New York Systems

I'm David. I live in Astoria. During the day I work at a startup. Other times I visit bookstores.
This blog is my curio collection, sort of. I'll have a place of my own for essays... someday.


“It was funny because she thought of herself as a good team player, although sometimes she suspected that no one else on her team did.”
― Kate Atkinson, When Will There Be Good News?


Jobyna Ralston and Richard Arlen in William Wellman’s Wings (1927).

Embedding bookstore search in your browser

You know the little search field in the upper right of Firefox that can be Google, Amazon, Yahoo, etc? Can I make it be @wordbookstores?

— Rachel Fershleiser (@RachelFersh) April 2, 2014

Yes you can, in both Chrome and Firefox! (Internet Explorer probably too, but I don’t have a Windows machine handy to check.) Here’s how.

For Chrome:

We’ll start with Chrome because it’s a little easier. First, perform a search in your favorite bookstore and check out the url bar.

See how it contains the text of your search up there? That means it’s easily included in your browser’s built-in search. Go ahead and copy that URL, and replace your search – “twilight”, in this case  with %s. Next, open up your Settings, select “Manage search engines…”, and scroll to the very bottom of this long list. The three boxes are Name, “triggering keyword”, and target URL.

Name should be obvious. Keyword will let you type that followed by “tab” to search from anywhere (e.g. ‘’ or just plain ‘word’). For the URL, enter the URL we figured out in the previous step, the one with that %s in it – – then press return.

You can click “Make default” to make every non-URL you type into your URL bar search for a book… or just type the keyword and press tab.

For Firefox:

Firefox is a little different, in that it uses something called OpenSearch, and that’s a plugin of a sort (so there’s no simple “paste this into your browser” method). Luckily, there are websites to generate these plugins for us!

Take that URL for your bookstore search page that we found above and, instead of replacing your search with %s, replace it with TEST. Paste that into the Search URL box on this page and name your plugin in the third box, ignoring the Suggestion URL. Everything else can be left at the defaults.

Click Create Plugin, then the little “install” that appears above the form. That’s it, you’re done! The bookstore will appear in the drop-down menu of search engines to choose between.

The local shawarma place now accepts bitcoin and dogecoin #wow


I’d say my bowling form isn’t awful (via Nicole’s Event — Garrett Kalleberg)


anyway here’s wonderwall


Violins, Philadelphia, PA, 1941 photograph by Arnold Newman



I suppose all relationships are failures until you find the one that isn’t, right?