Howto: Goodreads & Your Library

This feature has been around for a bit but I only took notice of it recently. Considering I work at Goodreads and am looking at the site constantly, I take that as a sign that it may be a little buried. If you’re a frequent user of your local library, then it may be helpful to know that Goodreads can automatically search libraries for books for you. Just go to the book page and click on the “WorldCat” link at the bottom of the book info box. It brings you to WorldCat’s site with the search done already. (WorldCat is a company that catalogs libraries).

The Bane of All Developers: Bad Error Messages

One thing that really irks me when developing is bad error messages. Bad as in unhelpful. Bad as in vague. Bad as in “WTF, I fixed the problem, but I still don’t know what that error message meant.”

Screen shot 2009-12-23 at 1.41.04 PM

That message was caused by me passing in a hash instead of an array of hashes. Luckily, I realized my mistake after reading some documentation, but really, what am I supposed to make of that error message. Is “type ‘i'” an integer? An imaginary number? I didn’t pass in any type named ‘i’ in my original code.

King’s Highway (Palm Springs)


King’s Highway, the restaurant in the same building as the Ace Hotel lobby/check-in area, is what I pictured a diner in the 70s to look like, maybe a bit hipper. Likewise, the food is a hipper version of 70s diner food.


Upon sitting down, an interestingly dressed older woman with fantastic glasses plopped down a small jar of pickles.  She quickly gave me a look and muttered, “Here are the pickles, that’s all you’re getting, it comes with your dinner” or something to that effect.  I noticed she said the same thing to other people who sat down after us.

The pickles were intensely sour with an over-whelming taste of vinegar and a nice piquant bite to it. What I thought were slices of ginger turned out to be thin slices of potato.  I’ve never had pickled potatoes before, but these made me a fan.


The menu doesn’t have many vegan options — I think the BF ordered about everything there was that he could eat.  We started with the couscous salad with meyer lemon dressing.  The dressing didn’t really taste like meyer lemon but actually reminded me of some sort of bottled Italian dressing.  The pistachios in the salad were probably the best thing about this salad.

Next came the white bean dip with pita chips. The dip was decent, had a hint of spice, and the chips were crispy.  It wasn’t exciting or fantastic, but solid.


I had the stinky grilled cheese sandwich with bacon (extra) which was pretty much what I expected. The stinky cheese wasn’t terribly stinky, unfortunately. It was better than plain ol’ American cheddar cheese, but certainly not anything to write home about.  I did appreciate the basil in the sandwich, which gave it another dimension.  The bread part was greasier than I’d like, but that could have been solved if it had cooked longer on the pan and got more crispy. As it was, one side was already soft and soggy by the time I took a bite.


There was some confusion with the waitress about the vegan-ness of the vegetable pot pie.  She claimed it was vegan and I thought it was too good to be true that a place like King’s Highway would have vegan pot pie.  Even after we asked her twice before ordering, it turned out that there’s butter in the crust and it’s not vegan after-all.  In the end, the BF got the vegetarian chili sans corn bread.  It was unexciting and had mushy, overdone vegetables, but at least the waitress was nice enough to comp it because of the mix-up.

We weren’t expecting anything too fantastic from a hotel restaurant and our expectations were met.  As a whole, we didn’t have our hopes too high for good food in Palm Springs, which was good.  The food at King’s Highway was decent — for a hotel kitchen. I stayed away from ordering anything from the “dinner only” section of the menu because the dishes were so expensive there and I wasn’t sure if the place was up to snuff.  A wise choice.

King’s Highway @ ACE Hotel
701 East Palm Canyon Drive
Palm Springs, CA 92264
(760) 325-9900