Tuesday, December 6, 2011

"Help yourself but don't take too much"

A Citibank customer satisfaction survey says "Please select all that apply" but if you select more than 4, you get rapped on the hand with an error message. Really people, it doesn't take any more ink to say "select up to 4 items."

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Songs about Buildings & Preservation

From various contributors to the National Trust for Historic Preservation professional list-serv, especially Roberta Lane and Pepper Watkins

Amusement Parks on Fire - "Back to Flash"
Arcade Fire - "Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)"
Architecture In Helsinki - "The Cemetery"
Aretha Franklin - "Save Me"
B-52's - "Downtown"
Bauhaus - "Saved"
Bauhaus - "Watch That Grandad Go"
Beastie Boys - "Putting Shame In Your Game"
Beatles - "Fixing A Hole"
Beatles - "In My Life"
Ben Gibbard - "You Remind Me of Home"
Bill Monroe - "I'm Working on a Building"
Billy Bragg - "Back to the Old House" (Smiths cover)
Billy Childish & Holly Golightly - "Demolition Girl"
Billy Joel - "No Man's Land" (River of Dreams 1993)
Bo Diddley - "Don't Let Go (Hold On To What You Got)"
Bob Dylan - "Spanish Harlem Incident"
Bob Seger - "Main Street"
Brendan Benson - "House in Virginia"
Bright Eyes - "Big Old House""
Brightblack Morning Light - "Past A Weatherbeaten Fencepost"
Bruce Springsteen - "My City of Ruins"
Bruce Springsteen - "My Hometown" (Born in the USA)
Built to Spill - "The Plan"
Calexico - "Service and Repair"
Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band - "The Smithsonian Institute Blues (Or the Big Dig)"
Chin Up Chin Up - "The Architect Has a Gun"
Crooked Fingers - "Wrecking Ball"
David Bromberg - "Kaatskill Serenade"
Decemberists - "Here I Dreamt I Was An Architect"
Decemberists - "Los Angeles, I’m Yours"
Deerhunter - "Saved By Old Times"
Descendents - "Suburban Home"
Dinosaur Jr. - "Been There All The Time"
Don Caballero - "Repeat Defender"
Dr. Dog - "Uncovering the Old"
Drive Like Jehu - "Future Home of Stucco Monstrosity"
Elliott Smith - "Memory Lane"
Field Mice - "Landmark"
Fiery Furnaces - "Duplexes of the Dead"
Fugazi - "Fell, Destroyed"
Galaxie 500 - "Parking Lot"
George Harrison - "All Things Must Pass"
Gothic Archies - "Shipwrecked"
Gothic Archies "We Are The Gothic Archies"
Gram Parsons - "Streets of Baltimore"
Grandaddy - "Go Progress Chrome"
Guided By Voices - "Tour Guide at the Winston Churchill Memorial"
Hüsker Dü - "Dead Set On Destruction"
Iggy Pop - "Neighborhood Threat"
Interpol - "The Lighthouse"
Interpol - "Wrecking Ball"
Iris DeMent - "Our Town"
Jam - "Bricks & Mortar"
Jam -"The Planners Dream Goes Wrong"
Jimmy Buffet - "Ringling Ringling"
Joni Mitchell - "Big Yellow Taxi" ("They paved paradise...") (1970)
Kinks - "Come Dancing" (the day they tore down the Palais)
Kinks - “The Village Green Preservation Society”
Kinks - “Village Green”
Kirsty Maccoll - "London Bridge Is Falling Down"
LCD Soundsystem - "New York I Love You But You're Bringing Me Down"
Leonard Cohen - "Stories of the Street"
Les Savy Fav - "Raise Buildings"
Liars - "Protection"
Loretta Lynn - "This Old House"
Lyle Lovett - "This Old Porch"
Madness - "Our House"
Merle Haggard - "Okie From Muskogee"
Milemarker - "Ant Architect"
Mission Of Burma - "Progress"
Mississippi John Hurt - "Avalon, My Home Town"
Modern Lovers - "Dignified and Old"
Modern Lovers - "Rockin' Shopping Center"
Modest Mouse - "History Sticks To Your Feet"
Mull Historical Society - "Watching Xanadu"
My Morning Jacket - "Masterplan"
Nancy Griffith - "This Old Town"
Nas - "Can`t Forget About You"
New Order - "Ruined In A Day"
New South - "Old Home Place"
Nicole Atkins - "Carousel" and "Neptune City"
Norman Blake & Tony Rice - "Eight More Miles to Louisville"
O'death - "Busted Old Church"
Of Montreal - "The Past is a Grotesque Animal"
Old Crown Medicine Show - "James River Blues"
Orchid - "Death Of A Modernist"
Oxford Collapse - "Please Visit Your National Parks"
Pavement - "Grave Architecture"
Pet Shop Boys - "Suburbia"
Pixies - "Alec Eiffel"
Pop Will Eat Itself - "The Black Country Chainstore Massacreee"
Pretenders - "My City Was Gone"
Propellerheads - “History Repeating” (Shirley Bassey as vocalist.)
Radiohead - "Palo Alto"
Red Sparowes - "Alone and Unaware, The Landscape was Transformed in Front of Our Eyes" (2006)
Ricky Skaggs - "Little Cabin Home on the Hill"
Rilo Kiley - "Paint's Peeling"
Roger Miller - "Tomorrow Night in Baltimore"
Rorschach - "In Ruins"
Rosemary Clooney - "This Ol’ House"
Rufus Wainwright - "Barcelona"
Ryan Adams - "New York, New York"
Seldom Scene - "C&O Canal"
Shipping News - "The Architect in Hell"
Shotmaker - "Archaeologist"
Simon & Garfunkel - "Bleeker Street"
Simon & Garfunkel - "So Long, Frank Lloyd Wright"
Siouxsie and The Banshees - "Cities In Dust"
Six Parts Seven - "Seems like Most Everything Used to be Something Else"
Sonic Youth - "The Destroyed Room"
Sonic Youth - "The Sprawl"
Sonic Youth - "What a Waste"
Sufjan Steven - "Detroit, Lift Up Your Weary Head! (Rebuild! Restore! Reconsider!)"
Sufjan Stevens - "Chicago"
Sun Kil Moon - "Convenient Parking" (Modest Mouse cover)
Talking Heads - "Burning Down The House"
Talking Heads - "Cities"
Talking Heads - "Don't Worry About The Government"
Talking Heads - "Nothing But Flowers" (for the open space & landscape preservationists)
Ted Leo & the Pharmacists - "Bridges, Squares"
Ted Leo & the Pharmacists - "The 11th"
Ted Leo & the Pharmacists - "Dirty Old Town" (Dubliners/Pogues cover)
Thermals - "Keep Time"
Tipping Canoe - "Order To Stop Construction"
Tom Waits - "Come on Up to the House"
Tom Waits - "Fannin Street"
Tom Waits - "House Where Nobody Lives"
Vampire Weekend - "Mansard Roof"
Van Morrison - "Cyprus Avenue"
Vehicle Flips - “Song For Pahaquarry, NJ (1824-1997)”
We Were Promised Jetpacks - "A Half Built House"
Woody Guthrie - "This Land is Your Land"
XTC - "Ball and Chain

