September 29, 2008
RSS Magic Mixes and Reclaiming the Blogging Mojo
I was horrified to see how blogging has dropped off at this blog. It's odd because I really do enjoy blogging and wish I had more time in my schedule for it. The last 6 months have been very busy and I have to prioritize. I find that this blog suffers the most for it. I'm not going to promise to do better because I'm not sure I can keep that promise, but I do hope I will find more time.
However, there may be another dynamic at work. I have mentioned before that I aggressively prune my blogroll from time to time. Recently I did another purge and dropped several blogs that I had subscribed to for a long time (2 or more years). In some cases the blogs had changed--new co-bloggers who were diluting the posts of interest, or a dropoff in blogging activity (much like my own). In other cases, it was simply a recognition that I wasn't getting as much from the blog as I used to, and I am aggressively trying to skinny up the amount of time I spend in Bloglines to free up time elsewhere.
Perhaps the purge may have gone too far, because I'm finding less things in my Bloglines account that I feel compelled to blog. It seems like there is a magic mix of RSS subscriptions that yields a steady diet of bloggable items. Too many subscriptions, and I drown in infoglut. Too few subscriptions, or the wrong mix of subscriptions, and I find less blogging inspiration. I fear my last purge screwed up the secret sauce, and now I'm trying to figure out how to get my Bloglines mojo back.
September 11, 2008
Two Vegetarian Products I'm Not Likely to Try
1) KFC Canada is launching a new "Classic Vegetarian Sandwich" made of soy chicken. This is the result of negotiations with PETA, which has had KFC in its sights for some time. This move reminds me a little of Burger King's launch of a veggie burger a few years ago. I must confess I never tried it (my wife did and gave it lukewarm reviews), and I'm not likely to try KFC's offering either if they bring it to the States.
I've tried to determine why I'm so reluctant to support these new offerings from the fast food chains, and I came up with a few reasons. First, it may reflect the strength of my brand perceptions of these chains as a place for meat-eaters, not me. Thus, a single offering for me can't overcome the deeply contrary brand perceptions. Second, at least with KFC, the smell of fried chicken is so powerfully set in my memory that I really can't contemplate going into a KFC and enjoying my vegetarian meal amidst the odor. Finally, I am suspicious of restaurants that don't "get" vegetarians that they won't do a good job keeping meaty products out of the vegetarian food (recall McDonald's fiasco with the beef-fat drenched french fries after they had said their fries were vegetarian).
So thanks KFC Canada for the effort. I hope it's a great success in getting crossover business from die-hard chicken eaters. Sorry I can't be more supportive.
2) A product on the market: Vegetarian Scottish Haggis. You can buy a (very expensive) can at Amazon. If you don't recall, haggis is...well, it's too gross for me to write, so check out the definition here. I find it impossible to believe that any haggis-eater would ever become vegetarian and thus want to replicate the experience. (This reminds me a little of the Hufu product). At the same time, I can't imagine any vegetarian getting a craving for haggis. Even if it got rave reviews from my closest vegetarian friends, I can't imagine giving it a try. So who in the world would buy this?
September 02, 2008
Marquette Law Faculty Blog
Congratulations to my former colleagues at Marquette for the launch of the Marquette University Law School Faculty Blog, which looks like it is off to a promising start.
September 01, 2008
Best of Mountain View 2008
The local paper (the Mountain View Voice) published its Best of Mountain View edition. The best businesses. The best restaurants. As usual, these are generally competent lists of where we go as locals:
* House of Bagels (just down the street from us) satisfies even bagel snobs
* Hobee's is my favorite destination for business breakfasts
* Amici's pizza has become our standard lunch when we have parties at home. Their vegan pizza is pretty good.
* the Mountain View farmer's market is really terrific. We love biking to it on wonderfully sunny Sunday mornings. However, for more cost-effective and convenient produce just over the border, we're new fans of Foothill Produce next to Trader Joe's on Homestead, under new management by one of the key buyers from the Milk Pail. The prices are ridiculously low compared to the farmer's market.
* we were a little disappointed with Garden Fresh for a while, but it seems to have righted the ship and once again is a favorite vegan option. Among other things, we like the basil rolls, the vegetable curry soup and the Mongolian chicken (similar to the Hunan Chicken, also a favorite). I also like the "complimentary" tofu and corn chowder that starts the meal when you eat-in.