Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Absolute Friends...

John LeCarre's fans, and I am one, must find the depression quotient in his recent novels rather bothersome. "Absolute Friends" was about the futility of it all really, and it bore the cynical signs of aging of a talent. Not that the subject matter is not believable, but the story is unrelenting, full of propaganda, and all in all quite sad. I thought "A Perfect Spy" was very sad as well, but it was a much better book from the standpoint of writing and readability. I did like the protagonist of "Absolute Friends", and I could almost identify with him. He was a global nomad, a man whose enculturation was not his nationality, an Englishman with an Asian soul and a good heart. His end and that of his friend were semi-self induced, but the whole milieu of the story makes the end inevitable.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Crazy Potter Fans...

Oh yes, they are already "reviewing" Harry Potter 7 at AMAZON! Some interesting and some kooky ideas and thoughts here, some almost incomprehensible. Makes for a bit of fun though. These books have had a huge influence on reading. Being so well written as well; that's a bonus. May J.K. Rowling power on and give us the apex of her work yet.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

It's been a long...long....time!

Here I finally am again. Serger did send me back to a sewing world. The online sewing world has grown by leaps and bounds. The sewing machine world has moved on to electronic and now computerized...but for sewing I prefer the old-fashioned heavy worker sewing machines. Mine has lasted now for 28.5 years. And the new serger is not something that replaces a sewing machine; it does the edging and can do lots more than I will never use it for. I mean, how many times do you have to serge on some fake pearl trim?! This site is for all the sewists out there...yes, that's really the new name. I guess sewer=sewer...not good.

In the world of Booxter, I finished up the datebase of electronic books, printed the report and am now able to add them as they come. I love a good organization coup.

Fall is upon us, so it's a good time for reading, sewing, knitting and just vegging out by the old tele. I am trying to read John Lecarre's Absolute Friends. Tough getting into that. Have purchased Ayelet Waldman's first "baby-crime" book, Nursery Crimes and that's up next. For deep winter I am saving A Salty Piece of Land from Jimmy Buffet, and the last Charles Portis novel I own. Unfortunately, if Portis doesn't publish soon that's all there is.

Harry Potter 6 was excellent. I prefer the somewhat dark yet magisterial affect Harry has in the latest tome. Snape - WHAT HAVE YOU DONE??!! Well, I theorize that Snape is following orders and that Dumbledore (why does Gandolf come to mind?!) is not finished. Nuff' said.

Friday, September 02, 2005 it is

I don't know much about the innards or the eye impact of WinFS to the user, but the beta is out, and according to Microsoft and the team who released this, it is going to revolutionize our file management. So read all about it! Oh, and you can SEE and hear all about it here in some very interesting video.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Harry Bosch...and Booxter

One reason I am not blogging as much is that I have acquired the program Booxter. I wanted to catalog (in a very simple way) my ebooks. After using Books, which is free, I have wanted to get a program that would allow simple easy listings alpha by author, title and sort for years, etc. Booxter is the one program that fills all my needs. It is well worth the fee. I paid up and have listed all my ebooks, except the contents of a large CD I have of Classics. Theses have two indices already - author and title, so I didn't see a reason to duplicate that work. The program is able to give me the simple listing I want - much in the format of an Excel printout, and if I feel the need Booxter can also take images of book jackets, get info from several online sites - AMAZON, several international library databases, and take ISBN info by scanning. So it is quite flexible. I have no need for all the information Booxter can handle, and if I wanted to catalog long lists of other books I would rather there were an LCMARC format for home use out there. I do find the NOTES field most useful; you print only the fields you want.

At the same time I have purchased a few more books, and have been immersed in the Harry Bosch series by Michael Connelly. My goodness...what a good writer Mr. Connelly is. The books follow a certain formula, as is the norm in a genre series. We are not disappointed in Harry. I like the character, I like his introverted personality and I cannot believe there hasn't been a series of movies from these books.

Another electronic toy...

