Non-Fatal Errors

My article on error messages is one of the features on Writers UA (aka WinWriters) this month. It's gratifying that what began as an annoyance (i.e., bad error messages) has grown into an STC conference presentation, an article in the Proceedings, and an online feature. I got some really positive feedback on my conference session earlier this year, and I'm hoping to have the chance to give it again sometime.


Boylan's Seltzer Mon Amour

After several months of serious frugality (all funds going either to rent or to the business), I've started to allow myself a few indulgences here and there--a burrito from Mariachi's, a two-pound bag of almonds, coffee that costs more than $4.50 a pound. My current favorite splurge is Boylan's seltzer, which I stumbled upon in Fog City News last week. (I resisted the urge to buy foreign chocolate while there; I'm not yet feeling quite that flush.)

The seltzer itself is great--the text on the bottle promising "pin-point carbonation" isn't lying--but I'm especially smitten with the bottles. They're embossed glass with painted-on labels: blue for plain, green for lime, orange for, well, orange. If you ignore the bar code, Nutrition Facts label, and little pink distribution stamp, you'd think the bottles came straight out of 1955. They're delectibly unlike anything else on the market, and for that reason alone are worthy of decorating my kitchen windowsill.

They're also more than $1 a pop, which means I'll need to reign in my consumption sooner or later, especially as rent will soon be due. But for now, I'll enjoy the bottle of orange I've just opened as I sit down to watch the DVD I borrowed--for free!--from the library. Priceless.