Monthly Archives: April 2013

McDonald’s is looking at making some changes, including the possibility of all-day breakfast:

When asked whether there was potential for McDonald’s to serve breakfast all day, Thompson replied: “Yes, we would consider it. We have the focus on our existing menu, but we have looked at breakfast across the day. We have it in some markets around the world.”

He added that the McDonald’s has looked at some “innovative ways” to expand breakfast hours for customers. “I think we’ll be seeing some of those things in the near future,” Thompson.

The company is also experimenting with delivery services in in some countries “in a big way,” as well as in densely populated areas in the U.S. Thompson said that “delivery is a big, big opportunity, particularly in areas where you don’t have drive-throughs.”

I saw this via OTB, which misleadingly suggested that all-day breakfast is going to happen. I didn’t get that impression, myself.

McDonald’s definitely loses business by ending breakfast at 10:30. A lot of people, including myself, aren’t really ready to go out until that 10:30-11 range. So when I am in the mood for a breakfast sandwich of a non-homemade breakfast burrito, I end up elsewhere. Taco John’s and Safeway are the late options here. Elsewhere, it’s Sonic. Or Jack-in-the-Box. JitB actually serves breakfast non-stop. Their offerings aren’t quite as good as McDonald’s, and they’re unhealthier, but the all-day thing is huge. There are no Jacks near where I am. At all. Not in Callie, not in Redstone, not even in Summit.

If Jack can do it, I don’t know why McD can’t.

While I’m on the subject, a couple of McDonald’s stories:

As it happens, I went there for breakfast just last week. You know how sometimes you can just tell that your order is about to be messed up? You don’t have anything solid with which you can confront them about it, but you just know. My tip-off came when the guy asked me to confirm that I wanted egg on my Sausage McMuffin With Egg. It’s right there in the title. Why would he ask that? Then I saw in the order screen “Add Egg.” So I knew that something was wrong. It turned out that he had missed the “Sausage” part. So I got a McMuffin with just egg on it.

Back when Clancy was interviewing for the job in Queenland, I saw something that I had thought had gone the way of [something really tasty that doesn’t exist anymore]. The McBagel. I was huge into McBagel’s when I was younger and never quite forgave the McGriddle for pushing it off the breakfast menu. Did they bring the McBagel back, I wondered, or is it a regional thing? I didn’t know (I think the latter), but I had to get one. Unfortunately, it didn’t end up happening.

It would have happened if they were open until 11.

Category: Kitchen

missouritigersThe ACC has announced a Grant of Rights deal for conference-members to 2027. What this technically means is that any team that leaves the ACC between now and then does not retain the TV rights to their home games. What this really means is that no ACC team will receive an invitation and that conference realignment has officially begun to end. Where high exit fees failed, the GOR has thus far succeeded.

What is sad about all of this is that had this been deployed sooner, a whole lot of the mess of the last couple of years could have been avoided. There was no way the Big East was going to sign one, but the Big 12 and ACC both did – only after losing key members. One of the tragic things about this whole mess is that 90% of it was reactive. Everybody was afraid of what everybody else was doing, and acted accordingly. With the exception of the Big East (which itself was largely a reaction to what happened in 2003), very few of the maneuvers (Texas A&M to the SEC being the only one that comes to mind, maybe Maryland) were actually strongly desired by both the teams that left and the conference that invited them. The instability became a beast all its own. The Pac-12 ended up with two members it really could have done without. Missouri wanted the academics of the Big Ten but ended up in the SEC (academically the weakest of the Power Five) because it offered stability in the face of a pissing contest between Oklahoma and Texas. The ACC ended up accepting an institution with far less prestige than the conference usually demands (Louisville). The Big 12 ceased being a geographical conference. Four conferences have (or will have) fourteen members, a number that really doesn’t make sense for anybody.

The biggest losers in all of this are, of course, the conference formerly known as the Big East, and the WAC. Although most members of both conferences found better homes. So we are really talking about five programs. Then there’s the Mountain West Conference, which actually came out okay but teams that left the WAC fifteen years ago suddenly find themselves in a conference with the teams that they left.

