No catfish, just blueberries

Doc Searls: And the living is easy. Doc writes about his childhood summers in Brick Township, New Jersey, just a few stoplights away from the part of Lakewood in which I spent my Independence Day weekend this year. I was probably even in the parking lot that now sits over where the Searls family played hide and seek fifty-plus years ago. When Lisa visits the beach with her parents this month, she’ll go to Mantoloking (mentioned in Doc’s post from last year about summers at the Shore).

For what it’s worth, Doc, I’m with you on the fresh blueberries. Only my version was late July/early August harvest in southeastern Virginia. For many summers we’d visit a berry farm in Gloucester, across the mouth of the York River from Yorktown, and fill a 16″ by 30″ by 24″ Igloo cooler half full of blackberries and a smaller one full of blueberries. The tradition (started as a birthday gift for my dad, later moved to my Mom’s birthday because the blueberries were riper) lasted from about the time I was 10 or 12 in the early to mid 80s until just before I went to grad school in 2000. That fall my parents sold the house in which I grew up in Newport News, Virginia, and moved to my dad’s family farm outside Asheville, NC. To the best of my knowledge, they haven’t found a pick-your-own place there yet. But I still keep my eyes out for the first blueberries every summer, and am still quite capable of devouring several quarts of them without blinking or losing stride.

(Fellow Jarretts, I can’t remember the name of the farm we patronized; feel free to jump in on the comments.)

For the Future Reading list

I don’t really have a future reading list yet, but if I did these two books, edited by fellow UVA grads (and married couple) Cathi Hanauer and Daniel Jones, would definitely be on it. The Bitch in the House, billed as a collection of women writing candidly about the challenges of managing careers and families, has been followed by The Bastard on the Couch, which deals with men’s views on their roles in the families.

From what I can glean from the write-ups (and an interview with the writers in the online mag for the University of Virginia’s College of Arts and Sciences), the Bastard’s response to the issues in the first book is essentially a “dunno, I’m just incompetent about a lot of household husbandly things and I acknowledge it.” I hope that after reading it I’ll have a more informed critique.

Clarifications around Yahoo’s ping service

Jeremy Zawodny at Yahoo! responded to my post from yesterday (and to Dave’s comments about it) with a note that has started a dialog around ping services in general. I appreciate his position. It’s true that strictly speaking you don’t have to ping Yahoo’s web service. But I still think there are some customer experience issues (both from the point of view of My Yahoo! customers and RSS feed producers) with the way this whole ball of wax is shaping up. See my comment on Jeremy’s post for more.

(By the way, this appears to be my week for having posts into which I didn’t put a lot of thought picked up and widely disseminated. A bunch of Mac sites are now linking to my gripe about AirPort error messages.)