Mac that's life

A signature problem

So I have this email signature. Actually, I have about three. One is the somewhat standard signature I use for all ATPM-related correspondence. The other two are personal sigs which vary only in the email address contained in the signature. One is for the address at this domain, and the other is my Gmail address.
I have set up these signatures with keystroke shortcuts in TypeIt4Me, which I encourage you to check out. Without going in to too much detail, these three signatures are shorthanded “asig”, “gsig”, and “rsig”, and this works very well. For the most part.
I seem to have this memory muscle problem with the last abbreviation. The other two I can rattle off with nary a conscious thought going from my brain to my fingers on the keyboard, but the last has proven to be rather elusive. Instead of typing “rsig” I find myself typing “risg” instead. I even did it in the previous sentence, and had to backspace and fix it.
The obvious and lazy solution is to create a new abbreviation in TypeIt4Me that automagically puts in the proper signature when I mistype the actual abbreviation, because there’s little chance “risg” will ever be a real word in the English language, but that still doesn’t help with why I’m mistyping it in the first place. Bizarre.

iPhone Mac

That didn’t take long

This post is coming to you from MarsEdit 1.1.3, the first release of my blogging app of choice since Daniel Jalkut of Red Sweater Software acquired it from NewsGator. This update fixes my biggest druther with MarsEdit, where images flicker when you’re previewing your post. Thanks, Daniel!
Speaking of not taking long, Lee and I were chatting via IM last night while he watched the Oscars, and, of course, there was talk regarding the iPhone teaser commercial. I wondered jokingly how long it would be before some post showed up somewhere detailing all of the stars shown in the commercial. Lee provided the answer: two hours. And here I thought I didn’t have a life. I’m sure there’s now a post somewhere detailing each of the movies or shows featured in the commercial, but I’m too lazy to google it.

liberty rant tech

Don’t Ban Incandescents

From the 02.26.07 edition of Red Herring magazine:

California’s proposed incandescent bulb ban (see “Could California Ban the Bulb?”, February 1, 2007) is ridiculous! Fluorescent bulbs may last longer (not in my house) but you have to include the cost of the ballast and the starter in both energy to produce and additional expense of the fixture. When these and the additional cost of installation are included in the equation, plus fixture replacement costs due to poor reliability, the cost of fluorescent lighting is vastly more expensive than incandescent lighting. Incandescent lighting is also better for the health of our eyes and sanity as that endless flicker fatigues the eyes and drives people nuts!

Fluorescent bulbs are also considered hazardous waste. The energy costs to clean up or keep the environment clean are not worth the few bucks saved at the meter. This ban is not a good idea. Neither is Title 24, which bans incandescent sockets in new-home construction. People just change out the fluorescent fixtures to incandescent after the house has been inspected. Then the fixtures just end up in the dump. I for one will just buy my bulbs out of state and stock up.

The best way to reduce energy waste is to educate people and business to not waste it. Turn the lights off when not in use!

–Roger Smith, Bishop, California
With the mass, recent push for everyone to switch to fluorescent bulbs, I thought a contrarian point of view might be good for discussion.


Welcome home, Winston!

For those of you who don’t know the phisch family pet history, the missus and I both grew up cat people. Our first dog was a Pembroke Welsh Corgi, our beloved Linus (forgive the wretched HTML work on that page). Linus was a great first dog, and he certainly endeared the Corgi breed to us.
Clancy was our rebound dog. We adopted him from the local humane society a little over a month after Linus died. It was just too weird for us, after a decade, to not have a dog in the house. Clancy’s a great dog, too, though his allergies and skin issues (he’s part Shar-Pei) can be off-putting at times. He’s super-sweet, gets along great with the little phisch, and we’d been thinking at one time or another how nice it would be for him to have a playmate.
As of yesterday, he does. Presenting…Winston!