After that, it would have to be the Big 12. They will be the only major conference not to have its own network. Worse yet, I’m not sure if they could have a network because one of their marquee products is doing its own thing. The remaining Texas schools are two private universities and one way off in West Texas. Oklahoma, Kansas, Iowa, and West Virginia aren’t going to set the world on fire in terms of markets. There is a really good chance that when the dust clears, the Big 12, which is arguably more competitive than ever, will have a substantial income gap in comparison with the other conferences. (Except UTexas, of course.) They had an opportunity to make serious end-roads into the midwest (Louisville, Cincinnati, Pitt) and passed on it, leaving only one far-flung member in a region that doesn’t particularly care about the conference. Even better, there was a window in which they could have decimated the ACC with the first truly mega-conference with 18 teams (at which point, Texas having its own network wouldn’t have mattered nearly as much). But they didn’t. No consensus. All they have is the GOR, which could save the conference for a time, but nonetheless leave it in poor shape.

The ACC has survived, and a few weeks ago that looked like a real uncertainty. There were rumors abound of the Big Ten and SEC each taking two more, at which point the Big 12 may have finally acted. But they’re still around. Nonetheless, they are somewhat stuck with Louisville when West Virginia would have been a better fit by far. They passed on WVU largely for academic reasons, but ended up with one of WVU’s peers anyway. And Louisville was selected over UConn again out of a defensive posture – they knew they could take UConn any time, but Louisville had been on the Big 12’s radar. Signing the GOR sooner might have meant that they wouldn’t have had to replace Maryland, but even if Maryland had left they could have chosen a better (by their standards) match. (Errr, hey Mike, others, I mean no disrespect – Louisville is a fine school, it’s just that the ACC has/had this fixation…)

The biggest winner is the Big Ten, who has proven despite utter mediocrity on the football field, they have their pick of any school they want east of the Mississippi (and some west). And the Mid-American Conference, whose primary strength is that it’s full of programs that nobody else wants.

Category: Theater

A couple things…


If you are a regular commenter and would like an account on HC, I can oblige. The only difference if you have an account is that you would have the ability to go in and edit your own comments. You would also get to skip the oh-so-tough math question. I will need an email address, if you do not typically provide one.


So, Hit Coffee now makes use of Gravatar. Right now, your gravatar is randomly assigned into an 8-bit form. If you would prefer to be able to place your own image, go to and pick one out. Note that the image you upload there will work in a lot of places, including Lion’s site. Basically, any site that links itself with Gravatar will look up your email address and, if it corresponds with one in their database, your image will pop up.

If you want to use a computer-generated avatar based on your personal or desired appearance, here are some tools you can use:

Face Only:

Portrait Illustrator: This one is the gold standard as far as flexibility goes. It’s also the source tool for how I created mine. They are kind of vanilla and rather digital-looking, which is why I ran mine through a vectorizer, but it’s still something. It’s the only tool where I could have created the kind of image I wanted to create.

Avatar Face Maker: I used to use this one here and there (mostly on Google-run sites. It’s very straightforward with manga-style art. It looks nicer than Portrait Illustrator, though there are fewer options in the overall.

FoxRichards Facemaker: This one has limited options, but produces some of the coolest faces.

Avatar Maker: Those who followed me on Twitter in my earlier days will recognize this one (and I’m not the only one who uses it).

Digibody’s Caricature Maker: No colors available. It is, more or less, exactly what it is called.

Cartoonify: A relatively basic, but pretty nice looking avatar maker.

Full Body:

Rasterboy Unique: Very cartoony and full-body. It has fewer options than Dream Avatar, but I like the end-result better.

Dream Avatar: A kind of omake-looking design. There are lots of options, though it’s look is so distinctive that it’s hard to really chart your own course. There are a lot of wardrobe options, though.

Doppleme: Another face one. Not too much variety (Mine ended up looking exactly like someone else’s, even though we don’t really look alike). But it’s capable.