Monday, March 8, 2010

Crazy E-Z Pass Account Updating

Yet another baffling experience with the E-Z Pass website, which has the worst usability of any site I've ever visited. This time, I received a notice that the credit card on file was about to expire, and I needed to update the information. Here's what happened.

I signed in, found my old card listed - indeed it was about to expire. I clicked "New Card" and entered the new information.

As you may know, E-Z Pass draws money from your account at their convenience, whenever your balance reaches a certain point. Now, my purpose here was simply to give them a new card to use whenever that next replenishment point occurs, but on the form, there is no "Save" button, only a "Make Payment" button!

So, whether it's time for replenishment or not, the only way you can update your account is by making a payment now! Since the replenishment point was not due for a while, I decided to make a lower payment now. I clicked the "Edit" button next to the Payment Amount. Rather than letting me simply edit the amount, however, the system kicked me back to new entry screen, where I had to re-enter the credit card details as well as entering a new amount. But after clicking "Make Payment," I got this informative error message:

My card could not be validated! Bummer! No indication of what the problem might be, or what I might do to fix it! But recalling the notorious stupidity of the E-Z Pass site, I had a hunch. I went back to the data entry screen, re-entered the details a third time, but this time restored the amount to the $30 level that I know they want. Guess what - now it worked.

The so-called validation error was triggered by foolishly not supplying the number they wanted to hear. Here I thought that by offering the option to edit the amount, they would actually let me edit the amount! Silly me - this is not customer service, this is E-Z Pass!