I ordered a serger. I have never touched a serger. I certainly hope I can use the thing when it comes. It was a really good price (OH HOW AMAZON MAKES THINGS APPEAL), and it purports to be a handy gadget. After using sewing machines for over four decades, I just wanted a new sewing toy. Perhaps now a knit top won't be out of the question. Knits are not impossible to sew on my trusty old Pfaff 1222E, but they are always a bit of a challenge. A serger should provide fast and durable seaming with a variety of interesting fabrics. So I will update my blog audience on that development as time passes.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

An Ice Cream War...

William Boyd got labeled serio-comic with "A Good Man in Africa." Why does each subsequent novel bear that label? "An Ice Cream War" is much more serio than comic I'm afraid. It is beautifully written and quite effective in branding WWI the nightmare that it was, and in pointing out the futility of colonial extensions of war. German and English colonists getting caught up in a poorly run, outstandingly heinous and barbaric slaughter are joined by Britons and American caught in African locales with African peoples and random human flotsam and jetsom whose lives become entwined, and ultimately end in sadness and agony. I took the book traveling, thinking it would provide comic relief, knowing it would be ironic, but not prepared for the wrenching sadness which is the main feeling of the book.

For serious reading, not comic, though irony plays a part, it is the cruelest irony possible.

Extraneous note: Back from North Carolina, back to summer in New England. Why is it so hot this year?

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Cable musings...

We get silver tier digital television, and last night there was nothing better on than old "Seinfeld" reruns. I sat there convulsed with laughter, watching "Seinfeld" and "King of Queens." The movie package is what I prefer to watch, thus squeezing max payback out of the cable bill, and of course high-speed internet is always great, so I shouldn't complain. But lately I have seen the movies I wanted to see, and they just keep rotating around.'re thinking I should be reading all those books I have piled up, but why is it that summer encourages sloth? I am reading. Slowly. One eBook and one hard cover. Next week, "Harry Potter 6" is coming, and I want to leave reading space for that. That's my excuse. I need to watch "Blind Date" and leave reading space for Harry.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Summer reading seems to consist of lighter fare. Right now I am finishing Robert Ludlum's "Matarese Countdown." Sequel to "Matarese Circle." It isn't as bad as most reviewers said, but then the first book was not as great as many felt it to be. I like Ludlum for light reading. His style grows on you, but he tends to not have a knack for bringing the reader up to speed when the book is a sequel. Rather cumbersome boilerplate informs you of who what and why at every turn. In the case of "The Matarese Countdown" there is also the feeling that he wrote it in installments and had feared the reader could easily forget the characters. For instance, the reader is constantly reminded of the nickname of the main character, Beowolf Agate, being a code for Brandon Alan. Sigh. Really, we had that drilled into our skulls in the first book. I don't need every page to say "Beowolf Agate...the alias for Scofield, ace agent..." or words to that effect.

Ludlum had an awkward way with the women in his books. The women seemed to be very stereotyped, no matter what their role, from agent to computer whiz to business ace, yet in a sort of a good way. Always "motherly" or "she beamed in an indulgent way," or "as women will do" sort of thing. Dated, but not insufferably so.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Craving the iBook

iBook. Small, clean and functional. it's FUNKY too. I love the color, and the feel and the look. And it would be so handy to take when traveling. The trouble here is that I don't travel for business, so there is really no excuse. Keeping in touch with friends and family and job when on vacation? I can do that on the phone. Slowly but surely the refurbs and the demos are looking better and better. Apple is out of the refurbs today - but you never know. One of these days...

Thursday, July 07, 2005


After another great week in Minnesota last month, I thought I would give the picture feature here at Blogger a whirl...this is the Red Lake River south of Thief River Falls, MN. Picture taken by my daughter on her Kodak digital camera. Since this Blogger feature works nicely, I can now add the camper pictures to the Coleman site. What fun!

Thanks Blogger! Not only a classy interface, but great templates, a photo feature, and the ability to tweak templates to my heart's delight. Why any other host for a blog?!

Thursday, June 30, 2005

NWA giving extra miles...

Got two letters from NWA without even making a wavelet. Each letter apologizes for delays in flights we were waiting for, and each letter awards frequent flyer miles as a gesture of good will. Kudos NWA.

NWA and iAir...