As you can see, Winston has already made himself at home. Obedience training with regard to dogs being on the furniture has already commenced.
Our friend Wendy, who lives a couple of blocks away, volunteers as a foster home for the Flower Mound Humane Society, and gave us a call Thursday night. “Normally I wouldn’t bother you guys about a new dog we’re fostering,” she said, “but I’m on my way to pick up a Corgi…”
That was all that needed to be said.
We stopped by their house later that evening to meet Winston, who was, well, a typical young Corgi: exuberant, happy, full of energy. We immediately liked him. I went by the house, put Clancy on a leash, and brought him back down to meet Winston on some neutral turf. The boys did the meet-and-sniff, and then generally ignored one another as I took them both for a long walk. We ended the evening determining we would bring Winston over for a play date the next day, to see how Clancy acted around him on home ground.
We had some concerns with regard to Clancy and another dog. Clancy was another rescued animal, and he had either (a) been fought by the type of “macho” assholes (you’ll pardon the language, but I can’t think of any nice terms to adequately describe these people) who fight dogs, or (b) just generally had his butt kicked by life on the street. He has some food aggression issues, meaning we’ve been careful to keep the cats out of the kitchen when he’s eating, and we’ve taught the little phisch not to bother Clancy during feeding times.
So Friday afternoon I trooped Clancy down the street, we picked up Winston, and I walked the two of them back. We went first to the back yard, where I turned the boys loose for a bit. We needn’t have worried about Clancy and another dog on his turf. If anything, it was Winston who was all about the growling and snapping, which occurred when he felt Clancy invaded his personal space just a tad too much. When the sky opened and it began to sprinkle, I moved the party inside, which is where the real test would be, at least as far as Clancy was concerned.
It was pretty much same-old, same-old between the two canines in the house, too. Winston was exploring, Clancy was following, some times getting too close for Winston’s comfort, I behind them both at a small distance, observing and waiting to step in if necessary. The missus and little phisch arrived home during this time, and Winston got a dose of life with the entire family for a little while.

Watching Clancy.JPG

The decision was made that so long as we could work around the food issue, we were keeping Winston. We decided an overnight visit would be helpful, and calls were made to appropriate parties to let them know of our interest in Winston, keeping him overnight, etc.
Having a trial overnight stay ballooned in to our going out to grab a bite to eat, then stopping by the newly-opened Petco to take advantage of their grand opening sale. The cats needed food, and we bought a small bag of food for Winston, along with some other supplies. (Clancy has prescription hypo-allegenic food we get from the vet.) We arrived home, and it was feeding time.
Things went very well. The boys are fed at the same time, but separately, and neither bothered the other. Each was curious as to what remains might be in the other’s bowl afterwards, but c’mon, these are rescue dogs; they don’t leave anything behind in their bowls.
Winston was a little restless during the night, not surprisingly, but all was well. Breakfast went like dinner the night before, and the more the two dogs have spent around one another, the more comfortable Winston became. The Flower Mound Humane Society held an Adopt-a-Pet Saturday at our PetSmart, and we stopped by to finalize the adoption of an eighteen month-old pup, bringing a Corgi back in to our house for the first time in five years. (There was also at least one other person interested in adopting Winston, so keeping Winston overnight and alerting FMHS we wanted to adopt him played to our favor.)
The impression Linus made on us was much deeper than I think either of us realized. All throughout the day Saturday, the missus and I kept making the same basic observation to one another: it’s very comforting to have a Corgi in the house again.
Winston’s not a replacement for Linus, because you can’t replace a beloved pet. Winston’s his own dog, that’s for sure. And our love for Clancy isn’t diminished; in fact, it’s enhanced, because we see how readily he’s accepting Winston in to the family pack. I’m continually amazed at the capacity for love God grants us.
It sure is nice to have a Corgi in the house again.


Don’t Try This At Home

Will It Blend? has to be one of the more brilliant ad campaigns to come along, especially for something as unexciting as a kitchen appliance.
Tom Dickson actually gets paid by Blendtec to try to blend whatever his little heart desires, and Tom’s latest desire is glow sticks.
Yes, glow sticks.

(Do any CBCers think that Tom Dickson is like an evil genius clone of Mike?)
[Wave of the phin to Lee. ]


Marcus Varsity Baseball Home Schedule

The missus and I have been talking about taking the little phisch to some baseball games this season over at our local high school. It’s within walking distance, and right now, as the season’s beginning, the temperatures are still cool.

I pulled up the varsity schedule, and entered all of the home dates in to a new calendar in iCal. I then exported the calendar, in .ics format, and am making it available for anyone in Flower Mound who wishes to follow the Marauders at home in 2007.

Marcus Baseball Home

Again, this is the home schedule only, and your calendar program should support the .ics format (which pretty much any modern calendar app does).


Fat Tuesday

“Fat Tuesday” by The Friendly Indians is most apropos today.
Check out some of their other songs on their music page.

Mac music

Jumping on the Bandwagon

Bandwagon, going live in two days, is an iTunes backup for Mac users. They’re offering free one-year subscriptions if you blog about them, and like Eric, I can be a cheap date.

Bandwagon Logo



Tired of Tetris™? No good at first-person shooter games? Want something quicker than world-building or war strategy games? Frenzic may be the answer you’re looking for.
A joint release from The Iconfactory and ARTIS Software, Frenzic is an addictive puzzle game that you can play solo or against others online.
Jobs and company should seriously be looking at getting this game on the upcoming iPhone.
Sorry, Windows users need not apply.
Update, 1:00 PM CST: If you decide to register Frenzic, feel free to add me as a friend.


links for 2007-02-19