caro thinks

Unnamed, 2001/09/09:23:11

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now in bloom on my patio
Brugmansia flowers make fantastic bouquets. They're extravagantly frilly and pretty upturned in a vase. And as evening comes, even the cut specimens are fragrant. "Plena" is especially nice, because you get to see down inside the trumpet to the inner twist of petals.

Another nice thing is that there are so many flowers that I don't mind cutting off a handful. I took 6 blossoms off my brugmansia tonight. They're slightly green still, another thing I hadn't noticed before.
on being a woman
Why aren't women supposed to be muscular?

Because then then would be strong. They might be able to take care of themselves. They might even be able to fend off an attacking man. That wouldn't be good.

And they might make men feel insecure about their own strength. That would be terrible. Really, it's a direct, deliberate assault, organized by Women Everywhere, most especially feminists, on defenseless, innocent men.

How do you keep women from being muscular? It's easy. Tell them they're weak, from the time they're born. Babies have no reason to distrust the assertions of their elders. If you start early enough, they'll absorb the information wordlessly, so it'll be inaccessible later. Tell them they are uncoordinated. Prove it by putting them in dresses and slippery plastic shoes.

Tell women that men love curves. Conveniently leave out the fact that muscles curve, that the stronger the human being the more curvaceous he or she is, and it is only emaciated people who are angular.

Tell them they're fat. That will make them stop eating, which will sap their energy and cause them to digest their own muscle tissue. Tell them that it is meat, especially, that is fattening. Don't ever tell them what football players and weightlifters eat. Get them to eat lots and lots of carbohydrates, and as that makes them fatter and fatter, tell them that it was that one ounce of meat that they ate last week that is causing them to get fat.

If women do start to put on any muscle at all, tell them that they look like men and are no longer attractive. Use phrases like "Too much field hockey!" and "Do I smell testosterone?" Teach little girls to say similar things to each other. That way, any particular man need only get peripherally involved. The constant focus on whether women are really really fat or only just kind of fat, also conveniently diverts attention from the fact the vast majority of men are fat and out of shape, and half of those are quite obese; they can thereby continue to pig out on donuts without fear of censure. Any woman who dares to suggest that a man could stand to exercise puts herself at risk of having her own fat highlighted.

Make pregnancy a cultural taboo: it's ok to have kids, but you're really butt-ugly when you're pregnant and of course no man could be attracted to you in that hideous state. Never, ever, observe that a man puts fat on in exactly the same way that a pregnant woman does, and if he drinks enough beer and eats enough pie he'll look just like one.
new business cards are really cute
Objectivity looks great
visited with Farsam
did some advertising in La Jolla
I was keeping a 7-foot-tall jade tree on my neighbor's patio for a while. She seemed to like it, and she didn't have much of anything else aside from the roses and impatiens and carissa I had planted in her little plot, and I didn't have room for it on my patio. I was going to bring it in the house, but decided I could probably sell it for about $100 at my yard sale. A few days after I made that decision, I got home from running and noticed one of our illegal immigrant laborers (who normally does the plumbing or the carpet installation for the complex) "trimming" on my neighbor's patio. She had hired this guy before, to do an astoundingly pathetic job, pointing out to me "It was only ten dollars!" Yeah. I bet it was.

Anyway, I listened to the snipping as I rinsed the sand off my feet, and I had visions of the rose bushes being formed into tattered balls--just in time for the winter nongrowth season! Oh, well. Yes, I took care of the roses and the other plants all year for free, but, after all, she's the one who will have to look out the window at it for the next 4 months, not me.

But later on, I happened to look over the wall, and spied the most obscene sight. He had cut the jade tree in HALF! My jade tree!

I had all along harbored a suspicion that the illegal immigrants didn't any of them have any horticultural training at all, and that the vast majority of the ones who ended up in the landscaping business were among the very stupidest of people. But the sight of that graceful, curvacious, elegant jade tree, CHOPPED IN HALF inserted a new suspicion into my brain: they are completely nuts.

There is only the very slightest chance that my neighbor mistakenly thought that I not only was tending to her garden for free, but that I had also actually given the jade tree to her. There is a MUCH better chance that she had said to this man, "Here's ten dollars. Just give everything a trim," and then left him to his own devices, such as they were. And after he got done pulling out all of the mint and hacking the roses to bits, he turned to the only other vegetation on the patio: a perfectly-formed, naturally-shaped, POTTED PLANT.

So now, maybe I can get about twenty dollars or so for this monstrosity, and I don't want it in my house. Farsam was begging for plants when he got here. As he was leaving, I tried to make him take the jade tree, but our hands were full and he was too tired to deal with it. So there it sits, with that fat white cross-section glaring accusingly out at eye-level.
in progress
mailing Objectivity
reviewing new submitted revisions for Annual Meeting Proceedings
slick tshirt plans


  1. Never make the word 'here' or the phrase 'click here' a clickable link. Whatever word is made the link is highlighted. The automatic highlighting effect of the HTML linking mechanism should be used to highlight the important words in a document. You get the highlighting for free; you don't even have to change the colors manually. So you may as well take advantage of it.

    Here's why:

    1. The reader's eye is drawn to (listen up, objecti-types) that which is distinguishable from its background. Observe:


    Click here to see a great web site about men's emotional inadequacies.


    I found a great web site about men's emotional inadequacies.

    2. Most pages have more than one link. If the "Click here" highlighting strategy is used, a glance over the whole page shows two or three or 30 highlighted 'here's. Since every instance of 'here' looks just like every other, the reader has to look past the eye-catching, highlighted text to read the normal text that explains what this particular 'here' points to. This process becomes particularly tedious when a single paragraph (or sentence!) contains several clickable 'here's, thus:
    To get a copy of my essay click here and to hear the mp3 click here. And here is my latest work on propositions.
    The problem is that it's not easily discernible which 'here' belongs to which description. See?

    I thought this was an obvious feature of html, but I feel as though I'm seeing increasing numbers of professionally and casually designed web pages with the words 'click here' highlighted. (The one linked to above does this, which is why I was reminded to make a note of the problem.)

    The principle may be summed up like this: The highlight itself should tell the reader why it is highlighted, and why she should click it.

  2. Put the link where the directions for the link are.
    The following paragraph is from the First USA site:
    Add/Cancel Access Your cards that are currently accessible via Cardmember Services Online are listed below. To add a card, click on
    the Enter A Card That is Not Listed link. This will take you to a new page where you must enter the required information to add a card for online access. To remove, simply click on the Remove button. To add or update a nickname for the card (e.g., "Bill's Visa."), enter the nickname in the field next to the card number. When you have finished entering nicknames for all your cards, click on the Update Profile button.
    The names of the links are in bold face, but they aren't links. The actual link is inexplicably at the bottom of the page, underneath a whole bunch of other information. Since they have a big menu on the left side, and fancy imitation manilla folder tabs all over the place, I had to look for the link for 5 minutes. I presume I don't need to explain why that's a bad thing.
The second kind of mistake is different than the first one, although they both result in user frustration. The first one is probably due to a failure to consider the user's point of view. The second one is most likely due to the failure of the web site builders to make the transition from paper documents to hypertext.
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