After flying Northwest a couple of weeks ago, let me compare it with Independence Air. Now NWA has been my "vehicle of choice" for flying for some time now. Decades in fact. I have frequent flyer miles. Well, on iAir, after your flight is delayed and you finally take off - you are offered extra snacks and maybe even free bevies of the alcoholic type - one per person. On NWA, you are reminded that trailmix snacks are a dollar and to have that ready when your attendant gets to you. Sigh. They do offer the free granola bars...specially made to taste like a miniscule bit of cardboard, and then there are sometimes free twisty pretzels which aren't so bad a mouthful.

With NWA, you wait in the gate and the gate gets changed so you bag-drag it down to another concourse. You then wait and wait and information is leaked to you, the passengers, only when absolutely necessary, and then you realize the staff themselves are being left in the cloud of unknowing. On iAir they update you every 5-10 minutes even when they don't know any more than they did before. This gives the passenger at least the idea that they know you are there.

It would really cut down on passengers getting all hot and bothered and harassing the staff if the passengers were told more and more often. Even a "We are sorry for the delay and we haven't heard anything more, but we will sure let you know as soon as we know!" would defuse the anxiety level I saw building around me in the airports in June. Independence Air has that approach, but NWA is giving the impression that they don't know and can't cope. When your flight is delayed to the point that you know and they know that you aren't getting to your destination the same day - they should let you know before you hit the airport in between that they have arranged for hotels and transportation. To have to know to go to the counter and wait and ask and grope around for the right place to do all this - well, passengers get mad, they get hostile and they frequently publicize these feelings.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Curry and BOFH...

So I am reading BOFH today, and there is mention of "a dodgy curry." Over on the side are the Google ads, and isn't there one there for delicious curry recipes! HAHA. Oh those randomly generated ads from key words in a page. They can be rather entertaining.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Bits and pieces and blogs...

Try reading some of the blogs over on the right...see...right there...yes. These are in no special order and include techie and other blogs that I find well done and interesting. Some are a bit too ad filled, but people have their reasons.

I do have a complaint. It would seem that lots of folks never take the time to look at their blogs from the standpoint of design, which I think is a huge part of any web site. When there is a cohesive template, the site looks like you might find something worthwhile there.

I do of course preclude the drek blogs, fansites, etc. Since I would rather not see those, the sadly hideous look they invariable have is not my concern.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Wasting time on ideas...

People ask me why I waste time reading articles and weblogs about technical things I don't understand and can't really use. It's because the brain needs fodder, or as in the movie "Short Circuit" - Number 5 says "need input - MORE INPUT!" That's how I feel about it too.

Surprisingly, when you keep pushing the limit and reading things you can't understand, after awhile some of it sinks in and you have at least an inkling of the ideas behind the technical stuff, and that's exciting.

Like fractal geometry, ideas grow in spirals.

Bo Bice on Idol...

O.K...American Idol may not be exactly the pinnacle of culture, but this go-round they have a winner in Bo Bice, a rocker out of Alabama. Rockers have never gotten very far on Idol, if they even get chosen to compete. Bo is a pleasure to watch and here's a novelty - he can really SING. Last night he sang with no background music. The link above has the video.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

The one that got away...

I had an insightful post created. It was wonderful. I haven't the energy to reproduce it, but it was a hymn to the talents of Charles Portis. After traveling with Ray down to Central America in "The Dog of the South," I can hardly wait to read "Gringos." However, I will postpone the pleasure because "Gringos" is my last Charles Portis novel, and unless he is at the publisher right this minute, that's all there are.

For a really intelligent and insightful article about Charles Portis, see this in The Believer, which I just might have linked to in a previous Portis post, but is worth adding again.

Salon has a nice piece on Portis in the archives here.

Enjoy the articles, but more importantly, read a Portis novel today!

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Finished "The Dog of the South"...

