Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The jury's still out...

I might have to take back what I said. I played with Google Reader a bit more over the weekend and there's definitely some stuff about it I DO NOT like. The web interface for WAP devices (cell phones) is TOTALLY different from what you use in your normal web browser. The standard AJAX view is very resource intensive and really requires a broadband connection and I don't like how when I tell it to show me all new feeds it only loads some of them and then performs a lazy-load as I scroll down. I typically like to cache all of my articles into my browser and then read them offline on the train. The lazy-loading kinda defeats that...

Sunday, January 21, 2007

RSS Readers

I'm not sure how you navigate/read the web, but if you're not using an RSS reader to do so, you're probably spending WAAAY more time than you need to.

I've been using Bloglines as my RSS reader of choice for some time. Overall it does a pretty good job...not the prettiest interface, mind you, but it lets me read my blogs/news from work, home and on my phone.

Unsurprisingly, Google has recently come out with their own solution. It has a much slicker interface in comparison to Bloglines and they've even created a nice reader app for mobile phones. It seems like other people are making the switch; I'd suggest you check it out, even if you haven't used an RSS reader previously.

On a completely unrelated note, I'm in Stowe, VT at the moment sitting in front of the TV watching TBS movies and eagerly awaiting my massage appointment at 4:00. After spending 6 hours in the car, driving though a snowstorm to get here, I came down with a 24-hour flu. I tried to power through it and go skiing yesterday, but I that didn't work out so well. Anyway, that's what's going on in my life right now. I'm looking forward to tonight's Patriots vs Colts game...saucy.

Later...

Friday, January 12, 2007

Desire

And topping the list of things that Leo MUST HAVE: http://www.apple.com/iphone/. Well, in truth it currently does not support 3G, which I consider a must-have feature, but rumor is Captain Jobs has got that under control for the 2.0 version.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Him vs. Her? PAT!

OK, so you know how there is sometimes a need to refer to a person, but you might not necessarily know the gender of the person? For instance, let's say you're giving instructions on how to brush one's teeth:

  1. The user of the toothbrush should put toothpaste on the toothbrush.
  2. They should then insert the toothbrush into their mouth and scrub their teeth.
Lame example, I know, but you get the point. The words they/their is used as a gender-neutral pronoun here, but technically this is incorrect as the user of the toothbrush is singular and the pronoun they is plural.

Traditionally when referring to a person of an ambiguous gender I've seen people employ a few different methods:
  1. He or she should then insert the toothbrush into his or her mouth and scrub his or her teeth.
  2. He/she should then insert the toothbrush into his/her mouth and scrub his/her teeth.
  3. He should then insert the toothbrush into his mouth and scrub his teeth.
Recently I've noticed a trend to do the following instead:
  1. She should then insert the toothbrush into her mouth and scrub her teeth.
This one just feels lame to me. I mean, in the third example of the first set people are obviously using he instead of he/she, etc in the name of laziness and also because it flows better when you read it, but do we need to be that PC that we now must also use feminine pronouns to ensure equality?

Mind you, these authors are not all female; were that the case I'd say, "OK...sure...you use what you identify most with...makes sense." Most of the time I see it, it's a male author writing it. It just comes off to me as though they are trying too hard, like they are thinking, "I am a computer nerd and the ladies don't like me because I'm a geek, but if I use feminine pronouns I'll appear sensitive and desirable and the ladies will come knocking."

L A M E

So here's what I propose as a solution: "Pat". Yes, "Pat". You know, from Saturday Night Live? I suggest that from now on when we are using pronouns to refer to an unknown person, we replace him/her/he/she with "Pat". For example:

  1. Pat should then insert the toothbrush into Pat's mouth and scrub Pat's teeth.
It works perfectly and it makes me giggle. What do you think?

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

I attract strange people...

...and when I say that I do not mean the ladies I date are strange, although now that I think of it, that is true more often then it is not. No, what I mean is that the weirdos of the world always seem to zone in on me in random public situations and decide to include me in their strange little worlds.

For instance: today I get on my normal commuter rail train from Quincy Center. I go to sit in a seat that faces the direction the train is moving in. I notice that 3-4 seats in front of me, facing me, is a middle-aged man who I believe might be staring at me. Of course I can't be sure because his eyes are quite crossed and given that there were plenty of people sitting to my left and right, I can't be sure exactly where he's aiming at. So anyway, I don't give it much thought and open my laptop to read an eBook on "Domain-Driven Design". Yeehaaw!

