RogueApron On A Hot Night

Last night I attended RogueApron‘s Mama Mediterranean dinner, which included lemon basil infused vodka, delicious lamb kebabs, rich moussaka, and handmade biscotti and panna cotta for dessert. The food, drink, and company were all fantastic, as was the atmosphere of the lovely garden at the host home. Atlanta weather cooperated by holding back the rains, but didn’t spare the heat. I left my camera at home this time so that I’d have more time to eat and socialize, but as usual Broderick captured the event with some amazing photographs:

welcome shot on Flickr - Photo Sharing!
Lemon basil shots help break the ice, photo by Broderick, all rights reserved

crowd on Flickr - Photo Sharing!
Spot the Extraface, photo by Broderick, all rights reserved

I’m finishing up Clay Shirky’s Here Comes Everybody right now, and one of the points he makes is how advances in the social Web have given us better means and more reasons to end up in front of potentially like-minded strangers, not just in front of our computers but out in the world. I see some of that in what’s happened with RogueApron — it’s hard to get strangers to come out to a dinner party when they likely don’t know any of the other guests or even the organizers. Lady Rogue has managed to make that happen, and create an environment that partakes of both dinner and party, but feels a lot more comfortable than a dinner party.

Thanks to a growing fan base and a great piece in Daily Candy, this one was fully booked within two hours of the invitation going out. Lady Rogue provides plenty of advanced notice when an event is in the works, and she does open up last minute space from time to time if you follow her Twitter updates. To make sure you know about what’s coming, you can join the mailing list, and if you’d like to volunteer, there are plenty of ways to get involved, from serving to offering your home for an event.

Update: More photos from Flickrer Tamih, and the full group photo pool.

The Obama Team Has Nice Google Chops

Last night I searched Google for the term “Barack Hussein Obama,” and the top of the results page looked like this:

Goog-Fu By The Obama Team

That’s an expensive ad placement, but I’m betting it’s quite effective. Even if they don’t click, people who are just now starting to pay attention to the election coverage(or are just now hearing the false rumors) are exposed to the other side of the story right there as they start to dig around on the web, in less than 20 words. What a smart use of well-placed ads to combat a whisper campaign.

Friday Heh

Previous heh.

Fashion A Pocket In Your Day

My friend Cocolaco and her friend Pixelkin offer you an activity each day that you can do from where you are, wherever that happens to be, at Pocketmakers.com. As I understand it, the idea is to give you something short and achievable to take you out of your immediate routine and get you thinking in a different direction. The current pocket topic is “find 5 colours that you like.” My 5 are above, found via Colourlovers.com.

A brief but satisfying interview with Cocolaco about pockets and such is in the works.

Test Of WordPress App For iPhone

This is a test of the WordPress iPhone app that enables you to easily update WP blogs from your iPhone. I will be disappearing this entry shortly after it has been published. For those of you who do see it, the secret word is “intaglio”.

Update: Might as well leave this up and turn it in to a review.

WordPress For iPhone

It was pretty smooth sailing for the most part, with a v. forgivable snag or two. Setup was easy — after a username/password/URL, it set up my blog for iPhone updating with no problems. Some might worry about storing that authentication information on their iPhone, but for me the security tradeoff is worth the convenience. I might start password-protecting my iPhone main screen, though.

WordPress For iPhone New Entry Screen

The new entry creation process was easy and straightforward, and included all of the fields I wanted. To publish a new entry, instead of hitting a “publish” button, you tap the Status menu, change your entry to “Published” and tap Save. As you’re writing you also have access to a Photos tab, and I didn’t notice at the time that if you hit “+” in the bottom right corner, you get the option to grab a photo from your iPhone Library or take one on the spot and integrate it into your blog entry. Neat. There’s also a full preview available with the app’s integrated Safari browsing.

My first time through, after I saved my draft, I pressed “Posts” and got ejected back into the iPhone main interface, meaning the app had crashed. It did so gracefully, and when I went back in, my saved draft was still there.