Charles Portis writes the straightforward stories of the mundane. Except that mundanity doesn't exist in his character's worlds. The regular guy who dreams big, the guy we might call a loser, who dreams some crazy dream or obsesses on a weird society of kindred spirits, as in "Masters of Atlantis" in the Atlantians and their secret knowledge. But then, all of our ideologies are about "secret knowledge", are they not? Maybe that's what makes Portis resonate with some of us. Portis creates a subculture out of the most poignant, funny and just plain outrageous characters ever assembled. And for some reason a good deal of the time they're on road trips. A rollicking gas of a trip all around, and about the best literary voice I've come across in years. Can't read just one!

"The Dog of the South" is the road trip from hell. Down through Texas from Arkansas and into Mexico and British Honduras. In an old Buick. After the wife who ran away with the co-worker and worse yet, in poor Ray's own car. Well, no need to tell it all, since AMAZON reviews do a pretty fair job of that. I recommend reading the book, not reading ABOUT the book. Just like Ray Midge would.

Sunday, May 01, 2005


The aquarium screen saver from SereneScreen has a goldfishie now. I love the aquarium though. The starfish is an endless source of wasted time. Watch him move. He goes slow. I like the aquarium so much I am thinking of registering it just for work. I do spend a lot of time at work, and the aquarium screen saver makes a great lunch time backdrop to my little lunch and a book.

JAG Goodbye the second...

The last episode of "JAG" very nearly ties up the vital relationship between Harm and Mac. Almost to my satisfaction. I would have liked to have seen a wedding, but you can't ask for it all. A nice end to a good series. Not a blockbuster ending, but much better than some other series endings. Remember the final "Seinfeld?"

Now "JAG" joins "Magnum, P.I." as one of my favorite complete series. Wouldn't "Magnum" on DVD be great?

Friday, April 22, 2005

Marble Mouse

I never followed up on the purchase of the Kensington Orbit Trackball mouse? Well, it was not so good. I had to clean it every day from the time I plugged it in the USB port. So, I packed it up and sent it back to AMAZON within the 30 days allowed, and got credited. Then, thinking of ordering another model of Kensington, I happened to see the rather ugly Logitech Marble Mouse at Staples. Now this does not match the eMac in the least, and is in fact one odd looking gizmo. However, it is excellent. It is an optical trackball, unihand so to speak, a leftie can use it without any problem. It is fast, responsive, easy on the hands and also the least expensive trackball in the serious trackball market. For a penny under $20 you can save your wrists from repetitive stress.

JAG Goodbye...

Oh, the pain. Tonight (Friday) is the first of the two-parter that ends one of my favorite television series. Harm has brightened up the television screen so nicely in the last ten or so years...and Mac has lasted the longest of all the side-kicks. It has been a great series and a boost for the public image of the military.

"JAG" was a Bellasario production, as was "Magnum, P.I." another all time favorite of mine. So, with full military honors we begin to say "goodbye" to another fine show.

Thursday, April 21, 2005


I mean that in the Spanish! I downloaded Camino tonight. It is easy to setup and a pleasure to use, not that I needed another browser, but I had to do it. After using Firefox this long, I thought I should give my Mac a treat and try the browser just for Mac OS X from the Mozilla organization.

Camino is so beautiful, and the beta seems to be working fine. The only place it doesn't is Blogger so far. <:( When I went to add a link, my text disappeared never to be found. So now I am trying the "Blog This!" function. Should be interesting.

You can find Camino for Mac OS X on the Mozilla site. The look and feel is all OS X.

Camino is minimal, lovely to look at, and does a snazzy job.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Television is taking over.....

I admit it seems as though television is taking over my life. I am either staring at that tube or the one on my desk. PC or TV? Since getting high speed cable for the Mac and the digital television package all together, it seems as though the mapping of an evenings viewing is mandatory. Paying that much for television, you want to max out your usage. So far I don't regret the STARZ package. A few good movies each week, and a few that we watch anyway. The first thing you notice is the increase in the amount of crap from the earlier crap levels. There really is a plethora available. On the plus side is the BBC America, although it isn't as great as I had hoped. Turner Classic Movies is always breaking up into pixilated particles on me, which is a disappointment.

I am a sitcom addict, and I will watch any mildly intelligent sitcom. BBC's "The Office" was better than the USA version of course, although the USA version certainly has the more harsh quality that probably does exist in the offices around the country. Instead of feeling sorry for the boss, I just loath him, whereas I felt sorry for the Ricky Gervais character and wanted to like him more. Well, you can't beat an original. It is hard to step into a character someone else got a Golden Globe for!