Anime Character Maker: This is downloaded software rather than a simple online tool. It does have the advantage of being a more full-body shot. Limited selection of configurations, though.

Category: Server Room

Mike H. Rice and myself commented a few weeks back that in order to have a seat at the table, the Chick-fil-A Bowl needed to rename itself back to the Peach Bowl (or the CFA Peach Bowl). And it will!

Now, half of the remaining bowls should follow suit… and no cheating by naming it after the city.

Okay, that one I probably won’t win.

Category: Theater

pieihaveeatenSamsung is trying to woo IT managers into buying their products. Isn’t that last decade’s strategy?

The interesting story of a man in China worried that his water supply might get cut off due to frigid temperatures, and how he accidentally created an ice waterfall.

Workplaces are not keeping up with norms with regard to tattoos. I can’t say I’m sorry about this.

Everybody loves Sweden (mostly because they see what they want to see).

Personally, I don’t think there’s enough collusion in newspaper paywalls. This is really only going to work itself out if they can work something out between themselves. A majority of the biggest newspapers now have paywalls.

If you want a bomb-sniffing dog to work faster, feed it fatty foods.

Documentary filmmakers on China’s ghost cities.

EducationNext looks at the potential of blending face-to-face and online learning. Will Teachers Unions and regulations kill it?

Robert Pondiscio makes the case for setting really low national education standards.

Do we want teachers and professors to know if you’ve been doing your ereading?

These pictures of Hong Kong borg cubes are… beautiful. It’s funny that for a guy who lives in the country and was raised in the suburbs, I consider vertical density to be pretty conceptually awesome. Then again, it’s perhaps because I’ve never had to live in them that I can feel this way.

The interesting story of Kowloon Walled City, China. That just kind of blows my mind.

There are some efforts underway to cignal-white“>standardize online college standards.

Category: Newsroom

Introducing, Trumanverse 2.1. Border-wise, it is very similar to 2.0 (why is why it doesn’t get its own integer). All of the states have been named, finally, and some of the states have been renamed. The main relevant one is Dixona/Delosa, which is now Deltona. This should be the last of the name changes for that state. I had to come up with a name on the fly last time and was never fully satisfied with “Delosa” (the only state name without some historical roots or rationale).

Some state lines were moved, a state was folded into two others, Long Island and the Delaware Peninsula were formally given their boundaries and state names. Plymouth was split into two, as was suggested. Future changes are possible, but I’m feeling pretty good about this map. Unless I decide to utilize John Wesley Powell’s watershed map, I don’t expect it to change much going forward.

Complete map
Overlay map

Version 1.0
Version 2.0

Category: Server Room


Somoa Air is charging travelers by weight.

Superman has turned 75. Superman’s age will start mattering to me when there is at least a remote chance that he will get turned over to the public domain. Anyway, Superman is in his seventies, but the seventies were really awkward for Superman.

In Mississippi, a detective interrogating a suspect ended up shot dead by said suspect. In the interrogation room.

In Texas, a former Justice of the Peace (with his wife) was arrested for murdering a sheriff and a district attorney.

Mark Zuckerberg supports immigration reform that would benefit Mark Zuckerberg. Not disagreeing, necessarily. Just sayin’.

Limiting soda size may backfire.

Ugh. I have too many audiobooks as it is. Here are 500 more, for free!

LDS missionaries are now allowed to email friends (and others).

An interactive map of Mormons in America. I wish it had more tiers, but it’s pretty cool.

There’s a proposal in West Virginia to make science fiction books part of the curriculum.

Hugh Langley says that despite the lackluster sales, the Chromebook is the future. I still don’t see it.

An interesting story of a man trying to rob banks who thinks he’s working for the CIA.

Infant mortality rates in the US are falling!

Category: Newsroom

So, today we drove out to Umatilla to have the baby’s hip checked. While on the table at the ultrasound room, she pooped all over the sheets. As the ultrasound tech put the dirty laundry in the laundry heap, I made the blindingly obvious observation, “This place must have to do a lot of dirty laundry.”