As far as the overall experience of writing via iPhone, it’s great in a pinch or when I want to publish something quickly, but I expect it’ll introduce auto-correct errors like the one that crept into this entry — when I first published it, the iPhone in its wisdom changed “the secret word is intaglio” to “the secret word in intaglio.” Also, I initially didn’t capitalize each word in the title of this entry as I usually do, because it seemed like a great deal of effort to pull that off on the iPhone. That’s not a big deal when time is of the essence, but I’d stop short of trying to write longer entries on the virtual keyboard.

Via Weblog Tools Collection, WordPress for iPhone also features “Auto-recovery – This will recover posts which have been interrupted by phone calls.” Not bad for a free, 0.3MB application that sits on a mobile phone.

Here’s the Official announcement at WordPress, a detailed write-up at Weblog Tools Collection, and a link to download it via iTunes.

Update: Capn Ken encountered a crashy bug as well. And Lance has a review of a similar app for TypePad blogs.

A Fortnight Of Friday Heh

My apologies for the size of this heh list. That’s what I get for letting it pile up over 2 weeks. It’s all quality.

Previous hehs.

Miss Lenora, Who Keeps Up The Monument

I’ve got great neighbors. One of the first people I met when I moved to my neighborhood in East Atlanta was Ms. Lenora. I think I first bumped in to her on my morning dog walks. She fills me in on the latest news about her grandkids, goings-on in the neighborhood, and her gardening. She has lived here for decades, and is an anchor of the community. Whenever I pass by her place I’m always compelled to wave, and often I’ll stop and we’ll chat for a while. She’s part of what makes the area really feel like home.

For her own reasons that she’d be glad to tell you about(more in the video below), Ms. Lenora takes care of a monument to General McPherson on our street. Year-round, she does what needs to be done out of her own pocket and with her own sweat — she plants new flowers, prunes what needs to be pruned, pulls the weeds, and does whatever needs doing to keep the monument looking beautiful. She does a fantastic job, and it always makes me happy to stop and pull over and hear from her about the latest additions to the flower beds. If you’ve perused my Flickr photos, you’ve seen quite a few pictures of the monument:

McPherson and Monument

Death of McPherson - McPherson Monument

Laying cigars for General Macpherson

A couple of nights ago I was coming back from dinner and noticed a Channel 46 news truck set up down the street to do a live report. Of course, when you see the local news your first instinct is that something bad must have happened, so I pulled over and asked the reporter what was going on. She explained that she had put together a story about my friend Ms. Lenora and her volunteer care of the monument. Another friend captured the report and shared it:

It also turns out that I know the reporter in another context; she’s a participant in our community message board, EAV Buzz. As soon as she filed the story, she hit the board to tell us about it. Although Ms. Lenora herself doesn’t have an internet connection, I like to fill her in on some of the discussions from time to time, and I’m making her a copy of the above news report, so she can watch it whenever she wants. We’re all very grateful for the hard work and care she puts in.

As an aside, the annual festival commemorating the Battle Of Atlanta is coming up. If you’d like to visit the monument and learn more about what all happened in this area during the Civil War, that’s a great time to stop by the neighborhood. More info at batlevent.org.

Daily Candy Covers Rogue Apron

Congratulations to Lady Rogue, creator of my favorite new local business, for the excellent article in Daily Candy yesterday. I first heard of the new group when I received a mysterious follow request from @rogueapron on Twitter several months ago. It’s a traveling, underground dinner club, with food expertly sourced and prepared by a professional chef and beer/liquor pairings hand crafted by a local boozemaker. The prices are incredibly reasonable; at the first event carnivores paid $10, which included both food and accompanying booze, and vegetarians payed $5. I went to the inaugural St. Patrick’s Day event and lent a hand as volunteer photographer. The food, atmosphere, and company were all fantastic and I’ve been anxiously waiting for the upcoming BBQ event, whose date is yet to be determined.

Here are my photos from the St. Patrick’s Day event:


Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

If you’re interested in helping the group by playing host to an event, you can sign up here(FAQ on hosting). Donations and volunteer helpers are also always welcome. They have a mailing list and a Facebook group to let everyone know of upcoming events. Once an event is announced, I recommend jumping on it as space is limited and these things tend to fill up.