be able to point to the NRSV, which, alas, is not available through

More deliberate blogging

Last Saturday, I wrote on my wiki about Hopes for a bright blogging future:

    Over the last couple of months, I've been keeping my blogs going mostly through writing tiny entries about seemingly random topics. Sometimes, I wrote about an article I read, a book I just took out from the library, or a picture I just took. In the past, I have tackled more lofty subjects. I still have ambitions of writing larger pieces covering themes sustained over time and reflecting some orderly progression of thought. I have been keeping a running list of topics for my weblogs with the hope of crafting logical series of blog entries. I am hesitant to promise any massive changes in my blogging patterns, waiting to see whether I can bring my blogging reality in line with my blogging vision.

Today, I'm sorting through two running lists of potential blogging topics (one for my personal blog and one for my professional blog). There are certainly pros and cons to putting a topic in a queue to be prioritized instead of immediately writing about it. On the plus side, I have an opportunity to write on a larger, more coherent, scale, recognizing items of greater significance. I avoid being bounced around so much by the deluge of everyday events that may not have any discernible long term significance. My readers might also enjoy hearing from me less often -- but when they do, they get something worth their reading. (A model that comes to mind is the justly praised occasional essays by Joel Spolsky.) The downside of being more deliberate in my writing is that some of the most important part of my readership (my family and close friends!) are interested in hearing from me, even if it is about the little things in life. Moreover, as I look at the list of topics, I regret not writing about certain topics; there is something to said for the spontaneity of the every day that I would not want to lose with a new blogging style.

We are in Pittsburgh

Laura and I flew from Oakland to Pittsburgh yesterday so that we can celebrate our wedding with some Pittsburgh friends and family who couldn't make it to our California wedding in May. It's muggy here but not so bad as I thought it would be. At any rate, it's wonderful to have a change of scene.

A Flickr gathering in SF last night

Laura and I attended the Flickr demo @ the San Francisco Apple Store last night. As often happens, intense interaction online leads to a desire to get together in the same room. I was very curious to see who would be folks like us who would take the time and effort to see with our eyes not only the staff of Flickr but also our fellow Flickrites. Laura and I didn't want to rush to make the 6pm start time. Neither did we stay on for drinks at 111 Minna.

Below is my sparse collection of pictures of the event. Because my own pocket 5MP Pentax is at the shop right now, I was largely abstaining from what was predictably the most commonly engaged activity in the room: snapping photos of the event. When I did have the urge, I was left taking low resolution, badly lit cameraphone pictures:

SF Apple Store

superhero presenting her photos

Andrea Sher (aka superhero)

Laura taking pictures at SF Apple Store

Stewart and Eric

Stewart Butterfield in front of uploaded pictures

A note on tagging pictures for the event. Since I hadn't seen any requests to tag photos of the event in a certain manner along with the announcement of the event, I was wondering how to tag my pictures. By consulting the list of hot tags from the last 24 hours, I figured that 'sflickr' must be the tag folks have been using. By looking at Flickr: Photos tagged with sflickr, I learned that sflickr has been used to tag pictures associated with the San Francisco Flickr User Group, which has been having meetings, including an upcoming one tomorrow. Because the sflickr tag is generic (see clusters of photos marked by 'sflickr'), I wanted a way to mark photos from just last night. Upon a cursory search, I didn't see anyone tagging pictures from last night in a way to distinguish them from other meetups, I decided to use sflickr20050802 as a way of doing so.