She replied that most ultrasounds are not on live, poopy babies, but that they do have to clean the sheets in between visitors time. She commented that they do it in-house.

“Isn’t that always the case?” I asked. I mean, I would have to think that it would be in the interest of just about every such clinic to have some monster washing machines. She said that no, actually, most places have cleaning services. She then said that when she was an ultrasound tech in Austin, they actually hired a cleaning service that trucked it to San Antonio.

Clancy is, for reasons I will not get into at the moment, ineligible for life insurance. So with my career on hold, if something happens to her, I really don’t know what I’ll do. Not to get too serious in an otherwise light-hearted post, but there is a disconcerting vulnerability there.

Well, I thought I had found my solution. If something happens to Clancy, Lain and I would move to Austin where I am going to start a laundry service for hospitals and clinics that doesn’t require trucking clothes to San Antonio to be cleaned. There is apparently a need.

But wait, somebody is already doing that. So why in the world would a clinic in Austin be shipping laundry to San Antonio? Curses, foiled again.

Category: Market

invisistairsI miss the designs of some of the older cars, but the utilitarian in me appreciates that the convergence of automobile design is largely a product of all the makers having found the best way to make a car and going with it.

I had somehow missed the whole Tacitus-Malaysia scandal. paidContent has a story on how demand for content leads to such corruption.

Are we returning to the big, bad days of the AT&T monopoly? Whether that aspect of it is true or not (and the article isn’t really about AT&T), I don’t think nationwide WiFi is the solution. Meanwhile, Georgia rejected a bill aimed at banning municipal fiber networks

Bringing the dormant Six Flags New Orleans back to life… with animated GIFs.

The fascinating story of a call center dude who was fired for his job (with a government in Canada) for making a computer game (that those who fired him never bothered to actually play).

I try not to let things factor into my thinking too heavily, but those who insist that the world is nearly ending due to carbon emissions and yet oppose nuclear energy do make me wonder about the sincerity of the messenger, if not the veracity of the message. So I consider it helpful when they do embrace nuclear. Japan may be coming back around.

Matthew Yglesias looks at our long-term unemployment problem. Peter Cappelli adds more context on my takeaway, which is that a lot of it comes down to a refusal to train.

The story of how we realized that it might not be a good idea to put Radium in everything.

Here is what you need to know about coffee at work.

Can we close the black-white IQ gap through M&M’s?

In the age of smartphones, what’s a GPS maker to do? Also, the history of Google Street View. One of the really neat things about using Google Maps on my phone is that when I get there, it’ll use Street View to show me what the building I am looking for looks like.

Europe even has classy robots.

If you aren’t an expert, fake it. People prefer it that way. They also prefer charisma, which maybe isn’t innate.

Category: Newsroom

sunmouthCorporate Wellness programs don’t really save money. Should we file this one away with the “savings” of preventative medicine?

What if bankers really do earn their bonuses? That’s an oddly depressing thought.

Advances in IVF.

Coolest sandcastle ever.

Sex in space could be dangerous.

I’ve been thinking about this lately, but perhaps the biggest way that Republicans can reach out to minorities has little or nothing to do with the party itself and more to do with its constituent networks. Evangelicals, for instance, and the NRA.

Even before the science came out, I’ve been convinced that sleep deprivation is a significant factor in weight gain. According to a new study, it can start in a couple of days.

The dark underbelly of Miss USA.

The case against appeals to Paleofantasy.

Pi is a cool number. Here are seven other cool numbers.

Will human instrumentality become a reality?

Will the world calendar ever be reset, as it was with BC/AD? I can only really imagine that when or if we inhabit more than one planet.

Jeremy Stahl critiques Alfred Twu’s map of what a truly national high-speed rail network might look like for the US and adds a number of insights.

Jmanga, which sold digital Japanese comics, shut down and everybody lost the collections they purchased. Amazon’s biggest weapon in the ebook wars is that they are the ones we have a pretty good idea aren’t going anywhere.

Category: Newsroom