Tuesday, April 19, 2005


The new pope, Benedict the XVI has been chosen. Yesterday he was Cardinal Ratzinger of Germany, and he has been the upholder of Catholic Conservatism for quite some time. These things can play out in a way we cannot foresee, so caution in judgement is the wisest move.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Links and popes...

Well, I had to add links, now didn't I? Isn't that what blogs are supposed to be about, other than random hot air polluting the net? After what was a lovely Spring day in New England, we are once again nose to the grindstone.

The bishops are in conclave today. How long will the white smoke take. Whomever is elected, the pope must be able to stand for the Catholic Church in the world, and one would hope that would be done, as in the case of John Paul II, with compassion and kindness, dealing with all sorts of people, and remaining a beacon for the eternal truths.

Monday, April 11, 2005

iTunes delight...

Now that we have "speedy delivery" internet, my first move was to download a whole album from iTunes...OH THE JOY. Patsy Cline's Greatest Hits now reside on the Mac and the 'Pod. Oh the joy. Was there any other reason for high speed internet?! Well, talking on the phone was another reason. Gave up on the whole DSL thing - our phone number apparently is scheduled for this service sometime in the next decade - or is that century? So cable modem it is.

Friday, April 01, 2005

New look for Spring...

Spring is upon us, the time changes this weekend, and a Springy blog theme appealed. Maybe it will propel me to foist more hot air out here on the airwaves. I am not even bothering to add the links on the side this time...although I have archived my own copy of the previous carefully tweaked template.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Mr. Golightly takes another look...

Having finished Instances of the Number 3, reading Mr. Golightly's Holiday is another step in the process of peeling back layers of Salley Vickers' vision of life as a stream which flows out of the panorama of existence, and which we call reality. Apparently we dip in and out with the flow of time and space. Crime, cruelty and outright meanness are hereby flatly rejected, but ways of loving and living which people work out for themselves without harm to others seem to be just variants on the human story. There is really no way to describe Vickers' writing, and her insights aren't those of youth. The only predictable thing about whatever she writes next is that it will be different. And I will read it.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Pre-Schooler installs Mac OS X...

Yesterday a friend of mine who has an original iMac (blue), and who had been happy with OS 9, told me that last weekend, her little son (about 4) was amusing himself pressing a key on the family iMac while his Mom was doing some laundry. To her surprise, she heard a noise. The machine turned itself on, booted up and installed Mac OS X. Imagine the SHOCK!

Once the deed was done it did seem like a good idea, since they had just acquired an iPod. Her husband called Apple and ordered the latest version of OS X. What were the odds that the key the little guy picked to pluck would be the "X" key?

;) Once again, Mac OS X *is* the easiest OS to install, as shown by its installation by a four year old!

Monday, March 07, 2005

Dangerous Net News?

This morning on the way to work the radio news informed me that in the last 5 years there has been a slow and steady move to getting our news on the web. I assume this shift in the demographic is FROM television, since radio news had been losing out to television for years. After telling us of this gradual increase in the numbers of us getting our news from the web, the commentator offered up this advice: "The danger inherent in getting your news from the web is that you don't always know what you're getting."

So - does this mean that when I go to the New York Times, the BBC, the CBC, NBC, CBS and ABC, Reuters, AP and the usual sources ON THE WEB, I am getting less valuable news? No. It means that for some reason, the fear is that I might lose my powers of discernment as soon as I turn on the Mac, and get my news from Joe's News and Propaganda(fictitious) or the like. I think not. Perhaps there are people whose choices are as bad on the net as they are on their radios and TVs, so if they get unreliable news what else would you expect?

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Troy ploy or Boy Toy?

