31 January, 2009

Mediocrity - What's the Problem

My eldest niece recently made a joke, on Facebook, that she was too mediocre to fill-out one of those "Write 25 interesting things about yourself" forms.  I replied,

"Embrace your mediocrity, Amy. Excellence is simply a spike in the norm. Incompetence is just a dip. Stand in the middle and "get 'er done", Kiddo. The hare is twitchy. The tortoise boring. But the dog out for a walk looks like a happy bit*h. Sure, the leash is some times chafing, and the annoyance on the master's face, as she has to wait for it to take a d*ump, is a bit embarrassing, but screw 'em; 'if they don't want to watch than take the collar off and let me run around,' so thinks it. Or some equivalent, much less defined, in its mediocre -- even for a dog -- little mind. It soon forgets anyway, and goes on with its happy little walk. Maybe it'll even get a treat if it does what The Man tells it to do in a timely enough manner."

28 January, 2009

'Facebook Toolbar' and 'Boost' - Two Free Add-ons for Firefox

Oops.  It turned out I had been using a couple of different add-ons.  So, not to unduly give credit to the wrong add-on, here's how the features actually breaks down, by the two Facebook add-ons I use.  The list is not meant to be complete.  I've found that using these add-ons in tandem makes the most sense for me.
  • Facebook Toolbar for Firefox - Link: http://developers.facebook.com/toolbar/
    • Provides a toolbar with quick links to the main Facebook areas.  There is a toolbar at the top of the browser and another one, with different features, at the bottom of the open Facebook window, although to be honest I am not sure if the bottom toolbar is part of this add-on or the 'Boost' add-on (listed in the second main bullet of this posting, below).
    • Provides pop-up notifications for new friend requests, messages, pokes, event invitations, group invitations, wall writings, and various notifications regarding friends.  It does not offer skins, contrary to my previous posting.
  • Boost for Facebook - Link: http://apps.facebook.com/boostup/
    • Auto-Login for Facebook
    • One-click pokes
    • (beta) Facebook Video Downloader (haven't tried this feature yet)
    • (beta) Homepage Auto-refresher allows one to force a homepage reset every x minutes.  I haven't tried this feature yet, because I hop around often enough, via the Facebook Toolbar's quick links (see above first main bullet) as to make this feature redundant, making me think the bandwidth onus unnecessary.
    • Various Display Settings
      • Skins - This is a really fun feature and keeps it fresh.
      • Apply Light Color to Posts - Applies a secondary color for the skin to wall posts and comments so they stand out.  It makes viewing easier.
      • Hide sponsor and other ads
      • Hide 'People you may know' on homepage.  Personally, I like 'PYMK', so I don't use this option, but I imagine that I'll try it eventually when that section gets exponentially silly to keep around.

Dan previously wrote:
A while ago I added the Facebook Toolbar for Firefox to my Firefox. I had only used it to login automatically to the site. But for fun, I just checked out the options. It has a sidebar, that lists all my friends, and its browser toolbar adds quick links to the various Facebook locations. I find navigating, at Facebook itself, to be non-intuitive, with reference to what is in the content of the 'Home' and 'Profile' sections [Facebook toolbar]. The toolbar makes all that irrelevant, as one can just use the toolbar instead of navigating at the site itself.

I loaded the 'RUSH' (band) skin, finding that there are numerous skins for the thing. [Boost toolbar]

You can download it at the following link, or simply navigate to your Firefox add-ons (Tools|Add-Ons|Get Add-Ons), type in 'Facebook', and click 'see all', then scroll down to it.

Link: http://developers.facebook.com/toolbar/

23 January, 2009

Firefox - 'NASA Night Launch' theme and 'Dark Gmail2 Nasa' Extension - Pretty Neat

Being a space program fan, I use the Firefox - 'NASA Night Launch' theme.  I noticed this morning an add-on, the 'Dark Gmail2 Nasa' Extension, that compliments it.  It basically extends the NASA theme down into the GMail web interface.  I dig it.  While I prefer to do my GMailing through Thunderbird, this will be a cool interface when I am out and about and using my thumb drive's U3 version of Firefox.

Check it out via your Firefox's Themes and Add-ons.

18 January, 2009

3-D TV - News from the 2009 Consumer Electronics Show - CNET

    Cnet's article is good.  My summary:

  • Don't bother buying a 3-D Ready Set today, if you've recently already upgraded your TV.
  • 3-D sports is really cool.  Wearing the glasses works well.
  • Glasses-free 3-D in-home systems are at least 10 years away, due to the need for "at least 50 more pixels" [to provide distinct signals to each eye] "to provide a similarly robust 3D experience without glasses."
    Check out the full article here:  http://ces.cnet.com/8301-19167_1-10142957-100.html

Facebook Article at Yahoo! - Nothing New but Worth a Read

Nothing new is discussed or posited in the article, but it's short and worthy of a quick read.  It's just a re-tread of the "old guard" versus the "embracing new tools crowd" topic, where folks who don't Facebook wonder if the concept is killing in-person interaction or enhancing it.


