Thursday, December 30, 2010

Wine Tasting

A great day with the Osgood's (of K Syrah Syrah Vineyards) and the Boyd's (of Boyd Family Winery). We visited Elyse Winery and Darioush Winery. Elyse was a smaller production winery with a specialty for Rhone grape varietals. Everything we tried was outstanding. We especially enjoyed the Rhone varietal blends. Darioush has an amazing (albeit over the top) property, which sent up warning flags to us; but their wine is delicious - unfortunately a tad overpriced. We had a barrel tasting there which was extra special.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Facebook Like and Advertising Collisions

I thought I'd post this problem to the Internet to see what response, if any, I would get. I've spent hours "chasing ghosts" with it, and have not been able to identify a good set of repeatable steps to recreate the problem (thus, it is difficult to pin-point and fix). I'm hoping that keyword searches will bring people who might be searching for information on this problem to this post. Please comment or email me directly if you have any insight on this issue.

The Problem
Facebook Like buttons swap and/or interfere with Google Adsense Ads and other advertising (ie: Halogen). The problem is intermittent and difficult to reproduce, but it seems to happen more often than not when the button on a browser is used. This could be navigating to an external site and clicking to return or navigating from within the site. It is not browser specific and has been seen in Internet Explorer 8, Firefox 3.6, Safari, and Chrome.

The Screenshots
This is what a normal webpage looks like. Notice there is a banner ad on top, a Facebook Like button/link under the blog title, and some advertising in the right margin.

This is what one of the problem pages looks like. It is the s
ame page as above, but the Facebook Like button/link has replaced the banner ad, Google Ads has replaced the Facebook Like button (thus causing the Twitter button to wrap), and the right margin advertising is not rendering.

Here is another rendition of the problem. The Facebook Like button/link has been replaced with a banner ad that is far too large for the space; thus pushing the Facebook Like too far to the right, the Twitter button has been pushed to the right margin, and right margin advertising is not rendering.

By all estimates, not very many regular users experience this problem. Nevertheless, it exists and it is a problem I would like to pin-point and eliminate.

Have you seen or experienced this before on your website, and do you know what might be causing it?

Friday, December 3, 2010


My recent new job has meant a new commute to get used to. It is one, however, that is far more difficult than I could have ever anticipated. My new job is in the Potrero Hill district of San Francisco, and I have to get there from the Sunset district. Sounds easy enough as it is across town and only 4.5 miles away, right? Wrong.

I have tried to use MUNI to get to work, but it is unreliable and very unpleasant. On average it takes 1.5hrs to go this distance using MUNI, and can sometimes take as long as 2hrs! That is unacceptable for a city to city trip in my opinion. People who I work with are arriving to work in less time from San Jose using Caltrain! I have tried to take the 71 or 71L to the 22 Fillmore, the N-Judah to the 22 Filmore, and my least favorite - the N-Judah to the 19 Polk. The 19 Polk may as well be called the 19 Skidrow as it is the most...colorful...bus ride in the city, filthy, and consistently smells like weed and booze at all hours.

To further complicate things, MUNI has started requiring the use of Clipper Cards to pay for transit. In a strange twist of backward technology, it takes 3 days for money deposited to the Clipper Card online to be usable on the card! So if I decide right now that I want to re-up my Clipper Card so I can go out and use it, MUNI will take my money immediately but I will not be able to use those funds for 3 days. Waiting 3 days is absurd. The bank doesn't even take that long to cash an out of state check! This must be fixed.

With all the business flourishing in Potrero Hill, you'd expect there to be more reliable public transportation to and from the neighborhood. For as long as I've been in San Francisco, Potrero Hill has been "up & coming". I believe it will remain stuck in this status (for better or for worse) for as long as the public transportation is insufficient.

It is so sad to me that there is a public transit system in this city that I cannot use. This dilemma has unfortunately forced me to ride either my motorcycle or my car to work everyday, while the trend is to use public transportation when you can. Some people have suggested I take a bicycle, but the city streets are far too dangerous in my opinion for a bike.

So much for being green.