Brad Pitt did a fine job in Troy but the script was lacking. Please spare us the touchie-feelie nowness of the Paris character. Paris was nothing like that if I remember my Iliad, and if he had been he would never have gotten Helen. So, if you have read even half of the Iliad, you may not want to see Troy. However, the making of the movie was fine. The cinematography, the sets, the ability to digitally enhance and create settings larger than life, as well as the investment of large sums in creating large REAL settings in Baja, Mexico and in Malta, have all given Troy a touch of greatness. The music and the visuals are enough to make this Oscar material, and the acting was superb. Brad Pitt as Achilles, and Eric Bana as Hector were supported by fine performances from Orlando Bloom (Paris), Sean Bean (Odysseus), and many more.

The dialogue was not great. The plotting and the writing needed fine tuning which was not evident. Some of the lines had us groaning. Achilles seemed to go back and forth between a ruthless Greek warrior and an angst-ridden sensitive man of the 21st century. That wasn't pretty. But the scenes with Achilles running ahead of his black helmeted Myrmidons in full attack mode were breathtaking. Well done.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Instances of the Number 3

Salley Vickers strikes gold again. After Miss Garnet's Angel, I decided to read whatever else Salley Vickers had written. I am now reading Instances Of the Number 3. as Intriguing and originally plotted as Miss Garnet...Peter has died, and we find his widow and his mistress beginning to know each other due to some cause neither really can identify. Upon the scene comes a lovely boy, dark with brilliant blue eyes, a "friend" of Peter's whom Bridget, his wife, soon lets move into her home when she finds out that he, Zahin, has no where to live at present. The threads of relationships seem unfathomable, yet as things happen day to day the supernatural which surrounds us slowly reveals itself in bits to our protagonists. Bridget is really the main character around whom the novel moves, and I look forward to the next chapter.

Books for home book cataloging

In a sudden moment of shareware craving, I decided to get a few of the home book cataloging shareware proggies and give them a try. Bookpedia is overkill and nothing I need, though nice. Books is perfect. Small, works well, and will import some information from Amazon if the ISBN is entered. But the ISBN is the only web search field, and the information resulting is not as complete as I would like. I also found that a nifty addition to Books is to scan your own dust jackets because most of us with many books have books whose editions are not those readily available on Amazon, or if they are listed, no jacket is available. One more reason to scan your older books - it is fun! I am watching the size of this program and the speed of saves to see if as books are added there is a point of slowdown.

Did I mention that Books is FREE? A nice feature. There is a newer version for Mac OS X 10.3, and the looks are even better. Very nice UI, quite intuitive if you know your book data. The format is XML, which is exportable of course. As a library cataloger, I could wish that the book date were a bit more complete, the edition statements are not as LC would have them. In fact I wish the LC editions, genre, and subjects were used. Would it be too much to ask for a mini MARC record? That would be a great standard. But for home use, this program is the best. I am not motivated to put all my books in the database, but selected items will go in there over time.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Funny Road to Gandolfo...

Robert Ludlum wrote Road to Gandolfo under the pseudonym Michael Shepard. His editor didn't think that he could afford to leave his own genre quite so hilariously. Published later with Ludlum's own name, this is a riotous extreme look at what a disgruntled and frustrated man can accomplish when he looks at "the big picture." I haven't finished it yet, but for a late February pick-me-up, you can't go wrong with this one!

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Miss Garnet's Angel

Salley Vickers writes in a lyrical even style that at first fools the reader into thinking nothing is going on, but slowly the story takes over your mind. Miss Garnet is a retired British teacher, a life-long Communist, who suddenly loses her roommate of decades to death. Since they had planned on traveling when they retired, Miss Garnet (Julia) decides to make a trip to Venice at any rate, not that she is much of a traveler herself. That was always left to Harriet, her now dead friend and roomate.

The novel intertwines the apocryphal book of Tobit with the story of Julia herself. Venice changes her outlook, her routine, and ultimately, her life. The weaving of the art, architecture and culture of Venice into the story is subtle, and the presence of the Archangel Rafael is bewitching, both to Julia and to the reader. We only see a part of our world.

I went to the Apochypha (King James version is the most poetic) and read Tobit again (the novel contains Salley Vicker's embellished version) which I hardly remembered. A very entertaining and adventurous yarn it is.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Fishpad and ScrapX...