As we near South Station I notice that the man has stood up. He begins speaking in a very loud and accented voice, something about being in the marines, "Semper Fi" and that "If you wanna be a genius like I am, then you gotta be a magician like I am. I'm a wizard, people, a wizard!"

Well, I just assumed he was crazy right there and then and chose to do what every good apathetic commuter would do: that is, I buried my head in my laptop, tried not to laugh and pretended I was completely deaf.

This was apparently not the correct move...

Just seconds away from the train reaching its destination the man starts getting REALLY excited. He starts yelling "None of y'all stand up or there'll be trouble. I mean it. Just sit right there. This is between us." At this point I realize that the man hasn't been speaking nonsense to the entire train, but rather to an audience of one, me. Apparently I was engaged in a conversation that I did not willingly partake in and the initiator was none-too-happy that I had not responded.

So I look straight on at the guy. He looks directly at me (Well, and to the woman at my right. Cross-eyed, remember?). And he says, "You just go on chewing your gum." I had gum in my mouth. "You go on chewing your gum. I won't bite your ear off. I won't bite it off."

I suddenly had deep empathy for Evander Holyfield. I did what came natural to a sarcastic little twit like me and I nodded as if to say, "Oh reeeaaalllly now. Will you? Faaaascinating." Realizing this was probably not the wisest course of action to take, I immediately regretted my decision. However, in this case I guess I lucked out as the man instantly become discouraged and quickly walked out of the train car and onto the platform.

I walked out to the OTHER platform and moved as quickly as possible to the card scanner of my office building, for once thankful for the security that they provide.

The End.

PS: I'll give you another example of strange people approaching me some other day; I've typed waaay too much today already. Until next time...

Monday, January 8, 2007

Musical Awakening

So I came home from work this evening and went about my normal routine of working on my Bowflex (insert advertising) and running, when what do I find on my television, but a documentary called "Fearless Freaks" celebrating the greatness of one of my favorite bands: The Flaming Lips.

As anyone who's been involved in creating/playing music will tell you, it only takes 1 good concert or song or show to re-awaken the creative spirit and make you jones for some musical creativity, so as I was running on my treadmill I started thinking up a melody.

Now traditionally I've always been the sort that would first pound out a harmony on my acoustic, fill in some drums, lay down some basic vocal melodies and then fill in the "sauce" (lyrics, bass, lead guitars, etc) in later on. I've pretty much only strayed from this formula once and that was for "I Breathe" which I wrote harmony guitar, melodies and lyrics all at the same time. But I had just gotten dumped that evening and getting broken up with gives one a magical power of writing depressing music rather efficiently.

So anyway, I found myself in a strange situation writing a song in this matter and it pleased me. I remember from reading the book, "When the Music's Over" by John Densmore that Jim Morrison would write the majority of The Doors music without touching any instruments: he simply would come up with a melody and rhythm in his head and share it with the rest of the band. Now, I am a piece of fly shit compared to Jim, but at least now I can understand how he could work that way whereas before it was all so impossible to me.

So I've been very dissapointed with myself lately as I've pretty much disregarded music composition. I guess the reason for it is because it's very hard for me, painful even. Some people find great release when they write a song. For me it makes me feel the pain or whatever I'm writing/singing about all over again and when it doesn't come out to my standards I get VERY frustrated. Besides, playing video games is so much easier.

I think therefore I am going to set goals for myself similar to what I do at the day job. I would like to write 3 songs in 6 months. That doesn't seem like an awful lot with a guy like Ryan Adams dropping 30 songs a day, but it's a significant amount of work for me. As I'm working through these pieces in progress I'll try to post the variations, etc as I go along.

Of course, more than likely I will do none of this and just go back to playing video games, but then you can give me shit because I proclaimed it on this blog (motivation by annoyance).

Word to your moms (I came to drop bombs)...

Saturday, January 6, 2007

Mii on Wii

Here I am! This is Mii on Wii. If you're like me and HAVEN'T scored a Nintendo Wii yet, you can at least get started on your Mii, courtesy of Joystiq.

Feel free to post me a comment with your results. I wanna see what you come up with!

Friday, January 5, 2007

Slacker McGee

Already I'm slacking and I am so ashamed.

This week's been a sucker, work-related and I've not dedicated much of my free time to anything but imbibing, chatting on IM and playing video games.

Fact 1: Things would be much easier if people just said what they felt and didn't calculate their conversations.
Fact 2: If people followed fact one I think the use of pbbtthhhttt in conversations would be much more pervasive.

Oh and if you aren't subscribed to frappeboy's blog, but you are mine (there's like -1 people that actually apply here) then make sure you head on over as new images have been posted.