November 07, 2003

HAVING A VIRGINIA POSTREL MOMENT: Note the close attention to aesthetics in this Chik-Fil-A outdoor dining area. Fresh flowers at the tables? And note the "cow" pattern on the vases. . . .

I don't know if they're doing this everywhere, or if it's an experiment, but it's actually pretty cool. Click the image for a larger one showing the context.

And here's another argument for having the digital camera with you at all times, even when you've just run out to pick up "ice dreams" at the drive-thru.

UPDATE: A reader wants to know what digital camera I used for this. I used this Toshiba camera, which I just bought last week. It captured this with no flash, and did pretty well. It also shoots video, up to card capacity, in AVI format at 320x240, 15fps. Not great, but certainly web-quality, and with sound. (It even has an external mike jack.) Seems like a pretty good universal blog-journalism tool. If you go here and scroll way down, you can see an example of the video.

ANOTHER UPDATE: You can see a short video clip that I took with the camera -- at my brother-in-law's coffeehouse/bar -- here. The light was a bit dim, and it lost a little quality being knocked down to .wmv format, but it gives you a fair idea.

YET ANOTHER UPDATE: Here are a couple of more representative samples, one from outdoors and one from indoors. I just copied these into the Windows Movie Maker built into XP, saved 'em as medium-quality WMV files, and uploaded 'em. Very rough-and-ready, but that's what makes it cool.