Inside the west-bound 1 California that we rode on Sunday, there's a sign that reads "Shop the Haight." The sign is printed in strange brown tones that make it almost unreadable.We thought that a sign encouraging visits to the Haight would have some color. Perhaps the sign was a bad omen, for the Haight was where we were headed.

The sign indeed proved to be a bad portent. Your Trimethyldioxypurist, among his many other faults, is not always so diligent in his research. The target coffee shop in the Haight was one that we'd read about in a book. The book, sadly, was outdated. In the target cafe's place now stands some sort of boutique that, while intriguing in its own right, is even less our province than our favored subject.

Not a problem. Plenty of coffee joints in the Haight. We chose the one closest to Amoeba--the oddly named "Rockin' Java."

We always have problems with names like this--names that proclaim a business to be "cool" or "rockin'" or profess for themselves some other characteristic that is usually best assigned by patrons.

It doesn't serve, borrowing from business jargon, in "managing expectations" very well.