Installing Fishpad is simple. It functions as a scrapbook and clipboard, as does ScrapX. They are on opposite ends of a continuum though. ScrapX, if anything, is overdocumented! What a joy, really, to find an application with so much user information. There is a PDF user's manual, an addendum to same, a readme file, etc., and the website is chock full of information. I love it. Fishpad is bare bones, no help, simple and works. A great FREE app. I like them both, so I decided to keep them both, register ScrapX, and try to figure out what use I can make of them both. I used Fishpad the other evening just to take some random notes. Compared to the usual clipboard, which holds only one item both in Windows and in Mac, these programs are a Godsend.

Have ordered yet one more Kensington Mouse, the Kensington 72121 Optical Mouse. I had one, I really liked it, but I gave it away to another family computer in the house. I am finally replacing that one on my Mac. The IOGEAR trackball/regular mouse is great, but the functionality is not full in Mac OS X so I want that mouse at work instead of the HO-HUM Logitech mouse they provide with these machines.

Thursday, February 03, 2005


A couple nights ago, after the new MacAddict came, I decided to try ScrapX. EXCELLENT! I am sure there will be times this software will be valuable, though my needs aren't as complex as the software is capable of supporting. Try it, even for a couple times a month it is fun to have. It just looks so good,too, and is FUN as well. HAH.

Bill needs a 'pod!

Read this article and had to laugh out loud...maybe if you ban them they'll just go away? Yup...that's the strategy to follow. Meanwhile, cannot believe how time flies. My eMac is paid off...oh don't the iMacs look good though...hhmm. More RAM though, and then maybe a...and then...

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Reactions to the Apple Mini

I just might be wrong in my previous prediction. So far the bait has been caught in the teeth of two known Windows users. Both techies. I do feel however, that the Mac experience is a montage of the senses as well as a better technical answer. The sight and feel of a Mac with keyboard and display is civilized, smooth and understated. If I had a display hanging around, or enough cash to buy an Apple display, I might be tempted by the new Mini. Of course I have a keyboard and a mouse or two to spare, but the display is another thing altogether. But I bet the demographic is out there.

And how about that Steve J. Anyway? Bringing out the tiny little iPod offshoot, eh? Well, let the music wars begin or continue or whatever. I love my iTunes and the iTunes Music Store.

Apple Mini

First let me thank Apple for giving me something to write about, and then on to my opinion. :)

I predict that the new "Apple Mini", cute as it is, will be the same non-hit the Apple Cube and Newton were. Without the Apple display going for it, well.....really. The old iMac on a stick wouldn't be your display, and the new iMac cannot be and my eMac wouldn't be, so you either buy an Apple display costing 1200 or more or use another monitor you have around..?!?! Well, I would guess they are going after the Win users who love their iPods...and don't mind the jarring uncool look of their old Gateway keyboard and mouse connected to the sleek little Apple CPU...and plug it all into an old ViewSonic...hahhahhaha.

Just my take on it.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Full Cupboard of Life

Alexander McCall Smith has written a series of books set in Botswana, and involving The Ladies #1 Detective Agency. The characters are what drives each book, and the "mysteries" solved are intertwined with the several lives and dreams of the community and (what you swiftly think of as) our friends: Mma. Ramotswe, Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni, and various other recurring members of the city of Gaborone. Mma Ramotswe and Mma Makutsi are both active in the detecting business when the clients come - and there are assorted problems to deal with, some lighter than others. The business is located since the fourth book, in the Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors, conveniently owned and operated by Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni, who also happens to be Mma Ramotswe's fiance.

I can't do justice to these books. Mr. McCall Smith has conjured up a warm, human story line which still has my heart in this fifth book! As a matter of fact, there is a sixth book coming out shortly, and I am sure I will love that one as well.

Mr. McCall Smith is a Scot and a physician who has written many professional books, as well as many other books, and his writing is so far above the usual routine of so many series of "mysteries." He has lived a large part of his early life in Africa. The fabric of life in Botswana permeates every one of the books, and the love of Africa and her peoples shines through and gave me a picture of a fine set of folks who would be nice to be able to visit with.

Highly recommend especially for winter reading, the first is "The Ladies #1 Detective Agency."