17 January, 2009

Elasticity: 0 Entropy: 1


 When I changed companies, after 11.5 years, and I cleaned my desk, I went to deposit my little open-bin of rubber bands back to the general stores.  They were all so brittle that pulling them the least bit caused them to break. In that moment, more than any other, did I realize that entropy rules. Only via continual renewal, input of energy, can we fight the tide. We won't stop it, but we'll ride it, ever seeking that perfect half-pipe of experience, so when we ultimately hit the beach, perhaps we'll not have too much sand up our arses.

15 January, 2009

The Future is Indoor Water Parks, You Alien M)*^$@$#!&^%!

Silly Parsec versus Time Thoughts

Scott Martin posted a link to my Facebook page, -

Joel Ward at 8:25am January 14
Sweet. Let's get it in the garage this weekend, put some hemis on it (whatever they are) and see if we can get it down to eleven parsecs!

 Dan Reams at 5:16am January 15
Of course, upon first seeing that film, we all thought, 'Parsecs! That's dumb. A parsec "is a unit of length, equal to just under 31 trillion kilometres, or about 3.26 light years," (courtesy of Wikipedia).' And how could length be associated with time (Don't go there, Joel)? Of course, if we think about 'warp' technology as bending space itself, it all makes sense. If the Kessel Run involves getting from Point A, to Point B, then faster = more bending, or technically getting from Point A, to Point B, over LESSER DISTANCE, as well as (perhaps) lesser time. Of course, it may be that traversing between any two points might take the same amount of experiential TIME, but simply requires more power to the bending. All great, but then, they use the term "Light Speed", which yacks everything up. Okay, off to snow throw....

06 January, 2009


I am SOOOOO hooked on this site:  http://cosmobells.blogspot.com/

Thanks, Joel W., for turning me on to it.

02 January, 2009

Resident Evil 4 - The Buzz

Contrary to my prior post, Paul W.S. Anderson is planning another Resident Evil installment.  Catch the buzz here:  http://movies.ign.com/articles/939/939627p1.html

Milla Jovovich - Not just a pretty zombie slayer - She's got cool tunes

    After viewing Resident Evil: Extinction (part of the DVD trilogy), with a fever of 101, and digging it, I decided to go to Milla Jovovich's interviews, on the web, to see if they are planning on making another one.  Nope.  However, the browsing lead me to her site, and I downloaded 19 of her songs.

    The intro song, upon entering the site, has kind of a Foo Fighters vibe, with a little Garbage thrown in.  I dig it.  I'll throw the rest of the tunes onto my media player and give them a listen.

Her site:  http://www.millaj.com/

Interesting interview regarding her music (I think this interview is from 1994): http://thecelebritycafe.com/interviews/milla.html

More modern interview from around the time of Resident Evil: Extinction (2007): http://www.moviesonline.ca/movienews_12589.html

01 January, 2009

Zune - Mine is Back in Action

Well, my Zune brothers and sisters, aside from Microsoft's mixed messages that the Zune would come back to life around noon today, mine is back up and in action as of right now. 

6:59 AM:
I plugged it in, just before 7:00 AM, and it charged up enough and booted up.  I then launched the Zune PC app, and the Zune is syncing.  I have a lot of podcasts, several video ones, so this should take a while.

7:09 AM:
When it hit 100%, of syncing, the screen went black, and now I'm getting the power plug indicator.  Hmmm.  We all know that it likes to have SOME power in it, even though it's plugged in, so like a car battery I'll let the thing trickle charge and see what happens.

7:12 AM:
The menu came back, and...whoops...there it goes syncing again.  Not the Zune's fault, per say, but the fact that it is syncing simultaneously with the PC software downloading content updates, thus forcing the Zune into a cycle of syncing, chilling, then syncing some more.  I usually launch the Zune software, before I go to bed, and then sync the next morning, which keeps the downloading, to the PC, and the syncing to the Zune, separate in time.  My biggest syncing "problem" is that things like 'Meet the Press' (video) and 'The Digg Reel' (video) take quite a while to convert over to Zune format.  I watch both of them regularly, so I will probably live with it.  I've skinnied down my vids though, the ones that I don't really watch.  Still hopelessly addicted to 'Escapepod' and 'Pseudopod' (audio), and they are quick syncs, so no biggie there.

Anyway, it looks like all is good, except the Zune's clock is now on PST instead of CST.  Once the syncing is done I'll see where I can set the time zone.  I poked around in the PC software and didn't find it.

7:30 AM:
Okay, all my syncing is done.  I reset the clock manually; it had the minutes right, like atomic-time right, but the hours were two off.  I reset it to my time, but I still found no time zone setting.